Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Obligatory Comic-Con 2012 Post


As some of you may recall, I wrote a post that included my thoughts on the news of various movies coming out of Comic-Con last year.  Just for the sake of completeness, I'll include a short update on that post.  Don't worry, it'll be fast.

Snow White and the Huntsman - Didn't see it.  Still looks meh.

Ghost Rider 2 - Didn't see it.  Opinion still stands: "why?"

Fright Night - Less awesome than I was expecting.  David Tennant did well, but the rest was bland, bordering on bad at times.  They tried to make Colin Farrell eating an apple menacing.  No...just...no.

Total Recall - Reaction remains largely the same, even with trailers out now: "why?"

Spider-man - Awesome.  Go see it.

Prometheus - Review Part 2 coming soon.

Twixt, Paradise Lost, Uglies, Jurassic Park 4 - I've heard no news. Reaction stands.

So, onto this year's Comic-Con.

Oz the Great and Powerful

On the one hand, this movie looks kind of interesting.  It's an origin story for the man who becomes the Wizard of Oz--how he wound up in Oz by way of hot-air balloon.  And I admit, it certainly looks epic and action packed, and the score in the trailer is certainly interesting.  I really liked how they carried over the idea of our world being in black-and-white from the MGM movie.  And while I've read that Dorothy's iconic red slippers won't be making an appearance, I'm okay with that because they were silver in the book anyway.

With all of that being said, it's from the producers of Alice in Wonderland, and you can tell.  Everything has that soft-pastel colors look that makes it look colorful and washed-out at the same time, and while I read online that there were a lot of practical (read: "real") sets, a lot of it still looks CG, with a lot of superfluous 3D.*

For the record, I have a very similar problem with some of the effects in The Amazing Spider-man.

Anyway, my feelings are "meh."  Intrigue about the story and my fondness for Sam Raimi are conflicted with the actual look and style of the movie.

Resident Evil: Retribution

I hate the Resident Evil movies.  They're basically long action sequences with no story.  I stopped caring after the second movie and stopped watching during the third.  I only list this here to say, "Hey...this exists."  Now imagine me making a fart noise with my mouth: "Phrrrrrbbbbbbbbtttt."

I also include it so that you can read this humorous account of a fan sexually propositioning Michelle Rodriguez.  To those you out there who don't know:  Do. Not. Do. This.

Godzilla...seriously...

I watched a lot of the old Godzilla movies growing up, including Godzilla vs. King Kong.  I even liked the remake starring Matthew Broderick, although I was in middle school and not what you would call "picky" about my movie choices.  But to hear that this movie is not only going to be a serious take on Godzilla, but that it seems to have support from Toho, seems to be paying an homage to the old movies, as well as treating the franchise with a certain amount of respect...color me intrigued.  Plus, David Goyer has proven himself time and again to be a great writer of movies.

The Hobbit

It should be no surprise that I'm excited about this movie.  I am a huge nerd.  I loved the first three movies, and I'm stoked for this one.  It is the one movie this year that I might see at midnight.  Maaaaybe not, because I'm an old man deep down inside and don't want to be jostled by overly excited teens and such...but I also love The Hobbit more than any of the other books.  It was the first of them I read--in the 6th-ish grade.


I'm very glad that Ian McKellan came back as Gandalf, and Martin Freeman is an excellent choice for Bilbo Baggins.  Also, even though it won't be in this movie, Bennedict Cumberbatch as Smaug has me very excited.  I have high hopes for this movie.

One thing that's weird to me is the backlash against it being filmed in 48 fps instead of the traditional 24 fps.  I like the smoother, hyper-real look 48 fps gives it, and I would rather see that become a thing than 3D.  Why people choose some advancements in film making and not others, I'll never understand.  Anyway, it should be expected that I'm excited for this one.

Pacific Rim

This is Guillermo Del Toro's movie about giant fighting robots I mentioned last year.  I maintain that it could be a dream come true for the 10-year-old inside of me, but as time has progressed, I'm a little worried.  I'm weary of high-effects-CG-laden movies.  Transformers: Blah Blah Blah and the disappointing Real Steel have cooled my initial reaction at giant fighting robots, and Del Toro's largely disappointing Don't Be Afraid of the Dark has me less excited for PR than I started.

It still sounds fun, and I love Pan's Labrynth and Hellboy, so I'll maintain a modicum of hope for now.  Plus, Idris Elba is in it, and he was one of my favorite things about Prometheus.

Incidentally, Del Toro is finally looking into making Hellboy 3, which makes me want to get up and race around the house with excitement.  Fingers crossed on that one.

Various Marvelousness

Things continue to look up for Marvel.  Besides the massive hit that was The Avengers, basically all of their movies have been pretty big hits, with a few exceptions.  The Amazing Spider-man has been doing pretty well, even, despite some of the negativity surrounding yet another reboot.  Because there was so much news coming out of the Marvel camp, I've shoved it all in this section.

Captain America: Winter Soldier was announced.  I liked the first film, and this one certainly seems interesting.  From what I read here, it seems to be about a former friend of Captain America being resurrected to try to assassinate him.  S.H.I.E.L.D. is supposed to feature prominently, which might mean more Black Widow--and I really want to see her have her own picture in the near future.  We need more female superheroes making it onto the scene.

Thor: The Dark World was also announced.  While I'm excited about that, I'm not as excited as I could be because I haven't seen Thor, although it is on Netflix Instant, so I'll probably watch that soon.  I only hope that there's more Loki, as he was fantastic in The Avengers.

Iron Man 3 was also previewed.  I'm really interested in this movie, not just because I liked the first one (have not seen the second one), but also because it's being helmed by Shane Black.  I LOVE his movie Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, another movie featuring Robert Downey, Jr., and so this news has me intrigued and excited.  Apparently it was revealed that Mandarin is the villain (I don't know who that is), and they revealed Tony Stark's new Iron Man armor.  Some people bitched that it's mostly gold, but I don't really care.  It is surprising that they're breaking from the more traditional red top, gold bottom look, but I'm rather ambivalent.  It looks pretty nice.

The announcement of the Ant-Man movie was also confirmed.  Ant-Man is a superhero that can shrink down to near subatomic sizes.  Not the most flashy superpower--hardly super strength or speed--but quirky and slightly odd superheroes are right up director Edgar Wright's alley.  He's done Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, so I'm confident in his ability to do this.  Based on what I read on Simon Pegg's Twitter, once they've finished up work on The World's End, Wright will begin filming in 2013.

And the last interesting bit of news regarding Marvel is their announcement for a movie called Guardians of the Galaxy.  I know basically nothing about this, except for the concept art that was released, which I've included (click to enlarge).  I'll have a better opinion once I know a bit more.

Man of Steel

If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know I'm a HUGE fan of Superman.  I wrote a reaction post to the news of Zach Snyder's Man of Steel, in which I explained my background with the red and blue superhero and what I thought of the movie news so far.  In summation: it was positive.

With that said, the news gets more and more interesting.  The picture in my previous post had me excited, but hid a key factor that I was not aware of--they got rid of Superman's red underwear.

On one hand, GOOD.  It looked silly.  Batman doesn't have the dark gray/black underwear in his movies, and his character was designed with the same idea, so why should Superman?  Besides, this is a gritty, Nolan-esque reboot.  Let's shoot for a more practical suit design. On the other hand, look at it (below).  Without the red in the middle, I kind of don't know where to look.  Also, not to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but I know from watching the behind-the-scenes stuff for Superman Returns that they did research on the...er..."package size" for Superman, to ensure that he wasn't too big or too small, because either would be distracting.  They apparently had no such concerns for this movie, because Superman looks like he's hauling a cannon around in his underoos.

I wish they'd taken after the comics, which also got rid of Superman's red underwear; however, they provided him instead with a red belt, which breaks the costume up in the same way as the underwear without looking as silly. You can see the image of Superman from DC's New 52 alongside the movie costume below.























I'll leave it to you to decide which looks better.  To be clear, I don't HATE the costume, unlike some, I just wish there'd been a little more break-up of the blue.  I don't even hate that the costume is made to be like Kryptonian chain-mail.  It all works for me.


Beyond the costume, there was, of course, more news regarding the new movie.  They released an extended cut of the trailer.  A bootleg was put online, but has since been taken down, so I haven't seen it.  There's supposed to be a shorter teaser before The Dark Knight Rises, yet another reason I have to go see that movie.

And from what I've heard, Snyder did a great job.  Some accounts disagree about the use of slow-mo, but all seem to agree that the movie is the least Snyder-looking of all of his films--which is a good thing in my opinion.  Too much slowdown would be really annoying.  It was okay in Watchmen, but 300 had it A LOT.

