TRAILER: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Fantastic Beasts 2)!

Hi everyone,

The final trailer for the second installment of Fantastic Beasts dropped about an hour ago, give it a watch and then scroll down to see what I thought about it:

The first thing that I want to talk about is Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne.  Newt was amazing in the first one, and I absolutely loved what he brought to the table, but there had been some rumors that he was going to be downplayed in this film due to audience response.  I’m glad to see that this trailer looks like that isn’t true.

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Newt is a great protagonist because he’s so different from the archetypal male protagonists we’re used to in action films, unlike the universe’s namesake Harry Potter.  I mean, I love the original movies, but did you ever notice that Harry’s magical method is shouting his incantations and spells as loud as possible to make them as powerful as possible?  He’s a bit of a yeller.  Newt on the other hand is soft spoken, and it took people off guard, because they weren’t used to it, but it lent the series some real rounding out.  There’s a great video all about Newt and his ‘Fantastic Masculinity’ that I think is really eye opening, and interesting.

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So that’s my first big take away, based on rumors and my own expectations.  The second is Grindelwald himself.  Now, I loved Colin Farrell in the first film, and I have to be completely honest, I was not happy to find out we were getting a Johnny Depp filled film in the sequel (and possible the three films after this).  I’m one of the many “Johnny Depp hasn’t been reined in enough” viewers, and was worried we’d get another ‘cartoon-y’ performance.  The trailer has a lot of Depp, and it appears as if he’s riding that same sweet spot of eccentric, but not too weird, that launched him into performances like Jack Sparrow.  So I remain cautiously optimistic.  The bleached white hair, and the accent aren’t a great sign, but he never fully crosses the goofy line.

The third part is Jude Law.  I think most Potter fans were excited to see him as Dumbledore when the first pictures were released. However, seeing him in action in this confirms for me that he’s going to be awesome.  I think Jude Law is great casting, but also they seem to have Dumbledore in a more youthful, but still Dumbledorian role, relegated to being the chess master in the background again.  I think too much Dumbledore could ruin the mystique, and so this is a great decision.

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With Dumbledore, many of the fans were nervous that he wasn’t going to be directly expressing his homosexuality in this film, and I don’t know how overt it will be in the film (I’m personally game for any level), but he does tell Newt, that he cannot be the main one to oppose Grindelwald, and there is a shot that seems to show Dumbledore sadly pining for his lost love.  I imagine this is included in the trailer to appease the nervous fans, and basically say “you may not see them making out, but Dumbledore loves Grindelwald.”  Which I personally think makes sense, because it seemed as if their love happened as children and it’s over at this point.

The last thing I want to touch upon, is that they’re bringing back the main cast from the first movie and I’m thrilled about it.  I loved the three supporting characters, and I really think they helped to flesh out the differences between the muggle and wizard worlds. While also differentiating Newt from Harry.

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I’ve been very excited about this film since I saw the first one, but today after watching this trailer I’m more excited than ever. This looks awesome to me.  Comment below and let us know what you think about the trailer, whether or not you’re psyched for the movie, and whatever else this trailer stirs up in you!

PODCAST: Iron Fist Season 2!

Hey Everybody,

Paul here…

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In the latest episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I breakdown Netflix’s Iron Fist Season 2! After a lackluster first season, Iron Fist returns with a vengeance, having massively improved in its second season! This season opened up the mythology and characters of The Immortal Iron Fist in a huge way. With my encyclopedic knowledge of the comics, on this episode I give you my thoughts on the season and explain the deal with some of the season’s biggest moments and characters. Including the show’s game changing ending and where the story of the Iron Fist could go from here. Plus, I ramble on about a bunch of other bullshit too! Below, I also put some pictures of some of the characters and places from the comics we may see in upcoming seasons. Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes Enjoy!:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/15728441

ITunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2&i=1000419826853

Iron Fist characters from the comics that are referenced in Season 2:

Orson Randall

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K’un L’un

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Davos

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Shou-Lao The Undying

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Wu Ao-Shi The Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay (Colleen Wing’s Ancestor)

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The Iron Fist of The Avengers Of 1,000,000 B.C.

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The Crane Sisters & Crane Mother

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Many fans have theorized that Madam Gao is Crane Mother

The Immortal Weapons Of The Seven Capital Cities Of Heaven

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The Tournament Of Immortal Weapons

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Typhoid Mary

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Blindspot

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Thanks for listening!

-Paul

What I Want to See: DCEU

It was announced today, that Henry Cavill is no longer going to be the live action Superman in the DCEU.  It was recently confirmed (and long rumored) that Ben Affleck was not going to be Batman in the DCEU.  So, the DCEU is down 2 of their three most iconic characters, and many people are speculating a ‘soft reboot’ of the DCEU in general.  Of their 5 films so far, the only success across the board (critics/fans/box office) has been Wonder Woman, and so this might make sense to do.  Especially since Wonder Woman and the upcoming sequel take place before the events of the other 4 films released so far.

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Now, I personally think this reboot idea will likely take some of its cues from what happens with December’s Aquaman film.  We already saw Jason Mamoa as the character in Justice League, and I’ve heard virtually no complaints about him, but an Aquaman stand-alone will be a completely different thing, and so we really won’t know until it comes out.

There is also the forthcoming Shazam, scheduled for next April.  Now, Shazam hasn’t appeared in the DCEU previously, so if Aquaman tanks and they go full steam ahead on the reboot, Shazam could be part of the ‘new’ universe, or if Aquaman is a success, it could be tailored into the ‘newish/soft reboot/whatever they’re going to call it.’

maxresdefaultI knew nothing about this character, and the trailer sold me.

So let’s make the assumption that some kind of reboot is going to happen, and I will tell you what I want to see with that.  Ok?

I want to see this reboot build characters individually.  I’m not saying not to put Easter eggs, or slight references to each other, but let’s not get to the second movie before we have a full blown cross over.  If in Wonder Woman ’84 we see some story about a ‘meteorological event’ which implies Kal El’s (Superman) arrival, that’s fine, but I don’t want Jason Mamoa or Shazam or anyone else to show up.  Get several stand alone films under your belts, like you should have done the first time around.

ntgk14lkrtl11Thanos’ snap was more powerful than we all realized.

The second thing that I want to see happen, is I don’t want Superman and Batman to show up for a while.  It might sound dumb, and I’m sure people hate hearing about the MCU as a model, but Marvel didn’t have access to their A listers when they started, and it forced them to build characters and not assume we knew who they were, it forced them to get creative and be better story tellers.  I think Batman and Superman are too iconic to start.  Let’s deal with Shazam, and Cyborg, and other characters that the general film going audience that aren’t comic book readers aren’t familiar with, and start world building through them.  There is some brand recognition with characters like Flash and Green Lantern, but use those characters to bridge the gap between the audience who know nothing, and the audience who totally get it.  Then once you’re several successes deep, you can start introducing Superman and Batman.  This exercise, will also help you to understand how to create those characters more memorably, to not be coming at them as the icons they are to the general public, but to fill in and establish all of the layers that have comic book fans hooked.

What I Want to See: Solo Sequel

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This is going to contain some spoilers, so be warned.  TLDR: Spoiler Alert!

I had some reservations about Solo, I didn’t think it was a great idea, and there was the mess of a production we all heard about, and then they took forever to release a trailer, and it seemed like it was going to be a stinker, but the trailers regained some of my confidence.  I saw the film last night, and I really liked it, for a letter grade, I’d say B+.

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The film tells the story of how Han starts his life as a ‘scoundrel,’ how he meets Chewie, and Lando, and how he finds the Falcon.  Of his lore, I think that’s all the big key points that were touched upon.  The film ends with Han and Chewie heading off to Tattooine to find some ‘big gangster’ for a ‘big score.’

That’s what I want to see in the sequel.  Han and Chewie finding Jabba, and starting their smuggling.  That’s the concept they obviously need to go with, and perhaps there will be some chaos with the head of the Crimson Sun, who was revealed at the end of Solo.  That’s the basic plot, and obviously that’s what they’re planning.

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But, what I want to see, comes down more to cameos, and lore.  If they’re going to be on Tattooine, we could easily see some kind of Obi-Wan cameo, same with young Luke.  I’m a little iffy on what the timeline is supposed to be, so I’m not sure if Luke’s a small child or a young teenager.

In addition to those two though, are all of Jabba’s crew; Greedo, Boba-Fett (not necessarily Jabba’s crew but on payroll), Salacious Crumb; it would be interesting to expand upon these characters.

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There is also the possible setup of new characters that could be really cool.  So if you watched Rogue One, you should have known that most if not all of the characters shown would die, because otherwise why wouldn’t they be in A New Hope, but with Han’s life before A New Hope, there is no rule that says it has to interact with the main Skywalker Saga at all.  Cameos will be fun, but lets establish some awesome new characters, and pockets of the galaxy.  By doing this, it could create some connection, to whatever either of the two new trilogies (Rian Johnson, or the GoT guys’ trilogies) because while I don’t want those two new trilogies to be about Rebels or Resistance, or anything too obvious, it would be nice to know where it falls with in the extended universe.  Han and Chewie’s adventures could definitely provide a springboard for that.

Lastly, there’s a fan theory that I like, that might be fun if it’s shown to be correct, or at least purposely kept ambigious.  This theory basically says that because we see Chewie with Yoda in Revenge of the Sith, that they clearly know each other, and Chewie definitely has a passion for liberating the oppressed, and so what if Chewie was working as a rebel agent to some degree, with Yoda.  That’s why Han and Chewie meet with Obi-Wan, and it’s not all coincidence.  It’s a good theory, especially after seeing how Chewie behaves in Solo.

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What about you?  What do you want to see from a Solo sequel?  Let me know in the comments below.

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Two MCU Films at the Box Office…

Avengers: Infinity War is coming out in just a couple weeks, and it will very likely dominate the Box Office, this isn’t surprising, and if you’d asked someone a year or two ago, they’d have known then that it was likely.  Right?  Here is what was unlikely, but is now seeming incredibly likely:

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Black Panther, will still be in the top 10 spots at the Box Office when Infinity War comes.

Never before, have we seen two MCU films (I’m not sure we’ve ever seen two films of the same franchise in general) dominate the box office at the same time, but we’re about to.  So I wonder what this means for both films.

In case you’re unaware, Black Panther has not only been raking in more money on a week to week basis than almost any other film since it’s release, but it has been moving in on the all time earners.  As of this past weekend, it took down Titanic, as the #3 earner domestically of all time.  It currently stands at #10 globally of all time (not taking inflation into account), and is only $32 million from the #9 spot, and $41 million from the #8 spot, which when you’re looking at the fact that it made $8 million last week, seem a plausible outcome.

31F3511B-8547-43DA-8488-30F23D9E75CEOne thing, that I think could happen as Infinity War looms over us, is that I think it is possible, that Black Panther gets a resurgence in the week or so prior to Infinity War, after all, if you’re an MCU fan, and there’s a chance to watch the previous film in theaters, then the following day/week/whatever watch the most current, there’s a strong likelihood that you’ll take that.  Will it be some massive swell that pushes Black Panther to the #1 spot on either the domestic or global lists? It seems unlikely (the domestic record is Star Wars: The Force Awakens at $936 million, to Black Panther’s $665 million;  globally, Avatar has the record at $2.78 billion, while Black Panther is currently at $1.3 billion) but that doesn’t matter, because it’s potentially going to change a lot of things about how films are made.  It bought legitimacy for so many different aspects that may have been overlooked before.

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On the other hand, how will Black Panther affect Infinity War at the Box Office?  My guess, is that it will help it.  From the trailer, it appears that Wakanda is going to play a major role in the film, as well as including multiple characters from Black Panther in addition to the title character.  If people loved Black Panther, they’re getting a sequel of sorts, while it’s still in theaters, and I think that will translate to big Box Office numbers, in addition to the fact that the previous 2 Avengers films have both ranked higher than BP so far in the global market, and let’s face it, whether it’s a good film or not, it’s got EVERYTHING, and so this film would have to be absolutely atrocious to not do amazing numbers in the Box Office.

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Ultimately, if I’m wrong, and Infinity War somehow kills Black Panther’s momentum, it’s already done so well that it hardly matters, on the other hand, I do think that Infinity War could potentially hurt some of the films coming out in the month or two afterwards.  Whether you think Solo is going to be good or not, Disney’s kind of taking a risk putting it a month after Infinity War.  I do think Deadpool 2 is far enough away that it should be able to be successful regardless of the shadow that Infinity War casts (either way, chances are Josh Brolin has a good few months).

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THANK YOU!!! It’s Our 1 Year Anniversary!!!

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1 Year…

One year ago, after many suggestions from my brother that I should actually do something with my love and encyclopedia of knowledge on movies, TV, comics, and a lot more,  I started a blog on “geek” culture that I didn’t think anyone would really be interested in reading. It was just for fun (and it still is). But through word of mouth and social media I was lucky enough to develop a following.

From there it kept evolving, we started doing  a podcast; “The World’s Best Podcast”, I was able to get other writers to contribute their work to the website, and because the original blog was called “The World’s Best Blog with Paul Wright”, I was stuck with World’s Best being synonymous with my website. So I just ran with it and it all came together as World’s Best Media: An entertainment and pop culture website focusing on sci-fi, fantasy, comic books, and more. Where we produce articles, editorials, reviews, podcasts, and a few videos (with more on the way).

This has been so much fun and so creatively fulfilling. I’m so thankful for the support of our readers and listeners. This wouldn’t be as fun as it is without the great fans of World’s Best Media. Thank you all so much and be sure to stick with us in 2018 because we have some very exciting stuff coming up!

Personally, there are a lot of people I want to thank, because I couldn’t have done this without the help and support of a lot of people. I want to thank my brother Mathew Wright and my Uncle Gary Pollucci for pushing me to do all of this in the first place. A huge thank you to Mike Cole, without him none of this would exist. He helped me set up the site, he works tech support, he writes a great column for the site, and hopefully we’re going to get him on the podcast soon. You’re the man, Mike! Thanks to Sam Gryzbowski who suggested we do the podcast in the first place. Thank you to Tim Cuff, a fantastic co-host who was so instrumental in us getting a following for “The World’s Best Podcast”. A big thank you to my other co-hosts on the podcast, like the great Ryan McDonald (who also made that killer video promo for the show), Matt Supple, and Paul Wright Sr. I also want to thank Mark Rodolfo who has been a fantastic continuing contributor and supporter of World’s Best Media, his articles for the site have been excellent. Finally I’d like to thank my parents, Paul and Constance Wright for their support and encouragement. Thank you all, it means so much to me.

THANK YOU EVERYBODY!

I know 2018 is going to be a bigger and better year for World’s Best Media so THANK YOU ALL, stay tuned, and come have a seat with me and Superman. It’s gonna be fun…

-Paul

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Podcast: Paul’s Pulls (The Comic Book Show)

Hey everybody,

On today’s episode of Paul’s Pulls I talk about the end of DC’s  Big Batman event comic Dark Nights: Metal and the new issue of Doomsday Clock. I also spent some time talking about Thanos not only as a character, but his excellent book that Donny Cates works on, as well.  Thanos is basically Marvel’s rip off of Darkseid and Jack Kirby‘s classic creations The New Gods, so we get into that a little bit as well. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14433291

 

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*Correction: Several times throughout the episode I refer to a creator named “Donny Coates” , the creators name is actually DONNY CATES.

What I Want to See: The Fifty Shades Franchise

I kind of doubt that there is much overlap, between World’s Best Media’s audience, and The Fifty Shades audience, but hear me out, ok?

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The final Fifty Shades movie is upon us, and it seems like we may largely be done with this franchise altogether.  I personally don’t care whether or not it gets rebooted, or continued, but if it does, I have an opinion as to what I want to see from it.

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Now, let me be honest, I didn’t read any of the books.  I read a randomly selected page that my wife thought might entice me to read the entire book, and she was very wrong.  I did however go and see the first film with for Valentine’s Day, however many years ago that came out (was it two?  It feels like it was 5, but it’s been a crazy couple of years).  You may be surprised to hear this, but I didn’t think the film was as bad as seemingly everyone else did.  Don’t get me wrong, it was really bad, but there was a shining light.

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Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed the film, did as good of a job as possible with the combination of source material, and restrictions she was given.  For whatever reason, the studio dictated that she stick fairly rigidly to the dialogue from the novel, and the dialogue in the novel was apparently a complete dumpster fire.  “I’m Fifty Shades of fucked up!” is one of my top 5 least favorite movie lines of all time.

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According to my wife, there is very little description in regards to the visuals of the world, apparently E.L. James didn’t spend much time on setting or anything while typing away on her Blackberry. This allowed Taylor-Johnson to create a pretty interesting visual style.  One of the things that the film lets her play with is visual metaphors, and it enhanced the story immensely.  During the initial meeting with Christian Grey, the main character Anastasia Steele (God! I hate the names of so many fictional characters) is attracted and sexually aroused by him. While the dialogue and acting don’t do a great job of selling that point, there is a moment, immediately after the encounter, where Anastasia walks out of the building into the rain.  Now, this could easily be missed, but water signifies climax throughout the movie.  Later when they’re in the ‘red room,’ as Anastasia succumbs to Christian’s BDSM lifestyle, the camera pans up to a painting of water splashing hard against the rocks.

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I think this film, is similar to the problems that I have with the Star Wars prequels.  They stick to rigidly to dialogue that is not only awful, but also hurts the acting performances.  Had the studio not insisted on staying with the dialogue, then I think that Taylor-Johnson would have made the movie much more watchable.

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Now, that’s all in the past, and on this first go ’round, we got very little in the way of what I would have preferred (probably because I’m not the main audience for it.)  If there is a reboot, or further exploration of the concept, what I’d like to see is something different.  If you watch the movie Shame from 2011, you see an NC-17 film about a sex addict, which is gritty, and realistic, and harsh, but more importantly, it is sexual while not really being sexy.  It showcased Fassbender’s performance, as well as exposing many to a type of sexual behavior that they weren’t previously aware of.  That is what I’d like to see with any future Fifty Shades reboots, or reimaginings or whatever they come up with.  In this series you have a story that many actual BDSM practitioners have called abusive, because the author didn’t know what she was writing about, and very few people in the creative process knew enough to correct it.  Take these characters, adapt the story to conform into a more realistic BDSM relationship, scrap side plots, and dive into the psyche of the two characters, examine the roles within the relationship, show us why it works for these characters, water crashing against the rocks.  We’ve never seen that in mainstream film, and yes it would likely get an NC-17 rating, but if the subject matter, and acting, and pathos are all strong enough, with the “Fifty Shades” name on it, it could be really interesting.