Comics of February 14, 2018

So a little more information about my new job. My shifts are continental, meaning I work 7-3 for two weeks, and then 3-11 for two weeks. This is my second week of 3-11.  It also takes almost an hour to drive there. I do intend to buy a house closer to work if I get past my probationary period, but until then, or until I find another job (I’m not even looking for one right now), that’s my situation. With that said, I prefer this over my last job in almost every way. I’m enjoying at least certain aspects of the work, and I certainly like that I’m getting paid a lot more than before. I also feel like I have more mental energy after coming home to at least enjoy the free time I have.

But after last week barely gave me enough time to get to work just from writing one review, I’ve decided to only write first impressions posts on weeks I’m working 3-11. On weeks I work 7-3, I’ll try to write one or two reviews in addition to my first impressions posts, but they’ll obviously be posted later. Maybe I’ll also write one review tomorrow or after work today, but we’ll see how I feel. Anyway, the comics I picked up this week include Star Wars: Poe Dameron 24, Cable 154, Supergirl 18, Detective Comics 974 and Action Comics 997. Here are my first impressions, and links to full reviews will be added when they’re posted.

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Pixar Movies 18 – Cars 3

We’re now very close to the end of my Pixar blogathon, for now. One more movie after this and I will have covered every Pixar feature released to date. Because the next movie, Incredibles 2, is releasing this June, I may save my list of all the Pixar movies in my personal preference until after that comes out. But before we get to that, or Coco (which releases on DVD and Blu-ray on the 27th), it’s time to talk about Cars 3. And I must say, this movie surprised me.

Pre-production work on Cars 3 began shortly after Cars 2 released in 2011, although Pixar didn’t announce the third movie in the franchise until 2014. There isn’t too much information on the actual production of the movie that I could find. In fact the only information I could find is that John Lasseter (who didn’t direct Cars 3 like he did the first two), said that the film would feature a tribute to Hayao Miyazaki’s film, The Castle of Caglistro, in the form of a car. He also talked about how the film had a very emotional story, similar to the first film. They intended it as a return to the series routes, after Cars 2 turned into a bizarre spy thriller.

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Pixar Movies 17 – Finding Dory

As with Monsters Inc., I didn’t feel like Finding Nemo needed a sequel or a prequel. It felt like a complete movie. But when I heard it would focus on Dory, it still piqued my interest. As much as I’ve wanted to see it for a while, I never got around to seeing it until just now. And that right there is one major reason why I like doing these blogathons.

The initial production for this movie is a bit of an amusing story. Director Andrew Stanton, who co-directed A Bug’s Life, and directed Finding Nemo, WALL-E and the live action John Carter, denied it when the news first broke. It was first reported in 2012 that Stanton was developing a sequel to Finding Nemo, with a planned release in 2015. The same day that story broke, Stanton posted on twitter “Didn’t you all learn from Chicken Little? Everyone calm down. Don’t believe everything you read. Nothing to see here now. #skyisnotfalling. Of course the next month, it was reported that Ellen DeGeneres was in talks to reprise her role as Dory. Stanton also spoke about how he planned to direct a second John Carter movie. Of course that movie didn’t do that well.

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Pixar Movies 16 – The Good Dinosaur

Of all the Pixar movies released to date, this is the one I knew the least about going in. It’s the one I kept forgetting even existed until I either heard it mentioned on something like Screen Junkies’ movie fights, or noticed it on a list of Pixar movies. It seems to be the one other people forget about, despite being fairly recent. On the one hand, that suggests the movie isn’t all that memorable. On the other hand, it suggests that it’s not particularly bad. So I went into this movie blind, with no feelings either way, willing to give it a chance.

The basic premise is that The Good Dinosaur takes place in an alternate universe, where the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs missed the Earth, and dinosaurs survived up to the dawn of mankind. Directors Bob Peterson and Peter Sohn started working on the movie in 2009, after Peterson came up with the idea. With a release date originally planned for 2013, they announced the project at D23 Expo in 2011, and the title, The Good Dinosaur, the next year.

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X-Men Red 1 review

If you look at my X-Men team book reviews over the last couple of years, you’ll notice that they all have something in common. It’s been a while since I’ve consistently enjoyed any one X-Men team book. Some of them have their moments, like Dennis Hopeless’s All-New X-Men (as uneven as it was). X-Men Blue has consistently shown potential, but it hasn’t yet lived up to that potential, held back by too many unfinished plots and lame characters like Jimmy Hudson. And that’s to say nothing of the bore fests that both recent flagship titles have been (although from what I’ve read, Extraordinary X-Men’s joyless direction wasn’t the fault of its writer, Jeff Lemire, but an editorial mandate). So when Marvel announced X-Men Red, written by Tom Taylor of All-New Wolverine, I got excited fast.

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Comics of February 7, 2018

So I’m a full week into my new job, and I can already think of a number of ways I prefer it over my old one. Wouldn’t go so far as to say I love it, but I could get used to it. I like most of the people I work with, and it’s nice to have consistent standards among my superiors instead of conflicting ones. The main thing I don’t like about it is the 45 minute drive to get there. But that trade-off is worth it, and if this job works out, I already have the down payment for a house ready. That’s a problem that could solve itself if I’m there long enough. Anyway, time to talk about comics.

The comics I picked up this week include X-Men Red 1, Hawkeye 15, Star Wars 43, She-Hulk 162, Witchblade 3, I Hate Fairyland 16 and Superman 40. Here are my first impressions. I’ll probably only have time to write one review today, but it’ll be linked below.

X-Men Red 1 review

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Pixar Movies 15 – Inside Out

The last few Pixar movies I’ve looked at could all be grouped into Pixar’s own Dark Age of sorts, similar to Disney Animation Studio’s own Dark Age. By no means were any of these movies bad (well, except maybe Cars 2), and they all made money, but none of them did nearly as well critically or commercially as anything in Pixar’s past. These three movies also came after Pixar won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature four times in a row, and even earned two nominations for Best Picture in a row. Of the three movies I’ve looked at most recently, I’d say Monsters University is the best. Perhaps not in my taste, but I get why people like it. It’s also true that between Cars (2006) and Monsters University (2013), Pixar released a movie every single year. Monsters University also released the same year as Disney’s Frozen, which regardless of how you feel about it, is a monster hit that just won’t go away.

Perhaps Pixar needed a year off without a new release, and that’s what they did after Monsters University. Pete Docter, the director behind Inside Out, previously directed Up. Up’s smashing success convinced Pixar to give Docter a more sophisticated story. The story of Inside Out was inspired by several moments in his life. As a child, he moved with his family to Denmark when his father wanted to study the music of Carl Nielson. While his sisters had an easy time adjusting, Docter felt his peers constantly judged him. They were interested in sports, while he preferred to sit alone and draw, a hobby that eventually led him to animation.

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