zaterdag 25 april 2015

Today's News: Fantastic rogue pirate quest

This week's news, first batch:

Nieuwe trailer Fantastic Four

Hardly a fantastic trailer. Of course many things are still under wraps, so it's by no means a fair representation of the final product, but it simply looks bland at this point. From what I gather, it's supposedly an adaptation of the first few volumes of Ultimate Fantastic Four, which did deserve the moniker more than most FF stories I've read. It just doesn't look nearly as elaborate, grandiose and colourful as the story told in those issues, but more like a darker, grittier take on the previous films. No giant portal to the N-Zone, no fabulous barren universe ravaged by an anti-life overlord, no Mole Man with his monster men annex mushroom manipulations. Just a fancy looking device reminiscent of Captain America's soldier serum chamber slinging our quartet to a retread of Thor's Dark World, and then they get their powers and fight Dr. Doom again and bladiblah. I'm also really skeptical about the casting. Each of these actors has proven themselves on their own, but I'm less comfortable seeing them as this small ensemble. I'm just not feeling the chemistry. I know this is the 21st Century and I shouldn't think in such reactionary terms, but I'm particularly ticked off by the political correctness of casting a coloured guy as Johnny Storm, just for the sake of representation. That wouldn't be so bad per se, if Storm didn't have a sister who has still remained white, thus needing to explain it all away as adopted family. At least they had the guts to make their father black, which isn't the usual order of things (which rather tends to see white people adopting kids of colour). Maybe I'm just biased towards this entire project because it's only been so recently since the previous iteration of the FF. Kinda like what happened to Spider-Man, and look at how that turned out: chaos and mishandling of the character, and an eventual return of sorts to the Marvel fold. If that's what in store for us with the Fantastic Four, I'd say just skip a few steps and let Marvel handle its First Family properly from the get-go.

Details Star Wars: Rogue One bekend

Sounds intriguing, but also marred by the same flaw that characterized the Prequel Trilogy: we already know the outcome. The mission was a success, the plans were stolen and the Death Star destroyed. Yay rebels, yay Rogues. However, it's not like every story of which we were familiar with the ending made for a dull film. Plenty of examples to prove the opposite, and who knows, Rogue One might be counted among them in the future. Not to mention, we get to enjoy the good ol' days of Imperial rule, when Darth Vader was still the exquisite bad guy we fell in love with in the first Star Wars film. Just no Jedi in this scenario, but that makes for a decent change of Force enhanced fisticuffs. I have no doubt a war movie type of flick set in that galaxy far, far away could make for a smashing picture. Didn't the grimy battles of Yavin and Hoth make for some of the finest moments in the classic trilogy? I'll admit I'm less keen on the opportunities offered (likely not so coincidentally) of a crossover between this film and the story of the new animated Disney show Star Wars Rebels, set roughly around the same time frame. If this is truly a standalone film, as we were promised, make sure it does indeed keep itself from tie-ins to other stories in different media, so the story doesn't become muddled with references to characters and plot lines we may not all have seen. Well, that's just the Disney way and we'll have to live with it, I suppose.

Eerste foto Johnny Depp in Pirates 5

Aaarrrhh! That's right, me mateys! Tie that pirate to th' mast and squeeze 'im of all 'is treasures! Ironic that Disney would debut this particular picture first, as it so blatantly expresses the philosophy of milking the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise dry for every piece of eight the audience has left. Johnny Depp sure looks gloomy reprising the role (though admittedly, he's in character here) and I'm sure some second thoughts must have sailed through his mind when he experienced that injury on set that kept him from filming for a month. From what we know about the plot of Dead Men Tell No Tales, it follows the set formula strictly. A new supernatural pirate threat is let loose, Captain Jack Sparrow must once more team up/deal with the treacherous Barbossa and navigate his crew of butch buccaneers through the dangerous waters of the High Seas and rum abuse on a quest for some legendary artifact to save their sorry skins. Apparently, Dean Men Tell No New Tales, they just regurgitate old ones. Oh heck, it's probably good for a laugh or two, and I doubt anyone thinks this is gonna be inspired stuff beforehand. Javier Bardem gets to play an evil pirate, that's something worth seeing on the big screen at least. But few will deny Sparrow's shenanigans are getting old.

Galaxy Quest wordt TV-serie

Somebody may have taken the motto 'Never give up, never surrender!' a bit too literally. Sure, Galaxy Quest was a great movie, but its story matter just doesn't seem applicable to a TV-show. It was a one-shot. A story about television veterans haunted by the popularity of that one cancelled TV show, finding the need and strength to embrace its legacy in defense of people in need of the help of their characters, and thus finally embracing the characters themselves. End of story. You can adapt that story into a miniseries for a limited number of episodes if needs be. But a regularly running multiple season show? I don't see that potential in this premise. Besides, it's a spoof of Star Trek. I would find it ironic to say the least a cancelled TV series would spawn a spoof series, almost fifity years after the fact. Though it does say something about the longevity of Star Trek as a popcultural phenomenon. But I can guarantee you, a Galaxy Quest series would suffer a similar fate as the original Trek series sooner rather than later. There's just so many jokes you can distill from Trek before people get it and warp on.

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