Tag Archives: MCU

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SDCC Trailer Reaction Round-Up!

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San Diego Comic-Con has once again brought us a bounty of new trailers–here’s our thoughts on a portion of the upcoming nerd buffet.

Stranger Things

Mary: This is my favorite trailer from SDCC. I’ve watched it so many times and it even inspired me to rewatch season one again. I thought I glimpsed Sean Astin running down a hall and sure enough, he’s in season two, which has led me to speculate what other 1980s stars we might eventually see in this series… will we get Wil Wheaton? Cory Feldman? Mia Sera? Drew Barrymore? Anyway everything about the trailer has me excited… it’s set at Halloween, they’re wearing Ghostbusters costumes, Will’s seeing monsters and poor Joyce is terrified for him, Nancy’s got a gun, Steve Harrington’s wearing sunglasses, Hopper is upside down, Eleven is escaping, THRILLER IS PLAYING, and it all culminates in Vincent Price’s iconic evil laugh. Everything is just perfect. (Side note: in rewatching season one I’ve been admiring David Harbour’s performance again and I think he’s going to make a great Hellboy.)

Rob: Still sad about Barb. Too soon!

Thor: Ragnarok

Mary: I have never been excited about a Thor movie before now, but OMG I CAN’T WAIT! This looks hilarious and over-the-top and so filled with bad-ass action I get giddy every time I think about it. I love Hela’s and Valkyrie’s costumes, Thor’s haircut and lightning eyes, Hulk speaking, and all things Jeff Goldblum. I really can’t wait to see how Taika Waititi brings it all together. Also, Ragnarok’s commitment to the 1980s metal aesthetic is fantastic and the neon titles are delightful. (#fonthole)

Rob: Hell yeah metal! The first two Thor flicks were…pretty bad, though the Avengers movies demonstrated pretty conclusively that neither Hemsworth nor Hiddleston were to blame. This looks like great, goony fun, and I hope this means bigger and better things for Waititi in the future.

Justice League

Mary: I’m still debating whether I’ll see this. I’m stoked for more Wonder Woman and I can’t wait for Aquaman, but I still don’t understand DC’s decision to separate their films from their TV shows and I will sorely miss Grant Gustin’s Flash. And I’m extremely tepid on Ben Affleck’s Batman and have absolutely no interest in Henry Cavill’s Superman. DC has not earned my trust in their cinematic universe, and there’s nothing in this trailer that convinces me otherwise.

Rob: Oh hell no. I will watch Aquaman, though,

Ready Player One

Mary: My terrible nerd secret is that I didn’t love this book as much as apparently almost every other nerd alive. My short assessment is that it has all the nostalgia of Stranger Things with none of the emotional impact. I wanted to like it—I always want to like things!—but I ended up feeling meh. (Friend-of-the-Hole Paul Constant explains the book’s shortcomings better than I can here.) That being said, the trailer looks fun and I just heard that Lena Waithe from Master of None is co-starring so that gives me hope. So yeah, I’m gonna see it.

Rob: Why so serious? I fully expect this to be dumb and bland and still make a kabillion dollars, and yes, a few of those will come from me.

Marvel’s The Defenders

Mary: OK I can’t wait for The Defenders… I’m stoked to see Jessica, Luke, and Matt together. (And I guess Danny Rand will be there, too. Nothing’s perfect.) Best parts of the trailer: Jessica cracking the beer on the subway; Luke and Jessica’s disinterest in being “superfriends” and Matt’s chuckling understanding of that; watching them all fight together; and Sigourney Weaver is, as always, formidable and compelling. My only complaint is that it seems entirely focused on The Hand storyline versus tying into Infinity Wars at all. (Oh and that Danny Rand continues to exist. Nothing’s perfect.)

Rob: Yep, there’s a lot to look forward to–even Iron Fist. I’m desperate to know if the problems with the standalone show were all about the showrunners or if Finn Jones bears some responsibility. Certainly in the trailer he had the same constipated expression and tone of voice, but maybe he’ll show some depth we haven’t seen yet. I’m as thrilled as can be to see more of the other characters, of course. I’m not as concerned about the lack of Infinity Wars crossover, because the Netflix section of the MCU seems more personal than cosmic. Seems likely that the galaxy-spanning stories will get mentioned offhand in upcoming series, ie “This is the kind of shit that happens when billionaires take off to fight space battles.”

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Episode 61 – Daredevil

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Is there such a thing as a murder triangle? Watch Season 2 to find out.
Is there such a thing as a murder triangle? Watch Season 2 to find out.

After a festival of bizarre tech issues, it’s finally time for Daredevil 2: Elektra Boogaloo. Mary and Rob are all caught up, while Paul don’t give a fuck. We still dive into spoilers, so beware if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want to learn its dark secrets prematurely.

LINKS

NOTE
While discussing the various gangs, we were wracking our brains to come up with the name of the Latino gang. Turns out they didn’t really have one–they were just “cartel gangsters.” We’re not sure if that flat, boring name reflects their own icy professionalism or the writers’ decision to anonymize nonwhite bad guys on the show. What do you think?

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Episode 60 – Civil War

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Another clear example of media bias against your favored candidate.
Another clear example of media bias against your favored candidate.

As Captain America: Civil War draws near, Rob gives a quick 101 on the huuuuge comics event that spawned its primary conflict, if not exactly its plot. Whether you’re leaning toward Team Cap or Team Stark, the writers at Marvel need you to understand that you are supporting difficult moral choices. There’s death and drama and fascism and Canada and Aunt May in peril–it’s worth a read, even if the series ends with a disappointing shrug followed by a Major Character Death*.

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* Which lasted about two years. Time flies when you’re a Dead Major Character!

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Episode 55 – Agent Carter, Season 2

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Welcome back, Carter.
Welcome back, Carter.

Agent Carter is back! We gab about her new LA adventures–what we love, what we almost love, and what we love a lot. While we loosely discuss the plot, this episode is spoiler-free.

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  • Agent Carter on Hulu
  • Season 1 on Amazon
  • We got curious about ratings mid-chat, and it turns out that while AC mapped pretty closely to Agents of SHIELD‘s numbers last year, it’s lagging quite a bit this year. Add that to Hayley Atwell’s new gig and we’re pessimistic about the chances of a season 3. Prove us wrong, Marvel and ABC!
  • You know we’re all huge Fallout 4 fans, so when AC chose “Pistol Packin’ Mama” to highlight the awesomeness of Team Peggy as they started out on their heist, we lost our shit. Unfortunately, we can’t find a decent clip. Check it out midway through episode 6!
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Episode 48 – Jessica Jones

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It's not ALL dark and broody.
It’s not ALL dark and broody.

Marvel’s second Netflix series dropped just over a month ago, and it’s surpassed Daredevil in our affections–something we really didn’t think was possible. Like all great genre work, it uses its fantastic elements to illuminate real-world issues faced by real-world people. Its exploration of the effects of rape, domestic abuse, and PTSD feels true and compelling–and it’s presented in a way that makes it accessible to viewers who may not be immediately sympathetic. And yet somehow the show is also deeply entertaining. Truly we live in an age of miracles.

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Fall 2015 Nerd TV Roundup

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It's a good time to be a nerd.
It’s a good time to be a nerd.

Another summer gone–and that means a new crop of season premieres for us to soak up as the nights get shorter and our affects creep towards disorder. Lots of favorites are returning while a few are either dropping off our radar (bye now, American Horror Story) or settling into the grave (it was nice while it lasted, Constantine). Here are the shows we’ll be watching at least for a few episodes:

Already running

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Mary: The second season was much better than the first, and the first episode of this season indicates they may be able to keep up that momentum. If nothing else it’s nice to have something to keep my MCU hunger at bay while I wait for Agent Carter, Captain America: Civil War, and all the other goodies Marvel’s got lined up for us. Plus I’ll just never tire of Clark Gregg. Rob: Pretty much what Mary said. The show has definitely found its way and I recommend it w/o reservation to fans of the MCU.
  • Gotham: Rob: Last season got a little mushy up ’til the very end, but this year it’s focusing on the origin of its villains and feels crunchier. The story is darker for sure, but the producers are nailing that classic balance between gritty noir and Golden Age whimsy that best characterizes Batman. Should be a good time.
  • Heroes Reborn: Mary: So far I’m on board. We’ll see. I’m not super-wrapped up in it, right now my curiosity is propelling me along. But I still see potential! Rob: I’m a sucker for conspiracies, and it sure looks like this reboot is all-in on paranoia. The Japanese video game stuff is somehow both nifty and trite, but they may pull it off. Fool me twice, shame on me.
  • Sleepy Hollow: Rob: I’m in for sure. They wrapped up the show neatly last year because they weren’t sure they’d be back, so it’s not too far off the mark to call this a slight reboot. Mills is finally in the FBI and Crane is…well, it’d be disappointing if he changed too much. But Betsy Ross! Mary: ALL IN. I can’t wait for each episode, it’s every bit as fun as it’s been in previous seasons. It IS kind of a soft reboot, and that’s fine. As long as they continue the cool monsters, good chemistry, and their delightful sense of humor I think all us Sleepyheads will be happy.
  • The Flash: Mary: Every time I saw a commercial I got SO EXCITED, and last night’s premier did NOT disappoint! I’m looking forward to the crazy wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, other-dimensional action! And Cisco’s smart-ass comments! I do hope they do better by Iris this season. But I think it’s gonna be great! Rob:  Harrison Wells was such a terrific villain that Season 2 has a massive hole to fill, but I expect we’ll see plenty to keep us coming back. More Mark Hamill, please!
  • iZombie: Rob: I thought I was out, but I somehow acquired hope. Maybe they’ll focus on the overarching zombie story and lay off the murder-of-the-week crap? Plus the dang theme song brings me a weekly jolt of dopamine, so I may as well stick around for another 43 minutes. Mary: I missed the premiere last night, but I’m planning on watching it. It’s not must-see for me, but I still liked it fine at the end of the last season. You could do worse for some zombie-genre fun.

Week of 10/5/15

  • Arrow: Rob: I wish I knew how to quit you. Arrow keeps losing its way and then finding its way back–or finding a cool new path. With Legends of Tomorrow set to launch midway through the season, I expect this will be the anchor show for an ever-widening televised DC-verse. Will it lighten up? Will the R’as al Ghul business settle down or influence the show for the long haul? Will Green Lantern ever show up? Mary: I’m more enthusiastic about The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, but I’m definitely going to watch at least the first few episodes. I’m looking forward to the short-lived domestic bliss of Olicity, those bits where supers try to leave the super-life behind are always fun. (Remember the “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” montage in Spider Man 2?) Also can’t wait for the John Constantine cameo… I really hope that’s a nice long arc.
  • Supernatural: Mary: In an upcoming episode of our podcast I’ll explain all the reasons you should watch Supernatural. Right now I’ll say this: I think long-time fans will probably give this upcoming 11th season a go, and new fans should start at the beginning anyway. You could jump in with this season, but you’re missing a lot of good stuff, and based on last season I’m a bit worried about how this season will play out. Watch this space for details!
  • The Walking Dead: Rob: I just watched the finale of Fear the Walking Dead, and I think I may be more interested in that going forward. It’s not that I don’t want to follow Glenn and Michonne and even Rick–it’s more that their trauma and exhaustion get harder to watch with each new year. Maybe this time they’ll try something fresh.

Week of 10/26/15

  • Supergirl: Mary: I’ve held off on watching the pilot that’s widely available on the interwebs, but I’m looking forward to this show despite any misgivings I might have, like “will they rom-com it up too much?” I’m ready to be proved wrong! Rob:  I have seen the pilot and…well…my feelings are mixed. It’s got major problems, notably in the writing, but it’s got a lot going for it–the cast and the effects are largely terrific. If it can clean up its act in the first few episodes, it should be good fun.

Eventually

  • Agent Carter: Rob: Oooooh boy, they did it! This pops up in January during the season break, and it’s supposed to get spooky with the introduction of the Darkforce. This is essential to tons of Marvel characters, including good ol’ Dr. Strange, whose film comes out next Halloween. But honestly, I’ll take any hook to keep this terrific show alive.  Mary: CANNOT WAIT!!!! I have such a deep love for the current MCU, especially Cap and Peggy Carter. This show ranks second only to Orphan Black in my heart, and I’m so excited to see how Peggy kicks ass this season. (To hear a little of what Hayley Atwell–Peggy herself–is looking forward to, check out our post about her panel at ECCC 2015!)
  • Jessica Jones: Mary: More MCU! And it looks like we might be getting close to actually getting it, current internet searches indicate “late 2015.” If Daredevil is any indication of how Marvel conducts itself on Netflix I think we’re in for an amazing ride! Rob: The trailers have given me hope that this will hit the mark. I’ll likely burn my eyeballs bingeing it when it launches (I think I heard November).
  • Legends of Tomorrow:  Mary: As I mentioned, this ranks up there with The Flash as far as DC stuff I’m looking forward to. Very excited to see Arthur Darvill (Rory Pond from Doctor Who) again, and even if this whole show is a mess I have a feeling it’ll be fun and funny which might be enough to keep me hooked. Rob: This show has some great momentum, building off of the huge success of Arrow and The Flash–but I can’t see how it fits tonally with the other two. I think we’ll know after a couple of episodes if they know where they’re headed, and it’ll be fun to find out.
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Episode 31 – New Upcoming TV Series

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Screen shots of AKA Jessica Jones, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Heroes Reborn
(from the top) A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Heroes Reborn
This week we’re talking about upcoming new TV series that we’re excited about, including a few that are new all over again. We start off in-depth with A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Heroes Reborn, and end with a lightning round of all the other things we’re looking forward to. There’s one Arrow spoiler from last season’s premiere, but you probably already know if you’ve seen anything about Legends of Tomorrow. Still, heads-up if that sort of thing bothers you.

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Episode 30 – Daredevil

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The D'Onofrio and the home of the brave.
Child + Monster = Kingpin

We love love love Daredevil, and hope this spoiler-free episode will inspire you to binge it hard–or re-binge, if you’ve already taken a spin.

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Celebrity Panel Highlights From Emerald City Comicon

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Standing room only in the Gina Torres and Jewel Staite Firefly panel.
Standing room only in the Gina Torres and Jewel Staite Firefly panel.
Here’s some fun highlights from the celebrity panels I attended:

Amanda Tapping
I’ve never watched Stargate SG-1, and I bowed out of Sanctuary pretty early on so I really didn’t have an opinion about Amanda Tapping going in to this panel, but the friend I attended with on Saturday was a fan so we went to hear her talk. And I’m so glad! Tapping is funny and approachable and had lots of stories from the sets of her various projects (including the time she got blown up on the set of SG-1). She and her daughter are big Whovians and she fangirled about getting to meet Alex Kingston. She also said she’d love to play either River Song or the Doctor.

Alex Kingston
Many of us know her best as River Song on Doctor Who, which she acknowledged immediately by greeting the audience with, “Hello, sweeties!” Originally asked to be the headmistress of the adipose, Kingston turned it down because she had another job. “Thank God!” she said, because then she was later asked to fill this much more memorable role. Kingston said that writer Stephen Moffat knew River’s arc from her first appearance in the episode “Silence in the Library.” Kingston’s daughter, Salome, was celebrating her 14th birthday on Saturday, so Kingston brought her out on stage and the entire audience joined in singing “Happy Birthday.”
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Highlights From Emerald City Comicon, Day 1

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First of all, I always forget how impossible it is to get online at cons, so updates are going to be limited to when I can step away from the convention center. I have also never worn such an elaborate costume to a con, and I salute everyone whose costume is even more constricting and sweaty! Well done! (Costume photos tomorrow!)

After wandering the floor a bit and getting the lay of the land, I headed to my first panel of the con, Loving What You Hate: How to Love Media That Doesn’t Always Love You Back. The panel consisted of members of the Digital Future Lab at UW Bothell discussing their passion for various fandoms at the same time they examined what is problematic in each. (Problematic in this context refers to lack of diversity, racism, homophobia, etc.) It’s something many of us deal with, whether we’re directly effected by the particular issue or not. The conversation was based on a podcast episode by the same name from the DFL. The main take-away is that while we are bound to fall in love with things that have problematic themes, it’s also important to examine those problems and talk about them. And if you’re not sure if something is racist (for example), look into the response from the community it’s affecting. No community is monolithic, but it’s important to step outside yourself when an issue doesn’t directly affect you. It was a great panel, you should give the podcast episode a listen.

"The prop dept gave me a key item from each episode. So I do have Steve's blood. And a bomb." @HayleyAtwell #ECCC  — Emerald City Comicon (@emeraldcitycon) March 27, 2015
“The prop dept gave me a key item from each episode. So I do have Steve’s blood. And a bomb.” @HayleyAtwell #ECCC
— Emerald City Comicon (@emeraldcitycon) March 27, 2015
I arrived an hour early for the Hayley Atwell panel, and boy was I glad! The main hall was packed solid for Atwell’s first appearance since Agent Carter aired. The panel immediately started well: former Mythbuster Grant Imahara was the host which is a huge improvement from hosts in years past. (According to his Twitter feed Imahara is moderating a bunch of the panels throughout the weekend.) Hayley Atwell is beyond awesome: smart, well-spoken, thoughtful, compassionate, funny… everything you hope she is! She started off with a story of her clutzy first days of stunt-fighting. They didn’t end well for many members of the cast and crew, including a stuntman she accidentally kicked in the balls SIX TIMES! During the Q&A she was asked what she’d like to see next for Peggy Carter, and replied that she’d love to explore Peggy’s background and where she gained her strength and independence, or possibly see into Peggy’s future and how she handles having a family while continuing to kick ass. She also talked about how glad she is that Peggy’s friendship with Angie isn’t competitive as opposed to how female friendships are often portrayed. And while she considers Chris Evans almost like a brother, she indulged fans with a description of kissing him… he has VERY soft lips and smells really good. When asked what she’d like to be able to tell other woman, Atwell replied, “Know your value.”

Stay tuned for more tales from the con, coming up tomorrow!