Del Toro’s Fantastic Voyage

Guillermo Del Toro ranks among my favorite directors, though what I have seen–which is exclusively the trailer–of The Shape of Water left me underwhelmed.

Color palette-wise it feels a lot like Blade II, while story-wise and visually it feels like The Further Adventures of Abe Sapien (though part of me hopes the movie is a backdoor way for Del Toro to delve deeper into the worlds of H.P Lovecraft).

In other words, despite never having seen the movie, I feel like I have, which is never a good thing.

Now, Del Toro directing a remake of 1966’s Fantastic Voyage?  Now that I’m interested in!

By the way, this is how you do remakes!  Most people don’t even remember the original–though there also was a cartoon based on it two years later, never mind the novel–so it’s going to be new to most, which should give the producers room to veer from the source material if necessary.

Though there’s a fly in the soup, namely David Goyer, who’s writing (though to be fair Goyer also wrote Blade II and Del Toro was apparently able to reign in his hackier tendencies, so hope springs eternal).

By the way, Guru!?  Notice how everyone on the team has an actual name, while the Indian character doesn’t (A guru is ‘a religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism…’).

That’s like naming someone ‘teacher’ or ‘bar keep.’  And I won’t even start on the ‘master of mysterious powers’ malarkey.


Gods of Egypt – Trailer 2

I really want to like this movie.  I have had a fascination with Egypt for most of my life–and the tattoo to prove it!–and want to really like it.
I’ve also enjoyed most of the movies from Alex Proyas–particularly Dark City, which I liked despite it being written by David Goyer, who based on what I know of him (which is admittedly little) I cannot stand.
The second trailer for Gods of Egypt is better than the first.  It’s doesn’t give away anything more than the first one did–which is good, or we might have another Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice-type situation on our hands–but it’s less frenetic, and reveals more of the fascinating production design of the movie.
The visuals remind me of Enki Bilal’s Immortal (which you should see if you’re able. It’s a pretty interesting study in contrasts) with a brighter color palate–a good thing!–though more optimistic.
If only Proyas and Lionsgate had extended that color palate to the cast, God of Egypt might be a must-see.

Can We Can The (Seemingly) Fake Diversity Talking Points Already?

David GoyerI am all for diversity, whether we’re talking about movies or just about anything else (especially policing, which is another discussion) but I get a bit tired of the people that have the ability to make a difference, and don’t, complaining about its absence.

For instance, David Goyer, the writer of screenplays for Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy (Batman BeginsThe Dark Knight, The Dark Night Rises, recently said in a recent interview that he wished that Hollywood would hire more women and people of color.

Seriously?  The problem with that is that statement is that people like David Goyer ARE Hollywood.  Keep in mind that this is the same guy that recently created DaVinci’s Demons, a series loosely based on the life of Renaissance man Leonardo DaVinci.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t seen the series, but if that’s how he feels, why not hire–I don’t know–women and people of color to direct (it’s entirely possible he’s done just that, but if that were the case for some reason I suspect that he wouldn’t be quite so reticent about discussing it) as well as work on the crew?

I also have no idea about how Kurt Sutter (the creator of Sons of Anarchy and The Bastard Executioner) feels about such things, but considering that Paris Barclay directed more episodes of Anarchy than any other director (and who happens to be black) I get the feeling that his track record on such things is probably pretty good–which isn’t to imply any sort of perfection.  Women and people of color and do any task that a movie requires.

Back to Goyer.  Looking at the credits for DaVinci’s Demons, there appears to be no female directors or–if the names are any indication, since pictures don’t accompany every IMDB entry–directors of color.  As far as the show’s writing staff goes, things are a slightly better for women, with six out of twenty being female.

David Goyer apparently cares about diversity, and making use of the talents and the perspectives that only women and people of color can provide.

And that’s admirable, though the next step is to actually hire them, which is where ‘diversity’ really comes into play.

Thoughts on Man of Steel and the leaked Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer UPDATE

Since it was out there already, Warner Bros has released the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer.  It wasn’t done as classily or as coolly as Marvel handled the unintended release of the first The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, though I guess in the end is all that matters is that they did the inevitable.

Men of Steel

I produced this image in Pixelmator, and it looking at it, it got me thinking about what bothered me so much about Man of Steel (the movie that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, is a sequel to).

Which was, in a nutshell, that the film makers took a relatively simple and optimistic character and attempted to turn him into one that is dark, brooding and complex.  Such an approach works well with a character like Batman, not so much in the case of Superman, who’s prior to Man of Steel was all about optimism, often in the face of incredible odds.

Which was part of his charm.  He was a boy scout in a world that needed boy scouts.  He was the best of us that somehow never managed to rub his blatantly obvious superority in.

In fact, I suggest that in making him more complex they took away a lot of what made Superman, Superman.

Sure, they left the costume, and a lot of the superficial trappings that on the surface made the character who he is, but neglected the most important thing of all, namely the hopeful, almost innocent nature of the character.

Which brings me to the leaked version of the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (located here).  I have to admit that it’s better than I thought it would be, if only because it appears to be tackling head-on some of the issues that Man of Steel raised, such as who watches the watchmen, and who is a man with god-like powers truly answerable to–other than himself) and hopefully will do so without a lot of heavy-handed allusions to Jesus (like in Man of Steel, when Supes is falling from Zod’s ship, arms extended like, literally, Christ on the cross) and really twisted moralizing (there’s no way that Clark’s father would even suggest that he should have let a bus full of people die when he had a chance to stop it, just to keep his identity secret).

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Four Reasons Why ‘Green Lantern’ Is DC Comics Most Successful Superhero Movie

Wha!?  “You have no idea what you’re talking about,” you’re probably saying to yourself.  The Dark Knight Rises earned over a billion dollars!  Man of Steel took in almost $669 million!  What do you mean Green Lantern, which earned almost $220 million on a $200 million budget”

Ok, if you’re thinking short-term, then The Dark Knight and Man of Steel were significantly more successful that Green Lantern, but long term…

  • The Christopher Nolan Batman Films Were Never Intended To Be A Template For An Entire Cinematic Universe

How do I know that?  Have I been hanging out with Nolan, discussing what he would or wouldn’t have done with Batman?  No, but what I do know is that the universe that Nolan created with his Batman was a self-contained one, with virtually no connections between it to the greater DC Comics universe.  I believe that that’s the case because Nolan treated the character in a semi-realistic fashion, which the polar opposite to any other DC movie characters (and I include Arrow, who’s depiction was very much based upon that Batman’s).

In other words, Batman, as defined by Nolan began with Batman Begins, and ended with The Dark Knight Rises.

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Warner Bros/DC Entertainment Has To Blink Against Marvel Studios/Disney

Batman Vs. Superman

image courtesy of Den Of Geek

Have you ever dealt with someone who was so set in their ways that they ignored any common sense response to their predicament?

That’s what i feel about what’s going on with Warner Bros. scheduling their upcoming “Superman Vs. Batman” against the currently untitled Captain America 3.  Disney had originally had that space staked out for an unnamed Marvel Studios movie, and Warners put their upcoming blockbuster on the same spot.

It’s a very bad move on their part for five reasons, off the top of my head.

  • “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Is Doing Really, Really Well.  Shockingly Well, In Fact

“Man Of Steel” earned just over $668 million during its theatrical run.  That’s a lot of money, though you have to put it into context.  Superman was created in 1933 and eventually became one of the most popular characters in comic history.  He’s an American icon, but prior to “Man Of Steel” he appeared in “Superman Returns,” which underperformed at the box office, earning just over $391 million on a $270 million dollar budget.

“Man Of Steel” almost doubled those figures, but not remarkably so (it helped that it was also slightly cheaper to produce, at $225 million).

Now, Captain America was never as popular as Superman, and interest in the character has ebbed and flowed.  But the thing is the latest film, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” has earned almost $604 million after less than a month (twenty days, as of this writing).  It also cost less to produce, at $170 million, which seems to me to say that it is close to being as profitable as “Man Of Steel” RIGHT NOW, despite the fact that its theatrical run is no where close to being over (as evidence I should add that it’s been the number one film in the United States for about three weeks now).

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Why ‘Superman Returns’ Is More Faithful To Supes Than ‘Man Of Steel’

Superman Returns movie poster

Wow! What’s with all the destruction! I would never allow such violence to happen!

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has enjoyed the holiday, hopefully with those that care for, and vice versa.

It goes without saying that the course that Bryan Singer charted with the 2006 film, “Superman Returns” was an unsustainable one. It cost $270 million to produce and earned $391 million in worldwide box office receipts.

Box office aside, I get the feeling that ‘Returns’ would have been more successful it it also borrowed the humorous tone that Donner brought to his film.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, which means that Singer’s Superman was tonally off compared to the material that inspired it.

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