The Man Who Murdered Time – Pt. 1

The Shadow was created by Walter B. Gibson, and long before he appeared in movies and television, he was a staple of radio.  HIs first appearance was in the 1930’s, and he’s had a huge influence on heroes (and villains) to follow.

For instance, the origin of Marvel Comics’ Iron Fist and Doctor Strange are remarkably similar to the Shadow’s, as is the that of Batman (from the Christopher Nolan movies) though the way he’s often depicted in the comics is very much in line with the Shadow as well.

The Shadow was Lamont Cranston (and Ken Allard, depending upon whether we’re talking about radio, television or novels.  This idea of identities within identities  is very similar to how Marvel’s Moon Knight has been portrayed), young wealthy man about town though having spend time in mysterious Asia gained the ability to cloud men’s minds.

Yet, can even the Shadow and all his mysterious powers stop a man with the ability to control Time?

The Straw That Broke The Batman’s Back

What?   You thought Bane deserved all the credit?

In the past few months Warner Bros has been on a charm offensive, as far as the movies of their DC Extended Universe go, but I’m not buying it. 

Another thing I’m not buying are those people who claim that what is preported to be a lighter tone for the upcoming Justice League movie was in the cards all along.  

Reason being, Man Of Steel took itself way too seriously.  Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice upped the ante on dourness, if that were even possible–while working with a story so nonsensical that a bit of levity would have made the whole thing that much more palatable–and now I am supposed to believe that all of a sudden Zach Snyder realized that Superman is based on comic books (that were originally meant for children), and not an object of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism?

The more likelier explanation is that Warner Bros executives saw that the DCEU movies with Zach Synder as architect–while not box office failures–were severely underperforming (that you could put three of the most iconic superheroes in the same movie and can’t reach $900 million at the box office, never mind a billion, is the proverbial canary in the coal mine) so something had to be done. 

And what that seems to be is an demotion of sorts for Snyder, in two ways.  The first is that Ben Affleck was appointed as executive producer on the upcoming Justice League, and apparently is very influential over what happens on screen.  And perhaps more importantly, Geoff Johns and Jon Berg were made co-presidents of DC Films, seemingly with a mandate to resort a sense of hope and optimism to movies sorely lacking such virtues.  

My problem is that I am reaching Transformers levels of frustration with the movies of the DCEU (something Suicide Squad by no means changed) so for me it might be a little too late.

And it’s worth mentioning that I have given up on the Transformers, and refuse to see them in theaters.  

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.  

The Origin Of The (Cinematic) Universe, Part One


‘Early Milky Way’ image via hubblesite.com

Success breeds imitation, and in the past ten years few movie companies have been successful as Marvel Studios.

And while many in the Hollywood community seem surprised, if they had any idea of the pent-up demand for seeing characters like Iron Man, Falcon and many others that millions of people have grown up with from Marvel Comics, on the silver screen, they probably wouldn’t have been.

Though what made Marvel Studios such a success wasn’t superheroes in and of themselves (despite the aforementioned demand) but the way they were presented.

What Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, brought to the table was the creation of an integrated cinematic universe, the likes of much had never been seen in movies before (coupled with extremely faithful interpretations of the characters).

And as far as ‘imitation’ goes, other companies have tried to mimic the approach of Marvel  Studios, with varying degrees of success.

Sony Pictures attempted to create a cinematic universe based on Spider-Man with The Amazing Spider-Man movies. After an initially strong showing, the sequel–while profitable–indicated a definite downward trend, financially speaking, for the franchise.

So they, perhaps anticipating the franchise falling precipitously enough that the rights would eventually revert back to Marvel, instead entered into a deal where future Spider-Man movies would be under Marvel Studios’ creative control, while both studios produced (some have written that the upcoming movies would be produced exclusively by Sony, with Marvel providing only creative control.  This literally makes no sense at all because having only creative control gives Marvel Studios relatively little, while granting Sony access to the uber-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., is one of the most successful Marvel Studios’ characters, who’ll next appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming). 

Universal Pictures plans to create a cinematic universe based upon Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf Man and the Mummy (which is filming with Tom Cruise in the lead).  At this point it’s too early to tell how well it will do.

What’s perhaps most surprising is the current position of DC Films in the world of the cinematic universe.  ‘Surprising’ because before Marvel Studios was barely an idea they were producing movies based upon Superman and Batman.  The problem was that–for reasons that will probably never be entirely known–they never built and expanded their offerings, despite seemingly ample opportunities to do so.

Can Geoff Johns Save The DCEU?

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Can Geoff Johns save the DCEU, otherwise known as the DC Extended Universe?

Let’s just say I HIGHLY doubt it.  And it’s worth mentioning that I speculate out of love because–while DC characters like Batman and Superman aren’t my favorites–I don’t wish them ill, either.

Which is why I find the movies released so far just vexingly disappointing.

Check out my reasons why in the video below.

Justice League – Teaser Trailer

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I have to admit that I enjoyed the first trailer for Zach Snyder’s Justice League. but if I say I weren’t concerned I’d be lying.

Reason being, he had two chances to make movies based on Batman and Superman.

The first attempt, Man of Steel is enjoyed by many, but in its way is as divisive as its follow-up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

And the worse thing is, his task was relatively easy in that all he to do is work with two characters that between them have somewhere in the ballpark of 150 years of history.

Relatively little in in the way of a rethink was necessary, or warranted.

Acknowledge that history, and go from there. Such an approach works really, really well with Marvel Studios, as well as Guillermo Del Toro’s uber-faithful interpretations of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy

My question is why did Zach Snyder, and by extension Warner Bros., though that they could so greviously misinterpret–some say ‘reinterpret,’ though the problem with that reasoning is that you can’t reinterpret something that wasn’t interpreted correctly in the first place–these characters.

Never mind that they were seeking to differentiate themselves from Marvel Studios, because I get the feeling that most people don’t confuse Batman with Spider-Man or Superman with Thor.

 

 

Trailer into Reaction: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition

I honestly don’t understand the point of an “Ultimate Edition” of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because I don’t know what’s it’s supposed to do.

Make a confusing narrative a bit less so?

Offer some sort of information why it is characters that in some instances have existed for 80 years have suddenly been reinterpreted in such a controversial manner?

I have no idea, but as far as I can tell, the only way to make this movie make any sense at all would require–at least a 3 to 4 hour cut.