Things I Can’t Get Enough Of… 12/4/17

Avengers: Infinity War

Yo. YO! You know how long I’ve been waiting for this trailer to drop? It’s crazy because I remember the grainy cell phone trailer that was leaked from the San Diego Comic Con and all I wanted was to see this shit for real.

Now it’s out and I am obsessed. Just about everyone is in it and I cannot get enough of this.  I am so ready for Black Panther in February and Avengers: Infinity War in May. As a comic book fan, this is everything I wanted and now we’ll see who will survive this. There is a lot going on here but I will say that the outcome of post credit scene in Thor: Ragnarok is very apparent. Damn that Loki!

Star Wars: Battlefront 2

Early this year I read a book from one of my favorite authors, Christie Golden, called Inferno Squad and it was absolutely terrific. This book introduces an elite special forces team of storm troopers lead by Iden Versio.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 continues the journey of this group but ramps it up a few 1000 levels as we bare witness to the destruction of the Empire from the Battle of Endor to the Battle of Jakku. Further more… it even take us to a journey right until the beginning of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I’m a huge fan of the first Battlefront so by adding a protagonist (along with the ability to play all 3 eras and Darth Maul) this game is my new obsession that will keep me entertained for quite awhile. The fact that Iden Versio is a woman of color for me adds to the playing value. Janina Gavankar is the actress Iden is modeled after. She also voices the character in both the game and audio book.

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Catalyst Prime

I’ve made it clear on several occasions that the only comic books I’m buying currently is Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime series. These are a series of books that have been eye opening in story telling and illustrations. Lead by Joseph Illidge, this is a universe that is starting from the ground up with diverse characters that will knock you out of your chair.

There are currently six titles under the Catalyst Prime Universe (with a seventh on it’s way) that feature heavy hitters in the industry. Each book is incredibly well written and displays the kind of pencils you expect to see from the big two.

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My favorite books? Noble is the title that is leading the way with Superb being the book that we should all be reading. In fact, we just had and show on #BlackComicsChat featuring Ray Anthony Height that is one of artists from Superb. Check it out!

Attack on Titan Season 2

Man listen, everything about this show is so crazy that my girlfriend’s look is always priceless every time she walks by the television that blares the grotesque awesomeness of it all. I admit that I’m probably late to share my excitement on this one but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

You can find both seasons on Hulu and to my amazement, they have both sub titled and dubbed versions of season 1. This made me go back and watch all the craziness from the beginning. Season 2 is (for the moment) all sub titled but something like that would never stop me from enjoying this show more that once. My only issue is that season 2 has less episodes and now I have to wait to see what happens next unless…

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…I decide to pick up the comics. I haven’t decide what I will do but I think I have other things to distract me in the mean time. Season 3 will pop up some time in 2018.

Voltron: Legendary Defender

“From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend… the legend of Voltron..”

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For starters, this is not the Voltron of my youth. This version (which is on Netflix) is a fresher and more modern take on the group of paladins that make up Voltron. The reason I am so hooked is because this show does such a great job at character development that combines pure action with comedy and science fiction.

While it does stray away from the original series (which one of my co-hosts, Leo, deems it unwatchable now), it does provide a small sense of nostalgia when it comes to the reimagining of characters we once knew. I personally love how the lions have their only personalities that make them more like a familiar* rather than an avatar.

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My only gripe is about the length of season 4. Look, this show gets really effing good. Season 1 & 2 both have more that 10 episodes. Then, all of a sudden season 3 has 7. I get that Dreamworks knows that they have a slamming product and wants to keep their viewership on it’s toes but damn! There is no reason why this season is 6 episodes long! Ugh!

* a familiar is animal you bond with typically found in role playing games

The Exorcist – Season 2

Let me just share a little context here. The Exorcist (1973) movie scared the shit out of me as child and it scared the shit out of me as an adult (The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen – 2000). So, the real question you should be asking me is, why in the world would I watch the show that takes place in the same universe as the original motion picture? The reality is, I needed to conquer my fear and believe it or nor, the first season provided a certain amount of closure for me (it was that good, folks).

The reason I can’t get enough of season two? The story of these (battle) priests has me on the edge of my seat. Also, John Cho is a main character in this season and he has a very interesting secret he’s dealing with. It has been an amazing battle between good and evil that is, quite frankly, spellbinding.

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To be honest, this is the kind of storytelling I expected to see from Constantine when the show aired on NBC a few years ago but it clearly fell short of expectations. With that said, I liked Constantine, I just think that putting that show on Friday evening was it’s death knell. I thought the same for season one of The Exorcist but fan support carries the show to continued existence.

Next Week, I will talk about more things I can’t get enough of so until then stay way from Thanos…

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My Force Awakened.

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By now, you’ve either seen it or heard about it. Maybe you’ve even read someone’s review of it. I feel that I need to say a few things. I won’t spoil it for you if you happen to be one of the few people who hasn’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens but I will tell you about how I feel about this movie and it’s importance of Finn.

There are tons of things that happen in this movie. I will not spoil anything major but there is one minor spoiler about Finn I will mention towards the end. So, if you haven’t seen it and want to know nothing about anything, then come back when you’ve viewed the flick.

First, I loved this movie on the first viewing. I plan on seeing it again tonight and highly doubt my attitude about it will change. One thing is for sure, this is not your father’s Star Wars. This is also not the Millennial Star Wars either. What we are witnessing a true re-branding of a franchise — a passing of the torch in many respects.

The three heroes are Finn, Rey, and Poe Dameron. They represent the diversity of this cast that is far cry from either trilogy. While black women are still virtually invisible, we finally see an Asian cast member (Ken Leung as Admiral Statura). BB8 represents the improved technology in the galaxy as well as in film making. But more importantly, J J Abrams represents a step forward in direction.

Let’s talk about the obvious, this movie is leaps and bounds better than anything we’ve seen before in terms of cinematography. The angles and shots are completely new. I just imagine myself watching all 7 episodes (which technically I did because I saw all 6 over the weekend) and noticing the stark contrast of visuals. Not to mention that the storm troopers have better aim (they actually hit someone).

The villains were OK. I really wished I got to see more of Captain Phasma. I really wanted to see her lay waste to anyone actually. Kylo Ren is not bad but came across as a Sith child that needs more training and discipline. However, he does some pretty unique things with the force that I love. I’m not sold on Supreme Leader Snoke. I will just hope that the next film lends more to their character development because, after all, this episode was designed to introduce us to the heroes.

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As far as our heroes…

Rey is a bad ass. I love her character and her inquisitiveness. She is very talented and knows way around mechanics. Poe Dameran is the best pilot in the galaxy, period. Then there is Finn (minor spoiler time) who is storm trooper who fights against his programming to become something else. The problem that I’ve heard people say is that since he was assigned to the sanitation unit before his first mission he is nothing more than a glorified janitor and that we’ve all been fooled to believe he was going our black Star Wars hero.

Let me address this. There is nothing wrong with being a janitor. There is nothing wrong with working in sanitation. They are honest blue collar jobs that people take pride in and often times get paid decently well. Many of us grew up in a household where our parents had a blue collar jobs. Do we look at them any less because of it?

Finn’s role is important. He is a storm trooper fighting against his programming. Why does that resonate with me? I think that we as people of color fight against programming every day with standards of beauty telling us we are not attractive, or white supremacy telling us we are less then what we are, or patriarchy telling us men are better than women. We fight our programming everyday and yes, most times are first instinct is to run. Finn may not be a Jedi but he is still human.

The Force Awakens is a welcome addition to the Star Wars lore. It may not be better than the Empire Strikes Back but it certain better than the rest.