Something In Review: The Lost Pirate Kingdom

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Yarr yo ho ho and a bottle of Something not so brutally alcoholic (see: The Booze Episode)

Wellllcome back everyone – and it is time for the Somethings to set sail on the seven seas as we go on a voyage to review Netflix’s The Lost Pirate Kingdom.  Do the boys hoist the jolly roger and go pillaging across the Atlantic? Or are they scurvy lilly-livered scalliwags who don’t know their port from their starboard?  Well, get yourself on board and join us as we take a look at this docuseries.

Was it good? Was it accurate? How much syphilis can one documentary feature? Find out here and now on Something In Review: Lost Pirate Kingdom

Ok, here we Yo Ho Ho!!

Full Episode

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra… Hatton talks Scarlet Witch: Wanda Ex Machina

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Heya Somethings!

If you haven’t followed along the last few months, we’ve talked a lot about the MCU’s TV outing WandaVision – and for good reason.. whether you dug it or not, it was a fresh take on a story that really felt beyond the scope of what DizMarv would try and pull off.  The concept of the show isn’t precisely a straight from comics series, but it does take some points from the comic and the on-again off-again low bubble story of the Scarlet Witch’s tragedies. The on-again / off-again aspect is very much because comic writers sometimes pick up a character where they want them to be and another character sees where they should be differently, so you end up with disparate versions of the same character… but since it’s comics, it’s usually begrudgingly accepted.

That said – Wanda is, quite literally, my least favorite Avenger… and it is mostly because her power set is so vaguely ‘chaos magic/hex powers/mutant ability/reality warping/etc’ that she has become the go-to on how to get into a bad situation or out of one.  So why don’t we take a look at the reason the Scarlet Witch has the power to disassemble how much great stuff the MCU has done…

First – let’s take a look at Wanda in the early years of Avengers…

Using her mutant ‘Hex Power’ she basically had telekinesis that only worked half the time. If the villain was too strong, too not-human enough, too aware, too magic, or too advanced.. there was a lot of this sort of ‘OH IF ONLY…’  But from this issue above (Avengers #99, 1972) to this panel from (West Coast Avengers, #56, 1989) she has fallen in love with Vision, he’s been taken apart by the government and replaced with an emotional white husk of his former self (sound familiar) and has been corrupted by an evil something er another…

And just like that – Wanda’s powerset has grown exponentially and is never reined in again. It just continues to morph and grow and get bigger and dumber and more unwieldly.  All the while she ends up being the go-to damsel in countless stories.  Wanda’s been brainwiped. Wanda’s in a coma. Wanda’s been kidnapped. Brainwiped again. She gets over the Vision. She’s not over the Vision. She has moved on to become a better person. She can’t handle the Avengers. Just non-stop using her as a foil and a victim and a catalyst when honestly, all she really needs is some good head meds and a shrink.

Then….. in the 2000’s – literal hundreds of comics later.. she becomes enraged about her kids and takes down the Avengers.  She’s locked up and the Marvel heroes are legitimately contemplating killing her.  Yes, there’s a lot of handwringing and ‘we can’t do that’ talk, but the fact is – the idea pops up and is considered… so when Xavier and her comic dad, Magneto, show up at her cell.  She does this:

She creates an entire reality where mutants never existed and her dad is the king and everyone is happy. (House of M) — When we break out of that alternate world, no more mutants are being born… like she literally altered the DNA of the world. All the while she continues to disappear for a while, come back and be forgiven, or atone, or have her powers changed yet again — the cycle continues on. When there is an unstoppable unbeatable villain?  Who do writers call on… whatever version of Wanda is useful for them.  No reason to explain it – just call it ‘Untapped Remarkable Powers’ and it’ll do just fine.  When Wanda can’t do it.. just have someone photocopy Wanda’s powers so DOUBLE WANDA can do it. (Avengers v. X-Men #12, below)

I’m thrilled that Wandavision was so good. I just hope that the movie writers don’t fall into the same pit that the comic writers have for years – that by not defining the Scarlet Witch, you leave her available as a crutch to lean on whenever you didn’t have a better ending in mind.

The Booze Show!

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The Somethings are adults, at least legally speaking, and on occasion – being adults – we have enjoyed ourselves the occasional adult beverage… occasionally..

So, with that – what are some of the Somethings favorite drinks to be had?  That was the intention of the episode, but what follows is going tit for tat with some of the drunken exploits of Hatton and Rob. 

So why not get yourself a delicious scorpion bowl with only one straw and imbibe this week’s 120 proof episode of the SomethingSomethingcast

Ok, here we brew!

Full Episode

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, PCR Talks Bond…

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Hey Somethings!

This week, I want to dive into a part of one of my all-time favorite film franchises… James Bond.

Bond films have set a high bar for fight scenes, chase scenes, cinematic excellence, and, what I’ll touch on this week… stunts.  So join me as I run through my top 3 favorite stunts in James Bond Movies!

3 – Corkscrew Car

In “The Man With The Golden Gun”, we get a comical sequence where Bond ‘reunites’ with a character from a former movie, J. W. Pepper.  As the duo chases Scaramanga, they come across a broken bridge over a river.  Flooring it, Bond drives his red AMC Hornet X Hatchback at the broken bridge, which corkscrews the car through midair, landing safely on the other side.  It was stuntman Loren “Bumps” Willert’s first time doing the stunt, and he pulled it off in one take. (Check it out here)

2 – Boat Jump

“Live and Let Die” was Roger Moore’s first Bond film, and the first time he encounters Sheriff J. W. Pepper.  In this scene, Bond is being chased by Kananga’s men through the bayous of Louisiana.  Running out of water, Bond races his boat at an embankment alongside a highway where Pepper and his men are waiting for him.  Hitting the embankment, Bond’s boat sails over 100 feet in the air before landing in the water on the other side of the highway. (Check it out here)

1 – Dam Jump

“Goldeneye” marks Bond’s first return to the screen after a 6 year hiatus, and the first time Pierce Brosnan takes up the title role.  In the pre-title scene, we see Bond running along the top of the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland.  In a wide, panoramic shot, after securing a cable, Bond dives off the top of the dam in a makeshift bungee escape.  The leap set a world record for stuntman Wayne Michaels, which was done in one take.  The scenery, the epicness of the cinematography, and the fact the jump was done in silence just emphasizes the immensity of it all, and puts this stunt at the top of my list. (Check it out here)

March’s 5th Week Something Free-For-All

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Normally months only have 4 Tuesdays – that’s sort of what we base our schedule on. You get a regular episode, a Wheel episode, a Review episode, and then an End episode… so what are we supposed to do when there is 5 in a month?!

Well if you have been listening to us for the long haul, you know the answer is ‘whatever the hell we want’

It’s time for a Something Free-For-All — which of course means PCR and Hatton pop on and just talk about what’s up. No big answers revealed, no mysteries solved, simply the guys you listen to talk every week – talking about what they’re up to. Does it sound exciting — oh, it should.

Ok, here we go!

Full Episode

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, Hatton Discusses Nostalgia Porn

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Let’s discuss some nostalgia porn, as it isn’t all created equal.  First, let me mention Meddling Kids which is a novel I read last year that blew me away. A group of twenty-somethings that bear a remarkable similarity to a group of teenage detective sleuths and their snack-hungry dog have all grown up and are dealing with the PTSD of the things they saw as kids.  From being faced with murder to the supernatural, they have grown-up like the kids from It have – repressing everything.

The nostalgia in Meddling Kids is biting and funny and a new take on tropes as the not-Scooby Gang bump into Lovecraftian Lore, it analyzes not simply what the characters would be like if they actually had to deal with fantastical Hanna-Barbara cartoon mysteries, but talks about the relationships of these people. Why is the book smart nerd friends with the stoner and the ‘nice guy’. It takes its premise through brutality and emotional turmoil and makes these fictional kids feel like they could fit in a real-ish world.  It stunned me, and I highly recommend it.

Now, let’s discuss the other side of nostalgia porn, and the reason I picked this topic to talk about.  I enjoyed Ready Player One, the book. I caught it early on the hype train and it tickles quite a few of my weird sub-sub-genre’s of stories. It hits on ‘movies as game’ like It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad WorldMidnight Madness, and Jumanji. It features one of my particular eras of nerddom that doesn’t get a lot of notice, 1980s computer culture – and mixes it with science fiction, comics, Brat Pack pop culture, and a thousand other things that were the bread and butter of my pre-teen youth. There was one thing that stuck in my craw about it though, and that was we are watching a ‘day after the day after tomorrow’ type world and the creators of said world seem obsessed with this era of culture. Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand that this is a love letter to that era, but in a book about video games with the grand master video game makers of all time.. you would think they also liked things a bit more ambitious than NETHACK.  All of that said – I enjoyed RP1. I thought it was cute and fun and itched the popcorny itches it was designed to itch, even though it is not without its flaws…. unlike its sequel….

You see, Ready Player Two is now out and it has given up on everything that even remotely made RP1 enjoyable and doubled down on the thing that made it annoying. Yes, there’s another fetch quest. Yes, the band gets back together. Yes, the stakes are raised… and it is because of those things that everything else falls off a cliff. Without delving too deeply into spoiler territory, RP2 puts lives at stake.  It isn’t about an evil corporation and a young plucky hero… it’s about millions of lives in peril and our, now infinitely rich and yet somehow still remarkably naive, hero – with his encyclopedic knowledge of everything his idols have ever done, spends literal chapters spilling about movies and music. He goes into explicit detail about the life of John Hughes and into deep Tolkien ephemera. He whines about his lack of romance and realizes all of the mistakes he’s made and the missteps he’s taken (none of which that we get to see, mind you) — all while telling us about the trees on Chewbacca’s home planet.  There are millions of lives depending on his journey and he can’t help but idly giggle like a schoolgirl because he sees a computer generated Juliette Lewis — a Juliette Lewis that he literally could have delivered to his virtual bedroom and programmed to ride his Natural Born Killer from Dusk Til Dawn.

Nostalgia porn has its place to make a story taste the way it’s supposed to taste, like one of my all time favorite movies, Super 8 or something as charming as La La Land… but when your narrative only serves to plate nostalgia instead of tell a good story dressed in it — all I want to do is go find a new story that doesn’t need to tell me all of the stories that it relies on.


 

Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

[The End] The 100

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It’s Lord of the Flies in space.. or at least that’s the way it starts.

By the end we have factions fighting factions, a semi-omniscient judge deciding the fate of humanity, the weakest excuse to ever make an ending “appear” happy… but is it?

We’re talking about Space Romance In Space – The 100! Find out if  the CW knocks it out of this world or grounds it down like a frakkin toaster… on THE END: THE 100 

Ok here we all go.. and go.. and go.. and go.. and go.. and imagine 95 more of those…

Full Episode

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, PCR’s Favorite Swords

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Hey hey Somethings!  PCR here, and today I’m listing out my “Top 5 Favorite Swords”!  These could be from movies, TV, Comics, Video Games… not limiting myself here.  I am also grouping “Lightsabers” as an honorable mention as a whole.

On to the list in no particular order!

5 – D’Artagnan’s/Top Dollar’s/Inigo Montoya’s Rapier
While not the same prop, they all have an amazingly similar style and look to them.  The large, swept-hilted basket hilt is very distinctive and back in my Ren-Faire days, it was my favorite kind of weapon to wield.

4 – Highlander’s Ivory Katana
While there should have been only one (movie), this sword quickly became iconic.  I know when that movie came out, if you picked up *any* katana, you were immediately acting out one of the many scenes from “Highlander”

3 – Vanth Dreadstar’s Sword
The title character from First Comic’s “Dreadstar”, Vanth’s weapon was more than just a sword, it was a part of him.  Made of energy, he could manifest the sword as a weapon of unbelievable power, or he could absorb it into himself to become nigh invulnerable.
2 – The Bride’s Katana
Forged by legendary swordsmith Hattori Hanzo from 1000 layered Japanese steel, this sword was able to dispatch the Crazy 88, O-Ren Ishii, and undoubtedly been able to, as Hanzo stated when presenting it to her… cut God himself.


1 – Sword of Omens
Able to grant “sight beyond sight”, Lion-O’s sword.. containing the Eye of Thundera was more than just a mere sword.  Nearly a sentient being in it’s own right, The Sword of Omens was instrumental in defeating Mumm-Ra on many occasions, as well as summoning the ThunderCats to Lion-O’s side when needed.

Honorable mentions:

  • Lightsabers
  • Kurgan’s Sword
  • Excalibur

[The Wheel] Mysteries of the Somethingverse: DB Cooper

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We’ve all thought about that big moment where we could change the world. 

Sure, some of us want to be supervillains.. I mean.. some of you.. ahem, but if you had this perfect moment to stick it to the man and nobody would be harmed – would you do it?

What if it made you one of the most wanted men in the world?

Well the Somethings are going to talk about a man who did just that. Nobody knows who he is, nobody knows if he survived, nobody knows what happened to the money…. we’re of course talking about the Mystery of DB Cooper. So settle in, get you and the flight crew a martini, set your seats back and your tray up – It’s takeoff on The Wheel: DB COOPER 

Okay here we go!

Full Episode

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, Hatton’s Favorite X-Men

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In the last two or three months, I’ve started going back to X-Men. You have to understand, there was a time where I drank down everything ‘X’, and when I needed new furniture, I was able to put my mattress on the longboxes I had so many filled with Charles Xavier’s team of racial allegory.

Now, I will admit, I am not currently brought up to speed… I stopped reading what I previously had said was a couple of years ago, but honestly is almost coming up on a decade. Somewhere shortly after Hope Summers saved the world I got super busy and life happened and comics just fell to the wayside. I’ve found during our current Under-The-Dome sheik lifestyle, comics and logic puzzles have helped me caulk up the boring minutes.

So to celebrate that, here are my three favorite X-Men and why!

#3 – JAMIE MADROX
Oh yes, the Multiple Man, the only comic book character that shares my name. Maddrox, for a long time, just felt like ‘another tough do-gooder’ in his younger years, but after Peter David took back X-Factor and we got ‘Multiple Man, Private Dick’ and the much more traditional soap opera of David’s runs, Jamie really came into his own as a complicated and, in many ways, man broken into hundreds of pieces. He’s layered and at times completely wrong in his choices… but that’s what makes good character.

#2 – ROGUE & GAMBIT
The middle spot here is a bit of a revolving door of characters. I always love Maddrox, and #1 is kind of a non-shocker if you know anything about me… but this middle spot really could be taken up by ‘whomever I am really loving right now’. It’s been Blink, it’s been Colossus, it’s been Maggott (oh yes, you read that right). But Rogue and Gambit, at their best, are a fantastically brutal story about the things you can’t have and the toxicity of relationships. Some writers have done them well, other writers have been complete garbage to them and can’t help but treat them like a ‘forbidden fruit’ trope.

When they’re good, they’re great, though – and in my trawling through the X-verse, I have been keeping an eye on where they end up. Sadly, with the way comic books work, their world will never be perfect, and if it feels that it is, it won’t be for long. He’s too broken and she’s too uncomfortable with who she is and there will never be a writer that wants you to feel that they are an ideal that has been achieved when there is so much more gristle on the bone in their dysfunction.

#1 – EMMA FROST
Are you surprised? If you know anything about me, you shouldn’t be. Emma has been one of my favorite characters since Generation X and, honestly, probably before that (but I’ll blame that on teenage me seeing a woman clad in white lingerie and thinking that was the cat’s pajamas. The truth is, Emma, when done correctly, is a tragically beautiful character. From her Hellions being brutalized to her making amends and being the teacher for the next generation of mutants. Followed up by being Cyclops’s therapeutic ‘other woman’.  She is cold and calculating, brutal and unforgiving, and that’s even after you get to know her. The emotions of Emma and the feelings beneath her coldness has been attempted to be explored in an individual series and many many flashbacks that all don’t seem to make much sense when you blend them together, but the heart of her character is true – it is easier to be cold, than hurt… 

At her best, she doesn’t care about what’s best for the ‘Dream of Mutants’ and she doesn’t care what’s the best legal choice. Emma does what’s best for those she has placed beneath her, the kids that are using her as her template. Every story that includes some concept of ‘will Emma be evil?’ doesn’t get Emma at all (I’m looking at you Whedon) and where I loathe her secondary mutation as it feels a tad to ‘on the money’ – when Emma wants something, you’re doing what Emma wants which is the fear everyone has about the Psi-Level-Mutants because if she wanted to, she could rule the world and you wouldn’t even know she was doing it.

So what about you – who’s your favorite X? Who am I completely wrong about? I’ll tell you right now.. I will happily write more X Reviews if you want, as it’s how I cut my teeth as an internet presence and I do miss it sometimes. See you next time.  

Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!