Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Iron Man

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own then blog about it.  Easy as pie.  I figured it was time to revisit the origins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so let's kick it off with Iron Man.  This is in my notes at January 14, 2018.





Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Lego Ninjago Movie

Fishing in the Discount Bin!  I watch one of my movies, and then blog about it, because I really need to get out more.  Today, I'm giving The Lego Ninjago Movie a spin.   This is in my notes at January 7, 2018. 




Sunday, June 10, 2018

Talkin' Trailers: Bumblebee and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I occasionally lament that I don't blog about trailers the way I used to.  I've shared this lament before.  It's become so much easier to just throw up the link on my Facebook or Twitter and go, "OMG!  Check this out!" rather than sit down at the blog and write out, "Oh my gosh!  Check this out!"  I've thought about maybe doing something like "Trailer Tuesday" where every Tuesday I blog about a trailer that caught my eye, but then the problem becomes content.  Trailers seem to come in surges.  We'll get a week full of really, really good ones, and then we'll hit a dry spell for a while.

And this past week, well, it was a week of good ones.  For animated sequels, we got our latest look at Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, and our first look at The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.  For Oscar bait, there was a thrilling one for First Man, a biopic on Neil Armstrong from the creators of La La Land.  And there was much buzz about the trailer for A Star Is Born, the latest remake of the oft-remade tale of a famous singer who begins romancing and mentoring a young ingenue, only for the relationship to start crumbling when her star starts taking off as his starts to fade.  In this latest remake, Bradley Cooper is the singer and Lady Gaga is the ingenue.

But there were two in particular that made me feel like dusting off the blog and jotting down a few thoughts.  The first one is Bumblebee.

Yes, Paramount and Hasbro want some of that sweet, sweet, cinematic universe action, and so they're trying to build one out of Transformers.  First out of the gate, Bumblebee, a solo film for everyone's favourite little yellow Autobot.  A prequel to the Michael Bay films, Bumblebee takes place in 1987 -- 20 years before the first Bay film -- and follows Bumblebee's adventures as he begins settling into his life on Earth.  Hailee Steinfeld plays Charlie Watson, the teenage girl who winds up buying Bumblebee as her first car, and WWE superstar John Cena plays Agent Burns of Sector 7, whom you may remember as the secret organization monitoring Transformers on Earth.

Michael Bay takes the producer's chair on this one.  Directing it is Travis Knight, who gave us the stop-motion animated film Kubo and the Two Strings.  (And he's also the son of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike.)




All I can say is...wow.  I'm almost taken aback at how this lacks the bombast of the Michael Bay films, and instead looks to be almost a smaller and quieter film.  I'm especially picking up a strong E.T. vibe between Charlie and Bumblebee in those garage scenes.  Which is weird, because that's how Bay and Steven Spielberg sold the first Transformers film, before Bay made them all explody.  Oh, yeah, didn't you know?  Spielberg has been a producer on every Transformers film.

And from a nostalgia standpoint, I love that Bumblebee is a Volkswagen Beetle again, Starscream is in his original red and white colours, and Bumblebee's general robot design tends to have a smoother, sleeker, G1 inspired look.  While the commercials alone for Transformers: The Last Knight made me give up on the franchise in exasperation, this is actually kind of getting me excited again.

Bumblebee hits theatres December 18.

Next up, we have Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  I will never not get excited for a Spider-Man movie.  Way back in college in the 1990s, when I discovered the Internet late one night in the Augustana computer lab, the first words I ever typed into a search engine were "Spider-Man movie," because I wanted to know if the rumours I'd heard for years were true.  And that's when I discovered the lawsuit.  There had been some shenanigans over the years over the movie rights to Spider-Man, which led to a long and drawn-out court case to figure out who owned them.  But it was in Y2K when it was finally determined that belonged to Sony, Sony fast-tracked the first Spider-Man movie for a summer 2002 release, and the rest is history.

That was also a time when we were coming off a period in animation known as the Disney Renaissance.  I'm a guy who's always believed that animation and superheroes are a medium and a genre just made for each other.  Whenever there's an animated superhero movie coming along, I'm there.  Loved The Incredibles, loved Big Hero 6, and I still believe that the 2007 animated Ninja Turtles film is the best Ninja Turtles film.  So when Sony announced they'd be expanding the Spider-Man franchise by doing an animated Spider-Man film, I was in.

To set it apart, though, they decided to focus on Miles Morales.  For those who haven't been keeping up with the comics, Miles Morales started off as the Spider-Man in a parallel universe...the Ultimate Universe.  Morales was also bitten by a radioactive spider, but he was too frightened of his powers to use them.  When the Peter Parker Spider-Man made the ultimate sacrifice in his final battle with the Green Goblin, Morales was guilt-ridden that he didn't help out in the battle.  Learning the lesson that with great power comes great responsibility, Morales took on the mantle of Spider-Man.   Since then, the Ultimate universe has been merged with the regular universe, and Peter Parker has taken on a mentor role to the young Morales.

And that looks to be the general plot they're taking with the animated film.  When Morales starts discovering his powers, Peter Parker steps in to start mentoring him and teaching him the ways of the Force...er, I mean, spider-powers.  Shameik Moore voices Miles Morales, and Jake Johnson is voicing Peter Parker.

The script was written by The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and they also take on a producer role.




Ok, so when the first teaser premiered back at Christmas, I wasn't quite sold on the animation style.  But now that I get a better sense of it in this trailer, I'm starting to come around.  I get what they're going for now, in making it look literally like a comic book come to life.  And I may have let out a little  yelp when Spider-Gwen showed up at the end.

OK, Spider-Gwen.  For those who haven't kept up with the comics.  In yet another parallel universe, Peter Parker's longtime girlfriend Gwen Stacy was bitten by that radioactive spider on that fateful field trip instead of Peter Parker.  So she became that universe's Spider-Woman and started fighting crime.  But because there have been like, eight people to carry the mantle of Spider-Woman, the fans dubbed her Spider-Gwen to set her apart.  And, looping back to Bumblebee, that's Hailee Steinfeld voicing Spider-Gwen. 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hits theatres December 14. 

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a DVD I own and blog about it.  Simple as that.  I know it's summer, but I wrote this down on January 7, 2018, because that's when I finally got my DVD copy of He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special.  Let's dive in!