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Entries in superheroes (166)

Thursday
Oct232014

Yes No Maybe So: Avengers Age of Ultron

And by Yes No Maybe So I mean Yes Yes and Also YAAASSSS.

Tony Stark modelling the signature look from Hulkbuster Summer Line 2015

Though the thought of 20 plus superhero movies in the next few years makes me psychologically ill (nothing is special if it's all the time - see also Streep playing every part for women over 60 and tv shows about lawyers/doctors/crimescenes) at least roughly half of the Marvel movies are actually good examples of this soon-to-be oversaturated genre, generally getting the balance right of big pop flair, comic relief and stylized gravitas. And by "half" I'm referring of course to both Captain Americas, Joss Whedon's take on The Avengers and every other Iron Man. I'm hoping the genre goes out* with a big bang, that bang being Avengers: Age of Ultron.

But before we begin a word about "premieres." why do movie studios even bother announcing "premieres" or anything anymore when they then immediately retract the specialness of every debut by shooting their wad early. On Tuesday night's Agents of SHIELD they made a big fuss about how the Avengers Age of Ultron trailer would premiere on next Tuesday's episode (theoretically to boost ratings/interest) and then within 24 hours Marvel had officially posted the trailer online thereby killing the excitement of watching it next week during Agents of SHIELD

Anyway, for this supersized Yes No Maybe So (our series wherein we break down movie trailers to those three categories) we're doing roughly every image, in the order it appears because we can't help it. Mmmm, can't get enough.

I'm going to show you something beautiful...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct222014

Exodus: To Links and Blogs

Let my readers go... to other places. Here are a bunch of articles I enjoyed elsewhere or which are worthwhile for their informational newsiness. But come back soon, okay? Okay.

Screen
Dissolve a new Pee Wee Herman movie is "imminent"  
The Dissolve rights to John Carter of Mars have reverted to the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. Do you think we'll get another film... and will it be better? 
The Guardian on Renée Zellweger and 'the Actor's face as His/Her brand'. I made a point of not talking about Zeéeeee's looks yesterday in my own post about the photo but this is an interesting non-aggressive non-misogynist piece about movie stars and how shifts to their brand work (or don't).

I was going to link to another Guardian piece about Julianne Moore and Ellen Page's lesbian drama Freeheld experiencing bigotry already banned from filming at a Catholic school but the page started playing really loud Arby's ads (WTH?) so, no. If you appreciate that I don't allow audio ads on this site (unless it's your choice to play the audio as in the sidebar Oscar ads later in the year) than you should maybe donate to the site to help keep us afloat. (see right hand sidebar. Kisses) 

Screen, Superheroics Corner
Pajiba Ming Na-Wen fought herself on last week's Agents of SHIELD for a series highlight. Which other characters should do the same? And yes, the show is actually really good in season 2. Surprise! Last night's episode was really exciting and next week, they'll premiere the trailer to Avengers: Age of Ultron
Comics Alliance talks to Jason Momoa who is excited to embrace his Polynesian heritage as Aquaman. I like Aquaman, and I have no trouble with switching races of known characters - especially when it makes sense (as it would here and similarly I pray to God they don't try to cast a white guy as Iron Fist when they get around to that character since he'd make so much more sense as an Asian). All that said I am not a fan of Jason Momoa - don't respond well to his enormously bulky look and wasn't impressed with him as an actor in Game of Thrones
We Minored in Film Painkiller Jane to get her own movie, possibly beat high profile superheroines to the screen

Off Screen
Vanity Fair Sarah Jessica Parker's unauthorized shoe-stoop photography 
Boy Culture meets Annie Lennox
The Cut The Met's new cleverly titled exhibit on mourning fashions is called "Death Becomes Her". Sadly there is no sidebar exhibit on Madeline Ashton & Helen Sharp. A pity because "I would like... to... talk... about... Madeline Ashton"  

EXODUS: OF COSTUMES AND KINGS
I recently attended a sneak preview of footage from Exodus: Of Gods and Kings. We were shown about 40 minutes of the Biblical epic which seems to be Cecil B DeMille's The Ten Commandments minus Anne Baxter's campiness (pity) remade through the lens of Ridley Scott's Gladiator. Moses is no longer a "splendid adorable fool" but a guylined killing machine (at least in the early action sequence we saw). Ridley Scott's movies are always great looking however they come across otherwise and this one looked suitably gigantic. Especially the plagues and the finale Red Sea chase. I admit I was somewhat distracted worrying about the horses who are dying right and left in these sequences. I will never be able to watch old school war scenes without worrying about the horses, all the pretty horses. Yes I am one of those animal lovers that stays through the end credits to make sure no animals were harmed in the making of anything.

Here's a featurette on the golden costumes by Oscar winner Janty Yates (Gladiator)! She mentions the film's powerful women but they weren't showcased at all in our preview. Sigweavie only got a couple of side-eyes in. I must admit, too, that at our preview I was baffled as to why Sir Ridley kept appearing between the scenes to explain the plot. UM. MOSES. THE BIBLE. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. It's a bit like describing what happens in Noah. Let me guess: Rageful god warning, two animals of every kind, floods!? Actually come to think of it, Moses's story beats are not unlike the Noah template only two animals of every kind is more thousands of only two kinds (frogs/locusts) and the flood is region specific.

Are you planning to see Exodus? Do you like actors in guyliner and gold plated costumes? The latter is a rhetorical question since your answer should be use.

Sunday
Oct192014

Review: Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

An abridged version of this review was originally posted in Nathaniel's weekly column at Towleroad. It is reposted here, with their permission.

 

A card in the bottom right hand of the star's mirror reads:

"A thing is a thing. Not what is said of that thing." 
-Susan Sontag

Which immediately complicates or maybe simplifies celebrity and art, two major themes (among a handful) of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's one of a kind new film experience. It's destined for major Oscar nominations and you should see it immediately. The movie has the simple and then complicated title of Birdman, Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as befits its duality perfectly. This quote is never addressed in the film but it's always stubbornly lodged there in that mirror, defying or playfully encouraging conversation about what this movie actually is. And what is film criticism or its more popular cousin, after-movie conversation over dinner drinks or online other than conversation that attempts to interpret and define?

Critics are often treated with petulant hostility in movies about show business, as if the filmmakers have an axe to grind and need to do that with grindstone in hand while their critical avatar/puppet hangs there limply, waiting to be struck with the sharpened blade. Birdman is no exception, immediately insulting its formidable theater critic Tabitha (Lindsay Duncan) as having a face that 'looks like she just licked a homeless man's ass,' before she's even spoken a line. But Tabitha is a slippery mark, portrayed as a voice of integrity in one scene and then a vicious unprofessional monster in another. This calls into question the reality of her scenes altogether

... which is not unusual in Birdman.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep232014

Deadpool Solo Film is a Go


Margaret here, with the latest in superhero news. Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Comics have firmed their long-rumored plans to produce a Deadpool movie. A popular Marvel character, Deadpool (alias Wade Wilson) is a motormouthed mercenary with powers including regenerative healing and expert swordsmanship. He appeared in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as played by Ryan Reynolds, to much fan favor. Though Reynolds is not yet attached to the upcoming film, in the grand tradition of superhero tentpoles a release has already been fixed for February 12 of 2016. 

When Reynolds appeared as Deadpool five years ago, his star was quickly on the rise. The warm reception to his performance in Wolverine helped him land the lead in DC Comics' mega-budget Green Lantern movie, which (remember? We were so young back then) was expected to become a major franchise. The film ended up tanking spectacularly, and Reynolds' next several major-studio projects fared little better. Like many floundering movie stars before him, he retreated to the indie-movie scene, but Marjane Satrapi's The Voices (which played Sundance) is divisive and Atom Egoyan's The Captive (Cannes) was critically panned. 

