Justice League International Trailer 1

I honestly don’t much like what I have so far seen from Zach Snyder’s upcoming Justice League and the recently released International Trailer hasn’t much changed my mind.

Snyder’s visual esthetic is on full display, which is to say that most images have a murky, ugly aspect to them, though if this were the movie’s only problem I might be okay with it.

My greatest problem with Justice League–and the entire DCEU (DC Extended Universe) is its relative unfaithfulness to the source material.

And since Zach Snyder was the creative force behind the emerging cinematic universe, he needs to be gone so that Geoff Johns–or whomever is leading DC Entertainment this week–can put their visual, as well as esthetic,  stamp on the growing cinematic universe.

Will Kraven the Hunter Appear in the Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel?

Ben Affleck originally planned to star, write (with Geoff Johns) and direct a solo Batman movie for Warner Bros and DC Entertainment though he eventually decided to step down from the latter (it’s believed that he did so because Warner Bros was insistent that he make a 2018 release date, which he felt he could not do if he were to maintain the quality fans of the franchise had come to expect) and was replaced by Matt Reeves.

And when a new director comes onto a project–especially one in as strong a bargaining position as Reeves–they tend to rewrite a project, as opposed to going with the script that was already in place.

This means that much of what had been in Affleck and John’s screenplay will more than likely be discarded (though whomever does a rewrite could use the Affleck and Johns screenplay as a starting point).

Supposedly, the villain in the original screenplay was  Deathstroke, who was going to be played by Joe Manganiello.

Now let’s for a moment look at another franchise, namely Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.  

The third iteration of Marvel Comics venerable wall crawler will premier in theaters in 2018 though producers have said that they’re avoiding using villains from he earlier movies–which despite their iconic status makes a lot of sense–which means that it’s unlikely we’ll see the Green Goblin, the Lizard, Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Venom (and speaking of Venom, that’s a special case that I cover on my Screenphiles YouTube channel) or Electro.

Which means that villains that we have had yet to see will be appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming–such as the Vulture, Tinkerer and Shocker–and its sequels.

Such as Kraven the Hunter

One of Spider-Man’s deadliest foes–created by Stan Lee and Stece Ditko and who first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #15–Kraven sought to defeat Spidey because he believed himself to be the world’s greatest hunter, though that’s not the only reason Kraven comes to mind as the next villain to menace Tom Holland’s Spider-Man because if you recall I mentioned Joe Manganiello a few paragraphs ago?  Well, here’s where things get interesting.

Here’s a picture of Manganiello.

And while I have no idea if there’s room in his schedule to play Kraven–nor that the villain is even being considered–there are few roles that an actor is so perfectly suited to play.

It – Teaser Trailer and Trailer 1

As far as I’m concerned–at least initially–the best horror is in the sizzle, not the steak.

Keep in mind that in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws for a good portion of the movie you never see the shark at all (for the most part a fortuitous accident.  The mechanical shark, known affectionately as Bruce, more often than not didn’t work as planned, forcing Spielberg  to improvise).

Ridley Scott’s Alien followed a similar template, where the monster was gradually teased, making its reveal all the more terrifying.

The first version of Stephen King’s IT did a similar thing, doling out hints and glimpses of the evil clown, Pennywise, before the final reveal.

And Tim Curry’s Pennywise was terrifying, though why he was so unnerving is important.

First off, clowns are slightly creepy in and of themselves.  It doesn’t take all that much to make one look just a bit off…

And I suspect Tim Curry knew this. Visually his Pennywise looked like any ordinary clown, but the way Curry’s voice sounded combined with the way he carried himself made Pennywise oddly disturbing.

This new version of Pennywise looks as if they’re trying too hard to be Scary, and it doesn’t particularly work.  As I mentioned earlier, Tim Curry’s version wasn’t necessarily trying to look scary.  In fact, he looked like a clown that you’d see on just about any circus in the country.


But what the makers of is rebooted series don’t seem to understand is that having one oversized shoe in the normal world, and the other in the bizarre, is what’s terrifying.

This new version, as far as I can tell, tries way too hard.

Justice League – Teaser Trailer – Aquaman Edition

This morning a teaser trailer Zach Snyder’s Batman v Superman was released, and…meh.

After all, it’s a teaser trailer, which is little more than a few carefully chosen shots from the upcoming movie seemingly designed to drum up interest.

It seems that Warner Bros/ DC Entertainment are taking a somewhat novel approach (‘novel’ in the sense of being unexpected, as opposed to being new or unique) in that they seem to be releasing teaser trailers composed of content focusing on individual members of the team. 

Having only seen Aquaman’s teaser I wish they’d go back to a more tradional format because it does them no favors. 

It’s too brief–after all, it’s a teaser trailer–to really make any sort of impression, and I expect the others to do the same. 

At this point Justice League is Zach Snyder’s last chance to get it right.  He whiffed Man of Steel and screwed the pooch on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which is pretty remarkable when you think about it.  Then again, when you take it upon yourself to ‘reinterpret’ characters no one asked you to in the first place, you’ve got to expect–that’s not entirely fair.  As much as Snyder doesn’t get these characters, which I find easier to accept than he does understand them, and proceeded as he did to spite fans, I am comfortable saying that Warner Bros executives seem too stupid to pick up a comic–so it’s not surprising that there’s more than a little blowback from both critics and the general public.

There’s one shot of the entire team toward the end, and I have seen better likenesses of living, breathing people in the window of Madame Tassaud’s

In other words, it underwhems.

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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The Magnificent Seven – Review

screenshot-2016-09-23-21-57-45Antoine Fuqua, arguably one of preeminent action directors working today, has once again teamed with Denzel Washington, whom he worked with on Training Day in 2001 and The Equalizer in 2014 with his reboot of John Sturges’ 1960 Western, The Magnificent Seven.

And it’s a good movie, though to call it ‘magnificent’ is a bit of hyperbole though the reason that it attracted so much attention on its initial release is probably the least unimportant thing about it.

And that was the fuss made over its  diverse cast, though when you look at history of the American West, what’s more inaccurate were the portrayals that pictured it as entirely occupied by white people, to the exclusion of tNative Americans, Chinese and African-Americans that were present as well.

As I said earlier, it’s not a great movie, though it’s well done, entertaining and at times pretty amusing.

Though there are some moments where present day filming techniques and CGI get in the way of the illusion (which I go into in my video) but those instances are relatively few and far between.

It runs a bit long and could have used some trimming, though when all is said and done. it’s a pretty good time.

Passengers – Official Trailer

Screenshot 2016-09-20 16.39.34.pngVisually, Morten Tyldum’s Passengers holds a huge debt to Pixar’s Wall-E, Danny Boyle’s Sunshine and Apple’s design esthetic.

In other words, it’s attractive, but doesn’t appear to strike any new ground.

The same thing can be said of the story, which revolves around two people who accidentally emerge from suspended animation 90 years too (or was it?), and eventually fall in love.

As I said, it’s nothing new.

Though it’s welcome that Jon Spaiths wrote the screenplay (Prometheus–before Damon Lindelhof came in and purged it of direct connections to the Alien movies and Marvel Studios’ upcoming Doctor Strange) so there’s perhaps the hope of a mystery (which is at least hinted at) to balance Lawrence and Pratt looking all starry eyed at each other for over an hour.