Justice League – Teaser Trailer

Screenshot 2016-07-23 20.23.58

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.

 

 

I Want To Like A Prometheus Sequel

Screenshot 2016-05-26 20.42.20I really want to like the idea that Ridley Scott is coming up with a sequel to Prometheus, but I have a few problems:

First, the screenplay was written by Jack Paglen (Transcendence) and Michael Green (Green Lantern), both of whom have written some pretty mediocre movies (and let’s be clear.  Why a movie turns out not well can be due to hundreds of variables.  That being said, the director takes typically takes the heat–beyond the studios that release it, that is–because they’re the public face of things).

In the ‘Plus’ column, their screenplay was re-written by John Logan (Gladiator, Spectre, Star Trek: Nemesis) so that’s a good thing.

Though what’s most disconcerting (for me at any rate) is that initially Scott was hellbent on not making another Alien movie , though when Neil Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie) made it be known that he was interested in doing Alien 5, then suddenly Ridley Scott was once again gung-ho on returning to the sandbox of the Xenomorphs.

I have no idea if it was just a timing issue with Scott and Blomkamp or if he wanted to cockblock a fellow director, but it seemed a bit odd.

The thing is, few other directors–with the exception of perhaps Guillermo Del Toro–have the visual sense of Ridley Scott but if he’s not interested in the subject matter and he’s just going to phone it in, maybe it would be best if he just moves on from the franchise.

And speaking of the sequel to Prometheus The Daily Mail has posted pictures from where the movie is currently shooting in Australia and they look pretty fascinating.

But as I said, Ridley Scott’s movies typically look magnificent. You don’t go into one of his movies expecting them to be anything but visually attractive; it’s the story where his movies, like any other, truth be told, rise or fall.

And I am not at all sure his heart is in it.

The Neon Demon – Trailer

You’ve got to give it to Nicholas Winding Refn–he of the awfully cool name–who,  visually speaking, is probably one of the most interesting directors working today.

The way he uses color reminds me of Guillermo Del Toro, who also uses it to indicate a certain atmosphere and feel.

So it goes without saying that the trailer is gorgeous, though it’s hard to tell what the movie is actually about, besides in a very general sense.  The larger strokes are easy to see–a model looking for her big break, intimations of violence, and with a touch of lesbianism.

There’s also a Starry Eyes-type vibe, but while that movie was a take on Rosemary’s Baby, The Neon Demon is a bit vaguer.

Therein lies the problem.

Postmortem: Pacific Rim (2013)

Screenshot 2016-01-01 14.04.32.pngWelcome to the first post of the New Year!  I figured that I’d go back in time to rewatch Guillermo del Toro’s giant robots versus monsters epic, Pacific Rim.

If you ask me the true test of whether or not a movie is a good one is that of time, namely if it can stand up well to repeated viewings.

And despite the fact that del Toro’s Pacific Rim underwhelmed domestically–the bulk of its $400 billion dollar box office was due to its popularity internationally–it’s damn enjoyable and stands up to revisiting very well.

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Guillermo del Toro Can’t Catch A Break

Let’s be clear, Guillermo del Toro doesn’t need my sympathy because I imagine he’s quite content making some of the most innovative genre movies in recent memory.

That being said, he also can’t seem to catch a break.  His latest, the Gothic Romance Crimson Peak, has currently earned almost $28 million worldwide, after four days.

That’s not a long time, you might be thinking, and you’d be right though the problem is that del Toro’s movie is rated R, which means that no one under seventeen can see the movie without a parent or guardian (which limits your argument pool significantly, as if the fact you’re making a gothic romance didn’t do that already).

Which is the exact opposite of a movie like Goosebumps, which is PG and has earned almost double that amount domestically.

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Crimson Peak – Review

Crimson Peak

When Guillermo del Toro says that his latest movie, Crimson Peak, isn’t a horror movie, but a gothic romance, he means it.

A gothic romance is a type of movie that, while horror-adjacent, visually, beckons back to movies like The Innocents, where elaborate costumes and sets help to set the mood and atmosphere.

And like Jack Clayton’s 1961 movie, there are ghosts.

And insects (this is Guillermo del Toro, after all), plenty of insects.

Despite–more often than not–great dialog I tend not to be particularly fond of long stretches of it (everything in its place).  That being said, del Toro and Matthew Robbins (who co-wrote the movie) understand that extended scenes of dialog aren’t a problem when they involve interesting characters and they bridge the more horrific elements.  And while the movie is not at all concerned about violence for violence’s sake, when it happens it’s pretty intense (primarily because you don’t see it often enough to take it for granted).

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Is Marvel On The Verge Of Regaining The Fantastic Four?

This post is based on (admittedly) thin evidence, though there is a logic.

This year Fox released their latest version of Fantastic Four, which was–to put it bluntly–a box-office disaster, earning almost $167 million against at budget of at least $120 million.

At this point, to break even (typically double the production budget), which is the most that Fantastic Four can hope for at this point.  There are a lot of people who hope that Marvel Studios regain the license to the characters, though this was before one of the producers, Simon Kinberg, announced that there were plans for a sequel.

Which is utter nonsense, and little more than the producer of a failed movie saving face.  The proof is easy enough to see because you’ll find few companies willing to take a franchise that has already failed–and blatantly so–and pump more money into it.  By way of example, Disney’s Tron: Legacy earned over $400 million on a $170 million budget while Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim earned $411 million on a $190 million budget.  Most of that money was earned internationally, which was probably why Universal was so reticent about going in on a sequel with Legendary.

Both films were moderate successes, yet neither are getting sequels (though hope springs eternal for the latter). Continue reading