What If I Told You John Wick Was a Portal Fantasy

@noblehunter, I’d say High Logic and (Wick)ed, with a minor direction of Mortis, and even though I said Underworld in the post, it might be more fairly called a Netherworld for the purposes of the Compass

The Fantabulous Birds of Prey is the Batman Returns Sequel We Need

Author here! We’ve updated the language in the post a bit to try to address the concerns people have voiced. Thank you so much for speaking up! Obviously it is not easy to be vulnerable on the internet, and we appreciate you trusting us with your thoughts. As I said in the comment above, it was not even slightly my intention to make anyone feel dismissed or harassed—especially as a queer person I try to be alert to peoples’ needs and identities—but clearly this time I did not meet that goal, and I’m sorry. I hope the updates make my intention clearer, and I’ll do my best to be more sensitive to these concerns in future—we want Tor.com to be inclusive and welcoming to all of good faith.

The Fantabulous Birds of Prey is the Batman Returns Sequel We Need

Among my queer groups, we've been using those terms specifically to avoid being exclusionary by leaving space for the fact that we can’t know how people identify unless they tell us - but obviously I'll update my terms if there are better ones! Language evolves constantly, but it’s on me to keep up. :)  Tor.com is inclusive and welcoming to people of good faith, and I always want to make sure everyone feels comfortable and safe on the site. 

Avenue 5’s Scattered Space Comedy Often Drifts Off-Course

@4 and @5 - It seems to be part of a fleet, since Hugh Laurie's character is also referenced as the captain of Avenue 3? But we haven't been told yet how many ships Judd Galaxy has, or if there are any others out on cruises. I'm assuming there's a joke hidden in there somewhere that'll be explained in a later episode. 

Watchmen Ends with Explosive Answers and Even More Questions

@10: I would guess not turning Veidt in when he learned the truth? Since there was about a decade when Redford knew, but kept the secret, before Veidt was zapped to Europa and eventually presumed dead. Keeping the secret does seem like the Greater Good in some ways, but he is still abetting a mass murderer technically.

And also he allowed a LOT of squid deaths. Poor little suckers. 

Watchmen Ends with Explosive Answers and Even More Questions

Spoilers for Veidt's escape! 

He used clone corpses to spell out the words "Save Me Daughter" - an allusion to the Black Freighter comics in the Watchmenverse - and timed it so that Trieu's satellite would pick the image up. Since she told him when she'd first received signs of Manhattan's presence, he was able to time when to create the message to have the best shot at getting her attention. And she sent a space capsule to retrieve him and bring him back to Earth - but obviously it was more as an opportunity to diss him than to rescue him.

Watchmen Asks, Is There Life On Mars?

ooooh I like that! I mean, I hate it, it's awful, but I love that as a theory. And that would add an interesting angle to the spikiness between Laurie, Trieu, and Angela, if they're all entangled.

Watchmen Offers Us a Squid Pro Quo

Yes! I was putting him on our moon, at first, but OF COURSE that was Jupiter. Sometimes I'm a dummy and post too fast. That makes his situation even more precarious, though. Plus it kinda messes up my Chairface Chippendale joke, but, whatever, show. You do what you want. 

Other thing: I think y'all are correct about it being an episode of American Hero Story, and not porn - although I'd still assume that there hero porn in this universe - but I'm still pleased about the fact that the framing of the scene is all about Hooded Justice wanting to keep his identity secret. It was a nice layer to add to the show. Although I, too, am nervous about them sticking the landing with the way they're treating the progressive Redford Era - so far I think they've done well with it, at least for me. Like I thought the slight jab at the content warning that played before AHS was more about the length of the warning, rather than mocking the concept of a warning. But we'll see! I have a lot of hope, because so far each week has been better than the last, and next week's ep looks AMAZING. 

Watchmen Delves Into Angela’s Past with Dark Hints of Her Future

Good points, @2 and @3, that couldn't have been the car! The hazards of writing the post super fast while you're watching the show.  :)

I am ridiculously excited for next week's Wade episode - I like him so much, but I'm trying not to get too attached since my favorite characters always meet bad ends.

Steven Universe Premieres a New Opening Sequence, and A Shiny New Title!

@4: Whoops, I think you're right! I've updated the post accordingly. Thanks for the catch!

Erotica Author Chuck Tingle Offers Some of the Best Writing Advice

@4: Whoops, I did in fact cite the wrong person! Thank you for pointing my flub out, Snowcrash - I'll hop in and update the post. 

Five Books About Surprisingly Supernatural Teens

@5: It's a (slight! loving!) dig at L'Engle, who had characters in a few of her books argue about how the different spellings of "grey" changed the word's tone. I actually agree with her - but it also amuses me.  :)

The Dead Don’t Die Is the Perfect Zombie Movie for Our Times

@5 and @6: It really does feel like if the "Shaun's Mum" scene was an entire movie, and I mean that in the best way. 

8 Very Good Time Traveling Doggos

@3: That did NOT help with the bawling. Totally worth it, though. 

A Matter of Life and Death Deserves a Place on Your Holiday Watch-list Alongside It’s A Wonderful Life

@13: yes, you're right! I got it jangled in my mind - Jimmy Stewart grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, and I know they based Bedford Falls a little on that, so I always forget and move the town there. Thanks for the catch! 

And if you're looking for a copy of AMOLAD, Criterion Collection released it on DVD and Blu-Ray in a new 4K digital restoration! It's very purty and includes some extras. I'm hoping that if they're able to launch their streaming service (R.I.P. Filmstruck) they'll add the whole Powell & Pressburger filmography - it's all incredible. 

Why You Should Add AD/BC: A Rock Opera to Your Holiday Movie List

@3: That's also my favorite bit! And I will die on the hill that the naturally curly red hair is intentional.  :) 

Religion and Rocketry: How German Theology and Russian Mysticism Shape Our View of Outer Space

@MaGnUS: Sure! I'm glad you want to feature it.  :)  And @Almuric: I'm taking your reading as canon in spite of Coop's parentage, because that's GREAT. 

The Greatest Science Fiction Robots of All Time

I love this list, but I can't help but notice a troubling lack of Messrs. Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo. 

Consequences in Zero G: The Expanse, “Fallen World”

Oh, I'm not sure! Usually my DVR lists it as an hour, as well, but I'm not finding any info about whether Syfy's decided to air it without commercials. 

How to Talk About Punk and Sex and Evolution and True Love: John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties

@4: To answer your question I'll need to spoil something, so here's your answer, whited out: one character refuses the aliens' advances, which is treated as a  big, climactic moment - they seem to be coming out as asexual, but they also only seem to be doing it as a response to being mistreated by various partners. So I was unsure if they're supposed to be identifying  as asexual as an orientation, or if the movie is conflating "asexual" with "giving up on love." Which I found a bit dodgy. But I could also be overthinking the whole thing, as that's been known to happen. 

Can We All Just Agree to Ignore the Biggest Threat in the Universe? The Expanse: “Assured Destruction”

@4: That's what I'm assuming! It was just too neat, especially with the technician able to immediately tell the entire room that it was basically the SecGen's fault - undermining his authority even more. 

Never Let Mei Go — The Expanse: “IFF”

@1: Oops, thanks for the correction! My typing tends to get ahead of my spelling.  :)  "IFF" stands for "Identification, friend or foe" - I'll add that into the review. 

The Gospel According to Monty Python

@ 1, 2, and 4: That was always my assumption as well! Poor Simon.  :( 

Have Yourself a Populist Christmas with It’s a Wonderful Life and The Bishop’s Wife

@14: I actually saw that skit before I ever saw the movie! And apparently it was a huge issue that Potter didn't get any comeuppance - under the Hayes Code bad guys were supposed to be punished onscreen - and I know they shot at least one scene of Potter being confronted about the money, but I couldn't find any quotes from Capra about how he got around including it in the final cut. Research never ends.  :) 

Children of Women: Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From

Oh, sorry - I think I was just unclear! Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic novel by Walter Miller Jr., published in 1960, that follows a post-nuclear-disaster religious sect. It's a great book - hilarious in an incredibly dark way - and also really thoughtful and weird. The Road is Cormac McCarthy's take on a post-apocalypse, published in 2006. It follows a father and son who try to survive in a Cormac McCarthy book terrifying wasteland, and it's just relentlessly dark. I'll edit the piece to make that clearer for everyone!  :)  

The Mentally Ill Hero: How The Tick and Dirk Gently Give Unbalanced “Sidekicks” Center Stage

@1: I'll make a note of that - when I was researching the medications it seemed like both were in use in Europe but not the U.S. The first half of The Tick's first season is up on Amazon Prime, and Dirk Gently airs on BBC America. Thanks for the correction! 

Stranger Things Season 2 More Than Lives Up to Its Predecessor

I agree about Billy - I definitely felt like there was more going on in the scenes with Steve, and that both actors were throwing that energy out there to give us a hint of Billy's conflicted emotions. I wanted to see more of him, to get a sense of depth the way we did with Steve, rather than him filling the "scary jock/bully" slot, and delving more into his sexuality would have done that...but obviously this is small town 1980s America, so if the writers do go in that direction, they'll need way more time to dig into that in a way that's both realistic to the time, and sensitive to the character. And I think if Mike and El had talked to Max during that dance that would have fixed my discomfort with the pair-ups - it just felt to me like the kids were being rushed into couples much too abruptly, and then that was the note we ended on. But I loved the use of Time After Time and The Police.  :)  

The Exorcist TV Series Subverts Its Own Troubled Franchise

@2: Thanks for pointing out those errors! I'll go in and fix them - I think I was remembering Marcus' mother being Irish. And I'm not sure how "Susan" got in there! 

The Annihilation Teaser Trailer is Here To Creep Us Out!

Early spring certainly used to be a dead zone for movies, but I think that cycle has ended now that there are so many on-demand services and video games nibbling at film profits. A Wrinkle in Time is coming out in early March, too, and I know that's already being pushed as a big, prestige film as well - I think early 2018 is looking like a great time, cinematically speaking.  :) 

We’ll All Float On, Anyway: Stephen King’s IT

@Matt Dovey: You are completely correct - it was a really insensitive term for me to use there. I apologize for using it, and I thank you for taking the time to point it out.

We’ll All Float On, Anyway: Stephen King’s IT

@Kate: Oh, of course teenagers (especially) used posters to decorate! Sorry if that wasn't clear. My quibble is more that I don't believe a poor high school student in Indiana would find a pristine poster for an obscure horror movie that was only just building up a video cult following in the early 80s. I also think Bill is coded as being a bit more middle class than the Byers family, so he'd have more spending money than Jonathan does.

And to be fair to the show, I think Stranger Things gets a lot of stuff exactly right - but it's interesting to contrast the two, since there's such a conversation between Stephen King and the Duffers. IT has made me even more excited for Season 2.  :) 

We’ll All Float On, Anyway: Stephen King’s IT

Yeah, that was definitely a frustration I had with the film - Alvin ends up being pretty one-note, to the point that it's unclear whether he's attacking Bev because he's being controlled by IT, or if he's just finally gone that far into his own abusiveness. I really wish that we could have had at least one good scene with the two of them, as well as at least a little bit with Richie and Ben's families, to balance out some of the horror.

The Reboot of The Tick is Nigh Perfect!

@3-RDBetz: Agreed on the awesomeness of the original comics! Personally I love the lighter tone of the cartoon, but that first Tick run was fantastic in its own right.

What’s Your Pick for the Best Science Fiction Film of the 21st Century (So Far)?

Good point, Ghostly1 - didn't mean to inadvertently create a dystopia with that headline. 

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: A New Kind of Action Hero

There should be a new Ghibli Rewatch essay in two weeks. I'm changing the format slightly so that I can talk about thematic elements in the films rather than doing a traditional recap - I can't wait to share it and discuss it with all of you! 

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is Coming Back! But Is It Better than Ever?

Yes to the new music! I didn't want to give that away in the post, but I also teared up at that bit.  :)  

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: A New Kind of Action Hero

Thank you for giving us more information, Fred Patten - I had no idea Streamline was trying to bring Studio Ghibli films to the U.S. for so long. I appreciate your team's effort to bring the films over uncut! 

Hayao Miyazaki Finds Lupin III’s Heart in The Castle of Cagliostro

Wow, thank you for all these informative comments! Thank, Robotech_Master for the Blu-ray suggestion - I'm adding it to my wishlist - and thanks Reed Nelson for confirming the Fujiko/April O'Neill hypothesis! April was a great inspiration to a small, career-minded Leah, so the knowledge that Fujiko is basically her mom is fantastic. And Fred Patten, thank you for fighting for the quiet moments in the film. I noticed those scenes more on this watch, since I just re-watched a bunch of the television episodes as I prepped this piece. It really helps Miyazaki's version of Lupin stand out as a more thoughtful character. 

I might be able to cover Miyazaki and Takahata's TV work a little bit (especially Future Boy Conan - I've never seen it and that synopsis sounds fascinating) but I think we are going to focus more on the movies, since they're easier to access, and people can watch along. Speaking of which, next up is Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, so I hope you can all join me again!  :)

Hayao Miyazaki Finds Lupin III’s Heart in The Castle of Cagliostro

We're doing alllll of Ghibli! And I haven't watched Pom Poko in years, so I'm especially excited for that one.  :)  

Caterpillars and Butterflies: The Expanse: “Home”

Yeah, the more I think about the scene the more I'm on the side of just loving it. I'm so impressed with the way they stayed with it, and I agree with you, Politeruin - this was such a better ending for Miller's arc! Also a better ending for Julie, since she didn't simply end up being a Space Damsel.  

5 SFF Love Stories About Overcoming a Language Barrier

@1: Thanks for pointing out the typo! As much as I'd love to visit a wharf that celebrates language, I want to make sure that Benjamin Lee Whorf gets the proper credit.  :)  

It’s the 50th Anniversary of The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

@4: You're totally right! I got my denominational wires crossed - Schulz was a Methodist Sunday School teacher, not a Presbyterian - I'll go fix it in the post. And we welcome glasses-pushing here, so thank you for pointing it out!  :)  

The Year’s Best Alternate Histories Take Us to Timelines Dark and Bright

@11: That sounds fantastic! Thanks for telling us, I'll definitely add that one in when we update the post.  

The Great Stephen King Birthday Cinema Celebration!

@8: I didn't remember that! Clearly I need to rewatch Monkeybone. 

...that's not a sentence I ever expected to type. 

Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey to Helm New Black Panther Spin-Off Series!

@ Marla J: They're Ayo and Aneka, two members of the Dora Milaje, an elite squad of bodyguard who protect T'Challa. (If you saw Captain America: Civil War, the woman who said, "Move, or you will be moved" to Black Widow was with the Dora Milaje.) Ayo and Aneka figured prominently in Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Panther series that came out last spring - in that panel, Ayo's wearing "Midnight Angel" armor to break Aneka out of prison.

Tor.com’s Top SFF Vacation Spots!

@ChrisG: Noted and fixed! And that would indeed be a sweet deal.  :)  

Ranking the Cyber Cinema of the 1990s!

@Sammael: Yeah, I decided to restrict myself to live-action (mostly U.S. productions as well) because otherwise these ranking posts get unwieldy. Although I do need to find an excuse to watch Ghost in the Shell again... 

Ranking the Cyber Cinema of the 1990s!

@hoopmanjh: You're thinking of Tank Girl! Ice-T plays a kangaroo person named T-Saint - the man has had an extraordinary acting career.  

Gaze into Sebastian Stan’s Face!

@Marie: Good call, thanks! I updated the post to make that clear.  

Ray Bradbury: The Best Writing Teacher You Could Ever Have

@11: Thanks for pointing out that the video disappeared! I've replaced the link, and I highly recommend it. 

The True Enemy is Revealed in The Expanse: “Critical Mass” and “Leviathan Wakes”

@ 6 & 7: Yes! I knew I recognized him, but I couldn't remember which plot thread he was from.

American Gods Adaptation Casts Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon

@5, Thanks for pointing Good Omens out! Neverwhere was an adaptation of a screenplay, Stardust was an adaptation of a comic, and Good Omens was a collaboration, so American Gods was Gaiman's first original solo novel. (Which is weird to think about, since his career was already so huge by the time it came out.) I'll edit the post to make it clearer.  :)  

The Expanse: “Back to the Butcher” Asks Us to Choose — Coffee or Liquor?

@3: Oh yeah, ORE! Thank you, I didn't think "oil" made sense, but once I heard oil I couldn't unhear it. I'll fix it in the post.

I haven't read the books (which I'm sure is showing in my recaps) but I've been loving the characters, and the show did a great job of making the naming of the Rocinante an important scene even for someone new to this world.  :)

Sandman: Overture Add New Dimensions to the World of Dream

@1: I'd definitely read this after Sandman's main arc ends with The Wake. I think the characters will make more sense, and the allusions will add more to your reading experience, where they might just be confusing if you're new to the story. 

Marvel’s NYCC 2015 Panel Talks of Punishers and Purple Men, and the Extraordinary Jessica Jones

Nothing about Iron Fist, unfortunately! People kept chanting his name, but Loeb didn't say anything about the show - he stuck to DD, JJ, and a very slight mention that Luke Cage was filming now.

Join John Scalzi on The End of All Things Tour!

@1: So it is! The location has been updated - thanks for pointing it out.

We Are Not Things, We Are Furious

The woman on the far end is San from Mononoke Hime, and she is the best! 

I'm also not sure about the armored woman next to Ripley - anyone else recognize her?  

The Hype is Real. Mad Max: Fury Road is One of The Best Films of the Year

The bolt-cutters are the BEST. Yeah, there's really no need to see Max's movies in order, because I think George Miller sees these films more as loosely organized folktales that just all happen to have Max in them as a character. That's part of why recasting Max doesn't cause a problem - he's more of a James Bond-type character, who could theoretically keep having adventures far into our dystopian future, whether or not Mel Gibson, Tom Hardy, or even Miller himself are involved. 

The Hype is Real. Mad Max: Fury Road is One of The Best Films of the Year

@1: The "Oh What A Lovely Day!" guy is a warboy, and I can say that his role is freaking awesome without spoiling anything! 

@2 The more I think about it the more I tease out themes and references! Not just to the original MM trilogy but also to Blade Runner and, weirdly, The Dark Crystal? And Huntingdon-Whitely is brilliant as Angharad. Personally I was OK with the spartan dialogue, probably because I just rewatched the original trilogy, and I felt like they overstated the themes of Beyond Thunderdome so much that Fury Road felt even more refreshing. Plus Tom Hardy manages some really evocative grunts.  :)

A Perfect Cost-to-Shenanigan Ratio: Community Season Six is Here!
@2: Maybe the floor lava got her? It's the one thing that consistently bugs me, especially in light of the other characters' obvious growth. Plus I just want them to give Gillian Jacobs cool stuff to do, cause she's amazing.
Morning Roundup: All Hail Spock!
@2: It should work now. Thanks for letting us know!
Let’s Rewrite the Declaration of Independence! Sleepy Hollow: “What Lies Beneath”
I'm assuming that the books were also holograms, and that they needed to keep the fenestella plugged in so they could come and read them when they were needed. That doesn't explain how humans would be able to handle holographic books... but this episode left many things unexplained.
Let’s Rewrite the Declaration of Independence! Sleepy Hollow: “What Lies Beneath”
@MByerly, Caroline is worth a thousand Calvins! I shall never forget her. But at least Calvin is better than Hawley. @AwesomeAud: Quite right, thanks for pointing that out! I've fixed the link.
How We Met Abbie and Jenny’s Mother: Sleepy Hollow, “Mama”
@12: Cool, thanks Sarpong! I really hope they keep using Grace Dixon's journal as a resource for their magic...
How We Met Abbie and Jenny’s Mother: Sleepy Hollow, “Mama”
@10: Thank you for catching that! I had two links I meant to put in, but they both got lost when I posted. The Akanian theory I saw is from headsofsleepyhollowers, so I definitely don't want to take credit for it! :)
Contemplate Your Place in the Universe with Hard Sci-Fi Film Classics!
Primer! So, so good. I actually haven't seen Europa Report yet - I'll need to add that one to my list...
Neil Gaiman Created a Pocket Universe For Each of Us
@8: NG mentioned the story in a few interviews, but the best quote is from Hy Bender's Sandman Companion. Bender asked about the story of Adam's three wives in "The Parliament of Rooks", and Gaiman answers, "That's a story which has haunted me since age twelve, when Cantor Meir Lev taught it to me during my bar mitzvah lessons. The cantor happened to be an expert on Jewish Talmudic, Mishnaic, and Midrashic apocrypha, and I found it all fascinating and pumped him for information; so by the age of thirteen, I knew more arcane Jewish lore than most adults." I really love the image of Li'l Gaiman arguing Midrash with his rabbi, so I made sure to mention it!
Evil Flutes and Driving Lessons: Sleepy Hollow‘s “Go Where I Send Thee”
My take was that the curse was carried down through the bloodline rather than the family name, which was why Sarah and her aunt were both taken, but that the adopted sons would be safe? I'm also assuming that most of the old-school families in Sleepy Hollow are at least slightly related...
Ichabod and Abbie Don’t Need Your Blood Money in Sleepy Hollow: “Root of All Evil”!
@4: There were so many more JCS quotes in the original draft, Bridget. I'm frankly astonished at my own restraint. :) And I second the need for a Belafonte sing-along. @5: Didn't Hawley say he wanted to find the other 29 pieces of silver, to sell them as a matched set? Or was I just making that up because I want a spinoff where he and Jenny travel the country together scouring antique markets?

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