The Starz TV show American Gods, based off the Neil Gaiman novel with the same name, asks the question, “What if people brought their gods with them when they immigrated to America? And what if those gods were fighting for scraps of favor from people who were rapidly forgetting them?” The answer is, sexy, brutal, but most importantly, very strange. The gods in question don’t behave in their own stories, so why would the act any different in this tale.
Much like the book, American Gods follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) as he tries to get a handle on the world Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) has dragged him in to, and what part he has to play in this war everyone is talking about. If the story was just about Shadow and Wednesday it would be a little dry, so thankfully there is a diverse cast of crazy gods to spice things up.
If you were hoping that American Gods would be a straight adaptation of the book, you will be disappointed. The series has taken several detours along its route, and while I am not a stickler keeping things the same between mediums, different forms of media require different forms of story telling after all. In this case the changes are mostly not for the better. Which is a shame since the source material has so much potential. However, the parts they get right are really good.
Also bolstering American Gods is the great cast and Bryan Fuller’s incredible visual style. There is always a good performance or insane set piece waiting in every episode. Well, almost every episode. There are a couple of filler episodes in the middle that kind of kill the momentum, but the first season starts and ends well.
Season one covers about a third of the book, and Starz has promised it is coming back. However, the current producers, Green and Fuller, have been dropped and replaced by one of the show’s writers and Gaiman himself. Which sounds like good news, but who knows how long it will take them to get things moving again. Especially since Gaiman is currently producing the TV adaptation of Good Omens. Regardless, American Gods showed a lot of potential in season one, and I hope it delivers on it in seasons two and three. Whenever they come out.
What does $52.4 Billion buy you these days? Well if you are Disney it pretty much gets you all of Fox except Fox News. It is official as of this morning (12/14/2017). Disney now has almost all of the Marvel Movie rights under its umbrella. Bring out the count down clock for Wolverine being featured in a Marvel movie. At this point it is just a best guess, but I am giving it a year and a half. They have to re-cast him/her, and then figure out how to jam him/her in to story that makes sense.
Warner Brothers executives must be screaming in to a pillow somewhere. Though it is kind of on them for not being able to make an actually good movie for two flicks in a row.
Of course Disney also gets another 30% stake in Hulu (they now own 60%), the Simpsons, and all of Fox’s random cable networks. It is safe to say that their media empire just grew significantly. As with any acquisition this big, regulators will get involved even though Disney isn’t technically buying all of Fox. That way the regulators can pretend that they do something useful. In which case, I may have to set the Wolverine Count Down ClockTM back another six months.
It has been a long time coming, but the Justice League has finally made their big screen debut, and for nerds like me it was a pretty great moment, but for everyone else it was probably just ‘fine’. The movie had too many things to do and not enough time to do it, but the characters themselves were awesome. Showing that if nothing else DC has a great casting director.
The movie starts pretty soon after Batman v Superman, and the world is still mourning the loss of Superman (Henry Cavill). AKA The monster that everyone hated after Man of Steel because he destroyed Metropolis, but I guess you don’t know what you got until it is gone. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) has decided to take Lex Luthor’s (Jesse Eisenberg) advice seriously and get ready for an invasion, so he has to get a very special team together.
The team is far and away the best part of the Justice League. Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa are great as The Flash and Aquaman. Bringing their characters to life with so much fun and flare. Ray Fisher was fine as Cyborg, but he wasn’t given much to do other then brood, so I will need to see more of him before I pass final judgement. Gal Godot as Wonder Woman continued to be great, but the movie needed to pick up the camera off the floor when filming her scenes. We get it, she has a nice butt. Ben Affleck was given most of the heavy lifting in this movie to try and connect everything together, so sadly a lot of his dialog was exposition, and his character suffers for it. Making him the least convincing member of the League. I am not going to say much about Superman, other than he finally gets to genuinely smile, and it is fabulous.
Unfortunately the movie built around this great cast was not great, and honestly unlike everyone else I am not upset about the fact their villain was another gray blob. When introducing three new characters you don’t have time to develop a villain, so random angry alien guy makes sense. The problem was this movie was rushed. The special effects are garbage. The reshot scenes seemed to be filmed with a different type of camera on cheaper sets, so they stand out in bad way. All in all this movie needed more time, and Warner Brothers/DC will no doubt pay the price for not delaying Justice League until early next year.
The fantastic cast of well acted characters made the Justice League work for me. It has been a lifelong dream to see the League all together on screen, and slapdash special effects and poorly edited added scenes were not enough to ruin that for me. For other people, maybe wait to rent or stream Justice League. Though you will want to see it. If only to get ready for Aquaman because after Jason Momoa’s fun performance you will be as pumped for it as I am.
Dynamite Entertainment, the current publisher of Red Sonja comics, has optioned their fiery red headed barbarian to Millennium Media to be turned in to a feature film … again. Last time it didn’t go so well making only $6 Million on a $17 Million budget, but they think with the success of Wonder Woman that now is the time to try again. I am not so sure. While her currant comic book run has been successful, Red Sonja is not the women’s power icon that Wonder Woman is. She is more of a pin-up, and kind of always has been, but they have tried to change that recently. All that being said, it has been a while since someone has made a good sword and sandals epic, so here is hoping they do Hyrcania’s fiercest warrior justice!
I am still struggling with a Hellboy not being helmed by Guillermo del Toro and not staring Ron Perlman, but I have to admit David Harbour looks pretty dang good as HB. If the rest of the movie can match the quality shown above, maybe, just maybe, they will get my butt in a seat January 2019, but they are going to have to keep showing me good stuff like this.