Who Said DC Doesn’t Have a Plan?

You asked for it and you got it. DC Comics and Warner Bros announced their film plans for the next six years. So unless the Earth trips over its axis and goes hurtling out into space, we are well set on superhero movies for the foreseeable future.

Yay!

As I mentioned in my two previous posts, Marvel appears to be full steam ahead with Civil War. Then at some point Thanos will show up so that Captain America and Iron Man will stop fighting one another, bro-hug it out, and save the universe.

Avengers assemble!

Anyhoo. Some of the DC films on the list come as no surprize. We’ve known about Dwayne Johnson playing Black Adam in Shazam, but now we have a date: April 5, 2019. That’s what, thirty months away? What about leap year? Now I’m confused.

We also knew that David Ayer (Fury) will direct Suicide Squad. I am intrigued by this film. This could be a modern day Dirty Dozen. Word on the street is that they are looking at A-list talent to fill the roles, so that counts me out. Maybe if Guillermo del Toro ever gets Justice League Dark off the ground… It would have been so weird to have JL Dark before Justice League proper.

Weird, but very cool.

The best news may be that Wonder Woman is getting a solo film a few months prior to Justice League. Yay! I had thought that DC/WB were going to have Darkseid be the Big Bad in Justice League and somehow tie it in to the backstory of the Amazons. Maybe Darkseid and the New Gods attacked Earth many millenia ago and were defeated by Zeus and the Greek gods, and now they have returned. I guess that’s why I’m writing a blog and they are making fat wads of cash.

It was no major shock when we found out that Jason Momoa would be Aquaman, but who knew he would get a solo film? That brings us to the Flash. The new series is brilliant; all two episodes aired up to this point, but there is no crossover between TV and movies in the DC universe. Thank God. The biggest shock, to me anyway, was when it was announced that Ezra Miller would be portraying the Scarlet Speedster. Squee! I loved him as Patrick in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is one of my favorite films of the past ten years. What we don’t know is which version of the Flash he will be.

That brings us to 2020 which gives us a Cyborg solo film, and the long awaited Green Lantern movie. Wait… What did you say? The Green Lantern film is a reboot? How can it be a reboot? There was a previous GL movie? Funny, I don’t seem to recall it.

It’s like Gone with the Wind, but with Superheroes

Welcome to part two. You were warned.

A major part of the rumor about the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Civil War is that Robert Downey Jr. will have a significant role in the third Captain America movie, which may or may not be subtitled: “Looking for Bucky, No Not Really,” since Marvel likes to play bait and switch. For the most part I don’t mind, but sometimes…

Oh by the way, I can neither confirm nor deny that I will be playing Alexi Shostakov.

So far, the only 100% Captain America film has been The First Avenger. The Winter Soldier turned out to be about Hydra’s infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D., but to be fair, a Captain America movie is the most logical place for that storyline. Also, it may turn out to be a sort of prelude to Civil War.

Speaking of preludes, the previous Captain America films led more or less right into the next installment of Avengers. Or, at least that is how it looks to my untrained eye. In the case of Cap 3/Iron Man 4, (5?)* it will be released in 2016, and Avengers: Whatever Happened to the Big Purple Dude? most likely will arrive in 2018. In between there will be any number of movies including: Ant-Man: Not an Edgar Wright Film, and Doctor Strange: We Finally Cast the Lead!

Some others that could be on the slate are: Thor: Loki’s Not Dead, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Hey Look, it’s Thanos. There is also a small possibility of Captain Marvel: About Damn Time, and Black Panther: No Subtitle.

The questions I have been asking myself are: How many Marvel characters does it take to pull off Civil War? Who will side with Captain America and who will side with Iron Man? What exactly are they fighting about? And, most importantly, how many colons can I fit into one blog post?

Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

In the comics, Tony Stark supported the Superhero Registration Act which, in part, required superheroes to reveal their true identity. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, everyone knows pretty much all there is to know about the Avengers because in The Winter Soldier, Black Widow uploaded all the S.H.I.E.L.D. files to the Internet. It trended and everything.

