MOVIE REVIEW: Shang-Chi & The Legend of The Ten Rings!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…


On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we give our straight out of the theater reaction, to latest MCU film, Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings! While not a FULL SPOILER review, a few MAJOR SPOILERS get dropped in our discussion, so listener beware! Instead of the studio, we recorded this in our car, immediately after seeing the film, which is why there’s a little background noise. However, I did want to include some Easter Eggs, interesting background info, and connections to the rest of The MCU, that just might enrich your experience when seeing Shang-Chi.


One of the cool things about Shang Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, is that certain elements of the character’s history have been present in The MCU, all the way back to the first Iron Man film in 2008. None of this really counts as a spoiler, because it’s nothing that hasn’t been shown in the trailer. is nothing that you haven’t seen in the trailers. The Ten Rings is like a more mysterious, ninja HYDRA. I’m going to elaborate on how the organization was pulling the strings and making moves during some key moments in The MCU. The Ten Rings make their debut in the first MCU movie, Iron Man, in 2008. The Ten Rings were the terrorist organization that kidnapped Tony Stark at the beginning of the movie. They want him to make a weapons of mass destruction but instead Tony plans an escape by building his Mach 1 armor. With that Iron Man, and the MCU, was born. 


In Iron Man 2, it’s revealed that, in a deleted scene, agents of The Ten Rings, helped Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash get past security and onto the race track, where ha attacked Tony in his race car during the Monaco Grand Prix. 


Even in Ant-Man, towards the end of the film the current head of Pym Tech, Cross has finally been able to replicate his hands on Hank Pym’s shrinking technology. Cross, who’s a real sack if shit, intends to sell it to the highest bidders. Many shady buyers showed for the unveiling of the Yellowjacket, Cross’s version of the Ant-Man suit. Including Hydra, A.I.M., several agents of The Ten Rings. If you have Disney+ I’d also recommend checking out the short film All Hail The King, starring Ben Kingsley‘s character from Iron Man 3, Trevor Slattery. Not only is it a really fun little short, it also has a really cool connection to Shang Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings.

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/46360628     Or subscribe/listen on  Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000534218002

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

 Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds 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

Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Commentary!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

“The Multiverse is a concept about which we know frighteningly little” – Dr. Stephen Strange (This guy literally goes toe to toe with cosmic gods on the regular, so hearing fear in is voice when saying this line, tells us how completely fucked they are)

    I’ll be honest, some may be surprised to hear, that I’ve had some big reservations about Spider-Man: No Way Home. After all, I’m an MCU super-fan and Tom Holland is without a doubt my favorite live action Spider-Man. When I’ve expressed my trepidation about this new movie I’ve been met with some pretty strong responses. Like this recent exchange for example,  “What’s this guy’s fuckin’ problem?! Does this prick think he’s BETTER than Spider-Man?! You and little fucking website and your shitty podcast can GO FUCK YOURSELF!”.  To which I replied, “Jeez Mom, that a bit much, don’t you think?” 

    However, in my defense, I think I had a few good reasons to be concerned. Far From Home had such a spectacular cliffhanger ending. Not only was I beyond thrilled too see J.K. Simmons return as J. Jonah Jameson, in The MCU no less, but Mysterio framing Peter for his murder, streaming the doctored footage, and revealing that Spider-Man is Peter Parker, for all the worlds to see. That is one hell of a way to end a movie!

I loved that J. Jonah Jameson was the one to get the scoop. Their decision to make Ole’ J.J., a controversial, fringe, Alex Jones-esque, online news outlet that broke the story was only the icing on the cake. I was really curious to see how this story would play out. But then as proctions was ramping up, rumors and information about No Way Home begin to trickle in. Jaimie Foxx was returning as Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, then the great Alfred Molina would be appearing as Doc Ock from Spider-Man 2. They were playing the same versions of their characters that we had already seen in other Spider-Man franchises that didn’t take place in The MCU.

“Hello Peter”

The last piece of the puzzle fell into place for me when Benedict Cumberbatch signed on for a size-able role in movie as Doctor Strange. After No Way Home, the next MCU film is Doctor Strange and The Multiverse of Madness (You don’t have to be a genius to figure out the type of thing Doctor Strange will be dealing with that movie). As the months went on and more rumors about casting continue to swirl, it was sounding more and more to me like this was essentially going to be a live action version of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Don’t get me wrong, I love Into The Spider-Verse. It’s easily one of the best superhero movies ever made Live-Action, Animated, or otherwise. That’s just not what I wanted to see from a third MCU Spider-Man movie. I was very excited to see what, I imagined was, a more grounded Spider-Man film that dealt with the fallout of the last movie. At this point I should simply learn to trust Marvel and Kevin Feige because  this trailer laid my fears to rest. Not only is Peter’s identity becoming public a huge part of this upcoming film, it is the event that movies the entire story forward. It’s the catalyst for the whole movie.

 I was pleasantly surprised how excited I was after watching this teaser. Now that it’s finally available for our viewing pleasure, I was really blown away by it and I thought the best way to cover it, would be a Trailer Commentary. Below, you will see the 1st trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, If you’d like, you can sync up with me and follow along, as I give my commentary and my insights on this new teaser for The MCU’s third Spider-Man movie. I have a lot of fun stuff to cover so I hope you join the ride! When rumors and bits of information about this movie were hitting the Internet, it was clear that this was going to be a film that dealt with the multiverse and some other big, sci-fi concepts. Which is all well and good, but I was afraid that they were taking this route, at the expense of the story set up at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. I gotta admit my fears were laid to rest after watching this teaser. I mean…Wow.! What a trailer! This baby was certainly worth the wait! Watch it here:

There were so many things I loved in this. The return of J. Jonah Jameson! The pumpkin bomb! Goddamn it’s good to see Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock again. I can wait to see this Peter Parker fight those tentacles. They naturally lend themselves to interesting action sequences. I could be wrong, but it seeemed like Peter sees Doc Ock in the same place we see the pumpkin bomb and hear the unmistakable laugh of Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin. I was very critical of Dafoe’s Norman Osborn in the original film, so I’m surprised by how happy i was by the trailer’s suggestion of his return. 

The set up of the film is reminiscent of the much maligned “One More Day” story arc in which Aunt May is shot after Peter’s identity becomes public. He then makes a deal with the demon Mephisto to put Spider-Man’s secret identity back in the bottle in exchange for his marriage to MJ. It’s pretty fucking stupid, but I love what they’re attempting to do here. Of course, it’s always a pleasure to see Jon Faverau, the man who started it all, return as Happy Hogan.  Also, l’m calling it right now. This is going to be the biggest superhero blockbuster of all time. This is going to break box office records left and right. So pull up the trailer, sync it up with mine, and let’s dive into this Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Commentary!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/46225075  Or subscribe/listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000533035515

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqp[lTQpZhh2UDsA

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Wong’s like. “This is going to go sideways very fucking quickly. I am OUT.”

Thanks for listening! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds 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

FINAL TRAILER: Marvel’s ETERNALS!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…


It looks like 2021 is going to be a banner year for Marvel. Phase 4 of The MCU is off to a killer start with the Disney+ shows. WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Loki, have all been fantastic. Black Widow may have been a little lackluster, but the early reactions to Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings have phenomenal. One film commentator that I follow, called Shang-Chi his “favorite superhero movie since Logan” and that the film had “the best martial arts action I’ve seen since The Raid”. On his podcast, film insider and writer Robert Meyer-Burnett, who worked on The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, said that Shang-Chi was one of “:the best fantasy films of the last 25 years”. I was already extremely excited for this film. Like Guardians of The Galaxy and Doctor Strange, Shang Chi will open up a completely new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the possibilities are extremely exciting. My only concern is that the movie lives up to the hype that I’ve built up in my head. I know I might be pushing my luck by saying this, but I have a feeling that Shang-Chi is going to be something really special. Between this film and Eternals, it seems like we’re in for some great MCU storytelling (Supposedly, Spider-Man: No Way Home is still coming in December, but we’ve literally seen nothing from this movie, so I’m beginning to wonder if this movie even exists at all).

Right around the corner from Shang-Chi, Eternals premieres on November 5th. The final (probably) trailer has dropped and this flick looks fucking excellent. Here’s the official synopsis from Marvel…

Marvel Studios’ The Eternals features an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, The Deviants.

This is one goddamn beautiful trailer, but I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise with Academy Award winning director Chloe Zhao at the helm. Kevin Fiege, the genius head honcho at Marvel Studios, has seen more success in his career over the last 15 years, than almost anyone in Hollywood. So he isn’t a man given to hyperbole. He’s more humble than most big wigs in the movie business, and he has a killer track record to back it up. Which is why many were surprised a few moths ago, when Fiege made the bold declaration that Eternals will win The Oscar for Best Picture at next year’s Academy Awards. Fiege very rarely makes comments like this, which shows you the level of confidence he has in this project. After seeing this new trailer, I can see why. It’s absolutely stunning. There’s so much great stuff here: our first look at The Deviants. The stunning, cosmic gods, The Celestial. Seeing how The Eternals manifest their powers. I loved it! Take a look for yourself right here:

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds 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 TRAILER: Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings!

Trailer of The Week – Venom: Let There Be Carnage!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Check out the 1st trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, directed by Andy Serkis. The movie sees Tom Hardy is return as Eddie Brock/Venom, with Woody Harrelson making his official debut as Cletus Cassidy, a psychotic serial killer who bonds with an alien symbiote of his own and becomes the monstrous Carnage. The character was first introduced in a post-credits scene in the first Venom film. Watch the new trailer right here:

Venom: Let There Be Carnage opens in theaters 9/24/2021

Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds 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

MUST WATCH: WandaVision

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

As crazy as it must sound, it’s been just over a year and half since Spider-Man: Far From Home hit theaters. The film served as an epilogue of sorts to The Infinity Saga and our last piece of new content from The Marvel Cinematic Universe. When WandaVision premiered on January 15th, it ended what almost became the longest gap in new content since the studio’s inception. Second only to the 1 year 11 month gap between The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2. Fortunately, it looks like we have an insane amount of new MCU content coming our way this year, with WandaVision  as the first out of the gate..

  If going to talk about WandaVision, if you’ve seen the trailers, which I’m sure most of you have, you know the deal. But just in case, I’m posting a trailer right here to refresh your memory. Take one last look if you need a brief reminder:

I’m not gonna waste time going over the set up. Instead, I’m going to dive right in to what worked, and what didn’t, in The MCU’s first and highly anticipated new Disney+ shows. So, what did I think of the first 3 episodes of WandaVision? Does it live up to the hype? Was this the right project It kick off Phase 4 for Marvel Studios? Honestly, I don’t know yet.

The Big Problem: Weekly Episode Release Vs. Binge Format

My biggest take away from WandaVision was that streaming services desperately need to go back to the format that made them so intriguing and unique in the first place: Release all episodes of their original programming on the premiere date! It was so exciting things when a new season of Daredevil or Stranger Things, would premiere on Netflix and I could watch the entire story at my leisure! It was like getting to watch a trilogy of your favorite movie series over one weekend!

I understand that when Disney+ launched, the service needed to build up its library of original content and it’s subscriber base. The concern being, that people would just sign up, watch the first season of The Mandalorian over the weekend, and then cancel the subscription. Disney+ is successful enough now that it can move beyond that way of thinking and remember what drew people to streaming services in the first place.

    For a series like WandaVision, the weekly format actually hurts the show. In fact, it’s WandaVision’s biggest weakness. Each episode of the show is formatted to replicate and pay homage to a classic sitcom era. Episode 1 feels very much like The Dick Van Dyke Show, while Episode 2 feels more like Bewitched, with Episode 3 turning into something like The Brady Bunch or Happy Days. While this is certainly extremely unique and innovative for a superhero story, it’s too earnest for its own good. Let’s be real, we don’t really give a shit about the sitcom format, we’re all here to watch this series because we know this is The MCU and something extremely strange afoot. We care about the mystery of WHY Wanda and Vision are stuck in this weird TV sitcom reality. The series takes the sitcom gimmick that they’re replicating each week, way too seriously. It seems like the creators didn’t just use the aesthetic and style of a 1960s sitcom, they also seem to be following the rules of storytelling that you’d see in a sitcom in the 60’s, which isn’t all that interesting. Like I mentioned before, innovations like this need to continue for superhero films to survive and thrive. But WandaVision would’ve been much better served leaning into the creepy and unsettling aspects of the whole TV sitcom format, more like something out of The Twilight Zone. As it stands we get a pretty earnest and straightforward series that’s basically a sitcom staring Wanda and Vision, with hints of something darker and mysterious in the background. How did the characters find themselves in this strange TV world? Who or what is doing this? Is it Wanda herself? The answers to those mysteries are what we’re here to see. 

Know Your Audience & Why They’re Watching

They don’t have to show their hand right away, but we want more than just a silly sitcom with hints of something more interesting down the line. It couldn’t help but make me think of the film, Natural Born Killers, where Juliette Lewis’ abusive upbringing is shown in flashback form as a 60’s style TV sitcom, complete with a laugh track, while keeping the dark and twisted nature of her family life in tact. Seeing a horrible childhood juxtaposed with the wholesome sitcoms of yesteryear is what made that sequence so disquieting. Even Supernatural once did a crossover episode with Scooby-Doo, without ever compromising the tone or identity of either series.

    WandaVision would’ve been much better served to up the creepy factor by 100%. The sitcom format would work so much better if we were more frequently reminded of the unsettling truth that something sinister is causing this. As it stands it’s basically just a sitcom that occasionally reminds us that there’s something unusual and dangerous at the heart of these events. There are more creepy and disturbing moments, as well as more overt clues about what’s actually be going on, in Episodes 2 & 3. Which is why I think the 2nd and 3rd installment are so much stronger than the 1st. Now it feels like we’re going to have to sit through weeks of a sitcom that we’re not really interested in watching, to get to the part of the story that really matters, which will probably be around the last three episodes. I’m old enough to have watched many of these old shows when they aired in the “Nick-At-Night” days. A large part of the audience won’t even know what show’s WandaVision is drawing inspiration from.

    If the whole season dropped at once, the first 3 episodes would seem so much more charming and intriguing because we wouldn’t have to wait weeks to find out where this is going. We could dive right in and finish it out over a weekend. After all, it’s only six hours of content. Having said all that, I definitely like the show. Despite some of the creative choices that I disagree with, WandaVision is as fun as something like this could possibly be. Mainly because Wanda and Vision are such great characters and Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are excellent actors who really give it their all. They’re a fun duo to watch and they have great chemistry as a couple. 

The bottom line is I encourage any superhero or MCU fan to check out WandaVision, just know what you’re getting into first. This is not an action adventure series. It’s very deliberate and with it’s own methodical and sometimes slow pacing. Which can be frustrating at times, but the potential of the underlying mystery as well as the performances by the excellent cast, will keep me coming back for more each week.

Like any good Marvel fan, or fanatic in my case, I kept my eyes peeled for Easter Eggs and believe me there are a ton of them! Wanda and Vision both have such storied history‘s as characters that there is a lot of storytelling there for the show to pull from. There are a lot of cool callbacks, Easter Eggs, and clues to previous MCU projects, comic book characters and storylines, as well as upcoming shows and films, in The MCU.

Easter Eggs, Clues, & References

 First of all, Wanda seems to have undergone a massive power upgrade. She can seemingly create and manipulate matter at will. Conjuring up objects from thin and altering existing ones. There’s a neat end credits sequence at the end of each episode with a musical score that’s creepy as hell and works as a unsettling contrast to the bright and bubbly nature of everything that comes before. It reminded me quite a bit of how Wanda’s powers would manifest in miniseries House of M with these sort of blocks. When she creates or destroys, something it comes apart or is put back together again small squares much like what we see in the end credits.

All 3 episodes drop huge clues that the people monitoring Wanda and Vision are S.W.O.R.D., we see their symbol in the van monitoring thing at the end of Episode 1 and it appears again in on a red and yellow toy helicopter that Wanda finds in Episode 2.

From Episode 1, the SWORD insignia appears on the notebook in front of the monitor, as well as on the computer screen on the left, in the bottom right corner of the screen

The inclusion of SWORD is extremely interesting because they’re basically SHIELD for space. They monitor extraterrestrials threats to Earth and other dangers to the planet from outer space. This would imply that something extraterrestrial is at play in WandaVision, which opens up all sorts of fun possibilities. In one of the Spider-Man: Far From Home post-credits scenes Nick Fury is seen on an alien ship or space station, which led many to theorize that he was setting up S.W.O.R.D.

Wanda makes a new friend in Episode 2, a young African-American woman who introduces herself as Geraldine. They meet while attending a planning event on a sunny afternoon, under gazebo filled with other women from the community.

Geraldine (Real Name: Monica Rambeau AKA Spectrum)

They’re all there to discuss the upcoming talent show fundraiser that the town is putting on. Right off the bat, there’s some really weird shit going down at this gathering of happy homemakers. Within her first few seconds of interacting with Wanda, Geraldine looks almost frightened and appears confused as to why she’s even at this meeting in the first place. As if she just woke up from an upsetting and disorienting dream. In Episode 3, we see that she’s wearing a necklace bearing the insignia of SWORD . She may introduce herself as Geraldine, but we know better. She is in fact Monica Rambeau a.k.a. Spectrum. We’ve actually encountered Monica in The MCU already, we met her as a child, in Captain Marvel. Monica is the daughter of Carol Danvers’ best friend. Monica is clearly following in the footsteps of the woman she look up to since she was a little girl. The next time we see her in The MCU outside of WandaVision will be as a full fledged superhero in Captain Marvel 2 which will likely involve SWORD in someway.

  Someone, presumably SWORD,  are tattempting to contact Wanda through the radio. You very clearly hear them asking her “Who is doing this to you, Wanda?”The voice on the radio is Agent Woo who we first met in Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Wanda and Vision perform a magic act in the town’s talent show school fundraiser. One of the props they use in their act, “The Cabinet of Mysteries”, has a symbol on it that looks a lot like The Mind Stone. An artifact key to the origins of both Wanda and Vision.

The commercial in Episodes 2 is for a watch made by Baron Strucker, who gave Wanda and her brother their powers. The watch also has the HYDRA symbol and says HYDRA on its face. Episode 3 has a commercial for a bath product made by HYDRA

In Episode 2, Wanda goes from normal to what looks to be about six months pregnant in a matter of moments. In episode three she gives birth to twin boys named Billy and Tommy. Shortly after their birth Wanda tells Geraldine (AKA Monica) that she was a twin and she had a brother named Pietro. This causes Geraldine to snap out of it for a moment and mention how Pietro was killed by Ultron.

At which point Wanda makes note of Geraldine’s SWORD necklace and hurls her out of town, back into the real world. She’s intercepted by what looks to be a massive government operation that seems to be monitoring the strange dome that has encased this town. Which reminded me a lot of the facility SHIELD constructs around Thor’s hammer, Mijonir, when it falls to Earth in the first Thor film. 

It was also really cool just to hear Ultron referenced in Episode 3. He was an underrated villain who I’ve always wanted to see return. I had a theory that Ultron could somehow be involved in the events of WandaVision. I’ll just hold out hope that he’ll possibly make an appearance by the end of the season, who knows?

    In the comics, Wanda and Vision have twin children (Billy and Tommy), who are later revealed to be constructs created by Wanda’s powers. The knowledge that her children were never “real” eventually leads to her mental break with reality that results in the deaths of Hawkeye, Scott Lang, and Vision. The fallout causes The Avengers to briefly disband. Which would seem to suggest that these children will likely be a very important part of the series going forward.

Left: Billy AKA Wiccan; Right: Tommy AKA Speed

  In the comics, It’s later revealed that the children were in fact real and survived. Eventually becoming the Young Avengers known as Speed (Tommy) and Wiccan (Billy), whose powers mirror those of Wanda and her brother Pietro AKA Quicksilver. Other members of Young Avengers include Scott Lang’s daughter, Cassie, who will develop size changing powers in Ant-Man 3. As well as, Hawkeye’s protege Kate Bishop, who will be making her debut in the upcoming Hawkeye Disney+ series with Hailee Steinfeld in the role.

Expect us to continue covering WandaVision as the series continues!

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. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. 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

X-Men: The Complete Animated Series Now On Disney+!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

X-Men: The Animated Series Now Streaming on Disney+! Watch the trailer below!

A picture of X-Men Cyclops, Beast, and Wolverine looking at something while Jubilee points at it. The X-Men logo and Disney+ logos covering the bottom half of the image.

As a child of the 90s, there were really only three superhero cartoons that defined the era for most kids. The best, was of course, the absolute classic Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man, and X-Men: The Animated Series. Batman: The Animated Series aired on Kid’s WB, while Spider-Man, and X-Men: The Animated Series were both on Fox Kids or Fox (Though there may have been some overlap at some point). I was a Batman and Spider-Man kid all the way, I loved both of the shows. Those shows were the reason I started reading comic books. When I went to my local comic book store, while I was in middle school, I asked the owner to set me up with the Spider-Man and Batman comic books.

Spider-Man crouching on a building ledge looking down, from the Spider-Man animated series.

While Spider-Man has its charms, it doesn’t hold a candle to Batman: The Animated Series, which still holds up as one of the best television shows of all time. It may surprise you to hear that, despite my love for superhero comics and my love of the X-Men in general, for some reason I never got into X-Men: The Animated Series. It was a big deal for all the kids I went to school with, but something about just turned me off and I never got into it. As time went on and I started to get into actual comic books and I became a huge X-Men comic book fan I would check out random episodes here and there, but I hadn’t seen very much of the show. At that point X-Men: Evolution had begun to coincide with the X-Men live action films that were being released. However, to many people who grew up in that era, X-Men: The Animated Series is the definitive take on the characters. I knew a lot of people who based their expectations of the X-Men films on what was done on the animated series. Like I said, I haven’t seen more than a few episodes, but from what I understand they took on classic stories like The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, and Age of Apocalypse. 

A collage of the X-Men team, showing Jean Grey (alongside both her light and dark Phoenix personas), Cable, Storm, Cyclops, Beast, Rogue, Mystique, Gambit, Wolverine and Jubilee.

  The one problem I will really always have with an X-Men cartoon that’s aimed at kids, is that I think the subject matter just doesn’t translate well to a heavily censored audience. One of the biggest issues I‘ll always have is the fact that everyone’s favorite character from that series is Wolverine. I’ve viewed Wolverine as a perfect example of main stream popular culture’s fundamental misunderstanding of comic book superheroes. Let me see right away, this is something that has hugely improved over the last few years. I think that as a culture, we have become more understanding that superhero stories run the gamut from something that’s appropriate for young children to stories that are only appropriate for adults. The example I love give is, when Batman Returns came out, McDonald’s had toys for that film in their happy meals as part of a promotional deal. Yet that is one of the most fucked up, dark, superhero movies that exists. The Penguin bites a guy’s nose off at one point. Which brings me back to X-Men: The Animated Series and the man called Logan. When Wolverine, one of the main protagonists of an animated show aimed at children, whose defining ability are the razor sharp adamantium claws that shoot out from his hands, there’s a disconnect between content and audience. I mean, there’s only so many times someone can throw a chair at him and he cuts it in half with his claws, with the pieces knocking the assailant out. Or Wolverine cuts a door or weapon. Come on, those things were created for one thing and one thing only and that is to take chunks out of people and stab them until they’re dead. But obviously you can’t do that on a kids show. I always felt like there was extra silliness to the character because it was so obvious that he was being toned down just by the very nature of his powers. His powers revolve around his excellence at murdering people, it’s just right there. Anyway that’s my nitpick.

Wolverine out of his X-Men uniform, with his claws extended, and some kind of energy circling the tips of them.

The point is that, up untill now, X-Men: The Complete Animated Series was never available easily on any streaming service or even some of the major digital purchasers. And there’s never been a DVD or Blu-ray release for The Complete Animated Series or even season by season. Well, that has all changed with Disney+, for the first time X-Men: The Animated Series is available in it’s entirety on Disney+. I think they know that they have an asset with this series, not only will all the original fans go out of their way to watch and enjoy the show, but many of those original fans will share the series with their own children. So Disney+ has putout a special trailer to commemorate the X-Men: The Complete Animated Series becoming fully available on their streaming service. It’s actually pretty cool. Check it out here:

Unfortunately they missed the opportunity to include the iconic X-Men opening theme song. If they put out this trailer, with the X-Men theme song playing at some point in the background, people would be running to their tablets and computers to sign up for Disney+. Even though it isn’t in this pretty cool trailer, the theme song is so goddamn catchy I wanted to make sure I included here for your viewing and listening pleasure…

It’s always worth noting that Disney+ may be promoting the show to gauge audience interest in producing a new season. That’s just conjecture, but it’s worth asking the question. Disney+ actually has a fantastic back catalogue of TV shows, especially when it comes to great cartoons from the 90s and early 2000s. You can find Spiderman: The Complete Animated Series, the aforementioned X-Men: Evolution, and a lot more to discover and explore. My personal favorite is the classic 90s Disney Afternoon series, Gargoyles, which is available in its entirety streaming on Disney+. This show is ridiculously fucking good. It is amazing the shit they got away with for a late 90s cartoon on Disney Afternoon. It is extremely dark, there are on screen murders, they even swear a few times, which is crazy for any animated series that is directed at children. The show is so fucking cool, deep, with characters that are compelling and fascinating, along with a rich and complex mythology that sucks you in. I will definitely write a much longer article about why you need to go out of your way to watch Gargoyles, because it’s fucking awesome. In fact, rumor has it for a while now that Jordan Peele actually wants to make a live action Gargoyles movie, which would be fucking amazing. I really hope that one comes through. Anyway I thought you guys might be interested in these trailers and the info about what is available over on Disney+. Enjoy your binge watching and bring your kids if you have them, I guess. Or screw your kids, go enjoy yourself, pawn your kid off on your spouse or just let them walk around in the yard or some thing. Lock yourself in a room for a few hours and kick back to a time when you were the kid instead of worrying about your goddamn kid. That’s pretty good advice right? All you need is a leash attached to one of those runners that goes across the yard, so kid can just run back and forth and tire itself out. Set out a bowl of water, watch your cartoons, and you’re good to go.

