Thor Ragnarok teaser

Thor Ragnarok teaser is already the most viewed trailer on YouTube in 24 hours. It is well deserved because the amount of money shots here are insane even for a trailer and its a teaser. Here is how this trailer promises to fix issues and hint bigger things form Marvel:

  • Finally a good Thor movie, hopefully. The last two were not particularly good.
  • Hulk’s previous movies were plain bad and since Hulk is not getting another one, this might be the best chance for him to shine and it looks like he will smash.
  • Color Grading. Many have criticized Marvel for its washed out grey color grading. This trailer shows a world full of bright colors and design reminiscent of Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a step in the right direction. (DC movies has it worse as it’s hard to see anything with all the darkness. Wonder Woman trailers show they are addressing this problem but at the same time the JL trailer still looks a little too dark.)
  • New Genera. Thor Ragnarok looks fresh because it is more like a buddy road trip interplanetary space adventure story.
  • 2 birds with one stone. Hela resolves Marvel’s villain problem and strong female character issue at the same time. One can’t get any stronger than Hela when Thanos, the most powerful being in MCU rn, is destroying half the universe just to impress her. Also she can’t be killed so I think by they end of Thor 3 she will probably leave Asgard or go back to her domain, hell for a short time because she has a big role to play in the infinity war movies. I am still not over how Cate Blanchett says ‘Asgard is dead”. She was made for this role.
  • Music is better. Marvel is blamed for not having music memorable enough. GotG vol.1 sound track had a big part in it’s success and looks like Thor 3 is following the footsteps. Electronic media worldwide has learned the art of using nostalgia to it’s maximum effect from TV ads to trailers but Marvel just does it better. As the demand is high, soon there will be a new job of song scouts, people who find the right nostalgic song for your ad campaign.
  • A good trailer. James Gunn has already called it the best MCU trailer when all his GotG trailers are just as good. MCU have had many amazing ones but so far DCEU had better with all Suicide Squad, Batman vs Superman and Wonder Woman trailers. This however might be the best comic book trailer yet. Hope the movie is just as good because I am not very confident about its writers. They have a bad record. Fingers crossed.

Movie scenes I can’t get enough of

There is sometimes a scene in a movie that is just wow, but every so often there are scenes that never lose that wow element on repeated viewing. Here are some of my favorites:
Bar Break up scene, The Social Network
Hans Lander at Perrier LaPadite’s farm, Inglorious Bastards
Battle of Helm’s Deep (Hornburg), Lord of the Rings
Highway knife fight, Captain America The Winter Soldier
Shutting down HAL, 2001 A Space Odyssey
Party scene Scott meets Ramona, Scott Pilgrim vs the World
Tasty Burger to Bible verses, Pulp Fiction
These are some on the top of my head. Will probably keep updating this post.

Slow Movies

When someone says, this movie is slow, they actually mean that the movie’s first act does not promise any big pay off to come in the third and final act. We see that all the old classics and majority of the Oscar nominees even today have this thing in common. The problem with telling your audience to expect something big is that it raises their expectations. Sometimes the movie cannot deliver on these expectations simply because the audience has expected too much. All good movies from 12 Angry Men to 2001: A Space Odyssey to shows like Breaking Bad being labeled as ‘slow’ means the audience does not know where they are going and our mind questions if there will be a payoff. When it finally does, in the final act, it just wows our mind and the movies are considered amazing. This slow pace can also be used to trick someone into thinking a normal movie is better than it really it. These movies are Oscar bait, take Hell or High Water for example. It is a good movie but Oscar nomination? Also Drive. There is someone comparing Drive to The Taxi Driver. It too is a good movie but tTD is considered a classic and to say a movie is better than a classic needs that to be seriously jaw dropping good. But this is just a surface observation. The challenge of a slow movie is to make it engaging and grab people’s attention and feelings or the pay off won’t hit as hard. This is actually the hardest part and challenging for the ‘slow movies’ as they do not have the fast paced action of the summer blockbusters. This is where the brilliance of the director shines. Not anyone can pick a camera, make a movie with nothing interesting except one thing in the end, can trick into be considered a good move. The audience can just feel it. This is what sets apart Drive and Hell or High Water because they are done right. Anyway, the point is that most viewers are not cine-literate and slow paced movie have better chances of being considered good or become a classic than a fast pace one. Action movies in particular struggle with the third act and fight hard to keep the momentum till the end. Winter Soldier is a good one but it is not slow and thus not a classic. A better example would be No Country for Old Men, or Heat that finds the balance between slow pace and action. One just needs to be smart and not confuse an actual slow movie with good nor blame a good movie for being slow.

Film Finance Corporation of Pakistan

Once upon a time in a country far far away some young people got sick of the conventional form of similar stories being told again and again on television and film. but they were not artists or media people. They had no experience of such but they had a vision. So a few of them came together to make sci-fi and fantasy shows for a change and for that they talked to different up and coming writers and directors who were also passionate about these kind of projects. They tried different ways to get funding for their shows but no one in the industry was willing to take risk. So they started going to schools and colleges and since sites like Kickstarter were not a thing back then, they had to tour the whole country to raise some money. No luck. They did not give up though, they decided to expand the search and went to America and Europe. Finally they raised enough money for their ‘infotainment project’ to make sci-fi and educational shows for kids. At this time the country’s government stepped in and decided to make it official as a government funded organization. This agency was named FFC-Film Finance Corporation of Australia and it created shows like Round the Twist, Spellbinder and Mirror Mirror, that were aired internationally without any strings attached. Ptv was one of the channels that aired these and we grew up watching these shows. In fact our whole generation watched it in many countries around the world including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland. I owe my childhood creativity to these people who took a stand and tried to do something different. And also to channel three, the only channel with good kids shows other wise Ptv’s idea of kids’ show was kidnapping or child labor dramas and gaming or quiz shows which were educational but not fun to watch. Still at least the old Ptv tried. Who cares about making a kids’ show anymore. Continue reading “Film Finance Corporation of Pakistan”

I am LEGION

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Good movie but not the topic today. I am Groot, very groot today. First the Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 trailer dropped with extra footage -goose bumps- also Marvel and Fox’s new anticipated show LEGION released. The first 50 minutes of the pilot were amazing- being a fan of non-linear storytelling and psychological thrillers I loved it- but suddenly things took the turn for the worse with the talk of ‘chosen one/ the one’ and the secret mutant organization being hunter by the authorities. What the epic trailer had led me believe was this show will be more like Mr.Robot with superpowers instead of hacking and with Legion’s multiple personality abilities and schizophrenic state it is hard not to expect watching a lonely guy with an inner struggle to keep his sanity and an outer one with society. Do not forget that Legion is an omega level mutant- his mutant abilities defy limitations. For a guy so powerful that he can destroy the world whenever he wants to, it only makes sense that his main issue will be his inner conflict and schizophrenia. That is what TV is for, inner struggle, character development and scenes that do not require a lot of CGI too often. Sadly this show has chosen the Alphas and Heroes path – and we all know those shows were dead long before they even reached their last seasons. Defenders will be good but that is not your typical super-humans drama. Its tone is set entirely different with pre-established heroes teaming up, just like in the MCU. Anyway it is too early to say anything about the show so fingers crossed.

In other news, Samurai Jack just announced a release date, March 11. While Young Justice will be rebooting on Oct 2. Two great shows, revived at last. No surprise since both have been announced at least an year earlier and also nostalgia is hot, way more than it ever was. It is that human emotion that creates a feeling of sentimental attachment to stuff you had as kids and thus prevents your from the embarrassment that you have been watching crappy 3rd grade shows/dramas/songs. Looking at you, Pokemon GO.

In even more news, PSL-2 opening ceremony is on right now. No disrespect to Shehzad Roy he is a really nice person but seriously he is a terrible terrible singer. Still I don not blame him though, he is just another PTV dabba-pack singer. I blame MM-Momina Mustehsan. She is just the worst. Don’t care who wins anymore. I have had enough of watching cricket for a lifetime. Later 🙂

NonSuperHero Comics

Non-superhero comics have gained a lot of popularity in the past couple of years. Here is the list of non-superhero graphic novels that I have read and liked this year.
Sci-fi:

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East of West: A sci-fi western but this description is no justice to this series. The Texas-western part is only a small part of the greater whole. There are also other cultures like Chinese, African, American-Indian and technologically advanced humans etc that all are enemies joined in a UN type alliance, in a world that is about to end. The four horseman are here but Death like always have plans of his own. The story, dialogue and artworks are perfection. I have never been suck so deep in a comic book ever in my life.

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Saga: Its been called ‘the StarWars meets Game of Thrones’ of graphic novels but it is not really true. Except for the occasional nudity, many characters of which some keep dying and the insane success of this series in the comic book world… wait a second, I see why would someone called it that, specially with the space setting and strange species.

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Paper Girls: The writer of Saga and artist of new Wonder Woman series join forces to create this amazing mystery, vintage, teenage adventure series that became a summer hit recently. If this sounds like Stranger Things to you, it’s because it actually is, just with girls in lead roles instead of boys and also time travel.
Honorable Mentions: Freak Angels, Drifter, Arcadia, Limbo

Fantasy:

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Spindrift: Although it ended abruptly, its 100 pages so far are far too good in both artwork and story to deny it the number one spot.

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The Wicked + The Divine: Has that classic Sandman vibe to it but it is much more. What if Lucifer was a musician and gets power from his fan following. Still on issue 3 but truly loving it so far.

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Monstress: Don’t know why I am including it but it’s been getting a lot of attention lately for have a female lead that curses a lot which I do not like but it has amazing artwork and setting of alternate-Asia. My main problem with this one is the cliche story and dialogue, and way too many female characters. Sounds wrong complaining about the excess of beautifully drawn women but it’s really annoying when reading. It’s like men do not exist in this world but you can say the same about women in Lord of the Rings. God forgive me if I compare it to Tolkien’s work but you have to agree LotR has too many male characters and opposite is the case with this one. Still the art is way too good so we will let the story slide.
Honourable Mentions: The Wolf Sister, Autumnland, Heathen (If an Amazonian becomes a Viking), Weirdworld, Low, Death Vigil, Pathfinder

Funny/Comedy: All 3 entries here have superpowers but they are not your traditional superhero comic books.

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Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan: Been fan of this series every since the first issue came out and like many other series with Pakistani characters it this not disappoint. A teenage Pakistani-American Muslim girl who gets Mr Fantastic like powers with a healing factor. This series is funny but also very real. Her day to day problems include dealing with a Pakistani family, meet the challenges of a Muslim girl in America and fighting super villains. Also she is a big fan-girl and not only is her Avengers fan-fiction doing good online, she also often gets to team up with all the famous Marvel superheros.

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: The best superhero in town. She has already yielded the infinity gauntlet and defeated Thanos single handedly while being cool and funny at the same time. The avengers have the bars set high by this undeniably likable squirrel.

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Chew: If this picture looks familiar, it’s because it is da Vinci’s the Last Supper with Chew characters. This series is full of stuff like this for the fans of pop culture. In a world where selling and/or eating chicken is a crime punishable by seven years to a lifetime in prison, this is the story of a detective, Tony Chu who has the power to chew into a food (or human) and know everything it/they have done or been through in the past. A fun read except it is not for the foodies. You were warned.