Film

Will Power Rangers Live Up to Our Expectations?

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer explained the jump in the development of the live-action Power Rangers film from July 22, 2016 to Jan. 13, 2017 which looks promising. Fingers crossed. Looks like Feltheimer wishes to see Lionsgate launch multiple films for the Power Rangers franchise.

With a live-action Power Rangers movie that will cost a significantly more money to produce, it makes sense for Lionsgate to start banking on brand awareness to a certain extent, to mitigate the pressure to produce an exceptional product. Now the question lies… Just how popular are the Power Rangers these days?  Unless the film is something radical, there is a huge wall that the Power Rangers film will face.

19WtJgDConcept Art

Advertisements
Film

Love Is A Crazy Thing

From the looks of it, Jared Leto was on the set of Suicide Squad this evening, giving us another look as The Joker. I guess with all the rumors of Batman being a cameo in the movie may be true then.

I thank the person taking snaps even if it was far away from the set, because you can still make out The Joker and Harley Quinn. It’s kind of hard to miss the luminous green hair. From what it looks like, it seems like they’re arguing. Okay okay, there’s a purple Lambo there which I am most certainly disturbed by. Its tacky even for the King of Jokes himself. Let us know what your thoughts are so far.

CFQaMIHUMAA28LfPhoto Credit: Marianne Dimain (@MDimainGlobal)

11295544_842830179099702_300740563938900442_nUPDATE: Joker does indeed have tattoos.

tumblr_nokjgeO7Os1t0375do2_1280

Film

Sneak Peek of Civil War?

With Age of Ultron setting the records this past weekend, there is already a promo art for Civil War. Now for fans out there, there are some noticeable designs already from Iron Man. Besides, his “Bleeding Edge” design of the armor, his helm design looks like its from the Ultimate series, yet his arc reactor is not the OG round design. Capt. America’s costume doesn’t look too different from Age of Ultron besides removing the red tint from the star on his chest, and adding a bit more on his sides. There also seems to be more bulk around the forearms and shins… but for all intents and purposes, this is pretty much the same costume.

11206872_10204925002948840_6134909644451783396_o

Civil War is also titled, Captain America: Civil War, which makes me wonder if its almost like how Batman v. Superman is where its not a sequel to Winter Soldier but more of an introduction to other characters involved. There are concerns about whether Spidey will be caught in the middle of all of this or will it be revised.

Questions, questions, questions…

Stay tuned for future updates.

Film

Awesome Mix Indeed

Guardians of the mother flippin galaxy!! In Marvel’s newest outing we see the inter-stellar adventures of a gang of galactic good-for-nothings gallantly galavanting against god-like goons. Seems like the best place to find our guardians, doesn’t it? Filled with cosmic action, a potentially rabid small animal, a giant one-phrase spouting tree, romance, an epic dance off and a Sony portable cassette player; Guardians of the Galaxy shows us that friendship nor family is  limited to our race alone.  

Now that I’ve finished with my “professional critic review” there are spoilers to follow, so please read with caution.

The movie begins with heavy sentiment as we follow a young Peter Quill who becomes known as the infamous “Star Lord” (Chris Pratt) in a hospital waiting room to see his mother whom is terminally ill with disease. The movie begins with this tear jerker scene one could assume to let us know, yes this is directed by James Gunn, yes this will be funny, but this will elicit emotions from your heartstrings. Oh yeah, Peter then gets abducted by a huge alien ship, right after his mom passes away after alluding to a greater character in his father, as being a “being made of pure light”. Hmm wonder what that could mean? Alien? Nawww..

The rest of the movie spends its time bringing together the likes of Thanos’ adopted daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and possibly the brightest star of the whole movie; Groot (Vin Diesel). Showing that Joss Whedon isn’t the only one that can contain multiple sorts of identity in one movie without making it feel out of balance, James Gunn unites this cast of personae and melds them wonderfully. This is done without giving too much back-story for any of them, but just enough to keep the movie going and to give the viewer a sense as to why these characters are the way that they are. It’s because the movie doesn’t delve or spend too much time on the back-stories that we can actually appreciate the union of them and go forward throughout the movie to enjoy the plot.

behance-2-poster-posse-gives-us-phase-two-of-guardians-of-the-galaxy-poster-blitz

Speaking of the plot. Thanos rears that epic grape Laffy Taffy chin again in this movie. While not taking the spotlight, just more like a reminder that he is indeed here and he will be a force to be reckoned with. Someday. Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) is the baddie in question for our guardians. Rocking the “Universal Weapon” looking like Mjolnir had a growth spurt, Ronan the Accuser of the Kree race appears to have his lovely mascara drenched eyes set on getting the “orb” which contains one of the lauded after “Infinity Gems”. The whole premise of the movie is the chase after the “orb” which houses the gem. Peters intergalactic adoptive father of sorts, Yondu (Michael Rooker), is gunning (see what I did there?) for the “orb” in the beginning of the movie. When Peter has it in his possession and Ronan is aware, he sends Gamora after him to retrieve it. Yondu, upset that Peter kept it for himself to pickup the reward for it, puts a bounty on Peters head. When Rocket discovers the bounty, he also goes after Peter. And Groot? Well, he is Groot.  After a chaotic chase scene four of our five guardians are captured by the police force of the planet Xandar; The Nova Corps. After being sent to “The Kyln” an intergalactic high security prison, we meet Drax. The final member of our group. From this point on we see the union of the individuals into the team that we end up falling for. The only qualm that is seen in terms of character development is Ronan. We know he is bad, we know he is genocidal but not much time is spent building the fear or the weight his kind of character should have. He ends up falling into a typical “bad guy archetype”. However, the movie doesn’t have time for this. Just barely over two hours, Guardians job is to establish this team and set the stage for other films rather than focus on this one particular villain.

It should be noted that this movie is loosely based off of the 2008 remake of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic. Formatted more for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as to tie into future movies, while the canon material may differ from what we see in the movie, it is still an amazing picture nonetheless. Two members of the Guardians are missing that were in the 2008 comic but, we will likely see them in a future iteration of this franchise.

Balancing multiple characters and their interactions with each other is not an easy task. Especially while introducing these characters to many people who may have never heard of them outside of the usual Marvel heavy hitters. James Gunn and Nicole Perlman do an amazing job scripting everyone together while still bringing highs and lows of emotion to the film. Many will try to compare this to Marvel’s The Avengers, but really shouldn’t. These two movies exist independently from one another. On the one hand, Avengers took many movies to establish characters and their stories, uniting them in the greatest cinematic team up of our century. The Guardians of the Galaxy was always a team, typically never independent from one another. They are really one entity. Planting various seeds for future Marvel endeavors, Guardians of the Galaxy beautifully balances grief, action and humor together reminding us that ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low, that Marvel can’t take us to.

Film

Maleficent: So Wicked

“Let us tell an old story anew, and see how well you know it.” The narration begins with this simple line to forewarn us of the changes to come. We are told of two rival kingdoms, the world of humans and the Moors. Home to fairies, trolls and wicker men, the Moors is a breathtaking place full of magnificence and wonder. We meet Maleficent as a wide eyed, curious child! She is, seemingly, the protector of the Moors and always ensures their safety. What comes next is the beginning of Maleficent’s realization that the human world is full of treachery and disdain. She begins to darken as her world suddenly changes. Friends become enemies and she takes charge of the Moors. Destined to be a leader, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) ensures her world is now feared by the humans.

hr_Maleficent_42

The story does take a visit back to the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ tale we all know and love as she curses the infant Aurora who is later portrayed by Elle Fanning. Maleficent takes a keen interest in her upbringing, even at one point making a joke that she dislikes children. The audience chuckled. Diavel (Sam Riley) is a surprising addition to the story. Saved by Maleficent from impending death, he now allows her to transform him into any creature including a human. No matter the creature he becomes, he retains some form of his birdlike tendencies. Once Maleficent is on screen, she captivates us all. We await each action and linger on the words she speaks. We have all fallen in love with the “villain!”

