Tag Archives: alpha

Crazy Rich Asians Helps Warner Bros. Deliver a One Two Punch

Crazy Rich Asians won the weekend beating most industry expectations. The film earned an estimated $34 million over its five-day opening. Made on a reported $30 million budget, the film has a strong 74 rating on Metacritic and an “A” Cinemascore.

For the three day weekend, the film earned $25.2 million and will likely cross $100 million before it’s done. The film opened in just six foreign markets where it earned $730,000. The movie is getting a staggered release schedule with Australia opening on August 30 and mid-September in the UK.

The second spot was held by last weekend’s winner, The Meg. The film earned an estimated $21.2 million to bring its domestic total to $83.8 million. Internationally, the film added $67 million from 55 markets to bring the foreign gross to $230.4 million.

Mile 22 opened in third place with a slightly below expectation earning of $13.6 million.

The fourth and fifth place is a photo finish. New film Alpha and Mission: Impossible – Fallout both have an estimated $10.5 million as of reporting. Those totals may change when the final numbers come in.

When it comes to comic film adaptations…

Ant-Man and the Wasp came in at #13 earning an estimated $2.6 million to bring its domestic total to $208.4 million. Internationally the film has earned $257.2 million for a worldwide total of $465.6 million.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies dipped a few spots to come in at #18. The film added $710,000 to its total to bring its domestic earnings to $27.3 million. Internationally the film stands at $5.3 million for a worldwide total of $32.6 million off of a $10 million budget.

Despite its home release, Avengers: Infinity War continues to bring in money. The film was #32 with $97,000 to bring its domestic total to $678.6 million. Worldwide the film has earned $2.046 billion.

Come back in an hour when we’ll have a deeper dive into this year’s comic adaptations.

Review: Alpha Volume 4 Sanctions

When I was growing up, morals in the movies and TV shows, were certainly not complicated.  They made clear distinctions of who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. Take TV shows like GI Joe, where there was no questioning that Destro and Cobra Commander were evil and Duke and Flint were good. They even made it clear with the ninjas, but wearing opposite colors, as Snake Eyes wore black and Storm Shadow wore white.

AS the audience became more intelligent, the movies and TV shows became more complicated in their dealings with morality. One of those movies which started to question the status quo, was Rambo: First Blood, which did not play out as an action thriller but more like a horror movie. A recent movie, brought back the questioning of those morals once again, in The Iceman, where Michael Shannon’s character, plays a contract killer, who lives a double life. Both characters remind me of the arch nemesis must face in the fourth and final volume of Alpha, Sanctions.

In this volume, Alpha and his partner must escort a high valued foreign official while in country, but little do any of them know, a retired killer, for the former KGB is in Washington DC. As sanctions take place, between both governments, bodies on both sides start to drop all over the Capital Beltway. Alpha starts digging into this retired bogeyman, and finds many unresolved problems, as he is starting to understand his motivation.  By book end, Alpha exposes a massive coverup, which puts everyone in check and leaves Alpha, the moral hero.

Overall, a great conclusion, to an enticing spy series, which leaves the reader, reaching for their old copy of their favorite Tom Clancy novel. The story by Youri Jigounov has all the flash and bang that makes these spy thrillers a must read. The art by Mythic is alluring. Altogether, a morality tale in a world filled with shadows that proves everyone must suffer a consequence.

Story: Youri Jigounov Art: Mythic
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Alpha Volume 3 The List

The way we realize we are aging, is remembering certain events that are recorded in history. My grandparents, on my mother’s side, used to tell us stories of how cruel the Japanese were, during their occupation during World War II, which is now literally last century. My parents, both were new to New York, during the “Summer of Sam”, where everyone was scared to walk the streets. During my time, there a fair number of events that have marked my life.

This reality came full circle, when OJ Simpson was released on parole, for burglary, and I, like anyone alive during that time could remember when was under indictment for murder. Another historical event that personally touched me, because I knew people who were there, was the tragedy on the USS Cole, as I think of those who were lost that day many times. Another historical evet, that did not relate to, or even know personally, is the Berlin Wall getting tore down. Some high stakes evens occurs during this very event, in the third volume of Alpha, The List.

In the opening pages, we get a behind the scenes view of what happened when the Berlin Wall, fell, to both governments. As both governments consolidate, one of their top spies flees the country, taking some state secrets with him. Alpha gets called into the mix, as he must retrieve a list from this former spy, a list that could many high-profile individuals behind bars.  Alpha and his partner gets sent to Amsterdam to retrieve this list but he has some competition, as those individuals don’t want the list to get out. By book end, not everyone comes out this alive, as some would see it as a failure, but Alpha’s dignity is what ultimately hat gets him that list.

Overall, a great story, that reminds me so much of the movie, Sneakers. The story by Youri Jigounov provides levity and tension in a genre that leans more towards the latter. The art by Mystic is magnetic Altogether, this is type of story that proves spies are definitely the agents of change  in a world of shadows.

Story: Youri Jigounov Art: Mystic
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Alpha: Clan Bogdanov

Organized crime is one of those subjects that people both fear and love at the same time. Who can watch the Godfather or Goodfellas, ad not fall in love with these characters and their lifestyles. Even in real life, such figures as John Gotti and Al Capone are pretty much immortalized in the public sphere. What most of the media sometimes fails to realize, is just about every culture has organized crime.

In Japan, the Yakuza is almost just as glorified in myth as Samurai. In Eastern Europe, their roots are just as deep, and even falls into politics. The movie, Eastern Promises, gave us a view of organized crime that had rarely been seen until now. This is where we pick up Alpha in his adventures, as he gets into just how deep the Russian Mob is entrenched the the Russian government.

In Alpha: Clan Bogdanov, we’re brought to Russia, where there are country wide protests against the government leading to the assassination of the Finance minister. Assia, is back in the country, asking her husband for answers while he lets her in to find out just how deep this partnership goes. Alpha is in country as well, where he uncovers ties between the Bogdanov family, the biggest crime family in the country and their connections to just about every enterprise. By the end of this volume, we find a confused and scared Assia needing Alpha’s help.

Overall, a story that seems pedestrian at first, but will surprise the reader on how complex a crime story it is. The story by Pascal Renard continues to give the reader a reason to keep coming back, as the story becomes one more complex than some Bond movies. The art by Youri Jigounov is pure eye candy, as the way he draws characters is a lesson in style. Altogether, a study in geopolitics and crime that will not soon leave the reader.

Story: Pascal Renard Art: Youri Jigounov
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Alpha: The Exchange

The spy is one of those mysterious figures within book, tv shows and movies, which intrigues their audiences because no one knows their true motive, but a select few. You can take the recently returned Game of Thrones, whose Master of Whispers, Varys, started off as another bureaucrat in the King’s Court, but ended up becoming one of the most formidable figures within the series. Then there is Live Schreiber’s John Clark in The Sum of All Fears, a spy who the director relies on heavily, to carry out the tasks no one else will. Then there is Joe Morton’s Rowan Pope in Scandal, a focused spymaster and sometimes operator, who knows when to be pragmatic when others choose to be idealistic.

Let us not forget one of the most enigmatic figures in manga and anime, Duke Togo, better known as Golgo 13, who is more a hired gun than operator, but does offer his services to various organizations within the intelligence community. Then there is Cristopher Chance of Human Target, a character very much like Duke Togo, but not as covert, but just as skilled a tactician. The daily lives of most intelligence operators involve month and years working a job, most of which is boring and may end up fruitless, but also can end up in some sticky situations. In this first volume of Cinebook’s Alpha, the reader delves one such mission.

The story opens on the abduction of a banker’s secretary, as a fortuitous meeting in Paris, has led the Russian Mob, and some financial institutions. The reader is then introduced to Assia Donkova, an art gallery manager, who mundane life gets distracted by a painter by the name of Julian Morgan, who she falls in love with instantly. We soon find out she is being followed by multiple people, as her connections are more than dubious, as she gets caught in a crossfire, during this meeting. By the end of this first volume, Morgan is a spy for the CIA, that goes by the code name, Alpha, and Assia, is more than what she seems as well.

Overall, a fun romp through of a cold war spy thriller, which will leave the reader on the edge of their seat, wondering exactly who each person really is. The story by Pacal Renard moves at a pace slow enough for the reader to get invested but fast enough for you know you are reading a spy thriller. The art by Youri Jiguonov harkens back to a time when sequential art was trying to find its place between realistic and cartoonish. Altogether, this reminds me of the old spy thrillers, which defined the term, “slow burn” and for good reason, as the payoff is the least of the joys, it is about  how the creators gets you invested into story is what make sit shine.

Story: Pacal Renard Art: Youri Jiguonov
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy