Category Archives: Movies

There Are No Strings on Me

no strings 02Somewhat unexpectedly yesterday, Marvel Studios released earlier-than-expected the first live action trailer for what might be the most anticipated comic movie in history – Avengers: The Age of Ultron.  Not to be listed as being light on action, the trailer relied heavily on the battle between Tony Stark in Hulkbuster armour against the Hulk.  Perhaps more interestingly though is that the trailer introduced three new characters, new Avengers Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, as well as the movie’s antagonist Ultron.  While there is bound to be analysis and over-analysis of the trailer by those that can’t wait until next May, there is very little in terms of plot which can be discerned from the trailer.  It would seem as though after the teaser scene at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, that it is Ultron that rescues the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and the battle between the Hulk and Iron Man which might set up the rumored next Hulk film focused on World War Hulk are both present, but no plot is there, and anything else beyond some speculation would only border on gossip.  What is interesting though is the theme of the trailer, and whether that will be an underlying theme of the movie.

Ultron and the twins

Ultron and the twins

Even dedicated fans of Disney would have been unlikely to recognize the melancholic version of “There Are No Strings on Me” playing in the background of the trailer, and if not for the final words of the villain at the end of the trailer, might have even gone unnoticed.   Robots searching for their humanity is one of the most common themes in regards to stories involving the artificial beings, and forms the basis for many of the most famous characters and stories in science fiction, whether it be Data in Star Trek or the replicants in Blade Runner.  Often times, and especially with well-established characters, there are references made to the artificial men of literature.  For instance, in one episode of Star Trek TNG, Data is compared to the Tin Man, who himself sought his own heart.

In a bit of a twist, Ultron though he is a robot with artificial intelligence has never been very concerned with his humanity, declaring his own sentience to supersede that of humans, despite having been patterned on the  persona of Hank Pym, though presumably someone else in this movie seeing as Pym has not yet shown up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.   The artificial man in reference in the trailer is Pinocchio, who as far as artificial men go is in a category of his own.  As the story goes, the wooden boy was first sculpted from a piece of magical talking wood, and strove for true humanity, but with a background based on magic, the impulse is still the same, to be truly human or as the song says “there are no strings on me”.  As a choice for the underlying music of the trailer it is therefore a little bit confusing.  Ultron is not the best example of a robot trying to understand humanity, and it is even seen as one of his fatal flaws, as the hero The Vision was able to overcome Ultron in an early appearance because The Vision had a conscience whereas Ultron did not.  Perhaps then, another reading of the music is necessary, not holding true to the story or the genre at all, but rather taken at face value.  Ultron and machines will not be ruled by man and this is all the setup that the new Avengers movie needs.

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Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” – Teaser Trailer

Get your first look at Ultron trying to tear apart Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the world in the first official teaser trailer for Marvel‘s Avengers: Age of Ultron, in theaters May 1, 2015!

Victor Santos and Dark Horse’s Polar Heads to the Big Screen

Constantin Film and Dark Horse Entertainment are joining forces to bring Polar to the big screen. Based on the popular Dark Horse Comics graphic novel Polar: Came from the Cold by Victor Santos, Constantin Film has pre-emptively purchased the spec, Polar written by Jayson Rothwell.

The adrenaline-pumping action-thriller tells the story of Black Kaiser, a master assassin forced out of retirement when he finds himself the target of a motley crew of new generation hitmen. But Kaiser’s gun-blazing and bloody universe is at odds with the doting and protective relationship he has with the child of one of his former marks. Faced with the ultimate battle for survival, Kaiser must choose between saving his life and saving his soul.

Constantin Film and Dark Horse Entertainment are currently out to directors with the aim of shooting Polar in the spring of 2015. Constantin Film’s Robert Kulzer will be producing along with Jeremy Bolt as well as Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg. Rothwell is also writing an Untitled Heist Thriller for Thunder Road. He is repped by WME.

PolarCameFromCold

Guardians of the Galaxy Still Earns Over $1 million for the Weekend

hr_Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_46Guardians of the Galaxy has turned into the little(ish) movie that could. The film is in its twelfth week at the box office, coming in 13th place and earning a little over $1 million. It’s not the only “comic” movie holding on and earning cash. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is in its eleventh week and earned an additional $520,000. Very overlooked, Snowpiercer is in its seventeenth week, and earned $1,200. If you haven’t seen that one, do yourself a favor and grab a copy when it hits video soon.

When it comes to totals for the year, Guardians has moved into fourth place when it comes to worldwide grosses, and there’s a good chance it will move into at least third when the ride ends. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also cross the $700 million mark worldwide, the seventh film to do so this year.

Here’s where everyone stands currently when it comes to “comic” movies in 2014.

Domestic Gross

1. Guardians of the Galaxy – $327.8 million
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – $259.8 million
4. Transformers: Age of Extinction – $245.4 million
6. X-Men: Days of Future Past – $233.9 million
7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – $208.1 million
8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – $202.9 million
9. Godzilla – $200.7 million
11. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – $189.6 million
19. Mr. Peabody & Sherman $111.5 million
21. 300: Rise of An Empire – $106.6 million
23. Edge of Tomorrow – $100.2 million
33. Hercules – $72.7 million
41. Robocop – $58.6 million
94. Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – $13.8 million
114. Snowpiercer – $4.6 million

Worldwide Gross

1. Transformers: Age of Extinction – $1.080.9 billion
3. X-Men: Days of Future Past – $746 million
4. Guardians of the Galaxy – $732.6 million
5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – $714.1 million
6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – $709 million
7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – $700.4 million
9. Godzilla – $525 million
13. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – $375 million
14. Edge of Tomorrow – $369.2 million
16. 300: Rise of An Empire – $331.1 million
20. Mr. Peabody & Sherman – $272.9 million
22. Robocop – $242.7 million
23. Hercules – $226.8 million
52. Snowpiercer – $86.7 million
83. Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – $38.6 million
230. We Are the Best! – $181,000

Will Senator Patrick Leahy be in Batman v Superman?

patrick leahy dark knightThe President Pro Tempore (pro tem) of the United States Senate Senator Patrick Leahy (D – Vermont) is a long time fan of Batman becoming a fan at a young age. 50 year later the Senator can still quote from the comic books he grew up on. The Senator who has stood up for and fought for Hollywood when it comes to things like intellectual property protection has also appeared in numerous Batman films including standing up to Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight. This conflict has raised some questions on Hollywood’s influence on the Senator.

But, with a new film around the corner starring the Dark Knight, will we see Senator Leahy in the film?

“It’s a fascinating movie. It will have superb actors in it,” Leahy told ABC News, stressing the word “superb,” in an interview posted Friday.

“My intuition says you’re in it, so we’ll leave it at that,” correspondent Jeff Zeleny replies to Leahy.

“We’ll leave it at that,” the lawmaker says with a grin.

 

When the film hits theaters next year keep an eye out for him. In between, we’ll see how many pieces of legislation the Senator pushes for his Hollywood friends.

(via The Hill)

Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Has Hit $700 Million Worldwide

Credit: Marvel

Credit: Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy has been dominating the box office in every which way and now the film has officially passed the 700 million mark. WE ARE GROOT!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, GOTG is the third Walt Disney Studios’ release this year to pass that mark. The film’s numbers are $326.7 million domestically and $378.4 million overseas and that makes for $705.1 million overall. It is also the 4th Marvel film to reach $700 million with the other films being Marvel’s The Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So in other words, Guardians of the Galaxy is owning life and with the film opening in Italy soon, it’ll surely get much higher grossing numbers. Can it hit $800? Oh, and it’s also the 6th top grossing film of 2014 so far. It’s definitely one of the best, maybe even the current best, film from Marvel. It’s still being quoted all around the world, and will be on everyone’s Christmas wish lists this year.

Have you seen the film? 

Warner Bros. Announces their DC Comics Movie Schedule

New-DC-Logo_BlueDuring a shareholder meeting Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced plans for Warner Bros.’ plans for movies based on DC Comics, ending months (years?) of speculation and rumors. This is the list of movies to expect post Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

August 5, 2016: Suicide Squad“four A-listers are currently in talks to star,” and the film will be directed by David Ayer.

June 23, 2017: Wonder WomanGal Gadot spins off into her on film.

November 23, 2017: Justice League Part 1 – the first part of Zack Snyder‘s two part film brings back the cast of Batman v Superman with man more added.

March 23, 2018: The FlashEzra Miller will suit up as the scarlet speedster, instead of the television show’s Grant Gustin

July 27, 2018: Aquaman – the studio has confirmed that Jason Momoa will star.

April 5, 2019: ShazamDwayne “The Rock” Johnson is attached to the film.

June 14, 2019: Justice League Part 2

April 3, 2020:  Cyborg – the film will star Ray Fisher.

June 19, 2020: Green Lantern

There also more solo Batman and Superman films in the works. Also announced was The Lego Batman Movie in 2017, directed by Chris McKay, and The Lego Movie 2 in 2018.

In August a list of ten movie release dates was posted by BoxOfficeMojo. Here’s how those dates match up.

  • Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – 3/25/16
  • Untitled DC Film (June 2020) – 6/19/20 – Green Lantern above.
  • Untitled DC Film (April 2020) – 4/3/20 – Cyborg above
  • Untitled DC Film (June 2019) – 6/14/19 – Justice League Part 2 above.
  • Untitled DC Film (April 2019) – 4/5/19 - Shazam above.
  • Untitled DC Film (July 2018) – 7/27/18 - Aquaman above.
  • Untitled DC Film (March 2018) – 3/23/18 – The Flash above.
  • Untitled DC Film (Nov. 2017) – 11/17/17 – probably Justice League, thought it’s shifted by a week.
  • Untitled DC Film (June 2017) – 6/23/17 – Wonder Woman above.
  • Untitled DC Film (2016) – 8/5/16 – Suicide Squad above.

All the dates match up, except one which is shifted one week.

Anthony Desiato Discusses By Spoon! The Jay Meisel Story

2014-10-09_1612We previously spoke to filmmaker Anthony Desiato about his previous film My Comic DocumentARy. He has a spin-off coming out soon By Spoon! The Jay Meisel Story following the comic store owner Jay Meisel who we saw in the first film.

We got to speak to Anthony again to get the scoop on another excellent film that peals back the world of comic shops.

Graphic Policy: How did By Spoon! The Jay Meisel Story come about?

Anthony Desiato: I enjoyed telling a shorter version of Jay’s story in My Comic Shop DocumentARy, and his segment played very well at screenings, so I knew I wanted to do more with him.

GP: How long did it take you to film it and edit it to get it to release?

AD: There was an initial round of filming in winter 2013, and then a second round in late summer/early fall. I didn’t really get into the editing until early spring of this year. I finished around May.

GP: During the documentary, it feels like you discovered a story with the closing of the location he was at, and that might not have been what the intent was going in. How did that change the narrative of what you went in to film, and what you ended up making?

AD: That is absolutely what happened, and it’s a perfect example of the beauty of documentary filmmaking: finding a different story than you originally intended during the filmmaking process.

When I began this project, there was no indication that the flea market would close. The documentary was originally intended to be a profile of Jay. I probably would have delved a little bit deeper into his backstory. And it would have ended on the question of, “Is there an end in sight? How much longer will Jay spend his weekends at the Empire State Flea Market?”

Then, months after I thought I was done filming, Jay got word that the market would close. As his friend, it was tremendously sad. As a documentarian, I knew I had to chronicle the end.

Had this film remained a profile, I’m sure it would have been a solid piece. But the closing of the market gave the film weight and an arc. I’m very proud of the finished product.

GP: In the film, you seem to capture the crossroads the comic industry is in. There are the changing entertainment tastes, demographics, and new technology. What is it about the industry that makes them so reluctant to embrace new technology?

AD: It’s funny, because as with my first documentary, I wasn’t necessarily trying to make any sort of statement about the industry. My only intention was to tell one man’s story. That being said, it’s gratifying that the film can have that larger meaning.

As for what makes the industry reluctant to embrace new technology, I suspect it’s a combination of tradition and the collector mentality. Certainly, on the retail side, I think the fear of becoming obsolete is very much a factor.

GP: There was an interesting discussion online about whether the digital experience could ever copy the in person experience from shops. What are your thoughts on that?

AD: Having worked in a shop for many years, and having made two documentaries about comic shops, I’m definitely biased. Still, I think there’s something to be said for those personal, face-to-face interactions.

On the other hand (see, there’s the lawyer in me!), online communication can bring together people who would never otherwise connect, whether due to geography or other factors.

GP: In the years I’ve been going to shops, there’s also this massive divide of shops that are clean, with nice displays, very professional, and others that have the stereotypical set up of being a dingy dungeon. And you’ve shown that in your two documentaries now. What’s your impression on that?

AD: That’s a great observation, and I’d have to agree. I don’t know that I’ve been to many middle-of-the-road shops. Most do seem to fall into either the clean or dingy categories. I’m not exactly sure what would account for that. The only thing I could offer is that maybe it comes down to the reason for opening the store. If the motivation is more of a business-oriented one, perhaps that leads to a more professional appearance, whereas owners who are fans first and businesspeople second may be somewhat less organized.

GP: Jay is quite a personality. What is it about comic shops and attracting larger than life personalities and the types of “characters” that go to them to shop and hang out?

AD: Jay is absolutely larger than life. It’s hard to ask for much more in a documentary subject (except maybe for someone who doesn’t address me so much while filming, but at least I got some good bloopers out of it!).

I don’t know what exactly it is that attracts such characters to comic shops, but I’m honored to be part of that club!

GP: How is Jay doing now with his new set up?

AD: As shown in the film, Jay moved his merchandise to his garage when the market closed. He’s done some garage sales since, and set up a table at a couple of local flea markets, but that’s about it. As shown in the film, it’s not exactly like business was booming to begin with in Port Chester. I think what’s hit Jay harder than anything is not having those interactions with his customers anymore.

GP: What’s next for My Comic Shop DocumentARy and By Spoon! The Jay Meisel Story?

AD: My Comic Shop DocumentARy continues to be discovered on YouTube, and the responses have been tremendously positive. I’m always looking for new ways to spread the word about it.

By Spoon! has its first film festival screening on October 19th at YoFi Fest. I hope to continue to show it at festivals, but more importantly, it is very much my goal to find a true home for it this time around

Snowpiercer Coming to Blu-Ray/DVD October 21st

SnowpiercerOne of the best reviewed films of the year, Snowpiercer, will be out on Blu-Ray and DVD on October 21st. The film, which is directed by Bong Joon Ho, stars Chris Evans, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Kang-ho Song, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner, Ah-sung Ko, Alison Pill, Luke Pasqualino and more. It opened in limited release and did open in wider release, but it didn’t manage to get an even wider audience. Now thanks to all the great reviews and word of mouth, it’ll definitely get more watches now that it’s coming out on Blu-Ray and DVD. Did you guys see the film? What did you think of it? It’s one of the best roles Chris Evans has taken on, he was wonderful in this. The whole cast did a great job and it’s directed brilliantly.

Here’s a synopsis of the film:

A failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet. The final survivors board the SNOWPIERCER, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. When cryptic messages incite the passengers to revolt, the train thrusts full-throttle towards disaster.

You can currently pre-order it on Blu-Ray and DVD on Amazon. Both versions have a 2nd disc filled with special features.

 

 

Downey on Gibson and Iron Man 4… aka We Were Right

During an interview with Deadline, and joke was made between the interviewer and actor Robert Downey Jr. and the idea of Mel Gibson directing Iron Man 4. Numerous sites ran the joke as fact, we knew better and reported the news correctly, sticking to fact not fiction. The lesson is, don’t fall for click bait from other sites.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything, the actor was asked again about Gibson and future plans for Iron Man.

Zedab: Hello, Iron Man. You’ve spoken before about your willingness to re-don the Iron Man Armor if Mel Gibson was to direct. First of all, on a scale of 1 to 11 how serious were you? Secondly, what do you think Mel Gibson would bring to the Iron Man series and would you still consider returning if he does not direct?

Robert Downey Jr.: It was an offhanded remark to a journalist and friend. I have other projects in mind for Mel and I – sooner than later the Marvel Roster will be made public and all questions will be answered.

So, once again, we correct in how we reported the story and other sites, that are consistently wrong with rumors, continued to be so.

Now, some, when it comes to Iron Man 4, Downey in that same interview with Deadline stated negotiations are underway. On The Ellen Show, Downey breaks down and confirms another movie is coming, though they are still negotiating details. If it is Iron Man 4 or something else is still up in the air.

And another answer on David Letterman.

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