Studios taking Control away from Directors

With reports of Fox taking control of the Fantastic Four during the editing process questions begin to be asked about if it is ever right for a studio to take executive action to such an extent that the original product begins to take on a new vision that is completely different to what was originally intended by both director and the studio. Now there are circumstances when it is a must in order to preserve the identity of a project or to prevent either negative reaction or if there has been a complete breakdown in communication between studio and the director.

A example of this would be Richard Donner and the Salkinds over Superman, orginally when Donner Signed to direct the film fresh of the success of The Omen. People immediately start looking at this film that also written by Mario Puzo writer of The Godfather. But by the time any sought of production begin roughly about 12 million dollars had been spent on test footage. However during production the Salkinds would keep on telling Donner that money was going out of control and that he needed to be better with their money. So when Superman was released Superman 2 was already 75% through production but Donner had enough of the Salkinds negativity and blaming him for the films budget which they were responsible for securing and spending, but that’s besides the point. So Donner opted to walk away from the project.

Donner and the Salkinds is a prime example of producers who expect too much and envy directors who go into the project with a clear vision. Now fast forward the current situation surrounding Fox and the Fantastic Four and we have a similar problem the direct had a clear vision of creating a different looking and feeling comic book movie. The studio gets envious and worried and frightened that they aren’t going to make their money back and take action. In this case Fox ended up ruining their own movie.You can also look at Sony and what they did with both Spiderman 3 and The Amazing Spiderman 2. They were so desperate to make money that they overload their film with villains and action that corrupts the story and really damaged the film and in the case of Spiderman 3 resulted in the film being compare to the lengths of Batman and Robin and Brett Ratners messed up sequel X-men 3 the last stand. Fox again in that case refused to giver orginal and proven director Brian Singer a break so he could make Superman Returns and actor James Marsden time away, that they fired him as director brought in a man who’s biggest hit to date was Rush Hour and killed off iconic X-man Cyclops played by Marsden within the first 20 minutes of the film.

Studios are always going to be fearful going into any project that they aren’t going to recoup their investment and will go to any lengths to guarantee success. Funniest thing is that any person in media can tell you that you can ever guarantee a film is going to be a success. However Studios who are in essence banks for film makers believe that everything can make money and when they take over a project often don’t know the first thing about cinema at all. The only thing they understand is money.

This is something that happens more often than not in media today, days of courage practically no longer exist to such a degree that independent cinema is the salvation for any hardcore movie goers because at least then they are satisfied that they are getting something written and directed to a degree that honours the words written and also hasn’t been changed by the studio in a desperate attempt to earn money. So sorry to all movie fans this insistence with the Fantastic Four happens all the time and if you look hard enough has happened all the time this is a rare occurrence of it being made public.

Fantastic Four Review (Spoilerish free)

When Fox first announced the reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise it was met with a lot of mixed reviews and deservedly so after the abomination that was the previous two films. Personally I prefer to hold onto my feelings until after the movie has been released. However this time round it was looking like Fox actually made the right call for a change. Casting looked good on paper young actors and leaning more towards the ultimate universe rather than the main universe which is a brave choice and also a good one because it’s a version that not everybody has seen. So already going in you have that sense of mystery and wonder because it’s not what people are expecting.

The film itself has had a lot of mixed reviews and being honest it was hard to see why, the director opted for a more character driven story rather than an over the top action porn fest ( no offence avengers). It worked well because you really got to relate and understand the motivation towards the characters themselves and how they feel after going through such transformations. Even Victor von Doom had layers about him. So here you have this actual film with a typical normal cinema feel about it instead of a typical comic book movie feel. Then enter Fox and yes it’s painfully obvious that they have done something because when you enter the final third of the film everything changes and yes I mean everything changes look, feel, tone dialogue all changes. Doctor Doom becomes cheesy and the dialog is very juvenile to such a degree you start to hate the characters that you are supposed to be rooting for. Then you get to final scene and the film ends with a cheesy moment and then roll credits. It’s because of the films final third that throws everything off and annoys everyone who sees it because up that point you’ve got a different yet interesting movie that would make people happy because of it’s intelligence and subtlety.

Personally I don’t buy into reports of the director going nuts and all that stuff especially when it’s not validated by any of the cast and crew who all rushed and said they loved making the film and the director was a nice guy. Personally I believe that Fox saw what was going to the final product and took over editing and made a make shift final third out of fear. So much that they have destroyed a good film and any hope of a Fantastic Four franchise that people can relate to. Personally I think after Deadpool and X-men apocolypse Fox should just bite the bullet and give the movie rights back to Marvel. Because at least then fans can rest knowing that their most beloved characters are safe and sound. Sony has already learned this after they spectactulary ruined Spiderman not once but twice and now letting Marvel help them make a film that will make everybody happy or at least in theory anyway. Fox have delivered some good films X-men, X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past. All the rest have either been terrible or just plain bad. I think they have sabotaged their own movie again it’s time to let the pros handle it from here on out.

We were close to a great almost perfect Fantastic four movie and it’s because of fear of difference that you will only remember the film for it’s final third which is a shame because two thirds are perfect but it means nothing if the ending is terrible which in this instance it is.

Terminator Genysis (spoiler free)

With Apologies for so much time since my last entry personal life stuff that I’m not really going into. This week I sat down at my local cinema to watch the non-reboot, reboot of the terminator franchise. It was a bold attempt to reset and create an alternate timeline in which they have more creative freedom to do whatever they like. However on this occasion in this particular film not only did not pay off for them it went horrifically wrong.

Lets start with casting now I’m a big Emilia Clarke fan and believe she can act in some capacity, well she has to on Game of Thrones because if you can’t act your character seems to lose their head (literally). So when she was announced as the new Sarah Connor I thought good it works she sexy on her own give her gun and you have a lot of teenage men with hardons at the cinema. With all due respect to Clarke it wasn’t entirely her fault she was just trying to make the most of a piss poorly written film with a lot of laziness and lack of character development. Jason Clarke was given the role has John Connor and in a word single handily the dumbest thing they’ve ever done in their lives. He didn’t convince me at all at any point of the movie that he was the perfect choice. Personally I would’ve added a bit of continuity and asked Christian Bale how much money he wants to do it. Because it would link in with Salvation which isn’t had bad has people make it out to be and given how the story goes in Genysis would make a much better arc. Jai Courtney as I sit here writing this I try and think of something to say about this guy in this role and nothing comes to mind. He can’t act his way out of paper bag and even then that’s an insult to paper bags everywhere. There was not conviction in anything I didn’t feel his need to go back or his love for Sarah which also hampered the movies progress. Personally I would’ve cast somebody else, anybody else other than him.

The one thing that actually was handled well and was well put together was Matt Smith which was well handled and really, really well acted by Smith. Minus the bad American Accent personally keep him British would’ve worked just has well. I think what is the most disappointing thing about this film was how quick it became an Action Porno which is upsetting because it means you can’t tell a good story because all your working on is the action sequence or the next “Hey it’s Emilia Clarke with a bigger gun moment” and because of it the story suffers which means the film suffers. Arnie in this film proves why he is the undisputed King of the Terminator role. He nails it throughout the entire film and is much more convincing than in Terminator 3. But you know it’s a bad film when this ageing action hero is best thing about this film. His acting is the best, his performance in the way he delivers action sequences flawless.

They’ve missed out an opportunity here to do something really different or to just bite the bullet and reboot all together doing what they’ve done here doesn’t serve an actual purpose. I think producers watched Days of Futures past too much and thought the concept of rebooting the same universe can work. I hope the film does well enough to spawn the next part of the story they have planned because maybe then they can sort some of this stuff out and create a better film. But don’t get me wrong it’s still an alright enjoyable action film but has a member of the terminator franchise I would have to say better than 3 and four then again that’s not that difficult but still rather disappointing.

Money over substance

If you look at the world we live in today you’ll see that we are in a trend of movie companies making movies for the sole purpose of turning them into a cash cow that will guarantee them money. A question that is often asked by hardcore movie fans is “are we losing part of the narrative because they all want to make money?” The basic answer to this question to this for the average movie goer is yes. However there is a more complex explanation to this being yes and no because a movie executive’s job is create a product that will appeal to the masses and generate enough movie to recoup what has already been spent. But movie’s are also an entertainment form in which consumers needs must be met. What people don’t understand is that it isn’t always possible to pull off both. Now a lot of people will be screaming and shouting but they do just take a look at some. Well if you actually take a look at some of these the only one that tried to focus on story was Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy which veered away from the generic ‘action porn’ comicbook movie, and for a entire film Batman Begins they manage to achieve that balance but then lost it slightly with Joker heavy sequel with mopping Batman and all out OMG Heath Ledgers dead lets make the third Gotham PD the movie to end it. Balance epically lost with Optimas Prime voicing Bane.

So yes you can find balance between making money and story but you must constantly work at it and write and shoot it very carefully. People also have to understand that in most major movies they need to recoup money that’s been spend first prime example Age of Ultron a brilliant movie that is worth watching, it’s also a film that cost $250 million to make which means before the film has even been released it’s already that amount down and will be loved by all yet won’t win any major awards or anything at all. Compare this to Lost in Translation which people may not grasp is actually an indie film with a budge of barely a million went on to make $119 million at the box office and netted a couple of oscar nominations. So yes it’s possible to create such a thing but companies very often prefer to play it safe rather than take risks with film making.

Avengers Age of Ultron – Review

Joss Whedon’s second directorial outing came with a lot of expectation and a lot of hype the likes of which is very hard to match given how much popular and successful the first movie was. One of the major talking points before the film even came out was the use of Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch given that they both Fox and Marvel both had cinematic rights to the characters. I know that it all got a bit complicated with name usage and things like that. Now Although Days of Futures Past handled the character well although could’ve been better. However Joss Whedon’s take on the character was strong and well thought out and very well acted by Aaron Taylor Johnson so in battle of the Quicksilvers point goes to The Avengers on this one and deservedly so.

The films itself succeeds to deliver on virtually every level it sets out to which is good to see because very often in film sequels make more money but eventually flatter to make a lasting impression on the audience Sam’s Raimi’s Spider-man 2 and 3 and Brett Ratners rather shockingly terrible X-men 3 – The last stand. Age of Ultron manages to blend comedy into action which really does add to action in the film. It is very typical of Joss Whedon it’s something that he’s done in Buffy, Angel and Firefly but on the main cinematic stage it’s works well because it’s not overkill it’s perfectly subtle and intricate which in these kind of films is needed because it shows the the film doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The only slightly negative thing about Age of Ultron is the attempt at┬áromance between Bruce Banner and Black Widow is not needed and completely takes away from the romantic undertones she shared with Hawkeye in the first film and Captain America and now suddenly Bruce Banner. Now I get the whole I’m messed up your messed up maybe we can be messed up together angle. But considering the love of Bruce’s life is Betty Ross and a more fitting arch for the character would’ve been after the sequence with Hulkbuster Iron Man (which was awesome by the way) he becomes reclusive and after the creation of Vision he has a scene when he wrestles with what’s happened and leaves before the final fight using it has an excuse to go back into hiding. Yes it would fans would probably feel robbed of a hulk fight in the final scenes of the film but from a story stand point it would be more of a satisfying ending given who the character is. Apart from that one thing there isn’t really much wrong with the film. Scenes throughout rather nicely sets up Civil War which is going to be interesting given how huge a story it was in the comics. Downy Junior and Chris Evans’s chemistry does pay off big time in this movie both in regards to comedy and the confrontation during the creation of Vision and their final scene feels perfect of what happens next to the characters.

Once again Marvel manages to deliver a film that shows rivals DC how the job is done which makes one wonder about job DC has to do should they want to mount any amount of challenge to Marvels MCU because if Age of Ultron is anything to go by Batman vs Superman has a lot of work to do. However this does mark the final time we will see a Joss Whedon Avengers movie after he has decided to take a step back handing over the reigns to the Russo brothers, who’s Captain America – Winter Solider was nothing short of brilliant so the Avengers is in good hands.

Outstanding performances in Ultron go to James Spader who’s performance as Ultron is brilliant and you feel and see this throughout the film considering by the time the film ends you actually see him as a character instead of just a villain. Elizabeth Olsen has Wanda is very well executed taking aspects from the comic book universe and adding inspiration from X-men evolution take on the character in regards to look really pays off well and it will be interesting to see how they incorporate her in Civil War next year. Jeremy Renner finally gets enough screen time and a story arc that is both satisfying and showcases both the character and Renners acting ability which is finally good to see given how in the first the film the term glorified cameo comes to mind.

Overall the film delivers on every note and will leave you feeling satisfied and that you have watched something entertaining which at the end of the day is whole point of making movies. Marvel’s Phase 2 is now officially over which means we now move into Phase 3 which at the moment looks to be the final phase. So moving forward it would be interesting to see where marvel goes and the direction it takes. But now in the moment Age of Ultron well and truly delivers a masterstroke and teaches a lesson in how a big budget action, adventure film should be made.

Marvelous Marvel

This week Marvel’s beloved MCU is on course to overtake Harry Potter and become one of cinemas most successful film franchises in cinematic history. This weekend Age of Ultron made its powerful debut and it makes one wonder about how Marvel have been able to create such a thing. Considering Marvel’s Phase 3 hast yet to officially begun yet it which means they haven’t yet received any revenue. Many companies over the years have tried to recreate Marvels formula and if history has taught us anything it’s that it is possible to create a successful franchise just look at the likes of Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the rings to name a rather select few. Other companies on the other hand have tried and failed and lacked such fluidity and consistency DC and The Fast and the Furious well before The Rock joined the franchised and saved it from a slow and painful death.

Believe it or not the answer to the question of how Marvel have created such a thing is easy yet complicated at the same time. You see it takes time, patience an idea whilst already knowing your end game and how you are going to get there. But above all else it takes faith and leadership from a man or a team that have the skill and vision to handle such a material. somebody who understands the material and knows how to give it the cinematic treatment it deserves. Yes this person must have creativity and ideas oozing from their paws. In the case of Marvel they choose Joss Whedon a man is known for being a comic-book fan and also known for creating a tv universe that the whole world watches and loves years after its last episode aired. A man who shares in the value of patience and understands the job that he has undertaken.

it’s these elements that when combined together have created a selection of films that have clearly taken the world by storm and continue to do so. So a piece of free advice for those in other companies take a page out of Marvels book take your time and bring on the board the right person for the job based on what they can do not on their reputation. Otherwise you either end up a failure and a laughing-stock of film and comic-book fans all around the world or heralded as somebody so terrible that their name will never be spoken in association with any project that they are part of good or bad.

Age of Ultron signals the end of Phase 2 which means next stop is Phase 3 which means Doctor Strange, Antman, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Captain America 3 – Civil War, Thor – Ragnarok and Infinity Wars Part One and two. We also have a reintroduction of Spidy into the MCU as well as Guardians of the Galaxy 2. ┬áThese are the films over the next few years that will bring in an unprecedented amount of money and continue to push Marvels MCU through the proverbial glass ceiling and into who knows what realms of popularity.

Teaser Trailers Galore (spoiler free)

Sorry for this being my first in a while kinda went awol from the world personal shit. I know I promised a chappie review but given how shit that movie was or well disappointing and severely lacking putting it nicely. But this last few weeks have thrown bunch of heavy hitting trailers and I think considering the whole world is talking about them and over looking and analysing them that it’s time somebody stepped in and gave a few choice words of truth and honesty so lets begin,

ANT MAN:

This film was teased years ago and it looks like we are finally going to be getting it after a whirlwind of a producing new directors and a lot of behind the scenes rumours and everything else. This film is going to marvels film that could or surprising hit of the summer much like Guardians of the Galaxy. The trailer reveals a lot more of the characters story and a few touches of comedy. The special effects look amazing and very much ground breaking if the final product looks just has good the footage in the teaser. All in all one worthing looking at.

BATMAN VS SUPERMAN

A teaser that has caused mixed reviews among many why is beyond me the teaser works for what it is a teaser doesn’t reveal too much and doesn’t reveal too little and leaves enough for questions galore to follow. I think the trailer should’ve come back in December attached with The Hobbit has originally planned and wanted by fans. But by leaving it this long it has already created a feeling of second guessing and questioning the films ability. That and fans really need to get over Daredevil Marvel have created a very good series on Netflix so get over it. The trailer shows enough the story to make one think about where they are going with it. But I do reserve judgment until I have seen the final film. But DC and Warner Brothers need to start marketing this film a whole lot better than they have otherwise Batman vs Superman is going to royally battered by Captain America : Civil War.

STAR WARS:

I honestly don’t know where to begin on this trailer it looks so good and modern which is the most important thing. the biggest problem I had and well everyone had with the prequel trilogy is that it was nothing more than an 70’s film shot with modern technology and left everything to be desired. Another reason why I was glad to see Disney buy LucasFilm and replace George “Lost my mind” Lucas with JJ Abrams. The trailer reveals nothing of story by plenty of action and enough geeky moments to make everyone happy perfectly put together. The action looks good and modern and feels like a Star Wars film which the previous films haven’t.