The best compliment I can bestow upon Thor is that I was expecting more when it ended. The two-hour duration whizzed past so quickly that it actually felt short. Kudos to director Kenneth Branagh for bringing to life a comic book super-hero story that seems almost unfilmable.
Brilliantly interweaving two stories – one, in Asgard and the other on Midgard (i.e. Earth!) – Thor is delivered almost naturally for a movie that involves Norse deities. There’s not a single moment where you begin to feel that the concept is silly or corny – in line with other Marvel stories, the believability quotient is always high. No mean feat.
It’s nigh impossible to escape the influence of iconoclastic sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick on modern day sci-fi movie making. Already this year, we have actually had one (subpar) Dick adaptation (The Adjustment Bureau) and one superficially Dick-inspired fantasy (Zack Synder’s critically lambasted Sucker Punch). However, it may well be Duncan Jones’ superlative Source Code that takes the prize for the most faithful Dickian film creation in 2011!
Based on the comic book of the same name, Cowboys and Aliens has released its second theatrical trailer. It’s always exciting to see a sci-fi alien encounter story within other historical contexts, and that for me is the main draw (pun intended) for this Jon Favreau-helmed action thriller. And it’s got Harrison Ford in it as well. Check it out.
Yes, geeks and geekettes, I must confess that I have been thus far less than impressed by the prospect of the Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds. The first trailer did not do much to allay the fears as the tone of the movie came across as comedy-adventure rather than space epic.
I read a lot of super-hero comic books growing up in the 60s and one of my favorite characters was the X-Man, Cyclops. You know, the guy who could shoot red laser beams from his eyes, functioned as team leader (in the absence of the crippled Professor X), hooked up with the only girl (Marvel Girl, natch aka Jean Grey) in the team and possessed all the qualities that I looked up to as a young pre-teen child.
Of course, in the subsequent years, Cyclops’ life got a whole lot more complicated and his character has been revised to such an unrecognizable extent (as with most comic book super-heroes) that I have lost all interest in him (and super-hero comic books in general).
Kudos to Zack Synder for making the ultimate GEEK movie! I am certain this unique film will leave many scratching their heads at the film’s conclusion but that’s the whole point of Sucker Punch. And I’d wager that unless you’re a geek, you are pretty much gonna hate this mash-up of the different facets of geek culture. Which is just fine with me.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER OFFICIAL TRAILER
This is already looking like an AMAZING year for superhero movies. Based on the trailers of Thor and X-Men: First Class, it appears that directors/producers are pulling out all the stops to make superhero movies work on every level – for the geek and casual movie-goer alike. Finally, Captain America is given a proper trailer and it looks like yet another winner. Every comic book geek knows Cap’s origin story and I am hoping that the promise shown here is fulfilled and justice is done to the vision of creators Joe Simon (now in his late 90s!) and Jack “King” Kirby (rest in peace). The movie opens on 22nd July.
First proper trailer for the Spielberg-Abrams secret project is now out! And doesn’t it look like am 80s alien/monster movie, directed by Spielberg? Not sure quite what to make of it… should be interesting in any case.
The first Conan the Barbarian, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, was significant in Singapore cuz it actually gave Singaporeans an uncensored view of bare boobies, which was incredible back in 1982! Right.
So a good 29 years later, here comes the remake which introduces Jason Momoa as the Barbarian. The teaser does not show that much (it is a teaser after all) but the voice over should elicit quite a few chuckles – “Enter the world of the Barbarian”. Okaaay….
Based on iconoclastic sci-fi writer Philip K Dick’s short story, Adjustment Team, Adjustment Bureau contains star power and an interesting premise but in the end is poorly conceived and executed. In Dick’s short story, the protagonist discovers by accident that the world is not what it seems to be. Behind the scenes, white-robed men make “adjustments” to the world to correct certain anomalies to the grand design. You can read the short story (legally, it’s in the public domain) here. You probably recognize the influence of this premise in sci-fi films like Dark City and Matrix, even in the Fringe TV series.
Initial images have been released for the upcoming Matthew Vaughn-helmed X-flick (above). The picture shows the early X-Men in costumes resembling the original comic books (although why is Mystique part of the original X-Men is beyond me). Also prominent are Jennifer Jones’ Emma Frost and Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw (as the Hellfire Club plays a key role). At front of both “sides” are Magneto (Michael Fassbinder, left) and non-bald Prof X (James McAvoy, right). Is that the Beast or Nightcrawler lurking in the middle? Frankly, I am not looking forward to this at the moment. I will need to see the first trailer to allay my fears.
Until the latest film adaptation directed by Michel Gondry and starring Seth Rogen (!), the best known incarnation of Green Hornet (in recent memory) was of course the 60s TV series, starring Van Williams as the titular hero and the legendary Bruce Lee as sidekick Kato. But in actual fact, Green Hornet began life as a radio series back in the mid-30s (even before Superman and Batmen were created) in the heyday of pulp fiction. The success of the radio series led to adaptations of the Green Hornet into movie serials and comic books.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Trailer
Jack Sparrow is back! The rock ‘n’ roll pirate, portrayed by Johnny Depp by channeling Rolling Stone Keith Richards, carried a trilogy of highly successful movies for Walt Disney Pictures. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the franchise is continuing with this fourth installment.
The title character of this adventure thriller, filmed in Europe, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a soldier; these come from being raised by her father (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Cate Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity. (from Wikipedia)
I liked the 5-minute Comicon trailer that was leaked online months ago so it was a no-brainer to also like this official teaser trailer for next year’s Marvel Studio’s blockbuster of our fave Norse God of Thunder. The trailer basically shares the same opening sequence of Thor being questioned by Agent Coulsen (of SHIELD) before moving over to Asgard wherein Odin banishes Thor. We also see Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, the Destroyer and Thor in full battle action. Those fight sequences look quite awesome, filled with Kirbyesque power! Yum.
What to make of Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch? Well, based on the teaser trailer and this recently released featurette (see below), it looks like a geek’s wet dream. Combining every conceivable genre imaginable (you name it, Sucker Punch’s got it!), it comes across like a “something for everyone” deal. Of course, the cynics (you know who you are) will point to the film’s overwhelming stylized visual sheen and wonder if it’s nothing more than form over substance. Remains to be seen, I guess. Snyder has always been strong on the overall visuals but he is no slouch in the storytelling department either. So based on 300 and Watchmen, I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Sucker Punch will be released in March 2011.
There were only two superhero movie in 2010 viz. Iron Man 2 and Kick Ass (while Scott Pilgrim vs The World is based on a comic book, it certainly is not a traditional superhero movie). The former was a box office smash while the latter was a critical success. If you think the age of the superhero movie is over, think again.
In the years ahead, there will be many more superhero movies released and GEEK OUT! will attempt to give you the skinny on what is what is not as far as these upcoming movies are concerned.