Release Date: September 28, 2012
Studio: Sony Pictures
Director:  Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels, Garret Dillahunt, and Piper Perabo.
Plot: In a futuristic gangland in the year 2042, a 25-year-old assassin named Joseph Simmons (Gordon-Levitt) works for a mafia company in Kansas City as a “Looper”. Loopers kill and dispose of agents sent by their employers from corporate headquarters in Shanghai from the year 2072. Loopers are foot soldiers, paid on the condition that all targets must never escape.

When Simmons recognizes his target as a future version of himself (Willis), his older self escapes after incapacitating him. The failure of his job causes his employers to come after him, forcing him to fight for his life as he hunts his older self.

Thoughts: I don’t understand why Looper didn’t come out in the May through August release calendar. The trailers are thrilling. The casting could not be better, headlined by the always impressive Joseph Gordon-Levitt and action legend Bruce Willis, with top notch supporting talents including Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, and Jeff Daniels. The time travel paradox/assassin/mafia concept is right up the alley for both genre fans and action flick fans. And Rian Johnson. You might not know the name, but you should. He directed the pitch perfect Brick, which also starred JGL, and the very creative and entertaining The Brothers Bloom, with Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo. This is a director with a clear vision who surrounds himself with some of the best working talents around. I can’t wait to head to the theater to check out Looper, then maybe I’ll go back in time and see it again for the first time.

In Part 1 of my Justice League Movie Suggestions we talked about Story, Villains, Creative, and Personnel. Now lets talk about Casting the Big Three! A film of this magnitude requires a cast that will be able to carry the film, much like Marvel’s The Avengers. This no time to start messing around with the characters and just throwing in people for the hell of it and the star power. I remember years ago when George Miller came to close to making what was being called Justice League: Mortal. He had apparently cast a bunch of, at that time, unknowns in every role. Now with some of the roles I could agree an unknown would be a good way to go, but asking a cast of complete unknowns to carry a film like this would be unfair. Casting one or two and then surround them with better known people has been a formula that has proven to work in the past. Below are a few suggestions for  the big guns of the Justice League.

Superman/Clark Kent
Most Likely Choice: Hell to me this is no contest, it has to be Henry Cavill from next years Man Of Steel. Warner Brothers would be foolish not to use that film to launch their new DC universe, but with it being produced by Chris Nolan there is a chance that they may keep the whole one hero, one universe. I think that this would be a bad move. While it worked on Nolan’s Batman trilogy because Batman has no super powers and it felt like a real world that they created. This is Superman, the story is so more universal. I think Cavill will be there come the start of production.

The only other person I could see them turning to would be Joe Manganiello from True Blood. He has tested for the role before and apparently came very close to winning the role. It seems likely that if Warner Brothers were to replace Cavill for Justice League then they would turn to him. He has the size and actin chops to excel in the role. But I really do think Cavill is the safe bet here.

Batman/Bruce Wayne
The “Robert Downey Jr” Choice: By this I mean an actor who’s been in the spotlight at the top and has suffered a steep decline attributed to either poor film choices or some sort of scandal. This wasn’t actually my personal choice, but I could see it if it happened and that person is Colin Farrell. I think he has the look of Bruce Wayne and could pull of the suave playboy image. I’ve never seen much of his work in darker roles as he always seems to play the hero roles and that could work to his advantage. I actually do like Farrell as an actor. The 2008 film Pride And Glory where he played a corrupt NYPD officer in a family of cops really showcased his talent. He was almost cast as Batman in Wolfgang Petersen’s aborted Batman Vs Superman, so again Warner Brothers must like something about him. That script made it online and I did get to read it and I could really see where they were coming fro. I could really see Farrell in the role at the time.

Another actor I could see in the role who would rock it would be Mad Men star Jon Hamm. His career doesn’t need much of a boost, but his only main exposure is television right now. He has had very few movie roles and Justice League could be the one that makes him the next George Clooney. No, not in the sense of being a bad Batman, but in the sense of being the next television star to make the transition to Hollywood A-List movie star with ease.

Wonder Woman/Diana Prince
The Popular Choices: MMA star Gina Carano just burst onto the film scene in the action flick Haywire, which has led to a lot of fans calling for the WB to sign her to don the bullet proof bracelets. Personally I love the choice, Haywire was a fun action flick and she did a lot of her own stunts and fight scenes. I think she would fit well in an ensemble and possibly lead to her being one of the breakout stars of the film.

