Thursday, January 29, 2015


(I wasn’t intending to post another missive about movies, but two follow-ups within 24 hours of the last post tells me otherwise)

I knew we shouldn’t have crossed the streams…

For whatever reasons, call it fate, call it luck, call it karma – no sooner did Al, Jamas and El Guano and I synch our Ghostbusters posts, but Sony Pictures went and as good as announced their new, all-woman Ghostbusters. It’s like they knew!

Or was it because Fox on the same day finally released their first (hopefully there will be more?) trailer for Fantastic Four (Or Fant4stic if you will, though I won’t), suddenly we have eight interesting people to discuss.

Ghostbusters first:
Photomontage courtesy Radio Times
Well, as suspected for a long time, it’s definitely an all-female group, and Melissa McCarthy, a long-time favourite, is a member (a lot of negative noise about this casting, unfortunately.) I can dig it. There’s a part of me that would rather have a new crew than see the remains of the old Ghostbusters shambling around. I quite enjoyed bridesmaids, like Kristen Wiig in it (and McCarthy too, actually) – the rest of the cast I need to acquaint myself with more, although I do recall Kate McKinnon from the rare viewings of SNL I’ve had. We’ll see – I think this will rise or fall as much on its script as its performances anyway. Fingers crossed.  Don’t hate. Hate on the internet is stupid…

…And so to the new, younger, spooked-looking Fantastic Four:

Yeah, this is okay! I don’t have much of a dog in this fight – if there is a fight at all. I’ve seen both Tim Story versions (though one was on a plane, so who knows how much was cut out?) and while the self-aware goofiness of them was jarring at the time I’m still not sure that’s the route the franchise should be taking now, either – for all of the reception Guardians of the Galaxy got last year, it really was a sleeper hit and a gamble by Marvel that really paid off. This incarnation of the Fantastic Four is clearly not bred from the same stock, and its mixture of trepidation and emphasis on science and exploration seem specifically-chosen to separate the heroes from a lot of their screen contemporaries. I haven’t read any of the Ultimate FF comics (which the series is now purported to be based on), so this will be almost new territory for me. And I’d like to see more trailers – not to the extent of the overkill Amazing Spider-Man 2 presented, but perhaps some other POV trailers, given that this one only has one dialogue scene and clearly more reveals up its sleeve. It certainly doesn’t look cheap, though, and in this guise at least I can see a cross-over between Fantastic Four and X-Men easier than, say Spider-Man (as done right now) and Marvel’s superhero roster.

Sadly, like the Ghostbusters news, there was nerd rage. Oh yes, there’s a LOT of over-entitled anger about this from what I suspect to be tribal Marvel fans. Many are, predictably, swearing they won’t go and see it (fine, I don’t care – why are you telling me?) and demanding Fox “give” back the rights Marvel sold them years ago blah blah blah. I hope these guys are a minority, because with Marvel pulling the comic and any chance of merchandising, this franchise will be relying on the buzz its own promotion will generate. Meanwhile, its producer and director want to keep as much of the movie secret as possible. It’s another risky move, and I hope it pays off.

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