Thor: Ragnarok And The New Kit

While Marvel Studios has probably one of the most enviable hit-to-miss ratios in Hollywood–14 and 0, including the upcoming Doctor Strange–that’s not to imply that some of their features weren’t weaker than others. 

The first movie based on Thorpatterned loosely on a character from Norse mythology–was surprisingly effective, taking a fairly outlandish character and imbuing him with depth and humor. 

The followup, 2013’s Alan Taylor-directed Thor: The Dark World, while no means bad, didn’t particularly move Thor (Chris Hemsworth) forward as a character, either. This would be less of an issue if it weren’t for the fact that other Marvel Studios characters, like Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) seemed to possess a momentum that Thor seemed to lack. 

What’s also interesting is I felt–at least initially–that Thor was a much more interesting superhero than Captain America, who felt a bit one-note to me.

That is, till Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The sequel to Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok will be directed by the idiocyncratic Taika Watiti(on Hemsworth’s left), who in the image shows his allegiance to the Native Poeple who are protesting an oil pipeline through their sacred lands. 

Though what’s also interesting about this photo is that it shows a new look for Thor that’s less ornamental than previous costumes, and more in line with a warrior esthetic. 

The Origin Of The (Cinematic) Universe, Part One


‘Early Milky Way’ image via hubblesite.com

Success breeds imitation, and in the past ten years few movie companies have been successful as Marvel Studios.

And while many in the Hollywood community seem surprised, if they had any idea of the pent-up demand for seeing characters like Iron Man, Falcon and many others that millions of people have grown up with from Marvel Comics, on the silver screen, they probably wouldn’t have been.

Though what made Marvel Studios such a success wasn’t superheroes in and of themselves (despite the aforementioned demand) but the way they were presented.

What Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, brought to the table was the creation of an integrated cinematic universe, the likes of much had never been seen in movies before (coupled with extremely faithful interpretations of the characters).

And as far as ‘imitation’ goes, other companies have tried to mimic the approach of Marvel  Studios, with varying degrees of success.

Sony Pictures attempted to create a cinematic universe based on Spider-Man with The Amazing Spider-Man movies. After an initially strong showing, the sequel–while profitable–indicated a definite downward trend, financially speaking, for the franchise.

So they, perhaps anticipating the franchise falling precipitously enough that the rights would eventually revert back to Marvel, instead entered into a deal where future Spider-Man movies would be under Marvel Studios’ creative control, while both studios produced (some have written that the upcoming movies would be produced exclusively by Sony, with Marvel providing only creative control.  This literally makes no sense at all because having only creative control gives Marvel Studios relatively little, while granting Sony access to the uber-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., is one of the most successful Marvel Studios’ characters, who’ll next appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming). 

Universal Pictures plans to create a cinematic universe based upon Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf Man and the Mummy (which is filming with Tom Cruise in the lead).  At this point it’s too early to tell how well it will do.

What’s perhaps most surprising is the current position of DC Films in the world of the cinematic universe.  ‘Surprising’ because before Marvel Studios was barely an idea they were producing movies based upon Superman and Batman.  The problem was that–for reasons that will probably never be entirely known–they never built and expanded their offerings, despite seemingly ample opportunities to do so.

Captain America: Civil War Trailer 3

Oh.  My.  God.

Where to begin…first off, what the hell is this?

Screenshot 2016-03-10 16.06.09

Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) latest indulgence? A S.H.I.E.L.D. base of operations replacing the destroyed Triskelion from Captain America: The Winter Soldier?

I have no idea.

Then there’s this:  Yes, that’s the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) outrunning  a speeding Audi.

Screenshot 2016-03-10 16.19.13The reason being, the car was interfering with his pursuit of the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), who was trying to escape via motorcycle.

Screenshot 2016-03-10 16.19.29I don’t know the order of events, but considering that the Winter Soldier attempts to kill Stark…Screenshot 2016-03-10 16.38.40And take out War Machine…Screenshot 2016-03-10 16.37.26

It’s safe to assume that events don’t unfold in the order that they do in the trailer.

And that’s not all that this trailer reveals–though nothing about the central villain–though it does introduce the superhero known as ‘Underoos’ to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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‘Ragnarok’ Trailer

I am not terribly familiar with the Norse concept of Ragnarök, though I do know that it revolves around the end of the world and all sorts of unpleasantness (which according to Wikipedia doesn’t typically include really large lizard-like monsters).  I should mention that I found this trailer while I was searching for the trailer for Robert Downey Jr’s. The Judge, where he apparently tries to play a character that’s only a little bit like Tony Stark.

It’s strangely difficult to find.

Though Ragnarok looks almost Disney-like, till the intrepid explorers come upon a cave covered with human bones, that is.

New ‘Iron Man 3’ Poster

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Here’s another “Iron Man 3” poster, this time focusing on Iron Man/Tony Stark and various armored suits.  It appears that the penultimate Iron Man film (Yeah right, if this makes a much money as anticipated, I expect that we’ll be seeing Iron Man for a long while, which is when things get really interesting because Robert Downey, Jr. probably has no more than two–including this one–Iron Man films in him, I’d imagine) will follow in a somewhat different direction than the prior two entries, which isn’t a bad thing.

I have read that it adapts the ‘Extremis’ storyline from the comics, though I haven’t followed it, I cannot say how it goes.

Though what I think is a really good thing is that Jon Favreau isn’t directing, though that shouldn’t be taken as being critical of him.  I am thinking more in the sense that some new blood will bring an interesting perspective to things, and if anyone can do that, Shane Black can.

‘Iron Man 3’ Will Not Be A Serious Movie?

Superherohype is saying that Kevin Feige, Robert Downey, Jr., and Shane Black, the director of the film, are saying that the upcoming “Iron Man 3” will not be a “serious” movie.  Feige, Downey and Black are closer to the production than I am (by an almost indescribable degree), so I think that we can take their words as gospel, but I reading various quotes from the three men, makes me wonder if they have ever seen the trailer.

In an earlier post I called it “The Dark Knight Of The Iron Man.”  There must be some serious belly laughs yet to be revealed, because it was a lot of things, though funny (or even light-hearted) was not among them.

That being said, Shane Black has been known on occasion to mix relatively dark, situational humor into his films (particularly “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang”) though the ‘Lethal Weapon’ series of films, which he wrote, also show it, to varying degrees.