Monday, July 24, 2017

The Comic-Con Trailers

There hasn't been a chance to discuss the newest Annabelle: Creation film, but it is, technically, a part of The Conjuring universe (which I still need to research a bit). This is the newest poster released for the film (remember, the doll you see in this poster is nothing like the actual Annabelle doll the Warrens had locked up in their cabinet in their museum of evil, this doll was a fabrication of the film makers of The Conjuring). It's an interesting poster, and we will discuss it at greater length later when we examine the trailers more in-depth.
So, lots and lots of news from the week in movie-land known as Comic-Con, when studios pull out all the stops to court theater owners and make sure they will show their films; Comic-Con has the reputation of showing the very best trailers and footage of the most anticipated films (even more so than Super Bowl trailers) because if the films can't get into theaters, what's the point of showing trailers for them? So, this is mostly just a listing of trailers and images that have been released, just to catch us up on what's going on, because a lot is going on. First up, let's look at the new Thor: Ragnarok trailer that has been released:
This is the trailer I have been hoping to see, I am far more confident now about Thor 3 than I was when the first trailer dropped. If you are wondering how Hulk gets onto that alien planet, don't worry, about 98% of the population is with you: it appears that this planet where Jeff Goldblum reigns supreme is a portal, and all kinds of intergalactic portals open on this planet and dump stuff and people there, including one giant green monster who apparently fell through an intergalactic portal, kind of like in Thor the Dark World when the kids played that game of dropping stuff in, and sometimes it came out, and sometimes it didn't come out. With this trailer, I am ready to discuss the two "Darryl Jacobson" trailers, the first Thor 3 trailer and this one (trust me, those two trailers with Darryl were very important and utterly brilliant on Marvel's part to release), but that will be its own post. So, next up is Marvel's big rival, DC Comics,....
An unusual announcement was made this last week regarding the upcoming Captain Marvel film starring Brie Larson will be set in the 1990s and Captain Marvel will be battling the Skrulls, an alien race with an intergalactic empire. Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury will put in an appearance, without his eye patch, so it pre-dates the events in Captain America: Civil War when we saw how Fury lost an eye. Captain Marvel is an important film for Marvel Studios (I  personally could care less about this, but I feel like I need to mention it) because it's the first female-hero film that is a stand-alone (Larson beat out Scarlet Johanson for this one) but with the financial success of DC's Wonder Woman, Marvel has to up their game for this film to make sure they can do at least as well as Wonder Woman did. 
There are two big news stories regarding Warner Brothers' Justice League film: first, we finally get an inkling of Super Man in the trailer (I was beginning to wonder if they were going to pull a "Luke Skywalker" and advertise a character that doesn't show up until the very last second of the film); secondly, WB is shelling out an unprecedented and staggering $25 million for re-shoots. In case you didn't know, director Zack Synder's (300, Man Of Steel, Batman vs Superman) daughter, Autumn, committed suicide earlier this year, and Zack and his production team wife took time off to grieve their horrific loss. Someone at WB got the idea to bring in Joss Whedon: the guy who launched The Avengers into a billion dollar market, and the guy responsible for those horribly offensive "Vote For Hillary" "public service announcements" featuring so many of the members of the Avengers team bullying us into not voting for Trump. And it appears WB has quite the future in store for Whedon (who was let go from Marvel for undisclosed reasons) because of his directing a Batgirl film, and (possibly contingent upon how well Justice League does) promoting Whedon to the upper-echelons of the DC decision-making process.
So, this is what has happened,...
So, a new trailer and some footage (and some photos, like this one) were released for Marvel's 2018 film Black Panther, and the audience reactions have been exceedingly enthusiastic. When that new footage has been released, I will have a separate post (I have all ready posted on the first trailer, but the new images are worthy and certainly the "casino footage" as it's being called will be interesting). 
Synder leaves, although he considers Justice League to be done; someone brings in Whedon and Whedon tells them they need all these re-shoots and WB goes for it; at this point, all the action sequences are staying, and it appears Synder still gets top-billing for director, but Whedon has "rounded out the story" and added more dialogue (which is probably a good thing from what I have seen in the trailers so far) and the usual 2-week window reserved for re-shoots and editing that new material into the final film has been expanded to two full months, which is also mind-blowing. I don't doubt that this is going to make for a far better film (remember, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story also went down this route and I am sure the final product was far better for the extra time they took),... but speaking of that, there is one other item that has come up about Justice League,....
Batman.
They get a lot of publicity. Ok, so, it has been officially announced that Bond #25 will be released in American theaters November 8, 2019, and in UK theaters one week earlier, in keeping with tradition. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade will pen the script (they have written all the Daniel Craig Bond films, including Skyfall and Spectre), It has also been announced that more announcements are coming,... I mean, I totally get it, but come on, this is a billion-dollar franchise and it just doesn't look professional. So, announcements like the domestic distributor, international release dates, director and cast and, uh, yes, who is playing Bond himself, will also be announced later. I am fairly confident, like 65%, that it's going to be Daniel Craig returning, not just because of the last story we heard, but also because we haven't actually heard anything contradicting it, and they can't announce a release date for a film if they haven't got a film to release, and if they don't have a Bond, they don't have a Bond film. Period.
During a panel discussion at Comic-Con, Ben Affleck who portrays Batman in the Justice League series (and Suicide Squad), took a moment to address rumors that Batman was going be recast, in other words, that WB was going to fire Affleck from being the Gotham Crusader; absolutely not, Affleck reported (which is my disappointment), Affleck is here to stay as Batman,... so what prompted the rumors? Affleck had written a script for a stand-alone Batman film which was so bad, it's been rejected by the directors brought on board to make it a reality (including Affleck directing it has been rejected). So, here is the new trailer they released for the biggest week in film-world:
The end, with Alfred's glass of whiskey (probably Scotch, I would think?) moving reminds me of Jurassic Park, the first one, when the T-Rex starts coming for them and they know because of the concentric rings forming in the water in the cup on the dashboard,.... well, we could take that as Superman is the T-Rex of Justice League, the biggest and best, the most-powerful of a powerful team. Or, it could mean something else entirely, and it's even possible that it won't be in the film at all,.... What bothers me most, heretofore, about Justice League, is that the characters are so self-conscious about being super-heroes that they are cardboard copies of what the film makers think super-heroes should be, which means, they don't understand what super-heroes are, (and if you doubt me, the trailer for Pacific Rim: Uprising which is below is everything a super-hero is to me).
The main villain of Justice League is Steppenwolf who has an army of parademons and in an earlier trailer, we saw one parademon "hatch" from behind some football trophies (again, that's important because of all the liberal weight being thrown against anyone who has achieved anything, and if someone was good enough to get a trophy in football, then it's possible that the makers of Justice League hates them, like in Logan and the kid who had rodeo trophies: even though the trophies were all second and third place, it was enough to get the kid killed because he had accomplished something which makes people who haven't accomplished anything feel really bad about themselves). So, when Steppenwolf attacks earth, he says something like, "Earth doesn't have any lanterns to protect it," which is a reference to the Green Lantern, i.e., Ryan-Reynolds-first-but-failed-attempt-at-being-a-super-hero-and-the-only-time-liberals-don't-like-failure. SO, background, because you probably didn't see Green Lanternthis article at Cinemablend explains how DC comics divides the universe into 3600 sectors, and earth currently doesn't have a Green Lantern hero defending this sector. There isn't any announcements--apart from the one by Steppenwolf--that Green Lanterns are going to be re-introduced anytime soon (oh, and when Commissioner Gordon asks Batman, "How many of you are there?" and he replies, "Not enough," that may be a reference to the Green Lantern Corps which has thousands of Green Lanterns to serve, but none of them are on earth at the moment). 
So, let's switch gears and look at a film I am suddenly really looking forward to: The Dark Tower. They have released this interesting trailer/feature with Stephen King, and I think this is going to be quite good,...
Why, or even how, does a story like The Dark Tower become to be the center of such a diversified world as that of Stephen King's? Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak, The Shape Of Water) has said, and I think quite correctly, that no matter how many films a director makes in their life, they really only make one film, and every film is a variation on that same subject, theme, thesis. Even though The Dark Tower is still encoded with its own symbols and devices, I think it's going to mirror and therefore reveal the inherent core of King's one book that he has been writing his entire life and I suddenly can't wait to see it! Now, though, there is a film I am just dreading: the latest from Steven Spielberg. It's so sad that such an elite director has fallen so low in my estimations of his work.
Spielberg has disappointed me so many times, I'm not even going to say anything. So, next, The Kingsman: the Golden Circle. An interesting trailer/clip was released featuring the main villain portrayed by Julianne Moore. That trailer hasn't yet been released, however, we do have this one, and beloved Harry (Colin Firth) is definitely back in the game:
So, Poppy runs the world's biggest drug cartel, and I don't want to give away too many secrets, but let's just say we have a winner with this villain, she's everything we would want in a ruthless socialist. Even a cannibal. Okay, last trailer from the Comic-Con showcase, Pacific Rim: Uprising. I loved Pacific Rim, and Uprising promises to be excellent (remember, the film makers believed Hillary was going to become president):
Yea,... THAT, is going to be awesome!
Now, this last trailer is quite unusual: the whole film is painted. I think it took 80 artists working on the film to render it a Vincent Van Gogh universe during his last days:
So, what's left to come out this year? Here is a run-down of the release dates of the rest of 2017's films:

This weekend:
The Emoji Film
Atomic Blonde (horrible)
August 4:
The Dark Tower
Detroit
Wind River
August 11:
Annabelle: Creation
August 18:
The Hitman's Bodyguard
August 25:
Tulip Fever
September 8:
It
September 22:
The Kingsman: Golden Circle
Loving Vincent
September 29:
American Made (Tom Cruise)
Flatliners
Oct. 6:
Blade Runner 2049
Nov. 3:
Thor: Ragnarok
A Bad Moms Christmas
Nov. 17:
Justice League
Nov 24:
Murder On the Orient Express
Darkest Hour (Winston Churchill)
Dec. 8:
The Shape Of Water
Dec. 15:
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Dec 22:
Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle
Pitch Perfect 3
The Six Billion Dollar Man (Mark Wahlberg, nothing has been released yet)

Any of the big films you don't see on this list are being released in 2018 (like Black Panther, for example). Inevitably, studios release some of their new trailers and footage they showed during Comic-Con in the week following, so there isn't such an avalanche and their expensive advertising gets lost in an expensive shuffle, so as it is posted, I will post it, also!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner