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Entries in superheroes (176)

Friday
Aug012014

Links

Screencrush offers hilarious proof that every superhero movie is called the greatest superhero movie ever. People are easily excitable!
Sight and Sound picks the best documentaries ever by pollling filmmakers: Man With a Movie Camera, Shoah and more...
MBetancourt finishes his Instagram Buffy The Vampire Slayer project. It was awesome. Naturally "Tabula Rasa" was the most popular - but not because it's a great episode

PopBytes I normally dont link to super gossipy things but this Justin Bieber / Orlando Bloom fight is just so bizarre and the coverage keeps getting weirder. I guess...
Gawker
... Leonardo DiCaprio was also there, cheering Orlando on? I mean who wouldn't?
Vox I love Todd Vanderweff but I'm not sure I buy Lucy as a feminist movie, even one that's afraid of feminism as posited
Gawker "I am terrified of Reese Witherspoon and a little bit in love with her"
In Contention Rosewater by Jon Stewart starring Gael Garcia Bernal gets an awards friendly release date

Awards Daily another longer trailer for Birdman. I can't watch this one. I don't want to see one more frame before the actual movie
THR the top 25 film schools?
MNPP talks about that John Waters Isabelle Huppert event

RIP
As you've undoubtedly heard the influential makeup artist Dick Smith who made Linda Blair demonic in The Exorcist (currently discussing) and pushed Marlon Brando into hugely convincing Godfatheriness among other achievements has passed away at 92 years young. Some obits/tributes to read: LA Times, In Contention, EW, and multiple Oscar winner Rick Baker

Saturday
Jul262014

Live(ish) from Comic Con: Marvel-ous Ant Man & Avengers 2

Anne Marie here, wrapping up coverage from San Diego Comic Con after 8 straight hours of studio announcements. Marvel had some major obstacles to overcome for its brief one hour panel. Edgar Wright's departure from Ant Man had generated negative press, and not everyone was thrilled with the studio's decision to put out release dates unattached to any actual films. WB had been gearing up for a fight, but overall so far Hall H's announcements had been more misses than hits. As the studio delayed 15 minutes into its start time and fans grew mad, the question hung in the air: could Marvel deliver?

Answer: Hell yes.

Ant Man
Marvel president Kevin Feige introduced a panel designed to assuage fan fears: Paul Rudd (new Ant Man), Michael Douglas (old Ant Man), Corey Stoll (confirmed as villain Yellow Jacket), Evangeline Lilly (Ant Man's love interest) and Peyton Reed, who stepped in to direct. Reed was quick to flash his geek cred: 20 straight years at Comic Con and a stint in a band named the Johnny Quests. But none of that really proves his credentials as Wright's replacement. Marvel even produced a minute long teaser, despite the fact that they don't start shooting for another two weeks. It's more than WB provided for Batman v Superman, but it's not enlightening. Here's the weirdest moment of the panel:

Paul Rudd: I'm popping my Comic Con cherry, and it's as advertised.

Chris Hardwicke: If you're going to do it, do it with 7,000 people.

Michael Douglas: I've popped enough cherries.

So, Michael Douglas is kind of creepy. This isn't news, but it bears repeating.



 

Avengers: Age of Ultron
The panel assembling half of the Avengers team was charming enough, but the real show began at approximately 6:40pm, when 7,000 geeks in Hall H collectively lost their minds over the trailer for the next Avengers movie. Set to a creepy version of "There Are No Strings On Me" (the advantage of being owned by Disney), it teased Iron Man's Hulk-Busting armor, an army of Ultrons (that look suspiciously like Iron Man drones), and twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (played by Elizabeth Olson and Aaron Taylor Johnson and totally unrelated to the Xmen versions) dealing some serious damage.

 

 

Age of Ultron promises to be much, much darker. Despite a lively banter-filled dinner party opening, the trailer ended with Iron Man holding Captain America's broken shield at the base of a mountain of superhero corpses. Chris Evans keeps saying he's out a after Captain America is over. Maybe it's over earlier than we expected.

We ended with two final announcements of the night: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has been set for a 2017 release. Says a lot about Marvel's confidence, since Guardians 1 won't be released until Friday. But who cares, because more importantly Josh Brolin is Thanos! He walked out wearing the Infinity Gauntlet.

And that's the end of my Hall H coverage! This year was 15 hours of waiting in line and 8 hours of studio announcements. I'll be back to wrap things up Sunday night after I've showered, slept, and questioned my life choices for a bit.

Friday
Jul252014

Day 1 at SDCC: Batman, Cosplay, & Frozen oh my!

Anne Marie is reporting from Comic Con in between her weekly A Year With Kate postings. And all with sprained shoulder. What a trouper. - Nathaniel


Anne Marie, Her Sling, and A DragonGreetings from San Diego! Comic Con officially started yesterday morning, and despite absolutely massive crowds, I managed to squeeze myself (and my sling) through the convention center floor and into a few panels to pass the good news on to you. Pro tip for first time congoers with sprained shoulders: A sling does not work as a well as a handicap sign. I got jostled and outright pushed until (no joke) a man dressed as Superman yelled out, "Step aside, citizens! This woman is injured!" He really is a boyscout after all.

Here are a five things I learned at Comic Con today...

1. Marvel dominates the movies, but DC has its eye on TV 
DC has five different TV shows on network television this season: Arrow (3rd season on the CW), The Flash (CW), Constantine (NBC), a midseason replacement called iZombie (CW) that was pitched by DC's VP of Marketing as 'The Walking Dead meets Veronica Mars,' and Gotham, the much-buzzed-about police procedural/Batman prequel for Fox. Once again, DC is splitting its properties between different networks (as opposed to its competitor, which is keeping it all under one studio/network), which means that the only shows with a chance of creating a crossover universe are The Flash, Arrow, and iZombie on the CW. The Flash and Green Arrow fight zombies. That would be weird.

2. DC is riding Batman's cape-tails as long as possible...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul242014

Live(ish) from San Diego Comic Con!

Anne Marie here, writing from the Big Daddy of all conventions, San Diego Comic Con! For the next four days, over 100,000 geeks and geekettes of all ages will take over downtown San Diego. Haters state that SDCC "sold out" and stopped being about comics long ago; I say that's a good thing. Studios, TV networks, video game companies, and publishers all vie for a place here.  Think of SDCC like an all-inclusionary media festival, if most of the media was made up of trailers, demos, behind-the-scenes panels, and free tchotchkes in the shape of Simpsons characters.

SDCC has been playing an increasingly large role in the pop culture landscape. As many as half of 2014's Top 10 Blockbusters had a presence at Comic Con last year. But it's not just about the lowbrow. The Academy Award-winning Gravity premiered its trailer at a panel last year where director Alfonso Cuaron discussed its now-famous technological challenges. The year before, Quentin Tarantino assembled the cast of Django Unchained to talk about his eventual-Oscar-winning film. But awards aside, SDCC is all about the fans.  

a detail from the first Ant-Man poster 
Each year, the studios vie for fans' attention (and social media connections), and two studios always loom large: Warner Bros and Marvel. This year, there are rumbles that WB will not only show off the new Batman/Superman film, but may give us a glimpse at the Justice League. Marvel, the crowned king of Comic Con, will not be overshadowed. They've been planting bread crumbs in the form of press releases leading up to SDCC, but will Saturday be when we finally learn what films are attached to that maddening set of release dates Marvel teased earlier this week? Will they redeem Ant Man after Edgar Wright's very public departure? A little panel can go a long way towards smoothing things over. 20th Century Fox and Legendary will also be making noise with everything from Batman '66 to a rumored Godzilla 2. And that's just what's happening in the movies!

 

For the next four days, I'll have my thumb on the pulse of pop culture, and I'll be sharing what I find with you. Follow me on Twitter for live updates, and stay tuned here for interviews, panel reviews, and more. Have something you want me to see? At Comic Con yourself? Tweet me or post in to comments below!

Monday
Jul212014

Burning Questions: Are Marvel films Interchangeable?

Amir here and I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore. There is no Marvel movie in theatres at the moment but the world is anticipating Guardians of the Galaxy very soon, as has been the case every few months for the past several years. Like Michael Bay films, discussed in the box office column, Marvel films are entities I have vowed not to ever see again, especially after news came out that Edgar Wright was taken off Ant-Man. I was marginally interested in Guardians after seeing the kooky trailer, but who are we kidding? The off-kilter humor of the short preview is going to give way to explosions and “things crashing into other things” and the experience will be like every single other Marvel film.

Which brings me to this frustrating news: Marvel has announced release dates for (hopefully all) their future films until the end of the decade, with the catch being the absence of... film titles? Yes, that’s correct. The studio has planned its visual assault all the way for the next five years, without even bothering with the names in the announcement this time.

Have they now realized that their output is completely interchangeable? I’m not exactly sure if I’d be less upset if these dates had titles attached to them, but what stings about the news is Marvel’s acute awareness that the audience will get excited about it and mark their calendars even without characters or stories to get excited about in the first place, like zombies feeding on chiseled heroes. The studio has become the brand, fully overshadowing the content of its films; and its sibling comics business moves like turning Thor into a woman do little to conceal the studio's lack of creative force. This announcement of release dates of unnamed product reeks of what's desperately rotten with today’s film culture: That a distinctly original, unique (and admittedly problematic) vision like Snowpiercer, fails to crack double digits at the box office, at a time when a studio with no regard for originality or qualitative progress can correctly expect people to rush to their wallets five years in advance.

