Everything must be remade. EVERYTHING. So here’s the red-band trailer for the new Vacation movie. It’s the dorky family road trip idea but this time Ed Helms plays the grown up Rusty so that they can include a scene or two with the Crypt Keeper version of Chevy Chase. That said? It looks kinda funny. The hot springs scene is gross but it made me laugh.
Okay, so this is our biggest round up ever. We have all sorts of news about DC and Marvel movies. Big news. We have some amazing new toy and game releases. McDonald’s news. Bodybuilding news. We have comic book news, TV news, weird news from the past week. You gotta read the synopses below and let us know your opinions.
I think the news we have to start with is the confirmed cast list for Captain America: Civil War. It’s got more superheroes in it than the Avengers movies. I’m assuming most of them will have minor supporting roles but perhaps most interesting is that William Hurt will return to play General Thunderbolt Ross (from The Incredible Hulk) and Paul Rudd will appear as Ant-Man. Also announced as joining this past week was Martin Freeman in an undisclosed role. Here are the confirmed superheroes and villains that will be in the movie: Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Falcon, Vision, Hawkeye, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Sharon Carter/Agent 13, Crossbones, Baron Zemo, General Thunderbolt Ross. Oh and a little someone called Spider-Man. Wow. That’s every hero except Thor and Hulk (and the Guardians of the Galaxy).
Tom Hardy has come a long way from his days playing Captain Picard’s clone. He recently stepped down from the Suicide Squad movie because he wanted to develop Splinter Cell instead. In an interview with Collider about Mad Max: Fury Road (which I’m stoked for) he said he’d like to play the Punisher. I didn’t know I wanted this until he said it. He seemed to think he couldn’t get it because he was too short but he played a convincing Bane so I’m sure Marvel’s ears perked up the second he said he was interested. But would he do a Netflix show version of it?
Speaking of Suicide Squad, the movie released the above cast photo. I would like to be more excited by it but it’s so colorless. I’m a fan of the comics and the characters and even I had trouble figuring out who some of them were at first, because they’re all in such drab clothing. Anyway, from left to right we have: Slipknot (yes, really), Captain Boomerang, Enchantress, Rick Flagg, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Croc and Diablo. Crouched down is Katana. For some reason, Deadshot’s eye is on the wrong side. That… seems like an easy thing to have got right. As long as you’re a righty, you aim through your right eye and that’s where he’s always had his targeting device. Is Will Smith left-handed? He is holding his rifle as a righty in the cast photo. Nitpick over.
The latest issue of Vanity Fair has several Star Wars character portraits by photographer Annie Leibovitz. You can see some more here, but above is Adam Driver as Kylo Ren (sans mask) and Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma.
A couple weeks ago, director Josh Trank (Chronicle, Fantastic Four) didn’t show up at Star Wars Celebration despite being announced as a guest. He had previously been announced to direct a Star Wars spinoff movie. But shortly after he no-showed the convention, he released a statement saying he stepped away. But according to this new article, he was very difficult to work with on the upcoming Fantastic Four, basically just not being communicative. Supposedly that led to Lucasfilm releasing him. The one thing you can’t be in Hollywood is difficult to work with. You can do pretty much anything else.
CBS announced an early pickup for a full season of Supergirl. It comes from producer Greg Berlanti who produces the DC shows on the CW: Arrow, Flash and whatever the third spinoff about a superhero team led by Atom will be called. The rumor is CBS doesn’t want their superhero show to crossover with the others but who knows what will happen. I think the weirdest thing is that she will literally be the cousin of Superman so Superman does exist in her world, but we won’t see him around. Actress Melissa Benoist will play Kara Danvers/Kara Zor-El/Supergirl. Co-starring as regulars are Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant (her boss), Chyler Leigh as Alexandra “Alex” Danvers (her adoptive sister), Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen (her love interest) and David Harewood as Hank Henshaw (who eventually becomes the supervillain called Cyborg Superman).
