Solo: Learning the Wrong Lessons!

 

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There’s a quote from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, “Once again you’ve put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and as usual come to the wrong conclusion!” said by Sirius Black to Severus Snape.  The quote is one of my favorites, and I cannot think of a place where it seems to apply more than Hollywood.

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If you somehow break through and make a movie about a woman who makes falls in love with a water balloon, the lesson that Hollywood would take from that is “water balloons are sexy” and you’d see some crazy slate of movies in which water balloons have sex with hot women, and drive fast cars, and airplanes, and stuff.  (Sorry about all the water balloons but I’m sitting next to a bag full of balloons, so it was the weirdest thing in eye shot.)CC061DFE-2E9C-46D1-9B5F-B81599E0CFA5We’ve seen Hollywood learn the wrong lesson from successes too many times to count, (i.e. all of the Jaws sequels, and Piranha movies and so many others).  But we also see them learn the lesson from failures.  This can be really upsetting to me personally, because it often means something is abandoned early due to the wrong reasons, and who likes their movie franchises ended early?

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The latest victim of this problem, seems to be Star Wars.  I wrote about Solo a few weeks ago, but let me catch you up.  The film seemed like a bad idea, but it was a good movie.  So now, almost a month after it’s release Disney and Lucasfilm have announced that they’re reconsidering Star Wars spin-offs due to its failure.

So let’s talk about its failure, and yes it seems it is undeniably a financial failure (although the budget hasn’t been released so it’s difficult to tell exactly).  First of all, you released 3 Star Wars 3 Decembers in a row, and they were all very successful.  Is that because the films were excellent?  I’ve liked them all, but there is a fair amount of debate on the quality of each.  A huge reason for their success was the fact that December doesn’t have much for general audiences, it’s prestige film season, which leaves the “blockbuster” crowd open.  That cannot be underestimated as a factor in their success.  Solo however, came out just 6 months after TLJ in May.  May was the traditional time for Star Wars in the previous 2 trilogies, but May’s were not as packed with action films in those years, and movies had multiple weeks (in some cases months) to rule the box office.  This year we had Avengers: Infinity War (also a Disney film, which should be a double no-no for packing them in the same 30-day period) which was the biggest film of the year (and has the potential to be the top of the decade) was released a month before, then Deadpool was released a week before, and just three weeks after Solo, came the Incredibles (again Disney, wtf were you thinking?  Spread it out more).

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So that’s the first problem, Disney put Solo out with the biggest films of the year, and even by Star Wars standards it shouldn’t have.  It’s far from the largest story, or the biggest impact in that universe.  The second problem is confidence.

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Solo suffered from a few pieces of confidence undercutting.  After the fact that many of us didn’t think the idea was a good idea, there were the production ‘issues,’ with Lord and Miller getting fired mid-production, Ron Howard having to take over and needing to reshoot (which involved recasting at least one role), and then lastly there was the rumors of Alden Ehrenreich needing and acting coach.  None of these would add up to confidence boosting, then we didn’t see a trailer until February which seemed very late in the game for a film of this size.  And lastly, TLJ, it’s a pretty split popularity, but when 50% of the audience thinks the film was a crap-fest, and think Disney has ‘ruined Star Wars,’ six months may not be enough time to cleanse their palettes.

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Let me offer an example of a time when the correct lesson was learned, and how it may benefit you to follow in those footsteps.  On November 23rd 1963, the BBC aired the pilot of Doctor Who, and it did really poorly in the ratings that night.  The executive in charge was on the side of canceling the show after the first episode, because obviously the whole thing was going to be a flop, but the creator was opposed to that.  She argued that the show had suffered from the whole world being consumed by JFK’s assassination the day before, and that if they reaired the pilot a week later, that would be a more realistic example of how the show would do.  She was right, and the show continued for 26 years before being canceled (and then rebooted, and now having 50 years, 3 movies, and 36 seasons altogether).  They realized that timing had been off.  Releasing Solo in the midst of the superhero frenzy was bad timing, don’t blame Solo for that.

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So I ask you this question, given all of those things could Solo have succeeded? Even modestly?  I don’t think it really could have.  But Disney is looking the box office and acting as if that means the movie is a piece of shit, which it wasn’t.  Please Disney, learn the right lesson. I get that you don’t want this to happen again, but if you learn the wrong lesson it likely will.  Please, I love Star Wars too much for it to become the DCEU (with all the second guessing and undercutting and ultimately not learning the right thing)…  I’m begging you.

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Written by Michael Cole

Avengers: Infinity War Review!!! (SPOILERS)

Hey everybody,

Paul here…

AEF075E8-B14E-49E0-B2C6-20540777ED1BLike destiny and Thanos, it’s finally here… Avengers: Infinity War! So on this episode of “The World’s Best Podcast”, Paul Sr. and I have a FULL SPOILER discussion/Review of Marvel’s ultimate crossover event. This movie is fucking EPIC! This movie is a gift to all the Marvel fans who stayed with this franchise since Samuel L. Jackson told Tony Stark about The Avengers Inititive in the first Iron Man film . We discuss ALL the juicy details so make sure you check out the movie before listening to the podcast. Because this film fucking delivers big time! I hope you enjoy this episode, listen here or subscribe on iTunes:

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You can buy the “Infinity Gauntlet” graphic novel here at our Amazon Affiliate link, which helps support the site, here:

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Editorial: Goddamn Movie Spoilers

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The entire time I’ve been writing about film, I keep coming back to the idea that through marketing like trailers, we see WAY too much of any given film before it comes out. I want to know as little as possible walking into a movie. Especially movies like Avengers: Infinity War that are so highly anticipated by nerds like myself. Unfortunately, more than a few times per year over the past 5 years or so , there will be at least one or two moments, where I say to myself “Fuck! I didn’t want to KNOW that!” Or “Fuck! I didn’t want to SEE that”.

Ill give you a specific example without spoiling things myself.  There is that really cool moment at the end of the final Avengers: Infinity War trailer where Cap is holding back Thanos with all his might. Here it is:

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We’re all wondering: What’s  going on here?! IS THIS THE END OF CAP? Thanos is MUCH stronger than him. Is Thanos toying with him? Is somebody going to come and rescue Cap at the last minute? Or is something completely different going?

Unfortunately for me, because of the random TV spots that are everywhere these days leading up to this movie, the context surrounding that scene was spoiled for me.  You would never guess in a million years what’s what’s going on and it’s really,  really cool. But it’s something I wish I didn’t know. It’s just really frustrating when you look forward to something like this so much and you want to go into it as fresh as possible.  For the past few weeks on YouTube, every day there’s a new Infinity War promo or clip with a new piece of dialogue or a new scene. I don’t watch any of them and I try to avoid any and all promos like the plague. The last trailer I watched was the last major trailer they put out which ended in the scene I’m talking about here; Cap and Thanos. It just sucks that movie studios feel the need to spoil some really cool moments to sell the tickets. The lesson here is, when selling a film that’s guaranteed to make big bucks like Avengers: Infinity War: Less is more.

-Paul

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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What I Want to See: Avengers Infinity War

 

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Hopefully, I don’t need to catch you up on the history of the MCU, and I can just dive into what I want to see from Infinity War.  This might be a pretty controversial take on it, and as always I’m very open to whatever they’re actually going to do, but this is what I would do if I were in charge.

MARVEL’S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Josh Brolin as Thanos

I want to see Thanos, and his team lay waste to much of the MCU heroes.  I don’t need to see him murder a bunch of them, (although I think we can agree there will likely be some major losses) but I want it to be a one-sided slaughter, I want the end of the second act to appear hopeless, like Han in carbonite, Luke handless level of hopeless.  I want the audience to honestly be borderline upset at how poorly our heroes are doing.

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Then as the third act begins, we see something falling towards the Earth, and it’s coming in too quick, and we see the heat trail as it burns through the atmosphere towards the ground, and it’s the Hulk who has been hurtling through space since whatever happens to the ship Thor and the Asgardians were on at the end of Ragnarok, and he slams into the ground, and is so pissed off from that ordeal, that he begins to pummel through each and every one of Thanos’ lackies and maybe they don’t win the fight (it seems as if this will not be the end since Avenger’s 4 comes out a year from now and originally was going to be Infinity War Part 2,) but he helps the team to at least hold off Thanos.

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I’ve got to admit, with a 2 year-old who’s favorite phrase has been “Hulk Smash” ever since he saw Ragnarok, I want Hulk to not be in the film for long, but then come in and fuck shit up.  I want to see Thanos over confident in his ability, and in his progress in destroying the Avengers and other assorted MCU heroes, and I want to have that moment everyone seems to have in the MCU where they think they know what’s going to happen, and then immediately realize they don’t have a clue.  Hulk is amazing at delivering that moment, and I want him to give that to Thanos.

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A big piece of speculation about the film has been that Thanos will not have all of the Infinity stones in this film, or at least not until the end of the film.  I’m not sure how they cover him succeeding in getting the stones, and still have any kind of victory for the Avengers.  It’s a plot point that seems—from a writing standpoint—to be insurmountable, but one that many seem to think is coming.  If it’s coming, I hope it’s the very last moment, and I would enjoy seeing the Hulk have that same “oh shit” moment of realization that I want for Thanos.  Then despite that, we see Hulk rampage forward, swing for a hit, and before it connects cut to black.

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I want to see the Hulk smash, like he’s never smashed before…

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TRAILER COMMENTARY : Avengers: Infinity War

 

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Marvel dropped the new and final Avengers: Infinity War trailer on us before we all have our minds blown when the movie comes out on April 27! So, I decided to do a trailer commentary! Pointing out interesting things from the comics, making predictions, and just giving my thoughts on the awesomeness that is this trailer. I pause a few times throughout the trailer to explain some more in depth concepts. You can just listen to my commentary on it’s own, but I highly recommend pulling up the trailer and following along with me as I go through the trailer. Man, April 27 can’t get here soon enough! I know there’s a lot of hype and a lot og high expectations, but I’m going to play the optimist and say this one is gonna live up to the hype. I have the trailer posted below ans my commentary posted after that. I’d love some feedback, so feel free to comment.

By the way, where the hell is Hawkeye?!

 

Here’s my commentary:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14312152

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I’m pretty sure I beat a personal record of the most “fuck”s (or some variation of) said in one episode. YAY!

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C’mon, CAP! You can do this all day! Go get him!

 

COOL NEWS ROUNDUP!!!

Hey, Everybody!

It’s Paul here! I’m very pleased to say that there’s so much fun, geek news today, that I’m gonna call this: Paul’s Awesome News Round Up! We’ve got fun bits of news from the world of Movies, TV and Comics. I’m going to start with COMICS News, but stick with me now. I know that might not interest some of you as much as movie and TV news. But stay with it because this whole article has some great stuff.

COMICS
So, Marvel is doing and another creative shake up and Relaunch of their books. A lot of fans hate this and I understand why. Sales may not be where Marvel wants them to be, so they trot out some fancy new tiles, creative team shake ups, and a bunch on new #1’s. Beside the danger to the industry by renumbering comics too often. I’m really excited to for this and it begins in May with Avengers as their flagship book, written by Jason Aaron with art by Ed McGuiness. Besides the creative team, why am I so excited about this?
Well, a few months ago Marvell put out a special called Marvel Legacy. In that special we met the characters below (some we know) who fare essentially the first Avengers team: Avengers 1,000,000 B.C.

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Left to Right: The Iron Fist, Starbrand, The Phoenix, Odin, Black Panther, Ghost Rider, Agamotto

 

I loved that concept and hoped Marvel would do something with it soon. Now, in Jason Aaron’s Thor run, the beginning of the series took place across three eras battling the same threat. The young, still unworthy Thor who liked to battle and party with Vikings who worshiped him, the Thor of the present, an Avenger and a hero, and finally Old King Thor millennia beyond millennia into the future. One armed and one eyed, as he watches over what’s left of Midgard.
So this Avengers book will follow a storytelling format, the same threat, fought by two different Avengers teams. One in the present and the other, the first Avengers team the Avengers of 1,000,000 B.C.

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Back Row: Doctor Strange; 3rd Row: Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Iron Man, She-Hulk; 2nd Row: Black Panther, Captain America; Front: Captain Marvel, Thor

Avengers #1 written by Jason Aaron with art by Ed McGuiness will become available where all comic are sold in May

 

TV

Krypton 

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If you asked me a year ago that a Superman prequel series set on Krypton decades before its’s destruction, following Superman‘s grandfather, I’d say its sounds like a really fucking stupid idea. I’m very pleased to say that I’ve been proven wrong when it comes to the show. It looks really cool. And apparently it’s not going to be the stuck following the exact narrative of Superman’s family backstory because it’s largely a time travel story, focusing on Superman’s grandfather Seg-El.

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Superman’s grandfather getting a dire warning from the future via DC comics hero, Adam Strange

Brainiac is going back in time try to stop Superman from ever being born (or something), thus stopping his greatest nemesis from coming into being. Meanwhile, DC hero Adam Strange shows up on past Krypton to warn Seg-El that he’s got a Skynet situation on his hands. In what you ask me is kind of a dick move, Strange tells Seg that his grandson is going to be the greatest hero the universe has ever known ( I mean, no fucking pressure, right?) The guy’s already got to worry about an evil alien artificial intelligence looking to wipe out his family line. That’s a pretty normal situation. Happened to me last week. It was a real pain in the ass, we lost some good people.

 

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Brianiac
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What I like about this idea is that continuity doesn’t matter. They have openly said that because the show is in the past and time travel and alternate timelines could be involvedthe show will radically change Superman’s mythology. A crazy, time travel, Superman-prequal, sci-fi adventure series across the cosmos of the DC Universe sounds pretty fucking cool. Apparently this show is going to be shark full of cool DC characters in addition to Brianiac and Adam Strange characters like the Green Lantern Corps, DOOMSDAY, Hawkgirl and The Thanagarians have all been confirmed to appear in the first season. Today they unveiled the first look at the big bad of the series, Brianiac and I’ve got to say he looks pretty fucking cool. Below is his picture and a new trailer for the show. I’ve also put in the original trailer in case anyone hasn’t seen it because it’s relatively short and sets a cool tone. I’ve actually got high hopes for this one. I think it has the potential to be pretty fucking cool. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

Jessica Jones: Season 2

The long awaited second season of Jessica Jones is almost upon us. Here’s a new trailer that shows new material but also splices in some flashbacks from season 1. Check it out here:

Jessica Jones: Season 2 premieres March 8

 

Legends of Tomorrow

For you Legends of Tomorrow fans out there, not only has Kid Flash himself officially joined the team.

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We can also look forward to seeing the return of John Constantine on Episode 15 airing March 13

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Another fan favorite recurring characters confirmed to return in the Season 3 Finale is Jonah Hex

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There have been set photos and other rumors that possibly John Constantine will return for the Finale as well. Maybe setting him up as new crew member of The Waverider in season 4? I know I’d love that.

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Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 Finale airs April 9th

 

MOVIES

Big new for all of us Star Wars fans out there, Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi release dates Digital March 13and the Blu Ray drops March 27. Check out the air work below:

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Here are the listed special features:

The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
Balance of the Force – Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
Scene Breakdowns
Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle – Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
Snoke and Mirrors – Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.
Showdown on Crait – Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
Deleted Scenes – With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
Audio Commentary – View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.

All of this plus 14 FUCKING DELEATED SCENES!!! That’s crazy! But awesome.

Anyway, thanks as always for reading!

-Paul

PODCAST: The Best & Worst Of 2017 (Part 2)

Hey, everybody!

It’s Paul

This week on “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim”,  we present Part Two of our monumental episode looking back at the Best and Worst, Films , TV shows, Comics, and more of 2017!  In Part One we mostly talked about the best and worst TV shows we’d seen over the past year (with a little bit of talk about movies). In Part Two, we shift focus to our favorite and our most disappointing movies of 2017. Plus, towards the end of the episode  I cover some of the big comic book news of the year and list a few of my favorite graphic novels! So, definitely check it out. It’s a great episode. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13683756

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