Tag Archives: Stranger Things

Stranger Things 2 — Final Trailer

But first, the teaser for the trailer:

It’s Halloween, 1984, and all is not well in Hawkins, Indiana. The kids are still in trouble, a big ugly monster with a lot of tentacles is creeping around, and Wynona Ryder is freaking out again. It’s almost time for Stranger Things 2.

The conventional wisdom is that the sequel is never as good as the original, but there are exceptions to the rule. There are arguments to be made, for instance, that The Godfather Part II, Aliens, and The Empire Strikes Back improve on their predecessors.

Stranger Things, Netflix’s homage to the Steven Spielberg/Stephen King version of the 1980s, was the big television hit of the summer of 2017, and one of the most talked-about media events of the year.

In two weeks, we’ll see if lightning can strike twice in the same place. (Hint: It can.)

On Friday, 27 October 2018, Netflix will make all the episodes of Stranger Things 2 available for streaming.


A Little Bonus

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Ready Player One — First Trailer

Ok, now about that other key trailer from Comic-Con: The trailer for Ready Player One.

Ernest Cline’s science-fiction novel, Ready Player One was the fanboy must-read book of 2011. It’s set in the unhappy and decaying United States of 2044, when a decades-long recession, a trashed environment, and the general collapse of civil society have driven many people to spend much of their time hooked into a virtual reality universe called the OASIS. When there’s a two-year waiting list for jobs at Burger King, escapism is a logical choice.

As our hero and narrator, Wade Watts, known in the OASIS as “Parzival,” points out:

“Now that I was eighteen, I could vote, in both the OASIS elections and the elections for U.S. government officials. I didn’t bother with the latter, because I didn’t see the point. The once-great country into which I’d been born now resembled its former self in name only. It didn’t matter who was in charge. Those people were rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and everyone knew it. Besides, now that everyone could vote from home, via the OASIS, the only people who could get elected were movie stars, reality TV personalities, or radical televangelists.”

[Keep repeating, “It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie.”]

Anyhow, the now-dead creator of the OASIS was a man named James Halliday who, not unlike many of the readers of this book, was a 1980s obsessive. You know, the kind of person who goes nuts over spotting the 80s allusions in Stranger Things….

OASIS made Halliday very, very rich. When his will was read, it revealed that he’d hidden three “keys” in OASIS, and that the first person to find them, and solve the puzzles linked to them, would be the sole inheritor of OASIS and of Halliday’s massive fortune. All that would be required to solve the puzzles was an encyclopedic knowledge of the movies, music, video games, and TV shows of the 1980s.

Enter Parzival.

I liked the book, but didn’t love it. It’s a fast, easy, enjoyable read, full of Easter eggs for those of us who have, well, “an encyclopedic knowledge of the movies, music, video games, and TV shows of the 1980s,” but it was definitely light reading, without much depth or meaning. It’s a book that’s the perfect source for a big spring/summer movie.

Steven Spielberg (who else?) is directing. The film is scheduled to be released on 30 March 2018.

Stranger Things Season 2 — Comic-Con “Thriller” Trailer

The 2017 Comic-Con International ends today, and, as always, the event was packed with teasers, trailers, and sneak peaks. Among he most anticipated was this trailer for the second season of Stranger Things.

It doesn’t disappoint.

We’re back in the 80s again, a year after the action of last summer’s breakout hit.

Arcades! Dragon’s Lair! Reagan/Bush! Winona Ryder! Ghostbusters! Thriller! Shorts that were actually, you know, short.

It even has Memphis sheets!*

Sequels are always tricky. Can the Stranger Things recapture the charm and magic of the original?

We’ll find out on 27 October 2017, when Netflix will make the whole series available for streaming.


To Be Stuck Here Inside of Mobile, with These Memphis Sheets Again

*Well, sort of. The sheets you can see at the 3:03 mark are certainly reminiscent of the Memphis designs that were ubiquitous in the mid-80s, but I don’t think they’re the original item. This is just another subtle Stranger Things 80s homage.

You can see real Memphis sheets on Grady’s bed at the beginning of this scene from 1985’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. (AKA the gay one.)

Memphis,” btw, doesn’t have anything to do with the city in Egypt. It was the name of a Milan design group, and had a style that heavily influenced New Wave graphics. Apparently, it’s making a comeback this year.

Being able to spread important, potentially life-changing information like this is what makes blogging so rewarding.

The Game of Thrones Pop-Up Bar Is Open for Business

Drink Company, the people behind Washington’s hugely successful “Miracle on Seventh Street” Christmas Pop-Up Bar, are at it again.  And who can blame them, when this Spring’s even more successful Cherry Blossom PUB had customers waiting in line for up to three hours to get in.

It’s going to be worse this Summer.

The 2016 Christmas Pop-Up Bar contained a salute to last year’s breakout Netflix hit, Stranger Things, which, as you can see by the pictures at the above link, included an alphabet wall, erratically strung Christmas lights, and a shrine to Stranger Things fan favourite Barb.

Now let’s think. What TV show will everybody in the known universe be obsessed with in Summer of 2017?

No, not that—the Impeachment trial isn’t until next year. Guess again. (Hint: Check the title of this item.)

The masks in the Hall of Faces are plaster casts of the faces of Game of Thrones PUB staff and friends.

Guests can occupy the Iron Throne itself, but only for as long as it takes to get a quick photo. Sort of like visiting a department store Santa Claus when you were young.

The bar under the Weirwood Tree serves drinks with GoT-related names like “The North Remembers” and “The Lannisters Send Their Regards”. I suspect the biggest hit will be a tequila and grapefruit tonic called “Shame”. Whenever it’s served, the costumed bartenders will ring a bell and shout “Shame”.

The Game of Thrones PUB opened this week, and will run until the last episode of this year’s series, which ends on 27 August 2017. The bars will close at 7PM every Sunday night, so customers and staff can watch GoT at home.

All photos found on the Net.

Christmas in the Upside Down

The Washingtonian calls it “DC’s most popular pop-up.” On the day after Thanksgiving, owner Derek Brown converts his three adjoining bars-with-light-snacks in Washington’s Shaw district into the “Miracle on Seventh Street,” aka “The Christmas Bar.”

The party runs through New Year’s Eve, but even now, according to Reddit, the nightly line waiting to get in can run to ~150 people.

The part of this year’s event that’s getting the most attention is the area devoted to last summer’s Stranger Things, complete with a Ouija board wall,  Winona Ryder’s erratically strung Christmas lights, and a celebration of Barb, the show’s unlikely break-out character. (She deserved better.)

Cheers!

bard

All photos found on the Net.

Least Surprising TV News of the Summer

Netflix has finally made it official.  It announced this morning, to absolutely no one’s surprise, that Stranger Things  will be back in 2017.  The nine new episodes  will be set in 1984, a year after the events in this year’s version, and will include many of the same cast members.

Despite the final frame of the teaser, the Duffer Brothers are describing this as a sequel, rather than a second season.   That seems to matter to them.

Fingers crossed.  At the beginning of summer, I was excited about the return of two of the best show of 2015:  UnREAL and Mr. Robot.  That didn’t end well.  UnREAL was all over the place this year, and got disastrous reviews.  Mr. Robot, last time I looked, seemed stuck somewhere in its own head.  I bailed after a few tedious, over-long episodes, planning to catch up later in the season (which, from past experience, I know I’ll never do.)

But back to Stranger Things:  Remember how each episode this year had a chapter title?  There will be nine episodes next year.  The teaser above includes nine words or phrases.  Is this a mild spoiler?