The 15th Anniversary Of Constantine: An Underrated Cult Classic

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Normally, this is the time of year when we’d be right in the middle of the San Diego Comic-Con. Some of the year’s biggest announcements about our favorite movies, TV shows, and comic books are made at this event. Unfortunately, due to the continued threat of the COVID-19 outbreak, the mega-convention couldn’t be held this year and I can’t say I blame them. Imagine it, thousands of sweaty, nerdy fans, decked out in their cosplay, in 90+ degree heat with 80% humidity, as they all walk around hacking and coughing a deadly virus on each other. Half of the attendees would be in the hospital by the end of the week. Not a pretty picture. 

     However, we weren’t completely left empty-handed, the folks behind the long running annual fan event, came up with  Comic-Con@Home, multiple panels were live streamed online for folks to enjoy a little bit of Comic-Con from the comfort and safety of their own home. Nothing beats the real Comic-Con experience, but they still put together some very interesting panels. One of the highlights, for me at least, was the Constantine 15th Anniversary Panel. Star Keanu Reeves, producer Akiva Goldman, and director Francis Lawrence discussed the 2005 film with one of writers from Collider. 

Constantine takes a trip to Hell

    I want to take a minute and to give the film some context. John Constantine is easily among my top 10 favorite comic book characters. He was created by legendary comic book writer Alan Moore during his Swamp Thing run for DC and the physical inspiration for Constantine was world famous musician, Sting. The character was enough of a standout to warrant his own series from DC under their mature readers imprint, Vertigo, called Hellblazer. Constantine was sort of a con-man mage based out of London. Writers like Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Brian Azzerello, and Warren Ellis have all done memorable work with the character, in fact Hellblazer was the longest running books in Vertigo’s history. 

Constantine is a little more high profile these days, appearing in both live-action and animated TV shows and films. Most notably, actor Matt Ryan has portrayed John Constantine in pretty much every appearance the character has made over the last 6 years. We first saw Ryan’s interpretation of the role in the short-lived (but cancelled too soon) Constantine TV series (2014-2015). Unlike Keanu Reeves, the British and blonde haired Matt Ryan is much more in line with the traditional depiction of John Constantine. But you can’t keep a good warlock down, and Matt Ryan reprised the role of John Constantine on Arrow and eventually became a series regular on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (these appearances retroactively made the Constantine TV series part of The Arrowverse). Ryan has also voiced the character in multiple animated films, like Justice League Dark and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, as well as an animated miniseries. Much like Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker, Matt Ryan has become the unofficial, definitive version of John Constantine in the eyes of many fans.

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

   Having said all that, I think 2005’s Constantine is an extremely underrated movie that deserves more credit than it gets. On paper this movie should not work. First of all, John Constantine is one of the best comic book characters ever created and holds a lot of reverence with fans. Does Keanu Reeves sound anything the character I described above? A British, street sorcerer that looks like Sting? At the time, casting Keanu Reeves in the title role seemed like a weird and misguided choice for the movie. That’s strike one. Producer, Alkiva Goldman, has had his name attached to some truly dog shit projects over the years, including Joel Schumacher’s infamous Batman & Robin. Strike two. Finally, this beloved character was in the hands of a first time film director, who predominantly directed music videos before this movie. Strike three! But goddammit if they don’t manage to pull it off. Not only did the movie work, it was pretty damn great.

Lucifer pays John a visit. The only Soul he’d come to personally collect himself.

   Despite the changes to the source material, especially the casting of Keanu Reeves and the film taking place in LA instead of London, the movie did a phenomenal job at capturing the essence of John Constantine and his world. Keanu was so good in the role that the superficial changes didn’t matter as much as you’d think. The spirit of the character was there. Reeves did a better job of inhabiting John Constantine than a lot of other actors in comic book films that seem perfectly cast from the jump. There are so many great, little moments throughout the film that show how Keanu Reeves and the filmmakers really get exactly who this guy is and what makes him tick. 

   The look of the film, the supporting cast, Peter Stormare as Lucifer, are just a few examples of what makes this movie an underrated gem. I definitely recommend checking out the full panel, which you can watch right here:

It sounds like Keanu is up for a sequel, which would be pretty cool. So what do you guys think? Is Constantine an underrated classic? Or am I nuts and it’s a piece of shit? Let me know in the comments below.

Constantine, Papa Midnite (Djimon Hounsou), and Chas (Shia LaBeouf)

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! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

NEW TRAILERS: Project Power! Lucifer Season 5!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here,

A few new trailers for upcoming Netflix projects dropped this week (one returning series and one film). They both look pretty cool. I had some brief thoughts that I wanted to share about them and you can take a look at some images and the trailers for yourself below…

Project Power

Until movie theaters open again, God knows when, because of the massive shit show that is the Coronavirus outbreak, we’re going to have to settle for getting of Summer Movie fix through streaming services. This is the time of the year when the biggest, most expensive, and insane Hollywood Blockbusters are supposed to come out! At least Netflix and a few of the other streaming services have put out a few solid summer action movies. I particularly enjoyed The Old Guard starring Charlize Theron (here’s my review to refresh you’re memory: https://best-media-world.com/2020/07/14/movie-review-the-old-guard/ ). Now we have Project Power starring Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon Levitt. The idea of a dangerous street drug that temporarily grants super powers is nothing new in superhero storytelling. So this movie isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. But there were enough interesting and cool visuals to make want to check it out when it hits Netflix on 8/14/20. Check out the trailer:

EW.com had some cool images from the movie, which I have posted here…

Lucifer Season 5:

