‘The Punisher’ spin-off series coming to Netflix

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Netflix

It’s official!

The Punisher, last seen in Season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix, is getting his own series.  Portrayed by ‘Walking Dead’ alum Jon Bernthal, Frank Castle (Punisher) forces Daredevil to question how far his willing to go in his crusade for justice in Hell’s Kitchen.

Unlike so many of his Marvel brethren, The Punisher has no qualms with using brutal, torturous and often lethal force, to get his message across.  When he’s not protecting the city, he’s usually on his own personal quest for vengeance after his wife and two children were gunned down by criminals in broad daylight.   The Punisher has been portrayed three times in movie theaters.  Dolph Lundgren, Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson have all taken on the skull-adorned serial avenger with little to no success.

After the tremendous positive reception Bernthal’s portrayal of Marvel’s bloodiest hero (sorry Deadpool) has received, it’s no surprise that Netflix has finally signed on the dotted line.

Read more in Entertainment Weekly’s exclusive.

Pete’s Dragon Remake Reveals It’s Elliott

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Only one short month after Disney unleashed the first teaser-trailer for their remake of the 70’s cult-classic Pete’s Dragon (watch it here), they finally reveal the new design for the lovable Elliot.

This was his original design, taken from a classic scene that really made me want to try a scorched apple when I was a kid…

And thanks to EntertainmentWeekly, we now know what he looks like in 2016:

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A little fuzzier than he once was but it definitely gives him a friendlier, cuddly appearance- somewhat evoking the innocent vibe that the original pink-haired, cel-shaded design gave.  The face, while adding cat-like eyes and mouth, retains the larger jaw of his goofy predecessor.

I’m looking forward to seeing how he looks in motion!

Click here to read EntertainmentWeekly’s preview.

Batman v. Superman : Review

I was ready to love Batman v. Superman.

I was ready to be “that guy” that defends it against the towering waves of vitriol and hatred. I wanted to be soapbox geek who explained the film’s inherent worth the way I do as an impassioned anime fan or someone who thinks that Ghostbusters 2 is a good movie. I wanted to be the bleeding heart fanboy pumping his fist against the masses.

Batman v. Superman wouldn’t let me.

The opening sequence is a pulse-quickening retelling of Man of Steel’s ending (another movie I defended despite it’s flaws) through the eyes of Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne. The scene works, we see Bruce Wayne as a man in fear of dissolution and death as he runs through the smoke of crumbling buildings, desperately searching for any survivors trapped in the building that bears his namesake. Holding a newly orphaned crying child in his arms his looks up to see the source of desolation to see a blurry red-caped figure flung through sky scrapers like a finger running through faucet water. It’s a powerful opening and gives us enough reason to believe that Bruce, or Batman, might begin to distrust and even fear Superman.

Unfortunately the momentum is immediately lost.

We’re whisked away from the panic into a muddled, pseudo-political conspiracy thread in a desert war-zone. Lois goes from interviewing a terrorist to being attacked, then attacked again, then quickly saved by Superman. The scene ends almost immediately after Superman pummels a terrorist into paste.  Nothing beyond his brief rescue mission is depicted and yet, for some puzzling reason, this is the moment that the Synder has decided to obsess upon for the rest of the movie and the very issue that Batman uses to push his anti-Supes agenda. By the time you discover that other players were involved in the attack you barely have enough energy left to shrug your shoulders.

The other threads are tangled into a series of barely connected sequences meant to introduce Jesse Eisenberg’s very Jesse Eisenberg take on the calm, stoic Lex Luthor, who babbles on like a Comic Con attendee on Red Bull and Ritalin. Much time is spent with between this charmless character and Bruce Wayne, who is busy having multiple dream sequences, flashbacks, flash-forwards (maybe?) and hallucinations. All of these moments seem to want to replace Marvel’s infamous end-credit tags, hoping desperately to salivate a DC fan for future movie installments.  Instead, these moments leave the audience to audibly ask what they just saw and disrupt an already poorly constructed, convoluted plot.

-and what of Superman? The movie spends less time with Clark’s alter-ago, who desperately needs some good writing and strong screen time, than any of the other main characters. Any time comic books or DC is discussed, some genius always wants to announce their unique and special proclamation that “Superman sucks”, “Superman is boring”, “I hate Superman”. This movie doesn’t even bother to help change any minds. While Grant Morrison and Frank Miller have produced powerful and intriguing depictions of the Kryptonion kid on paper, Goyer and Terrio fail to make him any more than a high school kid who would rather pout in his locker and listen to Linkin Park than someone who we’d want to cheer and root for. By the time his climactic ending occurs, you will struggle to care.

It’s not without it’s moments. The performers are giving everything they can to make the movie work. Amy Adams brings humanity, Jeremy Irons is a quick wit as Alfred, Affleck is a shockingly functional Bruce Wayne and Gal Gadot is a kick-ass, battle-hungry Wonder Woman. The fight scenes, though few and far between, are delicious candy. Choreography is tight, you feel every super-powered punch and the “shaky cam” found in most movies like this is absent. You’ll chomp through these action tidbits all too quickly and wish you had more. The Batman warehouse scene alone proves that we need a Ben Affleck Batman movie…but maybe he needs to be the one in the director chair this time around.

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Maybe it’s unfair to blame Synder. With the very forced Justice League cameos and easter eggs, there is a very corporate sense that Warner is desperately trying to catch up with 8 years of Marvel movies within 2+ hours. Though it took Marvel several films to give us that glorious shot of the fully assembled team, it was earned and we can at least look back on 2008’s Iron Man as a legitimately great comic book movie. Batman v. Superman’s money shot was not earned. It was manufactured and vacuum-sealed overnight.

Sorry DC fans. Maybe next time they’ll get it right.

First look at Spider-man in the new Civil War trailer!!


Here he is, the official Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-man, in all his glory!


Played by newcomer Tom Holland, this new Spider-man makes his first appearance in the new Captain America: Civil War thanks to a new agreement with Sony Pictures that lets them retain solo-movie rights while still allowing the character to appear in the Avengers universe.

What do you think?

Tickets are on sale now at Fandango

Here’s what the new Ducktales series will look like!

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Disney

Disney just dropped this beauty on Twitter earlier today.

Last year I reported that Disney had announced an all-new Ducktales animated series wherein they expected the full voice cast of the 1980’s original to make a return.  Things have remained quiet until earlier today when Disney released the first official still of the upcoming series on Twitter.  Unlike the original cel-animated “Disney Afternoon” series, this rendition seems to be aiming for more of a hand-drawn look that recalls the 1950’s comics by Carl Banks.

Ducktales is still scheduled for a 2017 premiere but if you want to whet your appetite, take a look at some of the new Mickey Mouse cartoons by Paul Ruddish (Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls).  They merge a classic Disney feel with the wit and insanity of the modern Cartoon Network fare (think Adventure Time meets Disney).  Some of the shorts include appearances by Goofy, Donald and Ducktales own Scrooge McDuck, who is still voiced by 97 year-old Alan Young!!

Season 1 of the new Mickey Mouse cartoon is only $7.50 on Amazon Prime!

Grab the first season of Ducktales for less than $10!

The original 1980’s Ninja Turtles are back in this new special!!

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Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon’s surprisingly effective modern incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will return to the past in “Transdimentional Turtles”, a new special airing on the kid’s network later this month.

Voice actors of the current series Seth Green (Leonardo), Sean Astin (Raphael), Greg Cipes (Michelangelo) and will be sharing screen time with the voice actors of the wildly successful 80’s cartoon.  Unlike the previous crossover special, the original cast will all be present this time including Cam Clarke (Leonardo), Barry Gordon (Donatello), Townsend Coleman (Michelangelo) and Rob Paulsen as both classic Raphael and modern Donatello.

If you think the 80’s turtles look bizarre in the modern CG style, take a look at the footage below (courtesy of IGN).  …they almost look like Disney World mascots with animatronic heads.

The episode is scheduled to air on Sunday, March 27th at 11am ET/PT. 

Season 1 DVD of the new Ninja Turtles is only $24.99 on Amazon Prime

New Dragon Ball Z Anime Series Announced. Begins July. It’s Official.

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For the first time since 1996, Dragon Ball Z will be returning to television.

Thanks to the success of two hit movies, 2013’s Battle of Gods and this year’s Revival of F , a sequel series to Dragon Ball Z will be coming to tv in just a few short months.

Taking place after the end of the Buu saga, Dragon Ball Super will continue the story of Goku and his family returning to a peaceful life before the shocking arrival of a new villain that the show’s producer’s promise “will be stronger than Buu and Frieza”.  Sure the idea of an even more powerful enemy showing up was already pretty tired after DBZ’s Cell Saga let alone during the latter half of 1996’s semi-unofficial sequel series Dragon Ball GT (taking place at the end of Z but not based on Akira Toriyama’s original manga) but this is exactly why people love this series.  High powered demi-gods getting into comically obscene battles while firing blasts that could easily decimate planets…sounds like we’re getting exactly that.

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Dragon Ball Z’s cast of characters after the Buu Saga

Unlike Dragon Ball GT however, Fuji TV producer Osamu Nozaki  tells us that Dragon Ball Super is being written by creator Akira Toriyama himself:

As I read the plot [of the series] I’ve already received from Akira Toriyama my dreams for this begin to expand. An enemy even stronger than Buu or Freeza may appear…”

Apparently the series has been secretly in production for some time now, AnimeNewsNetwork reports that the series will premiere as early as July of this year.

**UPDATE: Toei Animation has released an official statement on their website:

TUESDAY 28TH APRIL 2015

 

After 18 long years of waiting, the information arrived today! Toei Animation will produce the new Dragon Ball series, entitled Dragon Ball Super (Japanese title; tentative for English release)!
Overseen by Akira Toriyama, the series will debut on Japanese screens in July 2015 on Fuji TV.
Direct sequel to Dragon Ball Z, the series will bring together all the characters and tell their adventures after Son Goku’s fierce battle against Majin Buu.
“Having loved Dragon Ball since childhood, it is very exciting to be a part of this project,” said Osamu Nozaki, producer for Fuji Television. “Mr. Toriyama has developed a plot that’s not only a dream come true for Dragon Ball’s millions of fans, but one that will foster in a new generation of viewers.”
“I hope that this series will last a long time and have the same impact around the world as its predecessor.” said Masako Nozawa, Japanese voice actress of Dragon Ball’s Son Goku, Son Gohan and Son Goten.
Introduced as a manga in Weekly Shonen Jump (published from SHUEISHA Inc.) in 1984, Dragon Ball has evolved into a globally beloved brand.
Seen in more than 70 countries, with over 230 million copies of its comic books sold, Dragon Ball remains one of the most popular anime series of all time.

There you have it.  No crappy fanart, no Dragon Ball AF prank, it’s the real deal.  Hard to believe isn’t it?

In the meantime, be on the lookout for the English-dubbed release of Dragon Ball Z: Revival of F to hit theaters later this summer.

 

Find deals on Dragon Ball Z DVDs and BluRays on Amazon, including the new Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Gods for $9.99

Animated Spider-man Movie Coming to Theaters, Connected to MCU

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So this little nugget has been making the rounds on Twitter:

Lord and Miller are creating a fully animated Spider-Man movie that will “co-exist with the Spider-Man movies.” July 20, 2018.

Huh…no kidding.  Per the recent Sony-Marvel Spider-man deal, we knew that Sony was still going to release Spider-man films even though they would take place within Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (Avengers, Iron Man, Guardians, etc).  The fact that the first Spider-man film to do so would be animated certainly comes as a surprise.  Spider-man has had good fortune in animated series from the 90’s Spider-man: The Animated Series all the way to the more recent Ultimate Spider-man with the vastly superior Spectacular Spider-man series from Greg Weisman (Disney’s Gargoyles).  Despite all of this, a full theatrical animated Spidey film has never been attempted.

Philip Lord and Chris Miller, known for their work on 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie, will be producing the film.  Sony’s Tom Rothman announced at Cinema Con that the movie will be released on July 18th, 2018.

So yeah, we have a while to wait.

 

 

 

Grab The Spectacular Spider-man: The Complete Series on Blu-ray and DVD!

Alan Wake 2 Revealed: The Game We’ll Never Play

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The original Alan Wake on the XBox 360 was a mind-melting, thrilling and addictive gameplay experience.  The sensation of locking down a horrifying nightmare-version of an angry screaming hunter with a flashlight before blasting him into dust with a shotgun was nothing short of euphoric for me.  It wasn’t just the eerie environment or the tight-as-hell gameplay that I fell in love with, it was the narrative.  The story that sang a love song to The X-Files while drizzling references to Twin Peaks all over it’s plot twists and environment was something that I simply could not get enough of.

And then it happens.  That ending.  That gut punch, cliffhanger of an ending.  It didn’t anger me, it chilled me to my core and had my mind run wild at all of the possibilities that were now open for the next game in the series. I couldn’t wait.

Last year Sam Lake, the man who created Max Payne, modeled for Max Payne and would go on to create Alan Wake, made a very sad announcement.  The Alan Wake 2 project was dead.  Their new game Quantum Break was still moving ahead but their supernatural thriller about a paranoid author was going to have to end at a lone spin-off game released in 2012.

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This brings us to Polygon’s excellent exclusive on the Alan Wake 2 that never was.  The website was able to sit down with Sam Lake and discuss everything from the story and environment they had mapped out for the game, the elements that were carried into Alan Wake’s American Nightmare and Quantum Break, Lake’s excitement for the return of Twin Peaks and X-Files and even the possibility of continuing the Alan Wake story by bringing in other groups or studios.

It’s a wonderful piece and a must-read for any fan of the series.  It also includes a video that gives you the closest look at Alan Wake 2 that we’ll probably ever see.

Go check it out right now.

And if you love good video games, horror, The X-Files, Twin Peaks, The Twilight Zone, Max Payne, Stephen King or just a really good story then I strongly recommend that you experience Alan Wake for yourself.

Please give it a chance, you will not regret it.

Closer look at Batman, Superman & Wonder Woman’s new movie costumes

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve already watched the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer about 47 times.  It’s that goddamn good.

I’m sorry I ever doubted you Batfleck

In the wake of the recent trailer we’ve seen some new media pop up as well.  Earlier today some footage was released of a mysterious new DC exhibit showing off the new cinematic costumes for Supes, Batman and even Wonder Woman.

All of the grit, wear and Frank Miller-esque bulge we’ve described before is now on display and in full glorious detail.  As we can see in the trailer, Ben Affleck is fitting the suit quite well.  It’s definitely less high-tech military style than the Christian Bale suits and more true to the comics.

Twitter user el mayimbe was able to score a closer look
Twitter user el mayimbe was able to score a closer look

Superman’s costume is similar but more simplified and brighter in color compared to his previous threads in Man of Steel. As for Wonder Woman, this is her first appearance in a major DC film though the costume remains largely unchanged since our first glimpse in the promotional photos released last year.

Another cool release were these new IMAX promotional posters for the movie.  I have to say, it’s nice to get an artistic and interesting graphic movie poster for a comic movie compared to the garbage that we usually get

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in less than a year on March 25th, 2016.

 

Get the new movie Batman vs. Robin for only $4.99, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm for $2.99 or Batman: Year One starring Bryan Cranston for $6.99 on Amazon right now!