Constantine: City Of Demons – Trailer

I’ve never thought that Matt Ryan’s portrayal of John Constantine was a particularly good one, though I don’t blame him more than the casting. For a start, Constantine is the comics is physically lanky and more roguish than Ryan played him.

Ryan says all the right things, but never quite does so convincingly.

Then there’s his voice, which if you haven’t seen his former series or DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow, sounds rougher-edged and ‘lower class’–whether one wants to accept it or not, there are variations on a British accent, most of which stem from where in the United Kingdom you grew up as well as whether or not you were rich or poor–than perhaps it should be.

Though perhaps most importantly, Constantine should be extremely world-weary. He’s seen and knows things that would send the average person gibbering in terror, yet he carries the burden despite the costs to himself and potentially the people he cares for.

As I implied, I never felt the desperation (and the barely concealed desire for normalcy) from Matt Ryan’s characterization.

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Shazam – Official Teaser Trailer (SDCC)

Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the first teaser for Shazam out of San Diego Comic-Con.

And while I still think Zachary Levi–visually speaking–isn’t a great choice for the role (he’s just not, physically speaking, massive enough, making the copious amount of muscle padding he has to wear look more goofy than heroic. This is particular odd when you consider that Dwayne Johnson would be an ideal Shazam because he actually has the physique to pull it off with a bare minimum of padding) he seems game with the whole Big-with-superpowers idea that underpins the movie.

It’s also good that the DCEU seems to have finally realized that different movies can have different tones–which should be fairly obvious to anyone that loves the characters of the DC Universe as much as Zach Snyder claims to.

Aquaman – Official Trailer (SDCC)

Let me be clear: I think Zach Snyder ruined the DCEU (which isn’t for a moment to imply that he did it alone. He had plenty of help from executives that were apparently so ignorant of their own IP that they let Snyder–whom no matter what he says in public does not like these characters–ruin them for likely years to come).

His vision was–on the whole–nihilistic, ugly and clearly pessimistic (which shouldn’t a shock considering Snyder is apparently a fan of Ayn Rand); which leads to James Wan’s Aquaman, a movie I care less about for the title character than it features Black Manta, who ranks among my favorite DC Comics villains.

Though I can see what Wan is trying to do. The world his Aquaman occupies seems lush and beautiful, and visually closer Guardians Of The Galaxy than anything from the DCEU thus far.

But the question is, is it enough?

I don’t think so. So, while I don’t think Aquaman will be a failure, I do expect it to underwhelm at the box office because we have literally been given no reason to care about Arthur Curry as a character.

Shazam-Not-Wow

We’ve finally–via Entertainment Weekly–got an officially-sanctioned image of Zachary Levi in his Shazam costume.

And while the costume itself looks fine–as much of the Internet noticed from not-so-officially sanctioned set photos–Levi doesn’t look so good in it.

The greatest problems is the (fake) muscularity of his chest and biceps and questions or proportionality. What we’ve ended up with is not at all proportional to Levi himself so it comes off as if he’s got some weird physical deformities (did I mention how wonky his thighs look compared to his ankles).

With actors like Chris Evans, Henry Cavil and Ben Affleck their suits seemed to better accent their actual builds, as opposed to just adding bulk.

It won’t by any means kill the movie, it’s not exactly the best of omens that something so relatively simple goes so blatantly wrong.

And to think, all they needed to do is hire Dwayne Johnson to play the character and is wouldn’t even be an issue.

Does DC Stand For ‘Damn Clueless!?’

Actually that’s ‘Detective Comics’ but based on some of their current decisions you’d be perfectly justified if you were slightly confused.

For instance, DC Films is reportedly developing two movies based on the Joker. One’s based on Jared Leto’s interpretation of the iconic Batman villain from Suicide Squad and the other…not so much (though reportedly some sort of alternate universe take on the character).

So, let’s see if I understand…one movie’s based on a not particularly well-received version of the Joker and if that weren’t bad enough, the second movie will be ‘Joker’ in name only, and exist outside of DC Comics continuity (and rumored to be played by Joaquin Phoenix).

What’s wrong with such an approach should be fairly obvious, though let’s start with the creation of an alternative to a character that’s been already introduced to audiences.

And speaking of which, suppose audiences are more into Phoenix’s movie than Leto’s?

What happens then? I have no idea but I’d bet money they’ll be retconning Leto’s version.

Think I’m wrong? Maybe, but what about the DCEU (or whatever they end up calling it) makes you think they’d be loyal to an actor when they apparently don’t hold their directors in too high an esteem (as much as I can’t stand what Zach Snyder did to the DC Extended Universe he should have been ‘fired’ long before Justice League. Heck, he should have been fired after Batman V Superman as opposed to the trifling way he was actually treated)?

Black Manta or Black Man-Duh

I understand the moviemakers sometimes have to sacrifice accuracy for realism when producing something based on a comic book because what looks good in a drawing doesn’t always translate well to real life (which is why we’re likely to NEVER see a comic-accurate Scarlet Witch in the Avengers movies).

That being said, the goal should be as close to comic book accurate as reality will allow.

And the recently released photos of Black Manta from James Wan’s upcoming Aquaman movie? It misses the mark by quite a bit.

Manta’s helmet from the comics is particularly odd in that in the ways it’s typically depicted it’s too ovoid and flat to hold a human head.

The likelihood that this was made possible by the lower half of his face extending into the neck of the suit, while the ‘saucer section’ only contained the upper part of his face.

Black Manta’s helmet as (seemingly–after all, this could just be a prototype) depicted in the Aquaman movie? It’s a full helmet, which means the weird dimensions that made is so iconic aren’t (unless it were comically–pardon the pun–massive) possible.

And that’s a shame because the DCEU needs to keep it 100 because people are losing faith and one way to begin to get it back is depicting these characters as accurately and faithfully as possible.

I (Might) Have A Problem With Vertigo

According to The Hollywood Reporter, DC Comics is relaunching their Vertigo imprint, though I wonder why it stopped in the first place.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I was never a huge DC fan–I started on them, but migrated to Marvel Comics–but Vertigo always held a special place in my heart because they were doing all sorts of stuff you’d more likely find from a small boutique publisher–like Calibre though there are many others–than one of the ‘Big Two.’

Stuff (in no particular order) like Hellblazer, Shade: The Changing Man, Animal Man, Lucifer, Sandman, Sandman Mystery Theatre, to name a few.

Vertigo stories covered all sorts of topics, though a trait they more often than not shared was a paucity of spandex-clad heroics, and an emphasis on thought provoking, mind-bending fare.

So you’d think that I’d be overjoyed at the relaunch of such a prestigious label. And I was, till I read this:

‘The series will tackle subject matter including white supremacy and sex workers struggling to survive in a repressed future dystopia.’

My problem is that Vertigo dealt with ‘mature’ issues like sexuality and racism all the time, though they weren’t the point of the imprint.

Instead what they did was tell interesting, adult stories first, which isn’t to say that the new Vertigo won’t do that, but when you seemingly wear your agenda on your sleeve–unnecessarily in my opinion–it makes me wonder if that will come before story, which the original Vertigo was renown for.