Lego Doctor Who

who_legoI’ve been playing lots of Lego games with my son (I practiced a lot for two years beforehand so I can keep up). The upcoming Lego Dimensions opens the door to near limitless potential… including Doctor Who.

Content involving the intrepid Time Lord has been confirmed so this fan-made trailer may not be too far from the mark.

We shall see when Lego Dimensions is released in September.

http://www.lego.com/en-us/dimensions/

Mad Max: Fury Road (1979)

mad-max-fury-roadGeorge Miller’s Mad Max Fury Road isn’t just a film, it’s a wild explosive ride that has awakened the era of late 1970’s-80’s nostalgia. Sure, this has been coming for a while with the seemingly endless sequels and prequels to films such as Alien, Predator and Terminator and the callbacks to this era of dystopian futures, technology gone mad and monsters from the edge of a nightmarish dimension.
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However, Fury Road offers no reference point, little to no backstory and very little actual dialog. It’s a world of violence reduced to a car chase along a desolate landscape. As MST3K creator Joel Hodgson pointed out, it’s a weird remake of Hanna Barbera’s Wacky Races.

WackyracesMiller has stated that the home video release of Fury Road will feature a black and white version (which he insists is essential) and I applaud this approach.

One fan has taken this approach to enhancing the retro look and feel of Mad Max a step further with a trailer for Fury Road that pays homage to the seminal film.

And it’s wonderful.
(subscribe to PLAYBACK Collective‘s channel for more)

I recently watched Mad Max on blu-ray for the first time in decades. My memory was that the plot revolved around oil and gangs vying for survival at any cost (no doubt my memory was mismatched with Road Warrior and Beyond Thunder Dome). But Mad Max isn’t concerned with these things. In the first film of this epic, we are witnesses to a world dissolving into chaos, ruled by violence and set on destruction with our ‘hero’ Max caught in the eye of the storm. This makes Mad Max a much grimmer and more upsetting film than I recalled. The innovative action sequences and weird characters are few and far between. It’s Hell on Earth. And in the 80’s, this vision of the future was all too familiar.

I wonder what it means that such a vision is in vogue again.

Can’t we just get beyond Thunder Dome?

MadMaxPW_NP_F

Batman hijacks Suicide Squad movie

jokerstabbed

What started as a ‘huh?’ movie is quickly escalating to a possible blockbuster. The next film in Warner Bros/DC Entertainment’s schedule after Batman V Superman (out March 25th
2016), Suicide Squad is focused on a gang of criminals. The inclusion of the Joker played by Jared Leto raised a few eyebrows. Ben Affleck rumored to be on set as Bruce Wayne/Batman was even more interesting but the confirmation of the dark knight’s daring car chase makes it official.

Suicide Squad is a Batman movie.
Batride

Suicide Squad is based on the comic book created by John Ostrander in 1987. The concept is simple, a group of super criminals forced to work together by a secret government organization on covert operations with a reduced sentence for success and certain death for failure. The comic was a hit back in the day and even appeared on the Justice League cartoon and an animated feature ‘Assault on Arkham.’

The upcoming movie seemed an odd choice at first (and the initial images look like little more than bad cosplay) but it is quickly gaining ground as an important movie.

Fans have spotted sequences in which the Joker and Harley Quinn argue followed by a car chase scene as the Batmobile trails the Joker in a cherry red race car. More recently, Batman was seen riding atop the Joker’s car through the streets of Toronto.

While fans of the caped crusader have wondered when they would next see a new Batman film, it appears that we may be seeing him very soon.

Directed and written by David Ayer (Fast and the Furious, End of Watch, Fury and Street Kings) and starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, as well as several other actors playing super villains such as Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, Katana and the Enchantress, Suicide Squad opens August 5, 2016.

SuicideSquad

This week at your comic shop 5/26/15

For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the links below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

Big Trouble In Little China #11 (Cover A Brian Churilla), $3.99
Fight Club 2 #1 (Cover A David Mack), $3.99
Batman ’66 #23 (Howard Porter Regular Cover), $2.99
Convergence Action Comics #2 (Of 2)(Amanda Conner Regular Cover), $3.99
Convergence Infinity Inc #2 (Of 2)(Ben Caldwell Regular Cover), $3.99
Converg_PlasticManConvergence Plastic Man And The Freedom Fighters #2 (Of 2)(Hilary Barta Regular Cover), $3.99
Multiversity Pax Americana Director’s Cut #1, $9.99
GodzillaGodzilla Rulers Of Earth #24 (Cover A Matt Frank), $3.99
All-New Hawkeye #3 (Ramon K. Perez Regular Cover), $3.99
Black Widow #18 (Phil Noto Regular Cover), $3.99
xmenGiant Size X-Men 40th Anniversary HC, $39.99
Inferno #1 (Javi Garron Regular Cover), $3.99
Iron Fist The Living Weapon #12, $3.99
M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #1 (Of 5)(David Lafuente Regular Cover), $3.99
Nick Fury Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Classic Volume 3 TP, $34.99
Nightcrawler Volume 2 Reborn TP, $16.99
Nova #31, $3.99
Old Man Logan #1 (Andrea Sorrentino Regular Cover), $4.99

THIS WEEK AT YOUR COMIC SHOP 5/20/15

For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the links below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

Doc Savage The New Adventures Volume 9 The Ice Genius SC (not verified by Diamond), $24.95
Doctor Who The History Collection Amorality Tale SC, $12.99
Doctor Who The History Collection Dead Of Winter SC, $12.99
Doctor Who The History Collection Human Nature SC, $12.99
Doctor Who The History Collection The English Way Of Death SC, $12.99
Doctor Who The History Collection The Roundheads SC, $12.99
DrWho_ShadowintheGlassDoctor Who The History Collection The Shadow In The Glass SC, $12.99
Doctor Who The History Collection The Stone Rose SC, $12.99
Doctor Who The History Collection The Witch Hunters SC, $12.99
ShadowGrendelGrendel Vs The Shadow HC, $19.99
MadMaxMad Max Fury Road Nux And Immortal Joe #1, $4.99
StarTrek_Enterprise_BStar Trek The Official Starships Figurine Collection Magazine #40 (USS Enterprise NCC-1701B), $20.00
DirkGentlyDirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency #1 (Of 5)(Cover A Tony Atkins), $3.99
Daredevil_15Daredevil #15.1 (Chris Samnee Regular Cover), $4.99
Deadpool_SecretWarsDeadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #1 (Of 4)(Tony Harris Regular Cover), $4.99
Moon Knight #15, $3.99
Planet Hulk #1 (Blank Variant Cover), AR
Secret Wars Battleworld #1 (Of 4)(James Stokoe Variant Cover), AR
Star Wars #5 (John Cassaday Regular Cover), $3.99
Doctor Who The Tenth Doctor #10 (Brian Williamson Regular Cover), $3.99
Doctor Who The Eleventh Doctor #12 (Simon Fraser Regular Cover), $3.99
Batman66_CardsBatman 1966 Playing Cards, $5.99
Thors_MugThor’s Hammer Molded Mug, $15.99

Black Widow, Solo Avenger

Black Widow#1 cover by Daniel Acuna

Black Widow#1 cover by Daniel Acuna

The boy’s club of superheroes is a real thing. Look no further than the Justice Society of America which featured Wonder Woman as the team secretary. Sure, get the amazon to take meeting minutes. Brilliant. But comics have become more diverse in recent years and there’s talk of better portrayal of women in comics (don’t hold your breath, but people are talking at least).

Batman, Superman, Iron Man and Spider-Man may dominate the superhero movie genre and comic racks, but there is a character who should be in the spotlight who doesn’t share the ‘man’ moniker and isn’t derivative of them either; the Black Widow.

In the Red Room, a young Natasha Romanoff was trained to be the deadliest of assassins. A subject of the Black Widow program utilizing cyber technological implants and brain washing, Natasha has been active since WWII, making her a member of the ‘slow aging’ club including Nick Fury, Dum Dum Dugan and Wolverine.

In comics, Black Widow has fought alongside Hawkeye, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Captain America and Wolverine. A card-carrying member of the Avengers, the Champions (don’t ask), the Defenders and more, she isn’t just a sexy woman in a catsuit. Some of the best creators in comics have developed her background into a rich world of intrigue and danger that would be ideal material for a feature film.

Movie goers love her. Comic book fans are agog about her. Film directors are eager to give her a solo film. So… what’s the deal?

Avengers - Black Widow_Poster

Since she was introduced in the second Iron Man film, Black Widow has been the most significant superheroine in movies since Catwoman in Batman Returns. Marvel has taken the character through three additional movies past her first appearance, making her more popular with fans and those new to the Soviet superspy alike. Scarlett Johansson hasn’t really portrayed the stone-cold killer aspect of the Black Widow, but there have been implications that the surface has just been scratched.

While it may seem impossible to see a Black Widow solo project, there has been an increase in interest from inside the industry and among moviegoers. That doesn’t necessarily make a Black Widow film a lock, but it would be foolish of Marvel/Disney to not explore the idea. Mixing elements of espionage, action and drama, it could be a real stand out blockbuster.

What’s the argument against this movie?

A leaked email correspondence inside Sony sited Elektra, Catwoman and Supergirl as bombs which led to the conclusion that female superhero movies don’t work. But Steel, Green Lantern, Captain America and the Fantastic Four have also bombed as movies and that hasn’t stopped films like that being made. In fact, the Spider-Man film franchise has seen steadily diminishing returns yet there is a fifth outing on its way.

Director Neil Marshall (who directed the female-centric horror film Descent) told Vanity Fair “I would love to do a Black Widow movie. That’s perfect, I would love to do that. That character is really interesting, she doesn’t have any superpowers, she just has extraordinary skills, and the world that she comes from, being this ex-K.G.B. assassin, I find that really fascinating, yeah.”

TheAvengers_Black_Widow1

Marvel Comics fan Christopher Haley even went so far as to craft an opening animation that hearkens to Saul Bass and has hints of Maurice Binder’s James Bond classic sequences. Along with the visuals, the short film also hints at possible plot ideas, guest-stars and a director.

There has been more talk about diversifying the audience beyond the usual demographic, and a Black Widow movie could fit the bill. Just look at Greg Rucka’s excellent run on the character in comics as inspiration!

This isn’t a dream. Marvel’s President of Production Kevin Feige has stated that this is not an impossibility and actress Scarlett Johansson has shown interest. A Captain Marvel movie is in development so I question the gender bias in the argument seen in the Sony emails. Additionally, the focus on Natasha Romanoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron (if you look past some dreadful dialog) speaks volumes to the potential of a Black Widow movie. If only the corporate heads can see the light, it can happen.

New Mutants headed for the big time in upcoming feature film

In the 1980’s, comics were ruled by two hot titles; the Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans. So it should come as no surprise that a teen-oriented mutant book would be released to conquer Marvel’s competition once and for all.  While never quite as popular as the New Teen Titans, the New Mutants had its core audience.
NewMutants

Back in the day, the New Mutants was a superb addition to the X-Men family. The first spin-off of the popular franchise, Claremont was joined by Brent Anderson and Bob McLeod in crafting a new team of youngsters to fill the space left by the X-Men who were thought to have died (imagine!). The series began with a stylish and slick graphic novel one-shot that gave the project a strong statement of support from Marvel. Awkward and lanky Sam Guthrie left his mining family to become Cannonball, Dani Moonstar departed the reservation to take on the name of Mirage, feisty Roberto da Costa turned his back on a life of luxury to become the super strong Sunspot, and shape-shifting Rahne Sinclair left the comfort of Scotland and was known as Wolfsbane. The team was initially led by a mutant previously introduced in the pages of Marvel Team-Up, Xi’an Coy Manh, also known as Karma.
(full article here)

With the next X-Men film looking like it could be the last outing with Bryan Singer in the director’s chair and the final Wolverine movie looming on the horizon, 20th C Fox must be looking for the next big thing and this could be it.

Deadline is reporting that a New Mutants movie is in the works with The Fault In Our Stars director Josh Boone. Boone will reportedly also co-write the film with Knate Gwatlney, with Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner producing. No timeframe was specified for the movie’s release.

“We’re so excited to explore this new part of the X-Men universe, and so excited to do it with Josh, who is uniquely suited to tell this story about young characters,” says Kinberg.

Boone is currently working on a revamped movie franchise for Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles book series, as well as a film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand. Deadline reports that both of those are locked in, meaning New Mutants wouldn’t begin filming for some time.

This is the fifth announced X-Men film in the works, after X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool, the third Wolverine movie and the X-Force movie announced several months ago.

More as it comes…

The ‘Rogue Cut’ of X-Men Days of Future Past Available for Pre-order

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It is debatable what was the first big hit modern comic book movie that got us to where we are today, an era when the man of the street is excited about an Ant Man film and the Avengers tops the charts in sales. However, I would say that Bryan Singer’s X-Men movies were instrumental in laying the foundation for this house of comic books back in 2000.

still-of-famke-janssen,-halle-berry,-james-marsden-and-hugh-jackman-in-x-men-(2000)-large-picture

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking X-Men movie and to celebrate, a special cut of X-Men Days of Future Past will be released incorporating additional footage such as scene in which Iceman and Magneto break Rogue out of prison. Beyond that, I’m trying my best to stay in the dark.

I have enjoyed all of the X-Men films (yes, even the third one just please don’t make me watch it) but Days of Future Past ranks up there for me as the pinnacle of them all and after over-saturation of comic book films, it reminded me why I loved the X-Men so much. While some will cry ‘double dipping’ over this release, I will be first in line for my copy because… I just love the X-Men, man.
XMenRogueCut

The “Rogue Cut” of X-Men: Days of Future Past is now available to pre-order on Amazon.

The Rogue Cut adds 17-minutes of footage to the theatrical cut of Days of Future Past, including an extended action sequence featuring Rogue (Anna Paquin) as the X-Men try to free her from a Sentinel controlled prison.

The sequence was originally cut from the film in order to streamline the narrative, but director Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg were always keen on the scene making it to fans in some form.

X-Men_RogueSinger has also promised other tweaks to the original film that will make the Rogue Cut a unique viewing experience.
(via comicbook.com)

X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut is scheduled to be released on July 14.

Batmania Revisited as a new dark knight emerges

Batman_Batmen
Many of us think of Batman as a mainstay of pop culture. We know him from the 90’s cartoon, the Burton films, the Nolan movies or even the comic book and think of him as possibly the most important comic book character. But the truth is that his popularity has come in waves with little to no interest shown toward the world’s greatest detective in between each ‘era.’

In 1939, Batman was a major hit. Combining pulp detective sensibilities and dark stories more at home in a horror novel, he was a cult creation. In print his success but slumped in the 1950’s when superhero comics fell from grace (yes, there was a time when superhero comics were not popular). In 1966, the Batman TV series revived the caped crusader for prime time viewers before dissolving into camp obscurity. In 1989, Batman returned more powerful than ever in a gritty blockbuster movie that returned the hero to his roots (only to meet his demise in a very very poorly made toy commercial masquerading as a movie). 2005 saw Batman obtain a new lease on life in the decidedly dark trilogy directed by Chris Nolan. But after its conclusion, Warner Bros. wondered what was next.

Batman_ProfileWe have officially entered the latest stage of the dark knight’s life as Ben Affleck dons the cowl in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, a movie that will see the two titan square off for the first time on the big screen.

At 42, Affleck is an unusual choice to play a new Batman. Usually the studio wants to select a younger actor for such a high profile physically demanding role. In this case, the decision was to present Batman as an older and more established crime fighter who is challenging Superman as a new threat. Rumors abound regarding plot details such as Batman avenging Alfred’s death in the battle of Metropolis but we will have to wait and see.

This Batman is much more of a brutal fighter than a thinking man’s tactician, as the trailer shows his Batplane, Batmobile and armored suit all looking capable of fighting a small war. With the only line of dialog so far ‘Do you bleed? You will.’ directed at Superman, this could be the toughest Batman to date.

ben-affleck-batman-suit-color

While future Batman films seem inevitable, Affleck has already been spotted on the set of the Suicide Squad film, confirming rumors that Batman will make an appearance alongside the Joker played by Jared Leto.
Batman_SuicideSquad
SucideSquad
Directed by David Ayter, Suicide Squad (which has an August 5th, 2016 release date) will feature Adam Beach (Slipknot), Jai Courtney (Boomerang), Karen Fukuhara (Katana), Cara Delevingne (Enchantress), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Will Smith (Deadshot), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc) and Jay Hernandez (El Diablo). The squad is an elite strikeforce of criminals sent into deadly action where death is almost a certainty. While not a Batman movie, it will flesh out the new Batman world and give fans their first look at the latest version of the Joker played by Jared Leto.
Joker_Leto
It’s important to note that this image of a tatted-up Joker is not the final version of what we will see on film and has been established as an homage to the character’s anniversary. Mmm-hmm. Sure. Personally, I think that the image was released online to test the waters and when they were found to be turbulent the studio doubled back.

In any case, we are entering a new age of the Batman. One where Batman is older, grimmer and his villains far deadlier and numerous. This version of Batman will also exist in a world of superpowered threats and aliens rather than just gangsters. It’s quite a departure and a major gamble on Warner Bros.’ part.

Will this be another successful Batman or will it be a dud?

The New era of Star Wars begins

(Vintage Howard Chaykin Star Wars poster)

(Vintage Howard Chaykin Star Wars poster)

Who knew back in 1977 that Star Wars would become a multi-generation phenomenon, spawning toy lines, comic books, video games, cartoons, TV specials and more? After the prequels, creator George Lucas had pretty much burned out on the adventures set in a galaxy far far away. Luckily a new team of film makers will be taking up his mantle and blazing a new trail that will take fans deeper into that long ago time. In addition to three new movies set after Return of the Jedi, a series of ‘Anthology’ films are also planned. For the first time in a while, Star Wars feels new and exciting again. It’s a good time to be young (and a bad time to be a poor parent!).

Star Wars VII tee by zerobriant

Star Wars VII tee by zerobriant

Episode VII: The Force Awakens – December 18, 2015

StarWars_VII_Force Awakens Thirty years after the destruction of the second Death Star, JJ Abrams film reunites the stars of the first trilogy (Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker) while introducing new stars (John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong and Miltos Yerolemou).

Fans will get to see Han Solo and Chewbacca pilot the Millennium Falcon again but also meet new villains such as Kylo Ren (seen in the first trailer with the cross-shaped red lightsaber).

All we have so far is conjecture, but I have pieced together the following from various sources: The story will involve The Resistance (formerly the Rebel Alliance) fighting the First Order (formerly the Empire) across several new worlds. The baton will be passed to a new generation (perhaps literally as Luke can be seen handing his lightsaber to someone) as Poe Dameron (along with his astromech BB-8), Rey and Finn renew the battle against evil led by Kylo Ren. Award-winning actress Lupito Nyong’o will portray an alien pirate named Maz Kanata, but details on other cast members are very few aside from the ‘Chrome Trooper’ Captain Phasma. What parts will be played by Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow are still unknown, though many think that Gleeson may be Luke Skywalker’s son Ben.

Regardless of what happens and who is who… this looks to be the most impressive new chapter in the Star Wars mythology. Additionally, it just ‘feels’ like Star Wars while the CGi-heavy prequels lacked that signature charm. More as it comes.

Rogue One- 2016

Design by Ryan Crain

Design by Ryan Crain

Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla 2014), starring Ben Mendelsohn and Felicity Jones. The first ‘Star Wars Anthology’ film will be set between Episodes III and IV and involve the theft of the Imperial plans for the Death Star. Mendelsohn will play a rebel soldier leading the mission but Jones is rumored to play an important role.

The teaser played at Celebration 2015 featured a voice over from Sir Alec Guinness and a scene of X-Wing fighter flying in low under the cover of a dense forest to reveal a glimpse of the Death Star.

Boba Fett- TBD 2018

Star-Wars-Boba-Fett Details are slim on this one, but Fantastic Four director Josh Trank just left production with no word from Disney as to why.

Introduced in Episode V (The Empire Strikes Back), Boba Fett was essentially Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name in space (the sound of spurs can even be heard in the film when he enters a room). A cold and calculating bounty hunter, his face was covered by a helmet marred from previous battles. Scalps from old wars hung from his arms, an arsenal of weapons was embedded into his armor which was covered in details from a million unknown adventures.

He was possibly the coolest character ever in Star Wars and barely said a word. Of course he was unceremoniously ‘killed’ off in Episode VI and brought back as a clone of Jango Fett in Episode II… but this movie could establish the ‘origin’ of character.

It’s a real head scratcher because fans have already seen young Boba in film and in the excellent Clone Wars cartoon where he teams up with a gang of bounty hunters. But this could be the one spinoff film fans have been waiting a very long time for (and maybe Fett creator Joe Johnston will direct!).

I still remember when Boba was an exquisitely designed new character donning a beach towel (as seen in this rare film).

I do like the rumor that the Boba Fett solo film will establish a new Fett, one who kills the whiny kid seen in Episode II and takes his place. It’s almost definitely not the direction the film will take, but we can dream.