Unilaterally Sarcastic, Dangerously Cheesy

Posts tagged “Comic Book Movies

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Trailer

I liked the first Amazing Spider-Man quite a bit. Everything I have been seeing about the second installment makes me dubious. This trailer has some high points and some low points but I do think that within the world they are building a lot of what they are doing makes sense. Would I prefer a more classic take on Rhino and Electro? Sure. But I think I’ll give this a shot before I tear it apart.


Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman

Gal-Gadot-HD-Wallpaper-2013.jpgws
The internet let out a collective roar today as it was announced that Wonder Woman would indeed play a role in the upcoming Superman sequel. That roar intensified when it was announced that Gal Gadot, formerly of the Fast and Furious franchise would be stepping in to fill Diana’s bracelets. Speculation as to whether or not Wonder Woman would be in the film had been running rampant recently but today rumor gave way to a press release and now fanboys can start arguing whether Ms Gadot will be any good in the film sight unseen.

There is still plenty up in the air at this point though; how big a part is she playing? What sort of angle are they going for with the origin? What is the costume going to look like? Are they going to try to shoehorn a love triangle with her vs. Bruce and Clark?

At this point all we can do is really wait and see.


DC Planning Smaller Budget Films Starting in 2014

dc-films-logo
One of the most pervasive bits of internet discussion since around 2008 has been DC vs. Marvel in terms of cinematic output. The year that The Dark Knight and Iron Man hit theaters, fanboys began speculating as to who had a better handle on their characters. In the years since, Marvel has assembled the Avengers and is expanding their universe to a deal with Netflix so everyone can get a little bit of screen time. Meanwhile, DC has been somewhat sluggish in establishing themselves on screen. Batman completed a trilogy, Green Lantern tanked, and Man of Steel seems to be their first step in establishing a larger over-arching universe. Essentially, they’re trying to play catch up in terms of branding. Some other smaller DC projects hit theaters in that time period (Jonah Hex was a thing, people. Never forget) but DC properties on film haven’t felt as cohesive as Marvel’s.

Now the word has come down the pike that DC is investing in smaller-budgeted film adaptations of their properties. According to reports, DC wants to release two smaller feature films per year starting in 2014. Suicide Squad, Booster Gold, Team 7, and Deathstroke have been mentioned. These films would be produced for around 20-30 million, making it easier for DC to recoup the money spent and hopefully grow their brand to a place that the general public understands that they have a shared universe the way Marvel does.

I think this is a great idea but again I have to question DC’s methods. Is the best way to get people excited about a shared DC universe? Is anyone really going to get excited about a Team 7 film? Also nobody has really remarked on how they plan to tie these things together. With Marvel, all of their films flowed into each other leading up to an eventual endgame with The Avengers. The obvious endgame for DC would be a Justice League film, but how does Deathstroke’s solo film tie into that. I just don’t see what the bigger picture is here other than using the DC brand for a 2x a year cash-grab.

This, to me, is indicative of DC’s production problems in general. They want Marvel’s success but they don’t want to put in the hard work. It’s why we’re getting a new Batman shoehorned into the Superman sequel instead of letting both characters breathe on their own. Eventually, when these parts are all supposed to come together, it will be a miracle if they fit properly because, from what I can tell, there is no master plan to this yet. DC simply wants to throw characters at us until something sticks.

I don’t think it would have been too much to ask for DC to follow up Man of Steel with, perhaps, a decent Flash movie that itself led into a Wonder Woman film, leading into a new Batman, showing off the diversity of the DC characters individually instead of throwing these characters into teamup films. I believe that it will be hard for people to care about these characters if they aren’t handled well. The smaller budget films may end up doing well, and if they do I think it will be because fans get a whole film dedicated to a property rather than getting half of a film about an intriguing concept as they appear in another character’s film.


Days of Future Past Trailer Online Now (Online Then?) *I Hate Time Travel **But Love Doctor Who ***That Is A Paradox ****Which Is One Of The Things I Hate About Time Travel

And that my friends is the sound of a lonely Bishop fan fist-pumping the air.


Captain America – The Winter Soldier Trailer

This looks MUCH bigger in scope than the first one and feels like a real comic book movie in a lot of ways. I really cannot wait to see the finished product.


Green Lantern Trailer

Trailer embedded below. Here’s the deal. A lot of this looks good. The cinematography and the tone reminds me of the Star Trek reboot. What I am not liking is that they’ve essentially turned Hal into every other Ryan Reynolds role ever and the CGI on his suit looks about five years out-dated. Oh, and Blake Lively still can’t act.

I really want this movie to succeed. I want more DC movies that aren’t Batman. Seriously, Marvel is running out of characters to turn into films and somehow DC still hasn’t managed to do some of their biggest properties. Where the hell are Flash and Wonder Woman? Those seem like properties you could sell fairly easily, but what do I know, right? Anyhow, I’m hoping they tighten up the CGI and give us something worth getting a franchise out of. It’s obvious that DC is trying to turn this one into their Iron Man, which probably explains why they tweaked the Jordan character to me more jokey, so let’s hope that it’s at least on par in quality.

On a side note, Sinestro and Kilowog look awesome.


Regarding That Green Lantern Costume…

Leaping leprechauns, that thing looks stupid.

Look, I’m not some hyperventilating fanboy who is going to spit about how they got the costume wrong. I figured they were going to change it for the film version, in fact I was kind of hoping they’d go drastic as the way it’s drawn it can come off a little hokey. But the veiny musculature of the costume just looks wrong on every level. It seems like there’s too much movement on the design and it’s a still image I’m gathering that from. It really needs something to break up the green and I’m thinking that maybe the white gloves might have helped. Or even just some black trim.

I’m hoping that this will look better in motion. It seems like something that I have to see in motion to give a 100% clear yay or nay vote on, but let’s be honest. He looks like someone peeled his skin off and revealed a glowy irradiated musculature. It doesn’t look like the uniform of an inter-stellar space cop. The form does not fit the function, as far as I can tell.

Still not as bad as Steel’s costume. Remember that shit?


So…This Guy Is Spider-Man Now

Yep, He's British

Here’s Marvel’s obligatory press release:

CULVER CITY, Calif., July 1, 2010 – After a comprehensive worldwide casting search, Andrew Garfield has been chosen to portray Peter Parker when Spider-Man swings back onto the screen in 3D on July 3, 2012.  The new film will begin production in early December directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt.  Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad will produce the film from Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios.

Today’s confirmation culminates what has been one of the most eagerly anticipated casting announcements in recent memory. Bloggers, pop culture speculators, and everyday fans have pored over and analyzed every conceivable online rumor in an attempt to discover the identity of the next actor to play Peter Parker. Garfield will immediately begin preparing for the coveted role.

The Spider-Man franchise is one of the most successful in film history and the three previous motion pictures have collectively grossed more than $2.5 billion in worldwide box office.

On selecting Garfield, director Marc Webb said, “Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.”

Commenting on the announcement, Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Matt Tolmach, President of Columbia Pictures said, “Spider-Man is a classic superhero — a young man who balances his responsibility to serve humanity and crush evil with the shyness and normalcy of someone struggling to find himself. The role demands an extraordinary actor. You need someone who can magically transform himself from Peter Parker into Spider-Man. An actor who will  depict the vulnerability of youth and the strength and confidence of a legendary figure at the same moment. We have found that actor in Andrew Garfield. From the first time we saw him in the upcoming film The Social Network, to his glorious screen test, which floored all of us, we knew that we had found our new Peter Parker.”

Producer Avi Arad added, “I’m incredibly excited about Andrew Garfield. In the Spider-Man tradition, we were looking for a smart, sensitive, and cool new Peter Parker who can inspire us and make us laugh, cry, and cheer. We believe we have found the perfect choice to take on this role and lead us into the future.”

Producer Laura Ziskin said, “We are thrilled to have Andrew Garfield for this new incarnation of Spider-Man under Marc Webb’s direction.  We were fortunate enough to meet with a group of fantastically talented young men.  In the end, we all agreed that in addition to being an extraordinary actor, Andrew had the right mix of humor, youth, and pathos, along with an underlying sense of strength and power necessary to bring Peter Parker and Spider-Man to life on screen.”

The selection of Garfield was revealed at a press event in Cancun, Mexico for international journalists attending a media tour promoting upcoming films from Sony Pictures Entertainment. B-roll footage of the announcement will be available via satellite later this evening — see uplink times coordinate information below.

Garfield is fast becoming one of the most respected and sought-after young actors working in the industry today. In a short career, spanning only five years, he has already been directed by, and starred alongside, some of the greatest names and received a BAFTA for a role that won him international praise.

Garfield most recently worked with director David Fincher on the upcoming film The Social Network.  He previously starred for Spike Jonze on his robot love story I’m Here, which premiered at Sundance this year.  He plays the lead male opposite Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan in Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go, due for release later this year.

Other notable screen credits include Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus playing opposite Christopher Plummer, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law and the late Heath Ledger, Robert Redford’s Lions For Lambs, where he starred alongside Redford, Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep; Revolution Films’ “Red Riding Trilogy – 1974” directed by Julian Jarrold, where he lead a stellar cast including Rebecca Hall and David Morrissey, and his unforgettable portrayal of a young ex-con in John Crowley’s “Boy A,” for which he earned the best actor BAFTA in 2008.

Garfield’s career began in theatre and in 2006 his performances in “Beautiful Thing” (Sound Space/Kit Productions), “The Overwhelming,” and “Burn / Chatroom / Citizenship” (Royal National Theatre) won him the Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer at the Evening Standard awards and the Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer at the Critics Circle Theatre Awards.  Other notable theatre credits include “Romeo and Juliet” (Manchester Royal Exchange) and “Kes” (Manchester Royal Exchange), for which he received the Most Promising Newcomer Award at the Manchester Evening News Awards 2004.

Never seen anything he’s done, so I’m reserving judgement. I’ll just say that I would have preferred Donald Glover. That is all.


Green Hornet – Official Trailer

I’m liking what I see. It’s probably a little more comedic than some people would have wanted but Kato looks like a certifiable badass and Christoph mother-effing Waltz is playing the villain. So I’m on board.


EW THOR Set Visit; First Look At Odin, Jane Foster, and more.

Want.


Good Casting Is Good : Rosamund Pike for Emma Frost

I’m not gonna lie to you folks, this is mostly an excuse to post hot pictures of Rosamund Pike and Emma Frost in a single post. I will say that I like the casting, she’s blonde and British and hot, so she fits just about all the necessary criteria.

Rosamund Pike, the British actress who appeared most recently in Surrogates, may be playing Emma Frost, aka the White Queen in next summer’s X-Men: First Class, according to a story at Forces of Geek. (via SuperheroHype)

I’m hoping it’s true, because I really want to see some Emma Frost on the big screen.


Spider-Man Reboot : Could We Have A Peter Parker?

That guy there could be Peter Parker if reports are to be believed. A bunch of people are saying that Jamie Bell, best known for his role in Billy Elliot back in 2000 is the frontrunner for the role of Peter Parker in the re-boot of Spider-Man brewing over at Sony.

What do I think of all this?

I don’t care.

The guy apparently has some talent, and he’s also cast as TINTIN in the film adaptation of that European comic favorite, so if he gets this role, expect to see him everywhere. But really I don’t have much faith in the film at all, despite a talented director because I think that I’m no longer in the target audience for what they’re trying to do with the property.

You see, they’re setting this one in high school and it’s looking like an attempt to sway the Twilight tweens over to the Marvel universe through angsty high-school drama. That sort of stuff I can deal with on paper, but when you get it on film it just seems to turn me off. And I think it’s because the short difference between when I was in high school and the way high school is now has created an entirely different sort of culture. Part of my high school experience, albeit a short part, happened before 9/11. When I was in high school there was no developed social media beyond maybe Livejournal or Blogger. Xanga? I can’t remember.

I just don’t relate to that age bracket anymore and putting Peter Parker back there and trying to make him fit into the modern high-school landscape just doesn’t get me excited. Like I’ve said, there seems to be a wealth of talent involved but the premise just does nothing for me. It’s like putting a steak in front of a vegan. They’re not going to bite.


