When Are My Comic Book Movies Coming?!?

Holy Grown-Up Kids, Batman!

There are a TON of comic book movies coming in the next few years, and my inner geek — who am I kidding, my geek is OUTER — is freaking out (in a good way).

Compiled these from the good people at ComicBook.com (specific links at the bottom of this post):

2015

May 1: The Avengers: Age of Ultron
The “leaked” trailer was/is awesome. Need to go watch it 50 more times. Looks SO COOL.

July 17: Ant-Man
Blah blah blah nobody knows who this is. Marvel has cracked the code, kids. Quality actors with good storylines and cool effects will sell tickets. (See: Guardians of the Galaxy making $800 MILLION.)

Aug. 7: Fantastic Four
Reboot for the sake of reboot? Changes for the sake of changes? I want to think this will be cool, but I’m a bit skeptical. I’d like to be surprised though.

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2016

Feb 12: Deadpool
This is the super-character Ryan Reynolds was born to play. (NOT Green Lantern.) Just wondering if they’ll tone down this wise-cracking, 4th-wall-breaking, definitely Rated-R-and-above character. (Check out the test footage here.)

March 25: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Geek Cred Redacted: I still haven’t seen Man of Steel. But it seems like DC is shoving almost all the Justice League characters in this alleged sequel in a rush to get their own big franchise movie out. Feels like a panic move. That being said, I’m pretty jazzed to see this take on the Batman and Wonder Woman characters.

May 6: Captain America 3: Civil War
Just watched the second one again and was wowed again. It will be hard to match those first two, but adding in the Civil War storyline kicks things up a notch.

May 27: X-Men: Apocalypse
Geek Cred Redacted, II: Still haven’t seen Days of Future Past, even though I heard great things. But if DOFP was as good as people say, and they get Tom Hardy to be Apocalypse, I will get in line for tickets.

July 8: Doctor Strange
My pal Patrick lobbied HARD, every day on FB and Twitter, to get Marvel to consider Matthew Modine for the role. But sadly for him, rumors are strong that Benedict Cumberbatch will get it. I think he’ll crush it and this will be f’n cool. (And I love the messed-up names people give him.)

Aug. 5: Suicide Squad
I’ve been so Marvel-centric, I barely remember who these guys are. I know that they’re on Arrow, something else I’ve missed and need to catch up on. Could be cool with the whole anti-hero thing.

Nov. 11: Sinister Six
Geek Cred Redacted, III: Haven’t seen The Amazing Spider-Man 1 or 2. And I’m not sure how a movie with 6 bad guys — who aren’t doing the anti-hero thing — and allegedly no real hero will work.

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2017

March 3: The Wolverine sequel
Geek Cred Redacted, IV: Didn’t see the first one, and the reviews were meh, so I can’t say I’m excited about this one. Although I do think Jackman is perfect as the character.

May 5: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Saw it. Loved it. Will own it. And there’s plenty of, ahem, space to explore with this team.

June 23: Wonder Woman
Bring on the strong women! (Said the father of two girls.) Will be cool to see the modern version of WW, wondering if she’ll have a “secret identity” or they just go with the whole Amazonian princess thing.

July 14: Fantastic Four 2
Must have some high hopes for the reboot if they’re confidently planning a sequel.

July 28: Thor: Ragnarok
The end of everything? Guess it won’t quite be that, since there are other movies below this on the schedule. Unlike many geeks, I like the Thor movies. Maybe not as much as the others, but I’m a fan. Wonder if they bring in the female Thor in this one (or after)?

November 3: Black Panther
This one has me more excited than most. I think it’s a really cool character and story, and Chadwick Boseman looks perfect for the role. Heck, he’s done Jackie Robinson and James Brown. Psyched to see what he does with King T’Challa.

Nov. 17: Justice League
If done well, this could be one of the greatest things ever. Please don’t mess this up, DC.

??: Venom, Rumored Female-Led Spider-Verse Movie
Venom? Maybe the Flash Thompson-wanna-be-a-good-guy version. Silk or Spider-Woman? Could be cool.

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2018

March 23: The Flash
Easily the greatest superhero who can fit his whole costume inside a ring. But I don’t understand why they wouldn’t use the Flash from the TV show, which is getting great reviews and ratings. Feels like they’re trying to NOT be Marvel (using the “Agents of SHIELD” TV show in conjunction with the movies).

May 4: The Avengers: Infinity War, Part One
Joss Whedon, do your worst. (Or best. You know what I mean.) An alien with one shiny glove and unlimited power? Is that Thanos or Michael Jackson? #toosoon?

July 6: Captain Marvel
It is about. Damn. Time. A cool and powerful female superhero. Every blonde actress (or lady with another hair color who’s willing to go blonde) in Hollywood should have their agent on the case. I can see this being a great origin story, I just hope they don’t muck it up with a superhero dude. Let her kick some ass on her own.

July 13: Untitled Fox/Marvel Movie
Man, who owns what characters anymore? Oh, a helpful link. So this will be Fantastic Four, X-Men or some kind of spinoff.

July 27: Aquaman
He’s got a bad rap, the orange-shirted water-dweller. If they do a storyline like this animated feature, I can see it being good.

November 2: Inhumans
They’ll never be successful with a movie about a team of cosmic heroes. Just look at Guardians of…oh, wait. Actually, these folks have some cool powers, plus potential crossovers/connections with Agents of SHIELD, Guardians and even Avengers. (Quicksilver marries an Inhuman in the comics.)

?? – The Amazing Spider-Man 3
OK, already admitted I haven’t seen TASM 1 or 2. So I can’t say I’m psyched for a 3rd. I really should go watch these.

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2019

April 5: Shazam
Kinda glad that The Rock will be Black Adam. I think he’ll be great in that role. But I’m worried over who they will cast in the titular role…and also if they’ll stick to the “little boy says SHAZAM! and transforms into a big superhero” story.

May 3: The Avengers: Infinity War, Part Two
After this, I’m thinking Joss Whedon takes a long vacation. Because he will have expended much of his genius in wrapping up this saga and blowing my 46-year-old mind. #old

June 14: Justice League 2

Hoping.
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2020
April 3: Cyborg
Great potential with this origin story. Of course, we may all BE cyborgs in 2020, so it might be kind of blah.

June 19: Green Lantern
Wonder if DC will learn from its mistakes from the first time around. And if we’ll see another origin story here. And if anyone can top Mark Strong’s Sinestro.
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As the kids say, “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”
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Celebrating My 25th Anniversary With @HowardStern

I was 16 when I first heard those dulcet tones, talking about sex and farting and celebrities and how much better Howard Stern was than all the Morning Zoo DJs he was going to send to the unemployment office.

And for the last three months of my junior year of high school, Howard Stern helped me survive excruciating pain, probable depression and definite loneliness.

If you’ve never woken up in agony, I don’t recommend it. I was in the throes of what would be misdiagnosed several times, but the upshot is that I had severe pain in my legs — it felt like they were in an ever-tightening vise if I sat up with them hanging over the side of the bed or a chair.

So I’d wake up, take my pre-laid-out medication with warm water that had sat by my bed all night, and turn on the neurotic New York nuttiness that was the Howard Stern Show.

And with his cadre of kooky characters — Boy Gary with his teeth, Frightening Fred Norris, Jackie The Jokeman, Stuttering John, and the “voice of reason” Robin Quivers — they took my mind off of my problems and pain.

The legend.

The legend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twenty-five years later, there he was again. Driving to work, in desperate need of a laugh, I flipped on Howard 100 (thanks SiriusXM).

The next 15 minutes of my commute were an escape.

—  Howard was talking about something as ordinary as his cat Yoda.

—  And then Mariann from Brooklyn called in, with her “nails on your spinal cord” voice.

—  And then the news, intro’d with a song parody of Jay Z’sEmpire State of Mind” that sang the praises of Robin’s breasts.

—  And then somehow, the subject turned to a Wack Packer-type named “Tabboo” from the mid-’90s, who was memorable for his/her song?/rap? called “It’s Natural” in a voice that haunts my dreams.

—  And then the always-reliable Fred cueing up the song right away.

—  And then Robin steers back to the news, and Howard riffing on it.

(I always told people who said they didn’t like Howard to listen during the news — that they’d see him for what he is — an  insightful, observational comic, a brilliant interviewer and basically a fucking genius.)

—  And then he did a live read of an ad with the same voice I remember, lying in my teenage bedroom with the Kathy Ireland Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar posters. The voice that started my day with celebrities, boobs, ratings battles, fart sounds and laughs — and helped me to survive all that I was going through — back in 1986, and today in 2014.

**********

Thanks @HowardStern. You’ll probably never read this, and I know there are thousands of stories just like mine.

Just keep doing what you do as long as you can.

And Baba Booey to you all.

You Laughed at a Dead Man

Yeah, let’s laugh at and deride Philip Seymour Hoffman.

For some of you, he’s just another disposable celebrity who couldn’t handle his addiction and ended up dead because of it.

After all, he was just one of 23 MILLION AMERICANS addicted to alcohol and drugs.
(Multiple sources confirm that approximate number. Don’t believe me? Google it.)

Oh, and only 11% of those struggling with addiction seek and receive treatment.

So laugh it up if you must. Or spout off with these old chestnuts of ignorance:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

“He should have just gone to rehab.”

He did.

And like more than half of people who go to rehab (also confirmed by multiple online sources), he relapsed.

He knew he had a problem. He had the resources to fight it. He worked at it and got clean.

And it still got the best of him.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
“He had kids.”

And you think he didn’t love them as much as you love yours?

Does that maybe give you an inkling of how powerful an addiction can be?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
“Where were his family, friends, agents, entourage?”

I’m sure they gave as much love and support as they could.

What more could they do? Handcuff themselves to him 24/7?

Nobody can just “fix” another person or cure them of an addiction. It’s a lifelong battle.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
“All he needed was to toughen up and find some willpower.”

He had every reason to quit and every reason to live.

A partner and kids. A wonderful career with awards and respect.

And his addiction overpowered all of that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

Until we as a nation wake up and understand that our views on addiction and mental health issues are incredibly ignorant and just plain wrong, sad deaths like this will continue to happen.

To bring it home for you, imagine the 100 people in your family and close circle of friends.

Statistically, 7 of them are addicts. (317 million Americans, 23 million addicts = about 7%.)

If any of them die too early, I wonder if you’ll laugh at them as easily as you did at some celebrity.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

I’m not saying you have to mourn Philip Seymour Hoffman and rip your clothes and cry your eyes out.

But it is too much ask to show a little empathy for another human being?

Someone struggling with demons that we may be lucky enough to NOT understand?

Are we that cold, callous and unfeeling?

I sure hope not.

 

If It’s Rarely “Sunny” in Philadelphia (In My Opinion), Why Do I Love “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia?”

I was born and raised in Philadelphia. “The Great Northeast,” actually…which is not “Center City” or even all that close to downtown. But our mailing address was Philly, so we were official.

And I didn’t realize until we moved to Texas in 2006 how I basically never really dug where I was from. Yes, I’m still a Philly sports fan — despite the negative connotations. And I love me some Tastykakes and soft pretzels. (Thankfully, Rita’s Water Ice has made it to Texas.)

I don’t know if it’s my love for the open spaces, warmer climate, better cost of living and Southern hospitality (yes, it exists) of the Lone Star State or my distaste for the crowded streets and frozen slushy winters of the Illadelph. Whatever the case, I’m happy where we are now.

So why do I love “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia?” Possible reasons:

a) It’s funny.

b) I’ve described it as “Seinfeld with Philly jerks who own a dive bar.” And I love Seinfeld.

c) Danny DeVito’s finest and most absurd work.

d) Occasional shots and mentions of Philly places that are somewhat nostalgic/sentimental.

Did I know people like Mac, Dennis, Charlie, Sweet Dee and Frank? Not really.

Did I hang in dive bars? Rarely.

Bottom line: It’s a funny show, and it’s a weird love/hate letter to my hometown.

Oh well, too much unnecessary examination. Just know that I recommend the show. It’s an acquired taste for some, given its mostly unlikable cast of characters.  But so was the world of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer.