After a few busy months I'm back with another Five Thoughts (so much for "working title"). This time I explore a few of my favorite things: Lego, Star Wars and Batman. I also look at some of the big reveals from the past few weeks, including the Guardians of the Galaxy and Arkham Knight trailers.
1. The Lego Movie
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with some friends to watch The Lego Movie and let me tell you, I had a blast. There hasn't been a movie that made me laugh this hard since maybe the first Hangover. It had me in stitches from the opening scene to the closing credits. I'll admit that going in I was pretty excited. Having loved Lego as a child and already being knee deep in geek culture I had some pretty high hopes. It manages to surpass all my expectations and I couldn't be happier about it. Somehow The Lego Movie manages to tap into almost every aspect of geek culture (Batman! Terminator! Star Wars!) while at the same time exploring childhood wonder and imagination. But most importantly, it masters how to tell jokes to children as well as the adults sitting next to them. This is a movie you can take your kids to and by the end both of you will want to see it again. I'm fully aware that we’re only just heading into spring but I have no grips in saying that this is my favorite movie of the year so far. If you are at all on the fence as to whether to go see this movie, thinking maybe that its just a cheap cash-in trying to sell Lego at the expense of your $10 movie ticket. Well you couldn't be more wrong. Its a smart, visually interesting, self aware look at what made Lego so much fun, all being explored through some outstanding voice work.
2. Star Wars Television
If I were to put together a list of my favorite animated shows of all time it would be easy to throw together a slew of superhero shows. But somewhere near the top, close to Batman The Animated Series, would be a show that was able to single-handedly bring respectability back to a floundering franchise. Star Wars: The Clone Wars took the few good story scraps left by the prequels and built a beautiful, complex and thrilling series. But what makes The Clone Wars so great is what it brought to the Star Wars mythos. Its filled with interesting characters and back stories that flush out the world of the films. I could go on for hours telling you how great The Clone Wars is (and I probably will one day) but what's got me excited lately is the news coming out of Star Wars: Rebels, the spiritual sequel to The Clone Wars. Its being developed by not only the people that made The Clone Wars so great but also by the man responsible for the greatness that was Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice. (If those 3 titles don't get you excited I don't think anything will) They've been dropping videos revealing the main characters of the new series that will explore the origins of the Rebel Alliance. Taking place between Episode III and Episode IV this show has the makings of another instant classic. Of course its impossible to know until it premieres this fall but in the mean time enjoy the entirety of The Clone Wars, including the feature film as well as the previously unreleased season 6, currently available on Netflix.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer
Its finally here, the trailer for first film in the MCU that doesn't quite fit, the ugly duckling if you will. But the thing about the ugly duckling is that it turned out to be a beautiful swan. I think thats what were looking at here. A Marvel movie that doesn't seem to belong, which could be pose a problem when it comes time collect at the box office, but a rare gem that I think will stand out from the rest of the MCU… in a good way. Don't get me wrong, with fairly unknown characters and a story that might be tough to grasp even for geekiest among us, I’m still only cautiously optimistic. (which seems to be the phrase of the day lately… ahem... Batman vs. Superman) But based of this trailer it appears to understand what it is and just roll with it. I mean, Hooked on a Feeling is playing in the background while a talking raccoon shoots a machine gun on the shoulder of a talking tree. Its that kind of batshit crazy stuff that will either make or break this movie. At this point however, regardless of how it does at the box office, it looks like I will be having a blast taking in this crazy world.
4. Batman: Arkham Knight
The final chapter in rocksteady's Batman saga has been revealed. My thoughts on these games have been well documented on the podcast; they stand as some of my favorite games of all time. Granted, I had a few problems with Origins but as a whole this series captures everything I love about Batman. As far as what we know so far, beyond the beauty of this pre-rendered trailer I can make a few comments on the other details we've learned so far. We know that the Batmobile will be drivable for the first time after being teased to us throughout the series. We also know that a new area of Gotham will be unlocked with wider streets to accommodate the driving. However, we don't know yet if there will be actual people in the city this time. (My guess. Probably not)
Now that we’ve got that out of the way I can talk about the trailer itself. I really enjoyed the way it was put together. The juxtaposition of the Thomas Wayne voice over with the visuals of Batman and his gear really made this trailer for me. Visually it looks amazing, presumably done by Blur Studios who appear to only get better every time I see something new from them, this is another masterpiece. Having watched it on my phone the first time I could have sworn that parts looked to have been done in live action. Every Batman trailer seems to get better and better. They started this trend back with Arkham City (even earlier if you count DCUO), when they did that rooftop assault trailer, continuing with the Origins reveal trailer and now this. Every time I see Blur put out another comic book trailer I can't help but think how awesome it would be to see a full length film done in this format. Being nearly photo realistic but keeping the comic book feel it allows them to do everything that would either be impossible with live action or just look to cheesy. Unfortunately, I'm well aware that this idea is no more than a pipe dream but I'll keep hoping if they keep putting out trailers like this.
5. Podcast talk
Lastly I just want to talk about the future of the podcast. The reason this site was created was to support the Tower of Babble Podcast. We've been going strong for almost a year now (We’re thinking of doing something special for the anniversary) and the show and the site have evolved along the way. A shiny new logo and slightly different show format stand as prime examples of this. But we think the show has only gotten better. There's one thing that hasn't changed however; our weekly consistency, or lack there off. We've always been forthcoming about the difficulties of trying to get out a new episode each week. Me, Daniel and Jeremy do our best but with three separate schedules to work around it can be almost impossible sometimes. If I wanted to do a show by myself it would be no problem. You'd have a new episode once a week without an issue but I don't think anyone wants to hear me talk to myself for an hour. This brings me to the heart of what I’m talking about. Daniel has taken a new job, we mentioned this in passing on last weeks show, and it looks like it'll be even tougher getting the show out each week. Of course the ToB podcast isn't going anywhere but Dan's new schedule might mean moving to a bi-monthly format. We’d love to hear what you guys think. In the mean time we’ll continue to do our best to get you new shows as often as possible. If you have any questions or comments about the new logo, show format or anything else ToB, you can always reach us at TowerofBabblePodcast@Gmail.com.