Saturday, May 31, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction...

Just thought I'd end this month by posting this photo of the cool Optimus Prime/Grimlock marquee that has been gracing theaters nationwide for the last month or so. I can't count the number of times that I went to my local cineplex and saw people (usually little kids) taking photos in front of this cardboard display. Less than a month to go before filmgoers get to see these two robot warriors ride into battle in standard and IMAX movie screens everywhere! Transformers: Age of Extinction gets released on June 27.

A TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION cardboard marquee featuring Optimus Prime and Grimlock...on display at my local AMC movie theater.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past...

Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) confronts Vietnam-era American soldiers in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST.

Last Sunday, I saw Bryan Singer's latest installment in the X-Men movie saga, and needless to say, it did not disappoint. In fact, I believe that it was the best comic book movie I've seen over the last two years—since The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises were released in theaters in 2012. Clearly, Singer wanted to make up for the disappointment of 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand (directed by Brett Ratner) by creating a story that not only featured the excellent cast of 2011's X-Men: First Class but also (spoilers ahead) resurrecting characters who were killed off in Ratner's flick. The portrayal of the Sentinels (particularly the ones in the future) in X-Men: Days of Future Past was awesome, and it will be interesting to see how Joss Whedon portrays Quicksilver (played by Godzilla and Kick-Ass' Aaron Taylor-Johnson) in Avengers: Age of Ultron after Evan Peters' exhilarating turn as the fast-moving mutant in Days of Future Past (that scene in the Pentagon kitchen was probably the best highlight of the film). Michael Fassbender's performance as Magneto in this installment is how I always pictured the depiction of the metal-manipulating mutant in a live-action movie (sorry, Ian McKellen), and Hugh Jackman was once again terrific as Wolverine...even if he didn't have adamantium on his claws for much of the film.

Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) head towards Cerebro in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST.

Along with Evan Peters' take on Quicksilver, another cast member who stood out was Jennifer Lawrence, unsurprisingly. Being a three-time Oscar nominee with an Academy Award under her belt, Lawrence deserved to be the focus of Days of Future Past...with her character Mystique playing a prime role (and sometimes speaking Vietnamese while doing it) in events that would either spell the end or salvation for a mutantkind decimated by the Sentinels. Peter Dinklage, who worked on such fare as HBO's Game of Thrones, did a great job as the diminutive but dangerous Dr. Trask—who was the one responsible for creating the Sentinels.

Magneto (Michael Fassbender) prepares to wreak havoc on Washington, D.C. in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST.

I believe that Days of Future Past did for the X-Men series what The Dark Knight did for Batman— X-Men: First Class and Batman Begins notwithstanding. (Some spoilers ahead, again) Lurking on the horizon is Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen...and Cyclops, Jean Grey and company (which possibly includes Channing Tatum as Gambit) will need to work together under the leadership of Professor X to fight this all-powerful mutant when X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters in 2016. If Days of Future Past is any indication, Singer will create with Apocalypse another epic flick whose comic book excellence could rival that of The Avengers and Marvel's other cinematic hits. But I'm too busy raving about a film that doesn't hit theaters for another two years; watch Days of Future Past if you want to see how phenomenal comic book movies can be when they feature the right director, story and actors on it. That is all.

Charles Xavier confronts his older self (played by Patrick Stewart) in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The First Star Wars Spin-off Movie...

GODZILLA director Gareth Edwards will helm the 2016 STAR WARS spin-off movie.

It was revealed online a few hours ago that Godzilla director Gareth Edwards is directing the Star Wars spin-off film that will be released a year (on December 16, 2016) after Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters. So if the newest installment about the King of the Monsters (which made $93 million at the domestic box office last weekend) is anything to go by, Han Solo or Boba Fett—the two likely characters to be featured in the first spin-off movie—will only appear in the last 20 minutes of their own respective film. I kid, of course... This Godzilla flick could've been better but didn't leave me disappointed like Roland Emmerich's Godzilla movie did in 1998. Still looking forward to Independence Day 2, though!

Harrison Ford will weld a blaster again in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII.

Boba Fett artwork.
Courtesy of Dan LuVisi's deviantART page

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice...


That's the official title for Zack Snyder's 2016 sequel to last year's Man of Steel movie. Alluding to the Justice League film that will follow Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this title takes a page from Marvel's own playbook. So how many folks didn't figure out that 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger didn't make a reference to 2012's The Avengers? Not many.

Batman (Ben Affleck) poses next to his Batmobile from 2016's BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Star Wars: Episode VII Has Begun Filming!

