All posts by JC Alvarez

Writer | Producer | Personality. Pop-Cultural Agent. Music | Entertainment & Genre Enthusiast. I knew comics were cool before primetime. The voice of "Out Loud & Live! with JC Alvarez" on Internet Radio. Visit www.thefanzite.com for more!

Cover-to-Cover • Entertainment Weekly’s First Look at THOR: RAGNAROK

The Mighty God of Thunder goes missing during the last major big-screen brawl between his teammates in the Avengers, but there’s a really good reason why this big gun sat our the Civil War, and Entertainment Weekly has got it covered in its exclusive look at THOR: RAGNAROK!

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Imagine how Marvel Films’ Captain America: Civil War would have ended up had the Thunder God, Thor and the Green Goliath, Hulk been asked to pick a side. The entire melee would have ended in under 2 minutes with a slam dunk in favor of whomever decidedly courted either one of these powerhouses. Fortunately for everyone involved, it didn’t have to come to that, but it did leave fans wondering about the whereabouts of these two titans. The question behind that missing time is about to get answered when Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters in November.

For the third chapter in the continuing adventures of Thor starring Chris Hemsworth expect plenty of fresh faces and major changes! Entertainment Weekly put the flick still in production on its cover this week and gave fans their first looks at Kate Blanchett as Hela Goddess of Death, who unleashes chaos on the denizens of Asgard including Thor and his wicked half-brother Loki played once again by Tom Hiddleston. At the climax of the last film, the God of Mischief had assumed the mantle of King of Asgard, impersonating a now missing Odin.

Presumably Anthony Hopkins will return in the role of the mighty High-Father, after all, Thor has enlisted the help of Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange (yes, Benedict Cumberbatch) to assist him in the quest to locate the missing as seen in the stinger at the end of Strange’s own film. Though the title would suggest an end-of-days motif, Ragnarok will largely center on a vision quest of sorts for Thor who is seeking answers to the mystery surrounding the forces that may be manipulating the fates of his friends on Earth.

Thor’s journey takes him across several worlds and universes, eventually landing him on the planet Sakaar and in the grips of the Grand Master played by Jeff Goldblum who presides over an intergalactic arena. It’s there that Thor runs into his teammate Hulk (Mark Ruffalo returns in the role) and at the whim of the Grand Master, the two Avengers will come to blows! Directed by Taika Waititi Thor: Ragnarok is a departure from the normal superhero franchise film, as it promises to take full advantage of Hemsworth’s comedic charisma!

Read the full article in this week’s Issue of Entertainment Weekly March 17, 2017 available on stands now and digital download.

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FlashBack • DC Animated BATMAN BEYOND

The first “rebirth” of an icon BATMAN BEYOND introduced a Dark Knight for a new generation and set-up a lasting legacy for one of its greatest and longest running characters.

When Warner Bros. Animation introduced Batman Beyond into its syndicated television line-up it had a seriously tough act to follow. Its award-winning predecessor Batman: The Animated Series had successfully run for four consecutive seasons, even daring a complete revamp and redesign that greatly appealed to a diversifying audience that had grown up with the series. Having left a vacuum series creators Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett were already looking to the future and the next iteration of Gotham City’s greatest defender.

They found their muse in one Terry McGinnis, a high-schooler that would tempt fate and find himself inheriting a legacy unlike any other! Stylishly following in the same animated look of the series that helped launch it, Batman Beyond blended in seamlessly with Batman: The Animated Series and its companion spin-off Superman: The Animated Series. Grafting itself firmly in what already worked, the creative team didn’t have to go about “reinventing the wheel” and had complete freedom to enhance a mythology beyond Batman’s own narrative.

Set in an indeterminate future, the series introduced an aging Bruce Wayne (voiced by Kevin Conroy) who has become a recluse after finally admitting his mortality and hanging up the cowl for good. Wayne Manor is a dilapidated version of its former self, and when McGinnis (voiced by Will Friedle) accidentally stumbles into an abandoned Bat-Cave, his entire world explodes and the Batman is reborn! The future is which McGinnis and Wayne find themselves paired up to continue fighting crime is a marvel, but Gotham hasn’t changed very much.

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Batman Beyond heralded a new age in the continuing legacy of the Dark Knight Detective.

Ironically the two-part premiere episode entitled “Rebirth” though it didn’t take its name from the current publishing-wide rebrand the imprint the DC Comics universe is in the midst, immediately gets to work to establish McGinnis’ place as the ambitious protege of Bruce Wayne’s, who finds himself determine to vindicate the murder of his father who gets caught up in some shady corporate conspiracy. The folly leads McGinnis to don a new and improved all-new, future-tech Bat-suit designed by Wayne.

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BATMAN BEYOND, Batman, 1999 – 2001. (c) Warner Bros. Television/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.

It isn’t long before the Batman finds himself in the crosshairs of an entirely new series of rogues, some inspired by the gallery that dared meddle with the original Caped Crusader — Batman’s greatest adversary, The Joker has given lift to an underworld of disciples that terrorize Gothamites — and some clever new bad guys, that prove just as deadly! Batman Beyond had 52 original episodes and would be epilogued in an episode of the final season of its spin-off Justice League Unlimited which was set in the same era as Bruce Wayne’s Batman.

Available now for digital download, the entire series can be purchased on iTunes. The individual three seasons of the show can also be purchased on DVD, including the stand-alone full-length feature Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker on Blu-ray and DVD from the DC Comics Store.

Cover-to-Cover • Entertainment Weekly features LOGAN

It may be this X-Men’s final fight as HUGH JACKMAN returns to the big screen in the third solo feature starring the clawed loner in LOGAN! How will audience manage to get along without Wolverine?

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All good things must come to an end, even an adamantium-laced mutant with a healing factor that’s kept him looking like Hugh Jackman for close to two decades (while the character itself is arguably about 150 years old)! After appearing as the mysterious Wolverine in 9 films, Jackman is readying for a big send off in Logan the third solo film centering on the most popular member on the X-Men’s roster.

Part of the Marvel Comics franchise, Wolverine was first introduced to readers in an arc that concluded in The Incredible Hulk #181 (Nov. 1974) in a classic brawl with the green Goliath. Soon Wolverine would return in a very big way when he revived the mutant line-up in Giant Size X-Men #1 which was released in 1975. Since then Wolverine has become a centrifugal part of that group’s changing dynamic, and played an important role in the live-action, 2000 X-Men feature.

Jackman was not the original actor cast in the role. The part had been awarded to Dougray Scott, but due to a scheduling conflict, he was unable to fulfill his commitment to the X-Men project and the “second favorite” Jackman was immediately called to set to join the team. The rest is literally as they say “history”! The role of the amnesiac wild man turned heroic adventurer turned Hugh Jackman into a star, and he’s played the part consistently for the last 17 years.

Even now as box-office records are being set Logan came in #1 in its opening weekend and grossed $85.3 million in its domestic debut. After calculating its $152.5 million from oversees ticket sales, the film took in $237.8 million worldwide, solidifying its audience, even though the superhero flick had earned a R-rating — a dubious distinction for a comic book adaptation, but not unrealistic after Deadpool made a killing in ticket sales as well.

Read the full article in this week’s Issue of Entertainment Weekly written by Kevin P. Sullivan @KPSull available on stands now and digital download.

In 2009 I interviewed Hugh Jackman and the rest of the cast including Ryan Reynolds about the first solo run for his mutant hero in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Check out the video here:

Tuned In :: MIGHTY HIGH feat.Claudja Barry remixed by Dirty Disco Music

Dirty Disco Music delivers on classic disco hit! MIGHTY HIGH with Claudja Barry will get you ready for the weekend!

They say that “Thursdays are the new Saturdays” and if that’s true you’re gonna need something to inspire you and nothing is going to do that better than a little something that sounds nostalgically disco but has all the rhythm of today’s powerhouse anthems! Courtesy of the Mark D & JD Arnold at Dirty Disco Music we got the best of disco and house with this mesmerizingly contemporary take on “Mighty High” (Dirty Disco Mainroom Remix) featuring Claudja Barry! Check it out here via Soundcloud.

Actor BILL PAXTON Dies at 61

The face that launched James Cameron’s TITANIC and rilled the troops in ALIENS passes away at the age of 61 from complications during surgery.

Even as Tinsel Town prepares to take their annual walk down the red carpet at this year’s Oscars award show, many will be mourning the passing of Bill Baxton. The actor known for his subtle ingenuity at playing the “everyman” passed away from complications during surgery. His family has released a statement requesting respect for the family in this time of grieving. Bill Paxton has had a career in entertainment that has spanned four decades.

Paxton became most known for his starring roles in James Cameron’s Aliens as one of the Marines ready to take down the xenomorph infestation of a terraforming colony, and as a dedicated explorer in Titanic. Paxton also appeared in pivotal roles in Apollo 13, Twister and worked again with Cameron in True Lies. Most recently he appeared in a recurring role on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and was on the CBS series Training Day.

Cover to Cover • Empire Magazine’s WONDER WOMAN Exclusive!

With a world on the brink of chaos EMPIRE Magazine gives us hope with a “World Exclusive” look at WONDER WOMAN! Inside her 75-year quest to reach the big screen.

Perhaps the recent big screen blockbusters released from Warner Bros. may have not have performed as well as the studio may have liked. The introduction of a unified cinematic universe in the same vein as what Marvel Studios has constructed was solidified with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and continued with Suicide Squad but when Justice League hits theaters this fall the hope is movie goers will finally get the team-up that they’ve all been waiting for. With the exception of televised adventures appearing on The CW, the DC Comics heroes haven’t had the best track record.

That may all change soon! One of the summer’s most anticipated films has been in the making for almost as long as the myth that its based on. Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot is expected to lead the charge and save the DC Cinematic Expanded Universe from a fate worse then box office failure — irrelevance! Empire Magazine (April issue) is getting the lead on the film’s story and [reportedly] an early screening of the close-to-finished “first cut” played well with audiences; not surprisingly given that Gadot’s Amazing Amazon was the saving grace of the largely lambasted BvS.

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“Better late than never!” Gadot commented in the Empire Magazine cover story, “I’m just grateful it took so long, because I got the opportunity to play her.” In the article written by Helen O’Hara, the 75-year history of the character is explored leading up to her upcoming big screen solo film. Gadot, who had been originally tapped to appear in a role in director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel as the antagonist General Zod’s right-hand, was unavailable for that project when she became pregnant. The actress was one of five actress then called in when Snyder and his wife, producing partner Deborah Snyder were determined to include Wonder Woman in BvS.

She may have felt she was still auditioning for the role even while putting the final touches on BvS, but the studio and filmmakers all agreed Gal Gadot embodied the qualities they were looking for to bring Wonder Woman to life. As the prepared to wrap on BvS and the studio was clearly laying the foundation for its unified theatrical narrative, Gadot was confirmed to star in her own solo film! Directed by Patty Jenkins, the director stepped into the role after the original was dropped over “creative differences”. Jenkins, who directed Monster, had herself pitched a Wonder Woman project to the studio before picking up the reigns on June’s blockbuster.

Read the full article in the April Issue of Empire Magazine available on stands now and digital download.