Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review: TERMINATOR GENISYS

Because YOU demanded it!



P.S. "The MovieBob Patreon" - maybe you've heard of it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Michael Bay's BENGHAZI Movie. Yes, For Real.

This piece made possible in part by The MovieBob Patreon


For my international readers: American politics is still currently consumed by conspiracy theories surrounding the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. The event (which resulted in the deaths of multiple CIA operatives and at least two longtime American diplomats) is universally regarded as a tragedy, but differences in accounts of the day re: why relief was not deployed earlier and on whose authority have lead to widespread speculation and theories, most settling on a displacement of blame ("Someone important fucked up and their incompetence is being covered up"); but for a particular brand of unhinged paranoiac (read: The Republican voting-base) it's another insidious betrayal by President Evil - aka Barack Obama.

So goes some of the more popular lunacy: Obama and Hillary Clinton, in order to placate their respective Black Panther and Feminazi foot-soldiers (who are, for some reason, aligned with Islamic Fundamentalism in this scenario) "allowed" the Americans stationed there to die as some sort of sacrifice to either Al Qaeda, Gaia, or both. Or neither. Maybe they're just so evil it doesn't matter. Anyway, for obvious reasons it's not an issue that Democrats or "mainstream" Republicans are particularly hot to discuss (bringing it up during the last election led to one of Mitt Romney's most embarassing public gaffes), so the only time you really hear about it is when some hot-air escapes the right-wing talk radio echo-chamber.

In any case, you can see why this is fodder for a movie Hollywood would be desperate to make but almost no one would want to lend their name to: It's a more topical BLACK HAWK DOWN, with the potential to draw major box-office on curiosity alone... but it's also almost-certain to become co-opted by GOP/Tea-Party types and wind up bearing some super-ugly stigma. You'd basically need a major director who lives and breathes action, has a comfortable relationship with the "security community," desperately wants attention (and awards) as a Serious Filmmaker but also doesn't give a fuck about a bad media image.

Commissioner... get to the roof and light The BAY Signal...

PIXELS (2015) Review: TEXT-VERSION:

Because you demanded it, here (after the jump) a text version of my now-famous PIXELS review. And hey, while you're here, maybe consider visiting The MovieBob Patreon?


Monday, July 27, 2015

IN BOB WE TRUST: "Does Batman Need a New Origin?"

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pitch Me, Mr. B: MARVEL'S X-MEN

This piece made possible in part by The MovieBob Patreon. Please consider becoming a Patron.


In case you missed the earlier installments of this: Here's what's up, here's the first one and here's the second.

So... yeah, hypothetical "scriptment" pitches for hypothetical movie adaptations. Thought exercise and all that.

This one will be a touch on the different side, less of a blow-by-blow and more of an outline; since in this instance the "challenge" isn't to figure out how to turn the X-MEN franchise into a movie (that's been done) but to work out how a "reboot" of the series might be made to fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe if and when the rights to the characters were to fall back under Marvel/Disney's control.

Principal aims: Work out the "purpose" of Mutants in an MCU which, within a few years, will likely have already burned through the "disenfranchised minority metaphor" business using THE INHUMANS. Renew focus on the sexual/relationship politics-dominated "soap opera" interplay that characterized the Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne era wherein these characters became popular.

See what I came up with after the jump:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Time To Light The Lights.

This is the "pilot pitch" for the upcoming ABC prime-time revival of THE MUPPET SHOW. It represents probably the best use anyone has made of these characters since at least MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND (and I liked the first of the two recent movies, so don't start any shit.)

I love The Muppets like few other things, and this feels like it could be something really spectacular. The movies have always been fine - at least three of them are great - but these characters belong on TV in this exact type of farce. So excited.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Did I Just See What I Think I Saw in ANT-MAN? (UPDATED!)

So. Just saw ANT-MAN for a second time, just because. Hold's up - this one really works. Not GUARDIANS-level transcendent, but really good.

Anyway! Long story short: By now you've heard that there's quite a bit of Universe-building business sprinkled throughout this one - multiple cameos, two post-credits beats and a no-name name-drop. But on my second viewing, I'm reasonably certain I caught a glimpse of something that's either a sly inside-reference, the most well-hidden Easter Egg since Cap's prototype shield on the workbench in IRON MAN (the first one) ...or I'm seeing things.

Obviously, to say/show more would be a MASSIVE SPOILER even if I'm wrong, given the sequence it occurs in. So I'll put the rest of this after the jump:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Suicide Is Painless

If there's ONE reason to be excited about comic-book continuity being a "movie thing" now, outside of just "because it can be," it's that the medium is rife with great material that really only works when it has a Universe backing it up. Among the best examples of that: "Suicide Squad," a long-lived DC cult-fave whose knockout premise (an Government program that offers conditional pardons to incarcerated supervillains if they agree to use their special powers/skills for off-the-books, high-risk covert dirty-work assignments) just wouldn't be as much of a knockout if we didn't "know" these people were the assembled nemeses of a whole planet full of Batmans, Supermans, Flashes, etc.

With that in mind, just the knowledge that there is now going to be a cohesive (for good or ill) DC Movie Universe makes this already fairly kick-ass (despite being obviously comprised of very early, obviously-unfinished footage) SUICIDE SQUAD trailer feel like it's got real weight to it. Plus, David Ayer is a fascinating choice for directing this sort of material, and even Will Smith looks like he showed up to play:


Sunday, July 12, 2015

RIP Saturo Iwata - 1959-2015

Tragic news. Saturo Iwata, the colorful CEO and "public face" of Nintendo since 2002, has died of an ongoing health issue at the age of 55.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I Want To Believe

Just because I'm anticipating being called a spoilsport or overly-negative because reasons, I feel like briefly mentioning that THIS feels like genuine gods-honest hope to me:



I still have no real "faith" in JJ Abrams. I think he's an average technician (at best) with deeply limited vision and terrible creative instincts. But he clearly has passion for this, and so does everyone else involved so far - even Ford. Sometimes that can override a lot. OR I'm just a sucker for puppets and model-work and monster-costumes and I've missed BTS reels that are something other than mocap suits and greenscreens SO. MUCH...

This might work. This might actually work.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN Comic-Con Trailer Now Online

This piece supported in part thanks to The MovieBob Patreon. Please consider becoming a Patron today.


2:28 -  Oh, snap! So that's what happened to Batman's parents! Whew. Man, I was worried they were never going to tell us!


Thursday, July 09, 2015

Is GOOSEBUMPS Still A Thing? This Movie Hopes So.

In case you forgot they were making this, here's the trailer for the GOOSEBUMPS movie - which for whatever reason seems to be not making any kind of big deal that Jack Black is supposed to be playing the "actual" R.L. Stine:


Monday, July 06, 2015

Japan Accepts U.S. Challenge In Giant Robot Combat. No, Really.

This is for real: Japanese robotics engineers Suidobashi built a fuctioning, weaponized, human-piloted mecha called The Kuratas. An American firm, Megabots, built one of their own - a two-pilot (because of course) beast with similar capabilities... and then challenged their Japanese counterparts to a fight. Between the robots:



...a challenge which Suidobashi has now accepted, because "Giant robots are Japanese culture" - though they appear to stipulate that they first want both robots to outfit for melee combat, as opposed to their current functions.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Really That Good: INDEPENDENCE DAY

This series brought to you in part by contributors to The MovieBob Patreon




It's one of the biggest blockbusters of all time and a cross-generational classic for action fans, yet on its initial release it was treated by many as a punchline about "dumbed-down" Hollywood moviemaking. 20 years later, is there something smarter and more profound hiding behind the big explosions and bombastic speeches of ID4? Really That Good aims to find out...

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Steef Chowbes

Yeah, I'll say it - this could be the best film of the year, and whether or not I'll be able to engage is going to be contingent on the degree I can ignore Fassbender's bizarro-world accent (it doesn't even sound like Fassbender's usual voice) as Steef Chowbes STEVE JOBS.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CREED

WOW.

This project sounded good, but who could've anticipated it'd look THIS GOOD? Love how they're leaning hard on "No. This is Michael B. Jordan's movie first and foremost," holding back on the idea that this isn't an entirely new franchise until the perfect moment to reveal you-know-who.

And then... Holy hell. You had to know he'd end up wearing... yeah. But still...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: TED 2

I bet Seth MacFarlane is one of those guys who has multiple groups of friends who don't know eachother, i.e. "the movie friends," "the neighborhood friends," "my smart friends," "my slob friends," etc. It's somewhat common among "self-made" creatives to begin with, and it'd make sense given the way his TV shows, cartoons and films all feel pulled between competing instincts - all of them sincere, but none of them really compatible. By all indications, he appears enormously self-satisfied with his ability to geek-out about Boston sports teams, STAR WARS minutiae, the Golden Age of dance-musicals and Rat Pack ephemera; but creatively the influences have yet to fully coalesce.

TED 2, like TED and FAMILY GUY before it, careens back and forth between gooey sentiment, bro-comedy raunch, "edgy" black-humor, geek-culture reference-drops, Boston neighborhood-scene deep cuts and "ironic" racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. Taken as a set of sketches all framed around the same set of characters, it mostly worked the first time out - but TED 2 makes the Comedy Sequel mistake of assuming that an emphasis on plot and the mechanics of the central joke (re: "How does Ted work, anyway?") will make a satisfactory replacement for jokes that got used-up in Part I. There are some genuine howlers, and the main back-and-forth between John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted (MacFarlane) still works, but the law of diminishing returns is firmly in place.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Rock to Star in Classic Arcade Adaptation RAMPAGE

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is an actor the film press loves to cover, but not only because he generates clicks and is a good interview: He's also one of the savviest businessmen in terms of managing a personal brand in the business right now, so watching his moves is a great way to read the tea leaves of the film industry.

