BATMAN V. SUPERMAN TEASER TRAILER REACTION

Here is Kevin Young’s (founder of PPR) reaction to Batman V. Superman trailer. You can read more about his thoughts on movies at TheReelPastor.wordpress.com

The Reel Pastor

I started this blog to have a place to share my thoughts about Christian movies, to share about upcoming Christian movies and a place to review current Christian movies, but I don’t just care about Christian movies.  I love movies! Yes, this is why I want to see more Christian movies but I am not against secular movies.  Because of this fact, every once in a while I will post something about movies in general or about mainstream movies. I just love movies! If you know me you will also know that I love comic books and most specifically I love Superman.  It is because of these two facts that brings me to this post. I have had many people ask me my opinion on the new Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer that came online over the weekend.  I am an opinionated person, so I would not want…

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Eternal

Batman Eternal only has 4 issues left.  This has become one of the greatest ‘who done it’s’ in comic history. So far we have eliminated Hush, Riddler, Ra’s Al Ghul, Bane, and The Mad Hatter as the main villain.  So who do we have left?  It probably isn’t the Joker, he is tied up in another story line.  And I don’t think this fits the Court of Owls.  There are though a few options place your vote in the pole below and be back in a month for follow up.

History Repeats Itself

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In 2003 Marvel and Universal teamed up to make a feature length Hulk.  It was Hulks first return to the screen since Lou Ferrigno painted him self green for TV.  The movie had some great choices for actors, and what was believed to be a great choice for director.  When the first trailer was released seeing the CGI Hulk people felt like this movie was going to do for comics what Jurassic Park did for dinosaurs.  Then we all saw the movie.  There is a reason this movie is now called Ang Lee’s Hulk.  Everyone just wants to distance themselves from it.  Ang Lee even apologized for it in an interview last year.  It just wasn’t what anyone wanted.
Jump a head 5 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is taking off.  We have the amazingly impressive Iron Man, followed by The Incredible Hulk.  Marvel tries it again this time in full control.  And we get a much better movie.  To some regards the character still isn’t quite there but this is a vast improvement.  Marvel leaves the story and evolves things one more time in the Avengers.  This is the Hulk everyone wanted and now fans are crying out for a Hulk movie.  Comic book fans especially are asking for Mark Ruffalo to be shot into space for Planet Hulk (not sure why though, great comic but on film it would essentially be After Earth with Hulk).
The biggest deal about this, even though the movie switched studios Marvel did not reboot.  Their was no origin in the Incredible Hulk.  Marvel just assumed you had enough memory and use of google to figure things out.  Sure they got rid of everyone from the first movie but they again assumed the audience was smart enough to figure things out.  Their mindset was we switch artists and writers all the time in our comics, switching actors and directors really isn’t that different.  They even went and did this idea again in the Iron Man franchise replacing Rhodey.  This idea though is nothing new, the James Bond franchise is essentially based on this idea, actors and directors come and go, the story is what is important.
Now welcome to 2015.  Sony has now made two Spider-Man franchise that while had some commercial success have over all stopped working for the company.  Add to this the whole e-mail scandal/ war with North Korea, Sony needed a win.  Though their franchise had some things that worked, in general they were directionless.  And both felt like they were aging Peter way to quick.  Well history is repeating itself.  Sony has turned over the reigns of Spider-Man back to Marvel (it’s okay I’ll give you a moment to cheer).  Sony still is the distributor, but they figured that Marvel the company who created and makes Spider-Man, might be able to make a successful film franchise with him.

Everyone is worried that after 2 Spider-man origins Marvel is going to do that again.  That is most likely not going to happen.  Marvel will have Spider-Man be Spider-Man.  The only way this won’t happen is if the use Miles Morales, or something weirder Ben Reilly.  Marvel trusts their fans and audience to know the basic details.  They do not need another film that says Peter got bit by a spider, and through his hubris his uncle dies.  Through comics, cartoons, and movies we know this.  Marvel will inevitably do the same thing that they did with the Hulk, new cast (though J.K. Simmons is rumored to return), new director and no new origin.  The Marvel Cinematic Universe will have Spider-Man, and it will be like they have had him for  a while.

Sound off below in the comments.  Do you think history will repeat itself, or do you think Marvel has something else up their sleeve?

Be The Hero

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Something that we will be working on with Paul Phoenix is going beyond just conversations and moving into action.  Whenever we can we will highlight organizations and people who are going beyond and changing the world being real heroes.  This time we are highlighting two groups together.

First is Operation Underground Railroad (www.ourrescue.com). This group goes into countries around the world, works with local authorities and rescues children from sex trafficking.  These guys don’t need masks to be heroes, but to a growing number of kids they are the real Superman.

Second is youth group I work with.  They have taken the challenge to raise the money for one sting operation for Operation Underground Railroad.  That is $25,000.  It is a huge task for a small middle of nowhere youth group.  That’s why they are taking their fundraising viral.

We are asking anyone that reads this to do one of 3 things

1) Donate.  Go to www.gofundme.com/AvengeThis to donate

2) Share the gofundme page on your blog, facebook, twitter, instagram, or other social media.  The more people who see the more people who can donate.

3) If you work with an organization host a local fundraiser and add to the cause.

The more people who step up and try to be heroes the more kids who can be rescued.

Whats Next

Marvel is quickly becoming the company that can do no wrong (especially if you ignore half of Iron Man 2, the ending of Iron Man 3, and the first half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).  The latest notch on their belt is the interestingly fantastic Agent Carter.  With the success of this series it is likely we will see at least one, if not 2, miniseries from Marvel every year.  So what could possibly come next?

2 to 1 odds:

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Season 2 of Agent Carter: If it works why change things.  The growing rumor (started by Hayley Atwell herself) is that the series will continue for a few more years, but each season will jump a head a decade.  Possibly next season would see her and Howard Stark form S.H.I.E.L.D.  Maybe even recruiting a young Nick Fury.  Also you know that vile of Cap’s blood will come into play, they could bring in John Walker the U.S. Agent.

10 to 1 odds:

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New Warriors: With Captain America Civil War looming there is one thing everyone is wondering about.  Will the catalyst be the same.  In comics it was the latest version of the teenage heroes the New Warriors failing to capture a super villain named Nitro.  This failure led to a school being blown up, and the call for heroes to be trained and registered.  The interesting thing is that New Warriors series was told as a reality series.  Marvel loves switching up genres and a fake reality show would fit that.  This series could end the same way the comic did with untrained teenage superheroes causing the force of Superhero Registration and the Civil War.

50 to 1 odds

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Truth: Red, White and Black: One of the greatest TV series of all time is Roots.  It could be a genius move to do what is essentially the comic book version.  A series set before and during the first Captain America.  To perfect the formula it had to be tested and during a darker note of American history it was tested on Black Soldiers.  Isaiah Bradley was the soldier things were most successful with.  Because he was black, he was considered disposable so he was put into the field.  This creates another line of super soldier one that carried through to the present.  Isaiah great great grandson becomes Patriot leader of the Young Avengers.

100 to 1 odds:

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Runaways:  Brian K. Vaughan’s second greatest hit.  A group of teens discover that their parents really are super villains.  They run away with some of their parents stuff and endeavor to try and stop them.  This was originally written to be filmed ( a habit of Vaughan’s he did write LOST after all).  Again this would open up a younger demographic.

1000 to 1 odds:

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Masters of Evil: Their are rumors of a Thunderbolts movie coming after Avengers 3 and 4.  To make that move work we would need the Thunderbolts to show up first (spoiler they were these guys first).  A super powered bad guy caper.  Think Oceans 12 but everyone is evil and has power.  Every company is looking to crack this style of film in the comic world (Sony with Secret Six, and WB with Suicide Squad) this could be Marvel’s early foray into that field.

Not going to Happen:

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Spider-Man: Yes, he’s back.  But a TV mini-series back story is not something I think will happen.  Probably have a better shot at Were-wolf by night.  Sure maybe its a possibility but it is no where near probable.

Who do you think Marvel will go with.  Sound off in the comments below.

Gotham – The Scarecrow (Review)

The build up to Batman continues in yet another installment in the new hit Fox series Gotham. This week takes a focus on this gritty crime dramas interpretation of Jonathan Crane (AKA the Scarecrow). Meanwhile our cast of regulars continues to take baby steps toward the iconic characters that we’ve come to know and love from the Batman Mythos.(Caution, spoilers ahead)

Story

jonathan craneThis episode in particular focuses on themes of fear as they relate to the creation of the iconic villain we know as Scarecrow. Last episode showed off his father’s penchant for killing phobics and taking their adrenal glands, and this week we get to see why exactly he went through the trouble. The show makes an interesting twist here and really plays up themes of fear, and whether it is an unfortunate and crippling part of our existence, or a helpful and healthy way to keep us safe. This is a really fresh way to introduce a character that has a long standing history, and brings up intriguing questions about just what Jonathan’s motivations will be when he gets older and adopts the mantle of the Scarecrow. Will he be motivated by his own crippling fear and a desire for others to experience it and empathize, or will his father’s death convince him that fear actually is beneficial, and lead him on the path to misguided attempts to show that?

Conflict

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This episode is surprisingly light on conflict, at least overtly. With the exception of the guns blazing finale between the detectives and Dr. Crane, the conflict in this episode was mostly internal. For example, Dr. Crane’s attempts to overcome fear, and Bruce’s inner turmoil facing the empty place in his life left by the death of his parents, and his striving to climb the hill despite injury. This episode also sees the end of conflict between Oswald and Maroni, though enmity still clearly seethes beneath the surface there.

Character Development

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Character development is what Gotham is all about, and this episode sees great strides in that department. We see the first signs of the determination and drive that Bruce will one day use to power through far more serious injury. We also see Oswald stepping up very closely to the role he will one day fill in Gotham. While we can’t expect every character to grow in every episode, we don’t see much in the way of growth in either Jim Gordon or Harvey Bullock, unless one considers romantic developments to be character growth, and in this instance I would not. It is gratifying to see these characters grow, and the only downside is the burning question gnawing at me: how will they keep this up? I worry that these characters are developing too quickly, and that makes me wonder just how liberal they will be with the state of Gotham that Batman inherits. Only time will tell.

Visuals

Visuals

 

Gotham has always maintained high standards when it comes to visuals, and this episode is far from an exception. They continue to impress with the dark and muted tone that pervades the city, but impress in particular with some of the fear induced moments in the show. Fire is a notoriously difficult thing to convincingly emulate, and they did so impressively well. Though I’m sure fox has dedicated a healthy sum to the budget of this show, it is still impressive to see a television show with a visual quality that rivals the latest blockbuster movies to hit the box office.

Conclusion: 8/10

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This episode proved to be one of the better episodes of the season. It is good evidence that Gotham has a plan, and that they know how to give a good villain origin. It gives quality in all categories. Did the episode keep me guessing, and on the very edge of my seat? No, but it was an entertaining ride nonetheless, and continues to give me more and more reason to want to keep up with what is coming next on this show.

 

616 No More

I was born in 1985, both Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars were complete and their effects were beginning to be felt in DC Nation and the Marvel Universe.  These events set a tone that DC were the rebooters, which they have proven a few times now, and Marvel was the guys who always kept the story going (sorta ask Punisher). Fast forward 30 years and it looks like both of them are at it again.

This summer DC is doing Convergence and Marvel is going back to the Secret Wars.  Both series have only revealed a little bit of what is happening but here is the big surprise.  The 616-Marvel Universe will not exist any more.  For the uneducated comics work in a multi-verse, for every possibility a universe exists for it.  The Marvel Universe is numbered 616.  It was numbered this because of when it was numbered that was the number on the building that Marvels offices were in (DC was in 666).  So to say that the 616 is ending is a big deal.

What does this actually mean?  It’s to early to tell.  Given that this is part of a story that Jonathan Hickman has been working to for about 4 years, across multiple titles.  As well we know other authors were in on things and they were adding small parts to things.  Marvel is also launching several on going series just before this events start.  Is this going to be a reboot? Probably not but it will be the end of the 616.

How can a universe end with out a reboot? Simple this just has to be a continuous story.  A reboot goes back to the beginning and starts again.  With multiversal realities and cosmic mumbo jumbo, you can have a universe be completely changed and made new but still have enough of it’s old self that you can continue things.  DC’s Batman and Green Lantern in the New52 would be perfect examples of this.  Going in to the New52 they were the only characters to not really be rebooted, their story lines continued without missing a beat.  This is most likely what is going to happen at Marvel 90% of things are going to remain in tac.  Things will be different but the story will go on.  Other things will be added though a merger of universes, but that integration may not transcend time. So from one point new worlds are added to the stories already going on.  This will be the new Marvel universe.

What should we look forward to?  More Inhumans.  At least 2 Spidermen.  Wolverine in some form returning.  Gwen (maybe SpiderGwen).  Possibly Xavier’s return.  And probably a few more crazy story changing things in true Marvel fashion.

So good bye 616.

Hello All New, All Different Marvel.