Author: Ryan Page 1 of 6

Star Wars at D23: Playing it Safe: Part 2 of 3: A Long Time Ago in a Spaghetti Western Far, Far Away

So wow. Yesterday I posted about the (Inevitable) Rise of Skywalker, and today a trailer drops. It’s mostly a greatest hits trailer from the entire saga, cashing in on our previous emotional investments by pulling pretty hard on those heart strings, but hey, we did get to see what Rey may look like if she breaks bad! *cough* dream sequence *cough*.

Anyway, we’re not talking about the Rise of Skywalker today. No, we’re talking about how when I was a kid, the characters who learned the Force from Luke in all my hours of, let’s say “live action fan fiction reenactments with small scale replicas with kung fu grip”, were Han Solo and Boba Fett. Of which the latter of the two had all of five minutes screen time over two trilogies! That’s the power of Boba Fett, and the power of a show called The Mandalorian.  

I’d also stay up late as a kid and watch scrambled Cinemax those old Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns where he was the stranger of few words come through town just long enough to kill half the men of killing age and take their woman. But with style and the subtext that ultimately, he was the resigned good guy doing what had to be done because no one else in town had the steely grit or squinty eyes. Good stuff.

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Star Wars at D23: Playing it Safe: Part 1 of 3: The (Inevitable) Rise of Skywalker

I didn’t attend D23; the ultimate Disney-Marvel-Star Wars reveal party. That’s fine. Dragoncon is this week. And the internet is instantaneous. From Friday through tonight, multiple times over, everything revealed on stage was force fed to me through social media. And like Takeru Kobayashi, I gobbled it all down and wanted more.

My main interest was the Marvel stuff, because that’s pure addiction for me, and after the bad trip that’s been the Spider-Man news, I needed a promise of my next high. Disney, ever the good pusher content provider, was there, promising me so much for such a small, small, price… and never mind that Sony stuff, just look over here. Did we mention Black Panther 2 in 2022?

But it isn’t the Marvel stuff that has me writing tonight, mainly because Marvel is, if nothing else, consistent in being better than average. Yeah, they’re taking some risks with Disney+, and yeah, we’re all bummed that Uncle Ben is going to have to die again, but with over 10 years and 3 phases, the MCU has earned some trust.

What about Star Wars, then? There was plenty of Star Wars news, but I want to focus on the three announcements/reveals that most caught my attention for reasons ranging from the good to the bad. First Up: The Poster Child of Playing it Safe

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The 42cast Episode 51: Breaking the Loop

Sometimes just reading Geek Stranger isn’t enough. Sometimes you just have to listen… and where can you listen to me geek out with fellow nerds about the show you stopped watching somewhere in season 2, but since then has been consistently good (if not always great), by taking risks other shows wouldn’t dream of, which here takes it to the next level and with almost no budget to speak of?:

Many people expected season 5 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to be the end of the series. It had achieved 100 episodes and much of that season seemed to be a wrap up. In this episode we talk about expectations vs. reality. Did the season work better as the end of the series or as just one installment in a continuing story? We also examine the links to the MCU at large and discuss whether that’s hindering or hurting the Marvel TV series. From there we talk about the importance of Coulson, the unexpected yet welcome return of Talbot, and the gravity of the situation in season 5.

This week’s Five Minute Controversy asks if the DC Universe streaming service is providing enough original content to justify purchasing.

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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

On my second, or maybe third, viewing of Avengers: Endgame, I sat next to a guy who’d never seen a single Marvel Cinematic Universe movie before. We chatted for a few minutes after the last of the credits rolled because I was curious on his take, and frankly, surprised that such a mythical creature as he even existed. He liked Endgame, and said it made him curious to see some of the other movies in the franchise. I answered a few questions for him regarding plot points he didn’t quite understand, and then we went our separate ways. Who would go see a movie that far along into an established universe without knowing any backstory? How could they possibly enjoy it? Why?

And… cue me this past Friday sitting down to watch Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, without ever having seen more than five minutes of any Fast & Furious movie. Ever. But, the trailers looked fun, there didn’t appear to be the overly fetishized focus on cars, and nothing else out intrigued me. So why not? It shouldn’t be necessary to say expectations were low. I figured there’d be death defying-physics boggling stunts, and overly sexualized women, and buff dudes saving the day, and a few car tricks. I was not disappointed.

