SDCC ’15: Entertainment Breakdown

This year’s buzz at San Diego Comic Con was what you expect a comic book convention: Movies! No I’m joking. It was also about television. Okay, mostly everything was about TV and Film. But hey, they are all based on comic book properties….So there’s that. Not a sign that the industry didn’t learn its lesson from Birdman or anything….(coughs)….

Here’s a breakdown of some of the big teases from this past weekend:

What is it?: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Why Should We Care?: After that horrendous teaser a few months back we get a much better scope of what to expect with the biggest comic book film of 2016. Things might still be a bit too grim and serious but there are good things with this trailer. First, I like how the impact of the ridiculous damage caused by Superman in Man of Steel plays big importance to the overall plot. Ben Affleck looks to be playing a very gruff Batman, more so than usual, but seeing him in costume shows we still have an over the top feel to the proceedings. There’s Wonder Woman (kicking some ass), more family advice, and probably a miscast Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Apart from the ridiculous locks from the latter this is a good sign for the future of the DC Movie-verse.

What is it?: Fear the Walking Dead

Why Should We Care?: I dropped off the original show years ago. Not because it was straying a bit from the source material, but I find The Walking Dead to be a terribly written and acted program. But why I am excited for this spin-off is two-fold. One, I am a sucker for anything where we see the beginning of the downfall in an apocalyptic setting. The second reason is that AMC has done a great job marketing this series and making sure it is a completely different beast of its predecessor. Who knows where the future of this series will take us after the initial season. For now though considered me locked in for the first episode come late August.

What is it?: Ash vs Evil Dead

Why Should We Care?: For my money this is the ultimate “winner” of SDCC ’15. The idea of spinning off the Evil Dead films into TV seems like a bizarre choice (especially so far away from Army of Darkness‘s release.) But not only does this three minute trailer showcase Bruce Campbell still got it as the titular Ash; the show itself looks to capture the same magic as Sam Raimi’s films. (Probably helps the pilot is being directed by Raimi himself.) We got deadites, gallons upon gallons of blood, and some hilarious asides between them. Even non-intentional things like wooden acting and bad CGI can’t hamper this highly entertaining preview. Come Halloween on the Starz channel you will be saying to yourself: Groovy.

What is it?: Outcast

Why Should We Care?: It is another adaptation of a Robert Kirkman comic series. How AMC didn’t pick this up and sided it with new episodes of The Walking Dead will forever confuse me. But Cinemax is continuing to push their image by giving this paranormal story a series. Now I must admit I have yet to read the source material even with two trades (collecting a year’s worth of issues) out at the moment. But I love the premise about using demons as a way of a man dealing with being shunned by society. It fits with Kirkman’s style of going against the mold with typical tropes in a story. I’ll certainly give this a shot, and continue to view Cinemax’s other series The Knick, in a few months.

joker

What is it?: Suicide Squad

Why Should We Care?: Whether you like WB’s direction with their DC Comics films or not (I personally don’t), they are now full swing in getting their movie-verse started. Alongside Batman v. Superman, get got another tease of the next film in Suicide Squad. Honestly it is what I expect from a David Ayers project: People trying way too hard to be edgy, some super-grim images, and Harley Quinn. Oh you better believe Harley Quinn is going to be a big figure next year. We also, finally, got a good look at what Jared Leto’s Joker is gonna be and…well it isn’t bad. It isn’t fair to judge on a single bite of a trailer. We all did that with Heath Ledger’s version with the initial The Dark Knight trailers. But for what it’s worth I love his delivery of what is a good line (“I’m not going to kill you. I’m just going to hurt you really, really bad.”) Still not in love with this new design for him though…

Deadpool

What is it?: Deadpool

Why Should We Care?: This is the thing that won SDCC ’15. Just go on any of your social media feeds and you’ll see nothing but Deadpool this and Deadpool that. The Merc with the Mouth is FINALLY getting a film and it is the one we have all wanted. For whatever reason FOX has given the go ahead to make this a hard-R and boy does it show. Constant ‘F bombs’, inappropriate descriptions of characters, and over the top violence is all over this thing. It won the crowd over so much they actually showed it again as an encore (a first in SDCC history). As a Deadpool fan I am looking forward to this as well although I’m holding reservations until more comes out. This isn’t a film made by Marvel Studios and even the best of previews means nothing if they aren’t involved. (Remember the first time FOX had Deadpool in one of their films? It was so bad they had no issues having Ryan Reynolds publicly denounce it at any opportunity. Even at this year’s showing at SDCC!) If the film keeps this kind of pace though til release for next year we might have a surprise hit on our hands.

What is it?: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Why Should We Care?: Unfortunately we don’t get another glimpse of the new Star Wars film in terms of footage. What we do get is J.J. Abrams commitment to make The Force Awakens great. Watching this behind the scene sizzle we get a good inkling of not only tone of this upcoming entry but how much heart is going into it. While I’m sure there will be a TON of CGI used in this it is still nice to see a filmmaker dedicated to use practical effects as much as possible. We have been burned before with newer Star Wars products and we should reserve any judgments until this comes out this December. But if anything this trailer shows we may FINALLY get a great Star Wars film again.

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