Blair Witch – Trailer

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Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s 1999 movie The Blair Witch Project was an aberration–a successful one, but an aberration nonetheless–that has DNA that leads not only to low-budget horror features like the Paranormal Activity movies but an entire studio, Blumhouse Pictures, built on the model.

And a very successful model it is.  The last movie in Blumhouse’s Purge trilogy cost $10 million to produce, and earned almost $90 million at the worldwide box-office.

That’s a spectacular rate of return, which is why a sequel to the first Blair Witch movie isn’t a huge shock (that being said, there was one released a year after the original, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.  It was underrated, underperformed at the box office and is mostly unappreciated though –despite being structured more conventionally than the original movie–it’s a significantly better movie.

Which isn’t to say that The Blair Witch Project brought nothing to the table.  It was filmed in a manner that at the time was probably considered pretty daring–shot with hand-held cameras, and few of the niceties that accompany more traditional productions.

The problem was that, if you happen to be in a situation, you’re in it.  It’s by definition immersive. An imitation of that immediacy, that intensity is particularly difficult to copy–which isn’t to say that it hasn’t been tried prior.–and more often than not pales in comparison to the reality.

So, to be honest I am not expecting all that much from Blair Witch 2016, except more overt gore because today’s viewers won’t settle for the bloodlessness (never mind the almost nauseating camera work, the ancestor of today’s shaky-cam) that sufficed for the original movie.

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 Iron Fist – Teaser Trailer

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Gotta admit, I like the logo though it’s especially good to see because for awhile there were members of the online community that were saying that a series based on Iron Fist wasn’t going to happen.

That being said, Finn Jones?

That’s not even that I think Jones is a bad actor–I’ve heard that he’s appeared in Game of Thrones, which I don’t particularly care for–more so than I haven’t anything to base a decision on.

Though I am not sure it would matter all that much because what puts me off is sort of silly; almost dumb, really.

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It’s the curly hair.

Danny Rand in the comics typically have very straight hair.  I know it’s a minor point, but having followed the adventures of Power Man and Iron Fist for awhile, it’s part of the image I’ve carried in my head.

 

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.

Godzilla: Resurgence – Trailer

Independence Day isn’t the only movie that’s enjoyed a ‘resurgence’ as of late. Most recently, Godzilla has joined to club with Godzilla: Resurgence

And I honestly think that you see more of Godzilla in the trailer than you do in the entirety of Gareth Edwards’ 2014 eponymously named movie.

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That being said, as much as I wanted to see more of the big lizard, having done so I recall the adage ‘Be careful of what you ask for, you just might get it’ because this version of Toho Co.’s venerable kaiju looks a bit…weird.

Check out the scrawny arms and dissicated-looking skin.  He shares some visual cues with a tyrannosaur, though looks oddly zombified and more than a bit terrifying.

Which is interesting because traditionally Godzilla has never looked particularly scary.  Its (which has been at various times male and female, I think) primarily claim to fame were its humongous size, Japanese city-crushing tendencies, and radioactive breath.

Visually?  Always interesting, though honestly never evoked a reaction one way or another.

This most recent version?  Monstrous.

I also like that it still seems to still be a guy in a rubber suit.  Sure, technically speaking you can do less with a more practical Godzilla, but there’s one thing it its favor:  It’s actually there.

The Magnificent Seven – Official Trailer

I think that Warner Bros, possibly with the exception of the upcoming Suicide Squad is terribly mismanaging their DC Films relationship (and Yes, I include the upcoming Wonder Woman in that estimation as well)–like Fox is doing with the X-Men franchise, only less successfully.

But Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven? With Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt?

Money in the bank.

And sure, it has nothing to do with DC Films, but considering how mediocre Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did, they can use any help they can get

 

 

Rules Don’t Apply – Trailer

I’ll readily admit that I am probably not the target audience for Warren Betty’s Rules Don’t Apply despite that it reminds me of the last film I recall Beatty directing, 1990’s Dick Tracy (which is definitely in my wheelhouse).

And to be sure, the color palette he employs in this instance isn’t as brilliant as the one he used in that movie, though if you look at the trailer it’s actually not that far from it.

This makes sense when you think about it. Dick Tracy was based on a comic strip, so relying on a visual palette dominated by bright primary colors (reds, blues and greens, and contrasts between light and dark so  rich that at times it seems that they’re from a Caravaggio painting) adds an element of the fantastical to things, besides making it a bit more similar to the esthetic of the comic.

A toned down, though visually similar palette is apparently being used for Rules Don’t Apply, which also gives it a slightly surreal look.

Which may fit the subject matter, if they’re telling a story that’s also to a degree, a bit unreal.

Otherwise they’re making something that’s based on a real story more visually sumptuous, more unreal than it probably was, which I find frankly a bit irritating.