Geostorm – Trailer

Dean Devlin, director of the troubled (anytime another director comes in to do $15 million worth of reshoots on your movie, it’s safe to assume there are serious problems, no matter how the studio spins it) movie Geostorm, apparently learned more than a little bit about making disaster films from Roland Emmerich, who he worked with (as a producer) on movies like Independence Day, Stargate, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, among others.

And Geostorm certainly looks lIke something Emmerich would do, which is maybe why it feels a bit derivative and a little bit insane.

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Godzilla: Resurgence – Trailer

Independence Day isn’t the only movie that’s enjoyed a ‘resurgence’ as of late. Most recently, Godzilla has joined to club with Godzilla: Resurgence

And I honestly think that you see more of Godzilla in the trailer than you do in the entirety of Gareth Edwards’ 2014 eponymously named movie.

Screenshot 2016-07-19 19.35.34

That being said, as much as I wanted to see more of the big lizard, having done so I recall the adage ‘Be careful of what you ask for, you just might get it’ because this version of Toho Co.’s venerable kaiju looks a bit…weird.

Check out the scrawny arms and dissicated-looking skin.  He shares some visual cues with a tyrannosaur, though looks oddly zombified and more than a bit terrifying.

Which is interesting because traditionally Godzilla has never looked particularly scary.  Its (which has been at various times male and female, I think) primarily claim to fame were its humongous size, Japanese city-crushing tendencies, and radioactive breath.

Visually?  Always interesting, though honestly never evoked a reaction one way or another.

This most recent version?  Monstrous.

I also like that it still seems to still be a guy in a rubber suit.  Sure, technically speaking you can do less with a more practical Godzilla, but there’s one thing it its favor:  It’s actually there.

Independence Day: Resurgence – Trailer 2

Take note, Bryan Singer, this is how you do it!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: No body brings the destruction like Roland Emmerich (and I’m not suggesting for a moment that it has anything to do with him being German, though it can’t hurt).

The sequel to 1996’s Independence Day has the Earth apparently not only recovered from the devastating alien attack of the first movie, but we have managed to use the remnants of the alien’s technology to enhance the planet’s defenses.

And apparently we’ll need it because the aliens aren’t done with us yet.

Though while the invaders will be back, Will Smith won’t.

Visually, the trailer reminds me of Stargate, not the movie also directed by Emmerich as well, but the far superior series based on the movie.

And that’s a good thing.

 

Batman V Superman Reviews Are Coming In…

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The Courtyard of the Old Residency by Adolf Hitler, 1914

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice reviews have been filtering in for the last day or two, and while they’re not all terrible–after all, someone probably even liked Hitler’s paintings–they’re pretty disastrous considering that there are literally millions, if not potentially billions, riding on its success.

I intend to catch it tomorrow, and will post a review as soon as i can.

That being said, from many of the reviews I get the impression that Zach Snyder, who also directed 2013’s Man of Steel, not only didn’t learn from the excesses of that film, but actually doubled down on them.

So we apparently get a Batman who’s really into killing criminals–which makes no sense when you think about it because Batman has one of the most extensive rogues galleries in comics, which he wouldn’t have if he were so intent on murder–and lots of destruction.

Now, if were were talking about a movie like Independence Day or The Incredible Huik, I could understand all the violence.

Batman and Superman?  Not so much.  And while I admit that I am partial to Marvel Studios movies, I don’t necessarily want those from DC Films to fail–just not to do as well–though the tone-deafness coming from DC movies is a bit disturbing.

Though what’s worse is that Zach Snyder in interviews often comes off as arrogant, as if he knows better than people that have literally followed these characters for a large part of their lives.

It’s a bad thing, and I get the feeling that among the comic geeks out there, his ego is going to be very expensive for Warner Bros.

 

 

 

Independence Day: Resurgence – Trailer

The trailer for the latest chapter in the Independence Day saga dropped a few hours ago, and to be honest I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Between Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and X-Men: Apocalypse there are some huge movies coming out relatively soon.

There’s potentially millions riding on when these movies drop because–as we have seen with In The Heart Of The Sea, an otherwise decent looking movie except for the fact that it’s expensive (supposedly somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million) and was released a week before Star Wars: The Force Awakens–I get the feeling that one, or even two of these movies aren’t going to do nearly as well as prognosticators like to think.

Which leads to Independence Day: Resurgence.  While it’s good to see Roland Emmerich moving away from the whitewashing of gay history in Stonewall, I am not sure that a sequel to Independence Day–sans Will Smith–has the box office muscle to take on Captain America, Batman and BB-8.

Like I implied earlier, if this is released with a few months of breathing room, it will probably do fine.  If it goes against any of the movies I’ve listed above–minus In The Heart Of The Sea, which will likely have left theaters–then Independence Day: Resurgence might not be able to stand against the tentpole tsunami soon to hit land.

San Andreas – International Trailer 1

Disaster movies are kind of fascinating, if only because I get the feeling that many of us think that they somehow couldn’t happen to us (and sure, if you’re talking about movies like Independence Day or Man of Steel-mediocre superhero film, great disaster movie–then you’re probably right).

I don’t think that this tendency is exclusively an American one, though since one of our biggest exports to the world are movies and television shows, it’s more noticeable.  For example, the upcoming disaster movie San Andreas happens to take place in California, a part of the country known for tectonic instability, though interestingly the biggest measured earthquake in this country happened not there, but in Alaska in 1964.

It killed 131 people and the following tsunami caused $2.3 billion in property damage, making it the second largest temblor, worldwide.

I guess what I am trying to say is that it may be cool to see the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) save people in the knick of time, but that scenario–minus Johnson–not only isn’t that far-fetched, but is eventually even likely, depending upon where in the country you happen to live.

If you ask me, that’s pretty sobering.

‘The Divide’ Review

The Divide

“Like “Lord Of The Flies,” except more rapey.”

Xavier Gens‘ “The Divide” begins with a mysterious attack on an American city.  I think it was New York, but it’s actually not that relevant in that Gens is less interested in making any sort of political statement than he is with putting together eight people from different worlds together, and watching as they combust.

And speaking of which, all you see of the attack are its beginning – with fireballs raining from the sky – and the end.  The rest of the time is spent in some desperate and increasingly ugly, circumstances, as the eight – who could be the last people in the country – try to survive.

In fact, it’s reminiscent of a well-done prison film, except that no one has done anything to warrant being there, other than living.  And if you weren’t already aware, people do all sorts of mean, ugly things to each other when they feel threatened, afraid or trapped.

William Golding’s “Lord Of The Flies” is also an apt comparison because Gens seems have similar goals, one of which is to see people at their very worst (as well as more rapey).

He’s almost the anti-Emmerich (as in Roland Emmerich, director of “Stargate,” “Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “White House Down,” among others) in that the only explosions that matter to him are those that happen between people, as opposed to The White House.

“The Divide” isn’t an easy movie to watch, but you’ll find yourself doing so anyway because it’s fascinating, well-acted, though very, very dark.