Tagged: Bryan Cranston

Ed Catto: Geek Culture Wins with an Intramural Pickup Game

Avengers Annual2justice-league-of-america-56It’s been a month of big wins for Geek Culture, both domestically and internationally. Last weekend, we celebrated the 15th Year of Free Comic Book Day. FCBD was sparked by Joe Field’s sweet tooth and love of Free Ice Cream Cone Day and has now grown into a worldwide phenomenon. In anticipation of it all, there were articles like this from the Guardian helping Brits find the best Free Comic Book Day Comic Shops in the UK. And you might have read my column last week. I covered the enthusiasm of thousands of FCBD fans in metro NYC.

The other big news was the astounding box office results for the new movie, Captain America: Civil War. This picture’s opening weekend was $181.8 million, making it the best debut of any movie this year, and ensuring it will be one of 2016’s biggest successes. Worldwide, it’s a similar story, and the international box office embraced the picture with an additional $496.6 million.

Much has been written about Warner’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The distinguished competition tried to steal a few pages from Marvel’s cinematic playbook and they enjoyed strong box office revenue. But they also suffered through fan backlash and critical analysis.  Many feel that like a car crash, there was an urge to slow down and check it out. Did fans begrudgingly see the movie? One critic nailed it with the phrase “The Cinema of Obligation.”

Avengers SSCMy Little Pony vs Adenture TimeThis third Captain America movie debuted as the U.S. is coming to grips with a contentious national election. So many voters complain that they don’t like either presidential candidate, and the negative ratings that pollsters report confirm that.

But Geek Culture has known a secret for a long time. You don’t have to hate the “other guy” during an argument. In comics, you can call it a Civil War or you can call it an unfortunate misunderstanding. In Geek Culture when the good guys fight, it’ s more likely there’s been some miscommunication that leads to a short-term conflict. But in the end, they patch up their differences and their friendships supersede their temporary conflict.

The visual of super heroes, who are usually friends, squaring off against one another was a central part of this movie’s marketing. These visuals have been around for a long time. I’ve peppered this article with a few favorites.

Avengers SSCOrdway JLA vs JSALast week, actor Bryan Cranston was educating Bill Maher (!) on how a generation ago, Washington’s social events would routinely include folks from both sides of the aisles. They’d duke it out all day on issues like segregation, then get together for cocktails (with their spouses) and exchange stories about their families. They became friendly off the battlefield of politics.

That’s kind of the way it has always worked in comics, and I wish people passionate about politics would learn a thing or two.

NY Times critic A.O. Scott observed that Captain America: Civil War was less of a civil war and more of an intramural basketball pickup game. He was right. And that’s what makes it so much fun and so successful.

Mindy Newell: Late Sunday Night Ramblings


Went out to dinner tonight – that’s last night now – with Editor Mike, where I discovered that Mr. Gold does not like broccoli rabe. It’s a case of false advertising, people – Mikey, it turns out, does not eat anything. Personally, I think he’s nuts. Give me a plate of broccoli rabe, a loaf of fresh-out-of-the oven crusty Italian bread, a nice Merlot or Pinot Noir, and that’s what I call a meal!

Watched the trailer for Trumbo over the weekend, starring Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Ellie Fanning, John Goodman, Diane Lane, Alan Tudyk, Louis C.K., and Helen Mirren, which is hitting theatres in October. One of Hollywood’s greatest screenwriters, Dalton Trumbo’s early credits included Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and Kitty Foyle. He also wrote the classic anti-war novel, Johnny Got His Gun. In 1947, Trumbo was one of the Hollywood Ten who refused to testify before the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), and so was blacklisted from the movie industry – although he “unofficially” won two Academy Awards – for The Brave One and Roman Holiday – during this period, the first under the pseudonym of Robert Rich, the second through a “front.” It wasn’t until 1960, when Kirk Douglas publicly announced that he had hired Dalton Trumbo to write the screenplay for Spartacus and Otto Preminger went public in revealing that Dalton Trumbo was the true writer of Exodus, that the blacklist started to crack.

When President John F. Kennedy crossed the American Legion picket lines protesting Trumbo’s involvement with Spartacus and entered the theatre to watch the film, the blacklist was over. But it wasn’t until 1993, after the screenwriter had died, that the Academy awarded him an Oscar for Roman Holiday, and it took until 2011 that the Writers Guild of America gave Trumbo full credit for the screenplay.

Bottom line, guys – go see this movie.

Regarding comics, I’m currently reading two with the same title: Strange Fruit. Yes, one of them is the comic that caused all the “hub-bub” a few weeks ago, even though that particular comic was not about Waid and Jones’s work but about political correctness and how I find that offensive, although I admit that got lost in the translation of my thoughts to the keyboard. The other is a graphic collection of, as the sub-title says, Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History. It’s by Joel Christian Gill. Stay tuned for my thoughts about both – political correctness will not be required, nor, do I need to say, should not be expected.

Listening to a soundtrack titled Doctor Who Epic Soundtrack 50th Anniversary Music Mix, which I found on YouTube and was complied by Juan Sam. Big Shout Out!!!!! to this guy. Running two hours and change, it is absolutely fantastic… as the Ninth Doctor would say. I heartily, strongly, robustly urge you to seek this out. Not only is it fabulous to write to – along with a nice buzz from that nice dinner Merlot – but also a tremendous means to get your Whovian mojo up and running for the September 19th premiere of Capaldi’s second season as our favorite Time Lord. And btw, just “Who” is Maisie Williams playing?

The Doctor: You

Maise Williams’s Character: What took you so long, old man?

Is it possible that she is Susan, the Galifreyan’s granddaughter?

Opinions are welcomed and valued.

I haven’t gotten into any political rants lately, unless you count the “hub-bub” column, and I do have a lot to say about Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton and Mr. Biden, et. al. But like the title of this column says, it’s late Sunday night and my buzz is wearing off, so it’ll have to wait. Not to worry. I’m sure the shenanigans that we call our elective process will continue to give me lots of fodder in the coming weeks.

See ya!