Random Films of the Week: A Little New Year’s Cleaning

Yeah, Happy New Year and all that stuff. I figure I’ll post more than I did last year even though I got sick and was out of action for a month or so which led to a bigger backlog that I’m still wading through. My plans to write up and pre-load posts went south thanks to that, but I think with my health getting better (albeit temporarily) I’ll try and tackle stuff slightly differently on occasion. Or: Eh, I’ve been watching a ton of movies in no particular order, so you get to pore over a few quickie capsule recommends.

Stormy Monday_AV093Stormy Monday – Mike Figgis’ first film was this stylized bit of 1988 brilliance that featured Sean Bean, Melanie Griffith, Tommy Lee Jones and Sting, plus a pretty darn neat jazz score by the director. The neon-soaked Newcastle setting features some of Roger Deakins’ lovely cinematography that makes this a total treat to watch. It’s more or less a noir gangster flick with some solid performances and an overall sense that something bad is going to happen what with all the tense glowering and some romantic notions that make for a bit of conflict as things progress.

I actually hadn’t heard of this film other than seeing a trailer way back before it was initially released in theaters. I didn’t think it was for me back then, but thanks to Arrow Video, I’ve been proven quite incorrect. Expect a fine director’s commentary from Figgis along with a few cool bonus features on this BD/DVD combo that make this a nice surprise to discover if you’ve never seen or heard of it until now. Amusingly enough, this pairs well with Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire thanks to both films mixing reality and fantasy elements (although Figgis gets the edge and the edgier performances overall).

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The New Mutants Trailer: Freaks & Geeks, The Remix

As I’m ancient enough have been around during the Chris Claremont/Bill Sienkiewicz run on The New Mutants (issues 18-31, 35-38), the upcoming film having a horror vibe (well, as seen in this trailer and you know how trailers are [if you know what’s good for you]) doesn’t surprise me at all. Bill’s groundbreaking artwork was at its best when things got seriously twisty and psychological and I do recall there was a definite like/hate thing going on among some comics fans of the period who wanted a more traditional art style. Me, I was all in from the first collaboration and stayed until a few issues after he left just to wrap up a few story points.

As usual, no big fat over-speculation here about the trailer other than to say (despite the rubbery membrane wall effect) it’s eye-catching (ow!) and has me intrigued enough to run it and yes, the casting looks quite like the characters I recall from way back when. Also as usual, the wait begins to see if the actual film is actually decent enough to drop ticket money on when it’s finally released or snapping up the inevitable Blu-Ray when that drops a few months later. We shall see, but signs are somewhat hopeful I’d say.


Ant-Man Trailer: Little Things Mean A Lot (Of Money At The Box Office)


Okay, Marvel. You got me again. I wasn’t planning to see Ant-Man until if fell out of the sky and landed on cable, but giving away that train scene made me chuckle enough to be interested in seeing this on a bigger screen. Granted, if this were a more “perfect” world, we’d see a Micronauts/Microman reference in the film that possibly hinted at a sequel or follow-up. But that would be so obscure a reference for younger fans that it would fly over their heads and not even register even as old farts like me burst out laughing when it appeared on screen. Ah well. Let the summer movie season commence, I suppose. I’ll just keep my little big ideas all to myself.

Funko Makes Hikari Friday Twice as Marvel-ous!

HIkari Premium logo

So, Funko is back to a double giveaway week and let’s see now… it’s an all-Marvel freebie festival this time. Well, okay, it’s only two figures, but you know you want them and would have a little festival if you did indeed win. Or one, actually. Anyway, here’s what’s up for grabs this Friday: You can walk away with #1 of 1500 of this Classic Deadpool Premium Hikari Sofubi Figure:

Classic Deadpool Premium Hikari Sofubi Figure

Or #1 of 1000 of this Entertainment Earth exclusive: Planet X Groot Premium Hikari Sofubi Figure:

Planet X Groot Premium Hikari Sofubi Figure

As usual, entering is simple, as is winning should your entry be chosen. Just hit one of Funko’s social sites:


Follow the instructions and that’s that. Winners are contacted the following Thursday, so patience is a virtue. If you don’t win and still want, you can buy Deadpool starting in March 2015 at a Funko retailer near you while Entertainment Earth will be shipping out Groot in January. As always, good luck and have a great weekend!

Marvel Studios Pretty Much Has You Covered on the Superhero Flick Front…

Yeah, it’s like that now. Rather than cover that crazy and reveal-packed press conference from yesterday, I’ll just drop dates and let you go get started on the line waiting, day-planning and other activities so you work AROUND these release dates which seem to be set in some sort of mystical stone. Yeah, it’s going to be a really busy five years for all those actors, writers, directors and even busier pre- and post-production teams:

Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1, 2015

Ant-Man – July 17, 2015

Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016

Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok – July 28, 2017

Black Panther – November 3, 2017

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018

Captain Marvel – July 6, 2018

Inhumans – November 2, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019

I’m not usually one to zip out to a theater on opening week, as I hate those crowds and their unpredictable antics, sticky seats and the usual screaming child who doesn’t belong there that makes any movie stink. That said, I do like that there’s a plan for all these films to tie in together somehow and be one big arc that takes these characters somewhere. Even if it’s to places I don’t normally venture. Yeah, they’re all still comic book movies, but they’re getting more watchable as time goes on and not less to some extent. I don’t even want to know what that eventual box set of whatever will look like. Then again, I’d say there’s going to be a division in how people get films by then, but no matter what, a segment of those fans WILL want something physical to hold in their hot little hands and pop into a player of some sort…

Gallery: Avengers 2, Assemble!


