Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D coming to TV and developed by Joss Whedon…

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The details have yet to be released about this show; and that is more important than you may think. What we do know is that the show will be co-written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, who frequently write as a team and have brought us (separately or in combination)  the likes of The Avengers, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, The Avengers & Dollhouse. The show will follow the exploits of S.H.I.E.L.D, although whether that is a version closer to the comic book one(s), or a mirror of the version seen in the MCU (The Marvel Cinematic Universe) remains to be seen. It remains unlikely that it will actually be the organisation from the films themselves as Kevin Fiege has clearly stated in the past that any Marvel live action TV shows  will NOT be connected to the films in any way (save for the cost effective use / reuse of effects models / works and sets. But If there is a Nick Fury in the show it don’t expect to see Samuel L Jackson and certainly don’t expect events from the films to be referenced in the show & vice Versa.

Of course the Disney overlords may have been working on Mr. Fiege in the meantime to convince him that his concerns about diluting the presence of the films (he’s right) are unfounded. It is definitely something exciting to look forward to, but let us hope Kevin Fiege’s vision of a completely separate TV Universe (MTVU) has won out here; in the long term a having the same people appearing every few weeks on TV will do nothing but weaken the desire for mass audiences to see the movies.

Joss Whedon on the Helicarrier...

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Thor 2 is ‘Kursed’ as Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje joins the cast…

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So as well as the outstanding Christopher Ecclestone (Dr Who, The Shadow Line, 28 Days Later) and the confirmed return of the principle cast from Thor (Katt Denninngs, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Natalie Portman & Tom Hiddlestone) we now have Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, The Mummy Returns, Killer Elite) confirmed as villain / duped strongman Algrim. In the comics Algrim is of the same realm (In the film that will be another alien planet) as Christopher Ecclestone’s bad guy, the dark Elf Malekith. He is the strongest of the dark elves, but still not quite a match for Thor. Suckered into fighting him he ends up pretty much dead and reborn as the incredibly insane and suddenly stronger than Thor Kurse. With the high powered intellectual bad guy Malekith & Tom Hiddlestone’s scheming Loki, it will be very interesting to have a human sized opponent for Thor who is able to take him on physically. (Although nothing beats the hammer, right Hulk?) Hopefully people (the tiny, tiny minority of people) have gotten over their prejudices and misconceptions about the MCU Thor and realised that aliens can come in many varieties of colour & race, so we can avoid a repeat of the borderline (and often over the line) racist crap we had to endure over the casting of Idris Elba as Heimdall and people of all races as the Asgardans in Thor. But then again Kurse / Algrim is a 'bad guy' (even if a tricked one) so I guess him being black is just fine eh? 

Thor: The Dark World. First trailer for the return of Thor & Loki after The Avengers...

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Thor 2 promises to expand the cosmic MCU even further, a process begun well in Thor and continued in spectacular style by The Avengers. With even more time spent off Earth travelling the other 8 realms, Marvel Studios are keeping their word and using the solo films to explore what makes these characters tick, rather than having them just do the same thing, same place. Having said that Kurse does spend a fair amount of time going batshit crazy in New York whilst trying to find Thor and smash him to bits… It is an interesting side note that the Thor films have now claimed 2 “fan favourites” for the Black Panther film. Firstly Idris Elba and now Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Who in my opinion was always too big, and old, for Panther and much better suited to his villain, Man-Ape). Now both actors will be firmly established as other characters, major characters, in the MCU and will not be playing any other characters there.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Last Stand: Trailer for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s starring return to the big screen…

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To be fair I have to say this is nowhere near as big a deal as is would have been a few years ago, but it can’t be denied that the big man retains both icon ‘action hero’ status and a sizeable number of fans. So after catching him in The Expendables 2 over the coming days, they can get ready for even more of him being back! (Oh I had to!)

“Action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his much-anticipated return to the big screen in Korean director Kim Jee-woon's hard-hitting US directorial debut, THE LAST STAND. After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret, Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. But that peaceful existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, makes a deadly yet spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy. With the help of a fierce band of lawless mercenaries led by the icy Burrell (Peter Stormare), Cortez begins racing towards the US-Mexico border at 250 mph in a specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1 with a hostage in tow.”

The Last Stand…

The Avengers 2 set for the 1st of May 2015…

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So Phase 2 of Marvel Studios ambitious, once risky and highly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe finally has its biggest film dated. Whether this will mark the end of Phase 2(as The Avengers did for Phase 1) remains to be seen. Rumours persist of the appearance of other films, notably Ant Man (Which is definitely in Production), The Black Panther and long gestating S.H.I.E.L.D &/or Widow & Hawkeye: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D  chief amongst them. Now that they are secure it seems unlikely that, with their film series now a more secure than their decades old  comic books, that Marvel Studios will feel a need to make Avengers year a single movie year, so don’t be surprised if the official announcement for Avengers 2 (This ‘news’ has been broken by is swiftly followed by a date for another Marvel Studios film in 2015. The film will (Praise Buffy) once again be written & directed by Joss Whedon. The Avengers opens this week in Japan and will all but definitely end up earning over $1.5BILLION at the ox office.

Here’s what we have to look forward to…

Iron Man 3                                                                 3rd of May 2013

Thor: The Dark World                                           15th  of November 2013

Captain America: The Winter Soldier             4th of April 2014

Guardians Of The Galaxy                                     1st  of August 2014

The Avengers 2                                                        1st of May 2015

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Tai Chi 0: Steampunk meets Kung Fu in the new film from the people behind Detective Dee & Ip Man…

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This may seem like a very strange idea, but I’m willing to give the writer of the extremely entertaining Detective Dee: Mystery of The Phantom Flame (Kuo-fu Chen) the benefit of any doubt. (Seriously, you should give the film a watch; I hate to do the “It’s like -----“ thing, but if it helps, think of it as a China set, Kung fu including, version of Sherlock Holmes). 

Back to Tai Chi 0, well it has Steampunk, it has Kung fu and it isn’t something I’ve seen before.

Synopsis 01…
In legendary Chen Village, everyone is a martial arts master, and uses a powerful form of Tai Chi in all aspects of their life. Yang has arrived to try and learn it, only to find that it's forbidden for the villagers to teach their secret style to an outsider. But when a mysterious man comes to town with a frightening steam-powered machine and plans to build a railroad through a village, the villagers realize they may have no choice but to put their faith in Yang, who has a secret power of his own. With action directed by the legendary Sammo Hung (Ip Man 1 & 2), Tai Chi 0 is a full-on steampunk kung-fu throw down that will knock you out of your seat.


As an uncommonly gifted child, Yang Luchan had a fleshy abnormality that holds tremendous power growing on his forehead. However being teased as the town fool, Yang’s mother spurs him to practice martial arts, and following her wishes, Yang travels the distance to come to Chen Village to learn TAI CHI.

At this legendary village, everyone practices TAI CHI and uses TAI CHI in every aspect of their lives. Nevertheless, it is forbidden for a villager to disclose TAICHI to an outsider, and Yang learned this the hard way.

Upon arriving at the village, locals discourage Yang by challenging him with fights. From the strong men to old ladies to children, everyone defeats Yang with their TAICHI moves. After facing the toughest battle and being defeated by Master Chen’s beautiful daughter Yuniang, Yang is determined to master the art of TAICHI and he needs to find Master Chen.

Little does Yang know, the poor strange man who he befriended with is in fact Master Chen who then saved him from the duel with Yuniang. Master Chen realizes Yang’s genius and disguises himself to secretly guide Yang to his self realization of TAICHI.

One day, a frightening steam-powered machine came to the village, lead by Fang Zijing, a childhood friend of Yuniang. He has bribed government officials to permit him to build a railway that will run straight through the village. Yang decided to join forces with Yuniang to defeat Fang Zijing and destroy the machine. This brave act may just win the hearts of the villagers…

A Steampunk Kung-Fu throwdown…

Friday, 10 August 2012

Red Dawn: Chris Hemsworth & Josh Hutcherson do the remake thing…

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This film was made so long ago I’m not sure the version with Charlie Sheen and Patrick Swazye isn’t the remake! Let’s do a partial list here; Mr. Chris Hemsworth has shot & had released Thor, The Avengers and Snow White & The Huntsman since filming ended on Red Dawn. Josh Hutcherson hadn’t that long returned from his Journey To The Centre of The Earth, let alone the Mysterious Island; forget The Kids are All Right, or The Hunger Games. But of course that means the film now has a couple of A-List stars in its cast, as opposed to some up and coming talent. Even fellow ‘MGM financial hell’ movie The Cabin in the Woods has been released (earlier this year). During the downtime of MGM getting its life sorted out there has been the infamous ethnic changing of the film’s antagonist. Originally it was mean to be China now  (let’s face it even less likely) North Korea.

I don’t know how to address the legion of problems that surround those aspects of this film. I mean, first and foremost, Red Dawn (which was not the best of films in the first place) at least had the advantage of being a film made in the midst of the cold war with it's WWIII at any minute fears; and a different kind of paranoia about various states being influenced / controlled by either the Soviet Union / Communist in general or America / Capitalists in general. Setting up a laughable, but not given the aforementioned paranoia / fears, entirely inconceivable premise, in which pretty much every country in the world , bar the Good ol U.S of A is either wiped out or taken over by a Soviet Union alliance thing (I’m barely exaggerating here people) the ‘Classic’ Red Dawn had a decent set of bad guys o play with. (Well when you consider that selling your film to people who weren’t from North America wasn’t the highest priority back then). But now, well the paranoia isn’t even in the same Galaxy as the Cold War days, even if you transfer it from East VS West (The Soviet union is no more after all) to ‘Th e War on Terror’. So they decided to make China the bad guys this time. Let’s not get into the fact that things are very, Very different in that dynamic, China is the fastest growing international market for Hollywood movies right now and is effectively the number 2 ‘Blockbuster’ market in the world, behind North America. So casting them as the bloodthirsty bad guys invading the U.S.A (Why for the love of Rambo, why?) is not a good marketing move. So what to do eh? Well fortunately it isn’t only the politics of our planet that have changed since 1984. Computers have come on a bundle and now the magic of CGI has been able to touch up a jet here, a tank there, maybe a face or two there(?) and SHAZAM! The Chinese evil bastards are now North Korean Evil Bastards. Now I’m sure the set of circumstances that leads to North Korea deciding to invade America AND succeeding, to some point, are going to be a wonder to behold.

Red re-Dawn…

Monday, 6 August 2012

Marvel to get The Silver Surfer & Galactus back, if they let Fox keep Daredevil?

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So the "our" dreams are coming true. According to Variety Fox and Marvel Studios are deep in negotiations that will see some coveted Marvel characters revert to Marvel studios INSTEAD of Daredevil. Cosmic heavyweights the Silver Surfer & Galactus are very much wrapped up in the storylines currently being set up for Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (As seen in the post credits scene of The Avengers, which leads into The Guardians of The Galaxy and (to a lesser degree) the space faring ‘Thor: The Dark World’. However their rights, as well as several other, are tied up in the deal that took The Fantastic Four to Fox.

As reported last month, Fox are running out of time to get their Daredevil attempt into production before they lose the rights to that character back to Marvel (A million fans just screamed yes!) Following on from the news that Marvel Studios were willing to put the Oscorp building from Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man into the Avengers, this really is BIG news.

Fantastic 4 (finally) confirms Josh ‘Chronicle’ Trank to direct, whilst Daredevil is running out of time before Marvel get the movie rights back...

Impartiality be damned! I want this to happen. Sure I’d rather see Marvel Studios make a decent Daredevil movie, than see Fox screw up again; but a Marvel Studios Silver Surfer and Galactus coming to ‘eat’ the world in an Avengers or Thor movie, that trumps old hornhead every time.

Of course the story is not being confirmed by Fox, on the contrary the version of events being ’leaked’’ from there is that they actually want Marvel Studios as a genuine partner o a Daredevil film. They want the film to be a co-production, with Marvel taking on some of the budget, and doubtless lending some of their expertise, to Daredevil. Sure that makes more sense, but the fact is the Fantastic Four have 60 years worth of villains to use and losing The Silver Surfer & Galactus is by no means a major disaster.