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Ocean’s 8: The Ocean Saga–Episode IV

Supposedly I’m into movies and supposedly I’m able to keep my geek emphasis on life and pop culture in check.  That’s how I like to present myself, anyway.  But recent evidence seems to be confronting those assumptions.  I watch Ant-Man and the Wasp and I find I have a breezy 800+ words flowing from my fingertips, but a similarly-timed viewing of Ocean’s 8 only invites comparisons to the Star Wars saga.  What’s up with that?

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Ant-Man and the Wasp

With Ant-Man and the Wasp, the MCU hits 20 films, with no real signs of slowing down.

I have at least one friend who thinks this a terrible, with superhero films being a dark blight on the landscape.  And we’ve also read interviews with Hollywood bigwigs about  “superhero fatigue”, as if the popularity of the genre were crushing all creativity out of movies.  This is an overreaction, of course–it seems asilly to not recognize that the whole idea of “summer blockbusters” and “tentpole franchises” have been threatening the same thing for decades. But somehow, cinema survives.

For me, I like superheroes, of course, and as long as a company like Marvel can continue to produce palatable material, then I say it’s fine, go for your life.  And Ant-Man and the Wasp is at least palatable, if not a fully enjoyable summer snack.

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Weekly Geeky Question #28: Favorite Comic Book Villains

Every week in 2018, the plan is that my friend Rod is going to ask me some geeky question that will answer in a post. This week is Week #28, and this week’s question is a pretty straightforward one.

Who are my favorite comic book villains?

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Weekly Geeky Question #27: Fictional Planets of Choice

Every week in 2018, the plan is that my friend Rod is going to ask me some geeky question that will answer in a post. This week is Week #27, and this week’s question is:

Aside from earth, what planets originating from Star War, from Star Trek and from comic books would I choose to live on?

Star Trek Planet
Who’s nerdy enough to know which world this is?

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Doctor Who: The Sandman [Big Finish]

There’s this bit that went undeveloped back in the Colin Baker Doctor Who serial, The Trial of a Time-Lord.  In that adventure, the Doctor appears to turn evil for a period of time.  This is never really explored, though it’s assumed to simply be the result of evidence-tampering at his corrupt trial.  But the sequence hints at a fascinating idea, with the Doctor behaving in a way that seems to his companions to be utterly wicked and contrary to his normal standards. What was largely breezed over on TV in 1986 received fuller treatment in the 2002 Big Finish audio, The Sandman.

The Sandman

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Weekly Geeky Question #26: Peanuts, à la Christopher Nolan

Every week in 2018, the plan is that my friend Rod is going to ask me some geeky question that will answer in a post. This week is Week #26, and this question is one that Rod has had out to me for a while but I haven’t known how to deal with:

How would you do a “gritty reboot” version of Peanuts, the famed comic strip by Charles Schultz, as if it were being created by Christopher Nolan? 

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The Incredibles 2

After a fourteen year wait, the sequel to 2004’s The Incredibles has finally come to the big screen.  In today’s sequel-heavy climate, it’s a bit surprising that it’s taken so long.  Indeed, nowadays we could hardly have been surprised if those 14 years had been filled with a part 2, a part 3, a prequel and baby Jack-Jack getting his own spinoff trilogy.

But as it is, we’ve just got one film…finally.  Not that we haven’t wanted more.  The first film was a real winner–it successfully blended fun action sequences with stylish visuals, engaging characters, lots of humor and a decent plot.  The superhero stuff in particular, whilst not original to anyone with familiar with comics, was visually innovative and, generally speaking, way cooler than anything we’d seen in animation up to that point.

So how does this sequel measure up?  Does it measure up to the expectations that we have of a sequel of one of the famed superhero family animated classic?

The Incredibles 2

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Weekly Geeky Question #25: A Superhero-themed Escape Room

Every week in 2018, the plan is that my friend Rod is going to ask me some geeky question that will answer in a post. This week is Week #25, and for the sixth week in a row, we’re talking about superheroes, though with a different slant this time.

How would you do an Escape Room with a superhero theme?

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Doctor Who: The Beginning [Big Finish – The Companion Chronicles]

Back in 2013, lots of people connected with Doctor Who was finding ways to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the adventures of everybody’s favorite Time Lord…unless you’re a really big fan of Morbius or something.  Anyway, the folks at Big Finish, who have been producing original licensed audio dramas based on Doctor Who since 1999.  They did the big multi-Doctor drama The Light at the End, which was my gateway into the wares of Big Finish (read about it here), but they also produced this release in their Companion Chronicles series, The Beginning, starring Carole Ann Ford.

Doctor Who Big Finish The Beginning Continue reading Doctor Who: The Beginning [Big Finish – The Companion Chronicles]

Star Trek: The Next Generation Essential Viewing (sort of)

Which episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation are necessary for the story to make sense?

A while ago, I saw a blog post in which someone listed all the episodes of the original series of Star Trek which were “rendered canonical” by the later movies…in other words, which ones contained elements (aside from the regular characters or the Enterprise) which later featured in the theatrical films.

I found this exercise to be a bit arbitrary, but of course still fun in a time-killing bloggy sort of way, and it put me in mind of the question I’m tackling here.  Namely, starting with the last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (ie. the conclusion of the story) which episodes do we have to include in order to tell a cohesive overall story…at least, as cohesive as the show ever got?  I resolved to find out.

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