Movie Review: Ghostbusters: Afterlife (FULL SPOILERS)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

HEAVY SPOILERS for Ghostbusters: Afterlife!

When I was a kid, I damn near wore out the VCR watching my favorite movies over and over again. Their were a few classics in particular that I just couldn’t get enough of: Raiders of The Lost Ark, Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II. These were the films that defined my love for movies. Actually, these four movies have more in common than you might think. The first entries in their respective franchise are unquestionably modern masterpieces. You’d have damn difficult time arguing that Raiders and Ghostbusters don’t belong on any list of the best movies ever made. The next installment in both series, Temple of Doom and Ghostebusters II were both unfairly characterized as unworthy follow ups to their predecessors.

I was always under the impression that each film in the original Indiana Jones Trilogy was beloved by critics and fans alike. It wasn’t until I really began to get into film around high school, that I began to hear that some critics and fans considered Temple of Doom to be the “bad“ film in the trilogy. It was the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for the original Indiana Jones Trilogy. Hell, I even think Kingdom of The Crystal Skull is better than people give it credit for, despite it’s glaring flaws (But that’s a whole other article).

I understand where certain criticisms are coming from a little bit more with Ghostbusters II, than I do with Temple of Doom. SOME of the criticism leveled at Temple of Doom are fair, but ONLY SOME. Regarding the other film series in question, I completely love Ghostbusters II. Obviously it doesn’t hit the stratospheric heights of it’s predecessor, but it’s a more than worthy follow up to the original classic.

Now onto the main event! Ghostbusters: Afterlife…

Like Indiana Jones, rumors of a third Ghostbusters film had been circulating for years. Rumors and talk of a third film, continued almost constantly from Ghostbusters II, to Afterlife. There seemed a lot of back-and-forth, stop-and-go from people involved in the production. Often saying things like “It’s on! We’re finally making the third one.”|only for things to stall out, and whatever potential version of Ghostbusters 3 that was in development at that time, was dead. It would go back-and-forth like that for years, Dan Akroyd was always the most vocal about his desire for a third movie, with Bill Murray almost always the biggest hold out. In a perfect world we’d be on Ghostbusters 5 by now.

The Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones films were my gateway into my love of movies. As my two favorite movie franchises, I desperately wanted to see a third installment in the Ghostbusters series and a fourth Indiana Jones movie. This was way before the Internet was used as widely as it is now. There weren’t things like YouTube, where there are countless channels to news about the cool new science fiction, fantasy, or comic book films in development. Back in those days, I read movie magazines if I wanted to follow what’s was going on in the world of genre filmmaking. I remember being at Blockbuster Video in the late 90’s (Fuck, I’m old) and picking up a magazine called Cinescape, because it had an article on the status of a fourth Indiana Jones movie. From then I was hooked. I would read articles about which awesome films that were potentially getting sequels, which adaptations of beloved works of fiction we’re going to be put on the big screen? Which famous actor has been cast as the next big superhero? What interesting projects were coming down the pipeline from genres that I love? Rumors of another Ghostbusters movie was a frequent topic of discussion. I got into all of this stuff because of my research into the next installments in Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones. For better or for worse, it took a long damn time, but I finally got my wish.

If you follow my work, if you’ve read my articles or listened to my podcast, you may have noticed that I love stories with supernatural elements at play. Ghosts, vampires, demons, gods, werewolves, and on, and on, and on. It was the first two Ghostbusters films and the subsequent animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, that made me fall in love with that type of story. That’s why I’ve always loved movies shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, or The Conjuring series.

The buzz around Ghostbusters: Afterlife was very positive, the marketing was solid, so I was looking forward to seeing this new film. I’m pleased to say that Ghostbusters: Afterlife did not disappoint. It manages to work as both a soft reboot and legitimate Ghostbusters III.

I love this image. As you can see, this originally had a summer 2020 release date, but was punched back due to the pandemic.

First off, moving the story’s setting from the grit and grittiness of New York to small town middle America, is a great way to pull the audience out of their comfort zone, without alienating them. In the first two Ghostbusters films especially, the first one, New York City is almost a character in itself, in those films. Ghostbusters is one of the great New York movies. So, Seeing the Ecto-1 doing donuts in a wheat field or finding iconic pieces of Ghostbusters equipment or tech, like a ghost-trap, and putting them in the last place you’d expect to see them like an old farmhouse, is a great way to remind the audience why we love this stuff. It’s like taking away everything from the original films for a moment, and showing us that this stuff is fun and cool and awesome, no matter where you see it or find it. It’s special in and of itself. Something like the old PKE Meter, makes you remember why you wanted your own when you were a kid. I was surprised how much fun it was to simply to see the classic Ghostbusters toys onscreen again (along with a fun modification here and there).

Everything kicks off with harrowing, tense, and a little bit scary opening, that immediately gets you excited for what you’re about to watch. It’s takes place on the farm Igon’s family will soon inherit and what begins as a cool chase scene, just great job of showing the audience that he gone wasn’t out here for nothing. She had a very very important reason to come to this remote small town. You could even say he kind of saves the world and sacrifices himself in the process. The opening has some great callbacks to the original films and sets up some interesting stuff that becomes important later in the movie.

Following his death, we see Egon’s daughter, Callie, played by Carrie Coon, along with her teenage son played by Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard, and her younger daughter Phoebe (played by McKenna Grace). The family gets along well enough, but financial issues force Callie to reluctantly move her family to the dilapidated old farm house in the middle of nowhere, that she recently inherited from a father that she never knew.

Out of the entire family, Phoebe’s the most like her grandfather, Egon. She’s intellectually gifted and she loves science. I wouldn’t describe her as socially awkward, but like her grandfather, for lack of a better word, she’s… different. She’s a little introverted, but still self-confident. She’s always the smartest person in the room, but she’s not arrogant or condescending, which are traits too often seen in characters like Phoebe. People in general, but especially kids, don’t embrace people who are different. She’s at that age where she’s just about to become a teenager, but she’s still very much a kid. Her mom, Callie, encourages her to use the move to a new town as an opportunity to make some friends, which she does. She hits it off with a boy everybody calls “Podcast” (because he has a podcast) and finds a mentor of sorts in Paul Rudd’s character (more on that later). I was a big fan of Phoebe in this movie, I really liked this character. Phoebe is the heart of this movie and young McKenna Grace plays the character wonderfully. Grace damn near carries the movie in places and she’s certainly up to the task. She’s definitely an up coming, young actor to keep an eye on.

Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), Phoebe, and Podcast

Then of course, there’s the always delightful Paul Rudd as a seismologist in town investigating geological events in the area, like earthquakes, with seemingly no explanation. He’s working as a substitute teacher to help pay the bills, while he investigates the strange seismic events events taking place in this town. Phoebe is his only student who remotely gives a crap about his research and they quickly develop an easy rapport. This leads to meeting Phoebe’s Mom, Callie and subsequently becomes an increasing presence in the lives of The Spengler family.

