Jared Leto As The Joker!

The Joker / Suicide SquadYou can say a lot of things about how DC Entertainment is creating movies, though one thing you can’t say is that they’re playing it safe.  Superman killing Zod, the virtual destruction of Metropolis, they’re definitely looking to make themselves a real alternative to Marvel Studios.

ScreenRant recently posted the photo to the left, of Jared Leto from the David Ayer’s upcoming Suicide Squad.

And while it’s an interesting interpretation, I am not too fond of it.  It’s trying too hard to be edgy, and comes off as just a bit desperate.

In my eyes, the Joker is somewhat subtle.  You can’t necessarily tell what he’s going to do by looking at him, while this version seems to wear his intentions on his sleeve, so to speak.

I think it’s a bit much, and could use a huge dose of subtlety.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Dominates Foreign Markets

The Avengers: Age Of Ultron International posterIt’s kind of incredible to believe, but Marvel’s Avengers: The Age of Ultron is well on the way to breaking even!  This is because, while it won’t open domestically till May 1 (though there were showings for critics), its already premiered overseas in 11 foreign markets, where its estimated to earn over $160 million over the coming weekend.

Avengers: Age of Ultron was produced for somewhere in the ballpark of $250 million, though considering how massive a production it is compared to the first film (it takes place in the United States, South Africa, Seoul, and other countries, and has more characters, which typically means more special effects) the cost only increased by $25 million (which I have a sneaking suspicion has a lot to do with Issac Perlmutter).

And I know for most people $25 million is nothing to sneeze at (myself included!) but for a special-effects heavy extravaganza like Age of Ultron, it’s actually not that much money. As I have said for awhile now, the $1.5 billion earned by the first movie is not only going to be surpassed, but it will be so in record time.

Valiant Movie Universe: Too Little, Too Late?

Bloodshot 1Based on a deal between Valiant Entertainment and DMG Entertainment, characters like Bloodshot, Harbinger and Archer & Armstrong will be coming to your local cinema, though there’s an important question which I don’t see being asked, which is if there’s an audience for them.

Currently, there’s a Big Two as far as movies based on comic books go, and that’s Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment, though that’s not to imply that there haven’t been other players.  For instance, Dark Horse Comics in the movies have been represented by Hellboy, The Mask, Virus and Timecop, Malibu Comics with Men In Black and Cowboys & Aliens and Image Comics with Spawn.

The Hellboy movies have been moderately successful, though the sequel to The Mask, 2005’s The Son of The Mask was a box office failure.  Malibu, which later evolved to the Ultraverse, was absorbed into Marvel Comics, and soon vanished.

Which was still more successful than the efforts of comic companies like Avatar Press (Faust) and Image Comics (Spawn, which  did reasonable well at the box office), though barely registered among many.

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Fantastic Four – Trailer

Josh Trank‘s Fantastic Four just released a trailer, and its…okay.  All the elements are there, but it’s coming on the heels of  trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (still hate that subtitle), Ant-Man and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, so it’s easy to see why it’s a bit underwhelming at this point.

As I said, it’s okay.  You see the Fantastic Four display their abilities, glimpse Doctor Doom, as well as the Negative Zone.

I guess my biggest issue is that I really want to see the Fantastic Four, as well as the X-Men, back in the hands of Marvel Studios, because they’re shown, if nothing else that they know how to manage their franchises.

Fox?  Not so much.

And if I were being entirely honest, I have to say that what I know of Bryan Singer (which is admittedly little) I don’t particularly like.

Thoughts on Man of Steel and the leaked Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer UPDATE

Since it was out there already, Warner Bros has released the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer.  It wasn’t done as classily or as coolly as Marvel handled the unintended release of the first The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, though I guess in the end is all that matters is that they did the inevitable.

Men of Steel

I produced this image in Pixelmator, and it looking at it, it got me thinking about what bothered me so much about Man of Steel (the movie that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, is a sequel to).

Which was, in a nutshell, that the film makers took a relatively simple and optimistic character and attempted to turn him into one that is dark, brooding and complex.  Such an approach works well with a character like Batman, not so much in the case of Superman, who’s prior to Man of Steel was all about optimism, often in the face of incredible odds.

Which was part of his charm.  He was a boy scout in a world that needed boy scouts.  He was the best of us that somehow never managed to rub his blatantly obvious superority in.

In fact, I suggest that in making him more complex they took away a lot of what made Superman, Superman.

Sure, they left the costume, and a lot of the superficial trappings that on the surface made the character who he is, but neglected the most important thing of all, namely the hopeful, almost innocent nature of the character.

Which brings me to the leaked version of the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (located here).  I have to admit that it’s better than I thought it would be, if only because it appears to be tackling head-on some of the issues that Man of Steel raised, such as who watches the watchmen, and who is a man with god-like powers truly answerable to–other than himself) and hopefully will do so without a lot of heavy-handed allusions to Jesus (like in Man of Steel, when Supes is falling from Zod’s ship, arms extended like, literally, Christ on the cross) and really twisted moralizing (there’s no way that Clark’s father would even suggest that he should have let a bus full of people die when he had a chance to stop it, just to keep his identity secret).

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Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – Teaser Trailer

Recently Zach Snyder released a teaser trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and it’s a whole lot of…(wait for it) “Meh.”

It consists of a few pans from the Batman to Superman costumes, with bombastic music reminiscent of that from the Transformers movies.

It’s the epitome of a teaser in that it reveals–literally–absolutely nothing (unless you expected Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill to be running around naked, which would be interesting, though for entirely different reasons).

Iron Man vs. Ultron

“I’m glad you asked that because I wanted to take this time to explain my evil plan.”

Brilliant writing.  It plays on the cliche of movie villains always monologuing, when they should be instead either killing/kicking the ass of whomever they happen to be fighting.

James Bond villains are notorious for this (particularly pre-Daniel Craig).  If the majority of them would actually just kill Bond instead of talking about how they are going to kill him then the formidable MI6 agent wouldn’t have made it past Dr. No.

And it goes without saying that Ultron doesn’t do it, which is also awesome.

And you know what would be even more awesome?  If Marvel would stop showing trailers that give away really cool moments and character beats.

Though I hope that this means there are many more on offer.