Hot Fuzz, Crank and The Babadook coming to Netflix…but a lot of good stuff is leaving.

85175

What the heck Netflix?

We’re losing a lot of good stuff already this month and gaining so little in return.  April looks to be even worse.  We’re going to say goodbye to Mystic River, Philadelphia, Get Shorty and Clue but in return we get Delta Farce?

Let’s focus on the good instead, here are three movies to look forward to in April:

Hot-Fuzz-Wallpaper-HD9
Hot Fuzz (April 16)

A sharp, gleefully self-aware action-comedy from the winning team behind 2004’s comedy-horror hit Shaun of the Dead, Director Edgar Wright reunites onscreen buddies Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as a police officers in the suspiciously quiet British town of Sandford.  There are so many layers to this movie that it would be a shame if I spoiled any of the surprises but look for a fun return to form from a former James Bond and a familiar face from Game of Thrones- yarp!

 

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-16h04m10s59
The Babadook (April 14)

In this Australian psychological horror, a widowed mother becomes increasingly concerned when her son begins to display erratic behavior.  He rarely sleeps, he exhibits random acts of aggression and explains that he is being tormented by a creature from one of his children’s books.  Hoping to put an end to the behavior and ripping the book, his mother Amelia is pulled into an unpredictable world of terror and suspense.  The movie has a 97% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes, extremely rare for a horror movie and is considered to be one of the scariest films of the past decade.

 

1npYV66ISVzBi1YbfMooPP6R4Q4
Crank (April 9)

Take the movie Speed and replace Keanu with Jason Statham, replace the bus with a person, replace the serious tone of a 90’s action movie with the vibe of a GTA game.  That’s Crank in a nutshell.  Jason Statham is a hitman tasked with taking down mobsters in LA until he awakens to find himself poisoned without any hope for an antidote.  The only way that hitman Chev Chelios can stay alive is to keep his adrenaline up, or you know, be an action movie star.  That’s the plot.  The guy has to do crazy stunts to keep his body from shutting down and killing him.  The movie knows exactly how absurd this is and has a lot fun with it right until the very last moment.  And if you end up enjoying the ride, there’s an even more ridiculous sequel that picks up a few seconds after this movie ends.

Here is a full list of all the movies and series joining (and leaving) Netflix in April.

In the meantime let’s look forward to the official Marvel Daredevil series (trailer), Wet Hot American Summer: The Series (trailer) and hope that Seinfeld still actually happens.

DuckTales Returning To Television With New Episodes

Webbigail-Webby-Vanderquack-image-webbigail-webby-vanderquack-36191812-1200-764

Disney is set to bring back what can arguably be considered the most successful animated series of the 1980’s- Ducktales.  Set to air in early 2017, Disney has ordered a full season of brand new episodes for their channel Disney XD.

“‘DuckTales’ has a special place in Disney’s TV animation history”, explains Disney XD Vice President Marc Buhaj. “it drew its inspiration from Disney legend Carl Barks’ comic books and, through its storytelling and artistic showmanship, set an enduring standard for animated entertainment that connects with both kids and adults. Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.”

It is unknown whether the new episodes will continue off of the original series, which went on for over 100 episodes, spawned a feature-film and two very successful Capcom video games, or if it will reboot the story back to the beginning.  What is known, however, is that the full cast is set to return.  Joining Scrooge, the nephews, Webby and Launchpad McQuack will be Mrs. Beakley, Gyro Gearloose, Flintheart Glomgold, Magica DeSpell, Ma Beagle and the Beagle Boys.

ducktales-remastered-comparison

This isn’t the first time Ducktales has made a reappearance or a reboot.  In 2013 game developer WayForward released their lovingly-crafted rebuild of the original Capcom NES game for modern consoles.  The game sold tremendously well, Capcom even quoted as saying the game “overperformed” on their fiscal reports, which may have contributed to Disney’s decision for a revival.

It’s a long way until 2017.  In the meantime you can check out Ducktales Remastered, watch the original series on Disney’s WATCH app or collect the original series and Ducktales: The Movie on Amazon.

This mildly annoying/mildly adorable “Kids React” video might also give us an idea of how a newer generation of kids will respond:

Louis CK releases a clip of his new Comedy Store Special

loucomsto

Oh Louis, we’ve missed you.

this is an excerpt of my new special “Louis CK Live at the Comedy Store” which will be on my website http://www.louisck.com for 5 dollars very soon

Details are still scarce but the comic promises it will be another $5 special, released directly through his website.

Keep checking his online store for availability.

‘Rick And Morty’ Coming Back With Intergalactic Couples Therapy, Stephen Colbert & Cameos From ‘Community’ & ‘Battlestar Galactica’

rickandmorty.0

The new Adult Swim phenomenon Rick And Morty is coming back for a second season.  It should come as no surprise that the series was renewed so quickly for anyone who has seen it, the show is freakin’ brilliant.  Co-created by Justin Roiland and Community mastermind Dan Harmon, the show centers around the relationship between the anxiety-ridden teenager Morty and his alcoholic genius inventor uncle, Rick Sanchez.  The initially presents itself as a crass parody of Back to the Future before revealing itself to be a fully realized world of science fiction, satire and a little bit of heart.  It’s less Aqua Teen and more Futurama.


(That iPad game?  It’s real now.)

So what can we expect for Season 2?  Well for starters, the relationship of Morty’s parents Beth (Sarah Chalke) and Jerry (Chris Parnell) is back on the decline.  Despite the mending that took place in the popular improv-humor-laden alternate-reality TV episode, the couple is on the outs in one of Chalke’s “favorite episodes”.  “Rick gets fed up”, explained Roiland at NY Comic Con, “and says ‘alright, that’s it, you motherf***ers are going to couples therapy” before whisking them off for an intergalactic therapy.

ktegjeissgjz3xzljtwm

In fact, much of Season 2 will be intergalactic.  Whereas the first season put a lot of focus on Rick using new contraptions or dragging Morty away from his home life into other dimensions, the second outing will be a more expanded, interplanetary outing.  The creators explain that there will be a lot of interplanetary travel, a bit more multidimensional travel and though they have been avoiding the “obvious” time travel Back to the Future references, there are still “some time issues that you can look forward to”.

Rick-and-Morty-Episode-5-Meeseeks-and-Destroy

Though Rick And Morty doesn’t shy away from being self-referential, don’t expect any characters like Mr. Meeseeks to return quite yet.  In an interview with Den of Geek, Dan Harmon described one of his biggest challenges working on his hit series Community:

Harmon: We’re a little worried about the curse of Community, which is that if you do do a call back or exhibit some continuity, even if it’s not deliberately inside, even if it functions on its own, then the critics say, “Oh there’s this thing, it’s called The Human Being or Annie’s Boobs,” and then somehow the culture gets created that the show isn’t appropriate for new viewers, which isn’t true. I watched that happen to Community and I’m like, “C’mon, no. This show would be fine to watch [with] the first episode of the fifth season.” So, I kinda feel like if there’s no Meeseeks box in the second season then there can be one in the third.

There will be plenty of new characters however, including a few celebrity cameos.  Expect to hear Stephen Colbert, Werner Herzog,  Community’s Dean Jim Rash and “some great Battlestar Galactica folks” voicing new characters when the series returns Summer 2015.

In the meantime, Season 1 of Rick And Morty has been recently released on DVD and BluRay and is loaded with extras.

Check it out!

Real-life Futurama: Check out this impressive (scary) Professor Farnsworth cosplay

If you were disappointed with the Simpsons/Futurama crossover maybe this will lift your spirits…or your heart rate.

Honestly, this is incredibly well done and I commend the person who put this together but I am now officially terrified of Professor Farnsworth.

Check out the video below:

Hulu adding 90’s-era Nicktoons including Hey Arnold!, Ren & Stimpy, Invader Zim

tZ8O80M

Hulu has just signed a new deal with Viacom in order to expand on their library of available streaming tv shows.  This deal would include an expanded library from Mtv, Comedy Central, VH1, BET, Spike and of course, Nickelodeon.

During the official announcement, a special point was made to mention that Hulu made sure to aquire 90’s era Nickelodeon cartoons, or “Nicktoons”.  This will include Ren & Stimpy (pre-crappy Spike reboot), Hey Arnold! and even the latter Invader Zim.

nickelodeon

One can only hope non-animated Nick classics like Pete & Pete or Salute Your Shorts will be part of the deal.

I need Donkey Lips in HD.  I need it.

Read the full announcement below:

When we launched our first major agreement with Viacom in 2011, shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report quickly became top shows on Hulu. Three years later, these shows – as well as many more from the Viacom family of networks – still remain among the most popular series on Hulu. Therefore, it was a natural choice for us to extend that relationship with Viacom to bring fan-favorite kids titles, comedy series and reality series from networks including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, TVLand, Spike, BET and Logo to Hulu.

Today, I am excited to share the news that we are extending our partnership with Viacom -to continue bringing thousands of episodes from some of Viacom’s most popular series and a selection of kids content to Hulu. We will be adding top titles from Nickelodeon to our Hulu Kids offering that have never before been made available to stream on Hulu. That means that, soon, viewers will be able to stream episodes of classic series such as Invader Zim, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Drake & Josh, Hey Arnold!, and many more.

Over the coming weeks, Hulu and Viacom will also be refreshing a library of past seasons from some of the funniest shows airing on television today. If you’re a fan of hilarious comedy, you can watch full seasons of Key & Peele, Drunk History, Ridiculousness, Tosh.0, Kroll Showand Inside Amy Schumer, from your living room, on your lunch break or on-the-go with Hulu. If you need a reality TV-fix, you’ll be able to binge watch Catfish, Ink Master, 16 & Pregnant, Teen Mom 2, Snooki & JWowwand more, and catch even more episodes of guilty pleasures like The Hills, The Jersey Shore, Basketball Wives, Love & Hip Hop, and Mob Wives.We are also adding select scripted series including Comedy Central’s Workaholics, MTV’s Faking It, and TVLand’s Hot in Cleveland.

In addition to all of the great English-language programming that will be available, we will also be expanding our offering of Latino programming for kids by adding a handful of family-friendly Nickelodeon titles such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Spanish to Hulu. 

The great selection of in-season programming from across the networks that we’ve had on Hulu for the past several years will remain. Hulu will continue to be a go-to destination to stream The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as the final season of one of my all-time favorites, The Colbert Report. MTV’s scripted series Awkward, Happyland, and many more will also continue to be available to stream the day after new episodes air.  

All episodes will be added to Hulu over the next few weeks, giving you the perfect excuse to continue your fall TV binge. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Viacom and even more thrilled to be bringing these great shows to our Hulu viewers. Happy streaming.

Read more about the deal here or check out 90’s Nicktoon DVDs on Amazon.

That wasn’t Lorde on South Park. Was it Sia?

SiaSouthPark

Last night’s South Park, which is currently available on Hulu, tackled another sensitive issue with gross-out humor and evil antics from Cartman as they addressed whether or not transgender children need their own bathroom or if they are allowed to use the bathroom in which they are more comfortable.  Oddly enough, this isn’t topic causing the most commotion this morning, it’s the B story in which Stan’s father Randy poses as…and may actually be…New Zealand Singer Lorde.

The episode slowly unravels Randy Marsh’s secret, paying tribute to Breaking Bad while simultaneously poking fun at this Spin Magazine article addressing the previous week’s episode in which Lorde-Randy made his first appearance.

In the end of the episode we finally hear a finished “Lorde song” which many viewers thought sounded a little too good to be one of the regular South Park voice actors.  In fact, people immediately suspected that the voice was actually Lorde herself.  Unfortunately, Lorde tweeted that it was not her and she had no involvement in the episode whatsoever.  So who was the mystery voice?

I, and many others, believe that it belongs to the talented Sia.  For those of you think you don’t know Sia, she was in the band Zero 7, performed the song “Breathe Me” that was famously featured in the Six Feet Under finale and more recently had a big summer hit with “Chandelier“.  She also wrote “Diamonds” for Rhianna and a slew of other hits for artists like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Celine Dion.  Not only could the singing voice easily be Sia’s, but a random little girl never before seen on South Park, suddenly appears in the girl’s bathroom in the beginning of the episode…guess who she resembles?  Additionally, the nameless character’s voice sounds like Sia’s only sped up, right down to the little squeak and crackles.  Here is recent her interview on Howard Stern for comparison.

If it is really Sia, would she address it?  Probably not.  She kept her name off of the ending credits and for such an established performer she keeps an oddly low profile, going out of her way to hide her face in public appearances and keeping her name off of most of the songs she contributes to.  Regardless, it’s kind of cool that she did this.

Maybe it would be more fun if we never found out.

Naruto comes to an end on November 5th

d86e9f0302e7c6c795c9acb86e7829e8

After over a year of teases and hinting from author-artist Masashi Kishimoto, it has finally been made official.  Naruto is ending on November 5th, 2014.

Love it or hate it, Naruto has easily been the most popular shonen-style manga since Dragon Ball.  Starting out as the tale of a widely disliked and ostracized orphan boy, the popular manga-turned-anime, chronicled Naruto’s journey to be recognized and loved by his village while overcoming the curse of having the Nine Tails Fox demon that destroyed his village being sealed within him.

naryyy

The first chapter premiered in Shonen Jump Weekly magazine in October of 1999.  Since then the series has enjoyed a 15 year-run popularity streak that also included two anime series, a spin-off manga, over 30 video games and over a dozen theatrical films.  The series has gotten a lot of criticism over the years for it’s English dub, the overabundance of filler episodes and the franchise’s overall popularity with younger audiences.

So where’s the appeal?

Well for starters, the eponymous main character is more complex than your usual shonen protagonist.  We’re used to seeing a fish-out-of-water type who is supported and loved by a ragtag group of friends, has an upbeat friendly attitude and goal that involves protecting the people he loves.  Naruto Uzamaki was not a Goku or a Luffy.  He was a mischievous, clumsy, rude, dopey brat who was almost universally despised by not only his classmates, but by the entire village of children and adults alike.  He had to work hard, build new skill sets, suffer great losses and constantly prove himself throughout the course of his teen years.  In doing so Naruto gradually attracts a massive array of fascinating, unique and well-developed characters that begin to support his dream of being village’s leader or “Hokage”.

…but perhaps the most alluring element of this series is the understatedly complex bond that Naruto shares with the boy he considers his best friend, Sasuke Uchiha.  Some of the series most gripping, heart-wrenching moments are built around Naruto’s bullheaded devotion to Sasuke, a morally-ambiguous character who has overcome countless horrors not limited to experiencing the murder of his entire family at the hands of his older brother.  Sasuke is constantly tortured and tempted by power, fueled by his unresolved suffering and hatred that drives his treasonous, often murderous actions.  One of the most powerful moments that comes to mind is a scene that involves Naruto suffering a very realistic panic attack when his friends reveal some news regarding Uchiha- without spoiling the details, I’ll say that he’s like Anakin Skywalker, only well-written.

sasna

Naruto boasts some of the most emotionally captivating moments in all of anime, offering both readers and viewers alike a great deal of payoff for their invested time.  It’s shame that that so much time is required in the first place.  Unlike Naruto, it’s a bit easier to tell people to watch some of the greats like Cowboy Bebop, Steins;Gate or Gurren Lagann which all fall under 30 episodes.  I’ll even push people to watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood- because despite it’s 64-episode long run, each episode is bursting at the seams with character depth, emotional impact and exciting action sequences.  Between Naruto and it’s sequel series Naruto Shippuden however, there are over 560 episodes.  Yes, it helps to have a guide of filler episodes to skip, or a nifty fan re-edit, but even if you were to cut the series down to 200 episodes, it’s still a little much for today’s viewing audience.

Still, if you decide to take the plunge and marathon the series or even power through the manga (which would be much faster), you will find yourself immensely satisfied.  There’s a good reason why Naruto has lasted as long as it has.

Though the manga officially ends the story on November 5th, Naruto fans still have a lot to look forward to.  The anime is far from over, there will still be plenty of video games, including the new Ultimate Ninja Storm release, and finally, a theatrical film to be released in December titled Naruto: The Last, rumored to be penned by Kishimoto himself and detail events taking place years after the manga’s ending.

Much like the undying Dragon Ball Z, this franchise is far from over.


This trailer quite effectively sums up why Naruto is such an epic tale.

Christopher Walken as Captain Hook is a terrifying sight

Because NBC’s The Sound of Music LIVE! went so well, it looks like they are giving another classic story the live theatrical treatment.  This time it’s Peter Pan with Allison Williams (HBO’s Girls) as the titular role and …Christopher Walken…as Captain Hook.

If that sounds awesome to you, believe me, I understand.  I was ready to cancel my plans that evening just to watch the man taunt the lost boys in a spectacular fashion.  But then I saw this:

uty19rbwzsxje94cdamw

Yeah, that’s Mr. Walken on the right.  I finished three bottles of NyQuil in the past week over this shit.  I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep again.

Maybe because it’s reminding me of the Lady Elaine Fairchild puppet from Mr. Rogers.

fairchild

:shudder: