New Inhumans Poster

On the left is the latest poster for Marvel Television/ABC’s upcoming series The Inhumans, and it’s…okay.

It does have a sense of drama (though Medusa’s hair continues to look terrible, mainly because if lacks the voluptuousness that it typically has in the comics, rendering it flat and lifeless).

That being said, I admit that the production has me–based on the admittedly limited information I possess–a bit concerned.

First off, Scott Buck (Dexter, Iron Fist) is the showrunner and while the latter series was much better than most critics have given it credit for, it also wasn’t as engaging as any of the other Marvel/Netflix series so far introduced (and felt to me like Buck knew little about the source material).

Another potential issue is one I’ve touched on before, which is how the characters (and in particular their costumes) look.

And trust me, I get why the producers likely chose to change how Black Bolt looked from the comics: while movies lately ar making these characters more comic-accurate I am not entirely sure that it would work as he’s traditionally pictured.

After all, he’s the king of his people, though nothing about his current costume says ‘royalty’ (though that’s perhaps not not quite fair, though it would need to be relayed to the audience somehow).

In fact, it just looks like–to someone who unfamiliar with him or doesn’t follow the comics–like any other superhero.

And that’s not a good thing when you have so much running on a series.

Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets – ‘Space Is MAGIC’ – Trailer

Luc Besson is nothing if not ambitious and Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets is his most ambitious feature yet, but I am concerned.

The movie, based on a French comic book written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières, is likely unfamiliar to most Americans, which is likely why the director spends quite a bit of time in the trailer telling the viewer what it is they’re going to see, and what it’s  based on.

If I were promoting the movie in the United States I’d  bypass the origins of the characters–which domestic audiences are likely unaware –and instead concentrate on two things:

  • Spectacle

Valerian appears to be visually spectacular, as if Besson took the visual esthetic of The Fifth Element and combined it with Star Wars and Avatar.  Movies are all about diversion and this is an aspect that–in promotional materials–needs to be played up (it goes without saying that he movie itself will hopefully have a story that matches the visuals) even more than it is in this trailer.

Promise a visual experience like no other.  And sure, it’s likely not to be the case –I have seen few, if any, movies to actually live up to such hype–but it doesn’t stop movies from saying it, so Valerian might as well do the same.

  • Competition

Valerian cost somewhere between $170-200 million dollars to produce and while I expect it will perform strongest in Europe (where familiarity with the source material is likely greater) I wouldn’t discount it doing well in most international markets.

How well it does domestically depends upon when it is released, and perhaps more importantly, what it is released against.   It it performs (domestically) like Universal’s The Mummy, which had Wonder Woman to content with, then it had better do as well as that movie did internationally (despite not starring an actor with the international pull of a Tom Cruise) or there might be troubles for EuropaCorp (Besson’s production company, though the movie is released domestically via STX.).

Though if Valerian has a month or so alone (and there’s no Spider-Man: Homecoming waiting in ambush) competing with smaller releases it’s likely to do just fine.

Flatliners (2017) – Trailer

imageJoel Schumacher often gets a bad rap because he directed movies like Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.  

And having seen both of those movies in their neon-lined, homoerotic glory some of that opprobrium is certainly deserved though it has the unfortunate (and perhaps unintended) effect of tainting everything Schumacher has done before or since.

For instance, he also directed The Lost Boys (which also had a homoerotic subtext, though unlike in the case of his comic book adaptations, fit the material).  I also recall Falling Down being enjoyable, as was Flatliners, a supernatural-tinged drama revolving around four medical students who participated in experiments where they ‘kill’ each other, then bring themselves back from the brink of death.

I don’t recall why they were doing that, though I’m reasonably sure the reasoning was pretty ludicrous. 

The hook of the movie was that, when they came back, they came back haunted by events that took place in the their pasts.

I recall it being visually pretty interesting, though the third act was a bit trite and simplistic. 

And unlike what some entertainment web sites may allege, the upcoming Flatliners isn’t a reboot, but a sequel to the 1990 movie.

Which is a really good thing since the story is essentially going to be the same as the original movie, so they might as well use it as a starting point and movie into (hopefully) new places. 

 

 

 

Polaroid – Official Trailer

When I went to catch Alien: Covenant last Sunday (review coming soon!) I saw a poster for a movie called Polaroid.

Polaroid cameras in general would be an interesting way for evil to spread after all there’s something mildly disturbing about watching an image appear–almost ghostlike–when there had prior been nothing.

One of the original trailers for Lars Klevberg’s short was released and it looks plenty atmospheric, though by no means unique.

And while this trailer isn’t for the remake, it will likely look very similar (despite the inevitable Americanization).

Hopefully what made the original short so acclaimed will not be lost.

It also genuinely surprises me that there haven’t been more movies revolving  around instant cameras like the Polaroid (though I think there was a Stephen King story based on the iconic camera called The Sun Dog).

Murder On The Orient Express – Trailer

There something comforting about an Agatha Christie mystery, though I have never tried to quantify why.

Before now, that is.

I think that what drew me to them originally was the logical way the stories were constructed and the way the mystery unfolded.  Typically you put a group of strangers in a situation where there’s no readily available avenue of escape, and have one of them die by sinister means.

No one can be trusted (other than the detective, that is)  It’s not  a particularly innovative formula but I find–when they’re done well–them to be endlessly entertaining

In fact, my only issue with the 2017 version (if there haven’t been at least three or four versions there haven’t been any) is that Kenneth Brannagh is playing Hercule Poirot, who happens to look nothing at all like the character as described by Agatha Christie.

Peter Ustinov, who played the fastidious Belgian detective in Death On The Nile, was better (visually speaking) though neither can compare to David Suchet, who in my mind will always be the definitive Hercule Poriot.

Wonder Woman Looks to Smash Expectations   

Patty Jenkins’ upcoming Wonder Woman feature has a quality that’s shared with no other recent movie bearing the DC logo (and it’s not an opening projection that’s projected somewhere in the ballpark of $175 million worldwide).

The quality in question is its  Rotten Tomatoes score.

According to the aggregator the movie has amassed a 97 percent ‘Fresh‘ rating, which is HUGE because it tells you that the critics that have seen he movie so far like it.

And speaking of critics, keep in mind that as of the writing of this article that percentage was made up of only  66 reviews, so that number is likely to go down, though it shouldn’t be a huge percentage.

Which means that not only will Wonder Woman receive better reviews than either Man Of Steel, Suicide Squad or Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, but it’s quite likely that it will be the most profitable movie based on a female superhero ever.

At least till Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel arrives on he scene.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Final Trailer

The trailer for Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is almost impossibly gorgeous, but seeing that Besson’s was also the director of The Fifth Element that was never an aspect of his filmmaking I was concerned about.

Never having read the comic the movie is based upon, I will just have Besson’s writing to guide me through the movie, which concerns me somewhat.

It’s not that Besson is a terrible writer, it’s that he doesn’t typically bring the gravitas, or in some instances, the originality a story might require.

And then there’re the two leads. James DeHaan is a good actor, though he looks a bit ‘young’ in the trailer (this may have more to do with DeHaan being a relatively slight person in general, but nothing about his antics in the trailers inspires confidence to me).  Then there’s the seemingly perpetual scowl of disapproval worn by Cara Delevingne in EVERY trailer for the movie.

Maybe they have a Han Solo/Princess Leia–thing going on, or that what we’re seeing in the trailers reflects exactly the relationship between both characters in the comic, but if that’s the case then we’re in for a particularly unpleasant ride, because it’s really unappealing.