The Geekender December 4-6: Krampus, Star Wars: The Machete Order, Mockingjay Part 2, and more

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Dec 4, 2015

The weekend is upon us, and with it, a chance to sit back, relax and consume massive amounts of sci-fi, fantasy and horror pop culture. In The Geekender, our writers share a bit about what they're reading, watching and playing -- and we want to hear from you. Let us know what's on your plate in the comments!

Trent Moore: Along with attempting to watch all the college football conference title games simultaneously, I also hope to squeeze in some time to catch up on a few more of the new additions to Marvel's All New, All Different comic lineup. The new Spidey comic, which follows Peter Parker as a teen once again (because everyone wants Peter Parker to be a teenager again, apparently) was a lot of fun, and the new Invincible Iron Man, Howard the Duck and Doctor Strange are all doing a bang-up job of launching with some narrative momentum. Oh, and if you're not reading The Vision — stop what you're doing right now and go get it. Seriously.


Tara Bennett: As we hunker down into our Christmas cheer, Krampus arrives to jump-start us out of our sugarplum comas. And in fact, despite its shadow Santa fixation and, at times genuinely scary execution, Krampus is a pro-holiday movie that addresses our collective malaise and cynicism about what the holiday season has become. Yes, that topic is well-worn since It's a Charlie Brown Christmas, but when it's done right, I think we all can use a collective kick in the butt to realign our grateful. And I'm thrilled to discover that after a 10-year absence from the director's chair, Michael Dougherty has upped his game aesthetically and narratively from the much-loved Trick 'r Treat. Dougherty has retained his love for practical filmmaking while maturing as a storyteller, overall. He also assembled a fantastic cast to sell his Christmas chiller led by great kid actor find Emjay Anthony as Max, Austrian scene-stealer Krista Stadler, and excellent supporting work by Alison Tolman, Adam Scott and Toni Collette (who we talked to at SDCC last summer). As for scares, there are plenty, but lighter and less intense than what you'd see in Gremlins, so if your kids are brave, definitely make this an alt-holiday trip to the movies.


Ernie EstrellaI'm headed to Legoland this weekend with the family to celebrate both Christmas and finally see the Star Wars Mini Land exhibit to see the 1,900-pound Death Star model that was added in the spring of this year. It's been a long, overdue trip, but it only helps build the anticipation for what's coming in a few weeks. Then, after that, I'm going to be finishing up a few things I'm juggling, mainly Two Brothers by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, their adaptation of fellow Brazilian countryman Milton Hatoum's novel about twins Omar and Yaqub, who hate each other as young boys. Omar is sent to live in Lebanon after a violent confrontation with Yaqub, then returns five years later to a family he no longer identifies with. Even though it's not autobiographical, the twin comic creators' own experiences of living as twins bleeds through in this beautiful black and white graphic novel that immerses the reader in a tale about identity and the painful travails associated with family.


Carol Pinchefsky: Star Wars: The Force Awakens won’t be out until December 18. That’s too long to wait for Star Wars satisfaction. So, this weekend, I’m heading to a galaxy far, far away for a rewatch of the five Star Wars movies. Oh, wait, did I say five? Yeah, I totally did. I’m watching the Machete Order, which argues the best way to see Star Wars is to watch in the order of: IV, V, II, III, and VI. Blogger "No Machete Juggling” suggests that, when you see episodes II and III after episode V, when Luke is staring off into the setting galaxy, they appear as an extended flashback. I’m looking forward to seeing whether it’s true—or at least feels true. Is it December 18 yet?


Matthew Jackson: It's Christmastime, and if you know me, you know that means pretty much all life revolves around that. I decorate big, I gift big, and, of course, I marathon Christmas programming as much as I possibly can. I've got plenty of favorites, but since this is the Geekender, I'm going to select something with a fantasy edge. So, this weekend I will be watching the classic Elf, which I know by heart...and may have already watched several times this month.


Don Kaye: Basically, I am going to spend the weekend working. What will I be doing? On Saturday and Sunday, I will be headed to a secure, undisclosed location for press activities revolving around a small, under-the-radar feature that Disney is releasing later this month. I won't mention the title because you probably never heard of it, but once this thing comes out, I wouldn't be surprised if word of mouth gets around and the movie ends up on your radar. I'd watch out for it. I don't think I'll actually be seeing the picture this weekend, but it'll be out soon enough. So while everyone else is enjoying their weekend, watching movies, reading, going out for dinner, spending time with their families and friends, I'll be slaving away someplace far, far away from my house. Feel bad for me yet?


Jeff Spry: Oh, Canada! I just returned from the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC ,where I toured the fantastic sets of Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and interviewed the cast and crew of Syfy's upcoming fantasy series, The Magicians. So, besides still feeling like rolling along the rails on board the train, I'll be downloading some cool images of the main laboratory classroom and Physical Kids' Cottage dormitory, as well as transcribing many illuminating interviews with young stars Jason Ralph, Hale Appleton, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Stella Maeve, Arjun Gupta, Summer Bishil and author Lev Grossman, whose immersive Star Wars: The Force Awakens feature article graces the cover of Time magazine this week. Those of you who haven't yet discovered these books, with their dark take on the Harry Potter/Narnia worlds, should dive in before the series starts in January. Stayed tuned for my articles on this awesome set visit next week!


Matt Dorville: This weekend I'll be reading the incredibly comprehensive and beautiful Tony Parker edition of the Eisner Nominated Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Boom Studios originally published this as a 24-issue graphic interpretation of the novel in 2009-2011 but, last week, they released the entire omnibus in a gorgeous trade paperback with essays from Jonathan Lethem, Ed Brubaker, Warren Ellis, and Matt Fraction. While this would probably apply to all Philip K Dick, Blade Runner's atmosphere and subject matter seems ideal for the comic medium, and I'm curious to how Tony Parker depicts Sebastian's apartment and Pris especially, since they had such an impact on the movie with their costumes and design.


Lisa Granshaw: This weekend, I'll be watching Jessica Jones, since I haven't had a chance to start the Netflix series, yet. I've been hearing a lot of great things about the show, so I'm excited to start it. Of course, it's also becoming harder to avoid spoilers, so I know I can't wait to watch it any longer! It's time for me to finally have a Jessica Jones binge!


Adam Swiderski: I'm a couple of weeks behind on this, but given the Thanksgiving holiday and all, this weekend is my first chance to wrap up the whole Hunger Games saga with Mockingjay: Part 2. There's been less hype around this final installment than I expected, but I'm hoping that's because the ending is (SPOILERS) such a downer (END SPOILERS) and not because the movie isn't good. At any rate, it'll be good to close things out with Katniss and her crew, even if it means having to watch you-know-what happen to you-know-who.


You've heard what we're up to -- now it's your turn! What movies, books, comics, shows and games will you be diving into this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

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