Author Archives: Rob Allyn

The Return of Doctor Mysterio! It’s a Doctor Who Christmas Special.

[Promo Image from Wikipedia]

[Some Spoilers. Read at your own risk.]

Well hellllllllooooooooo, shippers! It has been a loooooooooooooong time! I’m serious. Like almost two years, maybe three! Has is really been that long? Wow! I’m sorry that I’ve been gone so long. You may not have noticed but if you did, I missed you too.

Okay, enough with the sentimental stuff.

Doctor Who has returned after a bit of a wait with another fantastic Christmas Special, something that has become somewhat of a Christmas tradition within the fandom. And possibly with some outside of the fandom. Hang the mistletoe, hang your stocking, leave out cookies and milk for Santa, and after unwrapping your presents and gorging yourself on your (hopefully) well-prepared holiday feast, you flip on the “telly” and feast your eyes on some new Doctor Who. And this year’s special is just as much of a classic as all the others before it, only this time it has a classic comic book superhero twist.

The story starts with one of our main characters, Grant, dreaming of when he was a young lad and first met The Doctor (Peter Capaldi). At first, Grant sort of confuses him with Santa Claus and even brings him milk and cookies. He soon learns that he’s not jolly old St. Nick; he’s The Doctor. Which Doctor? The Main one, the First one, all the others are just bandwagon jumpers. He’s also dubbed “Doctor Mysterio” by Grant. The Doctor explains to Grant that he is setting up an energy device that should help fix one of his recent goof-ups and it runs on the power from a special deep space gemstone, which he hands to the boy to hold. However, Grant has a cold and The Doctor handed him a glass of water before he gave him the gem, so he of course thought that it was medicine. That, ladies and gents is where our superhero story begins.

Check it out, guys! It’s Goku! [Dragonball Wiki]

You see, the gems grants wishes essentially and Grant is a young boy who loves superheroes, so obviously he gets super powers. First flight, then x-ray vision, and I’m sure speed and strength came along sometime throughout his adolescent years. Through flashbacks, we see he had a bit of a tough time through his adolescent years. Cut to modern day and our boy Grant (played by Dragonball Evolution‘s Justin Chatwin) lives a typically mundane life with a normal job (he’s a nanny) in New York City (typical superhero locale). The twist is he works as the nanny for Lucy (played by Charity Wakefield), the girl that he’s been in love with for 24 years who happens to be a hard-nosed reporter from The Daily Chronicle (a la Lois Lane). And just like Lois Lane, she can’t see through Grant’s glasses to realize that he is “The Ghost”, his superhero alter-ego. The same superhero that I’m sure she has been investigating since either he came on the scene or she started reporting. Typical comic book reporting – the truth to your greatest mystery is right in front of you and you can’t see it.

This story also has your standard aliens destroying major cities and trying to conquer the Earth storyline that you get with most superhero and Doctor Who storylines. It has nods to the original creators of Superman, Siegel and Shuster. At one point, The Ghost does the classic “Superman costume change spin” before leaping into action. The Doctor even has his own “secret identity.” There are some clever little classic comic book nods throughout the episode. I don’t want to spoil the whole thing for you by taking out all the fun of hunting for them. Hopefully you’re better at investigating than Lucy.

Glad to have you aboard, Nardole. [Wikipedia]

Something I noticed about this episode was that for a Christmas Special, it wasn’t very Christmas-y. There were small elements here and there, mostly in the first scene when The Doctor meets Grant on Christmas but other than that, the most Christmas-esque thing is the return of Nardole (played by Matt Lucas). He was River Song’s companion in the last Christmas Special, “The Husbands of River Song“, who had his head removed by River’s husband at the time, King Hydroflax. Side note: the brain-swapping aliens in this Christmas Special last appeared as servants of King Hydroflax in the last Christmas Special. One of their agents, Scratch, even stated that they represented “the Shoal of the Winter Harmony.” Hence the company name, “Harmony Shoal”. Anyway, The Doctor reattached Nardole’s head to his original body and brought him on as his companion, and by the looks of the trailer for Series 10, he might be around for a while. Which is a good thing because even though he may seem like a goofy lump of comic relief, he’s actually sharp enough to keep The Doctor in check.

The episode is definitely a must-watch, whether you’re a Doctor Who fan or a superhero fan or both. Five out of five stars. It also gives you a bit of a glimpse into how well The Doctor is doing after River’s death. It’s a nice little spin on the classic Superman story from back in the day, coming-of-age with super powers and whatnot. It also works to hold you over until the new season begins in April. At least I hope it will. It’s not much of a Christmas story but beggars can’t be choosers, and we all know we have been begging for new Who. Maybe that’s what makes it a Christmas story – we haven’t had any new Doctor Who in a year and won’t have anymore for four more months, so this is Moffat’s gift to us for waiting so patiently, albeit without any choice but to wait.

Thanks, Steven.

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Black Friday Must Be Stopped!

Welp…it’s that time of year again, folks. No, not Thanksgiving. Well, it is but that’s not exactly what I mean. Just stay with me. It’s the time of year that almost every person working in retail dreads (and even some shoppers)…BLACK FRIDAY. Or as I like to call it, The Special Kind of Hell.

And you wanna go shopping because why?!

And you wanna go shopping because why?!

It’s the time when seemingly normal people lose their damn minds over some cheap shit that no one really needs. Sure there are some good deals from time to time but for the most part it’s not really worth it. Seriously, why the hell would you wanna waste precious family time or wake up before the ass-crack of dawn to save some money on sheet sets or a damn Xbox One? Even if your family sucks or you actually enjoy being up that early, fighting the hordes of psychotic moms fighting for discount towels makes it not worth leaving the house. It’s winter, my least favorite season, so my ass would rather be home, in bed, wrapped up in a warm blanket, sound asleep. Unfortunately for me, I work in retail. Dammit.

Unlike last year, I have to work during the insanity. I was lucky enough to miss it before but this year, I guess my luck ran out. I have the fantastic displeasure of getting to enjoy the “company” of all of the “wonderful people” who will make the decision to forego Thanksgiving festivities to trudge and fight through crowds of others just like them in order to fork over thousands and thousands of dollars for junk that will probably get returned for things that the gift receivers really want. What makes it even better is that I will miss Thanksgiving celebrations with my family (not by choice) to spend time with these brilliant folks. Oh joy.

Remember when Black Friday was ONLY on Friday? I do and I thought that was just fine. There was no need for an extra day. But then some genius or geniuses got a the “bright” idea that they could sell more shit if they started the sales even earlier, like maybe the day before. Ya know, on Thanksgiving. I mean, no one is doing anything important during the evening of Thanksgiving anyway. No one is slipping into a turkey coma or catching up with family members they might not have seen in a while or watching football or getting an early start on setting up their Christmas tree or just enjoying a break from work. Nah, no one is doing anything like that. So they should be shopping. Yeah, that sounds like a logical thing to do. If waking up ridiculously early to stand in line to wait for stores to open wasn’t crazy enough, skipping out on the majority of Thanksgiving in order to wait in line for under-priced junk definitely takes the cake.

At what point did a majority of the human race decide that standing in line, either outside in the freezing cold or inside among a cesspool of human “existence”, rather than relaxing at home with loved ones, was a good idea? Dammit, people! Check your priorities! Enjoy this time away from the insanity of the world. Take time with the people you love; your spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends, partners, kids, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. DVR the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and watch it over and over again, play some board games, sleep off that food coma, decorate for Christmas, have a few too many drinks and sing some karaoke…terribly. Enjoy life for once. Save Black Friday for Friday and leave Thursday to Thanksgiving. Be thankful for what you have, not for the things you can save a few bucks on. Maybe if enough people stop shopping on Thanksgiving, the stores will switch back to a one day sale. Probably not but a man can dream.

And if you get the urge to go shopping on Thursday, remember a few things:

1. A lot of people do not shower before these events and they will stand in line all night long. You may end up next to one of them. Some of these people will not even leave the line to use the restroom. They’ll just go where they’re standing. I’ve seen it. It’s not pretty.

2. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is awesome. It can be watched on repeat and never not be awesome. Same goes for A Charlie Brown Christmas.

3. If you drink, don’t drive. So spike your eggnog or punch or whatever, curl up on the couch with a blanket, throw on Christmas with The Rat Pack or Michael Bublé Christmas, and just chill.

4. I enjoy spending time with my family and relaxing and watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and listening to Sinatra and Bublé sing Christmas tunes. However, I truly DO NOT enjoy spending my holiday at work with YOU. I don’t care who you are. It’s the last thing on my list of things to do on the holidays, right below watching every single Casper Van Dien movie ever. Believe me, it’s a long list.

So just do the right thing and stay home this holiday. Besides, most of the deals are online anyway. Buy all the crap from the comfort of your home. Boom, done.

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A Thank You Letter to Peter Capaldi

Dear Mr. Capaldi,

Thank you for being amazing. Truly amazing.

Doctor-who-Peter-Capaldi-2124919

Twelve. (image property of BBC)

Thank you for being the Doctor that I have wanted for a long time. Not that I had anything against previous Doctors. Nine (Christopher Eccleston) was outstanding, he was the Doctor that hooked me and brought me in. Ten (David Tennant) was phenomenal! He was the Doctor that stole the show, he grabbed me by the hand and took me on some incredible adventures. Ten has always been MY Doctor. Eleven (Matt Smith) was excellent too, it just took me a while to get used to him. I mean, I didn’t really get into him until much later on during his time as the Doctor. After watching his episodes again, I developed a better understanding of and enjoyment for him. He’s actually quite good.

But you, Mr. Capaldi, are something else. Something other-worldly, something astronomically wonderful. You are quickly becoming my favorite Doctor and that’s not an easy thing to do. Tennant’s Doctor is near and dear to my heart, so for you to nearly take his place so quickly is extraordinary.

Thank you for not being the goofy, love-sick-puppy Doctor that we’ve all come to know. Thank you for being the cynical, curmudgeonly Doctor we’ve needed most. A Doctor who isn’t trying to play house or be someone’s boyfriend–but a grumpy old Doctor, still with a heart of gold, yet not an overly-emotional softy. Your Doctor is more guarded, more closed off, but still a good person, whether he thinks so or not.

And now he’s a Doctor with a mission…to find Gallifrey, which I truly hope he does. I really, really, really hope he does. I feel that if your Doctor finds Gallifrey, it will be a life-altering experience. I mean, when Ten, Eleven, and the War Doctor saved Gallifrey from the destructive Time War, if was a huge burden taken off the Doctor’s mind. But now that his home is safe in an alternate universe, he has to worry if he’ll ever find it again and be reunited with his people. And I see that worry and fear in your Doctor, but not in a bad way. I see that it’s what is driving him; it’s what moves him. Though he does continue on his side projects to help people, finding home is main mission.

Finally, thank you for making every episode better and better. Even though we’re only five episodes in, you haven’t had a bad one yet. I feel the rest of the season will be the increasingly more stellar than it already has been. And hopefully you stay for a while. There was a rumor in the beginning that you were only staying on for one series and I hope that rumor is a lie. After seeing how much the fans love you and what you do, I want you to be convinced that leaving would be a horrible thing to do. Please, please, please stay.

In summary,

1. You’re the best.

2. Please stay.

3. Everyone would miss you.

4. I could watch Listen a million times and never get tired of it.

The best episode so far. So freakin' good! (Image property of BBC)

The best episode so far. So freakin’ good! (Image property of BBC)

5. After you finish your run as Doctor, reunite Dreamboys with Craig Ferguson. That would be awesome.

 

Thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you’ll do.

 

Your fan for life,

Rob

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Marvel Studios, Just Take My Money.

Take it all, damn you. You're good, Marvel Studios. You're good.

Take it all, damn you. You’re good, Marvel Studios. You’re good. [Logo property of Marvel/Disney]

Marvel Studios seriously knows what to do to get my money, along with damn near everyone else’s. They know how to create some solid product, and by solid product I mean their movies. Ever since the first Iron Man film debuted in 2008, they’ve been raking in all the cash that every geek and nerd in the world is willing to shell out. Obviously, it didn’t stop with Iron Man either. They’ve been pretty steady with their films each year and it doesn’t look like they’re stopping anytime soon. I mean, they do have quite the catalog to work with.

So far there have been three Iron Man films, two Thor films, two Captain America films, an Incredible Hulk film, and an Avengers film that collected all of the heroes from the previous films into one gigantic, money-making extravaganza that, by all accounts, was one of the best comic books to film adaptations ever created. And now they have Guardians of the Galaxy releasing today, which looks freakin’ spectacular! I haven’t read a bad review about the film yet. It’s so damn good that Marvel announced a sequel with a confirmed release date (July 28th, 2017) and director (James Gunn will return to direct) a week before the film was even released. That says something. And from the trailers, exclusive looks, reviews, and interviews, not to mention the cast list (Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, to name a few), I’ve become a new fan of GotG. I had absolutely no interest in this series before this film was announced, and now I don’t know how I wasn’t a fan of it. I’m sure this film is going to convert a lot more people into fans very soon.

If you haven’t seen a trailer for it yet, here ya go:

Also, I’d like to point out that Josh Brolin will be playing Thanos in this film, as well as any other that features the character, and I am insanely excited about that. I mean, I wanted him to be Batman, but this works too.

Marvel did the same thing for me with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Well, Marvel and Chris Evans. Before that film, I was a fan, but not a huge one. Cap was always one of the goody two shoes that didn’t really catch my attention.  I didn’t dislike him, but I wasn’t die-hard about him either. He wasn’t Batman or The Punisher; although, he was pretty badass in the Civil War story arc. With The First Avenger and The Avengers, my interest grew some. I definitely had a lot more respect for the character. But after The Winter Soldier, I was hooked. Thanks to that outstanding film and Evans’ stellar performance, I’m a lifelong Captain America fan. If anyone ever had doubts about him being cast as Cap, that film will shatter any and all doubts.

If you haven’t seen it, you need to see it. Here’s the trailer:

Seriously, this film became one of my all-time favorites rather quickly.

From the start, Marvel Studios hasn’t made a bad film and if they keep doing what they’ve been doing, they won’t ever. They’re making all the right choices with the writers and directors they hire and the talent they cast, as well as the choices they make involving scripts, character design, and pretty much any other decision involved in making their glorious films. And judging by the release schedule they’ve reserved for the coming years, they’re going to be making many more great decisions that’ll take even more of our money. They’re planning on releasing 2-3 films a year for the next five years, consisting of one sequel and 1-2 non-sequel film(s).

  • May 1, 2015 – Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • July 17, 2015 – Ant-Man
  • May 6, 2016 – Captain America 3 
  • July 8, 2016 – Doctor Strange
  • May 5, 2017 – Unknown
  • July 8, 2017 – Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  • November 3, 2017 – Unknown
  • May 4, 2018 – Unknown
  • July 6, 2018 – Unknown
  • November 2, 2018 – Unknown
  • May 3, 2019 – Unknown

There’s also the possibility of a Black Panther film, an Inhumans film, a third Avengers film, another Thor film, and possibly and Iron Man 4. And like I said, they have quite the catalog to work from. Marvel is unstoppable. DC can’t touch them. There are also rumors of a Hulk sequel which could potentially use the Planet Hulk/World War Hulk storylines. That would be beyond epic. They’re also trying to corner the television market with five new series (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Agent Carter, and Luke Cage) which are will also probably be huge hits for them. And if they can tweak Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. into a better show, they’ll dominate the small screen as well. Although Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, and Constantine are going to be tough competition.

So go ahead, Marvel, keep doing what you’re doing. Take my money and my dedication. You’ve earned it.

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What Batman Means to Me.

In honor of the 75th Anniversary of Batman, I’ve decided to write about my favorite hero of all time, The Caped Crusader.

"You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?" [image prop. of Warner Bros.]

“You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” [image prop. of Warner Bros.]

One my fondest childhood nerd memories was when I went to see Tim Burton’s 1989 classic (and I legitimately mean that), Batman, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. I was only six or seven at the time, but for me it was a life-changing experience. The moment when he was holding the purse-snatching thug over the side of the building and the thug frantically asks, “What are you?”, and Gotham’s Dark Knight replied in his fearsome, non-just-gargled-glass tone, “I’m Batman.” He then tossed the terrified scumbag back to the roof and leaped off into the shadows of the city. I had goosebumps when I first experienced that scene and have every time since then. That was the moment when I knew Batman was my superhero, the hero that would forever be the paramount of all heroes. None would ever compare to him and none have, save for The Doctor, who could ever only tie with him.

Just in case you need your memory jogged, this is the moment:

Growing up, I was a Batman fanatic. I had toys, I had t-shirts, I had comic books and anything else I could get my hands on. I was obsessed. I used to run around the yard or the playground pretending to be Batman. I would sit and watch reruns of the ’60s Batman television series with Adam West and Burt Ward. When I received an original Game Boy for Christmas one year, one of the first games I got was Batman: Return of the Joker. I almost wore out the cartridge playing from playing it so much. I lost count of how many times that I beat the Joker. I could not get enough of Batman.

He was the best kind of hero: incredibly intelligent and clever, strong, agile, trained in many styles of martial arts, and resourceful. He was rich, which when I was a kid, was freaking sweet. He was a detective, using his brains to solve crimes instead of running around beating the confessions out criminals. He had the best costume in comic books. And he didn’t kill, which I tend to disagree with every now and then, but it’s an admirable gesture. My favorite thing about him was that he was human. He wasn’t a super-powered alien or a robot or a god, nor was he given powers by some sort freak accident. He was just a regular guy using his brain and the gadgets he made to clean up the streets of Gotham.

Batman: The Animated Series [image prop. of Warner Bros.]

Batman: The Animated Series [image prop. of Warner Bros.]

Throughout the years, my admiration has never wavered, never faltered. Even with some less than desirable mishaps in the adaptations of the character (Batman & Robin), I’ve always stayed true. Thankfully, there have been more good than bad when it comes to Batman on the big and small screens.

For example, Batman: The Animated Series, which is widely regarded as the best adaptation of the Dark Knight ever to be created. I wholeheartedly agree. The superior writing, the phenomenal animation work by Bruce Timm, and the outstanding voice acting from Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (Joker) that will forever be ingrained into the memory banks of every fan of the show. If you haven’t watched every episode of that entire series at least once, you haven’t truly lived. I mean seriously…what have you been doing with your life?!

Here’s one of my favorite episode’s, Joker’s Favor:

Batman TAS – 1×22 – Joker’s Favor

Most, if not all, of the other animated version have been exceptionally entertaining but none so much as Batman: TAS. It’s quite difficult to live up to its perfection. The Batman, Batman Beyond, The Dark Knight Returns Parts 1 & 2, and pretty much any other animated version that came out were all done remarkably well, especially Batman Beyond. It was essentially a sequel to TAS, but its story took place in a future Gotham where Batman had become to old and broken to continue on. He had hung up his cape and cowl and chose to retire until a young man by the name of Terry McGinnis came along and took up the mantle. Once again, the series was blessed with excellent writers, stories, characters, and voice actors, which makes this series a close second to the greatness of TAS. Will Friedle (Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World) was a fantastic choice to voice Terry. Beyond is another series that needs to be viewed multiple times just because it’s that good. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, an animated movie continuation of the series, is a top notch choice for multiple viewings. For a children’s animated film, it was actually somewhat disturbing, but not in a bad way.

The movies were another story though. They started off really well and then descended on a downward spiral with each sequel. Tim Burton brought Batman to life in 1989 with the first of two films (Batman Returns being the second), starring Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight. Keaton’s Batman is my absolute favorite version of the character. To me, he was the perfect Bruce Wayne and Batman. He was dark and menacing, charming and aloof, heroic and fearless, all when needed to be. The films were dark in their tone, just as they should’ve been, and the villains were amazing: Jack Nicholson as The Joker, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, and Danny DeVito as the Penguin created three of the best villains ever to grace the screen.

Then 1995 came along, Tim Burton and Michael Keaton didn’t want to continue doing the films, so Joel Schumacher and Val Kilmer took over as director and star, respectively. Things changed rather quickly with Batman Forever. The scenery was dark but not as dreary, everything turned neon and bright, and the villains became a little more over the top. They introduced an older Robin, changed Harvey Dent from black to white, and cast Jim Carrey as the Riddler. Actually, Carrey’s version of the Riddler was one of my favorites. Yes it was a bit over the top, but if you pay close attention, it’s not hard to tell that it’s a homage to Frank Gorshin’s version from ’60s series. I don’t hate this film, I rather enjoy it.

Now as for 1997’s Batman & Robin, that’s a whole ‘nother story. I despise this poorly-written, over-acted, over-the-top, campy, cartoonish piece of trash with all of my being. George Clooney became Batman, Alicia Silverstone became Batgirl (and also Alfred’s niece, not the Commissioner’s daughter), Uma Thurman hammed it up as Poison Ivy, Bane became a mindless henchman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger took a huge dump on my favorite Batman villain, Mr. Freeze. HUGE DUMP. I have never been so appalled by a film in all my life, and it’s mostly because of his performance. It makes me sick just thinking about it.  This film is such a blemish on the film history of Batman that most fans, including myself, completely disregard it as part of the series. It makes Phantom Menace look like Citizen Kane.

Awful. Just awful. [image prop. of Warner Bros.]

Awful. Just awful. [image prop. of Warner Bros.]

Luckily, eight years later, Christopher Nolan came along and rebooted the films with Batman Begins. In doing so, he also restored my faith in cinema as well as humanity. This film essentially brought Batman out of the comic book and into the real world. Nolan gave the Batman mythos depth and grounded it in reality, making viewers feel as Batman was flesh and blood and not some cartoon character. Begins was the start of one the best film trilogies ever, followed by The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Christian Bale did a remarkable job with the characters of Batman and Bruce Wayne, although his Batman voice did need a bit of work. He was able to capture the character in a way that rivaled what Keaton had done before. And with TDK, we were graced with the greatest interpretation of The Joker that we may ever see, thanks to the late Heath Ledger. Such a sadistic and homicidal, yet still hilarious, version that even Jack Nicholson’s version pales in comparison. And I will fight anyone who says differently (not really though). It was a sad day when Nolan declared that he would not be continuing with the series after the third film, after he had done such amazing things with it already. An even sadder day came when it was announced that Ben Affleck would be taking over as Batman, but that’s a rant for another time.

