COUNTDOWN TO STAR WARS EPISODE SEVEN – 244 DAYS

star-wars-force-awakens

Counting down the 244 days until The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.

In the days leading up to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, And There Came A Day will present links, images, videos, art, memories, laughs, theories and thoughts leading up to the big day… which happens to be on my birthday!  ENJOY and may the Force be with you, always… or at least until 12.18.15!

April 18, 2015

EIGHT MONTHS FROM TODAY…

The Force Awakens!

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Controversial From The Start – The Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Teaser Drops

If you follow this kind of thing, you know that Warner Bros was planning an out-of-the-ordinary event to premiere its teaser for the highly anticipated Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice movie coming in 2016. On Monday, April 20, in select IMAX theaters, the teaser was to screen for the first time in front of audience to be released later on the internet.

That’s not the way things played out. A clearly cell-phone pirated version of the teaser made the rounds on the internet on Thursday, April 16 – the same day as The Force Awakens trailer was released.

The majority of early reactions to the Batman v Superman teaser were not entirely positive. Whether this had to do with the tone of the teaser (foreboding) in comparison to the tone of The Force Awakens teaser (hopeful), with the lingering emotions surrounding Man of Steel (which I detailed HERE) or with fear that this movie will be a Green Lantern like misfire, I don’t know.

I do know that I was a bit underwhelmed seeing the teaser last night – but that was the blurry, very dark pirated version. It seems release of this version forced Warner Bros’ hands and, today, they released an HD version.

I found my reaction to the official version much different. This teaser is pretty stunning, frankly.

I am digging the concept, begun in Man of Steel that, if a superhuman being came to earth, that entity would likely be regarded with as much fear as openness – especially if, in his first appearance, he was involved in a battle that caused significant loss of life and property damage. I am digging that the world would have mixed emotions. I am digging that other entities in the world (Batman? Lex Luthor?) would feel like they had to take his measure.

But, you should judge for yourself:

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Iron Man – A Movie Review

image from IMDB.com.

image from IMDB.com.

Though I am writing this review in 2015, two weeks prior to the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, I am attempting to place myself back in the mindset of 2008 when Iron Man was released, when Marvel Films was not cranking out hit-after-hit, and when few were certain that Robert Downey, jr could carry a movie as a lead anymore.

From its first moment, Iron Man knows what it is and what it’s doing. What Iron Man is is a high-octane, laugh-out-loud, grab ’em and don’t let go action movie that is fun from start to finish. What it’s doing is apply a pitch-perfect tone adapting an American literary genre that has – too often in the past – been taken too lightly or too seriously. When you take comic books too lightly, camp becomes the order of the day. When you take comic books too seriously, the result is painful and overwrought.

When you hit the sweet spot (say with Superman the Movie or Spider-Man 2) the audience is treated to wonderful spectacle, heroic adventure and an iconic rendition of a character. All actors who have or will play Superman will be judged by the standard Christopher Reeve set. All who put on Spider-Man’s tights will be following Tobey Maguire’s terrific performance. We can add Robert Downey, jr’s Iron Man to this list.

From his first moment on-screen, riding in a Humvee on his way back from a successful demonstration of military hardware, Downey, jr. commands the entire movie as Tony Stark, brilliant inventor and scientist with an outsized ego and an oversized wit. Smooth, engaging and impossibly charming, Downey, jr. delivers each of his lines in the film – in the Iron Man armor and out of it – as though he’s making them up as he goes along. At each step of his development as an unlikely hero, Downey jr. seems as surprised by how events are unfolding around him as the audience is. If there is a recent better fit for an actor to a role than this, I am hard pressed to recall it. Downey, jr. is simply perfect. Primarily because of his performance, we care more about Tony Stark out of the armor than we do about him in it, and for a movie about a superhero, that’s a pretty rare feat.

Downey, jr. is well supported by a great cast. Both Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrence Howard are very good in second banana roles, Paltrow as Stark’s executive assistant Pepper Potts who may or may not develop into his love interest and Howard as Stark’s best friend Lt. Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes whose job in the movie is to play conscience to Stark’s man-child proclivities. Neither actor is stretched much beyond the comfort zone, but they fit the flavor of the movie very nicely.

