Pop Culture

Hey, that Peacemaker guy looks familiar… !

I can’t remember much useful from school (which inspired me to try and put together a high school reading list while in quarantine), but something that reminds me of comic books I read as a kid gets my brain working.

On Wednesday, HBO Max announced the development of a limited series built around the Peacemaker character that John Cena will play in James Gunn’s upcoming The Suicide Squad film.

But the key art released with the news trigged memories of an image that’s apparently stuck in my brain over the past 30 years. The headshot of Cena’s Peacemaker, drawn like a comic book illustration, looked a lot like John Byrne’s rendition of Captain America for the signature corner boxes that Marvel Comics put on its covers from the 1960s through the 1990s.

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movie reviews

Bloodshot review at Mountain Xpress

[UPDATE: Bloodshot is getting an early digital video on-demand release next week since its theatrical run was cut short. You can see the movie at home beginning March 24 and then come back and read this review!]

As I was sitting in the theater before Bloodshot began (preceded by about 25 minutes of trailers, of course), I realized that this could be the last movie I’d see in public for a while. Even before chain and independent theaters implemented social distancing measures, then closed entirely, major releases had been pushed back for months (at least), so we wouldn’t have been getting new movies for a while.

So if Bloodshot was the last new movie I’d see in theaters until maybe — maybe — the summer, did Vin Diesel send us into self-imposed isolation on a high note? Well, sort of.

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Podcast

The Podcass 012: Everybody smile! It’s Joker time!

Put on a happy face! A new Podcass!

Joker is the big movie release of the weekend and drawing a lot of buzz, so we have a review for you (2:11). Then baseball and football radio segments from WISE Sports Radio. Up first is a preview of the 2019 MLB postseason (15:05), followed by a look at Week 5 in the NFL (27:33).

Referenced during this episode:

  • “[…] all the fucking funny guys are like, ‘Fuck this shit, because I don’t want to offend you.’” [Joker director Todd Phillips in Vanity Fair]
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movie reviews

Behind great Joaquin Phoenix performance, ‘Joker’ wags finger at society for creating villain

For the past 20 years, figuring out what makes villains evil has become an entire creative industry. I don’t know if it started with the Star Wars prequels, but that seems to be where it was popularized. How did Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader? OK, that question was inherent with the character because we knew that he was Luke Skywalker’s father and a Jedi Knight alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi. 

Yet was that story really begging to be told? I think we all — whether “we” means Star Wars fans or general pop culture — thought we wanted to see that story. But would it have been better if Darth Vader stayed ruthless and villainous? Isn’t it enough that we knew he had a change of heart by the end and chose to save his son over his devotion to the Empire and the Sith?

The mystery of what made Anakin turn into Vader added appeal to the entire Star Wars mythology because it invited people to imagine what might have happened, rather than having that story told to them. 

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