Blackfish – A Movie Review

35BlackfishBlackfish is a heart-wrenching documentary about the plight of some of the most intelligent creatures on the earth, being hunted, captured, imprisoned and tortured for the mindless entertainment of the masses. Focussing on the controversial aqua-marine themed amusement park SeaWorld, Blackfish chronicles what could have possibly led to the fateful day of February 24, 2010, when a beautiful and majestic killer whale, by the name of Tilikum, drowned, killed and devoured his human trainer.

Blackfish-01This documentary is not easy to watch as I found my heart continuously breaking for not only the human loss in the film, but for that of the whales as well. The film sets itself up brilliantly with an overview of the orca. It educates its audience and teaches about the orca communities, the languages, the perseverance and the wit that abound. It then settles into a reality as it documents those sent to hunt the baby orca to send to places like SeaLand of the West Coast and SeaWorld and Loro Parque.

Berg-Blackfish-2013Throughout its course the film relies heavily on the dialogue of many former SeaWorld trainers who grew up working with these whales, even though most of them entered the position with little to no education or experience on how to work with marine life. As they tell the story being a whale trainer isn’t about knowledge on whales and marine life, but is on physical fitness and personality. The trainers learn though. They are blown away by the enormity of their job and appreciate the trust put in them; which also means that they will usually do whatever they are asked to do, no questions asked. They would form a relationship with their animal and become a true team. They would grow with their animal and their animal with them. However, no matter how great of a relationship one may have with such an animal, we have to remember that this animal is an animal that is used to having thousands of square miles of water to move around in, and are now spending their lives in captivity; in tanks barely big enough to hold the number that are there. Aggression. Frustration. Rebellion. These are some of the characteristic qualities that start to arise in these captives. And of course they are looking for a way to unleash.

4300557037_f67748d7e8Blackfish does its job as a documentary very succinctly. The goal of the film is not only to raise awareness of a creature that has great intelligence and emotional depth, but to also allow one to empathize with that creature and choose not to partake in the mind-numbing entertainment of watching these prisoners jump through hoops for food. I haven’t left a documentary feeling this emotionally spent since 2009’s Oscar-winning documentary: The Cove.

SeaWorld-trainer-killedThe film just layers incident after incident showing the unsafe conditions for both the humans and the whales. A huge focus of the film is how this final attack could have and should have been avoided. It documents Tilikum from the time he was captured in 1983 as a 2 year old 11.5 foot orca. He was placed at SeaLand of the West Coast in Victoria, BC in a 20 x 30 metal crate along with two other female killer whales who took it upon themselves to beat up and attack Tilikum. It created a psychosis. Eventually he had had enough and on February 20, 1991, almost 19 years to the day before he would attack and kill Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld, he grabbed his trainer Keltie Byrne, a professional swimmer and part time employee, pulled her into the water and drowned her. This was the end of SeaLand of the West Coast. Tilikum would be moved to SeaWorld where he would continue to show aggressive behaviours and attitudes towards the staff, which would eventually lead to Brancheau’s death in 2010.

SometBlack Fish Premierehing that Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the director of Blackfish, does well is not to lay the fault at the feet of the trainers. The trainers appear to genuinely care about the animals and their wellbeing. She lays the blame at the feet of the evil corporations who care more about the money their stuffing into their wallets, and their public image than they do about the whales or the humans actually involved.

The best part of the film for me personally was the educational aspect that I touched on earlier. Cowperthwaite does a great job at demystifying stigma surrounding killer whale and orca communities.  It gives the audience the background education on the whale to make up their own mind about what is right and wrong for them when it comes to organizations like SeaWorld or in Canada Marine Land.

images (1)The reason this film is called Blackfish is because that is what First Nations communities would call the orca. The Blackfish is an animal that possesses great spiritual power and is not to be meddled with. And this film truly shows the beauty and majesty that exist within the orca. I am truly grateful for having been able to watch this film, and am heartbroken at the reality that we are needlessly subjecting these stately and royal creatures to such torture for monotonous entertainment.

BLACKFISH_Film_PosterIf you’re planning a trip to SeaWorld or Marine Land anytime in the next little bit, I would strongly suggest you give this documentary a watch, educate yourself and use the knowledge to boycott corporations like these.

