First of all I feel I have to apologize yet again for being a little late in putting out our latest podcast. It’s been a busy month, but we try to get episodes of The World’s Best Podcast on a more or less weekly schedule at a minimum, if not more. So I really appreciate your patience with our unorthodox podcast release schedule over the last few weeks and I want to reassure you that the release schedule will be getting back to normal. As a small consolation, this week will see the release of not one, but TWO pretty great episodes of the Podcast (today’s episode and our Captain Marvel SPOILER-Filled Deep Dive Review)! I am particularly excited about our upcoming Captain Marvel episode! Not only because I am very psyched to see the movie, but some of the concepts and elements that we will see in this film, have the potential to open up so many different interesting possibilities for the MCU! Much in the same way Guardians of The Galaxy and Doctor Strange did.
Anyway back to today’s episode! Most excitingly, HBO FINALLY dropped a full trailer for the EPIC final season of Game of Thrones premiering on April 14. I’ve posted the trailer below if you want to check it out (As if you haven’t already watched it a dozen times 😉). Needless to say, we were super excited to talk about it and we needed to do a breakdown of the trailer right away. I really dug it, the trailer was exciting and just substantive enough, without giving too much away.
We also discuss the trailers for Dark Phoenix and Hellboy released earlier this week, we touch upon some predictions for Captain Marvel, and sadly we wrap things up on a somber note. With a tribute to the untimely passing this week of beloved actor, Luke Perry. Who was taken from us too soon, passing away at the age of 52. Despite the sad ending, as usual we had a lot of laughs recording this episode and we think you will too! So please enjoy! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:
I wanted to take a minute to talk about the new trailer that dropped for the latest X-Men film, Dark Phoenix. This is very likely the last incarnation of these characters we’ll see on the big screen, with the big Fox/Disney merger finalizing. Which means this is the last X-Men movie with this cast. Since X-Men: First Class (In my opinion, the best X-Men film, not counting Logan) the series was really about telling the story of Charles, Eric, Mystique, and to a lesser extent, Beast. Quick side note , Beast is probably one of my favorite Marvel characters and I’ve always liked Nicholas Hoult in the role. Unfortunately they never quite nailed Beast’s look. Don’t give me wrong, I actually think it has its moments where it looks pretty cool, but I think this is a character that requires either CGI or very elaborate Hellboy-esque make up effects. Anyway at least it’s a hell of a lot better than that God awful Kelsey Grammer Beast make up.
Back to Dark Phoenix, First Class was Magneto’s film, Days of Future Past was all about Charles, Apocalypse was… um… kind of Mystique? Or the new X-Men, like Jean and Cyclops… I guess? I feel like these movies work best when they have a clear,strong character to anchor the plot and story. The Dark Phoenix Saga is arguably one of the best X-Men stories of all time and don’t get me wrong, Jean is a great character to build a movie around and Sophie Turner is a great actress. But from what I hear, this movie is dog shit. For a while I really thought they were just going to release this thing on Netflix, if at all. I mean the trailer isn’t particularly bad, but this movie was supposed to come out over a year ago, that’s not a good sign. People who have supposedly seen the movie have reported that it is a absolute piece of shit.
What kills me even more is that what may turn out to be one of the shittiest X-Men movies is taking its visual cues from my all-time favorite X-Men run, Grant Morrison‘s New X-Men. All of the costumes, from the X-Men uniforms, even how Charles is dressed, is straight out of that whole run. They cast aside the whole spandex superhero look for some thing that took what they tried to do in the first X-Men film, mix it up with The Matrix, throw all that into a blender and you end up with a really cool, unique uniform instead of a “costume”.
I just hope they don’t fuck up Jean’s connection to The Phoenix Force by pulling the same bullshit from X-Men: The Last Stand, where the Phoenix is some sort of dark, alternate personality of Jean’s. Just make it the fucking Phoenix Force already! It’s a god like force from outer space for chrissake, embrace the material! Oh well, take a look at the trailer and judge for yourself. As another YouTuber put it in his breakdown video of this trailer, at this point I’m kind of just hoping for it to be entertaining. If it’s close to Apocalypse, which I know a lot of people hated, that will be good enough for me. Then we can move on to where Marvel’s Merry Mutants really belong… in the MCU!
On the other hand we have this SICK red band trailer for Hellboy which is coming out in April. I’ve been 100% on board with this one for a while now. This trailer just makes me feel even better about it. I will always lament that we never got to see the end of the Ron Perlman and Guillermo Del Toro Hellboy trilogy. However, life moves on and this looks fucking great.
I love David Harbour as Hellboy, I love that they’re using some new characters from the BPRD as part of the rich mythology of Hellboy’s world, and I love how it looks like they’re taking most of this story straight out of the comics. While the last two Hellboy films had been loyal to the Hellboy comics, the sequel in particular, was very much about using those pieces from the graphic novels to tell their own story. This seems to be more of an adaptation of some specific, great, epic Hellboy stories. To top it all off, this whole thing looks bad shit insane! Fucking sign me up! Check it out:
In this follow up to last week’s episode, The Best & Worst Of 2018, this podcast is all about what’s to come in 2019! This episode as well as the end of the year retrospective arealways fun to record. So Paul Sr. and I discuss our most anticipated movies, TV series, and comics in 2019. We talk about Glass, the long awaited sequel to Unbreakable, the final EPIC season of GameofThrones, Avengers: Endgame, the new Hellboy movie, and much, much more!
Below the links for the podcast, I’ve included a list of my personal most anticipated movies and TV shows coming out in 2019 and when they’re scheduled for release.
DON’T MISS this killer episode! Listen here or subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher:
One of the great tragedies of the film world is that we’ll never get to see the completion of Guillermo Del Toro and Ron Perlman’s Hellboy Trilogy. Like RDJ as Iron Man, Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, Ron Perlman simply IS Hellboy. He’s synonymous to the character. As much as we’d love to see the end of his and Del Toro’s epic tale, I’d rather have a new interpretation of Hellboy on the big screen that no Hellboy at all.
If you’re going to follow up an act like Guillermo Del Toro, you better have something good up your sleeve. What I love about everything that I’ve seen from this new Hellboy film, is that it seems like the filmmakers are blazing their own trail. They have a brand new TAKE that’s all their own. This isn’t a watered down version of Del Toro’s Hellboy. These new filmmakers realized that if they’re going to pick up the Hellboy torch, they better swing for the fences (to mix a few metaphors).
First of all, the folks behind this movie are going for a hard-R. Which makes sense considering director Neil Marshall is at the helm. He’s not know to pull punches with gore and brutality. In addition to cult classic feature films such as Dog Soldiers and The Descent, he’s directed two of the absolute best episodes of Game of Thrones: Blackwater and The Watchers on The Wall. With episodes of Constantine, Hannibal, and Westworld under his belt as well, it’s clear that Neil Marshall is the right man to bring a darker, bloodier Hellboy tale to the big screen.
The cast is pretty damn good as well. If you can’t have Ron Perlman, David Harbour (Sheriff Hopper from Strangers Things) is an inspired choice for Hellboy. He perfectly captures the mix of hero, outcast, and everyman that makes the character so endearing. I can’t think of a better choice for the role.
Rounding out the cast are some new faces in familiar roles and some really fucking cool characters from the comics who are making their live action debut in this movie. The great Ian McShane plays Hellboy’s adopted father and the head of the B.P.R.D., Prof. Bruttenholm (Pronounced “Broom”). Daniel Dae Kim is new to the franchise as fan favorite B.P.R.D. member Ben Daimio, a decorated soldier who died in battle and inexplicably came back from the dead immediately before his autopsy. In the Bad Guy department, Milla Jovavitch plays the villain, classic Hellboy Big Bad, Nimue The Blood Queen.
What’s so cool about this trailer if you’re a Hellboy fan, is how much of it is straight out of the comics. A bunch of the monsters you see Hellboy fight and a lot of the imagery from the trailer are straight out of the comic book. Specifically stories like “The Wild Hunt” that delt directly with Arthurian legend (I’m pretty sure The Sword In The Stone itself makes a cameo in this trailer). This movie was already a must watch for me, but after watching this trailer it’s easily rocketed to one of my most anticipated films of 2019.
Note: The following review contains some spoilers in the main article and a major spoiler warning for certain sections of the article.
The Shape of Water is the latest film from visionary director Guillermo Del Toro. He’s brought us such films as Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, both Hellboy films, and Pans Labyrinth just to name a few. To call Del Toro a visionary doesn’t do him justice. His films are creative and visual masterpieces. There is no mistaking who is behind the lens in a Guillermo Del Toro movie and The Shape of Water isn’t any different.
