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About the Author
Founder and Executive Producer of the Heroes Podcast Network. Host of Screen Heroes and Redshirts & Runabouts podcast series. Known Trekkie, gamer, and all around nerd.

SH S2E6: SDCC 2016 Wrap-Up

SH S2E6: SDCC 2016 Wrap-Up
Screen Heroes

 
 
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San Diego Comic-Con, also known as SDCC is over for the 2016 year. The countries biggest comic con always brings in the big news from comic book films to TV shows and beyond. If you’re one of the lucky ones able to grab a pass you have access to exclusive merchandise including action figures, posters, cloths, and more. On top of that, you get first dibs at the biggest panels of the year, specifically in the famous Hall H. This year, DC Entertainment and Star Trek had the two biggest showings with Marvel still not disappointing.

This week, we sat down for a special episode with our returning guest Ian of Haus of Turner Cosplay as we talk about the biggest SDCC news from DC, Marvel, Star Trek, and more!

Wished you could be part of the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 8PM CST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv\griddaily

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast at our new Feedburner location here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/griddaily/QXPd

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com\griddaily

SDCC 2016 Wrap-Up Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Ian Turner

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S2E6: SDCC 2016 Wrap-Up

SH S2E5: Star Trek Beyond & Discovery

This week we boldly go reviewing Star Trek Beyond, which opened last weekend in most of the territories it will hit. This episode is full of spoilers as we talk characters and casting, motivations, plot points, the film’s resolution, special effects, costume design, and how the movie fits in with not just the Kelvin timeline but also the Prime timeline of the Star Trek franchise in its 50th year. Then, we talk a bit about the newly named Star Trek: Discovery series coming to CBS All-Access in January 2017. We talk about the title of the series, the title logo, and the ship design along with some of our hopes or thoughts on what we’d like to see in the next Star Trek series.

Star Trek Beyond won the US domestic box office, bringing in $59.25 million beating out The Secret Life of Pets, Lights Out, and Ice Age: Collision Course. The film had a $185 million budget not counting marketing and brought in an additional $30 million internationally bringing its opening weekend total to $95.5 million.

Wished you could be part of the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 8PM CST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv\griddaily

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast at our new Feedburner location here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/griddaily/QXPd

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com\griddaily

Star Trek Beyond & Discovery Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Zach Story

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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http://feeds.feedburner.com/griddaily/screenheroes
iTunes Link

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

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@GridDaily
Facebook Page

Email
contact@griddaily.com

SH S2E5: Star Trek Beyond & Discovery

Star Trek Beyond: Spoiler-Filled Review

For those who don’t know, I’m The Star Trek Dude on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve also recently begun my Trek Watch in which I am reviewing literally every official episode and movie of Star Trek including The Animated Series. Even though my plan is to do this in order (TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, VOY, and Enterprise with the movies interspersed as they happen), I thought I would take this opportunity to review Star Trek Beyond while it’s fresh in my mind. The review below is from my Trek Watch site, so please check out the rest of my reviews that are ongoing at TheStarTrekDude.com. You can find the original Start Trek Beyond review article here: thestartrekdude.com/star-trek-beyond

Stardate: 2263.02
Year: 2263
Written by: Simon Pegg & Doug Jung
Direct by: Justin Lin

This review, like all on this site unless noted otherwise, will contain spoilers but since the movie just came out, I wanted to warn you.

My Trek Watch is being shifted a bit in honor of Star Trek Beyond which opened in theaters today. Star Trek Beyond is the third film in the Kelvin Timeline (previously dubbed JJ-verse by many, myself included) and the 13th film of the franchise. The movie was co-written by self-proclaimed Trekkie and Trek actor, Simon Pegg and directed by Fast & Furious director Justin Lin, another self-proclaimed Trekkie. The film stars the returning cast which includes Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Bones), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Simon Pegg (Scotty), John Cho (Sulu), and Anton Yelchin (Chekov). We are joined by two newcomers in the main villain played by Idris Elba (Krall) and a new protagonist played by Sofia Boutella (Jaylah). You might remember Sofia Boutella from Kingsmen, as she plays Samuel L. Jackson’s #2, the woman with the blade legs.

Star Trek Beyond - Posters Small

Alright, let’s talk about the film. Star Trek Beyond takes place just about 3 years into the Enterprise’s Five Year Mission. This might even be a bit of a nod to The Original Series, since it was canceled around the time this movie would have taken place. I love the way the movie begins. We are shown a Captain Kirk who is bored, tired, and disenchanted by the chair. He even makes an inside-joke about things feeling episodic. I laughed. What I liked about this was the parallels to Captain Pike of the Prime Timeline in “The Cage”. Both characters had lost their sense of adventure and drive for exploration. They had lost themselves a bit and didn’t know what their next step would be. Both even thought about leaving the Enterprise.

In the meantime, we had Spock’s interesting arc of conflict dating back to the 2009 film. He is constantly struggling with his duties to Starfleet and his duties to the Vulcan people in the aftermath of Nero. In a truly touching tribute to Leonard Nimoy (Spock Prime), Spock learns that the Ambassador has died. This is an incredibly complex situation. What does it feel like if a version of yourself dies? How can one know?

Things don’t stay dark the whole time, though. In fact, I found that the film brought a sense of light and brightness to the franchise we had not seen since Star Trek: Insurrection. I found that this movie enjoyed the spirit of The Original Series but did so in the 21st century when movies are more fast paced and action packed.

The overall plot is solid. I also really liked the origin of Krall, even if some critics claim they caught on immediately. I did not. I found Krall to be a menacing character as well. He is powerful, intelligent, and dedicated to his cause. The characters have fun and/or important arcs that are all more or less resolved by the end of the film. Again, Chekov has the least going on but he did get more screen time than Into Darkness. Jaylah was a nice breath of fresh air too. Her speaking style, visual appearance, and attitude made the movie more enjoyable and brought a sense of wonder with her.

Star Trek Beyond - Krall

The character relationships are the best part of this movie from a story perspective. Bones and Spock have some wonderful moments both humorous and serious in nature. When Spock is close to death, it is their respect and friendship that keeps them going. Since 1966, we’ve watch Bones and Spock trade barbs. McCoy would throw a “green blooded” insult and Spock would reply with something intellectual yet sarcastic. What some don’t realize is that they were true friends with deep respect for one another. Beyond showed this better than any film before it and I loved every second. Seeing the characters paired up differently was also fun. We had Kirk and Chekov, Uhura and Sulu, Scotty and Jaylah, and Bones and Spock as I mentioned.

Spock Jaylah and Bones

What sold this movie to me, as a Trekkie, is its understanding of the franchise and canon. While the 2009 film obviously referenced the Prime Timeline it didn’t add anything outside of Spock Prime. At the same token, Into Darkness ignored the Prime timeline all together with the exception of Khan’s existence. Star Trek Beyond does exactly the opposite throughout the film. First, we have all of the Star Trek: Enterprise references like the Xindi and Romulan Wars, MACOs, and the formation of the Federation. We even got a glimpse of that era’s uniforms and the USS Franklin is clearly based on the NX-01 Enterprise design from the TV show, even if it’s different. But that’s not where it ended. We got references in basic dialogue like Chekov’s tale pertaining to the origins of Scotch, straight from TOS. Kirk even makes a statement about “absent friends” in his toast toward the end of the film. The birthday references are there too. These were echos of The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock but in a different light for different incarnations.

The resolution for the film is fun, for me at least, but flimsy at best. I saw some similarities to how the Borg were handled at times during Voyager with the whole disrupt communication concept and I can appreciate all of the ships in the swarm functioning that way but I don’t understand why they blew up anymore than I understood it in the Voyager episode “The Swarm” when those ships exploded due to a phaser feedback… but at least that was an actual weapon. But, as I said, the scene and music is fun, so I’m going to let it slide because Trek has done worse before and it’s my only serious gripe for the film.

USS Franklin

Finally, we had the major tribute to Nimoy. Quinto’s Spock is looking through a box of items from Spock Prime. He then pulls out a small case where a photo slides out. I expected just a picture of Nimoy as Spock, maybe young, maybe old but just something to say goodbye one last time. We got so much more. We got the iconic photo of the original crew, similar to the one below. We got to see the Kelvin Timeline not only honor Nimoy in his passing but honor his Spock, his Kirk, his Enterprise, and his crew. It was a picture I never expected to see in new Trek and an acknowledgement of the franchise’s history that was perfectly deserving on its 50th year.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Crew

In the credits, we got a final goodbye to Nimoy and the film’s dedication to Anton Yelchin. While Nimoy’s loss was a major one for many in the Trek community and beyond, Yelchin’s was shocking and painful. He was so young and his presence will be missed in everything he could have been a part of. I fully support Abrams’ and the studio’s decision not to recast Chekov.

