There are certain traditions that have snuck into our popular culture so quietly and casually that we don’t stop to think how ridiculous they are, and the San Diego Comic-Con (which concluded Sunday) is one of them. Just try explaining it sometime to someone who doesn’t know anything about comic conventions or blockbuster marketing: “Oh, well, it’s a big gathering for fans of comic books and genre films and television and basically all of the expensive things that Hollywood does. They all pack into a California convention center in July — some of them in costume as their favorite characters — and wait in ridiculously long lines so they can go into giant convention halls and geek out over things that haven’t come out yet, but which they think will be cool.” … Read More
Being Zack Snyder sounds like a pretty sweet gig. He is, after all, a fabulously wealthy and commercially successful director who convinced Warner Brothers to hand him the keys to the DC kingdom. His entrance into it, Man of Steel, was the fifth-highest-grossing movie of last year, and his production company is releasing a sequel to his monster 2007 hit 300 — all of this in spite of the fact that his movies are borderline unwatchable. And yet, given the opportunity, the filmmaker just can’t resist taking the piss out of Terry Gilliam, which is one more reason why Zack Snyder is terrible. … Read More
Every generation gets the Superman it deserves. In the 1950s, it was the square-jawed George Reeves, maneuvering slipshod sets to save a Metropolis as black-and-white as the TVs it was broadcast on. When Superman: The Movie was released in 1978, it followed, and played as an antidote to, a troublesome period in which people no longer trusted or even felt they could rely on their government; Superman was a clear-cut force for good in an era where those seemed in short supply. His subsequent television incarnations were less about the character than the entertainment of the era, be it the faux-screwball romantic comedy (Lois & Clark) or the soapy, coming-of-age melodrama (Smallville). Bryan Singer’s 2006 Superman Returns clung to nostalgia, while the character’s new reboot, Man of Steel, finds him the denizen of a cheerless world defined by its own fear. … Read More
News dropped yesterday that Man of Steel director Zack Snyder will be directing a new Star Wars movie, but it’ll be a stand-alone film based on the Seven Samurai, not the first in Disney’s planned trilogy of sequels. A few hours later his spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that it simply wasn’t so: “While he is super-flattered because he is a huge fan, Zack is not involved in any way with the new Star Wars. He is currently in post on his two films, Man of Steel and 300: Battle of Artemisia.”
Confusing right? If you’re like us, then you’re having trouble keeping track of all of the recent Star Wars news. If Zack Snyder isn’t directing Episode VII — or the standalone film, for that matter — then who is? When’s it coming out? Will Carrie Fisher come back? And most importantly, will it at least be better than Phantom Menace? Here’s everything George Lucas, Disney, and others have let slip about what could be the most hotly anticipated movie since, well, the last Star Wars. … Read More
Paramount’s upcoming film adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel World War Z was already smelling like a stinker — the $125 million production was originally slated for release this Christmas, only to be pushed back until next summer to accommodate an additional seven weeks of shooting and a third act rewrite by Damon Lindelof (because that’s what that guy’s best at, wrapping things up). That rewrite was eventually done not by Lindelof but by Cabin in the Woods co-writer/director Drew Goddard, and with the reshoots complete, the studio released its first trailer for the film last week. And the Internet went apeshit.
Responses on Twitter and film blogs were swift, damning, and nearly universal. The crux of them was that, simply, the film being advertised appeared to bear little to no resemblance whatsoever to the book it was ostensibly based on. “It’s not always wise to judge a movie by its trailer,” writes Film School Rejects’ Robert Fure, “but from our first look it seems Hollywood has screwed the pooch in the most Hollywood way imaginable.” The book’s multi-narrative structure and elements of social commentary are, it seems, gone; the film’s story of a single protagonist taking on an army of fast-moving zombies looks less like World War Z than I Am Legend.
We’ll have to wait until next June to find out if this controversial trailer reflects the entirety of the film — and if the already poison buzz surrounding World War Z will crash its box office chances. But what has become clear over the past two decades is that the explosion of online film culture can hurt a film’s build-up as much as it can help it; though movie geek sites, Twitter, and even Wikipedia can help amass an audience, they can also keep one away. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten movies that the Internet may well have smothered in their sleep. … Read More