Marvel's new Captain America movie will be key to future Marvel success.

The new Captain America movie (Captain America: The First Avenger), scheduled for a May 6th, 2011 release date, is probably one of the most important movies in Matrvel Entertainment's movie-making history; A lot will be riding on this film, probably more than most comic book movie fans realize at this point. think about it: this new Captain America movie project will be the lead in to the subsequent Marvel Avengers movie which is itself scheduled for a July 15th, 2011 release. If Captain America turns out to be a lame duck at the box office do you think that it won't negatively effect the buzz for premier of the the Avengers movie? If you don't think that these two projects success is closely tied together, then you are simply fooling yourself.

If Captain america flops, then the Marvel Avengers movie is pretty much doomed. I'm not even going out on a limb by saying this: do you think that Marvel's outlook on its future projectswould be so rosey if Iron Man had been a box office flop? Hell, no. Why do you think that Marvel was so determined to keep control of their slate of future movie projects dealing with some of their more iconic characters? They knew the score going in: if these films are not done right then the future of Marvel as a source of movie properties would be tarnished, so better to make sure that the movies that are going to be mad are made properly - ie that the creative reigns are held by those who know what needs to be kept in the picture to make it a successful movie for its initial target/intended audience of comic book fans who will be there first day and ready to spread positive buzz about a comicbook movie if given a half decent piece of filmmaking to work with.


New longer Spirit movie trailer has more 'OOMPH'.

It was just a few days ago that I reviewed some of the upcoming comic book movies coming our way this Winter; well, not even a week after posting my thoughts on this there has been something new come down the pipeline: a brand new (and much longer) Spirit movie trailer has been released onto the interweb by Lionsgate studios, the studio behind Frank Miller's movie opus.

I have to admit that this is the first trailer that has even got me remotely interested in seeing this movie. The previous trailers felt choppy as if they were promoting an unfinished product. This newer trailer is most definitely a much fuller or complete trailer, giving me enough material to start and form an opinion on how the movie might end up visually. The new trailer still has abit too much red and black and blue and black effect going on for my liking, but at least it doesn't seem so much like Sin City redux now. Some of the fight scenes may end up being quite different in spirit (sorry) then those of Sin City. As well, the characters are more distinct in this trailer; I now have a better handle on the character of the Spirit, as well as on the character of the Octopus (the lead villain of the film as played by Samuel Jackson).

Anyway, here below is the trailer for you to watch and judge for yourself.

Oh, one more thing: I complained before about the music to the teaser trailer being too much of a steal from the Untouchables movie. Well this time they ditched that music (thank God) and went with something sounding at least less like a steal if still not wholly original - the music now sounds more like something out of the Sin City movie.


Some future Marvel movie odds and ends

It has recently come to my attention that there are a number of Marvel movie-related odds and ends floating around out there on the interweb, most of which have developed (if not been put to rest) within the last few weeks.

One thing is the whole 'Will Smith as Captain America' rumour doing the rounds recently; apparently an actor named Derek Luke, involved in the latest Spike Lee movie, Miracle at St. Anna, was quoted as saying that he understood that Will Smith, who will next be starring in the Seven Pounds movie , had been offered the role of Cap by Marvel studios. This got more than a few Marvel fanboys underwear in a twist for whatever reason: I suppose for the same reason that some hated the idea of Nick Fury being a black man when that happened in the Marvel Ultimate comics universe (and look how well that eventuallyturned out, getting Samuel Jackson to appear in the Iron Man movie, eh?).

Anyway, this rumour was dispelled rather quickly from different sources, including by representatives of Marvel comics as well as by Will Smith himself in a brief interview outside a recent movie premiere. Apparently he laughed off the suggestion claiming that that was the first he had heard of this rumour. For the full details and video on this, check out .

