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#Critics Cinema

#Critics Cinema

Tomb Raider: Survivor's Crusade #1

Posted: 04 Dec 2017 12:00 PM PST

The first issue of Tomb Raider: Survivor's Crusade takes Lara Croft to Corniglia, Italy inside a secret underground tomb discovered by Trinity. Lara isn't there for the tomb, its riddles, or its treasures. She's come seeking out members of the mysterious organization for answers concerning the identity of the person responsible for her father's death.

Narrated throughout with the multiple attempts by our protagonist to explain her absence, and failing, the first issue does a fairly good job in kicking off the point of the series and just what Lara is questing for this time around. Although I enjoy Ashley A. Woods' work, I'm not wild about the art in this issue. The action scenes work well-enough but there's a grit to Lara and her adventures that doesn't come across well in this first issue.

Fans will likely enjoy Lara's return, and the personal quest, rather than a search for a specific artifact, site, or treasure, certainly focuses on different themes than her regular quests (although, personally, I'd prefer the later). For fans.

[Dark Horse, $3.99]

Blade of the Immortal

Posted: 04 Dec 2017 09:00 AM PST

Based on the Japanese manga of the same name, Blade of the Immortal is bloody affair from director Takashi Miike. The story centers around the cursed samurai Manji (Takuya Kimura) who cannot die. Approached by a young girl (Hana Sugisaki) who reminds the samurai of his lost sister, our hero reluctantly agrees to help her get vengeance on the swordsmen who killed her father and their leader Anotsu Kagehisa (Sôta Fukushi).

In terms of action and body count, the movie doesn't disappoint. However, adapting two books from the series into a single film proves to be a bit awkward at times. There's a completely unnecessary subplot of a group of mercenaries killing off the same samurai as our hero which only bloats the film's already considerable running time. Also troubling is the script's inability to decide how great a swordsman our protagonist truly is. In the opening and closing scenes our hero is unstoppable, taking down an insane number of enemies. However, in pretty much every scene in-between, in one-on-one combat with Anotsu's lieutenants, his skill is highly questionable. The result is an interesting, if uneven, action film.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Orientation

Posted: 04 Dec 2017 06:00 AM PST

Okay, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is officially out of ideas. Tell me if this sounds familiar, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team wake to discover they've been transported to a mysterious new world and will spend several episodes (about half a season, maybe) trying to find their way home? Yeah, that was last season's second-half arc. It's always where this season begins with the team abducted and shot into the future awakening aboard a Kree prison ship and struggling (and failing) to discover how and why they ended up in their current predicament.

As in the Framework, the agents are cut-off from the outside world (this time because the world doesn't so much exist in the way they remember it). Allies are scarce, and likely untrustworthy, including Deke (Jeff Ward), Tess (Eve Harlow), and Grill (Pruitt Taylor Vince). The space station is utterly lacking in interesting design (looks like they re-purposed the submarine and warehouse sets from last year) and other than a single joke about how cool they are look walking down a hallway in space together there's little clever or humorous to be found in the two-part season premiere that foreshadows more trouble with Marvel's recent television offerings (such as lackluster Iron Fist, Defenders, and Punisher and the pretty damn horrendous Inhumans).