I’ve been a big fan of Ghostbusters for as long as I can remember. Director Paul Feig is currently making a movie featuring four women as Ghostbusters, and they’re shooting for a PG-13 rating (which I’m kind of worried about). I had been upset with the direction that the new movie was taking. I’m not against the idea of women being Ghostbusters at all. I would rather not have an entire team composed of women exclusively. I’d have been fine with any combination of men and women on the team, as has happened in the comics and cartoons over the years. I have been hoping for a Ghostbusters 3 since the credits rolled on Ghostbusters 2 when I saw it on the big screen as a kid. I’m never really against getting a sequel to a great movie, because if it’s great there’s more to love. If it’s awful, it’s easily ignored. I also own more Ghostbusters collectibles than anyone probably should.
Now I have reason to hope once more. After Sony made their deal with Disney’s Marvel Studios to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they were left with a load of release dates from cancelled Spider-Man related projects. Everything from The Amazing Spider-Man 3 to Venom to The Sinister Six, as well as a potential Black Cat movie (or another female lead Spider-Man spin-off) and a potential Aunt May film that sounded kind of like Agent Carter. It would have been interesting to see how this Spider-Man Cinematic Universe would have looked, but Marvel Studios didn’t want to over-crowd cinemas with their movies, for possibly because it could weaken the comic book movie brand considerably.
Sony took a good look at the properties they had in development, and decided that they’d finally attempt to create something they can legitimately call their own, without fear of losing it to another studio. That could have been something like Men in Black, and there are rumors about that as well.
For now, they’ve created a studio called Ghost Corps (pronounced Ghost Core), which features original Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd and Ghostbusters 1 & 2 director Ivan Reitman. Their goal is to bring Ghostbusters to a larger scale, with a larger cinematic universe, television and merchandising. And it all starts with Paul Feig’s movie.
After that, there’s a possible male-lead Ghostbusters film that is rumored to star Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt (and I personally hope that Bill Hader and Emma Stone join that team). That film could be directed by the Russo’s (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War), and would probably be shot during the summer of 2016. The film currently lists Channing Tatum as a producer, with no actors attached, and the Tatum/Pratt team-up could be related to the leaked Sony e-mails from Tatum in which he wanted to make a Ghostbusters film in which he and Pratt would star.
The next film would be an Avengers style team up, to take on a larger supernatural threat. And I’ve also read that a fourth film would possibly be a prequel to all of these movies. This prequel likely would not include the surviving original Ghostbusters, because of the red tape due to the rights to the characters. However, seeing as Aykroyd and Reitman are involved, I wouldn’t count that possibility out entirely.
There is also the possibility of the return of the comics, hopefully with the return of the same creative team behind the IDW line that was so excellent. It also could mean another animated series, which is something else that I’m really excited about (and another reason why I question that the use of the characters from the original movie could be much of a rights issue). IDW is currently preparing their second mini-series since the cancellation of the on-going series. Hopefully they maintain the rights to the brand well into the future, as their work has been excellent.
Sony is serious enough about this that Reitman is moving his entire staff of his production banner The Montecito Picture Co. onto the studio lot to focus on this endeavor. Montecito and Ghost Corps will be separate entities, however.
“We want to expand the Ghostbusters universe in ways that will include different films, TV shows, merchandise, all things that are part of modern filmed entertainment,” Reitman said. “This is a branded entertainment, a scary supernatural premise mixed with comedy. Paul Feig’s film will be the first version of that, shooting in June to come out in July 2016. He’s got four of the funniest women in the world, and there will be other surprises to come. The second film has a wonderful idea that builds on that. Drew will start writing and the hope is to be ready for the Russo Brothers’ next window next summer to shoot, with the movie coming out the following year. It’s just the beginning of what I hope will be a lot of wonderful movies. My primary focus will be to build the Ghostbusters into the universe it always promised it might become. The original film is beloved, as is the cast, and we hope to create films we will continue to love.”
