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Tears of a Robot-Kraken – Robots Root 21 September

So, the makeup test for Phoenix’s Joker is drawing from Pagliacci, not entirely unexpectedly. However, I’m still pretty disappointed. You have two major iconic looks to navigate that came before: the classic Joker look, and the smeared, hot mess Heath Ledger look. My hope was that he would start with this incredibly well meaning, intricate, finely done makeup, playing up his delusions of grandeur, and then as things go south, he never reapplies it so it gets messier and messier as he is deconstructed and descends into madness. Like, mime-level neatness in the makeup. The classic contemporary pagliacci look is what he’s sort of doing here, with the one tear (the crying clown, etc etc) but I would have preferred the much more vintage look, thus:

Anyway, onward with the stuff:

  • The TNG cast sounds disgruntled, and why wouldn’t they be, really.
  • One of the things I like most about Michael B. Jordan being cast as John Clark in this latest round of Clancy films is that it’s just one more pin to deflate the knee-jerk racist and ‘continuity purist’ arguments against casting people of color in roles that were originally written as white characters.
  • I thought i’d be annoyed by all the Catholic iconography in the new Daredevil series, but the fact that they’re going dark and corrupted makes for great imagery. Bloody christ poses and graves and such. Black costume! Run from the light!
  • All-female Marvel supers stuff: great! For TV: not so great.
  • We talk about this on a recent podcast session for the October release, but the fact that Danny Boyle walked from Bond 25 but they hired Cary Fukunaga to replace him is kind of a head-scratcher, as the latter has as much of a reputation for ditching projects as the former. However, I’m on record as being much more interested, given how much I loved True Detective S01.
  • That Disney would start reining in the SW franchise isn’t surprising, after Solo. But it’s also disappointing. I argue the problem isn’t too much of the Star War, but rather not enough focus on what makes a good Star War. My favorite of the lot is Rogue One, and many hated it. There’s no pleasing everyone. I also liked Solo fine. But anyway.
  • The only thing better than a cephalopod is a grab-assy one.
  • No interest in Titans, but it’s good to see they aren’t planning on dancing around the existence of Batman.
  • Feige taking over the FF and X-Men franchises is not surprising, and I like it. Scarlet Witch and Loki solo TV series? With the film casting? I’m incredulous on that story.

That’s all for today… if you haven’t already, check out our most recent episode of Robot-Kraken, and try not to get yourself deported or entangled in the South China Sea. Cheers!

An Event! – Robots Root 17 August 2018

I don’t know what you plan on doing for the next two months, but I plan to hold my breath until this is out. Good lord, am I the target market.

Meanwhile, this happened:

  • From the Thanos of Hollywood… “using Rocket Raccoon as a side-arm”… oh man. The dinosaur… THE DUSTICE LEAGUE?!??! I can’t.
  • I hadn’t seen Predators, so I didn’t know these were already sorta a thing. But now they are another thing. And a further example of how Predator is just creep-sliding into being Aliens.
  • Here’s a Dune tabletop game, in which you could never afford scale Spiceworms so whatever.
  • I love these digests of director commentaries, since I barely have time for movies, let alone commentary tracks. I haven’t seen Manhunter in years, but you know I love me some Michael Mann.
  • Look, I’m holding out a bit of hope for Iron Fist S02… even though at this point the bar is so low that the new season aspiring to basically be a Marvel Phase I plot is an accomplishment.
  • Good news, Watchmen fans: the HBO series was greenlit and is in production. I’m optimistic.
  • I was already in because Danny McBride, but the timeliness of this plot line is prescient, given how close we are to the same goddamn mistakes as the housing crisis of 2008.
  • If I had cold hard cash (and loved Disneyland more, as apparently all the adult friends of mine in LA do) this would be the auction to see.
  • Interesting observation about the Ruby Rose as Batwoman ‘controversy’… didn’t consider, or wasn’t aware of, how much the character’s heritage was a part of her identity in the books.
  • I think the cell shading feels a little soft here, like Slugterra looks, rather than how Tron looks, but hey, I’m still down with more of the Star War.
  • The premise of Joel Kinneman’s next series is interesting, in so much as we know very little about it but it sounds promising.
  • Netflix continues to kill it. The Angel is bad ass historical spy drama that I’m going to eat RIGHT up.
  • Treadstone as a series was greenlit, proving once again that Hollywood is afraid to tell a story unless it has the name of another story glued to it. I mean, come on. Couldn’t it have just been ‘Cool Spy Assassination Team’…?
  • Interesting tidbits about a Catwoman solo film that didn’t happen, from John August, a screenwriter I quite like and whose podcast I follow…
  • Lego Voltron. That is all.

