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Happy Monday

And you thought “May the Fourth Be With You” was a big deal…

The annual gathering known as Comic Con occurred this past weekend and, once again, delivered to its fans (there in attendance and those watching online) an impressive pop-culture parade of entertaining celebrity interviews, immersive movie and television show experiences and premieres of new trailers for highly-anticipated films.

Steven Spielberg’s next film–

Okay, now that I have your full attention, please enjoy one of those aforementioned exclusive first-look move trailers that debuted this past Saturday at Comic Con in San Diego.

That’s right:

Columbus, OH-IO will be the cinematic pop-culture capital of the world next year!

Have a Better Week Than Last Week.

P.S. Yes, these movies about superheroes matter. 

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Happy Monday!

Forget Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, Batman v. Superman is the ultimate fight.

Comic-Con in San Diego is the premier annual gathering of all things comic books, superheroes and fantasy adventures. Fans dress up in costumes with striking detail (completely normal) and is the destination for all things nerd. Movie stars will surprise fans, sometimes in full costume. In 2011, Andrew Garfield, dressed in a costume store Spider-Man outfit, surprised the crowd with a heartfelt thank you to the fans before he introduced his movie’s panel.

In recent years, the teams behind blockbuster movies within this popular, ever-growing genre have used this venue as a launching pad for their projects. Watching and participating in exclusive panels with the stars and directors of these films are the hottest tickets, which includes the great likelihood of witnessing first-looks and trailers before everybody else.

The new trailer is here, the new Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer is here.

Have a Wonderful Week!

The Hope for Justice

“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”

Ladies and gentlemen, two years out from its release date, at least we can take comfort in the fact that the title is awesome.

It’s common knowledge that the Man of Steel sequel will take super leaps and bounds towards a Justice League movie. Add in the fact that there will be an epic battle between arguably the two biggest superheroes of all-time and the potential for this film is becoming increasingly limitless.

Still, there are a few questions that remain/should be asked:

  • Will Ben Affleck succeed as the guardian of Gotham? After Christian Bale’s masterful performance (and throw Christopher Nolan’s vision and expertise into that mix as well), all things Batman will be scrutinized. Quite frankly, after The Dark Knight trilogy, it should be. Playing this character is tricky because if an actor cannot make an audience believe they really are a dedicated and skillful crime-fighting force in an adult bat costume, while also gallivanting as a billionaire playboy in modern day Gotham City, well, then that universe falls apart in a hurry (remember George Clooney and Val Kilmer?). As we watch his portrayal on the silver screen, we’ll find out quickly what truly motivated this controversial casting decision.
  • Why not give Superman a second movie by himself to battle with Lex Luthor and a surprise villain, in which Wonder Woman and/or Batman could be teased at the end of the sequel? Man of Steel was a gritty, realistic (for a superhero movie) story of how an alien adapted to his adopted planet, adopted parents and adopted citizens with his evolving super powers. It was an origin story. Consequently, this warranted only one scene of vintage Clark Kent flirting with Lois Lane. Shouldn’t fans get a full movie of Superman battling an enemy/enemies on Earth as a newly declared human within Metropolis with Lois Lane close by? Trust me, Superman can carry a movie by himself. Just judging by the title, a little patience would have been nice…
  • Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor? If he can duplicate his performance from The Social Network, he could shine as the digitally-deft villain from the Millennial generation. Like Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder and Terence Stamp, Gene Hackman is forever treasured as an icon in the Superman cinematic universe. Fans will and should compare the performances of the aforementioned actors and actress from the 1978 classic to today’s portrayals. Like the Ben Affleck casting, the Eisenberg choice will go either really well or really badly. Quick question, was Billy Zane considered for Lex Luthor? Actually, that not a quick question, that’s a very serious question.
  • Will Wonder Woman get a worthy and well-deserved character introduction with a background story or will she be introduced as more of a super sidekick? This is a powerful moment for a female superhero to shine in the spotlight for multiple generations of women and girls to see and relate to. Are they crowding the Justice pool with too many characters too quickly? Does Wonder Woman deserve an origin story?

The expectations will be super (pun intended) around this time in 2016 for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Will this movie do the modern superhero story and its beloved characters justice by soaring to new cinematic heights?

Either way, it seems fitting to put our hope in the man of steel.

From Christian Bale to…Who!?

“You read for a part, you feel good about it, you feel confident, then they cast Ben Affleck.”
–Richard Dreyfuss

“Really looking forward to seeing Affleck bring the depth and gravitas to Batman that he brought to Daredevil and Gigli.”
–Wil Wheaton

These were just two of the many instantaneous twitter responses to the news late last night that Ben Affleck has been cast to portray Batman in the “Man of Steel” sequel.

(insert the sound of air being let out of a tire)

The task of finding a suitable replacement in the post-Christian Bale era was going to be difficult and nearly impossible. But still, this decision is shockingly bad. There had to be a handful of other actors (it’s difficult to name names because the role should probably go to more of an unknown, like Henry Cavill) who could have at least filled the role enough to be believable on-screen and received the polite golf clap with a nod complemented with a, “not bad…” audible response.

Now, it’s just bad.

On one side, you have Henry Cavill who had the similarly impossible task of trying to be the, “man of steel” post-Christopher Reeve (Superman is always in the post-Reeve era by the way) and he did an amazing job. He escaped into the world of a new kind of Superman with a new kind of story and did a fantastic job.

He made everyone believe he was the, “man of steel.” Cavill embodied everything you’d want from a modern day Kal-El, Clark Kent and Superman (“that’s what they’re calling him”). Hopefully, there will be more jokes and flirting from Clark Kent to Lois Lane à la Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder in the sequel…

Cavill was quietly super with moments of familiar charm.

Conversely, Ben Affleck is not dark, edgy or conflicted. These are somewhat important characteristics for Bruce Wayne/Batman. When you watch Affleck on-screen on most occasions, you can see he’s acting and not escaping into the role. It’s going to be difficult to watch him convincingly embrace the persona of a willing billionaire playboy who has a dangerous night job fueled by raw and convoluted emotions.

Here’s a clip that shows the future Batman in action while in a suit.

Unfortunately, we all know this is just the tip of the iceberg for Affleck.

Movies involving superheroes are not simply about star power, but they hinge on character power as portrayed by great actors.

It’s a small, prestigious club. Many have tried, but only a few actors have truly “fit” their roles to give lasting, iconic performances.

Only time will tell, but when the bat signal lights up in a couple years, it may look a little different…it just may project “S.O.S.”