It seems that these days, the announcement of the title of a trilogy/saga/Skywalker-family Star Wars film is just as exciting as the first trailer. It’s at least the next best thing! A title is the first clue to the content of the movie, before we’ve even seen a frame of film. Even today, there’s no franchise, aside from Indiana Jones, where a title announcement is a such a big deal. Title reveals are especially useful for the 2nd or 3rd chapter of a Star Wars trilogy. Alongside the context of the new characters, mysteries, and plot of The Force Awakens, perhaps we can draw some accurate conclusions about the upcoming Episode VIII.
Or perhaps not.
Episode VIII now has the official (and officially badass) title, The Last Jedi. Take a look at the logo!Nothing too surprising… wait… is “Star Wars” written in Red? Because unless I’m colorblind, that looks like Red to me.
Is this important? Maybe. Is it cool marketing? Absolutely!
A brief history of Star Wars logos:
Star Wars movie title logos have changed dramatically over the years. Here are the logos from Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi from their original posters (in the current version of the films, the logos are all uniform, obviously, with that classic yellow crawl).
In the prequel age of the ate 90’s and early 2000’s, the episode number was more important than the title, boxing in the “Episode” part of the logo between “Star Wars” and the actual title, evoking the feel of the Empire and Jedi posters, in a way. The colors changed slightly, but kept the exact ascetic, otherwise.
And, so far, the anthology titles… aka “A Star Wars Story” films, mimic the prequel look more than anything else.
With The Force Awakens, Disney and Lucasfilm brought the logo back to basics… more or less. Maybe it’s more accurate to say they delivered a title that one imagines as the ideal, original Star Wars logo, even though it never really existed officially in this manor until Episode VII. That is the look chosen for current trilogy films. The classic Yellow Star Wars logo with the title sandwiched in between.
But apparently, Disney is now shaking up the color, which could have some actual significance… or may not. After all, those who embrace the Dark Side have red lightsabers… AND the last time red was used, “Jedi” was also a part of the title.Almost continuing in the tradition of the original trilogy, I expect to see the Episode IX title in Blue.
As for what the title means, is it as obvious as it sounds? Star Wars titles are incredibly on-the-nose, with the exception of The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens. In Force Awakens, Supreme Leader Snoke refers to Luke Skywalker as “the last Jedi.” Is it as simple as that? Or will Rey be the last Jedi? Will Kylo Ren? The last time “Jedi” was used in a title, it was in reference to Luke returning as the last Jedi following the death of Obi-Wan and Yoda. Could The Last Jedi refer to the end of Luke Skywalker?
I guess we really do need a teaser trailer to know more! And it can’t come soon enough!
Star Wars: The Las Jedi hits the silver screen this December!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Suicide Squad, and Dr. Strange, oh my!
The past week has seen many new trailers released, especially those of the Disney (including Marvel & Lucasfilm) and Superhero variety. As Captain America: Civil War draws near -the perfect place to advertise your next Sci-Fi Action Movie if you are a Movie Studio – we’ll continue to see A-List Trailers, but perhaps none more exciting than the following…
Let’s do this by release date, shall we?
Suicide Squad Trailer #2: “Blitz”As Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice crumbles under the weight of a million bad reviews, things seem to be looking up in the DCEU (Detective Comics Extended Universe). Not only was there an announcement this week that Academy Award Winning Filmmaker Ben Affleck will not simply star in The Batman, but also write and direct it (with the help of his best Screenplay and Best Film Oscars); Warner Bros. and DC also released the second official trailer (not counting the initial footage from Comic Con) for Suicide Squad. A follow-up to Bats V Supes that continues to produce excellent new footage and hope that the DCEU can turn that bad launch into something glorious.
All the best elements of the first trailer return, including more humor in one trailer than the entirety of Batman V Superman (maybe someday it won’t be cool to shit on BvS…), more catchy songs, great looking comic book visuals and action, and characters that would cause any geek to Nerdgasm.More Joker (Jared Leto)! More Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie)! And the rest… Aaaaand…. BATMAN (Ben Affleck)! If this trailer is any indication we may be seeing more Batman in Suicide Squad than we thought! Half the villains on Task Force X are primarily part of Batman’s rogues gallery, after all.Suicide Squad hits the States om August 5th.
Dr. Strange Teaser TrailerI let loose a great sigh of relief when I watched the 1st trailer for Marvel’s Dr. Strange. The character rests somewhere between Thor and Ant-Man as far as trickiness goes with launching this, well, strange character upon the masses.
But all the parts work! Very little focus is put on Dr. Strange in action (we only see him in costume once… from behind… where all you really see is a cape that is the result of Thor’s and Superman’s Capes having a baby), in favor of a lot of origin looking material and the man, the myth, one of the world’s biggest Movie Stars, your friend and mine: Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch.Relying heavily on Benedict Cumberbatch’s star power (gone are the days of casting no-names like Chris Hemsworth or Chris Pratt, this movie has got a bigger lead than Paul Rudd!), the trailer focuses on the accident that leads him on a journey visually similar to that of Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins (just check out the cut from Stephen Strange in a suit to him in a beard and ratty cloths), continuing into Matrix-esque Training Scenes, with some Inception worthy trippy visuals.I’m in! Dr. Strange appears November 4th.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Teaser TrailerI’m not sold on the title (“A Star Wars Story?” Really?), but I sure am keen on the look and feel of the 1st non-trilogy/non-Skywalker-focused Star Wars movie.
Rogue One takes place within a year (or even months, weeks, or days) of the OG Star Wars (now titled Episode IV: A New Hope) and boy does the film look like it! There may be new types of Stormtroopers (2! Black and Tan!), but everything else is classic! That’s the Rebel Base on Yavin IV and those are old school Rebel Uniforms! And that’s Moth Mothma! AT-AT’s (Walkers)! A hooded figure surrounded by Imperial Guards that protect Emperor Palpatine himself! A shot of a Star Destroyer passing by the gigantic Death Star (it’s still big, even after Starkiller Base) that looks so familiar it could be footage from A New Hope!The new characters look great as well, from Rebels played by Felicity Jones and Diego Luna! to a wise sage with battle armor portrayed by Forrest Whitaker. Donnie Yen as a Samurai (Star Wars was inspired by the films of Akira Kurosawa)! Ben Mendelsohn as a well armed Imperial Officer with a white cape that would make Thor, Superman, AND Dr. Strange jealous!If The Force Awakens wasn’t your cup of tea, Rogue One may be the closest thing you’ll get to the original trilogy… including the rumored appearance of a lil’ ‘ole Sith called Darth Vader.Rogue One: A Star Wars Story lands in time for Christmas on December 16th!
Evil organizations are all the craze these days on the silver screen, taking center stage in at least four 2015 Major Blockbusters: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, SPECTRE (ha), and the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Nothing like a whole industry of villains and evil doers, often, but not always, operating in the shadows. And though several of the “organizations” chosen are literally companies, they also fit the mold of “Nefarious Organizations.” Not just any company will do, but these certainly more than your simple morally corrupt businesses.
I’ve gone ahead and ranked them, most effective to least.
Let’s start with #8 through #5!
8. Death Eaters from the Harry Potter Franchise
I’m not even a Harry Potter fan (I’ve read 6 and 1/2 of the books, but never made it far enough in the film franchise to see said organization), but my roommate tells me I should look past my own interests, and the Death Eaters were the 1st Evil Organization I could think of outside my traditional Geek World (which would be mostly Marvel Comic Book Evil Organizations…).
Death Eaters definitely qualify as a Nefarious Organization, one that, like the best of them (that follow), have members at every level of government, Hogwarts, and even that weird Magical Bank with the trolls. Not a lot is scarier than a group of zealots awaiting and/or aiding the return of their evil leader: He who must not be named!
7. OSCORP Industries from The Amazing Spider-Man Films
In Sam Raimi’s original films, Oscorp was simply the company that Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) would experiment on himself… and kill… to remain in control and keep profitable. In Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man films, the corporation is responsible for a man-lizard, an electricity man, a mutated head of the company, and a series of enhanced soldier suits based on animals including a rhinoceros, a vulture, and an octopus.
A little hokey, sure, but it actually makes more sense than the original 2002 Spider-Man. Think about the major superhero villains these days. Tony Stark’s genius leads to Iron Monger, Whiplash, Extemis, and Ultron. The Super Soldier serum administered by the same scientist creates both Red Skull and Captain America. Batman’s appearance brings the Joker into the world as a direct response to his theatrical vigilantism. But in Spider-Man, it’s simply a hard to believe coincidence (even if you’ve bought into a man who can stick to walls and swing from webs) that Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) was bitten by a radioactive spider the very same night that Norman Osborn accidentally turns himself into a crazy super soldier to save his company. Ridiculous!
Mending this storytelling shortfall, Oscorp is behind all the foes Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker faces, whether that be an overreaction or not. Certainly qualifying the company that Norman Osborn built a spot on this list!
6. InGen from the The Lost World: Jurassic Park & Jurassic World
InGen didn’t seem like such a bad company when John Hammond was around. But since he hit his death bed, other forces within the corporation have put profits above human safety… and worse.
It starts with Hammond’s nephew in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, who will stop at nothing to grab dinosaurs out of their new “natural” habitat on Isla Sorna, a.k.a. “Site B” and present them to the masses. Even when the star exhibit, a full grown T-Rex, wrecks havoc in San Diego.
Even worse, Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) and Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofiro) clearly have a real shady deal going on behind the scenes of the theme park, Jurassic World. Hoskin’s obsession with military applications for carnivores and Dr. Wu’s gene-splicing skills offer even more trouble than in the 1st Jurassic World film, paving the way for a trilogy of InGen’s evil doings!
5. S.P.E.C.T.R.E. from the 007 Franchise
No matching tattoos here, but of course Agents of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. have matching jewelry!
S.P.E.C.T.R.E. has been on the big screen longer than any other Nefarious Organization on this list, originating in Sean Connery’s days only to be revived this year in Daniel Craig’s world. S.P.E.C.T.R.E. stands for Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion (like with do-gooder organization S.H.I.E.L.D., someone just really wanted to spell SPECTRE, albeit incorrectly).
Now, if you read my review for SPECTRE, you know the film was lacking… a lot. In fact, S.P.E.C.T.R.E., the supposed ultimate Nefarious Organization of all time, doesn’t get its due in the 2015 007 film. While Daniel Craig’s 007 movies have improved on every aspect of the character from Casino Royale through Skyfall, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. does not live up to the organization Connery built (well, fought) back in the 60’s.
Perhaps if the film SPECTRE was better, this ultimate Evil Organization would have landed on the better half of the list. After all, it is the original shadow group with tentacles in every countries government on all ends of the globe, controlling resources, governments, and intelligence rather than always seeking to start WWIII like later Bond villains.
And that’s a wrap! For now… Check back later when I reveal The Top 4 Nefarious Organizations in Cinema, including H.Y.D.R.A. and The First Order, formally the Galactic Empire!
We’re falling into the Holiday Movie Season, kicked off last weekend by the mediocre SPECTRE and The Peanuts Movie. Things will start to get crazy with the release of Mocking Jay Part 2 and Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, all culminating with the biggest movie release of all time: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Whether Star Wars is pulling you out of your Netflix hole, or you’ve been going to the movies all year long enjoying hits like Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, you will find this Guide To Movie Going in the 21st Century! extremely useful.
Trust me. I work at a Movie Theater. And I got to a lot of Movies!
Don’t use Fandango!
I have worked at two of the three major theater chains in the United States and there is one constant: DON’T USE FANDANGO!
It’s almost a dirty little secret, especially since the “Pre-Show” at my chain has a Fandango commercial! But we (theater chains) don’t want you to use it! It’s not always accurate, for whatever reason, so you’ll get stuck with tickets to a showtime that doesn’t exist!
Always use the theater chains’ direct website, where tickets are on sale, the surcharge is no larger than Fandango’s, and the times are actually accurate! I’m talking www.cinemark.com or www.amctheatres.com. I don’t know Regal’s website…
I guess it’s not too hard to tell which of the three chains I didn’t work for!
Make sure you check Movie Times for the day you are going!!!
We no longer live in an era where Movie Showtimes are the same from Friday through Thursday. Theaters have events now. And almost all movies get an early evening release on Thursdays (gone are the days when only movies like Star Wars got midnight releases). Showtimes change day to day.
We’ve got Live Concerts, Classic Series Films, Live Sporting Events (including Video Game tournaments…), and Special Screenings like the Dr. Who and Sherlock Christmas Specials coming up in late December/early January. Very, very rarely will all three Weekend Days have the same showtimes, even more rare on weekdays!
Don’t look up today’s times if you’re going to a movie tomorrow! Check the day you are going, otherwise you may show up for a showtime that doesn’t exist.
And NEVER look up said showtimes on Fandango!!!
Double Check Movie Times the day you are going!!!
Unless you have tickets in hand, double check the showtime the day of the movie. Sometimes theaters will “Wild Cat” a showtime, meaning we may cancel a showtime of The Intern to make room for another showing of SPECTRE. It’s very, very rare, but it does happen!
Know your Theater Chains and the Brands that fall under their Umbrella.
Let’s break this down fast so you don’t try to use a Gift Card at the wrong Chain:
AMC is AMC Theatres. As the company has acquired other companies like Kerasotes, they rename the theaters so it’s simple. AMC Gift Cards work at all AMC locations, NOT at any theater lacking the AMC name.
Cinemark and Regal keep most the names of the theater chains they have purchased. So…
Regal is also known as United Artists Theatres and Edwards Theatres.
Cinemark also has locations called Century Theatres, Rave, Tinseltown, & CineArts.
Know where your gift cards will work by understanding the above hierarchy!
IMAX is no longer the only Big, Loud Screen in Town.
You’re going to want to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on something big!
A few years ago Regal, AMC, and Cinemark decided to make their own, “Premium Format” to compete with IMAX, which had begun incensing it’s name to Theater Chains without actually delivering the full “IMAX Experience.” IMAX Screens of old were 70mm format, taller than they were wide, but now IMAX is just a name plastered on screens that run floor to ceiling with incredibly large speakers. I noticed the change seeing The Dark Knight 1st on a real IMAX Screen, with the image Christopher Nolan intended, and then seeing it on one of the “fake” Digital IMAX Screens that cut most of Nolan’s superior image.
Well, the three chains succeeded… partially… instead each creating their own “Premium Format” to save on IMAX licencing fees. AMC called theirs ETX, Regal went with RTX, and Cinemark features X D (have to space the letters or WordPress makes a XD face. 😦 ). All are just as good as Digital IMAX… unless it is one of the dozen or so “True” IMAX Screens left in the US.
Reserved Seating is on the way… and here to stay!
