In this week’s episode we’re talking MARVEL. We talk Iron Man 3, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and more! We breeze over what TV shows have been cancelled and the new FALL schedule for NBC. You’ll find out who we’d have sex with out of Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony, and Jodi Arias–AND you get to find out who Dan would have sex with out of Mark Ruffalo, Michael Fassbender, and Val Kilmer! Fun show this week!
Tag Archives: marvel
For a company, now paired with Disney, Marvel seems to be “accidentally” letting a lot slip about the future (“Phase II” & “Phase III”) of their multi-million dollar franchise. Oh, right, I should say this now: SPOILER ALERT! As in, what follows may contain SPOILERS, or maybe not. Maybe everyone is wrong and Marvel is in on the joke; but just be warned. PLAUSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!
First, let’s talk turkey–and by “turkey”, I mean Iron Man 3. Just about a week before the new Super Bowl Teaser trailer dropped, Marvel had been picking up the pieces of a major “Phase II” leak regarding the series. And the leak was this:
Probably doesn’t look like much, but what it is (allegedly) is a tell-all regarding the film’s end. As Marvel had announced, director James Gunn will be at the helm for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film (which I know almost nothing about other than it involves Thanos and a Rocket Raccoon). The catch here is that the finale of the Iron Man 3 film will involve Tony Stark heading to (fucking) Space to team up with the Guardians, pushing forward his story in Phase II. Surprising? True? Who knows! But sources say: YES! And Marvel is genuinely peeved.
But that’s not all. As Marvel is a company that likes to plan entire future franchises way ahead of time (not unlike Pixar), they have many many secrets on the table and aren’t so great at keeping them there. The next giant SPOILER news regards “Phase III” and the Universe post Avengers 2. According to an info leak, actor Mark Ruffalo will be getting his own HULK movie which will follow the story line of Planet Hulk (if you’re not already in the know, look it up. Click the link, or check out the animated movie on Netflix).
While the news may not seem like a huge cataclysmic bombshell of information, it seems to be getting on Marvel’s tits quite a bit. They’re looking to get litigious and whatnot, so we can only assume there is some truth to these rumors.
Oh, also…before I go, Kevin Smith is making a CLERKS 3. Let that sink in for a while…
I don’t need to tell you that “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” is the full-blown manifestation of many a comic-book nerd’s wet dream – I assume you’ve seen the film’s many marketing materials, which show Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Incredible Hulk heroically assembling, and have come to the exact same conclusion all by yourself. What I do need to tell you is that “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” (I think I’ll refer to it as the slightly less clunky “The Avengers” from here on in) is a superhero film that will not just appeal to this acne-riddled, sweaty-pitted, inevitably drooling crowd, in which I will hesitantly include myself. It is in fact a comic-book nerd’s wet dream that should also appeal to all you non-geeky, non-spotty, non-heavily-perspiring norms, so long as you are fitted with the mental ability and physical capacity to experience earth-shattering levels of eye-popping fun. If so, “The Avengers” awaits your presence. If not, jog on, and go do some knitting or something.
“The Avengers” is a film five years in the making (with Samuel L. Jackson’s character Nick Fury unofficially announcing it at the end of 2008’s “Iron Man”), although some would say it is in fact almost 50 years in the making, the first official “Avengers” strip having debuted on comic-book store shelves all the way back in 1963. Either way, whether it’s half a decade or half a century in the making, the project has been eagerly anticipated, meaning the pressure was on for writer-director Joss Whedon (creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) to deliver the goods, lest he be flung between the fearsome fangs of ferocious fanboys. And gee whiz, the goods haven’t just been delivered: they’ve been painstakingly and vigilantly carried all the way from the glittering gates of Hollywood onto your local cinema’s doorstep by a determined courier who’s gone to great lengths to obey the package’s order of “handle with care.” (Continue Reading…)
After eleven short years and five cash-guzzling hit movies, the timeline of the “X-Men” franchise is well and truly knackered. Questionable continuity issues run amuck throughout the series started by director Bryan Singer as it tries to juggle a boatload of characters taken from the Marvel source material, sometimes clumsily dropping them and not knowing where to put them back again. Just like the cringe-worthy embarrassment that was Gavin Hood’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” of 2009, Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class” has taken a vast number of creative liberties, the continuity now beaten to a bloody pulp. But out of this has come a film with a story that is as captivating and fascinating as any other; narrative cohesion takes a few steps back for inspired filmmaking to take centre stage.
