Tag Archives superheroes

Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in NY Subway Footage

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Recently, the first look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker began circulating the internet. But now we can see him in the full get-up as filming is underway in NYC. A video of Phoenix at a subway station in Manhattan shows the Joker getting off the train with a mask on as onlookers flee. TMZ was one of the first sites to report on the video. The mask is creepy enough, but his makeup manages to make his Joker look pretty spot on. 

Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker: Phoenix on Wanting the Role

According to Forbes, Joaquin Phoenix previously stated in an interview with comicbook.com.

Three or four years ago, I called my agent and said ‘Why don’t they want to take one of these characters and just make a lower budget film about it, a movie but a character study, and why not take one of the villains? And I thought, ‘You can’t do the Joker, because, you know, it’s just you can’t do that character, it’s just been done.’ So I was trying to think of other characters, and he said ‘I’ll set up a general meeting with Warner Bros.’ And I said ‘I’m not gonna go, I can’t go to a general meeting.’ So I completely forgot about it, and so then I heard about this idea, I was like, ‘Oh that’s so exciting, that’s the kind of experience I wanted to have, with a movie based on a comic character.’ I felt like you could get something on screen.

Is What We See the Joker’s Final Look for the Screen?

Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker

Photo Credit: DC Comics

The footage released is hopefully close to what Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will be like. The film seems to be going for a more classic look, similar to Cesar Romero’s Joker in the 1966 Batman TV series, but way more unsettling. Appearance for the role is nearly as important as the portrayal of the iconic character. Film-goers will hope that Phoenix does the role justice, as most were blown away by the late Heath Ledger’s Joker performance. You can take a look for yourself in the subway video below.

Phoenix Doesn’t Want to Classify the Movie into a Genre

The Joker is a comic book character and part of the DC comics universe of superheroes and villains. The upcoming flick, set to come out in October of 2019, is a separate spin-off with the Joker as the main focal point. Phoenix, however, told comicbook.com that he “wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre. I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a … it feels unique.”

Whether he believes it fits into a genre or not, Phoenix goes on to say that the characters in the superhero realm are “incredible characters that are dealing with real life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied.”

Take a look at the Joker train video from Hollywood Pipeline’s Official YouTube Channel

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Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in NY Subway Footage. Featured Photo Credit:  ©  INSTAGRAM @TODDPHILLIPS1

Celebrate Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 10th Anniversary with Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival

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For the first time ever, Marvel is re-releasing all twenty of their MCU films to IMAX. In celebration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 10th anniversary, you can enjoy the Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival between August 30th and September 6th at an IMAX theater near you. MCU has made 13.5 billion dollars worldwide (and counting), which speaks to just how many fans are going to want tickets for the IMAX event. Marvel announced the event Friday, with Marvel stars appearing in a video to get everyone hyped. Some of the Marvel films were never released in IMAX theaters. The MCU films The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger and Iron Man are appearing in IMAX for the first time. You know what that means? That means that this could be your only chance.

The Details of the Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival

Marvel studios 10th anniversary film festival

Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival Poster. Photo Credit: Marvel Studios, Fandango

Running from August 30th to September 7th, each of the twenty films appearing at IMAX will have at least one showtime. The festival will close with two fan favorites selected by public voting. Voting for the final day is open now until September 6th.  If you want to make sure your favorite  MCU film is shown on the 7th, get to voting! You can purchase tickets to one or more of the film showings on Fandango. This is the first time IMAX will be screening all Marvel films. However, you may remember that Marvel recently held a movie marathon of 12 MCU films right before the release of Avengers: Infinity War. Their previous marathon was less widespread, appearing only at AMC theaters in Orlando and New York City. 

 

Read the full article at Bustle.com

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Celebrate Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 10th Anniversary with Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival. Featured Photo Credit: Marvel

‘Justice League’ Review: All In, But Not All Together

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The rapid mishmash of action and surprising comedy in Justice League left me wondering about this new tone of the DC Extended Universe. Certain parts of the film, such as the plot and specific characters, even left me slightly saddened by the direction of the film. However, Justice League is still a great film that should be seen if you need to satisfy your inner comic book nerd.

The overall plot takes place months after the last installment Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice where Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) collect other superheroes such as Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and Barry Allen/the Flash (Ezra Miller) to defend Earth from a sudden alien invasion led by the villainously determined Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds).

