Secret In Their Eyes – Trailer

Chiwetel Ejiofor (a name that is much easier to type than it is to say) MUST become a huge star one of these days, and if Secret In Their Eyes doesn’t do it, then my money is on Marvel Studios’ upcoming Benedict Cumberbatch starrer, Doctor Strange.

I think that I first saw him in Joss Whedon’s Serenity, and he was pretty good there; though if the trailer is any indication this guy is primed to explode any movie now.

That is, if there’s any justice in the universe–which I guess depends upon where you stand.

Magic Mike XXL – Review

“Magic Mike XXL” is in many ways a pretty enjoyable movie. Channing Tatum, despite seeming to be physically imposing, moves in a manner that belies his size and makes him seem really personable–more so than I am accustomed to seeing him–and the whole cast seemed to be having a good time, which shows.

And for some that’s all they want from a movie, so it works on that level.

That being said, it’s almost surreal how unreal the movie feels. I’m accustomed to movies revolving around strippers (or any other field so pornography-adjacent) to have some sort of an edge, and not to feel like it’s suffering from a serious case of Disneyfication.

What I would have liked to have seen would have been somewhat evocative of Times Square before all the peepshows and porno theaters were gentrified out of existence; a portrayal of slightly damaged people, overcoming the odds.

But that’s not what we get here, mainly because one of the things Magic Mike XXL lacks is any sense of threat, of danger, which typically goes hand-in-hand with sexiness. Here it’s all about the tease, which is nothing if not frustrating (though it didn’t appear to bother the woman sitting next to me, who was REALLY into it).

In Mike’s world all the men are either strong, confident, witty, capable, agile, philosophical or really good singers (sometimes embodying all of those characteristics in one individual, if Ken (Matt Bomer) or Mike (Tatum) are any indication.

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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.

Heroes Reborn – The Extraordinary Among Us (Trailer)

I really liked this trailer for NBC’s upcoming Heroes Reborn, despite that fact that it felt very familiar (especially if you’ve seen Netflix’s Daredevil or Sense8).  That being said, the series that inspired it was really cutting edge at the time, though through a combination of a writers strike, bad timing and–in my opinion–bad writing pretty much doomed the series in its first incarnation.

But what’s past is past, and here’s to a more heroic future.

Harbinger Down – International Trailer

it’s taken filmmakers long enough to realize that ‘quality’ and ‘horror’ aren’t necessairly mutually exclusive terms, if movies like The Babadook and It Follows are any indication.

Though it goes without saying that we’ll continue to get drek like Ouija (good idea, remarkably uninspired movie) and Paranormal Activity, but that’s okay as long as the good stuff continues be green-lit as well.

And speaking of ‘good stuff,’ StudioADI has cut an international trailer for their upcoming love letter to H.P. Lovecraft and John Carpenter’s The Thing, Harbinger Down.

The significance being that if there’s an international trailer, it assumes that at the very least that the movie will be released in theaters overseas, though I get the feeling that it will be lucky to get a limited run in theaters on this side of the world (though It Follows was was originally going direct to video, before someone thought better of the idea and released it to theaters).Trailer

And who knows?  One successful adaptation of a Lovecraft-like movie could conceivably get studios to approve others.

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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Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm – Puppet Movement Tests

I am genuinely psyched for movies like Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice but what I am even more interested in is something that we won’t be seeing on the big screen, and that’s Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm.

Originally sold by creators Anderson and John Needham to a Japanese company, it was developed into anime.  The rights have reverted back to Anderson’s estate, and his son, Jamie, is developing it into a series.

To anyone familiar to Anderson’s productions, a strong suit tends to be the technology on display, and Firestorm won’t be any different( if the cartoon inspired by Anderson and Needham’s work is any indication).  That being said, I am more interested for what has been absent from Anderson’s productions for a long while, and that’s actual puppets.

Below is a motion test, where they’re putting one through its paces, and it looks glorious.  There’s something about an actual object–as opposed to an accumulation of pixels–that’s so cool.  And sure, there’re lots of things that you can do with CGI that you can’t with puppets (though they benefit from improvements in technology like anything else), but I am okay with that because hopefully it will never turn to an either or type of situation.

Puppetry reminds me of a something hand-crafted, that refuses to go easily into the mists of time.  As a result, it manages to be retro and and modern all at the same time, and I can’t wait to see it.