New Justice League Trailer Hits Comic-Con!

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As expected, the brand new Justice League trailer dropped at Hall H at the San Diego Comic-Con today and I’m happy to bring it to you in all its glory.

The film, the first to bring together DC Comics’ heavy-hitter characters (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg) recently took a sad hit in production when director Zack Snyder had to step down from the director’s chair, following a tragic family loss earlier this year.

Joss Whedon, already hard at work on the Warner Bros. lot developing the new Batgirl movie, has stepped in to bring the League across the finishing line. Whedon, with The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron under his belt, has a little experience of delivering mildly successful superhero team movies, of course.

Ben Affleck took to the stage at SDCC, prior to the trailer’s screening, to debunk yesterday’s rumours which suggested Warner Bros. were looking to transition him out of The Batman role, ready for a re-cast. I’m happy to hear this, as his take on the Caped Crusader was one of the few genuine highlights of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of the Franchise.*

Justice League will unite in cinemas on November 16. And I have to say, I dug the heck out out of this trailer. Here’s hoping DC have finally learned how to handle their characters in the right way…

*I know, I know…

Spielberg’s Ready Player One Trailer

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Based on the 2011 debut novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One is also the next film from master of cinema, Steven Spielberg. The first trailer has just dropped from the San Diego Comic-Con.

Spielberg and co say the film will be faithfull to the source material but also introduce enough fresh elements to give this its own identity.

As someone with little interest in games or gaming this should contain little to excite me, but you know, it’s Spielberg so I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised (not least of which by that Iron Giant cameo)…

“Coffee For Spider-Man…”

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Perhaps to make up for the recent slew of quite dreadful posters for Spider-Man: Homecoming (I won’t link to them, but they’re out there and easily found if you have a taste for really bad Photoshop), Sony have released this amazingly (sorry, not sorry) cute piece of viral marketing to trumpet the imminent release of their first co-production with Marvel Studios.

It weirdly captures the friendly, neighbourhood aspect of the character which seemed largely absent from the last two ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ Sony productions, so let’s hope this approach is something Marvel have managed to filter through into the new movie, released in just a few short weeks, on July 7th.

In the meantime, watch out for stray webs in your cup the next time you order a coffee…

 

Hail to the King – The Black Panther Trailer Kicks Ass!

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Black Panther is an important film for Marvel Studios, and in its way an important film, period. A huge franchise movie written and directed by black talent and featuring a fabulous and diverse cast with its black stars front and centre, it’s a movie which speaks for our times in an incredibly positive way.

We shouldn’t have to point up these things, but now the moment is here it seems churlish not to celebrate it, so it’s great to see that what’s being delivered looks astonishingly cool and majorly kick ass. Also, props to the great use of Legend Has It, by Run The Jewels.

Directed by Creed’s Ryan Coogler, co-written by Coogler with Joe Robert Cole and headed up by the likes of Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o,  Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis, Black Panther will expand on the hidden African nation of Wakanda, as glimpsed briefly in Captain America: Civil War.

For a whole bunch of reasons this is a film that feels very much overdue, so sit back and enjoy what looks like Marvel firing on all cylinders. Hail to the King!

Thor: Ragnarok Wins Battle of the Led Zeppelin Trailers!

Thor Ragnarok poster

In the last week or so we’ve been treated to two trailers for forthcoming big, studio tentpole movies, both of which rely on the trusty wailing, axe slashery (as in guitars, though there are plenty of real axes in the trailers themselves) and drum pounding of the mighty Led Zeppelin!

First out of the gate came Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, accompanied by Babe I’m Gonna Leave You (from the Zepp’s 1969 debut album). It’s all very blokey and muddy and grey with a bunch of Ritchie’s usual tics (speed ramping, etc) and ultimately, for me at least, didn’t feel in any way unique (and it has some very big boots to fill against John Boorman’s mad and operatic, Excalibur). The Arthur story appears to have been given the Game of Thrones/Sherlock Holmes treatment and if you’re up for that, then I guess I know where you’ll be spending your movie cash this summer.

