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Talkin Wit Tony

Famed cheesesteak king, actor, television host, and good friend of mine, Tony Luke Jr has a new show on YouTube called “Talkin’ Wit Tony.”  The first episode is out now, and I was mentioned a few times in it.  My wife, Roberta (www.homemadedelish.com) is his first guest.  Watch now for some laughs and great entertainment.

Review: Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD ssn 4

Agents_of_S_H_I_E_L_D__season_4_posterMy season end reviews kick off with Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD season 4.  I did a review mid season, so I won’t get into too much detail other than a few minor spoilery things, and general thoughts.

Overall, this season was superb.  The writing strayed from campiness and into darker territory.  While this can be a curse for a lot of shows or movies, the darkness worked here because of Ghost Rider’s inclusion and the Dark Hold.  Both were handled very well.

The second half of the season gave us an alternate “What If” world created by AIDA.  Her role as Madame Hydra was surprising, but also a welcome addition to the plot.  Usually I’m not for the combination of characters, but in this case it was handled well.  The emotional buildup especially with Mack and the loss of The Patriot, gave the show a more realistic feel.

It’ll be interesting to see where it all leads next season.  There’s Mack and Yo-Yo who will obviously be in a strained relationship, but they aren’t the only ones.  Fitz and Simmons have an interesting new dynamic with Fitz’s dark side having affected everyone, and Coulson and May also have some places to go.

We are left wondering a few things: 1) Where are they at the end?  Is this a SWORD installation in space?  2) With the Inhumans on the run again, will this be how they introduce the new Inhumans show?  I’d like to see Daisy make an appearance somehow.  3) Where did Ghost Rider go exactly?  and finally 4) Who will be the big bad of season 5?

Time will tell.  From what was once a cringeable series, it has now become something I look forward to.  It’s not quite up there with Netflix shows, but that’s to be expected.  Season 4 gets 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me.

What did you think?  Comment below with your thoughts and speculation.

Think, Sip, Write: ep 32 – Doctor’s Orders

Roberta and I discuss some strange and arcane medical practices throughout history.  Be sure to check out the slideshow at the end of the episode too.  What other techniques have you heard of?  Feel free to comment below. #thinksipwrite

 

Updated Section: Talent Spotlight

I used to have an artist of the month section on this site, but since then I’ve gotten more away from making comics, and into main publishing and public appearances.  During that time I’ve met some really amazing people.  There’s such a vast range of talent out there that deserves to have recognition.

That being said, sCrypt Publishing has always been about spreading the talent, so this new “Talent Spotlight” section will include many different people in an interview type form.

If you know of someone who you think should be on this list, please send me an email rickpipito@Hotmail.com  Stay tuned, as the first post is coming soon.  Oh, and you can still go back and see the past artists who were in the spotlight here.

Think, Sip, Write: episode 31 – Would You Rather?

Roberta and I play a fun little game of “Would You Rather?”  Some of these are impossible questions, some disgusting, and some just weird. Make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel for easy access to all episodes of #thinksipwrite and more

Playing for Charity with NRG

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From Left to right: Bill Tafrow (More FM radio), Fred Barnett (Former Philadelphia Eagles player), Pat Gallen (CBS 3 News), Rick Pipito (Author), Roberta Pipito (Chef, Producer at Homemade Delish), Bex (Today’s 96.5 FM Radio), Marisa Magnatta (Preston & Steve Show WMMR FM Radio), Kristen Herrmann (Ben FM Radio), Chris O’Connell (Fox 29 News), Matty Cord (Ben FM Radio).  Unseen credit goes to Dave Schrader who organized it all. Photo cred: Hugh E Dillon of http://www.phillychitchat.com

NRG Energy company does a lot for charity each year involving media and celebrity personalities.  This year I was honored to be invited to compete for a charity of my choice.  I hate seeing the innocent suffer, so I chose to donate to children’s hospital of Philadelphia.  #CHOP received $500.00 on my behalf from NRG.

Since the NFL draft was in Philadelphia, this was the perfect way to kick it off.  On April 27th, we took part in what they dubbed the #NRGMEDIACOMBINE.  The Combine for the NFL is a series of tests for the players to see how well they rank in certain things like strength, agility, and speed.

There were four events, and former Philadelphia Eagles player Fred Barnett was there to coach us through each.  First up we did a standing high jump, where we had to leap as high as we could to hit plastic flags to mark our position.  It was all measured according to height so it was fair if 5’8″ me went up against a 6’3″ person.

Next we moved on to the agility ladder.  It was a rope ladder where you had to step in each rung and then out again with both feet, moving laterally and as fast as possible.  I came in second place for this one, but couldn’t top the speed of the champ.

Then came the horizontal standing jump.  My first leap was a mere 5’9″ across, but we all got three tries.  Each time I got better with my best being 6’11”.  The winner was over 9 feet, so I didn’t come close, but it was still fun.

Finally, we did a football toss into a net about fifteen yards away.  I scored 1 out of five tosses with 3 of my other throws rebounding right off the outer ring of the circle.  Of ten competitors only 4 of us actually got the ball in the net.

Each of us played hard for good causes, and I hope to do it again some time.  Check out some of the pictures taken by Hugh E. Dillon of http://www.phillychitchat.com of the event.

 

 

Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy vol 2

GotG_Vol2_posterThis is one of those movies where the trailer doesn’t do it justice.  I went into this thinking there was going to be a corny forced humor that wouldn’t sit well with an overall semi-serious Marvel Cinematic Universe.  I was proven wrong.  Is that to say there weren’t some moments like that?  No, of course there were, but those moments were done tactfully and worked for the moment.

There will be spoilers from here on out, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you can scroll down to the last paragraph for my rating.

A flashback to 1980 has us seeing a young Kurt Russell and how his character of Ego met StarLord’s mom.  I can’t help but notice something here, and let me know if you think the same.  In the 80s there was a movie called “Starman.”  It was about an alien man who fell in love with a woman and drove cross country with her.  At the end of that movie the Starman left and she was assumingly pregnant because of the sexual scenes in it.  The movie to me was a good movie, but left too many open ends never to be addressed.  The character in Starman was played by Jeff Bridges.  Kurt Russell’s younger CGI self looked almost identical to Bridges in that film.  I know they are two different universes, but could James Gunn have used this as inspiration to give answers to a film that never gave them?  Who knows, but it made it that much more enjoyable for me.

Rocket, Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax were pretty much spot on with how they were at the end of the last movie.  Star-Lord realizing he is part Celestial was worrisome, but what was a risky maneuver of changing his comic book history, really played out well.  Toddler Groot was a waste to me.  I know it was done for the cute factor, and it made sense as he’s more grown than the end of the last movie.  I don’t think any other way would have been good for him to be presented, but at the same time he just felt like he was there.  There really wasn’t much for him to do.  My main example is the battle in the beginning with the alien squid like creature.  All Groot did was dance, like Star Lord did in the opening sequence of the first one, which to me was the worst part of the first movie.

Skipping back to Ego, who was my second biggest concern going into this, we get an actual comic book representation of the character plus more.  Ego always fascinated me, and to see that they actually showed his full on form and gave him a good origin, made the film.  He was easily my favorite part of the whole movie.  Everything about Ego made sense and didn’t feel stale.

The true father figure in Yondu was heartwarming, and I think it was wise to have Yondu sent off that way.  Michael Rooker is always enjoyable to watch, but his character’s death brings together what was a falling apart team, and then some.  Oh, and he had his longer head fin, which was my gripe about his appearance not having it before.

The Gamora vs Nebula story felt strange in a way.  I’m still not sure I believe that Nebula would have spared her sister, but the explanation worked.  I just think that she’d have been better beside Thanos during Infinity War than against him.

Taserface was exactly what Rocket pointed him out to be.  He was nothing more than that, but served his purpose for humor and the slight bump in the road that he provided.

Finally we get the other characters.  A Cameo from Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster was only in the scrolling credits, which makes me wonder if he originally had a role in this and in Thor Ragnarok.  It was strange placement.  Cosmo the Space Dog also only shows up in the scrolling credits.  Howard the Duck is present again in another great few seconds of appearance.  I love that they do things like this for the fans.  The quick spots by David Hasselhoff and Pac-man were silly, but for my generation were great additions.

The post credits scenes were quite a mix.  1) Yondu’s dart impaling Drax by accident was funny, but not really necessary.  2) The reveal of Adam Warlock’s cocoon is huge.  Although it was in the last movie as a post credit thing, this time we actually get a good look and confirmation of who is inside.  I’m assuming he will start off as a villain for Volume 3.  3) Teenage Groot, while unnecessary, showed purpose.  While only a funny throw away, it pretty much confirms that from here on out we will see adult Groot.  Teenage Groot was great, but I really think this was done to transition the character. 4) The Ravagers original team headed by Sylvester Stallone was awesome.  This sets up a potential union between them and the Guardians for either Infinity War or Guardians 3.  If you didn’t know who they were, then the characters (played by well known actors) were: Starhawk, Martinex, Charlie 27, Aleta, Kruggar, and Mainframe.

5) Stan Lee being revealed as one of the Watchers makes a lot of sense, but I feel ripped off.  He should have been in Watcher form here like the others.  So it begs to question… was he just an informant to the Watchers, or is he an actual Watcher.  It’s something that will probably never be addressed again, but time will tell.  At least they are tying this in.  This also makes for an interesting thought.  Watchers can see many realities.  This basically says that anything Stan Lee has cameoed in could in some way be tied into the Marvel universe.  This includes other studios, versions of characters, etc.

So what did you think?  The soundtrack to me wasn’t as good as the first, but is bound to be open to many more things from here on out.  Overall it was a very funny, action packed, and visually stunning film that is worthy of being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  I give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.

 

Think, Sip, Write: ep30 – Jelly Bean Challenge

Roberta and I are joined by Tony and Lana to play a jelly bean challenge. Will we get Lime or grass clippings? Licorice or skunk spray? Oranges or Ear Wax? Find out some of these, and let us know if you try it out. You can find more info about “Bean Boozled” at http://www.jellybelly.com or look for it in local stores or online. #thinksipwrite

Think, Sip, Write: ep29 – Cell Phone

Roberta and Rick share some fun facts about the history of the cellular phone, and it may be older than you think.  Can you remember what your first phone was?  Add to the conversation by commenting below. #thinksipwrite

 

Review: Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix

Iron_Fist_NetflixUnlike most of my reviews, I’m going to keep this one straight to the point and less in depth.  The reason is because of the amounts of positive vs negative the show had.  My negatives are NOT what other people complained about.  I guess I’m a purist and less concerned about appeasing to the masses, because the negatives that I’ve read is more along those lines.  That being said, there is a lot of positive too, that isn’t given enough credit.

Let’s set the record straight.  This is not the best Marvel Netflix show.  It is in my opinion tied with Jessica Jones for last place, but certainly not bad.  The controversial casting is absolute crap.  Danny Rand as a white guy has always been.  The actor did a great job with what he was given, and I’m hoping his mannerisms are corrected as this is sort of an origin to the Iron Fist character.  My complaints?  Use a razor.  I’m tired of the scruffy look.  Danny should in my mind be clean and youthful looking.  He was with monks after all.  We already have Daredevil, Jessica, and Luke being total badasses.  He should be just as kick ass, but not so tough looking.

The Hand played a decent role in the show, with the highlight easily being Madame Gao, and Davos.  The latter of these two also had a good set up for becoming the next villain (Steel Serpent).  Claire is obviously the glue to bring the Defenders together, so her role although it felt sort of forced, worked for what it was.  Colleen and the Meachums were also very good in every scene.

Action wise this played out just like a classic kung fu movie, with heavy story and not a lot of fighting until the end.  The problem here is that the fighting seemed subpar.  For someone who is supposedly the best fighter in the world, he sure gets beat up a lot.

The first five episodes really had me hooked.  Then episode six came and it slowly went down hill.  The final episode was great, but then they threw on that extra two minute ending and I wanted to forget everything else.  That ending was not good.  They threw it there to get people to come back and see what happens next, but it felt disrespectful to everything else it had done over 13 episodes.

In my opinion Iron Fist doesn’t really work on its own.  I think it has to be Powerman and Iron fist or a heroes for Hire.  That would be worth the time.  I wanted to really love this show, and though I liked it, I can’t claim I’d ever rewatch it.  Other reviews say Danny should have been an Asian guy.  Stop changing races and looks of characters!!!  We get that enough.  If any thing I’d think that’d be offensive to Asians to be typecast in that role.  Danny being trained by Asian monks is what makes the idea work.  They just need to figure out how to do all of that.

One final thought… they could have done a little better of explaining how he got his powers.  I know, and comic readers know, but any new comer will be left slightly confused by the lack of information.

Iron Fist gets 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me.  It is enjoyable at its good moments, and disappointing at its bad ones.  These fall 50/50 throughout the whole thing, so I’ve voted right down the middle.

What did you think?  Comment below.