Return of the A**holes of The Galaxy | This Week In Geek | Courtney Rose & Danny Donovan

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Perhaps you’ve been wondering where my buddy Danny and I have been hiding? Well you see, sometimes our opinions are a bit too forward for some people to stomach so we have to go frolic someplace a little less supervised for a while until we’re asked to come back (since we’re actually beneficial to this site and stuff.) Anyways, here we are a year later and back on track to talk about things with you that pop culture is either doing right or doing completely wrong. So where do we start? Actually right where we left off…Daredevil!

By now we’ve given you enough time to finish the season, we know there are those of you that binge watch in a day and we know there are others that like to take their time. Daredevil season 2 was admittedly darker than the first especially with the introduction of Frank Castle a.k.a. “The Punisher” and the devious ninja clan known as “The Hand.” It also explored more raw magic elements and has seemed to calm down off the coattails of the events from the Avengers that we had previously seen during season 1. This time around was more focused on tying into the other Netfilx series of “Jessica Jones” and “Luke Cage” since the timelines are so close together. We also are rewarded with a costume upgrade that was much talked about amongst fans during the first season, nice to know the creators are listening to our feedback and acting on it.

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I felt that during this season more areas were explored, for example we saw that Nelson & Murdock’s law firm was actually pictured working instead of just an empty office where the disgruntled employees spent their late nights before drinking while Matt is bleeding inside dumpsters. The relationship building between Karen and Matt was explored and even a glimpse at Claire Temple’s hospital shifts were pulled in again. It leads us to believe that things have gotten better since the capture of Wilson Fisk and that perhaps some normality has returned to the lives of Matt, Foggy and Karen but alas there was a s*** storm ahead!

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The introduction of the Punisher and his story line throughout the season was filled with guns, brutality and one hell of a vengeance streak. There was even a puppy! Frank Castle certainly stole the show this time around with a rock solid performance by Jon Bernthal. I had a very large hesitation when he was initially cast but can honestly say I take back my doubts and give him a round of applause. (Check it out I said something nice! that’s what the people who own this site prefer me to do) The Punisher pulls Karen Page into another whirlwind spiral of chaos and shows just how damaged the relationship between Matt and Foggy has become once the introduction of Elektra was brought in.

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Though I did enjoy the look that Elodie Yung brought to Elektra, I was battling between liking her representation and not. Sometimes I felt like the bipolar craziness was more forced rather than believable to the character, after all I admired the comics for Matt trying to love the crazy out of her. But as the season progressed I learned to like her more once it came to her rising up and helping Matt to bring down The Hand towards the season’s finale. All in all season 2 was fantastic between a near perfect representation of The Punisher, a “Hallway fight scene 2.0” which upgraded to a stairwell, and a very welcomed and surprising appearance of Vincent D’Onofrio as King Pin again. I feel like we can give Daredevil season 2 a solid 9 out of 10 stars and sit waiting for season 3 with much anticipation. Now I will hand this article over to Danny because I have a pile of artwork to do, oy!

 

 


And this is why Courtney is the nice one!

 
On the flipside of the coin, Daredevil and his Netflix-verse buddies were not the only things in nerd culture to blaze onto the scene. A little independent film, few people might have seen (and I feel sorry for the millions that did) Batman V Superman came out to a thunderous worldwide opening and then sharply fell off a cliff to be impaled on the jagged rocks below.
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Warner Brothers unprecedented “day and date” release for such a wildly anticipated film, probably to counteract two things, one the potential for piracy cutting into the foreign market  since by the time a film gets through the hurdles of getting clearance to the Asian market it’s already in wide-release in other countries and watchable copies are available on black market sites that usually drive down ticket sales in Eastern markets.

The other thing, probably the most important thing, is that this was a terrible, terrible film. A self-aware dumpster fire that there are very few redeeming qualities about. I do pity Henry Cavil who looks like The Man of Steel brought to life, but in two outings he’s not been given much to work with. Instead of being a shining beacon of hope that serves as a Yin to Batman’s dour Yang, he is this mopey emo God that you don’t really care about, and if you feel anything toward him it’s mostly pity that he’s the only one in this universe that seems like he wants to do anything heroic.

I won’t go into a full review, as there is already one on this website, and anyone who follows me or Courtney on Facebook/Instagram/whatever probably already has heard our problems, but instead let me encapsulate the major flaw. No one had the patience to introduce these characters properly, and in doing so made the Justice League a bunch of uncaring assholes for sake of getting as many super-heroes on film prior to the Justice League movie.
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This film was very much a response to Disney’s success with the Marvel brand. As much as Snyder and the Warner Bros execs want to pretend they are not copying Disney’s formula they very much are, just badly. They left money on the table being  too timid to take chances on building franchises on lower-tier characters however Disney was able to turn a profit on a film about a guy who shrinks  the size of an ant.
Fox’s Deadpool has made just as much money domestically as BvS, with a smaller budget of $57 million opposed to Warner Bros budget of over $250 million, plus advertising..  Despite the film taking over two years to get made, much of it feels rushed and disjointed, despite the original cut being over four hours long, the truncated two and half hours of what adds up to putting 4 distinct comic book  timelines in a blender and hitting  puree.

The rush for release was also in response to Disney’s Captain America: Civil War. (Which I am willing  to eat crow, because a year ago I said they’d never do Civil War, but much like Age of Ultron it seems to be more in name only and not tied to that ridiculous Mark Millar storyline.)

Disney won the release date war, Warners moved up their super-powered beat down film by a month, hoping  that it’s franchise  juggernaut could slow Disney’s runaway train of blockbusters. But with the meta critic scale showing Civil War’s handling of an overstuffed cast was  done more deftly than WB’s does not show “studio bias” as so many in fan press like to claim but a “bias for decent storytelling”. It’s often said, that any time one adapts a large story to the slapdash ADHD world of TV  and film, often times nuance gets lost because they want to move from ‘big shot’ to ‘big shot’. Much like in the early 90s Image Comics that were chock full of pretty pin up pages but very little narrative  that leaves  them scarcely remembered outside of nostalgic whimsy of the allowance money spent on their potential during our more innocent days.

While time will see, when it’s released in a few weeks on May 6th if the film has legs where BvS did not but with the positive reaction going into the film and the excitement for what will come after it’s hard not to see that Disney will cement itself as the studio of the “Summer blockbuster”. The studio understands, just like the comics it adapts, it’s not enough to have a pretty package but you have to be emotionally invested in who these characters are and why they do what they do. That’s what keeps you coming back.
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Recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live ,we were treated to the Doctor Strange teaser trailer, staring Benedict Cumberbatch (spellcheck’s worst nightmare)  headlining an all star cast of heavyweights. As I am wont to do, after these film trailers are released (BvS, Civil War, Dr. Strange) I like checking out the YouTube reactions.  The reactions, while understandably confused in giving credit to people like Chris Nolan , for the types of storytelling  tropes comic books have been doing for decades before he picked up a camera, largely the response is “I don’t know much about Doctor Strange but I look forward to learning more about him.” and that is the key. Making people care enough to be invested. Creating fans that in turn become repeat customers.

When you have  brand like DC or Marvel, or Star Wars or Star Trek, the point is to connect with the audience and take their imaginations on a wild ride so the next time they see something come from your production even if it’s a little weird (ie: Guardians Of The Galaxy or Ant-man) they are more willing to give it a chance as “they haven’t steered me wrong yet!” Which is a metric I feel WB has failed to achieve. They have a chance to get people back with the upcoming Suicide Squad, but they also run the risk of their villains becoming more heroic than their heroes.

So there you have it another peek into the minds of the Internets greatest celebrities, Danny and Courtney (funny, no one really cares who we are but they care about what we have to say.) If we don’t destroy the fabric of space time with our opinions again we shall be back next week with more stuff and thangs.
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Batman v. Superman Spoiler-Free Review

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Let’s just get right down to it: this film is a mess; a mess that a lot of people will no doubt enjoy, but a mess all the same. Does this mean that it’s a bad movie? I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s bad, but it’s not that good either. The film currently holds a 30% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 250 critical reviews. It also holds a 73% fresh rating from the audience based on over 150,000 user reviews. Where do I stand? Somewhere in the middle. It’s not as bad as the critics are making it out to be, and it’s not as good as the audience is making it out to be. So what’s the problem? After all this is a movie pitting Batman against Superman, and to be fair it does live up to its title. Batman and Superman do indeed fight, and we do get our first glimpses at the dawn of the Justice League. We get to see Lex Luthor begin his journey as a major villain, as well as an epic battle between his deformed creation Doomsday, and our budding Justice League consisting of Batman, Superman, and…oh yeah, Wonder Woman. She’s in this movie, too. Hence we reach our problem: there is simply too much going on in too short a space of time.
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The pacing is all over the place. This film contains character development that should be happening over the course of an entire movie, happening in one act. We jump from scene to scene to action sequence to action sequence with hardly any connective tissue. It’s as if a child was allowed to set the pacing of the film; everything has to happen now, now, now! Who’s to blame for this? Zack Snyder? The editing team? The studio? Probably all three. Warner Brothers wants their universe to be different, and that’s good; we need variety. The Avengers and the Justice League shouldn’t be the same aesthetically or tonally. However, Warner Brothers could have taken their cues from Marvel in one area: structure. Marvel spent several years giving us time to meet its heroes and more importantly, to care about them. Stan Lee once said, “every comic book is someone’s first.” What he meant by that is you cannot depend on someone having kept up with everything that has come before your issue to know what you’re talking about or to care. You have to lay some groundwork. It doesn’t matter if we’ve just seen three Batman films, if people know Wonder Woman from the comics or old TV show, or if there’s been a slew of DC animated films featuring these characters. You have to make me care about YOUR Batman. You have to make me care about YOUR Wonder Woman, about YOUR Lex Luthor and YOUR Doomsday. How do you make the audience care? Time. You have to spend time with these characters. You can’t just throw them all in a blender and set it on high. As flawed as The Dark Knight Rises was, when we reached the final sequence of Batman flying the bomb away and (seemingly) sacrificing his life to save Gotham, it’s an intensely emotional moment. Why? Because we’ve spent three films with the character. We CARE. Everything was so rushed in this film that by the time the titular characters finally come to blows, it’s no where near as satisfying as it should be.
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Now, having said all of that, do I hate this movie? No. As I said it’s not a bad movie; it’s just ok. But a movie like this shouldn’t just be ok. It should be good. Really good. Visually, it is. It’s a very pretty film to look at some of the time. The action sequences, while not carrying the narrative weight they should, are well executed and fun. Ben Affleck as Batman is easily the best thing in this movie, and I can’t wait to see him in Suicide Squad later this year. Henry Cavill as Superman is more or less the same as he was in Man of Steel. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor doesn’t even bother to chew the scenery so much as devour it whole and then steal off of other peoples’ plates. Gal Gadot is appropriately badass as Wonder Woman despite the fact that her character probably could have afforded to sit this one out. The final battle is pretty spectacular to watch, and even manages to throw a curve ball that I honestly didn’t expect. Maybe if they’d done a better job building to it, it would have mattered more.

Channel 757 Presents: Project Hot Potato, the Hottest Ticket in Hampton Roads!

Whatever you have planned for this weekend, cancel it! Unless you are going to be coming out to the Virginia Beach Central Library at 3PM that is! Because Hampton Roads is about to be rocked by an incredible creative event Project Hot Potato!

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What is this deliciously sounding event? Will there be real butter or margarine? Well bunky, consider this your PHP Primer!

If all that was all TL;DR, we’ll break it down as thus, the project is a 4 part feature film comprised of 4 different film making teams, none of which are in contact with the other! After the screening, some of these amazing creative geniuses will be awarded prizes, you can check out the nominees here, see the stars of tomorrow… TODAY!

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If you want to learn more about the 4 teams supreme check out this handy breakdown of who’s who and what’s what! Of course it’s not all lavish awards and touchy feely moments, (Mostly from Matt Wade, after a few wine coolers he gets a little “Bill Cosby”.) The Great Hot Potato Roast will lovingly poke fun at those poor brave souls that left it all on the line to bring you an incredible film brought to you by the comedy stylings of:

Quincy Carr,
John Small,
Chop Allen,
George Booker
Filmmaker and Project Hot Potato Vet, Jessa Gaul

Whether you laugh with them or at them, it’s sure to add to an already rollicking adventure, but as they say, (I still want to know who “they” are) “Wait, There’s more!”

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11160539_10206793533699749_1939121033_nThey will also be screening the new Skye Zentz music video for The Tide, produced by Jpixx As well as the trailer for the new film by critically acclaimed filmmaker Chris Abaya – HEARTLESS

What more could you want? Maybe a sneak peek at the genius those wise and fortunate ones that make the trek out to the show? Well never say I didn’t give you anything!

The party starts at 3pm! The only thing missing from this day of celebrating the best and brightest of the 757 is YOU. Don’t know where it’s at? Cool your heels Magellan, I got you.

Virginia Beach Central Library 
4100 Virginia Beach Blvd
Virginia Beach, VA, US
(757) 385-0150

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Be there, or forever kick yourself for missing this weekends hottest ticket!

Avocados at Law | This Week In Geek | Courtney Rose & Danny Donovan –

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11174924_878706188853023_3080835512279793892_n Hello, it’s Courtney Rose’s (aka The Nice One) week and I’m here to tell you things and stuff.

By now I’m sure most of the planet has tuned into Netflix and either binged on Daredevil or are at least on the last couple of episodes. If you’re still watching I will try to leave this spoiler free. (Because sometimes I can actually be nice like that) The love for Daredevil has been overwhelming, not to mention there are so many Marvel tie-ins it gets you pumped when you notice all these little Easter eggs.

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Daredevil’s dark and gritty filming along with its amazing choreographed fight scenes definitely pulled us in and we just couldn’t let go, you almost feel the same blood on your hands that Matt Murdock has. Daredevil is not for everyone, it certainly gives us a darker look into the bloody world of corruption and murder. It’s full of emotion, blood, butchery and gory consequences. The dim atmosphere and crimes scenes don’t take away from its beauty though, these details make you feel like you’re standing there tired and beat right along with him, both searching within to find a bit of strength that’s left to finish the job at hand.

I really want to address something that has been filling my newsfeeds on social media since the show aired which is “I am not watching Arrow anymore now that Daredevil is here.” Now yes all you humans are allowed your own opinions on this but hear me out…These shows are completely two different dynamics. You must remember that when watching. Now of course we can say “I like this one over the other” that’s understandable and it can happen, but dismissing one because of the other sounds pretty damn silly and it’s just confusing me seeing this constantly mentioned.

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I enjoy what DC and The CW have given us with The Flash and Arrow and yes I loved what Netflix gave us for Daredevil (it’s what Gotham could have been) but as I mentioned, they are different breeds…apples and oranges, spots and stripes. Just food for thought there kids!
Anyways, Daredevil is brilliant, and it gives us a clear view of the consequences of crime, violence and the toll they take. We see how it affects our main characters and how the exposure to these elements has made it impossible for them to move forward with their lives, things are forever changed. Daredevil’s darkness is beautiful, and it will leave you anxious and begging for more. The sound of bones cracking is pretty much Daredevil in a nutshell folks. Marvel and Netflix now need to take Punisher and do this! I’m tellin’ ya it would be gold.

Oh, and speaking of Arrow, Last week’s episode was a punch right in the feels. I mean dammit, they sure know how to stir up the pot of emotions that’s for sure. One of the aspects I love about Arrow is you really get attached to “the team” and having to say goodbye to Colton Hayne’s character “Roy Harper aka Arsenal” was pretty hard. I will miss seeing the brotherly relationship him and Oliver share. It makes me regret yelling at the TV telling him to wash his red hoodie. Forgive me Roy Harper! Colton is moving on to other TV roles and film (He will be starring alongside Dwayne Johnson this summer in “San Andreas”) and we wish him well, may the odds forever be in his favor. Though The Rock will not love you like we do Colton, no he won’t!

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Hopefully with time and some booze we’ll get over this episode. I’m not exactly sure how I will handle the season finale when that gets here in a few more weeks. I’m still trying to recover from our loss of Deadshot too *shakes fist in the air* Can we just use our superfast friend over in Central City for help? Honestly, someone on Arrow please pick up the phone! I swear to God if another member of Team Arrow gets taken out because Ollie refuses to call Barry I’m going down to Starling and smacking the green off of him. Please CW go easy on us, we’re fragile little creatures! I can only imagine what The Flash is going to do now to put us into cardiac arrest.

DF86E3BB-BF5A-46D7-8D37-DC4302F90FA1  In heartbreaking news of another fashion, the world was treated to another albeit spoiler-laden Terminator Genysis trailer. Aside from the standard shots of ‘splosions and an aging Arnie coming back to remind people why he was famous in the first place, (Do Androids Dream of Robot Geritol?) we see the major spoiler that has everyone talking that John Connor is himself a Terminator.

Wait, what? How does that even work?

We have finally come to the point in the reboot/nostalgia bait culture that we’ve created the first rebootequel…requel….whatever we call that, A sequel that both reboots and continues a story (one could argue that this was done in Days of Future Past first, but shut up I’m on a roll) Discounting the paradox of John Connor being behind everything, (He sent a terminator after his mother in the first one, than turned on his younger self in the second one) you have a pretty stupid concept. Most people were enraged that this point was “spoiled” personally I’m happy because if I had paid my $9 to go see this and witnessed this bull-hockey I would have probably burned down the theater.

We’re going down a creatively devoid pipeline where people throw things in for quick shocks and “cool visuals” without thinking if it makes sense in the longer narrative or jibes with current continuity! Because people are too lazy to remember things for longer than 2hrs I suppose. Hollywood lives in the world of “if it doesn’t work, just say it’s a reboot!”

Before I wrap this up, I’d like to take a moment to mention some things I’ve been noticing in the “cosplay community” as of late. But first I’d like to mention the obvious in which we see a lot of jealousy and silly things flying around, the ever growing popularity contest that rises up.

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Yes, in a sense it’s inevitable. What I’m getting at here is, at the end of the day cosplaying is for fun, really that’s the root of it. It’s fun and it’s dressing as characters we relate to and love. Some people get to do it all the time, some get to work booths and get asked to shows, some people get paid for it. Okay good for them. Whether you like that person, agree that they should be at a show or not isn’t worth getting your feathers rustled over. My newsfeed on Facebook is filled with complaints about this almost on a daily basis.

And it doesn’t stop there, I see costumers then complaining “Why did they get invited to be a guest at this con and not me?” “Supposedly this costuming group is talking gossip about my group” Look there is bound to be drama, that’s going to happen when there’s a social group involved, and this may sound like a petty thing reading it, but honestly I see so much complaining lately SO much it’s astounding. This is to the point that people are getting emotionally distraught over the matter.

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So what I’m trying to say here is, if you love something and want to have fun then do it, but if your hobby is seriously causing you distress to the point where you are airing your grievances 24/7 on your facebook maybe you need to take a step back. And not a baby step either, a big one. Take some time off from it, get some fresh air. Collect yourself, get back to feeling emotionally okay and then maybe dive back into costuming if it’s something you really like to do. This is supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to make you feel good.

If you’re too busy swimming in a pool of gossip and bitterness instead of just creating costumes and having a blast, then it’s really time to take a “cos-vacation.” Ignore everyone else, do this for you. Do it because you like it, be happy dammit! If you’re just in it to have fun, then continue to do so and don’t sweat the small stuff.

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To end with a programming note, we are ticking down the “final four” episodes for Arrow this season and gearing up for our giant live in the flesh liveblog of the finale next month. So join Danny and I right here, Wednesday April 22nd, at 8pm est. if you want to join us for our weekly FB liveblog thing.

Reboot! | This Week In Geek| Courtney Rose & Danny Donovan

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1982332_606035206155169_1459905225_n  Remakes, reboots and “requels”….what is up with Hollywood these days?

Have we honestly run out of good ideas? Or are we so money hungry that we have to keep resurrecting every possible thing because people will blindly pay just because a name or character is thrown on it? I recently saw a comment pop up on my newsfeed about the new Ghostbuster reboot (with the dude cast) that read something along the lines of “I’m so excited, anything Ghosbusters gets my money!” Wait, What? YOU people are the problem here, so if we cover dog poop in sprinkles and a GB cake topper you’d buy it? If you said no you’re an idiot, because that’s exactly what you’re buying into these days with all these reboot/remakes. Why you ask? Because 90% of them are exactly that, shit.

 

Let’s face it, most of these reboots are just recycled stories and limping ponies that have been beat over and over again. Now, I’m not saying nothing should ever be remade but just because it works for one thing doesn’t mean it’s going to work for it all. Please tell me why I need to see Scarface (yes that is happening folks) remade? I don’t because honestly some things are sacred and should be left alone. Don’t you remember that line your parents used to tell you “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” yeah, you should remember that more often Hollywood.

 

Take a look at remakes past: Conan, Total Recall, Lone Ranger, Karate Kid, 2001’s Planet of the Apes, Dark Shadows, TMNT, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and so much more. All these films were a flop, most with weak plot changes that did nothing to help them to build a substantial profit.

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Instead of Total Recall changing our location to Earth and not Mars, perhaps their “twist” should have been a better actor than Colin Farrell. Conan would have been better if they made a movie about Barbarians and just left “Conan” completely out of it. Hollywood, especially lately with all its new remake announcements certainly has a heavy resistance to change. You would think that with a list of failures longer than the list of those that did well (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Thing, Dawn of the Dead, Nolan’s Batman just to name a few) consideration to slow down on the remakes would start to take hold, but it seems like Hollywood has put the pedal to the metal and is going forward with reboot after reboot.

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Such is the case with the forthcoming genderbent Ghostbusters film, which from what’s been bandied about might not be the only incarnation of the Ghostbusters coming down the pike because well hell, we all like money right? That’s so much more important than keeping the integrity of the original film.

To make matters worse, the producers don’t seem to understand the core concept of why the original worked. Vowing to make the new film “Scarier”than the original. That’s not the point. It wasn’t ever intended to be scary it was intended to be FUNNY. It was a comedy! But you know, it’s okay because.. boobs. Wow. Women Empowerment.  Much Feminism. Wow.

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In the 2016 movie season we will be seeing no less than 7 reboots/re imaginings/remakes including the aforementioned Ghostbusters-In-Name-Only, The Mechanic, (why Statham why?) Ben-Hur,  Jungle Book, a SECOND reboot of Friday the 13th, Tarzan, Power Rangers, and Pete’s Dragon for Christ’s sake!

Not to mention the upcoming “sequels” a damn near 20 years later such as Independence Day 2, and Beverly Hills Cop 4.
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if Marty McFly came to our 2015 he’d get confused as to if he actually left, once he saw all these movies in the theaters that are from his time..

And it didn’t used to be this way. Somewhere along the pike Hollywood decide “thinking is hard” and decided to just regurgitate the same thing over and over again to a populace that seems to be growing weary of the same old same old, as box office numbers seem to fall in the US.

A little secret most people don’t know is a lot of studios won’t even look at a property unless it’s been a comic book or something first. It’s why you see a lot of would be screenwriters rushing out to turn their screenplays into Graphic Novels to show to the studios in hopes of convincing them the property already has an audience and would be an easy sell.

It’s a sad fact that in this day and age it’s likely we would never have seen an E.T. or Star Wars made because a bean counter couldn’t figure out to  accurately market the concept. I am sure in the years to come we’ll see “Family Matters: The Movie” or an edgy Full House reboot because people find it easier to attempt to recapture lighting in a bottle then to look at what made those original things work and create something new for the world we live in now.

We are a nostalgia driven society these days and we’re drunk on a love for reboots. I miss the old days too man, but not everything should be resurrected. Peace be with them, let them go.

 

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Don’t forget that on Wed, we will be having our live Arrow blog on Facebook, Danny usually starts the thread at 8pm every week at the start of the show, come watch us tell you how to feel about things and stuff. You never know who will grace the thread with their presence, it’s always a good time!

 

When Irish Eyes Are Ragin’ | This Week In Geek| Courtney Rose & Danny Donovan

Well it’s about that time again… More like past time..  But we’re back for another installment. The new format’s working out it’s kinks and making sure only the top flight rants make it to you. So without further Adieu, I give you..

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10577172_10152701608304388_1776910350662537766_n “It’s me, it’s me, it’s the Danny D!”

So while the lovely Courtney Rose is battling her ebola at the moment, (THANKS OBAMA!) I shall take stock of all that’s come down the pike lately in the nerdy world of doom, while sipping on my holiday elixir of booze.

It’s actually a pretty big week for news so I guess we should get right to the latest developments.  Folks recently got their panties in a twist over this variant cover for an upcoming issue of Batgirl.

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Which depicts a re-imagining of the classic Alan Moore story “The Killing Joke” .  For those that haven’t read it, (if you haven’t I urge you to do so)  it showed a grittier, and more mature take on the world of the dark knight as was the style at the time. The Joker committed the ultimate sin, in attempting to hurt Batman and Commissioner Gordon. he shows up at the home of the commissioner’s daughter Barbra Gordon (unbeknownst to him, also known as Batgirl) and shoots her in the stomach at point blank range damaging her spine and forever putting her into a wheelchair, until she “got better” somehow during the New 52.

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To make matters even more sinister it has been alluded that The Joker might have raped Barbra after he kidnapped her broken body, but nothing definitive has ever been admitted by the original creative team.

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Sadly it’s a case of people reading too much into something. The artist of the variant, Rafael Albuquerque, has asked DC to pull his art due to the backlash it’s caused. The fact remains The Killing Joke is a very important part of the Batman mythos that should not be overlooked just because it’s subject matter makes people squeamish.

We now live in a society where everyone has a problem with everything and feel that just because a person creates art or tells a story that personally makes us uncomfortable they should go out of their way to undo it, so we can live in the nice happy fantasy land where nothing bad happens to anyone.

I feel DC caved under pressures by an ever increasingly offended society and it sets a bad precedent. Now everyone is going to face a harder and harder road when they want to push boundaries and make the art they want to make. The cover itself was more innocuous than the book it was paying tribute to. Yes, Batgirl is crying in fear because a scary man has a gun to her head, but she is like 19/21 somewhere around there, and you don’t have context as to why she’s afraid. Her father could be bleeding out in front of her for all we know off panel.

Just because a female character cries does not make her weak. Crying regardless of sex does not make one weak. what one does after the shock and sorrow subsides is where the true character is shown. Perhaps two seconds after that image was depicted she could have steeled herself up, elbowed Joker in the stomach and kicked his ass from here to Sunday, then saving whoever was also being threatened and getting them to safety.

Point blank, the art is not sexist, your idea of what the art depicts is sexist. STFU.

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Staying with the DC path, Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa, who will be playing Aquaman in Zak Snyder’s Batfleck driven shitstorm Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice stirred controversy while autographing promo posters at a local convention signing the poster:

“Fuck Marvel, Jason Momoa”

This of course sent the various fan camps in a tizzy, some going as far as calling Momoa, “unprofessional.” In all honesty, it’s just shots fired across the bow in the marketing rivalry between the two studios. (Warner Bros. and Disney respectively) I for one don’t find it unprofessional I do find it stupid. Don’t get me wrong, Marvel actors have said similar things about their competition with little blowback.

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This again is another showcase as to where we have become a really sad, weak little society of fucking wimps that can’t handle a little trash talk. That’s the fun part of competition, egging on your opponent trying to throw them off their game… There’s a saying that says “If you can’t stand the heat, you’re going to be really uncomfortable when I tell you to go to hell..” or something like that.. I’ve never been good with sayings.

The difference between Warner’s trash talk and Disney’s trash talk, is that they’ve delivered. On a number of occasions, they’ve taken their least known properties and made them stars, whereas Warner Bros. can barely get their MAIN characters right. Man of Steel was fine, and to be honest (and when am I not brutally honest) The Dark Knight was the only good one of the Nolan Batman films. And that was just because of Ledger.

I enjoyed them for what they were, but they were mostly a pantomime of what Batman is. Very few people outside of comics understand that. Paul Dini is the only person to bring the real Batman to the mainstream in the amazing Batman: The Animated Series

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Whereas Marvel has over the course of 11 some movies built their universe bit, by bit… Making Marvel a viable brand in the marketplace, Warner Brothers has not. Let’s face facts, the nearly billion dollar grossing Guardians of the Galaxy, and Oscar-Winning Big Hero 6, largely benefited from people willing to take chances on a film because of the quality they’ve gotten from other Marvel Studios films.

Warner Brothers has had one Superman movie, that did considerably well, (though not well enough to get a solo direct sequel it seems as Man of Steel 2 won’t hit theaters until 2018, 5 years after the original) Three Batman movies, which honestly no longer ‘count’ as Batman is being rebooted to fit into this new universe, and a string of films that never set the world on fire such as Green Lantern, Jonah Hex, Halle Berry’s Catwoman, etc.

So Dawn of Justice is truly the first film that will show whether it can stand toe to toe with Marvel Studios, universe against universe. I for one, am excited about it. The greatest thing about comics are the great debates of the time! “Can Superman beat The Hulk?”   “Which company is better?” this is what competition is. Your best, versus the other guy’s best. Sometimes you’ll win a battle, sometimes the other guy does. It’s all about challenging people to make you continue to produce the best possible work.  This sissy-mary “I hope we all win” BS is why we get the crap we get now.  No, your competition is your enemy! CRUSH THEM! Have them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women!

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Marvel is going to come out strong with Age of Ultron, and Captain America 3, (now with Spider-man flavor!) so Warner Bros needs to find something to prove they can hang. These sad, brooding “we’re not making comic book movies, comics are for kids, look we have that brrrraaaaaaam noise from Inception and no color! We’re for grown ups” style of filmmaking isn’t going to cut it anymore. The audience now has a choice. Bring your best! You know Patton Oswalt said it better than I ever could so let him go.

Patton Oswalt Talks DC, Marvel, Star Wars & More!

Before we move onto the house of mouse, let me finish the DC portion of this blog touching on the “new looks” of the DC Comics coming this summer.  After Convergence, the storyline that is going to un52, the New 52 we’re going to see our beloved characters getting a costume change once again.

action-970x545-127078 “Superheroing doesn’t pay the bills so The Man of Steel becomes the new spokesperson for Levi’s jeans”

In an attempt to continue the hipster notion that “super-heroes are dumb and you are dumb for liking them” DC has decided to “upgrade” several of their iconic characters to more mature looking outfits.

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Batman will go from the caped crusader to looking like someone who really likes Ben Edlund’s “The Tick” and Japanese anime. I suppose he couldn’t take the comparison’s to Tony Stark so he decided to get himself a bitchin’ new armor. Which is a bit more high tech than his former side-kick chose.

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Yes, that is Dick “Nightwing” Grayson fighting crime in a stylish 3 piece suit, or he has decided to quit being a hero and become a security guard for Brooks Brothers, either or.

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Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern is either going to challenge Brock Lesnar to a UFC prize fight or drop the dopest hip hop album in the galaxy.

ww “Fuck Comics, Dubsy’s moving to Mortal Kombat!”

Wonder Woman has decided to lose pretty much everything that makes her wonder woman for a more video game look. DC pretty much has come out of the gate with some of the worst things about non-comic fans getting into comics, thanks to our take over of the popular culture.

Comic Books are like the girl from “She’s All That”, she was always hot (even if not romantic comedy movie hot) but no one saw past the glasses and the overalls, until Mr. Sarah Michelle Gellar made her wear a tight dress and make up and now everyone wants to bang her. However, just like Laney Boggs, even though we’re gussied up and so damn pretty, we still don’t feel like we should be hanging with the cool kids.

So we change and adapt and do all the things we tell ourselves we shouldn’t do in our personal lives to win friends and get ahead. We’ve lost our way, we’re no longer counter culture, trying to shake people up and give them a refuge from the dulled wailings of the oncoming Idiocracy, we’re trying to be like them so they’ll like us, and only losing ourselves in the process.

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You’re a Wonder, Wonder Woman, just as you are! As a lifelong reader,  I admit it’s become a chore to read the new releases every Wed. they’re so bland and shallow like the rest of popular culture. But then I’ll go back to reading the books I loved when I was younger and remembered what comics truly could be.

Stop “Taylor Swifting” comics, people! We’ve always been better than everyone else. Don’t dumb us down for movie folk. Challenge them to read and learn about actual characterization!

And speaking of dumbing down a property….

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Josh Trank, the idiot that keeps Go-Pro in business, is still making the abomination that is the Fantastic Four movie. In fact, the sequel which was already greenlit (Thanks Obama) has already been pushed back now that a better film has taken it’s release window.

Trank is honestly, everything I hate about filmmaking. Don’t get me wrong I love the stuff we do at Channel 757 and the projects I am working on with my friends (Go Broisodes!) but Trank is the quintessential hipster, film school a-hole that you just want to punch, that people love for some reason, supposedly because they too, are hipster doofuses. And from all my years working in this business, these idiots are legion. ESPECIALLY once you get to L.A. (which is why I could never live there, as I’d be arrested for assault on a weekly basis)

I couldn’t make it through Chronicle. I really couldn’t. I got about 45 minutes before my eyes almost rolled out of my head with his shitty directing and terrible dialogue. I still refuse to see Whiplash, just because the non-Mr. Fantastic is in it, even though I love JK. Simmons.

So this is happening… Just try to ignore it. Hopefully it’ll go back to Disney soon. I take the words of The Immortal Bard, Shakespeare when thinking about this atrocity.

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” If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.”

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Fox will continue to earn my ire, as after so many bad X-MEN movies, (DOFP was the worst so far) we go once more into the breach for X-MEN: Apocalypse next year, taking my favorite era, the 1980s, one of my favorite villains, Apocalypse, and Bryan Singer’s whiny BS and finding a way to screw up gold on a plate.

It’s bad enough that Fox gave us the terrible Gotham show, and killed my beloved Firefly but it’s determined to destroy Marvel’s best franchises. I hope one day Disney swoops in and rescues them as they recently did Spider-man.

Before I sign off I’d like to point out that the opinions and language expressed within this column remain solely mine, and do not reflect the opinions of Tom White or Channel 757.  Tune in next week as the prettier one of this duo returns with a vengeance, as I continue to drink heavily and pray entertainment world gets better, before I get fed up with this BS business and become an assassin for hire. (my fallback position)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Welcome to the New World Order.| This Week In Geek| Courtney Rose & Danny Donovan

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Happy 2015 everyone! As that Semisonic song once said “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”  So to is it with This Week In Geek, no we’re not going anywhere but much like the Crisis of Infinite Earths we are rebooting.

I am proud to present my partner in crime, the ever lovely and talented Courtney Rose will be joining me here as we alternate articles about all that bad and good in the world of Geek. Now
for those that don’t know her (for shame if you don’t!) she is the ‘coolest asshole you’ll ever know’, (c) and tm an amazing artist, costume designer, and writer. Over the course of the weeks and months of us taking over the 757, you will see why we are internet royalty.  Also every week we host an Arrow live-blog thing which you can usually find Wed. nights at 8pm on my facebook.

Admittedly I have dropped the ball in recent weeks as some of my filming commitments have taken over from my ranting, so I am bringing in the best to strengthen our toehold on the 757. Now I’ll stop the yimmer yammer and let the pretty one of this duo get on with the show but I will leave you with quotes of two of our greatest wordsmiths, the immortal bard William Shakespeare and Sam L. Jackson.  “What brave new world, that has such people in it…. Hold onto your butts.”

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1465315_548924698532887_1511882487_n Let’s go back to January, just as the massive snowstorm began to hit my humble abode here in Boston and turned it into Hoth. Instagram suddenly went abuzz with some pretty badass pictures posted on director of District 9, Neil Blomkamp’s account of Alien concept art.

Apparently the Alien sequel was a project Blomkamp was playing around with independently but wouldn’t see the light of day, or so he said. The impressive images showed everything we loved from the sleek black creatures to the organic futuristic landscapes, there was even a really awesome headpiece concept showed on Ellen Ripley…Yes Ripley! You read that right, there were a few images featuring the femme badass, along with Dwayne Hicks.

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I will admit my heart skipped beats from excitement and my eyes went all wide once I came across these pictures, Oh another Alien! Wouldn’t it be great? With Hollywood full of nothing but reboots and sequels lately it was almost sad to see something like this wouldn’t be dug up for us to bathe in, just simply passed over. I shared the link on my Facebook page with the fitting status of “oh Lord please make it happen!” and low and behold 2 months later it did.

 

Just a few days ago Blomkamp headed back to Instagram to share with the world that he would in fact be directing the Alien sequel and 20th Century Fox shortly after confirmed it. Oh glorious childhood you’re back! The sci-fi gods have heard our pleas and answered…or did they? Now I would really like to think that the giant buzz we all made about this is what sparked the fire to make it happen, but when it comes to Hollywood I’m usually swaying to more of a PR stunt to get us talking. Not to say Blomkamp did such a thing but I wouldn’t really put it past anyone anymore. (thanks for “The Interview” buzz N. Korea! But hey Hollywood, the movie was still lame.)

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Now even though this sequel is totally brand new news, it already has the gears in my head turning wondering about a storyline. The most appealing thing about the concept art is seeing Ripley and Hicks again which makes me immediately wonder where this film is taking place in the timeline. Are we ditching 3 & 4 or are we keeping them with a scenario where scientists were able to clone the Marine off blood samples as they did Ripley for Resurrection? Then we’re left with the question of his facial scarring. Oh anticipation you’re already killing me, all this speculation will hopefully be worth the wait. (Dear Fox, don’t screw this up.)

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If the film lives up to the art, I think it will work. Pretty much what we need here is Fox to make the film just less, Fox. They’ve been revamping everything and ruining our lives with their “throw caution to the wind” mind set. I’m really hoping if we have these characters back there’s a chance to snag the original actors, we really don’t want a recast with Ru Paul as Ripley and Nic Cage as Hicks. Though Ripley’s makeup would totally be on point in that scenario, but let’s just stick to what we know Fox okay?

11022936_791561460935875_806530566_n(Courtney Rose with her Colonial Marine Pride!)

 

Sigourney Weaver said herself in an interview with Los Angeles Times on the possibility of another Alien, “I feel a longing from fans for the story to be finished. I could imagine a situation where we finish telling the story.” Hopefully that would be enough incentive for her to hop on board if Fox extends a welcoming hand. Michael Biehn hasn’t been doing much these days it seems except for low budget films like Scorpion King 4…did we REALLY need that? Reprising his role here might help wake him up a bit, perhaps he could look deep down and find the Kyle Reese/Dwayne Hicks badassery he once had. (We still believe in you Biehn! Oh and you were very kind when I met you at a show a few months back. Thanks for the auto!)

 

Hopefully we get something great here, I am optimistic with everyone involved here (except Fox) and I’m pretty damn excited about all this, but I’m trying to contain it and not get carried away. Since this is so early on we will just have to calm ourselves and really hope for the best.

 

 

 

5 Reasons Why Grant Gustin Should Be The Flash on the Big Screen

Barry Allen PosterOk right off the bat and so we can get it out of the way… we’re a little bit biased towards Grant Gustin at Channel 757 being as he’s a Hampton Roads native. However, he could be from Iowa and we would still stand by the idea that he is the best man for the role of DC’s Scarlet Speedster. Let’s also throw this out there… no offense at all to Ezra Miller. He’s a good actor and we can’t say he would be a “bad” casting choice at this point as we haven’t seen him in the role.  Which brings us to our first point…

1. He’s already The Flash

Audiences went two decades without a live action version of the Flash to connect with. The original Flash television show from the 90’s stared John Wesley Shipp in the title role and until Grant Gustin, there hasn’t been another actor since to take up the red and gold mantle. Coincidently (or not), Shipp also plays Barry Allen’s father on the CW show as a nod to the original and a “passing of the torch.”

