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Marvel's Hawkeye
Dear Anyone Who Noticed That I haven’t Posted Anything New In Like A Week,

Sorry about my absence, guys.  I’ve been a little busy; there’s this college that I’ve been trying to graduate from for a while, so I had to do that really fast.  I just thought I’d touch base before I’m back for good.

So how have things been?  I’ve heard some things have happened while I’ve been away. Like, did you hear that Megan Fox got booted off Transformers 3? After she got the axe, she didn’t have anything to say about the whole thing, but her publicist released a statement saying that she quit. I’m pretty sure she didn’t quit, seeing as that would be tantamount to career suicide; it's not like Jennifer's Body had filmmakers beating down her door.I think Michael Bay probably waited until the last possible second to fire her as revenge for her loudmouth criticisms of his on-set directing style.  So, how, you ask, is the Transformers franchise going to meet its soft-core quota now that she’s gone?  Well don't you worry your horny little heads.  Not shockingly, Bay has replaced her with a Victoria Secret model named Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.  So, which aspect of the movie is more unbelievable: giant robots from space who transform into different expensive automobiles, or that Shia Labeouf’s love interest is a lingerie model?

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The Fox Replacement: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
And how about Jean Claude Van Damme signing on to the cast of Kung Fu Panda 2? I can’t remember the last movie he did that didn’t go straight to DVD.  In fact, the last thing I remember seeing him in was that episode of Friends.  It’ll be funny, though.  Those animated movies use those little gimmicks pretty well.  He’ll probably play some ironic character like a baby chick or a French sloth.

I also heard the Marvel film universe added some big names to its upcoming slate of projects.  Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black, No Country for Old Men) is rumored to have a part in The First Avenger: Captain America, and Jeremy Renner (S.W.A.T., The Hurt Locker) is rumored to have signed on as the purple, bow and arrow toting Hawkeye.  While the former seems to be closer to a sure thing, the latter seems to still be making its way through the rumor mill.  These Marvel movies seem to have the right idea in terms of casting; signing two actors from films that won Oscars for Best Picture can’t hurt the quality of the Marvel films (but writing can…).

Well that’s all for now. I’m going to go put the finishing touches on this education I’ve been working on. Talk to you soon.

Yours always and forever,

Andrew

Source: Screenrant
 
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I had this bad dream recently in which I walk into my parents’ house and I find this strange guy sitting on the couch where my dad usually sits.  My mom is right where she usually is, checking her Facebook page, but there is this strange guy just sitting in my dad’s spot like he’s always been there.

“Who the hell are you?” I ask the guy.

“It’s me, son. Your dad, Rick,” he replies.

Then my mom chimes in. “Your name’s not Rick, honey.”

“Shit,” he says, “My bad.”

“Mom, who is this guy?” I ask

“Don’t be ridiculous.  That is your dad.  Now go get your father another Miller High Life.”

“Miller High Life? That’s definitely not right. The dad I know would never betray the Silver Bullet. What the hell is going on?”

“Aaalright,” she says, “Well, as you know, your father has been your father for over twenty years.  He’s done now.  He just thinks that this whole thing has reached a logical end, which, you know, is perfectly reasonable. But, who could picture life without good ol’ dad around the house, so…I hired this guy to replace him.”

“What the f…? This is ridiculous.  You can’t just do that.  If he’s gone, he’s gone.  You can’t just hire some scab to replace him,” I say.

“Oh, I can and I did.  Your father will never play John Rambo again!”

This is when shit gets weird.  Suddenly, my mom turns into a business suit-wearing movie executive holding those novelty money bags with dollar signs on them in each hand; the living room turns into a movie theater, and I multiply into like 200 people. The next thing I know, all 200 of me are watching my fake dad on a movie screen pretending to be Rambo in Rambo V.

It’s strange because I had the same type of dream when Dumb and Dumberer came out…

So…yeah… they are probably going to try and replace Sylvester Stallone in order to make another Rambo movie. Apparently, Rambo V movie posters were spotted at the Cannes Film Festival.

I sincerely hope that was some kind of joke.  I wish movie studios would at least have the decency to wait ten years and try and reboot the franchise with a new actor rather than replace the original while he is still fresh in our minds.  Nothing is sacred!

Can you picture anyone other than Sylvester Stallone as Rambo?

-Andrew

Source: AICN


 
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So…Transformers 2 sucked.  There is really no doubt about it at this point.  Even the movie’s actors have publicly commented on its poor quality. Here’s what lead actor, Shia Labeouf said recently:

When I saw the second movie I wasn’t impressed with what we did…We got lost. We tried to get bigger. It’s what happens to sequels. It’s like, how do you top the first one? You’ve got to go bigger. Mike went so big that it became too big, and I think you lost the anchor of the movie…You lost a bit of the relationships. Unless you have those relationships, then the movie doesn’t matter. Then it’s just a bunch of robots fighting each other.

Nice Try, Shia.  When people went to see Transformers 2, I’m sure they would have preferred to see “just a bunch of robots fighting each other.” At least then people would have gotten exactly what they were expecting.  It’s an opinion shared by many other people than just myself that the movie should be about the f@#$ing robots. Why are we supposed to give a shit about the people? I already know about people. I am, in fact, a person.  If I want to see in-depth human characters onscreen, I’ll pay to see a drama.  When I see a movie in which the titular characters are giant robots, those are characters that I want to see developed.

The ironic thing is that even with the lack of character development of the actual Transformers, I still cared more about them than I did any of the human characters.  At least the Transformers are rare commodities.  People, on the other hand, are portrayed as ubiquitous, tiny, little clowns; there’s Shia Labeouf running around screaming like a girl, John Torturo wearing a thong, Julie White (Sam’s Mom) tackling Frisbee players while high on weed brownies.  Then there is the cowardly roommate who is completely unnecessary to the story, ranting and whining nonstop.  All they do is make the plot of the movie even more confusing by begging the question: Why are the Autobots so set on saving this bunch of assholes?

In a move that proves that the minds behind the Transformers franchise are still completely missing the point, they’ve added even more human characters to Transformers 3 to be played by Frances McDormand (Burn After Reading), John Malkovich (Burn After Reading), Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy), and Ken Jeong (The Hangover, Community).  Maybe they are hoping that bringing in some well respected actors will give the movie credibility.  Unless John Malkovich is playing a Decepticon, I don’t think it will.

Be honest. No one will judge you. What do you think of the Transformers franchise? Are you excited for another installment?

-Andrew

Check out a review of Transformers 2 from the Portland Mercury that nearly made me piss myself laughing: "Robotsploitation"


 
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Imagine, if you will, a world in which newly released films are delivered to your television set, rather than your local movie theater.  There’d be no apathetic teen in a ticket booth to tell you “sorry, we don’t do student discounts on Saturday.” You could forget the seven dollar nachos; just make yourself a ham sandwich, and you know what? Add some extra cheese for free.  You could do away with six dollar sodas from the concession stand; instead, pour yourself a glass of Kool-Aid, or, hey, it’s your house.  Make it a tall glass of vodka. There would be no more sharing your armrest with hairy, obese men in tank-tops, who slowly ooze further into your personal space as the movie progresses.  Instead, maybe you’d share a reclining couch with a hairy, obese, tank-topped significant other. 

Well, this imaginary world could easily turn into reality. I just read a piece of news today that has left my mind effectively blown. Read this excerpt from Deadline.com:

Washington, D.C. — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), saying it was “in the public interest” today approved a request by the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) to permit recent movies to be sent directly to American households over secure high definition transmission lines from their cable or satellite providers prior to their release on DVD or Blu-ray.

So with new releases going straight to my television and the advent of the mini-fridge, the Xbox, the laptop, the iPhone, Netflix, and the bedpan, I now officially never have to leave my bedroom.  If we aren’t careful, we are actually going to turn into the fat people in flying chairs from WALL-E.

Some people are seeing this as a dick move by production companies to avoid sharing profits with movie theaters.  If this were to happen, many theaters would go under pretty quickly. Although I attempted it earlier, I really can’t picture America without the multiplex.  It might be okay to avoid the theater for a movie like Date Night (which would be ironic) or some other rom-com, but seeing something like Avatar or Iron Man for the first time on anything other than a giant movie screen is borderline blasphemous. Also, how are middle schoolers supposed to make out in the back row of a theater if there aren’t any theaters for their moms to drop them off at?  A whole facet of our social system may collapse!

Even with all of the cost cutting benefits of sidestepping the movie theater, I think overall it kind of…sucks.  Going to the movies is a relatively easy way to have a “night out.” As little as I’m actually doing in a movie theater, it’s still nice to feel like I got out of the house and did something.

It does sound enticing, but I don’t think I’m in favor of the new home theater.

Would you rather skip the theater and watch the movie at home?  Or do you think this overall bad news?

-Andrew

Source: Deadline


 
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I have to preface this by saying that I enjoyed Iron Man 2 for what it was: a summer blockbuster that delivered on its advertised promise of being filled with robots, explosions, and high-tech weapons.  I stand by my decision to suck off the film in my review.

But…

There is no doubt in my mind that 2008’s Iron Man was an all around better movie.  The plot was less convoluted, the characters were more subtle (which made them more relatable and likable), and, as oxymoronic as it is to say about a comic book movie, it was more based in reality.  Think about the “cool factor" of that movie.  To me, the fun came from thinking “This could happen. If only there was a smart enough dude…”  But, that flew out the window with Iron Man 2.  It pains me to say this, but I think all of the build up to the eventual Avengers movie is going to damage the potential quality of some of the other upcoming Marvel projects.

Iron Man was a great stand-alone film. With the exception of the post-credit scene with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), we saw a film which put Tony Stark into his own reality, separate from those of other heroes. This enabled the writers and directors to create their own interpretation of the Iron Man story, an interpretation that was devoid of elements that were, let’s say, too science fictiony. We don’t see any indication of the possibility of gods like Thor flying around and controlling the weather, or a big, green over-irradiated monster terrorizing cities.

As they try to intertwine the realities of Thor or The Incredible Hulk with that of Iron Man, the high quality of a stand-alone movie is going to be impossible to maintain, let alone create. It’s the same reason we will never see a crossover film between Christopher Nolan’s Dark Night version of Batman and any version of Superman.  It would take a screenwriting miracle to make those two starkly different realities mesh in way that would do justice to both characters.

Maybe I’m looking too far into the future, but I see the Avengers project possibly resulting in the eventual death, or at least severe maiming, of the superhero film genre.  Story quality can only suffer for so long before audience mob mentality sets in and destroys the box office success.  Since we are about to be inundated with superhero flicks, it could happen sooner rather than later.

It’s a difficult contradiction that fans are going to have to sort out. Do we really want to see all our favorite heroes together onscreen at the price of sacrificing the quality of their stand-alone films?  Considering that there will be many more Iron Mans, Hulks, Thors and Captain Americas than there will be Avengers films, I’m not sure that’s a price I’m willing to pay.

Is The Avengers doing more damage than good? Did you prefer the first or second Iron Man? What do you think?

-Andrew

 
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I had already bought my ticket for the midnight showing of Iron Man 2 earlier in the day, so I thought I was safe in my decision to show up fourty-five minutes early for good seats.  But, for a movie as highly anticipated as this one, an extra fifteen minutes wouldn't have hurt.  The theater was packed at 11:15. Luckily, some kind moviegoers opened up some seats, so I wasn’t forced to melt my eyeballs out of their sockets in the first row.

So, was Iron Man 2 worth ten bucks and two hours of lost sleep?

Obviously.

Tony Stark is still obnoxiously cool and makes it look sickeningly awesome to be a filthy rich genius. Rhodey and Tony still argue like they're brothers. The armor is still sleek and shiny. All the goods you loved from 2008's Iron Man are still there, but this time none of them are as subtle. 

Iron Man 2 brought back all of the charm from the first one, and then amplified it.  The sequel seemed to go the same direction that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen did, only the movie didn't turn out obnoxious and painfully over-the-top.  There was more humorous sexual innuendo and salty language in this one, which I found a little strange considering how many little kids will be watching, but I will admit it is probably the type of humor that will go right over their heads.

The most obvious improvement over the first Iron Man is the amount of action.  The only complaint people seemed to have about the first one was that there wasn’t enough ass whooping done by Iron Man. Tony spends a lot more time in the suit in Iron Man 2, and as a result, more things break and explode.  

Robert Downey Jr. steps up the devil-may-care confidence and swagger that we saw in the first one and it’s just as entertaining.  There isn’t much else to say about him other than the obvious: he’s good.

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Mickey Rourke did a decent job filling the super-villain role, but I wasn’t blown away.  We all know that in American movies, the hero always beats the villain, but it’s nice to get caught up in story and forget that fact.  Rourke definitely gave the bad guy impression, but his character never really seemed like he had a chance of beating Iron Man.  Don’t misunderstand me, though; there a few other threads to the story that keep you unsure about the fate of Tony Stark.

Sam Rockwell, who seems to be good in everything, played an entertaining Justin Hammer.  He nailed the awkward, tries-too-hard, rival character and it’s enjoyable to watch him fail to be a cool as Tony Stark.
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Alright…I’m not sure I know the science behind this phenomenon (maybe I don’t want to know), but I could swear that every time Scarlet Johansson came on screen, the temperature in the theater rose like five degrees, seriously—and no I don’t think it was just me.  But aside from the fact the she is a fox, the acrobatic style of beatdown she put on nameless thugs was a lot more entertaining than I thought it was going to be.  Mixing her hand-to-hand combat in with the mechanized brawling of Iron Man and War Machine added an enjoyable diversity to the films overall action.

Speaking of War Machine, the movie makes it difficult to decide which suit is more badass, his or Iron Man’s.  I know it goes without saying, but big guns are awesome.  My one minor gripe has to do with Don Cheadle.  He did a great job; I can’t think of anything to complain about as far as his performance went. But, several times when he was onscreen, I couldn’t help but imagine how Terrence Howard would have performed in the same scene.  It might just be me, but the switcheroo they pulled for Rhodes was a tiny (and I have to stress “tiny”) bit distracting.

Any Marvel geeks out there should also keep an eye out during the movie for nods to future Avengers.  You don’t have to look hard, but you will probably get a kick out of them when they come up. 

So bottom line: Go see Iron Man 2. As if you needed me to tell you.

Has anyone else seen it yet? What did you think? Let me know.

-Andrew

 
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Fox has snagged Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake) to direct X-Men: First Class. Now, at least there is one silver lining to the shitstorm cloud that has become the X-men film franchise.

X-Men:
First Class will tell the story of Professor Xavier's original team of mutants and how they came into being. That sounds like a great idea...in a world where the previous X-Men films hadn't fucked up the chronological continuity of the story.

In the
X-Men comics, the original team consisted of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Beast, and Iceman. But, since movie makers have decided to tweak the stories in various ways, many of the characters are completely out of place chronologically. For instance, Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman is introduced as a teenager in X1, and Angel is introduced in X3 (serving no purpose other than to further muck up X-Men canon). So, now they have to take other characters out of their chronological place in the X-Men universe to fill the place of Iceman and Angel.

It may seem dumb to complain about tweaking the timeline to the average moviegoer who isn't familiar with the X-Men comics storyline, but it really does effect the quality of the films. The X-Men comics became popular because the characters and their relationships were compelling and interesting, and many of the characters were written into stories and developed together. Like in any good story with an ensemble cast of characters, they were written to play off of each other. The je ne sais quoi of the series has been compromised.

I give it about two or three more installments before the original storyline is unrecognizable, thus rendering decades of great source material useless.

But hey, I almost forgot. Kick-Ass director, Matthew Vaughn, is at the helm for this one, and Bryan Singer, director of X-Men and X2, is producing, so even if the storyline is messed up, at least the film itself has a good shot at being satisfying (If you want to know what I thought of Vaughn's last project, check out my review of Kick-Ass).

