Featured

PopCult on Patreon

2021 is the year I make a big push to grow PopCult into something beyond what it has been. Readership jump tremendously in 2020 with a 29% increase in page views and a 32% jump in visitors. Part of our growth will be centered around Patreon. I don’t expect I will live independently off of Patreon, but I think I could generate enough to pay a couple of bills a month. For more on what’s going on with me at the start of the year, read up on last week’s Weekly Wonderings.

Continue reading “PopCult on Patreon”

Comic Book Review – Immortal Hulk Book Two

Immortal Hulk Book Two (2018)
Reprints Immortal Hulk #11-20
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Joe Bennett and Eric Nguyen

Rereading Immortal Hulk has been sparking my interest in going back and revisit Peter David’s Hulk run. That is a daunting task because of its enormity, but Al Ewing does such an excellent job of building on David’s numerous contributions to the Hulk mythos in a way that doesn’t feel derivative. This is done by introducing new aspects to Bruce Banner & The Hulk that complicates their relationship. I also think Jackie McGee is a grounding force, always there reminding the reader and Banner about the human costs of being this green behemoth. In Book Two, Ewing literally takes us to Hell, where Banner confronts those closest to him left as collateral damage.

Continue reading “Comic Book Review – Immortal Hulk Book Two”

Movie Review – Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Written by David Goyer, Justin Rhodes, & Billy Ray
Directed by Tim Miller

After recently rewatching Terminator 2: Judgment Day, I became curious about the latest attempt to revive the Terminator franchise. At this point, we now have three separate timelines branching from T2 that all seem to fail to continue a story that feels finished. I watched the T2 Director’s Cut, and it has an ending scene with John Connor grown in the new future where he serves as a senator. It felt like the day had been saved; everything was wrapped up. But of course, Hollywood couldn’t let that be when there was more money to make. I had seen Terminator: Genisys, which is unwatchable, and wondered what damage control would be done in Dark Fate if maybe they had made a palatable follow-up.

Continue reading “Movie Review – Terminator: Dark Fate”

Weekly Wonderings – May 3rd, 2021

We’re into May, which means a brand-new month of stuff on the blog. All throughout May, I’ll be reviewing Science Fiction Masterworks. Like I did with horror in October, these are science fiction films considered to be exemplars of the genre or movies I feel capture the essence of some science fiction element. I’ve already reviewed The Day the Earth Stood Still and Terminator 2. Coming up will be Akira, Solaris, Fantastic Planet, Videodrome, Predator, They Live, Gattaca, Aliens, Robocop, Forbidden Planet, Planet of the Apes, The Man Who Fell To Earth, and Moon.

Additionally, I have a round-up post planned of all the Science Fiction Masterworks I’ve previously watched and reviewed on the blog. Top 5 Science Fiction Movies will also be a segment on the upcoming episode of the PopCult Podcast. Patrons over on Patreon have already gotten early access to that segment over the previous weekend.

Continue reading “Weekly Wonderings – May 3rd, 2021”

Movie Review – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Written by James Cameron and William Wisher
Directed by James Cameron

Certain movies extend beyond just being a new film and exist in their time as a cultural phenomenon. Terminator 2 was that sort of a picture, where even ten-year-old me, who couldn’t see the film at the time because it was rated R, could feel how big it was. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the biggest action star at the time, and he was returning to work with James Cameron. Since directing the first Terminator, Cameron had helmed Aliens and The Abyss. In the latter film, he experimented with computer special effects that audiences had never seen before. For such a small number of films, the director had gained massive acclaim. At the time, with its budget of around $100 million, it was the most expensive movie ever made.

Continue reading “Movie Review – Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

Song of the South or Why Disney Has Always Been Politcial

Recently the Orlando Sentinel published an op-ed by Clark County, Nevada district attorney and human thumb Jonathan VanBoskerck titled “I love Disney World, but wokeness is ruining the experience.” Vanny begins his rant by complaining about Disney’s new employee dress code, which allows visible tattoos, culturally inclusive uniforms, and natural hairstyles. Now, Disney is a demonic megacorporation that should be burnt to the ground, but this is just basic minimum human decency. They will still mistreat employees, but at least these workers aren’t being forced to suppress their race or cultural heritage. 

Continue reading “Song of the South or Why Disney Has Always Been Politcial”

Movie Review – The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Written by Edmund H. North
Directed by Robert Wise

This month (May 2021), I will be looking at films considered Science Fiction Masterworks. In October, I did this with some horror movies and wanted to do something similar. Science fiction is an extensive film category that has overlaps with other genres like comedy, action, and horror. It can also be very futuristic and high tech or grounded in our present-day with light elements of the fantastic. To start things off, I watched The Day the Earth Stood Still. I know some things about this movie, the theremin music by Bernard Hermann, the famous “Klaatu Barada Nikto” phrase, and the opening scene of the flying saucer landing in the middle of Washington D.C. A remake was done in 2008, which I have heard was dismal, while the original has garnered a ton of praise.

Continue reading “Movie Review – The Day the Earth Stood Still”

Comic Book Review – Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Volume 3

Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Volume 3 (2019)
Reprints Wonder Woman #218-226 & Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1-3
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Cliff Richards, Nicola Scott, Rags Morales, Tom Derenick, Georges Jeanty, Karl Kerschel, David Lopez, Eduardo Panisca, and Ron Randall

What started with great promise came to a rather messy and unsatisfying end. I loved the opening volume of Greg Rucka’s Wonder Woman collection, but it appeared that editorial demands shifted the direction he started out with. By the time these issues were being published, DC Comics had made it clear they were headed towards Infinite Crisis, a celebration of the twentieth anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths. This meant every major superhero title would be roped into the event. Geoff Johns was writing Infinite Crisis, so if you were to read his titles, The Flash or JSA, they tied in much more neatly. For writers that were being folded into the event, like Rucka, you see slightly awkward inclusion.

Continue reading “Comic Book Review – Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Volume 3”

My Favorite Richard Jenkins Movies

It’s my 2,000th post on PopCult, and I thought I should celebrate it by looking at the best performances of Richard Jenkins. His birthday is on Tuesday, May 4th, and this year he’ll be turning 74. Jenkins was born in DeKalb County in Northern Illinois. His dad was a dentist, and his mother was a housewife, giving Jenkins a reasonably typical childhood in the 1950s. Jenkins discovered acting in high school and pursued it in college at Wesleyan University and then worked with a theater company in Rhode Island. Jenkins stayed with the Trinity Repertory Company until 1994, making his time with them twenty years. The last four years of that time he spent as their artistic director. What I love about Richard Jenkins is how he is a consummate character actor. He rarely steals the spotlight, but when his characters are given a focus, you are floored. Jenkins does comedy just as well as he does drama which is a rare skill in performers. Here are some fantastic performances he’s given over the years.

Continue reading “My Favorite Richard Jenkins Movies”

Book Update – March/April 2021

The Glassy Burning Floor of Hell: Stories by Brian Evenson

I am a big fan of Brian Evenson’s short stories, having read A Collapse of Horses and Song For the Unraveling of the World. He exists in that space that perfectly defines weird fiction. It’s not quite horror or science fiction or fantasy but a great amalgam of them all. This book isn’t officially out until August, but I came across a post on r/horrorlit linking to Edelweiss where they were offering a free copy-protected Kindle download. It definitely appears that the text isn’t officially formatted entirely yet. However, the writing is so good any visual blips fade away. The stories here are just long enough, never overstaying their welcome and unsettling the readers perfectly.

Continue reading “Book Update – March/April 2021”