Synopsis The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test. directed by Justin Lin from a screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung. Starring Chris Pine (Captain Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Simon Pegg (Scotty), John Cho (Sulu), Anton Yelchin (Chekov) and Idris Elba (Krall).
Synopsis Stranger Things is a 8-part Netflix original series set in Indiana 1983, where a young boy vanishes into thin air and a mysterious girl with strange powers suddenly appears at about the same time. Directed by The Duffer Brothers and starring Winona Ryder, David Harbour & Matthew Modine.
In hindsight, 2015 has proven to be a rather disappointing year for geek movies. Despite the hype accorded to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams’ reboot of the franchise proved less than satisfying but that could not stop the movie from grossing over a billion at the box office (and still going strong at time of posting).
When news was announced about the cast for Captain America : Civil War, folks starting referring to the sequel as Avengers 2.5. But based on the first trailer, it’s clearly a Cap movie – it’s just that Cap’s quest for justice for his friend Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) leads him to war with Iron Man and his team.
Which is a clever twist to how the original comic book story played it. It’s about Cap being loyal to his best friend in the face of virtually impossible odds. What a story this is going to be! And we get a first look at Black Panther too! 2016 is going to be an amazing superhero movie year.
The most anticipated movie of the year has released a new trailer. If I am understanding the implications of what is depicted in this trailer correctly, after the Battle of Endor and the Return of the Jedi, something happened to thwart the actual return of the Jedi because 30 years later, the very idea of the Force is now a myth. Isn’t this the premise of Star Wars: A New Hope? So unlike the numerous books that chronicled post-ROTJ events (which has now been rendered non-Canon by Disney), we are back to square one.
Once more, we have a young adult living on the desert planet looking up to the skies, we have a malevolent force wearing a helmet and we have the threat of the Death Star (see the poster below) – so Star Wars: The Force Awaken is in reality a REBOOT! Sigh. What an alarming and revolting development! Hopefully, I am wrong in my assessment of the trailer. Cuz, even though the visuals are amazing and awe-inspiring, if that is indeed the plot of the new Star Wars movie, then it is going to be a disappointment. Don’t fuck it up, JJ!
Watch the new trailer.
Check out also this amazing clip that combines all the footage so far in the Ultimate Trailer!
Last time out, Fox botched its characterisation of Dr Doom – one of the most iconic of super-villains – and that, and it’s rather campy approach marked its first attempt at adapting Marvel’s Fantastic Four as a failure. Watching this final trailer for this FF reboot, it is clear that the critical point of acceptance will once again hinge on the handling of Doom.
Apart from that, based on the trailers so far, this reboot looks like a serviceable origin story, using the Ultimate Fantastic Four series as a strong inspiration. In a year of mega-blockbusters like Fast and Furious 7, Jurassic World and Terminator: Genisys letting us down on the basic story front, hopefully Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four will surprise us all with a solid plot and characters, even as Marvel Studios itself roots for it to fail.
You see that image above? That’s really what modern day blockbusters have done with plot, characterisation and narrative logic. Gobbled it all up in the name of box office green. Special effects rather than good writing create ‘tension’ and ‘drama’. This visual feast has audiences going ga-ga over the empty spectacle while ignoring plot holes & shallow one-dimensional characters. But it’s all okay, it’s only a movie so relax, why don’t you?
Well, remember that you reap what you sow. All the box office millions earned by movies like Jurassic World and less we forget, the Transformers franchise only leads to more similar movies. As it is, movie studios are terrified about releasing ‘genre’ films unless it’s a sequel, reboot or book/comic/TV adaptation and the mega-success of Jurassic World simply cements that opinion.
There’s little point in going into these issues in detail but suffice to say that: –
1. Bryce Dallas Howard’s character spends the entire film in high heels whilst running and battling dinosaurs.
2. The manner in which the ‘evil’ dinosaur is defeated by the ‘good’ dinosaurs is preposterous.
But why bother about making sense when you can make US$500 million in a weekend instead?
Yes the first teaser trailer was bewildering BUT this is the real deal right here.
With a Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil) VO, thrilling shots of the new Star Wars universe (30 years from Return of the Jedi) and the appearance of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca, it feels like …. coming home indeed.
Beginning to feel that this will be the film of the year!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in Singapore on 17th December.
Never watched any of the previous instalments of this lucrative franchise but not knowing anything about what happened in six previous chapters was an advantage. Yes, I know there was some back story as to why Jason Statham’s character (Deckard Shaw) had a bone to pick with Vin Diesel and his crew but it really did not matter.
The Firestorm two-parter may well have been the best Flash episodes so far – which is really saying something. No stone was left unturned to flesh out the characters that make up Firestorm (i.e. Martin Stein and Ronnie Raymond) and there was a sense of inevitability that the two would eventually merge once again. Harrison Wells (Reverse-Flash) is manipulating events behind the scenes and as the ending suggests is also somehow related with Gorilla Grodd as well! I am curious to see what Wells’ motivation in the scheme of things because the writers have done a good job in keeping Wells’ true intentions hidden.
The episodes worked so well that it played like a set up for a Firestorm spin-off and depending on how the audiences respond, I am guessing that that series may happen sooner than later. Victor Garber (Stein) and Robbie Amell (Raymond) have settled into their respective roles rather well and it would be intriguing to see how a Firestorm series will explore this unique dynamic. But for the Flash, it does feel that we getting ever closer to Barry’s encounter with the Reverse-Flash in a race to save his mother. Can hardly wait!
Just an aside to pay tribute to the creators of these wonderful super-heroes. Even as the credits omit this fact (based on characters in DC Comics), the Barry Allen-Flash was of course created by writers Robert Kanigher & John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino, whilst the original Firestorm was created by writer Gerry Conway and artist Al Milgrom. Credit where it is due!