War For The Planet Of The Apes – Trailer

Of the five original Planet Of The Apes movies, three–Planet Of The Apes (1968), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) made a profound impression upon my then adolescent mind.

Which is interesting because I can barely can recall either Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) or Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) with any specificity.

On reason I was so profoundly effected was that each of the sequels expanded upon the premise and worlds introduced in the first films, without feeling repetitive or redundant and also managed to broaden the themes of the original as well. 

Tim Burton’s 2001 reboot, Planet Of The Apes didn’t exactly set the world or box office on fire, which I always thought was due to Burton doing away with the racial subplot–though I am unsure if it was present in the original novel or something Rod Serling introduced as one of the screenwriters (though it underpinned the entire movie and is as relevant today as it was when Pierre Boulle wrote La planète des singes in 1968). 

Which brings us to 2017’s War For The Planet Of The Apes, which–if the trailer is the least bit accurate–reminds me of quite a bit of Conquest

Familiarity Breeds, If Not Contempt, Then Falling Box Office

Johnny Depp picture courtesy of Wikipedia

For awhile it seemed as if everything Johnny Depp appeared in turned to gold.  From Pirates Of The Carribean:  Dead Man’s Chest in 2006 to Alice In Wonderland in 2010, it seemed as if he could do no wrong.  

Then came Dark Shadows–an ironic title if there ever was one–based on the gothic soap opera by Dan Curtis.

Despite being directed by Tim Burton (who directed Depp in some of his biggest hits) the movie performed underwhelmingly, earning almost $246 million on a $150 million budget. 

Though no one’s perfect, and besides, Depp had been successful enough in the past that one weak performer could  hardly touch his strong box office Kung-Fu. 

That is, till 2013’s The Lone Ranger, a movie plagued with cost overruns so great that executives at Disney were somewhat relieved they were able to rein in the budget at $215 million. 

Though that comfort of a carrion sort considering after all their efforts the movie ended up earning just $260 million worldwide, though if it’s any compensation, it out-earned John Carter (though admittedly not by much). 

The point being, recently the trades reported that Johnny Depp will co-star in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them with Eddie Redmayne though maybe Depp needs a little time out if the public eye, so that maybe we can begin to miss him a little bit as opposed to being the Steven King of fir movie world.

Batman Needs To Shed The Cape

ComicbookmovieRecently DC revealed the latest costume for Batman, via Comicbookresources.  Despite not being a huge fan of either DC Comics or the character, I really like it.  The current iteration of Batman is caped, and while it sticks with tradition, these days it doesn’t quite make sense.

The character was originally created in the 1940’s with a design intended to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, with his cape being evocative of a bat’s wings.

In movies the most recent version of the character continues that tradition, and that’s the problem.  When Zach Snyder–director of Man of Steel as well as the upcoming Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice rebooted Superman he removed his shorts (so to speak), which were originally inspired by circus strongmen.

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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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Batmobile For Sale

Over the years, there have quite a few Batmobiles, with the vehicle changing whenever a new director helmed the franchise.

For instance, here’s the Batmobile that appeared in the Tim Burton film.

image courtesy of ion

image courtesy of io9

The next version is Joel Schumacher’s.  It’s a bit garish though there’s no denying that it’s a dynamic-looking vehicle.  Schumacher, if I recall, did at least two Batman films, with a slightly different Batmobile in each.

Joel Schumacher Batmobile

And finally, the Christopher Nolan version of the Batmobile, also known as the Tumbler.  Its origins are more military-based than the other vehicles, and it shows.

Christopher Nolan Batmobile

As popular as the Nolan films have been, I prefer the model that was unveiled in Tim Burton’s 1979 film.  And if you feel the same as I do, and have over $154,413 (£90,000) to spare (which I definitely don’t), you can have your very own Batmobile.

Thanks to Carbuzz for the heads up.

Hanging At ‘Hemlock Grove’

“Hemlock Grove” is an oddly captivating series, less for its content – it lacks the blatant sexuality of “American Horror Story” as well as its hit-or-miss shock value – than the fact that Netflix is releasing it the same fashion as they did in the case of “House of Cards,” which is the entire series at once as opposed to a more traditional model.

This is a powerful new way of making television that I think other non-broadcast and cable networks will mimic because it almost guarantees viewership of the series, either over a period of days, or in one shot (I am a huge fan of marathon viewing) though I have no idea how they determine if the content is being watched.

Which is very important if you want to know if you’re going to create another series.

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Michael Clarke Duncan Has Moved On

ImageToday Michael Clarke Duncan died, and I have no intention of writing any nonsense about him dying before his time because the time you die is pretty much when it’s supposed to happen.

The only two movies that I saw him in were “Daredevil” and Tim Burton’s (pointless) remake of “The Planet Of The Apes.”

What I most remember about ‘Apes’ was, despite being buried beneath hours of make-up, his performance shined through.

I also saw him in “Daredevil” and thought that he made a perfect Kingpin, though not everyone agreed at the time.

Here are a few words from the Man himself about “Daredevil” and his feelings about the character.

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