Monday, March 7, 2016

Hollywood Grapevine

Hollywood Grapevine
Here's some thoughts on some recent movie news

J.K. Simmons joins DCEU
Ever since Spiderman joined the ranks of the MCU, people have been begging and begging for J.K. Simmons to reprise his role of J.J. Jameson from the original "Spiderman" trilogy. Say what you will about the Sam Raimi "Spiderman" movies, but I enjoyed them and one thing Raimi nailed in his movies was casting. J.K. Simmons was perfectly placed in the shoes of J.J. Jameson, and I can't see the character in the pages of comics anymore without thinking of Simmons. Today, it was announced that Simmons will join DC and play Commissioner James Gordon in "Justice League." Yes, the same alley of Batman Gary Oldman and Pat Hingle have already played. Honestly, I like the casting, and I am on board. Honestly, just because Simmons is playing Gordon doesn't mean he can't be Jameson again. Ryan Reynolds has double-dipped in both DC and Marvel, so I don't see why an Oscar winning actor can't do the same. Warner Bros. has been doing a great job with casting their universe, and now I am ready for this new universe to finally unfold.


and...on the Marvel side of things...

Zendaya joins the Sony/MCU Spiderman movie
It was announced today that singer Zendaya has joined the cast in a lead role for the upcoming Sony/Marvel Cinematic Universe "Spiderman" movie coming in 2017, she joins Tom Holland who will play the webhead. I have never heard one note of Zendaya's music, I had never even heard of her, so I actually don't know whether I should be excited for this or not. Right now, her character is being billed as "Michelle," and there is some chatter that she will be play Michelle Garcia, a supporting Spiderman character. Others are saying this is misdirection and she might be MJ or Gwen. Who knows, way too early to tell. I think Marvel has made enough good decisions to at least earn some leeway with us, so for right now, I am once again on board.


21 Jump Street/Men In Black crossover
Sony is hungry for a hit right now, so much so that it seems they are throwing everything at the wall, hoping something will stick. First, I am not as impressed by the all-female "Ghostbusters" movie as I hoped I would. Second, that Venom movie not set in the MCU is utterly confusing, what's the point of having Venom if he won't confront Spiderman or be in this universe? Now, they are taking two totally different franchises, in subject matter and in tone and throwing them together. Yes the "21 Jump Street" franchise is merging with the "Men In Black" franchise. They will share continuity. 

This is weird on so many different levels. First, why would two undercover cops who specialize in high schools and colleges ever crossed paths with government agents keeping alien activity secret? I can't see one plausible scenario where these two groups would meet. Second of all, one franchise is PG-13, the other is R. What tone will this mash-up take? How do you balance it without one franchise going unbalanced? Its going to take one hell of a talented screenwriter to make this at least watchable. Third of all, is anybody asking for these two franchises to meet? What can the audience get out of this? What can Sony get out of this besides the obvious monetary profit? What is the goddamn point? I don't know what lead to Sony becoming so desperate, but all of this is getting hard to take.


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