News on Sandman, Stine on Goosebumps Film, Mature Power Rangers, Feig on Ghostusters 3


Hey everyone!  I had a great weekend going to a friend’s wedding.  Now I’m back and ready to get back to writing!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Talks Sandman

This is our superhero news.  Seriously, it seems like a slow news cycle for that genre of films.  Looking for these news on superhero and comic films was like trying to find a cute girl in an empty bar.  But there were several stories that definitely caught my eye.  But we’ll get to those later.

You know, since it was announced that there would be a Sandman film, there have been few stories about it.  We know that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will star as Morpheus, the King of the Dream.  If you haven’t read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, go and read it.  It is a wonderful, deep, disturbing and mesmerizing piece of work.  It tells the story of Morpheus, the King of the Dream, from his escape from capture and his various adventures ruling his kingdom, battling Lucifer and bringing his kingdom back together.  It brings together multiple theologies on dreams, gods and the afterlife.  Morpheus is a dark character, who knows his role in the universe and, while he feels obligated to obey those natural laws, will occasionally bend or break them if he feels it is the right thing to do.  The art is diverse and the stories very raw.  Sandman is the Wire of comics; one of the best shows to ever grace our TVs but you won’t find nearly as many fans as Breaking Bad fans.

With that in mind, I’m not sure how Sandman will translate to the big screen.  Sandman is very episodic; it could work better as a TV show.  But there are story arcs that, while I was reading, thought “this could work on the big screen.”  But with JGL involved in the project, it is in the right hands.

What JGL had to say about the film was that it will be different.  It will look like an action film but not have any of the explosions.

“Big spectacular action movies are generally about crime fighters fighting crime and blowing sh-t up. This has nothing to do with that. And it was actually one of the things that Neil Gaiman said to me, he said ‘Don’t have any punching.’ Because he never does. If you read the comics, Morpheus doesn’t punch anybody. That’s not what he does. It’s going to be like a grand spectacular action film, but that relies on none of those same old ordinary cliches. So, that’s why it’s taking a lot time to write, but it’s going to be really good.”

I’m totally down for that mindset.  Make it visually stunning, rely on the performances and the mythology.  Don’t rely on big action sequences to star.  This will basically be the opposite of the Expendables; big visuals with acting and story.  Look, I love the Expendables franchise with all its dumb explosions, one-liners, shallow story and awful acting.  It’s the perfect popcorn summer movie and a throwback to action films.  However, Sandman sounds like it’ll be the opposite.  Think about, when was the last time we saw a visually stunning film, for adults, that did not involve action scenes?  It’s been a while.  I can’t think of any but if you do let me know in the comments.

While I’m skeptical, I’m liking the direction this film is going in development.  Call me a “cautious optimist.”

RL Stine Talks Goosebumps

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If you were a kid growing up in the 1990s, you will recognize the Goosebumps book series.  I read a few (though I hate horror films) and enjoyed them.  These books were like horror serials from the early 20th century.  Stine was also very influenced by Tales from the Crypt and reading some of his books you can definitely tell that.   There is no doubt that this film is aiming for a nostalgia factor.  However, what this film is going for is a unique genre.  It is going for the family friendly horror film.  This film doesn’t need to make a billion dollars at the box office to be successful.  I can see Goosebumps becoming a hit over time, reaching Hocus Pocus status (if you haven’t seen Disney’s Hocus Pocus, go and see it NOW.  That film is exactly what I can imagine Goosebumps being like, a family adventure horror type of film.  It is fantastic and has really gathered a wonderful following).

The story isn’t just being based on a single novel; it’s actually being very creative.  It centers on author RL Stine, whose writings actually keep these characters trapped.  Eventually they are released after some curious kids get involved.  Jack Black stars as RL. Stine.  We also know that Slappy the Dummy will be in this film.

(SIDE NOTE: If the Haunted Mask isn’t in this, I’m pretty sure that’s a bannable crime in 28 states and 44 countries.)

Stine complimented Jack Black on his acting, saying he is mean and disturbed over what he has created.  Now, just because a creator compliments a film doesn’t mean it’ll be good (Avatar: the Last Airbender creators said positives about M. Night Shamalan and we see how that worked.).  But, I’m not surprised by Jack Black’s performance because he has been able to act well when given the right direction.  I really believe in Jack Black as an actor.  However, with Rob Letterman (Aliens vs. Cowboys) is on the case I don’t know if this will be a great film.  It has a great idea and potentially strong lead in Black, it really rides on the director.  Rob Letterman’s Aliens vs. Cowboys was not very good.

