I unplug from the internet for a couple weeks and this is what happens.
New trailers for Ant-Man, Fantastic Four, Terminator Genisys, Star Wars and, last but not least, Batman vs Superman have all hit the web. And, because I feel like I have to, here are my thoughts on them.
Probably the film of those listed that I probably won’t see (at least in the theatres) will be Terminator. While I find the twist revealed in the most recent trailer to be interesting, that being John Connor himself is awfully Terminator-ish, well, I have issues. [More so than usual? – Ed.] Yes, more so than usual…jerk. While the first two films are fondly remembered, well, 3 was kinda forgettable (seriously, I really have to concentrate to recall any of its plot) and Salvation, well, it had potential that it ultimately squandered by the end of the film. Instead of going the typical Hollywood route, where a ‘soft reboot’ (Salvation) that fails is followed by a hard reboot, much in the same way Superman Returns was followed by Man of Steel, Genisys feels like another soft reboot, which, given the core theme to the films, is starting to make everything feel all “timey-whimey”, to borrow from a certain Doctor. The only real link this film has with the franchise is the return of Ah-nold as everyone’s favorite cybernetic killing machine. I dunno, it’s just that the trailers I’ve seen so far indicate to me that we’re looking at something that probably ought to be called “Terminator: The Greatest Hits Collection!” You’ve got Ah-nold (so there’s 1), a liquid-metal T-1000 (there’s T2), didn’t really notice anything from T3 (supporting what I said above), and digitally recreated young Ah-nold from Salvation. The last film I immediately spotted that kind of structure in was Superman IV: The Quest for Peace…and we all know how that turned out. I mean, sure, I’m a completist, so I’ll pick it up when it becomes available on home video…but, meh, pass on the theatre experience.
Ant-Man was another film that I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to. Okay, first I was, then I wasn’t and now I am, but not as much as the first time I was. Confused? Good, because I get paid here by the word. [Not in actual money, per se…more like…um…nothing – Ed.] When Marvel first announced their upcoming Ant-Man film, I, like nearly every other comic book nerd, heard the record-scratching sound go off in my head followed by WTF? But then it was revealed that Edgar Wright was onboard to direct and co-write…and my WTF changed to “Fuck yeah! I’m soooooo there!” And then he was out, citing creative differences with Marvel. My mood swung again, this time in a far more negative direction. I have to concede, I’m a HUUUUUUGE fan of Wright’s “Cornetto Trilogy”; Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. So, if you’re creatively disagreeing with him, I’m going to take it personal. Thus, while most people felt that Guardians was going to be Marvel’s biggest risk…nope, I’ve got my money on Ant-Man being the first Marvel film that underperforms at the box-office. The most recent trailer, in addition to the unveiling of the film’s antagonist, Yellowjacket, has me at least wanting to check it out in theatres…but I’m still not exactly a-rarin’ to go.
Now, Fantastic Four has covered a lot of ground. A lot of the initial rumors surrounding the movie…well…it didn’t sound good. So I went back and watched the film that got Josh Trank the gig…Chronicle…and, well, I started to feel a bit better. Then the first trailer hit and I was very intrigued. The movie shot up from me still being extremely cautious about it to my definitely planning on catching it, probably opening week or so. With the latest trailer, if I’m not there opening night, it will be opening weekend. My mind is swimming in possibilities. Knowing that this will take more after the Ultimate version of the origin, with the team’s transformation being triggered by travel into the Negative Zone as opposed to the original “cosmic rays”, it begs the question that if this franchise takes off, will we be seeing Annihilus? While rumors associated with the movie made Dr. Doom sound like he was going to be some sort of angry blogger/hacker, this most recent trailer, and maybe I’m inferring incorrectly here, makes it sound like he’s been stuck in the Negative Zone for a while and the Four’s incursion is what grants him passage out. Now THAT sounds cool…and could give rise to the intellectual rivalry that Doom and Richards have shared throughout their entire history. “You found it, but I found it first.” “But I figured out how to leave it…how long were you trapped inside there?” And so on and so forth. [Sigh…since this is the internet, I guess I should outright say that none of the quotation marks here indicate anything said in the trailer…nor are meant to represent any thought of what any of the dialog might sound like. – Ed.]