To end on a positive note, Star Trek Beyond was a fantastic birthday present to a franchise half a century old that has hit every corner of this globe. It captures the spirit of The Original Series while pushing forward in its own right, respecting the franchise every step of the way. I loved it and can’t wait to see what’s in store for Star Trek 4 and the upcoming TV series on CBS.

May you all live long and prosper.

For more of my thoughts on the film, catch the Screen Heroes podcast episode #31 with a live broadcast Tuesday, July 26th at 8PM CST at twitch.tv\griddaily or listen to the recorded episode at griddaily.com

If you have thoughts or are interested in more, go to TheStarTrekDude.com!

Star Trek Beyond: Spoiler-Filled Review

SH S2E4: Ghostbusters (2016) Review

For our 30th episode, we review the new Ghostbusters (2016) movie with tons of spoilers! We talk casting, plot, writing, special effects, cameos, and more! Finding out what we liked about the Ghostbusters reboot plus what we didn’t. The film is in theaters now and stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth, directed by Paul Feig, from Columbia Pictures.

In its opening weekend, Ghostbusters (2016) pulled in a little over $46 million domestically with a $50 million 5-day haul, coming in second to The Secret Life of Pets. We talk about how the box office timing could hurt the film and whether or not its box office haul is due to the movie itself, competition, or the press leading up to the film’s release.

Wished you could be part of the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 8PM CST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv\griddaily

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast at our new Feedburner location here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/griddaily/QXPd

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors:patreon.com\griddaily

Ghostbusters (2016) Review Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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contact@griddaily.com

SH S2E4: Ghostbusters (2016) Review

Mini Collector’s Edition NES from Nintendo

This morning, Nintendo announced a new video game console, but not one we were expecting. Instead, the iconic video game company announced the Mini Collector’s Edition NES. The new NES is small, fitting in the palm of your hand. It doesn’t use cartridges but instead has 30 built-in games. The console is scheduled for a November 11th release date.

It will include an HDMI cable to easy plug-in to modern TVs with a retail price of $59.99 USD. The box includes the wall AC adapter and one retro looking NES controller. They point out that some of the games, listed below, support two players, so additional controllers are available for $9.99 but you can also use a Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro.

 

Additionally, the new NES Classic Controller is also supported on the Wii and Wii U for Virtual Console NES games when plugged into a Wii Remote controller. Check out more details below plus the whole game list:

EDMOND, Wash., July 14, 2016 – If you see a Nintendo Entertainment System on store shelves this holiday shopping season, you haven’t entered a time machine. (Unless everyone around you is wearing acid-washed jeans and neon leg warmers. If that’s the case, you may have unknowingly walked through a rift in the space-time continuum.) The most likely scenario is you are setting eyes on the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, launching in stores on Nov. 11 at a suggested retail price of $59.99. That’s right: The NES is back! But this isn’t the same NES that you fondly remember. This new nostalgia-fueled system is a near-identical, mini replica of Nintendo’s original home console and plugs directly into your high-definition TV using an included HDMI cable. The console comes complete with 30 NES games built in, including beloved classics like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, PAC-MAN, and Kirby’s Adventure.

“We wanted to give fans of all ages the opportunity to revisit Nintendo’s original system and rediscover why they fell in love with Nintendo in the first place,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is ideal for anyone who remembers playing the NES, or who wants to pass on those nostalgic memories to the next generation of gamers.”

