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    by Published on 11-13-2010 08:01 AM
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    The Big Bang Theory
    Episode 408: The 21-Second Excitation
    Aired November 11, 2010
    CBS, 8:00 PM

    Is it just me or is The Big Bang Theory getting darker? Now, Iím not saying all of a sudden itís becoming Dexter, but it seems like this season the show is willing to tell some jokes that it wasnít before. The sweetness is still there, but itís being combined with a few jokes that definitely stand out as something new for the show.
    by Published on 11-12-2010 09:45 PM
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    Reviewer: Craig Reade
    Quick Rating: Very Good
    Rating: M

    Official Site

    Platform: Xbox 360
    Developer: Bungie
    Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
    Genre: First-Person Shooter
    # of Players: 1, Co-op, Multiplayer
    U.S. Release Date: September 14th, 2010
    MSRP: $59.99

    My relationship with Halo has been rocky at best. Don't get me wrong - I enjoy the franchise. I remember fondly playing Halo for the first time. It's a rare game that actually makes me want to keep playing it until I can beat it at the absolute hardest level. And the co-op feature added a can't-miss element to the game.

    Halo 2 was one of the few games I have ever stood in line for at a midnight release. I couldn't wait to get my hands on that game. Unfortunately, the bad taste that game left in my mouth. Sure - there were plenty of positives to that game, but after getting so hyped up, the inconsistent game play (switching back and forth between the Master Chief and the Elite was a bad idea) and the unforgivable move of ending the game with a cliffhanger turned me away from the franchise for years. Hey - what can I say - having to drop $50 for a game, and then finding out that I only bought half a story (the second part taking another 3 years to come out) was more than enough to push me away. So annoyed by Halo 2, it took me almost six years to decide to pick up the franchise again, and only then when I found a copy of Halo 3 on sale for next to nothing. The game seemed completely disconnected from the previous installment (maybe it was the lapse of time), but it was an individual enough of an experience that I was able to rediscover my love of the franchise.
    by Published on 11-12-2010 08:32 PM
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    Itís Always Sunny In Philadelphia
    Episode 609 - Dee Reynolds: Shaping Americaís Youth
    Aired November 11th, 2010
    10 PM, FX

    If this episode of IASIP proved nothing else, it proved Danny DeVito will do anything - and I mean anything - for a joke. He has no shame at all, which is a positive in a comedian or really any entertainer. If you have a sense of shame, youíre in the wrong business.

    In what is arguably the greatest Sunny episode this season, the loose two parter is wrapped up, but the highlight is the unspeakably awful - and yet fabulous - Lethal Weapon 5. Wait, youíre saying - thereís no Lethal Weapon 5. But there is! Mac, Dennis, Frank, and Charlie made it, and they screen it for Deeís bored acting class. And what a movie this is, with Mac in black face, Mac and Dennis switching roles inexplicably half way through the film (Dennis doesnít wear black face when heís Murtaugh), Charlie unable to read his lines, Dennis unable to blow out a candle, Dennisís horrible and really inappropriate Australian accent, and the strangely graphic sex scene between Frank and a prostitute that may be the most horrifying thing you will see on TV this year or any year. ď Just finish already!Ē (I should point out this scene is, I believe, a parody of the equally hilarious/horrifying sex scene in The Room, a movie that will be the most horrible thing you see no matter when you see it.)
    by Published on 11-12-2010 12:05 AM
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    Reviewer: Terry Verticchio terryvert@hotmail.com
    Quick Rating: Very Good
    Title: Two Nights in Bangkok Part Two: Heart of Pain, Life of War

    Dinah finally realises that no matter how desperate her situation her friends will always be by her side.

    Writer: Gail Simone
    Pencils: Alvin Lee & Adriana Melo
    Inks: Jack Purcell & JP Mayer
    Colours: Nei Ruffino
    Letters: Swands
    Cover: Alina Urusa
    Editor: Janelle Siegal
    Publisher: DC Comics

    Helena and Zinda are in Bangkok to help rescue Dinah from the nefarious White Canary. But they are captured pretty much the moment they touch down. It is obvious right away that Dinah is being coerced by White Canary, but Helena is determined to rescue her friend. Soon she finds out that by some twisted sense of honour even Lady Shiva has been brought under White Canary's sway. They are forced to fight to the death for the life of Sin, Dinah's daughter. But Helena is not one to let these two fight for their idiotic rules that make no sense. So she happens on an inspired plan that may save the day, but it may just cost her life.
    by Published on 11-11-2010 08:44 PM
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    Reviewer: Adam Chapman adam.chapman@sympatico.ca
    Quick Rating: Average

    Thor seeks out Loki, as Eric Solvang continues to play "Chicken Little" about Asgard...

