Gotta love Sundays, there's usually no or little news to report on. Today proves no different, which gives me an opportunity to catch up with myself at commenting on the news of the week. Still a bit more to be posted here, but the bottom of the barrel is in sight. For now.
Oh no, this beautiful art is getting me excited, too! And I so vowed not to get drawn into the hype, especially with J.J. 'Kill Trek' Abrams on board. But I must admit there's some gorgeous pieces of conceptual art here. Especially the artwork tying into the visual imagery of the old trilogy gets me where it's aimed at. The notion of a wrecked AT-AT Walker being refurbished into a makeshift shelter is simply splendid, as is the array of Imperial and rebel designs found among the imagery of new characters and locales. Can't say I'm too stoked over the design of the new villain, but I didn't think it would ever be possible to top Darth Vader anyway. It'll be fascinating to see just what makes the final cut and what doesn't. Even though this stuff was leaked to the studio's chagrin, I doubt they would order all of these scenes redesigned. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if this was an intentional leak, geared at getting up the hopes of sceptical fans (like myself), of which there are still many, but likely a few less now. In my case it's working, though I still refuse to get overexcited. Incidentally, don't ask me why my editor only posted a 'selection' (like, a third) of these concept art pictures on the site, while I actually took the time and effort to post links to all the available pics in my original message draft. Editor politics, I suppose.
Another paycheck of a whopping 40 million bucks in Robert Downey Jr.'s pocket. For a role in another Avenger's movie no less. I doubt that would sit too well with Chris Evans. So no wonder Marvel is anxious to do Civil War on the big screen, it means they can start killing off some major characters and thus save money on the actors portraying them. The winds of change are set to replace the old regime with a wholly new bunch of characters, even though most of them have yet to be introduced (like Ant-Man and Doctor Strange) and thus still need to win our hearts. I'm not convinced Civil War is the best story to tackle at this point though. There seem to be a bit too few characters to mine to make it work as well as it did in the comics. Also, the necessary emotional scale simply doesn't seem present yet. These characters, nevermind their limited numbers, don't have enough history with each other to make the impact of an ideological inner conflict with deadly consequences feel as touching and as compelling as required. I think Marvel had better wait a while longer until their upcoming TV shows, which allow for ample opportunity to introduce novel characters who would take sides in this fight, are in full swing. Granted, in that scenario we would be looking at another four or five years down the road, and Marvel doesn't want to wait that long to bring this much beloved story to theaters because DC is bringing the heat down on them with their own long-term plans. I would certainly argue that when dealing with important narratives like these, set to have major ramifications for all other Marvel properties and characters for many years to come, patience is a virtue. Either way, Robert Downey Jr. is the real winner here. Seems he already turned out the great victor in the civil war going on within Marvel Studios.
Ooh, it's all dark and brooding! Someone took a cue from the currently popular method of reigniting franchises. Glad they at least didn't tweak the familiar logo much. They just removed all colour and added a distinct layered feel, hinting at the 3D-release this movie is due. 'The park is open', the tagline ominously says. It'll be open for the tourists to gaze at the prehistoric critters, and soon they'll find it's open for the dinosaurs to eat the tourists en masse. That will be fun to watch, no doubt. This teaser poster adequately serves its purpose, but definitely doesn't get my blood pumping in joyous anticipation as its recent San Diego Comic-Con counterpart did. Too bad those go for like 500 bucks on eBay right now...
A short little teaser to kill some time for the fans in waiting between the trailers and the final release, I'd say. Not much new information is relayed here, other than the fact the District 13 resistance uses Katniss as a propaganda tool as much as the Capitol did, and in that regard may not be much better company in terms of morality. It's such intriguing political machinations that make The Hunger Games more than just a simple starry-eyed young adult flick, though the obligatory love triangle with its wooden acting gives a good shot at bringing the quality level down a bit. At least there's the strong performances from the more seasoned veterans (Jeffrey Wright, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland et al.) among the cast to look forward to. Jennifer Lawrence sure has some great actors to bounce dialogue off with. Philip Seymour Hoffman could have done worse for his last role on film, even though he's sadly not such a major character.
Any excuse to show Johansson on screen is worth the effort in my mind. I'm not at all into Manga, and I'm not afraid to admit I haven't seen a notable genre entry like Ghost in the Shell. I guess the Hollywood adaptation caters just to people like me then. Since the studio seems to finally start fast-tracking this project after a few years of it laying dormant, I doubt they're gonna get Scarlett, even for a 10 million dollar salary. After all, she's already done a few action heavy big FX movies recently, and her last one dealing with the symbiosis between (wo)man and machine, Lucy, didn't turn out so great (though it sure as heck did fine at the boxoffice,much more so than most would agree it deserved). Of course, an even better reason for her turning down the project is her current pregnancy, which is likely to keep her from active duty for a year or so. Would the studio be so anxious to get her for the part as to adhere to the necessity of waiting that long? I personally doubt that. I think it's very likely Johansson will pass on Ghost in the Shell and we'll hear of another actress being cast fairly soon. One in Johanssons class seems unlikely, as she really is in a class all her own.