Maleficent tells a tumultuous story of heartbreak and revenge. Angelina Jolie delivers a masterful performance as a wronged and vengeful woman. A woman that will make us all remember her for years to come. The pain, torture and hunger for the existence of love is sure to leave many of us feeling that this is something that is just too realistic for words. There is one scene, the one in which her wings are taken, that has seared into my brain and I will not forget it ever. A scene so brutal that your heart breaks as you watch it. Angelina delivers a wicked but comical recreation of Maleficent. Disney has given us a brand new view on the fairytale. Be warned, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Film

X-Men: Days of Future Past: A Superhero Movie Triumph

It’s been 14 years or so since Bryan Singer kicked off the X-Men movie franchise. In the meantime, through several films, we’ve experienced sequels, prequels, sidequels, and requels.  You may be a rabid comic-book collector or a casual fan of mutant mayhem, but that’s a lot to wrap your skull around. Singer’s return in the pop fantasia X-Men: Days of Future Past is so triumphant because of how effortless he makes connecting the dots seem. It’s an epic that couldn’t be more Byzantine on paper but scans with ease on screen.

Image

Ever since Singer left the fold after 2003’s excellent X2 to direct Superman Returns, things have been more or less a hit-and-miss. Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand was a dud, and both Wolverine spin-offs, despite Hugh Jackman’s gruff, mutton-chopped charisma, were underwhelming. Only Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class duplicated Singer’s cocktail of gravitas and merry-prankster fun. First Class introduced new actors in familiar roles, namely James McAvoy as the young Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr (aka. Magneto), and the fizzy dynamic between these characters felt so fresh and emotionally resonant that it seemed inevitable the audience would demand to see the powerhouse actors in those roles again.

Not surprisingly, the best thing about Days of Future Past is that it’s heavier on the days past than future. In that sense, it’s a lot like 1994’s Star Trek: Generations, where even the most fervent fans of the USS Enterprise were waiting for William Shatner’s Kirk to bite the dust and pass the phaser to the Next Gen posse. In Singer’s new film, one of the key themes is traveling back in time to change the course of the present. It’s a movie about violating the Prime Directive. The nerdy irony is that it’s Picard himself, Patrick Stewart, whose Xavier is most gung-ho about rewriting history.

The film opens in a bleak future that finds the mutants and their human sympathizers cordoned off in an eerily glowing Central Park detention camp. The mutants who have managed to survive a xenophobic government (and their numbers are rapidly dwindling) are on the run from the Sentinels, a robot race of exterminators gunning to wipe out the freaks for good. Stewart’s Xavier and his longtime frenemy Magneto (Ian McKellen) have sought refuge at a Chinese monastery where several other mutants are hiding out. Cue Blink, Sunspot, and Iceman (but don’t get too attached; they mostly pop up during the film’s Sentinel-fueled bookends). There’s also Ellen Page‘s Kitty Pryde. Thanks to her ability to transport a person’s consciousness through time, she helps execute Xavier’s scheme to time shift Wolverine back to the pivotal moment in 1973 when Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique assassinated the Sentinels’ mastermind, Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).

I know all of this sounds like a tangled thicket of cosmically Big Ideas. But Simon Kinberg‘s marvelous script makes it all move with a Swiss jeweler’s precision and hum with internal logic. It’s complex without being confusing. The film takes on a giddy time-warp thrill as Wolverine attempts to persuade the reluctant Xavier and Lehnsherr to team up for the common good — no easy feat, considering Magneto is in a high-security prison cell. So Wolverine enlists a new mutant to the celluloid series, Evan Peters‘ Quicksilver, whose brief turn as the ultimate jailbreaker is the highlight of the film. It’s also proof that Singer really gets what makes these movies such smart — and smart-ass — fun.

The central conflict in Days of Future Past is between the young Xavier and Lehnsherr. Can they trust each other? Who has the stronger hold on Mystique? And once again, McAvoy and Fassbender prove that just because a movie is huge doesn’t mean you have to ham it up — that it’s possible to make a superhero flick feel as intimate as a piece of theater. I do wish that Dinklage’s Trask had more layers to his villainy and Lawrence had more to do. But these are minor complaints. The main one for fans of the comics, I think, will be that with so much ground to cover, certain mutants get shortchanged. But Singer did pull together an ambitious, suspenseful screen chapter that secures a future for the franchise while facilitating continued reinvention. Plus, there’s always the next sequel.