    Writer: Fraction
    Artist: Ferry
    Colors: Hollingsworth
    Letters: Workman
    Cover Artist: Ferry & Hollingsworth
    Variant Cover: Peterson
    Production: Lee
    Assistant Editor: Beckerman
    Associate Editor: Arbona
    Editor: Macchio
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    For the most part, the comics affected by SIEGE have fared fairly well, with some enjoyable new relaunches and directions, plus of course The Heroic Age, has brought in a new status quo for the Marvel Universe, and ended, at least for the moment, the trend of line-wide events and crossovers. However, the one title that is most intimately connected with Siege has also fared the worst, and by that of course I mean THOR. Siege ruined Asgard, destroyed it, along with much of what Straczynski had set-up so beautifully throughout his run. His run was about taking the classic elements of Thor and Asgard, and doing something a bit different, getting out of the old familiar cycles and tropes and trying to do new takes on these things. However, I get the overwelming feeling that Fraction's endgame is taking us back to a more familiar version of Asgard, which feels like a regression. Now, of course I could be completely wrong, but it's hard to not feel that way at times. Plus, the road to actually getting Fraction on this book was fraught with some poor fill-in issues and storylines, which muddied the waters as well as my enjoyment of this title as a whole. Now that we're into Fraction's storyline, I can't really say I'm all that impressed with how he's handling the cast, direction, or Asgard itself, and this issue didn't do anything to stop the downward spiral of my enjoyment of this book.
    by Published on 11-11-2010 08:17 PM
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    Reviewer: Adam Chapman adam.chapman@sympatico.ca
    Quick Rating: Very Good!

    Colleen takes on The Nail!

    Writer: Jason Henderson
    Artist: Ivan Rodriguez
    Colors: Jorge Maese
    Letters: Dave Sharpe
    Cover Artist: Jean-Baptiste Andreae
    Production: Randall L. Miller
    Assistant Editor: Michael Horwitz
    Editor: Mark Paniccia
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    What I've really dug about this mini-series by Henderson is that he hasn't just made this a tie-in to a crossover, but he's used the opportunity to actually tell a story about Colleen Wing that can put her on a new path, give the character direction, and maybe in the future lead to some cool new stories about a character who is often just thought of as either a periphery character to Luke Cage and Iron Fist, or one half of the crime fighting duo that is her and Misty Knight. But Henderson has managed to go deeper with the character, flesh her character out more than we normally get to see, and put her in a great situation, which also ties into the Shadowland event. More crossover tie-ins should be written like this one, which manages to tell a good story and actually do something with a character, while at the same time crossing over and making it feel more incidental instead of the most important thing about the book.
    by Published on 11-11-2010 07:54 PM
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    Reviewer: Adam Chapman adam.chapman@sympatico.ca
    Quick Rating: Average-at-best story supported by good artwork

    A mystically amped-up Wolverine fights for the fate of the world, and someone on the cover dies.

    Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
    Pencils: Stuart Immonen
    Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger
    Colors: Laura Martin with Rain Beredo
    Letters/Production: Chris Eliopoulos
    Associate Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
    Editor: Tom Brevoort
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    Although I appreciate what Bendis has been trying to do with magic in the Marvel Universe over the past couple of years, I personally don't think it's really ended up working all that well, and with this issue, which brings the current storyline to a close, I can't say I really enjoyed how it all ended. At the end of the day, my problem with this issue and the first storyline as a whole is that half the time it isn't really clear just what the heck if happening, why, and what it means. Last issue felt like maybe the storyline was getting its act together, thanks to a few good moments, but now that it's over, I think it just kind of fell apart here. First of all, I always think it's tacky to put taglines on books like the one here, pronouncing that One Of These Avengers Will Die! Death in comics is often not permanent, but good deaths (even those bound to be reversed eventually) are those that make the reader care, that is affecting, a character that the reader has a connection with, thanks to the script. I can't really say that the death here made me care, instead it made me wonder just what was the point of storylines with this character over the past few years. If you start a storyline, and give a character a newfound promise and potential direction, what point is there in cutting it short quickly and cheaply just a few years later?
    by Published on 11-11-2010 07:31 PM
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    Reviewer: Adam Chapman adam.chapman@sympatico.ca
    Quick Rating: Good

    The search for Wanda Maximoff continues on multiple fronts!

