The Equalizer 2 – Official Trailer 1

I participated in a thread on Twitter with C. Robert Cargill (co-writer of Sinister, Sinister 2 and Doctor Strange) where he was talking about The Equalizer 2 and it’s director, Antoine Fuqua (who also directed the first movie).

I described Fuqua as ‘the thinking man’s Michael Bay,’ and it’s an apt comparison because if you look at the trailer below you’ll see some very kinetic action set pieces, buoyed by quiet, introspective moments.

It’s a pretty impressive trailer that takes the movie more in the direction of the television series (starring Edward Woodward) that it’s  based upon.

And apropos of nothing, does ‘EQ2’ vaguely remind you of the the name of a coleoneor perfume?

As usual, let me know what you think below.  

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Doctor Strange Trailer This Tuesday!?

Screenshot 2016-04-06 16.05.58

The Doctor Is In!  And He’s Strange! 

According to Comicbookmovie.com, the first trailer for Scott Derrickson’s (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil)  upcoming Doctor Strange will be released this Tuesday!

As you can tell from Derrickson’s resume, he’s really into horror movies.

And that’s a good thing because there’s always the chance that not only will Doctor Strange be scarier and weirder than anything that Marvel Studios has done so far, but that it–or a sequel if it does well at the box office–could be used as a launching pad for the adventures of The Midnight Sons, characters that inhabit the darker, more supernatural corners of the Marvel Universe, like Ghost Rider (the rights have reverted back to Marvel a few years ago), Blade (ditto) and Morbius, the Living Vampire.

And before anyone rules out The Midnight Sons, keep in mind that ten years ago no one in their right mindwould think that there would ever be a movie based on Doctor Strange, Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts.

Though come November, there will be.

Hellraiser Sequels As Good As Or Better Than The Original

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser is–when viewed in retrospect–hasn’t aged particularly well.

The acting is often campy and overwrought–probably due to a relatively small budget–and some of the special effects weren’t even that good in 1987.

Though Barker did the best with the resources that he had, though I get the feeling that what made the movie most successful was that it took advantage of the ignorance of the average American moviegoer (a ‘cenobite’ is member of a religious order living in a convent or community.  That’s it, though Barker’s genius was that he was able to imbue the word with powers and intimations beyond its humble origins).

Ironically enough, some of the sequels–most of which, rightly so, are maligned in the minds of movie goers–managed to capture that mixture of weirdness and perversity crucial to Barker’s work with even less in the way of budget.

So here’s a list of the best Hellraiser sequels, in order of release.

• Hellhound: Hellraiser II

Arguably the best of the series; it was directed by Tony Randel–who also directed the underrated Amityville: It’s About Time–and took the foundation and characters Barker created and turned them into something greater than the sum of its parts.

It also improved upon Barker’s original in virtually every way, and had some really trippy and disturbing imagery.

• Hellraiser: Inferno

The first Hellraiser film from Miramax, as well as the directoral debut of Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Doctor Strange), Hellraiser: Inferno is interesting because it manages to take the Hellraiser formula and successfully take it into a more psychological direction.  The horror’s there, but the movie is more of a journey into the mind of its protagonist (in this instance, Det. Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer).

• Hellraiser: Hellseeker

By this time the Hellraiser movies budgetary restrictions are painfully apparent, but director Rick Bota does well with a story that brings back Kirsty Cotten (Ashley Lawrence) and connects directly to the original movies.

• Hellraiser: Bloodline

For some reason Hellraiser: Bloodline is much maligned–which probably has more than a little to do with the fact that the original director, Kevin Yeager, left the production due to studio interference and had to be replaced by Joe Chappelle, who had to cobble a movie together from Yeager’s completed footage–though I have always found it more interesting that most of the sequels.

Not everything worked, but when it did it was pretty effective.

But don’t take my word for it.  Most of the Hellraiser films are on Netflix, so you can choose for yourself which is the best.

