The Equalizer 2 – Official Trailer 1

I participated in a thread on Twitter with C. Robert Cargill (co-writer of Sinister, Sinister 2 and Doctor Strange) where he was talking about The Equalizer 2 and it’s director, Antoine Fuqua (who also directed the first movie).

I described Fuqua as ‘the thinking man’s Michael Bay,’ and it’s an apt comparison because if you look at the trailer below you’ll see some very kinetic action set pieces, buoyed by quiet, introspective moments.

It’s a pretty impressive trailer that takes the movie more in the direction of the television series (starring Edward Woodward) that it’s  based upon.

And apropos of nothing, does ‘EQ2’ vaguely remind you of the the name of a coleoneor perfume?

As usual, let me know what you think below.  

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The MEG – Trailer #1

Screenshot 2018-04-10 03.27.30A trailer just dropped for The MEG, a movie about a megalodon going around doing what sharks do in movies, which is eating humans (despite the fact that we’re by no means a normal part of their diet).

Though I have other problems with this trailer.  First off, the book this movie is based on is named ‘MEG,’ not ‘The MEG.’

It’s a small point but it makes a difference.  ‘MEG’ is short for ‘megalodon.’  ‘The’ MEG is just dumb and unnecessary.

Besides, when I see The MEG, The BFG pops in my head, which is probably not what the producers intend.

Then there’s the cast., which like Pacific Rim: Uprising seems designed to make an impression in China (and that’s understandable.  After all, one of the production companies is Chinese, though it doesn’t need to be as blatant as it is.

Then there’s the trailer, which starts off like a little like Jaws 3D (the one with Lou Gossett Jr) combined with Deep Star Six then turns into Piranha (the remake directed by Alexandre Aja. not the Joe Dante original).

It’s early days yet, but beyond seeing Jason Statham kick ass I can’t find any reason why I’d want to see this (and I tend to like shark movies, despite knowing how outlandish they tend to be).

Cargo – Trailer

CargoIt appears that the zombie genre has greater legs than anyone might have anticipated  (AMC’s The Walking Dead–despite a ratings decline–still shuffles on while spawning a sequel–Fear The Walking Dead–a somewhat unnecessary admonition) and along the way appears to have discovered a legitimacy few horror genres have had prior.

Though that shouldn’t be a surprise in that George Romero has long used the zombie genre to tell tales of class warfare and as metaphors for consumerism, among other things.

The latest example: Cargo, starring Morgan Freeman (Sherlock, Black Panther) which is coming on Netflix (Yay!) May 18.

What–if the trailer is to be believed–separates Cargo from it’s grisly siblings is that Freeman’s character appears to be be infected himself (and in search of a cure among the Aboriginal people of Australia) while the baby he carries (likely the ‘cargo’ of the title)–isn’t.

 

Never Attack Movie Fans!

Screenshot 2018-04-03 08.50.33Or if you feel the need to do so, don’t to be quite so patronizing about it.

Movie fans can be a very vocal bunch.  Sometimes, their complaints are valid, sometimes they’re not though you rarely benefit from opening attacking them.

Ryan Johnson, director of The Last jedi, endured more than his share of scorn for some of the controversial decisions made in that movie, yet as far as I am aware he handled it with aplomb.

Zachary Levi, playing the title character in New Line/DC Films upcoming Shazam! apparently didn’t get that notice and went on a rant directed at fans who attacked his costume.

And while Levi may not think that that’s fair, that’s also the way the game is played.

What Levi should have done is to give those ‘haters’ the right to their opinion–the costume, with it’s blatant muscle padding, doesn’t look that good, truth be told–and instead let the costume speak for itself.

The same fans he’s attacked could potentially be the most vocal advocates for the movie , especially if the costume works.  The problem is, if it doesn’t, you have an ‘enemy’ that will spread some seriously toxic word of mouth.

Hard-core fans can’t necessarily make or break a movie but they can do a lot to undermine a movie’s success.

And that’s something you don’t take chances with.

