Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Not So Fast, ‘Green Lantern’ Sequel …

Although there were some early reports that Warner Bros. had greenlit (ha!) a sequel to the financially struggling (and pretty mediocre) Green Lantern film, Warner Bros. has affirmed that another film is not necessarily a guarantee for the ring slinging superhero, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The media outlet had previously reported that a followup to the Ryan Reynolds vehicle was a sure thing, citing a reliable source at the studio. However, a Warner Bros. spokesperson was quick to clarify to THR that a decision had not been made regarding the cinematic fate of the character.

With a reported budget of more than $200 million—and an additional estimated $200 million spent on marketing—it’s unlikely Green Lantern will be able to break even this summer at the rate it’s going. As such, Warner Bros. is completely justified in sitting on its hands for the time being.

For the full story, click here.

Michael Bay Urges Fans to See ‘Transformers 3’ in 3D

Based on the escalated marketing bombardment over the last few days, you’re probably well aware that Transformers: Dark of the Moon hits theaters worldwide tomorrow. Some of the early reviews are saying this is the best Transformers film yet, and while I’ll never quite forget how soul-crushingly idiotic the last film was, I’m kind of hoping director Michael Bay redeems himself with his third and presumably final Autobots vs. Decepticons epic. Because, hey, the first one was pretty cool.

In anticipation of the film’s release, Bay has been hard at work to ensure that moviegoers are seeing the best version of the film possible. In a posting on his official website, MichaelBay.com, the explosion enthusiast urged fans to see the film in 3D, a format he was vehemently opposed to prior to shooting Dark of the Moon.

Dark of the Moon has some of the most technically challenging sequences ever shot. And shot in 3D,” Bay wrote. “I must urge you to find the very best theatre and see this movie in that format. 3D was a forethought, not an afterthought in this movie. I’m glad [3D innovator] Jim Cameron and [Dark of the Moon executive producer] Steven Spielberg really convinced me to shoot in this new technology.”

Will you be seeing Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D? Do you really think Dark of the Moon makes up for the abysmal Revenge of the Fallen? Sound off on my Facebook page, or continue the conversation by following me on Twitter and using the hashtag #WortReport

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Well, ‘Green Lantern’ Pretty Much Sucks

Given Green Lantern’s dismal reviews and disappointing $53.2 million opening weekend, it seems almost cruel to add yet another bad review to the pile. The movie has already been savaged by everyone from top-tier film critics to obsessive comic book fans to casual filmgoers on Twitter, so people who haven’t seen it yet have been given fair warning to stay away.

But you know what? Screw it. I paid $16 to see this hot garbage in 3D, and I want to vent.

I’m not going to lie and say I’m a lifelong fan of the Green Lantern comic books. In fact, I’ll go on record in saying my experience with the character doesn’t extend far beyond Geoff Johns’ work over the last seven years or so. Still, by following the character from Rebirth to the “Sinestro Corps. War” storyline to Blackest Night and beyond, I gained a new appreciation for how expansive the DC Universe actually was. When I heard there’d be a Green Lantern feature film with Johns attached as a producer, I was thrilled. After all, I thought, the Green Lantern mythos is essentially Star Wars with superheroes, how could anyone screw that up? Someone must have mistaken that rhetorical question for a dare.

So Green Lantern, helmed by Casino Royale director Martin Campbell, is a loose retelling of Hal Jordan’s origin story. Well, that’s not entirely true. Star Ryan Reynolds is in full-on Van Wilder mode here, so the character more closely resembles the boastful and arrogant Guy Gardner. All that said, the filmmakers tells us this prick of a fighter pilot is Hal, so I guess we’ll take their word for it.

Anyhow, a dying purple alien (Temuera Morrison) bestows his green power ring to Hal, granting him amazing and otherworldly abilities based on his incredible will (the Green Lanterns’ power is based on willpower). Even though Hal is afraid of just about everything throughout the film, the ring chose him based on his ability to overcome fear. Go figure.
Now a member of the legendary Green Lantern Corps., Hal is transported to Oa, where he meets the fish-faced Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush), receives a few minutes of training from drill sergeant Kilowog (Michael Clarke Duncan) and clashes briefly with a Green Lantern leader named Sinestro (Mark Strong). Because this film isn’t interested in making Hal interesting or heroic, he quits the Corps. almost immediately and heads back to Earth, claiming the ring was wrong in choosing him. While you might think this weakens Hal’s character arc, keep in mind that the visual effects team on Green Lantern apparently put a lot of time and money into making Oa look as desolate and depressing as possible. You almost can’t blame Hal for wanting to leave.

But anchoring Hal to Earth is his childhood sweetheart-turned-steely aircraft executive Carol Ferris, played by Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively. Don’t let the last name fool you – she’s not the least bit enthusiastic about this material. However, she’s an ideal damsel in distress after scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) is infected by an alien entity called Parallax and begins using his newfound abilities to lash out at everyone that wronged him, including his senator father (Tim Robbins) and Carol, who once spurred his romantic advances in favor of Hal. The character transition comes off as awkward, especially since we’re not really given the opportunity to care about him before his transformation into a cackling psychic supernerd. Nevertheless Sarsgaard looks like he’s having a lot of fun in this role, so at least someone was enjoying themselves on set during filming.

And let’s get to Parallax, the malicious force that thrives off the yellow-hued power of fear – a counterpoint to the Green Lantern Corps.’ mastery of will. It’s been featured pretty heavily in the comic book series, and even possessed Hal to turn him into one of the most diabolical villains in the history of the DC Universe. But alas, Parallax is reduced to a snarling, poorly rendered yellow blob with tentacles that goes out like a chump when Hal ultimately decides to become a hero during the film’s tensionless climax.

If I’m being harsh and dismissive toward Green Lantern, it’s because this movie could have been a lot better than it turned out. This film should have been the beginning of a superheroic space opera, and instead we’re subjected to a dull, lifeless, rushed and remarkably mundane iteration of the character’s origin story. After Marvel Studios’ Thor, Green Lantern just makes Warner Bros. look bad.

Oh, and if you stick around through the credits, you get a brief extra scene teasing a sequel. When Iron Man and Thor did this, I cheered. Here, however, hinting at a sequel is more presumptuous than titillating.

If you’re in the mood for superheroes at the cinema, save your green for Captain America.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hey, a New Trailer for ‘The Muppets!’

If you don’t crack at least one smile during this trailer for Disney’s The Muppets—opening this Thanksgiving—then you just might be a cynical douchebag. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oh Cap, USO Crazy!

At some point in Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers wears a ridiculous(ly awesome) version of his costume to entertain the troops as part of the USO. It’s a nod to the character’s iconic comic book appearance, and a low-res shot of Chris Evans in the getup has been making the rounds online. I stumbled across it on Topless Robot and reposted it here:

As goofy as the outfit looks, this wink to the fans offers some reassurance that director Joe Johnston and his team are approaching the World War II-era Marvel mythos with the right pulp sensibilities. Captain America hits theaters on July 22.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shia LaBeouf Talks ‘Indy 5’

Although Transformers actor Shia LaBeouf won’t be returning for the Hasbro franchise’s inevitable fourth onscreen outing—and neither will director Michael Bay—the 25-year-old actor is planning to reprise the role of Mutt Williams in a fifth Indiana Jones film.

In an interview with MTV promoting Transformers: Dark of the Moon at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, LaBeouf said that a sequel to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull “is not so far off,” and that series’ veteran star Harrison Ford is staying in peak physical condition for when he is called upon to don Indy’s trademark fedora and leather jacket once again.

“I talked to Harrison Ford,” LaBeouf said in the interview, which you can watch here. “He said he's staying in the gym, he said he’s heard no word, but he does know that George [Lucas] is out there looking for a MacGuffin.”

Let me come right out and say it. Yes, I was very complimentary of Crystal Skull when it was originally released. Maybe I was riding high on the incredible wave of Indiana Jones nostalgia that had overtaken many of us the summer of 2007, but I didn’t want to believe that Lucas, Spielberg and Ford had screwed up. Unfortunately, I bought the DVD later that year, and came to realize that Crystal Skull didn’t need to be made and never justified its existence with a compelling narrative. Nowadays, I can’t watch it for more than 20 minutes before I feel the need to turn it off or change the channel.

Bellyaching aside, LaBeouf as Indy’s rebellious son was the least of the film’s problems, so his return to the series doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’m more bothered that Lucas and Spielberg think they have another Indiana Jones tale worth telling. If the last film is any indication, as Indy himself might say, this franchise belongs in a museum.

Who Is Jimmy Mortman?

WWE Superstar R-Truth is pretty upset with all the “Little Jimmys” of the world, especially some guy named “Jimmy Mortman” at WWEShop.com. I can’t say I’ve bumped into the guy around the WWE.com offices myself, but others have told me they see him all the time. Anyhow, he’s certainly rockin’ the bald look, which I can appreciate.

Learn all about “R-Truth’s Least Favorite ‘Jimmys’” by watching the clip below.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

E3 Trailer: ‘Gotham City Impostors’

So, WB Games is releasing a downloadable Batman-themed multiplayer first-person shooter called Gotham City Impostors, which is kinda weird since Batman hating guns is kinda central to his character. As such, he’d probably be upset that civilians are dressing up like him and pointing shotguns at other civilians wearing Joker makeup.

I’m fairly certain Gotham City Impostors makes no sense for a couple of reasons, but it’s coming out in 2012 whether we like it or not.

Check out the E3 trailer below.

Bryan Singer Talks ‘X-Men: First Class’ Sequel

To be honest, I went into Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class expecting a trainwreck on the same level as X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Yeah, I’d heard the positive early reviews, but I had a really difficult time convincing myself that Fox had somehow turned this creatively troubled franchise around with a crowded prequel set during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Thankfully, Vaughn kinda nailed it, largely thanks to superb casting. James McAvoy played a great young Professor X, while Michael Fassbender’s Magneto is always interesting to watch. January Jones strutting around in lingerie as Emma Frost doesn’t’ hurt the film either.

Seeing as how Fox’s X-Men series just got a lot better, I was pleased to learn that Bryan Singer—who directed the first two films and produced First Class—is already talking about a sequel that will similarly involve real historical events.

“I don’t know if every movie has to be a history lesson. But there’s a lot of history to cover. If we sequelized this, it could inhabit a whole world of the 20th century,” Singer told the Los Angeles Times. “When [First Class] happened, Kennedy had not been assassinated and the Vietnam War hadn’t happened yet.”

He continued, “What’s really interesting about the ‘60s setting is the civil rights movement.”

This would be an interesting direction for a First Class sequel, especially given the prevalent theme of tolerance and coexistence in the X-Men mythology.

For the full Times story, click here.

LucasArts Unveils ‘Kinect Star Wars’at E3

Really? Really. Damn. Now I need to buy a Kinect. At E3 in Los Angeles, LucasArts debuted Kinect Star Wars for Xbox 360’s motion-based peripheral. Naturally, I’m intrigued.

We’re all going to be ridiculous playing this thing, but personal pride has never really been an issue when it comes to Star Wars fandom, has it? Hell, I’m off to get a Sy Snootles lower back tattoo as I type this.

Check out IGN’s gameplay trailer below.