*UPDATED*NEW TRAILER & FEATURETTE!: Marvel’s Black Widow

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

A brand new Black Widow trailer dropped today. Not much to say about this one, I’ve liked everything that I’ve seen so far. I’m really rooting for this movie to be good because I really like the character of Natasha Romanoff and Scarlett Johansson is great in the role. My only concern is that the film could veer into overly familiar territory. We’ve already seen quite a bit of espionage, action movie material in The MCU with movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Hopefully Black Widow finds a way to differentiate itself from similar films that have come before. Even though this new trailer is relatively short and has some material from the first teaser, we do get quite a bit of new footage as well. Most notably, we see Natasha facing off against the villain Taskmaster, making his MCU debut in this film. I’ve wanted to see Taskmaster pop-up in The MCU for a while now and I’m very excited to see more of him in action. Taskmaster has the ability to mimic the fighting skills and abilities of anyone he faces in combat, so he’s extremely difficult to fight. The longer you engage with him, the more of your own moves he can pick up and turn against you. Not to mention the skills he’s accumulated from other people he’s fought. Taskmaster’s copycat ability only work with normal, human opponents, he can’t duplicate any kind of meta-human superpowers. He’s an extremely dangerous villain and a great character for this type of movie. Anyway, check out the trailer below:

UPDATED: Marvel also released a short Black Widow featurette focused on the character’s evolution and her importance in The MCU. Scarlett Johansson and Kevin Fiege are featured reflecting on the journey from the character’s beginning in Iron Man 2 up to her first solo movie. Check it out:

Marvel’s Black Widow opens 5/01/2020

Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

TRAILER & ANALYSIS: Birds of Prey

Hey Everyone,

Paul here..

The new trailer for Birds of Prey (Or The Who Gives A Fuck Bullshit of Fucking Harley Quinn) has dropped. Do with that information what you will. My only interest in this movie is a vague curiosity about how characters I’ve been reading on the comic book pages for years, will be translated into into a live action big budget comic book movie. Check out the trailer here and then read my thoughts on the project below:
https://youtu.be/x3HbbzHK5Mc

Is it just me or does it seem like Warner Bros. really doesn’t give a shit about this movie? It should be a bigger event for DC/Warner Bros., studios have seemed to realize niche genre movies released I’m mid-February have a tendency to do well. Movies like Kingsman: The Secret Service and Deadpool we’re both big successes, coming out on, or near, Valentines Day weekend. So at the very least, this seems like a good spot to release a movie like this. But it feels like two steps forward one step back with DC. After a string of hits with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Shazam!, and Joker, as well as the. highly anticipated Wonder Woman 1984 coming out this summer, Birds of Prey seems like a step backwards into the realm of Suicide Squad and Justice League.

On one hand, this look like it could be a real dumpster fire, but there’s a part of me that thinks there’s a small chance it could be cool. After watching the trailer a few times, I’ll say this for the trailer, it definitely has a fun energy to it. I also noticed some interesting elements and choices made by the filmmakers. For example, there are big visual cues and callbacks to several excellent Harley Quinn focused episodes of Batman The Animated Series like “Harley’s Holiday”, “Harlequinade”, and “Harley and Ivy”. If there’s any source material Birds of Prey would be wise to draw inspiration from, it’s Batman The Animated Series . Especially because two of the leads in Birds of Prey, Rene Montoya (Rosie Perez) and Harley Quinn, were characters that were created on Batman The Animated Series and eventually made their jump into the comic books. One of the things I disliked about Suicide Squad was how little they used Harley’s story from Batman The Animated Series. The film didn’t have any interest in showcasing the fascinating and complex relationship that developed between Harley and The Joker, while she was treating him as a psychiatrist at Arkham. Suicide Squad also opted to use an inferior, new origin for Harley that had recently been showcased at the time in a DC Comics revamp, instead of using the superior transformation from Dr. Harleen Quinzell into Harley Quinn that we saw in The Animated Series, (for what little they showed of her origin and her relationship with The Joker at all).

Then there are the problems with the villains in the movie. I love seeing Ewan McGregor in a DC movie, I just wish he was playing a more interesting character than Black Mask (and what seems to be an extremely loose interpretation of Black Mask at that). There was a rumor a while back that Ewan McGregor would feature in the rumored Justice League Dark movie where he was supposedly going to play either John Constantine or Jason Blood/Etrigan The Demon. McGregor would have been amazing in either of those roles and they’re both far more interesting than Black Mask. Which brings me to another double edge sword presented by this film. I like the inclusion of lesser used Batman villains like Roman Sionus a.k.a. Black Mask and Victor Zsasz, but they seem to be different enough from their comic book counterparts to wonder why they were included at all. I understand what works on the comic book page may not work on the big screen and certain things get lost in translation, especially from one medium to another. Sometimes those changes can even be for the better. However, it seems like these characters are Black Mask and Zsasz in name only, so why bother to use them? I could be wrong, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

To wrap things up, I’ve seen more negatives than positives when it comes to Birds Of Prey, so my expectations are pretty low going into this. But sometimes the best movie going experiences happen when your expectations for a film are in the toilet and the movie pleasantly surprises you.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

Birds of Prey hits theaters 2/7/20

-Paul

PODCAST: Best Movies Of The Decade!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

As we say goodbye to not just another year, but another decade, what better time to look back at the best movies of the last 10 years? That’s what co-host Ryan McDonald and myself set out to do on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast! As two of the great film experts of their our, Ryan and I will take you on a journey through the very best films of the 2010’s! We each scoured the movies released between 2010 and 2019. After extensive research, we came with separate lists, each covering about 15 of the best pieces of cinema in the 2010’s! This is a can’t miss episode! 

