Tag Archives: Avengers

“Star Wars” – Attack of the production line?

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Honestly, you go away for a couple of days – a work trip, not exactly exciting – and things get all confusing for any self-respecting member of the “Star Wars” generation.  It’s as though you’ve been out of the game for a while and people get delusions of grandeur or something…

The sci-fi franchise’s new overlords, the Walt Disney Company, this week unleashed dark, Sithian portents of wholly predictable corporate malevolence by announcing that films seven, eight and nine in the new trilogy will open two years apart in 2015, 2017 and 2019 , with spin-off movies featuring “Star Wars” characters filling in the gaps between new instalments of the main saga (“Salacious Crumb – Lust for Glory” – make it so).

So, the House of Mouse is borrowing a note or two from the thus-far successful Marvel Studios play book and pitching their comic book movie business against the biggest name in cinematic sci-fi in a playground battle to win all of the marbles in the yard.  Greedy, much?

I confess to be alarmed by the proposed timeline – is two years between movies really a realistic schedule which would allow for quality to be maintained?  It doesn’t seem as though director J.J. Abrams could realistically turn around movies on this scale in that production line fashion – could any director keep to that kind of workload and deliver something which didn’t feel like a product tooled to meet a release date line in the sand?

Is the plan, then, to alternate directors on each Episode? Curiouser and curiouser…

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“Avengers” pixel-semble!

8-Bit nerdery genius Via XStitchMyHeart and The Mary Sue

Avengers-inspired craft geek goodness so awesome that it nearly kicked the butt of Sunday’s “Iron Man 3” SuperBowl trailer.  The creativity and wit of the greater internet nerd community never fails to amaze, does it?

There’s yet more – 8-bit sprite Harry Potter cast for the win, peeps!- at Cross Stitch My Heart’s Etsy shop.

 

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02/05/2013 · 6:54 pm

A Fistful of Princesses?

 

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This shall not stand!

The Gameological Society – go there, read upon their assessment of games, become informed – have summed up one of the year’s defining news stories with a sweet flash game which allows you to make your own “Star Wars” Episode 7 film.

Despite the nerd-o-riffic dream team of Jane Espenson writing, Joss Whedon directing and Nathan Fillion starring, the above screen grab indicates precisely how successful that particularly geeky brains trust would be in rendering a new adventure set in a galaxy far, far away.

Tis a fix, I tells you – a fix!

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“Iron Man 3” Teaser Trailer Teaser Tribulation

Lookit! He’s got a new suit!

We live in strange times – witness the trend towards advanced teasers for film trailers.

Yes, that’s right – an advanced glance at an advance glance of a film which doesn’t arrive for months is the newest way that film companies have dreamt up to keep their products in the popular conversation in this age of blipvert attention spans and social media accelerating our expectations for the newest, fastest stuff now.

Getting in the action are Marvel, who engaged in a Facebook ‘like’ campaign to release stills and a 17-second look at the forthcoming trailer for next spring’s “Iron Man 3”, the first movie from the House of Ideas following this summer’s “Avengers” and it’s blockbuster success.  The full trailer is scheduled to show up on Apple’s site on Tuesday, but if you’re spectacularly impatient (and have a Facebook account) you can find a glimpse here…

 

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Ant Attack!

Wright here, right now…

Permit me, if you will, a prolonged nerdy squee of joy…

Edgar Wright is directing Ant Man and it now has one of those handy release date thingies – November 6, 2015.   It’s a real thing!

As Empire Online‘s story on the matter so accurately observes, this places the film into wave two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the adventures of Dr Hank Pym/Scott Lang/Eric O’ Grady opening but a few short months after Joss Whedon‘s eagerly awaited sequel, “Avengers Part Deux: Funk Odyssey” (title not yet confirmed, fact fans).

The chatter must now begin about who’s going to be in it – crosses fingers, wishes for Nick Frost – and how it all fits into the increasingly bonkers and utterly cosmic MarvelVerse.  Broadly realistic action adventure along the lines of “Iron Man” or go-for-broke comic freak-out with mind-blasting special effects aplenty?

The genius behind “Scott Pilgrim“, “Hot Fuzz“, “Shaun of the Dead” and lovely, lovely “Spaced” getting to play with all the toys in the toy cupboard?  As previously stated in the “Pacific Rim” post at the weekend – Take my money! Now!

Related Malarkey:

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Alternate “Avengers” Awesomeness Amazes?

“And this is the bit where more amazeballs awesomosity is going to go…”

In the spirit of global collaboration and nerd-sharing, it behoves me to direct you towards io9.com, who currently have an alternate opening sequence for “The Avengers” posted on their site.  It’s a really interesting choice and I can absolutely see why it went the way of all flesh – I can’t imagine many fans digging the ‘unreliable narrator‘/alternate perspective direction that this opening implies, intriguing as it might have been…

If I know Marvel (and their dark corporate over-Mice, Walt Disney) this won’t be up for long but you will be able to peruse it at your leisure in a few weeks when Joss Whedon‘s superhero opus is out on DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download and can settle the question once and for all – how did this film and “The Dark Knight Rises” both manage to independently construct endings which pivot on wide-ranging moral choices selflessly enacted by rakish billionaires who moonlight as technologically advanced fighters of crime.

And no, h8t0rz, that doesn’t mean that Hollywood has no ideas.  Just not that many.

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Gunn Guiding “Guardians”?

 

“Guardians of the Galaxy” – the most out-there choice for a Marvel franchise yet?

If there’s one constant in the choices that Marvel has made for their cinematic offerings to date, it’s the bold and unusual choices they’ve made behind the cameras.

Here to make your Marvel movie that bit weirder – James Gunn

Jon Favreau, Louis Leterrier, Kenneth Branagh – to that list of unexpected shot callers now add Marvel Studios’ apparent choice to skipper their “Guardians of the Galaxy” adaptation – James Gunn.  If you’re a fan of the B-movie-and-proud-of-it likes of “Slither” and “Super”, you’ll be both familiar with his work and perhaps also wondering what the jiggins Marvel’s finest saw in those brilliantly demented, defiantly non-mainstream genre pics which assured them that Gunn is the guy to make their next $200 million sci-fi tentpole flick.

An eccentric choice, certainly, but perhaps Gunn’s uniquely bonkers viewpoint is what you need when your main characters include a sentient space plant and a pissed-off, gun-toting racoon.

I don’t know what’s being placed in the coffee over at Marvel Studios, but long may it continue.

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David Cronenberg on “Batman”, Christopher Nolan – handbags at dawn!

 

Oh, internet hive mind – must you be so thin-skinned?

“And Wolverine’s an asshat, too!”

David Cronenberg has been promoting his current rumination on post-economic meltdown NYC, “Cosmopolis“, and managed to upset a great many bloggers, forum trolls and click baiters with his off-hand dismissal of “The Dark Knight Rises“, Christopher Nolan and superhero cinema in general:

“But a superhero movie, by definition, you know, it’s comic book. It’s for kids. It’s adolescent in its core. That has always been its appeal, and I think people who are saying, you know, Dark Knight Rises is, you know, supreme cinema art, I don’t think they know what the f**k they’re talking about.”  

Cart upturned, apples everywhere.  But he’s got a point.  As Danny Bowes’ excellent piece over at the Tor Books blog observes, this isn’t a case of some arthouse know-nothing aesthete critiquing superhero flicks and genre film from a position of arrogance and indifference, it’s one of cinema’s most pre-eminent and skilled navigators of genre convention and subversion making a concise and cogent argument about a significant director and the most lucrative films being made by the major studios today.

I’m a Christopher Nolan fan, and moreover I love his Batman movies, but I wouldn’t make any huge claim for their relevance beyond being entertaining examples of mainstream entertainment with some interesting underpinnings.   That’s why I found some of the forum negativity towards “The Avengers” and Marc Webb‘s “The Amazing Spider-Man” somewhat baffling,  particularly when it was coming from the self-appointed Nolan Defense Force, for whom their blithely unaware leader’s every bodily emission is a sacred text to be studied and treasured.

At the level that Christopher Nolan, Joss Whedon, Marc Webb and co are working – with major studios, on comic book flicks, with £250 million budgets and all the toys that their tent-pole flicks can command – there’s very little chance that their movies are ever going to be allowed to be anything other than entertaining popcorn flicks with most of the rough edges snipped away.  Any opportunity to challenge the assumptions of the audience or make observations about the psyche of the viewer are going to be a very distant second to building a massive thrill ride which gets butts on cinema seats, sells soundtracks on iTunes and gets the truly devoted to buy all the related tie-in products in the eyes of the studio.

Simply put, Cronenberg has always been in a different business to the guys who bet on comic book characters to bring in the bucks and keep their jobs safe.  Whilst it might be nice to imagine what he might do with a character like DC’s John Constantine (astute cinephiles reading this blog will doubtless remember the fine work that Cronenberg turned in with his graphic novel adaptation, “A History of Violence”, so it’s not as if he’s so against the artistic form as a whole), I suspect it’s a safe bet that we won’t see him directing that “Guardians of the Galaxy” flick in our collective lifetime.

And, hey – if you think that Cronenberg’s some highfalutin snob who doesn’t have a sense of humour, get your ocular accentuation receptacles around this compilation of kills from “Jason X” (Reader discretion is advised – contains gore and Jason Voorhees smoking fools).

Yes, that is his Cronenberginess getting a right old smoting at the grisly, undead hands of Camp Crystal Lake‘s brightest son.  It fair brings a tear to my eye, so it does…

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Joss back for more “Avengers”, shiny awesome badassery to ensue…

“And the awesome sauce shall be liberally sprinkled behind me. Make it so, CG elves!”

Is it Summer 2015 yet?

Disney have announced, via one of those highfalutin financial call things, that Joss Whedon will write, direct, act-out motion capture reference material, pen delightful ditties and liberally sprinkle his particular brand of spectacular nerdery over the “Avengers 2: Thanos Boogaloo” sequel.

Apparently, and who would have thought it, earning $1.5 billion at the box office tends to make you popular and beloved with studios, don’t you know?  It couldn’t have happened to a nicer multi-media hypethenate.

Assembled. Any questions?

Whedon’s deal locks him into Disney’s mousy embrace until 2015 and includes input into the much-rumoured Marvel Universe television drama and other Marvel flicks, which I suspect is the kind of vote of confidence that must be nice to have.

So, Thanos and some galaxy-bestriding, cosmic adventuring, budget-smashing shenanigans then?  Sounds lovely.

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“Battleship” box office bomb baffles Berg

In “No shizz, Sherlock” news today comes “Battleship” director Peter Berg‘s assertion that his film flopped so that “The Avengers” could soar at the box office, like Tony Stark carting Hawkeye up to a better vantage point.  Or something.

“The reviews! They burn!”

Citing the unprecedented success of the Marvel Studios superhero epic having a knock-on effect on other would-be summer blockbuster fare in the marketplace, Berg still holds out hope for a sequel based on decent international business – the film’s US performance makes for less hopeful reading to anybody but the terminally optimistic.

Well, you can’t argue against a US box office take of $600 million but to cite “The Avengers” as the sole reason for your film under-performing is to ignore the rather more accurate idea that “Battleship” is so asinine, noisy and dim-witted that it makes your average Joel Schumacher/Rob Cohen/Michael Bay popcorn flick look like a Ken Loach film and reduces the IQ of anybody unlucky enough to be exposed to it for more than two minutes.

I like stupid, undemanding, glitzy genre crap – see my Resident Evil/“Underworld” fandom for ample evidence of that – and even I couldn’t drag myself to a cineplex to behold the spectacle of Rihanna pretending to be a naval officer and various aliens mocking our Earth Physics in the name of entertainment.

Once it comes to DVD and Blu-Ray, I might give the film a go but I don’t expect it to be anything more than shrill and silly, uber-patriotic fluff.  Weirdly, Peter Berg seems to believe that he’s made an important film.  One of us is right, and I don’t think that it’s him…

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