Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review: Batman '66 #18

This issue has something different.  Two short stores.  The first story is written by Tom Peyer and is an effort drowned in the weaknesses of a typical season 2 episode. The Archer is back, to steal a computer, that he uses to form his own rival police force. The story is quite weak, featuring a weak villain, and weak artwork by Dave Bullock. This story earns a C-.

Next up is a Batgirl solo, written by Jeff Parker. The Bookworm makes an appropriate villain for librarian Barbara Gordon's alter ego.  Parker turned in an enjoyable script, and the archaic writings in the book the Bookworm is after is quite the in-joke. The only gripe about this story was, as with several other recent issues, treading too much into the supernatural, which does not suit the character of Batman in general, especially not the 66 version.  Bookworm uses the archaic spells in the book to transform his henchmen into giant silverfish to attack Batgirl. The art is by Richard Case, who does a great job, yet I can't help but wonder how Joelle Jones, who turned in some exceptional art for the Batgirl solo in issue 10, would have handled it. This story earns a B, averaging a C for the issue.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Thunderworld Adventures #1

If you consider yourself a Captain Marvel fan in any way, shape, or form, you must buy and read "Captain Marvel and the Day That Never Was" in issue 1 of THUNDERWORLD ADVENTURES (and I really hope it becomes an on-going series).  This is the best DC Shazam book since Alex Ross' Justice.  And in some ways it is better, because at the end of the day, Justice was really a JLA story that had Captain Marvel in the spotlight for some perfectly crafted sequences. But the premiere issue of Thunderworld Adventures is a pure Captain Marvel story thru and thru.
Grant Morrison's script flawlessly captures both the Fawcett quality, and the E. Nelson Bridwell quality.  His script is clever and fun and superbly embraces the concept of alternate earths and time travel.  Morrison writes both Billy Batson and Captain Marvel perfectly.  This is the way both characters are meant to be.  A stark contrast to the meat head idiot Cyborg sidekick, the DCnU "Shazam" Geoff Johns' portrays in Justice League. Morrison gets in some nice, subtle shots at DC.  In one panel, there is a bank of monitors showing alternate earth Sivanas.  Front in center is one with a goatee and sunglasses, looking suspicioulsy like Captain Marvel's true number one enemy at the DC offices, Dan Didio.  Later, we see another alternate Sivana in a Hannibal Lector mask, obesseing over Mary Marvel, alluding to the Emo-Goth naughty Mary Marvel of the pre-Flashpoint New Earth... hmmm, Geoff Johns, perhaps?  We get to see Uncle Dudley, Mr Tawny, and the three Lieutenent Marvels.  And the Monster Society of Evil. Three of Sivana's kids, Magnificus, Georgia, and Junior, get Shazam-like powers, and the way Captain Marvel Jr defeats Georgia is one of the book's many highlights.  My only critiques of the story would be that Beautia wasn't included, and that the whole thing was just too short!  It could have and should have been at least ten pages longer.

Cameron Stewart's artwork matched Morrison's script perfectly.  He portrayed a style that was Fawcett influenced, yet modern. Every panel was art of the highest quality. My only critques would be that Mary Marvel's costume was white instead of the traditional red, and Stewart drew Freddy/Capt Marvel Jr with a kind of Beatle hair cut instead of an Elvis style more associated with the character.  All in all, I want Thunderworld Adventures to become an on-going series.  I want the upcoming movie to be inspired by this.  I want to see all future news items about the upcoming movie to use Stewart's artwork instead of the hooded DCnU artwork. Thunderworld Adventures earns an A+.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bill Murray... Trad?

Since this is Advent, I thought I'd share an excerpt from an interesting interview with actor Bill Murray.  Apparently, a practicing Catholic (his sister is a nun), he prefers the Extraordinary Form Mass and dislikes modern pop style liturgical music, preferring chant.

You don’t need to ask if his faith is important to him. He talks about how 19th-century candidates risk not getting canonised because the church is keen to push ahead with the likes of John Paul II and Mother Teresa. “I think they’re just trying to get current and hot,” he smiles.

