Reynolds’ Deadpool is expected to be the only iteration of the X-Men to make the jump to Disney, with Disney CEO Bob Iger having confirmed multiple times that popular, R-rated version of the character could exist at the studio. […] Marvel Studios has not publicly revealed any plans for integrating members of the X-Men and Fantastic Four into its cinematic universe, though Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is said to have met with several members of the X-Men old guard in recent months. Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley, who was hired to write a Doctor Doom movie in 2017, earlier this month confirmed he’s spoken to Feige about the script centering on the Fantastic Four villain, though Hawley downplayed how serious those discussions were.
Deadpool is a good superhero movie that people are going to convince themselves was an excellent superhero movie. It’s got a couple good action beats, it feels like a cohesive part of a larger universe without being overly constrained, it has a serviceable (and age appropriate) love story, and it’s clever… but not quite as clever as it thinks it is. You can wink at the camera and tell me that you know that you’re doing all of the usual genre clichés, but that doesn’t make the clichés any less boring. I wanted Deadpool to be a movie that broke the mold, but instead it just spends a lot of time telling you it’s better than the mold and not showing you.
Ryan Reynolds is kind of a fiat movie star; he’s handsome and famous but if you look at his credits it doesn’t seem like an impressive career. I have very few distinct memories of Ryan Reynolds performances but I do remember leaving Green Lantern and thinking, “This movie was kinda bad but it wasn’t Ryan Reynolds’s fault.” These are not the kind of ringing endorsements that careers are built on, but Reynolds feels like the perfect choice to play Wade Wilson. He’s funny and charming and the self-deprecation feels a little more real because he isn’t an A-list actor in his own right. The only other actor I could even imagine playing this part with the same zeal is James Franco, and that’s an objectively worse choice (although think of all the Spider-Man 3 jokes we could have gotten). Everything that doesn’t work about Deadpool is saved by Reynolds’s overwhelming performance, and all the things that work are pushed to even greater heights.
The rest of the cast fine but there are precious few standouts among them. I’m fond of Morena Baccarin but this part, even as the female lead, is small and gives her very little room to show anything. Gina Carano is the most imposing woman working in film this side of Gwendoline Christie and she looks like a million bucks in this, her second consecutive feature film that’s barely asked her to talk. T.J. Miller plays a comic relief character in a movie full of comic relief characters, and while he hits every punchline I never wished he was on screen more often. Ed Skrein might do the movie the biggest disservice as the main villain Ajax, as he’s just so unbelievably boring that while I want Deadpool to get his revenge I wish he could do it without having to hear another generic British bad guy deliver generic bad guy dialogue. Brianna Hildebrand seems like she could be a breakout star if she’s given enough chances to play Negasonic Teenage Warhead, although she’s certainly not in the next X-Men movie, would likely feel shoehorned in to any sequels in this franchise, and might simply never get another chance.
So I’m generally fond of the acting in Deadpool, and the action is a solid B+ (even if three of the top five moments were given away for free in the trailer) but where it fails to deliver for me is in the story. This is the same origin story then damsel in distress formula I’ve seen a thousand times. I was tempted to use hyperbole and say a million but I’m confident it has actually been at least a thousand times by this point. Deadpool loves to show how it knows that it’s a movie and how familiar it is with all these tropes but it isn’t brave enough to actually break out of them in any way. I’m sick of origin stories and telling me I’m going to see one doesn’t make it better. I’m slightly less sick of hostage girlfriends but only because a lot of movies don’t bother to develop enough characters to have compelling alternative hostages. It’s also disappointing that for all the snark they have about the genre that they direct none of it at the sexualized violence the genre is often bogged down in and even contributes some for itself. Deadpool is going to get credit for being clever and subversive and it’s only doing those things at a four out of ten and for it to feel real I need them to aim much higher.
I’m happy that Deadpool exists and I enjoyed watching it (when I wasn’t groaning at the idea of watching another person get experimented on until they develop super powers) but it isn’t there yet, and I hope the praise it’s getting doesn’t make it sit on its laurels. There’s a spark of great potential here and I’m instantly more excited for Deadpool 2 than I am for any superhero movie that isn’t Civil War because it could actually be something unique and clever. Deadpool is a great first step but I need them to keep going.
I am told there are people who are sick and tired of the massive, overwhelming, unending, incessant and redundant Deadpool promotion campaign.
Yeah, I get that.
I found myself in Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal this past Monday, on the way to a little get-together with fellow ComicMix columnists Molly Jackson, Joe Corallo and Martha Thomases. I was in a great mood – Molly, Joe and Martha are wonderful people to hang out with, and walking through Grand Central Terminal is always a breathtaking and inspiring experience. I was going to the Times Square subway shuttle, and Grand Central and Times Square combine to become one of North America’s most advertising-congested venues. Just about every square inch of building space is covered in billboards and electronic signs. Even the very steps are decked out in promotional advertising. It’s a colorful, bright, shiny, noisy, and ceaseless experience that you either love, hate or have learned to ignore.
And, last Sunday, it seemed as though damned near all of it was pushing Deadpool.
Add to this the almost-daily release of new trailers, photos, interviews and commercials and you’ve got a promotion going that’s larger than about any four movies combined. It’s pretty easy to appreciate how some folks could experience Deadpool burnout prior to this Friday’s official opening.
Some folks. Not me.
That’s odd given my always-fleeting attention span and my basic anti-capitalist worldview, but, damn it, the whole Deadpool campaign has been very, very funny. Entertaining. Sometimes stupefying, particularly when you compare the theatrical trailers and broadcast commercials to their uncensored Internet equivalents.
Of course, given my vocation and my predilections I would have gone to the Deadpool movie even if the only promotion was a black-and-white leaflet mounted on the wall above a urinal in the back of a seedy bar. However, when it comes to fans and civilians alike, this colossal campaign has inculcated the movie with “issues.”
First of all, it has raised the bar of our expectations. If this isn’t the funniest, most action-filled and visually spectacular movie ever made, some will be disappointed… or, on the Internet, apoplectic. Experience already has taught the average movie-goer that sometimes all the worthy scenes in the film were revealed in the trailers and spots.
Second, it has presented some people with quite a dilemma. You can’t mass market something without (duh!) marketing to the masses. Deadpool is rated R. That means those under 17 (you know, what used to be perceived as the comic book audience) are supposed to be excluded from admission without an “accompanying parent or adult guardian.” That’s going to make it harder for a lot of adolescents to get in, and that’s going to make it harder on a lot of their parents or adult guardians who haven’t seen South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut.
No matter how much Marvel might despise 20th Century Fox or how much the True Believers (like myself) despised their Fantastic Four movie last year, Fox has injected a lot of much-needed levity and energy into what clearly is an oversaturated superhero media market. They might have wound up extending Marvel’s movie longevity.
If the Deadpool movie is as good as their campaign.
Fantastic Four is a bad movie. Don’t go see it if you want an enjoyable 100 minutes in a theater and probably don’t see it for an ironic “so bad I want to make fun of it” kind of way either. It’s a lifeless bad, an entropic bad, a movie so bad it makes me question if there’s even a good movie based on this team to be made. Only the depths of history save Fantastic Four from being the worst superhero movie of all time (it might not even be the worst movie named Fantastic Four) but it’s certainly the worst superhero of this generation and is a top contender for worst film of the year.
Perhaps it isn’t possible to make a good Fantastic Four with the constraints that a non-Marvel studio would put on it. They need to make the principal characters young so they’re more relatable to young people, but then you have a team full of cut-rate Peter Parkers with none of the family-based charm that makes the FF work in the comics. You need to do an origin story but you also need to get Doctor Doom in there because he’s literally the only villain that anyone’s ever heard of so you end up shoehorning that character into a story that doesn’t involve him or he becomes some kind of vestigial Fantastic Fifth. There’s also an unwillingness to use the iconic costumes or codenames that aren’t The Thing, which takes a team with so much history and turns them in to a bunch of generic off-brand versions of themselves.
It’s become quite clear over the weekend that there were some serious behind the scenes squabbles over the making of this movie and it’s certainly apparent in the product given to us on the screen. After the four main characters get their super powers they are held as scientific experiments, a predicament from which Reed escapes and the remaining three are left behind. This creates a great deal of mistrust from Ben Grimm who feels abandoned but throws himself headfirst in to working as a secret weapon of the military. One such military operation is taking Reed back in to custody. When they bring Reed back Johnny is quick to embrace him, Sue feels guilty at being part of the operation that brought him back in and Ben still feels anger. Then Doctor Doom shows up and starts killing a lot of people and it feels like this is going to be the impetus for the four of them to put their differences aside and work together to stop this larger evil a few scenes later in the movie but instead this one confrontation is it. They fight Doom and at the end they seem to be the best of friends even though nothing really changed for all of them, they don’t talk, there aren’t even meaningful glances or anything. Reed goes from missing for an entire year to barking orders that everyone follows in what must have been hours. I bet there was a version of this movie that feels more complete but we’ll never see it and with the right NDAs we might never even know but this is the rare movie that’s boring at 100 minutes but might have been appreciably better at 120 minutes.
I don’t know where this property goes from here. There’s already word from Fox that their announced Fantastic Four sequel might get scrapped in favor of a Deadpool sequel. Oddly, not announcing sequels for movies that haven’t been released yet doesn’t seem to be an option at all. Perhaps this time Fox has finally stumbled so badly with the franchise that they’ll be willing to work out a deal that returns the characters to Marvel and we start seeing a slow rollout of Latverian mentions in Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’m not interested in seeing this version of these characters again and I’m sure as hell not excited to sit through another origin story in four years time. I want this to eventually be gotten right but maybe it doesn’t matter, there are enough super hero movies out there without another iteration of the FF taking up all of our time.
To celebrate the home entertainment release of the X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut Blu-ray on July 14th we’re hosting a contest!
On Saturday, July 11th, the never-before-seen extended #RogueCut edition of X-Men: Days of Future Past will be screened at the Reading Theater in the Gaslamp District of San Diego. And we’ve got the chance to give away 10 pairs of VIP access wristbands. That’s guaranteed access to a screening!
We’ll be choosing winners at random, the only requirement for winning is that you will be in the area and able to attend. No San Diego Comic-Con badge needed! All you have to do to enter is comment on this article using a valid email address and you’ll be entered for a chance to win.
Don’t worry if you don’t win passes, you will have the opportunity to gain two VIP (guaranteed) access tickets to the screening by purchasing the X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut Blu-ray through one of these locations:
The Fox booth on the show floor (Booth #s 4229)
The Nerd HQ/IGN Lounge (Children’s Museum)
Additional seating will be available to fans on a first-come, first-served basis.
Beyond the two VIP tickets for the special screening, fans that purchase the Rogue Cut early on Blu-ray and DVD during Comic-Con will also score a limited edition lithograph, celebrating 15 years of the X-Men franchise. Rogue Cut will contain nearly 90 minutes of extra features including deleted scenes, featurettes and gag reels, sure to engage the most ardent enthusiast.This entire package of content will be available at MSRP $19.99 and is a must-have for every X-Men fan.
ABOUT X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST ROGUE CUT
With a never-before-seen, alternate cut of the film—plus nearly 90 minutes of all-new, immersive special features, the X-Men: Days of Future Past RogueCut takes you deeper into the X-Men universe than ever before. Rogue makes her return as the all-star characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves and unite to battle armies of murderous Sentinel robots who are hunting down mutants and humans alike!
Remember, all you have to do to enter is comment on this article using a valid email address and you’ll be entered for a chance to win. May the odds ever be in your– no, that’s the other Jennifer Lawrence film franchise. Good luck! See you in San Diego!
Want some action? We’ve got plenty from two guys who know to create it. From SPAWN to FALCON RISING, Michael Jai White has never shied away from the heat and he proves it again with his new film, SKIN TRADE. Plus Christian Kane balances the thrills in THE LIBRARIANS, but proves his musical side in the new project 50 TO ONE. Now, think about it – wouldn’t he make a great Wolverine? WE ask for his reaction to that.
Here’s a voice to go with a face we’re sure you are familiar with. You’ve seen actor Burn Gorman in DARK KNIGHT RISES, GAME OF THRONES and now in AMC’s TURN:WASHINGTON’S SPIES. He talks about his varied acting jobs and even how much fun it was on the set of TORCHWOOD plus what his dream acting job would be.
Christian Kane (THE LIBRARIANS, ANGEL) joins us in a few days to talk about his new movie and why we thunk he should be the next Wolverine. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.
The rumors that circle through the comics industry span the sublime to the ridiculous. Some, like the death and/or return of major characters turn out to be spot on, but some make the annual spate of April Fools posts seem tame and rational. (How many times has Dan Didio supposed to have been fired by now?)
The latest hot topic, posited by the gang at Bleeding Cool, claims that Marvel Comics has plans to suspend publication of their Fantastic Four titles, both standard and Ultimate, for an indeterminate period of time. Not due to poor sales, or pursuant to a planned relaunch, but because the comics provide too much publicity for 20th Century Fox’s film adaptations, and by shelving the titles, interest in the characters would plummet to the point that the next film would tank, and Fox would finally relinquish the rights to the characters, opening the door to a true Marvel-led reboot.
The much anticipated home video release of the 1966-1968 Batman teleivsion series has been confirmed by Warner Home Video. A complete box set of the trend-setting 104 episodes will be out later this year in a date to be determined.
The announcement was made on the Conan O’Brien Show complete with a breaking news tweet.
Last year, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox reached an agreement to allow licensing from the ABC series to begin which spawned action figures, Barbie & Ken Collector’s Set, the well-received comic book Batman ’66 from DC Entertainment, and related merchandise. There were high hopes that the DVD announcement would be made at last summer’s Comic-Con International but it was not to be.
No details have yet been released regarding how this arrangement was completed but it has been long understood that there were legal entanglements between DC, 20th Century Fox, and Greenway Productions, the latter being William Dozier’s production company which actually created the pop series.
Dozier had been asked to turn some comic hero into a television series and after attempts with others failed, they settled on Batman, whose sales had been slipping for years as the static art from co-creator Bob Kane and his ghosts failed to keep up with the maturing look of comic books and the writing had gone down hill, mired in science fiction concepts unbefitting the world’s greatest detective.
He decided to play it as straight as he could and with Lorenzo Semple, Jr. at the typewriter, they came up with an approach that worked. The story would be split in two, with the first thirty minute part concluding on a cliffhanger with Dozier’s own narration promising results if fans merely tuned in “same bat time, same bat channel”. One show split up ion this manner had not been done before but ABC, then a distant third in the ratings, was desperate to try anything.
The series arrived on January 12, 1966 after being in development for less than a year. However, it shattered the ratings charts and became an instant smash success, spawning countless forms of apparel, books, records, and other collectibles. It turned journeyman actor Adam West into a superstar and newcomer Burt Ward into a youthful sex symbol. All manner of actors, actresses, and celebrities clamored to play villains on the series or make cameo appearances during the famed climbs up buildings.
The series arrived at a time when pop culture was enjoying a colorful renaissance, inspired in part by an art movement fronted by Andy Warhol and a renewed interest in super-hero comics. It used odd camera angles, a bright colorful palette (at a time when color TV was still considered something new), and had jazzy music. Kids adored the action sequences while adults cackled at the corny jokes and seemingly ludicrous plots. There was something for everyone.
The show quickly spawned a big budget film which arrived in August 1966, between the first and second seasons, allowing the producers to add a Bat boat and Batcopter to the growing arsenal of bat-themed weapons. It also pitted the Dynamic Duo against a quarter of foes, something heretofore untried on the series.
By that fall, though, the bloom had quickly faded and ABC was scrambling to find ways to sustain interest in the series. They asked DC for a Batgirl and rather than resurrect Kathy Kane, editor Julie Schwartz and art director Carmine Infantino created Barbara Gordon, who was introduced in Detective Comics #369 that November. Yvonne Craig, a dancer turned actress, nabbed the role and became an object of lust for young boys everywhere when she arrived the following September.
Even though ABC reduced the series to a single night, the ratings continued to plummet and the show was canceled, airing its final episode in March 1968. Soon after it went into syndication and it has been playing on some channel, somewhere ever since.
Today, you say Black Swan and images of a crazed Natalie Portman come to mind, but there was an earlier film by that name, a swashbuckler that has been forgotten by many. The first Black Swan is a 1942 adventure starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O’Hara based on Rafael Sabatini’s novel. Having already succeeded with adaptations of Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk, this seemed a natural followup for 20th Century Fox.
Out on Blu-ray from 20th Century Home Entertainment, The Black Swan tells the story of the infamous Captain Morgan (Laird Cregar), attempting to lead a more virtuous life. He is appointed as Governor of Jamaica, charged with ridding the waters of his former brigands. No one trusts the notorious former pirate, complicating his work although he’s successful using his personal relationships to convince Captain Jamie Waring (Power) and Tom Blue (Thomas Mitchell) to end their criminal work. Others, including Captain Billy Leech (George Sanders) and Wogan (Anthony Quinn) do not agree with Morgan’s pleas.
(Yes, this is the captain Henry Morgan of history and the famous rum, but the film takes incredible liberties with the facts.)
While Morgan is doing his duty, Waring is now on land, and falls for Lady Margaret (Maureen O’Hara), daughter of the former governor, Lord Denby (George Zucco). She’s also involved with Roger Ingram (Edward Ashley), an English gentleman who provides a sharp contrast with Waring. Things get complicated when no one believes Morgan as piracy continues and Waring takes it upon himself to figure things out leading to intrigue, betrayal, and a few flashy sword fights. An early color film, it provides a visual impact the earlier adaptations lacked, which is why Leon Shamroy won the Academy Award for cinematography. Power, on the other hand, lacked the charisma of Errol Flynn, his action rival of the day, and the film lacks a verve the others provided. Still, this is most watchable and worth a look. The film transfer is nicely done and sounds great.
There is an interesting commentary by film critic Rudy Behlmer and O’Hara along with the original Theatrical Trailer.