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Doctor Strange 8-bit photo
Doctor Strange 8-bit

Marvel's Doctor Strange gets the 8-Bit Cinema treatment, looks a little like Mega Man


By the sprightly pixels of Capcom!
Nov 30
// Hubert Vigilla
I really liked Doctor Strange. While lots of the MCU tends to blend together visually and tonally, Strange had tilty fractals and psychedelic wonder, and on the whole the film felt more like a kung fu movie than just a s...
 photo

Justice League Dark, the animated, R-rated feature has a trailer


Nov 16
// Rick Lash
So the dirty is this: another straight to DVD market animated film from Warner Brothers DC Universe, following the success of Batman: The Killing Joke is ready for release and there's a brand new trailer to tell you about it....
The Inhumans on IMAX/ABC photo
The first TV show to debut via IMAX
The fate of Marvel's The Inhumans seemed uncertain this year. It was taken off the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three schedule last spring after being pushed back from 2018 and 2019. Now Marvel is taking an unprecedented s...

Ghost in the Shell photo
Major-ly cool
Ghost in the Shell is shaping up to be an interesting project. An adaptation of Mamamune Shirow's manga, Ghost in the Shell stars Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg policewoman who must help stop the latest...


YJ S3 photo
YJ S3

Young Justice returning for a third season


Nov 08
// Nick Valdez
For what is truly a victory for fans after years of online support, WB Animation has confirmed that Young Justice is indeed returning for a season three. The series ran from 2010-2013, as part of Cartoon Network's DC Nation b...
LEGO Batman Movie photo
LEGO Batman Movie

Newest LEGO Batman Movie trailer is full of heart and clown snakes


Best bat yet, really
Nov 05
// Nick Valdez
The LEGO Movie was a revelation when it hit theaters two years ago. A fun film with a hearty message, it featured a breakout performance from Will Arnett's Batman. Now with a spin-off set in motion, we haven't heard much of t...

The official trailer for Wonder Woman is full of heroism and graceful badassery

Nov 03 // Hubert Vigilla
Whoa... a DC Comics movie about a hero who enjoys doing heroic things? And the Cubs won the World Series last night? Guys, it really is the end of the world. Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) looks like he may be the hapless, comic-relief non-hero of the film. That's good because Steve Trevor is the worst. Having him play the deflated macho foil to a proactive and heroic Wonder Woman seems like a solid bit of suffragette girl power. Let's just hope there's no perfunctory romance. It also makes me wonder about the comedy of manners and skewering of gender roles. It's been hinted at in both the SDCC trailer and this one, which could lead to some subversive screwball moments that hopefully dig deeper than petticoats and career paths. While Patty Jenkins' action and direction looks crisp, I'm still not 100% sold on Gal Gadot's performance. She has the look and can carry herself well, but Gadot's line delivery is flat and bordering on Schwarzeneggerian. It might be better in context rather than in these trailer-sized snippets. Part of me at a goofy meta level does like the idea that Wonder Woman is the resident Arnold of the DC Universe. And yet given the grace and diplomacy at the heart of Wonder Woman as a character, I worry that aspect of Diana Prince might be missing on screen. Also not sure of Junkie XL's metal'd out pseudo-"Immigrant Song" cover as an official Wonder Woman theme. Maybe it could be arranged for and recorded by an orchestra so it doesn't seem so out of place. Wonder Woman will be out June 2, 2017. What do you think of the trailer? Let us know in the comments. Below is a bright, bold motion poster for the film. [via /Film] [embed]221013:43186:0[/embed]
Wonder Woman trailer photo
Still not sure about Gadot's performance
The San Diego Comic Con trailer for Wonder Woman was wonderful, and the best ray of hope for the bleak DC Cinematic Universe. It offered some glimpses of Wonder Woman's home of Themyscira and the culture of the Amazons while also showcasing Wonder Woman's prowess as a warrior. Today the first official trailer for Wonder Woman dropped, and you can give it a watch below.

Review: Doctor Strange

Nov 02 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]221002:43178:0[/embed] Doctor StrangeDirector: Scott DerricksonRating: PG-13Release Date: October 25, 2016 (UK); November 4, 2016 (US) There's a philosophical template to many martial arts stories: an arrogant, inherently talented person becomes an unruly disciple to wise master, trains in a martial art, confronts their weaknesses (typically the ego), and unlocks their better self through discipline and mastery. Many times the student will surpass their master through an act of invention--combining or creating fighting styles, for instance, constructing a new weapon, or some higher-level use of the imagination. Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch doing his Benedict Cumberbatch shtick) starts the movie as a hotshot neurosurgeon who's fame-obsessed and failure-averse. A near-fatal car accident causes severe nerve damage to his hands. He's got the shakes now. That's the end his lucrative career. Strange hears rumors of a monastery in Nepal that may be able to heal him. He travels to the east where he gets thrown into a world of sorcery, one at war with a former student named Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen). Like most Marvel villains, Kaecilius is sort of a non-entity--just a bad guy doing bad guy things. Tilda Swinton plays The Ancient One, the master of the monastery who teaches Strange the ways of sorcery and opens his eyes to the world and its possibility. Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) offers an assist as a trainer, emphasizing strength and force. The only top-billed Asian actor is Benedict Wong who plays the stoic keeper of the arcane library. There's been a lot written in the last few months about the whitewashing of The Ancient One. I also foresee a lot of thinkpieces about cultural appropriation given how much of the movie feels like a kung fu film. I wasn't bothered by any of this, but everyone's mileage varies. There's enough that works in the film for me, and I think Swinton's air of otherworldliness and oddness fits with her character. When Doctor Strange is at its best, it's a fast-paced martial arts adventure that fills the screen with Escheresque imagery. Some moments have the vertiginous feel of Christopher Nolan's Inception or the finale of Interstellar, and others remind me a little of Alex Proyas' Dark City. There's an exhilirating chase through New York City streets in flux, where buildings and roads become a maddened, tilting, shifting clockwork world. When not spinning mandalas and fractals on screen, Doctor Strange recreates the blacklight psychedelia of Steve Ditko's comic book art. Director Scott Derrickson gives Doctor Strange its own visual grammar to differentiate it from the rest of the MCU. The film even finds a cool way of marrying the martial arts, the somatic components of spells, and the way magic manifests itself on screen. Unfortunately, Doctor Strange is a martial arts movie with badly shot fight scenes. The magic battles and traditional action is competent, allowing viewers to follow the actors on screen as the mirror-like gears of reality spin around them. Yet aside from one satisfying and inventive battle of astral projected forms (!), the fights are shot close up and with shaky cam, obscuring the choreography. It's a waste of Scott Adkins, who plays one of Kaecilius' goons. For all the philosophical lessons taken from Shaw Brothers movies, Doctor Strange ignores the practical lessons of quintessential Shaw Brothers directors Chang Cheh and Lau Kar-Leung. Derrickson could have easily pulled his camera back, kept it steady, and allowed the performer's in-camera movements and rhythms to define his shots and the editing. Characters in martial arts movies communicate who they are through their fighting style, and so action filmmakers should allow their characters to describe themselves in combat. And of course there's a not-too-good romance subplot between Strange and Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). It's there, it's not particularly engaging, and it's short enough. McAdams isn't given much to do, and there's not much reason to feel anything between Chrinstine and Strange. What is it about perfunctory love in movies? Does six minutes of a sketched romance really matter much? Platonic on-screen relationships are more satisfying than a forced romance, and they tend to be more dynamic. Stop trying to make romance subplots happen--it's not going to happen. Strange, The Ancient One, and Kacelius are so obsessed with time, its limits, and how it can be used. It drives their search for power. And on that note I felt like Doctor Strange could have benefited from an additional 10 minutes. (Maybe they could have shaved off some of that love stuff.) So much of this world is built up and breezed through that there's little time to breathe it in and appreciate what's there. Perhaps they wanted to keep the movie just under two hours, and yet that 10 minutes of breathing room could have opened things up a bit more. There's a major action sequence before the film's finale that occurs off-camera, which was a wasted opportunity for a classic martial arts set piece. Then again, given how they filmed the rest of the fight scenes, maybe it's for the best. There's a surprisingly good breather in the film between The Ancient One and Strange. The Ancient One ruminates as Strange listens, and the world around them achieves a gorgeous stillness. It's an unexpectedly thoughtful moment in the movie, thematically tied to characters and the overarching story and yet its own thing. Punching robots is fine, I guess, but I wouldn't mind more movies like Doctor Strange in the MCU. Good tea.
Review: Doctor Strange photo
Whoa--I know magic fu!
My favorite movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far have been the ones that don't feel like standard-issue superhero movies. The Avengers was basic, and Avengers: Age of Ultron was a bigger, dumber, basic-er redux of t...

Suicide Squad extended photo
Suicide Squad extended

Watch the trailer for the Suicide Squad extended cut, which has more Joker and Harley Quinn


Wait... Isn't more of a bad thing worse?
Oct 31
// Hubert Vigilla
Suicide Squad was mixed at best. Some felt it a decent movie hamstrung by the lack of focus and studio tampering. Some fanboys loved the movie to an ugly/unhealthy degree. And there are others (example: me) who thought it was...
Adam West and Ben Affleck photo
Adam West and Ben Affleck

Adam West wants to be in Ben Affleck's Batman movie and the DC cinematic universe


Pure West
Oct 26
// Hubert Vigilla
Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie--officially titled The Batman--should be getting underway soon. We know that hunky Joe Manganiello will play Deeathstroke in the film, but everything else is unknown at the moment. Adam West, t...
Logan trailer photo
I will make you hurt *snikt*
For Hugh Jackman's final film as Wolverine, they're going old man Logan on us. And here we have our first trailer for Logan, which is full of equal parts badassery and pathos. Wolverine meets The Road and The Last of Us? Oh h...

Watch the sneak peek teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2

Oct 19 // Hubert Vigilla
Oh, you kids with your space movies and things. How lovely. No lie, Guardians is my second favorite MCU movie since it has a bit more personality than the other films, and because James Gunn made Tromeo and Juliet, the secret-best Troma movie. Gunn is such a nice guy he even shared a poster for the film. Give it a look below. We'll keep you posted on the full trailer for Guardians 2 when it arrives. For now, come and get your tease of love. [via James Gunn on Facebook]
Guardians 2 teaser photo
We are all Kevin Bacon again
We're all anxiously awaiting Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2. James Gunn promises a full trailer is on the way for his misfit science fiction adventure, but for now, he's taken to Facebook to share a special sneak peek of the film. Give it a watch below, amigo.

The Defenders photo
The Defenders

Sigourney Weaver to play villain in The Defenders


Yea, that got the crowd excited
Oct 08
// Matthew Razak
As a final surprise at NYCC it was announced that Sigourney Weaver would be joining the cast of The Defenders as the villain. She came out on stage and everyone went pretty damn crazy. No word on who she will be playing, but it's a pretty massive pull.  We'll bring you more as it unravels. 
Spawn photo
Spawn

Todd McFarlane confirms an R-rated Spawn movie is in the works


Casting for digital cape not confirmed
Sep 19
// Matthew Razak
The original Spawn movie holds a special place in a lot of people's hearts. It wasn't that good, but it was definitely of its times, especially the ridiculous cape CGI and Martin Sheens too black hair. Also, it wasn't qu...
8-bit Justice League photo
8-bit Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League gets an 8-bit trailer (more like 16-bit)


Also with a nod to JLU
Sep 19
// Hubert Vigilla
Zack Snyder has been pretty good about hyping his Justice League movie on Twitter lately. In the last week he's released an image of Batman's tactical batsuit and a first look at J. K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. The bigg...
J.K. Simmons as Gordon photo
J.K. Simmons as Gordon

First look at J. K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon in Justice League from #BatmanDay


Zack Snyder loves the Twitter
Sep 18
// Hubert Vigilla
A while back we reported that J. K. Simmons was cast as Commissioner Gordon in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Principle photography has reached the homestretch in the reportedly hopeful and optimistic superhero film, and Snyde...
New Batman suit photo
New Batman suit

Zack Snyder reveals new Ben Affleck Batman suit as Justice League nears completion


DO YOU COPY WATCHMEN? YOU WILL!
Sep 14
// Hubert Vigilla
Zack Snyder is in the homestretch of principle photography on Justice League, which comes out next year. Ben Affleck recently wrapped filming and will likely move on to his solo Batman movie, which will pit the Dark Knight against hunky Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke. As a tease of what's to come, Zack Snyder took to Twitter and released an image of a new Batman suit. Here's Zack Snyder's tweet:
Lee, Stan Lee photo
Lee, Stan Lee

Fox making James Bond-style action movie about comics legend Stan Lee


Excelsior, not stirred
Sep 14
// Hubert Vigilla
Fox has acquired the life rights of Marvel Comics writer Stan Lee. The studio is planning to make a fictionalized period action-adventure film about Lee's life in the style of a Roger Moore James Bond film and Kingsman: The S...
Film score video essay photo
Film score video essay

Every Frame a Painting explains why MCU and modern movie music is similar and forgettable


The Marvel Carbon Copy Universe
Sep 12
// Hubert Vigilla
Tony Zhou's video series Every Frame a Painting is an excellent resource for people interested in the craft and aesthetics of filmmaking. Zhou is a professional editor, and his video essays cover everything for omnivorous cin...
Black Lightning photo
Black Lightning

DC's Black Lightning coming to TV, but not on The CW


Sep 09
// Nick Valdez
As we've reiterated many times in the past, what WB/DC can't seem to do in their films they've been excelling at on TV. One major player has been producer Greg Berlanti, who pretty much reinvented DC on TV with Arrow, The Fla...
Deathjoe Manganiellstroke photo
Deathjoe Manganiellstroke

Joe Manganiello cast as Deathstroke in Ben Affleck's Batman movie


Everyone in this movie works out
Sep 09
// Hubert Vigilla
You may recall news last week that Deathstroke will be the villain in Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie. This lead many people to wonder who would be cast as Slade Wilson. It was confirmed yesterday that hunky Joe Manganiello h...
Booster Gold photo
Booster Gold

Booster Gold movie may not be part of DCEU


No place for fun in the DCEU
Sep 08
// Matthew Razak
DC's Expanded Universe (what they're calling their cinematic universe and TV universe) is a place of furrowed brows, death and bad editing. That's no place for Booster Gold! See Booster Gold is a man from the future who trave...
Batman v Deathstroke photo
Batman v Deathstroke

Deathstroke is the villain of Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie, here's a first look


DO YOU STROKE IT? YOU WILL!
Aug 29
// Hubert Vigilla
After Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck signed on to write and direct his own Batman movie. We had a little bit of April Fool's fun speculating about who the villain would be, but until today, that remained a my...
Captain America quits photo
Captain America quits

Russos say Steve Rogers is no longer Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe


Russo swerve!
Aug 27
// Hubert Vigilla
Captain America: Civil War was a solid MCU entry--not as good as The Winter Soldier, but an entertaining beat-em-up that touched on the difficulties of foreign intervention in the Obama era. The film didn't have a hug-it-out ...
Batman photo
Batman

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders gets a trailer


The best Batman is back
Aug 24
// Matthew Razak
I'm pretty sure very few people under the age of 50 became fans of Batman through the old Adam West Batman TV show, but that's how I did. Reruns on some random channel at some random time were some of my favorite things ...
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Wolverine 3 might be Patrick Stewart's last hurrah as Professor X


Aug 11
// Geoff Henao
We already knew the next Wolverine sequel is going to be Hugh Jackman's final performance as the titular Wolverine, but it appears it may also feature Patrick Stewart's last take on Charles Xavier, as well. During an intervie...
Luke Cage photo
Luke Cage

First full trailer for Luke Cage lands some punches


I heard it was four guys
Aug 09
// Matthew Razak
Man, Netflix is killing it with their Marvel shows and Luke Cage looks no different. Like with their films the Netflix TV shows take a codified look and tone and warp each show into its own genre. Luke Cage looks to...

Suicide Squad v Guardians of the Galaxy: A Tale of Two Soundtracks

Aug 08 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]220753:43036:0[/embed] Awesome Mix Vol. 1 is an actual artifact that exists in Guardians of the Galaxy. The Suicide Squad soundtrack is just a soundtrack. This difference cannot be emphasized enough. The Awesome Mix is a mix tape from Peter Quill/Star-Lord's dead mother made just for him. A mix tape means curation, careful consideration, that time was taken to make something, and that something personal is trying to be communicated to someone else through an arrangement of songs. In short, mix tapes show someone you care. It's also important that the Awesome Mix is era-specific, with songs from the '70s and '80s, mixing a bit of AM radio kitsch--"Escape (The Pina Colada Song)," "Hooked on a Feeling"--with some Top 40/punk/glam favs--"Moonage Daydream," "Come and Get Your Love," "Cherry Bomb." This marks a time that Star-Lord will never know, lived by a parent he'll never see again, from a planet he was taken from. Sure, the songs are loads of fun, but there's an underlying sadness to a simple little cassette tape: Quill's last connection to his home planet is an antiquated bit of technology and (since few people make physical mixes these days) a dead cultural practice. By contrast, there's nothing curated about the Suicide Squad soundtrack (aka The Basic Bastich Playlist). It doesn't exist in-story and there's a general willy-nilly-ness to all of it. Looking at the tracklist, it doesn't feel like a mix tape made for anyone but rather for everyone and in the blandest way possible. The soundtrack feels like a bunch of songs some Warner Bros. studio exec downloaded on Napster when he was in college, plus three new ones. Those three new songs are relegated to the closing credits, by the way. That's probably where Skrillex & Rick Ross belong, but a shame to waste a Grimes track. [embed]220753:43037:0[/embed] The choices are so obvious, from "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "The House of the Rising Sun" to "Super Freak" and "Sympathy for the Devil." I couldn't help but think of better movies that made better use of these songs (e.g., Wayne's World, Casino, Little Miss Sunshine, Interview with the Vampire). On that note, The Basic Bastich Playlist even has a song from Awesome Mix Vol 1 ("Spirit in the Sky"). That may explain the general been-there-done-that quality to much of Suicide Squad. The movie does things that other movies have done, but it fails to distinguish itself or excel at anything uniquely on its own. The pop songs come frequently in Suicide Squad. The film's turgid, repetitive prologue feels like three different intro scenes in 20 minutes, with a new pop song creeping up every two minutes. Rather than carefully doling out the needle drops to punctuate a scene or create a character leitmotif, Ayer and his editors feel like cheap wedding DJs looking for a quick reaction from the crowd. "Want some tension and attitude in a scene lacking both? Here's 'Seven Nation Army' and 'Without Me.' Now get ready for the dollar dance." I'm surprised they didn't play "We Are Family," "I Will Survive," and "The Macarena" at some point. The overuse of licensed music is probably the result of the reshoots and subsequent re-edits of the film prior to release. Warner Bros. suits felt like audiences wanted a movie like the first Suicide Squad trailer, so they added more comedy and hired a company that specializes in editing trailers to rework the movie. Consequently, Suicide Squad feels more like a series of trailers than an actual cinematic story. Coming back to the Awesome Mix, I think it just emphasizes the main problem with Suicide Squad, and perhaps even WB/DC as they try to rush their own cinematic universe. The Awesome Mix is a compelling component of a story in which lonely characters join to form a surrogate family. The Basic Bastich Playlist is something a studio used to distract audiences from a story that barely even holds together.
Squad v Guardians photo
Basic Bastich Playlist v Awesome Mix
As Matt pointed out in his review, Suicide Squad feels like two movies clumsily stitched together. One movie (the better movie) is a grim Dirty Dozen/Wild Bunch homage about bad guys fighting even worse guys. That sounds righ...

Man of Steel 2 photo
Man of Steel 2

Warner Bros moving forward with Man of Steel sequel


Get the money, dollar dollar bill y'all
Aug 08
// Nick Valdez
Despite its poor critical reception, Suicide Squad broke crazy records last weekend. Because of this Warner Bros and DC Comics have to decided to move along with their plan, good films be damned. But something we didn't see c...
AINT NO MERCY photo
AINT NO MERCY

Watch Jared Leto's Joker hang out with Skrillex and Rick Ross for 'Purple Lambourghini' video


AIN'T NO MERCY AIN'T AIN'T AI-
Aug 08
// Nick Valdez
Suicide Squad has come and gone. Breaking August opening records, failing critically for the most part (although our Editor-in-Chief Matt was more level headed than most), and had so many editors in the editing room (accordin...

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