I Guess Spider-Man Is Fine, So Fine He Got Two New Trailers Today!

You know Tony Stark mourning the world? Forget that. Everything is fine. As a matter of fact here are not one but two trailers featuring the lost in space and snapped Spider-Man:

That is for the US, here is the one for International Audiences:

There are some slight differences, but the biggest change for me is that they censored the joke at the end for the international teaser. Not sure why. But hey, Mysterio looks cool. Anyway, I guess we don’t need to watch Endgame now because it all turns out alright for the characters we love. Though I am guessing we still do loose a couple.

Aquaman’s Success Shouldn’t Have Been A Surprise!

If you follow movie industry sites, one of the biggest stories is how well Warner Bros./DC’s Aquaman is doing. How the film is going to bank $1 Billion even though the lead character is often a joke, but you know what, this shouldn’t be that surprising. While indeed Aquaman has been the butt of a few jokes, you never need to explain the joke to anyone because Aquaman is a household name.

Aquaman came out in 1941, and he has been one of the most well-known heroes since. My Grandfather understands who Aquaman is and what he can do. He is the strong guy from Atlantis who can control/talk to fish. With every Marvel hero that hits the scene I have to prepare myself for all the questions, “Where did they come from? What are their powers? What other heroes do they hang out with? Why is there villain bad?” Now Marvel has been on such an amazing run that none of those questions stop most people from going to the movie, but not one person asked me about Aquaman. They just asked if I was going to see the movie opening night or wait a couple of weekends.

The other overriding theme you will hear is that all the DCEU films were such failures that Aquaman’s success is some sort of anomaly, but guess what? Except for China, Aquaman is doing almost the same amount of business worldwide as the rest of the DCEU movies. The average DCEU film, not counting Aquaman, did $750 Million worldwide, and that is with Justice League pulling the average down. Plus, Suicide Squad couldn’t be screened in China because it featured villains as the main characters, so it broke the moral media code of China Film Co. (the Chinese media importer), and it made $750 Million anyway. In other words, except for a movie that was visibly and aggressively orange, people have been turning out for the DCEU movies, so it should be no surprise that when one comes out un-tinted and fun looking with a hunky man as the lead, people showed up again. Add to that, China has a thing for mermaid movies (look it up), Aquaman looks more like the norm, than an outlier.

Considering the disappointment of Justice League, it was easy to get carried away with all the DCEU is doomed talk, but it turns out maybe people just don’t like orange unfinished movies. If proper care is taken, ‘A’ list superheroes will perform like ‘A’ list superheroes and make tons of cash. Which is to say, when Shazam only makes $600 Million the DCEU world is not ending, because ‘B’ list superheroes will perform like ‘B’ list superheroes and make slightly less cash. Just ask Ant-Man.

Will Bumblebee Be The Next Batman Begins?

Amid Aquaman‘s box office domination there are two movies trying to do their best ‘Little Engine that Could’ impressions, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Bumblebee. Spider-Man is doing better, and earning all the geek-cred, but Bumblebee is making it work too. While $168 Million worldwide (all financial data for this post was sourced from The-Numbers.com) after twelve days of release isn’t a lot, especially since past Transformers movies earned that in their opening weekend, if not more, it is earning favor with critics and audiences.

Bumblebee has a 93% from critics and an audience rating of 79% on RottenTomatoes.com. Over on Metacritic.com, it has a 67 from critics and a 7.5 from users, and to top it all off it got an A- from CinemaScore. Which means, most people would recommend it to their friends. All of which is miles better than the last Transformers movie. In other words, it is not lighting the world on fire box-office wise, but people dig it. Which should sound familiar to Batman fans.

Batman Begins only did $375 Million off a $150 Million budget , and while that is above the minimum return for a movie to eek out a profit at some point (2/1 box-office to budget), it probably didn’t cover advertising or distribution costs. Meaning it would have to get all that money back during home sales and selling movie rights to TV. Not to mention merchandising. Regardless of its box-office struggles, fans loved it. It was a Batman movie that treated Batman with some dignity. It told a grand story. It was everything Batfans had been wanting, and with the fans’ faith restored, the next two movies in the Dark Knight trilogy did over a billion worldwide each.

I am not saying the next solo Transformers movie will make a billion because people liked Bumblebee, but I am saying that Bumblebee is earning a lot goodwill, and that has a history of being rewarded. Not to mention Bumblebee was made with a very modest $100 Million budget, so it doesn’t even have as much to make back as Batman Begins did. Meaning, I think Paramount has a lot to be optimistic about going forward with the Transformers franchise. Provided that they continue to make quality movies.

Shmee’s Top Five Movies Of 2018!

I had ton of fun at the movies this year, and since the box-office set records, I am guessing a lot of you did too. This year instead of picking the ‘best’ movies like I am some kind of Oscar voter, I am just picking my most memorable ones. The ones that stuck with me. Here they are in reverse order!

5: A Simple Favor!

You don’t get a good thrilledy every day, or even once a year, so when Paul Feig creates one with two fantastic leads, I think it is worth watching. While I am not sure this movie will end up on a lot of people’s lists, I found it fascinating, and it shows how talented people can make something that shouldn’t work, work. Also, it makes me want a martini.

4: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies!

I laughed so much at Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. The jokes came fast and furious, and it showed that you don’t just have to be crass to make a superhero comedy. You can also use a lot of poop jokes, or just make fun of the state of the DCEU. On top of all that the songs were catchy. I don’t know what it says that my favorite DC movie this year was an animated farce, but here we are.

3: Black Panther!

This movie was soooooo good, and Marvel finally had a villain that was smart and had some moral high ground. Then in true Marvel fashion they killed him…. Hey Marvel, quit killing all your bad guys! Especially the good ones! I guess they are getting a bunch of new rogues from the Fox merger, but Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) was fantastic. He was the first MCU villain who I would watch a solo movie about.

2: Won’t You Be My Neighbor!

It turns out the loving and wonderful person that Fred Rogers was on screen wasn’t an act. He really was that person, and his love made the world a better place. He let us know that we are all special and loved, and his show was a safe space for us all. There has been a Mr. Rogers shaped hole in the world since he left us, and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ reminded us of that.

1: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I never thought I would pick a Spider-Man movie to be my favorite film, but here we are on the last day of 2018, and Spider-Verse is the movie I can’t get out of my head. Everything about this movie was so well done. When I think about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse it is literally just a list of superlatives. Better yet, it is still in the theaters, so there is time for you to get out to your local multiplex and see it.

That was my very flawed list, I would love to hear yours, or just have you tell me why I am wrong. Until next year!

Mary Poppins Returns To Do It All Again!

I was skeptical when Disney announced that they were bringing back Mary Poppins, but those fears were squashed when they hired Emily Blunt. Who like the character she was tasked with bringing to life, is practically perfect in every way, and while Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda do great work as the main performers, I think the movie lets them down a bit by not letting them have an adventure of their own. Instead taking us on adventures we had last time Mary came in on the east wind.

This time around the Banks children are all grown up, and Michael (Ben Whishaw) has three kids of his own. He is not dealing with the emotional and financial fallout of recently losing his wife well. His sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) is doing her best to help, but things are falling apart. That is until a certain nanny blows in just when things seem to be at their bleakest.

As you can see the biggest change, other than the cast, for Mary Poppins Returns is that it has a slightly darker edge, not much, but it is there, and it carries through the film. I don’t think it is a bad thing since it gives the movie some emotional stakes, and it also gives Michael more of a reason to be distant and cross with his children. You understand why he is having a hard time. Other than, “that is just the way British Bankers are!”. I wish that would have changed up more of the film as well. Because a lot of it feels like retreading old ground.

There is an animated sequence, they visit one of Mary’s odd friends, the lamplighters have a big song and dance number, balloons instead of kites. Apart from one or two sequences it all feels like they just wanted to do their own twist on things we have seen before, and it all looks great and the songs are good. I just wish they could have been a little more original.

I have no bad things to say about the performers. Blunt and Miranda are fantastic. The kids are all quite charming, and Whishaw really plays the father on the brink well. You can see the pain in his eyes and the struggle to keep it all together. Mortimer is fine, but she isn’t given a lot to do other than be cheery and helpful.

I wouldn’t say there is anything technically wrong with Mary Poppins Returns. In fact, there is a lot to like, love even. It was just the writers’ not wanting to break the mold that kept this movie from really being something special. As it is, it is still more than worth watching, and if Mary Poppins Returns again, I will be there.