Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

LanternCast Episode #270 – 2017 Movie Preview!

This is the big one as Chad and Mark record their 100th official episode! They came in with a list and celebrate with one, as they discuss their must see movies of 2017, along with the movies they are lukewarm about, and of course, the 5 pounds of monkey crap list!  Throw in some overdue “Rogue One” talk and you’ll be entertained.  We guarandamntee it!  What films are you most excited about?  Let us know your must-see and must-avoid lists are at lanterncast@gmail.com or on our voice-mail at 708-LANTERN!

Download the episode HERE!

 

LanternCast Episode #266 – Captain America: Civil War Commentary Track!

A little later than originally planned, but Chad and Mark finally do their first non-Green Lantern related movie commentary track as they tackle Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War!  This episode includes everything from Dr. Strange talk and Infinity War speculation, to even some random X-Men talk.  And we even manage to work in a brief moment of Green Lantern in here too! Be sure to email us your thoughts or call in on our voice-mail at 708-LANTERN!

Download the episode HERE!

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Blair Witch

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Part of what made 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project” so effective was that despite not seeing much of anything during the film, you suspected or knew what was going on based on the intelligent way the mythology had been laid out.  Not seeing anything actually made it creepier or spookier.  

“Blair Witch” tries to walk that fine line between doing what the original did so well, along with giving modern audiences more concrete or visual things to scare them.  Unfortunately, that approach is not very effective.

 

This third entry in the Blair Witch franchise focuses on James, who is the little brother of Heather from the original film.  He essentially has been obsessed with trying to find any clues to what actually happened to his sister (despite the fact he was only four at the time she disappeared).

 

A new piece of footage convinces James that Heather might actually be alive, so before you know it, James and friends go into the woods looking for clues and the mysterious house where Heather was last seen.

 

The early time spent in the woods is actually pretty good, but as things go south, the film surprisingly becomes less interesting.  We are given more sights and sounds to ponder than we had in the original, but it doesn’t make it scarier.  And despite having watched Heather’s original footage countless times, James seems way too willing to make the same mistakes his sister, Mike and Josh did.

 

One thing that is done well in “Blair Witch” is the use of time, or specifically, how time does or does not pass once you are in the Black Hills.  This concept was hinted at both in the original and even in the sequel, “Book of Shadows,” but it is really a major player this time around.

 

Most of the mythology remains the same, although one new piece is added, mostly for self-serving reasons, as it allows director Adam Wingard to finally put a face (and body) of sorts on the Blair Witch herself.

 

As a huge fan of the first film and even a fan of the much-maligned second, I was very excited when I heard the franchise was being revisited.  Sadly, this was not the trip back to Burkittsville that I had hoped for.  

 

I would give “Blair Witch” 2/5 stars.

 

Mark J. Marble

 

 

UPDATED:  So, now, according to the writer, Simon Barrett, despite changing the mythology for the sole reason to make us think the creature we see at the end was the Blair Witch… it really wasn’t.  It was someone else.  And maybe Elly Kedward wasn’t really the true source of the evil to begin with.  This makes me want to make the review one star now. Just a horrible way to trick viewers and also to crap on the mythology that had come before.

 

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LanternCast Episode #258 – Emerald Knights Commentary Track!

Chad and Mark dust off their respective DVD/Blu-Ray collection and hit play on the ‘Green Lantern: Emerald Knights’ animated feature from 2011. So join us as we provide OUR commentary on the origins of the first Green Lantern, Kilowogs rookie days, Laria’s first mission, why Mogo doesn’t socialize, and Abin Sur meets ATROCITUS! All set against the…END OF THE UNIVERSE?! Be sure to email us or call in on our voice-mail at 708-LANTERN!

Download the episode HERE!

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LanternCast Episode #249 – Captain America: Civil War!

