Archive for May 23, 2020

Hulk Took Marvel’s HARDEST Punch (And Didn’t Flinch)

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Fans of the Marvel Universe may debate the strongest hero, and question the supremacy of the Hulk. And while Hulk may have been laid out cold from time to time, his true strengths shows when taking one of the hardest hits ever thrown in Marvel's history... and he doesn't even flinch.

Fans know that once the Jade Giant gets fired up, it's better to keep at a safe distance. The Hulk's fury is so threatening that it once crossed over into the DC Universe. But fans also know that the Green Goliath can take a punch -- and that even when he's being beaten down by the strongest heroes and villains, he generally finds a way to get back up on his feet. So when Earth's mightiest superheroes gather in Hulk and Power Pack #4, writer Marc Sumarek and penciler David Williams' reveal that they're in for a rude awakening.

Related: Wolverine vs Hulk: Whose Win Was More Brutal? 

After the Power Pack teams-up with the Jade Giant to take down the Abomination -- or as Katie Power a.k.a. Energizer says "The 'bombilation" -- an army of supers arrive at the scene to interrogate the Hulk, thinking he's the one who is wreaking havoc on the city. The Power Pack attempts to reassure the army of supers that the Hulk is not the culprit, but they ignore the children's reassurance and try to interrogate him anyway. But the Hulk refuses to talk, and begins smashing every super in sight whether they be Avengers, Defenders, X-Men, Fantastic Four, or the Silver Surfer. When the army of supers realize they can't defeat the Hulk individually; an enlarged Yellow Jacket, The Thing, Colossus, Wonder Man, and Hercules deliver an all-powerful punch that sends the Jade Giant into a starry-eyed daze. But it's not enough to immobilize the Hulk.

Unlike MCU's witty professor Hulk, the Hulk in Hulk and Power Pack #4 can't be reasoned with. After the team of supers deliver an all-powerful punch, the Jade Giant rises to his feet, raises a ginormous slab of concrete above his head, and just before he's about to smash everyone who's antagonizing him, Iron Man blasts him. Though, the battle rages on and it's not until the Power Pack superhero Energizer absorbs a significant amount of gamma radiation from the Hulk's cells does he stop smashing and becomes Bruce Banner once again. But for every action there is an equal and or greater reaction and that reaction is that after Energizer absorbs's the Hulk's gamma radiation, she too Hulks out! Just before she smashes Banner with her big green fists, the gamma radiation blasts from her body and into the sky; thus, freeing her of her transformation.

Even though the Hulk is a superhero and one of the Avengers, he tends to get on everyone's bad side, there's that time when the Hulk gives Thor his most humiliating defeat and even Hawkeye has been thinking about putting the Hulk down for quite some time. But it's hard to be a good guy when one's alter ego is a raging green monster. Although the Hulk has made Bruce Banner's life a living hell, Banner owes his greatest happiness to the Hulk. Sometimes, rather than trying to run away from one's demon, they should face them head on or embrace them.

More: The Hulk Is Secretly A Huge Fan of [SPOILER]

Hulk Took Marvel’s HARDEST Punch (And Didn’t Flinch)

0

Fans of the Marvel Universe may debate the strongest hero, and question the supremacy of the Hulk. And while Hulk may have been laid out cold from time to time, his true strengths shows when taking one of the hardest hits ever thrown in Marvel's history... and he doesn't even flinch.

Fans know that once the Jade Giant gets fired up, it's better to keep at a safe distance. The Hulk's fury is so threatening that it once crossed over into the DC Universe. But fans also know that the Green Goliath can take a punch -- and that even when he's being beaten down by the strongest heroes and villains, he generally finds a way to get back up on his feet. So when Earth's mightiest superheroes gather in Hulk and Power Pack #4, writer Marc Sumarek and penciler David Williams' reveal that they're in for a rude awakening.

Related: Wolverine vs Hulk: Whose Win Was More Brutal? 

After the Power Pack teams-up with the Jade Giant to take down the Abomination -- or as Katie Power a.k.a. Energizer says "The 'bombilation" -- an army of supers arrive at the scene to interrogate the Hulk, thinking he's the one who is wreaking havoc on the city. The Power Pack attempts to reassure the army of supers that the Hulk is not the culprit, but they ignore the children's reassurance and try to interrogate him anyway. But the Hulk refuses to talk, and begins smashing every super in sight whether they be Avengers, Defenders, X-Men, Fantastic Four, or the Silver Surfer. When the army of supers realize they can't defeat the Hulk individually; an enlarged Yellow Jacket, The Thing, Colossus, Wonder Man, and Hercules deliver an all-powerful punch that sends the Jade Giant into a starry-eyed daze. But it's not enough to immobilize the Hulk.

Unlike MCU's witty professor Hulk, the Hulk in Hulk and Power Pack #4 can't be reasoned with. After the team of supers deliver an all-powerful punch, the Jade Giant rises to his feet, raises a ginormous slab of concrete above his head, and just before he's about to smash everyone who's antagonizing him, Iron Man blasts him. Though, the battle rages on and it's not until the Power Pack superhero Energizer absorbs a significant amount of gamma radiation from the Hulk's cells does he stop smashing and becomes Bruce Banner once again. But for every action there is an equal and or greater reaction and that reaction is that after Energizer absorbs's the Hulk's gamma radiation, she too Hulks out! Just before she smashes Banner with her big green fists, the gamma radiation blasts from her body and into the sky; thus, freeing her of her transformation.

Even though the Hulk is a superhero and one of the Avengers, he tends to get on everyone's bad side, there's that time when the Hulk gives Thor his most humiliating defeat and even Hawkeye has been thinking about putting the Hulk down for quite some time. But it's hard to be a good guy when one's alter ego is a raging green monster. Although the Hulk has made Bruce Banner's life a living hell, Banner owes his greatest happiness to the Hulk. Sometimes, rather than trying to run away from one's demon, they should face them head on or embrace them.

More: The Hulk Is Secretly A Huge Fan of [SPOILER]

Sweet Magnolias Season 2 Theory: Dana Sue Isn’t Isaac’s Mom

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Sweet Magnolias debuted on Netflix this week to positive acclaim and ended with a myriad of cliffhangers leaving fans itching for a season 2. The Netflix Original was developed into a series by Sheryl J. Anderson (Charmed) and based on a novel of the same name by Sherryl Woods. Set in the fictional South Carolina town of Serenity, Sweet Magnolias follows three strong-willed best friends with mysterious pasts, but one of the cliffhangers at the end of season 1 might have a less obvious answer than the show seems to imply.

Maddie Townsend (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Dana Sue Sullivan (Brooke Elliott), and Helen Decatur (Heather Headley) have been best friends since childhood despite a myriad of ups, downs, and time apart, and they navigate motherhood, complicated love lives, and even being business partners together. While the audience is provided glimpses into each woman's past, much of Dana Sue's life remains a mystery. She briefly mentions her time spent outside of Serenity, which was filled with partying and getting into trouble. Meanwhile, Dana Sue's employee, Isaac (Chris Medlen), is a newcomer to town, and at first his intentions are unclear. In episode 6, viewers find out that Isaac is adopted and came to town in search of his birth parents. 

Related: Netflix's Sweet Magnolias Cast Guide: Where You've Seen The Actors Before

The only information Isaac has about his birth parents is that he was born in Serenity, and he’s of mixed race. Isaac becomes convinced that he's found his birth parents when Dana Sue’s old friend Micah Harrison (Marland Burke) comes to town in the season finale. He thinks he could be a child that Micah and Dana Sue had together out of wedlock, although Isaac doesn't have any evidence of that. In the final few minutes of the episode, he confronts Dana Sue and asks her if she is his mother. Before she gets a chance to answer, the phone rings, and the audience is left hanging as Dana Sue rushes to be side by side with Maddie and Helen. Her most likely answer to Isaac would have been that she is not his birth mother. While Dana Sue proving to be Isaac's mom would provide the closure he’s desperately seeking, it would be too simple of an answer from a show that builds drama at every turn.

While Isaac is desperate to find his birth parents, that desperation clouds his judgment. In episode 6, he thought for a moment that his coworker Chef Erik Whitley (Dione Johnstown) could be his father, but Erik quickly dashed Isaac's suspicions. The most likely possibility instead, is that his mother is Peggy Martin (Brittany Smith), the nosy reporter always snooping around. Peggy comes across as a villain through much of the season, but the show signals that she has a deep, unexplored pain. In the finale, Peggy alludes to a major heartbreak younger in life, even hinting that Helen's ex, Ryan Wingate (Michael Shenefelt) may be the cause of her pain and resentment towards Helen. Isaac has a similar glimmer of constant curiosity like Peggy, and he's one of the only people in Serenity who seems to enjoy her presence. While she may not be the most obvious choice as Isaac's mother, that makes her all the more likely candidate.

Dana Sue has a soft, motherly approach towards her workers and family alike, so Isaac's confusion and hope is not a surprise. Unfortunately, Isaac will most likely experience more disappointment if and when Season 2 of Sweet Magnolias comes out.

Next: Sweet Magnolias Ending Explained: Who Was [SPOILER]

RuPaul’s Drag Race Reunion: The Queens Throw Shade at Sherry Pie

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One of the greatest seasons in RuPaul's Drag Race history comes to a close. The queens gathered in their bedrooms for a slumber party themed Zoom reunion before next week's grand finale, where someone will be crowned America's Next Drag Superstar and win $100,000.

Fans have been curious about how the reunion and final episode will be filmed. This Zoom reunion gave the world a taste of how the finale might go. Much like every other late-night show and talk show trying to produce new content during quarantine this slumber party was a snooze fest. They did the best they could, but unfortunately this reunion needs to sashay away out of our memories. Other than a couple of very funny digs at the editing out of Sherry Pie, there was not enough joy or drama.

Related: RuPaul's Drag Race Lip Sync Zoom Finale: Crystal Methyd Leads Polls

Was it just the fact that the queens were on Zoom that made this a lackluster episode or was there another contributing factor? On shows like The BachelorLove is Blind and Real Housewives the reunions are often thought of as one of the most exciting episodes of the season. Drama that has mostly been behind someone's back surfaces and the reality TV personalities duke it out. But this isn't a show comprised of desperate civilians eager to find their 15 minutes of fame through drama. This is a show about queer artists who are on TV to promote their talent, not bicker for the screen time. Perhaps reunions are not needed for a show like RuPaul's Drag Race. Interestingly enough it has worked with other shows that are fueled by talent. The MTV reality show Legally Blonde: Search For Elle Woods held a drama-filled reunion on zoom hosted by yours truly.

Season 12 of Drag Race was full of drama and high stakes, but the reunion was pretty bland. The same thing happened with the epically exciting All Stars 2 season. The reunion for the greatest season in Drag Race herstory was nearly unwatchable. Season 9, however, was a fairly bland season without much drama, but the reunion was one of the best episodes ever. Some say that the girls take a lot of what the fans say into consideration between filming. Season 9 got a lot of flack for being boring, so the girls seemed to really bring the drama. This season, the girls were so bullied online if they caused drama that they seemed to really hold back in this reunion episode.

RuPaul is wearing a face mask and a purple hoodie for the reunion. He looks like a Wrestlemania character. The rest of the queens look gorgeous, but not being able to see the bottom half of their looks is a bummer. Jaida Essence Hall is literally dressed as a bed and it's fantastic. Crystal Methyd is giving a nod to the Christmas Carol and it's one of the best things about this reunion.

RuPaul talks to Aiden Zhane, who truly has shown us all that she has to offer. She gives some very corny jokes in this episode and her looks are well... a lot of the Zhame. Heidi N Closet has come a long way since the first time we watched her sashay into the Werk Room. Her make-up looks great. In one of the most interesting revelations in this episode Heidi talks about how she took anger management classes as a kid, because she was bullied so much. It's a fantastic bit of information about the already interesting queen and she says it helped her build a sense of humor. When asked about why she confronted Nicki Minaj in the very first episode she says, "My grandmother taught me I only need to be afraid of two things: "God and her." Gigi Goode is asked about her tiff with Heidi. Gigi apologizes to Heidi. For more on this feud read up here. Dhalia Sin gets some screen time as RuPaul asks her about when she stormed off. She predictably says that she was deep in her emotions and she was too pissed off to leave gracefully. At least it was authentic.

Then RuPaul digs into the biggest conflict of the season: the Aiden and Brita feud. Unfortunately, this entire reunion suffers from the fate many other seasons of Drag Race have suffered from: the girls are fearful of internet backlash. Brita has received horrific and endless death threats online after getting the villain edit this season. There is a great deal of Brita Filter that was not shown on the show this season. Anyone in NYC who has seen Brita perform or knows her personally knows as Jackie Cox put it, "there is much more to her than what was in the edit." The other queens also come to Brita's defense and Jan tells a sweet story about the first time she met Brita. But Brita's fear of internet backlash is palpable. Brita apologizes to Aiden and hopefully, that gets the fans to stop harassing her, but from a story perspective this was predictable and not very fun to watch. The fans can say whatever they want, but the truth is Brita provided the most interesting storyline of the entire season and because people don't know how to watch TV without harassing the queens online, we may never get another exciting feud on Drag Race ever again. That's on the viewers, not the show and certainly not the queens.

Widow Von'Du talks about being closed off from the other girls and getting in her head. She is so used to being praised in her hometown and she lets everyone love Widow the queen but doesn't show anyone who she is out of drag. Widow is one of the most interesting characters from this season. Jan is wearing a robe with her own face on it. It's another highlight of the episode. They talk about Jan's breakdown after Brita left. Jan admits she was so upset because she hadn't won a challenge and she felt rocked by not winning, especially because she is a singer and it was a singing challenge.

Next, The girls toot and boot looks and they all drag Aiden's ball look. There is a very strange "comedy" edit that cuts to Heidi N Closet using the restroom and a flushing sound it added. Drag Race editors, if you are reading this... you may identify as a mister, but we saw... a miss.

RuPaul opens the library for some reads and it's by far the best part of the episode. Brita has an amazing read of Dhalia Sin. "You sure do talk a big game for someone who came in 13th place on a 12 person season." That's the second time Sherry Pie is dragged by the girls this episode. There is a reference to her being edited out in the opening song the girls did together as well. Nicky tries to read and I literally mean read off a piece of paper. Rock M Sakura says she put it into Google translate and it came out funny. Crystal Methyd slays with the read, "Jan do you have a condom I can borrow? I know you're always safe." Jaida Essence Hall says, "If you need something to wipe up with you can use Heidi's cape look." And Widow goes full drag queen crossing the line with "Gigi Goode, R. Kelly wouldn't even piss on you." It is incredible.

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo calls in as several different fans asking questions. This bit is also amazing, but does not last long enough. Gigi Goode and Crystal Methyd possibly admit that they hooked up during filming? It's still unclear.

Then Ru asks the eliminated queens who they are rooting for and why. Aidan says Jaida, Jan says Gigi and Widow says Crystal. Jaida leaves us with a beautiful sentiment, "No matter where you come from, no matter what you've been through, dreams can come true." It's been a great season, but the Zoom filming is not Goode enough. Let's clown one of these girls and move on to All Stars 5.

Next: RuPaul's Drag Race: Sherry Pie Says Bye Before Lip Sync Zoom Finale

Source: VH1

Nvidia AI Watched Pac-Man & Made A Version Of The Game You Can Play Soon

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An Nvidia AI was able to recreate the popular Pac-Man game without actually relying on typical game-building tools, such as a game engine. Artificial intelligence has consistently shown how it is able to learn new things, although from the gaming perspective, this is easily one of the more interesting examples.

Pac-Man was developed by Namco and is one of the titles that has gained an iconic games status over the years, thanks to its addictive gameplay, instantly recognizable maze layout, always-hungry hero and the ghosts who give chase. The original game was released on May 22, 1980 which meant Pac-Man celebrated its 40th anniversary this week.

Related: Sonic The Hedgehog Google Search Easter Egg: How To Find & Unlock Super Sonic

As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations, Nvidia released a blog posting explaining how its new GameGAN AI model was able to recreate a fully-functional and playable version of Pac-Man. While that’s not necessarily surprising that AI was able to learn something, what is interesting is how GameGAN was able to do this without a game engine or any understanding of the rules of the game. Instead, the AI was only fed game recordings (50,000 episodes) and gameplay keystrokes by an artificial agent. This combination alone was enough for the AI to learn the game and produce a playable version. While the graphics could be better, the demonstration video uploaded to YouTube does highlight how close to the original the AI was able to get. What’s all the more impressive is the AI was able to recreate its version of the popular game in a matter of days.

Based on the blog posting, it seems even Nvidia researchers were surprised as to how well the AI performed on this task. What they do appear to be certain of, is how this could be used to improve the gaming experience in the future. Viewing this as more than just an example of what AI can do, the researchers point to how the technology could be used as a vessel to speed up the game creation development process. As an example, Nvidia suggests games developers could feed the AI existing level layouts from a game in the same way and then the AI could create new level layouts without the help from game developers or any further tools. It might also help on new character development as well. On a more wider note, the researchers further suggest the technology could be ported over to help in other industries, including training autonomous robots how to work in a warehouse or deliver goods.

As for the AI’s version of Pac-Man, Nvidia confirmed that it plans to make the game available to the general public through its AI Playground. This is the company's “online space” where it lets members of the public try out various demos developed by its research arm. Nvidia did not specifically say when it will make the AI version of Pac-Man available to play, but did say it will happen later this year.

More: DeepMind AI Can Play 57 Atari Games Better Than Most Humans

Source: Nvidia

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