What a year for movies

Geek Vibes Nation 2018 Guide to Film

Written by Brian Flinchbaugh 

2017 is in the books and it was a banner year for geeks at the movie theater.  But have no fear, 2018 is here to offer even more than before.

 

To help you plan your trips to the movies and to let you know everything you have to look forward to, here’s your chronological 2018 Geek Vibes Nation Guide to Film.

 

This list doesn’t include TV shows, and we’ve cut the list down to our top 20 for the year.  There are even more upcoming movies that we could have included, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

 

Black Panther- February 16th

 

Make your Valentine’s Day plans a couple days late to see the first of three Marvel installments of the year.  Chadwick Boseman follows up his popular turn in Captain America: Civil War with his first solo film, which promises to be very different from its predecessors. Joining Boseman will be a stellar cast making their MCU debuts, including Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Forrest Whitaker, as well as familiar faces like Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue and Martin Freeman as Everett Ross.  The cast makeup will be a groundbreaking change for the MCU.

 

A Wrinkle in Time- March 9th

 

Disney’s adaptation of the 1962 science fiction novel about two kids out to save their astrophysicist father from another planet features a stellar cast featuring Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Pena and Chris Pine, along with terrific director Ana DuVernay. 

 

Tomb Raider- March 16th

 

The trailer for this reboot of the popular video game franchise looks to be more exciting and true to the material than the original Angelina Jolie films.  Alicia Vikander was a great casting choice to play Lara Croft and looks convincing as the titular character.  It may become part of a shared universe with other video game movies including Hitman and Thief.

 

Ready Player One- March 30th

 

Steven Spielberg directs this story about a dystopian future where much of Earth’s inhabitants live their lives through a virtual reality program.  A $240 billion fortune awaits the winner of a virtual treasure hunt.  It’s a story of an evil corporation against the little guy in a race to the finish.  Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance star in this thriller.

 

Rampage- April 20th

 

Dwayne Johnson stars in this loose adaptation of the famous video game.  George the gorilla, Ralph the wolf and Lizzie the crocodile undergo a genetic mutation that turns into giant, rage-filled beasts creating havoc across the continent.  Johnson is joined by Naomie Harris and Joe Manganiello.

 

Avengers: Infinity War- May 4th

 

This is the movie we’ve all been waiting for, as it begins the culmination of ten years-worth of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.  The MCU heroes all unite to stop Thanos.  As much as we think we know about this movie, so many surprises lie in wait.  Without a doubt, it’s one of the most anticipated movies in recent memory.  Starring: Everyone.

 

Deadpool 2- May 18th

 

Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth is back with some new friends.  Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz debut as Cable and Domino.  John Wick and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch replaced Tim Miller, who directed the first installment.  This movie will begin to set up the X-Force and may be Deadpool’s last appearance before merging into the MCU.  

 

Solo: A Star Wars Story- May 25th

 

The Star Wars spinoff focuses on a young Han Solo and his adventures with Chewbacca before meeting Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Ron Howard was brought in to save this one.  Aldon Ehrenreich stars in the title role originally held by Harrison Ford.  Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover and Emilia Clarke also star.

 

Incredibles 2- June 15th

 

It’s been 14 years since The Incredibles came out and Mr. Incredible is now a stay-at-home dad while Mrs. Incredible fights crime.  But don’t worry, the entire animated family of superheroes will be back in action to save the world.

 

Ant-Man and the Wasp- July 6th

 

We’ll see Evangeline Lilly suit up as Wasp for the first time as she joins Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man to create a new superhero duo.  The quantum realm will feature in the film to some degree and will have a major impact on the future of the MCU. 

 

Alita: Battle Angel- July 20th

 

James Cameron is adapting this manga story about a post-apocalyptic cyborg martial artist.  Robert Rodriguez directs the film starring Rosa Salazar as Alita with Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz and Mahershala Ali in supporting roles.

 

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies- July 27th

 

Based on Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans Go! Television series, the movie will see the voice actors from the series reprising their roles in this film as Robin and crew head to Hollywood with the dreams of starring in their own movie only to be sidetracked by an evil villain.

 

The Predator- August 3rd

 

The fourth installment of the Predator franchise actually takes place after the events of Predator 2 but before Predators.  Iron Man 3 director Shane Black provides a fresh take on the franchise in a film that features an entirely different cast led by Boyd Holbrook, who played Donald Pierce in Logan.

