Monday, March 24, 2014

TRAILER: X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST #2, The Amazing Spider Man #2, Star Wars, Ghostbusters 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 5

The first full pic of Dwayne The Rock Johnson as Hercules from this summer's release Hercules: The Thracian War.
I saw Divergent late last night and it was far more philosophical than I anticipated! Thoroughly pleased with the story line, acting and the entire scenario. The film pulled in $56 million this weekend, and Lionsgate snatched up the rights to the follow-up film, Insurgent. Again, this was far more anti-socialist than I even hoped for it to be, so I am very pleased. I AM ALSO VERY PLEASED that, finally, the second trailer for X-Men: Days Of Future Past has been released, but, let me tell you, it is worth the wait.
What a film this is going to be!
Sir Patrick Stewart predicted that X-Men Days Of Future Past would be The Avengers of 2014, and I think he's right. If you are confused regarding which film comes in which order, here it is: X-Men (2000), X-Men United (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), X-Men: First Class (2011), The Wolverine (2013) and then X-Men Days Of Future Past is the next, to be followed in 2016 by X-Men: Apocalypse and then The Wolverine sequel in 2017 (possibly not played by Hugh Jackman?). We've got to move on for now, but we will definitely discuss this in-depth later.
News has been officially released that Fast and Furious 7 will do remaining scenes with Paul Walker's Brian O'Connor character using four actors as body doubles and CGI. Soon after Walker's fatal car crash in November, it was rumored his brother Cody, a professional stuntman, would take his brother's place, however, it's not been released how involved, if at all, Cody Walker will be with the filming at this point.
The second trailer for Paul Walker's last, completed film, Brick Mansions, due out April 25, has been released and, this is going to be awesome. Watch for key symbols in this, because they are all there:
Who is the "law-enforcement father" that has been killed? The founding fathers. Who is the murderer of the founding fathers who has set up the ghetto? Obama (food stamps and unemployment, number of jobs permanently lost, increase in the deficit and his increasingly lawless administration). What's the ghetto that has been sealed off? Washington DC, because we can't break into it, but it is the place of ultimate lawlessness in the country. Why is there the line, "There is a difference between justice and revenge?" because there is. Obama, and the rest of Washington, must be held accountable for their crimes.
Brick Mansions will be released April 25, which I like because my birthday is April 27 and I like having a good film to look forward to when my dad takes me to a movie for my birthday. Now, the same weekend, the French version of the film, titled District 13 will be released world-wide. David Belle stars in both films.
Please note another important detail of the film: the song. Stand By Me was the theme song (a famous song in its own right) for the 1986 film about "coming of age" and doing the right thing, of changing your destiny and knowing who your friends are; given the agenda of avenging his father's death, and having to depend upon someone he doesn't know to help him accomplish that, I think all these elements fit for a compelling story line.
Absolutely, anyone can make the charge that a film is "not original" and just following an old story line; it's not original to make that charge. As we have discussed a number of times, however, "originality" isn't always a good thing, and it certainly should not be the primary standard against which films should be measured. Recurring images, motifs and ideas in films are essential to establishing the parameters of dialogue and issues at the heart of contemporary debates. For example, "another" possession film is coming out April 25 with Jared Harris:
It's not that it's "another" possession film, it's that possession is the vocabulary of choice for the horror genre right now and we have to ask why? Devil's Due, The Conjuring, Evil Dead, The Possession, The Devil Inside and The Apparition are all pretty similar, but they're not, not at all, only on the most superficial surface.
Penny Dreadful has a total of eight episodes,
which begin airing Sunday, May 11 at 10 pm (ET/PT).
Please, take the newest tease for the upcoming Showtime Series, Penny Dreadful as a case-in-point: the producers want you to know that, far from their "original" creations, the characters of the series all come from the great horror works of the Victorian era and are directly inspired by the likes of Oscar Wilde, Mary Shelly, Bram Stoker and Robert Louis Stevenson, that there is "nothing original" about these stories, but they are the modern children of famous parents:
None of the elements in this teaser are "original": the pages "stitched" together and bleeding, probably form the body of Frankenstein's monster, because every word written--then and now--has come together to form and shape the beast and our understanding of him; every artistic encounter we have had with Frankenstein's monster has "brought life" to the pages of Shelly's original story, the same with Stoker's vampire or meeting Wilde's Dorian Grey. There is a reason, in other words, for The Quiet Ones to be "another" possession film: something has taken possession of us, and film makers aren't done discussing it.
One commentator took the time to make a montage of all the latest film posters depicting the hero's back to the viewer (World War X, Divergent, Noah, Fifty Shades Of Gray, etc) and there were a lot of them. The poster for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug and this poster for The Amazing Spider Man 2 are obviously similar, and it's not a question of "lacking originality," rather, wanting to build off the image to establish a wider range of vocabulary with the audience. Film makers aren't nearly as dumb as some dumb fans think they are: they know you have seen this poster and they want you to think of Smaug when you see the new Spider Man poster because this is the way--without any words--the film makers communicate that the two ideas, the two stories are connected in a way they want us to think about, so we should. The image has been reversed in that the dragon Smaug sees the hero Bilbo Baggins (whom we see reflected in his eye) who will ultimately be responsible for helping to destroy him, whereas the hero Spider Man sees his ultimate foe, who is desperately trying to destroy him, and the country with him.  The eye is the window of the soul, even if it's the soul of a fearsome dragon, so we can deduce how afraid Peter Parker (Spider Man) is of seeing this terrible foe if it's being put on the level of a dragon being destroyed by a hobbit (Spider Man is like the hobbit, and Electro [Jamie Foxx] is like Smaug).
This is the final trailer for The Amazing Spider Man 2 and, even though we have seen some of the stuff all ready at the start of the trailer, just watch it to the end, because this is going to be incredible, really:
Just a few notes: first, we have all ready discussed how Peter Parker, aka Spider Man, very much takes on the role of America-As-Super-Power in this film: everyone kind of hates Spider Man because he is who he is, but everyone kind of needs Spider Man because he is who he is. In other words, if you replace "I" when Peter reflects upon himself with "America" you get a very interesting political philosophy of identity (it doesn't go so smooth with Obama working on his basketball bracket instead of dealing with Ukraine; we all know Wichita State University is going to win, right?). On a similar note of Obama, we have also discussed what I think is a trend in big Hollywood films of casting well-known liberal stars in the roles of villains to help clearly establish what the enemy of the film looks like (which is why Jamie Foxx is in the film). But there is something very "Thor" like about a certain spot in the film,...
Pirates Of the Caribbean 5 does not have a greenlight to start production. It will not be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and most of the cast is still up in the air. It has been officially rumored that Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Bastards, Django Unchained) will portray the principle bad guy in the film, and it's assumed Johnny Depp will be returning (Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom will not be returning, at least at this point, and there is some unofficial rumors about a farm girl and a farm boy taking their "place" in the next three films,... but that rumor is unofficial. At this point, numerous scripts have been nixed, including the last one by writer Jeff Nathanson who did Men In Black 3 (so I am terribly disappointed as that was an incredibly pro-America, pro-capitalist film). According to Disney executives, the storyline was too complicated and too many things were going on,... oh, wait, that was POTC 4. Originally scheduled for release in July 2015, Dead Men Tell No Tales has been moved to 2016.  
At 1:07, if you watch the trailer closely, we see glass cases with R&D weapons, rather like the glass cases we see in The Collector's (Benecio Del Toro) locale in the first post-credits scene. Likewise, with Jamie Foxx's character being, how should we put it, "fully charged," it might be a kind of Frankenstein's monster scenario with him (at 1:00, on the immediate left side of the screen, is a vat of electric eels which is sometimes associated with Frankenstein).
It has been revealed, but not much else, that Star Wars VII will take place 30 years after the events of Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi, and will feature a trio of new, young stars, along with the familiar faces of Hans, Leah (Carrie Fisher will be in London for 6 months of shooting) and Luke. Shooting starts in May. It is the running joke that the only actual cast member officially in the film--the only one confirmed by the studio--is R2D2. Ghostbusters 3 has lost its director: Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two Ghostbusters, has decided not to do the third installment after the death of fellow film maker Harold Ramis, At this point, Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) are in talks to take over, which is disturbing to me because those were both liberal films, but that doesn't mean Ghostbusters 3 won't be good.
The Peanuts gang is coming to the big screen and has released this teaser to announce the November 6, 2015 of the 3D film; rumor has it that Charlie Brown's life-long crush, only referred to as the "Little Red-Haired Girl," will have her name revealed.
Now, if you haven't been to the movies lately, you probably haven't seen the3D trailer for Godzilla. Another trailer has been released, this one emphasizing Bryan Cranston's role. In anticipation of the film, and because I love the genre so much, I have just received my two-disc, deluxe Godzilla Criterion Collection which has both versions on it. For those of you who don't know, there are "two originals" of the Godzilla film:  the original 1954 Japanese version, directed by Honda, and the "American" "original" version from 1956 starring Raymond Burr which cut out nearly half of the Japanese footage and did some re-filming (both are on the Criterion edition you can get by clicking on the link to Amazon above). Why all this happened is incredibly important and I'm dying to talk about it, but we'll have to wait just a bit. In  the meantime, here is the latest Godzilla trailer:
There's a little detail. At 0:08, in the upper-center quadrant of the screen, you can see The Grand Hotel flashing on the building. In 1932, a huge film was made called The Grand Hotel, starring Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Lionel Barrymore, John Barrymore and Wallace Beery. Anyone who has seen the film knows money plays a huge role in the lives of everyone in the narrative, so it's something for us to keep in mind when we see the film. Before the film comes out in May, I promise to post on the "original" Japanese Godzilla and the Americanized Raymond Burr Godzilla because they are important films and detail how influential art can be. In the meantime, I am working on Divergent.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner