Showtime Sunday’s Abscence

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Sorry for the long absence of Showtime Sunday’s guys. Our schedules here at On Request Magazine have been chaotic as of late, and keeping up with Showtime’s Dexter and new hit drama Ray Donavon have been difficult. Let me give you a run-down on what’s been happening thus far, and then hopefully we’ll be able to stay on top of this stuff better.

Dexter has seen everyone’s favorite serial killer struggling big time with his sister, Deb, who has become seriously messed up after being forced to shot LaGuerta instead of her brother at the end of last season. Deb, (whose portrayal by actress Jennifer Carpenter is greatly underrated and deserves some Emmy love, which was lacking this year as a whole right along with Michael C. Hall’s performance as Dexter and the show as a whole), has been drinking, doing drugs, and even quit the department. Dexter, unable to handle his sister spiraling out of control, has been struggling as she has completely cut him out of her life. Also, as an added stress, Hall is dealing with a new serial killer in Miami, dubbed the Brain Surgeon, and learns that an FBI psychologist, Dr. Evelyn Vogel, has come to Dexter, saying she knows about his secret life and is the one who helped Harry come up with the Code that Dexter has followed all his life.

Meanwhile, on Ray Donavon, the freshman drama finds Liev Schrieber playing Ray, a fixer for the elite class in Hollywood, whose life is turned upside down when his criminal father is released from prison, and comes to L.A. to stir up trouble for Ray. Ray, having put his father in prison, struggles as he finds his wife and kids drawn to their grandfather and father-in-law, hoping to build a relationship with him when Ray’s father claims to seek penance with his son. Also duped into believing him is Ray’s brothers, one who struggles with Parkinson’s Disease, another who struggles greatly after being sexually abused as a child by a priest, and a new brother whom he learns he has who is half African-American. On top of this, one of the women Ray has helped begins making sexual advances on him, and he must deal with both his lover, his wife and kids, his twisted family, and the problems of the rich in L.A. This show has quickly become a new hit on Showtime, and looks to fill a big void that will be left when Dexter airs it’s final episode.

Hopefully we can get back to watching these great shows regularly, but no matter what, watch Dexter and Ray Donavon Sunday’s on Showtime.

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Comic-Con Recap

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Well everyone, this weekend was the most popular convention this year, Comic-Con 2013. This year was filled to the brim with exciting news in various entertainment outlets, including film, television, gaming, and of course, comics. Here are the biggest highlights from the convention.

Television:

Some big announcements came to the convention for fan favorite shows. The cast of Arrow was there to announce the arrival of new characters, including claw-wielding assassin Bronze Tiger and possibly Black Canary, along with the amazing Summer Glau as a CEO at odds with Oliver Queen. The action packed trailer showed off new gear for Oliver and a willingness to become more than just a vigilante, with a new name to accompany it, and a tagline which states, City of Heroes.

News poured in from all networks about their shows and the new plot twists to come, but the CW really dominated this year, with big plans for their shows, including one spin-off show already airing and another spin-off show in the works. The Vampire Diaries, Nikita, Supernatural, and more arrived at the convention, with news on The Originals coming out and a possible Supernatural spin-off show in the works, and needless to say, fans were alight with delight at the news from the cult shows.

Marvel:

Marvel studios had a ton of announcements come out this year, including the panels from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Footage of Captain America fighting an elevator full of thugs in his new costume and speaking with Nick Fury and Robert Redford’s character. Fans also got a look at The Falcon, played by the brilliant Anthony Mackie, in full gear and sporting the Falcon wings. Tom Hiddleston showed up in full Loki gear and character, addressing the crowd in full demigod mode and showcasing new footage of Thor and the battle against the Dark Elves in the second film coming later this year, and then Jame Gunn and his crew arrived with the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Benicio Del Toro as the villainous The Collector. Also announced was the character Ronan the Acusor, which is a villain associated with the infamous Kree Empire. Concept art for Guardians of the Galaxy was released, showcasing the unique cast of individuals who must become heroes against a cosmic threat.