Case in point: In case you were wondering - for some reason - whether The Rock (or "his people") had seen and/or had any opinion on PIXELS (the Adam Sandler oldschool-video-game-invasion action/comedy)? The answer(s) would appear to be "Yes" and "They think it's going to be a huge hit" - Johnson has signed on for an adaptation of the arcade classic RAMPAGE.

Two Guys You've Never Heard of Will Direct and Star In MARVEL (and Sony's) New SPIDER-MAN

Marvel's official blog has announced that Tom Holland is the new, Marvel Cinematic Universe official SPIDER-MAN. The young British actor (he's 19 but looks like he's barely out of grade school) will likely (read: definately, but we're supposed to pretend everyone doesn't already know this) be hitting the Atlanta, Georgia set of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR in the near future before embarking on his own franchise-starter solo feature; which the same blog post also reveals will be directed by Jon Watts, who helmed CLOWN for Eli Roth and whose COP CAR (the producers of which are popping champagne right now) turned heads at Sundance.

Holland previously appeared in THE IMPOSSIBLE, a terrible movie you don't need to pretend you saw, remember or have even heard of. Already onboard the project is co-producer Amy Pascal, who'll be in charge of pretending that Sony has any actual creative function on the film apart from following dictates from Marvel boss Kevin Feige.

RIP James Horner: 1953-2015

James Horner, probably the most well-known (by cumulative work and by reputation) Hollywood music composer of the last several decades not named John Williams, is reported dead in a plane crash earlier tonight.

He leaves behind a legacy of work that includes such iconic film scores as STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, ALIENS, FIELD OF DREAMS, TITANIC, BRAVEHEART, APOLLO 13, GLORY and AVATAR; along with less well-known but highly-regarded scores for KRULL, THE ROCKETEER, WILLOW and dozens of others.

Horner was also credited as co-songwriter of several massively-popular songs tied to feature-scores, including "Somewhere Out There" from AN AN AMERICAN TAIL and the Celine Dion megahit "My Heart Will Go On" from TITANIC. Horner was 62.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Collection

Followers of my Twitter are no doubt aware that I've begun a little side-project/hobby in collection every issue of NINTENDO POWER Magazine. It's more of a "spiritual fulfillment" thing than anything, I guess - begun while cleaning old stuff out of my parents' house and realizing that more of my original collection had survived than I'd thought. At this point I've done pretty well, nudging myself just over the halfway mark. Helpfully, I decided early on that I'm not interested in grabbing up "mint" copies of anything - like I said, quasi-spiritual thing, not an "investment." I see it more or less as "re-homing" copies that fans loved like I loved mine and aren't comfortable throwing out.

Thus far, collector shops and eBay have been doing the job well enough. But now that I'm at the point where bulk-buying big collections of random issues will almost-certainly land me more duplicates than "needs," I figured it can't hurt to also reach out to see if there are any fellow fans/collectors among my friends and readership who are looking to unload such items.

IN BOB WE TRUST - "Who is Marvel's WORST Superhero?"

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Review: INSIDE OUT (2015)

This review made possible in part by The MovieBob Patreon.

If you look close enough, you start to see that for all the talk of Pixar's vaunted originality, they've been (with rare exception) telling a variation on the same basic story since TOY STORY: A world within a bigger world (Andy's Room, Nemo's ocean, Monstropolis, Remy's sewers, Wall-E's Earth, Carl's widower solitude, etc) that seems to be running fine but is in fact quietly-dysfunctional has said dysfunction exposed/further-disrupted by the arrival of a new personality and/or idea (Buzz, Nemo's growing independence, Boo, Remy's sense of taste, EVE, Russell, etc). Attempts by a well-intentioned maintainer of the status quo (Woody, Marlin, Mike, Remy's dad, Otto, Carl, etc) lead to one or more protagonists (usually representing polarized opinions about The Change) being exiled in some way into the bigger world, wherein they quest (usually but not always to return home) and in doing so undergo a mutual shift in perspective that ultimately improves but does not necessarily "upend" the original status quo.

This isn't to say that Pixar isn't original, just that it's all the more remarkable that they've been able to be so original while so frequently working from the same basic structure - an indictment of the idea that polish and refinement can't be as valid, creatively, as re-inventing the narrative wheel all the time. Case in point: INSIDE OUT is probably as close as they've come to outright making "TOY STORY but with _____" ...and it still manages to land as a new member of the studio's legendary Top Tier productions - this is a masterpiece.

MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW: