December 1, 2021

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

2021: Year Of Anticipation

It's Gabbing Geek's annual look at what's coming up, what we may be looking forward to, and what we may think of all that.

At this time last year, Gabbing Geek put out its annual assessment of what was coming in the following year.

Then the pandemic happened and a lot of that stuff got…delayed.

Well, here we are with 2021.  Let’s see what we thought this time around.

Jenny hates the Anticipation Baby for some reason. Will she let the kid stick around this year? Maybe it he were a Baby Yoda…  And yes, I made the same joke last year.

Movies

Movies may be the biggest disappointment from the last year since, well, a lot of stuff didn’t come out.  That just means a lot of that stuff may be coming out this year!  Oh, and some other stuff too.

Escape Room 2

What is it?  It’s a sequel to the 2019 horror movie about a group of people stuck in a deadly escape room scenario.

Why we’re psyched!  So, I’ve done a couple escape rooms with some friends, and it always works out well because my friends do these things all the freakin’ time, setting time records at whatever room they are escaping from, and I get to feel the exhilaration of winning despite the fact I bring absolutely nothing to the table.  Also, I didn’t see the first movie.

Why we’re wary…  A fairly quick sequel to a somewhat low budget horror movie, already pushed back twice before the pandemic started, doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Watson says: I am stunned this movie didn’t go Streaming.  Tell me this wouldn’t have gotten some eyeballs on Netflix.  Hell, Hulu.

Ryan says: Oh, it’ll be streaming in my house.  The first one was a pleasant surprise.

One Night in Miami

What is it?  The story of four prominent black men–Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, and Jim Brown–discussing their responsibilities to the Civil Rights Movement

Why we’re psyched!  That’s a hell of a premise, and as an added bonus, it’s tje directorial debut for Regina King.

Why we’re wary…  Well, unless King isn’t much of a director, I can’t think of anything.  This sounds awesome.

Watson says: The reviews say she is quite the Director, so I look forward to seeing this on Amazon in January!

Mortal Kombat

What is it?  It’s the latest reboot of the very violent video game.

Why we’re psyched!  James Wan produced this, and Mortal Kombat may be one of the few video game franchises that could lend itself to a good movie.

Why we’re wary…  You know, the best video game movie I’ve ever seen is Jumanji, and that wasn’t based on a real video game…

Watson says: It is available on streaming, so I will watch it.  I hope it is as good as the animated film from this year, which was quite decent…

The Marksman

What is it?  It’s the annual Liam Neeson action movie!

Why we’re psyched!  LIAM NEESON!

Why we’re wary…  in January…you know, if it comes out.

Watson says: LIAM NEESON!

Ryan says: #FuckLiamNeeson

Chaos Walking

What is it?  An adaptation of a sci-fi novel about a young man, believing a plague wiped out all the women of his colony world and granted him the ability to hear thoughts, finding a young woman and discovering he’s been lied to.

Why we’re psyched!  This sounds like a potentially cool premise with Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley as the young couple and Mads Mikkelsen as the villainous mayor.  Plus, director Doug Liman gave us the great Edge of Tomorrow.

Why we’re wary…  I don’t know much about this one yet, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

Watson says: It got delayed YET AGAIN.  This is becoming the next New Mutants!

Jimmy says:  Everything I know about this movie I learned from reading what’s above.  I’m not convinced that Daisy Ridley will have a career outside of Star Wars.

Ryan says: This is the kind of movie that will get delayed again even after it’s released.

The King’s Man

What is it?  It’s a prequel/origin story for the independent spy agency from director Matthew Vaughn’s over-the-top Kingsmen series.

Why we’re psyched!  Kingsmen movies have, to date, been pretty fun with a lot of dark comedy, sledgehammer-subtle political satire, and crazy visuals.  Plus, the cast includes the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Djimon Hounsou, Charles Dance, and Gemma Arterton.

Why we’re wary…  Well, it’s a prequel when what fans may have really wanted was Kingsman 3.  Also, this movie has been pushed back twice…and that was before the pandemic.

Watson says: This series is my guilty pleasure.  I love it so I cannot wait to see it.

Jimmy says:  I really need to watch the second film…

Antlers

What is it?  It’s an adaptation of an acclaimed horror short story.

Why we’re psyched!  I haven’t read the original story, but I’ve head nothing but raves for how awesome it apparently is with a really nasty twist that the trailers may or may not have

Why we’re wary…   Good adaptations are hard, especially when they’re this hyped up.

Watson says: I don’t like horror, but this is part of the WB HBO Max dump!

Cherry

What is it?  It’s the story of a young man who falls in love and then makes a whole lot of bad decisions.

Why we’re psyched!  This looks like what the Russo Brothers followed up Avengers Endgame with, and they brought Spider-Man Tom Holland along for the ride.

Why we’re wary…  The Russos have only really done stuff with highly recognizable intellectual property.  What happens when they don’t have the MCU as back-up?

Watson says: I have heard really good things so I hope it shows the Russos are every bit as real as I want them to be!

Jimmy says: It’s looking like the year of Tom Holland!  It will be interesting to see what they can do with smaller fare as they’ve made some of my favorite MCU films.

Coming to America 2

What is it?  It’s the long-awaited (theoretically) sequel to the popular Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall rom com.

Why we’re psyched!  We’ve got Murphy and Hall reprising their roles in a movie where Prince Akeem learns he had an illegitimate son back in Queens that is set to become the next king of Zamunda.

Why we’re wary…  You know, I love the original, but how the heck did Akeem father an illegitimate son?  He wasn’t exactly spreading the royal seed while he was over there.  Plus, John Landis isn’t back in the director’s chair.

Watson says: I’ll enjoy it and then put it in the bottom half of my yearly rankings…

Jimmy says: I enjoyed the original…in 1988.  I’m not sure anyone besides Murphy and Hall’s agents (that almost sounds like an 80’s band) asked for this one.

Ryan says: What if we all just pretend we already saw this movie?

Tom and Jerry

What is it?  It’s Tom and Jerry.  I think we all know who they are.

Why we’re psyched!  Tom and Jerry have been one of the most fondly remembered cartoon comedy duos of all time.  The basic premise is simple:  a cat and mouse abuse the hell out of each other, usually with the mouse coming out on top somehow.

Why we’re wary…  How the hell do you turn a Tom and Jerry story into anything more than a six minute short?  They had to add a bunch of other characters we won’t care about, didn’t they?

Watson says: Meh…

Jimmy says:  “It’s Tom and Jerry.  I think we all know who they are.”  Do we?  I know we old folks do (and get off my lawn) but I don’t see this connecting with younger audiences.  Especially since I’m pretty sure the “Why we’re psyched!” section would describe Itchy and Scratchy to them.

The Many Saints of Newark

What is it?  It’s a prequel movie to HBO’s first big dramatic juggernaut, The Sopranos.

Why we’re psyched!  David Chase co-wrote the screenplay, and the cast looks pretty impressive, including James Gandolfini’s son as young Tony Soprano.  Even better, though, is Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga as Tony’s parents, and if that isn’t a formidable mob couple, I don’t know who is.

Why we’re wary…  That final episode did piss a lot of people off.  Though, quite frankly given WB’s plans for this year, if there was one movie that could go right to HBO Max without controversy, it’s a Sopranos prequel.