Chad and Mark take on Captain America: Civil War! The guys breakdown the movie, discussing pretty much everything, including character arcs and plot. So, of course, this is definitely not a SPOILER free episode!  Take a listen and share your thoughts about Civil War and the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Be sure to email us or chime in on our voice-mail at 708-LANTERN!

Download the episode HERE!

 

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LanternCast Episode #246 – Batman v Superman!

The first movie review episode of 2016 arrives as Chad and Mark discuss the good and the bad from Batman v Superman! The guys discuss the future of the DC Cinematic Universe, as well as how the fans and critics reacted to this divisive film. Be sure to email us or chime in on our voice-mail at 708-LANTERN!

Download the episode HERE!

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Jessica Cruz WILL NOT be the Green Lantern of the DC Cinematic Universe

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*record scratch*

 

Alright, that’s enough. No more.

 

Jessica Cruz WILL NOT be the Green Lantern of the ‘Justice League‘ film. Nor will she be the Green Lantern of the ‘Green Lantern Corps‘ film currently slated for release in 2020.

 

In October of 2014, someone at Newsarama thought it would be fun to speculate about WHICH Green Lantern would feature in the ‘Justice League’ and ‘Green Lantern’ movies of the DC cinematic universe. Their conclusion? That Jessica Cruz is the ideal choice, going so far as to say, “if Vegas were to give us some good odds on who will be the lead movie GL, [our] money wouldn’t be on [Hal, Guy, John, Kyle, or Simon]”.

 

Speculation is all well and good. Editorial pieces, of which I am a personal fan (so long as you present them as such), are fun and thought provoking. And it’s a theory that’s catching on…

 

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And now it’s resurfaced yet again with the reveal on Weds March 23rd that Jessica Cruz would be trading in her Power Ring power ring for a REAL Green Lantern power ring in the forthcoming Rebirth initiative from DC Comics.

 

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…and it’s WRONG.

 

Why? Well, since this all sprung directly from Newsarama, it’s only logical to go point for point with their point by point.

 

1.) She of course is a current Justice League member and again was created by Johns, at exactly the time DCE and Warner Bros. seemed to be assembling their master movie plan and starting production on Dawn of Justice.

 

It sounds like you’re taking the “there’s no such thing as coincidence, it’s all fate” philosophical approach to life a little TOO far. Geoff Johns IS the Chief Creative Officer at DC. Geoff created Jessica Cruz. Geoff is involved with the direction of DC characters OUTSIDE of just the comics. Geoff isn’t THE decision maker though. If he was, ‘Green Lantern‘ wouldn’t have turned out to be the steaming pile it ended up. Perhaps a DIFFERENT steaming pile, but definitely not what we ended up with. All sources put that folly squarely on the Warner Studio muckety mucks. And maybe they’ve learned to loosen their grip and hand it off to their directors vision more (aka Snyder’s more creatively controlled vision we’re currently getting). But as much power and influence as Geoff has rightfully EARNED, he’s not THAT influential.

 

2.) Did we mention Johns created her himself, again, just a short time after already creating another new young Green Lantern character that serves to add diversity to the GL Corps and the Justice Leagues – Simon Baz (he even set Baz up as her mentor just before leaving the Green Lantern comic). It would not be a stretch of the imagination to conclude Jessica was created to fill a specific role Simon does not (we’re getting there in a sec), since Johns could have easily slotted him into the comic book League if he chose.

 

See our response to point 1. Also yes, Johns DID create her and Simon, but you’re forgetting the fact that Johns ADORES the silver age incarnations of characters (IE: Barry and Hal). So he may have created Simon and Jessica, but he’s only spent so much time with them. Prior to that? He spent 5+ years DELIBERATELY building Hal (and the GLC) back into the DCU. So which trumps which?

 

Additionally, you’re assuming the current comics have the same influence on the feature films that they have on the direct to DVD animated features. The last time DC films took a page directly from the current comics, we got the 2011 ‘Green Lantern‘. Granted the material it was ROOTED in was amazing, but the interpretation was obviously off.

 

Then DC went with the “no more old story interpretations in our direct to DVD animated features, only new material”. Which was fine. But have you noticed that decision loosening its grip lately? (the forthcoming ‘Killing Joke’ anyone?) Bottom line? The big screen films draw from more time tested stories and versions of the DCU, not the recent stuff. And have you SEEN the numbers for the comics lately? Even the popular stories? Those numbers, even the best ones, aren’t big enough “proof” to convince a studio to invest their millions of dollars and man hours.

 

3.) Since we can safely assume the movie League line-up is Batman, Superman, The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Cyborg, we can conclude the movies are following at least the basic roadmap of the New 52 line-up Johns created.

 

Yes. The BASIC road map. Meaning A GL. But wait. Was GL in BVSDOJ? No? When’s he showing up? Not until probably Justice League 2? (or end of JL 1?) So then what does “Unite the Seven” mean? Let’s count it out. We’ve got: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman….hmmm, that’s six. And no GL for awhile. Who’s left? Ah yes, the only other person getting a solo movie who HASN’T been mentioned yet… SHAZAM!

 

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And their last two points together (since they’re essentially making the same point)…

 

4.) Cyborg basically supplanted Martian Manhunter (as well as other potential characters with rich Justice League history like Green Arrow, Hawkman, and the Atom), no doubt in part to inject some youth and technical weaponry into the line-up, but to also provide some yes … diversity.

 

5.) Finally, that seven character League … pardon us for saying so … is/was a bit of a sausage fest.

 

And here we go. The only REAL reason they’re pushing for Jessica in the first place. She’s a female of Latin origin. Gender and race.

 

I won’t lie for the sake of my own argument. It’s completely true. The big two (and others) are definitely pushing for more equal representation in their characters across all media. Equal time given regardless of gender, race, religious background, or sexual orientation. The problem with assuming this will play a large enough role to shove aside the GL boys in favor of Jessica Cruz is that there is no historical precedent for it. Heimdall was interpreted as a black character. But Heimdall isn’t a main character in Thor. Nick Fury was interpreted as a black character. Nick Fury isn’t so popular he offsets the cast of the actual heroes in Avengers. And so on and so forth.

 

As for our main characters? Iron Man? Tony Stark. Cap? Steve Rodgers frozen in ice. Thor? From Asgard. Black Widow? Natasha. Hulk? Bruce Banner. Superman? Clark Kent. Batman? Bruce Wayne. Wonder Woman? Diana Prince. Flash? Barry Allen. Green Arrow? Oliver Queen. Daredevil? Blind Matt Murdock. Supergirl? Kara Danvers. Want me to keep going? Because I can move on to the supporting characters like Patsy Walker, Laurel Lance, Ronnie Raymond, Carter Hall, Ray Palmer, Frank Castle, Electra, Luke Cage, Rip Hunter, and more and more.

 

Heck, even Hulk (the Ang Lee version) didn’t mean Bruce Banner got tossed out with the bathwater because of the toxic reputation of the film. Or ignored all together. They kept the classic interpretation, gave it some breathing room, and kept on.

 

Bottom line? There’s NO EVIDENCE that film makers (in TV or film) believe that equal representation trumps the classic, time tested, and mostly RECOGNIZABLE/marketable versions of main (or supporting) characters.

 

Not to mention the fact that, while studios in charge of superhero films don’t SOLELY cater their interpretations to the comic fan base, making the GL Jessica Cruz would completely and utterly alienate most every current fan of the mythos. And the ones NOT up to date on who she is but had experiences with GL in the past? Would be utterly confused. So while they may not make these films solely for us, we’re a big enough part of the audience that they at least CONSIDER our reaction. And if we’re a big enough group to consider, we’re a big enough group to impact the bottom line in some, even small, way.

 

And that’s it.

 

I’ll agree, WHERE POSSIBLE and still PROFITABLE, DC/Warner is MOST LIKELY to bring diversity in the DC cinematic universe with the Green Lantern characters (think the JL/JLU animated series). But when someone like John Stewart is available, characters like Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz don’t really stand a chance, no matter who created them.

 

I won’t deny it’s possible we might see them in a film (most likely GLC in 2020) but they won’t be the main GL’s. Period. Characters recognizable to both comic fans, and more importantly, the general movie going audience have the highest potential for profitability in both ticket sales AND merchandising. Because despite the push for diversity, studios are still profit driven entities. Jessica Cruz still doesn’t even have an action figure. Or a supporting role in the main Green Lantern title or even the ancillary titles (that could obviously change after Rebirth, though doubtful with a rumored title like ‘Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps’ in the works).

 

It’s going to be Hal Jordan or John Stewart. Or both. But it’s not going to be Jessica Cruz.

 

So thank your lucky stars Vegas doesn’t accept those types of bets.

 

(PS: The news that Jessica Cruz & Simon Baz will be featured heavily in both the Justice League title by Bryan Hitch and the Green Lantern title by Sam Humphries does NOT change these opinions.)

 

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LanternCast Episode #244 – Quarterly Quarterly #5!

Our coverage of Green Lantern Corps Quarterly CONTINUES! Listen in to the FIFTH of EIGHT episodes spread out over 2 years as we bring forth such notable stories as: An obscure Green Lantern with a cyclical death complex, Alan VS sudden youth and sexy illusions, the answer to the question on everyone’s lips “Whatever happened to Itty?!”, and the ultimate finale to the G’Nort stories! All of this and Captain America – Civil War trailer talk! Be sure to chime in on our voice-mail at 708-LANTERN!

Download the episode HERE!

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LanternCast – 2016 Special Report – Episode #01!

DC recently, kinda, announced a new relaunch event for the summer called ‘Rebirth’. So Mark and Chad went into breaking news mode and pulled up a couple of mics to discuss what this news means for the DC Universe and Green Lantern in particular! Listen in! Be sure to chime in on our voice-mail at 708-LANTERN!

Download the episode HERE!

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“Rebirth” Thoughts, Part Deux!

I was originally going to write a bigger piece to go with Chad’s post, but I decided to do this smaller standalone instead, especially since we do plan on posting an episode about DC’s “Rebirth” in the next few days.

 

Relaunching the DCU without a reboot makes little sense to me.  So as soon as I heard about the rumor, I figured it was going to be a reboot, even if a soft one.  Just keeping the status quo and giving us yet another wave of number one issues would probably accomplish nothing.  Especially when one considers the luster has pretty much come of the “New 52” brand as a whole these days.

 

When DC confirmed the news and released the “Rebirth” banner, besides adding to the reboot not just relaunch speculation, it also hinted at something else.  Green Lantern fans (and Flash fans too, to a lesser extent) know the term means something special to them, since it helped turn around the struggling GL book and helped launch an entire brand or franchise of books that catapulted Green Lantern to the top of the DCU, in relevance, popularity and sales.  It also has a direct link to the creators of both previous rebirths: Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver.

 

Considering Johns’ role at DC and WB, for DC to call an event “Rebirth” and Johns not be a major force behind it, if not THE force, would be mind-boggling.   With Convergence bringing back the entire multiverse last year and with the “Rebirth” of the DCU this summer, it definitely seems that the New 52 is about either go away or be modified into some sort of amalgam with the previous DCU or maybe be combined with several others.  If Johns is the architect of this reboot, then hopefully it will also have positive ramifications for the Green Lantern books, since the franchise clearly needs something to breathe some life into it. 

 

Despite Robert Venditti and Cullen Bunn’s best efforts, the pendulum has not been swinging in the right direction for a while now.  It makes sense that, whether it is a relaunch or reboot, DC take this opportunity to shake up the direction and the creative teams across the board on all books that are doing as well as they would like or expect.

 

-Mark Marble

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