Posts tagged #Man of Steel

A Batman, A Batman, My Kingdom For A Batman!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have a new Batman and he is Daredevil. Affleck is the Dark Knight Detective.

So its been awhile since I posted anything. Having a new baby, a child starting school, and big life decisions to make will do that to you. So, I'm trying to get back into the game. Hopefully, this will be a regular occurrence. Anyway, like the title says, Ben Affleck is Batman. Warner Brothers confirmed it this evening along with Zack Synder. I'm not going to get into my opinion of this decision just yet, because I need to write up my (very late) piece on Man of Steel. It's been kind of a down summer at the movies (especially after last summer), and out of the movies I saw I only had two really stand out. Pacific Rim and Man of Steel. I want to really get into an in-depth review of this summer at the movies as a whole, so I'll save the commentary til then. I will just say one thing, "never would have thought of Ben Affleck, but sometimes there are smarter people in Hollywood than I am. Perfect." If you are a Ben Affleck hater, you might want to rethink your movie watching habits (he does have more Oscars than you). There is always French foreign language films you may be interested in, just saying. Full press release after the jump.

Ending weeks of speculation, Ben Affleck has been set to star as Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne. Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in “Man of Steel.” The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.
Last month’s surprise announcement of the new movie featuring both Superman and Batman created a wave of excitement and immediately fueled discussion and debate—among fans as well as in the media—about who would put on the cape and cowl of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego.
Snyder successfully re-imagined the origin of Clark Kent/Superman in the worldwide blockbuster “Man of Steel,” which has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date, and climbing. The director will now create an original vision of Batman and his world for the film that brings the two DC Comics icons together.
Affleck will star opposite Henry Cavill, who will reprise the role of Superman/Clark Kent. The film will also reunite “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.
In the announcement, Silverman stated, “We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.”
Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Affleck, noting, “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”
Kroll added, “We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.”
Affleck recently starred in the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture “Argo,” which he also directed and produced, earning acclaim and a BAFTA Award nomination for his performance in the film, as well as a number of directing honors. In 2010, he starred in and directed the hit crime thriller “The Town.” His recent acting work also includes “The Company Men,” “State of Play,” and “Hollywoodland,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Earlier in his career, Affleck starred in and co-wrote (with Matt Damon) “Good Will Hunting,” for which he won an Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay.

Man of Steel - Nic's Impressions

Well Internet, I've seen Man of Steel. And, well, much like I was after seeing Star Trek Into Darkness, I'm conflicted.

Warning, SPOILERS follow...

In fact, for us here at the Inner Dorkdom the scene after the movie was very similar to the one after Into Darkness. We were having our post-movie credits-are-rolling conversation about the movie. Some in our group really liked it. Others were not impressed. When it came for me to give my input, there I was again, in the middle, only able to say, "I'm conflicted." I couldn't give a simple, "loved it," or, "hated it." In some ways and on some levels I really enjoyed it. And in others I was disappointed. And, again, just like immediately after Into Darkness, I couldn't initially sort my feelings out and put them into words. On the drive home with Josh (who loved it) and Liz (who hated it) I started trying to, particularly what disappointed me about the film. But it didn't go well. Again, too many emotions and responses all intertwined.

I think the reason this happened with Man of Steel is the same reason it happened with Into Darkness. In both cases we have a reboot of a franchise (sorry J.J. Star Trek, but for most intents and purposes that's what you are) that I have a familiarity with, an affinity for, and thus, expectations regarding.

So to sort out my feelings, I'll begin by doing what I did while pondering Into Darkness.

If I evaluate it just as a summer action movie:
No doubt it's a well made action movie. There are plenty of action-packed scenes (especially in the latter half of the film), heroics and villainy of a very high order, and lots of stuff that goes boom (grain silos, Sears stores, IHOPs, 7-11s, dozens of Metropolis skyscrapers). Indeed, the action scenes themselves are full of impressive imagery and intense kinetic action. My problems with it on the purely action movie level are the same that I have with any film that really goes in for the distinctively modern trends in action movies (shaky cam, muted colors, action sequences that go on a bit longer than I'd like, a Hans Zimmer styled score--in this case composed by the man himself).

If I evaluate it as science-fiction:
And I should. Superman is an alien. Superman stories, though the extent to which they emphasize this varies, are science-fiction stories.

And as a science-fiction film, I think it really works. It's not as deep as some sci-fi, no doubt. But, for my money, it works much better on the sci-fi level than Into Darkness does. In Man of Steel the science-fiction elements are more than just the backdrop used to give flavor to a story that with minimal tweaks could be set in realistic modern day. (Which is, as you guessed, how I felt about Into Darkness, although perhaps I'm being too hard on it.) The science-fiction elements are integral to the story and plot here. But, it should be noted, they don't completely overshadow it.

If I evaluate it as Superman:
Again, having been a fan of Superman for years, this is where I bring certain personal baggage with me. That is, expectations, or at least preferences, based on my previous experience with the franchise (which is not in-depth on the comic book side, although I did read Superman comics as a kid).

With my Into Darkness impressions I tried to filter out the Nic-specific baggage and evaluate it just in terms of it being Star Trek. I think that approach made sense because Star Trek, a franchise less than 50 years old, has only had (and, I admit, technically still only has) one continuity. Different shows and films have their own unique flavors. But nonetheless I think one can look at Star Trek as one cohesive thing.

But it doesn't make as much sense for me to do that here, because Superman is a much more varied franchise. There have been many continuities over its 75 year history. Superman stories have been told in a number of different media, with no one medium being thought of as the one true official one. And the stories themselves have varied greatly in terms of content, tone, themes, and so on. So its more difficult to nail down certain elements, whether they be of story or style, and say, "Regardless of one's personal preferences, this is what Superman is." I do think some exist. But they are far fewer than the one-continuity of Star Trek.

So all I can do is evaluate it as Superman with my personal tastes in view. And what is the result?

First, and I think foremost, it makes my problems with the modern edgy action-movie stylistic sensibility more acute. Because it's Superman. Yes, he's the Man of Steel. But he's also the Man of Tomorrow. The boyscout. The kindly flying super-powered space alien from an old-fashioned small town in Kansas. Also, even amongst superheroes he is distinctive and one-of-a-kind. And I personally want a Superman film to tonally reflect those values and ideas. I certainly don't want it to drink so heavily from the modern "gritty realistic" style. Now, even though I think of most of them fondly, I'm not asking for a straight up emulation of the Christopher Reeves films, or even Superman Returns (which, in my mind, was a Christopher Reeves film without Christopher Reeves). I understand filmmakers today are highly unlikely to go that far. General audiences' tastes have changed a bit over the decades. But I would like a Superman film that at least, when compared with other films of its day, leans noticeably in that direction. I want a Superman movie to standout from its peers as a bit "classic," when it comes to its presentation. Man of Steel doesn't do this. In fact, quite the opposite. The film takes up the gritty style more so than most Marvel films, and ends up being, in my eyes anyway, tonally closer to The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Truthfully, of all the recent movies I've seen, I feel like Captain America: The First Avenger did the best job of capturing the vibe I'm wanting in a Superman film.

Don't get me wrong. When evaluating this as a Superman movie, it's not all bad. Not at all. For example, I thought the cast did a wonderful job. Although I still miss Brandon Routh, I was pleasantly surprised with how well I felt Henry Cavill works as Superman. He could play the serious, almost brooding side, and also the warm optimistic side (on the very rare occasions he was given opportunity to do so). Amy Adams as Lois Lane is great (though early on I feared Lois' spunkiness was going to come across more like witchiness, but fortunately that didn't pan out). Of course Ma and Pa Kent and Jor-El were wonderful. I know there's been some controversy over Michael Shannon's performance as Zod, but I personally liked what he did with the role. Laurence Fishburne was great as Perry White (indeed, his scenes helped make the whole affair feel more like a Superman movie, though I'm not sure why). And the other bit players performed admirably as well.

As for the story, which is no question the heart of any film (except for 'artsy' films, and by the way that's a technical term I learned when studying film criticism in college), no doubt there are changes made here, including a couple of significant ones. I'm personally not of the "They changed something thus its ruined forever" mindset, at least when a film is creating or working within its own continuity. Change by itself is neither good nor bad in my book. You have to look at the changes themselves, evaluate them on their own merits. For sake of time I'll only point out the one change that had the largest impact on my enjoyment of the story, and by extension, the film itself. That is, they decided to play up his alien nature to the point where, it seems even growing up in Smallville, he was an outsider. A loner. And them, upon graduation, a drifter.

