The Week in TV: Swamp Thing and Archer Premieres, Twilight Zone Finale

It's been a busy week for television/streaming shows: Swamp Thing had its series premiere - I like it, and encourage you to try it, but with some caveats which I discuss tonight.  I don't discuss anything that happens on the episode itself, because the Matt Sager Podcast, unless and until it is stated otherwise, is a spoiler-free zone. I will say, that if you are a DC Universe subscriber,  it adds value to your membership. It's not a reason to start a new subscription, though. So, good but there's still not a service's worth of programming here.

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David Harbour Speaks out on Hellboy

Hellboy is ending its run theaters, not with a bang but with a whimper to the tune of $40 million worldwide. By contrast, the movie cost $50 million to produce, not including the expenses of marketing and promoting the film. So, between that and the dismal reviews, this has been a loss all around.

Hellboy star David Harbour is finally speaking out about the film, which was said to be fraught with production issues including numerous personal battles between Harbor and director Neil Marshall, which included such fun as Harbour walking off the set in frustration, and rewriting his own scenes - also, one assumes, in frustration. But Harbour is keeping things very classy, and in fact a bit confusing as, to avoid burning bridges, he sort of blames it all on Marvel movies being the gold standard for all comic movies, an argument with a lot of holes which I discuss - but then Harbour goes into a whole weird rap about flavors of chocolate, and I sort of think he may be getting distracted and hungry. All this and more, on tonight’s steak and ice cream, I mean Matt Sager Podcast!

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Elizabeth Warren, AOC and Kirsten Gillibrand Hated the Game of Thrones Finale, Too

It's not just you, me, our friends and families, and every user of IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes who hated the Game of Thrones series finale. Political superstars Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez express their disappointment with the episode, and its message. You can watch their video (spoilers, obviously) here: https://twitter.com/SenWarren/status/1130864643063328768

New York Senator and 2020 Presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand vents her own disgust with the finale in two videos, which you can watch here: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kirsten-gillibrand-game-of-thrones_n_5ce3e1c3e4b075a35a2d3e4d

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Robert Pattinson Is Our New Batman

Well, we have some Batman casting news: Robert Pattinson is the next Dark Knight. Thoughts? Yeah, I'm still processing it all, too. It's certainly a conversation starter, so let's start the conversation, and hope for the best. Sorry, Armie Hammer, your Sisyphean quest to be the Bat has come to a close. I also know who the villains are - they're a blast from the past, and frankly the whole thing sounds like a huge disaster, but you never know. In any case, let's lay out everything we now know about The Batman, and start speculating about where all this is going. 

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New Trailers - Watchmen, It: Chapter Two

It’s another big trailer day, as HBO's upcoming Watchmen series gets its first teaser, and the Loser's Club returns in the first trailer for It: Chapter Two. Watchmen has been described rather specifically by showrunner Damon Lindelof as neither a reboot nor a retelling, but a "remix." There's a lot of evidence of that methodology visible in the short trailer, as an army of Rorschachs and a police force almost entirely clad in strange yellow face masks suggests a different kind of story than the Watchmen graphic novel and it's film adaptation. There do seem to be a couple of references to the more recent portrayals of the Watchmen universe in the pages of DC Comics, specifically The Button and Doomsday Clock. You can watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/zymgtV99Rko

And then there's It. It takes a lot of guts to return to your lousy hometown, especially when it's actually the home of a supernatural, murderous, possibly immortal demon that wears the extra-scary guise of a clown. But then again, I guess there's a reason that the Loser's Club are heroes. Get a look at their return to Derry, Maine, as adults, and a taste of the fear to come, in this trailer for It: Chapter Two - https://youtu.be/zqUopiAYdRg

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Legion Season 3 Trailer! Plus, Marvel Announces Release Dates of Next 8 Movies.

The trailer for Legion’s third and final season is up, and it looks like the underrated marvel mutant show is going out with a bang Highlights of the trailer are an appearance from poppa Charles Xavier, and David taking Cerebro for a spin. And some important questions are raised - is time travel possible, ethical, and smart for David to be attempting? For that matter, is David really the hero or the villain of this story? Check out tonight’s podcast, and watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/D8Vl1fuGn1A

Legion season 3 premieres on FX June 24.

Plus, Marvel has announced dates for its next 8 movies, after the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home. No other information, like which movies these will be, but based on hints - and what we know of Marvel’s recent cinematic announcements like the development of an Eternals movie, and business moves like Disney’s acquisition of Fox, let’s speculate! Send my your thoughts and guesses: email matt@mattsager.com, call (646) 535-4788, or listen to the end of tonight’s podcast for more ways to get in touch with me.

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Crisis of Character

Tonight’s episode contains some spoilers for Heroes in Crisis, up to and including issue #8.

I love it when you ask me questions - sometimes, like tonight, I dedicate an entire episode to the question of, have I come around to enjoying Heroes in Crisis? The short answer is “no,” the long answer is this episode of the Matt Sager Podcast. Enjoy, and remember you can ask me anything, any time! You can send an email to matt@mattsager.com, call (646) 535-4788, or listen to the end of this episode for more ways to get in touch with me.

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Don't Spoil the Endgame! (Or Game of Thrones)

I saw Avengers: Endgame, and loved it - and I consider myself very lucky, not only because it was so very great but because all of my social media and news feeds are rife with spoilers. Even the articles, essays and videos I've seen with "spoiler warning" in their title, go on to give away huge plot points in the headline, and then really hammer it home with an accompanying thumbnail. Not cool, and while we're at it why do even legitimate news websites think it's OK to start posting similarly spoiling headlines within minutes of Game of Thrones airing? 

Enough with the spoilers, please! When more of you have had a chance to see Endgame, and when I'm comfortable that I won't be contributing to the epidemic of spoiling, I'll give my full review. For tonight, I'm being very vague but I'm very happy to say it's the best of Marvel's films to date. For more details - not too many more, don't worry - listen to tonight's episode.

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Heading out to See Avengers Endgame, By-Eee

I’m heading out to go experience Avengers: Endgame, all 3 hours and 1 minute of the movie that currently has the highest Rotten Tomatoes score of any Marvel movie to date. And I haven’t read any of the guides as to when it’s safe to go to the bathroom, for fear of spoilers, but if you want to go in prepared, I certainly don’t blame you. Just do a Google search for “Avengers Endgame Bathroom Breaks,” there are tons of guides available, but be careful because they all give out some plot points, which is why I didn’t read them. No spoilers!

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Early Reviews of Avengers: Endgame Suggest a New Standard of Greatness for the MCU

The reviews are in - mostly via Twitter, but people who have seen the premiere of Avengers: Endgame are gushing with praise. Tonight I share some of the glowing praise, and as I read the tweets there are a few actual interviews showing up, from The Hollywood Reporter and The Atlantic, but those are spoiler-ish, so I pretty much stick to the tweets. The consensus seems to be that these are going to be 3 amazing hours, after which the Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be the same again. 

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Spider-Man: Far from Home Info Dump

There’s a lot of new information available about Spider-Man: Far from Home, not the least of which is that it - not Avengers: Endgame - is the last movie in Marvel Phase 3/The Infinity Saga. But that’s not all, there’s also new information about the specifics of Spidey's relationship with Nick Fury, some more speculation about Mysterio, the villains calling themselves The Elementals, and why Spider-Man’s biggest supporter/father figure appears to not be in this film.

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Swamp Thing Cut Short - Trouble at DC Universe?

Swamp Thing’s first season is still set for a May 31 premiere on DC Universe - however, it’s been abruptly cut short from 13 episodes to 10, and different reasons for this have been cited by different sources. Some say it’s a matter of creative differences, while others think that it’s a matter of Warner Bros. preparing to launch their own streaming service, and as owners of DC they may be preparing to scrap DCU and absorb its programming.  Personally, I don’t thing those reasons are mutually exclusive, and I actually think it’s a combination of the 2.

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Disappointment: Apple, Shazam and a Rough Couple of Days

It’s been a rough couple of days, for several reasons, a couple of which I need to vent just a bit: Apple’s support of it’s own products: iMacs, and iCloud, is so utterly incompetent and disinterested that I can’t help but wonder why they’re branching out into streaming, gaming and news while their actual computer business is essentially an empty shop in which someone forgot to turn off the lights.

But as disappointments go, Apple has nothing on Hellboy - well at least Milla Jovovich and Mike Mignola are standing by this steaming heap, which is kind of admirable but also a bit pathetic and more than a little arrogant - we know we did a great job, it’s every single reviewer and audience member that failed to grasp our genius! I am in agreement with them that this will one day be a cult classic, but not for the reasons that they think it will. Think Rocky Horror, or better yet The Room.

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Skywalker Rising

Star Wars Episode 9 has a new title, and a new trailer! You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/adzYW5DZoWs

The trailer raises many questions, not the least of which is it’s very curious title, suggesting that Rey’s secret heritage may finally be revealed. But she’s not alone - Kylo Ren has his lightsaber back, and perhaps his helmet, too! Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker is giving her guidance, though perhaps as some disembodied Force spirit, or through teachings which he’s written or recorded for her? Mark Hamill himself warns of Star Wars fatigue, and has some less than kind things to say about the current state of LucasFilm, on the Hollywood Reporter’s 'Awards Chatter' podcast: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/mark-hamill-podcast-interview-typecasting-star-wars-fatigue-emmy-contending-knightfall-role-1199983

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Disney Plus Announcement: Date, Price, Programming and More!

Bob Iger's presentation to Disney shareholders today was livestreamed, and a lot more exciting than your average shareholders meeting. Iger took the stage at Disney's Buena Vista HQ to announce the details of their long-awaited upcoming streaming service, Disney Plus. From the date, to the astonishingly low price, to programming and even a look at the interface. I took a lot of notes, and have followed the coverage, and I've got the details on this huge new multimedia platform on tonight's episode of The Matt Sager Podcast!

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Hellboy Panned by Critics

I often wish that I weren't correct, particularly when the film adaptation of a comic favorite looks terrible - as in Neil Marshall's reboot of Hellboy. The original films, directed by Guillermo Del Toro and starring Ron Perlman and Selma Blair, were groundbreaking, loyal to the source material, visionary, and fun! The new version is - not that. It's currently vacillating between 10-11% on Rotten Tomatoes, where reviewers are just pounding poor David Harbour, who is used to much better treatment in the press do in large part to his excellent performance on the Netflix hit Stranger Things.

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