If you’d asked me at the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe whether Nick Fury should get his very own movie, I’d probably have said no. I love Samuel L. Jackson as much as the next guy — perhaps even more after hearing his outstanding vocal work in the documentary I Am Not Your Negro — but Fury always seemed better on the periphery, a character who pull the strings in the shadows. Still, after seeing how well the Russo Brothers used Jackson in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I’m willing to change my tune. Maybe a Nick Fury standalone movie wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.
Although it’s been years since I stopped collecting comic books, I can still remember the excitement and frustration of variant covers. Nothing triggered the collector in me quite like the multiple variants of a key issue; instead of owning just one copy of issue #500 of whatever, I found myself weighing the options of picking up multiple copies of the same thing, especially when I really enjoyed one or more of the variants. It was the perfect way for Marvel or DC to bait the hook in me, and it wasn’t long before they realized they could do the very same thing with their movie posters.
With the release of Doctor Strange on home video just around the corner, fans are getting an early look at some of the behind-the-scenes features that will accompany the film on DVD and Blu-ray. Just yesterday, for example, Marvel released some of the best best set jokes on the film’s gag reel, showing that even respected Shakespearean actors like Benedict Cumberbatch aren’t above flubbing the occasional line. For die-hard fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these features are a great peek at how the sausage gets made.
It’s funny how things work out. When Marvel was putting together the cast for Guardians of the Galaxy, they probably never dreamed that it would be former professional wrestler and MMA fighter Dave Bautista who would emerge as the film’s most likable character. And yet, with his deadpan line deliveries and awesome physicality, Bautista stood out among his live-action costars — I mean, nobody was going to beat Groot — as the funniest and most sympathetic of all the Guardians. Just like that, Bautista was a bonafide movie star and one of the biggest strengths of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There may never be a Hollywood talker like Robert Downey, Jr. Even in his fifties, the actor possesses a nervous energy and patter that makes him seem like the youngest man in the room, barraging his co-stars and audiences alike with a flurry of self-deprecating jokes and unbridled enthusiasm for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His success as Tony Stark is synonymous with the success of the Marvel movies as a whole; while it’s technically possible to picture an Avengers movie without Downey, Jr. in the mix, there’s no denying it would probably be a whole lot less fun.
Since announcing that Ben Affleck would no longer be directing the upcoming standalone The Batman film, Warner Bros. has been in a full-blown crisis mode, working overtime to find a talented new director and prove all those “Is the DC Cinematic Universe doomed?” articles wrong. Back in January, Forbes reported that the Warner Bros. shortlist featured several interesting names, including George Miller, Denis Villeneuve, and Matt Reeves. And now, less than two weeks after The Batman lost its director, it appears that Warner Bros. has settled on its replacement.
Few superhero movies captured the imagination of audiences last year quite like Deadpool. While Marvel releases were praised for their sleek storytelling and progressive characters, Deadpool went the other route, earning hundreds of millions of dollars on the strength of its raunchy sex scenes and immature sight gags. It was choppy, it was unpolished, and, occasionally, it was noticeably cheap around the edges. In other words, it was everything that Marvel movies are not.
While countless football fans — myself included — embark on a stomach and liver-related training regimen for next weekend, there is more to the Super Bowl than just the game on the field. The Super Bowl has always secretly been a big day for cinephiles as well, featuring big trailers for much-anticipated movies and clever commercials from some of the best filmmakers of our generation. Directors such as Doug Liman, Ridley Scott, and Judd Apatow have all directed Superbowl commercials, and now you can add two more big names to the mix: Joel and Ethan Coen.
It’s been six months since Suicide Squad was released in theaters and a collective history is starting to shape up around the film. Despite denials from Warner Bros., it’s now pretty much understood that the studio rushed production of Suicide Squad and backed director David Ayer into a corner about the film’s final cut. Despite these issues, Ayer has remained a loyal solider for the studio, regularly commenting that the film we saw in theaters was his and his alone.
While Star Wars: The Force Awakens was an international smash hit, it wasn’t devoid of criticism. Some people felt that the film veered a little close to the storyline of the original Star Wars film; others felt that the family friendly action didn’t quite line up with the darker tone they expected from movies like The Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Sith. So to those fans, I offer you the above deleted scene (via i09) where Chewbacca rips out the arm of Unkar Plutt. It may be another throwback to the original movies, but at least it’s one with a little bit of bite.
After years of watching a certain segment of fans argue over which Enterprise captain was the best, I think it might be time for Star Trek fans to admit that they’re no longer the leader in casting fan arguments. Now all the cool kids want to argue over which Batman actor played the role best. While the obvious answer for most millennials would be Christian Bale, I tend to gravitate towards the early performances of Michael Keaton, a Batman who was a bit more believable as an intellectual than subsequent versions of the character. To each their own, I suppose.
Some comic book characters are easier to adapt than others. Superman, for instance, may have hundreds of writers and artists to his name, but the core principles of his character remain the same: he’s powerful, he’s kind, and he’s an idealist in a universe that doesn’t often reward characters for putting their faith in other people. Even when someone like Frank Miller wants to give the character a modern spin, it’s done by exaggerating these core principles, not setting them aside entirely.
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