Deadpool, Meet Cable Trailer

Deadpool 2The latest trailer for Fox’s Deadpool 2 dropped a few hours ago, and it’s pretty funny.  As usual, Deadpool shows a wanton disregard for not only propriety, but the third wall, which he demolishes with aplomb.

And while I don’t think it’s necessary for this movie–or any superhero movie for that matter–to have an R rating, I do admit that I enjoy the way the Deadpool movies seem to revel in their R-ratedness.

Though the problem is that there’re likely a whole batch of movies –like Sony’s upcoming Venom–that will be R-rated less because the story requires it than they’re trying to imitate the success of movies like Deadpool and Logan.

So thanks, Mr. Pool.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story – Teaser Trailer

img_0001I’ve come to notice that I don’t particularly care about the Star Wars universe.

I understand the hows and whys behind movies like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, etc–but they just don’t move me.

As I said, I understand why Lucasfilm is producing them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a point to them doing so (beyond the obvious, which is to make money).

And combined with all the behind–the–scenes drama I have begun to care even less.

That being said, I really like the teaser trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

And that’s likely because it has less in the way of characters or character development than it has to do with things like Star Destroyers and other iconic Star Wars imagery.

Which will always be awesome.

Is Valiant Still Aligned with Sony?

Valiant LogoWith the preeminence of Marvel Studios and to a lesser extent, DC Films, people can perhaps be forgiven for forgetting that Marvel and DC aren’t the only players in town.

There’s Dark Horse (Time Cop) who’s rebooting Hellboy but there’s also Valiant Comics, which have been seemingly preparing to make a movie to feature films for awhile.

Valiant were aligned with Sony, though that was under prior management; now they’re under control of DMG Entertainment and it’s CEO, Dan Mintz.

This is a particularly relevant question, especially considering that Sony seems to be emphasizing Spider-Man (and other Spiderverse characters like Venom, Black Cat and Silver Sable) while they could perhaps be building a cinematic universe of their own, independent of Marvel Studios.

 

Unsane – Official Trailer

Screenshot 2018-01-29 14.09.45Unsane is a thriller from Steven Soderbergh that was apparently shot entirely on an iPhone.

Looking at the trailer, you can tell (it doesn’t look particularly cinematic, especially in wide shots, where you can see some lens distortion) it wasn’t shot on video cameras at any rate.

The lighting is a bit atypical as well, though I think that that is due to the iPhone light sensor, and it’s inability to deal with variations in light and shadow in a nuanced fashion.

Story-wise, I don’t buy it.  If someone commits themselves, as far as I am aware, it’s not the same as when the state commits them, in that they have the right to come and go as they please.

Then again, I only know that from movies, so who knows it it’s actually true or not.

Pacific Rim: Uprising – Official Trailer #2

It might just be me, but the latest trailer for Steven DeKnight’s Pacific Rim: Uprising feels very…YA-ish.

And in and of itself that’s not necessarily a bad thing (and God forbid it appeared exactly the same as the first movie.  I’d likely be whinging about that).

But it definitely feels different, anyway.

And one other thing…there’s a reason many of the Jaeger vs Kaiju battles in the first movie played out either at night or in the rain (and sometimes both!).  It’s easier to make CGI and green screen seem more realistic if it’s not quite so clearly delineated (which is kinder way of saying that the scenes set in a city in Uprising set during the day look particularly videogamey in a way the first movie did not).

Guillermo del Toro’s Time Has Come at Last

img_0018I’ve never been particularly fond of the Academy Awards, partially because they–and awards shows in general–typically have a very self-congratulationary air about them, creating the illusion that they’re a lot more important than they actually are (there’s an art to making movies to be sure, but they’re typically the efforts of hundreds of individuals, despite whichever director happens to win) and particularly because the movies that do win awards–such as Best Picture–in some instances are those that many people wouldn’t be likely to see.

And sometimes it feels that many filmmakers–in an effort to win–will create films that are designed to do just that (though to be fair that has as much, if not more, to do with the studio that’s releasing he film as well).

Which is why I am so impressed by the work of Guillermo del Toro (despite not having yet seen The Shape of Water) and believe he deserves the win.

He loves his monsters, and he’s at his best when he uses them as allegories for the human condition.

And from what I can tell, his latest movie is no different.  

And that’s what so amazing for me.  From Chronos to Pacific Rim, del Toro never abandoned the creatures that haunted his dreams as a child, seemingly in an effort to win an award.

Instead, we’ve caught up with his esthetic, which for me is the very definition of what separates genuine Art from the the also-rans.

Which is also why he deserves at the very least the  ‘Best Director’ statuette.

For ‘Best Picture’ I’m leaning toward Get Out, which is also managed to move beyond the bounds of genre as well.  

Black Widow Will Be A Huge Hit (If A Few Things Are Taken Into Account)

imageThe upcoming Black Widow movie has a lot going for it–2017’s Wonder Woman has proven that a female-led superhero movie can not only be profitable, but revered bay both critics and moviegoers alike–but that doesn’t mean that it should take some very significant advantages for granted.

First there’s Scarlett Johannson, who’s shown with 2014’s Lucy that a movie can be built around her successfully (it was essentially a ‘secret’ superhero movie in the same way Unbreakable and even 1980’s Altered States were, if you think about it).

Then there’s the fact that it’s coming from Marvel Studios, who seemingly don’t know how to make a bad movie

But pride comes before a fall, so to ensure that that doesn’t happen, here’s what the producers could do to minimize the odds.

  • Consider a Guest Appearance 

Johannson’s Black Widow is a great character, but imagine how jazzed fans would be to know Captain America or Hawkeye were going to show up (and I know, some contracts are expiring, but if Evans’ enthusiasm for the characer is any indicator he’d likely turn up in a heartbeat).

And speaking of costs, if you recall Avengers: Age of Ultron, there was a scene Black Widow and Hawkeye were talking about ‘Budapest’ and what happened there.  Now imagine a adventure featuring them both, taking place in the past and perhaps revolving around the organization known as A.I.M (Advanced Idea Mechanics, who were sort of teased in Iron Man 3).

It would be in the Winter Soldier vein, and could be very awesome and gritty. 

  • Control Costs

Part of the problem with DC Films–and Zach Snyder in particular–is that their movies are relatively expensive, compared to Marvel Studios, which is why they tend to make middling profits (by way of illustration, Justice League cost somewhere in the ballpark of $250 million before the Joss Whedon-helmed reshoots.  Having seen it I’m not entirely sure where that money went, but it wasn’t on screen).

And speaking of costs, during Avengers: Age of Ultron Black Widow and Hawkeye were reminiscing about ‘Budapest.’

Suppose Black Widow was the movie about that particular incident?  I have no idea what the actual movie will be about, but it would be pretty cool to see a Jason Bourne-type adventure featuring Black Widow and Hawkeye for no more than 80-$100 million?

Such a, relatively speaking, low-cost action movie would likely turn a profit in a week, if not days. 

  • Not to Belabor the Obvious, But Make an Entertaining Movie First

Black Widow’s movie needs to be entertaining in and of itself, instead of having a female lead be it’s primary draw.  If it becomes the latest feminist cause cèlébre it runs the risk of alienating a huge swath of their potential audience.

Now, the producers of the movie can embrace every one of the above steps and the movie still under performs, though I think that’s highly unlikely.