I Suspect I Know Who Mads Mikkelson Is Playing In Marvel Studios’ Upcoming Doctor Strange

According to Superherohype, Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal) will have a role in Scott Derrickson’s upcoming Marvel Studios feature, Doctor Strange.

Assuming that to be true, they also let slip a little more information than they may have intended, because they also mention that he’ll be playing a villain.

And since Baron Mordo is taken, there’s only one real option, in my humble opinion because, while Doctor Strange has a pretty deep Rogue’s Gallery, most of them are so esoteric that–like Marvel is doing in the case of Thanos–they’ll more than likely use Strange’s introduction to reveal a character who’s presence will reverberate throughout the entire MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

And that character will more than likely be…wait for it…Dormanmu (Eternity or the Living Tribunal would also be kind of awesome, but I suspect that it’s too early for either of them)!

image courtesy of Marveldirectory.com

Think about it, and I think you’ll agree that there are few Doctor Strange villains that they could introduce that would not only drive comics fans apeshit, but would impress casual viewers as well.

And Dormammu, played by Mikkelson, would be beyond incredible.

And this is where Scott Derrickson being a horror director will come into play, namely he has to create the atmosphere were one of Marvel’s stranger villains will not only appear realistic, but demonic and terrifying as well.

Something he’s well-equipped to do if you’ve seen either Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil or The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

And he actually has an interesting mythology, which should buttress his credentials, and connection, with the audience.

And keep in mind that Marvel has done this type of casting in the past, using big-name actors in roles that obscure the actor themselves, such as Vin Diesel as Groot in Guardians Of The Galaxy or James Spader, in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

And Dormammu has the potential–especially if they stick to Steve Ditko’s original designs, as opposed to more modern interpretations of the character–to be absolutely unbelievable.

Sinister 2 – Trailer

The biggest problem with Scott Derrickson’s Sinister for me was that Bughuul (Bagul?) was sort of dopey, though considering that that mythical dream demon was the engine that powered the movie, that’s a pretty big hurdle to overcome.

If the trailer for Sinister 2 is any indication, it appears that director Ciarán Foy (Citadel) has tackled the issue of the inherent silliness of the character head-on.  His answer is to weave a feeling, an air, of mystery around the character, often by obscuring him in shadow, and making him move by way of quick edits.

From what I can see, it works.  There are moments in this trailer that make him appear genuinely creepy.

So far, so good.

Predestination – Trailer

Before I begin I think that I should acknowledge that Benedict Cumberbatch is a good actor. That being said, I don’t necessarily think that he’s a good choice for Marvel Studios upcoming Doctor Strange.  For awhile Ethan Hawke was in the running–and I get the feeling that if the choice were entirely Scott Derrickson’s he’d probably have the role (mainly because he and Hawke appeared to work well together in Sinister).

Which shouldn’t be taken to imply that Hawke doesn’t have his plate full, with Boyhood threatening to win beaucoup awards, and with his latest movie Predestination, where he plays a time cop in search of a enemy that has always managed to elude him.

It’s from the Spierig Brothers–whom I thought were Australian, for some reason–who’s last film, Daybreakers, was an interesting take on vampire lore that didn’t quite live up to its potential.

That being said, maybe they’re do better this time around.

In descriptions of Predestination I have heard Looper mentioned–and while it does share the plot device of time travel–a more apt comparison (admittedly based upon only the trailer) would be Tony Scott’s Deja Vu.

Scott Derrickson is Directing Doctor Strange!

Doctor Strange (new costume) According to Variety, Scott Derrickson is directing Doctor Strange for Marvel Studios!  This is an awesome choice because, judging by some of the films that he has directed, like Sinister, Hellraiser: Inferno and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, to name a few, show that he has a grasp of the strange and unusual.

A quality that’s a must for a character like Doctor Strange.

Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that the only type of humor that I have seen in his movies is primarily of the gallows type, so it will (probably) be tonally different than anything else from from Marvel so far.

It could also potentially be a way to introduce characters like Blade and Ghost Rider to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.