Weekend Geek Update

#Podcast

Another edition of Celebrity Milk carton

DCC name this year’s beer contest and the guest line up so far. Spider-Man, Venom, and Vulture oh my.

Project Scorpio, RDR, Cosplay Melee

Dominos trying to do a page from Arby’s play book and Smurf is not amused! JLA Trailer! https://youtu.be/3cxixDgHUYw

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/ae3xz-69215d?from=yiiadmin

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Geek Down Logan

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As an “old school” Geek, I still get excited about comic book movies. It’s something about the pages coming to life, seeing my heroes on the big screen and connecting that line between imagination and reality.  I enjoy the ride and appreciate all the work, expertise and money that go into the entire experience. That being said, the last two Wolverine movies failed miserably! I was hesitant when I heard they were making a third, so I wasn’t going to expect much out of this one as well. Especially after the last X-Men’s Apocalyptic fail. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but it was not all that good either leaving a lot to be desired from the story and characters. Then I saw Logan.   

Let’s take a step back and go back to my time. In the 80’s and 90’s Wolverine was the #1 character in the Marvel Universe and just like so many characters in the comic industry, he became oversaturated and was used in just about everything. Each month there were at least three X-men titles, two Wolverine titles, an Avengers title and countless guest appearances in many of the Marvel titles that needed some star power.  Naturally, this caused a lot of continuity problems and confusing storylines. Logan/Wolverine was a victim of his own success and even poked fun of it in a few issues waiting for one group or another to notify him in time of a crisis.

In the year 2000 Fox rolled the dice on a big budget X-Men movie.  Brian Singer put his vision of Marvel’s merry mutants on the big screen and cast his second choice, unknown actor Hugh Jackman in the Wolverine role.  It goes now without saying, the movie, and Hugh Jackman, was a huge hit.

Seventeen years eight movies later and a few special appearances, Hugh Jackman is playing Wolverine one last time.  Coming off the disappointing 2013’s “The Wolverine”, Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold wanted to do something different with the Wolverine character to bring him back to his root’s and heart of the character with a simple story.  This reminds us of how great of a character he once was before he was in epic showdowns of saving the world.

In 2017’s “Logan”, James Mangold lowered the budget and Hugh Jackman took a pay cut to convince Fox to let them make Wolverine an R rated movie and to create the vision they wanted. Thanks to the success of last year’s R rated Deadpool, Fox was willing to roll the dice again.

This is not any Wolverine movie you’ve seen before. 

 The first words you hear are “F&*k”.  The first fight scene shows you what you always thought Wolverine’s claws could do. The story takes place in 2029.  Logan is dying from the poison in his Adamantium bones because his healing factor is failing.   Logan is vulnerable and weak, and “The Wolverine” is now only a legend kids read in comic books.  There are no X-Men, only Charles Xavier, who’s once most powerful mind is suffering from dementia and must be under Logan’s grudging but loyal care. A new mutant (X-23/Laura) enters Logan’s life beginning another great comic story. 

Here we get to see Hugh Jackman finally showing his acting skills in the way we always knew he could and were dying to see.  Patrick Stewart plays his most exceptional Charles Xavier to date and gives us a performance right up there with “I see four lights”.  We see a new side of Logan/Wolverine in his counter to X-23/Laura.   Newcomer Dafne Keen practically steals every scene she is in with just her expressions; and her fighting skills and moves are up there if not equal with Hit Girl from Kickass. We also finally get to see Wolverine’s berserker rage, ‘nuff said!

I can’t recommend this movie enough. Logan is not the typical superhero movie.  With direct comparisons from the classic western “Shane” by Mangold, and a feel of” Unforgiven” it is a gritty Western, not a superhero movie.  And that suits the character of Logan perfectly.  I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen.

After reading about Wolverine in almost every situation comics can throw at him for the last forty years and then seeing all his movies, this movie actually did something I never thought possible. They left me wanting more.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Warning…The article before you may contain spoilers…Reader discretion is advised

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While Lemony Snicket will always have the voice of Tim Curry (pre-stroke) in my head from the audio book series, that’s no reason not to try the unlucky premier of Netflix’s Series of Unfortunate Events. The extreme colors and striking camera angles that made us enjoy the 2004 film version are not lost in this new series which has an artistic Pushing Daisies whimsy feel. I’m sure if you’re a fan of the books you’re a bit apprehensive to the role of Count Olaf switching from Jim Carrey –who was perfect- to Neil Patrick Harris. But there’s nothing to fear, I can assure you this series isn’t a horrible mistake.

It’s unfortunate that the film which was perfectly cast made such Hollywood mistakes of plot faux pas, so another attempt is more than warrant. Especially now that all the books and plot twists have been published Netflix manages to stay amazingly true to the text.

There’s many dissuasions not to watch the series by Lemony Snicket himself (played by Patrick Warburton) but none from me. I say enjoy the hidden gems tucked in the background as one of the darkest children’s texts comes to life. There’s loads of disguises, antics with the frustration for children wanting to be taken seriously by adults and wordplay. Oh the wordplay, a term here which refers to a use of vocabulary that is beyond the usual intelligence. The use of language is by far the best part of this show.

lead_960.jpgBut just like all book adaptations. There are some issues. First being that it ends after only eight episodes with each book in the series getting two episodes this means we hardly get half way through the story. But I suppose that’s not really an issue so much as a complaint that Netflix wants to keep us dangling a bit longer.

My major criticism is the heavy use of the eye symbol. While the eye is an important and prominent symbol surrounding Count Olaf and the mystery that the Baudelaire orphans journey to solve, it comes to their attention much too soon and much too often before Olaf even makes his first appearance.

A lesser criticism is the music. Oh, but that’s one thing the 2004 film did so well, the music was eerie and playful like the story and Daniel Handler himself. But what is with that intro song NPH is yammering in the opening credits? If you can muddle through that ear-splitting flop at a Shakespearian device and are still sitting when Lemony tells you to choose a different show for your weekend well then, you’re in for a good time.

Overall I find our fears of failure for this Netflix feature are founded without fact. What’s more I will be rewatching this for all the hidden secretes I can spy throughout this series.

Fantasy Football Clique

#NFL Week 11 Match-ups!

Saturdays I like to focus on this weekend’s match-ups and throw in a few Sleepers.

Top 3 Rushing Match-ups:

vs  – I’m sorry to pick on the Browns so much, but damn is their Defense weak and always makes the opposing team’s Offense look so great on paper.

vs  – Cincinnati has been allowing a lot of FF points against them on the ground, and unfortunately for them, the Bills have Matt Forte who is primed to have a big day.

vs  – Spencer Ware is back and will be carrying the RB load against the Buccaneer’s 25th ranked Defense in the NFL against the run.

 

Top 3 Passing Match-ups:

 vs  – Tom Brady is going to make his big return to ‘the city by the bay” a memorable one.

vs  – Big day for Big Ben and Antonio Brown.

vs  – Marcus Mariota is quietly becoming one of the top FF QBs right now and the Colts don’t have a strong secondary to stop him. Don’t forget that his favorite target is TE Delanie Walker.

 

Sleepers:

QB – Joe Flacco

RB – Dion Lewis

RB – Thomas Rawls

WR – Jamison Crowder

TE – Ladarius Green

News and Notes

Rob Gronkowski is out this week with some sort of lung/chest injury. Martellus Bennett will have a good game.

Jeremy Maclin is out again this week with a groin injury. He has had a disappointing FF season this year and I wonder if he is even worth keeping on your roster.

I don’t know why, but I’m liking the match-up of Luck and Hilton vs the Titans Defense.

It’s that time to start looking ahead to the last 4 weeks of the season and the 3 FF playoff weeks. You are going to want to acquire the strong Offensive players that are matched up against the weaker Defenses. For example, during the FF playoff schedule ( weeks 14-16 ) Tampa Bay plays New Orleans TWICE! You are going to want Tampa Bay players, trust me.

Las Vegas over/under has Green Bay at Washington Redskins game as the highest scoring game of the week. Kirk Cousins should have a big day.

Good Luck!

 #FFGeek

Geek Down

Denver Comic Con is this week and we wanted to thank our sponsors who donated items for the raffle held by Cap for Kids an official 501C3 charity. Stop by our booth to register for a chance to win them in addition to a #StanLee signed Captain America shield. #DCC2016 Uncle Joe’s Hong Kong Bistro Time Warp Comics Meents Illustrated Gerry Mulowayi

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Gotham

This Ball of Mud and Meanness

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I am afraid. My fear is this, if I start to expand on how good of a turn Gotham has made over the last few episodes I worry it will revert back and start to disappoint and only frustrate me further. With the last three weeks’ worth of episodes behind us I am finding it more difficult to be as heavy handed as I have in the past about the events in the show. This could be a small reprieve, the same thing did happen last season with the introduction of a serial killer and Barbra going around the bend.

We leave the story of Freeze for now as we transition further into Arkham and just what Hugo Strange is up too. The extreme experiments he is conducting on the patients wondering what his end goal truly is while he works over Penguin. Using Dr. Cranes fear formula mixed with some very twisted visual virtual reality goggles makes short work of the King of Crime. Turning the once violent and manipulative fowl villain into some timid little parakeet. At first I wondered who was playing whom? Was Penguin just going along, playing the role? We have seen how clever Penguin has been in the past, calculating his moves and just what the outcome would be but after this week I have to say he was out of his field. Hugo Strange is just wicked! Is everything he does for the betterment of Gotham? I think the show has finally got what it so badly needed, an arch villain. He just exudes diabolical evil, right down to the creepy smile and sinister tone in his voice. Declaring Penguin “Sane” by the end of the episode and setting him free was a shock making him nothing more than a pawn setting the board for a bigger move.        

gotham-ep214-scn17-5670-hires1-172702.jpg The bigger story this week is following up with Bruce after finding out the identity of his parent’s killer, Matches Malone. There are a lot of things I really liked about this story and I was waiting for it to go so horribly wrong and to my surprise it didn’t. It’s hard to follow the comics sometimes, I get that and there have been so many different takes on Bruce Wayne in the early years it’s hard to say what is the most accurate picture. The portrayal we got is what I would consider the most accurate and well laid out story in the show so far. This was the whole reason I wanted to watch the show in the first place, to see the boy become the bat and Bruce becomes the mask. It starts out perfect with Selina brining the gun to him, Bruce ready in his convictions that he can pull the trigger, but when faced with the choice he shows a sterner side. That aside for the moment, the buildup for this is remarkable as Bruce starts to see the whole of the Gotham underworld, a place he has never been nor could imagine. The conversation between Bruce and Jeri (Lori Petty who is no stranger to the DC world having done a lot of voice work in the animated series) is gold. Showing us some of the edge, the outright crazy that exists here and how ill-equipped he is to dealing with it as it looks like Lori is channeling a great mix of Joker and Harley in her character. She knows where matches is but won’t give him up right away, toys with Bruce makes a game of it for her own amusement and to see how far Bruce will take this, hard to take a kid seriously. Her parting words to him as she tells Bruce where matches is are sinister, the hand of fate and Matches will be happy to see him.      

At this point is when my doubt began to creep in, but it was more than I could have hoped for as Bruce comes face to face with Matches. Playing the role of needing a gun for hire asking question about Matches score card. I thought they were going to do it, I really thought for a moment this was going to be one more departure from what we know of the character sending me into a fan frenzy of disappointment. But it didn’t happen, the rage, and frustration all there on the face, the hurt of being nothing more than a forgotten or blocked memory in the past of a known killer. Matches wanted to die, it would make sense for it to be by the hand of a kid whose parents he had killed almost poetic; “A man gets tired of doing wrong and going unpunished…you start to wonder if there really is a god.” The only comforting words Matches has before Bruce leaves the room and lets fate take its course. But I think this calls back to the earlier part of the episode as funny as it is to see Alfred going toe to toe with a big bruiser named Cupcake. The mantel of the bat starts right here with this small but important lesson as Alfred tries to teach Bruce the importance of picking your battles and letting them pick you. It’s a great fight, I watched it a couple of times but the end result is Alfred winning but back in Hospital which Bullock is happy to point out, for a butler he spends a lot of time there. The end result is the most significant, Bruce decides to take to the streets to learn and better understand this world and it’s about damn time.    

On a side note Nygma talking to himself thinking Gordon is onto the fact that he killed Ms. Kringle is fantastic. Can’t wait to see the Riddler!

Gotham

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After the long midseason break Gotham returns and in a very impressive and immersive episode as it starts off with giving us flashbacks of the last episode. Gordon answering questions from Harvey Dent in front of a review panel about the final moments with Galavan. If there was any question or doubt that Gordon executed Galavan or pull a last moment we didn’t see forget about it, they showed without a doubt he pulled the trigger. As he sat before the committee creating a story that removed him from the situation and leaving town with Dr. Thompkins because he was fearful of her life after finding out she was pregnant. You can see during the entire proceeding that Captain Barnes wasn’t buying any of what Gordon was saying and through the entire episode was doubtful of his word and motivation. Maybe the Captain is as just a good cop, very passionate about the job he does and upholding justice and the code above all else. Gordon crossing that line still is a raw nerve for me and something I can’t see the character ever doing but maybe Penguin got into his head a little more than anyone had thought.

NE0Xf32uHdU731_3_b.jpgThat does put a few things in question but sets up some fantastic story lines if they do it right along with some much needed character development. Penguin goes to ground after that night with Galavan and is hiding out on the streets, somehow is discovered by GCPD and brought in by the Captain. I honestly thought that Penguin was going to point the finger at Gordon but instead claims to have killed Galavan and Gordon had nothing to do with it. Two fantastic points here that impressed me, Gordon holding the bluff with the Captain after he questioned Penguin. I was waiting for the Captain to call BS but accepted Penguin at his word this setting up Penguin to get shipped off to Arkham. The second part of this is the introduction of Hugo Strange who I have to applaud the casting on this. I know in the comic he isn’t Asian but the mannerisms, is speech patterns, the creepy beard and glasses all working so well. The character in the comic in my mind has always been a tier two villain, but with a lot of undiscovered potential. You get the feeling Penguin is a little lost after all of the events from the first half of the season and maybe has given up, you almost feel sorry for the little guy as all the inmates start to throw food and make fun of him. We know Penguin has his issues but how much more of a mess is he going to be after Hugo starts to experiment on him with his new wave treatments? With Penguin on the run that leaves one guy in charge and I loved this idea since they hinted at it in the first season. Butch! Butch with a drill in place of the hand that Penguin lopped off! Butch was great, no idea why he was killing someone this week with his new drill hand but it’s a cool affect that’s for sure raising the question did Penguins men just desert him or did Butch just take over. Then guess who wants to be his second in command as Tabitha Galavan emerges from the shadows wanting in on what Butch has going on, still disappointed by her brothers failure she is looking for the big score and yes it’s Butch.

It was a night for introductions that’s for sure, as we see the love story of Victor Fries and his ill wife Nora. I had my doubts about this, a few questions and trying to figure it out on the Batman timeline. In the comic Nora already was sick and the only way to save her was for Victor to freeze her while looking for a cure and one day bring her out of stasis. If I’m being completely honest I liked the story, I like the twists they added and how they portrayed the character. All of the elements from the comic were there, he was missing the big lab that he ran all of his experiments in but they did explain that with him being let go by Thomas Wayne. The character desperation to save his wife because of his love for her, crossing lines he normally wouldn’t but given little choice because of the severe situation and ticking clock. What I loved was his cold gun and flash freezing people to negative 162 degrees then trying to find a way to bring them back. All of his victims suffering the fate of an ice-cream cone on a July afternoon was a great twist and how she reacted to discovering it was humans Victor was experimenting on instead of mice. Even after her discovery she was still unwilling to give Victor up to Gordon and Bullock regardless of the consequences to herself. I’m anxious to see where they take the character and just how close to the comic they will bring him, for now we just have to deal with him looking like a bad Captain Cold knock off.