Snap Judging the ‘Fantastic Four’ Teaser Trailer

FF

Following insidery drama news and rumors surrounding the Fantastic Four set and concept, Fox has decided to release the teaser trailer Tuesday, January 27. This release comes ahead of the release of Matthew Vaughn-directed Kingsman: Secret Service, which premieres Friday, February 13, the Fox film most pundits expected to showcase the trailer. A full trailer for the superhero team film, directed by Josh Trank, still could be attached to the other comic adaptation.

Yeah okay, whatever. So how does it look?

Actually, it doesn’t look half bad! Much of the plot hasn’t been revealed, nor has Doctor Doom, but the central four are shown in various aspects of their transformation. For those living under a rock (or under a rock-like Thing), Miles Teller is Reed Richards (stretchy Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara is Sue Storm (force-field-powered Invisible Woman), Michael B. Jordan is Johnny Storm (fiery Human Torch), Jamie Bell is Ben Grimm (rocky The Thing), and Toby Kebbell is Doctor Doom (metallic evil Eastern European dude).

Mysterious voiceover dominates most of the trailer, which is mainly comprised of pre-transformation events. The vaguely British(?) voice states:

How did we get this far? Human beings have an immeasurable desire to discover, to invent, to build. Our future depends on us furthering these ideas(ideals?). Our responsibility that rests on the shoulders of generations to come. But with every new discovery, there is risk. There is sacrifice, and there are consequences.

Say what you will about whether it looks like a “good movie” or “faithful adaptation,” at least everyone is really pretty.

FF-Reed
I mean…
Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm
Just look at these faces…
FF-Sue
Come on!
They're even hotter than normal because they're all super talented.
They’re even hotter than normal because they’re all super talented.

Judgy Questions:

Rock Lobster! I mean, er, Rock Monster!
Rock Lobster! I mean, er, Rock Monster!
  • Is there any possible way to make The Thing NOT look ridiculous in a live action adaptation? I’m still skeptical…
Only good Thing from these movies.
  • Is blind Kerry Washington coming back? Because that’d be just fine with me. (I know she’s not. A girl can dream.)
  • How Philip Glass-y is the score really going to be? Personally, I want it to be full-on Philip Glassy mesmerizing beauty all the way.
Sibling rivalry?
Sibling rivalry?
  • Why are Johnny and Sue fighting?
Did she win that sibling skirmish?
Did she win that sibling skirmish?
  • Why is Sue crying over Johnny?
Screw you, outerboroughs.
Screw you, outerboroughs and New Jersey.
  • Does Sue place a force field over the entirety of Manhattan to save it from Doctor Doom’s villainy?
Doesn't look like The Dark Knight Rises at all. Nope. Not even a little.
Doesn’t look like The Dark Knight Rises at all. Nope. Not even a little.
Oh wait…
  • Where’s this plane headed to? Is this our first glimpse of Latveria?
Is this him?
It kinda looks like Toby Kebbell’s head.
  • Speaking of, Doom, is that you?
Metal face bandages?
Metal face bandages?
  • Doom, is that you?
  • Is all of this still attached to the crazy continuity of the X-men films, or are they using the alternate universe travel as a bridge to the X-men verse? The latter probably makes more sense.

Check out the trailer and snap judge for yourself. Remember, one good teaser trailer does not a good movie make. Hopefully this doesn’t film (and subsequent franchise) doesn’t suffer from Man of Steel Syndrome:

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Snap Judging the ‘Fantastic Four’ Teaser Trailer

The Wannabes Podcast: Episode #4 – Fall TV, Winter Movies, and Comic Book Movies FOR-EV-ER

imitation-game-benedict-cumberbatch_612x380

Amanda, Chelsey, Ellen, and Maricela talk about the ups and downs of the 2014 Fall TV crop, give their top picks for upcoming movies (and those that cause concern), and who is, in the immortal words of Charlie Sheen, “winning” between Marvel and DC.  Can DC compete? Can there just be TOO many superhero movies?  Spoiler: we don’t all agree on the answer to that one.  Also, can Ellen keep her puppy quiet for the duration of the recording? Spoiler: No.

NOTE: This was recorded before it was announced that Selfie would be cancelled.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Or visit: http://thewannabes.podbean.com/

OR subscribe on iTunes!

The Wannabes Podcast: Episode #4 – Fall TV, Winter Movies, and Comic Book Movies FOR-EV-ER

It’s Raining Superheroes. Hallelujah?

avengers-poster

Good heavens there has been a lot of comic book movie news of late.

A few months ago, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that the studio has their movie lineup planned until 2028. Just so we’re all clear, that means they know what movies they want to be making for the next 14 years. Just in time for me to maybe have an early mid-life crisis.

Then last week, DC and Warner Brothers decided to announce their movie lineup for the next six-year, but, in what I can only assume was a move to one-up Marvel’s announcement, they actually identified what those movies were going to be.

Finally this week, a full six days ahead of schedule, Marvel released the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron shortly after it was leaked on the web.

(Edit: As of 28 October, Marvel has confirmed nine more movies and dates through till 2019.)

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Marvel and DC are trying to stoke the flames of a fanboy war.

While many fanboys have already taken the bait to engage in an unwinnable argument online, I worry more about the oversaturation of these comic book movies. It’s almost impossible not to feel a little skeptical now that we can expect an average of four to five of these films every year instead of the two a year we used to get a decade ago. Many already feel oversaturated, believing most superhero movies are identical in everything but name (although most go and see them regardless).

Having said that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the abundant slew of superhero movies will be unsuccessful, it just means that both Marvel and DC need to change-up the formulas for how they make them. They’ve done it before, which is why I’m of the belief that they can avoid some of the feelings of oversaturation if these movies bear traces of other genre films.

Spider-Man 2

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 broke largely from the mold of its predecessor by focusing less on the action and more on the fact that it was, at its core, a superhero drama. Furthermore, part of the reason I believe audience and critics received both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy so well is because they, like Spider-Man 2, diverged from stereotypical superhero movies and tested other genres. Captain America felt much like a spy thriller movie like No Way Out with hints of The Bourne Identity, while Guardians of the Galaxy, with a few exceptions, felt more like Star Wars and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy than a traditional superhero movie.

So imagine with me now that more comic book movies broke from the norm and became something else entirely. How about a Batman movie that legitimately tries its hand in the horror/thriller genre? What about a romantic-comedy Spider-Man film? A mystery movie with Iron Man? Or a musical with Superman?

OK, that last one might be a stretch to imagine – although I suddenly want to see some director make Superman: The Musical. Preferably with Nic Cage as the Man of Steel.

cage-superman

Without variety in their excessively huge movie lineups, Marvel and DC risk losing those movie-goers who haven’t already lost interest in their films. Before they realize it, audiences will likely stop saying things like “I can’t wait to see the new (insert superhero here) movie” or “That movie looks really good,” and instead will say, “I’ll Redbox that in a few months.”

It’s Raining Superheroes. Hallelujah?

Marvel Live

marvellive

On Saturday morning, I did the unexpected, I ventured off to Brooklyn. My friend had gotten tickets to see Marvel Live at the Barclays Center. I’m not gonna lie, I went in knowing very little about what I was getting myself into.

Rarely have I ever felt so old and slightly out of place. There were children and parents everywhere. (If only I had a child with me I would have been fine.) The entire show and atmosphere seemed to be geared for children roughly age 5-11 years old, and every single one of them had a smile on their face. [Note to those with children: take them when it comes to your city. They’ll love it.]

Regardless of the intended demographic, I completely enjoyed myself. It was entertaining enough, and in moments like that you just have to let your inner nerd out and have fun. Sure, the fighting/stunts left something to be desired (it was kind of like watching a live version of Power Rangers), the dialogue was pretty epic (in the most cheesy of ways), and the half the actors sort of seemed like they hated their job. However, the sets were pretty incredible, and the light show was actually quite impressive. (At one point a man did run around while lit on fire. That was cool. And the kids loved it.)

If you do go, prepare for every child around you to be holding a “weapon” of some sort, whether it be a light up sword, a Cap’t America shield, a Thor hammer, or a whipping-wand thing, and to be inhaling an unseemly amount of sugar. And I highly suggest you participate in such endeavors as well.

 

Dialogue highlights from the show:

Thor: Let’s go kick some Asgard.

Loki to Spider-Man: Just imagine great power without great responsibility. 

Thor: It’s hammer time. [Like, how could they resist?]

Iron Man: I’ve got one more trick up my sleeve. Teamwork! Avengers assemble!

Spider-Man: That was so hashtag awesome! I have to tweet about this.
Thor: I already did.
Spider-Man: You’re on twitter?
Thos: I have one million followers. 