What do you think of the idea of the Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe?
tl;dr: Sony Pictures created a production company called Ghost Corps. Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd are part of that company. They’re creating a Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe starting with Paul Feig’s movie. A second movie could be directed by the Russo’s starring Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt, with a third film being a team-up, and a fourth being a prequel. Ghost Corps is also creating other outlets for the brand including TV and merchandise.
Since the end of the on-going Ghostbusters comic book from IDW, they’ve been keeping things going a bit with mini-series. It started pretty much immediately with their four part team up: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Ghostbusters. There had been nothing new since then, but now we have another mini-series coming that will bring the team together with The Real Ghostbusters.
Ghostbusters Gets Real is expected to ship in June.
Ghostbusters: Get Real #1 (of 4)—GEM OF THE MONTH
Erik Burnham (w) • Dan Schoening (a & c)
When a confrontation with the elder God Proteus goes awry, Peter, Ray, Winston and Egon will meet… THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Ghostbusters: Get Real #1 (of 4)—Subscription Variant
Erik Burnham (w) • Dan Schoening (a) • Erica Henderson (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
•Featuring the creative team of the smash hit Ghostbusters Ongoing and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters series!
•Check out the variant cover from Erica “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” Henderson!
As a massive fan of Ghostbusters, it’s been exciting to see all of the new things being released over the past seven years or so. There have been tons of action figures, pop vinyl, video games, comic books, and more, all leading up to the eventual release of more movies. This year there was also a Kickstarter for Ghostbusters: The Board Game. The company behind that game is also creating a set of Ghostbusters Trading Cards.
The base set contains 63 cards with images from the original Ghostbusters motion picture. While it is unclear what else is going to be included, the listing on their website says that it will contain images from the fan favorite films, so that could mean Ghostbusters 2 as well, in some regard. It also mentions The Real Ghostbusters and the IDW comic book series.
There will also be randomly inserted autographed cards, hand-drawn sketch cards and authentic animation cel cards. Plus, they are also going to release a binder that includes an exclusive card that you’ll only find there.
Here are the details about the set:
Packs: 5 Cards per pack, 24 packs per box
Base Set: 63 card base set
Chase Sets: (TBD)
Parallel Sets: Printing Plates (insertion rate to be determined)
Inserts: Autograph cards (TBD); Hand-drawn Sketch cards (TBD); The Real Ghostbusters Animation Cel cards (TBD)
Binder: 1″ binder contains an exclusive card
Release: The 3rd Quarter of 2015
Disney has announced Frozen 2. It is official, and I’m looking forward to it. However you feel about Frozen, it’s still an excellent film with a wonderful message. I have friends with kids that have probably seen and heard the beginning of the movie a few hundred times. It’s not something that I’ve dealt with, but I bet that I will at some point in the future. I can only hope that it’s a movie at least half as good as Frozen. I don’t honestly think I’d mind having it “overplayed” though. I have a pretty high tolerance for repeated viewing of excellence.
The only thing I’m worried about, here, is where the story goes next. The Frozen Fever short that is playing before Disney’s new Cinderella (2015) was enough for me to get excited for another story set in that world, but I do know that it’s going to be quite a few years before the sequel is ready. The first thing that people tend to say is “I hope they don’t ruin it!” But my question to you is this: when has a sequel ever ruined the first movie for you? Did The Return of Jafar ruin Aladdin for you? Did The Empire Strikes Back ruin Star Wars for you?
These days, under the guidance of Bob Iger and John Lassetter, Disney Animation Studios (and all Disney production) will only create a sequel if they have a story that wants to be told. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to try a sequel when they have a hit as large as Frozen. We’ve seen what happened when Pixar made a sequel to Cars that wasn’t quite as good. It still wasn’t a failure by any means, it was just different. We’ve also seen two sequels to Toy Story, with each being better than the last. They’ve also created two shorter specials with the characters, and are now working on Toy Story 4. Needless to say, Disney has earned my confidence. The days of the sequel for no reason seem to be safely behind us, when it comes to major motion pictures.
I’m in for this one.
Now, I need to tell you about the Nendoroid Elsa. Here’s the description from the company’s website:
From the hit film ‘Frozen’ comes a Nendoroid of the Arendelle Royal Family’s eldest daughter, Elsa! Her intricate dress has been carefully transformed into Nendoroid size, even including the faint yet beautiful snowflake patterns! She comes with three expressions including a cute smiling face, a sidelong glance with a smirk and a singing face that looks ready to shout out ‘Let it Go!’ at any moment!
Olaf, the enchanted snowman with a love for Summer is also included with his comical expression from the series faithfully reproduced – his neck and arms are also articulated allowing you to recreate all sorts of fun scenes for the snowman too! A special Nendoroid base based on Elsa’s ice castle is also included to display them on!
When I heard that Disney was making a live action version of Cinderella at the 2013 D23 Expo, I wasn’t all that impressed with the idea. I’ve never been a big fan of the character (likely because I’m a guy, lol). Then they said that Kenneth Branagh was directing and that was enough to get me interested in seeing the movie. With an unknown actress in the title role, I was curious about what they were going to do with the story to make it different enough for the big screen.
The source material for the story is also relatively sparse and would make for a gruesome film.
Instead, what Disney has created is actually a film with far more depth than the story originally contained. One that is better than the source material and the animated film by a wide margin. The themes of forgiveness in the face of adversity, kindness in the face of evil and bravery in the face of abuse are well told. Lately, Disney has been taking a path of showing a villain in a different light, giving us a reason that they are being villainous. In this case, they do so very well, and instead of being something that helps us to understand the villain, it brings about more than that.
The story is that of Ella, a girl with loving parents that teach her about magical things, how to be kind to all, and to have courage. After losing her mother, many years pass and her father finds love once again. But her stepmother isn’t ever able to understand Ella’s relationship with her father. But there’s more to her stepmother than that, and it shows us the kind of person that Ella could choose to become. Both Ella and her stepmother suffer huge amounts of loss in their lives, and both of them deal with this loss in very different ways. The stepmother allows this loss to consume her and inform every self-defeating decision that she makes, adding to her unhappiness. Ella looks at what she’s losing, and takes the time to grieve properly, and looks back toward the words of her mother: be kind and have courage.
Even when Ella is asked about how she’s living, and how she is treated, by a complete stranger in the forest, she says that “they do as well as they can.” She doesn’t badmouth them, even privately.
This is also the story of a prince that is looking for a bride. His father will not live for much longer, and wants him to take a princess as his bride to aid their country. There’s a moment, however, that is very human and heartfelt between the father and son. As the father is laying in bed, very weak, the prince and he have what could be their final conversation, and the prince curls up next to his father in the bed.
Another moment that Ella handles much better than her stepmother or step-sisters is upon hearing that her father had passed away on a trip. A friend that was on the journey comes with the news, bringing Ella the branch that she had asked for, telling her that she was all her father had thought about. Ella’s step-sisters were focused on what they didn’t get, and her step-mother was more focused on their current predicament, shouting “we’re ruined.” But Ella merely takes the branch and says “that must have been very hard for you” to the man that had to deliver the news. She handles it with a subtle grace.
It was the last thing that Ella says to her step-mother that takes this film to another level, and solidifies who they both are.
One side note about the movie that often goes overlooked: Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter, Captain America: The First Avenger) plays Ella’s mother at the start of the film, showing her ability to play a very wide range of characters. I barely recognized her at first. She does an amazing job with what is a particularly small but very important role for the whole story.
I very highly recommend seeing this film. It’s playing with an animated short called Frozen Fever, so make sure to be on time. The short is well worth seeing and hilarious. It was great to see another story set in that world, now that Frozen 2 has been officially announced.
Here again is my list of my favorite movies of the year. The number one movie is my favorite movie of the year, but everything else is kind of in a random order. Kindof. I didn’t type too much about each movie, but I’m okay with that.
WAY better than the Matthew Broderick version from 1998. This is Godzilla as it was meant to be seen. I actually own this one.
13. The Giver
I was surprised by this, and really enjoyed the story.
12. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Two words: Megan Fox. Just kidding. These two words: Turtle Van.
11. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Why, Bryan Singer, do you have to ruin an otherwise good movie with that shot of Wolverine at a window? Why? For that, you’re an idiot. The rest of the movie makes my list.
Disneynature takes us on an adventure with Bears.
9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone elevate what would have been an otherwise bad Spider-Man movie and it makes my list because of their chemistry alone. Too bad it had Electro in it.
8. Transformers: Age of Extinction
7. How to Train Your Dragon 2
As good as, if not better than, the first film. It soars.
6. Muppets Most Wanted
Not as good as The Muppets, but I expected that. The soundtrack didn’t grab me as fast as the first one’s did, but in listening to it over and over in my car, I began to love the songs nearly as much. The opening song for the film serves as a transition between the style of the first movie and the style of the second. Here’s hoping for a third!
5. The LEGO Movie
Surprise of the year. Great movie. The end of the movie took an otherwise hilarious movie and gives it a depth that I didn’t see coming.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy
I had a great time with this one, but didn’t like some of the jokes in it. Not a fan of innuendo. But it was still a great time, and Groot became a fan favorite overnight.
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
A great Captain America movie. Not enough Agent Carter, as she kind of stole the show in The First Avenger, but she’s getting her own mini-series soon, so there’s that.
2. Big Hero 6
I didn’t expect to love this movie as much as I did. Baymax is a new favorite character, and I wish that I had one.
1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
My favorite movie of the year, bar none. The final movie in Middle-Earth and I couldn’t have been happier with it. It elevates the prior two Hobbit films, and thanks to the stunning conclusion I can now place The Hobbit next to The Lord of the Rings on my shelf. Everything was here, from Bard’s stunning and moving confrontation with the dragon Smaug to Bilbo watching his friend Thorin fall apart. It culminates in a scene between Bilbo and Thorin that is emotional and the heart of what this story is all about.
In the end, I’m pleased with Peter Jackson’s work on The Hobbit. I have seen very undue criticism fired at Jackson, but here’s the thing: It is not Jackson’s fault that he was working from weaker source material this time than he had for The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit was written by Bilbo Baggins, The Lord of the Rings by Frodo Baggins. Both had different ways of telling their stories, and that is actually reflected in the movies the same way. The Hobbit is no less an achievement in film than The Lord of the Rings, they’re just very different stories with vastly different motivations and stakes. For one, it wound up with a battle that was fought over a massive hoard of gold as well as a critical stronghold for what could be an upcoming war. For the other, it was the very survival of the people of Middle-earth. It was always going to be different. Our reactions to it are the same as reactions to the source material. Some like The Hobbit better than The Lord of the Rings and others vice versa. Likewise, the movies.
I just wish that people would stop believing that The Hobbit was widely hated. That’s not at all true. It tops my list for 2014, and that’s enough to categorically say that I’m correct. Best movie of the year.
Into the Woods
Night at the Museum 3
The Wind Rises
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – Hopeful that Part 2 elevates this one to another level the way that the Hobbit movies were by the third part.
Interstellar – Enjoyed watching this until the end collapsed the story in on itself.
Maleficent – I like Disney’s direction, but was not a fan of how they approached the three fairies. I would have rather had three jawdroppingly beautiful fairies than what they did here.
Noah – I visited the set. I met Russell Crowe. I met Darren Aronofsky. I met the film’s producers and climbed around the Ark. I was told many things about the movie that didn’t actually make it to the big screen. What I was told would have been great. This wasn’t.
Unbroken – I liked it and then I didn’t. And then I kept not liking it. It had a coda at the end that should have been shown on screen. That would have made all the difference.