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.

Fist Fight – Trailer 1

screenshot-2016-09-26-00-53-21Richie Keen’s Fist Fight looks to be pretty funny (and Charlie Day looks pretty short, especially when you consider that Ice Cube can’t be any taller than 5’6, give or take) but it also looks particularly one-note.

And while I haven’t seen the movie, I get the feeling that it’s going to end one of two ways:  Ice Cube beats Charlie Day within an inch of his life (possible, though unlikely), or some deus ex machina enables Day to get out from receiving the beating of his life.

What I don’t expect to happen–unless the movie movie is much more clever than I give it credit for–is that Ice Cube somehow gets his arse handed to him by a guy that the trailer establishes as pretty incompetent as far as fighting goes.

Ghost in the Shell- Official Sneak Peek

screenshot-2016-09-22-15-59-32And by ‘Sneak Peek’ they mean they aren’t going to show us anything that’s in the least bit interesting.

Though that not quite true. Keep in mind that there was a controversy earlier this year over not only the casting of Scarlett Johannson as a character that in the anime was Japanese, but rumors that producers were intending to make her look Asian.

Seeing her appearance in the Sneak Peek, it’s possible that making her look Japanese is what they were doing, especially when you take into account how her hair’s cut. That being said, it doesn’t appear that her eyes have been altered to mimic epicanthic folds, either digitally or via make-up, though it’s hard to tell definitively.

The worse thing is that the choice of Johansson needn’t have been a controversial one because all they needed to do was the create a new character that happened to be American.

And sure, there would be some people who would complain about that–particularly fans of the anime who tended to be purists–but that discussion would be significantly better, and certainly less strident, than one of whitewashing, which is pretty indefensible.

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.

The Bye Bye Man – Teaser Trailer

Screenshot 2016-09-13 15.36.46.pngI had never heard of Stacy Title’s The Bye Bye Man–or Stacy Title, which doesn’t sound like a real name, for that matter–before yesterday, but it’s a horror movie so it got my attention.

What’s interesting is that it’s from STX Entertainment, who earlier this year released The Boy.

It seems to me that they’re following in the footsteps of Blumhouse Pictures, who are adept at releasing and marketing low-budget horror movies.

It’s a strategy that appears to be working. The Boy–which felt like it was out for no time at all–actually earned just over $64 million worldwide.

Now that’s a not a huge amount of money, relatively speaking, till you take in account that the budget was only $10 million.

That’s a pretty good return for a movie that didn’t exactly kick up a lot of noise at the box office.

Support the LEGO Eagle Transporter

Support LEGO potentially creating a LEGO-ized version of the Eagle Transporter from Space: 1999, one of the most awesome and iconic spaceships in television history.

space-1999-year-one-1No matter if your preference is for the more cerebral Year One…

 

 

 

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Or more dynamic Year Two, you can’t go wrong.

 

 

 

Though most fans of Gerry Anderson’s (arguably) best life action series would want most is a Year Three, but that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon because ITV (the current rights holder) are apparently doing everything they can to ensure that it doesn’t.

(To be fair in 2012 there was talk of a reboot, Space: 2099, but that fell by the wayside).

As I implied, I wouldn’t hold my breath for a new series, so one way to0 show your love is to create create an account at LEGO Ideas and answer a few questions (all relevant to the potential project).

screenshot-2016-09-08-17-28-23

Besides, if LEGO does an Eagle, can a Hawk be far behind?

And if there’s enough interest to create a LEGO-ized Hawk, who knows what can happen?

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Ouija 2 : Origin of Evil – Trailer 2

Ouija.png

 

I think Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) is quite a talented director.  That being said, I find the latest trailer from his upcoming Ouija 2: Origin of Evil in some ways a bit disturbing (and not in the good, creepy, what’s that shadow doing there kind of way).

It’s not that I think that it’s going to be as bad–keep in mind I paid to see the original Ouija,  so knowing Flanagan’s bona fides I can’t see it being as horribly ‘meh’ as that– as the movie that it’s a sequel to.

Though what it feels like is that Flanagan is playing in James Wan’s (Saw, Insidious, Dead Silence, The Conjuring, etc) sandbox rather than creating something all his own.

And on some levels that’s not quite fair.  Wan doesn’t own period pieces–as Ouija 2: Origin of Evil appears to be–but he has partially built a career on period supernatural movies like The Conjuring, Insidious and their sequels, which are very much products of their times (the 80’s).

Then there’s that most of James Wan’s horror movies are slicker than they have any right to be, and if there’s anything that I hope Mike Flanagan doesn’t learn, it’s that.