 

Venom- October 5th

 

Tom Hardy stars as Eddie Brock aka Venom in the character’s first ever solo film.  It’s a bit of an experiment by Sony since the character is traditionally known as a villain.  It takes place within Sony’s Spider-Verse, but whether it is connected to the MCU remains unclear.


X-Men: Dark Phoenix- November 2nd

 

It’s not the first time “The Dark Phoenix Saga” has been done on film, but hopefully this event is better than X-Men: The Last Stand from 2006.  Taking place years after X-Men: Apocalypse, this film sees the return of all the key actors from the current generation of X-Men.

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald- November 16th

 

Picking up where the 2016 film left off, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald seeks power as the rest of the wizard community remains divided as to which side it’s on.  Jude Law debuts as a young Albus Dumbledore to join Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander in defeating Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald.

 

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2- November 21st

 

Ralph ventures into the internet this time and will come across numerous characters from the Disney/Marvel/Star Wars universe, crossing paths with Moana, Frozen’s Anna and Elsa, Yoda and Princess Leia, Iron Man and Gamora, among others.

 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse- December 21st

 

The first theatrical animated Spider-Man feature film focuses on Miles Morales and his life as a teenager struggling to be a superhero.  The CGI is supposedly done in a way to make the animation look like a hand-drawn comic book.

 

Aquaman- December 21st

 

James Wan directs the first solo film for Jason Momoa’s popular portrayal of the king of Atlantis.  This will be a rather groundbreaking film as it takes place predominantly underwater.  The DCEU has a lot riding on this movie to gain momentum that was lost after Justice League’s mixed reception.

 

Bumblebee: The Movie- December 21st

 

Christmas weekend is sure to be busy as this is the third movie released on this day.  This spinoff of the Transformers series is a prequel, taking place twenty years before the first movie.  This is the first movie in the franchise without Optimus Prime or director Michael Bay.

 

Brian is the lead writer for Geek Vibes Nation.  Follow him on Twitter @brflinchbaugh.

 

Flash has its Directors!

Flashpoint Finds New Directors

written by Brian Flinchbaugh

Flashpoint, the Flash solo film currently in development at Warner Brothers, has found its new directors. 

John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are in talks to helm the film.  The duo is best known for their comedy work, having writtenHorrible Bosses and directing the upcoming Game Night

They were also significant contributors in writing the screenplay for Spider-Man: Homecoming, another comedic superhero film that should likely to be similar in tone to Flashpoint.

Flashpoint has so far had difficulty holding on to its attached directors.  Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa each left the project in 2016 after they had been tapped to direct.

Hopefully the new tandem is able to stick around and finally provide some stability to the much-anticipated movie.

 Brian is the lead writer for Geek Vibes Nation.  Follow him on Twitter @brflinchbaugh.

 

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Black Lightning!

Written by Brian Flinchbaugh

Black Lightning: Not Your Typical Superhero Show

Black Lightning, The CW’s newest show based on

DC Comics had a hit debut.

This is a different kind of superhero show.  It’s not the typical story of a youngster just discovering his powers and the trials and tribulations of learning how to be a hero.  This show is centered around the return of an aging ex-hero and the personal life of the character’s alter ego, Jefferson Pierce, played wonderfully by Cress Williams.

Pierce is a high school principal and a retired hero who could shoot lighting from his fingers, giving up the costumed life nine years ago.  The rise of a brutally violent gang, The One Hundred, has caused him to take up the uniform and hit the streets once again.

2018 is already a groundbreaking year for diversity in the genre.  The show is the first superhero serial on primetime television that is completely African-American.  The timing of its debut comes just weeks before the release of Black Panther. 

Because the format of this show is new and fresh, we get to see different storylines and impactful events.  The Black Lives Matter movement and gang violence are very visible in the pilot.

We see Jefferson Pierce as a father first and superhero second.  From bailing out his daughter to their lives being threatened as a big reason for his return to the mantle, he is driven by his family. 

We don’t see much of the primary villain, The One Hundred leader Tobias Whale, but he seems like he’ll be a formidable and dynamic enemy.

Unlike Arrow, The FlashSupergirl and Legends of TomorrowBlack Lightning is not currently connected to the Arrowverse.

If you want a superhero show simply for mindless action, this isn’t the show for you.  But if you’re looking for a fresh take on the genre featuring characters with depth and a look at the more personal aspects of dealing with life as a hero, with some good humor thrown in, Black Lightning will be appease your appetite.

 

Brian is the lead writer for Geek Vibes Nation.  Follow him on Twitter @brflinchbaugh.

