We seem to be going through a Stephen King film adaptation renaissance right now. Movies like IT and Pet Cemetery fucking ruled. Even last year’s TV series Castle Rock tapped into the “shared Multiverse” that King’s books exist in to great effect. Now, later this year, we have IT:Chapter Two and Doctor Sleep. Both look fantastic. What really sold me on Doctor Sleep was Ewan McGregor and the film’s very solid and intriguing trailer, it pulls you in right away. It gives you a set up without giving you the full picture of what’s going on. It was the perfect first trailer, the mood was fantastic and it just made me want to see more. I think Ewan McGregor is an incredibly underrated actor and his presence in this movie really sold it for me. But I really love the idea of McGregor playing Danny Torrance the boy with “The Shining” (or psychic powers) from the book and film The Shinning. You know the one where Jack Nicholson lost his mind at The Overlook Hotel and he had a psychic son, this is the same character all grown up. I love the idea that after encountering a fucked up supernatural horror as a young man and now he’s encountering something supernatural, but completely different as an adult. This is just a great trailer and this definitely made my list of highly anticipated movies to see in the back half of 2019!
2000’s X-Men, directed by Bryan Singer was the first REAL comic book superhero of the modern age. Some people say Blade should get some credit in that department, but most people at the time (myself included) didn’t even realize it’s was based on a comic book. However, X-Men had all of the trappings and troupes of a classic comic book: the team of heroes, colorful costumes, SUPER-VILLAINS!, and of course very, very cool super powers. What story from the team’s 40 year history would the filmmakers choose to tell?
Sure, we’d seen Superman and Batman on the big screen, but they’re fairly simple compared to something like X-Men. Superman and Batman are seemingly much easier and less complicated to adapt to the big screen. (You guys can debate amongst yourselves if you that’s actually true or not).
Wolverine alone has one of the most complicated and intricate back stories in Marvel Comics history and that doesn’t even take into account telling the story of the rest of the X-Men. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, and Rogue would all needs their place to shine in this tale. Then there’s perhaps the most interesting characters relationship in the film: Xavier and Magneto!
Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and the films portrayal of Charles Xavier and Magneto’s frenemy relationship were the highlights of the first X-Men film. Logan, Charles, and Eric were the center of almost all the other future X-Men films in one way or another.
Anyway, back to July 2000, they pulled it off in the end! The first X-Men was a bona fide hit and proved that comic book superheroes that weren’t household names, with their silly costumes and childish powers could translate into big bucks at the box office. However, It wasn’t until Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man debuted to the bigggest opening weekend ever at the time. Hollywood realized there was golden them there hills and every movie studio with the rights to a comic book superhero property had a movie in development and the superher movie boom again.
It wasn’t perfected until 2008 which saw the release of Iron Man starting off Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Dark Knight; a neo-crime epic classic. Since the first X-Men film hit theaters, there has been more than a dozen movies taking place within the X-Universe, some have been good, some have been terrible.
Now the X-Men are moving on to greener pastures. To the Elysium, that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a shame the final film in Fox’s X-Men franchise will be Dark Phoenix because it’s such a poor way to end the series. If the studio had any sense they would’ve ended it with Logan, a true masterpiece and a perfect ending to the X-Men story. Unfortunately that’s how you roll the dice with an X-Men movie. You never know if the creative people trying to tell a great X-Men story, will occasionally have their film ruined by the movie studio trying to fuck it up. So even though there have been masterpieces and pieces of shit in the Men films, we should still be great-full that this series blazed a trail for superhero movies over the last 20 years!
So on this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast we watched the final X-Men film of the FOX era and… it sure is… a movie! We review DARK PHOENIX, so you don’t have to! This weeks podcast may be all about shitting on the new and final X-Men movie for quite some time, but we still love the X-Men! We also discuss our thoughts on Robert Pattinson’s casting as the new Batman! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher, iTunes, and more: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/18229983
Thanks for listening!
It’s crazy that not too long ago I was lamenting the lost art of movie posters. I singled out the beautiful work of artist Drew Struzan’s iconic posters for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter, among others. With his incredible sketch and paint style, working both artistically beautiful and ultra realistic, he’s crafted some of cinema’s most iconic imagery. It’s ironic that one of the worst genre films to come along in quite a while, Dark Phoenix, actually has a pretty beautiful poster in the vein of Drew Struzan, which you can see at the top of the article. Below that is another incredible poster from one of the best artist in the world right now, BossLogic. To be clear: the Srtuzan inspired poster is on top, BossLogic’s poster is below.
While Dark Phoenix may be disappointing fans all over the world. I found this wonderful video online that does a great job of talking about why The Dark Phoenix Saga is so special in the first place. If you’re feeling bummed out that one of your favorite, iconic, comic book story lines has once again been butchered by an incompetent movie studio, this video should definitely get your spirits up.The video comes to us from NowThisNerd, you can subscribe to their channel on YouTube. Its the perfect antidote to your Dark Phoenix blues. Watch it here:
This weekend, DC is premiering their latest live action television series, Swamp Thing, on their DC Universe Streaming Service. Swamp Thing is one of my all-time favorite DC comic books, so I’m very excited to see an adaptation of this classic series. Early word is that the show is very good and really leans into the horror vibe that the comic book lends itself to. You can check out the trailer below and some photos from the first few episodes. Swamp Thing starring Andy Bean, Crystal Reed, Will Patton, Virginia Madsen, and Kevin Durand premieres on 5/31/19 on DC Universe. Swamp Thing is executive produced by James Wan, director of Insidious, The Conjuring 1 & 2, Fast 7, Aquaman, and more.
Thanks for reading!
On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I review the new movie BRIGHTBURN, described by the filmmakers as a new genre: “Superhero Horror”. Brightburn was produced by director James Gunn, the man behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1 & Vol.2 . The concept of Brightburn has a very simple, but effective premise. Basically it’s a “What If?”-kind of story, about a character named Brandon Breyer who’s very similar to Superman. His rocket crash to Earth, growing up on a farm, even the same power set as The Man Of Steel. The difference in this story is how, around puberty, Brandon becomes a homicidal sociopath as a kid growing up in a town very much like Smallville. Plus, Paul goes off on some interesting and crazy tangents that are sure to entertain! Enjoy! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher, Spotify, and iTunes: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/18097818
Thanks for listening!
I’m a massive comic books fan. Every week I read my Must Read comics on my tablet and I go to my favorite comic book store, The Hall of Comics In Southborough, MA, to get all of my graphic novels (More on The Hall of Comics below). There are a lot of great comics being published right now, but my favorite writer by far is Scott Snyder. His 50 plus issue run on Batman with Artist Greg Capullo is without question the best Batman run of this generation. Anytime Snyder and Capullo come together, they make magic. Stories like The Court Of Owls, The Death of The Family, Zero Year, and Dark Nights: Metal are all modern classics. Of course, there’s also Snyder’s incredible introduction to the world of The Dark Knight, The Black Mirror (as fantastic as that story is, it wasn’t with Artist Greg Capullo). Now, after putting their stamp on Batman’s origin in the excellent story Zero Year, they’re closing the circle by telling their version of the final Batman story: Batman: Last Knight on Earth. The miniseries is a 3-issue prestige format book, shipping bi-monthly under DC’s Black Label, with Issue #1 coming out on 5/29/19. DC’s Black Label was created for their best writers and artists to tell stories that are the best of the best. If Zero Year was their Batman: Year One, Batman: Last Knight on Earth is their The Dark Knight Returns. Below is the official synopsis from DC Comics:
Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum. Young. Sane.
And…he was never Batman.
