15 items from 2016
Jenny Morrill Jul 12, 2016
Does Willy Fog float your boat? Squidward ring your bell? Den Of Geek's hard-hitting journalistic investigation into cartoon chaps...
If you ask a guy 'Which cartoon character would you have sex with?' the answer is pretty much always 'Jessica Rabbit'. Occasionally they'll throw in 'Betty Rubble' as well, just to keep things interesting, but there are few straight men on the planet that wouldn't sell their soul just to have a sniff of Jessica's bra.
Straight women, however, don't really have that option. We don't have a staple go-to cartoon character for conversations like these. This must be why we just talk about shoes and commitment all the time.
To rectify this oversight, I've put together a list of potential cartoon gentsfor your perusal. Please note that I don't personally fancy any of these guys; that would be strange and wrong. Although if I'm pushed, we »
At one stage, it seems that mooted PG-13 take on Deadpool was closer than we might have thought...
Deadpool, it’d be fair to say, remains the surprise box office smash of the year, at least thus far. It’s not that people didn’t expect the movie to do a fair bit of business, it’s just very few people saw coming just what a massive success it’d be.
You more than likely know the story of how the movie sat in development for a long time, with debates as to whether to go for a PG-13-rated version, or hold out for an R. R prevailed, of course, but in a new interview with some odd-sounding site called Den Of Geek, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have revealed just how close Deadpool came to pressing ahead as a PG-13 project.
“I think we »
Michael Winnick is someone with an interesting perspective. He’s just written and directed a VOD action film called Code Of Honour. It’s got Steven Seagal in it playing a vigilante on a brutal killing spree. As such, he’s made a movie under very different circumstances to most of the filmmakers we get to interview here at Den of Geek
I know Steven Seagal is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I really hope that even if he isn’t yours you’ll give this interview a chance (that you’ve opened the article and are reading the introduction bit is a good sign). I think Michael Winnick has some interesting insights into the challenges of making a film.
It was early evening for me, »
The bevies for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows have begun to hit the internet, and so far everyone seems to agree that the sequel is better than the original. But by how much? Lets take a look at some of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows early reactions. Matt Edwards from Den […]
The post Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Early Buzz: Better Than The First, But By How Much? appeared first on /Film. »
- Peter Sciretta
The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film is a notable step up from the last. Here's our review...
The key to adapting a comic book franchise into a modern blockbuster, you might think, is to stick closely to the source material. Certainly if you want to avoid a very loud and very angry fan backlash. Go back to the comics and give the fans what they want. In the case of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, that’s not really the case.
There are a good few of us who really love those original Mirage comic books, but a larger group of Turtles fans want an adaptation of the vastly different cartoon series from the 1980s. They want characters like Krang and Bebop and Rocksteady. As illogical as it might sound, you have to make a faithful adaptation of an unfaithful adaptation. And that’s exactly what director »
There’s no way I’m attempting to interview all four of the Impractical Jokers at the same time again. Not after last time. Things got out of hand.
Improv group The Tenderloins, stars of the TV show Impractical Jokers, are returning to the UK in January 2017 for more performances of their live show. The tour is selling well and so they’ve added extra dates and are doing some press to promote them.
So when the opportunity for an interview slot came up, I decided I would specialise. Phone interviews can be tricky because of the delay, the disruption and the detachment, and I decided that if I could get just one of the Jokers, I’d end up with something more manageable and focused. And when you »
What a lovely surprise Deadpool was. Its rebellious, twisted take on the traditional superhero movie proved to be effective, crowd-pleasing and thoroughly entertaining. It felt like a superhero film filtered through an 80s action movie, with its hyperviolence, gore, revenge plot and tortured clever dick anti-hero.
Back in April (which is now when I’m writing this but not when you’re reading this because this will be now for you now) we were invited to interview director Tim Miller and producer Simon Kinberg (together), and Ed Skrein, who played Ajax. They were relatively brief chats, though, so we’ve chucked them in together to save you a click. You can’t say that this free website doesn’t give you value for money.
Now, appreciating that Simon Kinberg is the man with the answers about what’s going to happen in the Fox Marvel universe, you might be expecting some pressing for clues. But with a two month gap between interview and publication, it seemed likely to me that anything I could dig up would likely be uncovered by someone else before we could publish it anyway. I thought I’d be better off trying to find out some stuff about Deadpool instead. When you get to the bit where Miller responds to my theory that Deadpool is like an 80s action film, I think you’ll agree that I made a right and good decision.
The success of Deadpool after all of these years of work must have been very vindicating. Do you think the wait, the urban legends and the reputation of Deadpool as almost the outlaw superhero film, helped with its success?
Tim Miller: I think it had people rooting for the film, for sure. But I feel like the nature of the film itself. I often wonder, if I wasn’t part of the movie making process, do Deadpool fans feel like ‘oh, this was our little secret, this was our character and now everybody loves it and so it’s not so special and cool for us’. I hope they don’t feel that way. We brought it to a broader audience. I mean he felt like a character that you root for, that was an outsider, and I think that and the struggles - which are high class problems, to actually have a movie that’s even being considered to be made is pretty awesome – but I feel like that’s intrinsic in the character more than the process.
Simon Kinberg: I actually think that the timing was right, not that that was the intention, but that five years ago, or ten years ago, the culture wouldn’t have been ready for a movie that commented on other superhero movies in the same way. Where now, there’s such a saturation of these kinds of films, and there’s such a fluency with the audience in these kinds of movies that they understood the jokes in a way that they probably would not have as a mass audience five or ten years ago. And so even though it wasn’t intended that it would be…
Tm: I still think it would have been a great movie.
Sk: It would have been a great movie.
Tm: Not because I made it, just because it was a great script.
Sk: I just think that a mass audience wouldn’t have been able to laugh in unison in the same way.
You’ve made a film that’s an action movie and a comedy movie. The nature of comedy, particularly with the modern trend of ad libbing, thrives on spontaneity. So how does that combine with the nuts and bolts of making a big action film?
Tm: I think we left a lot of room for it. When you go into the process with Ryan Reynolds, you know he’s gonna do that. You’ve got to leave some room for it. And then, once we’d talked to Tj (Miller) for a while, we realised you’ve got to leave a lot of room for that, because Tj did not say the same line twice, which was just this treasure trove of material in the edit bay, and it really kept everything moving along.
The writers were on set every day to help respond to it. Because, you write something in a script but then you see a location, then you see how people move through space and it changes the way the jokes work. We just built it in because we knew it was gonna happen.
One of the things I really liked about this film is that it reminded me of some of the movies I loved from the 1980s, the action films of that time. Were then any movies from this period that were influential, or am I imagining it?
Tm: I think you’re imagining it. Maybe.
Sk: Well, you know what I would say? Because I grew up on those movies and those are my favourite films, and the big action movies of the 80s were R rated, much more muscular films, like the Die Hard movies and the Lethal Weapon movies and the Terminator movies, totally different than Deadpool in so many different ways, but they had a sort muscularity to them and they were R rated, and people spoke like real grownups speak, they swear. And I think some of that, and the violence, there’s ripples of it in Deadpool.
Tm: You know what else though? I think before the ages of digital effects where you could have an entire city lifted in the air and dropped on the planet, the approach to visual effects and action was a little different. And we didn’t have the budget to lift a city in the air and drop it on a planet, so our approach to what the action was had to be a little more measured. Probably like a lot of the limitations they had to deal with back then.
I had to fight to get that fucking carrier collapse in there and that was like the only moment of scope we had, the rest of it is fairly contained.
Ed Skrein Interview
Pretend to enjoy?
Ha. When you’re playing a character like this, do you try to humanise him in your head, or do you just cut loose and say ‘this guy is evil’?
