We have a release date for the Defenders!

Cringeworthy. Boring. Unfaithful. Ho-hum.

Those are the words that spring to mind when I think of the television adaptations of comic book properties that existed when I was growing up. Not the cartoons mind you, but the live-action shows. I know these tv shows and made for tv movies have their fans.  I am not now, nor have I ever been, one of them. As a kid, I tolerated television movies like The Amazing Spider-Man in which the title character engaged in some truly yawn inducing adventures. Or the Bill Bixby starring Incredible Hulk, who bore little resemblance in appearance or power (seriously, he struggled to lift telephone poles) to his comic book counterpart. Plus, he didn’t leap. he jogged at a brisk pace (I think I’ve seen mall joggers move faster than he did). And while shows like Superboy were more faithful to the source material and featured a character that I recognized, there was still a cringe-factor. Perhaps it was the cheesiness or the fact that many of the villains were mundane rather than spectacular, but watching such shows often left me wanting more.  More adventure. More excitement. More fun. Faithful adaptations. And there was something else I wanted from these shows. Something that I considered fundamental to comic books, and that was missing from the other tv adaptations: I wanted a shared universe. I wanted to see supporting characters interacting with one another. I wanted to see characters from show reference events in another show. And of course I wanted to see superheroes teaming up.

If 16 yo. me had a time machine, and used it to peer into the twentyteens, he’d be shell shocked. To see the fastest man alive zooming across the screen at Mach speeds would be exciting to him. Watching the last daughter of Krypton make a name for herself both as a reporter and a superhero would be thrilling. And I just know he’d have gotten goosebumps upon learning that the streaming service Netflix has teamed up with Marvel and given him exactly what he wanted.

Action.

Adventure.

Excitement.

Fun.

A shared universe.

Oh, and superheroes teaming up on the small screen.

Now, 16 yo me would probably be at school on August 18, 2017, anxiously anticipating the end of the school day. But me? I’ll be planted in front of a television watching the debut of the Defenders.  Check out the teaser.

We have a release date for the Defenders!
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Woo-hoo! Home runs for both Marvel Netflix shows

They say it is best to arrive to a party fashionably late. How late that is can vary from person to person, but I’ve often heard 15-20 minutes is a reasonable time. If that’s the case, then I arrived UNfashionably late to the Marvel Cinematic Netflix series Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Over the last 5 days, I’ve binge-watched all 26 episodes of each series (in-between catching up on Season 1 of Flash, a few episodes of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, the first three episodes of Young Justice Season 2, and a couple of episodes from Season 1 of Arrow), and I’ve got to say those 26 hours were some of the best television I’ve ever seen and definitely in the ranks of “best cinematic adaptations of comic book properties”. From the characters, to the stories, to the atmosphere, Daredevil and Jessica Jones hit near-perfect notes. If you haven’t seen either (and plan to at some point), I’ll be discussing plot points of both shows ahead. So read on only if you don’t mind spoilers:

Continue reading “Woo-hoo! Home runs for both Marvel Netflix shows”

Woo-hoo! Home runs for both Marvel Netflix shows

Pop Culture Link Round Up 3.12.15

Neill Blomkamp’s next film will be part of the Alien franchise and while Sigourney Weaver will reprise her role as Ellen Ripley, it looks like Blomkamp will be taking a leaf out of Brian Singer’s Superman Returns playbook:  

“Chappie” director Neill Blomkamp suggests his hotly anticipated “Alien” film may gloss over the events of “Alien 3″ and “Alien: Resurrection,” if not ignore them entirely.

“I want this film to feel like it is literally the genetic sibling of ‘Aliens,’” he told Sky Movies while promoting “Chappie.” “So it’s ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and then this movie.”

Franchise star Sigourney Weaver, who will reprise her iconic role as Ellen Ripley, endorsed the plan, saying, “I would love to take Ripley out of orbiting around in space and give a proper finish to what was such an excellent story.”

and this:

Fans of both movies may be disappointed, but they can rest assured that their memories and their dvd’s (or blu-rays; possibly even their VHS tapes) will not retroactively disappear. You’ll still be able to enjoy both movies. Heck, you can even pretend Blomkamp’s movie doesn’t exist in continuity if you want to.

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Anyone up for some theatrical horror?

I’ve only seen a few plays in my life, and I’ve had little desire (and really, little opportunity) to see any others. THIS one, though? I’d see it in a New York minute:

Throughout the National Theatre of Scotland’s Let the Right One Inadapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel and Tomas Alfredson‘s film, audiences are subjected to a parade of lyrically gruesome images: a man tied upside-down to a tree, his throat perfunctorily slit and drained into a bucket; another man literally self-effacing with acid; a diminutive teenage girl in a candy-pink sweater whose mouth brims with vomit when she actually tries to eat candy, and whose face cascades with blood every time she enters a home uninvited. All of this stirs a reverent, rapt silence in the audience. This is not the type of play where spectators listlessly turn to their programs mid-show, pretending that looking up the catering credits will somehow enhance their experience.

No, such special effects, though often attempted, aren’t often performed with ease or elegance onstage, and for that reason, audiences are rigidly captivated. But despite their remarkability, none of these macabre flashes induces fear as universally as a girl merely popping out of a box. Late in the play, we see the vampire protagonist/antagonist hybrid, played by Rebecca Benson, enter a box. We see another man enter the room in which the box lurks. An immense sound claps, the lights wax blinding, and suddenly Benson has abandoned the box, and we, the audience, are physically altered: hearts palpitate, couples’ hands clasp, and deep breaths vacuum the room.

It turns out the spectacle of the breakability of the human body here carries less weight than a theatrical game of peek-a-boo, because this shocking occurrence, this moment tailored purely to startle, is so rarely attempted in theater. Unanimous, physical panic is a novel sensation for theater audiences. In Shakespeare, bloody-handed kings will see ghosts. In Sarah Kane, characters will suck out one another’s eyeballs. In Sweeney Todd, civilians’ innards are spiced, serenaded, and crushed into pies. But if theater history were broken into video-store categories, “horror” would not appear; unlike with film, there is not a genre of plays whose fundamental aim is to induce palpable dread in its audiences.

This notion seems in some ways counterintuitive: theater by definition necessitates a captive audience, so wouldn’t the promise of real-time, live horrors make the stage the ideal vessel for the genre? Let the Right One In, which runs through March 8 at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse, with its provenance in and transcendence of horror tropes, sheds light both on the relative nonexistence of theatrical horror and its potential for growth into a relevant stage genre.

In his New York Times review, Ben Brantley used a flattering superlative to describe this achievement, comparing the play not to the film on which it’s based, but to another horror film entirely: “A production of the National Theater of Scotland, Right One offers the most gut-twisting presentation of the middle teens as a supernatural horror story since Brian De Palma’s movie cameras invaded the girls’ locker room in Carrie.” In resorting to film analogies to pay his compliments, Brantley underlines both the dearth of theatrical horror and this production’s potential to set precedents.

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Excited about the April 10 debut of all 13 episodes of Netflix and Marvel’s Daredevil series?

To whet your appetite, here’s a trailer:

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A release date for Star Wars: Episode VIII; plus details on a spin-off movie

Disney and Lucasfilm have announced details of the upcoming “Stars Wars” films at its annual shareholders meeting in San Francisco.

Rian Johnson has also been confirmed to write and direct “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” which will hit theaters May 26, 2017.

Gareth Edwards’ upcoming standalone film, starring Felicity Jones, will be called “Rogue One.” The movie starts filming in London this summer and opens Dec. 16, 2016.

“Rogue One,” based on an idea by Oscar-winning vfx supervisor John Knoll, was written by “Cinderella” scribe Chris Weitz.

Kathleen Kennedy will produce the standalone film alongside Knoll, Tony To and John Schwartz.

Plot details of “Rogue One” are unknown.

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Remember this movie?

It’s getting a sequel.

Given that the movie made more than a billion dollars worldwide, this isn’t much of a surprise.

Pop Culture Link Round Up 3.12.15

A release date for Netflix's Daredevil series

Mark your calendars hornhead fans!  April 10 sees the debut of the Marvel Studios/Netflix venture, Daredevil:

Marvel Television’s first Netflix series, “Daredevil,” now has an official debut date: April 10, as revealed Wednesday by Marvel.com. All 13 one-hour episodes of the initial series will debut simultaneously at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time that day, and the show will be viewable “in all territories where Netflix is available.

I rather like the idea of releasing all the episodes at once. 13-hour popcorn/soda binge time!

A release date for Netflix's Daredevil series

A release date for Netflix’s Daredevil series

Mark your calendars hornhead fans!  April 10 sees the debut of the Marvel Studios/Netflix venture, Daredevil:

Marvel Television’s first Netflix series, “Daredevil,” now has an official debut date: April 10, as revealed Wednesday by Marvel.com. All 13 one-hour episodes of the initial series will debut simultaneously at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time that day, and the show will be viewable “in all territories where Netflix is available.

I rather like the idea of releasing all the episodes at once. 13-hour popcorn/soda binge time!

A release date for Netflix’s Daredevil series

Awww, poor Bill Cosby…

…Not.

Trigger Warning:  Discussion of rape and sexual assault

Yesterday, I wrote about the rape allegations that surround comedian Bill Cosby.  Barbara BowmanJoan Tarshis and Janice Dickinson are the latest women to come forward accusing Cosby of sexual assault. That makes 15 women to publicly accuse Cosby of sexual assault  (many of the women have similar stories–that Cosby plied them with alcohol, drugged them, and sexually assaulted them).  In that post, I lamented the fact that Cosby won’t be punished for his actions (hell, he won’t even see the inside of a courtroom over the allegations), and that he’s essentially gotten away scot free.  I was hoping that his Netflix deal and/or his planned NBC sitcom would be cancelled.  Not that either would bring any justice to his victims, but I’d love for the man to be shunned by Hollywood. If he can’t be brought to justice, then he can be made to suffer by being ostracized by the entertainment industry.

Lo and behold, a day later and my prayers were answered. Clearly the Flying Spaghetti Monster heard my fervent prayers and made my wishes come true.  Bill Cosby’s NBC show is no longer in development:

NBC has confirmed to HuffPost Entertainment that a planned sitcom project with Bill Cosby is no longer in development. The network had no further comment on the matter. A representative for Cosby was not immediately available for comment.

But that’s not all.  His stand-up Netflix special has been postponed as well:

Netflix says it is postponing Bill Cosby’s upcoming standup comedy special.

A spokesperson for the company says it is postponing the launch of “Bill Cosby 77.” This follows accusations that Cosby has sexually assaulted several women.

But wait.  There’s more.  TV Land will no longer air repeats of ‘The Cosby Show’:

NBC has scrapped a Bill Cosby comedy that was under development and TV Land will stop airing reruns of “The Cosby Show,” moves that came a day after another woman came forward claiming that the once-beloved comic had sexually assaulted her.

NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said Wednesday the Cosby sitcom “is no longer under development.” A TV Land spokesperson said the shows will stop airing immediately for an indefinite time. “The Cosby Show” also was to have been part of a Thanksgiving sitcom marathon.

Good.  More shunning. More ostracizing.  If he can’t be punished, let his ass fade into obscurity.

Awww, poor Bill Cosby…