‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Part 1 Teaser Trailer

“Part 1?”  I think that that refers to the fact that the movie is being broken into a ‘Part 1′ and ‘Part 2.’  What I like about is that there’s an undeniable fascist (a word used way too often, mostly by people with either no idea what it means, or with the intent do bring about dissension) tinge to it that’s played perfectly.

Then there are the propagandistic aspects, such as the emphasis on certain words, like “unity,” “prosperity” and “sacrifice.” I was also wondering for awhile if Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) was computer generated, till he moved toward the end.

All in all, a very effective trailer.

‘Godzilla’ Review

Godzilla (2014) movie poster

Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla Isn’t The Same Monster Many Of Us Grew Up Watching, Which Sometimes Isn’t A Good Thing

In The Beginning…

I remember when I was growing that I spent many Saturday afternoons in front of a television, watching monsters like Gamera, Mothra and Godzilla.  They tended to have come into being due to the hubris of Man, as well as our tendency to use nuclear weapons, which inevitably got out of hand.

Though Mothra was most interesting because, besides being a giant moth, it was summoned by these two tiny women.  And by ‘tiny’ I mean literally small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, which made no sense at all.  Then again, Gamera could not only breath fire, but when he retracted his legs, arms and head into his shell he was capable of flight.  So really, can I complain about two micro-women all that much?

The first movies that dealt with both Gamera and Godzilla were fairly serious things, seeing that they were analogies about the dangers of nuclear weapons (which makes sense when you take into account Japan was the only nation that was attacked using them).

So if anyone was able to comment upon such things with authority, it’s the Japanese.

But a funny thing happened…as the adventures of Godzilla continued, they got goofier.  And when I write ‘goofy’ I mean that when Godzilla wasn’t throwing karate kicks, seemingly held aloft by his massive tail or talking smack at MechaGodzilla (via hand signals and attitude), he was hanging out with a baby Godzilla who instead of breathing fire, breathed smoke rings (unless you stepped on his tail, then look out).

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Edgar Wright Has Left Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man!’

The Astonishing Ant-ManIt’s all over the Interwebs that Edgar Wright (Shawn Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End) has left Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man over “creative differences.”  While I think that this wasn’t a great move on Wright’s part–Marvel Studios movies tend to be huge, virtually guaranteeing that their whomever directs one of them access to bigger and better things, like Jon Favreau and Alan Taylor–I am less concerned than some.

The reason being, Wright brings a particular visual sense to things, though it’s nothing that can’t be replaced.

If the last time he worked on a Hollywood feature (2011′s The Green Hornet) didn’t make him never want to do it again, Michel Gondry would be an interesting choice.

‘Big Hero 6′ Teaser Trailer

Sunfire & Big Hero Six For the first time Pixar is taking on a Marvel property.  Big Hero 6 is a superhero team that–at least in the comics–has ties to Marvel’s X-Men.  In fact, the comic where they first appeared was called “Sunfire & Big Hero 6.”

Sunfire being a mutant from the X-Men comics.

And seeing that connection and the fact that mutants, like Sunfire and the X-Men, are licensed to Twenty-First Century Fox it implies that the contacts are either a bit labyrinthine (or convoluted, depending upon how you look at such things) and you can never be too certain which characters licensees can or cannot use.

And after watching the trailer you can tell that they’re taking a few liberties with the material, though I like what I see because it’s a really amusing trailer.

Respect The Content

Recently I noticed that a web site, Tinseltown News, had taken at least two of my blog posts, Are Universal And Legendary Making A Movie Based On Marvel’s Namor The Submariner and Blood Glacier Trailer.

Now, I don’t mind that someone links to my posts, after all, that’s one reason that I write them.

But the web site pulls entire posts that means that there’s no reason whatsoever to drop by, because it’s all right there.

And the thing is, if the administrator had asked I would have probably said ‘No,’ but at least there would have been the implication that they respected the content of others enough that they asked.

And WordPress, much to my dismay, can’t do anything about it (though they can help by offering steps you can take in case you find someone doing it).  That’s why my blogs have copywrite notices now.

I regularly link to Youtube pages and use pictures relevant to what I am doing from all over the place, so how am I any different?

Well, in some pretty significant ways.  First, I may refer to someone else’s writing, or link to it, but I don’t take their writing in its entirety because I try to offer something that at least aims toward originality.  I may not always hit the mark, but that’s the goal.

And in reference to pictures, I generally acknowledge where I got them from, and if I were every asked to remove one I would because I had no intention of using something that someone has a problem with.

 

‘Monster 2: Dark Continent’ Trailer

It’s interesting how things go sometimes.  Recently in my Postmortem column I wrote about Garth Edwards’ Monsters, and a few days later learned of the existence of its sequel, Monsters 2: Dark Continent.

Edwards, being that he was more than likely working on Godzilla, was replaced as director by Tom Green.

The trailer has virtually no aliens in it till the end, and yet it still seems to have more than appeared in the first movie, though till that time the trailer looks like scenes assembled from movies like Jarhead (which interestingly enough has a sequel too, Jarhead 2: Field Of Fire) or The Hurt Locker.  At the moment I am wondering how it is that there are aliens what I assume is somewhere in Africa because the original film was based entirely on the premise that the monsters came to earth in a NASA probe that broke up over Mexico.

The creatures that turn up are also smaller, which has the effect of making the action more human-scale (though unfortunately evoking comparisons with Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers as well).

And while geography may not be my strongest suit, I am reasonably certain that that the Africa is nowhere near Mexico.

 

The Return Of John Carpenter

IMG_0556

image courtesy of Comixology app

Though truth be told he was never really gone.

John Carpenter, director of influential genre classics like Halloween, Escape From New YorkIn The Mouth Of Madness, They Live, StarMan, Big Trouble In Little China (perhaps his most underappreicated movie), among many others has been absent from theaters since 2010′s The Ward (an interesting movie despite thematic similarities to James Mangold’s superior 2003 film, Identity) may be on the edge of a comeback.

Though not for the reasons I at first thought.

Let me start at the beginning.  Today I was reading some comics on Comixology when I noticed John Carpenter’s Asylum.  I don’t recall ordering it, though they occasionally have ‘Free Comics Days’ so I assumed that I picked it up then.

It’s written by Carpenter, Thomas Ian Griffith (who played in ‘Jan Valek’ in John Carpenter’s Vampires) and Sandy King (Carpenter’s wife and producer) and  drawn by the inestimable Leonardo Manco.

By the way, speaking of Leonardo Manco, if you haven’t read Marvel’s 1994 comic Hellstorm–which lasted 21 issues–you should find a copy because Manco’s art is remarkable.

I was thinking that ‘Asylum’ would be Carpenter’s entry back into features, which is apparently not the case.

That honor would be bestowed upon DarkChylde, which  was an Image comic by Randy Queen in 1996.

King said that they have been working on the project for over two years, and that WETA Digital is creating the monsters.  You may not be aware of WETA, but if you’ve seen any of the movies based upon J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels (and many others), then you have seen their special effects work.

DarkChilde

Image courtesy of Storm King Productions and Destroy The Cyborg

Though the best thing, according to Sandy King, is that not only is John Carpenter working on DarkChylde, but he’s also preparing a new horror-themed series, John Carpenter’s Hell Gate.

Are Universal & Legendary Preparing A Movie Based On Marvel’s Namor The Submariner?

Welcome To The Rumor Mill, where I occasionally take a closer look at a rumor winding its way through the Interwebs to see if there’s any fire to accompany all the smoke.

A few days ago, I wrote a piece, Is Sony Mismanaging The Spider-Man Franchise, as part of the My Two Cents column.  In that particular article I spent some time clarifying the history of Marvel Studios as well as taking a look at Sony’s Spider-Man movies (those by Sam Raimi as well as Marc Webb).

I also mentioned that Universal has the license to Namor The Submariner (they had the Hulk as well, though due to its sub-par box office performance they let the rights revert back to Marvel) though Matt McGloin at Cosmicbooknews takes things a bit further by promoting the idea that Universal is working on Namor with Legendary Pictures (fresh off their somewhat acrimonious breakup with Warner Bros).

The evidence McGloin sites is that Thomas Tull, the head of Legendary, had worked on numerous superhero films when his company partnered with Warner Bros.  While that’s true–Legendary and Warner Bros produced Christopher Nolan’s three Batman films (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises)–that doesn’t mean that he’s working on Namor.

Cosmicbooknews also informs us that “…Universal and Legendary announced a mystery tentpole movie for November 4th, 2016.”

Other sites have confirmed that as well, but there’s no mention of Namor.  So where did Cosmicbooknews get that bit of information from?

I suspect that Latino-Review lies at the epicenter of this particular rumor, and while their position, and the evidence they use to support it, is interesting, it’s so circumstantial that it’s also more wishful thinking than anything else.


Verdict:  It’s entirely possible–and in fact very likely, if only based upon the popularity of Marvel superheroes–that there that there will be a movie based on Namor in the near future, though there’s nothing that says that it’s coming November 4th, 2016.  Until I can locate more supporting evidence, I have to say that this rumor lacks smoke, never mind fire. 

‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Trailer 2

I honestly don’t know what to make of this movie.  I am relatively sure that the structure will be similar to many movies that have come before, but if feels so odd…and I don’t necessarily mean in a bad way.  This time around James Gunn is giving use the goods.  We see both Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) talk, and get a shot of Glenn Close, the head of the Nova Corps, wondering what they could have done to have billions of lives in the hands of reprobates like the so-called Guardians Of The Galaxy.

We also get a shot or two of Ronan (Lee Pace), the threat that Close is so worried about, as well as the Collector (Benicio Del Toro) and scenes showing Starlord’s spaceship, the Milano (like the Pepperidge Farms cookies), in action.

And while this movie looks different than anything Marvel has released so far, that’s not the same thing as saying that it isn’t interesting.

What’s also sort of strange is that, at least visually, I saw two scenes in this trailer that were evocative of Disney’s John Carter, which is a bit of a bad omen.

And Rocket does ‘adjust himself’ at the end of the trailer, by the way.  I wasn’t sure that I saw it the first time, though the second confirms it.

Postmortem: ‘Monsters’

Before Gareth Edwards directed Godzilla for Legendary and Warner Bros. he did a little (it cost $500,000, which is more in line with the catering budget of a movie these days) movie called Monsters, which was what put him on the map.  Seeing that the former has just been released on Netflix and I haven’t yet seen the latter, this is a good time as any to revisit that film.

It revolves around a NASA space probe that is sent to find signs of life in the universe.

Unfortunately, the probe finds what it’s looking for, though it breaks up in Earth’s atmosphere, spreading the aforementioned alien life them all over Mexico.  This results in half the county being quarantined, and the United States working with the Mexicans to destroy the aliens.

Unfortunately for the Mexican and American governments, the aliens have other ideas.

Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) is a newspaper photographer, who’s trying to get pictures of the creatures that are apparently running rampant in Mexico, a task made more difficult by the fact that he also has to get the daughter of newspaper’s publisher, Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) to the coast so that she can get out of the country before that particular route closes.

And as for leaving Mexico by water, they have only 48 hours till the boat leaves, or they’ll be stranded for the next six months.

Though that’s not quite true.  They could still go overland, though the Infected Zone to the border that separates Mexico from the United States.

Though they can only travel during the day because no one wants to be out at night, when the monsters are active.

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