From Game to Screen: Castlevania – Season Two by Jerry Whitworth
Roughly one week removed from San Diego Comic-Con International and news continues to dribble out. The latest tidbit to rock fandom is the trailer for the second season of Castlevania. Roughly adapting Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (1989), the story follows Count Dracula trying to sink the world in darkness and four heroes rising up to stop him: vampire killer Trevor Belmont, young witch Sypha Belnades, dhampir Alucard, and thief Grant Danasty. The first prequel produced for the Castlevania series, Dracula’s Curse is situated early in the property’s timeline which provides a wealth of material for the series moving forward. Its second season dropping all at once on October 26th on Netflix, the second season will be twice as long as the first at eight episodes. Lets take a look at some characters revealed in the new trailer.
DC Universe at San Diego Comic-Con by Jerry Whitworth
As we creep closer to the beta release of the DC Universe streaming service and application in August, a litany of content continues to be announced as we learned a library of comics, movies, and shows will be available on the platform for $7.99 a month (or $74.99 a year with three free months). San Diego Comic-Con offered more details about what’s to come including trailers for Titans and Young Justice: Outsiders as well as the announcement of a live action Stargirl series by her creator Geoff Johns. Lets break down what original content we already know will be available on the service.
When it was announced that Street Fighter was going to have a presence in the mobile fighting game Power Rangers: Legacy Wars some months ago, the news seemed to be accompanied by crickets. While it was cool that Ryu, Chun-Li, Guile, Cammy, M. Bison, Akuma, and more were coming to the game, such crossovers in fighting games have become fairly commonplace in this day and age. Little did fans know that come San Diego Comic-Con International, we would get a proper crossover. Bat In The Sun Productions made a name for themselves with the 2003 fan film Batman Beyond: Year One but went on to generate a lot of buzz with its web series Super Power Beat Down. This lead to being hired by Valiant Comics to produce the live action web series Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe which included Jason David Frank of Power Rangers fame as Bloodshot, one of Valiant’s most established properties (in fact, Bloodshot will be the first character from Valiant adapted for feature film with Vin Diesel starring in the titular role). In San Diego, we learned Bat In The Sun’s latest project: Power Rangers Legacy War: Street Fighter Showdown.
In 1991, the transforming robot wars were officially over. Hasbro acquired Tonka and, by extension, the GoBots. While often criticized for the general cheap quality of its toys’ design as well as the cheap animation quality of its ongoing Hanna-Barbera animated series, GoBots nonetheless had some potential as part of the Transformers (at least for the more well known characters of the line). Leader-1, Cy-Kill, Turbo, Scooter, Crasher, Cop-Tur, Fitor, Path Finder… these characters were known quantities to the audience that could do well in the Transformers universe. There was just one problem: while Hasbro acquired their names and stories, they did not get their likenesses. Just as Transformers was generally an American adaptation of the Takara Diaclone and Microman toylines, GoBots founds its roots in Popy’s Machine Robo toyline (owned by Bandai). Tonka’s hastily assembled agreement with Popy saw that while they could reproduce the toys, they were only licensing the likeness which reverted back to the Japanese manufacturer. However, Hasbro has tried to capitalize on owning the GoBots property but it just didn’t work without those iconic images of the classic series. It seemed the brand would simply fade away… that is, until the latest San Diego Comic-Con International.
DC Television Universe: SDCC 2018 by Jerry Whitworth
Starting out as an almost Batman Begins (2005) television series that instead featured a murderous Green Arrow, Arrow is going into its seventh season as spin-offs The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow enter their respective seasons five and four this fall on the CW Network (while animated spin-off Freedom Fighters: The Ray just debuted its second season online). The DC Television Universe, or Arrowverse, would incorporate Supergirl and Constantine as the former enters its fourth season and latter returned as an animated online series (City of Demons) and its eponymous protagonist has become a series regular for Legends‘ coming season (previously, Legends incorporated the ancestor of the animated series Vixen‘s eponymous protagonist). It was just learned at the latest San Diego Comic-Con International that the character Batwoman will get her own television series on the CW and she will be introduced in a five-part crossover event this December that will also incorporate the series Black Lightning (entering its second season) into the DCTVU. Two years ago, it was rumored Batwoman was sought for the second season of Supergirl but rumor also had it the idea was nixed due to Gotham on Fox (where Arrow writers have pushed for more Batman content since Gotham‘s emergence with occasional small victories). As Gotham enters its final season sometime next year with reportedly only ten episodes (which appears to fall three short of being eligible for syndication), it seems the time has come for the DCTVU to bring Gotham City to its viewers (while reportedly Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred will be getting his own television series on Epix and Dick Grayson is leading the Teen Titans on the DC Universe’s Titans series). Lets take a look at what characters are coming to the DCTVU shows this fall.
Posted in Comics
Tagged Arrow, Arrowverse, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Constantine, DC Television Universe, flash, Jerry Whitworth, Legends of Tomorrow, San Diego Comic-Con, SDCC, supergirl
Power Rangers Comes to Toys That Made Us by Jerry Whitworth
When the documentary series The Toys That Made Us about toy brands and properties was renewed by Netflix, speculation immediately arose about what future episodes would emerge. Fans did not have to wait long as the first four episodes were announced at San Diego Comic-Con International and the Nerdfect Strangers accurately predicted at least three of those selections. It was revealed the next four episodes will focus on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, wrestling, and Power Rangers. Having already gone into detail with the former three previously (although, the ambiguous descriptor for wrestling has lead to speculation the Kinnikuman keshi, or Kinkeshi, better known in America as M.U.S.C.L.E., maybe included), we’re going to discuss the history of Power Rangers and its toys.
Top 10: Episodes of Nerdfect Strangers by Jerry Whitworth
Recently, Nerdfect Strangers founder Bobby Fisher appeared on the PVDcast where host John Orlando mentioned that on average, most podcasts last ten to twelve episodes. To put that in perspective, Nerdfect Strangers has just published its 65th episode across just over four years with five co-hosts. Over that time, the Nerdfect Strangers has experienced triumphs such as Bobby marrying the love of his life Evette and tragedy with the loss of our co-host and dear friend Glenn Walker. The podcast has had nearly two dozen guests, three real-time comical film criticism Halloween specials, been downloaded over 4,700 times, and averages 73 downloads an episode. Of course, some episodes have proven to be more popular than others. And so, we present to you, the Nerdfect Strangers‘ ten most downloaded episodes.
The Toys That Made Us: Interview with Brian Volk-Weiss by Jerry Whitworth
An eight episode series whose first half debuted in late 2017 and second half May of this year, The Toys That Made Us is a Netflix-exclusive documentary series on the history of popular toylines and properties. Thus far covering Star Wars, Barbie, Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, Star Trek, Transformers, Lego, and Hello Kitty, TTMU was renewed shortly after its second half went live. Nerdfect Strangers had the opportunity to interview Brian Volk-Weiss, creator and executive producer for TTMU, about the first eight episodes and the series’ future.
Review – Luke Cage: Season Two by Jerry Whitworth
Last week, Netflix released the second season for Luke Cage, the third entry in the streaming service’s Defenders series that includes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and The Punisher. Following the events of last season where Cage (Mike Colter) was drawn into conflict with Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali) and his cousin “Black” Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) only to be hunted by his crazed half-brother Willis “Diamondback” Stryker (Erik LaRay Harvey), the eponymous series’ hero must combat John “Bushmaster” McIver (Mustafa Shakir) who seeks revenge against Mariah for the crimes of her kin. The first season of the show was critically acclaimed for its exploration of challenging topics of race in America, an integrated soundtrack making the piece something of a visual album, and the remarkable performances of its cast (in particular, its actresses). Lets see if the second season matches up. Fair warning: there will be SPOILERS.
Make It So: Green Lantern Corps the Movie by Jerry Whitworth
2010 was a transition period for DC Comics film adaptations. Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) were massive box office hits and by 2010, Christopher Nolan was developing the final film for his Dark Knight trilogy. Alternatively, Superman Returns (2006), which was intended to be the Man of Steel’s big return to theaters, under performed and its sequel intended to be released in 2009 was scrapped. Development of a Wonder Woman movie was in limbo as Joss Whedon spent two years trying to get his picture made while in 2010 it looked like the Amazonian princess was going to become a television series from David E. Kelley that didn’t pan out. Writers Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, and Marc Guggenheim were tasked with bringing Green Lantern and the Flash to the big screen, the former for 2011 and latter soon after. But then, Green Lantern (2011) bombed at box office. Terribly rendered CGI (especially the Green Lantern’s uniform), a poorly written script that was overly goofy, and just an overall joyless viewing endeavor, the film was a financial and critical failure (though, Berlanti would later get to tackle the Flash, just on the small screen). The stink of the film remained for years, Ryan Reynolds trying to revive his poorly received portrayal of Deadpool in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine for a featured film only to carry another albatross around his neck while development of Man of Steel (2013), intended to create a DC Extended Universe similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, virtually abandoned all mention of Green Lantern for the burgeoning brand. It wouldn’t be until 2017 that the Green Lantern earned so much as a brief cameo and mention in the film Justice League that there existed any hope of its return. Recently, it was announced the DC Extended Universe will finally produce a new Green Lantern movie reportedly set to premier in 2020. Lets take a look at what such a film might entail.
Hear ye, hear ye!!!
That’s right, plebeians!
It’s the latest installment of The Wrestling Time Machine!!!
(Content Warning: Blood, Violence, Weapons)
June 17, 2018 in Extreme Championship Wrestling, Professional Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Entertainment, Wrestling, Wrestling Time Machine
Tagged "Dirty" Dick Slater, "Flyboy" Rocco Rock, "Jungle" Jim Steele, "Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, "Spark Plug" Bob Holly, "The Enforcer" Arn Anderson, "The Franchise" Shane Douglas, "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair, "The Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan, 2 Cold Scorpio, 911, Adam Bomb, Angelo Poffo, Axl Rotten, Bam Bam Bigelow, Bart Gunn, Beaulah McGillicutty, Big Van Vader, Bill Alfonso, Billy Gunn, Bob Backlund, Bobby Eaton, Booker T, Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Brian Knobbs, Bunkhouse Buck, Cactus Jack, Chikara, Colonel Robert Parker, Dave Sullivan, DDP, Dean Malenko, Diamond Dallas Page, Diesel, ECW, ECW World Heavyweight Championship, ECW World Tag Team Championships, Extreme Championship Wrestling, Gangrel, Hack Meyers, Hakushi, Harlem Heat, Hulk Hogan, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Ian Rotten, Irwin R Schyster, Isaac Yankem DDS, Jeff Jarrett, Jerry "The King" Lawler, Jerry Sags, Johnny Grunge, Kama, Kamala, Kimberly, King Mabel, Lord Steven Regal, Luna Vachon, Mabel, Man Mountain Rock, Max Muscle, Men on a Mission, Meng, Mick Foley, Mo, Mustafa Saed, New Jack, Paul E. Dangerously, Pitbull #1, Pitbull #2, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Raven, Razerhawk, Razor Ramon, Savio Vega, Scott Taylor, Scotty 2 Hotty, Shawn Michaels, Shinja, Sir Mo, Sir Robert of Eaton, Sister Sherri, Skip & Sunny, Smokey Mountain Wrestling, SMW, Stevie Ray, Stevie Richards, Sting, Sycho Sid, Tatanka, Taz, Ted DiBiase, Tekno Team 2000, The Bad Breed, The Black Phantom, The Blue Bloods, The Bodydonnas, The Diamond Doll, The Extreme Encyclopedia, The Gangstas, The Mad Capper, The Master, The Million Dollar Corporation, The Monster Maniacs, The Nasty Boys, The Phantom, The Pitbulls, The Public Enemy, The Renegade, The Roadie, The Sandman, The Smoking Gunns, The Undertaker, The Vampire Warrior, The World Wrestling Federation, Tod Gordon, Tommy Dreamer, Travis, Troy, TT2k, WCW, WCW Bash at the Beach, WCW The Great American Bash, WCW United States Championship, WCW United States Championship Tournament, WCW World Tag Team Championships, WCW World Television Championship, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Entertainment, WWE, WWE Championship, WWE Intercontinental Championship, WWE King of the Ring, WWF, WWF Championship, WWF Intercontinental Championship, WWF King of the Ring, WWF Mat Caps, Yokozuna
Recently, Richard Rushfield of the entertainment newsletter The Ankler reported actor/director Jordan Peele approached Disney about producing a live action adaptation of its critically-acclaimed, cult classic animated series Gargoyles. The report went on to say, however, that given Peele’s momentum from his blockbuster hit Get Out (2017), the studio did not want to turn him down but was unwilling to greenlight the project and likely hopes Peele will take on another film and forget about the pitch. The news of the pitch though has spread like wildfire generating a lot of buzz online which could give Disney pause to genuinely consider the film (not unlike the impetus leading to 2016’s hit Deadpool). Gargoyles was a 1994 animated series created for the Disney Afternoon programming block to spotlight the company’s burgeoning animated television division. Created by Greg Weisman, known better today for Young Justice, Gargoyles ran for two seasons and featured a clan of magical guardian gargoyles in tenth century Scotland that were stone by day and flesh by night put to sleep in stone for a thousand years until awoken for a malevolent purpose by wealthy genius David Xanatos. Living in modern day Manhattan, the gargoyles combated Xanatos, rogue gargoyle Demona, unaging Scottish king Macbeth, mercenary band the Pack, ancient magician Archmage, and all manner of magical beings like Puck, Oberon, and the Weird Sisters of Shakespearean lore. The show failed to attain the level of massive ratings of competing series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Batman: The Animated Series, and X-Men leading to its cancellation. A second animated series created largely without input from Weisman emerged called Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles in 1996 but was so reviled, future printed installments of the franchise treated it as non-canonical. In 2006, Gargoyles found second life as a comic book series written by Weisman for Slave Labor Graphics and Creature Comics continuing the show’s narrative until 2009 when Disney raised its licensing fee and the publisher abandoned it. Joe Books, who currently has the license to produce many Disney properties, planned on releasing a cinestory based on the first five episodes of the television series in 2016 but lack of pre-orders led to its delay and eventual cancellation. If the the buzz surrounding Gargoyles‘ adaptation into a major motion picture pan out, lets take a look as to who could portray its characters.
Global Expansion: The WWE Invades the World by Jerry Whitworth
In less than a couple of weeks, this year’s WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament will air on the WWE Network as the company is reportedly moving forward with a UK-based ongoing series to air on its streaming service. While WWE’s aggressive expansion into the UK market was seemingly due to the return of World of Sport on ITV last year (which stalled only to recently get back on track), the UK scene has exploded of late (as has the wrestling industry in general). This is clearly evident by New Japan’s recent announcement of Strong Style Evolved UK N1 which happens only days after WWE airs its UK tournament. New Japan has already expanded its territory into the US in the last year and the UK is its latest bid to become a global brand like WWE. This has led to battle lines being drawn as WWE has made arrangements with UK promotions Insane Championship Wrestling and PROGRESS as well as snagging several of World of Sports’ stars while New Japan has formed an alliance with Revolution Pro Wrestling and prominently features Zack Sabre Jr (who participated in WWE’s inaugural Cruiserweight Classic), Will Ospreay, Marty Scurll, and “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith Jr. in its promotion (Ospreay and Smith are also both featured in upcoming episodes of World of Sport). However, these moves could very well only be the opening salvo for a much larger confrontation as WWE tries to bring its Network to every corner of the world and New Japan has been emboldened by its consistent significant growth to try and offer some semblance of competition since WWE consumed WCW and ECW to become the undisputed king of sports entertainment. The question then becomes what country will enter WWE and New Japan’s optics next.
Posted in Professional Wrestling, Wrestling
Tagged AAA, CMLL, Impact Wrestling, Jerry Whitworth, Lucha Underground, New Japan, NJPW, Noah, Ring of Honor, Stardom, TNA, World of Sport, WWE, wXw
Top 10: Toys for TTMU Season Three by Jerry Whitworth
On May 25th, the second season of The Toys That Made Us debuted on Netflix bringing an end to the eight-part documentary series about toylines that helped define the generations that grew up with them. Covering Star Wars, Barbie, He-Man, G.I. Joe, Star Trek, Transformers, Lego, and Hello Kitty, TTMU went over each toyline’s broad history while touching base with the effect they had on the people who collected them, at times weaving in celebrities whose lives’ were impacted by the toys. Stated within the opening sequence of each episode, TTMU was created as an eight-episode series however the concept could easily be expanded much further. Should Netflix order future seasons of TTMU, lets see what toys could be featured next.