Archive for July, 2020


Go back in time and ask anyone and nobody would believe you.  Opening day for Major League Baseball 2020 is this Thursday, July 23, and no fans are invited.  If you could only go back in time and make a few wagers about the impossible things that happened this year, you’d be rolling in dough.  If you’re like me, you’ve been getting your baseball fix via ESPN’s coverage of social-distance baseball with the Korean Baseball Organization aka KBO professional games.  An abundance of outfield hitting and less homeruns make the game more exciting than you might think.  I’ve gotten to love cheering on the Doosan Bears, which have had a great season, despite quiet bleachers.  Will the salary season pay cut be reflected in the excitement on the field in the U.S.?  Maybe it’s just time to swap out the commentators, but until that happens we have 60 games for your favorite teams to engage in thanks to the pandemic (or thanks to the federal government failure to adequately address the virus, to be more accurate).  That also means subscribers to T-Mobile have the opportunity to get free MLB.tv and watch this season from home.  Plus subscribers to another phone provider can get MLB.tv this year for the first time.

Continue reading

 

In-person cancellations have not kept every event this summer from canceling entirely.  One of those is typically one of the summer’s biggest events, San Diego Comic-Con.  Events for SDCC 2020 are proceeding ahead beginning Wednesday, but this time providing an opportunity for fans of all things pop culture a chance to sit through the kinds of panels you might see were you to attend in person in any regular year–without standing overnight in lines.  You can even grab a lanyard off the rack, print your own badge (for you and your pets), cosplay with your family, and load the panels up on as big of a screen as you have.  It’s 350 panels over five days, beginning Wednesday, July 22, and wrapping up Sunday, July 26.  Check out all our suggestions for building your own fun convention week experience below.

Continue reading

Why do you wear a mask?

I think they are just terribly comfortable.  I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

Since–like everyone else–actors are unable to do their jobs until the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, many have offered up some of their time over the past 120 to 150 days to provide fans with extra interviews, table reads (like the Community table read we discussed here at borg), and comic-cons at home, creating some content for the fan base we wouldn’t have otherwise had access to without this strange new normal of sheltering at home, social distancing, and masks.  If you don’t subscribe to or know what Quibi is, you may have missed the latest–an ensemble of actors from popular to more obscure re-enacting scenes from Rob Reiner’s fan-favorite fantasy, comedy, and romance, The Princess Bride.

The style is all intentionally low budget–think of the kind of backyard films you might have made as a kid, and in fact, the film is called Home Movie: The Princess Bride But it’s great fun, all filmed with quarantine safety rules in place (those filming together were already living together), and the kind of thing any classic film fan base would be overjoyed to see created.  The best part is learning who had actual historical costumes in their closet to work with (Mad Men man Jon Hamm had a Renaissance shirt in his closet, as did comedic actors Neil Patrick Harris and David Spade, and Rogue One’s Diego Luna), those who didn’t, and who might be better actors than you’ve given them credit for.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

They’re outnumbered and outgunned.

Last year Halo, Destiny, and Crackdown game writer and Spawn comic book writer Jonathan Goff created a comics mini-series last based on Xbox′s Crackdown 3 (previewed here at borg).  A military science fiction-action series not requiring readers to know the game, it featured some nicely rendered futurism from artist Ricardo Jaime (The Shadow).  Goff and Jaime created a future world ruled by a corporate power elite, and a city sitting on a powder keg of class warfare ready to blow.  Then the lights go out.  Literally.  Someone has taken control of power sources everywhere.  Dynamite’s Crackdown is heading to a comic shop near you next week in a complete trade paperback edition so fans of the game and sci-fi can join in on the action.

