Rachel Kolb

Staff Writer

I love movies, writing, and breaking into song in public. You can follow me on Twitter @rachelekolb or check out more of my work at http://rachelekolb.wordpress.com.

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Gail Simone, Mike Tyson, and More Highlights from NYCC - Saturday

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Saturday at New York Comic Con is traditionally the biggest day as far as events, special guests, and crowds, and 2014 was no different. The stars of FX’s hit comedy The League including Paul Scheer, Mark Duplass, and Nick Kroll screened a new episode and answered questions from the fans. Meanwhile on the other side of the Javits Center, writers Gail Simone, Paul Tobin, and Brian Wood talked about the challenges of adapting beloved video games to comic books, and the stars of Black Dynamite, The Heart, She Holler, and Mike Tyson Mysteries talked about this year’s new Adult Swim programming. Read on for a full rundown of Saturday’s highlights, including The League, Bee & Puppycat, Dark Horse, and Adult Swim!

Oct
21
2014
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New Clips from Big Hero 6, Tomorrowland Premiere at NYCC 2014

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Brand new clips from Walt Disney Picture's upcoming films Big Hero 6 and Tomorrowland premiered on Thursday at New York Comic Con. Since cameras were strictly not allowed in the hall once the presentation began, here are recaps of all five Big Hero 6 clips as well as the brand-new teaser and extended clip from Tomorrowland.

Oct
21
2014
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Tomorrowland, Big Hero 6, and More Highlights from NYCC - Thursday

Thursday was the official kick-off for New York Comic Con 2014. In the past, Thursday has been mainly for press, exhibitors, and eager con-goers wanting to get a jump on exclusive merchandise. This year, however, Disney opened New York Comic Con with a bang with panels for Big Hero 6 and the highly anticipated Tomorrowland. There was more to Thursday than just the main hall, however, so read on for a rundown of best pictures, quotes, and highlights for Thursday.

Oct
21
2014
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"Son" Tries To Value Both God And Money Review

Back in 2013, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett produced The Bible mini-series for the History Channel, and the series brought in big ratings and three Emmy Awards. In hopes of making more money off of the series, segments of the mini-series about the life and death of Jesus were edited together into a new film, Son of God, and there is no better way to create a heartfelt film about one of the most influential men who ever lived than a blatant cash-grab.

Son of God is an abbreviated retelling of the life of Jesus Christ. The focus is mainly on his ministry years of preaching and gathering disciples and then on his crucifixion and resurrection. It is a simple story that has been told and re-told countless times in passion plays and films throughout the years, but what makes Son of God fascinating is where the director and screenwriter choose to place their focus.

Oct
15
2014
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There's Not Much To See In "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" Review

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) always dreamed of adventure. He works in the photography department at Life Magazine, developing the incredible pictures taken by acclaimed photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) and working up the courage to talk to his lovely new co-worker Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig). When Life Magazine is bought out and print issues discontinued, however, his job might soon be obsolete. To make matters worse, his latest roll of film from Sean O’Connell is missing one picture which Sean has called his “best ever, the quintessence of life.” Walter’s cruel new boss Ted (Adam Scott) wants the picture for the final cover of Life Magazine, so Walter flies across the world to find Sean, retrieve the missing picture, and see the world as he always wanted.

Oct
14
2014
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Give Being "Married" A Chance Review

Before Homer Simpson, Dan Conner, and Peter Griffin, Al Bundy was the classic middle/lower-class beer-drinking TV dad. Seasons 1 and 2 of Married with Children are now available on DVD, and re-watching the first two seasons of Married with Children, like FX’s retrospect on The Simpsons, reminded me how much the characters and messages changed in the life of the show.

In seasons 1 and 2, Al and Peggy are a meaner version of Dan and Roseanne Conner or Homer and Marge Simpson. Al works at a shoe store, but his minimum wage job cannot support the lifestyle that Peggy and his children Kelly and Bud desire. Most of the humor of Married with Children is derived from Al and Peggy’s get-rich schemes and the typical battle-of-the-sexes sitcom shenanigans. Al wants to watch sports, but Peggy wants Al to be romantic. Peggy forces the entire family to go on a diet, and the entire family hates it. Al is often a sexist pig. Peggy is a housewife with no discernible talent for cooking or cleaning. Kelly and Bud are greedy, empty-headed brats.

Sep
09
2014
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There's So Much More To "Raid" This Time Around Review

Two years ago, an Indonesian action film The Raid: Redemption blew my mind with 101 minutes of incredible fighting framed with a simple plot. A police raid of an apartment complex goes terribly wrong, and a few good cops need to fight their way out, taking out highly-trained criminals and crooked cops along the way. The Raid 2: Berandal takes everything from The Raid: Redemption and makes it bigger, including its running time which clocks in at 150 minutes. Does the raw, gritty power of the original film still work in a 2½ hour film, or did writer/director Gareth Evans overextend his reach?

