Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Comic Release Pick of the Week for August 28th 2013

Great Stories Selects.....

Locke & Key Alpha (IDW)

Stephen King's son, Joe Hill, is an accomplished writer on his own.  With the novels "NOS4A2",  "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Horns", as well as the short story collection "20th Century Ghosts", he is carving out his own little spot in the halls of horror-themed fiction.  Having read both his short story collection and first novel, I can say with certainty that his gift for spinning a yarn is a hereditary boon.  Locke & Key, however, may be his most impressive work to date.  The graphic novel might be his most impressive work of them all, however.  Telling the story of a mysterious house in a small Massachusetts hamlet that hold some amazing secrets for a family that has been afflicted with serious tragedy.  We don't want to spoil this series for you, and even though the current issue of Locke & Key is our pick of the week, readers should really do themselves a favor and pick up the graphic novel releases with a story that originated in February of 2008.  The first collection, available in hard cover and paperback, is entitled "Welcome to Lovecraft".  "Head Games", "Crown of Shadows", "Keys to the Kingdom", and "Clockworks" all followed as the formal collections to the monthly comic series.  We cannot recommend this series highly enough.  Along with "Morning Glories", this may be the best long-running independent comic series on the market today.  And once you get caught up on all of that reading, pick up the story in "Locke & Key Alpha #1".

Great Stories are everywhere!

Chris (for the Great Stories Team)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Great Stories Comic Release Pick of the Week for August 21 2013

Great Stories Selects

Conan the Barbarian #19 (Dark Horse)

Conan the Barbarian #19 begins a new story arc called Black Stones from the team of Brian Wood (writer) and Paul Azaceta (art).  We have been following Dark Horse's Conan run since the start and have really enjoyed the re-telling of the classic saga.  The previous eighteen issues explored Conan's early travels with a focus on his seafaring mercenary days that saw him at once battle a pirate queen, only to join her crew and become her lover.  Belit, as she is so named, saves Conan from captivity later on in the series and even joins him for an arduous journey back to Conan's homeland where tragedy greets them both.  The Black Stones story arc finds the deadly pair rejoining their crew on the Tigress and heading back to open waters and the hunt for more merchant vessels to plunder.  But they get more than they bargain for in the form of their latest quarry...something that could very well lead to their undoing once and for all!

Fans of epic fantasy should know the Conan brand very well.  From the imagination of author Robert E. Howard, the intellectual property has spawned three movies, the Red Sonja spin-off movie, many comic runs, tons of merchandise, and a recently rumored new movie trilogy!

You can find Conan the Barbarian #19 in comic stores everywhere today.

Great Stories are everywhere!

Chris (for the Great Stories team)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Comic New Release Pick for August 14th 2013

Great Stories Selects......

Writer Jonathan Hickman (Avengers, Fantastic Four) teams with artist Nick Dragotta (Captain America: Forever Allies) to bring you a very original look at a Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse story.  The series began five issues ago with a look at the American Civil War and a look at what 2064 looks like for the now 'Seven Nations of America".  America is fractured and lost.  Even the President is not safe from the coming judgement and the unfolding story is both compelling and feels unique.  What more can one ask for as a reader?  Nick's art portrays the desolate landscapes that inspire the despair of a world teetering on the edge of extinction, and serve as the playground for the very different but wholly dangerous horsemen. 

In a week that sees Marvel role out its latest epic cross-title arc, "Infinity", we are still more excited for this issue of East of West as the pick of the litter.  Fans of Westerns and Futuristic Sci Fi will enjoy this title, and for those of you who like to wait for trade paperback collections, one should not be too far behind as the first arc starts to wrap up this month.

Great Stories are everywhere!

Chris (for the Great Stories team)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Comic New Release Pick for August 7th 2013

Great Stories selects.....

George R. R. Martin's Skin Trade #2 (Avatar)

Adapted from George R.R. Martin's critically acclaimed novella of the same name, Skin Trade is a story of a detective that is brought in to investigate a rash of murders that share the same odd connection.  Her best friend, meanwhile, seems to know something that he is not at liberty to share, and a very powerful family is harboring some secrets of their own.  The writer of the epic Game of Thrones series delves into werewolf lore to great result.  Daniel Abraham adapts the novella to graphic novel form with Mike Wolfer (Lady Death, Gravel) handling the art.  Daniel is no stranger to the world of George R.R. Martin, as he writes the Game of Thrones graphic novel adaptations as well.  And the pencils provided by Mike Wolfer are the perfect compliment to Abraham's re-telling of the source material.  The mystery provided in issue #1 is enough to have us excited to pick up the #2 in stores today.  

Skin Trade #2 was released today, but you can still find the first issue (released last month) in comic shops everywhere.

Great Stories are everywhere!

Chris (for the Great Stories Team)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fresh Popped Corn #5 August Theatrical Trailers

Great Stories' new column for our movie trailer preview series is here.  Once per month, we will be taking a look at movies released for the upcoming month, and telling our readers where we would be spending our movie dollars each week, based on the look of the trailers.  Links to the chosen trailers will be provided so you can see just what we are so excited about.

