Random Tuesday: Mini Movie Review - The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Starring Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone

I love Andrew Garfield. I’m not entirely sure why, but somewhere about ten minutes into his introduction in The Social Network, I decided I needed to see everything he’s ever been in. That still hasn’t happened though I retrospectively realized I’d already seem him in an episode of Doctor Who. Despite that I was hesitant when he was cast as Spider-Man in yet another reboot. I wasn’t a huge fan of Tobey McGuire’s dopey version of Peter Parker, but it still seemed a little early to already reboot the entire universe.

And because of that The Amazing Spider-Man is both a fun and boring movie. As expected Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker is a perfect fit. He’s equal parts boyish science geek and believable bratty hero, who realizes that he can really help people if he tried. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy is also a great fit, but then again Stone is one of the few females on my “I Would Watch Them in Just About Anything” list. Gwen comes across as a strong female without making stupid decisions or trying to weigh Peter down with guilt.

To be honest all the actors are pretty awesome as their respective characters, though Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben comes off a little heavy handed with his various lectures of responsibility. The problem with The Amazing Spider-Man is that it feels so familiar. While the writers attempted to do a new twist on the Spider-Man origin story, there’s only so much that you can do with a story that’s already so familiar. I enjoyed the training sequence involving learning skateboarding tricks and the fight on the subway, but some of the fight scenes, especially with the main bad guy, felt like I’d already seen it before.

In retrospect, I can pull out several scenes that I really enjoyed, probably because of Garfield’s performance, so I would probably end up liking this movie must more on a re-watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon. But immediately after viewing it seems a little forgettable. I hope that in the inevitable sequel, the writers take the story in a drastically different direction than the Tobey McGuire trilogy either in tone, visual aspects or plotting because the actors they’ve hired to play the main parts are spot-on. It’s the story and direction that needs a little more distinctive oomph.

 

And to make this Comic Con related, have a picture of adorable Andrew Garfield at 2011 Comic Con.

He's so FLUFFY!

Giveaway! Comics and Reader Swag Up for Grabs!

After the outstanding reaction to our contest during the Summer Giveaway Hop, we thought we'd try this out on our own.  We're making two of the prize options available again!  We'll have one more winner this go around and perhaps after next payday, we'll do this all over again!

This contest runs through midnight CST, September 2 (though honestly, I probably won't close it until the following morning).  The winner will be chosen through random.org and contacted soon after.  They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  This giveaway is open to mailing addresses within the US only (sorry, lovely international people).

Entering is the same as it was in the previous giveaway, except with no poll question this time around.  To be entered into the contest, you must be a follower through Google Friend Connect.  It's that shiny little widget at the bottom of the lefthand side bar that's labelled Mandroid's Friends.  Don't you want to be one of Mandroid's friends?  I promise he doesn't bite (very often).

There are two ways to get a bonus entries:

- Follow Mandroid and co. on Twitter at @workformandroid

- Tweet a link to the contest

 

Now that I think about it, if we make it to 200 followers by the end of the contest, I'll pick two winners and send both of the prize packs out.  That would be very exciting for us and I'm pretty sure Fernando just wants to get this stack of swag out of the office.

 

And the prizes:

Package A: Comic Con Reader Swag

A Clockwork Prince T-Shirt (medium)

Promo Box Cover Postcards

Buttons for Legend, Matched, The Outlaw Demon Wails, and Griff

Sampler Books for Yen Manga, new Daw Books Sci-fi/Fantasy releases, and new and upcoming paranormal romance releases

 

Package B: Comic Swag

Assorted DC Comics, including DCnU 52 issues, Teen Wolf, Arkham City prequel, and Marvel kids sampler

Buttons featuring the logos for DC Comics, Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern

 

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Summer Giveaway Hop Winner!

We had an outstanding turnout in our Summer Giveaway Hop contest!  It went way beyond our expectations, so thank you all for being so awesome and stopping by the site.  We hope you continue to drop by to check out our other content and maybe even suggest things you would like to see us cover.  Being pretty new, we're always open to suggestions!

Anyway, on to the winner!  With the help of the handy number generator at random.org, entry #382 was selected - Harpreet from A Spark of Interest - Books for Teens

Harpreet, I will be shipping out the Twilight Prize Pack in the next day or two, so keep an eye out for it.

 

For everyone else, we're planning on hosting additional contests very soon.  We'll be taking part in the Back to School Giveaway Hop starting September 1, but I think we might try to give away some of the Comic Con swag before then.  You'll just have to keep checking back in!

 

And if you were wondering about the results of my very informal poll, an overwhelming number of you told me to buy lots and lots of books with my hypothetical $100 Amazon giftcard - 72% in fact!  Here were the final results:

72% - Books books books book!

19% - Use it to purchase a Kindle

4% - Buy some presents for Fernando since he helped lug books back from Comic Con

3% - Buy more comics!

1% - Purchase a snazzy new eye patch for Mandroid

1% - Something else I will mention in the comments

Books books books books!

Television Review: Locke & Key Pilot

The Locke family in front of Key HouseToday we’re doing something a little different, a review of a television show based on a book instead of an actual book.  While at Comic Con (yes, I will shut up about it eventually), Fernando and I got a chance to see the unaired television pilot for Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s Locke & Key.  It’s one of the reasons I read the first graphic novel, Welcome to Lovecraft, on the plane to San Diego.  If you didn’t see my review of the comic, I instantly fell in love with the concept of the series and the characters Hill and Rodriguez had created, so I was eager to see how it translated to television.

The most disappointing thing about the pilot, which was commissioned by FOX, is that it didn’t get picked up.  It’s probably never going to be released in any widely available format even though Joe Hill has stated on Twitter that he would like everyone to see it. 

So here is my review.  Forewarned: Spoilers for Welcome to Lovecraft are included.

Read More

In Which I Brag About My Artist Alley Spoils - featuring Katie Cook, Grant Gould, and many others

One of my favorite things to do at San Diego Comic Con is wander through Artist Alley.  This is the part of the exhibit hall floor were artists set up tables to sell their own artwork. A lot of it is comic book artists with the type of art that sorta hurts my head - women with inflatable breasts and copious amount of backbreaking ass shots.  Those booths I walk right by.  Thankfully there are other booths with art more to my and Fernando's liking.

Last year we bought a few things, mostly dark, ominous superhero things, so this year my goal was to get bright, fun art and lots of superheroines.  My house needs more superheroines! 

Please forgive the terrible pictures.  They really don't do this wonderful art justice, but my photographer (Fernando) is a couple thousand miles away and won't be returning until Friday.  And Mandroid is all thumbs with a camera... which is odd since he doesn't really have thumbs.

Speaking of Mandroid, Katie Cook is awesome.  This is not the first time I've mentioned her and it definitely won't be the last.  If Katie Cook was hired to draw any superhero book, I would faithfully buy multiple copies of every issue.  Her art makes me so happy.  So when I found her booth, I asked her to do a quick sketch of Mandroid reading.  Actually, I asked for a robot reading because I didn't think she'd have any idea what a Mandroid was.  What seemed like five seconds later, she handed this back to me:

Before that terrible Steampunk Convention accident that took his eye...

Going into the Con, I really wanted to get Katie to do a commission (or five) for me, but I lost my nerve and bought a few more adorable sketch cards from her instead.

 

I fell in love with the cupcake at first sight.  Fern picked out Edward Scissorhands
and who could resist a panicked C3PO?

Next to Katie's table was a gentleman who drew awesome things.  We quickly dubbed him "The Cute Yoda Guy".  His real name is Grant Gould and he is also awesome because he draws Doctor Who.  Check his blog out and see some of the cast of Game of Thrones checking out his GoT art.  He's another that I might have to get a commission from next year if he returns.

Always trust the Doctor.  And cute Yoda.

There was one other artist that I had to visit, Lord Mesa.  Last year I bought a super cute picture he created of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman that is now hanging in my library.  He also does this thing where he draws 3D art.  It's really cool, but I don't know how functional it is within a home.  Either way, I had to return for more.  So I did, and got more cute superheroes.

I love how smug Wonder Woman looks here.

And then, to continue my task of getting awesome art of awesome superheroines, I got this print from an artist whose name I did not get.  Because I'm an awful person.  And I get so excited by the art that I forget to do things like, you know, ask important questions, like what's the artist's name?  Based on his signature, it's Peter something. It's Peter V. Nguyen and he has more awesome art on Tumblr.  Thank you, Google!

Either way, this Bat Family print makes me happy because Batgirl is the focal point and there are two Robins.

I mean, really, look at how AWESOME Batgirl is.  She doesn't even need those other guys.

 

Fernando and I wandered around some more until we found a guy, Oliver Nome, who drew an awesome Wonder Woman, and because everyone can always use more Wonder Woman in their lives, we purchased it.  Even though she's not wearing pants, I really loved the way this print is composed.  She doesn't have inflatable breasts, she looks strong and powerful, and the ominous semi-creepy background is a nice contrast to her shininess.  He also happened to have awesome HitGirl and Death prints, so we, uh, got those too.

This will go nicely with the Death print I got at our very first Comic Con, though I think HitGirl
is going to have to go somewhere my baby nephew can't see it all the time.

This is the point in the journey when Fernando turned to me and said, "No more.  We still haven't finished framing all the things we got last year."  I agreed because frames get really expensive and wandered back to the book booths.  On my way, I passed the Aspen Comics booth, where I was introduced to Lady Mechanika.  After searching a few other places, I managed to compile the first three issues of the comic, which are all equally gorgeous and apparently pretty rare, but I also impulsively bought this limited edition Lady Mechanika print.

I haven't read her comic yet, but I can already tell she's my kind of lady.  Or is that android?

This was the point where I physically removed myself from the exhibit hall before I could buy anything else and called Comic Con 2011 done.  I think I successfully completed my goal of more bright, fun art that feature lots of badass women.  What do you think?

Guh... I could stare at that Lady Mechanika print for hours.  So. Awesome.

