Saturday, 22 October 2016

Epic Trailer Dump!

Wow, what a last couple of days we’ve had for upcoming movies! I’ve got FOUR new trailers to talk about, one of which has two versions! So let’s dive right in!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Teaser)

First up is the Guardians of the Galaxy, back for their second outing. This was a teaser trailer, so shorter than the others we’ve got to look at here. There’s not too much to talk about, it’s a quick teaser, mostly shots of the characters and a quick scene between Star Lord and Drax. It looks like it will be similar in tone and style to the first, which is great, but there’s nothing really to go on at this point. Rocket and Yondu are seen walking together, but there’s no context for anything we see, so the significance of that will have to be discovered later. Overall, looks good but not much to go on at this point.

Logan (Green- and Red-Band Trailers)

We’d started to hear things about the third Wolverine movie: it was Hugh Jackman’s last time in the claws, it was taking elements from the Old Man Logan storyline, it’s R-rated, we were possibly getting X-23, etc. Now we have two versions of a trailer. So first off, love the use of Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt in this. It really serves to drive home the somberness of the whole thing, give the more action-y parts heft. It’s very much toned down and bleak compared to the big, bombastic trailers for X-Men Apocalypse (which I did enjoy, for the record) and it seems like that’s the direction they’re going here. There’s only one major difference between the two versions, and it’s quite noticeable when you see it. Otherwise they are pretty much the same very good first trailer.  

Assassin’s Creed (Trailer #2)

Full disclosure- I don’t play the Assassin’s Creed games. As a history lover I got really excited by the prospect of the first game due to the setting and characters and lucked out into giving it a shot not long after release. And… was disappointed by having to deal with the stuff in the present and never really got back into it. So I’m not going into this as a fan of the games. But, I do like the trailer. I’ve been tangentially interested in it for a while now, if only because of Michael Fassbender’s involvement. But I’m feeling the action, feeling the look, feeling the feel of it. I know there’s a lot changed from the games (I don’t remember the Animus looking like GLaDOS plugging you into The Matrix) but I’m down to see the final product despite the discrepancies. I was a little meh on the song they used in the trailer, but that’s just me. I’m going to see it, and I can only hope there will be less complaining about it than there was for Warcraft, which I also enjoyed. This looks, at the bare minimum, a lot of fun.

Arrival (Final Trailer)

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, two comic movies, and video game movie, and this? Yup, I’m totally serious. While watching the first trailer a couple of months ago I got this absolute déjà vu, all I could think of was one of the stories in a short stories anthology I’d bought at a secondhand bookstore. Turns out, this film is adapted from Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life! I freaking loved the stories in that book, and to see one on screen? So excited (I may have been rereading it this afternoon between coats of paint). I don’t know exactly how it will be translated from page to screen, just based on how it’s written, but I really want to see this. I hope they don’t make it too action-y and really let that fantastic story shine through.

So there it is, four shiny new trailers to feast our eyes upon! It’s not every day you get this many goodies all at once. So I hope you all enjoy and we’ll see you next time when we once again talk about the newest of the nerdy news or an issue needing attention. As always, let me know what you thought in the comments below!  

5 Things That Make Me Excited for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

So a new trailer for Rogue One dropped a little while ago. Instead of reviewing the trailer itself (because what can I say, it looks awesome!) I thought I’d do a quick outline of the things that are making me most excited about this film. The trailers have looked great so far, but these are the things that we’ve seen or know to be happening that pique my interest the most. In no particular order, they are:

5. Gareth Edwards Directing
I was on board with this since I heard this was happening. I really enjoyed his take on Godzilla, even if other people didn’t, from the look and design to the film itself. For that, I know he’ll bring some really cool visuals and a grand scale to the film. Some of this we’ve already seen in the trailers and I can’t wait to see how it looks on the big screen. He’s also bringing a lot of love to this, as he is a huge fan of Star Wars and has always wanted to make a movie in the universe.

4. New Characters
As much as we love all our familiar characters, it’s going to be fun to have a film that takes us away from the Skywalkers and Solos and gives us the stories of other people in the universe. With such a rich world to explore, and indeed TV shows, novels, comics, and other not–necessarily-canon-anymore media have been filling in these gaps, it will be a nice change to see that cinematically. For me, I’m most interested by Chirrut Imwe (played by Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (played by Jiang Wen). I don’t know what it is, but from the first trailer I’ve wanted to know more about those two more than any of the other characters.

3. A New Perspective on the Story
This relates to my point above. We still have a point of connection to the original films in the story of Rogue One, and now we’ll get to see the world as it was from a different perspective. When we first began the story of the Star Wars universe with A New Hope, we didn’t have a lot of the information about the universe itself because we were closely following Luke’s journey. It will be really interesting to see the state and workings of both the Empire and the Rebellion as they were before everything started to happen.

2. Design Matching the Original Trilogy
In seeing the promotional material for this film, I’m impressed with the attention to detail. In The Force Awakens, there are several differences in costume for the Stormtroopers, X-Wing pilots, etc. from those of the original films. But not only is this film matching the originals as they should be, but even the ships, the interiors, and just the feel is in line with its place in the timeline. So well done to all the folks in charge of costumes, sets, and effects. 

1.      1. More Serious Tone
This one makes me sound like a bit of a hypocrite, given that I poo-pooed the Power Rangers trailer for doing the exact same thing. The difference, however, is while the Power Rangers trailer was dark and serious in an angsty, overwrought way, the Rogue One trailers have been serious in a life-or-death situation, odds-stacked-against you kind of way. It seems as if it will be tonally a bit different from the ‘main’ films, and I think that will be a good way for it to establish it and others that follow as separate but still inhabiting the same space. There were even reportedly reshoots to lighten up the dark nature of the movie, which is fine as long as it isn’t obvious and badly patched together like Suicide Squad was.  

So what do you guys think? Are you excited for Rogue One, and what about the movie is the most exciting to you? Sorry this is a bit late. As always, I’d love to hear what you guys think down below!       

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Power Rangers Trailer Drops!

So, as the gritty reboot of our childhoods continue, we have now gotten our first trailer for the upcoming Power Rangers movie. And…. here it is:

So, there it is. I’m going to come out and be honest about it: I’m not sure this trailer is selling me. I know that this is only the first trailer and even that you can’t necessarily judge a final film based on trailers alone. But, as this is the first time that we have truly seen anything from this film outside of a few promotional stills and posters, this is what I have to work with right now. So with that said, here’s what I got out of it. (Possible spoilers if you really don’t want to know anything about this movie before you see it) 

First off, the story details that the trailer gives us (or wants us to assume at this point). I finished watching it and all I could think of was: so this is The Breakfast Club becomes the X-Men by way of Transformers/Pacific Rim? Nothing, not one shot, not one image, nothing felt or said Power Rangers to me. In other reboot films, especially in the marketing, there is something that harkens back to the original, if only to cash in the nostalgia factor. Nothing here. No part of the story, of what they have given us as far as story at least, is anything remotely similar to Power Rangers as we know it. The only thing that remained the same was the names of the Rangers, which they are using the Mighty Morphin’ characters for.

Although there should be dinosaurs, after a fashion

 Now, this remains to be seen whether any of this is a good idea or not, but for now I can presume that they are using very little from the show at all, outside of a few broad details.
I also want to talk about the look of the thing itself. Visually, much of it was lit darkly without a lot of the brightness of color that the show had. Even daylight, outside shots are blunted by clouds or shadow or just lack warmth in their light. The mid-to-end quick cut montage gives an unpleasant Michael Bay Transformers feel that I had hoped to avoid. There are no shots of zords here (not a huge surprise), and only the briefest look at the suits at the end as they appear on the Rangers. And it’s like the Venom Symbiote wanted to go for a look that was a little bit Mass Effect and a little bit Iron Man. 

And a bit of Carnage in Jason's case

Overall, it just looked so very modern. If the original Power Rangers show had a look that was very much a product of it’s time, then I think this reboot might hit that aspect right on the head. It’s almost painful how by-the-numbers, absolutely 21st century this looks, and somehow there’s a wrongness about that that I can’t quite describe. 

 There’s one last thing I want to touch on about this trailer. There’s hints of action and romance and serious tone as if to say ‘this ain’t your parents’ Power Rangers folks, this is the new, modern, Nolan-Batman-trilogy-esque Power Rangers!”. And that’s all well and good that the folks making this film want to make something more serious and adult than the source material. But it kind of feels like a half measure at this point. Why? Because this short film came out beforehand that introduced a truly dark, gritty, and absolutely adult version of Power Rangers. Perhaps this is my bias showing because I loved it (and also the Punisher short he did), but this film seems like it’s trying to go in that direction but not able to fully commit. So it went over lukewarm for me. It was also seemed to take itself way too seriously. I get trying to limit the campiness of the source material, but just a touch of humor, of self-awareness would have benefitted it greatly. Otherwise we’re going to end up with some cringe-worthy melodrama on our hands in a series that always had at least some aspect of fun about it. So just… lighten up a little, guys. I really hope I’m just reading too much into this first trailer, that I’m taking way more out of this two-and-a-half minutes than is actually there. But Power Rangers, especially Mighty Morphin’, holds a place in my heart, and I just want to see this movie be good. Not just for the seven-year-old me either, but for my seven-year-old that watches not only the old episodes I watched, but the newer ones too. 

So what did you guys think of the trailers? Good, bad, meh? Do you think this movie is going to pan out, or just end up another forgettable reboot? As always, let me know what you thought!