Category Archives: Movies

Avengers 2 News: Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver casting announcements


Thor: The Dark World and the Modern Movie Serial

I have seen "Thor: The Dark World" and I pronounce it to be Good. Very entertaining, with enough good character moments to balance out the Hitting of Large Things. The copious CGI served its purpose well. Thumbs up from this geek!

Plus, they threw in a nice bit for their female fans (or, more likely, the girlfriends of their male fans) involving Chris Hemsworth, a sponge, and the conspicuous absence of a shirt.

After thinking about it a bit this evening, I suspect what Marvel has sneakily done is to re-create the old-time serial in the modern world. In the age before televisions (and television shows) were ubiquitous, studios regularly put out installments of popular franchises as chapters to keep the movie-going public entertained. You'd get your periodic installment of the adventures of Superman or The Green Hornet, each of which advanced an overarching plot line. They were very much comic book story arcs put on the silver screen.

I would argue that this, updated for the modern palette, is what Marvel is doing with these interstitial super-hero movies since they undertook their production. Each installment advances the over-arching character development of the protagonist, bringing back some of your favorite supporting cast from episode to episode. Each one uses bits from the previous film to inform your enjoyment of the current one (for instance, in "Thor: The Dark World" not having to re-establish the characters' backstories is a huge help in terms of building the plot and keeping momentum), and each ends with a tease that whets your appetite for the next.

The production values are much higher now than they were in the 1940s of course, and each chapter, if you will, has a more satisfyingly complete internal story arc. But they all feed into a larger narrative, continued not just in further movies in the same franchise but across other properties as well -- "Iron Man 3" strongly references the events of "The Avengers", as will, I'm sure, the upcoming "Captain America" sequel. You aren't obligated to watch each one, but they feed off of and enhance each other, building a whole interlocking network of fiction that greatly improves the individual installments and the impact of the gestalt.

What do you think, am I on to something here or whistling in the dark? Also, WARNING! Spoiler discussions about "Thor: The Dark World" will surely be in the comments for those of you who have seen it.

Big Question ♯16

Seeing as how the only person in the world who has reacted favourably to the news that Ben Affleck is going to be the next Batman is Matt Damon, I thought that I might as well ask, who would you have chosen instead?

Put yourself in the shoes of the casting director. The star of the last (a hugely successful with both critics and audiences) trilogy of films has ruled himself out of returning to the cape and cowl, so now you've got to find someone who can play an older more experienced and battle hardened Batman who can stand up to super-humans way above his power range for at least two movies and probably more as the Justice League juggernaut is prepared. Who do you pick?

Screen Spotlight- Pegg, Frost & Wright

Today, I feel the need to talk, at length (so what else is new?), about a certain collaboration between some huge geeks.

What I personally love about these three is that every film/ tv show they make ends up being one huge nerd-out. Spaced- Sci-fi, Shaun Of The Dead- zombie movies, Hot Fuzz- American Cop Movies, Don't- Hammer Horror films, World's End (al-be-it to a lesser extent and without the massive references seen in their previous works)- disaster movies, all bundled up with a healthy does of British life and British comedy.

Even when separated they can't hold back those impulses, so we get things like Paul (Pegg & Frost, which is epic), Star Trek/ Star Trek Into Darkness (Pegg, less epic but still he's good i.m.o), Adventures Of Tintin (Pegg & Frost, with Wright being a writer but not director), Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Wright), The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (Wright), Doctor Who/ Doctor Who Confidential Series 1 (Pegg), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Pegg), Death & Return Of Superman parody short (Pegg), Spider-Plant Man parody (Pegg & Frost) and of course the upcoming Ant-Man film (Wright, which will hopefully be good as he's directing it.)

So guys, over to you. What's your opinion on Pegg, Frost & Wright? Favourite film? Best bits?

Screen Spotlight: The Justice League Movie- How Would It Work?

Considering some of the announcements that have been made in the last day or so, I think that now would be a good time to have a look at what DC need to do if they want to ever get their biggest and best team onto the screen.

