Marvel Studios One-Ups DC Entertainment (Again) With Upcoming Infinity War

I admit, after learning that Marvel Studios isn’t coming to Comic-Con this year, that I was a mite concerned (though Marvel Television and Cartoons are attending) because that meant that DC Entertainment would dominate the convention with news and clips from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (still hate that title) and Suicide Squad.

Though based on some new news from Complex, they’ll need it because it’s rumored that the villains for the upcoming Avengers two-parter, Infinity War, will not only be Thanos, but the Magus!

And seeing that the Magus will possibly make an appearance, it goes without saying that his alter-ego, Adam Warlock, can’t be very far behind.

The Magus

It only a coincidence that I look vaguely like Shazam.

This is the Magus.  He’s an future version of Adam Warlock who’s working to ensure that he comes to be, which means driving Warlock to embrace the darker, more ruthless parts of his nature.

Warlock has been inextricably tied to the Infinity Gems (known as ‘Infinity Stones’ in the movies), so that the Magus (and Adam Warlock) are making an appearance makes perfect sense.

Another benefit is that the two movies are being helmed by the Russo brothers, which if Captain America: The Winter Soldier is any indicator, means that it will probably to be a bit darker, more serious tonally and less humorous than the Joss Whedon-helmed Avengers movies.

Summer Box Office: Can Terminator: Genisys Take The Heat?

I fully admit that the success of Jurassic World caught me by surprise.  I didn’t necessarily think that it would fail, though if anyone had told me that it would be breaking records made by 2014’s The Avengers I would have laughed at such a ridiculous notion.

That being said, what’s in its way even more interesting is that Inside Out is performing strongly, despite the presence of Universal’s cinematic dinosaur feature.

Though this trend of everyone doing awesome despite the competition isn’t one that can continue, by which I mean that one of these tentpoles is going to flatline–big time.

Which leads to the question:  Which of the upcoming summer movies is going to bite it (and I don’t mean in a Jurassic World kind of way)?

And if I had to guess, I’d say Terminator: Genisys.  Reason being, the last movie in the series, Terminator: Salvation wasn’t well received by movie-goers.  And by “wasn’t well-received” I mean ‘box office failure,’ having earned just over $371 million on a $200 million budget.

Then there’s the trailer that gives away a MAJOR plot-point, which is never a good idea.

Now neither of those things is a deal breaker by any means, but the thing is, when you’re talking about a crowded field filled with potential blockbusters they can make all the difference in the world.

And I think the producers know it, which probably has a lot to do with them enlisting the services of the consiglieri of the Terminator franchise, James Cameron, to give the movie his seal of approval.

Now keep in mind that Cameron has nothing to do with Genisys, though he did direct Terminator and Terminator 2, the two best received movies in the series so you can look at it as either genius (if the movie succeeds, or desperation if it fails).

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Zombeavers – Review

Zombeavers movie poster

“Watch If Just So You Can Say You Do Did (Or You Really Like Bill Burr).  Other Than That, I’ve Got Nothin.'”

Bill Burr!  Bill Burr is one of the first people you see when Zombeavers starts, and maybe it’s just that he’s not too discriminating about the roles he chooses, but I was genuinely happy to see him.  That being said, I’m not too sure why because it’s not like he’s some sort of motion picture arbiter of quality (though he was in Breaking Bad, which was all sorts of awesome).

Though in this instance it’s his screw-up that sets events in motion (by not breaking for a deer).

By the way, under most conditions when deer are hit by vehicles they don’t explode like they’d swallowed a hand grenade or something.

Another surprise is that Chris Bender and JC Spink are listed as producers.  They’ve done some pretty interesting work, such as The Butterfly EffectFinal Destination and The Ruins, among many others).

Which still doesn’t mean that Zombeavers isn’t going to suck, though at least there’s a (admittedly slim) chance it won’t (And apropos of nothing, the origin of the zombified beavers is remarkably similar to that of Marvel’s Daredevil, also on Netflix. Coincidence?  Probably).

About midway the movie turns to ‘The Raft,’ from Creepshow 2, except dumber, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering that earlier, when three sunbathing women encounter a bear–the one who happened to be topless covered her breasts, as if the bear somehow cared how small they were.

It’s worth mentioning that the beavers were brought to life–so to speak–via animatronics and hand puppetry, which I appreciate.

There’s also little in the way to CGI to be found, which is good because it would have made the movie look cheaper than it probably was.

Zombeavers plays like a parody of horror movies in which a bunch of–in this instance sort-of-young–young people find themselves in a horrific  situation, which would be fine if it were as funny as the situation is absurd.

So when all is said and done, not even Bill Burr can save Zombeavers, though the theme song at the end comes awfully close.

Zombeavers aren’t resting easy on Netflix.

Crossbones From Captain America: Civil War!

CrossbonesVarious movie sites have posted an image of Crossbones from the upcoming Captain America: Civil War and unlike most of the cast of Suicide Squad, he looks pretty awesome.

For those of you that don’t recall, at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier you see Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) in a hospital bed after almost being killed by the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier that crashed into the Triskelion.

He’s clearly much, much better.

(And can someone tell Chris Evans to take a break already!  He’s just finished Age of Ultron a few months ago, and he’s already segueing into another major production).

Deadshot

And here’s Will Smith from the upcoming Suicide Squad.  Crossbones looks like he’d eat his lunch.

A Case For Lesser Known Directors

Some people are critical of Marvel using lesser known directors for the superhero properties–the main one being that they’re cheaper than better known talent.  This relates directly to rumors that they’re considering  Rick Famuyiwa and Ava DuVernay, for upcoming Marvel projects.

And while their relative inexpensiveness is undeniably a factor, I don’t think it’s nearly as important as some make it out to be.

What’s more interesting is that Marvel has a history of allowing relatively inexperienced (in the terms of handling massive productions that require huge special effects budgets) directors to build multi-million dollar franchises.

Which isn’t to say that it always works out.  After all, Edgar Wright left the upcoming Ant-Man because his vision (and screenplay) didn’t quite mesh with what Marvel Studios wanted, and Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) was a bit put out because Marvel demanded certain changes during filming that he was not particularly happy about.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron – Review

The Avengers: Age Of Ultron International poster

“For me, one of the signs of a good movie is that it rewards repeat viewing.  Avengers: Age of Ulton fits the bill.”  

I’ve already reviewed Avengers: Age of Ultron here for Moviepilot, though I tend to be easily overwhelmed by spectacle–which this movie has in spades–so I saw it a second time, to better digest what was going on.

This time I saw the 2D version at the legendary Uptown theater in Washington, DC (quite possibly the best movie house in the city).

What I noticed is that Avengers: Age of Ultron, on the surface, is a battle between the Avengers and Ultron (motion-captured and voiced by James Spader), a homicidal robot who believes that the only way to save the human race is to force it to evolve, which sounds interesting, till you figure out he intends to kill the bulk of us to bring it about.

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There’s No Way Batman Can Take Captain America

Having just seen Avengers: Age of Ultron–review coming soon–can we just accept one thing:  Namely that there is no way on Earth that Batman can take Captain America?

Unlike what some people may believe…

And while not having seen Zach Snyder’s interpretation of the iconic superhero, there’s virtually no way that he’s in Captain America’s league.  After all, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier he’s doing stuff way beyond the kin of most men (which is actually pretty in line with the character in comics as well, while Batman tends to be portrayed as being much more agile than he has so far demonstrated in movies), such as mastering multiple forms of martial arts, and enhanced reflexes and speed, though most importantly he’s an actual soldier, and has fought in actual battles and wars, while Batman has experienced nothing on that scale.

This is on top of Batman being, essentially an ordinary man, while Steve Rogers is anything but, thanks to the Super Soldier serum.

When you combine that with the qualities that I have already mentioned, he’s way out of Batman’s league.

And keep in mind in Age of Ultron he literally TOSSES A MOTORCYCLE!  He uses momentum to do so, but it’s pretty impressive nonetheless.

While in the Batman movies (certainly the Christopher Nolan ones) he’s certainly less acrobatic that Cap, and definitely not as good a fighter (though this may have more to do with the design of the Batman costume, which if the way the character seems to move is any indication, is pretty restricting).

Still, based upon the movies not only is there virtually no way that Captain America can lose (unless Batman attacks in his BatWing, and even then…).