‘Sid Meier’s Beyond Earth’ Trailer

I should be a little reluctant to admit this, but I find the cinematics (the movies that bridge one section of a video game with another) fascinating.  For instance, I like Blizzard’s “StarCraft” but when I am being honest to myself I admit that I care slightly less about the gameplay than the cool little movies seeded throughout the game.

Which brings me to ‘Sid Meier‘s Beyond Earth.”  I have never played any of the ‘Sid Meier’ games, nor do I have any desire to.

But what an awesome trailer!

 

‘Maps To The Stars’ International Sales Trailer

As I understand it, this isn’t the actual trailer for David Cronenberg’s upcoming “Map To the Stars,” but one cut for the purpose of international sales.  I stumbled upon it–with more than a little help from “The Wrap”–though it makes me wonder why Cronenberg continues to work with Robert Patterson.  If their last film together, “Cosmopolis” was any indicator, we shouldn’t be at all surprised if he delivers a somewhat wooden performance.

Then again, I get the feeling that–as far as Cosmopolis goes–that that was exactly the performance that Cronenberg wanted from him, which is at least reason for some optimism as regards Patterson’s acting chops.

 

 

A Female Superhero Needs To Lead, Though It Shouldn’t Be Mystique (Not Yet, Anyway)

MystiqueI read last week on ScreenCrush that the producer of the X-Men films, Lauren Schuler-Donner, “is interested in taking that character (Mystique) into a solo film.

And if anyone were to ask me–and they haven’t–I would say, “Don’t do it.”

That’s not coming from the perspective of a hater.  I personally think that it would be awesome that a female character were popular enough to play lead in a superhero films, but Mystique isn’t a great place to start.

Mystique (comics)

And she looks much more interesting in the comics, too.

It’s not that I don’t like the character, she’s actually very cool and in the comics has a rich, vibrant history.

A history which the movies haven’t touched on virtually at all.  Most people don’t know who she is, other than she’s blue, a mutant, often seen as a villain, and a shapeshifter (though it doesn’t hurt that Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the character, is essentially nude).

And speaking of Lawrence, there’s what I like to call the ‘Jennifer Lawrence effect.’  The actress has been successful in everything that she’s been in, from the Hunger Games films, the X-Men movies, to the films she’s done with David O. Russell, though I don’t think that she’s big enough to carry a film based on a character that’s barely a supporting character in the X-Men movies.

And the thing is, filmmakers cannot afford to get this wrong.  The last film I recall a superhero film featuring a female character was 1996′s Barb Wire (based very, very loosely on the Dark Horse comic).  Boxofficemojo doesn’t list its production costs, but considering that it didn’t quite make $4 million, I think I understand why there wasn’t a sequel.

It took 9 years for another female superhero to appear, with the 2005 Jennifer Garner starrer, “Elektra (based on the character from Daredevil)  It cost $43 million to produce, and earned almost $57 million at the box office.

That not terrible, but it’s not profitable either.

And the other female superhero character was…There is no other.

Which is my point.  Studios cannot afford to get this wrong, and if they go with Mystique, they might.

Though that’s not to say that there no way that a female superhero can be successful, though if it happens it probably won’t be from Fox (and the X-Men franchise they license from Marvel).

It will more than likely be from Marvel Studios, and the character will be Black Widow.  As far as I am aware she’s the only female character that has the background and the presence to support an entire movie on her own.

And Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, is considering it.  Hopefully he firms-up on the idea before Lauren Schuler-Donner does because we have all seen what happens when studios don’t get it right (when it comes to women) the first time around.

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.