Category: Retro Fix


Every year industry group The Toy Foundation unveils its annual Toy of the Year Awards (see the 22nd annual award winners here) and this week it announced the finalists for the 23rd annual honors, this time representing the past two years in 17 categories, with the final awards coming in November.  Altogether that’s 122 toys vying for top honors, selected from more than 600 nominees by a panel of judges comprising play experts, journalists, academics, retailers, and other toy authorities, and now it’s up to the voters to determine the winners.  All are invited to visit ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorites in each category through September 2, 2022.

Links, links, and more links… check out the full slate of finalists:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Just as the classic 1970s first responder television series Emergency! is celebrating its 50th anniversary today on COZI TV (with a new documentary and appearances by stars Randy Mantooth and Kevin Tighe), the medical/rescue genre is getting adapted to superheroes in a new comic book series.

It’s a time of conflict.  One faction is open-minded and willing to take on anything that comes its way with arms wide open.  The other is ready to shut the door on those who aren’t the same.  It all happens in a world where some people have superpowers and some don’t.  In the tradition of Dark Horse Comics’ The Ward, with the action of Hotel Artemis, and the secrecy of The Star Chamber, the new monthly medical thriller Crashing from IDW Publishing follows a doctor in triage addressing patients who are “different” in the emergency room.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Last year Netflix delivered what Blade Runner creator Philip K. Dick would have flipped over–the futurism and dark beauty of Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s Japanese and American half-hour anime series Blade Runner: Black Lotus With a second season of the brilliant Blade Runner anime up in the air, Titan Comics is offering the next best thing.  This week the TV series continues in the first issue of Blade Runner: Black Lotus–the monthly comic.  This past May we previewed the comic here at borg.

So how does the comic compare to the TV series that made our annual best TV of the year, kick-ass heroines, and the Borg Hall of Fame?

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Review by C.J. Bunce

While other kids were “making mine Marvel,” I couldn’t get enough of the 1970s Justice League of America, and spent many an hour memorizing Superman’s family ancestry back on Krypton.  Tentpole icons Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the Hall of Justice, and the exploits of battling thousands of villains produced more monthly books than a single person could ever read (although a few have claimed to do so).  Writer Randall Lotowycz has amassed some of the basics but even more of the extremes, lists of “Who’s Who?” and “What’s What?” and the stranger side of DC Comics in the new book The DC Book of Lists: A Multiverse of Legacies, Histories, and Hierarchies An indispensable sourcebook for DC fans, it’s also proof you can’t get through more than 80 years of continuously publishing content and not have some very quirky characters and situations.
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For 15 years and 327 episodes, CW’s Supernatural established itself as the longest continuously running genre series of the century.  It’s the kind of series, like The X-Files, anyone can drop in on without getting lost in some ongoing story arc.  It’s no wonder that no movie mega-star gets as enormous a crowd at San Diego Comic-Con as when stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki enter the building.  With that kind of start, and a retro spin like the successful series Stranger Things, its coming prequel The Winchesters has the potential of doing well, and the full trailer for the series looks like it may have what it takes to stick around awhile, with a great vintage vibe and Scooby Doo look.

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If it’s not your third favorite Star Wars movie, it’s probably your fourth.  It’s director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the movie that re-ignited the possibilities for Star Wars after George Lucas sold it all to Disney, and laid the groundwork for the great series The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.  We thought the May teaser looked fantastic for Andor, the prequel series to Rogue One coming to Disney+ next month, but the full trailer is even better with some great surprises, including the return of Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera.  And bigger news: The first season will have 12 episodes, with 12 more on the way.

Diego Luna returns as rebel hero Cassian Andor, joined by Genevieve O’Reilly in her third stint as Mon Mothma plus the MCU’s Stellan Skarsgård is a new Kenobi-like mentor named Luthen RaelAdria Arjona (Morbius, 6 Underground) is Kleya, Denise Gough (Colette) is Imperial officer Dedra, plus Kyle Soller (Fury, Poldark), The Batman’s Alex Ferns, and Harry Potter and True Blood’s Fiona Shaw co-star (and it looks like Outlaw King and Monarch of the Glen’s Alastair Mackenzie or his doppelganger as a Senator or Ambassador of some sort).

Andor is already confirmed for a second season.  The series will not have the benefit of Gareth Edwards’ input, but it does have contributions from Rogue One writer Tony Gilroy and franchise creature maker Neal Scanlan will be pulling in unused creatures and effects from the films along with new ones for the series.  Meet B2EMO:

Check out this epic trailer for Andor:

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He’s certainly the most overdue of 80 years of Marvel characters to make it into the live-action world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, created by writer-artist Bill Everett in 1939, was Marvel’s first mutant and the leader of the undersea world of Atlantis, frequently forgotten in recent years because of his DC Comics counterpart, Aquaman.  That’s Namor and Everett above as depicted in a fantastic tribute by artist Alex Ross.  Along with Captain America and Human Torch, the original Big 3 included Prince Namor.  He’s also the first superhero anti-hero, so it probably makes sense Marvel is sneaking him into the MCU as they did Silver Surfer in the second Fantastic Four movie.  Audiences internationally who have not followed the comics of eight decades past or only know of the character in spotty revisits over the years will now meet him this year in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, as what appears to be the villain.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

TCM’s film reference library of books has looked at the best sci-fi and horror movies, dynamic actresses, Christmas movies, summer hits, noir and war movies, and famous stunts, and its books have argued for 100 movies as the best of them all.  Diehard rock ‘n’ roll aficionados are the targets of the next dive into a select segment of genredom at the movies.  Today TCM and Running Press are releasing TCM’s Rock on Film (available here at Amazon).  Written by former Rolling Stone magazine editor Fred Goodman, by design it aims to blend crowd pleasers and buried treasure, and is not intended to be definitive–so don’t get your hackles up when you find your favorites didn’t make the cut.  Featured aren’t just typical “movies”–this is the TCM library’s biggest foray into documentaries.  So along with Purple Rain, American Graffiti, This is Spinal Tap, The Buddy Holly Story, That Thing You Do!, Inside Llewyn Davis, 8 Mile, Straight Outta Compton, Quadrophenia, and Tommy, look for discussions of A Hard Day’s Night, Dont Look Back (blame the lack of apostrophe on the film creator), Woodstock, The TAMI Show, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, and Echo in the Canyon.  And interviews with Cameron Crowe, Jim Jarmusch, Penelope Spheeris, Taylor Hackford, and John Waters shed some light on how filmmakers were influenced by rock and rock movies.
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Director David Gordon Green’s 2018 movie Halloween was great fun (reviewed here), a welcome callback to the low-budget filmmaking style of the 1970s, a sequel/reboot of the original horror film that set off a new era of scream queens and slasher horror films.  But it was only the first act in a three-act opus that continued in Halloween Kills (reviewed here, probably the best–and most fun–flick in the franchise since the first) and will wrap this October in Halloween EndsGordon knows the franchise, the genre, and all that retro nostalgia that has audiences clamoring for shows like Stranger Things.  Will he succeed to wrap-up his trilogy as well as he began it?

Check out the first trailer for Halloween Ends:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Who knew Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars could feel like a blend of Doctor Who, Life on Mars, Quantum Leap, and the Skrulls and Black Order of Marvel Comics?  Dynamite’s new comic books series John Carter of Mars is, of course, very different from the 1911 original and subsequent novels, but this modern update is all high adventure, all fun.  Gone is the painted artwork of past graphic adaptations–this is clearly an effort to make the 111-year-old Civil War veteran accessible.  It works.  And where John Carter goes, Dejah Thoris is soon to follow.

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