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PODCAST | Stranger Things 3! Spider-Man: Far From Home! We pit the two biggest events of the summer against each other… and only one will walk away (with our money).
PLUS: We welcome Diversity Con founder Ramon Gil and talk Walking Dead Shocker!

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Spider-Man: FFH vs Stranger Things

Spider-Man: Far From Home reviews largely praise Tom Holland’s next film


Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe in good hands after, you know, what happened at the end of Avengers: Endgame? The answer, per the majority of critics coming out of early screenings of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the answer is yes.

Directed by Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s Jon Watts, Tom Holland‘s next solo outing as Marvel’s web-slinger “solidifies him as the new and improved heart of the MCU,” as Mashable’s Alexis Nedd writes. Other critics, including EW’s Darren Franich, praise Jake Gyllenhaal’s “clever, careful performance” as Mysterio, a new mysterious face on the block.

Still in mourning for mentor Tony Stark and grappling with the world asking who will be the new Iron Man, Peter just wants to go on his school trip to Europe and profess his feelings for MJ (Zendaya). But Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) pops in to recruit Spider-Man for a mission combating these Elemental creatures emerging around the world.

Also returning for the Spidey sequel includes Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Jacob Batalon as Ned, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, and Jon Favreau as Happy.

Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman calls Far From Home “closer, in spirit, to the good Tobey Maguire films,” while The Wrap‘s Alonso Duralde writes how Watts and the screenwriters “

To be fair, not everyone came out of theaters singing the film’s praises.

carved out a space for Spider-Man that feels

uniquely breezy and charming while still fitting the larger structure of the

Marvel movies.”

IndieWire’s David Ehrlich called it “a cute but painfully unadventurous bit

of superhero housekeeping,” as Vanity Fair‘s Richard Lawson felt annoyed

by “how the film smirks and winks as if it’s in on the fatigue, offering an

illusion of cool when at heart it’s as slavishly on-message as everything


Read more reviews below:

GOOD: Darren Franich (Entertainment Weekly)
“I wound up liking Far From Home more than any Spider-Man film this decade.

BAD: Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)

“The young cast, led by Tom Holland as the bashful web-slinger and Zendaya as a shy girl slow to lose her inhibitions, is plenty appealing as well as funny. But without a proper, full-on villain, as well as an adequate substitute for Robert Downey Jr.’s late, oft-mentioned Tony Stark, this comes off as a less than glittering star in the Marvel firmament. It pales even more when compared to Sony’s wildly imaginative animated feature of last year, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

GOOD: Owen Gleiberman (Variety)
“Where does Far From Home fall on the scale of Spider-Man movies? It’s more urgent than the last one (and should be even bigger at the box office), with a richer sense of malevolence, and Holland’s kid-in-over-his-head hero — awkward and ingenuous, romantic and quicksilver — is alive inside in a way that Andrew Garfield’s Peter never was. Far From Home gets closer, in spirit, to the good Tobey Maguire films.”

GOOD: Alonso Duralde (The Wrap)
“In a year that’s only half-done, audience members would be forgiven for having superhero fatigue after Captain Marvel, Shazam! and Avengers: Endgame. (It’s almost welcome news that we aren’t getting the next MCU movie until 2020.) But with a focus on character-based comedy, coming-of- age anxieties, and super-battles that exist in very specific geographical locations, returning writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers and director Jon Watts have carved out a space for Spider-Man that feels uniquely breezy and charming while still fitting the larger structure of the Marvel movies.

IN BETWEEN: Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair)

(They even play with that structure, and with deep cuts from the MCU’s

history, in very clever ways.)”

“If yet another Marvel movie is a little self-conscious about being yet another Marvel movie, does that excuse it from being, well, yet another Marvel movie? That’s the tricky territory that Spider-Man: Far From Home (co-released by Sony on July 2) finds itself in, barely two months after Avengers: Endgame swept across the globe, taking some major heroes with it. Watching the trailer for Far From Home, I found myself thinking, this? Again? Already?? In response, Jon Watts’s film seems to nod its head and say, ‘I know, know,’ a little sheepish about its mere existence. But then it ups and does all the old Marvel stuff anyway, seeming more and more earnest and ardent about this factory-cult as it goes.”

Matt Singer (ScreenCrush)
“Watts and his team faced a tough task with this movie, following two gigantic Avengers and the dimension-jumping Spider-Man: Into the Spider- Verse. Their smart solution was to tell a classical story in that Lee/Ditko mold. While no one says ‘with great power comes great responsibility,’ this is about as faithful an adaptation of those old Amazing Spider-Man fables as has been brought to the screen so far.

Mike Ryan (UPROXX)
“So, yes, Spider-Man: Far From Home is funny and clever – in the end, Peter just wants to enjoy his class trip to Europe with the hopes of growing closer to MJ (Zendaya) – but it’s also a movie about both mourning and deception. Peter is still reeling from the loss of Tony Stark, who remains a specter wherever Peter turns. Peter’s emotions are raw, which also leaves him more susceptible to forces preying on his emotional state. It’s a movie filled with surprises (I don’t say that lightly) that leaves Peter, and a viewer, wondering who is real and who can be trusted. Yet it never feels like a movie filled with dread. It’s a hopeful tone, which, after the last two Avengers movies, is very welcome.”

David Ehrlich (IndieWire)
“Don’t be fooled by the title, or the fact that Marvel finally shot a movie outside of Atlanta: Spider-Man: Far From Home is a cute but painfully unadventurous bit of superhero housekeeping that only exists to clean up the cataclysmic mess that Avengers: Endgame left behind. As a piece of connective tissue in an ever-metastasizing cinematic universe, Tom Holland’s sophomore (solo) outing as Peter Parker does a clever job of closing the door on one phase and nudging it open to another; it’s funny and

And it sets the stage perfectly, with a

shocking cliffhanger, for whatever Marvel has in store for us next.”

colorful and hinges on some MCU deep-cuts that even the most hardcore fans won’t be able to anticipate. As a stand-alone story, however — another predictable call to action about the burdens of growing up and becoming the person that others believe you can be — it’s a hollow exercise in going through the motions.”

Alexis Nedd (Mashable)
“Tom Holland instantly proved to be the perfect Spider-Man way back in Captain America: Civil War, but his performance now solidifies him as the new and improved heart of the MCU. Holland is so magnetic in Far From Home that even when Peter makes stupid choices (and hoo boy, he really craps the bed a few times), he is granted instant forgiveness. Peter is 16 years old in this movie, and much is made of the tension between him shouldering the burden of heroism while still being an actual child in a post– Iron Man world. Watching Peter experience grief, stress, and guilt over his role in this new reality is pretty difficult stuff, but in Holland’s hands the emotional journey Peter takes feels natural and relatable.”

Charles Pulliam-Moore (io9)
“Because Spider-Man: Far From Home is the first major Marvel Cinematic Universe film set explicitly after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the great responsibility resting on its shoulders is twofold. Not only does the movie have to bring its titular hero back down to Earth from the most epic adventure of his life, it also has the vital job of setting an overarching tone and perspective for the next phase of Marvel’s grand cinematic project. The great thing is that the film does all of that and a whole hell of a lot more.”

Spider-Man: Far From Home will open in theaters on July 2.

Stranger Things 3 reviews are out: ‘Best season by leaps and bounds’

https://www.cnet.com/news/stranger-things-3-reviews-out-best-season-by-leaps-and- bounds/

Get ready for new characters, 1980s flash and fads, and more gore than usual when the Netflix hit returns July 4.

Things are about to get Strange. The third season of Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things arrives on July 4, and while it may be a stressful summer in Hawkins, Indiana, it’s looking like a great one for fans. The embargo for reviews lifted on Sunday, and critics shared their opinions.

It’s what fans wanted to hear. CNET’s own Jennifer Bisset calls season 3 “a brilliant return to form,” adding that it brings the focus back to the elements that made the first season such an unexpected hit. “This season’s sense of fun, along with its relationship drama and multiple odd pair-ups bring humor and touching moments that recall Game of Thrones at its best,” she writes.

MTVNews culture director Crystal Bell tweeted, “I think I can finally tell you that #StrangerThings is the show’s best season yet.

She’s not alone in calling this season the best so far. Randall Colburn, internet culture editor for The AV Club, calls season 3 the show’s “best season by leaps and bounds.”

CNET sister site ComicBook.com says the 1980s references are just too much.

“It’s entertaining to see beloved characters embracing the spirit of goofy ’80s films, but these homages feel so blatant that it feels more like a parody than a tribute,” the ComicBook review reads.

Spotlight: Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia

Suspicious Behavior Productions Starburns

Ed Kuehnel

Both Matt and I are full time video game writers. We are freelance contractors and have worked on several games together, most notably Valiant Hearts for Ubisoft but also projects for Twisted Pixel Games and a few other. On my own, I’ve written on over 70 games, having contributed to The Onion and both Matt and I were screenwriters on the comedy/horror film Lumberjack Man.

The biggest thing of course, is the comic book, Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia, our mini-series that is available on Comixology: https://www.comixology.com/Invasion-from-Planet-Wrestletopia/comics- series/131916?ref=cHVibGlzaGVyL3ZpZXcvZGVza3RvcC9saXN0L3Nlcmllc0xpc3Q
Six issues will complete the story arc, after which they’ll be collected in a trade that will go to print. After that, who knows?

Matt and I formed a company with which to do our comic book work. It’s called Suspicious Behavior Productions. We have a Facebook page and we’re active on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SBP_Comics and on Tumblr: https://suspiciousbehaviorproductions.tumblr.com/

Matt Entin

I’m a full-time video game writer (Man Eater, Valiant Hearts, Agents of Mayhem) who also dabbles in comics and film.
My comic series with Ed Kuehnel, “Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia.”
Batman (1989) is the best Batman movie.
Twitter: @themattentin mattentin.com suspiciousbehaviorproductions.com

‘Walking Dead’ Comics — Source of Multibillion-Dollar Franchise — Ends With Surprise Finale

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-ends-robert-kirkman- comic-book-ends-surprise-finale- 1222097?

►Whither The Walking Dead? While the future of The Walking Dead TV universe is not in doubt, a shock decision by Robert Kirkman, the creator of the franchise, is raising questions about the original AMC show that started the zombie craze. Issue 193 of the Walking Dead comic book series, releasing today, will be the final issue, in a move calculated to surprise fans of the series.

Creator Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard concluded the industry-changing comic book series with Wednesday’s The Walking Dead No. 193, an extra-sized edition that plays out as a sprawling epilogue to Rick Grimes’ story. The series finale comes just shy of a landmark 200th issue; what’s more, the ending has arrived without any advance warning, to the point that Kirkman and Skybound solicited several subsequent issues with cover art from Adlard. Those covers and solicitations were created to preserve the secret behind the series finale, according to Kirkman himself.

Quote: “I hate knowing what’s coming,” Kirkman wrote in the concluding pages of the issue. “As a fan, I hate it when I realize I’m in the third act of a movie and the story is winding down. I hate that I can count commercial breaks and know I’m nearing the end of a TV show. I hate that you can feel when you’re getting to the end of a book, or a graphic novel. Some of the best episodes of Game of Thrones are when they’re structured in such a way and paced to perfection so your brain can’t tell if it’s been watching for 15 minutes or 50 minutes … and when the end comes … you’re stunned.”

“The comic industry as a whole can be very complacent. The systems are in place. Everybody uses those same systems. Comics either live or die based on the generic press releases and interview structures, and it’s all the same websites that cover comic book news. There’s a very rudimentary system of going into a comic shop and finding a comic, and hearing about a comic online. I’m always trying to think of ways to shake that up, where you energize the industry to a certain extent and do things that make people take notice in a way that’s not normal.”

+So what does the unexpected comic finale mean for the AMC show? Well, with a series of movies and another TV spinoff in the works, the franchise appears safe. In addition (and without giving any plot points away) the comic book series ended in a way that the TV series can’t replicate. Still, the surprise ending begs the question whether AMC’s show could follow suit with some surprises of its own

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NEXT WEEK:  Is Spider- Man Far From Home the Summer Movie We All Needed? Join us for an in-depth review of this Marvel Blockbuster!