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.

The Visit – Trailer

“Bedtime is at 9:30.  It’s probably best that you don’t come out of your room after that.”  

Oh yeah, nothing at all eerie about that.  No reason to suspect that something’s not quite right with Grandpa and Grandma.

When I heard that quote, taken verbatim from the trailer from M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming horror movie, The Visit, I got an odd feeling of deja vu, as if I have seen this movie before, and it wasn’t even that good then.

The Visit comes courtesy of Blumhouse Pictures, which means that it’s not only going to play–if the trailer is any indicator–like  a very well-shot home movie, but to make matters worse, it’s combined with Shyamalan’s typical over-estimation of his own writing prowess.

Which isn’t to say that he hasn’t had good movies.  The Sixth Sense was remarkable, and Unbreakable was pretty entertaining as well, though his others, not so much (mainly because Shyamalan can’t seem to make one without a ‘twist’ at the end, which more often than not was either pretty lame (Signs) or a ripoff of the The Twilight Zone (The Village), minus Rod Serling’s prose skills.

As a result, I get the feeling that The Visit will not overstay its welcome at the box office.

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.

Tomorrowland – Trailer 3

Looking at the latest trailer for Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland, Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) and Frank Walker (George Clooney) are either running from robots, or I’m watching the trailer for  what’s quite possibly the most violent Disney movie ever made.

In fact, there’s a scene that’s eerily reminiscent of another movie that probably won’t be confused with anything from The House of Mouse

Which is why I’m reasonably comfortable in saying that those are robots chasing them, not humans (you can get away with destroying robots in movies because their representation in Hollywood hasn’t yet evolved to the levels of other traditionally maligned groups).

I am also trying not to feel a bit dismayed that Damon Lindelhof is involved with the movie, since he had way too much to do with how mediocre Prometheus ended up being.

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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Jurassic World – Trailer 2

John Sayles Jurassic WorldI’m of two minds on the latest Jurassic World trailer.  It goes without saying that there are some awesome moments, particularly when Owen Brady (Chris Pratt) is riding his motorcycle amidst a (Pack?  Pride?  Clutch?) of velociraptors.

That being said, very little about the movie makes any sense.  For instance, WHY ON EARTH would anyone genetically engineer a creature not only bigger than a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but smarter and faster as well?

And while scientists doing what anyone with any sense knows makes absolutely no sense at all is a staple of science fiction, having seen the results of that idea not working too well for three movies already, I don’t see why they’d go and make things worse by creating monsters that are even tougher than those that’s it’s already been established that they can’t stop (no matter what technological means they’ve developed to inhibit things like reproduction, for example).

I know it’s just a movie, but I would have hoped that there was something more to power future entries than the same stupidity that undergirded the prior movies.

For instance, there was talk for awhile about Universal going with a John Sayles (a brilliant writer/director) screenplay that dealt with Engen developing human-dinosaur hybrids.

Now, sure, that’s still scientists doing really stupid things that they should know that they shouldn’t, but who wouldn’t want to see human-dinosaur hybrids tramping about?

It sounds like a ape-shite crazy idea, though Sayles is a great writer and if anyone could have made such a wild idea work, it would be him.

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.