Pre-order Planet Hulk and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

January 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Two superhero flicks are coming out on DVD & Blu-ray in Feb- Planet Hulk and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Planet Hulk hits the first week of February, while Justice League comes out February 23rd.

Pardon the blatant marketing, if you’re looking to buy them on any format, give some thought to pre-ordering them through our Amazon referral links. Amazon doesn’t charge you until the item ships, and if the price drops between now and when the movie ships, you get the lowest price automatically.

Planet Hulk is going for $14.99 on DVD and twenty bucks on Blu-ray. Justice League has a Two-Disc Edition for $14.99 and a Blu-ray for $25.99.

So, yeah, if you’re interested- give them (and us) a pre-order.

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4thletter! Black Friday Telethon

November 25th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

We don’t have a Paypal button on 4l!, mostly because I’m torn on the idea of people just giving money to the site for nothing. I’d rather someone get something in exchange– Amazon and Project Wonderful ended up being perfect for that.

Amazon is running Black Friday deals all week, and if you click this link, you’ll be taken directly to Amazon, where anything you buy gives us a kickback. Theoretically, this works even if you browse around and buy stuff, as long as you came to Amazon via that link. You can also use the search box on the sidebar (it says Amazon Search, you can’t miss it) and get the same result. Same as the Amazon boxes on any review post.

Costs you nothing extra, you get in on some dope deals, and you help me embezzle money pay for 4l!’s hosting. If you aren’t into shopping online… no bigs. Thanks for reading anyway.

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Julian Lytle x Wale x Gucci Mane

October 8th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Julian’s a buddy, and imagine my surprise when he sent this over.


That’s the cover art for Wale‘s new single Pretty Girls, featuring art by Julian. Wale’s a dope dude, and his Mixtape About Nothing was easily worthy of five mics.

Anyway, support Julian. He’s a good dude. Read Ants, and cop Wale’s Pretty Girls for 99 pennies.

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“I Love You, Peter”

September 17th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

From Peter Parker Spider-Man Vol. 1: A Day in the Life, which is sadly out of print but available for cheap used, I present the Death of the Chameleon. Words by Paul Jenkins, art by Sean Phillips.

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“If you’re Superman, then I’m Desaad”

August 11th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Slaughterhouse, the hip-hop supergroup composed of Crooked I, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, and Royce da 5’9″, dropped their debut album today.

I’ve got a soft spot for Royce, since his classic Bad Meets Evil record with Eminem is 100% responsible for re-igniting my love for rap and opening me up to what we called “underground” rap back then. Ever since, I’ve stuck with him, through highs and lows. He’s in the middle of a career renaissance right now, with a leaner, meaner flow and a sicker sense of humor. You can legally download his Bar Exam 2 mixtape from Hip-Hop DX. The title of this post is from one of his freestyles from that tape.

Joe Budden I discovered a couple years ago. I’d heard Pump It Up, wrote him off, and played the hater for a while, but his Mood Muzik 3, particularly the Mood Muzik Third remix album that mixed his rhymes with Portishead beats, turned me right around. He brings a simultaneously intensely personal and deeply arrogant style to the mic, kind of like Slug from Atmosphere but with less self-loathing. He’s dope, always ready to talk trash, and funny.

Crook and Joell are newer to me, but no less dope. I realized recently that Crooked was on a Chino XL Felli Fell (I think) freestyle I’ve had for years, probably back to when he was on Death Row, but I only really started listening to him lately. He brings a thug swagger to the gang that reminds me of a younger Ice Cube, secure in who he is and a beast on the microphone. All you need to know about Joell is that he says “Yaaaowa” and dropped one of my favorite mixtapes this year, with him covering a whole gang of classic rap songs.

My advice? Cop it. If you’re fond of lyrical rap, heavy on punchlines, and with listenable beats, cop it. 9 bucks is a steal, really, and these guys put out enough free music that supporting them through this is no big deal for me at all. Buying the mp3s through Amazon helps us out with hosting here, too, so if you like us, and not them, use that Amazon search box that’s sitting off to the right there.

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Mos Def – The Ecstatic

June 8th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

For today only, apparently, the new Mos Def record is only four bucks on AmazonMP3. AmazonMP3 is basically my choice for getting mp3s online. It’s easy, fast, and the prices are great. There’s always a great sale on, usually a 50 Albums for $5 deal, and then there’s one-offs like this.

The album itself, other than being a good deal for 4 bucks, is about 45 minutes of distinctly Mos Def music. It isn’t so much that he’s been moving away from hip-hop so much as interpolating a lot of his own influences and creating a sound that’s kind of like neo soul, kind of like rock, kind of like jazz, but undeniably hip-hop.

I don’t know if Mos has a radio hit on this one. I hesitate to call this a personal album, but it sounds like one he made because he wanted to, rather than to simply get on the charts with a hit single and finance another house or wife. One song is entirely in Spanish, which is an interesting choice and vaguely reminiscent of “Umi Says” from Black On Both Sides, while others feature non-standard beats or cadences. “Auditorium,” featuring Slick Rick, features a long beat drop between Mos and Rick’s verses, as the song essentially fades out and starts over, creating an interesting sound. The guest appearances are kept to a minimum. Talib Kweli shows up for History, Georgia Anne Muldrow sings on Roses, and Slick Rick on the previously mentioned Auditorium.

I don’t know that I have the vocabulary to accurately describe what I like about this album, but I do like it. At four bucks, it’s an easy risk to take. Worst case, you can give the DRM-free mp3s to a friend who might like it more than you.

Check the video for Casa Bey, courtesy of NahRight and MySpace:
Mos Def – "Casa Bey" – The Ecstatic – 6.9.09

While I’m on the NahRight tip, here’s a few more links:
Mighty Mos Def: The Underground Album, a collection of some of his early-ish work
Mos Def on the streets of Osaka kicking acapellas
Mos Def Casa Bey acapella
(CurrentTV is really going in, I’ll have to start paying more attention to their coverage.)

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Read Good Comics: The Amazon #1

March 31st, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Steven T. Seagle and Tim Sale’s The Amazon is an interesting tale, both from a story perspective and a historical one. It began life in 1989 at publisher Comico. This was a huge surprise to me, as I’d off-handedly assumed that Seagle got his start writing X-Men for Marvel. Regardless, The Amazon was their attempt at the comic books for adults that were arriving back in the day.

The Amazon was intended to raise some awareness about the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest via comic books. The narrator of the story is a journalist, Malcolm Hilliard, looking for a story. He finds his story in the form of an American man who has gone native with the local tribesmen and begun sabotaging the equipment. Hilliard plays the role of skeptic, refusing to believe in the superstitions of the local workers, and seeker of truth.

The original run of Amazon was colored, but this re-issue has been re-colored by Matt Hollingsworth, who does a fascinating job of making the Tim Sale of 20 years ago look similar to the Sale of 2009. The color scheme ranges from vibrant, but subdued, jungle to gloomy sunsets. Hollingsworth is one of the industry’s all-time greats, and was a great choice over Sale’s pencils.

I’m not sure how much, if any, reconstruction went on with Tim Sale’s pencils and inks for the re-issue, but the art is still sharp. The book is largely made up of detailed landscapes and talking heads, and Sale does a solid job of rendering it all. He sells the expressions on the faces of the suspicious foreman, drinking workmen, and Hilliard.

Sale also does some fairly cool storytelling and panel composition work. The majority of the book is made up of horizontal panels, maybe four to a page on average. When we finally get to see our renegade American, the composition switches to page-tall vertical panels, emulating the experience of looking between trees in the jungle. There is also a particularly good panel that has a character hidden in the jungle, visible only by figuring out that a certain shadow isn’t.

Seagle’s done a solid job on the writing. The storytelling is separated into three tiers. There’s the standard dialogue, Hilliard’s internal monologue, and his article. The three intermix and coexist, and build an interesting picture of both Hilliard’s personality and distance between his own thoughts and how he approaches journalism.

The story definitely feels like the first chapter in a longer story, and may read better in trade, but this first issue is far from poor. Seagle does a good job building up the main character, setting up the conflicts, and even sneaking in a bit of education regarding the Amazon without coming across overly preachy.

I dug the first issue, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the series shakes out. If I hadn’t been told, I never would’ve guessed it was close to twenty years old. It’s well worth a look.

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Presto, Digitalization

March 17th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

I don’t remember the last CD I bought. I remember the first I bought, but not the last. At some point, over the five years I actually owned a car (two, actually), I’m sure I bought a lot of CDs and CDRs for burning mixes. At some point, though, I picked up an iPod and a car kit, which began the slow, inevitable slide toward going digital only for music.

I buy mp3s now, usually off Amazon. I think I bought one CD last year for an artist who didn’t have a digital release, but that basically meant I got the CD on sale for ten bucks and then downloaded the bootleg for the iPod. I’d be lying if I said all of my music was legal, but I think that a significant portion of it is. Either way, I’ve got almost 70 gigs of music, enough for 36 and a half days of songs, and the fact that my iPod only holds 30 gigs pains me every day.

I acquired an iPod Touch last year, in addition to my 5G. At first I bit the bullet and dealt with the 16 gigs of space, but a few weeks ago, I went back to using the 5G for music purposes. I really only break out the Touch to watch videos or listen to podcasts. I’d used Stanza for ebooks on the Touch, and I really dug the interface and speed. It’s very easy on the eyes. I read all of Candide and another novel on it over the course of an eleven hour plane ride. I found it very easy to get into, and being able to have music playing in the background was a boon, too.
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