Comic Book Review – PTSD Radio Volumes 1-6

PTSD Radio Volumes 1-6 (2018)
Written & Illustrated by Masaaki Nakayama

Urban landscapes are profoundly haunted. Cities are built on the ruins of villages and small towns, turning those who lived there previously into ghosts that linger in the corners. PTSD Radio begins as a series of disconnected horror stories, an anthology centered around tormented spirits, but then patterns start to emerge. The presence of hair and dark figures tugging at the scalps of sleeping victims are recurring motifs. Slowly but surely we uncover a story about a rural village where cultural changes led to the destruction of a primitive idol. This, in turn, unleashes a quiet evil that permeates the lives of the people who grew up in this village, following them into adulthood.

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Comic Book Review – Mister Miracle

Mister Miracle (2018)
Written by Tom King
Art by Mitch Gerards

Scott Free is the man who cannot be captured, contained, or trapped. After surviving a brutal childhood on the planet Apokolips, he came to Earth where he became Mister Miracle, a super escape artist. Years have passed, and now he’s married to fellow Apokaliptian Big Barda. They live in Los Angeles, where Scott continues his career in entertainment. Periodically, he’s pulled back into the ongoing conflict of the New Gods while trying to carry on as normal a life as possible. However, something dark has overtaken Scott’s mind as of late, he begins to suspect that Darkseid has won and his Anti-Life Equation has already infected Scott, pulling him into a slow mire of depression and darkness.

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Movie Review – Border

Border (2018)
Written by Ali Abbasi, Isabella Eklöf, & John Ajvide Lindqvist
Directed by Ali Abbasi

Tina lives a secluded life, markedly different from everyone around her from a chromosomal abnormality compared to the humans that populate her world. She has a pronounced brow ridge and protruding teeth recalling images of long-extinct Neanderthals. What makes her valuable to people is her ability to smell guilt and shame making her a perfect customs agent at a Swedish port of entry. After years of ferreting out contraband, she eventually meets a man who shares her facial deformities and seems to be beyond her ability to detect evil. There is an attraction between them that develops and leads Tina to discover the truth about her past and the lies she has been told her whole life.

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Movie Review – Shoplifters

Shoplifters (2018)
Written & Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda

Osamu is the patriarch of a makeshift family living in the shadow of poverty in Tokyo. His partner Nobuyo is the mother with adopted son Shota, half-sister Aki, and grandmother Hatsue. Osamu and Shota routinely shoplift food from neighborhood grocery stores, having developed a system of signals and distractions. On their way home after a recent venture, they find Yuri, a little girl they have talked to before alone on her parent’s apartment balcony. Feeling sorry for her level of neglect they bring her home for dinner. Nobuyo helps Osamu bring her back after and they overhear Yuri’s parents fighting, her father hitting her mother, and the admission that they never wanted the child in the first place. Nobuyo decides to make Yuri a part of the family and from their life goes on as it always has. Until one day a news report announces that Yuri’s parents have filed a missing person report.

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Movie Review – The Wife

The Wife (2018)
Written by Jane Anderson
Directed by Bjorn Runge

Elderly writer Joseph Castleman receives the call many artists dream about. He is being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, being told that he has made a significant contribution to the realm of writing in ways that will resound for generations beyond. His ever-loyal wife Joan listens on the phone extension and then prepares to care for and navigate her husband through the gauntlet of press and meetings to come. There is a secret behind her attentiveness to Joseph. They travel with their adult son to Stockholm where a week of formalities follows related to the prize. Tensions build when Nathaniel Bone, a journalist shows up and tells Joan he plans on writing an expose about Castleman, that he knows how Joan is tied to his success that he wants her to be the one to come forward first, on the record.

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Movie Review – Aquaman

Aquaman (2018)
Written by David Leslie, Johnson McGoldrick, Will Beall, Geoff Johns & James Wan
Directed by James Wan

Arthur Curry is the son of a lighthouse keeper and a runaway queen of Atlantis. When he was a toddler, his mother was taken back to her undersea homeworld, and so Arthur was raised by his father while learning about the strange new abilities he developed with each passing day. As an adult, Arthur has fought alongside the Justice League and has become a minor celebrity in his coastal town of Amnesty Bay. His profile increases when Mera, daughter of one of the seven kings of the ocean, implores him to help her stop a pending war with the surface. It seems, Arthur’s half-brother Orm is rallying the armies of the sea whether they like it or not. His end goal is to bring the land-dwellers to heel for the endless pollution of the ocean-realm. Arthur and Mera find themselves in a race to uncover the lost trident of Atlan, the one item that can only be wielded by the true king of Atlantis. With this weapon, they believe the war that will tear apart the planet can be avoided.

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Movie Review – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Written by Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman
Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, & Rodney Rothman

Spider-Man is the main hero of New York City and has been for decades. Meanwhile, Miles Morales is just a talented kid reluctantly attending a boarding school for the scientific minded. During a late excursion to tag a prime piece of real estate in the subway tunnels, Miles is bitten by a strange spider and begins to develop strange powers as a result. When Miles returns to the scene of the incident, he ends up dead center in a battle between Spider-Man and a host of villains in the employ of the Kingpin. The fight ends with Miles squarely set to inherit the mantle and in need of training. The result of Kingpin’s experiments is that the fabric of the multiverse is broken and a host of other Spider-people have found their way to Miles’ dimension. The clock is ticking as reality crumbles, and in a very short amount of time, our protagonist must learn to be the hero his universe needs him to be.

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