4.5 Shamu’s out of 5.

Click Here for Blackfish’s Website

Blackfish on IMDB

Trailer for Blackfish

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Saturday Morning Mystery – A Movie Review

The GangSaturday Morning Mystery, originally titled Saturday Morning Massacre, pegs itself as Scooby Doo meets The Evil Dead, which is an interesting premise to say the least.  The film follows Nancy (Ashley Spillers) and her ragtag group of paranormal hunters and their pet dog as they try to explain the unexplainable in their old school “Mystery Machine” styled van. The crew are supposed to be debunking an old haunted house when things go awry and what they thought would have a simple and normal explanation, may actually be paranormal after all.

With Scooby DooThis movie is supposed to be Scooby Doo all grown up. They even make references to themselves as grown up Scooby Doo characters; however, it doesn’t hold any ground to such a childhood classic. First off, this is a low budget film, not that that’s a bad thing, but it’s extremely noticeable, probably due in fact to the graphics being horrendous and repetitious. They choose one effect and stay on it for the 83 minute duration of the film.

Officer Lance

The movie is slated in the horror genre, but being a parody, I was hoping for a little bit of comedy, Scooby Doo was funny, why shouldn’t grown up Scooby Doo be funny? Well – it is, unintentionally at times, but never on purpose. A lot of the unintentional humour comes from multiple under or over actors. Paul Gordon, who plays Officer Lance, was the most criminal when it comes to under-acting in this film. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to play mysterious or if he was just uninterested in the role. Regardless, it was noticeable.  Johnny Mars and Ashley Spillers, Floyd and Nancy respectively, were both giant over-actors. It felt like I was watching a screaming match, where when the plot needed to progress, we were introduced to a bunch of characters yelling inexplicably at each other, each thinking that their part was the most important part to be heard.

Cop CarThis film also took a lot of time to set up. The set up and the preambles and the slowly paced plot took the mystery out of this Saturday Morning Mystery.  And the transitions were mind-blowingly bad. Especially the character transitions. The best character transitions were when they all started to die. The characters were either poorly written or the events leading up to their fates were so poorly written that we, the audience, don’t fully understand what motivates them to continue this charade of a movie. There’s a point in the movie where everyone is freaking out and thinking they’re all going to die and that ghosts are real when it turns out that one of the characters drugged the water with acid, so they were all super stoned instead, you would have hoped that this would have ended the crazy nightmare, but nope, all to lull these characters into a false sense of security, because what’s more secure than overdosing on acid without even knowing it?

AxeThis script was so unbelievably bad.  Five people are listed as having writing credits on this film. It took 3 people to come up with this unoriginal mash-up of stories and then 3 (one of the 3 were the same from the story credit) people to actually produce this… “script”. The production was a nightmare, if you watch closely you can make out the reflections of crew members in the windows and mirrors at time. There’s really nothing that works about this film. It doesn’t work as a horror movie; it’s just your average, run-of-the-mill, wannabe scary movie. It doesn’t work as a parody, and I can’t explain why without giving away spoilers, all I can say is that the most important member of Scooby Doo is Scooby Doo. The Scooby Doo of Saturday Morning Mystery (Hamlet the Dog) has no real role or significant importance whatsoever.  It doesn’t work as a suspense or thriller, because it’s just not suspenseful or thrilling. The movie works as a “groaner”, where it moves from groan to groan and ends up with a ridiculous and laughable villain who holds no match to actually being scary, or villain worthy.

Saturday-Morning-Mystery

You can make money back… you can’t make time back. SKIP!

1 Decapitated Scooby Doo Head out of 5.

Saturday Morning Mystery on IMDB

Saturday Morning Mystery Trailer

– Champ Out

Machete Kills – A Movie Review

macheteIf you have to ask: ‘who is Machete and why does he kill?’ than Machete Kills is probably not the movie for you; however, faithful Robert Rodriguez followers, devoted Machete fans, and campy grindhouse feature seekers, you are in for a treat.  Machete Kills features Danny Trejo as the titular character who, after his partner is killed by a gang of terrorists in an illegal arms purchase sting gone wrong, accepts a job handed down by The President of the United States himself, played by Carlos Estavez (better known as Charlie Sheen), to hunt down a Mexican revolutionary who has a nuclear missile aimed at Washington DC. The adventure that Machete embarks on has him crossing paths with a handful of allies, but many more enemies.

Machete-Kills1The list of celebrity cameos in this movie is ridiculous. Lady Gaga, Walter Goggins, Antonio Banderas, and Cuba Gooding Jr. all play the same character, and Vanessa Hudgins plays a young prostitute for a few scenes. Also on the cast list is Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Alexa Vega, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara and of course Mel Gibson. Ultimately we have the best of the best of the B-list celebrities in this film.

