The Dark Phoenix Blues

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

It’s crazy that not too long ago I was lamenting the lost art of movie posters. I singled out the beautiful work of artist Drew Struzan’s iconic posters for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter, among others. With his incredible sketch and paint style, working both artistically beautiful and ultra realistic, he’s crafted some of cinema’s most iconic imagery. It’s ironic that one of the worst genre films to come along in quite a while, Dark Phoenix, actually has a pretty beautiful poster in the vein of Drew Struzan, which you can see at the top of the article. Below that is another incredible poster from one of the best artist in the world right now, BossLogic. To be clear: the Srtuzan inspired poster is on top, BossLogic’s poster is below.

While Dark Phoenix may be disappointing fans all over the world. I found this wonderful video online that does a great job of talking about why The Dark Phoenix Saga is so special in the first place. If you’re feeling bummed out that one of your favorite, iconic, comic book story lines has once again been butchered by an incompetent movie studio, this video should definitely get your spirits up.The video comes to us from NowThisNerd, you can subscribe to their channel on YouTube. Its the perfect antidote to your Dark Phoenix blues. Watch it here:

Thank!

-Paul

FIRST LOOK! Jessica Jones: The Final Season

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Jessica Jones Season 3 is coming to Netflix very soon and today I have everything you need to get ready for Season 3! New trailer! Posters! Plot Synopsis! Season 3 photos! and more! But before we dive in, Jessica Jones Season 3 marks the end of the Marvel/Netflix partnership. This season will be the final piece of original Marvel content produced with Netflix. So I wanted to take a minuet to talk about the Marvel/Netflix shows as a whole, as well as their impact and legacy within The MCU.

I was so excited when this was first announced. Netflix and Marvel doing a set of TV series’ focusing on the street level heroes of The MCU was, and still is, a fantastic idea. To top it all off, the shows would feature Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, some of my favorite Marvel characters of all time (Daredevil is #2on my list of Greatest Superheroes of All Time). All three Seasons of Daredevil and the First Season of Jessica Jones stand up with movies like The Dark Knight, Logan, and Captain America: Civil War as live action masterpieces of super hero story telling. Not all of the shows were as successful as DD and Jessica Jones. Luke Cage Season 1 started out fantastic, but lost it’s way towards the end of the season. I’m not certain about the critical and public perception on Luke Cage Season 2, but I thought it was a little better than Season One. Iron Fist was ripped apart when it premiered, as the weakest show in the franchise by far, but made a massive improvement in quality, acting, fight choreography, and storytelling in Season 2. Even The Punisher received 2 successful seasons coming off his memorable debut in Daredevil Season 2. Unfortunately, the team up miniseries The Defenders, was no small screen Avengers. The series largely disappointed critics and fans alike. Going into Jessica Jones Season 3 the enthusiasm for the franchise isn’t where it once was.

To be fair the quality of some of the shows could be inconsistent. None of the Marvel/Netflix series’ suffered from a decline in quality between seasons more than Jessica Jones. Daredevil stayed consistently excellent throughout its 3 season run, Luke Cage followed up it’s first season with an equally solid Season 2, and Iron Fist (the red headed step child of the Marvel/Netflix shows) massively improved between seasons 1 & 2, Jessica Jones was the only Marvel/Netflix show to show large drop in quality.

As we look at the overall place of the Marvel/Netflix shows in the greater context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a shame that Marvel/Netflix characters didn’t have a larger role in The MCU, especially considering how most of the characters were handled so well. Millions of fans wanted to see Daredevil, The Punisher and more of the street level characters show up in an Avengers movie or a film with a large cast of heroes, like Civil War. When asked by journalists, the creative people involved in the MCU films like the directors, writers, and actors, loved the possibility of the Marvel/Netflix characters showing up in one of their movies. However, the higher ups at Marvel weren’t as optimistic. Kevin Feige would say things like “We don’t have any plans for the characters at the moment. But anything’s possible.”. That’s basically a very nice way of saying, it ain’t gonna fucking happen. Fans were never even given a cameo or reference to the TV heroes on the big screen.

Kevin Feige the man behind The MCU (this guy could have a child slavery ring going and get into heaven on that alone.)

Unfortunately, this policy didn’t have anything to do with the quality of the shows, but behind the scenes drama between producers working for a Marvel Studios. This was mainly due to the fact that Marvel’s film and television division were run by different people, Kevin Feige and Jeph Loeb, respectively. The rumor was that the relationship between the two divisions wasn’t good. This just made the idea of The Defenders or The Punisher making appearances on the big screen much less likely. This is just speculation, but I’d bet Jeph Loeb was the asshole of this situation. Kevin Feige did and continues to do the impossible by building the MCU. He has a reputation for being down to earth and very measured. Jeph Loeb, on the other hand, is well-known for being egotistical, without having much respect for the fans. Loeb has also written a lot of comics at DC and Marvel over the last 30 years. A few of them are admittedly great, but for the most part he’s a complete hack of a writer, behind such atrocities as Marvel’s Ultimatum. Oh well, if only the stars had aligned properly… At the end of the day we’ve received some mind blowing movies and TV shows from Marvel. So, sometimes this stuff can sound like nitpicking, but I do hope Marvel figures out a way to work these characters into their films in the future. I just hope if they make a Daredevil movie, they keep Charlie Cox as Daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio as The Kingpin because they are the PERFECT FUCKING DAREDEVIL AND KINGPIN! Let’s hope Jessica Jones rallies in Season 3 and ends the Marvel/Netflix run on a high note.

With all of that out of the way, back to Jessica Jones Season 3. Now, here’s what’s been released for the upcoming season…

First off, here’s the official synopsis of Jessica Jones Season 3 from Marvel and Netflix:

“When Jessica crosses paths with a highly intelligent psychopath, she and Trish (Rachael Taylor) must repair their fractured relationship and team up to take him down. But a devastating loss reveals their conflicting ideas of heroism and sets them on a collision course that will forever change them both.”

We have more photos from Season 3 below and you can watch the new full trailer right here. This trailer is the first indication of what type of story season three is it telling and what direction it may go in. I think it looks pretty damn interesting, take a look:

Based on the trailer, it looks like the series is attempting to return to that intense, thriller vibe that made season one so great. It’s also nice to a genuinely creepy villain, the trailer has a real “Seven” feel to it. Speaking of the villain, Gregory Salinger is certainly on the D-list, Marvel often does great things with relatively obscure villains. The Purple Man wasn’t on anyone’s favorite villain list until Season One and David Tennent’s performance made Killgrave into one of the all time great, on screen, comic book villains. In the comics, Gregory Salinger is also known as Foolkiller, a mantel worn by multiple men in the comics.

I think the show will probably take bits and pieces from each incarnation of the character in the comics for whatever works for the show. Basically he’s a psychopathic serial killer who think he’s some kind of vigilante (another parallel with the film Seven).

Foolkiller’s ridiculous costume from the comic books

It also looks like Trish is continuing on her path to becoming the vigilante Hellcat. Judging from the trailer and the plot synopsis, Jessica and Trish don’t exactly see eye to eye on the subject.

Trish doing some vigilante training
Trish’s Hellcat costume from the comic books

Here are some additional pictures from the upcoming season:

Regardless of how the season turns out, I’ll be watching all of Jessica Jones Season 3. When I finish the final episode,The Marvel/Netflix Era of The MCU will have ended. It’s bittersweet. On one hand I’m so happy these shows existed in the first place and on the other it’s sad to see them go. I just hope that Marvel finds a way to keep these incredible characters (especially Charlie Cox as Daredevil) as a vital part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Jessica Jones Season 3 premieres on 6/14/19

As always, thanks for reading!

-Paul

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PODCAST: Good Omens! Chernobyl! Swamp Thing! Deadwood! & More!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

  This was one HELL of weekend for great television. I watched some of the best shows and miniseries that I’d seen all year, just between last Saturday and Sunday. Amazon Prime debuted their six-episode miniseries Good Omens on Thursday. The story is based on the classic novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. A unique and fun blend of comedy/drama/fantasy, the miniseries follows a demon named Crowley (David Tennent) and an angel named Aziraphael (Michael Sheen) who’ve been on Earth since the Garden of Eden a develop an unlikely friendship over the millennials. When orders come from their higher ups that Armageddon is about to begin with the birth of The Antichrist, Crowley and Aziraphael do everything they can to stop the Apocalypse because the like living on Earth too much. There’s a lot to love here, including a fantastic supporting cast (Jon Hamm, Francis McDormand, Brian Cox, etc.), but what makes the miniseries a real home run is the amazing chemistry between David Tennent and Michael Sheen. They’re very entertaining to watch. The show lights up whenever they’re on screen together and the genuine affection they have for one another, despite what they say to the contrary, is very sweet.

  Finally after years of rumors and false starts, Deadwood: The Movie premiered on HBO Friday night. The classic HBO series ran for three seasons from 2003 to 2006. When the show was canceled, the series didn’t have any opportunity to offer closure for the characters or the story. So this movie is what longtime fans who never received a resolution to major storylines and character arcs have been waiting for. The movie is a beautiful love letter to Deadwood. Getting to see where our favorite characters like Bullock, Trixie, Dan, and of course Ian McShane as the iconic Al Swearengen, along with so many others characters large and small.

   HBO also wrapped up their terrifying and sobering miniseries Chernobyl, starring Jarred Harris and Stellan Skarsgard. The miniseries offer a grim and frightening look into the true story of the Russian Chernobyl Power Plant nuclear reactor explosion in 1986. The show chronicles the event, which was one the worst man made disasters in history. It’s a gripping show that is PAUL SR.’s PERSONAL HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!

   The last show we cover on this week’s podcast is the launch of the latest live-action original series from the DC Universe Streaming Service, Swamp Thing. The story follows Dr. Abigail Arcane (Crystal Reed), a doctor working for the CDC who has to return to her home town in Louisiana following a bizarre outbreak. There she meets disgraced scientist Alec Holland (Andy Bean) who believes that outbreak is connected to some very weird shit going on in the local swamp. So far, DC Universe has only released the first episode with a new episode becoming available every Friday. I’ve enjoyed all of the original content DC Universe has put out so far, but this series premiere was by far my favorite. The performances are solid with a good cast, but what makes the show really stand out, is how it leans hard into the horror aspects of the source material to great effect. I’m a huge Swamp Thing fan and the first episode had me itching for more.

    Each show couldn’t be more different from the other, but they’re all spectacular! Join myself and co-host Paul Sr as we breakdown each of these fantastic projects!  Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher, ITunes, & more: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/18181256

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000440689461

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=61715238&autoplay=1

Enjoy and thanks for listening!

-Paul

NEW SERIES: Swamp Thing on DC Universe!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

This weekend, DC is premiering their latest live action television series, Swamp Thing, on their DC Universe Streaming Service. Swamp Thing is one of my all-time favorite DC comic books, so I’m very excited to see an adaptation of this classic series. Early word is that the show is very good and really leans into the horror vibe that the comic book lends itself to. You can check out the trailer below and some photos from the first few episodes. Swamp Thing starring Andy Bean, Crystal Reed, Will Patton, Virginia Madsen, and Kevin Durand premieres on 5/31/19 on DC Universe. Swamp Thing is executive produced by James Wan, director of Insidious, The Conjuring 1 & 2, Fast 7, Aquaman, and more.

Thanks for reading!

-Paul

What Will Be The Next Game Of Thrones?

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones has come to an end, love it or hate it. Watching the final season of the series and especially the final episode reminded me of another great genre show that captured the imagination of the cultural zeitgeist: LOST. They were both genre shows with large ensemble casts that reached audiences that normally don’t watch genre television. Both shows were pop culture phenomena. They both had people hung up on when and how the show would end and they both had divisive final seasons and series finales.

Much like how Game of Thrones viewing parties have become very common, I’d often go to LOST viewing parties back in the day. When LOST ended, I kept wondering what the next “LOST” would be. For a brief period, I thought The Walking Dead had taken up the mantle, but that definitely didn’t pan out. It turns out that next LOST, was Game of Thrones. So, now that Game of Thrones has ended if find myself asking: What will be the next Game of Thrones?

Time will tell what the next pop culture television juggernaut will be. HBO wisely wanted to remind us that, though we’re saying goodbye to Game of Thrones, they’re still in the business of putting out high profile television programming. Which is why in the minuets leading up to the series finale of GoT, HBO showed us trailers for three of their most interesting and high profile projects. This was a great advertising move on the part of HBO because the series finale for Game of Thrones was the most watched episode of a TV show in the history of the Network. They have to keep those big bucks rolling in after all. Below I get into the details of each series (as well of a few upcoming shows that aren’t on HBO), give you some insight into what the shows are about and what to expect, as well as why you should check these shows out in the first place.

First up, we have the trailer for the new series His Dark Materials starring James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ruth Wilson, and Daphne Keene (AKA X-23 AKA Laura from Logan). Watch the trailer here:

This series is based on the successful novels by Philip Pullman which involve metaphysics and alternate realities, among other strange and interesting concepts. His Dark Materials is actually a very good series of books that were adapted several years ago into the film, The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman in a failed attempt to start a new fantasy franchise. This was around the time everyone was looking for the next Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

I really like what I see from this trailer. It appears that these fantastic books are finally getting the treatment they deserved. From what we saw in the trailer, the look of the series has a very lived in feel. Which  is always important when building a whole new world, with its own rules from scratch. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they clearly have an excellent cast. The story exists in a fascinating universe, or multiverse for that matter, and I will definitely be tuning in.

Then we had Watchmen, the new series based on the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons from Damon Lindelof, the man who brought us LOST and The Leftovers. This wasn’t a new trailer, it it debuted several weeks ago, but I’ve been been looking for an opportunity to talk about it. But first, take a look at the trailer and then we can dive in get into some details about the series:

I love what I’ve seen so far from this new take on Watchmen and I’m very excited about this project. Over the last several years DC Comics has been publishing interesting expansions of the Watchmen universe. Most notably in their quasi-sequel Doomsday Clock and their various prequel miniseries’ Before Watchmen, which fleshed out certain existing Watchmen characters. I’m sure there are Watchmen purists Who think the material shouldn’t be touched and any continuations of the universe is sacrilege. But after reading stories like Before Watchmen and Doomsday Clock, I know there are still excellent stories to tell from other creators, about this universe and these characters.

There’s still a great deal we don’t know about this series, like how it connects to the original graphic novel. From what I can see, much like Doomsday Clock, I think this Watchmen series is probably a sequel of sorts. We seem to be getting characters from the original comic books and some created just for the show. From the beginning showrunner Damon Lindelof has said this is not going to be a straight adaptation of the original graphic novel. However, It’s going to take place in the Watchmen universe. The trailer shows a gang that is clearly inspired by the original Rorschach (they kind of remind me of The Jokerz Gang in Batman Beyond).

We also see Jeremy Irons playing Ozymandias a.k.a. Adrian Veidt, the man who orchestrated the conspiracy that was at the heart of the original Watchmen story. One thing I really hope is present in this new series is Dr. Manhattan. He was always the only superhuman that ever existed in the Watchmen universe and I would love to see what could be done with this character in a sequel series, even if he isn’t used as a main character like in the original story. I just hope he is a part of the series in some way. I was disappointed to see that the show is premiering the fall, I was hoping we’d get the premiere this summer. Regardless, this is definitely one of my most anticipated projects of the year, TV or otherwise.

Finally, the most pleasant surprise of the evening was a trailer for a show seemingly starring Aaron Paul that was clearly taking place in a futuristic version of our world. The technology; robotics, transportation, and more… This is a very different world than the one we currently live in. It’s hard to say exactly how far in the future this is. The society and city we’re shown is much more advanced than our own, but not so advanced that it looks like a far distant future.

Some things look pretty similar to our world, but so much looks very, very different. Aaron Paul’s voiceover laments feeling lost in a world that he doesn’t recognize anymore. It almost seems as if he may even be involved in some shady enterprises. The whole thing has a very “Blade Runner” vibe.

As I was watching the trailer, I asked myself at one point “What is this?“. Surely a series like this would already be on my radar, if enough had been filmed to have a trailer ready. Then, BOOM! The twist hits. Aaron Paul approaches a woman staggering out of a dark alley. Believing she’s in need of help, he calls out to her to ask if she’s alright. The woman looks up and it is none other than Dolores from Westworld. We’d been watching a trailer for Westworld Season 3 all along. The show logo comes on as the trailer ends to reveal Season 3 will be premiering in 2020. Take a look for yourself:

What I loved about this trailer, was how different it seems from everything that’s come before on Westworld. Westworld definitely needed to make some bold moves after the end of Season 2 to keep things fresh. Changing things so much that, while watching the first trailer for the new season, the show was unrecognizable until the very end of the teaser, is definitely an exciting direction for the show to go in. I wasn’t a massive fan of Westworld Season 2, even though I loved the first season. This was a great way to get excitement and interest up in the show’s third season until it premieres next year.

One other HBO project I wanted to mention is the upcoming TV series based on the novel Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Lovecraft Country uses Jim Crow era America as it’s backdrop and revolves around an African-American family pulled into the world of Lovecraftian magic, monsters, and other dimensions. The narrative is broken into pieces, focusing on diffferent characters in the book that are compelling stories on their own, while still serving the larger narrative of the novel as the different stories eventually converge. Combining horror and a predominantly African-American cast of characters living in Jim Crow America, allows the story to talk about serious racial issues while also being creepy and disquieting. I wasn’t even aware this was in the works until very recently, but I was over the moon when I heard it was being adapted by HBO. Lovecraft Country is one of the best books I’ve read in the last few years. The combination of great characters, a unique setting, and Lovecraft horror makes for a fantastic read. To top it off, Jordan Peele and J.J Abrams are developing the show and executive producing. Two of the best genre filmmakers of this generation working on a project like Lovecraft Country is very exciting.

