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.

The Traveler: A Project Hot Potato Film

Amy Finch isn’t very good at her job and it’s about to get her killed. She’s on the run from her evil boss, time cops, and even chrono-terrorists.
Yeah– really.  Time Travel kinda sucks like that. This is might be how the world ends.

A production between four teams of filmmakers from Hampton Roads, VirginiaProject Hot Potato is the competition thats really about collaboration.

Winning Team: BrainCo Productions (Part Three)
Most Valuable Actor: Vera Yatsula (Part Four)

 

You might be interested in hearing what these comedians thought about “The Traveler”

Watch The Great Hot Potato Roast Online NOW

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And this didn’t happen.

Kris Shrader PCHP

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.

Zak’s Movie Show | ZMS Nerd Bashing

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This week on ZMS we talk about the current state of nerd/geek culture. It’s a golden age for comic book based movies and TV yet everyone is complaining… We bring positive light to everything and reassure you to calm down on that front. We review a little netflix and also a review of Big Hero 6 which both of us saw in theaters..

Reach out and get hold of us here:
zaksmovieshow@gmail.com
facebook.com/zaksmovieshow
twitter: @zaksmovieshow
call: 757-943-9925

Project Hot Potato Part Four | Jpixx

vera jpixxChannel 757‘s Project Hot Potato is a competition about collaboration. Four teams have been given the task of creating segments of the same film.

For 2014, the teams created a film about a group of ambitious con-artists and the underworld that they exist in– all pursuing a manuscript which may or may not possess untold power.

Part Four
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Project Leader – Jon Abrahams
***Winner:
Audience Award, Most Valuable Actor: Vera Yatsula

Project Hot Potato 2014 Part Three | Fifty One Fifteen Productions

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 8.27.33 PMChannel 757’s Project Hot Potato is a competition about collaboration. Four teams have been given the task of creating segments of the same film.

For 2014, the teams created a film about a group of ambitious con-artists and the underworld that they exist in– all pursuing a manuscript which may or may not possess untold power.

Part Three
Fifty One Fifteen Productions
Project Leader – Ezra Petersen

Why You DON’T Want to Miss Project Hot Potato 2014 | The Line-Up

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Its easy to tell that Channel 757 is pretty excited about screening Project Hot Potato for the Mane Magfirst time on January 18th.

The concept of four different filmmakers coming together to complete one film in the most twisted game of telephone imagined, is enough for us– but, there is so much more.

Here’s the line up or as we like to call it:  Why you DON’T want to miss out on the Project Hot Potato screenings.

The Project Hot Potato MVA Award (Most Valuable Actor)

Not only is this the first year that we’re screening Project Hot Potato– Its also the first year we are giving away an acting award! And here are the NOMINEES!

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Zeus Campbell
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Nick Ventura BrainCo Productions
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Rachael Lang
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Vera Yatsula JPixx
Vera Yatsula
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Don’t forget the Trailer Premieres — At Project Hot Potato 2014, we will be seeing the premieres of several trailers from some of the most talented filmmakers the area has to offer.

Including Mercy–  the second film from director, Nick Alberton.

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And Stranded Eyeland from Project Hot Potato 2013 winner and Project Hot Potato 2014 judge (he’ll do it all), Ernie Smith

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There’s also the next short film from Virginia Beach’s “King of Indie Horror,”  Scott Hansen — THE FEAST!

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And of course, let’s not forget the EXTENDED trailer premiere for Chris Abaya‘s RED BAND!

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We will also have EXCLUSIVE Channel 757 interviews with EACH director from Project Hot Potato 2014.  Check out the trailer for the Project Hot Potato director interviews!


And of course we will be awarding one of our teams with the Project Hot Potato Critic’s Award! The Critic’s Award is determined by a panel of judges composed of filmmakers, writers, actors, and film students.  They are asked to watch all four submitted films and choose which they felt was the best short.

The Social Media Award and Winner of Project Hot Potato will be determined next month!

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