Friday, May 22, 2015

Pitch Me, Mr. B: CAPTAIN PLANET

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Really, guys?

Okay, you're in charge. I just really didn't expect this to be the second most-request thing to see written up. But, okay. Here's how I'd pitch a hypothetical re-invention of CAPTAIN PLANET to a movie studio.

To be fair, this one presents a different challenge from MEGA MAN: Instead of trying to stretch a plot out of a fairly simple (storywise) set of video games, the goal here is not simply to turn a superhero cartoon into a feature film but to "retool" the mythos of the franchise itself from the ground up. To put it charitably, CAPTAIN PLANET was a weird creature - ostensibly an bit of well-intentioned ecological-proselytizing aimed at 90s schoolkids, it was also filtered through the... interesting prism of creator/back Ted Turner's eccentric personal take on the subject and the genre. On top of all that, a lot of it's then-relevant political/social/scientific context has shifted over the decades and likely needs a second look.

Anyway...

It's Fun To Dream

What can I say - sometimes I just can't let a good pun go to waste.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (VIDEO)

This review is able to exist in part through the generosity of patrons to The MovieBob Patreon.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

REVIEW: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’ve been derelict in my duties as a Generation X film geek. Oh sure, me and my kind have done a fine job making sure that STAR WARS, RAIDERS, GOONIES, EVIL DEAD, RAMBO the collective John Carpenter and even fucking TRON remained at the ubiquitous forefront of pop-culture to such a degree that our Millennial ascendants couldn’t have avoided absorbing their supposed import if they wanted to… but I now realize we kinda forgot to tell you how great the MAD MAX movies were. Which means a lot of my audience probably only knows legendary Australian filmmaker George Miller as the guy behind… eh, well, a string a beloved childhood classics – but still! He did also invent the post-apocalyptic automotive warfare movie.

So… sorry about that, but in our defense the guy who played “Mad Max” went all cuckoo for Christ and then just plain cuckoo and everything he was associated with got kinda uncomfortable to talk about. But whatever! Now Tom Hardy is playing Mad Max, so it’s all good again.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 21-22: "S.O.S."


NOTE: This recap brought to you in part by The MovieBob Patreon.


Guys... I've got feelings. So many feelings.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D apparently did well enough in its second season to earn a third, but I feel like the news of just how good the show has gotten (within the realm of a medium-camp network sci-fi/action series, at least) has been a phenomenon centered mainly around TV writers and Marvel die-hards than general tube-junkies. My hope is that, now that Season 2 has concluded, the binge-watch set will discover it - and not just because the reveal of... the stuff I'm still electing to keep for after the jump has made it mandatory viewing (or, at least, mandatory wiki-ing) for Marvel Cinematic Universe completists.

No, I'd rather people "discover" that AGENTS got really good in Season 2 because it's now a damn solid bit of television; with memorable characters and a twisty "anything goes yet somehow adheres to an internal logic" ongoing story that in some ways makes better use of being in The Marvel Cinematic Universe than the more prestigious movies do - where AGE OF ULTRON occasionally seemed to be quietly resentful of its brief detours for people/places set to pay off in future movies, S.H.I.E.L.D seems to relish the prospect of pit stops involving aliens, Asgardians, HYDRA, mad scientists etc. Season 2 was full of moments where the series (as personified by Clark Gregg's Director Coulson) seemed barely able to contain shouting <b>"Look at all this STUFF we get to play with!!!"</b>

And yet, it also managed (with a few exceptions) to be a more serious, dramatic series than anything with so much built-in silliness really had any right to be; ironically excelling in many key areas where folks have (rightly) found the movie side of the Marvel experiment lacking: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D runs on complex character dynamics, features an embarassment of riches in terms of diversity and strong female characters in particular and has the television-specific luxury of being able to chill out and let a character-arc breathe across multiple episodes. Yes, fine, DAREDEVIL (and Vincent D'onofrio's Kingpin in particular) was "the story" of Marvel on TV this year, but AGENTS turning itself into something vital deserves to be part of that discussion as well.

Anyway, onto "S.O.S." and SPOILERS...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Who's The Real Speed-Bump on FURY ROAD?


Note: This piece and others like it are brought to you thanks in large part to The MovieBob Patreon.


The reviews are starting to hit for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (I'm seeing it myself later today) and they're pretty-much over the moon among the big online-presence critics: Faraci likes it, Tapley like it, the links to Drew McWeeny's piece keep coming back broken but he's apparently onboard, McCarthy likes it, Kohn likes it, Duralde is into it and Chang digs it. But much of the ecstasy comes (at least on social media) tempered by a certain amount of bittnerness: Film Twitter has been convinced that this is The New Hotness all year, and now it's convinced that the film is going to "underperform" - in as much as action films generally need to open in first place now to be considered a "hit" by entertainment reporters, and FURY ROAD is tracking to open behind PITCH PERFECT 2 and maybe also (depending on who you ask) AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON in its third week.