 

To find out more about all these awesome artists, here are links to more of their art:

Katie Cook: www.katiecandraw.com

Grant Gould: www.grantgould.com

Lord Mesa:lordmesa.deviantart.com

Peter V. Nguyen: petervnguyen.tumblr.com

Oliver Nome: olivernome.deviantart.com

Aspen Comics & Lady Mechanika: www.aspencomics.com

 

 

If you're one of the artists and would like me to take down the picture of your art, please email me at workingforthemandroid at gmail dot com.  I'll be happy to oblige.

Our Very First Giveaway: Summer Giveaway Hop!

We've been up and running for about six weeks now, so Mandroid decided it was about time to participate in our first giveaway hop.  Considering the amount of stuff we lugged home from San Diego Comic Con, I think it's only fair if we give some of it away.

This bloghop is being hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Mary at Bookhounds.  With over 300 bloggers participating, there are a ton of wonderful prizes up for grabs. 

For our first giveaway, we have four prize options ranging from an advance readers copy of some interesting upcoming releases to a slew of comics from DC.  But don't worry if you don't win; whichever prizes aren't picked this time around will be up for grabs later on.  This contest runs through Sunday, August 7.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  Now on to the instructions!

To be entered into the contest, you must be a follower through Google Friend Connect.  It's that shiny little widget at the bottom of the lefthand side bar that's labelled Mandroid's Friends.  Don't you want to be one of Mandroid's friends?  I promise he doesn't bite (very often).

There are three ways to get a bonus entries:

- Follow Mandroid and co. on Twitter at @workformandroid

- Tweet a link to the contest

- Answer the multiple choice question in the form below

 

And now on to the prize choices!

 

Package A: an ARC

Choose one of the following Advance Reader Copies

   

 

Package B: Comic Con Reader Swag

A Clockwork Prince T-Shirt (medium)

Promo Box Cover Postcards

Buttons for Legend, Matched, The Outlaw Demon Wails, and Griff

Sampler Books for Yen Manga, new Daw Books Sci-fi/Fantasy releases, and new and upcoming paranormal romance releases

 

Package C: Comic Swag

Assorted DC Comics, including DCnU 52 issues, Teen Wolf, Arkham City prequel, and Marvel kids sampler

Buttons featuring the logos for DC Comics, Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern

 

Prize Pack D: Twilight Swag

Twilight Breaking Dawn "Save the Date" Magnets (x2)

Two pack of collectible Twilight trading cards (still shrinkwrapped)

A "Save the Werewolves" rubber bracelet (technically promoting The Last Werewolf, but it seemed to fit)

 

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

 

And don't forget to visit the other wonderful blogs participating in the blog hop.  You can see the entire list on Kathy's blog right here.

Good luck!

In My Mailbox #2: Or What Is Hiding in My Giant Swag Bag

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren as a way to showcase all the books she receieved on a weekly basis.  It has since spread across the book blogging community, and I'm so excited about what I've recently received that I want to share with all of you.

 

At last year's San Diego Comic Con, I stumbled across the Simon & Schuster booth on the very last day, an hour or two before the exhibit hall closed.  I spent a lot of time talking to the guy manning the booth, Ed, and he told me about all the great books they had upcoming and gave me a couple of ARCs.  I was ecstatic to walk away from Comic Con with four free books.  This year, being more aware that there was a presence beyond comics on the exhibit hall floor, I came in prepared and was well-compensated for it.  Thankfully we got extra bags to lug all the books I got on the plane.

So here's my Comic Con Giant Swag Bag version of In My Mailbox.

From Simon & Schuster

Not only was Ed there again, he remembered me from our encounter last summer.  He hooked me up with some great looking reads.

A Darkness Forged in Fire by Chris Evans

Morpheus Road: The Light by DJ McHale

Morpheus Road: The Black by DJ McHale

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

The Taker by Alma Katsu (signed)

 

HarperCollins

 

Modellland by Tyra Banks

Thackery T. Lambshead: Cabinet of Curiosities edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

 

Hachette

Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski

Deadline by Mira Grant (signed)

America Pacifica by Anna North

The Cypress House by Michael Koryta

 

Penguin

On preview night, we walked past the Penguin booth and I almost had a fit when I saw the Crossed poster hanging off the wall.  Moments later the lovely ladies of Penguin put a stack of Crossed ARCs on the table.  I might have squeled with delight, but no one can prove it.

Crossed by Ally Condie

Legend by Marie Lu

Mal & Chad: The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever by Stephen McCranie

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (signed)

Shark Wars by EJ Altbacker

 

Books I Received Elsewhere

 

A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

Secrets of the Demon by Diana Rowland (signed)

Machine Man by Max Berry

The Artist Sisters Box of Stories by CJ Metzger

 

I also received a couple dozen comic books, mostly from DC, and a half dozen or so sampler books that I haven't yet had a chance to look through.  To see my purchases from Comic Con, check out my Pull List from Friday here.

So basically I came home from San Diego with my weight's worth of books.  I'd call that a successful trip, wouldn't you?