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Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors Season Premiere Sunday Has Spider-Man Join the Avengers
August 30, 2014

Sunday at 9 AM (8 AM Central time), Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors debuts its new season on Disney XD with a two-part episode guest-starring the Avengers. “The Avenging Spider-Man: Parts One and Two” features Spider-Man getting a spot on the premiere superhero team. But then Loki finds out, and the results are described as

Spider-Man’s dream of joining The Avengers becomes a nightmare when Loki switches bodies with the web-slinger, turning his new teammates against him. Will Spidey ever be able to save his reputation after Loki uses his body to wage war against his new teammates and New York City?

Here’s a clip with some amusing video-game imagery, and my fave, Fin Fang Foom. Spider-Man is voiced by Drake Bell while J. Jonah Jameson carries over from the movies by using J.K. Simmons.

In part two, “Spider-Man and his friends team up with The Avengers to stop Loki and Doctor Octopus from using an army of Venomized monsters to destroy New York City. Spider-Man’s new and old worlds must join forces to destroy these monsters! But which team will Spidey choose to fight alongside when the battle is over?” The Web Warriors, in case you didn’t know, are made up of Nova, Iron Fist, Power Man, and White Tiger. In this clip, Iron Man faces off with Doctor Octopus. Even when getting beat up, Tony Stark never loses his charm.

Arrow Season 2 Comes to DVD
August 29, 2014

Arrow: The Complete Second Season is due out on Blu-ray (or DVD) on September 16.

I found the first season a pleasant surprise. I haven’t been as big a fan of the second, primarily due to not loving the Deathstroke plot and the continuing island flashbacks, although it’s good to see more done with Black Canary and other female characters.

The second season home releases contain 23 episodes, the “Year One” recap episode, commentary, three behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, six mini-webisodes, and a gag reel. Here’s star Stephen Amell as Arrow discussing the season’s big bad, Deathstroke, with Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson).

This clip shows more of the supporting cast — Thea “Speedy” Queen (Willa Holland), Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). Such pretty people on this show!

Metafiction Sends ABC Down the Rabbit Hole With Derrick Storm Series
August 21, 2014

I’m stunned by this news. I thought it was weird enough reading the Richard Castle novels — someone wrote a TV show starring a writer, and then the company released books referenced on the TV show supposedly by that writer that were more stories that could have been plots on the series, but with another level of fictionalization. Where’s the thesis on all this about self-referentiality and postmodernism?

But wait, there are more than one series of works by Richard Castle — in addition to the “Nikki Heat” books, there are “Derrick Storm” books, which was the series we see him concluding at the beginning of the Castle show. (And I’m not even mentioning the various comics and graphic novels with the character.) Those books are spy thrillers, so I haven’t read them.

Now Variety reports that ABC is developing a Derrick Storm series for television. Although executive producer and Castle creator Andrew Marlowe has moved on from that series as it prepares to launch season 7, he and wife Terri Edda Miller will be producing this new show in conjunction with Gregory Poirier, who is writing the pilot.

Of All the Gin Joints
August 17, 2014

Out next month is a wonderful read for anyone interested in Hollywood history and/or alcohol — and really, can the two be separated?

Mark Bailey has assembled in one volume short profiles of movie stars and writers, particularly those notable for how much they imbibed; their often notorious incidents involving drinking; descriptions of famous clubs and watering holes from the past; scenes from classic movies affected by alcohol; and classic cocktail recipes. I wanted to try them all, from the Cocoanut Grove to the Orange Blossom to the Vesper Martini!

Of All the Gin Joints — title taken, of course, from the famous Bogart line from Casablanca — is an excellent time capsule, evoking memories of Hollywood from its earliest days up through the 1970s. The saddest part of the book is how some of the landmarks, gloriously described, no longer exist, replaced by apartments or strip malls.

(The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)

New Movie Strategy: Avoid a Bad Rep by Retitling
August 16, 2014

I find this vaguely clever, since I still want to see the Tom Cruise/ Emily Blunt science fiction movie Edge of Tomorrow when it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on October 7. And I agree that the title is terrible, since it sounds like an old soap opera.

Vox.com is reporting that Warner Brothers is doing its best to rename the movie for home markets, using the previous tagline “Live. Die. Repeat.” as if it was the movie’s title. You can see that at Amazon Instant Video, for example, where the preorder is titled Live. Die. Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. (The same is true on iTunes.) The Blu-ray is still listed under the original title, but as you can see from the packaging, they’re working on creating a different impression on the casual buyer. Clever!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Gag Reel
August 14, 2014

To promote the DVD release of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 next month, Disney has released this blooper-filled gag reel showing the stars blowing lines, having prop problems, and breaking up.

I always find these types of things interesting, because they humanize the actors behind the characters.



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