Upholding The Covenant

Today 20th Century Fox released a teaser poster for Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant and the xenomorph is (apparently) once again the star of the show. 

Which is very odd because Scott originally wanted nothing more to do with the Alien universe, which at least partially explains why Damon Lindelhof’s rewrite of Joh Spaiths’ original screenplay exorcised virtually all hints of them from Prometheus

And yet it doesn’t because for someone not interested in dealing with Aliens, he certainly included a lot of the elements of their mythology, such as Weyland-Yutani, a variation of the Facehugger and what can only be called a proto-Alien. 

Weird choices, though maybe they’re an indication that Scott took less of an issue with the universe of Alien than the Alien itself. 

Which isn’t what I’d call a good sign, especially since he’s apparently leading with them.  

Collateral Beauty – Trailer 2

Having just seen the trailer for Collateral Beauty, initially the first thing that came to mind was Meet Joe Black, where Brad Pitt was the personification of Death (though this time the honor goes to Helen Mirren). 

That is, till I noticed that Will Smith seems to be playing some sort of savant (revealed in the meticulous patience required to set up all those dominoes, which I assume he did), that was probably brought on by some sort of trauma, such as the death of his wife and daughter..

So, essentially he’s trying to heal himself, though to do so he has to go back to the place of the original trauma, but his mind is torn, which is why he’s apparently seeing ghosts (they represent his mind warring with itself, in an effort to heal). 

So now it’s more like Identity (I guess), minus the gnarly murders.  

The Case Against Extended Editions (Of Movies)

In terms of keeping ourselves entertained, there are a plethora of options available. 

From the Internet to video games, watching sports or the seemingly hundreds of other things we do to fill time, our entertainment options are so many that studios can’t afford to take moviegoers for granted.

Which is why I see a studio release an ‘extended’ or a ‘Director’s Cut’ I have to ask if executives think we’re all so stupid that we just don’t notice that we’re (more often than not) being screwed. 

Because if a director is doing their job, there’s no reason for an extended or a Director’s cut to even exist. 

For instance, when Joss Whedon was asked if there would be a Director’s Cut of Avengers: Age Of Ultronhe unequivocally said ‘No.’

Reason being, part of a director’s job is to work with the studio to bring their vision to life, and that typically involves a little give and take but that being said, at the end of the day what you see on theater screens should be what the director wanted you to see.

If it’s not, then there’s a problem, though I definitely don’t think the answer is to release extended cuts, as was the case of Suicide Squad; or a Director’s Cut, in the case of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Reason being, in my book that’s known as double dipping, which is a big ‘screw you’ to moviegoers. 

But it goes deeper than that.  Extended editions that don’t add value slowly undermine viewers faith and trust in movies, and with so many illegal ways to get content you’d think studios would be doing all they can to fight such ha creeping cynicism.

Then again, I’ve been wrong before. 

Kong: Skull Island – Official Final Trailer

I really like this trailer a lot.  First off because it initially plays like a riff on Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now–which cannot be an accident–by way of Jurassic Park

Then there’s the almighty Sam Jackson (who will probably end up devoured by something before the credits roll) who never fails to bring his A-game. 

In fact, I have no idea if the familiarity of what we see in the trailer is necessarily a good or bad thing (as I said, I like it but others might not see the point since it doesn’t necessarily seem to be bringing anything new). 

By the way, Tom Hiddleston barely makes an appearance.  I know we’re dealing with a large ensemble cast, but he’s one of the headliners.  

Beauty And The Beast – Official Trailer


Some movies aren’t made for me, and I understand that though what really needs to sink in is that that doesn’t necessarily mean that a movie is doomed to failure. 

I learned this rough lesson most recently when I swore to the heavens that Angelina Jolie’s 2014 movie Maleficent would tank at the box office. 

Over $758 million later, I was shown the error of my ways. 

I feel similarly about Disney’s upcoming Beauty And The Beast, which probably is an indicator that it will break a billion. 

It’s also worth mentioning that despite being directed by Bill Condon visually speaking the trailer reminds me a lot of Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak (particularly the opening till a talking clock, teapot and teacup make an appearance, reminding us that we’re firmly entrenched in Disneyland).

And maybe that’s not a coincidence because Del Toro was for a time going to direct (that is, till he wasn’t, and was replaced by Condon).  

The Hornet’s Sting Returns!

I have been a fan of comics since I learned to read–and in fact they contributed significantly to that happening–though eventually my love for the medium branched off into other adjacent areas fairly quickly.

One of my favorite offshoots was old-time radio.  I was an avid listener of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater in the  80’s and 90’s, though I also enjoyed shows from earlier, such as The Shadow and The Green Hornet

There was something fascinating about the Green Hornet.  Maybe it was for me he was Batman before there was a Batman with an added bonus of having an uber-competent assistant, Kato (played by Bruce Lee!). 

Though admittedly part of my admiration grew from watching him kick the stuffing out of Robin on the fun and campy Batman television series from the 1960’s.

The 2011 Seth Rogan and Jay Chou version of the Green Hornet and Kato were okay, but they moved away from the grittier elements of the radio shows, to a more comedic take. 

Though there’s talk of a reboot to be directed by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, The Accountant), who’s known for his visceral, kinetic fare.  

He’s a prefect choice to bring the physicality and a brutalness to the project, which the 2011 movie lacked.  

Now this is what I count as a spoiler.

I wrote a post about Marvel Studios’ upcoming Doctor Strange movie where I mentioned that Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelson) had been marked by Dormammu because of what was going on with his eyes.

It was speculation–proven to be accurate–but as I wrote then, for people who knew who Dormammu was, they probably suspected all along if they gave it any thought.

And if you never knew who Dormammu was, it didn’t particularly matter.

But showing how he’s manifested in the movie?  Spoiler, dude, especially for that latter group of people.