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.
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of CGI actors returned from the dead, you probably had to appreciate the ways that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards tried to bring the events of Star Wars: A New Hope more directly into his film. In several key sequences, Edwards was even able to feature unseen footage from the original 1977 film, causing fans to wonder where that new footage came from (and why they hadn’t seen it before). Are there entire archives of unseen footage that Lucasfilm has been hiding from fans for all these decades?
We all know that Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman was one of the few things both critics and fans of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could completely agree on. From his shallow playboy persona as Bruce Wayne to his thinly veiled rage as the Dark Knight, Affleck’s take on the character got everyone very excited to see what the actor-writer-director could do with a free hand for his standalone The Batman movie. Unfortunately, things have slowed considerably since, with rumors of mediocre scripts and a shifting release date taking some of the buzz off the upcoming release.
Listen. I know that the DC Cinematic Universe gets a lot of criticism for its dour visuals and themes, but let’s give credit where credit is due: Jason Momoa’s Aquaman is really shaping up like the sleeper hit of the whole endeavor. With a visual aesthetic stolen directly from an episode of Sons of Anarchy — and perhaps the most talented director of the Warner Bros. slate behind the camera — this is shaping up to be the best movie about people who talk to fish since Disney’s animated adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
Dwayne Johnson is a big man in every sense of the word. Physically, he’s a small planet, giving the moon a run for its money as the most important celestial body to be caught in Earth’s orbit. His personality and spirit, though, are even bigger. You rarely if ever hear stories about Johnson losing his cool or brushing off a fan, choosing instead to spend every waking minute of every waking day reminding us that movie stars do still exist in 2016.
A few weeks ago, Deadpool director Tim Miller shocked the world — or a nerdier and more profane subsection of the world, anyways — by walking away from Deadpool 2. As reporters scrambled to make sense of why Miller would leave one of the breakout franchises of 2016, reports emerged that Miller and star Ryan Reynolds had very conflicting ideas for the upcoming sequel and that 20th Century Fox had thrown their support behind Reynolds’ vision for the franchise. Deadpool 2 was officially in the hands of Ryan Reynolds now, but the film still needed a director, and the hunt was on.
Listen, impressionable young men and women of the world, because this is important: you should not watch Suicide Squad and think that the Joker and Harley Quinn represent any kind of reasonable #RelationshipGoal. This is an abusive and possessive relationship, start to finish, and while there may be a more consensual love story scattered among the footage on the cutting room floor, we won’t know until we see it. This is a pretty important disclaimer to throw out there before we talk about this footage
Over the past few years, there has been a small but noticeable attempt to rehabilitate the image of the Star Wars prequels in popular culture. Last November, for example, the A.V. Club published an article on why the Star Wars prequels don’t deserve our hatred. Similar pieces have been published in The Mary Sue, USA Today, and many other websites and online publications. It just goes to show that there is a lid for every pot, no matter how misshapen that pot may be.
I’ve always enjoyed seeing movie costume designs that did not make the cut. So many of these first drafts at superhero costumes are completely different from the final product; sometimes I find I even enjoy the out-of-left-field designs for characters like Batman and Superman more than the ones that ended up in the movies. Either way, these designs shine a light on the revision process that takes places as the film crew hones in on the final look for these iconic characters.
It’s been twelve years since Japanese film studio Toho released its last Godzilla movie, the longest gap between films dating back the first Godzilla movie in 1954. And while Japanese audiences have always loved their kaijū (“strange monsters”) movies, the fact that international audiences are starting to develop a taste for giant monsters has set the stage for Toho to bring back their most famous creation in the 2016 blockbuster Shin Godzilla.
Even months before the movie was released, it was pretty obvious that Thor had no real place in Captain America: Civil War. That film was rooted in political intrigue and manipulation of trust; Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is really more of the Mary Poppins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not really worrying so much about the day-to-day and just popping in whenever he’s needed the most. To remain true to the character, there was no scenario in which Thor did not just roll his eyes and head back to Asgard until the whole thing had blown over.
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