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Interview with Star Alex Barima from Fox's hit show The Exorcist

Written by Caitlin Elam

“The Exorcist” as a title generally conjures thoughts of Linda Blair up-chucking split pea soup on an old priest and a young priest in the 1973 nightmare-inducing iconic horror film. Now, the frights and thrills are back on the smaller screen of the television. Our own Juwaan Carter interviewed actor Alex Barima to see how things are going on Fox’s hit show about three priests who investigate demonic presence among a targeted family and a foster home. 

 

No stranger to horror themes at work (having three episodes playing an actual demon under his belt with the hit CW show, Supernatural), he notes that playing Shelby on The Exorcist was a big experience. 

1. How has it been working on the Exorcist? Have you ever left feeling a little scared?
 

Working on The Exorcist was the most rewarding and challenging acting experience I've had so far. To be heavily involved in such a large production is something every actor dreams of, so I tried to appreciate every moment. We were all very proud of the end result, given all the work that was put into making the show what it is, and we're thrilled with the fan response. 

 

Some of the sets were definitely quite creepy, but I felt safe most of the time. We did have some priests come by and bless the set before we began shooting, which helped put a lot of people at ease, myself included. The makeup department never ceased to out-do themselves every episode; seeing new monsters come out of their trailer every week was the scariest part!

 

2. What can you tell us about your character and what makes him unique.
 

I play a teenager named Shelby, one of several foster children living in Andy's home. I was immediately drawn to Shelby's kind nature when I read the audition. I love intuitive characters in horror, which is exactly who he is; he's the first person in the family to catch on to the strange occurrences plaguing his home. I like playing him because he's easy to get behind. In a career where you can't be too choosy, it's always nice to play someone you might actually get along with in real life.

 

3. You were also on Once Upon a Time I’m actually a big fan of that show how was it filming for that show?
 

Once Upon A Time was my first TV role on a major television show, so I remember it quite well. Although I only played a small role, I was amazed at how much work was put into every single detail of production, from the wardrobe to the set decoration, to every little prop used. It truly felt like we were in a different world. I was fortunate to work on two episodes and meet some great people, including Craig Powell, an incredibly gifted camera operator. We were reunited 5 years later on this season of The Exorcist.

 

4. Being that you work on the show the exorcist I have to ask are you a horror fan? And if so what is your favorite horror movie?
 

I wouldn't consider myself a horror fan, since I get scared too easily. I'll watch scary movies around Halloween as long as I'm with friends, but if I had to pick a favorite, I'd probably go with Cabin in the Woods or Monster House if that counts!

 

5. I see you have also starred in Tomorrowland what was it like on set of that film? And how was it working with George Clooney?
 

Tomorrowland was quite simply the most impressive production I've ever been a part of. This kind of project only comes around once in a while, and to see it all up close is overwhelming, to say the least. My scene was shot in Spain, so Disney arranged travel and accommodation for the cast and crew. I got to work in Spain for a week on a Brad Bird sci-fi movie; that's probably still the coolest thing I've ever done! I never got to meet George Clooney unfortunately, but I'm certain we were in the same room at some point.

 

6. We here at Geekvibes Nation are huge superhero fans so I’d like to ask you a few questions about that field. Are you a fan of comics or superheroes?
 

I read manga and watch a lot of anime, but not many western superhero comics. I prefer the more contained storytelling of manga, but I still  watch all the superhero movies in theaters. 

 

7. Who is your favorite superhero?
 

Goku from Dragon Ball, or Luffy from One Piece. They're characters who redefine themselves constantly, while still remaining true to what drew fans to them in the first place. Their influence in modern entertainment is undeniable. And they're both hilarious.

 

8. What was it like being on CW’s hit show The Flash?
 

Working on the Flash was actually the first and only night shoot I've ever done. Surprisingly, I had no trouble staying awake, and had a great time shooting the scene. It was bittersweet however, because I had booked tickets to a show in Seattle months before, and I had to cancel the trip. It was well worth it though.

 

9. What Superhero would you like to play?

I don't know if I've ever imagined myself portraying an actual superhero in film or TV. The closest thing for me would have been to play Cornelius Fillmore from the Disney cartoon. I hope I get the chance before I'm too old!

 

10. Besides the Exorcist are there any other projects we could see you in very soon? If we haven’t already.

The last feature I worked on, Adventures in Public School (starring Judy Greer), was recently acquired for world-wide distribution. It's a wonderful indie comedy which we premiered at TIFF last year, and was very well received! Now that The Exorcist is over, I'm looking to the year ahead for the next opportunity! I truly don't know what's coming next, which is scary and exciting at the same time.

