Friday Round Up: April Jewels

Okay, so both Vincent and I were slammed last week and couldn’t put together a Friday Round Up (we call them FRUs). So this week has some nerd news from this week and some from last week. Starting off, here’s a trailer for Schwarzenneger’s next movie, Maggie. It isn’t a big budget action film, but rather a modestly budgeted horror/drama about a weary father who refuses to give up on his infected daughter in a world of zombies. Arnold has rarely stretched his acting muscles because his range is small. But it looks like he might be trying here and the role fits who he is at this point. It could be cool.

Read on for news about the Pacific Rim, Avengers and X-Men comics and movies, Game of Thrones, Deadpool, X-Files, and a lot more.

COMICS

Pacific Rim comic book page by Fialkov and Marz

Personally, I loved Pacific Rim. I thought it was super entertaining. Well, we have quite a while to wait until a sequel is made but in the meantime, there will be an official Pacific Rim comic book. It lands in November for 4 issues and will be set before the first movie. It’s based on a story by Pacific Rim scribe Travis Beacham, but written by rising comics superstar Joshua Fialkov (seriously, check out The Bunker). Marcos Marz is the artist. Looks cool.

All New Avengers Lineup post Secret War

Marvel has released the lineup of the Avengers post-Secret Wars. As many expected, Miles Morales will join the main Marvel continuity and will be Spider-Man on the Avengers. The rumor is that Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane will be restored and they will be raising their daughter, so Peter is semi-retired and is Miles’ mentor. I think that sounds fantastic. Also, looks like Falcon will continue as Captain America and the female Thor is staying too. Also joining the team is Iron Man, Vision, the Kamala Khan version of Ms. Marvel and Sam Alexander as Nova. I gotta applaud Marvel – they’re making a commitment to diversity in their characters and I’m positive that resonates with the youngest readers. That also probably explains why half the team is teenagers and it includes Iron Man, who any kid will tell you is their favorite character in the Marvel movies.

In somewhat related news, Marvel has hinted that X-Men won’t be in the regular Marvel comics continuity after Secret Wars. It seems like Marvel is trying to isolate X-Men so that they don’t feed potential material to the Fox movies. They aren’t creating many new characters or getting involved in big storylines of just their own. If that is what Marvel is doing, I think they’re only shooting themselves in the foot. It’d take a generation to make people forget about X-Men, maybe more. Fox can always reboot and they have 50 some years of stories to remix. So just sell the comics and make money off your most popular characters.

TV

x-files stars dancing

The biggest TV news last week had to be the confirmation that The X-Files will return.  It will be a 6-episode event series on Fox next year and both Duchovny and Anderson are confirmed to return as Scully and Mulder. Chris Carter is still in charge and it’s expected to have both alien mythology and monster-of-the-week episodes. I’m sure if it does well, Fox would love to bring the show back, but would Duchovny and Anderson want to return full-time? That seems less likely. Also returning for the show are Mitch Pileggi (their boss, Walter Skinner) and William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man). That last one is weird, since he seemed to very conclusively die in the series finale, but then again this is a show with aliens and clones so who knows? I just hope they address the show’s biggest loose end – supposedly aliens would invade and colonize Earth in 2012. We never got to see that play out.

Rose McIver in iZombie

CW debuted new show iZombie recently (there’ve been 3 episodes so far) and I was surprised how well done it was. It’s by Rob Thomas, the guy who made Veronica Mars and it’s very similar in a lot of ways. Young girl solves crime and we hear her inner monologue throughout the show. But the supporting cast is diverse, likable and interesting. And the supernatural element of a type of zombie is worth exploring. Olivia “Liv” Moore is turned into a zombie and if she doesn’t eat brains, she degenerates into a mindless animal. But if she eats brains, she gets snippets of their memories. She used to be on the fast-track to completing her residency and being a doctor but after the accident, she gets a job in the morgue where she uses her medical skills on autopsies and also has access to brains so she doesn’t have to kill. Her boss figures out she’s a zombie and helps her and they begin working with a cop who believes she’s psychic. It can be funny but there are good mysteries at the heart of each episode. Recommended. We truly live in an interesting nerd age where there are live action shows based on comics from Image (Walking Dead, the most popular scripted show on all of tv), Marvel (Agents of SHIELD is getting really good and Daredevil looks even better), DC (Flash is having a nearly perfect premier season) and more. It’s pretty cool.

