In case you missed it, Marvel Entertainment released a funnier, longer version of their trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, after the first two trailers we previewed here and here.
Basically it includes an introduction where the Avengers takes turns trying to lift Thor’s hammer. Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson return with all the Avengers back together again.
As with the first, this second trailer again includes a boy singing Pinocchio’s “I Got No Strings,” a reference probably lost on most movie watchers. It just seems a little obscure, although Ultron makes a puppetmaster reference in his big reveal. Maybe use of the song was a matter of budgeting–Disney owns Marvel and perhaps threw Marvel the song from its archives? With Chappie, previewed here, the Pinocchio story may just be a common theme for 2015.
Ultron is of course that “living automaton” who is an inductee in our borg.com Hall of Fame. But the big question is how well siblings Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch will be portrayed.
After the break, check out the longer preview for Avengers: Age of Ultron:
So what evil lies behind that door?
Can you remember the first comic book that ever landed in your hands? More than a decade ago I first met one of my comic book creator heroes, Howard Chaykin. Chaykin created the very first Star Wars movie poster, a stylized, action-filled cover in his unique style:
Chaykin was visiting town at a local Con and luckily for me most of the visitors at the show were in line for the newest young comic artist, and didn’t realize all Mr. Chaykin had done in his long career in comics and television, so I got plenty of time to chat with him, and have him autograph my first comic book: Star Wars, Issue #8, featuring a story called “Eight for Aduba-3,” influenced by The Magnificent Seven/Seven Samurai story. I’ve bragged up Chaykin before here at borg.com. He’s one of the most interesting guys in the comics business.
“Eight for Aduba-3″ came out when Marvel Comics first had the license to create the Star Wars movie adaptation, drawn by Chaykin and written by Chaykin and the great Roy Thomas, after a quick look at materials from the film and conversation with George Lucas. They were tapped to take the characters from the new phenomenon in a new direction following the events in Episode IV: A New Hope. “Eight for Aduba-3″ included more than one tough recruited mercenary, much like its source material, but the big standout was Jaxxon, a giant, angry green rabbit-man.
In a press briefing in Los Angeles today, Marvel Studios laid out the release dates and titles for the next eleven movies in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe,” what they are referring to as Phase 3. While rumors continue to circulate that Benedict Cumberbatch will be tapped to play Doctor Strange, the studio introduced the actor who will play Black Panther on the big screen, Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in last year’s film 42. We’ll see Boseman first don the Panther suit in the third Captain America movie, Captain America: Civil War, coming in 2016.
And in the past hour Marvel released a new scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron, previewed below after the break.
The studio also revealed the costume design for Black Panther (above) in a poster released at the press event, attended by Boseman, Iron Man Robert Downey, Jr. and Captain America Chris Evans.
Review by C.J. Bunce
After so many dark and dreary superhero movies, did Hollywood forget what drew everyone to comic books in the first place? Somewhere along the way drama began to bog down the genre resulting in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, and it looks like it’s not going to let up with the first images for the 2016 release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. “Why so serious?” And it hasn’t just been movies based on DC Comics. Marvel’s X-Men franchise gave us all those Academy Award winning actors all so grim and in such dire circumstances. Sure, they’re good films, but Guardians of the Galaxy proves superhero movies don’t have to be so grim to be good.
If you don’t find yourself laughing out loud with this flick then the superhero genre is not for you.
The same kind of excitement you remember from your first viewing of Star Wars and Superman is waiting for you. For certain Guardians of the Galaxy is neither movie, but it isn’t trying to be. Good escapist fun underscores every scene, and its greatest achievement is not taking itself too seriously. Its characters have a familiar and likeable chemistry like our favorite crews of Serenity or the Millennium Falcon. Writer/director James Gunn and co-writer Nicole Perlman pull together familiar elements from The Fifth Element, Flash Gordon and even “The Tholian Web” to make a fully-realized new sci-fi/superhero universe. And it’s as good an adaptation of a comic book series as you’ll ever find. Even better, its second tier cast of characters–unfamiliar to most movie watchers–means expectations and preconceptions filmmakers may be more concerned with in a Batman, Superman, or Spider-man story are just not an issue here.
Whether or not major genre properties are hosting panels or booths at Comic-Con 2014, studios released some great images on Wednesday preview night and the first full day of the show yesterday. The biggest is probably the above photo of Ben Affleck as Batman from the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, not coming to theaters until 2016. The image was nicely timed to the DC Comics celebration week for the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance.
Warner Bros. also released the first poster for the latest movie in the Mad Max series, to star Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. It’s called Max Max: Fury Road, and won’t hit theaters until next year, but that didn’t stop releasing some advance images from the film, including this image of Theron:
and this image of some post-apocalyptic recycling of cars:
The Amblin Entertainment/Legendary Pictures/Universal sequel to Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park trilogy, Jurassic World, netted us a teaser poster for the June 2015 release:
Jurassic World will star Chris Pratt, star of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy, which also had a new poster reveal for its IMAX 3D version:
Hey, how did Sark end up in Guardians of the Galaxy?
Spoiler Alert on Maximum–After the Break only.
The latest trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, released in the UK, with a pared down version airing on television in the U.S., reveals a ton of great scenes from the August release. So much so that readers who hate to see too much in a trailer (you know who you are) will want to skip this one. But those of you that just can’t wait for every new leaked image and official bit of info about this new flick, check out this latest and greatest of trailers after the break. And no, that doesn’t look exactly like David Warner’s Sark in the original Tron, but we got a similar vibe here. It’s actually Lee Pace (The Hobbit, Wonderfalls) as Ronan the Accuser.
Any excuse is a good excuse to post a photo of David Warner as the awesome villain Sark in the original Tron.