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What Were They Thinking ♯1- The Gungan Menace

A new bi-weekly topic I'm trying out now. Here we'll have a look at some of the weirder, unpopular or down right stupid decisions made by people in the industry who should have known better. And to kick us off, we'll look at a nerd-rage classic.

Now, there are some good bits in Star Wars Episode 1. Liam Neeson, Ian McDiarmid's acting, Darth Maul and the final fight. However, in many (most?) peoples eyes this isn't enough to salvage a below par script, a slow story progression and a pointless Formula 1 style pod race sequence that went on ten minutes too long. However, most peoples ire is raised to its highest by the focus of this week's column.

Yup, he'sa here.

Let's kick off by admitting that, as a kid, I loved Jar Jar. However, after a few years, I realised that, actually, he is reeeeeeaaaaalllllllly annoying. But that hits the nail on the head, George Lucas has been quoted as saying that Jar Jar was aimed squarely at the kids (and not only at your childhood). And it's not like he didn't have form on that front. He did the same thing with the Ewoks. Now, having been born a decade after Return Of the Jedi came out, I don't know first hand what the reaction to the teddy-bears from Endor was at the time, but I know a few people who hate them as much as they do Jar Jar. But of course, Mr. Lucas doesn't care about that either. To quote the man himself- "The movies are for children but they [the fans] don't want to admit that... There is a small group of fans that do not like comic sidekicks. They want the films to be tough like The Terminator, and they get very upset and opinionated about anything that has anything to do with being childlike." Whilst he obviously hasn't heard the phrase "the customer is always right", it's his franchise, he can do what ever he wants with it.

There is a bigger problem with Jar Jar though, he could be just a little bit racist. Allegations of such have been levelled at him since he appeared, comparing him to the 50's blackfaces and a "laid back clown" stereotype of black Caribbean's, especially Rastafarians. Whilst it has been denied strenuously, shurely George Lucas has more brains than that, to make a character aimed at children that is straight away associated with a highly negative stereotype? Either he really didn't see how such a stereotype could be read into one of his characters, or he was so engrossed in the rise of the nazi party analogy he was sub-scripting into the film, he completely didn't notice.

Though it may be stupid to attribute the massive nerd-rage around Disney buying Star Wars to just one character, the perceived threat of more Jar Jar like characters is certainly one factor. Luckily, due to his diminishing screen time throughout the prequels, and the fact the new movies are set after the originals, means it is unlikely he will return, it is a rumour that has been circulating, Ahmed Best (the actor behind the orange) has been vocal in his support for the sequels. But you know the best bit. Robert Pattinson has expressed interest in playing the character. There just wouldn't be enough vomit in the world.

Monday Night Movie Club #2 “X-Men Movies” Reviews

So here we go, post your 200 words or less movie reviews for any of the X-Men movies. For next week's movie review the topic is "Blade", so have fun and I'm looking forward to reading the reviews.

Monday Night Movie Club #1 “Batman Movies” Reviews

Some how I forgot to post the Movie Club last week. So here we go, post your 200 words or less movie reviews for any of the Batman movies. Live action or Cartoon movies. Have fun and I'm looking forward to reading the reviews. Next weeks movies will be "X-Man", any or all of them. I highlighted movies because it will let us have the T.V. shows( 30 minutes or less) for another movie night.

Monday Night Movie Club #1 “Batman Movies”

Today I am starting a Movie club. I'll post a movie category and it is up to you to watch one or more movies from it during the week. When I post the next week's post you will be able to post your reviews of the movies that you watched. So no reviews under today's post, but you can make movie category suggestions this week. There is a limit of 200 words(max) per review, this should keep them short enough. If you think you need spoiler alerts you can use them. I think this will be fun and it will also give everyone more insight as to what movies to try and watch.

New Barbario Game Trailer movie

Barbario is in another of those cool live-action Game Trailer movies, check it out!