Friday, August 19, 2011

See Cap and Thor Fight......Guys?

This whole post is SPOILERY,  so proceed with caution!

So, with Avengers currently shooting bigass action sequences on the streets of Cleveland (doubling for New York) some youtube clips were bound to make the rounds. I never thought they would be this cool, though. We've got footage from the filming of a fight sequence featuring Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans). They're mostly fighting guys with mo-capture suits on, and the scuttlebutt around the interwebs is that the villains are going to be (POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOLLOW) the Skrulls.

And finally here's the God O' Thunder smiting a Chevy:

So that's all pretty cool. If you're a lifelong Marvel Zombie, you've got to be jazzed to see those two characters kicking ass together.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Drive" Trailer Looks Badass

Below you'll find the trailer for Drive, a new low-budget thriller starring Ryan Gosling as a stunt driver who moonlights as a wheelman for criminals. And yes, while this looks a lot like every other movie about a monastic, disciplined and honorable crook who gets in over his head, it's been a while since I've seen a really good version of that particular story. This one could be it. The cast looks great, and holy shit, is that Albert Brooks? Awesome.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's A Bird, It's A Plane...

...yeah, you know who it is. Warner Bros. released their first official shot of Henry Cavill as the Man of Tomorrow in Zack Snyder's upcoming Superman: The Man of Steel. Take a gander below:

That's pretty awesome, actually. The detailing on the suit is a little busy, and is it me or does the cape seem absurdly long? Anyway, I like the look of Cavill. He gives Supes a sense of intensity and power that the more earnest portrayals have always missed. I'm still a little guarded, mostly due to how Snyder's movies seem to be heading on a downward slide. Dawn of the Dead was great, 300 was good but a little flawed, Watchmen was faithful but lifeless and Sucker Punch was mindblowingly awful. Haven't seen the one he did about owls, but assume there will be scenes that start off in slo mo and then ramp up to regualr speed. But Christopher Nolan and David Goyer are overseeing the film, so they could curtail some of Snyder's weaknesses and play up his strengths. Who knows, but this shot certainly has piqued my interest based on its atmosphere alone.

On a side note, recently watched all of the original Christopher Reeve movies. Beyond nostalgia, I was amazed at how well the first two films hold up, especially Richard Donner's cut of Superman II, which is head and shoulders above Richard Lester's more campy version. Also astonished that I found Superman IV to be vastly superior to Superman III. Yeah, IV had like a dollar ninety-five as a budget, and it looked like it.  But III seemed completely uninterested in telling a Superman story, and way more interested in making a Richard Pryor comedy. And by trying to do both, it winds up being neither. It's painfully unfunny. Pryor isn't even as funny as Ned Beatty was in the first two Superman films. The only bright spot is Reeve's continuing brilliance in the title role, and an almost unbelievably luminous Annette O'Toole. That's it. Everything else is godawful.

On the other hand, its cloying naivete aside, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, is at least trying to tell a Superman story. Gene Hackman is back, and though his wit is a shadow of his former excellence, bad Gene Hackman is still fun to watch. Margot Kidder is more involved, which is good even if she somehow looks ten years older than anyone else in the film aside from Jackie Cooper. Mariel Hemingway is quite good, and the much ridiculed Nuclear Man is actually a good physical foe. With a little more care (which new producer Cannon Films was unable to provide given their meager funds) the script and film could have been tooled into something actually enjoyable. As it is, it's a goofy little B-movie, and far easier to sit through than Superman III.

So, let's hope The Man of Steel is more Superman I & II than III or IV.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Apparently, A Mixed-Race Spider-Man Will Destroy the World.

Spider-Man is perhaps my favourite super-hero ever. It's for a lot of reasons, but mainly it's because he is the best example of the everyman super-hero. I'm currently in the midst of a big reading project where I'm reading every single Spider-Man appearance in chronological order. So far, I've read about two decades worth of Spider-Man stories.

These days, Spidey exists in two separate iterations published by Marvel. The first is the mainstream Spidey, the one who has existed since 1962 and stars in Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, and a couple other books. But over a decade ago, Marvel created a separate line of comics from their long-established line, called Ultimate Marvel. The original idea was that Ultimate Marvel would feature characters from their starting points, in contemporary times and without any established continuity, allowing creators to take them in brand new directions.

The first Ultimate series was Ultimate Spider-Man, written by Brian Michael Bendis. And, well over a hundred issues later, Bendis is still writing it today. I read the series when it first started, but around the 100 issue mark, I stopped reading it. I had always really enjoyed what Bendis and his collaborators were doing with the book, and I'm still not sure why I didn't keep up with it. I can say that Bendis did do some really exciting things, tweaking the story of Peter Parker and his classic arcs without losing sight of his core qualities that give him resonance.

Just recently he made waves with a story arc where Peter Parker actually died. That's right, they killed off Peter Parker. As in, no more Spidey. Now first off, I am not naive enough to believe he'll stay dead forever. He'll be back, that's for sure, it's only a question of when. That decision made enough waves, but what came out in the last couple of days really sent some people on the interwebs into insanity.

The new Ultimate Spider-Man will be a half-Latino, half-African American kid named Miles Morales. And the comic world cracked in half with some of the most racist bullshit spouted on message boards across the world. Here's a selection from Bleeding Cool of some of the most hateful: