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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Daredevil (2015) Ep. 1: Into The Ring

Daredevil poster

“An Auspicious Beginning For Marvel’s Un-Caped Crusader.”

Daredevil openingWhen I was growing up, comics not only taught me how to read, but they inspired me to action; I remember vividly running about New York City, trekking through Central Park like Cortez or exploring abandoned buildings with my not-so-super friends. And I would read–though perhaps devour is a better word–just about anything I could find, though I preferred comics. Batman, Green Lantern, The Justice League, I read it all. Though I gravitated most to Marvel.  There was something about their superheroes that hit closer to home for me.  I have no idea why, though it wasn’t because of their origins (after all, while I have been bitten by insects, they never gave me any enhanced abilities–though I do sometimes develop an annoying allergic reaction to mosquito bites).

Though I was never particularly fond of Daredevil.  Even Frank Miller’s run, while critically acclaimed, never moved me.  It’s not that I hated the character–far from it!–it’s just that he more often than not felt like pale copy of some much better characters. Then there was Ben Affleck’s turn as the Man Without Fear in the 2003 movie.  The costume was good, but the CGI was rubbery; though he acted like a blind version of Spider-Man. The movie wasn’t terrible, but also wasn’t differentiated enough from other more popular superheroes to work as as well as it should have. Enter 2015 and Netflix, who’s producing four 13-episode television series, based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones (who I have no idea about), Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Marvel Studios, unlike Sony and their Amazing Spider-Man franchise, realize that most people are familiar enough with superheroes that they don’t want to sit through hours of origin story, so how Daredevil comes by his abilities is literally over in the first three or four minutes–if that long.

I’m watching the first episode, Into The Ring, as I type.  And so far, it’s pretty good. The small screen suits the character, its confides somehow as restricting as Matt Murdock’s lack of sight.  The series has a very noir look, with lots of shadows and characters being defined by the reflected light emanating from the sprawling city all around them, which is a character in and of itself. And while I can’t (yet) speak to whether the entire first series will be as entertaining as Into The Ring, I’m optimistic. Verdict: Must See TV, Marvel Style.

‘Jurassic World’ Teaser Trailer

James Gunn, the director of Guardians Of The Galaxy, has some interesting words for studios that create cinematic universes based on weak properties, and it’s worth reading.  I mention it because Jurassic Park has spawned two sequels, Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Jurassic Park III so perhaps the time has arrived for a relaunch of the property.  Besides, Universal–the studio releasing Jurassic World–is unlike most other studios in that they don’t have much in the way of tentpoles like Disney and Sony, so they have to do the best with the properties they have.

Chris Pratt–also from Guardians Of The Galaxy–is playing the lead, so can we expect to see at least one dance-off between him and an dinosaur?

One can only hope.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ Superbowl Trailer

I really want to like this movie, but I am a little sensitive since being trade raped the last time.  Marc Webb’s first Spider-Man film was such as colossal mess that the honorable thing to do would have been to take it out back and shoot it.

Yes.  Watching “The Amazing Spider-Man” felt exactly like this.

Unfortunately, a “funny” thing happened:  despite an immense $230 million dollar budget, the film went on to earn over $750 million worldwide.

Which is profitable enough that I am surprised the execs at Sony could see beyond the dollar signs dancing before their eyes.

So they’re getting ready to go at it again.  From the trailers it looks like they’re definitely investing more money this time around.  Story-wise, like S.H.I.E.L.D. is the impetus for most things super powered in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony appears to be making Oscorp the center of their Spiderverse.

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‘LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload’ Review

Check out the billboard!I hate to admit it, but “Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload” is much, much better than 2012’s “Amazing Spider-Man.”  It’s made for kids, but works really well for adults, too.

And it’s particularly cool the way whenever something crashes into something else that it breaks into squares – because everything is made up of Legos, even glass.  It’s just a shockingly awesome bit of animation, with more heart than that aforementioned lame Spider-Man movie.

And Sony really intends to crate a Spider-Man universe?  Based on ASM, I am really not feeling it.

Among the many things that I am not aware of, ‘Maximum Overload’ appears to be the first episode of a series.  I am almost afraid to watch anymore because I don’t know if they can maintain awesomeness of multiple episodes.

Underworld: Awakening Trailer

I don’t think that I posted this, so here goes.  I do so not because I expect the film to be that good–I don’t–but because I dig the genre.  That being said, how is it that Selene was able to be captured by humans?  If you take a look at the trailer, she makes short work of seven or eight armed men, so I am not quite getting it.

My thing is I don’t necessarily think that the “good guys” have to always win–in fact, sometimes things are more interesting when they don’t–but at least be consistent.

It’s also in 3D, which leads me to the conclusion that Sony/Screen Gems expect it to make its money quickly, before people realize that it will probably be a very mundane film.

And another thing: What is it with these vampires and guns?  Really?  Blessed (pardon the pun) with enhanced strength and speed, they still somehow feel the need to arm themselves?  I get that the Underworld films are essentially The Matrix with vampires and werewolves, but even the lame vamps of Twilight (or so I hear) don’t feel the need to arm themselves.

Captain America Does (Surprisingly) Well Overseas

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I am not surprised that “Captain America: The First Avenger” is doing well in the United States.  It’s a well-done, entertaining film, though it does revolve around a superhero that, in a very real sense, embodies many uniquely American dreams and aspirations, so if it weren’t doing well here, I’d be shocked.

But what does surprises me is its performance overseas, which is currently just over $100 million, bringing total profits to over $250 million dollars.

Not too shabby for a film budgeted at $140 million.

By the way, I thought that I should mention that “Thor” is just over $450 million worldwide.

Now, I am curious as to how a Captain Britain film would perform here.  Or the Soviet Super Soldiers, or Alpha Flight (Canadian).