May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

2024 Year Of Anticipation

It's that time of year when Gabbing Geek takes a look at what's coming in the new year.

It’s that time again, the first day of a new year when the Geeks look ahead at what we’ve been told is coming in the new year.  What are we looking forward to?  What are we dreading?  Will we see a new George R.R. Martin novel this year?  Only time will tell, but we still have some thoughts and opinions.

MOVIES

Yes, the movies, the section where we always have the most to say because…well, we just do.

Deadpool 3

What is it?  It’s the third installment in the Deadpool series, this one inserting Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth into the MCU.

Why we’re psyched!  Hugh Jackman returned to play Wolverine one last time, costing at least one person around here a coffee, and Kevin Feige promised the movie would have the required R-rating.

Why we’re wary…  It was strike interrupted, so there may be issues there.  It’s also the only cinematic excursion for the MCU this year, and that could say a lot of things.

Watson says:  I am one of those rare people who might like the second Deadpool movie better than the original.  This one has a chance to be a satire of the silliness of modern superhero movies.  Sure it will lose me a coffee bet, but you just knew if anyone could get Hugh Jackman brandishing the claws again, it was his Instagram nemesis, Ryan Reynolds.

Ryan says:  I love that they had to stop filming during the strike even though the script was done but the strike meant Reynolds couldn’t improvise.  This is the last valuable property left in the MCU, hope to see it continue.

Jimmy says:  So it’s come to this.  After a year of mostly swings and misses at the box office this is the only super hero film of relevance coming out in 2024.  (The Sony Universe of Spider-Crap doesn’t count.)  I’m a big fan of Deadpool, Wolvie, Reynolds and Jackman, so hopefully the stars align on this one.


Mean Girls

What is it?  It’s the movie adaptation of the stage musical based off the original movie Tina Fey wrote based on an nonfiction guide to parents on how teenage girls act out.

Why we’re psyched!  It’s not a remake!  Well, not a direct one.  Besides, if it’s a musical, you know there’s a good chance Ryan requested we include the entry.

Why we’re wary…  It’s a January release, never a good sign, and after seeing two different trailers for it, neither of which emphasize the musical aspect, all I know is the ending “joke” about the one character trying to pick out a French name for French class is painfully unfunny.

Watson says:  I saw the musical on Broadway, and I really liked it.  The songs are good and we know the story is good.  I hope the movie breaks the January curse, but I am not optimistic.

Ryan says:  As someone who loves musicals, I don’t understand the general contempt for them, but I’m glad Hollywood still tries to trick the rest of the audience goers to see them.

Jimmy says:  I liked the original, but generally hate musicals.  Highly likely I don’t see this.


Argyle

What is it?  It’s Matthew Vaughn’s latest, a typically over-the-top sort of story where a mousy author discovers her bestselling spy series is actually predicting real world espionage missions, leading to a lot of people wanting to capture her.

Why we’re psyched!  An all-star cast, some in the “real world” and some in the fantasy spy series, the Vaughn style, and a host of other things make this one look like it’s gonna be a lot of fun to see on a big screen.

Why we’re wary…  I think this one was supposed to come out last year, and I’m guessing it was strike-delayed, and that’s not necessarily a bad sign, but it may be concerning.  Furthermore, a cool trailer doesn’t always lead to a cool final product.

Watson says:  I was really stoked about this based on the cast list and the broad description.  Then I saw the quirky concept in the trailer.  Now, I am not sure if it is going to be a bad movie turd, or a fun Vaughn turd.

Ryan says:  What’s the big secret?  Did Taylor Swift really write this?  Will it be a decent spring film?  WHAT IS IT?

Jimmy says:  I generally like Vaughn movies, and it has a fun trailer.  As Watson says, it could cut either way.  I also wonder how much of a role the “fantasy world” characters will have?


Madame Web

What is it?  It’s the latest Sony-produced Spider-verse movie that features characters that are related to Spider-Man in some way but most distinctly aren’t Spider-Man.

Why we’re psyched!  Well, it may be fun to dunk on.  Seriously, who the hell thought a Madame Web movie was a good idea?  That character is even obscure to Spider-Man fans.

Why we’re wary…  It’s a Sony Spider-verse movie that doesn’t have Spider-Man and is about Madame Web.  Draw your own conclusions.

Watson says:  If I like this movie, it will rank amongst the greatest “boy I was wrong about that ones” of all time.  I do not believe a record will be broken…

Ryan says:  I thought this trailer looked decent.  Which means the movie will suck.  Will there be a double feature with Morbius?

Jimmy says:  Who asked for this?  The trailer does nothing to help it.  Except for the horrible Venom movies actually making money, Spidey could be back with Disney/Marvel by now.


Dune: Part 2

What is it?  It’s the next chapter in Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic novel series.

Why we’re psyched!  The first chapter was basically the first half of Herbert’s first novel, and it was somewhat amazing that he made something as exciting as it was considering that it’s a lot of pages of not much happening.  The back half of that book, where the action mostly happens, should be more promising.  Besides, has Villeneuve made a bad movie yet?

Why we’re wary…  Dune is still a hard novel to adapt to screen, and it would be very easy to screw this up.

Watson says:  I didn’t love the first installment.  The first 30 minutes were epic, but the rest of the runtime was painfully slow.  It reminded me why I still haven’t read the book…

Ryan says:  This movie will give me a lot of opportunities to have my friend Stu in the UK say “Dune.”  He says it super fancy.

Jimmy says:  I didn’t hate, but certainly didn’t love the first part.  I’m sure I’ll see this eventually, but it won’t be in theatres.


Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

What is it?  It’s a sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, relocating the Spengler family (plus Paul Rudd) back to New York City to fight some sort of supernatural menace that freezes people to death when they feel fear.

Why we’re psyched!  Afterlife was a surprisingly pleasant enough movie, but it felt more like a Goonies than a Ghostbusters.  It also held lines of dialogue and moments from the original movie like some sort of sacred text that needed to be revered rather than just a comedy that was made once with no dreams of franchising the thing.  As such, Afterlife was sort of something of a remake as much as it was a years-later sequel.  This time around, the story appears to be entirely original, and it may even have some genuine scares mixed in.  There’s a chance this movie might be better than Afterlife as a result.

Why we’re wary… Does anyone care about these “next generation” characters?

Watson says:  I was about as neutral as possible on this sequel…until I saw the trailer.   This looks like a fun premise and I like the mixing of the casts.  Better to have the living OG members there the whole time rather than showing up as a cameo.  Let’s do this!

Ryan says:  I still haven’t seen Afterlife….I am ashamed….

Jimmy says:  I haven’t seen the trailer, but enjoyed Afterlife, so I’ll check this one out.


Godzilla X Kong: New Empire

What is it?  It’s the next Monsterverse movie, and this time, it looks like Godzilla and King Kong are joining forces against something far worse.

Why we’re psyched!  For the most part, the Monsterverse movies have done a good job when giant monsters start hitting each other.  These are popcorn flicks, and when they do that right, at least it’s a good time at the movies watching giant monsters punch each other.

Why we’re wary…  Godzilla Minus One just reminded everyone what Godzilla is essentially supposed to be in so many ways and not this titanic do-gooder that he is in these American movies.  Plus, Minus One actually did something most Monsterverse movies have failed to do so far:  create sympathetic and likable human characters.

Watson says:  Why are they still beating this dead horselike monster?  The last movie STUNK! Even the monsters hitting each other bored me!

Ryan says:  So the last movie figured out a way for everyone to have a happy ending.  LET’S UNDO THAT AND HAVE THEM FIGHT MORE!  Can’t they just have Kong and Godzilla team up against Nazis or something?

Jimmy says:  I know I saw the first one, but don’t really remember much about it.  I usually see these types of films, so I’ll check it out, but I’d probably be better off catching Minus One instead.


The Fall Guy

What is it?  It’s an action comedy, based on a 1980s Lee Major TV show, where a stuntman becomes a reluctant investigator to help his director ex-girlfriend get her movie finished.

Why we’re psyched!  Ryan Gosling as the stuntman, Emily Blunt as the director, Hannah Waddingham, Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Winston Duke, and Stephanie Hsu in supporting roles, and David Leitch in the director’s chair all make this one look pretty promising.

Why we’re wary…  Ryan Gosling has already done so much as an actor, we need to keep an eye on him before he gains too much power and influence in this fragile world.

Watson says:  When that’s the entry for “Why we’re wary” you know this looks promising…

Ryan says:  Super pumped for this film. Thumbs up!

Jimmy says:  10 year old Jimmy loved The Fall Guy.  Nearly 50 year old Jimmy barely remembers it.  The trailer looks interesting enough.


IF

What is it?  It’s a family-friendly looking comedy where Ryan Reynolds and a young girl work to find new homes for abandoned imaginary friends…from the director of A Quiet Place!

Why we’re psyched!  Reynolds in front of the camera, John Krasinski behind it, and an impressive cast voicing the imaginary friends, starting with Steve Carell, all sure does look promising.

Why we’re wary…  Anyone remember Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends?

Watson says:  I hope this is more Free Guy than R.I.P.D.  This is a big test for Krasinski the director.  He is doing a non-Quiet Place movie, has all the talent in the world behind it, can he deliver?

Ryan says:  Fantastic premise that is just not the right timing in our current world.

Jimmy says:  It certainly has a great pedigree, but the trailer left me cold.


Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

What is it?  It’s the origin story for the intriguing Furiosa character from Mad Max Fury Road starring Anya Taylor-Joy as the young Furiosa.

Why we’re psyched!  Director George Miller made a two hour car chase into something that was a crowd-pleaser and a Best Picture nominee.  He really knows his way around an action movie.

Why we’re wary…  Miller also had a hand in the Babe talking pig movies, and this would be a bad place for a crossover.

Watson says:  This cast is really solid, and I loved the last one, but man do prequels make me nervous.  Giving Miller the benefit of the doubt after Fury Road…

Ryan says:  Why prequel?  Why why why why?

Jimmy says:  What Watson said.


Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

What is it?  It’s the next installment in the current Planet of the Apes series of movies, this one set generations after the death of Caesar.

Why we’re psyched!  Because these movies are often really smart sci-fi stories with some really good ape special effects.  Put an ape on horseback with a machine gun, and Watson will put this one at the top of his 2024 Best Of list.

Why we’re wary…  No Andy Serkis in front of the camera or Matt Reeves behind it may lead to a more disappointing movie.

Watson says:  I saw an ape on a horse in the trailer.  Just missing one…little…thing…

Ryan says:  I’m nervous that this is the first of a planned trilogy without an actual commitment to a trilogy.

Jimmy says:  The greatness of the first trilogy makes this definitely something to check out.  Missing the major pieces as mentioned in the “wary” section is certainly concerning.


Inside Out 2

What is it?  It’s a follow-up to the delightful (and surprisingly deep) Inside Out.

Why we’re psyched!  Inside Out probably captured the emotional turmoil of a young girl in a stressful and unwelcome place better than it probably should have, and now that character is hitting puberty and a whole new set of emotions are showing up, starting with Maya Hawke’s Anxiety.  The same writer as the first wrote the script, and I would think Pixar waited as long as they did to make another Inside Out to try and make sure they got it right again.

Why we’re wary…  Pixar’s output since the first Inside Out hasn’t exactly been at the same level of quality.  There have been some very good movies from the animation studio, such as Soul, but a lot of the others were less impressive.

Watson says:  I think Tom is onto something there.  The fact that it has been quite a few years makes me MORE excited rather than less.  Not usually the case…

Ryan says:  The inclusion of anxiety makes this a bit more timely and I welcome that, but I no longer trust Pixar to tell their non-Toy Story stories with any skill.

Jimmy says:  I liked Inside Out well enough, but have little faith in Pixar these days.


Wicked Part 1

What is it?  It appears to be a cinematic adaptation of the Broadway musical about the life of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Why we’re psyched!  Here’s another Ryan selection for the Year of Anticipation, so it’s almost certainly a musical, and it looks like Cynthia Erivo is playing the Witch.  She’s got a fantastic voice if nothing else.

Why we’re wary…  Why is a musical doing the whole “Part 1/Part 2” thing?

Watson says:  The musical is only 2:45 INCLUDING a 15 minute runtime.  There is no reason to split this into two films.  I may skip this altogether.  I don’t love the musical itself…

Ryan says:  I’ll see it.  Of course I’ll see it.  And it will be utter crap until the end when Ms. Erivo sings Defying Gravity and that will be the best few minutes of cinema for the whole year.

Jimmy says:  Meh.


Beetlejuice 2

What is it?  It’s the long anticipated sequel to Tim Burton’s second ever movie, and the cast is adding Wednesday star Jenna Ortega to the cast of returning faces.

Why we’re psyched!  It’s been ages since the first Beetlejuice, and this may be the one Burton movie fans want a second installment for.  Factor in the returns of Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, and Catherine O’Hara plus the talented Ortega, and this could be a lot of fun.

Why we’re wary…  It’s been a long time since folks were really looking forward to a Tim Burton movie.

Watson says:  I am calling a big, fat bomb.  Cash grab legacy franchises took a beating in 2023.  This looks like more of the same…

Ryan says:  Nobody wanted this.  Nobody wanted this.  Nobody wanted this.

Jimmy says:  Watson makes a good point.  This was exactly the type of thing that didn’t work in 2023.  I’m a fan of the original, so I’ll see it, but expectations will be low.


Joker: Folie à Deux

What is it?  It’s the sequel to Todd Phillips’s Joker origin story, and it may be a musical this time.

Why we’re psyched!  Joaquin Phoenix was phenomenal as Arthur Fleck, the Joker, and this time, we’re also getting Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn.

Why we’re wary…  Honestly, the first movie was as good as it was only because Phoenix’s performance essentially carried a movie that seemed like Phillips was tossing Batman lore and a bunch of much better Martin Scorsese movies into a blender, and Joker was what came out.

Watson says:  I think Phillips went mad with power.  Respect him for swinging for the fences, but it feels like he’s playing soccer instead of baseball…

Ryan says:  Nobody wanted this.  Nobody wanted this.  Nobody wanted this.

Jimmy says:  I hated the first film.  Maybe hated is a strong word, but I wasn’t a fan.  I’ll see this more out of obligation to all things Batman than anything, but I’m not anticipating it.


Karate Kid

What is it?  It’s another installment in one of the less likely franchises to come out of the 80s.  Probably about a kid learning martial arts.

Why we’re psyched!  Because this one is promising both Ralph Macchio and Jackie Chan for some reason.  I dunno.  I’ve never seen Cobra Kai, don’t plan to see it anytime soon, and don’t get why this series is this popular.

Why we’re wary…  Why?  Seriously.  Why?

Watson says:  I haven’t watched a Karate Kid property since the 80s.  I am content…

Ryan says:  I wanted this.  I wanted this.  I wanted this.

Jimmy says:  I watch the original films, but nothing since.  Like Watson, that probably won’t change.


Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse

What is it?  It’s the final part of the animated trilogy about Miles Morales and the various multiversal Spider-Men that he has to deal with.

Why we’re psyched!  Are you kidding?  These movies have been awesome!

Why we’re wary…  As of right now, there’s no release date, so it might not even come out this year.

