Nick Furi’s ODDS & ENDS™- This Week’s Pop Culture News Round-Up!

NICK FURI ODDS & ENDSFilm - I would like to thank Warner Bros and Ben Affleck for welcoming the return of Odds & Ends back to IMJ with this well-timed juicy bit of news. “What news?” you ask? Only the biggest NERD UPROAR since Flames on Optimus Prime

AFFLECK IS THE NEW BATMAN BANNER

Geeks the world over are roundly condemning the casting choice… Totally overlooking some of the positive aspects. As Venom noted in the IMJ comment section, the Director’s Cut of Daredevil (available on Blu Ray) is a much better movie than the film most people saw in theaters. As Ian has pointed out, the Ben Affleck who starred in Daredevil many, many years ago has been replaced by a much more humble, wiser and mature man… Who just so happens to be the acclaimed director of award-winning movies like The Town and Argo too. Hell, even Avengers director Joss Whedon thinks Affleck will “crush” the role.

While we all try to process the amazing amount of bullshit flying around the net concerning this casting news, I’ll leave you with a question and a statement: “Whatever happened to giving somebody a chance?” If the internet had been as prevalent in 1987 as it is today, Michael Keaton would probably never have set foot on Tim Burton’s Batman sound stage… Let alone been given the plum role of millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne.

I’m not so sure Affleck is our problem anyway. Unless somebody jerks a hard knot in Zack Snyder’s ass and gets him to respect quality over bombastic fight scenes, the director/purveyor of Man of Steel (one of my least favorite superhero films) may be the creator we all need to watch like a hawk. [Everywhere]

Click on the image below to read about the 30+ idiotic Petitions that have sprung up demanding Warner Bros ban Affleck from playing the Dark Knight:
Affleck Petitions

Television – No surprise the mid-season premiere of Breaking Bad smashed its previous ratings’ records. With 5.9 million viewers watching the first new episode in a year, BB ranks an impressive second in total AMC viewership to the cable network’s other hit show– The Walking Dead. I was slightly nervous watching the beginning of the end for Walter White But after soaking in the glorious first ep, Blood Money, I’m just going to sit back and really enjoy this ride. [Deadline]

Film – The SMRM (Superhero Movie Rumor Mill) is going wild with “news” that Marvel supposedly made Bradley Cooper an offer to provide the voice for Rocket Raccoon in their new Guardians of the Galaxy film. Whether there’s any truth to this or not– I think Bradley would make a great choice. The actor’s got a great range and it would be pretty interesting to see what he does with the furry. Then again, another part of me wonders if Cooper will be willing to only voice a raccoon– when there’s plenty of popular humanoid heroes (with big paydays attached) still left to play in both the Marvel and DC Universes. [Latino Review via IGN]

Television – This video shows just how dumb Television censorship can be, as Stephen Colbert and Hugh Laurie read the dirty terms allowed on basic cable. [Sourcefed]

LM ULTRA THIN BOX BREAK

Film/Business - Paramount has moved the release date of their new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie from June 6, 2014 to August 8, 2014… Primarily because their Transformers 4 was also due in theaters less than 3 weeks after TMNT’s original release date. Since both films are merchandise heavy, Paramount believes spacing the releases further apart will be better for their corporate partners and easier on parents’ pocketbooks.

So let me get this straight: Despite affecting hundreds of corporate licensing tie-ins, when it becomes apparent their creative pipeline is overstuffed with product– a major film studio has no problem shifting a multi-million dollar movie’s release date by a whopping two months… But comic book companies– and the comic industry’s ONLY distributor– can’t space out a few major book releases here and there to help out comic fans’ wallets? [Deadline]

Video Games – The Playstation 4 has a release date. The next-gen console will be available on November 15th in the USA and 29.11.13 in Europe. (Sorry European gamers.) This really means nothing to me, since I won’t be buying the console– as I’m still using a Wii to mainly watch Netflix and play games from SuperNES and older.

I am curious, however, how many people from the IMJ Nation™ are excited for the next console. Are you going with Sony, Microsoft– or both? Have you pre-ordered… Or are you going to wait until you see more games before you make your final decision? [Sourcefed]

Film – A new photo from X-Men: Days of Future Past is making the rounds… And Wow! Do Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy and Hugh Jackman know how to rock some 70s gear or what? Good looking costumes (coupled with X-Men creator Chris Claremont being brought in as an advisor) is making me extremely excited for this movie. In truth, I was shocked by how much I enjoyed X-Men: First Class… So I’m just hoping the quality continues with this installment. [Comics Alliance Story 1CA Story 2]

X-Men Days of Future Past

Comic Books - Matt Fraction is leaving both the Fantastic Four and FF comics– citing the overwhelming workload of his two new books, Inhumanity and Inhumans. I have only read one F4 issue recently– and I thought it was decent and had potential. Karl Kesel (now there’s an unexpected blast from the 80s & 90s!) will be taking over Fantastic Four scripting chores and Lee Allred will be writing FF. Fraction’s absence doesn’t mean either of these titles will necessarily suffer, but such creator changes (especially when a creator’s work is well received) are often, well… Scary.

Fraction should be commended for realistically understanding the time needed for each series and willfully cutting the number of monthly comics he’s working on– instead of bringing down the quality of everything he’s writing by working on too many books at once. [Comics Alliance]

Video Games – Now Microsoft claims their Xbox One/Kinect doesn’t need to be connected to the Net all the time. While my interest on this subject ranges from Really Low to Who Gives a Shit… I am still confused by what the company is actually manufacturing. Is it a game console or a sneaky beast intended to replace your cable box? I appreciate how the company seems to be listening to their fans, but at what point do you receive too much input… And need to focus on making the product you envisioned?

If Microsoft doesn’t stop taking fan input, it could very well dilute the product they were originally trying to produce… You know, more than they already have. Or they could’ve just gotten all these fan wish lists out of the way upfront– and saved themselves all kinds of embarrassing bad publicity in the months leading to Launch Day. [Sourcefed]

Television - Who else (besides me) thinks Frank Darabont’s The Walking Dead Season One is still the series’ best season? If you do too, then this trailer from Darabont’s new TNT series, Mob City, will peak your interest… Mainly because it’s awesome. Anyone wishing Shane didn’t die in TWD (and if I seriously just spoiled that fact for you– you need to get caught up!), you will see actor Jon Bernthal in full force here. [Deadline]


LM ULTRA THIN BOX BREAKCollectibles – If you like your Batman & Joker dark and gritty, Play Arts Kai is giving you what you want. I’m not a huge fan of this stuff, but I know people who will think these character designs are fantastic… Especially Batfans who enjoyed the Arkham City video game. The two figures are based on their Silver Age skins. [Comics Alliance]

Television - With 30 Rock ending earlier this year, NBC has nabbed Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s next series. The show will apparently revolve around a young female writer– and is said to resemble aspects of the classic TV comedy Cheers. (Everything has to seem like something familiar in Hollywood, or the clueless execs won’t buy it– don’tcha know.) I will give this new show a shot– even if I was done with 30 Rock after suffering through a seriously lackluster Season 4. [Deadline]

Film – The Man of Steel Blu Ray is set to arrive in North America on November 12. The Collector’s Edition is nice and pretty– but a bad movie is still a bad movie… Which leads me to another question for the IMJ Nation™ … How did you feel about the Man of Steel? Am I the only one thinking it wasn’t worth my time and money– the same way this Collectors Blu Ray won’t be worth my time and money either? [Comics Alliance]

MAN OF STEEL Collector's Edition Blu Ray Set

Film – Wormholes + Christopher Nolan + Space? Count me in! The first snippet from Nolan’s film Interstellar has arrived. Even if Nolan was only the producer of the wreck somebody called Man of Steel, I hope this new movie arrives as quickly as possible to wash Superman’s sour taste out of my mouth. (Waitaminute. Did that sound right?)

Anyway the film synopsis is cool: “The new script chronicles the adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.” [io9]

Television – Our favourite Canadian Actress, Tatiana Maslany, is headed for a guest spot in the Sixth Season of Parks and Recreation. The fabulous actress will have a 2 episode arc playing the love interest of Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford. I don’t watch Parks and Rec (I know, I know… I’m terrible), but I will definitely be checking these two eps out. Ian tweeted he thought this was a helluva stupid move by Maslany’s agents the other day– until he realized it was only for 2 eps… Hardly the huge story arc some news outlets made it out to be. [Hollywood Reporter]

Toys – Speaking of Breaking Bad (and I am sure I have mentioned one of TV’s coolest shows somewhere in this column), you can buy a Lego-themed meth lab now. The set comes with over 500 premium printed mini figs, tiles and bricks… With Gus, Walt and Mike as the three included figures. Like Heisenberg’s fabled Blue Meth, the set is pricey ($250)… As if fans will care. [Nerdist]

Breaking Bad Lego Set

Awesome YouTube  Have I mentioned how much I love Breaking Bad… Or how it is one of my favourite TV series of all time? (It is pure genius and overwhelmingly compelling.) One of my absolute favourite things about shows like this? The undeniably awesome things people create to celebrate them. Ian posted an animated version of Badger’s Star Trek Pitch only a day after the episode aired stateside… So who wouldn’t want a campy, ’60s Batman-styled Breaking Bad too? [Comics Alliance]

(For those not caught up on the series… The video contains SPOILERS!)


LM ULTRA THIN BOX BREAKConventions – This news is awesome for any fan living in the vicinity of Saskatchewan. While I’ve known about this for a while, Saskatoon (my home town) is having its first ever Pop Culture Con!

The Saskatchewan Entertainment Expo (SEE) will be held September 14th & 15th. Media guests include Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman), Henry Ian Cusick (LOST) and William B. Davis (X-Files). Comic Pros include Kurtis Wiebe, Tyler Jenkins, Pia Guerra and Marcus To (just to name a few). The only sad fact (for me)… I will be out of the province and visiting the Windy City for a music festival that weekend! I wish all my friends the best while they work and attend our first ever convention! I’ll be there next year! [Website, Facebook, Twitter]

ODDS & ENDS COLUMN EXPLANATIONThanks Nick Banner

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