Review: Conan The Adventurer

Conan the Adventurer.jpgConan The Adventurer

Conan is a work of modern mythology.  The character, created by Robert E. Howard, was created in the early ’30s, and follows a barbarian as he travels with his friends and kills monsters.  It takes place in a made up era called the Hyborian Age, which is after the fall of Atlantis, but before the rise of ancient world as we know it.  It mixes recognizable ancient history with magic and monsters, not unlike Greek Mythology.

Conan The Adventurer is a Saturday morning take on the story.  It’s somewhat sanitized, but the setting and sense of wonder shine through.  Conan is a very civilized ‘barbarian’ in this series.  He’s helpful, he protects animals, he doesn’t kill anyone.  And yet, it still comes across that he’s a warrior, relying more on brute strength than strategy or training.  He’s a little out of place compared to the rest of the Hyborian civilizations, who have developed large cities and pants.

The plot of the series is that a ‘serpent-man’ wizard, Wrath-Amon, is trying to collect ‘star metal,’ which he will use to release his serpent-god Set.  Conan and friends all have weapons made out of star metal, the weapons having been fashioned by Conan’s father, and sold at market (it just so happens that those that bought it were brave, strong, and just).  Wrath-Amon comes to Conan’s village to get the star metal his father was selling, and failing to find any, turns Conan’s family to stone.  Thus, Conan sets off to defeat Wrath-Amon and find a cure.

One of the examples of sanitation comes with how the serpent-men are dispatched.  When touched by star metal, a vortex opens above the serpent-man, sucking him into the other dimension which currently houses Set (there’s even a scene in which Set tells Wrath-Amon that the serpent-men are with him, lest the children watching worry what happened to them).

The Hyborian Age draws influences from much of the ancient world.  There are barbarians, of course, as wells as Veniermen (vikings) , the Wasai (and African tribe), and something like the Romans and Egyptians.  It makes for an engaging setting.  The familiar cultures keep it from getting bogged down in made-up minutia, as many fantasy worlds do, while at the same time, the ancient world has a kind of mythical quality to it by its nature.  Its a world you want to explore and see more of.

There’s a punctuated continuity to the series.  All the characters are introduced one at a time, and then show up in random combinations to accompany Conan on one of his quests.  It’s clear that some episodes take place in a certain order, but there are a number of stand alone ones as well.

Accepting the constraints of Saturday morning TV in the ’90s, Conan is a well developed series that respects its audience.  The wonder and adventure of the original Conan stories are carried through to the series, even without the sex and violence.

All in all, it’s an enjoyable show that holds up very well for those who watched it as a child.

Tatiana Maslany

Canadian actor Tatiana Maslany, who played multiple characters on the TV series Orphan Black.  These pictures were taken at Toronto Comic Con 2013, a few months before the premiere of Orphan Black.

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John Barrowman

 

Barrowman had his fans in hysterics, showing just the theatricality and lack of restraint you’d expect from the man that plays Jack Harkness on the BBC’s Torchwood.  For instance, below you will find a clip of the story he told about the awkward lap dance he had received from a stripper while in Toronto.

He then talked about writing collaborations with his sister, and how he was able to use the book offers he was getting to make her dream of being a professional author come true.  Barrowman also mentioned that they had sold the TV rights to their novel Hollow Earth.

About the only time John Barrowman got serious was when talking about his being gay, the discrimination he faced in his career, and his decision to be out and honest about who he is.

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Jamie Bamber

Here are some exclusive pictures of Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica) at Fan Expo.

Jamie Bamber and his beautiful, beautiful hair held a panel at Fan Expo 2012 to answer fans’ questions about his work, and to take their requests for high-fives and quotes from movies he wasn’t in.  You can see the videos below.

Many of his stories about working on Battlestar Galactic centered on his relationship with Edward James Olmos, whom he called Eddie.  Jamie did his impression of Olmos, which, despite being nothing more than a gruff mumble, was actually pretty accurate.

He told one story in which Olmos called him into the makeup trailer and sat him down in front of the mirror so they could figure out how to make themselves look father and son.  Upon seeing Bamber’s blue eyes, Olmos asked if he had ever worn lenses before.  Bamber said no, and Olmos replied, ‘I’ll wear the lenses, you dye your hair.’

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Hasbro Buys Power Ranger & My Pet Monster

Earlier this year, Hasbro snagged the toy rights to Power Rangers from long-time license holder Bandai.  Today, Hasbro doubled down on the series by buying the IP outright for $522 million ($229.75 in cash and the rest in Hasbro stock. The $22.25 million they spent on the toy license is being credited towards the new bill).

The current season of Power Rangers, Super Ninja Steel airs on Nickelodeon.

Along with the Power Rangers, the deal also included all rights to My Pet Monster, Popples, Julius Jr., Luna Petunia, Treehouse Detectives, and others.

From the press release:

“Power Rangers is an iconic brand built on a heritage of great storytelling and merchandising with tremendous upside potential when fully executed across Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Shortly after entering into our licensing arrangement, it became clear that now was the time to begin investing in unlocking Power Rangers’ full potential. We see significant opportunity for Power Rangers across our entire Brand Blueprint, including toys and games, consumer products, digital gaming and entertainment, as well as geographically throughout our global retail footprint. We couldn’t be more pleased that Haim Saban will continue in a consulting role to further guide our development of this valuable property for the next generation of Power Rangers fans.”

“25 years after launching Power Rangers, I believe the future for this brand has never been greater,” said Haim Saban, founder of Saban Brands and creator of Power Rangers. “Hasbro’s leadership in innovation, storytelling and brand stewardship make it the perfect company to further develop the global reach and appeal of the Power Rangers property. I look forward to working with Brian and the team in the years to come.”

Jenna Coleman

It’s Jenna Coleman’s birthday!  Best know to readers of this blog as Clara in Doctor Who, Coleman also stared as Victoria in the BBC series of the same name.  Her next project is a TV series called The Cry.

Check out our exclusive Jenna Coleman pictures below.

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A Definitive Ranking of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Ever since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles burst onto the scene in the ’80s, fans have hotly debated which of the four brothers is best.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Turtles, here’s a quick run down courtesy of Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre:

‘Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (That’s a fact, Jack!)
Raphael is cool but crude (Gimme a break!)
Michaelangelo is a party dude (Party!)’

In this article I will answer the question once and for all. Here is the definitive ranking of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Close the book, the argument is over.

I’ll start with the best and work my way down:

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 6.08.14 AM.png1. Raphael

Raphael (red headband) is the most skilled of the Turtles, and is also the possessor of the coolest weapon, the sais.  Most people will point to his temper as his greatest weakness, the thing that keeps him from perfection.  But it’s worth remembering that temper is internal, so that means the only one that can beat Raph is Raph himself.

Raphael, despite his reputation as a loner, was also the first Turtle to make a friend on his own.  He and Casey Jones, a human with a similar temperament, formed a successful partnership and went on many a violent adventure together.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 6.08.19 AM.png2. Leonardo

Some people mistakenly suggest that Michaelangelo is the ‘heart’ of the team, but the true heart is Leo.  Leonardo (blue headband) is the leader.  He encourages and motivates the others when they’re down, and keeps them together as a family.  He uses the traditional weapon of a leader, the katana (swords).  They aren’t very flashy, but they’re effective and reliable, much like Leo himself.

Leo is intelligent and thoughtful; which makes him the best choice for formulating strategy in the heat of battle (something Raph would have trouble doing).

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 6.09.24 AM.png3. Donatello

Donatello (purple headband) is the smartest Turtle.  He builds incredible, sci-fi level machines to aid the team.  He uses the bo staff, a weapon that was adopted by Morgan in The Walking Dead as a symbol of  his pacifism.  Indeed, it’s not the deadliest of weapons, but it has long range (which suits Don’s less aggressive nature).

Donatello isn’t the most useful in a fight, but he still finds a way to contribute by drawing on his other gifts.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 6.08.37 AM.png4. Michaelangelo

Michaelangelo (orange headband) doesn’t seem to do much more than get in the way.  He doesn’t take anything seriously, even a fight – a trait that is not just unhelpful, but downright dangerous.  His weapon is the Nunchaku, an unwieldily contraption made of two sticks attached by a chain.  It seems like it was design more to put on a show than to accomplish a task, which also happens to describe Mikey’s character.

Michaelangelo isn’t just the weakest team member; he’s an act of sabotage.

 

Hank Azaria Offers to Step Down as Voice of Apu on The Simpsons

During an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Hank Azaria, who has voiced the character of Apu on The Simpsons for nearly 30 years, said he’s ‘perfectly willing and happy to step aside’ if the producers decide to bring in a south asian actor for the role.

The debate about the character has been growing since the release of the documentary, The Problem with Apu by Hari Kondabolu.

If he were to leave the role, Azaria would still stick around to voice Moe, Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Professor Frink, and a slew of other characters.

Listen to Riverdale’s Carrie the Musical Soundtrack Right Now

artwork_5ad8d71c856c0_.jpgThe original soundtrack for Riverdale‘s Carrie the Musical episode is now available on pretty much every digital platform, including free streaming services like Spotify.

The 18th episode of season 2 aired on the CW this week.

Those hoping to hear Cole Sprouse’s Jughead (Real Name Forsythe Pendleton) sing will be disappointed.  The episode relegated his character to camera duty. Though there’s a good chance that the producers had a good reason for not letting him sing.

Find all the links here.

Ash Vs. Evil Dead Cancelled After Three Seasons

Starz has cancelled Ash vs Evil Dead after three seasons.  The half-hour horror comedy series saw Bruce Campbell return to the role that made him famous, that of Ash Williams, accidental Deadite hunter.  He was joined by Dena DeLorenzo ( I met her at a convention.  She was really nice) as Kelly and Ray Santiago as Pablo.  Xena star Lucy Lawless also appeared as the somewhat evil Ruby.

The series was produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, who also produced (and in Sam’s case, directed) the original film trilogy upon which the series was based.  Despite its cult status, the series had trouble catching viewers.  The Ash Vs. Evil Dead premiere drew 437K viewers in 2015, while the latest episode only managed 175K.

The final episode is set to air April 29th, 2018.