Jessica Jones Teaser Trailer – “All In A Day’s Work”

Despite being an avid comic reader, prior to Netflix’s Jessica Jones I barely knew anything about the character.  I still don’t but I like the way–if the teasers are any indication–where it’s going.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political thriller, Guardians Of The Galaxy was Marvel’s interpretation of a space opera. Daredevil (Netflix’s version) was Mean Streets or Serpico, with superheroes.

Jessica Jones?  I have no idea what Marvel is going for, but I get the feeling that they’re going for a Fatal Attraction-sort of vibe, but who knows?

Thought I really want to find out.

The Stranger – Review

The Stranger

Guillermo Almoedo’s The Stranger plays like a sequel of sorts to Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark, except that it’s really irritating at times, which I will go into later.

The problem is that virtually everyone in the movie is a victim, and the only person who isn’t, Lieutenant De Luca (Luis Gnecco), is a massive asshole.  What’s even stranger is that he’s not the chief of the small-town police department where he works–who happened to be out of town– but he acts like he is.

And what’s even worse, everyone else does as well, so he moves around either intimidating or terrorizing everyone around him.

His son, Caleb (Ariel Levy), is a chip off the old block (which means that he and his friends can seemingly murder vagrants with impunity) so we’re pretty much left with characters that are barely players in their own story.

Vampirism, in this context The Stranger, has nothing to do with religion in that a person who’s infected will seek out others to drink blood from, spreading the infection.  The infected don’t have virtually any attributes of a traditional vampire–other than a thirst for blood and aversion to sunlight–though the infected are able to take significantly more abuse that a regular person.

In other words, virtually none of the traditional perks of vampirism–and virtually all the weaknesses.

Thanks, but no thanks.

The Stranger has arrived on Netflix, though whatever you do, whatever you see, keep away.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones – Teaser Trailer #4

People, typically idiots with something to prove, like to talk about how things are equal between mean and women.  We all know that it’s nonsense, though what’s particularly galling is that the people from whom the suggestion emanate do as well.

What does that have to do with the latest Jessica Jones teaser trailer?  Relatively little except I was reading the forums of a certain superhero website, where someone commented on the lack of vehicular traffic, which I assume was meant as some sort of problem with the trailer.

Or something equally as silly.

And sure, there’s no traffic.  Then again, the trailer was never meant to realistically represent traffic patterns in Hell’s Kitchen.  And you know what?  I’d have less of a problem with the commenter said if it weren’t for the fact that the teasers for Marvel’s Daredevil were done in a similar fashion, though in that particular instance there happened to be two cars.

Daredevil Teaser Trailer Scene

Two vehicles. Hardly typical for a New York Street.

Two cars.  Hardly typical of a New York street at virtually anytime, though for whatever reason the dearth of traffic in this instance went seemingly unnoticed, yet now it’s an issue worth commenting upon?

Where Are The Adaptations Of Octavia Butler’s Work?

Parable Of The SowerFrom the time that I could read, science fiction and fantasy were my mediums of choice.  (Horror–with a vengeance–came later).

From Edmund Cooper (The Overman Culture–the first book I am aware of reading with a gay protagonist–, Seahorse In The Sky) to Ursula K. LeGuin (The Left Hand of Darkness, The Earthsea novels, etc) and a lot in-between; I’ve always been an avid reader.

Which is why when they were making movies based on young adult novels like The Hunger Games, it gave me hope that a lot of the books that I lost myself in as a young person would come full circle to entertain me as an adult by being made into movies and television shows.

This has happened with Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes, as well as many other writers like LeGuin and Stephanie Meyer (who’s work I have never read).

Though I’ve come to notice something, namely that there isn’t any representation of African-American science fiction writers.  And I’ll be honest, I am only aware of one, and that’s Octavia Butler.  But what a writer she is!  Before her death in 2006 she had won numerous awards for her writing, but that’s less important that her work is really, really good.

I have read the books that comprise her Zenogenesis Saga (Dawn, Adulthood Rites and Imago) as well as her Patternist series, which are some of the best science fiction I have ever read–what I found a bit odd, and somewhat disappointing, to tell you the truth, was that Joe Haldeman’s Camouflage covered similar territory, though not nearly as well.

The legacy, the novels that she’s left behind are still with us though as far as I know no one is talking about adapting them for either movies or television.

And that’s a shame, because her writing is not only as good, but perhaps better than a lot of the stuff that has been adapted so far, but her work has this weird, alien quality that’s unlike anything that we have seen to this point.

Though I get the feeling that a lot of Hollywood thinks as Matt Damon apparently does, namely that a diversity of voices is okay as long as they don’t have anything do with writing or they’re not behind the camera.

The Beast Of XMoor – Review


Luke Hyams’ (no relation to Peter HyamsThe Beast of XMoor (X Moor) at first glance reminded me of Daniel Nettheim’s far superior The Hunter, which also revolves around the hunt for a cryptid (according to Wikipedia, an animal or plant who’s existence had been suggested but not discovered by the scientific community).

In the case of Nettheim’s movie the animal in question was a Tasmanian Wolf–which actually may still exist–while The Beast of XMoor‘s seek some sort of panther they suspect is hiding out on the moors.

The most immediate problem with the movie is that it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be.  It begins as a search for an a cryptid, then makes a Wrong Turn, with two very rapey Scottish folk, then turns to a confusing serial killer story.

What’s worse–if that were possible–is that the killer is less a threat to the aspiring cryptozoologists than they are to each other.

The Beast of XMoor isn’t a terrible movie, it’s just very unfocused.  If it were just about a cryptid–an interesting subject in and of itself–then it would have probably been a much better movie.

If the director had jettisoned the whole cryptid storyline, and instead made a movie about a serial killer, then it might have been a much better movie.

Or if the cryptid and serial killer storyline were abandoned, and instead the story revolved about a bunch of mad Scots, then it would have probably been much better movie.

But all three?  It’s a bit too much.

Brave the moors of X Moor via Netflix, because otherwise there are too many ways to die.

Spectre – Final Trailer

I like this trailer a lot.  What I like about the Roger Moore Bond movies was their sense of scale.  Sure, many of them are sort of silly, but the villains tended to be larger-than-life, as were their schemes.

Specter seems to harken back to those movies (or the trailer does, at any rate).

The Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan Bond movies also tried to meld the esthetic of Moore’s movies with a somewhat more grounded approach (Dalton’s Bond, with perhaps the exception of The Living Daylights, never quite seemed to gel, while Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough were probably the strongest from Brosnan, and Die Another Day the silliest–and the most Moore-like), an esthetic that has grown into its own with Daniel Craig’s interpretation.

The Forest – Trailer

Jason Zada’s The Forest revolves around Aokigahara, a 14-mile forest that sits in the shadow of Mount Fuji.  It’s also known as the Suicide Forest because hundreds of people have killed themselves there over a twenty-five year period.

As if that weren’t horrifying enough, according to Japanese mythology the forest is demon-plagued.

Heck, the movie almost writes itself, which is why I was dismayed to read a review from FilmBook, which pretty much says that  the movie shat the bed, replacing any sort of tension and horror with jump scares.

It amazes me–if the review is accurate–how filmmakers can take events, places and things that are actually horrific, and somehow make them less so.  The review reminds me of Ouija, a not-very-good movie that somehow managed to make a terrifying object–just looking at ouija boards gives me the willies–boring (luckily the sequel is being directed by Mike Flanagan, who knows a thing or two about horror, having directed Oculus).

And that’s not that an easy thing to do.