Three panel images, the first of Gambit sitting, the middle of Wolverine punching Cyclops in the stomach, and the third of Jean Grey looking worried or sad.

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. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. 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

FIRST LOOK: Tom Holland as Nathan Drake In The Upcoming UNCHARTED Movie!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Tom Holland as Nathan Drake

This week we got our first look at Tom Holland is Nathan Drake in the upcoming Uncharted film, (which you can see in the above photo) an adaptation of the ultra popular video game series of the same name. Nathan Drake is basically a modern day Indiana Jones and I mean that comparison in the best possible way. Despite the similarities of the two characters, Nathan Drake isn’t just a rip off of Henry Jones Jr. Drake has stood out as an iconic and compelling, fan favorite, video game hero for years.Uncharted always seemed like a no brainer for adaptation to the big screen. After all, the games are so incredibly cinematic themselves.

Tom Holland (Right) talking to Nolan North (Left), the voice of Nathan Drake in the video game series

There have been a few attempts to bring an Uncharted films to cinemas, most notably David O. Russell (The Fighter) was attached to direct with Mark Wahlberg starring Nathan Drake. It seemed like Russell didn’t really understand what made the Uncharted series so fantastic in the first place. His take on the story was so vastly different from the source material that, except for the title and the names of the characters, it was an Uncharted film in name alone. That is well as the seemingly odd casting of Wahlberg as Drake, made me breath a sigh of relief when this particular attempt at making an Uncharted movie, fell apart.

The fan favorite choice for the role has always been Nathan Fillion. Most well known for playing Capt. Mal Reynolds in the TV series Firefly and the sequel film Serenity, as well as his role as a crime author in the television series Castle. While he would’ve been incredible in the role of Nathan Drake, he had sadly aged out of the part and he was never quite a big enough meme to be considered seriously in earlier attempts to adapt an Uncharted film. However, a few years ago, he played Nathan Drake in a fantastic short film that he also produced. It’s fucking great. It’s very, very fun and really cool. You can watch it right here and I highly recommend that you take a look…

Now, we have our first look at Tom Holland as Nathan Drake. I’ve gotta say, it looks pretty much dead on. I’ve heard a few people say that Holland is too young for the role, which is a fair criticism. Drake is classically portrayed as being a bit older. In the first Uncharted game, he’s roughly between his late 20’s and early 30’s. However, throughout the series we see Nathan Drake at many different points in his life, all the way from a young orphan boy to a middle aged man. Glimpses of the character’s past as a young adventurer, we’re not unheard of in the games. So it’s not as if we haven’t seen a younger Drake in the video game series before. Looking at it optimistically, if the film does well, Holland’s ages is actually an asset because he’s certainly not going to age out of the part anytime soon. Let’s not forget, most of us may look at Tom Holland and associate him with the role of Peter Parker in The MCU, but he’s also an extremely talented and accomplished actor outside of his superhero work. As anyone who has seen the recent Netflix film, Devil All The Time, can attest to.

  In another interesting bit of casting news, even though he’s no longer portraying Nathan Drake, Mark Wahlberg is still set to appear in the film in a major role. Wahlberg will be playing fan favorite character, Sully, Drake’s mentor, partner, friend, and father figure. For much of the series Sully is the closest thing Drake has to a family (that may or may not change as the story progresses, but I’ll say no more for fear of future spoilers). This is another instance where someone may point out that Wahlberg is a little too young to play the role of Sully, which is true, but it’s perfectly age-appropriate for the younger version of Drake that they’re going for here. Casting Wahlberg still makes him the older mentor figure, without changing the age gap between the two characters. Holland has already shown his ability to play protégé opposite a superstar actor without letting himself get overshadowed. Mark Wahlberg wouldn’t be my first choice to play Sully, but I’m excited to see what he’ll bring to the role and just what his chemistry on screen with Tom Holland will look like. The relationship between Nathan Drake and Sully is arguably the most important in the entire series, so it’s very important that they get this one right.

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Mark Wahlberg getting into character as Sully in the upcoming film Uncharted

All in all, from the very little we have seen, I like what we have been shown so far. Hopefully will get a better glimpse at the movie with a trailer or poster, in the near future. Let’s also hope that by the time this movie comes out, we can actually go see it in a movie theater! So what are you guys think? Do you like Tom Holland as Nathan Drake? What about Mark Wahlberg as Sully? Please let me know in the comments below!

A young Nathan Drake and Sully meet for the first time

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. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. 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: A Look Back At Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

I have a love-hate relationship with Spider-Man. When the original Spider-Man spider anfilm came out in 2002, it was one of my most anticipated films of all time. However, when it came out I was a little disappointed to be honest. At the time, the type of Spider-Man comics I was reading, were very different from the tone that Sam Raimi chose to go with in his 2002 Spider-Man film. I was reading Brian Michael Bendis reconstruct Spider-Man for a whole new generation in Ultimate Spider-Man, while Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film was most influenced by creators like Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr. days. After rewatching the movie for this episode of the podcast, I still think some of it works and some of it doesn’t. However, it’s still a fun film with moments of excellence.

As you’ll hear me say in this weeks episode of the podcast, the final scene of Spidey swinging through the streets of New York as Danny Elfman’s score swells, is still the most thrilling web-swinging Spider-Man sequence to date. I even love Toby Maguire’s final voiceover! It’s so damn good that I had to include it right here…

Blade and X-Men may have paved the way for serious, quality superhero films, but Spider-Man is the film most directly responsible for “The Age of Comic Book Films” that we live in today. Blade was a bloody, intense film with elements of horror. Most of the audience didn’t even know Blade was based on a Marvel comic book series. It stood on its own as a horror/action film about a badass vampire hunter, X-Men was a tougher sell because it was a full blown comic book superhero movie in a way that Blade wasn’t. X-Men had an expansive mythology, multiple sci-fi elements and was a thematic allegory about bigotry and marginalized minority groups. Both films were hits, but they weren’t movies that you could take your kids and your grandparents to. One of the reasons Spider-Man was such a massive head was because it appealed to weigh much wider audience. Arguably the first major superhero movie since Batman that all moviegoers would head out and see.

The now iconic, upside down kiss.

Spider-Man swung into theatres for the biggest box office opening weekend of all time! Of course, that record would go on to be broken many times over. However at the time, while the superhero movie phenomenon was still in its relative infancy, it felt pretty damn cool as a long time comic book fan. It felt like the world was finally realizing something we all knew all along. The current record holder for biggest opening weekend of all time, goes to another beloved superhero film, Avengers: Endgame (which is also the highest grossing movie of all time)! We take a look back at one of the most influential and important superhero films of the modern age on this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast

Spidey take a goblin bomb right to the fucking mush!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/41028841 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…
Coming Soon to SPOTIFY…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000491914033

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

You guys know that I love concept art. So for those of you interested, Comic Book Movie posted some very cool concept art from the first Spider-Man film by artist James Carson. The art includes a much cooler and more organic take on the Green Goblin and some images of Spidey’s web shooters. Check them out below…

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, 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: How To Rob A Bank… with SUPERPOWERS!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Paul Sr. and I discuss which superpowers would be the most useful if you were robbing a bank? As the discussion continues, more about Paul Sr.’s criminal past emerges…

Considering how often super villains rob banks in comic books, there aren’t that many bank robbery scenes in superhero films. However the few scenes that do exist are all pretty fucking awesome. I can think of three great ones… well, two and a half anyway.

  1. The iconic opening sequence of The Dark Knight, when The Joker and his gang of masked clowns rob a mob bank:

2. The great bank robbery scene in Spider-Man 2, where Doc Ock and The Ole’ Wallcrawler’s clash for the first time:

2b. This is what I meant when I said two and a half great bank robbery scenes in superhero movies. This scene from Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t quite a bank robbery. It’s a bunch of thugs with high-tech weaponry trying to steal an ATM, but it’s still a lot of fun, so I wanted to include it here:

For more super-powered bank robbing shenanigans, make sure you listen to this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, posted right here.

Listen here:  https://www.spreaker.com/episode/27513654  Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTuneshttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000474825111

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

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, 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