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/21293384 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes:

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F21293384

Below, you’ll find the YouTube video from Mr Sunday Movies about Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Prt. 1, that we mention in the podcast. Watch it right here:

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul


PODCAST: Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker Review (SPOILERS)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I reviews the highly anticipated final installment in The Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. A movie over 40 years in the making. I think this episode should just speak for itself. Huge SPOILERS! Thanks for listening! Enjoy!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/20969009

Or subscribe on Stitcher, Deezer, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes! 

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F20969009

Stitcher: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F20969009

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

My Take On The New Trailer for GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

  1984’s Ghostbusters is a classic. Hell, I’ll do you one better, Ghostbusters is one of the best movies ever made. It a damn near perfect blend of comedy, supernatural thrills, a killer script, and excellent characters. But after that first, perfect film, the franchise has been on a weird journey ever since.

     A few months ago, Jason Reitman, son of legendary comedy director Ivan Reitman (director of Ghostbusters 1 & 2), put out a proof of concept teaser trailer for a potential new Ghostbusters film. There wasn’t much to the actual teaser, but it was extremely effective. The stage was set: we see a creepy, old barn with strange disquieting lights and sounds emanating from the rickety building. The camera pans inside the barn where a vehicle is completely obstructed by a car cover. The wind picks up. The front of the car cover starts to flap off. We see the front of an old white jalopy with New York plates . The license plate reads “Ecto-1”. That’s pretty much it. It was a teaser, it didn’t need to be much else. More than anything it was a proof of concept trailer that communicated a very specific tone that this film would be going for. The message was clear: this is NOT the Ghostbusters we saw in 2016. It may have been short, but it was a great teaser. It was atmospheric, it was creepy, it tone. It sent the message that this is a Ghostbusters that’s a little different than what’s come before. You can see what I mean yourself, I have the teaser posted below…

   Now months after that original proof of concept teaser, we have the first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, hitting theaters July 2020. I have to admit I loved this trailer. I can see how some people might have a problem with the shift in tone. It doesn’t necessarily feel like a typical Ghostbusters film. But that’s one of the reasons I liked it so much. If you just watched the first minute of the trailer, you wouldn’t be able tell it’s a Ghostbusters movie. The whole thing has a real Stranger Thing/IT Chapters 1&2 vibe. I haven’t been this excited about the prospect of a new Ghostbusters movie… well, ever! Before we go any further make sure you give it a watch if you haven’t already. Check it out right here:


Ever since I was a kid, Ghostbusters was one of my favorite movies (it still is). I even think Ghostbusters 2 gets a bad rap. It’s a blast and it has some of the funniest moments in the series. My love of film and my interest in what went on behind the scenes, began in the late 90’s. When I was 11 or 12, I remember going to Blockbuster video with my grandmother, and as we waited in line I picked up a magazine called Cinescape. Inside the magazine were stories about the long in development movies that sounded like something out of a dream. A fourth Indiana Jones movie?! Another Star Wars trilogy?! James Cameron’s Spider-Man movie (if you know about that failed project, you’re certainly an old school film junkie like me). Tim Burton was directing a Superman movie starring Nicholas Cage that would include a cameo from Michael Keaton’s Batman?! Holy shit! 

   On a sidenote, reading that Michael Keaton as Batman would be in a Superman movie, these Qi existing side-by-side, this was the first time I understood the concept of a shared universe. This film that never came to be made me realize that Batman and Superman and I’ll kinds of other heroes interact with each other all the time. I never really understood that until that point. Tim Burtons attempt at making a Superman film is a fascinating story. The late great Jon Schnepp made fantastic documentary about the project called The Death of Superman Lives: What happened? It’s a fascinating look at what might have been. This project came very close to coming to fruition and personally, the more I’ve heard about it and read about it over the years the more fascinated I was by it. I would’ve loved to see this Superman movie. It certainly wouldn’t have been a traditional Superman film by any means and it almost certainly would’ve been quite bizarre but there were some truly fantastic ideas at play. Despite some seemingly odd creative choices, the film as Burton saw it was surprisingly faithful to Superman lore, but with that quirky, off kilter point of view that Burton brings to all his projects. Comic book fans, movie fans, and people who love the idea of what is and what might have been, will love this great documentary. 

    Anyway, the above mentioned movies had been rumored and talked about for years before I picked up this magazine and they were all stuck in varying degrees of development hell. Only new Indiana Jones and Star Wars films ever saw the light of day. As I flipped through the magazine waiting in line, briefly scanning some of the articles, I was hooked. That was my point of no return. I would now and forever be a movie nerd. It’s important to remember that this was in the 90s, long before the Internet was commonly used. So as a kid, reading about upcoming adaptations and sequels to some of my favorite movies of all time absolutely blew my mind.

  After that I made sure to pick up Cinescape magazine every month. I loved reading every article, rumor, and review I could find about cool upcoming sci-fi/fantasy/adventure movies. While reading Cinescape, I learned that another one of my favorite film series was developing a new installment: Ghostbusters 3.  Like I said before, I love both Ghostbusters movies and once I started following films like this through magazines like Cinescape, Entertainment Weekly, Empire, and eventually the internet, I always kept an eye out for news about Ghostbusters 3. 

   Over the next 30 years, it seemed like the movie was perpetually starting and stopping. Clearly there was fan interest and Dan Aykroyd, from the original cast who also wrote the screenplay for the original Ghostbusters, was the main player from the first 2 films that was really fighting to make a Ghostbusters 3. Sadly, arguably the most important Ghostbuster, Bill Murray’s iconic Dr. Peter Venkman, was fairly ambivalent about Ghostbusters 3. He was hot and cold on the project. One minute he would say he’s on board the next minute he would say he wasn’t going to do it. He wasn’t happy with how Ghostbusters 2 turned out and he had a falling out with his longtime friend and costar on Ghostbusters, Harold Ramis. Sadly, Harold Ramis passed away a few years ago, but at least he a Murray buried the hatchet and became friends again before he passed.

    The first two Ghostbusters films were cash cows for the movie studio, so over the last 3 decades, Sony had been trying to get the 3rd movie made.  Dan Aykroyd and many other writers took cracks at story ideas for Ghostbusters 3. Some of them are actually fairly interesting. There were versions of a Ghostbusters 3 script that involved the original Ghostbusters taking a backseat to a new team or a new generation of Ghostbusters. All of the original Ghostbusters would be a part of the film, but eventually the new team would take center stage. I remember names like Eddie Murphy and Chris Farley being thrown around a lot when rumors of who the next generation of Ghostbusters would be. While that could’ve resulted in a great movie, it never came to pass. I remember another version of the story saw the Ghostbusters going on a journey into Hell. In the script, Hell was described as a nightmarish version of New York, with all of the cities worst attributes dialed up to 11. Endless traffic gridlock, slime covering everything, ghosts and demons everywhere, that sort of thing. If I remember correctly a glimpse of heaven is also seen at one point and it’s the opposite of Hell. It’s like New York, but a perfect, pristine, paradise version of New York, with the mortal New York smack dab in the middle. Another interesting idea that was probably shot down because it was too expensive to create entirely new worlds.

The 2016 film remake of Ghostbusters directed by Paul Feig starring Melissa McCarthy was extremely controversial due to the backlash the film received for its all female cast. I’m sure many people saw this as a gimmick, but most of the attention was on the idea that the fan base hated the movie because it was starring four women. Speaking as a diehard Ghostbusters fan, I think the 2016 Ghostbusters is pretty bad, but it has nothing to do with the fact that all of the Ghostbusters are women. The film didn’t fail because of the gender of the cast, it failed simply because it wasn’t a good movie. In my opinion, the jokes didn’t land, the tone was off, and the film didn’t quite work. I think everyone is pretty much wrong for their part, except for maybe Melissa McCarthy, who I always enjoy. I get what they were trying to do with Kate McKinnon as the crazy, weird, Egon-ish character, but she just came across as annoying. With Leslie Jones, they were trying to go for a blue-collar, non-academic character who really knew the history of the city. She could’ve been a crucial part of the group because everyone else has essentially been working in a lab all their lives. This could’ve worked and I don’t think Leslie Jones was necessarily the problem, but the terrible script that relied on cheap jokes and stereotypes didn’t do her any favors. With better material I think she could’ve done much more with this part. Then there’s Kristen Wiig, and to be honest, I just dislike her performances.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie didn’t fail because of its all female cast, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some truly vile and toxic shit going around the internet about everyone involved in the film. Of course the worst online bile was directed towards the cast in a display of the worst kind of fandom. Surprise, surprise this was mostly on social media. Many of the things that were said about the actresses in this film were disgusting and vicious. I hate cancel culture, I strongly disagree that we need to start watching every little thing we say for fear that it will be taken out of context, but that doesn’t mean we should go around using social media to feed the worst parts of ourselves and espouse our most puerile, hateful ideas. There has to be a happy medium.

Anyway, even the villain in 2016’s Ghostbusters sucked. He was boring and uninteresting, especially compared to big bads like the ancient demigod Gozer and Viggo The Carpathian. I have one final point about Ghostbusters 2016, the filmmakers made a huge miscalculation that a lot of people tend to overlook about from the original Ghostbusters films. In the original movies, the jokes come from the characters, not the supernatural threat. The ghosts and the paranormal elements of the movies were never played for laughs. There’s a palpable danger to the situations the Ghostbusters find themselves in. If you take out the comedic moments of the original Ghostbusters, there are some genuinely scary horror moments in there. A good rule to go by for any new Ghostbusters movie to work: The ghosts have to feel dangerous, so the comedy comes from the characters and how they react to the situations they find themselves in.

Now, in Summer 2020 we have Ghostbusters: Afterlife making a go at becoming the first truly successful film in the franchise in 30 years. I was very surprised to see this trailer. I knew that director Jason Reitman had filmed a proof of concept teaser. However, I had no idea a brand new film had actually gone to production with Jason Reitman directing and Paul Rudd starring. So when a full trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife dropped this week, I was very surprised. One of the best things about the trailer was that up until about halfway through, you would never guess in a million years that this is a Ghostbusters movie and I mean that in the best way possible. I loved how unique it felt, so when Ghostbuster elements began to be introduced in the trailer, it’s a genuine surprise.



The story seems to be about family (including Carrie Coon from The Leftovers, Finn Wolfhard Stranger Things) moving to a small Midwestern town when they inherit a piece of farm property from a deceased relative. As the kids begin to explore their new home, they eventually find cash of all the old Ghostbusters equipment. The Proton Packs, The Ghost Trap, even their iconic vehicle The Ecto-1. The kids are the grandchildren of one of the original, unnamed, Ghostbusters (my money’s on Egon). It looks like they’ve stumbled on this equipment just in time because there seems to be some serious paranormal activity creeping up in this small town and the world that hasn’t seen a major paranormal event since Ghostbusters 2 in the 80s. There’s a cool bit in the trailer where the kids bring some of the Ghostbusters equipment to school with them to show their science teacher, wonderfully played by Paul Rudd, hoping to get some answers.

After realizing the Ghostbusters equipment is real, Paul Rudd shows his students some old clips of the original Ghostbusters in action (they look like they’re taken straight out of the original movies, which is a nice detail). Apparently Paul Rudd’s character lived in New York during all that crazy, paranormal shit that went down with Gozer and Viggo back in the 80’s. I think casting Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) are brilliant choices for a take like this. I bet their names come up often when studios discuss casting these types of films. Both actors have proven the can more than deliver It doesn’t seem like they’re making an attempt to re-create a “Bill Murray-type” character. No one plays the lovable wise ass like Murray, but in lesser hands, I could see the filmmaker is trying to make Paul Rudd‘s character into a stand-in for Dr. Peter Venkman. But nobody pulls that off like Bill Murray and any attempt to do it without him will inevitably fall short. Though I doubt he’ll have a large roll in the final film, Bill Murray and the rest of the surviving Ghostbusters, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson (RIP Harold Ramis), are slated to appear in the film as their original characters. . I’ll say it again this looks like a fun supernatural adventure that has some comedy in it, not a comedy about ghosts, which is a very important distinction. I love next generation movies, I’m kind of a sucker for them, especially when they’re done well like Creed for example. So I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on this film. We may finally be getting the Ghostbusters sequel we’ve always wanted.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

FIRST LOOK: Wonder Woman 1984 Trailer & Posters!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

I love the 80’s retro design in the marketing

It’s a great day to be a DC fan! DC and Warner Brothers just dropped the first trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 and it looks pretty damn cool! The first film was excellent and Gal Gadot crushed it in the role. Now that the origin is out of the way and audiences have become familiar with the character, the filmmakers are free to take the Wonder Woman story in any direction they want. Gal Gadot beautifully embodied Diana and everything she stands for in the first Wonder Woman. A film that solidified her status as the perfect person for the role, especially after being a highlight in movies like Batman V Superman and Justice League.

I’m a big Batman V Superman apologist, I actually love the film despite its many flaws and Wonder Woman is one of the big things the movie has going for it. Justice League on the other hand is arguably the worst film in the DCEU (or The Worlds of DC or whatever the fuck they’re calling it now), yet she shines as Wonder Woman in an otherwise poorly conceived and executed movie. With this much success as the character already under her belt, Wonder Woman 1984 has the potential to push Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman into icon status. I hope they’re able to do something exciting that isn’t a retread of the original movie, but still captures the spirit of what makes Wonder Woman great.

Of course Chris Pine returns as Steve Trevor. It will be interesting to see exactly how they choose to resurrect the character or bring him to 1984. This isn’t supposed to be a different person who looks exactly like Steve Trevor, like his grandson or something. This is the same man that Diana knew during WWI. To be honest, I don’t particularly care about the details, I like the character and I’m happy to see him return in this movie.

    I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see Cheetah in this trailer. That’s the character played Kristen Wiig. There are several different versions of Cheetah, but the one I’m most familiar with and the one I hope they use is Dr. Barbara Minerva.

Dr. Barbara Minerva was an archaeologist who became friends with Diana. Her specialty was mythology and ancient cultures that existed around the time Themyscira was created. Through a bizarre series of events that I won’t get into here, she’s cursed by some ancient god into becoming a cheetah-like monster. The transformation made her overly violent and bloodthirsty, but for the most part she retains her human mind. In some versions she directly blames Diana for her condition. I’m really excited to see if they do this character design justice. In my opinion, CGI motion capture would be the best way to go, I’d like to see them lean more into the monstrous cheetah side than the more human look we’ve seen in other iterations. I’ve included some images from a recent Wonder Woman story by written Greg Rucka with art by Liam Sharp. They’re good examples of the direction I hope the filmmakers go with for Cheetah’s design…

   On the flip side, I was very pleasantly surprised to see the inclusion of another classic DC anti-hero/villain: Maxwell Lord. Played by Pedro Pascal who’s currently wowing audiences in The Mandalorian, will be playing Maxwell Lord, who I had no idea was even in the movie.

Maxwell Lord is a wealthy businessman who has a long and dark history with the Justice League and Wonder Woman in particular. At one point he fully funded the Justice League a classic JL run in the 80’s called Justice League International. It was later revealed that he was a meta-human with telepathic powers and this long time ally to the Justice League was actually a much more sinister figure than anyone knew. So that’s a really fun character to throw into the mix because they could play him in a lot of different ways.  In addition to the trailer also got some really cool character posters (featured throughout the article) The posters for the first Wonder Woman movie were fucking works of art and these posters are certainly unique. I especially love that golden wing armor that we see Diana wear in the trailer, if they make a poster with that costume I will most certainly be buying a copy. Anyway, this is definitely high on my list of most anticipated films of 2020, take a look at the trailer right here:

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

PODCAST: The Mandalorian Episode!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

This week on The World’s Best Podcast, Paul Sr. returns to the show to discuss the first live-action Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian, streaming on Disney +! Created by Jon Favreau (the actor/director behind Iron Man, Elf, and more), The Mandalorian follows a lone bounty hunter working in the dangerous Outer Rim of the galaxy, sometime after the fall of The Empire. When a high paying job takes an unexpected turn, The Mandalorian’s own personal code is put to the test. With some of the galaxy’s most dangerous in hot pursuit, The Mandalorian must decide what he’s will to fight… and maybe even die for. Does the show live up to the hype? What cool Star Wars Easter Eggs are featured in the series? What are our theories regarding some of the show’s big mysteries? We talk about all this and much more on this week’s exciting episode! Thanks for listening! Enjoy!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/20419183

Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes!

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000458399393

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=65713132&autoplay=1

This is the cool Star Wars featurette that I mention in the episode:

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

REVIEW: Titans Season 2 Finale!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Titans is a weird show. In a television landscape filled with superhero shows, Titans doesn’t quite feel like anything else on TV or streaming at the moment. It may share some superficial similarities to other comic book shows, but the series has an “X factor” that’s hard to define. Titans is about a group of young heroes (some only in their mid-teens) trying to find their place in the world. Though it isn’t made explicitly clear how old the most senior members of the Titans are, they seem to be in their 20s at the oldest. The series is also extremely dark, violent, and graphic. I have no doubt that the violence and language on this show would earn Titans a hard R-rating if it were a film instead of a streaming series. The combination of a young generation of heroes, the ultraviolent nature of the series, along with it’s willingness to dive headfirst into the rich character and story history of DC Comics, makes for a very unique tone.

The series borrows from some fantastic DC Comics stories and characters, both big and small. Some of which like Bruce Wayne (Iain Glen from Game of Thrones) who is recurring character throughout Season 2, were off-limits to television until just a few years ago. Warner Bros. used to have this pretty stupid rule where they did not want their A-list characters like Batman or Superman to ever appear on any of their live action TV shows when a big screen counterpart was currently being depicted in a movie series with a different actor in the same role. For example, while Christian Bale was still officially Batman, a show like Arrow could never introduce their own version of Bruce Wayne. I think people can tell the difference, it’s almost like they think the audience will be too confused by 2 versions of the same character in completely different mediums. Fortunately, this policy seems to slowly be going away bit by bit.

Iain Glen looking cool as fuck as Bruce Wayne

Titans always has a lot of balls in the air. I’m always surprised at the sheer amount of story and concepts that they introduce in any given season. I’d find myself thinking, how are they going to tell a cohesive, season long story with all of these disparate elements at play? For me at least, it works (in it’s own unconventional way). The strength of this series lies with it’s characters. The Titans themselves are the beating heart of the show. This might seem obvious or a necessity for any successful TV series (or streaming series, in this case), but some shows rely on the intricacies of a complex plot more than others. Shows like Lost, Battlestar Galactica, The Wire, and HBO’s recent Watchmen are all great examples of shows that work like a finely tuned watch (not to say that these shows don’t have fantastic characters, it’s just that these examples are much more dependent on plot driven storylines). All the pieces of the story come together to form something extraordinary. For Titans, the magic happens when the show is at it’s most character driven.  DC hasn’t been quite as successful as Marvel at bringing some of it’s less well known characters to life, but when it comes to Titans, they have some deep enough cuts that there’s excitement in just seeing these characters brought to life and brought to life well. Whether it’s Dick Grayson violently confronting the man who murdered his parents, or Raven banishing her demonic father, Trigon, back to Hell to save the world and her newfound Titans family. Truly great shows can have their cake and eat it too: a thrilling, well plotted story and rich, fascinating characters. I enjoy the hell out of Titans, but keep your expectations in check if you decide to give it a watch. So for this review of the Season 2 finale of Titans, I’m going to be focusing on the characters first and foremost.

Season 1 was very much Rachel and Dick‘s season. Things are spread out much more evenly through Season 2, I think to the shows benefit. With new characters being introduced and some side characters from season one now having larger rules, the show has become more of an ensemble. Which is exactly what it should be because Titans is team show. Characters like Donna Troy, Connor Kent, and even Hawk and Dove had some great material this season. Gar felt like the odd man out. Very interesting character and I wish they gave him more to do. The same goes for Jason Todd, while he did have a good amount of screen time, he took a backseat in the latter half of the season and we didn’t get much closure regarding where he’s heading going into Season 3.

Jason Todd – The 2nd Robin after Dick. He’s the kind of guy who for example.,

If I had to say there was a central character this season, I’d probably have to go with Dick. The last two years of the show have been about his emotional journey, culminating in his transformation into Nightwing. Season 1 was all about Dick’s search for identity. So much of who he is was defined by his relationship with Bruce Wayne, a man that he has a great deal of anger and resentment towards. A really nice recurring aspect to this season was that we slowly got to see Dick and Bruce rebuilding their relationship with one another. 

      Unfortunately, when you’re a superhero there’s always more torment and angst right around the corner. Dick may have worked through his issues with Bruce in Season 1, but Season 2 is all about him dealing with the guilt he for his role in how the Titans originally broke up and the lives that were destroyed during that time. 

The original Titans team: Donna Troy, Aqualad, Dick Grayson as Robin, Hawk, and Dove.