Another part of the act involved superheroes working as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and collecting a sweet government paycheck. Toss in medical and dental, and I’d be willing to get bitten by a radioactive spider. Totally worth it.

*I threw that in as a joke because some of you out there like to refer to Avengers as “Iron Man 3.” In fact, these two posts were written with my tongue firmly placed in my cheek. It was all just a bit of fun to pass the time. No feelings were hurt in the making of this post.

Wars and Rumors of Wars

If it’s Wednesday, then there is a new rumor about one or more of the various comic book movies, I admit I am late to the party on the one about Marvel Civil War, but I wanted to see if there was any truth to it, or if it was like those stories you hear at work on Monday morning.

The rumor about me playing Vic Sage on Constantine? That one is totally legit.

At the time of writing, there has been there have been no official confirmation nor denial, but a number of reliable sites are going with it–but anyone can be fooled. Whether it’s true or not is beside the point. The point is: Can I take it to illogical extremes?

I think we all know the answer to that.

Since the mid-credits scene in Avengers we have been waiting for an intergalatic smackdown between Thanos and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but that looks like it may be pushed back until Avengers 4: No, We Haven’t Forgotten About Thanos. When DC/Warner Bros. announced that the Justice League movie was a thing, I joked that it would be hilarious if they fought Darkseid before the Avengers got around to Thanos. If the rumors are true, the first Big Bad the JL will face is going to be Brainiac. That still doesn’t mean Darkseid won’t show up before Thanos gets his mitts on the Infinity Stones. Right now, Vegas has the race at 50/50. But those are Terry Benedict’s casinos.

Stay tuned for part two, in which I confuse everyone by trying to figure out how all of this will go down.

U2: A New Frontier

One of the prevailing themes of U2’s lastest album, Songs of Innocence, is defining monents: Finding someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. When a parent dies. Discovering the world is not always a friendly place. Hearing a song that will that changes your life.

U2 have explored these subjects any number of times over the past thirty odd years, yet somehow they have managed to put a different spin on things. With time comes perspective, and with perspective comes learning. At least you hope that you have learned something, otherwise it’s all for nought.

I cannot say if Songs of Innocence represents a defining moment for me. Sometimes you know that nothing will ever be the same again, and sometimes you have to sit and wait for the fallout–good or bad. Only time will tell.

Songs of Innocence does represent a first for me. The first time I listened to it was via MP3. I had planned on waiting for the CD, but things don’t always happen the way I want. I’m not complaining, I’m just trying to wrap my head around it.

Gone Girl v Cool Girl

Spoiler Alert!

For many of us who read Gone Girl before seeing the film, one of the most anticipated parts had to be Amy’s “Cool Girl” monologue/diatribe. It may not be the modern day John Galt’s speech, but what it lacks in verbosity, it more than makes up for in smack talk.

Amy takes aim at women who, in her opinion, act like one of the guys in order to attract a man. According to Amy, these so called “Cool Girls” talk about sports, eat chili dogs, and so on, just for the attention. Her theory being that no woman likes that sort of stuff.

Gender stereotype much?

Amy doesn’t limit herself to attacking women who frequent sports bars; oh no. She also goes after women who claim to be attracted to vegans who love dogs, and comic book loving hipsters.

So you’re saying Fake Geek Girls really do exist.

One has to remember that these are the ramblings of a mad person not unlike, but far more venomous, than Tin Foil Hat Person at the subway station. You know, the one who is always going on about aliens and government conspiracies.

The Illuminati are real, though. Just so you know.

Why can’t some guys get it through their heads that there are women who love Star Trek as much as, if not more so? The last time I checked, there were any number of female characters in science fiction television series and films, but I guess they are just doing it for the attention and/or the paycheck. There are also many female writers, directors and producers; but not enough in my humble opinion.

But I digress.

I have known a few Cool Girls in my life, but not the ones that Amy described. I never would question someone’s authenticity, but then again, I am a weak spined, woman fearing coward.

But that’s another story.

I have known Cool Girls who have been taken advantage of by their boyfriends/husbands simply because they are seen as nothing more than “one of the guys.” Far too often, they let the man off the hook ,”‘Cause he’s a guy, and I’m a cool girl.”

Bringing it all back to me, since that is what this blog is all about, I don’t think I would want to date a “Cool Girl.” Well… not the kind Amy described anyway. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who felt like they couldn’t be themselves around me. Conversely, I wouldn’t want to change my core personality in order to be with someone.

I’ve seen that movie; I know how it ends.

Fincher Hitchcocked the crap out of Gone Girl

If Zodiac was David Fincher’s Vertigo, then Gone Girl would most certainly be his Psycho. The interesting thing is that Zodiac also contains elements of Psycho, obviously, just as Gone Girl has a hint of Vertigo. But that could be me projecting yet again.

If you have ever read any of the novels that Alfred Hitchcock used as a basis for his films, you would notice that in many cases there quite a few differences. Sometimes Hitchcock had a better idea or different approach to the plot, due to the differences between novels and film. The same can be said for Gone Girl, and full credit goes to Gillian Flynn for being able to adapt her work without being to precious about it. There were scenes and characters I would have like to have seen on the screen, but at the end of the day it wasn’t a deal breaker.

In Novel Writing 101, the instructor will bang into your head the phrase, “Show, don’t tell,” but when you go from page to screen, what is implied in a novel must, more often than not, be shown in a movie. Both forms have their cheats and plausibilty gaps that the audience often mislabels as plot holes, but in truth, they are often time savers that require the audience to fill in the gaps.

In a previous post (Film is a Visual Medium) I discussed how Alfred Hitchcock was a very visual director, and the same can be said of David Fincher. Obviously. Since Zodiac, all of Fincher’s films have been made using digital cameras. There is a movement among some filmmakers to save celluloid, and I can understand what they are trying to do. There is something special and tangible about actual film. Plus the fact that there are any number of people whose job it is to process film, not to mention companies who manufacture film, and I’m all about saving jobs.

A lot of filmmakers who use digital cameras manipulate the zeroes and ones in a way to make it look like their movie was shot on film. It’s not until I check the credits or watch the behind the scenes features that I find out what type of camera was used.

My untrained eye noticed very early on that Zodiac was made with digital cameras, and I have picked up on it in all of Fincher’s subsequent films; I have no idea if this is intentional or not. In my opinion, it gives Fincher’s films a dreamlike quality and/or an air of icy cool detachment that I find appealing.

Speaking of icy cool detachment, how perfect was the casting of Rosamund Pike as Amy? Hitchcock couldn’t have done better himself.

Gone Girl

There has been a lot of articles written about Gone Girl over the past week, and I’ve read nearly all of them. Most of the discussion has been centered around whether the various characters were or were not feminists, misogynists, misandrists, misanthropes, psychopaths, sociopaths, or just garden variety assholes. For the most part, I will leave the debate up to the experts, and by experts I mean anyone with access to the Internet.

Gone Girl touched on any number of issues that are worthy of their own novel or film. And since I have nothing better to do, and access to the Internet, I will cover some of them over the course of the next few posts.

But first…

I saw an afternoon screening of Gone Girl because I am old and I cannot stay out very late. Not really, but there were quite a few senior citizens in the theatre and I have no idea if it made me feel older or younger. I do know it made me feel awkward.

My first thought was: “Have any of them read the book?” My second was: “More importantly, have any of them seen a David Fincher film?” I decided this could make for an interesting social experiment.

As with most experiments, the results can be surprizing and/or illuminating. During the sex scenes, the ladies in the row in front of me proceeded to… giggle. I wasn’t expecting that. I don’t know if it was a nervous giggle, or if they were thinking, “That’s not how you you do it.” I’m not sure I want to know the answer, yet part of me wishes I had asked after the movie ended.

It became obvious that they hadn’t read the book, because at one point early on one of them whispered, “He killed her.” If I wasn’t so caught up in the story, I would have liked to just watch them watch the film.