New Fantastic Four Trailer is Surprisingly Cool

I know that many of you are down on the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, but the latest trailer just might get you interested. It’s very cool — surprisingly so. The tone seems correct, the special effects look great, Kate Mara (the sugar mama of my dreams) is hot, and Dr. Doom looks bad-ass. Yes, it’s only a trailer and Fox has botched this franchise before, but the latest Fantastic Four trailer has me slightly hopeful.

For me, the movie hinges on Dr. Doom. I absolutely hated how he was portrayed in the previous movies. Dr. Doom is absolutely not an evil businessman, as played by Julian McMahon. The comics have him as a really unique mix of science and sorcery (and mommy issues). Even though the trailer was better than I was expecting, I was dismayed to find out that the upcoming Dr. Doom is Victor Domashev, an evil programmer, rather than Victor Von Doom, the megalomaniacal scientist/sorcerer we’ve known and loved for decades.

That said, my expectations for the upcoming Fantastic Four movie were so low that the new trailer was a pleasant surprise. Perhaps that’s the best way to approach the movie — expect mediocrity (or worse) and be happy if the movie is above average (or better). Yeah…that’s probably the way to go.

If you missed the first trailer, give it a look here. After you’ve watched the new trailer, kindly share your thoughts on it in the comments section. Are you hopeful that the third time will be a charm for the Fantastic Four? Or do you think it’ll be another hot mess from Fox?

Olivia Munn Cast as Psylocke: Worst News of 2015

RPadholic Tokz was kind enough tell me that Olivia Munn has been cast as Psylocke in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse movie. Director Bryan Singer made the announcement on an Instagram post. As a fan of the Marvel Comics character and someone that thinks Olivia Munn is dreadful on multiple levels, this is the worst news I’ve heard all year.

For those of you unfamiliar with the character, Psylocke was born a British mutant and later possessed the body of a Japanese assassin. Her most popular and longest lasting incarnation portrays her as a mashup of the two. She has the British upbringing, psychic powers, and kick-ass ninja skills. Yeah, it doesn’t make sense, but neither does Olivia Munn getting cast in a major comic-book movie (half-kidding). On the plus side, Psylocke gets around and has had dalliances with several Marvel superheroes, so maybe casting a trollop like Munn was an inspired choice (again, half-kidding).

While I admit (rather painfully) that Munn was good in The Newsroom and I begrudgingly enjoyed her performances, I’ve pretty much hated everything else she’s done (in life). Psylocke is arguably the coolest female X-Men member of all time. She kicks ass, physically and mentally. She wears a uniform that’s completely inappropriate for combat, but easy on the eyes. Her psychic daggers are immensely wicked. Her backstory is so ridiculous that it became ironically entertaining. And there’s something funny about a strong and powerful woman named…(wait for it) Betsy. While a few of you RPadholics mentioned me boycotting X-Men: Apocalypse, I just can’t do it. As terrible as Olivia Munn is as a person, I’m too much of a nerd to not see an X-Men movie.

On the plus side, the movie is full of beautiful women that aren’t dreadful people (afaik). Hopefully the likes of Sophie Turner, Rose Byrne, Fan Bingbing, and Jennifer Lawrence will counteract the awfulness of Olivia Munn playing Psylocke.

Of course, this post is just one man’s opinion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on (the terrible) Olivia Munn playing (the awesome) Psylocke in X-Men Apocalypse. Kindly share your feelings (like a Care Bear) in the comments section.

Psylocke

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Fantastic Four Trailer Is….

A trailer for the upcoming Fantastic Four movie has landed and it’s way different from what I was expecting. The tone is somber and serious, giving the movie a more dramatic feel than your typical summer-superhero fare. That’s not a bad thing at all and, of course, the trailer only shows one aspect of the movie. Having said that, as a longtime FF reader and someone that enjoyed moments of the previous Fantastic Four movies, the trailer didn’t have the tone that I wanted. When I think about the Fantastic Four, I think of Marvel’s foremost superhero family. Yeah, they have cool powers due to an irresponsible experiment with cosmic rays and they go on amazing adventures, but the dynamic between Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny is what “makes” the book for me.

Also, the trailer needed about 900 percent more Kate-Mara-in-skimpy-clothing clips.

Seriously though, Marvel superhero movies have generally been more “fun” than DC’s more serious films. While I’m sure that the Fantastic Four movie will have comedic moments and sweet CG-powered fight scenes, the trailer is making me prepare for a more serious side of Marvel’s filmic efforts.

What do you guys and dolls think of the trailer and its feel? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section.

Kate Mara Fantastic Four

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Meets…Friends?!?

What do you get when you mashup the smash movie hit Guardians of the Galaxy and the smash television hit Friends? The answer is…a shockingly entertaining video that makes a lot of sense. Think about it for a minute. The witty and sarcastic Peter Quill makes total sense as Chandler Bing. The slow and loyal Drax the Destroyer is perfect as Joey Tribbiani (when you add green skin pigmentation and years of human growth hormone abuse). Since there’s only one lady in the Guardians lineup, I guess Gamora has to be Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe.

Anyway, check out the clip below and let me know what you think of this funky mashup of Guardians of the Galaxy and Friends. In case you missed it, here’s my review of the movie.

Ooh Child: A Comparison (Guardians of the Galaxy)

The Star Lord vs. Ronan the Accuser dance-off showdown in Guardians of the Galaxy is an adorably ridiculous scene. On the verge of defeat, Peter Quill (Star Lord) decides to distract Ronan with some singing and dancing. On paper, it doesn’t make any sense, but actor Chris Pratt pulls it off with such charm that you can’t help but enjoy the scene. Of course it helps that it’s see to the fantastic “Ooh Child” by the Five Stairsteps. A classic soul song from 1970, “Ooh Child” is a tender and uplifting tune…that’s a brilliant precursor for a laser rifle blast.

Since I’ve watched the movie several times this week, “Ooh Child” has been stuck in my head. Let’s take a look at several versions of this excellent song, starting with the original from the Five Stairsteps. The live performance below is taken from Soul Train and is all kinds of awesome. The ’70s outfits are…spectacular.

Although the Five Stairsteps originally recorded the song, some people are more familiar with the Nina Simone version. I’m not going to argue with anyone that thinks of “Ooh Child” as a Nina Simone song since Nina Simone is awesome. Personally, I prefer the original, but totally understand people that prefer the Simone version.

Next up is a pair of covers featuring Cyndi Lauper. I’m a huge fan of her songs (especially “Time After Time” and “True Colors”) and adore her voice. First up, Cyndi teams up with Destiny’s Child for some lovely harmonizing accompanied by an excellent keyboard tone. That version of “Ooh Child” is followed by an a capella (mostly) clip of Cyndi and her backing artists.

As a big fan of Hall & Oates, I really enjoyed their take on the song musically, if not lyrically. Featuring Hall’s soulful voice, some pleasantly subtle guitar playing by Oates, and dreamy keyboards, this version is distinct. The lyrics were rewritten for this arrangement, which I wasn’t really big on. I prefer the simplicity of the original.

The Valerie Carter version below features some nice vocals, but I’m not too sure about the slide guitar solo. It kind of “rednecks” (yes, I’m using that word as a verb) a very soulful song.

Lastly, as a fan of acoustic jams on a porch and an even bigger fan of sandwiches, I’m high on this “Ooh Child” cover by Danielle Ate the Sandwich.

Coffee Talk #647: Aunt May, Dr. Doom, and Pissing Off Comics Fans

While Marvel Studios has been serving up comic book movies that entertain both fanboys and mainstream moviegoers, other studios continue to find ways to piss off comics fans. You’d think that Fox and Sony would learn from Marvel Studios productions like Iron ManCaptain America, and The Avengers, no? Instead, the studios that (unfortunately) hold movie licenses for the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man seem to be going out of their way to irk comic book readers, if the rumors are to be believed. As a lifelong comics nerd, the recent rumors are bugging the hell out of me. Today’s Coffee Talk is all about therapeutic venting.

Let’s start with the upcoming Fantastic Four movie. In a recent interview with Collider, actor Tony Kebbell revealed how his version of Dr. Doom will differ from the comic book version. Kebbell said, “He’s Victor Domashev, not Victor Von Doom in our story. The Doom in ours — I’m a programmer. Very anti-social programmer.” That’s…terrible. Dr. Doom is one of the most interesting and complex villains in comics. He’s a cool mix of science and sorcery. His harshness is offset by a genuine love for the people he rules in Latveria. One of the worst parts of the last pair of Fantastic Four movies was that they made Dr. Doom an evil businessman instead of an awesome scientist/sorcerer. The next Dr. Doom is an evil programmer. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than an evil businessman, but I know that it still sucks.

Already expanding the Spider-Man franchise with upcoming Sinister Six and Venom movies, Sony is rumored to be pursuing a movie based on — get this — Aunt May. When I read the rumor on Latino Review, my (NSFW) reaction was something like this:

The Aunt May movie (I can’t believe I just typed that) is supposedly a spy film. The good news is that the rumor is so completely ridiculous that part of me believes that a Sony PR flak leaked it just to mess with the press. The bad news is that there’s a good chance I’ll be forced to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge if I wake up in a world where an Aunt May movie is a real thing.

Anyway, that’s enough venting for now. What do you guys and dolls think about the latest Fantastic Four and Spider-Man Aunt May rumors? How do you feel about a Fantastic Four movie where Dr. Doom isn’t an awesome scientist/sorcerer named Victor Von Doom, but is instead an angry programmer named Victor Domashev? Do you think an Aunt May spy movie is too nuts to be true? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section.

Coffee Talk #645: The Young Adult-ing of Batgirl and Nightwing

There’s an unusual trend going on with the DC Comics’ Bat Family. Longtime supporting characters Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) and Nightwing (the original Robin, Dick Grayson) are getting the “young adult” treatment. While DC’s New 52 started everyone off with grim and gritty tones, Batgirl and Nightwing have…evolved into young adult comics. As a huge fan of both characters, I’m not sure what to make of their new directions, so today’s column is me thinking out loud about the young adult-ing of Batgirl and Nightwing.

Let’s kick things off with Babs. In addition to getting a major costume overhaul, Batgirl is moving out of Gotham and into the trendy neighborhood of Burnside. If Gotham is the big city then Burnside is the Bat equivalent of Williamsburg or Park Slope. AV Club has a preview of the new Batgirl book and it reads like a superhero version of HBO’s Girls. Barbara has a new boy toy that she can’t remember hooking up with, she’s fetching obnoxious coffee drinks at a hip cafe, she has other young female characters to exchange banter with, and — oh yeah! — she still fights crime.

I’m going to give the book a fair chance, but it seems like a big step back for Batgirl. After getting shot and crippled by the Joker, Barbara became Oracle and served as central intelligence for many DC heroes. She was more powerful in a wheelchair than she ever was in spandex. The New 52 reboot mysteriously cured her paralysis, but made Batgirl a more kick-ass character than she was in the past. The tone of the upcoming Batgirl book seems more appropriate for Stephanie Brown than it does Barabara Gordon. My fear is that she’ll be portrayed as too much of a girly girl than the strong and capable hero she has been in the past.

Grayson 003 Batgirl

Then there’s Dick Grayson. The former Robin and Nightwing has been starring in a new book titled Grayson. Most of the world thinks he’s dead, so he — under Batman’s instructions — is infiltrating a covert organization in a James Bond-like role. And like James Bond, Dick Grayson gets a lot of action. The last two issues of Grayson were fun romps that contained a heavy amount of romance. Grayson: Future’s End #1 — one of my favorite books all year — was a love story sprinkled with action. Grayson #3 borrowed heavily from Bond and had Dick sleep with a woman early in the book, only to see her die later.

Nightwing has always been one of the biggest man-whores in comics, but the heavy emphasis on romance in Grayson is a bit strange. As many of you know, Nightwing is one of my favorite comic-book characters and I’m not sure what to make of his new book. It’s still early, but it feels like a step back. Yeah, I understand that DC Comics wants to experiment and try new things in order to get new readers. And yeah, I understand that Nightwing is the perfect character to experiment with — he’s known, but not iconic like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. Having said that, I wish Dick Grayson would drop the spy schtick and go back to being a proper superhero.

In both cases, DC Comics has the potential to broaden its audience with the young adult direction of Batgirl and Grayson. In one case, I’m not really digging it, but will keep reading because I’m such a Nightwing fanboy. In the other case, I worry that the new Batgirl book will make the character a joke. Again, I understand the need to experiment with characters and reinvent them. The young adult book and movie markets are tremendous, so it makes sense to try to use that approach with comics. I just wish DC used it on two characters that I didn’t like as much as Batgirl and Nightwing.


Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the NBA’s ridiculously lucrative new television deal, your favorite new SNL cast member, or Bill Murray singing Bob Dylan, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Random Thoughts on Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

I’m a big fan of the Sin City comics and a huge fan of the first Sin City movie. With that in mind, I had fairly big expectations going into Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. That said, I wasn’t expecting it to outdo its predecessor — the first movie’s source material is just superior. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For uses two of Frank Miller’s existing stories (one of which is only okay) and two new ones. While it’s certainly not as good as the first film, it’s my favorite movie of 2014 thus far. Let’s take a look at Sin City: A Dame to Kill For using the tried and true RPadTV binary system. [Light spoiler shields, activated!]

Sin City A Dame to Kill For Marv

3D or Not 3D (Good): Sin City: A Dame to Kill For starts off with a fast-paced story called “Just Another Saturday Night” featuring the inimitable Marv. There’s not a lot going on as far a depth and character development, but the opening plot quickly pulls you back into the world of Sin City and shows off some phenomenal 3D special effects. Robert Rodriguez uses 3D similarly to how he uses color in the mostly black-and-white Sin City movies. 3D enhances the visuals and is part of the storytelling, not a tacked on afterthought like 3D used in most movies. That said, after “Just Another Saturday Night,” the 3D isn’t used as frequently or effectively, but for the first 10 minutes of the movie, it’s spectacular.

Not as Deadly Little Miho (Bad): While Jamie Chung did a decent job of replacing Devon Aoki as the wicked, katana-wielding Miho, she doesn’t quite measure up. Aoki was great in the role; her facial expressions were creepier and it helped that she looked so young. There’s something f#cked up about a baby-faced prostitute assassin that slices off heads as frequently and easily as most people open soda cans. Plus, I always got a kick out of Devon Aoki dispensing decapitations; in my head her inner voice says, “There’s your volcano, bitch!” (Aoki is the daughter of Rocky Aoki, founder of the Benihana chain of restaurants, home of the volcano onion.) Anyway, Chung did a passable job as Miho, but she wasn’t as nasty or as menacing as her predecessor.

Sin City A Dame to Kill For Eva Green

Eva Green Owns (Good): Eva Green was — by far — the MVP of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Her character, Ava, was incredibly captivating. Visually, she stood out with her bright green eyes and deep red lips. Green’s performance was even more extraordinary. She made Eva beautiful, manipulative, seductive, alluring, deadly, cunning, and unbalanced. Ava is the type of woman that you find immensely attractive and scary as hell. She’s like a dazzling light that attracts moths. Men can see that it will end poorly for them, but her presence is irresistible. While the movie had several good performances, Eva Green’s was the most outstanding.

Odd Pacing (Bad): Although the movie clocks in at a relatively short 102 minutes, it feels longer. My good buddy Paul said that Sin City: A Dame to Kill For felt like it had one too many plot lines and was surprised when I told him the movie’s runtime. While I didn’t feel that the movie was too long, I understand people that feel otherwise. Perhaps because there’s so much packed into the 102 minutes, some moviegoers got viewer fatigue. There aren’t many slow moments in the film, but maybe it could have used some to give the viewer a break.

Beautiful Women (Good): If you’re a guy or gal that’s into beautiful women then there’s a lot to enjoy in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. The movie is full of gorgeous, gorgeous ladies. Eva Green spends a good chunk of the movie naked. Jessica Alba spends a lot of time sexily dancing at Kadie’s Saloon. Rosario Dawson, Juno Temple, Jamie Chung, and Jaime King are just some of the other beautiful women in the film. It’s babetacular.

Sin City A Dame to Kill For Nancy Jessica Alba

Manute II (Bad): As a huge fan of Dennis Haysbert (Cerrano 4 Life!!!), I felt bad that he was pegged to replace Michael Clarke Duncan as Manute. The late giant had a physical presence and booming voice that are impossible to duplicate. It was a no-win situation for Haysbert, but he did well — certainly better than Jamie Chung did replacing Devon Aoki. That said, Michael Clarke Duncan was a perfect role for Manute and Haysbert’s performance was certainly a step down.

The New Stuff (Good): As I mentioned in the intro, two of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’s storylines were written by Frank Miller just for the movie — “The Long Bad Night” and “Nancy’s Last Dance.” For the most part, they measure up well to Frank Miller’s other tales. I was pleasantly surprise by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “The Long Bad Night.” His performance was charming, though towards the end of the story it felt like he was channeling Bruce Willis’ character from the first Sin City film (too whiney). “Nancy’s Last Dance” was more enjoyable for me, though I fully admit that I’m completely smitten by Jessica Alba. I believe she’s the most beautiful MILF in the world and should be referred to as Milfimus Prime. What I enjoyed about both stories is that they both end with Pyrrhic victory. Both protagonists get what they want, but both pay a horrible price. These stories reminded me of why Dante from Clerks enjoyed Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, “It ends on such a down note. I mean, that’s what life is — a series of down endings.”

Sin City A Dame to Kill For Nancy 2

Bottom Line: While Sin City: A Dame to Kill For isn’t as good as the original, I very much enjoyed it. As expected, the visuals were striking and phenomenal, with the 3D being unexpectedly fantastic. There are several strong performances in the movie and most of the storytelling is strong. I got exactly what I wanted from Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and then some. To my surprise, I enjoyed it more than Godzilla and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Checking out some other reviews, the movie is getting panned by people that feel that Frank Miller has become a misogynistic fascist. Fairly or unfairly, his political transformation has netted some negative reviews. For my part, I was ignorant of Miller’s political rantings going into the film and only learned about them yesterday. I haven’t had enough time to process them yet, but what I can say for sure is that I enjoyed Sin City: A Dame to Kill For more than any other movie I’ve seen this year.

Coffee Talk #640: Who’s Your Favorite Ninja?

I recently saw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot and was incredibly disappointed. The movie is a wretched piece of crap that tarnishes the TMNT franchise and is an embarrassment to ninjas around the world. Thankfully, I watched a superior TMNT movie (more on that later this week) to cleanse my palette. The whole ordeal got me thinking about ninjas and wanting to discuss ninjas with you. There are so many awesome ninjas from comic books, movies, television, and videogames. Who are some of your favorites? Let’s use today’s Coffee Talk column to discuss the wonderful world of ninjas.

Michael Dudikoff (American Ninja): I have a feeling that many of you will choose Dudikoff as your top pick. That’s a completely understandable selection. As a gaggle of British videogame developers once told me, American Ninja is the pinnacle of American cinema. Dudikoff — possibly the most underrated action star in movie history — totally makes this series and shows that a white man can succeed in the Japanese art of ninjutsu.

Lee Van Cleef (Master Ninja): This Western ninja is awesome, simply because he’s so ridiculous. An old Lee Van Cleef is completely unbelievable as a master of ninjutsu. The unbelievability is a fantastic source of unintentional comedy in Master Ninja. In addition to a washed up cowboy playing a ninja, the series also blessed the world with Timothy Van Patton’s gratuitous voiceovers. These two negatives combine for positively awesome entertainment.

Elektra Natchios (Daredevil): On a more serious note, Marvel Comics’ Elektra is one of the most kick-ass women in the history of comics. She’s deadly and ruthless. She made sais cool way before TMNT’s Raphael ever did. She has come back from the dead. She’s been a hero, villain, and anti-hero. Most importantly, she executes all of her ninjutsu bad-assery while wearing clothing that’s completely inappropriate for combat (and way to revealing). On the downside, she was killed by Bullseye and replaced by a Skrull.

Ryu Hayabusa (Ninja Gaiden): The star of the Ninja Gaiden series and a competitor in the Dead or Alive fighting games, Hayabusa is arguably the most accomplished ninja in the history of videogames. A rare crossover star, he has appeared in some excellent action games and fighting games. He has also made cameos in other games, like Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce and Super Swing Golf: Season 2. Ninjas are generally awesome. A ninja that can play golf is…breathtaking.

Ryu Hayabusa Ninja Gaiden

Your Picks: Now it’s your turn! Kindly share some of your favorite ninjas from comics, TV, movies, and videogames. Please leave your picks in the comments section.


Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the sad death of Robin Williams, the casting choices for the Saved by the Bell behind-the-scenes movie, or the best meat for fried rice, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

The Flash Trailer (CW)

Following up on the success of Arrow, The CW Network will continue its comic-book assault with The Flash. One of the DC Universe’s most important superheroes, Flash was blessed with super-speed thanks to a bolt of lightning hitting a batch of chemicals, dousing his body with a mystical concoction. By day, Flash is Barry Allen, a forensics officer in the Central City Police Department. In the comics, Flash is best known for sacrificing his life in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Naturally, the television show will take some liberties and deviate from the source material. According to the official show page, the CW version of Barry Allen was given his powers due to an accident with a S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator. I really don’t have a problem with that origin story, as (in some ways) it makes more sense than a bolt of lightning hitting a bunch of chemicals. While the show description notes some similarities to recent Flash storylines, I’m curious to see if the show will explore the “Speed Force” and how it impacts to the Flash mythos.

The Flash will debut on The CW on October 7, 2014. For now, check out the show’s trailer below and let me know what you think (please!). While Arrow is popular and slick, I’m looking forward to The Flash simply because he’s a nerdier character. Yeah, they’re going to make him beautiful for television and I’m sure there will be some overbearing romance angles, but dude is a science nerd at heart. Any television show that glorifies science nerds is a benefit to society.