Author: By Albert Burdge

Star Wars: The Last Jedi


“An Instant Classic. This is Star Wars at it’s best!”
-Albie TOTLB.com
 
The Last Jedi is visually stunning. It’s very well written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper 2012). The action only slows to give you time to think and grieve when needed. With a running time of  
 
Spoilers Below…
 
 
 
When walking out of the theater after hearing the John Williams score over the credits, there was a lot to process. Character Arcs have begun, others have progressed and a big one has ended. Rey was still the star of the film, but this episode belongs to Mark Hamill.
The people and Droids we love are back. C-3PO and R2 have their moments, including a touching one with Luke, but BB-8 is the one that kicks some serious ass. I think BB-9E was there just to add to merchandise maybe, we’ll see how important he is to the universe later perhaps, so I’m giving that a pass.
It was odd to see Chewie without Han although he was given more than I thought he would be this time out, including a message about veganism perhaps, but done in the cutest of ways. The Porgs are super cute, needed comic relief and the only reason my 5-year-old daughter wants to see the film.

Finn is the anchor of the film, the piece that ties everything together, and also has his bit of adventure and, shall we say sparks with Rose Tico, played by the amazing breakout star Kelly Marie Tran. A Lower Decks type that gets pulled into the main action and is integral to the survival of the Rebels. I wasn’t expecting her arc to go the way it did, but I was so satisfied as it unfolded.  

Leia’s exit in the film combined with the real-life loss of Carrie Fisher had a lump in my throat, and tears on my face early on. It was a moment of gravitas that we were waiting for and dreading at the same time. The force is strong with her.  I was glad to see that there was no computer generated Leia this time, to my knowledge anyway, I was fooled with CGI Tarkin in Rogue One. It will be interesting how the loss will be dealt with in the next film.
Rey and Kylo Ren’s story was absolutely a middle, which is a thing that can normally hurt a part two in a trilogy, but they were given enough development, action, and twists that at one point make you want to stand and yell “Fuck Yeah!”
All I can say is Ben is a liar, he lied to Rey and I expect it to come out in Episode IX. Rey (Daisy Ridleygives this movie the heart it needs to make it more than the sum of its parts.  She has strength, beauty, and grace, a role model for us all to aspire to. Job well done.

 
Oscar Isaac‘s Poe shows this time out what can happen when you act without having all the information one needs. His arc, along with Finn and Rose, is integral to the if/than this of the bigger plot of the Rebellion vs The Empire, and how they may not be so different at all. This story in some ways is a mirror to our current interesting times of would-be dictators putting their ego and wants ahead of the needs of their people (cough, Supreme Leader Snoke, cough, Pussy Grabber). I have given a lot of crap to Star Wars for being hand-wavy fantasy, but the allegory here has earned, for me at least, it’s placed alongside the best Science Fiction. 

 
Even More Spoilers Below…
For Real…
 
 
 

 
The completion of Luke’s arc was extremely satisfying and unexpected. Just the thought of us as a people experiencing this character’s life in real time, a boy in 1977, who lived in our homes and our hearts for the past four decades has come to the end of his life in much the same way as Obi-Wan did, really makes you think. For me the writing of Luke’s ending and Star Wars: The Last Jedi as a whole by Rian Johnson and the performance by Mark Hamill (Oscar material) was done so well it gives me a greater understanding of cyclical nature of life, the need for it to be so, and hope that we may all, in our own way, make a difference.
5/5 Stars
 
 

Who is Albie?

TOTLB 072 Strange Bedfellows

totlb-916-300
What is going on Longbox listeners!! October is ALWAYS a crazy month, and that is why this is late, but that won’t stop us from having 2 episodes out this month!!! There is a DELUGE of friends who join us for this episode!! On the first half of the episode, where we talk about all of the miscellaneous news, we have 2 guests join us! We are joined by Tim Huskey, artist extraordinaire, and Doyle Daniels, one of our amazing patreon supporters!! In the last half of the episode, during the #popcultureclassic segment, we speak with Dayna Himot, from the Not Sufferin’ Sapphos podcast, plus John Clyde Still from the Old Still Radio show!
Our #popcultureclassic for this show is the amazingly horrible, Phantasm!! While Gabe tries to convince us all that the tall man, and this movie, are amazing, the rest of us remember otherwise. John Clyde Still tries to get to know Dayna a little bit more, and other randomness infect this segment!! But, we do remember this movie with fond memories, and that is about as far as the “fondness” goes.
 
We have one amazing interview, with returning guest, Allison O’Toole! Her love for monsters, and ours, brings her back for round 2, talking about her project, Wayward Sisters! This anthology was a crowd funding success, with 128% funding!! “Wayward Sisters celebrates lady and non-binary monsters who are indelicate, impolite, and irresponsible. 25 different stories, and 38 different writers, ALL about different monsters, I promise you’ll fall in love!!
Remember, you can ALWAYS let us know what you think! We can only think of so many things to talk about every other week, and would LOVE to get some feedback and ideas from all of you out there who are listening!! You can send mp3s and email to our email address. Also, join the conversations on our Facebook Page and Twitter Page. Also, if you have good feedback, please leave it for us on iTunes and Stitcher!! That’s one way to help us climb the ranks into podcast glory!! You can ALSO leave us voicemail!!! Call the Michael Kuyrk memorial 970-573-6148 and leave us a hilarious message!!!
Hall of Justice Comics & Collectibles
Our Stitcher
Our iTunes
Patreon
Amazon
Credit – Jonthan Garnett, Juan Muro, Gabe Llanas

Jigsaw (2017)

Jigsaw, you got me.
-Albie   TOTLB.com


Am I a fan of the Saw movies? Not really. Have I watched all the films? Yes. So maybe I am a fan, and I just didn’t realize it. I love a mystery and I was stumped until the very last moment.
Spoilers ahead…
 
I spent the first half of the movie trying to figure out who done it. I came to the conclusion that everyone did it, then no one did it, then I just gave up and enjoyed.
Jigsaw John Kramer is back! But how?!? I won’t tell you in even this spoiler review. Let’s just say that’s part of the mind fuck.
This time it’s personal. John Kramer punishes people who directly hurt him or someone he knew or cared about.  Dare I say these characters may have had it coming? All they have to do is admit what they did and take responsibility. Will they? Probably not. Bring on the latex and red Karo syrup.
A lot of gore, some violence, no nudity (one silicone nipple) but mostly just suspense then gross and repeat.
If you’ve seen the other saw movies, absolutely go see this one. If you are new to the franchise, I’d have a mini movie marathon before you watch this one.
3.5/5 stars 
An extra .5 for the novel approach to the concept of this installment.
 

Who is Albie?

Happy Death Day (2017)

More than walk of shame meets Groundhog Day.
-Albie
TOTLB.com
Happy Death Day staring Jessica Rothe, written by Scott Lobdell and directed by Christopher Landon on the surface is just a collage girl stuck in an endless time loop that starts over and over waking up in some unknown conquest’s dorm room every morning after she’s been killed later that night. But at its heart, it’s much more.

Spoilers ahead…
When we first meet Tree (Rothe) this main character is an angry person who acts like a bitch to everyone that is seemingly beneath her. A strange way to start off a movie. It’s a little off-putting, but this is a redemption story in much the same way as A Christmas Carol is for Ebenezer, but done in a Groundhogian way.
This is a murder mystery in the vain of D.O.A (1950), Tree knows she has been killed, her mission becomes finding out who done it and stop it from happening again and again. Before it’s too late…
Too late because this has a clever device written in. Her injuries are cumulative, obviously reduced or she wouldn’t wake up to her “It’s your birthday” ringtone every day. To get killed on your birthday sucks, but if you are born on your mothers birthday and she has passed, you may be able to restart the game we call life?
We find out why Tree is such a nasty person when we find out about her mom’s death and how she’s avoiding her dad and basically life itself. She is being self-destructive and also thinks that all people want her for is sex. When she finds out that Carter (Israel Broussard) didn’t let Tree have her way with him while she was drunk, that’s the moment when she lets her gaurd down and is open to a world that is not as cruel as she thinks.
Suspects are a plenary here, and we usually find out who didn’t do it when they get killed themselves. I figured out the mystery about halfway through, then when it was revealed I was wrong, I was confused and stuck to my original conclusion. The ending did not disappoint.
The false finishes were well done, my favorite was probably the Buffy, and Sixteen Candles endings.
There was nothing that struck me wrong about the film, all I’d say is if you haven’t heard of Chekhov’s gun, don’t look it up before you see this film.
It is very well written, and the acting never came across as such. It passes the Bechdel test at times. And Yay! For the Love is Love nod.
Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard are good castings. I felt the connection. Rothe is an amazing lead, someone, after the initial abrasive attitude, you want to follow along with and see this world through her eyes.
A theory I have is when we first see Tree wake up it’s not her first time around. Clues are that her head hurts, yes that could be a hangover as easily as a bludgeoning, but on the viewers’ second loop through Tree is slow to catch on to what is actually happening to her. Also, the Universal logo resets two times before the film begins which got an audible response from the audience I saw this with.
If you are a Sci-Fi time travel nerd like myself and want to see a film about a woman getting stronger on her journey to becoming kind, this is the movie for you (us).
4/5 stars. I’ll buy the Blu Ray as long as there is a commentary. It’s a great date night movie too, check it out while you can.
** for more on Time loops, check this out 112263-bonus-episode-6-time-loops

Who is Albie?

Blade Runner 2049

This universe expanding Sci-Fi Noir sets a whole new standard in filmmaking.
Every shot is a masterpiece.
– Albie TOTLB.com

I am a fan of Blade Runner (1982). That’s to say I’ve owned it on almost every form of media it has been released on and watched it more times than I could count. So many different versions, so much bonus content, you can really get lost in the film and the universe around it for days at a time.

 
I had hoped for the best for 2049 but had prepared myself for the worst.
Spoiler review ahead…
Holy Shit was I impressed. I was figuratively blown away.  There is always a danger when going back into such a well-loved mythos like Blade Runner that there are just way too many ways to shit the bed and there is never a way to make everyone happy. Director Denis Villeneuve pulled it off in a big way.
The feel was right. The story made sense, and most importantly the movie stood on its own.  When the house lights came up as I watched the credits, I was asking myself if I liked it too much? Was I betraying my love of the original by actually enjoying this film more? Was it even okay to like 2049 so much when it was just a sequel? I’m here to say, It’s more than okay indeed.
This was a different story in the same universe as the original Harrison Ford classic, but knowing the first one well, I think makes the experience that much more enjoyable. I recommend watching Blade Runner:  The Final Cut if you can before seeing 2049.
When I say the same universe, I mean an alternate or parallel universe than our Cheeto dust scrotum timeline.  A world where flatscreen computer monitors were never a thing, people aren’t bumping into things while on their iPhones. I love this because as 2019 will be quickly upon us, the original movie is in no way invalidated.
Ryan Gosling really does carry this entire film on his shoulders and does it well. This might be a career-defining role for him. We see this world through his eyes, his replicant eyes in his search to discover if he has a soul or is greater than the sum of his programming. We see some old favorites along the way. Harrison F’ing Ford is only in the last third of the movie, but the quality of acting makes up for the lack of time we see him. I’m not sure if Sean Young was Robert Downey Jr.ed or Princess Leiaed, It was that good.
The only thing I didn’t like was Jared Leto, I’m not sure why he just seemed out of place. I think I couldn’t buy him as the character because he’s just Jared Leto. I’m sure he was amazing, but it just didn’t click for me.
The sound on this film was the best I’ve heard in a while, whoever did the mix on this film should win an oscar. See and hear it in the theater while there is still time.
This is a must buy on Blu Ray when it’s released, I’m hoping for 5 discs and a 4k version in a flying sunroof or a wooden horse maybe?
Speaking of… That little wooden horse, what does it represent? Is it meant to hide something inside? Like the secret of the N7s? Or was it a unicorn with a broken off horn? I must watch this film, again and again, to fully grasp it I think, I’m up for the challenge.
 5/5 Stars

Who is Albie?

 
Make your own papercraft horse from Blade Runner 2049 thanks to K.

Here are the templates: from K‘s site
PDF template with colored flaps – this will result in a more beautiful model, as the flaps continue the color of the adjacent faces, but the numbers on the flaps are difficult to read. I suggest using this template and having a printout of the one with white flaps ready for reference.
PDF template with white flaps – this one has white flaps which possibly show in the final model.
And just in case you want to 3D print it, here is the STL file.
 

TOTLB 068 Colorado Springs Comic Con

totlb-916-300
Hello everyone!! Episode 68 comes to you all the way from our beautiful camper in the Colorado Springs forests!! This is our coverage of Colorado Springs Comic Con!!
This is our second year at this event, working as press! The event was a HUGE success for a second year con! They recently upgraded the space, which already seemed to be outgrown by the attendee’s!! We stayed in a camper during the entire event, so this is our coverage of this event, in the camper!! PLUS, you get 12 amazing interviews that we did on the showroom floor!!
The interviews are as follows:
51:14 – Rot Town Comics
56:28 – Ben Worrell (Sheath Comics)
1:08:15 – Jessica Barnes (Fish With a Top Hat)
1:20:56 – Thomas Elliot (Sixpence Games)
2:21:06 – Derek Riggs
2:33:50 – Rags Morales
2:51:12 – Nathanial Hamel
3:06:11 – Pepper Deluca (Peppercopia Publishing)
3:25:23 – Rob Guillory
3:39:08 – Jim Shooter
3:56:48 – Julia Jamiel (Ill Jules)
4:12:03 – Jim Mahfood
Remember, you can ALWAYS let us know what you think! We can only think of so many things to talk about every other week, and would LOVE to get some feedback and ideas from all of you out there who are listening!! You can send mp3s and email to our email address. Also, join the conversations on our Facebook Page and Twitter Page. Also, if you have good feedback, please leave it for us on iTunes and Stitcher!! That’s one way to help us climb the ranks into podcast glory!! You can ALSO leave us voicemail!!! Call the Michael Kuyrk memorial 970-573-6148 and leave us a hilarious message!!!
Hall of Justice Comics & Collectibles
Our Stitcher
Our iTunes
Patreon
Amazon
Credit – Jonthan Garnett, Juan Muro, Gabe Llanas

The (brain) Cloud


The cloud or collecting? Today everything is available on demand on any device we happen to have. Siri plays any song we ask her to on Apple Music, we spend more time choosing than watching on Netflix. If we missed our TV show last night Hulu has it today without any commercials. Amazon Prime has anything the others don’t. We can even get our pull on ComiXology. We are living in the best of times when it comes to our ability to enjoy our free time and geekdom.
I will not say it was better in the pre-portable on demand era, but we are missing something.
Focus. We have too much choice. I know what you’re saying (Bear is driving) “But how can that be?”
With our ability to be able to watch, listen, or read anything at any time, we miss so much of the experience of what went into the making of what we enjoy. It’s an embarrassment of riches.
Most of us here being comic book guys remember the experience as a kid of going to the local comic shop and seeing the newest issue of a favorite comic, picking it up ever so gently, placing it on the counter and buying it. Bringing it home and putting everything else aside and focusing on that comic that day. Appreciating the cover, the tactical sensation of holding it in your hands and even the smell of the paper and the ink. Reading every word, enjoying every panel. Looking at the ads for X-Ray Specs made of cardboard and red dyed feathers and imagining being able to see through your second-grade teacher’s clothes without her knowing, other than the big words “X-Ray Specs” on the front. Then back to the story, and even finishing up with the letters at the end. Maybe even read it a second time.
The same could be said for a new album. With LP’s and cassettes we pretty much listened to the whole recording from start to finish as the artist intended. With compact discs, we had the ability to skip around and shuffle or just repeat the songs we liked. Now that music is just floating in the wi-fi enabled air we listen to singles, what’s hot and trendy sometimes never listening to a whole album.
Instant gratification has made our attention spans wane. It has also, in its attempt to be more convenient has made us more stressed out. When The Facts of Life was on, if we didn’t watch it, we didn’t see it. So we made time for it because who would want to miss the episode where Jo Polniaczek would finally come out. Now we can watch whatever, whenever, so we watch it tomorrow. So we overcommit ourselves and sometimes tomorrow never comes at all.
Some of you may remember going to rent a movie. It was an event. The new movies came out on Tuesday, you would ask a potential significant other out to the video rental place, we’d spend about an hour looking through the shelves, finding the perfect movie, and a backup. The smell of artificialy buttered popcorn and Twizzlers had us impulse buy the overpriced concessions at the register. All the while hoping you wouldn’t get to see the end of the movie at all. Blockbuster and chill anyone?
The new way isn’t all bad. We have so much more access to the wealth of human knowledge. We can literally learn everything we would at college online for free and even get a degree. In the before time, most of us did reports on things that started with the letter A because that was the cheap volume of the encyclopedia at the grocery store. There was no B-Z, they were too expensive.
I personally have gone from a hoarder to a purger. Physical copies of books or any type of media can take up a lot of room. Shelves and shelves of everything ever read, watched or even listened to. It takes up a lot of space.
Now all you really need is an iPhone and a place to sit. I’m still slightly old school and like a big ass TV, an iPad, an e-reader, and my iPhone. What will we do with shelves now? Maybe this might set the stage for knickknacks to make a comeback?
Remember, we don’t have the limitations that made us enjoy like we did, but we still have the ability to focus. To make that what we love important again. Listen to the whole album, read that comic, watch a tv show live, sit on a park bench and read a book.

“Too much of anything, Lieutenant, even love, isn’t necessarily a good thing.”
– James T Kirk

<3 Albie 20170526CE

For more on Albie go to Albie.ws

TOTLB 061 Free Comic Book Day 2017

totlb-916-300
Hi all!! Our 61st episode comes from Hall of Justice Comics & Collectibles, where we celebrated FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!
Special guest hosts, Dominic “DomPee’s” Pacheco, and Michael “midget porn” Kuyrk, join me for this awesome event, as Gabe was celebrating the birthday of his youngest daughter!
Our pick for this recording’s #popcultureclassic is the 2003 comic book, Superman: Red Son. This book is all about the ramifications, of what would have happened, had Superman landed in Russia, instead of the United States. Is he a bad guy? Does he still want what is best for humanity? It’s a really good read, and we have some pretty cool opinions on the book!
No “official” interviews for this episode, but we did speak to some of the artists that were on hand. Frankie Serna told us about his Denver Comic Con kickoff party, and a small amount of information about his new book with Herb. Herb spoke to us mostly about this book, which is about a soldier who can never “die.” It’s a 3-5 year story, and we are super excited to see how it unfolds!! We also spoke to many of the awesome attendee’s, and our smallest listener, Marika, makes a special appearance!
Remember, you can ALWAYS let us know what you think! We can only think of so many things to talk about every other week, and would LOVE to get some feedback and ideas from all of you out there who are listening!! You can send mp3s and email to our email address. Also, join the conversations on our Facebook Page and Twitter Page. Also, if you have good feedback, please leave it for us on iTunes and Stitcher!! That’s one way to help us climb the ranks into podcast glory!! You can ALSO leave us voicemail!!! Call the Michael Kuyrk memorial 970-573-6148 and leave us a hilarious message!!!
Hall of Justice Comics & Collectibles
Our Stitcher
Our iTunes
Patreon
Amazon
Credit – Jonthan Garnett, Juan Muro, Gabe Llanas

Th1rteen R3asons why I couldn't stop watching (non-spoiler review)