As the title suggests, “First Class” is the prequel to the original trilogy, telling the story of how the first set of X-Men came to be. It also explains the back-story of the relationship between Professor X and Magneto, an aspect of the previous films that was always clouded in mystery and intrigue. And by golly, is it intriguing here. (Read More)
Kicking off 2011’s summer of big-budget blockbusters is superhero flick “Thor,” probably one of the most challenging stories for Marvel Studios to adapt onto the silver screen from the pages of a comic book. This is not necessarily because of the arguably second-rate awareness of the eponymous character himself, but because creating “Thor” requires one to create a fantasy world, another dimension which must convince and adequately intrigue general movie-goers. Unlike the company’s recent cinematic triumphs such as “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk,” “Thor” takes place partially in a realm separate from our own, one with its own rich history and logic, and to build this calls for an ambience of epicness, which director Kenneth Branagh has thankfully relished in.
This world of which I speak is Asgard, which is located in a magical dimension that is certainly not our own. Its design is of polished gold, its grand kingdom furnished specifically for a noble king. This king is Odin (Anthony Hopkins, “The Wolfman”), a white-bearded god with a metallic eye patch covering his right peeper. He has a wife, Frigga (Rene Russo, “Yours, Mine and Ours”), and two sons, Thor (Chris Hemsworth, “Star Trek”) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston, “Archipelago”).
Thor is the eldest of the two brothers, and is thus heir to the powerful thrown. As pointed out by his father, he is arrogant, vain, greedy and cruel. He wears a red cape and wields a powerful hammer called Mjolnir, a mighty mallet that can cause more damage than when a packet of Mentos is dropped into a bottle of Diet Coke. Seriously, that combination can take an eye out.
After a breach in Asgard’s security almost leads to the theft of a sacred artefact, Thor decides to take matters into his own massive hands, and (despite his father’s insistence that it would do no good) attempts revenge on the evil Frost Giants (just go with it). Following his defiance, Thor is banished from Asgard for the trouble he has caused and the war he has resparked, stripped of his armour and his beloved power-giving hammer.
He winds up on Earth, in the New Mexico desert to be exact, and meets mortal scientists Jane Foster (Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”), Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård, “Mamma Mia!”) and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings, “Defendor”). Assuming the rambling Norse god is a deluded drunk, they zap him with a tazer and take him to the hospital, where he inflicts some unprovoked violence on the unsuspecting staff. From here on, the trio are stuck with a man they believe to be a schizophrenic nutcase, but become more and more convinced by his claims that he is indeed Thor, god of thunder and son of Odin, as he tries to get back into Asgard and hold his enormous tool in his hand once again. I can hear you sniggering.
Meanwhile, in Thor’s homely kingdom, Loki sees his chance to become ruler of Asgard, what with dad’s favourite son being cast down to Earth. He is determined that his overshadowing brother never returns from his exile, while the god of mischief plots to take over the reigning role of his elderly father. Maybe he got bored of taking over Jim Carrey’s body and dancing to jazz music with Cameron Diaz. SSSMOKIN’!
“Thor” is high camp, with Norse gods marching about in glistening armour and horned helmets that look neck-crushingly heavy, yelling at each other in perfectly stated Shakespearean English. The scenes in the grandiose kingdom of Asgard may have run the risk of being pretty darn laughable, but there’s an unexpected sternness to them that counteracts any possible corniness. If anything, the scenes on Earth are cheesier than that of the alien realm. Also, it’s difficult to not get caught up in what is ultimately a very fascinating world unlike our own, all rendered in beautiful CGI.
In true blockbuster fashion, the film is a special-effect spectacle that’s bursting at the seems with computerised trickery, all showcased in post-converted 3D (which I should add is barely noticeable after a while). This is not only utilised to create the fantasy world of Asgard, but also the menacing robotic Destroyer, guardian of a sacred Asgardian artifact, his head opening up to blast out a raging fireball that roasts any nearby enemies. There’s also the cold-as-ice Frost Giants, a whole species of monsters who live in a land made of ice (Jotunheim, not Iceland). Their skin is chilled blue, and their eyes are as red as the cheeks of a schoolboy who’s just had his trousers yanked down to his ankles in the playground. These creatures will chill you to the bone. Literally.