Star Wars? Mother%^&*ing awesome. Yeah, I busted out the wingdings font [Which, hey, doesn't show up here! - Ed.]. Sure, I’ve sworn on this blog before, but no, the trailer was so damn good, it transcends profanity [Except “damn” apparently – Ed.]. I still want to be hesitant because I remember how much I loved the trailers for each of the prequel movies…only to be let down. You know, that whole “I’ve been in love before” thing. [Someone queue up the Crowded House. – Ed.] But then I remember, no George…and you know, everything just might be okay. In fact, the closing line of the trailer might just say it best: “Chewie, we’re home.”
Now for the big one…for me anyway. I’d been waiting for this one for a while: Superman vs. Batman, or, as the rest of the world calls it, Batman vs. Superman. First off, the montage of voices…it’s pretty fitting to have Charlie Rose lead things off, I love the fact Neil DeGrasse Tyson is in there (although somewhat disappointed there’s no Michio Kaku), it’s easy to spot Holly Hunter’s voice, spewing some pretty negative views (Fox…er…Lex News maybe?) and of course, Jesse Eisenberg (I think) as Lex saying “Devils don’t come from Hell beneath us…they come from the sky” playing on the ol’ Lucifer was an angel too angle. We have images of Superman amongst a crowd reaching out to him looking VERY uncomfortable, but also a scene where he’s in an underground bunker with soldiers or militiamen kneeling at his approach (which he’d better be DAMN uncomfortable with!)…the voices give way to Jeremy Irons as Alfred. “That’s how it starts, the fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness. That turns good men cruel.” And I’m really hoping that that is the speech Alfred gives to Bruce to turn him away from being adversarial toward Superman. Here we get our first look at Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne and…well, I’m not sure. Granted, at least appearance-wise, I thought Christian Bale absolutely nailed Bruce Wayne, especially as Jim Aparo drew him…so anyone following that was going to be judged a bit more harshly. It doesn’t help that, for whatever reason, he bore just a slight resemblance of George Clooney’s Bruce…and, while I harbor no ill will toward Clooney or his performance, well, he was still the Batman in Batman and Robin…and all the post-traumatic stress that said movie induces.
Here we get a look at the Batwing, Batmobile and Batman himself. Another Bat-thing that irked me a little was the copy-cat shot of Batman atop a skyscraper with camera circling about. We got enough of that shot during the Nolan films, thank you very much…how about we try something else now, eh? Closing out, we have Batman armored up, ready to take on Superman Dark Knight Returns style with the Bat speaking in a mechanized or electronically distorted voice. “Do you bleed? You will.” See…now, I like the voice, especially after 3 years of Christian Bale gargling gravel…or trying to sound intimidating but just failing on an epic level. This film seems to understand that there’s only one person alive that can make Batman sound as intimidating as possible without electronic assistance and that’s Kevin Conroy. Bruce Wayne, being the tech mogul that he is, I’d think would naturally gravitate toward this kind of distortion of his voice as an intimidation technique instead of trying to sound intimidating on his own (but ending up sounding like he’s on the toilet after a week-long binge of nothing but cheese sandwiches). But as to the closing lines…man, I hope that doesn’t make the final cut. Maybe it’s my Bat-fatigue, but it’s unnecessarily dick-ish. Look, it’s in the damn title, they’re gonna fight, sure. But there’s going to be a larger foe at work here (hence the introduction of Lex…maybe…just a thought…). And there’s the trope that I won’t say MUST be followed, but…well, should certainly have a hat tipped toward and that’s the “first they fight, then they team up” cliché. Given the subtitle for the film is “Dawn of Justice” with an obvious allusion to the Justice League…and the fact the movie will be seeing at least Wonder Woman and Aquaman in it, c’mon. Unless Justice League is going to include dialog along the lines of “Dude, remember that time you asked if I could bleed? Kind of a dick move. Besides, you do realize that your armor was pretty much useless…right?” While it was great to see, well, the trailer didn’t really reveal much plot-wise. Sure, we know the movie will deal with fallout from Man of Steel…but that’s it. Everything’s still pretty vague. What causes Superman and Batman to fight? What puts them on opposing sides? Is it Lex’s machinations/manipulations? Or is Batman just a grade-A dick? We don’t know. And it doesn’t look like we’re going to find out until Trailer #2.