Homecoming Scream!: Is Comic Book Movie Fatigue Setting In?!

Tell me, do you despair? You will… 

SPIDER-MAN AGAIN: Why?! How about Spider-Woman? After sex, the female spider EATS the male - who wouldn't pay good money to go watch THAT?!
SPIDER-MAN AGAIN: Why?! How about Spider-Woman? After sex, the female spider EATS the male – who wouldn’t pay good money to go watch THAT?!

“I’m not overly fond of what follows…” – Loki. 

Of all that’s sacred! Another one?! 

Still reeling with dismay from the announcement that the umpteenth Spider-Man movie is forging (or should that be spinning?) ahead, it’s even been given the title: Spider-Man: Homecoming. Now this is quite possibly the lamest tag EVER concocted; what a pun – alluding to Peter Parker’s high-school frolics as well as “coming home” to Marvel after enjoying box office success in the hands of Sony.  

Ahem, is there anyone celebrating this news?

Sure, the original Spider-Man movie with Tobey McGuire was an enjoyable outing. Good to see Sam Raimi on top of his game, but Willem Defoe as the Green Goblin stole the show and rightly so. When the inevitable Spider-Man II came out, it looked okay, but made me realise that there is more to life than sitting through sequels. By the time No. 3 came along, there was no incentive to go watch; many agreed – in fact, a universal arachnophobia had set in. And then for some ludicrous reason – which STILL  thwarts my investigative journalistic powers – with the dust barely settled on this non-starter, we were subjected to: the reboot. This time it was The Amazing Spider-Man. The obligatory Stan Lee cameo happened to be the only amazing aspect of this forgettable movie.

Sorry, Spidey, but Ant-Man was always more intriguing. Even when only seven years old – and in the prime of his comic-collecting duties – yours truly could never accept the Webslinger’s red and blue costume. Nah, Ant-Man had a cool helmet, and the ability to shrink to ant-size really appealed, especially as a viewing of Jack Arnold’s classic: The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) at around that time had thrilled my infant mind beyond measure. 

But press me on the issue (hypothetically of course) of an Ant-Man franchise and yours truly would have to respectfully decline. Don’t get me wrong, last year’s Ant-Man movie was like a dream come true, but, bearing in mind the wonders that can be achieved now with modern sfx, the exploits of the tiniest Avenger really don’t suit the big screen.

PANDA-BOY BEGINS!: What?! Neither DC nor Marvel publish a book called Panda-Boy?! Honestly, if you wanna job done properly...
PANDA-BOY BEGINS!: What?! Neither DC nor Marvel publish a book called Panda-Boy?! Honestly, if you wanna job done well…

“Never rub another man’s rhubarb” – The Joker.  

Initially, the prospect of a Suicide Sguad movie did not instill too much confidence in me. So we’ve never heard of them before, but such was the case with Guardians of the Galaxy, and look what an awesome bundle of fun that turned out to be…

The astonishing success of Deadpool in February showed that cinema-goers want something different… something fresh. Hell yeah, Sguad is so fresh, it’s got the Fresh Prince playing Deadshot who, admittedly, is the only member of this mental mob of misfits one can identify from the comics. It is difficult to tell whether this will be a smash or a mere cult hit – talk so far has centred mainly, (worryingly), on the music used in the trailers, rather than the sort of action on offer.

The big news is that this pic will feature an exhilarating new version of the Dark Knight’s archnemesis: the Joker, played -with tattooes?! – by Jared Leto. Personally, Heath Ledger’s performance as the Clown Prince of Crime seemed so fantastic and fearsome, that any subsequent portrayal would seem misguided.

If, however, that is Leto in the Panda-Boy disguise in the above pic, then sure – what the hell! – let’s have a butchers… 

In Squad We Trust? 

We can find out if these bad’uns do good from 5 August. 

SEARCH & DISTRAUGHT: Argo-Man scours the blogosphere in vain for any favourable reviews...
SEARCH & DISTRAUGHT: Argo-Man scours the blogosphere in vain for any favourable reviews…

“Next time they shine your light in the sky, don’t go to it. The Bat is dead, buried. Consider this mercy…” – Superman.

So, most critics and bloggers unanimously agree that DC’s initial entry of their own Cinematic Universe is just a Dawn of Just Ass. Honestly, how can a movie featuring the two most iconic superheroes EVER turn out to be SUCH a phenomenal FAIL?!

Believe me, as someone who collected both Superman and Batman comics as a kid, the thought of seeing them finally spar against each other in one epic blockbuster was overwhelming to say the least! (Given the choice who to root for, it would be very difficult for me to pick a side). Unfortunately, we read the somewhat underwhelming reactions from reviewers and bloggers alike…

One of the few warmly-received aspects of Batman v Superman (or BS for short) was Ben Affleck’s seemingly definitive portrayal of the Dark Knight. Fans are rejoicing at the prospect of another solo Batflick written/directed by Benaffleck – the very same fans who, incidentally, were cursing the casting director when news of Dawn of Justice broke…

If this is the Dawn we’ve all been waiting for, a lie-in has never seemed a sweeter option. And if this “dark and gritty” approach is what we should expect when the DC Cinematic Universe expands, then all does not bode well for a Justice League movie. As a Brit, Brad finds himself rooting instead for the imminent Captain America movie (a character he’ll never tire of watching!) – where’s the Justice in that?

Civil War (released on 6 May!) is shaping up to be another cracker, but personally, the build-up has been marred with a tad too much speculation as to whether – uh-huh, him again – Spidey would make an appearance… in the latest trailer…  

Couldn’t care less? You bet…

Ooh, but Brad! Did ya see that cool thing Spidey did with his eyes?

Yeah… so what?

My attention falls instead on Black Panther. His appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about time and would be most welcome. And a standalone Black Panther movie? Sure: a previously unseen character, and an exploration of diversity – why not? 

But PLEASE – for the love of cake – DON’T give us ANOTHER Spider-Man cameo!!

avengers1-are-we-done-here

“Are we done here?” – Steve Rogers. 

Be sure to join me next time for more cynical banter an’ japes! Same Brad time, same Brad channel. 

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Batshit Crazy: What A Week In The DC Extended Universe!

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly In The DC Pipeline. 

THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS?: "We want Justice, an' we wan' it now!"
THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS?: “We want Justice, an’ we wan’ it now!”

“That’s how it starts. The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men… cruel” -Alfred Pennyworth.  

Most of you who frequent this site will have noticed that Brad has been a huge comics fan, and continues to be an avid follower of comic book movies. Overjoyed at the recent thrilling developments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it almost seemed like sheer folly for DC Comics to weigh in with their own equally immense big screen projects.

While Marvel reigns supreme at the box office, DC would seem to be quite content to have their Arrow and Flash (and the imminent Legends of Tomorrow) shows dominate TV ratings. Yet as Chris Nolan’s outstanding Dark Knight trilogy showed, DC Films are prepared to put up one helluva fight. 

Yes, there is a part of me yearning to find out how DC will show off their Extended Universe. After all, despite my “Make Mine Marvel” chants, rummage through my comic collection atop my wardrobe/TARDIS and you will discover that a decent 65% of them are DC titles (dating between 1980-1993 for those of you taking notes).

This week, we finally got tasters as to what DC/Warner endeavour to unleash. Last Tuesday night, a TV special: DC Films Presents: Dawn of the Justice League on The CW showcased some of DC’s current movie developments, including an exclusive trailer for August’s Suicide Squad, plus new footage of next summer’s Wonder Woman movie.

Tell me: do you geek? You will… 

FISH AN' QUIPS: "Oh water day! Water lovely day! (Now you're just being silly...)
FISH AN’ QUIPS: “Oh water day! Water lovely day! (Now you’re just being silly…)

“The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!” – Lex Luthor.  

Ta-da! First up is Batffleck vs. Superhenry: Clash Of The Capes. Sorry, but seriously, Dawn of Justice just looks like such a perilous venture. Placing DC’s two most box-office-friendly heroes in the same blockbuster has all the hallmarks of safe bet – even desperation – written all over it. 

Show some guts, DC!

If Marvel Studios can gamble with such risky, obscure material as Guardians Of The Galaxy, then surely you can give Matter-Eater Lad his own big screen adventure at last! Can’t you…? 

From what we can gather so far, Dawn of Justice looks too dark and too bleak… please, the last time this “style” was done we were lumbered with Fantastic frickin’ Four – and see how badly that pap turned out!

The news that Ben Affleck had been chosen to play the Caped Crusader didn’t trouble me at all, although plenty of diehard fans predictably vented their spleen over the matter. What is really disconcerting is the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. An evil mastermind?! Ha, our cat looks more menacing than him. Unable to work out what the casting director saw in such an inexplicable choice…

Rather than paste the same old Bat-pics, here (above) is Jason Momoa, simply stunning as The Dothraki Waterboy Aquaman, who hopefully – for me – will help make Dawn of Justice a more intriguing spectacle – he’s easily its second-best aspect. 

The top attraction, of course, being the – long-awaited! Let’s not let that lie!! – big screen debut of Wonder Woman, which should make this outing more worth our while.

Just for you, here’s the trailer:

IN SQUAD WE TRUST?: A bunch of cool cats. And Will Smith. Hey! Who's that reptilian dude on the right? Possibly my fave Squad member already...
IN SQUAD WE TRUST?: A bunch of cool cats. And Will Smith. Hey! Who’s that reptilian dude on the right? Possibly my fave Squad member already…
DADDY'S LIL MONSTER?: My Daddy warned me about lil monsters like you, lov...
DADDY’S LIL MONSTER?: My Daddy warned me about lil monsters like you, lov…

“Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you people?” – Rick Flagg.  

If DC’s behemoth in March does regrettably turn out to be the “Yawn of Justice,” then how about Suicide Squad?

When news of a Suicide Squad movie broke, my inner geek – whatever that is – shouted yippee!… until realising yours truly had been thinking of Doom Patrol, a totally different – and a whole lot weirder – ensemble brought to us once upon a time by the exceptionally talented Grant Morrison. 

The general consensus is that this trailer is outstanding, but being subjected to this concept, and these characters, for the first time, awash with grungy style and zero substance, it fails to amaze me… yet. Nice use of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody though. 

Jared Leto’s Joker – notice how Joker-free the pics department is here – seems to be just as misguided a casting choice as Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. Trying to follow in the (purple) wake of Heath Ledger’s arguably definitive portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime is either brave or foolish. 

Suicide Squad appears clearly aimed at the teenage boys Sucker Punch market, apparently, blatantly, disregarding the ever-growing number of female comic readers out there.

Worst? Heroes. Ever? Yep, can’t argue with that… 

All in all, a Doom Patrol movie – would have been preferable… 

AMAZON STORIES: The Wonder of you...
AMAZON STORIES: The Wonder of you…

“The greatest thing about Wonder Woman is how good and kind and loving she is, yet none of that negates any of her power” – Patty Jenkins. 

So, if Dawn of Justice feels bad, and Suicide Squad looks, well, ugly, was there anything good to come from DC this week?

Well, yes, just the most iconic superheroine of all time! 

Arguably the most intriguing news from the DC Extended Universe’s trawl of exclusive thrill-power was the first footage from the star n’ striped Amazon in her own solo movie, set for release in June 2017.

When the first image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in her patriotic… chocolate-brown(?!) combo first adorned the worldwide web, my heart sank. Honestly, she looked like a Xena: Warrior Pincess cosplayer. And a third-rate Xena: Warrior Princess cosplayer at that.

My initial hopes for the movie were not high, but when this pic (below) was released a few months ago, the project starting to look quite intriguing. Then this actual footage was shown last Tuesday, and the movie now looks far more encouraging. It revealed Wonder Woman’s dexterity with a sword in typical 300-style slo-mo action; the Amazon riding on horseback; and – most interestingly – in her guise as Diana Prince, but during the First World War, and not the Second as traditionally told in the original comics.

Of course it’s still too early, but with this project at least, it looks as though DC/Warner finally know what they’re doing. 

Gal_Gadot

Superman: “Is she with you?”

Batman: “I thought she was with you.”

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