Venganza Media Gazette

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The March Marvel Madness Sweet 16 Are Chosen!

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The Sweet 16 Heroes of March Marvel Madness have been selected!

The competition started March 15. Each day two pairs of heroes were plucked from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and competed head to head.  Marvel fans across the globe voted at VenganzaMedia.com and from the 32 contestants, 16 winners were chosen.

Click to see the full March Marvel Madness Bracket

Click to see the full March Marvel Madness Bracket

Now those winners go head to head, the victors advancing to the Elite 8, and you decide the results!

Each day at 1pm EDT from March 23rd through March 26th two more face-offs will be posted.  The matches will be:

March 23: Black Panther vs Hulk

March 23: Gamora vs Thor

March 24: Hawkeye vs Punisher

March 24: Spider-Man vs Luke Cage

March 25: War Machine vs Iron Man

March 25: Vision vs Rocket Raccoon

March 26: Agent Phil Coulson vs Black Widow

March 26: Captain America vs Jessica Jones

Come back to VenganzaMedia.com each day to vote for the winner! The victors advance to our March Marvel Madness Elite 8. Then, starting March 27, one match will be posted per day until only one Marvel champion remains!

 

Marvel collectors: get your dose of Marvel toy and statue collecting news on the Marvelicious Toys podcast!

Marvel movie fans: hear reviews of every Marvel movie, from Howard the Duck through Ant-Man on the Now Playing podcast!

 

March 23, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The March Marvel Madness Sweet 16 Are Chosen!

Marvel Partners to Bring Statues, Clothes, and Toys for Adults in 2016

Marvel Comics Daredevil_Born AgainToday Marvel announced a new initiative to release products aimed at teen and adult collectors and fans.

In 2016 Marvel’s licensing partners will offer apparel, collectibles, action figures, and other items based upon their edgier properties, such as Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones television series. Items in this line will focus on characters from those series, including The Punisher (who will be featured in Daredevil Season 2, coming in 2016).

Not just television based, Marvel also said the edgier Marvel Publishing archives will be mined to support this release (such as the Daredevil: Born Again story).

With partners such as Kotobukiya, Sideshow, and Diamond Select named, fans can expect high-end statues. Plus Hasbro is specifically mentioned as releasing some of their popular Marvel Legends figures to tie into this initiative. Of course, Funko (the Energizer Bunny of marketing tie-ins) will also be offering several items.

Of concern is the lack of one key licensee — Hot Toys. Since 2008 that Hong Kong based company has produced 12 and 18-inch figures based on Marvel films. The figures are very popular and highly collectible, some selling out the first day they are offered. I know fans were hoping for Hot Toys versions of the movie Deadpool and the television series Daredevil. While Hot Toys may still offer such products in 2016, they are notable by omission in Marvel’s statement.

As of press time Marvel has not replied to our inquiries regarding Hot Toys’ participation in this campaign.

Also shocking is the inclusion of Marvel cult icon Deadpool. In early 2016 Hot Topic will launch a complete Deadpool campaign, which ties in with the Deadpool movie coming out in February. Historically Marvel has had rocky relations with Fox Studios, makers of the Fantastic Four, X-Men and Deadpool films. Merchandising for those properties has been limited, as stated by Hasbro’s Marvel Brand Team Manager Dwight Schultz, XM Studios, and others. Rumors came during San Diego Comic-Con that Marvel was lifting the restriction on Deadpool merchandise, and it has been confirmed in this release.

As an adult Marvel Comics fan and collector, I am extremely excited by this news. In 2014 and 2015 it seemed much of the Marvel content was being aimed at much younger fans, from single age to early teens. From changes to the Marvel comics to the Ant-Man film it seemed Marvel (or perhaps parent company Disney) was removing much of what made me a fan of the characters.

Additionally, as an X-Men enthusiast, it’s encouraging to see Deadpool back on the approved list for Marvel Licensing. While Deadpool merchandise has never been hard to find, as he is one of Marvel’s biggest break-out characters of the past 25 years, this specific push may indicate a more collaborative relationship between Fox and Marvel. (This may perhaps be borne out later in 2016 with Fox’s release of X-Men: Apocalypse).

While more details will certainly emerge during Toy Fair International in February, 2016, this is a promising revelation for grown-up fans of Marvel comics, movies, and television series.

Marvel’s entire press release is below.

 

MARVEL ENERGIZES ADULT FANS WITH NEW DAREDEVIL, THE PUNISHER, JESSICA JONES, AND DEADPOOL MERCHANDISE

Anti-Heroes and Vigilantes Inspire Dynamic New Product Line and Retail Promotions with Target, Walmart, Hot Topic, and Others

Glendale, Calif. (November 19, 2015) As fans continue to demand unique items to wear and collect from Marvel’s deep stable of characters, Marvel is rolling out its merchandising and retail plans for popular anti-heroes and vigilantes Daredevil, The Punisher, Jessica Jones and Deadpool.  This new development addresses a key Marvel strategy to tap into the Marvel vault and satisfy not only the fans of the major Marvel franchises — Avengers, Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy — but also comic book fans and those watching Marvel’s new Netflix Original Series.

Utilizing new artwork that launched this past summer, the merchandise campaigns focus on images from the vast Marvel Publishing archive to embrace an edgier tone. The lines have begun rolling out in stores with larger launches planned for January 2016 targeting teens and adults. Activity will heat up later in 2016 with the debut of the second season of the critically acclaimed Netflix’s “Marvel’s Daredevil, which will include the first-ever live-action appearance of the Punisher on television.

The licensing program features a wide array of adult fan-focused product originating off of the wildly popular Marvel Comics publishing line, from apparel to collectibles and action figures. Fans will have the chance to build out full collections for the first time with collectibles from Diamond Select, Funko, Sideshow, Kotobukiya, and NECA coming to retail. Additionally, Hasbro will add Marvel Legends collector figures and Hot Wheels will unveil collectible die-cast vehicles next fall. Mad Engine, C-Life, Hybrid, Freeze, Fifth Sun, Silver Buffalo and Bioworld will each be launching a robust lineup of product including men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, footwear, bags, home goods, and drinkware. The merchandising programs will be rounded out with additional offerings including collector plush, stationery, consumer electronics, and novelties. And this assortment would not be complete without the collected Marvel Comics editions where these popular heroes originated.

At retail, best-in-class partners are working on extensive in-store and online support. Beginning in January, Target will feature a Funko display that will spotlight Daredevil, The Punisher and Deadpool collectible bobbleheads. In February, Hot Topic is launching an in-store and online Deadpool campaign that will include eye-catching signage, a homepage takeover, and social media posts. Other brick and mortar retailers including Walmart, JCPenney, Spencer’s, Party City, and Kohl’s will also provide in-store and online support. Amazon will expand on its toy and apparel offerings for the characters and CafePress is launching a dedicated Jessica Jones shop offering unique merchandise for both men and women.

“Our goal is to open our deep vault of characters and explore all opportunities to drive incremental revenue that extends beyond our core franchises and extends our reach to new consumer segments,” said Paul Gitter, senior vice president, licensing, Marvel at Disney Consumer Products. “The excitement that is brewing across the board from not just fans, but also the licensees and retailers, is overwhelming and we are looking forward to seeing the reaction to this awesome product lineup.”

# # #

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years.  Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.

For more information visit marvel.com.

© 2015 MARVEL

About Disney Consumer Products

Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) that delivers innovative and engaging product experiences across thousands of categories from toys and apparel to books and fine art. As the world’s largest licensor, DCP inspires the imaginations of people around the world by bringing the magic of Disney into consumers’ homes with products they can enjoy year-round. DCP is comprised of three business units: Licensing, Publishing and Disney Store. The Licensing business is aligned around five strategic brand priorities: Disney Media, Classics & Entertainment, Disney & Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Princess & Disney Fairies, Lucasfilm and Marvel. Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, magazines, and apps, igniting imagination through storytelling in ever-inventive ways. DPW creates and publishes books, magazines, eBooks and apps both vertically in-house and through an extensive worldwide licensing structure. DPW is also committed to the educational development of children around the world through Disney Learning which includes our flagship learning brand, Disney Imagicademy, as well as Disney English and other Disney themed learning products. The Disney Store retail chain operates across North America, Europe and Japan with more than 350 stores worldwide and is known for providing consumers with high-quality, unique products. Disney Store operates ecommerce channels in nine countries, which can be found here. For more information, please visit Disney Consumer Products www.DisneyConsumerProducts.com .

