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:

Snap Judging the ‘Fantastic Four’ Teaser Trailer

The New Age of Superhero Live-Action Media

The new year is a great time to assess what has been working in the world and what changes are facing us in the future. It’s also a nice chance to make some predictions about what is coming. My interests lean towards comic books, so my musings have taken me down that path. You want to know what I realized? Superheroes in the live-action popular media are seriously changing gears…and I am loving it.

If you’ve seen a superhero movie or TV show in the last few (let’s say 10) years, then you’ve probably seen a “grim and gritty reboot” of something. While that was a great tactic to get people to embrace the superhero genre of entertainment in a big way, it hasn’t necessarily been a perfect reflection of the roots of the superheroes. There are more than a few things that have frankly sucked about the “grim and gritty.” I don’t really want to dwell on it, but I’ll list a few: black leather costumes are lame (Superheroes tend to wear the colors. Fact!), not every superpower is viewed as a cruddy curse, the human race isn’t necessarily without a moral center, sometimes people can be in actual romantic relationships that work.

While the “grim and gritty” hasn’t been the absolute rule, it has been pretty prevalent. At least until the things that came out this year. I would call 2014 the beginning of a transition to a completely different age of superhero live-action movies and TV shows. 2015 is going to be the final test of it, and is probably going to cement a new trend. The new trend is this: superhero genre can legitimately jump straight out of the comic book and there is not more need to apologize.

In case you missed it, let’s review a few things that happened this last year, and what is coming up (admittedly, this is largely spearheaded by Marvel): ‘Captain America: the Winter Soldier’ just says “Yeah, this guy has a cybernetic arm and spent years frozen and has no real negative physical effects” (not to mention a guy saved his consciousness prior to death on 1970s era computers…), ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ says “Yup, talking raccoon” and we all bought into it, ‘The Flash’ features a superhero who actually loves being a superhero (what a novel concept), coming up in 2015 we will actually see the film ‘Ant-Man’ (seriously) with a man who shrinks in size and legitimately rides on the back of a winged ant. If you think those aren’t surprising turns in the realm of superhero films, then somehow you forgot about the first five years of the superhero movie wave.

This is a great path for things to take. While I’ve been glad to see any attention paid to the superhero genre, I’ve been sad for years that so few films have been fun. Thoughts? Do you think the “grim and gritty” was the way to go? Are you unhappy with the new “fun” offerings? Comment Below.

The New Age of Superhero Live-Action Media

A Geek GIFplanation of DC Movie News

Justice League-DC Comics

Warner Bros. has confirmed Zack Snyder will direct a Justice League movie, a continuation and expansion of Man of Steel and Superman vs Batman.

Young Justice-Anguised screams of pain

Man of Steel isn’t a bad movie. It is, however, fundamentally flawed and problematic in more ways than even I can comprehend. Zack Snyder making problematic choices in Superman vs Batman (that name alone!) as well as Justice League is too much for my fangirl brain to handle.

I’ve been burned too many times — Sucker Punch, Man of Steel — in hopes that a Snyder movie would be just as great as the trailer made it seem. Do I have faith that he can establish a DC cinematic universe that meets or exceeds the example of the MCU? No. If not for my lack of faith in his directing choices, then for the simple notion that Warner Bros. is so preoccupied in “catching up” with the MCU that it is failing to make any intriguing creative choices.

Speaking of, I guess Ben Affleck turned down directing Justice Leagueagain.

Wonder Woman-ANGRY

The only solace I found in the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the new DC cinematic universe was the possibility that he finally agreed to direct Justice League. With that hope slashed, my heart now smolders in disapproval over Batfleck. Perhaps my disdain will be all for naught, and Affleck executes a dynamic, true-to-the-spirit-of-Batman performance. Then again, perhaps a zombiepocalypse will end the world tomorrow.

Ray Fisher has been cast as Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg in Superman vs Batman. While Stone/Cyborg is a small part of the 2016 film, he will go on to become a member of the Justice League in the later eponymous film.

Batman-Robin-blinks huh

The cynic in me worries that the inclusion of Cyborg in Justice League means that we won’t be seeing John Stewart’s Green Lantern in the film. Akin to the New 52 original Justice League slate, apparently you can’t have two superheroes of color on the same superhero team. Does that mean that Snyder and Co. will reintroduce a new Hal Jordan? A different Green Lantern like Guy Gardner? Or perhaps skip over the Lantern Corps all together?

Warner Bros. thinks “the world is ready” for a solo Wonder Woman movie. Hopefully. Eventually.

