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In one of my earliest posts on the site, I wrote my own follow-up to the famous Comics Journal article “Martin Wagner Owes Me Fifty Bucks,” in which I listed several comic book series that remained tragically never-completed by their authors.  At the top of the list was David Lapham’s magnificent series Stray Bullets.  This independently published, black-and-white comic book blew me away as a teenager.  I still think it stands as a magnificent achievement, which makes the fact that the series stopped publication in the middle of a story tragically painful.  Mr. Lapham is still working in the comic book industry, and for years and years I have been hoping that he would some-day return to this series and complete his story.  It looks like that day has finally arrived, as Image Comics has listed Stray Bullets on their publication schedule for March, 2014.  I hope this is real!!!

Devin Faraci at badassdigest.com has listed his Ten Most Disappointing Films of 2013, and at the top of his list is Star Trek Into Darkness.  What Mr. Faraci wrote about the film so perfectly sums up my feelings that I don’t think I ever need to write another word about that terribly disappointing film.  Here is Mr. Faraci:

This isn’t technically a ranked list, but I saved this for last on purpose. There were many months leading up to Star Trek Into Darkness that allowed me to roll with the movie’s punch, but even still this broiling heap of nonsense left me deeply despondant. JJ Abrams had totally proven me wrong with Star Trek 2009, a movie that while not great was filled with heart and adventure and managed to work despite extraordinary script flaws. Star Trek Into Darkness brought back both the cast who made the first film live and the script flaws that almost sank it, except this time the script flaws were not going to get upstaged. Into Darkness is dumb, it’s complicated for no reason, it features reveals that are meaningless to the plot and it pisses away Star Trek‘s most name-brand villain in a plotline that disrespects hardcore fans while being meaningless to the coveted new audience. Star Trek Into Darkness is a movie so bad that it fails on almost every conceivable level, including mewling fan service. This isn’t the worst film of the year… but it’s without a doubt the film that squanders the most talent, money and good will. 

Amen.  (If you’re interested, here’s my review of Star Trek Into Darkness.)

Love this trailer for Christopher Nolan’s new film, Interstellar.  I don’t have a clue what the film is about, and that’s just the way I want to keep it for as long as possible:

I am also intrigued by this trailer for Jupiter Ascending, the Wachowski siblings’ newest sci-fi epic.  I’m not a big fan of the Matrix films, but I adore Cloud Atlas with a fierce passion.  (Click here for my review.)  After Cloud Atlas, I’ll be eagerly awaiting any film the Wachowskis make for a long time to come.  On top of that, the promise of an original sci-fi film is always enticing.  This one looks a little nutso, but I am interested:

I’m a little less enthused about this trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (ugh, what a lame title):

I’m hoping they’ll be able to build on what worked in the previous film and avoid its many mis-steps (click here for my original review), but I’m not sold yet.  I like that we’re seeing Electro, a new-for-the-movies villain, though I’m far less excited about going back to the Green Goblin well.  I like the idea of what I’m reading about their working on a plan for a four-movie epic that will build to the Sinister Six (the famous team-up, from the comics, of six great Spider-Man villains), though from this trailer I’m already worried about Spider-Man 3 type too-many-villains problems.  (As excited as I am by the notion of The Sinister Six appearing in future Spider-Man films, I think the just-announced plans for spin-off films featuring Spidey villains Venom and The Sinister Six is the wrong move.  I think these sorts of spin-off solo films rarely work (see: Electra, Catwoman, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and are a dilution of the main brand.  Let’s just focus on making some great Spider-Man films, OK?  Trying to copy Marvel Studio’s multi-movie saga within the Spider-Man universe seems like a foolish approach to me.  And, egad, having terrible Transformers and Star Trek reboot writers Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman involved in these spin-off films seems like a recipe for disaster.)

There is some good news, though, in Marvel super-hero movie land.  I am thrilled by the casting of Paul Rudd as the lead in Edgar Wright’s upcoming Ant Man film.  What a great choice.  This is looking like a wonderfully weird direction for an upcoming Marvel movie (who’d ever have thought there’d be an Ant Man movie???)  Edgar wright has my trust.

I’m also tentatively excited by Bryan Singer’s announcement of a new X-Men film in development, to follow this summer’s Days of Future Past.  I’ve been saying for YEARS that Fox needs to quite the side-bar solo films and prequels and just focus on making a great new X-Men film every few years.  Looks like that’s the path they are following for now, and I think that’s a great start.  Obviously, what I think of Bryan Singer’s return to the X-Men franchise, when we all get to see Days of Future Past this summer, will determine how excited I am by his announced follow-up, but for now, so far, so good.  I am intrigued that they are bringing the classic but crazy X-Men villain Apocalypse to the big screen.  That should be interesting!  It’s great seeing the crazier corners of the Marvel Universe being mined for these movies.  (Speaking of Days of Future Past, though, I am bummed by this week’s news that Anna Paquin’s Rogue has been cut from the film.  Rogue has a major character in those first three X-Men films, and it’s a real shame to see her not appear in this latest film.  Particularly since her fate was left vague by the end of X-Men: The Last Stand.  That such a major character from the “future” X-Men of the original films could be so easily cut out makes me wonder just how much screen-time those original cast-members are going to have in the film.  If it’s just glorified cameos, I am going to be let down.  I want to see that original cast back in action in a good X-Men film again!!  Crossing my fingers for now…)

Trying not to be left behind by Marvel, DC has been releasing some updates on their Batman vs Superman film in development.  Seems that Wonder Woman will also be appearing in the film, which makes me think that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 might not be the only upcoming super-hero film with Spider-Man 3 type too-many -characters problems!!  On the one hand I am excited by DC’s turning their Superman sequel into a sort-of Justice League story with multiple DC characters.  On the other-hand, after Man of Steel (click here for my review) I was hoping the sequel would be more focused in on Superman himself, something I found somewhat lacking in Man of Steel, particularly in regards to the film’s ending.  I am crossing my fingers on this one, too…

Finally, don’t be alarmed, but it’s possible that Google has just taken its first step into becoming skynet.

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