Can this Deadpool project reverse his trajectory? Does Ryan Reynolds even have any chances left?


Wednesday
Aug202014

Thoughts I Had... while looking at sudden Ant-Man stuff

Ant-Man (2015) has only been filming for a few days and already we have a first image, a complete cast list, cute tweeting between cast & director, and so on. It's the new age of filmmaking in which you can be totally sick of a project before it ever nears post-production. I kid, sort of. I'm not sick of Ant-Man yet but I'd rather be watching it than wondering about it.

Nevertheless let's do what we do. My thoughts as they come to me without censorship...

• If TFE were like most movie blogs I would immediately start theorizing what the license plate "D69W01Y" could possibly mean. Is it a secret message? the code name of some scientific invention? a codebreaker to unlock the titles of all those announced Marvel movies in the pipeline?
• But TFE is not like most movie blogs and we'd rather live in an imaginary world where people got more excited about films that exist already. Or intense upcoming dramas about Women Who Lie To Themselves™. Online film culture seems to be solely reserved for wondering about the minutae of new superhero movies.
• minutae. Hee! Get it? Ant-Man. Because he shrinks. (I'll be here all week.)
• What if Ant-Man crosses the bridge and meets Ape-Men? That's where they live!
• Everyone I know loves San Francisco except for me. Maybe I should give it another try?
• What's in the bag? I hope it's the Wasp all shrunken already. I'm so starved for female superheroes

more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug182014

This & That: Ant Man, Early Emmys, List Mania

Elisabeth Bergner, who started in German silents went on to a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Escape Me Never (1935)Schweigen a fine collection of 1920s and 1930s postcards of film actors. I loved looking at it despite my Richard Dix aversion. And this postcard left makes me desperate to see Escape Me Never, one of the 30s Best Actress nominations I still haven't seen
Cinema Blend profiles the 5 pilots from Amazon Studios including Hand of God with Dana Delany and Ron Perlman
E! Online Neil Patrick Harris responds to rumors that he and David Burtka are breaking up. It ain't so.
Pret-a-Reporter
Inside Madonna's 56th birthday bash
THR Cinematography Gordon Willis who died earlier this summer, was memorialized in Hollywood this weekend

List Mania
Rope of Silicon every death in a Quentin Tarantino movie thus far
Cinema Enthusiast has been investigating 1992 cinema. Loves Howards End, The Player, Batman Returns and more
Do You Remember Movies
names the 20 top female film stars of the 70s. I'm not sure what the criteria is but whatever it is, shunning Shelley Duvall ain't right! It ain't ever right.

Creative Arts Emmys 
By now you've probably heard that the kiddie table awards for the Emmys have been handed out. (Theory #1: If you have too many awards to fit them all into one big awards show, you have too many awards. Theory #2: Awards shows should be longer but if you still can't fit them into a 4 hour event, you have too many awards). Todd VanDerWeff, TV expert, reminds us that the Creative Arts Emmys don't really predict the major Emmys with quite the precision by which the craft categories on Oscar night can signal an impending Best Picture win. But it was a very good night for Orange is the New Black, Sherlock and True Detective among others. Here's a complete list of winners and the guest acting prizes went like so:

Guest Actress, Comedy: Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Guest Actor, Comedy: Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
Guest Actress, Drama: Allison Janney, Masters of Sex (her 5th Emmy but the first for something non-West Wing)
Guest Actor, Drama: Joe Morton, Scandal 

Congratulations to the winners. But I'm definitely shedding tears that the Mad Men curse continues (no acting winners ever in its entire run). Even Robert Morse's transcendent song & dance farewell couldn't break it.

Bliss
You may have already seen this Hello Kitty gallery of superheroes

I've never been more attracted to the Winter Soldier

In which Earth's Mightiest are modified for maximum cuteness and sparkle. But I hadn't seen it and now my life is complete. Well nearly complete. My life will only be complete IF they make Thor 3 this way. At least then it'd be infinitely more watchable than Thor: The Dark World.

Ant-Man
While we're on the topic of superheroes I do want to note that the long troubled Ant Man is finally out of the gate as filming has commenced. I've gone in and out of interest in the project over the years but unlike most of the internet, the last minute hiring of Peyton Reed in the director's chair was the best possible news I could have heard after the unfortunate exit of Edgar Wright. Peyton Reed is so undervalued (see Bring It On and Down With Love and be embarrassed for every ignorant person who has ever called him a hack.)

David Dastmalchian photographed by Caleb Condit

And now one last cherry on top. The rest of the cast has been announced and among the awesome ensemble cast which includes people we know and love like John Slattery, Bobby Cannavale, and Judy Greer, I have to personally congratulate David Dastmalchian for getting another big deal film. I've had an eye on the actor since nominating him for a cameo prize for The Dark Knight and he did super work again just last year in Prisoners in a small but key role.  His upcoming film Animals, which gives him a rare leading role, was this year's SXSW sensation. So happy for this fine actor. You should expect to hear more from him. And very soon. 

Exit Video

 

"Female Superhero Pitches a Movie" - this one has some pretty great lines in it as she keeps meeting roadblocks and narrowminded executives. I wish the pace was faster and the video shorter for more viral pleasure but, still, it's funny.

Friday
Aug082014

Her Royal Majesty, The Queen of Link

This collection was meant to publish some 24 hours ago. Enjoy these links you might well have seen already!

Decider tracks Channing Tatum's expanding neck 
MNPP Jason calls a Happy Hobbit Ending for Lee Pace within six months. I think this is optimistic. 
Pajiba thoughtfully creates an anti-superhero-movie-diversity Bingo board. Love it!
AV Club Jeff Goldblum participated in a Jurassic Park themed wedding photo. It's great
The Dissolve Epix is airing a color version of Alexander Payne's Nebraska. What the hell?


Arts Beat Helen Mirren to play the Queen again on Broadway. Will the third time be the charm for a first Tony? If she wins she will have won the Oscar, Emmy and Tony all for playing Queen Elizabeths I & II. Quite a specific niche, eh?
The Wire a very bad day for the creator of True Detective Nic Pizzolatto who doesn't handle criticism very well and is now accused of plagiarism as the Emmys approach
The Film Stage shares Akira Kurosawa's 100 favorite films list (originally published in a book from 1999 apparently). Like me his favorite Scorsese is King of Comedy!
The Wrap DC has adjusted its Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice schedule to avoid Captain America 3. That sentence would have unthinkable years ago but Marvel has really made it work.
MNPP "Gratuitous Teddy Sears" I 100% approve and I would like to point out that I raved about him all the way back during his very tiny role on Dollhouse and so glad he got such a plum gig on Masters of Sex 

Ooh look, Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges (Emmy nominated for Masters of Sex) talking about their acting process at an event in LA. (There's also a clip of them talking about The Fabulous Baker Boys but it's not about Michelle Pfeiffer at all - sacrilege - so I lost interest)

There's no point in even linking to a story about this but how terrible is it that they've opted to call the next Terminator film, a needless reboot when time-travel narratives can reboot themselves while also not stupidly pretending that other films didn't exist, Terminator Genisys. That's the actual title, people, purposeful mispelling and all. 

Finally, i09 shares ten lessons we can learn from the surprising success of Guardians of the Galaxy. Even though I think the movie has really pulled off a conjob on critics (it's winning rapturous ignore-the-obvious-flaws praise I think because it gets a couple of important things very right), most of these are bullet points are true. But I have to shake my head and roll my eyes hard at this bit about its cross-gender appeal at the box office:

How can a movie appeal to both of these groups? Because they both want the same thing, more or less — fun adventures in which both the male and female characters are fully realized.

Oy. If Gamora is our new standard for "fully realized female characters" in blockbuster cinema our standards have hit rock bottom and the future is going to be BLEAK. The ongoing gender problems in mainstream cinema have really taken a toll on people's expectations.