‘Flatliners’ Likely to Die at the Box Office

The reboot of Joel Schumacher’s 1990 thriller Flatliners (directed by Niels Arden Oplev) premieres later this month, and is likely to have an uneventful–and short–run in theaters.

Reason being, IT has shown remarkable strength for an R-rated horror movie (and so far is making all the monies) but when you figure in Darren Aronofsky’s mother! (starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) being released two weeks later, it will take more than a shot of adrenaline to save the thriller.

And looking at the second trailer, you’ll likely get an idea why.

It’s not only hard to tell what’s going on and why it’s happening though worse of all there doesn’t seem a particularly–based on the trailer–compelling reason to see it.

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Passengers – Official Trailer

Screenshot 2016-09-20 16.39.34.pngVisually, Morten Tyldum’s Passengers holds a huge debt to Pixar’s Wall-E, Danny Boyle’s Sunshine and Apple’s design esthetic.

In other words, it’s attractive, but doesn’t appear to strike any new ground.

The same thing can be said of the story, which revolves around two people who accidentally emerge from suspended animation 90 years too (or was it?), and eventually fall in love.

As I said, it’s nothing new.

Though it’s welcome that Jon Spaiths wrote the screenplay (Prometheus–before Damon Lindelhof came in and purged it of direct connections to the Alien movies and Marvel Studios’ upcoming Doctor Strange) so there’s perhaps the hope of a mystery (which is at least hinted at) to balance Lawrence and Pratt looking all starry eyed at each other for over an hour.

The Breast of the Matter

Many comics fans tend to get up in arms when the appearance of their favorite characters changes from comics to the movies, and sometimes there are good reasons for it.
As they exist with within comic books humans aren’t typically designed to be interpreted in three dimensions–as the proportions of some of them readily illustrate–though that’s beginning to change, since comics have have essentially become test beds for potential movie ideas) and when a character’s appearance changes from the comics to the movies, there tends to be a good reason for it.
For instance, this is Power Girl, and as drawn below she’s a bit…top-heavy (and it might just be me, but anatomically-speaking, this is a terrible drawing because it appears that her shoulders don’t quite attach to the rest of her body) and considering that she’s not meant to be a recipient of breast enhancement, her waist is a bit small considering how top-heavy she is.

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The cosplay interpretation is a bit better, because we’re dealing with an actual human, though I get the feeling that she setting back female empowerment more than a few years.

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Then again, then there’s this, which makes the cosplayer above seem almost demure.

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This is Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), from the X-Men movies.  Aside from a lot of blue paint and some strategically-placed prosthetics she’s essentially nude, which is interesting because she’s actually wearing less than the character from the comics.

Which is certainly a change, though I am not entirely sure for the better.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1- ‘Return to District 12’ Trailer

This time around we see how serious President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is, as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) witnesses with her own eyes the wasteland that has become of District 12 (that looks vaguely like Germany after World War I, probably not a coincidence).

It also comes off as a bit manipulative toward Katniss.  I understand why Plutarch Heavensbee (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) is doing what he’s doing, because he’s well aware of the power and threat that Katniss will eventually have to face, but she’s still being played.

‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Review

X-Men: Days of Future Past movie poster

SPOILERS ABOUND!  IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST GO AWAY TILL YOU HAVE BECAUSE SPOILERS ARE LIKE LANDMINES.  THEY’RE HIDDEN TILL YOU STUMBLE UPON THEM, THOUGH BY THAT TIME IT’S TOO LATE, AND SOMETHING IMPORTANT IS LOST.

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A Female Superhero Needs To Lead, Though It Shouldn’t Be Mystique (Not Yet, Anyway)

MystiqueI read last week on ScreenCrush that the producer of the X-Men films, Lauren Schuler-Donner, “is interested in taking that character (Mystique) into a solo film.

And if anyone were to ask me–and they haven’t–I would say, “Don’t do it.”

That’s not coming from the perspective of a hater.  I personally think that it would be awesome that a female character were popular enough to play lead in a superhero films, but Mystique isn’t a great place to start.

Mystique (comics)

And she looks much more interesting in the comics, too.

It’s not that I don’t like the character, she’s actually very cool and in the comics has a rich, vibrant history.

A history which the movies haven’t touched on virtually at all.  Most people don’t know who she is, other than she’s blue, a mutant, often seen as a villain, and a shapeshifter (though it doesn’t hurt that Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the character, is essentially nude).

And speaking of Lawrence, there’s what I like to call the ‘Jennifer Lawrence effect.’  The actress has been successful in everything that she’s been in, from the Hunger Games films, the X-Men movies, to the films she’s done with David O. Russell, though I don’t think that she’s big enough to carry a film based on a character that’s barely a supporting character in the X-Men movies.

And the thing is, filmmakers cannot afford to get this wrong.  The last film I recall a superhero film featuring a female character was 1996’s Barb Wire (based very, very loosely on the Dark Horse comic).  Boxofficemojo doesn’t list its production costs, but considering that it didn’t quite make $4 million, I think I understand why there wasn’t a sequel.

It took 9 years for another female superhero to appear, with the 2005 Jennifer Garner starrer, “Elektra (based on the character from Daredevil)  It cost $43 million to produce, and earned almost $57 million at the box office.

That not terrible, but it’s not profitable either.

And the other female superhero character was…There is no other.

Which is my point.  Studios cannot afford to get this wrong, and if they go with Mystique, they might.

Though that’s not to say that there no way that a female superhero can be successful, though if it happens it probably won’t be from Fox (and the X-Men franchise they license from Marvel).

It will more than likely be from Marvel Studios, and the character will be Black Widow.  As far as I am aware she’s the only female character that has the background and the presence to support an entire movie on her own.

And Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, is considering it.  Hopefully he firms-up on the idea before Lauren Schuler-Donner does because we have all seen what happens when studios don’t get it right (when it comes to women) the first time around.

Why ‘Maleficent’ Is Going To Fail

I don’t know who OK’ed this over at Disney, but, as much as I hate to be the spanner in the works–”Maleficent,” the story of “Sleeping Beauty” from the evil witch’s point of view, isn’t going to work.

And so that I am clear, by “isn’t going to work” I mean “lose lots of money.”

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