Category: Movies Page 1 of 2

First Impressions of new theatrical releases that I stay awake through.

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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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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The 42cast Episode 31: A Hela Good Time

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 a god that is like both a pirate and an angel? For some, Thor: Ragnarok was too great a departure from the tone of the previous films, and for others it was the perfect solution to one of the MCU’s most promising, but struggling franchises. Does it work? Was it too much? Can a haircut really make that much difference?:

It’s been over six months, since Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters. Teaming up Thor with the Hulk, the film boasted a higher humor content than previous movies in the Thor franchise and also ended up being the highest grossing film in the series to date. This week, the 42cast talks about the movie, it’s place in the Thor franchise as well as the MCU in general, and what we’d like to see out of the franchise in the future.

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The 42cast Episode 16: Doubling Down

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 that family of misfits that will charge you to save the galaxy but leave you laughing as they do it? Where can you hear me talk about Kurt Russel’s penis? Nowhere! But if you want to hear us talk about what may be the MCU’s best villain since Loki…:

We finally start our summer movie podcasts! Grab your walkman and moonwalk over to your parents’ place, because The 42cast delves into the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. This time we’re talking about the series as a stand alone film, part of the MCU, and as a comic adaptation. How does it measure up?

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The 42cast Episode 11: Train to Nowhere

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 snakes on a plane Captain America upset with getting put in coach on a train? On the eleventh episode of the 42cast! Pull up a chair and grab some gummy worms for a tasty treat as you listen in:

It’s a French comic book adapted by a Korean director and American writer, produced in Korea, and starring a multi-cultural cast. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the Earth has frozen over, and the last remnants of humanity live in a train that must keep moving to keep the people inside warm. It’s a crazy ride as we talk about the unique direction, the acting, the symbolism, and what the ending means for the characters. Is it really the train to nowhere?

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Wonder Woman

The poorly named War to End All War ravaged Europe and changed the world in ways we still feel to this day. It turned idyllic landscapes dotted with picturesque villages and family orchards into a carnage strewn churning pile of mud, blood, death and destruction. Imagine in this context a vision of beauty, angelic in appearance, and armed with only sword and shield, climbing out of a trench to do battle with machine guns and toxic gas .

The moment is iconic. The birth of this hero resonates. It’s the scene in all the trailers, and it makes the point clear; in the world ruined by man, Wonder Woman has arrived. Hope has returned. And that narrative works in so many ways.

This is an important movie. Let me type that in a different way to get the point across- this movie is important!

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Geek Stranger Won’t Shut Up during the movie: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)

In which rather than write up a nice neat review, I indulge in a stream of consciousness/brain vomit post while watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition) at home. These were originally just notes, but no; you deserve to read my impressions as pure as they were as they happened.   Cleaned up for clarity and grammar. So maybe they’re not so pure anymore, but then, is anyone pure involved in this movie? These are the deep questions we ask here. 

There’s a paragraph or two surmising the whole movie versus the theatrical at the bottom, along with the Geek Stranger Score, but I’m going to make you scroll all the way down to it, because I’ve earned that. (Or you can chicken out and click here, we won’t judge.)

Also, spoilers for the Ultimate Edition. And, I guess, by default, the theatrical, too. So for those brave and bold enough… onward!

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Ghostbusters (2016)

“Saw Ghostbusters. Childhood still intact. Manhood still exists. Apocalypse- on and off screen- averted.” – Me, on Facebook, like last night.

It seems every year there’s two or three lightning rod issues that divide the nerd community into contentious camps. Such seemingly innocuous remakes like 2009’s Star Trek or Batman v Superman or the de-canonizing of non cinematic Star Wars material or the not so innocuous Hugos hijacking are all like the end times for a group of people who are not known for expressing their passions in moderation. The 2016 Ghostbusters certainly falls into that category. And I won’t be touching on any of that because I’m out of high school. 

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Secret Life of Pets

I’ve often wondered how many people, like me, who come home to a wrecked couch or looted pantry or missing items and an animal pretending innocence with wide eyes staring up at me full of love while yawning as they awake from an afternoon nap, have wondered at what secret lives our pets have while we’re gone throughout the day. The nearly full theater I was in on a Sunday evening suggests many people.

Every dog has a little bit of a wild wolf in them, and every cat is (not so) secretly a murderer just waiting for their chance to kill. We project on them the qualities we want to see, like love and innocence, and while they do have attachments to us, they aren’t quite what we believe them to be. Because of this, and because we put more on our furry friends than may actually be there, it’s really not much of a stretch or surprise to us to see them existing in a community across species, going on adventures, and living double lives in a movie. The only real surprise about Secret Life of Pets is that it took this long before someone made it.

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Independence Day: Resurgence

However much Will Smith wanted for this film, they should’ve given it to him.

Independence Day: Resurgence teaches us that destroying the world can’t be upped without destroying credibility. In this bad case of sequel-itis, what worked in the first film must be repeated in greater amount in the sequel, as long as they don’t have to pay any heavy actors. What does that get us? It gets us a soulless, by the numbers, inconsistent, and illogical, supersized even more ‘destroyingener’ movie, that had me rooting for the aliens. It’s a two hour summer money grab that took my $15 and left me hoping for at least twenty more years before the next installment.  So how bad was the movie? Bad enough that I’m making up new words!

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