Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Why Ben Affleck Won't Direct 'The Batman'

Oh, DC Entertainment. You just can't catch a break, can you?

As comic book fans cross their fingers that this summer's Wonder Woman will redeem DC's cinematic universe following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, Ben Affleck revealed that he will not direct The Batman, The Dark Knight's upcoming solo movie. He will remain as the star and as a producer on the project.

Affleck and Warner Bros. have released statements saying that Affleck stepping down was a mutual decision, and that the film will be moving forward with a different director. War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves is reportedly among those being considered.

Although it's easy to assume that this means that the production is troubled, it could also indicate that studio execs and even Affleck himself are being very careful with these movies moving forward. Affleck's a great director, but if he isn't right for this film or if there needs to be a course correction, it's better to find out now.

You can see a different take on The Caped Crusader in The LEGO Batman Movie, in theaters Feb. 10, and you can watch Affleck wear the cowl in Justice League this November. For more on this story, head over to Variety.com.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

What Exactly is 'The Avengers Project'?

Confession time: I'm not particularly into mobile gaming. Yes, I understand its popularity and I can get into games like Super Mario Run and Pokemon Go as fleeting distractions, but it's hard for me to devote the kind of time to them as I would console titles. I also spend enough time playing around on my phone as it is.

With the rise in popularity of mobile games in recent years has also come the pop-culture dominance of Marvel's mighty stable of superheroes under the stewardship of Disney. This convergence has resulted in no shortage of Marvel mobile experiences, such as Contest of Champions and Future Fight, but for anyone looking for a substantial, quality story-based game on a console or PC has been mostly out of luck. This year's Spider-Man PlayStation 4 exclusive is a glimmer of hope, but we want much more than we've been getting.

Square-Enix and Marvel are seemingly aiming to remedy that issue with The Avengers Project, a large-scale video game undertaking developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montreal, the folks behind the current Tomb Raider games. The project kicks off a multi-game deal between Square-Enix and Marvel. But what kind of game or games will we be getting with The Avengers Project? RPG? Action-adventure? Platformer? Will it take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? If so, when?

Until more info is released about this exciting new partnership, salivate over this announcement trailer for The Avengers Project below.

Monday, January 23, 2017

'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Title Revealed

After months of speculation, the official title of Star Wars: Episode VIII has been revealed, spurring yet more speculation about what the ominous title might mean for the Skywalker family.

The official title of Rian Johnson's follow-up to The Force Awakens is Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Lucasfilm has released the logo for the film, which ditches the traditional yellow for a deep red, eerily similar to that of a Sith Lord's lightsaber.

Does this title refer to Luke Skywalker, who Rey found at the end of the last movie to begin her Jedi training? Or is the title referencing Rey herself, who will no doubt face Kylo Ren in a rematch in this film after defeating him the first time around? All will be revealed when Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters Dec. 15, 2017.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The New 'Logan' Trailer is Seriously Depressing

Fox's X-Men franchise is all over the place. It's got dizzying highs (Deadpool) dismal lows (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and daunting middles (X-Men: Apocalypse), so it's hard to gauge just what a new entry in the franchise will bring to the table. On March 3, we get Logan, an odd film that will likely be Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart's last outing as Wolverine and Professor X. It has the trappings of a road trip movie, with the titular Logan and Chuck Xavier on the move and encountering a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen), who bears a striking resemblance to Wolverine in the "disemboweling people with metal claws" department. In the film, Laura is likely Logan's clone, or at least we can assume that's the case given what's happened in Marvel's comic book universe, where she has taken up the Wolverine mantle after her "father's" death.

Logan seems to be loosely based on Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's Old Man Logan, taking place in a dreary near-future where our favorite adamantium-infused mutant has lost a step in his advancing years. The film evidently makes full use of its R rating, with plenty of bloodshed and an older, decrepit Prof. X that has developed a bit of a potty mouth. It looks like a weird, sad movie, but by all accounts, it could be the satisfying sendoff that both Jackson and Stewart deserve.

Watch the second trailer for Logan below.

About That New 'Power Rangers' Trailer

When Mighty Morphin Power Rangers hit U.S. TV screens in 1993, I was entering the fourth grade, and being one year removed from the perceived maturity of junior high school, I decided that I was too "old" to get involved, instead opting to devote my energy toward more grown-up pursuits like Marvel Comics, Timothy Zahn Star Wars novels, my Super Nintendo and collecting Jurassic Park and Aliens action figures. Clearly, I had an odd criteria for what could be considered "grown-up," but even today at 33 years old, I struggle with the definition.

Anyway, the inherent live-action cheesiness of Power Rangers didn't do much to draw me to the property fully as a nine-year-old, but I couldn't help but pay attention to it. MMPR was everywhere, and that's not even counting the knock-offs and also-rans like VR Troopers, Big Bad Beetleborgs and my personal favorite, Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad. I never had any MMPR merchandise, but I definitely had Syber-Squad toys, likely thinking it was somehow more sophisticated because they were fighting monster "computer viruses" and were in a rock band. Thanks to YouTube, I now know I was very, very wrong.

I watched the show now and then in the early days, never really speaking publicly about it, and I've definitely seen Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie more times than I'd like to admit thanks to 1990s HBO, but it was the one big 1990s kiddie property that I juuuust missed.

Fast-forward to this week, and there's a new trailer for the grittier, edgier Power Rangers reboot. And you know what? I'm so in.

With the added credibility that comes with casting the likes of Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks in key roles, Power Rangers seems to be taking itself more seriously than any iteration of the franchise before it and looks, dare I say it, cool. Longtime fans of the franchise seem pretty happy with what we've seen so far, and I actually plan on being right there beside them when Power Rangers hits theaters on March 24.

Check out the trailer below!