If you don’t have it already, the Industry is moving toward “Reserved Seating,” meaning you pick your seats when you buy your ticket. Don’t fight it, don’t whine, Reserved Seating will be the standard by the end of 2016, and it ain’t going anywhere!
Reserved Seating is the perfect tool to buy tickets in advance. If you bought Star Wars tickets the minute they went online after that Monday Night Football trailer for my theater, then you also picked your seats, which means you can show up minutes before showtime, no waiting in a looooong line for hours, and still have the best seat in the house.
And it doesn’t really change the movie going experience on a day-to-day basis. What’s the difference between picking a seat at Box Office vs. when you walk into the auditorium? You’re going to pick the same seats… unless they are already sold… which is no different than walking in and seeing another guest already sitting where you like to sit. In fact, picking seats at Box Office let’s you see what’s left in a nearly Sold Out show! Don’t walk in blind, caught with only the front row. Know what’s left before dropping a dime.
Don’t be a Dummy. No Masks or Fake Weapons, Dummy!
Star Wars fans are whining about not being able to wear their Chewbacca, Stormtrooper, or Darth Vader (or Kylo Ren!) masks. And they can’t bring in fake guns. Or Lightsabers.
Look, I’m a Fanboy who dressed as Captain America for the entirety of the 1st Avengers opening weekend as a theater manager. I was dressed like Batman the night a theater not 30 miles from my own theater was shot up. Your sadness over losing masks and Lighsabers is not nearly as severe as the sadness of losing a loved one.
Stop being a Goddamn Baby and welcome to the 21st Century!
And that’s all you need to know! Here’s your handy-dandy guide to movie going, still good in 2016!
As I’ve done with past epic movie trailers, here is the 2nd set of original screengrabs from the final trailer #3 for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS!Vol. 2: Old School Ships: New Combat… And A Classic Face!
Just watch it! Bask in it’s glory! As Han Solo says, the stories were true!
Wow! From the swelling musical themes of the original movies, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS does feel a lot like the original trilogy, but there are definite J.J. Star Trek inspirations from the visual tweak on Lightspeed to the game-changing look at X-Wing dogfights, and some aliens in between. It totally has a J.J. Abrams look. But that ain’t bad at all!
And questions are answered! Kylo Ren does in fact take fashion device from Darth Vader as he seems to be obsessed with him. Finn is instead a former Stormtrooper way out of his league, not simply wearing the suit as a disguise a la the OG Star Wars. There’s ALL the original cast, finally… except for Luke who remains simply a hand. Plus, Lightsabers work in the rain!
And did we see Han Solo die in that that trailer? Look again, but I think it’s there around 1:45 mark! Is Rey crying over her father’s body?!?! (Through which I also surmise she is the spawn of Solo…).
Questions will be answered December 18th, 2015. Good luck getting tickets.
It’s here! The final poster for J.J. Abram’s trip to a galaxy far, far away has hit the internet by storm! The Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster even includes the 1st image of some fan favorites from the classic trilogy!
Waste no time and take a gander. Then we’ll talk about what you see!First off, who’s missing?
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) of course! Luke is now the classic character most shrouded in mystery as the poster does offer our first look at Carrie Fisher as Leia (Solo?)! Why won’t they show us anymore than Luke’s metal “Winter Soldier” arm?
Front and center are the three new, younger cast members that will likely drive the movie forward (a character’s size on a poster can be very telling of their importance…), Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as the lightsaber weilding/possible Stormtrooper Finn, and the Darth Vader inspired Kylo Ren played by Adam Driver.
Below that, the whole gang’s here from classic droids C-3PO & R2-D2 to the brand new rolly polly B-88. Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Leia, and Chewbacca share a small space next to the droids, as does Oscar Isaac’s hot-shot X-Wing Pilot Poe Dameron. There’s even a new, mysterious alien hanging with the old crew; an alien whose importance was never hinted at in any of the promotional material… including the toys!
You’ve got your baddies on the very bottom; a legion of Stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie). No sign of Domhnall Gleeson who we’ve already seen as General Hux in promotional images, and Andy Serkis’ CGI “New Order” (formally “The Empire”) Supreme Leader Snoke remains just as mysterious as Luke Skywalker’s face.
It’s hard to miss the classic X-Wings. Tie-Fighters, and, of course, the Millennium Falcon, but what is more interesting is the Death Star looking ship in the top right corner behind Finn. That isn’t a starship, or a small moon, it’s an Arctic planet, turned into the “Starkiller” base/weapon capable of wiping out a star system. (Fun fact: in early scripts Luke Skywalker was Luke Starkiller…)
Death Star 5.0!
It needs to be mention, though the poster does recall Star Wars posters past, it is not drawn by the incomparable Drew Struzan.
With a trailer dropping tomorrow on ESPN during Monday Night Football, things are about to get really Star Warsy up in here!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits US screens on December 18th!
We did it! We survived one of the highest grossing summers on record due mostly to Universal Studios hits like Jurassic World, Minions, and Straight Outta Compton. Not that Disney doesn’t deserve credit for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Inside Out, and Ant-Man.
