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.

Random Thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy

Following successful runs with Captain America, Spider-Man, and the X-Men, Marvel’s fourth comic-book movie of 2014 features the lesser-known Guardians of the Galaxy. While the film’s characters aren’t iconic like the other heroes featured this year, their relative (un)popularity and distinct setting (outer space!) were assets to the director and writers of the Guardians of the Galaxy film. They weren’t trapped by decades of history and millions of fanboys, weren’t limited by the quaint setting of Earth, and were free to create a movie that’s much more fun than its sister titles. While it’s certainly not the best Marvel movie of 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy is arguably the most entertaining.

To maximize your enjoyment of Guardians of the Galaxy, there are a few things you need to realize going into it. First and foremost, it’s much more of a sci-fi space-opera than a superhero flick. It has more in common with Star Wars and Star Trek than it does The Avengers and Iron Man. If you’re a fan of the source material (this iteration of the Guardians was made popular by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and currently penned by Brian Michael Bendis) then you’ll notice a lot of changes. Some of them are small (and seemingly unnecessary), while others are a huge departure from the comics. If you’re unfamiliar with the source material then you’ll like enjoy the movie on its own, but if you love the comics then some of the changes will bother you.

While there were many things I loved about Guardians of the Galaxy, there were a few things that bugged me. Here are some binary thoughts on Marvel’s summer space opera. [Turn your spoiler shields on, please!]

Guardians of the Galaxy movie review Gamora Quill

Fantastic Pacing (Good): Guardians of the Galaxy has a runtime of 122 minutes, but it doesn’t feel like a two hour movie. Director James Gunn did a superior job of mixing action, comedy, and characterization, while maintaining a zippy flow. The pace is brisk and unlike some fast-paced movies, doesn’t cause viewer fatigue.

Non-Threatening Gamora (Bad): In the comics, Gamora is often referred to as “the most dangerous woman in the universe.” While she’s certainly fierce in the movie, she doesn’t quite live up to that lofty title. The movie version of Gamora is too vulnerable and pigeonholed as a “damsel in distress” in a few scenes. Her sister, Nebula, comes off as more of a bad-ass.

Guardians of the Galaxy movie review Rocket

Incredible Special Effects (Good): While the spaceship and alien locations were expectedly dazzling, I was floored by the CG used for Groot and Rocket. They looked appropriately otherworldly, while still being believable in the context of the movie. Physically, the characters never felt forced. Oddly enough, some of Glenn Close’s scenes felt jarring because her character looked out of place.

(On a side note, I was half-expecting a cameo by Mike Myers. In my head, Austin Powers comes out, grabs Glenn Close’s hair, and exclaims, “It’s a man, baby!”)

Redneck Yondu (Bad): Man, I hated this version of Yondu. I’ve always been a fan of the character ever since I encountered the original Guardians of the Galaxy in “The Korvac Saga” storyline of The Avengers. For those of you unfamiliar with the character, Yondu is kind of like an outer-space Native American. He’s spiritual and mystic (and yes, he wears a loin cloth and shoots arrows in deep space). Save for controlling a magical arrow, movie Yondu is nothing like comics Yondu. Movie Yondu is an outer-space redneck scavenger. I would totally hate the movie version of the character, but the awesome Michael Rooker plays him. You gotta give it up for anyone that was part of Mallrats.

Excellent Soundtrack (Good): Guardians of the Galaxy makes stellar use of ’70s pop songs. Blue Swede, David Bowie, The Runaways, The Five Stairsteps, and more are heard throughout the film. The songs add to the movie’s fun vibe. More than any other Marvel movie, the soundtrack for Guardians of the Galaxy will sell.

Guardians of the Galaxy movie review Groot

Rewritten Origin (Bad): I didn’t care for Peter Quill’s origin story in the movie. Having his mother die in a hospital (movie) isn’t nearly as powerful as having her slaughtered by aliens (comics). While the hospital death sets up a sappy scene towards the end of the film, it detracts from Quill’s tragedy. In the comics, his mother is killed by aliens that want revenge on Peter’s dad, J’Son of Spartax. It sets the tone for what a bastard J’Son is and gives the comics a recurring theme (Quill’s daddy-abandonment issues). While Quill’s dad is mentioned in passing, it looks like the sequels won’t have this important launching point to play off of (unless they write that J’Son infected Meredith Quill with space cancer or something stupid like that).

Wrong About Quill (Good): One of my fears going into the movie was that Chris Pratt would be too goofy to play Peter Quill. In the trailers, he seems more comedic than anything else — kind of like Han Solo’s far less competent younger brother. I was relieved that Pratt didn’t go too far with the comedy in the movie. Yes, he has his funny moments, but he also kicks ass, gets the ladies, and is cool. He definitely fits into that “scoundrel” mold established by Harrison Ford.