I'm glad that things seem to be shaping up well for this film, because Sucker Punch was awful, and I've been worried that Snyder might not be the guy for the job.  However, the film looks great, and I can't wait to see it.  For a breakdown of the trailer, go here.  For a few more articles about the movie itself, go here and here and here.

One final bit of info:  according to this article, this movie will attempt to make DC feel like an extended universe, like the Marvel movies did.  Particularly, they want to build up Wonder Woman.  Whether that means she'll get her own movie (hope so, see above thoughts on female superhero movies), or just a build up for the Justice League movie, it's interesting.  Here's hoping DC can get their act together and start showing Marvel a bit of competition, because so far it's been almost pathetic.

Dr. Horrible 2

Joss Whedon is a geek god.  He's the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Cabin in the Woods, as well as the writer and director of The Avengers.  One of my favorites that he's produced has to be Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.  It was created on a whim during the writers' strike and stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and geek goddess Felicia Day.  It was a very short film (something like 45 minutes) and was released in 3 parts--divided by its three acts.  I think it's still available on Netflix Instant.  Go watch it now.


Fans have been clamoring for a sequel because the ending is...well...left open.  And after years of waiting and getting teased with "we're all just too busy, but we're working on it in our spare time" and "we've got some songs written, just waiting for the time to be right" we finally got some news on the sequel.  From G4TV:

The other big reveal that Whedon kicked off the panel with was the sequel for the online musical comedy, Dr. Horrible. Finally! Here's what we learned: production for Dr. Horrible 2 will start sometime in the spring, and they've been working on it for the past couple of years. The CW will also air Dr. Horrible in its entirety for its big television premiere! (See, people? You can find success on the Internet and then bring it to the big screen!)
(For those of you Browncoats, click this link to see the entire 10th anniversary Firefly panel if you love awesome things and/or want to see Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion cry.)

Horns

Jesus Flippin' Christ riding a dinosaur, are you serious??  Are you serious???  Yes!

I had recently read John Scalzi's newest novel Redshirts (which is fantastic and you totally need to pick it up).  There was a quote on the cover from an author named Joe Hill.  I kept hearing that name everywhere--especially from Scalzi.  In fact, Hill blurbed a lot of Scalzi's work.  It was clear that Scalzi thought a lot of Joe Hill's work, so I decided to give him a try.  While looking up books by him, I learned he's also Stephen King's son.  Stephen King has had a huge influence on me

This was the push over the edge.  I had to check him out.  So, I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up his novel Horns.   Here's the summary:
Merrin Williams is dead, slaughtered under inexplicable circumstances, leaving her beloved boyfriend Ignatius Perrish as the only suspect. On the first anniversary of Merrin's murder, Ig spends the night drunk and doing awful things. When he wakes the next morning he has a thunderous hangover . . . and horns growing from his temples. Ig possesses a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre gift he intends to use to find the monster who killed his lover. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. Now it's time for revenge . . .
It's time the devil had his due. . . .

Needless to say, the book was fantastic, a taut thrill ride.  However, just like his dad, Hill is really good at characterization. Both of them write more than just plot-driven stories; their characters read like real people.  I fell in love with Merrin and felt my heart break with Ig.

You can imagine my surprise when I saw:



What...what...WHAT???

Now, as excited as I am about this news, I looked up Alexandre Aja to see what movies he's directed.  Mirrors, The Hills Have Eyes remake, and Piranha remake.  I loved this book, and I really want this to be a good adaption, so I will have faith in this film.  I liked Mirrors...okay, and I've heard good things about Piranha--it's a cheesy horror-movie call back to the 80's.

I know that was a lot to read.  If you stuck it out this far, give yourself a gold star.  So, what do you think of the news that funneled out of Sand Diego?  Do any of these projects interest or excite you, or is there anything that happened that I didn't mention that you'd like to talk about?  Is there anything that doesn't excite you, or that I didn't mention that you'd like to complain about?  Let's continue this discussion in the comments.

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* Don't get me started on 3D.  The same effect that's in Alice in Wonderland of the Mad Hatter throwing his top hat at the camera shows up in this movie.  Every damn movie these days has to throw shit at the screen.  All of those people that keep saying 3D is the future clearly don't pay attention to history.  It was around in the 30's, it was around in the 50's, it was around in the 80's, and it's back again.  I really hope it goes away soon.