He has been the only man to consistently win our Podcast’s esteemed “Not Ugly” award week after week and now he has his own series on Netflix. We discuss our long affection for the character, the cultural depth of a superhero show set in Harlem, New York, and flaws inherent with a story about a bulletproof man everyone keeps shooting with guns. Our conversation covers nearly all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on television and we express our high hopes for the next series premiering on 03/17/2017, Iron Fist.
Legion has come. Or should I say, the Legion has returned. Not too sure how to phrase that in World of Warcraft’s wacky in-game timeline shenanigans. Regardless, there is a new expansion to WOW, and it has me playing again.
The previous expansion, Warlords of Draenor, was interesting and fun to start, but as it matured, the content became stale, and frankly the garrison feature became work. The rewards weren’t immediate and visceral, and the upgrade path was muddled and too grind-y for my taste. I stopped playing at least six months prior to Legion dropping (probably closer to a year actually), and really didn’t miss it. This is an amazing statement from me too. Once I started playing WOW, 8 years or so ago, I played constantly and with enthusiasm (my wife can attest to such with chagrin).
I had definitely moved on in my gaming life. Playing Destiny, Civ V, Rocket League, some Halo, even a platformer or two (if you haven’t played or seen Ori and the Blind Forest, you need to give yourself that gift – amazing game).
I really like to play a good video game, and the variety in the games I’m playing has been terrific.
But WOW is the granddaddy for me. It fills the D&D hole in my life left by wife, family, job, podcast, home ownership, children concerts and events – basically all things that I love about my life, but that leave me unable to spend 4-5 hours plus with people running a tabletop D&D campaign on a weekly basis. I grew up playing D&D for long, long hours as a kid and young teen, and it is forever imprinted in what makes up, me.
So, when the Legion date was announced and then when the Warcraft movie came out, the WOW spark was relit. I actually logged on to the game to prep my main and alts for the Legion drop.
Legion went live on August 30. I’ve been playing it since day 1. I haven’t played anything else since day 1. This is aided by the fact that the Destiny expansion, Rise of Iron, goes live on September 20, and so it was easy not to play it at the tail end of its current expansion.
Still, Legion is a return to everything that makes WOW fun. Filled with story, gameplay content, and new things to do, these last 3 weeks in game have been a ball. Got my hunter main to max level (110), and now focused on gearing him up.
I hope to make this an ongoing series on my play time in Legion. We’ll see how often I get something written and posted, but for now, Legion is great fun and the return to WOW has been outstanding. See you in game, and FOR THE ALLIANCE!
We really miss each other so we talk, a lot. Patrick tells stories of the set of an actual movie you will soon hear about it. We all watch Luke Cage and decide, spontaneously, to record a One Shot about it. We are all current on Westworld. It’s effed up. like VERY effed up, but we are totally engrossed. Andrew reads the greatest comic book in the universe written byRobert Kirkman. Patrick completes book three of The Expanse. The Brothersgeek Fireteam returns as Destiny: Rise of Iron brings Patrick back to the game. Trivia is pod-cast themed, not ours but other pod-casts recorded by people who aren’t us.
We get honest, and random, and randomer in this episode. Christopher and Andrew admit a sad truth about podcasting. We celebrate the comedic genius of the great Gene Wilder. We recognize a recent achievement by a gaming community and Christopher has high hopes of an upcoming expansion for the Addiction Machine, I mean, “World of Warcraft”. Andrew watches an all-time film-making classic “Seven Samurai” and is mostly better for it. Patrick slows down on “Abbadon’s Gate” and Chris says the tragic “B” word about a comic book we all expected to be stellar.
Trivia this episode is Olympic themed. Remember when those happened?
We make our mother so so proud this episode. We are so civil and get along so well. We don’t raise our voices or disagree at all. Nope, none of that, like at all.
We report on George RR Martin’s new TV deal. We have high hopes. We lament, as always, that Game of Thrones will be coming to an end.
We all saw Suicide Squad. We all feel certain ways about it.
At this point, Chris is going to forcefully hold us down to make sure we watch Brain Dead. Andrew and Christopher are going to assemble a table read for Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. We all discuss the impending release of No Man’s Sky. Those of us who are PC gamers will likely be downloading it in the near future, if it’s remotely good.
Trivia is Harry Potter themed. The Boys are smart enough to almost logic out the answer.
Episode Sixty: Grasping in the Dark, and not just for Pokemon
There is lots of love in this episode. Love for movie trailers, love for remakes, love for unreliable narrators, brotherly love, and oddly enough, love for tiny mythical animals.
We all comment on the behind the scenes video released last week for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The countdown to that film starts right now. Let me just do some math first…
Patrick recommends the Netflix original series, Stranger Things. It’s scary and engrossing and pushes his nostalgia button in a big way. Andrew feels all the rock music geek feels for Showtime’s Roadies and Chris saw the new Ghostbusters. NEWS FLASH: This movie is funny!
These days, it’s pretty hard to find a film that really comes out of nowhere. So many films are predictable and boring, follow just the basic things we expect. I think the past few years we have seen some really good and original films come out. The Ots (2000-2010) were some of the worst years for film. Everyone had CGI and didn’t know how to use it, not we are getting the revolt and rebalance.Filmgoers are seeing films that are unusual and sometimes crazy. Films like Swiss Army Man gets the “WHAT THE FUCK?!” award for sure.
Story (Plot) 5-5 Swiss Army Manis just insane. Let me lay it out for you – I will be careful not to reveal anything too important – part of this movie’s charm is its ambiguity.You have been warned – small spoilers ahead. Paul Dano, who plays Hank, goes into the woods to escape society for…reasons. He is about to kill himself, because he’s starving on a small island, when Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Manny, washes up on shore as a dead body. Hank comes to find Manny is not dead, but has super powers and helps him to survive in the woods until he finds his way back to civilization. That’s the plot, but the real question is who is Manny? Why is he dead and why does he have these powers? Why did Hank go to the woods? Is this all in Hank’s Mind? It’s so silly and entertaining. Also! NOT a sequel or a remake.
Production (Directing, Editing, Music)4-5 It’s pretty amazing how fun and interesting this movie is. It’s fast and crazy, and the reality just as absurd and they know it. The film is shot beautifully, and edited really well with many fun montages of pretending together and surviving in the woods. The music is interesting also. Playing into the let’s do something different theme, all have instruments and score, but with Dano and Radcliffe singing and humming together, it makes for an eerie choir-like sound. An Example of this is, one of the best scenes is when they hum the theme to Jurassic Park while re-enacting it together. They are just in the woods so part of the music is in Dano’s head but, It works so well. You guys know how much I love movie music!
Characters (Likability, Acting) 4-5 Paul Dano is stellar again. He’s so interesting to watch in all his films. I do not think I have enjoyed Daniel Radcliffe so much since his Harry Potter days, he’s really fantastic in this. Hank is obviously insane. He’s got some things he needs to work through, but he’s so likeable and interesting you are okay with being on the crazy train with him. Manny is like a newborn baby, he doesn’t know anything so he’s having things explained to him by Hank with hilarious results. From farts, to love, to masterbation, all seem to be centered around what society deems to be normal. There are so many interesting things about our society in this movie including: technology isolation, father son dynamics, and sexual expression.
Writing (Dialogue, Cleverness)5-5 How does anyone come up with something so crazy, and how does anyone read this script and agree to do it. I would have loved to be in the room for the pitch meeting. “Guy stuck in the woods, finds dead body, which comes back to life and has super powers, which he uses to survive”. YEAH, who thinks of this crap? Well it fucking works. The movie is entertaining and fun as hell. The powers they come up with are crazy, all powered by “love”. The Interaction between Manny and Hank is where it’s at. As Hank explains the world to Manny, we find out about Hank and his perspective and what inevitably led him to running away.
Emotions (Was it; Fun, Scary, Sad, Do I care)4-5 Once you just accept what’s happening, and you need to accept it pretty quickly, you can just sit back and enjoy the fun! It’s strange and it knows it. It’s so silly and deadpan, with very little explanation. It’s filled with ambiguity, and emotional confusion. You just can’t stop watching it even though it doesn’t make sense. The world is crazy, this is for sure through a crazy person’s perspective, but you just learn to roll with it.
Overall score 22-25 I am just fascinated with this film. It’s crazy, interesting, and out of control. I might just be sick of seeing all the same shit over and over. This is not the same shit. There is some darkness to this movie for sure. The real world questions and emotions that Hank feels are rough. When you walk out of the movie you can’t help but think about it. Ask questions and try and make sense of what you just saw. This film is art and like any good art, it’s in the eye of the viewer.
Episode Fifty Nine: Our Ultimate Edition is Ultimate
Recorded July 6th
Not trying to brag, but we sound awesome this episode. Crispy and clean and oh so fresh. We talk news of upcoming trailers for a highly anticipated film in a little franchise called “Star Wars”. Did I spell that right? Andrew can’t say enough good things about “Power Man and Iron Fist” #4. Patrick and Chris download the digital “Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition” and surprise, surprise actually love it! Patrick discusses the new completive mode in “Overwatch” The Grind is about to get super real. Our trivia is Pixar themed. And it’s a failure.
It’s understood these days that when Pixar makes a movie, it’s good for all ages. They seem to know how to tell a great story – one that encompasses heart, well crafted animation, and comedy. Finding Nemo was one of their hallmark all-time successes. I was an adult without children watching this film, and I enjoyed it as much as everyone else did. It makes sense that they would would want to make a sequel to this blockbuster hit; it just took them thirteen years to do it.
Story (Plot) 3-5Finding Dory takes place one year after the events of Nemo. Dory is presently living in the reef with Marlin and the eponymous Nemo. Slowly she is starting to remember that she has a family out there, which she has forgotten. She has suffered from short term memory loss her whole life, as seen through adorable Baby Dory flashbacks. She has a series of memories and needs to go find her parents and piece it all together. Marlin and Nemo owe her one, so they go with her to help. This film has a much more a bleak overtone than Finding Nemo. What this story lacks in laughs, it makes up for in emotion-screwing heavy shit.
Production (Directing, Editing, Music)4-5 Pixar does it again. But there hasn’t been much improvement in the level of quality animation in thirteen years – there doesn’t really need to be – it just looks like the same movie. Maybe if you put them shot for shot next to each other you might see a difference, but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I just wish, maybe, that it looked crazy good. In 2003, Nemo looked crazy good. Now, Dory just looks normal. The music is exactly the same, again: ain’t broke. The film’s pacing, however, is a little off – things could have moved things along a little faster. You know, gotten to the point a little sooner. Much of the film is told in flashbacks for emotional impact, which problematically creates a herky-jerky movement.
Characters (Likeability, Acting) 2-5 I love the characters. Albert Brooks as Marlin is good, but he’s a side character in this film. Nemo is the child voice of reason, and the glue that holds it together. Here is my major gripe with this movie: Ellen Degeneres as Dory takes the reins as the main character and that’s where this movie fails. I don’t know that Dory is a strong enough main character. Sure, she is great as a foil in Nemo. But when the main character keeps forgetting what she’s doing, all I felt was frustration. Additionally, the memory loss bit gets old, seems inconsistent, and has no rhyme or reason. She is coherent one second, then forgets the next, and vice versa.
Writing (Dialogue, Cleverness)3-5 They really hit you in the face with some heavy family tragedy here. It’s a good story, and you care about these characters, but man is it sad if you think about what these “people” have gone through. This is all well and good, but where are the jokes? The side characters just are not as funny as the first film. Nemo was funny because of the “Mine” idiocy of the seagulls, and the vegetarian sharks. Dory’s side characters come across as just not as funny or memorable. The best character in my mind is the Octopus Hank played by Ed O’Neill, who is mostly a grump. This movie just lacks the forethought and clever characters. Also, Sigourney Weaver, is all I will say.
Emotions (Was it; Fun, Scary, Sad, Do I care)3-5 They succeeded in making us sad and give a crap about finding Dory’s parents. But where is the whimsy of the first one? Dory just feels way too self-serious. I want fun! I want Adventure! Instead we are given a sad story about losing family. It’s a good story and all, but I think it misses the tone set by the first film. The message of the film mostly centers around how Dory has a handicap, and she inspires the characters around her with how affable and genuine she is. The problem is, you suddenly feel bad about laughing at someone with a disability. They are teaching children some valuable lessons about life, I understand that. But don’t sully my previous enjoyment of a film, now that it has some darker overtones. Dory also never goes it alone – she always has someone there to help her. Someone to guide her, or physically carry her to her destination. I wanted that moment for her character to figure it out alone, yet instead she is guided and falls into things seemingly out of blind luck. Where is the lesson about you can do it yourself?
Overall score 15-25 This movie is very well made, and is already making lots of money, but it just feels soft and flat to me. No big moments of hilarious scenes. No hilarious quotes that stay with you. You don’t walk about of the theater singing this movie’s version of “Just Keep Swimming”. Dory will not be remembered. To my mind, the best word to describe the film is “meh” – it’s good but not great. It’s funny, but not as much as the original. It’s clever but lacks genius. I am sure the kids will love it.
The first Independence Dayfilm came out July 2nd 1996, when I was thirteen years old (THIRTEEN!). I was young, so I loved this film. It was amazing in a few ways; likeable, relatable characters, played by Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman. The script makes these characters interesting and alive, and the audience wants them to succeed. The act of film construction was amazing also, as they actually built sets and blew them up, with a little CGI thrown in as frosting. Real sets as backdrops and physical creatures as enemies. I really enjoyed its fun adventure story, as it made you feel something for the loss these humans faced – millions of humans died in this first movie. And just as you think that humanity may be lost, Bill Pullman makes a speech: “we will not go quietly into the night”. And you say “YEA, fuck these aliens!”
Story (Plot) 2-5Independence Day Resurgence takes place 20 years later. Humanity has survived and is prepared for another attack should the alien destroyers return. This generation is full of the PTSD-suffering survivors and war trained orphans. It seems like a cool idea, and a solid jump off point into a new battle – except it stops being interesting there. The aliens have no plan; they just kind of bungle around leaving the humans’ weapons and preparations pointless. The plot leaves you with the idea of these groups as two idiots staring at each other. The characters prattle on about how the alien ship is bigger than the ships before, but besides its first attack/landing it serves no purpose, and comes across as pointless. Lacking the vigour of the first film, it comes to Earth smashing soulless, meaningless, distant CGI cities and people.
Production (Directing, Editing, Music) 1-5 The film is downright boring. It wants to be a fun action/science fiction romp about humans overcoming great odds. Instead, they give us a lackluster, idiotic, and senseless film. It has gone the way of the new film genre, the-quick-edit-computer-animated-mess. Just cut every 2-3 seconds, and the people will not realize they are watching stupid shit. The Transformers films are the epitome of this genre. The musical score only serves to stroke your nostalgia, and doesn’t blaze a new path for itself.
I am not convinced that Roland Emmerich knows how to direct anymore, maybe he never did. I did enjoy his early films, so I have given him the benefit of the doubt even after 2012, and White House Down. Maybe I was just young enough to not see the flaws. How much of my positive thoughts about those films(Independence Day, Stargate, Godzilla) is nostalgia overriding sense?
Characters (Likability, Acting)2-5 Pretty horrible, really. Liam Hemsworth has been shoehorned into Will Smith’s character’s spot in his absence, but he can’t hold a torch to Will “Welcome to Earth!” Smith! They just gloss over the fact that he is not in the film, because of some accident. I was really disappointed that Smith did not return for the sequel, as I heard he had already promised to doSuicide Squad. Maybe Smith read this script and said “no,” because I don’t know if his presence would have saved this movie. Jeff Goldblum’s character, David Levinson, is a very small part of the film. He really serves no purpose to the plot, as his character doesn’t save humanity as he did before. Bill Pullman plays President Whitmore, who has a moment of greatness speaking to Goldblum and random soldiers who need inspiration again, but his character has become a crazy person, scarred by his interactions with the aliens. So he’s not the enjoyable character we know and love; neither of them are. From the three I mentioned before, one is dead, one is crazy, and one absent and pointless. Thanks filmmakers.
Writing (Dialogue, Cleverness) 1-5 The script is just silly. The dialogue feels forced and overly serious. It just hits the wrong beats: serious when it should be fun, joking when it should be serious. The character pool is just too thin, leaving only surface-level depth to characters. No time is taken for us to get invested or learn about characters we should care about. These characters are shoved down our throats and we are expected to enjoy it. The plot has a nice base, but doesn’t take us anywhere. All the characters and aliens just feel insipid. I found myself questioning the decisions being made by both sides. It’s just a bunch of idiots hurling explosions at each other.
Emotions (Was it; Fun, Scary, Sad, Do I care) 1-5 I wanted to love this movie. The first film was part of my formative years of film appreciation. I look back and think of it fondly and am now afraid to rewatch it for fear of it not holding up. Independence Day Resurgence is boring. I didn’t care about any of the characters, kill them all. I didn’t care about Earth, why should I? The movie doesn’t make you feel the weight of what happened. I have seen this in past disaster films, like San Andreas. These films just gloss over the fact that millions of people are dead, and probably millions injured. The world economy is probably fucked, and it will take them years to recover. “ NO, LET’S JUST BLOW SOME SHIT UP!” is the mindset of the film. I have to give a shit about the things you are blowing up! Make me care about some people in your film, then I’ll give a shit when you kill them.
Overall score 7-25 Disappointment and betrayal are what I feel towards this movie. Yeah, they got my money. So many people saw this movie because they enjoyed the first film so much. But all they have done is betrayed what we enjoyed about the original. We live in a time of CGI wonders, but when I can see they are standing on a stage with a green screen, you should have filmed it in an actual desert (a scene in the climax). Maybe your film’s acting would be better and more realistic, if your actors were actually acting against something, instead of standing in a green void. I leave you with a list of questions I had throughout watching the film. Some of these have spoilers in them so don’t read ahead if you care about that stuff.
Why does the Queen leave her big ass ship and go herself to hunt down the orb thingy?
Why doesn’t the Queen just chill in her big mothership and drill the core out of the Earth? (the humans have shown they can’t defeat the big ship, and all she needs to do is wait)
Why do the aliens need the Earth’s core? They have advanced technology and they want molten metal? You know once you take the core away from the heat and the mass of gravity pressing down on it, that is just becomes rock and metal, It’s like the core has its own power to it? It’s hot because of pressure dumbasses, not some magic source of energy
Why does the orb come to Earth and say nothing? It has gone to countless worlds where aliens have attacked and it’s got to imagine humans will be on the defensive. Instead it sits and does nothing, getting shot out of the sky, maybe send a message ahead, you fools.
In the climactic fight with the queen, the fighters swarm around her as she bashes the orb out of the base, and two alien ships commandeered by humans are the only ones that break free and are able to shoot her. Why don’t the thousands of ships flying around her shoot them down? Two ships versus a thousand.
Why do humans have all the weapons of the aliens except for the shields? They still prove a problem and not having the shields makes the humans outmatched.
Why don’t the aliens use their ultimate city destroying weapons once? They shoot lasers at the humans, but we never see the city destroying lasers of the first film, just low powered versions used by the humans.
How come Bill Pullman wastes an hour shaving his beard, when the battle is about to happen? Oh yeah, dramatic effect.
How come humans don’t just hack their computers again? Not even a mention of doing this.
What is the point of half the characters in the film? Most of the 10 characters serve no purpose to the plot and just muddy the waters.
Why does this movie have the terrible trope of “once you kill the queen all the others give up” ? This is so dumb. If you kill my leader, I will still fight you and I will find a new leader, this should stop being written into films.
Why is Jeff Goldblum’s character’s wife/ex-wife not in the film? Not even brought up
Why didn’t they cast the actress that played the president’s daughter in the first film? She is the right age to play the character, and would give us another recognizable face.
Once the first ship shows up, (the orb that they shoot down) why is the planet not on high alert? Get all your defenses ready, power everything up, get everyone to battle stations. Instead, they go forward with their speeches and festivities. It’s Independence Day after all.