August 2nd
August brings with it the final month of the summer blockbusters, though admittedly the movies with much less fanfare.  But we have the box office gold Denzel Washington starring alongside Mark Wahlberg in the crime actioner 2 Guns, which sees the two star as undercover specialists from different government outfits trying to bring down the same drug syndicate with no trust for one another the whole way.  Also being released is Lindsay Lohan's return to the big screen in The Canyons, which looks somewhat intriguing.  The Smurfs 2 rolls into theaters, for those of you who love tiny blue talking things.  Christina Ricci, Brendan Gleason, and Katy Perry lend their voices to the cast.  Cockneys v Zombies is a British import looking to gag it up with the tired zombie trend.  Europa Report looks like a pretty intense sci-fi excursion to one of Jupiter's moons for a group of brave astronauts.  And The Spectaclur Now features a tale of unlikely love between the shallow charismatic boy who is the life of the party and the "nice" girl, starring Sutter Keely and Shailene Woodley.  At the risk of being unimaginatively predictable, Great Stories is hopping on the Denzel train, and thinking that 2 Guns is a good dose of fun for this Friday night!  Check out the trailer below.

August 9th
The second week of August features a Wednesday release of Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters for this franchise's second outing.  Matt Damon and the makers of District 9 want to make a political statement with Elysium, about a man who desperately needs to get the medical attention offered on a space station where the well to do have excaped to following the decay of Earth, where the less fortunate still languish.  We're the Millers is an adult comedy featuring Jennifer Aniston as a stripper and Ed Helms as a small time dealer who along with two younger counterparts pose as a family to bring a large shipment of contraband into the country.  Planes is the heir apparent to the wildly successful Cars series from Disney, sure to capture the hearts of young children everywhere and pick clean their parents wallets through a mass merchandising campaign.  In a World stars Lake Bell as the daughter of a famous voice over artist who tries to defy the male dominated industry by earning a shot at being the voice for the ad campaign of a new blockbuster trilogy.  Lovelace is Amanda Seyfried portraying the first famous adult actress and how a small town girl from a religious family went on to create such controversy, notoriety, and the consequences those decision wrought.  Prince Avalalanche is a low budge buddy comedy about two guys (Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch) whose job it is to lay traffic lines on new road in remote parts of America.  You'll find us trying to adopt a kid for a day as our excuse to see Disney's latest Planes.  Here is the trailer below!

August 16th
This particular week is stacking up to be our hardest decision yet.  First up, there is Ashton Kutcher's portrayal of the brilliant visionary Apple creator in the movie JobsKick Ass 2 promises to do exactly that in theaters and in spite of Jim Carrey's disavowal of the movie due to its excessive gun violence, he looks simply great in his role as Captain Stars and Stripes, vigilante extraordinaire.  One of our favorites, Forrest Whitaker, portrays Lee Daniels-The Butler, a White House butler who served eight administrations, in what appears to be a very cool historical drama piece which also stars Oprah Winfrey and John Cusack.  Paranoia tells the tail of a promising young tech head (Liam Hemsworth) who gets hired by billionaire Gary Oldman to work undercover against his competition (Harrison Ford) and steal the secrets to a new technology promised to be the next big thing.  Ain't Them Bodies Saints is the tail of an outlaw (Casey Affleck) who falls in love with a young woman (Rooney Mara) and how they run afoul of a local lawman played by Ben Foster.  Austenland stars the wonderful Keri Russell and Stiffler's Mom...we kid we kid....Jennifer Coolidge as women obsessed with the world of Jane Austen, and how Russel's life might be changed by meeting her fantasy English regent.  Lee Daniels does not seem the expected summer fare, but looks like a great choice for history buffs like us.  If not for nothing else, after his truly scary role in The Last King of Scotland, this role may wipe Mr. Whitaker's face from our nightmares.  Check out the trailer here:

August 23rd
A new franchise for the teens is set to launch with The Mortal Instruments:  City of Bones, which follows the story of a young girl who discovers she is a descendant of a breed of half-angel Shadowhunters, sworn to protect humanity from demons on earth.  Lily Collins is cast in the lead role.  The World's End features the Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz team regroup in their hometown for the pub crawl of the ages.  Little do they know, their lovely home town has been taken over by robots posing as the residents and it is up to these unlikely heroes to set things right.  You're Next is a freaky home invasion movie that is sure to make your date hug you close.  Drinking Buddies is a comedy starring Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Jake Johnson, and Olivia Wilde has a pair of couples who may be in the wrong relationships, and that may mean the end of their friendships. Short Term 12 is an indie that features a foster care supervisor who cares for troubled teams while also reconciling her own past.  Frozen Ground stars Nicholas Cage on the hunt for a serial killer played by John Cusack.  Vanessa Hudgens is the young woman who escapes his clutches and triggers the hunt.  Sad to say, but I am not sure Cage has made a good film in the last decade.  As a fan of both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, it would be hard to not go with The World's End.  Here is the trailer below for your enjoyment!

August 30th
The last week in August features Closed Circuit, a terrorist/political thriller with London as the backdrop and starring Erica Bana, Rebecca Hall, and Julia Stiles.  The Lifeguard stars Kristen Bell as a young woman reporter/former valedictorian who decides that she needs to hit life's reset button and moves back to her hometown to be a lifeguard at the local public pool.  Getaway is a action flick with Ethan Hawke as former race car driver whose wife is kidnapped.  At the mercy of a voice (Jon Voight) who provides him instruction, Hawke attempts to save his wife.  Selena Gomez is along for the ride as a young criminal who stumbles into the plot.  Brian De Palma returns to his highly successful erotic thriller motifs (see Dressed to Kill and Basic Instinct) with Passion, which stars Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams as two powerful business women in a deadly power struggle.  With the summer riding out in style, we'll jump in the backseat of Getaway and go out having a little intense fun while we are at it.  Here is the trailer.

Thanks for checking into our movie picks for August, and please let us know what you are most looking forward to seeing at the cineplex!

Chris (for the Great Stories Team)