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Let’s start with the long-awaited look at the new Hellboy film:

There’s a lot to take in here.  I’m excited for this film, though not nearly as blown away by this first teaser as I’d hoped.  David Harbour’s Hellboy is quite different in look and personality from Ron Perlman’s near-perfect version and, well, it takes some getting used to.  There are moments in this trailer where Mr. Harbour inhabits HB to perfection — such as his delivery of “he’s an asshole” late in the trailer.  But other moments — like his first appearance in the trailer, gesticulating wildly and shouting “I’m on your side!” — that feel a little too over-the-top silly, and where the make-up and prosthetics didn’t look quite as convincing as I’d hoped.  The tone of the trailer isn’t gothic majesty, but hip, fast-paced humor.  That’s not necessarily a bad tone for a Hellboy story, just not quite what I’d expected.  I’m intrigued to see lots of glimpses of what look like story-points from the Darkness Calls saga from the comics (which I discussed at length here).  I caught shots of the “Wild Hunt,” and Nimue.  I grinned wildly when I saw Gruguach (the large pig-creature)!  The saga that stretched from Darkness Calls through The Fury in the comics was a high-point of the long-running Hellboy series, and this could make a cool movie.  I am hoping for a winner with this one…!

I’ve been a reader of Bill Hunt’s The Digital Bits website for about two decades, and I find Mr. Hunt to be one of if not the very best writers covering home entertainment, DVDs, blu-rays, etc.  Last week he published a pessimistic editorial declaring the beginning of the end for physical media.  It’s a great read, albeit a depressing one.  I wish I could disagree with any of Mr. Hunt’s points.  I am a collector, and I love physical media.  Many people ask me why I bother, in the age of streaming.  I love streaming, and I stream movies and TV shows all the time via Netflix, Amazon prime, Verizon Fios On Demand, etc.  But physical media has many advantages over streaming.  Here’s a great editorial by Mr. Hunt from a few months ago explaining why.  Here are the three reasons that are the most important to me:  1) Special features — I love in-depth special features, making-of documentaries, deleted scenes, bloopers, etc.  It’s no coincidence that in recent years as streaming (which comes without those bells and whistles) has risen in popularity, the quality of great DVD/blu-ray special features has dramatically declined.  2) Higher quality and fewer interruptions — My wife and I have streamed a number of movies in the past few weeks (as I’ve prepared my end-of-the-year best-of lists, coming soon!!) and they are almost always interrupted a few times as the streaming hiccups.  Now, I’m not complaining.  It is a gosh-darn MIRACLE that a HD, full-length movie can beam through the air to my TV set almost instantaneously.  We should never forget how amazing that is!  And physical media can get scratched and damaged too.  But I find playing a blu-ray to be far more consistently reliable than streaming, and when I’m looking to get lost in a movie, being able to watch it uninterrupted is important.  And finally 3) When I own a disc, I OWN IT, and there’s no risk of a company changing hands or losing the rights or whatever, and deciding that while I might have paid for access to a movie or TV show in the past, one day they just take it right out of my queue and it’s gone.  These things happen all the time.  But when I have a disc in my home, it’s mine forever.  I know that many people I know don’t understand why I still buy physical DVDs and Blu-ray discs, but I love ’em and will continue to support the companies still putting out high quality products.

Moving on…

Did House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just tweet out a Watchmen reference?  (Watchmen is Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons comic book masterpiece from 1986.)  She did!!  Wowsers.

I was very sad to read of the passing of Bob Einstein.  Mr. Einstein has been a comedic superstar for forever.  In recent years he has killed, over and over and over again, as Marty Funkheiser on Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Sit back and enjoy this scene of Mr. Einstein trying to sell his brother, Albert Brooks, shoes in the comedy classic Modern Romance.  What a loss.

I was also sad to read of the passing of William Morgan Sheppard.  This wonderful actor played a variety of different roles on Star Trek over the years, most notably the chief Klingon at Rura Penthe in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Ira Graves in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Schizoid Man.”  He also played the chief Vulcan Science Council minister in 2009’s Star Trek, and Quatai in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Bliss.”  He also appeared on Doctor Who and played two memorable characters on Babylon 5: the titular Soul Hunter in “The Soul Hunter” and a G’Kar’s uncle in “The Long Twilight Struggle.”  Sad news.

Star Wars: Resistance is on hiatus, but here are a bunch of new Resistance shorts to fill the time.  I’m looking forward to checking these out.  Also!  Check out this exciting trailer for the final batch of season one episodes:

That looks great.  I’m very intrigued to see Hux’s speech from The Force Awakens included there!  I guess this show is going to catch up with the events of that film a lot sooner than I’d expected! If Resistance has caught up to The Force Awakens by the season one finale, I wonder what this show will become in season two…

Here is a wonderful look back at Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on it’s 25th anniversary.  (25 years!  Wow!)  Oh man do I love that movie.  I long held it was the best filmed version of Batman.  Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight finally unseated it, but Phantasm still holds up so well.  If you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor and give it a try.

I didn’t watch Sacha Baron Cohen’s new TV show this year, “Who is America?”, but I nevertheless loved reading this extensive interview with the generally press-shy Mr. Cohen, discussing the show, his process, and lots more.

Here’s a first look at Stranger Things season three, and a confirmed release date: July 4th.  That’s a long wait, but I look forward to seeing what they’ve cooked up for season three.

More new Star Trek projects are apparently being developed — a second animated series (in addition to the previously-announced comedic Lower Decks series) as well as additional Short Treks, which will also be animated.  I am hoping for the best with all of these new projects, but I need Alex Kurtzman and his team to show me that they are capable of creating quality Star Trek.  The four Short Treks that were released over the past few months were all great, and this gives me hope… but then I remember how mediocre the first season of Star Trek: Discovery was.  The trailers for Discovery season two have been great.  Let’s see if they can actually do this.  I am hoping for the best!

I’ll leave you with this — a very funny video all about characters saying “yes” and “no” in Star Wars films.  Enjoy:

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