The system comes packaged with an HDMI cable, an AC adapter and one NES Classic Controller, which is patterned after the iconic design of the original NES controller. But you really just want to know the full list of 30 games, right? Feast your eyes on the fantastic collection of NES classics included with each and every system:

  • Balloon Fight
  • BUBBLE BOBBLE
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • FINAL FANTASY®
  • Galaga
  • GHOSTS’N GOBLINS®
  • GRADIUS
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros.
  • MEGA MAN® 2
  • Metroid
  • NINJA GAIDEN
  • PAC-MAN
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • SUPER C
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • TECMO BOWL
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

There’s a little something for everyone: a nice mix of timeless favorites, cult classics and maybe even some games that you never got around to playing. Each is sure to bring back memories and produce plenty of new ones. You can even enjoy playing several of these games with two players by attaching a second NES Classic Controller, which will be sold separately at a suggested retail price of $9.99. A Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro can also be used (each sold separately).

When connected to a Wii Remote controller, the NES Classic Controller can also be used to play Virtual Console NES games on a Wii U or Wii system. Playing these retro games using a retro controller makes the experience that much more authentic. And if you ever need to step away from the NES Classic Edition in the middle of a tough level (or take a break to call one of Nintendo’s helpful Game Counselors*), don’t worry about losing any hard-earned progress. Each game has multiple suspend points, so you can start where you left off at a later time, no passwords needed.

What’s old is new again with the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition. Relive past glories. Finish off that boss you never beat. Save the galaxy and rescue the princess!

*Please only call if you have indeed entered a time machine. The Game Counselor program no longer exists in 2016.

NES Classic Edition in Hand
What do you think of Nintendo’s latest console release? Will you be picking one of these up or is your original NES or Retro Duo working just fine? Comment below!

Mini Collector’s Edition NES from Nintendo

SH S2E3: Pokemon Go Tips & Tricks

This week, we step away from movies and TV to talk about the Nintendo game taking the world by storm, Pokemon Go. The new mobile game that leverages GPS technology and augmented reality brings Pokemon into the real world, allowing you to catch’em all with your friends, battle at local gyms, incubate eggs, and even be a little social. In this episode, we will be talking about what Pokemon Go is, tips & tricks for playing, denouncing some false rumors, and talking about some fixes coming in the first update for the app this week!

Do you play Pokemon Go? If so, be sure to check out this episode and join us in the future for lure parties in the Kansas City area!

We also took several questions from our live Twitch audience, which was a lot of fun. Don’t forget, you can join us live every Tuesday night at 8PM CST at twitch.tv\griddaily! We will do our best to answer your questions during the live recording.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast at our new Feedburner location here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/griddaily/QXPd

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors:patreon.com\griddaily

Alright, now go catch’em all!

Pokemon Go Tips & Tricks Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Nikki Lynn

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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iTunes Link
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@GridDaily
Facebook Page

Email
contact@griddaily.com

SH S2E3: Pokemon Go Tips & Tricks

Pixar Films – A Ranking Part 1

With Pixar’s Finding Dory finally in theaters, it’s time for us to rank the existing 17 Pixar films. If you’re curious about our take on Finding Dory, head over to our spoiler-free review here. Pixar has been warming our hearts and challenging our emotions since the 1995 release of Toy Story. Since then, we’ve seen their computer generated animated features advance and progress to the level of receiving nominations for Best Picture at the Academy Awards for both Toy Story 3 and Up. In total, Pixar has won 13 Academy Awards across 16 films. In fact, we’ve loved Pixar movies so much that we’ve even given them a pass from time to time, like in the case of Cars 2. We get it, sometimes you just want to pay the bills and sells tons of toys. We forgive you since you brought us Inside Out.

So with all of that in mind, here is my attempt at ranking the existing Pixar films. Like we do with other franchises and movie universes (yes, some of us believe all of the Pixar films are somehow connected), we will keep this list updated as more movies come out.

In Part 1, I get through 17-9 with 8-1 in Part 2 coming soon!

17. Cars 2

Cars 2

Okay, do I need to go into detail here? It’s a sequel of Pixar’s merchandising grab film and it’s not even done as well. I’ll save everyone some time and just move on. If you think this one should be ranked higher, please comment below.

16. Cars

Cars Mia and Tia Title

While better than the sequel, this movie just doesn’t do it for me. I’m used to Pixar films that create incredible universes within our own, complex stories and characters that push the viewer emotionally and psychologically. As I noted earlier, some people, myself included, like to believe all of the Pixar films fit together and while there is a pretty outlandish theory about how Cars fits in, I don’t buy it. This film takes the easy way out by ignoring the rules of our own world, something they had to deal with in A Bug’s Life, Ratatouille, and Toy Story. Those challenges made for better story telling and more complex environment.

15. Monsters University

Monsters University Banner

Pixar had incredible success with the Toy Story sequels and decided to try something different, a prequel. The movie includes the charm of both John Goodman and Billy Crystal but much like Men in Black II, it loses much of its awe and originality. Many of the new characters were cute but it seemed like a step back from the first film which included a larger universe and dealt with the consequences of actions on both the Monster and human worlds. In the end, this film falls into a common trap of prequels. Most people, like me, want to see the story continue, see the effects of the first film. Whether or not these monsters had official training didn’t really stick with me as a need to know concept.

14. A Bug’s Life

A Bug's Life Banner

Alright, so it’s Pixar’s second movie. It premiered three years after Toy Story. Special effects hadn’t really progressed much in that time but Pixar continued with a similar formula. I did love how they created this great little bug universe within our own. This forced the film makers to work within the constraints of our world while giving life to something new. The voice cast was strong with Kevin Spacey playing a solid villain. I also enjoyed Julia Louis-Dreyfus, though I am a huge Seinfeld and Veep fan. The truth is though, the thing that sticks with me most from this movie is actually the short before it, Geri’s Game in which an old man plays chess with himself. It’s brilliant, fun, entertaining, and I fell in love with the character. Part of me even sees this old man as an alternate or early version of Carl from Up. Let’s not forget that this short also won Best Animated Short at the Academy Awards that year. It’s only one of three Pixar shorts to do this, the other two being Tin Toy and For the Birds from Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. respectively.

13. Brave

Brave Title

This movie never stuck with me and I’m actually ranking it higher than I think I should because the animation was really well done. The story didn’t grab me and I found the premise to be a little silly more often than not. And yes, I know we’re talking about animated kids’ films. The whole daughter wants to do her own thing… thing was nothing new and the spin of her mom turning into a bear just didn’t interest me. I am too used to Pixar doing new things in new worlds and/or pushing my emotions to the extreme. This movie does none of this but does handle the animation well enough. The hair is cool and all but I was more impressed with the balloons in Up and the fuzzy fur stuff on the emotions in Inside Out.

12. The Good Dinosaur

Good Dinosaur Cover Image

Okay, so I think this might be the only Pixar film outside of the Cars movies, I didn’t see in theaters. It just didn’t happen and neither did its box office numbers. I guess I feel very similar to that. This movie is fine. The story is good and reminded me quite a bit of The Land Before Time. I liked the story, for the most part, but I felt like just too many annoying bad things kept happening to Arlo. This movie gets bumped up quite a bit though because of how awesome the animation is. It’s superb and deserves to be noticed. The scenery, the water, the textures, just outstanding across the board. That being said, it’s not enough to save the movie that included a VERY predictable story. I mean, was anyone surprised when Poppa died the way he did? No? The moment he takes Arlo into that field at night with the fireflies, I knew that man was a goner. And he ended up dying in almost the exact same way as Mufasa in The Lion King, except no acting antagonist did it. It’s just kind of Arlo’s fault. The universe they built was okay but I would have liked a larger picture like we got in Monsters Inc. Where are the other dinosaurs? No predators? Friends? Neighbors? Just one family in the middle of no where. I, of course, am not referring to those Arlo finds on his journey but I guess maybe everyone is just on the other side of the mountain.

11. Ratatouille

Ratatouille Banner

This movie has a decent enough cast and does a solid job of creating the mouse world within our own. The animation is solid with colorful and fun characters. The food was also done well. It’s a cute story and Linguini is a cute character. I enjoyed Remy and the relationships he had with his family. All-in-all, it’s a cute, fun film that doesn’t tax much on the emotional spectrum. It doesn’t quite crack the Top 10 and I think this is due to its lack of emotional punch and/or technical prowess. It doesn’t push any boundaries.. Keep in mind that the movies above it are all spectacular and a couple have even received Best Picture nominations at the Academy Awards. I like this movie and find it enjoyable. It’s just not one I look forward to viewing time and time again.

10. Finding Dory

Finding Dory Definition

Since this one is so new, I’ll try to avoid spoilers. In short, this movie takes some of our favorite characters from the first film and basically makes them do it all over again but this time for Dory. The plot is very similar to the first film but the characters and voice cast are spot on. I love these characters, even all of the new ones. Ed O’Neil’s Hank is great, Destiny and Bailey are fun too. I love them all. Dory’s story, which we get to see from a very young age, is touching and heartwarming. It hits the emotions hard a few times and does a great job building on the universe created in the first film. With that said, it is a bit repetitive. I mean, it’s almost the same story as the last one. Additionally, some of the antics at the end literally had me thinking “Really?!?” It was over the top at times. I will say this, the short film Piper is awesome. It’s a cute and lovely story but the animation is unbelievable. The sand, the water, the foam. It all looks real and I’m completely impressed by it. Anyway, if you liked Finding Nemo, then you’ll want to see this movie. If not, then it doesn’t really do anything different.

9. Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2 Logo

I have a hard time putting this one so low. I love this movie and I love what it does to add to the first film’s universe. We get to learn so much about Woody and our favorite characters all get to have an exciting adventure that includes Zurg! And tell me Jessie’s story is heartbreaking! Talk about the feels. Pixar does this well and it is important that they continue to do so. The story is fun, new, inventive, and brings in new characters and old that we will continue to love to this very day. I don’t have anything bad to say about this one. It’s great fun with some emotion built in. The animation sticks true to the Toy Story style which is great but doesn’t really push any boundaries.

Okay, that’s it for Part 1! What did you think of my ranking so far? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below! Also, stay tuned for Part 2 where I finish up my ranking with the top 8 spots!

Pixar Films – A Ranking Part 1

SH S2E2: Suicide Squad – What You Need to Know

The next big DC Comics movie, Suicide Squad, is just under a month away! The live action anti-hero film stars Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, and Jared Leto as The Joker. The movie takes place in the same universe as Batman v Superman, with Ben Affleck reprising his role as Batman in Suicide Squad.

To prep for the film, we sit down to talk about everything you need to know before you see it. We discuss how the group came to be, some of its previous members, how the Suicide Squad played out in The CW’s Arrow, and our thoughts on the casting. We talk about which characters we’re most excited to see plus those we might be a little nervous about.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast at our new Feedburner location here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/griddaily/QXPd

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com\griddaily

Suicide Squad – What You Need to Know Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Ian Turner

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

Feedburner Feed
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iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

RSS Feed
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Social Media
@GridDaily
Facebook Page

Email
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SH S2E2: Suicide Squad – What You Need to Know

SH S2E1: “Would you Watch it?” Super Mario Bros.

Welcome to Season 2 of the Screen Heroes podcast! Our first episode of the season is another fan cast. This time, Rae, Ryan, and I sit down to cast our own versions of Super Mario Bros. films. We’ve done fan casting before but for those who haven’t heard, we each pick our own style, tone, plot, cast, and director for the movie. We then go around discussing our individual visions and react accordingly. If you’re interested in other fan castings, check out Episode 07: “Would you Watch it?” Ghostbusters and Episode 18: “Would you Watch it?” Justice League Dark.

We also touch on the recently release Batman v Superman Ultimate Cut which hit Digital HD yesterday, the new CBS\Paramount Star Trek fan film guidelines, and we express our sincere regrets on the passing of Anton Yelchin.

Finally, we announce our newest Twitter account @GridDnD where we post about Dungeons and Dragons, specifically when we play. Your Screen Heroes hosts are in the middle of a campaign with two other Grid Daily contributors, so follow us and enjoy the memes in the meantime.

Don’t forget to check out our revamped Patreon at Patreon.com\griddaily. We’ve updated the perk levels which now include the new official Screen Heroes t-shirt and more! Keep an eye out for a video next week!

“Would you Watch it?” Super Mario Bros. Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S2E1: “Would you Watch it?” Super Mario Bros.

Independence Day: Resurgence – Spoiler-Free Review

It’s been 20 years since the original Independence Day attack our movie theaters. The original film was fun, intense, and a little over the top, true to a 90s action film. Bill Pullman’s presidential speech has held up as one for the ages. Over the years, we’ve heard talks of a sequel but it never seemed to happen. By the 10 year anniversary, I was fairly certain we’d never see a sequel, no returning mothership, no adventure into space, nothing. I guess I just didn’t wait long enough.

My girlfriend probably said it best: “Roland Emmerich Roland Emmerichs all over this Roland Emmerich film.” There’s no question whose film this is and whether or not that’s a good or bad thing is up to you. I’ll provide my thoughts in this spoiler-free review but keep in mind that I’ll be noting things that do appear in the trailers and perhaps a couple of things noted in interviews.

Independence Day: Resurgence takes place 20 years after the first film in an alternate future where the events of The War of 96 actually happened. We’ve had alien ships laying around we could take apart and reverse engineer to help advance our technology. This movie does not exist in our 2016 but instead in a 2016 where the world has come together as one, where new technologies have lifted our civilization to two decades of peace. In the meantime, we’ve been preparing in case our enemy ever return. Well, if you can’t tell from the poster alone, they do come back and this time with a MUCH bigger ship.

Independence Day: Resurgence – Cast

The cast is real hit and miss. We have some great returning cast members including Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, and Vivica A. Fox. How much these Independence Day veterans play into the story varies but I will say that I really enjoyed Judd Hirsch’s story even though it’s a little tangential to the overall plot. Bill Pullman has a solid role as well and one that lives up to what I hoped it would. His story was worth the wait, in my opinion. Jeff Goldblum can easily be considered a co-star or supporting actor. He’s in most of the film and has an integral part in the story and the future that’s come to be. Brent Spiner, for those who didn’t know from interviews, returns. His character was never confirmed dead and instead has been in a coma for 20 years.

Independence Day Resurgence Poster

The new cast includes Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher, and Maika Monroe. Monroe plays Patricia Whitmore, the President’s little girl from the first film all grown up. Monroe does a fine job but I’m unclear as to why they recast Patricia’s character and didn’t bring back Mae Whitman who still acts. People I’ve spoken to believe it’s a physical attractiveness issue since her character plays the love interest of Hemsworth and Mae Whitman is a lot shorter than Monroe. Either way, it’s fine. Monroe does a fine job but at the end of the day, her character is more intended to push the stories of her father (Bill Pullman), her love interest (Hemsworth), and her best friend (Usher). Speaking of Usher, he plays Dylan Hiller, son of Vivica A. Fox’s character and step-son of Will Smith’s character from the first film. As most know, Will Smith did not return for the sequel. Reasons why vary but in order to handle that in the film, they had to kill off the character, something that’s addressed quickly in Independence Day: Resurgence but it needed to be done. Usher plays an ace pilot like his father who is still friends with Patricia Whitmore from the first film. Usher does a solid job and I’d like to see him in more. I hope this movie gets him some additional roles that are more high profile than When the Game Stands Tall or G.I. Joe: Renegades. Finally, we have Liam Hemsworth. I think it’s painfully clear that his character Jake Morrison was originally intended to be Will Smith’s character but it was rewritten when Smith couldn’t\didn’t return. Much of what Morrison does fits the bill for Steven Hiller (Will Smith) in not only tone and style but in consistency with characters from the first movie. With that in mind, Liam Hemsworth can’t live up to Will Smith and that hole is noticeable.

Independence Day Resurgence - Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner

Other cast include an incredibly underused Angelababy (whose real name is Angela Yeung Wing). She plays Rain Lao, another pilot who represents China, one of the main powers to help build this new world. When she is involved, she’s great, but she is pushed to the side most of the time to give screen time to Hemsworth and Usher. It’s unfortunate as she is one of only two Asian characters in the film and only one of three females. Lastly, there’s Deobia Oparei who plays a Warlord named Dikembe Umbutu. The story of him and his people is very cool and I’d like to watch a miniseries or movie just about their experiences. Unfortunately, his character is paired with the comic relief and is used as a balance to that for much of the film. His power and presence, like Angelababy’s, is wasted in a movie trying to spotlight Hemsworth and Usher while still providing enough screen time for the returning cast members.

Independence Day: Resurgence – Story

The story is fine. It’s an easy progression from the first film and doesn’t really surprise much if at all. It’s a little formulaic but it is Independence Day and if you expected some high level psychological masterpiece, you’ll be disappointed. The pacing is very similar to the original film with a few twists and the end of the movie definitely takes a different direction from the original. It’s hard not to compare and I know I’ve done that a lot here but the movie tries the multiple story concept the first did and it just doesn’t do it as well. At the end of the day, it’s an alien invasion film. The part I really don’t care for is the over the top nature of the new ship. It’s massive. Completely massive. So massive that it broke  the immersion for me. I love sci-fi and give a lot of passes to such films, trying not to question the real scientific nature of what’s going on because it’s just a movie but in this case I need Neil deGrasse Tyson to let me know if a ship that large could land on Earth without cause a lot more damage than it did.