Let me say that I do think the filmmakers executed that idea well. But, that choice had a profound impact on the film. And in a way that worked against my enjoyment.

On the ride home with Josh (who loved the film) and Liz (who hated it), I started trying to explain my feelings. I talked about warmth. Josh was amazed I didn't see that in the film. Liz and I talked about the film lacking a sense of fun, and again we had trouble communicating.

I've been thinking about it, and I think I've figured out how to articulate it.

Some folks say difference between 2006's Superman Returns and Man of Steel was action. The former had too little, while the latter, at least for some, had too much.

I think it's deeper than that. It seems to me that Superman Returns emphasized Superman's compassion, his relationships, his personal warmth, his emotional side. In Man of Steel, because he's a loner for much of his life, this side of him doesn't have a chance to be explored, let alone emphasized. Rather Man of Steel emphasizes his resolute moral character. Here is a 'man' who has deep convictions. He has great power, but he also has great restraint. He is not one to seek vengeance, even on those who often treat him poorly (that one guy's big rig notwithstanding). Indeed, he shows himself, at a young age even, to be willing to protect even those people. And, perhaps most important of all, he is highly selfless, willing to live the life of a drifter because of the combination of two things: 1) he cannot stand by and not use his powers to help others, and 2) his earthly father instilled in him the importance of not revealing himself to the world too soon.

Both elements, his compassionate personal relationship side and his moral resolve and strength of character, are important parts of Superman. Both are needed. If he's compassionate but not resolute he might use his powers in dangerous/harmful/vindictive ways due to those he personally loves (this is what the Jedi during the time of the prequels feared could happen if they allowed themselves to form attachments). If he's resolute but not compassionate, he comes across as distant, his desire to protect humanity becoming merely a philosophical decision.

Superman in Man of Steel is not devoid of this personal connection and compassion (just as Superman in Superman Returns isn't devoid of strong moral resolve). He clearly loves his adopted parents. And at the end of the film as he begins his new life as Superman and Clark Kent, reporter for the Daily Planet, it starts to come through again. But, again, because the story is structured as it is, throughout the film we don't see much of this side of him. He just doesn't have many relationships. He cares about 'humanity,' but we don't get many chances to see that abstract idea made personal and, well, human.

And that is why I, and I suspect others, feel like the film, and Superman himself, was lacking a sense of warmth. (It's like, I know this Superman would care about me if I were falling out of the sky or something. But I don't know that he'd want to be my friend.)

Incidentally, the scenes that did help bring some warmth to the film were somewhat stifled by the pointless shaky-cam and other facets of postmodern action cinematography (I'm looking at you, scene with Pa Kent after the school bus incident).

His being a loner also probably accounts at least somewhat for what I call the lack of 'fun' in the film. The type of thing I refer to when I talk about a sense of "fun" typically comes from personal interactions. Or, at least, it's expressed typically through personal interactions. Characters commenting to others (usually associates or friends) about what's happening ("You and I remember Budapest very differently," "Well, I hope this experience hasn't put any of you off flying. Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel," "Another happy landing"), or interacting in other ways (Steve Rogers giving Nick Fury ten dollars, acknowledging his losing their bet). But, again because the filmmakers chose to tell the story they did, Kal-El/Clark/Superman doesn't interact with many other people in the film. Here's who I remember: His parents, computer ghost Jor-El, girl and jerk at diner, Lois Lane, a priest, Zod's lady sub-commander, Zod, couple of military guys. That's it. Thus, even if he wanted to give us some fun (and this Superman, being a bit broody until he truly finds his place in the world, probably wouldn't), there are few people around for him to play off of.

(Incidentally, I'd read a review that said Superman and Lois' relationship in the film isn't the big iconic romantic thing we might expect, but we can see how it could bloom into that. Having seen the film, I think by in large that's an accurate description. And I'm ok with that. But, I was thus a bit surprised at the kiss. I didn't expect it, since they hadn't really had time or opportunity to fall in love or develop anything more than an initial attraction and respect for each other. I personally would have been OK without the kiss. Let that come in the next film.)

I don't know about cinematography, editing, and music, but as for my other disappointments, I think there's a small amount of hope for the future, if the last five minutes of the film are any indication. First you have Superman's response to Lois's line about first kisses (a wry humor "fun" moment). Then there's the scene with the general and the destroyed drone. I read someone say it comes off as a poor attempt at Tony Stark / Nick Fury banter. I disagree. Does the scene channel a bit of that Marvel movie fun? Yes. But Superman isn't being anything like Tony. He's still clearly Superman, making valid and mature points. He even acknowledges his rural Kansas upbringing. And the military personnel are definitely a bit less, theatrical, than Fury. So to me the scene feels very natural...and fun. Then there's the final two scenes, where Clark explains to his mother what his job will be (guess he doesn't have to go to college for that?), and we see him arrive for his first day at the Planet. Maybe it was partially seeing the standards of Superman mythology finally start to fall into place, maybe it was the resolution of the broodiness of earlier, but whatever the reason, I couldn't help but have a pretty big smile as I watched those two scenes. (Then the music continued to be Zimmer's score, and the smile lessened slightly).

OK, I guess I may as well say a little something directly about the score. I'll save more in-depth observations for a dedicated article. For now I'll just say that I for a Superman score, I personally want something else. Something more traditionally orchestral (but not necessarily exclusively so). Something with a bit more melodic and rhythmic complexity. Something with a touch of classic heroicism and patriotism, maybe even with at least one trumpet or woodwind instrument somewhere in the score.

In a publicity interview, Zimmer said that Nolan's Batman is inward and brooding, and the Dark Knight films were serioius psychological explorations. But Superman represents hope, and even traditional Midwest Americana. As I read that, it made me think that perhaps his Man of Steel score would be different from his Dark Knight scores. Perhaps his themes would do a more adequate job of embodying the specific characters, and not just conveying the basic psychological journey of the character.

But I have to agree with others on this, I don't think that's what happened. On the contrary, the music to this film feels very similar to his Batman scores. To me the music Zimmer wrote for Man of Steel doesn't reflect Superman's inspiring hope in others. It doesn't embody his heroicism. (That's what John Williams' themes did.) Rather, when it isn't being just ostinato triplet pattern driven action, it seems to be more of a reflection of Superman's inner psychological journey. When I hear Zimmer's 'main theme' it conjures in my mind the image of a person who had been kneeling because of something oppressive finally standing up. But the nature of that person, and that oppressive force, isn't specified. It could be any number of people, dealing with any number of oppressive circumstances. It doesn't convey the particular image of a man in a cape with super powers flying through the skies saving the world. It doesn't contribute to the film as a whole being the kind of rousing, awe-inspiring experience I, and others, wanted it to be. And that's the kind of score I personally wanted. Even if it had only displayed those qualities right at the end, that would have been welcomed.

Well, Internet, there's the broad strokes on my feelings about Man of Steel. In some ways I enjoyed it. In some ways I didn't. In the end, I wish it had been a bit less dark and brooding.

I have some other thoughts about specific plot points, stylistic choices, etc., that hopefully, along with a more detailed discussion of the score, I'll share with you soon. But until then, I remain,

 - Nic

Posted on June 18, 2013 .

!!! The Discovery Channel Presents Deadliest Catch The Movie Starring Clark Kent !!!

Well, we saw The Dark Knight (my review comes soon, very soon) and in a word, WOW! Great stuff! Go see it, you'll like it. We also got to see the teaser for a small movie called The Man of Steel (or just Man of Steel, because the "the" would make it less dark and edgy). Color me unimpressed. My first thought was, Deadliest Catch the Movie (I fully expected Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive to start playing), and my second thought was,"WTF is this crap?" If they wanted me to go, "Wow, the Man of Steel trailer", they were sorely mistaken. The only indication of what it's about was the shot at the end of Superman flying (at least he wasn't jumping). The voice over, I found out later, could have been one of two, either Russell Crowe as Jor-El or Kevin Costner as Pa Kent (Jonathan if you want to get technical). Both great actors and I have no doubt that they will do fine in those roles (the voice overs do give me slight hope because they seem to be well written), but the rest of the teaser, nothing, nada, zip. Didn't feel a thing. No excitement, no holding my breath, no chills, just a whole lot a nothing. So far, Warner Bros. is 0 for nothing when it comes to this version of Superman. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe they'll pull a rabbit out of their hats, wait, who am I kidding no they won't. Superman will crash and burn and Warner Bros. will have to pick up the pieces. Wait, maybe I'm being to hard. I just know that the whole, "let's chunk everything that came before and do the dark and edgy thing" is seriously rubbing me the wrong way. Superman is the Donner movies, Superman is Christopher Reeve, and Superman is John William's score. Without those as a basis, the castle will crumble. I'll reserve final judgement for when I see it, until then give me something that get's me excited, quit jerking everyone around.

In the teaser they use Howard Shore's music from Lord of the Rings (the scene in Khazad-dûm to be precise). Well, if you've been keeping up, that there is crap in my book. That worked for Lord of the Rings, but I don't see a Balrog in Superman. Where is the classic John Williams theme? Thankfully someone has made that change for us and can I say the result is 100 times better. They also included the Jor-El voice over by Marlon Brando from the first Superman movie (you know the one, "They are a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way." I get chills just typing that). I'll include all three versions below and you can decide for yourself. Thanks to Cinema Blend for the recut trailer. Sit through the first two but stay for the third.

Todd "I Got A Pocket Full Of Kryptonite" B.

Kevin Costner

Russell Crowe

John Williams, Yea!!!

!!! Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe (San Diego Comic-Con Part 2) !!!

So last night I told you all about the Marvel Studio's panel and various other things at "the con" (at least stuff I thought was cool). Tonight, I will try and finish what I started last night by giving you the lowdown on the really cool Warner Bros. panel that also took place last night. Both Warner Bros. (all two of them) brought their "A" game to show the very excited crowd the awesome things they have in store for the foreseeable future.

First up was the new film from director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth as if you didn't know) called "Pacific Rim". The film is about a future where nations must ban together to fight giant creatures called "Kaiju" in giant robots called "Jaegers" for the future of the planet. All is not going well and mankind must turn to unlikely heroes with outdated robot to turn the tide (yes, I know I sound like a studio PR machine). All I got to say is, "Giant robots fighting giant creatures directed by Del Toro, where do I sign up?" I love Godzilla movies, I love giant robot movies (Transformers and Iron Giant), how is this not one of the best ideas ever. Del Toro is one of us. He is a fan first and a director second. He only makes the movies that he wants to see. Luckily for us, he is one of the best directors working in Hollywood today. The first Del Toro film I saw was "Mimic". That could have easily been an extremely cheesy premise and been an even bigger disaster on film, but he turned it into a fun and scary little movie that surpassed my expectations. Next up was "Blade II" and having liked the first Blade film I was a little worried that they had changed directors too quickly. Well again, I should not have worried, because Del Toro gave it his own unique style and made a kick butt vampire movie (that didn't sparkle). Then came "Hellyboy", an adaptation of the comic created by the incredible Mike Mignola (I have been a fan for awhile). Del Toro knocked it out of the park, and did so with the help of the creator himself. It's no small coup that he got Ron Perlman to play "Big Red" and that he stayed true to the comic in all the right ways. After that I started to seek out his work from before he came to Hollywood. Films such as "The Devil's Backbone" and "Cronos" (find that one on Criterion Collection Blu -Ray, I highly recommend) are two of my favorites. Find these movies and watch them, you will be glad that you did. He continued to impress me not only with his directing and designing but also with his knowledge of all things geeky. Pan's Labyrinth is a movie every genre fan should see. After "Hellboy II" he attached himself to every film that came his way and no one knew what was next. We found out that he would be co-writing and sole directing "The Hobbit" with Peter Jackson producing (cause Peter is just as busy as Del Toro). If there was anyone that could have taken over the world of Middle Earth from Peter Jackson it was Del Toro. Alas, it was not meant to be. Contract negotiations between studios for who had the rights to "The Hobbit" dragged on and Del Toro was forced to move on. Now, here we are and we have a new film (Pacific Rim) directed by Del Toro coming this next Summer and it's going to be awesome. From the reports of the footage that was shown (which you can read about in the link at the end of this article) this sucker is set to rock your socks off. And yes, if you were wondering, Ron Perlman is in this one too (so is the always great Idris Elba so there no reason not to see this movie). I really am disappointed that there will be a media blackout from now until Christmas, cause I am dying to see anything from this thing (the rumor is we'll get a trailer in front of "The Hobbit", but that's like forever away). I can't wait.

On a side note, after the resent Make-A-Wish foundation's very cool Hellboy thing, of which you can read "here" (Ron Perlman is the greatest man alive for doing this), Del Toro has decided it's time to get the ball rolling on "Hellboy 3". We all owe that special little kid our thanks for hopefully getting Del Toro to finish one of the coolest film series to come along this side of Marvel and the Batman movies. Here's to
making that happen guys, get on that. You can check out Del Toro's comments "here".

Next up was truly a surprise to everyone there. Gareth Edwards (director, writer, and dang near everything else for his movie "Monsters", see it you'll like it) came out and blew the roof off the place with footage from his take on the Toho classic "Godzilla". We had heard very little about what was going on with this movie but now we know. Apparently it's going to grab you by the brain and rip it out through your nostril. I can't wait to see footage of this. Gareth is staying true to the spirit of the original and he even showcased the classic "Roar" in the teaser footage. This is the kind of movie that can benefit from being more dark and less campy. That's what we're getting from this one if everything pans out. Again, giant monsters can't be beat. Check out what was shown in the link below.

On the flip side, I'm still conflicted about this "Superman: Man of Steel" thing. No Williams score, no "S" shield on the cape, and a darker tone more akin to what's going on with Batman (Batman = Dark Knight, Superman = Man of Tomorrow or "Boy Scout" how hard is that?). I may be wrong and this may be great, but I could also be right and DC and Warner Bros. have once again screwed the pooch. Let's all hope I'm wrong. I guess we'll find out when the trailer shows up in front of "The Dark Knight Rises". Until then, we'll wait and see. The footage is hard to get your head around without seeing it and all the talk about making this a clean break from the Donner version does not instill me with confidence. At least he does fly in the teaser, so there's that. I'll let you know what I think after I see "Rises". Read the description of the footage at the link below.

Finally from Warner Bros. we got more info on "The Hobbit". Peter Jackson showed up and updated everyone on the progress of the film. It seems that he wants to make it fit in with the LOTRs films so everyone who's crazy enough to watch them all back to back to back etc. can do so (lots of Mt. Dew needed for that kind of task). He also said that principle photography is complete, but they could film more stuff next year. He stated that he wants to not only capture the fun and humor of the original's more child oriented story but also the heavier elements that Tolkien added in the Appendices of LOTR. He also said that there would definitely be Extended Editions of "The Hobbit" and possibly a splitting of the second movie into two. I'm ok with that. The more Middle Earth the better. Can't wait to see the next production blog that was shown at the con, should be good as always. You can check out more "here" and at the link below.

One more bit of news I missed yesterday, in the Iron Man 3 panel (which Downey Jr. made a surprise appearance and did so thru the audience, he's so cool) footage was shown of RDJ and John Favreau playing off each other as Tony Stark and Happy Hogan (Favreau gets a bigger part because he's not actually directing the film, but it's also good to know that Shane West has him there to help guide the production as an executive producer). While that's cool stuff that touches on things from "The Avengers", the real highlight was the first footage of Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin (yes it's official now, no more "truth avoiding"). This is great news because they would have sold themselves short if they had not paid off all the little hints throughout the first two films. Again, it seems that Marvel is listening in on the thoughts in my head and going with that for their story ideas. First we have "The Winter Soldier" storyline in Captain America, now we have the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, that's what I call service. Now all Marvel has to do is either get back all their characters from the other studios or make deals to have those characters appear in Marvel Universe movies (I figure I'll put it out there and see if I can go three for three, can't hurt right?).

I'll be back back soon with my thoughts and hopes for the last season of the greatest show that no one watches, "Fringe". You can check out a play by play of everything in this article about the Warner Bros. panel "here" and the Iron Man 3 panel "here". I'm still working on that Spider-man review (Comic-Con kinda pushed it to the side) and I hope to have it up soon. Hold on tight and "Stay Classy".

Todd "Ringwraith" B.

One more thing, Karl Urban is under a gag order from J.J. Abrams about his comments on the Star Trek 2 villain and the deny machine is in full operation. Kahn? Gary Mitchell? Clint Howard? You guy's guesses are as good as ours. Let us know what you think in the comments below or in the forums. Thanks to Ain't It Cool News for the story and picture.

[ and SuperHero Hype]

!!! You Look Marvelous (News And Rumors) !!!

"Remember, it is better to look good than to feel good, and you look Marvelous." -Fernando Lamas (Billy Crystal) !!!

"No Todd, It can't be; I just sent you back to the future!
"No, I know; you *did* send me back to the future. But I'm back - I'm back *from* the future."
"Great Scott!" (Faints)
"Doc! Doc! Doc! Oh, fantastic."

I have finally parked the Delorean in the garage and I'm back from the future of the great San Diego Comic-Con. Oh, the things I have seen. Some good, some great, some bad, and some down right ugly. I can't actually tell you all the crazy stuff I saw because if I did I would be destroying the Space/Time Continuum. And as we all know, that's as bad as crossing the streams. But I can tell you a few things that have popped up the past few days and get you in the mood to "Party like it's Comic-Con 1999"!!! Thank You, voice of Prince that lives in my head. I always really liked that album where you were just a symbol and all. "Thank you, and let's forget about the whole symbol thing. OK!" Gotcha, moving on.

Sorry, folks. The Parks Closed. The moose out front should'a told ya.

It has been a strange past weekend and first of this week. The Fourth was a blast (pun intended) and it was good to share it with good friends and family. After that things just started to snowball. Sometime, you know how life will come along and punch you in the gut and say, "Get Up, I ain't through with ya!!!" Well this is what happened to me. Life beat the ever loving crap out of me and expected me to get back up. Well, I'm up but I need to catch my breath a little before I can start swinging my Right Hand of Doom. It will happen and justice and punishment will be swift and severe. (cricket, cricket, cricket..........)
Anywho, I have been away to long, but I am back. Let's touch on a few things and then I'll relay some cool information to you that hopefully will make you want to come and join us during the next few days (Comic-Con and all).

Marvel is "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong". They seem to be riding this wave all the way to the bank. I not talking just "The Avengers" and "The Amazing Spider-man". I'm talking about the absolute blitz that they have set in motion that, more than likely, will secure their dominance in the superhero world. We have news that the unnamed Marvel Movie Project. (See: Guardians of the Galaxy) will open in theaters on August 1, 2014. This at least confirms that we are getting another new Marvel movie that doesn't have Iron, Captain, or Norse God of Chippendale dancers in the title. Wait, I think that last one my have been about Mike and his magic wand. I can't be sure. If any of you women out there know what that's all about, can you please give us a "Whooooooo". I knew that you could. Now, moving on, Iron Man 3 will have a large presence at this years Comic-con and we will let you know if anything big breaks (like the flap Stark had installed in the suit that allows him to visit the little boys room, that thing breaks all the time). The new Wolverine movie entitled, huh?....."The Wolverine" (well, go figure) has started to cast for the roles that will be featured in the The Ol' Canucklehead vs. the ninjas retelling of Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's original mini series. This is being billed as a stand alone story, which is fine but maybe they can expand the brand in the future. It also looks like "The Amazing Spider-man" is cleaning up at the box office. Maybe not to the extent that "The Avengers" did, but I would say it ain't to shabby. This means we will get sequels and as far as I'm concerned that's fine. I have see the movie and in a couple of days I'll post my review. The short version is that it's really good (dare I say better than the first Sam Rami Spidey movie and on par with the second Rami Spideypaloosa for my favorite web head movie yet). I'll give you the full spoiler filled review as soon as I get it typed up. Oh, and DC, the warning shots are over. Just having one great movie franchise based on your characters (which will be ending with a definite clank according to Chris Nolan who said this week that "he's done" and "no more", so take that fanboys..... Sorry, I added that last part) ain't gonna cut it. You are dangerously close to letting Marvel sink your Battleship (arcane reference to outdated board game, check, realizing that is probably the reason your movie based on said board game tanked at the box office, priceless). Come on DC, pull it together. The Time is now!!! As alway, check the links below for more information from our favorite sources.

A few odds and ends from this past week for you to peruse. Comic-Con will be huge, from Man of Steel and Iron Man 3, to The Hobbit and Pacific Rim, I can't wait to see what will go on. Meanwhile, the crazy back and forth continues from the New Star Trek movie camp with Karl Urban (Dredd) saying today that Benedict Cumberbatch plays a great Gary Mitchell. Wait, What????? Gary Mitchell is the crazy guy that got the God like powers in the first episode of the original series titled "Where No Man Has Gone Before". This statement by Urban could be a ruse to lead us astray or it could be true. This is J.J. Abrams we're talking about. This news appears to have already been refuted when Roberto Orsi posted a list of characters from Star Trek lore that would not be appearing in the film. Interestingly, Gary Mitchell's name is on the list while Khan's is not. Come on guys, just quit playing and give us some real info. "It's like playing cards with my brother's kids!"

In Ghostbusters news, a new writer has been hired to make Bill Murray funny again (because apparently there is too much effort involved for Bill to actually try to improvise funny, ya know like he use to). Etan Cohen has been given the rewriting duties (See: make Murray happy role). He was one of three writers on Tropic Thunder (very funny) and the sole credited writer for Men In Black III. I guess we'll wait and see (for another 35 years).

Alright, that's it for me right now. I will be back tomorrow with some cool posters of upcoming films, some thoughts on the cool exclusive stuff you can get at Comic-Con, Preview Night, and much more. My Amazing Spidey review will arrive soon. Stay Tuned. Oh, and posters (yea).

Todd "Yep, Marvelous" B.


One more thing, check out what the Make-A-Wish Foundation did for this little boy (here). Ron Perlman gets my vote for most awesome man alive. That is truly a wonderful thing and goes a ways (no matter how small) to restoring some of my faith in some of humanity. Nice Job, Guys!!! This just makes all the bad go away. Thank You, Ron, Thank You.

[Comics Alliance]

!!! Boy, Those Superman Underoos Make You Look Fat (Man Of Steel AndTransformers News) !!!

I went to Krypton and all I got was this lousy cape!?!

The Licensing Expo 2012 is taking place in Las Vegas the week and the studios are pushing the merchandising world hard to support their upcoming slate of films in an effort to bring about world peace (actually they just want to make a lot of money, peace is secondary). There are a lot of posters of upcoming movie that basically just show the name of the movie and nothing else. Rarely, you might have a studio bring props or costumes from a highly anticipated big budget bonanza to whet the appetite of the companies with deep pockets. Such is the case with this years expo, because Warner Bros. has pulled out the big guns too woo said merchandise pushers to license it come next summer. What is the said movie, you might ask?

None other than Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan's Superman reboot "Man of Steel". Check out these suckers. They brought "the suit" (Superman's in case you are slow on the uptake), Jor-El's duds, and the as yet unknown character Faora's costume. Interesting to say the least. The iconic Superman Suit has changed quit a bit since Christopher Reeves put one on in Richard Donner's 1978 version. For you comic fans out there, you will already be familiar with the absences of the red underwear that the character has worn for 73 years, since DC Comics did away with them for their universe wide reboot "The New 52". I'm still on the fence about this movie because on the one hand I love Christopher Nolan's take on Batman and Zack Snyder's ability to take a comic book and put it on screen, but I don't want a darker more edgy Superman (Batman doesn't call him a boy scout for nothing) and I don't like the fact that they are ignoring the past movies. They may surprise me and that certainly has happened before, but call me old fashioned, because I want my Superman to be about Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Batman is the Dark Knight (I'll post my review of "Rises" after I see the movie), Superman is the Man of Tomorrow, that's just how it is. Don't screw this up Warner Bros. (like you screwed up Green Lantern). Check out all the coverage of the expo on

Also, in video games news, Peter Cullen and Gregg Berger are in Transformers : Fall of Cybertron. The two will voice the characters that they made famous in the G1 Transformer animated series in the 80's, Optimus Prime and Grimlock respectively. You can find more info "here".

Well, go on people. Get to getting.

Todd "I Had Robin Underoos" B.