I have no idea if Suicide Squad is bad. I haven’t seen it. The trailer looks boring and formulaic, and nothing I’ve read (even what’s written by people who actually liked it) has made me want to see it. But what’s really funny is DC fans complaining that there’s media bias against DC films (most of whom hadn’t seen it on August 3-4, when this behavior started). Ridiculous. Christopher Nolan’s Batman films were some of the best reviewed, most Oscar nominated superfilms ever. And the reviews of the last X-Men movie were tepid. And the reviews of Fantastic Four were…Deservedly terrible. Anti-DC bias? No. They just need to stop making such bad movies.
But it’s doubtful they will, as Squad was rewarded with a $135 million dollar opening weekend—the best of any August film ever, including the great Guardians of the Galaxy, which only pulled in $94m. Of course, GotG did it without a marquee name and without any recognizable characters. Squad has Will Smith and Batman and Joker and Harley Quinn. Still, if no GOOD deed goes unpunished, then what appears by all objective quality measures to be a BAD movie gets heavily rewarded. Of note, theough, is that ticket sales dropped by nearly half between Friday and Saturday—indicating terrible word of mouth.
What else is news?
JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION. Although its movies haven’t been good in many years, the best superhero cartoons have always been DC. Going all the way back to Superfriends, through Superman The Animated Series and Batman TAS, the original Teen Titans Go!, Justice League, and the relatively recent Batman: The Brave and the Bold…All superb. Lately, their stuff has skewed younger, but their full-length animated movies are still top notch, all-ages material. So, I’m excited that Justice League Action is arriving in September on Cartoon Network, and promises over 150 characters, including mainstays like Bats, Supers, and Wonder Woman, and movie types like Harley Quinn, but also stranger choices like Demon, Constantine, and Space Cabbie. I wish it wasn’t 11-minute episodes, but I’ll definitely give it a try. And speaking of promising adaptations of comics…
WILSON ARRIVES NEXT MARCH. The third adaptation of a Daniel Clowes graphic novel, Wilson, will hit theaters on March 3, 2017, and has an all-star cast including Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. Clowes also wrote the screenplay, as he did for the phenomenally good movie version of his best comic work, Ghost World. And while we’re on the subject of indie comic adaptations…
WHO IS JAKE ELLIS MOVIE GETS A NEW DIRECTOR. It seems a little early to be changing directors, but the adaptation of the Image Comics miniseries that made Nathan Edmondson a name in the world of comic writers has moved to Josh Mond, who directed the indie film James White.
MARVEL’S CHAMPIONS. The Champions of the 1970s (Ghost Rider, Angel, etc.) were a C-team with a C-book that never really went anywhere, but Marvel is banking on the Mark Waid revival, featuring young superheroes like new Nova and Ms. Marvel, to be something big—and it’s offering a “party kit” to retailers who double-down on issue #1. They’ll get promotional giveaways like postcards and lithographs, variant covers, and even pins and standees.
GHOST RIDER IS BACK. Of course. The Robbie Reyes, teen-with-a-car version of the character is coming to Marvel’s Agents of SHEILD TV show, so it makes sense the comic is returning, too. What a coincidence! It seems that characters on the screen driving characters in print is becoming all-too frequent at the same time that Marvel’s overall quality decreases. Hm.
That seems as good a place as any to end this post!