Na Na Na Na Na Na No Batgirl

You have to admire what the original Superman nailed with tone. They got it right back in 1978. More than a decade later was the first Batman film which had a daring take that gave a very German expressionist look at a comic book film. Next was Spider-Man, and then of course Nolan’s Batman films before these tonal shifts and very different takes become funnelled into two very trite styles by Disney’s Marvel and Warner Bros. DC. Disney has championed the comic book films by copy and pasting the foundation with different genres, a branching narrative and of course the comedy. Warner Bros. on the other hand since Man of Steel has tried to counter act Disney by having films with a darker tone. Warner Bros. for the most part has tried to mirror the success Disney has reached, but for audiences it has been unearned as the films constantly alternate between bad and good. So what can Warner Bros. do?

Warner Bros. parent company was acquired back in 2018 and it seems we’re starting to see the changing of hands over there. Starting last year with HBO Max’s push of having simultaneous theatrical releases being available on the streaming platform day one. This year CW has seen plenty of regular shows axed, including multiple shows in the “Arrowverse“. While there have been many world tragedies, the greatest may be the attention the Depp V Heard case gathered over everything else. Neither came out looking good, Heard especially, and now Aquaman 2 stands to be boycotted by her involvement. Ezra Miller, known for playing The Flash has also been the subject of discourse as allegations pile on him. While Amber Heard plays a supporting role in Aquaman 2, Ezra Miller is the title star of The Flash, and the allegations are serious enough for Warner Bros. to seriously reconsider how they move forward with the project.

It has been announced that Batgirl has been shelved indefinitely, which is rather unusual for a film that is in post production and has already cost an estimated $90 million. Similarly a sequel to Scoob has been shelved. It seems that the case with both films appears to be this middle tier they tried to make for straight to stream films, but the costs they believe are too great, and want to make $40 million dollar films for the service instead. A $90 million price tag is a lot of money, although it is probably close to half of most blockbuster superhero films today, and wouldn’t compete if it’s of subpar quality. Considering how much Warner Bros. is hurting of late its good that they are finally committing to quality, as they’ve spoken to working on a ten year plan for the DC Universe. They’ve talked about plans before and this time appears different as they’re being heavy handed. Hell, I may become interested in comic book films again if they consolidate their plans into pursuing quality superhero films.

So what do we think of the state of Warner Bros.? Are they trying to clean house so they can hit the restart button once they can finally offload Aquaman 2, and The Flash? I sure hope so. However, it is a shame to see Scoob’s sequel be squandered, but we sure don’t need more mediocre superhero films.

Robert Ring

Frozen Let Go

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first animated feature film. Everyone believed it wouldn’t work, and that it couldn’t. All kinds of rumors spread before its release. My favorite was one that said people could go blind watching the bright colors for a feature-length amount of time. Nobody went blind. Disney instead made a critical and commercial success. The movie was so successful it held the title of being the highest-grossing animated film for fifty-five years. It wasn’t until Aladdin’s release that it was overthrown in 1992. Since then the title has been passed along every couple of years, and now it has once again. This time Frozen has passed the crown to The Lion King (2019).


The Lion King (2019) undoubtedly looks like a live-action film, so don’t feel stupid questioning it. It will even make it into the top ten highest-grossing films in the next couple of weeks. The question is can Frozen 2 take the number one spot? It’s possible, although I feel unlikely.

Disney is now king of the box office and I’m curious to see what’s in store for the future. So I want to get deeper into the storied history of the Walt Disney Company in future posts by digging into the past. I’ll start by looking at Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

For now, I think The Lion King (2019) may hold this title for two to three years.

Robert Ring

The Hunt for Censorship

Remember when the release of The Interview in 2014 had the world worried about North Korea going to war with the United States? Looking back it’s a bit humorous, but it was a moment. Theatre chains across the United States refused to show the film in fear of retaliation. Sony ended up delaying the film and re-edited it for a digital release and a small limited theater run on the same day. Even though it was just another comedy from Seth Rogen, it’s unfortunate when any creative material needs to be censored. Now, The Interview was a film that still came out and for the most part, it was handled as well as it could considering the pressures at the time. We should congratulate Sony for that at the very least because what Universal has just done is a joke.


In the last couple of weeks, people have begun rallying for greater gun control in the United States. Mass shootings are frequently happening and two have just gone down within twenty-four hours. The outcry is significant, but nothing is happening. The President is moving the conversation away from gun ownership and targeting video games and movies. This is a tired argument that needs to stop being used as the scapegoat. The President tweeted about Universal’s upcoming picture The Hunt indirectly as a movie that “is made in order to inflame and cause chaos”. Shortly afterward Universal decided to pull their film from next month’s release schedule. It is unclear when and how they may go about releasing it in the future.


The Hunt looks like a good movie from the trailer, nothing spectacular. The context we are given from the trailer also appears to be no different from many other films where the elite echelon of people are using real people as fodder. The idea is similar to The Hunger Games, or even The Cabin in the Woods, Gamer, and so forth. The Hunt is closer to a satire on the world today, but I fail to see how it should be made an example of because of the recent shootings. Hollywood is one of the most vocal groups lobbying against guns, so it seems bizarre that they would have to bow down in this fashion. It’s possible that the studio has a box office failure on their hands and know it. Therefore, they may be able to claim the insurance on it and just release it on a streaming service in the future. The thing is people haven’t seen it yet, although that doesn’t stop it from having critics sight unseen. People need to stop pointing blame where it doesn’t belong and censorship needs to be stopped, especially in this case.

Anyway, here’s the trailer of the movie we maybe will see someday…

Or not.

Robert Ring

Remakes are Absolutely Fine

I think I know what my parents feel like when I see original movies from the nineties being remade. It’s becoming common. Sure, The Lion King was a dud, but Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast were great. I’m even interested in The Witches remake set for next year.


I’m thirty now, and my friends and family are all starting to have children. I’ll be having children within a few years too. So there’s this passing of the torch between parent and child of experiencing the same idea in a new way. Film remakes are actually kinda perfect at helping to bridge the generational gap. Worst case scenario is that you could write off the remake and then make them watch the original. They may even be excited to find out there is another version of this NEW movie they’ve just watched. I think giving these movies a twenty-year breather from the original is pretty reasonable. The people that are making these remakes are usually inspired by the original and want to make something that can match it.

Disney PLus

Disney’s acquisition of Fox has given them a huge library of IP they can do with as they wish. They announced they have plans to reboot Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with these choices. These are likely going to be made for Disney’s streaming service (Disney+) and not see a theatrical release. Are you telling me if you subscribe to Disney+, you wouldn’t be down to watch a new Home Alone if it dropped in December? Besides, Home Alone is an idea that is fun to play with as technology and social interactions change. I would probably even watch the original straight after it.


So I’m not sure why there is hate for remakes? I hate when features like the one HERE, by the Independent write “Home Alone is proof Hollywood’s dying a terrible death”. Reading these articles makes me facepalm so fast you could confuse me with being attacked by a face-hugger. Hollywood has been remaking movies since the beginning of the film industry. It wasn’t until The Wizard of Oz had been adapted for the screen a third time that we saw the beloved The Wizard of Oz (1939), yet I’m sure the newspapers weren’t going, Hollywood is running out of ideas. Looking at the list of the highest-grossing films of 2019 already shows that remakes don’t make up for nearly that many films. Yes, a lot are sequels, but most are still original films.


Remakes are fine. Disney will be making plenty in the future and then remaking those remakes in another twenty years. I have expectations going into Disney +, and the content they’re making for it fits those expectations. That’s why Disney+ is not the Netflix killer. Netflix has so many weird cylinders it’s firing off that it will make Disney+ feel like a niche service. I think everybody would expect to be jumping into Disney+ for the nostalgia and the adaptations over anything else.

And after all, wasn’t Home Alone 2 just a remake of the first one?

Robert Ring

Batman V Superman, and Suicide Squad Trailers

Just when I’m starting to get tired of comic book films we get the trailers for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. DC’s darker tones have begun to renew my interest in comic book property films. Ben Affleck as Batman is the part I’m most looking forward to. I mean he is an incredible actor and storyteller with an oscar for writing on Good Will Hunting and his direction in Argo won him Best Picture in 2012. Now we’re hearing he will be directing a stand alone Batman film too. This trailer for Batman V Superman looks badass, and this Bruce Wayne is full of rage. We also see Robin’s suit with bullet holes, so is he dead? Apart from not loving the film’s director Zack Snyder, I’m still not sold on Wonder Woman and I hope Doomsday is not in this film. Overall this is a great trailer.

Suicide Squad is a property that not many people, including myself know much about. The characters are all bad and are mostly unknown villains to the general public, so while we love the two characters going into battle in Batman V Superman we need to be given ample amount of back story on each of these characters. The tone looks great and believably from the same universe as Batman V Superman, while the Joker played by Jared Leto is tracing more of the iconic comic book style of his character. Batman is seen in this trailer as well and maybe he is getting revenge on the Joker for Robin, if he is in fact dead.

These trailers have made me excited and if I’m not mistaken the two films are only four months apart with a release for Batman V Superman in March 2016 and Suicide Squad in August 2016. Get excited!

Robert Ring

Goosebumps Trailer Released!

Goosebumps was a horror series of books, and one of the many highlights of being a 90’s kid. It wasn’t just a few books in a series either, but a new book that was released every month over six years in the original run.  You would consume them over an afternoon and then talk about them with your school friends the next day. As a child you were totally creeped out by these stories you brought to life in your imagination and for many of us including myself they were the first real books you learnt to read on your own.

The trailer is surprisingly better than expected. It works on the premise that the author R.L. Stine, played by Jack Black has written the books to keep the monsters locked up within manuscripts. This appears to have been working fine until the neighbour takes an interest in his daughter and  investigates the author’s house where he accidentally unlocks all the monsters within the Goosebumps universe. There has been plenty of new Goosebumps books written since the original run, however they seem to have opted for the original favourites. This trailer is full of nostalgia for the original books we grew up with and from the trailer I already see A Shocker on Shock Street, Night of the Living Dummy, Monster Blood and many more.

Goosebumps looks like it will be a fun family outing with a Jumanji feeling to it. It looks like the original fans of the books will take their own children to relive the magic. Goosebumps has an October 2015 release date in the USA and a December 2015 release date for Australia.

Does the Goosebumps trailer fill you with nostalgia?

Robert Ring

Creed Trailer Released!

This year I dived into the Rocky franchise and watched all six films. It is one of the oldest film franchises ever made and I think it might be the longest running franchise with the same cast of characters. There is 39 years between Rocky (1976), and Creed (2015) at the end of this year. Creed is technically a spin off, but one where the character of Rocky takes the backseat as coach to Apollo Creed’s son. Well today the trailer for Creed hit the web and I’ve attached it below. It is everything we could want from a spin off of one of the finest movies, and it brings the journey full circle as Rocky’s own coach taught him.

Additionally here are my thoughts on the six Rocky movies, and if you are a newcomer I would say watch all but Rocky V.

Rocky (1976)
Rocky Balboa fights Apollo Creed – 4/5

Rocky II (1979)
Rocky Balboa fights Apollo Creed (Again) – 3/5

Rocky III (1982)
Apollo Creed trains Rocky to defeat Mr T – 3/5

Rocky IV (1985)
Rocky fights to avenge the death of Apollo Creed – 3/5

Rocky V (1990)
Rocky loses his money and turns to coaching – 2/5

Rocky Balboa (2006)
Rocky wants to fight one last time, sums up the legacy of Rocky and makes up for Rocky V – 3/5

Creed could be as good as the original Rocky, if not better with a great director in Ryan Cooglar and Michael B. Jordan in the title role. The baton will be passed and a new franchise may fill our cinemas for years to come.

Robert Ring