I’ll also take this moment to mention what other comic book TV shows have been picked up for next season. These are all confirmed: Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow (spinoff of Arrow/Flash), iZombie, Gotham, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter. The Mockingbird/Lance Hunter spinoff of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is NOT happening. They will stay on that show. We’ll probably have more renewals and pickups in the coming weeks.
Speaking of Flash, the latest episode literally had him battle Grodd. And he looked fantastic. How did the show accomplish a huge gorilla on a TV budget and schedule? VFX supervisor Armen Kevorkian explained some of the process to The Hollywood Reporter.
One of my favorite sitcoms this season was Last Man on Earth. It’s just so different. The main character is kind of a jerk but I still like him. Kudos to Will Forte for that. Fox picked it up for a second season but there will be a new showrunner: Dan Sterling, who previously wrote for The Office, The Daily Show and Girls. Will Forte himself ran it last year but since he’s the star and is still a producer, I’m sure he just needed help with the workload. The end reveal of season one was great. Can’t wait to see what they do with it.
FX released a trailer for season 2 of The Strain. I want to like this show but I kinda hate-watched the entire first season. The idea of a vampire plague is a cool one, but the main characters just made so many bad decisions that allowed it to happen. SO many bad decisions. The main characters (except for Setrakian and Vasiliy Fet) were all really annoying. Are you looking forward to season 2?
Netflix released a trailer for their upcoming 8-episode show Sense8, created by the Wachowskis (Matrix, some other stuff that wasn’t as good). It’s about 8 people around the world whose minds get linked and it pulls them into one another’s lives and puts them in danger. Supposedly the show filmed an actual live birth for one scene.
May 4th has basically become Star Wars day. Star Wars was actually originally released on May 25th but the pun phrase “May the Fourth Be with You” took off and now that’s the anniversary. Which is fine. But the weird thing is that a lot of companies that don’t really have anything to do with Star Wars will try to use the phrase in social media to try to engage the audience. I think the weirdest ad this year had to be Goodwill’s. They sell used stuff. Who knows what will be in the store? Sometimes something cool. Rarely Star Wars. According to their ad, though, it’s the place to be for Star Wars Day! Hooray!
Speaking of Star Wars, Japanese toy company Kaiyodo just announced they will make some Star Wars and Back to the Future toys under their Revoltech brand. Revoltech is the high-end stuff. They made a really amazing Donatello based on the current Ninja Turtles cartoon that I picked up and love. Very pose-able and screen-accurate. The X-Wing will be released this August and retail for about 5,500 Yen ($45). The Delorean will be some sort of special offer in 2015. Both will probably be somewhere in the 6-8″ range.
You could also build a Star Wars vehicle. Why not build the Millenium Falcon? Well, you can create a 31″ 1:1 replica but it will cost you. To the tune of 25 payments of $59.99. You can cancel any time but basically they send you parts every month with a magazine on how to put it together and it has lots of movable parts. But who can afford a $1,500 model? I guess that’s why they have it as a monthly subscription program instead of all at once. Wow.
I enjoyed the above video that DC Collectibles made. It’s a stop-motion action figure fight featuring the toys based on Arrow. At the end, they reveal a new action figure for the Laurel Lance version of Black Canary. I’m glad they waited to give this character a figure until she became Black Canary, because an alcoholic lawyer would not have been a popular toy.
I’m awful at fighting games but I’ve always had a soft spot for Mortal Kombat. It just came out when I was finishing high school and I remember playing the arcade MK3 at my college campus bar between classes. I also enjoy the Friday the 13th movies. So the new DLC of Jason Voorhees in Mortal Kombat X is very tempting for me. Not sure if I can pull the trigger for its $30 on top of the $60 game. On the other hand, that $30 gives you all the downloadable characters, present and future. On May 24th the next Kombat Pack DLC comes out: Predator! In related news, fans are debating whether it’s cheap or fair to “spam” easy moves that keep your opponent at a distance. Apparently in Mortal Kombat X, you can pretty easily deploy Jacqui’s hand cannon. What do you think? Effective technique or dirty pool?
Hot Toys’ latest high-end Batman was revealed to be Batman from Batman Returns. It will stand 12″ tall and is articulated all over. There will also be a 2-pack version with Bruce Wayne in business suit. My favorite feature? Just like in the movie, Batman cannot turn his head so you can move his eyeballs with a lever hidden under his removable cranium. My Dark Knight Joker has this feature and its eerily convincing. Gotta admit, in 1992 I really loved his weird armor. Those abs! $220 for just Batman or $345 for Batman and Bruce Wayne. It should show up in the 4th quarter of the year. Maybe. You have to be patient with Hot Toys.
IN THE MEDIA
Following the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, writer/director Joss Whedon left Twitter. He’s getting a lot of criticism from people calling him a misogynist which… c’mon. Dude has always written strong female characters. I understand some of the anger though. It’s because the ONLY significant female superhero in the Marvel universe is Black Widow and she can’t be everything to everyone. So I kind of blame Marvel for not getting in some characters like She-Hulk or Captain Marvel sooner. Regardless, Whedon gave an in-depth interview to Buzzfeed where he says the hate tweets really weren’t anything that made him leave. He just wanted a break from promoting stuff and thinking up clever jokes all the time. He took a break once before and hasn’t ruled out coming back. In other words? The news of feminists driving Whedon off of Twitter is blown way out of proportion.
Oh McDonald’s. What have you done? Apparently they decided they needed to rebrand the Hamburglar. McDonald’s hasn’t really used Ronald or any cutesy characters on TV in a long time because they don’t want to be accused of peddling obesity to children. I don’t know who the new version appeals to. And I’m not the only one. Apparently he’s some sort of dad that hears about McDonald’s burgers and gets jealous (even though his look better in the ad I saw) and… turns to a life of crime?
McDonald’s wasn’t the only one to make a weird ad this week. The official Milk page on Facebook is having a music themed contest and they decided the best way to promote it was with an image of Ray Parker, Jr. (Ghostbusters). He’s judging the contest so I get why he’s there, but why did they obviously use an image from 30 years ago? And why choose Ray Parker, Jr. in the first place?
Fake bodybuilders looking to skip the actual step of years of lifting will sometimes inject their muscles with a type of oil called synthol. It makes the muscle balloon out. It doesn’t look very convincing if you know about anatomy but it’s becoming more and more popular, especially in South America.
The problem is, a little too much and it turns your arms into dead weights. You risk abscesses, gangrene and amputation. Like this brainiac that got in the news this week.
Let’s stop thinking about fake bodybuilders and enjoy a real one. Arnold Schwarzenneger was a guest this week on The Late Late Show with James Corden and acted out his entire film ouvre in six minutes. I think he was promoting his new zombie movie Maggie. Anyone planning on seeing it?
The biggest stuff going on in comics is probably Marvel’s Secret Wars. To simplify it, a lot of their most popular stories from the past as well as some of the parallel realities that have had big stories are all colliding together. All of Marvel’s titles reflect these new stories set in familiar worlds, and they all technically exist on one planet called Battleworld, like some sort of crazy patchwork continent of alternate versions of the superheroes. I’m assuming eventually everyone fights and one new, cohesive world remains afterwords – essentially a light reboot. Meanwhile, here are the various worlds/titles:
- 1602: Witch Hunter Angela
- Age of Apocalypse
- Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows
- Armor Wars
- Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders
- Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps
- Civil War
- E is for Extinction
- Future Imperfect
- Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX
- Guardians of Knowhere
- Hail Hydra
- House of M
- Infinity Guantlet
- M.O.D.O.K. Assassin
- Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos
- Old Man Logan
- Planet Hulk
- Secret Wars 2099
- Squadron Sinister
- Where Monsters Dwell
- X-Men ’92
- X-Tinction Agenda
- Years of Future Past
That’s a lot of titles, but it’s also the ONLY titles. There’s no monthly Captain America or Spider-Man books for now. And these are all pretty self-contained. Still, it’s yet another massive “event” that will surely culminate soon in a big crossover. Makes it hard to invest in characters when there’s so much plot going down.