Next up comes Taika Waititi’s first crack at the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, well, take a look for yourself:

The Thor films have frequently felt like the poor relations of the Marvel movies, neither quite reaching the targets they were aiming for (though I still find them both very enjoyable… Dark World in particular only really misses its mark due to the now frequent Marvel trope of the underdeveloped villain, with poor Christopher Eccleston doing his best under heavy make up).

A trailer is no proof of the finished product, of course, but judging from what we see here Marvel have let the Flight of the Conchords/What We Do In The Shadows director have his head of steam.

Already we see something lighter, brighter and far more cosmically ‘out there’ than the previous entries in this franchise, and certainly allowing Chris Hemsworth’s comedy chops to shine is a stroke of genius. Plus of course, there’s *that* guest appearance… it’s no trade secret that Thor: Ragnarok borrows from a certain set of well- loved stories from the comic books and the sight of those two characters (I’ll avoid spoilers here in case you’re the only person on the planet unaware of this) facing off against each other is just too delicious. Additionally, everyone knows Jeff Golblum automatically improves any movie he’s in.

Finally, we have the use of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song, from 1970’s Led Zeppelin III. Now you might want to subtract a point or two after the song’s spellbinding use in the trailer for David Fincher’s slightly less spellbinding The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but really that would feel somewhat churlish in light of its perfect use here.

Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela (Cate Blanchett) from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.

If this official synopsis above for Thor: Ragnarok doesn’t get you vibed (along with Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2), well, there’s always King Arthur for you to look forward to. I’ll be gleefully diving into Waititi’s gloriously colourful immigrant song…

Doctor Strange Trailer Goes Full Psychedelic

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Since all of the previews of Marvel’s forthcoming Doctor Strange movie to date have focused on the impressive yet Inception-inspired visuals of cityscapes folding in on themselves, there has been much nervous talk that the company and director Scott Derrickson would not go full on psychedelic.

Happily, the IMAX featurette released today (see below) can put our little fanboy hearts to rest, for right there, snuck into a piece by Marvel’s head honcho, Kevin Feige, rhapsodising about the comic book genius of artist (and Doctor Strange co-creator) Steve Ditko, is a sequence of visuals guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of long-time fans (though… nerd alert… it’s a shame neither of the visuals accompanying the talk by Feige are actually drawn by Ditko, but still…).

Obviously (and happily) Marvel and Derrickson have been holding back to reveal too much before the film’s release in November, but these glorious visuals look like a page of Ditko 1960s inspired psychedelia come to life.

As a card carrying (well, FOOM card carrying) Doctor Strange fan since the early 1970s I can honestly say this has me even more excited about what looks like Marvel’s full step into cosmic weirdness.

I’ve got my cloak of levitation and all-seeing Eye of Agamotto ready for November 4th, see you at the cinema!

The Thinning – It’s Not About Hair, You Know…

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My first thought on seeing this trailer for forthcoming YouTube Red movie, The Thinning, was that it was going to be a story about hair loss.

Introduced by “YouTube star” (it says here) Logan Paul with the words “Hair flip. What’s up?” as he tosses his not quite flowing mushroom bobbed locks to one side, I envisioned this poster child for white male privilege having to endure the horrors of thinning hair during the course of the film, surely ensuring he’d never be allowed to party at Spring Break again.

But no, instead the Young Adult movie is something to do with a whole lot of equally white teens with full heads of hair having to take basic intelligence tests (well, there’s your problem right there, of course). Preying on the fear of exams this seems to entail some shady government plot to cull people with imaginary names (Logan Paul, Peyton List, Calum Worthy… ha ha, Calum Worthy…) who are ejected from their shopping mall utopia to go live with people with bad skin care routines, no Vine account and club cards at Wal-Mart. So basically, it’s a horror movie for people who frequent Urban Outfitters.

