Hollywood has been experiencing a motion capture revolution over the past couple of decades. Motion capture, in Hollywood, is when an actor acts as the physical representation of a character that will later be added in the film via CGI. Ahmed Best is not a household name and he probably certainly isn’t considered a legend in Hollywood, but Best did bring Jar Jar Binks to life in the film, ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’. Best’s work was revolutionary at the time so it is only right that he feels overlooked by Andy Serkis, the King of Motion Capture, who recently released a video tribute to the artform without Best’s work included.
Andy Serkis rose to critical acclaim for his motion-capture performance of the character Gollum in the legendary trilogy, ‘Lord of the Rings’. Since then Serkis has been a part of nearly every major mocap performance in Hollywood, most recently playing the role of Caesar in the ‘Planet of the Apes’ trilogy. Serkis was brought on the host a video released by Wired titled, “Andy Serkis Breaks Down the History of Motion Capture Performance.” The video went over, in detail, all of the big motion-capture breakthroughs throughout the medical, video game, and entertainment industry. Notably absent was Best’s work as Jar Jar Binks in the ‘Star Wars’ prequel series. The reason that Best is notably upset was that his mocap performance actually precluded Andy Serkis’ star-turning performance in ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’.
Ahmed Best took to Twitter to vent his frustration. Best said, “I don’t know how to retweet this and not sound bitter, but I feel I have been forgotten. No disrespect to the great @AndySerkis”. Best went on to point out that Jar Jar Binks created the workflow that would later be used on ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Avatar’.
Camren Bicondova achieved acclaim for her role as Selina Kyle on the DC Comics television series Gotham. She’s likely to receive more acclaim and notoriety for becoming Selina Kyle’s alter ego Catwoman. The newest episode of Gotham features the costumed appearance of the classic Batman villain. Catwoman’s arrival continues the slow burning change of a series focusing on normal people as opposed to heroes and villains. In order for the series to continue, more heroes and villains are needed.
The original concept for Gotham was to show the early years of Batman’s universe by looking at the life of young Bruce Wayne. The supporting cast in the series featured a number of soon-to-be villains who had yet to become costumed maniacs. The characters slowly evolved through the initial seasons into the roles they assume in DC Comics canon.
Gotham really does need villains and some costumed heroes. The television series has its fans and receives critical acclaim. The ratings for the series haven’t exactly been groundbreaking. The humanity side of the series seems to be wearing thin. The current comic book movie and television series craze draws a lot of its success from presence of super-powered and fantastic beings. After a while, audiences get a little bored of a Batman series without Batman and his famous rogue’s gallery.
The core audience that enjoys the series aren’t going to go away when more villains enter the narrative fray. Quite a few new audiences members may jump in when the program takes a greater turn in the direction of traditional comic book entertainment.
Likely, the production team of Gotham sees the success of The Flash and Arrow and realize more heroes and villains means more ratings. Gotham must head in that direction to thrive in future seasons.
The God of Thunder takes center stage in Thor: Ragnarok, but he does share the spotlight with another classic hero. The Incredible Hulk has been featured prominently in the commercials hyping the new Thor film. The Hulk isn’t the brutish beast of Avengers films. The Green Goliath speaks and shows he is a bit smarter than the lumbering, silent giant of previous film appearances.
Director Taika Waititi noted The Hulk was made “smarter” in order to make him more “engaging” in the film. Giving The Hulk the ability to speak allows for more interaction with Thor and other characters. There is only so much that can be done with a Hulk that limited in his ability to interact with others.
The silent version of The Hulk was not a Marvel Comics creation. It was the CBS Incredible Hulk television series that went with a non-speaking Hulk. The movies followed this concept. When The Hulk debuted in the early 1960’s, he not only spoke but came off as a calculating and sinister anti-hero. In time, The Hulk took on a child-like personality. Eventually, The Hulk returned to becoming a speaking, more adult character but without the air of a Mr. Hyde-style menace.
The possibility exists that The Hulk could steal quite a bit of Thor’s thunder in the new film. Even though both The Hulk and his alter ego Dr. Banner play supporting roles, they could overshadow the lead hero. Consider this ironic. For decades, Thor was barely a B-level hero in the Marvel Comics Universe while The Hulk was firmly A level. In the movies, things changes. Two disappointing solo films hurt The Hulk’s ability to carry a film. The two previous Thor films did well at the box office. The third film looks like it will outdraw every other entry in the trilogy.
One thing that helped set Marvel Comics apart from D.C. Comics in the 1960’s was the tension between heroes. Heroes even outright fought with one another. While not perfect, Marvel characters showed a humanity the more traditional D.C. heroes lacked. In the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film, the heroes bring more tension to the big screen. Doing so definitely can help the drama of the narrative.
Paul Bettany, the actor who brought The Vision to life on the screen, recently commented on the heightened tension between heroes. The commentary noted the heroes may have their differences, but they do come together for the greater good. That “greater good” would be defeating the all-powerful Thanos, one of Marvel Comics’ most ultra-formidable villains.
Therein lies one of the most important morality tales of superhero adventures. Ultimately, the goal is to serve the greater good for all humanity. In some cases, serving the greater good actually preserves humanity. Thanos doesn’t exactly have humanity’s best interests at heart. Thanos wishes to rule and conquer. Without The Avengers standing in his way, rule and conquer he shall.
All of this does come with the potential to be very boring if no conflict exists between the heroic characters. Heroes lacking conflict with one another end up acting in a very boring and predictable manner. Audiences can become supremely bored when characters never deviate from a by-the-numbers approach to interactions.
The writers, actors, and directors associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe realize this. That’s why a good bit of tension and conflict is welcomed in the films.
Logan has been one of the most riveting films ever made based on a comic book franchise. As a matter of fact, it has been one of the most emotionally charged and riveting films of the year. It has shown people issues such as consequences for actions. It has also dealt with aging and death. It was a chase movie which has resulted in a lot of innocent people getting killed. However, one of the most stand out aspects of the film is Dafne Keen’s performance as X-23, Logan’s clone daughter. She is going to be the one who takes up the mantle of Wolverine at some point.
Dafne Keen has put in a really good performance of X-23. She has retained a lot of the rage and the ferocity of the older Wolverine. Therefore, audiences have bought her as the animalistic successor to Logan. Logan, the film was filled with a lot of subtle touches that gave it the heart that every other comic book film lacked. At the core of its story is that of family, regret, and the struggle to hold on to what is left while not allowing anything new to come in because of past wounds.
Both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have portrayed the deeply destroyed and slowly dying in a heartfelt way. The film itself has pulled no punches when it came to the gory details. Among the scenes that have stood out are the scenes showing the effects of the claws and the scenes where Logan is in the hospital with his wounds in view.
The final chapter of the Resident Evil movie franchise is turning to not be the final chapter after all. Well, the original series is finished but that doesn’t even remotely mean the end for the classic horror/zombie/action movie series. A new reboot is in the works. Incredibly, there won’t even be much breathing room between the Milla Jovovich-starring franchise and the upcoming new one.
Fans of the Resident Evil movies and video games are not exactly going to complain. Long-time fans contributed the incredible level of support that allowed a “b-movie” series to rise far above what most forgettable video game adaptations never could. While critics did not exactly say kind things about Resident Evil films, people kept buying tickets for the theatrical releases. Resident Evil never ended up on the direct-to-video pathway since theatrical interest remained strong.
Jovovich’s comments about the upcoming reboot were pointed. She admits the plans for a reboot are not new and have been in the pipeline for a long time. Jovovich suggests the same level of passion that went into the first franchise needs to go into the next.
Those words really should be heeded by those planning to make a new Resident Evil series. If the approach in the new franchise is simply to attach the Resident Evil name to a soulless rehash of the original films, then the series may very well end up in the direct-to-video or the direct-to-cable world.
The makers of Resident Evil surely want to keep the series going for a very obvious reason. The entertainment industry is about making money. Canceling a series that is doing so well at the box office would fly in the face of all business logic.
The Resident Evil films provide enough violent escapism to keep fans coming back for more. And they do want more, which is why the reboot is being fast tracked.
Top Gun is one of those franchises that have been successful, but then has been lying dormant for more than 20 years now. There have been talks about getting the sequel off the ground for years. However, the time just wasn’t right. Given the success of the franchise, it has launched stars such as Meg Ryan, Tom Cruise, and Val Kilmer. Both Cruise and Kilmer are set to return to the franchise which is in the process of looking at directors. As of right now, the producers are looking at Joseph Kosinski of Tron Legacy and Oblivion directing the film.
One good thing about Val Kilmer being eager to return as Iceman is that he has been dealing with health issues. Among the things that he has been rumored to suffer from is cancer. However, Val Kilmer has expressed an eagerness to return to the role that has brought him to the forefront. After Top Gun, Val Kilmer has had his share of roles. Among the roles he has played is Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever. He has also starred in The Saint.
Of course Tom Cruise is going to be headlining the cast. The only thing that is uncertain is the story of Top Gun 2. The only thing that is certain is that they are getting ready to start filming before the end of the year so that they can get everything ready. This could be another nostalgic trip for people who have enjoyed the original. Now, it is only a matter of time.
Marvel Cinematic Universe/Netflix fans are really looking forward to the upcoming Defenders series. The 8-part adventure brings all the characters from the Netflix canon together. This means Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist are all going to join together to battle some devious threat to the streets of New York.
There’s another reason why so many are looking forward to the new Defenders series. Lots of folks simply want to put the Iron Fist fiasco behind them. Ironically, the return of Jessica Henwick’s character Colleen Wing is something fans are looking forward to. Henwick absolutely stole the show right out from under the lead hero and was the one bright spot in an otherwise lame Iron Fist mini-series.
A lot has been written about what went wrong with Iron Fist. A combination of weak casting and very poor episodic writing led to a very rushed project. Iron Fist was a total critical dud. The idea of a second season is very much in doubt.
Would a spinoff be possible, though? Honestly, there is no reason why Colleen Wing cannot have her own series. The character has her own Marvel Comics series. A Netflix series based on her adventures would be a nice addition to the roster.
In a way, the popularity of Henwick and the Colleen Wing character is reminiscent of the success of The Punisher in Daredevil season two. Fans took to The Punisher immensely. The violent anti-hero’s tale seemed far more compelling than the main action of the story. As a result, The Punisher was approved for a full Netflix series even though this never was the original plan.
And what is the deal on Daredevil season three? Did The Punisher bump the third season?
Likely, there is going to be a Daredevil season three. Hopefully, a first season of a Colleen Wing series is in the works, too.
Val Kilmer would welcome a return to the cape and cowl. Yes, Val Kilmer has publicly stated he would be interested in playing Batman once again. Kilmer appeared as The Dark Knight in the 1990’s endeavor Batman Forever.
Batman Forever is hardly considered a classic of the Batman mythos. Kilmer’s performance was not bad, but it was hardly a performance that is remembered with awe by fans. Kilmer’s comments about want to play Batman again does have some marketing benefits associated with it.
Kilmer is 57 years old, which could allow him to play the role of an older Batman ala The Dark Knight Returns. He is absolutely not going to play Batman on the big screen. Ben Affleck has that locked up. Kilmer’s star has long faded and he is not going to draw in audiences to a big screen Dark Knight Returns project. Besides, there are no plans to make a Dark Knight Returns film.
Could Kilmer appear as Batman in a video game? This is possible, but not very likely. The drawing power of Kilmer would be too minuscule. Likely, Kilmer made an off-the-cuff comment that some are taking seriously. Whether or not Kilmer takes the comment seriously or really meant it is anyone’s guess.
Kilmer was thought to be the perfect replacement for Michael Keaton. The problem was no one knew what direction to take the Batman franchise after Keaton and director Tim Burton left the series. While Batman Forever was a disappointment, Batman and Robin was a notorious franchise-ruining fiasco.
Yes, all this sounds a little bleak but the bleakness is based on the truth about the failures of the original Batman franchise. Kilmer may be able to celebrate his role as Batman by appearing at conventions. A return to the costume, however, is not likely at all.
The storied horror franchise known as “Tremors” will see a sixth installment hit the small screen on January 30th of next year. After his run on the classic NBC sitcom “Family Ties,” few saw that Michael Gross would better establish himself as an the recurring character of a horror franchise dedicated to subterranean creatures. The comparisons between Gross’ two characters could be more opposed: Steven Keaton is a liberal ex-hippie while Burt Gummer is a gun-carrying survivalist.
Initially considered nothing more than a comedic supporting role in 1990’s “Tremors,” Gummer went on to become the only character to appear in every Tremors film as well as its 2003 television series on the SyFy Channel. After more than a decade of quiet, Gross returned to the Tremors franchise with 2015’s Tremors 5. Fall of 2016 saw Universal Studios announcing that the Tremors franchise would continue in a sixth film. Both Gross and his on-screen sidekick, Jamie Kennedy, will be returning to the project, as will the director and writer for Tremors 5. Filming for the project began this year and Gross recently commented on social media to inform fans that the newest film would be distributed among home media at the end of January. January 30th may be farther than many fans expect, especially when direct-to-video films entail less of a time gap between filming and the final product.
Filming for Tremors 6 occurred within South Africa, just like Tremors 5. The basic story of Tremors 6 is that Gummer and Welker will be heading up north to a Canadian research lab in order to hunt the latest generation of iconic Graboid monsters. Before the duo can make their discoveries known, Gummer becomes envenomed by Graboids and forced to learn how to milk one for antivenin or die within 48 hours.