[DVD REVIEW] “Kung Fu Panda”

If you haven’t seen “Kung Fu Panda” yet, you really need to go buy it and see it as soon as possible. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Buying a movie I’ve never seen? That seems risky!” Normally, I’m of the same mindset, but after seeing this flick, I can safely say that only those completely lacking a sense of humor or with hearts of stone won’t like this; or, in other words, it’s a great film for everyone!

I missed this computer-animated adventure when it hit theaters and got my first look when I was reviewing this DVD. Why I didn’t see “Panda” before is a confusing matter to look back on, considering the cover features three things I absolutely love in movies or otherwise: Kung Fu, Jack Black and Pandas! However, seeing the movie alongside the shorter DVD-companion film “Secrets of the Furious Five” made waiting for the small screen more than worthwhile. My initial enjoyment of “Secrets” came from the multitude of adorable and hilarious kung fu bunnies, but the different styles of traditional animation used (similar to “Panda’s” opening sequence, for those who have seen it) was really a treat. Plus, more time with Jack Black as Po the panda is great, too!

As far as the rest of the special features on both discs (“Panda” and “Secrets”), the people at Dreamworks really put a ton of effort towards making this DVD set an all-out experience. Between the “Making of” featurettes, “how to draw” tutorials, DVD games, historical information of kung fu and the chinese zodiac, not to mention a feature about how noodles are made hosted by Food Network’s Alton Brown, these DVDs give you everything except a whole other movie…oh wait, they did that, didn’t they?! Given, many of the activities are geared towards children, but much like this “kids” movie can be enjoyed by people of all ages, so can these features.

If a final verdict is even needed after that rave review, the bottom line is that the whole DVD experience from film to featurette is a ton of fun. So get your Panda on and go pick it up!


The New, More ‘Mortal’ Iron Fist!?

So, I just checked out Duane Swierczynski’s first issue of Immortal Iron Fist.

Being a huge fan of Brubaker and Fraction’s relaunch and run on the book, I was as bummed as everyone else to hear they’d be moving on. But, when Marvel announced the Swiercz would be taking the reigns, I had this quiet hope that the book would continue it’s radness. Sure, he only had one or two issues of Cable under his belt when the announcement was made, but something told me he had the chops to rock this chop-socky book in a way that would live up to what came before while taking the book in a whole new direction.

I’m happy to say that after one issue, as far as I’m concerned, the Swiercz is on target and kickin’ this book like a kung-fu foot through a few planks of wood!

Seriously, don’t be deterred by the change of team. If you liked this book before, you’re still going to like this book. There is no drop-off at all, which is saying something as the book was definitely of a high-quality before, and the story is super cohesive with everything that was set up in the previous arc. I don’t want to say to much, because you should really read it…ok, there’s a dragon-man who hunts down and kills Iron Fists, an old west Iron Fist flashback story and some Danny Rand/Misty Knight sexiness! It’s pretty awesome!

My only real gripe is David Aja’s not on art duty anymore. New artist Travel Foreman’s style takes a little getting used to, and while his more talky scenes aren’t really to my liking, when the guy can draw actions scenes like these…

…well, that’s really the most important aspect of drawing Marvel’s Immortal Weapon!

So—as if it weren’t already obvious—my recommendation is to go pick it up!

Also, we ran an interview with the Swiercz yesterday over on Wizard Universe proper, so go check it out if you’re craving more info on the book.