We’ve been hearing rumors for a while now, but today brings the announcement of the group we’ll all be lining up to see in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode 7. Confirming that series vets Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher will be returning to the property that made them famous, the announcement also reveals newcomers to the saga Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Adam Driver (Girls), Max von Sydow (tons of stuff), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley (Blue Season), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), and Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings).
Abrams had this to say:
We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode 7. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.
No word yet on whether or not we’ll be seeing Chewbacca’s Jedi Knight nephew Lowbacca, so keep your fingers crossed.
Batman: The Animated Series remains the best translation of Batman to a film or television medium. It achieved the perfect balance between the light and dark; accepting that, sure Batman has to be brooding, but he’s still a superhero in tights. As a child, BTAS was my absolute favorite thing to watch. I know that I’m not the only one. Many a times have I looked back fondly of the joy I experienced watching the Caped Crusader take down Joker, Two-Face, and in the episode that used to kind of scare me, the Scarecrow (cut me some slack, I was in grade school at the time). Many of you should also remember Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm, a full-length animated film released in theaters all over. Many claim that the movie remains the best Batman film.
BTAS’ success led to many other animated shows like Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited, but they could never recreate the magic that was Batman: The Animated Series. That’s why fanboys and fangirls everywhere kind of lost their minds when news broke that co-creator Bruce Timm was returning to produce an animated short in celebration of the Dark Knight’s 75th anniversary. The film adheres to the art deco, film noir style that the series was known for, offering a black and white story with a Batman design that harkens back to Batman’s earliest appearances in comics.
If you enjoy this short half as much as I did, it will be well worth your time.
Though admission can be found in the film’s official synopsis, one need only watch the trailer for Blood Glacier to see the obvious admiration these filmmakers must have for John Carpenter’s The Thing.
Gore descends upon the Alps in this grisly tale of snowbound terror. Janek (Gerhard Liebmann), a prickly, lone-wolf technician, is part of a team of researchers investigating global warming at a remote weather station in the mountains. One day the group makes a seriously gruesome discovery: a giant glacier oozing what appears to be blood and, worse, transforming all in its wake into monstrous genetic hybrids. Soon Janek is at war with Mother Nature—including mutant foxes and terrifying insect-animal crossbreeds—in this blood-splattered creature feature affectionately inspired by John Carpenter’s THE THING.
Whether it ends up being a spectacular success or a disappointing failure, Wrestlemania XXX is tonight, and that means wrestling nerds from far and wide will be tuning in. The guys at The Killray are no exception.
In the spirit of the day we decided to chat about what a great card would have looked like this year. Chris gave his thoughts with Joe and Zac chiming in.
Sure the card is long, but hey, it’s Wrestlemania XXX! Time to pull out all of the stops. Here’s what we came up with.
Singles Match: Mark Henry vs. Alexander Rusev
Chris: Rusev made his debut in the Royal Rumble and impressed the hell out of everyone. What better way to give him a push and start Wrestlemania than pitting the Bulgarian monster against the World’s Strongest Man? Both have similar builds and are extremely powerful.
Joe: I’ll let you in on secret, whenever I see
Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry’s name on a card, I know when my bathroom break is. I’d much rather see Rusev take on a guy like Sheamus. Another power guy who isn’t a total snooze fest.
Zac: I am a big fan of Rusev. I looked up older matches he took part in on Youtube, and not only is the guy a beast, but he’s a great athlete. I am not a huge fan of Mark Henry, but I also really can’t stand Sheamus. He just bores me. With that in mind, I think the match I would really like to see is Alexander Rusev vs. Cesaro. I think these guys have the technical chops to tell an amazing story in the ring and have people talking the day after the show.
Obligatory Undertaker Match: John Cena vs. The Undertaker
Chris: The Undertaker is always due a match at Wrestlemania. The “Beat the Streak” match. With John Cena not in the main event, this could have been the perfect place for him. He could have announced he’s done it all, with one thing left… beating the streak. It would be absolutely perfect. Cena doesn’t need the push, and The Undertaker could add beating another top guy to his Wrestlemania resume.
Zac: I think Joe and I are in agreement that Cena vs. Taker would make a lot of sense. Personally, I couldn’t care less about The Undertaker, but I think this scenario would actually lead to an interesting match. Plus it keeps Cena out of the main event, which works for me.
Since I was a kid, I have always been a huge fan of professional wrestling, and nothing got me and my friends more excited than Wrestlemania. I mean, no other event is as synonymous with professional wrestling as Wrestlemania. It is the Holy Grail of wrestling pay-per-views. For professional wrestlers, being able to perform at Wrestlemania is validation that they have truly made it in the business. Every professional wrestler dreams of one day headlining Wrestlemania because headlining is proof that you are at the top of the wrestling world.
Everyone knows of Wrestlemania, non-fans and fans alike. They know it’s the biggest night in professional wrestling. No other event even comes close! As long as the WWE is around, every other promotion knows their flagship pay-per-view will always be (at best) number two.
It’s for this reason, you would expect the WWE to pull out all the stops in making Wrestlemania (quite literally for wrestling fans) the greatest show on Earth. However, over the last 10 years, Wrestlemania has lacked the excitement that wrestling fans have grown to love. Since Wrestlemania XX, there have been maybe six or seven truly remarkable Wrestlemania moments (two of which happened in the same Wrestlemania). 2014 is the year of Wrestlemania XXX- the 30th anniversary of Wrestlemania, and given their current roster, WWE could have brought Wrestlemania back to its glory.
Instead, we are getting a less than impressive “Triple H and Friends Show.”
Let’s go through match by match and see where the WWE went wrong and how they could still offer an acceptable outcome. First, we should take a look at the current card for Wrestlemania XXX (in no particular order):
30-Superstar Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Divas Championship Invitational
The Shield vs. Kane & The New Age Outlaws
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H (with the winner earning a spot in the main event)
Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. ??? – Main Event – WWE World Heavyweight Championship
30-SUPERSTAR ANDREW THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYAL
While in theory the battle royal sounds like a great idea and an excellent way to honor a legend, the current format is going to cause it to be a lackluster waste of time. The general feeling I get is that it could eventually replace King of the Ring, with the winner becoming the next big guy in the WWE. What’s going to make this match a lackluster waste of time is that it is a repeat of the Royal Rumble, only 60-days later, without the star power of the Royal Rumble. It’s like watching the Super Bowl and then watching the Pro Bowl a few weeks later. With other superstars currently booked and the match being a 30-man battle, most of the stars competing are mid-card at best (Darren Young, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Justin Gabriel, Titus O’Neil, the Great Khali, Brad Maddox – and the list goes on). Then you have some right at the heart of mid card (Big E, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Sin Cara, etc.), and then a few remaining big name players (Alberto Del Rio, Big Show, Sheamus, and Dolph Ziggler). Additionally, we also get three superstars, yet to be named. There just aren’t enough popular players available to make a second 30-man battle royal worthwhile. If the time for this match was cut in half, you’d probably be able to add another match or two!
The Most Appealing Outcome:
The Big Show needs to win. Arguably, there is no superstar who deserves the win more in the first ever Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. He’s always been a loyal journeyman and only once headlined Wrestlemania. He’s won championships, but doesn’t really have a defining moment of his career. Winning the first ever battle royal could be that moment. Also, what better way to give some prestige and honor to the award than having one of the biggest superstars of today win it? It needs to happen.
The season one finale of HBO’s True Detective brought with it a high volume of discussion proving that the ending was polarizing, to say the least. For a show that garnered such fanatical obsession from viewers this is to be expected. From a lot of what I read, many have expressed their feelings that the show was great overall, but ended in a weak manner. Even some of those that state they enjoyed the finale seem like they are not only trying to convince the reader that they thought it was good, but themselves as well.
I’m here to tell you why the finale was the perfect and most appropriate ending to the show.
Spoilers to follow.
I remember a couple years back when a video called “The Most Astounding Fact” was making the rounds online. In the video, famed astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is asked, “What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the universe?” Tyson’s response was as thoughtful as it was beautiful and included the following line:
So that when I look up at the night sky and I know that yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the Universe is in us.
I remember sitting back and thinking about this idea, one that seemed obvious, and yet I had never made this connection myself. As fantastic and science fictional as the notion seemed upon first glance, the fact remained: we are in this universe and the Universe is in us.
I had already been a fan of Tyson for a while before I heard his response. I truly respected his initiative to champion science education, and make sure the public is thinking about science. His notion (and I’m paraphrasing) that we as a society fail when we discontinue our search of the unknown; that when we give up this search, we are committing a disservice against those that came before that dared ask what, why, and how, is one that resonates with me deeply. While watching the premiere of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey it immediately becomes clear that Tyson truly believes what he says, and that with Cosmos he is taking a momentous step in achieving his ends.