I don’t usually much care about live action adaptations of Anime. These past few years a number of them have come to my attention, and word of mouth generally make consensus; they’re bad. There is something about the inherently over the top mannerisms and animation of these shows that makes a transition into live action a tough sell for me personally. In this instance, the timing just so happened to line up. I had just finished watching Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood on Netflix and low and behold a live action version popped up on there too. I wasn’t quite ready to be done with the series so I thought I’d give it a go.
There’s nothing like low/non-existent expectations to make you enjoy a movie all the more. I really didn’t know what to think about Black Panther going in. If anything I have been overly pessimistic about all of the super hero movies coming out this year. I’m actually glad this has just turned out to be my bad attitude in this case, as when I eventually got to go and see Black Panther, I really enjoyed it.
One of the things that stuck out about it the most to me though, amongst a whole swash of strong points, was the movie’s villain; Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, played by Michael B. Jordan. Anyone who thinks about the Marvel Cinematic Universe even slightly critically will know that the franchise’s movies have a villain problem. More often than not, they’re pretty weak as far as characters go. They might have cool design or seem physically imposing, but them actually being compelling as characters is rarely the case.
I like just about everything there is to do with The Cloverfield Paradox, bar the movie itself. I think it’s really cool that these movies are all surrounded by mystery regarding their production and release. I like that Cloverfield has become a horror/science fiction anthology series and I enjoy the fact that they just seem to release very suddenly with very little fanfare.
The Cloverfield Paradox released with the least fanfare of any of the movies to bare the Cloverfield title, its first trailer being debuted during this year’s Superbowl, accompanied by the announcement of “and it’s on Netflix right now”. It was enough to cause me to slap my knee and say, “Gosh darn it J.J. you got us again.”
I have been pretty apprehensive of the next movie in Disney’s reinvented Star Wars franchise. When we first got the news that there was going to be a spin-off movie every other year between the main “epsiodes”, I was pretty stoked.
In my mind, I was imagining all of these old stories that I’d read in the old expanded universe getting made into feature movies. I was thinking of things like a Thrawn movie, a Darth Bane movie, the story of Revan and the Old Republic or maybe even a movie about Galen Marek. Oh, how optimistic I was. Those characters aren’t going to get their own movies, nobody even knows who most of them are.
This part is mostly going to be a lot of me rambling about my views on the greater Star Wars franchise. And how my interpretation of the direction of the series is chapped by this movie and the decades of Expanded Universe that came before it.
I feel that this new trilogy is aiming to smash down these traditions and rebuild the series into something its own. Something I initially didn’t think I wanted, but after some time to digest the latest movie in the franchise, a big mix-up is probably exactly what the series needs.
Star Wars might be the biggest property Disney have in there hands right now, so I’d hope that they continue to get strong directors in and produce movies of the quality the first three have been. Not only that, I hope that they continue to have the foresight to know that they need to shake things up in order to stop the series getting stale.
Over-reliance on tradition and tropes that worked in the past doesn’t make for memorable or interesting stories. It’s why a lot of modern movies that are just belated sequels or remakes always seem so forgettable in comparison to their original counterparts. This part is going to focus on Luke Skywalker’s role in the new trilogy and my thoughts on how Disney aim to change the nature of the force and being a “Jedi”.