So begins this sprawling tale of the Dark Knight as he embarks on a quest through a devastated DC landscape featuring a massive cast of familiar faces from the DC Universe. As he tries to piece together the mystery of his past, he must unravel the cause of this terrible future and track down the unspeakable force that destroyed the world as he knew it…
From the powerhouse creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, the team that reinvented Batman from the emotional depths of “Court of Owls” to the bombastic power of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, DC Black Label is proud to present the bimonthly, three-issue miniseries BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH, published at DC’s standard comic trim size.
This could be the last Batman story ever told…
Snyder and Capullo NEVER fail to deliver a spectacular Batman story and this one doesn’t look like it will disappoint. With the book’s 5/29 release date right around the corner, DC put out a trailer for Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1, to get people hyped for the event miniseries. Check it out below:
We also have some great interior art from the book, released by DC Comics. These pages are from Issue #1:
Below we have the cover for issue #2 of the 3-issue miniseries, which hits stands on 7/31/19.
You have to give Snyder and Capullo credit because they’re certainly swinging for the fences on this one. I love how this series looks batshit insane. This book looks nuts in the best possible way and it is this month’s pick for Must Read Comic Book!!!!!!
Earlier in the article I mention the comic book store The Hall of Comics in Southborough, MA. I just wanted to take a minuet to sing their praises and why you should check them out if you’re in the Boston area. Whether you’re a long time comic book reader, a lapsed fan who wants to get back into comics, or someone who’s never picked up a comic before, but you love superhero films and don’t know where to start, the guys at The Hall of Comics will hook you up with anything you need. Not only do you feel welcome when you walk in the door, but they also have awesome special events like Midnight Release Parties, INCREDIBLE Cosplay appearances, and their coolest events are when they frequently have some of the best comic book writers and artists in the business come by for signings and meet and greet with the fans. As I mentioned in one of my recent podcasts, I had the chance to meet and chat with iconic comic book artist Bob Layton and it was a wonder full experience. So, if you want to check out Batman: Last Knight On Earth (you’d be crazy not to) and you’re in the area, The Hall of Comics is the place to go! You can check out their website right here: https://thehallofcomics.com
Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1 (of 3) hits stands on 5/29/2019
As always, thanks for reading!
Star Wars is like a religion to me. Those films are a large part of why I love movies so much. However, even with Star Wars Episode IX coming out in December, all of my attention as a fan has been focused on Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones ended up being a bit of a mixed bag in it’s final season, but man oh man, did Endgame deliver. Avengers: Endgame was one of the most thrilling movie going experiences of my life. The movie surpassed expectations to deliver a masterpiece of blockbuster filmmaking. I’ve often said The MCU is this generation’s Star Wars, which makes Endgame the modern equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back. Like, The Empire Strikes Back, Endgame has already reached the status of modern classic. Anyway, back to Star Wars! With Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame out of the way, I can focus my fandom on Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker! The final chapter in The Skywalker Saga, 40 years in the making.
The new issue Vanity Fair has given us the best look at the film so far. The June cover story is all about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, with an excellent article by Lev Grossman that’s the most in depth look at the film yet and just a damn good read. You can read the full article the full article right here (I highly recommend that you do): https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/05/star-wars-cover-story?verso=true
The coolest part of the Vanity Fair issue is the amazing photos taken on the set by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. Vanity Fair and Leibovitz have been covering the Star Wars movies for decades now. I still have the Vanity Fair issue that focused on The Force Awakens because of the incredible photographs she had taken. In my opinion, Annie Leibovitz one of the best photographers in the business and these fantastic photos for The Rise of Skywalker are a testament to how stunningly beautiful her photos can be. You can see them all below.
Well, the countdown to Star Wars Episode IX has officially begun! Spider-Man: Far From Home is the last, “next BIG movie”, that I’m really looking forward to, but once I see that, I imagine my Star Wars mania will really start to heat up! As always, thanks for reading!
*Editors Note: All photos from Vanity Fair
If you’re not caught up on Game of Thrones, I’m going to be spoiling some stuff for you, so please leave now if you don’t want that.
This season has had some received some major flack from audiences for all sorts of issues, and obviously I don’t agree with everyone, but I wanted to talk about a couple that I don’t like. I guess, I’ll start with the big one, the title of this article kind of hints at. Daenerys turning crazy/bad/however else we want to categorize her. I didn’t dislike this until the moment in this week’s episode when the bells are ringing, and she looks over at the Red Keep, and decides to lay waste on the people of King’s Landing.
You see, while Daenerys has never shied away from being violent to achieve her goals, there was always some sense of morality to it, and she was never casual with innocents. Up until this point, the fact that she’s burned the Iron Fleet, and the guard towers, and as much as she has destroyed, makes sense, and largely is the right thing to do, to avoid unnecessary death of innocents.
Then she stops, sitting atop the final remaining dragon, and looks down, the bells are ringing, and it is clear that she has won, and she snaps and proceeds to go further. Now, if she’d done everything and never stopped, never paused, and was just caught up in it, and therefore didn’t notice the bells, or the peace, or anything else and got carried away, this would be a more satisfying example of her going too far, and perhaps being the threat Varys died to stop (which I thought was played excellently). Also if she had that moment of pause, and then flew over and destroyed the Red Keep, I could get that too. But she pauses, looks around, sees she has won and unleashes fury on the innocent, which is out of character. It’s not getting carried away, or going too far as many of her past behavior has shown, it was her snapping, and it is out of character for her.
I also think that if it had been more along the lines of her getting carried away and going too far, even way too far, this would allow the necessary characters to say “oh we need Jon Snow to sit on the Iron Throne” without the writers betraying the character of Daenerys to justify that final play that it seems is coming.
I mentioned Varys, and I think Varys is a prime example of how the characters should be thinking about Daenerys, his last words are “I hope I’m wrong about her,” (or something similar) but he honestly believes he is not. That’s because she’s riding the edge of righteous and power-hungry, and he is forced to make a decision unsure if he’s correct, it makes his decisions more bold. Now if Jon realizes she’s a mad-Queen, and rebels against her, it will not be a bold act, but rather the obvious one for someone who will always risk his life for what’s right. It takes away the ‘risk of being wrong.’
Now, there were plenty of moments in addition to Varys’s death which I thought were well executed, I liked the final battle with the Hound and the Mountain, and I thought that Arya leaving because Cersai is dead regardless of what happens, worked really well.
But there were also moments in which it seemed like they tried to eat their cake and have it too. Jaime could have gone with Brienne (I didn’t really want to see that, but once it happened I liked it) or he could go back to Cersai, but I think having him do both really cut through both. That’s ultimately what I think the problem with this season is (it’s the worst of GoT, but it’s still pretty damn good otherwise): they want to both shit and get off the pot at the same time, and they spent years elaborately creating characters and beats, and now they’re trying to tie them all up far to quickly.
Written by Michael Cole
Sunday night HBO aired the penultimate episode of their critically acclaimed, ground breaking, hit series Game of Thrones. The final episode of the epic television saga airs 5/19/2019 on HBO. On this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we first briefly recap last week’s Game of Thrones episode 4, “The Last of The Starks” and then we go on a SPOILER FILLED deep dive into episode 5, “The Bell”, with a special appearance by frequent podcast quest co-hits Paul Sr!
Without going into the spoiler territory, “The Bell” was… eventful to say the least. After watching the episode, you will definitely want to walk through all of the big moments with us. There’s just one. more. episode. left here, folks! It’s been nearly 10 years in the making, but HBO’s adaptation of A Song of Ice & Fire is coming to an end. Let’s hope things end on a high note. Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher, Spotify, and iTunes:
Thank for listening!
A few weeks ago, when the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Personally, I’m excited for the film, but what I want to talk about is some speculation into the film, but first let me give you a little background of my own star wars preferences, to help illustrate the point that I’m eventually hoping to make.
I guess the most important thing you need to know, is that I think Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith is the worst part of any Star Wars film (not counting the Holiday Special).I have been told most people think Jake Lloyd was worse, but at least he has the excuse of being a little kid, and many little kid actors aren’t good. Others have argued that Christensen’s not that bad, and I don’t even know what films they’re watching.
I will say this, I am not sure that I blame Hayden Christensen for the performances in his two Star Wars films. We’ve all seen that most of the performances in the prequel trilogy (and a decent amount of A New Hope) is cold, and the dialogue is not well written. Lucas couldn’t get a good performance out of nearly any of the better actors in the prequels (I know people will argue Ewan McGregor, but that was more a matter of an extremely good actor in a role that is intentionally cold and aloof, it’s the opposite of the Keanu Reeves in the Matrix effect, where he’s good despite his talent because of the role.
Alright, so now that I’ve explained that I think his performance is the worst, let me explain one other thing. He’s back in the new film. Now, I don’t know what capacity he’s going to be in the film, but the day after the trailer dropped, he had up on his Instagram page a picture of the new title card. Upon googling, it turns out he’s participating in the new film although all the specifics seem to be speculation. I assume he’s going to be appearing as a force ghost, that’s the most logical option, but whether it’s for a moment or scenes and dialogue, is anyone’s guess.
I think, his appearance in this film, could be the thing that redeems him, and the character of Anakin (I love Vader, but I don’t love Anakin) for me. You see, while I know that George Lucas has been involved in this film as a consultant (again to what extent is unknown) he isn’t writing the dialogue, and he isn’t directing the actors, and so now we have the opportunity to see what a director who is significantly better with both dialogue and actors can do. I think J.J. Abrams might be a little over hyped, but c’mon he’s better at those two things than George Lucas any day of the week.
Now, there is a chance Christensen’s appearance will be small enough that it doesn’t really affect his legacy in the role whatsoever, but I hope this isn’t the case. My hope is that we see one of two things, either one of which I think could make the film cool, and enhance Anakin as a character. We could see him as a force ghost trying to influence either Rey or Kylo, and this is the safer more likely bet, but it could definitely have some really cool scenes, further the story line, and help the dynamics between force using characters. This would be good.
Something that is much less likely, but would be awesome, and would kind of be crazy, and risky (after the Last Jedi, I think Disney proved they don’t do risk well, or maybe that they don’t commit to risk well). Paul kind of suggested this, and I think it’s an amazing idea. What if Anakin rises from the dead?
Like I said, this idea is a little out there, but I don’t think it’s totally out of the realm of possibility. So here’s a couple thing, one is that we know Anakin is the most powerful force user, essentially he’s the Jesus of Star Wars. Anakin is the Force’s immaculate conception. Then we see in Empire Strikes Back, Vader in his black egg thing. Well, I know it’s no longer canon, but the egg thing in the books was some kind of Force chamber, in the chamber, he’s trying to heal and rebuild his body with the force.
What if in dying and becoming a Force ghost, Anakin becomes “more powerful that you can possibly imagine,” and therefore finally powerful enough to use the force to rebuild his body.He is the chosen one, to bring balance to the force, and the Last Jedi, for all of it’s faults had one thing clear, there is something essentially broken with the black and whiteness of the Jedi/Sith mentalities. Both Luke and Kylo seem to have realized this, (even if Rey decides by the end she can be a hero or a villain, and not something else).
What if Anakin comes back, to show the way the force should be used, creating an order that isn’t as ’emotionless’ as Jedi, nor as ruled by emotion as Sith. Anakin, who wanted to be a Jedi, but also wanted to love, and was shunned by the Jedi for the latter, and manipulated by Palpatine for it, is the perfect person to show you can be a husband, a father, a son, and a powerful force user. Perhaps that is the balance?
Honestly, that’s what I’m hoping happens.