Last week while I was reading about hurricane Patricia, my mind drifted and I started thinking about hurricanranas. The first time I saw the move was in a match between two Japanese wrestlers. I couldn’t believe what I saw! At the time, mat wrestling and power moves were the norm in pro-wrestling. Jimmy Snuka’s superfly splash was as dynamic as it got. Years later, Scott Steiner popularized the move on American wrestling programs; it was the same deal — lots of wrestling fans couldn’t believe the move. These days, hurricanranas are fairly common, but they still get a nice pop from the crowd. Today’s Coffee Talk is about your favorite hurricanrana. Please let me know which wrestler you think does it best and, if you can remember, your reaction to the first hurricanrana you ever saw.
As for me, I’m torn between two variations of the hurricanrana. First up is Dragon Kid’s Dragonrana. It’s a top-rope somersault into a hurricanrana. The move requires great timing from both wrestlers, particularly the receiver. In order for Dragon Kid to change momentum and make the move aesthetically appealing, the receiver has to executive a powerful flip. Check it out the Dragonrana below.
Next up is the tope con hilo hurricanrana. Part of me loves the move simply because I often refer to it as the Cornholio hurricanrana and imagine Beavis doing it. It’s similar to the Dragonrana, but the tope con hilo hurricanrana has the opponent on the floor and the executor starting inside the ring. Many fans think of it as a suicide senton into a hurricanrana. The tope con hilo hurricanrana is arguably more dynamic than the Dragonrana, but I find the former more impressive because the latter gives the receiver a few seconds to adjust for mistakes. Check out the tope con hilo hurricanrana below, performed by WWE Superstar Neville when he was known as Pac.
Now it’s your turn! Kindly let me know about your favorite hurricanrana and your first hurricanrana experience. In case you need a refresher, check out the clip below with ten excellent ‘ranas.
The newest trailer for the Jessica Jones series on Netflix is exactly what I want from the show. It has the dark and moody tone that made the Alias comics so striking. Jessica Jones is not your typical idealistic superhero that always looks on the bright side of life. She’s flawed and damaged, running away from a career as a superhero and trying her luck as a private investigator (fueled by alcoholic beverages). The trailer, embedded below, shows all of that and more.
Featuring prominently in the clip is Luke Cage. The hero formerly known as Power Man, Cage becomes Jessica Jones’ confidante, lover, and husband. Underneath numerous super villain attacks and the occasional superhero civil war, the two have one of the most realistic relationships in comics. They clearly love each other deeply, but they also struggle. I’m curious to see how the relationship is portrayed in the Netflix series.
The best part of the trailer is Zebediah Killgrave. Known as Purple Man in the comics (I’m not sure if the Netflix series will use such a silly name), this villain uses mind control for some truly messed up activities. As in Alias, it appears that Killgrave used his powers to torment Jessica Jones in numerous ways. She’s still traumatized by the experience and she’s haunted by Killgrave every day of her life. When Killgrave was announced for the series, I wondered if the show would go as far with him as they did in the comics. The trailer strongly suggests that Netflix Killgrave is just as f*cked up as comics Killgrave.
As a fan of the character, I really enjoyed the Jessica Jones trailer. Some of my friends are down on Krysten Ritter, saying that she doesn’t have the right attitude or body type for Jess. After seeing the trailer, I couldn’t care less about that. The tone looks correct and I can’t wait to to binge-watch the messed up adventures of a super-powered PI when the series hits on November 20.
Earlier in the week, The Late Show With Stephen Colbertfeatured music from The Legend of Zelda played by The Symphony of the Goddesses. Colbert has had several nerdy guests on his show, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. As a nerd, I absolutely love that The Late Show With Stephen Colbert has had tech and gaming segments. Considering that many of his viewers grew up as gamers and technology is more mainstream than ever, it makes sense for his audience. Still, I was surprised (pleasantly) that his show’s guests have been so nerd-friendly.
Changing the channel to NBC, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has been a disappointment in terms of nerd content. When the comedian hosted Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, guests from gaming and tech were common. Off the top of my head, I recall Kudo Tsunodo giving a demo of Xbox Kinect, Cliff Bleszinski showing off Gears of War 3, and journalist Josh Topolsky talking tech gear on the show. For whatever reason, these types of guests have largely been absent from The Tonight Show. Perhaps the producers felt that gaming and tech content weren’t appropriate for the “big” show. Perhaps some hack executive mandated that Fallon go with traditional guests that have movies, music, and TV shows to promote. Whatever the reason, it’s disappointing that Fallon has mostly abandoned nerdy programming.
The unfortunate programming choices on The Tonight Show, have made me appreciate the guests on The Late Show. Hearing the wonderful music from Zelda on a late night talk show was brilliant. Watching CEOs of the companies that make products and offer services that I love (or in Tesla’s case, dream about) was outstanding. It’s fantastic that these types of segments are mixed in with the overly polished “artists” promoting their latest movie, album, tour, TV show season, etc. When Colbert debuted on Comedy Central, I was delightfully surprised by his mix of comedy, intelligence, and satire. With The Late Show, he has delightfully surprised me with his nerdy guests. Keep ’em coming, Mr. Colbert!
Canon is a touchy subject for nerds. Fundamentalists loathe when their beloved sci-fi and fantasy properties are taken in different directions by creators of non-canonical works. Others appreciate when established properties are taken in all-new, all-different directions. Today I want to talk about a few nerd-specific cases of canon and hear your feelings on the matter.
Star Wars: Let’s kick things of with one of the hugest nerd properties in existence. Many Star Wars fans were delighted by tales of the Expanded Universe (EU). The EU had several excellent Star Wars books written by several great authors. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm, it wiped out the existing EU and rebranded it as Star Wars Legends. Shortly after that decision was made, Disney created its own EU.
Many Star Wars fans were outraged by the move. They loved the books and felt robbed that they were no longer part of the proper Star Wars universe. While I empathize with that point of view, killing the previous EU didn’t bother me. I enjoyed the many Star Wars books I read and nothing can take that away. It doesn’t matter that these stories are no longer “official.” They entertained me and that hasn’t changed.
Gotham: Yesterday in the RPadTV Google Hangout, the Gotham television show was briefly discussed. This reimagining of a pre-Batman Gotham is controversial among nerds. Some people hate that Batman’s rogues gallery was up and operating well before the Dark Knight arrived to Gotham. I believe it was RPadholic Smartguy that said that having Joker without Batman doesn’t make any sense.
I definitely agree with the sentiment that having most of Batman’s villains in pre-Batman Gotham is silly. Like many comic-book fanboys, I am of the opinion that superheroes and villains fit into a nerdy chicken-and-egg scenario. Gotham is full of weird villains because some rich guy in a bat costume started being a vigilante there. Having these colorful criminals established in Gotham before his arrival doesn’t make sense to me.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t bother me that Gotham isn’t canon. What bothers me is that it’s a crappy show. The writing is trite and the acting is mediocre to poor. Bruce Wayne once said that criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot. Apparently they’re middling television actors too.
Marvel Secret Wars: Closing things out is Marvel’s Secret Wars crossover series. Due to a confluence of ridiculous events, the Marvel multiverse has become a singular mashup. The past few months of Marvel stories featured reimagined worlds and reimagined characters. All of this will lead up to the all-new, all-different Marvel Universe.
I have a few problems with the Secret Wars. The obvious one is that most of the stories aren’t very good. The secondary problem is that the crossover event interrupted several books that I was enjoying. Lastly, none of these stories matter in a canonical sense. The Marvel Universe is going to reboot and my time has been wasted with months of filler stories. While part of my problem with Secret Wars has to do with canon, most of it is that the damn thing is taking too long and most of the writing has been forgettable.
Your Take: Looking back at what I just wrote, I suppose canon doesn’t matter much to me. A good story is a good story, whether it’s official or not. Naturally, I want to hear your thoughts on nerd canon. Feel free to use the examples above or bring up any of your own. Do you place a high value on canon? Or is something entertaining simply entertaining?
