CLUSTERF@#K! Review by Eugene Alejandro

Published by Alterna Comics’s FUBAR Press imprint (it’s listed as so in the beginning of the book if you read it on ComiXology like I did), CLUSTERF@#K! is a supernatural comedy about two private detectives named Karl and Jim who arrest and turn in an wizard named Dante, as well his Goatman henchman. Jim and Karl bring them to the station, and the leader of the station wants to question Dante in hopes he will find a very powerful item. When he believes that the Goatman is the key in finding the item, he of course wants him. Karl and Jim overhear this, and decide to bring the Goatman with them as they don’t trust their boss’s intentions. When this happens, the leader of the detective agency sends more agents after Karl, Jim, and the Goatman, and even makes a deal with a gang of Werewolves to find them as well. With agents and werewolves after them, Jim and Karl do what they can to protect the Goatman, and deal with the “CLUSTERF@#K!” thrown at them (hence the title).

The creator credits for CLUSTERF@#K! are Jon Parish (the writer), Nic J Shaw, Steven Forbes, Claudio Gaete, and Diego Toro (the artists with Diego Toro also being the inker), and Kote Carvajal (the colorist).

CLUSTERF@#K! is a fun and entertaining story as it works well as a comedy with supernatural elements in it with the both of those genres being used together with effort. Despite the big amount of foul language, and graphic violence in it, it all works with CLUSTERF@#K!’s tone because it shows that it’s not suppose to be taken seriously since it’s a comedy to begin with.

The artwork by all who made it that I mentioned earlier has a combination of the art styles of Cory Hamscher, and way some human characters look in Pixar films (at least in my opinion anyways). That style of art is a perfect fit for CLUSTERF@#K! as it helps show the plot’s humorous and lighthearted tone, while at the same time being a story for adults. Kote Carvajal’s coloring is also spectacular and blends with the art very well.

There are some parts of CLUSTERF@#K! that do feel a little bit predictable, but for the most part, the rest of the story does have a lot of clever twists and ideas in it, and the ending isn’t a blatant cliff-hanger, but there is a lot of ambiguity to it that I hope another story does happen.

So if you want to read a hilarious supernatural comic with detectives, werewolves, and demons in it, please purchase and read CLUSTERF@#K!

I give CLUSTERF@#K! Two Thumbs, and 4/5 Stars.

Suicide Squad Movie Review by Eugene Alejandro

Suicide Squad is a 2016 movie adaptation of the comic book series from DC of the same name about an anti-hero group that is forced to participate in missions or else they will be killed. The movie adaptation of the comics is directed and written by David Ayer, and stars Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leo as The Joker, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, and Karen Fukuhara as Katana.

While Suicide Squad is nowhere near as good as James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy (another movie about a team of characters with each of their own unique abilities and powers that has comedy in it), or as entertainingly funny in a good way as Tim Miller’s Deadpool, David Ayer’s Suicide Squad manages to be an entertaining movie in its own way without trying to act like another movie in the hopes of becoming successful.

The comedy in Suicide Squad works surprisingly well despite the story being about people forced to take orders or else they’ll be killed because David Ayer’s script did a solid enough job working in humor in order to help make the film fun for people to watch. There are some jokes that didn’t impress me, but there was enough good comedy that I didn’t mind the weak jokes.

The entire cast does a great job portraying each character thanks to David Ayer’s directing. Not only that, but in my opinion, each actor was well-casted as they do very much feel like how the characters in the comics would behave.

The special effects in the Suicide Squad film (both practical and computer) are fantastic and look very real. In my opinion though, I belief they would’ve been ever better to see in 3D, but the way I saw the film, I was at least satisfied with how the effects looked so I can’t really complain.

The soundtrack contains original music as well as already existing songs, and for what the soundtrack has to offer, it’s great to listen to. I really liked that the movie included Queen’s Bohemiam Rhapsody in it (that song is in one of the trailers so it’s not really a spoiler for anyone who’s reading this review).

My only nitpick with David Ayer’s Suicide Squad is that the story while not terrible, dull, and/or weak, doesn’t add anything too new to movies based on comics. I’m aware that I am reviewing a movie based on DC’s Suicide Squad comics, and that I shouldn’t be expecting a grand epic story, but I still felt that the plot for the Suicide Squad movie was just too simple.

In conclusion, Suicide Squad is a fun enough movie that I can recommend watching this year as it has it’s moments of good humor, and also a lot of cool action scenes. It’s also nice to finally see the characters in a live action motion picture.

I give the Suicide Squad movie 2 Thumbs Up, and 4/5 Stars.

Monster Hunt Review by Eugene Alejandro

Disclaimer: I watched the movie on Netflix which only has the Chinese language version with English subtitles. That means that this review will not be of the English Dub.

Directed by Dreamworks animator Raman Hui, Monster Hunt is a live action Chinese major motion picture with the monsters in the movie being CGI (Computer-Generated-Image), and is the second highest grossing Chinese film of all time (the film that currently took the spot of the highest grossing Chinese film of all time is Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid).