I really, really like the premise and casting of Goosebumps.  I’m also excited that it’s going for a genre rarely used in movies.  However, the director is the one glaring item here.  He hasn’t made any quality films and that should make Goosebump fans nervous (it makes me nervous).  But I’ll wait and see until a trailer comes out; this movie isn’t going to be released until October of next year.

Mature Power Rangers

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Talk about nostalgia.  Power Rangers are getting their own film and it’s not going to be an extended episode like the first film was.  This new one will be an original, a reboot of the series.  This film will be directed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac).  He was saying how Power Rangers will be more “mature.”  It will be grounded and while not very dark and gritty (certainly not like the short movie that was released earlier this year).  He wants it be funny and light but grounded in reality.

Look, I loved Power Rangers as a kid.  I think most of us did (if you didn’t you hate America and are a communist but no big deal).  BUT it was over the top cheesy with some really terrible acting and even worse writing.  I would gladly welcome a more grounded take on the Rangers.  No, it doesn’t have to be really violent or really bloody but it needs to be able to take itself just a bit more seriously.  The Power Rangers have gone through so many incarnations I’m wondering which one will be done.  Will it be the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers?  Will it be Power Rangers Turbo?  Which version is going to be done?

I suspect that since it’s a reboot, it’ll be MMPR.  I’m cool with that because that what I grew up on.  It was also the first version of the Rangers and if this is a reboot you should start from the beginning.  Regardless, I’m interested in this film because it should have some awesome action and be able to take the audience away into this universe which could be really cool.  I mean, it’s a bunch of teenagers who have power suits and giant robots fighting alien monsters, how hard is that to screw up? (Remembering Michael Bay’s Transformers) Hmmm. Never mind.  This is REALLY easy to screw up if you’re an egotistical, explosion-loving director.  Well, at least the writers of X-Men: First Class (Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller) are on the script.

Ghostbusters 3

So, remember that time when Dan Aykroyd wanted to make a Ghostbusters 3?  You mean that’s been going on for, like, 20 years?  Oh, ok.  Look, I would have loved to have seen the original gang get together for Ghostbusters 3.  But at some point, they have to retire.  I would love to see the 1986 Celtics play but Parish, McHale and Bird couldn’t beat the worst NBA teams nowadays.  Hell, they might not be able to beat NCAA teams.  Just because something was awesome 20+ years ago doesn’t make it a good idea try the EXACT same thing now.  That’s why I don’t mind that this Ghostbusters is going to be a reboot.  It’s a smart decision.  Actors, contrary to popular belief, are not fine wine: not all get better with age.  I’m sure Dan Aykroyd will want to make a cameo and he should but when Harold Ramis unfortunately passed away, so did any hope for the gang to get back together.  I love Dan Aykroyd but his recent films have been, well, disappointments.  It’s like that girl in high school who you thought was hot then she slowly goes crazy and starts to become less and less attractive; she gets more cats, begins to live in isolation and you start noticing that she isn’t the catch you thought she was at your 20th reunion.  On top of that Paul Feig, the director, has already panned any scripts that involved the four getting back together.  He wants to reinvent the genre and that’s great.

What the studio and director (Paul Feig) are doing now is the next logical step.  I think it’s a fine idea to reboot and I love that they are going with an all-female cast.  The women they got for are great actors: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.  Wiig is very much an underrated actress, in my opinion, and she can bring much more depth than some people realize. Also, if any other director was doing this I would count Melissa McCarthy against it but Feig has the ability to get the best out of McCarthy as seen in the other films they have done (Spy, The Heat and Bridesmaids).  So I feel like we’re being set up for success.  I’m not going to go into Jones or McKinnon because I know little of their work but here’s the deal: if you have the right pieces in place you don’t need to always knock everything out of the park.  Not everyone gets to be the Designated Hitter, not every batter needs to be a home run hitter and the same holds true here.  Each person will have a role to fill and they will fill it well.  But with a foundation that this film has, it looks like it will be great.

Ghostbusters 3 is set to release on July 22, 2016.

That’s what I got for today!  Thanks for those who have read my stuff!  Do you have any thoughts on Ghostbusters, Goosebumps, Power Rangers or Sandman?  Which one are you looking forward to most?  Which one do you think will be the most successful?  Comment below, like this article and I’ll be back sooner rather than later with another blog post!

Movie Man Greg


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