Jeff Bridges, on the other hand, seems to be having just as much fun as Downey, jr. His Obadiah Stane is one part corporate titan, one part father-figure and one part ruthless business man. Of all the actors, Bridges is the only one who truly matches Downey jr. in terms of wild energy and emotion and his off-kilter line delivery is a pleasure. His plaintive “Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave… out of a box of scraps!” is likely not destined to be the most quoted line of his movie career, but perhaps it should be. I can’t say I’ve seen all of Bridges’ movies, but I think I can say without fear of being contradicted that he’s never played a role like this one and, just when he could chew scenery and take Stane completely over-the-top, he doesn’t. He’s a great foil for Stark.

The plot itself adheres very closely to the Iron Man origin story in the comics, but not so slavishly that the magic of the creation is lost in translation. At its heart, Iron Man is a redemption story and there is no better actor working today to place in the center of such a story than Downey, jr. That the audience has as much fun getting to the redemption as the actors seem to be having is a great testament to the direction of Jon Favreau. Every choice he makes, from set piece to soundtrack, seems inspired and all of them lead to a terrific finished product.

And when we get to the “secret” ending, we know there is a wider plan at work for Marvel’s movies, and we’re thrilled by its potential.

IRON MAN receives FIVE FUNVEES out of a possible FIVE.

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COUNTDOWN TO STAR WARS EPISODE SEVEN – 245 DAYS

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Counting down the 245 days until The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.

In the days leading up to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, And There Came A Day will present links, images, videos, art, memories, laughs, theories and thoughts leading up to the big day… which happens to be on my birthday!  ENJOY and may the Force be with you, always… or at least until 12.18.15!

TEASER II STILLS

If you’ve not seen the second teaser for The Force Awakens, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?

Let the analysis begin! Below are some of the images from the teaser for The Force Awakens that was released yesterday at the Star Wars Celebration along with a bit of speculation from me.

Darth Vader's helmet. We don't know who is looking at it. The last time we saw said helmet, it was on fire at the end of "Return of the Jedi." Image from theverge.com.

Darth Vader’s helmet. We don’t know who is looking at it. The last time we saw said helmet, it was on fire at the end of “Return of the Jedi.” Image from theverge.com.

R2-D2 and... is that Luke Skywalker's robotic hand? I am going to go with a hard "affirmative" on that. Image from theverge.com.

R2-D2 and… is that Luke Skywalker’s robotic hand? I am going to go with a hard “affirmative” on that. Image from theverge.com.

Another shot with someone's hand... perhaps it's Princess Leia? The voice over accompanying this shot talks of the Force being strong in the Skywalker family and that lightsaber looks very much like Luke's. Image from theverge.com.

Another shot with someone’s hand… perhaps it’s Princess Leia? The voice over accompanying this shot talks of the Force being strong in the Skywalker family and that lightsaber looks very much like Luke’s. Image from theverge.com.

Here's the big bad (as far as we know): Kylo Ren. Image from theverge.com.

Here’s the big bad (as far as we know): Kylo Ren. Image from theverge.com.

"Chewie, we're home." Enough said. Image from theverge.com.

“Chewie, we’re home.” Enough said. Image from theverge.com.

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The Force Awakens Teaser 2 – “Chewie… We’re Home.”

The Force is with this trailer. It’s spot-on, perfect.

Analysis will follow in a later post. For now, I bet you can’t watch it just once.

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The Warning – And There Came My New Favorite Band

While I am not what one might can a fan of heavy metal music in general or Metallica in particular, it’s almost impossible not to love these three girls covering Metallica’s Enter Sandman. Then it’s almost equally impossible not to watch their other covers on YouTube.

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COUNTDOWN TO STAR WARS EPISODE SEVEN – 246 DAYS

star-wars-force-awakens

Counting down the 246 days until The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.

In the days leading up to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, And There Came A Day will present links, images, videos, art, memories, laughs, theories and thoughts leading up to the big day… which happens to be on my birthday!  ENJOY and may the Force be with you, always… or at least until 12.18.15!

THE CELEBRATION BEGINS

The annual Star Wars Celebration begins today in Anaheim and there will certainly be much news concerning The Force Awakens. We can’t all be there. Actually, let’s be honest, I am not that concerned that YOU can’t be there, I am concerned that I can’t be there!

We’re all saved, though. Beginning tomorrow at 10:00am PST, we can all watch live feeds from the Celebration HERE!

It’s going to be a fun week… and there are rumors of a new trailer coming!

star wars celebration

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