Sam Rhodes

Sam Rhodes

Favorite MovieYojimbo
Favorite Game:  The newest version of Halo
Favorite Beverage:  Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA

So, David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman TV show wasn’t picked up by NBC. Who cares?  We all saw the costume. Do you honestly think we would have seen some quality stories coming from that production?  As a Wonder Woman fan, I would love to see some more appreciation for the Themyscirian princess, but not like that . . . (*whispers* not like that).  Nothing like what the show looked like it was going to be but now is not (thank Zeus) IS the graphic novel The Hiketeia by Greg Rucka. [Editor’s note: Is this even a sentence?]  Rucka delivers an incredibly moving stand-alone comic that finds Diana Prince as she should be: powerful, kind, and beautiful, yet as an ambassador to modern day America from the ancient island of Themyscira, hopelessly mired between the rituals of the past and present.

It’s almost here!  Thor opens this Friday, May 6th (Pacific Standard Time) and we, here at Sam’s Wednesday Slog Corporation International, couldn’t be more excited.  Over the past two weeks, we’ve looked at Thor, his family, and his enemies, and now it’s time to learn about his Asgardian warrior pals, The Warriors Three!  After all, what would a Norse thunder god be without a little bromance in his life?  These colorful gents fight alongside Thor and are willing to die in the name of Thor and Asgard!  They have journeyed with him to the furthest realms dispatching foes and bravely facing evil for their friend and master!!  They are even there for him when he needs to just vent about work or whatever!!!


Fandral, played by Josh Dallas

Fandral the Dashing, as he persistently refers to himself, is a brave swordsman who accompanies Thor on many of his adventures and is one third of the trifecta that is The Warriors Three!  Based on the persona of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, Fandral’s bravery and nobility are matched only by his relentless optimism, whimsy, and super sweet facial hair.  No matter what the odds or how many foes Fandral faces, he unfailingly fights fearlessly and never flees (this sentence was brought to you by the letter “F”).  His skills with edged weapons are unmatched even when compared to other Asgardians, and Thor refers to him as “the best of us with a blade,” thus explaining the killer facial hair.

The following is an interview with actor James Urbaniak and actress Annie Savage prior to their performances at the Thrilling Adventure Hour.  They spoke with Fanboy Comics Creative Director Sam Rhodes about the process of voice acting and recording podcasts in front of a live audience.

 

This interview was conducted on April 2, 2011.

 

 

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW

The following is an interview with musicians Sara and Sean Watkins prior to their performances at the Thrilling Adventure Hour. They spoke with Fanboy Comics Creative Director Sam Rhodes about the process of voice acting and recording podcasts in front of a live audience.

This interview was conducted on April 2, 2011.

 

 

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW

The following is an interview with actors Colin Hanks and John DiMaggio prior to their performances at the Thrilling Adventure Hour. They spoke with Fanboy Comics Creative Director Sam Rhodes about the process of voice acting and recording podcasts in front of a live audience.  DiMaggio also shared some top-secret info about the new season of Futurama starting in June!

 

This interview was conducted on April 4, 2011.

 

 

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW

I can thank Quentin Tarantino for my current infatuation with westerns.  As an impatient kid flipping through channels, I moved like lightning past the dusty catwalk towns, the pallid landscapes, the Stetson hats.  I sought the humor, pace, and vividness of a Spielberg adventure, a Lucas fantasy, or Disney fairy tale.  But since my first viewing of Resevoir Dogs with its gritty, in-your-face violence, its cool anti-heroes, and its witty and verbose humor, I have developed an insatiable appetite for B-movies, action and kung-fu flicks, and westerns.  This is the first in a series of blogs dedicated to one of my favorite filmmakers working today, Mr. Quentin Tarantino, and it will focus on one of my new favorite genres, the western.


My first pick is Shane (1953) directed by George Stevens and starring Alan Ladd as the title character.  This is an extraordinary western.  The story follows Shane, a stranger who helps a small band of oppressed farmers fight back against a wealthy cattle baron who is trying to force them from their land.  It is essentially a ‘David vs. Goliath’ struggle, but what makes this a truly unique film are the memorable characters, both bad and good, and the passion and perspective that the filmmakers infused into this masterpiece. We feel the anger of the homesteaders being pushed off their land by the remorseless cattle baron.  We love the innocence of their wives and children and long for their safety.  We despise the hired gun (Jack Palance at his best) who mercilessly and joyfully guns down innocent men.  And, as if we’re children again, we look up to Shane as he reluctantly and dutifully leads us towards the thrilling climax.  It’s exciting, heartbreaking, and lovely, and I cannot recommend this movie enough!

