It’s been a pretty crazy time in PopRox land, and that’s all I’m gonna say about it instead of boring everyone with the details. I didn’t keep, like, 10 of the promises I made last week. And that’s a lot of broken promises.
So instead of making any more that I won’t keep, I can tell you I have a ticket contest announcement coming Friday, and I’m loading up the links now in hopes of getting back into your Greg Focker-approved Circle of Trust:
Why did the Green Lantern people even bother putting out this new trailer? With some very, very minor details, it’s almost the exact same thing they released at WonderCon last month, only shorter. I’m starting to wonder whether the people making this movie have any kind of idea of how to market it. Or maybe they’re just saying, “We just made a comic book movie about a second-tier hero and a member of the Justice League — now go see it because you should!” I’m feeling better and better about my prediction that it will be one of the bombs of the summer. And that black cloud thing that’s hovering over New York City? Hasn’t the whole “scary black cloud” thing already been done? Did someone just conveniently forget that Lord of the Rings only came out a couple years ago? I’m perplexed at the marketing of this movie. Anyway, don’t take my word for it, take a look and hit the comments.
Samesies on the new X-Men trailer, it just doesn’t seem that much different than the first one. The one thing I will say is that they’re definitely pushing the trailers to show exactly what I’ve been looking for — the backstory and early friendship of Charles and Eric. This movie would be worthless without it, all it would be is a rehash of the first X-Men sans Wolverine. And does anyone really want to see that? Didn’t think so. It’s the only backstory we haven’t really heard much about in the X-Men universe. We got the back stories on Wolverine (in the X-Men and the standalone movie), on Jean Grey (in X-Men 3), on Cyclops (in Wolverine) and even abbreviated stories on Rogue (in X-Men), Nightcrawler (X-Men 2), Mystique (2 and 3) and Iceman (2). All that’s left are Storm (not interesting and apparently not in this movie) and Beast, and the new trailer gives some clues that Hank McCoy’s story will be told in this one. So to not dissect the Charles-Eric story would be a waste of everyone’s time.
Just in case you actually want those new origin stories, the movie is releasing some of them online today for Beast, Havok and Banshee. These might be giving away a little too much of the movie, but hey, it’s the Internet. What do you expect?
Is The Rock really worth $16 million of opening weekend money? His inclusion into the Fast and Furious franchise banked that much extra over the previous installment in 2009. Doesn’t seem like anything else has changed in the scheme of things — only The Rock. And since he’s been back doing wrestling shows to promote the movie we can call him The Rock again, right? We don’t have to call him Dwayne Johnson anymore, correct? We shouldn’t have to. I say he officially gave up those privileges Monday when he landed The People’s Elbow — the worst finishing move in the history of wrestling — on Michael Cole on Monday’s Raw. That 10 seconds erased all of the credibility he won over the last five years.
Respectfully disagree that an I Am Legend prequel would have been lame. I still want to see it. I still want to see how New York went to shat, how everyone became zombies and how the world pretty much ended. Also want to see how some people were able to avoid the virus. Anyway, looks like none of that is happening now. It’s probably for the best considering all of the problems Men in Black 3 is having. Will Smith throwing himself back in to the sequel market might have rushed a few scripts, so instead of mailing in the I Am Legend prequel, I’d rather they just let it go. I wouldn’t care about him ruining any other of his brand movies — Independence Day being the lone possible exception, but I really don’t care enough to worry about that one — so at least they took I Am Legend off the table.
Even if other cable outlets are in the process of passing out FX for basic cable quality supremacy, one thing it doesn’t look like they’ll ever beat FX on in cutting promos. The quality of their quick previews for upcoming seasons is clearly unmatched on cable or on network TV. The only network that comes close is HBO in its heyday, but even those have gone downhill. FX keeps coming up with new ways to get us excited about their shows. The latest example is the opening trailer for Rescue Me’s final season, set to Elderly Woman Behind the Counter. It helps that the song is in my top 3 Pearl Jam songs (with Yellow Leadbetter and Rearview Mirror), but has there ever been a better song to preview the end of an intensely dramatic, super emotional series like Rescue Me? How come it’s never been done before? I’m trying to rack my brain for a recent show it would have matched up better with, and I can’t come up with one. So it’s official — this is the best match of song, TV show and finale season ever. I’m sure no one remembers, but I was intensely critical of the season 6 finale of the show last year, and theorized the episode was actually supposed to be the season 7 premiere. I’m still convinced it was. But thanks to this trailer that I can’t get out of my head since it premiered a couple weeks ago, I’m fully, totally on board for the finale season that starts July 12.
More rare praise for FX — Justified was just fantastic this year, as I noted last week (SPOILERS COMING UP). I didn’t think last night’s second season finalewas as good as the previous two episodes which were the best TV I’ve seen so far this year, but the finale was darn good. Maybe the final scene was too much of a letdown and too predictable, and the overall tone of the episode was just as predictable. Raylan won’t leave Harlan County? Get out! Boyd is going to go back to his full-on hick gangster ways? You’re kidding me! Either way, the acting was superb, and it was really fun to watch the Boyd-Maggs cat-and-mouse dance. It also opens up a world of possibilities for season 3, with another showdown between Boyd and Raylan obviously at the top of the list. FINALE GRADE: B. SEASON GRADE: A.
I’m also on board with Workaholics, so it’s very nice to see it’s coming back for a second season. I’m somewhat surprised it’s gotten pretty good ratings and growing — the fourth episode was its highest rated — so it’s obviously getting some well-deserved juice. I’m only surprised because it’s the typical “not for everybody” show. It’s a certain brand of humor that will go over the heads of most people and even the ones that do get it would probably be turned off by a prank of making a friend drink pee or encasing him in The Club so that his promotion falls through. Whatever. I’m just glad it will be back, it’s certainly showed it deserved a second season.
I was thinking about this the other day trying to figure out how popular Thor really is. I was thinking of all the pop culture references to Spider-Man, Superman, X-Men, and even the Green Lantern made his way into a Seinfeld episode. But I could only come up with one Thor reference, and that was in Adventures in Babysitting, an underrated entry into classic, campy 80s teen movies. What that’s going to do to Thor’s box office gross this weekend, I have no clue. What I do know is that I felt the same way about Iron Man three years ago — that he was a secondary character only hardcore comic fans really cared about — and then it grossed $110 million opening weekend or something like that. The lesson? Don’t eff with Marvel. Unless it’s an Incredible Hulk movie.
And as long as we’re talking about Iron Man, Hulk and Thor, why not talk about Avengers a little? This is a pretty good list accumulating all the information we have about The Avengers so far, including who’s in, what they’ve said about it, and what clues have been dropped. You probably can’t find a better Avengers cheat sheet right now.
Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is already in the works, as per the new deal where sequels are greenlit before the movie hits theaters. That’s code word for fast tracking. Know what else is code? When Johnny Depp says he wants to hold off on jumping right into a sequel, he’s actually saying, “Make a blow-me-away offer, and if I don’t like it, kiss your silly little franchise good-freakin’-bye.” At least that’s what I’m hearing.
There are two possibilities for how Joseph Gordon-Levitt got out of having to fake his way through GI Joe 2. First, JGL — why hasn’t that caught on more? — forced the studio’s hand and said, “Sue me, fine me, cut my pay, whatever, but you’ll see Marlon Brando show up to play Cobra Commander before you see me there.” The other is the studio saw the writing on the wall, knew that would be the stance he took and just cut him loose by saying the movie’s cast would be much smaller this time around — which is a good decision no matter what stance JGL would have taken. But JGL is above this. He’s above playing Cobra Commander, he’s above getting cheesy, ridiculous lines he’s forced to spout in his 20 minutes of screen time when every other role of his post-3rd Rock career has been very, very good. Yes, even 10 Things I Hate About You, which also is an admission that I saw the movie. Every second of his time in the first GI Joe seemed like trying to fit JGL’s round peg into a square hole. He just didn’t belong there, and now that problem is remedied.
The chances of me being up at 7 a.m. to watch TV are pretty slim, but that doesn’t mean I’ll fight to make sure there is something good on if I ever am up that early. The one staple that you could always rely on that time was Saved by the Bell — until now. TBS has yanked one of the two hours of its daily Bell blockto replace it with the whitest, most vanilla “put a comedian in a sitcom show,” Home Improvement. Let’s just say that in high school I really liked this girl that sat behind me in trig class, until we started talking. It was at that point that she told me her favorite show was Home Improvement — and she actually mistakenly called it “Home Improvements,” like it starred Bob Villa and not Tim Allen. That crush ended then and there. So seriously, TBS. Bring back two hours of Saved by the Bell. It’s the only logical thing to do.