I’m getting to the age that high school dramas don’t really relate to me and my life, but 13RW was recommended by my wife and her friend. Those two ladies have good taste, and I love a good Netflix marathon just like anyone else so I gave it one episode to hook me, unfair to any new show, but after the first episode, I was hooked.
The series, based on the novel by Jay Asher and produced by Selena Gomez is intriguing, to say the least. I had heard the buzz and thought why would I want to watch a show about a girl who commits suicide? Some are saying it glorifies it even. I would hate for that to be the case, if we lost one young person that may be inspired by this show, it would be one too many. I didn’t want to judge a show by its thumbnail (remember the Gilmore Girls fiasco?) so I went in with an open mind.
The story is told to us through a series of 7 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) as a sort of suicide note/mystery game that presumably 13 people have to listen to and pass on to the next person in the sequence all the while being watched over by a mysterious Joe Cool type named Tony (Christian Navarro) and being obsessed over by the previous listeners. We jump in on Clay’s (Dylan Minnette) turn to listen. Unlike the others listeners, Clay listens very slowly, luckily for us to stretch it out to 13 episodes.
Immediately I get this Veronica Mars vibe without the cheese mixed with the drawn out mystery of Reunion. Events of the past and present play out simultaneously and overlap, which forces audiences to engage their brain, put their phone down and get sucked in. For me, the only problem I had getting into it was the whole high school full of 27-year-old students, but once I accepted it, there was no turning back.

Hannah’s mom played perfectly by the amazing Kate Walsh carries the bulk of the grief and gravitas of the situation that is this story. Without which everything wouldn’t be as important as it is while watching. The biggest mystery for the first half of the series is how could the one person who seems to have her shit together more than anyone else kill herself? Is everything Hannah is saying on these tapes true? How does everyone fit into the mystery? And just how could something like this happen.
I lost a sister to suicide when she was 16 years old. High school bullshit is real, and what we sometimes forget as adults are the things we think are inconsequential now, were at one time the biggest problem we ever had in our lives up until that time. When we are kids, if we don’t get the toy we wanted, or can’t stay up late, it’s the end of the world. In our teen years, whether a boy likes us or not is the end of the world. In our thirties, marriages ending seems like the end of the world. Are you sensing a pattern yet? It’s only for now. When I was bullied in high school, I had a fleeting thought about how to end it. That scared me and luckily for me, I changed my situation, got out of there and had parents that supported me, and knew I was more important than anything else. It does get better. Hang in there, kid.
As a parent, I can’t even imagine being in a situation like Hannah’s parents are in. How could someone even write about this? And why am I watching it? I have no clue, but I can’t stop. The writing and acting are amazing. I recommend this as a must watch. I have to know how it ends, back to Netflix I go.
Update: I finished it. Wow.

<3 Albie 20170519CE

Who is Albie?

TOTLB 012 Live Long & Prosper

LOGO-new-low
Shacha to all of our great listeners!! This week we bring in Jon on Skype, as there was a “giant” blizzard going on outside, and wel…………..we didn’t want to risk it! Still a great episode to fill up those ears!!
The snow’pacalypse brings us many hot topics, AND we get the privilege of speaking with Carl, from the Monday Night Carlo Podcast!! He joins us for one whole segment, and we FINALLY get to talk a little wrestling ;-). Make sure you go and listen to his podcast EVERY Monday, he’s got some amazing guests! We are still rolling along with out social media contest! The winner will receive a “loot crate” type of prize. You will receive different prints, comic books, etc. The ONLY thing you have to do is take a picture of your nerd room that shows off all of your glorious nerd items; comic books, posters, pictures, paintings, etc. Take a picture, tag us and hash tag #outsidelongbox and #mynerdroom. It’s that easy! The winner will be announced at the LIVE recording on March 29th, at the Kress Cinema and Lounge.
Jon’s old shit takes us back the time of Saturday Morning Cartoons! He tells us what his favorites were(Thundercats, He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc.), and a lot of memories that he will be able to share with his son in the future. Gabe’s old shit is old Kung Fu comic books! He specifically tells us about Hands of Shang-Chi!
Remember, you can ALWAYS let us know what you think! We can only think of so many things to talk about every other week, and would LOVE to get some feedback and ideas from all of you out there who are listening!! You can send mp3s and email to our email address. Also, join the conversations on our Facebook Page and Twitter Page.
Quantum Leap Podcast
The Nerd Store
FOCO Comic Con
Hall of Justice Comics & Collectibles
Our Stitcher
Our iTunes
Credit – Jonthan Garnett, Juan Muro, Gabe Llanas