THOUGHTS ON…SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2014 REVEALS

Greetings all!!

Sooooo…another year brings with it another comic con. And boy wasn’t there some stuff to talk about.

Unfortunately I wasn’t one of those lucky few who got to go to Comic-Con but from what got revealed to those who didn’t go there was quite a lot to talk about.

Now where do I start?

Let’s start with the big one and get it out the way. I am of course talking Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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While I have on countless ocassions voiced my concerns about the film and constantly mentioned that I am a massive Superman fan, I feel that this film, of all the films including Avengers 2, was the film most people wanted some sort of insight into just to get us excited just a wee bit.

This was arguably the biggest talking point and my pick for comic-con 2014. Everyone wants to know what’s happening with this film and what it’s going to look like.

And so this happened:

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Seeing these guys next to each other finally made it sink in. This is actually happening. Arguably two of the biggest characters in comic book history were coming together for the first time on the big screen.

I’m not dissing Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron panel. I’m not one of those fans that is so blinded by my love for one company that I see it as infinitely better than the other company. That’s not the case. But with Age of Ultron, Marvel has proven itself time and time again that they can and have been able to handle the big comic book movies so there was no need for concern.

With Dawn of Justice there are so many concerns, so I probably bet that it was the film on most people’s minds and we all wanted to know what was happening. Something to let us know that things will be okay at least.

And that’s what the fans got.

FB_20140724_22_15_39_Saved_PictureIt happened.

Like a nuclear bomb, Zack Snyder dropped some footage for those lucky bastards at San Diego to see.

To be fair I wasn’t expecting any footage. So when I heard that Snyder had unleashed that footage on Hall H I immediately checked for reactions online. And eventually, some kind, but incredibly sneaky person posted the teaser online, and yes I watched it.

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All I can say is this…

Say what you will about Zack Snyder, the man knows how to make a trailer. The man knows how to attract fan attention.

We see Batman in full Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns armour. That’s right armour. Glowing white eyes and all, lighting the Bat-signal to a stormy Gotham skyline, only to find Superman floating threateningly above him, eyes glowing red. As one website aptly described it, it was the stare downs of all stare downs.

Even though the leak wasn’t at a great resolution, you saw enough of it to get seriously pumped for the movie. I still have my doubts, and still wondering with worried angst as to why Batman is dressed to kicked Superman’s ass but I am nonetheless excited.

Be it a cautious anticipation, Zack Snyder you have my interest…

What’s more, like a hidden bonus that you unlock in a lengthy game, Snyder revealed our first look at Wonder Woman. I’m not going to be one of those people who will bitch about how Gal Gadot looks too skinny or why the costume is dark or looks like Xena because as I said before, Gal Gadot is a smart and refreshing choice. All my concern is why she’s even in the movie in the first place.

FB_20140726_19_09_59_Saved_PictureOnly time will tell…

I also get the feeling that when Snyder is ready to let that Comic-Con teaser be released on the internet, we might get a synopsis with it.

So here’s to hoping…

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Like I said about Age of Ultron, in terms of everything regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’m not that worried.They have consistently proved themselves in the past, time and time again that they know how to bring their creations to the big screen.

Seriously, everytime I doubted Marvel I was proven wrong.

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When Avengers was on the horizon, I was worried. I was concerned. Did they prove me wrong? Well…we wouldn’t be here now would we? The same goes for Thor 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

All I can say in regards to Marvel is I want the trailers now. Considering Age of Ultron (especially) is out next year, I would like to see something about it. The same goes for Ant-Man.

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Speaking of seeing something…

I was disappointed that we didn’t get any updates or footage for the Fantastic Four reboot. I love the Fantastic Four as much as the X-Men and more than the Avengers, so I was really keen to see something about it. But again, time will tell…

Other big news that caught my eye was without a doubt The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies.

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I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m not the biggest LOTR fan. I’m not gonna shit on them, but I prefer the Harry Potter series to LOTR. But saying that I loved The Hobbit series, especially The Desolation of Smaug. So any news about TBOTFA will definitely catch my interest.

As far as I’m concerned, of all the things that broke out at San Diego Comic-Con this year, the news I was most concerned with was Dawn Of Justice. And though I still have my doubts, the footage has definitely refocused my interest.

However, I won’t put my faith 100% in it. I did that with Man Of Steel and that didn’t entirely turn out to be the Superman movie I wanted…

So, Comic-Con 2014, what did you make of anything that came out of it? Was there any other projects you were interested or worried about? Did you go? Were you there? What was it like?

Comment below and I’ll see you on the next post!!!

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THOUGHTS ON…”UNDER THE SKIN”

Greetings all!!!

So it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. Unfortunately I had a lot going on, but this time I am good to go and I’m back in the game.

And where to begin?

A film review. And what a film to start on.

Under The Skin.

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What struck me as fascinating in regards to Under The Skin was the themes that the film carried. The more you look back on Glazer’s masterpiece of a picture the more themes you begin to understand and realise about it. The key theme that everyone tends to pick up on is the ways of being human and moreover, the perceptions of humans from the perspective of an outsider, an alien.

Johansson’s alien is struck by how odd humans are in some instances and is mystified by why we do the things we do.

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The scene on the beach where Johansson watches the man trying to save those people for drowning while she just stands there and does nothing reminded me of Keanu Reeves in The Day The Earth Stood Still, where he stands there eating a sandwich watching a man die of a heart attack. They don’t understand why there is so much panic because they just don’t understand the situation. It’s why she leaves the infant alone on the beach when the infant cries for help. In fact the alien on the motorcycle does the same thing.

And it’s why she always questions every single companion that ends up taking a lift from her.

The title of the film is incredibly fitting because like I said, it deals with human perception and questions it. The most tender moment and example of this comes from the scene where the Johansson alien picks up the hooded man and his face is unveiled.

The film is well thought out because we don’t know any of the character’s names. This is so vital because now, if you had to discuss the film, you’d have to name the characters by their description and that’s what makes the film smart. We find out a bit about the hooded man. The fact that he has nice hands. Or that he doesn’t trust or like people in general. Or the fact that he has never been with a woman.

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With all that the film asks us how we would name the gentleman or describe him. It is left to us as the audience how to describe him given all that information. Most people would describe him as the man with a facial deformity, and that’s what the film is challenging us as the audience on.

The fact that we as humans are not perceiving what is underneath but in fact what is right in front of us and in plain view. Most of Johansson’s victims are seduced by her because of her beauty and that’s why the ending is so fitting and so well crafted. It deals with the irrationalities of human beings.

The man who wanted to rape Johansson was so persistent because of her beauty but once we saw what was underneath, what Johansson’s true form was he reacted by burning her to death.

That moment in the film becomes pivotal because it changes Johansson’s character.

What adds to making every scene so memorable in Glazer’s film is the terrific performance of Scarlett Johansson.  She is able to play the alien so well you can’t help but empathise with her, to understand the world from her point of view. Her character is not used to the ways of humans, and therefore unlike humans she doesn’t prejudge the people around her.

That’s why the scene where she is picks up the hooded gentleman is such a stand out scene. As she doesn’t understand the way humans judge each other based on what’s on the outside she isn’t deterred by the man’s appearance. And neither was Johansson in that scene.

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In all honesty, I reckon a lot of actresses, even the most talented ones might feel a bit nervous or uncomfortable with having to work with an actor suffering from that condition. What I’m trying to say is that even though the actress will try to appear unfazed by the gentleman’s appearance, you will still be able to tell in the scene that they are a little bit deterred.

However, Johansson doesn’t seem fazed by the hooded gentleman’s appearance and it makes the alien more real. It also reflects when on a Hollywood A lister like Johansson, that she is an absolute professional that isn’t fazed by the situation and isn’t being prejudice to the person in the situation.

As I was writing my review for Watch_Dogs I listened to the soundtrack on YouTube and I found another reason as to why this film had remained so strongly etched into my memory.

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It was so eerie, and it had a sort of jittery effect. It really did sound like it was crawling on your skin. It was one of those times where the film’s sound track is just important as the film itself.

The stand out song for me is the aptly named Love. It played in the scene where Johansson was trying to have sex with the stranger who was kind to her on the bus.

The song has such a strangely tender quality to it that it worked so well with the scene it was used in. It’s a track that has a reminiscent quality to it because it deals with first love, and it plays when Johansson’s character is possibly experiencing that for the first time. The song and the scene is able to expose and draw on the intimate corners of the human experience in regards to love and passion.

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The other tracks too like Creation and Death both stand out. Creation has a sinister quality that gains more and more momentum as the seconds go by. Whilst Death has a slow and dreary sound to it that as I listened to it I was reminded immediately of the scene involving the nude man who had his insides sucked out of him and his skin was just dancing in the blue liquid like satin or silk.

I think what I also loved about Under The Skin as well is it’s use of CGI. Or should I rather say, it’s lack of use of it. The fact that it didn’t rely heavily on CGI, gave the film such an organic look than when it did use special effects, it was for good reason and worked well especially in the closing scene when we see Johansson’s alien form.

Speaking of organic…

I read online that apparently certain parts of the film were shot with hidden cameras, and that added more to the unbelievably realistic look to the film. You could see that the people that Johansson walked past in the city were real people, not extras, therefore a lot of the film doesn’t look entirely simulated.

And that’s cool…

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Overall, Under The Skin is among one of the finest films I’ve seen all year. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, some may see as a very artsy, experimental piece of film, but that’s what makes it a lovable film. Like I see for any movie, you can only form your own judgement if you actually take time out and watch the film. If you like it, you like.

5/5

So, Under The Skin, what did you make of it? Do you like it? Or don’t see the point to it?

Comment below and I’ll see you on the next post.