Tuesday, January 27, 2015

All-Female 'Ghostbusters' Cast Revealed

As millions of geeks rejoiced upon learning that Disney was considering Chris Pratt as the next Indiana Jones, The Hollywood Reporter dropped another huge bombshell this week that's bound to be a lot more divisive than the idea of Star-Lord in a fedora: The all-female Ghostbusters reboot has a cast.

According to the report, director Paul Feig will likely be reuniting with Bridesmaids stars Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, with Saturday Night Live's Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon rounding out the core cast.

I'm not at all against this casting (half of which we could have guessed months ago), but I still can't shake the feeling that this reboot is fueled by a gimmick. Yes, I'm accusing a remake of a comedy about a team of ghost exterminators as being "gimmicky."

For the full story, head over to hollywoodreporter.com.

The New 'Fantastic Four' Trailer Tries Really Hard

Say what you will about the Tim Story Fantastic Four movies, but they at least captured some of the fun of Marvel's first family in their own meandering way. Based on the first teaser trailer for 20th Century Fox's 2015 reboot of the property, however, it's all gloom and doom (ha!) for these characters as filmmakers desperately try to make Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman, The Human Torch and the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing truly work on the big screen for the first time ever. Will they succeed?

At first glance, the cast seems a tad young, particularly with 27-year-old Miles Teller (Divergent) playing Reed Richards. I've always considered Reed much older and wiser, but as the trailer reminds us, this is the same studio that brought us X-Men: Days of Future Past. Sticking to the comics isn't really their "thing."

Fantastic Four hits theaters Aug. 7.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

George Lucas' 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Ideas Not Used By Disney

In a recent interview with Cinema Blend, Star Wars creator George Lucas revealed that he provided Disney with some ideas for Episode VII when he turned over the franchise to The House of Mouse back in 2012, but it looks like none of those concepts are making it into J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens.

"The [ideas] that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn't really want to do those," Lucas told Cinema Blend. "So they made up their own. So it's not the ones that I originally wrote."

Do you hear that sound? It's prequel haters around the world rejoicing. Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters Dec. 18. Check out the teaser trailer below.

Reboots and Retcons: Are Mainstream Comics Pointless Right Now?

It seems odd to ask the question, since heroes from Marvel and DC are among entertainment's hottest intellectual properties right now, but with Marvel getting ready to revamp its continuity with this summer's Secret Wars crossover and DC looking to do the same with its Convergence event, we've reached a bizarre crossroads with "The Big Two." If everything happening in mainstream comics is about to be erased, does it even make sense for us to keep buying titles that will be rendered obsolete in a few months?

DC readers are all too familiar with the ennui that precedes a new status quo, after 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths and 2011's mostly mishandled introduction of "The New 52." Marvel, though, has mostly maintained the same continuity (Earth-616) since Timely Comics' Captain America socked Hitler in the mouth back in 1940. Timelines have been muddied to keep characters from qualifying  for AARP membership, but by and large, The House of Ideas' canon has stretched back more than half a century — and that history is about to be erased.

I'm totally on-board with the idea of freshening up continuity for all the new readers that are hopefully migrating to comics after seeing these characters on film and on television, but I'm also having a hard time investing time and money into stories that will have no longer "happened" in less than a year. But maybe that's just me. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

'Star Wars' Returns to Marvel in Blockbuster Fashion

Arriving with much fanfare and more variant covers than you can shake a lightsaber at, Marvel's Star Wars #1 hit shelves this week, written by Jason Aaron with art by John Cassaday. Set not long after Luke Skywalker destroyed the Galactic Empire's first Death Star, the issue features Luke, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2 infiltrating an Imperial weapons factory, a plan that starts to unravel once Darth Vader shows up. The issue is Marvel's first Star Wars comic book in nearly 30 years, and it's clear that The House of Ideas is excited about getting to play in George Lucas' sandbox once again.

One thing that immediately jumped out at me was how much this book captures the feel of the original Star Wars trilogy, from Han's wisecracks to Threepio's nonstop fretting. There's even an amputation via lightsaber in this inaugural issue, which is a weird thing to get excited about but a Star Wars necessity as far as I'm concerned.

Marvel's clearly taking full advantage of Disney's 2012 Lucasfilm acquisition, with Darth Vader and Princess Leia titles arriving later this year, but it's also putting forward the best resources possible to tell compelling stories in this universe. Marvel's Star Wars is already looking like a top-tier book that's bound to remind geeks everywhere why they fell in love with this franchise in the first place.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Hulk Gets Busted in New 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Trailer

Last week's teaser trailer for Ant-Man was pretty cool, but let's be realistic: The Marvel movie we're all really waiting for this summer is Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron. A new trailer for the superhero team-up sequel was released Monday night, giving us new glimpses at the Avengers team coming apart at the seams, legions of murderous robots and, most spectacularly, Tony Stark in his Hulkbuster armor beating the hell out of The Hulk. Does bustin' make Iron Man feel good? Watch the trailer below and see for yourself.

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters May 1.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Want to See 'Ghostbusters' as a 1980s Anime?

It's a little early for me to be getting birthday gifts, but I'll take this graciously. Check out Nacho Punch's bizarre reimagining of The Real Ghostbusters, which I kind of want to see as a full-length series now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Netflix 'Daredevil' Series Gets a Release Date

I don't hate the 2003 Daredevil starring Ben Affleck the way some other folks out there do, but I think we're all in agreement that The Man Without Fear has long deserved proper Marvel Studios treatment. On April 10 at 12:01 PT, our wait is over.

Exclusively on Netflix, fans will be able to stream 13 one-hour episodes of Marvel's Daredevil, starring Charlie Cox as the man behind the mask, Matt Murdock. Also starring in the anticipated Netflix series are Deborah Ann Wolfe as Karen Page, Elden Johnson as Foggy Nelson, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple and Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. The Kingpin.

To tide us over until April, Marvel and Netflix have released a motion poster for the anticipated series, which you can check out below.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

'Ant-Man' Teaser Debuts During 'Agent Carter'

After Marvel has spent the past few days teasing the, um, teaser for this summer's Ant-Man, fans got their first substantial look at the flick during the premiere of the exceptional Agent Cater on ABC.

Much to the likely dismay of all of those Hank Pym fans out there, this film centers around Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a criminal-turned-superhero who acquires a suit granting him the ability to decrease in size and increase in strength. The teaser shows Lang displaying his unusual powers, and Michael Douglas as an aged Pym in a mentor role.

Since Guardians of the Galaxy already proved moviegoers are comfortable with some weirdness in their comic book movies, Ant-Man shouldn't have an issue finding an audience when it hits theaters on July 17. 

Guys, Marvel's about to release an Ant-Man movie this summer and DC still hasn't been able to give us a Wonder Woman flick. Wrap your heads around that.

Check out the full "human-sized" Ant-Man teaser below!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dancing Baby Groot Presents My Top 5 Flicks of 2014

Happy New Year, Wortmaniacs! 2014 was an incredible year for movie geeks and geeks in general, and although there were some disappointments along the way (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, I'm looking at you), there was plenty to obsess about in the multiplex this year. As I wait to finally check out Birdman this evening, I thought I'd do a quick ranking of my favorite movies in 2014. Based on the Funko POP! Vinyl, pictured above, you probably already guessed which movie snagged my No. 1 spot, so let's start there ...

1) Guardians of the Galaxy
James Gunn's Marvel Universe space opera seemed to come out of nowhere last August, and now characters like Rocket Raccoon and Drax the Destroyer are right up there with Iron Man and the Hulk in most moviegoers' eyes. This film's got a ton of action, eye-popping visual effects, hilarious character moments and one of the best soundtracks in recent memory. If you don't already own Guardians of the Galaxy, you should.

2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Wow. The Russo brothers' Captain America sequel is not only a solid addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but a tightly paced thriller in its own right. Awesome fight sequences and a surprising amount of practical visual effects work cement this film as one of Marvel's best, and Chris Evans continues to grow and evolve as Steve Rogers.

3) St. Vincent
I didn't think a Bill Murray movie would make me cry, but here we are. This dramatic dark comedy, written and directed by Theodore Melfi, has some laughs for sure, but it's the heartstring-tugging performances by Murray, Jaeden Lieberher, Naomi Watts and Melissa McCarthy that make this one of 2014's most memorable films. And trust me: Bring some tissues for the ending.

4) The Lego Movie
What at first appears to be a cash grab turns out to be the year's most original and well-intentioned family comedy, bringing forward the message that it's okay to be different and that, sometimes, "following the instructions" isn't always the best route. Also, who would have thought that Will Arnett would be an amazing Batman?

5) X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fourteen years after kicking off the X-Men movie franchise, Bryan Singer returns to the series to clean up the mess that it's become since he left, and the end result is pretty spectacular. The film is by no means a faithful adaptation of the iconic Chris Claremont and John Byrne comic book story, but it's a fun time travel adventure and a fantastic follow-up to 2011's X-Men: First Class. This is how you fix a broken franchise.