Because of the tragic loss of the great Harold Ramis, I was very curious to see how the filmmakers handle his absence. If Phoebe is the heart of the movie, than Ramis’ Egon Spengler is it’s soul. His spirit is felt throughout the movie (both literally and figuratively). Egon Spangler looms large in the story and the lives of the family he never knew. I think they took some great risks by choosing to handle the passing of Harold Ramis and how that would affect the story and his character. I would not be surprised if it divides audiences, with some people loving it and others hating it. Regardless of where you fall on the issue, it’s clear they spent a great deal of time, ef and thought into figuring out the best way to use him. It might turn some people off, but personally it really worked for me. I’m being deliberately vague here because I think it will work better if you see what the movie does with Egon for yourself.

Harold Ramis/Egon Spengler: One of the great American sex symbols.

I was genuinely surprised that every (living) member of the original cast was in this movie. It was undeniably thrilling seeing all of the original Ghostbusters, including Bill Murray, light up those proton packs one more time. Hell, I loved seeing Ray’s Occult Bookstore again!

Speaking of Ray’s Occult, there are 2 post-credit scenes in this movie. Both of them focus on letting us know what the characters from the original films have been up to in the decades since we’ve last seen them. One of the scene’s if a conversation between Janine (Annie Potts) and Winston (the great Ernie Hudson), taking place in what appears to be Winston’s office. In their conversation it’s revealed that sometime after Ghostbusters II, Winston went back to college, earning multiple degrees, and subsequently became a very successful businessman. However, in his heart he’ll always be a Ghostbuster first and foremost. He’s made a point to always look out for the guys over the years. Janine playfully reveals that Ray’s bookstore hasn’t been profitable for a long time and she knows that Winston has been quietly paying the rent and keeping Ray’s Occult above water for years. I thought this was a really sweet revelation that showed us exactly how deep the camaraderie was between these men. This is also where Winston expresses that putting on the proton pack and getting to be a Ghostbuster again (during the events of this film) was the best feeling he’s had in years. Despite all of his success, he misses those golden days of fighting alongside his friends as the Ghostbusters. I thought this could be an interesting way to set up a possible sequel, combining members of the original cast and the characters from this new film. Perhaps this new adventure has lit a fire within Winston enough where he’ll use his new money and resources, to finance a new Ghostbusters team? I think that could be really cool and different from what we’ve seen in other films.

The only major criticism or problem I had with this film was it’s villain. One of the things Ghostbusters II does really well is pit the guys against a very different, very scary, and most importantly very NEW threat to go up against. Gozer and Viggo are great big bands that couldn’t be less alike. Where so many other franchises fail by just copying what the first movie did, but just changing a few details, Ghostbusters II was smart enough to give audiences something didn’t see in the first film. A different kind of supernatural evil. Even in the classic, childhood defining Ghostbusters animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, the guys went up against all kinds of supernatural creatures. Werewolves, vampires, Bigfoot, a Jabberwocky, The Devil, and many, many more. It would have been nice to see these new characters face off with a new supernatural threat instead of bringing the exact same villain from the first film. Gozer, The Demon Dogs, The Gatekeeper, The Key Master, they’re all there, playing the same old song.

Despite a few minor flaws, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the sequel that most fans have been waiting for. It’s a fun and inventive movie that hits you with just the right amount of nostalgia. It’s movie about family, the family you’re born with and the family you choose. As a wise man once said “Family don’t end in blood, but it’s doesn’t start there either.” Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a movie about family, the family you’re born with and the family you choose. Highly recommended.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife – B+

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for the podcast, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

A FAMILY AFFAIR – Left to Right: Ivan Reitman (Director of Ghostbusters 1 & 2), Carrie Coon (Callie), McKenna Grace (Phoebe), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor), Jason Reitman (Director of Ghostbusters: Afterlife and son of Ivan Reitman who directed the original movies.)

FIRST LOOK: Jurassic World: Dominion!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

As you can see at the bottom of the poster, this movies been delayed awhile.

 I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, that Jurassic Park is the most underutilized franchise in modern film history. That first film was groundbreaking in ways that, even today, most people don’t understand. Jurassic Park changed movies forever and became one of the most successful and beloved blockbuster films of all time. The legendary Stan Winston, king of practical effects, and his team created all of the animatronic dinosaurs in the movie. It was the incredible marriage of practice effects and CGI that made the dinosaurs feel so real. While Stan Winston, is an incredibly important part of the success of Jurassic Park. CGI visual effects had never been used to the degree that they were in Jurassic Park. Not even close, not by a mile. Nothing else compares. When Steven Spielberg was developing the movie they were still contemplating using stop motion animation to put the dinosaurs on screen, that’s how new CGI was at the time.  It was a CGI mock up, put together by a couple of the guys at Industrial Light & Magic, just showing the skeleton of a running dinosaurs, that convinced Spielberg CGI visual effects were the way to bring these dinosaurs to life. Spielberg was taking a huge gamble when he made this decision. Because if it didn’t work, it would’ve ruined the whole film. I cannot reiterate enough how new this technology was and how it had never even come close to being used on this scale before.  The closest comparison would probably be the T-1000 in Terminator 2. Morphing, liquid metal is almost laughably simple to compared it to an island theme park, filled with genetically engineered dinosaurs. This was the film that kicked off the CGI revolution in blockbuster filmmaking. Even by today’s standards, the special effects in Jurassic Park hold up 100%. The T-Rex attack is just as spectacular now, as it was when it was in movie theaters.

    Next year, we have another Jurassic Park film from director Colin Trevorrow, Jurassic World: Dominion, hitting theatres Summer 2022. Trevorrow’s last entry in the franchise, Jurassic World, was by no means an excellent film, but it’s the only Jurassic Park sequel that actually works. I think with Jurassic World, this was the first time we’ve seen a functioning park in the way John Hammond imagined. It’s just different and creative enough to stand above the other sequels. I particularly enjoyed Chris Pratt and his relationships with the velociraptors. My favorite scene is when a careless worker falls into the Raptor enclosure, prompting Chris Pratt to run straight into the cage without any weapons, and stare down a pack of Velociraptors long enough get his worker to safety. It was so jarring because we had seen over the course of several films how incredibly dangerous and deadly these animals were and here’s this guy standing just a few feet in front of them, completely vulnerable. The scene added a new layer to these fantastic dinosaurs, without taking away their inherent edge and menace. It was a memorable scene involving some of cinema’s best, scariest creatures.

  Anyway, It looks like this new installment is finally giving audiences what they’ve been waiting for since the original film premiered. Those dinosaurs captured our imagination. The T-Rex, the Velociraptors, the stuff of cinematic nightmare. I think the question we’ve all been asking pretty much since we walked out of the theatre in 1993 is: What happens if they get off of the island? And that’s exactly what happens at the end of the last film (which was pretty terrible, the movie I mean), setting up what has the potential to be a great story.

Trevorrow didn’t return for the following film, Jurassic World: This Is So Bad I Can’t Even Remember The Name. With Trevorrow otherwise occupied another director was brought in for the last Jurassic World film, and while I don’t remember that particular filmmaker‘s name, he certainly was not up to the task. Luckily, Trevorrow is coming back for this new film and hopefully he can undo the damage done to the franchise.

