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Morbius Moved to 2021 While an Unannounced Marvel Film is in Limbo

Jared Leto in Morbius

Sony has shifted the release dates for some of its upcoming movies. They Jared Leto starring Morbius, based on the Marvel Comics’ character, is being pushed to 2021. All of Sony’s changes are due to the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19.

The film was to be released on July 31, 2020 and will now be released March 19, 2021. The movie is the second expansion of Sony’s Spider-Man film universe.

An untitled Sony/Marvel film was also to be released on October 8, 2021 but now has no release date.

Virtually all of Sony’s movies were moved out of 2020.

(via Variety)

Morbius Gets Its First Trailer and Creates a Lot of Questions

There’s high anticipation for Morbius, the first “Spider-Man Universe” film from Sony after the release of Venom. A picture of Spider-Man can be seen on a wall in one scene in the trailer, though it’s a screenshot of the “Raimi Suit” from the Playstation 4 video game.

Jared Leto plays the lead Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder, and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. What at first appears to be a radical success soon reveals itself to be a remedy potentially worse than the disease.

The most intriguing part of the trailer is the surprise appearance by Michael Keaton at the end. Keaton played the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. At the end of the film he’s in jail and wearing a white suit that’s very similar to this tease. It’s unknown what his role will be in this film or if he’s playing the Vulture again. That latter bit would make Morbius part of the MCU. It’s also a fun wink to Batman and Joker, which Keaton and Leto played in different films.

Morbius stars Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson.

The film is directed by Daniel Espinosa from a story by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, and screenplay by Sazama, Sharpless, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway.

Morbius was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane and debuted in 1971 in The Amazing Spider-Man #101.

Morbius comes to theaters July 31, 2020.

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It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d everyone get? What did you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

France 24 – Graphic novel tells the true story of Tibet’s national football team – This sounds rather interesting.

Newsarama – Jared Leto Cast as Sony’s Morbius, A Spider-Man Spin-Off – Report – Interesting… Expect stories about his behavior in 3…2…1…

The Beat – Help Wanted: Random House Graphic is hiring a senior editor and a designer – If anyone is looking for a job.

The Comichron – October’s Walking Dead 15th anniversary ‘blind bags’ make first reorder chart appearance – For those that enjoy the horse race.

 

Reviews

ICv2 – Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Vol. 1 TP

Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049 is a Masterpiece

Blade Runner 2049Blade Runner 2049 is a masterpiece and 2017’s best film.

And beyond that I’m not going to tell you anything more about its plot, characters, or anything else you’d expect from a movie review. Don’t let anyone tell you too much about it apart from what you’ve seen in the trailers, as this is a film that deserves to be experienced without much else in the way of explanation.

And, for the love of all that is holy, after you’ve seen it—don’t spoil it for your friends. Just tell them to go see it, too. And go see it with them. And then spend hours afterwards obsessively discussing everything about it.

Suffice it to say it is a continuation of the story from 1982’s Blade Runner set decades in the future in 2049. Ryan Gosling works for the LAPD hunting down and “retiring” rogue replicants, the same job Harrison Ford’s Deckard had in the original. And he uncovers something that threatens to turn their entire world upside down.

Despite his prominent placement in the trailers, don’t expect this to be a Ford / Gosling buddy cop movie. It’s not. Ford doesn’t show up until later, with even less screen time than his turn in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, his role is vital, and answers lingering questions definitively (though not overtly) that fans have often asked about Deckard.

Director Denis Villeneuve cements himself here as one of, if not the outright, best directors working today. (Public Service Announcement: impress your friends by pronouncing his name correctly. Remember that he is French Canadian, so his first name sounds  more like “Deni”—think like what John Snow calls Daenerys but with an e instead of an a. And his last name is “Vill-neve.” Say it like the beginning of “villain” and “nerve” but without the r.)

Villeneuve pulls incredible performances out of his actors. He understands exactly the world and mythos he’s playing in (arguably better than Ridley Scott?) He understands pacing and tension better than anyone else working today- if you saw Sicario, Prisoners, or Arrival, those were all just the warm up act.

And on top of all of that he has the most incredibly keen eye for visuals. He brings to life the world of this dystopian wasteland in 2049, and does it all in beautiful darkness and light. Again, his play with the darkest darks and hiding things, and his beautiful eye for how different wavelengths of light bring different feelings to the scene shows a master at work.

Just know that there are some amazingly beautiful things here. Giant skyscraper-sized women advertise companionship. A fight in a derelict casino takes place between Ford and Gosling while a glitching hologram Elvis and dancers perform in the background. Ana de Armas and Mackenzie Davis meld/merge into one person.

And then there’s Jared Leto. His turn as the head of the giant corporation producing replicants has an air of a techno-Jesus Zillionaire PsychoDoucheBro. If you hate Leto, you’re going to hate him more—and be glad Villeneuve keeps him shrouded in shadow for much of the movie. If you like his performances, you’re going to hate him, too.

But the real stars of the film are the women. Apparently, the dystopia of Blade Runner is only slightly less misogynistic than the dystopia of The Handmaid’s Tale. Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire) is Mariette—and we should likely take that name more literally as marionette—echoing exotic dancer Zhora from the original. As a newer model replicant, she cannot disobey orders and engages in sex work: she is stripped of agency and therefore the ability to consent. So every sexual encounter is therefore rape.

Ana de Armis is even more stunning, for reasons I won’t go into, because spoilers. But her place as Gosling’s girlfriend Joi make you question the nature of love. . .  and then by the end you get the rug ripped out from under you and recognize just how awful this existence is.

Leto’s henchwomen “Luv” (even the name is cringe-y for how women are treated) is also amazing, with a performance from Sylvia Hoeks that rivals any recent femme fatale. She displays a singular focus reminiscent of a Terminator and a glee in carrying out her orders.  But still, all of them are robbed of any real choice in their circumstances.

And then there’s Robin Wright – who is having a spectacular year – as Gosling’s boss and apparently the only woman in all of Los Angeles with any sort of moral agency of her own in this universe. She’s perfect, and this is the kind of role someone gets nominated for Best Supporting Actress for (but really they’re also nominating her for Wonder Woman, but can’t say they’re doing that.)

And it’s within these performances of all of these actors in top form and their various character arcs that we illuminate incredibly deep themes and questions about the nature of existence. Many of these were covered in the original Blade Runner as well, which is why this works so well as a true sequel.

What makes someone human? What purpose do memories and dreams serve? Can artificial intelligences love? Do they feel?

But this film also treads astonishing new ground. It provides a stunning critique of humanity that some might call Marxist—we’ve always depended on forms of slavery, so why not replicants? But, amazingly, we find out that even in a world with robot slaves (let’s be real, that’s what they are), we find there are still sweatshops and child labor. To what extent is everything built on the exploitation of labor? (see? Marxism.) The film reveals, but never answers. And that’s part of what makes it so impressive.

To fully understand what this movie is without revealing too much about it, I have found the best way to discuss it is by saying exactly what it is not. And perhaps the best way to discuss that is to compare it to two other spectacular failures of 2017: Ghost in the Shell and mother!

Ghost in the Shell felt the need to explain everything and dumb things down for the audience. mother!  was too pretentious and ponderous to have any meaning at all, always showing off how smart and deep it was rather than actually getting around to any real point. Blade Runner 2049 splits the difference between these two. It expects a lot from the audience, in much the same way Arrival did last year. But its themes and meanings are clear and reach a logical conclusion, while still leaving room for vigorous discussion and debate. But unlike Arrival and perhaps more like Sicario, it offers a basic narrative that even someone not wanting to watch serious science fiction could enjoy as a basic neo-noir drama with occasional fights and explosions.

Ghost in the Shell and mother! completely missed the mark on their source material (if you include the Christian Bible as source material for Aronofsky’s mess of a film) and seemed almost designed to peeve the target audience who might otherwise like what you would have to say based on their fandom. And at least in the case of mother!, one needed to be familiar with biblical stories and themes to understand what was happening. For Blade Runner 2049, fans of the original film or the Phillip K. Dick story it’s based on will be rewarded. But perhaps even more remarkably, there is zero barrier for entry. You don’t need to know these to understand or enjoy the film. Even better, Blade Runner 2049 nails its biblical allusions, while mother! shows a sophist’s view with all the understanding of the Bible of the most smug atheist subreddit known to man.

And finally, Ghost in the Shell and mother! made questionable choices when it came to whitewashing the main character and treatment of its female main character respectively. While some have tried to play this off as “commentary” (Well, that’s how it is, isn’t it?), their apologism rings hollow. Villeneuve’s previous work on his last two films shows he knows exactly what he’s doing with his female leads. While he can take the hit as the central storyline is still about men and conflict between men while women are robbed of their equality and humanity, I believe the social commentary comes down to Leto and Wright and their performances.

Leto’s Tech Jesus DoucheBro is obsessed with creation of life, and specifically procreation. [Minor spoiler] At one point he even takes a new”born” female replicant and stabs her in the abdomen where her uterus would be, pointing out the “flaws” in his creations—they can’t make babies.  Here he is at the pinnacle of technology, able to create life, of a sort, if you believe “I think, therefore I am,” but he still demeans women and sees them as nothing more than receptacles for procreation. And empty wombs must mean some sort of failure on his part. . . again, you can see why I said this was only slightly better than The Handmaid’s Tale in its misogyny.