Another thing that I found interesting was the fact that the two screenwriters behind the very successful Iron Man movie, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, confirmed that they are definitely not back for the sequel (that will be penned by Justin Theroux). That in itself is not news, however it is news to me that they are in negotiations to be handed the writing reigns to another upcoming Marvel project, and that projects like the way off in the distance - yet still upcoming Avengers movie are on the table. I have to think at this point that having those two on board for such a flagship movie as Avengers could only be a good thing. This too can be followed in more detail at

The last thing - and more of a trivial thing than newsworthy, is the tidbit that I read that claims that Best Buy will be releasing the DVD reissue of the 1998 Nick Fury / SHIELD tv movie that starred David Hasselhoff on the same day as the DVD/Bluray release of the Iron Man movie. That is funny, but smart marketing for selling something that would probably otherwise have next to no market value. Smart move.


The Winter comic book movie slate: Scanty - but interesting.

Well, the comic book movie Summer of 2008 is truly behind us now and I suppose it is time to start contemplating the crop of movies awaiting us over the Fall and through to the Winter months of early 2009.

There is not a plethora of comic book based films scheduled for over the Winter months but we won't be totally devoid of comic-based celluloid entertainment.

The first of these films to come oue way will be the new Punisher movie, The Punisher: War Zone (December 5th). This film has been haunted by problems from the beginning; Thomas Jane, star of the previous Punisher movie, turned down the gig for the sequel after reading the script. You know it can't be a good sign when someone who was content to be in the last Punisher movie thinks that this next one suffers from a bad script! To be fair though, it is possible that the script was cleaned up somewhat by the time shooting started.

Speaking of shooting (no - I'm not going for the obvious pun here), the film supposedly suffered from some delays during shooting due to the harsher than expected weather conditions at some of the Canadian locations. Must have been anywhere East of British columbia, lol.

The most recent controversy surrounded the clash between the studio behind the film (Lionsgate) and director Lexi Alexander. According to various sources, Lionsgate recently started to reconsider the more graphic nature of the film and had considered having the film edited down to a possible PG-13 rating after seeing how successful Batman:The Dark Knight had been with a similar rating. In other words they wanted to take some of the more graphic punishment out of the upcoming Punisher movie. A PG-13 Punisher? Not what you would expect, and apparently neither did Alexander. After refusing to edit the film to get the tamer rating, Alexander supposedly disassociated herself from the project and refused to take part in any promotion of it this past Summer. Whether fences have now been mended is not entirely clear. I think it is safe to say that a PG-13 rating is likely all that the Batman and Punisher films would have in common.

The next slated release with a comic-booky theme would be The Spirit movie(December 25th), directed by Frank Miller. This film, at least from the early trailers, looks to be strongly influenced by Sin City which is no surprise considering Miller was involved as a producer on the former project. I'm sure that visually it will be at least interesting considering it boasts some fetching Hollywood eye candy, however the trailers so far have not done much for me(it doesn't help that the early trailers even reused the theme from the movie The Untouchables). I guess that so far the movie doesn't have me thinking much about the classic Will Eisner comic book character of the Spirit as much as it does Sin City. We shall see with this one, I guess.

The last of the scheduled Winter comic book movie releases would be the highly anticipated (well at least in comic fandom circles) Watchmen movie (March 6th). This film is directed by Zack Snyder. Aat various times going back a few years, this project had different names associated with it, including Brazil director Terry Gilliam. Sometimes many of us thought that this was just a film that was never supposed to get made. The interesting thing about this film right now is the recently green lighted lawsuit by Fox studios against the makers of the film, Warner Bros. The suit basically claims that Fox never totally surrendered the rights to the Watchmen movie which they had from back in the eighties through the nineties. I expect the suit to pretty much turn into a cash grab. In addition, there is supposed to be a release of an animated DVD about a week before the Watchmen movie which will tell the pirate side story from the original comic series.

There you go, it doesn't look to be as crazy a season for comic book movies this Winter as it did this past Summer, but we will still have a couple of films to watch out for over the coming months.


Punisher War Zone: Studio sustains self-inflicted gunshot wound to foot .

I recently came across some coverage of the upcoming Punisher: War Zone movie which will be released by Lionsgate studios on December 5th. The stories have been circulating since late July, and primarily concerned the claim that Lionsgate have decided that instead of releasing the violent vigilante movie with the originally intended 'R' rating, they would instead like to see the film released with a PG13 rating. Speculation has been that the success of the Dark Knight with its PG13 rating is the catalyst for this apparent sea change in the studio's thinking.

A PG13 Punisher movie?

Yes, this idea apparently distressed a few people, including the new Punisher movie's director, Lexi Alexander who was understandably unreceptive to this idea. Supposedly Alexander was in fact unwilling to edit the film in post-production to deliver the studio a PG13 cut and was unceremoniously removed from the project in post-production. Evidence of this included the fact that the director was noticeably absent from the Punisher panel at the San Diego Comic con this past July (the studio claimed that she had chosen this time to go on her honeymoon) as well as the fact that the director appeared to remove all mention of the Punisher movie from her own website.


Anyway, the story didn't end there: there were soon reports that all of this was in fact a marketing ploy on the part of Lionsgate to gain some needed publicity for their film. Some bloggers found this rather hard to believe, citing that this would require a studio to have some balls and creativity.

Again ouch.

Personally, I could see the studio thinking it really needs some kind of buzz for this project, considering that Frank Miller's upcoming movie project, The Spirit movie, will be garnering some buzz of its own from comic book movie fans later that same month; I just don't know if a studio could realistically take those kinds of actions and risk the potential fallout from the film's fanbase and potential audience - remember: it is almost always harder to create a positive buzz once a negative perception of something has been established.

Amazingly the story still was not over; the most recent update on this whole situation is that it was not a ploy and that all of the bad stuff reported on had never really happened.


The most recent news is that the film's chief cinematographer, Steve Gainer, has gone on the record and publicly denied most of the negative rumors swirling around the project. The following passage is from his post on the Raw message boards forum:

Holy smokes, I go away and shoot some kids stuff for Disney, and the whole world is a different color when I return. Again I appear here to dispel rumors. Please believe:

Lexi is not off the film

Lexi is still involved in the edit process

The film is not (nor could it ever be) PG-13

Today I saw a cut that ran 91 minutes

Lexi did in fact get married

Lexi is an incredibly talented director, and this film kicks major ass, as will be proven when it is released IN THEATRES DECEMBER 5th

The film is most certainly not all exploding heads, but will reveal a great deal of Franks personna and pain

This film has been difficult from the begining, from a bitter Canadian winter, to endless nights, to rampant sickness, Lexi has fought to make a killer Punisher film for fans and non fans alike.

Initially we were to release in September, but for whatever reason (not the quality of the film or edit IMHO) it was decided to release in December. That extra time has given everyone a chance to put their two cents worth in, but rest assured, Lexi is still stearing the boat, and she is a great captain.

When I hear vicious unfounded troll rumors like the "film was unwatchable" or "a total mess" it makes my blood boil. I want to punish the corrupt. People sit on their fat asses trolling the internet, people that have never even looked through a motion picture camera, and make judgements on a work of art that they've never seen, it's like saying a baby will be ugly before it is born, I can't freaking wait for this film to come out and prove the nay-sayers wrong.

Sorry for the rant, I just love something wonderful you have yet to see-

(courtesy of

I would like to think that this takes care of things and satisfactorily addresses most of the negatives surrounding the upcoming Punisher film but there are still some nagging doubts in my mind. Sadly, I can imagine a scenario in which all of these bad things did in fact happen (ie the decision to go for the PG rating and the firing of the director off of the project right at the final stages) and that onluy after the damage was done did the studio clue in on this and go into damage control mode and 're-write history to reverse recent studio dumb decision to go for a PG13 rating mode', by getting alexander back on the project. Sure I could be wrong and everything could just be a coincidence, but you know that whole smoke and fire thing? Ehhh, I don't know...

I just hope that the finished product makes me forget all of the rumors...

To see for yourself a more in depth summary of the ongoing Punisher:War Zone movie headlines, visit


Hancock Movie: This popcorn could use more butter.

I suppose that a review of the latest Will Smith movie, Hancock is past due: I should warn you that it is hard to review this film without at least hinting at spoiler materials. But I will be careful.

Hancock is a lot like eating popcorn at a movie theater: When you order the large popcorn with extra butter you have the feeling of anticipation, thinking of how good it will taste when you start chowing down on it in your seat. Sure enough it is good for a little while, until you work your way down far enough and all you are left with is popcorn -and no tasty buttery topping.

Yeah, Hancock's a lot like that.

I am probably coming off sounding abit harsh with that comment, because admittedly, Hancock is in large part what it was intended to be: Summer Fluff. In fact it is fairly decent fluff, it's just that I expected more from the concept. I don't even really know why, I just expected more ( I guess Will Smith has that effect on my expectations). I guess I just found myself initially enjoying this film but half way through the enjoyment factor started to wane - just like the popcorn butter, and I started wondering where this film was going.

Plotwise, Hancock starts off with a straightforward premise: a look into the life of a homeless, alcoholic man who just happens to have superhuman abilities on par with those of Superman. Director Peter Berg tries to make the most of a slightly off-kilter and lightweight concept but occasionally drifts into 'preachy' territory (especially with Jason Bateman's PR executive character) almost hitting the audience over the head with the now cliched tried and true 'with great powers' mantra.

Will Smith doesn't seem to have been given a whole lot of motivation for this character but does the best with what he has been given. It seems like the director decided to rely on a recurring sight gag however to establish an element of Smith's character - I'm reffering to the various times that Smith's character is called an 'asshole', and his predictable and volatile reaction to it.

Charlize Theron's character is a bit one dimensional and predictable; I really don't know if the 'twist' with her housewife character was supposed to be predictable, but by about a half hour into the movie it becomes pretty predictable that not all is as it seems with her character.

Jason Bateman's character is both mildly interesting and frustrating at the same time and for the same reasons. Again Bateman is another example of a character in this film doing the best he can with what he is given but not being given much to work with. After a while, his Humanitarian dreams get annoying.

The actual villain of the film is pretty much a throw away character that I can't help but think had more character development earlier in the development process but then saw it lost on the cutting room floor. He should not even be a threat to the title character of this film but proves himself to be quite the opportunist.

Visually, for the most part the movie works and looks quite good while doing so. Unfortuanately the opening sequence involving a police chase on the LA freways looked a little under developed and more like avideo game cut scene. When the initial Hancock movie trailers were released, this sequence was included in brief and then shown with more CGI included for the later trailer: even in the last trailer I thought that this scene looked a little weak. I am surprised they were not able to improve upon it for the final release. Fortunately this scene is not setting a precident for the rest of the movie which actually looks quite good visually.

In the last third of the movie, the filmmakers decided to bring in some rather high-handed pseudo-religious concepts that I felt was too much plot to be crammed into too little remaining movie time for a Summer blockbuster. Curiously though, this added plot element actually gives the studio a slim out : a possible plot device for a possible follow up or sequel without the principle leads in much the same way that Bruce Almighty left the door open to a sequel (ala Evan Almighty). Of course should any sequel be of the same quality as Evan Almighty, they might be better off not going that route...


CBMB: A Roadmap to Summer Comic Book Movie Riches!

So I was thinking that it has been awhile since Iron Man was released - May 2nd, to be precise, and I was wondering: what's next? What do we have to look forward to?

So, what's next?

Well, on June 13th we have the next major Marvel flick, the Incredible Hulk movie. This will be good and has the added attraction of cameos from such actors as Robert Downey Jr. (of recent Iron Man movie fame) who will be reprising his Tony Stark role for the film. Throw in Ed Norton and Tim Roth and you have something that I think should be very watchable.

Following this will be the Wanted movie (June 27th); this is the adaptation of a Mark Millar anti-hero miniseries that was very dark in nature as a comicbook. It looks as if the story has become more of an Angelina Jolie vehicle however, with her supporting character from the comic being developed into more of a primary player, as well as the script losing most of the colorful costumed villains from the original comic storyline (Darnnit!).

July 2008 looks to be the big month for the remaining comicbook movie releases however. The biggest comic book movie month starts off with a bang, with the July 4th release of the Will Smith super hero parody Hancock movie. This is the story of a washed up alcoholic super hero who is helped to reinvent himself by aPR man ( played by Jason Bateman), much to the chagrin of Bateman's cynical wife (Charlize Theron).

July keeps coming at us with the July 11th release of Hellboy II: The Golden Army. I really enjoyed the last Hellboy movie so if this one stays true to form then I expect to be suitably entertained again - especially with director, Guillermo del Toro, once again at the helm.

Okay now, july 18th is the big deal week, because that is when we will see the release of the much anticipated Batman: The Dark Knight, a film that was heavily anticipated even before the tragic and untimely death of one of its stars (Heath Ledger). I'm sure I am not the only one who still feels a subtle sense of tragedy when they think on the fact that he was still in the prime of his career and offering up some of his best performances to date...

So there you have it: the Summer of comicbook-movie fun mapped out before you. I hope you enjoy the ride...rel="nofollow"


'You've seen the movie, now get the...'

Super Hero movie merchandising is the name of the Blockbuster game.

It is nowhere near being a newsflash that the newly released Iron Man movie has brought with it an immense marketing campaign. I have even made references to it here on this site, mentioning the bevy of merchandise available to you if you want it.

Of course there are the toys, including a range of action figures, a 12" tall Iron Man figure that talks and makes battle sounds when you press a button. 7-11 will be promoting the film with a series of Iron Man movie slurpy cups, character straws with removable figures attached, and a red and gold plastic Iron Man helmet shaped slurpy cup! Burger King is set to promote the film to its younger market by offering Iron Man movie kids meal toys (and soon after they will switch over to the Hulk Movie and promote kids meal toys for that summer flick). If you want your cellphone to reflect your love of everything Iron Man, then that too will be possible with the release of the LG Iron Man movie themed cellphone. Oh joy! I think the one that really surprises me though is the cross marketing of the new Audi R8 sports car with the new Robert Downey Jr. film.

All of this movie marketing has made me start to think about just how much the current and upcoming Super Hero movies are being used to sell so much stuff.

Okay now, the following are just those things that I can recall off the top of my head; for each thing that I do mention, just multiply it by ten - I'm not kidding: there is so much movie- related merchandise out there being marketed by associating itself with any given movie franchise, that anything mentioned here is not even really the tip of the iceberg.

There is so much: Spiderman cereal anyone? Spiderman III pinball for kids? How about something I saw advertised in a comicbook the other day: A Spiderman fishing kit for kids complete with backpack. Oh yeah, that's right, fishing has always been a pivotal theme in the spiderman mythos. For Barbie, too, apparently, because she has her own fishing kit...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to marketing super hero movie-based merchandise - I know that the studios have to make their money back on their investments somehow and that merchandising is one of the more lucrative ways of doing that. I understand that. I have no problem with the Iron Man or Incredible Hulk sneakers, the Spiderman III tabletop pinball, Incredible Hulk Operation Game or even the Spiderman Lego sets. [ As an aside I would just like to make an observation that Lego has really been keeping busy on the licensing front: not only do they seem to have your friendly neighborhood wall crawler covered, but I seem to recall in the recent past that there have been Lego offerings of Indiana Jones and the Universla Studios movie experience. But of course the license that those makers of connecting blocks look like they have hit a real home run with has got to be that whole Star Wars thing: whenever I am in a Toys R Us or the toy department of any given store, I almost always see those Star Wars Lego Collectables on the shelves.

I have even allowed myself to be suckered into buying some of that stuff from time to time ( I just went out and bought some Iron Man movie toys the other day - just to help Marvel Entertainment recoup some of their costs, lol). I just wonder where it is all going to end?

Spiderman inflatable speakers? (Yes, they do exist and they are for sale for the discerning Spidey fan)

Where is it going to go? Are we soon going to see Iron Man movie tinfoil? Will the public demand for Hulk brand steroids finally be satiated? Will Hancock movie (Will Smith's upcoming comedy about a homeless super hero) pre-stained clothing become all the rage? Will we even get the chance to buy Batman movie brand Joker antidepressants?

Okay, maybe I went too far on that last one.

Anyway, one can only hope that the current chill over the North American economy will have the beneficial side effect of reducing the levels of the more questionable merchandising that is sure to follow the latest crop of Summer popcorn flicks. Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to try and get a ticket for the Iron Man movie and afterwards maybe go to Burger king for dinner and pick up an Iron Man trinket...

Enjoy the show.rel="nofollow"


Iron Fever!

So the new Ironmanmovie starts soon - it's general release date is something like May 2nd, isn't it?

Anyway, I am really still looking forward to this one; there has been just enough promotion of this film to get me interested and keep me interested. It also doesn't hurt that I have been an off and on fan of the Iron Man comic books from Marvel comics for years now. ever since I was a kid, really.

I even have my official 7-11 Iron Man mug already ( thanks to my Fiance for bringing it back from her excursion across the border last week ). Did I mention that I also picked up a few of the little action figures from Toys R Us, and that I have been seen eyeing the 12'' Iron Man figure with mild lust in my eyes? So yes, I'm a geek when it comes to the promotional tie-ins for this movie, *sigh*...

BTW: I am starting to think that I might be looking forward to the upcoming Hancock the movie with Will Smith but that's something for another time...


COMIC BOOK MOVIES: 'Guaranteed to make parents wallets lighter!'

When I was just a kid, comic book movies - that is movies based upon comic book characters, were my coffee, my caffeine; just thinking about them could sometimes give me an adrenaline rush. For me though, any talk of comic book movies back then was really more a discussion of super hero movies.

I think it was the fact that comics as a primary source material for movies was not so commonplace thirty years ago. Sure, there were movies made based on various comic book creations, however most of these were not made with anything resembling a serious budget, and almost all of these films suffered from the limitations of the special Effects ( or F/X ) that was available to them with those budgets at the time. Comic books may have been an inspiration for many filmmakers and duly acknowledged as such, but it seemed that Hollywood was so much more reluctant to take the financial plunge when it came to making movies based on comic book properties. It took time and the natural Hollywood reaction to seeing Iconic comic book heroes experience serious financial success on the silver screen ('Hey! We can do that, too!) before the idea of super hero movies having a super sized budget wasn't considered to be too crazy. Because of this, the release of a new comicbook / super hero movie was almost always a big deal for me.

It seemed like every time I got hooked on the latest comic movie it was just a matter of time before I got hooked on all of the predictable, and potentially costly, fallout from it. I would see the super hero movie trailers and that would get me chomping at the bit for the movie to come. I would start noticing the superhero movie posters up around everywhere and my inner slow-burn would pick up steam. Of course the day would come when I would eventually go and see said super hero movie and the sneaky movie marketing machine would have me screaming for all of the related tie-ins: I would want the mug and the glass or drinking cup; I would want the super hero socks to protect my little feet while wearing the super hero shoes; I would want the movie hat nestled on my head which I held high above the shoulders that were wearing the movie T-shirt. And if I were old enough to properly tell the time, I probably wanted a super hero movie watch on my scrawny un-super arm. Oh, and of course I would want the super hero movie comic book based on the super hero movie which was itself based on a super hero comic book!!

*Whew.* I really, really loved my comic books when I was a kid.

I would see the TV commercials for the line of super hero movie action figures or other assorted toys based on the comic book movie and I would want them - no need them, and need them bad!

Okay, maybe it would be more accurate to say that these movies were my Kryptonite.

Boy, who would of thought that Hollywood could make super heroes and their super hero movies so ... evil?