We have, at this point, dozens and dozens of superhero films. I think you could stack the overall quality of the genre against any other in filmdom, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had our share of devastating missteps along the way. Watch Mojo has two videos categorizing the most egregious times comic book movies deviated from the source material or were poorly received by fans. The greatest hits are here: Spider-Man 3’s disco striding evil Peter, Iron Man 3’s Mandarin switcheroo, Superman II’s amnesia kiss, and Batman vs. Superman’s Martha madness. Some of their entries feel like stretches. Yes, The Killing Joke was an abomination, but were people overly upset Thor: Ragnarok was funny? X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s treatment of Deadpool was awful, but did anyone actually expect more than what we got out of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the Bay edition)? What moments are missing from WM’s lists?
Aquaman has been one of my favorite DCEU incarnations, regardless of the quality of the films he’s thus far appeared in. December brings us DCEU Issue #6 and Aquaman’s solo film debut. James Wan will direct Jason Mamoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Randall Park and others in an underseas epic. The first trailer for Aquaman was the finale of WB’s San Diego Comic-Con film panel (which means I may now go eat a sandwich and stop hitting “refresh”). Of the two DCEU trailers WB brought to Comic-Con…Shazam looked better than I had hoped and Aquaman…was rough. Visually stunning in parts, but there is some wince-inducing stuff in this. It is the first look, but it’s also a film that’s basically done. We shall see. Aquaman swims into theaters on December 21, 2018.
From CBR’s notes on the panel:
Aquaman closed out the panel with an epic entrance by Jason Mamoa. The cast and director James Wan took the stage.
“One of the big things I wanted to do was create a superhero world we’d never seen before,” Wan said, “This might in some ways play more like a sci-fi/fantasy film than a traditional superhero movie which I think you’ll see in the trailer.”
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II confessed that despite getting the role of Black Manta, he didn’t know how to swim. “I secretly went down to the hotel pool when we were filming with a kick board and taught myself how to swim in the mornings and evenings,” he laughed, “but then in the end I ended up not really having to do that much swimming.
The DCEU will have one film this year (Aquaman) and three next year (Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984). After the failure of Justice League last year, WB has put a lot of effort into getting their uneven film universe back on track. Captain Marvel and Aquaman are an unlikely one-two punch back to being on track, but they’re also characters that have no film history and little pop culture footprint. The first look at Shazam is really promising and seems to validate the casting of Zachary Levi (Chuck) in the role. Full synopsis from Coming Soon below. Shazam will hit theaters in April 2019.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).
The cast includes Asher Angel (Andi Mack) as Billy Batson, Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy) as The Wizard, and Mark Strong (Kingsman) in the role of Super-Villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. The film also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (IT) as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton (Annabelle: Creation); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (This is Us); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (Fresh Off the Boat); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (Hawaii Five-0). Cooper Andrews (The Walking Dead) and Marta Milans (Killer Women) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez.
Shazam opens April 5, 2019.
Sometimes everything isn’t happily ever after for our heroes. WatchMojo has put together a list for a great topic for discussion: movies where the villain ends up killing the hero. The hero’s journey doesn’t always end the way we’d hope (those reeling after this weekend’s Avengers: Infinity War are feeling that). Sometimes a hero sacrifices themselves to ensure their ultimate goal. Sometimes a hero’s goal IS their own death. Sometimes….well, sometimes they bad guys DO win. It goes without saying that unless you feel like you’ve pretty much seen iconic movies GIANT SPOILER WARNING! What do you think of WM’s selections? Off the top of my head, Road to Perdition, Shane, and Logan (which is in a lot of ways an homage to Shane) spring to mind. I think we can definitely find two better selections than The Wicker Man and Batman vs. Superman (seriously, guys?). What other films do you think should have made this list where the hero didn’t make it to the end credits?
I was really hoping that WB would release an extended cut of Justice League to flesh out the film, and perhaps refine some of the issues with the theatrical cut. At the very least, I was hoping we’d get more deleted scenes than are being offered, but this seems like a pretty boilerplate blu ray release. Oddly, their big selling point is that if you can play the 4K version, it’s more colorful than the theatrical release was. However opinions may vary, I don’t think the color palate was something that a ton of people were hyper focused on after the film came out.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has officially announced that it will release on 4K Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, and Blu-ray Zack Snyder’s blockbuster Justice League. The three releases will be available for purchase on March 13.