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII has begun filming at London's Pinewood Studios on May 16, 2014.

"Officially begun, production has." These were the words, in Yoda-speak, that let followers of Star Wars' Facebook fan page know that J.J. Abrams has begun principal photography on Star Wars: Episode VII this morning. Production is taking place at London's Pinewood Studios (where the majority of James Bond movies and other films like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug were shot). A B-roll shoot has been taking place in Abu Dhabi for the past few weeks, but today is the day that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and newcomers like Adam Driver and John Boyega (who currently plays a U.S. drone pilot accused of terrorism on FOX's 24: Live Another Day) begin adding a new chapter to the Star Wars saga. The countdown to seeing the Galaxy far, far away back on the big screen next year has officially begun!

A film slate marking the start of principal photography for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, on May 16, 2014.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction...


Check out the final theatrical trailer for the next installment in Michael Bay's fighting alien robots franchise. Along with seeing Optimus Prime befriend Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) the same way Prime became allies with Sam Witwicky in the previous Transformers trilogy, we also get better glimpses of the Decepticon named Lockdown, Bumblebee and other Autobots such as Hound, the romance between Cade's daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) and Shane (Jack Reynor), the shady scientist Joshua (Stanley Tucci) and of course, shots of Grimlock (with a sword-welding Optimus riding on his back) in an unstoppable rampage against the Decepticons. This trailer will presumably be shown in front of Godzilla starting tonight (here's hoping AMC or Regal Cinemas doesn't place the preview in front of a movie like, say, Neighbors)...with Transformers: Age of Extinction itself being unleashed in theaters nationwide on June 27. Can't wait to see the rest of the "new army" that Prime conjures up on the big screen...

A dead Transformer is studied by human scientists in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

Lockdown is on the prowl in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

Lockdown confronts Optimus Prime (off-screen) in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

Optimus Prime chats with Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

Hound (voiced by John Goodman) fires away at Decepticons in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

Bumblebee is rescued by Strafe in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

Grimlock breathes fire as Optimus Prime looks on in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

With his sword at the ready, Optimus Prime rides atop Grimlock towards battle with the Decepticons in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

Optimus Prime and Grimlock take on the Decepticons in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Batman vs. Superman...

The logo for 2016's BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN.

Yesterday, director Zack Snyder posted on Twitter a sneak peek of the Batmobile that will be featured in his 2016 sequel to 2013's Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman. And today, not only did Snyder tweet an official image of Batman's ride in the new flick, but he also gave fans a glimpse of (post-Christian Bale) Batman himself. The Batsuit that will be worn by Ben Affleck in Batman vs. Superman and Justice League after it (Snyder will also direct this film) will pay a bigger homage to the costume design in Frank Miller's Dark Knight graphic novels—as well as the hit Arkham Asylum video game series. With Henry Cavill's Superman suit most likely retaining the same design from last year's flick and Affleck's Bat cowl finally shown to the public, all that needs to be revealed now is the lovely Gal Gadot (from the last three Fast & Furious films) dressed as Wonder Woman. Well, we also need to see how Jesse Eisenberg looks as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred (oh, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg), but I mostly wanna see Gadot dressed as a sexy and tough Amazonian warrior. Obviously.

Batman vs. Superman comes out in theaters nationwide on May 6, 2016...the same day as Captain America 3 (whose release date was selected right after Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened in theaters last month). Why, Marvel, why?

A sneak peek of the Batmobile from 2016's BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN.

Batman (Ben Affleck) poses next to his Batmobile from 2016's BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction...


Here are a couple of new awesome images of Optimus Prime, Grimlock and Bumblebee to whet your appetite for Transformers: Age of Extinction's next theatrical trailer...which premieres online in three days. I assume that the timing of this trailer's release implies that it will be shown in front of Godzilla (which comes out in theaters nationwide this Friday)? Yet another reason to watch the highly-anticipated monster flick next weekend!

A promo pic of Bumblebee for TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

A promo pic of Optimus Prime for TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

Another promo pic of Optimus Prime for TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Artwork of the Day...

My drawing, plus work-in-progress photos of it, of the Joker from THE DARK KNIGHT.

Just thought I'd share these work-in-progress pics of the Joker and Ultron drawings that I posted in this previous entry. Personally-speaking, I should've given the Ultron artwork a much better background... The stencil dots look good behind the Joker but I should've drawn another character like Captain America or Black Widow lying unconscious on the ground behind Ultron or something. Oh well.

My drawing, plus work-in-progress photos of it, of Ultron from AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.