‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Haunted’ (2002) (Book review)

On my first reading of the “Angel” novel “Haunted” (February 2002), I probably wasn’t thrilled with the reality-TV focus. That was the era when a lot of good shows were being canceled to make room for cheaper and more profitable reality TV. Such fears seem silly today when there are more good scripted shows than ever.

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‘Valerian and Laureline’ flashback: ‘The Complete Collection, Volume 6’ (Comic book review)

Looking for a “Valerian” fix after last year’s movie, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” I’m delving into the comics that started it all, by Frenchmen Pierre Christin (writer) and Jean-Claude Mezieres (pencils and inks). “The Complete Collection, Volume 6” includes “Hostages of Ultralum” (1996), “Orphan of the Stars” (1998) and “In Uncertain Times” (2001).

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An outsider’s take on the ‘Halloween’ saga: ‘Halloween III: Season of the Witch’ (1982) (Movie review)

Although I’ve seen some of the “Halloween” films, I haven’t seen them recently enough to remember them. So this watch/rewatch of the saga marks my first time thinking about them as a movie reviewer. Armed with categories suggested by “Halloween” superfan Michael (Olinger, not Myers), here’s my review of the third entry, “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (1982).

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‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Barbary Coast’ (2010) (Comic book review)

The three-issue “Angel: Barbary Coast” (April-June 2010) is part of an unofficial trilogy of IDW comic stories where Angel has a soul but isn’t yet a contemporary hero. This one isn’t as strong as John Byrne’s “Blood & Trenches” and “Angel vs. Frankenstein,” but Byrne sets a high bar, so there’s no shame in that. Thanks to wonderful art by Franco Urru and an evocative portrayal of San Francisco at the time of the 1906 Earthquake, “Angel” fans might want to pick up “Barbary Coast.”

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An outsider’s take on the ‘Halloween’ saga: ‘Halloween II’ (1981) (Movie review)

Although I’ve seen some of the “Halloween” films, I haven’t seen them recently enough to remember them. So this watch/rewatch of the saga marks my first time thinking about them as a movie reviewer. Armed with categories suggested by “Halloween” superfan Michael (Olinger, not Myers), here’s my review of the second entry, “Halloween II” (1981).

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‘Hold the Dark’ blends striking Alaskan wilderness with a stark portrayal of evil (Movie review)

If you have patience on par with that of people carving out an existence in remote Alaska, “Hold the Dark” is a meditative blend of wilderness Earth porn and a serial-killer pursuit, loaded with talented actors. Although I heard about this Netflix movie from Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Horror Preview, viewers who look for scares or intense psychological drama will be disappointed. It definitely has violence, but if it’s a horror film, it’s also a war film and certainly a Western.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: ‘These Our Actors’ (2002) (Book review)

“These Our Actors” (September 2002) is everything a “Buffy” novel should be. Authors Ashely McConnell and Dori Koogler fill in a narrative gap from the TV show and turn supporting players – Spike and Willow – into main characters, allowing for a fresh perspective on things, rather than simply showing us they know the show’s rhythms (which they do).

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An outsider’s take on the ‘Halloween’ saga: ‘Halloween’ (1978) (Movie review)

Although I’ve seen some of the “Halloween” films, I haven’t seen them recently enough to remember them. So this watch/rewatch of the saga will mark my first time thinking about them as a movie reviewer. Armed with categories suggested by “Halloween” superfan Michael (Olinger, not Myers), here’s my review of the first entry, “Halloween” (1978).

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‘Valerian and Laureline’ flashback: ‘Time Jam’ episodes 31-40 (2008) (TV review)

In its final 10 episodes, “Valerian and Laureline: Time Jam” wraps up by riffing heavily on the “Star Wars” prequels, but it stands as its own thing thanks to its trademark bevy of wild ideas – many involving time travel, as the series fully embraces its title. And as had been telegraphed in the sitcom-esque bickering flirtation (or flirtatious bickering?) heading into the closing credits of many episodes, the saga’s final statement is about Valerian’s and Laureline’s relationship … although it’s not exactly what I hoped for.

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‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Blood & Trenches’ (2009) (Comic book review)

In his first entry in the Buffyverse, comics legend John Byrne delivers the quintessential vampires-and-war saga, “Angel: Blood & Trenches” (March-June 2009). Previous stories had touched on this idea. In the novel “Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row” (2000), vampires feast on soldiers in World War II and the Watchers’ Council sends a Slayer to thin the ranks of the undead. In the comic series “Spike vs. Dracula” (2006), Hitler recruits vampires to help his cause. The “Angel” episode “Why We Fight” (5.13) finds Angel and Spike thrown into WWII.

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