Thursday, August 18, 2016

Natalie Portman Has Better Movies to Act Badly In

I kid. She was great in Black Swan.

Jane Foster will not be sticking around in Marvel’s sandbox. This isn’t really news considering production on Thor: Ragnorak began last month with no word of Jane’s return.

Now, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Natalie Portman has declared her doneness, once and for all:

“As far as I know, I’m done,” she said. “I mean, I don’t know if maybe one day they’ll ask for an Avengers 7, or whatever.” She continued by saying that Thor “was a great thing to be a part of.”
Okay, maybe so it’s not ironclad but Portman doesn’t appear to be hanging her hopes on playing the straight-man to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. To be fair, Jane really never did much else besides spout scientific exposition and be in danger when the story called for it.

Fingers crossed though this means Kat Dennings’ Darcy is still around though.

The 'Arrival' Looks Great in New Trailer

Since last year’s Sicario was one of my favorite films, I was excited to learn that Denis Villeneuve was cooking up another film before heading off to the Blade Runner sequel. And the trailer for Arrival that popped up this week just increased my anticipation for that film even more.

Based on the short story ‘Story of Your Life’ by Ted Chiang, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker star as a team dispatched when an alien ship arrives on Earth. Adams’ Dr. Louise Banks is tasked to devise a way to communicate with the aliens and determine if their intentions are hostile or not.

As you can see, the trailer does not give too much away but we can likely expect an escalation between the military and the aliens, especially as many more ships appear throughout the world. However, considering Villeneuve’s penchant for slow and meticulously drawn out affairs in his films, this will almost certainly not be an unofficial bombastic Independence Day sequel.

Arrival opens November 11.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Do We Really Need Another Fantastic Four?

How many times can this dejected comic book series be adapted?

I do not read comic books but I can dig comic book films, provided they don’t look like complete failures. So far, the Marvel comic series Fantastic Four has produced three films and not a single one has even hinted at something I’d be interested in seeing.

But after last summer’s shit-show of Fant4stic, which not only managed to piss a bunch of fans off even more but also lose the studio a lot of movie, producer Simon Kinberg wants another bite at this festering apple of a series.

Telling Den of Geek! that the much maligned property is still in play at Fox, Kinberg offers a bit of a mea culpa and a desire to continue with the present cast:

“I think we made many mistakes when we made that movie - mistakes that we learned from and we wouldn’t repeat.
I think we tried to make a darker Fantastic Four movie, which seemed like a radical idea but we were kind of messing with the DNA of the actual comic instead of trusting the DNA of the comic.”

Among the myriad of complaints about the Josh Trank-directed horror show was that the film is a complete misunderstanding of the comic’s inherently light and fun atmosphere. This was jettisoned for a “dark and gritty” origin story that failed to connect with anyone leading to horrendous reviews and a pitiful box office return.

Whereas Sony took the smart route after their failure in the Spider-Man series and handed the reigns back to Marvel, Fox seems determined to forge ahead, hoping to realize some of the successes that Marvel has had with their films.

But at this point, do even FF fans care? Can this franchise be salvaged even if it returned to its rightful owners? Marvel is almost certainly the best to understand and respect the tone and feel of their series but after a decade of under performing, Marvel’s first family may be best on the sidelines.