Watson says:  There is no way we will be lucky enough to get this next year.  I’ve read 2025 is a MAYBE as a December movie…

Ryan says:  I’m looking forward to seeing them wrap up the story.

Jimmy says:  That’ll give me time to actually see the second one…


Jordan Peele’s Next Movie

What is it?  It’s, uh, Jordan Peele’s next movie.

Why we’re psyched!  Peele has shown himself to be quite the director since his unexpected surprise hit Get Out.

Why we’re wary…  Because the only thing we know about this movie right now is it comes out next December.

Watson says:  That’s enough for me, Tom.  I have only loved one of his movies (Get Out) but I liked the other two.  They had interesting premises, well directed and acted, and had something to say.  His name alone is enough to get me to the theater.

Ryan says:  I’m in on anything Peele does forever.

Jimmy says:  I’ve only see Get Out, but did really enjoy it.  Probably a long shot for me to see this before we are updating the 2024 Year In Review, but we’ll see.


Kung Fu Panda 4

What is it?  It’s the latest installment of the Kung Fu Panda  series, this time having Po take on a shapeshifting sorceress played by Viola Davis.

Why we’re psyched!  Po, as voiced by Jack Black, is a rather delightful character, and the trailer sure did look promising.

Why we’re wary…  Eh, I’ve only seen the first one.  Were the other two as good as that one?

Watson says:  I am not sure I will see this.  I liked the earlier installments, but my boys are beyond the “take the kids to see an animated movie” stage, and I find myself passing on movies I would have seen with them in the past.

Ryan says:  No.

Jimmy says:  I’ll probably put this on in the background someday while doing chores.


Mickey 17

What is it?  It’s Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning Parasite, a sci-fi story about a disposable worker who can die and then be revived with most of his memories intact.

Why we’re psyched!  An expendable worker?  Sounds like it’s right up Bong Joon-ho’s alley as another critique of modern capitalism and how the rich treat the poor.  Plus, the cast looks impressive with Robert Pattinson in the lead role.

Why we’re wary…  Big budget English language sci-fi film?  I sure hope the director didn’t sell out or get his general vision watered down by some nervous studio.

Watson says:  Bong can be a little hit or miss.  I loved Parasite.  I struggled to figure out if I loved or hated Snowpiercer (ultimately coming down on the positive side).  I absolutely hated Okja.  But I am still lining up opening day to see this one.

Ryan says:  I love big budget Chinese science fiction.  So far, Korean science fiction is mixed for me.

Jimmy says:  I liked Snowpiercer, but hated Parasite.  I doubt I’ll go out of my way to see this.


Ballerina

What is it?  It’s a spin-off movie set in the John Wick universe starring Ana de Armas as, well, a ballerina assassin.

Why we’re psyched!  The world of John Wick has always been one of the more interesting aspects of that series, what with the idea there’s a criminal underworld hiding in plain sight around the globe, so there are probably plenty of stories that could be told there without Mr. Wick…even if he’s cameoing in this one.

Why we’re wary…  Who directed this one?  Len Wiseman?  What else has he done?  The Underworld series, Live Free or Die Hard, and that Total Recall remake?  I am thinking the action scenes may be a lot more conventional than I would prefer from the world of John Wick.

Watson says:  I like but don’t love John Wick.  Take that AND cut Keanu as the lead?  Wait and see at best for me…

Ryan says:  Any Wick property that doesn’t have Mel Gibson is a definite watch for me.

Jimmy says:  First I’m hearing about this one, but I’m intrigued.  Blasphemy around here, but The Continental was surprisingly good and certainly Wick-worthy.  Hopefully this is as well.


A Quiet Place: Day One

What is it?  It’s the story of how the Death Angels arrived on Earth and did their thing, something only hinted about in the second movie of the Quiet Place series.

Why we’re psyched!  There’s a lot we don’t know about these creatures with their really sharp hearing, and this one has Lupita Nyong’o in the lead role, and without the characters from the original movie, there’s no guarantee any of these characters will survive to see the closing credits, not a bad plan for a prequel.

Why we’re wary…  New director behind the camera this time, and while Krasinski shouldn’t be shackled to one franchise, I’m a little wary of the fact the director’s previous movie was the Nic Cage movie Pig, an awesome movie, but also about as far removed from A Quiet Place as someone could get.

Watson says:  I guess…???  I liked the first two, but this feels like an unnecessary franchise cash grab.

Ryan says:  I’m disappointed they keep recycling the same time frame.  How about we go ahead one generation?

Jimmy says:  Hate to do this again, but agree with Watson.  Do we need more about “day one” than we saw in the beginning of the sequel?


Twisters

What is it?  It’s a sequel to 1996’s Twister.

Why we’re psyched!  It might be something to do that weekend.

Why we’re wary…  It doesn’t look like anyone involved with the first movie had anything to do with this one, but I don’t think that matters for something as inherently soulless as Twister, a movie where the only thing anyone remembers about it if they remember anything at all is the CGI cow blowing around in the wind.

Watson says:  I have never seen the first one… and it isn’t a blindspot I am dying to close.

Ryan says:  The only way this would have been interesting is if they did a crossover with Beetlejuice 2.

Jimmy says:  I enjoyed the first one.  I have no interest in this one.


Borderlands

What is it?  It’s a movie adaptation of a popular video game.

Why we’re psyched!  Director Eli Roth pulled together an incredibly impressive cast for this one that includes Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Why we’re wary…  While there have been some successful video game adaptations of late, the ratio of bad ones to good ones is still heavily leaning towards the bad end.

Watson says:  Video game adaptations have become less of a death nail, but Eli Roth movies haven’t always been great.  So I am skeptical.  Only “dafuq” moment is seeing Blanchett in that cast…

Ryan says:  I’ve played these games and the writing is great.  The cast here is amazing.  The fact that they keep rewriting and doing reshoots means this is going to be epically awful.

Jimmy says:  I haven’t played the game, so have no expectations for this one.


Kraven the Hunter

What is it?  It’s another Sony Spider-verse movie sans Spider-Man, this time focusing on his big game hunter enemy Kraven.

Why we’re psyched!  Well, it’s bound to be better than Madame Web.  Maybe.  OK, in fairness, the trailer seems to indicate the movie is not going to treat Kraven like a secret good guy or something, and he makes more sense to make the hero of a solo movie than, say, Morbius the Living Vampire.

Why we’re wary…  Anything I say above about why we’re psyched is probably damning the movie with faint praise.

Watson says:  This movie is going to stink.  But it still might be the best Sony live action spiderverse movie of the year…

Ryan says:  I still think this is a joke.

Jimmy says:  Please Sony, just stop.


Transformers One

What is it?  It’s an animated origin story for the Transformers.

Why we’re psyched!  Honestly, Transformers probably works better as an animated movie if for no other reason that budget restraints won’t force the audience to try to care about a human character in the middle of the robot action.  I mean, I assume it’s budget restraints.  I can’t think of any other reason for it…

Why we’re wary…  Wait, that’s not Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime!  That’s Chris Hemsworth!  I…don’t know how I feel about that.

Watson says:  I’ve been wanting a CGI only version of this story for years.  Now that something similar is upon us, I no longer care.

Ryan says:  Is this one straight to TNT?

Jimmy says:  I like Hemsworth, but Cullen or die!


Venom 3

What is it?  It’s the third installment in the Venom franchise, and it’s the third of the three Sony Spider-verse movies without Spider-Man coming out in 2024.

Why we’re psyched!  This will probably be the best of the Sony superhero movies coming out this year!

Why we’re wary…  This will probably be the best of the Sony superhero movies coming out this year!

Watson says:  I got Kraven over Venom 3.  Said so a few entries ago.  Weren’t you paying attention, Tom?

Ryan says:  No.

Jimmy says:  Venom was dreadful.  Somehow, Let There Be Carnage was worse.  I’ll see this out of obligation or masochism or something.


Gladiator 2

What is it?  It’s a sequel to 2000’s Gladiator.

Why we’re psyched!  Director Ridley Scott is behind the camera again, and it looks like few if any of the original movie’s characters are back.  That’s a good thing since most the memorable ones died, and the online rumor of Russel Crowe’s Maximus coming back as a time traveling immortal warrior just sounds dumb.  This one follows Commodus’s nephew, played by Paul Mescal here.  It also has Denzel Washington, and he’s usually at least entertaining.  Besides, Scott is on-record for saying he doesn’t really care for such things as “historical accuracy,” and you can interpret that either way.

Why we’re wary…  Scott is a rather hit-or-miss filmmaker.  When he hits, he knocks it out of the park.  When he misses, well…

Watson says:  The sequel that on one wanted but the studios.  I am guessing after watching the box office returns last year, that studio is nervous as shit…

Ryan says:  HELLLLLL no.

Jimmy says:  I liked Gladiator, but this will be DOA.


Mufasa: The Lion King

What is it?  It’s a prequel to that “live action” Lion King movie Disney made, chronicling the rise of Mufasa as the Lion King.  Probably will also say where Scar got his scar.

Why we’re psyched!  Wait, Barry Jenkins, Oscar winning director of Moonlight, made this?

Why we’re wary…  OK, let’s skip how it obviously isn’t live action.  Remember that live action Lion King?  It was pretty faithful to the original animated movie, but all it did for me was show why the animated version was so much better.  That movie was a lot of brown animals with limited facial movements (because they had to look like real animals) trying to act.  It just didn’t work.  I expect Mufasa will be much the same.

Watson says:  Oh wait…this was the franchise expansion no one wanted.  I’ll bet THESE execs are even more nervous…

Ryan says:  I’m starting to feel like Jenny in 2019.

Jimmy says:  A wait for it to hit Disney+ entry for sure.  If then…


Sonic the Hedgehog 3

What is it?  It’s the third installment in the live action Sonic the Hedgehog series.

Why we’re psyched!  These movies have been surprisingly fun for the most part.

Why we’re wary…  Jim Carrey won’t be in this one, saying he was going to retire from acting after the second installment, and his Dr. Robotnik is the highlight of these movies.

Watson says:  The first two were pretty much ok.  Without Carey, I see the magic leaving the franchise.

Ryan says:  I am totally understanding Jenny in 2019 now.

Jimmy says:  I haven’t seen any of these.  I don’t see that changing.


Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

What is it?  It’s the return of Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley, once again splitting time between Detroit and Beverly Hills to solve a crime, I’d wager.

Why we’re psyched!  So, my understanding is that the original concept behind Beverly Hills Cop was to make it a more straightforward action movie starring Sylvester Stallone, but when Stallone turned it down, they cast Eddie Murphy and made it more of a comedy.  Anyway, the trailer looked more like an action movie to me.  Besides, Eddie’s usually charming.

Why we’re wary…  Something about this movie makes me think this is the sort of thing a young Eddie Murphy or Axel Foley would have made fun of it rather than appear in it.  I guess Murphy didn’t learn a lesson from that years later Coming to America sequel.  Though it did occur to me that if they took Axel and showed him, years later, as the put-upon police captain dealing with a smartass younger cop (maybe played by a Kevin Hart type) that was a lot like his younger self, that might make for an interesting twist to the character and the story.

Watson says:  Who asked to have this included???!!!

Jimmy says:



Alien: Romulus

What is it?  It’s the next installment of the Alien franchise.

Why we’re psyched!  Director Fede Álvarez is a rising up-and-comer with a few solid horror movies on his resume, most notably 2016’s Don’t Breathe.  The movie is also set between the first two movies, so there’s plenty of room to tell a good story there.

Why we’re wary…  We’re wary because most Alien movies haven’t been very good once you get past those first two.

Watson says:  I hope THIS studio is also nervous of waning franchises.  Especially since this franchise was waning when franchises were on the upward trend.

Ryan says:  2019 Jenny was correct.  All hail 2019 Jenny!

Jimmy says:  Watson nailed this one.


Trap

What is it?  It’s the next M. Night Shyamalan movie.

Why we’re psyched!  Shyamalan gets something of an unfair rap for his movies.  Yeah, they are sometimes laughable, but goddammit if they aren’t also always memorable for one reason or another, especially as they usually have some neat visuals and some batspit insane plot twists.

Why we’re wary…  While Shyamalan has settled into a comfortable B-movie groove, his work is generally inconsistent, especially with his dialogue often sounding like something no one has ever actually said.  His movies work best when he has a cast that knows how to deliver his odd lines, and he doesn’t seem capable of doing two good movies in a row…which is a shame because last year’s Knock at the Cabin was a good movie largely because Dave Bautista knew how to deliver Shyamalan’s odd dialogue effectively.

Watson says:  With M. Dawg, you hope he is hitting versus missing.  But he’s one of the few guys that, failures aside, I tend to give a shot.

Ryan says:  The big twist in this one is there is no twist.  I’m going to keep making that prediction until he does it.

Jimmy says:  I think I maybe liked Signs (it’s been awhile), but don’t think I’ve liked any other MNS movies I’ve seen.


The Watchers

What is it?  It’s the story of a young woman, played by Dakota Fanning, who finds herself stranded in a wild, Irish forest with three strangers as mysterious “watchers” stalk them.

Why we’re psyched!  It’s actually the directorial effort of M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter Ishana, and she also wrote the screenplay with her dad as a producer.

Why we’re wary…  M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter is a writer/director of a major motion picture now?  I am not sure how I feel about that.

Watson says:  My interest in M. Night’s films are not genetic, so this one better get great reviews or I will just pass on it.

Ryan says:  Is this cultural appropriation?

Jimmy says:  Pass.


I.S.S.

What is it?  It’s a thriller where American and Russian scientists are ordered by their respective governments to take the International Space Station when war breaks out on Earth.

Why we’re psyched!  The script was on the infamous “black list” of promising, unproduced screenplays for a couple years, and the premise promises something new and different.

Why we’re wary…  OK, it is technically a January release, but it’s only because it was released in Europe in 2023.

Watson says:  This is a movie I will probably enjoy even if it has mixed to bad reviews.  What a fun premise.

Ryan says:  I love the premise here.

Jimmy says:  Those “black list” scripts don’t always translate into anything worthwhile.  An interesting premise, but also done by and starring a bunch of people you’ve never heard of.


The Bikeriders

What is it?  It’s the story of a motorcycle club that, over the course of a decade, gradually becomes a sinister criminal organization.

Why we’re psyched!  The story is intriguing, and the cast includes the likes of Jodie Comer, Michael Shannon, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, and Norman Reedus.  And somehow, I think it had to include Norman Reedus.

Why we’re wary…  This one was strike delayed from December of 2023 to June of 2024.  So…is this award bait or summer fare?

Watson says:   I’m intrigued by this one, but I agree with Tom that Summer seems to be an odd move.

Ryan says:  If it didn’t have Jodie Comer I wouldn’t care one bit.  With her, I care exactly one bit.

Jimmy says:  Isn’t this Sons of Anarchy?


Rebel Moon Part 2–The Scargiver

What is it?  It’s Zack Snyder’s big sci-fi epic, with Part One hitting Netflix this past December and Part Two, well, later in 2024.

Why we’re psyched!  Well, it’ll probably look good if nothing else.  Snyder’s movies always at least look good.

Why we’re wary…  Honestly, this is being typed up before Part One comes out, so how psyched or wary we are will depend on how good the first part is.

Watson says:  This is being typed up AFTER Part One comes out.  No one is anticipating this now.

Ryan says:  They made a movie about a rusty nail?

Jimmy says:  Part One is out.  I haven’t watched it.  May eventually check both out, but reviews have certainly not been kind.


The Comeback Trail

What is it?  It’s a dark comedy where two film producers bring an aging cowboy star out to make another Western in the hopes that he’ll die and they can collect the insurance money.  I think.

Why we’re psyched!  Robert De Niro!  Morgan Freeman!  Tommy Lee Jones!  That’s an impressive trio right there!

Why we’re wary…  Um, I think this was supposed to come out last year.  Watson asked for this, and I’m not sure I have the right movie.  This one was finished in 2020 and then premiered at the Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival, had a release date of 2023, and…is this the right movie?  I don’t know.  Hence the “I think” at the end of the “What is it?”

Watson says:  It has never been released in the U.S.  It was put on SkyTV in the UK and never got the theatrical or PVOD release.  It is one of those “stuck on the shelf films”.  But with multiple Oscar winner! This movie must be utter shit…but I cannot wait to see it!  Hopefully in 2024.

Ryan says:  Is this real?  Looks like a Superbowl commercial.

Jimmy says:  At this point, will this get a theatrical release?  Does anyone besides Watson care?


Civil War

What is it?  It’s the new Alex Garland movie, one where a reporter tries to navigate an America where a shooting war has broken out between two factions.

Why we’re psyched!  Garland is a talented writer/director, and this looks tense as hell, going for more dystopian action over the sci-fi/horror he normally goes for.  Plus, someone in this universe elected Ron Swanson president.

Why we’re wary… So, the premise is the governments of Texas and California decided to join forces as a new Western nation, and that seems…unlikely.

Watson says:  This is A24’s first big budget offering.  Can they go from being thrilled with $60M domestic, to needing $200M domestically to cover costs?  Should be interesting to see.

Ryan says:  Hell yes.

Jimmy says:  The trailer is excellent.  I’m intrigued.


The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim

What is it?  It’s a feature length anime set in Middle Earth.

Why we’re psyched!  It could be as cool and epic as The Lord of the Rings trilogy!

Why we’re wary…  It could be as dull and tiresome as The Hobbit trilogy!

Watson says:  I am not that interested in this world after a poor Hobbit trilogy burned the good will of the LotR trilogy.  This seems targeted at a more niche audience, thus the move to animation versus live action.

Ryan says:  Hell no.

Jimmy says:  Oh, it’s animated.  I was wondering why I had never heard of it.  I enjoyed Rings of Power, but I doubt I’ll make an effort to see this.


Despicable Me 4

What is it?  It’s the fourth installment of the Despicable Me animated series about supervillain-turned-parent Gru.

Why we’re psyched!  Gru can be pretty funny.

Why we’re wary…  The fucking Minions came from this series…

Watson says:  I haven’t enjoyed the last few installments, so I may skip this.

Ryan says:  2019 Jenny, tell them what to do.

Jimmy says:  The missus likes these movies, so I might end up seeing this one.


The Book of Clarence

What is it?  It’s the story of a con man who decides, after seeing Jesus, that he wants in some of that sweet Messiah action.

Why we’re psyched!  There’s so much comedic potential in a movie like this, and with the charismatic Lakeith Stanfield in the lead role, this could really work out well.

Why we’re wary…  This movie is probably gonna piss people off, and that could mean a lot of things.  I don’t mind it when those sorts of people get pissed off, but I would rather it not happen all the same.

Watson says:  Irreverent satire with a great cast.  Sign me up!

Ryan says:  One of the best trailers ever, actually pumped for this one.

Jimmy says:  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


The American Society of Magical Negroes

What is it?  It’s a movie that takes a popular trope–the black friend who may or may not have magical powers whose sole purpose seems to be to make a white person happy–and posits a world where they have an organization of some kind.

Why we’re psyched!  Well, unlike The Book of Clarence, this one has already pissed certain people off because the trailer outright says “white people” are the most dangerous creatures on the planet.  But the trope this movie is examining is itself racist since it posits a black character’s only purpose is to help someone else, and this movie is playing the idea for laughs from the looks of things.

Why we’re wary…  Can we even say the title of the movie out loud?

Watson says:  When I told Tom I saw this preview and wanted it added to the list, I was sure he thought I was trolling him.  But this was one of the best trailers I’ve seen in a while.  Lot of room for satire in this one.

Ryan says:  Another great trailer.  Will see.

Jimmy says:  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


TELEVISION

TV, the small screen, where multiple episodes of a series can often lead to a satisfying entertainment experience.  Plus, there’s streaming now, so that must amount to something.  What’s coming out this year that we’re looking forward to?

Avatar: The Last Airbender

What is it?  It’s Netflix’s live action adaptation of the popular animated series.

Why we’re psyched!  Because the world of The Last Airbender is a well-developed universe with a great story, and the trailer at least shows what looks like a fairly faithful adaptation.

Why we’re wary…  Well, this isn’t the first attempt to do a live action adaptation of The Last Airbender, and Jimmy hasn’t stopped twitching since he watched it.

Watson says:  I’ve never watched the whole animated series but I’ve seen many episodes.  Stick to that as a roadmap?  Good.  Use the M. Night movie?  Not good.

Ryan says:  I’ll wait to see the reviews, but this could be cool.

Jimmy says:  A year ago I would have no comment on this, but Tom tricked me into watching the show and now I’m in it for the long haul.  The show is great.  The movie was awful.  Hopefully a series with a decent amount of episodes and run time will allow them to make something more coherent than the live action fiasco.


Echo

What is it?  It’s a solo series for Marvels’ deaf, one-legged Native American fighter, the woman known as Echo.

Why we’re psyched!  Coming out in a “Marvel Spotlight” format to let people know it is completely disconnected from the rest of the MCU’s ongoing storyline (whatever it is right now), Echo is a character with a lot of potential, especially with the possibility of exploring her relationship with Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk after shooting him in the final episode of Hawkeye.

Why we’re wary…  Echo was easily the most underwhelming character in Hawkeye.  She felt tacked on, possibly to increase the episode total.

Ryan says:  Remember when they made MCU movies every week and a movie every month?  This is the end of that era.

Jimmy says:  I’m not sure how she got her own show.  It was announced even before Hawkeye came out, and I found her completely underwhelming.  With Fisk and DD making at least an appearance, there is some interest from me, but not much.  And Disney+/Marvel dumping all episodes on one day, something they’ve never done, seems to me like they have no faith in it.


Fallout

What is it?  It’s the TV adaptation of the popular video game, this one from Christopher Nolan’s brother Jonathan.

Why we’re psyched!  The Last of Us proved that it is possible to do a TV adaptation of a video game successfully.

Why we’re wary…  This one looks weird as hell, and Jonathan Nolan’s last show was the canceled-before-it-was-finished Westworld.

Ryan says:  The games are great, but not for their narrative.  This is a coin flip.

Jimmy says:  The games are awesome.  Let’s hope this follows the Last of Us route.


House of the Dragon

What is it?  It’s season two of the hit Game of Thrones prequel, set 300 years before the time of that show.

Why we’re psyched!  Season one was surprisingly great considering it’s a prequel to a series that left a lot of folks disappointed.  Unless you are Jimmy Impossible and you claim the final season doesn’t exist.  Regardless, House of the Dragon was a worthy successor to the previous series at its best.

Why we’re wary…  It’s been over a year since the first season ended, and I had trouble learning character names what with the time jumps and recasting as it was.  Will I remember who any of these people are?

Watson says:  In an era where I really don’t get that excited about anything coming out anymore, this is the closest to giddy I get.  I loved the political drama of the first season and can’t wait for the action of the Dance of Dragons to begin.

Jimmy says:  It was confusing at times with the time jumps and trying to keep the names straight, but one of the better seasons of Game of Thrones in a long time.  At least until season 8 finally comes out.


3 Body Problem

What is it?  It’s the Netflix adaptation of a hugely popular Chinese sci-fi novel.

Why we’re psyched!  This is the next project from the creators of Game of Thrones, and that suggests a certain level of quality at least until they get bored and want to do a Star Wars project.

Why we’re wary…  Can Americans do real justice to a Chinese work?

Watson says:  I avoided the books because Ryan said their were a mess, but he did get me a little interested because he said he thought a series might make it work.  Here’s hoping!

Ryan says:  I didn’t say they were a mess, I said they did too many time jumps for me to get into them.  I read the Wikipedia summaries and they were FANTASTIC.  I’m a bit bummed this is a series though, because that means they’re going to take this slow and that could be really boring.

Jimmy says:  I never heard of this.  From the creators of Game of Thrones should get me excited, but they created a mess once they got beyond GRRM’s source material.


The Penguin

What is it?  It’s a spin-off miniseries from director Matt Reeves’s The Batman about the rise of Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot in the Gotham City underworld.

Why we’re psyched!  Colin Farrell was basically unrecognizable in the Penguin make-up, and it might give a good look into how Reeves’s version of Gotham works when Batman isn’t around.

Why we’re wary…  Colin Farrell is a really good actor, but something about comic book movies makes him ham it up a bit, and it showed in The Batman.

Watson says:  I’ll probably check it out, but I am getting tired of the villain as antagonist trend.  I could see me waiting to see if this is considered all time great tv before watching it.  I’m tired of mediocre superhero series.

Ryan says:  Who cares?  I love Batman and I couldn’t care less about this.

Jimmy says:  I’ll watch if it is on at some point when I have “HBO Max”.


Squid Game

What is it?  It’s the continuation of the surprise Korean hit that offered trenchant criticism of capitalism and debt culture while also inspiring a reality show version that missed the point.

Why we’re psyched!  There’s a lot about the games that haven’t quite been explained, and when the lead character turned around to try and stop the games, well, will he succeed?

Why we’re wary…  The first season was planned as a one-and-done, so hopefully season two doesn’t feel like some kind of cash grab.

Watson says:  I was going to skip this until I fell in love with the Squid Games Challenge (the game show based on the series).  I liked Challenge so much that I want to watch this to anticipate the second season of that.

Ryan says:  Hell yeah.

Jimmy says:  I haven’t finished season one…


Wednesday

What is it?  It’s the continuing adventures of Wednesday Adams, morbid psychic detective.

Why we’re psyched!  Let’s face it:  Wednesday shouldn’t have worked as well as it did, but chalk up the success to a great central performance from Jenna Ortega.

Why we’re wary…  Are we sure it’ll be out in 2024?

Watson says:  Who knows when a show will come out these days, but I will be interested in it whenever it comes out.  The original season was one of the best surprises for me in years.

Ryan says:  Hell yeah x 2.

Jimmy says:  I really enjoyed season one.  Bring on more Wednesday.


The Acolyte 

What is it?  It’s a new Star Wars TV series, this one set at the end of the High Republic era.

Why we’re psyched!  Setting the series that far in the past means there’s little to no chance that there will be any Skywalkers, Kenobis, or any other characters from the original movies, and that may be the smartest thing Disney can do right now since they won’t be milking more stuff from the old movies and have to create something new.

Why we’re wary…  We really don’t know much about this one.

Watson says:  This is a series that might get me to subscribe to D+.  I hope the make it more about telling a cool story than for a vehicle to show people what this part of the SW galaxy looks like.

Ryan says:  Meh.

Jimmy says:  Unlike Watson, I haven’t let my D+ subscription lapse, so I’ll check it out.


Creature Commandos

What is it?  It’s an animated series about monstrous men pressed into government service, sort of the even weirder version of the Suicide Squad for the new DC cinematic universe.

Why we’re psyched!  This is James Gunn’s first project since he took over the creative side of the new DC output, and he has a knack for making characters that are weird, funny, and somehow endearing all at the same time.  Also, there’s probably a lot of violence involved.

Why we’re wary…  The Creature Commandos?  Really?  These guys are even more obscure than the Guardians of the Galaxy!

Watson says:  I need this to be good to set the tone for the new DC Gunnverse.  The DCEU went out ugly.

Ryan says:  No.

Jimmy says:  This will probably need to get stellar reviews ala Peacemaker for me to give it the time of day.


Waller

What is it?  It’s a streaming series about Amanda Waller, the tough-as-nails woman who runs the Suicide Squad and doesn’t care how much blood she gets on her hands to get the job done, whatever the job might be.

Why we’re psyched!  Waller is not really the villain the live action version has generally been portrayed as.  She’s a complex character, a tough woman who knows how to make even Batman hop to it when she needs to get something done.  And how good is Viola Davis in that role?  She’s a fantastic actor, and it says a lot that she’s one of the few holdovers from the old DCEU and the new DC cinematic universe.

Why we’re wary…  As much as James Gunn made Peacemaker sympathetic, Amanda Waller may be coming from an even deeper hole going back to the first Suicide Squad movie.  Is it possible to redeem Waller even a little bit?  Or is she not that sort of character?

Watson says:  As much as I love Peacemaker and Gunn’s characters in his corner of the DCEU, I think a reboot means rebooting.  So it already starts with negative marks.  But I am always willing to give Gunn superhero stuff a chance, so count me in.

Ryan says:  No no.

Jimmy says:  This will probably need to get stellar reviews ala Peacemaker for me to give it the time of day.


Agatha: Darkhold Diaries

What is it?  It’s a spin-off series featuring the break-out character from Wandavision, Katherine Hahn’s Agatha Harkness.

Why we’re psyched!  Hahn’s scene-stealing “It was Agatha All Along” song and her general vibe made her a standout on what is probably the best Marvel production to go to Disney+.  Add in Aubrey Plaza in a supporting role, and this looks like it’s gonna be a ton of fun.

Why we’re wary…  Agatha might be a better as a supporting character than a main character.  Not every great supporting character can hold up their own series.

Watson says:  I loved Hahn in Wandavision, as series I really didn’t like overall.  But I don’t need this show.  Not sure if I will watch it.

Ryan says:  If they go full bonkers with this it will be fun.  If they try to make this mainstream MCU it will suck.

Jimmy says:  I’ll watch it, but also have the “great supporting characters don’t always make great lead characters” reservations.


X-Men ’97

What is it?  It’s the continuation of the 90s-era X-Men animated series.

Why we’re psyched!  X-Men was second only to Batman the Animated Series for superhero cartoons of that era, and most of the original cast came back–the Cyclops actor passed away and I think Jubilee was recast–so this may be the continuation that fans want more than any other.

Why we’re wary…  It may be difficult to maintain the quality or live up to people’s memories of the old show.  And speaking for myself…I’m not a huge X-Men fan.  I always found them a little too melodramatic for my tastes.

Watson says:  I liked the OG series, but it was not as great as people remember it.  It was just special because we didn’t have serial superhero media back then and this filled the void.

Ryan says:  Nah.

Jimmy says:  I’m looking forward to this.  I do want to revisit the original series first.


Star Wars: Skeleton Crew

What is it?  It’s the story of four kids, lost in the Star Wars universe, trying to find their way home.  Also, Jude Law is in it.

Why we’re psyched!  Like The Acolyte and Andor, it’s not focusing on characters from the old movies, allowing the series to really create a new story with potentially exciting new characters.

Why we’re wary…  Star Wars is already pretty family-friendly, so, much like Ms. Marvel, we might be a little too old for this series.

Watson says:  I haven’t heard much about this, but based on Tom’s writeup above, I am still not convinced.

Ryan says:  Yawn.

Jimmy says:  Is this live action or animated.  I’ll probably check it out if live action, but at this point, interest is minimal.


Dark Matter

What is it?  It’s a TV adaptation of Blake Crouch’s novel about a physicist who finds himself in an alternate version of reality and just wants to find his way home.

Why we’re psyched!  Crouch writes good metaphysical sci-fi based on advanced physics and the like, and this adaptation features Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Connelly, and Alice Braga.  Plus, it looks like Crouch wrote the screenplays for at least the first three episodes.

Why we’re wary…  We’re not sure it’s even coming out this year.

Watson says:  I am pretty sure it is (filming concluded in April) but in the world of streaming who knows?  I am excited for it but I hope they don’t try to run this out too long.  The amazing book has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  And the middle can’t go on forever.

Ryan says:  It pains me to say that Watson nailed this.


Masters of the Air

What is it?  It’s the story of the Army Air Corps, the earliest version of the Air Force, as it fights the Nazis during World War II.

Why we’re psyched!  Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are behind this one, making it something of a successor to the excellent Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

Why we’re wary…  It is on Apple TV+, the streaming service most people only get when they buy a new iPhone.

Watson says:  Apple TV+ has some really good stuff.  I subscribe based on when shows or movies I like drop, so I will wait for this one in a subscription window.


Masters of the Universe: Revolution

What is it?  It’s the continuation of Kevin Smith’s Masters of the Universe revival.

Why we’re psyched!  Smith sold the first version, Masters of the Universe: Revelation, as a continuation of the 80s cartoon series that was just there to tell very simple stories and sell toys.  Against all odds, Smith made something that actually explored the world of Eternia and asked what the world would be like if, say, He-Man and Skeletor both disappeared, and allowed the characters to actually change and grow in ways they never would have in the 80s.  And the voice cast was full of Geek favorites (plus Smith’s friends) while the new one is adding more in the form of William Shatner in a mystery role and Keith David as Hordak.

Why we’re wary…  The first series wasn’t exactly universally beloved, but it was funny watching guys my age explain why Man-at-Arms and He-Man were their models of what a man should be in a way that suggests they read more into the old cartoon than anyone probably should have.


Dead Boy Detectives

What is it?  It’s a live action adaptation of the Sandman spin-off about two ghosts, boys who died young, that go looking into mysteries rather than go to whatever comes next.

Why we’re psyched!  Netflix did a good job with the parent series, and the Dead Boys themselves did a trial run on an episode or two of the generally fun and quirky Doom Patrol TV series.

Why we’re wary…  Is this a Sandman spin-off?  I think it was originally meant to be a Doom Patrol spin-off, but now I’m not sure if it spun off of either show.


Alice in Borderlands

What is it?  It’s a live action adaptation of a manga series where random people were kidnapped from Tokyo to play lethal games or else at the behest of mysterious forces.

Why we’re psyched!  This show is just gonzo batspit insane, and the games themselves are often creative and suspenseful.  Plus, this may be the final season coming up since the show seems to be working off a playing card theme for the games and they’ve reached the “joker” card.

Why we’re wary…  Some people don’t like reading subtitles.


Vikings: Valhalla

What is it?  It’s the final season of the sequel series to the History Channel’s Vikings about the life of Lief Erickson and his friends and family.

Why we’re psyched!  This Netflix-produced sequel series has actually done a lot of things better than the original show:  it’s smarter in many ways and not so black-and-white in how it deals with the Vikings themselves as characters.  The plots are more complex, and it doesn’t paint the non-Viking Christians as complete idiots or villains.  Plus, I’d say Netflix was willing to spend more money on the show than the History Channel was able to.

Why we’re wary…  The one place where the original show has an advantage is the characters are a lot more colorful and memorable than the bunch on this show.


The Regime

What is it?  It’s a political satire starring Kate Winslet as the paranoid autocrat of a fictional European country.

Why we’re psyched!  Winslet has a solid track record on HBO with Mare of Easttown and Mildred Pierce, creator Will Tracy was a producer on Succession, and the rest of the cast includes Hugh Grant and Martha Plimpton.  The trailer sure does look promising.

Why we’re wary…  Tracy may have been a producer on Succession, but he didn’t create it, so let’s not read too much into that part.


The Boys

What is it?  It’s the next season of Amazon Prime Video’s superhero satire with all the splatter and blood that implies.

Why we’re psyched!  The Boys has been riding pretty high since it debuted, arguably telling the story better than the comics that inspired the show.

Why we’re wary…  With one spin-off out and another reportedly on the way, will this franchise get watered down too much?

Watson says:  I haven’t caught up with the spinoff, but I hear good things.  S3 was a step down from the first two seasons, but it is JUST good enough that I will keep watching.  Unless Amazon Prime goes to an ad based model and wants to charge me extra for ad-free.  I don’t like anything Amazon does enough for that.

Ryan says:  Really looking forward to this, and glad to have an entry back in the list I’ve at least heard about.

Jimmy says:  I only recently watched season 2.  I do have Prime on a promo basis for a couple of months, so will hopefully catch up on season 3 and Gen V soon.  Watching season 4 will depend on those things happening, when it gets released, and when/if I have Prime at some point in the future.


Only Murders in the Building

What is it?  It’s Hulu’s delightful murder mystery comedy series where three podcasters solve murders that happen in their New York City apartment building.

Why we’re psyched!  Because this is a show where the three leads–Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez–are all working at the top of their game in a clever series that mixes mystery with often hilarious character-based comedy.

Why we’re wary…  While the show was greenlit for another season, we don’t know if it will be out in 2024 or not.

Watson says:  I think this is a coin toss if the can get S4 in for the 2024 holiday season, but I could see it happening.  This show is much more a conventional television show than the FX laden genre shows. And if so, I am excited.  S3 was the best season yet and the set up for S4 is enough to make you suspend disbelief that people can keep dying in the same building over and over.

Ryan says:  Hell yeah!!!

Jimmy says:  Such a great show.  Looking forward to another season.


The Umbrella Academy

What is it?  It’s the final season of Netflix’s adaptation of the messed up superhero family, known as the Umbrella Academy.

Why we’re psyched!  This show may be an acquired taste (I may be the only fan here at Gabbing Geek), but if it can stick the landing with its weird and quirky style, I think I’ll be pretty darn pleased.

Why we’re wary…  It may not come out in 2024, and sticking the landing is tough for any show.  It’s kinda surprising Netflix let it run this long, truth be told.

Jimmy says:  You’re not alone Tom.  I’ve enjoyed it thus far, though the 3rd season was much weaker than the first two.  I’ll watch to finish it up since I’ve seen the rest of it.


What We Do in the Shadows

What is it?  It’s the TV adaptation of the comedic fake documentary movie of the same name, with the show following a group of vampires and one familiar living in Staten Island, New York.

Why we’re psyched!  This show is always clever and welcoming, about the closest I have seen in a while to pure TV comfort food.

Why we’re wary…  Since Guillermo learned he really isn’t cut out to be a vampire, where does this show even go from here?


Star Trek Lower Decks

What is it?  It’s the animated comedy set in the Star Trek universe.

Why we’re psyched!  While not for everyone, this series has remarkably deep characters and shows real affection for Trek when it could easily crap all over it.

Why we’re wary…  The most recent series both felt like a step down and seemed to wrap up the existing character arcs.  Where do they go from here?


True Detective: Night Country

What is it?  It’s the fourth season of True Detective, the HBO anthology series where a different cast in a different American location looks into a different mystery.  This one has Jodie Foster in Alaska.

Why we’re psyched!  True Detective hasn’t always been great.  Season one?  Fantastic!  Season two?  Not as bad as its reputation, but still a step down.  Season three?  A big step up.  Even the lesser seasons usually have something worth checking out, so I’d say approach Night Country with cautious optimism.

Why we’re wary…  Series creator Nic Pizzolatto wasn’t involved in this one.

Jimmy says:  Tom covers my thoughts in the “Why we’re psyched” section.


Invincible

What is it?  It’s the second half of the second season of Amazon Prime’s adaptation of the Robert Kirkman superhero series.

Why we’re psyched!  So far, it doesn’t appear that the series has lost a single step after a long hiatus.

Why we’re wary…  Will any of us remember to watch it?

Watson says:  I watched a few of the first episodes of this half.  I haven’t finished.  It is just too “ok” for me and I am tired of just “ok” series….

Ryan says:  I’ll watch, but I’m not as pumped as before.

Jimmy says:  As mentioned, I have Prime for a bit, so I’ll check out at least the first half of this season.


VIDEO GAMES

Video games!  A topic I know very little about!  I’m sure the other Geeks can offer more insight to these selections.

South Park: Snow Day

What is it?  It’s another video game featuring those foul-mouthed kids from South Park.

Why we’re psyched!  Apparently, the video games have the same level of quality to them that the show has.

Why we’re wary…  Is South Park still making episodes?  Last one I watched was a good reminder about why I stopped watching:  one kinda lame and/or gross joke keeps getting repeated over and over, and repetition doesn’t make me think it’s getting any funnier.

Watson says:  I am still a South Park fan, but the quality has dropped since about 2020.  They have some nice moments, but it is more a diamond in the rough now.  The first two games were bangers, but this looks more like a PvP game than the RPG style of the first two.  Not as excited about it as I’d hoped after seeing the trailer.


Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

What is it?  It’s exactly what the title says:  the Suicide Squad needs to kill the Justice League when Brainiac takes control of them.

Why we’re psyched!  Besides featuring what is probably Kevin Conroy’s last Batman performance, this one has been in development for a long time and looks incredibly promising.

Why we’re wary…  Um, are we sure it’s coming out this year?

Watson says:  We are pretty sure it is but the gaming community seems really down on it.  Starting to worry it is more Avengers versus Spider-Man or Arkham.


Spider-Man 2 DLC

What is it?  It’s more downloadable content and the like for last year’s hit Spider-Man 2 game.

Why we’re psyched!  So far, these games have drawn nothing but raves from everyone who has played them.

Why we’re wary…  Well, there’s always a first time for bad content from this franchise…

Watson says:  These are the best games made so I am not worried at all.  Even if it is more of the same, I love the storytelling that suck you into the world of Spider-Man.  This is more like playing a comic book I’ve ever seen.

Ryan says:  It’s not going to happen.  The Insomniac hack showed they’re saving up for a full Venom game instead which will be great.


Star Wars Outlaws

 

What is it?  It’s an open-world Star Wars adventure game set between Episodes V and VI, so probably not going to have any Jedi.

Why we’re psyched!  The galaxy far, far away has a lot of untapped potential, and being able to wander a universe (more than one planet!) and engage in all kinds of combat sounds exciting.

Why we’re wary…  A whole galaxy?  This one might be too big to be as good as people might want it to be.

Watson says:  One area Star Wars has largely succeeded (Fallen Order, Jedi: Survivor, KotOR, Battlefront) is video games.  But they have had a few stinkers.  I am really hoping this is more of the former.  Because I could dig this game.  Lack of lightsabers is a real risk, but I respect them trying something else.


Jurassic Park: Survival

What is it?  It’s a revived survival game challenging the player to survive the abandoned park with all those cloned dinosaurs running around.

Why we’re psyched!  Jurassic Park movies may be more disappointing, but the idea of just surviving the park seems like a good and simple premise for a video game.  Besides, no one expected this game to be revived.

Why we’re wary…  Well, the project was killed once before…

Watson says:  It will be good…unless it is not.


Blade

What is it?  It’s a new video game based on Marvel’s sword-welding vampire hunter.

Why we’re psyched!  Blade seems like he’s tailor-made for an action video game, and who knows?  It might be in the same league as the recent Spider-Man games.

Why we’re wary…  Is it really coming out this year?


TECHNOLOGY

Advances in Generative AI

Tom says:  OK, this item was a little of an outlier from how we normally do things, so I’ll just put my thoughts on this tech right here and then move on.  I’ve tried ChatGPT a couple times, and I’m not all that impressed by it.  In my job, I need to keep somewhat abreast of this stuff to make sure my students don’t cheat when they write essays and the like, and this past fall, I caught one using it to write an essay in-class after the fact.  I was able to do so by noticing a weak student wrote an essay that somehow A) failed to reference the book he read directly or indirectly and B) was grammatically perfect, a feat even good students have yet to meet.  What I’ve seen from ChatGPT is it feels like an interactive Google.  I know it’s probably more than that, but for the life of me, I don’t see why people think this tech is so great at this time.  Granted, I work in education, and I think most of the other Geeks here work in tech, so they may have very different opinions on this subject.

Watson says:  A.I.’s future impact on society will be profound, revolutionizing industries and education. Like the calculator being accepted in the instruction of math, it’ll become a daily educational tool teaches must learn to accept rather than try to uncover. Proficiency in A.I. will be crucial for job market relevance, akin to basic literacy. Adapting education to integrate A.I. literacy will be vital for navigating this evolving landscape, ensuring individuals can harness its transformative potential.  I wrote this post with Chat GPT.

Jimmy says:  I asked ChatGPT if it was Skynet.  It said no.  I said “isn’t that exactly what Skynet would say?”  It said no.  Draw your own conclusions.


 

BOOKS

Hey, books are like watching a TV or movie in your head!

Winds of Winter

What is it?  It’s the next installment in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

Why we’re psyched!  One of these years, it could come out!

Why we’re wary…  We’re still waiting.

Watson says:  I’ve got a good feeling about this year!

Jimmy says:  Insert obligatory joke about this giving me time to catch up on the books.  I read as quickly as GRRM writes.


Fire and Blood Volume 2

What is it?  It’s the second half of George R.R. Martin’s history of Westeros.

Why we’re psyched!  Volume 1 was written in the form of a history book from the world A Song of Ice and Fire is set in, making for a unique reading experience.  Besides, Martin says the main series’s individual books are more like writing seven or eight novels at once.  This should be much easier.

Why we’re wary…  Is it coming out this year?

Watson says:  I’ve got a good feeling about this year!


A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Volume 2

What is it?  It’s the story of a knight and his pal in Westeros and…I am sensing a pattern here.  Who requested these entries this year?

Watson says:  I’ve got a good feeling about this year!


GABBING GEEK

What is it?  You’re lookin’ at it.

Why we’re psyched!  If nothing else, we can find out what Jimmy Impossible will be talked into watching next.

Why we’re wary…  Watson must be hosting Back to the Future trivia games here given the fact the site went down a couple times last year.

Watson says:  2024 is the tenth anniversary of Gabbing Geek!  Here’s to two years of excellence!

Ryan says:  This picture is the best contribution we’ve made to the Internet.  That and Jenny’s subscription box review and Jimmy’s Daredevil costume graphic.

Jimmy says:  10 years?  Holy crap.  Nothing better happen to Tom!