Thursday, February 6, 2014

Your 2014 February Follow-Up Post

And we're back with another semi-regular Miss Media Junkie Blog follow-up post, to provide you with updates on topics I've previously written about, but that I don't believe require an entire new post to themselves. The original posts are linked below for your convenience.

The State of My To-Watch List - I'm down to about 30 films left for 2013. Several of the indies like "Under the Skin," "Night Moves," and "Narco Cultura" have been reclassified as 2014 films because their theatrical releases have been pushed forward to this spring. Of the remaining ones on the list, it's mostly foreign films like "Stranger By the Lake" and "Like Father, Like Son," which are only getting theatrical releases now, and some of the studio pictures I haven't prioritized like the new "Hobbit" and "Hunger Games" movies. Expect reviews eventually, but not until they hit the in-flight viewing or rental rotations.

"Batman" without Batman? - Oh dear. Looks like "Gotham" is going to be a more a "Batman" prequel than we thought. At a recent TCA press tour panel, Fox Broadcasting chairman Kevin Reilly confirmed that a twelve-year-old Bruce Wayne will regularly appear in the "Gotham" series, and early versions of Joker, the Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman are among the "Batman" villains we can expect to show up too. This means that we're going to be hammered over the head with references and allusions to the future "Batman" continuity, exactly what I was hoping "Gotham" would try to avoid. Prequels only work if they can stand independent of the originals, and it's only going to be harder with so many familiar faces.

Making Peace With the Rumor Mill and The Obligatory Ben Affleck is Batman Post - And while we're on the subject of the DC comics universe, I suppose I'd better say something about the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. This is one of the only positive bits of news about the new movie I've heard so far, a really daring choice that indicates the "Batman v. Superman" creators are trying to move in a different direction. Luthor was always the embodiment of the evil businessman villain of the 80s. The 2010s equivalent of that would be someone more akin to Mark Zuckerberg, and Eisenberg was pretty good at playing him. Nearly everyone else involved still has me worried, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Is This the End of Facebook? - And speaking of Mark Zuckerberg, let's check in with Facebook. The video ads I discussed previously finally rolled out in December, and honestly they haven't been too intrusive. I've been on Facebook more often lately, and though the bandwidth drain has been noticeable, the actual ads are fairly easy to skip over in the newsfeed. This week marks the tenth anniversary of Facebook, and there have been a new round of doom-and-gloom articles discussing the company's dimming future prospects. Younger users are abandoning the site in droves, apparently. However, Zuckerberg being Zuckerberg, I wouldn't count them out yet.

The 2015 Showdown Looms - Despite the "Batman v. Superman" movie, "Independence Day 2," "Pirates of the Caribbean 5," "The Adventures of Tintin 2," and "Finding Dory" moving to 2016, and a couple of other projects with indeterminate status, the 2015 slate has gotten even more crowded. New entries into the fray include the delayed "Fast & Furious 7, Brad Bird's "Tomorrowland," and PIXAR's "The Good Dinosaur." Plus the "Poltergeist" and "Mad Max" reboots, Kenneth Branagh's "Cinderella" "Fifty Shades of Grey,"and Neil Blomkamp's "Chappie." At least the summer slate looks more manageable at the moment, with the big titles more spread out over the year.

An All Female "Expendables"? - This one looks to be in limbo. There's been no news about the project since August, when it was announced that "You're Next" star Sharni Vinson was joining the cast along with Gina Carano and Katee Sackhoff. Considering that these are the biggest names that the project has managed to land so far and there's no director attached, don't expect to see this one in theaters soon. Also, there's now a competitor project with the same premise, "The Expendabelles," from Millennium Films, the production company behind "The Expendables." They're aiming much higher, having landed Rob Luketic as a director and trying to court Meryl Streep.

My "Adventure Time" Problem - Finally, I've been watching more of "Adventure Time," and wanted to put down a few follow-up thoughts that don't merit a full post. My position hasn't changed. I like the series and admire what it's accomplished, but it's not one of my favorites. I do like Finn and Jake much more as characters, though not quite as much as their distaff counterparts. One thing that bothered me about the Fionna and Cake episodes was that they were so romance-heavy, but it made sense after going back and seeing all the episodes about Finn's relationships with Bubblegum and Marceline. I've also done a 180 on Lumpy Space Princess. A little of her goes a long way, but when she's done right, she's priceless.

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