Advertisements

Tag Archive: Marvel Entertainment


Review by C.J. Bunce

After a few packed years of superhero movies, Dark Phoenix is going to be a target for comparison.  No single Marvel movie this year–including Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame–really merits entry on a “best of the best” list, yet all had good, even great, moments, and easily belong in a top 25 superhero movie list.  Dark Phoenix now joins that group.  Instead of a galaxy-changing upheaval, first-time director and award-winning writer-producer Simon Kinberg marked the end of the X-Men movie saga with a personal story.  It’s a story of struggle and tragedy more attuned to the X-Men characters and the cinematic stories 20th Century Fox has told since we first met Patrick Stewart’s professor and Ian McKellen’s metal-manipulating frenemy way back in the year 2000.  Although it’s not as compelling and cinematic as James Mangold’s gold standard Logan or the incredible team-up in X-Men: Days of Future Past, actress Sophie Turner leads an emotional journey for her all-powerful Jean Grey that first began in X-Men: Apocalypse, really backing up that tagline from the movie posters: Every hero has a dark side.  They really meant it.

Kinberg wrote the original script for the Dark Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand, but he gets a lot closer to the spirit of the source material this time.  The key conflict mimics Marvel’s Jim Shooter and Chris Claremont’s reported struggle when they developed the character of Dark Phoenix, asking whether Jean Grey is irretrievably bad or bad only because she is possessed by a dark force.  At the same time most of the cosmic oddities are stripped from the comics story, but not all, pulling the necessary elements from the original tale in a more accessible way for audiences.  Jessica Chastain′s new villain and her compatriots from afar are very much the same as found in the comics, all but in name.  The opening act in particular is perfectly executed, beginning with a nicely cinematic launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, and a return to the stealth fighter that Nicholas Hoult′s Beast had been building in X-Men: Apocalypse.  If you’ve seen the trailers or know the story then the subject of the scene is no surprise–a rescue of the astronauts aboard from a giant solar flare, directed by James McAvoy′s Professor X from Earth, but led in space by Jennifer Lawrence′s Mystique, who grew to be the front-line commander of the team in the last film.  The most entertaining superhero of all the X-Men movies is back, Evan Peters′ Quicksilver, this time using his speed and time-stopping powers to assemble the astronauts for rescue in the character’s third and final awesome show-stopper.  He’s accompanied by the teleport-wielding Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler, providing actor Kodi Smit-McPhee the first of several key scenes that showcase his unique superhero, and round out a building arc for the typically background superhero.

The big takeaway from Dark Phoenix may be that it’s clear the material is capable of being recycled and resurrected many times, by different writers, directors, and actors.  Famke Janssen’s performance of Jean Grey was excellent in the original X-Men trilogy.  Sophie Turner’s performance is equally good.  In a few years we’ll see it all over again, which is pretty much what the Phoenix is all about.  Dark Phoenix will likely be accused of copying the empowered women theme of Captain Marvel.  In actuality Dark Phoenix was completed earlier, in October 2017, and if Dark Phoenix hadn’t been delayed by the Fox-Disney merger, the positions would no doubt be flipped to some extent.  The timing and similarities reportedly prompted Fox to go back and make some revisions.  But who says audiences can’t embrace two movies released within 90 days about the two most powerful superheroines in the Marvel pantheon?  Captain Marvel was able to generate far more buzz, and it’s a more upbeat story, so Dark Phoenix is unlikely to make a dent by comparison to that billion dollar box office hit.  But the acting and script for Dark Phoenix is probably a few degrees better, and the wrap-up of so many beloved characters makes Dark Phoenix a more important chapter for its franchise.

Continue reading

Advertisements

    

Sometimes so many trailers are in the queue it’s time to stack ’em, pack ’em and rack ’em.  For us, that means it’s time for another installment of Trailer Park.  We have a new Deadpool 2 trailer, reportedly the final trailer, and this time we meet the supporting characters.  We have two new Solo: A Star Wars Story television spots you might have missed (do you say Han rhyming with Stan, like Lando does, or Han rhyming with Ron, like everyone else does?).  We have the first look at Denzel Washington returning as Robert McCall in Equalizer 2.  Plus another TV spot for next week’s Avengers: Infinity Wars.  What else… one more trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  That’s a lot of sequel trailers.  You’d think we were already living in The Stacks.

And posters!  The studios have released several new movie posters to gawk at, including a late-breaking UK poster for Solo, a Deadpool 2 poster by Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld (an homage to New Mutants, Issue # 98), a poster for Equalizer 2, and, directly from Jamie Lee Curtis, the first look at the return of Michael Myers in the late 2018 release of the Halloween reboot.

    

So what are you waiting for?  Check out these six trailers:

Continue reading

With the big reveal this weekend of DC Entertainment’s first full-length trailer for Justice League, Marvel Entertainment promoted one of its own movies, releasing three new posters that seem to appeal to pretty much everyone.  In a year full of new superhero movies–Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, and, yes, Justice League, what if the come-from-behind underdog triumph of the year is Spider-man: Homecoming?

