Justin Quizon

Film fanatic who can't stop writing about/talking about/ and even make films. Follow me on Twitter: @JustinQuizon and on Tumblr: http://justinquiz.tumblr.com/

Hall H

And just like that…..it was over. Crazy to think that it’s been a week since the San Diego Comic Con International started with the Wednesday Preview night. But, here we are, tired, excited and …recovering.

A special shout out to Agents Andrew and Agent Sarah for doing some write ups during the event!

As you can tell from the headline, I tackled the great beast that is Hall H. It’s the Moby Dick of the Hall H days too….the Saturday presentations.  Saturday is the day the studios pull out the big guns. It’s filled to the brim with the films that are gonna be (or hopped to be) the most talked about movies of the whole event.

Thankfully, I wasn’t alone on this trip. I had Agent Jamal and Agent William on me with this quest. It was a lot of waiting….waiting….and waiting in line. I’ll do a proper write up on my Hall H experience another time but now…let’s just get to the good stuff.

We got a TON of movies to talk about and I just wanna blast on through them because man was it a busy day.

Lets start off with…..

WARNER BROTHERS PANEL

Unleashing their famous GIANT MULTI SCREENS that covered most of the walls in Hall H the first film they presented us with was..

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

You gotta feel bad about the panels that feel like the filler panels. It’s clear that WB wants to push this film since it’s coming out so soon, but I know why the 7,000 people in this room are REALLY waiting for. That’s not a knock on this film either. I’m legitimately liking what I’m seeing with this one. Director Guy Ritchie is clearly having fun making a film set in this era. Henry Cavill just lucked out on nabbing this role so soon after being Superman, allowing us to see a different kind of performance then the Man of Steel. So far I’m digging it. Armie Hammer is an actor that I feel is very talented…but I’m not sure if anyone has figured out how to use him properly since his breakthrough performance in The Social Network. Much like Cavill, he seems like he’s at least gonna fun in his role as a Russian spy. I personally have never seen a single episode of the original TV show this movie is based on. It’s a show I know in name only. That’s gonna me the advantage of enjoying the movie as it’s own thing.

Pan

I think Joe Wright is a really good director. His Pride and Prejudice is suburb and his film Hanna was one of my favorite films of that year. I’m….just not sold on this take on Peter Pan. It’s a personal taste for me. I’m over prequel stories or origin stories. I don’t need to know that Peter was prophesied to save Neverland. I don’t want a forced friendship between a Pre-Captain Pre-hookless Hook and a nonflying Peter Pan. (and if he doesn’t have a Hook yet why IS his name Hook?) That’s not to say that the film isn’t gorgeous to look at. It is. Very much so, and I’m sure the flying sequences and the action will be great, but the story isn’t grabbing me. Like a smart man once said about the Star Wars prequels…

I also have to give a shout out to both Hugh Jackman and Garrett Hedlund in this movie. They both seem to be swinging BIG for their performances and I think it’s for the better of it. Hedlund didn’t impress me very much when he was in Tron: Legacy, but since then he’s proven to be really good in such films as On the Road and Inside Llewyn Davis. I really dig what he’s doing here and this might be the film to give us a real idea of what Hedlund is capable of.

Ok…so enough rope a dope. The next segment is what Warner Brothers and DC Films have been prepping for. It’s a big year for them too, since Marvel Studios won’t be there this year. I can’t help but think that WB and DC are really hoping to rock the house this year. Let’s see how they do.

First off, a HUGE presentation reel was presented. Using a ton of concept art, here are some tidbits I remembered most….

-They promoted the fact that the Wonder Woman film will be directed by Patty Jenkins AND the concept art showcased her fighting in World War II.

-They promoted Ezra Miller as The Flash, showing us concept art of him working in a lab in front of a shelf full of chemicals implying that he is Barry and we will see Barry’s origin. Again…I’ve said this before…but is it really a smart move to do another Flash while a successful Flash show is on the air?

-The next Green Lantern movie will be called Green Lantern Corps. This, honestly, was something I liked. I get it, it’s hard to walk away from the stink of the 2011 Green Lantern film, but calling it the Green Lantern Corps implies to me that this will be an ensemble film which I think is a smart move. It doesn’t have to include Hal Jordan at all. It could have either John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Raynor or  even ALL FOUR of them. Plus any cool alien characters you could shake a tail at.

Suicide Squad

Next up, writer/director of the Suicide Squad film, David Ayer, walks on stage and presented the footage of his film….which you can see now….

I can say this for sure about this movie….it sure is confident in it’s style and tone. Dark, bleak, haunting, weird…I honestly wasn’t sure what I was gonna expect from the footage, but damn it, there’s a LOT I like about it. Viola Davis is gonna KILL it as Amanda Waller. She’s got the presence that Waller needs and she’s probably my favorite thing about this footage. My second favorite? Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Her delivery of the line “Hope you got insurance” is perfectly spot on Harley Quinn with out over doing it. I’m looking forward to seeing Will Smith be a part of an ensemble, thought I’m already a bit worried that he’s been put a bit more in the center of the team then Deadshot usually is. I also really like how Killer Croc looks in this footage.

….so lets talk about Jared Letos Joker.

A huge part of me feels this could work. He’s making the role his own, yet it still feels like the Joker. It’s not trying to be Heath Ledgers Joker, nor should it be. Are the tattoos there? A bit, but certainly faded. Do I still hate the grills in his teeth? God yes.

When they announced that they were gonna make a Suicide Squad film, I remember most of us on this site kept saying that it feels like DC Films trying to make their own Guardians of the Galaxy. And now that I had some time to think about this footage, it seems like they did. Like Guardians it’s got a late Summer release. Like Guardians it took a lesser known comic book and filled it with weird misfit characters (Croc could be this films Groot while Harley could be this films Rocket Raccoon). Take a 70’s song and do a crazy cover of it. That of course was “Hooked on a Feeling” for the Guardians trailer. This trailer uses a eerie cover of the Bee Gee’s “I Started a Joke.”

Will it make Guardians of the Galaxy numbers? I don’t know, because what this film could be lacking is the heart and the humor that made GotG so well loved. While I have some reservations on the film, I’m overall more open minded to it.

Batman V. Superman

I’ve said my opinions about Man of Steel before on the site….and my feelings on that movie haven’t changed. I still hate the film, and I hate the way this new DC cinematic universe is using Superman. He’s being used as a catalyst for fear and distrust FIRST. Even if the this film ends with the whole world on Superman’s side I will always feel this will leave a bad taste in my mouth on the character that started the superhero genre.

I’m also unsure of the idea that Batman has been around for a while before Superman. Will that work? Will folks get the idea that this is a Batman in media res? A Batman that has at least a Robin?

And what of Wonder Woman’s role in this? Why is she even IN this movie? How does she fit into this plot? I wish they gave me any scenes in which Gal Gadot talks, so I can get a sense of her performance as Diana. But most importantly…why is Wonder Woman regulated to a character on side? She’s FUCKING WONDER WOMAN! She’s the first female lead superhero comic book series. She deserves better.

Look, I didn’t want to bring my own personal baggage to this presentation. I wanted to be open minded with this film. I love these characters. I hate that I’m cynical towards a movie that finally puts Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman on screen together…but I just don’t enjoy all this bleakness and darkness.

That being said, I’m personally digging Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor so far. Yes, it is a version of his Mark Zuckerberg character from The Social Network but cranked to 11, but he seems to be relishing the role, much like Gene Hackman did back in the Richard Donner Superman film.

Here’s my general problem with the battle plans for the DC movie universe….none of it feels earned. Every time I look at Suicide Squad and Batman V. Superman, all I see is a need to rush these characters out there.  It doesn’t FEEL like a well thought out plan.

I’m not saying do it like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I feel like this all is coming off like a unfocused need to make more comic book movies. Every time I see Wonder Woman in this trailer, I feel it’s part of another movie. It’s almost like watching a huge big budgeted fan film.

I’m not that easy anymore when it concerns Zack Snyder trailers. The pretty visuals isn’t enough. When I see this trailer I just see a bunch of great visuals and action…but it feels empty to me.

Now, I didn’t want to bring up the competition too much, but look what Marvel Studios did last year. They brought the now famous “Hammer Lifting” scene from Age of Ultron. That was the one scene that everyone talked about last year. Why? It wasn’t a clip with crazy action….it was a clip that was all character based.

Listen…I WANT to be wrong. I want to watch this film and feel like I ate all the crows. I wanna support the idea of Ben Affleck as Batman because I honestly like that casting choice. I wanna watch Henry Cavill be in a movie I love as Superman since I think he’s a great Superman. I want my reservations about Gal Gadot to be proven wrong while she brings Wonder Woman to life.

It’s no surprise that I’m more interested in Suicide Squad then Batman V. Supermen: Dawn of Justice. Suicide Squad feels more like a singular vision, and it’s a vision that fits the characters and the tone. Batman V. Superman feels off to me. I know not everyone agrees with me. I was in that room in Hall H, plenty of excitement and screams were there after the trailer was shown. If you are in fact excited for this throw down, then I’m glad. I’ll find out how I feel about this new DC movie universe after this film comes out.

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