Production to start on a new Masters of the Universe movie in 2014?

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That’s what Devon Franklin, Senior Vice President of Production for Columbia Tristar, said on Instagram (link).

Any Masters of the Universe fans out there!? Mattel just sent me this vintage Castle Grayskull! Takes me back to my childhood! I’m working on bringing the new He-Man movie to the screen. We start production this year! #mastersoftheuniverse #heman #ihavethepower

Is there any chance this movie could be good? Rob Bricken, formerly of Topless Robot and now of io9, wrote an extensive analysis of why that would be impossible – see Why There Should Never, Ever Be a He-Man Movie – and I have to agree with most of his points. I think he’s wrong that today’s kids wouldn’t like the cartoon show – my friend’s 5-year-old and 3-year-old were addicted to it for months on Netflix. But I have no idea how that would play out with a movie. Maybe it could work if done as a CGI movie in the vein of How to Train Your Dragon…but I doubt it. And that certainly doesn’t seem to be the direction Mattel/Columbia Tristar is going.

(Thanks to He-Man World and @motuclassics for the heads-up.)

Mattycollector Reveals from NYCC

Oh, Mattel, you almost had me.

I innocently scrolled up Twitter to see what was shaking. Following a few links, I discovered what appears to be Mattel-made action figures of Keaton Batman. Having completely forgotten I had already heard about this, for a moment I thought I was looking at a 6″ Movie Masters Keaton Batman.

But no, it was just the previously-announced 4″ figures. Still, kind of exciting, I guess.

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Click the photo or this link to see photos of the other figures, including General Zod and Superman from Superman II, the Penguin and Catwoman from Batman Returns. The sculpts look great, it’s just…so small. Continue reading “Mattycollector Reveals from NYCC”

Movie Review > Pacific Rim

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Note: This review contains spoilers.

I’m a fan of director Guillermo del Toro. I didn’t really follow his movies attentively until after I saw Hellboy, which was my first exposure to the character and launched several years of intense Hellboy obsession. But before Hellboy, I’d seen two other del Toro films in the theater – Mimic and Blade IIMimic was a surprisingly entertaining horror film about giant bug-men and earned a lasting place in my memory for a scene in which a pair of annoying kids are ruthlessly butchered by the monsters. Blade II was just a fun horror/superhero film with an interesting design aesthetic.

After Hellboy, I went back and watched del Toro’s smaller, more critically acclaimed films, Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone (side note – I hadn’t seen that cool Mignola cover for the Devil’s Backbone Blu-ray. Neat). Both are atmospheric, creepy films, though the latter film is the first one in which del Toro reveals some of his political and historical interests, which would play an even larger role in his masterpiece, Pan’s Labyrinth. Continue reading “Movie Review > Pacific Rim”

G.I. Joe: Retraction

...body massage? Anyone?

In what has to be one of the strangest movie-related moves I can remember, Paramount has decided to push back G.I. Joe: Retaliation nearly a full year, to March 2013. The press release claims the delay is because Paramount suddenly, at nearly the literal last frigging minute, decided to redo the movie in 3D.

As Rob notes at TR, 3D does really well in foreign countries, so it’s just possible Paramount and/or Hasbro decided they could make even more money with the much-maligned post-production 3D conversion. (And for what it’s worth, the Rock’s claiming new scenes will be “designed” to take advantage of 3D.)

One thing’s for certain: very few people are buying the argument that this is being done solely to turn the movie into 3D. The studio had plenty of opportunities to make that decision and evidently passed every time – at least until Battleship sank (which anyone could have seen coming a mile away).* Continue reading “G.I. Joe: Retraction”

The Rock as Roadblock (Roadrock?)

I’m not that much of a G.I. Joe fan, but I respect it as one of the great 1980s toy properties. The first movie was terrible, but I’ve been watching the development of the second film with cautious optimism. Most fans dismissed it the second the director of the Justin Bieber movie was chosen, but that awoke some contrarian sense in me that suggested two wrongs just might make a right. More specifically, Jon M. Chu, as a novice director, might be more willing to respect the franchise’s history than try to create his own vision of the concept.

But I digress. When I found out the Rock would be in the G.I. Joe sequel  as Roadblock, my optimism went up a bit more. I’ve never been a wrestling fan, but I love the Rock–mostly on the strength of his performance in The Rundown (one of my favorite movies), but also his general personality. He’s fun to watch.* And man, is he psyched to be in G.I. Joe.

The above pic was posted on Johnson’s Twitter account, showing him in full Roadblock costume. I have absolutely no legitimate reason to be optimistic about this film, and yet…there is a precedent. Star Trek: The Motion Picture turned off Star Trek fans with its incredibly slow pace, awkward dialogue, odd characterization of the main cast, and the forced addition of new characters. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan kicked ass by going back to what made the original show great–action, suspense, great dialogue and character interaction, and a focus on the main characters. It respected the franchise.