I loved Mr. Show by Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. My all-time favorite sketch comedy show. And now comes the news that Bob, David and many collaborators from Mr. Show including Scott Aukerman, Brian Posehn, Paul F. Tompkins and more will reuinite for a new sketch comedy show called With Bob and David. Netflix picked it up for 4 episodes plus a 2 hour long making-of special. It may only be 4 episodes, but Odenkirk is pretty busy with Better Call Saul (fanTAStic show) so he’s doing this between filming that. Maybe it’ll do well and they’ll get to put together more? I can dream.

hawkgirl and rip hunter

Two more cast members playing two new superheroes are joining the superhero teamup show spinning off from Arrow and Flash. Newcomer Ciara Renee will play Kendra Saunders who realizes she is a reincarnation of Hawkgirl. Arther Darvill (Doctor Who) will play Rip Hunter, a secretive time traveller. They join Brandon Routh as Atom and a collection of other characters that don’t quite make sense yet. Captain Cold and Heatwave, who are Flash villains. Caity Lotz who played Canary on Arrow but died and now there’s a new Black Canary so would they really have two of them? The doctor half of Firestorm but not the Ronnie Raymond half. Hard to figure out what they’re going for there. But you know what? I do trust them. Arrow and Flash have both been great this season. Especially Flash. Arrow is still very good with some spectacular episodes but season 2 of that show was perfect. Oh, and speaking of Arrow, star Stephen Amell was announced as playing Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 which starts filming soon.

MOVIES

Well, Deadpool is finally filming. And we can see Ryan Reynolds in costume in this April Fools segment he did for Extra. He says the movie will be rated R here but I’m not convinced. Also, does Deadpool truly NEED to be gory and full of cursing? I never really got that impression so I think PG-13 would be a much bigger hit with teens. Anyway, good costume. It makes me wonder where X-Men, the movies, go after the upcoming Apocalypse set in the 80s. I think it’s time for them to stop covering each decade and maybe stick with their cast from Apocalypse. But what stories are left to adapt from the comics? I think one of the few great ones left would be Mutant Massacre. That uses Mr. Sinister and the Marauders, some of the few big villains left. After that? There’s not TONS of great options, mostly because the films have thrown in any mutants they feel like without regard to the comics continuity. That means characters are all sorts of different ages and don’t easily have the same relationships to explore. Speaking of which, Lana Candor has been cast as Jubilee in the new X-Men movie. That speaks to what I’m talking about. Jubilee had cameos in the original X-Men movies so if she is now a teen in the 80s, the ages don’t match up. The kinda-sorta excuse is that the last movie, Days of Future Past, reset the timeline, effectively wiping out Last Stand and Wolverine: Origins and somewhat rewriting X-Men 1 and 2. Yeah…

The Lego Movie

There will be a FOURTH Lego movie (the sequel is currently being filmed and there will be a Batman Lego movie next year, using the version from The Lego Movie). The sequel is called The Billion Brick Race and will be written and directed by Jason Segel (The Muppets) and Drew Pearce (All Hail the King Marvel one-shot). Sounds like a good team.

BOOKS

winds of winter book cover

George RR Martin claims he’s busy working on his A Song of Ice and Fire novel (Game of Thrones) The Winds of Winter. And he did in fact just release a new chapter. You can read it here and it’s about Sansa. He also won’t write an episode for either the 5th or 6th season of the tv show. There’s no way he can get this 6th book out before the show covers the same ground, but I’m sure his publisher is pushing him to at least get the book out before the tv show ends and interest wanes. Can he do it? Mmmmaybe. But I think I’m totally okay with the tv show passing him. Honestly, his narrative realllllly slowed down in book 4 and the tv show is so well done, I think it can compress the storyline without losing anything significant. In fact, some of the characters we haven’t seen that fans wonder about (Coldhands, Euron) could simply be other characters we’ve already met. In which case, it would be a reveal, not an intro of a new character. So I’ll be patient.

TOYS

tron bike

Okay, the above is far from a toy, but in a way it’s gonna be some rich guy’s toy. That is a working Tron motorcycle, created by the Andrews Collection. It’s only been test driven a little bit in a warehouse and is now going to auction at Sotheby’s. There’s actually no reserve so maybe you could win it for not much. But it’ll likely go for at least $40K, maybe a LOT more. I would love to ride that thing. I’m not entirely clear how it switches gears when I look at it. So it’s probably electric. I think that takes a lot of the fun out of riding a motorcycle, but it would be balanced out by the fact that you were driving a goddamn lightcycle.

pebble time

The Pebble Time Kickstarter has become the most funded Kickstarter of all time with $20 million and counting. I was really tempted to order one but couldn’t quite pull the trigger. Some of my friends have the original Pebble and they swear by it. It’s basically a watch with a great battery life, bluetooth so you can push email, text and phone calls to it, and it’s a decent step counter for walking/running. Anyone support it?

  • William Bruce West

    Great write-up, as always! I completely agree with your thoughts on the Deadpool rating. Someone pointed out to me that the Deadpool video game was rated Mature, so why shouldn’t the movie be? That doesn’t really fly for me, as I think it would just be unnecessary violence.

    As for the Pebble, I have the original, and I love it. With the e-paper display, it’s not quite the smartwatch that folks are clamoring for, but that same display keeps the battery charged longer. I have to charge it around every 5 days, so that’s not too bad considering the Moto and the Apple Watch have a charge of about one day.