Hot Takes

ego1So, while I was out of town for the weekend, the San Diego Comic Con happened. And given that these days it could be more accurately called the San Diego Movie Con, that means a lot of movie news and trailers dropped that people have been opining about while I’ve been gone, but because I was someplace with spotty internet, you’ve all had to do without my takes on any of it… until now!

Before I get into trailers, some bits of news that dropped. Probably lots of other stuff did too, and I missed it in all the noise, but these are the ones I saw, mostly thanks to following Birth.Movies.Death on Twitter. First up, the new MST3k is gonna be streaming on Netflix once it launches, which makes me happy because, honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it, so it’ll be nice to get a taste before I have to make a commitment. Next up, a few reveals about the new Spider-Man movie, mostly that the villain is going to be the Vulture. Finally, some preview footage from Guardians of the Galaxy 2 apparently screened, featuring new stuff like a tiny Groot and various other things, but the big news out of it was that Kurt Russell is going to be playing Ego the Living Planet, who is also apparently (spoilers!) Star-Lord’s dad. Also, Sylvester Stallone is going to be in the movie, which means that he and Russell will be re-teaming, possibly for the first time since Tango & Cash.  Okay, now on to trailers!

Dr. Strange – Anybody who has talked to me knows that Dr. Strange is going to be a make-or-break movie for me when it comes to the Marvel cinematic universe, which has so far made… I’ll not say nary a misstep, but very few of them. Unfortunately, it’s looking more and more like break. I hate to prejudge in this case, and I’ll certainly still be going to see the movie, but this trailer left me just as underwhelmed as the teaser, and while the fractal stuff is certainly used a lot more here, it’s still not the Steve Ditko magic that I demand from my Dr. Strange. The “shamballa” gag at the end is funny, though.

Justice League – DC has finally figured out that if they want to ape Marvel’s success, they need to just ape Marvel. This could have been a Marvel movie trailer every single beat of the way, but it still looks good. Last I heard Zack Snyder was off this movie and George Miller was on board, but IMDb still has Snyder as director and Miller as producer, so who knows? The trailer certainly has plenty of Snyder’s trademark slo-mo and speed-ramping. Really, though, “Icky Thump” playing in the background can make anything seem awesome, so time will tell.

Wonder Woman – Speaking of aping Marvel, DC is going to beat them to the punch by at least one thing, which is having a female hero headlining a movie. And by all accounts Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was the best thing in Batman v Superman. As such, a lot has been made of the trailer for DC’s Captain America Wonder Woman, but I have to admit that it does look pretty great. And hey, the guy who wrote Pan no longer has his name in the screenwriting credits, so that bodes well!

Kong: Skull Island –  Probably the last thing we need is another gritty (let alone modern-ish) reboot of King Kong, but if we’re going to get one anyway, Skull Island might actually be my favorite trailer out of this bunch. Maybe it’ll wash the taste of Peter Jackson’s version out of our collective brains. Plus, John Goodman is a better choice for Carl Denham than Jack Black, even if that’s not who he’s playing.

American Gods – As a big, big fan (to put it mildly) of Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, I feel like I ought to be more excited than I am about American Gods. It’s got some great casting, and the trailer looks good. I think the ultimate problem is that I had mixed feelings about the book in the first place, so I’m concerned about the show. That said, I wasn’t excited about Hannibal until I watched an episode of it, so we’ll see.

Blair Witch – What seems like it should be the most controversial of all these reveals, though I haven’t actually seen any controversy, everyone in my feed seems to be embracing it wholeheartedly. It turns out that the next mystery project from Adam Wingard (You’re NextThe Guest) that has been called The Woods up to now is actually a direct sequel to 1999’s The Blair Witch Project (probably ignoring the 2000 sequel Book of Shadows). I don’t really know how to feel about this. As a fan of Wingard’s previous stuff, I still want to be excited, and the trailer has some bravura moments, even if a lot of it looks a little too Evil Dead remake for my tastes, but I’m pretty sure I would rather have had another original project than a seventeen-years-later Blair Witch sequel, no matter how good it turns out to be…

There was probably a bunch of other stuff that I missed, but those are my not-all-that-hot, several-days-late takes on the stuff I saw coming out of SDCC this year. For those of you who were clambering to know my opinion on early commercials for billion-dollar tentpole movies.


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