Another choice I could get behind would be Castle star Stana Katic. I don’t know what it is about her, but I just could totally see her as Wonder Woman. She has the look and the skills to portray an Amazon princess. I would love to see Wonder Woman have a bit more of a feisty side to her like in the new Justice League comics, but she still needs to have that authority of a warrior about her. That’s why I think Carano would probably be the better choice.

In Part 3 of our Justice League Movie Suggestions I’d take a look at casting Green Lantern, Flash, and Aquaman!

Release Date: September 14, 2012
Studio: Sony Pictures
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Bingbing Li, Johann Urb, Boris Kodjoe, Oded Fehr, Kevin Durand, and Shawn Roberts
Plot: The Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, Alice, awakens in the heart of Umbrella’s most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex.

Thoughts: In 2002 if you would have told me after I watched the horrible adaptation that was Paul WS Anderson’s original Resident Evil that they would follow it with four sequels I would have laughed in your face. Yet here I am writing about Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth movie in the horror turned action series. Not only that, but I’m excited for this latest installment, as I was the last one. This series has turned into a guilty pleasure and I hope a sixth, seventh, and eighth movie follows this one. Keep them coming and I’ll keep watching them and will be entertained.

The new movie introduces fan favorite character (and my personal favorite character from the games) Leon S. Kennedy, along with Ada Wong and Barry Burton from the games. The movie brings back Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine, who had a cameo in the closing minutes of the last film, along with the return of characters that died in past films, including Oded Fehr as Carlos and Michelle Rodriguez as Rain. Which side, good or bad, these characters are on is unknown, but I’m sure it will be a fun ride finding out. Noticeably absent from Retribution are Claire and Chris Redfield, portrayed by Ali Larter and Wentworth Miller in Afterlife. Rumor has it that they will return in a sixth movie, if it gets made… And I have no reason to think that it will not get made.

Sure, there are more than a hundred Troma movies that have been uploaded and are ready to watch on their official YouTube page, but how do you know which ones to actually watch? They are all gross, inventive, disgusting, entertaining, sick, etc. Here are three suggestions of movies that are not necessary worth your time, but are a great way to kill some time.

Growing up I absolutely loved the animated series Toxic Crusaders, which was part of the early 90s Fox cartoon block. It only lasted for 13 episodes, but that didn’t stop me from watching them over and over on taped VHS tapes and buying the board game based on the series. It was not until much later did I track down the original Toxic Avenger movie that the series was based on and get scarred for life… I still can not believe that they allowed a company to make a family friendly animated series out of a movie that I’m still shocked to this day was allowed to be rated R and not NC17. This was also my gateway into loving Troma films and for a few years in the late 90s I tracked down as many as I could get my hands on (this was not always an easy process). The Toxic Crusaders movie was a few of the television episodes compiled together. I have not actually watched in the past 15 years, but I’m sure it is as good as I remember as a kid… right? Right??

Official Description: THE TOXIC CRUSADERS, led by Toxie, a creature of superhuman size & strength, are America’s favorite environmental heroes! The TOXIC CRUSADERS wage an ongoing war of laughs against crime, corruption and chemical waste. In order to save Tromaville and the rest of the planet, the TOXIC CRUSADERS must thwart the plans of the evil Dr. Killemoff, a mutant pollutant from the planet Smogula, and his hoards of heinous henchmen. Watch The Toxic Crusaders Online for Free!

This Troma gem comes from 1996 and was directed by Scott Mabbutt (he would later follow this with such b-movie fare as Predators from Beyond Neptune and The Daughters of Darkness). Macabre was Troma’s answer to horror anthologies such as Tales from the Crypt and Creepshow, which a comedic twist. The quality is not the greatest with you get multiple stories and doses of Troma along with an appearance of David Boreanaz before he was Angel! Sure, he is just an extra in the Dinner, but if you look quick enough you will not miss him!

Official Description: In the tradition of “Creepshow” comes the Macabre Pair of Shorts! This horror/comedy spoofs everything from “The Twilight Zone” and Dr. Seuss to “Die Hard” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” One fateful Halloween night, two employees of a certain motion picture equipment house discover a very unusual film. They decide to thread it up, and the rest becomes a very memorable Halloween indeed! Filled with vicious female vampires and an assortment of creepy characters, The Macabre Pair of Shorts “fits so tightly, you might find it hard to breathe.” -Don Murphy. Watch Macabre Pair of Shorts Online for Free!

Last but not least I choose Not Another B Movie, a movie making spoof directed by John Wesley Norton (who also directed Space Daze for Troma). I picked this one because it is actually a pretty recent movie (released in 2010), it pokes fun at the movies that Troma makes and how they make them, and it throws in some zombies- and who doesn’t love low budget zombies? As the tagline says, “Just because you can make a movie, doesn’t mean you should…”

Official Description: An adept spoof of cinema’s behind-the-scenes experiences, NOT ANOTHER B MOVIE combines frightening and disgusting zombies with frightening and disgusting hack directors to tell a hilarious story! With a cast that includes Ed Asner, Joe Estevez and David Faustino, it’s an insightful romp through the horror film industry and the horrors of the film industry! Watch Not Another B Movie Online for Free!

Check out these horror movies for purchase…

What can I say about this one? I did not like the first one and yet, thanks to an old friend of mine, I’m now the not so proud owner of the following statement; “I saw The Expendables 2 in theaters.” What can I say about this film that you cannot already predict from the trailers that were released? Was the acting bad??? Yeah, you didn’t see that one come a mile away? Is the action good??? It’s actually underwhelming. Are the one liners are rapid fired?!? Of course they are!

(spoilers follow) The Expendables 2 follows the group as they are black mailed into doing a top secret mission for the mysterious Church (Bruce Willis) that sees them heading to Eastern Europe. However, before they can complete the mission, they are thrown for a whirlwind when one of the members of the team is brutally killed and their loot is stolen. Now, they’re on both a mission for Church and a mission of revenge as they find themselves becoming heroes in one of the most unlikely places. This is a film riddled with cliches and judging from the plot line I just provided, it shows you that there’s no ingenuity here. You’ve seen this plot a hundred times before and I know we’ll see a rehash of it down the line. For a men on a mission-vigilante-revenge tale it is not even executed all that well. The plot will get you shaking your head more then once and that’s just a big no-no in my book.

The film’s best actor is actually its youngest one in Liam Hemsworth and I cannot help but feel that he, like his brother Chris, is a future action star. The guy has great screen presence and easily held his own against all these action vets. Speaking of them, how in the hell did Jean Claude Van Damme become the most entertaining of them all?!? As Jean Vilian, he was brilliant as the film’s bad guy and I cannot help but think that he should be sticking to playing the villain and this might be his best turn since starring in JCVD. I will say that Chuck Norris’ entrance in the film was a hoot and his presence on the screen was appreciated after so many years off, but I absolutely hated that they butchered the classic “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” music to elevate his character. That really wasn’t cool.

The story of the film was really stupid though and in the end the novelty of the premise is wearing off. Not sure if I’ll be back for a third installment, but I know that these guys had enough fun to want to come back. And how can you blame them? They have nothing else going for them. Well, except for Arnie and Stallone. And maybe JCVD if he can build some momentum and stick to more comedic roles. Was this film a good bad film? Yes. Just wait for this one to hit a Redbox near you. Not worth the price of admission. Everybody in this film has done better. Everybody.


Now that we know that Marvel Studios will be moving forward with a SHIELD television series set in the movie universe we can start to speculate on characters that will be featured in the series. Who is better to start with than the villains?

Red Skull. This pick is likely the most obvious. He was the main villain in Captain America: The First Avenger and his fate was left a bit undetermined (no body means that anything is possible). With his connections to the terrorist organizations such as HYDRA and AIM, Joss Whedon and company would have a lot of possibilities for stories all around the world. The Red Skull could be guiding the other bad guys from the shadows while plotting to get the Cosmic Cube or another device that will help him take over the world and/or get revenge. After his reveal as the big bad, it could lead to an epic season finale that could feature SHIELD turning to Captain America for help (ratings gold!). Another great thing about the Red Skull is that if Marvel can’t get Hugo Weaving to reprise the role for television (or just want to save money) they can easily hire another actor and put him in the make up. Other possibilities are to use one of the Red Skulls that followed Johann Schmidt, such as Albert Malik, or they could even feature Sinthea Schmidt, the daughter and newest version of the Red Skull in the comics.

MODOK or the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing could be SHIELD’s version of Doctor Who’s incredible race of villains, the Dalek. On first glance MODOK looks a bit goofy (rather, he IS a bit goofy) and would need a redesign to work better on TV. He has the right level of intelligence to keep SHIELD on the defense and he could keep things interesting by being a gate way to other villains, such as the Hulk villain Abomination and Black Lama. Just like the Red Skull, MODOK has connections to AIM and the Cosmic Cube.

Ultron. Okay, I know what you are thinking… Ultron is the ultimate Avengers villain, why in the world would you waste him on a SHIELD television series? As seen in the credits (spoiler alert, talking about the end of The Avengers, stop reading or you could be spoiled!) of The Avngers, Thanos was revealed as the big bad behind Loki’s grab for power on Earth and has likely set up him being the main villain for the sequel. That would mean we likely would not see Ultron until a third or forth movie which would bring us to 2019 at the earliest. What a waste of an awesome bad guy. Imagine a pre Ant-Man Henry Pym as a SHIELD scientist who develops Ultron as a weapon for SHIELD to use against the growing thread of supervilalins, but something goes wrong and he inadvertently creates their worst enemy. It could be a great way to introduce the future Avenger while giving SHIELD a villain that they created and need to hunt down and stop before he kills millions of people and starts a war.

What villains would you like to see featured in the possible SHIELD series from Joss Whedon and ABC?

Finally Warner Brothers and DC Comics are getting their act together! The behemoth that was The Avengers this summer seems to have lit a fire underneath the suits in Burbank. First Gangster Squad writer Will Beall was given the task of scripting the film that will finally (hopefully) bring all of the big DC comics Titans together on the big screen for the first time. Last week the studio was reportedly eying Ben Affleck to direct with Harry Potter alum David Yates next on their list. Could we be finally seeing this happen? If it does here are some suggestions that I think WB/DC should take into consideration.

Story and Villains
Give the Justice League a full on challenge, not just something like the Injustice Gang plotting to take over the world. Put the whole world in danger and have this be the reason for why they have to team up. Don’t team them up simply because Joker, Luthor, Trickster, and Star Sapphire have joined forces so that means Batman, Superman, Flash and Green Lantern should team up. Throw the team together because Earth is being invaded by Darkseid and his forces from Apokolips. The story from the recent reboot, DC’s “New 52” is perfect for that. Have the Earth be in serious trouble from a real threat. Give us the full fight of the league vs Darkseid. That was my biggest complaint about The Avengers. When you took away all the geek factors and other story parts you essentially had an Alien Invasion movie with no real pay-off at the end. Instead it was a mid credits teaser where the big villain was revealed and now you have to wait presumably until The Avengers 2 to see it. Don’t do that here! Make the league face Darkseid individually and fail then lead up to them fighting together to stop him.

Creative and Personnel
Get the right people involved on the production, Hire Paul Dini and Bruce Timm from every recent memory DC Comics animated series and features to look over scripting and story details. Get Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, and Dan Jurgens to make sure DC’s interests are kept true to the comic universe. These are key to the process. Warner Brothers need to do what they been doing wrong all these years. Make this a collaborative film, pick the right storylines from the comics to help inspire the story. Now we’ve seen Ben Afflec’sk name come up already in line for the gig though his rep’s reportedly say he has passed (which I don’t believe). My gut tells me he is probably still talking to them. Yes he turned down the Man Of Steel allegedly, but he is obviously impressing people at Warner Brothers with his work. I’m a fan of his directorial work, Gone Baby, Gone and The Town were two of the best crime films I’ve seen in a long time. The guy knows his stuff, but the question remains can he do a big action film. My answer to that would be yes he probably can. He’s worked on those type films as an actor, so he would have had to picked up something along the way (good or bad). He is also a comic book geek so he will know what kind of audience he has to aim the film for as well. I think Affleck’s previous work has earned him a shot. I would also be happy with Warner’s rumored second choice, David Yates. He can make a solid film and has huge spectacle film experience. Some of the action sequences from the Harry Potter films he has directed have been nothing short of excellent. I would hope Warners interviews or talks to a few more directors before anything is made official and I hope we get to hear who they are.

Check out Part 2 of my Justice League Movie Suggestions: Casting the Big Three.

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