Somebody Let THE RZA Make A Movie…

…and it looks AWESOME!

IGN has the first red-band trailer for “The Man With The Iron Fists;” a gonzo tribute to the golden age of Hong Kong martial-arts films written and directed by the Wu-Tang Clan frontman with backup from Quentin Tarantino. My only regret is that thus far it can only be watched on IGN’s shitty media-player:
http://oystatic.ignimgs.com/src/core/swf/IGNPlayer.swf

Well, I’m on board – though to be fair like so many films before they had me at Lucy Liu.

It’ll be interesting to how – if at all – this is recieved. The RZA has supposedly forgotten more about kung-fu movies than any mortal man could hope to learn; but I feel like appreciation for this stuff outside of the hardcore film-geek set sort of “peaked” with “Kill Bill.” Either way, I’ll be there day one.

Marvel’s Next (New) Franchise Might Be "Guardians of The Galaxy."

Latino Review is claiming that Marvel Studio’s “other” planned 2014 release (the first being “Captain America 2” with “Iron Man 3” and “Thor 2” in 2013) – set to be officially unveiled at SDCC – is going to be “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY;” though it remains unclear which incarnation will appear. Where this leaves the supposedly also-imminent “Black Panther” movie (also first reported by Latino Review) is yet to be determined.

(SPOILERS FOR “THE AVENGERS” AFTER THE JUMP)
Originally a VERY-70s time-traveling space-opera series with the costume/character aesthetics of a superhero book (think “New Gods” – or “All Those Darkseid-Related Guys” if you mainly know DC stuff from the cartoons); “Guardians” has since been reimagined through multiple reincarnations/rebrandings as a kind of rotating-membership “All-Star Team” for Marvel’s cosmic/outer-space/alien characters. As you might expect, ultimate-cosmic-heavy Thanos is one of their most frequent enemies, and according to the LR report that will be the case in the film as well – effectively making The Mad Titan’s appearance in “Avengers” both a tease for “Avengers 2” AND this film (which will, in turn, serve as the direct lead-in for “Avengers 2.”

The membership roster for the film has yet to be announced; and Marvel has a lot of cult-icon cosmic heroes to pick from – if you’re hoping to see guys like Nova, Qasar, Drax The Destroyer, Adam Warlock or Mar-Vel turn up; this would be the most likely place for it. I would imagine that founding-member/frequent-leader Major Victory would have to play a key part – he’s an astronaut from present-day Earth (real name: Vance Astro. For real) – time-displaced the the far-future whose “costume” is an anti-aging bodysuit, which makes him a perfect audience-POV character; plus (in a nice thematic “rhyme”) he at one point carried Captain America’s shield as a weapon and as a symbol (in the Marvel Universe, Cap is pretty-much worshipped as the one hero that every planet, culture, species and time-period universally admire.)

Personally, I’d hope to see more-recent Guardian fan-fave Rocket Raccoon make an appearance. He’s exactly what you think he is, and don’t tell me you don’t want to see Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans react to a talking, ray-gun toting alien Raccoon.

P.S. If Thanos really is going to be the “rising big-bad” of the second wave of the Marvel Universe, the safest bet anyone can make right now is that some variation of The Infinity Gems will start popping up throughout the next few movies. We live in exciting times.

P.P.S. LR also reports that 2014 might also see the first official collaboration between Marvel Studios and Disney Animation: an animated feature-film based on “Big Hero 6;” a team of Japanese Marvel heroes (some were original to the series, some were Japanese-descended supporting-characters from across the Marvel Universe) who were part of an attempt to cash-in on the 1990s manga-boom. Something interesting to note about that: In the comics, The Silver Samurai is a member of the team… but he’s also been widely-presumed to turn up as the villain of the still-cooking “Wolverine” reboot. Hm…

Quick! Somebody Find Whatever’s Left Of "Rockapella!"

Vintage PC Edutainment game fans (that surely must exist, yes?); you may finally be getting a Hollywood blockbuster to call your own: Walden Media (the folks behind the “Narnia” movies) has comissioned a screenplay for a feature film adaptation of “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?”

Jennifer Lopez is one of the project’s producers, and has been developing it as a potential star-vehicle for herself – the title character is a master-thief of (presumably) Latin/Spanish descent who prefers to pilfer items of historical/geographic significance. In the games, players took on the role of Interpol experts who had to use their knowledge of geography to suss out clues and chase Carmen and her associates around the world.

Outside of “The Oregon Trail,” WITWICS? is probably the most successful/well-known franchise in the “edutainment” genre; and in it’s heyday inspired tie-in books, school materials, museum/zoo events, merchandise and even an animated Fox TV series – however, it’s probably best remembered by Gen-Xers for the uniquely-bizzare kiddie game show that aired on PBS…

Is "Robot & Frank" The Next Great Indie Scifi Movie?

If “Wall-E” and “Up” made a baby and decided to raise it live-action, it would probably look a lot like “Robot & Frank;” which is amazingly NOT based on some forgotten/loosely-reworked Isaac Asimov story. Set in the near future, Frank Langella stars as an elderly man whose concerned kids buy him a )very Asimo-looking) caretaker robot; whose is programmed not only to protect and help him physically but also nudge him into psychologically-beneficial hobbies. Complicating matters is the fact that Frank’s pre-retirement career was master jewel-thief; and when the opportunity to pull a heist on some obnoxious young riches, Robot becomes Frank’s protege’ for one last job.

This. Looks. AWESOME.

"I Will Meet His Soul At The Gates of Hell!"

In case you forgot, the reason we were all supposed to be tolerating the existance of Tyler Perry’s appallingly-awful cinematic fusions of Bible-Thumping moralizing, soap opera histrionics and Minstrel Show “comedy” was that he was at least giving boxoffice exposure to criminally-underutilized black actors who might be able to use his bafflingly-popular films as a springboard to bigger A-list roles.

Well, the good news is, someone has finally jumped from the Perryverse into a high-profile lead role in a major studio tentpole/franchise-starter. The bad news? That someone… is Tyler Perry; who stepped in to replace a departing Idris Elba in the Rob Cohen directed “Alex Cross,” intended to relaunch a new series of films based on the James Patterson detective novels that previously inspired “Kiss The Girls” and “Along Came a Spider.”

The film now has a trailer; and if you’ve just been dying to watch Madea’s male-half strap on guns and “badass-up” to do hilariously unconvincing battle with Matthew Fox as what appears to be an MMA-fighting ex-military hitman called “The Butcher”… you’re in luck:

Crash

So… after three whole days of nothing chaotic or awful happening in my life; today I was in a car accident. Not a serious one – just a fender-bender. No injuries, no legal stuff, damage only (appears) superficial, etc; but a nice reminder from The Universe that there seems to either be no great transcendant force looking out for you OR that there is a great transcendant force and it doesn’t like you very much. After all, what could be a nicer thing to have than car repair bills while you’re in the process of moving-into and furnishing an apartment, right?

Egh. I know, I know – could be MUCH worse, could’ve gotten hurt, someone else could’ve gotten hurt, etc; but still… not what I needed, on top of everything else.

In any case, if you don’t see “The Big Picture” go up on this blog at the usual time (it should be up on The Escapist as regularly-scheduled, though) tomorrow; that’s why: After spending (probably) all morning dealing with automotive business I’ll be out all day doing two preview-screenings – one is based on one of my all-time favorite fictional characters, the other is a crude lowbrow comedy seemingly built around a single joke, and my anticipation of them could not be more reversed from where you’d generally expect them to be. Joy.