When DC decided to mimic marvel by creating their own cinematic universe (which was something they should have done a long time ago. As a subordinate of WB, DC didn’t have to go through the Legal gymnastics that Marvel did to bring their most famous characters together on screen. But I digress), DC tried to distance themselves from the comparison by following an internal motto of “NO funny business.” Meaning they would forgo the clever quips in favour of gravitas and seriousness.

It didn’t quite work out as they planned.

The first film in this attempt, Man of Steel, tried to evoke a feeling that what you were watching was realistic and more honest in its depiction of an alien on earth with powers far beyond those of mortal men. It took its inspiration from the Dark Knight films (Which people forget are funny) and its “Realistic” Portrayal of Batman.

But the film was critically panned, especially that ending, and no one knew how to fix it.

Then came the abomination of Batman V Superman, and the less said about that movie the better.

It’s been previously written how DC failed in its marketing and it’s storytelling and how Justice League, which should have smashed box office records but came and went like a summer breeze, failed to turn on audiences. What hasn’t been written is how DC plans to right the ship and hopefully find success by moving away from the Zach Snyder vision of bombastic imagery and shallow characterization, into a more modern, honest, hopeful approach. The same approach that made Wonder Woman such a success.

And they are doing it by adapting the two most unlikely company saviours, Aquaman and Shazam!

The Man who Talks to Fish is Pretty Badass

Aquaman, the upcoming film directed by James Wan, tells the story of Arthur Curry, A Half Breed Atlantean born of royalty but reluctant to take the mantle. He must stop his half Brother, the Ocean Master, from lashing out at surface dwellers for their perceived polluting of the Oceans.

Aquaman has always been a punchline to the public, ever since he was portrayed in the Super Friends Cartoon serious as a useless superhero who’s only power was talking to fish. DC Comics spent years trying to rehabilitate Aquaman’s image, portraying him as a strong, angry leader of Atlantis who could hold his own with any member of the justice league. He even once lost his hand in a battle with Black Mantis and had to make do with a harpoon for an appendage.

But much like Batman before the 1989 Tim Burton film, Aquaman still couldn’t shake the stigma brought on by those early cartoons. The hope is that the new film, with Jason Momoa as the title character, can change that perception and make people rethink the idea of Aquaman as a joke.

And if the trailer is any indication, DC hopes to portray Atlantis as an underwater wonderland that may rival the galactic scenery of Guardians of the Galaxy.

What Do You Get When You Mix Superman with “Big”? Shazam!

Another character with an interesting back story and a misunderstood reputation is Shazam. The character, originally named Captain Marvel, was the main character for a series of stories published by Fawcett Comics back in the 40s and 50s. Striking very similar powers to Superman, DC sued the publisher for copyright infringement before eventually buying the publisher outright and folding the characters of that universe into DC proper.

The character history of Shazam, formerly Captain Marvel, is thus: a young orphan by the name of Billy Batson wanders into a cave where he meets an old wizard who deems him worthy of great power. By saying the name Shazam the young boy is transformed into the mighty Captain Marvel, which allows him to fight crime and do good in the world.

The joke of the character is that he retains his youthful innocence, which makes for awkward encounters with actual adults.

The trailer for the film gives you the sense that they are really going to go hard on the fact that Shazam, when grown, still acts like a teenage kid who would rather play PlayStation than save the world. It seems as if the Film is trying to combine the playful fun of BIG with the hopeful super heroics of Superman.

Zachary Levi plays the title character, the Big Red Cheese himself, and it’s an interesting choice. No doubt Zachary has the comic timing to play the role, but Shazam has always been drawn as a big burly bodybuilder, and Levi doesn’t really exude that kind of intimidating frame. But as always, I remind those who question his casting that once upon a time, People thought Michael Keaton was a terrible choice to play Batman. And now people think he was the best one.

For me? Zachary Levi will always be Chuck.

DC Taking Risks with Unknown IP

It’s not a stretch to say that DC is taking a risk with these films. But what do they have to lose, really?