Marvel’s Thor is opening in The States soon, and the staff here at Sam’s Wednesday Slog wanna give you some hot, little tidbits about some of the godly characters you’ll be seeing in the movie.  For the most part, these folks all live in Asgard, you know, the capital city of the world of the Aesir, one of the nine worlds from Norse mythology.  Well, way back when, there were constant struggles over land and resources (My, how times have changed!), and dudes had to secure their rightful reign/sexuality by fighting each other.  We talked last week about Odin Thorsdad (not actually his last name, but it should’ve been) who battled many foes in order to maintain his status as dart champion of the world/King of Asgard.         

When you pass by Largo on La Cienega just south of Melrose, it doesn’t look like much.  A small, nondescript building on the corner of Oakwood, it definitely draws your attention less so than Trashy Lingerie, which is right across the street with all its lace and feathers, masks and garters, leather whips and long black boots, quietly defying you on the other side of those big glass windows [editor’s note: um . . . creepy].  But, right across the street without a hint of fetishistic appeal is an unassuming brick building that contains the Coronet Theatre and several other rooms that make up Largo.  The entrance is a big iron gate under a brick archway and, once inside, you find yourself in a small, open-air, brick-paved courtyard with a few tables and chairs at the periphery.  Off this courtyard there are at least two different bars and a large 750-seat theatre.  I spent the hour before the show having a couple pints of Guinness in The Little Room Bar, which was set up like a small cabaret.  The seats and tables were tightly packed and faced a tiny stage in the corner with a standing mic.  The lights were dim and, though there wasn’t actually a sultry, velvet-clad songstress wearing pearls accompanied by an upright bassist in sunglasses and suit, the space simply begged for it.  At fifteen minutes to show time, I finished my beer and set out across the courtyard to the theatre.  On the way there, I encountered Ben Acker, a writer and half of the duo responsible for The Thrilling Adventure Hour.  Upon telling him how much I was looking forward to the show, his response was promptly, “Well, let me build it for you even more then.  Take however-good-you-think-it’s-going-to-be and double it.  Then multiply that by 50.  That’s how good this show is.”  At last, with stratospheric expectations and a smile on my face, I went into the auditorium and waited for the lights to dim.  

The most recent DC animated release is a series of shorts featuring staple DC Universe characters that are slightly less known.  Designed to give us a glimpse and maybe pique our interest in these second-tier characters, the showcase succeeds brilliantly.  It delivers four animated shorts, clocking in at around 20 minutes each, which are well-crafted and fun introductory pieces to “Captain Marvel,” “The Spectre,” “Green Arrow,” and “Jonah Hex.”

The story of “Captain Marvel,” a young boy who can change into a superhero and back with the uttering of the word "Shazam," is in itself geared toward children.  This animated short from the DC Universe still manages to be engaging for the adult crowd.  There are certainly a few lines that are so saturated in old, dried-out moral au jus that Superman might as well just break the fourth wall, bend his advice into the shape of a crowbar, and start beating us over the head with it.  Instead, he, as Clark Kent to young, orphaned Billy Batson, and later as Superman to the newly empowered Captain Marvel, assumes the role of mentor to this wide-eyed do-good-er.  There are clearly many parallels between young Billy Batson and Clark Kent, and you can understand the bond between them.  Batson, orphaned at a young age and then transferred from an orphanage, to a troubled youth home, to a nice-looking-then-savagely-evil foster parents, to the street, where he currently spends his time contemplating how to be more like Superman (including unsuccessfully calling out three thugs who are robbing a homeless man).  Afterward, Kent's message to the bruised youngster that doing bad is always easier than doing good, seems a little naive, but we definitely get the good intention.

Well, we lost the Super Bowl (three turnovers, Steelers?  Really?!), but it wasn’t all bad.  We got to see a whole bunch of new footage from movies promising to make this summer very exciting for us fans.  Below are links to the TV spots and my humble opinion on what we saw.   


Cowboys & Aliens Super Bowl TV Spot!!!


I have been excited about this movie ever since I first heard about it while sitting in Hall H at the 2010 SDCC (the last SDCC I may ever attend unless they figure out this ticket thing, eh Barb?!).  This movie from Dreamworks/Universal is based on a graphic novel of the same name written by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.  The movie has some heavy-hitters involved like Favreau, Howard, and Spielberg, and the cast is equally as exciting with Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, and Keith Carradine.  Having not read the graphic novel, the movie seems to be a mash up of gritty western and sci-fi action.  How could it be anything but amazing?  The teaser that aired during the Super Bowl featured a ton of new footage (highlight: when Daniel Craig leaps from his horse onto a speeding UFO).  Distinct from any other clips/trailers we’ve seen so far, this one was far more testosterone-fueled, giving us 30 seconds of explosions, bar brawls, crashing spaceships, and naked Olivia Wilde.  What’s not to love?        

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