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You may recall that an animated Justice League Dark movie is coming out soon, which will star Matt Ryan as John Constantine; quite a bit of buzz about it was stirred after the sneak peak was revealed alongside The Killing Joke. You may also recall that there is rumored to be a live-action affair, with Guillermo Del Toro attached at one point. Now, we get a little taste of ‘what could have been’ in the form of an animation test for the character Swamp Thing, a critical member of the team and to the story.  (more…)

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The Rocketeer, based on the comic book series by the late great Dave Stevens, while a delightful movie, was a bomb when released in theaters. It came in fourth behind Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, City Slickers and Dying Young it’s opening weekend and only grossed $46 million at the box office on a $35 million dollar budget. The film did capture quite the cult following though and years later The Rocketeer is still a cosplay favorite at conventions. Disney is set to bring The Rocketeer back to the big screen with a sequel, with a twist. (more…)

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Director Zhang Yimou‘s (House of Flying Daggers, Hero) The Great Wall is the most expensive movie made in China’s film industry’s history. The estimated $135 million dollar budget includes a mixture of well-known western and Chinese actors. Starring Matt Damon (The Martian), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones), Willem Dafoe (Platoon), Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs), pop singing icon Luhan, and actress Jing Tian (Kong: Skull Island), we’re sure to see some incredible action scenes. The movie answers the question, What were they trying to keep out? (more…)

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After seeing Captain America: Civil War fans were able to decide if they liked the new Spider-Man. Many doubted the young actor could pull it off, but Tom Holland’s performance as the charming, excitable, wisecracking, and incredible natural friendly neighborhood Spider-Man stifled any reservations and shade thrown ahead of his debut.  At 19 years old, Tom Holland is a more youthful Peter Parker than previous incarnations but his portrayal was very true to the comics. He seems just as insecure as a teen superhero should be, and he has a great sense of humor. Basically, his incarnation into the Marvel universe achieved more with the character than Sony managed in the past three or four movies, and that’s just how it is. So… going into Spider-Man’s new solo venture under the Marvel banner has fans very excited. Sadly, audiences will have to wait another year to see Spidey swing into action when Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters next summer, but the actor’s recent appearance at SDCC offered some interesting tidbits to get all fired up about.   (more…)

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Clive Barker‘s Hellraiser, based on a written story of his (The Hellbound Heart), has been dormant for quite some time. While the first four, arguably, are loved by fans, the movies since have not had quite the same level of fanatic love, excepting only the most diehard lovers of the series. The movies began to be milked (there were two movies released in 2005) in a manner more sacrilegious than Pinhead himself, and 2011 saw the release of Hellraiser: Revelations, a movie so quickly and cheaply produced, longtime Pinhead actor Doug Bradley simply refused to participate. It was released quietly for one day, at one theater, and then shoveled onto DVD; it’s rumored (with all signs pointing to ‘true’) that the movie was only made so Dimension Films did not lose the copyright to the franchise, and could make a bigger, more expensive film later on. Needless to say, it was considered bad. Now Dimension Films is giving Hellraiser another chance with Hellraiser: Judgement, and the first photo has been released.  (more…)

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This will only feed into the petty fight between fans of Marvel and the fans of DC, but it’s an interesting story about just how far the reach of San Diego Comic Con goes outside of Hall H. You may recall from our weekend Comic Con binge some degree of difference between the coverage of the two major panels, Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios; while Warners dumped everything online almost as it happened, Marvel only shared the new Doctor Strange trailer with the home audience. If the point of something like Comic Con is to attract attention, then measuring reaction on social media should be a good indicator if you were successful, and one studio was very successful indeed. (more…)

 

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Matt Ryan stole the hearts of comic fans with his portrayal of John Constantine, from the show Constantine NBC aired in 2014. The series, which was based on the Hellblazer comics, saw John and his cohorts battling the evils of ‘the Rising Darkness’, protecting the innocent from the paranormal, occult, and that which goes bump in the night. While the show was well received by fans of the comics and of superhero shows, it was cancelled after one season due to not making the numbers NBC has come to expect from their shows; fans, however, were adamant that the character return as played by Matt Ryan. There were petitions, hashtag campaigns, and even Stephen Amell of Arrow made a push (resulting in Constantine guest starring on an episode of the green archer’s show). Now CW has picked up the rights to the show (along with Supergirl from CBS)—though if they will revive it remains to be seen. While we wait for more news on the hopeful revival of the show in some capacity, we have a nice adventure to fill in the gap: the new, animated version of Justice League Dark(more…)

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A feat of storytelling, soundtrack, CGI and cinema in general, Guardians of the Galaxy is a great example of just how brilliantly the more obscure stories from comic books can translate onto the big screen. When it first came out, it quickly became Marvel‘s third highest grossing film at the box office, after only The Avengers and Iron Man 3. It had all of the heart and soul of the comic in a way that managed to appeal to both existing fans and new viewers without causing much friction between the two groups. (more…)

Batman vs Joker

In a world of ever-increasing superhero movies, there are times where the film will not jive 100% with the source material, especially with live action adaptations. As great as our film-making technology has gotten, this is still the world of the fantastical. At times, the films are slated to be more in “the real world” or at least toned down a little. Sometimes the story-line doesn’t mesh 100% completely with what was within the comic. Take, for example, Captain America: Civil War, due to corporate reasons and film rights issues, not every character could be in the film adaptation of that comic book crossover event. However, the film adaptation uses the “less is more” approach and made one hell of a film that ended up, arguably, better than the source material. Batman v Superman also took liberties with the story-lines it borrowed from to try and make a complete film. That’s just how it goes with adapting and transferring a story from one medium to another.

In animation, there are even more liberties that can be taken in regards to adapting a comic book. For one, the animation visually looks similar to the comic book, as even casual fans find it easier. Instead of comics that are read from page to page, they are viewed in animation form and it’s easier on the eyes. Also with animation, the studios have been doing it for a longer time and thus have more experience in this form of storytelling. We’ve only had “really good” superhero films for the better part of the last decade, while we’ve had really good animation for much longer. Simply put, the studios are better at doing it in animation form. No one has had more practice (and success) than the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. They simply know their source material and have done a stellar job in their direct-to-video films surrounding DC Comics properties. With more than 28 films under their belt, they have gotten very good at what they do.

Which is why their latest adaptation, Batman: The Killing Joke is such a letdown. (more…)