Marvel and DC’s new films

I thought I’d take some time to list Marvel and DC’s upcoming film projects, as well as my thoughts on them.

Here’s a run-through of what’s coming:

May 2011

THOR (Marvel) Based on the comic about a Norse god who is banished to Earth but who must reclaim his powers. Chris Helmsworth (Kirk’s father in STAR TREK) and Natalie Portman star, along with Anthony Hopkins. I’ve never really been a Thor fan in the past but this movie does look pretty good from the teasers (Including the one at the end of Iron Man 2) and it’s got Kenneth Branagh directing as well. I predict it will do pretty well until Pirates of the Carribean IV comes out two weeks later.
July 2011
GREEN LANTERN (DC) Based on DC’s space-cop series about a test pilot who gets an alien ring that can create objects out of green energy but has one weakness-Yellow. Ryan Reynolds stars in this, a film directed by Martin Campbell (Known mainly for Bond reboots Goldeneye and Casino Royale). DC needs a hit-although the Nolan Batmans have been sucessful, they’ve failed to really get any other of their big heroes going on the big screen. This might be the one, but we’ll see.


X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (Marvel) The latest in the X-men series seems to be unclear at this junction whether it’s a reboot of the existing continuity or in the same ‘universe’ as the previous films. James McAvoy and Kevin Bacon star, and the plot probably involves the formation of the X-men and features Magneto and the elite mutants known as the Hellfire club.

CAPTAIN AMERICA (Marvel) Features Chris Evans as the patriotic superhero (Evans had previously played the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies) and Hugo Weaving as nemesis the Red Skull. Rumored to more of a period piece as Captain America takes on a group of bad guys-Hydra-during World War II. Directed by Joe Johnston, who did a similar project in the 90s with THE ROCKETEER.


COWBOYS AND ALIENS (?) Features Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. That’s really all I know 🙂




Wolverine II-Directed by Darren Akrosky, this continues the origin of the Wolverine character, this time taking place in Japan.

Ghost Rider II-Nicholas Cage as the demonic superhero, but rumored to not be too strong on the budget this time.



The Avengers. Teaming up Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, the Hulk and Nick Fury as well as some newcomers. Directed by Joss Whedon, this should be real good.


Spider-Man-the reboot of Marvel’s flagship hero features Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) as Peter Parker, Spider-Man and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. Director is David Webb.  A little strange since Spider-Man 3 although a critical flop was a commercial sucess, but oh well.


Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. This, along with AVENGERS is probably the comics project with the most hype….here Nolan returns to helm his third Batman movie, and presumabely this will deal with Batman’s redemption after taking the fall for Harvey Dent/Two-Face in the Dark Knight. The villain hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it won’t be the Riddler or Joker, probably. Tom Hardy (Star Trek:Nemesis and Inception) has been cast alongside regulars Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman.


Superman:The Man of Steel-still in development, this film will be directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and a Superman is yet to be chosen, although rumor has it that it will probably be an older actor. This will be a reboot apparentally and more action heavy than SUPERMAN RETURNS.









Review: I, Claudius

A couple weeks back I reviewed HBO’s Rome. Now it’s time to go back to the past-and yet ROME’s future-with I, Claudius, the 1970s British series.

The series features Derek Jacobi as the titular Claudius, who is one of the last emperors of the Julio-Claudean dynasty of Emperors (That started with Julius Caeser).  Although controversial at the time for his multiple disabilities such as a stutter and limp, he was able to somewhat restore the Empire to some sanity after the tyrannical rule of Tiberius and Caligula. A historian of sorts, Claudius writes a history (To be “uncovered” in 1900 years) of his troubled family that starts with Augustus (Brian Blessed) and his scheming wife, Livia (Sian Phillips), who covertly murders, betrays, or frames all of Augustus’s potential heirs until only her reluctant son Tiberius is left. It’s around this time Claudius (Derek Jacobi) enters his own story, and we see him be somewhat slow-witted but crafty enough to ‘play the fool’ as the Empire goes nuts around him. Particuarly nuts is his nephew Caligula(John Hurt), who thinks he is a god, makes his horse a senator, turns the palace into a brothel and cross-dresses. And that’s not listing half of what he does in this series.

Nevertheless Claudius survives and becomes emperor, but eventually and slowly is betrayed and manipulated by those closest to him. His only real friend is Jewish king Herod Agrippa (Grandson of that King Herod), but even that becomes strained somewhat.

Although it might sound similar at first, “I, Claudius” is a very different beast than HBO’s Rome. Production values are one thing. I, Claudius was made 25 years earlier and on the scale of pretty much any BBC drama. It’s shot entirely on set and on videotape, giving it a sort of theatrical feel instead of a ‘real’ look. While Rome is full of action, there’s almost none at all in I, Claudius-it’s drama through and through, although with it’s ocassional light moments. It is fairly frank in it’s sexuality and nudity, although not to the extent that Rome is.

However despite this, I, Claudius is a very interesting series and worth a look for any fans of history or of Rome.