Friday Round Up: Wrapping up June

So, I have to admit that I haven’t read the Attack on Titan manga or seen the anime series. But I know it’s very popular. Japan is making two live-action films and they just released a trailer for the first. I gather it’s about people in the future that have made massive walls to keep evil giants out. Can someone sound off and let me know if it’s good?

I’m going to try to keep this week’s Friday Round Up a little leaner. It’s getting too big. The point is to mention the most important stories, but really it’s so that we can easily digest them and talk about them in the replies here or on our Facebook page. This week we discuss the death of James Horner, Jurassic World‘s monstrous second week haul and why that’s bad, some fun comic book news, Screech going to jail, and some bad moves with the Jurassic World toys and Batman: Arkham Knight game. Let us know what you think.

MOVIES

spider-man dance

We already have a post about this, but Sony and Marvel agreed to cast Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Are you familiar with him? Does he have the right look? If you look at our post, you’ll see the kid has been practicing his acrobatics. That commitment helps. Has the right look for a young Spidey. Here’s the big question, though? Who do you think should be the villain? Norman Osborn/Green Goblin so that they can then use him in the Marvel Universe as a master manipulator? Venom, maybe from the simplified Ultimate Comics origins? The Sinister Six? Doc Ock? What would you do?

indominus rex

Charlie Jane Anders has a really good think-piece on io9 this week about why it’s not a good thing that Jurassic World had a second week in a row where it dominated the box office. Having seen the movie, I agree. It’s fun but it’s far from good. It actually has a lot of dumb characters and the story is a retread of the original. Worth a read to see if you agree with Anders’ argument. I do look back on Jurassic Park from 1993 as the end of one type of blockbuster (big budget and concept, even semi-B movie material, but with a smart script and dedicated actors – Jaws, Star Wars) and the beginning of another (special effects and style over a logical plot or clever characters – Independence Day, Fast & Furious). That’s not to say there were dumb spectacles before (there were) or intelligent big movies today (Mad Max: Fury Road). But I think the standard has changed and may continue to swing towards the dopier.

James Horner

James Horner composed the film scores for tons of movies, and most relevent to us, for a lot of sci-fi movies: Star Trek II and Star Trek III, Aliens, The Rockateer, Avatar, Amazing Spider-Man and more. Sadly, he died this past week when his single-engine S312 Tucano turboprop plane crashed north of Santa Barbara, CA. He was only 61. Depressing.

COMICS

lucille negan's bat

Skybound announced their exclusives for San Diego Comic Con in 2 weeks. Along with new action figures for Invincible and Walking Dead, they also have an Outcast watch, Walking Dead-themed jewelry, a crossbow that shoots foam darts and the above replica of Lucille, the bat used by Negan, a big villain in the comics. He’ll probably show up by the end of the next season of Walking Dead’s TV show.

spider-men and spider-gwen

We still don’t know how everything will shake out in Marvel, post-Secret Wars but we know a few important things. We learned this week that Miles Morales will be part of the main Marvel Universe and will be the main Spider-Man. Peter Parker will be his mentor and work at Parker Industries. It will still be written by Brian Michael Bendis who created Miles and wrote all the Ultimate Comics about both versions of Spider-Man. Spider-Gwen’s book will continue (with the same creative team of Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez) and she’ll still be in her universe (65 for those keeping track) which implies that there will still be a multiverse of parallel worlds after Secret Wars. Not everything will be smushed into one. Also, the A-Force title that takes place during Secret Wars where all the worlds exist on one planet called Battleworld, and features the biggest female Avengers on a team, will continue after the crossover event.

TV

advantageous

My friend Ken Jeong is in a new movie that came to Netflix this past week. It’s a sci-fi movie called Advantageous and it’s worth a look. It deals with Gwen, a single mother who needs to get her 13-year old daughter into a good school to ensure her future. Her job is as a spokesperson for the Center For Advanced Health And Living and she’s being phased out of her job because she’s considered too old. She agrees to test a new procedure that allows people to unlock their potential, but at what cost? In addition to Ken, it features Jacqueline Kim (Sulu from Star Trek: Generations!) and Freya Adams as Gwen, James Urbaniak as a sympathetic executive. Jennifer Ehle and Samantha Kim. Serious stuff.

screech cuffed to a locker

Screech (well, Dustin Diamond) is going to jail for 4 months for stabbing a guy. Oh, Screech. The former Saved by the Bell actor is really fighting to be one of the most depressing child stars out there. He stabbed a guy with a knife in a bar fight on Christmas. Who goes to a bar on Christmas? His girlfriend started a fight with some Wisconsin locals and Screech stabbed the dude. Not bad, the guy’s fine. But it was against the law to have the knife and the jury found him guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct. But which is the bigger crime? This or his awful stand-up comedy?

MERCHANDISE

jurassic world hasbro raptor

We’ve reported before how annoying and unfair it is for toy manufacturers to ignore female heroes in their lines. Black Widow gets snubbed in all the Avengers set. She wasn’t even on the motorcycle of the Quinjet set even though that’s one of her big scenes in the movie. The argument from toy manufacturers is they don’t think they need the female fans. But plenty of girls and boys would love more female hero toys. Well, in a weird move, Hasbro’s packaging has referred to the Velociraptors as male even though it’s always been established that Jurassic Park and Jurassic World only breed females so that they can control the population. Like, Chris Pratt says LOTS of times how he’s training these girls. In the first movie, Muldoon has that iconic last line: “Clever girl.” Oh well, I guess boys wouldn’t want to touch dinosaurs that were girls.

arkham knight guides

Batman: Arkham Knight is the third and final game by Rocksteady (fourth in the series) in their Arkham game series. It’s been well received by both critics and gamers. But it has not had a good launch this week. The PC version is so buggy that within 48 hours Warner Bros. Interactive pulled the game. Rocksteady handled the PS4 and XBox One versions but a third party created the PC port. I have no idea how it made it past quality control because by all accounts it’s a complete mess and unplayable. As a cherry on top, Prima Publishing, who makes official game guides, released their books as seen above. You may notice they’ve called it “Arkham KNGHT”. Well, their spell-check software sure didn’t. Did WB just fire their entire quality control department?

  • Lamar the Revenger

    Attack on Titan… best way to describe it: everyone is expendable

  • “Who goes to a bar on Christmas?” Many people in Wisconsin.

  • Skewed_View

    Yes, you’ve pretty much nailed Attack on Titan’s premise. I haven’t read the manga (or any manga for that matter), but I did watch the first ten or so episodes of the anime before I got sick of it and couldn’t keep going.
    I’m going to see Jurassic World today. I do not really have high hopes for a good movie, I just want some dinosaur mayhem, and everyone says it does deliver on that end.