The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Trailer

You’d think an action comedy/drama featuring Sam Jackson and Ryan Reynolds would be a slam dunk, then you’ll catch the trailer for Patrick HughesThe Hitman’s Bodyguard and come to realize that maybe that’s not always so.

I was hoping that at any moment it word turn into a more erudite version of Waltet Hill’s 48 Hrs.

It doesn’t, though that could be because the trailer isn’t very effective.  It consists of Reynolds and Jackson playing characters we’ve seen them do before, though typically better.

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Deadpool Red Band Trailer – Trailer 2

I’m not particularly fond of how Fox has treated the Marvel properties (X-Men, Fantastic Four) that they have under their control.

Though my feelings–and the clusterfuck that was the recent Fantastic Four movie notwithstanding–if box office receipts are any indication, most people approve of what they’re doing with the X-Men.

Which brings me to the latest Deadpool trailer.  It’s early days yet, but this looks like perhaps the most accurate interpretation of a Marvel superhero by Fox yet.  Ryan Reynolds and the other people behind the movie seem to have captured the irrelevance–and to be honest, douchy–nature of the character perfectly.

In fact, I look more forward to Deadpool than X-Men: Apocalypse because Bryan Singer has taken too long to realize that, while the types of stories comics can tell is near-infinite, they’re more than on-the-nose analogies for religious persecution or that based upon sexual preference.

The Voices – Trailer

Anyone else get the feeling Ryan Reynolds needs a new agent?  This guy is supposedly on the A or B list, and yet he’s doing stuff that would seem like a better fit for a more quirky character actor.

And maybe that’s not a bad thing and exactly what he wants, but I don’t know.

The Voices, a movie about a delusional guy that unfortunately listens to the voices in his head, feels like a particularly bad fit for Reynolds, who I sometimes get the feeling that he doesn’t realize that he’s really good-looking.

The Flash – ‘My Name Is…’ Trailer

I don’t know what it is about Warner Bros superheroes.  For some reason, if the movies are any indicator, Metropolis and Gotham City are where dreams and hope go to die.  Overall, everything is dark (more so, at least in a physical sense, in Gotham) and gloomy, as if the inhabitants carried invisible weights upon their shoulders.

And this gloominess is apparently contagious, because their superheroes are the same.  And the thing is, I actually get it in the case of Batman.  He’s not called ‘the Dark Knight’ for nothing, though Superman?  Not so much.

It’s what I have come to call ‘Nolanitis,’ because it’s a way of visualizing superheroes that became popular with Christopher Nolan’s Batman films (Tim Burton’s Batman lived in a gothic, dark Gotham as well, but his version was way more pulpy and very much like the comics writ large while Nolan’s films–which are just as cartoony as Burton’s and Schumacher’s; don’t let anyone tell you different–there’s a nihilism that I am not quite sure works, considering the subject matter.

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Five Reasons That Will Contribute To Guillermo Del Toro Directing Doctor Strange

This post is entirely speculation, though it is based upon logic as well as current news.

Notice that in the title of this article I sad “could” as opposed to “would” because the last I heard was that Del Toro was busy working on Legendary Pictures’ upcoming fright-feature “Crimson Peak,” as well as executive producing the FX series based upon the trilogy he wrote with Chuck Hogan, “The Strain,” “The Fall” and “The Night Eternal.”

But I have been reading the tea leaves and checking the entrails regularly, and here’s what I have seen:

1.  Despite Rumors To The Contrary, Guillermo Del Toro Will Not Be Doing “Justice League Dark” Anytime Soon

Why?  Because NBC is working on “Constantine,” a series not based on the Francis Lawrence movie of the same name, but the DC (formerly under their Vertigo imprint) series, also of the same name.  While it’s possible that the character could appear in both places at the same time (this is, of course assuming that the television series has a long life), it’s probably not going to happen.  The character of John Constantine is the lynchpin that the team revolves around, and without him the concept is pretty much dead in the water, besides being somewhat esoteric.

Matt Ryan/John Constantine

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

And that’s even considering how much Warner Bros would have to invest from the budget end of things, which would probably be huge (though they could do it with a partner, as long as it’s not Legendary Pictures, since they and Warner Bros. somewhat acrimoniously parted ways.  That being said, they still work with Village Roadshow Pictures).

2.  DC/Warner Bros. Doesn’t Seem To Have Much Of A Plan Toward Developing Their Characters

Whether or not someone likes what Marvel is doing with their characters, you have to admit that they not only have a plan, but they are executing it really, really well.  This is primarily because the head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, has apparently developed a plan to develop their characters, and is following it.  Marvel’s roadmap is divided into Phases:  Phase One consisted of “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” ” Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “Thor” and culminated in “The Avengers.”

Notice the pattern:  First there’s an introduction of the characters–which may or may not have more than one film in the future–and a film that brings them all together.

Phase Two consists of “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Guardians Of The Galaxy,” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Phase Three will consist of “Ant-Man,” “Captain America 3,” “Thor 3” and “The Avengers 3.”

As I said, you don’t necessarily have to like what Marvel is doing, but what you can’t deny is that there is a plan at work.

Warner Bros/DC?  Not so much.  What seems to be driving them is profit above all, which I understand, but that’s not a plan.  Though it didn’t exactly start that way because for awhile it appeared that DC was building toward a Justice League feature–and probably still are–which began with “Green Lantern.”

Oh, but wait!  Green Lantern?  Don’t I mean Batman?  No, I don’t because Christopher Nolan’s Batman films aren’t necessarily part of DC’s greater cinematic plans because Nolan quite deliberately kept them separate from the rest of the DC Universe, which was probably not a great decision in retrospect.

Though that’s why “Green Lantern” was so important:  It was the beginning of DC/Warner Bros. establishing a larger canvas on which to display their properties.  If Green Lantern had worked they could have brought Ryan Reynolds back as the character in other DC films, such as the Justice League, or even the upcoming “Batman Vs. Superman” feature.

But it was not to be because Green Lantern was unable to recharge either his lantern or the box office, where it earned almost $220 million on a $200 million dollar budget; not enough to make a profit.

So DC rebooted Superman, in “Man of Steel,” without a doubt the most violent Superman film ever made.

Which could perhaps explain why that film made “only” $668 million dollars.  It’s a lot of money, but for a character as iconic and as firmly established in the public consciousness as Superman, it actually wasn’t that great a performance.

For the sequel, “Superman Vs. Batman,” DC will not only feature Superman and Batman, but Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor as the villain.  It seems apparent that they are trying to follow a strategy similar to Marvel, except more compressed.

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Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here: David Goyer & NBC Bring ‘Constantine’ To TV

Constantine (New 52)NBC is developing a series based upon DC’s Constantine (the ‘New 52’ version of the character, not “Hellblazer”), and I was OK with that, till I heard that David Goyer is one of the people behind it.  This is the guy that says Superman (essentially) letting thousands die ON TOP OF breaking General Zod’s neck in “Man Of Steel” wasn’t such a bad thing.

What he missed is that Superman is all about NOT KILLING.  ANYONE.  That’s not to say that no one has ever died by his hands, but it wasn’t a decision that came easily or lightly.

And it was never a first response to something as seemingly trivial as a threat.

But such a response isn’t unusual for David Goyer.  He’s also the person that thought – for some strange reason – that fans would be OK with Wesley Snipes’ Blade being upstaged by Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds in the execrable “Blade: Trinity (which was to be fair a cool concept trapped in an awful movie) that ended up being the worse performing of the trilogy.

Goyer also has a tendency to do what he thinks will attract attention, not necessarily what’s faithful to a particular character, which is why – as much as I think John Constantine is one of the best characters in DC’s canon – I don’t hold up much hope for this interpretation.

Oh well, at least Keanu Reeves won’t be starring.

‘R.I.P.D’ Trailer

“R.I.P.D,” or ‘Rest In Peace Department’ stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, though why does it feel as if this film is sneaking in under the radar?  The trailer plays like “Men In Black,” except with – I assume – a much, much smaller budget and various varieties of the undead, instead of aliens.

It’s based upon a Dark Horse Comics graphic novel, and I am not sure that the trailer does it any justice.

I am also getting the feeling that it is going to get lost in the shuffle, but who knows?