Comic-Con 2022: Here’s The Trailer For Tales Of The Walking Dead


The Walking Dead may be coming to a close but the zombie apocalypse will continue in Tales of The Walking Dead, a new anthology series.  

Here’s the first trailer, featuring Terry Crews and Samantha Morton.  This actually dropped yesterday but, again, I was so overwhelmed by the cuteness of I am Groot that it took me 24 hours to get around to sharing it.  Don’t worry, though.  The Dead aren’t going anywhere.

 

Lisa Marie’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions for May


It’s that time of the month again!

It’s time for me to once again try to predict what will be nominated for the Oscars.  If you had to told me, at this time last year, that Top Gun: Maverick would emerge as an Oscar contender, I would have said that you were crazy but here we are.  Admittedly, it is early in the year and I think there’s always going to be some ambivalence towards honoring Tom Cruise.  (You just know that someone is having nightmares about him thanking David Miscavige in his Oscar speech.)  But with the reviews and the box office success that Top Gun: Maverick is getting, it would be a mistake to dismiss it.  After all, Mad Max: Fury Road came out around this same time of year in 2015.  As well, one can be sure that A24 will be giving Everything Everywhere All At Once a heavy awards push as well.  This could very well be the year of the genre blockbuster as far as the Oscars are concerned.

As for Cannes, it’s come and gone.  George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing got some good reviews, even if those reviews didn’t translate into awards at the end of the Festival.  David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future sounds like it’s going to be too divisive for the Academy and really, the thought of Cronenberg winning an Oscar has always been a bit implausible, regardless of how much he may or may not deserve one.  As for James Gray’s Armageddon Time, Gray has always been more popular with critics than with audiences or Academy voters.  If Gray couldn’t break through with something like The Lost City of Z, I doubt he’s going to do so with an autobiographical film about his life in private school.  Steven Spielberg already has the autobiography slot wrapped up with The Fabelmans. 

Of course, there’s still many films left to see and many more film festivals to be held.  Let us not forget that Martin Scorsese is bringing us Killers of the Flower Moon.  Personally, I’m looking forward to Damien Chazelle’s Babylon.  In short, nothing has been settled yet.  For all the acclaim that Top Gun and Everything are getting, who knows how the race is going to look at the start of the Fall season?

Anyway, here are my predictions for May.  Be sure to check out my predictions for February and March and April as well!

Best Picture

Amsterdam

Babylon

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

I Want To Dance With Somebody

Killers of the Flower Moon

Next Goal Wins

Rustin

She Said

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Kasi Lemmons for I Want To Dance With Somebody

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Taika Waititi for Next Goal Wins

Best Actor

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colman Domingo in Rustin

Idris Elba in Three Thousand Years of Longing

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Want To Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in Tar

Margot Robie in Babylon

Tilda Swinton in Three Thousand Years of Longing

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

John Boyega in The Woman King

Leonardo DiCaprio in Flowers of the Killer Moon

Tom Hanks in Elvis

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Tobey Maguire in Babylon

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Tantoo Cardinal in Flowers of the Killer Moon

Li Jun Li in Babylon

Samantha Morton in She Said

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

4 Shots From 4 Films: Kwaidan, Minority Report, La Horde, The Exorcist


A new feature that I thought was a nice way to introduce not just our readers, but also fellow site writers to some films we love, admire and think worthy of checking out.

It won’t be any sort of review or recap of what the film is about, but just a simple, single shot from the film itself that the individual writer considers an worthy and interesting glimpse of the film.

To start off “4 Shots From 4 Films” here’s the first 4 shots. Moving forward it will be just 4 screenshots and the title of the film they belong to.

4 SHOTS FROM 4 FILMS

Kwaidan

Kwaidan (dir. by Masaki Kobayashi – 1964)

MinorityReport

Minority Report (dir. by Steven Spielberg – 2002)

Quick Review: John Carter (dir. by Andrew Stanton)


John CarterThe First Impression:

John Carter is a cute Disney film that you may enjoy more than you’d thought you would. It’s lively like The Rocketeer was and really has some great moments and interesting characters. Both the leads carry their roles well, and are eye candy for the audience. It’s worthy of all of the love it should get, but obvious comparisons to movies that came before it (even though the story predates those films), along with a shockingly forgettable score by Michael Giacchino may actually hurt it. If you’re expecting blood and guts, not so much. It’s a Disney film. The kids should love it, though the pace of the film in the beginning may seem a little slow for younger audiences. Skip the 3D version and go for the 2D instead.

The Longer Version:

It’s really sad when you see a movie that deserves all the love in the world, but for some reason just doesn’t quite hit the mark. Part of that is due to the way this was marketed. It really didn’t feel to me that Disney was putting their all behind this. When you look at how heavily marketed Tron: Legacy was, this seemed like a “Hey, we made it, just give us money.” kind of push.

As far as John Carter is concerned, maybe it’s better to look at it like this. We tend to compare things to make sense of them:

This object reminds me of that object.

All of James Cameron’s Avatar reminds me of Ferngully.

Remember, Short Controlled Bursts. What movie comes to mind when I say that?

This is ultimately the problem with Andrew Stanton’s John Carter. In watching it, you’ll end up making comparisons to so many other films that came before it. However, knowing that it was based on the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs, it’s a lot like seeing Lord of the Rings for the first time when all you know of Elves and Dwarves comes from Dungeons & Dragons, The Elder Scrolls games or World or Warcraft. Burroughs’ material predates just about everything it showcases, from a pop culture standpoint. Hell, for all I know, John Carter was probably the original inspiration for the Kwisatz Haderach in Frank Herbert’s Dune (though that’s just my speculation). The problem is, with comparisons being what they are, audiences may view John Carter as a copycat of all the movies that were probably influenced by it.

I didn’t walk into John Carter with a lot of expectations. Andrew Stanton, for me, has the track record of being Pixar’s Dark Horse. This is the same guy that killed off a mother and a hundred of her babies in the opening moments of Finding Nemo. A man who gave a bleak, dirty and desolate future in Wall-E. Yet, both of those films had a theme of love and of heroes that rose to the occasion, so seeing the previews for John Carter told me enough.

John Carter is the story of a man in search of a cave full of gold. He wants no part of anyone’s battles and when he’s asked to join a faction, he does his best to avoid it. This leads him to a situation where he’s transported to another world. Just as it was with Earth, he encounters a number of different factions (all of which seem to feel he could aid them), but he simply wishes to return home. When he meets a fierce female fighter (who also happens to be a scientist), they work on figuring out how he arrived on Barsoom and how to get back.

The beautiful thing about John Carter is that it really feels like one of those old serials, or to make a more modern comparison, like an adventure film on the Indiana Jones level of things. There are a number of scenes where I found myself genuinely laughing at what was on screen. The visuals could be better in some places, but it’s nothing that’s groundbreaking. I look at John Carter as a pop culture lesson. You can see where other stories have used elements in the Burroughs tale. In that, it worked for me. The action scenes were really enjoyable for me, but some of the scenes between that could have been tighter. When you find out the reasoning behind Carters arrival, you may end up wondering why more wasn’t done with it with that story arc (on a technical level, anyway). As I’m unfamiliar with the original John Carter stories, I watched a few interviews of the cast and Taylor Kitsch noted that in the books themselves, Carter was pretty much the same person through every one. Stanton added a bit of character depth to him, with a little help from Spider-Man 2 scribe Michael Chabon. Chabon’s also responsible for the great Wonder Boys and The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which I still haven’t finished as of this writing. Carter is a conflicted individual for Disney purposes, but you shouldn’t expect Oscar performances here. It’s far better then Immortals was, in that sense.

Both Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins do well with their roles. Having worked together for about a hiccup in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, they have a good chemistry together. Kitsch is gruff with his mannerisms, and I can almost forgive him for playing Gambit. Collins is beautiful, statuesque even, and her character really does a lot of damage, fight wise. She’s very strong in some areas, though later on in the film, it felt like they may have eased that down a bit. Willem Dafoe has an inspired role in the leader of one of the alien groups that find Carter first when he arrives in Barsoom. Of course, no film would be complete without a villain and John Carter features two in Dominic West (Zack Snyder’s “300”) and Mark Strong (who’s almost always a go to bad guy). West’s character is more of the take action baddie, while Strong’s character is more of a calculating, behind the scenes one. Of note are Samantha Morton (“Minority Report”) as Sola and a little creature called Woola, that really reminded me a lot of Dug from Disney / Pixar’s Up. I wouldn’t mind having a few of those around the house.

The music for this film worked when the scenes were slow. However, when it called for action, I really didn’t feel anything special about it. I stayed to watch the credits only to find that it was Michael Giacchino’s work, who’s normally really good. I don’t know, this one seemed like it was phoned in for the action scenes. It’s okay, but I didn’t have that urge to buy the soundtrack afterward (which I have done for more memorable scores after leaving the theatre).

Overall, John Carter was a fun film in the vein of Disney’s earlier movies, but it’s not anything you absolutely have to run out to the theatre for. I’d love to see it do well and hope that there’s a sequel on the way, but when you’re paying a good $15 dollars for a 3D movie ticket ($20 for an IMAX 3D showing), the visual return on investment isn’t all that great. The story was enjoyable and didn’t slow down too much, but you may find yourself thinking that you’ve seen this film before in the way that so many other movies reference Burrough’s tale.

As a bonus, Disney released 10 minutes of the film. Enjoy:

Trailer: John Carter (Official)


Walt Disney Pictures has finally released the first official trailer for their upcoming sci-fi, action-adventure film John Carter (film was originally titled John Carter of Mars). The film is based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, A Princess of Mars, which would go one to become the first in Burroughs’ Barsoom series.

The film will star Taylor Kitsch (last seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Gambit) in the title role and Lynn Collins (also from Wolverine as Silver Fox) as the aforementioned princess from the original novel. John Carter looks to be a mixture of live-action and fully-realized CGI characters who make up some of the inhabitants of Mars.

It will be interesting how Disney will market this film with little to no big stars and with a director more known for directing Pixar animated films like Finding Nemo and Wall-E in Andrew Stanton.

John Carter is set to have a March 9, 2012 release date.