Friday Round Up: Let’s All Overreact

I’ve never been disappointed by a Quentin Tarantino-directed movie and Hateful Eight looks to keep that streak alive. What a cool idea for a Western – having all sorts of shady characters hole up in a cabin during a storm and one of them isn’t what they seem. Along with the always-welcome presence of Kurt Russell, I couldn’t help but think of it as a Western version of John Carpenter’s The Thing.

Okay, this week has your bite-size recaps/links for the biggest news in the genre world. Target removing gender-based signs in the toy aisle. Star Wars news. Arrow and Flash news. Jason Voorhees on weekly TV? All sorts of fun stuff. You’ll like it.

MERCH

target removes gender labels in toy aisles

An example of the old signage that will be phased out in some stores.

Target recently decided to remove the gender signs from two areas of their store: home and toys. So while an aisle of toys will still have Barbies and dolls, the Lego sets may all go together. Stuff like that so that kids can choose whatever toy they think looks fun without the colors of signs directing them to one aisle and making them feel bad about looking in the next one over. Seems like a fairly harmless move but a few fringe conservatives FREAKED THE F*** OUT over this move this week. But one guy had an epic troll for those people which resulted in some funny stuff. He would reply to their insane rants on the Target Facebook page as a fake customer service person. Totally worth reading through them. The author calls it “Target Trolling.”

neca terminator robocop

Look at what NECA is going to make. They posted this to their Twitter account. It’s a Terminator-endoskeleton version of Robocop. Why? Because it’s based on the very fun Robocop vs. Terminator comic by Dark Horse. The short version is that Skynet is partially built on Robocop’s hardware.

MOVIES

star wars force awakens korean trailer shot

This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly has a dozen new photos of the characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You can view them here but I’m pasting a link in case you want to avoid being spoiled on any potential characters. The shot above is from the Korean trailer for the movie which had a single different shot from the American release – a reverse shot of the First Order Stormtroopers gathering. It’s obviously meant to evoke Leni Reifenstahl’s 1935 Nazi documentary, Triumph of the Will.

dolph lundgren in kindergarten cop 2

So I have a theory that the person who benefited most from the Expendables movies was Kelsey Grammer’s ex-wives. I mean Dolph Lundgren. He’s currently filming Kindergarten Cop 2 which isn’t really a sequel so much as a direct to DVD remake. But still. This time he’s trying to find a flash drive and the bad guys are Albanians. It’s time someone stuck it to those papirka-loving heavy-smokers (apparently those are stereotypes about Albanians).

TV

constantine to appear on arrow

So NBC didn’t really support Constantine or it just wasn’t done dark enough or who knows what happened. All we know is the show was cancelled. But star Matt Ryan will play John Constantine at least one more time. The showrunners for Arrow announced they made a one-time only deal to have the character appear on an early episode of Arrow next season. While the show hasn’t quite dealt with overt mysticism yet, Oliver has referred to knowing it exists from his five years on the island and last season did introduce the Lazarus Pits. In fact, when one of these pits is used on a very dead character, things go very very wrong and Constantine is brought in as the expert on the occult. Should be fun!

cw's flash of two worlds

This past week was the Television Critics Association semi-annual conference where the networks tell the critics a bit of what’s coming up this year. CW started by sharing this image which looks fun to casual viewers but to comics fans is glorious. It’s a famous cover of Flash (#123 from 1961) by legendary DC artist Carmine Infantino called “The Flash of Two Worlds”. It’s important because it introduced the concept of the multiverse or parallel worlds and the then-current Flash (Barry Allen) met the Flash that DC was publishing back in the 40s and 50s (Jay Garrick). Looks like the show aims to enter similar territory with the recently cast Teddy Sears appearing in the promo image as Jay. How far could they take this concept? Well, what if this Flash could suddenly meet DC heroes from previous movies and TV shows like Smallville? A fun crossover that still allows the properties to remain separate but connected.

mr potato head jason voorhees

Last bit of CW news, I promise. Also at the TCA, the CW president said they’re developing a Friday the 13th hour-long series. And not like the syndicated show from the late 80s which didn’t have any Jason Voorhees. This one will use characters from the movies including Jason. On one hand, I think this could be fun. On the other, the Jason movies are kind of gore schlock which you can’t do much of on the CW. And the showrunners are the people that did the NBC procedural The Pretender. I’d rather just see Jason Voorhees pop up on Supernatural and give them an actual threat.

rick and morty contest

Rick and Morty‘s second season has not lost a step. It’s hilarious, gorgeously animated and quite ambitious with its sci-fi concepts. Episodes so far have showed several parallel timelines at once and asked the question if an assimilating alien (a la the Borg or Cybermen) are bad if they’ve assimilated a world that was at each other’s throats over a race war. Well Adult Swim announced this week that it’s renewed for a third season! They also have an art contest going on (you can read the rules here) until the end of the month. First prize is $3,500 and an Adult Swim gift bag and there’s lots of runner-up prizes too.

sesame street to hbo

In a bit of a surprise move, Sesame Street will not air originally on PBS for the next five years. The Sesame Workshop made a deal with HBO where it will run full seasons but now 30 minutes instead of an hour. Apparently they will make more episodes per season, too. PBS will still get to show the episodes nine months later. Not bad for the public network and this will take the show up to its 50th season.

  • Pete Pfau

    I watched Constantine, and I think its main issue was that there was just nothing about it that felt original or compelling. It was all stuff we’ve seen before. Matt Ryan played the role for all he’s worth, but the show itself treated Constantine like a two-dimensional prop.

    And CW actually gets shockingly gory on some of its shows!

  • Chris Piers

    That’s true. The first several seasons of Supernatural used to do actual horror episodes. I miss those days. I actually started watching that show because they were supposed to have the actual Jason Voorhees appear in a season 3 episode where nightmares could enter the real world. At the last moment, the deal fell apart but it still piqued my curiousity. Kind of ironic that a year later, one of the stars was the lead of the next Friday the 13th movie.

    I caught the pilot of Constantine and was like, “Eh, it’s OKAY. Not compelling.” And it might not be its fault but Supernatural had been doing his stories for 10 years at that point.

  • Skewed_View

    Django actually disappointed me, and that is the first Tarantino movie to do so. I was disappointed because I was wanting a western, and it didn’t really feel like one. However, I am excited for Hateful Eight, and will definitely see it.
    I’m totally cool with Target removing Girls’ and Boys’ signs, kids shouldn’t feel pigeon-holed into liking a particular type of toy. The packaging does that plenty well on its own without the additional signage to help.
    I watched about half of the Constantine season, and I think its main problems stemmed from the restraints that network TV had to put on it. I really like that actor, and look forward to him showing up in Arrow.
    “The Sesame Workshop made a deal with HBO where it will run full seasons but now 30 minutes instead of half an hour.” Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I need some clarification here on the length of the episodes. :)

  • Big Jim

    I was on the fence with “Constantine” in the beginning, but the longer it ran, the more I got into it. Glad to see we’ll get a little bit more of him.

    This is what I know about Albania (thanks to Coach’s little trick):
    Albania, Albania,
    You border on the Adriatic.
    Your land is mostly mountainous.
    And your chief export is chrome.

    Hey, it works. 30 years later and I still remember that.