Is Apple 00Crazy!?

I just read in The Hollywood Reporter that Apple is reportedly vying for the rights to distribute James Bond (along with Amazon, Sony and Warner Bros) movies, which I am trying to get my head around.

Now keep in mind such a move would likely give Apple exclusive access to Bond’s entire back catalog (as well as future releases) though doesn’t Apple–via iTunes–already have this (on an unexclusive basis)?

It’s worthy repeating that Apple isn’t buying the right to produce Bond movies (that would be a serious coup) but the right to distribute them, though seeing that movie theaters will continue to be with us (though perhaps the window from theaters to digital would shorten) there would have to be a considerable effort to expand to other media; a risky effort because not only would you have to be not only concerned about the failure of a particular venture, but of diluting or damaging the franchise as well).

After all, do you remember a cartoon called James Bond Jr (Nor does anyone else; that’s not a bad thing if you’re able to digest the uber-cheesy theme song)?

I suspect part of what makes James Bond such an institution is it’s exclusivity, which seemingly would directly conflict with Apple’s (and Amazon’s long-term plans).

Besides, if Apple Apple really wanted content, they could relatively easily buy a film studio.

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Why studioADI Is Awesome

Bob Woodruff, Jr. and Alec Gillis of studioADI, the practical special effects house behind a lot of your favorite movies, including the Predator and Alien films, as well as the upcoming Kickstarter-funded practical horror film, Harbinger Down) are two men that clearly enjoy their work.

You can see the devotion and craftsmanship that their effects shop brings to every creature they make, even when their creations don’t appear in great movies, such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the effects they designed for fan-favorite anti-hero, Deadpool.

This disdain occasionally spills over to the creator of the effects.

In the above clip Gillis and Woodruff are explaining why Deadpool looked as he did.

And Gillis makes a great point, which is that special effects houses, aren’t necessarily in control over how a character looks, when all is said and done.

The thing is, I knew that already and while I also hated how Deadpool ended up, the effects-works itself (which is the only thing that studioADI is actually in control of), was spot-on.

Now Is The Perfect Time To Reboot ‘The Invaders’

The Invaders opening shotThe Invaders is a television series that originally aired in 1967, and lasted for two seasons.  It revolved around a man, David Vincent (Roy Thinnes) who on the way home from work saw an alien spacecraft.

He then spent the rest of the series tracking down the aliens, who have been behind numerous plots to gain a foothold on Earth, with an end goal of subjugating us entirely.

Historically speaking, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1962 and the United States was fighting a conflict in Vietnam that would have repercussions that can be felt even today.  The American war effort was renounced by Martin Luther King, Jr. which coincided with thousands marching against it as well.  In the same year The Invaders premiered, three astronauts of Apollo 1 were killed in a launch pad fire and in the 1950’s 1960’s and 1970’s the United States was found to have committed various tests of biological agents upon its own people.

This is on top of a Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union.  These were times when millions of Americans were beginning to lose faith in their governing institutions, and the Vietnam war began to spill over into everyday life.

All this domestic discord coincided, in the 60’s, the with an increase in UFO sightings all over the world.

It was the perfect time for a series that reflected the distrust people began to feel in their governing institutions, as well as in each other.

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Movie Mistakes: ‘Iron Man 3’

Iron Patriot
Generally I don’t particularly care about these sorts of things, but having seen “Iron Man 3” perhaps more times than should be legal, I noticed this little error.

Truth be told, it’s less of an error than the filmmakers apparently showing us what they can get away with when viewers are in awe over one of their favorite comic characters appearing on the big screen (for the fourth time).  What happens is that James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine/Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle) is captured by Aldrich Killian/Fake Mandarin (Guy Pearce), who uses his Extremis-derived abilities to superheat a section of the armor, with the intention of forcing Rhodey to abandon it.

Killian knows that he’s damaging the surface of the armor, and so he strongly suggests that his henchman, Savin (James Badge Dale) had better be able to fix it.  Now, Savin may indeed be talented, but prior to this moment the movie gave no indication he also had some pretty awesome metallurgical, as well as painting, skills because the next time we see the Iron Patriot armor, there’s no sign that there was any damage at all.

I mean not even a smudge of the paint.  I also know that we’re watching a movie based on a comic book, but Savin making what looked like considerable damage disappear is probably the most outlandish thing in the movie.  Though you have to admit that the man is talented, and if Tony needed any help in his lab, he could do worse than hire him.

Iron Patriot

By the way, anyone that has been following the Iron Man films–Yes, even “Iron Man 2!”–knows that Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) has an miniature Arc reactor in his chest, which keeps a piece of shrapnel from entering his heart, which is pretty much at the center of the chest (which is why the armored suits he wears don’t have the chest repulser off to the left or right).

In the penultimate act of the movie, where (Spoiler Alert!) where Tony Stark and Rhodes are squaring off against the Extremis-enhanced forces of the Fake Mandarin (that’s not his name, but if you have seen the Marvel One-Shot, “All Hail The King” you know it’s true) the Arc reactor is in the center of his chest, where the Universe and Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber and Don Heck intended it to be…

Arc Reactor III

Only to find that in later scenes it has somehow shifted considerably–and quite noticeably–to the right.  It’s not like it’s now on his shoulder or something, but it’s definitely no longer in the center of his chest.

Arc Reactor II

Occam’s Razor posits that when faced with explaining why or how an event happened, the simplest explanation with the fewest assumptions is more likely than not the correct one.  So, considering that that Arc reactor prop was entirely practical, it was probably somehow adhered to Robert Downey, Jr.’s chest, and with all the activity that the film required from him, shifted a bit.

And you know what, I’m OK with that because what the filmmakers could have went with was a CGI Arc reactor, as opposed to a practical one, though the problems it would bring would probably quickly disabuse them of the notion.  For instance, if it were computer-generated, it would have to look slightly different every time it appeared on screen because of changes in lighting conditions as well as his body shifting.

It’s certainly doable, by why would anyone want the added cost, when you could create an Arc reactor medallion, have him wear it, and save yourself (probably) thousands of dollars.

And besides, we’ve seen a movie that was so chock-full of computer generated effects that even the costume that the actor wore wasn’t real.

And we all know how well that went.

Like this movie, I am awesome!

A Movie About Me!  What Could Go Wrong?

Five Reasons Why Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Will Be A Massive Success

The Internets are filled with all sorts of reasons why Marvel Studios’ upcoming “Guardians Of The Galaxy” could potentially be in trouble, but most of the justifications that I have come upon don’t hold water.  That’s why I listed below five assorted reasons why “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” supposedly, won’t do well, and the reason why the reason is a bunch of hooey.

  • No One Knows Who The Heck The “Guardians Of The Galaxy” Are

It’s true.  If you were to ask ten random people who the “Guardians Of The Galaxy” are, you’ll probably be met by looks of confusion.  That’s perfectly OK, because there was another Marvel character that most people had never heard of, called Iron Man, who despite the lack of name recognition, earned over $585 million worldwide.  Part of the success of that film had more than a little to do with Robert Downey, Jr. and his reputation, which wasn’t very good (the arrogance, the cocky attitude Tony Stark displayed is almost Downey Jr. playing himself)  at the time.

Like “Iron Man,” a strength of the upcoming ‘Guardians’ is in the casting.  Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Benicio del Toro, Michael Rooker, all actors at the height of their powers, together in one film.  It seems to play to virtually every demographic: women, young men, and children, which is always a very good thing.

It’s also worth mentioning that Chris Pratt plays a character that appears to be a take on Indiana Jones, which might help to draw older viewers that remember the character from “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” and hopefully weren’t too put out about Indy’s last outing “Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.”

And here’s a little information for those people who have no idea who the team are.

The characters you see in the trailer are the second the second incarnation of the team.  The original series came into being in 1969, and if you thought that Peter Quill/Star Lord, Gamorra, Drax, Rocket and Groot are strange, imagine how people would react to Martinex (a crystalline being from Pluto), Charlie-27 (a human who’s bred to live on Jupiter.  Because of the difference in gravity between that planet and Earth, he’s stronger and denser than other humans), Major Vance Astro (a time traveler of sorts), and Yondu (a blue-skinned archer who hasn’t yet appeared in a trailer for ‘Guardians,’ despite being in the movie).

Image courtesy of Marvel Wiki

Image courtesy of Marvel Wiki

In fact, Star Lord was more of an independent contractor when he first appeared in “Marvel Preview” in 1976.  At the time he had a sentient starship, and looked nothing like the version of the character that came to join ‘Guardians.’

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‘Pacific Rim’ Review

Pacific Rim

“Guillermo Del Toro approaches giant robots and monsters with a genuine love for the subject matter, and it shows on the screen.”

I saw Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” yesterday evening, and enjoyed myself immensely.  He seems to understand that, if it’s just about the robots, you might as well make a ‘Transformers’ sequel and call it a day.

Which is why he tries to make it about people as well, which I’ll go into a bit more later.

The film revolves around a rift that opens in the Pacific Ocean.  This rift is a doorway for strange, alien creatures called kaiju, which appear without rhyme or reason and seem to exist exclusively to menace humanity.

Initially, we respond to this threat by creating giant robots, called jaegers (German for ‘hunter’) that are controlled by two pilots (the scheme works by each pilot controlling half of a hemisphere of the giant robot’s “brain”) via “The Drift,” a method for the minds of the pilots to bridge their individuality, and act as one.

As the film begin, we witness the destruction of the American jaeger – the jaeger program is a world effort, so I assume that there are, or were, robots representing nations other than America, Russia, Australia (or was that New Zealand, I am not sure) and China – known as Gipsy Danger.

The jaegar program is abandoned for, pardon the pun, monstrous walls which would surround costal cities, though this doesn’t go well because the kaiju seem to be increasing in strength and ferocity.

What surprised me most about ‘Rim’ was the way that Guillermo Del Toro kept working humor into the film.  Speaking of which, Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”) and Burn Gorman (“Torchwood,” “The Dark Knight Rises”) were extremely welcome as two scientists working on a parallel track to determine when and why the kaiju attacked.

And it wouldn’t be a Del Toro film if Ron Perlman didn’t make an appearance (as a criminal specializing in the selling of kaiju organs).

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‘Iron Man 3’ Teaser Trailer

Here’s the latest teaser from “Iron Man 3,” and it looks different from those that came before because it seems to hint at dangers not only for Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), but Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) as well.  There’s no hint of the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) though I hope that they avoid putting him in a suit of armor, which is what the prior two films tended to do with their villains.

I also didn’t notice any thing about War Machine/James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), though I hope he turns up as well.