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RIP Stan Lee

Stan Lee died yesterday at the towering age of 95.

Before he became the most famous cameo in Marvel’s superhero films–as well as the ‘Big Bang Theory’–Stan Lee was regarded inside the comic book universe as the endless creator of spectacular superheroes and a builder of, well, universes for said superheroes. And like many pop culture icons, Mr. Lee had a surreal impact on countless people’s childhoods.

Along with the adulthoods that grew from those imaginative childhoods.

His blockbuster credits (full and partial) include Spider-Man, the X-Men (Wolverine, Magneto, Professor X, Cyclops, Mystique, Rogue, to name a few), the Avengers (the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Loki, to name a few), and Fantastic Four (Dr. Doom, Thing, Susan Storm, Mister Fantastic, Human Torch).

Interestingly, Mr. Lee had a naming quirk regarding his superheroes. Raj pointed this out extensively in an episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory.’

Raj has a point.

More to the point is a simple truth that Stan Lee positively changed lives with his art and boundless creativity fueled by childlike wonder. The following cameo in ‘Spider-Man 3’ sums his legacy up perfectly.

However, a more perfect summary to remember Stan Lee would simply be Excelsior.

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Happy Monday

Have you ever watched something that seems so ridiculously absurd that…it’s kind of awesome?

Jimmy’s Daily Planet (well, Marvel) has something in this spirit with a music video that’s weird, yet oddly addictive. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on, but just be sure to stay tuned until the very end. This suggestion is particularly true if you’re a fan of Marvel generally and Guardians of the Galaxy specifically.

Bottom Line: Marvel Studios likes to have unrestrained fun with its movies and viral advertising.

Second Bottom Line: Like Marvel, I hope you have fun this week (with or without David Hasselhoff).

Have a Better Week Than Last Week.

Richard Donner is Super, Man

Richard Donner’s 1978 cinematic masterpiece Superman is considered the greatest (and the most perfect) superhero movie ever made. That’s not just my opinion, but the opinion of some of the most influential people in the movie industry. Director Christopher Nolan said the following regarding the Richard Donnner-directed Superman.

“I said, ‘I want to do for Batman what Dick Donner did for Superman,’ ” Christopher Nolan humbly states in the opening of his nearly half-hour conversation with the director of the original “Superman.”
Kevin Jagernauth, IndieWire

Need more proof of the super genius Richard Donner showcased in that unforgettable origin story of Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman way back in the late ’70s with Christopher Reeve?

How about getting the super rivals DC Films president Geoff Johns and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to wholeheartedly agree on the personal impact and storytelling legacy of 87-year-old Richard Donner and, specifically, that Superman film (a priceless DC property)?

Some of Hollywoods biggest stars, in front of the camera and behind the camera, gathered together recently to celebrate and honor the unforgettable work of the legendary director and producer Richard Donner at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles. Actors and actresss from his most popular movies were in attendance, including the primary cast of Lethal Weapon and the kids from The Goonies.

Here are a few of Richard Donner’s films/credits:

  • The Omen (1976)
  • Superman (1978)
  • Superman II (1980)
  • The Goonies (1985)
  • Lethal Weapon (1987)
  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
  • Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
  • Maverick (1994)
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

This celebration of Mr. Donner’s work reaffirms the belief (and I’m a firm believer in the following) that a cinematic masterpiece does not always require mind-blowing special effects or the biggest explosions or the use of bad language for the sake of using bad language for that edge or street cred. Sometimes, a great movie just requires a hero people can believe in who struggles with similar issues and moral dilemmas as the people watching in theaters and at home.

That, above all, is Richard Donner’s storytelling legacy. In this sense, Richard Donner is a super man superman.

By the Hammer of Thor’s Lore (& YouTube)

Movie trailers (which now include the subset “teaser trailers”) have evolved into an art form.

It’s true.

There’s an argument to be made that the trailer (or collection of trailers) for certain films is quite literally better than the film itself. I know what you’re thinking: 2 1/2 minutes is better than a couple hours of entertainment?

Well, men think so.

Anyways, this is why the release of a movie trailer online and through various social media channels has become such a grand event for movie fans. Sure, there are still special previews during major television events, like the Super Bowl or March Madness. However, given the immediacy, widespread access and viral marketing dynamic of the internet (ie- YouTube), movie production companies continue to take full advantage of this unrivaled digital communicative infrastructure.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok that will premiere in theaters this November.

12.5 million+ voluntary views and counting on Marvel’s YouTube channel in less than 24 hours.

And this ever-increasing metric is just for the teaser trailer…in April.