Tea Leaves, Entrails and Frankenstein

I find Hollywood a fascinating place, though perhaps that’s because my view is a distant one.

Never mind the scandals, or whom is sleeping with whom–though that’s interesting too, though only in a cursory manner.  What I find infinitely more fascinating is how is it that decisions are made.

And while I doubt that it has anything to do with reading entrails or tea leaves, I have to wonder if it’s any more accurate.

For instance, if there was someone who had a whit of understanding what it is that comic book fans as well as the average movie goers are looking for, would we have ever had Fant4stic?

Probably not.

The same thing applies to Victor Frankenstein.  There are some good actors, like Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, but there’s something even more important missing, which is a reason why they’re making the movie in the first place.

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DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 Trailer

I like it how as of late DC Entertainment stopped Nolanizing all their comic book properties–at least on television, at any rate.  Not every character is Batman, and it’s good to see that they’re finally embracing the more fantastical aspects of many of them.

It’s a trend that began with The Flash, moved into Arrow, and seems to continue with Supergirl and the upcoming DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

I know who the individual characters are, but little about their particulars, though I think that making Rip Hunter a time-traveling Brit–whether or not he is in the comics–isn’t particularly a good move, especially since there’s a much better known British time traveller on television as of late.

And he’s not part of the DC Universe.

Fifty Shades of Black – Official Trailer 1

I get the sneaking suspicion that most everything funny about Marlon Wayans’s upcoming Fifty Shades of Black is already in the trailer?

I’ll probably never know for certain because I have no intention of paying to see it, though to be fair I expect it to be funnier than Fifty Shades of Gray (faint praise, especially since the latter isn’t a comedy.  I think).

Now You See Me 2 – Official Trailer 1

I actually enjoyed the original Now You See Me, despite that the story made no sense–in the world of the movie magic either really existed, a notion the very same movie spends most of running time debunking, or Mark Ruffalo’s Dylan Rhodes was a serial killer of magicians (a really odd niche to be sure, but if history has taught us anything it’s that serial killers are a particularly fickle bunch).

Though I imagine that if there was anyone that could show them a thing or two about magic it would be Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe).

Directed this time around John M. Chu, who replaces Louis Leterrier, it will hopefully do better than  Jem and the Holograms.

Jessica Jones – Official Trailer 2

For Marvel’s Daredevil I literally watched the entire first series over about a day and a half.  The reason I did so was because i wanted to see if i could, though i was also curious if could stand up to a serious binge-viewing.

And it passed with flying colors.

I’m not terribly familiar with Jessica Jones from the comics, so unlike with Daredevil, I am going in knowing little more than the non-comic reading viewer.

Though the trailers are interesting and show Marvel Television blazing their own trail independent of the movies.

I think that I’m feeling a binge-a-thon coming on.

I also have no idea what’s going on with The Rat, though it’s pretty harrowing.

What Spectre Shows About Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Batman v. Superman 1While the budget for Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, hasn’t been released yet, it’s rumored to be expensive.

And by ‘expensive,’ I mean somewhere in the ballpark of $410 million.  The source of that figure, Latino Review, isn’t always known for the accuracy of their predictions, though if it happens to be true and the movie pulls in, let’s say, $1.4 billion it will be an underwhelming enough performance to be considered a flop.

And that’s a problem.  Keep in mind that some idiot said that Avengers: Age Of Ultron was a flop despite earning over $1.4 billion–it wasn’t, especially when it cost only $250 million to produce; though maybe the person who made the claim based it on what it was expected to earn, as opposed to what it actually did–but the thing is, if Batman v. Superman earns that amount I expect the world ‘flop’ will be thrown around quite a bit.

And while that’s not necessarily accurate, it’s close enough to the truth that it should cause studio heads to pause and reexamine what they’re doing.

By way of comparison, Spectre, is doing really well.  Having been released in Europe prior to North America, it has already earned almost $300 million ($70 million of that is from domestic box office, which has been a bit underwhelming).  And the thing is, despite a strong opening, it will (probably) barely be profitable (which means that it will have to take in at least $900 million).

Batman v Superman 2That’s a HUGE amount of money, which makes you wonder why it is that studios continue to make movies that are so expensive that profitability is barely a distant notion, if that.  Yet, compared to what Batman v. Superman is supposed to cost, Spectre is almost cheap.

And this is taking into account that Zach Snyder’s Man Of Steel did not perform as strongly as many thought it would–which in hindsight shows that turning Metropolis into a crater and Superman’s seeming lack of concern about human life were not such good ideas–and that cost $225 million to produce, so how studio heads come to the conclusion that doubling the budget is a good move is somehow beyond me.

Warcraft – Official Trailer

Universal and Legendary released their official Warcraft trailer, and it’s a HUGE improvement over the teaser.  That’s the good news; the not-so-good news is that–at least in the trailer–the CGI is looking particularly gamey, as in video gamey.

That’s not to say that it looks bad, but the Orcs don’t look as realistic as Hulk from Avengers: Age Of Ultron, either (and I am aware that orcs aren’t real, but you know what I mean) and live comfortably in the uncanny valley.

What I am also not seeing is it being a huge hit, which I attribute to the timing of the release more than anything else (if this came on the heels of the Lord Of The Rings movies it might be a different story) though I am not sure that Legendary wanting a movie to be an event is the same as the movie actually being an event.

We’ll see.