Sunday, November 29, 2015


Once upon a time, comic book films were thought to be nothing but campy children's films and couldn't be taken seriously. Well, lucky for us, Tim Burton proved those nay sayers wrong and gave us a gritty, dark, mature take on Batman. Then you know . . . Joel Schumacher went and ruined it again. But it's all good!

Tim Burton is definitely one of the most visionary, unique directors in Hollywood. From Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Burton has made a name for himself making quirky, visually stunning films. Although some of his recent efforts haven't been as strong as his 80s and 90s work (Alice in Wonderland . . . Weird choice . . . ) I still think of him as a talented director.

I got to thinking recently how cool it would be if Tim Burton took on another superhero film. His Batman films were really awesome and favorites of mine when I was a kid (yes even Batman Returns). Several years ago, he was even tapped to bring Superman back to the big screen.

This was almost real . . . *Shudder*

Now if you've read the stories on what happened with that film, it was going to star Nicolas Cage as Superman, feature Brainiac, Lex Luthor, and Doomsday (possibly, I think). It would've been . . . Let's say quirky . . . Ah who are we kidding? It would've been either the coolest fuckin movie ever or the worst. Sadly, we'll never know . . . 

However, it is fun to think what other characters Tim Burton could tackle with his unique vision. His films always have a character or situation that's entirely in black and white and then juxtaposed with a world full of color. Think of the Joker and Batman, Edward Scissorhands and the suburbs, Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka. Lots of color vs black and white. I started to think of what characters could fit that motif and what those films by Tim Burton would look like. I'd like to share my thoughts . . . 


There are rumors of this character getting a Netflix series, but for now let's pretend he was just optioned for a film by Tim Burton. This is a character with a severe personality disorder. During the Brian Michael Bendis / Alex Maleev run, he thought he was teamed up with Spider-Man, Captain America, and Wolverine while out on missions. Turns out, it was all in his head. Given Burton's love of characters with a lot of mental complexity and emotional strife, Moon Knight would be a perfect fit for a Burton film. Also, it would be a great reason to cast Johnny Depp. Depp could play all four parts (Spidey, Cap, Wolverine, and Knight) at once and really give the audience something visually exciting to watch. Plus, Moon Knight's costume is all white with hints of black. There's your black and white element! In the Bendis run, Knight was in LA. So there's your color! The brightness and colorful world of movie making with a hero dressed in white and black. That would be an awesome movie!


Zatanna would be an awesome choice for Tim Burton to adapt. Zatanna is a powerful sorceress in the DCU. All she has to do is say a sentence backwards and it happens. So something like, "Feiht pots!" would stop a thief (Thief stop!). It's a bad ass power set. Given her level of power, it's up to her to combat magical threats that may arise. She frequently works with the Justice League, especially Batman. Zatanna travels around the country putting on magic shows. It would be really cool to see a superhero film set in Las Vegas (there's your element of color!). I think Burton could craft a really exciting and visually stunning film based on Zatanna. Films like Beetlejuice and Sleepy Hollow show that he is good at crafting a dark and scary but still fun film filled with magic and mayhem. And the role should totally go to Christina Ricci.

Yes. Let's make this happen!

Ricci does have history with quirky films (Casper, The Addams Family,Sleepy Hollow). She's a great actress and it would be fun to see her tackle a great character like Zatanna. Also . . . she's a huge childhood crush of mine. So . . . I'd die if this actually happened!


So this one might be a little out of left field, but hear me out! Like with my Zatanna choice, I think it would be a really exciting film. Burton has a knack for tortured characters and they don't get much more tortured than Ghost Rider. Now let's pretend that the Nicolas Cage films never happened.

It's hard to forget sometimes . . . 

I think it would be great to see a new, really radically different take on the character and Burton excels at that. His take on the Penguin and Catwoman in Batman Returns and even some of the characters in Alice in Wonderland prove that he doesn't mind messing with the formula a little bit. It's good for the audience to be surprised by the film and excited by the changes. Granted, fans are hard to please but given the last couple of Ghost Rider films, I think a major change should be in order. Plus, as I said with Zatanna, Burton is really good at crafting scary but fun films. Ghost Rider could easily fit into his quirky vision.


Boy, if you thought my last choice was weird then you're really scratching your head at this one! As far as quirky characters go - Osborn is definitely one of the top picks. Given his history as businessman, terrible father, Green Goblin, head of S.H.I.E.L.D. replacement H.A.M.M.E.R. back to Green Goblin it's no wonder the dude has a few screws loose. One thing that Burton excels at is showing the striking differences and eerily similarities to his heroes and villains. Look at Batman and the Joker. Vastly different characters that Burton showed aren't far off from each other. To a lesser extent there's Edward and Will Bloom in Big Fish. A father that tells outrageous but captivating stories and the son that can't learn to accept it until his father passes on. Burton excels at having somewhat simple looking characters have many deep layers. 

 In this case, you can have Norman Osborn take on any of the Avengers or just Spider-Man. Show the world how similar Osborn is to Stark. Both are rich, powerful men with a knack for paving the road to Hell with good intentions. Then there's Osborn and Peter Parker. Both are geniuses who are willing to risk everything for what they believe in. Then there's Osborn and Captain America. Both are patriots. There are probably other similarities but I can't think of them right now.

 Anyway, this would be amazing to see adapted on screen. Plus the way Mike Deodato draws Osborn makes him look like Tommy Lee Jones. I know he's already been in Captain America: the First Avenger but let's give him this one too! I'd love to see Burton's take on Norman Osborn's story. Dark Avengers and the Dark Reign storyline following Secret Invasion was one of my all time favorite comics. If Tim Burton chose that as his project I would be one happy fanboy!


Yes. Everything about this yes! From the obvious choices to the less obvious ones, let's examine why Tim Burton should totally direct a Batman Beyond live action film:

That. Right there. While Michael Keaton isn't as old as Bruce Wayne is in Batman Beyond he's still a capable actor. Birdman proved that Keaton is still in good shape and is beyond capable (pun intended) of playing an older, harder Bruce Wayne. Plus this time he wouldn't have to wear a restricting costume, so that would be a bonus for him. Keaton and Burton already have a great working relationship, otherwise they wouldn't be considering doing a Beetlejuice sequel (even though they shouldn't make that movie . . . ever). So there's already a great rapport there. Hire a young buck that no one knows and make him Terry McGinnis. Keaton can pass the torch and start a great new franchise.

Earlier I said that Burton is great at juxtaposing black and white with color for his characters. Batman Beyond, whether the producers realized it or not, did a similar thing. Gotham City looked bright and exciting from the top but at the bottom there was less color and more shadow. You'd get characters like Blight and the Jokerz that were very colorful and then Batman who was in the shadows and literally invisible due to his suit's technology. That would make for a visually stunning film as well as having colorful characters that Burton loves to utilize.

Also there's the nostalgia factor. This could either be a straightforward Bat-sequel or an entirely new film. But if Keaton were to be cast then most would assume it was a sequel. Either way, it's fine with me. If you two are considering a damn Beetlejuice sequel after almost 30 years then certainly a Batman Beyond film can't be out of the realm of possibilities! Granted, it might be difficult for some audiences given the direction of the new DC films with Ben Affleck as Batman, but hey . . . who cares what they say! At the end of the day, fans both casual and hardcore want to see a great film. I have little doubt that a Burton-ized version of Batman Beyond would be amazing to see.

Burton has proved that he's great at making visually stunning as well as character driven films. I'd love to see him tackle any of these characters and give them a unique spin. I doubt he will ever make another superhero film. However, it's fun to think about. For me, I grew up on the Tim Burton Batman films and they helped shape my opinion on the character both visually and emotionally. While it's too bad we never got to see his quirky version of Superman, maybe someday we'll see a quirky Avengers or Justice League film. A man can dream . . . 

Till Next Time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015


As I have stated on numerous posts, I'm a sucker for a great trailer. A truly great trailer will not only get you excited to see the film but will have you asking just enough questions to keep you guessing until the film is released. Now, there are plenty of films that spoil the best parts right in the trailer. Remember Amazing Spider-Man 2? Yeah . . . it was pretty obvious that the film was spoiled within those 2 and a half minutes. I feel like that's really hard to do. After all, most movies are over two hours. But then again . . . What do I know?

I'd like to share with you some of my all time favorite movie previews. Granted, some of these are for movies that may have turned out not so great, but it doesn't change the fact that the trailer was still fun to watch. Basically for some of these, I'm gonna tell you how movie studios tricked me out of $10.  ENJOY!.

Nowadays nostalgia is a key selling point to many films that are released. It seems as though Bryan Singer and Warner Bros thought of that before all these reboots and reboot/sequels took over the market. My favorite part of this trailer is definitely the original John Williams score laced throughout. It gives the trailer an epic and exciting feel. While the movie itself is underwhelming, the music and the nostalgia really helped sell this film to me. I grew up on the Christopher Reeve Superman films. I never get tired of them. This trailer reignited my Superman passion.
Hey! Speaking of Bryan Singer! I will confess that all the DOFP trailers are outstanding and got me super excited to see the film. However, I'm gonna give the prize to this one due to the fact that it showcased more of the action and spectacle of the film. The other trailers showed that the film was full of emotion and drama. Yes, action scenes were included but this trailer was balls to the wall action! Plus the inclusion of Kashmir as the musical backdrop made this trailer a lot more exciting. Music can make or break a trailer and like my Superman suggestion, this trailer kicks a lot more ass due to the song choice. 

There are a couple entries on this list that may shock you. Remember when I said a good trailer will get you excited to see the film? Usually they will include just enough dialogue or plot points to let you know what type of movie you'll be seeing. However, there are a few that don't really show you anything and yet they are amazing. Remember that first teaser for Star Wars: the Force Awakens? That thing showed NOTHING and got everyone all riled up. Well, I'll never forget this preview. Unfortunately it was pulled due to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. But before then . . . Man . . . it was a good time to be 14 years old. This was before YouTube and Yahoo and all that jazz. If you wanted to see a movie preview, you had to go to the movies or hope that your computer wouldn't freeze every 2 seconds while loading a video. 
Like I said, I'll never forget this one. Nowadays, new trailers are released online and in the movie theaters. I remember being in the theater with my mom and seeing this preview for the first and only time. I had no idea what it was for in the beginning. When the camera whipped around and showed Spidey's face I cheered. It was an incredible moment for me. I wish more teasers would just surprise us like this one did. I mean, yeah the tag line is a little cheesy, but you gotta remember that this was the first time Spider-Man was going to be in a live action film. It was an exciting time to be a comic book fan.

Here's another trailer that I don't think I'll forget for as long as I live. Mainly because I watched it about 100 times. I don't think I'm exaggerating. There was a really cool online marketing campaign going on for the film and this trailer was released as part of that. I kept in on my computer and watched it over and over again. I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that this film was going to be amazing. I was one of the few people that believed that Heath Ledger would be amazing as the Joker. This trailer proved me right. Every single line of dialogue, every moment he was on screen, I felt as though the Joker that I loved/hated from the comic books was coming to life. He was doing everything the Joker should do: He was scaring people, making jokes, threatening Batman, and laughing maniacally the whole time. 

This trailer came out right before Christmas. I remember watching it all throughout December. Unfortunately, that January was when Heath Ledger passed away. I couldn't watch this preview for a few weeks. I feared that with him gone, the film would suffer. Luckily, that was not at all the case. His performance was intact and completely mesmerizing. For me, the anticipation for this film kicked into high gear with this preview. And I was not at all disappointed when the film was released. I was about to see the definitive Joker vs Batman story. I knew it :)

Like my Spider-Man choice, this teaser is actually a scene from the movie. Now I will admit that the film itself is disappointing, but I think we can all agree that this preview and the special effects on The Surfer were incredible. I didn't really grow up reading the Fantastic Four. I knew who they were and I liked them, but I didn't necessarily follow the comics. This trailer made me pick up a few original Stan Lee FF comics. I was blown away by them. I thought they were so cool and fun. This trailer, and the film itself (tried), to emulate the fun and excitement and danger of the original Stan Lee / Jack Kirby comics. Now, I consider the Silver Surfer one of the coolest and best Marvel space characters. One can only hope that Fox and Marvel work out a deal to get him in a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel or possibly Avengers: Infinity War.
Now THIS was a preview! Holy shit! Ultron is terrifying! Remember when I said a good song/music choice can make or break a trailer? Well, the haunting version of Pinnochio's "No Strings on Me" during this trailer truly set the mood. This was going to be a worthy sequel to the Avengers. Or you know . . . So we thought. Despite the film being a little more, shall we say, "Joss Whedony" than the trailers would have let us believe, I still look back fondly on this preview. It looked like our heroes had met their match. And plus, James Spader could read the phonebook and make it scary. This was the Ultron I knew from the comics. Menacing, uncompromising, and seemingly unstoppable. If only the film was as dark as this preview promised . . . Oh well . . . I still enjoyed it!

Again, another case of the movie not turning out so great, BUT this trailer is really cool! It's not very long, but it gets the point across that this is going to be a totally different looking Terminator film than we're used to seeing. Gone is the time travel, running from the unstoppable killer, trying to prevent Judgment Day Terminator films. This was the future that Reese told us about in the first Terminator film. And truth be told, this was the film I always wanted to see. There were a lot of scenes in the film that I did enjoy. I still like this trailer, I like the idea of seeing John Connor kick Terminator ass in the future. 
Now THIS was an epic trailer! This trailer promised (and in my opinion delivered) the Superman movie I always wanted to see. It had the best elements of my favorite Superman stories like Smallville, Birthright, All Star Superman, Superman: Earth One and even a little bit of Superman II. It was going to be an non stop action thrill ride, something that was sorely lacking from the previous Superman films whether it was due to special effects limitations or whatever their problem was with Superman Returns (still a great trailer though). Again, the music totally makes this trailer great. It was confirmed that it was Hans Zimmer new score for the film. It sounded epic and exciting. The trailer is better off for it. Think what you will about Zack Snyder, the man can craft some incredible visuals. The trailer looks and feels fantastic. For me, it left little doubt that I was gonna get the Superman film I was dreamed of. Lucky for me, I did get just that :)

Not a comic book, but still one of my favorite trailers ever made. Lucasfilm's Marketing Department clearly thought this would be the last teaser ever shown for a Star Wars film and wanted to ramp up the nostalgia in a big way. It starts off simple enough with imagery from the previous films, then we're treated to Anakin looking very much like a Sith, and then the reveal of Darth Vader himself. All we really knew about this film at the time was that it was going to be about old Ben Kenobi's speech on how the Jedi were destroyed by his former student. This trailer packs quite a punch for being just over 90 seconds long. We see the usual War in the Stars (haha), some crazy aliens, familiar faces like Chewbacca, Padme, Yoda, and Mace Windu, and then brief glimpses of arguably the most anticipated scene in the entire film - Obi Wan vs. Anakin. When the trailer ends, it ends much too soon! More! More! This was going to be the film that the fans wanted to see from the very beginning! To me, it did not disappoint.

This is my favorite trailer of all time. Why, you may ask? Well because it's freaking Batman!!!!! Like I said with my Spider-Man choice, this trailer shows you nothing but its ending is enough to get fans riled up. I remember seeing this trailer online, back when that was kind of a rare thing. I remember thinking, "This is how you make a trailer!" Some of my friends complained that it didn't show anything. I would always argue that that was the point. It's better to get just a taste of what's to come. This movie looked nothing like the Batman films we were used to. It didn't have flashy lights, crazy costumes, and outrageous set pieces. It looked and felt like it took place in our world. It was dark, scary, and intimidating. This was the Batman movie I had been waiting for my whole life. This was going to be unlike any other superhero film I had ever seen. I couldn't wait.
You might now be wondering why I included the Ben Affleck Batman picture at the beginning of this article. Well . . . I originally was going to include that trailer and the recent Force Awakens trailers but I decided to keep this limited to movies that have already been released.
I love going to the movies and seeing new trailers. Nowadays, it's so easy to watch a trailer on your phone, iPad, Kindle, laptop, or whatever new fancy device is currently being invented. Trailers are the first glimpse we get at a new film. The better they are, the more likely we are to see the movie. And in my opinion, nobody does it better than comic book trailers. They show us enough spectacle, humor, action, drama, all that good stuff to get us excited. I'm looking forward to the next batch of Marvel, DC, and Lucasfilm trailers. Gotta have something to blog about right?
Till Next Time!
JJ - the Comic Junkie!