What was significantly enjoyable about this film was how much it felt like a true live action version of a DC comic. The action sequences combined with the contrasting personalities and decisions of every character on the team made it feel as if I was reading through the pages of a Justice League comic. The team combinations connected amazingly making this team feel cohesive and effective. The use of CGI also complemented each character’s skillset nicely. In addition, composer Danny Elfman’s score made the film a true DC Comic film that many have been waiting for. Some sounds were especially noticeable to any fan of Elfman’s work on Batman: The Animated Series.

The definite standouts of the team were Ezra Miller’s portrayal of the scarlet speedster known as The Flash and Ray Fisher’s role as the brave, determined, and conflicted android called Cyborg. At first, Miller’s Barry Allen/the Flash feels a little similar to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming in the sense of humor and social awkwardness. However, as the film progresses, he reveals a more creatively eccentric and hesitant version of The Flash that has not been seen in Grant Gustin’s version of The Flash TV series. Miller’s perfectly-timed quips, funny action scenes, and unique running movements make him the significant comedic character to the team.

What was significantly enjoyable about this film was how much it felt like a true live action version of a DC comic.

Ray Fisher’s Cyborg shows viewers how badly we needed this character in an actual DC film. Fisher is able to reveal the Cyborg’s constant internal emotional conflict of being a man and also a machine. Cyborg is extremely vital to the film’s overall plot and Fisher perfectly executes the struggles of immense power that Cyborg possesses and the struggles of maintaining his humanity.

Other characters, such as Momoa’s Aquaman, Gadot’s Wonder Woman, and Affleck’s Batman were great lead contributions, just not fully fleshed out. Momoa’s role as Aquaman was a commendable take on the character that showcased the character’s challenge of living as both a human and an Atlantean while trying to figure which world he belongs to. However, Aquaman was not seen for a good amount of time in the film and plays more of a small ally in the overall plot. Fortunately, the time he does have on screen, he sells it showing off his Aquaman as an isolated, rockstar-ish type guy just trying to do what is right while simultaneously searching for his place in the world. Hopefully, we get to see more of a fully formed character with a great plot in his 2018 standalone film, Aquaman.

The two leaders of this league, Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Affleck’s Batman, were likable in this film, but it just felt weird seeing them have more of a comedic side when they originally portrayed such darker personalities in their BvS: Dawn of Justice. Gadot’s Wonder Woman was still heroic and inspiring as she was in her standalone film, but her personality seemed slightly different. For Affleck’s Batman, it was entertaining to see more of a lighter side in his character rather than his normal brooding self, but it just seemed that this film’s version of Batman was not fully thought out; it should have shown more of the mix of both humor and seriousness.

Three other parts of the film that were not fully fleshed out were the film’s villain, the overall plot, and the tone. Steppenwolf, the film’s main villain, appeared as a simple and stereotypical alien villain whose main objective was just to conquer Earth. It was obvious to see that Hinds’ portrayal of the character was done to his best effort, but it felt like there weren’t any reasons to relate to the character’s motives or feel that he was an overly dangerous threat to the team. He just appeared as a smaller secondary villain instead of a boss level villain.

The overall plot seemed rushed with every moment feeling sped through rather than gradually rising in tension. The climax of the plot did not feel largely dire or had much of an impact for the team. The plot felt like it suffered because of the film’s tone which possibly might be due to the mix of directors Zack Snyder’s and Joss Whedon’s directorial time on the film. The film did stray away from the universe’s commonly known darker tone, which seemed like a good decision, but in its entirety, the film’s lighter and comedic tone felt like it was trying to be a competitor for Marvel films. The tone was sometimes used well, but when it tried to mesh both lighter and dark elements together, it just did not seem to combine efficiently.

Justice League was a good film. The time it took with the action sequences, as well as certain characters, made it fun to watch, but what could have made it even better would be if they took the time to fully flesh out their main characters, overall plot, and the main tone. I am interested in the new tone that is being taken for DC’s Extended Universe, but I just hope it remains consistent. I give Justice League an overall grade of a B-.

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‘Justice League’ Review: All In But Not All Together: Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros.

Iron Fist Review: Barely Had Any Power in Its Punch

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This latest Marvel Netflix show before the culmination of these Marvel shows with The Defenders was definitely built on a significant amount of fan hype and justice for the comic book character. Unfortunately, the martial arts superhero show barely had any power in its punch coming off with some decent action sequences and a good supporting character but overall leaving a very lackluster, dull, and structure-less taste.

 
This Netflix series centers on the return of Danny Rand to New York City after being missing for 15 years; he has transitioned from a billionaire’s son into a Buddhist monk who tries to reconnect with his family and his company, Rand Enterprises. However, once he discovers a dark force damaging everything that surrounds him, he must use his mastery in martial arts and the power of the Iron Fist to stop them. This series could have possibly gone a unique route that differentiated itself from the other Marvel Netflix shows and Batman-like superhero stories where a white billionaire becomes the superhero, however, it follows almost the same path as those other.
 


Game of Thrones 
star, Finn Jones’ portrayal of Danny is somewhat decent but irritating. Even though Jones is able to show Danny’s selflessness and determination in each episode, his characteristics are uneven. He becomes very aggressive, stubborn, and single-minded and these characteristics do not seem to meld well with his more positive characteristics leaving his character development half-fleshed out. Other characters such as Joy and Ward Meachum, siblings and heads of Rand Enterprises, played by Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey are not fully developed with Pelphrey’s Ward being trapped in a repetitive family conflict and having dull characterization. Stroup’s Joy has some development but yet again development it is not fully cooked. The siblings’ mysteriously malevolent father, Harold Meachum played by David Wenham barely seemed to have direction and even though Wenham showed some good aspects of a damaged father his instability left the character without any true development or significance.
The one good supporting character of the series was struggling sensei, sword-wielding heroine, and love interest, Colleen Wing played by another Game of Thrones star, Jessica Henwick. Henwick’s portrayal had some decent development and her caring, determined, and damaged personality could be seen. Henwick was also able to have good action sequences that highlight the effort she put into the character. The problem is that viewers might want to see more of Colleen and less of Danny, which leaves an imbalance in the story.
In terms of story, there seemed to be structure with the early episodes, which encompassed the first half of the season, feeling dull and tedious to watch. There was not a clear villain or a clear central focus to the story and it would have random spurts of action. The last half of the season also felt dull and was left with no significant climax to the story. Dialogue was also very weak and seemed underdeveloped.
The show’s action sequences appeared very rehearsed and it was clear that Jones had memorized certain fight patterns, which did not give off the impression of a fully realized martial arts master. This left the show’s quality in action sequences seem unrealistic and not equivalent to the quality of other Marvel Netflix shows.
The weak quality in character development, story structure, dialogue, and action made me feel disappointed that the show could not reach its full potential, which leaves it with a C-.
 
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Iron Fist Review: Barely Had Any Power in Its Punch. Image courtesy of Netflix. 

“Logan” Review: The Greatest End to A Hero’s Story

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What clearly separated this film from its superhero counterparts were the characters, action, and the tone. Hugh Jackman’s version of the titular character, Logan/Wolverine stands out immensely. Throughout this film, the sadness, weariness, and mental and physical fatigue of this character was tangible with every gruesome fight and intense interaction with every character. What was truly compelling with Jackman was his ability to go into depth of the character of Logan and reveal a man that conceals himself in a facade of isolation and loneliness but in actuality is caring and selfless. In Jackman’s last depiction of the character, he reflects the most intimate and emotional parts of this closed-off character showing off Jackman’s longest and best roles. In addition, what made this film noticeably unique was its set of lovably complex supporting characters, specifically  Charles Xavier/Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and  Laura/X-23 (Dafne Keen).

 

Stewart’s performance as the dying mentor was just as equivalent to Jackman’s damaged hero. Stewart’s portrayal seems surprisingly vulnerable but also emotionally considerate. It is interesting to see how this film has unveiled more about these  Charles’ and Logan’s range of personality that sort of went  unseen in past X-Men films. Stewart’s character, Charles, centers on how a 90-year-old man with extremely powerful psychic abilities deals with the increasing awful struggles of dementia. Stewart provides an intriguing component to the story, showing how a man that was once known to be mentally stable loses his stability and has to rely on others to guide him rather than the other way around. The film is at its best when Stewart and Jackman are able to portray the dynamic relationship of Charles and Logan with Stewart almost representing Charles as the old, grumpy father and Jackman portraying Logan as the irritated and saddened caregiver son that is pained by his father’s illness. The film finally shows even though Logan and Charles have somewhat contrasting characteristics that juxtapose perfectly. Although, what is so similar between Logan and Charles is that they share is that they share care, kindness, and sympathy for each other and for others.

Dafne Keen’s portrayal of Laura/X-23 is magnificent. Laura is a violent, moody, and taciturn girl that gradually through the story shows how resourceful, reliable, and caring she is to Logan and Charles. Furthermore, Keen flawlessly executes complicated and ultra-violent action scenes while also making the interactions between Jackman and Stewart believable. Her emotional connection with Jackman’s “Logan” is one to be aware of due to her vitality in Logan’s life and guidance. Another standout of the film was Stephen Merchant’s “Caliban,” who deviates from his past comedic performances and gives a more serious portrayal that highlights his acting range.


The tone of the film is dark, gritty, and intensely violent. It is a modernized Western film that incorporates underlying themes of loss, death, and the integrality of a family. The plot of the story is character-driven and also intensive, cohesive, and gradually paced. Although, there are some negatives that hurt the film. One is the continuity of the X-Men film series where timelines have been altered and even erased. Viewers who have seen the past movies might become perplexed with the film’s setting and might question what circumstances occurred that cause these harsh alterations to Logan’s and Charles’ lives. Another error was the absence of a strong central villain. Boyd Holbrook’s portrayal of Donald Pierce; the malicious head of security of an evil corporation did well with what he was given. Richard E. Grant as Dr. Xander Rice, head scientist of that evil corporation was also a decent villain just nothing that was distinctive.

 

This film provides viewers with a bold, gritty, and unconventional tone that differentiates itself from other films of the superhero genre. Mangold reveals this when he focuses more on the characters and their complex relationships rather than how ostentatious they can make action sequences look. Overall, the film has amazingly talented characters, realistic relationships, and a distinctly gritty tone the only problems of plot continuity and the need for a strong central villain. It is these combinations that leave
Logan with one of the greatest endings to a superhero and with a grade of an A-.
 
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“Logan” Review: The Greatest End to A Hero’s Story. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

Why Ant-Man Matters

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With a number of white male heroes gracing the screen, many have asked why Ant-Man matters enough to give him his own movie. Black Widow isn’t getting a film, and the Black Panther movie has been pushed back (due to the Spider-Man/Sony deal). I mean Ant-Man isn’t going to be the creator of Ultron, an origin story generally accepted among all comic book fans. So, why should he have his own film?  Well, there are three very good reasons for adding Ant-Man to the mix.
54a1a5337532e1. Ant-man would be a great addition to the Avengers team if one of the original members dies or leaves during The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The two men that don the Ant-Man costume, Hank Pym (the creator of the suit) and Scott Lang (who took up the title after Hank), are both smart individuals. Hank is nearly as smart as Tony Stark, while Scott is intelligent enough to work for Tony in the comics and to help install the security system that protects the Avengers Mansion. Ant-Man has always ended up joining the team at some point, which usually happens in the comics, TV series, or animated films. Adding Hank and Scott to the universe will expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), not everything could be created by Stark, nor be solved by his quick thinking — if all the stories ended like that, what would be the point of watching? Adding a few more guys that could create epic monsters while trying to help makes the world feel a bit more realistic.
2. The second reason the Ant-Man film is important is that it will be the first time the title of a superhero is passed down; Hank Pym will be the creator of the Ant-Man suit, but he will not be the center of the film, Scott Lang will. Hank would have already worn the suit and given up being a hero before passing it on to Scott. The movie will be adding to the rich history that has been shaped by the Captain America movies. Until Ant-Man, most the main history of that world has been explored through Captain America as he deals with living in a time period, or world if you will. In fact, all of the major life-changing events in the Marvel movie series have happened in Captain America. We found out about the first infinity stones, the start (and end) of S.H.I.E.L.D was stated, and Age of Ultron will have roots based on the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier. Ant-Man will give us the ability to further explore the world as Cap had been doing.
3. Lastly, we will likely see a new addition to the short list of heroines in the MCU. Where there is an Ant-Man, a Wasp is sure to follow. Hank Pym created the Wasp suit for his girlfriend, and in the film, it will be his wife. It is highly likely that his daughter Hope, played by Evangeline Lily in the film, will wear the Wasp uniform just as her mother did before her. As Hope’s parents were both superheroes, we will get to see the messier side of trying to be a hero while having a normal life. And that is why Ant-Man matters.
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Images courtesy of Marvel