The biggest announcement came when Joss Whedon came on stage, and showcased the new logo for The Avengers 2, which will have the subtitle, Age of Ultron. Ultron is one of the biggest Avengers villains to date, having been created by Ant-Man hero Hank Pym to be a force for good, but instead overwriting it’s programming to become a killing machine hellbent on destroying the world. This announcement was an unexpected surprise, and we cannot wait to see the new origins of the villain and how the Avengers will have to battle the threat.

X-Men:

Another epic announcement came from FOX Studios and Marvel when the entire cast of X-Men: Days of Future’s Past came on stage. Bringing together every X-man character in the cinematic universe together once again and even adding new characters like Bishop and Peter Dinklage’s character, which we believe is Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels. Seeing this massive cast together was amazing, especially when the newer cast from X-Men: First Class joined the rest of the group and we saw the best at what he does himself, Wolverine, join the stage, it was a true work of art in the making. 2014 is going to be an amazing cinematic year.

Spider-Man:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 showed off an amazing look at Jamie Fox’s Electro, a being of pure energy who clashes with Spidey this time around. The bold new look mixed with footage of a comic, at the top of his game Spider-Man making jokes as he fights thugs made for an awesome panel. Looking to feature Paul Giammati briefly as The Rhino, Chris Cooper as Norman Osbourne, Dane DeHaan as Harry Osbourne, and of course the beautiful Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey, this film has been given a breath of fresh air by the amazing performance of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, who captures the youthful and jokeful spirit of Spider-Man while bringing heart and soul to the tragic circumstances of Peter Parker’s life.

DC:

While details remain scarce, DC and Warner Bros. had the upper hand this year, when three titles were announced for the upcoming years. The sequel to Man of Steel, much to every fans delight, will feature a Batman/Superman story. Taking a quote from The Dark Knight Returns comic book arch, actor Harry Lennix, along with director Zach Snyder, announced that Batman would be facing off against Superman when the film begins. This makes perfect sense to us, because although both are heroes and will surely become allies in the end, each one of them inhabits the opposite ends of the hero spectrum. Superman is the embodiment of hope and light, while Batman uses fear and the dark to strike terror into his enemies. While details remain scarce at this time, we hope we also see the likes of Lex Luthor, along with a possible Batman foe such as Joker, Riddler, or even another Superman foe such as Brainiac. Many have suggested Darkseid, but he would best fit in a Justice League film, which it was announced is slated for a release in the next few years, along with a film about superhero The Flash. Despite the lack of details about casting or plot, DC won the year at Comic Con with the announcement of their two biggest heroes sharing the spotlight for the very first time in cinematic history. This has been every fans dream for years, and with the amazing job done in Man of Steel, we cannot wait to see what the future holds in store for Superman and Batman, which will surely lead into the path of a Justice League team-up.

Kingdom Hearts 3/Marvel/Starwars teamup?

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I just have to say, in my personal opinion, i would love to see some of the Marvel or Lucasfilm franchises enter into the Kingdom Hearts saga with Kingdom Hearts 3. I think a cool world where the Avengers, with Sora and CO., must battle Loki or some other foe and their heartless army would be awesome, as would a Star Wars level that had Luke and Sora teaming up to save Princess Leia with Han and Chewie while fighting Darth Vader and the heartless. Vader serves the Dark Side, which is another way of saying the darkness, so we’re already halfway there.  This is just my personal opinion. What does everyone else think?

Man of Steel Review

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Today, we here at On Request magazine were able to finally see the highly successful Man of Steel film. I have personally always been a fan of the original Superman film with Christopher Reeve, even with its comic plot and characters, and I never expected to find a modern day Superman film that would outshine that film and become the cult classic that the original has become. However, Man of Steel accomplished that feat.

Starring Henry Cavil as the iconic Clark Kent, a.k.a. Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Michael Shannon as the powerful General Zod, Man of Steel has officially taken the title of best superhero film of all time. Featuring some of the best casting in a film I’ve ever seen, the film followed Clark as he went on a journey of discovery to learn who he was, and where he came from. The film beautifully told the story of how Jor-El and his wife Laura sacrificed their lives to save Kal-El from the decaying planet of Krypton and the corrupt military leader, Zod. Russell Crowe’s portrayal of Jor-El, along with Keven Costner’s portrayal of Clark’s adoptive father Jonathan Kent, gave the film some of the more emotional stories that a comic book film has ever had, while Shannon’s portrayal of the mad leader Zod was haunting and heartbreaking all at once, because although his actions were horrid and monstrous indeed, he did them because he truly believed he was saving his people, and he believed that only by sacrificing the lives of humanity could he achieve that. Clark must discover the power he wields within himself as Zod attacks Earth, determined to remake Krypton on Clark’s adopted planet.

The action of this film had the same level of intensity and scope of Marvel’s The Avengers. I love Marvel and the work they are doing with their characters, notably the Avengers. However, for DC to have the first film in a planned movie universe they are building hold the same level of action and depth that the combined forces of the Avengers had speaks volumes about Zack Snyder, David S. Goyer, and producer Christopher Nolan’s vision and understanding of how powerful and emotional the comic book world can truly be. The music was truly breathtaking, with Hans Zimmer truly capturing the essence of each scene as it played out throughout the course of the film, and the special effects brought to life one of the most realistic looking Superman films around.

Now, what i have to say next deals with the end of the film and the allusions to other DC comics references, so if you don’t want to know anything specific about the film, do not read ahead. SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!

OK, don’t say i didn’t warn you. Now the end of the film, after Superman and Lois Lane, (with the help of the US Military), have banished Zod’s forces to the Phantom Zone, and have destroyed the terraforming machines that would created Krypton on Earth and give birth to hundreds of new Kryptonians, a broken and soulless Zod begins to fight Superman. Tearing through the city of Metropolis, we see Zod with his advanced military training go toe-to-toe with the hero as he threatens to destroy every human on the planet to avenge his lost planet. Throughout the battle, we see many references to other characters, such as Lex Luthor’s LexCorp logo throughout the city and Bruce Wayne’s Wayne Tech logo on a satellite in space.

This fight is one of the best fight scenes on film to date. The brutality of Zod intermingled with Clark’s desperation to stop Zod and save the remaining people of Metropolis not only makes for good action, but really gives an in-depth look into the struggle a man like Superman must go through while in battle. Finally, Superman holds Zod down in a subway station, but must make a hard decision when Zod uses his heat vision to threaten a group of innocent civilians. Clark pleads with him not to do this, but all Zod will say is, “Never.” In one of the more controversial but in my opinion much needed plot twists, Clark is forced to snap General Zod’s neck in order to stop him, killing the infamous villain. The horror and sadness at having to kill the last remaining connection to his home-world and his people that overcomes Clark’s face is so tragic, and to see him being held and comforted by Lois as he kneels by Zod’s corpse just tugs at the heart-strings.

Ending with a satisfying look at the continuation of the series, with Clark taking a job at the Daily Planet with Lois, it was comforting to see some of the changes made to the story as a whole. Not only did Lois learn who Clark was very early in the film, but to see Clark start off as a drifter looking for answers to who he was rather than throw him into the role of a bumbling reporter right away was refreshing. A hero like Superman, who has the entire weight of the world on his shoulders, needs to have someone he loves, who he can talk to and rest his head on their shoulders when times are tough, much like he did with Lois after killing Zod. Despite his origins, he is only human, so to speak, and he cannot be the hero the world needs if he is not allowed to experience love, warmth, and a sense of belonging. With nods to villains such as Lex Luthor and heroes such as Batman alluding to a larger universe, this film was beautifully done, and warrants multiple sessions if you can afford to. This film may very well become the film of the year for On Request Magazine. Go see it in theaters before it’s too late, and look for information on a DVD/Blu-Ray release when it becomes available.