Independence Day Resurgence Mothership

Independence Day: Resurgence – Special Effects

Okay, these are pretty good. The movie’s budget was significantly lower than other big block busters like Batman v Superman and Captain America: Civil War but I think overall, the special effects were better. There’s a lot going on with immense city destruction, buildings being thrown around, futuristic fighter jets, alien space craft, etc. and they all look really great. My girlfriend noted she didn’t care for some of the blue screen work but I honestly didn’t notice much outside of the big anniversary celebration scenes. Without spoiling anything, it’s clear that some things that were practical effects in the first are definitely CGI now. Some of those things look awesome in CGI and a few look a little more obvious.

Conclusions

I like the movie. As I said, it feels like an appropriate progression from the first and it opens up the possibility of an exciting sequel concept that I’m looking forward to. I loved what they did with most of the veteran actors who returned and I enjoyed the new universe they built. The alternate 2016 is awesome and I really appreciate that there were major effects of The War of 96. The special effects are solid overall even if some are over the top. It is a disaster movie in the end. Independence Day: Resurgence takes itself more seriously than the original but does not leave humor out. I mean, how can you with Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner on the cast? And even though Bill Pullman gets another speech, it just can’t compare to the original.

Independence Day President Speech

What did you think of Independence Day: Resurgence? Comment below!

Independence Day: Resurgence – Spoiler-Free Review

Scheduled Maintenance June 26, 2016

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Scheduled Maintenance June 26, 2016

Renegades Without the Trek

As many might know by now, CBS and Paramount finally released official fan film guidelines earlier this week. While this was something many Star Trek fans wanted for a long time, the guidelines we received appeared to take aim at the bigger productions currently in-progress. You can find out more about this in my analysis article here. Just this morning, the crew of Star Trek: Renegades announced that they will not stop production on their current project Star Trek: The Requiem, instead they will be dropping all references to the Star Trek universe all together, making a brand new and original universe.

We, at Renegades, have nothing but the utmost respect for Star Trek and its IP holders, CBS and Paramount. Everything we have done has been because of Gene Roddenberry’s vision and creativity. Star Trek is their property and we will absolutely abide by their rules and guidelines.

That being said, we do have an obligation to our donors and fans, and we have every intention of fulfilling it to the best of our ability. So, we will continue to make “The Requiem” as promised, but without any Star Trek elements.

As you know, we’ve already begun filming “The Requiem” so we cannot halt, suspend, or postpone production. Renegades, from the get go, was designed to be transformative… not derivative. Thus, with very minor changes to our script, we have eliminated all of the Star Trek references. The good news is that Renegades is now a completely original and ongoing series.

We would like to take this time to thank CBS and Paramount for letting us play in their proverbial sandbox for as long as they did. And we’d also like to thank our loyal, creative, and passionate fans for their unending support. We truly appreciate it.

For those who don’t know, Renegades was a Kickstarter that produced a feature length film staring many previous Star Trek actors including Tim Russ and Walter Koenig with many more veterans slated for the sequel including Robert Beltran and Nichelle Nicoles. Now, going to the production’s website brings you Renegades: The Series and a new URL. The crew has worked very quickly to step away from Star Trek and seems to have done so in the hopes of providing their donors with the experience they were hoping for as best as possible without provoking the legal brass at CBS or Paramount.

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So far, we have no official word on what other productions like Axanar or Star Trek Continues intend to do but the people behind Pacific 201 spoke out the other day with this to say:

The new fan film guidelines certainly limit exactly how we wanted to tell the Pacific 201 story, but we are committed to making this a virtue for our film. We’re confident that Pacific 201 will survive and thrive within these guidelines (even if it’s a little shorter and more to-the-point than we intended)!

What are your thoughts on how these productions are moving forward? Would you rather The Requiem cease production or are you glad to see something come from all of their effort? Comment below.

Renegades Without the Trek