Doctor Strange Trailer Arrives At SDCC 2016


Doctor Strange

San Diego Comic-Con for the past decade has always been a major mainstay for Marvel Studios when it comes to releasing their latest news and trailer for their upcoming films. There has been rumors the last couple years that Marvel Studios may skip Comic-Con and it’s venerable Hall H altogether in the near-future. Marvel Studios being owned by Disney means they have access to their parent company’s own D23 event. There’s even talk of just having a yearly Marvel Con to showcase everything Marvel.

Until that occurs many who attend San Diego Comic-Con will stand hours (some even days) to be able to get into Hall H and be the first to see what Marvel Studios has up it’s sleeves. This year we get the latest trailer on their biggest gamble to date: Doctor Strange.

A gamble in that it will delve deeply into the one aspect of the Marvel Universe it has so far avoided: magic.

One cannot make a film about Doctor Strange and not portray the magic and sorcery, the otherworldly dimensions and demons, spells and illusions. This is the bread and butter of the Sorcerer Supreme and if this latest trailer is any indication then filmmaker Scott Derrickson may have just broken the code in how to integrate this aspect of the Marvel Universe into the grounded, albeit hyper-reality, of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Doctor Strange arrives this November 4, 2016.

Wonder Woman Trailer Emerges At Comic-Con To Thunderous Applause


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“What I do is not up to you.” — Wonder Woman

With that single line in the newly released San Diego Comic-Con trailer for next summer’s Wonder Woman a gauntlet has been dropped on manbros everywhere.

With Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice having been received with underwhelmingly at best to outright vehemence with some, DC was now setting it’s sights on the third of the DC Triumvirate to help right the DC Extended Universe film franchise. With Patty Jenkins doing directing duties and Gal Gadot in the title role, Wonder Woman will actually beat Marvel Studios in having the first female-led superhero film by at least a year.

From the reaction written about at SDCC’s Hall H where Warner Bros. had it’s presentation the trailer was received with thunderous applause and hope that DC has learned from their past mistakes and now ready to truly show the world it’s own diverse and wondrous universe of Gods, monsters, heroes and men.

Wonder Woman is set for a June 2, 2017 release date.

The Big Let-Down: CHANDLER (MGM 1971)


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“Some (producers) are able and humane men and some are low-grade individuals with the morals of a goat, the artistic integrity of a slot machine, and the manners of a floorwalker with delusions of grandeur”- Raymond Chandler, “Writers in Hollywood”, first published in Esquire Magazine, Nov. 1945

I had high hopes for CHANDLER, I really did. An homage to the hard-boiled fiction of Raymond Chandler (born July 23, 1888) with Warren Oates as the titular detective sounded like it’d be right up my dark alley. But as much as I wanted to like this movie, I was let down by its slow pace, convoluted script, and butchering by studio execs. Much of the film was cut, scenes were replaced, and the result is an evocative mood piece that ultimately doesn’t satisfy the noir lover in me.

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I don’t have a problem with Warren Oates as Chandler, with his Bogie-esque look and low-key performance…

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Zack Snyder tweets Justice League Teaser for Comic-Con


Zack Snyder’s thrown his hat into the Comic Con fray with a special teaser trailer for Justice League, by way of a recent tweet. The film focuses on Bruce Wayne/Batman(Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) as they gather a group of associates to defend against a great threat. So far, it looks interesting (if not a little rushed).

Also on board are Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash / Barry Allen and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. The movie has a release date of November 17, 2017.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Happy Birthday Raymond Chandler


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

Raymond Chandler was born on this date in 1888. He began publishing his short crime fiction in the pages of the pulp magazine Black Mask, and soon became one of the greatest “Hard-Boiled” writers of the 20th Century. Chandler’s detective Philip Marlowe is the most iconic PI in fiction, and his novels and stories have been adapted to the screen numerous times. Here are 4 Shots from the movie works of Raymond Chandler:

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Murder, My Sweet (1944, D: Edward Dmytryk)

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Double Indemnity (1944, D: Billy Wilder)

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The Blue Dahlia (1946, D: George Marshall)

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Marlowe (1969, D: Paul Bogart)

Music Video of the Day: Your Love by The Outfield (1986, dir. John Jopson)


I must admit that at times I do pick out music videos or films to write about simply because I know that they will get hits. Despite that, I do tend to gravitate to things that at least other people aren’t talking about, but watch en masse. Today isn’t one of those days. This happens to be one of my favorite songs, that once again, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s soundtrack introduced me to.

The first and most obvious thing is the lead singer is a little person. At a time when they were either Ewoks, Leprechauns, Trolls, and/or Sorcerers on the big screen, we had Tony Lewis belting out songs like Your Love on MTV being broadcast into people’s homes. That’s something a lot of people who are anti-music video forget. These short films brought so much culture to people that they would have been ignorant of were it not for their existence.

Now, to be fair, we also had Phil Fondacaro in Troll (1986) delivering a surprisingly good performance when he was not in costume. But we aren’t here to talk Harry Potter today.

Aside from the size of the lead singer, and them playing that up, I like that this video has four layers of capturing reality built into it. The first is the plan vanilla flavored “have the band stand on a stage and play”. It’s been done to death, and would be repeated in one form or another again and again for decades without any foreseeable end.

The second is when we step behind the scenes of that video and see the camera, crane, and crew shooting that plain vanilla flavored video. We saw that in something like I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock Of Seagulls as well. It’s the self-reflexive version of what we are looking at.

The third is that throughout this video there is a painting motif to the whole thing. This appears in the backgrounds. Sometimes paint literally is put across the frame. Then there is the girl who is presumedly painting a portrait of Tony as he sings. This is when the video has now stepped from the fantasy of the performance to the reality of the shooting of the video to the fantasy of representing something as a painting.

Then the video goes for one more when it returns the video back to reality once again by pulling the camera out to the street threw the previous layers to show the girl leaving the studio with the painting. It’s a very drab and boring shot to end on with some blue paint that runs down the frame till it cuts to black.

I love that none of these four different places are cleanly segmented from each other. An example is when we see the guitarist leave the stage to go over and look in on the girl doing the painting.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I doubt it. One, it is an 1980s video when they really seemed to get creative. Also, this is one of those videos where we know more than just the director. According to IMVDb, Glenn Lazzaro edited the video. He’s worked on his fair share of music videos and other films. Karen Bellone produced the video and seems to have done that for several music videos. Likely both Lazzaro and Bellone have directed or worked on more music videos that are just not properly documented.

I haven’t really strongly mentioned it before, but IMDb really does want submissions of music videos. These are highly undocumented short films that could keep me going till the day I died, and I still would barely get out of the 1980s. Even with Internet Music Video Database and mvdbase, this stuff is still full of holes, and belongs in the central repository that is IMDb.

That said, Mvdbase turns up a bunch more videos for all three of the people I mentioned. I had completely forgotten about that database and will be going back to clean up some of my previous entries. So, submit!