 

Marvel Live

Fusing Visual and Literary Storytelling

watchmen

I think everyone needs to stop what they’re doing right now, pick up and read a graphic novel. Perhaps I’m just on a high after finishing the Scott Pilgrim series this week, but it struck me upon finishing the books that there are relatively few people I know that share my love for this form of literature. And yet I know many friends, associates and family members who would love graphic novels if they only read a good one, which is why I’m calling on everyone to look up some top 20 list, pick a story that appeals to them, buy it and enjoy.

How am I so sure people would love a good graphic novel? I’m glad you asked.

The first is that graphic novels are generally self-contained stories that don’t require extensive knowledge of backstory like many Marvel or DC comics, which makes them more accessible to the casual reader. It also allows the writers and artists to plan a solid story from start to finish without the need to plan extra story arcs and crossover events for months – and even years – in advance, a trend that’s becoming all too common in comics these days.

Secondly, graphic novels fuse the storytelling of a regular novel with beautiful artwork, which allows for the story to be told as much visually as by the words on the page. This could be particularly helpful in roping in those who don’t read much (but should) and instead skip over literature for more visually stimulating entertainment.

A side-by-side of Scott Pilgrim from the movie and the graphic novel.
A side-by-side of Scott Pilgrim from the movie and the graphic novel.

It’s actually due to this strong mix of storytelling mediums that so many graphic novels have made it to the big screen, often without the audience even realizing it. When my little brother showed me the film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World a few years back, I’ll be honest and say that I had no idea that it was based off a short series of graphic novels. Nor did I realize at first that such popular films as V for Vendetta (a personal favorite of mine), 300 and A History of Violence all got their start on the page before Hollywood adapted them. The newest additions to this list are the critically acclaimed Snowpiercer, adapted from the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, which recently got an English translation, and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

V_for_vendettax

Yeah, I get that some people prefer to create the visuals in their head, thereby personalizing the story and making the experience unique to them. Besides the preference that most people have for books, graphic novels face the stigma of a society that might view them as childish or intended for a younger audience, even though stories like Persepolis, Watchmen, and Maus all cater to older audiences.

An article from Publisher’s Weekly last year would suggest that their popularity is rising and I believe the stigma is breaking down in part because of film adaptations, but I think we’ve still got a ways to go. Hopefully in the future more people will be having conversations about their favorite graphic novels in their book clubs, on Goodreads.com and in casual conversations.

Fusing Visual and Literary Storytelling

Respect the Artists, Stay for the Credits

empty theater

From the time I was a wee lad, my father used to do something that annoyed me every time our family went to see a movie in theaters. As the final shot would fade to black and the movie’s theme started to play one last time, the credits would start to role and the crowd of moviegoers would file out while my dad would make us sit there and watch the seemingly never-ending credits. Let me tell you, for a pre-teen kid this was tantamount to actually watching paint dry, only this paint scrolled endlessly from bottom to top. I grew legitimately embarrassed by this practice, particularly when theater employees would come to sweep up the unearthly amount of spilled popcorn everywhere and in my mind I thought they were looking at our family like we were strange.

Around my mid-teenage years, I finally started to pick up why my dad always sat in his seat for a good five to seven minutes after a movie finished, and it wasn’t to wait for a possible post-credits scene, which was not as common before Marvel popularized it. For him, calmly watching (or at the very least staying) for the credits was his way of silently applauding and recognizing the work of the literally hundreds of people involved in the making of a movie.

There were exceptions to this practice as a bad movie would compel him to stay only momentarily before he joined the exodus out of the theater. But generally speaking, it’s a regular practice of his and one that I now try to carry on and share with others. I don’t mean to imply that I quietly watch every name pass by; quite the opposite, it’s a great chance to talk to those around you about the quality of the acting, everyone’s favorite scenes and what the movie could have done better. If the audience is really lucky, they get treated to gems like Tom Cruise as Les Grossman dancing through some of the credits in Tropic Thunder (Seriously, what a treat that was).

That moment when you realized that Marvel had finally created a huge
Only those who stayed for the credits of Iron Man got to see Nick Fury for the first time.