Or maybe it’s about killing off the really dumb teens, I couldn’t remember the plot thirty seconds after finishing the trailer, just Logan Paul’s hair.

I’m still trying to work out whether this is one of the most ghastly things I’ll never watch, or if it’s actually a work of genius – a film completely populated by fully-realised CGI simulacrums who have been named by committee (…ha ha, Calum Worthy).

Either way, The Thinning isn’t about hair loss. Which seems like something of a missed opportunity to me. But then I’m not Logan Paul.

“Hair flip!”

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk – teaser trailer

Whether you love his work or hate it (and he does seem to raise a significant amount of ire with certain sections of film lovers), Christopher Nolan is one of the few modern directors with enough clout to ensure that the release of a new film is very much an event. So the release of the teaser trailer for his forthcoming film, Dunkirk, is definitely a cause for some people (the ones who don’t hate his work) to get excited.

And if the thought of Nolan taking on one of the most harrowing events of World War 2 doesn’t raise your enthusiasm for this (a last-ditch effort to evacuate 300,000 Allied troops who were surrounded by German forces), then perhaps the thought of seeing One Direction’s Harry Styles in a proper, grown up movie will have you rushing to the box office in a frantic sweat to buy a ticket. Those of us above the age of fourteen will just have to settle for the involvement of Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh.

Nolan and his director of photography on Interstellar, Hoyte van Hoytema, shot Dunkirk using 65 mm and IMAX film cameras, so this is sure to look astonishing. I can only hope that Nolan decides not to infuriate large portions of the cinema audience again with another wilfully muddy dialogue mix (as per Interstellar) so we can actually hear what characters are saying. Which is always nice, of course.

Dunkirk is set to be released on July 19, 2017.

Christopher-Nolan-Filming-IMAX

Marvel release magical new Doctor Strange trailer.

“We only want to come when we have a LOT of stuff to show you,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios in his introduction at the Hall H presentation of the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con.

After debuting a new studio logo, which will now play before all their movies, with a new musical fanfare by Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Star Trek 2009), he brought to the stage the cast (Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan, who will play Erik Killmonger; Lupita Nyong’o, taking the role of Nakia; and Danai Gurira as Okoye) and director (Ryan Coogler) of Black Panther (and revealing a new logo for that film).

Feige followed this by revealing a whole bunch of art and designs (and new logo) for Thor: Ragnarok (which promises to include elements of classic comic book story, Planet Hulk – imagine the green giant in an outer space gladiatorial arena – as well as being a buddy movie). Directed by Flight of the Conchords’ Taika Waititi, the film looks like it will contain a broader streak of humour than previous Thor movies, and – alongside Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo – features Cate Blanchett as the villain, Hela.

Next up, director Scott Derrickson introduced his cast for the highly anticipated Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams and Benedict Wong). Cumberbatch took to the stage in a wild, smoke-filled laser light show, and premiered a second, and far stronger trailer for the film.

The presentation is still going on as I post this and I’ll be sure to bring more news as it hits, but Feige wasn’t exaggerating when he said Marvel had a lot to show!

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Marvel logo source: JoBlo Movie Trailers

“I’m putting together a team…” – the Justice League trailer arrives.

For anyone (like me) who thought that Batman vs Superman was pretty much a disaster of tone and character, the rumours appear to be true that Warner Bros took notice of the massive critical lambasting and have taken great pains to right their sinking DC ship into smoother waters.

Hot on the heels of the rather exciting Wonder Woman trailer , the San Diego Comic-Con has now seen the arrival of the first footage from DC’s all star team up, Justice League.

The film is directed by Zack Snyder (presumably now on a much tighter leash from the studio), with a screenplay by Chris Terrio, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons,J. K. Simmons, Amber Heard, and Willem Dafoe. In Justice League, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg assemble a team to face the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.

This first footage appears far lighter in tone than the utterly grimdark, miserabilist tone poem that was Batman vs Superman, so it’s fingers crossed that Warner Bros really have learned their lesson!

Justice League arrives in theatres on November 17, 2017.

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