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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!

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He’s Just Starting to Fly

(Man of Steel -- Movie Homepage)

(Man of Steel — Official Movie Website)

“There’s plenty of time for individual Superman sequels. He’s a tough character to tell. People like the darker vigilante. I think it speaks to the human psyche more easily rather than the god-like being that we can’t really understand. Once we have a more expansive universe we can delve more into the character of Superman and hopefully tell more stories”

–Henry Cavill (Superman)

This is a nice early birthday present from Henry Cavill. At least future separate movies for the greatest superhero ever created are part of the DC Comics master plan.

Thank goodness.

Following the origin story of Man of Steel (set in a natural environment with gritty roots), it seemed plausible that it would mirror the remarkable Dark Knight trilogy. Even though executive producer Christopher Nolan insisted it was Zack Snyder’s movie and that it would not be the same template as Batman, the tone and build-up was undoubtedly similar. Opportunity for another legendary standalone DC Comics trilogy was there for the taking. Instead, it was declared that the “sequel” would be Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The enormous universe would be greatly expanded from its many clever clues sprinkled throughout Man of Steel.

The quote above, in the very least, allows a deep breath to be taken by fans who are still wary of seeing a new Batman so soon after Christian Bale’s defining and iconic portrayal (ie– Ben Affleck) and believe that Superman could have seen Dark Knight-like success in its story arc, excellent writing, casting and character development with an isolated trilogy. Plans to weave Superman-centric sequels amongst The Justice League and other solo movies will hopefully succeed in elevating (no pun intended) the Last Son of Krypton to a level not seen since Christopher Reeve. The world wants to see Clark Kent at The Daily Planet, as well as the romantic chemistry between Clark/Superman and Lois Lane.

The time is now to capitalize on superheroes in popular culture, but Nolan and Co. proved that patience and the highest cinematic quality in writing, casting, acting, directing and consequential musical scoring is of paramount importance. There are many profound reasons why men in capes have sustained as important figures in our societies for decades upon decades and the greatest favor a filmmaker can do for these characters is to take them seriously and discover what makes them tick, why they’re eternally relevant and why they’re needed today.

Why put superheroes on the silver screen in the modern era? What’s the reason?

Fortunately, this new Superman is rooted in hope.

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.”

A Super Cameo?

There has been a super discussion about whether or not Christopher Reeve made a one second cameo in, “Man of Steel.” Someone using the website Reddit recently laid out the frame-by-frame sequence where he believes 1978s Superman made an appearance in the 2013 theatrical adaptation of the greatest superhero of all-time. There was a YouTube video made of this split-second moment in the movie.

What do you think!?