Full Metal Alchemist – Official Trailer

Screenshot 2017-11-02 01.51.33I recall that someone explained why it is that Japanese people in anime don’t look particularly Japanese, but I don’t recall the explanation (which implies that it didn’t particularly resonate for me).

I should mention that my feeling also doesn’t apply to all anime.  Characters from the works of Hayao Miyzaki appear distinctly Japanese (in terms of how they’re drawn).

Which is one of the reasons I enjoyed Gantz: 0:  all the characters looked Japanese (which makes sense when something takes place in Japan).

I was bothered as much as anyone else by Scarlett Johansson’s casting as the Major in Ghost in the Shell though less because she was playing a Japanese character–since as I explained earlier, the Major never looked Japanese to me–more than I knew she was despite that fact and therefore should be played by a Japanese person.

Though having seen the trailer for Full Metal Alchemist–filmed with an entirely Japanese cast–it looks a bit…off, especially compared to the episodes of the anime I have seen.

It’s sort of weird, but it reminds me of someone’s interpretation of Full Metal Alchemist–which it obviously is–but I mean in a more deeper, essential sense of who these characters are.

It’s like it were being made especially for the Japanese market–which in a sense it is–after the Hollywood version.

If that makes any sense.

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Will Thor: Ragnarök Join the Billion Dollar Club?

img_0536I think it’s very, very likely.

Reason being, Thor earned just $449 million in 2011.  It’s sequel, Thor: The Dark World, earned almost $645 million in 2013.

Notice the upward trajectory?  And do you know what those prior movies didn’t have?

A Hulk!

So, while Thor: Ragnarok has yet to released in North America it’s already earned over $109 million and has yet to be released in the United States, Canada, China, Japan, Germany, Russia and Mexico

So, it’s expected to just earn just under $300 million from all those countries!?  Let’s see…it’s likely to earn over $100 domestically, meaning that it would be pulling in just under $200 million from Canada, China, Japan, Germany, Russia and Mexico.

And that’s HIGHLY unlikely.  I expect a more reasonable estimate is somewhere in the $500-$600 million ballpark, which considering it has no competition till Justice League comes out November 17th, I expect that it will have earned at least $700 million by that time, well on it’s way to a billion dollars.

 

Sony Saved by Spider-Man in Second Quarter

img_0328Sony earned $86 million in the Second Quarter of 2017 due to the Playstation video game system and a little movie called Spider-Man: Homecoming, and an even littler movie, Baby Driver.

Spider-Man snared almost $900 million ($875,885 million worldwide) which is a lot of ducats for a movie that was supposed to underwhelm due to franchise fatigue (which is essentially a myth that says if you make crappy movies often enough people will eventually wise up and not pay to see them.  And sure, it might take longer than anyone would like–but it WILL happen).

And Sony might want to consider re-upping their deal with Marvel Studios (especially when they botch their Venom solo movie.  Come now, you know you were thinking the same damn thing).

Quite Possibly One of the Best Commericals of All Time

Screenshot 2017-10-30 14.06.25Very few people like commercials, and with good reason.  Their job typically is not only to sell you something, but  more insidiously, convince you that you need what you likely don’t.

It’s no wonder most people go out of their way to avoid them, though that creates a problem, namely if you don’t watch the commercials it potentially creates a situation where–if enough people follow suit–an advertiser might decide to stop supporting a show you happen to like because they’re not seeing the anticipated result of the ad spend.

Though Geico commercials are different in that in the past five or six years they’ve come to understand that if you can people entertained, they’re likely not to turn the channel (or mute the volume, a favorite of mine when working on my computer).

Such thinking lead to this most recent Geico advert, which works on so many levels, with nostalgia being the most noticable.

That what’s really interesting is that I clicked on this advert, as opposed to it playing whether or not I wanted to see it.  And that may sond like a trivial thing, but I suspect advertisers would give a body part to create advertising that viewers actually sought out, as opposed to avoided.

