Friday, August 19, 2016
So anyway, on to this issue, the first issue #1 (not to be confused with the second issue #1, which is really issue #2, which may also be out as I write this). Oh, look! On the inside front cover, it lists this issue as "The Three Stooges: The Boys are Back" #1. It contains three stories. The first is "Triple Knuckleheader" written by S.A. Check and art by Bill Galavan. The art is very good, very reminiscent of Norman Maurer's artwork on the original Three Stooges comics of the 1940s and 50s. The story, however, seems to be heavily influenced by the mediocre Farrelly Brothers movie. It puts the boys in a modern setting with modern references to T-shirt cannons and Johnny Depp pirate movies. It's basically a comic strip's worth of material padded out to 8 pages. Then there is a fake add for "Stooge-Monkeys". They misspelled Monkees. The second story, "The Big Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk" fares much better. Written by J.C. Vaughn with art by Brendon and Brian Fraim, this story is inspired by the original two-reelers. A film noir detective story where a beautiful dame hires the boys to get some photos back from a gangster. The art is very good, capturing the Stooges' likenesses and establishing the right tone for the story. Next is a "Stooges Fun Fact" article that is little more than a cut and paste from Wikipedia. The final story is a reprint from "Dell Four Color" #1170, from 1961 (misidentified as 1942, although that's the year the "Dell Four Color" series started). "Midway Madness" written by Jerry Belson with art by Sparky Moore, features Joe DeRita as the third Stooge. The art is pretty bad and crude, but the story is decent, perhaps better than the lead off story in this issue. But what I find amazing is there is more plot in this 8 page story from 1961 than there is in the other two stories combined... dare I say more plot than a typical issue of a current DC comic. Overall, this issue earns a B and is a must have never-the-less.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Regarding the perceived failure of the DCEU thus far, she says, “Shazam! is to live in the same world [as the other films] but we have incredible autonomy over this brand and franchise. We are working with a different team, different producers, directors… it’s a different set-up. We don’t feel fettered by, or constrained by, the successes or failures and challenges of the other projects. That was a key component to our participation—that we be able to control the tone and the voice, and do it the way we want to. It needs to be of the world. You’ve got Justice League, Wonder Woman with a different director, so you’re going to see different points of view. I think by the time we land with [Shazam!] we’ll fit nicely within the world that’s been created, but not such a shorthand relationship. [It’ll be] enough that people say, ‘Oh, this is within the family,’ but the culture will be a little different.”
Regarding the on-going development of the film, she says, “We’re getting [script] drafts in… it’s important to make sure we get the tone right for Black Adam, which is Dwayne’s part. We don’t mind taking our time. We’re being very careful with each act and scene to go back and layer in as much as possible. We’ve got so many wonderful superhero franchises out there… we don’t need to run away from them and say ‘we can’t be that,’ but it’s important to understand what are the best aspects of a Batman [movie] versus Avengers versus Deadpool? What are the elements people are responding to? We want to move the needle.”
It can be interpreted that previously announced script writer Darren Lemke may be off the project, considering she implies they are getting multiple script drafts in, presumably from different writers, in a lottery to choose the best script. Or perhaps Lemke's script needs tremendous rewrites, again possibly from various and different writers or script doctors. What is also telling is it seems the number one priority is to get the Black Adam character perfect, with everything else allegedly taking a back seat. Not exactly something a Captain Marvel fan wants to hear, but I bet Geoff Johns is tickled pink.
Friday, August 5, 2016
Let me also say I was an early supporter of Margot Robbie being cast as Beautia in the upcoming Captain Marvel movie. She was on my short list of top 2 or 3 choices. When it was announced she was cast as Harley Quinn instead, my reaction was, "Really? We need this?"
So, after watching Suicide Squad my overall impression is that Margot Robbie was the highlight of the movie and she made me a Harley Quinn fan (or more accurately, a "Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn" fan). Her scenes are the most interesting of the film, and when she is on screen, no matter who the focus of the scene is, she commands the viewer's attention. The bad part is, Margot Robbie is not the star of this movie.
The script is very straightforward, unlike Batman v Superman, where the first two reels we are introduced to the characters with some background flashbacks (including cameos by The Batman and The Flash, and for the true Harley fan, her original animated costume), while setting up the motivation for creating Task Force X. Carla Delevingne's June Moon/Enchantress goes rogue and the Suicide Squad have to bring her down. There is a dominate soundtrack to the film, which didn't really bother me. In fact, without it, I think the film would have dragged in spots. David Ayer's directing brought the right balance of humor, which Zack Snyder's efforts lack, and a full color pallet, again unlike Snyder's muted colors. Overall somewhat better than Batman v Superman in certain ways, but not nearly as epic.
And then there's Jared Leto's Joker. All the promotion and trailers for the movie mislead us into thinking the Joker will be a major force in this movie. Not quite. It's little more than a glorified cameo. He gets just slightly more screen time than Batman, which is odd considering Leto gets second billing in the credits. Perhaps Leto's best scene is where a gangster kisses the Joker's ring, and Joker's response. According to new reports, the majority of Leto's scenes were left on the cutting room floor. I know of at least one scene I saw BTS clips of where Joker is confronting Dr Quinzel on a street, at one point putting a gun to his own head, when a trucker enters the scene and Harleen grabs the gun from Joker's hand and kills the trucker. It's not in the final cut. Because of this, I really can't judge Leto's performance as the Joker. The things that really stood out to me was his physical appearance- a cross between Billy Idol and David Bowie in a pimp's wardrobe, with punk rock green hair, heavy metal tattoos, and a rapper's grill. The other thing is that the Joker comes off as a love sick puppy chasing after Harley, while Harley is the dominate member of the coupling--essentially the opposite of the original dynamic from Batman The Animated Series. Another odd thing is that it seemed Harley has more chemistry with Deadshot than with the Joker.