The prospect of this makes me want to quit The Internet, my chosen vocation and the planet Earth for a month. Not because I'm going to be super-bummed about the film's success - my "investment" in MAD MAX is that I want George Miller to keep getting big director gigs and it's got cars and explosions, so it's going to tear shit up at the China/Pan-Asia boxoffice regardless what it does here - but I'm already pre-tired of hearing about what the "failure" (cultural, not necessarily financial) "means." An actioner equally beloved by "I remember REAL movies!" againg-boomer critics and Gen-X film-geek tastemakers eating it against a Girl Movie ("Eeeeeeew!") about pop-music ("EEEEEEEWWWW!!!!!") and the most-recent superhero entry? Welcome to Thinkpiece Hell. Yeech!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

IN BOB WE TRUST - "Widow's Peak"

Hm... something about this seems new, yet familiar...



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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

"The Marvel Industrial Complex," A Response

NOTE: This piece and others like it brought to you by continued support of The MovieBob Patreon.


So, this piece by James Rocchi, titled "The Marvel Industrial Complex," is the big film-writer discussion piece of the day; so it's incumbent that I weigh in on it even though my basic thoughts can be pretty handily summarized: I don't agree with a lot of the overall premise and think that a certain amount of misreading the text (re: the movies) is involved in a few too many of his conclusions, but Rocchi is a really sharp, smart guy and the piece is exceptionally well-argued - to the point that, while it's tempting to dismiss it out of hand as the same old "film critic rails against empty blockbusters" narrative re-skinned with a topical/clickable superhero theme (although it sort-of unavoidably is exactly that) it's just not proper to do so.

Anyway...

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 20: "SCARS"

Here's three things I don't often get to say about AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D, all three of which apply to this overally pretty terrific installment:

"I didn't see that coming."

"I'm glad I didn't see that coming."

"I don't know who/what that's supposed to be."

SPOILERS (including AGE OF ULTRON) after the jump...

Sunday, May 03, 2015

REVIEW: Avengers: Age of Ultron

People look to the sky and imagine MovieBob going on sometime soon. I'll take that from them first.



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ALL-NEW GAME OVERTHINKER - "Nintendo - WTF???"



Okay guys, here's the deal:

Yes, The Game OverThinker (aka me) is back in an all-new, all-different incarnation at ScrewAttack. You can watch the first episode on YouTube now (direct link to SA once there is one.)

This show and a second top-secret series will be running on alternating weekends for several weeks heading into Summer. Will there be more after that? Well, we want that to happen - but whether or not it does is at least in part up to YOU; since things can really only stick around if people want them to.

That's where you folks come in...

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Really That Good: THE AVENGERS

My AGE OF ULTRON review is pending. Until then, please enjoy this look back at the original AVENGERS:



P.S. "Really That Good" episodes are fairly labor-intensive projects that cannot be monetized (so far) because of fair use legal stuff. If you'd like to encourage/support the production of more, PLEASE consider The MovieBob Patreon.

Friday, May 01, 2015

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 19: "THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN"

NOTE: To support more blogs/articles/etc like this one, please consider supporting The MovieBob Patreon.


Much of "THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN" is predicated on a pair of ideas that I'm not sure have even half as much truth in them as AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D seems to think they do. Firstly: That at this point, people are still expecting/demanding this series to drop everything and bend over backwards to reference whatever is currently happening in the Marvel movies. Secondly: That there's enough lingering nostalgia for the series' Season 1 incarnation that a contrived re-grouping of The Original Team Arrangement will be a big pop.

It's not an episode without it's charms (there's a RAID-inspired long-take shootout sequence for Skye that probably rates as Chloe Bennett's best action moment thus far) and it says something about how far the series has come that my reaction to an MCU tie-in episode is "Guys, everyone knows The Avengers are fighting a robot this weekend. Can we get back to the story at hand?;" but it's distracting none the less.

SPOILERS and more after the jump...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Oh, You Didn't Know???

...Your ass better CALL SOMEBODY!!!

Disney's DESCENDANTS First Trailer is... Peppy? Let's Go With Peppy.

I'm getting to the point where I'm exactly old enough that a necessary (and welcome!) distance from "youth culture" on the whole and regular interactions with the teen-and-under set not really existing for the most part is beginning to make the tail-end of The Millennials look increasingly alien to me - which is a red flag in my business. So I try to keep an open mind when regarding stuff clearly aimed as far away from me as humanly possible.

That having been said, here's the trailer for Disney's ambitious "what if our characters had kids and they all went to school together" TV movie project DESCENDANTS:

Friday, April 24, 2015

This Is Your New DC Cinematic Universe JOKER

There may come a day when there's no more need for (by now) tired, cheap-shot references to how
effortlessly satisfying the Marvel movies have been versus the endless cycle of self-inflicted stumbles Warner Bros. DC Cinematic Universe has undergone.

A day when we can actually look forward to the JUSTICE LEAGUE-adjacent features with "I hope it's good" anticipation and not "I wonder what *type* of trainwreck" anticipation.

A day when it's no longer appropriate to point out the disparity between a studio dithering over whether or not a woman can carry a feature film versus another putting a talking raccoon on a marquee.

A day when you can assume that at least *some* ideas are too stupid to not make it into the post-MAN OF STEEL DC movieverse.

But it is not this day.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 18: "THE FRENEMY OF MY ENEMY"

For a change, "Frenemy" provides an opportunity to properly/honestly appraise an AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D episode up front without dropping spoilers (since Season 2's entire second half is now a big-deal Marvel Universe mythology-reveal)  and incurring the wrath of binge watchers.

So, then. Short version: This is the season's stupidest title, but possibly it's best episode. Want more than that (with SPOILERS?) keep reading after the jump...

Monday, April 20, 2015

FANTASTIC FOUR Official Trailer looks... I dunno

Fairly or not (spoiler: it's not), it's becoming increasingly clear that the ongoing Marvel Studios success story is basically ruining the prospects of many fans (myself included) to have any kind of proper "anticipation factor" for Marvel Comics adaptations made by anybody else. It's one thing to have a vague sense that this or that film might be better off in other hands, but another to know (in the case of an adaptation) that A.) you're not getting a version remotely close to what you might've hoped to see and B.) that you all but certainly would be getting that version if not for circumstance of contracts and rights issues.

Case in point: This new most-recent trailer for FANTASTIC FOUR, which has me struggling to figure out if I'm underwhelmed and irritated that it looks like a drab, dreary misuse of The Fantastic Four or that it looks like a drab, dreary movie - period:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Darkness. No Parents.

Wanted to put this up yesterday, but I'm having an... interesting few weeks, scheduling and lifewise. Ah well. Anyway, here's the trailer Warner Bros. wanted people to trek out to IMAX theaters for on Monday but we forced to release online after someone leaked it hoping that a clean version would make the reactions not be so negative. It didn't seem to help much, but judge for yourself:


Thursday, April 16, 2015

STAR WARS - THE FORCE AWAKENS Trailer #2

Seen this up a lot today. Apparently a lot of people are pretty into it, huh?

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 17: "MELINDA"

NOTE: If you enjoy this recap and would like to continue seeing more like it, please consider pitching in to The MovieBob Patreon

Having now introduced somewhere just under a dozen new yet-to-be-solved mysteries in it's second season (what's "Real S.H.I.E.L.D's" real agenda, what's really going on at Afterlife, what's in The Iliad's super-secret cargo hold, what exactly is Cal using to gain his strength to name just a few), "Melinda" finds AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D doubling back to explain a leftover from Season 1: What really happened to earn Agent May the nickname "The Cavalry" (official story: She singlehandedly took down a superhuman villain and their entire army of henchmen) and why is she so cold and mysterious about it?

The answer and more (SPOILERS!) after the jump...

Pitch Me, Mr.B: "MEGA MAN"

This poll decided which hypothetical movie adaptations of... things I'd take a swing at pitching as movie treatments. Just a creative-writing exercise to keep things sharp. By decision of you the readers, first up is MEGA MAN - which I'm assuming anyone reading this recognizes as a series of video games from Capcom. Reminder: If you enjoy this sort of feature on this blog, please consider becoming part of The MovieBob Patreon.



Let's get into this:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Full ANT-MAN Trailer

"Even our movies that we totally fuck up midway through production and have to scramble to put together in under a year look better than everyone else's movies!" - MARVEL.*



*(not really)

Really That Good: DIE HARD

NOTE: FOX has made multiple Copyright claims on this video, which I believe to be invalid and have disputed. The video is available for viewing while my dispute is reviewed, but you should watch it ASAP because they could concievably block it again at any time if they choose to reject the dispute.

As ever, if you want to show your support this project and others like it, please consider doing so via The MovieBob Patreon.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pitch Me, Mr. B - RESULTS!

A week ago, I asked fans to vote on a list of four licensed nostalgia properties I'd been working up hypothetical movie pitches for as a writing exercise. The votes have been tallied, and the lineup (read: order you'll be getting these in by popular demand) looks like this: