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Retro Review: The Wraith

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Hey everyone, do you like cars? (I guess so) Do you like revenge? (It’s best served cold?) Do you like the cheesy over the top villains in traditional 1980s movies? (heck yeah) Well, my friends, do I have a treat for you (do you really?).

On Netflix, while browsing, I came across the movie, The Wraith staring Charlie Sheen. I have never heard of this film but it seemed as though it has all the elements of some cheese and some action that has since become synonymous with action exploitation movies from the 1980s. It has all the tropes that would make for some good riffing and some interesting premises. Does the movie have any appeal for the modern day audience who are looking to chill? Or is it a time capsule that shows outdated premises and tropes that should best be left back in the 1980s or at least leave just for The Expendables. We’ll be analyzing the plot, the action sequences and if the Netflix viewers would enjoy this movie. Lets rev those engines and prepare for the big explosions as we delve into the movie, The Wraith.

The plot of this movie is one-part Knight Rider, and one part The Crow (which wasn’t even created yet) mixed together in a 1980’s movie. The movie is about a man who comes back from the dead to avenge his murder by killing those who were responsible in a drag race using this really awesome sick car that is jet black and just pure 1980’s futuristic design. The first scene we meet the villain of the movie, Packard, and his gang of street thugs who use drag racing as a means to steal peoples cars. He has the 1980s villain name with its pretentiousness, he doesn’t show remorse for any of his actions, and he has his gang of flunkies who do everything he says because they’re afraid of him. Packard, congratulations, you pass the 1980s villain tropes. You are everything this movie needs in a villain with zero likability. You are there to just make the hero look like a saint. Awesome. Packard controls the life of his girl Keri (she doesn’t want to be his girl) and he is always talking about his love for her and if he cannot have her, no one will.

Well, Charlie Sheen enters the picture as the new guy in town and he turns the gangs life upside down with Charlie “stealing” Keri from Packard and him wanting to hunt and kill Sheen. The pacing of the movie has a steady beat of the drum, with the expositions of different characters, flashback scenes, montages and the ultimate racing action sequences. Everything in the movie has a steady pace without anything seeming too sudden or anything coming really out of left field. It all has a steady build up to the final scene, which sadly for me, doesn’t live up to the build up. Without spoiling anything in the movie, Packard and the masked driver have been playing their game of chess and when its Packard’s turn, it kind of feels flat. I am hoping for this big showdown, two alpha males flexing their guns and having something special, but, it was every other action scene without it being the final boss. It is a letdown in terms of the hero facing the villain and it sadly doesn’t work.

The action sequences are okay for a low-budget action movie. The drag racing scenes are actually pretty awesome. They’re not overly done with ridiculous stunts (Fast and the Furious franchises) and it shows that this is probably what real drag racing would feature in a real life situation. No one is going to do crazy tricks on a road when you need to focus on driving straight and avoid the twists and turns of the Arizona peaks and cliffs. The explosions are also nice as well. When cars collide with each other or fall off a cliff, the explosions work because it wasn’t done with computers but rather exploding real cars. Those kind of realistic stunts and explosions are missed in today’s cinema because everything nowadays uses CGI and don’t want to create a safe working set with real explosives.

The question now is whether this movie would work for the Netflix audience in the modern time? That’s a tough question to ask. I think it would do well with audiences if they do enjoy 1980s action tropes and the traditional villains with no redeeming factor in their characters. The movie on the whole is relatively harmless as a whole. No one will get offended by it, and it doesn’t deal with any harshness in society or have any kind of political statements. It has some fun, some action, realistic explosions and a really awesome soundtrack of some great hair metal bands. The movie is good for a nice movie marathon of action movies or the low budget kind, and it has enough fun to not be bored by and not enough silliness to riff it the whole time. It has a little bit of everything for the action movie fan.

 

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The HISTORY Channel’s “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch” To Make Panel Debut at San Diego Comic-Con

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“The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch,” a hit nonfiction series on the HISTORY Channel, is making its debut at San Diego Comic-Con with an exclusive panel. The panel will feature aerospace engineer, astrophysicist, and lead scientist Dr. Travis Taylor; Defense Intelligence Senior Executive (Retired) Jay Stratton; and others. The series follows current ranch owner Brandon Fugal and an accredited team of scientists, researchers, and experts as they conduct carefully curated scientific experiments, daring drilling and drone exercises, and more to uncover what’s taking place on the anomalous 512-acre hotspot of high strangeness and UAP-related activity. New episodes currently air on Tuesdays at 9/8c, with the two-hour season five finale airing on Tuesday, July 23 at 9/8c.

HISTORY’s “THE SECRET OF SKINWALKER RANCH” PANEL – Thursday, July 25 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Hilton San Diego Bayfront (Indigo Ballroom)

Can You Keep A Secret? Unveiling the Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch – Ever seen a UAP? Or witnessed something strange and unusual that you couldn’t explain? Join the experts from The HISTORY® Channel’s hit series The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, including astrophysicist and lead scientist Dr. Travis Taylor and others, for a dynamic panel discussing the motivations, inclinations and secret findings currently taking place at one of the most infamous UAP and paranormal hotspots to ever exist. The moderator will be Matt Zoller Seitz (New York Magazine/Vulture). Cast subject to change.

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ADULT SWIM TO HOST FOUR-DAY “PIRATE PARRRTY” AT SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2024 ALONGSIDE EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEKS, SERIES PANELS AND LAUNCH OF THE “RICK AND MORTY: THE ANIME” ANIME-RICAN TOUR

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Adult Swim, the global leader in adult animation, unveiled plans today for San Diego Comic-Con which includes an ongoing Pirate-themed fan “parrrty” featuring a series of special evening events, exclusive panels diving into key Adult Swim programs, and the kick-off of a cross-country mobile tour to celebrate “Rick and Morty: The Anime.”

“For reasons too long to get into, we at Adult Swim have always used a pirate ship (and, owls, but maybe we’ll do that at a later con) as a metaphor for how we operate,” said Michael Ouweleen, president, Adult Swim. “We thought since we like to think of us, fans and network, as all one thing, that we should bring the pirate ship to the harbor of San Diego this year and let everyone join us on the – erm – poop deck.”

ADULT SWIM PIRATE PARRRTY

Adult Swim will crash onto the shores of San Diego with a shipwreck adventure on the network’s Adult Swim on the Green space outside the San Diego Convention Center (5th Avenue Landing and Convention Way). The “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” will include custom games, exclusive first looks, giveaways, and evening entertainment including DJ laser sets – no badge required!

The space will also host a series of special evening events including:

  • AEW x Adult Swim “Battle for the Booty” Wrestling Tournament – Join a collection of AEW wrestlers who will face off in a tag team tournament against famous Adult Swim faces for a no-holds-barred event as each competitor vies for the chance to win the “Battle for the Booty” title. Thursday (7/25) at 7:30pm
  • Adult Swim’s Night of New – Comic-Con attendees will be the first to experience a collection of brand-new Adult Swim series at this special screening event featuring the full-length premiere episodes of “Common Side Effects,” “Rick and Morty: The Anime,” “Invincible Fight Girl,” and “Women Wearing Shoulder Pads” alongside more never-before-seen Adult Swim content.  The screening will also be livestreamed in real-time on Adult Swim’s YouTube Channel. Don’t miss your chance! Friday (7/26) at 7:30pm
  • Fun with Zach and Michael – Fresh off the finale of the hit series’ second season, join “SMILING FRIENDS” co-creators Michael Cusack and Zach Hadel for a special live-draw and fan Q&A event. Saturday (7/27) at 7:30pm

The first 1,000 attendees to join the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” at 1pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will receive an exclusive giveaway! For more details on the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” visit here.

RICKMOBILE TOUR KICK-OFF

This summer marks the return of the famed Rickmobile and Mortymobile for Adult Swim’s “Anime-rican” tour in support of the new series “Rick and Morty: The Anime,” and San Diego Comic-Con is its first stop! Fans attending the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” will have a chance for a photo-op with the Mortymobile, while the Rickmobile will roam San Diego’s Gaslamp District with special giveaways. After Comic-Con, both the Rickmobile and the Mortymobile will cross the country for a nine-city tour that will conclude in Adult Swim’s hometown of Atlanta.

PANEL EVENTS

The fun continues inside with a series of can’t-miss panels featuring advanced looks, breaking news and insightful discussion from series creators and voice talent:

  • Adult Swim’s “Common Side Effects” Series First Look – Come experience the side effects of an incredible panel discussion about Adult Swim’s highly anticipated new series.  “Common Side Effects.”  From executive producers Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, and creators Joe Bennett and Steve Hely, this comedic thriller follows two former high school lab partners who take on big pharma and government agencies as they try to bring a medicine that cures everything to the whole world. Co-creator Steve Hely and writer/director Sean Buckelew will join the series voice cast including Martha KellyEmily PendergastJoseph Lee Anderson and Dave King to discuss the new series. Friday (7/26) at 11am, Indigo Ballroom
  • Adult Swim’s “Rick And Morty: The Anime” Series First Look – Go further into the multiverse of Rick and Morty with the new series “Rick and Morty: The Anime” as it lands at San Diego Comic-Con.  Writer/director Takashi Sano, producers Joseph Chou and Takenari Maeda, and Adult Swim’s head of action and anime Jason DeMarco will share details about the intergalactic adventure and show you the inner workings of the new series on Adult Swim. Friday (7/26) at 12pm, Indigo Ballroom
  • “My Adventures with Superman” Screening Presentation and Panel – Join executive producers Jake WyattJosie CampbellBrendan Clogher, and voice cast members Jack QuaidAlice LeeIshmel Sahid, and Kiana Madeira as they answer your burning questions from season two. Plus get the early scoop on all the action, comedy, and romance that awaits Clark, Lois, and Jimmy in season three. Airing on Adult Swim, “My Adventures with Superman” is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Saturday (7/27) at 10am, Indigo Ballroom 
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BMI AND WHITE BEAR PR PRESENT“THE CHARACTER OF MUSIC: THE ART OF SCORING FOR ANIMATION” AT COMIC-CON 2024

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BMI® and White Bear PR are excited to present “The Character of Music: The Art of Scoring for Animation,” at Comic-Con 2024. The panelists include BMI composers Sherri Chung, Deana Kiner, Kevin Kiner, Sean Kiner, Joy Ngiaw, along with composers The Newton Brothers and songwriter Alex Seaver. The panel will be moderated by White Bear PR’s Chandler Poling and introduced by BMI’s Director, Film, TV & Visual Media, Louie Stephens.

Step into the mesmerizing world where sound meets artistry at this year’s “The Character of Music: The Art of Scoring for Animation” panel. Discover how composers work hand in hand with animators and directors to weave a seamless tapestry of sound and imagery. The panelists include Deana, Kevin and Sean Kiner (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Star Wars: Rebels), Sherri Chung (Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Based On A True Story), Joy Ngiaw (Blush, Barbie Mysteries), The Newton Brothers (X-MEN ’97), and songwriter Alex Seaver aka MAKO (Arcane: League of Legends). 

WHERE: 
San Diego Convention Center Room 6BCF
111 W. Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101 

WHEN: 
Sunday, July 28, 2024 

TIME:

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. PST

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