YOU’RE THE BEST: With Cobra Kai recently releasing its third season, many viewers have been inspired to watch (or rewatch) the original The Karate Kid films. Two of those folks happen to be our humble hosts. As a prelude to an eventual discussion about Cobra Kai, Andrew and D. Bethel discuss The Karate Kid, The Karate Kid Part 2, and (briefly) The Karate Kid Part 3.
2020 was a year that upended all expectations. Though the threats that 2020 brought affected people in a variety of ways, for most it became a year of simple survival. For nerds, of course, we turn to the things that occupy our attention, inspire our imagination, or generate conversation. This year, we are looking at the things that helped us survive 2020. Today, Kyrun Silva––creator at Taurus Comics and co-host of the Con Artists podcast on this very website––shares what kept his spirits up this year.
Okay, let’s get this out of the way: 2020 sucked for most of us. For me it sucked a lot. No comic book conventions, no family gatherings, no martial arts training (which also meant I didn’t get my black belt this year, maybe next year; who knows?), and so many other things. 2020 will be a year that remembered forever, but even through all this turmoil Some things still brought joy to my life. A few of those joys were geeky things. While my family’s love (and the sheer variety) of anime––a mainstay of my 2019––allowed us to explore all of the feelings that came with the pandemic, there was one thing in particular that––aside from annoying my wife for half the year––really hit me hard.
I have to admit, ever since July happened my family hasn’t been the same.
July 3rd, 2020 was the exact day. It was a warm evening. Dinner had been consumed, and we sat down to relax. Instead of watching more anime, I suggested we watch Hamilton, which had just been released on Disney+.
I heard about Hamilton over the years. I even watched a couple of YouTube videos showing clips of the original cast performing on stage, off stage, and in the White House. For years, my wife and I tried to get tickets to see it live. When news got out that Disney had bought the rights to stream it, I knew I had to watch it. From the opening couple of notes I was hooked. The music, the voices, the pageantry, the dances, I loved every minute of Hamilton. Maybe a little too much.
The entire musical is three hours long with an intermission in the middle. For my wife it probably felt like an eternity. The problem is, after my first viewing, my love for Hamilton didn’t end. One viewing turned into two, then three, and soon became double digits.
I quickly found the soundtrack and lyrics online and soon began singing the entire musical all day every day. My enthusiasm for this phenomenon spread to my oldest son, who quickly joined me in my madness. He and I started taking different parts of the show––he, as Alexander Hamilton; me, as Aaron Burr. Then my two youngest joined us.
My wife was not amused. She said I was a grifter1 of sorts, tricking them into liking the show. I say they just have good taste.
I became a Hamilton zealot, searching from anything I could get my hands on about the musical. My browser history became filled with searches of the cast and crew. Even to the point where I started watching the show Station 19 because Okieriete Onaodowan, an actor from the musical, was now on the show. Side note: I already watched all the episodes of Black-ish that featured another Hamilton cast member in Daveed Diggs.
Hamilton is still played at least once a week in my household. Yes, the enthusiasm may have died off a little, but the love is there.
2020 was a crazy year. Though I wasn’t able to consume my geekdom in ways I had been accustomed to in the past, I found alternatives that filled that void and helped bring my family together. We’ve created new memories together that will strengthen my family’s ties and give us something to look back on years down the line.
WONDER WOMAN TO THE MAX: It was announced, in an unprecedented move by a streaming service, to release Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day to both theaters and HBO Max subscribers simultaneously. Unlike Disney+ with Mulan, Wonder Woman 1984 will be available to all HBO Max subscribers at no additional cost for a month. Andrew and D. Bethel discuss this move and how it relates to how Disney has been doing business, as well as what it means for movie in the future.
WEEK IN GEEK: It’s kind of an accidental ’80s week as Andrew watches the YouTube Premium/Netflix series, Cobra Kai––which then prompted him to go back and watch the original Karate Kid movie––while D. Bethel, in an effort to see what all the hype was about, sat down and watched a version of the 1984 sci-fi classic, Dune.
THE NEW FINAL: At this week’s PlayStation 5 event, a trailer for Final Fantasy XVI was revealed as an exclusive (at least for the moment) for the PS5.
I’LL MAKE AN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT OUT OF YOU: The live action version of the ’90s animated classic, Mulan, was released to Disney+ subscribers (for the cost of an extra $29.99) and, with it, came a lot of controversy––from Chinese reviewers not being too keen on it to human rights issues, D. Bethel and Andrew run through the discourse of this interesting, troubled film.
ANOTHER DUNE: The first trailer for Dennis Villaneuve’s new adaptation of the Frank Herbert sci-fi philosophical classic, Dune. Andrew and D. Bethel muse on the potential this new film has (and how people will still likely be disappointed by it).
And here’s an example––from Jodorowsky’s Dune––of some of the pure artist intent Jodorowsky had in his approach to movie-making (with his Dune being the center of it).
ANY PORT IN A NERD STORM: Rather than blasting the news, Andrew and D. Bethel blur the distinction between nerdy news and Weeks in Geek with Andrew expressing his excitement for Star Trek: Lower Decks on CBS All Access, Dan’s strange sense of place after watching the HBO true crime documentary mini-series, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, before they discuss the news of the upcoming live-action Mulan remake getting a simultaneous (albeit for $29.99) release on Disney+ and in theaters.
Bethel, D. “News Blast: Three X-Films Announced for 2018.” A Website [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes. 23 April 2017. –– Where D. Bethel discusses the announcement of the New Mutants movie, along with the announcement of Deadpool 2 and Dark Phoenix. Deadpool 2 was the only film to release in 2018.
THE INTERMINABLE CUT: Zack Snyder had already made it clear that his “Snyder Cut” of Justice League for HBO Max was going to be long, but recently made clear that it was going to be even longer than the 214 minutes he previously said it would be, meaning it will likely be close to four hours of film. Andrew and D. Bethel have some thoughts about long run times with nerdy and geeky movies.
NEWS BLAST (COVID-19 EDITION): A lot of stuff is going on amid the global pandemic, and Andrew and D. Bethel are here to talk about it (if Dan actually was able to record his audio this time). They talk about the AMC theater chain shunning Universal Pictures amid Trolls World Tour‘s success, Civilization VI‘s bold new plan for a year’s worth of DLC and expansions, Marvel and DC Comics are shipping books again, The Flash has an abbreviated season (ending on somewhat of a downbeat), and New Mutants gets a theatrical release date…again.