Debonair Tactics

‘Skyfall’ is now the official title of the 23rd James Bond film that will be shot in Shanghai, Istanbul, Scotland and London starting Monday.  Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) will helm the film with Daniel Craig reprising his role as the titular character.  Yet another Oscar winner is on board as Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) has been confirmed as the primary villain, alongside oscar nominees Ralph Phiennes and Albert Finney in unspecified roles.  The world’s longest running movie franchise is finally back on track after emerging from a debaucle involving MGM Studios’ filing for bankruptcy.  The full press conference can be accessed here.  Given such smashing good news let’s take a look at the world’s greatest secret agent.

James Bond code number 007 is a British Secret Service agent known for being a charming, confident and popular go-getter and womanizer.  Though his charm is unmatched, Bond indeed can be a cold and ruthless killer if need be, doing whatever it takes to get the job done.  Bold, daring, charismatic and action-oriented with a thick skin, James Bond is the quintessential Promoter Artisan.  Indeed Bond like all Promoters lives with a ‘theatrical flourish’, and has ‘a knack for knowing where the action is’.  ‘Socially sophisticated’, ‘suave and polished’, and a ‘master manipulator’ James Bond seemingly has it all.  However, James knows as many Promoters do, that “he who travels fast, travels alone”.  Skyfall is slated for a November 2012 release.

Quote1.png Miss Anders….. I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on. Quote2.png

James Bond (Moonraker)

Feline Diplomacy

The Dark Knight Rises is now in it’s final filming stages as it takes its talents to Manhattan, New York.  Naturally, more eyewitness videos and photos have popped up online, this time showing a chase sequence with motorcycles, GCPD patrol cars, the Batwing, and Bane’s ‘earthquake device’.  Though we know where Bane and Batman stand (on opposing sides) many wonder what role new character Catwoman will ultimately play in the film.  While Anne Hathaway has received criticism for the above picture, she assures us that ‘we’ve only seen a tenth of what the suit can do’.  Let’s then ignore the slight goofy-lookingness of the above picture and proceed with analyzing the Feline Femme Fatalle.

A young orphan who grew tired of being abused, Selina Kyle opted to take her chances surviving on the streets of Gotham.  Kyle became a talented thief, gymnast, and martial artist, but practiced her own unique brand of justice, and always gave back to the slum that raised her.  Fiercely independent, unabashedly shy, highly intuitive, and infamously ambiguous Catwoman is undoubtedly a Healer Idealist.  Indeed Selina Kyle’s status as a hero or villain is up in the air, as she possesses her own unique moral code.  Kyle often has romantic encounters with Batman and is always pursuing her own identity in Gotham City.  While Selina often fights against Batman, she also has a tendency to display deep affections towards him in times of need.  In true Idealist fashion, Selina Kyle eventually gives birth to a daughter, and quits her vigilantism for good.  An event, however, we will not likely get to witness in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster conclusion.  The Dark Knight Rises is now starting to wrap up shooting and can be seen in all it’s glory July 20, 2012.

Quote1.png My world is all just shades of grey, Batman. That’s why you’ll never really understand me. Quote2.png

Selina Kyle (New Earth)

I’m over my head, but it sure feels nice.

They had this mega-watt attraction, they could be charming as hell, and cold as ice.

“You just wanted to be around them,” she said to Oprah.

But, she had been angry.  She had been pissed off, too many times.  So she ended it.  No more games.

The second time, she had seen enough.

She was tough: a Crafter Artisan, very observant but not very self-reflective, and she was over her head.  She left him, she cut him off.  She didn’t want to think about, she couldn’t without going crazy.  She finally moved on.  She forgot.

Continue reading I’m over my head, but it sure feels nice.

Magnetic Strategy

James Macavoy talked recently about reprising his role as Professor Xavier in X-Men First Class 2, given the second installment gets the greenlight.  While highly critically acclaimed, X-Men First Class pulled in an underwhelming box-office sum, living in the wake of a dwindling X-men franchise (X3, X-men origins:Wolverine).  Hence the studios hesitance.  While ‘X-men’ is of course the intellectual property of Marvel, they had licensed the property rights to 20th Century Fox long ago.  Though First Class only hauled in a meager box-office return, many think that the ‘prequel reboot’ is definitely a step in the right direction for the X-men franchise, and director Matthew Vaughn says he will continue to incorporate historical American events into the stories in order to bring a sense of realism.

Some think that the studio is waiting to see how well Wolverine 2 (which HAS been greenlit) will pan out.  Meanwhile, First Class director Matthew Vaughn has stated “We will only have one more new character [in an X-Men: First Class sequel]. I won’t say who he…I won’t say who he or she is! …As Professor X is in a wheelchair, Magneto needs to have a nemesis he can fight with. Someone that will be his equal. I know who it is. It would be nice if I could say something, but I can’t.”  Given such delightfully encouraging news let’s hope for the best and proceed with analyzing the temperament of the Master of Magnetism.

A German Jewish holocaust survivor, Max Eisenhardt spent a good deal of his childhood as a Sonderkommando: the squad of Jewish men who were forced to help their Nazi masters run the gas chambers, ovens, and fire pits.  The only member of his extended family to survive the holocaust, Max witnessed first hand the atrocities that humanity was capable of, and how brutally they treat those that are deemed ‘different’.  After discovering his mutant powers, Eisenhardt developed an aggressive superiority complex, and vowed to never again be at the mercy of humans.  As the conflict between Mutants and Humans escalated: Magneto founded the Brotherhood of Mutants in order to advance his cause.  Powerfully commanding, strategically brilliant, decisively resolute, and an extremely efficient mobilizer: Magneto is undoubtedly a Fieldmarshal Rational.  Indeed Magneto has a very ‘directive character‘, and has an uncanny ability to ‘commandeer whatever human (or mutant) capabilities and material resources are available and use them to execute a complex strategy‘.  Magneto’s ‘complex strategy’ of course, becomes the subordination of the human race.  With a sense of tragic irony, Magneto ultimately matures into exactly the kind of thing that took his family away from him.  Hoping X-Men First Class 2 will get the go-ahead, we will soon see Michael Fassbender portray the supreme villain‘s ascension into madness.

Quote1.png The X-Men … The Avengers … and soon the world — All WITHIN MY GRASP! Quote2.png

Max Eisenhardt (Earth-616)

Visceral Tactics

Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege talked recently about the future of Marvel and the Avengers 2, saying that the roster in the next avengers films will be decidedly different from that of the first Avengers.  “Absolutely, that’s the fun of it — introducing new characters.”  Of course what Kevin does NOT know is that the current line up is of course optimal, seeing as that it has all four temperaments and therefore is at a perfect equilibrium.  Someone should really contact him and let him know.  Let’s however hope for the best and proceed with analyzing the Avengers ‘go-to’ green monster the incredible Hulk.

Doctor Robert Bruce Banner had a tough childhood as his father hated him, was an alcoholic, and murdered his mother.  His father did however do one good thing, in giving his son a pre-disposition to gamma radiation, which saved his life, and created the big green monster that we all know and love.  Bruce Banner after being caught in a gamma radiation explosion turns into an emotional and impulsive humanoid monster known as the Hulk when angered.  Instinctive, fearless, and exploding with brute strength, the not-so-jolly green giant is undoubtedly a Crafter Artisan.  Inspired by the classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Hulk is a representation of our primal instincts and animal nature.  Indeed the Hulk is a ferocious and savage creature, with a visceral mentality that any Artisan can relate to.  Certainly the Hulk does much of the heavy lifting for the Avengers, and is an irreplaceable asset, as are all Artisans within any successful organization.  In Avengers footage shown at NYCC, Loki brags “I have an army,” to which Stark replies “We have a Hulk.”

Quote1.png … You won’t like me when I’m angry! Quote2.png

Robert Bruce Banner (Earth-616)

Solid Steel Logistics

Russel Crowe and Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) allegedly will go toe-to-toe in Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel.  Russel Crowe is playing Jor-El (Superman’s father) and Michael Shannon is playing Kryptonian villain General Zod.  And apparently, Supermans dad smokes cigarettes.  Crowe tweeted about the fight saying Michael Shannon “is very hard to put down”.  While the above picture looks pretty decent, I fear that the film most certainly will not be, seeing as that it is being directed by Zack Snyder.  Zack Snyder has indeed botched several other films, and is clearly out of his league here.  Let’s however give the poor man the benefit of the doubt, and proceed with analyzing the Last Son of Krypton’s temperament.

Superman is the quintessential comic book hero and a dearly beloved cultural icon.  Super-dependable, outstandingly dutiful, and extremely persevering, the Big Blue Boyscout is undoubtedly an Inspector Guardian.  Characterized by his indestructible physicality and strict code of ethicsSuperman knows that with great power comes great responsibility.  Indeed Superman adheres to the idea that actions speak louder than words, and takes the responsibility of defending Earth and its inhabitants very seriously.

Man of Steel will reportedly NOT BE connected with a Justice League Universe, despite Warner Bros. saying that a JLA film is the studios top priority.  Some ‘in the bizz’ of course say that this is because the studio thinks Snyder helming the project is a huge risk, after the god-awful job he did on Sucker Punch.  Snyder, who has directed other comic-book adaptations like 300, is an idiot, and has an aggregate rottentomatoes score of 54%.  Meaning that if directing movies is like taking a class, he failed.  Clearly Warner Bros. figured out that they hired a moron to reboot the most iconic superhero of all time and tried to damage control by disconnecting the project from their future aspirations (a JLA film).  Who knows, this imbecile could get REALLY lucky and turn out a DECENT film, in which case Warner Bros. would probably change their mind and use the film as solid footing for a JLA movie.  Solid footing that they desperately need.  Man of Steel‘s release date has been pushed back to Summer 2013.

Thunderous Diplomacy

The Avengers Trailer (released last week) was downloaded over 10 million times in a 24 hour period, smashing previous records for  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)



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