On the set of Jurassic World: Dominion

Trevorrow was supposed to direct the final film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker, but left the product project due to creative differences with Disney. JJ Abrams stepped in for Trevorrow and we ended up with fucking awful entries in 2 different beloved franchises as a result (Star Wars and Jurassic Park). If you’re a curious Star Wars fan, I recommend looking up Trevorrow’s plan for Rise of Skywalker, which are very easy to find online.  I think you’ll agree that what he had planned, would’ve been far better than absolute dog shit we got from JJ Abrams in Episode IX.

  Release delays related to the pandemic meant that a lot of film has been completed already, so last year Colin Trevorrow made a short film called Battle at Big Rock, that takes place sometime after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It’s definitely worth a watch, Especially if you’re a big fan of this franchise. Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say it involves a glimpse of what’s to come, now that humans and dinosaurs are living alongside. Here it is:

   The cat is out of the bag. The worst fears of many have come true. We now live in a world where humanity and dinosaurs must adapt to living alongside one another for the first time in the history of other species. What is this due to the ecosystem? How often are people killed by predatory dinosaurs? How does this affect politics? Military? Economics? Academia? Science? I could go on and on. This is what I meant earlier when I said that this is been a incredibly underutilized franchise. You can see how so many different cool stories could be told when, once again, humanity foolishly plays God. Resulting in what’s sure to be a human/dinosaur shit show.

  I was also very pleased to hear is that this is going to be more of an ensemble piece. Combining the casts from the recent films and the classics. Meaning Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Neill, and Laura Dern are all in this film, without one generation necessarily overshadowing the other.

As were heading towards the end of 2021, movie studios are already thinking about their largest projects in the coming year. So even though it’s still quite a few months away, Colin Trevorrow has released a six minute prologue to Jurassic World: Dominion and an accompanying commentary video featuring the director himself, discussing the footage, courtesy of IGN.com. It’s going to be cut from the film, but it’s still good material and it he wanted to put it out online for fans to enjoy. I’d have to agree with the director and say that I found it to be quite entertaining. You can watch the footage and Trevorrow’s breakdown below:

Director Breakdown:

Jurassic World: Dominion hits theaters in June 2022 

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for the podcast, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

Disney+ Day Announcements: Moon Knight! Obi-Wan Kenobi! She-Hulk, X-Men 97, Loki Season 2! & Much More!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Disney recently celebrated it’s first Disney+ Day. This was a chance for the streaming service to show its existing and potential new subscribers, the best currently available content on the platform. Perhaps importantly, this was an opportunity to showcase the thrilling new projects expected to debut over the next year. Unsurprisingly, a particular emphasis was put upon their plans for The Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars. Including first looks at the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, new MCU shows like Moon Knight and She-Hulk, as well as some cool surprises, like the revival of the beloved 90’s show, X-Men: The Animated Series. Below we have some teasers, behind the scenes video, concept art, and more, to help you get the lowdown on the most interesting stuff coming to streaming service over the next year. A huge amount of material was released and revealed during Disney+ Day, so I decided to pick a few of my favorites and give you everything you need to know about these new shows/projects. Take a look, enjoy…

The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase 4 Continues

Moon Knight

When Moon Knight was first announced, I remember it was described by one of the producers, as “Indiana Jones meets Batman“. Well, that is one hell of a high bar to set, but from what I know about the character, I think I know what he was getting at. “Indiana Jones meets Batman“ is an appropriate way to describe the tone of some Moon Knight stories. Moon Knight is the story of Marc Spector, a mercenary and adventurer who becomes a brutal vigilante as the avatar of the Egyptian moon god, Khonshu. His adventures often involve various ancient and mystical forces. The Marvel presentation for Disney+ Day presentation only gave us the briefest of glimpses at how Moon Knight is being approached by Marvel’s show-runners. Its not a full trailer, but the video is long enough to be get some sense of where they’re going with the show and this fascinating character.

Official Synopsis:

Moon Knight is a new globetrotting action-adventure series featuring a complex vigilante who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. The multiple identities who live inside him find themselves thrust into a deadly war of the gods against the backdrop of modern and ancient Egypt. Moon Knight is directed by Mohamed Diab and is coming to Disney+ in 2022.

Speaking of ancient, mystical forces Ethan Hawke is playing the shows antagonist, which is extremely exciting. Hawke is still in the middle of filming Moon Knight, so during a recent interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, he still looked like his mysterious character from Moon Knight. Myers, who’s a big lover, supporter, and advocate of Comic Books and Graphic Novels, casually mentioned that Ethan Hawke was sporting “a real David Koresh vibe.” David Koresh was the cult leader at the center of the infamous Waco siege in 1993. Hawke was astonished and shocked because, as he told Myers, he did, actually, base his character on Koresh. Hawke went on to say, with great admiration for Myer’s correct guess, “I guess it’s working. You’re good, Seth. Or maybe I’m not out of character yet…I will say that he is the source of great character inspiration.”. Many have speculated that Hawke is playing Dracula in the series, which would be fucking awesome.


She-Hulk

She-Hulk, a new comedy series coming to Disney+, stars Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, a lawyer who specializes in superhuman-oriented legal cases. She-Hulk will welcome a host of Marvel characters to the series, including the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo, and the Abomination, played by Tim Roth. The series is directed by Kat Coiro and Anu Valia; Jessica Gao is head writer.

One of the things I was most curious about with this series, was how they would handle the look of the character. She-Hulk isn’t an inhumanly large powerhouse like her cousin Bruce Banner, but she’s not exactly a petite young woman either. She’s usually portrayed as being almost like an Amazon. Slightly larger and more muscular than a normal human. Even though she inherited her cousin‘s green skin with her transformation, what she lacks in raw physical power like the classic Hulk, she makes up for by having complete control over her mental faculties at all times. Meaning there is no split between Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk. We don’t see a lot of Jennifer Walters in her She-Hulk form, but I thought what little we saw looked great. Tatiana Maslany is a spectacular actress whose going to absolutely crush it in the role. Plus, it’ll be cool to have another Hulk running around The MCU, and any opportunity for an appearance of Prof. Hulk is a win! Check out the quick teaser here:


Marvel Animation Drops A Bomb!

X-Men: The Animated Series ‘97

Now this was a pleasant surprise! With the exception of Batman: The Animated Series, there is no superhero animated show of that era, more beloved, than X-Men: The Animated Series. The show’s ability to tackle mature content, not typically seen in “children’s programming“ at the time, as well as the extremely faithful adaptations of classic X-Men stories, made the show a hit, fan favorite.

Courtesy of Marvel.com, the producers of the new series have said that it will have the “DNA of the original show,” and follow a roster of X-Men similar to the original 90’s series. A major “impactful event” will be the jumping of point for this new series, setting the story in motion, and acting as a call to action for the X-Men. Many of the series original cast members will be returning for the new series, including Cal Dodd (Logan/Wolverine), Lenore Zann (Rogue), George Buza (Beast), Alison Sealy-Smith (Storm), Chris Potter (Gambit), Catherine Disher (Jean Grey/Phoenix), Adrian Hough (Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler), and Christopher Britton (Nathaniel Essex/Mr. Sinister). Unfortunately, some members of the voice cast have since passed a way. It also seems as if the show intends to grow along with it’s original audience, at least to some degree. Most diehard fans of the series are adults now and it sounds like this new iteration is evolving along with it audience. According to the show’s producers at Marvel; “As an animated show, the original X-Men was the forerunner to some amazing action series. Everyone that is making X-Men ’97, top-down, is a fan. On this project, instinctually, we knew exactly what this is. To bring this series forward and pick up that baton, and not just keep running at the same pace, but to really elevate. That’s the responsibility.”Unfortunately we have quite a wait until the show premieres in 2023. Despite the wait, I am really interested and intrigued by this new project.


Star Wars (Or Lack Thereof …

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Official Synopsis:

The story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of ‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith’ where Kenobi faced his greatest defeat: the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.”

After huge presentations from both Marvel and Pixar, many found it extremely odd that this teaser trailer for Obi-Wan was literally the only new Star Wars project showcased or discussed for this event. Nothing was announced about The Book of Boba Fett, or The Mandalorian Season 3. Let’s hope there aren’t any behind the scenes problems at Lucasfilm. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we start to hear gossip one way or another.

Anyway, people has been clamoring for on Obi-Wan Kenobi film for years. Despite the reputation of the prequel‘s, they’ve aged surprisingly well. An entire generation grew up with the prequel trilogy as “their Star Wars”. With Ewan McGregor being particularly beloved in his portrayal of the Jedi Master also known as Ben Kenobi. With the Obi-Wan Kenobi series debuting in 2022, I would argue that a mini series on Disney+ is a much better option as a fan, than one movie. Considering how fantastic the Star Wars shows on Disney+ have been, I think we can expect to get what is a miniseries that’s essentially an 8 to 10 episode Obi-Wan Kenobi movie. One of the most exciting piece of information confirmed during this presentation is the return of Hayden Christiansen as Anakin Skywalker. I love the idea of another confrontation between Vader and his old master, taking place sometime between their duel in Revenge of The Sith and when they meet again in A New Hope.

It’s sort of tracks that there would’ve been another confrontation or fight between the two of them, before their final reckoning in A New Hope. Because, when you think about it, Vader is pretty calm when he runs into Obi-Wan on The Death Star in Episode IV. I would think that if someone cut off my arms and legs, left me to burn alive, forcing me to live in agony inside a cybernetic suit that keeps me from dying, I’d be fucking PIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISED! It will be interesting to see if and how they rehash the past upon their meeting. Will Vader blame Obi-Wan for Padme’? Will Ashoka be discussed? As much as I love the idea of Hayden Christiansen returning to play Anakin Skywalker again, I wonder exactly how they’re going to use him. For example, when he becomes Vader in Revenge of the Sith, that’s Hayden Christiansen in the Vader costume, but it’s still James Earl Jones‘s voice. I would think if they’re going to go to the trouble of using Hayden Christiansen, they would want the audiences to at least see him. I think flashbacks are probably very likely, we may even see some thing like his helmet get partially damaged, just enough damage to keep him going, but also just enough to see Hayden Christensen’s face inside. Allowing him to show us his portrayal of Anakin whose utterly and completely given himself to The Dark Side. I’ve always wondered what it would’ve looked like if Anakin wasn’t mutilated in his fight on Mustafar. Even if Anakin didn’t necessarily beat mObi-Wan in the fight, what would’ve happened if he had gotten away more or less in one piece? Without his horrific injuries, the robotic suit, and a near constant state of agony, what would Anakin have become? Based on his track record and what we know about The Force. Anakin most likely would’ve killed The Emperor after a relatively short amounts time and seized control of The Empire himself. I can say with confidence that he probably would’ve ended up as the most powerful and horrifically dangerous threat, the galaxy had seen in thousands of years.

The show boasts and impressive cast of new and returning characters like Luke’s aunt and uncle, Owen and Beru Lars. You can take a look at the full cast below.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is by far one of my most anticipated projects of 2022!


As of Disney+ Day, Disney upgraded multiple MCU films to IMAX level quality. You’ll notice a bit of a crisper, cleaner, more realistic look. All of the upgraded titles are listed below:

  • Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings
  • Iron Man
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Doctor Strange
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Black Panther
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Captain Marvel
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Black Widow

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for the podcast, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

PODCAST: Marvel’s Eternals Review!(Part 1)

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we review one of the years most anticipated films, Marvel’s Eternals! This episode ran a little long, so we’re breaking it up into 2 parts, with Part 1 available below.

Without getting into SPOILER territory, one if the reasons I found Eternals to be so exciting, are the doors the films opens for news stories and characters to appear in future MCU projects. Eternals brings some exciting new cosmic ideas and story oppportunities that make my imagination run wild: The Coming of Galactus! The Silver Surfer! The Beyonders! Secret Wars! The Illuminati! These names may to mean anything to some of you right now, but I have a feeling the whole world will start to recognize them in the not too distant future. After, all after Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.3, the next film on the docket in Phase 4 is, Fantastic Four or FF. I don’t think there’s a single Marvel property that I’m more excited to see what Marvel Studios will do with it.

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/47415279 Or subscribe/listen on Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000541392126

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Thanks for listening! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

PODCAST: Last Night In Soho Review!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Ryan and I review Last Night In Soho, the latest film from director Edgar Wright! A new Edgar Wright film is a big deal for all of us here at World’s Best Media. He’s best known for his iconic Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End.

Wright also directed the excellent Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Baby Driver. I love his entire filmography, but his last movie, Baby Driver, is one of the best movies of the last 20 years, in my opinion. Now, we have Last Night In Soho. So we were pretty damn excited going into this new film. As I said in our review for The Suicide Squad, like James Gunn, Edgar Wright easily makes it onto my list of The 10 Best Working Directors. So if Edgar Wright is writing/directing, you can bet your ass I’ll be watching.

Some thing Edgar Ray has in common with another one of my favorite filmmakers Quentin Tarantino is that the feature of fantastic music in all of their films. Wright and Tarantino are very close friends, and one night while discussing music Quentin brought up the band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. Their music was featured prominently in Tarantino’s movies, Death Proof. Quinton asked Edgar “Have you ever heard Last Night In Soho”? Edgar said he hadn’t, Quentin played the song (by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich), and said ‘This is the best title music for a film that’s never been made.’”. The original titles for the film didn’t work because there had already been obscure movies made with the titles Edgar Wright wanted to use. He remembered te conversation with his old friend Quentin Tarantino and decided to call the film Last Night In Soho, the rest is history…

If you actually plan on seeing Last Night In Soho, I definitely recommend going to watch the film for yourself and then come back and listen to this episode. Because one of the great delights of the movie is how unique and unexpected it is, and that’s very rare at the movies these days! FULL SPOILERS in this episode!!!

Director Edgar Wright with Anya Taylor-Johnson on the set of Last Night In Soho.

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/47257223 Or subscribe/listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000540373826

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Thanks for listening! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

PODCAST: Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage REVIEW!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Ryan McDonald and I review and discuss, Venom:It’s Time To Carnage, Baby! The hit film, taking the world by storm, starring Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson! The Venom franchise is one of the most critically acclaimed and beloved superhero films of the last 20 years, so we put 110% into this episode of the podcast! So get ready and buckle up for the ride of your life! The 1st Venom film is a cinematic masterpiece and modern classic. Does Venom 2: You Better Believe There’s Carnage live up to its predecessor? (This episode contains SPOILERS)

All kidding aside, I was very intrigued about this movie because it was directed by Andy Serkis, one of my favorite artists in the movie business. He pioneered performance caption technology, with his role as Golem in The Lord of The Rings Trilogy. His performance in those films, and the technology that helped bring it to life, had an enormous impact on how movies are made. He recently had another memorable mo-cap performance to his resume, playing Ceasar in the recent Planet of The Apes Trilogy. We’ve seen him without his digital make up quite a bit as well, playing characters The MCU villain, Klaw in Avenger: Age of Ultron and Black Panther. As a big fan of his work, I tend to follow his career. So when I heard he was dipping his toes into directing, I was really curious to see what he’d do. While I enjoyed the first Venom movie, Serkis was definitely the biggest draw for me here. He was Peter Jackson’s second unit Director on The Hobbit films, so it’s not like he’s completely unprepared for a film like this. I’ll let you listen to the episode and hear for yourself…

Listen here:  https://www.spreaker.com/episode/46925356 Or subscribe/listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000538248448 

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563


Thanks for listening! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

FIRST LOOK: Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

“When the first living thing drew breath, He was there. Waiting…”

Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece, the groundbreaking comic book series, The Sandman, is being adapted into a live-action show for Netflix. A teaser trailer, along with a few stylish character posters, were recently released online. The Sandman is many things, but first and foremost, it’s the story of Dream of The Endless: Lord of The Dreaming & King of Stories. Dream has gone by many names over the eons, but these days he is mostly known as Morpheus.

When all mortal beings sleep and dream, we enter his realm, The Dreaming. As I mentioned before, Dream, along with his 6 siblings, are immortal beings called The Endless. They’re physical embodiments of fundamental aspects of existence. From oldest to youngest, there’s: Destiny (Dream’s big brother), Death (Dream’s big sister), Dream, Destruction (Dream’s wayward younger brother, sometimes referred to as “The Prodigal” among the family because he abandoned his duties), Desire (his brother/sister), Despair (his sister and Desire’s twin), and Delirium (his sister and the youngest of The Endless, once know as Delight).

The Endless aren’t simply manifestations of these concepts, they also take responsibility for their proper function. For example, Death ensures that recently deceased mortal souls reach their proper destination, after they leave the realm of the living. One of my favorite quotes in the entire series is from Death, when she says ”When the last living thing dies, my job will be finished. I’ll put the chairs on the tables, turn out the lights, and lock the universe behind me when I leave.” But this is all just set up, establishing the spectacular world of The Sandman.

In the introduction to Endless Nights, one of the volumes of The Sandman, Neil Gaiman talks about how he was asked to describe the story of The Sandman in 25 words or less. His response was “The Lord of Dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision.“. That is a beautifully simple, brilliant, pitch perfect description of something so wonderfully sprawling and complex. It’s one of my favorite quotes and it completely encapsulates one of the central ideas at core of this incredible tale. Throughout this incredible fable, the story takes us to ancient Rome, Hell, the beginning of the universe, Arkham Asylum, New York City, a serial killer convention, and a million places in between. Along the way we encounter characters like John Constantine, Batman, Superman, Martian Manhunter, William Shakespeare, Lucifer, and a cast of thousands!

I truly and deeply love the work of Neil Gaiman, and The Sandman is my favorite of his creations. I’ve re-read the series at least a dozen times over the years and I find something new and exciting every time I revisit it. Which is part of the magic of this amazing story. It was incredibly exciting to get our first look at this show, when the teaser trailer was released online, along with several character posters. This is the perfect time to tell the story of Morpheus of The Endless, in a medium other than comics. So, let’s take a look at the teaser trailer, a behind-the-scenes video, some cool new posters, concept art, and much more! Let’s dive in!

Morpheus can be prickly, standoffish, and solitary, but one of the few people (or beings) he trusts and opens up to, is his older sister, Death. Like in this scene, in which Death pays her little brother a visit, while he’s feeding pigeons in the park.


The Sandman: Teaser Trailer

Check out the trailer below:

This is a fantastic teaser trailer, with imagery pulled straight out of The Sandman #1

Official Posters & Plot Synopsis

Here’s the official series synopsis from Netflix:

The Lord of Dreams has been summoned, and captured, by mortal men. Once free from his captivity, this eternal ruler of Dreams will realize that his troubles are only just beginning. The Sandman is a Netflix series based on the groundbreaking comic book series created for DC by Neil Gaiman. The series is Executive Produced by Neil Gaiman, Allan Heinberg, & David S. Goyer.

Behind-The-Scenes Sneak Peek…

A few months ago, Netflix put out a Behind-The-Scenes look at the making of The Sandman. If you’re unfamiliar with the source material, this video will definitely put the teaser trailer (above), in better context and give you a clearer picture of what exactly the series is all about…

Netflix also released some behind-the-scenes images that shows some of the beautiful sets they’ve designed and created for this series. This image gives us a look at the set for Lucifer’s palace in Hell, along with a piece of concept art that illustrates, roughly, what one of the scenes being filmed of the set will look like.

Lucifer’s Thrown Room (Set)
Concept Art: Morpheus meet with Lucifer in a scene taking place on the above sets

It’s really heartening to see that Netflix is investing in the time, money, and imagination to build amazing sets like these. It’ll require the use of both practical and VFX to effectively create a successful Sandman series. I absolutely adore this next piece of concept art, that shows, at least visually, the series is going to be a pretty faithful adaptation of the comic book.

The concept art depicts a key moment from the events that kick off the entire series and set the whole story in motion. Dream has just escaped 100 years of imprisonment at the hands of mortals, who so foolishly attempted to summon and imprison Death. Fortunately for the universe, (and eventually unfortunately for the idiots who kept him captive) they summoned Death’s younger brother Dream, instead. Eventually he escapes through patience and gets his retribution. I’ve included the same moment as depicted in the original comic book, to illustrate exactly how the Netflix series seems to be swinging for the fences with scope and wonder to bring us a faithful adaptation.

Below I included a cast list, as well. It’s not the entire cast, obviously. However it does give you a good idea of who is playing some of the key characters.

The Sandman Audio Series: Acts I & II (Audible Original)


Its’s a great time to be a Sandman fan, and the upcoming Netflix series isn’t the only reason to be excited. If you’re a fan of the graphic novels, like myself, and you’re eagerly anticipating the show’s Netflix premiere in 2022, I highly recommend you check out Audibles adaptation of The Sandman. It is far and away the best audio drama I’ve ever heard. It is top-of-the-line, excellence across the board. The music and sound design are fantastic. The voice cast, headlined by James McAvoy as Morpheus, is spectacular. Other standouts include, Michael Sheen a Lucifer, Kat Dennings as Death, and Jeffrey Wright as Destiny, but it’s McAvoy in particular who gives an unforgettable performance as Morpheus. Neil Gaiman himself does a great job of narrating the entire project. Those are just the highlights, there are literally dozens of great performances across these two volumes. Comics are a visual medium, so it’s truly impressive how the team behind this audio drama created such a faithful and entertaining adaptation. If you want to start listening or you’re just curious to check out, I’ve posted the links for both to both volumes below.

The Sandman Act I

The Sandman Act II 

The Sandman Act I & II are now available on Audible and The Sandman comes to Netflix in 2022

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @thebestdamnblogwithpaulwrightPJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

BATMAN DAY: The Best Modern Day Batman Stories!

Hey Everyone.

Paul here…

One of humanities greatest holiday’s, Batman Day, is upon us once again. In honor of this joyous occasion, it’s officially Batman Week here at World’s Best Media! It’s that special time of year when we can all take the time to reflect on the greatness of The Dark Knight Detectve. Like Superman, people will still be telling stories about The Batman, in one form or another, hundreds of years from now (unless of course, mankind doesn’t wipe itself from the face of the Earth in the near future). Characters like Batman and Superman are our modern day gods. Like Achilles or Beowulf, these heroes resonate with people because they’re such primal archetypes.

Even more so than Superman, the tragic tale of a boy who witnesses the brutal murder of his parents, is a fear we can all relate to. The boy made a vow to rid his city of the evil that took their lives, and turned himself into a monster to do it. The tragedy of Batman is that his war can never be won and he knows it. That’s deep, primal stuff. The brillliant simplicity of Batman allows for endless stories and reinventions.

Batman isn’t only my favorite comics book character, he’s by far my favorite character in all of literature. The complex psychology of Bruce Wayne, the greatest group of villains ever assembled, the sprawling urban nightmare that is Gotham City, and a phenomenal supporting cast… it all comes together to form the unforgettable tapestry of The Batman mythology. So in honor of Batman Day, I decided to put together a list of my favorite modern Batman stories. This was harder than you might think, because there are literally hundreds of classic Batman tales. I left out the obvious ones like “The Big 3”: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, and The Killing Joke. Including those 3 classics on my list, seemed redundant and obvious, so I decided to focus on some great modern Batman stories. I was able to narrow it down to these amazing tales, that I encourage all of you to check out. Let’s dive in…


Batman: The Black Mirror

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Jock & Francesco Francavilla

DC has a long history of “legacy heroes”. “Legacy heroes” are characters who take up the mantle of an iconic, classic superhero, when the original cannot or will not continue on. “Legacy heroes” are almost always characters who are close to the original incarnation of the superhero in question, usually a sidekick or a partner. For example, when the original Flash, Barry Allen, died in Crisis On Infinite Earths, his sidekick, Wally West AKA Kid Flash, inherited the role of The Scarlet Speedster. In fact, many fans believe Wally West surpassed his mentor to be the best version of The Flash in the history of DC Comics. Another good example, is when the entire Green Lantern Corp were wiped out (including Hal Jordan), artist Kyle Rayner was chosen to become the only living in Green Lantern in the universe. Eventually, he was instrumental in rebuilding the Corp. We tend tp not think of Batman as a character that ”passes on the mantle”. However, there has been some notable exceptions, like Dick Grayson, that were excellent and unique versions of The Dark Knight.

The Black Mirror took place at a time when, for reasons that are too complicated to get into, Bruce Wayne was MIA as Batman. Dick Grayson a.k.a. the original Robin a.k.a. Nightwing, reluctantly donned the Cape and Cowl to become the new Batman.

Like so many other excellent Batman tales, the story is just as much about Jim Gordon as it is Batman. The veteran Gotham police officer and the rookie Batman, must solve a grisly mystery that hits far too close to home for both men. With amazing art by Jock and Francesco Francavilla, it seems as if Gotham City itself is alive. A dark and hungry thing, ready to devour those that walk it’s streets. This was the breakout story that launched Scott Snyder’s career as one of the biggest creators in the industry. This isn’t the only time you’ll see Snyder’s name pop up on this list, because The Black Mirror was his first step on his journey to becoming one of the greatest Batman writers of all time.


Batman: R.I.P.

Written by Grant Morrison

Art by Tony Daniel

Grant Morrison is not only a personal favorite of mine, he’s also one of the best and most celebrated comic writers in the history of the medium. All-Star Superman, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On A Serious Earth, JLA, if you’ve ever read Morrison‘s work, it will come as no surprise that this is one hell of a weird, fucking Batman story. However, in this instance that’s a really good thing. Batman R.I.P. marks the end of ACT I of Morrison‘s epic Batman run. When I was reading this nightmarish and disturbing story for the first time, it genuinely felt like anything could happen, which is rare when you’re dealing with such a well-known character like Batman. The brilliance of Morrison‘s run, is how he mines some of the most ridiculous and wacked out Batman stories from the late-50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s, (that any other writer would just as soon forget) to tell a truly unique Batman tale. Some fantastic new villains, like demonic Dr. Hurt, and new spins on old dynamics, make this an unforgettable story about madness, evil, and the indomitable will of The Dark Knight.

Batman & Robin: Reborn


Written by Grant Morrison

Art by Frank Quietly

Another fantastic story taking place during Dick Grayson’s tenure as The Caped Crusader. Grant Morrison’s ambitious, and entertaining Batman run, consisted of a broad, 3 Act structure. If Batman RIP was the end of Act I of Morrison‘s epic, then Batman and Robin: Reborn is the beginning of Act II. This story follows Dick as he struggles to fit into his new role as Batman. One The most compelling parts of the story, is the relationship between Dick and the new Robin, Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son. Reborn puts a fun new spin on the Batman and Robin dynamic. Normally, Batman is the dark, brooding one, with Robin as the bright, quipping, colorful, and lighthearted side of The Dynamic Duo. This story completely flips that dynamic on its head. This Batman smiles, tells jokes, and has fun. Damian’s Robin is arrogant, violent, and brutal. Basically the kid is a real pain in the ass

Regardless, he is, after all, Bruce Wayne‘s biological son. To Dick and Alfred, Bruce was family, so they both feel a responsibility to keep Damian on the right path. Both men know that Bruce would want them to watch over Damian, a task that certainly isn’t easy given Damian’s violent upbringing before he came to live with his father. But Dick and Alfred would never give up on the boy because of their love for Bruce. After all, Damian was raised in The League of Assassins, under the tutelage of Tallia and Ra’s Al Ghul. He could kill grown men by the time he was four years old. With Damian, The House’s of Wayne and Al Ghul would finally be united. Talia and Ra’s were grooming him to stride across the world as a modern-day Alexander The Great. Fortunately, Damian had more of his father in him than his mother and grandfather thought. Inspired by his father, Damian chose his own path, even if that meant being branded as an adversary to The House of Al Ghul.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Dick, Damian, and Alfred in this story. One of my favorite subplots that evolves as the story goes on, is how Damien, who has nothing but disdain for Dick and Alfred, gradually comes to love and respect them both, arguably even more than he loves his father. Add in some gorgeous art by the legendary Frank Quietly (who’s one of my favorite comic book artists), the introduction of one of my favorite and most disturbing modern day Batman villains: the grotesque Professor Pyg, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a Batman comic book. This story is a new era for Batman and it all comes together to make this a must read.


Batman: The Court of Owls

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Greg Capullo

The Court of Owls marks the beginning of what would become, one of the greatest writer/artist teams in modern comics. Together, writer Scott Snyder and veteran artist Greg Capullo, would go on to create one of the best Batman runs in the long history of the character.

Gotham City is synonymous with The Dark Knight. He knows it’s broken streets and dark alleyways, as well as he knows his own reflection in the mirror. Gotham belongs to The Batman and he knows all it’s secrets. Or does he? After a series of bizarre murders, Batman is blindsided by the realization that a cunning and dangerous enemy has existed and operated right under his nose. This powerful adversary has had its claws in Gotham for hundreds of years, going all the way back to the founding of the city. Bruce Wayne might be the worlds greatest detective and the legendary Batman, but in his hubris, he forgot one of the most important lessons he learned in his years protecting the city: The second you think you know Gotham, is the moment it swallows you into the darkness.

What are your favorite Batman stories? Please let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

FIRST LOOK: Hawkeye Disney+ Series Trailer!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Take a look at the the first traIler for the next all-new, live-action MCU series, Hawkeye, premiering November 24th on Disney+! Jeremy Renner returns to the role of Clint Barton, the world famous Avenger known as Hawkeye! When he lost his family in The Snap, Clint went to a pretty dark place. When I say a “dark place”, I mean a full on murderous world tour, butchering the scum of the international underworld as the masked vigilante, Ronin. Finally reunited with his family, Clint is back for another adventure as everyone’s favorite bow and arrow wielding Avenger!

I really love the direction their goiung in with this trailer. It has a great ”Die Hard”, Christmas action movie vibe, which I think is a really fun and interesting way to go with this series.

We finally see finally see fan favorite Kate Bishop make her MCU debut with the perfectly cast Hailee Steinfeld as Clint’s protege. The series looks to be drawing heavily from the modern classic Hawkeye comic book run by Matt Fraction and David Aja, with many of the scenes in the trailer pulled straight off the pages of this spectacular book. If you’ve been looking to jump into reading comics/graphic novels Hawkeye by Fraction and Aja is the perfect jumping on point for readers new to the medium. Check out the links posted below if you want to read it for yourself. It receives my highest recommedation!

How To Read Hawkeye by Matt Fraction & David Aja:

Amazon (order a copy)

Comixology (digital)

https://www.comixology.com/Hawkeye-2012-2015/comics-series/8445?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

Your Local Comic Book store
In the Boston area? Check out Hall of Comics in Southborough, MA conveniently located on RT.9 right off the Mass Pike (Tell them Paul sent you!)

https://thehallofcomics.com

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

MUST WATCH: Titans Season 3!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

The DC Comics Universe is a rich tapestry of compelling and memorable characters. Marvel may the best heroes (not counting Batman and Superman), but DC, hands down, has the best villains. Yet for some reason, live-action DC properties always feel like they use the same group of characters, again and again and again and again: Joker, Zod, Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. I’m a big fan of Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel. However, as excited as I was for that film, I was so disappointed that General Zod was the film’s main antagonist. Superman has so many amazing villains that has never been in a big screen, live action Superman film before. Characters like Darkseid, Mongol, Metallo, FUCKING BRAINIAC! To be fair, I think Michael Shannon is fantastic as General Zod. In fact, I think he is one of the best villains in the DCEU so far. However, I think that changing the villain in Man of Steel would have made a massive impact on how that story was received and how well it worked. Had a badass villain like Brainiac been utilized, an already damn good Superman movie, could’ve been an all-time great comic book flick.

Wow. Um, that got away from me pretty damn fast… Believe it our not, I’m actually here to talk about the new season of Titans on HBO Max. The reason I opened with a rant about my desire to see a more diverse group of DC characters brought to life in live-action, on TV or film, is because Titans scratches that itch big time! Each season showcases a plethora of our favorite DC characters and concepts, many making their live-action debut. It’s one of the reasons Titans is such a big draw for me.

Titans premiered as the flagship show in the now defunct streaming service DC UNIVERSE. It was the first of multiple original series that the fledgling service rolled out over the course of it’s initial launch. It was followed by a Doom Patrol series, the resurrection of the beloved animated show Young Justice, Harley Quinn: The Animated Series, and a great Swamp Thing show that was cancelled before it even premiered, airing only one season (apparently it was WAY TOO expensive, but who really knows?). All of the shows were varying degrees of exceptional. They were all well received by both critics and fans, except for Titans. While the show was considered a success upon it’s launch, it was the only original DC UNIVERSE series that was met with a harsh critical reception. With DC and HBO both falling under Warner Bros ownership, along with the DC streaming service underperforming, Warner Bros was looking to invest additional content and resources and into HBO Max. Titans, Doom Patrol, and Young Justice all made the transition to the new streaming service. Doom Patrol Season 3 debuts in September and Young Justice Season 4 is currently in production.

The infamous “Fuck Batman.” scene.

Titans premiered in the wake of films like Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Both highly anticipated DC projects that were criticized for being overly dark and left many fans massively disappointed. When the first trailer for Titan’s dropped, the teaser infamously featured a very angry Dick Grayson, in his Robin uniform, giving some thugs a brutal beating, and declaring “Fuck Batman” at the end if the fight. I think that so many critics and fans were turned off by the sensibilities of the DCEU films and they saw Titans is simply an extension of what they disliked about the DC movies. Another overly serious, ultra dark, violent, superhero tale that takes the joy out of these classic characters. In my opinion, this point was one of the big reasons that Titans wasn’t greeted warmly by critics and certain fans, when it debuted. I personally don’t agree with that particular criticism, but I understand. Regardless, I enjoyed the hell out of season one, I couldn’t wait for season two and it easily surpassed season one by telling a fantastic Deathstroke story.

As much as I’ve loved this show, its biggest problem has always been the story. In the first two seasons, different storylines and character threads don’t always mesh and come together exactly as well as you would want them to, and it can leave the show feeling a little disjointed. I’m very pleased to report that with season three, it seems like Titans has really ironed out it’s storytelling problems to deliver a tight, compelling, and extremely entertaining narrative.

For a guy who is viewed as such a loner, Batman surrounds himself with a rather large surrogate family. He frequently opens his home to people with nowhere to go and in some cases trains and drafts them in his war to protect Gotham City. With the exception of Alfred, Dick Grayson is by far Batman‘s most well-known and interesting partner. Everyone knows who Dick Grayson is, whether they consciously know it or not. When people think of RobIn, the character they have in their head is Dick Grayson. He is the original Robin, but there’ve been many others to take up the mantle of Robin.

While Titans is ostensibly a team/ensemble series, this is the Dick Grayson show through and through. The series opens with a nice, little easter egg comic book reference, after his falling out with Bruce, Dick leaves Gotham and becomes a detective for the Detroit Police Department, he did something similar in the original comic book run. The first two seasons largely focus on his struggle to come to terms with his own personal demons and his complicated feelings about Bruce Wayne. Dick is a very angry young man, especially at the beginning of the series. He knows he has real darkness inside him, which he hates about himself, but he hates Bruce even more for nurturing those feelings and, as Dick sees it, weaponizing them for his own ends. This feeling is only reinforced when he meets Jason Todd for the first time, a young man who introduces himself to Dick as the “new Robin”. The fact that through Bruce just replaced Dick without a second thought, putting another young man in harms way, confirms what Dick has suspected for a long time. He loved Bruce as a father/brother figure and now he realizes he was nothing more than a soldier in Bruce’s insane war. It’s also important to remember that the mantle of Robin was Dick’s to give away, that was a persona, a hero, that Dick created to be Bruce’s sidekick. So it feels like an extra kick in the teeth, when Dick meets his own replacement, decked out in full, Robin regalia.

It’s a difficult and continuing road, but through his experiences with The Titans have put him on the path he was meant to walk. Dick is intelligent, emotionally well balanced, and compassionate enough, to work through these feelings by leaning on other people he cares about. Instead of trying to carry his burden alone, which allows him to become his own man and a hero in his own right, as Nightwing. Leaving Robin behind forever, but still fulfilling his destiny as a superhero. Eventually, he even manages to forgive Bruce, realizing that no matter warped and unhealthy it may have been, Bruce was only trying to help and protect Dick. He was trying to save him and help him in the only way he knew how.

Some of Bruce‘s “parenting” time with Jason.

Jason Todd, the current Robin, on the other hand, is nothing like Dick and doesn’t have any of Grayson’s positive qualities I mentioned a moment ago. He’s not particularly intelligent, he’s reckless, and unable to keep his emotions in check. He also has a big chip on his shoulder, as well as a serious inferiority complex. Sadly, anything Bruce may have learned during his time with Dick, certainly didn’t transfer to Jason, because that kid is a goddamn mess. Curran Walters who plays Jason, has absolutely crushed it since he was introduced mid-Season 1. He plays him like a mix between a live, exposed electrical wire and a lost, desperate puppy. Jason is a key character in Season 3 and Walters brings 100% to a complicated role.

Going into Season 3, Dick has finally come to terms with his past, to become the hero and leader he needs to be, as Nightwing. This new iteration of The Titans have have come together as a formidable team of heroes. They’re working like a fine oiled machine. The Titans have even become quasi-celebrities. Adored by the media and the public for their heroism. Whaddaya know? Turns out is you actually SAVE a few people and don’t level a city in the process, the public actually likes superheroes! Who knew? The active Titans, consisting of Connor AKA Superboy, Kory AKA Starfirfe, Gar AKA Beast Boy, Dawn AKA Dove, Hank AKA Hawk, and Super-Dog Krypto, are thriving as a team with Nightwing at the helm. While some of the mainstays of the team are off screen until later in the season, like Raven and Donna Troy. Things are looking great, which is of course when those old Gotham City demons show up pounding on Dick Grayson’s door.

(Minor Spoilers here, but nothing that hasn’t been shown in the trailers) Tragedy strikes when the current Robin, Jason Todd, is brutally killed by The Joker.

Anyone who really knows the character, understands that Batman handles the death of a loved one poorly, at best. Batman handles Jason’s death just about as badly as you’d expect. It’s a fucking train wreck. He callously throws himself into his work as The Dark Knight, hiding from his grief. The series first introduced Bruce Wayne in Season 2, played by Ian Glenn (Ser Jorrah Mormont from Game of Thrones) and he’s been great in the role ever since. We see a Batman that has serious problems processing grief and instead of dealing with it head on, in a healthy way, he dives headfirst back into being Batman. It’s like he’s escaping from his trauma into this monster of his own creation. Following the death of Jason Todd, we have never seen the character more mentally unhinged and emotionally broken.

There’s a fantastic moment in The Batcave between Bruce and Dick, Dick is horrified to discover that Bruce has already been researching possible “recruits” to replace Jason as Robin. When a furious Dick confronts Bruce about this, looking and sounding like a lost little boy, Bruce almost timidly asks “Do you wanna be Robin again?”. Dick’s reaction is a shocked mix of disgust, pity, disbelief, and genuine concern. The fact that Bruce would even ask him this, shows exactly how far gone, mentally, he really is. It’s almost as if Bruce is experiencing some kind of psychotic break and the gravity of the moment is not lost on Dick. Things get worse before they get better. With Batman off the deep end, a brutal and dangerous new player storms into Gotham’s underworld: The Red Hood.

He’s a compelling and genuinely threatening villain, and if you don’t already know the character, the less said the better.

Following the recent death of her father, former Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, has reluctantly taken on the thankless role of Gotham City Police Commissioner (mainly because no one else was crazy enough to take the job). Like Grayson, Barbara has her own less than perfect history with Bruce Wayne, she’s done with vigilantes and the questionable cycle of violence Bruce perpetuated. So the last thing she wants to do is pick up with Nightwing, where her father left off with Batman, but The GCPD is stretched to it’s limit. Dick isn’t thrilled with the situation either. He thought he put Batman and Gotham behind him to build something better with The Titans. Instead, he’s forced to “step into his Father’s shoe’s” and bring a still relatively green group of heroes into a city where mistakes put you in the morgue instead of the emergency room.

As Dick and Barbara re-establish their fragile partnership, the new Commissioner reveals that Dick and The Titans aren’t the only “consultants” she’s been forced to work with. Straight out of “Silence of The Lambs”, while currently incarcerated in Arkham Asylum, The GCBD has been utilizing the skills of one of the world’s best criminal psychologists and profilers, Dr. Jonathan Crane, better known as The Scarecrow.

Some might find the “Hannibal Lector” angle a little derivative, but the show manages to get away with it because it’s so damn fun to watch. Crane is played by Vincent Kartheiser, better known to audiences as Pete Campbell from Mad Men, Connor from Angel, and a slew of various roles on the big screen. Kartheiser really makes the role his own. We’ve never quite seen the popular Batman villain portrayed like this. I don’t want to SPOIL too much, so if you don’t want to know anything, skip down to the next paragraph where you’ll see “END SPOILERS”….

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…. I wont go into specifics about the role of the character in the series. However, when it comes to the level of danger he presents, some fans tend to think of Crane as a pretty minor Batman villain. But anyone who’s played the video game, Batman: Arkham Knight, knows that Scarecrow is capable of being a massive, city-wide threat that we tend to only associate with characters like The Joker, Ra’s Al Ghul, or Bane. Dr. Jonathan Crane is not to be underestimated.

END SPOILERS

After 2 seasons largely focused on Dick Grayson’s journey from Robin to Nightwing. Now in Season 3, the series has come into his own and Nightwing’s return to his hometown, along with the rest of The Titans, couldn’t have come at a more difficult time. As Dick and his team try to live up to the legacy of Batman as Gotham’s protector’s, a violent and formidable new threat has emerged from the Gotham underworld. A criminal who may have a much deeper and more personal connection to Dick and Bruce than either of them could have imagined. If you’ve ever thought about giving Titans a chance, now is the time to do it, because the series has never been better.

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-Paul