Five Reasons That Will Contribute To Guillermo Del Toro Directing Doctor Strange

This post is entirely speculation, though it is based upon logic as well as current news.

Notice that in the title of this article I sad “could” as opposed to “would” because the last I heard was that Del Toro was busy working on Legendary Pictures’ upcoming fright-feature “Crimson Peak,” as well as executive producing the FX series based upon the trilogy he wrote with Chuck Hogan, “The Strain,” “The Fall” and “The Night Eternal.”

But I have been reading the tea leaves and checking the entrails regularly, and here’s what I have seen:

1.  Despite Rumors To The Contrary, Guillermo Del Toro Will Not Be Doing “Justice League Dark” Anytime Soon

Why?  Because NBC is working on “Constantine,” a series not based on the Francis Lawrence movie of the same name, but the DC (formerly under their Vertigo imprint) series, also of the same name.  While it’s possible that the character could appear in both places at the same time (this is, of course assuming that the television series has a long life), it’s probably not going to happen.  The character of John Constantine is the lynchpin that the team revolves around, and without him the concept is pretty much dead in the water, besides being somewhat esoteric.

Matt Ryan/John Constantine

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

And that’s even considering how much Warner Bros would have to invest from the budget end of things, which would probably be huge (though they could do it with a partner, as long as it’s not Legendary Pictures, since they and Warner Bros. somewhat acrimoniously parted ways.  That being said, they still work with Village Roadshow Pictures).

2.  DC/Warner Bros. Doesn’t Seem To Have Much Of A Plan Toward Developing Their Characters

Whether or not someone likes what Marvel is doing with their characters, you have to admit that they not only have a plan, but they are executing it really, really well.  This is primarily because the head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, has apparently developed a plan to develop their characters, and is following it.  Marvel’s roadmap is divided into Phases:  Phase One consisted of “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” ” Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “Thor” and culminated in “The Avengers.”

Notice the pattern:  First there’s an introduction of the characters–which may or may not have more than one film in the future–and a film that brings them all together.

Phase Two consists of “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Guardians Of The Galaxy,” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Phase Three will consist of “Ant-Man,” “Captain America 3,” “Thor 3″ and “The Avengers 3.”

As I said, you don’t necessarily have to like what Marvel is doing, but what you can’t deny is that there is a plan at work.

Warner Bros/DC?  Not so much.  What seems to be driving them is profit above all, which I understand, but that’s not a plan.  Though it didn’t exactly start that way because for awhile it appeared that DC was building toward a Justice League feature–and probably still are–which began with “Green Lantern.”

Oh, but wait!  Green Lantern?  Don’t I mean Batman?  No, I don’t because Christopher Nolan’s Batman films aren’t necessarily part of DC’s greater cinematic plans because Nolan quite deliberately kept them separate from the rest of the DC Universe, which was probably not a great decision in retrospect.

Though that’s why “Green Lantern” was so important:  It was the beginning of DC/Warner Bros. establishing a larger canvas on which to display their properties.  If Green Lantern had worked they could have brought Ryan Reynolds back as the character in other DC films, such as the Justice League, or even the upcoming “Batman Vs. Superman” feature.

But it was not to be because Green Lantern was unable to recharge either his lantern or the box office, where it earned almost $220 million on a $200 million dollar budget; not enough to make a profit.

So DC rebooted Superman, in “Man of Steel,” without a doubt the most violent Superman film ever made.

Which could perhaps explain why that film made “only” $668 million dollars.  It’s a lot of money, but for a character as iconic and as firmly established in the public consciousness as Superman, it actually wasn’t that great a performance.

For the sequel, “Superman Vs. Batman,” DC will not only feature Superman and Batman, but Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor as the villain.  It seems apparent that they are trying to follow a strategy similar to Marvel, except more compressed.

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Spoilers Should Be Stopped (The Dawn Of S.E.T.R.E.P)

The Wrap Article

Welcome to the first meeting of S.E.T.R.E.P. (the Society Existing To Prevent Revelation of Essential Plot-Points) because life is hard enough without someone knowingly revealing information that a show took months to build up to, or the twist of a movie, or an important character dying in either medium.

The need for such an organization became clear when I innocently went into reading a story by Phil Pirrello, “Marvel’s ‘SHIELD’ and ‘Captain America’ Crossover:  Two Big Villain Shockers” from The Wrap on April 8th, at 6:38.

It’s important to note that April 8th is a Tuesday.

What’s so important about Tuesday, at 6:38 PM, you may ask?

Unless it’s preempted “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs on that day on the East Coast, at 8 in the evening, which means that the Pirrello post went live an hour and a half BEFORE the episode aired.

Is this what we have come to?  Revealing crucial plot points before a show even airs?  It sucks enough when it’s done soon afterward, but now writers are playing a game of ‘Beat The Clock’ to see which television series or movie they can ruin for viewers first?

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‘Wish I Were Here,’ Trailer 1

You ever watch a trailer and get the feeling that the director is probably trying to be too artsy?  Well, that’s there feeling that I get from watching “Wish I Were Here,” the latest film from Zach Braff, while also fighting the urge to type, “Wish You Were Here,” which is an awesome song by Pink Floyd, from the album of the same name.

It wasn’t too long ago that Zach Braff made news by partially financing his project through Kickstarter.  At the time some objected to him doing so because Braff is not exactly short of funds, he blazed a trail on Kickstarter that others, such as Spike Lee and Rob Thomas (“Veronica Mars”), would follow to finance their projects.

Donald Faison is also part of the cast, whom I respond fondly from “Scrubs.”

And Here’s Ronan!

Not the MSNBC newscaster, who looks too young to drive, never mind host a news show.

I was watching ETC, on Machinima’s Youtube channel, where they did a little explaining about who’s who in Marvel Studios’ upcoming “Guardians Of The Galaxy.” It’s actually pretty interesting, though if you’re familiar with the characters, or paid attention to the trailer, there are no surprises.

Though it’s interesting more for what it doesn’t include, which is only the lead villain in the movie, Ronan the Accuser.  As far as I am aware, he happens to be working for Thanos, and Nebula works for him. In the comics he’s a Kree, though as far as I know the Kree are tied up with the X-Men, who are licensed to Fox, so that’s something that either they will not go into with any detail or they may perhaps make up a new race for the movie.

Here’s an image of Ronan, from the Marvel Universe Wiki:

Ronan One

If Being Awesome Is A Crime, Guilty As Charged!

And Ronan (Lee Pace), from the trailer.

Ronan Two

He turns up around the 1: 59 mark.

Postmortem: ‘The Happening’

  • Part 1: It’s All About The Benjamins

I imagine that M. Night Shyamalan, coming off the blockbuster success of 1999′s “The Sixth Sense,” thought that he literally ruled the world.  That movie, on a $40 million budget, earned almost $673 million dollars.

His followup,  2000′s “Unbreakable,” cost $75 million to produce, almost doubled the cost of his first film and earned just over $248 million dollars.  While not as wildly successful as “The Sixth Sense,” it was still quite profitable.

His third film, “Signs” was cheaper to produce than “Unbreakable,” at $72 million, but earned over $408 million dollars.

His forth film, 2004′s “The Village” cost $60 million to produce, and earned almost $257 million dollars, but cracks had begun to appear in his armor.  “The Village,” while profitable, had the lowest rating on Rottentomatoes.com rating of any of his prior films, at 43 percent.

Most critics believe that it was little more than an extended Twilight Zone episode, though that’s not quite fair to “The Twilight Zone,” which was significantly better.

His next film was his first flop.  “Lady in the Water,” which cost $70 million to produce, earned only $72 million worldwide.  The studio that released all his films prior to this one, Disney, declined to do so for ‘Water.’   Shyamalan then took the movie to Warner Bros., who in hindsight probably wished he hadn’t because–while it earned back its production costs–wasn’t profitable.

His next film, 2008′s “The Happening” had a remarkably low Rottentomatoes score of 17 percent, which one might understandably equate with box-office disaster, but not in this particular case because  it earned over $163 million dollars.

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‘Bad Johnson’ Review

Bad Johnson movie poster

“I can’t deny that your dick can sell dog shit to a freshly mown lawn.”

                                                                                                          —Josh Nelson

Nothing about Huck Botko‘s “Bad Johnson” feels real–though to be fair it’s is about a man who’s penis decides that life could be better without him, so pretty much the entire “reality” thing is thrown out the window.  Rich Johnson (Cam Gigandet) plays a womanizing man-whore who–though losing his dick–becomes a better person.

Though let’s be honest: There are probably better ways to do so.

And if that weren’t bad enough, his anatomy has somehow become personified in the person of Rick’s Penis (Nick Thune)–Yep.  That’s his name according to IMDB and the film’s credits–a walking, talking personification of libido.

You cannot make this stuff up.

Such an outlandish scenario could be excused if it were really funny (for some reason I imagine a pre-freebasing Richard Pryor as Rich’s Penis.  That would be gold).  But it’s not.  Sure, there are moments when things are amusing, but for a movie about a man who’s penis goes on walkabout, it’s kind of dull.

Though prior to his dick’s attempt to steal the spotlight, the movie’s about Rich, who’s claim to fame was that he would screw virtually anything on two legs, as long as it was female because Rich doesn’t have eyes for the guys.

Though he somehow believes that his penis is the source of his problems–as if it had a mind and a will of its own–and before you know it, it does.

There’s no particular reason given for such a thing to happen.  No bombardment by cosmic rays, no bite from a radioactive dildo; Rich just wishes that his penis were gone, and “poof,” it is.

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‘Expendables 3′ Trailer

The ‘Expendables’ films are somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me in the sense that they remind me of an American muscle car, like the Corvette Stingray.  It might not be state of the art in certain ways, such as engine technology, but it’s surprising the problems that copious amounts of horsepower can solve.

This film is chock full of actors that some might consider relics, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Harrison Ford, yet if the earlier films in the series are any indicator, it will probably manage to hum along pretty well too.

Mel Gibson is in this as well, playing a villain.  Which makes me wonder:  Is there some sort of typecasting going on here?  Every since his very public meltdown, it seems that he more often than not plays a villain.  2012′s “Get The Gringo?”  Criminal.  2013′s “Machete Kills?”  Megalomanicial villain.  2014′s “Expendables 3?”  Seemingly a mega-megalomanical villain.

I don’t know who Gibson’s agent is, but if I were he, I would really begin to start to question their judgement.

Then again, he seemed to be playing a decent sort in Jodie Foster’s 2011 film, “The Beaver,” and we saw how well that worked.

Wesley Snipes is thrown into the mix too, which makes me think he’s perhaps one of the luckiest men on Earth, because most people don’t tend to bounce back so quickly from prison sentences.