More Doctor Strange ‘Motion’ Posters

While not strictly speaking ‘trailers,’ I don’t quite know where to put this latest crop of Doctor Strange motion posters.  And while admittedly there’s less ‘motion’ than a curious melting around the abdomen, that’s technically motion too.

Here’s Baron Mordo (that’s his name and not a title, honorary or otherwise, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor)

The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton)

And Kaecillius (Mads Mikkelson)

They didn’t include Dormammu, but you know’s he’s there (where else could Kaecilius have gotten those burns around the eyes?  By staring that the lord of the Dark Dimension, that’s how!

What’s So Strange About A Little Less Doctor Strange?

Reading my blog, you’ve probably noticed that there’s been a dearth of Doctor Strange-related posts, despite there being quite a bit of material released over the past few months.

That’s no accident. I’ve been a fan of Doctor Strange long before the movie was a gleam in Kevin Feige’s eye, so I’m not among those that need convincing.

Though more importantly, I don’t want to know anything more about the movie. I can’t go into it as if I had never heard of the character before, though what I can do is to make sure that no more plot elements are revealed because Marvel Studios never translates their characters exactly, as they are in the comics, to the screen.

For instance, one of the things that differs is that Baron Mordo is apparently not only not waiting to betray Strange, but is genuinely his friend.

So if I give myself half a chance I might end up surprised!  And in a world where you can virtually find out the most intimate details about virtually anything in a matter of minutes that’s saying something.

Though sometimes things slip between all the trailers–like Doomsday appearing in the trailers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice–interviews and junkets, and I am not at all interested in either seeing that happen or reporting on it if it does.

So if something interesting happens as far as Doctor Strange goes I might give it a write-up, but I am going to be extremely selective when I do because friends don’t spoil movies for friends.

Ghost Rider Unleashed on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

As you can tell from the trailer above, one of Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider’s (there have been at least three or four variations on the character) is making an appearance on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and honestly I am not sure what feel about that.

Reason being, unlike over at DC Films and DC Television (I assume that that’s what their television arm is called), Marvel Studios and Marvel Television have been acting in somewhat of a coordinated fashion, so the groundwork for something like a flaming demon and his hellfire-spewing car doesn’t quite have a precedent (and I get the whole ‘magic is just scionce that’s slightly beyond our understanding’ sort of stuff, though this is a whole ‘nother matter) just yet or until Doctor Strange premieres this November.

Hopefully the series will make things a bit clearer.

The Second Week Curse Strikes Suicide Squad!

Screenshot 2016-08-03 19.14.16Which, if you follow Warner Bros. and DC Films is pretty much par for the course because, as big as the 67.3 percent fall for Suicide Squad was, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice performed even worse, declining 69 percent.

And this is problematic because it all the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) movies so far have lacked legs, and declined precipitously in their second weeks.

What this seems to say is that their movies are drawing fans of the material, but not expanding much beyond them.

And it should go without saying that this is a HUGE problem because it’s easy to get those viewers that are fans of the material, not so much for people that are unaware of it.

This is why Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy was such a surprise:  a movie that featured a CGI tree-man-thing and a raccoon managed to get people not only interested in the subject matter, but curious enough to go to the theater to see it.

Though it’s not unusual for movies of these type to fall in their second weeks. Another Marvel Studios movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier fell to $41 million in its second week; though it opened to $95 million domestically, falling just over 50 percent, but not enough to stop it from ending its run at over $714 million, on a $170 million budget.

While Suicide Squad?  If it finishes its run at much over $500 million, with a budget somewhere in the range of $174 to $250 million, I’d be pleasantly surprised.

Suicide Squad – Review

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“David Ayer’s Suicide Squad is a better movie than either Man of Steel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Which unfortunately isn’t saying all that much.”

By my reckoning the greatest problems with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was that director Zach Snyder forgot–or choose to ignore–two important things:

First, both Batman and Superman were originally made for children.  Now, I can understand the drive to make them more acceptable to adults, but what I don’t get is why he had to alienate younger folk in the process.

Though by doing so he removed two of the things that made them (particularly Superman) interesting to their millions of fans, which is a sense of wonder and possibility.

And while Superman was never my favorite superhero, I also never though of him as a god, something that Snyder has fixated on and feels the need to bludgeon viewers over the head with.

Zach Snyder’s fingerprints are all over Suicide Squad as well, particularly his tendency to equate murkiness and dreariness with darkness of tone.

And I’m also not sure that David Ayer was a good choice for the material (especially considering his filmography, such as End of Watch and Fury, though to be fair he seems to get that this stuff is essentially silly, so nothing’s any more serious than it needs to be) though he seems acquit himself well.

What’s more problematic is that the story–also written by Ayer–is way bigger than it needs to be.  Deadshot, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, Slipknot, the Enchantress and Killer Croc are like the Avengers composed of lesser versions of Hawkeye, with the exception of El Diablo, Headshot and the Enchantress.

Which isn’t to say that they can’t be lethal, but if you’re looking for someone to stop an evil that threatens the world they probably wouldn’t be the first group you’d call.

But there’s a more serious problem that directly links to Zach Snyder’s treatment of Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Namely Batman, when he encounters Deadshot and Harley Quinn, he kills neither one. If you recall in Batman v Superman he was really keen on killing virtually every person that opposed him.

Here? Not so much.

It’s not a corner that half-decent writing couldn’t get themselves out of, though it’s also a place that Snyder shouldn’t have taken the character in the first place.

And I fully understand that the movie would have been quite a bit shorter if Batman killed off Deadshot and Harley Quinn, but it would have also been truer to what Zach Snyder was doing before the soft reboot of the DC Extended Universe, which Suicide Squad is the first movie in.

Justice League – Teaser Trailer

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I have to admit that I enjoyed the first trailer for Zach Snyder’s Justice League. but if I say I weren’t concerned I’d be lying.

Reason being, he had two chances to make movies based on Batman and Superman.

The first attempt, Man of Steel is enjoyed by many, but in its way is as divisive as its follow-up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

And the worse thing is, his task was relatively easy in that all he to do is work with two characters that between them have somewhere in the ballpark of 150 years of history.

Relatively little in in the way of a rethink was necessary, or warranted.

Acknowledge that history, and go from there. Such an approach works really, really well with Marvel Studios, as well as Guillermo Del Toro’s uber-faithful interpretations of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy

My question is why did Zach Snyder, and by extension Warner Bros., though that they could so greviously misinterpret–some say ‘reinterpret,’ though the problem with that reasoning is that you can’t reinterpret something that wasn’t interpreted correctly in the first place–these characters.

Never mind that they were seeking to differentiate themselves from Marvel Studios, because I get the feeling that most people don’t confuse Batman with Spider-Man or Superman with Thor.

 

 

Marvel’s The Defenders – Teaser Trailer

For fans of Marvel Television and their work with Netflix, ComicCon 2016 is as close to nirvana as you’re likely to get because that’s where they premiered the teaser trailer for The Defenders, a street-level super team in the vein of the Avengers. 

They will consist of Daredevil (which has been renewed for a third season), Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

The trailer is less interesting for what it shows–which is next to nothing–than what it says about what the new show will be like tonally, which is very gritty and realistic.

When you take into account the two seasons of Daredevil and the single season of Jessica Jones already released, it should fit in quite nicely.