Marvel has released a teaser trailer for the upcoming Jessica Jones series on Netflix and announced its release date. Following up on the success of Daredevil, Jessica Jones is the second direct-to-Netflix series from Marvel. The current plan is to release Luke Cage and Iron First series before the four heroes team up in The Defenders. Jessica Jones will be released on November 20, 2015. Similar to Daredevil, all 13 one-hour episodes will be available at once, so plan your binge-watching accordingly.
As for Jessica Jones, she was a reluctant superhero that retired due to a traumatic experience. She went onto a successful career as a private investigator, as well as a reporter for the Daily Bugle, before serving as a supporting character in various Avengers books. Her stories are very unique, with dark and mature twists. It was fun reading Jessica’s transformation from a b-list hero to a victim to a confident woman to a kick-ass mother. Her books are some of the most “real” stories in the Marvel Universe.
While the Jessica Jones trailer doesn’t reveal much, the visual style is striking and reminiscent of the Alias comics the character starred in. Like her future teammates in The Defenders, Jess is considered a “street-level” hero in the books. I expect the series to dark, to keep things consistent with Daredevil and to reflect the character’s nature (and also because lighting is expensive!).
I’m really looking forward to Jessica Jones for several reasons. I’m a fan of the character and I enjoyed the Daredevil show. I’m anxious to see how Marvel continues its Netflix buildup to The Defenders. Even though I’m familiar with her story, I’m already rooting for Jess to overcome her dark past and emerge stronger than ever. Sadly, one of my favorite aspects of the character won’t be seen on Netflix; I love how she looks at her superhero career as a failure, but the young Marvel heroes are all Jessica Jones fanboys. After you check out the trailer below, be sure to check out the Young Avengers panel under the trailer so you can see firsthand what Jessica Jones fanboys are like. And when you’re done with that, kindly let me know how you feel about Marvel’s Jessica Jones series on Netflix. Excited?!? Ambivalent?!? Hate it already?!? Leave a comment and let me know (please!).
I keep watching this clip of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart from the finale of The Daily Show. It has quickly become one of my favorite television moments from the last decade. The exchange between the two fantastic comedians was hilarious, touching, and skillful — lots of emotions packed into a five-minute bit. It starts off with an outstanding Lord of the Rings analogy by Colbert and turns into an off-book show of appreciation. The second half was especially excellent — one of the most earnest and genuine tributes I’ve ever seen on TV.
Aside from the great humor and heartwarming gratitude, I was impressed with Colbert’s steadiness during the second half of the clip. Stewart made halfhearted attempts to escape the adulation by scooting away in his chair several times. Colbert countered each move and, for the most part, didn’t miss a beat. I was just really impressed by how Colbert kept the tribute going while zipping around on a chair. Most comedians would have fallen out of the chair.
The tribute ended with a group hug among Stewart and the majority of The Daily Show’s correspondents (sadly, no Beth Littleford). You could tell that everyone was truly appreciative of what Stewart and The Daily Show did for their careers and lives…except for Olivia Munn. She was busy pretending that she gave a sh*t about anyone else on stage.
Anyway, check out the clip below when you have a chance. If you caught The Daily Show finale, please let me know what you favorite part was in the comments section.
7 Days is Hell is a wonderfully absurd and surprisingly raunchy made-for-TV short film currently playing on HBO. Starring Andy Samberg and Kit Harington as a pair of polar opposite tennis players, the movie is a mockumentary that skewers so many things — tennis, sports documentaries, Sweden, sports moms, British talkshows, the Queen of England, and more. Although 7 Days in Hell parodies a wide variety of topics, director Jake Szymanski does an admirable job of keeping the movie focused. If you’re a fan of tennis or sports documentaries (think HBO Sports numerous documentaries and ESPN’s 30 for 30 series) and don’t mind smutty humor then you should definitely give 7 Days in Hell a shot.
Andy Samberg does most of the heavy lifting in 7 Days in Hell as Aaron Williams. The adopted brother of tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams, Aaron is a physical pastiche of Andre Agassi, but with the personality of John McEnroe…with the lewdness cranked up to 11. Samberg does a fantastic job of playing a character that’s brash and obnoxious, but charming and vulnerable enough that you don’t hate him.
On the other side of the net is Kit Harington’s Charles Poole. Trained to be a tennis superstar since he was a child, Poole has a terror of a sports mom and few redeeming qualities outside of his athleticism. While Samberg owns many of the scenes in 7 Days in Hell, Harington was pleasantly subtle as Poole. Best known as the heroic Jon Snow on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Harington plays a character that’s wonderfully dim and vacant — the perfect contrast to the over-the-top Williams.
In order to make 7 Days in Hell feel like an authentic sports documentary, there are several cameos from athletes, analysts, and newscasters. Serena Williams, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, Soledad O’Brien, and Jim Lampley help make the movie seem like a real HBO sports production. Fred Armisen and Will Forte help make fun of the overly serious tone of many sports documentaries as a pair of fictitious tennis historians. Rounding out the cast are a bunch of characters playing themselves in a tongue-in-cheeks manner, including magician David Copperfield and movie star Dolph Lundgren. Without spoiling anything, their involvement in 7 Days in Hell is most excellent.
As a fan of the game of tennis and someone that has watched dozens of sports documentaries, I had a feeling that I’d enjoy 7 Days in Hell. The movie was different from what I was expecting. It’s far more crass and sexual than I thought it would be, but the real surprise was how deftly the director managed the short film’s tone. I was very, very impressed by how seamlessly 7 Days in Hell alternated between crass humor and witty satire. Juggling the two contrasting forms of comedy into a congruous experience is difficult and director Jake Szymanski handled things excellently.
While I love the pomp and circumstance of Wimbledon, 7 Days of Hell is a refreshing take on a sport that many view as stuffy and elitist. While the over-the-top humor will appeal to many viewers, the real joy of the film will be had by those that know tennis and sports documentaries. That said, the mockingly serious take on an absurd situation featuring two absurd characters is so good, that there’s a chance 7 Days in Hell will be enjoyed by people that don’t like sports at all. With a runtime of 43 minutes, I recommend giving the movie a shot. If you like it, I recommend watching it again because there’s a lot of subtle and background humor that you’ll probably miss the first time around.
If you’ve watched 7 Days in Hell, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Please share your musings in the comments section. Now excuse me, as I’m about to give the movie a third viewing.
I’ve discovered that the cure to fluctuating between depression and ennui is watching Shia LaBeouf “Do It!!!” videos. The original motivational speech was entertaining on its own, but when you add it to various scenes in movies and television, it becomes pure gold. The following are a bunch of my favorite Shia LaBeouf “Do It!!!” juxtapositions.
Next up is Goku building up a “spirit bomb” to take down Frieza in Dragon Ball Z. Forget a power level that’s over 9,000. With Shia LaBeouf in your corner, your power level will easily exceed 9,000,000.
Even the King of Pop needed help back in his day. Forget “Beat It.” It’s all about “Do It!!!”
While Harry Potter achieved ordinary wizarding levels (OWLs) on his own, Shia LaBeouf helped The Boy Who Lived take it to next level in this epic showdown. I don’t know that Potter could’ve taken down Lord Voldemort in The Goblet of Fire without the extra motivation.
Shia LaBeouf can also help when grisly acts are required, as seen in Rorschach’s grand finale in The Watchmen.
Last, but not least, Shia LaBeouf has chosen a side in the conflict between Batman and Superman.
After a trio of binge-watching sessions, I finally got around to finishing Daredevil on Netflix. The first of several direct-to-Netflix series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), all 13 episodes of Daredevil were released on the streaming service on April 10, 2015. A few of you RPadholics and many of my friends binge-watched the show over the release weekend, but I spaced out my viewing sessions (partially to savor it and partially due to other commitments). After finishing Daredevil and thinking about it for a day, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really, really enjoyed the series, but absolutely love what it does for the MCU. I’ll break down my likes and dislikes below, but first a bit on why I love what Daredevil means for the future of the MCU.
As I mentioned, Daredevil is the first of several Marvel series coming to Netflix. For various reasons, the company chose Netflix to highlight its “street level” superheroes. Following Daredevil, Netflix will have shows starring Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron First. While the Avengers combat alien invasions, Captain America battles giant Nazi organizations, and Thor faces off against demigods, the street level heroes fight everyday crime. Daredevil beats on muggers, Luke Cage fights gangs, Jessica Jones has a private investigation firm, and Iron First has girly yellow slippers. I love that this facet of Marvel is being explored. While these heroes aren’t as powerful as a Norse god or a man in billion-dollar armor, they’re easier to relate to and arguably more interesting because of their vulnerabilities. The street level heroes are a brilliant contrast to the Avengers and help diversify the MCU.
I also love that all 13 episodes were released at once on Netflix. Yeah, you don’t have the weekly water-cooler chats about the show, but I love that I can watch as much Daredevil as I please whenever I please. People love to binge-watch these days and being able to binge-watch a brand new show is very, very cool.
Now let’s move on to some random thoughts (binary style!) about Daredevil. I know that many of you have finished the show already and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Please share them in the comments section. Now activating binary mode. (Activate your spoiler shields!)
Good: I’m sure some parents’ and/or Christian groups will be appalled that I’m celebrating Daredevil’s violence, but that aspect of the show was unique compared to the violence in the MCU movies. Sure, Cap, Thor, and the gang take their fair share of punches, but the violence in Daredevil is far more bone-crunching. There are several episodes where you think the hero’s powers aren’t enhanced senses, but the ability to absorb a decade’s worth of ass-kicking in 30 minutes or less. Daredevil takes several beatings throughout the 13 episodes and unlike a Norse god getting smacked by a frost giant, you can imagine what those beatings were like.
Daredevil gives as good as he gets too (otherwise, he’d be dead after two episodes). The beatings Daredevil doles out are straight-up nasty and Kingpin’s use of a car door makes me a little bit scared of my Ford Focus Electric. Appropriately, the street level heroes face street level violence.
Bad: Television shows have a certain rhythm, usually planned around commercial breaks. Since direct-to-Netflix shows don’t have such annoyances, the directors are liberated. In some cases, the unusual pacing can be pleasantly surprising. In others, there are dull stretches. While I liked Daredevil’s lack of predictable beats, there were several episodes that could have been better with more traditional pacing. Sometimes giving directors and editors freedom isn’t the best.
Good: Kingpin absolutely ruled. Between Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance and the material he had to work with, this version of Kingpin is my favorite live-action portrayal of a comic-book villain ever. I’ve never watched a villain so nuanced and layered. D’Onofrio’s Kingpin was powerful, gentle, ruthless, caring, maniacal, child like, romantic, and sadistic. Sure, he had 13 episodes to develop the character, but his performance was flat-out impressive no matter how you slice it. It’s awesome how you can find be terrified of Kingpin in one scene and feel sorry him in a scene where he’s on an awkward date.
Bad: While Kingpin owned and the supporting cast was strong, I found Charlie Cox a little bland. In the comics, I enjoy reading as much about Matt Murdock as I do his alter ego. In the show, I couldn’t wait for Murdock to put on his costume and kick some ass. Part of it has to do with Cox’s stupid grin, which is just asking to be smacked. It’s not that he was bad; I just found the rest of the cast more entertaining.
Good: As I mentioned in the last paragraph, the supporting cast was strong. My favorite episode was probably the seventh, which featured Daredevil’s trainer Stick. I love this character in the comics and was thrilled to see him on television. Scott Glenn’s interpretation of stick was lots of fun.
A close second was the tenth episode, “Nelson vs. Murdock.” In the previous episodes, I enjoyed Elden Henson’s version of Foggy Nelson, but he killed it in this one. It would have been easy and lazy to rely on Foggy purely as comic relief. Having him challenge Matt — questioning his existence as Daredevil and their decades-long friendship — made for a powerful episode.
Good: There were lots of cute nods to fans of the comics. I loved the crack about Vanessa dating a guy that wore white suits with purple cravats (Kingpin’s traditional outfit in the comics). Mentions of the Greek girl Matt dated in college set the ground for a future appearance by Elektra. While Karen Page was victimized throughout the series, the use of heroin in the show made me worry that the writers will follow the books and make her an addict in the future. While they were forgettable asides for people new to Daredevil, they were also nice bits for longtime fans of the character to hear.
Bad: As expected, Daredevil took a few episodes to come together. The first few episodes ranged from decent to good. It wasn’t until the fifth episode that Daredevil really took off.
Good: Rosario Dawson is amazingly sexy.
Bad: Poor Ben Urich. I was hoping to see him in the upcoming Spider-Man reboot, but his MCU version is no more. (Note to RPadholic Smartguy: Why aren’t you complaining about Daredevil Ben Urich being black?!? :p)
Good: I loved the way that the first season ended. Ultimately, it was about Wilson Fisk throwing away his altruistic (though misguided) side and truly becoming the Kingpin, just as much as it was about Matt Murdock finding his way (and an honest tailor) and fully becoming Daredevil. It was a great build that left me wanting more. On a side note, I’ve always wondered why other superheroes never messed with Daredevil on April 1, replacing his red costume with a turquoise and fuchsia getup…but perhaps that’s just me.
Good: While I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Daredevil is the best part of the MCU (which some others have proclaimed), I very much enjoyed the show and love that it laid the groundwork for future street level exploits. Bring on Jewel Jessica Jones!
Last week, I made the decision to cut the cord and cancel my AT&T U-Verse TV service. The recent launch of HBO Now and the fairly recent launch of Sling TV precipitated the change. With those two streaming television services, I have access to Game of Thrones, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, ESPN, and the first few rounds of the NBA playoffs — vital parts of my TV consumption. My existing Netflix (comp account) and Amazon Prime subscriptions already provide a great selection of movie and television content. HBO Now and Sling TV give me even more to choose from — certainly more than I need. When you add up all the subs, it’s still cheaper than my monthly U-Verse TV package.
One week in and I’m a happy camper. The Game of Thrones premiere streamed without a hitch, I’ve got my weekly dose of John Oliver, my lunchtime break of Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption continues, and I get to watch NBA games. While people had problems with Sling TV during March Madness and some people had issues with Game of Thrones on HBO Now last night, those services have been working flawlessly for me. I’m getting almost all the content I want and saving money!
Of course there are things that I’ll miss. Chief among them is live boxing. Unfortunately, HBO Now doesn’t feature the network’s live sports broadcasts. Showtime also has a bunch of live fights that I’d like to see. Since I’m no longer a U-Verse subscriber, I won’t have access to boxing pay-per-view events. Hopefully a solution will present itself in the future. For now, I’ll just have to go to bars or make drop-in visits to friends with cable in order to enjoy boxing. Keep in mind that all of this was expected. Being a hardcore boxing fan is really expensive. You need a cable or satellite subscription, premium networks, and pay-per-view to follow the sport live.
Cutting the cord has been liberating. It’s cheaper and (for the way I like to watch television) better. Yeah, I’ll be lumped in with those Silver Lake hipsters that love to brag about how they cut the cord years ago, but it only made sense for me now. Game of Thrones has been my favorite TV show for the last four years and there’s a bunch of other HBO content that I love (despite the presence of the wretched Olivia Munn). HBO Now gives me all of that. With baseball kicking off and the NBA playoffs starting, this is my favorite time of the year for sports. Sling TV has me covered. Watching TV solely through streaming services is less expensive and kind of cool in that “Hey, look at me! I’m a futurist!” way. For my television habits, Netflix and Amazon Prime were a great start, but HBO Now and Sling TV sealed the deal.
I know that RPadholic Smartguy has cut the cord. Care to give an update on how your experience is going? For you other guys and dolls, what would it take for you to cancel your traditional cable service and go full streaming? Leave a comment and let me know (please)!