And then there’s Wright. She’s the only woman with any agency in the film. She’s also [minor spoiler] one of only two actual women we meet in this world. So if the women in this universe are treated awfully, it’s because they’ve all been commoditized and replaced with replicants.  The other woman character in a late Act 2 speech talks about “the price of freedom,” when her version of freedom is actually complete isolation from all other people.

And in seeing that women are not free in this future, we also see that no one is free. That’s what makes this a dystopian nightmare. Are self-aware replicants actually more human than human? Are the slaves of society really its masters? Is this where we’re going as a species?

And. . . some of those questions might be more fully explored in a future film. Because, oh yeah, there’s definitely an opening for a sequel here.

This is one of the deepest and most satisfying films of the year. It’s also challenging and multi-faceted. It’s beautiful to watch and shows that even the most sacred of cows can be milked for more material.

We didn’t think we needed a Blade Runner sequel. But Villeneuve delivers here something spectacular: a sequel to a classic that perhaps is even better than the original.

5 out of 5 stars.

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Suicide SquadIt’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting today at shops? What are you looking forward to? Sound off in the comments below!

While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Comics Alliance – ‘Suicide Squad’ Concept Art Proves That Jared Leto’s Joker Could’ve Been Way Worse – Yeah, that’s pretty bad.

Comics Alliance – A-Force Arrives At ‘Avengers Academy’ For The Best Christmas Ever – Anyone playing this?

Newsarama – Imax-ABC’s The Inhumans Gets Showrunner From Netfix’s Defenders – Interesting…

The Beat – You need to read this twitter story about Supergirl – Yup, a must read.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

ICv2 – Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World Vol. 1

Comic Attack – Romulus #2

Movie Review: Suicide Squad

suicide-squad-movie-characters-calendar

As one of my most anticipated films of 2016, it’s safe to say Suicide Squad had a lot to live up to! It seemed like it would be the stepping stone for DCEU, after the abomination of a movie that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was. The teaser trailer was spectacular. The first trailer was very good as well. Then, for some reason, Warner Bros. went in a completely different direction with the second trailer. Even though I found it alright, it wasn’t as captivating as the other two; as it seemed like the generic blockbuster. Suicide Squad was supposed to be unusual, distinctive and crazy. Unfortunately, it was none of these.

The movie follows Amanda Waller as she assembles a team of extremely dangerous prisoners because she feels the world needs to have a contingency plan if the bad version of Superman comes down to Earth. Followed by a million intros for the characters, coupled with a most obvious choice of music for each of them.Subsequently, they are sent to fight the belly-dancing Enchantress trying to destroy humanity by building ‘a machine’. That is the entire plot: a bunch of crazy, self-absorbed individuals without superpowers (most of them anyways) have to fight this extremely powerful witch and her plain-obvious CGI brother. There’s no second act or plot development.

Harley Quinn, Diablo and Deadshot are the only characters with some barely perceptible character development. Everyone else was either pointless (Boomerang, Slipknot, Katana), or contradicting in their beliefs (Waller). With Harley Quinn we get some flashbacks about how she became the way she is; but even those are equivocal and scarce, as they are too short to figure out exactly what’s happening.

harley-quinn-will-either-make-or-break-suicide-squad

The main problem with this film is that we are supposed to believe these characters are the most dangerous people on the planet! However, throughout the film we never really get a sense of this – save for, possibly, Harley. On a number of occasions, we are told they are ominous – although we are never actually shown how.

It’s not all gloom and doom though! There are moments when the humour works, and these scenes are wonderful – if not far too negligible . The actors do their best with the lines they have. Most of the so-called villains throw one-liners, and just a few of them land. The music score (not the soundtrack) also has some curious cues, which work when put into practice. The soundtrack, on the other hand, is awful in its usage! Whenever on, it is overbearing, distracting and even unpleasant. It serves only to prevent one from becoming entirely acquainted with the characters and tells you how to feel too insistently.

The action is as memorable as the editing is abhorrent! Half the time you are lost, due to the bad geography and constant cuts. In addition, the film doesn’t flow – the chronology is all over the place and there is no consistency.

The Joker was heavily featured in the ad campaign, however, we only see fleeting glimpses of him during the film itself. Turns out it wasn’t so that we are amazed by the end result, but because there isn’t much of him in the film. He pops up every once in a while for 30 seconds in either a flashback or as a deux ex machina. On that front alone, I was truly disappointed!

cmaghn2vyai09_e

Suicide Squad is non-refutably a box-office success, for now at least. Nevertheless, due to rushed decisions, it feels like two films have collided into one; just like Fantastic Four. It is not as bad but has more flaws than strengths.

In conclusion, it’s entertaining enough that you won’t fall asleep, but do not come with high expectations, otherwise you will be let down. I am sure Warner Brother will try to fix the film for the Blu-Ray release, by including a lot of the missing scenes shown in the trailer; however, as this is the second time this year they have done so, isn’t it becoming a pattern?

Overall Rating: 4

Thoughts on Leto’s Joker

On Friday night, when you’d think the news cycle was over for the weekend, David Ayer Tweeted a new look at Jared Leto who will play the Joker in next year’s Suicide Squad. It was in honor of the classic character who will be turning 75 this year, and as you can expect fandom was split down the middle with a new meme born instantaneously that places Leto’s Joker at various events.

While other sites and folks immediately posted up their knee-jerk reactions, this one I wanted to think about myself, because I was honestly torn.

We’ve seen numerous live action version of the Joker on the large and small screen. From Batman ’66 to most recently on Gotham. We think of the more comedic Cesar Romero, the subdued Jack Nicholson, and tortured version of Heath Ledger. Many of us hear Mark Hamill‘s voice no matter who is on the screen. All of those portrayals, and the many others not mentioned, vary greatly in style and look.

Enter Leto’s version which, looks wise, shares a style we’ve seen in the comic pages, depending on the artist. The tattoos remind me of Jim Lee’s take in All Star Batman and Robin, but what’s striking is what we can learn just from this image. I’m thinking to expect a more manic version than we’ve seen in the past. The image exudes energy, the vibe I often get listening to Hamill’s voice work on the character. Some of the tattoos I could do without, the forehead one really. The grill on the teeth too look a bit odd. But the rest of the tattoos are straight from comic iconography. But Leto is a hell of an actor, and should put an impressive show no matter how he looks.

For those who haven’t seen it yet, check out the new Joker below, and sound off in the comments with your thoughts.

Jared-Leto-Joker

Will Smith, Tom Hardy, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, and Cara Delevingne are DC’s Suicide Squad

suicide squad logoThe Hollywood Reporter has reported, and Warner Bros./DC Comics has confirmed the cast of 2016’s Suicide Squad after lots of rumors and speculation. The Suicide Squad is a group of captured villains brought together for missions to work off their sentences, and has featured numerous different characters and line-ups. Think of it as The Dirty Dozen with a rotating cast, an awesome idea for a movie franchise.

We now know this Suicide Squad will be:

  • Will Smith as Deadshot
  • Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg (the team’s leader)
  • Jared Leto as the Joker
  • Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
  • Jai Courtney as Boomerang
  • Cara Delevingne as Enchantress

David Ayer is both writing and directing the film.

The movie has a release date of Aug. 5, 2016 and begins filming in April.

In a release, Greg Silverman, president, creative development and worldwide production said:

The Warner Bros. roots are deep on this one.

David Ayer returns to the studio where he wrote Training Day and brings his incredible ability to craft multidimensional villains to this iconic DC property with a cast of longtime Warner collaborators Will Smith and Tom Hardy, and other new and returning favorites: Margot, Jared, Jai and Cara.

We look forward to seeing this terrific ensemble, under Ayer’s amazing guidance, give new meaning to what it means to be a villain and what it means to be a hero.

Below is Warner Bros.’ website announcement:

An all-star roster of actors has joined Warner Bros. Pictures’ new action adventure “Suicide Squad,” bringing DC Comics’ super villain team to the big screen under the direction of David Ayer (“Fury”). The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The film will star two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith (“The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Ali,” upcoming “Focus”) as Deadshot; Tom Hardy (“The Dark Knight Rises,” upcoming “Mad Max: Fury Road”) as Rick Flagg; Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” upcoming “Focus,” the “Tarzan” movie) as Harley Quinn; Oscar winner Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club,” “Alexander”) as the Joker; Jai Courtney (“Divergent,” upcoming “The Water Diviner”) as Boomerang; and Cara Delevingne (“Anna Karenina,” upcoming “Pan”) as Enchantress.

In making the announcement, Silverman said, “The Warner Bros. roots are deep on this one. David Ayer returns to the studio where he wrote ‘Training Day’ and brings his incredible ability to craft multidimensional villains to this iconic DC property with a cast of longtime Warner collaborators Will Smith and Tom Hardy, and other new and returning favorites: Margot, Jared, Jai and Cara. We look forward to seeing this terrific ensemble, under Ayer’s amazing guidance, give new meaning to what it means to be a villain and what it means to be a hero.”

Ayer is also writing the script for “Suicide Squad,” which is being produced by Charles Roven (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) and Richard Suckle (“American Hustle”). Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns are serving as executive producers.

The film is slated for release on August 5, 2016.