To see more of Barima’s amazing acting prowess, look for him in the upcoming indie comedy, Adventures in Public School with Judy Greer.

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Fox Shaking things up

X-Men Films Get New Release Dates

written by Brian Flinchbaugh

Fox has changed the release dates of two of its upcoming X-Men movies.

The New Mutants, originally scheduled for release on April 13th of this year has been pushed back to February 22nd of 2019.  The studio’s official reason is that they didn’t want the film to overlap with Deadpool 2 in international markets.  But that potential conflict would have been known last year and this seems a bit last minute.

The second reason sounds more truthful; the studio doesn’t believe the film is scary enough.  Another interpretation is that since it’s supposed to be a horror movie, it’s current state is not very good and they need reshoots to make it better if they want the sequels to happen.  Delays this close to release typically spell trouble for the current completed version.

In a different turn of events, Deadpool 2 has been moved up from its original release date of June 1st of this year to May 18th.  I’m not sure that was a smart decision.  That release date falls two weeks after Avengers: Infinity War and one week before Solo: A Star Wars Story.  I have to think that being sandwiched between those two goliaths will have an impact on box office turnout, but we’ll see.  I know the month of May has just gotten extremely busy for me.

Gambit has also been delayed yet again, as it’s lost another director.  Gore Verbinsky has exited the project.  This continues what has been a disaster of a pre-production process.  Maybe they should wait and let Marvel Studios handle it after the transition.

The only X-Men film not moved (yet) is X-Men: Dark Phoenix.  It’s still scheduled for release on November 2nd, 2018.

Brian is the lead writer for Geek Vibes Nation.  Follow him on Twitter @brflinchbaugh.

 

Black Widow Solo Movie in the Works!

Black Widow Solo Movie Closer to Reality

written by Brian Flinchbaugh

After years of fans calling for a Black Widow movie in the MCU, it appears that Marvel Studios may be giving us just that.

Kevin Feige has hired Blacklist writer Jac Schaeffer to pen a script.

This is the first official step the studio has taken to making this movie a reality.  It’s now considered to be in very early development.

The studio has also met with Scarlett Johansson about the project.  She’s already starred in five MCU movies as Black Widow including Iron Man 2The AvengersCaptain America: The Winter SoldierAvengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.  She has two more appearances on the way inAvengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.

There is so much in Black Widow’s history that could be explored.  Will this be an origin story about how she came to work for S.H.I.E.L.D?  Will it take us back to whatever happened in Budapest?  Or will this develop the character further in the present day after Avengers 4?  Marvel may know, but they won’t reveal any plot details until after Avengers 4. 

Those possibilities mean we cannot answer the burgeoning question: Does this mean Natasha Romanoff survives the battle with Thanos?  Not necessarily, of course, for it could be a prequel.  But my money has been on the character being one of the most likely original Avengers to make it to phase 4 alive, and this news does nothing to change my mind.

It’s currently described as a standalone film.  Could it become a trilogy? 

These are all questions Marvel will leave unanswered until after Avengers 4.

Black Widow has some very dark parts of her history, but I don’t think the MCU will explore those; the character is too popular.  For example, in the comics, she kills Hawkeye’s entire family.  We’re not going there.  (For the record, I think Hawkeye’s family may be in serious MCU jeopardy, but not from Natasha).

I can see this being a spy thriller along the lines of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Black Widow is a super-spy after all, so that’s the direction the film should take.

It should come as no great surprise that the studio may be adding Black Widow to phase 4.  Kevin Feige has expressed a desire in the past for the character to have a solo film or series of films.  Johansson has recently sounded like she’s done with the MCU after Avengers 4, but these things are always flexible.  If Marvel wanted to keep her around, a solo film would likely do it.

Given that it’s so early in development and the MCU slate is full through 2019, this won’t happen until at least 2020.  But there are two open slots for MCU films that year to go along with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.  There’s a good chance Black Widow will take one of those slots.

Brian is the lead writer for Geek Vibes Nation. Follow him on Twitter @brflinchbaugh.

 

The Flash: Season Four Episode Nine Review

'Written by Ang

"Dont Run"

So, mid-season finale season is upon us! It is difficult to believe that we have already come so far in such a short amount of time, but, as usual, the future still holds a lot of great plot twists. The Flash is really no stranger to tormenting their audience with huge cliffhangers both in the mid-season finales and the season finales proper. Arguably, my favorite of all Flash cliffhangers has been the end of Season 3 where Barry enters the Speed Force prison. It is poetic, completes the storyline perfectly, let leaves plenty of room for an excellent entrance into Season 4.

This mid-season finale delivers and excellent, if not entirely poignant cliffhanger that is sure to leave many a Flash fan wanting a whole lot more. I won’t spoil anything about it just yet, but it does satisfactorily – and in some ways finally – bring into focus some of the Thinker’s grander plan for Barry Allen. After seven episodes of vague hinting at what the Thinker is up too, this episode finally reveals a bit of what the future is going to be like for Team Flash as they try to wiggle their way out from under DeVoe’s thumb. But, I’ll let the rest of the episode speak for itself. I now present, “Don’t Run.”

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When we last left Barry Allen/The Flash and Iris West, they had just finished up their third – and successful – attempt at getting married, officiated by none other than Arrow’s John Diggle/Spartan. Wedded bliss can finally begin for one of TV’s most amazing couples.

How long it will last is up for debate. I’m hoping we make it at least until the end of the season before Hollywood decides they need a needless divorce to “make things more interesting.”

But, for the moment, Barry and Iris are enjoying some much-needed down time, including but not limited to opening all of the wedding presents that have come from their superhero friends from across time, space, and the multiverse. Gifts such as 40+ toasters from Mick Rory/Heatwave, an expresso machine from Felicity Smoak and Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, and an odd knife set with only one knife they dismiss out of hand.

Also Clifford and Marlize DeVoe, aka the Thinker and the Mechanic, are still out there, on the loose, so there’s that.

The rest of Team Flash is pretty much going about their normal holiday plans and traditions, slight squabbling included. Things really don’t go bad until Cisco Ramon/Vibe, Harry Wells, and Ralph Dibny/Elongated Man reveal that they have been spending time with Caitlin Snow’s alter ego, Killer Frost. To make matters worse, they actually like hanging out with good old Killer, who actually hasn’t killed anyone just yet.

Actually, the entirety of Central City seems to be somewhat infatuated with the newest anti-hero on the block, with C.C. Jitters even introducing a Killer Frost-inspired iced coffee. After all, Killer did help take down the evil Nazis from another dimension who had come to this Earth to steal Supergirl’s (who was also visiting from another dimension) heart and give it to Overgirl, Supergirl’s evil, Nazi doppelganger*.

Caitlin, understandably upset that everyone seems to prefer Killer Frost over her, heads to C.C. Jitters for a normal, not-inspired-by-her-slightly-unhinged-alter-ego coffee. Harry shows up and does his best to encourage Caitlin, succeeding mostly. The conversation is unfortunately cut short when none other than Amunet Black/Blacksmith/Caitlin and Killer’s old and evil boss shows up and trashes the place.

Amunet incapacitates Harry quickly, utilizing her metal-covered arm and powers of metal manipulation, and captures Caitlin, slapping an anti-metahuman bracelet on her wrist to prevent Killer Frost from coming to life. Believe it or not, that is only our first of at least three kidnappings that take place on-screen**.

In another part of town, Iris and Barry are returning all of their unneeded wedding presents – including Rory’s toasters, which they realize he probably stole – to the store. While on their way back home, they are intercepted by the Thinker in his patented hoverchair, who quickly captures Barry utilizing a supped-up taser that looks really painful. That’s Kidnapping No. 2 for this episode.

The rest of Team Flash immediately begins to mount a rescue effort for both Caitlin and Barry, but searching for both Barry’s residual energy signature and Caitlin’s cold signature is overtaxing the S.T.A.R. satellite. Plus, Team Flash is down two whole members. This leads to the conclusion that they really only have the resources to track down one missing member, and since Iris is team leader, she has to make the call as to who they track down.

Meanwhile, Amunet reveals exactly why she kidnapped Caitlin and suppressed Killer Frost: she needs a doctor, not a slightly psychopathic metahuman with freezing powers. As it turns out, Amunet is still in the metahuman extortion business***, this time kidnapping a specific metahuman for a buyer.

Unfortunately, the metahuman didn’t want to comply with this plan and Amunet was forced to shoot him. The wedge of metal is still lodged in his neck, requiring a delicate procedure to remove it. Good news, Caitlin is a surgeon. Bad news, where the metahuman is being held – an old, dusty abandoned hospital – is not exactly a great environment for this kind of procedure, but, Amunet doesn’t really care.

The metahuman eventually wakes up, introduces himself as Dominic and shows off his telepathic abilities. Caitlin realizes that they can use his talents to elude the guards and escape Amunet’s grasp. They attempt such a procedure but it ultimately fails. But, after Amunet gives her a rousing pep talk, Caitlin is – or at least pretends to be – compliant and agrees to perform the surgery.

For Barry, however, he was not captured for any of his talents per se. In fact, the Thinker is holding him in a small, impenetrable cell in the heart of his secret lair. Barry tries everything from phasing to throwing lighting in order to break out of the box, but the cell remains. He does get to discuss the situation with the Mechanic and she hints at the fact that she and the Thinker are interested in Barry’s abilities.

Joe West and Harry attempt to confront the Thinker head-on since Iris did see DeVoe kidnap Barry. They search DeVoe’s house, at his behest, but can find nothing to lead them to where DeVoe is hiding Barry. Harry did finally meet someone more intelligence and arrogant than himself, however, so it wasn’t a complete waste of a trip.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the situation is tense and about to get tenser as everyone is feeling helpless to find and rescue either Barry or Caitlin. Iris is finally forced to make a decision: find Caitlin first or Barry. After some reflection, she finally decides to go after Caitlin due to the fact that she is in a more vulnerable position than Barry.

Speaking of Caitlin, Escape Attempt No. 2 is about to commence. In keeping with her compliant act, she made an MRI out of garbage and proceeded to remove the piece of metal out of Dominic’s neck while he is under anesthesia.

Or is he?

As it turns out, Caitlin didn’t hook Dominic up to the anesthetic, instead allowing the sleeping gas to fill up the room and knock everybody out, except for herself and Dominic who were wearing masks. They make a break for the parking lot and seem to be free, but Amunet catches up with them. The good news is that she is still groggy and not at peak fighting condition.

Even better news is that the satellite found Caitlin’s residual cold signature and Cisco breaches himself and Ralph to the scene. Ralph protects Caitlin and Dominic from Amuent’s volley of metal shards and Cisco blasts the villainess with enough force to send her flying. All the good guys escape back to S.T.A.R. Labs, leaving a seriously torqued off Amunet.

Meanwhile, Barry attempts a new method to escape. See, the thing about the Thinker is the fact that although his mind is still lightyears ahead of everyone else, his body is still human. So Barry vibrates too fast for the human eye to see, tricking the Thinker into thinking that the Flash had escaped and open the cell.

It works, the Thinker is taken completely by surprise when the Flash does the unthinkable.

See what I did there? Unthinkable? The Thinker? Yeah.

In any event, Barry escapes (if that is what we are calling it) and attacks the Thinker. So the Thinker teleports into Central City, dragging Barry along with him. Eventually, he tries to attack Barry directly using his chair’s cool octopus-like arms with tasers for hands, but Barry phases through the tasers and they hit the Thinker’s chair, shorting out the hoverchair and sending them all crashing into the river.  

So, everyone who is kidnapped is now freed, although there is still one more kidnapping to take place, that technically doesn’t occur until later, so hang on just a minute.

Team Flash decides that, since DeVoe seems to be dead, the next step is to enjoy the Christmas season at Joe’s house. Everything actually goes really well; Ralph decorated the house, everybody is enjoying being together, and there is not a villain in sight. The only problem that occurs happens when the alarm at Barry and Iris’ loft goes off and the former, assuming it is just an accident, goes to turn it off.

Barry arrives, turns off the alarm and gets a phone call. The call is Dominic, the telepathic metahuman from earlier. Except it isn’t Dominic technically. It is actually the Thinker, reborn in a brand new body. Thus explains Kidnapping No. 3 for this episode.

As it turns out, Amunet caught up with Dominic after he escaped with Caitlin earlier. She re-captured him and turned him over to her buyer, the Mechanic. Then, the Thinker and the Mechanic transferred the former’s mind to Dominic’s body, a procedure made possible through his innate telepathic abilities.

What happens to the Thinker’s old body, you ask? Great question. It is lying, “stabbed” to death on Barry’s carpet, complete with blood spatter and bloodied knife. Yep. Barry is so much under arrest for a murder he didn’t commit it’s not even funny.

So, Barry is about to be locked up, Christmas is somewhat ruined, and the Thinker has a new body.

See you in January.

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Favorite Quotes:

 

“Your tinsel-to-surface ratio is terrible.”  - Harry, criticizing Cisco’s Christmas decorating.

