Looking back at 2017, I realized that a lot of my 2017
was catching up on the 2016 stuff I missed. I did catch a fair bit of the 2017
highlights, but a good chunk of my year was spent ensuring that I’ll have to
play pop culture catchup in 2018. I mean, I still have not ventured out to see
Justice League, The Last Jedi, Coco, or The Disaster Artist with
less than three days left in the year. Although, I may be getting the kids out
this weekend, so I might get that one in before the ball drops. I was also
underwhelmed by some of the things in 2017 that blew so many people away. I
found both Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to be
closer to just really good than great, and I was one of the few I knew to be
almost totally disappointed with Kong: Skull Island outside of the
post credit scene. So, yeah, a lot of 2017 was me coming late to the 2016 party
or being less enthused about 2017 hits than most were.
As one example of the former, one of my favorite shows to
discover this year was Westworld, but it doesn’t count for
a look at the larger pop culture hits of 2017 because it was a 2016 show.
Still, I suppose I can call it one of my favorite Blu-Ray releases of 2017. So,
yeah, I’ll start from there.
2017 is coming to a close and as I suspected this time last year, we're all still here and everything's mostly fine. While many people spent the year setting their hair on fire over one bit of rubbish or another, I immersed myself in loads of entertainment as I waited for this whole thing to blow over. Looks like I'll be waiting a while, so I'll continue that practice through 2018 as well. On this edition of Devlin's Domain I'll be making my picks for my favorite releases in various categories. I spent a lot of the year catching up on older films that have been getting great bluray releases, so the past few weeks I've had to catch up on the new stuff. I missed a few things that I just wasn't able to get to before the year's end. I'll make a note of things I missed while running down my favorites just so you don't have to wonder why they didn't make the list.
I have seen The Room in its entirety 3 times in my life.
Some might argue that it’s 3 times more than anyone needs to see it, but those
people probably saw it in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Room requires
cocktails, friends, or a Rifftrax (and preferably all of those) to be enjoyed
or appreciated. In the right context The Room is a beautiful mess that will
make you laugh, cry, and question your sanity. I’m not obsessed with
it like some people. I only paid to see it one time, and that was at the
Rifftrax Live event. I will never go to a midnight showing, nor do I want to
meet Tommy Wiseau (he just creeps me out). I did however really want to see The
It’s December. We’re only a few short days away from
Christmas. Maybe you’ve discovered you need a few more things to round out your
Christmas gift lists. But, let’s face it, even the Suicide Squad would balk at
being told they have to go out to a mall or major shopping center this weekend.
The zombie hordes that once populated the darkest Romero nightmare about
consumerism run amuck have nothing on the terror that’s about to be unleashed
upon the already weary sales clerks of this country. Alternately, maybe you
need something nice for yourself to help unwind a bit after the Olympic level
event that is Christmas prep in the modern age or to look forward to for
unwinding with after all the family has gone home and you need a little
Plus, well, with the suggestions on this list you’ll be
helping out independent creators.
I don’t think it will surprise anyone to learn that I
absolutely love Santa Claus.
I value the Christian roots of the holiday and am a big
fan of the Jesus story. Yes, I am aware of all of the pagan stuff and that’s
great, but I don’t care. It’s not part of my fandom. But I’d be lying if I said
that the Santa Claus idea wasn’t the most exciting part of Christmas for me.
WARNING: THIS MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
I still don’t know how I feel about The Last Jedi. At first I didn’t like it. The more I thought about
it, the less I liked it. This upset me terribly because the last thing I ever
want is to not like a Star Wars
production. I certainly don’t want to hate one, and I seemed to be inching
closer to that by the hour.
Then I started talking privately – because to speak ill
of this movie in public is to invite unrelenting derision – to my friends about
it. In conversations with maybe a dozen people I discovered that there was a
fairly even divide between those that liked Rian Johnson’s version of Star Wars and those that didn’t.
For those of you who have lost interest in The
Walking Dead before now or simply never had any interest in it to begin
with, you may be unaware of the latest fandom freak-out related to the show. A
much beloved and longstanding character for the show is slated to bite the dust
when the show returns from its midseason break. This revelation brought about
great screams of annoyance and anger from fandom. One of the more extreme
headlines written in the wake of this turn of events, “‘The Walking Dead’ Midseason Finale Was Perfect for a Show That Hates
Its Fans”, actually captures quite well the fan sentiment I’ve seen in many
places this week. As I’ve been reading many similarly themed articles, blog
posts, and discussion threads railing against the horrible creative decisions
behind doing this atrocious things to the fans and noting in some cases who was
complaining about this, I kept having the same thought come into my head over
and over again.
It’s one of those weeks where I don’t know what to write
about. This happens sometimes. It isn’t really writers block, it’s just that
nothing has jumped out at me lately as being something I need to talk to you
guys about. It's mainly the fact that I work in retail, and it’s a very busy time of year for me.
Not only am I physically exhausted, but my brain is pretty much fried. And not
to make excuses, but it’s at least part of the reason that I don’t like
Christmas as much as everyone else seems to. That does make me a little sad
since I loved Christmas way back when. But then I don’t have any kids, and have
never been a particularly festive kind of person.
This time of years we see any number of old favorites-
whether they’re television shows or classic holiday films -filling out the TV
listings each and every night. TV programmers are fairly reliable over the
holiday season when it comes to packing everything from Charlie Brown’s
Christmas tree to the Grinch and his sleigh and everything else into the weeks
between Thanksgiving’s last belch and the first frenzied tearing of wrapping
paper on Christmas morning. And, of course, who can forget the annual tradition
that is the terror attack/robbery at Nakatomi Plaza? While some of the programs
I’m going to touch on are starting to fall into the list of reliable holiday
programming, some of them still haven’t reached (and may never reach) the “TV
Tradition” stage. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t track them down and see
if they fit nicely into your holiday season must see lists.
If you don’t know, Previews
is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they
distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view
and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade
paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles
from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The
genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering
other things to pay for.
It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo
So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages
within are products that might be currently available or could be released
anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away. Most of this
month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in February.
Every year from midnight after Thanksgiving until
midnight on Christmas Day, the only music I listen to is of the Christmas
Christmas. I love the story of Jesus. I love giving gifts. I love the colder
weather, the decorations, the tree, the holiday specific foods like candy canes
and gingerbread and egg nog, the lights, the TV specials, and of course the music.