Movie Review – The Candidate

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The Candidate (1972)
Written by Jeremy Larner
Directed by Michael Ritchie

the candidate

Marvin Lucas is an election specialist looking for a viable Democratic candidate to oppose incumbent California Republican Crocker Jarman. Lucas finds his candidate in Bill McKay, a lawyer, and advocate for some liberal causes (labor, desegregation, environmentalism). McKay is promised that Jarman will inevitably win and the young man can speak his mind. Lucas just wants an opposing voice in the race. However, McKay begins to find himself being tweaked and shaped by a political machine that is interested in appealing to an open center. This results in the lawyer speaking platitudes he fundamentally disagrees with. As the countdown nears to election day, McKay finds himself increasingly at odds with Lucas and his poll numbers rising.

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Comic Book Review – Green Lantern: Mosaic Part 3

gl mosaic

Green Lantern: Mosaic Part 3
Green Lantern: Mosaic #10-18

gl mosaic hal jordan

It is not an understatement to say that Mosaic stood out a series unlike much else DC Comics was publishing in 1992. If we do a quick survey of the company at the time, we see this was the start of a significant shift in the type of storytelling DC was doing. In the wake of 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths the major characters were given fresh reboots and, while there would occasionally be crossover events, most large-scale events felt reasonably contained. 1987’s Legends was more an event based around themes rather than plot. Millenium and Invasion were kept relatively small and with little to no effect on the broader scale of titles. This allowed a bit more creator freedom which we can see in Gerard Jones’ work with the Green Lantern franchise.

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Movie Review – Suburbicon

Suburbicon (2017)
Written by Joel & Ethan Coen
Directed by George Clooney

suburbicon

It’s 1959 in the city of Suburbicon, USA, and the first black family has moved in. This event is causing quite the stir, and the “well-meaning” people of the town just don’t that black people are ready to live in their neighborhood yet. When The Mayers don’t seem to get the message the citizenry begin to escalate matters. Meanwhile, the next block over Nicky Lodge’s life is turned upside down when two strange men barge into the house in the middle of the night. They end up killing Nicky’s mother leaving his father, Gardner, a widow. Thankfully, Nicky’s aunt and his late mother’s sister Margaret is there to help.

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Comic Book Review – Green Lantern: Mosaic Part 2

gl mosaic

Green Lantern: Mosaic Part 2
Green Lantern: Mosaic #1-9 (1992-1993)

mosaic issue one

If you thought the four-part prelude would prepare you for what Gerard Jones had planned for the Mosaic ongoing series, you would be incredibly surprised. From the first issue, Jones is making a bold statement about what direction he is going, and it ended up being unlike anything DC Comics was publishing at the time. In fact, Mosaic often feels like a series that should be coming out under the Vertigo banner, DC’s imprint for mature reader comics. Mosaic deals with issues of racism and mental illness, but also delves into surreal and metaphysical places. Let’s just take a look at issue one for an example of how strange things were going to get.

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Movie Review – Seven Days in May

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Seven Days in May (1964)
Written by Rod Serling
Directed by John Frankenheimer

seven days in may

U.S. President Jordan Lyman has signed a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union which has led to the American public beginning to question if he should resign. Meanwhile, US Marine Colonel Casey works in the Pentagon and comes across evidence that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by Air Force General Scott, are plotting a coup d’etat to remove Lyman. The overthrow of the government will be staged a military emergency exercise, but involve Scott commandeering the airwaves to announce Lyman being forced out of office. Casey has only a week to work with the President and find solid proof to show the American people. But at every turn, Scott and his people are there to stop them.

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Comic Book Review – Green Lantern: Mosaic Part 1

gl mosaic

Green Lantern: Mosaic – Part 1
Green Lantern Volume 3 #14 – 17

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In the late 1980s, Green Lantern was the next property on DC Comics’ list to retool. The character, as a concept, has existed since the 1940s, but the incarnation at the time was quite different from its the masked crimefighter roots. Since the 1960s, the character had been reframed as a member of an intergalactic space corps using rings powered by will to create constructs. Over the course of twenty years, the title’s lead had been changed from time to time. It’s quite different from most other DC titles, you wouldn’t expect to see other characters taking over the mantle of Superman or Batman (at least not at the time). Hal Jordan was the chief GL, with school gym teacher Guy Gardner popping up for a short run, and then John Stewart, an African-American architect. Stewart is the focus of the Mosaic arc and spin-off series.

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Movie Review – Life After Beth

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Life After Beth (2014)
Written & Directed by Jeff Baena

life-after-beth

Beth has died and her grieving boyfriend, Zach is stuck in a permanent depression. He is hanging out with her parents, Maury and Geenie trying to revive what it felt like for his late love to be alive. And then out of nowhere, Beth’s parents box out Zach, refusing to answer the door or his phone calls. He eventually busts in and finds Beth, alive and well, but a little confused about where she has been. Zach wants to start their relationship back up, but Maury and Geenie would prefer to keep her locked up in the house. As time goes on, Zach learns that the Beth that came back may not be precisely in the best of shape.

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