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The Week in Geek: The new Star Wars title is driving everyone insane, but at least we have LEGOs
Congratulations! You made it through the first full week of February and you did it marvelously! Now, having survived the week, you've earned what we're calling a State of the Union (just made that up, still tinkering with it.)
Here they are, the five biggest stories from... The Week in Geek!
THE LEGO MOVIE BUT MORE
Just over five years to the day, the first The Lego Movie was released to theaters. I don't know how well you remember the halcyon by-gone days of 2014 yesteryear, but, back then, there weren't exactly big expectations for a movie about LEGO. Then again, prior to 2014 most people had never heard of Guardians of the Galaxy either. It was an informative, Chris Pratt-fueled time in all our lives.
And now, five years and a small-but-hearty LEGO empire later, the Guardians of the Galaxy may be lost in space, but Chris Pratt's other famous character, Emmet Brickowski, is back. There are a lot of other familiar (yellow) faces back, too: Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Will Ferrell, and Charlie Day. There are also some new folks like Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, and Maya Rudolph. If the first LEGO Movie was about fathers and sons, then this second movie is about brothers and sisters (or just siblings, if you prefer.)
It's good! Did you like the first one? This one picks up where the last one left off. The LEGO Movies are kind of like the new Toy Story... except for the fact that there's a new Toy Story movie coming out this year. Maybe they'll do a crossover: Toy Wars! I'm helping.
HORROR NOIRE RECOUNTS BLACK HISTORY IN HORROR
The horror streaming service, Shudder, released a new documentary this week, Horror Noire, which goes through the history of cinematic horror through the lens of the black experience. It speaks to the earliest examples of black filmmakers actually telling their stories as much as it acknowledges the ugly reality that characters like King Kong are built around the panic that white people felt (and, frankly, still feel) about black people.
Jordan Peele is featured right at the front of the film, thanks to his enormous success with the instant classic, Get Out. But there are a lot more instantly recognizable faces there, too, like Tony Todd, Keith David, Loretta Devine, Rachel True, and Paula Jai Parker. There are some great thinkers also interviewed, notably Tananarive Due and Ashlee Blackwell (who was one of the writers on this project).
Maybe most exciting of all is the inclusion of William Crain, who directed Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde and, perhaps most noteworthy of all, the absolute classic, Blacula.
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror is as much a celebration of black creators in the world of horror as it is a conversation about the horrors of the black experience. It's really good. Highly recommended, two thumbs up. Plus: Shudder is also now streaming an oft-forgotten Bill Gunn film, Ganja & Hess, which serves as a brilliant counterpoint to the blacksploitation era of the 1970s.
SUPER BOWL BAD, SUPER BOWL ADS GOOD
There was a Super Bowl over the weekend: The Patriots vs The Rams. Under normal circumstances, I would think everyone knew that, but since nobody watched, apparently, I just wanted to spell it out.
As is so often the case with major events of sport, the commercials are just as (if not more) talked about than the actual game.
Robots were popular this year. Michelob Ultra showed off how sad it is when robots can't drink beer. TurboTax revealed that robochildren will never experience emotions correctly enough to be... CPAs? And Pringles revealed that Alexa-like devices are depressed because they can't eat Pringles. It's like these companies are inviting the Skynet apocalypse!
Anyway, that was very weird, but also there were great TV spots for Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, Us, The Twilight Zone, and just a whole slew of creepy Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark vignettes. Basically, if you're not a superhero or a cute toy, you're @#$ed. That's it. That's the tweet. Thanks, the Super Bowl.
SUPERNATURAL AIRED A 300TH EPISODE I GUESS
Supernatural, the show that is probably older than your kid (and potentially older than you, even) just aired its 300th episode. Its 200th episode was a musical version of the show as performed by an all-girls academy. So naturally, the only way to top that in episode 300 is to bring back Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who played Sam and Dean's surly dad, John Winchester. The character hasn't been around since *checks notes* 2007?! Gosh.
Anyway, Morgan, who is kind of a big deal these days, pretty clearly didn't have a lot of time for Supernatural so there isn't exactly much in the way of plot. But there are man tear aplenty. Some women tears, too! So many tears. Also, the ghost of John Wayne Gacy. Yup. Supernatural: the show that, like life itself, just kind of keeps happening no matter how little sense it makes.
STAR WARS EPISODE IX - TITLE TBD SOON
And the biggest non-story story of the week, the thing everyone wanted to weigh in on, is the title for the final entry in the new Star Wars trilogy. Early this week, we heard rumors that the title had actually been leaked. The supposed title, "Balance of The Force," is... I mean, it's fine. And it might be the title. Who knows!
The larger rumor, though, is that the title will be revealed. Any day now. Is it now? No? Maybe we know the title now that you're reading this, but I'm writing the actual Friday closing the week, so...
A lot of people have their theories. Obviously, mine is Star Wars: Episode IX - Qui-Gon Is Not In This Movie Promise. You're welcome.
And that's it! You're week in geek complete. Let us know what stories you were into. Did you scour those Game of Thrones photos for spoilers you desperately don't want but also need? Did you watch the 150th episode of Arrow because you're still watching Arrow for some reason? Let us know in the comments below!