Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets – ‘Space Is MAGIC’ – Trailer

Luc Besson is nothing if not ambitious and Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets is his most ambitious feature yet, but I am concerned.

The movie, based on a French comic book written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières, is likely unfamiliar to most Americans, which is likely why the director spends quite a bit of time in the trailer telling the viewer what it is they’re going to see, and what it’s  based on.

If I were promoting the movie in the United States I’d  bypass the origins of the characters–which domestic audiences are likely unaware –and instead concentrate on two things:

  • Spectacle

Valerian appears to be visually spectacular, as if Besson took the visual esthetic of The Fifth Element and combined it with Star Wars and Avatar.  Movies are all about diversion and this is an aspect that–in promotional materials–needs to be played up (it goes without saying that he movie itself will hopefully have a story that matches the visuals) even more than it is in this trailer.

Promise a visual experience like no other.  And sure, it’s likely not to be the case –I have seen few, if any, movies to actually live up to such hype–but it doesn’t stop movies from saying it, so Valerian might as well do the same.

  • Competition

Valerian cost somewhere between $170-200 million dollars to produce and while I expect it will perform strongest in Europe (where familiarity with the source material is likely greater) I wouldn’t discount it doing well in most international markets.

How well it does domestically depends upon when it is released, and perhaps more importantly, what it is released against.   It it performs (domestically) like Universal’s The Mummy, which had Wonder Woman to content with, then it had better do as well as that movie did internationally (despite not starring an actor with the international pull of a Tom Cruise) or there might be troubles for EuropaCorp (Besson’s production company, though the movie is released domestically via STX.).

Though if Valerian has a month or so alone (and there’s no Spider-Man: Homecoming waiting in ambush) competing with smaller releases it’s likely to do just fine.

Blade Runner 2049 – Teaser Trailer

A teaser trailer was released for Denis Villeneuve‘s Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 original.

Looking at the trailer, it–at least on the surface–seems to hold a lot in common with the original.

Which is problematic in some ways because the first movie was very much lots of style with relatively little in the way of substance.

Though at least it continues Scott’s fixation with Easter Island-sized heads.

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Support the LEGO Eagle Transporter

Support LEGO potentially creating a LEGO-ized version of the Eagle Transporter from Space: 1999, one of the most awesome and iconic spaceships in television history.

space-1999-year-one-1No matter if your preference is for the more cerebral Year One…

 

 

 

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Or more dynamic Year Two, you can’t go wrong.

 

 

 

Though most fans of Gerry Anderson’s (arguably) best life action series would want most is a Year Three, but that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon because ITV (the current rights holder) are apparently doing everything they can to ensure that it doesn’t.

(To be fair in 2012 there was talk of a reboot, Space: 2099, but that fell by the wayside).

As I implied, I wouldn’t hold my breath for a new series, so one way to0 show your love is to create create an account at LEGO Ideas and answer a few questions (all relevant to the potential project).

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Besides, if LEGO does an Eagle, can a Hawk be far behind?

And if there’s enough interest to create a LEGO-ized Hawk, who knows what can happen?

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Official Olympics Trailer

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Does the image to the left remind anyone else of the scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind when the alien mothership hovers over Devil’s Tower?

That’s the first thing that came to mind when I saw this image from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The other thing was that, if I’m lucky, it might also be the first movie directed by Gareth Edwards that I think I might enjoy.

Monsters was underwhelming, and Edwards with Godzilla pulled of the seeming impossible: namely making a Godzilla movie that was dull.

Here’s to Rogue One making up for lost ground, directorially speaking at any rate.

Stop Implying Nefarious Motives For Ghostbusters (2016) Box Office Performance

Screenshot 2016-08-11 17.23.06For a movie who’s job was to reboot a blatantly uncontroversial movie, the 2016 reboot of Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters proved remarkably controversial.

And while I’d rather not rehash the whole  debate, I was reading a story from Brett White from Comicbookresources‘ Spinoff Online, where he draws a comparison between the way numerous movies are treated; commenting upon which get a sequel, and which don’t.

One of the points he raises is how Ghostbusters is doing better than numerous other movies from a financial standpoint, such as Star Trek: Beyond, at a comparable time and yet while that latter is apparently receiving a sequel yet Ghostbusters isn’t.

Though there are problems with White’s logic.

First, just because a studio says that a movie is getting a sequel doesn’t make it so. I mention this because Star Trek: Beyond has earned just over $198 million, which means that despite Paramount saying that there will be one doesn’t mean that there will actually be the case (and if its box office doesn’t increase significantly before it leaves theaters, the likelihood of that diminish accordingly).

Second, he makes a comparison between the box office of Ghostbusters and X-Men: Apocalypse but that’s a problematic comparison at best because the latter movie has earned over $534 million during it’s theatrical run, on a budget of $178 million.

So, despite the relatively weak legs of Fox’s X-movie it’s made enough to get a sequel.  If Ghostbusters had earned as much–legs or no legs–then it would as well.

Though it hasn’t.

And that’s not to say that there weren’t bad actors on Sony’s side as well as the fan community, but when all is said and done–despite all the mud-slinging and vitriol–if Ghostbusters were profitable, then who said what to whom would be irrelevant.

Voltron: Legendary Defender – Trailer

Typically, with any sort of entertainment–be it a movie, book, television or whatever–a certain amount of ‘buy-in’ on the part of the viewer is not only necessary, but mandatory.

By which I mean the person consuming the media has to suspend their disbelief–there are no orcs, zombies, dragons or psychotic AI’s–and invest in what they’re viewing on the screen, not matter how outlandish.

The same logic applies to more grounded entertainment. For instance, I am huge fan of Scrubs which is in it’s way as fantastical as anything that happens on A Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead or <Heroes.

Though sometimes I can’t suspend disbelief for reasons that are hard to quantify.

Like in the case of Voltron, the giant robot anime. For reasons I am not sure I understand I have no issue with the idea of a bunch of mechanical lions that combine to one massive robot, or the bizarre enemies they tended to fight from one episode to the next.

But for some reason I can’t get my head around the idea that the robot never managed to develop hands among the many other fantastical things that it does, and instead has to make due with lion’s heads (oddly enough, I’m okay with it having lion’s heads as feet, but find it off-putting when they’re used as hands).

That not to say that I won’t watch Netflix’s Voltron: Legendary Defender though I will continue to gripe whenever those dopey head-hands are on screen.

Morgan – Trailer

I like this trailer a lot.

Partially because it has Toby Jones (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Barbarian Sound Studio-a movie to this day I don’t quite get. Texturally speaking, it reminds of Pontypool, which is a good thing, though I need to see it again) as well as an Ex Machina vibe, good things both.

Though what jazzes me most of all is that you can’t necessarily tell what ‘Morgan’ is about from the trailer. It’s apparently vaguely humanoid, but it’s apparently not human.

Is it AI (artificial intelligence) run amok?  An alien rescued from a crashed UFO and raised by humans?

I have no idea, but I am interested in finding out.