Watson says: I have always tried to get around to watching the Sopranos, so might watch this one a little later…

Jimmy says:  Me too Watson.  I watched the first and maybe the second season.  It’s always on The List, but with it being over for 13 years (I actually would have thought it was longer than that) and already knowing the ending, it hasn’t been very high in the queue.

Raya and the Last Dragon

What is it?  It’s Disney’s next animated feature, this time with an entirely Southeast Asian cast and setting.

Why we’re psyched!  Disney tends to produce high quality animation, and this is a step towards greater representation.

Why we’re wary…  There was some controversy in that the movie may have just mixed and matched several Southeast Asian cultures to tell this story.

Watson says: Interested in watching this one on Disney+.  But interesting enough that I would have been excited in the theaters.

Morbius

What is it?  It’s Sony’s next attempt at a Spider-Man free live action Spiderverse with antihero Morbius the Living Vampire taking center stage.

Why we’re psyched!  Morbius may be the right kind of weird for star Jared Leto, and it’s got acclaimed Swedish director Daniel Espinosa behind the camera.

Why we’re wary…  Morbius the Living Vampire?  He’s got a solo movie?  Seriously?  Did anyone want this one?  I can understand it with Venom, but Morbius?

Watson says: I really hope this isn’t the first movie I see after it is safe to go back…

Jimmy says:  Tom summed up my thoughts in the “Why we’re wary…” section.  Though I am curious just how ingrained this will essentially be with the MCU as we’ve already seen it tying into Homecoming and Far From Home in the trailers.

Ryan says: It’s like a vampire…rolling in the wind.

No Time to Die

What is it?  It’s the 25th James Bond movie, and Daniel Craig swears this will be his last.

Why we’re psyched!  Craig has been a fantastic Bond.  Casino Royale revived the franchise while Skyfall hit new heights for what a Bond movie could be.

Why we’re wary…  You know, only about half of Craig’s Bond movies were all that beloved by the fans…

Watson says: Assuming this is his last Bond, I hope Daniel Craig goes out with a bang fighting Remi Malick.

Jimmy says: I have a love/hate relationship with Bond.  I’ve grown to hate all the one-liners and double entendres that have built up over the years with previous incarnations.  But when you strip all the Bond-isms away, which the Craig films like to do, you’re just left with generic spy movies.  I loved Skyfall, but can’t say the others have done much for me.

Ryan says: Nokia still makes phones.  They planned their big relaunch around this movie.  So when you see a bunch of Nokia phones in the movie that no longer exist, that’ll be why.  It will amuse me.  Greatly.

Peter Rabbit 2

What is it?  It’s a sequel to the surprisingly good retelling of the Peter Rabbit story from 2018.

Why we’re psyched!  Ryan rather accurately described the original as a kid friendly version of Deadpool.  Who saw that coming?

Why we’re wary…  I don’t think Beatrix Potter wrote a sequel to the original, so where exactly does this series go?

Watson says: Again…why not Streaming???

Bob’s Burgers

What is it?  It’s a feature film of the long-running animate comedy.

Why we’re psyched!  Bob’s Burgers has managed to stay consistently funny over the many years it’s been on the air.  It’s quirky and original in many ways.

Why we’re wary…  Bob’s Burgers is in many ways a very low-key show that doesn’t really do high stakes stuff.  Can that support a movie?

Watson says: I don’t love the series, so couldn’t care less…

BIOS

What is it?  It’s the story of a dying inventor, in a post-apocalyptic world, building himself a robot to do some traveling and take care of his dog when the man dies.

Why we’re psyched!  Tom Hanks as the inventor, a dying old man who wants a friend to take care of his dog?  Cue the water works from, at the very least, Jenny.

Why we’re wary…  Then again, this scenario sounds way too much like its just there to manipulate said water works from audiences, particularly the Jennys of this world.

Watson says: Tom Hanks is my 2020 hero. Here’s to his success in 2021!

A Quiet Place 2

What is it?  It’s a sequel to the unexpected sci-fi/horror hit A Quiet Place.

Why we’re psyched!  A Quiet Place was a smart, tense movie from star/writer/director John Krasinski.  No one saw that coming, but we were all glad we did.

Why we’re wary…  Where do you take the story from here?  Seriously?  Can they get lightning in a bottle for a second time?

Watson says: I really do want to see this in the theater.  The silence with a crowd was one of the things that made the original very compelling.

Jimmy says: The first one was excellent.  This one makes me a bit weary as it seemed perfectly fine as a one and done.

Ryan says: What’s even the point of this movie now that the Academy has fucked all the sound engineers?

Last Night in Soho

What is it?  It’s director Edgar Wright’s next movie after Baby Driver.

Why we’re psyched!  Edgar Wright is something of a cinematic genius.  He’s done comedies with horror, action, and sci-fi elements, a musical heist film without any singing, and now he wants to do straight-up horror.  At the least, it’ll be interesting.

Why we’re wary…  There’s hardly anything known about this movie as of yet.

Watson says: Anna Taylor-Joy AND Thomasin McKenzie?  Watson Favorite overload!  If they could have found a role for Mary Elizabeth Winstead, I would be in heaven.

Black Widow

What is it?  It’s the long awaited solo film for Scarlet Johanson’s Black Widow.

Why we’re psyched!  MCU fans have been waiting for this one for a while now, and Marvel finally delivered.

Why we’re wary…  They couldn’t do this before the last two Avengers movies?

Watson says: This was one of my most anticipated films last year, so let’s let it ride to 2021!!!

Jimmy says: I’m wondering if the pandemic and subsequent delays to all things have actually helped the MCU.  How do you follow up the dizzying highs of Endgame and the billion dollar grossing of the latest Spider-Man film?  With a solo Avenger movie that seems like it is 5 years too late and feels like it “doesn’t count” since it’s a prequel with a star character that is already dead.  But factor in an extra year of almost no MCU content prior to Black Window‘s release, and that pent up anticipation may push it to new heights.  Assuming theatres are operating at anywhere near capacity by then…

Godzilla vs Kong

What is it?  It’s a throwdown between the two most famous giant monsters in movie history!

Why we’re psyched!  The 2014 American Godzilla movie and Kong Skull Island were both a lot of mindless fun, the very thing a good popcorn flick should be.

Why we’re wary…  Um, did you see Godzilla:  King of the Monsters?  Or Batsoup?

Watson says:  Do I watch this at home on HBO Max or go to the theater to watch it on the big screen (vaccine permitting)???

Jimmy says:  I still haven’t seen the 2014 Godzilla, but hear good things.  Skull Island was a passable mindless popcorn flick.  So…I guess I’ll maybe see this one…eventually?

Fast and Furious 9

What is it?  It’s the ninth installment of the movie series where cars drive fast and Vin Diesel continually growls something about “family”.

Why we’re psyched!  If you aren’t Watson, these are generally fun, if mindless, action movies.  Plus, if you aren’t Watson, you get to see Watson call these movies terrible, and there’s some entertainment value there too.

Why we’re wary…  Truth be told, the last one slid a little in quality, keeping me from having the sort of mindless fun I generally expect from this series.  It picked up in the final act, but there was something not quite right before then…

Watson says:  This is everything that is wrong with the world…

Jimmy says: Watson and Jenny and all the other haters are all kinds of wrong about this franchise.  I mean, what else could draw two opposite forces in Jimmy and Ryan together, risking a matter/anti-matter type destruction of the universe?  That said, I’m with Tom on his analysis of the “Why we’re wary…”.  And Hobbs and Shaw didn’t exactly move the needle forward.

