Doctor Strange by … Christopher Nolan? Superheroes Aesthetics Collide

By now everyone has already seen Marvel’s Doctor Strange first teaser trailer, which debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday. What I’m wondering is if anybody has thought, for a moment, if the movie’s director could be a surprise-egg Christopher Nolan. Cos’ the first thing I’ve thought upon seeing the trailer? “Wait … is this a Dark Knight/Inception crossover?” that’s the first thing I thought.

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The trailer shows us a disheveled Benedict Cumberbatch searching for a new life reason and begging for the teachings of warrior monk Tilda Swinton (a casting who raised some justified objections). The parallel with Nolan’s Batman Begins and the Chris Bale/Liam Neeson mountain training combo are quite blatant. And shall we talk about the mind games and reversed cities? That’s some 100% Inception scenery!

It’s not as silly as it sounds. Cinema is a visual art. The aesthetics and the imaginary of a movie are a fundamental part of its development and its identity, because the plastic and figurative aspects of a text are often the very first thing we pay attention to.

As superheroes movies goes, DC Comics productions and Marvel productions have always differentiated themselves via two different imaginary. We are accustomed to a brighter, bolder, more colorful look for Marvel movies, and a somber, darker look for DC movies. Considering the box office success of both the Dark Knight trilogy – which pretty much redefined Batman’s imaginary for the wider, non-comic reader audience – and the Avengers phenomenon, it’s quite strange (pun intended) to think of a Marvel movie sporting such a serious look.

Doctor Strange will hit the theaters on November 4. From the look of it, it will be another origin story, the first of Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three. Stephen Strange sure is a moral grey character, an egoistical and brilliant surgeon who stumbles into mystical powers while searching for a way to cure his damaged hands – and thus regain his personal abilities, the protection of the world far from his thoughts at the beginning of his super hero story.

Paired with the upcoming inner struggles in Civil War, it’ll be interesting to see if this somber, more adult imagery will spreed to the whole MCU, and with which consequences in terms of world building and revenues.

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Upcoming Fantastic Beasts

So the new teaser trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is out. I woke up this morning to it driving insane my Twitter feed and I soon joined the craziness. And I’m very happy. And also very worried.

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I’m … I’m happy, I truly am, so very damn happy the incredible experience of the Harry Potter world is not over yet. And I trust JK Rowling to continue it with a valid, well-deserving story; I may have disliked some of her narrative choices in the last HP books, but she’s a great writer and storyteller. I guess I’m just accustomed to a lot of sequels/prequels/reboots/inspired works ruining the original sources, and I’m unconsciously preparing myself for the worst.

That said, the trailer looks promising. I’m quite indifferent to pretty much the whole cast aside Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell, but that’s because I don’t know most of them, so I reserve judgement after the movie. The story of Newt Scamander is one worthy of many retellings, and the special effects look awesome. I’ve always had a weak spot for the magical creatures in the Harry Potter world and I can’t wait to see more.

For now, I’ll keep my hopes up and keep being emotional about the soundtrack.

 

Long Live the Mockingjay – Why Katniss Everdeen is the Hero We Need

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With the oncoming end of The Hunger Games cinematic saga, I fear the moment the spotlights won’t be on this incredible story anymore. It’s something that’s meant to happen to all movies/books/show: pages and episodes are over, the product in itself is finished. Of course, that does not mean the story is over. That’s what fandom is about! We make our favorite stories immortal, we keep them alive with our own products and our passion. I’ve myself had a Harry Potter relapse, this summer, and boy, isn’t the fandom always and forever in full swing?

So no, I’m not afraid The Hunger Games will die.

But I’m afraid a lot of people will forget about Katniss Everdeen. I want people to never forget about Katniss Everdeen, because Katniss Everdeen is the hero we need the most.

I remember, the first time I read The Hunger Games, what struck me the hardest was Katniss’s normalcy. She’s painfully, beautifully ordinary, and she never stop being so. She enters the Games to protect her sister, does her best to survive so she can go back home to her family, fights back when Rue is killed, fights to protect Peeta, and keep fighting and fighting, trying to overcome her terrible traumas, as long as she’s needed to help as many people as possible.

I want people to remember that Katniss Everdeen was never a special snowflake of awesome powers and ability, but a common girl from the poorest District of Panem, who did well in the Games because her long-dead beloved father had taught her how to hunt to feed their family. I want people to remember how Katniss Everdeen became a hero out of unselfish love. She only ever wanted to keep her family safe. She fights to save Peeta even when she’s sure he’ll be angry with her, even when she thinks herself unworthy of love. It doesn’t matter, all it matters to Katniss is protecting her loved ones.

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How strange it is, to find well-known actorold_moviess and actresses in old movies? It happened to me so many times, but it’s still hilarious and quite emotional. You’re watching a movie, maybe a not well-known one, and suddenly someone pops on the screen and you’re like … wait … wait! Is that *you*?!

I don’t know about you, but I love when it happens, it’s a beautiful feeling, like the unexpected return of a friend.

Dirty Hills and Flashy Fires

One does not simply not marathon the whole Peter Jackson’s Tolkien-related body of works, once one does possesses all the DVDs … right? Right.

So I actually managed to marathon both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit trilogy during this weekend. It was hot, okay? Worst heatwave we’ve had in a lot of years here in Italy. And I was with a group of friends and we were incredibly bored and incredibly sleepless.

No, don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you all with six never ending reviews. I just wanted to write down something I’be been thinking about for a while, since we finished watching.

In long time gone by – The Lord of the Ring trilogy, I binge-watched. I wasn’t old enough to go to the movies alone when it came out, and I totally hit the Tolkien Mania years later. Thus, all three movies in one go. Many, many years ago – still, I marathon them once a year at least. That’s how much I love them.

The Hobbit trilogy, I went to see to the theater, properly, once a year and all. And … it was good. Quite good, in fact. Emotional and catching and surprising, but there was something that sat wrong with me, and I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly the problem was. It took me the six movies long marathon to understand it.

It’s about cinematography.

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I’m reading Gone Girl.

I’m reading it very slowly, and alongside other books – because there’s that much of Gone Girl I can read in the same day. It’s a hard book gone girlto read, one of those books that poke at your convictions and challenge your view of the world.

I’m constantly left in awe at Gillian Flynn‘s ability of inhabiting two opposite voices with the greatest ease. I find myself cheering for Amy, then reproaching her, then cheering for Nick, then hating him … Flynn is able to pull the reader inside both these two different streams of thoughts, and it feels always natural. You never feel like the book should have been written only in Amy’s POV or Nick’s POV: the two POVs are both needed, well-paced and captivating.

As I said, a difficult book to read. It pushes you to stop thinking about how much exactly social rules and stereotypes are involved when we judge people all around us. Is Amy a bad woman? Is she justified? No, of course she is not justified, nothing justify things like the ones she does – but the reader simply cannot not sympathies a bit with her pain and her frustration, and blaming Nick for part of her derailing in her own particular darkness.

I’ve seen way to much press about the movie apparently being only concerned with the “crazy-bitch” side of Amy. And that’s not just wrong in all sort of ways because it trivializes women and their identities and daily struggles – that’s also unfair toward Gillian Flynn’s awesome narrative skills! To me, a big part of Gone Girl‘s charm is how twisted and blurred the lines between Right and Wrong are.

G.

Four Reasons Why Pacif Rim is 101% More Awesome that You’d Think

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When a blockbuster movie about giant robots fighting giant dinosaur-like aliens has better representation and more constructive messages than most of the movies we see, then maybe our pop cultural industry needs to be reformed.

Or, you know, genius Guillermo del Toro is Genius.

I’ve re-watched Pacific Rim recently, and my unabashed love for this movie came back in full force. I clearly remember when I went to see it at the theater for the first time, dragged there by my friends for some brainless, relaxing variety of fun.

Halfway the movie, I was squealing in delight.

For the giant robots being giant and badass and shiny? Maybe. Mostly, though, it was because of four main reasons related to the characters, the two main ones and the whole cast.

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