Due to overwhelming demand, Ryan McDonald and I have finally returned to complete our journey through Middle Earth. After our smash hit episode all bout The Lord of The Rings Movies, our listeners wanted, nay DEMANDED, a follow up episode exploring the other, less beloved big screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. That’s right, this episode is all about The Hobbit Trilogy!
Unlike the nearly universally praised Lord of The Rings films, many fans criticized The Hobbit, feeling that 3 films to cover one of Tolkien’s shortest works was one film too many and an unnecessary cash grab by the studio. The individual films in The Hobbit Trilogy were viewed by some as being overly long and even boring.
Some of the criticisms surrounding the films were fair, other weren’t. As a Tolkien junkie, I loved spending as much time as possible in Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth. The characters, the heart, the spectacular action set pieces, the groundbreaking special effects, I loved it all! I couldn’t get enough. I remember when the films were being made, I followed the production closely and when the movies were released it was an event for my friends and I. I was the guy who thought things like “They’re going to make 3 movies back to back instead of 2? Fuckin’ A! I love it! Bring it on!”, “They’re releasing extended editions on blu ray, just like LoTR? SICK! Add to shopping cart!”. My point is that I definitely have a positive personal bias with these films. While I’m the first to admit that I’m not 100% objective, I sincerely believe these are excellent films.
There are phenomenal performances from Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, and Richard Armitage, just to name a few. There are some beautiful, profound moments in these films. Not to mention the action and battles scenes which kick all kinds of ass! Oh, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Benedict Cumberbatch as the dragon, Smaug. He’s terrifying and fascinating all at the same time. The motion capture performance and voice performance by Cumberbatch, along with some VFX wizardry from the guys at Weta, combine to create one of the best motion capture CG characters of the past decade. I almost forgot to mention Howard Shore’s predictably excellent score.
But enough beating around the bush! Listen to the show below, where Ryan and I offer up our arguments for why these films are underrated, we give some background about the films problematic pre-production, and discuss our favorite characters and moments from the Trilogy. Of course, like every great episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we inevitably take some fun detours along the way
At the beginning of the episode, we announced that we’d calling attention to a great charity dedicated to fighting colon cancer. The organization is Colon Cancer Coalition of Boston, you can check out their website right here:
Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which 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!
I want to start off, by saying, this post has been written, and rewritten more than a half dozen times in my brain. I talked to Paul about it at the beginning of the summer, and for several weeks, it seemed as though every time I was ready to write it, something new would happen in the news that would make me take pause, and wait to see how things were going to settle in the end. As of this past week, I think they’re all settled—at least for long enough that I can comfortably write this post and publish it before it’s out-of-date. That being said, let’s dive in.
I have maintained, for a long time now, that Mary Jane Watson and Ariel from The Little Mermaid, are the reason why myself, and many men of my generation have a special place in our hearts (I’m going with hearts, since I had crushes on both characters pre-puberty) for redheaded women. As I grew up, most of the time I saw redheaded women, I found them more attractive on average, than a similar looking woman with any other hair color. As I grew up, the characters that caught my attention on shows, became the women with red hair, i.e. Joan on Mad Men, and Ygritte on Game of Thrones.
When I learned that Zendaya’s character in the MCU/Sony Spider-Man films, was supposed to be MJ (although not Mary Jane) it didn’t bother me, but it did make me think. At first I started thinking about the impact that comic book MJ had on me, and I wondered if this may have the same effect on a younger generation toward black women. Of course, at some point in the past few months, Disney announced that they were casting Halle Bailey as Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and the question repeated itself in my mind.
Now, at first I thought, “that would be great if these characters helped another generation to find the beauty in a group of people that they may other-wise have not thought about in that way,” but I don’t think I was right on that. First off, I think that so far with Zendaya’s MJ as opposed to comic book MJ, there is a significant amount less sexualization, and that’s probably a good thing. I don’t remember much about MJ as a character, other than her calling Peter ‘Tiger,’ and I remember pictures of her more than anything. Ariel is the same thing, I remember her character, and while it was problematic I always liked it, but at least half of my fascination was with the seashell bra. This year’s Aladdin, live-action remake, did a lot of work desexualizing Princess Jasmine, and I think Disney is likely to do the same with Ariel.