Aug
22
2014
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There's Some Healing "Where I Am" Review

In 1999, American writer and prominent gay figure Robert Drake was living abroad in Sligo, Ireland when two young men viciously beat him and left for dead. Robert survived the attack, but he suffered brain damage which left him unable to walk or even type. Twelve years after his attack, Where I Am follows Robert Drake as he returns to Ireland to find some closure and to reflect on what his life is now and what it used to be.

Robert Drake is a fascinating subject for a documentary and gives a perspective that hasn’t really been seen in LGBT documentary films. He is a gay man, but he is also a deeply religious person who is active in a Quaker church. He also happens to be a physically disabled person who is still adjusting to life and learning his own limitations, physically and mentally. The attack left him unable to walk without assistance, and he is no longer able to write like he used to. He can handle shorter pieces, but with the brain damage he suffered, there are problems with concentrating for extended periods of time.

Jul
23
2014
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"Cavemen" Could Have Stood For More Input From A Few Cavewomen Review

Aspiring screenwriter Dean (Skylar Astin of Pitch Perfect fame) is trying to write the next great love story, but unfortunately, he has never been in love. He decides to actively seek out love in the Los Angeles dating scene, which is something easier said than done. Meanwhile, his roommates and best friends Jay (Chad Michael Murray), Andre (Dayo Okeniyi), and Pete (Kenny Wormald) are more concerned with hook-ups, or in Pete’s case, hiding his hook-ups from his girlfriend. When Dean’s long-time friend Tess (Camilla Belle) starts dating Jay, though, Dean realizes he might have missed the opportunity at love that was right in front of him all along.

Jul
10
2014
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Play This "Punk Prayer" Loud Review

Back in 2012, Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot exploded onto world news when three of their members were arrested and charged with hooliganism “motivated by religious hatred.” Pussy Riot members Nadya, Masha, and Katia performed a protest song in Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, a song targeting President Vladimir Putin and church leaders who were blurring the lines between church and government. Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer covers the trials of Nadya, Masha, and Katia as well as the origins of Pussy Riot and the larger war that still wages in Russian culture today.

Jul
10
2014
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"You Will" Want To Have Some Wine Handy For This Review

At a beautiful vineyard in Southern France, wine-maker Paul de Marseul (Niels Arestrup) is looking for an heir worthy of taking over the family business. He is unsure that his son Martin (Lorant Deutsch), who still lives on the property with his wife, is up to the task. When his estate manager Francois Amelot (Patrick Chesnais) falls ill and receives a terminal diagnosis from his doctor, Francois’ son Philippe (Nicolas Bidet) comes home to say goodbye to his father and inadvertently attracts the attention of Paul with his wine-making skills. Paul becomes obsessed with grooming Philippe to be his successor and the son he always wanted while also pushing Martin away emotionally and questioning his manhood.

Jun
27
2014
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There's Hope Yet For "Mr. Banks", If Not History Review

Saving Mr. Banks is the story of P.L Travers (Emma Thompson) and her famous struggle with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) for the rights to her classic children’s book Mary Poppins. For decades, Walt Disney tried to get the movie rights but with no success, but financial struggles finally pushed Pamela Travers to take a meeting with Disney, his screenwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford), and composers Robert (B.J. Novak) and Richard Sherman (Jason Schwartzman). Unfortunately, Travers disagreed with Disney and his creative team on nearly every part of the film from the design of the Banks’ house to the lessons that Mary Poppins is teaching the children, and it seemed like all the years of work had been for naught. When Disney discovered that he and Travers share a common troubled past with their fathers, he found the missing piece to make Mary Poppins come to life and in a small way, save the troubled fathers they loved so dearly.

Jun
26
2014
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Despite Its Cast, This "Knight" Never Rises Review

Joe (Ryan Kwanten) is going through a bad break-up, and to cheer him up, his best friends Hung (Peter Dinklage) and Eric (Steve Zahn) are taking him out of town for a weekend of LARPing, or live-action role playing. Armed only with fake weaponry and their imaginations, they prepare to take on their competitors and avoid the cruel local paintball team, but unfortunately, they have bigger problems to handle. Eric tries a spell out of an ancient spell book and accidentally awakens an evil monster which starts killing the other LARPers camped out in the forest. Together, Joe and his friends have to find a way to defeat the monster, save the world, and maybe help Joe get over his ex-girlfriend.

Jun
26
2014
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Tribeca Film Festival 2014: Double-Feature “Zombeavers” and “Der Samurai” Review

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The tagline for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival suggests that film festivals are the original binge-watching experience. In that spirit, enjoy these suggestions for the perfect double-features at the Tribeca Film Festival, complete with suggested accompanying snacks.

Jun
12
2014
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Tribeca Film Festival 2014: Chef

Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is a chef who loves his work, but his work is starting to consume him. His restaurant’s owner Riva (Dustin Hoffman) is stifling his creativity, and when he is urged to play it safe on his menu, he receives a devastatingly bad review from prominent food blogger Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt). After Carl’s son Percy (Emjay Anthony) introduces him to the joys of social media, Carl accidentally starts a Twitter feud with Ramsey, culminating in Carl confronting Ramsey in his restaurant and throwing a chocolate lava cake in his face. Out of work and short on options, Carl takes a trip to Miami with Percy and his beautiful ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara), and he is inspired to create a different kind of food truck, selling Cubano sandwiches. Together with his former line cook Martin (John Leguizamo) and Percy, Carl takes a road trip through Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, selling their Cubano sandwiches and taking in the local cuisine, and ending their trip in Los Angeles.

Jun
12
2014
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Seth MacFarlane Finds "A Million Ways to" Disappoint Review

Albert (Seth MacFarlane) has always hated living in the West, but now that his girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) has dumped him for Foy (Neil Patrick Harris), owner of the local moustachery, he is down-right miserable. His best friend Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) and Edward’s prostitute girlfriend Ruth (Sarah Silverman) try to cheer him up, but it isn’t until a beautiful and mysterious gunslinger Anna (Charlize Theron) moves to town that his attitude starts to change. Unfortunately, Anna’s violent outlaw husband Clinch (Liam Neeson) is not far behind, and his trigger finger is getting itchy.

May
30
2014
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There Isn't Much To See In "Austenland" Review

Jane Hayes (Keri Russell) loves all things Jane Austen, particularly Pride and Prejudice. She dreams about one day meeting her perfect Mr. Darcy, but she also believes that her perfect ideal cannot be found in today’s modern world. Rather than move on from her adolescent fantasies, she chooses to further embrace them and spends all of her savings on a vacation destination based on Jane Austen’s books.

May
26
2014
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For Once, Getting Sent To "Siberia" Is A Promise Rather Than A Threat Review

In a remote wilderness region of Russia, contestants in a new reality show are challenged to survive the Siberian winter. Aside from the first race to their base camp, there are no elimination challenges. Contestants can only choose to take themselves out of the competition by crossing a line leading out of the camp and pushing a red button which summons a helicopter. Early on in the competition, however, things start to go wrong. Before the end of the first episode, one of the contestants is killed in an accident in the woods, or at least that is what the show’s producers want the rest of the contestants to believe. As crazier events start to occur, though, the contestants have to face that they are in real danger, and they are completely on their own to survive whatever is waiting in the woods.

May
26
2014
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"Mister & Peter" Will Break Your Heart Review

On the cusp of summer, Mister (Skylan Brooks) has just found out that he will have to repeat the eighth grade, but he isn’t too concerned. Mister has big plans ahead, bigger than his junkie mother (Jennifer Hudson) who makes ends meet as a prostitute, and bigger than the neighborhood pimp and pusher Kris (Anthony Mackie). He wants to be an actor on a TV show and move into an enormous mansion in Beverly Hills, and he sees a TV audition scheduled for the end of the summer as his golden ticket out of poverty. Everything changes when his mother is arrested, and he hides out from child services with Pete (Ethan Dizon), another kid from his building whose mother was also arrested in a neighborhood sweep. As the summer drags on, they struggle to find food and survive the sweltering heat while holding out hope that Mister’s big audition will be their salvation.

May
22
2014
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"Anger Management" Is Only The Beginning Of What Sheen Needs Review

Anger Management, the TV sitcom loosely based on the 2003 film, is best-known as Charlie Sheen’s first big TV venture after leaving Two and a Half Men. In the Volume 3 collection, Charlie Goodson (Charlie Sheen) is a former baseball player who after injuring himself in a fit of anger is now an unconventional group therapist. He leads a misfit therapy group, mentally torments his best friend Kate Wales (Selma Blair), and somehow finds time to sleep with a long line of supermodels.

I have only seen a few episodes of Two and a Half Men, enough to know that it isn’t a show that appeals to me. Anger Management made me wish that I was watching Two and a Half Men. Charlie Sheen can be a very funny actor, but Anger Management is an uncomfortable masturbatory project, a comedy that revolves around how amazing Charlie Sheen is. Rich baseball player? Check! Therapist with a successful practice? Check! Sex god? Check!

May
22
2014
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