Last summer, Marvel culminated its Netflix work with Defenders. And it was good. Sure, Danny Rand wasn’t fully developed as a human, much less, a superhero. Yes, Jessica Jones is one of the forgotten heroes in the Marvel lexicon. Yet, there they are — together, fighting The Hand and making nerd’s dreams come true.
Matt Murdock died with his resurrected squeeze, Elektra (or so we thought) and New York City was saved. Many of us were hopeful for what was to come. And then, this happened:
You may not have even noticed because Netflix kinda’ wanted it that way but the Defenders Facebook page was changed to give a home to NX.
— NX (@NXOnNetflix) July 17, 2018
With all of Netflix’s diverse content, they have a certain panache for the geeky (i.e., ‘Altered Carbon,’ ‘The Cloverfield Paradox,’ ‘Bright,’ ‘Black Mirror’, ‘The Innocents’). So, they created a hub for all of it. Here’s the thing: Netflix isn’t really hurting for money but they felt the need to take over a Facebook channel of theirs instead of build a new one.
Yeah, that hurts. And that’s when our hopes of Defenders died, along with Daredevil and Elektra under a tonnage of rock, steel, and glass. We all gave up hope until Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb had this introspective interview in EW.
Defenders was always billed as a miniseries, and it seems like it’s not coming back for a second season —
No, all we’ve ever said is that there are no plans right now [to do more]. It doesn’t mean that it’s off the table. And it doesn’t mean that it even has to be with the original characters that were in the first Defenders.
What do you mean by that?
There are lots of Avengers, and through that, you should be able to ascertain that there may be lots of Defenders. No one at any time referred to them as “The Defenders” — they didn’t wear a little “D” on their belts, and they didn’t go to a building that had a big “Defenders” [sign] in the air. They were four mismatched heroes who were joined by a lot of the other heroes that are in the stories that we do on Netflix, but that was that particular story.
Wait, what?! Defenders 2 may have different Defenders? This could be big news because if they are bringing on a sequel with new characters, that means new origin stories.
So, chin up folks. You know the aphorism: “When God shuts down a Facebook page, he could up another.” Or something like that.
Our inaugural post on these Matrix-led awards (a keen statue coming really soon) was met with a nice batch of approval, applause, and a few comments, so thanks for that.
The RetroLight Awards seeks the entertainment world each month for the person whom is front-and-center and worthy of a review of their acclaimed work. Last month, it was Josh Brolin, who pretty much owned the summer of 2018. This month goes to a Texas gent who fades in and out of headlines the same way he (allegedly) does consciousness after a stimulating Friday night.
Fresh off the heels of White Boy Rick, a more-of-a-family-movie-than-you-think, this month’s RetroLight Award goes to the man, the myth, the sometimes muddled in speech,
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar was a cinematic portrayal of the Latin phrase “Amor Pondus Meum” meaning “Love is the law of gravity.” The success of selling this high concept rested on the shoulders of Matthew McConaughey who played astronaut Josh Cooper, a renegade NASA space explorer whose goal is to save the world — only, as he later learns, it’s based on a failed promise.
When faced with the revelation that Cooper is only a seed of space colonization, he is determined to still fulfill his mission. Cooper bends time and space to reach his daughter, remind her of his love, and pass her the keys of survival. Interstellar is arguably the best father/daughter film of all time and, personally, made me weep over the concept of love as the most powerful force in the universe.
Interstellar ($677m) just edges out Sing ($634m) as the top grossing film of McConaughey’s career. Interstellar is rooted in a father’s transcendent love and Sing is a kid’s movie. Yet both keep with McConaughey’s unabashed devotion to his own children.
We believe in Cooper’s love every time he screams his daughter’s name, “MURPH” in frustration. We ache with Cooper as he sobs at the prospect of failing her. We cheer as Cooper smashes through every obstacle to reach her again. Beyond the father/daughter connection, McConaughey nails lighter connections within the story: quiet conversations with his own father and clever repertoire with his robotic sidekick Tars. Interstellar runs Matthew McConaughey through the full gamut of emotion and we are strapped in as his co-pilots.
McConaughey got his part in Interstellar after Christopher Nolan watched his turn as the title character in the film, Mud. This southern fairy-tale is essentially a modern take on Tom Sawyer, following the misadventures of two 14-year-old boys mystified by Mud, a very charming fugitive.
Mud uses the two boys as cupids, sending them on dangerous missions that will reunite Mud with his lover. His misguided mentorship guides the boys through the perils of teenage heartbreak and the trauma of divorce. When Mud takes to the river once more, he leaves the boys with a gun and a fresh perspective.
Like sediment left on the banks of a river, Mud is deposited into the boys’ lives by fate. He wants to stay, fighting the river tides of reality, conformity, and the law. He’s dirty, physically and morally. Most likely guilty of murder, he unintentionally manipulates the boys with his dangerous ideology.
When faced with imprisonment or death, Mud redeems himself by rescuing his youthful accomplices. As the river giveth and the river taketh, Mud is swept away. He smiles at fate and leaves us for more misadventures upstream.
In Gold, McConaughey portrays Kenny Wells. Wells is a fictional character, loosely based on Bre-X CEO David Walsh. Wells is a prospector who has lost everything (including his hair). He is down on his luck, living with his girlfriend (rent-free) and trying to get his own business up-and-running from the back room of his girlfriend’s bar.
Wells’ story is something we have seen before: a man (or woman) falls on hard times, experiences a meteoric rise followed by a crushing downfall. All he wanted was the American Dream. Despite the best intentions and his ignorance to what was really behind his company’s success, he becomes viewed as villain by the public and by his employees. Kenny is a passionate prospector who wants to believe the best in people, which makes him someone vulnerable to being used by others.
McConaughey delivers ten-fold in this role. His level of commitment to this role is exemplified by the fact he put 40 additional pounds to portray Wells, as well as having prosthetic crooked teeth made. He would wear those for hours each day to get used to talking with them in. He plays Kenny with a sense of hope when he falls on hard times for the first time. He brings a heavy amount of optimism and passion when Kenny tries to revive his company from the ashes. While Kenny does get transformed into a businessman throughout the course of the film due to sudden success he finds, he always stays true to his inner prospector.
