This episode is born out of my friend Josh urging me to see Justice League. He saw it and, in his words, “dug it.” He said I need to see it right away so we could discuss it.
But there’s a little obstacle in the path to the movies, snack bar, and the silver screen.
My wife and I have a son and little free time. I’ve been to the theater just a handful of times since he was born, and my wife even fewer times. But the genre movies don’t stop being released. So I have an idea that would be great for consumers like me – but pretty horrible for movie theaters. Two words…digital streaming.
So give the show a listen and then utilize the comments section and tell me if you agree with my idea or not. I’m looking forward to your response.
Well, let’s get the math out of the way right away, before I catch any grief.
In the Christian calendar, Lent is 40 days. This is Post 41. IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!
But wait, the forty days is from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday. Now we’re in Holy Week. We are not yet to Easter, so you still get posts (if you want them…and based on the numbers, you do).
So today we had a little [teaser] trailer drop for Thor: Ragnarok. Now I just talked about Norse mythology on Saturday. I thought the first Thor movie was brilliant, and Thor: The Dark World had its uses, as it brought us another Infinity Stone. Plus, there was more from the fan-favorite Loki, and the Captain America cameo.
The trailer opens with Thor in chains taking a very painful looking, chain–like drop into Hel. Thor’s voiceover says “Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘How did this happen?’ Well, it’s a long story.”
While the voiceover is happening, the scene changes to Thor throwing Mjolnir at an unknown entity. And also, Led Zeppelin starts to play. (Click the link. I swear, it’s all I hear when I think of The Immigrant Song.) So Mjolnir is thrown. But here’s a swerve…Mjolnir is caught. Or maybe the better term “stopped.”
And then the unthinkable happens (see the featured image). She breaks the damn thing.
Now here’s what you need to know about Mjolnir in the Marvel Universe. It’s not just a magical hammer that only Thor and Vision can hold. Paraphrasing Marvel.Wikia.com:
Odin defeats the God Tempest and traps it in a chunk of Uru, then gives the stone to dwarves who star-forge it into the hammer. The forging took seventeen weeks.
So anyway, Hela destroys Mjolnir, and next we see Hela in her full antler regalia about to bring destruction to Asgard. It takes nine seconds. And Thor is cast out of his home, and is found on a new world. He is quickly captured and shown in captivity.
Next we see the Grandmaster, Jeff Goldblum, asking what was brought before him, and the response given is “a contender.”
We see what appears to be Heimdall in the forest fighting for survival. Quick cuts about a second or so apart until the 1:06 mark when we finally get our first look at the prodigal son himself:
I don’t know whose side Loki is on. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was on his own side in this mayhem. As you’ll remember, when last we saw him, he was impersonating the Allfather and sitting on the throne of Asgard.
Fast-forward a few seconds and we see Thor finally entering the gladiator arena.
“Hey Thor, did you get a hair cut?”
“No, I got them all cut.”
His new helmet drops into place. The Grandmaster is introducing the opponent when “BAH GAWD, KING! IT’S HULK! IT’S THE INCREDIBLE HULK!”
Which brings about probably the only moments of levity in this trailer.
I mean it. Just look how happy he is. That is one jubilant God of Thunder. It’s almost like he forgot that time Hulk punched him in his head!
After a triumphant “YES” from Thor, the crowd and the Grandmaster are puzzled. Thor calmly, coolly explains “We know each other. He’s a friend from work.” Because…#Avengers.
Hulk straight up doesn’t care, and quickly engages Thor. Thor runs at Hulk. Our “teaser trailer” (that lasts almost two minutes…so I’m calling it a trailer) ends with an awesome, 1980’s Saturday Morning Cartoon style graphic.
So that’s the trailer. Or should I say “Here’s the trailer.”
I’m digging this trailer big time. I’m pumped for another Thor movie. I’m pumped for another MCU movie. And I’m excited to see the only two guys not invited to Captain America: Civil War to do battle with each other before restoring order in Asgard (speculation…they don’t tell me anything, obviously).
Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters in November!
What’d you think? Sound off in the comments on the Facebook page.
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But before I could *see* these ancient worlds in a video game, I would read about them. There was a book in my school library with an old and tattered red cover. I don’t know its name (though I borrowed and read it twice), but I really think it was called “Norse Mythology.” And that’s what it was about. It was the Norse mythology, cover to cover. It talked of Asgard, Odin, Thor, Loki, the frost giants, and in the end, Ragnarok. But it was no Marvel-spun tale. Thor had a fiery red beard and wore animal hides.
I know that Neil Gaiman provided the world with his re-telling of the famed Norse Mythology.
Like Gaiman, I had knowledge of Jack Kirby’s Thor, and had that picture in my mind when I first delved deeper into the Norse gods.
I don’t know if we’ll ever see an epic movie (franchise) based on Norse Mythology. I’d pay to see it, though.
My initial exposure to Greek mythology came about thanks to cinema. It was from 1981’s Clash of the Titans. I don’t remember the exact year I saw the film, but I was still in single digits. There was something about the tale of Perseus, overcoming the Fates, vengeful goddesses, a swamp-dwelling monster, gigantic scorpions, Medusa, and of course, the recently released Kraken.
Because of my love for the source material, I’m also in the minority when it comes to the 2010 version, as I’m a bit more forgiving. It told the story. They even threw in a quick shot of Bubo (which does exist in Greek mythology, as it was a mechanical replica of Athena’s owl of the same name – take THAT, Bubo haters).
2010 also gave us another movie based on Greek mythology, and based on its own series of books, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. If you’re uninitiated, the series is like Harry Potter but with Greek mythology and not witches and wizards. The titular character, Percy Jackson, learns he is a demigod, a son of Poseidon. He goes to Camp Half-Blood, befriends other demigods and a satyr, and begins an adventure to prevent war between the gods.
I watched the movie, then bought the box set of all five books. I don’t remember how long it took me to read The Lightning Thief, but I read the second book, The Sea of Monsters, in an 8-hour span one night when we were without power and I couldn’t sleep.
Again, because of my appreciation for the origin material, I’m a little forgiving with the movies. But I did enjoy the books more. Here’s a fun fact if you have not read the books. In The Lightning Thief, Percy and his friends actually visit St. Louis and the Gateway Arch. While there, he encounters an old women with her dog, revealed to be Echidna and her “pet,” the Chimera.
After his Percy Jackson series concluded, author Rick Riordan wrote two different series set in the same universe, The Kane Chronicles (which I have not read) and Heroes of Olympus (which I have). The Heroes series ties in very well with the Olympians series, and borrows more from Roman tradition. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is a series that first began in 2015 and, you guessed it, borrows from Norse mythology. I will have fond memories of the first book in the series, The Sword of Summer, as I read that on my tablet while at my son’s side in the hospital in the days and weeks immediately after he was born. I have not yet read the second book, The Hammer of Thor, but I’ll get it on my kindle eventually.
Readers of the site or listeners to the podcast know how far behind I am on my reading.
Admittedly, as you’ll notice, the mythologies that have held my attention are western mythologies. I couldn’t tell you anything about eastern civilizations and their ancient mythologies.
But these are just a few examples of my mythological nerdiness. Anyone out there share my appreciation for these ancient tales?
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Now, as Long Island Iced Z Zack Ryder used to say, “Like me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter. And take care, spike your hair.”
I should write them down first thing in the morning so that I can share them with you here.
Now, they aren’t all winners. They aren’t all memorable. And many are mundane. When I was a youngster, I had dreams that I was sitting in class and the teacher was coming around collecting homework and I didn’t have mine completed. I DIDN’T HAVE MY HOMEWORK COMPLETED!!!
Now I have mundane dreams of answering phone calls and responding to e-mails. But every once in awhile, a dream will occur that raises eyebrows about what the hell is going on in my brain.
When I was in college, I had a dream that I was in a downtown office building, skyscraper style. The building was under attack. I’m running around the halls grabbing guns. I shotgun a dude through his chest. Then I grab a sniper rifle and get to the window. With the zoom feature, I look at the roof of the building over, and as I squeeze the trigger to take out an enemy, I see the RPG that they fired a second earlier. Explosion. Vision goes red. When my vision clears, I am a few floors down, running through the hallways again upping my arsenal. My thought at the time was “what the – I’ve already been here before!” That’s right, my dream was a first-person shooter video game.
I have three “nightmares” from my childhood that I remember vividly. One was me hanging on the ledge of a skyscraper (I must like city architecture) while Slimer was just inside the glass laughing at me. I was in my single-digits. I had another where Jason fired up a chainsaw (oddly not his weapon of choice) at the foot of my bed. The third was when I opened the door to the garage and saw my dad, which alone isn’t bad. But there was a two-car garage full of my dad. There had to be a hundred of him. I don’t know why, but it caused some sort of dad-overload. I was young for all of these dreams.
Take this morning for instance. Now granted, I don’t remember every detail. But I can recall the high points.
It’s the end of the world…in a Marvel movie. I know this because at one point I’m on a roof with my wife, a few other family members, and some random people. There’s an atmospheric…event, I suppose. It’s storming. There’s debris in the air. At one point, I remark that all will eventually be well, as Thor will likely save the day. What, you don’t dream of Thor? Actually, he didn’t make an appearance. As I said, it’s the end of the world. And no one brought any damn food! No one but me…because I’m a fatty, and I had my lunch with me from that day. Two turkey sandwiches. The problem? It was a Friday – in Lent – so I couldn’t have the turkey sandwiches.
And then I woke up.
Dreams are weird. I don’t know what inspires them and I don’t know how to interpret them. For me, they’re just sleepy-time entertainment. And honestly, that’s all I really need them to be. Maybe I’m swimming in the shallow end of the pool, but I am not looking for the deeper meaning in any of these. They are what they are. I occasionally dream, and sometimes I remember bits and pieces of said dreams. And for me, that’s good enough.
Have any weird dream or moment in a dream that has stuck with you through the years? Leave it in the comments.
Well, it’s March 1, 2017, and in the Christian faiths, it is Ash Wednesday, forty days before Easter. In the Roman Catholic faith, it is a day to fast and abstain from meat (as we will abstain from meat every Friday between now and Easter Sunday.
The common thread around Lent is for Catholics to “give something up,” to sacrifice something for the season. Now when you’re a kid, it could be something like giving up candy, or cookies, or ice cream. As an adult, I’ve given up McDonald’s, soda, beer (that was tough), and ice cream (because I love ice cream).
This isn’t a religious post or anything, but I’m just setting the stage for all of it to make sense.
This year, I’m working on curbing my swearing. I have a 14-month-old son who’s getting really good at mimicking our words and sounds. Naturally he is saying “mama,” “dada,” “yeah,” “hi,” “milk,” and once, I think I heard him say “boob.” So…I have to watch my mouth, because I don’t want to get THAT call from daycare. So I created this…
And it already has $2.25 in it, with another quarter due to it. And those are just the ones I caught as I police myself on this. After Easter, I’ll take the money I raised with my potty mouth and donate it to our church.
Okay, that’s part of it.
Another thing I’m trying to do this year is maintain some discipline on the content front. So I’m hoping/planning 40 days of new content, which will be written and spoken. So you’ll get the podcasts on the weekly (hoping to get a new episode recorded this weekend, actually).
So…back to this post, and the title. I finally saw Doctor Strange last week, and while I hope to sit down at length and talk about it in an upcoming episode, this will have to suffice for now.
First of all – Doctor Strange in the MCU first appeared on my radar in Captain America: Winter Soldier, when he was named among other more anonymous threats to Hydra. The placing of that makes it seem that the Doctor Strange movie would take place before the events of Winter Soldier, which would indicate that Strange was still largely unknown (albeit active) during Captain America: Civil War (and also Avengers 2: Age of Ultron.
Here’s what I really enjoyed about this movie – it took things to a mystical place, a place you can’t explain with science. In a universe of Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, and Falcon, it was a pleasant departure. I will say that Thor touched on some similar themes, including his famous line to Jane Porter:
But as beautiful as Asgard was in Thor and Thor 2, there was something visually stunning about Doctor Strange. The Inception-inspired cityscape bending was not only done with seamless SFX, but the story was told in a way that made sense. If you think about it, the sorcerers live in the world that has yet to realize they exist. Sleight of hand, misdirection, illusion. It’s what magic is. So it’s completely natural to think that most of the regular world wouldn’t be aware of its existence. So the mirror dimension helps the filmmakers tell the story, manipulate “the world” in a way that doesn’t actually affect the real world.
It was great to see the astral plane. It was amazing to see Doctor Strange in the Dark Dimension, and his use of the Eye of Agamotto (*cough*TIME GEM*cough*) had me rolling. Take THAT, Dormammu.
I thought the cast was brilliant, from Benedict Cumberbatch to Rachel McAdams, the sublime Tilda Swinton, the brilliant-in-everything Mads Mikkelsen, and the incomparable Chiwetel Ejiofor and everyone I didn’t mention…the talent they brought in for this movie just continues to show what Marvel is capable of.
Long story short (since it’s late), if you haven’t seen Doctor Strange, you shouldn’t wait any longer. It’s available in the digital format and as of yesterday, is available on bluray and dvd as well. Don’t wait any longer. After all, time is no longer on your side.
So I came across this tidbit of information this weekend. One of my favorite characters of my youth has finally hit it big:
Masters of the Universe. I was such a He-Man fan as a kid growing up in the 1980s. The first birthday I actually remember was when I turned 4, and I had a little He-Man cake. This would be a great time to pull out the picture of me with the cake from 1986…but I don’t know where it is, and I’m not about to call my mom and ask for it just to post it here. She thinks I’m weird enough.
Speaking of my mom, I owe some of my love of He-Man to her. When I was that age, mom was a night-shift nurse working in the ICU. I didn’t have daycare because mom was home during the days. And after lunch, when she would make me a microwave s’more (it was a marshmallow between two graham crackers…I loved it), we would often sit on the family room floor and she would join me for some action figure goodness. I didn’t have Castle Grayskull, but I did have Snake Mountain, several figures, and even the Battle Ram, complete with missiles and a functioning cannon. So I always attempted to known the bad guys off of Snake Mountain (to mixed success).
But back to the movie. It came out a month after I turned five years old. Needless to say, I didn’t see it right away. In fact, I didn’t see it for several years after that, because there was no internet telling me I had to see it. But I finally did watch it one day. I don’t remember the specifics. It was either on television or I watched it with some friends. I remember being so excited to see my favorite childhood character in a movie that I may have overlooked the quality of the movie itself. And not only that, but a few other points as well:
Let’s start with the most obvious of all. Lovable Orco was replaced by Gwildor. At best, Gwildor can be seen as a mix between two Lord of the Rings characters, Gandalf and Gimli. But there was nothing fun or entertaining about Gwildor. And not even that Gwildor was that bad, but how do you ignore Orco and rip him from the movie? Now anyone who watched the cartoon would tell you that Orco was annoying. He was clumsy and always got into trouble. He was the C3PO of Eternia. But his his missteps always ended in a lesson from the other characters, some little moral of the story.
Frank Langella, arguably the greatest actor in this movie, was stuck behind a mask. The costuming left no chance for Frank Langella to do anything besides relay the awkward dialogue he was given. It was a waste of Langella’s talents, it is a stain on his IMDb page, and I feel sorry for the guy. But then I watch this clip of Langella speaking about Skeletor and the role in the movie, and more importantly, the reason he took the role. And I get it. His reason for taking on this roll is simply astounding.
Dolph Lundren – If Dolph Lundgren didn’t have to talk in this movie, if He-Man would have been cursed with the inability to speak, this movie would have been exponentially better. I mean, let’s face it, Dolph has had the look. Tall, well-built, topped with a golden mullet. How could it possibly have gone wrong? Well, I’m guessing Dolph had a line added into his contract stating he could use firearms. My He-Man doesn’t have guns. He had the Power Sword. Man-at-Arms and Teela both used blasters. He-Man never needed them.
Eternia vs Earth – He-Man is the Prince of Eternia. Okay, “Prince Adam,” if you want to get technical. But there is very little of Eternia in this movie. Instead, you have an invasion story about the forces of evil trying to conquer Earth. Sounds like a job for the Avengers, not the Eternians. Yet here we are, dealing with Courtney Cox, her boyfriend, and the Cosmic Key. This was ten years after Star Wars. There didn’t have to be an earthly tie-in. George Lucas showed to world that you could have a successful movie if it didn’t take place on Earth.
Rumors state that we will get a new Masters of the Universe movie in the near future. Christopher Yost, who co-wrote Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel Studios, was tapped to write this new adaptation. It’s stated that the movie will be dark and serious and will not be an origin film. I’m actually okay with it not being an origin film, because we all know the origin thanks to the 130 episodes of the cartoon from the mid-1980s.
May the Sorceress bless you, Filmation. Rest in peace!
I think that a He-Man and the Masters of the Universe film can be successful a variety of ways. I’ve waited most of my life for a better He-Man movie. But it’s not here yet. So I’m left with what I have.
The kid in me wants to go back and watch this 1987 movie day after day. However, the adult in me who remembers this movie being the Batman & Robin of its time knows that I can watch it once and then remove it from my Netflix queue.
That means this decision is the first in my new weekly bit called #ToughCallTuesday!
Watch it and keep it on “My List” for future viewings?
Watch it and drop it like?
I have made my decision, and based it on my genuine love of the character from an early age, the quality of the film that was made, and the knowledge that a new imagining of the character, the mythos, the “universe” if you will is heading our way.
Let’s face it – I saw that movie appear on my Netflix. And it was big. Big meat. It was the featured option. I popped. Despite its flaws, this one will be a “Watch and keep.”
And since my parents were kind enough to keep my He-Man toys in a box in the attic all these years, I’m excited to be able to share them with my son in the future. That, and the He-Man cartoons I have acquired on DVD.
That’s it for this week’s #ToughCallTuesday. What topics do you want to see featured in the future? Let me know in the comments.
PS – HOW COULD YOU NOT INCLUDE KRINGER/BATTLE CAT IN YOUR MOVIE?!?