Trailer: Marvel’s Black Panther

I have read more than a few afro-future science fiction novels, and I have to say, that despite the Marvel brand on this film, I’m impressed with the world that Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) and his team have built with Black Panther. Helped enormously by the big paydays with the Guardians of the Galaxy films, a more gonzo and original feel to the latest Marvel movies makes them visually impressive to say the least. We don’t post a ton of trailers for comic books around here these days because they are all starting to look the same, but lo and behold, he comes a new look.

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to Wakanda. He soon finds his sovereignty challenged by factions within his own country. When two enemies conspire to bring down the kingdom, T’Challa must team up, as the Black Panther, with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje—Wakanda’s special forces—to prevent a world war.

Trailer: Thor 3 – Guardians of Ragnarok

I cannot believe I am taking the time to post a Marvel-Disney trailer. But Taika Waititi’s Thor movie has definitely been injected with the vibe of James Gunn’s Guardian of the Galaxy, a vibe I happen to quite like. And Waititi is a filmmaker I happen to like very much as well. I like his sense of humour, I like his editing and aesthetic choices, and I like it when he appears on screen too steal a scene or three. There certainly appears to be a joy at play here, with its Led Zepplin riffs (Obvious, sure, but can you really go wrong with it?) early 1980s vector fonts, and Chris Hemsworth channeling his Ghostbusters character as much as the hammer wielding title character. The film features an all-star roster of players including, Tom Hiddleston, a vampy, antler-sporting Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, glam-gorgeous Jeff Goldblum (!), Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

The whole thing also reminds me a lot of Escape From New York (only with much more primary colours) and I am very forgiving for filmmakers who noodle around with that premise. For example, James Mather and Stephen St. Leger’s delightfully awful, Lockout from 2012.

Mamo 463: Uber Iger

America is dying a very specific “Germany in the mid-1930s” sort of death, and even if we don’t know the outcome, we’re beginning to identify the collaborators. Not so Mamo-related when it’s a taxi company, but what about when it’s the chairman of Disney? What are our responsibilities to this “popular culture” we’ve been gabbing about for 12 years? Before you say “stay in your lane,” sorry friends, this shit is our lane.

Mamo 460: THE MAMO !!!POWER!!! LIST 2016

Mamo!

POWER!! Who has it? Who needs it? Who wants it? Who lost it? Team Mamo recaps the year 2016 in movers and shakers as the pop cultural landscape is wracked by celebrity deaths, digital doubles and orange-faced idiots. Hey 2016: don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. And for sure don’t fall down that flight of stairs, accidentally set yourself on fire and throw yourself off a bridge.

Teaser: Guardians Of The Galaxy 2

Lots of slow motion, character poses, philosophizing on dancing and an unasked for hug. More than half a year from its Summer 2017 release, here is the teaser for the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, which certainly promises more of the same (albeit no image of fan-favourte, Groot in there), soundtrack and all. Enjoy.

Civil War: What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.



Okay, MCU, I quit*

The shark has been jumped, and in this case I may be the shark and Kevin Feige and his team of TV directors are the Fonz. CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is the logical conclusion to – but unfortunately just the next phase of – this series of bloated, meaningless storytelling.

Following a series of disasters in both real American metropolises and fictional foreign nations, the less interesting Avengers (Thor and Hulk are elsewhere, as are the expensive big name love interests from previous films) find themselves subject to reckoning from the international community, demanding oversight to their actions, leading to a schism between those who idealistically see the negative implications and will not compromise, and those who see the path of least resistance and would like to keep a hand on the wheel.

After an hour or so of “good for basic cable but it ain’t HBO” style of drama which has earned Daredevil many fans (but man has that show also grown drab and tedious) we get the film’s centerpiece, a defining and damning moment – the big showcase battle royal – and in pro wrestling terms it is an indie spotfest that has all the weight of an arcade fighting game. For those uninitiated to the Sport of Kings, that means generic grapplers doing a lot of creative flipping with no selling (nothing hurts), no storytelling (are you working down a body part? do you have a strategy?), and no heat. And the “smart” indie fans lap it up in spite of knowing what actually makes a match any good.

Civil War has no heat. This is the movie that has divided up earth’s greatest heroes, telling us that a conflict has arisen where there is now no choice but to butt heads. And yet the process reveals no. goddamn. new. side. of. anyone. While Iron Man and Cap have their logical sides, and others have their loyalties, several others are there for no good reason at all, adding nothing to the shallow discussion, and damage their own characters in the process. Tom Holland makes a wonderful Peter Parker but a Spider-Man more eager to please new friends than do what’s right. Likewise Paul Rudd initially brings life with his fresh Ant-Man character but is quickly reduced to a bumbling fool showing none of the subtlety required in leading his own film. The time comes for battle, and there they go, and I buy their reasoning even less than Batman v Superman.

David Ehrlich summarizes the centerpiece better than I could have ever imagined when he writes:

“Watching “Civil War,” it’s easy to understand why the MCU is so hung up on the fight in New York — it’s the franchise’s only great action sequence. Joss Whedon’s visceral understanding of cinematic geometry and his symphonic flair for choreographing movement allowed that marquee set-piece to galvanize the separate threads of the Marvel Cinematic Universe into a unified whole. On the contrary, every action beat in “Civil War” is such a discrete hodgepodge of close-ups and medium shots that they might as well exist in a vacuum — at times, this feels like the first movie ever made entirely out of gifs.”

And it’s not just the action in this scene that is so clumsily shot, choreographed, and considered. What the Russo’s are interested in this big moment… is quips! This big moment, planned for years over the course of several films, is upended by a pair of red and blue underoos. This scene is the big coming out party, and more thought seems to have been invested in putting butts in seats for Homecoming than paying anything off. And the quip-slinger is the other side of the mediocre coin. His material is good for an open mic, but ain’t no HBO Special. After a series of groan-worthy one-liners where Holland and Rudd ask for autographs from their friends and adversaries, they are sent off on his merry way and proven irrelevant.

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