I think G.I. Joe: Retaliation just might pull off the same trick. But…I’ve been wrong before.

For more on the Rock’s importance to the new film, check out Poe Power Pal GeneralsJoes‘s post, G.I. Joe: Retaliation influenced by “The Rock’s” positive impact.

*At one point there was a plan to make a buddy cop flick called Blowback starring the Rock and Ryan Reynolds. I’m sad it never got made. Very sad.

Odds ‘n Ends > July 26, 2011

  • Saw Captain America with Dr. Mrs. Ghostal and Red Kryptonite this past weekend. I enjoyed it–more than Thor, and probably more than any Marvel flick since X-Men 2. We knew Joe Johnston could direct period pieces, and this was sort of a sideways sequel to The Rocketeer anyway. Chris Evans was great, Tommy Lee Jones did a great job being Tommy Lee Jones, and the Red Skull was Red Hulk to Jim Carrey’s The Mask. (I did find the Red Skull make-up a bit too cartoony, but I realize that–as well as the German-accented English among the foreign bad guys–was done to make the film accessible to kids, and that’s fine.) Did I think it was better than Batman Begins or The Dark Knight? No, but it was unquestionably more fun than those movies, and a nice set-up for The Avengers.
  • Speaking of Nick Fury & the Avengers, this spoof is cute. Love the slow clap.
  • As you may know, Mattel is bringing the DC Retro Action line to a close soon. Some fans have a petition up to save it. I wish ’em luck!
  • I received an email from a company called Geek Design, who create high-end furniture for storing and displaying collectibles.
  • Looks like I’ll be attending NYCC this year. I keep hoping more of SDCC’s hype will spill over into NYCC as SDCC becomes more crowded; maybe that will start this year, with the show moving back to October. The Tuesday after the show, incidentally, is the release date for Batman: Arkham City, the Arkham City trade paperback, and the Blu-Ray of Batman: Year One. Busy day for Bats.
  • In case you missed it, there were a couple small MOTUC news bits out of SDCC. First off, the Wind Raider will have real box art, painted by the same artist who did it thirty years ago.
  • Also, here are all the new bios that were revealed. Battleground Evil-Lyn’s is a doozy; Demo-Man’s disappointingly contains nothing about Demo-Man himself, nor explains what happened when Keldor merged with him (i.e., did any of Demo-Man’s mind merge as well, etc.).
  • Finally, it looks like there very well may be an exclusive at PowerCon: a pedestal for King Grayskull’s Orb of Sparkle Crest Toothpaste. The PowerCon part is speculation but seems likely.

Show and Tell > Thud Butt (Hook)

Wow. Today’s Show and Tell is a doctoral dissertation on the action figure of Thud Butt from Hook. It’s written by Ben Leach, vintage toy enthusiast and frequent contributor to ToyFare magazine. It’s fair to say you have never loved a toy as much as Ben loves Thud Butt. Not ever.

So prepare to learn more than you ever thought possible about…Thud Butt.

—-

One of these days, hopefully sooner than later, something is going to happen to make me realize there’s so much more to life than nostalgia and action figures.Today is not that day.

When I was a wee lad of 8 years of age, a movie came out that got me very excited. It combined action, adventure, comedy, mermaids, the ability to fly, prostitutes playing fairies, a short guy playing a tall guy, and a girl with freaky-ass caterpillar eyebrows.

It was called ‘Hook.’ Actually, it is still called ‘Hook.’‘Hook’ is one of those movies where I was so glad I saw it as a kid. I know most adults who lack the power of IMAGINATION view the movie as screwing up a classic fairy tale. But when you’re a kid, you just think it’s so cool to see Peter Pan realize who he is to venture back to Neverland to save his children. Kids in the film were beating up on pirates with the aid of marbles, chickens, mirrors, and an expensive but essentially useless raft that served as five seconds of eye candy. Plus, I was too young to get annoyed with Robin Williams’ whole shtick. Look at the funny man who makes funny faces and slight variations on one funny voice!

As my sister and I have watched and rewatched ‘Hook’ year after year around Christmastime, we’ve become aware just how important this film was not only for us, but a host of somewhat famous personalities who put their careers on the line just to say a couple of lines in a big-time Steven Spielberg movie.

My sister and I have also developed a deep appreciation of one of the greatest characters of cinematic history. Even though he was a secondary character, he possessed a commanding presence every time he was on screen. And when Peter Pan leaves Neverland, he puts this character in charge, acknowledging the character’s obvious leadership skills.

I’m talking, of course, about Thud Butt.

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Continue reading “Show and Tell > Thud Butt (Hook)”