But this list isn’t about the money grossed, it’s about the quality of films we watched. What were the 6 best films of Summer 2015? According to me…
Let’s start with my predictions for the whole year. View that article in its entirety or just read this list of my anticipation levels from least excited to complete obsession. Again, there were my predictions based more on enjoyment level, not a list predicting which films would necessarily be best this summer.
7. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
5. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
4. Mad Max: Fury Road
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
1. Jurassic World
Since this new List only covers Summer 2015 and not the Fall, we can knock Star Wars and SPECTRE off my possibility of choices.
The original list are the titles I thought would be most enjoyable. To be transparent, this new list of the “Best” Movies of Summer 2015 takes into account enjoyably AND quality. If this list were purely based on how much I enjoyed a film, the list would look slightly different.
Let’s start work from sixth favorite to my number one; this post just containing Sixth through Third favorite.
WARNING: SPOILERSFollow for each Film. Skip one if you haven’t seen it and don’t want it spoiled.
6. MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
Not a great Guy Ritchie, nor Spy Film, but I had to include it rather because it still deserves a spot on this list, even if it was my 6th favorite movie of the summer and most lists are traditionally out of five.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E film is classy as hell, with tons of Guy Ritchie style more apparent than his more tightly controlled bigger studio franchise, Sherlock Holmes. The “buddy” dynamic between US Agent Solo (Our current Superman,Henry Cavill) and USSR Agent Illya (Armie Hammer!) brings most the humor that is not limited to dialog exchanges, but also humorous action scenes involving the competitive nature or two Spies from different sides of the Cold War.
HIGHLIGHTS: Henry Cavill continues to nail the role as an American (again, see Man of Steel) with all the added almost overabundance of charm required to be a fantastic play on Sean Connery’s or Roger Moore’s version of James Bond.
Likewise, though they have a Brit playing an American and Armie Hammer playing Russian, Hammer also nails the role, with his aforementioned antics with Cavill’s Solo providing most of the film’s enjoyment.
Just like Kingsman back in February, Man From U.N.C.L.E. also has great classic 60’s 007 references in its locations and over-the-top not-so-secret Spy work of suave Solo.
WEAKNESSES: The action just isn’t there compared to other 2015 spy films like Kingsman: The Secret Service and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. There’s a decent chase at the end, some fun silly action sequences like the opening car chase, but the action just isn’t as abundant as in a 007 picture, for example.
Likewise, the “turncoat” scene where Gaby (Alicia Vikander) gives up Solo and Illya only to be reveled as a questionable British Agent, is very reminiscent of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
That’s just bad (unlucky) timing for Man From U.N.C.L.E.
The film really feels like a set-up for a wonderful franchise we will never see as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was a flop.
5. ANT-MANLook, Ant-Man is neither my favorite Marvel movie, nor my least favorite. In an age when Ant-Man is Marvel’s 12th(?… Maybe 11th) movie, that is not a bad thing what-so-ever.
For me, Ant-Man falls in the middle of the pack, higher than The Incredible Hulk, both Thor movies, Iron Man 2, and Captain America: The First Avenger, but lower than movies Iron Man 1 & 3, Captain America: Winter Solider, Guardians of the Galaxy, and both Avengers films.
Highlights: The cast, to start! Paul Rudd as Scott Lang gives us our most grounded Avenger yet; a father who is kept from his daughter because of a criminal past. Marvel as a Universe is known for down-to-Earth heroes, but Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, and Capt. are not mortals like Ant-Man (Iron Man technically is mortal, but he has none of the angst that comes with fatherhood). Rudd is one of the most likable Avengers, with his character’s weaknesses yet strength of charm, empathy and comedy.
Let’s not stop there! Of course Michael Douglas as Hank Pym and Evangeline Lily as eventual Wasp, Hope van Dyne, don’t disappoint. But, besides Rudd, Ant-Man’s Corey Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket and Michael Pena as Lang’s best friend Luis steal the show.
Stoll combines the classic elements of Norman Osborne’s madness in the original Spider-Man and Obadiah Stane’s suit-envy in Iron Man. Meanwhile, hilarious Michael Pena brings more humor to the film than even funny-man Paul Rudd, reminding me of his favorite role as Seth Rogen’s right-hand security guard in Observe and Report.
Which brings me to Ant-Man‘s next strength… the genre. Lately, Marvel movies have played with mixing different genres with the classic Super Hero story to give their origin stories and the like more originality. Winter Soldier was a 70’s Thriller, Guardians was a Star Wars-esque Space Opera, and Ant-Man is a heist film… complete with a full team… including Michael Pena! (BOOM! Brought it all the way ’round.)
Yet, the tie-ins to Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War are the movies greatest strengths. Nothing like Ant-Man fighting Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and the mention of someone who “can climb walls.”
Humor is the final piece of Ant-Man‘s successful puzzle. My father had no interest in Ant-Man, but I dragged him along and he was shocked by how funny the film is! Like The Guardians of the Galaxy, humor was the only way to make Ant-Man mainstream.
