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If there is such a thing as an expert on race and casting in Hollywood, George Takei would definitely be in the running. He’s enjoyed a long and vaunted career, which of course includes all his years on the bridge of the Enterprise as Star Trek’s Sulu. Takei knows well the powerful message in casting minorities, after all, he played a character of Japanese descent on American TV less than two decades after World War Two, and more than that, Sulu sat in a position of authority, and in time when Asian actors are still struggling to get their fair share of the spotlight, that’s saying something. And then there’s Doctor Strange(more…)

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There are a lot of complaints and disappointment that seem to grow from Hollywood reboots of classic film and TV franchises. When there was news there was going to be another go at our pizza chewing, Cowabunga spouting, friends from the sewers questions were raised. When it was revealed that Megan Fox was lined up to play April, a collective groan was expelled from the entire Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan base. All this being said, and despite what the fan boys say, the first film was arguably a success. It was funny, action packed and had everything that we would expect from a contemporary take on the Ninja Turtles. The film enjoyed so much success that number two in the live action franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, was given the green light and has now had its final full trailer released. (more…)

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues to be the box-office powerhouse, we have to remind ourselves that it wouldn’t be where it is today without the success of the first film Iron Man.  In order for that film to be made, director Jon Favreau had to convince studio executives that the beginning of what would eventually become a billion dollar franchise would rest on the shoulders of an actor who at the time was not a sure thing.  Robert Downey Jr. may be Tony Stark, but there was once a time where his off-screen antics made him box office Kryptonite.  Favreau had faith that Downey would deliver and we all would be well-off with him cast as the lead.  Because of this risk that was taken and the success of Iron Man, the MCU was able to flourish.  Marvel Studios has been taking risks throughout all of their films, and each time has paid off handsomely.  At this point, you can say that risk has been a part of the Marvel method.  Marvel has also championed their diversity for including superheroes of color such as War Machine, Falcon, and soon enough Black Panther.  Marvel has also had great female superhero characters, such as Black Widow, Jessica Jones, and Agent 13.  However, Marvel has yet to include much LGBT representation in their films.  Is this the next risk they would like to tackle?

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There’s not much that’s scarier to a child than their own toys coming to life and attacking them. A child’s toys are the only things that are always there for them and on their side as they try to make sense of a senseless world. For those toys to turn on a child would be the ultimate betrayal. Even for adults, tiny, lifelike, but utterly lifeless, humanoids can be disconcerting, a representation of humanity utterly devoid of any. That’s why stories about living dolls have so much staying power. Now, one of the most popular stories about murderous dolls is back. Again. Already. Puppet Master is set to be rebooted and reimagined. Hey, twelfth time’s a charm!

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has exponentially grown to become one of the dominant franchises in pop culture. After Nick Fury first appeared at the end of Iron Man and warned Tony Stark that he was part of a much larger world, the MCU  has continued to grow. In addition to more than 12 films in the can (with 10 more on the way), the MCU expanded into television with such shows as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, and the many Netflix shows (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders) either completed or in development. The one thing that has remained constant between the two mediums was the interconnectivity of them., like how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was tied in a big way to the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier. Ever since then, many of the TV shows will name drop events that have happened during the films, and Marvel prided itself on its interconnectivity. But can the reverse come true? (more…)

Paramount is Having ‘Star Trek 4’ Thoughts Already

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The old expression goes that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. Really, there are a few more certainties than that, but if we were to amend the old axiom, it would be with something a bit more modern. Instead let us say that there are only three certainties in life: death, taxes, and never ending Hollywood franchises. Although Star Trek Beyond is still a couple of months away from being released, and despite the fact there’s only been one (controversial) trailer released so far, Paramount Pictures is already thinking about the follow-up.  (more…)

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Last year’s big-screen superhero team-up, Avengers: Age of Ultron, came uncomfortably close to proving that the law of diminishing returns applied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) too. With its overstuffed plot, leaden exposition, distracting sequel/universe building, and dull, tiresome superhero action, including a beat-for-beat replay of the Avengers’ low-stakes battle against an army of faceless drones – with all the emotional impact and dramatic weight that implies (i.e., none) – the future of the MCU looked dim (if not grim, that’s DC territory, now and forever, amen). Maybe the onetime House of Ideas no longer had any. Maybe the law of diminishing returns could no longer be   ignored or indefinitely postponed. Maybe, just maybe, superhero fatigue had started to set in with moviegoers bombarded with costumed crusaders year round.

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Space Jam 2: internet millennials have spent years asking for it, and now it finally seems to be happening. With LeBron James on board, the Looney Tunes can finally dust off their Air Jordans and head back to the basketball court for some intergalactic athletics. Of course, with this highly-anticipated sequel comes the inevitable questioning of who Warner Bros. will get to direct it. Since Joe Pytka won’t be returning to direct the next film, fans have been hoping for a director who can deliver the same fast-paced animated excitement of the original. Fortunately, the director they are now looking to sign is no stranger to the term “fast-paced.”

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Apocalypse

The post-credit stinger of X-Men: Days of Future Past teased that audiences would soon enough see En Sabah Nur aka Apocalypse, one of the most powerful mutants and the X-Men’s greatest foe not named Magneto. This got everyone excited about the prospects of the next X-Men film by Fox. However, when they release images for X-Men: Apocalypse in Entertainment Weekly and audiences actually got to see director Bryan Singer’s interpretation for the fan-favorite bad guy, expectations took a steep dive. Gone was his surreal presence we are used to from the comics and the famed cartoon series of the 90s, and it was replaced with an Ivan Ozze look alike. Fans were on their keyboards cursing Singer’s name for destroying such an iconic character. In subsequent trailers, the image of Apocalypse has improved and eased some fans minds. Still some folks wondered, “What was Bryan Singer thinking?”

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Lately, Warner Bros.‘s DC Extended Universe has been plagued with rumors, some true like The Flash losing its director, some not so true like Aquaman losing its director, but today brings a more pleasant rumor for the fledgling interconnected movie universe. After the lukewarm reception for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, there’s a lot of uncertainty for the DCEU’s upcoming properties. Aside from the mostly positive buzz around Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman, the most eagerly anticipated movie may be Ben Affleck‘s solo Batman film. According to today’s rumor, that movie may be taking shape.

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