Wonder Woman-I will not tolerate this

The world was ready for a solo Wonder Woman movie in 2005. The world was ready for a solo Wonder Woman in 1975. What Warner Bros. really means in stating “the world is ready” is studio executives now think fanboys and casual male audiences will see a Wonder Woman movie. Did you know action movies starring a female protagonist make money?!

No one wants a Wonder Woman movie more than I do. That being said, her story is a tough one to crack, especially as part of a semi-cohesive cinematic universe. While it boggles my mind that Warner Bros. would ever think audiences wouldn’t want a solo Wonder Woman movie, I do think patience in finding the right script and determining how well Gadot’s performance is in Superman vs Batman and Justice League is a smart movie.

Warner Bros. has other DC films like Shazam, Metal Men, 100 Bullets, and Fables in development — outside of the Justice League continuity.

Batman-Hmmm

This seems like an antiquated move — it doesn’t follow the all-consuming MCU model — but it could be a smart one. Fables is a rich, wondrous comic series by Bill Willingham featuring fairy tale characters secretly living in New York City. A slate of good Fables movies gives Warner Bros. an alternative if the DC cinematic universe fails and sets it apart from comparisons to TV shows like Grimm and Once Upon a Time.

Personally, a Guillermo Del Toro-directed Justice League Dark movie would be enough to make me happy, even if it’s connected to the worrisome DC cinematic universe.

I thought my fury and rage over Man of Steel, Batfleck, and the overall direction of Warner Bros.-DC film plans would die down with time. I was wrong. The most frustrating part of all this hoopla is that I will be seeing all of these films regardless of whether I like them or not. For the sake of accuracy, I have to be informed about what exactly angers me. Oh the struggles of fandom.

30 Rock-Nerd Rage

A Geek GIFplanation of DC Movie News

Marvel Movie Predictions

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues like the juggernaut it is (pun intended for those comic book savvy fans). With Kevin Feige’s announcement earlier this month that Marvel has movies planned through 2028, I’ve wondered what new heroes Marvel could introduce to keep its movies interesting and expand the universe.

“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Ant-Man” and likely a film version of Doctor Strange are all new movie franchises that Marvel is tapping, but they’re going to need more if they are going to fill 14 years worth of movies with something other than sequels. Plenty have voiced their desire for certain franchises, but I’m more interested in figuring out which franchises are most likely to be made.

Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel

Ms. Marvel

She can fly, has super strength, is impervious to most physical damage and at one point in time could tap into the powers of a “white hole” (the opposite of a black hole). For all intents and purposes, she has powers akin to DC’s Superman – minus the lasers, X-ray vision and cape. More importantly, she’s a female superhero – something that Marvel movies have sadly lacked.

Yes, I know Scarlett Johansson has played Black Widow in three Marvel movies and has done a wonderful job in my opinion, but she’s always taken a back seat, playing a secondary character instead of the central protagonist. And you better believe I’m going to ignore the “Elektra” movie altogether.

Ms. Marvel, whose powers she got from a freak accident with an alien device, has the most potential to claim the title of being the first major female superhero with her own film franchise in the MCU.

Black Panther

Black Panther

There are two Batman-type characters in the Marvel Universe. The first is Iron Man: he’s rich, a genius and a self-made hero. The second, Black Panther, is perhaps not as well known, but probably has more in common with Batman than the former. He dresses all in black, takes after a predatory animal, has an insane amount of money, can go toe-to-toe with some of the most overpowered heroes in the Marvel Universe and he makes most of his own tools and weapons.

He has no relation to the Civil Rights movement, but he does bear the mantel of being the first black superhero in comic books.

Oh yeah, and did I mention he’s a king?! Albeit the king of a fictional African nation, but how cool is that?

Fans have been calling for a solo Black Panther movie for years now, and there were rumblings for a while that Wesley Snipes was set to play the titular hero, although nothing was ever set in stone. Chances that if Marvel has movies planned till 2028, we’re bound to see the king of Wakanda in the next decade or so.

Inhumans

Inhumans

Since Marvel doesn’t own the rights to make X-Men movies, the Inhumans should be the next place producers look to for super powered people. A race of superhumans that live on the moon, the Inhumans remained hidden from the people of earth for a long time. Tensions ensued when humanity finally discovered the Inhumans and realized that a superior race lived a relatively short distance from the planet.

With the numerous characters and story arcs within the Inhumans comics, Marvel would be foolish not to see this as a possible new movie franchise within the MCU that could last for years without getting old.

Blade

Blade

Vampires are still cool, right? OK, maybe they’ve taken a bit of a hit since teenage girls decided to plant their pop culture flag on them, but I’m still a believer that the vampire image can be redeemed. And who better to do that than the man who hunts them as a past-time?

