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.

Namor The Sub-Mariner Rises?

I’m going to just come out and say it.  Aquaman is lame.  And sure, much effort has been invested by DC Comics to give the character just a bit of much needed edge in the past few years, though his corny past is never terribly far behind.

If your preferences ran toward water-based superheroes, as mine tended to do, Aquaman was never a character I could take particularly serious.

Now Namor, The Sub-Mariner?  Quite possibly the coolest king Atlantis ever had as well as one of Marvel Comics’ earliest characters. 

Though the oddest thing about him is that–when not being an arrogant douche–he literally spent an inordinate amount of time trying to conquer the surface world, and yet he somehow remained likable.

Namor was an ‘anti-hero’ before the word ever entered the popular lexicon.  

Though what’s the point of all this, you may be asking?  

That’s simple.  For a long time it was assumed that the rights for Namor were at Universal Pictures, along with those for the Incredible Hulk.

As far as Namor is concerned, that’s  apparently not the case, and Marvel Studios may be prepping a movie based on their irascible Prince of the Deep!

And to whet your appetite a little bit more–as if that were even necessary–here’s the opening to Namor’s cartoon, made in 1966.

The Man Who Murdered Time – Pt. 1

The Shadow was created by Walter B. Gibson, and long before he appeared in movies and television, he was a staple of radio.  HIs first appearance was in the 1930’s, and he’s had a huge influence on heroes (and villains) to follow.

For instance, the origin of Marvel Comics’ Iron Fist and Doctor Strange are remarkably similar to the Shadow’s, as is the that of Batman (from the Christopher Nolan movies) though the way he’s often depicted in the comics is very much in line with the Shadow as well.

The Shadow was Lamont Cranston (and Ken Allard, depending upon whether we’re talking about radio, television or novels.  This idea of identities within identities  is very similar to how Marvel’s Moon Knight has been portrayed), young wealthy man about town though having spend time in mysterious Asia gained the ability to cloud men’s minds.

Yet, can even the Shadow and all his mysterious powers stop a man with the ability to control Time?

Iron Fist Official Trailer

Marvel Studios was the first studio to create a interlinked series of movies– known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU–based upon preexisting properties (like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk) that culminated in event movies (such as The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron) that featured all (or the bulk of) the characters introduced prior.  

Marvel Television?   A bit of a late bloomer.  Their first shows were Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, the latter of which lasted only one season.  

This is while DC Comics has made significant inroads into the television space with shows like Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends Of Tomorrow, with more on the way.  

Though a curious thing happened.  Marvel Television began developing Daredevil as a television series on Netflix and it did well enough to warrant a second season.  

Then came Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and most recently, Iron Fist

And since all the Marvel Television series were on Netflix, as opposed to regular television, there was less of a need to appeal to everyone so they possess a grittiness, an edge the Marvel movies can’t touch. 

Oddly enough, Marvel’s television arm seems to be employing a strategy that didn’t work too successfully for DC Entertainment on the big screen–which is building a more noir-ish world –but appears to be paying dividends on the small one. 

Iron Fist revolves around Danny Rand (Finn Jones) who reappeared after having vanished for over ten years to claim the company started by his parents, Rand Enterprises.

Though the people running Rand Enterprises have somehow become involved with the deadly Madame Gao, and she thinks Danny Rand needs to vanish again… 

Ben Affleck No Longer Directing ‘The Batman’

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ben Affleck will no longer be directing the tentatively titled The Batman for Warner Bros, though he still intends to star (and probably write with Geoff Johns) the upcoming feature. 

Part of me wonders if Affleck’s change of heart has anything to do with his latest feature, Live By Night tanking at the box office, and costing the studio somewhere in the ballpark of $75 million. 

Maybe? Maybe not?  Only time will tell though if for the reasons Affleck sites in the article–that as the director and the star that he perhaps couldn’t deliver the quality fans expect–is good enough reason for him to step aside.  

The Straw That Broke The Batman’s Back

What?   You thought Bane deserved all the credit?

In the past few months Warner Bros has been on a charm offensive, as far as the movies of their DC Extended Universe go, but I’m not buying it. 

Another thing I’m not buying are those people who claim that what is preported to be a lighter tone for the upcoming Justice League movie was in the cards all along.  

Reason being, Man Of Steel took itself way too seriously.  Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice upped the ante on dourness, if that were even possible–while working with a story so nonsensical that a bit of levity would have made the whole thing that much more palatable–and now I am supposed to believe that all of a sudden Zach Snyder realized that Superman is based on comic books (that were originally meant for children), and not an object of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism?

The more likelier explanation is that Warner Bros executives saw that the DCEU movies with Zach Synder as architect–while not box office failures–were severely underperforming (that you could put three of the most iconic superheroes in the same movie and can’t reach $900 million at the box office, never mind a billion, is the proverbial canary in the coal mine) so something had to be done. 

And what that seems to be is an demotion of sorts for Snyder, in two ways.  The first is that Ben Affleck was appointed as executive producer on the upcoming Justice League, and apparently is very influential over what happens on screen.  And perhaps more importantly, Geoff Johns and Jon Berg were made co-presidents of DC Films, seemingly with a mandate to resort a sense of hope and optimism to movies sorely lacking such virtues.  

My problem is that I am reaching Transformers levels of frustration with the movies of the DCEU (something Suicide Squad by no means changed) so for me it might be a little too late.

And it’s worth mentioning that I have given up on the Transformers, and refuse to see them in theaters.  

Wonder Woman – Official Trailer

Let’s be clear: Based on what I have seen so far, I suspect that Patty JenkinsWonder Woman isn’t going to be a great movie.  

Then again, an important question that needs to be asked is if DC Films even needs it to be because at this point I imagine all that they and Warner Bros want is a superhero movie that is not reviled by both hard-core comics fans and critics of various stripes. 

The last entry in the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) was Suicide Squad, and while not particularly well-liked by critics, it garnered enough goodwill from moviegoers to earn over $745 million worldwide. 

So maybe Wonder Woman will complete the other part of the equation, bringing some much needed critical acceptance. 

Visually the movie looks a lot like Captain America: The First Avenger (down to their also apparently being a MacGuffin of “indescribable power” in the vein of the Tesseract) but that’s probably due to both stories sharing similar thematic elements than anything else.