5 Amazing Comic Book Movies Still To Come In 2017

5. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Okay, not technically based on a comic book, but is the sequel to a film that is. The trailer for this will be released later today, two teasers already been made (one of which is the entire trailer sped up to fit into 10 second, very cool and innovative way of doing it, already led to people slowing it down and discussing it). No idea how they’re going to bring back Colin Firth’s character, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure they wouldn’t bring him back for no reason, not as though they’re short of credible actors in this film; they’ve got Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore etc. Not released until September but already really looking forward to it.

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4. Wonder Woman

Saw the trailer, loved it. Gal Gadot was one of the best things about Batman Vs. Superman, so the fact her character has FINALLY got a full length feature is very exciting. Basically seems like an origin story, which I’m okay with as her origin hasn’t permeated popular culture that much so for new people they would need to know that. Of course, it would have been a better idea if they did this film BEFORE Batman Vs. Superman as at the moment I can’t see their being any tension in it all. Not for her character anyway, you know she’s going to survive so you won’t worry if she’s safe, which means that unless the film kills somebody she’s close to it won’t be able to land emotionally enough to be effective. Really hope this does well, mainly because if it doesn’t, internet assholes (and studio executives) will blame the fact it’s a female character for the failure, and be more reluctant to do female-led movies in the future.

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3. Justice League

Mainly curious about this one. Personally (and I’m happy to be proven wrong), I think the DC Extended Universe scheduling has been a complete mess so far. BvS should not have been the second film in the series, you need to build up tension between the characters first in other films so that it feels like it means something, as it was it just felt like “hey, this is happening” “and? Who cares?”. They’ve done that fight so early on in the series that there’s not that much left for them to do, there’s not many “big events” they have to call back on (especially since they’ve also already done The Death Of Superman). Related to this, Justice League should not be released this year. It’s too big a film to come out so soon after Wonder Woman, they’ve already released the trailers for this before Wonder Woman is out. They’re really rushing this through and it could end up harming the product in the long run. Although I am still kind of excited about it, so what do I know?

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2. Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2

Released very soon, really looking forward to it. Had a kind of average marketing campaign, I’d hoped the marketing campaign of Deadpool would lead to more innovative and unique marketing for “quirky” comic book films, but seems like it’s just standard “trailer tease, trailer, second trailer, release” kind of thing. Trailer looks good though, slight risk that they’re intentionally trying to create memes with it, which hasn’t been too annoying in the trailers but if the rest of the film is like that it could be off-putting. Guardians is in a weird place this time, the first one was so good that expectations are high, which is almost the complete opposite of what the situation was last time, where everybody expected this to be the iceberg that sinks the MCU Titanic. Have to wonder whether this will be the film where they explicitly acknowledge the link between it and the rest of the MCU. Also, I really hope it’s not just going to be a rehash of the first one. I want to be amazed during this, but I trust Marvel, so I think I will be.

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1. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was one of the (many many) highlights of Captain America: Civil War, so much so that it almost made audiences completely forget that this is the third reboot of the franchise in a short period of time. Confession time: He’s one of the characters I’ve never really liked in films, he’s always supposed to be a teenager but is never played as one. At least, not an actual teenager, he’s played like the leading man in a teen drama where “anxiety” and “shy geek” just means “is friends with the most popular girl in school but hasn’t dated her yet” and the only sign of their geekdom is that people with letters on their jacket (I now know it’s their school letters, but I will never stop having a small part of me think it’s their initials so they don’t forget their names) shove them into lockers. This Spider-Man however is a teenager, he geeks out over superheroes, he messes up, he gets overexcited (which then leads to more mistakes). More importantly: he’s fun. He’s a funny, engaging character whom is inherently likeable, and should do well in his full length debut, which is thankfully, not an origin story.

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Note to directors: EVERYBODY knows this scene, it’s NEVER been needed in a film

 

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Films That Should’ve Been Made In A Different Medium

Now I’m not saying these films shouldn’t have been made. Just it would be nice if they got made in different mediums.

1. The Boat That Rocked

What It Should Have Been: A TV Series.

The two main complaints people had about this film were that it was too long and had a disjointed plot. Both of these problems would’ve been solved if it was a TV series instead of a film. Would it have got the same cast though? I like to think it would’ve done. It’s a mostly British cast and the British attitude seems to be “you’re never too big for TV”. And plus imagine the end; after weeks and weeks with these characters when the boat is sinking at the end it would bring a tear to your eye. The many plots could have an episode each but the underlying plots would be A) Carl trying to find his father. B) The closing of the station. And probably would be a good idea to lose the slightly rapey scene in it, that was majorly uncomfortable to watch and had no place in it.

2. Zombieland

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What It Should Have Been: A Comic

This film was basically a comic anyway; and it would’ve been nice to see what would’ve become of it if budget wasn’t a factor. Then maybe have a film based on the comic so Jesse Eisenberg can be in a comic book adaptation that doesn’t suck.

3. Unbreakable.

What It Should Have Been: A book.

