What About ‘Us?’

You might not be aware that but Jordan Peele, the director of the breakout hit Get Out, is preparing it’s follow up, Us, also for Blumhouse.

It’s also a horror movie–or perhaps should I say ‘social thriller’–starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke (both most recently seen in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War)

What the movie is about specifically is anyone’s guess, bit supposedly it’s in a similar vein to Get Out, which was a pretty interesting movie, but it was also–essentially–an extra-long episode of The Twilight Zone.

And I’m not being a fan of the term ‘social thriller’ because it’s essentially meaningless and can be applied to anything that addresses the human condition within the framework of a dramatic scenario.

For instance, The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street, from The Twilight Zone‘s first season is what I’d call an almost pitch-perfect example of a ‘social thriller,’ and covers all the bases (that it doesn’t–directly–deal with people of color is neither here nor there, since that’s not a defining characteristic).

Though what I’d also call it is a horror story, a term that deserves much more respect than it’s typically given.

[Youtube=https://youtu.be/UO73e7Y5wHY]

Advertisements

Constantine: City Of Demons – Trailer

I’ve never thought that Matt Ryan’s portrayal of John Constantine was a particularly good one, though I don’t blame him more than the casting. For a start, Constantine is the comics is physically lanky and more roguish than Ryan played him.

Ryan says all the right things, but never quite does so convincingly.

Then there’s his voice, which if you haven’t seen his former series or DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow, sounds rougher-edged and ‘lower class’–whether one wants to accept it or not, there are variations on a British accent, most of which stem from where in the United Kingdom you grew up as well as whether or not you were rich or poor–than perhaps it should be.

Though perhaps most importantly, Constantine should be extremely world-weary. He’s seen and knows things that would send the average person gibbering in terror, yet he carries the burden despite the costs to himself and potentially the people he cares for.

As I implied, I never felt the desperation (and the barely concealed desire for normalcy) from Matt Ryan’s characterization.

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich – Red Band Trailer

Screenshot 2018-08-05 17.36.53I’ve always wanted to like the Puppet Master movies more than I actually do.

Unlike Chucky and Gizmo the antagonists/protagonists of the Puppet Master films not only can’t talk, but also aren’t particularly expressive physically so it makes relating to them–beyond being interesting practical effects–a little difficult.

And while a lot of that may be due to the relatively cheap production budget of each movie (Box Office Mojo doesn’t even list them, never mind their costs), it goes without saying that starting with a relatively small pie means even less when you divvy things up.

And that’s a problem because weak characters can maintain viewer interest for a movie or two–there have been twelve movies in the Puppet Master series and about five Transformers movies so what do I know?–though they’ve never reached the popularity of a Child’s Play or Gremlins.

Which is why Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich interests me.  Charles Band–the producer of all the prior movies–seems to be taking a backset to a different creative team.

Then there’s the particularly gory direction of the new film.  A definitive voice is a good thing, even if one doesn’t particularly want to hear it.

A (Partial) Visual History of Iron Man Armor in the Movies

As a huge fan of the MCU’s Iron Man (the image below this text is from my collection) I had never heard of the Stan Lee Museum Popup, though luckily someone a bit more fortunate was able to attend past these pictures to me.

Below are replicas of various Iron Man armors from the films.

Mark IIron Man (2008)

Mark IIIron Man (2008)

Mark IIIIron Man (2008)

Mark VIIron Man 2 (2010)

Mark XLIIIron Man 3 (2013)

Mark XLIIIAvengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

Mark XLVICaptain America: Civil War (2016)

Thodey’s armor, despite being based on Iron Man, is visually a different beast entirely with a more purposeful, military thrust more interested in form following function, making Stark’s suit gaudy by comparison.

War Machine

And while the statue’s based may say ‘The Avengers’  War Machine wasn’t in that movie (though he did appear in the Iron Man movies, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War).

And I’m guessing this variant of his suit is either from Iron Man 2 or 3 (I thought it was bulkier in  Avengers: Age of Ultron and Infinity War.

Venom – Official Trailer # 2

Having just watched the latest trailer for Sony’s–In Association With Marvel!–Venom I have to admit that I like it a lot more than the first.

Though the American accent Tom Hardy appears to be ruining? Not so much.

But don’t misinterpret my meaning. I still think Venom–and the other characters of the SpiderVerse–belong with Marvel Studios though with the deal between Disney and 20th Century Fox essentially done, I’m content knowing the Marvel Studios sandbox has more than enough action figures to play with.

And before anyone even thinks it, the X-Men and Fantastic Four returning to Marvel Studios ISN’T a monopoly. They’re Marvel Comics characters so by way of analogy that’s like saying that reuniting those children separated from their families by our ‘President’ is wrong because…?

And besides, this is Sony so I have to do is be patient because the likelihood is high they’ll overplay their hand, screwing up the good will Marvel has returned to them with Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Extinction – Review

Netflix’s Extinction is one of the better alien invasion thrillers that’s come down the pike in quite awhile, mainly because the ‘invasion’ is actually the least important aspect of the story.

It’s more a commentary on what it means to be human, and what we’ll do to protect what we believe to be ours.

Michael Peña plays Peter, our proxy in this strange, new world (that looks a lot like our own).

He acquits himself well, which is important because if we don’t buy his performance the whole movie may not fall apart, but it would certainly be less stable.

Extinction continues a trend began in Tau–though on a significantly larger scale–about the effect of AI (artificial intelligence) on humanity.

Slender Man – Official Trailer 2

Well, that was a…trailer?

Not to sound underwhelmed by Sylvain White’s (The Losers) upcoming Slender Man but what the stylized horror movie has apparently missed is that someone has actually been killed in the Internet meme’s name.

Why not take that incident–in the vein (pardon the pun) of The Blair Witch II: Book of Shadows and build a movie around that as opposed to what looks like a highly stylized take on the Slender Man legend?

And sure, accusations of bad taste and taking advantage of a very real tragedy would be thrown about but truth be told that’s likely to happen anyway.

That being said, I’d essentially mimic the real life case, then gradually introduce elements of the Slender Man ‘legend,’ asking viewers to judge whether or not what unfolded on screen was ‘real’ or all in the characters’ minds.

And it would be absolutely terrifying and not so reliant on FX, as this movie appears to be.

Great poster though.