    In case it’s not clear, years before Dick met Rachel and began this new version of The Titans or Titans 2.0, there was an original teen that formed years before the group we meet in Season 1. The original Titans included Dick as Robin, Donna Troy, Hawk and Dove, and the tragically fated Aqualad. Garth AKA Aqualad was in love with Donna Troy and had been for years. She loved him too, but her sense of duty clouded her judgement and she repressed her feelings for Garth. I think a lot of us can relate to that situation, especially when you’re young pining after someone for years. You want to be with them so bought bad your chest aches.

Garth AKA Aqualad not only had sick water-kinesis powers, but he was also in love with Donna Troy. Very shortly after they finally got together, Garth is killed by Deathstroke

Speaking of Season 3, like the Superboy and Krypto teaser at the end of Season 1, we get a brief teaser at the end of the episode showing Kory’s sister Blackfire arriving on Earth, presumably to wreak havoc on her sisters life. Lex Luthor is also directly referenced at one point in the episode. When the shit hits the fan with Cadmus as the Titans fuck up that whole operation, Lex puts in an angry call to Mercy Graves. Mercy is Lex’s right hand woman and the person responsible for brainwashing and weaponizing Connor and Gar. With Superboy now a big part of the team and such a public disaster for Cadmus in the season finale, I wonder if we will get to see this show’s version of Lex Luthor, much in the same way we got to see the show’s version of Bruce Wayne this year? At the very least it seems like Blackfire (Kory’s evil sister) will be a major villain in Season 3 since it was just announced that she would be joining the show as a series regular in the next season.

Connor Kent AKA Superboy and his superpowered dog, Krypto

 By the end of the Season 2 Finale, the team finally looks and functions like a classic version of the Teen Titans from the comics. A big part of this is the fact that finally, at long last, Dick Grayson has become Nightwing. A debut that fans have been waiting for since pretty much the first episode of the series. This a good example of how the series can struggle with pacing and the problems with how they choose to unfold their stories. Most fans of the show would probably say Dick finally becoming Nightwing is about a season and a half overdue. However, despite the wait, the long overdue debut of Nightwing was pretty fucking awesome. The costume look great and seeing Nightwing swoop in to save his friends from Deathstroke was sick. Dick’s final face off with Slade, swords clashing against Nightwing’s classic electrified batons and all, was very fun and satisfying. 

This Nightwing uniform is pretty damn perfect.
Slade’s estranged daughter jumps into the fray to help Dick, now Nightwing, take her father down.

    As much fun as the fight was, it was another example of how the series struggles to handle plot and pacing. Deathstroke has been the main Season 2 antagonist, but about half way through the season, a subplot was introduced involving Superboy (Connor Kent), Beast Boy (Gar Logan), and the sinister Cadmus Labs. Cadmus is a front for Lex Luthor, run by his right hand woman Mercy Graves, to sell meta-human weapons on the black market, with the captured Conner and Gar as the star products. Cadmus was certainly a cool and interesting element throughout the season, but it was a little jarring to see Deathstroke finished off so early in the episode with the focus of the finale entirely shifting to rescuing Connor and Gar and taking down Cadmus. 

Gar and Connor shortly before they’re captured by Cadmus.
Gar AKA Beast Boy in his Tiger form

  The sequence itself was a lot of fun and had some great moments, but then a major character is killed off almost out of nowhere with relatively little fanfare. Again, while it didn’t kill the episode, it was certainly an odd choice. This episode is a great showcase of what’s great and what doesn’t work with Titans. 

This man has Batarangs and he knows how to fucking use them.

     I’d also be remiss if I didn’t comment on Iain Glen‘s great performance as Bruce Wayne throughout Season 2. I didn’t think he would be as much of a presence on the show as he was. I thought he would maybe have one or two cameos in a few episodes, but he ended up being in quite a few. I really liked his take on Bruce Wayne, it’s definitely not a side of the character we’ve seen much of and certainly not at all in live-action. He’s an older, more paternal version of the character and despite his darkness and cynicism, you can see the genuine happiness it brings him to reconcile with Dick. There are a few scenes where you see that Bruce is just as emotionally vulnerable about their relationship as Dick is. It’s in moments like those that show us glimpses of the man whose trauma stunted him somewhat developmentally. He never quite grew up completely. It’s a really insightful take on Bruce Wayne and I applaud the writers and Iain Glen for going there. My only complaint would be that a significant portion of Bruce Wayne‘s presence in the season was a hallucination in Dick’s mind. Since this wasn’t really Bruce, just Dick’s perception of Bruce within his subconscious, Glen is basically playing another character.  There’s hallucination Bruce and there is real Bruce. Even though we got quite a bit of the real Bruce present throughout the season, the hallucination Bruce probably represented a third of his appearances throughout. I wanted to see much more of the real Bruce. I really like the actor and his take on one of the most complex and multifaceted individuals in all of fiction, was always fun to watch.  

To wrap things up, Titans is by no means a perfect show but it is a lot of fun. Season 2 was a large improvement over Season 1, but they still have some work to be done when it comes to plotting and execution of their storylines. If you’re a DC fan in particular, there’s a lot to love here. The characters are great and by the end of the season the show is starting to look a lot like the Teen Titans we’ve read in the comic books for years. If you don’t have DC Universe, Titans Season 2 will probably be available on iTunes and Blu-ray soon. This show gets my recommendation as long as you go into it keeping your expectations in check.

TITANS Season 2 Finale = 8/10

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

Why Making A Sequel To JOKER Is A Bad Idea

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

A man dressed as a clown writhing in pain, in a filthy alley, as he clutches at his groin. Hey man, we’ve ALL been there.

It’s been recently announced that director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix, may be returning for a sequel to their critical and commercial smash hit, JOKER. A lot of fans, may initially be very happy to hear this news, but today I’d like to put forth the argument that making a sequel to JOKER is a bad idea. 

Hey guys, let’s take the enthusiasm down a few notches. This a Hollywood premiere, not a frat party!

    Throughout the making of this film, right up to press interviews before the premiere Phoenix and Phillips stuck to their guns, as they did from the very beginning. Even when the box office juggernaut opened to critical and commercial success, Phoenix and Phillips said loud and clear that this was a one off. This was meant to be a standalone story. Which is partially what made the movie so interesting. Every movie studio, especially when it comes to comic book properties, is always looking for their next franchise. So when the trailers for JOKER dropped and the movie garnered seriously positive buzz, mostly due to what looked to be an incredible performance from Joaquin Phoenix, chatter began about the possibility of a sequel. When asked if a sequel could possibly be in the cards, the answer from Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips was always an unequivocal NO. That’s not how they approached this project, it was a character study with a beginning, middle, and end. 

    In this franchise driven environment, it’s refreshing to hear filmmakers say we’re here to make one movie and one movie alone. Especially when every film studio is trying to copy the success of Marvel and make a 20 film series. These guys came along and said, we want to do this one, fucked up little movie, on the cheap, let us do it our way and fuck off. 

   Clearly that strategy paid off. Though it’s by no means perfect, JOKER is one of the best films of the year. The movie coming close to $1 billion in box office revenue with such a low budget, makes it one of the most financially successful comic book films ever made.  Not to mention, Joaquin Phoenix is all but a shoe in for an Oscar nomination next year. So, with the film being complete home run, one can see why Warner Bros would have serious interest in reuniting their director and star for a sequel. I’d argue the film’s success is due to audience’s looking for some diversity in their entertainment. Instead of making a sequel to a film that was designed to stand alone, get another talented filmmaker with a unique, singular vision for a different DC property, keep the budget low and let them have at it. Evolution is the only way that superhero films will survive. Change or die.

  I would also argue I’m not sure where the sequel to JOKER would go from here. Todd Phillips has been on record saying that pitched JOKER to Joaquin Phoenix as “sneaking a gritty, art house character study through the studio system”. Phoenix’s interest was in telling a story about a man’s descent into madness, not a story about The Joker we know from the comics. In fact, Joaquin Phoenix didn’t even want Todd Phillips to have Thomas Wayne in the movie, he wanted the character to have a different name, even that was too much of a connection to the comic book for him. The connections to the greater Batman mythology in JOKER are minimal to say the least. Todd Phillips basically bullshitted Joaquin Phoenix and kept in things like the Thomas Wayne character and the murder of The Wayne’s at the end of the film.

    Now this is just my opinion, but I think there are two ways to go with a sequel to JOKER. The first would be add a Batman into the mix. However, keep him at the periphery, don’t make him a main character and keep him very grounded. As grounded as they made The Joker in the first film. It would be incredibly fascinating to see how Arthur Fleck, who has now become The Joker would approach the emergence of someone like The Batman.

  The problem is Joaquin Phoenix would never make a movie like that. While doing the interview rounds for JOKER, one of the reporters asked Joaquin Phoenix, how his version of The Joker would react to someone like Batman appearing in Gotham. Phoenix smiled, he seemed to genuinely like the question, and after a moment of thought he said “That’s great question. I don’t know I’ve never thought about it.”. Really?! C’mon! YOU NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT?! Batman is only the most important and fundamentally driving force in the life of the character you’re playing, but you’ve never thought of it, OK that makes sense (in case you can’t tell I’m oozing sarcasm and mild disgust as I write this).Batman and the Joker are one of the great yin and yang characters in all of popular culture. They are defined by one another. But hey, he never really thought about it! (….fucking dipshit...).

How fucking SICK is this poster? It was made by a company called Mondo and unfortunately they don’t carry this poster anymore. But God damn, is it cool.

  So if Phoenix never once gave a fuck about how his character would feel about Batman, I think it’s safe to say he would never agree to appear in a movie featuring Batman alongside his version of The Joker. Now, the second way to go for a JOKER sequel, would be to do some version of the classic Bruce Timm and Paul Dini story Mad Love about the creation of Harley Quinn and the beginning of her love story with The Joker. I’m not talking about the bullshit nonsensical version of their love story we saw in the god awful Suicide Squad film, I’m to I’m talking about the classic graphic novel Mad Love.

Dr. Harleen Quinnzel is a new psychiatrist at Arkham. She’s young, beautiful, and ambitious. She imagines getting rich writing some kind of breakthrough book about the psychology of these colorful super criminals. She manages to arrange sessions to meet with and attempt to treat The Joker, confident that she can handle him. As their sessions go on, The Joker begins to completely manipulate and control her. She falls completely under his spell, breaks him out of Arkham and becomes the now iconic Harley Quinn.  A film like that could really work, but it has the same problems my first proposed scenario does. It has too many ties to the comic book source material, which Joaquin Phoenix has no interest in whatsoever. 

An even bigger mistake would be for the studio to try to replicate the “JOKER Formula” of a gritty, dressed down, no frills take on another Batman villain. Admittedly, I think there are a few members of Batman’s rogues gallery that this could work with, but who the fuck really wants to see that?