Blade is half man and half vampire, which means he gets most of the cool perks of vampirism with only one of the cons (he has an appetite for human blood that he has to control). And no, he isn’t the offspring of some weird teenager/vampire romance; rather his mother was attacked and bitten during the last few weeks of her pregnancy.

While a trilogy of movies based on the character already exists, a reboot could introduce viewers to the supernatural side of the MCU – minus any unnecessary romances. However, of all the movies on this list, Blade is probably the least likely to be made given that the material is inherently darker and more violent than any other movie in the current MCU.

(To avoid any SPOILERS for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” stop reading here. You’ve been warned!)

The Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier made for a terrifying villain in the new “Captain America” movie, although I would argue that he didn’t get nearly as much screen time as he deserved. Revealed to be the presumed dead friend of Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes resembled Arnold Schwarzenegger’s terminator with his cold and calculating assassinations and unstoppable nature. The fact that he was able to take on both Captain America and Black Widow singlehandedly and hold his own should tell you something about him.

With the fact that he started to overcome the brainwashing that made him into an assassin at the end of the movie, I wouldn’t be surprised if Marvel did what James Cameron did with the Terminator and cast him as the protagonist in his own film. I’ve also theorized (as have many other people on the Internet) that he could probably take up the Captain America mantel when Chris Evans decides he no longer wants to play the character anymore.

Marvel Movie Predictions

Pop Culture Pressure Points: Superhero Films

superhero

Sure, often these films are a blockbuster success. 3 of the top 10 all time grossing films happen to be about superheroes (Avengers, Iron Man 3, and The Dark Knight Rises). Generally speaking, they are well received by critics (more obscure ones like Green Lantern don’t count in my book). We laugh, we are wowed, and we watch the good guy beat the bad guy. Obviously, these films work, are popular, and will continue to be made.

All that’s a given. But what is constantly of frustration to me is when these films are so easily dismissed as mere blockbusters. As action summer movies, that are meant purely for entertainment and special effects, and rarely given credit for plot, story, and themes. (Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy aside.) Tom Hiddleston, in an essay defending superhero films wrote, “The spectacle is part of the fun – part of the art, part of our shared joy.” We expect to be impressed by the visuals from these films, and we should be. But what do not always expect is meaning behind the conflict, the value behind each character, and lessons every one can relate to.

Superheroes in their simplest form represent our most basic human emotions and characteristics. Superman equals our best selves, Batman signifies our compulsion for revenge. Spider-Man is our adolescent rebellion and freedom, as well as our guilt. The Hulk affirms our fear of anger. Captain America is patriotism at its finest. All X-Men show us prejudice, and fear of the “other.” Iron Man stands for the future. And Thor proclaims power and potential. Such themes live in the core of every individual and is reflected in each hero’s film.

Why then, are they not taken that seriously? Despite all this above, I still had a professor, a professor of popular culture no less, dismiss these films and refuse to place any value on the films as a whole. It seems they are discredited by many the minute the label “superhero” is placed on. Not enough people see these movies for the impact and merit that can be found within the various stories. The struggle between best friends (Peter Parker and Harry Osborn), and between brothers (Thor and Loki) can create some of the most interesting relationship dynamics on screen. To this day the scene in Avengers where Loki screams at the crowd of people to kneel, and gives a speech stating our natural state is to be lead, has been one of my favorite and most thought-provoking speeches of recent years.  And Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker will, without a doubt, always give me chills. And changed everything for superhero actors.

Suddenly you have actors going to and from portraying superhero villains to doing Shakespeare at the Donmar in London. Actors bouncing back and forth between playing iconic heroes to Broadway. Actors winning Academy Awards, and then continuing on their portrayal of a superhero. These days, it is as if an actor is not complete without a superhero counterpart. Even JLaw play a superhero.

With the almost guaranteed success of the film, and the top actors vying for the role, you would think more appreciation for the characters and the stories would come as well. But it seems it is still yet to be that way. I’ll be honest, I don’t read comic books. Never have. But I grew up sandwiched between 5 brothers who did. I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons of X-Men, and Spider-Man, and all the others. I wanted to be Rogue as a little girl and couldn’t wait to see her come to life on the big screen. Superhero films are in their moment because we have the technology to fulfill our epic fantasies. They make the money that keeps the studios happy. But I wish they weren’t always so quickly written off merely as box office successes, and purely entertainment value, and given a little more credit the influence each hero can give.

Pop Culture Pressure Points: Superhero Films