Marvel Phase 3

So… Marvel Studios big announcement today was NOT about Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the role of the Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange. Wow. How did so many websites get that one wrong? Beats me. It’s not like the media to go off half cocked or anything.

What Marvel did announce was exciting, if not expected. The one thing I didn’t expect was that Ant-Man is considered a Phase 2 film, since the Avengers films are usually used to close a chapter. And by “usually” I mean “the one time it happened.”

Another surprise was that Dr. Strange has been moved from July 8, 2016 to November 4, 2016. Why? No idea. Maybe it’s because they haven’t cast the lead yet, or because the actor they are talking to has a another project that conflicts with the filmming schedule. Possibly Sherlock series four?

I like the idea of Benedict Cumberbatch playing Dr. Strange, but a lot of people seem to be against it–a “Cumberbacklash,” if you will. I have seen a number of comments on Twitter that are along the lines of: “He’s a great actor, but does he have to be in everything?” I can see the point, but I still think he is the best choice among those mentioned. The thing about Marvel is that you don’t always know what is going on behind the scenes, and it is possible that the part may go to someone that hasn’t been mentioned.

Marvel has found their Black Panther; Get On Up, and 42 actor, Chadwick Boseman. An excellent choice if I do say so myself. It seemed for a while that T’Challa would play a part in at least one of the films, since the country of Wankanda got a name drop in the first Captain America movie.

Speaking of Cap, the subtitle of the next entry will be: “Civil War,” and not “Serpent Society,” as some had speculated. I, was not one of them.

Speaking of Captains, Captain Marvel will be getting her own film as well. Yay! The casting speculation has been going on for a while, and the favorite seems to be Katie Sackhoff. Yes please. That being said, Marvel has an excellent track record so far, and I am sure they will make the right choice.

The Inhumans movie is also on the slate. That is another one that the fans have wanted to see for a while. In other news, Thor 3 is subtitled: “Ragnarok,” and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will hit theatres on May 5, 2017.

Anything else?

Oh yeah. Avengers: Infinty War will be two films. There was a rumor that this would be the case, but some pundits dismissed it on a purely semantic basis. Their thinking being that since “Avengers 3″ was not an actual book, as with case of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Mockingjay, Breaking Dawn, and Allegient, it could not possibly be “split” into two parts. And some people accuse me of overthinking.

Films, Movies, Television, TV

I don’t consider myself a snob, but I sometimes make a distinction between movies and films. Films are acknowedged classics, or are ones nominated for Academy Awards; movies are summer blockbusters, most comedies, and pretty much everything else. There can be overlap: Jaws, for example, but I think you get my point.

In an ideal world, films would be viewed on a theatre screen or, at the very least, the largest TV your budget will allow. More and more we are watching films on mobile devices, which would have seemed like a cool idea when I was a kid, but now I am not so sure. I wouldn’t want to watch Lawrence of Arabia on a phone, but if that is the only way that you will ever get the chance, I guess it’s better than nothing.

Sometimes when we go to a movie theatre, my friends and I will rate the trailers on a scale from “Must see” to “Nope,” with “Basic cable” somewhere in between. Yes, I have basic cable and no, I am not trolling for pity. It’s better than being one of those hipsters who stream everything and wants the world to know it.

Basic cable does have its limitations; a somewhat limited selection of movies for one. You cannot turn on a TV without running across The Shawshank Redemption or A Few Good Men. Both are excellent films, but how many times can you view them in one lifetime?

Don’t answer that.

Then there are films and movies that become TV series. Some make the transition better than others. For every M*A*S*H, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Fargo, there seems to be an endless supply of ones like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Weird Science, or Bad Teacher. When I heard that The Transporter was being made into a television series, I thought it was a pretty good idea.

Despite being a fan of Jason Statham and Luc Besson, I never saw the Transporter movies in the theatre–I waited for basic cable. They are the sort of movies made for Saturday afternoon viewing; and there is nothing wrong with that.

Film and television are two very different mediums, and a lot of films don’t handle the transition well. Having seen the Tranporter movies on TV, I didn’t worry about the action, I worried about the casting. I like Chris Vance, but can he fill Jason Statham’s suit? Can he handle the fight scenes? As for the fight scenes, the answer is yes. As for the other? Let’s say that Vance made the role of Frank Martin his own. In a way you could say that Statham is Sean Connery to Vance’s Roger Moore, or Pierce Brosnan, if you prefer. I mean that as a compliment.

I thought that Transporter: The Series might be a bit like the TV version of another Luc Besson film–La Femme Nikita–and it kind of is. The film to TV transition Transporter most reminds me of is Highlander. Both series film in various parts of the World, and have added characters to make it feel less like a one person show. Thankfully, Chris Vance isn’t playing the cousin of the character of the character from the movie version of Transporter. Highlander was one of the few shows to make that conceit work.

It took a few episodes, but I am really getting into Transporter–it’s a lot of fun, with greats stunts and fights. I cannot wait to see it on blu-ray.

Can I Get a Mindwipe? ‘Cause My Brain Hurts

A couple of days after watching X-Men: Days of Future past on blu-ray, I had the urge to watch another X-Men film, but I had watched them all last May. Well… Not all of them. There was one left and you know which one I am refering to.

That’s correct, I watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine. God help my soul.

Yes, I do own a copy. But in my defense, it’s on DVD, which I purchased for five bucks at the grocery store. Okay, I probably got hosed, but it contains a history of Wolverine by Stan Lee and Len Wein, which is probably worth a fiver.

It would be far too easy to crap on Wolverine, the hard part is trying to find anything nice to say. The scene where Logan gets injected with adamantium was pretty good. I liked Kayla (Lynn Collins). Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson was cool, but he didn’t have much to do. Taylor Kitsch was great as Gambit. It was nice to see the Blob.

But that’s the thing isn’t it? I have talked about this is pervious posts, so I will hit the highlights: One of the big problems of the X-Men franchise is that the writers seemingly chose the characters at random or at best, like a pick-a-mix at the candy shop. The First Class film was nothing like the one in the comics, because the timeline didn’t fit. Days of Future Past rebooted everything except First Class, but killed off a few characters, including Banshee, Angel, and Emma Frost. Why? I don’t know. Maybe plotwise it was for the best. I hope they don’t regret it down the road.

Even without the reboot, it seems that the filmmakers were willing to retcon Wolverine. In that film Emma Frost was Kayla’s younger sister (!?!) which makes no sense to me. There is a deleted scene in which a young Ororo (Storm) makes it rain. Director Gavin Hood explained that the scene was deleted because it made no sense, since Storm didn’t recognize Logan when he showed up at the mansion in the first X-Men movie. Da fuh!?! Then explain this: one of the kids rescued by Wolverine was a young Cyclops. Yes, his eyes were covered the whole time, but don’t you think he would have asked someone about the person who opened the cages? No one would know his name, except for Professor Xavier, but everyone saw the big dude with the metal claws; how many of them can there be? Then there is the fact that two of the rescued kids were Banshee (First Class) and Quicksilver (Days of Future Past).

And then there was Deadpool. Actually, he was Deadpool in name only. Saying Deadpool was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is like saying the Mandarin was in Iron Man 3.

I’m Not a Fall Guy

I am not a fan of autumn. The short version is it means that winter is on the way. Brrr. I know someone who loves autumn and is always going on and on about how great the weather is, and I look upon them with great pity. This person also is a big fan of Nicolas Sparks, if that tells you anything.

I live in the area refered to as the North Georgia mountains, which is the prime viewing area for fall foliage. All I see are a bunch of dead leaves, but forests and trees and all that. This means that everyone in Metro Atlanta drives up here on weekends and clogs up the highways, so I just sit inside my house and watch football because I ain’t going anywhere and couldn’t get there even if I wanted to. The crazy thing is, these same people who love to look at dead leaves are the first one to complain when they have to rake them.

Spring is my favorite season because it means I can come out of hibernation. Some people try to convince that autumn and spring are not all that different, but I am not that stupid. Seventy-five degrees in spring is warm, while seventy-five degrees in fall is cool. One is T-shirt weather and the other it long sleeve shirt weather. Then again, weather, much like time, is relative. In some places forty degrees is a cold snap, while in others it’s a heat wave.

And then there is having to dress not for how the weather is, but for how it will be. Yeah, it’s cold in the morning, but to you want to walk around all afternoon while holding on to a jacket? Or, do you want to walk around all afternoon with a jacket on your arm because you know you’ll need it that evening? Of course, you could go preppy and tie your sweater around your neck.

Riding a bike in autumn is no walk in the park either. Half of my usual route is in the shade and the other half is in the sunlight, so do matter how I dress, it’s the wrong choice. Either I get hypothermia or I broil in my own juices, and neither option is preferable.

When winter finally shows up there is always some smartass who will say, “Where is that global warming everybody’s always going on about?” These are the same wiseguys who love to ask, “Hot enough for ya?” in the middle of a heatwave.

Over the past couple of years, the term “global warming” seems to have been replaced by “climate change.” Whoever is in charge of these things must have hired the same marketing gurus that thought Edge of Tomorrow should be renamed Live. Die. Repeat. for the blu-ray release. Yes, the latter is a better and far more accurate description of the film, but the fact remains that is was based on a novel called All You Need is Kill, which is a perfectly acceptable title.

As for climate change, I’ve been calling it, “screwed up weather” for a long time now. I think it fits the bill quite nicely.

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.