The Ugly Side Of Fandom

If you’ve seen videos of cosplay or the various ‘Cons’ the first thing you notice is that they feature all sorts of quirky, colorful (and often brilliant) costumes, which is why it’s understandable if you thought that that was what comic geek culture was all about (besides costumes and the–virtual–worship of certain movies and comic characters).

And for the most part, you’d be right, though there are instances when a comic character that began “life” as a white person, and is reinterpreted as a person of color in the movies (Oddly, when a male character was reinterpreted as female, in the case of 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica, when Starbuck was underwent gender reassignment, fans only offered token resistance while most were relatively sanguine about it) when you often see the ugly side of fandom.

Before I begin, you’ll noticed that I deliberately don’t use the term “race” because, besides being a misnomer, it has always bothered me because white people are genetically identical to black people, yellow people, beige people, and so on.

I bring this up because the reaction to John Boyega, dressed as a stormtrooper in the beginning of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, has been pretty distressing for some members of the fan community.

Comic book fans tend to be sticklers for detail, which to a degree I can understand. If someone has been following a character for the better part of their lives, it probably feels amazing to see the character on the big screen; till that is, they see that the character has been interpreted in a manner opposite to what they have known and anticipated.

That being said, it feels that whenever an actor of color is cast in a prominent role in a comic book movie, some in the fan community lose all sense of propriety, and logic goes out the window.

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‘Antboy’ Review

Antsy movie poster

“Entertaining for children, and (probably) mildly interesting for adults.”

Antboy, a film by Danish director Ask Hasselbalch, is a decent enough movie about a little boy named Pelie (Oscar Dietz) who’s bitten by an scientifically-enhanced ant, and gains certain insect-like abilities, like climbing walls, enhanced strength and acidic urine (?).

The synopsis above probably sounds a bit familiar–except the acidic urine; I have no idea where they got that from–because it’s essentially the story of Spider-Man, though luckily the movie plays more as a love letter to superhero movies than any sort of (blatantly obvious) attempt at perjury.

In fact, when the movie is caught in the trappings of genre it’s at its most interesting, though there’s a fly in the ointment (see what I did there?).

And that’s that the movie is dubbed into English (from Dutch).  The dubbing isn’t terribly done, which ironically makes it worse because when characters talk, it’s sort of, but not quite, in sync with the way their lips move.

It’s oddly distracting and took me out of the movie virtually anytime someone spoke, which was quite often.  In fact, if it were released in Dutch with English subtitles I suspect that it would have been a much more enjoyable experience (you can opt-in for subtitles on Netflix, though I don’t know if that means subtitles with an English or Dutch vocal).

Though if such things don’t bother you, then check out Antboy.  It’s a cute movie with a few moral lessons that it doesn’t hammer you over the head with, and should definitely appeal to younger children.

Antboy is currently on Netflix.

The Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer – Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Edition

Kevin Feige, you cheeky bastard.  It appears that you pulled a fast one.  When the trailer for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron was leaked prior to it appearing on Marvel’s Agent’s Of S.H.I.E.L.D. I assumed that that was the end of this story.  Sure, Marvel Studios handed things pretty gracefully, but I thought it was time to move on.

How wrong I was.

The trailer that was released during S.H.I.E.L.D. is quite similar to the leaked trailer, but not the same, and as anyone knows, the Devil is in the details.  The fist, and most noticeable difference is that there’s an extended party scene (which the first trailer only touches upon), where Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr) and Jim Rhodes (Don Cheadle) attempt to lift Thor’s hammer.Tony and Rhody Attempt to lift Thor's hammer

Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) doesn’t bother, because she knows that boys will be boys.

Though things get interesting with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), otherwise known as Captain America, tries.

Thor's expression

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) appears mildly concerned, especially since he knows that one has to be deemed worthy by the magics that permeate the hammer to lift it, and who’s worthier than Captain America?

From that point on, the trailer mostly follows similar beats as the first one, though there are small differences.

Such as the image below of Black Widow staring at something…

Black Widow staring

Which was followed by this image of the Chituari scepter from 2013’s The Avengers (and what we learn give the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver their abilities from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Ctharia weaponCombined with earlier scenes of Captian America breaking into a castle, I believe that they show his his search for the origins of Winter Soldier, and that he finds the hideout of Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann).

Though there’s an image that appears in both versions that I am very curious about, which is of an attractively-lit room that’s serving as a ballet studio, though why is it in the trailer?  Did Joss Whedon (who may not have cut it) want to add a scene of beauty to contrast all the larger-than-life heroics that proceeded it?

Ballet Dancers

Maybe, but I doubt it because it’s too obvious.  I suspect that the dancers may have something to do with the Scarlet Witch, if only because it’s not exactly the style of Black Widow or Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).

Now This Is How You Announce A Production Schedule (Not At A Lame Shareholder’s Meeting)!

Marvel Studios has just released their production slate up to the year 2020, and it goes without saying that unlike their Distinguished Competition they did so not at a shareholder’s meeting, but at a press event dedicated for that purpose.

Marvel, led my mastermind Kevin Feige, have announced a lot that will have fans of Marvel Studios salivating, such as movies based upon The Black Panther, The Inhumans and Thor: Ragnarok and many more!

The Black Panther

 

The Inhumans

 

Thor: Ragnarok

Though that’s not all!  Check out all the latest news at Superherohype.com.  And while you’re there, check out as I reveal my Marvel love for all the world to see in their Comments section!

 

More Reasons (As If You Needed Any) Why Marvel Studios Is Awesome

A few days ago I caught a pirated version of the trailer for Marvel Studios’ upcoming The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and noted in a post that it looked particularly good for a pirated trailer.

Since that time Marvel has released a HD version that was watched by over 34.3 million people in the first 24 hours, beating the last record holder, Iron Man 3, which had 20 million views in the same period.

So, in case you were somehow not among those millions, or living in a cave–which doesn’t explain how you happen to be reading this post–here it is.

Marvel Studios originally planned to release it during a showing of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which has been hurting in the ratings lately, so it could have definitely drawn a few more eyes.

Though when they learned that it was released prematurely, Marvel could have done quite a few things, such as pull the clip from anywhere it was live, and then sic their legal department on anyone else.

Such tactics aren’t unheard of, after all.

Instead Marvel sent this tweet, and released an HD version of the pirated trailer.

Marvel Studios TweetPretty awesome and classy, though it also managed to get millions of people not only very excited about the movie but managed to preserve a lot of goodwill.

‘The Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Trailer

I have no idea how long this one is going to be live.  It’s supposed to be first shown during Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. but you know how the Interwebs are.  It’s pretty good visually–in fact, exceptionally so–but could be a bit sharper.

I’ll post the official release as well.

Check it out!

In case that one was pulled, here’s a more reliable link.

Ewan McGregor As Doctor Strange? Not Buying It

Doctor Strange  Sorceror SupremeEvery since Joaquin Phoenix decided to pass of the role of Marvel Studios’ Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange, all sorts of names are being bandied about, such as Ethan Hawke and Keanu Reeves.

The latest is Ewan McGregor, and I think it’s unlikely (Ethan Hawke would be my choice, and it helps that he’s worked with the director, Scott Derrickson before in Sinister–that being said he also worked with Reeves in the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still) because McGregor may be up for another Star Wars film, though without knowing the timeline or even if it’s something he’s interested in or was even if it was offered to him, it’s hard to say.

That being said, I hope an American actor plays Strange (which isn’t to imply that it’s in any way unusual that a very American character isn’t played by one, like in the case of  Thor (Chris Hemsworth’s, who’s Australian, though his accent worked really well), Loki (Tom Hiddleston, British, and for similar reasons) and Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield, also British).