And in closing, here’s ANOTHER one for which I am the target market, in the opposite direction, spectrum-wise…

 

 

Speaking of Sticky Strands – Robots Root 7 Aug 2018

I like the Japanese poster Venom more than the trailer Venom. All those sticky strands holding the jaw together…

Speaking of sticky strands, THE NEWS:

  • Vantablack rules everything around me…
  • Good buzz coming out regarding Daredevil S03 coming this fall. I’m into it.
  • In the last year I’ve read three or four articles talking about the business of maintaining old CRT arcade machines. Pretty interesting. Outrun was definitely my jam.
  • Disney doesn’t appear to be responding to calls for Gunn’s return. I’m liking that Dave Bautista has taken a career-risking step further and thrown serious shade at Disney about it.
  • The John Wick and 300 folks are working on an Alcatraz movie. I THINK I’m into it. I don’t enjoy prison films, but I do like pressure cookers with some trickery.
  • What I find most interesting about Alex Garland’s new project is the casting. Sonoya made quite an impression on him… and me, of course. Plus, RON!
  • Shogun is coming back, and I’m all for that.
  • Lots of Birds of Prey casting rumors… which all sound fine. I did like Bosslogic’s Black Canary. I mean, I think I do?
  • UGH UGH UGH with prequels that make no sense. Die Hard prequel??? The events of the first film created the character (and it should have been a done in one)… we don’t need a prequel. And 24?? I mean, come on. Of course, I make an exception for Batman. But only if we never see any MAH PARENTS ARE DEADDDDD moments.
  • CBS is gunning for all Trek, all the time. The fact that Patrick Stewart confirmed at the con that he’s coming back for the new show, featuring an older Picard, struck me as both interesting and exhausting shows to me that they really need to strike a new tone and perspective for this show to make it carry weight. Same producers and writers as the current crop of stuff, though. I don’t mind the idea of an older senior command Picard torn with difficult, ore realistic political problems… I’d like to see him weather gray area military issues (or non-military, depending on what version of Starfleet we’re even talking about) in a way TNG never did. Just no more ‘once more unto the breach! bullshit like the films. Let everyone be dead or older and retired. No away teaming. PLEASE.
  • Well, here’s Todd McFarlane critiquing the new Venom for you. Happy Tuesday.
  • Edward james Olmos cut from Predator? HOW DARE YOU SIR.
  • I’m down with Jessica Chastain’s new spy project. MOAR PLS!
  • Lung sent me this: the best papercraft Darth Vader bust ever. Not that I have time or inclination to make it, but I COULD.

What Star Wars Needs is a Memorable Villain, They All Said – Robots Root 6 Aug 2018

The rumor mill speculates that Richard E. Grant will play Thrawn in Star Wars Ep. VIII. I don’t have any emotional attachment to the character, not having read the books, and I always thought his blue skin looked weird with the white uniform… but I DO like the idea of bringing in a new big bad. It’s hard to imagine they’d waste such a big Extended Universe character on one film… and in the timeline of stories they talk about doing, I don’t see how they’d use him elsewhere. It made me think, awhile back, when Rian Johnson got that undefined new trilogy to play with, that Thrawn might be the big bad in THOSE films…

 

Meanwhile, in space, this could be happening:

  • Claire (Rosario Dawson) brings some real world logic and empathy to the Netflix Marvel series of series. That said, she’s not in IF 2.0, and I assumed it was because she’s got a career and other commitments happening… I read in a few places people are relieved because it’s irrational that she’s in all these stories but has no powers. WHAT? One of the strong points about all of the Marvel Netflix projects is the way the NPC’s, or regular folks, are written into the story in a meaningful way. It’s one of the things I love about them. It’s not just powered people tussling, but the interaction between them and the people they affect. SO while I DO often think ‘why aren’t they calling each other for help’ or ‘why isn’t claire calling in reinforcements’ I do like that they’ve tried to explain it in terms of unavailability or personal issues or ‘this is my fight’ type of stuff. We don’t need five different Defenders arcs, though admittedly those team-ups are what make some of the Marvel MCU films so interesting. But as is often noted about all of the TV projects… this isn’t the MCU.
  • Bryan Callen and Marc Maron are the latest to join this surreal Joker film… what is even.
  • Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson seem to have charisma together, so that’s a thing.
  • In a moment of pure marketing genius, Turkish Airlines have offered a safety video tie in to Lego Movie 2. This sure beats watching Wonder Woman not stow her shield and sword FFS on that other attempt.
  • Everyone’s still rah-rahing about Linda Hamilton in the Aviators, but I’m all about those lines on Mackenzie Davis’ skin. Did we already officially know she was a new Terminator model, or a Terminator period? I LOVE that look.
  • I understand why they deleted this scene between Gamora and Thanos in the final cut, as it drags and is tonally off from what we saw of him the rest of the film more concisely. However it IS cool to see Gamora dressed as his champion. CHAMPION BRAIDS.
  • This too can be yours, for a mere $1200. I’m so in. But not really in. But wish i was in.
  • Here’s a brilliant study on how Bottle Rocket DID set the stage for Wes Anderson’s later more obvious moves. I’m among the Andersonites that saw it, even as a raw version, of being consistent with his catalog, but I’ve heard the argument several times that it wasn’t. I would argue it is closer to his later vision than Blood Simple was for the Coen Brothers to their’s.