There are a handful of directors that I give a complete pass to. Meaning I don’t need to know what the movie’s about, or who’s in it, I don’t even need to know the title. If they’re making a movie, I’m seeing it. Directors like Quentin Tarantino, Mathew Vaughn, and Edgar Wright come to mind. For years Del Toro was without question on that list, but his last few films haven’t quite met the standard I expect from Guillermo Del Toro. Though I love the concept and the world building, Pacific Rim wasn’t the knock your socks off sci-if epic I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the movie and I’m looking forward to the sequel, but Pacific Rim did disappoint me in multiple key ways. Then we have Crimson Peak, the concept screams Del Toro, a gothic Victorian-era haunted house horror mystery. I just flat out disliked Crimson Peak. What should have been a home run for the director was a big whiff. I absolutely had not given up on Guillermo Del Toro as a filmmaker, but in my opinion, he needed a win.
Because of this, it was great to hear such positive buzz for this movie. I’m pleased to say that The Shape of Water is exactly what I has hoping for a beautiful modern day fairy tale with gorgeous visuals, memorable characters, compelling performances and and a touching love story. In other words, this is a Guillermo Del Toro film in the best sense of the term.
Set in the 60’s during the hight of The Cold War, Sally Hawkins plays Elisa Esposito a shy, mute woman who works alongside her fiend Zelda (Octavia Spencer) as members of cleaning staff at a military facility. Elisa leads a simple, quite life. She does her job and comes home to her roommate Giles, played by the great Richard Jenkins. Elisa may be mute, but she can hear perfectly fine and communicates through sign language to the people around her who understand it. Elisa’s life is turned upside down when an high security “asset” is brought into the facility where she works. The U.S. government have captured “something”. The “something” is of course The Creature at the heart of the film. An aquatic human-like creature that was captured somewhere in the Amazon. He looks like Abe Sapien meets The Creature from The Black Lagoon. Almost all of the government higher ups and scientists (with a few key exceptions) view this creature as an animal, a monster and nothing more. Just something they can experiment on to find a way to one up the Soviet Union. They’re especially interested in The Creature’s ability to breath in two distinct environments and how that could help America in The Space Race. I don’t think The Creature is given a name or nickname in the movie. The characters call The Creature things like “It” or “Him”. But this isn’t a a mindless animal, as Elisa will quickly find out.
After an incident in the room where the Creature is being held, Elisa and Zelda are brought in to clean up. Zelda just wants to do her job and get the hell out of there (A very smart attitude to have in any movie featuring a giant fish man), but Elisa I’d mesmerized by The Creature. When Elisa and the audience fully see The Creature for the first time, we see a powerful, unique, and in some ways very human being. Compared to a similar Del Toro character, Abe Sapien from the Helboy films, this Creatures face and eyes are far more human than you would expect.
Because Elisa is mute and thus viewed as “less than”, it’s much easier for her to get into the lab/torture chamber where The Creature’s being held without being noticed. Elisa begins to make daily lunch visits to The Creature and over time these two beings develop a profound bond that goes beyond anything either of them have experienced. Loneliness and the desire to connect with someone else are at the ideas heart of this film.
As usual in a Guillermo Del Toro film, the creature design is spectacular. Under the astonishing makeup and prosthetics that make The Creature real is Del Toro mainstay Doug Jones .Unsurprisingly he gives an incredible performance in this film. The Creature s both otherworldly and surprisingly human. If there’s been a cool creature created using make-up effects, odds are they were played by Doug Jones. For Del Toro alone he’s played Abe Sapien, The Faun, The Crooked Man, The Angel of Death, and more. He also played The Silver Surfer in the bad, but not unwatchable Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer. But the physicality that he brings to this role is completely unique, which is important considering he played Abe Sapien who had definite physical similarities to The Creature in this movie.
The idea of loneliness and the desire to connect extends very well into the arc of Richard Jenkins’ character Giles. He’s an older homosexual man in the 1960’s and his arc works as a powerful contrast with the growing connection between Elisa and The Creature. He’s an artist working in the ad industry constantly being shown the door because he’s homosexual. There’s an emotionally powerful scene when he attempts to open up to a man who works at a diner Giles frequents. When the man is disgusted by Giles’ gentle advance on him, the mix of heart break and embarrassment that comes across Richard Jenkins’ face is gut wrenching. This does an excellent job of setting up Giles’ reaction to Elisa and The Creature later in the film.