We aren’t saying that Grant should get the role simply because he was first, but more so because with the show being a hit with its target audience, he is The Flash that the new generation is familiar with. Not only is he familiar, but he’s also pretty good.New 52 Flash

That brings us to the next point…

2. He’s Good in the Role

Since returning to television, The Flash has been a hit and while we won’t say that Grant has reached Robert Downey Jr. status, where fans can’t see anyone other than him playing the role, but for the show to have been this successful, he has to be hitting the mark as the titular character or the show would have likely stumbled out the gate.

Considering that for the majority of the past two decades, the Flash that we have seen in the comics and animated shows has been Wally West, casual fans and die-hards haven’t had a hard time connecting to Gustin as The Fastest Man Alive.

If audiences already accept and appreciate what Gustin is bringing to the role, they may have a harder time accepting a different Barry Allen on the big screen.  DC could avoid this by making Miller the Wally West version of The Flash. There has also been talk of DC’s television happening in a “different universe” than their cinematic universe, but lets be honest…

3. Continuity in Today’s Comic Book Genre Sells

Marvel Studios has changed the game. Anyone would agree with that. Their creation of not only a shared, but connected cinematic universe has seen the superhero genre reach new heights in pop culture. With several movies in production and opening each year, Marvel has also opened their universe to the small screen with Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter.  They even have a Netflix original series for Daredevil premiering in April.the-flash-arrow-crossover

Now, we’re not saying that following in Marvel’s footsteps is the only way to go.  We’re saying that it’s the proven and profitable route when done correctly. Having The Flash from the television show and the new films performed by the same actor connects not one, but two shows to the DC films when you mix in Stephen Armell from Arrow.

And that’s a good thing because…

4. The Movies Would Help Build a Larger TV Audience

When Captain America: Winter Soldier opened, it left an immediate and lasting effect on Agents of SHIELD. Those who enjoyed the movie, but weren’t fans of the SHIELD show, felt compelled to check it out in order to see what happened next. Imagine how many fans would tune TheFlash againin to see what happens immediately after the Justice League premieres knowing that The Flash has his own television show within that continuity.

And the show is strong enough on its own to maintain a lot of that new audience.  The advantage that DC has here is that they are dealing one of DC’s most popular characters. Gustin isn’t portraying a side character– he’s The Flash. SHIELD may take part in the Avengers films by name, but other than Agent Colsen, the characters in the show don’t appear in the movies and were created for the series.

If that isn’t all reason enough, we’ve got one more…

5. He Would be a Breath of Fresh Air in a Dark World

DC is building a pretty bleak sandbox for their heroes to play in. While Batman is Batman and that works for him, we also have a Superman who has killed, a Wonder Woman who isn’t fond FlashTVof color and an Aquaman who doesn’t appear to be useless.

At first glance, it would appear that Gustin’s Flash wouldn’t fit into this world, but his character’s contrast would likely be refreshing. The series has been a lot more fun and lighthearted than other superhero options on television, but never loses that feeling that the stakes are high and it still manages to take itself seriously enough.

Even with spawning from another darker show like Arrow, The Flash just isn’t as grim with a hero portrayed by Gustin. Barry Allen is still learning to be a hero living with the pains of loss, but still not sinking into the depressions of the Dark Knight or the loneliness that comes with being the Last Son of Krypton.

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Lastly, but not listed, why give Gustin competition? He’s doing a great job and adding Ezra Miller will prove that someone is better than the other. Thats what happens when you create your own competition. It’s unnecessary because DC already has a great Flash working on their payroll. He’s the Fastest Man Alive and his name is Grant Gustin.

This Weekend’s Norfolk Events That You Need To Check Out

Whats happening this weekend? A lot of comedy.  Virginia isn’t only for lovers in Norfolk as there are two great comedy events this weekend alone that YOU should make time for.

comedy smackdownFirst- Tomorrow night February 20th, THE SECRET LEAGUE OF PODCASTERS presents COMEDY SMACKDOWN in Norfolk at FM Restaurant on Granby St (directly behind the NorVA for the uninitiated). 12 vicious comics of Hampton Road go head to head with uncensored jokes & insults to take home the championship belt and cash prizes. Then, after the show, we hand the stage over to local band Non-Violent Crimes to rock out the rest of the evening! Tickets $10, showtime 9PM. A portion of the door will go to benefit the Navy Seal Foundation.

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THEN Saturday night, February 21st, at The NorVA itself, Norfolk’s  premier comedy team– THE PUSHERS return with their annual all female comedy show, PANTIES IN A TWIST! Panties In A Twist is a sketch comedy show written by women… starring women… and brought to you on Norfolk’s biggest stage. With all these funny women in one place, this is guaranteed to be a huge event!!!  Show starts at 8pm and tickets are $15 in advance, $17 Night of the show.

 

 

until it hurtsNot in the mood for comedy? Then there are STILL tickets available for Saturday night’s 9:00 showing for the premiere of DIGITAL THUNDERDOME‘s latest release from Channel 757 founding member, SCOTT HANSEN— UNTIL IT HURTS at Nauticus also in downtown Norfolk. This film honors the sacrifices made by our nation’s Warriors and their families. Click here for Online ticket info.

Get out this weekend and support the creatives in Hampton Roads!

Check out the latest trailer for Paradox City

Paradox City titleIn the future, the last of humanity takes refuge inside an impenetrable fortress.

No one gets in to Paradox City. No one gets out. Powers are outlawed. There is no crime. No mercy. No escape. Detective Chamber has keeps Paradox City safe, but when his daughter escapes Paradox and is captured by pure evil, his only chance at saving her is to team up with the villains he locked away in order to escape Paradox City.


Staring IssuesNathan Emilio and Project Hot Potato 2014‘s Most Valuable Actress, Vera Yatsura as well as other Ch757 associated actors Dave Meadows and Ryan Braddock among others.Felony Vera

Produced by Jim McCullough and Project Hot Potato 2014 winners, Jpixx.

Visit their Kickstarter page to view the rewards and see how you can help be a part of something awesome:
kickstarter.com/projects/festeringlove/paradox-city