Jul 23, 2017

Random Nerdery: Stranger Things, Thor: Ragnarok, Blade Runner 2049, Young Justice & more

Cool news and trailers coming out of Comic-Con 2017, plus more.

While I was on vacation, the San Diego Comic-Con started, so I’ve been scrambling to get caught up on all of the announcements, trailers, and other bits of nerdery emerging from the convention. Here are some of the juiciest and most noteworthy bits so far, plus some extra things.

Stranger Things: Season 2

Return to Hawkins, Indiana, and Netflix’s cult smash hit on October 27, 2017. In this first official trailer, we clearly see that Will Byers isn’t over his time in the Upside Down — he’s having horrible visions of something even more sinister than the demogorgon. Toss in some wonderfully rendered ’80s references (e.g., Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Ghostbusters, Dragon’s Lair), the apparent return of Eleven (whose backstory will be explored more in the second season), and lots of creepy occurrences, and the Halloween season can’t arrive soon enough this year.


Thor: Ragnarok

The Thor movies have never been too interesting to me, but that’s mainly because the character has never been too interesting to me. That being said, I cannot wait for Thor: Ragnarok. The first trailer looked like all kinds of crazy awesome, and this second Comic-Con trailer ups the crazy awesome even moreso. I love the movie’s aesthetic, which taps into the same colorful vibe as the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, as well as a similar sense of humor.

Since it sounds like the upcoming Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War movies will take the Marvel Cinematic Universe into some darker, more serious territory, Thor: Ragnarok looks to bring some nice levity to balance things out.


Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies of all time, a definite “Desert Island Movie” if I ever had to compile such a list. As such, I’ve always been very leery about the idea of a sequel, because why mess with perfection. But everything I’ve seen so far of Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 looks amazing; even if the story is subpar, it’ll be worth it just to get swept up in the movie’s lush, overwhelming visuals. As for that storyline, which was written in part by original Blade Runner scribe Hampton Fancher, things aren’t looking too good for human/replicant relations, with a potential war looming on the horizon.


The Shape of Water

Anything from Guillermo del Toro is going to pique my curiosity. His latest film looks like a twist on The Creature From the Black Lagoon, with its story of a woman working at a secret government facility who develops some sort of relationship with a strange amphibious creature. Throw in a Cold War setting and paranoia, and some excellent casting (Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon), and The Shape of Water looks like it’ll be another darkly beautiful fairy tale from the man behind The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth. (And of course, one can’t help but wonder if the creature we see in the trailer has any relationship to the Hellboy’s Abe Sapien.)


DuckTales

For those of us of a certain age, DuckTales is indelibly stamped into our subconscious mind, from the catchy opening theme to the color animation to the madcap and zany storylines. I was able to introduce my kids to a couple of episodes (back when it was streaming on Amazon Prime), and I found it just as fun and enjoyable as I did when I was a kid.

Obviously, any reboot of a beloved title is going to be fraught with possibilities to screw things up, but the DuckTales reboot seems to be doing everything right, beginning with the casting (David Tennant, Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, Bobby Moynihan) to the inclusion of beloved side characters like Gizmoduck (voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda) and Darkwing Duck.


Young Justice: Outsiders

While a lot of the focus might be on the news surrounding the upcoming Justice League, Flash, and Aquaman movies — to be fair, that new Justice League trailer does look pretty neat — I’m more interested by the news of Young Justice’s upcoming third season. Set in an alternate continuity, Young Justice focuses on DC’s younger characters, including Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Nightwing, and Aqualad.

The lack of the main DC superheroes might seem like a liability, but the first seasons of Young Justice (currently streaming on Netflix) are quite excellent in their own right. Unfortunately, when Young Justice’s third season airs next year, it’ll be on DC’s own streaming service, but hopefully it’ll eventually make it to Netflix.

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