Continue reading

In the past ten years at borg, the best fantasy adventure series we encountered was both a series of novels and a television series.  When you think of epic adventures we may immediately think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, George Lucas’s Star Wars, cinematic international stories of Akira Kurosawa like The Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, and Rashomon, classic fantasy like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes, Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Conqueror, and historical fiction like Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, C.S. Forester’s Lieutenant Hornblower, and even further back into the past tales like Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte De’Arthur, the Maya’s Popul Vuh, the Old English Beowulf, the Old Norse Poetic Edda, and even the stories of Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey.  All of these are tapped for inspiration by writers in one way or the other each year.  But there’s an equally incredible series from the past century that has been read by more than 300 million readers that we’ve recommend, which fully belongs among these classic works–Jin Yong′s Legend of the Condor Heroes, and the third volume, A Snake Lies Waiting, will be coming soon to a bookstore near you.  We have a first look at the cover for the volume 3 above and the fourth volume, A Heart Divided, below, arriving in bookstores next year.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

The new Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition adventure Mythic Odysseys of Theros has an inspired twist on the mythology and real world of the Ancient Greeks, creating a bit of a mirror fantasy setting that is still nicely footed in that world.  The new campaign, which arrives online and in game shops July 21, has a very different look and feel from your typical D&D sourcebook.  You’ll harken back to when you first imagined living among a pantheon of dueling Gods, and encountering your first images of hydras, hippocamps, krakens, and chimera (or watched Clash of the Titans).  And a book full of some enticing new maps will keep you absorbed in hours of roleplay this summer, even if you’re needing to make it all work with your friends over Zoom instead of in person.

Continue reading

How did this become horror update week?

Fans of the Friday the 13th series will want to take note of the most comprehensive set of franchise films and features yet available.  All twelve films from the series–beginning with the 1980 classic through the 2009 reboot and including, for fans of all things borg, the cyborg Jason Voorhees in Jason X–are all collected on 16 Blu-rays in the Friday the 13th Collection–Deluxe Edition arriving before Halloween. The collection is housed in a “rigid slipcase” and will be accompanied by an exclusive, limited edition 36″ x 24″ lithograph featuring new artwork from artist Devon Whitehead, and an exclusive, limited edition 24″ x 36″ Friday The 13th 40th Anniversary poster featuring new artwork from artist Joel Robinson (both shipped rolled, not folded).  Only launching this past weekend, the lithograph/poster set was first limited to 1,313 units, which has now been expanded to 7,000 units (available via Shout! Factory website sales only).  The appeal for fans who have purchased prior versions is in the extras: All of the previously released extras are included plus all-new bonus materials, including new audio commentaries with cast and crew.

Check out all the details and how to get your hands on this set below.

Continue reading

Universal Studios is at last releasing a boxed set of the best of director Alfred Hitchcock in the highest quality yet.  The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection is a new 4K Ultra HD library that will include The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo, and Psycho.  Psycho fans take note: The set includes two versions of the film, including the original uncut release that did not air anywhere for decades.  With hours of extra features, the downside is the audio commentary doesn’t include any of the many actors discussing the film that are still available all these years later.  But each disc does include contemporary interviews with the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock.  Each film is a classic, and each a recurring favorite on the American Film Institute lists of top films.  Check out the details for the 4k release below.  You can pre-order the collection now here at Amazon.

Continue reading

We all know what that jack-o-lantern feels like.  We learned this past week the latest installment in the original slasher movie series is ready to go.  But the sequel and second part of the most recent Halloween trilogy, Halloween Kills, is being delayed a year until October 2021, so the studio released a teaser (below) as a sort of consolation prize.  The excuse for the delay is that the filmmakers don’t want audiences to have a “compromised theatrical experience.”  So how about showing it through all the available streaming channels this Halloween?  Is holding back a movie that is ready for release because of the COVID-19 pandemic really the best financial move they can come up with?  It can’t be.  With not just the United States but a fair chunk of the movie studios’ international market at home, it’s inconceivable that the studios aren’t working out deals to get new movies in front of home audiences now, audiences who are starving for new movie content.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

On the heels of heavy-hitting, big-budget, high-energy, and fun Netflix direct-to-TV action movies as good as theatrical releases like 6 Underground and Extraction, it’s a shame Netflix’s next direct-to-TV release action movie is more misfire than fireworks.  Academy Award-winning actor Charlize Theron stars as a leader of the next take on Assassin’s Creed in Skydance Media’s The Old Guard, with a script by Greg Rucka based on his comic book mini-series (with artist Leandro Fernández), directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees).  Unfortunately poor dialogue, a weak script, slow pacing, and uninspired execution in the face of so much good alternative content available makes Netflix’s latest one easy to skip.

Continue reading