The idea of prospecting thrills Kenny. This passion and sense of wonderment McConaughey brings to this role makes the audience applaud Kenny to find success. Due to this brilliant performance, the audience feels compelled to sympathize with and forgive Kenny for his ignorance when his scandalous company goes under.
This role provided McConaughey a chance to showcase his acting range. He takes Kenny from a hopeful and passionate prospector, to a regretful and apologetic business owner, trying to come to terms with losing his business (again) and costing hundreds of trusting people their jobs. Overall, it’s a great coming of age tale, similar to its inspiration — Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain would be proud.
McConaughey portrays Mick Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer. Haller is a charismatic, smooth-talking defense attorney. He’s never met a client he didn’t like or wouldn’t represent as long as the money was right. He was nicknamed “the Lincoln Lawyer” due to his preference of working out of his Lincoln Town Car as opposed to working out of an office.
Haller has a poor reputation with the local police department because of his strong track record defending and keeping even the most obviously guilty criminals out of jail. It’s this track record and Haller’s affinity for outwitting the judge and jury in court that attracts the first client he will regret defending.
The role of Mick Haller is a tailor made for McConaughey. It’s a trademark role for him as it demands self-confidence and charisma, both of which come naturally for McConaughey. His character is fast talking, witty, and charismatic, but it is McConaughey who owns every scene he’s in as he commands the audience’s attention with infectious and magnetic energy. In a star-studded ensemble cast that includes William H. Macy, Bryan Cranston, Ryan Phillippe, and Marisa Tomei; McConaughey outshines all his cast mates with relative ease.
You can see how “in the zone” McConaughey is when he’s defending his clients. He oozes confidence and you get the sense that this was a role he was chomping at the bit to make. Even when the story takes a turn and Haller finds himself the victim of a client who has thrust him into a game of cat-and-mouse, McConaughey makes sure to never let Haller lose his charisma nor his charm.
Some may see the character of Mick Haller as a sleazy defense attorney with no moral center, but the sheer amount of energy and charm that McConaughey brings to the role, the audience can’t help but root for him.
In his Oscar-winning performance, Matthew McConaughey plays electrician and activist Ron Woodroof, a sex addict, racist, and homophobe, but his transition and change in views truly sell McConaughey’s performance.
Diagnosed with HIV with only 30 days left to live, Woodroof tries to find a cure and, in doing so, creates a group that will help treat other HIV diagnosed patients. That group’s name: The Dallas Buyers Club.
Throughout this two-hour run time, you see McConaughey’s acting levels reach new and unknown heights that are absolutely incredible. Every scene of his are beautifully and painfully engineered.
The first 10 minutes set an unbelievably high bar in terms of the performance from one of the greatest actors working today. The first 10 minutes alone would be Oscar-worthy.
Some of McConaughey’s stand-out scenes portraying Woodroof included: Praying in the strip club (which really showed the breakdown of his character) and breaking down in the car. Both of those scenes showcase the pain and suffering of what McConaughey went through when portraying this character on the big screen, as well as the effect everything had on Ron Woodroof in real life.
Matthew McConaughey’s outbursts during the movie lifted his performance and it really showed where he took his character. His performance in Dallas Buyers Club was phenomenal and is arguably some of the best acting you’ll ever see.
Twenty years before Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey played David Wooderson whose first words in the move are “Alright, Alright, Alright.” Wooderson is your typical cool party boy who likes to drink, play pool and smoke weed.
He was basically living the life in this Richard Linklater movie. What I love about McConaughey’s performance is some of — if not, all of — his scenes were so casual. It almost seemed as if he had fun playing Wooderson.
Even though Dazed and Confused was years before Dallas Buyers Club, it was completely different to see McConaughey in this kind of role. David Wooderson was a great character to perform, I think the dialogue and how great he delivered it helped with that.
Going from a comedy character to a more serious character between the two movies, I’ve reviewed of McConaughey’s, it just makes me think that he is such a talented and diverse actor. He is surely one of the great working actors today.
Fresh on the heels of what appears to be an impressive reboot of a classic franchise (so says our own DR Movie News), we got to thinking about notable movie monsters.
Now, we wanted to keep this nerd discussion pure.
We avoided the human slashers of the world (i.e., Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Pinhead) and even the humans with a little something extra to their persona (i.e., Dracula, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Mummy, even the shape-shifting Werewolf).
We talked, arm wrestled, and even held a riveting tournament of paper, rock, scissors to determine this next A-List. So, you’re welcome. Lock the doors. Turn on the lights. And enjoy your popcorn. Here we go…
There is a definite reason why Guillermo del Toro is at the top of every CBM fan’s list to make Justice League Dark — the guy has a serious panache for the monstrous. If you didn’t hear about the guy prior to the release of Pan’s Labyrinth, the inventive, grotesque thing known as The Pale Man put del Toro on the map to stay.
Here’s a haggard statue of a creature that likes his protein not-so-aged. He eats children. And, he’s got a voracious appetite. The guy knows how to make ends meet as well. Once upon a time, a cute little girl named Ofelia disturbed his slumber. Good thing he fell asleep at the dinner table because he grabbed two random eyeballs resting in an hors d’oeuvres dish, crammed them into his hands, and … he can see. Only from the mind of GDT.
The DC Universe is bringing back Swamp Thing, and it’s going to be dark, morose, and good. In that spirit, meet his daddy… or, at least, his progenitor. Creatures, as it were, aren’t usually the things you imagine in the deep waters. That space is reserved for something else later in the list.
However, what this thing did to movie goers (and swimmers) in the 1950s was completely terrify them of venturing into deep water where they can’t see the bottom. The Creature personified those fears many people have of the lakes, oceans, rivers, or even the local lake. Fears that are, if anything. profitable these days. No doubt, he’ll be back to a body of (dark) water near you.
A true monster whose presence was so strong initially that the NBA agreed to name a team after them. Sure, when you draft your fantasy prehistoric team, everyone is gunning for the T-Rex, but when you need those agile, nimble, working faster than a Kardashian through an NBA All-Star Weekend, you look for the Raptors.
These Mesozoic menaces were everywhere. They terrorized everyone and probably caused a serious rash of unemployment at Jurassic Park. And then, as if their cackling and running weren’t bad enough, they learned how to open a door?! There’s no hiding from these maulers. Even in the kitchen!
When we, the passengers of the Nebuchadnezzar, were discussing this list, we wanted to consider overall impact of pop culture, box office success, marketing, and even references. The one thing that was missed by this author was put to me this way, “Everyone is effin’ afraid of clowns!” So, there’s that.
In 1986, Stephen King’s book freaked people out (not just the clown, but those horny kids too). In 1990, Tim Curry was masterful in the TV series pushing the envelope to the threshold of where it could go. In 2017, Bill Skarsgard showed what Pennywise was supposed to be — a presence of evil that feeds on fear (and children) only to return for “seconds” every 27 years.
While Chapter Two will be more about the Losers of Derry, the fear we all sense at the sight of clowns may have us each tiptoeing around gutters for the next few years. All because of one man’s imagination… and those damn clowns.
This creature is really the reason this conversation began. As you may have seen — and by the looks of the box office, you did — The Predator has been top-of-mind for several people. Most of which, those interested in if the Shane Black reboot holds up to why this even deserved a reboot. Ahnuld fought this thing and we loved it. This was no different.
An invisible alien with rastafarian dread locks that kills people for fun and yuks, and has a face (once finally revealed) only a mother could love. Or, if you hearken back to Schwarzenegger’s words, an “ugly motherf*ck@r.”
Wes Craven. Sam Raimi. George Romero. Even Alfred Hitchcock. When discussing harrowing geniuses of horror, all conversations usually start or end with John Carpenter. And to this day, one of the most awe-striking creatures to ever hit the screen was a shape-shifting, DNA-stealing alien parasite making more of its victims than just another kill.
In terms of sheer terror in film, though this movie wasn’t a box office success (only mustering a modern-day equivalent of $51 million), The Thing opened the door to what make-up and effects can really do to the human psyche. It was aberrant and etched nightmare-inducing images in the minds of people everywhere. That, and it was just plain gross.
Think about this: 1931. That was the year this creature became a movie reality and just about every time we have seen it since, it resembles the zombie-like brawn exterior of this man-made monster. Even back then, we learned this monster still had emotions. Even though they were buried behind Boris Karloff’s nuts, bots, and a ton of burlap, they were there.
The world fell in love with Mary Shelley’s creation — not Dr. Frankenstein, just his monster. The thought of something like this really happening was far-fetched at best; yet, people thought it could happen and that this thing could actually be real. And to this day, he is.
The Creature from the Black Lagoon made our fears of what lives in large bodies of water real. This gargantuan white shark took those fears and spiked them through the stratosphere. And be honest, who doesn’t go to the beach and hum a few bars of the what has to be the most iconic two notes of film score in history. (Daaa-DUM)
There are so many reasons why Jaws should be this high on the list, most of which is it throttled beach tourism for at least 20 years. Watch any shark attack news in the media. Jaws is referenced. Go swimming in any dark body of water. Who is mentioned? Jaws. Oh, talk to anyone is petrified to walk off the seashore and what’s their reason for fear? Ol’ Tricentennial Teeth himself. That’s gangster.
When this movie came out, no one saw it coming. Before shape-shifting was en vogue by a few X-people, there were the Mogwai. So cute. So cuddly. So friggin’ cantankerous, namely when they fall upon some spilled water. It was the perfect mix of yuletide joy and end-of-the-year misgivings. The movie was greatly popular and the marketing was so far beyond what Amblin could have prayed.
What was Gizmo became Spike. What was terrifying for little children became everything they wanted for Christmas. For years. Names withheld to protect dorkly, some of us may have sprinkled water and the sporadic amount of orange juice on domestic pets on the off-chance they become mongoloids or some such. That was the power of Gremlins.
In the world of on-screen transformation and devolutions, there was nothing more sickening and captivating (concurrently) than watching Jeff Goldblum slowly and painfully become The Fly. David Cronenberg, owner of a rather affectionate nom de plume as ‘The Baron of Blood,’ took a once-forgotten movie from 1958 starring the iconic Vincent Price, and made an instant horror classic.
It had a twisted theory, a bit of science, and an awful endgame that… well, looks like that. Talk about sprucing things up. No one had ever seen anything as vile and realistic as Seth Brundle’s anthropomorphic insect amalgamation. The reveal took most of the movie and it was so worth the wait. And this was back in the day of no spoilers. It was bliss. Dreaded bliss.
In a world of monsters, this overgrown ape usually stands alone. He is mighty. He is powerful. And he never seems to age. King Kong first came onto the scene when he scaled the Empire State Building in 1933. No one had ever seen anything as imposing and intimidating on screen as Kong. You always imagine someone with a certain height, but an ape more than 40 floors high?!
There’s Kong. He was comfortable at home (even then on Skull Island) where he was captured and brought to the states as a circus attraction. And then he finds a blond (played then by Fay Wray and later in 1976 by the smoldering Jessica Lange) and you should be able to connect the dots from there. A brother just can’t handle it. We understand. Kinda.
Gamera. King Ghidorah. Rodan. Mothra. Mechagodzilla. Much more than an endoskeleton riddled with nuclear energy, this “King of the Monsters” carries so much swag, that even the monsters throttled by him are made famous. In the original 1954 film, Godzilla was 164 feet tall!
He is the definition of a movie icon. Sure, he has ‘God’ in his name but how many other ‘Zillas’ have been out there? It’s a marketing must. From Bridezilla to Beerzilla, somehow adding that suffix establishes ferocious power and rage. Ever since Godzilla — the god of lizards — stormed through Japan, he has brought fear to people and oodles of profits to Toho Studios (The 1954 film was a $25,000 investment that earned more than $2 million.)
It took the power of World War II to create him. Whether he is feared by the military or cheered by the people, Godzilla is definitely the king without a crown. And only a majestic trailer would befitting of a royal monster. Fortunately, we have one…
Nothing but majestic.
Its cinematic legacy began with a little “peek-a-boo.” Granted, it was through someone else’s stomach, but a grand appearance nonetheless. These eyeless, armored acid hounds brought terror to the screen in the form of a true monster. And she’s a queen.
The Xenomorphs have terrorized people in multiple sequels, a couple of prequels, and a kinda reboot. The Xenomorph has even faced the Predator. Twice. She is a marketing machine, aside from a carnivorous hellion determine to kill anything in its path. These figments of H.R. Giger‘s sardonic imagination are everything they were created to be and more.
Two of the most influential directors in modern history have taken on the Xenomorph — James Cameron and Ridley Scott. Yet, these fighting machines have taken on thousands and killed them all. More directors will take on the Alien, and to their dismay, the royal rancorous beast will devour them too.
In case you have been living in an apocalypse bunker (and, if you are some of our fans, you may have one for novelty), there has been a slight ballyhoo going on about the 2019 Marvel offering, Captain Marvel.
Ever since Carol Danvers came crashing down to earth through a Blockbuster Video storefront, social media has been ablaze regarding the news.
(Dear Millennials, A Blockbuster Video store is something that people you may refer to as “old farts” would visit to rent a DVD or video game. It was an analog concept that has been vacated thanks to this Internet thingamajig. Thank you.)
Captain Marvel deserves all the praise it is getting. The storyline is great. She is going to help take down the Mad Titan because girl has serious skills. We finally get the Skrulls. And the trailer was so dope!
We have already discussed this at length, but to summarize: What took Marvel 20 good to fantastic films to do, DC and WB did in three — place a woman in the lead of a comic book movie.
The fact that it took Marvel Studios this long isn’t a slap against their phased strategy for the MCU rollout. What they did and how they did it should be the gold standard for any multi-character nerd franchise going to film.
Notwithstanding, Warner Bros. and DC Comics hasn’t really done a circus car trunk full of anything to endear themselves to their public. They rushed their extended universe at a blurring rate. They can’t seem to keep a beloved character actor consistent. They never answer fan’s concerns. And then there was that colossal fart-and-fall-down moment known as Justice League.
They did; however, have faith in their admirable comic characters and believed that a woman could not only be featured in a CBM, but also direct one. And so it goes with Wonder Woman.
If we all know this and have lauded the doltish duo (DC and WB) for their bravery and focus on diversity, why is ABC News running this?
— ABC News (@ABC) September 18, 2018
In case you were so starstruck at Brie Larson’s face, you may have missed the whole “first-ever solo female superhero” thing. Pretty much a floundering oversight. And it’s not like this some nerd blog with a slant toward the MCU.
This is ABC News! They have researchers, writers, editors, and social media managers that are well compensated for their efforts, and yet, Marvel was “first ever”?!
Then, after you give that errant headline some thought, you remember ABC News is owned by the Mouse. Back to our headline: Either that moniker was fake news or simply carelessness.
Not that ABC News didn’t care to research, rather, they didn’t care about Warner Bros.’ efforts to give Patty Jenkins the reigns to what really was the first-ever solo female superhero.
When you are the big 800-pound gorilla in the room, you are not that concerned about the little monkeys that came into the room uninvited. DC Comics and Warner Bros. isn’t even a threat to Marvel and Disney, so who cares what they did?
“We got this. We own this. Screw them.”
And so, we get a misleading headline that no one really cares to correct. What’s more alarming? That a production house which owns a global news organization pays no regard to the achievements of its closest competitor, or that DC Comics and Warner Bros. haven’t fought for a retraction?
See, that’s what you do when something is put out there into the ether that is incorrect. WB lawyers know this but evidently hasn’t rose a big stink about it. They could, but they don’t. Also, they have quite a few followers in social media, so addressing this issue and defend the one good point of reference they possess could gain traction. Again, they could but they won’t.
Headlines or hubris? It’s a little of both but when you are a terrible bully with no regard of the welfare of others, you believe a fight is never coming and keep on swinging as if the victim is not even there.
Way to punch the other comic book movie wimp in the nose, Mickey Mouse. Way to go.
It’s no secret the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the largest, most successful cinematic universe the film world has ever seen.
At 20 movies and counting, most of which have been critically and commercially successful, this particular universe keeps growing and getting stronger because cinematic hasn’t stopped Marvel from expanding their universe to other mediums.
The most notable is their decision to produce series for some of their darker, more mature heroes on Netflix.
Marvel has already produced a series for five of their more mature heroes: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and The Punisher. Each of these characters (except Punisher) have already had two seasons and most either expect or have a third season for each character coming. In addition to their standalone series, Marvel has found a way to maintain its ensemble formula in their Netflix corner of the MCU by establishing and giving a mini-series to their other superhero team: The Defenders. In total, Marvel has produced 10 seasons worth of viewing material in their MCU-Netflix universe (soon to be 11 with the release of Daredevil Season 3 later this year).
Producing these darker, more mature themed characters for Netflix allows Marvel more creative freedom and fewer restraints on the content they choose to include in these shows. Graphic violence, intense action, darker themes, the occasional sex scene (cough, Jessica Jones, cough, Luke Cage, cough) and some explicit language that you’d never hear in an MCU film, all combine to differentiate themselves from the main franchise.
There are certain characters that just don’t fit the MCU mold, but are so popular among comic fans that Marvel had to find a way to establish them in their universe. That’s what you’re seeing from the Marvel-Netflix deal — characters that would be out of place in the main MCU storyline, but are still popular enough to deserve their time in the spotlight.
These characters and their stories can be portrayed on a much smaller scale where the conflicts and consequences are more contained and not as far reaching as say the Avengers. So, are Daredevil and friends the only Marvel characters deserve the Marvel-Netflix treatment? The answer to that is, ABOSULTELY NOT. So, hot on the heels of Marvel’s latest venture in their Netflix universe with Iron Fist season 2, lets’ take a look at five more smaller scale Marvel characters that would work perfectly in Marvel’s Netflix corner of the MCU.
WHO IS SHE: Angela del Toro is a character who has potential to be a huge hit for Marvel’s Netflix universe, as well as one that would be easy to set up. A lesser known character like del Toro would require an introduction in one of the already established series. Lucky for Marvel, del Toro has crossed paths Daredevil numerous times in the comics, and the source of her powers have a direct connection to K’un-L’un (Iron Fist).
In the comics, the source of her power comes from the Jade Tiger, a long-lost enchanted statue from K’un-L’un. The statue was broken into separate pieces (or amulets) and dispersed throughout the world to ensure the statue could not be reconstructed and used for evil. A few pieces of the statue ended up surfacing in America where they were discovered by del Toro’s uncle, Hector Ayala, who wore them and became the first White Tiger. Hector was framed for murder and despite his lawyer’s best efforts, was convicted. Who was Hector’s lawyer you ask? Why it was none other than Matt Murdock/Daredevil.
Hector was then shot and killed trying to escape prison. Angela, a federal agent at the time, was involved in an ongoing FBI investigation related to Murdock (under suspicion of being Daredevil). She was given Ayala’s amulets as a result of his death. Discovering Murdock really was Daredevil, she sought his advice on what she should do with the amulets. Murdock, as Daredevil, put del Toro through a series of trials that required her to use the amulets and fight crime. After saving a shopkeeper from some burglars, del Toro was so touched by the gratitude show to her from the shopkeeper, that she quit her job with the FBI stating that she had found a new calling.
WHAT ARE HER POWERS AND ABILITIES: While wearing the amulets, del Toro is granted superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility and endurance. The amulets also refine del Toro’s fighting skills by enhancing her martial arts prowess. The ability del Toro gains from the amulets that stands out the most is a chameleon-like ability to blend in with her surroundings. Using the amulets, she can camouflage herself to remain out of sight. However, this ability only works while del Toro is in costume as they cannot affect her normal clothing.
WHY IT WOULD WORK: The inclusion of White Tiger would allow Marvel to keep expanding their universe and would also give them yet another female-led superhero series. White Tiger’s backstory is tailor made for the Marvel-Netflix treatment and as already mentioned, her comic history (along with the history of the source of her powers) has already laid out a clear path for Angela to be established in this universe.
WHO IS HE: This is an obvious one, and one we have already discussed in the Matrix. Fans have been clamoring for a Moon Knight standalone series for years, and for good reason. Marc Spector, a Jewish-American born in Chicago and the son of a rabbi, had been a heavyweight boxer before up and joining the marines. Afterward, he decided to leave the military to become a mercenary.
While working as mercenary in Egypt, Spector stumbles upon an archaeological dig site. The dig had uncovered an ancient temple whose artifacts included a statue of the Egyptian Moon God, Khonshu. Attacked, defeated, and left for dead by other mercenaries that wanted to loot the artifacts for themselves, Spector found himself being carried to a temple of worship by Egyptians who still worship the ancient gods. As they placed Spector in front of a statue of Khonshu, Spector’s heart stops and Khonshu appears to him in a vision offering him a second chance at life, if and only if, Spector agrees to become the Moon God’s avatar on Earth.
Spector awakens, wraps himself in the silver shroud that once covered Khonshu’s statue, and departs for America. Intent on distancing himself from his past life as a mercenary, Spector creates the identity of Steven Grant, a millionaire entrepreneur, by investing the money he had accumulated over his years as a mercenary. Still wanting to maintain an ear to the ground on the street level, Spector also creates the identity of Jake Lockley, a taxicab driver.
The criminal organization, known as the Committee, are the ones to dub Spector as Moon Knight and even supplied him with his weapons and costume. Still acting as a mercenary, Spector works for the Committee, hunting down targets (mostly of the supernatural kind) and receiving rewards for missions completed. However, he eventually finds himself in opposition of the Committee and becomes a mercenary of good, protecting his city from threats.
WHAT ARE HIS POWERS AND ABILITIES: Spector is proficient is multiple types of fighting styles, including: Boxing, Kung Fu, Judo, and Muay Thai (just to name a few). He is considered an “Olympic-level” athlete and skilled acrobat and gymnast. He is also considered a master strategist (getting any Batman vibes yet?). Spector gained his superhuman powers because of his pack with the Moon God to become the God’s avatar on earth.
Moon Knight’s strength, endurance, and reflexes are enhanced depending on the phases of the moon. The fuller the moon, the more strength Moon Knight draws from it. Moon Knight also has three separate alter ego’s (mentioned above) which have caused him to develop dissociative identity disorder (like Typhoid Mary in Iron Fist Season 2). Each alter can take control of Spector at any given moment, but he has shown some sense of control of switching between the alters dependent on the situation.
WHY IT WOULD WORK: A Moon Knight series could be very intriguing. Sure, vigilante takes on crime syndicate is something that has been done countless times, but the mystical aspect of how Spector derives his powers would add a new, refreshing element to Marvel’s Netflix universe. Think of this series having the potential to be a little bit of Batman mixed with the Punisher and throw in a dash of Ancient Egyptian mythology….sounds like a winner!
WHO IS HE: While it’s hard to imagine anybody other than the great Wesley Snipes in this role, fans have been very vocal of wanting to see new version of Blade brought into the MCU whether that be through a new film franchise or his very own standalone Netflix series. Given that the Netflix series allow writers and showrunners to explore darker themes and face fewer restrictions on their content, Blade would hands down work best as part of Marvel’s Netflix corner.
Born Eric Brooks, Blade was born in a brothel in the Soho neighborhood of London, England in 1929. His mother, a prostitute, experienced severe labor complications in which a doctor was summoned to assist. That doctor turned out to be Deacon Frost, a vampire that feasted on her during child birth. This, however, inadvertently passed along certain vampiric enzymes from Frost’s blood to Eric.
At age 9, Eric helped an old man that was being attacked by vampires. This old man was Jamal Afari, a jazz musician and vampire hunter, who then moved in with Eric and trained him in combat. Blade later joined a street gang called the Bloodshadows, in which a cocky Eric dispatched of the gang’s leader to take control. The gang hunted vampires, demons, and warlocks for months with ease in the streets of London, until they ran across a vampire more powerful than they had ever faced before. After barely defeating this vampire and taking heavy casualties, Eric was finally humbled and dedicated himself fully to the complete extermination of the supernatural.
WHAT ARE HIS POWERS AND ABILITIES: As mentioned above, the enzymes were passed on to Blade while feeding on his mother during childbirth. They did not turn Blade into a full vampire, but rather gave him certain vampiric abilities. Blade is immune to the bites of typical vampires. The enzymes also gave him superhuman strength, stamina, speed, and agility. They also enhanced his senses to the point where he can sense supernatural creatures. Blade’s lifespan was prolonged as well, the rate at which he ages slowed down considerably.
Similar to Wolverine, Blade also possesses an enhanced and rapid healing factor, making near impossible to significantly cripple him in a fight. Being that only some of the enzymes were passed on to Blade, he is not a full vampire and therefore is unaffected by daylight unlike typical vampires. In addition to his superhuman/vampiric abilities, Blade is also a master of the martial arts, proficient in numerous fighting styles such as: Boxing, Capoeira, Jujutsu, and Karate. He is also an expert swordsman and marksman.
WHY IT WOULD WORK: A standalone Blade series would again, introduce something new and refreshing to the MCU corner of Netflix. The supernatural has already been touched upon in Daredevil Season 2 and Defenders with the inclusion of the Hand. Blade deserves a second chance in the light (pun intended) and Netflix would be the perfect platform to bring him back into the fold.
WHO IS HE: Like White Tiger, this is a character that would require an introduction in another hero’s established series. Paladin, known as Paul Denning, is a mercenary and private investigator. His past is largely a mystery, which would allow the writers and showrunners ample freedom to mold this character as they see fit.
Again, like White Tiger, Paladin has regularly interacted with Marvel’s Netflix universe heroes in the comics. When he was first introduced, Paladin sought out Daredevil’s assistance in tracking down the Purple Man (Kilgrave from Jessica Jones). This ended up bringing him into conflict with Daredevil. However, he and Daredevil ended up working with one another later on.
That seems to be the case regarding Paladin’s relationships with other Marvel heroes. He clashes with them, only to work alongside them later. He isn’t a villain, but his mercenary activities often bring him into conflict with other heroes. He has a moral compass, but he has no problem throwing it aside to earn some money for his services. Paladin is not a bad guy and his skillsets are very useful, which leads to him being recruited often to assist other heroes on their missions.
WHAT ARE HIS POWERS AND ABILITIES: Paladin’s physical strength, speed, stamina, agility and reflexes are all slightly superhuman. He is also a very formidable hand-to-hand combatant, proficient in certain fighting styles such: Boxing, Judo, and Taekwondo. In addition to being a skilled combatant, Paladin is also a skilled marksman, actor, spy, and detective.
While he has occasionally been written to use lethal force, Paladin’s preferred weapon is a stun gun that fires a beam of light and scrambles signals within his target’s nervous system which sufficiently renders most people unconscious. The gun is also equipped in such a way that it can only be operated by Paladin. He wears full-body, bulletproof attire equipped with a helmet that is sealed air-tight, which supplies him with an hours-worth of air. The lens in his helmet also come equipped with infrared vision.
WHY IT WOULD WORK: Paladin draws many comparisons to the Punisher regarding his abilities. While he is slightly superhuman, he relies on his weapons and fighting skills to take down his targets. Unlike the Punisher, Paladin is not out for vengeance, he is out to get paid. This would be a breath of fresh air to Marvel’s Netflix universe, an anti-hero that only does good deeds in return for a reward. As mentioned above, Paladin’s backstory is largely a mystery, meaning that the writers would have essentially a blank canvas to work with. They could use that canvas to paint a backstory that conveys how Paladin came to be the way that he is. Someone who only helps if the price is right and someone who is willing to toe the line between good and evil just to earn a buck.
WHO IS HE: After Gabriel Luna’s take on the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider was so well received in Agents of Shield, a lot of fans are itching to see the Johnny Blaze version done justice. Blaze was a stunt daredevil. During his childhood, his mother walked out on his father and took his two siblings with her, leaving Johnny to live with his father. His father died while performing a stunt, so Johnny was adopted by a new family who helped him fabricate his past in hopes that it would be less painful for him than the actual truth.
He repressed any of his real memories of his family and replaced them with false memories. For example, his mother no longer walked out on the family, but instead had died heroically. Crash, the patriarch of the family that adopted Johnny, had become a real father figure to Johnny. When Johnny learned that Crash had developed a form of life-threatening cancer, he turned to the occult for a cure. His studies led him to a spell that allowed him to summon Satan himself. Unaware, Johnny had in fact summoned Mephisto. Out of desperation to save Crash, Johnny sold his soul to Mephisto. Crash survived the cancer, but later died performing a stunt.
Mephisto, true to his word, saved Crash from the cancer, but when Crash died he came for Johnny’s soul only to be driven away. Angry that he could not claim Johnny’s soul, Mephisto bonded the demon Zarathos to Johnny as an act of revenge, thus transforming him into the Ghost Rider. While still obtaining his own soul, Johnny was forced to punish the wicked upon Mephisto’s demands. Much to Mephisto’s chagrin, Johnny maintained his soul and his ability to exercise his free will, which brought him into conflict with Mephisto repeatedly.
WHAT ARE HIS POWERS AND ABILITIES: As an agent of Heaven, empowered by the Spirits of Vengeance that were created by God to punish the sinners and the wicked of mankind, Johnny is one of the most powerful beings within the mortal and immortal realms. In addition to the flaming skull, Blaze also commands a supernaturally powered motorcycle that allows him to travel faster than conventional vehicles while also granting him the ability to accomplish impossible feats, such as riding straight up a building or riding across water.
Ghost Rider’s main weapon is his ability to summon and use hellfire. He can fill weapons and vehicles with this hellfire as well. He also possesses superhuman strength and reflexes while also being near indestructible. While hellfire is his main weapon, the Ghost Rider is also made up of hellfire which he can manipulate to regenerate from any damage he takes. While the flaming skull is the most iconic aspect of the Ghost Rider, the chain he uses is equally iconic. Using hellfire, he engulfs his bike chain in hellfire and can control the chains actions with his mind. As if he wasn’t strong enough physically, Ghost Rider also possesses the ability to make his victims experience all the emotional pain and suffering that they have inflicted on people through his Penance Stare, which permanently damages his victims’ souls.
WHY IT WOULD WORK: A Ghost Rider series would be something totally unique to the Marvel Netflix universe. The series would incorporate biblical mythology and religion as well introduce the audience to Marvel’s versions of heaven and hell. Johnny’s story would make for a gripping and intense story of a man who sold his soul to save someone he loves and now must fight against and work with the Devil to keep what remains of it.
Luna’s Ghost Rider faced limitations and restrictions due to the fact the character appeared on a show broadcasted on ABC. By giving him his own series on Netflix, they can really let loose with the demonic character, explore more of the darker themes and demonic/biblical lore associated as well as being able to portray more graphic violence. I mean, come on, the guy uses an inflamed bike chain as his weapon of choice!
In late 2017, CBS All Access announced its plans on rebooting the classic noir series The Twilight Zone. The series will be produced by CBS Television Studios, in association with Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films.
The association is important to note because Peele has frequently noted his fascination with the original series that aired from 1959 to 1964. And now, the reboot has a new host, none other than Jordan Peele.
“I was terrified. Why would I ever jump into the most established, pristine shoes in all of the genre? I could rip ‘Twilight Zone’ off and call it something different and not be compared to Rod Serling. So I stepped away from it. And then several months later I got another call.”
Jordan Peele’s star has become a nova following his Comedy Central hilarious skit show with co-host Keegan-Michael Key. Of course, his next smash was the Oscar-winning screenplay for Get Out. And now, this.
Respect is karmic and Peele has plenty of it.
“Rod Serling was an uncompromising visionary who not only shed light on social issues of his time, but prophesied issues of ours,” said Peele, who was previously announced as producing the revival. “I’m honored to carry on his legacy to a new generation of audiences as the gatekeeper of The Twilight Zone.”
The Twilight Zone begins shooting this fall and will premiere on CBS All Access in 2019.
It’s been rumored since Michael last laced his Jordans on screen and destroyed the Monstars to the tune of ‘Fly Like An Eagle.’
Before we get into the answer to that question, let’s dribble down Amnesia Lane:
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has it on good authority — and made it an exclusive — that Space Jam 2 is indeed on the way, starring LeBron Jomes (and partly executive produced by his company) and directed by none other than Ryan Coogler.
Most significantly, this will be the first movie under Coogler’s keen eye of direction since he tackled Black Panther.
“I loved his vision” for Black Panther, James tells The Hollywood Reporter, noting that when he was a kid growing up in Akron, Ohio, there were no black superheroes. “So for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing.”
Not for nothing, someone who writes for THR understands the sporting angle of this movie news well. There has been a dyed-in-the-wool debate about who is the G.O.A.T. — Jordan or James, MJ or LeBron.
Given Michael Jordan’s involvement with the first movie in 1996, this will only serve to continue the discussion. Both players were the incomparable greatest players in their sport of their generation. Both work to empower the future of the sport.
“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” says James, “It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”
And now, they both have the same movie with Bugs Bunny. The first one directed by Pepsi commercial ingenue Joe Pytka (Yes, look it up). The second by the visionary of Wakanda.
ADVANTAGE: LeBron (there, I said it.)
An eye for the story. A skill to draw out the best in actors. And now, a license to kill. According to ‘James Bond’ franchise producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (via Variety), the man behind the acclaimed True Detective Season 1, Cary Joji Fukunaga will direct the 25th film in the franchise.
“We are delighted to be working with Cary,” Broccoli and Wilson said on Twitter. “His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure.”
The Emmy Award-winning director will replace Danny Boyle after he unceremoniously left over the always vague “creative differences” for what will probably be Daniel Craig’s last appearance as 007.
While there isn’t much more news than announcing Fukunaga at the helm, this leaves a world of imagination to envision what will become the silver anniversary edition of the franchise and Daniel Craig’s swan song.
And if True Detective or Netflix’s dark comedy Maniac is any indication of what’s coming for James Bond, it’s going to be quite a sendoff for 007.
The film’s release will be postponed until Valentine’s Day 2020. Sigh.
Ever since the rumor mill spun clear off its axis about the mercurial Joaquin Phoenix being interested in taking the lead role to Todd Phillips’ Joker origin, pundits and other pulchritudinous people alike have been discussing the possibilities about this film.
And yet, those aforementioned folk of whimsy have little to say lately. Sure, there has been typical troll drivel and uncertainty about the focus of the film.
With every strategic tease and sample of film we see, the considerable potential grows in interest about what Joaquin’s esoteric approach to making movies could mean for the man we know now as Arthur Fleck and the possible real-life cinematic reveal of ‘The Killing Joke.’
We have been told the movie’s plot (via the linked press release from Warner Bros. noted above) will be an “exploration of a man disregarded by society is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”
And now, we see just how far the man with the infamous mononym in crime is going so we can really see what happened to cause Arthur to go so far off the rails into an anarchistic state-of-mind.
Love Phillips’ note. Simply “Arthur.” This is going to unlike anything we expect. We will all learn how Arthur devolved into Joker, and it will be greatness.
After today, we can begin to get seriously fanboyish / fangirlish over the cast too.
The film also stars Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Bill Camp (Red Sparrow, Molly’s Game), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story, Castle Rock), Brett Cullen (42, Narcos), Glenn Fleshler (Billions, Barry), Douglas Hodge (Red Sparrow, Penny Dreadful), Marc Maron (Maron, GLOW), Josh Pais (Motherless Brooklyn, Going in Style), and Shea Whigham (First Man, Kong: Skull Island).
The film opens October 2019.
Bryan Ray of @DRMovieNews
This has not been a good weekend for the revival of an iconic sci-fi creature. Budgeted at an absurd $88 million, The Predator opened under its mid-weekend pacing, delivering a mediocre $24 million opening. That debut is below the $24.7 million debut of 2010’s Predators ($29.7 million adjusted for ticket price inflation), which only had a $38 million budget, and the disappointing $36 million debut of last year’s Alien: Covenant.
The Shane Black-directed film made $10.45 million on Friday (including $2.5 million from Thursday Night) and $8.5 million on Saturday. From a distance, that may seem like a decrease, but, by removing Thursday’s gross, the film actually increased from Friday’s raw gross to Saturday by about 1.1%. On Sunday, The Predator is estimated to take in $5 million, plummeting 40.6% from Saturday.
Overseas, 20th Century Fox production reeled in an equally mediocre $30.7 million, resulting in a $54.7 million opening weekend gross.
The film had a lot playing against it, which is why it seems like only the committed fanbase is showing up to the multiplexes. Terrible reviews, C+ Cinemascore, mediocre word-of-mouth, the success of The Nun, the Olivia Munn controversy, and of course, Hurricane Florence were all factors keeping audiences from buying a ticket.
New Line’s Conjuring spin-off The Nun dropped to 2nd Place, plummeting a franchise record 66.2%, adding $18.2 million in its second weekend. While that may seem like a harsh drop, the horror film still had the second biggest “second weekend” of the series, just below the $22.2 million second weekend of 2013’s The Conjuring.
It is still pacing above every other Conjuring film: The Conjuring earned the closest 10-day total with $83.9 million and The Conjuring 2 in third place with a mere $71 million. The blockbuster horror film will be the third film in the franchise to surpass the $100 million mark next weekend.
Overseas, The Nun added another obscene $33.1 million, pushing its international total to $143.6 million. The $22 million budgeted film’s worldwide total is now at an insane $228.7 million, and it still has France, South Korea, Russia, Italy, and Japan to go. The film is set to scare up big numbers in those markets next weekend.
The well-reviewed Paul Feig film, A Simple Favor , performed most impressively among the new releases in 3rd place with a solid $16 million opening weekend. The movie cost $20 million to produce, so it could be difficult for the film to turn a profit. Lead actresses Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick have been expertly marketing the $20 million budgeted Paul Feig film to their fans through social media and talk show appearances.
Overseas, the film brought in $3.5 million from 28 Markets. The film opens in a couple major markets, including the UK and Russia, next weekend.
White Boy Rick debuted in 4th place with an estimated $8.8 million for the weekend, the norm for smaller McConaughey projects. The film has received very sub-par reviews from critics, as well as a sour response from audiences. Maybe it will find an audience over the course of its run.
Crazy Rich Asians spent yet another weekend in the the top 5, adding $8.7 million in its fifth weekend of release. The hit rom-com is barely shy of the $150 Million mark .
Overseas, the film added another $7.3 million for a new international total of $37 million, resulting in an awesome worldwide cume of $187 million.
In other box office news, Unbroken: Path to Redemption bombed with $2.5 million, The Meg added $3.8 million ($137 million US Total, $505 Worldwide), Mission: Impossible – Fallout became the highest grossing film of the franchise, domestically and worldwide, with a total of $216 million domestically and $760 million worldwide, and Hotel Transylvania 3 passed the “half-billion dollar” mark worldwide.
For more box office news, stay tuned to MoviesMatrix.
Bryan Ray of @DRMovieNews
SATURDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE:
The Predator performed a tad better on Friday than matinees suggested last night with an opening day of $10.4 Million, re-adjusting the weekend pacing to $26 Million. Some rival studios predict it could reach $27 Million. It’s Friday gross is exactly on par with the $10.4 Million opening day of 2010’s Predators ($12.5 Million adjusted for ticket price inflation) and the $9.5 Million opening day of Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem ($12.8 Million adjusted for ticket price inflation). While it is performing slightly better than we previously thought, it is still lightyears away from how a $88 Million budgeted film should be performing. Those two other comparable films mentioned were budgeted at a reasonable $40 Million each. Luckily, the overseas market is a much bigger player than is was eight years ago, so Shane Black’s sci-fi sequel may still be able to break even.
The film has a lot playing against it, which is why it seems like only the committed fanbase is showing up to the multiplexes. Terrible reviews, C+ Cinemascore, mediocre word of mouth, the success of The Nun, Olivia Munn controversy, Tropical Storm Florence, etc. are all factors keeping audiences from buying a ticket.
The Nun added $5.9 Million in its second Friday, dropping a massive 73.3% from its $22 Million opening day, pacing for an $18.4 Million (-66%, the highest second weekend drop of the franchise) second weekend. This number would bring its domestic total to a fantastic $85.2 Million. In comparison, The Conjuring 2 dropped 63.2% in its second weekend back in Summer 2016. The $22 Million budgeted Conjuring spin-off is doing great.
The well-reviewed Paul Feig film, A Simple Favor , is performing most impressively among the new releases, drawing $5.92 Million in its opening day, pacing for a $16 Million opening weekend. Lead actresses Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick have been expertly marketing the $20 Million Budgeted Paul Feig film to their fans through social media and talk show appearances.
White Boy Rick drew up $3.5 Million on Friday, pacing for a reasonable $9 Million for the weekend, the norm for smaller McConaughey projects. The film has received very sub-par reviews from critics as well as a sour response from audiences. Maybe it will find an audience over the course of its run.
FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE:
Shane Black’s $88 Million budgeted The Predator is playing just like 2010’s Predators ($24.7 Million) – which only cost $38 Million to produce – toward an underwhelming $25 Million 3-Day total. The action-packed sci-fi sequel is looking at $10 Million today, including the less than spectacular $2.5 Million from last night’s preview screenings. We have yet to receive overseas numbers, but 20th Century Fox is expecting a solid foreign return. The $88 Million R-Rated film has received a terrible C+ Cinemascore from opening day audiences.
The Nun is dropping like a rock, with a second weekend take in between $18.5 and $20 Million (-65% from last weekend). While this is to be expected for a normal horror film, it is the worst second weekend drop for The Conjuring Franchise. The highest drop previously belonged to The Conjuring 2 (-63.2%) back in Summer 2016. The New Line horror spin-off will end the weekend with a domestic cume in the mid-to-high $80Ms.
Surprisingly, Lionsgate’s A Simple Favor is shattering pre-release expectations with a possible $7 Million today, toward a fantastic $16 to $18 Million for the 3-Day Weekend. Lead actresses Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick have been expertly marketing the $20 Million Budgeted Paul Feig film to their fans through social media and talk show appearances. Very impressive.
White Boy Rick is set to open at a reasonable $10 Million for the weekend, the norm for smaller McConaughey projects. The film has received very sub-par reviews from critics as well as a sour response from audiences. Maybe it will find an audience over the course of its run.
Refresh for updates!