 

November 19, 2015 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Marvel Partners to Bring Statues, Clothes, and Toys for Adults in 2016

5 Now Playing episodes to stream while waiting for Santa

It’s December 24. You’ve already watched Scrooged and Christmas Vacation, and the only holiday options left on Netflix are Santa Paws and those ABC Family Christmas movies where Melissa Joan Hart falls in love with Mario Lopez.

It’s not all bad. Turn off the TV and turn up some classic episodes of Now Playing Podcast. If your relatives complain (or ask what a podcast is) just tell them these shows are holiday-themed. That’ll keep them quiet, and keep you entertained until TBS starts showing A Christmas Story at 8.

Here are 5 Now Playing episodes to stream while waiting for Santa:

Die Hard

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That guy was also in a James Bond movie.

Does Die Hard get three recommends? The answer is obvious, but the episode is engaging for its scene-by-scene comparisons to the film’s source material; Roderick Thorp’s “Nothing Lasts Forever.” The Die Hard Retrospective Series also includes a review of Frank Sinatra’s The Detective (the first appearance of Thorp’s hero, Joe Leland) and gets better as the films get worse (there’s plenty to laugh at in A Good Day to Die Hard).

Gremlins

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Where did they even learn to read?

Released on Christmas Eve of 2013, the Gremlins episode has hosts Arnie, Stuart and Jakob flashing back to their childhood selves and trying to figure out if they should laugh or cry during Phoebe Cates’ tragic Christmas story. There are clips of people performing that monologue on YouTube. Watch them.

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2

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It never gets old.

Because #GarbageDay.

Batman Returns

Honestly, I'd rather play this SNES game than watch "Batman Returns" again.

Honestly, I’d rather play this SNES game than watch “Batman Returns” again.

Hosts Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob put the spotlight on the Tim Burton sequel that was too dark for McDonalds. This episode is great for its exploration of early 90s Bat-mania and is stacked with behind-the-scenes trivia (Marlon Wayans still gets residuals for this movie?). Highlights include the story of how Batman-obsessed Arnie swayed Stuart into seeing the film, and (spoiler alert) the former’s reaction when Returns turned out to be a bust.

The Aviator

Leo listening to Arnie bash his movie.

Leo listening to Arnie bash his movie.

Because December 24 is Howard Hughes’ birthday, and because this episode could have been titled The Aviator: Arnie Unleashed. The host begins his verbal assault on Scorsese’s 2004 biopic seconds after the opening credits and refuses to let up during the hourlong episode. He’s not trying to be funny, but his criticisms are hilarious. “I don’t think you’re gonna give this movie one thing Arnie, you really seem out to kill everyone down to the caterer,” co-host Stuart says at the 43-minute mark.

December 23, 2014 Posted by | Movies | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Now Playing episodes to stream while waiting for Santa

TV REVIEW: HOUSE OF CARDS (Season One)

A pretty good first hand for an aspiring web series network   

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House of Cards
Directors: David Fincher, Joel Schumacher, etc.
Writers: Beau Willimon, Andrew Davies, etc.
Starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Corey Stohl
Network: Netflix
Release Date February 1, 2013

Netflix, having successfully slain the video store with their revolutionary DVD-by-mail business model, plans to challenge cable television by offering subscribers an exclusive line-up of streamed programming.  The first original show out of the gate is House of Cards – a sophisticated one-hour drama about Washington political corruption that re-teams Oscar winner Kevin Spacey with his Seven director David Fincher.  The $100 million price tag and A-list Hollywood talent lets the world know that HBO and Showtime are no longer the only destinations for premium serialized entertainment, but is House of Cards good enough to re-position Netflix as the TV network of the future?  Maybe.  Season One wobbles under the weight of its many ambitions, but stands on a solid foundation of satire and delicious Machiavellian power plays.

