LEGO Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I don’t know who Antonio and Andrea Toscano are, though I do know a labor of love when I see one, and their Lego version of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is just that.  All the iconic moments from the trailer are there, lovingly reinterpreted in Legos.

By way of comparison, here’s the original trailer.

Captain America Uniform From ‘The Avenger: Age Of Ultron’

Captain America (Age of UltronHere’s a picture from “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” of Captain America (Chris Evans) in his new costume.  It looks like a combination of the suit he wore in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” combined with the one he wore in his most recent adventure, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

I think it looks great, particularly the way the wings are integrated into the design of his helmet (which looks a lot like the leather helmets pilots wore in World War II).WWII Pilot's Helmet

You can find some more shots here, which is perhaps a better use of your time than following the legal travails of Bryan Singer, who like Icarus flying too close to the sun, may lose it all if the allegations of Michael F. Egan III are proven true.

And even if they’re not, they may have cost him the next film in the X-Men franchise because people may have a problem going to see a multi-million dollar production helmed by a alleged pedophile.


Movie Mistakes: ‘Iron Man 3′

Iron Patriot
Generally I don’t particularly care about these sorts of things, but having seen “Iron Man 3″ perhaps more times than should be legal, I noticed this little error.

Truth be told, it’s less of an error than the filmmakers apparently showing us what they can get away with when viewers are in awe over one of their favorite comic characters appearing on the big screen (for the fourth time).  What happens is that James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine/Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle) is captured by Aldrich Killian/Fake Mandarin (Guy Pearce), who uses his Extremis-derived abilities to superheat a section of the armor, with the intention of forcing Rhodey to abandon it.

Killian knows that he’s damaging the surface of the armor, and so he strongly suggests that his henchman, Savin (James Badge Dale) had better be able to fix it.  Now, Savin may indeed be talented, but prior to this moment the movie gave no indication he also had some pretty awesome metallurgical, as well as painting, skills because the next time we see the Iron Patriot armor, there’s no sign that there was any damage at all.

I mean not even a smudge of the paint.  I also know that we’re watching a movie based on a comic book, but Savin making what looked like considerable damage disappear is probably the most outlandish thing in the movie.  Though you have to admit that the man is talented, and if Tony needed any help in his lab, he could do worse than hire him.

Iron Patriot

By the way, anyone that has been following the Iron Man films–Yes, even “Iron Man 2!”–knows that Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) has an miniature Arc reactor in his chest, which keeps a piece of shrapnel from entering his heart, which is pretty much at the center of the chest (which is why the armored suits he wears don’t have the chest repulser off to the left or right).

In the penultimate act of the movie, where (Spoiler Alert!) where Tony Stark and Rhodes are squaring off against the Extremis-enhanced forces of the Fake Mandarin (that’s not his name, but if you have seen the Marvel One-Shot, “All Hail The King” you know it’s true) the Arc reactor is in the center of his chest, where the Universe and Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber and Don Heck intended it to be…

Arc Reactor III

Only to find that in later scenes it has somehow shifted considerably–and quite noticeably–to the right.  It’s not like it’s now on his shoulder or something, but it’s definitely no longer in the center of his chest.

Arc Reactor II

Occam’s Razor posits that when faced with explaining why or how an event happened, the simplest explanation with the fewest assumptions is more likely than not the correct one.  So, considering that that Arc reactor prop was entirely practical, it was probably somehow adhered to Robert Downey, Jr.’s chest, and with all the activity that the film required from him, shifted a bit.

And you know what, I’m OK with that because what the filmmakers could have went with was a CGI Arc reactor, as opposed to a practical one, though the problems it would bring would probably quickly disabuse them of the notion.  For instance, if it were computer-generated, it would have to look slightly different every time it appeared on screen because of changes in lighting conditions as well as his body shifting.

It’s certainly doable, by why would anyone want the added cost, when you could create an Arc reactor medallion, have him wear it, and save yourself (probably) thousands of dollars.

And besides, we’ve seen a movie that was so chock-full of computer generated effects that even the costume that the actor wore wasn’t real.

And we all know how well that went.

Like this movie, I am awesome!

A Movie About Me!  What Could Go Wrong?

Five Reasons That Will Contribute To Guillermo Del Toro Directing Doctor Strange

This post is entirely speculation, though it is based upon logic as well as current news.

Notice that in the title of this article I sad “could” as opposed to “would” because the last I heard was that Del Toro was busy working on Legendary Pictures’ upcoming fright-feature “Crimson Peak,” as well as executive producing the FX series based upon the trilogy he wrote with Chuck Hogan, “The Strain,” “The Fall” and “The Night Eternal.”

But I have been reading the tea leaves and checking the entrails regularly, and here’s what I have seen:

1.  Despite Rumors To The Contrary, Guillermo Del Toro Will Not Be Doing “Justice League Dark” Anytime Soon

Why?  Because NBC is working on “Constantine,” a series not based on the Francis Lawrence movie of the same name, but the DC (formerly under their Vertigo imprint) series, also of the same name.  While it’s possible that the character could appear in both places at the same time (this is, of course assuming that the television series has a long life), it’s probably not going to happen.  The character of John Constantine is the lynchpin that the team revolves around, and without him the concept is pretty much dead in the water, besides being somewhat esoteric.

Matt Ryan/John Constantine

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

And that’s even considering how much Warner Bros would have to invest from the budget end of things, which would probably be huge (though they could do it with a partner, as long as it’s not Legendary Pictures, since they and Warner Bros. somewhat acrimoniously parted ways.  That being said, they still work with Village Roadshow Pictures).

2.  DC/Warner Bros. Doesn’t Seem To Have Much Of A Plan Toward Developing Their Characters

Whether or not someone likes what Marvel is doing with their characters, you have to admit that they not only have a plan, but they are executing it really, really well.  This is primarily because the head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, has apparently developed a plan to develop their characters, and is following it.  Marvel’s roadmap is divided into Phases:  Phase One consisted of “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” ” Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “Thor” and culminated in “The Avengers.”

Notice the pattern:  First there’s an introduction of the characters–which may or may not have more than one film in the future–and a film that brings them all together.

Phase Two consists of “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Guardians Of The Galaxy,” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Phase Three will consist of “Ant-Man,” “Captain America 3,” “Thor 3″ and “The Avengers 3.”

As I said, you don’t necessarily have to like what Marvel is doing, but what you can’t deny is that there is a plan at work.

Warner Bros/DC?  Not so much.  What seems to be driving them is profit above all, which I understand, but that’s not a plan.  Though it didn’t exactly start that way because for awhile it appeared that DC was building toward a Justice League feature–and probably still are–which began with “Green Lantern.”

Oh, but wait!  Green Lantern?  Don’t I mean Batman?  No, I don’t because Christopher Nolan’s Batman films aren’t necessarily part of DC’s greater cinematic plans because Nolan quite deliberately kept them separate from the rest of the DC Universe, which was probably not a great decision in retrospect.

Though that’s why “Green Lantern” was so important:  It was the beginning of DC/Warner Bros. establishing a larger canvas on which to display their properties.  If Green Lantern had worked they could have brought Ryan Reynolds back as the character in other DC films, such as the Justice League, or even the upcoming “Batman Vs. Superman” feature.

But it was not to be because Green Lantern was unable to recharge either his lantern or the box office, where it earned almost $220 million on a $200 million dollar budget; not enough to make a profit.

So DC rebooted Superman, in “Man of Steel,” without a doubt the most violent Superman film ever made.

Which could perhaps explain why that film made “only” $668 million dollars.  It’s a lot of money, but for a character as iconic and as firmly established in the public consciousness as Superman, it actually wasn’t that great a performance.

For the sequel, “Superman Vs. Batman,” DC will not only feature Superman and Batman, but Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor as the villain.  It seems apparent that they are trying to follow a strategy similar to Marvel, except more compressed.

Continue reading

Spoilers Should Be Stopped (The Dawn Of S.E.T.R.E.P)

The Wrap Article

Welcome to the first meeting of S.E.T.R.E.P. (the Society Existing To Prevent Revelation of Essential Plot-Points) because life is hard enough without someone knowingly revealing information that a show took months to build up to, or the twist of a movie, or an important character dying in either medium.

The need for such an organization became clear when I innocently went into reading a story by Phil Pirrello, “Marvel’s ‘SHIELD’ and ‘Captain America’ Crossover:  Two Big Villain Shockers” from The Wrap on April 8th, at 6:38.

It’s important to note that April 8th is a Tuesday.

What’s so important about Tuesday, at 6:38 PM, you may ask?

Unless it’s preempted “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs on that day on the East Coast, at 8 in the evening, which means that the Pirrello post went live an hour and a half BEFORE the episode aired.

Is this what we have come to?  Revealing crucial plot points before a show even airs?  It sucks enough when it’s done soon afterward, but now writers are playing a game of ‘Beat The Clock’ to see which television series or movie they can ruin for viewers first?

Continue reading

And Here’s Ronan!

Not the MSNBC newscaster, who looks too young to drive, never mind host a news show.

I was watching ETC, on Machinima’s Youtube channel, where they did a little explaining about who’s who in Marvel Studios’ upcoming “Guardians Of The Galaxy.” It’s actually pretty interesting, though if you’re familiar with the characters, or paid attention to the trailer, there are no surprises.

Though it’s interesting more for what it doesn’t include, which is only the lead villain in the movie, Ronan the Accuser.  As far as I am aware, he happens to be working for Thanos, and Nebula works for him. In the comics he’s a Kree, though as far as I know the Kree are tied up with the X-Men, who are licensed to Fox, so that’s something that either they will not go into with any detail or they may perhaps make up a new race for the movie.

Here’s an image of Ronan, from the Marvel Universe Wiki:

Ronan One

If Being Awesome Is A Crime, Guilty As Charged!

And Ronan (Lee Pace), from the trailer.

Ronan Two

He turns up around the 1: 59 mark.

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier mo

“”Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Easily Ranks Among The Best Marvel Studios Films.”

Let me get something out of the way:  You know all those critics that say that “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was a great superhero film that’s evocative of spy thrillers like “Three Days of the Condor (both which happen to have Robert Redford in starring roles)?”

Well, they’re right.

It’s a remarkable movie, easily the best Phase Two Marvel film so far (and it should go without saying at this point that you should never leave a Marvel Studios feature without sticking through the end credits) but what’s most amazing about it is that how it reinterprets old characters and brings Captain America forward to the present.

In fact, in that fashion it reminded me of Superman’s journey in Zach Snyder’s “Man Of Steel” except that despite the world being very different from that which Steve Rogers knew, he stayed true to himself and his beliefs, and as a result he changed it (with a little help along the way), while the superman that Synder presented wasn’t the Superman I remember and grew up with because he seemed to renounce the very qualities that made him what he was.

This was a trend that continued through the entire film, taking ideas and characters from Captain America’s past in the comics, and reinterpreting and reimagining them in a way that not only satisfied fans–such as myself–that have been following Marvel comic characters for years, but those that have never heard of the Falcon, Black Widow or Nick Fury (which, considering how successful “The Avengers” was, is probably a very small subset of people).

The Russo Brothers may not have a lot of films under their belt, but that’s going to change rapidly.  They seem to understand that an action film doesn’t necessarily have to be wall-to-wall action, that the time spent establishing what motivates characters and laying the groundwork in the long run makes for a better movie.

And does this movie pay off!  Most of aforementioned “groundwork” revolves around Captain America solving the mystery of an enemy that–while the Captain was frozen in ice for over 65 years–was active, undermining the American democratic experiment from within.

And special mention needs to be given to Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, who not only seems to have a snappy quip for just about every occasion, but whom whenever he took the skies virtually the entire theater would erupt into clapping.

I didn’t catch the 3D version, because more often than not that it’s a racket that enables theaters to charge significantly more per ticket than a non-3D movie, and truth be told before seeing it I didn’t think it would be as immersive in 3D like “Prometheus” or, to a lesser degree “Pacific Rim.”

That being said, I think that I will see it again very soon, in 3D.  Just to be sure.


Shots Of Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch From ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Image courtes of Moviefone

Quicksilver (image courtesy of Moviefone)

I am not terribly easy to please when it comes to real-world interpretations of superheroes that I have followed since I was a kid.  Then again, I also Quicksilver (image courtesy of that costume designers have quite a balancing act to maintain.

Sometimes, they cannot be too literal, because it would mean spandex, and virtually no one looks good in spandex.

So some degree of creative license has to be taken.

Then again, fans also don’t want their heroes to look drastically different than what they remember.

So, on one hand you have the recent interpretations of the Flash and Quicksilver (from “X-Men: Days of Future Past”), neither of which I found particularly inspired.

So I placed my hopes in Marvel Studios, and their interpretation of the character from the upcoming “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Seeing some of the pictures that have come in, now I am not so sure.  The actual photos will definitely look different, when lit properly, but I am not too crazy about it so far.

Scarlet Witch (image courtesy of

Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen, fares better.  She doesn’t look anything like the comic character, though there’s no way that it would translate to the screen.

The Scarlet Witch (courtesy of Moviefone)

The Scarlet Witch (courtesy of Moviefone)









Checkout Moviefone for more information.

‘Quicksilver’ And ‘Scarlet Witch’ Revealed! (Sort Of)

QuicksilverIn Whedon We Trust.  Somewhat sacrilegious, I must admit, but I had no choice.  I was looking for a half-decent rendition of what a costume for someone that could run at super speeds would look like, and found the designs for the upcoming television series “The Flash” somewhat lackluster.

Though even worse were the designs Bryan Singer settled on for “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

So when I heard that Joss Whedon was going to feature both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch I new that if anyone could choose a decent costume for a speedster, it would be Whedon.Scarlet Witch

And I was right.  This picture, a bit of production art from “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” doesn’t necessarily dictate what the costume that Aaron Taylor-Johnson will be wearing in the Avengers sequel, though it looks a heck of a lot better than anything that I have seen so far.

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ Trailer 3

Can this movie look any cooler?  This time the trailer seems to feature the Falcon, who we see going against the Winter Soldier.  We also get to see the Black Widow in action, administering the Widow’s Bite to an unfortunate victim.

I understand that I am not exactly the audience that these trailers are being directed at–I was sold every since the first one–but I’d wish they’d stop showing them already because each one reveals little bits of the movie that I wish I had not seen prior to seeing it.

And it’s not like my will is strong enough to just stop watching them.

It’s like that scene in “The Avengers,” where the Hulk saves Iron Man from crashing to the earth after he directed a nuclear missile at the Chitari space station.  It was such an amazing shot that when I saw it in context I was blown away.

Though I would have been even more amazed by it if I had not seen any of it prior.