Monthly Archives: July 2013

Godzilla 2: Destroy All Monsters remake?

While principal photography for Godzilla ended just a couple of days prior to Comic-con on July 20th director Garret Edwards is already speculating what he would like to do with a remake.

Discussing a potential sequel to his upcoming “Godzilla” reboot, director Gareth Edwards stated, “With the exception of the 1954 original, I would say my second favorite film is Destroy All Monsters. I just love the idea of a monster island. Having a world with these creatures in it. I find that fascinating and would like to treat that realistically. I wouldn’t want to limit it to one other foe, I think it’s more fun to – this question will come back to haunt me if we ever do a sequel – but I think multiple creatures make better movies in terms of the image of Gojira.”

“Destroy All Monsters” was a 1968 Japanese kaiju film featured an all-star cast of monsters from many of Toho’s previous monster films including Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Minilla, Mothra, Rodan, Gorosaurus, Anguirus, Kumonga, Manda, Baragon, and Varan.

Read more at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/movienewsandreviews/news/?a=84202#J4ozV10MEkd5IYq2.99

Personally, I wouldn’t mind a sequel that had numerous monsters…I think this is trying to be Marvel’s Avengers for the monster movie genre. However, I do have some concerns. First of all, Edwards is giving his reboot of the Godzilla franchise a very serious tone, trying to recapture the verisimilitude of the 1954 original. The problem with a remake of Destroy All Monsters is that by 1968 the tone of the Godzilla films had changed considerably. Godzilla was evolving into a hero of types where he helped save the world and was no longer this nuclear created force of nature. destroy All Monsters also included a plot where alien invaders were going to take over the world. While I like those elements they do seem to clash with the serious tone of this reboot. This sounds more like it would fit into the tone which Pacific Rim has established.

Another point is that Toho already did a remake, of sorts, to Destroy All Monsters. That movie was the 2004 50th anniversary movie: Godzilla Final Wars. That is a film that is despised among the majority of the fan base (this writer being the exception) and I really have to wonder would Toho want to risk another remake of that plot so soon? Who knows, Maybe Edwards would leave out the alien aspect of the movie?

While I am open to a Destroy All Monsters remake, my preference would be to see another movie where Godzilla is the main monster where he battles another foe. With Legendary Pictures ending its partnership with Warner Brothers Studios and starting a new Partnership with Universal Studios, who owns the rights to King Kong, I would much rather see a remake of King Kong vs Godzilla!

Ah, but we are getting ahead of ourselves aren’t we? Godzilla will be in theaters on May 16, 2014 and hopefully it will do well enough to garner a sequel. Let us hope that it does better than Pacific Rim! A wonderful giant monster movie that is being praised by many critics but is doing poorly at the box office. With a production budget of $190 million it has taken in only $76,486,104 domestically so far. I am hopeful Godzilla will do better for he is such a more well-known character and I am sure he will pull in the larger audience.

Why Batman?

As I mentioned on this blog the sequel to the Man of Steel movie will be one that includes Batman in the film. I am slightly disappointed because I would like to see another solo Superman movie before they team him up with someone. Since Batman is my second favorite superhero I will not complain too loudly. WB studios was going to release a Justice League movie in 2015 but instead are doing the Superman/Batman movie in 2015 and pushing the JL movie to 2017.

I have to wonder why WB made this move? Is it because Man of Steel has not done as well as expected at the box office? As I type this on a grey cloudy Sunday afternoon Man of Steel has “only” made $286,818,000 on a $250 million dollar budget. That is not a lot of profit. The Man of Steel has pulled in  $350,000,000 in the foreign market for a grand total of $636,818,000. That is pretty good money and it is enough money to secure a sequel.

However, the money is not as good as The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Returns which had a domestic totals in the $400 million plus at this time respectively. So I speculate and wonder is WB bringing back Batman to bolster Superman’s poor boxoffice performanbce? Has Batman eclipsed Superman as one of the favorite all time superheros in the consciousness of America? I do have to wonder.

I have the documentary “Look, Up in the Sky!: The Amazing Story of Superman” and it mentions how it has become difficult as time has moved on to write a good Superman movie. Society has changed so much since the days when Superman was the number one super hero in the world. Superman was depicted as a squeaky clean boyscout in blue tights. Good and bad were black and white with no shades of grey between them. Audiences ahve become more sophisticated and look for more realism and a realistic looks at issues of right and wrong and recognizes that life is not always black and white and the days of squeaky clean superheros like Superman and the Lone Ranger are over.

Batman was always are darker character and one who dealt with the seedier side of life. Bruce Wayne was also a character who was tormented by the death of his parents and driven to fight crime because of that. Superman, on the other hand, never had too many personal problems and for him it was just logical to use his powers for good and “truth, justice and the American way.” Now that audiences are used to, and even desiring, more dark and gritty stories. Doe this mean  that Superman become irellivant and a charicature of himself?

Man of Steel tried to go the darker route for the character and…I will not spoil it for those who have not seen the movie,…there has been a back lash to the darker side of Superman, specifically surrounding how Superman takes care of General Zod.  So maybe people do like their Superman to be squeaky clean and a big boyscout after all? Could that be the reason WB is going to pair Batman Superman together, in order to feed off their contratsts instead of trying to make them the same?

Whatever the motives are, I do look forward to the casting of the new Batman and it does raise my curiosity to see how WB will handle uniting these two iconic characters.

Comic Con 2013 recap. Part II

Here is more info that came out of last weekneds Comic-Con convention.

1. G.I. Joe: Retaliation did well enough for Paramount studios (350 million) that they are going to go ahead with a sequel.  “Retaliation” director Jon M. Chu is to return to helm the third feature. I really enjoyed the first movie and as soon as the DVD for “Retaliation” is released later this month I will pick that up.

2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has begun its viral marketing campaign: Here is a website for the campaign. http://www.simianflu.com/us/

 

Do you have Simian flu? Directed by Matt Reeves with a script from Scott Z. Burns, Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa and Mark Bomback, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues the story that began in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and features a cast that includes Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Enrique Murciano, Kirk Acevedo, Jocko Sims, and Judy Greer. The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will open on July 18, 2014.

Comic Con 2013 recap. Part I

I didn’t go to Comic-Con but this is some of the big news that was reported this past weekend in San Diego.

1. The sequel to the Man of Steel looks to be a Superman & Batman movie. The movie is set for 2015 which pushes a Justice league movie back to 2017 and in 2016 we will finally get a long waited The Flash movie!!!!!! What I know so far is that  Zack Snyder will direct, David S. Goyer will write the screenplay, Henry Cavill will return as Superman, and Christian Bale is unlikely to return as Batman. I am a bit disappointed that they are not doing another solo Superman movie before they team him up with Batman. Man of Steel just established Superman, or reestablished him, I should say, and I would like at least one more outing with him on his own. But I am open to a Superman and Batman movie, I just hope they cast someone good in the role of Batman.

2. As I type this I am a bit disappointed that the Godzilla panel was a bit of a let down. The design for the new Godzilla was not revealed and they did show a new teaser trailer. In an interview with director Garret Edwards from Friday evening we learned that Godzilla will be the tallest ever seen and he will have the atomic breath. Edwards also reported that the story is very emotional and some scenes left many in tears while it was being filmed.

Here is a description of the teaser trailer:

Godzilla trailer description!

This is from Quint at AICN:

There was the typical sizzle reel thing of having a lot of out of context images flashing at you… Bryan Cranston in some kind of radioactive suit and looking worried, Aaron Taylor-Johnson in full soldier gear pointing his rifle at something, a soldier running down a fiery street, Ken Watanabe looking on in awe of something, a quick reunion shot in a Katrina-esque stadium refugee zone with a kid and Elizabeth Olsen, people running around in a government installation… that kind of thing. Chaos.

Then it cuts to black for a bit, just to draw out the tension, then we see our first glimpse of a monster. Notice I said “a monster” not “the monster.” We get a tall Kaiju that looks a bit like the Cloverfield monster in terms of it kind of having thin appendages and flat-ish face. It’s destroying shit and we see it prominently featured at an airport. It towers over parked planes as jets and attack choppers shoot mercilessly at the beast.

One chopper gets too close and is swatted down. All that follows is shown in one shot through the large plate glass windows from inside the airport as if a POV shot of a witness… The chopper is hit and it spins as it crashes to the ground near a parked plane. Upon impact the chopper explodes which starts off a chain reaction as one plane after another gets caught up in the rolling fireball that gets bigger and bigger with each successive explosion.

The camera pans, following the destruction and as the final plane explodes, Godzilla’s massive thick tree trunk of a foot comes down right in the middle of the fireball of the last exploding plane. Cut to black again as the audience cheers like mad.

Then an image fades up of the other Kaiju aggressively moving with in the smoke and wreckage of the airport, not seeing Godzilla raise up behind it. As big as the first monster looked when destroying everything you realize that it barely comes up to Godzilla’s midriff as the King of Monsters stands straight up behind it. Godzilla roars and that’s it.

3.  Another movie by Legendary pictures was also revealed on Saturday. There is going to be a World of Warcraft movie. I do not play the game but I have seen some people play that game and others similar to it. It looks like it could be a lot of fun.

I will gather up more info and recap Comic-Con 2013 on Wed and Friday! Stay tuned!

I, Frankenstein

As much as I follow movies there are still some that slip underneath my radar. A picture was relased of Aaron Eckhart in Lionsgate’s I, Frankenstein courtesy of this week’s Entertainment Weekly. I had not heard of this movie! It will be coming out in January of 2014.

This is from wikipedia: I , Frankenstein is an upcoming 2014 Australian/American horror/thriller film written and directed by Stuart Beattie, based on the graphic novel and original screenplay by Kevin Grevioux. It stars Aaron Eckhart and Bill Nighy.

Here is other information I found on line:

Directed by Stuart Beattie based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grievoux, the film stars Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney, Socratis Otto, Mahesh Jadu, Caitlin Stasey and Aden Young as Victor Frankenstein. Look for it in theatres on January 24, 2014.

Synopsis
Set in a dystopic present where vigilant gargoyles and ferocious demons rage in a battle for ultimate power, Victor Frankenstein’s creation Adam (Aaron Eckhart) finds himself caught in the middle as both sides race to discover the secret to his immortality.

Frankenstein is one of my favorite non-Giant, or Kaiu, monsters. I am looking forward to this movie. Although I am not a big horror fan I do enjoy the classic monsters from Universal’s catalog; such as Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, Werewolf and the Creature From the Black Lagoon.

Bale will not play Batman Again: My thoughts

Last week it was announced that Christian Bales said that he would not play Batman in a Justice League movie. Many fans, myself included, are a bit disappointed. I really thought that Bale’s Batman would fit in the same universe as Superman, given the fact that the tone of both the Dark Knight Trilogy and the new Man of Steel movie work very well together. Many on the internet feel that if WB threw enough money at Bale he would don the Bat Cowl once more. I tend to agree with that.

I recently re-wathed the entire trilogy and while I always have liked it, and think Batman Begins is the best of the bunch, I have a better appreciation for the Nolan’s trilogy.

Although I am disappointed that Christian Bale will not be Batman for the Justice league movie that means the Batman movies will need to be rebooted. But is it too soon and who would play the caped crusader?

Last year’s Spider-Man reboot, just a few years after Spider-Man 3, was aid to be too soon also. However, I really enjoy that movie and over all the responses for that film have been positive and many fans are looking for the next installment.  If they do the Justice League movie first, with Batman, and then reboot the Batman franchise after that movie…we still can be looking at another 5 years before we see a Batman movie. I think fans will come to the theater and I do not think that would be too soon.

I want to recommend an actor to play Batman. His name is Matt Bomer (you’ll have to google him, I am having trouble with posting pictures on this site). He plays the lead in As the lead in USA Networks’ White Collar and was also in the movie Magic Mike (2012) a movie I DID NOT SEE! DC and Warner Bros. have also noticed Bomer’s range, signing him to voice Superman in their next animated feature, Superman: Unbound (2013). He resembles Henry Cavill, Superman, and the two could be brothers.

I do not think that would be a deterrent because they both have those chiseled features and square jaws one expects in these two superheroes. Since Bomer is not a house hold name it will not seem strange seeing him as Batman. Ever since George Clooney played Batman (in a movie I do happen to enjoy in a strange way) I do think these superhero movies do need to cast unknowns for the most part. Of course there are always exceptions. I recently saw another list of possible actors to play Batman and one of them was a black man and I thought that would be a great idea.

It will be interesting to see what unfolds in the future for Batman!!

Star Trek Continues…

http://www.startrekcontinues.com/

There is a lot of fan productions from various science fiction franchises. Some of it is very good, some not so very good. Star Trek Phase II has been around a while and has done very well at carrying the mantel of the original series. Now there is a newcomer to the block also wanting to continue the adventures of the gallant crew of the USS Enterprise. This fan production is called Star Trek Continues and the premise is that it picks up right where the last episode of the original series, Turnabout Intruder, left us. The initial episode, Pilgrim of Eternity, is a sequel to the 1967 episode Who Mourns for Adonais? which starred Michael Forrest as the Greek God, Apollo. Michael Forrest reprises his role as Apollo christening this series and launching it with fanfare.

I know many Star Trek fans are very temperamental about casting new actors to play these iconic characters. Some fans really balked when Paramount re-cast the crew for the 2008 JJ. Abrams directed reboot of the franchise. However, I think Star Trek Continues has successfully navigated this difficult issue. They have cast some wonderful actors in these roles. For me the standouts have been  Vic Mignogna as Captain James T. Kirk, Kim Stinger as Lt. Uhura and Chris Doohan playing Mr. Scott the role his father made famous. All the rest of the cast do a fine job. Todd Haberkorn plays Mr. Spock, Larry Nemecek plays Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, Grant Imahara plays Mr. Sulu, and rounding out the cast is Wyatt Lenhart as Ensign Chekov.

Now it would be very easy for these actors to mimic and try to play these roles as the originals stars played them. While there are similar mannerisms that these actors bring to these iconic roles, it could easily devolve into parody but it does not. Each and everyone of them brings something new to the characters. For instance, Kim Stinger, as Lt. Uhura, brings a bright fresh joie de vivre to the character. You can see it in her eyes and expressions that she is really enjoying playing the role and has made it her own. Vic Mignogna does bring the Kirk swagger to the role but also a sense of authority that the character needs. He does this all without trying to be William Shattner. I could also say the same things about Todd Haberkorn as Mr. Spock and Larry Nemecek as Dr. McCoy. Nemecek’s McCoy is passionate without being like a grumpy old man. Haberkorn plays the stoic Mr. Spock with intelligence but without any coldness that could easily turn off viewers. They both walk that fine line very well. Also, Grant Imahara as Sulu and Wyatt Lenhart as Ensign Chekov are not just fillers in this series, they are given some important plot points in the first episode and their characters are fleshed out and each actor brings a sense of importance to their characters that was not always present in the original series.

I want to say something special about Chris Doohan playing Mr. Scott. I think he has the most difficult role of all. He could very easily try to copy what his father did in that legendary role, but he does not. The accent is sound and he even looks like a young James Doohan in the role. He also makes it his own. His own mannerisms and facial expressions are apparent and he is also one of the stand outs of the production. I hope they are grateful to have him, for I now I appreciate what he has done with the role.

I won’t give away too much about the first episode. Follow the link at the top of the page for I think it is something each person needs to see for themselves. I will say that the production values are equal, and sometimes better, than the original series. The sets look identical to the original series as well as the costumes. The music is there as is a great CGI rendering of the USS Enterprise. There is a scene on the outside of the ship that could not have been done in the 1960s and in this episode it looked spectacular. The story was well written and acted and it very easily could have been the first episode of a season 4 if the original series had not been canceled.

I hope they continue to produce these episodes, they are off to a stellar beginning and I look forward to the next episode.

Geen Lantern: Movie review.

I thought I had reviewed this movie. I searched my archives and could not find it. If this is a repeat then my apologies.

Reviews were mixed for Green Lantern although all the trailers I viewed indicated that it would be a movie that I would thoroughly enjoy. And I was right. From beginning to end Green Lantern is a special effects extravaganza and an entertaining origin story. I generally do not care for origin stories because being familiar with a superhero character means I already know the story and would rather see something new. With Green Lantern we really have the best of both worlds. The movie does not delay in placing the ring of power on the finger of Hal Jordan. From there we watch as Hal struggles to meet the burden placed upon him while the Earth is threatened by Parallax one of the Guardians of Oa that has turned evil.

There is good character development with Hal who is depicted as being a womanizing cocky and brash pilot to a responsible superhero. The CGI is top-notch and the depiction of Oa, the guardians and many of the other aliens that are a part of the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps rivals the special effects seen in the more recent Star Wars prequels. The relationship between Hal and Dr. Hector Hammond, who is infected with the yellow power of Parallax, could have been better fleshed out and brought to more depth. The same could be said with Hal’s relationship with Carol Farris. There seems to be little justification for the affection between the two given the characterization of their earlier antagonism toward one another.

Parallax has a habit of easily defeating the other Green Lanterns in the Corps and after the Guardians of Oa refuse to help him, with the encouragement of Sinestro a future supervillian, Hal faces the Corps most notorious villain alone. I won’t give away the ending and although origin stories can be predictable, as this one certainly is, the story is told in a manner which is exciting and entertaining. I am unabashedly a CGI junkie and this movie delivers on that account. Therefore combined with a story that is pretty riveting despite its predictability along with great eye candy The Green Lantern is a good introduction for this underdog and little known superhero.

Also, want to add that I really would like to see Ryan Reynolds back as Green Lantern in the Justice league movie. However, I do not think that is going to happen. If the Green Lantern is in the JL movie, which I think he will be, then I am sure he will be recast since it seems like WB is going to distance themselves to all superhero movies for this project. It looks like the Man of Steel movie will be the starting point for the JL movie.

The Lone Ranger: My Expectations

Since I won’t see the Lone Ranger until it comes out on DVD and the movie is just about to hit theaters I wanted to give a brief review of my expectations based on the trailers and the reviews I have read.

I grew up watching The lone Ranger TV series with Clayton More as the Lone Ranger and  Jay Silverheels as Tonto. To me they will always be these characters and they are iconic. That doesn’t mean that I am not open to other portrayals of the character. I am very open to this movie.

I have loved the trailers for this movie. It looks like a fun western with great visuals and special effects. At first I questioned the selection of Johnny Depp as Tonto! I don’t believe he is Native American so why not cast a Native American in the role? Those were my thoughts. However, after seeing him dressed as an authentic Native American and viewing the trailers, I am sold with Johnny Depp playing Tonto.

I like Johnny Depp but he is hit or miss for me. Loved him in Donnie Brasco, hated him in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. While I am not a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies I do like his portrayal of the pirate Jack Sparrow. From the reviews I am reading it seems we have a similar situation where Depp is really playing Jack Sparrow once again but this time dressed as Tonto.

As I type this blog post the reviews are pretty awful. On Rotten Tomatoes.com it has an abysmal 16% rating with only 6 fresh ratings and 26 rotten ratings. Now in context all of these negative ratings are mixed and very few say the film is down right terrible. But some of the complaints are that it is too long, Johnny Depp is too much of a focus, that Armie Hammer, who looks great in the part, plays an unwilling, too square and weak Lone Ranger. Some reviews complain that the tone of the film and the plot are both a mess. They say that there are some lulls in the story where it drags. There are times when it is serious and times when they say it borderline on parody.

I still want to see this movie. I don’t mind if it is a mindless action popcorn movie and the mixed tone doesn’t concern me at all either. I am a little concerned that Johnny Depp as Tonto is more of a focus than the Lone Ranger. It does seem more like  Depp/Tonto movie. What concerns me the most is that it seems that the character of the Lone Ranger himself is not done well or done right. From the reports is that he is at first a wimpy reluctant hero. Now since this is an origin movie I can excuse that if it done as character development and we see the Lone Ranger evolve into the self-confident hero.

All of this has lowered my enthusiasm just a bit. So I will watch this movie on DVD with slightly lowered expectations. My bigger concern is for the Lone Ranger franchise itself. The last big screen Lone Ranger movie was in 1981 and that too was a critical and financial flop! If this fails I fear it will be another 30+ years…or if ever…we see the Lone Ranger on the big screen again.

 

Be back next week.

I am dealing with some health issues (nothing fatal) so I am going to take this week off as I wrestle with new meds. I will be back next Monday with new posts.

 

Bill