Trailer Reaction – Avengers: Endgame – 110

POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING! For the first time in the history of the podcast, I’m breaking down a trailer!

Back in April, Thanos snapped his fingers at the end of Infinity War and removed half of everything. Since then, we’ve all been wondering what will happen in the next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A lot of fans took it upon themselves to try and guess the title of the film. On December 7, 2018, we not only received the answer to their questions and assumptions, but we got a trailer!

My initial reaction to this trailer was pure excitement. Marvel Studios did a good job at keeping things close to their collective vests when it comes to the particulars of this film. There are secrets within the trailer and I was perfectly fine waiting until the movie was released to find the answers. That didn’t stop me from digging deeper into what was revealed within!

Listen to the full episode to hear the break down, as well as some theories on what some of Marvel’s secrets are.

Avengers: Endgame is set to release on April 26th, 2019.

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Deadpool 2 – 095

Yes, the show is on hiatus for another week or so, but we absolutely had to get together and talk about Deadpool 2! David Hunt and Mike Kostrewa return for the discussion, which has a very brief non-spoiler section before we dive in head-long. And yes, we need to watch it a second time. There was way too much to talk about! We hope you enjoy this bonus episode.

GEEK THIS! will return to regular episodes on June 6th, 2018, so make sure you’re subscribed and you follow us on social media! Continue reading “Deadpool 2 – 095”

Why I Stopped Binging

I am unabashedly a proponent of cord-cutting. Even the idea of paying an ungodly amount for cable channels makes me a little nauseous. That said, I’m glad to have my subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. There’s plenty to choose from and I always feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. The only problem that seems to plague those of us who call ourselves “cord cutters” is the abundance of shows and movies being released every week, whether we know it or not.

This has led to the cultural phenomenon of “binge-watching”. If I’m not mistaken, this term was popularized by Netflix, going as far back as their DVD mailing service. Nowadays, binge-watching is a regular household activity. I’m sure you do it, too! I do… well, I did.

When season two of Stranger Things dropped on Netflix at the end of October, I was as excited as it seems the rest of the world was. The problem for me, though, was that my wife hadn’t watched season one. It isn’t really a rule that I can’t watch things without her, but I had an inkling that this may be a should that she would really enjoy. We had to go back and watch the first season.

We decided not to binge the entire series over the weekend, but instead watch one or two episodes each day until we had finished the whole thing. This led to an interesting experience on my part: I could actually keep track of what was going on with the show! (Amazing, right?)

As reviews came in from friends and family, I kept hearing about one episode that they “could have done without”. When we got to that episode and it was finished, my wife and I looked at each other and asked, “What was so bad about that?” Sure, it wasn’t a typical episode for Stranger Things, but it was important in the development of Eleven’s character. It was also a good set up for things I’m sure are coming in season three.

What I realized after this was that not only was I able to understand what was going on better, I was able to get the experience that the creators – be it show runners, directors, writers, etc – had planned from the beginning. There are nuances about characters and story points you’re going to miss out on and appreciate less if you’re just trying to get to the end. This is another reason why I’m working harder to put down my phone or iPad when I’m watching something and why I think movie theaters are great places for those of us trying to soak in a film.

I’ve taken this mindset into watching Hannibal, a TV series that was on NBC for three seasons. Every episode is on Amazon right now, but I’m only watching one or two episodes in a sitting. There’s a lot to digest in them (pun intended). If I were to binge them, I’m missing out on small pieces of character and story development that would lose me a season and a half in. Even watching them in small doses, I still find myself having to think back to previous episodes and finding that… um… connective tissue.

What do you think about this idea of not binge-watching? If you enjoy binging the latest season of a show, what do you find appealing? Let me know in the comments.

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This post may contain links to products or services we have an affiliate relationship with. We may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, we won’t recommend something we don’t like. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, we appreciate your support of Geek This!

Thor: Ragnarok – 074

When the first Thor film was released in 2011, I skipped it. It didn’t look interesting in the least bit. After renting it, I decided that while it wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t great. When The Dark World came out, I was much more invested in who Thor was thanks to The Avengers. (Also, he had lost those bleached eyebrows.) While that movie wasn’t great, it held an interesting place in the MCU, since it was one of the first crossovers with Agents of SHIELD.

As much as I like Thor, the movies simply weren’t clicking for me. Then I saw the first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok. I was immediately sucked back in. Bringing the Hulk in was also a bonus. Who doesn’t want to see the big green guy again? When the posters started showing up, I could feel that they were somehow going to go with a Guardians of the Galaxy feel. With colors that bright, there was no doubt in my mind. Again, points.

In the film, Thor finds himself on a mission to save Asgard and its people from Hela, Odin’s former right hand. He ends up on the planet Sakaar, where he is thrust into battle against their champion – the Incredible Hulk. The problem is, he still has to protect Asgard from their impending demise: Ragnarok.

Spoiler-Free Assessment

From the very first scene of Thor: Ragnarok, I had this inkling that this would be one of my favorite Marvel films to date. Thor’s opening monologue was a great way to refresh everyone on what was going on with him. We haven’t seen him in an MCU flick since 2015’s Age of Ultron. It also helped me make a new, more personal connection with the character. As you may know, character is what I love the most about movies. This one has a lot to love. More on that in a second.

Director Taika Waititi definitely found some tone inspiration from Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s an extremely funny movie. Lots of great moments are sprinkled throughout and they’re still funny watching it a second time. The only complaint I have with it is that there are a couple of serious moments in the film where you expect a joke to come. Sure enough, they arrive. Minor complaint, I know.

The new additions to the MCU in regards to characters have made me excited to see where they’ll appear next. Let’s talk about Thor’s hodge-podge team for a bit.

I don’t know if any other reviewers think this, but I thought the re-introduction to the Hulk made him feel fresh. We haven’t seen him since Age of Ultron, either, and that was a sad departure. Here, we see a beloved warrior instead of an outcast. Hulk believes Sakaar is where he belongs. His chemistry with Thor makes this a fun buddy movie.

Loki is also brought back. Of course, he’s up to his trickster ways, but his character arc is interesting. We get to see a glimmer of hero in him. He’s also a great counterpart to Thor. Throwing the comedy element into their relationship was smart. Waititi and the writers have helped build upon what Joss Whedon started with The Avengers.

We meet Valkyrie – played by Tessa Thompson – might be a reluctant drunk, but she becomes a valuable asset to the team. She also holds her own when she’s on the screen with Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Mark Ruffalo. She never misses a beat.

Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster is… well, Jeff Goldblum. He gives the, um, ah, performance that you would, um, expect him to give. It’s droll, sarcastic, and a fun part of Thor: Ragnarok. I do have to say that I could have used less of him, though.

Skurge – Karl Urban – was one of my least favorite characters here. I like Karl Urban, but a lot of his character seemed forced in, like he had to be put in the movie because someone owed someone else a favor. We could have left him in his introductory scene and left him there. He didn’t add anything to me.

Of course, we have to talk about Cate Blanchett, who played Hela. I think Hela was one of the best villains so far in the MCU. She had purpose. She had a reason to do the things she was doing. She wasn’t evil for evil’s sake. I had a hard time understanding the headdress, but that’s super minor. There was history with the other characters and that made her a great villain.

Oh! Korg! I definitely don’t want to forget Korg! He’s not a character I’m familiar with from the comics, but the addition of this guy was so, so good. I really hope we get more of him.

Let’s talk a little about spoiler-y things.

Spoiler Assessment

There are easter eggs throughout Thor: Ragnarok.

One of my favorites is seeing Beta Ray Bill as one of Sakaar’s champions. Although I’m not the most familiar with him as much as I’d like, I know he is a character moviegoers have been wanting to see for a while. This instance of him is only a statue bust on the side of a building, but it was nice to see a nod to him.

It was hard for me to talk about Korg before only because I didn’t want to spoil who played him. Taika Waititi’s voice against a creature made totally from stone was a great comedic move. He’s the standout character in the film. I absolutely want to see him again somewhere in the MCU.

We get to see some fan-casting, too! Matt Damon showing up as Loki in the Asgardian play depicting a scene from The Dark World was a lot of fun. I did not know, however, that Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) portrayed Odin in that same scene! Both of those guys were fan-cast in their respective roles. Nice little nugget there.

Thor also carries an umbrella with him when he and Loki visit New York. I love little nods to the comics like this. The best thing is that it isn’t a blatant scene that was pulled from a particular issue. This one goes back to his comic alter ego, Donald Blake.

Finally, Stan Lee’s cameo was perfect and hilarious. Every time I see him pop up in a film, I think, “I’m glad to have had my picture taken with him last year. I’m going to cry when he passes and we don’t get to see these anymore.”

There are plenty of other cameos and Easter eggs out there, but those are some of my favorites.

Overall, I’d give Thor: Ragnarok a 4/5. It has me really excited for Avengers: Infinity War for sure!

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Death Note: Adaptation – 068

Surprise! Another bonus episode! This time, Dave digs into anime via the new Netflix film, Death Note, which is an adaption of a well-received anime and manga of the same name. He also shares how his opinion changed after watching the first couple episodes of the anime.

This episode was sponsored by Geek Fuel! Get 25% off your first box.

I split this episode into two sections: “Before the Anime” and “After the Anime”. I wanted my opinion of the film adaptation to be as unbiased as possible, but I also wanted to share how watching some of the television show added to my opinion.

Before the Anime

Light Turner – a high school student – comes across a mysterious notebook that gives him the ability to kill anyone whose name he writes. He turns into a hidden vigilante known as “Kira”, taking down criminals one after another while a god of death named Ryuk watches him. Eventually an enigmatic detective known only by the name “L” shows up and makes it his mission to take down Kira (Light) who is now considered a mass murderer

Expectations

I had high hopes for what it could be. I didn’t know anything about the manga or anime it was based on, but the premise was extremely interesting. When a film poses the question, “What would you do with this power”, it’s hard to resist checking it out.

Reaction

I enjoyed the first half of the movie. It kept me intrigued, trying to figure out where the story would go next. The longer the movie went, the more it fell apart. There were too many unanswered questions about the overall plot, as well as some details about the characters. In the end, I didn’t really care about any of the characters except for Ryuk. He was mysterious and Willem Dafoe’s voice-over just seemed to fit him perfectly.

After the Anime

First of all, so many of the details from the anime (which I’ve only watched two episodes of so far) are left out. For starters, I’m upset that the film was (insert overused phrase) white-washed. They inexplicably moved the setting from Japan to Seattle. I understand the need to get people interested and set it in a more familiar place, but I feel like they’re alienating the audience that loved the source material.

They started the movie off with an extremely gory scene. The anime (as far as I’ve seen) hasn’t done that. I understand that they have to convey the power of the Death Note in a very short time span, but they way they did it was graphic and totally un-needed. The anime explicitly states that names written without a specific death will die of a heart attack. Why couldn’t we do that?

As I mentioned before, I enjoyed the setup for the movie. If that tone and energy had gone through the movie, I would have been much happier. Things start to fall apart when Light decides to hook up with Mia, a romance that it seems like the director/writers through in just for giggles. It doesn’t drive the story, it just makes it all the more confusing to follow in the end.

Light himself isn’t likeable, even from the start. You can almost see that the power the Death Note has will go to his head. This is different from the anime, because he honestly feels that he is doing good in the world until L comes and challenges him, then you see the morality of the character start to change. The Americanized version of Light comes off as a moody teenager, not some smart kid who happened upon a powerful book. He’s just a brat.

The ending of the movie has a bad case of sequel-itis. I cannot stand this, even if I know there is going to be a sequel, I want a full movie. Don’t just leave something unanswered until the next time we visit the world you’ve created!

Final Thoughts

I’m glad that I decided to watch the movie on Netflix, but I’m sad that I’m just now finding out about the anime. I’ve never been into anime and Death Note has me hooked – despite it all being in Japanese with English subtitles. It’s opening my eyes to better storytelling, outside of the media I would consider my norm. I’ll definitely finish the anime. Will I watch the sequel to the movie? Probably, just because I’m a mild completionist.

If you’ve watch the movie or the anime or even delved into the manga, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Death Note.

Episode Artwork by CrazyDiamond

What is This Rated? – 065

If you’re a typical moviegoer in the US, you’ve absolutely seen a “green band” trailer. On occasion, you may have even seen a “red band” trailer. What are these bands, what do they mean, and are they all created equal? Dave shares his personal preferences when it comes to R-rated films and why/why not you should be judgemental of other’s choices.

This episode was sponsored by Geek Fuel

Get 25% off your first mystery box from Geek Fuel by going to http://geekfuel.com/25geekthis

They ship out a mystery box for geeks and gamers each month that has at least $50 worth of value for around $15 + S&H. Think Comic Con in a box with great curation and lots of exclusive items. Every box has an exclusive t-shirt, a full downloadable game, and a total of 5-7 geeky items. Frequently featured brands include Marvel, D.C., Star Wars, Firefly, Star Trek, Harry Potter, South Park, etc.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 053

We celebrate the new Star Wars flick and the return of our friend Adam McDorman in this episode. How did JJ Abrams do at the helm of such a popular and well-loved franchise? Is Jar Jar Binks the father of one of the main characters? All of this and more in episode 53 of Geek This!

EPISODE LINKS

Marvel Cinemiatic Universe: Phase 3 – 046

Marvel dominated the end of October by releasing trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron and Agent Carter, along with the mind-blowing release of the MCU’s Phase 3 line-up. Dave discusses the news and shares his own thoughts on each story. Continue reading “Marvel Cinemiatic Universe: Phase 3 – 046”