Weaknesses: Some of Ant-Man is very cookie-cutter Marvel. Sometimes it does feel too much like the 1st Iron Man from the idea of a “suit” as his superpower to the notion that the villain just wants the same tech. In it’s least interesting moments, Ant-Man can feel like an Iron Man clone.
4. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
It’s The Avengers Assembled! Again! This time fighting a creation of almost villainous Tony Stark (who does risk the team’s life with the best intentions), Ultron, an artificial intelligence who cannot be destroyed until he is locked out of the net and every drone is blown to bits.
Highlights: A lot of people love to hate this film, but I still think Avengers: Age of Ultron is Marvel Top Five; even better than the 1st film.
Why? Because The Avengers was mainly awesome because of the “Holy Shit! Bruce Banner just met Steve Rogers!” That single shot in the 1st film that flies around New York City, catching every Avenger in action was mind-blowing.
And this film opens with a scene just like that!
Age of Ultron is the stronger film as the plot is more important and fleshed out than the 1st Avengers. Think about it; the 1st film was mainly on the Helicarrier and dealt with simply following Loki around, knowing exactly what he was up to. Age of Ultron doesn’t just offer a more fluid and varied plot crafted for amazing action sequences, but a more personal story that brings out every Avenger’s (except Hawkeye) greatest fears.
Tony Stark’s scene of fear is the most poignant; an alien invasion heading toward Earth while his friends die a rocky-planet with Capt. accusing Stark of not being there to save them. This is an excellent plot device to drive Stark into horrible decisions… like creating artificial intelligence using Loki’s staff… which was also handled by Hydra. It also sets the stage for Avengers: Infinity War where our heroes could very well end up dead on an Alien planet after a failed defense against Thanos.
Finally, we get a lot of Captain America! he has most the screen-time and why not? He’s team leader and his fight with Ultron is Seoul may be a mismatch, but it’s Capt. at his best!
Weaknesses: I may like Age of Ultron better than Ant-Man, but it sure has more faults.
Too many characters! You can’t just add three Avengers in the 3rd Act (even though we knew you would…)! One can only hope that the super talented Russo Brothers can balance the sheer amount of Avengers that will exist by the time Avengers: Infinity War comes out.
Ultron is not as cool as he could have been. Right James Spader?
Hawkeye needs some screen-time to make up for The Avengers, and it’s awesome he actually has a family (like Scott Lang), but too much time spent on his farm regardless.
Wow. First a killer movie trailer for The Force Awakens that seems to support the fact that this new film has that classic Star Wars feel, cultivated carefully by Master-Director J.J. Abrams, drops online. Now, a trailer for the new Xbox One/PS4/PC game, Star Wars: Battlefront looks like the Star Wars game to play after nearly a decade drought of great Star Wars games that don’t have “Lego” in the title.
My favorite Star Wars game ever is Star Wars: Rogue Leader (Rogue Squadron 2), a launch title for the Nintendo Gamecube (which actually arrived via Amazon a week before the Gamecube was released. Talk about a looooong week…). My 2nd favorite is PC’s RPG, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, from Bioware. And of course, I also have a soft spot for all three Super Star Wars titles that cover the OG trilogy as Super Nintendo sidescrollers.
But back in the day, Star Wars: Battlefront was quite the franchise as well; marrying the Battlefield mechanics with Star Wars characters, vehicles, and locales. It wasn’t perfect, but if the team behind this brand new Battlefront can nail the controls (like the perfect Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare Xbox One control scheme), then it sure looks like the best Star Wars game in about a decade.
Watch the glorious trailer now for NEW Star Wars: Battlefront! Battles from the Original Trilogy, now with pristine graphics!
Welcome back to Hoth, Mother Fuckers!
Besides Batman: Gotham Knight, Star Wars: Battlefront is the game to look forward to in 2015! If
If it comes out this year. Releasing it in December for the Holidays and when Force Awakens comes out is a no brainier. Or a missed opportunity.
Of course, a Star Wars: Battlefront sequel/expansion featuring The Force Awakens time period and ships is also a no brainier.
Whatever the case, Battlefront will live or die by the control scheme, as it’s obvious they have everything else down!
Nick and Andrew have a full plate this week, starting with trailer talk about ‘Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation,’ and the latest ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ TV Spot.
Tangents abound, our heroes hit topics like ‘Mallrats 2,’ the ‘Legend 0f Zelda’ Netflix show (or lack there of), Star Trek villain rumors, live action ‘Star Wars’ TV Show rumors, which as always, a trip down superhero lane with ‘Batman Vs. Superman: Justice Begins’ rumors.
On this slightly late episode of ‘Breaking Geek: The Podcast,’ Nick lets Andrew run the show (again, because Nick was lazy and had nothing to talk about). And Andrew delivers!
From ‘Agent 47: Hitman’ trailer talk to ID4Ever (‘Independence Day 2’), Nick and Andrew cover all the week’s hot shit, including the announcement of ‘Mallrats 2’ and ‘Mission: Impossible 5’ becoming ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ with a new trailer and poster!
Talk somehow leads to Marvel. How does that always happen?
