Monthly Archives: November 2015

Emerald Specter 9: The Review of Spectre

spectre

The 24th installment of the James Bond franchise has come out and the results are both encouraging and discouraging at the same time. Do read on.

Going into this movie, I was hopeful for something meaningful in the way of a James Bond story. My Bond is Daniel Craig because he’s played the character better than I’ve seen anyone else do it… yes, I’m saying that Sean Connery isn’t the best (in my book, he’s not even the second best). But, I digress. Craig brings the same level of effort to the character that he has in all his other installments (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall) and this one is no exception.

Here’s my problem with the movie: it’s a “Star Trek Into Darkness” reboot of a character that should not have been reboot.

The thing about Khan (from Star Trek) and Blofeld (from James Bond) is that the characters were done correctly exceptionally well the first time and the attempt at improving them has a 1% chance of success. That means that 99% of the time you’re going to screw it up. In both of those cases, that has been made true. Bond should have learned from Star Trek and left well enough alone.

The idea of Spectre was one I was glad to see come back into the franchise. Make the characters behind the organization new and interesting but still have that looming threat. The Fleming books, which I’ve read, all have an organization running through them (SMERSH) that was adapted to the big screen version of James Bond when Connery was in the role. That part was fine. The part where they rebooted Blofeld wasn’t.

In the end, I have to give the movie an “average” as far as James Bond movies go. Casino Royale was epic, Skyfall was epic, and now Spectre would fall just above Quantum of Solace as Craig’s third best film in the role. Whether or not he comes back for another installment is still up in the air but now that Bond has been reestablished with the Craig storyline leading into Spectre, I think I’d like to see someone else tackle the role.

You can see this movie but don’t go in with super high expectations.

Ingress Intel 7 – The Graphic Novel Review

1460725_ful

Cryptozoic Entertainment brings to us the Ingress Origins graphic novel, which originally was slated to come out in early September but was pushed back allllllllllll the way to November. I purchased my copy via preorder, especially after discovering the ONLY way the shop would have gotten the item in is via preorder because they didn’t even know Ingress was a thing.

Having my copy, I’m about 3/4 of the way through it and I’ve decided that it’s time to review this bad boy right here on my site.

In short: it’s not worth the money.

The story is literally the backstory of the Ingress ARG, which is not terrible in and of itself. The story has some decent bits as part of the mythology but the problem isn’t with the story. I’ll start with the story, though, the actual and full backstory of the game… before touching on the graphic novel’s version of the story.

Ingress is built upon the idea that exotic matter is all over the place, brought to us by aliens, and we were introduced to Niantic (the company that makes Ingress) that was supposedly some ultra secret organization out doing something supposedly nefarious.

The graphic novel portrays Niantic as an idea, where they forcibly recruit some weird ass choices into the organization to work towards utilizing this exotic matter (XM) towards a goal. That doesn’t sound too terribly different from the backstory that I just ran over, right?

My problem with the graphic novel is the execution of the story. You get a random 3 or 4 panel conversation about something seemingly completely random (i.e. about the backstory that seems jarringly out of place in any conversation), then with little or no transition you are swept to another random 3 or 4 panel conversation about a similar topic and then boom, we’re in another random conversation about Niantic or the XM.

What I’ve read so far has been painful to get through, to put it mildly. The art isn’t my style but it isn’t terrible. After everything is said and done, the story is something that should have been told over a 12 to 24 issue run with actual development rather than the hastily slapped together, then delayed beyond explanation, in this current form.

If I’m being honest, don’t buy this book if you think it’s a collector’s item or a catch. If you want to toss Ingress some cash without going through their store feature, this may be how you do it, but I’ve got to say that this is a turd.

I had high hopes for this, too.