Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Remembering Carrie Fisher, Our Princess

The galaxy is missing its princess today.

Weirdly enough, when I learned that Carrie Fisher had passed away at the age of 60 following a heart attack, I was en route to my fourth viewing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. During the final moments of the film, I could hardly hold back the tears welling underneath my 3D glasses.

I fell in love with Star Wars and Fisher's snarky, no-nonsense and, unbeknownst to me at the time, groundbreaking portrayal of Princess Leia Organa when I was just three years old. The Empire Strikes Back was my first film from the saga, weirdly enough, and I was introduced to Leia as a take-charge leader of the Rebel Alliance who was just as strong as and often smarter than her male counterparts. She was the only woman that could match wits with Han Solo, and when she had orders to evacuate the Rebel base on Hoth, everyone listened.

I saw A New Hope and Return of the Jedi later on, and even though she was captured and required saving in both of those films, Leia never played the "damsel in distress" role that was commonplace in the sci-fi/fantasy genre at the time. She routinely mouthed off to her captors and even saved her saviors in the 1977 original film, and in Return of the Jedi, the enslaved princess choked out the vile, slug-like Jabba the Hutt with the chain around her own neck. If that's not feminist symbolism, I don't know what is.

As was likely the case with many young, male Star Wars fans at the time, Leia was the ideal female companion, not because she was beautiful (and let's be real, Carrie Fisher was a knockout), but because she wasn't as helpless as the other princesses out there in pop culture. As for the girls, she was aspirational, and being Leia while playing Star Wars in the backyard meant you could blast Imperial Stormtroopers just like the boys.

More than a childhood icon, Fisher was a brilliant writer, a beacon of mental health advocacy and a refreshingly candid personality who never shied away from poking fun at herself and her bizarre career. Based on the incredibly outpouring of emotion on my social media feeds, she touched countless lives in unexpected ways.

The universe loved her. I hope she knew.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Why "Rogue One" is the "Star Wars" Film We Needed

X-wing Starfighters. Imperial Walkers. The Death Star. Darth Freakin' Vader. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is brimming with fan service to titillate Force-sensitive aficionados of that galaxy far, far way. And yet, this is the most non-Star Wars film in the franchise, bearing only a few of the saga's signature touches to bring us a story that is simultaneously warm-and-cozy and shiny-and-new. If you felt like last year's excellent-but-familiar The Force Awakens was a retread of A New Hope, you'll be delighted to hear that Rogue One's differences from the core Star Wars films extend far beyond the lack of an opening scroll and a John Williams theme.

Making The Empire Strikes Back look downright cheery by comparison, Rogue One is decidedly dark, and it's definitely not for children under the age of 10. Heroes die and the costs of war are on full display in the inaugural Star Wars anthology film, taking us outside of the Skywalker family saga to chronicle the Rebel Alliance's theft of the Death Star plans that were at the center of the original 1977 film. Even though kids might not exactly thrill to the sacrifices of the main characters of Rogue One, including the impetuous Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), the deceptive Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and the snarky droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), adult fans of the saga will find much to debate and dissect this year as they impatiently await the arrival of Episode VIII.

I wasn't necessarily overjoyed by the prospect of Gareth Edwards taking the helm of the first standalone Star Wars flick, since I was fairly disappointed by his vision for Godzilla back in 2014. And yet, after the somewhat slow first act of Rogue One, I appreciated his unique take on George Lucas' universe. Edwards made new locales like the bustling city of Jedha and the sun-soaked beaches of Scarif fit right into the established Star Wars universe and feel overwhelmingly real compared to the artificial locations on display in its fellow prequel films. That's right, folks. Rogue One is a Star Wars prequel. Equally real are the smaller interactions between the main characters, whether it's Jyn sharing a tearful moment with her father, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) or a tense conversation between Darth Vader and the ambitious Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn).

Speaking of performances, not all of the standouts in Rogue One are flesh-and-blood. A far cry from the bumbling and grating Jar Jar Binks in the other prequel films, Rogue One brings us a remarkable digital creation in the form of Grand Moff Tarkin, resurrecting the late Peter Cushing with surprising realism. It's not perfect, stumbling into the uncanny valley on more than one occasion, but there are certainly moments when you forget you're watching an actor that is no longer with us. A similar work of digital wizardry de-ages another A New Hope character during the film's finale, albeit a tad less effectively. That being said, we're very close to photo-realistic human characters on film, and that's both awesome and terrifying.

Although the film starts out a bit on the tedious side, with out-of-place text informing us which planet we're on as the film jumps around like a caffeinated womprat, Rogue One becomes an outstanding adventure once it gets going. The final is an intense battle between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire that takes us from outer space to the shores of Scarif, representing what is arguably the most exhilarating Star Wars action sequence ever filmed. It's these jaw-dropping final moments of the film that prove to be the most effective, being satisfying in their own right and bringing new context and gravitas to the 1977 film, which begins mere moments after Rogue One's conclusion.

And yet, as much as Rogue One is a lead-up to the original film, which is made all the better as a result, it deserves and perhaps demands repeat viewings in its own right. I can't wait to watch the blind warrior Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) drop an entire Stormtrooper squad with a stick again, just as I can't wait to see Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) go all Rambo on some Death Troopers just one more time in theaters. Hell, I'm even looking forward to seeing Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) sic his mind-reading squid on former Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed). Because that scene is just weird.

But weird is OK, and even though Rogue One doesn't always feel like a traditional Star Wars film, it still feels like it belongs in that galaxy we know and love.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Let's Unite Over the New 'Rogue One' Trailer

Social media has been a pretty toxic place in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, with people on both sides of the aisle spewing vitriol at the other with little regard for compromise. I'm trying to stay out of it, for the most part, which unfortunately means limiting my interaction with the digital world as much as possible. That's a major reason why it's been a few weeks since I've posted.

Yet, I think there's one thing that we can all agree on in these divisive times. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story looks freakin' amazing. The final trailer for the forthcoming Gareth Edwards film chronicling the heist of the Empire's plans for the first Death Star was released today, giving us a better idea of what the Rebel Alliance is truly up against, the nature of Jyn Erso's mission and, finally, what "Rogue One" actually stands for.

What I dig most about the new trailer, embedded below, is that Edwards made a conscious effort to shoot this movie differently than any Star Wars film before it, but it still feels like that galaxy far, far away. We're in for something special on Dec. 16.

Watch the trailer below.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Three Strikes? Thoughts on 'Suicide Squad'

Critics weren't kind to Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, nor did they find much to like about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which hit theaters earlier this year and sparked much discussion and speculation about the future of the DC Extended Universe.

So here we have Suicide Squad, David Ayer's ensemble flick set to add some fun to Snyder's dire cinematic canon. With a more vibrant color palette, more jokes and many more characters to play with, it's easy to assume that this is the course correction the DCEU needs, right? Well, about that ...

Messy, poorly edited and often reminiscent of the late-1990s superhero flicks that killed the genre, Suicide Squad is a head-scratcher indeed. It's marginally better than Batman v Superman, and much of that heavy lifting is thanks to Margot Robbie's pitch-perfect and immensely fun portrayal of Harley Quinn.

Bearing only a few similarities to the Harley we met in Batman: The Animated Series, the cinematic Harleen Quinzel is more akin to the versions seen in the Batman: Arkham video games and the current comic book series by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti. Purists may turn up their noses at the fact that this Harley is more comfortable in booty shorts and fishnets than a red-and-black bodysuit (she does, however, actually wear her original outfit outfit in one scene), but this is the modern-day Harley to a tee. From her accent to her mannerisms to the glee on her face when she's unloading on a bad guy with a baseball bat, Robbie's Harley is incredibly fun to watch. Since she was so much better than the majority of the material around her, I'd fully support a solo flick starring The Joker's main squeeze in the near future.

That brings us to Puddin' himself, played by Jared Leto. Despite what the marketing and the merchandising would have you believe, Joker's barely in this movie, showing up on occasion to flash his gangsta grill and show off his tattoos. Leto's brief performance is, unfortunately, buried beneath the character's misguided gimmicks, coming across as a misguided Heath Ledger impression with just a dash of Jack Nicholson in his laugh. Aside from his outlandish look, there's nothing original about the performance, which is disappointing given Leto's acting ability.

Far less disappointing, however, was Will Smith's Deadshot, perhaps Smith's most likable character in 10 years. With a deep hatred for Batman (played briefly by Ben Affleck) equaled only by his love for his daughter, Smith's Floyd Lawton is as sympathetic as he is deadly, and we genuinely wind up rooting for him to make it through the film's suicide mission (hence the movie's name).

The mission in question ultimately involves taking down a villainess named The Enchantress, perhaps one of the worst comic book movie villains since the half-assed Malebolgia in 1997's Spawn. This grating, CGI-addled antagonist and her thrown-in brother account for the movie's most laughable moments, and the dull performance by Cara Delevigne doesn't help much. When a movie unites a group of over-the-top bad guys to take down a major threat, that threat should probably be more interesting than a slime-covered witch in a subway station.

Viola Davis does a decent job as Amanda Waller, given what she has to work with, and Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang was entertaining when he was allowed to be. Other members of the squad were serviceable at best, each given their brief moments to shine when the script required it. Sorry, Killer Croc fans. He's not as cool as he could have been.

And that's really the biggest tragedy with Suicide Squad: wasted potential. With the right resources and the right people in charge, this could have been one of the most talked-about movies of the year ... for the right reasons. Instead, it's a so-so adaptation, salvaged from complete mediocrity by some strong performances. Come for Robbie's Harley, but don't expect to enjoy much else.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

'Star Trek Beyond' Ensures Franchise will Live Long, Prosper

Star Trek Beyond isn't the return to form purists might have hoped for from sci-fi's landmark, half-century old property, but it also isn't the dull, loud, explosion-laden popcorn flick the trailers might have had you believe. Yes, there are explosions ... and yes, this is absolutely a turn-of-your-brain popcorn flick. And boy, is it ever loud. But dull? Hardly. In fact, after 2013's dreary Star Trek Into Darkness, I daresay that this film, helmed by Fast and the Furious veteran director Justin Lin, captures the sense of adventure established by J.J. Abrams' 2009 Trek reboot that was strangely missing last time around.

In Beyond, James T. Kirk is approaching his thirtieth birthday and a potential promotion to vice admiral, a job move that would remove him from the captain's chair of the iconic U.S.S. Enterprise. Before he can break the news to Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto), the crew is presented with a dangerous rescue mission that will hurl them into uncharted space and put them face-to-face with the villainous Krall (Idris Elba), who has a longstanding vendetta against the United Federation of Planets and seeks to use a superweapon against it. Scattered, wounded and stranded on a mysterious alien world, Kirk, Spock, Lt. Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Dr. "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban), Chekov (the late Anton Yelchin), Sulu (John Cho) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) team up with mysterious asskicker Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) to take down Krall and get home.

Although I have a fondness for the original 1960s Star Trek series, I could never get into The Next Generation growing up, largely because I felt like its tendency to favor extended, jargon-laced sequences aboard the Enterprise was keeping us from all of the more exciting things happening outside of the ship. Granted, the reuse of the same sets probably served a budgetary purpose at the time, but for a child looking for Star Wars-style shootouts and cool alien species, I was never quite satisfied. Perhaps the reason why I dig these new Trek films so much is that they're essentially Star Wars flicks in Star Trek Halloween costumes (funny how that all worked out for Abrams). Still, fun is fun, and with its mix of snappy dialog, exotic aliens and intense action set pieces, Beyond might be one of this summer's sleeper hits.

Below are some of my scattered Star Trek Beyond thoughts and observations. If you don't want spoilers, here's where you should stop reading.

  • I'm obsessed with the tiny CGI aliens introduced during the opening sequence. They roll around like Sonic the Hedgehog, they fight dirty and, at one point, one of them is wearing a little shirt with no pants. I want plushies of these guys produced immediately.
  • Idris Elba doesn't need makeup to be intimidating, but it definitely helps. He definitely makes a fairly stock Trek villain more memorable than it probably was on paper.
  • As much as the bromance between Kirk and Spock is at the core of Star Trek, this film spends a lot of time developing Spock's relationship with Bones. This might actually be the series' most interesting post-reboot friendship.
  • It's pretty juvenile for Scotty's alien sidekick Keenser to save the day at one point by way of acidic snot, but I was very OK with it. Trekkies probably disagree.
  • There will be people that accuse Jaylah of being a "Mary Sue," and those people can get stuffed. She's great. I hope she's in the sequel.
  • The Enterprise has been destroyed onscreen so much that I don't think its destruction in Beyond has the emotional impact filmmakers intended. 
  • I love that one crewmember had appendages on her head that open up like she's wearing a hat made of Alien facehuggers. I spent several minutes thinking of different things she could hide in the back of her head, so I'm sure I missed large chunks of the movie after her big "reveal." Oh, well.
  • Spock giving Uhura GPS-infused jewelry is kinda creepy. 
  • Using "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys to destroy Krall's swarm of attack ships during the climax is cute and a nice nod to the first movie, but it's also the most groan-inducing moment in Beyond. The song's inclusion also brings up an issue I had back in 2009. If the Beastie Boys exist in the Trek universe, then the song "Intergalactic" likely also exists. That song features a direct reference to "Mr. Spock," but there's no way the Beasties could have interacted with Spock during their lifetimes, and in this universe, Star Trek definitely isn't a TV show from the 1960s. What did Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA know?!
  • The film deals with the death of Spock Prime tactfully and tastefully, honoring the late Leonard Nimoy in the proper way. The film's subtle tribute to Anton Yelchin, who died weeks before release, also felt appropriate. It will be interesting to see how Chekov is handled in the next film. Will he be recast?
My verdict? Look, as far as franchises that begin with the word "Star" go, you already know where my loyalties ultimately lie. That being said, this rebooted timeline has gotten me more interested in Trek than I've ever been before, and Beyond is a much better sequel than Into Darkness. If you're considering checking it out in theaters, you should definitely go ... boldly. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The New 'Ghostbusters' Theme Should be Roasted in the Depths of a Giant Sloar

I've been critical of Paul Feig's forthcoming Ghostbusters remake for a while now, and the reaction I often get is that it's unfair to truly judge a piece of entertainment without experiencing it in its entirety. For example, when I shook my head at the first trailer for the film when it was released earlier this year,  I was told by at least a couple of friends to wait until I see the finished product to form an opinion. Sure. I can play by those rules. That's only fair.

Keeping that in mind, I listened to the new theme by Fall Out Boy (feat. Missy Elliott) for the film in its entirety before I decided it was one of the worst songs I've ever heard. That's not hyperbole. It's that bad. The Ray Parker Jr. original is no "Stairway to Heaven," but it's also not an elevator straight to hell. This might come close.

That's not really hyperbole. Fall Out Boy is admittedly not my thing, but this weird, disorienting reworking of one of the most classic theme songs in movie history is honestly difficult to listen to. As for Missy, she deserves better, and I sincerely hope that lines like "They roll up to my house, they knockin' at my door, they comin' bustin' in, kill all them ghosts" were because she was under a tight deadline. You can't kill ghosts, Missy!

I know the big debate has been about sexism with this movie, since the Ghostbusters team is made up of women, but can we all at least start to agree that this film has serious issues beyond the gender of its stars? 

But don't take my word for it, Listen to "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)" by Fall Out Boy (feat. Miss Elliott) below. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Darth Vader Confirmed for 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'

Most of us suspected it, but now we know for sure. As revealed by Entertainment Weekly, which features an in-depth cover feature on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this week, Darth Vader will appear in Gareth Edwards' heist film, set in that galaxy far, far away between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

In addition to heralding the cinematic return of The Dark Lord of the Sith, EW also gives us a deeper look at never-before-seen Star Wars technology (including new Imperial walkers and TIE fighters), the heroic Rebel squad led by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and why longtime fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars should be super psyched about Forest Whitaker's character.

I feel like it would be a huge misstep to set a film at this point in the Star Wars timeline without Vader's looming presence, so it's reassuring to know that we'll definitely hear his labored breathing and, hopefully, see his crimson lightsaber when Rogue One arrives in theaters Dec. 16.

For more on EW's Rogue One goodness, click here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Breaking Baboo: Bryan Cranston is Zordon in New 'Power Rangers' Movie

He's played LBJ, Dalton Trumbo and a chemistry teacher-turned-meth dealer. Now, as he himselt tweeted earlier today, Bryan Cranston will add Power Rangers mentor/giant floating head Zordon to his varied resumé.

The actor, who actually played several of Rita Repulsa's monster minions on the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series, will join Elizabeth Banks and a cast of Zord-riding millennials in the 2017 reboot.

Cranston's casting definitely gives the movie some necessary credibility, but this Zordon still needs his Alpha. Is Aaron Paul available?

'Justice League' Logo, Plot Synopsis Revealed

I don't count myself among the supporters of Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but I also refuse to believe that Warner Bros. won't make a concerted effort to address the film's criticisms in Justice League, scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 17, 2017.

The Snyder-helmed project is now reportedly a standalone movie instead of a two-parter and, earlier today, Warner Bros. released an official logo for Justice League (above) and the following plot synopsis: 

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes — Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash — it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

I love that this is a redemption story for Ben Affleck's Batman, who was a mere shell of a Dark Knight in BvS and, having not seen the DC Cinematic Universe's Caped Crusader in his prime, it was impossible to see how far he'd fallen from grace. At the very least, the Batman in this film won't be a hard-drinking, gun-toting, murderous psycho, which is a definite step in the right direction. Plus, does anyone else get a Silver Age vibe from the logo? That's a great sign.

An Update from the World of Wortman

Hey, guys. It's been a busy couple of weeks as I somehow attempt to juggle a personal life, my professional responsibilities and my stubborn commitment to things I probably should have lost interest in at the age of 12. Even though I'm clinging to sanity as my brain frantically races from one project/crisis/chore to another at frantic speeds, I need to take the time to appreciate the little things: Summer is here, Hi-C Ecto-Cooler is back on store shelves and there's an Independence Day sequel heading to theaters starring Jeff Goldblum and, of all people to return in a big-budget summer sequel, Judd Hirsch.

We'd all be dead now if it wasn't for his David.

I'm not expecting much from Independence Day: Resurgence, but then again, I also didn't expect much from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, which I fully intended to review here on The Wort Report weeks ago before life got in the way. You've probably seen it by now if you had any intention to do so, but if you've yet to experience Brad Garrett as a brain monster in a giant robot's belly, I highly suggest you do so. The flick is total fan service, and makes me confident that we'll one day see weirdos like Mondo Gecko, Scumbug and Muckman in a future sequel. They wouldn't be that much of a stretch given the weirdness on display in the latest Toitles escapade.

Now that I've sufficiently lightened the mood, I'd like to admit that one of the reasons I've been relatively quiet in recent weeks is that there's been a lot of real-life ugliness in the world lately that has, unfortunately, bred even more ugliness on social media as divisive, complicated issues are debated with poorly conceived memes, abhorrent misinformation and, in the worst-case scenarios, hatred. This didn't exactly make me thrilled to log onto my laptop at night and wax philosophical about Aquaman's portrayal in DC Rebirth or those awesome Ghostbusters Twinkies filled with "Key Lime Slime."

But, then again, maybe it's pop-culture junk food (both figurative and literal) that we all need right now to help us from devouring each other. In fact, I think it's our duty as geeks (and aren't we all geeks these days?) to spread a little positivity when we can. With that in mind, here's a video from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon featuring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson eating candy for the first time in nearly three decades.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Why We Can All Stop Freaking Out About 'Rogue One' Reshoots

If you're a Star Wars geek (and really, who isn't?), you probably know by now that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is undergoing four weeks of reshoots this summer after Disney executives screened a rough cut of Gareth Edwards' standalone film set in that galaxy far, far away. According to reports, the changes are to match the lighter tone of previous Star Wars films.

Many fans on social media are losing their minds over this news, worried that the film will be a massive misstep following the critical and financial success of The Force Awakens.

To steal a phrase, I find their lack of faith disturbing.

Movies undergo reshoots all the time, largely to address studio notes and streamline the narrative, which is necessary since we're dealing with the first Star Wars film that doesn't revolve around the Skywalker family. Marvel's The Avengers had extensive reshoots, as did The Force Awakens, the surprisingly funny Ant-Man and, if we want to go further back, The Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future and even Rocky required additional shooting after principal photography. The studio isn't panicking, they just want to give us the best version of Rogue One possible. This is a good thing.

I know we're in an outrage culture these days, constantly searching for a reason to froth at the mouth, but maybe, just maybe, Disney knows what they're doing. Let the Mickey win.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on Dec. 16.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

'X-Men: Apocalypse' is Big, Loud, Disposable Fun

Since Bryan Singer's X-Men redefined the superhero movie genre in 2000, Marvel's mutant franchise has done it all. It's been great (X2: X-Men United), it's been horrible (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), it's been surprisingly fun (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and it's been delightfully filthy (Deadpool). With X-Men: Apocalypse, Singer gives us an experience that's something else entirely: It's a goofy and passably entertaining way to spend two hours and 27 minutes.

The flick is set in the 1980s after the events of Days of Future Past, which gave us an alternate timeline in which Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is a hero to mutantkind while Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has gone into hiding in Poland, where he has started a family. The emergence of an ancient mutant named En Sabah Nur, a.k.a. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) sets into motion events that lead to the creation of a new X-Men team that must combat Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen, saving humans and mutants alike.

Joining the returning Mystique, Professor Xavier (James McAvoy), Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) are Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), all of whom play characters that appeared in the original X-Men trilogy. They're in their teens in this movie, evidently, and if you try to do the math on these characters' ages in this series or how any of this makes sense chronologically, your brain might start feeling like you just went four hours in Cerebro.

The bizarre thing about the X-Men franchise is that it's obsessed with filling in blanks, streamlining its continuity and attempting to fix inconsistencies on the fly (Days of Future Past did a lot of this). The problem is, the series isn't very good at any of that. Just how old is Mystique, anyway? If she and Xavier grew up as brother and sister, why do they seemingly not know each other in the original movies? Why does Xavier claim that Magneto helped him build Cerebro when it's already built by the time they meet? Why are there two Emma Frosts and two Trasks? We're asked to be invested in this mythology, which has been building for nearly two decades onscreen, but filmmakers, including Singer, can't even be bothered to fact-check their own work. That's probably why Singer wants us all to pull an Elsa with regard to continuity, urging us to "let it go."

This isn't just an issue of filmmakers choosing to handwave the "bad" movies in the series, either. For example, in X-Men: First Class, Wolverine says "Go f*** yourself" when Xavier attempts to recruit him, but in that film's sequel, he quotes Logan as saying, "f*** off." That's so easy to get right! Just watch the last movie and take notes! Perhaps that's why Deadpool is the most successful X-movie yet: It acknowledged that these movies are pretty much a mess at this point.

But a mess can be a lot of fun to watch, and I thoroughly enjoyed much of what Apocalypse had to offer. Quicksilver gives us another amazing "slow-motion" scene, there's an unexpected diversion involving the Weapon X program (and an obligatory cameo from You Know Who) and the final battle is a total blast. Whether you'll care about what happened 20 minutes after the end credits is another story entirely, but you probably won't regret the time you spent with these characters. It's nowhere near as good as Captain America: Civil War, but you also shouldn't expect it to be.

Judging the movie on its own merits, though, there are some issues unrelated to my obsession with franchise continuity. Based on her performance, Lawrence doesn't seem to be all that interested in playing Mystique anymore, which is unfortunate since she's basically the protagonist of this new wave of X-Men movies. Equally unfortunate is the execution of Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen. Isaac does just fine with the material, but I could never shake the feeling that I was watching Ivan Ooze from Might Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie, still hatin' on super-powered teenagers. This version of Apocalypse just isn't menacing, and the character design has a lot to do with it. As for his henchpeople, I feel like these new versions of Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Angel (Ben Hardy), were pretty much wasted here. Maybe they'll have more to do in the next film, which will position them all as Xavier's former college roommates and longtime friends. Because consistency is for dweebs, after all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Unboxing Video: Funko 'Star Wars' Smuggler's Bounty 'Bounty Hunters' Set

A video posted by James Wortman (@jameswortman) on

It's always great to come home to a box of new Star Wars loot (as if I need to cram any more of this stuff into my apartment). Thanks to the folks at Funko, I had the following delivered to my doorstep today:

  • Exclusive Boba Fett POP! vinyl bobble-head
  • Exclusive IG-88 POP! vinyl bobble-head
  • Bounty Hunters T-shirt
  • Bossk pin
  • Boba Fett patch
Dengar's feeling a tad left out, but if you dig on bounty hunters and you're a Smuggler's Bounty subscriber, you're happier than Jabba the Hutt during his cheat meal. Speaking of The Almighty Jabba, his palace will be the theme for the next Smuggler's Bounty box. To get in on this Funko fun, click here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

'Captain America: Civil War' Might be Marvel's Best Film

After the depressing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I admittedly approached 2016's second hero vs. hero comic book flick, Captain America: Civil War, with some degree of caution. Sure, it's helmed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who also directed the spectacular Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and sure, it features Spider-Man's debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but how could a movie that pits Earth's Mightiest Heroes against each other be any fun at all? The comic book by Mark Millar, upon which this film is loosely based, certainly doesn't have the trappings of an escapist adventure. At its core, this a story about the shattering of longtime friendships, the crossing of moral boundaries and the dangers of Big Government.

So why did I have a stupid smile on my face from beginning to end?

Somehow, the Russo brothers have transformed what could have and probably should have been a very bleak narrative into one of the most exciting Marvel movies to date, even as it puts our characters in a precarious position for future installments in the expansive MCU.

This third Captain America film (and 13th in this movie universe), is set one year after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and leaders of the world are none too pleased about the Avengers' lack of government oversight. The United Nations seeks to pass legislature known as the Sokovia Accords, which would force the superhero team to report to a UN panel. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) sees the value in accountability, while Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) does not. With Iron Man and Captain America unable to see eye-to-eye, battle lines are drawn, sides are chosen and the Avengers are divided. 

Returning from previous films are Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), whose past life as Hydra's secret weapon continues to haunt him throughout the film.

M.I.A. during all of this hero-on-hero action are Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), although their whereabouts will likely be explored in Thor: Ragnarok, due in theaters next year. That hero deficit is more than rectified, however, with the introduction of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Boseman's T'Challa is a pure badass, bringing to life a complicated character that I never thought I'd see in a live-action movie. Holland's Peter Parker, meanwhile, puts a fresh spin (ha) on a character we've seen in five other films already, but he just might be the best and most comic-accurate version of the Wall-Crawler to date. This version of Parker never seems to shut up, especially during the film's big fight scene, and the way he annoys other heroes on the battlefield gives us the smartass (and sometimes accidentally insulting) Spidey we've never really seen on the big screen. I can't wait to see more of this iteration of the character in Spider-Man: Homecoming, where Stark will no doubt continue to horn in on Peter's Aunt May (Marisa Tomei).

There's a lot of "gee-whiz" action on display in Civil War (just wait 'til you see what Ant-Man can do now) but by the end of the film's tense climax, characters' lives are forever altered, at least one beloved MCU character goes to the Great Beyond and relationships are irrevocably tarnished. Despite its somber moments, though, the film doesn't wallow in darkness, nor does it betray the moral foundations of its characters, even when they're at each other's throats. I sincerely hope Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder takes in a screening at some point.

It's hyperbolic to say that Civil War is the best Marvel Studios movie yet, but it also might be true. It's vastly superior to last year's uneven Age of Ultron, and it's right up there with the original Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Winter Soldier in its combination of spectacle, humor and character growth. Go see it, and if you wind up with a stupid smile like I did, don't worry. That's supposed to happen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Final 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Trailer Features Gloom, Doom and a Familiar Face

Well, maybe it's not a familiar face, necessarily, but I could swear I've seen those claws before ...

Yes, although it seemed like Wolverine would be sidelined for Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse, it now looks like Logan will play a limited role in the Days of Future Past sequel.

The final trailer for the May 27 film arrived yesterday, giving us an expanded look at Oscar Isaac's Apocalypse, his four Horsemen (including Olivia Munn as Psylocke and Alexandra Shipp as Storm) and the young X-Men roster led by Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence).

As is normally the case with Fox's X-Men flicks, you can pretty much take everything you know about the Marvel Universe and chuck it out the window when you sit down to watch the ninth film in this franchise (assuming, of course, that your theater has windows). Still, like First Class and Days of Future Past before it, Apocalypse looks like one hell of a ride. Watch the trailer below.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Marvel Studios' 'Inhumans' Pulls Vanishing Act

Excitement is building among Marvel fans as the release of Captain America: Civil War draws closer, but one shakeup on Disney's release schedule has some members of the Merry Marvel Marching Society playing a depressing tune. reports that Marvel's Inhumans, which already had its release date shifted from Nov. 2, 2018 to July 12, 2019, has disappeared from the studio's schedule entirely. The disappearance of the film has sparked speculation that the cinematic exploits of Black Bolt, Medusa and the rest of the denizens of Attilan have been put on hold indefinitely, never to emerge from the Terrigen Mists. 

But why? Perhaps the lukewarm ratings of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which has spent two seasons introducing the Inhumans to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has something to do with the change. Maybe the disappearance of this film from the Marvel Studios' schedule is a sign that the struggling ABC series is drawing to a close. Or, equally likely, they just want to place their focus on other films in Phase Three in the MCU. Stay tuned, True Believers.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ben Affleck to Helm Solo Batman Film

Ben Affleck is a fine director, and his portrayal of the Dark Knight was actually a bright spot in the otherwise dim Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. So, it was good news when Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas that Affleck would direct a standalone and untitled Batman film based on a script that he wrote. The speculation, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is that the film will either be released on Oct. 5, 2018 or on Nov. 1, 2019. Those are two dates that are listed on DC's release slate that do not yet have films attached to them.

With the Caped Crusader seen violently branding and even killing criminals in Batman v Superman, showing us a Batman who's reached his breaking point, I'm hoping that Affleck shows us an version of Bruce Wayne in this universe that is, dare I say it, more heroic than homicidal. Color me optimistic, because I honestly think Affleck wants to do right by Batman, regardless of how BvS director Zack Snyder chooses to tell his story in this universe.

Batman next hits the big screen in Suicide Squad, in theaters Aug. 5. For my full review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, click here.

Marvel's 'Spider-Man' Reboot Gets a Title

Although Spider-Man's making his big Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America: Civil War, arriving May 6, Peter Parker's going to be spinning webs in a solo film, due in theaters July 7, 2017. Its title? Spider-Man: Homecoming. I'm only speculating at this point, but future titles in this new series might be Spider-Man: Junior Prom and Spider-Man: Senior Cut Day.

Jokes aside, even the cartoony logo has me feeling like this movie will be a step in the right direction as the Wallcrawler stars in his sixth solo film since 2002. Tom Holland steps into the trademark red-and-blue tights this time around, with Academy Award-winner Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. Rumored to play the villainous Vulture in this reboot, according to Variety? Former Batman (and Birdman), Michael Keaton. If that's true, I might start crawling the walls myself, and I haven't been bitten by a radioactive ANYTHING ... that I know of.

For more on Spider-Man: Homecoming, head over to

'Marvel's Doctor Strange' Teaser Trailer is the Best Kind of Trippy

I occasionally roll my eyes at the thought of more superhero origin stories, but seeing as how Dr. Stephen Strange might not be the most accessible character for mainstream audiences, perhaps a refresher course is necessary. The trailer for Marvel's Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson and starring the expertly cast Benedict Cumberbatch, feels like a mix between The Matrix and Inception, and seems to carry a far different tone when compared to other Marvel Cinematic Universe films. It's strange, appropriately enough, and by the hoary hosts of Hoggoth, it looks fantastic. 

Let's hope audiences dig the cinematic introduction of The Sorcerer Supreme when Marvel's Doctor Strange hits theaters on Nov. 4. Check out the teaser trailer below.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

My Thought on the 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' Teaser Trailer

What, you thought Disney wasn't going to immediately follow the Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with something awesome? I find your lack of faith disturbing.

The House of Mouse has released the first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Story Wars Story, Gareth Edwards' spinoff that takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The film, hitting theaters Dec. 16, follows a group of rebels as they attempt to steal the plans for the first Death Star and set in motion the events in the original 1977 Star Wars film.

The trailer is loaded with familiar elements, like Original Trilogy Imperial Stormtroopers, Star Destroyers, AT-ATs and even Rebel Alliance leader Mon Mothma (now played by Genevieve O'Reilly), but there's something about it that feels very different from the Star Wars movies we've seen before. Perhaps it's the more grounded feel of the teaser or the fact that the trailer is loaded with humans with nary an alien to be seen, but I think this will nicely set the tone for these standalone spinoff movies. These should stand apart from the main movies, and based on what we've seen thus far, Rogue One will do just that.

Central in the trailer is Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, a criminal loner who is selected for the Rebel Alliance's ultimate heist. I've already seen plenty of folks complaining online that this is the second Star Wars film in a row that features a young, dark-haired woman with a British accent in a lead role, but I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing at all. If she's also really good at scavenging in the desert and bypassing hyperdrive compressors, we might have an issue.

I also really dig that Forest Whitaker is in this, as I never imagined that the guy who played Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland would ever star in a Star Wars flick. I can't wait to learn more about his role in Rogue One.

Check out the trailer below!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

'Batman v Superman' is Ambitious but Not Very Fun

Let me get this out of the way early: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is not the unsalvageable disaster many critics are making it out to be. There are a lot of really great ideas on display in this Man of Steel sequel, Ben Affleck's performance as Batman is pretty great at times and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is a joy to watch. Unfortunately, save for the Amazon serving as an exhilerating third-act deus ex machina, there's little joy to be found in this dour two hour and thirty-three minute superhero slugfest.

Playing off the very real backlash to Man of Steel's Metropolis-destroying final battle between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon), this film introduces us to a Bruce Wayne who's not only getting a little extreme in the crimefighting department — when he's not killing criminals, he's branding them with a bat emblem, which we learn will get them killed in prison — he's distrustful of Superman after the Last Son of Kryton leveled Wayne Enterprises' offices in Metropolis. Superman's not too fond of Batman's tactics either, and thanks to the machinations of Lex Luthor (who hates Superman because of his own issues with God and, apparently, his abusive father), the two are drawn together for a battle that has played out more than a few times in the comic books, including Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee's Hush and Frank Miller's groundbreaking miniseries, The Dark Knight Returns. 

In fact, director Zack Snyder borrows a lot from The Dark Knight Returns, including, unfortunately, Miller's utter distaste for Superman. Here, Superman is a hated, controversial figure, and it's his polarizing effect he has on the populace that makes Kal-El just as gloomy as his cowled rival from across the bay (in the Snyderverse, Gotham and Metropolis are a ferry ride away from each other). Snyder and writers Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer spend a lot of time and effort reminding us how dangerous and conflicted Superman is, robbing the titular fight of its appealing light vs. dark theme. Superman and Batman should be mirror images of one another. Opposites. Here, because the filmmakers often mistake maturity for grittiness (like a teenager who thinks they're grown-up because they use curse words), the core conflict of the movie falls apart.

But maybe, as Kal-El reminds us during a pivotal moment in this film, Superman in the Snyderverse "was never real. Just a dream of a farmer from Kansas." Wait ... didn't Kevin Costner's Pa Kent die in Man of Steel to prevent his son from using his powers to help people and reveal his alien origins to the world? Did Batman v Superman seriously retcon a huge plot point in the last movie, or did Snyder and the writers forget to rewatch a film they worked on? It's easy to overlook things like that, sure, but if Warner Bros. is attempting a sprawling shared universe to rival Marvel's, inconsistencies like that add up. We don't want to repeat Fox's continuity mistakes with the X-Men movies, do we?

Among those forthcoming DC movies, which include this August's Suicide Squad and next summer's Wonder Woman, we'll reportedly be getting a solo Batman film starring Affleck, which will hopefully explore the character's early years before he got so burnt out on crimefighting he started using guns and, yes, killing people. I know that Batman has racked up a death toll onscreen in the past, but if we're now setting Bruce up as the founder of the Justice League, he should probably have some scruples about taking human lives.

But human lives aren't the only ones taken in this movie. There are MAJOR SPOILERS beyond this point, so stop reading if you'd like to avoid them.

To kill Doomsday (Luthor's Frankenstein monster combining his own DNA with that of the deceased General Zod), Superman pierces the beast's skin with a kryptonite spear fashioned by the Dark Knight, and in doing so, he's stabbed through the heart, similar to how the fight between Supes and Doomsday went down in The Death of Superman. Yes, as if Snyder didn't already prove, through two movies, that he really isn't that interested in Superman as a character (which is why the screen version doesn't think or act like his comic book counterpart), he's killed him off and buried him six feet under so the Justice League can form without its central member. Great. Hopefully, when he inevitably returns (as hinted at in the final seconds of the movie), this movie universe will realize that having an invincible, flying dude who can shoot lasers out of his eyes is actually a good thing.

Now that we're deep in spoiler territory at this point in the review, here are some other issues I had with Batman v Superman that I wish I didn't have.

  • The very first present-day thing we see Superman do in this movie is punch a dude full-force through a brick wall. There's no way the guy didn't survive that. After the negative reaction to Supes offing Zod in the last movie, you'd think Snyder would have shown some restraint here. But it sure looked BADASS, right?! 
  • I wish Jesse Eisenberg's Lex was more than a mash-up of Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight and Jim Carey's Riddler from Batman Forever. There are places for his character to grow in future movies, sure, but here he's a petulant brat whose motivations seem to change from scene to scene. Imagine how cool this character could have been if he was like the Luthor from the post-Crisis comics, or even Superman: The Animated Series? It wouldn't have changed the plot in the slightest! If it ain't broke, after all ...
  • You could take Batman's entire "Knightmare" sequence, where he's snapping necks and shooting soldiers with an automatic weapon, out of the movie entirely and you wouldn't lose a thing. This felt like one of those over-the-top fantasies from Snyder's baffling Sucker Punch. They were jarring and disorienting in that movie, too.
  • Martha Kent (Diane Lane) tells her adopted son that he doesn't owe the world a thing. Actually, seeing as how the Earth's sun is the source of his power and its people, namely the Kents, nurtured him from infancy, you could argue that he owes Earth everything since Krypton, you know, blew up. It's a burden that the comic book version of this character gladly takes on. It's what makes him a hero. A superhero, even. 
  • The reason why the Caped Crusader and Superman stop fighting is that Batman learns that both of their moms are named Martha. And not only do they stop fighting, they decide to team up. Batman even calls Supes his friend moments later (after he kills a dude, naturally). I guess deep-seated hatred based on fundamental and personal differences is fleeting after all.
  • Batman's the World's Greatest Detective, but he can't tell that he's being manipulated by a millennial. You can reinterpret and reinvent Batman all you want, but being smart is kind of his thing.
Bear in mind, I was really looking forward to Batman v Superman, so don't mistake me for a Marvel fanboy who was anxious to bash the competition. Superman was my first superhero, and I still binge-watch Batman: The Animated Series on DVD when the mood strikes. But amidst the stylized CGI chaos, the grimacing and the growling, I just wasn't having any fun. And if you're not having fun with superheroes, characters created for the sole purpose of escapist entertainment, then what's the point? 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Non-Spoiler Review: '10 Cloverfield Lane' is a Different Kind of Sequel

We were all gobsmacked when we learned just a few weeks ago that a super-secret sequel to Cloverfield was on its way, but the biggest shocker is that Dan Trachtenberg's 10 Cloverfield Lane isn't really a sequel at all. Sure, it seems like this could exist in the same universe as the J.J. Abrams-produced found-footage kaiju flick, but the reality is that this is a different type of movie with very different storytelling sensibilities and, above all, very different characters. If you were hoping for T.J. Miller to return as a goofball camera guy, you're going to be disappointed.

Without giving anything away (since the joy in this film is the mystery), I can say that John Goodman's Howard Stambler is one messed-up dude, and peeling back his layers of instability in the claustrophobic bunker setting makes for a disturbing, yet satisfying, moviegoing experience. Mary Elizabeth Winstead carries the rest of the film as the skeptical protagonist, Michelle, while John Gallagher Jr. helps balances out some of the omnipresent tension as the affable Emmett. That's pretty much it for the main cast in this slow-burn thriller, which spends much of its 103-minute running time confined to just a few small rooms.

10 Cloverfield Lane takes a bizarre left turn toward the end, and it's that narrative shift that might turn off some viewers. Personally, I loved where the story wound up, giving me the impression that we're seeing an anthology series unfold and we're just now realizing it. Is the primary threat in this movie related in any way to the monster that ravaged New York in the original Cloverfield? Is this series like The Twilight Zone in that it's made up of stories that have nothing to do with each other? There's plenty to ponder as we await the inevitable follow-up but, at this rate, the third film will leave us with yet more questions than answers. Plus, given the drastic differences between Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane, that movie can pretty much be whatever it wants to be. I'm hoping for animated cop drama starring anthropomorphic seahorses.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Netflix Release Part 1 of 'Daredevil' Season 2 Trailer

I've never cared for The Punisher as a character, but maybe the second season of Daredevil will make me change my mind about Frank Castle when it hits Netflix on March 18.

Watch the first half of the Daredevil Season 2 trailer below. Part 2 will arrive on Feb. 25.

Also, yes, we're now apparently in the age of multi-part trailers. What a time to be alive!

'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Filming Has Begun

Star Wars: Episode VIII, written and directed by Rian Johnson, has begun principal photography at Pinewood Studios. The next chapter in the saga will obviously feature returning stars of The Force Awakens like Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Lupita Nyong'o and Gewndoline Christie, and will introduce Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran to the cast.

Watch the Episode VIII video announcement below!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

'LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Coming to Consoles in June

I know I wasn't the only Star Wars fan who was a little disappointed that the December release of The Force Awakens wasn't accompanied by a quirky LEGO video game adaptation. Fortunately, those of us craving some new brick-on-brick action in that galaxy far, far away will be getting our fix on June 28, when LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits consoles.

According to an official statement, the game will feature never-before-seen story elements bridging Return of the Jedi and the new film, along with refined combat mechanics, new multiplayer options, intense vehicle gameplay and that oh-so-adorable LEGO humor.

Check out the teaser trailer below!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Captain Phasma Confirmed to Return in 'Star Wars: Episode VIII'

Even though the character did little in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and was unceremoniously dealt with off-screen, Captain Phasma will indeed be returning in Episode VIII. Actress Gwendoline Christie broke the news to over the weekend.

I love Christie in Game of Thrones on HBO, so I was pretty disappointed that Phasma did little more than look cool during her limited screen time. Hopefully, this means that the metallic stormtrooper captain will have an expanded role in the next chapter of the Star Wars saga. I don't understand Christie's casting if that isn't the case.

For the full story, head over to by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New 'Suicide Squad' Trailer is Weird, in a Good Way

Warner Bros. has dropped a full-length trailer for this summer's Suicide Squad, giving us our best looks yet at Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, Will Smith's Deadshot, Jared Leto's Joker and the rest of the rogues populating this ambitious action-comedy. The flick certainly seems to have a sense of madcap fun about it, which is definitely something the DC film universe needs right now.

This movie might be just crazy enough to work. Watch the trailer below.

'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Release Pushed Back

The release date for Star Wars: Episode VIII has been pushed from May 2017 to Dec. 15 of that year, confirms. The film, directed by Rian Johnson, is currently in pre-production and will begin principal photography next month in London.

Although it's clearly a bummer that we're getting the next chapter in the saga several months after we had hoped, I don't necessarily mind that Lucasfilm is taking its time with this one. Plus, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hitting theaters at the end of this year, it's not like we won't be getting our Star Wars fix soon enough, right? RIGHT?!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Kylo Ren Stars in 'Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base' on 'SNL'

When I learned that Adam Driver would be guest starring on Saturday Night Live, I pretty much knew we'd get some form of Star Wars: The Force Awakens parody where he'd reprise his role as Kylo Ren, and the show fortunately didn't disappoint in that regard.

Meshing quite nicely with the whole "Emo Kylo Ren" Twitter phenomenon, "Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base" features Darth Vader's No. 1 Fan disguising himself as a radar technician named Matt. Temper tantrums, Force choking and brooding abound.

Check it out below!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

'Deadpool' Billboard Wins at Marketing

As if the red-band trailers for Deadpool weren't entertaining enough, the film's new emoji-styled billboard pretty much nails it when it comes to movie advertising.

Comedian Patton Oswalt said it best on Twitter.

Me too, Patton. Me too.  Deadpool hits theaters Feb. 12.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

'Star Wars' Rules the Domestic Box Office

In a feat even more impressive than Rey's ability to bypass the compressor on the Millennium Falcon, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the highest-grossing film in U.S. history less than three weeks after its release, Variety reports. The J.J. Abrams-helmed flick has beaten the $760.5 record set by James Cameron's Avatar in 2010.

As someone who's seen The Force Awakens six times as of this writing, I feel like I'm at least partially responsible.

Globally, the seventh installment in the Star Wars saga still trails behind Jurassic World, Titanic and Avatar, but it's still yet to open in China, which is the second-biggest film market in the world after the United States. The Force Awakens releases in China this weekend.

For the full story, click here.