Six Reasons I Am Jazzed About The Captain America: Civil War Trailer

A lot of people are jazzed about Star Wars: The Force Awakens (illustrated by millions in advance ticket sales), Suicide Squad or maybe Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice and I understand the enthusiasm.

I really do, but for me, the trailer for the must see movie for 2016 dropped late yesterday, and that’s Captain America: Civil War.

Captain America: The First Avenger was for me a bit meh.  Captain America was always sort of bland, truth be told, and while I was glad to see such an earnest portrayal of the character on screen, he didn’t exactly stoke the flames of geekiness in me.

That is, till I saw Captain America: The Winter Solder, and realized that Marvel Studios was able to do the seemingly impossible, which was to not only make Captain America relevant and dynamic, but most importantly without altering what made him so interesting in the first place; which was the almost simplistic, black and white way that he sees the world.

It’s part of what makes the Captain so fascinating.  It’s also a  world view that’s in some respects shared by DC Entertainment’s Superman, which is one of the many reasons why Man of Steel disappointed me so much: the producers apparently had so little faith in the essentially goodness and child-like naïveté at the heart of the Superman character that they–apparently in an effort to make him darker and more palatable to what they thought modern audience were looking for–essentially destroyed everything that made Superman, Superman.

So, without further ado, the six reasons why I am so jazzed about the Captain America: Civil War trailer.

  1. Someone (Finally) Decks Tony Stark!

Which he deserved after the creation of homicidal robot/doppelganger Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Robert Downey, Jr’s Tony Stark is the lynch pin that holds the Marvel Cinematic Universe together.  But the thing is, Stark is also a bit of dick.  The only thing that matches his brilliance is his arrogance, so it’s nice that first time we see Stark he has a shiner, which implies that for once when he pushed, someone pushed back.

And I’m willing to be that that ‘someone’ is Steve Rogers (Chris Evans)

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2.  The Falcon Can Actually Fight

When we’re introduced to The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier he’s pretty awesome, though you’ll probably notice that the only things he brought to the party were a set of wings and a ready quip.

Which, coming from someone who can’t fly, is pretty awesome, but this time around he displays more martial prowess, which is in line with the idea that the Falcon is more than just the ability to fly and a sense of humor.

And did I mention he’s going to have a version of Redwing in this movie?

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3. The Black Panther

Based on all the pre-production artwork, I thought that the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) would be sporting some sort of leather-like costume.

Looking at the screen shot from the trailer, he’s apparently wearing some sort of armor.

And he looks badass.

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4. Can We Once And For All Accept That Captain America Will Clean Batman’s Clock?

The Internet loves the Batman (much of that due to Christopher Nolan’s reboot), but can we just accept that Captain America will clean his clock?

In Avengers: Age of Ultron he tossed a motorcycle (he used momentum, but still) at Hydra’s advancing troops, and apparently in Captain America: Civil War he prevents a helicopter from taking off by grasping the landing gear in one hand, and the side of a building in another.

Sorry, but Batman just isn’t in his league.

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5. Who Has The Strength To Do This To War Machine?

War Machine (Don Cheadle) is essentially Iron Man with heavier weaponry and someone who’s actually combat-trained at the helm.  By way of clarification, facing him is like facing Iron Man, but with a greater grasp of fighting and battle strategy.

Yet, someone clearly beat the stuffing out of him, and I wonder who.

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6.  So This Is How Captain America and The Winter Soldier Face Iron Man!

I have to admit that I was scratching my head over this one.  As strong and capable as Captain America is, he’s no match for Iron Man.  Stark’s genius, combined with a virtually invincible battle suit is a huge hurdle to overcome.

I was imagining that the producers of the movie would cheat to make Captain America somehow win (which is honestly the only way that he would be able to do so one-on-one) but it appears that they teamed him with the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).

Two battle-hardened warriors against Iron Man?  One a superhuman fighter/tactician, the other a lethal (former) assassin with a bionic arm?

This makes sense.  They definitely cracked the code.Screenshot 2015-11-25 09.36.46.png

Jessica Jones – Full Trailer

When words like ‘dark’ were used to describe Netflix’s upcoming Marvel series, Jessica Jones, I assumed that they were mainly referring to their last entry, Daredevil.

Looking at the new trailer, I have to say that they’re definitely kicking things up a few notches.  From what I could see, it looks like Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is a former superhero who’s given up her cape (or tights) and trying to make it work as a private eye.

It’s interesting in that Jessica Jones looks like Fatal Attraction, with super-powered individuals.

She’s picking up the pieces of her life, when things get interesting.  As a superhero she was victimized by Kilgrave (David Tennant, based on Marvel Comics’ the Purple Man), who used to her to satisfy his every whim (including those of a sexual nature, apparently) so she’s not quite over the trauma, when he comes back for her.

What makes him so dangerous is that, due to pheromones, he’s able to make people do anything that he asks them to and if the trailer is at all accurate, it’s an ability he’s not afraid to use, as he has virtually everyone in a police station kill each other, and apparently forces Jessica Jones to witness it.

It’s pretty dark stuff.  Marvel has been killing it–pardon the pun–as far as their movies go, now it seems that their television shows, based on their street-level heroes are just as daring and innovative.

What’s Marvel Get 4 Giving Fox The Right To Produce Two New X-Men Television Series?

Recently it was announced that Fox is preparing not one, but two new television series based on Marvel Comics’ X-Men stable of characters.

One is Hellfire, based on the villains that appeared in X-Men: First Class known as the Hellfire Club.  The leader is Sebastian Shaw (played by Kevin Bacon in the movie, which makes me wonder if he’s willing to reprise the role since his last television series, The Following, was cancelled a year or two ago).

The second is Legion, which revolves around the son of Charles Xavier, who was an extremely powerful–and more than a little bit unhinged in the comics–mutant known as Legion.

Though my question is, what is Marvel Studios getting?  While Fox has the license to the X-Men characters in movies, they don’t in reference to television, so what did Fox do Marvel that enticed them to change their mind (especially since it’s entirely possible that one of the new series will be up against competing Marvel shows on ABC like Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s Agent Carter or upcoming series like Damage Control).

The Silver SurferI haven’t seen anything that definitely proves this (yet) though I get the feeling that we might be hearing an announcement from Marvel Studios some time in the near future about the fate of the Fantastic Four (and the stable of characters connected to them).

The last time I mentioned this it was in reference to Marvel producing a comic based on the Silver Surfer–they have a tendency to cancel books that revolve around characters that they don’t have the rights to–so producing a new book based on a character that’s part of the Fantastic Four universe to me indicates a sea change of sorts.

And now two new television shows based on X-Men characters–which I am reasonably certain Marvel isn’t allowing them to do out of the goodness of their hearts–makes me even more confident that the next time we hear about the Fantastic Four, it will be to celebrate their return to Marvel.

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.

Is Marvel On The Verge Of Regaining The Fantastic Four?

This post is based on (admittedly) thin evidence, though there is a logic.

This year Fox released their latest version of Fantastic Four, which was–to put it bluntly–a box-office disaster, earning almost $167 million against at budget of at least $120 million.

At this point, to break even (typically double the production budget), which is the most that Fantastic Four can hope for at this point.  There are a lot of people who hope that Marvel Studios regain the license to the characters, though this was before one of the producers, Simon Kinberg, announced that there were plans for a sequel.

Which is utter nonsense, and little more than the producer of a failed movie saving face.  The proof is easy enough to see because you’ll find few companies willing to take a franchise that has already failed–and blatantly so–and pump more money into it.  By way of example, Disney’s Tron: Legacy earned over $400 million on a $170 million budget while Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim earned $411 million on a $190 million budget.  Most of that money was earned internationally, which was probably why Universal was so reticent about going in on a sequel with Legendary.

Both films were moderate successes, yet neither are getting sequels (though hope springs eternal for the latter). Continue reading

When Is A Movie In The Black?

If you ask ten people at what point a movie becomes profitable, you’ll probably get ten answers, each slightly different than the one that proceeded it.

Based on what I have read what I tend to do is double the production costs, as far as breaking even goes.  I’m aware that a movie also has expenses attached to marketing, and that theaters get their cut, though I’ve heard so many varying ideas about what those numbers are that i tend not to put too much stock in them.

Besides, while a studio may release the budget of a particular motion picture, they don’t often release marketing costs, and those can vary greatly based upon the type of film being promoted (typically, I throw in $50 million or so for a tentpole, but that number can also vary–I have also heard of instances where marketing costs add up to half, or even more, of the cost of the producing the movie itself).

In terms of profitability, I tend to use the 3X rule, namely if your movie has earned at least three times its production costs, then that movie is a success (by which I mean you’re in the black).

For instance, Marvel’s Ant-Man has earned over $401 millon, on a $130 million budget.  As far as I can tell that’s pretty successful, particularly for a character that to some is a “flavor of the week.

Zach Snyder Needs To Shut Up

i understand it when competitive people talk smack about their opponents, which often goes hand-in-hand with healthy competition.

The same thing can extend to the advocates of particular movie studios, just as it more commonly does for sports teams, and few studios are seen as competitors as much as Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment.

Smack starts flying around 21:40, though it’s worth noticing how diplomatic Joe and Anthony Russo are, as compared to Zach Snyder.

I bring it up because recently Zach Snyder (director of Man Of Steel and the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice) recently commented on Marvel’s Ant-Man movie, calling it the “flavor of the week (which is a pretty silly comment, if only because one of the greatest mistakes Warner Bros. made–and seems to continue to make, though to a lesser degree–was relying exclusively on Batman instead of developing other characters.  His comment also conveniently ignores that DC is apparently developing a movie based on Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, both of whom aren’t exactly well-known).”

Continue reading