The second reason, that I think my initial thought that perhaps this idea was a good one, is that while there was something innocent about it, I do think there ultimately ends up being a fetishization of these characters, and their physical characteristics within the original material. There are demographics, based on race and gender combinations that are more or less statistically attractive, and unfortunately, black women (along with asian men) tend to be statistically disadvantaged in this way. I had heard and read that enough times that it supported my original idea that maybe lifting black women up in this was a good thing, and I will say this, if Ariel is bad-ass, and inspires black girls to be bad-ass, or if MJ challenges the stereotypes of women, that’s great, and so far I do think Disney is doing a great job with that. They’re doing better than I would have, based on my own warped logic going into this. I had to realize that there is a huge difference between fetishizing, and raising up. Disney is raising up, and I was thinking indirectly, “hey wouldn’t it be cool if a bunch of kids ended up with a black woman fetish.” It wasn’t my intention, but it was essentially what I was thinking. Hell, it was initially what I was pitching to Paul.
So, now that I have that out of the way, now that I’ve talked about the two characters who really shaped much of my physical attraction, I want to shift gears slightly, and talk about a bit of news that came out the day that I was first ‘ready’ to write this. In the next James Bond film, 007 will be played by a black woman. There has been speculation for years about who would be Daniel Craig’s replacement in the James Bond cufflinks, with a lot of speculation going to Idris Elba (who I think would be awesome if he’s still young enough when the mantel gets passed). Trying, I think to do two thing, test the waters, but also stir up some hype in the form of controversy, it was announced that there would be a new 007, and that it would be Lashana Lynch.
I think they were testing the waters, because they announced that she would be the new 007, and waited until speculation and feedback came in, before announcing, that in the plot of the new film, Bond has retired, and is replaced in his title of 007, and then he is pulled back in while in retirement. It was a soft way of testing things out, to see if perhaps we’re more into 007 or James Bond. It’s similar to what Mission Impossible did with Jeremy Renner a few years ago. It’s not a bad plan, and we will see how it plays out in that way, but it also kind of plays into my general topic.
James Bond is perhaps one of the most sexualized male characters in cinematic history, and the way in which going about that has been drastically different from how they’ve sexualized women. Is it possible, that we’re going to get a female version of that? Will this change how female sexuality plays out on screen? Also, we have a character who is very much the coolest person in the room, and definitely has shaped young men’s idea of what a man is, will a black female 007 do the same for young women?
In the past few years in cinema, there has been a lot of talk about representation, and for the most part I think that it has been a good thing, and honestly I’m not one of these people who get’s bent out of shape when they change a character I like, or even love. I understand that most of these things are constantly evolving, and I don’t personally want to see the same old thing over and over. But I really think that these three examples are interesting, because they’re a bit different than other roles. Nick Fury, changing from a white man to a black man, had little impact as far as I can see, because the character was always one of authority, and I never associated with him, and I never felt an attraction to him, or to be like him. I also have to consider what it means for other people, and I don’t know. On the one hand, I think of all the black women I think are cool, or bad-ass, or beautiful, and it’s not a short list, and I wonder if that’s blinding me to a problem that’s real? Perhaps these casting decisions will help to solve that. I don’t know, but I think it’s important to ask some of these questions of ourselves.
Article by Michael Cole
–Mike Cole is a published author, freelance writer, & filmmaker. He is a happily married father of one.
Editors Note: Photos and their subsequent captions were added by Paul Wright… So, you know, don’t blame Mike.
JOKER, the highly anticipated new film from director Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix has hit theaters! The movie is already receiving rave reviews, with many critics declaring the movie a shoe in for Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix. The early buzz has praised Phoenix’s tour de force performance as a broken man’s decent into madness and his transformation into the legendary Clown Prince Of Crime! But does it live up to the hype? That’s exactly what Ryan and I discuss in the latest episode of The World’s Best Podcast! The Joker is one of the best characters in all of fiction and the film asks provocative questions about society, mental health, and morality. Does the film live up to its lofty ambitions? Where does this Joker rank among the other classic performances of the character? Can you tell a Joker story without Batman? We answer all these questions and more! Listen and enjoy!
Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s 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!
If it wasn’t for Justice League, the DC films would be on quite the streak right now. Yes, if you look at all of their films besides Justice League, after Suicide Squad, youhave Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and SHAZAM!, each a success in their own way. Aquaman in particular made a shitload of money at the box office. Now, later this week we have the much hyped and much anticipated premier of JOKER. I think the direction of the DC Cinematic Universe from here on will be largely predicated upon how JOKER performs financially. If it’s a smash hit, I think they’ll probably continue trying stand-alone, “Elseworlds” style stories like JOKER that are independent of The DCEU (I’m not calling it The Worlds of DC! I’m not fucking doing it!!!). If the film under performs I would imagine they will go back to embracing universe building, single continuity films like the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman 2.
