The Cause of the Academy Award Snafu Revealed!

I didn’t see last week’s Academy Award presentation mainly because I think as Americans we spend way too much time celebrating ourselves.

An award for this, an award for that; it seems like there’s one for just about every activity that you can think of.  And since they’re become so relatively common–maybe they’ve always been and I didn’t notice–that they feel progressively less meaningful.

And that’s not to say that they’re worthless, though they’re seem to be doing their damnedest to become so.

Then I heard about the Oscar snafu and wondered how it could have happened, especially since people of color having been overlooked by the Academy for a very long time now.

Though having seen the video below, I think I get it.

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.

2017 Remake Of ‘The Usual Suspects’

I find Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects an irritating movie mainly because it’s not really as smart or as clever as it like to think that it is. 

Which is probably why I’m surprised to find that I really enjoyed this trailer from the sequel.

And Stephen Colbert in the role made famous by Kevin Spacey?  Genius. 

3 Reasons We Need to Stop Speculating Peter Dinklage Will Play M.O.D.O.K in Avengers: Infinity War

Some fan sites have speculated that Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, X-Men: Days of Future Past) would appear as M.O.D.O.K,  which stands for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Avengers: Infinity War (though I get the feeling the people who are making this suggestion are not only unaware who M.O.D.O.K is, but how ultimately insulting an idea that actually is

And speaking of ‘insulting,’ that’s also my first reason.

  • It’s Really Insulting Toward Dinklage

Here is an image of M.O.D.O.K.

He has such tiny arms and legs because he was created to lead AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) so all their efforts went toward developing his mental abilities, which are pretty impressive.

Now keep in mind that some characters don’t make the transition from comics to movies visually intact–this was the case for the Falcon, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Zemo and many others so it’s entirely possible that M.O.D.O.K could be played by Dinklage and translate to the screen in such a way that is reminiscent of the character from the comics, yet reinterpreted, like with the case of Arnim Zola from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

 

The problem is that M.O.D.O.K’s massive cabeza IS his most distinctive feature, and I am unsure how they could reinterpret that and capture how bizarre and unusual the character actually is.

Which is strangely enough where our problems start.

Here is a picture of Dinklage from the after party of The Station Agent.   He’s a person of short-stature, and while he’s played a whole gamut of roles I am not sure how playing a giant head doesn’t become more than a little offensive.

And while some people may call that PC, that’s just a cross I’ll have to bear.

  • AIM Has Barely Been Introduced Into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

The organization known as AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) was introduced into the MCU in Iron Man 3 (in the movies it was a company started by Aldrich Killian, who developed Extremis) though it was one of those ‘blink and you’ll miss it‘ sort of moments.

With Hydra on the decline it would be nice for the movies to introduce another villainous organization to take up the slack, and AIM could serve that purpose admirably (plus we’d get a chance to see people wearing those cool yellow ‘beekeeper’ helmets, so there’s always that).

Though to introduce MODOK as a main villain means reintroducing AIM, something not likely to happen if Avengers: Infinity War has half the characters it’s supposed to have.

  • Most Importantly, M.O.D.O.K Has No Connection to the Infinty Gauntlet or Infinity Watch Storylines 

I am aware that Marvel Studios movies don’t adapt any storyline verbatim from the comics, though introducing  M.O.D.O.K would be worse than clutter because it would be adding a character and a supporting organization the film would hardly need.

So those are the reasons why Dinklage will not be M.O.D.O.K but instead be playing…

Pip the Troll!  It’s not exactly rocket science, and actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it.  Dinklage already looks like Pip, all that’s required to complete the look would be a shave and a loincloth (which isn’t necessarily to say that that’s the direction they’re going with visually, though if it is, it would be really work).

Discovery to Axanar

We’ve Got This Covered recently featured a video offering a little–very little, if truth be told–look at the latest entry in the Star Trek Saga, Star Trek: Discovery.

And while my first question is why isn’t Manny Coto involved?  Star Trek: Enterprise was at its best when he came on board perhaps that’s not the most relevant query.

That would be to ask why does Paramount Pictures have its phasers set on ‘Kill’ for anyone that tries to play in the Star Trek sandbox?

Though that’s not quite fair because CBS and Paramount (the current right holders of the Star Trek name and associated intellectual property (a thorny phrase, legally-speaking and otherwise) have supposedly been very tolerant of fan-produced series in the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is, till Axanar.  And speaking of Alec Peters’ Kickstarter-financed fan film, they lost their legal challenge to CBS and Paramount when the judge that oversaw the case ruled that it wasn’t an example of fair use.

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.  

Three Things To Consider For An Unbreakable Sequel To Work

While it’s good news that M. Night Shyamalan is finally getting around to producing a sequel to his Bruce Willis/Sam Jackson-led Unbreakable, three problems in particular come to mind. 

1.  The original Unbreakable came out 17 years ago.

The point being that a lot of people aren’t going to get fired up for a sequel to a movie that came out before they were born. This is why Bruce Willis and Sam Jackson must reprise their roles.  The two leads returning will help to bridge not only the gap in people’s minds, but  the very real gap between the original and the sequel. 

Could the movie work without Willis and Jackson?  Maybe, though why take the chance?  After all, many believe that one reason in particular  Independence Day: Resurgence tanked (which is perhaps too strong a word for a movie that earned almost $390 million worldwide) was because Will Smith did not return to the role that catapulted him to A-list stardom.   

2. Will we be seeing the ‘Blumhouse’ Shyamalan, or the ‘Lady In The Water’ Shyamalan?

I could have written the ‘AfterEarth’ Shyamalan, though the meaning would have been the same, namely I’m talking about the period of time when Shyamalan was seemingly driven more by ego than creativity, and it showed in vanity projects like Lady In The Water,  AfterEarth and The Last Airbender. 

While the ‘Blumhouse Shyamalan, ’ where the resurgence of his career began with movies like The Visit and Split

Lean, relatively small-budgeted features (pretty much the only type of movies Blumhouse Pictures makes), managed to reign in Shyamalan’s excesses though I suspect he won’t have a Jason Blum to keep an eye on things for an Unbreakable 2.

Though considering we’re talking about Bruce Willis and Sam Jackson, I suspect that neither will come cheap. 

3. How will Unbreakable 2 differentiate itself from all the other superhero movies?

When Unbreakable came out the idea of superhero films was relatively uncommon, which is why the original could work as a superhero film despite being relatively action-free.  Such an approach would likely not work today, so how can Shyamalan create a drastically different-looking superhero story, while not drifting too far afield of what made the original so engrossing and worthy of revisiting is a question worth pondering. 

If Shyamalan can address these three points, it by no means guarantees that Unbreakable 2 will be a success, though what it does mean is that it will likely find a receptive audience, one way or another.