    Writer: Allan Heinberg
    Pencils: Jim Cheung
    Inks: Mark Morales with Jim Cheung
    Colors: Justin Ponsor
    Letters: Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit
    Cover: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
    Variant Cover: Arthur Adams & Justin Ponsor
    Associate Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
    Editor: Tom Brevoort
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    Although for the most part this is still an enjoyable and engaging book, with some fantastic artwork, it's also an incredibly frustrating book. To accommodate schedules, the book comes out every two months, which unfortunately saps the momentum of this title each time it starts to gather some steam. What doesn't help matters is that in all three issues that have now been released, there's a lot of talking and hand-wringing, which doesn't actually end up moving the plot along much, if at all. Considering the shipping schedule, the pacing of the book makes it even harder to really get into the storyline, the artwork and costumes not matching up with current continuity make it a bit bothersome, and in general I'm thinking that perhaps the series is actually too long for it's own good. This issue alone had a LOT of talking which killed the momentum, and we had various characters making repetitive speeches, and once it looked like a few characters were going to go off on their own, we got another speech, and then a character does something on their own anyways afterwards. It just feels like after so much waiting for this storyline to actually happen, with the Young Avengers once again handled by their original creative team, that the story just isn't living up to expectations, despite the pieces being there, and the story potential being there. There's so much potential with the characters being used, and their various history with each other, how they'll interact, but we're just moving too slow here to get to the point. The ending of this issue just felt unnecessary, not to mention hard to reconcile with continuity, with prior characterizations, and what we last knew and saw of Wanda.
    by Published on 11-11-2010 07:02 PM
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    Reviewer: Adam Chapman adam.chapman@sympatico.ca
    Quick Rating: Good

    The Last Stand against the Cancerverse!

    Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
    Artist: Miguel Sepulveda
    Colors: Jay David Ramos
    Letters: Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna
    Cover: Aleksi Briclot
    Assistant Editor: Rachel Pinnelas
    Editor: Bill Rosemann
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    In many ways the ultimate ending of this issue and what it means for the characters wasn't a surprise, as it kind of felt like we were headed in that general direction, but it's still hard not to be sad at what it means going forwards. With there currently being no cosmic books on the schedule, save for an upcoming team-up book with Rocket Raccoon and Groot, I wonder what will be next for these cosmic characters that Abnett/Lanning have taken such care of over the past few years. They've done some fantastic work on the cosmic side of things, even when that means taking much of it apart, but they've also put it through a lot of change, which feels real, and revitalized many aspects. They shook up the power structure of Marvel's Cosmic characters and civilizations, and killed off various characters throughout, pushing the story forward, and now, I just wonder what will come next.
    by Published on 11-11-2010 06:41 PM
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    Reviewer: Adam Chapman adam.chapman@sympatico.ca
    Quick Rating: Very Good
    Title: Big Time

    Spider-Man/Peter Parker hits the big time!

    Writer: Dan Slott
    Pencils: Humberto Ramos
    Inks: Carlos Cuevas
    Colors: Edgar Delgado
    Letters: Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna
    Associate Editor: Tom Brennan
    Editor: Stephen Wacker
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    This issue marks the beginning of the next era of Amazing Spider-Man, with the title now coming out semi-monthly, with one writer, Dan Slott, handling the scripts, and a new, energized focus on pushing Peter Parker forward into fun new storylines. After all the hype, it's nice to finally get the first issue of Big Time, and there is a very fast pace to the story, as Dan Slott does his very best to put all the new pieces out on the table, so that the reader gets a clear sense of where we might be going, and what the focus will likely be going into this new era. It's easy to be taken a bit aback at first, because it might seem a bit overwelming and in some cases TOO fast, but I do appreciate that he's not wasting the reader's time by drawing it out, but instead getting right to it. The issue serves as a fantastic jumping-on point, and does a great job catching readers up quickly on the important points they might have missed if they weren't along for the ride during Brand New Day.
    by Published on 11-11-2010 01:54 PM
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    Reviewer: Mark Blicharz mark@cxpulp.com
    Quick Rating: Disappointing
    Rating: T for Teen
    Official site

    Platform: Wii, DS, PSP, PS3, iPhone, PC, Xbox 360
    Developer: Lucas Arts
    Publisher: Lucas Arts
    Genre: Action
    Number of Players: 1
    Release Date: October 26, 2010
    MSRP: $59.99

    Iíll start off with the good about this game since that wonít take long.

    The graphics in the game are great. All of the areas are gorgeous, but you can tell that they were really copy and pasted throughout the levels, which isnít a true negative because of how well done they are.

    And thatís it for the good about the game. The rest is a wash or just bad. ...
    by Published on 11-10-2010 11:28 PM
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    Letís mix it up a little bit in this weekís Everything But Imaginary, friends. Letís just do some old-school recommendations, some moments of ďWhy arenít you reading this?Ē And to go even one step further, all the comics Iím going to recommend to you today are absolutely free. Iím going to point you guys to some really cool webcomics. I read a lot of webcomics, in fact Iíve got a folder of bookmarked comics I read every day, filling the space that once would have been filled by opening up the newspaper and checking out the adventures of Charlie Brown, Calvin and Hobbes, and Garfield back when he was still funny. And Iíve found the perennial favorites in the webcomic realm, of course: Penny-Arcade, xkcd, PVP, and my personal favorite, Sheldon. Each of these comics started small, though, and I like to find other comics, smaller comics, that may have the chance to grow and catch on, and ultimately join the ranks of these happy few webcomic hits.

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