I’ve considered Adolph Hitler and the rise of Nazism fascinating for quite awhile now, though not for what I believe are typical reasons. What interests me is that there was literally no way Hitler could have done what he did without the defacto acquiescence of the German people (at least initially, before his mad enterprise built a momentum all it’s own).
After all, military force can only go so far when someone has to make government function so by default you’re dealing with lots of ordinary people, doing whatever it is that they do, perhaps only distantly realizing they’re–in ways both big and small– in league with a monster.
And that’s of course assuming they didn’t agree with his ‘final solution.’
Vincenzo Natali’s Cube is one of the better examples of a movie where people are placed in a situation where they–literally and figuratively–have to deal with a situation, a process doing whatever it is designed to do seemingly without oversight or accountability.
This brings me to J.J. Abrams’ Overlord which appears to fit firmly in the ‘Germans Are Bad Department,’ but appears to play with Heinrich Himmler‘s fascination with the occult.
And…it feels like something we’ve all seen before. In fact, what separates it from more other examples of Nazi-based horror is what looks like a relatively healthy special effects budget (in fact it virtually a gorier version of Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy).
And I’d be the last person to criticize horror movies in general though I wish this one had aimed for something more than what appears to be fairly obvious.
The trailer for Robert Rodriguez’s Battle Angel Alita opens with: ‘You told me a story of the way, when the ground shook and the sky burned.’
Which is an interesting choice of words because combined with the visuals it fits pretty well within the Terminator universe which was–disputably–created by James Cameron, who also produced Battle Angel Alita and wrote the screenplay with Laeta Kalogridis).
At this point I’m just glad we’re (apparently) getting a Godzilla movie that actually features Godzilla for more than a combined fifteen or twenty minutes.
And I know that that’s selfish of me but when I go see a movie titled ‘Godzilla’ I don’t think it’s asking too much to see the damn huge lizard pretty regularly.
And while I’m on the the topic of ‘not seeing,’ where the hell is Bradley Whitford? His name is displayed prominently on the poster, yet he’s nowhere to be seen in the trailer.
I’m also not sure the entire environmental thrust of the trailer is going to go over particularly well with those Americans inclined to support President Trump because the idea that we’re at all responsible for the problems the world faces (like climate change) are apparently anathema to them.
Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the first teaser for Shazam out of San Diego Comic-Con.
And while I still think Zachary Levi–visually speaking–isn’t a great choice for the role (he’s just not, physically speaking, massive enough, making the copious amount of muscle padding he has to wear look more goofy than heroic. This is particular odd when you consider that Dwayne Johnson would be an ideal Shazam because he actually has the physique to pull it off with a bare minimum of padding) he seems game with the whole Big-with-superpowers idea that underpins the movie.
It’s also good that the DCEU seems to have finally realized that different movies can have different tones–which should be fairly obvious to anyone that loves the characters of the DC Universe as much as Zach Snyder claims to.
Let me be clear: I think Zach Snyder ruined the DCEU (which isn’t for a moment to imply that he did it alone. He had plenty of help from executives that were apparently so ignorant of their own IP that they let Snyder–whom no matter what he says in public does not like these characters–ruin them for likely years to come).
His vision was–on the whole–nihilistic, ugly and clearly pessimistic (which shouldn’t a shock considering Snyder is apparently a fan of Ayn Rand); which leads to James Wan’s Aquaman, a movie I care less about for the title character than it features Black Manta, who ranks among my favorite DC Comics villains.
Though I can see what Wan is trying to do. The world his Aquaman occupies seems lush and beautiful, and visually closer Guardians Of The Galaxy than anything from the DCEU thus far.
But the question is, is it enough?
I don’t think so. So, while I don’t think Aquaman will be a failure, I do expect it to underwhelm at the box office because we have literally been given no reason to care about Arthur Curry as a character.
The Season Two trailer for Marvel’s Iron Fist dropped at San Diego Comic-Con and it’s…okay and manages to tell us relatively little about the upcoming season.
And that’t okay because who wants any surprises spoiled this early (though Iron Fist had better wear a comic-accurate costume. At this point we need something to link these ‘street level heroes’ to the greater Marvel Universe than just knowing that they’re characters from Marvel Comics)?
Which reminds me of what many apparently thought was the problem with Season One, namely it felt that Danny Rand/Iron Fist was a secondary character in his own story.
He felt too indecisive and ending up being the least interesting character in the series–in HIS series–which is never a good thing.
As a result, Scott Buck is no longer the showrunner–though it took Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb long enough to notice that it wasn’t working–having been replaced by Raven Metzner (Elektra–interesting and scary at the same time, Falling Skies, Sleepy Hollow, Heroes Reborn)..
I’ve got to hand it to M. Night Shyamalan because for a man who’s career was teetering on the abyss not too long ago he’s come back in spectacular form.
And who’d thought that being given less money to make movies would be a HUGE reason why.
When you take into account Lady in the Water, The Last Airbender, The Happening (who’s issue was less one of budget than only a megalomaniac would’ve committed to such a dopey premise in the first place) and After Earth, the best thing that could have happened to Shyamalan was his association with Jason Blum, who’s known for producing movies on a shoestring budget.
The first film in their association was The Visit, and while story-wise you could see where it was going a mile off, it was genuinely entertaining and a palate cleanser for the former enfant terrible.
Which brings us to Glass, the sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable which brings characters from that movie and 2016’s Split together in what’s likely to be an explosive confrontation.
Though can someone please tell Shyamalan that superhero movies are pretty common now so–unlike with Unbreakable–he doesn’t have to play it coy.