Fanboy News Network Episode 75

“Doing the Time Warp”

Jeff announces the launch of our new twitch channel https://www.twitch.tv/dr_caliban

Daniel talks about attending Rose City Comic Con and meeting Weird Al and Tim Curry.

In a new fanboy behaving badly, the boys talk about an example of a female twitch streamer standing up for herself when being talked down to for being a woman on the internet. Check out https://www.twitch.tv/cahlaflour/ to show her support.

Jeff talks about seeing Ghost in concert.

In movies the local Drive-in showed Terminator 1 and 2 for the close of the season.

Daniel talks about seeing a special showing of Lawrence of Arabia on Seattle’s best screen.

The boys take on the Spider-Man cinematic custody battle.

Thoughts on the Joker movie.

Jeff has started watching Carnival Row and Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

Daniel has read Memory called Empire by Arkady Martine.

Fanboy News Network Episode 74

“The Devil you say”

Jeff announces the new contact information for the site and talks about future plans.

Jeff’s vow around Vampire the Masquerade- Bloodlines 2.

Daniel had a recent rewatch of Blade Runner.

The boys talk about Hobbs & Shaw

There is also discussion of the upcoming Dwayne Johnson films Jumanji 2 and Jungle Cruise.

Jeff talks about the upcoming Video Nasty Project review The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith.

The buzz about the upcoming CW adaptation of Crisis on infinite Earths.

A discussion of what Jeff calls the Watchmen Syndrome.

The boys talk about their favorite depictions of Lucifer.

The boys talk about what they are reading, and a call out to a series of tweets by author Clinton J, Boomer.

Fanboy News Network Episode 73

“18 years in the making”

Daniel reviews All is True.

Jeff talks about having seen Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Men in Black International, and Spider-Man: Far from Home.

The Disney live action remakes and why Mulan may be the best of them.

The boys talk about Good Omens.

Jeff talks about the movie Constantine and how it stands up despite being an adaptation.

Daniel talks about reading the short story collection Trigger Warning.

Thanks to a steam sale there is a quick review the Friday 13th game.

Jeff talks about joining a twitch community based around WWE 2K19 and getting a character on the show.

(Check out https://www.twitch.tv/takahata101 and https://www.twitch.tv/edwardbosco for more details)

Fanboy News Network Episode 72

“Gone with the Wind part 2”

The boys talk about having seen Avengers: Endgame and a lot of the details surrounding it.

Jeff talks about the movies We have always lived in the Castle and John Wick 3

Daniel talks about wanting to see Shadow, the follow up to Hero.

The end of Game of Thrones.

Why we are tired of all the petitions.

A shout out to the cameo episode of What we do in the Shadows.

Daniel finally catches The Umbrella Academy.

Just discovered the Wrestling Community on Twitch.

What the boys are reading.

Fanboy News Network Episode 71

“In the Name of the Mouse Thou shalt be entertained”

Daniel’s adventures in New Mexico is briefly recounted.

Yet again an episode is recorded before the most recent big event, in this case Avengers: Endgame.

A review of how Emerald City Comicon dealt with the entrance issues.

Daniel’s excitement at getting to meet Tim Curry at RCCC.

Jeff talks about Shazam, Hellboy, US, and Horror Noire.

Daniel talks about finally catching up on Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse.

Jeff covers the TV series version of What We Do in the Shadows.

The boys talk about the final season of Game of Thrones.

Discussion of the problematic season finally of The Magicians.

Daniel finished Space Opera and is now reading the Star Wars novel Bloodlines

Jeff has finished Seanan McGuire’s The Ain’t Witchcraft and is moving on to a new series with Every Heart A Doorway.

Jeff discusses his plans to see a preview night showing of Avengers: Endgame at the local drive-in.

A look at the new Disney+ streaming service.

Review: Upgrade

Upgrade flew largely under the radar when it came out last year, which is a shame. So, I am doing my part to get it a wider audience by reviewing it. Upgrade is a near-future cyberpunk/action/horror film written and directed by Leigh Whannell and produced through Blumhouse.

The story follows Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green), a mechanic that specializes in restoring vintage cars. After delivering a car to high-tech billionaire Eron Keen (Harrison Gilbertson), Grey and his wife Asha (Melanie Vallejo) have their car hijacked, leaving Asha dead and Grey paralyzed from the neck down. Eron approaches Grey in the hospital with an offer: he has created a microchip (called STEM) that will allow Grey to regain his mobility. However, as the development is not cleared for human experimentation, Grey will need to keep it secret. He agrees and receives the chip, whereupon he learns STEM’s artificial intelligence can communicate with him and, with his permission, assume control of his body. The AI (voiced by Simon Maiden) helps him to track down the attackers and under STEMs control, he becomes a hyper-competent fighter.

The movie becomes a race for Grey to learn why he and his wife were targeted for attack, while staying ahead of Eron, who is not pleased with how Grey is using STEM. The attackers, led by Fisk (Benedict Hardie), are hunting to learn who is taking them out. And then there is Cortez (Betty Gabriel), the detective investigating Asha’s murder. She suspects Grey is killing Fisk’s men despite appearing to be a quadriplegic.

Leigh Whannell, best known for writing the Saw franchise for James Wan, has branched out from writing to directing. He brings a distinctive visual feeling that shows influence from Wan, while still remaining original. Made on a typical Blumhouse shoestring budget of $5 million, every cent shows on screen, from the near-future cyberpunk aesthetic to the brilliant cinematography whenever STEM assumes control of Grey’s body. The movie is paced like an action film but builds tension like a horror film.

The cyberpunk setting is handled well. There is no year given, which will help the movie from dating itself too much. The advancements we see – self-driving cars and voice-activated devices making meals and helping around the house – are excellent extrapolations of current tech. This helps to ease the audience into the more advanced tech that drives the plot.

As the lead, Logan Marshall-Green does an amazing job.  Due to his resemblance to Tom Hardy, there are some inevitable comparisons, but by the end of the film Marshall-Green’s abilities truly shine through. He conveys Grey’s frustration and grief, but also plays his shock and confusion when STEM is in control and performing some truly impressive choreography.

Betty Gabriel, best known as the maid in Get Out, does a good job as Cortez. She does well in showing her simultaneous confusion at how Grey could possibly be taking out trained killers from a wheelchair and her certainty that he is doing it. Harrison Gilbertson is serviceable as Eron. The character is meant to be creepy, which he brings across, but there is not much else to the character. Benedict Hardie’s Fisk is the weak link in the acting. He is never anything but an over-the-top fanatic. This is very evident in scenes with Marshall-Green who brings a much more nuanced performance. Simon Maiden manages to steal the movie as the voice of STEM. He manages to be sympathetic and menacing, often at the same time.

I give Upgrade a grade of B. It is a solid movie that genre fans will embrace whole-heartedly. Non-genre fans should still enjoy it for the tight action and pace.

Fanboy News Network Episode 70

“We’re Back”

The first new episode since the hiatus and the first in Jeff’s new studio.

The boy’s talk about what is going to be happening on Fanboy News Network going forward.

Honoring the passing of the great Stan Lee.

Emerald City Comicon and the issues surrounding how they are arranging the entrances.

Jeff talks about Captain Marvel and the obnoxious behavior being directed at it by extreme factions in fandom.

Jeff has discovered a still operational Drive-In theater, the Rodeo Drive-in, near his new home.

A discussion of the plan to end Arrow on CW next season during the annual crossover.

The boys talk about The Umbrella Academy.

Jeff is catching up on Mike Schur shows.

Daniel talks about the demise of Wynonna Earp.

DC comics and the need for them to get on top of their production schedule.

The books the boys have read during the hiatus.

The Return of Fanboy News Network in 2019

Hello Everyone.

I’ve been quiet for a while, so I wanted to pop in and give a quick status update for Fanboy News Network.

Back in mid-June, I put the podcast and the site on hiatus while my wife and I sold our house. We completed the move and started getting things set up again, but life threw some complications at us. So now, several months later, I am taking stock of what I want to do with the site.

When I stopped writing articles for FNN in 2015, I thought it would be temporary. But the new job I started did not leave me with the time or the brain bandwidth for writing. That has changed. So, my immediate goal is to begin writing articles again. Site statistics show a lot of traffic on those older articles and they are the main way that new people discover the site. If all goes to plan, expect to see the articles start again by mid-March. As before, the articles will be a mix of current events in geek culture, media reviews, and examining the foundations of geek culture.

Daniel and I still intend to bring the podcast back. Our challenge is that we now live an hour apart, instead of 15 minutes. We are looking at the logistics and once we have figured it out, we will bring the podcast back. The podcast will continue to center on recent events in geek culture.

I will also introduce a new feature to the site soon: videos. With help from my friends at The Video Nasty Project, I will start to make videos in a studio we are setting up in my house. These videos will focus on the early movies that formed the foundation of modern geek culture with the occasional side series and commentary. Expect this series to start by early summer.

I look at Fanboy News Network as a labor of love. I do it and will keep working on it because it brings me joy to do so. But as a wise man once said, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” To that end, I am finally working on setting up a Patreon account. Expect to see that go live around the same time as the videos.

If you want to keep up with what I have been doing during the hiatus, check out The Video Nasty Project where I am a regular reviewer. I also pop in from time to time as a guest commentator on the podcast Don’t Read the Latin.

It feels good to be back.

Fanboy News Network Episode 69

“Hubward bound”

The boys dance around the obvious jokes related to it being the 69th episode.

There will be a hiatus due to the studio moving.

We celebrate Momocon on doing inclusion right.

Daniel Sees Avengers: Infinity War and Rampage allowing him and Jeff to finally talk about them.

Nostalgia from the boys on the movie clue

Daniel talks about Ocean’s 8 and finally seeing Coco.

Jeff talks about Hotel Artemis.

Jeff abandon’s the last four episodes of Arrow.

News out of E3 on the upcoming titles Fallout 76, Cyberpunk 2077, and Elder Scrolls 6.

Jeff talks about old role-playing games he owns that he will get access to again soon.

Daniel prepares to read all the Discworld novels and is debating on what order to take read them in.


Fanboy News Network Episode 68

“I have no sense of blasphemy”

News about a potential hiatus for the podcast

In cons behaving badly, Fan X in Salt Lake City revisits the issue of inviting a guest with a history of Predatory behavior to their convention.

The boys review Deadpool 2 and Solo.

Jeff can’t decide if he is going to Hotel Artemis or Ocean’s 8 opening weekend.

Jeff talks about a little known comedy from the 90s called Oscar.

Celebrating the Expanse being saved by Amazon.

Jeff degress into stories that show that neither of them have a real sense of what would be considered blasphemy leading to awkward social situations. This leads Daniel to talk about phrases from books that have no meaning anymore due to how society and technology have advanced.

Also why Daniel always always say “its a love story” in awkward situations. It invovles Dracula.

Daniel talks about his birthday present which brings the whole episode full circle.