One new saint he does approve of is Pope John XXIII (who died in 1963). “I’ll buy that one, he’s my guy; an extraordinary joyous Florentine who changed the order. I’m not sure all those changes were right. I tend to disagree with what they call the new mass. I think we lost something by losing the Latin. Now if you go to a Catholic mass even just in Harlem it can be in Spanish, it can be in Ethiopian, it can be in any number of languages. The shape of it, the pictures, are the same but the words aren’t the same.”

Isn’t it good for people to understand it? “I guess,” he says, shaking his head. “But there’s a vibration to those words. If you’ve been in the business long enough you know what they mean anyway. And I really miss the music – the power of it, y’know? Yikes! Sacred music has an affect on your brain.” Instead, he says, we get “folk songs … top 40 stuff … oh, brother….”

 Jimmy Fallon has also recently lamented how the Church establishment is attempting to make the Mass more pop-culture entertainment with social worker values, and less a religious sacremental worship.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Upcoming Captain Marvel comics

Not only do we have Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart's highly anticipated Thunderworld featuring the Captain Marvel of Earth-5, in two weeks, but just announced is a two issue spin off of the upcoming Convergence event featuring the original Fawcett version of Captain Marvel, i.e. pre-Crisis On Infinite Earths Earth-S, by Jeff Parker and Evan Shaner. Between Thunderworld and the Convergence: Shazam microseries, the bad taste of the DCnu52 hoodie wearing "Shazam" who was a jerk in Curse of Shazam  and currently in Justice League has become the idiot clown sidekick to Cyborg, Costello to his Abbott, is sure to be wiped away.  Now, as readers of this blog may point out, I have been somewhat critical of Parker's scripts on Batman '66. Even though he hasn't, in my opinion, been able to really grasp that series, he is a good writer, and has in fact turned in several good Batman '66 stories, and a couple great ones.  Plus he turns in stellar work for  Dynamite Comics, such as for Flash Gordon. I am confident his Convergence: Shazam script will be some of his better work. Artist Evan Shaner is a lifelong Captain Marvel fan, and it is great he gets an opportunity to draw the character.  Convergence: Shazam should be on sale mid-Spring.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Review: Batman '66 The Lost Episode

This special issue has bronze age greats Len Wein and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez taking a rejected Harlan Ellison treatment for the TV series featuring Two-Face, and transforming it into a Batman '66 comic book story. To top it off, included are Garcia-Lopez's pencil pages, and Ellison's original treatment.  On the critique that the regular series is too much like the third season episodes, and the just concluded Green Hornet team up is strongly in a second season style, Wein's script kind of reads more like a bronze age era comic book story rather than an episode of the TV series.  The creative team have inserted some bronze age moments that are out of place for the TV continuity, like Robin using the Batcycle as transportation.  The camp is kept to minimum, more in line with first season episodes, but I think had Two-Face been used on the show, he wouldn't have had such a graphically disfigured face, as Garcia-Lopez drew him. The show would have been more inclined to simply paint half his face green, with no scarred flesh or damaged eye.  Despite this mash up of TV show and bronze age comics, the script is excellent, and the artwork is some of the best we've seen on the Batman '66 franchise.  The unaltered pencils are even better than the finished artwork, and it's easy to see why it was included.  Finally, there is the Ellsion treatment itself. While somewhat bare bones, reading it, I could easily picture it as a TV episode, more so that the comic book version.  The treatment captures the rhythm and pattern of the TV show better than Wein's script. This special issue is very unique and well done and earns an A.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: Batman '66 #17

This issue has writer Jeff Parker turning in another mediocre story, this time featuring King Tut. The plot has to do with Tut using an Osiris Virus to turn Gotham citizens into... zombies! It comes off as a feeble attempt at capitalizing on the current pop culture zombie fad, especially when you consider the virus served the same purpose as Tut's Abu-Rabu-Simbu-Tu potion from the TV show.  Tut also has a ridiculous sarcarphagus automobile that looks like a rip-off of the Joker Mobile from the TV show.  Mayor Linseed appears in this story, once again portrayed as an African-American (more in line with the mayor from Batman Forever), causing a continuity gaffe with not only the TV show, but with Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith's superior Batman '66 Meets The Green Hornet miniseries. One positive thing, in Parker's previous Tut attempt, I critiqued that he actually made Tut too toned down.  Here, Tut is back in full Victor Buono glory.  Even so, this is one of Parker's weaker efforts, and the art by Scott Kuwalchuk gives issue number 12's Dario Brizuela a run for the money on worst artwork in the series.  DC powers-that-be, again I must request that you bring in Andy Fish to take over writing this title, with Ralph Garman on hand to do fill in's.  You have to base this series on the superior first season, and the constant failure to do so will kill this series sooner rather than later.  Better quality artists need to be brought in, also.  Over all, this issue earns a D.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: Batman '66 Meets The Green Hornet #6

The final issue opens with Batman and The Green Hornet about to detonate via Batzooka a missal launched by the Joker and General Gumm before it hits Gotham Park.  However, the bomb turns out to be a joke, shooting off postage stamps.  The four heroes deduce the villains are going to kidnap Franco Bollo.  After a Bat-Climb (with window cameo by Richard Nixon), the heroes discover they are too late.  As the villains try to escape via plane, the heroes arrive in a Bat-Hovercraft, neatly avoiding the gummy glue around the plane, preventing the police from arresting Joker and Gumm.  The heroes chase the villains away and rescue Bollo.  In gratitude, he offers to drop his lawsuit against the two cities for an out of court settlement of three million dollars.  After the payoff, Batman and his cohorts bust in, knowing that Bollo was really Gumm in disguise all along, putting an end to this case.  This final chapter is somewhat marred by rehashing a similar plot twist from the episode The Joker Trumps an Ace/Batman Sets the Pace, where the Joker impersonated the Maharajah of Nimpa, while the real Maharajah was on a secluded hunting trip.  This is the second issue in a row to "borrow" a scene from a Joker episode.  It makes you think that writers Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith were running out of ideas for a six issue story arc, and perhaps should have done a four issue arc instead.  Never the less, their script, and this miniseries, is an improvement over Jeff Parker's efforts in the regular series, albeit Garman and Smith seem more entrenched in the series' weaker second season, rather than the far superior first season (Parker, on the other hand, seems entrenched in the awful third season, although the one thing in his favor is he avoids using the TV show's all too rigid storytelling formula).  As usual, Ty Templeton does an excellent job on the art, although he could stand to get Burt Ward's likeness a little better.  Alex Ross' cover painting is a masterpiece, of course.  But it's the recycling of ideas in the last two issues that bring the miniseries down a notch. Even so, I would like to see Garman write some issues of the regular series.  This issue earns a B-.

On a side note, I was hoping to review Batman '66: The Lost Episode today, but all the issues received by my comic book store were damaged and sent back. So it will have to wait until next month.  Ironically, it is also noted the long awaited Batman DVD set has some errors: a missing tag on the episode Marsha's Scheme of Diamonds  and several missing "next week's villain" bumpers.  (I wonder if Chris Nolan and/or Zack Snyder is paying someone off to mess up these classic Batman items?)  I am sure Warner Brothers will be providing corrected replacement discs, as they have done so before, when the Superman movie box set included the bare bones version of Superman III instead of the deluxe edition, and when the Elvis movie box set likewise included the bare bones version of Jailhouse Rock instead of the deluxe edition.  Also, when a Popeye volume included a few cartoons with the old AAP TV opening titles instead of the restored Paramount titles.  Warners is actually very good about replacing discs.  But on the other hand, if they had better quality control, they wouldn't need to issue so many replacement discs for so many different titles in the first place.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: Batman '66 #16

This issue features Egghead.  Jeff Parker's script creates what could have been an epic third season episode.  Egghead evolves himself to the point of having several futuristic mental powers.  He is able to will Batman and Robin to devolve back into cavemen.  He then takes the spoils of crimes committed by Mr Freeze and the Riddler.  With such ease, Egghead realises nothing is a challenge for him.  When the cavemen Batman and Robin, who aren't grunting brutes, but still have most of their mental faculties, figure out Egghead's lair, and break in, giving a performance of stereotypical mindless cavemen, Egghead realises he needs Batman as he was for mental challenge.  He wills the Dynamic Duo back to their normal state, and collapses from the strain.  Batman then quickly reverses Egghead evolution, retuning him to normal also. It kind of off beat to see anyone with superpowers in this setting, as the TV series was fairly grounded in reality in regards to such things. While Parker turned in a better script than usual, it's still third season quality.  I cannot stress enough this series needs to get away from the second and third season it has settled in, and get back to first season style storytelling.  Parker can't seem to do that. Again I emphasize that Andy Fish should be brought is as the writer for this series. This issues artwork is by Brent Schoonover, and he turns in a better assignment than some of the more recent artists.  Overall, this issue earns a C+.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shazam movie release date confirmed.

Today, Warner Bros announced the release date for the Shazam! movie will be in 2019.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Keaton says he would play Batman again

In an interview for Entertainment Weekly , Michael Keaton is asked if he would play Batman again. His response, "If it was Tim Burton directing? In a heartbeat."  He adds, “Tim, in movies, really invented the whole dark-superhero thing.  He started everything, and some of the guys who have done these movies since then don’t say that, and they’re wrong.”

Two years ago, I suggested Burton and Keaton reunite to make a third Batman movie, based upon Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns altered somewhat to fit the existing continuity of Batman and Batman Returns. With Keaton's statement, perhaps such a project has a glimmer of hope. Sadly, due to Zack Snyder and Ben Affleck grasping all the remaining Dark Knight Returns material for Batman v Superman that wasn't already commandeered by Christopher Nolan in The Dark Knight Rises, such a Burton-Keaton project seems like all it will be is a glimmer of hope.  Unless, of course, Batman v Superman bombs at the box office like Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Kick Ass 2.

Keaton goes on to reminisce about bowing out after Burton was removed as director of the third movie by WB execs who didn't like the dark direction of Batman Returns, and brought in Joel Schumacher, “I hadn’t been stupid about it. I always knew it was a big machine with a big studio and corporation behind it. But the simple answer was, it wasn’t any good. I was nice. I said to them, ‘This is a really interesting character with a dual personality.’ I tried to make them understand. But when somebody says to you, ‘Does it have to be so dark?... I thought, are we talking about the same character? So finally I just said no.”

On his portrayal of Batman, he says, “Now I can say this, because for many reasons, I never allowed myself to say it at the time: It was never about Batman for me. It was always about Bruce Wayne. He’s funny! He’s screwed-up! The guy is the coolest motherf—-er in the world, and he’s messed-up!”

At this year's New York Comic Con, three Batmans have made appearances.  Adam West to promote the DVD release of the 1960s Batman TV series. George Clooney, who privately apologised to Adam West, and publicly to the fans, for Batman & Robin. And Michael Keaton, who went on to say he's still proud of his Batman movies, "Having played Batman and being very proud of playing Batman. I never back off that. The idea was bold, interesting, and cool when Tim made it.  When I took the original, I was unfamiliar with comic books. I wasn’t a comic book reader. [Reading the script he thought], this isn’t the way that I see the character but am glad to read it. Then I met Tim the next day, I’m saying [Batman] is this and this, and he was nodding in agreement. So I asked, are they going to make this? Tim said, 'I don’t know. Let’s find out'.”

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review: Batman '66 Meets The Green Hornet #5

This issue starts with the Hornet and Kato deciding to change tactics on how they are working with the Dynamic Duo.  Cut to  Batman and Robin, in a death trap set by Joker and Gumm that is a little too similar to the one from The Zodiac Crimes episode, and the escape is likewise similar.  After which, the Duo are summoned to Gordon's office, where they are met by The Hornet, Kato, and District Attorney Scanlon (who knows the Hornet's secret identity), to set up a backstory so that Batman can work freely with the Hornet.  Meanwhile, Joker and Gumm, in Joker's jet plane hide out, drop a bomb on Gotham.  The four heroes, warned about it via Batmobile detect-a-scope, begin evacuating Gotham Central Park, where the bomb is targeted.  Batman and the Hornet stay in the park with the Batzooka in an attempt to shoot the bomb out of the sky.  Smith and Garman get deducted a point for the rehashed death trap, but they more than make up for it with the bombing of Gotham Park sequence which is the very first time since DC initiated the "Batman '66" franchise to come close to the tone and excitement of the first season episodes.  The first half of the book has the usual splendid art by Ty Templeton, but the second half is by Jon Bogdanove, who does a better job than most of the recent artists over in the main Batman '66 title.  And, of course, there is the Alex Ross masterpiece cover. This issue earns a B+.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Batman '66 #15

This issue features a somewhat bizarre premise.  The Penguin and the Black Widow team up to destroy a new process for creating fuel, and then they rob a bank.  Once Batman and Robin discover their hideout and are captured in a giant spider web, Batman is able to convince Penguin, by planting the idea the Black Widow will kill Penguin once she's done with him, to free them and to join them to take out the Black Widow.  Jeff Parker's script, as usual, is cemented in the weaker aspects of the second and third seasons of the TV show.  But what stands out this time is his reworking of the Black Widow.  On the TV show, she was portrayed by an elderly and feeble Tallulah Bankhead. The character itself had quite a pedigree.  Originally called  The Scarlet Widow, she was Superman's enemy on the 1940s radio program, and, much like Bankhead, described as an old hag, gaunt and ugly.  Revamped as The Spider Lady for the 1948 Superman movie serial starring Kirk Alyn, and played by Carol Forman, she was young and sultry.  Finally, in 1967, reworked as The Black Widow, appeared on the second season of Batman. Parker's take seems more in tune with the Spider Lady from the serial, although still older and gray.  The art by Wilfredo Torres is above average in some panels, below average in others, never outstanding.  This issue earns a C.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Popeye test footage released

This is only the test footage, not an actual scene from the movie, which has yet to be officially green lighted.  My impressions are that it is better than the Popeye's Voyage DVD, and Tartakovsky certainly seems knowledgeable and qualified for this project... but where are Popeye's pipe and tattoos?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Opinion: Why this is the perfect time to fight for the "Captain Marvel" name

If DC/WB/New Line were smart, they would go all out and declare war over the "Captain Marvel" name. With the Shazam! movie announced before anything relating to Marvel's fake Captain Marvel, and Dwayne Johnson signed to star as the villain Black Adam, DC can easily take ownership of the name "Captain Marvel" in the public square by issuing press statements and news items all emphasising a phrase like "DC Comics' superhero Captain Marvel", which would then be picked up and repeated by news and press services ad infinitum.

And, I suppose, Disney-Marvel would want to fight it. In the words of Dwayne Johnson, "Bring it!" Any publicity is good publicity. But I honestly doubt they would want to fight it. For 40 years Marvel had no real problem with DC's Captain Marvel, except for the fact they obviously didn't want DC to publish a comic book with the title Captain Marvel. And DC was cool with that, naming the series Shazam!, after the wizard and the magic word that gave Captain Marvel his powers.

"But, Marvel recently won full use of the name Captain Marvel." That's the one I'm hearing a lot. But no one has come up with evidence of this supposed court case that gave Marvel Comics full ownership of the name Captain Marvel. Probably because you can't own a name. Just ask the Avengers. No, not the Marvel group... the British spies who also were created before their Marvel counterparts. Besides, DC still uses the name Captain Marvel in Justice League Beyond and the upcoming Thunderworld. So that argument is obviously an urban myth.

The real reason for the name change is that the new powers-that-be at DC have kind of gotten lazy. "Well, everyone already calls him Shazam anyway". So, then by that reasoning, JJ Abrams should change Captain Kirk's name to Star Trek, since... you know, people are dumb, and they'll think that's his name anyway. Or Disney should change Luke Skywalker's name to Star Wars. But thankfully the movie isn't exclusively DC. Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema are involved. I have confidence in them that they would want to embrace the character's history, and keep the traditional name. Superman's current costume has nothing in common with the New 52, except for the lack of trunks. There is no turtleneck or bulky kryptonian armor with red piping. In fact, the emblem is a complete throw back to the golden age. Ben Affleck's Batman costume. Is it New 52? No... it's a 30 year old Frank Miller design. Wonder Woman? No, no New 52 there... just some Xena in patriotic colors (washed out, of course). So I am confident not only will Captain Marvel be wearing some sort of costumed based on the traditional one and not the hoodie-obsessed New 52, but he will have his traditional name. Depending on who the director will be, it may become very apparent very quickly.

As I said, any publicity is good publicity, and if Disney really were to cause a controversy over this, it would only benefit the public consciousness of the Shazam! movie. So, come on and say the name: Captain Marvel.

Take it away, comics legend Neal Adams...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Casting Shazam: Billy, Mary, and Freddy

Today we will look at the three kids.  This is a tough one to speculate, first, because a lot of today's kid actors are part of of the Disney Channel/Nickelodeon talent pool. I don't see someone with an iron clad Disney contract being allowed to star in a DC movie. Second, as far as Billy goes, most likely they will cast Captain Marvel first, then look for a boy who resembles that actor. I'm willing to bet Billy will probably be the last role to be cast.  Third, we don't know what age range the characters will be.  Will it be the 10 to 12 year old Billy from the Fawcett years, or the 13 to 14 year old tween Billy from the Jerry Ordway era, or the 15 to 16 year old teenager Billy from the New 52? When it comes down to it, unknowns who are acting prodigies will probably get the roles.  But there wouldn't be an article, so here are some wild shots in the dark.

First, for Billy.

Colin Critchley
Why he should be cast: He's an 11 year old acting prodigy who is mostly unknown since most of his work has been on the stage.
Why he should not get cast: If they want an older Billy, or want someone with more film experience.

Mason Cook
Why he should be cast: 14 year old actor with experience in movies and TV.
Why he should not get cast: They may want a younger Billy.

Preston Baily
Why he should be cast: 14 year old actor with TV and film credits.
Why he should not get cast: Again, at 14, might be too old.

Ty Simpkins
Why he should be cast: Good resume.
Why he should not get cast: He was in "Iron Man 3"... he might still be tied to Disney and unavailable.

For Mary.

Kelli Berglund
Why she should be cast: Looks just like the character.
Why she should not get cast: She's 18, even though her range can be as young as 14. Has a Disney Channel contract which may make her unavailable.

Landry Bender
Why she should be cast: 14 year old actress, who also had a Disney contract, but her show was cancelled, freeing her up.
Why she should not get cast: Acting skills may not be up to the same level as the other kids considered.

Maggie Batson
Why she should be cast: She already is a Batson. No ties to Disney.
Why she should not get cast: Too blonde for Mary.  At age 10, might be too young if they go with an older actor for Billy.

Morgan Lily
Why she should be cast: Actress with a good resume and a fashion model.
Why she should not get cast: Age 14, might be too old if they want a younger Billy. Appeared in an X-Men movie, so might have ties to Disney and be unavailable.

And for Freddy.  My thoughts are since he influenced Elvis Presley, the actor playing Freddy should resemble Elvis.  I think that's what the casting director should look for when casting Freddy. A tough job.
Elvis as a pre-teen. Ideally, this is what the actor to be cast as Freddy Freeman should resemble.

Some more conventional choices would be:

CJ Adams
Why he should be cast: Acting credits include the recent Godzilla remake.
Why he should not get cast: At 14 might be too old if they go with a younger Billy and Mary.

Hayden Byerly
Why he should be cast: Has Elvis-like cheekbones.
Why he should not get cast: Is contracted to ABC Family, a Disney subsidiary, and might be unavailable.

Chandler Riggs
Why he should be cast: Has a brooding quality that would fit Freddy well. Has won awards for his work on "The Walking Dead".
Why he should not get cast: At age 15, probably to old for the role.

Conclusion: Like I said this is a tough one.  Chances are they will cast Captain Marvel first, then look for an unknown to play Billy who resembles him. Then they will cast Mary and Freddy accordingly.  I honestly would not want to be the casting director assigned to the three kids.  The rest of the casting is a piece of cake, but these three are the critical ones.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Casting Shazam: Beautia

Today we will leer.. er, I mean look at the top contenders to play Beautia Sivana.

Katheryn Winnick
Why she should be cast: Well... I'm not going to state the obvious.
Why she should not get cast: While she definitely does not look it, she's 36, which might be a little too old if the actor cast for the World's Mightiest Mortal is in his 20s or early 30s.
Conclusion: If the movie was made back in 2008, she would have the role. Today, she's still a contender but not a shoo-in.

Kate Upton
Why she should be cast: Do you really need to ask?
Why she should not get cast: She only has two movie roles on her resume, where she had little dialogue and was just eye candy.
Conclusion: Due to her lack of acting skills, she may be passed over.

Brooklyn Decker
Why she should be cast: Umm... yeah.
Why she should not get cast: While she's gaining some acting experience by having roles in a few movies, is her acting up to a blockbuster superhero epic level?
Conclusion: A definite contender.

Genevieve Morton
Why she should be cast: ...can't...look...away....
Why she should not get cast: Like Upton and Decker, she's a model with aspirations to be an actress. Her resume is thin, but she's just starting out.
Conclusion: If she can prove she has talent, she could be a contender.

Nicola Peltz
Why she should be cast: You do have eyes, right? Plus, she was in a Transformers movie.
Why she should not get cast: At 19, she might be a little too young.
Conclusion: Another definite front runner.

Agnes Olech
Why she should be cast: She looks like that and is funny.
Why she should not get cast: She might be a little too off beat and quirky for the role.
Conclusion: She'll get more than a second look.

Ginny Gardner
Why she should be cast: An up and coming bombshell.
Why she should not get cast: Her resume is a little thin.
Conclusion: Keep an eye on her. She may be at the right place at the right time.

Bridgit Mendler
Why she should be cast: .......what was the question?
Why she should not get cast: She, too, may be seen as a little too young for the role. She has strong ties to Disney.
Conclusion: Yeah, I'd buy her as Beautia.

Margot Robbie
Why she should be cast: She's got a great body... of work.
Why she should not get cast: If you can think of any reasons, let me know.
Conclusion: She'll make it to the final 3 choices.
(Update: Margot has been cast as Harley Quinn, removing her from consideration for Beautia.)

Suki Waterhouse
Why she should get cast: A stunner who is gaining momentum as an actress.
Why she should not get cast: Frankly, she's a little too thin. Beautia should have more curves.
Conclusion:  Will not rule her out.

Hunter Haley King
Why she should be cast: A couple reasons....
Why she should not be cast: At 5'5", she may be too short for the role.
Conclusion: .....*drool*.... 

Dianna Agron
Why she should be cast: ... hummina hummina hummina....
Why she should not get cast: That's a stupid comment.
Conclusion: She can have anything she wants.

Haley Bennett
Why she should be cast: She puts the Beaut in Beautia.
Why she should not get cast: Because the casting director is insane.
Conclusion: A rising star who should be given serious consideration.

Carla Sonre
Why she should be cast: Of all the choices listed, she very well may be the perfect match.
Why she should not get cast: She is a model rather than an actress,  I don't know if she speaks English.
Conclusion: If she can show she has interest and talent for acting, and she can speak English fluently, we could have our Beautia.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Casting Shazam: Dr. Sivana

Today its Dr Thaddeus Bodog Sivana's turn at the casting call.

Armin Shimerman
Why he should be cast: Much like Patrick Warburton and Brandon Molale, he has a big fan following pushing for him to get cast. He looks the role.
Why he should not get cast: He might not be a big enough "name" star for such a featured role in a major motion picture.
Conclusion: He might get an interview, but might not make it to a screen test.

Joe Pesci
Why he should be cast: He is a big "name" and probably the only actor who is Sivana's height. When he's not in an outlandish hairpiece, he looks just like Sivana. A great talent.
Why he should not get cast: At age 71, he's a little too old for the role. Also, I don't think I've ever seen him in a role where he doesn't have his New York accent, which doesn't suit Sivana.
Conclusion: If this were 2004 or earlier, he'd be the front runner.

Dustin Hoffman
Why he should be cast: A huge movie star and great actor that would bring a magnitude of star power and legitimacy to the film.
Why he should not get cast: At age 77, he's older than Pesci.
Conclusion: Despite his age, I think the studio will give him serious consideration.

Martin Short
Why he should be cast: A good actor, and would bring humor to the role, echoing more the Fawcett Comics version of Sivana.
Why he should not get cast: Concern he may not be able to make Sivana dangerous enough.
Conclusion: He will be given serious consideration.

Ben Kingsley
Why he should be cast: A great actor and looks the part.
Why he should not get cast: He played the Mandarin in "Iron Man 3", in an outside the box comedic take that has left serious bad blood with the fanboys.
Conclusion: If this were pre-Iron Man 3, he would be considered. Now, however, not likely.


John Malkovich
Why he should be cast: A good pick if they were going with the New52 version of Sivana, who starts out tall, and becomes troll like after being exposed to magic.
Why he should not get cast: While its possible the movie may adapt one or two concepts from the New52, it won't be a complete adaption. The New52 Sivana would have to be nearly all CGI post his transformation, and may look too fake or silly.
Conclusion: Little to no chance of being cast.

Jackie Earle Haley
Why he should be cast: A good actor who has done respected work in the genre. He looks the role. Is the right height and age. Bonus points for being in an episode of the 1970s Filmation "Shazam!" TV series in his teen idol days.
Why he should not get cast: No valid reason.
Conclusion: He's the definite front runner, and, I'll say it, he should be cast in the role.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Directing Shazam

Today, we will look at the possible directors for the Shazam movie.

Edgar Wright
Why he should direct: He has a lot of buzz surrounding his leaving the Ant-Man movie. Defecting to DC could be seen as nerdom payback for Joss Whedon leaving a developing Wonder Woman movie to direct The Avengers. His "Scott Pilgrim Vs The World" was a fan favorite, if not a box office blockbuster.
Why he should not direct: His leaving Ant-Man shows he may be too temperamental, and New Line/WB, after Whedon, may not want to deal with him.
Conclusion: 50-50.

Chris Miller & Phil Lord
Why they should direct: This directing team also has a lot of buzz among fans wanting to see them take on Shazam with their action-comedy style.
Why they should not direct: They already signed on to do a reboot of the Greatest American Hero, so they are most likely not available.
Conclusion: They are out of the equation

Peter Segal
Why he should direct: Technically, until a new director is formally announced, he is still the assigned director.
Why he should not direct: His movies have been average at best. He has always been in over his head while attached to Shazam.
Conclusion: He's out... maybe.

Kerry Conran
Why he should direct: His "Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow" was a visual marvel. He would bring an exciting, retro look to the film.
Why he should not direct: Sky Captain ended up not being a massive hit, and he hasn't directed anything of note since.
Conclusion: Won't happen.

Sandy Collera
Why he should direct: His "Batman: Dead End" fan film was hugely popular with fans, and was partly responsible for the new approach to the character Chris Nolan took. After the success of "Batman: Dead End", he tried to parlay that momentum into getting the Shazam gig during the William Goldman era.
Why he should not direct: He never was able to transition to mainstream directing, and has gone back to special effects.
Conclusion: Slim to none.

James Gunn
Why he should direct: "Guardians of the Galaxy" is this summer's biggest hit, and he did it with the humor and charm necessary for Shazam.
Why he should not direct: He's a Disney guy.
Conclusion: It would be a coup to get him, but its an impossible long shot.

Tim Burton
Why he should direct: He would be a slam dunk to capture the overall weirdness of the Shazam universe, and still give it a dark edge while keeping it fun.
Why he should not direct: He might make Shazam too weird, and there are some critiques that he's just not as good a film maker as he used to be.
Conclusion: This could be a "comeback" project for him, to prove he's not past his prime. Keep an eye on him.

Brett Ratner
Why he should direct: He directed Johnson's "Hercules" movie, so they have a rapport going.
Why he should not direct: "Hercules" was not a big hit, and his "X-Men: The Last Stand" is scorned by many fans, and many comic book fans just don't like him.
Conclusion: As a producer and star, if Johnson wants him, New Line will strive to please him. But will Johnson want him after "Hercules'" lackluster box office?

Brad Bird
Why he should direct: "The Iron Giant". "The Incredibles". He transitioned to live action films. On paper, he's the perfect director for the job.
Why he should not direct: No reason at all other than a scheduling problem.
Conclusion: New Line would be foolish not to offer it to him.

Sam Raimi
Why he should direct: Directed two of the best superhero movies of all time. Blends action-adventure, melodrama-pathos and fun-humor flawlessly.
Why he should not direct: No valid reason, though some fanboys still hold a grudge against him because "Spider-Man 3" didn't live up to their expectations.
Conclusion: New Line would be foolish not to offer it to him.