James Gunn, You Don’t Get To Choose Your Own Facts 

Screenshot 2017-10-28 15.09.58I understand James Gunn (Slither, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1 & 2) says that Marvel Studios isn’t competing with DC Entertainment and that there’s no bad blood between the two studios.

Which also happens to be a perspective shared by Kevin Feige and Geoff Johns (the heads of Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment, respectively).

That being said, long before there was a Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics was–quite actively in fact–competing with DC Comics (and still are).  And sure, it was for the most part good-natured, but that didn’t make it any less a competition.

Screenshot 2017-10-28 15.15.33.pngAnd that competition benefitted both companies.

But now that that relationship has become inconvenient–I get it.  It gets really old that people Tweet him, arguing back and forth about Batman V Superman–but what’s he’s doing is acting as if this conflict, this schism between fans of these characters wasn’t at various points fed and promoted by both DC and Marvel.

And that doesn’t mean that it needs– or should–be continued today, but  by seemingly pretending not to see how both companies have contributed to the very problem he’s concerned about is blatantly unfair and unbecoming of someone who’s not only shown himself to be a fan of these characters, but an active participant in the community, as Gunn.

This is on top of the very valid view that Zack Snyder–who was for a time the creative force behind the DCEU–seriously mistreated Batman and Superman, which Gunn seems to not at all willing to take into account.

 

Will the Nightbreed Rise Again?

Production company Morgan Creek recently announced that they’re changing their name to the Morgan Creek Entertainment Group.

And…why would anyone (who isn’t directly or indirectly involved with Morgan Creek) care?

The reason is because one of the movies in their catalogue is Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (based on the short story, Cabal from The Books of Blood). 

An almost legendarily troubled production, Nightbreed was an attempt by Barker to move away from the gore of his prior film, Hellraiser. 

And it might have worked, if it weren’t for the fact that at the time Morgan Creek wanted a slasher movie–it came out in 1990, when slasher movies were in vogue–and if they couldn’t get Clive Barker to make them one, they’d take control of his film and  do it themselves!

So somewhere in the ballpark of an hour of footage was cut from the movie, altering storylines in ways that Barker hadn’t intended; literally changing the structure, flow and intent of the movie.

And while various attempts have been made since the release of Nightbreed to restore it to an approximation of his vision, the damage had been done and Barker only directed one other movie, 1995’s The Lord of Illusions (from The Books of Blood, Vol. 6) since that time.

Fast-forwarding to today there’s no guarantee that Barker will have anything to do with Nightbreed, be it a television series or a feature film, but it’s logical that the relaunched Morgan Creek Entertainment would would at least seek to have Barker on in an executive producer capacity, if only go to satisfy the legions of fans of his work because I am comfortable saying that without Barker’s imprimatur, a reboot is DOA.

Two Themes to Halloween

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (whom I really want to call ‘Atticus Finch’) are individually two talented instrumentalists/composers (the latter’s soundtrack for The Book of Eli is particularly good) and lately they’ve been working together for movies like The Social Network.

Most recently they tackled John Carpenter’s Halloween theme and…it’s okay (and certainly different). 

For sake of comparison, here’s Carpenter’s theme. What’s worth noticing is how–relatively speaking–simple it is.

It moves with a relentless repetitiveness, evocative in some ways of Michael Myers himself, with the mood made by a contrast between synths and piano.

While Reznor and Ross’ version is another matter entirely.   After around 50 seconds (!) of silence it starts up with a dull, mechanical drone. When it gets going it sounds more complex, more layered than the original.  

Though it loses quite a bit of tension–mainly due to the aforementioned drone–before it leads into the more familiar terrain of Carpenter’s original. 

When all is said and done, it’s effective in its own way, thouughnot nearly as sharply focused (or as iconic) as Carpenter’s.

Though things really go to heck around the 6:10.mark, where it turns into a pretty uninteresting techno song.

Pity.