It’s because of this practice that I was one of only ten people in what was a full theater who saw the post-credits scene of Iron Man and literally freaked out (in a crazy fanboy way) by the prospect of an Avengers movie. Now when you go see a Marvel movie, maybe a dozen people will leave while the rest sit in their seats in expectation. Truth be told, I find little Easter egg scenes like this, while sometimes pointless in comparison to Samuel L. Jackson standing in your living room, encourage viewers to stay for the credits.  Audiences may may not stay for the same reasons I do, but it’s a start.

When I’m with a group of people who don’t share my family’s tradition of staying for the credits, I’m often compelled to leave when they want to, which is usually right as the movie finishes. In this regard, I hope that more people start staying for the credits when it’s obvious there will be no bonus scene at the end, because in my mind it’s not just respectful, it’s classy.

Respect the Artists, Stay for the Credits

Gotta Have More Comic-Con News: Burning Questions Left After Comic-Con 2014

I’m a greedy geek. I know. I get that. Why can’t I just be happy with what the studio gods have deemed worthy to leak to the lucky fangirls and boys in San Diego?! I’ve got a fever…and the only prescription is more Comic-Con news, specifically Comic-Con movie news. Here’s a rundown of the unanswered questions geeks around the world are still yearning for answers to placate our fan theory-addled minds.

Marvel

A lot of Marvel Cinematic Universe buzz prior to the Marvel Hall H presentation surrounded the casting of the eponymous hero of the upcoming Dr. Strange MCU Phase 3 movie. Longtime rumors of Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the role were brought to a fever pitch during Comic-Con. After joking about playing “Nurse Normal” (Get it? Oh Cabbagepatch…), Cumberbatch confirmed that his current schedule precludes him from partaking in the role. He’s due to play Hamlet in London next summer. Most are taking the news as the final nail in the coffin for Cumberstrange. (Personally, I’m not too sure. I can feel the pull-and-tug between Cumberbatch and Marvel to finagle schedules to work.) So just who is Dr. Strange? Maybe Joaquin Phoenix? Color me intrigued! But by now I expected to be more than just intrigued by the possibilities.

Marvel announced the dates for its Phase 3 films through 2019. (I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow!) Besides Guardians of the Galaxy 2, no other films or characters were announced. How long do we have to wait for Black Panther and Captain Marvel? Fans and pundits alike have decided these are the most likely new superheroes to feature in their own films. What if we’re all wrong? Personally, if done correctly, I’d prefer to see a She-Hulk movie before a Captain Marvel movie. That’s because I think green lawyers are cool. Plus, MCU’s diversity issues are becoming more apparent, the longer and more successful the series continues. Speculation abounds when not much is confirmed.

DC

Warner Bros’ biggest Comic-Con property this year is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. (That title! I love it because it’s so banal and bizarre at the same time.) Zack Snyder introduced the DC Trio together for the first time in public. A clip was shown. Wonder Woman was shown. And…that’s it.

What’s the movie actually about? How do Cavill, Gadot, and Affleck feel about playing their respective characters? What has the filming process been like so far? I didn’t expect them to answer fan questions, but they could have at least been allowed to open their mouths. Right? Right?! Right.

Just like the MCU master plan, the DC movie master plan is slowly materializing. Even more so than the MCU, the DC movie master plan is shrouded in mystery — or maybe not. Some confirmations would be nice.

Plus, what the hell does this mean?!

Star Wars

A still of a set. A group photo of actors in costume. Something! Anything! JJ Abrams tends to shy away from Comic-Con displays, favoring secrets and lies. Sorry, too harsh? Not a bit of news came out of the Disney/Lucasfilm camp on the new Star Wars trilogy or any of the announced spin-off films. If Gareth Edwards can confirm he’s making Godzilla 2 after his Star Wars spinoff, can’t we know what exactly that spinoff movie will be?

There’s only one question I want answered — what is the title of Episode VII? My suggestions include Attack of the Phantom Clones, A New Hope Strikes Back, and Revturn of the Jedith.

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

Daniel Radcliffe finally made his first Comic-Con experience, promoting the upcoming Horns. How amazing would it have been if he also introduced some news about Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them? Granted, the last thing he’d want to promote is another Harry Potter film series but hey the fans would’ve loved it! Speaking of, it’s only a matter of time until JK Rowling makes the trek to San Diego…I already feel sorry for the people of San Diego when (not if) that happens.

What unresolved questions/feelings/FEELS do you have after the dust of Comic-Con has settled?

Gotta Have More Comic-Con News: Burning Questions Left After Comic-Con 2014