Ryan says: This better be fucking streaming or I will disown this family.

Cruella

What is it?  It’s a live action origin story for Cruella DeVill starring Emma Stone.

Why we’re psyched!  Emma Stone is an incredibly charming performer, and by focusing on the villain, maybe it won’t just be another Disney live action retread of a beloved animated film.

Why we’re wary…  Most of these Disney live action remakes, at best, are dull, even with charming lead actors like Emma Stone involved.

Watson says:  Emma Stone is the ONLY thing that is remotely interesting about this…

Jimmy says:  I hate to agree with Watson at any time about anything, but seconded.

Infinite

What is it?  A schizophrenic learns his hallucinations are actually memories.  Oh, and he might have superpowers.

Why we’re psyched!  The premise alone sure sounds intriguing.

Why we’re wary…  Personally, I find director Antoine Fuqua’s work a bit “meh” more often than not.  His best work is with Denzel Washington…and Denzel isn’t in this one.

Watson says:  It could be forgettable or the best picture of the new decade.  No idea…

Ryan says: So it’s Recursion but without Blake Crouch.  Nope.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

What is it?  It’s a continuation of the original Ghostbusters time line with a group of kids (plus Paul Rudd) battling ghosts in a rural town.

Why we’re psyched!  The trailer suggested this could actually be closer in spirit to The Goonies or Stranger Things (complete with Finn Wolfhard!) while still being set in the Ghostbusters world.  Most of the surviving original cast are reprising their roles, original movie director Ivan Reitman’s more talented son Jason is writing and directing, and it just kinda looks awesome.

Why we’re wary…  I think my opinion of the all-female version from a couple years ago isn’t as high as it used to be, but I do think it’s something of a shame those characters didn’t quite take off.  Then again, maybe I just want to see more of Kate McKinnon’s general comedic weirdness in a Ghostbusters movie.

Watson says:  I am actually looking forward to this one.  The vibe of the trailer plus the presence of Paul Rudd makes me want to see more…

Jimmy says: Dammit, I have to agree with Watson again.  I didn’t care for the all female version, but this straight up continuation is intriguing.

In the Heights

What is it?  It’s a film adaptation of the other great musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Why we’re psyched!  If Ryan is to be believed, LMM is the greatest musical composer of our or any time.  Then again, I haven’t been able to score a ticket to Hamilton yet, and that Disney+ version isn’t quite the same thing as the energy of a live show…

Why we’re wary…  Apparently, LMM only co-wrote the original show…

Watson says:  I’ll watch it but it isn’t must see entertainment like Hamilton…

Ryan says: We shouldn’t let the theater noobs write these entries.  LMM didn’t co-write, he wrote the music and lyrics.  Someone else wrote the book.  They’re different.  You don’t call the cinematographer a co-director.

Venom 2

What is it?  It’s the next installment of the Tom Hardy-led antihero series.

Why we’re psyched!  The original Venom was HUGE box office and guaranteed a sequel, and while I walked out of the theater hating it, I’ve softened a bit since then.  Besides, whatever Tom Hardy was doing seemed to connect with audiences.

Why we’re wary…  I said my position softened.  I still think the original was a bad movie.

Watson says:  Tom’ must have taken a stool softener, because his opinion is a softened… turd in the wind.

Jimmy says:  Venom was awful.  I still can’t really believe they made a solo movie for him completely unconnected to Spider-Man.  I’m mostly looking forward to the sequel as I have a stack of Amazing Spider-Man #361’s to sell to the highest bidders…

Ryan says: It’s like a Mobius…in the wind.

Top Gun 2: Maverick

What is it?  It’s the sequel to one of Tom Cruise’s best remembered movies.

Why we’re psyched!  Tom Cruise can consistently do good work in the action genre.

Why we’re wary…  After all this time, did anyone want this?  And, to be honest, I was never that impressed with the original movie anyway.

Watson says:  I didn’t need this sequel, but Cruise typically makes good movies, so….

Jimmy says:  I’ll be honest…I’m not even sure I’ve seen Top Gun.

Ryan says: The original still holds up.  I just showed it to my kids and we’re all looking forward to this latest round of Scientology propoganda.

Minions: The Rise of Gru

What is it?  It’s a sequel to the Despicable Me spin-off Minions.  Or it’s a prequel to Despicable Me.  One of those.

Why we’re psyched!  Um…hold on, I’ll think of something.  It may depend if it’s more about Gru, who’s rather entertaining, or the Minions, who are rather annoying.

Why we’re wary…  You know why.  Because it’s the goddam Minions.

Watson says:  I probably won’t see this…

Jimmy says:  I’ve enjoyed the Despicable Me movies, but not sure I’ve seen Minions, and probably won’t see this one.

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

What is it?  It’s the MCU’s next big hero, this one a master of the martial arts.

Why we’re psyched!  Oh come on!  Even the worst of the MCU’s movies are at least entertaining, and this is a nice experiment into a different genre.

Why we’re wary…  The actor cast as Shang Chi may be the most unknown guy the MCU has ever cast in anything, so what he can do in a lead role is still something of a mystery.  I mean, it looks like his biggest role to date was something on a Canadian sitcom I’d never heard of before…

Watson says:  I am not a martial arts fan, but I AM an MCU fan.  For a movie that has wrapped principle photography, we know very little about this one…

Jimmy says:  As Watson says, we know very little about this one.  And Shang-Chi is far from having a huge fan following (that I know of), so this seems like Marvel’s biggest risk since the original Guardians.  But, it’s the MCU and we all know how Guardians turned out…

Ryan says: Is there a legal drama sub-plot?

Uncharted

What is it?  It’s a movie based on a treasure-hunting video game series.

Why we’re psyched!  Tom Holland stars as Nathan Drake, and that probably means something to Jimmy.

Why we’re wary…  Well, it is a movie based on a video game…

Watson says:  I like Tom Holland, but does this movie break the video game curse.

Jimmy says:  The Year of Tom Holland!!!  I like Holland and have actually heard some good buzz for this, but he seems completely miscast if you’ve played any of the games at all.

Space Jam: A New Legacy

What is it?  It’s a sequel to a popular oddity, only this time LeBron James is the basketball superstar helping Bugs Bunny for some reason.

Why we’re psyched!  You know, maybe every generation deserves its own Space Jam.  And maybe LeBron is a better actor than Michael Jordan.

Why we’re wary…  That first one is just such a weird movie if you stop to think about it.  You probably can’t catch that sort of lightning in a bottle a second time…heck, I’m not sure they even should.

Watson says:  LeBron was REALLY funny in Trainwreck, so maybe…

Jimmy says: Just, no.

Ryan says: Jimmy is right.  This is his one for 2021.

The Tomorrow War

What is it?  It’s a sci-fi story where, to fight an alien invasion, humanity uses time travel to draft soldiers from past wars.

Why we’re psyched!  Aw, c’mon!  That premise alone sounds awesome, and it has Chris Pratt.  We still like him, right?

Why we’re wary…  This is a first live action feature from animator Chris McKay.  That may or may not be something worth being concerned over.

Watson says:  A good sci-fi movie always piques my interest…and I love Pratt…

Jimmy says:  I never heard of this prior to 15 seconds ago, but I’m interested.

Jungle Cruise

What is it?  It’s another movie based on a theme park ride where Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt go down a jungle river in a boat while wearing what looks like the same clothes Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn wore in The African Queen.

Why we’re psyched!  Two likable stars could make this the next Pirates of the Caribbean.  The first one, not the increasingly mediocre sequels.

Why we’re wary…  It could also be the next Haunted Mansion.  Or Country Bears.  Or Pirates of the Caribbean sequel.

Watson says:  Two of the most charming leads in show business.  If they screw this up, the writer, director, and producers should be put out to pasture…

Jimmy says:  I do like the leads, but at this point have very little interest.  Definitely a wait and watch for “free” on Disney+ for me at this point.

Ryan says: Remember when we first saw trailers for this 834 years ago?

The Suicide Squad

What is it?  It’s a sequel/reboot/something for DC’s Suicide Squad!

Why we’re psyched!  James Gunn put this thing together during his hiatus away from Marvel/Disney.  That guy’s awesome, and this looks like a lot of crazy fun!

Why we’re wary…  I think we all have a natural reluctance to fully embrace any DC movie that didn’t come from director Patty Jenkins.

Watson says:  James Gunn makes fun movies…

Jimmy says:  Time will tell.  I don’t hate on the original Suicide Squad as much as most and Gunn stepping in definitely has me excited.

Ryan says: Who will have more named characters: this movie or Snyder cut of Justice League?  Answer: I don’t care.

Narrator: He didn’t.

Ryan says: Fuck off, Narrator.  You were a 2020 bit.

Narrator: I waas.

Deep Water

What is it?  A wealthy man who lets his wife screw around becomes the prime suspect where her lovers start to disappear.

Why we’re psyched!  Ben Affleck has done some pretty good career rehab, and Ana de Armas was utterly charming in Knives Out.  This could be another Gone Girl.

Why we’re wary…  You do remember why Affleck needed to do some career rehab, right?

Watson says: Ana de Armas was amazing in Knives Out, so seeing more of her is a good thing.  Affleck has been solid lately.  I don’t it was CAREER rehab he needs…

Respect

What is it?  It’s a biography of Aretha Franklin starring Jennifer Hudson.

Why we’re psyched!  Hudson can sing and act incredibly well.  Her voice was the only thing worth noting in the otherwise awful beyond belief Cats.

Why we’re wary…  We’ve seen a couple of these musical biopics come along in the last few years, and they all tend to follow the same basic formula.  I don’t see this one being any different in that regard.

Watson says:  I don’t connect with movies that depend on how well the lead performs musically (like Judy) and I think this one will be the same…

Ryan says: Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar for a single song.  This time she’ll win for multiple songs.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

What is it?  It’s a sequel to 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard.

Why we’re psyched!  I thought the first one was so-so for action but that stars Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson had some great comedic chemistry, but the real scene-stealer was Salma Hayek as Jackson’s violent, foul-tempered wife.  Since it looks like she’s the one under protection this time, it means everyone involved saw she was the best part of the first movie.

Why we’re wary…  Even if you did enjoy Hayek in the first movie, it could be a case where keeping her mostly off-screen allowed her scenes to work better.  Using her more could make the character less fun.  That’s been known to happen.  Also, Jimmy Impossible hated the first one if he even remembers seeing it, so it wasn’t exactly a universal hit around here.

Watson says:  I like all these people…

Jimmy says:  Tom pretty much said everything I would have said.  🙂

Candyman

 

What is it?  It’s a sequel/remake/reboot of the horror movie about the murder victim whose ghost comes by to kill you if you say his name too many times.  Also, there are bees.

Why we’re psyched!  The cast looks pretty impressive, and Jordan Peele is attached to produce.  And bees!

Why we’re wary…  Was there demand for more of these after so much time?  Bees?

Watson says:  I have heard the studio thinks this is a movie worth holding for a theatrical debut because it is a gem.  I didn’t like the first one, but Peele produces good work.

Dune

What is it?  It’s another adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel, this time from director Denis Villeneuve.

Why we’re psyched!  Villeneuve hasn’t disappointed me yet, and the cast for this one includes Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Ryan-fave Javier Bardem.

Why we’re wary…  I read Dune once.  Most of it seemed like people thinking about what other people were thinking while knowing those people knew they were thinking that.  And then something happened in the last fifty pages or so.  I wasn’t impressed.

Watson says:  Tom’s single read of Dune convinced me NOT to read Dune.  But this cast and Villeneuve?  Intriguing…

Jimmy says:  I might be the only one around here that has neither read nor seen any previous versions of Dune, and have no real desire to, this one included.

Halloween Kills

What is it?  It’s the sequel to the big 2018 hit reimagined sequel from the guys who gave us Eastbound & Down and Pineapple Express.

Why we’re psyched!  That Halloween is perhaps the best since the original, and all it had to do beyond bring Jamie Lee Curtis back is ignore every movie in the series that came out after the original.

Why we’re wary…  You want confusing continuity?  Look at Halloween.  It’s got way more misses than hits over the course of Michael Myers’s endless murder sprees.

Watson says:  I liked the sequel ignoring reboot, but this is a sequel that will some day need rebooting…

Jimmy says:  I’m disappointed in myself that I haven’t seen the 2018 version, as I’ve seen all the other films in the series.  Maybe I will make it a double feature this October 31st.

Snake Eyes

What is it?  It’s a solo movie for everyone’s favorite member of G.I. Joe, the mute ninja Snake Eyes.

Why we’re psyched!  Snake Eyes is everyone’s favorite Joe for a reason:  he’s just so damn cool, and he was something of a highlight in the previous G.I. Joe movies.  And this time, he’s being played by all-around cool guy Henry Golding.

Why we’re wary…  Henry Golding is all-around cool.  So why is he playing a character famously so disfigured he hid his face away at all times and couldn’t talk?

Watson says:  There is so much potential in this franchise but they have never tapped it.

Jimmy says: Just keep Rob Liefeld away from drawing the poster and I’ll be happy.

Ryan says: This isn’t a remake of the Nic Cage movie?

The Eternals

What is it?  It’s the next new batch of characters to hit the MCU, superhuman immortals charged with protecting humanity.

Why we’re psyched!  Even the worst Marvel movies are at least watchable, and the multi-ethnic cast on this one looks mighty impressive.

Why we’re wary…  Marvel has managed to make some fairly obscure characters huge successes for people who don’t read comics.  But could this one be the bridge too far?

Watson says: Add this the list of 2020 holdovers that excite the hell out of me!  Black Knight played by Jon Snow!!!

Jimmy says:  The cast is impressive, but this group of mostly unknown characters with no real fan base will be Marvel’s biggest gamble since the original Guardians…uh, make that since Shang-Chi.

King Richard

What is it?  It’s a biopic about Richard Williams, father to Venus and Serena.

Why we’re psyched!  Will Smith is a charming lead, even in his lesser roles.

Why we’re wary…  Maybe it’s because I don’t know much about sports, and not to knock Richard Williams, but wouldn’t there be a more interesting biopic if it were focused on one or both of the Williams sisters?

Watson says: Only if Will Smith played him.  Seriously, Williams was a FASCINATING and controversial figure in the world of sports.

Mission: Impossible 7

What is it?  It’s the next installment of the long running action series Mission: Impossible.

Why we’re psyched!  Because these are always fun movies, that’s why.

Why we’re wary…  Does anyone really remember what happens in these movies within a day or two of seeing one?  They are referred to as the Chinese food of cinema around the Gabbing Geek home office for a reason.

Watson says: They are referred to as the Chinese food of cinema around the Gabbing Geek home office for a reason.  Hmm….apparently even reviews of MI films are pleasantly forgettable.

Jimmy says:  One of the rare franchises that a Jimmy and a Ryan can agree on.  Almost always enjoyable, but agree with others that they are also mostly forgettable.

Ryan says: Mostly forgettable?  Try COMPLETELY forgettable.  I don’t even know if they made another movie after the 4th one.  They just shuffle the scenes and release them again.

West Side Story

What is it?  It’s another version of the classic musical re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet.

Why we’re psyched!  Stephen Spielberg directed this one since he apparently has conquered enough genres and decided he needed to take on the musical as well.

Why we’re wary…  Did he have to do this musical?  There’s already a great version of it that I doubt even Spielberg can improve on outside of making sure the members of the cast actually do their own singing this time.

Watson says: Zzzzzzz……

Matrix 4

What is it?  It’s the fourth installment of the sci-fi trendsetter that established what we all thought of as cool in the 90s.

Why we’re psyched!  The first Matrix was a trendsetter for a reason, and with Keanu, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Lana Wachowski all coming back to tell another story in this world, well, this could rock.

Why we’re wary…  OK, it has been a long time since we got one of these, but as much as we might dig the first Matrix, the two sequels are…less beloved.

Watson says: I haven’t liked a Wachowski film since the original, but what the hell?

Jimmy says:  Everyone loves The Matrix.  Reloaded is not as good and started getting a bit too CGI-people heavy, but I still liked it, and it did have some fantastic action sequences.  The third film?  Well, if you forget about the first two movies completely, it’s a decent action movie.  I’m not sure we need to revisit this universe, especially with the cyclical nature of the story, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

Ryan says: I cannot wait to stream this and wonder why this wasn’t the third movie or why the fuck they didn’t stop with the third movie.

Free Guy

What is it?  It’s an action comedy where a guy named Guy learns he’s an NPC in an open world video game and decides to do something about it.

Why we’re psyched!  Ryan Reynolds as Guy means we get something that probably works to Reynolds’ strengths as a comedic actor.  That trailer does look promising.

Why we’re wary…  As great as Reynolds is in general, he’s not much of a box office draw outside of Deadpool.  Plus, could this one be too busy and full of stuff to be really enjoyable?

Watson says: Even in a bad movie, I like Ryan Reynolds.

Jimmy says:  I’ve liked Reynolds since the Van Wilder days, but this one has me a bit worried that it won’t connect with audiences.

Death on the Nile

What is it?  It’s a sequel to director/star Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express.

Why we’re psyched!  Branagh made a fun movie the first time with an all-star cast of suspects, and it looks like he’s doing it again while wearing an intentionally outlandish mustache.

Why we’re wary…  That first one was a bit forgettable, all told.  I don’t foresee this one being any better in the grand scheme of things.

Watson says: This would have been the perfect 2020 VOD or Streamer.  It is a nice middle to low budget that seem to be Netflix’s sweet spot…

The French Dispatch

What is it?  It’s Wes Anderson’s next movie, this one set in a French newspaper.

Why we’re psyched!  It’s Wes Anderson!

Why we’re wary…  It’s Wes Anderson!  You either dig the guy’s work or you don’t.

Watson says: I dig the guy’s work!

Judas and the Black Messiah

What is it?  It’s the story of a black man who, under a plea deal with the FBI, infiltrates the Black Panthers.

Why we’re psyched!  Ryan Coogler followed up Black Panther with this.  That’s the sort of ambitious film-making that, quite frankly, I think, we should reward and Coogler seems like the kind of guy who can pull it off.

Why we’re wary…  I got nothin’…

Watson says: Coogler isn’t directing.  Only producing.  That said, the leads are two of my favorite actors currently, so this should be special.  Also, it is pre-vaccine HBO Max!

Army of the Dead

What is it?  It’s the story of a group of mercs who decide to rob a Vegas casino…during a zombie plague.

Why we’re psyched!  Zombie heist movie!  Zombie heist movie!

Why we’re wary…  It’s directed by Zack Snyder.

Watson says: It will be a lot of fun or it will be in bottom ten.  Either way, something to talk about…

Jimmy says:  I’m a big Romero fan, but have never seen Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake, though I hear lots of good things.  Sounds like I have another double feature to watch this year.

Red Notice

What is it?  It’s an action/thriller/comedy an Interpol agent tries to capture the world’s greatest art thief.

Why we’re psyched!  Look at that cast!  Gal Gadot!  Ryan Reynolds!  Dwayne Johnson!

Why we’re wary…  This is Johnson’s third collaboration with director Rawson Marshall Thurber, the second being the only so-so Skyscraper.

Watson says: Skyscraper wasn’t awful.  And this cast is so A-List they need to invent a new letter for them…

Jimmy says:  The cast alone is enough to draw me to this one.

Without Remorse

What is it?  It’s a cinematic adaptation of a 1993 Tom Clancy novel of the same name.

Why we’re psyched!  It stars the versatile and charismatic Michael B. Jordan in the lead role.

Why we’re wary…  Is a Tom Clancy adaptation, particularly one from before 9/11, still relevant?

Watson says: This is a great story that can be adapted to any time line.  Guessing they updated the action to more modern times.

Nobody

What is it?  It’s the story of a seemingly mild-manner family man who has some very violent skills even his wife and kids didn’t know about.

Why we’re psyched!  It looks like Bob Odenkirk is playing a John Wick like character.  That could be awesome, and the trailer was pretty cool.

Why we’re wary…  The director’s only other feature film was Hardcore Harry, so make of that what you will.

Watson says: Odenkirk in an action.  He’s come a long way from Mr. Show With Bob and David.

Ryan says: Can we replace Odenkirk in every Liam Neeson role now?

The Woman in the Window

What is it?  It’s a modern retelling of Rear Window where a woman shut-in is sure her neighbor was murdered.

Why we’re psyched!  Director Joe Wright has a pretty impressive resume, and the cast includes Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, and Gary Oldman.  The names attached alone make for a promising movie.

Why we’re wary…  Yeah, that Rear Window thing is actually not intentional, but does anyone really think they can remake Hitchcock, even accidentally?

Watson says: The reviews seem to be mediocre, so not expecting much.  Fortunately, it is on Amazon…

Reminiscence

What is it?  A sci-fi movie about a man who can help people relive their memories.

Why we’re psyched!  It’s the directorial debut for Lisa Joy, co-creator of the series Westworld, and Christopher Nolan’s sister-in-law.  Also, Hugh Jackman is the lead actor.  We always dig that guy.

Why we’re wary…  OK, we may still be a little mad at Nolan and Joy is Nolan-adjacent.  However, Westworld is not always the easiest thing to follow, so this may be in danger of getting lost up its own metaphorical backside.

