Noses Don’t Look Good On Reptiles

Had to pull down the earlier “leaked” TMNT images because people were getting C&D’s from Paramount (which is stupid – you can’t fight this stuff getting out, the era of non-plot-related movie “secrets” is dead); but now ComicBookTherapy has a snap up of a merchandise standee that let’s the new turtles out of the bag pretty definitively.

Verdict? Same as before: Like `em, with reservations. The differing body-types work (Leo and Raph are bruisers, Mike is small, Donatello is slimmer) and the personalized gear/clothes/etc are a good idea – I even like Don wearing glasses over his mask. A detail I like: Leo and Raph’s weapons are actually kind of small for them, proportionally, implying that their using “actual” katanas/sais that would’ve been designed for humans. I imagine this won’t be the case for Mike and Don, since nunchucks and staffs can be more easily made from scratch.

Leo and Don have better looking heads, because the more humanoid nose/palate don’t look right at all on Raphael and Michaelangelo. I’ve never understood the modern creature-animation conceit of giving nonhuman characters human-like lips. I understand the “logic” behind it, i.e. in reality they’d need human lips to form human syllables when speaking, I’ve just never really heard from anyone who cared. Movie-monsters spoke “muppet style” (mouth open for any sound, closed otherwise) for decades and I don’t recall that ever being a widespread complaint.

We may or may not see them moving around and talking in a Super Bowl ad, though right now Paramount is onlying officially touting a TRANSFORMERS 4 spot.


Super Bowl ads for movies that already have proper trailers generally feel kind of pointless, since they’re just short action-beat reels, but this one features what looks very much like a shot of Captain America being back in his proper costume at some point in the present day so I’m glad to have seen that. Also really like how “wing-shaped” Falcon’s wings are:


I think I’ve figured out what it is that makes Seth MacFarlane “hard to take” as a persona. I mean “overall,” of course – whether he’s not your cup of tea because of the subject matter of his humor (or choice of target) is another matter entirely. I’m talking more about why even I, as someone who thinks he’s a real comic talent, can agree that a little of him goes a long way:

He’s just a little too conventionally-handsome, a little too well spoken and a little too outwardly-confident about it for a comedian.

A modern comedian, anyway. His only semi-ironic affection for the Rat Pack era of lounge-act emcees makes an alarming amount of sense when you consider how well his look, delivery and sensibility would fit in that milieu; i.e. in the era where The Entertainer was The Alpha of the room, with the audience and (especially) “The Other” as his lessers to be humorously judged. The main difference is target: Frank & Dean basked in their superiority over both “squares” and (explicitly at first, implicitly later) the “lower” classes/races, while MacFarlane works basically the same act (right down to the “you think I’m smug now, just wait till I back it up with these pipes!” shift to songman) but with Middle America and/or religious-conservatives as the targets of choice. He’s a completely different animal from the self-effacing post-60s face of modern comedy, for better or worse, save that he shares their penchant for self-hate… it’s just that he seems to hate his advantages instead of his foibles.

Case in point: The new trailer for “A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST,” his Western-spoof follow-up feature to “TED,” which features MacFarlane as his own lead in full-on Brian Griffin only-smart-man-in-a-world-of-morons smug mode and also in full-on Brian Griffin douchebag-who’s-too-happy-about-being-the-only-smart-man smarmy mode; but here as a snarky Eastern transplant in The Old West cursed with a modern eye-view of the horrible shittiness behind the myth of the Cowboy Era. Looks funny, but I also remember how “WAGONS EAST” failed to stretch the same basic joke to feature-length…

More TMNT: Leonardo, Donatello and SHREDDER Revealed!

UPDATE: The studio has been hitting peopel with cease and desist letters regarding the photos, so they’re down for now.

Yup. Consider me onboard, Michael Bay.

As I said re: the earlier image of the maquettes, I’m not “in love” with the jacked-up-badass Turtles as a concept, but this is the best version I can think of FOR said concept. Leonardo looks especially great (love the homemade Japanese fencing-armor look) but then he was always my favorite. The “tech-gear clotheshorse” look for Donny looks a lot less extreme than reported, though we can’t really see his shell:



But Shredder, on the other hand? Holy shit. Shredder looks fantastic! Not nuts about the overly-busy faceplate (nothing is known about where this Shredder comes from, other than that he’ll start out as an American businessman named “Eric Sachs” played by William Fichtner instead of Japanese “Oroku Saki,” possibly to avoid Chinese movie distribution skittishness over Asian villains in otherwise western-dominant movies) but everything else looks fantastic. In many ways it’s an extreme realization of Eastman & Laird’s original “human cheese-grater” concept for the armor – even his cape is made of knives, for fuck’s sake!

This is could, of course, all change when we get our first look at how the mocap CGI and voicework used to bring these guys to life works out, which will supposedly be during a teaser set to debut during The Super Bowl.

Mutant? More Like Meh-T… oh, forget it

If Bryan Singer were an X-Man, his codename would be “DIAL-BACK” – born with the amazing power to lower expectations at superhuman levels.

EMPIRE has been doing a goofy day-long promo where they’re revealing 25 “character reveal” covers for “X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST” once an hour. They look… universally terrible, thus far (we’re up to 14 as of this writing); save for the obvious caveats of Jennifer Lawrence hitting my fairly specific fetish for women in bodypaint looking like they’d rather be anywhere else and also who isn’t happy to see Patrick Stewart?

Thus far, the only “important” reveal has been QUICKSILVER, looking (to your right) like either the mascot for a line of off-brand Sega controllers from a mid-90s GamePro ad or the leader of the Burger King Kids Club.

Quicksilver, of course, is mainly important as a curiosity item since he’s the first instance of a Marvel character being in both the “official” Cinematic Universe (“AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON” next year) and in another film played by two different actors in two different contexts: In this version, he’ll keep his comics’ backstory as the son of Magneto, while the version who turns up in Avengerswill presumably have either a different or unspoken parentage (prevailing fan theory is that he and sister Scarlet Witch will be refitted as the children of Thomas Kretschman’s Baron Von Strucker.)

Originally, Quicksilver’s role was said to be minor – possibly only one or two scenes (that may be par for the course – despite appearing in the first trailer, Anna Paquin’s Rogue has since been cut entirely by the removal of a single scene) – but gossip swirls that his screentime has been beefed up to try and make the character’s role in “AVENGERS: AOU” problematic for Marvel Studios. And yes, by all accounts the relationship between Disney and Fox really is that childish.

Here’s a Sentinel From "X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST"

From Bryan Singer’s personal Twitter account, which just promised to join the cast in tweeting all 25 Empire Magazine covers promoting the film:


This is, apparently, The Sentinels as they’ll appear in the 1973-set portions of the film – which is good to know since, if you go by the film’s marketing thus far, you might’ve assumed the film was comprised entirely of slow dissolves between closeups of returning familiar actors, Z-list Mutant barrel-scrapings nobody asked for (“OMG! Blink and Warpath in the SAME MOVIE!!??”) and unsettling reminders that Singer can’t really direct action or scale to save his life.

“X-MEN: DOFP” will be out in the U.S. on May 14th. For those of you playing along at home, this will be the sixth of seven movies centered on a subset of the Marvel Universe comprising almost (probably more-than, really) 700 characters that short-shrifts basically everybody to focus on Hugh Jackman With Muttonchops.