Category Archives: Entertainment

Thunderous Diplomacy

The Avengers Trailer (released last week) was downloaded over 10 million times in a 24 hour period, smashing previous records for trailers.apple.com.  The Marvel Team followed up such exciting fan-fare with a strong presence at New York Comic Con, where they discussed filming and shot some never-before-seen footage.  If you’re a closet nerd like I am, or just a straight-up nerd, you can watch the full NYCC Avengers panel here.
Tom Hiddleston somewhat dominates the panel as people seem to really love his portrayal of supervillain Loki.  The panel ends with Kevin Fiege (Marvel’s President) talking about Marvel moving into what he refers to as ‘phase two‘.
While a DC/Warner Bros. Justice League of America film is a looming threat for Marvel, The Dark Knight rises is an immediate one, as many predict that it will beat out the Avengers at the summer box office.  Many argue that Chris Nolan’s ‘rooted-in-reality‘ darker, more gritty tone is much more accessible to audiences than the sci-fi otherworldly aspects of the Avengers.
If this be true, Marvel’s woes with DC/Warner Bros. would seemingly be over after The Dark Knight Rises seeing as Batman is the only ‘superhero’ without any actual superpowers.  Indeed it would be difficult to make a gritty, ‘rooted-in-reality’ film about Superman.  DC/Warner Bros. however, is trying.
Christopher Nolan is undoubtedly the biggest power player that DC/Warner Bros. has access to, and although he’s done with Batman after TDKR, he is artistically and financially attached to other DC/Warner Bros. projects, including Man of Steel.  It seems obvious that if DC/Warner Bros. wants to actually beat out Marvel in Hollywood it is absolutely paramount that they stick to the realistic tone that has been wildly successful for Christopher Nolan and The Dark Knight franchise.
That being said, let’s take a look at Marvel’s most otherworldly superhero, the Asgardian God of Thunder: Thor.
Thor Odinson is the Crown Prince of the mystical realm of Asgard.  Our dear friend Thor is based off of the Norse God of Thunder, and acts accordingly.  A brave and mighty warrior Thor won many battles as a child, growing headstrong and proud.  In his arrogance, Thor put his realm and people on the brink of war after breaking a truce with Asgard’s enemies the Frost Giants.  Teaching his son a lesson in humility, Thor’s father Odin banished him to earth, and stripped him of his powers.  Thor came back humble, gentle, empathetic, and sympathetic to his fellow man.  Altruistic, enthusiastic, inspirational, and yet fiercely independent, Thor is undoubtedly a Champion Idealist.  Indeed Thor’s high-spirited attitude and warm enthusiasm for defending his realm is often mistaken for arrogance, a typical problem with most Champions.  In true Idealist fashion, Thor was only able to wield his hammer Mjolnir ‘the day that great deeds of selfless valor had proved him worthy of it’.  Indeed only those ‘pure of heart‘ are able to wield Thor’s mystical hammer.  A hopeless romantic, Thor fell deeply in love with the Goddess Sif before the age of 20.  Certainly Thor has several deep love interests over his Godly life span (including that of Jane Foster seen in the film) Sif however being his main squeeze.  Thor has undoubtedly proven himself as self-sacrificing over the years, most notably in the subject of his mischievous kid-brother Loki.  Indeed Loki has made countless attempts at Thor’s life, but Thor however always spares Loki, hoping (to no avail) that Loki has learned his lesson.  Indeed Thor has tireless faith in his fellow man, and time and time again Thor is sacrificing himself to save innocent people from Loki or any other dangers for that matter, as he will no doubt do in The Avengers.
Quote1.png Even the life of a Thunder God can offer no greater satisfaction than this! For I have helped a fellow man! Quote2.png

Thor Odinson (Earth-616)
Quote1.png We are gods, ’tis our purpose to set aright the path of lesser beings. Quote2.png

Thor Odinson (Earth-616)
Spoilerish: Marvel head honcho Kevin Fiege discussed Loki’s purported ‘alien army‘ saying that “it’ll be extremely extremely large and something that links not only into the movies we’ve made but the movies we’re going to make.  So it’s a big play that we’re not quite ready to talk about.”
This hint/suggestion of course goes hand-in-hand with theories that Loki’s army will indeed be the Skrull army from the comics.  If you don’t know what that is, then you’re probably normal.  Anyway this goes hand-in-hand with the ‘otherworldiness‘ described above.
The question is will such ‘alien army’, otherwordly concepts ultimately win over audiences or disconnect them?  Which would you rather see, a team of superheroes battling alien armies?  Or a vigilante billionaire fight a bad-ass prison-escapee on drugs?  Stay tuned as the Marvel/Disney vs. DC/Warner Bros. battle for Hollywood dominance rages on.

DC/Warner Bros. Strikes Back

DC/Warner Bros. launched a bit of a news counter-attack this week no doubt in an attempt to ‘one-up’ it’s rival Marvel/Disney as the epic battle between the two stellar organizations rages on.

The highly anticipated console game Batman:Arkham City hit counters yesterday and was met with rave reviews across the board (97/100 on Metacritic).  The game is extremely well done, has a great story arch, hosts a slew of bat-villains, and allows you to beat the sh*t out of people as Batman.  Need we say more?

Warner Bros. Studios also got a reasonable amount of free publicity last night at Spike TV’s Scream Awards as it took home several trophies.  The Dark Knight Rises took home the ‘most anticipated‘ award beating out it’s bitter rival the Avengers.  Ralph Phiennes won ‘best villain‘ for his phenomenal portrayal of ‘he who must not be named’ (Lord Voldemort).  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 2 also took home several other (6 total) awards last night including the top honor (‘Biggest Scream‘), culminating a series of relatively irrelevant victories for the good folks over at Warner Bros. Pictures.

In related bat-news The Dark Knight Rises is reportedly set to occupy Wall Street starting October 29th for 14 days, which very well might overlap with the on-going Wall Street protests currently taking place.  Being the film-making gangster that Christopher Nolan is, the protests apparently will not interfere with his plans, as he will “simply be using the protests as a back-drop or stand-in for something that already exists in the film”.  And that ladies and gentlemen, is how you turn a frown upside down.

Given this slew of bat and bat-related news, let’s take a look at The Dark Knight Rises’ primary villain, the hard-knock bad-ass known as Bane.

Bane spent his childhood and early adult-life in prison, serving a sentence for his fathers crimes.  Bane’s ‘natural abilities‘ allowed him to develop ‘extraordinary skills‘ within the prison walls: reading all the books he could get his hands on, building his physique in the prison gym, and picking up a plethora of martial arts.  Bane has since evolved into a ‘super intelligent world-class fighter‘ and a ‘tactical genius‘.  Bane indeed turned out to be a truly brilliant tactician, as he is most known for causing a prison break to overwhelm Batman, and infamously breaking the Bat’s back while he is weak and tired.  Impulsive, fearless, and ridden with brute strength, Bane is undoubtedly a Crafter Artisan.  Indeed Bane utilizes a variety of different ‘tools‘, including the super-drugVenom‘, a reported army of mercenaries, a couple of ‘tumblers’, and evidently a ‘doomsday machine’.  Bane like all Crafters communicates primarily through his actions: bringing his prison mentality to Gotham City, Bane decided to go after the man that everyone feared: Batman.  Indeed a physical specimen, actor Tom Hardy packed on 30 pounds of muscle to play the role.  Like his fellow Crafters, Bane is ‘fascinated by weapons of all kinds‘ and wields them with ‘lethal virtuosity‘, taking ‘pride‘ in his ‘prowess‘.

Quote1.png You know nothing of strength, little boy. I know strength. Such as the strength that comes from numbers. And the strength one gains from knowing his enemy’s weaknesses. Checkmate. Quote2.png

Bane (DCAU)

Without getting too spoilerish: it seems Bane will indeed break Batmans back in the The Dark Knight Rises, as evidenced by Christian Bale limping out of a Lamborghini.  This is supposedly when the Dark Knight will take a break, and a valiant young man named Joseph Gordon Levitt will temporarily step in as Batman’s sidekick, Robin.

As shooting on Wall Street will no doubt beget a new wave of on-set spy photos and footage, stay tuned for more bat and bat-related temperament news.  Same bat time, same bat channel (blog).

UPDATE: Warner Bros. Pictures will release an 6 minute IMAX prologue for The Dark Knight Rises that will be attached to the IMAX release of Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol.  This also strongly suggests that Warner Bros. will also give us a new TDKR trailer with their big holiday release Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  Full story here.

Marvel's 'Phase Two'

Marvel Entertainment Inc. brought a strong presence to NYCC (New York Comic-Con) this weekend to further promote their beloved and blossoming potential blockbuster movie franchise The Avengers.  The panel showed some never-before-seen footage and did some Q&A.  Marvel head honcho Kevin Fiege then opened up to fans about how happy he was with the direction the studio was going, culminating in an Avengers film.  The Avengers however, as Fiege explained, is certainly not the end of the road for Marvel/Disney.

Fiege hinted at the fact that ‘phase two of the Marvel Movie Universe‘ will include another round of solo films, and then culminate in a second Avengers film.  That however, is not all.  Marvel reportedly has five projects currently in development.  Iron Man 3 is in pre-production for a 2013 release attached to director Shane Black.  Thor 2 will begin pre-production soon and just picked up director Patty Jenkins (Monster).  An Ant-man film is ‘still nebulous but definitely in the works’.  Guardians of the Galaxy and Inhumans films are also reportedly in the works.  With so much success in their mainstream characters it seems a bit risky to put out obscure characters like some mentioned above.  Lucky enough for Marvel it has an insurance policy: The Walt Disney Company.

Disney bought Marvel about two years ago for over $4 billion.  While things indeed seem to be going well for both companies since the acquisition, Marvel has made deals with other studios to distribute some of their movies (spider-man, x-men, daredevil, etc.) making the Avengers and its four superheroes a coveted ‘in-house’ Marvel enterprise.  Without kissing too much Walt-Disney/Marvel ass, let’s take a look at the first avenger to make it to the big screen, and also by far the most box office successful avenger: Iron Man.

Anthony Edward Stark is the son of industrialist and inventor Howard Stark, and demonstrated his mechanical aptitude and extraordinary inventive genius at an early age.  Inheriting his father’s company Stark Industries, Tony blossomed into a billionaire industrialist, and an ingenious engineer.  With a highly ‘innovative attitude‘, an ‘entrepreneurial spirit‘, and a ‘charming capacity‘ to ignore the standard, the traditional, and the authoritative: Tony Stark is undoubtedly an Inventor Rational.  Indeed the Inventor‘s tendency to depend on their capability and inventiveness can get them in trouble at times.  Tony took this concept a bit too far when he ignored security concerns and ended up with shrapnel lodged in his chest.  In classic Inventor Rational fashion, Tony used his creative and inventive genius to devise a mechanical suit that saved his life.  And thus, Iron Man was born.  Indeed Tony is constantly searching for new projects, as we will no doubt see in the Avengers, and always tinkering with and improving his mechanical suit.  Indeed given their exceptional propensity to innovate, Inventors have a tendency to live their lives somewhat on the brink of disaster: as evidenced by Tony Stark’s perpetuated struggles with alcoholism.  Tony Stark having a somewhat reckless and at-times irresponsible persona in the comics goes hand-in-hand of course with casting the likes of Robert Downey Jr.  The Armored Avenger can be seen amongst his super squad May 2012, and again by himself May 2013.

Quote1.png My kingdom for a Radio Shack. Quote2.png

Anthony Stark (Earth-616)

While Marvel/Disney seems to have it’s sh*t together, DC/Warner Bros. is still searching for solid cash cows to replace the likes of Harry Potter and The Dark Knight.  While they do have The Hobbit films coming up, they simply cannot afford setbacks like Green Lantern if they actually want to directly compete with The Avengers and it’s four characters with already well-developed fan-bases.

Marvel/Disney seems poised to keep churning out inter-related superhero blockbusters while DC/Warner Bros. still has yet to find solid JLA (Justice League of America) footing.  In the epic battle for Hollywood supremacy that is Marvel/Disney vs. DC/Warner Bros.Marvel/Disney is cleaning house.