There’s a reason that people do evil stuff. There’s a thought process in everybody’s head that when they think to do horrific atrocities and violent acts, there’s a reason, an order, a logic in their heads, that we don’t see. Because we have compassion and responsibility.
That lack of compassion is what it was about, for me. To form Ajax it was less about trying to be evil and be some fucked up guy. It was just like ‘I’m gonna take away these things and just see what’s left’. And then justify it, by saying “I’m making you a fucking superhero, dude. You should be thanking me. I made you immortal.” I say it in the movie. All he needs to do is keep his mouth shut. You’re getting me into character now.
When I started acting it was hard. I’d let these characters stay with me and get all twisted up and it kind of fucked with my head. But not for Ajax, man. They’d say cut after I’d been being horrible and had been torturing Ryan Reynolds, and then I’d skip off to the make-up department and gossip with them about what they did on the weekend.
So it wasn’t too torturous.
Now, you’re from England, like myself. And, for me at least, when I was a kid I didn’t have access to American comics like a lot of people do now. How is your relationship with comics? Do you read a lot?
Yeah, man. I read them a lot. I did have access to them, because I would go to Forbidden Planet in central London, I would go to… there was one in Camden, I can’t remember what it’s called.
Oh, it’s the Judge Dredd… Mega City One?
It’s called Mega City! On Inverness Street, I believe. Yeah. Inverness Street Market, Camden Taaahn. *laughs* Lovely.
I was going to the conventions at the Barbican and at Baker Street when I was a kid. I was collecting Spawn and X-Men from back then and loving Ninja Turtles and Thundercats on the side. There was a period of about 10 years when I stopped collecting comics. When I got Deadpool I was like ‘This is an opportunity’. This is what I call research, very important resources, and so tax deductible items.
I had to explain that to my accountant. This is very important for my character, this is character research.
But it was so great to get back into the comics. At the moment I’m reading X-Force, which is a phenomenal piece. You know, X-23 and Phantom-x. Two of my new favourite characters, I love them, created by Grant Morrison who is a writer that I love. X-Force is one of my favourite series of all time. I’d love to play King Mob. I’d love for them to make it, even if I don’t play it. I’ll be there, opening weekend.
I suppose you talked about the English and American side of things, falling in love with the American classic superheroes was wonderful. But when they started talking in your accent? You know, Billy Butcher is from Hackney. I live in Hackney. Billy Butcher talks in slang that we talk in. I read it and I think ‘Americans must be so confused by what he’s saying. He talks in cockney rhyming slang.’ So, it’s an amazing feeling to have that. Writers such as Garth Ennis, they’re just doing incredible things.
I’m very proud of them. Garth’s run on Punisher: Max and Morrison’s stuff on Batman And Robin is just fucking amazing. It’s a wonderful thing.
Before you leave, you’ll no doubt want to know what their favourite Jason Statham films are. Tim Miller and Simon Kinberg both told me their favourite Statham film is Snatch, while Ed Skrein’s favourite is Spy.
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TV comedy Impractical Jokers continues to go from strength to strength. With the fifth season of the hit show currently airing in the Us, and after a brief sell-out tour of the UK, the series is set to hit the big screen.
The stars of the hidden camera show, improv troupe The Tenderloins, intend to start shooting this summer. In an interview with our American cousins, Den of Geek Us, star James ‘Murr’ Murray told them “We are hoping to shoot the Impractical Jokers movie this August, yes. If you look at our calendar, we have all of August off from touring.”
He also gave an idea of what we can expect from the film. “The idea is that it would be a mega version of the show, kinda just like Jackass. It would be a buddy comedy, »
This one got away from me.
The cast of the television show Impractical Jokers (Sal Volcano, Joe Gatto, Brian ‘Q’ Quinn and James ‘Murr’ Murray) were in London for their first ever live UK performances and Den of Geek had managed to grab a little time with them ahead of the shows. In our excitement over what we expected would be a fun interview we had failed to consider the possible difficulties.
It turns out that interviewing four comedians at the same time is hard work. Typing up my recording afterwards was like trying to transcribe a riot. If a regular interview is like fishing (it’s not) then interviewing the Impractical Jokers was like attempting to lasso four octopuses with the same piece of rope. »
Poundland has been selling Blu-rays! And we've been buying and watching them! Tornado Warning, anyone?
I’ve covered the DVD section of Poundland before. I love it, even if I do only ever get around to watching about half of the discs I buy.
Unfortunately, hunting for DVDs in Poundland has become a bit of a dead sport. It’s partly because streaming services like Netflix have given us even easier access to weird films that might turn out to be rubbish. It’s also because Poundland have taken to stocking used DVDs, meaning they have a lot of big Hollywood films that are the same thing you could buy anywhere. That’s not what I go to Poundland for. I’m shopping for strangeness! Not only that, this Den of Geek writer has some very mild issues with germs and can’t really cope with touching second-hand DVDs. »
We were thrilled to get an opportunity to chat with the action star, who was doing press to promote the release of the action film Navy Seals Vs Zombies, but were kept at a considerable physical distance. While telephone interviews can be a bit difficult, I was secretly relieved that we wouldn’t have to come face-to-face with a man renowned for his work as a ninja. Safely tucked away in a different continent meant that, no matter how stupid our questions were, we weren’t in danger of being kicked in the chops.
It turns out that we needn’t have worried. Den of Geek found Michael Dudikoff to be a particularly friendly and fun interview subject. It’s great to talk to »
It’s little secret that we’re fans of The Statham at the Den Of Geek Shed (Tm), and we’re always on the lookout for new projects and films involving the great man.
Turns out that The Stath has had a richer history in the movies than many seem to give him credit for. From his surprise cameo in Grease, to a way to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens an even finer production, just click on the image gallery above, and see what the man has been up to.
The Statham’s next film, Mechanic: Resurrection, lands in August. We will, of course, be there.
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The recent trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows, the sequel to the 2014 Turtles film, showed new villains Bebop (mutant warthog), Rocksteady (mutant rhino) and Baxter Stockman (human man). Now, an interview with Michael Bay has revealed that another villain is being worked on for the sequel: Krang (alien warlord brain thing).
Like Bebop and Rocksteady, Krang was created for the 1987 cartoon series. Referring to the effects shots he was discussing with Ilm VFX supervisor Pablo Helman (who we interviewed in 2014 about the first Bay-produced Turtles movie), Bay expressed concerns that tentacles (traditionally Krang has tentacles, as do the Utrom aliens from the Turtles comics he’s likely based on) make the character look “like a stupid octopus”.
Here, we find the Transformers director demonstrating his unique »
Walton Goggins is excited about The Hateful Eight. The film is really good, he’s terrific in it and, as one of the lead characters in the new Quentin Tarantino film, it’s perhaps his most high profile role to date. He has a lot to be excited about.
Even his hair looks excited, jutting up wildly. He’s animated and moves a lot, but he’s not wired and out of control. He just exudes enthusiasm and seems happy to be where he is, talking about his work. He’s great fun to talk to; enthusiastic and warm interview subjects are something of a gift. Here’s how our chat with Walton Goggins went.
How do you respond, when you get that script (for The Hateful Eight)?
You know, Quentin doesn »
Den of Geek doesn't usually accept five minute interview slots, as it’s not really enough time to conduct an interview in. But when the opportunity for this one arose, we decided to make an exception. In this case, I can do something with five minutes. Aren’t five Tarantino minutes the equivalent to ten minutes with most other interview subjects? And, most importantly, how else are we going to find out his favourite Jason Statham film?
So we sat down with the director, and someone with a stopwatch who would make sure we didn’t run over our five minutes. Here’s how it went.
Quentin Tarantino: Is that a vintage Ninja Turtle shirt?
Den of Geek: It’s a new shirt, but it is the original comic book art on there. »
15 items from 2016
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