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November 22nd, 2017

I have often described my precise level of nerdery as follows: I have been to many Star Trek conventions, but I have never dressed up in a costume at a Star Trek convention.  (I am not in any way mocking cosplayers!!  I am just using that as an example of where my nerd-ness lies.)  But I might now have to use a new example.  I am not just a TV fan, but I am a fan of TV critics!  For instance, I quite enjoy the writing of TV critic Alan Sepinwall (I just reviewed his book!!) and I read his reviews several times a week.  BUT I never in my wildest dreams considered tracking him down and asking him to officiate at my wedding!!!  Well, two TV fans did.  Click here for the full story, and to watch a video of Mr. Sepinwall’s TV-reference-filled speech at the wedding.  I found the whole thing to be adorable and hilarious.

Mr. Sepinwall’s co-writer on TV: The Book, Matt Zoller-Seitz, recently conducted a wonderful interview with comedian Patton Oswalt, in which they discuss Mr. Oswalt’s new stand-up special, the tragic death of his wife last year, and a lot of other fascinating and heartbreaking stuff.  (Mr. Zoller-Seitz’s wife also died unexpectedly at a young age, about a decade ago.)  Click here to give it a read.

As readers of this blog surely know, I am a huge Star Trek fan, and Deep Space Nine is my very favorite of all the Trek series.  These photos from a Variety photo-shoot that reunited may members of the show’s expansive cast are absolutely wonderful.  God I miss that show.

I guess that I am one of the few people who really loved Zack Snyder’s film version of Watchmen, and I especially adore the super-long DVD/blu-ray director’s cut that incorporates lots more footage and also the complete animated Tales of the Black Freighter sequences.  So I’m not really itching for another take on this material, in the form of the Damon Lindeloff-led HBO series adaptation.  Still, I like what Mr. Lindeloff has to say about it.  I guess we’ll see…

On a similar note, after six Peter Jackson-directed Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies, do we really need another take on Tolkien?  It’s hard to get super-excited at the prospect of Amazon’s spending two hundred and fifty million dollars on a multi-season Tolkien TV epic.  I’d rather see an expensive, expansive adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, or Frank Herbert’s Dune, or any of another classic, not-yet-adapted (or not-yet-adapted-WELL) series rather than another visit to the world of Tolkien.  The announcement promises that this won’t be a re-do of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, but rather an exploration of other Tolkien stories.  The plus side is it could be exciting to see some lesser-known Tolkien stories brought to life.  The down side is that, come on, none of those other stories can hold a candle to The Lord of the Rings, am I right?

The Incredibles 2 is finally, actually happening??

That’s a great teaser, and I like the logo.

This trailer for Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is very interesting:

I adored those books as a kid, and I’d love to see a terrific film adaptation.  It’s hard to tell from this trailer how successful Ms. DuVernay’s film will be.  There is some far-out imagery, and some bizarre creative choices, seen in this trailer.  I could see this being great, and also falling flat.  I hope for the former.  I am excited to see!

I was wondering what the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel was going to be called, and now we know.  It’ll be Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.  It’s a bit of a mouthful, but that first lengthy title didn’t leave too many options in terms of how to title the sequels, and this seems like a reasonable compromise to me (keeping the “Fantastic Beasts” moniker as the main header of this and presumably future sequels).  We also got our first full cast photo.  Everyone looks great and this is a very solid cast.  The only big bummer is that it looks like Johnny Depp will be playing the villain, Grindelwald.  Depp’s cameo was my least favorite part of the first Fantastic Beasts film; I am not excited about his being the series’ major villain.

Speaking of things I am not that excited for: they are actually going ahead and making a Venom spin-off movie.  It’s actually being shot right now!!  Sigh.  Sony is so desperate to have a Spider-Man cinematic universe that they are moving forward with this film without Spider-Man!  Look, I like Venom as a character, and I’d love to see someone take another whack at him as the villain in a Spider-Man movie (since Spider-Man 3 was, how shall I put this, not so creatively successful).  But as a rule I am generally not interested in seeing super-hero villains spun off into being the lead of their own stories.  I think it rarely works in the comics, and so far it hasn’t worked in movies either.  (Halle Berry’s Catwoman, anyone?)  (This is also why I am not in a rush to watch Netflix’s new Punisher series.  The Punisher was a great antagonist in Daredevil season 2, but do I want to watch 13 episodes of his own show?  Not so much.)  This film actually has a great cast, and anything involving Tom Hardy always has me interested.  But the whole thing seems like a bad idea to me.

I am fascinated that Netflix has acquired comic book writer Mark Millar’s entire “Millarworld” publishing house.  I’m a big fan of Mr. Millar’s work.  his big super-hero stuff has been great (he wrote the original “Civil War” mini-series which was loosely adapted into Captain America: Civil War), and over the past decade he was written a ton of fun, crazy mini-series featuring his own original characters and creations.  (Two of those have already been made into films directed by Matthew Vaughn: Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service Those two series are not part of this Netflix deal.)  I can think of a number of great Millar-written comic-book series that would be super-cool Netflix shows or movies.  Now, who knows what this will actually come to.  (It doesn’t seem that Mr. Millar’s brief stint as the grand poo-bah of Fox’s super-hero movies amounted to much of anything.)  But I am excited by the potential.

The live-action Justice League film has finally arrived, and it is not exactly wowing fans or crushing at the box office.  I actually liked it more than I’d expected to, but it’s not actually a GOOD film.  To cleanse your palette, take a look at this list of the best episodes of Bruce Timm’s two animated Justice League series: Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.  I don’t agree with all of the writer’s selections, but that only goes to show just how many truly great episodes there were of that series.  (And I do agree that the three-part “Starcrossed” episode was the highlight of that first Justice League series!  That was a phenomenal super-hero adventure.)

Thanks for reading!  Hope to see you all back here soon!

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