The Dark Prince of Strategy

Living in the wake of The Avengers Official Trailer release and with NYCC (New York Comic-Con) this weekend, let’s take a look at primary antagonist and iconic supervillain Loki Laufeyson.  Loki will indeed serve as a the main bad-guy in the film, with aspirations of ‘enslaving humanity‘.  Rumors say, he’s not doing it alone.

Thor’s villainous step-brother Loki aptly named after the Norse God of Mischief starts off as a resentful and jealous Asgardian Prince but evolves into a truly loathsome and malevolent evil genius.  Growing up step-brother to the Mighty Thor indeed  left Loki with a tragic sense of inferiority and not belonging.  What he lacked in physical strength and bravery however, he eventually made up for in cunning and malice.

Always strategizing and conceiving ingenious schemes and plotsThe Asgardian God of Mischief is undoubtedly a Mastermind Rational.  Diabolically ingenious, highly pragmatic, outstandingly intelligent, and a powerful sorcerer, Loki finds ‘difficulties highly stimulating’, as do other Masterminds, as he loves responding to a problem that requires a ‘creative solution’.  

Being the God of Mischief, Loki indeed seems to thoroughly enjoy creating problems for himself, and is well-equipped to solve them.  Finding out that he was actually an adopted frost-giant, Loki is wrought with feelings of abandonment.  Indeed Loki’s malicious and malevolent behavior are quite reminiscent of David Keirsey’s ‘distracting rituals’ that serve as defense mechanisms for hiding one’s shame. Young Shakespearean actor Tom Hiddleston talks in-depth about Loki’s tragic evolution from jealous ‘God of Mischief’ to loathing ‘God of Evil’.

This weekend actor Tom Hiddleston (who plays Loki) will be on hand among others at New York Comic-Con to present never-before-seen footage of the highly anticipated comic-book movie.  My best bet says The Avengers won’t be the only time we see the God of Mischief on the big screen.

Quote1.png My, my, my… a world for the taking. Quote2.png

Loki Laufeyson (Earth-616)

 

 

Marvel's Super-Squad Assembled

The Avengers Official Trailer was released yesterday online giving us our first glimpse of Marvel Studios‘ purported blockbuster movie franchise.  Given such thoroughly exciting news lets take a look at Marvel’s four flagship superheroes and the steadfast Logistical Administrator that leads them into battle.

Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures have strategically released independent films providing backstory for the Avengers’ four major characters.  Those being Iron Man, the incredible HulkCaptain America, and Thor.  And like any dynamic and complex set of major characters, these four ‘Avengers’ together represent all four basic personality types.  Captain America is of course the stalwart Guardian who defends justice with his iconic shield.  Hulk is likewise the emotional and impulsive Artisan who transforms into a raging beast when angered.  Iron Man is the Rational industrialist and ingenious engineer that utilizes a mechanical suit.  Finally Thor is the championing Idealist God of Thunder who fights ‘for Asgard’ and is constantly learning life’s lessons.  Together, they assemble to fight against threats to humanity.  Much like the four temperaments assemble to do the same.

Captain America is the hard-hitting Guardian who actually leads The Avengers into battle, with his infamous battle-cry ‘Avengers Assemble!‘.  A born leaderdefending  justice with his iconic indestructible shieldThe Sentinel of Liberty is undoubtedly a Supervisor Guardian.  Strongdependable, and hard-working: ‘Cap’ is a poster-boy for the ideals of our nation, a nation that was indeed founded by a Guardian.  Dutiful, commanding, and disciplined Captain America is the vocal leader of the Avengers, and knows like all Supervisors do that one must ‘lead by example‘.  The ‘first avenger‘, Steve Rogers is very much the back-bone of The Avengers, much like Guardians are the back-bone of society.

DC/Warner Bros. has made it known that it has similar aspirations to assemble it’s own superhero team in a similar way and put a Justice League Film together by 2013 in order to directly compete with Marvel’s The Avengers.  One could argue that they are slightly behind schedule, since Chris Nolan’s Batman franchise will not be connected with a JLA (Justice League of America) film, and neither will Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel.  That leaves DC with only one established character in the Justice League Universe that of which being Green Lantern who’s film without being too cynical was quite the thespian blunder.  Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov has made it clear however that a Justice League film in 2013 is the studios top priority despite all evidence to the contrary.  Earth’s Greatest Hero’s assemble in theater near you on May 4, 2012.

