Articles on this Page
- 02/21/14--02:59: _Extended Winter Oly...
- 02/21/14--03:18: _Watch a new feature...
- 02/21/14--03:52: _Flash Thompson defe...
- 02/21/14--04:40: _B.J. Britt joins Ma...
- 02/21/14--05:30: _Elementary Season 2...
- 02/21/14--05:30: _Al Pacino Retrospec...
- 02/21/14--07:35: _Arrow Producer's Re...
- 02/21/14--08:49: _Son of Batman to re...
- 02/21/14--08:50: _House of Cards Seas...
- 02/21/14--10:00: _New TV spot for 300...
- 02/21/14--12:16: _Preview of Winter S...
- 02/21/14--12:25: _Preview of Daredevi...
- 02/21/14--12:37: _First Look at All-N...
- 02/21/14--12:44: _Top 3 Must-See Sci-...
- 02/21/14--12:47: _First Look at Capta...
- 02/21/14--13:15: _It's personal in ne...
- 02/21/14--13:27: _The LEGO Movie sequ...
- 02/21/14--13:59: _Another casting rum...
- 02/21/14--16:19: _Flying Below The Ra...
- 02/22/14--01:31: _Bitter Sweet Payne:...
- 02/21/14--03:18: Watch a new featurette for Game of Thrones season 4
- 02/21/14--05:30: Elementary Season 2 - Episode 10 Review
- 02/21/14--05:30: Al Pacino Retrospective - The Godfather Part II
- 02/21/14--08:50: House of Cards Season 2 - Episode 7 Review
- 02/21/14--10:00: New TV spot for 300: Rise of an Empire
- 02/21/14--12:16: Preview of Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #2
- 02/21/14--12:25: Preview of Daredevil #1
- 02/21/14--12:37: First Look at All-New Ghost Rider #1
- 02/21/14--12:44: Top 3 Must-See Sci-Fi & Fantasy Films of 2014
- 02/21/14--12:47: First Look at Captain Marvel #1
- 02/21/14--13:27: The LEGO Movie sequel to arrive in 2017
- 02/21/14--13:59: Another casting rumour for Batman vs. Superman suggests Cyborg cameo
- 02/22/14--01:31: Bitter Sweet Payne: Phedon Papamichael talks about Nebraska
"DIVERGENT is a thrilling action-adventure set in a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents, she must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it's too late."
Also featuring in the cast of Divergent are Miles Teller (That Awkward Moment), Theo James (Bedlam), Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class), Ansel Elgort (Carrie), Maggie Q (Nikita), Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard) and Kate Winslet (Carnage).
Divergent is set for release on March 21st. Watch the most recent trailer here.
Among the contributors to the show are cast members Rose Leslie (Ygritte), Kristofer Huvju (Tormund), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Rory McCann (The Hound), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) and director Alex Graves, writer/co-producer Bryan Cogman, producer Chris Newman, and location manager Fahad Jabali.
Check out the featurette below, and if you're yet to see it you can also watch the latest trailer for Game of Thrones season 4 here...
Game of Thrones returns to HBO in the States on April 6th and to Sky Atlantic here in the UK on April 7th.
two new featurettes, a TV spot, banner and behind-the-scenes images and a first good look at Dane DeHaan's Green Goblin], and now we've got a new article from the Daily Bugle viral site, which sees Flash Thompson (Chris Zylka) writing in to defend Spider-Man (presumably after J. Jonah Jameson's recent attack)...
The Five-Borough Blog
two new series regulars, followed by the news that Bill Paxton (Aliens, True Lies) had joined the show as Agent John Garrett. Well, we've now got our second new addition, with TV Line reporting that B.J. Britt (Being Mary Jane, Vampires Suck) is set to play a character called Agent Triplett.
Aside from a name, there's very little information on Agent Triplett, although he is described as "an associate of Bill Paxton's character." Both Paxton and Britt are set to make their first appearance in the series in the next episode 'T.A.H.I.T.I.', which is due to air on March 4th.
Are you happy to see new regulars being added to the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or is this too little too late? Let us know in the comments below or head on over to The Flickering Myth Forum...
Matt Smith reviews the tenth episode of Elementary season 2...
With a mid-season break, a concept devoid of all logical definition as a break between series could be called a mid-season break, now officially over you may think Sherlock Holmes of all characters might have put the time to good use. And it seems he has, bringing along a flashback episode that’s been used by numerous series to give a little twist to a story that might otherwise be a routine. It’s a format that fits detective shows and the genre as a whole quite well.
As if to get over the break, the series throws us back in at the deep end with the excitement of a shotgun-wielding schizophrenic in a police station. But before we can see the conclusion, the producers decide to almost break the fourth wall and present Sherlock Holmes as their own surrogate in a courtroom. He even completes the classic conventions of an episode like this by filling in his own details to compliment himself.
While my use of the word ‘classic’ might be a replacement for ‘cliché’, the opening does still work despite the fact it’s a format everyone who watches television regularly has seen before at least once. Holmes, giving his testimony, is like the producers of the show. Intentionally keeping the secret of the finale away from the courtroom/viewer, he even provides his own edits (‘skip to the good bit’).
Another thing we’ve all seen before are the funny lines and interchanges between characters in this show, which make a welcome return. Amongst all the gruesome crime shows on TV at the moment, it’s nice to see a classic mystery with minimal violence played out on screen, complete with a sense of humour. One of the highlights being the explanation used to get around the tricky business of breaking into multiple peoples’ homes.
But like the positioning of himself above the law, Sherlock Holmes in one iteration or another has always seen himself as higher or at the very least separate from everyone else. His references to ‘your’ state-sanctioned practices show he still observes everyone as if they’re a case study. A series of slides under a microscope.
But it’s not as if he has no one to fight against his practices. This episode is all about whether the means justify the ends, and it almost helps Holmes’ case that he has someone like Joan Watson to keep an eye and rally against him when needed. Is a man who acts above the law acceptable if he’s supervised, or insists his moral compass keeps him within reason? As an audience, it’s easy to side with Holmes but in real life a person acting like this would probably be thrown out of the police station quicker than he’s ever invited. While Holmes talks about the greys of life making the law or a handbook useless, we cut to Watson wearing black and white giving her side of the story in the courtroom.
The villain of the case, perhaps the entire case itself, is like the lawyer says. Inconsequential. This episode feels more like a welcome back, if not for the obvious changes made to a certain character’s life. This episode is perhaps also about consequences, the sudden finality of such things when they don’t go your way.
The dramatic ending in the courtroom was a fantastic way to end it, with Holmes losing the most important thing in his life. So it’s a shame they carried on and made the verdict a mere recommendation and tied Holmes’ career up in a sitcom-like bow where almost everything was back to normal.
The case is a little forgettable in the grand scheme of things. But the feeling something in the shape of Moriarty or Mycroft is lurking in the background can’t be shaken off. Hopefully now Holmes is back to bring logic to his world, he can crack the big case that’s coming and grip us as an audience.
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Simon Columb continues our Al Pacino Retrospective with The Godfather Part II...
Though the dialogue in The Godfather holds iconic and memorable lines, definitive scenes in The Godfather Part II show Michael Corleone’s true menace revealing itself. The Godfather portrays his sinister and deeply-calculated methods of management, but they are subtle and carefully-constructed. He recommends the hit on Solozzo and MacCluskey; he marries Kay (Diane Keaton) to maintain a strong family unit; he settles all family business in the climax of the film by killing off the leaders of the New York mobs – Barzini, Cuneo, Stratchi and Tattaglia (and Moe Greene in Vegas). But these murders occur at the very end of the first film. Part II shows how corrupted he has become – and how his lack of morality will stop at nothing to “protect the family business”. Subtlety is not the aim of the game – Michael Corleone wants to make a point. Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) asks whether Michael wants to wipe everyone out – in The Godfather Part II it appears so.
Alongside Michael’s ruthless pursuit of the American Dream, it is juxtaposed with his Father, Vito Andolini (changing his name to Vito ‘Corleone’ after his town of birth). Played by Robert De Niro, we see a considerable difference between the man who began with nothing and Michael. Through a strong sense of family values and respect, Vito built an empire. He was willing to work his way through the system fairly – he works as an assistant; he raises a child; he joins a friend at weekly theatre shows that hark back to the old country. It is through the corruption within little Italy – and the lack of support offered by the authorities that Vito steps in. Fanucci (Gaston Moschin) extorts the local people and abuses their trust. Vito decides to stop this treatement. As a comparison to his son, who aims to control casinos in Vegas and set-up a new gambling hot-spot in Cuba, it is clear that something has been lost in between the generations.
Of course, Michael is not the only Son. Hot-head Sonny lost his life in Part I while Fredo (John Cazale) and adopted-Son Tom Hagen remain loyal to Michael. But family has been eroded – and continues to be eroded in Part II to great effect. The less family-focused conflicts are stumbling blocks. Hyman Roth (Lee Strasberg) and Johnny Ola (Dominic Chianese) in Cuba can be overtly political and less-engaging, while Senator Pat Geary’s (G.D. Spradlin) “love” for Italian-American’s is so forced it borders on parody. Even the Frank Pentageli (Michael V. Gazzo) plot bugs like a stone in the shoe as we can only imagine what it would’ve been like had Clemenza returned from Part I.
But these are pedantic points. The Godfather Part II still holds the most striking scenes in the series. The New Year’s Eve party as Pacino viciously grabs the head of the traitor – “I know it was you!” – is one such moment. Another as, what appears to be a small conversation between Kay and Michael, in the final act becomes one of the most explosive arguments he is involved within. Any scene with Fredo breaks your heart as John Cazale truly shows how strong an actor he is – and why Pacino, De Niro and Meryl Streep often credit him with the strength of their acting. Finally, the entire story set within little Italy is an example of expert filmmaking. You can see that Sergio Leone can’t have looked too far when making Once Upon a Time in America, whereby the context and even lead actor in Robert De Niro is reused.
The Godfather Part II has influenced many and remains a masterpiece to this day. Whether you believe The Godfather is a superior film or not, one cannot deny the importance of The Godfather Part II– and how it manages to capture such an ambitious story so effortlessly well. Randy Meeks was stumped for a reason – The Godfather Part II is the one sequel that can comfortably take on its predecessor.
For more on the Al Pacino Retrospective running at the BFI throughout February amd March, head here.
"Oliver (Stephen Amell) brings Sara (Caity Lotz) into the Arrow team. Watching Oliver and Diggle (David Ramsey) spar with Sara and talk old scars, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) starts to feel left out. The team is investigating a villain named William Tockman, a.k.a. The Clock King (guest star Robert Knepper), who is a brilliant thief armed with technology that can open any bank vault in Starling City. After The Clock King infiltrates the computer systems in the lair, Felicity feels pressure to prove her worth. When she gets a lead on Tockman’s whereabouts, she heads out without the team, putting her in peril. Meanwhile, Oliver throws Sara a welcome home party, but Laurel (Katie Cassidy) refuses to attend. After Lance (Paul Blackthrone) makes his case for a family dinner, Laurel acquiesces, but when Oliver shows up with Sara, she loses her temper on both of them."
And here's a clip from said episode...
Meanwhile, thanks to Comic Book Resources, we also have our first look at the Suicide Squad, which consists of Ben Turner / Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White), Mark Sheffer / Shrapnel (Sean Maher), Floyd Lawton / Deadshot (Michael Rowe) and Lyla Michaels / Harbinger (Audrey Marie Anderson) alongside Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and John Diggle (David Ramsey)...
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesday evenings.
It has been announced that the latest chapter in Warner Bros.' DC Universe Animation Original Moies line, Son of Batman, will receive its world premiere at WonderCon Anaheim, which is set to take place between April 18th and April 20th. Check out the official press release from WonderCon, after a brand new still:
The world is turned upside down when Batman—one of the world’s greatest superheroes—finds out he is a father in the newest DC Universe Original Animated Movie, Son of Batman. This all-new, PG-13-rated film will have its world premiere at WonderCon Anaheim with a screening and panel discussion.
The screening at WonderCon marks the sixth DC Universe Animated Movie premiere at the event. Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment have premiered Justice League: The New Frontier (2008), Wonder Woman (2009), Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011), Superman vs. The Elite (2012), and Superman Unbound (2013) exclusively at WonderCon over the past 6 years.
In Son of Batman, Batman learns he has a son, Damian—and to further complicate matters, the mother is Talia Al Ghul, daughter of one of his most dreaded enemies, Ra’s Al Ghul. When the odds quickly turn against Batman and Damian, the Dark Knight must become both father and mentor to the aggressive, agile new Robin. Together they form an uneasy alliance to try and thwart the criminal enterprise of Deathstroke and his army of ninja man-bats before there are international consequences.
Primetime television stars Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova, Vegas) and Stuart Allan (Grey’s Anatomy), the voices of Batman/Bruce Wayne and Damian, respectively, unite with several television greats to fashion these famed animated roles. Adding to the celebrity-laden voice cast is Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds) as Deathstroke, Morena Baccarin (Homeland) as Talia, Xander Berkeley (Nikita) as Langstrom, David McCallum (NCIS) as Alfred, Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Revolution) as Ra’s Al Ghul, Sean Maher (Firefly) as Nightwing/Dick Grayson, and Bruce Thomas (Kyle XY) as Gordon.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, Son of Batman is directed by Ethan Spaulding from a screenplay by Joe R. Lansdale, and based on a story by James Robinson. James Tucker is producer. Phil Bourassa is character designer. Sam Register (Young Justice, Teen Titans), Michael Uslan (The Dark Knight Rises) and Benjamin Melniker (The Dark Knight Rises) are executive producers.
Son of Batman is set to arrive on DVD and Blu-ray on May 6th. Watch the trailer here.
Jackson Ball reviews the seventh episode of House of Cards season 2...
Spoilers Ahead – You have been warned!
The central narrative of this episode sees the relationship between Walker and Vice President Francis ‘Frank’ Underwood (Kevin Spacey) strengthen considerably, from political allies to something resembling friends. The pair engage in a spot of male bonding over such things as Civil War dioramas and fine art, all whilst we the audience learn a little more about what makes the president tick.
The real masterstroke of this character exploration is that it leaves us with a prominent and as yet unanswerable question: Is there more to President Walker than meets the eye?
For example, while I was enjoying the President’s transformation into an actual, multi-dimensional human being, the whole faux friendship between him and Frank was leaving a sour taste in my mouth, as it was clear that once again, the situation was so easily playing into the VP’s hands. Once again, the President had fallen for Frank’s seductive southern drawl hook, line and sinker. However, thanks to the writers’ cunning, combined with the consistently impressive performance of Gill, a series-shaking possibility suddenly occurred to me: What if the president already knows?!
Think about it; we’ve just taken it as a given that Walker is a helpless play-thing for Frank to manipulate, but what if the Commander-in-Chief has finally wised up to his games and is now simply playing along to gain the upper hand. Walker may have seemed a bit wet, but he’s obviously got some sort of intellectual and political acumen or else he’d have never made it to president. This would also be a much more satisfying explanation for the mind-boggling ease in which Frank has influenced him this season. It’s certainly an interesting possibility, and one which I expect will be either confirmed or dismissed in future episodes.
If the rest of this episode is anything to go by, it’s definitely prudent to assume that no relationship in House of Cards is as it seems. In the space of one episode, Seth (Derek Cecil) goes from being an informant for Remy (Mahershala Ali) posing as a new PR agent for Frank, to being a PR agent and informant for Frank, posing as an informant for Remy. Talk about jumping sides…
Jackson Ball - follow me on Twitter
IMAX poster, a new TV spot has arrived online for 300: Rise of an Empire, which we've got got for you right here after the official synopsis...
Based on Frank Miller's latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster 300, this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield - on the sea - as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. 300: Rise of an Empire pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
300: Rise of an Empire is directed by Noam Murro (Smart People) and sees 300 stars Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro and David Wenham alongside Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom), Eva Green (Dark Shadows), Jack O'Connell (Skins), Hans Matheson (Clash of the Titans) and Callan Mulvey (Zero Dark Thirty).
300: Rise of an Empire opens on March 7th.
2014 is upon us and film geeks around the world are eagerly anticipating the release of a whole slew of big-budget sci-fi and fantasy extravaganzas, all made with the aim of blowing your mind and renewing your faith in the awesome power of cinema. While some may say this isn’t really different from any other year, we’d beg to differ.
Sci-fi in particular is coming back in a big way. Like heavy metal, it seems to come and go in cycles, but this year is set to be particularly massive, with Gravity likely to get a lot of love at the Oscars 2014. Here are three films we're really looking forward to:
The most famous kaiju of all is to return in a new update, directed by Gareth Edwards, who shot to fame for his ultra low-budget, but critically acclaimed, sci-fi film about aliens invading Mexico, Monsters. Forget Roland Emmerich’s disastrous, hilariously bad 1998 remake. The trailer for the new Godzilla looks apocalyptic, dark, brooding and terrifying – nothing like Emmerich’s train wreck of a film.
Starring Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the masterful trailer that’s been released has left sci-fi geeks quivering in their seats. Buckle up: it looks like one helluva ride.
300: Rise of an Empire
300, directed by Zack Snyder and adapted from Frank Miller’s graphic novel, seemed to divide audiences when it came out. Some seemed to be captivated by the innovative visuals and the ultra slow-mo fighting scenes; others were insulted by the fascist overtones and the alleged praise of imperialism.
If you thought 300 was an amazing movie, then 300: Rise of an Empire will probably look promising to you. It’s also based on a Frank Miller graphic novel, Xerxes, which hasn’t been published yet, and has several cast members returning to reprise their roles. Check out the 300: Rise of an Empire trailer now!
Christopher Nolan’s next sci-fi behemoth is coming out this year, and as usual, it boasts an impressive cast, with some newcomers and a whole bunch of regular collaborators. Matthew McConaughey has the lead role, an ambitious astronaut who is leading a ground breaking voyage through a wormhole. It already sounds more complicated than Inception but hopefully it’ll make more sense!
The film will also star Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, Topher Grace, Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, David Oyelowo and Bill Irwin. As with Nolan’s last few films, Interstellar is being filmed with both anamorphic 35mm and IMAX film photography, so expect some seriously big screen action.
"After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy — the Winter Soldier."
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Community) and sees MCU veterans Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola) and Maximiliano Hernandez (Agent Jasper Sitwell) joined in the cast by Anthony Mackie (Pain & Gain) as Sam Wilson / Falcon, Emily VanCamp (Revenge) as Sharon Carter / Agent 13, Frank Grillo (Zero Dark Thirty) as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones, George St-Pierre (Death Warrior) as Georges Batroc / Batroc the Leaper, and Robert Redford (All Is Lost) as Alexander Pierce. The film is set for release on March 26th in the UK and April 4th in the States. Watch the latest trailer here.
announcing that a sequel was in the works before the animated smash hit had even arrived in cinemas. But now, with the film out to near-universal acclaim and big box office receipts, the studio has set a release date for The LEGO Movie 2, which will hit cinemas on May 26th 2017. Yes, that's an awful long wait.
The LEGO Movie 2 is currently being written by Jared Stern (The Internship, Mr. Popper's Penguins) and Michelle Morgan (Middle of Nowhere, Girl Most Likely). At this point it's unknown whether directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will return - they chose to hand over directing duties on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, but did stick around for the upcoming 22 Jump Street, so obviously they aren't averse to revisiting material.
The LEGO Movie is out now, with a voice cast that includes Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Cobie Smulders. Read our reviews here, here and here.
Latino-Review has thrown up another casting rumour for the Man of Steel sequel, claiming that the studio is looking to add another DC superhero to the ever-expanding roster of the follow-up to last year's Superman reboot.
According to the site, WB is looking to cast a young and physically fit black actor in his early 20s for a small role in Batman vs. Superman, with a view to appearing in multiple future DC movies (the obvious candidate here would be Victor Stone, a.k.a. Cyborg). The report goes on to claim that Snyder has met with Michael B. Jordan about the role, but with Jordan set to play The Human Torch in The Fantastic Four, you'd have to wonder whether he'd be open to taking on another recurring superhero role at this point. Although he has played Cyborg previously, in the DC animated feature Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox...
Ordinarily, I'd be taking this report with a pinch of salt, but the Man of Steel himself Henry Cavill has previously stated that he'd like to see Cyborg appearing in the DC Universe, and seeing as he's a core part of the New 52 Justice League, you'd have to imagine Vic will be introduced sooner rather than later. So, when Cyborg does make his debut, who would you like to see in the role? Let us know in the comments below, or head on over to The Flickering Myth Forum...
Batman vs. Superman is set for release in May 2016 with a cast that also includes Ben Affleck (Batman) Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White), and Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth).
Anghus Houvouras on what Guardians of the Galaxy can teach us about geek marketing...
We live in a time where films are being marketed from the moment they are announced. As soon as Zack Snyder took the stage at Comic-Con in 2013 and announced Man of Steel 2 would actually be Batman vs. Superman, the internet started a steady stream of information that soon turned to a pour, then a deluge.
The internet age has given us unprecedented levels of information about upcoming movies. In the days before the world wide web, you would hear about a movie going into production and would barely hear a word until you saw the trailer, which you weren't even aware of because back then you didn't know what previews would be screened prior to the film. I can still remember in May of 1989 recording a summer movie preview special on my VCR that showed behind the scenes footage of Batman and The Abyss and watching it again and again. That kind of advance look was rare and usually limited to 30 second segments on Entertainment Tonight. They were simpler times.
Now we have every detail telegraphed. We know about movies from the moment the pen hits the paper. The Hollywood Reporter releases a blurb online before the ink is even dry. Do they still sign contracts with pens? Am I further dating myself? Now we even know what trailers are going to be attached to movies. The element of mystery is completely gone. Well, not completely.
This week the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer hit and has taken the internet by storm. There's a lot of buzz around the clip as well as the first poster. Both pieces of media balance space faring adventure with a healthy amount of comedy and swagger. The fact that the words 'You're Welcome' appear under the release date is a testament to Marvel's resolve to do something different with the marketing. Taking it back to the faucet analogy, Marvel has been giving us a consistent drip with Guardians. Little bits here and there but not showing us too much. For all intents and purposes, the trailer was really everyone's first glimpse into the world of this widely unknown comic book.
I think you can credit the heavy buzz to the fact that Marvel waited before showing us too much. That steady drip kept everybody curious, and finally when they had something worth showing they turned the faucet up. Right now we have a nice healthy pour of information about theGuardians. The trailer gave us the tone and the characters, but it didn't dive deep into the story. There's still an element of mystery to the Guardians, still things left to discover.
On the other side of the sink you have X-Men: Days of Future Past which bypassed the drip and the pour and have been flooding the net with information since sets were being built. Bryan Singer was tweeting random photos every other day. Behind the scenes photos were being printed and published with a ridiculous level of frequency. A teaser trailer was released without a single, solitary 'Holy Shit' moment. This past week saw almost two dozen poorly rendered character photos hitting the web. The pipes have burst. The damn has broken. The same strategy was adopted by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 who has been out there every week with a new villain announcement or set photo.
The marketing for Guardians and X-Men is a strong statement about how much better Marvel is at packaging their product than 20th Century Fox or Sony.
What Guardians of the Galaxy can teach us is that geek films are often better served by a 'less is more' approach. A steady drip of marketing. A more reserved approach to the reveal. Guardians of the Galaxy is giving us just enough to keep us interested. Where Days of Future Past is involved in an epic data dump that lacks focus and cohesion.
The win for Guardians was being content flying below the radar for awhile. It's the one Marvel property out there that no one has a strong grasp of. Up until a week ago, people had devoted more words to the lack of tangible information out there about the film than anything official. The Nova Corps Helmets at Comic-Con, Vin Diesel voicing Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket. What we didn't know about the film was far greater than what we did. The more reserved approach feels downright inspired in a day and age of the media onslaught. Days of Future Past and Amazing Spider-Man 2 seemed to employ a less conservative strategy fighting to see who could flood the net with more media. A kind of scorched earth marketing policy that leaves nothing to the imagination. There are no blanks for you to fill in. Only data to parse. A flood to endure.
Geek films could learn something from Guardians of the Galaxy. Generating buzz isn't always about 'more'. There's still a lot of value in the slow reveal and an element of discovery in marketing. Seeing how Marvel is handling Guardians of the Galaxy is downright refreshing.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the novel My Career Suicide Note, is available from Amazon.
Many thanks to Phedon Papamichael for taking the time for this interview.
Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada.