Comic Book Movie

Lena Headey in Dredd

The first trailer for Dredd – starring Karl Urban, Lena Headey and Olivia Thirlby is just a taste of the inevitable slow motion to come. In the story, Headey’s character Ma-Ma controls all the manufacturing for a new drug that makes the user feel like time is going at 1% of its normal speed. Because when you want drugs, you want something that will make your life feel 100 times longer. Instead of launching a bunch of well-made PSAs about the dangers of the drug, Judge Dredd and his rookie Judge infiltrate the highrise where Ma-Ma is operating in order to take her down. It’s Bale’s Batman with a huge helmet on. Enjoy it for yourself:

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Editor’s Note: This review first ran as part of our Fantastic Fest coverage, but Comic-Con Episode Four hits limited theaters this week. Delivering a massive event with his trademarked smile behind the camera, Morgan Spurlock‘s Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope is the kind of joyous celebration that might also serve as a gateway drug for those not initiated into geek culture. It’s a documentary that easily straddles the line between service to those already fascinated by the subject and to those that haven’t ever heard of a comic book. It could have been annoyingly fluffy, but Spurlock has crafted a film that doesn’t just act as advertisement for the largest comic book/multimedia convention in the country. In fact, the question of whether the convention is still faithful to its comic book roots is at the center of the multi-faced exploration that gives the movie much more dimension than it initially lets on. The doc is composed of several stories – a pair of artists looking to break into the business, a costume designer and her crew looking to make a mark, a young couple who fell in love at the event, and a comic book dealer who is trying to justify coming back financially. All are woven together with expert timing (and a fun, comic book style art element that turns them into characters of a different sort).

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Drinking Games

Just because it was raked over the critical coals this past summer doesn’t mean that Green Lantern can’t be fun. And even though St. Patrick’s Day is five months away, this would be a perfect time to get your hands on some green beer and watch the film again on DVD or Blu-ray (or if you’re really ambitious, on 3D Blu-ray). Remember that a Green Lantern’s might comes from the power of will. Here is your chance to test the strength of your will and intestinal fortitude. Who knows? By the end of the movie, you might just believe that you can create things with your mind.

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Comic-Con. A place of joy. A place of wonder. A place of really awesome costumes. Thursday marked the start of New York Comic-Con 2011. Not nearly as land mark as SDCC (which some would say is a benefit), but certainly not at the bottom of the scrap heap. In a city bustling with the creative minds from all walks of life, it would only make sense that once a year, those creative minds come together for one giant weekend of awesomeness. And we’re here to bring you all of it.

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Why Watch? What if you found out your father was a superhero? What if he only played one in the movies? This short film has a giant heart beating beneath its emblem-covered chest, and it contains a brilliant use of Kid Logic – that pesky logic that children use which makes absolute sense but is completely untrue. Here, a young boy discovers a picture of his actor father on the cover of a magazine touting the return of a spandex-wearing hero, and he jumps to the most natural conclusion: that his father has super powers. What does it cost? Just 12 minutes of your time. Check out the trailer for The Legacy for yourself:

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When Bryan Singer’s first X-Men came out, pretty predictably Wolverine became the breakout character of the film. Wolverine has been the most popular X-Man for decades now, and even though it had some other flaws, since that first film nailed the writing and casting of the Wolverine character so well, it was bound to be a success. Two X-Men sequels later and the Wolverine lovefest was still ongoing, so the character ended up getting his own spinoff movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That movie was such a conceptual mess and creative failure that I didn’t imagine I’d ever want to see another go around of Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine in this X-Men universe again. It started out good, but then you ran it into the ground. Let’s all move on. But then the impossible was announced. Darren Aronofsky would be making a sequel called The Wolverine, it would have little to nothing to do with X-Men: Origins, it would be set in Japan, and it would very closely follow the first Wolverine in Japan limited series from the comics. Holy heck, I desperately wanted to see a Wolverine movie again. Unfortunately, over the course of the development of this film, everything that initially excited me about it has been systematically stripped away from the concept. First the director, the man whose name got me excited about this movie in the first place, dropped out of the film because he couldn’t spend so much time shooting in Japan. That was a devastating […]

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After reading that headline, fans of J. Scott Campbell’s comic books series “Danger Girl” might have had their heads explode. And even people who don’t know what “Danger Girl” is are most likely now intrigued. Say what you will about the Underworld and Resident Evil series; they’re not great, but they managed to cast leading ladies so appealing that they just keep making money and getting more sequels produced anyways. And now this new action adventure tale looks to take both of those leads, Kate Beckinsale and Milla Jovovich, and have them running around in skin tight outfits together. Plus they’re going to throw in Modern Family’s buxom and charismatic Sofia Vergara for good measure. I’ve maybe never heard better news in my entire life. Does that sound misogynistic? Who cares… hot ladies shooting guns and doing high kicks! Yeah! For the uninitiated, Danger Girl takes the James Bond concept and turns it on its head. We still get the sultry Bond girls, but this time they are the secret operatives kicking all of the ass. Danger Girl Freelance Operations Limited is kind of like the A-Team, but with hot chicks instead of grizzly old dudes and a black guy with a Mohawk. They often run afoul of a group of neo-Nazis called the Hammer Empire, and there’s even an Indiana Jones type mystical relic hunting aspect to their ongoing adventures. Basically, Danger Girl has everything.

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It didn’t take long after the character of Wolverine got added to the X-Men back in 1975’s “Giant Size X-Men #1” for him to take the pop culture world by storm and become one of the most beloved and prolific characters in comic book history. By the time 1982 rolled around, the character was so big that he was ready for his first solo title, and so a Chris Claremont-penned Frank Miller-penciled four issue mini-series was released seeing the character travel to Japan, get engaged to a woman named Mariko, and battle some modern day samurai. That first Wolverine in Japan storyline showed the most human side of the character we had seen yet, and over time it has become pretty seminal. That’s why the upcoming sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, adapted to the screen by The Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie and simply titled The Wolverine, will be drawing on it heavily for inspiration. But we’ve known all of that for a while. What is the new news on the development of this project? The Wolverine used to be a highly anticipated upcoming film back when Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct, but once he dropped off the hype machine died down quite a bit. The last we heard about it, 3:10 to Yuma director James Mangold was most likely to be stepping into Aronofsky’s shoes, and shooting would most likely begin in fall. That news was met with a collective “meh” from the online world, so we haven’t […]

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Director Nicolas Winding Refn is making quite a name for himself in the film lover community by making stylish, testosterone-filled films for guys. He blew everybody away by casting Tom Hardy in a movie about an alpha male criminal named Bronson that was so mannishly awesome my meathead, physical trainer cousin watched it three times a week for a year. And recently he started taking his newest effort Drive around to festivals. It’s about cars, robberies, stunt driving, and violence, and everyone who sees it completely gushes about how much it rules. Refn has done other things too, like Valhalla Rising and the Pusher trilogy, that all explore manly themes of violence and grimacing. He’s a man’s man of a filmmaker. It’s a little strange then, that Refn keeps saying his dream job is to make a movie about the girliest of all superheroes, Wonder Woman. Or maybe not so much, if you really look at it. Wonder Woman is a warrior born, an overpowering presence that inspires everyone around her, and she was raised in a culture of violence. Despite getting her face plastered all over little girl’s underwear for the last fifty years, she’s actually kind of a badass, much in the same vein as Bronson. And whenever Refn randomly brings the movie up, he always manages to throw in the notion that he thinks Drive actress Christina Hendricks would be his dream choice to play the character. What could be more appealing to male sensibilities than putting […]

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Back in the Spring of 2010 word got around that Marvel was beginning work on a film adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s well regarded comic about teen superheroes “The Runaways.” The screenplay for the film was to be written by No Heroics creator Drew Pearce and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist helmer Peter Sollet was going to be directing. But something with that plan went wrong, because before the project could begin production, Marvel removed it from their schedule. And seeing as they went on to hire Pearce to write the script for Iron Man 3 after that, it didn’t seem like the reason The Runaways got cancelled was a problem with the script. So what happened? While attending a recent panel conversation, The Playlist asked Pearce just that, and he revealed that the reason The Runaways got taken off the schedule was Joss Whedon’s upcoming superhero team-up movie The Avengers taking up all of Marvel’s attention. Pearce said, “Basically, The Avengers came along and everything else at Marvel got put on hold for a year. But the script is there, we’re good go. It’s kind of like [being] at the airport when you’re waiting for your slot to take off with Marvel, and we’re hoping we get a slot next year. Fingers crossed. They’re very happy with it, so hopefully it happens.” Marvel definitely has plans to release two films in 2014, one on May 16th and one on June 27th, but nobody knows which titles are going to […]

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Hopefully the spoiler warning is loud and clear enough here, and, yes, I still take them seriously. Even if a fancy scientific study shows that we like things that are familiar, there’s still no replacement for being surprised or awe-struck with the wonder of newness. So if you’re avoiding information about Superman: Man of Steel, you can stop reading now. And if you keep reading, simply know that all of this might be untrue – it’s the work of an “insider” with the production that scoop site Comic Book Movie trusts. Their track record is pretty stellar, but nothing is confirmed until it’s truly confirmed.

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People have been talking about making a Doctor Strange film for years now. But seeing as how the Sorcerer Supreme isn’t as well known a name as, and is a whole lot weirder than other super heroes, the project has never emerged as a priority over at Marvel Films. That might be ready to change though. Marvel’s real heavyweight franchises are Spider-Man and The X-Men, but Sony and Fox are still controlling their film rights respectively. They had a series of second tier characters that they are in direct control of, but at this point they’ve already brought most of them to the big screen and have them poised to team up in next year’s The Avengers. With all of their biggest names out of their hands or already starring in movies, the only option they have to create new movies at this point is to start moving forward with more obscure heroes. It comes as no surprise, then, that Twitch is reporting the long rumored Doctor Strange project is beginning its first stages of moving forward in a real way. The last news on the subject of a Marvel made mystical movie was that Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer had been tasked with the job of coming up with a script. Reportedly, that script has now been turned in and Marvel is shopping it around to potential directors to “oversee continued development.”

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Between 1991 and 2004 Jeff Smith released 55 issues of his comic book “Bone” and built a legacy as one of the most beloved comic creators of all time. People love “Bone”. I mean, they’re crazy about it. It’s a shame then that it has never managed to get a film adaptation, despite living in the mires of developmental hell for quite a while now. The good news is there seems to be some new traction for the project, and the new stuff that’s popping up is even impressive enough to have Smith pleased with what he has seen. After both Paramount and Nickelodeon swung and missed with the “Bone” property, the rights got moved over to Warner Bros. where several scripts have been tried out but the third seems to be the charm. WB wants to turn their latest take onto the character into a three part, computer animated, 3D film series, and they’ve even put together a four minute short to show off what it would look like. Series creator Smith told the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex that he is, “actually excited about the movie for the first time in a long time.” That’s probably high praise coming from a guy who has reportedly waded through a ton of crappy film treatments of his baby.

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Director Joe Johnston loves good old fashioned fun. The Rocketeer, Hidalgo, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and Captain America: The First Avenger don’t contain a dark or cynical bone in their bodies. While some superhero films try to go to darker places nowadays — usually by just having their hero mope around — Johnston has no interest in a sulky hero. Captain America is all about adventure, charms, and simply being a kid from Brooklyn. While many people question if Cap can reach an audience outside of the States, Johnston thinks differently. The Boba Fett and Iron Giant creator didn’t want to make a commercial about America’s awesomeness; he wanted to explore themes that nearly everyone can relate to. Like his previous films, the idea of finding one’s identity and coming of age is present in Captain America: The First Avenger. Despite being a super solider who looks the way that he does, Captain America is like any other kid trying to become the man he’s meant to be. Here’s what Joe Johnston had to say about Raiders of the Lost Ark, fully embracing the color palette of comics, the ego of Red Skull, staying sincere without being cheesy, and why he’s a true film school reject:

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I can’t say that I had any fondness for the original Hellboy film that director Guillermo del Toro made, but I thought he picked things up quite a bit for Hellboy II: The Golden Army. It came off a lot less as a studio driven project and showed more of the imagination and scope of something like del Toro’s masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth. It was enough to make me a fan of the series, and ever since, like a lot of people I’m sure, I’ve been waiting for word about del Toro doing a third. But, we film fans have grown accustomed to waiting for things when it comes to del Toro’s next project. Originally he was scheduled to be the director of The Hobbit, but then scheduling issues took him off of that film. Then we all got excited about him doing monster movie At the Mountains of Madness, but Universal decided they didn’t want to fund the project. Instead, they wanted him to do Pacific Rim, another monster movie about a creature coming out of the Pacific Ocean. But even that project got thrown into question once the horrific earthquakes took place in Japan. It’s beginning to feel like Guillermo del Toro might never direct another film. And now, just in case we were wondering, there’s confirmation of another project that the director will definitely not be doing. Hellboy creator Mike Mignola had some more than discouraging words to say about a possible Hellboy 3 when talking on a […]

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I have to admit, while most everyone else seems to be geeking out over every new image and clip of video that gets released for Green Lantern, I myself am not so taken by the visual design of the film. It all looks a little too dark and muddy for me; I don’t like the organic nature of the suits or how the lantern looks like a big toy. And far too much of the image is made up of computer created imagery. The background, the foreground, the alien characters, even 90% of Ryan Reynolds himself, they’re all just computer generated fakeness. It gets to the point that Reynolds’ face is the only thing that’s real on the screen in some shots. It looks like when JD does Floating Head Doctor on Scrubs. One thing I can get behind, however, is their general design for the Corp. All of the characters are recognizable, and look just like the weirdos I remember from the comic. And one thing I can really give the art department props for is that they didn’t do anything stupid like give Sinestro a ponytail and a goatee. But they were going to.

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It’s tricky tackling a comic book film. For starters, one is generally adapting fairly fantastical ideas. Secondly, if a comic book film gets too serious, it can easily lose a sense of fun and self-awareness. Director Matthew Vaughn seems to have found a good middle ground for his superhero epic, X-Men: First Class. The genre favorite director could not have made more of a 180° turn from Kick-Ass to X-Men: First Class, both in terms of scope and his approach to the genre. Kick-Ass was the first – or most notable – modern comic book film to turn the genre on its bloody ear. Now, Vaughn is working in the genre he just previously deconstructed, which, as Vaughn says, makes him even better suited for it. Here’s what the candid and always confident Matthew Vaughn had to say about not taking comic book properties too seriously, making a film for his broadest audience ever, and reading fanboys on the internet.

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Last year, I had the honor of traveling down to New Orleans, piling in a van, heading to a secluded warehouse and talking to an alien. I also spoke with the first human member of an elite group of interstellar heroes, a director who has more energy than anyone at his age has a right to, and I got a glimpse into a world beyond our own. So before comic book purists protest the insanely small number listed in the headline, these are the Green Lanterns hanging up on a wall somewhere in New Orleans – character design sketches to fill out the alien landscape of those who bravely, selflessly, and fearlessly patrol the universe. Some were born from the comic books, others from the minds of the production team. Some will be featured heavily, others will be hanging out (valiantly) in the background. We’ll be bringing Green Lantern set visit coverage to you all week, but to get things started, we figured it would be a good idea to do a round of introductions. Some you already know, and some you haven’t yet had the pleasure, so we wanted to make it official. Green Lanterns, meet the world. The world, meet the Green Lanterns.

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I may love most Marvel movies, but if there has been one bone of contention between them and me, it would be lackluster final battles. If there was a second, it would be completely useless press junkets. Now, press conferences are often boring no matter what the movie, but for some reason Marvel and I have never really gotten along in terms of not sucking. Unfortunately the conference for Thor was no different. While I enjoyed the movie (Rob Hunter gave it a B-) the conference failed to turn up many interesting things. Well, at least not interesting things about the movie. Here’s what I learned (with potential spoilers that you already know for The Avengers):

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Batman and Robin have an important message for you. They’re leaping off of your television set and onto the big screen where they’ll be able to spread their wings and take on the classic villains of their time. They’ll also be taking on an army of puns. Instead of a flashy trailer with scenes from the movie, Adam West grabs a microphone and tells you why you need to make a note on your calendar to see their movie. Think you know what it is? Check the trailer out for yourself:

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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