woensdag 11 februari 2015

Today's News: big bad breaking! And then some

It's been a good start of the week for movie news, mostly because of one single bomb Marvel dropped.

Marvel past releaseplanning aan voor Spider-Man

And here it is. Or rather, here's the follow-up, as the main news item that Marvel has gotten Spider-Man back in the fold was posted by a colleague of mine (bastard!). But here's the first few ramifications for Marvel's Phase 3, with many more likely to follow in the next few years. Good thing about such major nerdgasmic news is it gives one inspiration for a column (or two), which I hope to pen this weekend. So I'll reserve my actual opinion on whether Spider-Man at last joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a good idea or not - for it's definitely not all sunshine in Marvel land with the webhead swinging his way through his fellow superheroes - for that opinionated piece to follow. Unless one of my colleagues beats me on that front as well. Not an unlikely scenario, since anything Marvel has a tendency to get people talking or in this case typing. That said, I am looking very much forward to seeing what take on the new webslinger will be applied to the new movie(s). I wasn't a fan of the way Sony handled the Amazing Spider-Man movies, nor of how they ended Raimi's trilogy. My nerd sense is telling me there's plenty of room for improvement. From the details, it's likely Marvel will turn to their Ultimate Universe for inspiration, a move I don't lament at all. I'm currently re-reading Ultimate Spider-Man - coincidentally, as I started doing so two weeks before this news broke - and it once again proves an utterly delightful and catchy read, that also goes to illustrate many an excellent possibility of hooking up Spidey with other Marvel names, without hurting any of them. I can only hope the new movie, plus Spider-Man's appearance in those of others, will turn out half as well as those comics did.

Eerste trailer serie Bloodline

Looks decent, but I have a hard time envisioning this as a long running show. The concept seems too limited to continue for more than a season or two, and from what I gather, it's Netflix' intention to keep it going as long as desirable. Then again, I once had similar reservations about this series called Breaking Bad, and look how positively that turned out against everybody's expectations. Of course, every character has a background you can delve into, but it feels like there's only so many startling family secrets you can reveal until it eithers gets boring or ludicrous. But what do I know, I've only seen this trailer, which no doubt totally limits our imaginations for this show. There's undoubtedly more to it than what's pictured here. Still, I can't help but get a distinct Festen vibe from this. A family tearing itself apart when the black sheep of the bunch starts digging up shady past events certainly sounds very familiar to those who'll recall the classic Thomas Vinterberg film. However, even if the basic premise is remarkably similar, we can expect there to be a lot more going on in a 13-episode season than in a two-hour movie. There better be, if Netflix hopes to keep this show going.

Lawrence en Pratt beoogd voor Passengers

Here's a premise that probably is better suited for a two-hour movie than for an entire season of episodes. Man accidentally wakes up in cryosleep on a spaceship during a voyage that ought to take decades. Man knowingly wakes up woman for companionship on trip. Whatever happens, happens. As to what happens exactly, I dunno. I can think of a thing or two, either involving bloodshed or sex, or both. It's one of those intriguing notions that gets the mind working after only two sentences of conceptual layout. But as for me, a Sci-Fi geek, you had me at 'spaceship'. As for who can play these characters, Lawrence and Pratt are decent choices, at least one of them sizzling with talent. However, I would have gone for someone else than the current go-to, default hot actor and actress in Hollywood. Both of them seem kinda omnipresent today. For a movie that largely revolves around two people only, I'd say it's better not to cast movie stars, but "real actors" instead, to avoid getting that feeling of seeing Pratt and Lawrence talking to each other for hours (even though that is what is going on, but we need to be able to suspend our disbelief and pretend they're somebody else). A project like this seems better suited to lesser known (but not necessarily lesser talented) actors. Even though that would make it a tougher sell to most audiences, who just want to see Pawrence and Pratt talking to each other for a few hours. But that's what people invented talk shows for.

Lionsgate wil meer Hunger Games

Speaking of Jennifer Lawrence, Lionsgate wants to see more of her. Or at least, they want to see more of that precious dough she keeps making the studio doing her Hunger Games thing. Or they want more material that carries the Hunger Games signature, potentially without the principal talent, since I imagine Lawrence is kinda done with the series when it ends. But studios are never done making huge piles of cash. So when something sells, you keep it selling as long as you can. And so the studio is looking for new ways to "flesh out" (read: ruthlessly exploit) their top franchise after it has properly come to an end. They're looking at both prequel and sequel opportunites, it's stated. Meaning, they don't care about the actual contents, they're just considering any and all ways that keep the franchise running for longer than the source material allows for. It works for Harry Potter and Warner Bros, their argument reads. We don't know that it does actually, since Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hasn't been released to popular or financial acclaim (yet). Plus, author J.K. Rowling is in full cahoots on that new series of films, while it remains to be seen whether writer Suzanne Collins is as enchanted by the notion of more Hunger Games. So for now, it's only a studio's dream of more money without any material to back up the reality behind that line of thinking. May the odds be ever in their favor.

Eerste trailer Hitman: Agent 47

Or they can just start their franchise over again entirely. Seems to be working for Hitman, since this trailer already looks better than all of the previous film. Of course, that film wasn't a hit in any way the first Hunger Games was, hence the option for rebooting. There's (fortunately!) a form of unwritten decency protecting the audience against rebooting a franchise the moment the first take on it has been completed. Otherwise we would have had three more Lord of the Rings trilogies by now. But when a film failed to connect to its audience strongly enough to warrant a sequel, yet still holds potential for making more money, a reboot is always just around the corner. Often for the better, since in many cases a reboot improved upon its predecessor and ushered in a new era for the franchise. Time will tell whether that holds true for Hitman: Agent 47 as well. It's still a videogame adaptation too, after all. They usually have more running against them than films based on other media properties.

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