So there you have it, HBO has some very interesting new shows on the horizon. However, It’s important to remember that HBO isn’t the only network with high profile new television series in the works. Streaming services like the upcoming Disney + launching in November, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are all throwing their hat into the ring to create the next “must watch” series.

Disney + will be releasing film quality miniseries that take place in the MCU. So far, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, WandaVision (focusing on Scarlet Witch and The Vision, obviously), Hawkeye, and Loki have all been announced and are in varying stages of production.

Perhaps the most exciting and high profile new series to launch this year will be the new Star Wars live action TV series, The Mandalorian. Starring Game of Throne’s Pedro Pascal, the show will follow the titular Mandalorian, a lone gun slinger traveling the Outer Rim of the galaxy following the fall of The Empire.

The series takes place between Return of The Jedi and The Force Awakens, a period in Star Wars lore ripe for exploration. The show will apparently skew adult, targeting the audience that grew up with Star Wars, but may be looking for something edgier in adulthood than the largely “all ages” films. With Jon Favreau as showrunner and guys like Taika Watitti and Dave Filoni directing episodes, this looks to be an amazing series. The show premieres with the launch of Disney + on 11/12/19.

As for some of the established streaming services, like Amazon Prime and Netflix, both companies have been producing successful original programming for years now. Netflix has a few big genre hits like Stranger Things, with Season 3 of the fan favorite show premiering on July 4th.

Netflix also has the hotly anticipated adaptation of The Witcher, starring Henry Cavil. Based on the series of novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowsk. The books follow Geralt of Rivia (Cavil), a badass monster hunter with some supernatural juice inside him, which allows him to face all kinds of monsters that threaten humanity. The series exists in that vaguely “middle ages” type of fictional world that we see in so many fantasy stories from Lord Of The Rings to Game of Thrones. Though The Witcher was also adapted as a popular video game series, the TV show will be entirely based on the original novels. Expect The Witcher to hit Netflix in the second half of 2019. With Henry Cavil playing Geralt and the cool premise of the show, I think The Witcher along with The Mandalorian, are my picks to be the “next big thing”out of all the shows I’ve previewed here. I also think ther’s a pretty good chance that Watchmen could end up being something pretty special as well.

One thing is certain, we live in a golden age of television programming. A world where TV shows can match and even surpass, movies on the big screen in some cases. These are just a few of the major projects in development that could scratch that Game of Thrones itch. It’s doubtful that any of them will have the incredible mega-success that Game of Thrones has had. But then again, someone does have to be the next Game of Thrones, so who knows? The bottom line is that it looks like we’re in for some incredible television over the next 12 months.

As always, thanks for reading!

-Paul

PODCAST: Game of Thrones: The Series Finale! Episode Review! SPOILERS!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!!

Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice & Fire, one of the greatest shows of all time… has come to an end. On this episode of “The World’s Best Podcast” we give you our first reactions to the historic series finale, “The Iron Throne”! A fitting title for the final installment of the series.

  We recorded this episode almost immediately after watching “The Iron Throne”.  I’m sure, after watching the episode again, we’ll pick up on things we may have missed on our first viewing. Over time, our opinions of the series finale, the final season, or even the series as a whole, may change and evolve. However, on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, you’re getting our gut reactions, right after watching the end of one of our favorite television series of all time. 

  Was the show able to deliver a satisfying final episode? What the fate of all our favorite characters? Who LIVED?! Who DIED?! Get our take on this CAN’T MISS episode! Listen here or subscribe on Spotify, Stitcher, and iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/18019935

iTunes:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F18019935

Stitcher:

Thanks for listening!

-Paul

My Problem with The Daenerys Twist in GoT (And a couple other details this season)

If you’re not caught up on Game of Thrones, I’m going to be spoiling some stuff for you, so please leave now if you don’t want that.

This season has had some received some major flack from audiences for all sorts of issues, and obviously I don’t agree with everyone, but I wanted to talk about a couple that I don’t like. I guess, I’ll start with the big one, the title of this article kind of hints at.  Daenerys turning crazy/bad/however else we want to categorize her.  I didn’t dislike this until the moment in this week’s episode when the bells are ringing, and she looks over at the Red Keep, and decides to lay waste on the people of King’s Landing.

You see, while Daenerys has never shied away from being violent to achieve her goals, there was always some sense of morality to it, and she was never casual with innocents.  Up until this point, the fact that she’s burned the Iron Fleet, and the guard towers, and as much as she has destroyed, makes sense, and largely is the right thing to do, to avoid unnecessary death of innocents.

Then she stops, sitting atop the final remaining dragon, and looks down, the bells are ringing, and it is clear that she has won, and she snaps and proceeds to go further.  Now, if she’d done everything and  never stopped, never paused, and was just caught up in it, and therefore didn’t notice the bells, or the peace, or anything else and got carried away, this would be a more satisfying example of her going too far, and perhaps being the threat Varys died to stop (which I thought was played excellently).  Also if she had that moment of pause, and then flew over and destroyed the Red Keep, I could get that too.  But she pauses, looks around, sees she has won and unleashes fury on the innocent, which is out of character.  It’s not getting carried away, or going too far as many of her past behavior has shown, it was her snapping, and it is out of character for her.

I also think that if it had been more along the lines of her getting carried away and going too far, even way too far, this would allow the necessary characters to say “oh we need Jon Snow to sit on the Iron Throne” without the writers betraying the character of Daenerys to justify that final play that it seems is coming.

I mentioned Varys, and I think Varys is a prime example of how the characters should be thinking about Daenerys, his last words are “I hope I’m wrong about her,” (or something similar) but he honestly believes he is not.  That’s because she’s riding the edge of righteous and power-hungry, and he is forced to make a decision unsure if he’s correct, it makes his decisions more bold.  Now if Jon realizes she’s a mad-Queen, and rebels against her, it will not be a bold act, but rather the obvious one for someone who will always risk his life for what’s right.  It takes away the ‘risk of being wrong.’

Now, there were plenty of moments in addition to Varys’s death which I thought were well executed, I liked the final battle with the Hound and the Mountain, and I thought that Arya leaving because Cersai is dead regardless of what happens, worked really well.

But there were also moments in which it seemed like they tried to eat their cake and have it too.  Jaime could have gone with Brienne (I didn’t really want to see that, but once it happened I liked it) or he could go back to Cersai, but I think having him do both really cut through both.  That’s ultimately what I think the problem with this season is (it’s the worst of GoT, but it’s still pretty damn good otherwise): they want to both shit and get off the pot at the same time, and they spent years elaborately creating characters and beats, and now they’re trying to tie them all up far to quickly.

Written by Michael Cole

What I want to see: The Rise of Skywalker and the Possible Redemption of Hayden Christensen

A few weeks ago, when the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.  Personally, I’m excited for the film, but what I want to talk about is some speculation into the film, but first let me give you a little background of my own star wars preferences, to help illustrate the point that I’m eventually hoping to make.

I guess the most important thing you need to know, is that I think Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith is the worst part of any Star Wars film (not counting the Holiday Special).I have been told most people think Jake Lloyd was worse, but at least he has the excuse of being a little kid, and many little kid actors aren’t good.  Others have argued that Christensen’s not that bad, and I don’t even know what films they’re watching.

I will say this, I am not sure that I blame Hayden Christensen for the performances in his two Star Wars films.  We’ve all seen that most of the performances in the prequel trilogy (and a decent amount of A New Hope) is cold, and the dialogue is not well written.  Lucas couldn’t get a good performance out of nearly any of the better actors in the prequels (I know people will argue Ewan McGregor, but that was more a matter of an extremely good actor in a role that is intentionally cold and aloof, it’s the opposite of the Keanu Reeves in the Matrix effect, where he’s good despite his talent because of the role.

Alright, so now that I’ve explained that I think his performance is the worst, let me explain one other thing.  He’s back in the new film.  Now, I don’t know what capacity he’s going to be in the film, but the day after the trailer dropped, he had up on his Instagram page a picture of the new title card.  Upon googling, it turns out he’s participating in the new film although all the specifics seem to be speculation.  I assume he’s going to be appearing as a force ghost, that’s the most logical option, but whether it’s for a moment or scenes and dialogue, is anyone’s guess.

I think, his appearance in this film, could be the thing that redeems him, and the character of Anakin (I love Vader, but I don’t love Anakin) for me.  You see, while I know that George Lucas has been involved in this film as a consultant (again to what extent is unknown) he isn’t writing the dialogue, and he isn’t directing the actors, and so now we have the opportunity to see what a director who is significantly better with both dialogue and actors can do.  I think J.J. Abrams might be a little over hyped, but c’mon he’s better at those two things than George Lucas any day of the week.

Now, there is a chance Christensen’s appearance will be small enough that it doesn’t really affect his legacy in the role whatsoever, but I hope this isn’t the case.  My hope is that we see one of two things, either one of which I think could make the film cool, and enhance Anakin as a character.  We could see him as a force ghost trying to influence either Rey or Kylo, and this is the safer more likely bet, but it could definitely have some really cool scenes, further the story line, and help the dynamics between force using characters.  This would be good.

Something that is much less likely, but would be awesome, and would kind of be crazy, and risky (after the Last Jedi, I think Disney proved they don’t do risk well, or maybe that they don’t commit to risk well).  Paul kind of suggested this, and I think it’s an amazing idea.  What if Anakin rises from the dead?

Like I said, this idea is a little out there, but I don’t think it’s totally out of the realm of possibility.  So here’s a couple thing, one is that we know Anakin is the most powerful force user, essentially he’s the Jesus of Star Wars.  Anakin is the Force’s immaculate conception.  Then we see in Empire Strikes Back, Vader in his black egg thing.  Well, I know it’s no longer canon, but the egg thing in the books was some kind of Force chamber, in the chamber, he’s trying to heal and rebuild his body with the force.

What if in dying and becoming a Force ghost, Anakin becomes “more powerful that you can possibly imagine,” and therefore finally powerful enough to use the force to rebuild his body.He is the chosen one, to bring balance to the force, and the Last Jedi, for all of it’s faults had one thing clear, there is something essentially broken with the black and whiteness of the Jedi/Sith mentalities.  Both Luke and Kylo seem to have realized this, (even if Rey decides by the end she can be a hero or a villain, and not something else).

What if Anakin comes back, to show the way the force should be used, creating an order that isn’t as ’emotionless’ as Jedi, nor as ruled by emotion as Sith.  Anakin, who wanted to be a Jedi, but also wanted to love, and was shunned by the Jedi for the latter, and manipulated by Palpatine for it, is the perfect person to show you can be a husband, a father, a son, and a powerful force user.  Perhaps that is the balance?

Honestly, that’s what I’m hoping happens.

PODCAST: Game of Thrones: The Final Season Episodes 1 & 2 Review (SPOILERS)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Thanks for listening!

It’s finally here! The epic ending to “A Song Of Ice And Fire”! On this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Paul Sr. and I do a SPOILER filled, deep dive, breakdown of Episodes 1 & 2, “Winterfell” and “A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms”! From Game of Thrones: The Final Season! Listen here or subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/17715325

iTunes:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000436091195

Stitcher:

-Paul


Avengers: Endgame, Disney +, and The Future of The MCU!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here,

I know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t the first trailer drop for the final film in a franchise Paul is obsessed with to an unhealthy degree? Why isn’t he on that like flies on shit!?” A very fair question. I’ll just say we have quite a bit on that in the very near future, so stay tuned…

Anyway, with just a few agonizing weeks until Avengers: Endgame hits theatres, it feels like the movie cant get here fast enough. In the meantime, I have some cool stuff to share to make the wait a little easier.

This fantastic poster was done exclusively for MARVEL by BossLogic

First off, Entertainment Weekly and their website EW.com always give fantastic coverage to genre entertainment. From Game of Thrones to Star Wars they always have some great content. The MCU is no exception, for their cover story this week they put out 6 exclusive covers featuring each of the founding Avengers. Check them out:

Another magazine, Empire, probably the best movie magazine in the world had this awesome cover of Thanos in full armor for this month’s issue:

Pretty cool right? We also had some light shed on some intriguing upcoming MCU projects. Marvel and Kevin Feige made some big announcements this week that made me VERY excited. Pretty much since I began reading comics, Hawkeye was always my favorite Avenger. In the Avengers comics, he’s a much more beloved character. To many comic book readers, Clint Barton is THE quintessential Avenger. Even more so than Cap or Iron Man.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Jeremy Renner is a great Hawkeye (Though I do think Jensen Ackles who passed on the role to continue playing Dean Winchester on Supernatural would be closer to the comic book interpretation). However, I do feel like audiences haven’t fallen in love with Hawkeye as much as other characters in the MCU. I don’t think this is Renner’s fault at all, I think he’s great with what he’s given. Any failures when it comes to Hawkeye lie with the writers and how they’ve chosen to use him in the stories.

I think Hawkeye really got his time to shine in Avengers: Age of Ultron. I know that’s one of the more divisive MCU films, but I love it. Hawkeye has some fantastic moments throughout the film, I’d even go so far as to say Hawkeye is the central Avenger in the movie. He even has a cool costume upgrade with a coat that harkened back to his classic comic book look.


A number of things stand out to show the audience his importance in the film: He has few great action sequences, I think they stepped up the archery tricks and showed off Hawkeye’s agility and acrobatic skills. More importantly, I loved the surprising look into his private life on his family’s farm, it’s the type of scene I adore in MCU movies. The Avengers. In one place. Together. Their chemistry is so real. I don’t care of it’s played for laughs or heavier dramatic scenes. I love seeing The Avengers put into situations where the chemistry between the characters shines and The Farm scenes facilitate that. It’s sort of implied that he’s the rock on the team. He’s the guy who’s going to always show up and get the job done. Like Clint’s wife says “I see these guys, these… gods…” Clint replies “You don’t think they need me.” His wife says finally “I think they do, which is a lot scarier.”. The last thing I want to mention is one of my favorite scenes in the movie. At the beginning of The Ultron Offensive on Socaovia there this awesome scene/speech with Hawkeye and Wanda which you can watch here:

All of this has been a long winded way of saying that despite what some people think, Hawkeye is a great character. I always thought the ideal way to tell a fantastic Hawkeye story would be a TV series, like what they were doing on Netflix. Even though we’ve lost great characters like Daredevil to the Netflix purge, the good news is Jeremy Renner will be starring as Hawkeye in his own miniseries on Disney Plus. The more I hear about Disney Plus, the better it sounds. After all Disney does have all the good toys to play with. The Hawkeye series will be one of the first Marvel miniseries to launch with the new streaming service. The story will focus on Clint and his protege Kate Bishop. In the trailer for Endgame we see Hawkeye teaching a teenage girl archery. Is this his daughter? In the comics Kate Bishop isn’t related to Hawkeye. Will they change the character for this series and make Kate Bishop his daughter or will they introduce here as a completely new character? Time will tell.

This sounds like the series will be taking it’s cues from the fantastic Hawkeye comic book series written by Matt Fraction and artist David Aja. The entire series is avaiable in trade paperback with a hardcover omnibus containing the entire run. This is one of the best Marvel comic of the last decade, so I’ll be thrilled if the miniseries even partially adapts this comic book run. Which is pretty much what Marvel usually does anyway. Like Civil War and Planet Hulk, Marvel never directly adapts these stories, they take what they need from the story that will work within the context of the MCU. The first volume of this Hawkeye series is “My Life As A Weapon” and I strongly recommend giving it a read. You can pick up the book here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hawkeye-Vol-Life-Weapon-Marvel/dp/0785165622/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3TSGCJUV1IWW4&keywords=hawkeye+my+life+as+a+weapon&qid=1555198699&s=gateway&sprefix=Hawkeye+my%2Caps%2C146&sr=8-1

Other miniseries announced for Disney Plus include Loki, a prequel taking place before his death at the hands of Thanos, this series will chronicle the trouble marking shenanigans and adventures of The God of Mischief over the several thousand years he’s been alive in the MCU. We also have a Vision & Scarlet Witch miniseries called WandaVision, which we know the least about right now.

Finally, we have The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, the team up series about Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. This is speculation on my part, but one way or another I strongly believe Steve Rogers is not going to make it out of Endgame. I think he’ll probably die or at the very least, be taken off the board in some way. Considering that Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson have both carried the mantel of Captain America in the comic books in the past, I wouldn’t be surprised if this miniseries revolves around some kind of Who Wields The Shield concept. Who will be the next Captain America? Factoring in the two of them don’t like each other all that much, just makes it that much more interesting. It isn’t the best resolution, but we do have our first look a the logo for the miniseries, which I have posted below.

This is and Hawkeye are the Disney + shows I’m most looking forward too.

Along with The other MCU series I mentioned an animated What if? series is in the works. Like What if Peggy Carter beacame Captain America? or What of Loki was able to use Mjonir?

Disney + will be launching on November 12th for $6.99 per month or $69.99 for the year. In addition to the original content, 500 movies from the Disney library will be available along with 7,000 episodes of Disney TV shows. To put a cherry on top, The Mandelorian will premier on November 12th, available to watch the whole season as soon as the service launches. Disney + will also be the exclusive home to ALL EPISODES of The Simpsons, which is a big move from its current home on one of the FX apps. Fucking crazy, right? Below is photo of the homepage interface that will be broken up into 5 major categories: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.

Bottom line is that a SPECTACULAR as everything we’ve seen from The MCU so far, I think thes type of annoucements as well as Kevin Fiege confirming that though it’s great to have the X-Men back home, it would be a mistake to rush them onto the MCU. Fiege explained that a 5 years plan is in place for the films AFTER Endgame. Let the good times rolll! EXCELSIOR!

As always, thanks for reading!

-Paul