Your Name: When Body-Swapping Encounters Adolescence

Your Name, Makoto Shinkai’s latest animated film, has been making news and setting records in Japan (it’s currently the second highest grossing film of all time over there!) and after watching it, I’m not surprised. Your Name initially comes off as a light-hearted comedy but evolves into a film that touches upon various relatable themes that are woven throughout this story of adolescence, nostalgia, and love.

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Double Dragon IV: Stumbling Down Memory Lane

The NES was my staple console for the majority of my childhood. While I did not have many games at my disposal, games like Double Dragon and Double Dragon II were titles that I played just about every day on my own and with friends. I still consider Double Dragon II to be one of my favorite NES games and it influenced my tastes in games I play today. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series’ creation, Arc System Works recruited many of the original crew that made the original game to make a brand new sequel in the form of the 8-bit games I cherished as a child. When hearing about this news, I was excited and skeptical at the same time. The nostalgia side of me wanted it but would it be enough to maintain my interest in the current era of video games?

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Kindred The Graphic Novel: A Review

When I heard Abrams was developing a graphic novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred I was of two minds. I wasn’t sure if one of the most important books in the history of literature could be accurately represented in the graphic form. Even though I’m a rabid comic book fan, I felt a comic version of the novel would somehow cheapen it. But it was John Jennings and Dr. Damian Duffy, and I trust them implicitly. They have a decade plus relationship and have put out some of the most interesting and innovative comics work during this time.

They’re geniuses, and this isn’t hyperbole. This book here illustrates the genius of their partnership.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children: Another Tim Burton Borefest

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is the YA/action adventure film directed by the master of macabre, Tim Burton. This is the live-action adaptation of the book by author Ransom Riggs. Rumor has it that the books have potential and are engaging. That’s too bad because the movie isn’t any of those things. This painfully slow adaptation isn’t a return to form for Burton. It’s the same old hokey filmmaking, but time actress Eva Green is the victim! He really wants to show the audience that he still has that Beetlejuice, Mars Attacks charm. He wants you to know that his version of what is weird is acceptable. In a time where weirdness, geekiness, is the new norm, his message, and Miss Peregrine seem 10-years too late.

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Harry Potter and the Magic Loving Black Girl

Not so long ago, my family and I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, in Southern California. In a word, it was amazing. Despite my being too broad-shouldered (and totally crushed) that I couldn’t fit into the seat for “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” (my wife and daughter said it was the single best ride of their lives), the trip was worth the drive to get there. So was waiting in the horrendous lines. What rendered moot any complaints of inconvenience was the near-constant look of awe and wonder on my daughter’s face.

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Star Trek Beyond: Be Still My Trekkie Heart

Thanks to CAPE (The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) and AMP (Asian American Media Professionals), I got to attend a small screening of Star Trek Beyond at Paramount studios.

I won’t get into the story itself, but I must say to all my Trekkies: my solid ice cold anti-Trek reboot heart is starting to melt. I understand how this film had a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating, making it a ripe tomato.

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Review: X-Men Apocalypse

X-Men Apocalypse.

I swore I wouldn’t write a review for the film. Primarily because any review I penned would pale in comparison to the excellent piece penned by my buddy and fellow N.O.C. colleague, Valerie Complex.

Seriously if you haven’t read it, go do so now. Val snatched so many wigs and edges, you would’ve thought Director Bryan Singer and Fox were members of the Charles Xavier Cosplay Appreciation Society.

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Heavy is the Panther’s Cowl

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic characters in comics, The Black Panther.

Springing to life in the pages of Fantastic Four #52, the Panther’s comic journey has been one fraught with fits and starts. Some people look at Christopher Priest’s run as the definitive arc. Other’s look at Reginald Hudlin’s take as the best representation of the character. One guy at Dr. Comics and Mr. Games comic shop in Oakland felt Jonathan Hickman’s version in Secret Wars was, “The best look for the Panther. No one else got it right.” I’m going to have to refute that and argue that Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze, and Laura Martin’s Black Panther relaunch will be the definitive version of T’Challa, King of the Wakanda, for a long while to come. Instead of gold, the Panther received the gift of a fantastic creative team.

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The Epic Failure of Batman v Superman

Before I begin this review, I want you all to watch this clip from Man of Steel.

I remembered watching that scene from that film and actually yelling out loud how incredibly stupid and unnecessarily melodramatic that was.

That’s exactly how I felt after watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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