Brought to you by the 33% Nation of Pulps in my Coconut Water

Arm Reloading Since 2018 – Robot’s Root 31 July 2018

All anyone’s talking about (other than that it’s really good and will make a lot of money) regarding Mission: Impossible – Fallout is Henry Cavill’s arm reloads. That was my favorite part of the trailer as well. It cracks me up so much.

 

Meanwhile:

 

  • Tessa Thompson can simply do no wrong. I mean, when I can’t even SEE Chris Hemsworth?  That’s a thing.
  • It’s pretty impressive that the cast of GOG issued a support letter re: James Gunn. That’s a lot of political risk for them, and I like that they committed to it. They avoided outright calling out Disney on the hypocrisy, but the letter was well constructed to be positive rather than reactive.
  • You don’t often see a creator get the rights back to the work made from their original material. Controversies on all sides, but still…
  • I defer further comment until I actually finish Altered Carbon S01, but Anthony Mackie is on board as the lead for S02 and I do like him muchly.

  • Well, uh, I guess that counts.
  • Carrie Fisher’s unused footage being in SW Ep VIII is both kind of a nice touch AND indicative that whatever her original arc was to be, it will still nonetheless be radically reduced, and I think that makes sense, all things considering. I was also intrigued that Gwendoline Christie’s name wasn’t included in the returning cast… I smell a maguffin.
  • This is why the Interwebs were invented.
  • This does not look good, but is trying to be indie-weird-heisty, and this does not look good, and is trying to be edgy-die hardie-actioney. Maybe they should have- wait, I have it. Switch CASTS!
  • Look, I’m in, but also, I just LOVE checking out where all the Jonah Hill went. He’s an example to me of a person whose weight loss fundamentally changed how they look. He doesn’t look like a thinner version of himself, like with John Goodman. He looks like his own cousin or something.
  • From Lung: a horde of Thor related tweets that are glorious.
  • OH MG GOD I NEED ALL OF THESE WHY . THE . FACE!
  • This is NOT what I was expecting for Pedro Pascal’s look in WW 1984…
  • More Venom, less enthusiasms. I already had maybe 3% enthusiasms. And this accent? “Ohh, I havah paower saite.” what is even. And look, Phase 1 era fighting your clone. I just. I mean, even putting Michelle Williams in a plaid miniskirt feels desperate.

 

MAH MAN – Robots Root 19 July 2018

Look, I’m as surprised as you are. I LIKE the classic colors here. What a (rare) successful update of a golden age look! The other statues show details from the costumes that I quite like as well. More, including the costumes on display at SDCC here.

 

Also, dig the BRINE KING yall.

 

Meanwhile,

  • Comcast, bless their cold, vindictive hearts, caved and dropped out of their bidding for Fox’s assets. They were mostly after the sports division, I think. But still. The idea of Fox and Comcast being connected displeased me. It was like a landfill filled with corpses. Metaphorically.
  • Shile ST4 having a female crewperson added, a female villain, and a female director, are all welcome things… I’m still not sure about dredging up Kirk’s pappy. Unless he were UNDEAD.
  • So stoked on the Umbrella Academy adaptation.
  • Remember when I was joking (so to speak) about how the Robin promo pic looked all grim and gritty, reminding me of the Snyderverse-version Robin uniform shown in B V S… well, it looks like they dove deep.
  • Meanwhile, the details about the Joker film sound pretty predictable to this guy. Fortunately Zazie Beatz will (presumably) be in it so thats a reason to see it anyway.
  • In this skit about Batman trying to join the cool kids Avengers table, I liked how the laughter from the audience dipped a bit once Andy as Robin started shredding the Marvel characters.
  • James Gunn being fired from GOG3 over his well-established early jack-ass tweets, which were previously cleared by Disney… this is beyond strange and frankly smacks of pandering. Especially given this was all known and resolved prior, and had been dredged up by conservatives in response to his political attacks on the Trump Administration. So, more to the point and less about politics, scandal was created to silence a voice. One more casualty of the current hypocrisy.

Finally, I leave you with a successful piece of targeted marketing for this guy:

Isle of Take My Money Now – Robots Root 15 Mar 2018

Isle of Dogs, 8 days and counting. CANNOT. BREATHE.

  • Jon Hamm joined Pale Blue Dot with Natalie Portman. I love it!
  • Or… maybe Deadpool 2 reshoots are because people want MORE of all the THINGS!
  • this is Super Monster Wolf and its real. Because Japan.

  • “Beep Bloop Bloam… Goodbye to your home” Another great bad lip reading song for The Star War.
  • Fan reaction to Ghostbusters wasn’t awesome, but Paul Feig has doubled down with Powderkeg.
  • I loved the last round of posters, cribbed though they may have been, but on these, they maintain the great weirdly prescient retro colorscheme, and also the drawn aspect of it… very nice.
  • Perfect looks sufficiently beautiful and unnerving. I’m in.
  • This Mondo series celebrating Batman:the Animated Series is wonderful. My favorite was the Cat and the Claw…
  • Danny Boyle has been officially revealed as the director of the final Daniel Craig-based Bond film… by Danny Boyle.
  • I still crave more info about this Russo + Keannu Reeves superhero project.
  • Here’s some interesting (and awesome) casting on Luke Cage S02 with some direct referencing to the storylines of Punisher, at least in the comics.
  • I will always require more Angela Bassett… though really, I don’t think, in all seriousness, you can top Michael B Jordan.

Danger Netflix Streaming Bandwidth Caps – Robots Root 6 Mar 2018

The Lost in Space trailer is looking pretty fresh to this guy. I like how weird this version of the Doctor is, and that the robot appears to be xenobiological… maybe…

It Doesnt Look Like Anything To Me – Robots Root 28 February 2018

So, Joss Whedon is out on the Batgirl project… and like Justice League, the reasons stated vs. the reasons behind the reasons, are cause for some speculation. What I find MORE intriguing, however, is the flood of capable, interesting female writers and directors doing open offers to make this project what it actually wants to be… and how DC/WB is  tone-deaf about it. The image above is mine, by the way. Thank you, thank you. Whedon’s original non-script was apparently to be based on a story from the late 60s, the quintessential pre-spine-shattering Batgirl… I would be interested in something a little more like the current comics, frankly.

[Image available as a sweet print by yours truly here.]

Meanwhile, in space:

  • I’m super into Anon, a new film from the director of Gattaca. I love the post-Soviet style and overlays of data. Amanda Seyfried is also killer (so to speak) as a brunette. This could be terrible. But I choose to believe.

 

  • Polar, an adaptation from a comic from Dark Horse, has been greenlit for Netflix. Spoiler alert: it appears to be the same plot as John Wick 3 will likely be, just with Mads Mikkelsen.
  • Francis Lawrence continues to talk up development on a BSG feature film nodding to both TV series (or both major ones) but going in a more ‘current’ direction… which I take to mean instead of apeing New Hope, it’ll ape whatever’s popular next year. HAR!
  • I appreciated how low-rez R2-D2’s Leia hologram was in Last Jedi, and it did appear to be the original one from New Hope, but I had no idea it was actually rendered more degraded for a 30 years later vibe. I thought it was just the old tech-in-star wars effect from the original film plus the meta old-tech-in modern-film disconnect… kind of meta meta.
  • I see a lot of great cosplays at the shows I do, but man, throw a pro photographer or two at them, and it’s even more impressive
  • Latest in video game interest from the guy who buys them but has no time to play them… Burnout Remastered is coming. LOOOOVE them Burnout games.
  • Which is better: bouquets of donuts, or Pennywise style donut delivery? Why choose!
  • PORG CAKE!
  • Some interesting interview material about Duncan Jones’ Mute, and how it morphed into a sci-fi film from its original noir underpinnings. I wish it was getting better reviews, but I’m still hot to see it.
  • I admit, I’m surprised: test screenings for Aquaman have rated very well, apparently featuring accomplished action sequences. Of course, almost all of these bug supers films have tested well early on because of the demographic for the pre-screening crowd. Justice League and BVS both tested extremely well, as did Age of Ultron.
  • Expanse S03 trailer is finally up, showing little, but readers have a good sense of the story. It’s a doozy.
  • Never enough Yondu
  • this was disturbing. Not surprising, but great to hear he was able to get help in that critical window, which is not common.
  • Did I talk about Outsider already? If so, disregard or nod in affirmation. If not, it’s a Netflix project involving Jared Leto playing a pilot in the 50s trapped in Japan and entering a Yakuza phase. For fun and profit! Looks amazing, to me.
  • Gemma Chan has been cast in the Captain Marvel film as the Kree spy Minn-Erva (hopefully with a name change somewhere down the line because COME ON)
  • First look at Shazam/Captain Marvel’s costume here. Looks very golden age.
  • Not too often that reshoots involve inserting an entirely new character
  • A heavily unsubstantiated rumor is that Winder Woman 2’s villain will be the Cheetah, played by… Emma Stone. Take that as you will. Where are the photomanips?!
  • The trailer for Wreck-It Ralph 2 trailer finally launched. Looks great of course… I admit I wish they weren’t using real app companies… Emoji ruined that forever.
  • Terry Goodkind is a dick.

 

Bonus: this video game to brief comic adaptation of Peggy Carter as Captain America reminds me of something…

 

Not the same, but close! And a good seller for me at shows, too…available here, since apparently today I’m just hawkin’ wares…

 

Thats Just Lazy Writing – Robots Root 9 Feb 2018

Deadpool 2’s new trailer is pretty much spot on what you’d expect, and it works perfectly. Favorite detail: Chunk’s shirt from Goonies! I love it.

  • In Movies that Aren’t Black Widow News: Milla Jovovich has replaced Olivia Munn in Hummingbird. I think she’ll do a fine job but I was looking forward to Munn, who, for all the other obvious reasons i’d be on board about it, hasn’t had a series role like this to date and I was interested in seeing how she’d work.
  • The magical world of what Netflix buys and for what reason continues to intrigue me: for three different reports I’ve read, it appears Abrams and crew new the whole ‘slap Cloverfield references on a sci fi film’ experiment was collapsing, so they sold the project to Netflix for $50M, putting them in the green, as it exceeded their production budget and more importantly allowed them to sidestep the quagmire of marketing costs. Netflix paid a huge sum (though half of the total for Bright) even though they fully understood what they were getting. To say they bought it for post-Super Bowl buzz alone seems almost cynical to write, but that’s the space Netflix is operating in, with the original content streaming wars. We used to ooh and ahh and tssk  the outrageous prices for Super Bowl ad time, but that’s an incredible sum just to convince the 5 remaining non-Netflix subscribers to join, and the remaining 99.9999999% of the civilized world to stay on the service. Which is not to say I won’t watch the film (I will) and BTW, Robot-Kraken Podcast guest host Blake ‘Begin Again’ Simmons implored me to watch Bright, saying it was actually pretty good. SO! More on both projects in next month’s show, I’m guessing.
  • Drunk History features Nichelle Nichols which is pretty awesome. I’d watch it but something in it tripped the sensors in my current host country, so it’ll have to wait.
  • The most reassuring thing about the details on Harrison Ford’s advisory role on Han Solo is reading that he basically just bullshitted about his experience and what Lucas was always talking about, and then just said, go nuts! Paycheck for light aircraft repair bills… but also, no pushing about the impression or some big speech about looking like a young Harrison Ford, just insights into how Ford felt Solo ticked. Pretty great, actually.
  • Apparently the Venom trailer will be released while I’m flying across the Pacific. Either I’ll land to accolades or scorn. About the trailer, not my arrival. Everyone’s excited.
  • Jessica Jones S02 is imminent, and the full trailer looks great. Tone is consistent, actors remain solid… PLUS the addition of Expanse’s Terry Chen (Prax Meng) in a very different role than we last saw for him. That’s AWESOME.
  • So, not sure, but Titan looks like it might be B-Movie material. However it ALSO reads as a video summary of my entire TRDL Universe situation, more or less, so. There’s that! Accidental marketing.
  • I’m sure you’ve seen this by now, but this fan-made alternate opening for Force Awakens is pretty rad. Not for what it was intended, because the mystery and interest in the setting of Jakku was perfect as-is and didn’t need explaining. But rather, just to see them tow a Star Destroyer carcass to a jumk planet and then dump it. The movie made it feel, without explanations, like it crashed there from an aerial battle… never thought of it as wreckage being cleared from dangerous hyperspace traffic areas or what have you. Star Wars has always played loose with the idea of space junk. It’s only there when serving the plot.
  • Delos Destinations viral is making me HOT HOT HOT!
  • This whole exchange on ‘the mutant cure’ is hilarious.
  • An articulated, jet boot sorta havin, repulsor sorta usin, ultra rad Iron Man cosplay… but doods IT CHARGES HIS IPHONE TOO.

 

Finally, I leave you with this: yawning is contagious.