Out of all their upcoming projects, I am by far most intrigued by Matt Reeves’ new Batman film. I think Robert Pattinson is a great choice for Batman. I think he’s underestimated as an actor by a lot of people who don’t know his work outside of the Twilight series. Also Matt Reeves is a great filmmaker and writer, who wants to bring Batman back to his detective roots. Reeves seems to finally be making a Batman film that’s a noir-detective story, which is something we’ve never really seen from the character, ironically enough. Despite it being such a massive part of who he is and his mythology, we’ve never seen “Batman: The World’s Greatest Detective” on the big screen.
Then, we had the trailer for Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) drop like a ton of shit today. I’ll be honest with you,this movie kind of came out of nowhere for me. For someone who follows comic books movies so closely, I had no idea the movie was this close to release until I saw a teaser for during my screening of It: Chapter 2. First things first, I want you guys to get a chance to check out the trailer, which I’ve posted below and I’ll give you my thoughts after…
First of all, regardless of what I think about this film as a DC Comics adaptation, this is just a bad trailer. There’s no clear indication of what’s really going on, who the good guys and the bad guys are, what the hell the story is, it’s just a big goddamn mess. The only thing that is clear is that we’re getting a shitload of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn front and center. If I didn’t know better I would say this is just a straight up Harley Quinn solo film. It looks nothing like up what I would imagine a Birds of Prey movie would look like (I’ll get back to that in a minute). Don’t get me wrong, I really like Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and I thought she was one of the high points of the otherwise abysmal Suicide Squad. Unfortunately, Harley Quinn is one of those characters that’s really popular with fans and tends to get over used. Just to give you an example from the world of comics, DC has at least three or four Harley Quinn-centric books being published right now. Four Harley Quinn comics is three Harley Quinn comics too many. Even though they’re very different characters, Wolverine came to mind as I watched this trailer. Some of the greatest X-Men comic book writers of all time have understood one thing: less is more with Wolverine when he’s with The X-Men. He such a popular character that the temptation for most writers is to put him front and center, make him the most important character in the story. However with Wolverine, (at least when he’s in the X-Men, not his solo books) if he’s used in small doses, the moments the writers let him off the chain and really allow the character to shine, the moment is that much more special because they showed restraint. With Birds of Prey, all I’ve seen is the trailer and I’m already sick of Harley Quinn.
In the comics Birds of Prey is a long running, very beloved series about 3 great female DC heroes, who come together to pool their skills, and eventually become a little family. The team classically consist of the wheelchair bound Barbara Gordon, who after retiring as Batgirl due to her injuries at the hands of The Joker, has taken up the mantle of Oracle. She is the ultimate hacker, she’s the hub of all knowledge and information for the heroes of the DC Universe. She handles everything from tracking criminals to hacking into The Pentagon, she’s the ultimate field support team. As Ned from the Spider-Man films likes to say that he’s the “man in the chair“, well Oracle is the original “woman in the chair“. Everything Felicity did on the TV show Arrow was basically Oracle. They even make a joke on the show about how Felicity should get a code name like everyone else on Team Arrow and Oliver mentioned he wanted her code name to be Oracle “but it’s taken”. She is the best of the best at what she does. Heroes all the way from Batman and Superman come to her for her help and expertise.
The field team usually consists of Helena Bertinelli a.k.a. Huntress, a violent Gotham vigilante who is almost always an outsider/pariah within the community of Gotham City vigilantes. Huntress is not afraid to kill to get the job done, which of course Batman does not approve of. But Huntress doesn’t particularly give a shit what Batman does and does not approve of.
Finally,there is Dinah Lance a.k.a. Black Canary, she is one of the greatest martial artists in the DC Universe, she could easily go toe to toe with the very best hand to hand fighters in the DCU. She’s also a meta-human who can emit intense sonic “canary cries“. She can modulate the power of her sonic blasts so it can be used as a simple distraction or powerful enough to rip through a concrete wall. Gail Simone was the writer who made this series what it was. There have been a lot of other writers who’ve worked on Birds of Prey, but Gail Simone is by far the most well-known and beloved.
My point is Birds of Prey is about these 3 female Gotham vigilantes coming together to fight the good fight. There’s nothing wrong with throwing Harley Quinn into the mix, in fact I think that could be really fun. However, based on the trailer none of that seems to be there, it’s just all Harley Quinn, all the time.
I haven’t even touched on the villain, Gotham crime boss Roman Sionus a.k.a. Black Mask played by Ewan McGregor. Black Mask is known for 3 things: first, he’s one of the biggest organize crime figures in Gotham, who leans more towards the traditional criminal side of things, than over the top insanity of some of Batman‘s other rogues gallery like Scarecrow, for example. Second, his entire head and face permanently resemble a black skull. Think The Red Skull from Captain America, but completely black instead and wearing a business suit and that’s exactly what Black Mask looks like. Finally, he’s known for loving to torture his victims to death. So all around he’s a really nice, pleasant guy. You don’t see any indication of him looking anything like the traditional Black Mask in this trailer, so why not just make him a different character if you’re not gonna use that interesting visual motif Black Mask possesses? But it’s hard to be too critical because I didn’t really get enough of Ewan McGregor in the trailer to get a sense of how he’s playing the part. I love Ewan McGregor so I hope they actually give him something interesting to do. The trailer is cut together so poorly I can’t even understand some of Ewan McGregor’s lines sometimes.
Look, obviously I want this movie to be good. I want it to be a success. I love the DC Universe and I love these characters. I hope I’m wrong and I hope they pull it off. However, at the moment the Birds of Prey a.k.a. “Harley Quinn: The Movie”, looks pretty shitty in my opinion.
Thanks for READING! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for our 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!
With Spider-Man: Far From Home dropping digitally last week, as well as the Blu-Ray hitting stores on October 1st, Marvel’s “Phase 3” of films have officially come to an end. Looking back, Phase 3 really knocked it out of the fucking park. Phase 3 begins with Captain America: Civil War and continues with Doctor Strange, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Jesus, that’s a fantastic run. Each of of these films are fucking amazing in their own way, with Ant-Man and The Wasp as the only semi-weak film, but it’s still a fun movie and by no means bad. Every film in The MCU, so far, from Iron Man to Spider-Man: Far From Home is collectively known as The Infinity Saga. One massive story arc involving The Infinity Stones and the looming threat of Thanos. Culminating in an epic battle between The Forces of Thanos and The Avengers, with the entire Universe hanging in the balance.
To say that I’m a big Blu-Ray collector is a bit of an understatement. Even though I still buy a lot of my content digitally, but I love being able to have a physical copies of Blu-rays. Basically you have a shit load of Blu-Rays. Especially Steelbook Special Editions. So when I started to hear rumblings that Marvel was putting together a Blu-Ray box set for The Infinity Saga, I was understandably intrigued. Especially because Marvel put out such fantastic box set for Phases 1 & 2.
As they were being released in theaters, The Infinity Saga was broken into 3 Phases, as I mentioned before, Marvel already released box sets for Phase 1 and Phase 2 (I actually have both of them and they’re really cool). It doesn’t look like they’ll be releasing an individual set for Phase 3, based on the comments made by Marvel Studios head honcho, Kevin Fiege. At the moment, Marvel is starting to put together a mega box set that collects the entire Infinity Saga. The video posted below is intended to make audiences excited and nostalgic for The MCU (It sure as hell does the job that’s for sure.
Kevin Feige recently talked about a 4K Blu-Ray Box Set release of The Infinity Saga being in the works. According to Fiege, the set would include all 23 films on Blu-Ray/4K Blu-Ray, the original special features from each film, and a ton of never-before-seen deleted scenes, extended cuts, additional special features, and much more brand new material exclusive to this unique release. The Phase 1 and Phase 2 MCU box sets included fun Easter Eggs like a copy of The Sokovia Accords, The Tesseract, The Orb with The Power Stone inside, or Nick Fury’s files on all of The Avengers, just to name a few. They were really cool sets. Below, I have some pictures of the cool collectible Easter Egg material that was included in the Phase 1 and Phase 2 box sets, something that we can expect to continue in a release for The Infinity Saga.
At the time I purchased them, they were around $150 each, so a 4K Blu-Ray set of The Infinity Saga could cost as much is $500 or more. However, this is just speculation on my part and there hasn’t been any indication of what the cost might be. This is going to be something for only the hard-core fans and collectors, like myself. If you happen to be as crazy as I am, then you better start following my lead and save all of your change in a piggy bank or a change jar, because when this thing drops, it’s going to be a real wallet buster. Also, I expect a release date for early next year for Christmas 2019 at the earliest, but I think spring 2020 is much more likely.
I’ll post more info on the Blu-Ray box set for The Infinity Saga as it becomes available. For now Marvel posted a great video celebrating the end of an era as The Infinity Saga comes to a close. It’s such a great clip because, for myself and so many other people out there, these movies have meant so much. We’ve fallen in love with these characters and their stories. Of course we’re going to be getting a ton of new stuff from The MCU, but one of the many reasons that Avengers: Endgame was so fantastic is that it really felt like an ending to this grand story we’ve been following for the last 11 years. That’s a really tough thing to pull off in superhero fiction, especially when we know that this universe and many of these characters are going to continue on in other films and TV shows. It goes to show you just how talented directors Joe and Anthony Russo ( Captain America:Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, & Avengers: Endgame) are that they crushed the ending. Even though this beautiful video is basically an announcement trailer for The Infinity Saga Box Set, it so damn good it makes me want to pop on Iron Man and start watching the whole damn series all over again. Watch it hear:
Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s 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!
We have a real treat on this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Paul Sr. returns to the show to help me review the long awaited IT: Chapter 2! This was by far one of my most anticipated movies of the year, so I was really psyched to see this one. We wanted to wait a little while to drop this episode, mostly to give people plenty of time to see the movie because we go FULL SPOILERS for this review. Paul Sr. and I had a lot of fun talking about the twists and turns, the big scares, and our favorite characters in this follow up to 2017’s hit movie IT. We even chat about some of the upcoming movies we saw trailers for during the screening. Bottom line: we had a blast seeing the movie and we had a blast recording this episode! So whether you’ve seen the movie or not, come join us for some fun and ridiculous hijinx, as well as our usual bickering! Enjoy listening to this extra spooky episode! Thanks!
Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter@PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s 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!
I received a very pleasant surprise today when I found out that the short film “Battle At Big Rock“ was dropping online. As you may know if you follow the site or listen to my podcast, it seems like surprises are a rare commodity when it comes to movies these days. We seem to know everything about most movies long before they even hit theatres. Today we got a nice surprise in the short film “Battle At Big Rock” from director Colin Trevorrow. A Jurassic World short film coming out was not on my radar at all. Trevorrow was the director of Jurassic World and writer/producer on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. He’ll also be directing the upcoming Jurassic World 3 set for release in 2021. The second Jurassic World film, Fallen Kingdom ended with, what myself and probably a lot of other audience members have been wanting to see for a long time, the dinosaurs finally unleashed on the world. Mankind and dinosaurs must now coexist. At the end of Fallen Kingdom, Jeff Goldblum‘s Ian Malcolm paraphrases the immortal words of Richard Attenborough’s John Hammond with the line “Welcome to Jurassic World.”
With the central concept of Jurassic World 3 being what a world where dinosaurs and man are forced to coexist will look like, according to Trevorrow “Battle at Big Rock” is all about setting up this central theme. The story is about a family taking a camping trip that… takes a very dramatic turn. I’ll let you see it for yourself and then give you my thoughts. Check it out:
Personally, I dug the hell out of this. It did a great job of capturing what’s so fun and cool about the Jurassic Park movies within the confines of a short run time. Basically, I think it’s a blast. If the next Jurassic World film can capture the spirit of this short, it has the potential to be pretty awesome. I even enjoyed the family despite the fact that we spend relatively little time with them. I doubt they’ll take this route, but I definitely found them to be likable enough to have them make an appearance in one of the upcoming full length features. Also, I thought it was cool that the father in “Battle at Big Rock” is played by Andre Holland from Castle Rock.
I love this short film so much for a reason I alluded to before, I feel like the movie that everyone really wanted to see after the first Jurassic Park, was a film where the dinosaurs got off the island. We wanted to see dinosaurs rampaging across the U.S.! Packs of Velociraptors hunting in our cities! T-Rex’s roaming the great American plains! Pterodactyl’s swooping down from the sky to pick off people like birds hunting fish! Herds of Triceratops and Brachiosaurus causing traffic jams! Show me that fucking movie! Fortunately, I get the feeling that’s where Jurassic Park 3 is more or less going. An article I read in The Hollywood Reporter even suggested the events of Jurassic World 3 could be follows with something like Jurassic War! Now that’s an idea I can get behind! The dinosaur population gets out of control, the humans are given some technological handicap so we can’t just wipe the dinosaurs out right away, which leads to an all out war for the planet, MAN VS. DINOSAUR! ONLY ONE SPECIES WILL SURVIVE! FUCK YEAH! Well, a guy can hope, right?
Anyway, thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter@PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s 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 shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
Starting this week, World’s Best Media begins our 2019 Fall TV Preview! On our website, podcasts, and social media we’ll be covering all of the coolest new and returning shows on TV and Streaming for the rest of the month! Please let us know what you think of our coverage and what series you’d like to see us cover! For our first article we’ll be covering one of my most anticipated new shows and one my favorite returning series…
Watchmen – New Series (HBO)
HBO’s upcoming series Watchmen is, by far, one of my most anticipated film or television projects of the year. It comes to us from Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of LOST and the creator of The Leftovers. Despite some of the haters out there, I think Lindelöf is extremely talented storyteller. Here’s HBO’s official synopsis for the series:
“Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name, while attempting to break new ground of its own.”
Check out the new trailer here:
Despite any missteps taken throughout the series, I still believe LOST is on incredible achievement in long form storytelling. In fact, warts and all, it’s probably still one of my all-time favorite TV shows. So when I heard Lindelof was developing a Watchmen series for HBO I wasn’t that enthusiastic, but not for the reasons you might think.
When Zack Snyder released he is 2009 film adaptation of the classic graphic novel from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, many felt that the film was too slavish to the source material. So I felt that after receiving an adaptation of Watchmen that was so close to the comic book, what more could this HBO series really say? Of course my assumptions were all wrong and the story Lindelof is telling isn’t a direct adaptation at all, but more of a sequel. While shrouded in mystery we do know certain characters and story elements like Laurie Jupiter, Mothman, Hooded Justice, Ozymandias, Doctor Manhattan, and even Dan’s Nightowl ship Archie are a part of the show.
While on the subject of the 2009 Watchmen, though flawed, I think Snyder’s take is ahead of it’s time and a truly excellent film. This is just my opinion, but I think it’s a great adaptation of a phenomenal comic book. Ironically my largest problem with the film, is the change that most people felt was necessary. I strongly felt that Ozymandias’ grand plan didn’t work, as presented in the movie. Veidt’s plan in the comics is a master stroke. Despite how insane it may seem, you can’t deny the twisted logic of it all: Show humanity a clear and present threat that is completely “other”, totally “alien” and it will bring the species together like never before for the sake of mutual survival.
The way Veidt’s attack went down in the graphic novel could in no way be mistaken for anything other than some type of alien invasion. He teleports a giant alien monster (that he spent billions to create using cloning and the minds of some of the world’s best artists) into the heart of New York City, the creature dies on arrival but not before telepathically kills millions of people. No one could mistake this catastrophe for a nuclear launch.
However, in the film Veidt blows up multiple major cities around the world (both in the U.S. and U.S.S.R.), using bombs he’s designed to mimic the energy signature of Doctor Manhattan. This is just as Russia and The U.S. are on the brink of full on nuclear war. My problem with this version of Ozymandias’ plan is that, in the graphic novel there’s no actual explosions that could in anyway be misconstrued for a bomb of any kind. Blowing up multiple major cities both in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. seems incredibly risky considering how close to nuclear annihilation the world is at that moment. The success of his whole plan and the survival of the human race, rests on whether or not “the powers that be” will somehow take the time to analyze the energy signature and determine it’s from Doctor Manhattan. What if they just panic when one of the cities explode and one of the two superpowers launch there nukes? It seems like an awfully big gamble for the so called “smartest man in the world” to be taking. I think changing Veidt’s plan in the films takes away from it’s genius and ultimately hurts the film, fortunately it looks like the the HBO series is sticking with the graphic novels version of events in this department. With Oscar Winner Jeremy Irons taking on the role of Adrian Veidt, I cant fucking wait to see what role he plays in the series. I can’t imagine a man like him sitting on the sidelines…
Regardless, that’s just my two cents on a Watchmen film we’ve already seen. This new series has nothing to do with the 2009 film. As you’ll see in the new trailer and behind the scenes video below, it’s almost a quasi-sequel to the classic graphic graphic novel. As a weekly comic book reader, I’m really primed for a story like this. DC Comics has been doing a lot with the Watchmen characters lately with fantastic stories like Before Watchmen and the incredible Doomsday Clock, DC’s own quasi-sequel to Watchmen. Unlike some other fans, after reading spectacular comics like Doomsday Clock, Watchmen isn’t the sacred cow to me that it may be for some other fans.
The past few years have shown me that excellent stories with the characters and world of Watchmen can be told without Alan Moore. I’m pretty sure Dave Gibbons, Watchmen’s artist is involved with the show in some capacity. The cast looks great and I’d like the creative team involved a lot. HBO is the perfect network for something like this, but check out this very cool behind the scenes video below and judge for yourself. It sheds a little more light on exactly what’s going on with this series…
Watchmen premieres on HBO on October 20th.
Supernatural: The Final Season
The returning show I wanted to talk about today is this one of my all-time favorite television shows. A series I have written about here on the site and has been brought up on the podcast so often, it’s a bit of a running joke. I am of course referring to none other than Supernatural. The hit CW series is heading into its 15th and final season in October. Though the fans and The CW network were more than happy to allow the show to continue pretty much as long as the creative team involved wanted, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, who plays Sam and Dean Winchester wanted to show to go out on a high note. So it is tough as it is to say goodbye to the boys and characters like Castiel, as long time, fan I’d rather see the show go out in a blaze of glory than whimper across the finish line.
Courtesy of EW.com, are the first official photos from Season 15. The pictures are definitely from the first or second episodes of the season because last time we saw them, The Winchesters and Castiel were up shit’s creek surrounded by a fucking horde of zombies. Not to mention all the other monsters and spirits Chuck freed from Hell, which was a really dick move. I think it’s a safe bet The Boys make it out of this situation in one piece, but that victory will be short lived. Because when it come to The Winchesters and company nothing’s ever easy or simple. Hey, shit happens when you piss of an all powerful cosmic entity that gets off on toying with people’s lives. Check it out…
We don’t know a ton about the final season (man, that sucks to write), but one thing we’ve heard from the cast is that dead means DEAD. In the past, this is a show that’s seen a lot of resurrections. Hell, Sam and Dean themselves have died literally dozens of times. So expect a lot more finality when one of the characters checks out this season. Below you can check out a brief trailer, but damn if it doesn’t make me excited!
It also appears that the final season will be seeing a lot of returning characters. Already confirmed are, of course, Chuck, Amara, Adam Winchester, Bobby Singer, Ellen Harvell, and that’s just to name a few. Expect to see some of The Winchester’s oldest friends and worst enemies show up before the series ends. Finally I have an interview with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki talking about what sans can expect from the 15th in the final season especially in the first few episodes.
Man, it’s gonna be tough to see this one go, we posted a few more images below. The Final Season of Supernatural begins on October 10th on The CW
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for our podcast, go a long way to help support the show. We really appreciate the loyalty shown to us by World’s Best Media fans, so thanks again!
We have a GREAT episode of “The World’s Best Podcast” this week! After dropping the final trailer last week,the upcoming film, “JOKER” (opening 10/4) starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover), has screened for critic to rave reviews. Some even calling the movie a “masterpiece”. So on this podcast, I go through everything you need to know about the various on screen depictions of The Joker in the past, on TV and the big screen. What’s the deal with this new version of The Clown Prince Of Crime and why did I think this new movie broke one of the cardinal rules of the character?
We also give an update on the Marvel/Sony Spider-Man standoff. Is everyone’s favorite Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man really out of The MCU? Time will tell, hopefully some kind of deal between Disney and Sony can still be reached.
Finally, we wrap up the episode with a couple of reviews, first for Amazon Prime’s new series “Carnival Row” starring Orlando Bloom. Then we dive into Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special on Netflix “Sticks and Stones”. Enjoy!
Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting the show. We really appreciate the loyalty shown to us by World’s Best Media fans, so thanks again!
I think it’s fair to say that the majority of people out there don’t have the DC Universe streaming service yet. I think the majority of subscribers are Superfans like myself. I don’t know what kind of numbers DC Universe is pulling down, but I think eventually Warner Bros., the parent company that owns DC Universe, will bundle the streaming services with others that Warner Bros. are developing. Just like some of their competition is doing. When Disney+ launches in November, subscribers will be able to purchase a bundle deal that will include Disney+, Hulu, and an ESPN streaming service of some kind. I’ve read reports that indicate the Disney+ bundle is going to be available for around $12 or $13 a month, which is a fucking steal in my opinion. I only mention this because I think that’s what will probably happen with DC Universe eventually.
Anyway, back to TITANS. Even though the show premiered on DC Universe, TITANS Season 1 was available on Netflix for a while, I’m not sure if it still is (I just checked, it isn’t). It’s also available on Blu-ray and digitally through iTunes. It takes a few episodes to get going, but once the show found it’s footing, I thought it was a really strong first season. TITANS has some very interesting characters, some stand out action sequences, and it’s actually fairly unique. Even among the over crowded market of superhero TV shows, TITANS managed to stand out . In fact, every series that DC Universe has produced has been more or less excellent across-the-board: Titans, Young Justice: Outsiders, Doom Patrol, and Swamp Thing are all fantastic shows.
Season 2 looks like it’s really upping the ante, the list of new characters include: Superboy, Krypto, Rose Wilson AKA Ravager, Aqualad, and Deathstroke, to name a few. However, the character I’m most excited to see is another new addition to Season 2, Bruce Wayne. Considering how large Bruce’s shady loomed in Dicks life and the series as a whole, he really felt like a character on the show despite not actually being featured in the first season (with the exception of dream sequences or partial views here and there). It will be great to finally see him in the flesh as a REAL character on the show this time. Also, I love the show’s excellent casting for Bruce Wayne, Ian Glenn a.k.a. Ser Jorrah Mormont himself from a Game of Thrones. I think that’s perfect casting for a older Bruce Wayne/Batman.
This almost seems like a almost The Dark Knight Returns era Bruce Wayne. Anyone who watched Game of Thrones knows that Ian Glenn is more than physically up to the challenge of playing Batman. I’ve heard the producer say that the focus won’t be as much on Batman, but Bruce Wayne instead. I think that’s a smart way for the show to have his cake and eat it too. Batman is such a huge figure, by not having him suit up he won’t overshadow the other heroes, but we still get to see and explore Bruce Wayne as a character. I can’t wait to see how he and Dick interact after all of the baggage that was built up between the two of them in the first season. The relationship between Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne is one of the most interesting dynamics in comic books, finally seeing this pairing in live action for the first time (Batman Forever and Batman & Robin don’t count) is super exciting. You can check out the trailer for TITANS Season 2 below:
This week also saw the release of the final trailer for JOKER from director Todd Phillips, with Joaquin Phoenix playing the titular Clown Prince Of Crime. At World’s Best Media, I’ve dedicated little to no coverage to this movie. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating to say that I’m fundamental against the very concept of this movie’s existence.
The buzz surrounding JOKER has been great, Joaquin Phoenix looks like he’s going to deliver a fantastic performance, and the trailers have been solid as hell, but that’s not really the point. It’s essentially a Joker origin story and, for me at least, there in lies the problem. Don’t get me wrong, there’ve been fantastic Joker stories that teased possible origins for the character. The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, Batman: Endgame by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm, all of these classics stories present a possible origin for The Joker, but none of them present the origin as definitive. The stories never give you the whole picture of who this guy really is, why he does what he does, and is the information we just learned about him even real? The stories always leaves a question mark at the end, things are left ambiguous. However, this new film is just a straight up origin. This is the story of how one man, Arthur Fleck, goes from A to B to C and becomes The Joker.
If there is one character in all of fiction that will only be hurt by definitive origin story it’s, The Joker. I always say the joker is to the normal people of Gotham white Batman is to the criminals. This almost supernatural force who seems to be everywhere at once and 10 steps ahead of every move you can make, The Boogeyman. Chaos and Madness incarnate. Which is why he such a compelling antagonist for a Batman, because a lot of what I just said about The Joker could be said about Batman. When you have a character as iconic as The Joker, the reveal that the story could possibly give you, can never live up to what you have built up in your head. Your imagination fills in the blanks in a way the storytellers never can.
Sure, I get JOKER is it’s own standalone movie, it’s not affecting anything other DC films, TV shows, or comics. But fictional characters have pop culture capital and a high-profile project like this can increase or decrease that capital. That’s just another way of saying, if a Joker origin movie sucks, it hurts this fantastic character outside of this movie. The Joker is bigger than one film. You could make an argument that the character of The Joker is almost as important as Batman himself. When a character is as compelling, beloved, and interesting as The Joker, you don’t want to see them fuck it up. Like I said before, I’ve heard nothing but positive things about this film and Joaquin phoenix looks like he’s putting on a hell of a performance. Still, Despite everything the movie has going for it, I’m just not that into this kind of Joker film. I’ll probably see Joker when it comes out. Then I can report back if I was right, or I was wrong and I need to eat a little crow, or things fell somewhere in the middle. Who knows? We’ll find out in a little over a month. Anyway check out the trailer below …
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting the show. We really appreciate the loyalty shown to us by World’s Best Media fans, so thanks again!