A big plus for those die-hard fans of superhero films that think the earlier trailers showed the team as too comical for their tastes may like this one better. Full of outer space action and interaction of the crew in their ship, this is shaping up to look like both a real superhero film and a real sci-fi film.
But first, in the Non-Spoiler variety, first up after the break is a nice quality, fan-made, retro-trailer on YouTube for the original Star Wars trilogy, using the style of the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer already released (and posted at borg.com earlier here), edited like the trailer with music from the trailer, too. Thanks to Dan Madsen for finding this YouTube video.
So here’s the fan-made trailer for Star Wars, Guardians style:
You might recall, like I do, your first sighting of a copy of the new John Williams soundtrack for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which was released two weeks before the movie was released in theaters. Before you start the requisite geek-bashing of the prequels, try to recall that back in 1999 we all could not wait to see what Lucas was going to show us, and what could be better than a new Williams score to listen to over and over again? Isn’t a new John Williams Star Wars soundtrack pretty much the best part of having a new Star Wars film released (yes, he’s signed up to be the galactic composer once again)? ’nuff said. But the problem with The Phantom Menace soundtrack that sat in a new stack at the local Fred Meyer? The title listing included a track called “The High Council Meeting and Qui-Gon’s Funeral.” Funeral. Huh? So all of us who were excited about the new film got a surprise blow. This new Liam Neeson character wasn’t going to make it out of this one alive. And that was that. Note to Williams: Could you be a little more vague in your titles for the next trilogy? Just saying.
Most of us didn’t use the word “spoiler” back in 1999, and certainly not like we do today. We’re not really talking spoilers per se, but if you don’t want to sleuth through a key question about this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie with us, you might want to move along and come back tomorrow.
Review by C.J. Bunce
BOULEVARD DRIVE-IN — It’s hard to believe it has only been six years since Jon Favreau surprised the world, taking a typically underwhelming character like Tony Stark, casting Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, and making the best modern superhero movie. Although fanboy director Favreau made the Christmas classic Elf before Iron Man, who knew he was going to change how we evaluate the modern superhero film? So it shouldn’t be surprising that a proven genre director like Bryan Singer, with titles under his belt like The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X-Men 2, X-men Origins: Wolverine, Superman Returns, and Valkyrie, has set the new standard in the summer blockbuster sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero sphere with his latest X-title, X-Men: Days of Future Past. You don’t even need to be an X-Men or Marvel fan to realize what a triumph Singer has achieved.
The movie is gigantic from the opening set-up. The giant mechanical Sentinels of the comic books take over Earth in the distant future, weeding out once and for all the small bands of survivors, creating a very Terminator-influenced opening. Now see if you can spot a theme here. A band of what you might call Tier 3 X-Men, led by Kitty Pryde (played by Oscar nominee Ellen Page), find a way to send something back into the past to save themselves from Sentinel strikes. Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, Oscar nominee Ian McKellen’s Magneto and Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman’s Logan aka Wolverine take Pryde’s method to come up with a time travel plan that results in dual casts trying to save their world, one in 1973, the other in the future. Storm, played by returning Oscar winner Halle Berry, tries to fend off the Sentinels to allow the time travel trick to work.
If you watched last night’s season finale of Arrow on the CW Network, you already know how well superhero stories can be translated to television. Arrow will likely go down as the best adaptation of a comic book property to hit the small screen. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to find the same spark but unfortunately couldn’t make it happen. After all, superhero series need superheroes at least once in a while.
The ABC Network released 12 previews for new Fall shows this week, including many that seem likely not to make it very far, including Selfie, starring Karen Gillan and John Cho. With these two mega-genre stars, someone should make a series that is more than a fluffy comedy. Cho has already shown through a variety of TV appearances, such as in Sleepy Hollow last year, that he has plenty of range beyond his movie roles. Gillan needs to move beyond the role of model, and we think Guardians of the Galaxy will give fans more of what they are after.
Here’s the Selfie preview, but you’ve been warned: ABC did not yet release a preview yet for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Agent Carter featuring Hayley Atwell’s character from Captain America: The First Avenger as she builds S.H.I.E.L.D. in the aftermath of World War II.
But the NBC Network did release this preview of another DC Comics series, Constantine, to replace the unfortunately cancelled Dracula (which featured Arrow’s Huntress actress Jessica De Gouw and Jonathan Rhys Meyers) for the Friday night line-up with Grimm: Continue reading
Back in the 1970s Marvel Comics released the first new entry in the Star Wars universe for the franchise which then consisted of the original movie alone. With Star Wars Issue #7, Marvel followed Han Solo and Chewbacca beyond the movie adaptation, as they explored the seedier elements of society–the kinds of places a Corellian would roam with fellow smugglers and other dregs. When Disney recently announced the coming continuation of Star Wars in a third trilogy, everyone knew it had to take place in the far away galaxy decades away from the events in Return of the Jedi. Then Disney hinted at other movies in the Star Wars universe, and possibly a Han Solo story.
A Han Solo movie is intriguing. Although the filmmakers are likely to target a younger audience with a young actor for Han Solo, I can’t help think how much fun it would be to see Firefly’s Nathan Fillion play our favorite scoundrel. Comic book writer Matt Kindt (Mind Mgmt) is now writing one of the last of Dark Horse Comics’s Star Wars stories before Disney pulls the franchise away at year end, and Issue #1 follows Han Solo almost from the view of a modern fanboy googly-eyed as he meets Han Solo in person. And the Han that is admired could easily be a Han played by Fillion. Think Fillion playing Han Solo in a Blade Runner noir vibe.
Coming next Wednesday, Kindt plus penciller Marco Castiello, inker Dan Parsons, and colorist Gabe Eltaeb take us back to the days before The Empire Strikes Back with Star Wars: Rebel Heist. After the break take a look at these preview pages from Dark Horse Comics: