Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

Very Metal “Thor The Dark World” teaser poster drops

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So, when did Thor join Sabaton?  Just wondering.

The second cinematic adventure for the exquisitely coiffured son of Odin will be with us in November, and to whet your proverbial whistle for Tuesday’s teaser trailer, here’s a Marvel-supplied poster of the Norse God bringing his own, oddly-accented brand of thunder and bad assery.

As the first “Thor” outing was probably my favourite of the stand-alone “Phase One” series of Marvel films, I’m truly on board for what the House of Ideas’ cinematic brains trust delivers with this movie, even if I’m going to miss original director Kenneth Branagh’s love of a ‘Dutch’ angle.

Still, most of the other principals are back, Christopher Eccleston is bringing his own brand of Mancunian melancholy to the villain role and it’s being helmed by a regular “Game of Thrones” director (I suspect that there’s rather less scope here, however,  for non-stop pillaging, politicking and the other less salubrious fantasy stuff for which that HBO show is becoming increasingly famed…).

I expect good things…

 

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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

“The Amazing Spider Man” movie review

Much better than "Spider-Man 3".  But then, what isn't?

Much better than “Spider-Man 3”. But then, what isn’t?

I intended to go and see director Marc Webb‘s summer reboot of Marvel’s beloved defender of New York City earlier this year and somehow never got around to it.  Trailers didn’t really amaze me, the advance word was somewhat muted and even the mighty “Empire” magazine were a little cool on it with their three star review – the proverbial drums were beating ‘stay away, stay away!’ to anybody even half-listening.

As it turns out, true believers, The Amazing Spider-Man is perhaps the best adventure for Peter Parker since Sam Raimi‘s peerless, knock-it-out-of-the-park sequel, Spider-Man 2“.  It’s better written than the fairly woeful third movie and has captured more of the charm of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko‘s eternally teenaged shutterbug/wise-cracking vigilante than the Raimi series really managed to – Andrew Garfield is a fantastic Parker and a great Spider-Man.

Something that must be said is that this version does take some fan-baiting, mildly controversial liberties with the established origins of the character – there’s a teasing thread which shows us the hither-to unseen Parker parents, who disappear from the young Peter’s life under the proverbial cloud and the pivotal death of Uncle Ben is rendered slightly differently – but no less effectively – than I remember it from the comics.

In this, the film is greatly assisted by having Martin Sheen in the role.  He’s not in the film for a major amount of time but utterly commands the screen as the great paternal substitute in Peter’s life – there’s a palpable dread running through this section of the film as you know what’s going to happen, know that it has to happen to really set the plot and the titular character’s central struggle in motion but really don’t want Uncle Ben to, you know, go to the big idyllic NYC stoop in the great hereafter.

Kissy-kissy, lovey-dovey Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey.  Doing kisses.

Kissy-kissy, lovey-dovey Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey. Doing kisses.

Where this movie really soars is in the depiction of the Parker/Gwen Stacey relationship.  In hiring Marc Webb, the director of “500 Days of Summer“, a quite distinct signal was being sent to fans ahead of time that there was going to be more focus on and attention paid to the relationship side of this superhero adventure story and that has indeed proven to be the case.  The boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic of Parker and Stacey is really quite charming and performed beautifully by Garfield and Stone – they’re a very convincing on-screen couple.  One, in fact, which you actually don’t mind spending some time with – usually the obligatory, focus-group insisted-upon love story is a cue for me to zone out of most Hollywood pictures, but I really didn’t mind this aspect of the film at all.  It was very well done and made all the more compelling when you know how things are supposed to pan out for this comic book couple.

In fact, weirdly, the stuff that you’re supposed to come to this movie for – the action and set-pieces – are not really as interesting as the dramatic heavy-lifting and acting from the excellent cast.   I’m sure that this wasn’t the intent but, for the most part, the expected spectacular sequences of super heroic derring-do really don’t materialize that often and when they do don’t hold a candle to the equivalent mayhem on display in this summer’s “The Dark Knight Rises” or “The Avengers”.

Perhaps the best moment, in fact, comes right at the end – I won’t spoil it, but it involves C. Thomas Howell and a moment of transcendent,  blue-collar, NYC solidarity for their web-slinging, wise-cracking knight .  You might find it too cheesy if you need more irony from your cinematic spectacle, but I loved the way that the scene in question allowed the city that Spidey will save time and time again to give their champion a much-needed assisting hand during a moment of crisis.

The Lizard isn’t the greatest Spidey villain, for me, but Rhys Ifans does a great job in portraying his alter-ego, Doctor Curt Connors – he’s simply a much more interesting character than the charmless, technically competent but utterly uninteresting monster which he morphs into when an experiment goes wrong.   When the action goes from the refreshingly practical staging which typifies the opening half of the movie to a CG character beat-down a-la every other superhero movie in recent memory, it’s really quite easy to find yourself looking at your watch or checking your phone – the action is weightless and the threat to our hero is non-existent (awesome Stan Lee cameo, though…).

It’s a very promising start to a new trilogy and I’m keen to see if Webb – who is apparently returning to helm the second movie – manages to keep the momentum going that he has established with this first film.  Word has it that Electro might be the bad guy in that movie – wonder if they’ll be keeping the classic costume?

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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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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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Film review: “Chronicle”

“Chronicle” is a divisive movie.  Trust me on this – when we watched this tale of teens with mysteriously acquired superpowers, my wife and I couldn’t have had more different opinions on it.  Spoilers, of a kind, may follow…

Beware those Emo kids at the mall – they’re gonna psychically mess with your shopping cart!

The marvellous Mrs Rolling Eyeballs was, to say the least, less than engaged by the film.  She hated the characters and felt that the story was non-existent.  Whilst I will concur that the story is fairly threadbare and that the protagonists were very much ‘types’ and not exactly boldly drawn, I really quite enjoyed Josh Trank’s debut film and marvelled at what he pulled together on a budget which might cover a single action sequence in “The Avengers”.

Would you trust these boys with super powers?

Starring nobody that you’ve heard of – though lead Dane DeHaan is the spitting image of a young Leonardo DiCaprio – “Chronicle” goes the “Spider-Man“/classic Marvel Comics route in gifting a disparate trio of high school lads with uncanny, telepathy-derived powers and seeing how they use/abuse them for personal gain.

So far, so predictable.  Where “Chronicle” scores best for me is in giving us teenage characters who behave probably as you might do if you found yourself wearing their Converses – rather than flitting around town stopping crime and being upstanding members of the community, these dudes prank unsuspecting mall shoppers and zip into mid-air for a swift kick-about (interrupted rudely by a passenger jet).

For the first part of the film – before things go positively David Fincher – this nerd troika reacts to their good fortune by using it for selfish gain and giggles and things only go south when DeHaan’s put-upon, abused nerd Andrew finds his reliance on his extraordinary gifts taking him to very dark, bully-destroying, patricidal, places indeed.

If you can get past the ‘found footage’ conceit – Andrew videotapes everything, in an effort to document his alcoholic father’s regular beatings – this is a very different take on the coming of age superhero origin story which we see so often.  The action sequences are remarkably effective – the climax being a particularly well-executed example of mass civic mayhem rendered on a budget more akin to Kevin Smith’s films than Un Film De Michael Bay – and give a tantalising hint of what an “X-Men” spin-off might look like if the makers of Channel Four‘s parent-worrying teen drama “Skins” got their mitts on the Fox franchise.

It’s an impressive debut and makes you wonder what director Josh Trank might do with the multiple projects – “Spider-Man” spin-off, “Venom”, the “Fantastic Four” reboot and video game adaptation, “Shadow of the Colossus” – that he’s attached to develop.

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“Iron Man 3” pic – suit up!

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The Avengers did pretty well at the box office this spring.  It’s as popular as Justin Bieber-flavoured dental braces would doubtless be, if some lunatic made them (idea copyrighted and trademarked, people, step away…).

Accordingly, phase two of Marvel’s ongoing “Avengers” project is in motion, with the justifiably emboldened folks at Marvel sharing with us the first proper set picture from “Iron Man 3” – which you can see above.

We’ve already had a few leaks and sneaky shots grabbed from the film’s shoot in North Carolina, which seemed to indicate the presence of Iron Patriot, which might worry those of us who don’t want to see “IM3” conclude with another mano-a-mano battle between dudes in suits.

I mean, I know that the premise of the character implies a certain amount of suit-bound butt-kicking, but it would be nice if splendid film maker and writing icon Shane Black found a smart way to resolve his story without having steel-on-steel fisticuffs saving the day.

We shall doubtless get to see the first teaser trailer for this threequel by the end of 2012, with the film rocking multiplexes and Repulsing box office records down on May 3, 2013…

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