Don’t get me wrong, I’d be very interested to see what a sequel to JOKER would look like. However, it’s all a question of if they even have a story to tell. If Joaquin Phoenix didn’t even want the name of Thomas Wayne to even be in the movie, he’s certainly not going to want to include some version of Batman or Harley Quinn in a potential sequel. There is a third way they could go, but I don’t think it really works either. They make a movie that’s a continuation of the first film and focus on The Joker and his continued transformation into one of the greatest super villains in all of fiction.

Here’s why that concept doesn’t quite work either. Based on where we leave The Joker at the end of this film, The only way to go for him is to fall deeper and deeper into the persona of The Joker. He would have to evolve into a more “classic”, for lack of a better word, version of The Joker. As he becomes more insane and embraces his identity as The Joker, we’d see things like his deadly Joker laughing gas, elaborate plots against the city, the personification of terror and evil. Just as I don’t think Joaquin Phoenix would ever do a movie with Batman and Harley Quinn, I also don’t think he would want to play a version of The Joker that’s more like the Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger version. The character’s natural evolution is to get more “comic book-y” and it seems, based on multiple interviews that I’ve seen and articles that I’ve read, the aspects of JOKER that were connected to the comic book were the things he was always least interested in.

One might counter with the point, So, Paul what’s wrong with that? Couldn’t they just continue to tell the story of Arthur Fleck becoming The Joker? Well, if you continue this character’s story when you don’t want comic book elements to be a significant part of the story, the problem becomes, he’s just some lunatic guy. He’s not The Joker. If the character is nothing like The Joker, then what’s the point in doing the movie? The biggest flaw of JOKER was how derivative the story was. It was very reminiscent of other films about men being broken by society, like Falling Down, Taxi Driver, or Fight Club. What made JOKER great was Joaquin Phoenix and his mesmerizing performance as the man who would become The Joker, not necessarily the film itself. If we ever see a JOKER 2, we want to see The goddamn Joker.

If they want to move forward with a sequel, Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips have to really understand what kind of movie they want to make. At the end of the day, you have an extremely successful comic book film that was designed to be a standalone story, with a star who has absolutely no interest in anything from the DC Universe becoming a part of the story he’s acting in. I think the best thing for Warner Bros and the movie going public, would be to get another visionary filmmaker, to tell another small budget story from the DC Universe. Re-create the success of JOKER by giving the audience what they really responded to in their first place, a unique movie going experience, not another financially driven sequel.

As alway, thanks for reading!

-Paul

PODCAST: The State Of The Arrowverse!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

   Mike Cole is one of the most interesting co-hosts I have on the show. So, I was happy to have Mike C return for back to back episodes. Mike co-hosted last week’s episode with me and it came out great. So if you haven’t had a chance to listen our last show, definitely check it out. So this week on The World’s Best Podcast, you get to hear part of my back to back episodes with Mike Cole.

  Mike and I are both big fans of The Arrowverse , DC’s TV Universe, that consists of multiple, interconnected shows that take place in the same DC Universe. It’s referred to as The Arrowverse because it all began with, Arrow, the first TV show in this universe. From Arrow came it’s first spinoff, The Flash. With The Flash surpassing the still very successful Arrow, The CW had lightning in bottle. The network had the gritty, dark, Nolan influenced, action series with Arrow alongside the bright and fun new series The Flash which followed it’s extremely effective formula of heart, humor, and spectacle. It wasn’t long until shows like Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman followed.

  There was a time when Arrow and The Flash were appointment television for me… and I was in the only one. People I knew from work, friends and family members, all people I thought would never normally tune in to this type of show, were just as wrapped up in the world of Oliver Queen and Barry Allen as I was. However, while all of the shows (except for Batwoman) have reached unbelievable heights they’ve also reached some lows. While the first 3 seasons of both Arrow and The Flash were excellent, both series developed issues that they needed to overcome. Legends of Tomorrow, after a somewhat rocky first season has been consistently silly entertainment for its entire run. I do enjoy Supergirl, but it can be very hit or miss and it’s only truly great season, was last year‘s Season 4 featuring Jon Cryer‘s incredible performance as Lex Luthor. Unfortunately, as much is I love the character of Batwoman and I want the show to succeed, I don’t see it getting a second season. So far it’s been pretty poorly written and executed. 

   Anyway, this is a big season for the our offers all leading up to the mega crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths. Every year all The Arrowverse shows do a epic crossover. They’re always fun and I look forward to them every year. Each crossover seems to be better than the last. When the Justice League movie came out in 2017, a few weeks later The Arrowverse did their annual crossover which was called Crisis on Earth X, and it was basically their version of a Justice League movie. It was a better Justice League movie the actual Justice League movie. This group of TV shows on the basic cable had outdone some of the biggest directors, actors, and big budget filmmaking in Hollywood. 

    This year’s crossover has been teased and hinted at since the first episode of The Flash. Crisis On Infinite Earths is on of the biggest stories in the history of DC Comics, so this crossover is one of the most ambitious basic cable TV projects that I can think of. All of our favorite heroes from the regular Arrowverse TV shows, plus appearances by Superman, Batman, Lex Luthor, and many, many more. This is going to be a real fucking blockbuster. With Crisis on the horizon, Mike and I talk about each of the shows in The Arrowverse and how they are performing so far this season. Some of the shows are doing some of their best work, others are at their lowest point, and others still are going strong. You’ll hear all about it in this entertaining podcast!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/19932599 

Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes! 

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000457235141

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=65380695&autoplay=1

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul’s