The 15th Anniversary Of Constantine: An Underrated Cult Classic

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Normally, this is the time of year when we’d be right in the middle of the San Diego Comic-Con. Some of the year’s biggest announcements about our favorite movies, TV shows, and comic books are made at this event. Unfortunately, due to the continued threat of the COVID-19 outbreak, the mega-convention couldn’t be held this year and I can’t say I blame them. Imagine it, thousands of sweaty, nerdy fans, decked out in their cosplay, in 90+ degree heat with 80% humidity, as they all walk around hacking and coughing a deadly virus on each other. Half of the attendees would be in the hospital by the end of the week. Not a pretty picture. 

     However, we weren’t completely left empty-handed, the folks behind the long running annual fan event, came up with  Comic-Con@Home, multiple panels were live streamed online for folks to enjoy a little bit of Comic-Con from the comfort and safety of their own home. Nothing beats the real Comic-Con experience, but they still put together some very interesting panels. One of the highlights, for me at least, was the Constantine 15th Anniversary Panel. Star Keanu Reeves, producer Akiva Goldman, and director Francis Lawrence discussed the 2005 film with one of writers from Collider. 

Constantine takes a trip to Hell

    I want to take a minute and to give the film some context. John Constantine is easily among my top 10 favorite comic book characters. He was created by legendary comic book writer Alan Moore during his Swamp Thing run for DC and the physical inspiration for Constantine was world famous musician, Sting. The character was enough of a standout to warrant his own series from DC under their mature readers imprint, Vertigo, called Hellblazer. Constantine was sort of a con-man mage based out of London. Writers like Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Brian Azzerello, and Warren Ellis have all done memorable work with the character, in fact Hellblazer was the longest running books in Vertigo’s history. 

Constantine is a little more high profile these days, appearing in both live-action and animated TV shows and films. Most notably, actor Matt Ryan has portrayed John Constantine in pretty much every appearance the character has made over the last 6 years. We first saw Ryan’s interpretation of the role in the short-lived (but cancelled too soon) Constantine TV series (2014-2015). Unlike Keanu Reeves, the British and blonde haired Matt Ryan is much more in line with the traditional depiction of John Constantine. But you can’t keep a good warlock down, and Matt Ryan reprised the role of John Constantine on Arrow and eventually became a series regular on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (these appearances retroactively made the Constantine TV series part of The Arrowverse). Ryan has also voiced the character in multiple animated films, like Justice League Dark and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, as well as an animated miniseries. Much like Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker, Matt Ryan has become the unofficial, definitive version of John Constantine in the eyes of many fans.

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

   Having said all that, I think 2005’s Constantine is an extremely underrated movie that deserves more credit than it gets. On paper this movie should not work. First of all, John Constantine is one of the best comic book characters ever created and holds a lot of reverence with fans. Does Keanu Reeves sound anything the character I described above? A British, street sorcerer that looks like Sting? At the time, casting Keanu Reeves in the title role seemed like a weird and misguided choice for the movie. That’s strike one. Producer, Alkiva Goldman, has had his name attached to some truly dog shit projects over the years, including Joel Schumacher’s infamous Batman & Robin. Strike two. Finally, this beloved character was in the hands of a first time film director, who predominantly directed music videos before this movie. Strike three! But goddammit if they don’t manage to pull it off. Not only did the movie work, it was pretty damn great.

Lucifer pays John a visit. The only Soul he’d come to personally collect himself.

   Despite the changes to the source material, especially the casting of Keanu Reeves and the film taking place in LA instead of London, the movie did a phenomenal job at capturing the essence of John Constantine and his world. Keanu was so good in the role that the superficial changes didn’t matter as much as you’d think. The spirit of the character was there. Reeves did a better job of inhabiting John Constantine than a lot of other actors in comic book films that seem perfectly cast from the jump. There are so many great, little moments throughout the film that show how Keanu Reeves and the filmmakers really get exactly who this guy is and what makes him tick. 

   The look of the film, the supporting cast, Peter Stormare as Lucifer, are just a few examples of what makes this movie an underrated gem. I definitely recommend checking out the full panel, which you can watch right here:

It sounds like Keanu is up for a sequel, which would be pretty cool. So what do you guys think? Is Constantine an underrated classic? Or am I nuts and it’s a piece of shit? Let me know in the comments below.

Constantine, Papa Midnite (Djimon Hounsou), and Chas (Shia LaBeouf)

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

NEW TRAILERS: Project Power! Lucifer Season 5!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here,

A few new trailers for upcoming Netflix projects dropped this week (one returning series and one film). They both look pretty cool. I had some brief thoughts that I wanted to share about them and you can take a look at some images and the trailers for yourself below…

Project Power

Until movie theaters open again, God knows when, because of the massive shit show that is the Coronavirus outbreak, we’re going to have to settle for getting of Summer Movie fix through streaming services. This is the time of the year when the biggest, most expensive, and insane Hollywood Blockbusters are supposed to come out! At least Netflix and a few of the other streaming services have put out a few solid summer action movies. I particularly enjoyed The Old Guard starring Charlize Theron (here’s my review to refresh you’re memory: https://best-media-world.com/2020/07/14/movie-review-the-old-guard/ ). Now we have Project Power starring Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon Levitt. The idea of a dangerous street drug that temporarily grants super powers is nothing new in superhero storytelling. So this movie isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. But there were enough interesting and cool visuals to make want to check it out when it hits Netflix on 8/14/20. Check out the trailer:

EW.com had some cool images from the movie, which I have posted here…

Lucifer Season 5:

When Lucifer premiered on Fox a few years back, I absolutely hated the concept. You see, THIS version of Lucifer first appeared as a recurring in the classic comic book series, The Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman. The character was popular and interesting enough to get his own critically acclaimed, spin-off comic book series, Lucifer created by Mike Carey. Both books were very dark and adult, so they were published by DC Comics under the legendary Vertigo imprint. Vertigo was kind of like HBO for comic books, meaning the creators were able to do whatever they damn well pleased without censorship (for the most part anyway…). Classic comic books like Preacher, 100 Bullets, Fables, and Ex Machina were all published under Vertigo. To be clear, the Lucifer TV series is an adaptation of that version of the character, when I saw that FOX’s take was essentially a police procedural like Bones, Monk, Castle, or Elementary and the THOUSANDS of other shows just like them, I was disgusted. These shows all have the same formula: a straight laced detective is forced to partnered with a quirky and unique individual, whose unorthodox gimmick is shockingly effective at solving crimes (Oh, and of course they’ll eventually fall in love after years of “Will They/Wont They?”, romantic and sexual tension)! That might as well be describing 30 other stupid fucking shows on TV. After seeing the pilot, there was nothing to convince me that this was anything but Lucifer, in name only. Just another dumb procedural. Why the fuck would The Devil want to solve mysteries with the LAPD? However, it managed to gathered a cult following and I kept hearing that the show was pretty good and a lot of fun. When the show moved to Netflix for its fourth season, I decided to give it shot and binge watched entire series so far. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the hell out of it (and NO, that wasn’t a pun! I don’t do puns, goddammit!). As the show continues, the police element is still there, but the series has gotten more and more into the mythology of other Angels, Demons, Lucifer discovering more about himself, Hell, God, and more. The show is at its best when it focuses on those story elements. Their ace in the hole is Tom Ellis who plays Lucifer. The guy is so damned charismatic and fun to watch. We haven’t seen a version of The Devil quite like this one yet and Tom Ellis absolutely crushes it. Even a weak episode is still entertaining because of Tom Ellis’ performance. The series was originally planned to wrap up after it’s upcoming 5th season, but the show has proved to be so popular that Netflix ordered more episodes, extending Season 5 (which will now be split in 2-parts). Not only are fans getting more episodes for this new season, but Netflix has already ordered a 6th season. It’s a good time to be a fan of this series. Check out the trailer below:

Lucifer Season 5 premiere on Netflix on 8/21/2020

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul