NOC Review: A Unique Premiere for a Unique ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Season

“The Bullet Blondes” shows our heroes in a dire place. When we left our lovable band of time-traveling misfit superheroes at the tail end of Season 6, the unthinkable happened. Their precious Waverider ship was blown up by another Waverider that simply appeared and left! Now stranded in 1925, the Legends must figure out how to time-travel out of this period and make sure they don’t mess up history along the way.

Continue reading “NOC Review: A Unique Premiere for a Unique ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Season”

Colman Domingo and Chris Rock Lead the Cast of ‘Rustin’ Biopic

Many heroes are lost to time, but legends never die. Bayard Rustin isn’t a name people know as well as Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X. But much like his fellow Freedom Riders and speakers for justice, that kind of notoriety probably wouldn’t have interested Rustin all that much. Nevertheless, it’s a name we’ll all hopefully be getting more familiar with thanks to a new biopic from the ingenious mind of George C. Wolfe.

Continue reading “Colman Domingo and Chris Rock Lead the Cast of ‘Rustin’ Biopic”
AlRawabi

The Middle Geeks 30: ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’ Makes ‘Mean Girls’ Look Like Cotton Candy

Created by Jordanian creator Tima Shomali, AlRawabi School for Girls is a devastatingly excellent series on Netflix exploring the dynamics of a Jordanian high school. What causes these girls to escalate their psychological wars on each other? How does this series do at exploring some of the systemic patriarchal problems in Middle Eastern societies? We discuss all of that and why we love this series.

Continue reading “The Middle Geeks 30: ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’ Makes ‘Mean Girls’ Look Like Cotton Candy”

‘Encanto’ Directors Talk Representation and Working with Lin-Manuel Miranda

Walt Disney Animation Studios gave a group of selected journalists their first look at their upcoming musical, Encanto. The film centers on the Madrigals, a magical family who live in an enchanted casita in the mountains of Colombia. At the age of five, the home gifts a Madrigal child a unique magical power, who then uses it to help the family and neighboring town. Everyone except, Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz). However, she when she discovers that the magic is in danger, she sets off on a journey to save it from being extinguished.

Continue reading “‘Encanto’ Directors Talk Representation and Working with Lin-Manuel Miranda”

Jay Lycurgo is Ready to Be Robin on ‘Titans’

Warning: This interview contains spoilers from last week’s Titans episode, “Souls”

With the events of last week’s Titans, Jay Lycurgo had a lot to say about Tim Drake’s time in purgatory and return to the real world.

Continue reading “Jay Lycurgo is Ready to Be Robin on ‘Titans’”

Manila to the Moon: An Interview with ‘Blush’ Director Joe Mateo

Imagine if you will that you’re a minority in the entertainment industry. Picture yourself working proudly on some of the best, most well known animated projects of all time, and then — BAM! — a studio asks you to tell your own story. What would be the story you’d want to tell? For Filipino animator, Joe Mateo (a 25-year veteran artist and animator who worked on Zootopia, Big Hero 6, and many other classic Disney Animated works), that dream came true.

Continue reading “Manila to the Moon: An Interview with ‘Blush’ Director Joe Mateo”

‘Titans’ Star Jay Lycurgo on Representing and That Major Moment For Tim Drake

Jay Lycurgo is ready to represent mixed kids everywhere as Tim Drake in HBO Max’s Titans

The 23-year-old British actor, who is himself a fanboy of comic books and pop culture, never saw someone who looked like him on television or in film. Prior to his casting, Lycurgo tweeted about needing more people of color as superheroes because these kids need more role models. After he was cast as Tim Drake, the biracial actor recalled seeing a mixed race kid wearing a Robin suit and feeling proud about it. 

Continue reading “‘Titans’ Star Jay Lycurgo on Representing and That Major Moment For Tim Drake”

Abubakr Ali Cast as Titular Anti-Hero for Netflix’s ‘Grendel’

Middle East and North African (MENA) and Muslim people have had scant options when it comes to the superhero genre or comic book adaptations generally. Arab and Persian people in particular have most often been vilified in popular media through the decades. But this is thankfully starting to change, such as with the Tarazi siblings on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow for Persian people, but perhaps now for Arab people with the news from Deadline that Netflix is developing a Grendel series, based on Matt Wagner’s comic series of the same name, and has cast The CW’s Katy Keene star and Abubakr Ali in the starring role!

Continue reading “Abubakr Ali Cast as Titular Anti-Hero for Netflix’s ‘Grendel’”

Hard NOC Life 233: Did ‘Shang-Chi’ Live Up to the Hype?

Now that it’s breaking box office records, Keith, Britney, and Dominic are joined by HK cinema and martial arts movie expert Raymond Chow to break down Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on a new episode of Hard NOC Life.

Continue reading “Hard NOC Life 233: Did ‘Shang-Chi’ Live Up to the Hype?”

‘Shang-Chi’ Is Not NOT Like ‘Black Panther’

As Bruce Lee might say, we must start with dispelling what is not useful and replace it with what is useful. I will not rehash any arguments comparing Shang-Chi to Black Panther which are based in speculation, impulse-tweeted, or otherwise made in bad faith. The phrase “Asian American Black Panther” has been tossed around (including by me), in various contexts, since Black Panther came out in 2018.

Continue reading “‘Shang-Chi’ Is Not NOT Like ‘Black Panther’”

‘Shang-Chi’ Screenwriter Dave Callaham on Keeping it Authentically Asian American

Marvel’s Shang-Chi premieres this week. As the first Asian-led Marvel film, there’s a lot of pressure to get this character and story right, given the comic book’s problematic history being rooted in stereotypical Asian tropes. Director Destin Daniel Cretton and screenwriter Dave Callaham did a lot of research on Shang-Chi’s comic book origins and knew what they wanted to do with him. 

Continue reading “‘Shang-Chi’ Screenwriter Dave Callaham on Keeping it Authentically Asian American”

New SYFY Series ‘Astrid and Lilly Save the World’ Stars Jana Morrison and Samantha Aucoin

Today, Universal just announced that they are moving forward with a new SYFY series called Astrid and Lilly Save the World.

To star in the show, SYFY has tapped two rising stars, Filipina Canadian actress Jana Morrison will play Astrid, and coming with her for the ride is fellow Canadian singer/songwriter/actress Samantha Aucoin.

Continue reading “New SYFY Series ‘Astrid and Lilly Save the World’ Stars Jana Morrison and Samantha Aucoin”

‘Candyman’ is Horror with Something on its Mind

Candyman (2021) is Nia DaCosta’s conversation with the original 1992 classic. You know the story: in 1870, freed slave Daniel Robitaille (the amazing Tony Todd) was an artist who fell in love with a white woman. Her father had him tortured, mutilated and killed, his left hand replaced with a hook. Say his name five times while looking in the mirror, the story goes, and he will return and seek vengeance.

Continue reading “‘Candyman’ is Horror with Something on its Mind”

Hard NOC Life 232: ‘Shang-Chi’ and the Legend of the Rep Sweats

On a new episode of Hard NOC Life, Keith, Britney, and Dominic revisit the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, worry about the discourse surrounding Shang-Chi, how the Free Guy creative team should bring Deadpool to the MCU, and recap the latest episode of Disney+’s What If. They also look back at the one-year anniversary of Chadwick Boseman’s passing.

Continue reading “Hard NOC Life 232: ‘Shang-Chi’ and the Legend of the Rep Sweats”

‘The Flash’ Returns This November with Five-Part “Armageddon” Premiere

Even though The Flash only ended this July with a wonderfully splendid renewal of the WestAllen vows and a family team-up against an army of Godspeeds, fans won’t have to wait long for the Season 8 premiere! And it’s going to be an action-packed doozy.

Continue reading “‘The Flash’ Returns This November with Five-Part “Armageddon” Premiere”

The Middle Geeks Episode 29: ‘Lift Like a Girl’ and an MCU Assessment

Ferdosa joins us to discuss the Netflix documentary Lift Like a Girl! How well did this documentary do at showcasing the weightlifting journey of Asmaa and her team, and the depiction of everyday Egyptians? What could it have done better? We also discuss the exciting news that Black Palestinian writer and actor Yassir Lester will be the head writer of the upcoming MCU series Armor Wars, and speculate on what that might mean for the MCU’s penchant for military propaganda. Enjoy listening!

Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 29: ‘Lift Like a Girl’ and an MCU Assessment”

Dhayana ‘MissDeusGeek’ Sena Talks Gaming, Representation, and Women of Xbox Initiative

Representation in gaming has grown in size and in demand over the last decade, and countless gamers, content creators, and advocates believe there is still much work to be done to make the space a safer one for gamers of all backgrounds. Australia and New Zealand content creator and gaming influencer Dhayana Sena, who also goes by Miss Deus Geek, is one of those advocates whose voice is making waves.

Continue reading “Dhayana ‘MissDeusGeek’ Sena Talks Gaming, Representation, and Women of Xbox Initiative”

NOC Review: ‘Shang-Chi’ is Spectacular

Whether it’s an overall sense of fatigue from mainstream audiences who aren’t into comic book films, or perhaps a general sense of pandemic malaise from folks unsatisfied with the state of entertainment these days, it seems like the momentum and good will the MCU has cultivated the past 12 years has turned to mixed sentiment for most of this year.

Continue reading “NOC Review: ‘Shang-Chi’ is Spectacular”

Black Panther, Star-Lord, and the Great Chadwick Boseman

Like nearly all viewers tuning in to this week’s episode of Disney’s animated reimagining What If…?, I was excited, anxious, and sad about seeing and hearing Chadwick Boseman on screen in his last project. The second episode, directed by Bryan Andrews and written by Matthew Chauncey, was a bittersweet exploration of a possible reality where T’Challa takes the role of Star-Lord instead of its original figure Peter Quill. While heartwarming and hilarious, the episode felt like a rush through a journey that could have potentially been explored further but was unfortunately cut short.

Continue reading “Black Panther, Star-Lord, and the Great Chadwick Boseman”

NOC Interview: Azie Tesfai Steps into Her Power on ‘Supergirl

Since her debut in Season 4 of Supergirl, Kelly Olsen has been an invaluable friend, sister, and beloved partner of Supergirl and her close friends and family. Her relationship with Kara’s sister, Alex, has been one of the best highlights of queer relationships in superhero TV. Even though Supergirl is ending this season, Kelly still has more moments to shine, especially as she takes up the mantle of Guardian left by her brother Jimmy, who has left the hero life behind.

Continue reading “NOC Interview: Azie Tesfai Steps into Her Power on ‘Supergirl”

Hard NOC Life 230: ‘What If’ We Stopped Comparing Shang-Chi to Black Panther?

Keith rejoins Britney and Dominic to share final thoughts on The Suicide Squad, revisit Cathy Yan’s contributions to the DC canon, break down the whole Shang-Chi experiment “controversy,” and review the first episode of Disney+’s What If.

Continue reading “Hard NOC Life 230: ‘What If’ We Stopped Comparing Shang-Chi to Black Panther?”