For far too long DC has taken its cues from the success of the Batman films and have demanded that other films in that universe match the Tone. It’s taken them some colossal failures to realize that taking each character as they come and treating the IP with respect brings about long-term gains.

I’m hoping that both Aquaman and Shazam kick ass in the theatres. And I’m hoping they give Superman another shot at being a cinematic hit.

DC shouldn’t be the little studio that could. They should be on the same level as Marvel. They have been in the Comic business.

It’s time they level up in the film business as well.

It’s not a stretch to say that Game of Thrones is a once in a lifetime television phenomenon. In the age of streaming and television on demand, it’s one of the few scripted television programs that can still be considered appointment TV.

It’s a show that may never be duplicated in its popularity.

But that hasn’t stopped other networks from trying.

Specifically, streaming services. Amazon made news a few months back that they would produce an adult fantasy drama set in middle earth, the fictional landscape of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Jeff Bezos has long wanted a program on his platform that could rival GOT and he thinks this might be it.

Netflix, in turn, is developing their own Adult fantasy series as well. Instead of hobbits, dragons, and rings, they will be adapting the popular video game “The Witcher”, in the hopes that those who have played the action-adventure game will be compelled to watching a live action version of the game series.

Starring Superman.

Not Your Father’s Monster Slayer

The games themselves are an adaption of a series of fantasy novels written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. They tell the story of Geralt of Rivia. Witchers are Monster Hunters who, with a combination of training and body modification, develop supernatural powers at a young age to battle the beasts of this fictional world. Think Van Helsing of Dracula fame, or if you are of a certain age, Simon Belmont of the Castlevania Series of video games.

Andrzej created the series in 1988, as short stories published in the Polish Sci-Fi magazine FANTASTYKA. They precede George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series by a few years, and no doubt both series owe a debt to Tolkien’s epic Lord of The Rings series.

The Novels were very popular in Poland and around eastern Europe, but the character himself would not become an international star until DC Projekt RED, a game developer based in Warsaw, Poland, developed and distributed a series of games, featuring Geralt of Rivia, for the PlayStation and Xbox gaming systems.

The game’s popularity, along with its medieval setting and strong resemblance to GOT, made it ripe for an adaptation. And Netflix came calling.

Geralt of Rivia, as played by the Man of Steel

There isn’t a deep casting list as of this writing, but one major development has been Henry Cavill. Best known for playing Superman/Clark Kent in Man of Steel and Justice League, Cavill is no stranger to period piece drama (if you want to consider The Witcher as a period piece of sorts). His biggest role prior to Man of Steel was as   Charles Brandon in the Showtime drama The Tudors.

It’s a safe casting move, to be sure. If you have seen the computer-generated avatar that represents Geralt you can see the resemblance. And with all the training that Henry has done to stay in shape for the role of Superman, it’s obvious why they wanted a man of his stature in the lead role.

The casting isn’t without controversy, specifically with the role of Ciri, Geralt’s adopted daughter, however. A casting call was made for the character, with an emphasis on finding a minority female to play the part. Some felt that the character should stay close to the look of the character on the game, who is white. The counter to that argument is that the novels and game don’t do much in terms of diversity, which makes sense given that they were written by a polish author and it’s what he knows. Still, any opportunity for diversity in a cast is good. It’s all about who plays the part best.

The Potential to be an epic guilty pleasure

No one really knows if The Witcher can make the kind of mark on television that Game of Thrones has. No show can be asked to do that. But it’s quite possible that The Witcher can join a long line of Epic Fantasies that are violent, exciting, erotic, and just plain fun.

Netflix hasn’t yet created that type of show that could stand with some of the greater epic fantasies on Television today. But that may change once The Witcher premiers.

At the very least, it will be a great rebound relationship once GOT ends.

This short tweet gave fans the assumption that a Captain Marvel trailer would drop very soon. Like, the following day.

But someone should inform Brie on how exactly to “Break” the internet. Because We Did NOT get a trailer. Instead, we got an advance look at the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s latest issue, with Brie in full costume on the cover.

Now, while, the trailer can’t be too far behind, it’s disappointing to be led one way only to have a different result. Still, the photos offer a lot of clues into what the film could be about. Here are five takeaways extrapolated from the Images released this week.

It’s set in the nineties

From Carol rocking acid washed jeans and a NIN tee-shirt, to a younger, patchless Nick Fury, it’s obvious that this film is NOT set in the present. Much like Wonder Woman, the film it’s often getting compared to, Captain Marvel is a period piece. It gives a unique perspective to a Marvel Universe in which Superheroes are not prevalent in the world, Captain America is still on ice, and SHIELD has yet to deal with extraterrestrial threats.

It will be very interesting to see what sort of foreshadowing the directors will provide, given the time period. Will we see a college-age Tony Stark? Will Captain America be spoken about as a rumour or a legend? There are so many ways the creators could go.

It doesn’t forget its lineage

Carol Danvers isn’t the first person to wear the mantle of Captain Marvel, and the film seems to acknowledge that. While Jude Law’s character is a mystery (it’s said that He’s a Commander of Starforce, an interstellar military unit that Carol’s a part of), all indications are that Jude is playing the character of Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel and Carol’s mentor.

Also, in the film is Monica Rambeau, going by the name Maria, who was the second Captain Marvel in the Comics series and who then went on to go by the code name “Photon” ( In the film she is a pilot and Photon is her call sigh).

Marvel has always been good at including different iterations of their characters when they can. From Ant-Man including both Hank Pym and Scott Lang to the Guardians of the Galaxy introducing the original team as high ranking Ravagers, Marvel films have never forgotten the lineage of its characters.

It hints at the coming of the secret invasion

Back in the late 2000’s, when Brian Bendis was writing the Avengers and making it one of the top-selling titles of all time, He and artist Leinil Yu started an event crossover called Secret Invasion. It basically told the story of the Skrull’s infiltration of the Avengers and the chaos that came as result. It was a six-month storyline that upended much of the Marvel universe and took some time for the team to recover.

The Skrull’s play the film’s big bad, and it’s hinted that they will be invading earth, though we assume they will be in disguise when they do (for those who don’t know, Skrull’s are alien invaders who can shapeshift into any living form. They are often seen in human form doing nefarious things.)

How they invade earth, and how Carol dispatches them without the rest of the world knowing about them, will be a major plot development in the film.

The return of old faces

Before he went mad with his thirst for power, Ronan the accuser was a high ranking Kree of official (the Kree are a race of super-powered beings. Carol is half Kree). In this film, we will see a more mentally balanced (we assume) version of the character, before he descends into the madness that will eventually cause his downfall.

We also get to see Korath again, who in this film is also a member of Carol’s Starforce team.

Captain Marvel has a lot riding on it. It’s the First Marvel film to feature a female lead. It’s the bridge to Avengers 4. It stars an academy award winner, and the character herself has become a symbol of women’s empowerment. Captain Marvel has a lot of goodwill going for her and the hype surrounding the film will be intense.

But Marvel has not let down yet, and if their tracker record gives any indication, it’s almost assured that Captain Marvel will be a smash hit.

This is a review by Thomas Rodriguez

I was afraid that it would buckle under expectations.

I feared it would be a bad movie.

The pre-release reviews were very positive.  But was it because it was a good movie, or because the good intentions behind the film overrode its entertainment value.

It had burned me with Ghostbusters, the remake. I wanted to root for the film’s success because unlike some Neanderthals, I’m not afraid to root for a female protagonist. One of my favorite films of the last decade was Hunger Games. While the sequels were okay, that first film showed that a strong woman, both emotionally and physically, was nothing to be afraid of.

Another protagonist not to fear? The Black superhero.

This wasn’t the first African American Lead in a major superhero film. Wesley Snipes was the day walker in Blade. Before that, Michael Jai White donned the cape and cowl of the supernatural hero Spawn.

But those didn’t have the almost all black cast that Black Panther boasted. and they didn’t feature an African American Director. Black Panther would change the landscape and prove that representation matter.

But it had to be great.

I’m happy to say that Black Panther exceeded even my high expectations.

The film’s brilliance is in the way it’s able to use the fictional country of Wakanda to present questions on isolationism and what a monarchy’s responsibility is to its people when the rest of the world screams for help.

It presents a villain who, much like Magneto in the X-men films, has a valid reason for why he does what he does. It’s a villain with such a solid motivation that, if it were any other film, he would be presented as the hero.

But this movie is not about him. It’s about T’Challa.

The film starts with the history of Wakanda. An alien meteor strikes earth on the land of Wakanda, bringing with it Vibraniam, an alien metal that will allow Wakanda to flourish. It also infects some of the vegetation on the earth. When eaten, the flowers give the consumer powers far beyond those of mortal man. The first Black Panther is born, and like a kingdom, the responsibility is passed down from father to son.

The film then starts in Oakland California in the early nineties. We witness a betrayal. The results of that betrayal will reverberate in T’Challa’s life.

That’s not to say he’s having it easy. He has claimed the throne in the most heartbreaking of ways. While he tries to navigate his newfound responsibilities, his rival, Eric Killmonger, is planning to infiltrate the secure country of Wakanda and reclaim a throne that he believes is rightfully his.

Though the above description may make it sound like the movie is a total drag, it’s anything but. There are many funny moments, especially the interaction between T’Challa and his sister Shuri.

And the Dora Milaje, a group of women warriors, is worth admission alone.

All in all, it’s a fantastic film with thought-provoking commentary on what the responsibly of a country with means is to the world. T’Challa learns that isolation is not the best strategy. Given the oppression minorities have faced, it’s obvious that the black panther feels he must make amends in some way.

The harm that his people did nothing to stop.

Any film that brings forth thought arguments for and against a nationalistic approach and doing it through the entertaining means of superheroism, is a film worth watching.

And re-watching, if you have the chance.

This is a post by Thomas Rodriguez.

It’s arguably the most anticipated film to hit the theatres since The Phantom Menace. It’s the culmination of everything that Marvel has built up in their cinematic universe. It’s the climax, the endgame, the result of a decade’s worth of storytelling.

With that anticipation comes expectations. Whether the film will meet those expectations remains to be seen. With the release four months away, now is a good time to dream and imagine and hope that the film lives up to those expectations.

With that, I have five predictions on what will happen in Avengers: Infinity War.

1. Captain Marvel Is Introduced!

One of the more exciting film projects that will be coming after Infinity War is The Brie Larson helmed Captain Marvel. Rumour has it that the film will feature Carol Danvers and be set in the 90’s.

Not knowing much about the plot of the upcoming film, one can guess that the majority of it will involve space, and if that’s the case, Infinity War will provide an opportunity to introduce the character to the public.

 

I could imagine the film using her almost like a herald. I see her crash landing on earth, after having been away for all those years and warning the Avengers of the coming of Thanos.

Maybe the film starts with her battling the Mad Titan.

In any case, it would be a great idea to let the public know that there are more stories to be told after the initial fight with Thanos is complete.

2. Star Lord Discovers the iPod

One of the more light-hearted scenes I’m looking forward to is Peter Quill’s reaction to Earth in the 21st Century. Though he has flown in starcrafts and has fought Aliens from other planets, he’s a lot like Steve Rodgers in that he’s a guy out of time.

It’s going to be funny to see how he reacts to the technologies of today. Especially when he discovers that we can access millions of songs through our smartphones.

His mind is going to be blown.

3. Peter Parker Dies

Notice that I didn’t say “Spider-Man Dies.” there are two separate distinctions.

The MCU will always have a Spider-Man, just not the one you think.

Tony Stark has risked a lot in having Peter Parker be a superhero under his watch. And while that may make Tony feel like he’s keeping the boy safe by keeping an eye on him, Peter is still a 15-year-old kid trying to be a superhero.

I think back to the scene in Spider-man: Homecoming, when Peter is stuck under the rubble. He’s freaking out and for the first time, you realize he’s just a kid.

So, I don’t think it will end well for Peter. He will die doing something heroic and Tony will once again question what exactly is he doing.

Peter’s death will also inspire a young man by the name of Miles Morales to take up the mantle and become the Spider-man of the future.

4. Cameos From The Defenders and The Punisher

It’s been said many times that Marvel doesn’t want to mix the cinematic universe with the street level world of the Netflix shows.

However, given the grand scope of the film (and its sequel) and I think it would be a waste not to at least mention that there are other enhanced beings in New York that don’t always wear the colourful costumes.

I can see a scene where a number of Thanos’s minions are preying on a group of people, only to have one be struck in the back of the head by a Billy club. The monsters turn, and face Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist.

There was also a great scene in the event comic Secret War (The Jonathan Hickman written comic from a few years back) in which a number of costumed villains while toasting the end of the world, sit and have a drink with each other at a bar.

Only to have that drink interrupted by the Punisher.

I can see something similar happen in Infinity War, minus the body counts, of course.

5. A Fox-owned Character (or Characters ) Is Introduced In An End Credits Scene.

As if this writing, it’s not yet known how far along the purchase of 21st Century Fox by Disney has progressed. But there was a quote by Joss Whedon, back when he was directing Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which he knew that Marvel and Sony were making a deal to share the rights to Spider-man, and he had hoped to include a cameo of the character at the end of the movie.

It turned out that the cameo had to wait until Captain America: Civil War.

I don’t know if Marvel plans to incorporate any of the X-men or the Fantastic Four into their shared universe, but if they were to even want to hint about it, I think it happens during an end credit.

My money would be on the MCU introducing a version of Dr. Doom that is more in line with the character’s comic book origin: a man who is on an intellectual level with Tony Stark, is just as talented in the mystical arts as Dr Strange, and also the ruthless dictator of a European country.

It would make for a great foreshadowing of what’s to come.

There are many small moments I’m hoping to see as well. Hulk and Drax getting into a fight. Tony Stark and Rocket Racoon comparing notes. The women of Marvel teaming up and taking on an army of alien soldiers themselves. In any case, this film, and its sequel, has the potential to be the most fun Marvel movie, even the most fun Superhero flick, ever made.

With Christmas jumper day just around the corner (on the 15th December), it’s time to start thinking what Christmas jumper to wear. For me and my colleagues, we’re not looking further than TV and movie related jumpers.

This year, there seems to have been an increase in the number of quality movie and TV Christmas jumpers on the horizon. Based on a bit of looking around, I thought we’d share our favourite jumpers. Based on TV shows and movies.

Game of Thrones

let it snow

You can’t have a list of TV and movie Christmas jumpers without a Game of Thrones jumper. Who better to represent this than the man himself. The King of the North!

Rick & Morty

There has to be at least one person wearing a Rick and Morty jumper. Who wants a snowman or a Christmas pudding when you can have Rick Sanchez’s eyes staring at your work colleagues.

Star Wars

Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader Christmas jumper

Star Wars Christmas jumpers were the original nerdy jumpers. Now the range has expanded exponentially. Out of all the movies and TV shows, they seem to have the widest selection of different jumpers.

Stranger Things

Another popular show among the writers on this site is Stranger Things. With the second season launching during Haloween on Netflix, it’s fresh in everyone’s eyes. There are some cool and clever Christmas jumpers for Stanger Things. Like the two below.

It also looks like DC and Marvel have taken their comic book rivalry to Christmas jumpers. There are some great jumpers which would make most nerds and even non-nerds excited.

Let’s have a look at Marvel first

Avengers

I think we need Hulk and Iron Man to help settle things!

However, that model doesn’t exactly looking too hulking to model that jumper!

Then on the opposing team we have the DC jumpers.

I’m not about you but I’m Marvel over DC here as well (Marvel fanboy alert!)

Harry Potter

Also for those JK Rowling fans, we there are some awesome Harry Potter jumpers. The pick of the bunch has to be this green and black fairisle.

There are also the classics. We’re talking Home Alone, Elf and Die Hard jumpers. Anyone born before the nineties would appreciate these retro classics.

 

Regardless of what you like. Let us know what is your favourite movie and TV Christmas jumper for 2017.

Also be sure to check some of these sweaters at https://Christmasjumperclub.com/

This is a guest review by Fernando Autran. DVD Street is not responsible for any of these views or opinions.

The Thor saga occupies a strange place within the Marvel universe. It’s like that weird cousin in your family or the mysterious friend of your friend that nobody quite likes, but they don’t hate either. What I’m trying to say is that the best way to describe the previous two Thor movies is they were average. Blame it on an uninspiring script or bad direction, but they didn’t leave much of an impression. The question is then, has Thor Ragnarok finally managed to shake the saga from its stupor? Well, I’m happy to say that it has.

The solution came by pouring a big glass of Guardians of the Galaxy essence into the mix, but don’t take this as a lack of originality. Director Taika Waititi managed to take the best elements, implant them seamlessly and make the movie truly his. The humour, the campiness, the colourful characters and settings, are all there to our delight. A feast for the eyes that oozes charisma.

However, an amazing setting is nothing without a good story filling it, and although it’s pretty good overall, there’s a bit of dissonance that drags the experience. You see, the problem is that Thor Ragnarok is two stories packed into one. On one hand, we have Thor and Hulk’s story on the planet Sakaar, and on the other, we have Hela’s conquest of Asgard. From the two, the first one is clearly the best, and the jumps to the second one feel more like an intrusion than a progression of the story. The movie could have been perfect for just the first story.

This is not fault of any of the actors, they all perform their roles perfectly. That said, I would like to give a special mention to Cate Blanchett. She does a fantastic Job as Hela, she devours every scene she’s in. In a movie with so many characters that fell larger than life, you truly believe her when she says she’s the goddess of death.

That said the stars of the movie are definitively the Hulk-Thor duo. The banter and puns between the two wouldn’t have work if there wasn’t chemistry between the actors, but they both deliver, giving us a hilarious performance. The sibling relationship between Thor and Loki also gets developed and although not as humorous, it carries a lot of the drama of the movie, and it helps develop Loki’s character.

I’m talking a lot about the acting and the story, what about the action? It’s pretty much what you can expect from a Marvel movie: frenetic, tense, and exciting without dragging too long. It doesn’t have anything to envy from Guardians of the Galaxy. It speaks volumes of Taika Waititi’s skill as a director that the serious and comedic moments never clash during the action, they nicely flow from one to the other.

Thor Ragnarok is probably the funniest Marvel movie to date. That is its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The virtues do outnumber the flaws, but they do not suppress them. Marvel has found a good equilibrium between comedy, action, and drama, but when the moments that stand out the most are the jokes you run out the risk of taking away the gravity of the story. So far, the movie manages to stay on balance with a few missteps. Time will tell if they’re capable of maintaining that balance with the rest of the movies.

Before we go on, I must stand up and confess something about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What I’m about to say has nothing to do with the quality of the movie itself, I think it was great, and I enjoyed it a lot. That said, there’s something I must take off my chest. Okay, here it goes: I think it was a shameless copy of a new hope.

Yes, I can already see some of you snarking and rolling your eyes, but please stay with me just a bit longer. Again, as much as I enjoyed the movie, its lack of originality disappointed me a lot. I understand why Disney did it, there was too much riding on the film to take any risks.

That said, it’s my sincere hope that Star Wars: The Last Jedi, takes more risks, a new generation deserves new stories. Thankfully, I’m happy to say that based on the limited information available I think it’s on the right track. With that said here are 5 things to expect in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

1. The end of the Jedi.

I love Star Wars, I Love the Jedi, I love the Sith, but man I’m tired of the conflict between the two. You could quickly summarize the story of the whole galaxy as the war between the light side and the dark side, sometimes the light wins, and sometimes the dark wins, but in the end, nothing really changes. I get the feeling that Luke has finally understood this, the best he can do to end the cycle is to get rid of the Jedi once and for all.

2. The beginning of something new.

Rey and Kylo are force users, but at the same time, they’re something more. If as Luke said the Jedi are finished, then what will take their place? New sith? I don’t think so. I believe that Rey and Kylo will become a new kind of force users, with a preference for the light side or the dark side of course, but different. Perhaps they will become the “grey Jedis” everyone is talking about, a force user that seeks balance above everything else.

3. Luke won’t be Yoda, and Rey won’t be Luke.

It’s clear that Luke is going to be Rey’s mentor, what is not clear is the kind of relationship they will have. What we can see from the trailers and the information so far is that there’s going to be a lot of tension between the two. Luke has been described several times as jaded and cynical after the incident that destroyed his school. He’s terrified he’s going to make the same mistakes with Rey, and so he keeps her at a distance, not fully trusting her. This will certainly affect Rey’s development as a force user in ways it didn’t affect Luke.

4. The bigger picture will take form.

How are Kylo and Rey related? Are they even related at all? Who’s supreme leader Snoke? Why does he have an interest in Kylo and Rey? What happened between Luke and Kylo? A thousand theories surround these questions, some more solid than others. I’m not sure which ones will end being true, but what I know is this: this movie will answer those questions, or at least provide enough information to start discarding theories finally.

5. A war of influence and leadership.

The situation in the galaxy is different from previous Star Wars movies. Both the resistance and the first order suffered devastating loses and the collateral damage left the galaxy in chaos. As such, this means that the war will be as much as making alliances and gaining influence as it is about winning battles. The thing is Leia is old, and she’s exhausted. Perhaps we will see someone else take the mantle? Poe Dameron maybe?

This is a guest post by Fernando Autran.

One of the only redeeming qualities of the fall season is the holidays that follow. First up is Halloween, which is the best of the three. Christmas brings hope. New Year’s brings renewal. Halloween brings darkness and terror, and laughs in the face of impending death. It’s the sexiest of the three. It’s the holiday that comes to the party dressed in black, and doesn’t give a crap about your happiness or joy.

Halloween is Punk.

Halloween is also that time when one can indulge in fictional horrors through television and film. Many of us try to get into the spirit of the holiday through horror films and scary tv.

With that in mind, here are some suggestions that help you celebrate the macabre. At the very least, you’ll get a good fright.

  1. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (with special shout out to “IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN”)

For some of a certain age, Halloween didn’t kick off until you watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” The story of Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive is as timeless as it is simple. It was a great kickoff to the holiday season.

Now, thanks to Netflix, a new holiday tradition has begun for the wee ones. Released in 1993, The film tells the story of Jack Skellington, a resident of “Halloween town” who discovers a doorway to other holidays and, out of boredom, decides to take Santa’s place. It’s a delightfully dark film with memorable music and a fantastic score.

Netflix plays it every year now and Disney has caught on to its popularity. You can’t miss Nightmare products at the stores in October.

Watch it soon as the calendar changes. It will set the proper mood for the next 31 days.

  1. THE SHINING

For adults, Halloween often means two things: Dressing up as a “Sexy” Version of whatever’s hip in pop culture, and Scary movies. and while most often go for a slasher flick (like, say, “Halloween”) I tend to go for something with a bit more heft to it.

Something considered a classic of the cinema.

Something that originated from the mind of Stephen King.

THE SHINING has everything you would want in a horror film. A haunted hotel. A boy with the ability to see Ghosts. And a father consumed by madness until he becomes the lumbering monster with murder on the mind.

A suspenseful Classic, The Shining is the one to watch this Halloween . . . with the lights on.

  1. THE WALKING DEAD PILOT

Walking Dead is in its 8th season now, with no signs of slowing down. The Popular show has become the definitive Zombie horror story. And as story about survival against all odds

The Pilot episode stands out as a fantastic hour of horror television. It’s directed by Frank Darabont, and it’s the most cinematic episode of the series.

One scene stands out. Rick, walking down a dark corridor, with nothing to light the way but matches. It’s a close shot of his face, as he’s walking this hallway. Every few moments, the light extinguishes, and for a moment it’s pitch black. And then Rick lights another match. It’s the most suspenseful two minutes on TV. Seven years later I still remember it.

Watch the first episode for that scene alone.

  1. GHOSTBUSTER ‘84

It can’t be all Doom and Gloom, right? Sometimes you want something you can laugh at.

Ghostbusters (the 84 version) still holds up. Staring Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, and Harold Ramis, the film tells the story of three paranormal scientist who figure out how to contain the supernatural and keep them from pestering society. The film was wildly popular, spawning a sequel, a Saturday morning cartoon, and a remake. Kids still dress up as Ghostbusters today, asking “Who You gonna Call?”

  1. STRANGER THINGS SEASON ONE AND TWO

And speaking of the eighties, “Stranger Things” Season 2 starts in time to take advantage of the holiday. The Second Season builds on what happened before and specifically, what happened to Will.

If you haven’t seen the first season, get on it. If you’ve wondered what a collaboration between Stephen King and Stephen Spielberg would have looked like, this is the closest you may get.

There are many ways that one gets into the Halloween spirit, but these five films and television programs are staples. They are but a small selection of media that can chill you to the bone and get your heart rate up. I recommend watching with the lights off and remember, it’s only make-believe.

And that knock at the window? It’s only the wind.

Or is it?

It’s been a couple of weeks since the season 7 finale. Admittedly, it was a weaker season than previous ones. However, the end of Season Seven was still pretty intense. Zombie dragons breathing blue fire. Littlefinger punished for his past indiscretions. The long-awaited consummation between Jon Snow and his aunt. The fall of the wall.

With the eighth season of GOT airing as late as 2019, here are some shows that may make that wait a little easier.

WESTWORLD

In the future, man will find amusement in the virtual reality that is “Westworld.” There, humans can kill and screw whomever they please against the backdrop of the old west. Hosts, the androids who populate the park, are there for man’s entertainment.

But what happens when they become conscience? What happens then they begin to remember the horrors done to them?

The storytelling’s a bit more thought provoking than game of thrones. But like early episodes of GOT, there’s a lot of nudity to appease those missing the “Sexposition” GOT excelled at.

Find it on HBO, HBO GO, and the HBONOW app. Season one is complete and season two will premiere sometime in 2018.

Rating: 9 out of 10 bullets to the chest (if you’re a host)

Handmaid’s Tale

The United States is no more. Women have lost all rights. those who show exceptional fertility become “Handmaids” and are ceremoniously raped every month. One handmaid, Offred, refuses to break and becomes part of the resistance.

This show is HEAVY, especially in the current political climate. Like GOT it has a central hero who doesn’t give up even when the odds are stacked against her. And you look forward to the day Offred gets her revenge. Much like the night Arya got hers against the Freys.

Season One is available on HULU, with season 2 coming in 2018

Rating: 9 out of 10 headdresses.

OUTLANDER

A married woman travels to the past, falls in love with a Scottish Gael, and promptly has what may be the strangest affair ever.

Outlander is much more romantic than GOT, but it has that soap opera element that one who is addicted to the Songs of Ice and Fire would appreciate.

OUTLANDER is in its second season can currently be seen on STARZ.

Rating: 7 out of 10 magic time traveling stones.

VIKINGS

Who isn’t down for a little village pillaging? Vikings tells the story of the legendary Viking Chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok and his crew. It’s more historical fiction than fantasy, but the tone and violence is similar enough to Game of Thrones to make it a worthy surrogate.

Plus, Travis Fimmel is not that bad on the eyes, am I right ladies? Gentlemen? Anyone?

VIKINGS is in its fourth season on The History Channel.

Rating: 7 out of 10 raided villages

Preacher

There is nothing about this show that is even remotely like Game of Thrones.

But you have a preacher, his lady, and a vampire on the road looking for God. How can you say no to that?

Preacher is in its second season on AMC.

Rating: 9 out of 10 Hallelujahs to the face!

We are in a time where finding something of quality to watch is harder than ever. And while nothing can compare to GOT, it’s good to know there are plenty of options that are out there that will keep you enraged, enlightened, and most of all, engaged.

Happy viewing!