49891.sofia_vergara_machete_1If you remember Machete you will remember how Rodriguez created a movie that was one foot planted in reality and one foot planted in ridiculousness, with Machete Kills, Rodriguez jumps whole-heartedly into ridiculous. He takes a gamble and it pays off. Machete Kills is a campy, gory, ultra-violent film that is full of gut-wrenching laughs from beginning to end. Rodriguez is aiming even higher with his follow up to Machete Kills with Machete Kills Again… In Space! Machete Kills opens with the trailer for the follow-up film which looks like an exact parody of 007 Moonraker. Having seen the trailer for the follow-up film before even watching Machete Kills one can truly watch the foreshadowing at work, which makes the film even funnier. A character will grab at something completely ridiculous, and it wouldn’t make sense unless you’ve seen the trailer for the next movie already. And in that regard it works.

machete-kills-official-trailer-2-0I had a great time at Machete Kills. I laughed. A lot. It’s nearly two hours long, and that’s one of the very few complaints I have about this film. You could have packed this great action flick into a solid 90 minutes, instead Rodriguez created tangents that didn’t need to exist and in doing so added an extra 20 minutes of filler to an already air-tight camp-fest. The other complaint actually lies in the over-sexualization of Sofia Vergara’s character who accentuates herself with the use of a DD-machine gun bra, and a pardon the expression straps on a “cock and balls” pistols that when she makes sexual hip thrusts “shoots a load” at the offending target. While humorous at first, the gag becomes overbearing and almost feels out of character for Vergara.

amber-heard-danny-trejo-machete-kills (2) (1)This movie will obviously have a niche audience. Not everyone is going to like it. The opening weekend box office showed that Machete Kills will not have staying power in theatres, but don’t let that deter you from checking out this hilarious film full of needless machete on human violence, spring-loaded human heads, and buckets of fake splatter blood. Danny Trejo may be getting older, but he can still kick ass. It should also be noted that Mel Gibson plays a great villain. This is his first villainous role out of just being Mel Gibson in his day-to-day life, and I have to admit that he was thoroughly entertaining. I would love Rodriguez to put Sin City 2 on hold again and go straight into Machete Kills Again… In Space, just so I can fill the void in my life created by not having Machete there.

poster4 Decapitated Human Heads out of 5!

Check Out Machete Kills on IMDB

Check Out Machete Kills Trailer

-Champ Out

The Dirties – A Movie Review

bothI have to be honest right off the bat that the only reason I gave this film any time of day was due to the fact that Kevin Smith has been raving about this movie for month’s as a must-see film. I remember reading one of his Tweets about this being one of the most powerful films he’s ever been involved in. I myself am a huge Kevin Smith fan, minus Red State. Kevin Smith’s involvement; however, is solely as a title.  Kevin Smith Presents… The Dirties.

fireworksThe Dirties is a faux documentary about two high school students, Matt & Owen, who are filming a comedy for film class about the bullies in their school, aptly titled The Dirties, and the fatal revenge that they want to take for their humiliation. Through the process of making this film we discover the dark twist where one of the two decides that he’s taking this ‘revenge’ business much more seriously than just a plot twist for a film class project.

The Dirties2-20130111-43

The film is an interesting concept because of the way it’s set up. Without prior knowledge to what this film is about, you may not know whether this is a legitimate documentary, faux documentary or a found footage film. It’s also something that is relevant to today’s culture. Bullying has always been around, but there’s a much more direct approach to handling and dealing with bullying today than there ever has been before.

binoThe story follows Matt & Owen as they traverse the world of high school bullies and their reactions to their tormentors. It appears that they turn this initial negative energy into fuel to pursue artistic endeavours; however, that quickly becomes a scapegoat for a much more sinister plot. The plot progression, plodding slowly along at times, especially after the 30 minute mark, sinks into darkness as one of the two starts to lose touch with reality and it becomes evident that the movie will conclude with tragedy.

DirtiesBullyingtrailerPhotomomentsr2My main problem with the film is that neither Matt nor Owen are particularly likable characters. It’s a shame that they are being bullied, especially as they don’t deserve the torment they receive, but the level of hate and disdain they hold for the other characters of the movie almost make them no different than the bullies themselves. There’s also a level of humour to the film that feels rather forced. At one point Matt suggests that he and Owen check out every copy of Catcher in the Rye from the library. In another scene Matt is reading the account of the Columbine massacre and proudly declares that he believes he is a psychopath, for humours sake, or is it? This dark humour actually seems to work against the tone of the film. In fact, the film feels more like an extremely long anti-bullying PSA by Uwe Boll, but with a lower budget. It’s an 80 minute movie that feels twice as long because of the amount of filler it needs to hit the 80 minute mark.

cameraThe ending is inevitable. The movie foreshadows the ending every chance it gets, almost pretentiously. We watch one of the characters create a pier of their own destruction and try to take down the other with them. By sticking out and taking their ‘bullies’ to task for the wrongs done against them Matt & Owen truly become villains in their own rights. While the ending is tragic, I also believe that the whole notion of bullying fully taking over one’s life and turning it into the obsession that was seen in the characters of Matt and Owen are equally as tragic. The tragedy, in this situation, lay at more than just the feet of Matt & Owen. People watch them slipping, yet no one steps in and intervenes. I understand that this is a film and wouldn’t have the ending it had, or the same reaction it was going for, if people had stepped in. A lot of important “what if” questions are raised throughout a viewing of this film and I think it’s important, despite the slow build up, to be making people aware of this film, as there aren’t many that portray the importance of such an issue so accurately.

sittingA big problem I had with the film was with the cameraman. When watching this as a documentary you have to add a character to the picture: whoever is holding the camera. Why isn’t the person holding the camera doing anything? They follow Matt & Owen the entire time, they watch the moral compass of the two waiver, they ultimately help one of them plan and carry out fatally tragic events, in doing so, this character is even more flawed than either Matt or Owen as they are the individuals who help encourage the chilling ending of the film.

I felt sick to my stomach with the ending, not only because of the content, but because of what we don’t see. It ends mid tragedy, and therefore leaves more “what ifs” than answers and ultimately feels like an unfinished movie.

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The Dirties is far from a cinematic masterpiece, but the content alone is definitely worth a view. It’s an important topic that is made relevant by world events that create a discussion on the issue of bullying. While different from the documentary Bully, both have their place in an educational venue and definitely deserve at least a single viewing. It should also be noted that The Dirties did win The Best Narrative Feature at the Slamdance Film Festival.

3 Dirties out of 5!

Check Out The Dirties Website

Check Out the Trailer for The Dirties

– Champ Out

How to Make Money Selling Drugs – A Movie Review

HowtoMakeMoneySellingdrTrl1tsr2Working in the Addictions field as a Substance Abuse Counselor I was quite intrigued by the concept of the documentary How to Make Money Selling Drugs. The documentary presents itself as a 10-step guide to becoming rich by learning how to sell drugs. Writer and director Matthew Cooke moves from the editor’s bay to being directly behind the camera for his first feature-length film. Right off the bat the film grabs the audience. It lays itself out almost like a video game which has you rising through the ranks (or levels) to ultimately make it from being a lowly street pusher to eventually running your own international drug cartel. The movie gains its credibility by its sources, including the likes of former drug barons: Bobby Carleton, Freeway Rick Ross, John Harriel Jr. Pepe and Brian O’Dea; former law enforcement officer Barry Cooper; former crime-beat reporter and creator of The Wire, David Simon; and many cameos from well-known celebrities who have had dealings with drugs and/or addictions like Marshall Mathers (Eminem), Curtis Jackson (50 cent) & Woody Harrelson.

bobbycarletonThe documentary automatically assumes that if you are watching this movie you understand WHY drugs are on the market. It assumes that you understand Business 101 and that for every demand there will be a supply and then it breaks down how easy it is to be the supply source. Now, right off the bat I can hear people saying: what a horrible movie idea! Why would we want there to be a propaganda piece out there that glorifies drug life, use and crime? To those who think this movie is pro-drug propaganda and a glorification of such a lifestyle I simply say: stop being so naïve! My bias will probably show throughout this review as I have a degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice with a specialization in Psychology and in my third and fourth years of University I focused the majority of my seminar classes and projects around the criminalization of illicit substances. Right out of University I started working at a recovery house for addicts, and am currently working as an individual Substance Abuse Counsellor, so I do have my preconceived biases, but many of those are based in education around the topic.