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What I’m Watching Now

July Binge Edition

It’s not just a question of how much I can watch between personal hygiene breaks; it’s a question of what’s good to binge out there right now! With a little more time than usual in July, I managed to knock out a few seasons of a few shows and break in the cushions on my couch far past the factory warranty levels…

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The 42cast Episode 50: Smells Like Teen Spirit

Sometimes just reading Geek Stranger isn’t enough. Sometimes you just have to listen… and where can you listen to me geek out with fellow nerds about the complete and over use of a bad hair band cover slooooow origins of New Orlean’s own angst ridden young heroes into the MCU? Stay to see just how long three guys can talk about one so-so show with so so much potential, then check the Show Notes for what-could-have-been! You guys, it’s been 50 episodes! I’m getting a cake…:

Come celebrate 50 episodes of The 42cast. Unlike other podcasts we’re not doing anything special. We’re just bringing you the same great reviews that you’ve come to expect from The 42cast. This time we discuss season one of Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger. The series is a bit of a looser adaptation than many other Marvel properties and skews far younger in the demographics. This week we discuss the series, how it works as an adaptation, and how well it works in its own right. We’ll also discuss stylistic choices, how it stacks against the CW and Marvel’s Runaways, and make much ado about their musical choices. This week’s Five Minute Controversy asks if we should listen to aggregate review sites such as Rotten Tomatoes.

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The 42cast Episode 49: Disco Fever

Sometimes just reading Geek Stranger isn’t enough. Sometimes you just have to listen… and where can you listen to me geek out with fellow nerds about the latest and most controversial version of Star Trek until Tarentino’s comes out? Sure, Discovery may be on a subscription service, but my opinions are free of charge!:

Star Trek: Discovery relaunched the Star Trek franchise on TV after a hiatus of over a decade. Set before the original Star Trek series, Discovery’s slick look and darker tones evoked polarization in fandom as some gravitated towards the update and others rejected what they saw as an affront to Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future. In this episode we talk about those issues as well as the decision to market this on streaming service, CBS All Access instead of on network or cable television. We’ll also discuss the casting, storylines, and themes. We’ll also ask that ephemeral question, “Is this Star Trek”?, before we finally finish up with speculation on the future. This week’s Five Minute Controversy asks if it’s a good idea for Quentin Tarantino to direct a Star Trek film.

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The 42cast Episode 48: Welcome Back, Frank

Sometimes just reading Geek Stranger isn’t enough. Sometimes you just have to listen… and where can you listen to me geek out with fellow nerds about the not so morally ambiguous actions of Frank Castle AKA the Punisher? And you thought Daredevil’s real super power was getting the crap kicked out of him!:

The Punisher was the last of the Marvel Netflix series. The Punisher hadn’t been part of the original deal for the “Defenders” series between Marvel and the streaming service, but the popularity of the character in season 2 of Daredevil lead to quick negotiations and a series announcement. Dealing with the aftermath of Frank’s hunt of all those that he thought were responsible for the death of his family, the series delved into darker areas than the other Netflix series, while presenting a version of Frank Castle that was both familiar to comics readers but different than how he’d been depicted in any media before. In this episode we discuss how Jon Bernthal’s Punisher was different from those before. We also talk about the supporting cast, plot, and how it fits into the larger MCU. We also do a deep dive into the character of Billy Russo to determine his motivations and whether or not he was badly written. In the end we ask, “would we want Frank to meet the other characters in Marvel’s Defenders line and if so, who?” This week’s Five Minute Controversy asks if it’s a good idea for Marvel to stop making series with Netflix.

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The 42cast Episode 46: My Little Runaway

Sometimes just reading Geek Stranger isn’t enough. Sometimes you just have to listen… and where can you listen to me geek out with fellow nerds about what the MCU would look like filtered through Beverly Hills 90210? Maybe it’s in the MCU, maybe it’s not, but it definitely has a Stan Lee cameo!:

Marvel’s Runaways brought the MCU to Hulu. As a continuity light series it allowed the focus to reside on the teen stars and their parents, as the youngsters realize that their parents are involved in horrific and evil goings on. In this episode, we take a look at how well the series succeeded in introducing the characters, what we thought of the pacing, the macro-plot, favorite characters, and what we want to see from the show in the future. We also discuss the show’s crossover potential. To start things off, however, we talk about our thoughts on “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”.

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The 42cast Episode 44: A Star Trek by Any Other Name

Sometimes just reading Geek Stranger isn’t enough. Sometimes you just have to listen… and where can you listen to me geek out with fellow nerds about another nerd geeking out about Star Trek a surprisingly well done adaption and a reminder of why we love space ships? You’ll come for the social commentary but stay for the dirty jokes… or maybe it’s the other way around. :

The Orville surprised everyone when it debuted. Advertised as a crass parody of Star Trek, the Orville turned out to be a far more sophisticated show than anyone including the network gave it credit for. In this episode we do a deep dive into the first season of The Orville, discussing the the characters and plots, but also talking about how it fits into the legacy of Trek and whether it and Star Trek: Discovery can coexist. This week’s Five Minute Controversy asks if Quentin Tarantino should direct Star Trek.

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