Check back every Friday for a new Breaking Geek Podcast! (Sometimes we are a bit tardy…)
After missing a week…. After a one week Hiatus (TV shows do it!), Nick and Andrew are back with a vengeance… and a killer theme song.
The main topic of the day is DC and NBC’s ‘Constantine,’ but before heading to spoiler territory there, our heroes talk the new ‘Avengers’ and ‘Daredevil’ trailers, breaking ‘Star Wars’ news, and the possible horrors of building too many “Cinematic Universes.”
New Breaking Geek Podcast Every Friday!
…Except for when Nick and Andrew’s work schedules get in the way.
Nick and Andrew begin their discussion, dissecting the latest, 2nd ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer (what a surprise!) before moving onto the “Oscars Game.” Basically, Nick tries to guess the Academy Award nominees with little help from Andrew. The best episode yet! For real. Would I lie to you?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… 2015 is going to be fucking ridiculous… when it comes to the year’s movie slate.
There’s a lot to gush about; new movies in classic franchises like ‘Jurassic World,’ ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road, ‘ ‘007: SPECTRE’ and ‘Terminator Genisys.’ Following Marvel’s most successful year, when it came to quality of movies, we have a sequel to 2012’s ‘The Avengers’ as well as the origin story of a new Avenger in ‘Ant-Man.’ Even 20th Century Fox is shilling a non-X-Men Marvel property in the form of their ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot.
But what looks the best? What are the 7 movies I really can’t wait to see (couldn’t narrow it down to 5…)? Can I put them in order?
Yes I can, other Nick. Yes I can.
7. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
While several of the titles I used in my intro don’t make the list at all, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (formally ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’) gets the bottom spot.
We haven’t seen much footage at all, I work at the movie theater and have seen the trailer a dozen times in 3D and the final scene still makes me nauseous, and it’s so damn far away in comparison to most the titles on my list.
Plus… we’ve all played this ‘Star Wars’ anticipation game before and it backfired, horribly.
I’m actually a fan of the new lightsaber! And I know the trailer is supposed to showcase new characters in classic vehicles and uniforms (the stormtrooper armor), which were fun to see, but I want to see Han Solo, dammit!
Great trailer, but still a hard sell. The trailer jumps back and forth from a darker tone akin to that of ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ to the comedy stylings of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man (but still not ‘Guardians’ funny).
The trailer does look awesome; only those flying ant scenes seem questionable, even though it’s an image straight from the comics. I like the mostly serious tone of the trailer, anchored by a pretty great speech by Michael Douglas as Hank Pym.
What’s the most unique thing about ‘Ant-Man’ when compared to the other Avengers in the MCU? He’s the only every-man in the group of billionaire science genius, another scientist who turned himself green, an every-man who leaves that life behind when he gets a super-soldier serum, and a God.
Sure, Capt. did start an every-man, but even with the suit and powers of Ant-Man, Scott Lang seems grounded, even leaving his super-suit hanging in the shower.
Oh, and he has a daughter; a first for nearly any superhero franchise. The only exception I can think of is Sandman in ‘Spider-Man 3.’ A similar situation is going on here (and will hopefully go better) with criminal Lang stealing for his family and becoming the hero his daughter thinks he is. Ant-Man is not saving his world, he’s saving ours.
5. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5
We haven’t seen any footage yet, but Tom Cruise’s new stunt is ko-ko-bananas, even in comparison to his scaling the tallest building in the world in the last installment, ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.’
3 out of the 4 films in this franchise have been better than good; theeeeeey’re GREAT!
While the first is the best, ‘Ghost Protocol’ was a very strong entry that revitalized the franchise and introduced us to team members Benji (Simon Pegg) and Brandt (Jeremy Renner). Joining them this time is Luthor (Ving Rhames) who has been on Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) task force every film except ‘Ghost Protocol.’
Only reservation is the director: Christopher McQuarrie. Though he wrote ‘Usual Suspects’ and last year’s ‘Edge of Tomorrow,’ he also directed ‘Jack Reacher’ which was a terrible Tom Cruise thriller.
4. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Tom Hardy is Mad Max! The trailer is glorious! There’s more stunt-work than you can shake a stick at, something very rare in Hollywood. Boom!
Sure, there’s plenty of CGI as well, but most that exploding carnage is done the old fashioned way with stuntmen and actual pyrotechnics!
3. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
You would think this would be at the top of my list (I thought so! Especially after the first trailer…), but my excitement has waned and worry has found a foothold in my brain.
Let’s be honest here, ‘The Avengers’ is in my top 3 MCU movies (with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Winter Soldier’) mainly because it was literally a game-changer. It was the first cross-pollination of superheroes, part of a shared universe, coming together after each carried their own franchises. Everyone else is still trying to pull this off, including DC Entertainment. The plot wasn’t that great, action scenes were few and far between, but the movie will always be remembered for bringing Earth’s Mightiest Heroes together.
‘Age of Ultron’ will need to step up its game to reach the quality of movies Marvel Studios put out in 2014. Likewise, it better be bigger and better, which it appears to be, but I hope that a great storyteller like Joss Whedon can avoid the movie from becoming a jumbled mess; cause there is A LOT going on between the two official trailers.
I also hope it’s good enough to avoid the fate of ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ (which I personally love) where most people were disappointed by the film, mainly because it had to follow the incredibly beloved ‘Dark Knight.’
In James Spader I trust.
2. 007: SPECTRE
This may be blasphemy, but ‘Skyfall’ is my favorite Bond movie… ever. It was so fucking good, bringing in the best 007 baddie of all time (Javier Bardem), and shaking up the 007 universe a bit.
The writers and director, Sam Mendes, from ‘Skyfall’ return and the title promises the revival of the terrorist organization SPECTRE (formally ‘Quantum’ in the D. Craig movies), as classic to the franchise as Vesper Martinis, shaken, not stirred.
Better yet? The villain cast is unbelievable with Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’) as a henchman, the incomparable Christoph Waltz (whose villainy can only be matched by Javier Bardem), and my personal favorite, Andrew Scott whose portrayal of Moriarty on BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ is perhaps the greatest TV villain of all time.
1. JURASSIC WORLD
It’s just too damn nostalgic. While I’ve watched the ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer a million times and have had enough, I can still watch the ‘Jurassic World’ trailer anywhere, anytime.
We’re back on Isla Nublar! The movie is sticking close to the original and ignoring the sequels! Chris Pratt gets to hunt a new hybrid-dinosaur! There are child siblings in peril! Velociraptors!
And those notes from John Williams’ classic score… magic. Lightning in a bottle, at least as far as we can tell from the trailer!
I honestly don’t know which movie to look forward to the most!
The new ‘Star Wars’ trailer has everything you’re looking for; fore-boarding narration (I could have sworn the opening voice-over was Benedict Cumberbatch)! New land-speeder from ‘A New Hope’ crossed with ‘Return of the Jedi’s speeder-bike! Cool new droids! A new kind of lightsaber in the hands of a possible villain on what also looks like a new planet! Stormtroopers old an new (that aren’t clones)! And the planet that started it all; Tatoonie !
Most importantly, we see the next evolution of Star Wars space-ship battles. The prequel trilogy was vastly short on fighter-ship on fighter-ship action, whereas this was the original trilogy’s bread and butter from the original Death Star run to the final… Death Star run.
J.J. Abrams and his team have revolutionized the look of classic ships flying, whether it be three X-Wings skimming across water (with a much more intense cockpit shot than we are used to), or an almost go-pro shot of the Millennium Falcon vs. classic Tie Fighters in an action scene with crazy awesome camera moves that looks unlike anything we have seen in a ‘Star Wars’ movie or even J.J.’s two ‘Star Trek’ films. It’s almost like the fluid camera that follows Spidey when he web-slings in ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ which may have been a disappointing movie but had the most impressive web-slinging to date.
Watch the trailer now!
See! It looks like real ‘Star Wars.’ (Yet, we were all burned by ‘Phantom Menace’ which also had a great teaser.)
All it is missing is the classic team of Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Leia (Carrie Fisher), Luke (Mark Hamill), and Chewie (Peter Mayhew). And the droids! No R2-D2 or C3P-O in this trailer, yet they have been a big part of all the preceding films.
We’ll see all these old friends in the movie, but the trailer is smart to give us first glimpses of the new characters, as it seems they will be leading the show with the old cast serving as supporting actors.
That being said, maybe it is Luke in that snowy Forrest with that cross-joint lightsaber (you know… the joint from ‘Pineapple Express’). Either Luke has turned to the Dark Side, or it could be a completely different, new villain like Darth Maul. But in classic Abrams fashion… we really have no idea what is going on yet, in this scene or the rest of the trailer. All I know is it looks like classic ‘Star Wars’ made in the 21st century with ships we recognize; not the shock of the prequels with almost no familiar elements).
I also saw no CGI character that Andy Serkis may play. This is the teaser-trailer though, my friends. The movie is a year away so there will be many more trailers before December 2015.
The final interesting choice is one I noticed when the title logo was unveiled; the new film is not being called ‘Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ at this moment. Rather, Disney and Abrams seem to be avoiding putting the episode number in the title at all, thus far. This may get confusing with all the solo-movies coming out alongside the new trilogy, unless, perhaps, they are meant to blend together and the numbers no longer matter?
I do have faith in Abrams. I refer to him as the franchise savior as he has brought the ‘Mission: Impossible’ and ‘Star Trek’ back from the grave. I’ll let him have a get-out-of-jail-free card for the very disappointing, but still fun, ‘Super 8.’
Speaking of ‘Mission: Impossible’ we’ll have a fifth one of those December 2015 also; a movie promising a stunt that will make Dubai Tower look like breaking into Langley!
Time to get excited, geeks!
2015 is my childhood in a bottle, with new ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Star Wars,’ an epic comic-book film in the form of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, and some more of the aforementioned ‘Mission: Impossible.’
The biggest year of geek is coming my friends. Make sure to pack an extra pair of undies.