Ronan the Dickhead (Bad): Sometimes a hero and sometimes a villain (depending on your point of view), Ronan the Accuser is a complex and layered character in the comics. He can be unrelentingly brutal, but he has a nobility about him and an undeniable love for the Kree people. Movie Ronan is just a dick. He’s a radical extremist that’s 100-percent villain. His characterization in the movie was lazy and shallow.

Batista Didn’t Suck! (Shockingly Good): As many of you know, I loathe WWE Batista. He’s mediocre in the ring and terrible on the mic. To my surprise, Dave Bautista the actor was entertaining in Guardians of the Galaxy. His portrayal of Drax the Destroyer was shockingly good. Obviously, he excelled in the physical scenes, but his deadpan humor was fantastic. While I didn’t like the rewritten origin of movie Drax, Dave Bautista’s performance was surprisingly strong — so much so that I’m going to have to think of him as two different people. I will always hate WWE Batista, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Dave Bautista in more roles that combine physicality and comedy.

Bottom Line: I was very much entertained by Guardians of the Galaxy. Objectively comparing it to the other Marvel 2014 movies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a much better film. Subjectively, Guardians of the Galaxy was way more fun. Even though some of the changes from the source material bothered me, I know that I’ll watch this movie again and again in the future. When it comes down to the cable TV test, I can see myself watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier a handful of times over the next five years. In that same five-year period, I’m certain that I’ll watch Guardians of the Galaxy dozens of times.

Coffee Talk #638: The Case Against Dwayne Johnson as Shazam

In a recent interview with Total Film (embedded below for your convenience), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gave some hints on a character he’ll be playing in an upcoming movie. The artist formerly known as Rocky Maivia said that he’ll be playing someone with “the power of Superman” and also gave the telling hint of, “Just say the word.” The latter bit has many people speculating that The Rock will be playing Shazam (known for decades as Captain Marvel). For those of you unfamiliar with Captain Marvel/Shazam, he was originally a Fawcett Comics character and was added to the DC Universe when the latter company bought the former. Captain Marvel/Shazam summons his powers by saying, “Shazam!” Today’s column is about why The Rock isn’t necessarily playing Shazam,  but if that ends up being the case, why it’s a bad choice.

For years, DC fanboys have been clamoring for The Rock to play another character from Shazam’s world: Black Adam. A longtime villain of Captain Marvel/Shazam and more recently a popular DC Comics antihero, Black Adam also has a power set similar to Superman’s and summons his powers by saying, “Shazam!” Everything The Rock said in the Total Film interview applies to Black Adam as much as it does to Captain Marvel/Shazam. If you watch the interview below then you’ll notice that The Rock never said the words “hero” or “superhero” when describing the character. That gives me some hope that he’ll playing Black Adam rather than Captain Marvel/Shazam.

While I’m a big fan of The Rock, I think he’s all wrong for Captain Marvel/Shazam. The essence of the character is that he has the body of a supremely powerful being, with the heart and soul of a pure and innocent child (though his New 52 incarnation gives him the heart and soul of a childish prick). While The Rock is great at comedies and could pull off some gags based on the character’s duality, portraying innocence and purity aren’t his strengths.

Black Adam DC Comics Shazam

Black Adam is a much better choice for The Rock. He’s an angrier character. He has a code of honor, but if you piss him off, he’ll obliterate you. The Rock would excel in this role. He would be fantastic as an antihero that’s equal parts nobility and ferocity. Plus, The Rock already has Black Adam’s receding hairline (bonus for the makeup department!). Black Adam is just a much better fit for what The Rock is cooking.

It’s largely expected that DC Comics and The Rock will be announcing the movie at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 this week. While it wouldn’t surprise me to see The Rock announced as Captain Marvel/Shazam, I’m holding out hope that he’ll be cast as Black Adam. He’s a more interesting character that plays better to The Rock’s strengths as an actor. I rather see him relentlessly kicking ass as Black Adam than having morality conundrums as Captain Marvel/Shazam. Plus, I had this nightmarish vision that a producer would (force) cast Jaden Smith as the hero’s alter ego, Billy Batson. The kid sucks and needs to stop acting.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Rock’s DC Comics movie rumors. Would you rather see him play Black Adam or Captain Marvel/Shazam. Leave a comment and let me know (please!).


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 Rock’s mastery at “jacking it,” the Los Angeles Clippers’ legal drama, or wanting to punch people that call Lady Gaga fat, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.