Batman v Superman Title Revealed

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The title to the new Batman/Superman movie crossover was revealed today as Dawn of Justice. As comic book movies go, it’s fairly par for the course and doesn’t give any further details about the eventual plot of the film, but the fact that the it will be set in the universe created in Man of Steel we can be sure that we’ll have to relive the Batman origin once again. As if we haven’t seen that rehashed enough.

Honestly, I love the idea of DC characters finally crossing over in the film universe, and it’s no secret that practically the entire DC lineup will have a spot in the film in one way or another as the leadup to Justice League. But to be perfectly honest, I walked out of Man of Steel with feelings of…well, I’ll just put it out there: I hated it. I haven’t been that pissed off since walking out of The Spirit.

Why? Pick a reason: crap script, great actors delivering dialog worthy of George Lucas’s New Trilogy (i.e. cringe-inducing), overly-stylized cinematography that burned the retinas, and let’s not forget that we had to watch Superman play out the exact same fight sequence innumerable times between different members of Zod’s army. How man damn times do we really want to watch two people toss each other through building after building for upwards of TEN DAMN MINUTES. The horrendous fights alone stretched that movie out into a painful length. There are just too many reasons for me to hate that movie.

Which brings me to the original point: can we really trust Zack Snyder to do this right? Sure, he’s made some passable comic book movies which I have enjoyed, but this is the BIG leagues and after Man of Steel I get the feeling that he’s on a directorial downswing that may bottom out by the time Justice League hits theaters. Plus, taking over the Batman reigns is going to be a damn difficult task after the perfection that Chris Nolan gave us with The Dark Knight trilogy. Only time will tell, but I won’t have high expectations for future DC films. Hell, I didn’t have high expectations for past DC films, and they still failed to deliver (lookin’ at you, Lantern).

In truth, Warners has a difficult task ahead. Marvel has already pieced together one of the best cinematic universes in history and at this point DC can only play catch-up. Let’s hope they can deliver something at least passable.

5 Seasons and a Disappointment [Community Gets the Ax]

Community-Season-5

Last week the networks announced which shows got the ax and which got picked up for another season. For TV fans, this is an important/nerve-wracking time of year and if you’re a fan of Community like myself, then you’ve already heard the news.

NBC offed the series after the current run of its fifth season, which makes the Save Greendale plot line all the more ironic and brings an end to Dan Harmon’s prophecy of “six seasons and a movie.”

The show, which had a devout geeky fanbase thanks to its excellent writers and perfect cast, will be sorely missed when the Fall season starts and NBC trots out a new line of inevitable too-good-for-TV lineup and repeats the time-honored process once again. But fear not, we still have Parks and Recreation to look forward to and (no spoilers) thanks to the mind-blowing season finale, there will be a whole new direction and dynamic for the series. I don’t know how they’re going to do it, but after six seasons of continuous perfection I have a faith that it will not disappoint.

How do you feel about the cancellations? Any of your favorite shows get the firing squad?

Vlog #2: Geeky About Fan Art.

The latest Geekery Converged vlog is up and this one is all about the wonderful world fan art.

What is your opinion on fan art? Are your walls covered with prints you picked up from artist booths at conventions? Let us know and if you have any, share your own fan art!

Review: Break and Enter

Break and Enter
Break and Enter by Rachel Haimowitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While browsing the many Gay genre lists on Goodreads, I came across this title and took a shot (for less than $3, I figured if it sucked then I wouldn’t have broken the bank). 2 days later and I find myself wanting more.

Break and Enter is a M/M Cyberpunk novella that’s fast-paced, exciting and plenty sexy. The bedroom scenes take a backseat to the real action (a corporate cyber conspiracy), which is just how I like my dirty, dirty gay books. Sex is great, but if the story is bad then who cares when, where and how long they bangulated?

Granted, there are plenty of holes in the plot (He hid the microchip where?! When the hell did that happen?!?!?!), but I’m willing to look past it; I enjoyed the book that much.

If you’re a M/M romance fan then you’ll love it. I’m not, so the fact that I’m recommending this means a lot. Take it to the bank, bitches.

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Review: Way to Go

Way to Go
Way to Go by Tom Ryan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ever the vigilant YA GLBT fiction enthusiast (so many letters), I try to keep my eyes and ears open for anything new in the category. It’s often a hard quest, requiring star navigation and Google Maps routes. And then sometimes they just throw themselves at me. I found out about Way To Go after the author, Tom Ryan, followed me on twitter. As soon as I saw “gay” and “young adult” in the same sentence, I was in. So did it measure up? Let’s see.

Way to Go is set in early/mid-90s small town Canada (are there any gay teen books out there that actually take place in a BIG city or some shit? No? hm…) and centers around Danny, the hero of the piece. Danny is, you guessed it, coping with confusing feelings of homosexuality and big-fish-little-pond syndrome. Everyone suspects it, but he’s in denial. And when the mysteriously cool New York City girl shows up in town and happens to be a co-worker at his new summer job, he’s out to prove he’s totally into the v-jay.

Alright, now Way to Go isn’t going to take up too much of your time. This is a weekend afternoon read at the most. I knocked it out in 2 evenings, thanks to being damned tired from this new job ‘o mine. Anyways, the pacing is quick and coupled with the low page count, this one will be a breeze for most readers. Unfortunately, that’s one of the factors hurting this book.

The problem I had is that I feel like we didn’t accomplish much on this short ride. I never felt as though there was any clear goal in sight, other than for Danny to survive the summer before his final year of high school. I’m all for books where being gay isn’t the major issue at hand, but this is a rare moment where I felt it should have been more of the book’s focus. Danny may have talked plenty about fearing his gayness, but I never felt it.

Then there’s the whole shebang about Danny realizing he loves cooking and wants to make a career out of it. It played a little like this: “Hey, you suck at washing dishes, why don’t you peel potatoes? Oh, look at that, it’s been a month and you’re a whiz at whipping up a steak dinner. You should go to culinary school!” I take issue with that, but whatever. I guess it’s possible for a 17 year old to, after 2 months working in a kitchen, be deemed good enough to apply to an elite culinary school. Stranger things have happened (like Michael Griffo getting a f&#%ing book deal).

And the dialogue; maybe Canadians say mean things to each other and it’s all completely benign. I just find it hard to imagine someone telling me “It’s none of your business,” with a friendly smile on their face. Witnessing such a thing would fill me with fear of an immanent slap or make me think the person is completely unhinged. There were more than a few of these moments where the characters’ words didn’t seem to mesh with their actions.

One thing I was happy to NOT find here was a lot of melodrama. While the dialogue wasn’t great, it was at least honest and down-to-earth. There is one notable exception to this when, after learning his son wants to be a chef, Danny’s dad throws a hissy over the thought of spending money on cooking school.

I also didn’t care for the final chapter. It was far too saccharine. Like a bag of Skittles tied up with a little bow made of fondant. It was way too easy and all the conflicts (if there really were any to begin with) wrapped themselves up neatly. And that’s the real issue I have with the book: I don’t feel like anyone grew or evolved as a character. Danny barely manages to only come out a step or two ahead from where we first met him and everyone else is just kinda there in the background, doing their thing.

Honestly, the book isn’t bad. I’ve read bad books (still lookin’ at you, Griffo. You useless mother#*$& son of a $*@# who eats %&^@ for breakfast. GAH, IHATEYOUSOMUCH!) and this isn’t what I would consider to be one. But it’s definitely not going on my must-read list either. It’s a solid 2.5 to 3 that I would put alongside Brent Hartinger’s Geography Club and David Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy, two other books that left me equally underwhelmed.

It’s definitely a debut work, and I think there is room for Tom Ryan grow and produce more gay YA fiction, but, as per my extremely hard-to-please literary standards, for now I’ll have to withhold my seal of approval. But by all means, give it a shot. You may have like it more than me.

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Review: Alabama Moon

Alabama Moon
Alabama Moon by Watt Key
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Alabama Moon caught my eye in the store because, well, I live in Alabama and the premise sounded interesting. The story centers around 10-year-old Moon Blake, a boy raised in the forests of Alabama by his government-hating father. Moon’s mother died when he was a baby, shortly after their move off the grid, and after his father has an accident Moon is left on his own with his father’s final instructions: Find your way to Alaska.

It isn’t long before Moon gets thrown into the system and lands in a Tuscaloosa home for juvenile boys. Will Moon be able to cope with having to live in-doors and meeting the outside world for the first time? And will he fulfill his father’s instruction to go to Alaska? Well, I’m not telling you.

Now for some thoughts:
This book is aimed at the young teen/advanced reader crowd, much like Hatchet or Island of the Blue Dolphins. But whereas those books were about young people learning to survive on their own in the wilderness, this is a story about a boy, already fully capable of living on his own, learning to survive in the real world. And while this was written with children in mind, don’t worry, there is plenty here for adult readers to enjoy.

Moon is practically every young boy’s fantasy; no school, no parents, just total freedom from the world. Only Moon is able to realize that living on one’s own isn’t such a great thing if you have no one to share it with. It’s only after escaping from the boys’ home with 2 cohorts that he finds the value in having friends.

Alabama Moon is a short read, but a thoroughly enjoyable one. I liked seeing familiar settings mentioned, as I am a Tuscaloosa resident myself, but that really has no weight on the story. The dialog can be a bit terse at times, but maintains a sense of realism. Honestly, this feels like something you would be assigned as required reading in school, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. I say that because if I were to have read this at the age of 10 or 11, I likely would have fond memories of it today, just like Island of the Blue Dolphins.

If you’re looking for a classic-style children’s adventure story, you could do a lot worse than Alabama Moon. I give it a 3 out of 5 because, while I liked the story, I wasn’t terribly moved by it, though there are moments I felt a connection to. It’s good, but not amazing.

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