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    Marvel

    Episode 98 – The Avengers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

     Everyone is talking this summer’s big blockbuster Avengers 2: Age of Ultron but JC and Rita take it one step further with Earth Station MCU’s Jennifer Hartshorn by talking all things Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    Also, Doctor Geek tells us about Humpback Whale language in his latest Moment in Science and in Doctor Who, there’s a major character coming back to the show plus the return of Torchwood and who was the Doctor of the Decade?

    All this and more on TFA 98!

    Transmissions From Atlantis 98 – The Avengers and the MCU

    • Opening
    • Marvel MCU featuring Jennifer Hartshorn
    • Doctor Geek’s Moment in Science
    • Doctor Who
      • The return of a special character
      • Torchwood Returns
      • The Doctor of the Decade
    • Closing featuring Kipp Lennon’s Suspension

        

    You can buy Ancient Rising – The Audio Theater Book on CD and digital download for $24.99 at Blackstone Audio

    Star Mage – The First Series Trade Paperback

    JC De La Torre, author of the critically acclaimed novel Ancient Rising, gives us a new fusion of Science Fiction and Magic in Star Mage! Darien Connors discovers he’s not from Earth, has strange magical powers, and is the key in an ancient war between two alien races of necromancers. Star Mage offers wizard battles with a side of spaceship warfare, alien worlds, and weird creatures.

    All six issues of the first series of JC De La Torre’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy Epic Star Mage are collected in to one awesome trade paperback. Including the six issues, this collection also features a new Star Mage story written by White Chapel co-writer Martin Dunn with art from Derrick Fish, crests of the Houses of Lambdu Kishpu and concept art by Ray Dillon and Franco Cespedes.

    • Comic Book Shops: OCT140575
    • Regular Book Stores (Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Etc.): 978-1631400711

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    Star Mage Comic Website 

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    The post Episode 98 – The Avengers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe appeared first on Transmissions From Atlantis.

    Truth or dare: Marvel and Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ off to a promising start – The ESO Network

    daredevil-posterThe first few minutes of the pilot episode of a new TV series are always critical. In a short amount of time, you have to successfully introduce the main character, set the tone for the series, provide background information so the audience knows what is going on but also leave enough mystery so they’re intrigued enough to keep tuning in.

    The new Marvel series on Netflix, “Daredevil,” starts off the first few minutes of its first episode with two key scenes: showing how future crime fighter Matt Murdock is blinded as a child due to a toxic spill, and then fast-forwarding to an adult Murdock asking forgiveness from a priest for his vigilante actions. It establishes that this show will be gritty, tightly-written, thought-provoking — and thoroughly engrossing. By the time they started playing the opening credits, I was already hooked.

    First off, I think Marvel made a good choice to tell the story of Daredevil — a blind defense lawyer who moonlights as a crime-fighting vigilante — in a TV format. I didn’t see the original Daredevil movie starring Ben Affleck but know that it is not exactly beloved by fans. Netflix has produced a show with cinema-like quality but is able to tell the story in a more episodic format.

    Daredevil is an intriguing hero. Unlike some of the other heroes, his defining accident doesn’t give him superpowers (like Spider-Man and his spider bite). He doesn’t have fancy gadgets or unlimited resources like Iron Man or Batman. Instead, even though he can’t see, he uses his other senses to fight crime. Hearing becomes vitally important, as Murdock must listen carefully to tell when an assailiant is running towards him or preparing to fire a gun.

    The show is a little grittier than we’re used to seeing from Marvel; to me, it feels like a cross between the CW’s gritty DC Comics show “Arrow” and a classic crime drama. Interestingly, the show also doesn’t seem to use a lot of CGI special effects — a fact I didn’t actually notice until later, when I was thinking back over the episode. Instead, the show relies on well-coreographed fight scenes.

    I was impressed with the first episode and am looking forward to watching more. Even though the show is more serious in tone, I like that they still include a few moments of humor, something I hope they keep up throughout the series. After this promising start, I’m also looking forward to some of Netflix’s other planned projects with Marvel.

    The post Truth or dare: Marvel and Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ off to a promising start – The ESO Network appeared first on Transmissions From Atlantis.

    Hits and misses: Summer 2014 in review

    By Ashley Bergner
    Box Office Buzz

    Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Behind-The-Scenes-2Predicting what movies will be blockbusters and which ones will be bombs can be a tricky business. You can have a film come from seemingly out of nowhere to be a huge hit, or a film that generates a high level of buzz but doesn’t live up to the hype.

    However, the summer of 2014 has seemed to be a bit more unpredictable than normal at the box office. The release schedule wasn’t as packed with hits as it has been in recent years, and only one movie managed to cross the magic $100 million opening weekend mark (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”). There were some surprising under-performers, and what was arguably the best movie of the summer wasn’t even technically a summer movie at all — “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

    My friends give me some good-natured teasing about being a movie junkie, and during the summertime it usually seems like I’m heading to the theater every weekend for a new movie. However, I only ended up going to the theater a handful of times in June and July, simply because there weren’t as many big draws this summer. 2014 also seems to be a bit of a slower year overall, with “The LEGO Movie” being the only standout I can think of from early in the year.

    Still, even though there were a smaller crop of movies, I did end up enjoying most of the ones I went to see. The movie that did disappoint me a little bit was “Godzilla.” It was one of my most anticipated movies of the summer, and had one of the best trailers of the year. There was a lot of buzz heading into this film, but I felt the final project fell short of what it could have been. The classic “monster movie” portions of the film were great, but the human characters didn’t really register on a deeper emotional level.

    For me, the biggest surprises of the summer were “Edge of Tomorrow” and “The Fault in Our Stars.” “Edge of Tomorrow” wasn’t a huge box office hit, which is a shame because it was a fun, smart sci-fi movie. Its “Groundhog Day” meets “Saving Private Ryan” concept — about a soldier who has to relive the same battle against an alien army over and over — could have become repetitive, but the script is clever and witty enough to keep the film entertaining. “The Fault in Our Stars” isn’t the type of movie I normally watch, but this film about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love transcends the “teen romance” genre. It’s a mature, moving film with a bittersweet ending.

    “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” were also highlights of the summer for me. Both had strong stories with thought-provoking concepts. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” had my favorite scene from a movie this summer: the Pentagon prison break, featuring a lightning-fast mutant named Quicksilver. It’s a delightfully trippy (and fun) sequence.

    Although “Captain America: The Winter Solider” — which was released in April — is probably still my favorite movie of the year, if you don’t count it as part of the summer movie season, my favorite summer movie is “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It’s definitely the most fun I’ve had at the theater this year. It’s Marvel’s quirkiest, riskiest film so far, but it beat expectations and had one of the best opening weekends at the box office. Who would have thought that a talking, trigger-happy raccoon and a gentle-hearted walking tree would be some of the best — and most emotionally resonant — characters of the summer? The movie also is definitely worth splurging on to see in IMAX.

    So, what was your favorite movie of the summer? What movie did you enjoy the least?

    The post Hits and misses: Summer 2014 in review appeared first on Transmissions From Atlantis.

    Movie review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ another win for Marvel

    By Ashley Bergner
    Box Office Buzz

    Guradian-of-the-Galaxy-Trailer-New-HD-StillsA plot that’s a blend of “Star Wars” and “The Avengers,” with a dash of “Indiana Jones.” A wisecracking, trigger-happy raccoon in a space suit. A gentle-hearted walking tree who can communicate using only one phrase. A soundtrack featuring hit songs from the ’70s. A sci-fi film that’s heavy on comedy, with numerous 1980s pop culture references.

    Try to throw all these elements together in one movie, and logically, it shouldn’t work. And yet somehow, it does, and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” turns out to be delightfully quirky and original, and possibly the most fun movie to hit theaters this summer. Although the movie initially generated some speculation that it could be Marvel Studios’ first real flop, it exceeded expectations and actually came close to tying “Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s” $95 million opening earlier this year.

    “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a departure from the films we’re used to seeing from Marvel, and is more of an old-fashioned space opera than a standard superhero film. The movie stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, a Han Solo-esque thief and smuggler who steals an artifact without realizing it actually contains a dangerously powerful energy source known as an “Infinity Stone.” Dark forces in the galaxy want to seize this power, and Quill finds himself teaming up with a ragtag band of roguish misfits in order to protect the stone: an alien assassin named Gamora (Zoe Saldana); a foul-mouthed, genetically engineered raccoon (Bradley Cooper); a walking tree-like creature who can only say “I am Groot” (Vin Diesel); and a warrior named Drax who is seeking vengeance for the death of his family (Dave Bautista).

    While there are some comparisons that can be drawn between “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “The Avengers” (the “orb” standing in for the Tesseract, the concept of a team of reluctant allies forced to work together for a higher cause), “Guardians” manages to find its own voice. The strength of the movie is the characters; while the Avengers are the polished rock stars of the Marvel universe, the Guardians are more like a scrappy garage band. They’re not heroic by nature, and most of them don’t see the need to look out for anyone but their own self.

    Chris Pratt proves to be a strong lead as Peter Quill, giving the character an air of roguish charm and firing off a constant stream of wisecracks. Another stand-out is Bradley Cooper as Rocket. Admittedly, the concept of a talking, gun-toting raccoon seems far-fetched, but again, somehow it works. Rocket knows how to talk tough, making the other characters (and the audience) take him seriously. Groot — the sentient tree who is Rocket’s best friend — turns out to be a surprisingly enduring character, and Drax’s extreme literalness (he can’t process metaphors) provides some great comedic moments. Zoe Saldana’s Gamora is mysterious and lethal, and is immune to Quill’s charms (though of course that doesn’t stop him from trying).

    Another feature I liked about the film (and it’s a feature Marvel always seems to do well) is the way the script works in comedy without losing the story’s emotional weight. This film frequently uses humor to contrast more serious moments (there’s a great bit where Peter Quill challenges Lee Pace’s very serious, very Shakespearean villain Ronan the Accuser to a “dance off”), but the humor doesn’t take away from the movie’s heart. I also really liked the soundtrack; while it may seem odd to have ’70s pop songs playing in futuristic outer space, it helps to ground the movie and captures the spirit of Peter Quill’s character.

    There are probably places where you could be picky in the movie. Ronan the Accuser is a fairly generic comic book villain; Karen Gillan’s Nebula is more of a secondary villain but actually is a stronger character and might have benefited from more screen time. However, overall this is one of the most fun movies I have seen so far this year, and it’s my favorite movie of the summer. I’m glad Marvel was willing to take a risk, and I’m already looking forward to the sequel.

    The post Movie review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ another win for Marvel appeared first on Transmissions From Atlantis.

    Movie preview: Will Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ gamble pay off?

    By Ashley Bergner
    Box Office Buzz

    1819 KS_New_galaxyBy this point, Marvel’s superhero movie empire seems to be pretty much bulletproof. Starting with “Iron Man” back in 2008, Marvel has managed to take B-list superheroes and turn them into blockbusters, building enough buzz for their team-up film “The Avengers” that it became the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time. It would have been easy for Marvel to settle into that comfortable pattern of hits, which is why I admire them for taking a genuine risk this summer: “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

    “Guardians of the Galaxy” — based on one of Marvel’s lesser-known comics — is a departure from the superhero films Marvel has produced in the past. The sci-fi action/adventure film involves a team of misfit rogues and criminals — a sort of anti-hero version of the Avengers — who team up (somewhat reluctantly) to save the galaxy. It’s decidedly quirky; the trailers so far indicate the film will be heavy on comedy, and two of the members of that team of misfits include a talking raccoon and a walking tree (yes, you read that right).

    It’s understandable that at first some didn’t think this was exactly the perfect recipe for a summer blockbuster. Would the concept be too strange, too obscure for audiences to connect with? Was it too much of a departure from the films audiences were used to seeing from Marvel? Would “Guardians” turn out to be Marvel’s first real flop?

    I’m hoping audiences will give this movie a chance. Of course I haven’t seen it yet, so I could change my mind after this weekend, but initial buzz is very good, and I think the marketing campaign is working. The movie has a 97 percent rating right now on Rotten Tomatoes; while that number could drop some by this weekend, it’s a great start, and the early reviews seem to be enthusiastic.

    I’ve been really pleased with the trailers released for the movie so far. The visual effects look impressive (it seems like it’s been a while since we’ve seen a film with a really good all-out space battle), and the cast seems to be having fun with their roles. I think Chris Pratt will be great as the leader of the Guardians: Peter Quill, a sort of slacker Han Solo. However, Bradley Cooper may well steal the show as the voice of the feisty, gun-toting Rocket Raccoon.

    I think Disney and Marvel also picked a good time to release the movie. Overall, this seems to be a slower summer than normal, and “Guardians” won’t have much competition by the time it hits the box office this weekend. “Guardians” looks like the perfect blend of fun (and funny) and exciting, and the uniqueness of its concept could bring people out to the theater again.

    Right now “Guardians” is tracking about $70 million, which isn’t quite as high as “Captain America’s” $90 million+ opening earlier this year but is still well above “flop” territory. If buzz continues to build and critical response remains strong, I could see this number actually going higher. Ironically, Marvel’s bigger gamble now may actually be next summer’s more conventional superhero movie “Ant-Man,” which has been plagued by some negative buzz due to director and cast departures.

    So, are you looking forward to “Guardians of the Galaxy?” Do you think it will be a hit or a miss for Marvel?

    The post Movie preview: Will Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ gamble pay off? appeared first on Transmissions From Atlantis.