The Gifted – Trailer

The Gifted is the second series begat from the deal between Marvel Entertainment and Fox and it’s curiously conventional-looking, especially compared to Legion (the first series launched on sister channel, FX).

That aforementioned conventionality may have a lot to do with it being directed by Bryan Singer, who helmed many of the X-Men movies, and contributed to their inconsistent tone (in terms of how they appear in movies versus their counterparts in the comics).

Logan – Trailer# 2

Twentieth Century Fox’s Logan is indicative of their problems managing their X-Men franchise.  

Supposedly it’s going to be R-rated, not because Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is a mutant who’s primarily features are a healing factor, Adamantium-coated claws and a bestial nature to match, but because Deadpool had an R- rating, and it gave Fox almost 800,00 reasons to do the same.

Money see, money do.

So it’s not as if the executives actually understand the character, because if they did they would have had him be PG-13 in the X-Men movies, and R in the context of his own features.

Which isn’t for a moment to imply that the character can’t work as PG-13, only that he’s better suited for a harder rating. 

4 Reasons Fox Is Ill-Equipped To Handle Their Marvel Franchises

 1.Fox Remembered Way Too Late That These Characters Were Based On Comicbooks

If you recall The original X-Men movie their costumes were black leather, which was probably done because the producers thought that audiences wouldn’t accept superheroes in all their technicolor, spandex-clad glory.

And at the time, they were probably right.

Though times change–though thankfully not about spandex–and  an upstart studio by the name of Marvel started producing superhero-based movies that interpreted these characters–visually as well as thematically–more faithfully than was typically the case.

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By way of illustration, here’s an image of Jean Gray/Dark Phoenix (Famke Janssen) from X-Men: The Last Stand.








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And here’s the version of the Dark Phoenix from The Uncanny X-Men comic.

Notice a difference?  The movie version tried to reinterpret the comics’ version, but is too tentative to be effective.  And that’s not for a moment to be interpreted to mean that the costume would have worked if it looked exactly comics-faithful (I suspect that it wouldn’t have).

Though the design they ended up going with?  Too safe by half.




2. The Galactus Cloud 

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This is Galactus, a character that literally survives by devouring PLANETS!   He’s one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, and instantly recognizable to most comics fans.

And below is the version of that was used in Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer.

img_0038Yep, it’s a cloud–a very cool-looking cloud, to be sure, but a cloud nonetheless–though perhaps what’s even worse is that I have seen some concept drawings never used in the film where the cloud was used to obscure Galactus and his space ship.

Which is a great idea that would have made a lot more sense than just the cloud alone, and would have really motivated fans of the Fantastic Four into the theater.

3. The Problem With Wolverine

Fox’s fixation with Wolverine is something I carp on on pretty much a regular basis (and since I see no reason to stop now…)

For a time, Wolverine was as popular in the comics as he was in the movies, though due to the way comics work it’s easier to give an uber-popular character space to grow (perhaps by spinning them off into their own title), while not alienating people who prefer other members of the team he happened to be a member of.

Movies don’t work as efficiently or as quickly as publishing a comic, so when producers of the movies noticed that Wolverine was so popular with moviegoers (as he was with fans of the comics) they made a serious mistake: They made him the center of which all things revolved.  There were other characters, though most were treated not nearly as well as Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (with the possible exception of Michael Fassbender’s Magneto and maybe Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique).

What made the comics such a success–other than John Byrne–was that the X-Men were always a team. Individual members would rise and fall in terms of prominence, but when all is said and done, everyone would share the spotlight at some point.

4. Declining Box Office Receipts

While some may think that reducing movies to box office figures isn’t a good thing–and how enjoyable a movie is doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how much money it earns–it’s a fact of life that if a movie doesn’t finish its run in the black, the likelihood is that that’s the last we are going to hear about it (until the inevitable reboot) because no one typically sets out to make movies that fail.

That being said what’s surprising isn’t that the X-Men movies have been popular–most of the movies were–but a few weren’t financially successful.

The third film in the series, X-Men: The Last Stand, earned somewhere in the ballpark of $459 million worldwide, on a production budget of $210 million.

Typically, a rule of thumb is that a movie has to earn three times its production costs to be in the black, something The Last Stand did not do.

For that matter nor did its follow up, X-Men: First Class, which earned $354 million on a $160 million budget (which reminds me: the special effects in First Class we’re so bad in places that they looked unfinished, which made me wonder where that $160 million went because whatever it was, it wasn’t toward special effects).

X-Men: Days Of Future Past was one of most profitable of the series, earning $748 million on a $200 million budget, while it’s sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse, didn’t quite fare as well, earning $544 million on a budget of $178 million (profitable, if you use the 3X rule, though not terribly so).

The latest rumor is that Fox intends to reboot the X-Men movies, though what they apparently can’t count on is Marvel Studios saving their franchise in a similar fashion to what will probably be the case with Spider-Man because all signs indicate that it’s not in the cards.

Logan – Official Trailer

screenshot-2016-10-20-10-45-40It’s no secret that I don’t particularly like what Fox has done with the Marvel’s X-Men, though take that dislike and double it, and that’s approaches what I feel what they have done with Wolverine.

And the worse thing for me is that it’s all about greed.

Hugh Jackman’s portrayal (despite that, visually speaking, he’s not at all like the character in that he’s too tall and too handsome) won fans over early on, so what they did was make everything about him, sidelining virtually every other character.

So, did I like the trailer for Logan? It’s okay. It’s certainly trying (a bit too hard) to get across a certain mood and atmosphere, which it does; Johnny Cash song and all.

I also like that it appears that the cinematographer seems to be making use of a lot of natural light in the trailer because there’s something that’s stultifying about people that are perfectly lit.

 

The Magnificent Seven – Official Trailer

I think that Warner Bros, possibly with the exception of the upcoming Suicide Squad is terribly mismanaging their DC Films relationship (and Yes, I include the upcoming Wonder Woman in that estimation as well)–like Fox is doing with the X-Men franchise, only less successfully.

But Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven? With Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt?

Money in the bank.

And sure, it has nothing to do with DC Films, but considering how mediocre Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did, they can use any help they can get

 

 

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.

Are We Getting The Real Story As Far As The Fantastic Four Returning To Marvel Studios Goes?

Fantastic FourIn the past few days the rumor that the rights to the Fantastic Four had been returned to Marvel has been denied by both Fox and Marvel Studios.

Though the denials are interesting not only for what they say, but for what they don’t.

Marvel has granted Fox the rights to expand the Fox/X-Men universe into television, which they didn’t have prior.

Before I go any further, I think it’s worth acknowledging that Marvel Studios isn’t a charity and they aren’t going to give Fox anything for free though Marvel has given Fox the rights to make not only one television series, but two.

That’s also interesting because both of those shows, whenever they appear, will be competing against series on ABC, which like Marvel Studios is owned by Disney.

Charity is one thing, stupidity is another so I think we can disregard that Marvel gave them the rights to make two series for nothing in return.

Assuming that to be nonsense, what does Fox have–excluding the X-Men, which Marvel would love to have back but considering how much money they’re making for Fox  the likelihood that that will happen anytime soon is extremely unlikely–that Marvel Studios wants?

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