Marvel saturated audiences with Spider-man, first with Tobey Maguire’s webspinner in 2002’s Spider-man, then with similar sequels in 2004 and 2007.  After a brief break Andrew Garfield was rebooted as Spidey in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-man followed by a sequel in 2014.  Neither version of Spider-man was integrated into Kevin Feige’s new world of Avengers movies.

Only two years later–2016–in Captain America: Civil War were we introduced to Tom Holland’s new Spider-man within the context of the grand Marvel Cinematic Universe.  His banter with Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark, and his scenes in the main fight sequence of the film, were the best parts of that movie.  It’s impossible not to draw a comparison to Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne meeting Ezra Miller’s new Barry Allen in this weekend’s Justice League trailer.  The chemistry and charisma of the DC duo is just not the same.  Superhero movies with heart are the ones we remember.  Spider-man: Homecoming may be next in line.

Continue reading

doctor-strange-figuarts

Japan toymaker S.H. FiguArts is setting a new standard in small-sized action figures representing the state of the art of sculpt design technology from Bandai Toys, the fourth largest toy company in the world.  Designed to mimic the range of motion of the human body, the series aims to focus on “Simple Style” and “Heroic Action.”

Arguably the best of these new designs is the S.H. FiguArts new Doctor Strange figure, designed specifically for the U.S. market, available later this year.  The “Doctor Strange & Burning Flame Set” is a high-end 6-inch figure, about 1:12 scale.  Doctor Strange’s facial expressions are replicated with superb detail utilizing Tamashii Nations’ digital coloring technology, a printing technique that enables reproduction of minute details in the creation of expressions–in this case–true to Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal in last year’s blockbuster film, Doctor Strange.

The figure is available for pre-order now from both Amazon here and Entertainment Earth here.  This set is sold by special arrangement only in the U.S.

sh9

Check out more photos and product details after the cut.

Continue reading

guardians-of-the-galaxy-soundtrack-

You’ve gotta act fast for this offer from Marvel Entertainment.

Go to Google Play here on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, only and you’ll be able to access your copy of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack.

If you don’t have a Google Play account it is easy to set it up with a credit card or Paypal account.  Neither will be charged for the free access for this offer.

The only question is what time zone the offer expires in, so you may have only an hour or two left to act.

Then go here and vote in our Best Rock Song Poll.

Thanks to Justin Cline for the heads-up on this offer.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Captain America tries Thor hammer

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.

Trying the hammer

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:

Continue reading

Ultron from Avengers Age of Ultron

Earlier than planned, Marvel Entertainment has just released the trailer for the second Avengers movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron.  All your favorites are back: Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Man, Hawkeye… plus Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch!

Better yet, we get our first look at borg.com Hall of Fame inductee and living automaton Ultron, who looks great in this first preview for the movie.

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch from Avengers Age of Ultron

After the break, check out the full nearly 2.5 minute-long preview:

Continue reading

Agents of SHIELD season two clip

Late Friday night Marvel Entertainment released a clip featuring a full scene from episode 1 of Season 2 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  If you bailed on the series after the initial glitter of the Marvel Comics universe drama started to fizzle mid-season, you may have at least one good reason to give the series another try.  Agent Coulson’s team returns, this time joined by genre fave Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Battlestar Galactica, The X-Files, Veronica Mars, Burn Notice).

Although Marvel owns the cinematic superhero universe, it takes a backseat in TV land.   The DC Comics universe counterpart Arrow on the CW Network firmly established audiences would happily accept a series full of superheroes and supervillains.  With Arrow competing for viewers again this season, Warner Bros. is also adding The Flash, which looks to be great.  Will S.H.I.E.L.D. finally embrace the key element of the genre it represents?

Agents of SHIELD season two cast

Check out this first look of a scene from Season 2 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:

Continue reading

Scarlet Witch by Frank Cho

As part of its programming for San Diego Comic-Con International 2014, Marvel Entertainment is offering a new online video series about cosplay.  Providing a beginner’s guide for one way to put together a superhero costume, the episodic series of approximately 6 minute segments launched yesterday at Marvel.com and on Marvel’s YouTube channel.

Similar in concept to the Syfy Channel’s Heroes of Cosplay, the Marvel series is slowing things down a bit and going step-by-step, beginning with selection of character by a cosplayer heading to SDCC later this month.  That character is the Scarlet Witch, and cosplayer Lorraine Cink, host of Marvel’s online series The Watcher is the cosplayer who will wear the final costume.  The show is put together by Judy Stephens, associate producer of The Watcher.

Episode 1 sets up the series and has Cink and Stephens enlisting the work of a professional Broadway production costumer, Carly Bradt, to design the costume.  Her method may be more or less elaborate than those used by some cosplayers, beginning with a design sketch and translating that to a dress form and creating the costume from a pattern.  A lot of cosplayers may get the same effect by using a commercial pattern as a starting point and adjusting for the character requirements from there.  Still, with two episodes per week leading up to SDCC 2014, the show is bound to contain some tips cosplayers may find useful.

Future episodes will feature wig expert, Katie Hondrogen and professional cosplayer, Yaya Han, one of the stars of Heroes of Cosplay.

After the break we have the first episode of the new series, titled Marvel Method: Cosplay:

Continue reading