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The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 53:
Justice League Review and NC ComicCon Recap

On this episode, we (Rich and Kevin) are geared-up and ready to talk about the biggest make-or-break moment in Superhero movies this year. That’s right: after years of speculation, anticipation, cautious optimism, controversies, costume reveals, script re-writes, reshoots, director swaps, and even a digitally-deleted moustache, Justice League is finally here. And surprisingly enough (especially after the five-alarm dumpster fire that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016), this new take on DC Comics’ most famous superhero team has been relatively well-received by critics and audiences alike.

But with more comic-book movies released every year, and films like Wonder Woman and Thor: Ragnarok setting a ridiculously high bar for quality, does Justice League just-ify its place in the hearts and minds of discriminating viewers? We’ll answer that question and discuss the film in-depth - both as a stand-alone experience, and as an important new entry in the DC Extended Universe. SPOILER ALERT:  there’s a lot about JL that we completely disagree on, so it should be an entertaining debate.

Also on this episode: we recap our recent adventures at NC ComicCon (including our podcasting panel and a sneak preview of Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe web series), give a rundown of what we’ve been watching lately (including the first 4 episodes of Netflix’s Punisher and Kenneth Branagh’s new film Murder on the Orient Express), and discuss some recent news (including Brian Michael Bendis defecting to DC Comics and a Multiple Man film in the works starring James Franco).

So join us, for another whirlwind tour of the current geek culture climate, designed to be the perfect soundtrack to whatever iPhone game you're playing at the moment. This...is the Joy of Geek!

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The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 52:
Thor: Ragnarok Review, Arrowverse 2017 and Fall TV Highlights

On this episode, it’s a reunion show of sorts, as the hosts of The Joy of Geek and The Joy of Gaming UNITE! for an epic, media-discussion-free-for-all. What’s the occasion? Well for one, Thor: Ragnarok was just released, and it’s quite possibly the funniest, most fun Marvel movie yet. But does the God of Thunder’s latest outing measure up to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films in other areas as well? We (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) all have slightly different answers to that question, and we’ll be going in depth to discuss Ragnarok on its own merits before discussing its rightful place in the overall MCU pantheon.

But before we crash headfirst into Asgard (by way of Sakaar), there’s a lot of catching up to do on the latest TV, Movies and Comics. To start, we check in on the current state of the Arrowverse, and rate the first 3-4 episodes of this season of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. We also discuss what we’ve each been watching and reading, including: American Vandal, Alias Grace, Speechless, Beyond Stranger Things, Mindhunter, Dimension 404, The Good Place, The Last Man on Earth, Saw, Spectre, Gerald’s Game, Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 2, Tom King’s Batman ongoing, and much, much more.

So join us, as we reunite the lions of Voltron and become more powerful as a result. And then use our newfound power to...talk about geek culture in awesomely-minute detail. This...is the Joy of Geek!

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The Joy of Gaming Podcast, Episode 67:
Fall Gaming is Here (and we're playing catch-up)

On this episode of The Joy of Gaming Podcast, we (Rich and Jordan) discuss the variety of games we’ve been playing as a large number of Fall releases arrive on the scene. For Rich, that involves a lot more Destiny 2, with an update on the Leviathan Raid and endgame content, and the grudging realization that Destiny (much like World of Warcraft) is life-consuming. For Jordan, there’s a bit more variety, with a discussion of Metroid: Samus Returns, The Evil Within, Overwatch’s Halloween Terror event, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands and more.

We also discuss some of the latest gaming news, including an update on the Xbox One Kinect, the recently announced demise of Visceral Games and what their canceled game Ragtag says about the future of single-player experiences in gaming. We also take a brief look at the amazing slate of Fall video game releases, including Super Mario Odyssey, Wolfenstein 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Sonic Forces, and more.

So join us, for an inside look at what it’s like to have way more games to play than there are hours in the day. It’s a quality problem to have, however, and this...is the Joy of Gaming!

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The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 51:
Halloween Spectacular, Featuring Stranger Things 2, Mr. Robot S3 and Happy Death Day

On this very special episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) celebrate the Halloween season by discussing a spooky sampling of (mostly) seasonally-appropriate media. First and foremost, we discuss Season Two of Stranger Things: a nine-episode return to Netflix that fans have been eagerly anticipating almost since the moment season one dropped last year. Kevin has binged the entire second season already, and is ready to regale us with tales of its magnificence (in as “spoiler-free” a review as he can muster).

And although it may not be explicitly Halloween-themed, Season 3 of Mr. Robot has also just begun, so we’ll offer our general impressions of the season premiere and discuss our hopes, fears and overall excitement level for the rest of the season. And as an epic finale, we dive into a spoiler-filled review of the recent Teen Horror/Thriller Happy Death Day, offering our in-depth thoughts on this highly-anticipated (at least by us) Groundhog-Day-meets-Scream mash-up. And as usual, you can expect some assorted news and recent trailer chat (Star Wars Episode VIII, anybody?) along the way.

So join us, as we ponder the fate of Eleven and ask ourselves what exactly that slug thing is that Will Byers just coughed up (before playing Dragon’s Lair at the arcade). This...is the Joy of Geek!

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The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 50:
Nailbiter Volumes 1-6 - Graphic Novel Book Club, Halloween Edition

On this requisitely creepy, Halloween Edition of the Graphic Novel Book Club, we (Rich and Kevin) discuss the complete Nailbiter comic series by writer Joshua Williamson (Flash, Birthright) and Artist Mike Henderson (Masks and Mobsters, TMNT). Nailbiter takes place in Buckaroo, Oregon - a town that has given birth an unnaturally large number of serial killers  - and chronicles the adventures of NSA Agent Nicholas Finch as he attempts to unravel the mystery of the town and its most famous creation, Edward “Nailbiter” Warren.

Finch’s journey is an epic one - spanning 30 issues (or six trades) in total - and we’ll be discussing the entire series in this one, SPOILER-FILLED episode. Our conversation includes: the cast of characters, thematic elements, story beats, big twists, plot reveals and unique art style,  as well as two surprising cameo appearances from Brian Michael Bendis and Cassie from fellow Image series Hack/Slash. We also discuss some previous works in the Serial Killer, Horror and Thriller genres - Silence of the Lambs, as a prime example - that clearly served as inspiration for the Nailbiter series.

So join us, as we journey to Buckaroo to uncover the true darkness of the human spirit, and (possibly) find out where serial killers come from. Have a Happy Halloween. This...is the Joy of Geek!

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The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 49:
Blade Runner 2049 Spoilercast and Kingsman: The Golden Circle

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) journey to the cyberpunk Los Angeles of the future to review this year’s biggest (and best) surprise, Blade Runner 2049. The film - starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford and directed by Denis Villaneuve (Prisoners, Arrival) - serves as a sequel to the 1982 neo-noir masterpiece Blade Runner, and it has received near unanimous praise from critics and audiences alike. We discuss all aspects of the film - including the cast, story, direction, cinematography, original score and more - and offer our spoiler-filled thoughts on how well the film operates as both a sequel, and a stand-alone film released 35 years after the original.

But before we join “K” on his search for identity, we have some other movie news and trailers to discuss, including an update on Ridley Scott’s plans for the follow-up to Alien: Covenant, our thoughts on the new trailers for Annihilation (from Ex Machina director Alex Garland), Pacific Rim: Uprising and Tomb Raider, and a quick rundown of some of the films we’ve each seen recently. And there’s one film in particular - Kingsman: The Golden Circle - that we both saw and simply have to discuss in a bit more detail. We’re calling it a mini-review, and this movie is almost as much fun to talk about as it was to see. Once again, spoilers are involved.

So join us, as we journey from modern-day England, to the jungle-hideout "Poppyland", to 2049 Los Angeles and beyond - all in search of a great story, well told. This week, we found at least two of those. This...is the Joy of Geek!

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The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 48:
Talking Star Trek, Defenders and Aceblade w/Danny J. Quick

On this episode of The Joy of Geek, we (Rich and Kevin) welcome a very special guest to the podcast - comic author Danny J. Quick. Danny is the co-creator and author of the new series Aceblade: Vegas Vigilante, which tells the story of protagonist Terrell Durham’s rise from MMA fighter to costumed hero Aceblade, driven to action by the corruption he sees all around him. The series has already had two successful kickstarters, and a third is currently underway for Aceblade 3: The Undercard.

We talk with Danny about his own personal origin story - and dive into all aspects of the Aceblade novel and comic series - before discussing some of the latest comics, TV shows and movies we’re excited about. The conversation includes: our hopes for the new Star Trek: Discovery series, The Defenders vs. the rest of the Marvel Netflix shows, Sherlock vs. Elementary, Mother! and its “F” CinemaScore, J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike mystery series, Jeremy Haun’s new comic series RealmHorizon: Zero Dawn and how it killed a PS4, and much more.

So join us, as we throw an MMA fight to make a quick buck, learn how to text as fast as Clark Kent does in Supergirl, and find out just how emo Ryan Phillippe really is. This...is the Joy of Geek!

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The Joy of Gaming Podcast, Episode 66:
Destiny 2 and Metroid: Samus Returns (Finally!)

On this episode of The Joy of Gaming Podcast, we (Rich and Jordan) talk about two of the biggest video game releases of the year - Destiny 2 and Metroid: Samus Returns. And although these games are nothing alike in genre - one is a cinematic shared-world shooter with a focus on grinding for loot, and the other is single-player exploration-based side-scroller - both are highly, highly anticipated and subject to massive expectations from series fans. We discuss both games in depth and offer our thoughts on their overall success - both as new entries in beloved series, and as stand-alone experiences in the modern gaming landscape.

But first, we talk about some of the other games we’ve been playing lately, including the new “Longshot” story mode in Madden 2018, the undeniably stellar Sonic Mania, Resident Evil 5, Rich’s re-visit to the world of the PS Vita with Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Dragon’s Crown, among others. We also discuss some interesting recent gaming news, particularly the return of the NES Classic in 2018, Super Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle’s sales success, the new Tomb Raider movie trailer, Monster Hunter World and its release date, Swery’s new crowd-funded game The Good Life, the crazy Fortnite vs. PUBG drama, and more.

So join us, as we scour every nook and cranny of the European Dead Zone for Loot Chests and Heroic Public Events, and the Planet Zebes for every energy tank and missile upgrade we can find. On second thought, maybe Metroid and Destiny 2 aren’t so different after all. This...is the Joy of Gaming!

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The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 47: 
Review of "It" and Top 3 Horror Films

On this Horror-fueled episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) talk about the new film It, based on the novel by Stephen King, and starring Bill Skarsgard as the iconic Pennywise, The Dancing Clown. And although this version of It underwent some significant creative reshuffles during development (with changes made to the script and director, among other things) it has proved to be a massive hit with audiences and critics, and has broken the record for the highest-grossing opening weekend for a Horror movie. We discuss all aspects of the film, including the ensemble cast, the tone, the plot, and of course, the titular shape-shifting alien clown.

And the jump scares don't stop there. With Halloween right around the corner, it’s an ideal opportunity for us to discuss the Horror genre as whole. We each choose our three favorite Horror movies of all-time - as well as some particularly chilling honorable mentions - and consider what it takes for a horror movie to stand out in today’s crowded media landscape. There’s also a bit of recent film news to discuss, including Star Wars Episode IX drama (with Colin Trevorrow out and J.J. Abrams in), Jamie Lee Curtis’ return to the Halloween franchise, the first images from the set of the Hellboy reboot, and more.

So join us, as we try our best to stay out of the sewers in Derry, Maine, and tell Bill Denbrough that we’re sorry we lost the paper boat he made, but there’s just no way we’re reaching our hand in there. This...is the Joy of Geek!

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The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 46:
Dunkirk Review and Christopher Nolan Retrospective

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) take a look back at the work of Christopher Nolan, a film director who has redefined the modern blockbuster and increased our capacity for wonder and awe with each of his ten films. His latest film is Dunkirk, which - through its use of three interwoven stories and a unique chronology - attempts to redefine the war movie genre in the same way Nolan redefined the Science Fiction and Superhero genres in years past. We take an in-depth look at Dunkirk - exploring its cast, story, structure and direction - and offer our thoughts on its overall success.

But first, we take this excellent opportunity look back at Nolan’s complete filmography, from his low-key debut Following, to his backwards-chronological noir-thriller Memento, to his dark (yet refreshing) new take on the Batman mythos in The Dark Knight Trilogy, to the sci-fi blockbusters - most notably Inception and Interstellar - that have defined his career. We take a look at each film, celebrating their individual triumphs, offering critiques on the aspects that don’t work as well, and choosing (or at least attempting to choose) our absolute favorites.

So join us, as we adventure beyond time and space, enter a bat-infested cave, go splash in a magician’s tank, enter a fractured world of dreams and desperation, and...go to war.  This...is the Joy of Geek!

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