As Elisa and The Creature’s connection grows deeper, she finds out that the government assholes in charge of this project intend to kill and vivisect The Creature. So, Elisa decides to break The Creature out with the help of Giles, Zelda, and a sympathetic scientist working at the base. Now, this is the point in the movie where a lot of interesting major and minor plot and character developments play out. So I’m going to put a big SPOILER WARNING notice here and you can scroll down until you see another big END SPOILERS notice. Here we go…
STILL HERE? OK
OK, so once they break The Creature out, they bring it back to Elisa and Giles’ apartment where, even though he can stay out of water for extended periods of time, the keep him in the bathtub. Along with salt and special chemicals given to Elisa by the aforementioned friendly scientist, The Creature can breath in the tub water. They plan to free him in the ocean, when heavy rains will give them a safe spot to let him go, but they have to wait about a week for the rain. In the meantime, Elisa and The Creatures relationship continues to develop and we learn a little bit more about The Creature itself.
At this point in the story, the bond between Elisa and The Creature is stronger than ever. The Creature is living with Elisa and Giles until they can make their daring escape.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re asking yourself one question: Do. They. Fuck? The answer is a resounding yes, multiple times in fact. That’s right, they go there. Though we don’t get to see what The Creature was working with (much to my chagrin), Elisa does describe to Zelda how it went down, anatomically speaking. When we see The Creature standing full frontal, it appears to be flat down there. But as Elisa tells Zelda, there’s a slit in his crouch area where his penis comes out. I’ll reiterate, we don’t get to see it, but the day after they do the deed for the first time, Elisa can’t keep a smile off her face. So he must have been packing some heat down there. Giles’ acceptance of Elisa’s and The Creature’s show’s that he understands that you need to take love wherever you can find it
Moving on, we do get some hints as to The Creature’s origins. One of the government officials makes reference to the fact that the locals who lived near where The Creature was caught worshipped him as a river god. As we see we see later in the movie The Creature does possesses certain abilities. At one point, Giles has a wound on his arm, The Creature places his hand on the wound and gently puts his head against Giles’. Not only is his arm healed, but the next day Giles seems to appear a few years younger. Later, in the final act of the film, both Elisa and The Creature are mortally wounded by gunshots. The gunshots have no lasting effect on him, but The Creature’s able to completely heal Elisa. It’s also implied that he can give humans the ability to live and breeze underwater is he does. Anytime he uses his abilities, parts of his body glow slightly, which was a cool effect. Basically, The Creature’s a supernatural river god of some kind. Part of the fun is that we don’t get any answers to the questions these incidents bring up.
If I had to give the film any major criticism its that the villain played by the great Michael Shannon is pretty one dimensional. He runs this high security facility (but they actually have pretty shitty security) and he kind of views himself as a cog in the wheel, his focus is to do a good job and move up. He’s also a bit of a religious zealot. At one point he says something like “God created us in his own image. God doesn’t look like that thing, he looks like us. That Creature is an abomination.”. That’s about as deep as he gets. But this is Michael Shannon so he still does a shitload with what he’s given.
What I love most about Guillermo Del Toro as a filmmaker is that his films are modern day fairy tales (even when they don’t take place in the present). Del Toro himself called this “ A fairy tale for troubled time”. The director understands what most people forget; fairy tales may be filled with wonder, magic, and beauty, but they’re also dark, violent stories that end in death as much as they do “happily ever after”. For hundreds of years fairy tales were cautionary stories more than whimsical fantasies. While Del Toro’s films aren’t always cautionary tales (this film definitely isn’t) he never forgets the inherent darkness and brutality of a fairy tale. So few filmmakers can tell a story that can meld the vicious brutality that humans are capable of and still fill the story with magic, love, and beauty. Though some may be tempted to make the comparison, to call The Shape of Water a Beauty and the Beast story is somewhat reductive.
This a return of the Guillermo Del Toro I love. However, this is by no means his best work. The Shape of Water is a wonderfully told story about romance, loneliness, prejudice, beauty, and love. While I enjoyed this film quite a bit, I’d say its only a “MUST SEE” if you’re a Guillermo Del Toro fan or the types of films he makes. But with it’s top notch performances and gorgeous direction this should definitely be on your list of movies to see as Awards season approaches.