The Bat Squad

With the Dark Knight Rises filming in major cities Pittsburg and now Los Angeles naturally a plethora of on-set spy photos and videos have surfaced all over the web, most of which have been quite spoilerish.  This most recent spy video is perhaps the most revealing one as it shows Bruce Wayne ‘limping’ with a cane out of his Lamborghini into a party. This of course strengthens arguments that the film will borrow plot points from the story arch Knightfall in which antagonist Bane badly injures Batman and infamously breaks his back.

Without giving too much away let’s take a closer look at the titular Caped Crusader, and his well-rounded supporting cast.  Bruce Thomas Wayne had the unfortunate luck of witnessing his parents murder by a mugger as a young child, an event that no doubt had a major impact on his life.  Arrogant billionaire industrialist and notorious playboy by day, and a ruthless masked vigilante by night, Batman/Bruce Wayne is undoubtedly a Promoter Artisan.  Bold, daring, and audacious with a tough-minded persona Bruce knows as most Promoters do that ‘nice guys finish last‘.

Primarily trusting his impulses with a knack for tool usage, Batman is definitely an Artisan, but certainly doesn’t get the job done all by himself.  Alfred Pennyworth is Batman’s faithful and tireless Guardian butler and confidant.  Lucius Fox is Batman’s Rational financier, gadget man, and behind-the-scenes business manager of Wayne Enterprises.  Commissioner Gordon is Batman’s Idealist link to Gotham City’s Police Force who is strictly and naively concerned with ridding Gotham City of evil.  Given such a well-rounded bat-squad let’s hope that even with a broken back Batman will be able to best his powerful nemesis Bane in Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated conclusion to his blockbuster trilogy.

Word on the streets is that the Dark Knight Rises’ ending sequence is so over-the-top that it is only known by five people including Christopher Nolan and will be done entirely in CG.  So apparently Nolan’s conclusion is so epic that it has to be done entirely in visual effects?  Guess we’ll find out July 20, 2012!

One Powerful Dyad

Star Wars:  The Complete Saga has broken global sales records and become the most purchased Blu-Ray title of all time, despite some star wars fans negative reactions to Lucas yet again altering his masterpiece.  Such a described act has even spawned the term ‘pulling a Lucas’ referring to altering something that was great already for arguably no tangible reasons whatsoever.  Regardless of the relevance of Lucas’ alterations, let’s take a look at the supremely villainous duo that ruled the galaxy with an iron fist.  Darth Vader is the head military officer of the Imperial Army and commander-in-chief of the Great Jedi Purge.  A ruthless mobilizer and commandingly efficient leader of leaders, Vader is undoubtedly a FieldMarshal Rational.  Darth Sidious is the ingenious Dark Lord of the Sith who’s master plan overthrew the Republic and Jedi Order and replaced it with his brutal authoritarian regime in one fell swoop.  A brilliant master planner and a highly efficient organizer, Darth Sidious is undoubtedly a Mastermind Rational.  Together, they make an extremely powerful and mercilessly efficient Strategic Coordinator tandem that ruled the Galaxy.  With Darth Sidious orchestrating cunning strategies and his powerful right hand man Darth Vader enacting and enforcing them, few can stand in their way.  Not all goes according to plan however, when Vader has a change of heart, saves his sons life, and redeems his wrongdoings.  This crucial and climactic scene of course was one of the main and controversial changes that Lucas recently made, giving fuel to the nerd complaint fire all over the world.  Vader now screams “NOOOO!!” before killing the emperor, making him a huge panzy and detracting from everything I just said.  Kidding aside, if you are a Star Wars fanStar Wars:  The Complete Saga will indeed make a great Holiday gift!

Stupidity Abroad

With MTV perpetually shaming our nation every week by airing episodes of The Jersey Shore Season 4  filmed in Florence, Italy perhaps it’s time to take a look at what makes these morons so delightfully entertaining.  Indeed the premise of the show is quite simple: put a couple of young wild Italian-Americans in a house together, chuck booze at ’em, and watch what happens.  The Jersey Shore has since evolved into a pop-culture phenomenon and TV ratings juggernaut.  The Jersey Shore is undoubtedly pop-culture for the sake of pop-culture: teenagers and young adults alike can flip to MTV, watch these idiots gets drunk, and forget about their day.  Given that the original cast of the show has in fact been let go after wrapping production on season 5, let’s take a look at the imbecile’s lucky enough to have signed fairly lucrative ‘spin-off’ deals.  Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is a classic and shameless Promoter Artisan and rampant dimwit.  DJ Pauly Delvecchio is a Crafter Artisan playboy and resident jokester with a slew of popular catch phrases.  Jennifer “Jwoww” Farley is a another tough and heavily siliconed Crafter Artisan.  Finally Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi may be a loud-mouthed, infamously trashy, and largely obnoxious Performer Artisan, but is actually a genuinely sweet-hearted girl and serves as the heart of the show.  The idea behind firing the current cast of course is to keep the Jersey Shore cash cow going with an all new and much cheaper cast, while still retaining their current ‘stars’ in spin-offs.  That way America can be once again blessed with an entirely new and fresh group of utterly classless morons.  Jersey Shore airs Thursdays 10/9 Central on MTV.

Wholesome Deception

Kim Kardashian’s ‘Fairytale Wedding’ to largely unknown basketball player and general idiot Kris Humphries airs this weekend and I think it goes without saying that nobody cares.  Such shameless promotion however does seem to get results, as the Kardashian family cleared $65 million in revenue last year.  Family Martriarch Promoter Artisan Kris Jenner is of course the enterprising brains behind it all, and without a doubt brainstorms a good deal of the ‘drama’ that the family goes through on television.  Indeed: it was recently discovered that the popular E! Network supposed ‘reality’ show Keeping Up With the Kardashians is in fact scripted, or at least some events had been.  At Kim Kardashian’s recent wedding to Chris Humphries, TMZ ascertained audio of producers essentially prepping a scene and even giving lines to Kourtney Kardashian and boyfriend Scott Disick.  Given this evidence, I think it’s entirely appropriate to go ahead and say that the show is a huge croc of sh*t and these people are a bunch of liars.  All kidding aside, though some of this stuff seems like it could have in fact been pre-meditated: Kris Jenner is a smart woman and does a good job of bringing solid, wholesome, realisticfamily-oriented messages to the table.  In the interest of pop-culture and Keirsey Temperament Theory, we will now type the four Kardashian Kids.  Kim Kardashian is a classic and ruthless Promoter Artisan, and the protege/puppet of ‘momager’ Kris Jenner.  Khloe Karadashian Odom is a delightfully entertaining Performer Artisan, and by far the most genuinely interesting one.  Kourtney Kardashian is a painfully boring Inspector Guardian.  Finally the young and thus far unemployed Rob Kardashian seems to be a flaky yet sweet-hearted Counselor Idealist.  Kim Kardashian’s ‘Fairytale Wedding’ airs on the E! network this Sunday October 9 at 8/7 Central and Monday October 10 at 9/8 central.  Be sure to tune in!

I Got You Babe: Isabel’s problem

Latin introvert: to turn within

“My daughter is not an introvert,
— she’s pretty”

An anonymous mother’s exclamation

One Babe had a problem.  She was an introvert – she was what they call shy — but she wanted to be an actress.

This Babe was lucky. At 17, she encountered “the most unforgettable character I’ve ever met.” The rest is history: for he, Salvatore, her unforgettable character, was not “intro-verted” — in fact he was far more gregarious than shy, or, in Latinized German jargon, he was “extro-verted.”  He had wiggled himself into the Los Angeles music scene; he had paid his dues as a gofer and backup singer for Phil Spector’s record company.

She had said: “For better or worse, I never plan my life. I focus on today. I love spontaneity. That is what has put me in some strange and wonderful places in my life.”

So how did this shy but ambitious teenager, a high school dropout, once one of Warren Beatty’s uncountable hook-ups, with no plans, become The Diva of Rock?

Continue reading I Got You Babe: Isabel’s problem