Film

Many dark dreams for the Crow reboot

Round and round goes the planned Crow reboot film.  New names added, Old names fall away.  I could go on and on like others about the no name director and the actor I have never heard of, but that combination is what made the first one great, so I will hold my tongue.

Normally, when a great movie is getting a reboot, I am the first one to sigh, roll my eyes, and ask why the movie needed to be made.  This is different.

While the original is a gothic masterpiece that I still watch every year, there is so much in source material that was left out of it.  I would love to see some of that brought into a new movie.

The comics are a stunning meditation on love, death, hatred, justice, and revenge.  It paints a sweet yet violent picture of a man who lost his love and his life in a random act of violence.  In return, he returns to the land of the living to destroy those who killed them.

The Crow is a visionary masterpiece (I know I have already used that word before, bur it is the only one that fits).  A hypnagogic nightmare of love, loss, and agony, the books paint visions of inner pain and turmoil that I have not see the like of since Blade Runner.

I can only hope that whoever makes this movie, they will make the wise choice and include some of this scenes.  From the valentine with hollow eyes to the stampede into barbed wire.  If the director can create the same hallucinogenic terror from the book, the new film will be different and spectacular.

The biggest danger is that they will simplify the story down to an action film or a horror film.  It needs to be both, or it will not work.

Thoughts on the Star Wars cast

Star Wars.com has announced the cast of Star Wars Episode VII.  The list includes names we all expected: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.  It also added 7 new names.

The Seven New Actors

First, I have to say that I don't think it is a coincidence  that the announced seven new actors.   This feels like a calculated JJ Abrams decision.  Seven new actors for the seventh film.  So who are the seven new actors?

John Boyega

Oscar Isaac

Daisy Ridley

Andy Serkis | Gollum

Max von Sydow

Adam Driver

Domhnall Gleeson

Predictions

Since Andy Serkis is in the movie, I think it is fairly safe to say he will be playing at least one animated CG character.  If this were the movie I had hoped it would be, I would say that he would be playing the Noghri, but I doubt that is going to happen.  I presume he will play a number of characters.

Daisy Ridley  will most likely play the daughter of Princess Leia and Han Solo, who presumably will be called Jaina, but I think that that is a little bit too much to hope for. 

Adam Driver   Would make a very interesting Jacen Solo, however it is more likely that he will be playing in Imperial officer.  I would love to hope for Thrawn, especially since Max von Sydow would make a great Jorus C'baoth, but he is more likely to play a Moff or a ghostly Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Domhnall Gleeson Is my front runner to play Ben Skywalker or whatever they decided to name Luke's son, or if the rumors are true Obi-Wan's son.

Oscar Isaac will likely play a storm trooper or Mandolorian.

Excited, I am not

I cannot get past the fact the JJ Abrams is directing and writing this movie.  He demonstrated with the Star Trek films that he is incapable of honoring the legacy of a franchise.  I hold out hopes that Disney will force a decent film out of him.

It is also more than a little suspicious that they will not be releasing the film until December 18, 2015.  This is a giant red flag.  Every Star Wars film with the exception of the animated Clone Wars was released in May.  They were summer blockbuster films.  This date tells me that the studio is unsure how audiences will react to episode VII.

By releasing the film in December, they are hedging their bet that the film will debut at number 1 its opening weekend.  Anything less than the top slot would be perceived as a failure and a bad omen for the sequel series.

Disney fires the Deathstar at the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Boom!

Queue the fanboy freak out in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

No!!!!!!!  The Mouse is not my father!

*** Warning, what follows is a RANT  ***

So, Disney, ahem, Lucusfilm as owned by Disney, has announced that the Extended Universe never happened (read it here).  They are urban legends.  Like a good JJ Abrams film or an Ewok that isn't annoying.

While the announcement was polite, and I didn't expect them to canonize the whole of the expanded universe, I thought they would at the very least respect the Thrawn trilogy, if nothing else...  I suppose JJ needed his freedom so he could add more lens flare and red matter.

What pisses me off the most about their patronizing announcement is that it feels like this is the decision they had already made, and that they pretended to look into the question in hopes it keep fans like me from freaking out.

Too little, too late.  I was done with the Empire a long time ago, and I not really interested in rehashing all this again.  I know they are making the films for the mass audience, and they don't give a crap about what the fan base thinks, but this is just salt in the wound JJ cut into my interest in the franchise.

I hope they make a better film than I think they will, but my hope is as dead as Alderaan.

Star Wars: Episode VII: Struggle for Hope

So, JJ Abrams is working on Star Wars...  That is probably the hardest thing for me to understand in this process.  JJ gives me such mixed emotions.

I didn't like Lost or Alias.  Mission Impossible III and Ghost Protocol were alright, but they were throw away movies.  I saw them once, and yet to have an urge to see them again.

Star Trek was a dumbed down, over simplified, almost parody of a series that used to be about ideas.  Star Trek Into Darkness was better, and I actually enjoyed it.  It was still obvious he didn't understand the franchise he was working in, but it worked as an extended universe story.

I liked Super 8, but for all the wrong reasons.  It was a mash up of many films I loved as a kid.  As a mash up it was clumsy.  You could name each and every film it "borrowed" from, and it didn't feel like it was a self contained story in itself.  I watched the Goonies again afterwards, and I am thankful to JJ for that.

Now, he said when he made Star Trek, that it was his attempt to make a Star Wars movie.  If that is the case, it really makes me wonder what his Star Wars will look like.

Forget everything that you know

So, Disney has empaneled a group to decide what is Star Wars canon, and what isn't.  To make matters more confusing they have announced that the spin off movies they are making are not canon... They will have little or nothing to do with the main series and may contradict it...

Before I get bogged down in the mixed messages coming from JJ and the Mouse, let's look at some of the problems they are facing.

Star Wars: Episode VII: Heir to the Empire?

When I chat with fellow fans, we agree that their are two series from the extended universe we would like to see made into movies.  The Thrawn Trilogy is first on the list.

I love these books, and if you haven't read them, you should.  They are a natural end to the Rebel/Empire storyline, they introduce Mara Jade, and well, they are great stories.

The biggest problem to this is that the original actors are too old for this storyline.  If fandom went apoplectic about the Prequel Trilogy, I can only imagine how they would react to the recasting of these pivotal roles.

This is the best place for JJ to start.  This storyline fits in quite well with the type of films JJ has made in the past with some success. 

Don't expect to see Thrawn (who in any universe would be played by Benedict Cumberbatch) any time soon.  They said that while Luke, Leia, and Han will be the main characters, the kids will be in the movie.

Star Wars: Episode VII: Betrayal?

The second on the list is Legacy of the Force.

I know I am skipping a lot, like the Yuuzhan Vong war, but the series fills in readers of necessary back story quite well, and it would translate well into a film.

Personally, this is where I think they should start.  Why?

  • The Actors are age appropriate.

The story takes place 40 years after the battle of Yavin, and it has been 37 years since A New Hope came out.

  • It has imperial elements.

The Imperial Remnant is involved with the story, so it could be used to bridge the gap to future movies.

  • It introduces several new threats.

Not only is it about the rise of a new Dark Lord of the Sith, but it sets up new villains that could be used going forward.

  • It hands off the series from the characters we know and love to a new generation.

At some point the series has to move on from Luke, Leia, Han, and the rest.

  • The Love Commander has to be in a movie!

If you haven't read the books, that is the name of Lando's ship... 'nuff said.

Holding my Breath

I can only hope that Disney will treat Star Wars with respect.  It is not a Hans Christian Andersen story they can bastardize for money.  People really care about it.

JJ will make a fun movie.  I have no doubt about that.  It is what he does, but I want him to make a good movie, or great movie.

He may have as little respect for Star Wars fans as he had for Star Trek fans.  I want to be proven wrong though.

I want more than Darth Vader II: Electric Boogaloo.

Whatever happens.  These are just movies.  If they are bad, I still have two good ones.  The worse he can do is kill Star Wars for the pop culture, and I am not sure that is a bad thing.

What would another Serenity movie be about?

14 - 1.jpg

When I saw this image, I started wondering what a second Serenity/Firefly movie would be about.  How many characters would Joss kill off?  What could they possibly do the movie about?

Maybe it is because Joss is making the Avengers movies, but I would really love a film that explored and explained "Super Soldier" program that exists in the world.

Throughout the series, and even in the the movie, we got to see a lot of Blue Sun (I presume) agents that were enhanced for some reason.  River was apparently picked up to be a part of this program.

Since we now know that the Reavers were created by accident as a way to pacify the populace, I assume these "super soldiers" have a similar control purpose.

It does feel like a bit of overkill engineer these troops simply as assassins.  I can't help but think that they have an purpose that we haven't seen before.

Mal and the crew have a quasi-decent motivation to pursue this mystery after River's performance in the final battle against the Reavers.  A fight she seemed engineered to engage in.

Perhaps the answer is really that simple, but I feel like there is more there than has been revealed yet.

That is what I would like to see in the next movie, should it ever happen.  What would you like to see?  What questions do you see outstanding in the series?

The Flying Man

I am not sure how I missed this when it came out other than to say the internet is a big place.

The filmmaker, Marcus Alqueres, has successfully made a short film that is captivating and creepy.  It is a twist on the superhero as vigilante from the bad guy's and the news' point of view.

I want more.  He set up a Facebook Page, and added a page to his site, here, but it I don't see any hint about more to come.

To be honest, the film feels like something from the Sovereign Universe, I felt the same shock as I did when the Washington Monument turned black in Brave Men Run.

I like the idea of hero as monster.  It is a fun way to tell a story.

A new superhero is coming, only this time it's on his terms. Will he still be considered a hero? Directed, produced, financed, edited and story by Marcus Alqueres (twitter.com/marcusalqueres) m.alqueres@gmail.com Sound and score by: Roger Lima (www.whitenoiselab.com) Manager: Scott Glassgold / IAM Entertainment Website: malqueres.com/The-Flying-Man (for press release) Facebook: facebook.com/TFMshort Credits: Written by: Marcus Alqueres and Henry Grazinoli DOP: Anthony Scott Burns Production Manager: Christopher Yurkovich Visual Effects: João Sita / Marcus Alqueres Cast: Mike: Nick Smyth Rob: Rick Cordeiro Voices:Justin T. Lee Colorist: Marco Polsinelli from Topix Fx A/B Camera: Julian Van Mill / Anthony Scott Burns / Marcus Alqueres Script Revision: Moss Badran Sound Recordist: David Guerra / Randy Resh Production Assistant: Nick Bechard Additional DOP: Marcus Alqueres (opening and hospital scenes) Makeup: Helen Johns / Carly Sellen Special Thanks: Beatriz Costa / Daniel Luna / Richard Penner / Sarah Arruda Fernando Faria / Livia Ramos / Xande Torres / Chris Bahry - Sylvain Taillon / Chris Wallace