HowtoMakeMoneySellingDrugsThe fact of the matter is that drugs are an ever-present issue in North America and have been since criminalization. Marijuana is the most profitable farmed product in the USA. Cocaine is so prevalent that 9/10 US bills have cocaine on them. The movie wants to break down the stigma that is drug use and litters itself with facts from the beginning to the end.  Some of these facts are interesting and just make one realize how easy it would be to actually make a living selling drugs. There are over 1 million Americans arrested each year for marijuana use alone, this isn’t including those arrested for dealing or trafficking. When it comes to producing marijuana a typical plant can bring in $2,500 – $3,000 in profits at street value. If you have 50 plants you’re making anywhere between $125,000 – $150,000 a cycle. Throw in multiple plant cycles in a year and you’re looking to make close to $300,000 a year on average. If you’re not growing the drugs yourself dealers will front you as many drugs as you can sell, as long as you can pay it back.

Bobby Carleton and weedAs the movie progresses we see that selling drugs and the drug industry is not the bright and morning star that we previously thought it was at a street level. Mid-movie we find the downside as the movie starts to play out the hidden cost of the drug trade which includes gang activity, the recruitment of pre-teens, an ever-present fear of violence, an almost certain criminal record, among many other factors that include race-based laws, addiction, and poverty. Sure, being a drug dealer is easy, but you have to put up with the constant threats by packing heat. The message taught to younger dealers on the street are: Don’t shoot them – kill them! If you only shoot them they’ll come back with a vengeance. Bobby Carleton learned this the hard way when he was stabbed multiple times, including in the chest and the back of the skull, in a deal gone wrong.

war-on-drugs-300x289As a documentary this is by far one of the most interesting ones I’ve seen in an approach to the drug world. The other one that is on, or close to the same level as How to Make Money Selling Drugs is Through a Blue Lens.  The movie eventually talks about the actual criminalization of drugs and how marijuana was criminalized through a propaganda campaign suggesting that it was being used by Black men to lure White women into their ‘devilish’ jazz music and their Satanic practices.  While the idea seems completely bonkers and more than a little racist it shows that the true intention of criminalizing drugs was largely in part to marginalizing minority cultures and races. New York has its famous anti-drug law: The Rockefeller Drug Law. This law has strict mandatory minimums and hasn’t seen much face lift since it was introduced in 1973. Under The Rockefeller Drug Law 90% of those convicted with possession or distribution of narcotics are of African-American or Latino descent. Black drug dealers are 4 times more likely to be arrested and prosecuted over White dealers, even though cocaine users are predominantly White.

Eminem-How-To-Make-Money-Selling-Drugs-DocumentaryEventually the documentary starts discussing how to become an international smuggler and drug cartel leader. By this time the glorification of this trade is gone, and all that remains is pure greed and violence. The documentary quite smartly sets up for unrealistic expectations and then delivers its reality with the final segment being about the police in the country and “The War on Drugs” which is a war fought on suspicion and not on evidence. It goes into test-a-lying as well as poorly prosecuted drug cases.  It’s a very interesting segment because it shows how our criminal justice system has their priorities mixed up, instead of focusing on how to treat addictions and mental health disorders (concurrent disorders when they’re combined), the government pushes all of its money into the legal system, and hiring cops to be heavy-handed on drug using citizens. It’s time we recognize drug addiction for what it is, a disease, and treat it as such.

Portugal, documented in this film as well, has relaxed all drug laws and put all the money that was going into prosecuting drug possessions into treatment centres. Not only has drug addictions dropped, but so has crime.

This is a fascinating exploration of drug culture and is a must see for anyone passionate or even simply interested in the matter.

Insite-StickerOn a side note, close to home we have debates raging in Ottawa about opening a safe-injection site and with one of our own Minister’s, Rona Ambrose, tying up loopholes that allow doctors to prescribes medical heroin to people who may be in need. Many people are stubborn with a ‘not in my backyard’ mentality surrounding drug use and consumption but fail to realize that drugs are already in their backyard, and that it takes time, resource, and patience to solve an issue as deeply entrenched in our society like drug addiction.

Hopefully this documentary will open people’s eyes to the reality of addiction and the need to change drug laws in our country.

how-to-make-money-selling-drugs4.5 reformed drug laws out of 5.

How to Make Money Selling Drugs on IMDB

How to Make Money Selling Drugs Trailer

Through a Blue Lens on Youtube

– Champ Out

DC Comic’s Presents Villains Month – A Comic Event Review

dc-villain-omnibusIt’s never boring at DC Comics. After a successful full catalogue re-launch two years ago DC is throwing itself into its first full Universe cross-over event with Forever Evil. Forever Evil deals with the fallout of The Trinity War which was a Justice League crossover event that went through the summer. You can’t really talk about Forever Evil without giving spoilers to The Trinity War, so all I will say is, The Justice League (Batman, Superman, The Flash, Aquaman, The Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman) are out of the picture. An evil and sinister league of villains has taken its place and they’ve unleashed DC’s worst villains on unsuspecting and innocent citizens. This, however, is not a review or article particularly on Forever Evil, but on one of the biggest gimmicks and money wastes DC has ever presented to its faithful readers: Villains Month.

Batman-23-2-Riddler-0The month of September 2013 was declared to be Villains Month. In Villains Month the regular comic releases by DC were superimposed with one-shot stories or origin tales of some of the biggest (and smallest) DC Villains. And these comics would come out in a weekly format. This meant for subscribers or regular followers that rather than 1 Batman comic that month, they now had 4 different Batman comics coming out that month, including 4 different Dark Knight comics & 4 different Detective Comics. So the regular fan boy and subscriber would normally end up buying (saying they were only subscribed to Batman comics) 3 comics that month, instead there are 12 that came out. Now of course, it’s not necessary to follow up with these one-shots. They don’t hold pertinent information about the progression of the DC world (so we’re told)… but I would beg to differ. Sure, some of the stories are pure drivel, and require a lot of pre-knowledge of the character, take Harley Quinn for an example. Harley Quinn was one of the Batman replacement villains. Harley is from the Suicide Squad title, and one of the first things that this comic goes into detail about is the Suicide Squad being disbanded, however, not following Suicide Squad, I had no idea and didn’t carry much interest into why she is then doing what she is doing as it didn’t actually relate to the storyline I was interested in reading. Now while some stories were, I guess the best way to say it, bullshit money-grabbers, there were some stories that contained a great deal of substance in contribution to story lines, character origins and/or background information that will lead to a transition into Forever Evil or certain DC storylines, the Superman tie-in’s probably being the most relevant. Those that didn’t have direct tie-ins to Forever Evil or immediate tie-in’s to Superman’s current Psi-War adventures set the foundation and fault lines for what could be an excellent story down the road.

I’ll admit – being a loyal subscriber I picked up about 25 different titles. I was intrigued by the premise. I was intrigued with the fact that they were doing a limited edition 3D cover for all of them. I was hoping for something that was worth the money in the long run. For the most part I was let down, slightly disappointed, and wanting a better return for the amount of money I blew on Villains Month.

poison ivyThe final nail in the coffin on this cash grab of a fiasco was that originally DC had told distributors that they would be printing a certain number of 3D covers to cover subscriptions and shelf stocking. The number was lower than their usual output, but to make up for that they were also putting each comic out in a 2D cover. Very close to the start of Villains Month DC announced to distributors that they weren’t able to print all the 3D covers quick enough so they would be cutting down the number that they were shipping out. Distributors didn’t know how many 3Ds vs. 2D covers they would be getting. It all became luck of the draw. Lucky for me the distributor I go through for my sub’s got me all my 3D covers, but not all subs were as lucky as I was.

While there were extremes – some GREAT reads and SOME mediocre reads – the majority of the titles were just bland and obvious filler that while the story may have been an interesting read, they were ultimately forgettable. Here is my brief list from the 25 titles I picked up:

Hits of Villains Month: Lex Luthor, Zod, Riddler, R’as Al Ghul & The League of Assassins. (Total of 4)

Misses of Villains Month: Harley Quinn, Joker’s Daughter, Mr. Freeze, Ventriloquist, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, Bizarro, H’el, Man-Bat, and Parasite. (Total of 10)

Mediocre reads that are ultimately forgettable: Joker, Two Face, The Court of Owls, Brainiac, Scarecrow, Doomsday, Clayface, Bane, Penguin, Metallo, and Cyborg Superman. (Total of 11)

forever evilThe reason why I threw in a mediocre category where a good chunk of the 25 that I picked up sit is simply due to the fact that while they are interesting stories and should be exciting to read, there is just too much repetition from other titles, and weak set-ups for what looks to be weak storylines. The perfect example of this is the Joker book which is really the origin story for Jackanapes, Joker’s gorilla whom he steals from the zoo, and while ridiculous and over the top, and seemingly out of place in this continuity, if it were picked up into a story line it would go from a mediocre one-shot to a groan-worthy story-arc. The cons definitely outweighed the pros for this Villains Month gimmick and time will only tell how it pays off for DC.

DC Comics Website

DC Comics Twitter

– Champ Out