After a nice long break, the Piffcast is back! It’s been a month, so Mike and TJ had some catching up to do…
– Developing a Kris Bryant’s up-to-bat Alert App – Comic-Con Trailer Roundup – TJ’s movie homework (including some Mark Ruffalo recommendations) – What we’re watching on TV (Stranger Things, The Night Of) – The Pokemon around Mike’s house (don’t go looking) – Coldplay at Soldier Field and K-Pop ‘farms’ – A special thank you to awesome people
Comic-Con San Diego was a blast to follow this weekend. Big casting news, epic first-looks, crazy cosplay costumes…
And trailers that made you feel like we’re in for a great rest of 2016 and 2017. Here is a collection of the best trailers to come out of Comic-Con San Diego and what you should be looking forward to…coming soon.
Deadpool is well known for breaking the fourth wall, practically taking a seat with the audience or joining the comic book reader to comment on what is going on in his own story. Thanks to this week’s release of the Deadpool on DVD, that means more Ryan Reynolds promotion to sell fans on something we already know is awesome.
Cue the Honest Trailer for Deadpool, featuring commentary from…Deadpool
Screen Junkies have made a good name for themselves from the Honest Trailers. From The Avengers to Game of Thrones, they like to have fun and make fun of all your favorite things. The collaboration seems pretty perfect, as all the ads leading up to Deadpool’s theater release had the same humor. Reynolds even comments on how the film “borrowed” their ‘honest names’ bit. I actually love the “youtube comments” readings at the VERY end. Hang on before you move on, like it’s a Marvel movie or something.
Deadpool on Blu-Ray and DVD hit store shelves May, 10th. The sequel is due out in 2017 and you can imagine they’ll be working with a bigger budget after the R-Rated superhero flick made 13 times more than the $58 million they spent to make it.
Following the 2015 Oscars season, this year has hit the ground running with big blockbusters, original concepts, a few disappointments (*cough Batman v. Superman cough*) and pleasant surprises.
Rather than wait till the end of the year to put out a “Best of” list, I’d rather break 2016 up into thirds and update my list accordingly. Following the “Best Picture” win of last year’s #1 film, Spotlight, the process has begun. At this point, I’m looking for the Mad Max: Fury Road and the Me and Earl and The Dying Girl of this year…In other words, what blew me away and what did I enjoy the most from start to finish.
10. Elvis & Nixon
Based on the story behind the famous photo taken in 1970 between Elvis Presley and the President, the single most requested photograph in the National Archives, Elvis & Nixon is like an 86 minute long Saturday Night Live sketch that doesn’t get old. The White House scenes were shot on the West Wing set. Master of impressions, Kevin Spacey nails it with Nixon and you’re reminded of Frank Underwood, a little. Michael Shannon is more himself than an Elvis impersonator, which fits the role perfectly. And the supporting cast of Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, Colin Hanks and Evan Peters compliment the stars perfectly.
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Johnny Knoxville and Alex Pettyfer
Director: Liza Johnson
9. Everybody Wants Some!!
Richard Linklater’s sorta-23-year-followup to Dazed and Confused was much better than I expected. It seems harder than ever these days to write good comedy and the delivery is remarkably natural in this film. It’s a party genre film, no doubt, but it’s far less cliche as the American Pie films and their straight to video spinoffs. I appreciated the “welcome to college” and late 70s-early 80s themes, the real competitiveness between NCAA baseball teammates, and nothing feeling particularly forced. Matthew McConaughey would’ve been a great fit, even now, appearing in Everybody Wants Some.
Starring: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin and Ryan Guzman
Director: Richard Linklater
8. 10 Cloverfield Lane
The Cloverfield sequel was a pleasant surprise to start the year, and really had almost nothing to do with the first film. Rather than just be a monster movie, it was a genre-bending captive/killer/suspense-thriller flick filled with twists at every turn. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is good, John Goodman makes your skin crawl in the best/creepiest ways, and John Gallagher Jr. continues to be one of my favorite Indie actors on the planet.
Starring: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr.
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
7. The Jungle Book
When the ending credits rolled on The Jungle Book, my first thought was “I hope the people in charge of Jurassic World II were taking notes.” This movie shows you how CGI is supposed to be done and it was nice to see a “live-action” retelling of a Disney story that you grew up with not suck. It solidified Jon Favreau as great big budget film director. You could also tell that older veteran actors like Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley and Christopher Walken were having fun in their roles, and that makes it more fun for the audience.
Starring: Neel Sethi, Idris Elba, Bill Murray and Ben Kingsely
Director: Jon Favreau
If you haven’t noticed, it’s been a really good year for Disney. They rode the box office success of Force Awakens into 2015, Jungle Book knocked Batman v. Superman out of the top spot pretty quickly, another film further down this list is KILLING it, and they have another Star Wars film on the way. Add Zootopia to the sterling 2016 scoreboard for Disney. It was funny and very will animated, but it also didn’t hold back regarding it’s commentary on equality and relevant social issues in our country today. There were also some excellent hat-tips to The Godfather, LA Confidential, Chinatown, and Breaking Bad.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Ginnifer Goodwin and Idris Elba
Director: Byron Howard and Rich Moore
5. Eye in the Sky
Eye in the Sky did not get enough promotion for how good a film it is. It’s similarly suspenseful as Captain Phillips, maybe more so,and coincidentally has Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi (the pirate from Captain Phillips) in a key role. Helen Mirren is as cold and awesome as ever, Aaron Paul pulls your heartstrings, and it’s one of Alan Rickman’s last performances on the big screen. When I left the theater, I instantly believed it was one of the best films of the year…that hardly anyone has heard of.
Starring: Aaron Paul, Helen Mirren and Adam Rickman
Director: Gavin Hood
Deadpool exceeded so many expectations. It broke box office records as a hard-R movie. It made the 13 times more than its $58 million budget. It also put serious pressure on the superhero films to come, that wanted to be darker and dirtier. Ryan Reynolds was perfect in the role, making fun of other superhero franchises, the X-Men, and even his own films in the past. It was very meta and hilarious. The action and comedic timing by the supporting cast was awesome as well. Deadpool’s “fight” scene with Colossus will go down as one of the funniest ever for the genre.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, TJ Miller and Morena Baccarin
Director: Tim Miller
3. Midnight Special
It’s Michael Shannon’s 2nd appearance on this list and it is a good one. Midnight Special recalls some of the feelings you had seeing E.T. for the first time, although not nearly as lighthearted and not on Spielberg’s level. The movie does a great job riding on the mysteries of everyone involved and emphasizing the father-son relationship. Joel Edgerton is an awesome badass partner-in-crime and Adam Driver (aka Kylo Ren) provides well-timed relief. It’s a hard film not to appreciate if you’re a fan of mystery and sci-fi.
Starring: Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst and Joel Edgerton
Director: Jeff Nichols
1b. Sing Street
The reason there’s a “1a and 1b” is because I’ve been so torn on the Top 2 movies on this list as they were both so awesome to me. Sing Street is my Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and even better than that. It’s a love story that hits close to home. The inspiration for the lead character, Cosmo (played by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), to chase his dreams is similar to my own. The music is fantastic and I fully expect to see it on Broadway as soon as possible. It’s also one of the few movies set in the 80’s that does so un-ironically. It made me respect Jack Reynor much more as an actor. I smiled watching this film from start to finish and that’s why the inner debate I have, on whether it’s my favorite or not, will likely last all year.
Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Jack Reynor and Aidan Gillen
Director: John Carney
1a. Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War was a perfect superhero film. It might feel that way because Batman v. Superman was such a letdown in similar circumstances, but Civil War was able to accomplish so much that its DC rival couldn’t. The movie didn’t force you to choose a side between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. Every hero showcased why they belong and made you feel like a kid in awe. The comedic timing was right on. The introductions of Black Panther and Spider-Man were seamless and awesome. The heroes were aware and conscientious of the destruction they were causing. Most importantly, the action was everything you hoped for from a film with this much hype. Similar to Force Awakens, Civil War gets bonus points for meeting and even exceeding the fans’ expectations and reminds you that THIS is how you make a superhero movie.