 

“Well, if you don’t want to spend Christmas conning your grandma, you could join you’re friends at the West.. family… party…” – Caitlin, inviting Ralph to the West Family Christmas party before getting no-go signals from Harry and Cisco

 

“Why would he think we need 40 toasters?”

“I dunno, he said there was some kind of fire sale…”

“He stole them.”

“He definitely stole them.” – Iris and Barry coming to a realization about Mick Rory’s wedding present

“You know, a sprinkle of enthusiasm would not kill you.”  - Amunet, trying to encourage Caitlin

“I have not stabbed you, or punched you, or shot you with a piece of metal… today.” – Amunet

*Explained in the Crisis on Earth-X mega Arrowverse crossover.

**Technically four kidnappings happen during this particular story, but one happened before the episode started. Also two of the four are the same, unlucky guy so it doesn’t really count.

***Amuent once kidnapped a metahuman called The Weeper, who cried tears that acted like drugs on other humans (Season 4, Episode 5, “Girls’ Night Out”)

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Infinity War Breakdown

Written By Brian Flinchbaugh

The Avengers: Infinity War trailer just came out and it’s amazing.  This truly looks like the movie we’ve all been waiting ten years for.  It was expectedly light on details, but what can we figure out from the little we got?

If you’re reading this, I assume you’ve seen the trailer, probably more than once.  So, rather than bore you with rehashing every clip we saw, let’s just dive into some analysis.

This movie will pick up where Thor: Ragnarok left off.  Thor, Hulk and Loki watched Thanos’ ship descemd upon them in the end credits scene.  The logical opening of Infinity War is to continue that scene and watch it go very badly for everyone on board.  Thor ends up crashing into the Guardians of the Galaxy, Hulk plummets to Earth, and Loki hands the Tesseract over to Thanos.

That all happens after what promises to be a wild opening sequence.  If this scene happens the way I see it, Thor and crew lose a massive fight with the Black Order to start the film, with only Loki remaining aboard their own ship.  We’ll get our first look at Thanos here as Loki presents him with the Tesseract while explaining that his plan was to deliver it to him from the beginning.  We see no more of Loki, so how Thanos takes this remains to be seen.

Bruce Banner crashes into the Sanctum Sanctorum where he meets Dr. Strange and Wong, much like Silver Surfer did in the comics.  Tony Stark may be there as well.  Bruce will give them their first warning that Thanos is on the way.

Shortly after, I believe Thanos arrives in New York through the wormhole.  Peter Parker witnesses it from his school bus just after discovering his Spidey sense.  Tony, Bruce, Strange and Wong seem to watch from the rubble.  Thanos is likely coming for the Time Stone in Dr. Strange’s Eye of Agomotto.  At this point, Thanos has already the Space Stone from the Tesseract and the Power Stone from the Nova Corps.

We know Vision and Scarlet Witch have advanced in their relationship and are hiding out in Scotland, and Proxima Midnight is going there to fetch Vision’s Mind Stone.  Steve Rogers, Black Widow and Falcon seem to arrive to assist, so here’s what I believe happens.  Remember that phone from Captain America: Civil War?  You know, the one Steve sent to Tony via FedEx, delivered by Stan Lee to “Tony Stank”?  We always knew that Tony was going to use that phone in this movie, and it makes sense that Tony did indeed use it tell Steve to go to Scotland to protect Vision and the Mind Stone.  We do see the stone getting ripped from his forehead, but that doesn’t necessarily mean death.  We see Vision in a human form (sometime after?) this attack occurs.  Maybe we’ll be getting an homage to Vision’s Victor Shade alias from the comics.

We get a pretty good look at the climactic fight scene seemingly taking place in Wakanda.  Black Panther, Captain America (or Nomad), Hulk, Black Widow, Falcon and War Machine are all seen heading into battle with the Wakandan army.  It looks like someone in the Hulkbuster armor is there too.  I’m guessing Tony is the one in that armor, because as long as he’s still alive, that’s where he’d be.  The presence of War Machine also gives me that impression since they’re likely to be side by side in battle.  Here’s the shot of that scene that everyone is talking about, which I guarantee is the battle for the last Infinity Stone.

How amazing does this battle look like it’s going to be?  Not to mention that we see also see glimpses throughout this trailer of Thanos smacking down Iron Man and Spider-Man on what appears to be another planet.

Hawkeye was conspicuously absent from this trailer and we didn’t see the Guardians of the Galaxy nearly as much as we will in the film, but more trailers will be released and new footage will be seen.

Fans have been waiting a long time for this.  Marvel did a fantastic job building the anticipation, even within the trailer itself.  The slow buildup through Nick Fury’s iconic Avengers Initiative speech and then jam-packed action, followed by an end-credits scene of sorts at the end.

What a movie this is going to be.

Brian is the lead writer for Geek Vibes Nation.  Follow him on Twitter @brflinchbaugh

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Why Fox Shouldn't Reboot Wolverine

Written by Brian Flinchbaugh

There’s been some debate recently over whether Fox should recast and reboot Wolverine in its X-Men franchise.

The clear answer is no, for three very good reasons.

First, Hugh Jackman is to Wolverine as Robert Downey Jr. is to Tony Stark; he’s the living embodiment of the character.  After nine movies over seventeen years, Jackman has played the hell out of the character.  Even when some of those movies were subpar, he still stood out, making the best of what he had to work with.  No actor will compare in the public’s mind and is destined to be a disappointment.  It would be unfair to expect anyone to fill shoes that simply cannot be filled.

Second, in this year’s Logan, Wolverine got his proper sendoff.  He got the dignified and emotionally impactful death that an iconic character deserves, and to reboot would lessen the value of that death.  Wolverine was the most loved figure from the X-Men franchise, which is why his death carried so much emotional weight.  Let it be.

Third, Fox already has its Wolverine replacement.  Dafne Keen debuted as X-23, Wolverine’s cloned daughter in Logan and shined in the role.  With a little time travel from Cable, debuting in next year’s Deadpool 2, she can be brought into the current universe and satisfy the desire to have the adamantium-clawed hero on screen.  Sticking her in the X-Force movie would be the perfect way to start.

I know Fox is desperate to keep their X-Men franchise going and they probably question how successful they’ll be without their most iconic character.  But they should be able to continue the franchise by handing the reins over to Deadpool.  He is the future, and they should jump on his back and ride him.

And if Fox can’t manage to sustain the franchise on Deadpool’s back, well, I’m sure Marvel would gladly take the movie rights back.

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Kingsman 2 Review

Kingsman: The Libertarian Series? – An Analysis and Review of Kingsman: The Golden Circle *SPOILERS*

How do I describe the new Kingsman Flick?

Unsurprisingly Surprising.

Now before the Grammar Nazis come to arrest me for that, let me explain…

At base level, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a formula sequel: a hero that has developed significantly from the first film finds conflict between his personal life and job. All the while, chaos again occurs, forcing our brave lad to struggle both internally and externally as he fights to save the world. This film even repeats the original’s plot by putting a character personal to Eggsy in danger along with the rest of humanity, as well as killing off an important character (technically it kills off a lot of people, but anyone who’s seen the trailer already knows that).

Another throwback, the main villain threatens to kill loads of people in the name of social progress…which is where I must branch off.

The Kingsman series are films in which a private intelligence agency created in response to inept governments must protect the world from individuals that want to violently enforce social progress…Libertarianism anyone?

This may seem a stretch, but let’s take a closer look at the sequel.

The villain this time is Poppy (played by Julianne Moore), a drug kingpin who has taken control of the entire market (monopolies are not well-liked by free-market fans). Contaminating the world’s narcotic supply, she takes the planet hostage, demanding that the U.S. legalize all drugs.

At this point, I thought that the film was taking a conservative angle (especially with all the Fox News cameos), but then I saw something that shocked me…political satire.

The president in the film is a morally charged asshole that basically says drug takers are degenerates deserving of their fate, and though he pays lip service to finding a cure, instead plans to bide his time till they all die off since it’ll make the war on drugs easier. He even responds to putting people who are “sick” in literal fucking cages for quarantine (a nice symbol for how addicts are dealt with in our society). This completely contradicts the Libertarian belief that individuals should be free to do as they please so long as it doesn’t harm others.

In other words, don’t use the threat of violence to instill social change, but also don’t hold it back violently for moral reasons…if that ain’t a Libertarian message, I don’t know what is.

Politics aside, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is an entertaining (yet jumbled) popcorn flick. Its characters and action sequences are enjoyable, yet it struggles with a rather jumbled plot structure and repetitive story. I also kind of wished it had the balls to pull an On Her Majesty’s Secret Service style ending, but that’s more of a personal gripe than anything.

Nonetheless, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a fun way to waste around two hours this weekend.

Rating: Alright in My Book

Film Buff is a writer for Geek Vibes Nation, as well as the creator of the channel Barenaked Flicks. Check him out on Twitter for review requests and other cinema fun!

 

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