Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Final STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER Trailer Heralds the End of the Skywalker Saga

One last look...at our friends.

During last night's ESPN broadcast of Monday Night Football , Disney unveiled the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final episode in the nine-part Skywalker Saga.

The two-minute, 20-second trailer opens with Rey (Daisy Ridley) on a forest planet that looks a lot like the planet Endor from Return of the JediRey drops a helmet, possibly one left behind by Leia Organa (the late Carrie Fisher), and charges on after activating her lightsaber.

We then hear a voiceover from Finn (John Boyega), who says, "It’s an instinct.  A feeling.  The Force brought us together."

The scene transitions to Rey landing in the ruins of what might be the second Death Star, now sunken partially into the sea.

As we cut to a gathering of the rebuilt Resistance, we hear another voiceover, this time by Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), who remarks, "We’re not alone.  Good people will fight if we lead them."

We cut to Rey, now standing on top of what may be a chunk of Death Star in a raging sea.  "People keep telling me they know me," she says in a voiceover.  "No one does."

"But I do," says Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in a voiceover, as we see him emerge into view on the chunk of Death Star without his masked helmet and brandishing his cross-hilt lightsaber.

Next, we glimpse a large iceberg in space as a swarm of TIE fighters approaches.  It's hinted that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has been hiding out here.  We see an empty throne, then hear his sinister voice say in a voiceover, "Long have I waited.  And now, your coming together is your undoing."

We see an old Imperial Star Destroyer emerge from the ice, followed by the Millennium Falcon swooping down to lead a huge, ragtag fleet of Resistance ships into battle.  Inside the Falcon's cockpit, Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Rey are at the controls, with Finn and Poe sitting down behind them as C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) looks on.

We cut to a fleeting glimpse of Rey and Kylo Ren dueling with their lightsabers on the Death Star chunk, followed by what appears to be an unfinished X-wing fighter comprised of leftover parts.

The scene shifts to C-3PO, who is being operated on by a tiny alien technician named Babu Frik.  Poe, Rey, Finn, and new character Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell) look on, with Poe asking, "What, uh...What are you doing there, Threepio?"

Threepio replies in a sad, heartmoving tone, "Taking one last look, sir...at my friends."

As a powerful, uplifting version of the Star Wars theme begins to play, we see glimpses of Poe, Finn and Chewie blasting their way through a corridor full of First Order Stormtroopers, followed by a shot of Leia hugging Rey.

We hear a voiceover from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) say, "Confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi.  Your destiny."

Next, we see Finn, Poe, C-3PO and BB-8 rocketing through a canyon on some sort of flying sled, followed by Chewie in the Falcon cockpit with Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), and Finn and new character Jannah (Naomi Ackie) riding tusked alien horses called Orbaks on the surface of a Star Destroyer (!) as BB-8 rolls along beside them.

More fleeting glimpses tease Rey and Kylo Ren in the ruins of Palpatine's throne room on the second Death Star, Rey and Kylo swinging their lightsabers in unison through an unknown figure/statue that shatters, Finn and the other Orbak riders looking up at the fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers around them, and Rey staring up at what is presumably the restored Palpatine on his throne.

As we see a final image of Rey with her lightsaber, we hear Luke's voice say, "The Force will be with you," which is finished by Leia's voice saying, "Always."

If you'd like to check out the trailer, you can view it below thanks to the official Star Wars account on YouTube...

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 19, 2019.

Monday, October 21, 2019

TITANTALK 043: "Bruce Wayne" Is Up!

"More people should drop their problem children off buildings.  It clarifies the mind and body."
-- Bruce Wayne to Dick Grayson, Titans: "Bruce Wayne"

Hello again, Titans fans!  My fellow TitanTalker Jesse Jackson and I are back with another new episode of TitanTalk: The Titans Podcast!  This time, we discuss "Bruce Wayne", the seventh episode from Season 2 of the DC Universe series Titans, featuring Iain Glen as Bruce Wayne, Genevieve Angelson as Dr. Eve Watson, Natalie Gumede as Mercy Graves, and Krypto the Superdog!

In this episode, Jesse and I discuss things like DJ Nik filling in for Jesse last episode, the bands America and Chicago's album title shtick, Akiva Goldsman being a much better director and executive producer than a screenwriter, Jesse hitting all the cliches, Dick Grayson showing signs of mental illness, Dick's hallucination of Bruce Wayne being Bruce viewed through the Dick Grayson filter, the Bruce hallucination being an expression of Dick's guilt and self-loathing, Dick Grayson going to a burlesque club, the Bruce hallucination doing the Batusi from the Adam West Batman TV series, Jesse's lack of respect for people who criticize Iain Glen and Benedict Cumberbatch's American accents, Jason Todd experiencing the horrible trauma of seeing Superboy shot right after the trauma of falling ten stories, Jason's slot machine eyes and my theory that Jason has been possessed by Jericho, Rose flirting with Jason and making out with him, Jason being ready to commit suicide, Rose freaking out about finding her brother's copy of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Kory's plan to heal Conner, Rachel seeing Conner naked, Eve rescuing Krypto from Cadmus Labs, geeking out over seeing Krypto fly, Eve finally letting Conner call her "Mom", our favorite quotes of the episode, the rumors about the Titans appearing in the CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover, some new Tell It to TitanTalk feedback from Steven Marshall and Anne Dieken, Jesse being on a Farscape podcast with friend of the show Karen Lindsay, looking forward to the Watchmen premiere, our willingness to be whored out for money by sponsors, and more!

If you'd like to check out episodes of TitanTalk, you can find us on...

iTunes/Apple Podcasts -- RIGHT HERE
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Be sure to come back next week for Episode 044 as Jesse and I discuss "Jericho", the eighth episode from Season 2 of the DC Universe series Titans, featuring Chella Man as Jericho!  Look for more of TitanTalk: The Titans Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, YouTube, Libsyn, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

THE BATMAN Casts Paul Dano as The Riddler

Riddle me this, riddle me that -- Who's the new Riddler to face the big, black bat?

The Hollywood Reporter has word that Paul Dano has been cast as DC Comics supervillain The Riddler in Matt Reeves' upcoming Warner Bros. film The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon.

According to the article, Dano's version of the character will be named Edward Nashton, the name some Batman comic book writers stated is the Riddler's true name before adopting the identity of Edward Nygma.

The Batman is said to be a noir-driven Batman movie, rumored to be based on the popular 13-issue limited series Batman: The Long Halloween, written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale.

Dano, 35, is probably best known as David Sweat in the Showtime limited series Escape at Dannemora and as Paul Sunday/Eli Sunday in the 2007 film There Will Be Blood.  His other films include Wildlife, Okja, 12 Years a Slave, Looper, Cowboys & Aliens, Knight and Day, Where the Wild Things Are, Little Miss Sunshine, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, and The Girl Next Door.  His other television appearances include episodes of The Sopranos and Smart Guy.

Created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang in 1948's Detective Comics (vol.1) #140, the Riddler first appeared as Edward Nigma (later Nygma), who became fascinated with puzzles at a young age.  After a teacher announced that a contest would be held for who could solve a puzzle the fastest, Nigma set on winning the contest, craving the glory and satisfaction that would come with the victory.  He broke into the school at night to practice the puzzle until he was able to solve it in under a minute.  As a result, he won the contest and was given a book of riddles as a prize.  Nigma embraced the mastery of puzzles of all kinds, eventually becoming a carnival employee who excelled at cheating his customers out of their money with his bizarre puzzles and mind games.

Nigma soon found himself longing for greater challenges and donned the disguise of "The Riddler" to challenge Batman, believing him to be a worthy adversary.  In his first encounter, the Riddler first tried to confound Batman and Robin with his infamous double-entry Riddle Clues and then tried to kill them both in a booby-trapped glass maze on a pier, sealing the door so they couldn't leave the structure before it exploded.  Batman and Robin escaped, however, and the Riddler vanished after getting knocked into the sea by the explosion, leaving only his trademark "?" floating in the water.

In the current DC Comics continuity known as The New 52, a revamped version of the Riddler appeared in the "Zero Year" storyline by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, where his surname was changed from Edward Nigma (or Nashton) to Nygma.  The Riddler became Batman's first masked supervillain and not only bested Batman twice, but also took control of Gotham, causing it to become a flooded wasteland where only the intelligent were meant to survive.  He was eventually defeated by the combined efforts of Batman, Commissioner James Gordon and Wayne Enterprises CEO Lucius Fox, and moved to Arkham Asylum.

Dano will be the fifth actor to portray the Riddler in live action, after Frank Gorshin and John Astin in the 1960s Batman television series, Jim Carrey in the 1995 film Batman Forever, and Cory Michael Smith in the Fox TV series Gotham.

The Batman is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on June 25, 2021.

The CW Arrowverse Casts Stephen Lobo as The Spectre

What the Spectre fears may destroy us all.

IGN has revealed that actor Stephen Lobo has been cast for the upcoming Arrowverse crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths" as Detective Jim Corrigan, better known to DC Comics fans as the supernatural antihero The Spectre.

According to the article, "the network isn't confirming whether The Spectre himself will appear, though given the character's role in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic, that seems a distinct possibility."

Executive producer Marc Guggenheim remarked, "Fans of the Crisis on Infinite Earths comic know the Spectre plays a pivotal role.  We’re thrilled Stephen is our Jim Corrigan."

Lobo, 45, is a Canadian-British actor probably best known as Matthew Kellog on the Syfy series Continuum.  He's appeared in episodes of Supernatural, The X-Files, Smallvillle, Fringe, Painkiller Jane, Colony, Zoo, Arctic Air, and The Dead Zone.

Created by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and artist Bernard Baily, The Spectre first appeared in 1940's More Fun Comics #52 as Jim Corrigan, a hard-boiled cop who was on his way to his engagement party until was he murdered by being stuffed into a barrel filled with cement and then drowned.  His spirit was refused entry into the afterlife however, instead being sent back to Earth by a supernatural entity referred to only as "The Voice" to eradicate evil.  Assuming the identity of The Spectre, Corrigan begins seeking vengeance against his murderers in grim, supernatural ways.  Breaking off his engagement with his fiancée Clarice, Corrigan continues his crusade, becoming the Spectre whenever he's needed.

During the event known as Crisis on Infinite Earths, The Spectre united superheroes and supervillains by warning them about the threat of the Anti-Monitor.  The heroes traveled back in time to stop the Anti-Monitor, while the villains traveled back in time to the ancient planet Oa to prevent renegade scientist Krona from creating the technology necessary for the Anti-Monitor's plan to succeed.  The villains failed, and Krona continued his experiment. The Anti-Monitor waited for Alexander Luthor to reopen the portal between the positive and antimatter universes, capturing the heroes, but the magically empowered Spectre created an energy overload which shattered space and time.  The five Earths merged into a single shared universe, and the superheroes returned to the present, with only those present at the dawn of time remembering the original realities.

In the current New 52 continuity, Corrigan is a Gotham City Police Detective whose fiancee is kidnapped.  Guided by the Phantom Stranger on the instructions of The Voice, the Stranger leads Corrigan to the abandoned warehouse where she is being kept, but this turns out to be a trap.  Jim Corrigan and his girlfriend are murdered by the kidnappers and he is then transformed into The Spectre, who accuses the Phantom Stranger of betraying him.  As the Spectre is about to attack the Phantom Stranger, The Voice intervenes and sends the Spectre off to inflict his wrath on those who are more deserving.

Lobo will be the second actor to portray The Spectre in live-action, after Emmett J. Scanlan in the NBC series Constantine.  The character has also appeared in the animated short DC Showcase: The Spectre (voiced by Gary Cole) and on the series Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Mark Hamill).

The "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event begins with the CW series Supergirl on December 8, 2019.

Monday, October 14, 2019

THE BATMAN Casts Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman

Robert Pattinson's Batman is about to be hooked on a feline.

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed actress Zoë Kravitz has been cast as DC Comics superthief Catwoman/Selina Kyle in Matt Reeves' upcoming Warner Bros. film The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon.

According to the article, the decision came down over the weekend after a rigorous testing process that saw saw Kravitz, Ana de Armas, Ella Balinska, and Eiza Gonzalez read with Pattinson.  The testing process took place over the first week of the month, and the four were then narrowed down to two late last week.

The Batman is said to be a noir-driven Batman movie, rumored to be based on the popular 13-issue limited series Batman: The Long Halloween, written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale.

Kravitz, 30, is the daughter of musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, and is best known as Leta Lestrange in the films Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.  She previously voiced Catwoman in The Lego Batman Movie, and has appeared in the comic book movies X-Men: First Class as Angel Salvadore and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse as the voice of Mary Jane Watson.  Her other films include Mad Max: Fury Road, After Earth, Divergent, Gemini, Rough Night, and Kin.  In addition, she's appeared on the television seies Big Little Lies, Portlandia, and Californication.

Created in 1940 by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Catwoman first appeared in Batman (vol.1) #1 as Selina Kyle, a mysterious burglar and jewel thief known as The Cat who was depicted as a femme fatale who both antagonized and attracted Batman.  After taking on the Catwoman alias, Selina operated as a socialite by day while routinely encountering Batman at night.

In 1987, writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli revised Catwoman's origin in the storyline "Batman: Year One", itself a revision of Batman's origin.  Selina worked as a dominatrix in order to survive and wanted to break away from her malevolent pimp and former boyfriend.  She witnessed his crimes and, because of an event that occurs to her sister, feared for her sister's life.  She began to study self-defense and her instructor inspired her to realize that prostitution was no life for her or her protege, Holly Robinson, a young runaway who idolized her.  As the story progressed, Selina drawn into a burglary, donning a catsuit costume so she wouldn't be be revealed.  She developed a taste for burglary and began to do it in a Robin Hood-like fashion than an actual thief.  After her initial confrontation with Batman, she was inspired to stay in her costume and become the "Catwoman", realizing that if there was a "bat", there could also be a "cat".

Stories involving the current incarnation of Catwoman have revealed that Selina's parents died when she was young, and she hardly remembers them.  She was sent to the Thomas and Martha Wayne Home For the Boys and Girls of Gotham, and even after being placed in various foster, Selina escaped to return to the orphanage.  After developing a romantic relationship with Bruce Wayne, he proposed to Selina, only for Selina to not show at the wedding because she feared that Bruce couldn't be Batman if he was truly happy.  The two separated for some time, but recently rekindled their relationship.

Kravitz will be the fifth actress to portray Catwoman in film, after Lee Meriweather in Batman (1966), Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, Halle Berry in Catwoman (as an alternate version named Patience Phillips), and Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises.

The Batman is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on June 25, 2021.

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 157: "Vengeance on Varos" Is Up!

"Why should you want to help me?"
"You're the only person we've encountered so far who hasn't tried to destroy us."
-- Jondar and the Sixth Doctor, Doctor Who: "Vengeance on Varos"

Hello again, everyone!  Special guest companion Rachel Frend from The Five(ish) Fangirls Podcast joins me on Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast to discuss "Vengeance on Varos", the second serial of Doctor Who Series 22 in 1985, featuring Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri Brown, and introducing Nabil Shaban as Sil!

In this episode, Rachel and I discuss things like Rachel blaming Holly for giving her another podcast to listen to, Rachel's background with Doctor Who and Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor being her favorite Doctor, why Rachel finds the Sixth Doctor so appealing, the final script of "Vengeance on Varos" being much darker than originally intended, wondering why the Sixth Doctor and Peri travel together with so much antagonism toward one another, Peri not getting much to do in the story, the Sixth Doctor not being above violence, the Doctor taking his time to save Peri and Areta from transmogrifier, Varos' horrible treatment of women, Arak wanting to be entertained with violence while Etta buys completely into the authoritarian regime, Arak having to watch himself around Etta, "Vengeance on Varos" being very relevant to today's political climate, Sil being completely irredeemably horrible, Nabil Shaban's problems with his Sil costume, Sil's unsettling S&M henchmen, the Governor's struggle just to survive, our favorite quotes of the episode, the really slow golf cart transport vehicle, Rachel appreciating the Sixth Doctor's posterior, two Reverse the Reverse the Polarity segmentsnew feedback from Holly Mac and David K. Proctor, and more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

Google Play Music -- RIGHT HERE
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In honor of our 5th anniversary, we now have a NEW Next Stop Everywhere t-shirt with our current logo, which you can find on TeePublic right HEREThis spiffy new shirt looks great when you're listening to your favorite Doctor Who podcast and travelling through time and space!  Or your could order all sorts of cool Next Stop Everywhere merch there as well!

And hey, if you'd like to pick up our classic logo Next Stop Everywhere t-shirt, you can also find it on TeePublic right HERE!  Help support the show and feel free to post pictures on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back in two weeks, as my partner in time Jesse Jackson returns to Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast to help me discuss "One Mile Down", the second story from Big Finish Productions' Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures Vol. 3 set, featuring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, and the return of the Judoon!

TITANTALK 042: "Conner" Is Up!

"See?  You’re not a monster.  You’re a person."
"What does that mean?"
"That means…your life is going to be difficult and complicated and painful.  And sometimes full of joy.  Just remember that people are not what they say they’re going to do, they are what they do."
-- Dr. Eve Watson and Conner Kent, Titans: "Conner"

Hello again, Titans fans!  I'm back with another new episode of TitanTalk: The Titans Podcast!  This time, I'm joined by special guest TitanTalker DJ Nik from the Whiskey & Cigarettes Show to discuss "Conner", the sixth episode from Season 2 of the DC Universe series Titans, featuring the introductions of Joshua Orpin as Superboy, Genevieve Angelson as Dr. Eve Watson, Natalie Gumede as Mercy Graves, and Peter MacNeill as Lionel Luthor!

In this episode, Nik and I discuss things like Jesse Jackson being on vacation, my people calling Nik's people, Nik's take on Titans Season 2 so far, Titans Season 1 being directed by Zack Snyder compared to Season 2 being directed by the Russo brothers, Geoff Johns introducing the idea of Lex Luthor being a DNA donor in the creation of Conner Kent, Conner lacking emotional maturity and having memories from both Superman and Lex Luthor, the awkward moment when Conner asks Eve if he can call her "mom", Eve attempting to have a social life but ending up alone and getting hammered, Eve and Conner hitting the road, the meaning of Project Rakshasa, Eve finally admitting that she was the one who gave Lex the idea to use his DNA to create Conner, Eve acting like a strict parent to guide Conner's morality, "Conner" as a science-fiction tale to explore the philosophy of cloning, the episode "Twin Streaks" from the 1990-91 Flash TV series, our geeking out while seeing Krypto using heat vision, Mercy Graves being Lex Luthor's right-hand woman, #SaveKrypto, the possible homage to Ridley Scott's Gladiator, Lionel being an abusive drunk to Lex, Lionel being bitter and resentful of Lex surpassing him, Eve's drinking compared to Lionel's drinking, Jason Todd actually thanking Conner for save his life, the DC Universe website having a poll whether Jason should live or die, wanting to see Roy Harper and Wally West on Titans, our favorite quotes of the episode, some new Tell It to TitanTalk feedback from Steven Marshall and Anne Dieken, wanting to see Iain Glen as an older Batman in a Dark Knight Returns movie dubbed with Kevin Conroy's voice, and more!

If you'd like to check out episodes of TitanTalk, you can find us on...

iTunes/Apple Podcasts -- RIGHT HERE
Google Play Music -- RIGHT HERE
Stitcher -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn --  RIGHT HERE
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Be sure to come back next week for Episode 043 as Jesse Jackson returns to help me discuss "Bruce Wayne", the seventh episode from Season 2 of the DC Universe series Titans, featuring the return of Iain Glen as Bruce Wayne!  Look for more of TitanTalk: The Titans Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, YouTube, Libsyn, and the official Southgate Media Group website!