Jeremy Renner Joins Avengers Cast as HAWKEYE

Hawkeye

Joblo is reporting this morning that Jeremy Renner, he of The Hurt Locker fame, is officially on board as Hawkeye in the upcoming Avengers maga-film. I think it’s pretty darn good casting. He’s got the look for it, and the attitude. What remains to be seen is whether or not they’re going to go the Ultimate route or the 616 original. Does this man truly have the balls to wear a blue and purple scale-mail jumpsuit and hop around shooting a bow and arrow? If he does, he’s more of a man than I am because I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing Hawkeye’s uniform.

So what we have so far for an Avengers team is this : Nick Fury, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye and the possibility of War Machine and Black Widow. Will Ant-Man and the Wasp show up? Is the Hulk still a factor? I don’t know. I just know that the film is shaping up to be something really interesting, but we still have Thor and Cap’s solo films before the Avengers hit the screen, so that’s plenty of time to blindly speculate on what could happen before they ever get filming.


Film Review – Iron Man 2

I want to come out and say that as far as comics to film translations go, the franchise that seems to have taken the essense of the stories and chracters and adapted them best for the screen has to be the Iron Man series. Every character retains their core in ways that are lost with films like Batman, Superman, and the X-Men films. I think the most telling moment in Iron Man 2 is when Tony Stark is clutching a bottle of champagne, suited up in the armor and scratching the turntables at his birthday party. The film is very comfortable in portraying the character in moments that otherwise would seem awkward. The films embrace the atmosphere that a billionare in a weaponized suit creates. It’s a level of fantasy fulfillment and straightforward production that seems lost in other films. It doesn’t feel very tongue in cheek, it’s just presented at face value and the audience goes with it, because it seems natural.

Which really needs to be the case in a film like Iron Man. It’s like a ride, and you have to be willing to realize that. Iron Man 2 certainly has some setbacks that are evident in most sequels. I however do not see the problem that certain people do, claiming that the film has too many new characters. All the characters introduced in the film do wonders with the time they are given. Sam Rockwell probably does the most with the limited screen time he’s given, making Justin Hammer his own and providing an excellent foil for Tony Stark and the scenes where the two share the screen are absolutely phenomenal. The chemistry between the two actors is amazing. And I think that’s another crux of what makes the film work the way it does; the chemistry that all these actors bring to their roles is as top tier as you can get. Gwenyth Paltrow, who I normally despise, works well with anyone she’s put up against. The same goes for Downey, or Don Cheadle or even Mickey Rourke, who just seethes a sort of dirty despicability. What I like about this film is that it feels like a Marvel book come to life. We get Nick Fury and the Black Widow sharing scenes with Iron Man and War Machine, all these heroes converging on screen in a way we’ve never seen before. In films like The Dark Knight, we got Batman and multiple villains, creating a miniature scale version of this effect, but that was a microcosm while this feels grander in scope.

While some will argue that War Machine and Black Widow don’t get enough time to be fleshed out completely, and therefore giving the producers no reason to use them in the first place, I think the film does a sufficient job in presenting them in such a way that when the inevitable spin-off films happen, they can hit the ground running in ways they previously could not. The origin story is such a boring aspect to most heroes, and most of the time we’re so familiar with them that we get bored when they play out on the screen, or we get angry if they change something in such a way that it betrays the spirit of the source material. I believe that with Iron Man, Marvel is doing an amazing job of world building. They have more room to maneuver than they ever have previously and it’s sad that DC can’t pull off the same feat. I personally would love to see a post-credits scene in Green Lantern where Hal Jordan  is tracking a fast moving bogey only to happen upon a red blur that slows down just enough for us to get a glimpse of The Flash. Or maybe he crashes an F-15 into an invisible jet. Who cares, but let us see a larger world.

Like I said, the film is not perfect, and It probably could have used another big action scene to offset the more character driven dialogue pieces. I don’t need action all the time but the first film felt more balanced in this regard. I will admit however that the final set piece in this film trumps the less than stellar Iron Monger fight in the original, even if it is somewhat derivitive of that particular setup.


Film Review – The Losers

Presenting Zoe Saldana's crotch...

I made the horrible mistake of visiting the IMDB boards for this movie shortly after seeing it. I sometimes forget what a cesspool of ignorance and misery that little patch of internet earth is. Nearly every thread was a black hole of negative energy and petty whining. The people who frequent those boards are, by nature, soulless vultures from the bowels of hell whose one purpose in life is to spread malice and discontent like a disease throughout the labryinth of that site’s message board system. Thread after thread of “They Changed This!” or “Watered Down Crap!” or “This Just Sucked!” or any other mindless dribble they could spurt out like warm blood cut from a femoral artery. I mean, good lord…when you hate everything with such fervor what does it feel like to enjoy something? Would your brain explode like that scene in Scanners? I mean, I am sometimes driven to physical pain by some of the shit I read for this site (*cough*Brightest Day*cough*) but at least 80% of what I read leaves me feeling warm and happy and content. Why are some people so prone to fits of teeth-gnashing hatred over stupid, stupid things?

I should probably state that The Losers is a damn fine film. It hearkens back to the action films of the 80’s that didn’t take themselves too seriously. Where everything wasn’t some pseudo-Jason Bourne world where everything had to be grim and melodramatic and one-liners were punishible by death. I enjoyed it about as much as I have any other movie this year, and I think it’s because everything about the movie is done with the intent of thoroughly entertaining the audience. You do not make your villain chew THAT much scenery if you’re not hoping to go so over the top that you didn’t even realize you’d scaled the bar. This is not an art film people. It’s an action flick for the sake of being an action flick. If you’re not on board with that you probably missed all the signs telling you what to expect when you watched the damned trailer. And don’t act like you didn’t see a trailer.

The major complaints seem to be over the changes made from the book to the film, which I’m tired of hearing. The book and the film are two different entities. Where was the outrage over the changes to Two-Face’s origin back when The Dark Knight came out? There was some, of course. But it wasn’t overwhelming. The boards for The Losers are populated with multiple threads for “ROQUE ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE BLACK ****WHARGARBLE***!!!!” or “ZOE SALDANA WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AFGHANISTANIANIANIAN!!!!” or other such negligible bullshit. The changes were made to allow the movie to be the movie and the book to be the book. It doesn’t hurt the book that the changes were made to the film. Judge the film on the merits of what is presented in the context of the film, and there is very little to complain about except for some minor stylistic choices in the action scenes and perhaps the fact that Chris Evans is too damned awesome.

I went back and re-read the first volume of the book following the movie and the spirit of the book remains almost wholly intact. The characters on the screen are very much like their counterparts on the page, except for Max who dialled it up to the point that he makes Bond villains uncomfortable. But on a base level, the two are very much alike, with scenes lifted directly from the book to placate those who need everything to be exactly the same all the time.


Film Review – Kickass

I have this framed in my room....

A while back, I reviewed the entirety of Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass series, from issue 1 to the finale and I famously did not like it. I felt that it was fairly pedestrian and not at all exciting or innovative, which I think is more of a critique on the way Mark Millar hyped it to the fans than anything, but with a book like Kick-Ass, that hype is tied to the book in such a way that they feel like intertwined strands of DNA. I did however make one claim that I have been waiting to either see proven or disproven with the release of Matthew Vaughn’s film adaptation. I said; “All that having been said, everything that works against this book will work FOR it as a movie. Trust me on this one.” I honestly believed that. The concept was solid, the shock value was there. Mainstream audiences would eat this shit up. Was I right?

I believe I was.

The film version of Kick-Ass works infinitely better than its source material. The absurdity of it all leaps off the screen in ways that it never did on the page, and I think that the writers and especially director Matthew Vaughn understood what could be done with the concept presented in the original comic. One of the main gripes that the internet community had with the book was that it diverged from the original concept of “what if someone really became a street-level superhero” around the same time Hit-Girl showed up and went all Frank Miller on some bad guys. From then on out it was just another comic book, really. Once again, this is more of a gripe at Millar’s hyping of the concept than the book itself, as expectations were raised and then shut down with no regard to the actual quality of the book. In the film version that same divergent path is followed, with realism being thrown out the door headfirst. For the movie however, this doesn’t seem to be a problem, as all the marketing didn’t lead you to believe that this would be a serious look at real-world superheroes. When that first trailer hit and showed little Chloe Moretz jumping around like a spider-monkey wielding sharp pointy objects, people knew what to expect.
I think that’s what the movie boils down to in the long run; expectations.
Whereas the comic failed to deliver on the premise that Mark Millar sold us on in the promotional circuit, the film lives up to its promises in every possible way. It’s a violent fanservice film that fanboys should eat up if they don’t get caught up in the minutia of what was changed from panel to film. At the same time it’s a well made, and dare I say it, fun action film that general audiences should get a kick out of as well if they don’t get offended by all the swearing or violence.

Part of the reason why this film will resonate so well with people is that, I believe that n making the film, they were smart in casting people who didn’t look down on the script. Nicholas Cage is admittedly a huge nerd, so he has no reason not to hold back and I think I enjoyed him in this film more than anything since Raising Arizona. Our lead hero played by Aaron Johnson has that Michael Cera-esque everyman feel without being as annoying as Michael Cera. McLovin puts in a good turn as the Red Mist, almost making us forget he was McLovin for a little bit. And Mark Strong who could play every villain in every movie ever (not a stretch really, in a few weeks he’ll be the baddie in Russel Crowe’s Robin Hood flick) and I would never get tired of it. The cast just connects in this one, I don’t think anybody is going to argue that point.

But what everybody is going to talk about will be Hit-Girl. I read somewhere that she would be the “Hans Landa” of 2010. In terms of a breakout role, I absolutely agree. She may not win an academy award for it, but Chloe Moretz just became the go-to girl under fifteen for any role that requires any sort of heavy lifting whatsoever. After a film like this, anything else would be a cakewalk and I expect to see her have a great career ahead of her.
I really enjoyed this film. More than I thought I would. There had been some negative word of mouth coming my way from people who had checked out advance screenings and even a few from assholes who bootlegged it off the net, but I loved the hell out of this movie and will probably see it again in the theaters before all is said and done.

I won’t give it a perfect score, but I have to admit, it’s pretty close.


Joss Whedon Up For AVENGERS Directing Gig?

The word going around the web the last few days is that Marvel is very keen on Joss Whedon possibly stepping up to the plate to direct the live-action Avengers movie. The reaction to this little tidbit falls on a scale that starts with fanboy nerdgasm and ends with teeth gnashing and caps-locked ranting. Either you think he’s perfect for the job based on his previous ensemble work or you think that he’ll suddenly turn everyone gay and have them speak like hipster high-schoolers.

There’s also been complaints that he’s not a big enough name to anchor Marvel’s flagship film. Who the hell cares? You think the average Joe Schmoe really knows one director from another. I mentioned to a customer at the shop that the guy behind Batman was going to be heading up the new Superman film and he replied; “Christian Bale?” Let’s not assume that everyone knows or even cares about the behind the scenes aspect of film production. I don’t think it was Jon Favreau’s name in the director credit that sold Iron Man to the masses. And with a movie like The Avengers I don’t think it will take much selling at all. You throw a bunch of superheroes into one film and the novelty alone is enough to give it some amazing numbers.

My take on this is that both sides would really benefit from Whedon’s involvement as director. Serenity shows that he can work some amazing big-budget action sequences. And the man practically made his career on ensemble character moments. It’s like this was the film he’s been waiting for his entire career. Plus, he has a working history with Marvel, having done amazing work on the X-Men. And maybe this would be the film to make him a more mainstream name. He could probably garner enough goodwill to put together more projects of his own if he was attached to a film that made more money than God.

Honestly, I think if Whedon is in serious consideration, it’s not a bad idea. It’s actually a pretty good one. But it all really depends on the script anyway, if that thing sucks, it doesn’t matter who is behind the camera as nothing will be able to save it. Gavin Hood is an excellent director but he couldn’t save Wolverine Origins. So meditate on that.


THE LOSERS get a trailer…

The Losers

Here’s the first look at the film adaptation of Vertigo’s THE LOSERS, which looks so damned good that I’m almost afraid that this is some sort of hallucination brought on by a whiskey overdose…
CLICK TO VIEW