Something is broken and it needs serious fixing, otherwise what we're offered on screen will continue to become less versatile and more depressing by the week. If you don't believe me, look no further than this weekend's wide release box office, where a meaningless sequel stayed at the top spot; a terrible sequel came second; an even more terrible sequel came third; and the most terrible of all sequels came fifth. I’m fucking angry about everything.

Wednesday
Jul162014

Lukewarm Off Presses: Colin, Emma, Birdman and Thor

You might have thought you were done discussing these but I'm just getting around to posting about them, so don't shut your trap just yet. Here's five stories that we didn't get to in anything like a timely fashion but so what? Time is a flat circle

Story 1 COLIN IN TALKS
I was going to wait to post about this until it was official and not just "in talks" but since the internet moves with the speed of everything casually mentioned as fact that everyone is aware of and will be old tomorrow, it should be noted that it looks like Colin Farrell will be the leading man of True Detective Season 2 (possibly Taylor Kitsch beside him). Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey will be tough shoes to fill but as I relayed on twitter, he's a smart idea because people will be surprised when he's great because they haven't noticed that he often is. It's very Matthew McConaughey if you think about it. An actor who was always talented and then only through a unique set of career moves did people admit it and suddenly acted like he was a brand new actor. And then they overpraised but that's another topic. 

Colin has been utterly amazing a couple of times (Tigerland and In Bruges) but even in his less heralded successful or more divisive pieces where the performance arguably feels more strained (A Home at the End of the World, Alexander, Saving Mr Banks) he often feels like he's reaching for greatness. He doesn't phone it in... which is more than can be said for many actors who get paychecks that big.

Story 2 FESTIVALITIS
The Fall Film Festivals are approaching which means before too long I will be having weekly nervous breakdowns trying to keep up with all the news and discuss all the Oscar buzz. I'm waiting on my TIFF credentials now but it's exciting to hear that Venice will open with Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance starring Michael Keaton and Emma Stone. (I had never quite processed that it had a longer title than just "Birdman" though we've already discussed the brilliant trailer) Websites are already speculating on which films will show up at which festivals but I prefer not to try and guess. Half the excitement of festivals is all the "another present? for me!? ABUNDANCE!" elation that comes with discovering the goods. And since I can't afford to go to them all I don't want to worry about the films I'm missing at the other ones.

Story 3 A FEMALE THOR
It's probably worth mentioning that Marvel has announced that we'll have a female Thor for awhile (in the comics. Don't worry for Chris Hemsworth's career just yet) and she'll be wielding Mjölnir. Superheroes are replaced more often than the layman thinks within comics (and actors are replaced in movies too -Bruce Banner holla!) but it almost always reverts back to the original guy.

Besides messing up all of our favorite Thor/Dr Horrible jokes...

...this news bugs me for two reasons.

  1. A female hero (Yay!) but she'll just be a glorified substitute (Boo!) for the real thing (a man, natch). What kind of message is that sending?
  2. This is in the comics where there have been several female superheroes given their own books over time. What we need is a female superhero at the movies. That would still be revolutionary which is a pretty pathetic thing to type in 2014. Female characters have been carrying stories in virtually ever medium for as long as any of those mediums existed. And yet the studios are still assuming that female superheroes can't carry movies... don't they realize that two of our top ten grossers this year thus far are essentially female superhero movies (Divergent & Maleficent) but not by name and in entirely different genres.

 

soon every movie will be a bit expensive one episode season of a tv seriesStory 4 FRANCHISES WILL BE THE DEATH OF US ALL
There's some speculation happening in the superhero-crazed internet (when isn't there?) that Sony is rethinking that whole Amazing Spider-Man reboot thing now that the movies are underperforming and just as they were announcing a whole set of spinoff movies around them. Release Emma* & Andrew into the wild again, I BEG YOU!

"Underperforming" is a sad word when these movies should have bombed spectacularly. Shouldn't you at least have to wait for another generation to arrive before you yell "do over!"? All the movie studios want to essentially make movies into multiple TV series that release one big expensive 2 hour long episode each season so there are 22 superhero films on the way in the next 4 years and Universal is now going to try an interconnected Classic Monsters Universe. Um, none of those monsters except for the Invisible Man ever went away? Talk about long running franchises. I guess, in keeping with tradition, we should start complaining now that the Bride of Frankenstein is never going to get her own solo movie so it's another universe that will utterly fail the Bechdel Test.

Tell me something that will give me hope for the future in the comments!

* Story 5: EMMA & WOODY
Since Emma Stone was already name-checked twice in this post ... let's note that she is also filming her second Woody Allen movie in a row (Untitled 2015) before Magic in the Moonlight has even landed so expect media stories about Emma as Woody's new muse in  3...2...1...

Do you think she'll pull a Scarlett and make a third? Her romantic interest isn't Colin Firth this time.

 

 

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