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Future Foundation #1

The weekend is almost here! What geeky things will you all be up to? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for the weekday to end and weekend to begin, here’s some geeky news from around the web.

Kotaku – Walmart Asks Employees To Remove Violent Video Game Signage – But the guns remain…

CBR – Agent Carter‘s Hayley Atwell Joins Agents of SHIELD Season 7 – Interesting…

Reviews

Talking Comics – Absolute Carnage #1
Newsarama –
DCeased #4
Newsarama –
Future Foundation #1
Newsarama –
Lois Lane #2
Newsarama –
Sinestro: Year of the Villain #1

Movie Review: Christopher Robin

christopher robin poster“Oh Pooh. You’re not a bear of very little brain. You’re a bear of humongous heart.”

Ewan McGregor as a middle-aged, overworked Christopher Robin says this to his former childhood toy, but he may as well have been describing this movie.  Heavy on sentiment and nonsense, light on plot or fresh character takes this isn’t a bad movie. It’s quite literally the cinematic equivalent of hugging your childhood stuffed animal or security blanket, remembering when times were simpler and having a twinge of midlife crisis.

The original Disney The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh begins with a narrator telling us “This could be the room of any small boy. But it just so happens to belong to a boy named Christopher Robin.” This movie — a live action sequel to the previous Pooh catalog — could be about the lost childhood of any middle aged man, but it just so happens to belong to a man named Christopher Robin. In post-war England, he finds himself under the thumb of a lazy and unscrupulous boss (Mark Gatiss) who forces him to work long hours and weekends — forgoing a planned holiday with his wife (the always lovely Hayley Atwell) and precocious daughter. This is familiar Disney material– father loses his way, and needs some magical element to help him reclaim his childhood wonder and imagination.

Meanwhile, deep in the Hundred Acre Wood of Christopher Robin’s childhood imagination, Pooh awakens after a long rest and can’t find his friends. Instead, he travels to London to fetch Christopher Robin from the tedium of planning an important meeting and off they go to find ‘Tigger, Kanga, Roo, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, and Rabbit. And of course, wackiness ensues, and they have t fight nasty heffalumps and woozles and learn to have childlike wonder again.

A lot of praise needs to go to Ewan McGregor for his work here, as the entire film rests on his shoulders. In much of the movie, it’s just him acting against an imaginary stuffed animal. He’s really charming and delightful, and the supporting cast are almost equally as god. The voice cast here playing the stuffed animals are also great. Legendary voice artist Jim Cummings basically is Pooh and Tigger, having inhabited these roles for decades now.  There’s also some brilliant casting of Brad Garrett as Eeyore and Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, but they are sadly underused as most of the film concentrates only on Christopher Robin and Pooh.

As stated previously, this is a script of very little brain, and very much predictability. But it’s pure, uncut Disney nostalgia straight from the source. For those who grew up with Pooh and are bringing their children or grandchildren to see this, you will enjoy this in direct relation to how much nostalgia you have for this particular property or classic Disney in general. It will generally feel like this movie was almost made more for adults than children– the message almost certainly is. And for true Disney superfans, stay through the credits to see and hear Richard Sherman (who co-write the original Pooh songs and half of the classic Disney songbook) perform a new song he wrote specifically for this film. He’ still got it.

Someone needed to remind these folks they were making a children’s movie, as the moral center seems more focused on shaming workaholic middle aged people. And the tone of the film for its first act is extremely dour. It finally picks up in predictable fashion and ends strong with a lot of heart. But with Paddington 2 having hit earlier this year, it’s unfortunate that Disney’s return to this familiar territory didn’t land better as it can’t stack up to the more charming sequel. There are also several Disney movies with this same basic idea, and this compares even less favorably against those.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Hayley Atwell, Star of Marvel’s Agent Carter, Comes to Baltimore Comic-Con!

Hayley AtwellCome to the Baltimore Comic-Con on September 2-4, 2016 at the Inner Harbor’s Baltimore Convention Center. The Baltimore Comic-Con has announced that the star of Marvel’s Agent CarterHayley Atwell is coming to the convention. She will be in attendance Sunday, September 4th only. Tickets for the show and Ms. Atwell are available now!

Hayley Atwell starred as Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger, acting as Steve Rogers’ benefactor and potential love interest before his plunge into the ice. She reprised the role in Marvel’s Agent Carter for two seasons. The show saw her star in the role of the feisty Agent Peggy Carter, the first series picking up a year after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, and followed Peggy Carter’s blossoming career as a secret agent. She also starred as Peggy in the Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter (the predecessor to the series), in flashbacks in Captain America: The Winter SoldierMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant Man.

Atwell will be seen later this year leading a stellar cast in ABC’s new drama series Conviction as a brilliant young attorney who happens to be the daughter of a former US President, blackmailed to head up LA’s new Conviction Integrity Unit. Created by Liz Friedlander, the series will also feature Emily Kinney, Fode Bangoura and Merrin Dungey alongside Atwell as its star.

Hayley was most recently seen in the Kenneth Branagh-directed Cinderella, in which she starred alongside Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, and Lily James. The film, which released in March 2015, was a live-action retelling of the classic fairy tale. She was seen as the lead female role in the John Ridley-directed Jimi Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side, alongside Imogen Poots and Andre 3000.

Hayley’s work in film is extensive. Hayley’s Bess Foster was the object of Ralph Fiennes’ Duke of Devonshire’s affections in 2008’s The Duchess. The same year, audiences saw Hayley in Brideshead Revisited alongside Emma Thompson, Matthew Goode, and Ben Whishaw. She also collaborated with Whishaw in Love/Hate, a short film which was awarded runner up in the 2009 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films. Her other film credits include the noir thriller feature I, Anna, and Nick Love’s film adaptation of the popular 70s TV series The Sweeney, in which Hayley played the female lead alongside Ray Winstone and Damian Lewis.

On television, Hayley won critical acclaim for her performance in the BBC’s The Line of Beauty, an adaptation of Alan Hollinghurst’s Booker Prize-winning novel. She appeared in the ITV remake of the 1960s cult classic The Prisoner,where she played Lucy alongside Ian McKellen and Ruth Wilson. Hayley received a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Performance by an Actress category for her outstanding performance in the Channel 4’s Pillars of the Earth based on Ken Follett’s novel. Her other television credits include Any Human HeartMansfield Park, Ruby in the Smoke, and Fear of FannyRestlessPlay House presents: The Man, and Life of Crime.

Hayley is also well-known as an accomplished stage actress. In September 2011, Hayley completed a run of The Faith Machine at the Royal Court Theatre. For the National Theatre, she played in Major Barbara and in Man of Mode. Hayley’s outstanding performance in the role of Catherine in A View from the Bridge earned her rave reviews and a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category at the 2009 Olivier Awards. Hayley has most recently been seen starring in Alexi Kaye Campbell’s Olivier Award-winning play The Pride.