Heh. So much for that trailer “leak”, huh? Thanks to movie poster site Imp Awards, we also JUST so happen to have not one, but two teaser posters (what, so SOON?), one of which gets broken up into EIGHT separate posters. Yeah, so much for suspense, huh? Eh, whatever. As I noted previously, this is how Marvel probably wants it from now on and it’s certainly NOT going to make people less likely to see Avengers 2: Age of Ultron or any other films Marvel whips out in the next few years.


Hmmmm… I wonder when this one comes out? Oh, right (heh)…


Avengers 2: Age of Ultron Trailer: Shhhh! You’re NOT Supposed to Be Seeing This Yet (Eye Roll Version)…

(Thanks, JoBlo Movie Trailers!)

Oh, look. A “leaked” Avengers 2: Age of Ultron trailer. Or… is that *leaked*? Whatever. We all know that Marvel WANTS us to get all hopped up like a busload of kids returning from Candy Land on freebie day or adults staggering out of a Starbucks wide-eyed and giddy after some millionaire (Tony Stark, perhaps?) strolled in and bought free all you can drink espresso shots for one and all. Hey, it can happen, people! Anyway, it IS a nice trailer, isn’t it? Nice and darrrrrrrrrrk (as expected, since the Marvel Universe on film has been treading some intentionally gloomy ground of late). Well, let the waiting continue, as this isn’t going to be anywhere near a movie theater until what, next summer? I can wait that long. Look, time is passing already! It’s now not as long a wait as when you started reading this post, heh…

Guardians of the Galaxy Headed to Home Video in November and December. Talk About a Holiday “Surprise”!

I wish I were more of a betting man, as I predicted well before it was released Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy would be out for the holidays (as in Christmas) and yep, it’s making it out earlier than that as in before Thanksgiving on Digital 3D and HD Digital (November 18) and before Christmas on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand (December 9!). This new normal of movies shooting out on disc and legal download so soon after being released still drives me somewhat batty, as it’s almost not worth going to the movies because I prefer to see films in the comfort of my own home without worrying about nasty theater situations, screaming kids and now, Ebola (heh, I had to get that in because every news channel is screaming mad cow over this latest fear). Yaaaaaaah!

Er, anyway… I finally saw GotG in a pretty decent theater and a few kinks aside, in my opinion it’s one of the better recent Marvel Studios movies. Granted, I prefer the stuffier more noble Star-Lord from his second Marvel Preview appearance (issue 11 with that wonderful Byrne/Austin artwork), but the kids like that newer snarkier model just fine and Chris Pratt did a stellar job as the character. Well, this one goes on the gift to me list at some point. Damn list is getting longer by the second, but I need to stock up on entertainment for the Ebola-free bunker, right?

Guardians of the Galaxy Clip Joint: What You See Isn’t Even Close To What You’ll Get…

So, some early reviews are in and all are stating this is not only one of the best movies this summer, but quite possibly the best Marvel movie to date. I figured all of those end credits scenes were adding up to something and from what I’ve read (and heard from someone who was at a screening), fans will be knocked off their feet a few times and then some.

One thing I figured that would work from the start with these films was having different directors with different styles working on different franchises similar to how different writers and artists work on the different comics. While there’s a certain uniformity to elements of the look and continuity across each of the films since the first Iron Man, it’s been fun to watch most of these movies and see how a particular director’s vision works within the (Disney) Marvel Universe.

James Gunn seemed like the oddest choice to direct GotG at first, but his own offbeat sense of humor and musical tastes have spilled over into the film and works well to the point where he’s probably going to be the go-to guy for the next film with this team… Continue reading

Guardians of the Galaxy Featurette 2/TV Spot 5: Settling In For The Long Haul (And Reliable Predictability)…

I’d say right about now that Guardians of the Galaxy will indeed be comfortably predictable on a few fronts. I usually go in to these movies with zero expectations, but I suppose I have to accept the fact that Marvel wants fans to know they’re getting the full meal deal here: LOADS of in-jokes, some serious stuff in between the jokes, plenty of last-minute escapes and plot twist or four and some fun use of music if you happen to be well-aged and savvy about such things or just happen to “get” the musical stuff the film drops into your ears when it does.

And yes, you HAVE to stick around until the credits roll because there’s going to be a surprise reveal that ties into previous and upcoming Marvel movies that some fans will be wanting to drop that ticket and merchandise money on. All that is a given at this point because messing with the formula (as formulaic and formic as it can be) is a recipe for confusion among some folks. But it’s something that works well for what it’s worth, so I’m not complaining much (if at all)…