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Sebastian Stan
Director: Joe and Anthony Russo
Any films too high or too low on the list? Would you recommend some more that are in theaters? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter and be sure to listen to The Piffcast where we discuss topics just like this.
After the Season 6 premiere, Manu Mishra joins the show to breakdown what happened in the episode and what Game of Thrones fans should expect going forward. We also discussed Captain America: Civil War, which matchups we’re pumped for, and more. (24:06 mark, if you want to jump ahead)
Before then, TJ and I talked about what Prince meant to us and recapped how the music icon was remembered over the weekend.
The marketing for Captain America: Civil War has been fantastic. Trailers and early footage have audiences clamoring for tickets as the film is on-track to make at least $175 million at the box office opening weekend. Early reviews have backed up the hype, including a 94% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fueling your excitement further is Audi releasing a new ad that mixes product placement with a stellar chase scene through a tunnel. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is in hot pursuit of The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) commandeers an Audi in the process.
The ad is pretty funny, but thankfully the internet has cut it up for those of us who don’t need the suspense tempered by a family on a joy ride. I’d totally “like” and “unlike” that dude’s Facebook post too.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6th. See you there?
Aaron Couch, from People Magazine and the Better Talk Saul podcast, makes his return to discuss the Better Call Saul S2 finale. We also kick off Game of Thrones week with the storylines we look forward to most and pick our favorite Captain America: Civil War matchups before it hits theaters May 6th. (23:26 mark, if you want to jump ahead)
TJ and I breakdown all the awesome trailers and news from the past 2 weeks, and explain why it’s good to be “us”. Take a listen and you’ll understand why that’s in quotation marks.
Just weeks away from Captain America: Civil War, Marvel is already rolling out promotion for its next installment, coming this November.
Dr. Stephen Strangehimself, Benedict Cumberbatch, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to help debut the teaser for Doctor Strange…and it was awesome.
Joining Cumberbatch as the title character are Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, The Martian) as Baron Mordo, Michael Stuhlbarg (Steve Jobs, Trumbo) as Nicodemus West, and Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton, Snowpiercer) as The Ancient One. Also starring in the film are Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Casino Royale), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight, Mean Girls), and Scott Adkins (Zero Dark Thirty, The Bourne Ultimatum). Directing is Scott Derrickson (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Sinister).
After a record setting weekend for DC films at the box office ($166.1 million), it feels safe to finally vent about one of the most anticipated films for superhero fans in a long time. I understand a few of you have not seen the flick, so consider this a warning for spoilers. YOU ARE READING AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Going into my Thursday night opening showing of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice in IMAX, I fought very hard to keep an open mind. Reviews were less than stellar after screenings earlier in the week from people I trust, and I was already skeptical based on a lot of eye-rolling marketing. The Batman fan in me was still excited though, and I was ready for the new story following Dark Knight Trilogy.
I left the theater liking some things but hating other aspects about the film. There were pieces I felt could be built on and would make for a very interesting extended universe that DC and Warner Bros. plan to rely on as they look to fill a void left by The Hobbit and Harry Potter franchises. You can’t blame them after the opening weekend monetary success and wanting to keep pace with Marvel. Please do so without Zack Snyder though…
When I was asked how I would rate the film, I couldn’t commit to any end of the “Terrible to Great” spectrum so I’d say “6 out of 10 tops”. I also felt the last 3rd of the movie was significantly better than the first 2/3, and I hate that I had to wait for it to happen. To express that better, lets look at each variable that went into the 2 hour and 30 minute film.
What I liked: Ben Affleck impressed me. I personally don’t have him on the Christian Bale/Michael Keaton top tier, but he’s hanging out above Val Kilmer on my Batman actor list. Affleck fit the older and grizzled Batman that they chose to roll with. He was even better as Bruce Wayne. He carried himself like a dignitary at Lex Luthor’s party. He was relatively suave in his banter with Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) and could do the “reckless playboy act” when it was needed. Affleck’s introduction from Bruce’s point of view during the Superman-Zod battle in Metropolis was smart and compelling. And in a film that was nearly void of comic relief, he and Alfred (played by Jeremy Irons) provided the little bit that was there.
Side note: Is it me, or was Irons way too handsome for Alfred? Not saying I minded it…
If there’s something I feel confident about going forward in this new DC universe is Affleck’s influence for the upcoming Batman solo film. I trust Affleck as a filmmaker more than Snyder, with The Town and Argo on his directorial resume.
What I didn’t like: While Bruce Wayne’s entrance into the film was very good, Batman’s was not. What made Christopher Nolan’s trilogy very good was its ability to get you excited when the Dark Knight would stop crime with stealth attacks and cool choreographed fights. Instead, Snyder chose to introduce Batman as a criminal who apparently tortures sex trade criminals off-camera, leaves a bat brand on them, and then scurries away when police show up. Not the best first impression for fans who have gotten to know at least 5 different versions of Batman.
The multiple dream sequences were silly as is, but the second one that leads to a confrontation with a genocidal Superman was the most disheartening. Why is Batman using a gun and shooting people? Has he completely abandoned his “No kill” policy that separates him morally from everyone else? Then came his actual fight scene toward the end of the film with Luthor’s henchmen. Rather than an impressive rehearsed fight, it was all CGI, cartoonish and hard to even follow. When TV shows like Arrow and Daredevil are killing it with stunt actors and fight scenes, you can at least try to hold yourself to their standard. Yes, the CW beat you in something, Snyder.
Lastly, seemed a little too quick to be referring to yourself as a “friend of your son’s” to Martha, didn’t it?
What I liked: Henry Cavill has the look, there’s no denying that. Superman is very difficult character to make relatable based on his ability to really do EVERYTHING, and Cavill pull off the dangerous and overpowering demeanor that people, like Batman and skeptics, fear. I have a hard time faulting Cavill when you know the people writing and directing his character are the ones responsible for most of the problems.
What I didn’t like: The “woe is me, I’m not from this planet” bit was so melodramatic and overplayed. We know, Superman. You had a whole standalone film (Man of Steel) to show us that and we, the audience, don’t care. Just go save some people in amazingly cool ways! Unfortunately, Snyder chose to downplay Superman’s cool and selfless acts toward the beginning in typical Snyder-like slow-mo with arrogant vibes and commentary over him. Rather than ramp up a rivalry with Batman, as the film’s title suggested, Superman seemed way more concerned with the public perception of him and the where he fits on Earth. It seemed more like a “this universe isn’t big enough for the both of us” rivalry for Superman, than an actual threat of global security…like it was for Batman. Then when he knows he has to team up with Bruce Wayne, Superman actually entertains the option to kill him when explaining it to Lois Lane. You’re better than that, Clark.
In their first meeting, Clark Kent has the opportunity to listen to the conversation between Bruce and Alfred (which he exhibits) and find out why they are investigating Luthor but doesn’t even take advantage of that. Just seems like a lot of drama could’ve been saved in that sequence that makes Superman appear more shortsighted than he should be.
What I liked: If Jesse Eisenberg’s goal was to make you hate his character, he did a very good job of that. He started off annoying and obviously spoiled, continued to be annoying but more dangerous, then finished as self-aggrandizing and psychotic (I know he had an okay comeback to that observation from Lois). The character comes off brilliant but only to an extent.
What I didn’t like: Eisenberg’s version of Luthor has influence and power, but zero poise or enough wit that could go toe-to-toe with either Superman or Batman. Joker is psychotic, but there’s method to his madness and you respect the danger he can inflict as well as his ability to exploit what’s wrong with the world to his advantage. Eisenbeg’s Luthor seemed to crack before we could respect him. And cool, he knows something we don’t about bigger baddies that are bound to come, but why should anyone want to team up with him?
How did Luthor expect to control Doomsday after unleashing him anyway? Was the end game just destroy Superman and Batman, and then the world? Doomsday never showed any sign of allegiance when he “busted out” of the ship.
What I like: I like Amy Adams as Lois a lot. A very good actress who holds her own well in a blockbuster. Her status at the Daily Planet, as someone who gets what she wants when she wants was impressive. Unfortunately…
What I didn’t like: …her storyline had no real bearing on the outcome until MAYBE the very end. Her investigation with the intelligence bureaucrat was distracting and unnecessary. Bruce Wayne did all the digging anyone needed into Lex Luthor that broke open his so-called “masterplan”, which was pretty weak as is. Then she was reduced to Superman’s damsel in distress (twice) when she doesn’t have to be anymore. Audiences are ready for badass women, even those without powers. Let Lois be one.
What I liked: Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was a bright spot in a pretty dreary movie. I have to admit, I clapped when she showed up in the battle vs. Doomsday and her music a nice shot of necessary adrenaline. As Bruce is looking into her hack filed, compiled by Luthor, we see the photo of her alongside Chris Pine and that had us intrigued in her upcoming 2017 film.
What I didn’t like: That it took until the very end of the movie to see her in action. We know she lifted Bruce Wayne’s jump drive, but what was she doing with it? If she was going to just fly away on a plane, she obviously stopped pursuing it. I would’ve liked to know what her angle and purpose was in Metropolis before meeting Batman and Superman. As far as we know, she was just…there.
After watching Daredevil Season 2 on Netflix a week before, it was disappointing to see Zack Snyder’s result of a superhero rivalry/team-up film. Daredevil and Punisher were got straight to the point early on expressing their differences and philosophies, and they made it tougher to choose who you’d want to root for in a battle between the two. Siding with Batman just came way too easy in what was an overblown issue to begin with. It’s also going to seem like night-and-day when Captain America: Civil War hits theaters when Cap and Iron Man go head-to-head.
Action films with shaky cameras are annoying. You can shoot fights and chase scenes without making the viewer want to throw up. Maybe watch a few movies that execute this better…like some of your own, Zack.
WHY ARE WE KILLING JIMMY OLSEN OFF IN THE FIRST 10 MINUTES? He deserved better than that, and better than needing the credits to remind you that it was indeed Jimmy (as a CIA agent all of a sudden?)
Having a hard time with anyone else as The Flash other than Grant Gustin. Seems like an oversight not to include him, given his popularity with a massive audience currently.
I’ll be honest, I like going to the movies to get away from the noise of pundits and politicians arguing annoying issues. So when Superman’s rescue scenes are drowned out by that exact thing (and F’ing Nancy Grace, of all people), you’re putting a bad taste in my mouth that can’t be fixed with popcorn or theater candy.
You can argue that the purpose of this film was supposed to be jumping off point for the rest of the planned DC Universe, but it really shouldn’t have been such a chore to endure. The film has made a lot of money, and might keep doing so this week as most high school kids in the U.S. have Spring Break, but box office numbers don’t reflect its quality. This isn’t one I’m going to go back to the theater to see, nor do I really want to spend time on it home after it comes out on Blu-Ray/DVD/Demand.
Last but not least…
You are allowed to like the movie. It’s very okay. Your taste in films and expectations can be very different than mine. Just know that it could have been a lot better, and we as fans deserved it to be after waiting so long for something like this to come along.
Let’s face it, Captain America: Civil War is just kicking Batman v. Superman’s ass when it comes to marketing itself.
A few criticisms of the BvS development and marketing include (1) They are cramming too many characters into one movie and (2) They seem to have told us the entire story in their trailers. Civil War is also cramming a lot of heroes into one film, at least 12 actually, but we are more than pumped about it because we’ve gotten to know these characters onscreen for a decade’s worth of canon. BvS is attempting to pull it all off in a one film.
Joining the mix, which we’ve been anticipating for months, is the new Peter Parker played by Tom Holland (Wolf Hall, In the Heart of the Sea). From what we see in Spider-Man’s Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, he seems to be aligned with #TeamStark. If I heard it right, Tony refers to Spidey as “Underoos” (ha, because he’s a kid. Do kids still wear those?). Spider-Man will be web-slinging into theaters with his own MCU reboot July 7th, 2017.
There are also a number of cool and conflicting things going on in the trailer.
Bucky seemingly taking out James Rhoades/War Machine.
Black Widow giving Stark the business.
Bucky vs. Black Panther – and bullets raining from a chopper.
Scarlett Witch putting Vision in a mystical submission hold.
Ant-Man getting a lift from Hawkeye’s arrows.
It’s a good bit of fun.
Want to talk more about the Captain America: Civil War? Lets do so on Facebook or Twitter.