Tents pole movies always come with astronomical expectations. Fans are hoping for the most amazing film they have ever seen (until, at least, the next installment) while studio executives are hoping to be awash in cash. Critics, depending on how they stride the pop culture divide, are either sharpening their knives or readily willing to suspend disbelief. As box office attendance continues to decline, the stakes have only increased. The continuing lackluster performance of Aliens: Covenant has many analysts wondering who assumed there was any pent-up demand for a sixth helping of silver screen Xenomorphs. Into this contentious atmosphere Wonder Woman arrives with even weightier expectations. It is the first superhero film directed by a woman. It is the first solo female superhero film since the genre’s resurgence a decade ago, and not just any superheroine at that. Wonder Woman has been, from her inception, a feminist icon; how she would be portrayed on screen would be critiqued in circles far removed from fandom, especially in the current social environment. Meanwhile, back in their beach bungalows, the suits have their own concerns. After last year’s critical takedowns of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, Warner Brothers desperately needs a little respectability for their superhero universe. Yes, both those films made a lot of money, while the latter somehow won an Oscar, but perception is important. In the cliché parlance of the day, they want a narrative reset for the DC Cinematic Universe. And so, Diana arrived in theaters on Friday with an unreasonable amount of baggage. The good news is that the movie easily proves itself more limber than anything else the DCCU has offered up so far. Despite its flaws, it is an entertaining experience.
Continue reading Review of Wonder Woman
This morning Warner Brothers released the first full trailer for this fall’s Justice League movie and it, well, looks like a Zack Snyder film.
But hey that split second snippet of Amber Heard’s Mera looked cool.
Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller & Ray Fisher. The film, directed by Zack Snyder, opens November 17th.
During this evening’s Kids’ Choice Awards (?!?) DC dropped the final trailer for this summer’s Wonder Woman solo movie. Highlights include an extended glimpse of Paradise Island and Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor deadpan reactions to Diane’s heroics.
Directed by Patty Jenkins, the film features Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Lucy Davis, Robin Wright and, it seems, a variety of takes on what an Amazonian accent sounds like.
Wonder Woman opens June 2nd.
It has often been observed how malleable a character Batman is. Over the past several decades he has found himself equally at home busting the heads of petty street criminals and out-witting cosmic menaces with (new) god-like powers. What unities such diverse plots is a common interest in the humanity of the hero. The tone of the narrative might emphasize oppressive bleakness or optimistic redemption, yet what all the best Bat-stories have in common is an interest in who the man is beneath the cowl. This is true of the movies as well; for example, Christopher Nolan’s masterful Bat-trilogy is as, arguably more, concerned with Bruce Wayne than it is with Batman. In many ways, The LEGO Batman Movie liberally skewers the melancholy tone of Nolan’s films, while sharing with them an interest in the hero’s personality. Amidst the bonanza of gags, Chris McKay’s new film has something to say about Batman’s character.
Continue reading Review of The LEGO Batman Movie
Spoilers (but not many)
2016 might have witnessed a fair amount of upheaval, but one thing remained constant: Hollywood’s love of superheroes is as strong as ever. While DC sat out 2015, Marvel saw three of their properties in theaters; this year The Big Two had six combined. Next year that will edge up to seven. In addition, geek-favorite franchises Star Trek and Star Wars continued their multi-year missions through galaxies far, far away. Almost all of them raked the ticket sales (analysists were divided on whether Star Trek Beyond fell short of breaking even or turned a modest profit). Either way, neither profit margins nor quantity of films produced equal quality. 2016 was a very mixed year in terms of artistic merit, as fans could be forgiven for experiencing whiplash when trying to create a double bill for some of these movies. Some films excelled by being able to break new ground, while others entertained with well-executed tried and true formulas. Some were an utter mess (and not simply in their murky CGI sequences). It could have been worse; viewers were denied anything quite as terrible as last year’s Fantastic Four. Then again, that is placing the bar quite low.
Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2016: Film
Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange has become a worldwide hit, won acclaim and opened the doors for more eccentric material for future films. It’s also strikingly familiar in many ways to 2011’s Green Lantern from Warner Brother’s studios. Skeptical? Read on for the proof… Continue reading Doctor Strange is Green Lantern Done Right
In addition to his excellent writing and analysis, our own Cosmo is also a secret comic book industry insider. While on the case, Cosmo recently discovered a transcript of the conference that ultimately led director Ruck Famuyiwa to quit the upcoming Flash live action film. Click below for a view behind the curtain of the cut throat comics industrial film complex Continue reading Cosmo’s On The Case Exclusive: The Meeting Rick Famuyiwa Quit The Flash Film
OK, so someone at Warner Brothers decided that we needed a Pepe Le Pew movie.
They also decided that Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra & Superman: American Alien) was the person to write it.
Pepe was a member of Warner Brothers’ stable of Looney Tunes characters. He spent most of his time ogling black cats and refusing to hear “no” as “no.”
Could this be the same project that reportedly signed Mike Myers to voice the lead back in 2010?
The mind truly boggles.
For more, see Deadline.
Because Warner Brothers executives get paid by the number of trailers they cut (I swear, I’m not even posting all of them), the studio also unveiled a new one for the forthcoming Lego Batman Movie. Spun-off from the box-office hit The Lego Movie, the preview centers on Will Arnett’s Batman adjusting to that new ward (Michael Cera) he inadvertently adopted. Also featuring Ralph Fiennes’ voice of reason as Alfred. Not featured, since some good things must wait, is Rosario Dawson’s Batgirl . . .
The Lego Batman Movie, directed by Chris McKay, opens February 10th, 2017.
Warner Brothers also unveiled today the first glimpse of next year’s Justice League movie. Orientated around Bruce Wayne recruiting members for his new “team” it features most prominently Ezra Miller’s Flash and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. And yes, it does have a less somber feel about it . . .
Justice League, directed Zack Snyder, opens November 17th, 2017.