zaterdag 16 mei 2015

Today's News: New Black Underworld

This is all I have to show for this week, since there wasn't much news to begin with, plus I had to deal with a minor illness.

Fox maakt X-Men spin-off

Technically, Fox already was making an X-Men spin-off with Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool, but most fans wouldn't want to be reminded of the connection between the two names after the dismal way the character was handled in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. By any rate, this new project has far more ties with the X-Men proper to warrant the designation 'spin-off'. Same school, even some of the same characters, but mostly new faces. Younger ones, too, though the "true" X-Men are already undergoing a sort of rejuvenation with the younger cast currently assembled for X-Men: Apocalypse. But hey, that's likely a different time line, so that's where that comparison ends. Interestingly enough, reports indicate the studio opts for a standalone approach to this film, even though it offers much material for expanding the X-lore, which would help in building that cinematic universe Fox previously seemed eager to get going. Maybe they wisely let that thought go. It already seems they abandoned plans for a crossover between the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, and now even their X-titles will refrain from intertwining. Maybe Fox had a look at the manner in which rival studio Sony mishandled the Spider-Man franchise despite initially harbouring great plans for an epic fleshing out of the character's world. That failed, and Sony felt the need to work together with that other rival, Marvel itself, to recraft the character into something the fans do appreciate. It's not inconceivable Fox is attempting to keep the same from happening to their X-verse, so for now, they're taking it one step at a time again. It only takes one piece of the puzzle of a cinematic universe failing to fit in to get the house crashing down after all, and with six Marvel movies currently in the works, that's something Fox would want to deter. Besides, in the case of New Mutants, not much effort is needed to let the spectators know this story is taking place in the same realm as the X-films they've already seen. The name Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and the often dropped term 'mutants' are dead giveaways if ever we saw them. You don't need many recurring characters - apart from Xavier himself, perhaps - to understand the connection.

Regisseur voor Black Panther gevonden?

I find the notion of hiring a director based on the colour of his/her skin or her gender to fit the profile of the protagonist of the piece somewhat disturbing. It makes more sense to go for the quality of his/her work first and foremost, other attributes being a bonus rather than an obligation for the job. I thought it had already been disproven that only black people can direct other black people, and only women understand women. This is the 21st Century, shouldn't we have grown past such levels of discrimination? Even though, admittedly, it does benefit getting said minorities in the directing chair, since I won't deny the number of black and female directors for Hollywood blockbusters is still meagre at best. So sure, give Ava DyVernay the directing gig of either Black Panther or Captain Marvel, she's shown ample skills in making movies to deserve it. Considering her previous film, Selma, already dealt with what in a sweeping instance of generalization on my part can be termed "black issues", I would prefer to see her tackle Captain Marvel, just to show she can avoid limiting herself in terms of topics. However, Black Panther is definitely of historical significance to the coloured community - or at least, it ought to be - so as to avoid any potential black backlash, I can't blame Marvel for wanting a black director. At least Black Panther isn't a female character, so having a woman directing a male superhero is worthy of some notice. But I would have preferred it entirely if Marvel had shown some true guts and had stated they wanted DuVernay for something not related to her as a person, like Thor: Ragnarok. A black woman directing a blond, blue eyed male thunder god, now that would be progress.

Beckinsale terug voor Underworld 5

And here's a female's return to the big screen I could have done without. The Underworld movies can be categorized in the same type of film as the likes of Resident Evil, mindless action flicks that have a total B-movie vibe around them but still get surprisingly major releases. And both franchises are running for a lot longer than people usually realize. I wasn't even aware there was a fourth movie. Still, some people apparently keep paying to see them, so the studio keeps making more. All good and well, I understand the way the world works, even though I would have preferred to see that money spent on  more original projects. Kate Beckinsale isn't hard to look at anyway, though that's totally sexist of me. Her acting suffices for the subject matter, but is otherwise simply forgettable, few would disagree. Apparently, she wasn't expected to revisit this particular character again, but the odds turned out in Underworld's favour. Maybe she's hoping this franchise will develop in similar lines as the Fast & Furious franchise, which also seemed to be in decline halfway through, and then against expectations got bigger and better all of a sudden, to become the eagerly antincipated blockbuster series it is today. I doubt fate has that in store for Underworld, but that's what people undoubtedly said about F&F back in the days. Playing an undead character sure doesn't hurt Beckinsale's chances.

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