The plot of Monster Hunt is about a world in which Humans and Monsters co-existed together until the humans decided to get rid of the Monsters, and banish them into a land separate from the Human land. In the Monster Land, a civil war breaks out because the current king of the Monsters was killed and overthrown. The monster queen of the previous king flees the monster land while being pregnant along with her bodyguards because the new king believes that the child will overthrow him, and unite the humans and monsters again. The queen and her bodyguards escape to the human land, but two humans named Song Tianyin, and Hua Xiaolan end up getting involved in the situation, and now must protect the new future king of the monster race.

The best way that I can describe Monster Hunt is that it’s one of the cutest and weirdest movies I’ve ever seen that is no way horrible, but average at best.

Since this film is notable for its CGI monsters, I want to talk about the designs of the monsters and the quality of the CGI they have. The effects used to make the monsters come to life in this movie are done well as the quality of the CGI makes them look like they exist in the real world thanks to the texturing on them being solid, and the movement animation on them is also great with them running very fast, climbing, jumping, and some of them even doing martial arts techniques. The designs of the monsters however, is a mixed bag to me. To elaborate what I mean by saying that, is that while the designs aren’t horrible (in fact, some of them are very creative) some of the monster’s appearances do look like they were copied and pasted from other monster designs in the film (meaning that some monsters look too similar to others with only a few differences). In general, the special effects in Monster Hunt are decent enough to belong in a theatrically released film.

The directing and writing in Monster Hunt does have its moments of good storytelling, character development, and mixing humor into some serious moments well, but in my opinion, I found the story about the monsters to be superior to that of the humans because while I didn’t hate that the movie focused on the humans, I still preferred if the film was more about the monsters as their storyline was superior in my opinion.

There are three songs in the movie (two play during the film, while one plays at the credits), and I’ll say that I did enjoy listening to them as they are sung very well. While one of them is a random musical number, it’s still entertaining no less.

I mentioned earlier that this movie is weird. I want to clarify that by saying that there only some weird moments in the film that exist for comedy, but for what they are, they do not contradict that film’s overall tone. I also found that for a family film, some of the weird humor is a little bit adult, but not offensive.

The physical acting and voice acting is really good as all the actors give solid performances to their characters, and you can tell that they are having fun with their roles. The English subtitles that are provided by Netflix (which is where I saw the film), are worked into the movie very well, and don’t look cheap and/or rushed.

Since this is a martial arts film, I obviously have to talk about the martial arts in it. The martial arts scenes in Monster Hunt are very creative, and pulled-off well thanks to how the movie’s directed. If you are a fan of martial arts cinema, then you will like this movie as it has a lot of fun martial arts moments in it.

After all that I have said, Monster Hunt is a decent enough Chinese martial arts flick that I can recommend watching out of curiosity as it does have it’s good moments, and was clearly made with love and passion with good special effects and a solid story, but is in my honest opinion, an average movie.

I give Monster Hunt 3/5 Stars.

King: The Graphic Novel Review by Eugene Alejandro

Created by Joshua Hale Fialkov (the writer), Bernard Chang (the penciler and inker), and Marcelo Maiolo (the colorist), and published by Amazon’s comic book publishing imprint Jet City Comics, King is about a character literally named King who believes that he is the last human on Earth as the world he is currently living in is a post-apocalyptic mess inhabited by many strange animal-human hybrids, a religious robot cult, and many other weird looking people and animals. He is given a mission to look for and retrieve “The Life Seed”, only to discover there is much more to his mission than expected and realized.

In my opinion, King is the comic book equivalent of the 2015 short film Kung Fury in regards to its tone because King’s story is very fun with a lot of good humor, ridiculous ideas that work, and a good balance of comedy, fantasy, and sci-fi for a post-apocalyptic story that are all mixed together well thanks to Joshua Hale Fialkov’s awesome writing. For the story that is only 5 issues long (the King Graphic Novel is a collection of the 5 issues of the same name), all the characters major and minor are all very likeable and memorable, and each one has a very unique and creative design to them (another thanks to that goes to the great writing by Joshua Hale Fialkov).

Bernard Chang’s artwork is a joy to the eyes because all the characters and backgrounds are illustrated with huge amounts of great detail, they all appear very creative, unique, and original, and a lot of the scenes that involve action are also fun to look at as Bernard Chang’s artwork is the perfect fit for a story like this. The animals are also impressive to look at thanks to his art.

The coloring by Marcelo Maiolo is some of the greatest comic book coloring I have ever seen. The colors are very vibrant, clear, and match perfectly with Bernard Chang’s pencils and inks. Marcelo Mailo’s coloring is also a very good example of how colors can affect the artwork (and make it look good).

The only nitpick that I have with King (and I do mean the only nitpick) is that it’s too short of a story (with it only being 5 issues). I really loved the universe that it presented, and I hope more stories set in it happen as it’s very creative, new, and unique for comic book storytelling that also has a good sense of humor.

Joshua Hale Fialkov, Bernard Chang, and Marcelo Maiolo have accomplished what a comic book creative team should always do and that is create a new story set in a very fascinating universe with awesome characters, awesome writing, awesome artwork, and awesome colors that not only grace the post-apocalyptic genre, but the rest of the genres it has, and I’ll even go as far as to say that because of all that, it deserves all the Eisner Awards it can possibly earn.

I give King 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.