Watson says: This one was on the HBO Max dump but was pulled.  Nolan over Thanksgiving must have talked trash.  Probably wasn’t wearing a mask…

Spider-Man 3

What is it?  The next Spider-Man in the MCU movie.

Why we’re psyched!  Tom Holland has been an awesome Spidey, and it looks like a lot of actors from previous Spider-Man incarnations are going to be in this one.

Why we’re wary…  I wasn’t even aware it was done casting yet, and it’s going to be ready by December?  Besides, this sounds like it could be awfully crowded while trying to do a Spider-verse thing, and that sounds like it could be trouble.

Watson says: Makes me very nervous about where Marvel is going…

Jimmy says:  I think a lot of the Spider-verse stuff may be a bit of a head fake.  Or at the very least, a minor piece of the overall movie.  I don’t think we’ll have two hours of Holland, Garfield and Maguire fighting Molina and Foxx.

Ryan says: The entire cast of Suicide Squad just signed on to this movie.

Television

Well, many of us were stuck at home this past year, and we probably watched a lot more TV as a result.  But this is 2021…so we’re still somewhat staying at home at least for the first few months.  What are we looking forward to this year?  Assuming these shows were able to get filming in during the pandemic, of course….

 

Cobra Kai

What is it?  It’s the story of Johnny and Daniel, two old opponents, still doing the karate thing.

Why we’re psyched!  Netflix picked this up from YouTube, and changing the focus from Daniel to Johnny sounds like a stroke of genius.

Why we’re wary…  How good can it be without the late Pat Morita?

Ryan says: This is an amazing show.  CANNOT WAIT to watch it on Jan 1!!

Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist

What is it?  A young woman can suddenly hear people express their innermost thoughts and feelings through popular song.

Why we’re psyched!  Well, that’s a unique premise if anything.

Why we’re wary…  Ryan included this item on this year’s list, didn’t he?

Ryan says: God damn right I did.  The first season is a shocking masterpiece, including a season finale that is beyond incredible.

The Mandalorian

What is it?  It’s the hot show about that mysterious bounty hunter that shows up carrying a little green baby everywhere.

Why we’re psyched!  This show just keeps getting better and better.  It may not be more than popcorn TV, but it’s very good popcorn TV.  This is the way.

Why we’re wary…  Season two featured a lot of references to other Star Wars shows and movies.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing (Katee Sackhoff has played the same character in live action and animation), but it could alienate more casual  fans if it isn’t done right.

Watson says: Where does it go from here?  Either way, I am along for the ride…

Jimmy says:  I have a strong feeling this may get bumped to 2022.  Having it season 3 debut alongside it’s first spinoff seems to make little sense.

The Book of Boba Fett

What is it?  It’s a spin-off of The Mandalorian, following the adventures of Boba Fett.

Why we’re psyched!  This is coming from the creative minds behind The Mandalorian, and Boba Fett was a cool new addition to that series.  Giving him his own show where he might actually develop a personality and not just be that quiet guy with the swagger in Jabba’s palace or the punk kid riding shotgun to Jango Fett might be a lot of fun.

Why we’re wary…  Wait, is this coming out around the same time as season three of The Mandalorian?  Can they actually get both shows done?  We’re confused.

Watson says: They make multiple Marvel projects a year.  They’ll be fine…

Jimmy says:  Yeah, but they don’t release them at the same time.  From what I’ve heard, Fett is in production now and season 3 of The Mandalorian doesn’t even begin until this Fett is finished.  I appreciate them wanting to keep this series a secret, but it has generated some confusion.  I’ll be watching both either way as the Mando’s have rejuvenated the franchise like neither of the last two movies could do.

Ryan says: Boba Fett?  Boba Fett?  Where?

WandaVision

What is it?  Your guess is as good as ours.  The Scarlet Witch and the Vision are up to…something.

Why we’re psyched!  This is our first MCU anything since the last Spider-Man movie, so we’re way overdue for another trip there.

Why we’re wary…  It does look a bit weird, and weird is not the same as good.

Watson says: I love the chances they are taking, but I am guessing the show won’t be as kooky as the previews suggest…

Jimmy says: I have a similar feeling to Watson.  I think the whole sitcom, multi-era thing might be pushed aside after the first episode or two.  Looking forward to it though.  As a continuation of the MCU in general, but also to give us a taste of what to expect going forward from this Disney+ shows with the motion picture budgets.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

What is it?  It was supposed to be the first original content from the MCU for Disney+, but then there was a pandemic.

Why we’re psyched!  This one could be the most anticipated for the announced MCU shows as Captain America’s two best pals get into mischief.

Why we’re wary…  For one, the Winter Soldier’s only personality trait is he’s Steve Rogers’ friend.  For another, this may be the most conventional of the various MCU shows coming for sure this year, so it may actually look bland next to the reality warping witch and her dead android lover, the Asgardian trickster god, the adventures of Pizza Dog, and the shapeshifting teenage girl.

Watson says: This will be the best of the Marvel series in production.  Bank on it!

Jimmy says:  I guess Old Man Cap handing off his shield and giving Sam his seal of approval means little to the US Government.

Loki

What is it?  It’s a certain Norse trickster god doing his own thing while running afoul of the Time Variance Authority from the looks of things.

Why we’re psyched!  Hey, there’s a reason Tom Hiddleston was the really big break-out from the first Thor movie.  That guy’s awesome, and he always seems to be having fun when he’s playing Loki.  And since it seems increasingly unlikely we’ll see Hiddleston play James Bond, this may be the closest we’ll ever see him as another British icon, Doctor Who.

Why we’re wary…  While it is not impossible to set a series around a villain, DIsney doing it seems…questionable.  Then again, Loki is a bit harder to classify as either a hero or a villain.

Watson says: I am wary of the old Loki coming back (character regression) but the trailer rung my bell a little…

Jimmy says: I’ll be watching, just like all the MCU content.  It will be interesting how this series finishes up and where it leaves Loki’s status in the MCU moving forward.

 

Hawkeye

What is it?  It’s the further adventures of Clint Barton, perhaps the most misused of all the Avengers.

Why we’re psyched!  It sure looks like they’re adapting the Fraction/Aja comics series, and that one was fantastic.  Factor in as well Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop and we could have something fantastic, finally giving the character of Clint Barton a story worth telling.

Why we’re wary…  Given the way the character has been handled thus far, is anyone really all that interested in Jeremy Renner’s Barton?  I think there’s a reason people may be more psyched about Stienfield’s Kate Bishop.

Watson says: Only with the news that Florence Pugh was involved did I get excited about this one.

Jimmy says: I really need to read that Fraction run…

 

Ms. Marvel

What is it?  It’s the adventures of Kamala Khan, the Pakistani-American teenager who gets superpowers.

Why we’re psyched!  Because Kamala is awesome, and the MCU has been pretty good about translating its heroes to all kinds of screens so far, so let’s see a new one.

Why we’re wary…  Given the pandemic and the fact that, to date, none of the MCU’s shows seem to have arrived on time, well, will this be ready in 2021?

Watson says: I know little about this character but interested in seeing what they do.

Jimmy says:  It’s in production and I have a feeling this may lean more towards character development than CGI spectacle, so maybe having it ready for the end of the year will be doable.  It does seem the most likely of the shows to get bumped to maybe a spring 2022 release though.

