Super Bowl XLVII: Judging the Movie Trailers

by Ethan Alter February 4, 2013 12:47 pm
Super Bowl XLVII: Judging the Movie Trailers

We critique all the big movie ads that aired during last night's big game, from Iron Man 3 to World War Z.

Cracking the Code of The Avengers Trailer

by Ethan Alter February 29, 2012 1:12 pm
Cracking the Code of <i>The Avengers</i> Trailer

Apparently inspired by last week's 30 Rock, the good folks at Marvel Studios have given us a whopper of a Leap Day present: an all-new, all-expanded trailer for Summer 2012's first superhero blockbuster, The Avengers. Unlike the first teaser, which hit the web back in October, this one features more dialogue, more effects-heavy action (to be fair, most of the effects weren't finished four months ago) and more clips of the costumed heroes trading Joss Whedon-scripted barbs with each other. Even with all the bonus footage though, the studio is still keeping us mostly in the dark about what exactly is going to happen in the film beyond the Avengers assembling to squabble amongst themselves and battle some kind of invading interstellar army led by Thor's newly emboldened adoptive brother, Loki. (This is a Joss Whedon joint, so there's got to be more to it than just that, right? Or maybe this time the big twist will be that there is no twist...) But through a few close viewings, we did manage to tease out a few potential story points from this two-and-a-half minute sneak peak, things like...

Avengers Assemble!: A Guide to Marvel Studio's Easter Eggs

by Ethan Alter July 19, 2011 1:14 pm
Avengers Assemble!: A Guide to Marvel Studio's Easter Eggs

This week Marvel Studios is releasing Captain America: The First Avenger, a period superhero adventure starring one of their most recognizable characters. But it's also a prelude to the company's next feature, which will be a kind of comic-book movie that hasn't been attempted on the big-screen before: a team-up adventure that unites some of Marvel's biggest heroes -- including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, taking over from Ed Norton and Eric Bana) -- to combat a global threat. The title, of course, is The Avengers, the same name of the Marvel supergroup that's been battling bad guys in the four-color pages of the company's comics since 1963. Geek icon (and part-time comics scribe) Joss Whedon is writing and directing the film, which also stars Samuel L. Jackson as the group's leader, Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as the leather-jumpsuit clad spy, the Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as the ace archer, Hawkeye. Naturally, a project as ambitious as The Avengers didn't come together overnight. Marvel has been laying the groundwork for this film since the first Iron Man hit theaters in 2008, slipping in visual and verbal references to Avengers-lore in all their standalone superhero features. Here's a film-by-film guide to some of the Easter Eggs that have pointed the way to The Avengers

Robert Downey Jr. is Hitting the Pipe

by Zach Oat July 10, 2008 12:52 pm
Robert Downey Jr. is Hitting the Pipe

The meerschaum pipe, that is. As in, that's the kind of pipe Sherlock Holmes smokes, and Robert Downey, Jr. is going to play Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie's upcoming movie about the fictional English detective. ...Was that too obscure a reference to make in the pursuit of a cleverly suggestive and potentially scandalous headline? Maybe, but I have no regrets.

There Are Cool Superheroes, But Where Are the Women?

by DeAnn Welker April 28, 2008 4:51 pm
There Are Cool Superheroes, But Where Are the Women?

Vulture asks, "Where Are the Roles for Superwomen?" and I'd be lying if I didn't say I've been wondering the same thing.

Remember the Wonder Woman movie that was being written by Joss Whedon? I'm sure you at least remember when it fell apart. If you're curious what happened to that movie after Whedon's departure, it is still on. The script as it's currently being worked will be an "origin story," written by two men. Which is a change for the worse. I know Whedon is a man, but if a man has to write Wonder Woman, it would be better -- at least as far as feminism and girl power are concerned -- if it were helmed by the guy who created Buffy rather than Brent Strickland and Matthew Jennison, neither of whom have written a screenplay before. But I'll try to withhold judgment.

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