 

 

‘Game Over, Man!’ – Review

Screenshot 2018-03-25 18.00.24


Netflix has been making a lot of movies, but their output is extremely uneven, to put it kindly.  For every Gerald’s Game or Okja they seem to double-down on the terrible, with movies like The Babysitter or just about anything featuring Adam Sandler.

And Game Over, Man! fits firmly in the latter category.

As far as I am aware it’s the first feature starring all the members of the Workaholics (Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson, whom are really, really funny on that show) yet here are only intermittently so.

And then there’s the curious fascination with cocks–male genitalia, not the bird–that would be, at it’s best, infantile if it weren’t done in such a fashion that is so thoroughly off-putting.

It’s worth mentioning that there are a lot of celebrity “cameos” in Game Over, Man! where actors appear and then are dispatched so quickly you’d think that they were aware of how potentially a career killing move they were making, and did whatever they possibly could to minimize the fallout.

And while I wasn’t privy to any contract negotiations, it does explain a lot.

 

Mom and Dad – Official Trailer

A lot of people seem to take a perverse joy in watching Nicholas Cage overacting style of acting, but it typically it doesn’t move me.

Though what’s worse is that it feels to me Cage is being mocked, which is sad becaus he clearly trusts in his directors enough that he’s willing to swing for the bleachers.

Or maybe it’s just a part of his shtick and he does if because that’s what he wants to believe people have come to see.

In any case, Brian Taylor’s Mom and Dad feels vaguely like M. Night Shymalan’s The Visit combined with George Romero’s TheW Crazies, where for unknown reasons–though likely due to an oddly specific virus–parents try to kill their children.

Let the hilarity begin!

Where Marvel’s Iron Fist Went Wrong, And How To Set It Right

With a new season of Marvel’s Iron Fist currently shooting, I’ve started to speculate where it was that the first season went wrong.

1.  Iron Fist Was Guest-Starring In His Own Story

The Rand Corporation (as well as his siblings) are important to Danny Rand/Iron Fist’s narrative, but the series often felt like Rand was a guest-star in his own story.

In a 2-hour movie you can (arguably) get away with an under-developed hero or villain (and in fact there’s often only time to develop one or the other.  To do otherwise runs the risk of diminishing both, to the detriment of the story).

But in a thirteen hour series?  There’s no excuse for both parts of the equation to be balanced

2. Danny Rand Was A Bit Of A Whiner

While Finn Jones was cast as Danny Rand/Iron Fist I was okay with the choice, though he would likely not have been mine (that would have been Cam Gigadet, who would have not only brought a welcome bit of world-weariness to the role but actually knows martial arts–Krav Maga–which could have lent a greater authenticity to the role) though the character felt a bit like a truculent child at times, which made him a bit off-putting

3. Showrunner A-Go-Go!

For better or worse, the showrunner sets the tone and direction that a series takes.

They may not write it (though if that’s their area of strength, they could), but they’ll likely chose the writers who will.

They may not direct, but will end up being the decider in terms of whom actually  ends up doing so.

in other words, it’s a very influential position and likely why Scott Buck will not be returning to a second season of Marvel’s Iron Fist (he’s replaced in Season Two by Raven Metzger, who worked on Falling Skies, Heroes Reborn, Sleepy Hollow and movies like Elektra).

And a new showrunner is a great start, though–and this is stating the obvious–there had to be more martial arts.

One of my favorite martial arts movies is The Five Deadly Venoms and frankly, it’s ridiculous, particularly from a martial arts standpoint though ironically enough, that’s why it works so well.  It revels in the  rediculousness, while playing it relatively straight. 

Now, I’m not saying that Iron Fist needs to go quite that far, but it is called ‘Iron Fist,’ not ‘Familial Squabbles with a Little Martial Arts Thrown In.’

And I’m not saying that Iron Fist needs to be as fanciful as that movie, but there should be a joyfulness, a level of dexterity for the most part missing from the first season.

Some of the changes I’ve mentioned–such as a new showrunner–have already been initiated, though arguably the most important–is the fighting because keep in mind that Danny Rand’s martial art abilities are to him what The Punisher’s penchant for violence are to him: an indispensable part of the character’s makeup.