The most frustrating aspect of this to me is the apparent lack of respect for the work of the writers of the original material. Their stories worked when they were created; they will work now. When an aspect of the story is changed unnecessarily, it just reeks of studio interference; “Make sure to include characters that will sell...and make sure you include Wolverine in there somehow.”

Have faith, movie studios. Leave the creativity to the professionals.

I would be extremely happy if Fox stopped making X-Men films for the next five years and then pulled a Spider-man and rebooted the franchise.

What do you think about X-Men: First Class? Matthew Vaughn? Am I whining too much about nothing?

-Andrew

Source: Screenrant, Mtvnews




 
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When I stepped into the back of a depressingly long line for the 8:25 showing of Cloverfield on it's opening night, I thought to myself “It's okay. All of these people are probably here to see 27 Dresses. I can still get a good seat.” But sadly, I was mistaken. I was forced to sit in the front row for what appeared to be a film in which someone's grandmother mistakenly walked around with the video camera on and then had sporadic seizures in a series of dark rooms. By the end of the movie I was left with I neck cramp and a nagging urge to yak.

But nausea aside, it wasn't the worst movie I've ever seen.

So as you might imagine, I'm not terribly excited about the rumor that a trailer for a JJ Abrams (Lost, Star Trek) project that is being titled Super 8, could possibly be a prequel or sequel to Cloverfield. The trailer is supposedly attached to Iron Man 2 and is rumored to be just as vague and mysterious as the trailer for Cloverfield.

As mediocre as I thought Cloverfield turned out to be, I would still be interested in seeing another installment in theaters, if only for the purpose of finding out where the hell that monster came from. I was sincerely pissed off when I wasn't provided with any of that information during the film. It's a pretty clever ploy for a movie that wants to become a franchise, I suppose. Even if the movie is average, if you leave people hanging, they might do whatever they can to feel like their time wasn't wasted by an incomplete plot.

But, who knows? The trailer could be for something completely different. In general, JJ Abrams does great work, and he likes to pull in fans with tantalizing cliffhangers. So I'm sure whatever Super 8 is, moviegoers will dig it.

What did you think of Cloverfield? Would you pay to see another one?

-Andrew

Source: screenrant.com/MTVnews

 
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If there is one actor on the planet who knows how to squeeze all of the juice out of a franchise, it's Sylvester Stallone. He's managed to punch and stab his way into his twilight years over the span of six Rocky films and four Rambo films, as well as many other action blockbusters.

Sadly though, after a lot of confusion and speculation about the possible plot of a fifth Rambo movie, Stallone has been quoted saying that John Rambo is most likely retired for good:

I think Rambo’s pretty well done. I don’t think there’ll be any more. I’m about 99% sure

Although he left himself with 1% worth of wiggle room to change his mind, it seems like he's pretty sure Rambo won't be gutting his way through any more scenic third-world backdrops. It's sad to see the franchise end, but it's nice to see that he has enough respect for the character to let him retire gracefully.

If you were curious, the plot of a fifth Rambo film, which was tentatively titled Rambo V: The Savage Hunt, had the titular character in the midst of a human trafficking debacle in which he is pitted against a “super soldier” with skills that rival his own. Although the term “super soldier” has a certain sci-fi connotation, apparently Rambo's opponent was going to be a soldier who was trained from birth to be an unstoppable killer.

But it's all moot now, which kind of sucks. It could have been an entertaining story. I'm going to miss the over-the-top violence that we saw in 2008's
Rambo. I'm not big on gore, so I didn't think I would enjoy watching bad guys explode like water balloons, but, you know, I really did.  

There hasn't, however, been any denial of the hinted at Rocky VII happening. Another installment in the Rocky saga would make much less sense than another Rambo. We don't need to see Rocky go the full twelve rounds with the Grim Reaper for a chance to make Rocky 8. I don't think that fans would enjoy seeing a spider veined, steroid-jacked, sixty-five year old Stallone get punched in the face; it's uncomfortable to see old people fall down. It would be best to let Rocky and Rambo both retire.

How do you feel about Rambo coming to an end? Is it about time?

-Andrew