Do You Have Angst?: January 2016

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2016 Nerdgasm Part 2: Television

The party continues. When the popcorn is gone and you’re waiting for the next big film, there are now plenty of television shows to fill in the blanks! (If you watch all of this, there won’t be any blanks! Welcome to couch potato 101)

The Shannara Chronicles ( really, the “Music Television” channel) January 4th, 2016:
Imagine CW taking Game of Thrones and making it more...angsty (shut it), less rapey (ugh), with lots of very young, pretty people and a few dudes with amazing voices to add weight to the show. Hi, welcome to Shannara.

It’s okay. My son was not a fan, but I have friends who enjoy it. There really isn't enough fantasy on television. So, yes. I feel it's my sworn duty, as an admitted nerd, to watch Shannara Chronicles in hopes that it can grow into something amazing. I swear, I'm not just crushing on Poppy Drayton who looks amazing and beautiful in every scene. Nope. I swear. Really. (Don't make this weird.) Fingers crossed it comes together, let's give it a chance. You can watch the first 4 episodes here!

The Expanse (Syfy) Based on a series of books by James S.A. Corey (the pen name for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), The Expanse takes place 200 years in the future. The military has colonized Mars and their relationship with Earth is cold war. There are also people who are born and work in The Belt (asteroid belt) and they seek independence. I’m only a few episodes in, but someone is trying to start a war, and it’s a mystery. I don’t have a clue as to where they are going, but I really like what I’ve seen so far. If it all comes together in a cohesive way, eventually, I’m totally sold.

Supergirl (CBS) I’ve read posts on a few random sites from guys complaining about this show. My wife and daughter love it, and really, that’s all that matters. There aren’t enough superhero shows about women, or for women. I really feel like this one was needed. Personally, I think the show is good and getting better! No, it’s not my favorite, but it wasn’t made for me either. In a way, I love that. With so many shows about superheroes, the only way they will enjoy success is to stand apart. And one way to do that is to target a specific audience. The Toy Man episode was excellent and I love that the Martian Manhunter is in it. He looks amazing! I hope they keep it going, and I hope to see a crossover with The Flash!

Agent Carter (ABC) January 19th, 2016: I'm afraid if I don't watch this Hayley Atwell may beat the crap out of me. O.O Really though, great characters, fun story, stands just fine on its own while comfortably attached to Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). I love that there is a season 2, I hope they keep it going!

The Flash (CW) January 19th, 2016:
*SPOILERS - if you haven't started season two, run away!* Okay, that scene where Zoom break's Barry's back and runs him around the city by his neck. Daaaaaamn. That was rough.

Aside from The Flash being one of my favorite heroes growing up, there is a lot I love about this show. Great effects, fine acting and plenty of action make it a fun ride. My favorite is that they don't shy away from anything. King Shark and Gorilla Grodd are examples of characters that made me shake my head and say, "Wow, they really did that...and it worked!" My only problem with this show is that the new episodes don’t come fast enough! (Ahhh! I crack myself up! That was funny! Is this thing on?)

Arrow (CW) January 20th, 2016: This season of Batman has been much better than the last. Wait, did I say Batman? My bad. :) I felt like last season ran out of steam. Oliver has become kinder and gentler and to the dismay of my wife doesn’t do enough chinups. I do like the crossovers with Flash, because it makes sense to have the occasional team-up, but they’ve got so many heroes now that they should pull a few supporting characters and put them in another show. (Hey!) With that in mind. both Arrow and Flash spent a lot of time building up for CW’s third superhero show...

Legends of Tomorrow (CW) January 21st, 2016: I can’t imagine how this even got made. The pitch had to go something like “Hey, I’ve got an idea, let’s take all of the supporting characters from The Flash and Arrow and make a time travel show!” CW has my sincere admiration for trying this. It really looks like comic book miniseries material. Part of me thinks it’ll be a hot mess, but it also looks like a lot of fun! I’ll definitely be along for the ride!

The X-Files (Fox) January 24th, 2016: At what point is a show old enough that it’s okay to have a few nostalgic memories? I don’t think my wife or I missed an episode throughout the first seven seasons. We enjoyed the first film too. There were two more seasons and a second movie that weren’t my favorite. I really feel that they have told their story. It was great, but it’s really hard to go back and care about these characters. I’ll watch it, and I really hope they pull it off, but theirs is an uphill climb! That said, here is picture of Tooms, because he creeped the hell out of my wife and she is editing this blog post.

The Magicians (Syfy) January 25th, 2016: Harry Potter goes to college. The reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are mixed, but when did a bad review of a nerd show ever stop us from giving it a try? More importantly, what the hell happened to the Syfy channel? I thought it had gone the way of MTV not playing music, only showing WWE and Sharknado. Now they’ve got all of these new sci-fi and fantasy shows out, and MTV is making fantasy, and...what alternate dimension am I in?

Gotham (FOX) February 29th, 2016: (In my deepest announcer voice) In a wooorld, where Alfred slaps up street kids, Commisioner Gordon’s wife acts like Harley Quinn, and a 15 year old Silver St. Cloud tries to seduce a 14 year old Bruce Wayne. Watch Gotham, to learn how the bad guys went crazy from being in an alternate universe from their comic book counterparts, and nothing is the same! (I’ll keep watching through this season, but if Michael Chiklis doesn’t get to say, “It’s clobberin time,” I’m throwing in the bat-towel.)

Agents of SHIELD (ABC) March 8th: I feel this show really began to stand on its own with the introduction of The Inhumans. When SHIELD began, it felt like someone added fuzzy dice to the overall MCU. It was fun, but you kind of wondered why. There were some minor film tie-ins and cameos, but that was it. After the Captain America: Winter Soldier tie-in, things changed. The show has now developed into something that stands on its own and is worth watching while still being connected to the rest of the MCU.

Daredevil (Netflix) March 18, 2016: There are a lot of Punisher fans that will be happy that Frank Castle seems to be one of the primary antagonists in the second season. The show will also delve into Matt Murdoch’s relationship with Elektra. I enjoyed most of season one. My primary nit to pick is that the secondary story lines in both Daredevil’s first season and even moreso with Jessica Jones (ie. the twins) seem unnecessary and distracting. The rest was fantastic, and I’m looking forward to season 2!

Emerald City (NBC) April 15, 2016: A dark and gritty Wizard of Oz. It sounds to me like someone at NBC saw the image below and took it literally. Living a state over from Kansas, I feel obliged to watch the premiere. However, if dark and gritty means that Dorothy is going to break Zod’s neck, I’m out.

Game of Thrones (HBO) April 24th, 2016: Game of Thrones is definitely not for everyone. Incest, rape, gorey’s a rough world that I don’t want to visit, in person. The show has also been solid from day one. You never get the impression that, like some shows, if you wait a little longer it will get better, it already is better. I believe there are only two seasons left, and a lot of plot threads to wrap up. I look forward to seeing how they do it!

Westworld (HBO) 2016:  My mom enjoyed the original movie, partly because she was a huge Yul Brynner fan, I'm sure for his acting in the same way that I love Kate Beckinsale. I've always been impressed with Crichton's work. For these reasons alone I'll be watching Westworld. HBO has a great lineup of actors too, which can be a good sign.

Luke Cage (Netflix) He’s not Luke Cage, he’s Power Man! What is the world coming to! Oh, yeah, hi. So, at some time in 2016, Power Man will premiere as Netflix’s 3rd Marvel series. After introducing Cage in Jessica Jones, they’ve already got something to build on. I have no doubt it will stand as solid as the other two shows, but my question, does he get to wear the yellow shirt?

Ash vs Evil Dead (Starz) If you enjoyed The Army of Darkness, you’ll love this show. They haven’t missed a beat. There are 10 half hour episodes, with loads of comic book gore and some campy fun. Bruce Campbell is still groovy, and the show has already been renewed for season 2.

Dark Matter (Syfy) and Killjoys (Syfy) and 12 Monkeys (Syfy) Van Helsing (Syfy) Okay, now I’m just being lazy. SOOOMANYSHOWS. Support your local Syfy channel to get more sci-fi so they eventually make more Battlestar Galactica.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2016 Movie Nerdgasm

This is a great time to be a fan of comic books, science fiction, and fantasy. Technology is finally at the point where it is, more or less, affordable to make movies and television shows based on our favorite stories. This year is going to push me and my fellow nerds into getting another job just to see everything that looks even halfway good. I often buy tickets in advance for 15-25 friends to see these types of films, and I fear I’m going to have to be selective because there are so many (though that’s a great problem to have!).

Considering the growing number of superhero movies and television shows, I believe viewers expectations are going to be higher than ever. Personally, I’m an easy going fanboy. Make a halfway decent attempt to entertain me, and you’ve got my money. Muck around with continuity a little and I won’t lose too much sleep. Completely change characters and I'm not as forgiving. (Ahem, Deadpool in the first Wolverine movie, or the neck-breaking Superman...yeah.) I think there is also a danger of oversaturation. Will this year finally pop the balloon, or are there enough great movies and shows coming to keep it going? I’m hoping the latter.

There will definitely be a lot of changes, especially in the superhero genre, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I look at it like this. There have been a lot of different artists, writers and movies all presenting a different take on the Batman character. You can love the campy 1960s television show just as much as you love Michael Keaton or Christian Bale’s versions.  Similarly, I love the 90s television show The Flash for what it was, and the new show for what it is. If 2016 isn’t cookie cutter, if they are unique enough with good scripts, we’re going to have a lot of fun!

I’m splitting this post in two. Below are my thoughts on the movies I’m going to see this year, and the next post will be television. Let’s go!

Deadpool: February 12, 2016 - I laughed more than I should at the first preview (I may have been intoxicated). If they can keep that momentum going with a good enough story, this is going to be awesome. (Can I have a Colossus movie now, too!?)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: March 25, 2016 After watching the Superman v Batman Dawn of etc etc trailer, did anyone else walk away thinking “I can’t wait for the Wonder Woman movie!”? Otherwise, I reserve judgement, and hope for the best. Here is my favorite preview of the upcoming film :)

Captain America: Civil War: May 6, 2016 Civil War (or Avengers 3.5) marks the start of Phase 3 - I’m excited and bittersweet about this film. The comics were great but so rough. I have faith in Marvel, they continue to make everything work. According to Buzzfeed, the worst Marvel movie is Iron Man 2. I really wish I could make a $600 million dollar mistake. I digress. Civil War is the first film kicking off Phase 3, and I’ll be there!

X-Men: Apocalypse: May 27, 2016 I grew up a huge X-Men fan. I thought the first two movies were fresh when there were less superhero films being made. Now I worry that this upcoming retcon in a secular universe may be a little overdone. I was too critical of Days of Future Past because they were based on the first X-Men comics I read. I think tackling Apocalypse as a villain is ambitious. He was always one of those too-powerful bad guys, and that’s going to be hard to produce on screen. That said, everyone in the sneak looks fantastic, so I’m hopeful. I’d really like to see the X-Men fit back into the Marvel Universe like they are doing with Spider-Man.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: June 6th, 2015 TNMT drinking game: Any time Megan Fox is in the movie to be pretty instead of being April O’Neil reporter, Cristi and I drink. We got hammered during the first film. Go Megan!!!

Warcraft: June 10th, 2016: “Let me tell you about my days raiding in vanilla WoW…” <insert old man wheeze>. My friends are concerned that it’s too late. They have a crazy amount of material to pull from, and a fan base that is both knowledgeable of that history and critical of mistakes. It’s going to be a challenge to present a solid story, make those fans happy, and throw in a few things gamers will recognize that non-players might not without losing either audience.

Independence Day: Resurgence: June 24th, 2016 This preview gave my lovely and beautiful wife goosebumps. We watch the first one as a tradition every 4th of July, it’s a fun alien invasion romp, and I have no doubt the sequel will be as well.

Ghostbusters 3: July 15th, 2016  I read lots of posts bitching about the pics, and that’s after seeing, what, like a dozen photos? stfu! I say give this a chance!

Star Trek Beyond: July 22nd, 2016: I was so pumped when I watched the trailer! The Enterprise getting torn apart by those ships! Scotty almost flying off the edge of a cliff! That transporter trick with Kirk and the hot alien! Hell yeah! And then, I read those highly critical posts by Trekkies as to why this looked more like Fast and Furious and less like a serious, thought provoking addition to the Star Trek franchise. Ahem. Yes. I completely agree. I also refute any evidence that I’ve shown the fun...inappropriately misdirected trailer to all of my friends. (You can find it here! Shhhh!)

Suicide Squad: August 5, 2016 It’s my understanding that this will fit into the DC movie-verse continuity. I’m really glad it’s not just a one-off. The preview is put together well, and tells me that they have a LOT of characters to juggle. While I hope it’s good, the one thing I can guarantee is a lot of cosplay will come from this film!

This link is to a cool image that let's you compare characters from the comics with those in the movie!

Underworld 5: October 21st, 2016 Kate Beckinsale

Doctor Strange: November 4, 2016 Marvel doesn’t shy away from anything, do they? This time they are tackling magic. If they can do this, I have no doubt they can make an exciting superhero movie about SPAM. (Not comparing Dr. Strange to everyone’s favorite canned meat, I’m comparing Marvel’s ability to make their audience suspend disbelief.) At least they’ve got the right actor for it. The early pics of Cumberbatch are A-MA-ZING! Check out more on Entertainment Weekly!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: November 18th, 2016 Why not? Give us more from the world of Harry Potter. The teaser looks fun!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: December 16, 2016 After The Force Awakens, I’m hungry for more Star Wars. Rogue One is about the rebels who stole the plans for the Death Star, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they tackle their first film that isn’t a part of the main story. I’d be really surprised if this is successful as The Force Awakens which is why they often ask my opinion on these things. o.O

I would be remiss in not listing these, and I’m sure there are a few I’ll be seeing.
Gods of Egypt February 26th
The Divergent Series: Allegiant March 18th
The Jungle Book April 15th
The Huntsman: Winter's War April 22nd
Alice Through the Looking Glass May 27th
Tarzan July 1st  (For some reason my wife is looking forward to this one)