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Rich and Jon are back at it again on a fun filled episode full of comics news and book reviews. They take it to their loyal fan base and talk about the upcoming casting for Amazing Spider-man 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, and their books of the week, which include Batman Incorporated, Uncanny Avengers, Hawkeye, Guardians of the Galaxy .1, and much more on this sweet high octane adventure of an episode!

 

New Episode of Mat Men!

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Welcome to the Road to Wrestlemania…finally! Andrew and Rich dish on the recent transpirings of a tremendous Monday Night Raw with a main event of such a caliber that has not been seen on TV in years! join them on this piledriver of an episode where they talk about all thing Wrestlemania, their favorite angles going into this event and their big topic, which is Perception versus Reality. Jon Layman also stops by and shares his two cents along with members of our loyal chatroom!

Click the logo for the new episode! 

Mat Men: Losing Your Swagger

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mat-men610x150Click above to check out a brand new episode of Mat Men; your favorite pro wrestling videocast.

 

Walking Dead Season Premiere Review

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I am a huge fan of the Walking Dead. That being said – I love the show for the most part but I am a bigger fan of the comic series. Now, I KNOW they are both completely different entities. I have talked about that on my show at length and with other humans who would listen. I have not been sold on the show since pretty much last season. Not that it hasn’t been good, it has, but there’s just something missing.

As a fan it’s hard not to juxtapose the comic to the show since they are at this point two wholly different things. However, the reason I’m writing this review is to kind of get some thoughts out there on the season premiere. Namely, I kind of don’t like the fact that they set up Darrell to be this Han Solo type character. It kind of bothers me that the show differs from the comic so much so at this point that it has to rely on rehashed TV scriptwriting gimmicks. I’m not saying it’s wrong but I am saying it’s a stretch from what Kirkman has done in the books where he has taken an almost George RR Martin style approach letting you know that no one is safe. Don’t get me wrong – setting up Darrell as a returning badass will certainly make for great TV but is that what the purists want? You can’t please everyone but the fact that TWD as a comic that has a pretty hardcore story at its core with surprises abound kind of makes one wonder if the show is purposely watered down to gain a bigger audience (ratings? bag issue buying?). The comic is a book without cliches and the show is one cliche after another. Don’t worry I’m getting to the review.

The episode was good. We see some cool stuff and some great interaction between the characters. I will say that the only person on the cast that I truly enjoy is Andrew Lincoln as Rick. The arc that he is portraying is tremendous and I really like how how this a guy who is completely losing his shit. For a season premiere I found the episode a bit slow and lacking. We unnecessarily were teased witha  a direct Rick v Governor interaction/confrontation. I don’t want to sound like a hater but as much as I dig the show I just don’t agree with what direction it looks like it’s going in. I personally cannot stand the fact that Michonne is such a terrible character on the show (in part because she does not say a word and does not have the presence she should) It just feels like no one knows what to do with her. I could care less about the Hundai that is always clean and never runs out of gas, Andrea is useless, and The Governor isn’t as much of a threat as you’d want him to be. Again, those are my gripes. What I do like is the fact that Rick is going nuts and that can be explored in a great way through TV, that Tyrese looks like he would be in it for the long haul, and I like the fact that the actors seem extremely comfortable in their roles this into the show 9it looks like a joyous labor of love). Everyone is extremely believable in who they are playing but I cannot help but yell at my TV saying “Get to the point already!” I have mixed feeling about TWD and I’m sure you do to!

Holy Grail: Ride the Void (and avoid The Noid)

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ImageAs a huge fan of these guys I could not wait for this album to come out. Their first full length album Crisis In Utopia was by far one of the single greatest metal albums of all time. It was fresh, it was young, and it was kick ass. Those are big words, but check it out and you’ll agree. Ride the Void is an honest evolution of the Holy Grail sound found on the first album with a bit more fire under the intense riffage, amazing vocal melodies, tight rhythm, and all around well produced kick ass sound. Like the first album, any track on this effort could be a potential single and a potential metal party starter.

Seriously, metal is always going through flux. Modern metal has a weird footing in music and is constantly changing and sometimes eating itself in a continuous cycle. Ride the Void is a refreshing escape from a new band that has toured their asses off, made their presence known slowly but surely, and put on awesome live shows. They have made what is at the end of the day a great METAL album in its purest form. However, it is new with a great sense of the old. You can hear a lot of classic metal influence in the playing but you can also hear how these guys turned to each other and said; “Let’s make some magic.” The track arrangement on the album works extremely well, you never get bored with a song either. As a matter of fact just when one ends you are disappointed that there isn’t more to it. These guys have the chops and ambition to be up there with the all time greats and I am looking forward to seeing them on tour again and for their next album already.

Now, I am not going to go into a track by track review because that’s just pointless. I want you to go out there and buy this album immediately. Shell out your hard earned money for some fresh faces that deserve it. You will be blown away by the playing on this album (Eli, Alex, Blake, Tyler, and Luna all step it up big time. Luna has one of the best voices in music right now.) You’ll be blown away by the songwriting. You’ll be blowing your speakers out of your car because this is a great driving album. And you’ll be blown away by the fact that these guys are just beginning their careers. Go out and get it.

Django Unchained: Did Tarantino Deliver?

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      Image Nigger. The word just hits the ears wrong. Tarantino has gotten a lot of flack for his entire film career for using the word and in the case of Django Unchained some may say (Spike Lee) that he has used the word excessively throughout this particular script. However, every single time you hear that word in this movie you feel it cut through you like a knife regardless of race. You FEEL it. You want Django to unleash those six shooters and  blast away every single slave master and racist piece of garbage in that film’s universe. Why? Because this is a movie about revenge. The audience needs to be 100% behind the Django character and his motivations. If you set an extremely strong black character in a film set in the pre civil war south then you want to see him get retribution on every single person on that screen that spouts that most hated word. 

       The film itself is excellent. Tarantino has refined his style every single time a new flick comes around. They have honestly been getting better and better and more well made. The funny thing about Tarantino is that you know whatever he commits to screen will be good. You know the guy isn’t making The King’s Speech or the next Dr. Zhivago. He makes sticky floor movie theater, pop corn munching, eye popping, visceral flicks that take you out of your droll little life. It’s escapism at its finest. 

I also think this is the tightest script he has ever written as far as not having characters go into a long Tarantino-esque diatribe. This flick is direct and to the point. It’s a modern spaghetti western that presents you all the facts. You KNOW the good guys are gonna win but it’s a matter of HOW? The story itself is simple. A bounty hunter (Cristoph Waltz) frees a slave (Django) while he is on the hunt for three criminals that this particular slave knows. After all is said an done this bounty hunter decides to help Django find his wife and free her after of course spending some time collecting bounties, having adventures (off camera), and with Django finding out he’s actually quite brilliant and a natural shot. It’s about a three hour ride that will keep you completely entertained and will blow you away with a good dose of the old ultra violence. There is also a really excellent and much needed dose of humor in the movie. There are extremely dark and humorless scenes and you will believe that DiCaprio and Sam Jackson play two of the most despicable characters in film history but that is balanced by some really endearing light-hearted moments that do draw a lot from your Spaghetti Western classics.  Tarantino does a great job of creating a really awesome and cool and strong black hero that everyone can look up to in an age where you get two dimensional characters AT best in a film. 

Listen, this review is just one guy’s opinion. If you have some time and want a great distraction and pretty excellent flick that will take you back to the days of tongue in cheek action, good acting, good story, and great visuals, then shut up and go see Django. You won’t get offended. 

Macho Man isn’t a racist either. 

Canon 40mm EF f/2.8 STM Lens Review

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canonFirst things first. I am a Canon lens hound. There is nothing like getting a new lens in the mail and cracking open that box to shoot around a bit. I am a sucker for mail order and that is generally how I buy my lenses. I’ve stuck to Canon lenses for years and yes, I know I could get a comprable lens through a different company like Sigma but damn, to quote the immortal so and so – sometimes these lenses are “just too sweet.”

My last lens purchase was actually a nice macro 50MM from Canon and after being enamored with that and going on a few successful gigs I decided to go smaller. Why? Why not? I enjoy experimenting with my products and that is another reason why I dig getting items through mail order instead of hitting a store and “trying them on.” Reviews be damned. Sometimes you get a feeling for something and want to take it for a walk.

Honestly, I know this lens has gotten a lot of crap from reviewers, die hards, Nikon lovers, Olympus lovers, and maybe even some mother lovers but I gotta tell ya, kid; I enjoy it! I am using this lens on a Canon 60D, which was my upgrade from my old tried and true Canon Rebel XSI ( with which I have done MANY a great gig) This lens adds a different dimension to whatever you are shooting. Since it is a static lens without any zoom you are getting what is basically an old school picture feel that is a bit bigger and better than your old standard of 35mm. Your center focal points reaches out very nicely into a great peripheral and with the option of manual focus you can get some really gorgeous rack focus shots of subjects that are relatively close. Now this isn’t a technical review but just my opinion on how this lens feels on a camera. Now, this lens was pretty much built as a compliment to the Canon Rebel T4i Camera and this is where some more technically apt folk may run into trouble. This lens was built to function with that camera while shooting video and employing Canon’s new trend of STM within their new lenses. the STM is supposed to eliminate motor noise from lenses as they focus but for those of us that love the gentle whirr of a camera, it’s really no big deal. This lens works perfectly on my camera, which is one it’s not necessarily supposed to be paired with.

The lens itself is lightweight and just feels great in the palm of your hand. I enjoy the focus ring and to me it is semi-sensitive so it needs to be played with a bit to get a better shot, which is also not a big deal. Now, the one frustrating part about this lens is that the auto focus can be just plain crap sometimes. I usually use auto focus if I am just out and about wandering around and just happen to have my camera with me. The auto focus on this lens leaves a bit to be desired because you can get a quicker shot off while using MF. Canon sort of blurred the line with their AF and MF on a few of their lenses and this is definitely one of them. The blurred line means that AF is there for a quick snap and also for those that aren’t too camera savvy. If you can’t get your AF to work immediately and with no blur then you may have missed a tiny step. I would recommend this lens to someone who has been around a digital SLR before and knows their way around it. In low light conditions this lens can deliver but you need to really hone your settings in order for it to flourish.

All in all this is a great little pancake lens to have for the money you would put into it. You really can’t go wrong with the $150 compared to some of the other higher priced lenses that do not deliver as consistently as this one does. This is a fun keeper that could be used professionally for its non in your face appeal and for shooting around town on a whim.

Behind the Counter: New Episode

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Seriously, if you like to laugh and love comics then this last episode was definitely, for real, on point, more than likely, oh yeah, checkmate, all about it, one hundred percent for you!

Check it out here. 

Brought to you by Jon Adler and Rich Stambolian.