Some things are more acceptable in books such as films. Many of which are present in this film. It has a great plot and terrific build up but it’s just not suited to cinema. As a book however it would have been fantastic. The trouble is is that it is a really average film if you take away the twist, you have to finish watching it to like it, there’s nothing in it that keeps you watching whilst you are watching it. As such if you get interrupted halfway through it, you’re not likely to come back to it. Alternatively you take this film and condense it into an hour-long TV show, make it the pilot episode of a new series.

4. The Final Destination.

What It Should Have Been: Video Game

The film was, well it was just silly. And not in a good way. I think it would’ve been silly in a good way if the first few films in the series weren’t so serious. After the those this seemed practically childish by comparison. By this point I it would have been smarter to franchise this into other mediums. I mean; picture this film as a video game, not a top-level full price one, but a small downloadable one on xbox live or something: you control death and have to set needlessly complex traps to kill people. The more complex, violent and deadly, the more points. Once you get a certain amount of points you can get upgrades to kill people more efficiently (explosions etc). Actually I want that game now. Or, just have Telltale make it; you play as one of the characters avoiding death. The advantage of that is that it would be REALLY easy to market and gain interest: you release a quick demo online with a random title; you control a teenager investigating the death of his/her friend. Standard Tell-Tale stuff, but at the end of the level; you die via a series of convoluted accidents, and the game reveals it’s a Final Destination one.

 

I also was going to have: Fant4stic should have been; a muffin basket, because anything would have been better than that film. But then I realised if that film was a muffin basket, it would probably poison people.

Why we love…Adrian Mole

Today is 10th April 2017, three years to the day that Sue Townsend passed away at the age of 68. While she did write other books, (The Queen And I in particular is brilliant) it’s Adrian Mole that she’ll be forever associated with. `They’re the books that basically got me into reading. That and Horrible Histories are the books I can remember from my childhood that I still keep today (well I say childhood, I was about 10 when I started reading them). And it turns out I’m not alone in that (well, the Adrian Mole books anyway, sadly not enough people read Horrible Histories). I remember when she died, i spent the day browsing the comments section of websites and searching on Twitter, finding many people who had a similar experience: they read the books as children, liked them and had it kick of an appreciation of literature, read them again as adults, loved them.

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What started as just one book a family member told me to read has no spread out into a love of literature for which I am glad. I have read books that made me laugh, books that made me cry, and books that changed the way I view the world, and it’s all because of a fictional pretentious teenager from the Midlands. It was the first time I saw a main character who didn’t have the characteristics of a main character. He wasn’t popular, he didn’t have any skills, and (despite what he may have thought) he wasn’t very clever either. This wasn’t the story of something amazing, it was the story of something very ordinary, and that in of itself was amazing.

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The books weren’t outright political but simply made a personalised record of politics at the time, which made them political, and this was a theme that spread throughout the series. From the later books where the character writes to Tony Blair to get him to provide evidence that WMD’s could hit Cyprus so he could get money back on a cancelled holiday, to the early books where he frantically searches for the Falklands on a map after hearing of the invasion, only for his Mother to come in and find them under a wayward crumb of cake. It was a weird time in British history, a unpopular female Conservative Prime Minister was thinking of declaring war on a foreign country over the ownership of a small useless island we didn’t need anymore, just to make herself more popular with the tabloid press which started using jingoistic and racial slurs daily.

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Thank god THAT never happened again

What makes the books truly resonate among people is the accuracy of them. We read them and see a small piece of ourselves, and then hope we weren’t that bad, but truthfully a small part of us knows that we were. His poetry was hilariously awful, and his logic a little bit strange

my skin is dead good. I think it must be a combination of being in love, and lucozade”

but for that we loved him, and cringed at the every mistake and misconception (of which their were many). It’s an odd series to binge-read as you read basically his entire life; from a confused adolescent, through to a confused single father with prostate cancer. You see the character grow before your very eyes, and see how not only the character develops, but how the world develops too. We see him recall the Iraq War, royal weddings, royal deaths, and his own personal tragedies which everyone goes through; divorces, family deaths and break ups.

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I still remember when the author died, and sadly it was only after hearing that she died that I found out more about Sue Townsend, and it made for sad reading. She had TB peritonitis at 23, a heart attack in her 30’s, charcot joint degenerative arthritis, suffered from diabetes, registered blind in 2001, suffered kidney failure in 2007, and had a stroke in 2013. I read that and immediately felt awful for her, the fact that she continued to write such funny material is a huge testament to both her character and her talent. And whilst I am glad she’s not suffering in anyway right now, a small selfish part of me is disappointed that Adrian will no longer update his diary.

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The Best Single-Location Films

Free-Fire was released to UK cinemas this week, seemingly two-hundred millennia after the preview screenings (ok it was actually like a month, but still). Been excited for it since I first saw the trailer, and more so since I heard that it is like the trailer suggests, and is all in one location. I like when films do that, it’s a sign of good writing and acting if it holds your attention like that. Oddly enough I don’t think I’ve seen one that didn’t work, probably because it’s such a hard thing to pull off that studios will only risk it if they’re absolutely certain it would work, these films have to be better than average as if they’re anything less people will be highly critical. So with that in mind, here’s a list of my favourites. Let’s start some ground rules

  1. Has to mainly (at least 95%) take place in one location.
  2. Location has to be relatively confined (otherwise some smart-ass will be like: “what about this film? It all takes place in one location; earth”)
  3. I have to have seen it (like most of these blogs, this is the biggest hurdle as it counts out Rope and Rear Window, which I was tempted to put in purely on the basis they’re Hitchcock so I’m sure are brilliant)

So, let’s do this.

5. Locke

Yeah, I’m surprised this is the first one I’m mentioning too. I’d have guessed it would be top three, but then I saw what else is on this list, and as much as I do love Locke (and I do) this has to come 5th. I know quite a few people don’t like this, and it’s easy to see why, the “one person cast” kind of films are not for everyone, and that’s okay. Actually I feel that point needs to be made more often; it’s not essential to like a film. It is possible to recognise a film is very well crafted, and still not like it. The whole “if you don’t like x then you’re obviously not smart enough, or you don’t get it, or (and this is the worst) I’m going to explain to you why you’re wrong, using spreadsheets and citations from people” It’s that kind of attitude which puts people off film discussion. The film that made me realise exactly how good Tom Hardy is. This film is unique on this list as the entire film takes place in a car, driving down the motorway. As such you don’t even really get the sense of claustrophobia that these type of films provide. However the fact Hardy’s character is in a moving location does provide a unique feeling to it, despite him being the driver of the car he very much is a passenger of his own film, being driven by fate to a conclusion he’s desperately trying to avoid.

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Tom Hardy with his beard of gloom (not pictured; Welsh accent of sadness)

4. Tape

Merging two film gimmicks in one; not only is it all in one location, it also takes place in real time. Unpopular opinion; is probably my favourite Linklater film. I like what it says about people, and the dynamics that occur in certain friendship groups. Very minimalist cast; the entire film is Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard in a room discussing awkward things, then being joined by Uma Thurman for the home stretch. Was originally written as a play by Stephen Belber, only found that out whilst writing this but it’s fairly obvious that was the case whilst watching it. Is the kind of writing that’s perfect for drama students to use for auditions. Unlike most Linklater films this one is often mentioned as something amazing, which is a shame as it is truly something unique and I’d recommend everybody watch it.

3. Moon

Is this a one location film? Apparently so, I don’t remember it being so but apparently it is, and I do love this film so it earns its place. The debut film by Duncan Jones, who has since moved onto direct Source Code and Warcraft, but to me this will always be his best (at least until Mute comes out this year; a sci-fi mystery film starring Alexander Skarsgard as a mute bartender alongside Paul Rudd and Sam Rockwell? I’m sold). This film is one of the best sci-fi films I’ve seen, visually stunning (especially on a relatively low budget). Sam Rockwell is mindblowingly good in this, playing not only the main character, but also his clone. Yeah it’s a weird film, but well worth checking out. And it features the voice of Kevin Spacey, what more do you want from this film?

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It’s also much much better than this, which is a good concept poorly written

2. Breakfast Club

Truth be told, I didn’t even realise this was a single location film until doing research for this. That’s how good this film is. Although let’s face it, part of that might be because has such a large cast compared to the others. Possibly one of the most 80’s films that exists, this defined the genre. Yes, Sixteen Candles was the first of these films, the one that paved the path, but it was Breakfast Club that lit the way so others could follow in their footsteps. Anybody wanting to break into filmmaking should watch this, this is the closest cinema gets to the attitude of punk. One of the main things about punk music was that anybody could do it, you didn’t need to have elaborate sets on stage, you didn’t need the knowledge to play 10 minute guitar solos, you could just pick up instruments and play. This is the film equivalent; there’s absolutely nothing here you can’t do yourself, the locations are all within reach, there’s nothing unachievable here. This would actually be perfect way to showcase skills on a film course; you hand someone the script for this and say “make a scene from this”, and see how they do it.

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1. Buried

This had to be number one really, and not only because of how much I love Ryan Reynolds (that’s only part of it). I hate to say that I didn’t watch this film because I found the concept interesting, or I read the reviews; I watched this film for one reason and one reason only: Ryan Reynolds. Now if you like Ryan Reynolds, you will love this film, as he is the only person in it. The entire film is him trapped in a box. When I first heard about it i thought that that couldn’t possibly work. Surely they have flashback scenes? Or he gets out about half hour into the film and suddenly it turns into an action film? But no, it’s just one guy, in a box for the entire film. And it is a remarkably effective piece of filmmaking. The singular location means the audience feels just as trapped and claustrophobic as the character. If the film had any cutaway scenes it would only serve to break up the tension. So I’ve established it makes you feel trapped, but is it a good film? The answer; yes it’s fucking good, hence why it’s my number one. I recommend that everybody see this film at least once. But only once, any more like that and you do risk suicide.

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It’s this, for an hour and a half. And it’s glorious

Special Mentions (a.k.a; films I’ve heard are good but haven’t watched yet)

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

Reservoir Dogs

12 Angry Men

Das Boot

Symbol

My Dinner With Andre

 

Yes, I apologise for never having seen some of those, I’m a terrible person.