‘Peanuts’ And ‘Popeye’ Trailers

Peanuts, based on the beloved cartoons by Charles Schulz, has been beautifully rendered in CGI, though looking at the trailer, I honestly can’t see a pressing reason why (other than virtually all American animation has gone the way of the computer). The characters themselves were never terribly distinctive–visually speaking–as cartoons, so it’s no surprise their CGI versions aren’t either.

Apparently they’re rendered so faithfully to the cartoons that it makes me wonder why they didn’t stick with that format in the first place.

While Popeye works better in CGI because the cartoon itself was always a bit odd and surreal, and if the test trailer is any indication, that weirdness has transferred over to the movie relatively intact.

‘Late Phases’ Trailer

I know that this is going to sound odd, but I have a pressing need for Adrián García Bogliano‘s Late Phases to be a entertaining, well-done horror film, of the werewolf sub-genre.  For a start, I have seen Bogliano’s Here Comes The Devil, and it’s pretty mediocre.  I haven’t yet seen Cold Sweat–it’s currently on #Netflix, though for whatever reason I have had a only passing interest.

Late Phases has been getting quite a bit of good buzz, so that’s at least reassuring–then again, so did Here Comes The Devil, so I guess that I shouldn’t get my hopes up too much.

More recently, I have seen Annabelle and Ouija, neither of which meets my strict definition of what a horror film could–or should–be (which is that the film doesn’t necessarily have to be overtly gory, or even violent–though it helps–but it does have to be suspenseful, create a sense of tangible unease and/or discomfort, and make the viewer uneasy and perhaps most importantly, get the blood racing, pardon the pun).

Late Phases stars Ethan Embry–an uber-talented and extremely under-rated actor if there ever was one–and Nick Dimici (Stakeland) which makes me want to see it even more.

‘Dragon Age: Inquisition – The Breach’ Trailer

I’ve played the original Dragon Age, if I recall, for less than a half hour before I lost interest.  That’s more a commentary on me being really fickle more than anything else.

In other words, it doesn’t take much for me to lose interest in something.

For instance, if the control scheme is a bit unusual and takes adjusting to, then–more often than not–I’m done.

Hell, remember Defender?

I enjoyed watching people play it but never bothered myself.  Why?  Too many damn buttons to keep track of; not exactly what I would call intuitive.

That being said, I don’t recall Dragon Age looking anything like the animatic above, which implies that the gameplay may have changed from what I remember.

And while the Breach, where the monsters came from in Pacific Rim is an idea that I don’t think can be copyrighted, though it strikes me as sort of odd that the makers of the game–if the trailer is to believed–essentially took the concept, and just moved it to the sky, as opposed to the bottom of the ocean.

And they even call it the same thing.

Reasons For And Where A Potential Tron: Legacy Sequel Could Begin

Tron: Legacy movie poster

 

  • Demand

I am still reasonably sure that there will be a sequel to the 2010 Joseph Kosinski film, Tron: Legacy.  The original earned over $400 million worldwide, on a budget of $170 million.  When you take into account promotional costs–which I don’t have access to, but I’ll add on another $100 million, which sounds fair–then Tron: Legacy actually wasn’t that profitable, if at all.

But you have to also keep in mind that it earned over $400 million, which shows is that there’s definitely interest in the property, and demand for a potential sequel, with the caveat being if Disney can build on that demand.

  • Disney Has Few Homegrown Options of Its Own

Disney, as a movie studio, is in a pretty unique position.  There’s their Marvel Studios arm, which produced the recent box office hit, Guardians Of The Galaxy, as well as the upcoming The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Ant-Man, and many others.

Then there’s Pixar, which creates cutting edge CGI features that manage to be extremely profitable, which isn’t easy to do (if you think so, take a look at DreamWorks SKG’s releases sometime, which if it weren’t for the success of How To Train Your Dragon 2, would be bleak).

And there’s also Disney Animation, which ever since John Lassiter, the head of Pixar, began running things, has become a hit-making machine with movies like  Wreck-It-RalphFrozen and most recently Big Hero 6 which has managed, domestically, to outgross Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

And I haven’t even gotten into Lucasfilm, which has the potential to be massive with the new Star Wars films they have in the pipeline.

So what becomes of Disney?  Are they a holding company for their more successful branches, or can they produce unique content of their own (Maleficent‘s success to this day is something of a mystery to me, as in I don’t see, considering how relatively niche the movie is in some ways, how it did as well as it did)?

I think that they can, and a sequel to Tron: Legacy would be a great way to show it.

Now on to where the story of Tron can go.

There’s a moment during Joseph Kosinski’s Tron: Legacy that could have defined the entire series, though it’s a relatively small (and unfortunately wasn’t built upon) and easy to miss if you weren’t paying attention.  When Quorra (Olivia Wilde) takes Sam (Garrett Hedlund) to see his father, Kevin (Jeff Bridges).  Kevin exlains that he brought in Tron, and created Clu to keep an eye on things when he couldn’t be on the Grid.

Flynn eventually uttered this line:  “It was a coup.  Clu had been corrupted.”

This is an important line because it leads to the most seminal event in the entire movie, which is Clu overthrowing Kevin and taking control, and if there’s a sequel it’s the perfect point for it to begin.

Because it leads to the question:  How did Clu become corrupted?  If you recall earlier in the movie, you meet Edward Dillinger (Cillian Murphy) who’s a star programmer at Encom.

The point being that Edward Dillinger is the son of Ed Dillinger (David Warner), who in the original movie was Sark though more importantly he’s the creator of the MCP (Master Control Program).

So, going to back to Tron: Legacy, the question of the day is:  How was Clu corrupted?  Let’s, for argument’s sake, say that it wasn’t a random event, but the work of Edward Dillinger!  This means that he’s not only aware of the Grid, but intends to take it over in his father’s name.

And how would he do so?

After corrupting Clu, he would then go about trying to create a new MCP which serves two goals:  It gives him control of the computer world, as well as, potentially, control of Encom.

But most importantly such a direction by Disney completes the journey began in Tron, continued in Tron: Legacy and brings it full circle, and toward what could be a very sastifying conclusion that pleases fans of the original film, its sequel, and others the world over.

And if Disney charts the course I have so carefully mapped, I hope that they also bring back Wendy Carlos, who’s talent, genius and ability defined the original film, and was sorely missed in the sequel.

Mortdecai – Trailer

MortdecaiMaybe it’s just me, but I am getting the feeling that Johnny Depp is coasting just a little bit.  I laughed when I saw the trailer the the upcoming Mortdecai–he’s pretty amusing–but you’ve also seen variations of this schtick from him before (particularly in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) and I just wish he’d do something every once in awhile like the character he played in Blow.

Preferably something small and without the weird quirkiness–and fake mustaches–he seems to invest in many of his characters would also be welcome.

‘Kingdom Come’ Trailer

I am jonsin‘ for a entertaining horror movie.  Recently two new ones from Blumhouse Pictures (The Conjuring, Insidious, Insidious 2, etc), Mercy and Mockingbird (review coming soon) turned up on Netflix, and to say that both were underwhelming would be an understatement.

Though Blumhouse seems to be innovating in a genre all its own, which is hard to describe because it’s not Horror–they may be called that, but if something is going to be called “Horror” I’d like to think that it’s at least scary–though “Mildly Disquieting” is more fitting, though I can understand why it’s not something that they use on their posters.  The thing is, I am not even necessarily talking about gore (though I wouldn’t complain if there were more) because you can have a pretty horrific movie without a drop of blood if it has an engaging story and full-bodied characterization.

Then again, if the Paranormal Activity films have shown us anything, it’s that there’s a huge audience for thin, wispy plots and jump scares.

So I am posting this trailer for Kingdom Come, a movie that I would bet money won’t appear in wide-release, though it looks ambitious enough that maybe it should.

‘Minions’ Trailer

I have never been too into the Minions, those daffy pill-shaped things from Despicable Me and its sequel.  As you can tell from the picture, whatever the goal the animators were aiming for, any sort of realism wasn’t one of them.

These Are Minions.  What They're Supposed To Actually Be, I Have No Idea

These Are Minions. What They’re Supposed To Actually Be, I Have No Idea

That being said, what I find interesting is that, despite the fantastical nature of the Minions and their world, Egyptians look more accurate than they will probably be–considering that Joel Edgerton will be playing one (though Christian Bale playing Moses isn’t much better)–in Ridley Scott’s upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Minions in EgyptWhich is really, really sad.