And let’s not forget about the games, mainly just the Arkham series, because pretty much every other Batman game has sucked. Except for Batman: Return of the Joker for the original Gameboy, of course. If you want to experience what it’s like to be Batman but don’t have billions of dollars to buy all the gear and don’t feel like getting the crap kicked out of you, then play the Arkham series. Well written, well designed, and they brought back Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill! Truly some of the best games ever made and worth every minute you’ll spend completely engrossed in them.

But I think I may have gotten off topic… What Batman means to me. For me, and I know this may sound corny, Batman has always been a hero. He’s a sign of hope in even the most grim of situations. A light in the darkness, if you will, even though he dwells in the darkness. He’s justice when there is none, courage in a city that is drowning in fear, strength even when the world breaks your back and leaves you for dead. As a kid, when I was afraid, pretending to be him or asking myself “What would Batman Do?” helped me to overcome a great deal of fear. Some might say there are other real heroes to look up to, but to me, he was real. He was the hero I needed in the worst of times. He was a mortal human who fought a great deal of injustice and super-powered villains and never faltered. He just kept fighting. He’d keep going if it killed him. He was and always will be a great protector. And in my opinion will always be a greater and more powerful hero than Superman ever could be. The fact that he could die at any moment, be killed by any foe he faces, and yet he continues fighting and protecting and making sure justice is served, without killing, is what makes him so incredible. Out of his greatest tragedy (the murder of his parents), he has gathered the courage and strength to become the greatest hero that Gotham, and the world, has ever seen. And because of that he has become the one of the greatest heroes many in the real world, including myself, have ever seen.

To me, Batman is courage, strength, hope, determination, intelligence, kindness, justice, and so many other wonderful things that have helped make me the person I am today. And I will continue to use what I have learned for the rest of my days. I will pass this knowledge on to my children and I will teach them about the greatness of Batman and how truly spectacular he is and what they can learn from him. He will forever be a part of who I am.

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Farewell, Ultimate Warrior

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually watched any sort of professional wrestling and an even longer time since I actually enjoyed it. It’s nowhere near as great as it used to be, just a hollow shell of the massively spectacular extravaganza that it once was. Today, the “sport” is nothing but an over-the-top, testosterone-fueled, overly dramatic soap opera filled with 2nd rate actors and models who showboat more than they actually wrestle. It’s like if Days of Our Lives was filmed at a gym and they threw in some T&A. I won’t waste my time anymore.

Hulk knows who the real champ is.

Hulk knows who the real champ is.

When I was growing up, I was fortunate enough to be able to witness the better days of wrestling. I was able to witness the awesomeness of Macho Man Randy Savage, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Jake the Snake, Sgt. Slaughter, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and many other greats. They were the true artists of the sport, back when it was truly a sport. And one of the greatest ever to step into the ring was the Ultimate Warrior. The man was legendary from the very beginning. He was all muscle, mayhem, and neon face paint. He stood down from no challenge, he feared no opponent. He was a larger-than-life personality with the wrestling skills to match. He WAS wrestling. In my honest opinion, he was greater than even Hulk Hogan.

Sadly, the world has lost this legendary figure. Warrior passed away on Tuesday, just days after being inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame. His induction speech seems quite ominous now, “No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others, it makes them bleed deeper and something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized.”

We lost Andre the Giant, then Owen Hart, then Mr. Perfect, then Macho Man, and now the Ultimate Warrior. It truly is a sad day for what was once an incredible sport. I like to think that all the wrestling legends we’ve lost are wrestling each other somewhere out there in the great beyond.

R.I.P Warrior. You will forever be missed.

 

[image source: WWE]

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Live-Action Turtle Power Returns!

The Turtles got a makeover. (image property of Nickelodeon Films)

The Turtles got a makeover. (image property of Nickelodeon Films)

When I first heard of a live-action Ninja Turtles reboot, I was excited. When I heard Michael Bay was the guy behind it, skepticism set in. Let’s just say I was on the fence. I’ve enjoyed his Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street remakes but the Transformers series has been hit-or-miss, so I haven’t been sure what to think. But this trailer has restored some faith in Michael Bay for me. He may have actually pulled this one off, even if he did cast Megan Fox as April O’Neil (wtf, really?!). I really wasn’t too keen on the way the Turtles look now but after watching this first trailer, the new look is starting to grow on me.

If you haven’t seen it, watch it now:

Pretty awesome, right?! And Willian Fichtner as The Shredder! The only thing missing is Casey Jones, but I don’t see him showing up until the sequel. If we’re lucky, maybe in an end credit scene in this film. *crosses fingers* It’s gonna be difficult to top Elias Koteas’s performance though.

I, for one, have become much more excited for this film. How about you?

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Ladies and Gentlemen…the “Real” John Constantine.

A spot-on Constantine, at least the look anyway. (image property of NBC)

A spot-on Constantine, at least the look anyway. (image property of NBC)

Since the unofficially leaked pic has created such a buzz, NBC has released an official image for their upcoming television adaptation, Constantine, based on the comic series John ConstantineHellblazer. And I’ll be damned if he doesn’t look almost exactly like he came straight off the pages of the comic. This makes me incredibly excited because Hellblazer is one of my favorite comic book series’ and John Constantine being a close second to Batman as favorite comic book character.

Welsh actor Matt Ryan will be portraying the titular character in the pilot (which will hopefully lead to a series), with David S. Goyer writing the script. The pilot (and potential series) will stay truer to the comic books than the 2005 Keanu Reeves film of the same name (which I am also a fan of, even though it strayed from the comics a bit). With Goyer writing and the spot-on look that Ryan has, I have great faith in this pilot. The only thing that worries me is NBC, but not much. Constantine isn’t exactly TV-PG or TV-14 material, it’s more TV-MA, which means there may be a possibility of the network watering it down a bit. However, with shows like Hannibal, The Blacklist, and Grimm being such huge successes for the network and being of a darker, more mature nature, I think they’ll be able to keep it as close to the original material as possible.

If this pilot does well, a series should follow, and if we’re lucky we’ll finally get a Justice League Dark movie (directed by Guillermo del Toro). I could see a Swamp Thing film or television series spawning from a Constantine series, since he was a recurring character in the comics. And if a JLD film is made and does well, we may even see a Deadman and/or Zatanna film in the near future. To me, this is more exciting than a film about the main Justice League. This is even more exciting than Batman vs. Superman, and I’m a huge Batman fan.

I’m crossing my fingers that this works out.

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NanaNanaNanaNana BAT-NEWS!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get better than Batman: Arkham Origins, this happened:

That’s right, Rocksteady is back with Batman: Arkham Knight. Everyone thought they were done with the franchise and Warner Bros. Games Montreal would be taking over the series, but while you were busy with Origins, they were secretly creating the grand finale that is Arkham Knight.

I want to drive it SOOOOOOOO bad!

I want to drive it SOOOOOOOO bad!

From the trailer, you can see that Two-Face and the Penguin have returned to wreak more havoc and carnage on the city of Gotham. It has also been announced that the legendary Kevin Conroy has returned to voice Batman, as it should be. And it appears that Batman is more armored than he has ever been, so I’m gonna say that there will be a MASSIVE amount of fighting in this game. Best bit of news that I’ve heard is that the Batmobile will be drivable! ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME?!?! The beastly-looking, Tumbler-style Batmobile is drivable. Thank you very much, Rocksteady. If you were real, I would hug you.

Unfortunately for me, this game will only be for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Windows. I do not currently have either of the two systems and my computer is not powerful enough to run a game as incredible as this will be. If anyone would like to donate either a Xbox One, a Playstation 4, and/or a powerful gaming computer to me before this game comes out, I’ll be waiting a while to play it. Sad face.

