What I Want to See: DCEU

It was announced today, that Henry Cavill is no longer going to be the live action Superman in the DCEU.  It was recently confirmed (and long rumored) that Ben Affleck was not going to be Batman in the DCEU.  So, the DCEU is down 2 of their three most iconic characters, and many people are speculating a ‘soft reboot’ of the DCEU in general.  Of their 5 films so far, the only success across the board (critics/fans/box office) has been Wonder Woman, and so this might make sense to do.  Especially since Wonder Woman and the upcoming sequel take place before the events of the other 4 films released so far.

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Now, I personally think this reboot idea will likely take some of its cues from what happens with December’s Aquaman film.  We already saw Jason Mamoa as the character in Justice League, and I’ve heard virtually no complaints about him, but an Aquaman stand-alone will be a completely different thing, and so we really won’t know until it comes out.

There is also the forthcoming Shazam, scheduled for next April.  Now, Shazam hasn’t appeared in the DCEU previously, so if Aquaman tanks and they go full steam ahead on the reboot, Shazam could be part of the ‘new’ universe, or if Aquaman is a success, it could be tailored into the ‘newish/soft reboot/whatever they’re going to call it.’

maxresdefaultI knew nothing about this character, and the trailer sold me.

So let’s make the assumption that some kind of reboot is going to happen, and I will tell you what I want to see with that.  Ok?

I want to see this reboot build characters individually.  I’m not saying not to put Easter eggs, or slight references to each other, but let’s not get to the second movie before we have a full blown cross over.  If in Wonder Woman ’84 we see some story about a ‘meteorological event’ which implies Kal El’s (Superman) arrival, that’s fine, but I don’t want Jason Mamoa or Shazam or anyone else to show up.  Get several stand alone films under your belts, like you should have done the first time around.

ntgk14lkrtl11Thanos’ snap was more powerful than we all realized.

The second thing that I want to see happen, is I don’t want Superman and Batman to show up for a while.  It might sound dumb, and I’m sure people hate hearing about the MCU as a model, but Marvel didn’t have access to their A listers when they started, and it forced them to build characters and not assume we knew who they were, it forced them to get creative and be better story tellers.  I think Batman and Superman are too iconic to start.  Let’s deal with Shazam, and Cyborg, and other characters that the general film going audience that aren’t comic book readers aren’t familiar with, and start world building through them.  There is some brand recognition with characters like Flash and Green Lantern, but use those characters to bridge the gap between the audience who know nothing, and the audience who totally get it.  Then once you’re several successes deep, you can start introducing Superman and Batman.  This exercise, will also help you to understand how to create those characters more memorably, to not be coming at them as the icons they are to the general public, but to fill in and establish all of the layers that have comic book fans hooked.

Two MCU Films at the Box Office…

Avengers: Infinity War is coming out in just a couple weeks, and it will very likely dominate the Box Office, this isn’t surprising, and if you’d asked someone a year or two ago, they’d have known then that it was likely.  Right?  Here is what was unlikely, but is now seeming incredibly likely:

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Black Panther, will still be in the top 10 spots at the Box Office when Infinity War comes.

Never before, have we seen two MCU films (I’m not sure we’ve ever seen two films of the same franchise in general) dominate the box office at the same time, but we’re about to.  So I wonder what this means for both films.

In case you’re unaware, Black Panther has not only been raking in more money on a week to week basis than almost any other film since it’s release, but it has been moving in on the all time earners.  As of this past weekend, it took down Titanic, as the #3 earner domestically of all time.  It currently stands at #10 globally of all time (not taking inflation into account), and is only $32 million from the #9 spot, and $41 million from the #8 spot, which when you’re looking at the fact that it made $8 million last week, seem a plausible outcome.

31F3511B-8547-43DA-8488-30F23D9E75CEOne thing, that I think could happen as Infinity War looms over us, is that I think it is possible, that Black Panther gets a resurgence in the week or so prior to Infinity War, after all, if you’re an MCU fan, and there’s a chance to watch the previous film in theaters, then the following day/week/whatever watch the most current, there’s a strong likelihood that you’ll take that.  Will it be some massive swell that pushes Black Panther to the #1 spot on either the domestic or global lists? It seems unlikely (the domestic record is Star Wars: The Force Awakens at $936 million, to Black Panther’s $665 million;  globally, Avatar has the record at $2.78 billion, while Black Panther is currently at $1.3 billion) but that doesn’t matter, because it’s potentially going to change a lot of things about how films are made.  It bought legitimacy for so many different aspects that may have been overlooked before.

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On the other hand, how will Black Panther affect Infinity War at the Box Office?  My guess, is that it will help it.  From the trailer, it appears that Wakanda is going to play a major role in the film, as well as including multiple characters from Black Panther in addition to the title character.  If people loved Black Panther, they’re getting a sequel of sorts, while it’s still in theaters, and I think that will translate to big Box Office numbers, in addition to the fact that the previous 2 Avengers films have both ranked higher than BP so far in the global market, and let’s face it, whether it’s a good film or not, it’s got EVERYTHING, and so this film would have to be absolutely atrocious to not do amazing numbers in the Box Office.

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Ultimately, if I’m wrong, and Infinity War somehow kills Black Panther’s momentum, it’s already done so well that it hardly matters, on the other hand, I do think that Infinity War could potentially hurt some of the films coming out in the month or two afterwards.  Whether you think Solo is going to be good or not, Disney’s kind of taking a risk putting it a month after Infinity War.  I do think Deadpool 2 is far enough away that it should be able to be successful regardless of the shadow that Infinity War casts (either way, chances are Josh Brolin has a good few months).

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PODCAST: Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi SPOILER Review!

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Hey Everybody,

It’s Paul

After months of waiting, It’s finally here! Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi has hit theatres at last! We couldn’t wait to dive into this podcast. This Episode is so EPIC that I  needed TWO guest co-hosts to handle it! (Unfortunately Tim was out of town this weekend).With me on the show is long time World’s Best Media contributor Ryan McDonald; as well as friend and supporter of World’s Best Media, Mr. Matt Supple. This episode is FULL SPOILERS!!! And there’s A LOT to unpack. So, wait until after you’ve seen the movie (or if you don’t care). There was a lot to unpack and go over, but I think we did a good job. Enjoy! Listen here or on iTunes :

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13595419

What I Want to Happen: Pixar

 

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I’m a big fan of Pixar’s films.  When Toy Story came out, I was 11 years-old, and I’ve kind of grown up with them.  What’s been nice, about growing up with Pixar, is that they had such an amazing record (still have a good record).  After Toy Story came A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story 2, neither of which was as deep as Toy Story, but certainly weren’t vapid either.  After Monster’s Inc., and Finding Nemo was The Incredibles, and it lived up to the name.  I was twenty years old, and watching Pixar do the unofficial version of Fantastic Four that we have still yet to get, but totally deserve.

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After The Incredibles, we got Cars.  Now, Cars is an article all in itself, but to try to quickly summarize what I have to say about Cars is: I personally think it’s the weakest Pixar original (it’s a total knock off of Doc Hollywood) which pains me, because George Carlin is one of my favorite comedians/celebrities of all time and he voiced Fillmore; it is the pivot point film between a Disney/Pixar partnership, and Disney owning Pixar, and was used as part of the negotiations; and so while I think it’s the weakest, in a lot of ways I still think it’s better than a lot of other films, and it’s important.

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After the pivot of Cars, a reinvigorated Pixar went into what I think was their renaissance creating Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3 (the latter 2 were nominated for Best Picture Oscars, the former each getting Best Screenplay nominations).  These 4 films, should definitely be mentioned when discussing the best animated films of all time.

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Then after the renaissance came the other shoe.  Part of Pixar’s agreement with Disney, was that they would create sequels to their most successful box-office films.  After Toy Story 3, we got Cars 2.  Now personally, I think Cars 2 is better than most will give it credit for, but it is certainly a departure from the depth of the four preceding films.  We’ve since got Brave (an attempt at a deep dive which falls a little flat), Monster’s University (a serviceable prequel), Inside Out (the only foray into greatness since TS3), The Good Dinosaur (akin to the A Bug’s Life, in it’s fine but doesn’t match the glory of the prior film), then Finding Dory (again, it’s a serviceable sequel, but nothing special) and Cars 3 (I haven’t seen it yet).

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The reason that I wanted to do this article, is that in couple of weeks Pixar is going to release their next film, which will be an original, entitled Coco.  I really hope Coco is good, but I’m worried, because it looks like Pixar’s amalgamation of two recent animated films Kubo and the Two Strings mixed with The Book of Life.  Now, I’m sure it is not a knock-off of those two films, but I hope it’s dissimilar enough.  I want to see them really be creative and deep again, and this may have the potential, but I’m nervous.  The film’s done though, so I want to talk about the future past Coco.

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Pixar has five films they’re currently working on, but only 2 have been officially announced; The Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4.  Personally, I don’t want too many sequels from Pixar, since their strength has really been in originals, the exception of course being the Toy Story films, so while I thought TS3 wrapped things up nicely, I’m keeping a very open mind on this.  As for the Incredibles 2, the original warranted a sequel more than any other Pixar original, and the first came at the beginning of the superhero era in film, so to check in with the family now with how the genre has changed is exciting.

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But ultimately, I want more originals.  One of the things that really has been great about the Pixar films that have been amazing were 2 things, originality, and character connection.  I think people have misread the formula, I think they see Toy Story and think “kids like toys, lets make a movie about toys” or “kids like animals and adventure, let’s make a movie about animals and adventure (Up),” but the reason why we really fell in love with those movies is that Woody learns that he has to share Andy’s love, or that Ellie got to live the adventure she always wanted, and Carl finally did too.  (BTW, I’m tearing up just thinking about Carl and Ellie, can you say that about any other 5 minute relationship in film history?)

Coco

If Coco for all of it’s “Dia de Muerta” makeup, which totally does look cool, doesn’t have some strong clinching emotional connection, it’s going to fall flat.  That’s what I want to see, I want them to be the master manipulators that we all know they can be, and tug on our heartstrings.  This is less likely to happen in sequels, because it seems to be something forged in the examination of new characters, although each Toy Story movie so far has managed it, that’s because each time the relationship with Andy, the Buzz and Woody relationship, and the relationship with their purpose in life altered to examine it.  I hope the 4th manages to continue this, I hope that The Incredibles turns from Bob’s insecurity about domestic life, and how he loves his wife and kids, to him now knowing who he is again, being able to guide them more. I guess don’t have a clue what direction I want the Incredibles to head in, but I don’t want rehashing of the same basic emotional connections the way that I think some of their lesser sequels have.

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Ultimately, I suppose the sequels aren’t going to stop, but let’s take ratio which seems to be a little more than half of the recent movies have been sequels, and flip it.  Do sequels that are organic, but not necessarily just because they sell well.  Pixar currently has an amazing legacy in the making, and I think there is a lot of promise assuming they make some adjustments.  Look at their parent company Disney’s legacy.  Disney, love them or hate them, has had an incredible run for 80+ years, and although there have been some lulls, ultimately they’re doing great.  But one thing they do, they have places to put their lesser sequels.  Sure, they’ll make the Cinderella 10: Back In The Saddle, but it’s straight to video.  This is the way to make cash-grab movies, and not tarnish your legacy.

Lastly, I want to say, I’m going to continue to see every Pixar film until they have thoroughly defeated my spirit, and I don’t think they’re even close yet.  Their worst film is still better than most, I just want to see them return to being better than EVERYONE.

Written by Michael Cole