Our godly hero is played stunningly by hunky Hemsworth, bringing a knowing sense of cheek and swagger to the hammer-thumping role. The Australian actor, standing at 6’3″ tall, is a mammoth of a man, bound in muscles and oozing with genuine on-screen charisma, making for an enthralling and amusing protagonist for us to root for. When he dons his helmet, swings his hammer and yells at the top of his lungs, you know this man means serious business.
There’s also Hopkins and Hiddleston as a father and son who struggle to connect with each other, the father always having favoured his older boy. Hopkins is not as hammy as usual, his character’s status as a god fulfilled by the sheer gravitas of Mr. Hannibal Lecter’s performance. Hiddleston manages to get across a sense of jealousy over the attention Thor receives, which raises his ambitions to show ‘em all what he’s made of and rule the whole of Asgard all by himself, while yearning to impress his father.
Given that this is English director Kenneth Branagh’s first real venture outside of Shakespeare adaptations and period dramas, “Thor” is ruddy impressive. He gives a full sense of a truly epic scope, perfectly balancing moments of fantastical absurdity with moments of lighthearted fish-out-of-water humour (like when Thor charges into a pet store and demands to be given a horse). The film is also tantalising when the action kick-starts and the hammers fly, the more adrenaline-pumped sequences suitably thrilling. I wasn’t sure if Branagh could handle it all, but by Odin’s beard, he does. He should calm down on all the Dutch tilts, though; they damn near gave me a headache.
In the run-up to next year’s massively anticipated “The Avengers,” “Thor” gives more promise to the mouth-watering prospect of the on-screen team-up of Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk and Thor. However, the film doesn’t feel like one big advertisement (ahem, “Iron Man 2″) for the big event, instead simply taking on the role of a magnificent, technically-impressive comic-book fantasy that excites, enchants and thoroughly entertains. You’re up next, Captain America. Don’t disappoint us.
Nine Outta Ten
The Twitterverse is alive and buzzing with the swine-like squeal of outrage over The Walt Disney Company’s upcoming purchase of MARVEL Entertainment Incorporated for upwards of $4 Billion in cash and stock. According to the Associated Press, this monumental purchase will include the film rights to about 5,000 Marvel Comics characters ranging from Iron Man to Ant Man. Comic book fans are outraged, but is this anger placed in a reasonable manner? Not likely.
To briefly set the stage, both parties have only just announced that this deal is being discussed. Nothing has been cemented as of this moment. The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, but it still requires shareholder and anti-trust reviews.
Let’s imagine–and it’s almost certainly going to be reality very soon–that this deal were already passed. The Walt Disney Company is the largest entertainment media conglomerate the world has ever seen; but it is primarily associated with media for children. This narrow minded approach to viewing Disney’s resume can only be met with derision. Disney is not singularly Hannah Montana or The Jonas Brothers. They are not singularly PIXAR or Animation Studios. And they are not singularly MIRAMAX or TOUCHSTONE, either.
MARVEL’s resume of films is meager, and–speaking critically–as shitty as it is impressive. Should we examine the 1986 disasterpiece Howard the Duck? Or shall we move straight up to the present and delve into the Incredible Hulk–the movie so shitty, they made it twice.
To be fair, both MARVEL and DISNEY have their cinematic shit-fests; however, I believe that trusting MARVEL’s future with an organization that tends to only hire the best and brightest in their fields could hardly be a mistake.
That’s not to say that Disney isn’t a greedy behemoth with dollar-signs for pupils, but who isn’t nowadays?
Let’s think about this critically. Many individuals look at this as if Disney is going to have The Jonas Brothers playing X-Men, while–in reality–we’ll get better quality 3D animation for the cartoonier Marvel Comics and ridonkulous budgets for the action flicks; so let’s give credit where credit is due.
The argument I’ve heard against this is that traditional-style animation has a special place in comic book films and Pirates of the Caribbean sucked. This is a fair assessment; however, I am optimistic that if most of the comic book audience feels this way, they will not be disappointed.
I’m not saying that Disney deserves to be defended to the death. They’ve squashed and stolen many times, but to say that Disney is somehow not worthy or incapable of doing a Superhero movie is just mindlessly fucking insulting. How many corners did they tell Quentin Tarantino to cut when he did Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill? For the anime scenes in Kill Bill, did Miramax say, “No, we need to make it 3D Computer animation?” Of course not.
The long and short of it is that there is almost no way that Disney can ruin Marvel Comics any more than Marvel Comics already has. Feel free to disagree, but feel free to be wrong as well.
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