 

What If?

What is it?  It’s an animated series showing alternate stories involving MCU characters.

Why we’re psyched!  Longtime Marvel fans know this series of alternate realities can be a lot of fun, and between Jeffrey Wright as the Watcher and regular MCU actors reprising their movie roles, this could be all kinds of cool.

Why we’re wary…  I, for one, don’t care much for the animation style.

Watson says: Yeah.  The art looked weird, but we thought that with the Spider-Verse…

Jimmy says: Agreed about the animation.  And I think these stories will be very hit and miss.

Lovecraft Country

What is it?  HBO’s mix of the duel horrors of racism and other dimensional entities.

Why we’re psyched!  This timely series got a lot of notice, enough for one of the leads to get signed to play Kang the Conqueror in the MCU.

Why we’re wary…  Well, the source material was a single novel, and we all know how HBO shows go when they run out of the source material…

Watson says: They haven’t renewed Season 2, so could this be a one and done like Watchmen?

Ryan says: Yeah, wrong year.

Ozark

What is it?  It’s Netflix crime drama about a big city money launderer going to the more rural Ozarks to do the bidding of a Mexican drug cartel.

Why we’re psyched!  Sure, Netflix more or less canceled this with one final season to wrap things up, but it’s been a pretty cool high wire act of a story so far with strong performances from Jason Bateman and the always-welcome Laura Linney.

Why we’re wary…  Netflix doesn’t actually have a schedule or anything, so it may or may not be out this year.

Jimmy says:  I think the plan was to always wrap things up with this final season, so I wouldn’t necessarily refer to it as “cancelled”.  But that’s just me.  Anyway, it’s been a great show and one that does need to be short on seasons to keep it at least somewhat believable.

Stranger Things

What is it?  It’s Netflix’s hit show about the folks in a small town dealing with monsters from another dimension at the height of the 80s.

Why we’re psyched!  This show nails the look and tone of the 80s while still telling an original story with original characters.  And they added Robert Englund for season four!

Why we’re wary…  Like a lot of Netflix’s shows, what with the pandemic being what it is, who can say if season four even will air in 2021?

Jimmy says:  I don’t think they’ve since captured the magic of season one, but it remains enjoyable.  It will be interesting to see how they get everyone back together after the finale of last season.  And will it be entering into the 90’s?  These kids aren’t getting any younger.

 

What We Do in the Shadows

What is it?  It’s a fake documentary series about a group of vampires living in Staten Island.

Why we’re psyched!  This show is consistently funny, gets some great guest stars, and was a bright spot for me during the early days of the pandemic.

Why we’re wary…  How long can you keep something like this fresh?  And can they get another season in the can with the pandemic still out there?

 

Star Wars on TV

What is it?  It’s a whole crop of new Star Wars shows coming to Disney+.

Why we’re psyched!  Maybe the movies haven’t quite been right, but if the new shows take after The Mandalorian, we could be in for some real treats.  And look at what’s coming:  new shows with Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, Cassian Andor, Lando Calrissian, the droids, and Rosario Dawson’s Ashotka Tano, plus shows with titles like The Bad BatchRangers of the New RepublicVisions, and The Acolyte.

Why we’re wary…  We have no idea when these shows will actually come out.

Watson says: Not that psyched about Andor (except his showrunner is amazing), and still waiting to hear the words “Donald” and “Glover” associated with Lando.  But Ashoka, Rangers, and Kenobi excite the hell out of me.

Jimmy says:  Everyone is super excited about the future of Star Wars…on TV!  Who would have thought that 2 years (or even 1 year) ago?

Marvel on TV

What is it?  It’s a slate full of promising-sounding MCU action for the small screen, perhaps making up for lost time given there’s been basically nothing for the past year.

Why we’re psyched!  Moon Knight and She-Hulk are on the way?  And with some great casting announcements already?  This sounds fantastic to me!

Why we’re wary…  So…when exactly are these new shows showing up?

Watson says: Remember when one super hero movie every few years was exciting?

Jimmy says:  I don’t think we’ll be seeing anything in 2021 besides the series and movies mentioned above.  At some point superhero fatigue has got to set in though right?  Especially with MCU cornerstones Iron Man and Captain America off the board.  But until it does, let’s enjoy the ride.

DC on TV

What is it?  It’s the more…scattered TV stuff based on DC Comics characters.

Why we’re psyched!  Excluding a few mentioned below, there actually is a lot of DC stuff on the horizon.  HBO Max is supposed to be working on live action series based on the Green Lantern and Adam Strange, as well as possibly Justice :League Dark and an animated Aquaman mini-series.  There will also be another season of Titans (meh) and eventually both of the animated series Young Justice and Harley Quinn (yay!).  Ava DuVernay is producing a Naomi series based on a new DC character for the CW.  Lucifer has a few more episodes to go on Netflix.  There’s supposed to be a show about the Gotham City police department in development to tie into next year’s new Batman movie, and James Gunn is making a Peacekeeper mini-series to tie into The Suicide Squad, both on HBO Max.  That’s a lot of stuff on the horizon.

Why we’re wary…  It’s DC.  There’s a general feeling they will still somehow shoot themselves in the foot assuming any of this stuff actually does come out anytime soon.

Watson says: My DC team needs to step up.  Very little of this feels premium.  Maybe GL and Adam Strange will change my mind, but right now I am judging these guys on the Arrowverse standards…

Jimmy says:  DC also announced plans to make 6 DC films a year, with 2 of them going directly to HBO Max.  Given their track record, I’m not holding out much hope for any of these things.

Star Trek on TV

What is it?  It’s the other unkillable sci-fi franchise that has been around for decades in its current incarnation.

Why we’re psyched!  Well, Ryan loves Discovery and Jimmy and I enjoyed Picard while I thought Lower Decks was a spot o’ fun.

Why we’re wary…  No matter what, I think it’s safe to say that Star Trek will forever be overshadowed by other franchises.  Besides, who wants to subscribe to CBS?

Jimmy says:  I really hope we get another season of Picard before Sir Patrick Stewart is no longer up for it.  The man is 80 years old.  I feel I should give Discovery another shot because Ryan loves it so much.  That said, Ryan loving it makes me very wary.

 

Doom Patrol

What is it?  It’s easily the strangest superhero team DC has in its own live action show.

Why we’re psyched!  They somehow managed to make fairly accurate adaptations of both the Silver Age and Grant Morrison eras while still being its own thing about damaged people who just so happen to have superpowers that mean they occasionally try to save the world.

Why we’re wary…  The series got cut short due to the pandemic like so many other shows, but the show walks a fine line between pathos and the absurd that they could very easily go too far in either direction.

 

Arrowverse

What is it?  The various interconnected DC shows on the CW…even if Arrow ended.  And I am not using the new name for these shows.

Why we’re psyched!  OK, maybe Supergirl and Black Lightning are ending this year.  And Batwoman had to recast the title role unexpectedly.  But there’s a new Superman and Lois series coming with a promising pair of leads. the Stargirl series that started last year was a lot of fun, and The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow are, if nothing else, consistent in their quality.

Why we’re wary…  These shows really are, for better or worse, very consistent in their quality.  Make of that what you will.

Jimmy says:  I talked about this in the year in review.  I just can’t get into these shows as they seem like cheap cosplay and fan fiction.  But to each his own.

 

Invincible

What is it?  It’s an animated series about a teenage boy who learns his dad is the world’s greatest superhero and decides to try the same thing out for himself.

Why we’re psyched!  This is Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s other great comic book series, and the voice cast includes the likes of J.K. Simmons, Mark Hamill, Sandra Oh, and Seth Rogen.

Why we’re wary…  Have you seen how much The Walking Dead has worn out its welcome?

Watson says: They announced this too soon.  I feel like I’ve been waiting for years.  Oh wait… that was just 2020…

The Boys

What is it?  Amazon Prime Video’s adaptation of the superhero satire of the same name.

Why we’re psyched!  This show may have done an even better job of humanizing the original comics’s characters while still keeping the gonzo tone that made that series a hit in the first place.  It may not be the most faithful adaptation, but it sure is there thematrically.

Why we’re wary…  With talk of a college-set spin-off, assuming it does have some new episodes in 2021, will they be diluting the brand too much?

Watson says: This is the only show currently that keeps me from saying The Mandolorian is hands down my favorite show…

The Handmaid’s Tale

What is it?  It’s the TV adaptation of the Margaret Atwood dystopian novel.

Why we’re psyched!  Elizabeth Moss owns the small screen and this show is perhaps a little too timely in many ways.  They didn’t quite get a new season out in 2020, but Hulu has already renewed it for a fifth season before the fourth one even airs.

Why we’re wary…  This show ran out of material from the original novel after season one, and the level of plot armor Moss’s June has puts her on Mandalorian-level armored protection.

The Umbrella Academy

What is it?  It’s the Netflix adaptation of the superhero team/dysfunctional family.

Why we’re psyched!  This show has some good layers of weird, and it improved from season one to two.  Given Netflix’s habit of canceling things after two seasons, the fact it got a third is worth noting.  Sure, star Elliot Page’s personal announcements got a lot of notice, but it would actually fit in fine with how this show and his character rolls.

Why we’re wary…  Well, like the other Netflix shows listed above, we have no idea if this show will be back this year or not.

Jimmy says:  This one took me a while to get to (I think season 2 was out before I watched any of the series) but it’s well worth it.  Looking forward to season 3…whenever that is.

 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

What is it?  It’s a dark comedy about five awful people running an unsuccessful bar in the City of Brotherly Love.

Why we’re psyched!  The only reason I added it this year is FX renewed it.  For four more seasons.  If it isn’t the longest running live action sitcom on the air, it will be.

I mean, four more seasons?

Why we’re wary…  Can they keep going for four more seasons?

Watson says: I no longer watch the series regularly, but I can turn on an episode from any era and enjoy…so the more the merrier…

Books

Books can come out without a lot of notice, and personally, I read all the time and it often isn’t something new unless it’s a favorite author.  But I do have a running predication…

The Winds of Winter

What is it?  It’s my annual joke prediction for a book that almost certainly isn’t coming out this year, but won’t I look smart if it actually does?

Watson says: Giggle…

Jimmy says:  I wonder which will come first…The Winds of Winter being released or me finishing the 4th and 5th books?

Technology

New section here!  Sort of.  But it isn’t completely out of our wheelhouse, so here we are.

Vaccines!

What is it?  It’s our biggest hope to see an end to the pandemic.

Why we’re psyched!  What we’ve heard so far sounds really promising, and it would be nice to see people outside our households again.

Why we’re wary…  Cripes, can we get enough people to actually take one?

Watson says: I am guessing Ryan will pay for an early dosage with instructions to meet in the parking lot of Sizzler to get the shot…

Jimmy says: That’s a solid joke.

First Run Streaming

What is it?  It’s first run movies going right to streaming first or at least at the same time as theatrical releases.

Why we’re psyched!  Seeing new movies in the safety of our own homes will be a really nice thing while we wait for the pandemic to end.

Why we’re wary…  There are a lot of business-related questions to ask, and many smaller movies might be hurt by something like this, but to that end, we here at Gabbing Geek all did a round up of the major streaming services below.

 

Netflix

Tom says:  Maybe not the biggest media company in the world, but certainly the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to streaming.  All the different alternative services are probably going to cut into Netflix’s library, but they still have a lot of great content with more on the way.  They also know how to treat their talent considering they dropped The Chapelle Show at Dave Chapelle’s request and changed all references to Elliot Page’s gender when he came out as trans.

Watson says: This feels like the destination for more premium content outside the traditional studio system.  There is definitely a feel to Netflix premium films…

Amazon Prime Video

Tom says:  If nothing else, Amazon doesn’t seem to be afraid to spend money on new material.  Maybe not quite as successful as Netflix, it does have a few shows that really stand out.  The Boys sure does seem to be their flagship program right about now.

Watson says: Amazon seems to get other people’s content or has a fairly generic vibe with their product.  Like Disney and Netflix, they need to find a signature “voice”…

Hulu

Tom says:  I know Hulu has some original programming.  I even like some of it.  But I still think of this one as the service to use when I miss something after it aired on more traditional TV.

Watson says: I use Hulu for comfort food shows like Family Guy, American Dad, and Futurama…

Disney+

Tom says:  Disney had the advantage of a huge back catalog of stuff, particularly given how much intellectual property Disney has acquired over the past few years.  Sure, I still think of the company as a heavily sanitized monolith of sterile family-friendly entertainment, but at least they had the Muppets, Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar.  But for a while, it sure did seem like the only thing they really had worth looking into was The Mandalorian and a few other random things involving Forky or Jeff Goldblum or something Ryan probably loves involving singing.  But now that it seems to be finally putting out more content that I want to see, well…I’m a lot happier with the service as a result.

Watson says: So far it has been the Mando Channel, but soon that will change.  This is going to shift from catalog content to rival Netflix in original content.

HBO Max

Tom says:  Business and technical problems aside, I really like this service’s catalog.  It’s great for movie lovers.  Just don’t ask about the people running the thing.

Watson says: WB’s bad business move is our gain.  I bought an 85″ TV when I heard that news…

Peacock

Tom says:  Hard pass on this one.  Pay to stream NBC?  What’s next?  CBS?

CBS All Access

Tom says:  Unless you really like Star Trek, I really don’t see the point of this one.  I got it only because it came in a nice package deal with Apple TV+ and Showtime.

 

Apple TV+

Tom says:  I don’t care how good Ryan says Ted Lasso is.  This service has, what?  Three original shows and a movie here and there?  It doesn’t seem to have a whole lot going on.

Watson says: They seem to be a little shy of finding their place in the pecking order.  They need to work on their creative content because though there have been some well reviewed shows, they don’t yet have a Boys or Stranger Things.

Crackle

Tom says:  Well, obviously.

Watson says: Wait for it!

Gabbing Geek

What is it?  You’re lookin’ at it.

Why we’re psyched!  I can’t speak for the others, but I do enjoy writing here.

Why we’re wary…  I’m not.  Why?  Did you hear something?

Watson says: Hey!  I’m writing here!

Jimmy says: I’ve worked on two columns in the last two days!  That’s the most I’ve done since…last year at this time when I worked on two columns in two days.  🙂

Narrator: It’s true.

Ryan says: Seriously, I’m gonna kill this guy.

Narrator: He won’t.

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