In 1988, when I heard that Michael Keaton was going to play Batman, I was not immediately outraged - I just thought, "Hmm, that's a really odd choice that doesn't seem quite right." I had more faith in Tim Burton than some, as his first two features were and are two of my all-time favorites. But Keaton? The big fear was that because he was known primarily for comedies, this upcoming Batman movie - that would be the definitive cinematic Batman movie in a way that Richard Donner's was the definitive cinematic Superman - was going to be comedic. And Batman comics fans, who had just devoured The Dark Knight Returns on the page, were really sick of people thinking that "DA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA BATMAN!" was the truest adaptation of the character. It wasn't that we thought Keaton couldn't act - Clean and Sober had proven indisputably that he could - but that we worried his casting was a clue to a tone we didn't want.
For years Guillermo del Toro has been a filmmaker who makes his loves and influences known. For ten of those years he has been carrying an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness in his bag of tricks (which is kind of like Mary Poppins' bag of tricks, except he just says what's in the bag and leaves us to hope he'll pull it out someday.) Lovecraft's writing inspired some of the greatest horror writers and directors to come after it, and every day there are still more who find themselves enchanted by its legacy. Almost a hundred years after its publication, At the Mountains of Madness' language is dense but rich, old but well-aged. It is one of Lovecraft's longer stories, though entirely digestible.
So how would the del Toro movie be? SPOILERS abound from here on...
"Machete, Machete, Machete!"
Danny Trejo has appeared in many different projects in his day, so it's usually no surprise to see him show up anywhere, but Snickers' Superbowl commercial takes him the one place he's never been...the Brady household.
And he's brought along a friend...
Lego today announced new console and PC games based on Jurassic World and Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as mobile games based on The Lego Movie and Batman: Beyond Gotham (confusing title, that - it's NOT Batman Beyond).
But buried beneath the headline is the news that Lego Jurassic World will allow you to play through all four Jurassic Park movies, presumably letting you prove that yes, you can do a better job with 2 and 3. And that has to mean LEGO GOLDBLUM, or LeGoldblum, as the French would say.
It's nice to see that Lego was concerned not only with what they could do, but also what they should. So yes: oooh, ahh. That is how it starts. And then - on release day - there's RUNNING! and SCREAMING! To the STORE!
That's Rachael Taylor, the somewhat improbable expert Aussie hacker from the first Transformers, whose character name I feel certain you don't remember, and who saved the world never to be seen again. She'll probably have a little bit more to do in AKA Jessica Jones, in which she plays radio host Patricia Walker. And since Marvel.com is actually acknowledging that the character became Hellcat in the comics - note that they did not mention Purple Man by his villain name when they announced David Tennant - I'd say there are plans to have her scratch a few people.
I don't have a particular opinion here - Michael Bay cast her for her looks, but Marvel usually seeks something more. Here's hoping she has it.
These women have balls all over their bodies. They're total ball-divers. Kickin' it in the balls. Enjoying an experience that busted many ball sacks. Balls.
Oh, but it gets better. The place this ball pit is located is called the Pearlfisher Gallery. So the balls are basically giving them Pearlfisher necklaces. Being a real Pearlfisher means going balls-deep. It's no wonder this place is so popular that it's by appointment only: you have to make it hard to enjoy the full effect of the Pearlfisher's immersion in balls.
There is also a bar in the gallery. I really hope they serve warm nuts.
We're coming up to Superbowl, but shortly after that comes the New York Toy Fair, on the heels of several international toy fairs that are leaking news. First up today is the latest in NECA's series of retro video-game repainted figures - a Dog Alien in a color scheme based on the 8-Bit Nintendo/Sega Master System Alien3 game. I bow to the wow.
I enjoyed the first Ted, even though it's about 30 minutes too long - the entire subplot with Giovanni Ribisi could be jettisoned entirely for a tighter movie. And I'm delighted to see Sam J. Jones is back for the sequel; if nothing else, Seth MacFarlane has my respect forever for keeping the former Flash Gordon gainfully employed.
But a couple of things astonish me about this new trailer. One, that a green-band trailer for "all audiences" features Mark Wahlberg essentially getting attacked by falling semen jars (I'm old enough to remember The Right Stuff being off-limits to kids because of the sperm-sample scene that showed nothing). And two, how does Seth MacFarlane seem able to get any celebrity he wants to appear in whatever it is he wants to make?
Apparently there will be a separate Superbowl spot that's all about deflated balls, because of course.
So: bus flip, Asian T-1000 looks like a Mummy when in metal form, young Arnie has a terrible dye job, fireworks fireworks fireworks, and obligatory "I'll be back" "What?"
Better than the last spot, but still not selling me on any reason why this needs to exist. Old Man Arnold is no Old Man Clint Eastwood.
Hey, guess what clever title they came up with for it.
Good guess, but wrong.
Walking With Warm Zombie Bodies?
Another good guess, but those long hybrid titles aren't the hip thing anymore.
Stop. Believe it or not, that's actually funnier than anything this film came up with. No, it's actually called...