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News Around the Net!

How great is this first trailer for Black Panther?

This looks like a fun new direction for a Marvel film to take.  I hope they really go crazy in exploring this new corner of the Marvel universe.  I loved Creed and I can’t wait to see what director Ryan Coogler has cooked up here.

Speaking of Black Panther, here is an interesting bit of speculation as to whether the same character will be appearing in Black Panther and the upcoming season 2 of Luke Cage, albeit played by different actresses.  I am sad that the Marvel films and TV shows are no longer coordinating the way they had planned to when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was first launched.

I am hoping that by the time you read this, I’ll have seen Spider-Man: Homecoming.  In the meanwhile, this is a pretty great video analyzing the reasons Sam Raimi’s first two Spider-Man movies worked, while Marc Webb’s two Amazing Spider-Man movies didn’t:

I don’t agree with every single point in that video, and I think the “Spider-Man as Jesus” bit in Spider-Man 2 is one of the film’s few off-notes, but for the most part this video hits the nail right on the head.

Oh man, it looks like What We Left Behind, the Kickstarter-funded Deep Space Nine documentary, is really coming together.  I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Sic Transit Vir (B5 fans get the reference): Sad news of the passing of actor Stephen Furst, who played Vir on Babylon 5 and Flounder in Animal House.  This article is a wonderful salute to Mr. Furst’s great work on B5, and here is B5 creator J. Michael Staczynski’s lament for the far-too-long list of B5 cast members who have passed away, all of whom are missed.

This oral history of Austin Powers is a great read and a fun look back at a film that I used to truly love.  (I haven’t seen any of the Austin Powers films in YEARS, but this article makes me want to revisit at least the first one…)

Is Robotech the greatest love story of the 20th century?  As a kid who first saw Robotech at exactly the right age to fall in love with it, I can get behind this idea!

I loved the first season of Vice Principals, and so I cannot wait for the show’s second (and apparently final) season to air:

James Cameron’s Terminator 2 is being released back to theatres?  I am in!!  I don’t need the 3D conversion, but any excuse to see this great film back on the big screen is very exciting.  Can’t wait:

I lost a decent amount of time exploring Accidental Wes Anderson, a collection of real-world places that look like they are from a Wes Anderson movie.  Check it out.

I enjoyed this piece about one of my very favorite Star Trek novels: Peter David’s Q-in-Law, in which Q and Lwaxana Troi meet and chaos ensues.

Speaking of Trek, have I shared this info that Rainn Wilson will be playing Harry Mudd in Star Trek: Discovery?  I love that!!

There have been some really great articles lately at BirthMoviesDeath.com:

This is a terrific look back at Adam Sandler’s work in Judd Apatow’s Funny People.  I find a lot to enjoy in Funny People even though I admit the movie doesn’t entirely work as a whole.  (Click here for my original review.)

There were a lot of great Wonder Woman-related articles posted around the web in the lead-up to that film’s release; one of my favorites was this analysis of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s revamp of the Wonder Woman comic book for DC’s “New 52” relaunch a few years back.  I thought it was one of the most compelling Wonder Woman stories I’d ever read, and if fact I posted my own analysis here.

I got some flack from some friends and readers when, in my review of Alien: Covenant, I commented that it was the third best Alien film after the first two.  What about Alien 3?  Here is a great article encouraging fans to reconsider their negative opinions about Alien 3.  Personally, I have very mixed feelings about the film.  I was very disappointed when I first saw it in theatres, and I still hate the choice to kill of Hicks and Newt in the opening credits and Ripley at the end.  Aliens felt like it had opened up a whole new universe of characters and stories for future films to explore, and Alien 3 needlessly (in my opinion) slammed the door shut on all that, and I don’t think the franchise has ever recovered.  On the other hand, David Fincher’s film is gorgeous, suspenseful and tense, and it has a terrific ensemble.  Although I hate the choices made by the filmmakers, when considered as a film on its own, there is still a lot of greatness there.  I think Alien: Covenant was, overall, more successful as a whole, but we’ll see if future viewings change my opinion in any way…

I love the early films of Kevin Smith, from Clerks right up through Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.  (I know some people who hate that film, but I love it.  Yes, it’s a cartoon, but that’s the point.  I think it’s a very, very funny film, filled with great jokes and fan-pleasing callbacks to Mr. Smith’s previous four films.)  I’ve gone back and forth on my favorite Kevin Smith film, but a strong contender is Dogma.  This article is a nice look back at the film.  I am more of a fan of Dogma than that article’s writer, but I enjoy the piece for the way it points out some of the things that Dogma does very, very well.  I feel like Dogma has become something of a forgotten film, and that’s a shame because it is pretty great.

I’ll leave you with this: a list of all 47 Woody Allen films ranked, from worst to best.  It’s a fascinating list, and pushes to the forefront of my brain ideas I’ve been having about undertaking a major Woody Allen rewatching project.  There are a lot of great films on this list that I haven’t seen in far too long.  I think the author is correct that Hollywood Ending is Mr. Allen’s worst film, though Whatever Works, Anything Else, and Celebrity are also nearly unwatchable.  (I think the author ranks Celebrity way too high.)  I like What’s Up, Tiger Lily? a LOT more than this author does, apparently.  (I’d rank it in the top 10, probably, whereas it is down at #39 on this list.)  I am pleased that the author agrees with me that Match Point is very overrated.  I love Everyone Says I Love You and I’d rank it way higher than #26.  Midnight in Paris at #23?  Ugh, I didn’t like that film nearly as much as everyone else seems to.  Bananas at only #22?  Madness!!  That is a top 10 film for sure.  Interiors at #11 seems way too high.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Another Woman, which is listed at #4.  What is that film??  I’ll need to track it down.  I’m glad Zelig is in the top 10 (though it would probably in my top five), and I’m pleased to see The Purple Rose of Cairo get some love at #5.  I’d have Annie Hall as my #1, and Crimes and Misdemeanors as my #2.  What does everyone else think…?

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