21
Jun
2012

At long last, a trailer has been released for Dredd, the upcoming Judge Dredd movie. While it isn’t anywhere as bad as the 1990s movie, there are still some issues.

First off, I can already say to those out there who are saying this looks like a ripoff of The Raid, you need to look into when this movie started production as well as the early Judge Dredd stories.  While this exact story isn’t taken from the books, the concept of Block Wars and sieges on blocks dates way back to the beginning of the character.

With that out of the way, Judge Dredd has featured wacky cosmetic narcotics many times through out its history, so the idea of Slo-Mo fits in perfectly with the story.  As for the siege on a block judging from the sparseness of the CGI version of Mega City One and some other shots, this may have been the best idea for the movie.  There was no huge budget in play here, so the idea of trying to do something like the Angel Family storyline, the Sov War or, the most expensive of them all, Judge Death, was just not in the cards.  Doing something based entirely in a Mega City One city block makes a ton of sense financially.

All that being said … it already feels a lot more like Dredd than anything that had to do with the Stallone film.  Count me in.

20
Jun
2012

At the rate trailers are coming out for The Dark Knight Rises, there won’t be anyone on the planet who doesn’t know this movie is coming.

It’s interesting to see how a movie as high profile as the third Christopher Nolan Batman film is being marketed when most people would tend to agree it doesn’t need it.  You see other movies with shoddy marketing campaigns (cough John Carter cough) that  could have used a much more robust advertising campaign, and then you see a film you imagine is already on most people’s radar and a studio such as Warner Brothers just keeps throwing money at it.

In this particular case the phone manufacturer Nokia got exclusivity on this trailer, and one would have to imagine that ties into the company’s upcoming Dark Knight Rises edition phone.

Whatever the case may be, yay for new footage, but one has to wonder how much more money will be spent on this movie just to get people in the theater.

19
Jun
2012

Kick-Ass posterKick-Ass 2 definitely appears to be happening as Kick-Ass himself says things are a go.

Speaking with Collider, Aaron Johnson was doing press for the upcoming movies Savages, but of course the discussion ended up turning towards the anticipated sequel to the cult classic.

It’s pretty much set to go, this Fall. I think now Chloe [Grace Moretz] and Chris [Mintz-Plasse] are on board. I’m certainly set up to do it. Jeff Wadlow is to direct. Yeah, I think it’s going to happen.

Johnson stated that he has already seen the script, and promised that the film would keep the same level of brutality.

Oh, yeah! It keeps the standard, from the first film.

Considering that the first film didn’t do that well at the box office, it did still turn a bit of a profit.  However, the demand for a follow-up film surprises even its star.

Yeah, and I think that’s why Matthew Vaughn has got his name all over this one, as well. The only way he was ever going to make a sequel was if it could be anywhere close to the first one, and keep that class and that quality, and just maintain something original and new and refreshing. And this script delivers all of that, right now. I’m excited to get back in the suit.

Count me among those excited to see another outing.

[via Collider]

9
Jun
2012

Dredd logo

It looks as though fans of the Judge Dredd comic character may be about to get the wrong end of the deal once again.

As if the 1995 Stallone film didn’t mentally scar long time Judge Dredd fans badly enough, a new image released yesterday was enough to make me shake my head and start mumbling to myself.

Joblo (in case you couldn’t tell from the annoying watermarks the site put on the images … I love it when sites watermark images like this) got a hold of two new images along with the first teaser poster.  While there was nothing that interesting in the photos, it’s what wasn’t there that was disheartening.

Dredd Mega-City One teaser - small

The image above shows what you assume to be Judge Dredd walking out a Justice Department hanger to go on patrol.  In the background you see the skyline of Mega-City One and some pickup trucks other Judges are standing around.  Now, lets compare this to a comic book shot of Mega-City One and vehicles.

Mega-City One - small

Mega-City One has always been depicted as a sprawling city with impossibly tall buildings that are crammed up tightly against one another. The majority of the populace resides in “Blocks,” which are gigantic skyscrapers that people can go their entire lives without ever leaving. Occasionally Block Wars will break out that will see one block declare war on a neighboring block and as they are so tightly built together you can shoot hand guns from one block to another.  Looking at the picture above, that is far from the case.

As for the vehicles, while wheeled vehicles do exist in the world of Dredd, nothing has ever looked like a beat-up Toyata you picked up on a used car lot and it came with a complimentary toaster.

While I don’t like movies relying too heavily on CGI, you would expect it from a film such as this.  Yes, it had a $40 million dollar budget, but I have seen some pretty amazing things done on far smaller budgets.

These are both faily minor things, but it does cause some worry.  If they can’t get simple things like the skyline and the vehicles right, what else have they gotten wrong?

Hopefully I’m wrong and there’s more to this, but that sure isn’t an encouraging sample.

Dredd teaser poster - small

[via Joblo]

7
Jun
2012

The CW has released an extended trailer for Arrow, its upcoming series based on Green Arrow. Hidden deep in the trailer is an image that is causing comic geek brains to explode today.

At the three minute and 23 second mark, the following image flashes rapidly on the screen.

Deathstroke in Arrow

This mask looks suspiciously like that of Slade Wilson, also known as Deathstroke – the Terminator in DC Comics lore.

DeathstrokeIntroduced in the 1980’s in The New Teen Titans, Deathrtroke is a one-eyed, older gentleman who also happens to be one of the most deadly assassins/mercenaries in the world.  While he has primarily been associated with the Titans, even showing up in the Teen Titans cartoon series, he has wandered around the DC Universe a bit.

I’ve never really heard of him being that mixed up with Green Arrow, but it’s obvious this series is going to be departing from the comic quite a bit anyway. If he is to be featured in the show, and is handled right, TV viewers will love him.

Much to my surprise, I have to say this show is looking better and better to me. I’m going to have to at least give it a try when it hits this fall. And if that is Deathstroke being set up as the villain (seriously, who else could it be with that mask?), then I am very much into this idea.

5
Jun
2012

Justice League

From the “I’m not surprised in the least” file, Warner Brothers has picked up a screenwriter to work on a Justice League film.

According to Variety, Warner Brothers has signed Gangster Squad scribe Will Beall to start work on a Justice League project.  For those of you unfamiliar with the name, think of it as the Avengers for the DC Comics universe, with just about every character in the universe having rotated through it at one time or another, but the original members, however, were Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter.

Beall has become the go-to guy for Warner Brothers as he’s also working on a reboot of Lethal Weapon and Logan’s Run.  If he has the chops for a comic film remains to be seen.

While it isn’t surprising in the least that Warner Brothers wants to jump on to this bandwagon as the Marvel film is now north of $1.3 billion.  The problem is that Marvel took its time to build up to its team film with five solo films.  It’s clear that the Christopher Nolan Batman films won’t fit in with a team film, but there is some chance that next year’s new Superman film, Man of Steel, could be a launching point.

This is where Warner Brothers needs to do some analysis and realize that what Marvel did was build a shared cinematic universe, showed some patience and played a long game.  If Warner Brothers is looking for a script for the team film now, it says to me they are going right for the desert and skipping the salad and dinner.  A team film without the build up like which happened with Marvel will lead to a whole lot of the film being spent on explaining the characters, why they would work together and so forth.

We’ll see what happens, but as it stands right now, it sounds to me like Warner Brothers may be setting up for yet another cinematic failure.

[via Variety]

2
Jun
2012

Alan ScottDC revealed this week that its iconic character that would come out as gay was Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.

Introduced in 1940 in All-American Comics, Alan Scott was a railroad worker who came into possession of an ancient magical green lantern that empowered him the ability to use a ring to fight evil.  The ring did have one weakness in that it couldn’t be used against anything made of wood, but otherwise it was all powerful.

Mind you this character was not of the same breed of Green Lantern as Hal Jordan who was introduced in 1959, and the larger canvas of the Green Lantern Corps that came along later.

DC Comics later went on to explain away issues such as this by saying there was a multi-verse of Earths, each with its own set of heroes.  While Hal Jordan and his ilk were from the Earth-1 universe, Alan Scott, the Justice Society of America and some versions of Superman & Wonder Woman were actually from Earth-2.

In order to clean up this giant mess of continuity, DC launched a 12-issue series in 1985 called Crisis on Infinite Earths that erased all of the other timelines except Earth-1 and merged them all together.  All was well in the land of DC.

Flash forward to 2011, and DC decides to relaunch its entire comic book line in an event called The New 52.  As the name would imply, 52 titles were either reset to issue #1, or whole new titles were created.  Some characters totally eliminated their histories, while others kept parts of it.  To explain how characters such as Alan Scott fit in, the company decided, you guessed it, to bring back the concept of Earth-2.  A new title totally devoted to the exploits of this parallel Earth has just launched, and that is where we arrive at this news about Alan Scott being gay.

As all of Earth-2 is being rebooted, gone is Alan Scott’s marriage to his enemy, The Harlequin, and his subsequent two children that resulted from that marriage.  At another point in time he had fraternal twins with another enemy of his, Thorn – apparently he had a thing for the bad girls – Jade and Obsidian.  Each had their own powers, and Obsidian was gay.

Apparently James Robinson, the writer for the Earth-2 title, decided since Alan Scott was going to be young again, and that meant erasing Obsidian from existence, it only made sense to make Alan Scott gay.  He promises that no other aspects of the character have changed.

When I did my rundown of who the gay character might be, I latched on to the “Iconic” portion of the hints, and ran through all of the big names that people are most familiar with.  I eliminated Hal Jordan as a possibility, and said of the other Green Lanterns:

Green Lantern (Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner or John Stewart) – Would be viewed as a cop out.  ”You made Green Lantern gay!”  ”Well, not really …”

Alan Scott by Alex RossWhile I didn’t mention Alan Scott by name, the same thought applies. All one needs to do is simply look around the Internet at the various news stories that all seem to be running with the headline, “Green Lantern is Gay!” and quite a few of them are mistakenly running pictures of Hal Jordan. E! Online even went with the headline, “Green Lantern Now Gay—Will This End Ryan Reynolds’ Franchise??”. (It should be ended, but for a whole host of other reasons …) While the publication explained why it should have no impact in the fourth paragraph, by then most people with only a mild curiosity will have stopped reading.

Let me make something very clear here: I have zero issues with a comic character being gay.  What I have an issue with here is this is a total cop out.  DC Comics gets to say “Green Lantern is gay!”, and then they can pull back and go, “But, it isn’t the one you actually care about!”  (No offense to fans of Alan Scott)  DC has gotten a ton of press out of this, but with no ramifications.  If this was done to serve the story, fine, no problem, but don’t make a huge media push out of it.  If you were trying to be bold and make a statement, then be bold and make a statement and make it a frontline character.

The Chicago Tribune had one of the best headlines for summing up the issue I’m describing, “Green Lantern outed as gay superhero – sort of.”  Need I really say more?

So, no, I am not upset Alan Scott is gay; I couldn’t care less if I tried.  What I am upset about is how DC Comics played this.  I feel this was a very calculated and manipulative move on its part, and I, for one, would be truly surprised if it does anything to serve the story it is trying to tell.  It was a miscalculated publicity stunt that everyone will forget by next week, Alan Scott will fade back into being a character only die-hard comic book fans know anything about, and this will all be resurrected again as there is some confusion should there ever be a Green Lantern 2.  Will people be as cautious to delineate the differences then?

I like you DC, but I would have liked you even more had you just gone ahead and made it a first string character and not played these silly games.

27
May
2012

Firepower comicIron Man 3 has begun production in North Carolina, and now we have a better idea of who he will be fighting this time around.

Coming off the success of The Avengers, Iron Man 3 is already filming, and while there have been reports of Ben Kingsley is playing an unnamed enemy that specializes in nano-technology, there seems there will be some brute force as well.

Ashley Hamilton has been cast as Jack Taggert, who is better known as Firepower in Iron Man lore.  Beyond the silly name, as you can see from the picture to the right, it’s fitting.

What concerns me is that supposedly James Badge Dale has been cast as Eric Savin, also known as Coldblood.

As tend to happens with comic book movies, the studios seem to think the higher the film number, the higher the villain count needs to be.  Hopefully some of these villains will not be featured players but more like one off, quick fight situations.

Jon Favreau isn’t directing this time around, but he will appear as Tony Stark’s driver, Happy Hogan. Here’s hoping he might at least speak up and say, “Do you really need these many people to fight?”

(I’m not holding my breath for him to do that.)

26
May
2012

Just in case you were unaware of it, The Dark Knight Rises comes out on July 20.  Of course, the way the Warner Brothers marketing department is ratcheting up its push, it’s doubtful you’ll be unaware for long.

I understand that a lot of movies do need to advertise to draw in viewers, but there are some event movies that you have to wonder why anyone bothers.  Christopher Nolan’s last outing in the Batman universe, The Dark Knight Rises, is one of those films that does leave me scratching my head a bit when it comes to marketing.

We’re almost a two full months out from the film, and already we’re getting TV spots showing up everywhere.    You could probably start running ads the week before release and be good, but instead its still the old system of spending a $100 million or more on a tentpole release.  And people wonder why films have such a hard time hitting profitability.

Either way, enjoy the new TV spots and the ton of posters and banners after the jump.

TV spot #1

TV spot #2

Continue Reading ->

22
May
2012

DC rainbow logo

DC Comics has announced that an iconic character will soon be coming out as gay.

Co-publisher Dan DiDio of DC Comics was speaking at the Kapow Comic Convention in London on Sunday according to Bleeding Cool where he revealed that a character would be coming out as gay.  There has been soem debate if it is a character currently present in the recently relaunched DC universe (also known as “52”), or if it is someone that has not yet appeared, but ABC News seems to have clarified that a bit.  The news source followed up on this with Courtney Simmons, DC Entertainment’s senior vice president of publicity, and learned “One of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June.”  So, there you have it, it is someone iconic, and all of the big ones are currently in titles.

So, who could it be?  What DC character we previously thought was heterosexual will come out as gay?  I’ve run down all of the male iconic characters with my thoughts on each as to why or why not.

Iconic DC Characters

Superman – No way, no how.  With the Man of Steel movie on the way, and his status as being for “truth, justice and the American way,” Superman is about as American as apple pie (in spite of renouncing his citizenship).  There is no way DC is going to touch this flagship character.

Batman – As with Superman, he has a major movie about to hit theaters with The Dark Knight Rises.  There is also the issue that DC has had to fight off speculation of Batman being gay ever since the 1954 publication of the reprehensible Seduction of the Innocent.  Anytime it has been mentioned in the past, people immediately leap to pointing out he lives with Robin and Alfred.  There is just no way they will open this can of worms.

Robin – The current Robin is actually Bruce Wayne’s son with Talia al Ghul, Damian Wayne.  He has a troubled past and is currently around 10-years-old.  They could, in theory go with him coming out as gay as it would not cause any “Batman and Robin are lovers” questions, and also his dating would not have to be dealt with due to his age.  This is a definite possibility.

Aquaman – DC is currently trying to make him edgier and more likable.  That almost entirely eliminates him from the running along with the fact he is married to Mera.

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) – Hal has always had a reputation as a ladies man, especially in his relationship with Carol Ferris.  Seems unlikely.

Green Lantern (Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner or John Stewart) – Would be viewed as a cop out.  “You made Green Lantern gay!”  “Well, not really …”

Martian Manhunter – While a founding member of the Justice League of America, he is a Martian and it is doubtful anyone would care.

Green Arrow – With his TV show Arrow about to start up, he seems unlikely.  Additionally, a lot of his history is built around his romance with Black Canary.

Hawkman – It totally depends on if DC is running with the Carter Hall or Katar Hol version of the story which they have yet to make clear.  If it’s Carter Hall, then absolutely no way as he is a cursed Egyptian who keeps getting reincarnated with his female love.  If it’s Katar Hol, he is from Thangar and is an alien.  Any way you slice it, I just don’t see it being Hawkman.

Flash – In the current 52 continuity, Barry Allen never married Iris, and is only in a dating relationship with another character.  Of all the longtime characters, the Flash is my current pick for coming out as he is iconic, but not one of the frontline characters.  He is also the most easily pushed aside should this backfire on DC.  (I’ve lost count of the number of times Barry Allen has been killed, so don’t put it past DC to just change things.)

Iconic, but Secondary, DC Characters

Alfred – Batman’s butler seems like a safe choice, and like Damian, due to his age dating wouldn’t be a huge issue.

Jimmy Olson – Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olson.  He has had his own comic series back in the day, and he is a fairly well-known figure.  This is a slight possibility.

Who is the Gay DC Comics Character?

Essentially I’m down to two choices due to I don’t think that DC will go the route of Alfred or Jimmy,  Robin and Flash.  Robin has a lot of pros to him due to his age, but at the same time they can act as cons, so, I’m going with … The Flash.

52 Flash

  • He’s iconic enough.
  • Doesn’t have a movie or TV show on the line.
  • Can easily be changed due to time travel issues.
  • Doesn’t mess with the big named characters

I honestly think he’s the only logical choice, but I guess we’ll find out for sure next month.

As for if I think this is a good idea … that too will depend on what we find out next month.

UPDATED: It’s Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.  That’s stretching the “iconic” term a bit.

11
May
2012

Arrow - the CWIn a not so surprising move, The CW announced today that it is taking Arrow to series.

It was announced back in January that The CW was ordering up a pilot entitled Arrow which would be based on the Green Arrow from DC Comics.  Not too long after that a casting sheet leaked out that pretty much convinced me that once again the network was going to mess this up just as it had with Smallville.

Well, never fear, it was announced today that The CW has ordered the pilot to series according to TV Line, so now we can all enjoy in the pain.  At the same time the network also picked up it’s re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast as well as the Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries, so apparently the network just wants to annoy as many fan bases as possible in one season.

Seeing as The CW canceled The Secret Circle and Ringer today, but renewed Nikita, it looks like you can expect these new shows to air sometime between Monday and Thursday as Friday is full and it doesn’t run original content on the weekends.

A lot of shows have been canceled and renwed in the past couple days, so you may want to take a look at the constantly updating Which TV Shows are Canceled and Renewed for 2012/2013 post again.

[via TV Line]

9
May
2012

Kick-Ass posterUniversal looks set to announce it’s moving ahead on Kick-Ass 2, and filming may kick off as soon as August.

According to sources speaking with Deadline, Universal has picked up the rights to Kick-Ass from Lionsgate and plans to move full-speed ahead on a sequel to the cult hit.  New deals will need to be struck with the characters who played the three surviving characters: Aaron Johnson (Dave/Kick-Ass), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Chris/Red Mist) and Chloe Moretz (Mindy/Hit-Girl).  It will be Moretz that may pose the most issues as she has aged quite a bit since the original and has become quite the in-demand actress since the original film.  (Mainly because she stole the film.)

Matthew Vaughn who directed the original is committed to the X-Men: First Class sequel, so he would be unavailable when it came time to film.  He, however, has supposedly given his blessing to new director Jeff Wadlow who has also penned the script.

The original film was made for $30 million and grossed $48 million domestic and $48 million foreign for a $96 million worldwide gross.  While it didn’t make a huge return on its theatrical run, it has gone on to do well on home video and build up a cult following.  In a lot of cases such as this, the sequel will perform better than original as people who got acquainted with the original via home viewings wil go out to see the follow-up.  Will it be a giant hit?  Nope.  Will I be thrilled to get a sequel?  While I loved the original, it had its issues (I still can’t get over that jet pack), but I would gladly plopped down my money for another outing with Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl.

[via Deadline]