Clothes Make The Inhu(Man)

Over the weekend Comicbook.com posted some images from Marvel Television’s upcoming The Inhumans and while I’m glad that their teleporting dog Lockjaw will be making an appearance the costumes might be just a little bit subdued.

By which I mean, here’s a picture of Black Bolt, the head of the Inhuman Royal Family.

He’s a pretty distinctive-looking character, to be sure.  And I get that Marvel Television might not want to go with something so ‘cartoony,’ especially considering this is likely their highest profile production thus far.

But could they be going too conservative? Below is actor Anson Mount  (who’s playing Black Bolt) and while there’s no way of knowing based upon one picture if this is his final costume, if it is it harkens back to the what the X-Men wore fourteen years ago.

Which is frankly, a little bit odd and potentially presents a problem because the acceptance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe among the general public has show us that as long as you treat these characters faithfully (also shown by the reception of movies like Man Of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, though in not a good way) people will pay to see them.
Which is important when you take into account that the first two episodes will appear in theaters, which is intended as a hook to draw  viewers into watching the television series.

Though as I mentioned earlier, at least apparently they’re not skimping on the awesomeness that is Lockjaw, which gives me hope that perhaps this is not Black Bolt’s final costume.

3 Reasons We Need to Stop Speculating Peter Dinklage Will Play M.O.D.O.K in Avengers: Infinity War

Some fan sites have speculated that Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, X-Men: Days of Future Past) would appear as M.O.D.O.K,  which stands for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Avengers: Infinity War (though I get the feeling the people who are making this suggestion are not only unaware who M.O.D.O.K is, but how ultimately insulting an idea that actually is

And speaking of ‘insulting,’ that’s also my first reason.

  • It’s Really Insulting Toward Dinklage

Here is an image of M.O.D.O.K.

He has such tiny arms and legs because he was created to lead AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) so all their efforts went toward developing his mental abilities, which are pretty impressive.

Now keep in mind that some characters don’t make the transition from comics to movies visually intact–this was the case for the Falcon, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Zemo and many others so it’s entirely possible that M.O.D.O.K could be played by Dinklage and translate to the screen in such a way that is reminiscent of the character from the comics, yet reinterpreted, like with the case of Arnim Zola from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

 

The problem is that M.O.D.O.K’s massive cabeza IS his most distinctive feature, and I am unsure how they could reinterpret that and capture how bizarre and unusual the character actually is.

Which is strangely enough where our problems start.

Here is a picture of Dinklage from the after party of The Station Agent.   He’s a person of short-stature, and while he’s played a whole gamut of roles I am not sure how playing a giant head doesn’t become more than a little offensive.

And while some people may call that PC, that’s just a cross I’ll have to bear.

  • AIM Has Barely Been Introduced Into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

The organization known as AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) was introduced into the MCU in Iron Man 3 (in the movies it was a company started by Aldrich Killian, who developed Extremis) though it was one of those ‘blink and you’ll miss it‘ sort of moments.

With Hydra on the decline it would be nice for the movies to introduce another villainous organization to take up the slack, and AIM could serve that purpose admirably (plus we’d get a chance to see people wearing those cool yellow ‘beekeeper’ helmets, so there’s always that).

Though to introduce MODOK as a main villain means reintroducing AIM, something not likely to happen if Avengers: Infinity War has half the characters it’s supposed to have.

  • Most Importantly, M.O.D.O.K Has No Connection to the Infinty Gauntlet or Infinity Watch Storylines 

I am aware that Marvel Studios movies don’t adapt any storyline verbatim from the comics, though introducing  M.O.D.O.K would be worse than clutter because it would be adding a character and a supporting organization the film would hardly need.

So those are the reasons why Dinklage will not be M.O.D.O.K but instead be playing…

Pip the Troll!  It’s not exactly rocket science, and actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it.  Dinklage already looks like Pip, all that’s required to complete the look would be a shave and a loincloth (which isn’t necessarily to say that that’s the direction they’re going with visually, though if it is, it would be really work).

Movie Magic: The Black Panther (Captain America: Civil War)

These days as a mover goer I know full well that practical effects combined with CGI can create virtually any type of effect imaginable. 

Though what I find infinitely more interesting is when a movie’s special effects are so seamless that I don’t know that what I happen to be looking at is a special effect, which brings me to Captain America: Civil War.  

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There were two scenes where I recall the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was a full-on CGI character: when he was sliding down the side of a building when chasing the Winter Soldoer (Sebastian Stan) and another when he was slowing hinself down after momentum carried him beyond the Soldier in a second confrontation.

Beyond those two instances, I assumed that the character–as well as many of the locations–were entirely practical.  

Imagine my surprise to learn that virtually every scene featuring the Panther had three or four layers of CGI over a practical stuntman, and most of the locations were CGI enhanced as well!

Movie magic indeed.  

Marvel’s Iron Fist NYCC Teaser Trailer

If anyone had said that Marvel Television, when Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered on ABC a few years ago, that they would come to dominate superhero television I would have been hopeful, but wouldn’t have treated them too seriously.

Though having seen both seasons of Marvel’s Daredevil, as well as the first seasons of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, it’s apparent that they’re coming to dominate the television sphere as completely as Marvel Studios has done for superhero movies.

And their latest creation:  Marvel’s Iron Fist, which is going to lead into The Defenders

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets – Poster

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Lucy Besson, while a visually sumptuous director, is not a terribly original writer–which may have a little to do with him settling with John Carpenter over his 2012 movie Lockout, which was essentially Escape From New York aboard a space station.

Lucy, directed by Besson in 2014, fared particularly well financially, though many considered the story (about a woman, played by Scarlett Johansson, who though a mysterious drug gains the ability to unlock the unused potential of the human mind and gain god-like powers) as particularly dopey.

He’s back in 2017 with Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets–a title that on its face doesn’t make sense–that’s based on a French comic series by Jean-Claude Méziéres.

I hope it does well mainly because many European comics don’t get nearly the recognition here that they do there, and it would be good for people to expand their knowledge of such things beyond what we see presented by Marvel Studios and DC Films.

The Curse of Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios is one of the most successful movie studios today, if profitable, reasonably-budgeted movies are the metric–if you consider a $200-250 million reasonable–so much so that some within Disney were rumored to be disappointed with the earnings of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which took in $1.4 billion at the box office–so if that’s a curse, it’s probably one that rival studios wish were a pandemic.

Unfortunately for the competition, in a way it is.

The reason being, other studios have begun to mimic what they perceive is Marvel’s secret sauce, but can’t seem to get the formula quite right.

For instance, Sony was attempting to create, a la Marvel, an integrated cinematic universe featuring Spider-Man.

Things began well enough with The Amazing Spider-Man, though the weakness of the plan became evident in 2014 with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, when Sony decided to share Spider-Man with Marvel Studios.

And while I use the word ‘sharing;’ I get the feeling that Marvel Studios is running the show–especially since the the Sony Spider-Man movies are being supervised by Kevin Feige (the head of Marvel Studios) and Amy Pascal (former head of Sony Pictures).

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X-Men: Apocalypse – Trailer 1

Screenshot 2015-12-10 22.51.01I have just watched the latest trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, and it’s…okay.

It teases Apocalypse, his Four Horsemen, his origins and so forth but there’s a problem:  As far as superhero movies go, we’re in a time of wonders.

From the Avengers to Superman, some of the greatest in comics have, or will soon, pop up on either television or movies.

So this trailer had to up the ante somehow, to ensure that it’s sticks out from the pack–something the X-Men films never had to contend with.

Captain America: Civil War did it by the introduction of characters that fans haven’t seen before (The Black Panther) in a scenario from a renown storyline.

Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice did it by showing two iconic characters in combat (credit it loses by seemingly giving away the entire movie).

X-Men: Apocalypse had to ‘Wow’ us to get noticed in such a crowded space, and it’s first trailer didn’t quite do it this time around.