In other Batman-related news, Gotham has cast its Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Fox has cast David Mazouz as the preteen Bruce Wayne and Camren Bicondova as teenage Selina Kyle before she became Catwoman. Bicondova is a newcomer, while Mazouz recently co-starred with Kiefer Sutherland on Fox’s Touch. Along with following Gordon’s pre-Batman years with Gotham P.D., the show will also follow Selina’s early days as a thief and pickpocket. However, the show will also follow a young Bruce Wayne after his parents were killed and before he becomes Batman, which means we may be looking at a lot of crying and whining and tantrums about how unfair it is that his parents were taken away from him. I’m sure we’re in for some rebellious acting out and more things of the like. The first season might get annoying for Bruce’s story, at least until he starts training. Hopefully it’ll be more of a background story to Gordon’s tale.

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Tom Slick and Super Chicken Should Be Next, Right?

In 1997, we were given George of the Jungle, starring Brendan Fraser.

Then, in 1999, Brendan Fraser returned as Dudley Do-Right in Dudley Do-Right.

In 2000, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle was released.

Now, we’re getting Mr. Peabody & Sherman, featuring the voices of Ty Burrell, Patrick Warburton, Mel Brooks, and Stanley Tucci.

So when exactly is the world going to get a Tom Slick and/or a Super Chicken film?! Am I the only person wondering this?! (Probably)

All of these characters were created by the creative genius, Jay Ward, and were all fantastic cartoons from back in the day that were part of the childhoods of thousands, including myself. So why are these two characters being neglected? Both have great stories that could easily be adapted and expanded on and both are exceptionally humorous.

Tom Slick is an all-American racecar driver who competes in various races with his trusty car, the Thunderbolt Grease-Slapper. He’s accompanied by his girlfriend, Marigold, and his elderly mechanic, Gertie Growler. His rivals are the evil Baron Otto Matic, and the Baron’s stupid lackey, Clutcher. You have your story foundation right there, now just some crazy hijinks and a fantastical adventure and you’ve got a hit. You can even bring back Brendan Fraser to play Tom Slick. I’m sure he’d be down for pulling off the trifecta. Think of the film as a comedic spoof of the Fast and Furious films but made with a Mel Brooks-style of satire.

Super Chicken is the alter ego of the wealthy Henry Cabot Henhouse III, was a superhero who fought crime with his trusty lion sidekick, Fred. They would fly around in an egg-shaped air vehicle, saving people and stopping criminals. When trouble arose, he would drink his “Super Sauce” and don his “Super Suit,” then he would let out the battle cry of “Quick, Fred, to the ‘Super Coupe’,” and off they would go. Just think of a film version of the as a comedic, CG version of Green Hornet (the tv series, the 2011 film). Animated animals, superhero antics, and cheesy one-liners…kids would go nuts for this film.

Both of these films could be box-office smashes, both playing off of the nostalgia factor. Tom Slick would pander more towards adults, while Super Chicken would be more of a family film, but both have great potential that needs to be tapped ASAP. Get on it, Hollywood!

 

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The Road to Gotham is Paved With Good Intentions

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. If someone’s not remaking or rebooting something, they’ve gotta make a prequel or an origin story. Granted, it’s more satisfying to watch the latter two (except for the Star Wars prequels). In most cases it can be quite interesting to see how your favorite character(s) came to be.

I'm just wondering how Ben McKenzie is going to look with that sweet Jim Gordon mustache.

I’m just wondering how Ben McKenzie is going to look with that sweet Jim Gordon mustache.

This is definitely the case for Fox’s upcoming series, Gotham. Based in Batman’s hometown, the series follows everyone’s favorite Batman ally, Jim Gordon, as he begins his career with Gotham P.D. Long before he was Commissioner Gordon, he was just a rookie cop trying to keep Gotham City safe. Not the easiest thing to do in such a broken city, where the city officials and police officers are just as corrupt as the criminals, if not more.

Hopefully they'll focus less on Bruce going through puberty and more on him going through training.

Hopefully they’ll focus less on Bruce going through puberty and more on him going through training.

The show will also be focusing on an adolescent Bruce Wayne after the tragic death of his parents, following him throughout his youth and teenage years, as he gains all the worldly knowledge that he’ll need to become the Caped Crusader. Honestly, I’m not quite sure how entertaining all of that is going to be. The later years should be more interesting than the earlier but the writers are bound to find a way to make it all exciting. Something about Bruce Wayne attending private school and sitting through classes just makes me yawn. Might have to fast-forward through those scenes. Once he gets into his training and preparation, that’s where the fun will start.

A plus side to the show is that you’ll get to see how some of Batman’s greatest foes came to be. The Joker, the Penguin, Catwoman, and many others will have their origins told but instead of fighting the Dark Knight, they’ll have to contend with the tough-as-nails Jim Gordon. It’ll be interesting to see if they use the “Red Hood” origin story to introduce the Joker or if they’ll find a brand new way. If they keep with the proper timeline of things, we probably won’t get to see Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, the Riddler, or Scarecrow, but you never know. We may get to see their pre-villainous forms, which could still be intriguing.

Can he be the tough, honest cop that Gotham needs?

Can he be the tough, honest cop that Gotham needs?

So far, there is a basic cast list for the show, just some of the main characters so far. Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon, which I’m all for because he’s actually a really good actor and can totally make it work. If you want proof, watch Southland. Donal Logue as Gordon’s partner, Harvey Bullock, is another solid casting choice. He’s one of my favorite actors and will pull off the rough-around-the-edges cop role nicely. Sean Pertwee, son of the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, will play the role of Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s caregiver and protector. He’s got the “middle-aged, ex-marine Alfred” look to him. So far, only two villains have been cast: Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot (aka The Penguin) and Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, a sadistic crime gangster and nightclub owner, as well as Oswald’s boss. Both very interesting choices and I’m excited to see what they do with the roles.

From the first announcement of it, I’ve gone back and forth with this show. I was okay with it when they said it was going to focus on Gordon and the Gotham P.D. Then there was a rumor that the show was going to be more like Smallville, with Bruce and the villains being in high school together, which I was completely against because it’s a ridiculous idea. But now with the confirmation of the way the show is actually going to be, I’m more excited than ever about Gotham. I shall remain skeptical however, as I have been let down before by comic-book-to-television adaptations (Birds of Prey). As I grow older, I learn with every new adaptation to reserve judgement until the final product is revealed. So until it premieres, I’ll will remain excited, yet reserved.

What are your thoughts on Gotham? Post your comments in the comments section.

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MoS2 is to The Avengers, as GoBots are to Transformers

You could also say “Man of Steel 2 is to The Avengers, as Mega Bloks are to Legos.” Either way, it works. Now I shall explain what I mean.

The Avengers was well made, well assembled, and everyone wanted it, just like Transformers and Legos (I’m referring to the toys in this instance). From the moment Marvel started piecing their gigantic, kick-ass puzzle, all the pieces fell together so nicely and at no point did I worry about their casting choices. Even when Chris Evans went from being the Human Torch to Captain America, I thought it was a good choice. The whole damn thing just felt right. Not to mention, they started off on a damn good foot with Iron Man. From there, they built up to something absolutely spectacular, as they should have.

The same cannot be said for DC and whatever it is they’re doing with Man of Steel 2 (aka the Batman vs Superman movie). To me, the only solid casting choice they’ve made so far is Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman. Actually, their casting choices for characters in the first film was actually pretty damn solid, my favorite being Michael Shannon as General Zod. However, casting for the sequel has left me question the mental stability at Warner Bros.

The new Batman. How ya like dem apples?

The new Batman. How ya like dem apples?

First, there’s Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I have not been a fan of this decision from the very beginning… but I’m willing to give him a chance. He’s shown in recent years that he has matured as an actor and is an excellent writer and director. But does he have what it takes to be Batman? I’m still very iffy about that. He could be awesome and rank up there with Keaton and Bale or he could suck like Clooney did and be forever shunned. I have a strong feeling that he’s not taking this task lightly and he’s really going to dedicate himself to the role. As a Batman fan himself, I believe he knows this is not a role one can just phone in. The fanatics will eat him alive. My doubts will remain until the film is released, so I guess only time will tell if this was a good choice or not.

Next is Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Honestly, I really know nothing of the woman, other than what I’ve read since she was cast. A model/actress who’s big break came from the recent Fast and Furious films. Doesn’t really give much assurance. I mean, it’s not like I’m really in an uproar about this one. I was never a huge Wonder Woman fan anyway. She may surprise the hell outta all of us and be the best damn WW they could’ve cast. She might also be completely awful and end up making Warner Bros regret not casting someone else. But still, don’t care too much on this one.

I just don't see it.

I just don’t see it.

This most recent bit of casting really boggles my mind: Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth. What the actual eff?! I don’t see it, I just don’t. When Eisenberg was cast, the must have misheard the request for Heisenberg (Bryan Cranston) and cast Jesse instead. That’s the only thing I can figure. I’ve come to terms with the notion of Bryan Cranston being Lex Luthor but I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with Jesse Eisenberg in the role. There is nothing about him that makes me think he can play the character well. Nothing about the way he looks or acts or anything. He’s gonna need to pull a serious hat trick for this one. For me, he’d be better suited to play the character of Lenny from Superman 4, if they decided to bring him back.

And as for Jeremy Irons, I’ve always seen him as more suited for the villain role. He’s played heroes before but he makes a much better villain. I mean, have you seen Die Hard with a Vengeance?! He’s better suited for Alfred than Eisenberg is for Luthor but I would’ve cast him as Mr. Freeze or Ra’s al Ghul before I cast him as Alfred. He would make an incredible Mr. Freeze, without a doubt. I could even see him as The Riddler. But I guess, his casting is a bit more palatable than Jesse’s.

Like I said before, my doubts will remain until the film is released before I make my final judgement but it would be nice to have the confidence in this film like I did with The Avengers.

One last thought: I want Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow to be part of the DC Cinematic Universe. No one else should play the part. Back off, Justin Hartley.

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The Doctor’s New Threads, When Loki Was Almost Thor, and Uwe Boll is STILL Getting Work

 

 

1. BBC finally revealed Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor costume….And it’s pretty freakin’ snazzy! It’s a modern take on a retro style that gives Capaldi’s Doctor just an extra touch of class.  A dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, a white shirt with absolutely no tie, dark blue trousers, and black Dr Martens shoes. The look was created by Doctor Who costume designer Howard Burden. Still no image of his Sonic screwdriver has been revealed, nor any image of him using one. Hopefully he’s not going “sans Screwdriver” for his run as the Doctor.

Lookin' sharp, Doc. (image property of BBC)

Lookin’ sharp, Doc. (image property of BBC)

2. Have you seen the gifs of Tom Hiddleston as Thor? Apparently, before he became the Loki that we all know and love, he auditioned for the role of the god of thunder himself, Thor. Although, he looks more like Bodhi from Point Break. The test footage will be one of the extras on the DVD and Blu-ray release of Thor: The Dark World when it releases on Feb. 25th. Also, there’s some footage dressed as Captain America. It’s like he wants to play all of the Avengers or something.

Thor, God of Thunder. And gnarly waves. (image property of Marvel)

Thor, God of Thunder. And gnarly waves. (image property of Marvel)

3. Remember the ghastly film adaptations of the video games BloodRayne, Dungeon Siege, Far Cry, Postal, Alone in the Dark, and House of the Dead that Uwe Boll made? And remember the petition that was started to convince him to stop making films like the aforementioned ones? Well the petition didn’t work (there weren’t enough signatures and the douchebag wouldn’t have honored it anyway) and Boll is still making crappy adaptations.

During one of my internet searches for movies soon to be released, I discovered that a third Dungeon Siege film is set to release next month (In the Name of the King 3) and Boll was at the helm for it. Dammit. Why is this guy still getting work?! Who is funding this schmuck?! Has no one seen any of his previous work?! I just don’t get it. I’ve only seen one film that this guy has done that I actually like (Rampage) and the rest is garbage. Everything he does goes straight to DVD now, so that has to be how he’s squeaking by unnoticed. Thankfully, no major studio has thought, “Ya know, this guy has got some talent. We should hire him.” There would be riots. Large scale riots with fire and explosions and such, followed by the jackass that hired him being forced to commit seppuku.

Anyway, here’s the trailer for Rampage. It’s also getting a sequel but I’m a little unsure about watching it. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, if ya know what I mean.

[Header image property of BBC]

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Geeky Updates Galore!

So, a lot is going on in the world of Geek Cinema, as I like to call it. I thought now would be a good time for a round-up.

The Sorcerer Supreme

The Sorcerer Supreme

1. Marvel courting Johnny Depp for the role of Doctor Strange?!

-Let’s hope not. Don’t get me wrong, I think Depp is an incredible actor but I’m sick of seeing him in EVERYTHING and I think there are other equally talented actors out there that would be better suited for the role. Jim Caviezel, Justin Theroux, Viggo Mortensen, Oded Fehr, Joseph Fiennes, and Karl Urban, just to name a few. Thankfully, the rumors of him being courted for the role are just that, rumors. And let’s hope they stay that way.

 

 

I hope there's some excellent special features on this.

I hope there’s some excellent special features on this.

2. THE ADAM WEST BATMAN TV SERIES FROM ’66 IS FINALLY COMING TO DVD (AND HOPEFULLY BLU-RAY)!!!

-You heard me right. After years and years and years of waiting, the series is finally being officially released. Thank you, Warner Bros! I’ve waited too long for this. TOO LONG.

 

 

Could this be Aquaman?

Could this be Aquaman?

3. Man of Steel 2/Batman vs. Superman just keeps turning into Justice League more and more every day.

– Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck as Superman and Batman, respectively. Then came Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Then there were rumors of Denzel Washington and Dwayne Johnson for the role of Green Lantern. And there was also the rumor of Jason Momoa being eyed for the role of Martian Manhunter (but I’d prefer Lobo). Well now we have Josh Holloway being sought for the role of Aquaman. Seriously? I really hope Warner Bros doesn’t end up turning the film into another Spider-man 3. We all remember Spider-man 3, don’t we? Hopefully all of these roles, if actually cast, will just be small cameos at the end of the film to set-up a JLA film. Hopefully.

 

Soak in all that douchebag-y goodness.

Soak in all that douchebag-y goodness.

 

4. Michael Douglas is Hank Pym in Ant-Man.

-Yep. Gordon Gekko is Hank Pym, which I guess makes sense because they were both major A-holes. So maybe this will work. I’m still on the fence about this because I think he’s overrated as an actor. I think Paul Rudd was a great choice, Michael Douglas…not so much. But I guess I’ll just wait and see.

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The Cool Ship Has a Music Lounge?!

I haven’t written about anything music related in a while, and I’ve been in a musical mood lately (not “musical” as in musicals but “musical” as in music, if that makes sense), so I thought I’d write something music oriented.

First off, I wanna talk about Queens of the Stone Age. Seriously, one of my favorite bands of all time. They are the quintessential rock band, no doubt about it. Each member oozes rock ‘n roll swagger and musical excellence with every note they play or lyric they sing. And their appearance on Austin City Limits is a prime example of that. If you haven’t seen in yet, you’re missing out. Take a gander and find out why they’re so amazing.

Are you hooked?

Yeah, you’re hooked. (If not, get out)

And if you’re digging them, check out Josh Homme’s (the frontman) other projects: Kyuss, The Desert Sessions, Eagles of Death Metal, and Them Crooked Vultures. Oh, and there’s this:

Next, I was trying to think of a top five list of mainstream bands that would make incredibly kick-ass wedding bands, but the my thought process in stuck on one band, Powerman 5000. How freaking sweet would that be?! You sit through the wedding, head to the reception, if you’re lucky there’s an open bar, the music kicks in, and BAM…PM5K starts rockin’ the stage! It would be the only time I would enjoy listening to the Chicken Dance.

Or at least, their cover of Devo’s “Whip It”

Finally, any music project Phil Anselmo is a part of is beyond badass and will definitely have my approval. His newest project is no exception. Philip Anselmo & the Illegals’ Walk Through Exits Only is a heavy metal masterpiece. Raw, brutal, and unabashedly blunt, it’s one of the best metal albums of 2013. I hope he plans to continue with this solo project because I foresee even greater things coming from it in the future. It feels like an invigoratingly new Anselmo. Not that his recent work with Down is lacking anything, it’s just a different vibe, a different energy.

I miss Pantera as much as the next metal head, but Dimebag is gone and it doesn’t look like Phil and Vinnie are ever gonna reconcile, so any new music that Phil makes is gonna have to fill that void. And he’s doing a damn fine job of it, a much better job than Vinnie Paul’s band, Hellyeah.

What music is tickling your fancy lately? Leave your comments in the comment section.

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The Dawn of 22 Interstellar Apes on Jump street (or Something Like That)

Recently, three trailers have been released that have me pretty excited for the new year of movies. Two serious, intelligent science fiction films and an college humor-filled action/comedy. I’m hoping these films are a sign of good things to come to the theaters in 2014.

First off, the new Christopher Nolan masterpiece, Interstellar. The film stars Matthew McConaughey (thankfully he’s given up on chick flicks) as a member of a group of explorers who use a wormhole to go beyond the limits of human space travel and conquer the vast reaches of space that mankind has been unable to travel to.

It’s a Christopher Nolan film about space travel in the unknown reaches of space that mankind has never traveled to before. That’s enough for me to want to see it. It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen in the film. It’s certain that there won’t be any laughable alien encounters, which is a good thing. I think it’s about time we had a more “realistic” space exploration film. And hope McConaughey will give an Oscar-worthy performance that we all know he’s capable of.

Here’s the teaser trailer:

 

Next up, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes continues where the first film left off. A virus has devastated the globe, leaving humans outnumbered and fighting for survival against a growing race of genetically evolved apes.

I’m a fan of the first film and have been looking forward to this film for a while. And with the addition of Gary Oldman to the cast, things just got even better. Any film can be great but if you add Gary Oldman, the film will be fantastic. I know I’ve complained about remake/reboots before but this is one I can live with.

Here’s the first, exciting trailer:

 

And last but not least, the sequel to the laugh-out-loud hilarious action/comedy hit, 21 Jump Street. And it has one of the best titles for a sequel ever, 22 Jump Street! Clever, right?

Let me just start off by saying that I am not a fan of Channing Tatum. I think that he is a sub-par actor who can be funny at times and he should have not been the actor to play Duke in the G.I. Joe films, but he was hilarious in the first film. He and Jonah Hill were an incredible comedic pairing and I hope they can duplicate the magic they made in the first film. And they brought back Ice Cube! Win. In this film, they’re headed to college to stop a new drug that’s emerging before it’s too late.

Here’s the side-splitting new trailer (try not to pee yourself from laughing too hard):

 

What films in 2014 are you looking forward to? Leave your answers in the comments section.

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Do We Really Need Another Godzilla Remake?

I mean, really?! Do we?

I know we don’t NEED one, so I guess my question should be “Do we really want another Godzilla remake?” Why can’t we just be satisfied with the classics and be done with it? Why must Hollywood once again milk the teets (does it have teets?) of Japan’s beloved gigantic lizard? Wasn’t the last horrible remake enough to make them say, “Hey, maybe we should just let this one go.”

original-godzilla

I am perfectly content with the old school, guy-in-a-rubber-lizard-suit Godzilla flicks. I don’t need a giant CGI Godzilla rampaging through some unsuspecting city (probably L.A. or NY), breathing radioactive fire, and thwarting the military at every turn. We all know how the movie is going to play out. He’ll show up mysteriously (because no one ever notices the monstrous lizard hiding undersea), wreck a butt-ton of buildings, kill a lot of people, and just basically scare the shit out of people. Everyone will get super-dramatic and not know what to do but will try a bunch of stuff that they think will work but ultimately know won’t. And then one scientist, or an incredibly intelligent citizen (probably Bryan Cranston), will figure out a weakness Godzilla has and then the military will develop a plan to destroy him. Same thing every time.

Did Pacific Rim not fill the giant, rampaging monster quota for a while? Is there a quota? If not, there should be. Maybe not a quota but a limit. There should definitely be a limit on remakes. Maybe one or two a year. I have no problem with a good remake every now and then, but when the theaters are being overrun with them like deer, it’s time we “thin the herd.”

The original idea is becoming somewhat of a lost art anymore. I know that a lot of people say that truly original ideas don’t exist anymore but at least some people are trying. Sure it’s easy money to take another person’s previous work, repackage it, and sell it as your own, but where’s the fun in that. If a writer did that with a book, they’d call it plagiarism. Someone does it with a film, it’s called a reboot. Makes no sense.

Ya know, I’m glad Bryan Cranston is getting work, especially since he won’t be playing Lex Luthor anytime soon. And I’m talking as though I’ll boycott this film for the rest of my life but I’ll end up watching it eventually, probably when it hits Netflix. However, I still believe that this film doesn’t need to be made and Hollywood needs to take a very long break from remakes and reboots. New, original material is required.

Here’s the trailer for the new Godzilla film. By the way, there is no way in hell those paratroopers are going to do any sort of damage to Godzilla. I’m gonna bet that most if not all of them will die. Great plan, guys.

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The Doctor, The Muppets, and The Sequel That Should Not Be

None of the topics in the title are connected, just three things I wanted to talk about.

The Eighth Doctor preparing to drink the elixir that will turn him into the "War Doctor."

The Eighth Doctor preparing to drink the elixir that will turn him into the “War Doctor.” [image source: Wikipedia]

First off, The Doctor. More to the point, the Eighth Doctor. Watching The Night of the Doctor has left me wanting more from the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) and apparently I’m not the only one. An online petition has been created to try and convince the BBC to create an online series for Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, a series he so rightfully deserves. It’s pretty close to its 15,000 supporter goal with less than 750 supporters to go. If you haven’t stopped by and signed it yet, do so now. I’m not really sure if this petition will make a difference in convincing the BBC and Steven Moffat to create the series, but it’s worth a shot. You know, never hurts to try and all that jazz.

For those of you that don’t know, Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor never got his own televised series because the 1996 revival from BBC and 20th Century Fox failed to meet expectations and the full revival never took off. However, McGann did make a name for himself as the Eighth Doctor by continuing his adventures through some wonderfully entertaining audio dramas from Big Finish Productions. If you haven’t heard them yet, I suggest giving them a listen. Recently, he made his return to the screen in The Night of the Doctor, where we find out just how the Eighth Doctor becomes John Hurt’s mysterious “War Doctor.” It was a welcome return and we should all be very lucky to see more of McGann’s Doctor.

Ricky Gervais is just one of the many celebrities appearing in Muppets Most Wanted

Ricky Gervais is just one of the many celebrities appearing in Muppets Most Wanted. [image source: Disney]

Second, The Muppets are back! After the success of The Muppets in 2011 (which I loved), it was inevitable that we would be granted a sequel that would be no less entertaining than the first. That’s where Muppets Most Wanted comes in. The new film finds Kermit in some trouble in Europe when he’s mistaken for a master criminal who has switch places him. Surprisingly, no one in the Muppet gang notices the difference. Now it’s up to Kermit to escape prison, find his evil doppelganger, and bring him to justice, not to mention convince the others that he’s the real Kermit. And in true Muppet style, it will be a musical comedy and there will be loads of celebrity appearances (including Disney’s unfortunate addition of some of their Disney Channel “talent”). This should be hilarious!

Here’s the official UK trailer for Muppets Most Wanted:

 

Lastly, and I shudder at the thought of this actually happening, some independent film producers are trying to make a sequel to It’s A Wonderful Life. Yes, you heard me right.

I'm sure if this sequel was ever made, George Bailey would jump off a bridge. [image source: Paramount]

I’m sure if this sequel was ever made, George Bailey would jump off a bridge. [image source: Paramount]

The rights to the Christmas classic–released over 60 years ago–are owned by Paramount Studios, and they are refusing grant any rights to let the sequel be made. They are doing everything they can to protect the integrity of the original. Thank you, Paramount. And Jimmy Stewart thanks you. Your actions in this matter give me hope that not every studio is a  full-on, money-grubbing whore. It’s a Christmas freakin’ miracle! There is no need for a sequel to this film. There never was and there never will be, especially this long after the film’s original release. To make one would be trampling on the beauty and heartfelt magic of the original.

You can read more about it here.

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Superheroes and the Small Screen

With Marvel and Netflix inking a deal to bring “Marvel’s Flawed Heroes of Hell’s Kitchen” to the small screen (Netflix being an internet version of television), there is the potential for even more heroes to follow the same path.

"The Man Without Fear"  [image property of Marvel Comics]

“The Man Without Fear”
[image property of Marvel Comics]

After regaining the rights to Punisher, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, and Blade, fans have been wondering what plans Marvel had for their darker properties. Now we (sort of) have an answer. Starting in 2015, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones will each have their own 13-episode runs on Netflix, culminating in a “The Defenders” mini-series. Depending on how successful this deal ends up being, it could open a lot of doors for other Marvel characters. And maybe even characters from other comic publishers.

For starters, an unrated Punisher series, made in the same vein of the Marvel MAX imprint, would be phenomenal. An unrelenting, bloody, violent, carnage-filled series showcase how truly badass the Punisher is, is exactly what Marvel needs. The same goes for Blade. It needs to be uncensored, violent and bloody. It’s a story about a half human/half vampire that hunts and kills other vampires. But it should definitely not star Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones. I don’t think Wesley Snipes should reprise the role either. We need a fresh perspective for both Blade and The Punisher.

Marc Spector/Moon Knight [image property of Marvel Comics]

Marc Spector/Moon Knight
[image property of Marvel Comics]

From there they could venture into the realm of a character like Moon Knight. He’s essentially Marvel’s version of Batman but with a few differences. He believes he’s the avatar for the Egyptian god of vengeance, so he might be just a tad bit crazy. Where Batman fights crime to avenge the murder of his parents, Moon Knight will kick the crap out of anyone he thinks deserves a butt-kicking because it makes him feel better about all the people he killed as a mercenary. He’s rich and uses gadgets like Batman, but he fights with a different code of ethics, so that could make for some interesting story arcs. After that they could even branch out to Cloak and Dagger, Black Panther, or Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier.

Other comic publishers could take notes from this and bring characters from Hellblazer, The Sandman, B.P.R.D., Preacher, 100 Bullets, Y the Last Man, and so on to life. DC Comics might have some success with this venture, even though they’ve had some recent success with Arrow and possibly even more success with a Flash spin-off, they still had shows for Aquaman and Wonder Woman that never made it past their pilot episodes. This might be the perfect way to set up their Justice League movie. Characters like Aquaman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter might not have what it takes to hold their own on the big screen like Batman (and to a lesser extent, Superman) but they would probably do very well (if written, acted, and directed properly) on the small screen. They shouldn’t be discourage by their previous failures, but be encouraged by the success of Smallville and Arrow.

The big screen has been good for Marvel, and I think the small screen will too. They have been able to dominate the competition quite easily and, from the looks of things, will continue to do so. But in order to stay in the game, the other comic book companies need to step up their game and start trying to make things happen in new outlets. Netflix, HULU Plus, iTunes, Amazon Video…something. The fans want to see their favorite characters brought to life, as long as it’s done well. A season or more of one-hour episodes gives you more time to fully develop a characters story than a few two-hour films would.  A leap to the small screen could be just the way to give them what they want.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Gives Me Hope for B.P.R.D.

So I finally sat down the other night and watched an episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and I have to say I was impressed. I wasn’t sure what to expect besides the badassness of Coulson but I was actually entertained. Not that Marvel Studios  has let me down in anyway recently. I just wasn’t sure how they would transfer to the small screen. I’ve heard good things about it, but I wanted to judge for myself.

I watched the episode titled “FZZT” about some weird electrical occurrences that were killing people and the team had to discover what was going on. And I know, I didn’t start at the beginning of the series, and I probably missed some interesting things that happened from the start, but I’ll catch up later. Coulson was great as always, the rest of the cast was pretty solid, there was a sweet tie-in to the Avengers film, and the writing was worthy of a few more viewings from myself, if not a steady following.

Though I enjoyed the show, it did make me long for the return of Alphas, which was cancelled by Syfy this year. That’s what Agents reminded me of, a de-powered version of Alphas. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Alphas was essentially X-Men but a bit more realistic and without costumes. It was an entertaining, highly underrated, and somewhat unknown show about mutants, or “Supers” as they were referred to, that everyone should see. It’s on Netflix by the way.

The B.P.R.D. has a sweet logo too.

The B.P.R.D. has a sweet logo too.

Another thing that Agents makes me think of is the B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense). I’m wondering if, with the success of Agents and the popularity of the Hellboy film series and comics, it’s possible for a television series based off of the comic book series. Center it around the characters Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and assorted others, with an appearance by Hellboy every now and then. The premise would be similar to the movies, they take on all of the strange paranormal cases that the normal government agencies won’t take on and keep the humans safe from the things that go bump in the night. Good or bad, I would watch it.

Mike Mignola could write the pilot, or all the episodes, and executive produce the show. Guillermo del Toro could direct the pilot and they could tie everything into the film universe with the show taking off several years from where the second film left off. Maybe even have del Toro supervise with some of the design aspects such as character, costume, and set design. He shouldn’t have total control over it. This should be a fresh take on the universe, not a regurgitated version of del Toro’s stuff on the small screen.

The B.P.R.D. universe is large enough that there would be plenty of material to work with and Mignola is creative enough to come up with some new things if need be. And I’m sure that as long as some solid writers are hired, there shouldn’t be a problem with writing up some incredible scripts. And think of all of the merchandising opportunities! Toys, clothes, games, posters, fruit snacks, bath soaps and so on. The possibilities are limitless.

If Dark Horse Entertainment is paying attention to the success of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the show’s success keeps growing, hopefully they’ll realize the potential that B.P.R.D. has for being a worldwide sensation. This thing could be huge! H.U.G.E.

[featured image source: Wikipedia.org]

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