 

Francis Underwood, Spacey’s silver-tongued Congressman, is our tour guide through the dimly lit halls and shadowy chambers of a White House besieged by distrust and petty grievances.  Frank’s got an axe to grind too.  The newly re-elected President passed him over for Secretary of State, so now he’s going to mobilize a cabal of conspirators to win himself an even bigger seat in the administration.  Despite frequent asides to the camera, stoic Spacey keeps his cards close to the vest.  We always know what the scheming politician thinks, but rarely understand what he’s doing behind the scenes.  It’s the kind of calculating antihero role the actor has always excelled at playing – a cross between tragic Shakespearean tyrant and his genteel murderer from Midnight In The Garden of Good And Evil.

 

All we know for certain about Frank’s plot is that it hinges on turning Peter Russo (Corey Stohl, Midnight In Paris) into governor of Pennsylvania, despite the Representative’s well-documented problem with drugs and alcohol (or is that part of the plan?).  The one character on this cynical show truly deserving empathy, Russo struggles to clean up his act and become the transformational figure his blue collar constituency needs to survive a downturn economy.  Hope is a rare commodity on House of Cards, but Stohl’s raw and human performance inspires it all the same.

 

Frank’s other key player in the game is blogger-journalist Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara, sister of Dragon Tattoo star Rooney).  The Congressman feeds the cub reporter Beltway secrets, which she turns into headlines that keep Frank influential on public opinion.  Another series might be tempted to sensationalize the sexual affair that springs from their mutually beneficial partnership, but House of Cards largely avoids arousing libidos.  Zoe and Frank’s bedroom scenes contain no more heat than the numerous policy briefings and education bill debates that fill the man’s day planner.

 

I wish the other characters were more organically integrated into Frank’s schemes.  Large chunks of time are devoted to trophy wife Claire (Robin Wright) making difficult choices about her overextended humanitarian organization, and flirting with having an affair of her own.  I appreciate the irony of a professional do-gooder turning out to be such a callous person, but it’s a Hillary Clinton spoof that ultimately has little impact on Frank’s rise to power.  There’s also a disgruntled natural gas lobbyist, a contracted call girl, a terminally ill bodyguard, and even a barbeque restauranteur.  They offer great local color, but drop out of the main story too frequently to truly endear themselves.

 

On one hand, it’s admirable that Fincher has translated the brooding, monochromatic aesthetic of Social Network and Zodiac into a sprawling D.C. tapestry.  He’s never worked with a canvas so large, and I love that he’s able to hold up a mirror to today’s obnoxious political theater and find a marathon of authentic, intimate moments that other media misses.  Yet I’ve always felt that television needs to be compulsively watchable in order to sustain viewership.  Cruelty can be a darkly satisfying spectacle within the confines of a two or three hour movie, but spend a full season in a reptile cage and all that cold-blooded behavior is bound to numb audience enthusiasm.  The trouble is I never had a burning desire to know what happens next, particularly when outcomes rarely stray far from the most pessimistic possibilities.

 

Maybe it’s a good thing then that all 13 episodes of House of Card’s first season have been made available at the same time.  Because every one of the show’s principals plays the long game, it takes several episodes for audiences to get hooked on their myopic power manipulations.  Indeed, I wasn’t sold until Hour 6.  Binge viewers can consume the low boil intrigue in a single day rather than risk losing interest in the weeks it’d take for the story to climax on broadcast TV.

 

Overall, this is an easy RECOMMEND for Fincher fans, political junkies, or anyone curious about where TV is heading.  And it comes at a bargain when you consider Netflix’s monthly rate for unlimited streaming is comparable to the price of a matinee movie ticket.  I don’t’ know if I need to chase after Spacey as he races towards the uncertain fortune of Season Two, but I’m anxious to check out the rest of Netflix’s 2013 line-up: Eli Roth’s April horror series Hemlock Grove, prison sitcom Orange Is The New Black, Ricky Gervais’ Derek, and the return of Arrested Development.  It does indeed look like the revolution will not be televised, but streamed.

 

March 6, 2013 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Television | , , , , , | Comments Off on TV REVIEW: HOUSE OF CARDS (Season One)