When Lucifer premiered on Fox a few years back, I absolutely hated the concept. You see, THIS version of Lucifer first appeared as a recurring in the classic comic book series, The Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman. The character was popular and interesting enough to get his own critically acclaimed, spin-off comic book series, Lucifer created by Mike Carey. Both books were very dark and adult, so they were published by DC Comics under the legendary Vertigo imprint. Vertigo was kind of like HBO for comic books, meaning the creators were able to do whatever they damn well pleased without censorship (for the most part anyway…). Classic comic books like Preacher, 100 Bullets, Fables, and Ex Machina were all published under Vertigo. To be clear, the Lucifer TV series is an adaptation of that version of the character, when I saw that FOX’s take was essentially a police procedural like Bones, Monk, Castle, or Elementary and the THOUSANDS of other shows just like them, I was disgusted. These shows all have the same formula: a straight laced detective is forced to partnered with a quirky and unique individual, whose unorthodox gimmick is shockingly effective at solving crimes (Oh, and of course they’ll eventually fall in love after years of “Will They/Wont They?”, romantic and sexual tension)! That might as well be describing 30 other stupid fucking shows on TV. After seeing the pilot, there was nothing to convince me that this was anything but Lucifer, in name only. Just another dumb procedural. Why the fuck would The Devil want to solve mysteries with the LAPD? However, it managed to gathered a cult following and I kept hearing that the show was pretty good and a lot of fun. When the show moved to Netflix for its fourth season, I decided to give it shot and binge watched entire series so far. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the hell out of it (and NO, that wasn’t a pun! I don’t do puns, goddammit!). As the show continues, the police element is still there, but the series has gotten more and more into the mythology of other Angels, Demons, Lucifer discovering more about himself, Hell, God, and more. The show is at its best when it focuses on those story elements. Their ace in the hole is Tom Ellis who plays Lucifer. The guy is so damned charismatic and fun to watch. We haven’t seen a version of The Devil quite like this one yet and Tom Ellis absolutely crushes it. Even a weak episode is still entertaining because of Tom Ellis’ performance. The series was originally planned to wrap up after it’s upcoming 5th season, but the show has proved to be so popular that Netflix ordered more episodes, extending Season 5 (which will now be split in 2-parts). Not only are fans getting more episodes for this new season, but Netflix has already ordered a 6th season. It’s a good time to be a fan of this series. Check out the trailer below:

Lucifer Season 5 premiere on Netflix on 8/21/2020

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! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

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

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy and thanks for listening!

-Paul

NYCC 2018! Trailers Galore!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

This weekend was the New York Comic-Con. Probably the second largest Comic-Con in the world after the San Diego Comic-Con. Much like SDCC, this Con premiered some very cool trailers. Though there were a few interesting movie trailers, most of the big trailers for NYCC were for shows on TV or streaming services. Below I’ve rounded up all of my favorites so you don’t have to go looking yourself! It’s your best stop for all the coolest trailers! Enjoy!

Good Omens (Amazon Prime)

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This one caught me by surprise and is probably my favorite trailer of the Con. Good Omens was a fantasy/comedy novel written by Neil Gaiman (American Gods, The Sandman) and Terry Pratchett and published in 1990. For years people have tried turning the novel into a movie, most notably director Terry Gilliam. Television being what it is now, where it’s able to bring big screen production values, casting, and talent to long form story telling, Amazon Prime seems perfect for Good Omens. With a cast that includes Michael Sheen, David Tennant, and Jon Hamm, Good Omens has just become one of my most anticipated television projects in 2019.

 

American Gods Season 2 (Starz)

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Speaking of Neil Gaiman, we also got our first look at Season 2 of American Gods. Season 1 was pretty damn great, but by no means perfect. I’m a little concerned about some behind the scenes issues the show has had. They changed Showrunners between seasons, for example.  However, a lot of shows go through growing pains and this trailer looks like they’ve kicked things up a notch for Season 2. I definitely recommend checking out Season 1 if you haven’t already.

 

 

Daredevil Season 3 (Netflix)

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Now we’re talking! We have two trailers here. There have already been a few trailers for Daredevil Season 3, but this is the first real story trailer we’ve seen for this season. It looks to be largely borrowing from the graphic novels “Born Again” and “Guardian Devil”. However, the Showrunner has said that the season is its own unique tale while still borrowing elements from those classic stories.

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This is a quick character trailer focusing on Bullseye! I’ve been waiting since Season 1 for them to introduce this villain. Bullseye is probably Matt Murdock’s greatest rival besides Wilson Fisk. I can’t wait to see The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen face off against the Assassin Who Never Misses. October 19th can’t come soon enough.

 

 

The Boys (Amazon Prime)

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The Boys is based on a comic book by writer Garth Ennis (the creator of Preacher) and artist Darick Robertson. It’s an extremely fucked up, but fantastic story about a group of CIA black ops psychos who “deal” with out of control superheroes. And when is say “deal” I mean brutally fucking kill. The cast is certainly good and it looks like Amazon Prime is really upping their game.

 

Aquaman

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Finally, we have an extended look at Aquaman. I think this looks fantastic and I hope they knock it out of the park. I LOVE Black Manta’s costume and Aquaman’s more classic look that we see in the comics. James Wan is a spectacular and versatile director. This definitely has the potential to be something truly unique in the genre. Aquaman opens on 12/21.

 

Thanks for reading and watching!

-Paul

PODCAST: Paul’s Pulls (Ep.2)

Hey Everybody!

It’s Paul here and today I have the latest episode of my new Podcast that’s all about comic books, “Paul’s Pulls”! This episode is the “State Of The Batman Union”! What good and what’s not so good about the Batman comics coming out of DC right now. This is a 2 part episode, so expect part 2 up soon. I really appreciate everyone being so supportive and giving the show a try! So here’s Episode 1, listen here or subscribe on iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14024072

 

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