Okay, I know what you are thinking… The Amazing Spider-Man hasn’t even come out in theaters yet, so why are we thinking ahead to the next one? Well, simply put, we know that there will be a next one and it is fun to play the guessing game as to who might be in it (assuming that they aren’t in the first flick of the rebooted series). I have stayed away from spoilers and our spotlight (Film Spotlight: The Amazing Spider-man) is the extent of my knowledge of the new film. The Lizard appears to be the only villain getting the spotlight in commercials, but we know that Oscorp plays a hand, so how far can Norman Osborn (aka the Green Goblin) truly be? In this list I’ll also be staying away from villains I thought/hoped would be apart of Spider-Man 4, which turned into The Amazing Spider-Man (hey, I was right on the money with the Lizard).

Lets start with a less likely possibility, Mysterio. He is one of Spider-Man’s oldest villains, having first  appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #13 in 1964. While many different people have donned the fishbowl, the original and best Mysterio was Quentin Beck, a failed special effects artist who uses parlor tricks and illusions to try and drive Spider-Man mad. Visually his costume is a bit cheesy and would need a big time movie makeover, but his “powers” could be pretty visually amazing (pun intended) in 3D and on the big screen. Plus, using him in even a smaller role in the sequel could be a nice early set up for bringing together the Sinister Six in a future movie (whose to say Spider-Man can’t face multiple villains over the course of the movie while dealing with a bigger threat– one villain at a time seems too easy on the hero).

How about the Scorpion? He appeared a couple issues after Mysterio in 1965. J Jonah Jameson (is he even in Amazing Spider-Man?) was responsible for this villain’s creation. He paid Mac Gargan to be apart of an experimental animal mutation therapy, which granted him with enhanced speed, strength and endurance, but had a side effect of driving him mad. He wears a (of course) scorpion based costume with a long stinger. Just like Mysterio it might be hard to make him a central villain, but who is to say he can’t work for Jameson- who in his quest to rid the city of the masked menace that is Spider-Man sets a few different villains loose. Only realizing what he has done too late. More recently Gargan took over the mantle of Venom during Marvel’s “Dark Reign”.

The living vampire Morbius! Hey, vampires are all the rage, right? Well, here is a way to have a vampire styled character but not have the need to incorperate the supernatural into the world of Spider-Man. Dr Michael Morbius attempts to cure his rare blood disease by testing an experimental treatment that uses vampire bats and electroshock therapy on himself. The result is that he turns himself into a horrible looking vampire like creature who needs to digest blood to survive. “Side effects” include the power of flight, super strength and a quick healing ability. Morbius and Spider-Men fighting through NYC at night would be quite breathtaking. His story would also be strong enough to focus a whole film on. The only problem is that his backstory might be a bit too similar to the Lizard’s origin (both are doctors trying to “cure” something about themselves). Morbius has a better handle and is a more outspoken villain than the Lizard.

Okay, now don’t get me wrong, I can totally understand why Marvel/Sony/Marc Webb would want to stay away from rehashing any of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies by reusing villains like the Green Goblin. But there is a way around that! Who wouldn’t love to see the Hobgoblin on the big screen? Instead of having Norman Osborn accidentally become the Green Goblin after the goblin serum drives him insane, lets have a man who purposely turns himself into a “goblin” villain to become a successful villain.  Sure, there have been a half dozen Hobgoblins, but that works towards the filmmaker’s advantage as it would be a lot harder to piss off fans even if you make big changes to the person behind the mask. Roderick Kingsley could be an Osborn employee who uses the serum on himself to get all of the abilities, but then messes with it so the next person that takes it is driven insane (Norman Osborn). This could lead to a pretty cool climax with Spider-Man stuck in the middle of an epic fight between the Green Goblin and the Hobgoblin.

Are you excited for The Amazing Spider-Man? What villains would you like to show up in future sequels? Who would you like to portray them?

The original RoboCop was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Sadly the sequels didn’t hold up to the original, and the television spinoff are better left unseen. When I heard that they were remaking the movie I was annoyed. Ugh. Yet another remake of one of my favorite 80s movies (grumble, The Karate Kid, grumble). But this one is shaping up to be something special.

José Padilha, the director behind the Elite Squad flicks, took over the project from Darren Aronofsky (who is one of the most interesting directors that keeps coming close to doing genre movies – Wolverine, Batman Year One, and now RoboCop). I’m not familiar with Padilha’s work, but his casting choices have been inspired. In the past month, both Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson were announced in roles; Oldman as the scientist that invents RoboCop and Jackson as an over the top television personality/mogul. Now they have stepped up the game even more by casting House MD‘s Hugh Laurie as the villainous CEO of OCP –the company in the original RoboCop that practically owns Detroit. The title role is being played by The Killing‘s Joel Kinnaman, with Abbie Cornish rumored to be portraying his wife.

So far the RoboCop remake is doing something very right with its casting. Hopefully they have worked just as hard on getting the script right and everything else will follow suit. I’m still hesitant, but getting more and more excited for this flick.

Release Date: July 20, 2012
Studio: Warner Brothers
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, and Michael Caine.
Plot: Eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face’s crimes, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy. (via IMDB)

Thoughts: Well the end is in sight for a journey that began eight years ago and is arguably one of the greatest cinematic trilogies of all time. Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise took comic book movies to a new level. Placing the character in the real world and giving the characters and story that sense of realism that could make you believe that this could actually happen. The Dark Knight Rises is shaping up to be THE movie of 2012.

The Dark Knight Rises, like it predecessors, boast an impressive cast. Joining the returning Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I think out of three films, this cast seems to be the best by far. Nolan has said that he didn’t want to save anything from this movie and this looks like it. While not a lot is known officially about the story, that hasn’t stopped the fanboys and internet writers from speculating.

From the trailers and other footage that’s been released, It seems like Nolan is sticking true to his word. There’s already a sense of epicness to this and a feeling that this will easily top anything that’s been done in the two previous films. Hardy and Hathaway look impressive as Bane and Selena Kyle/Catwoman. I like the fact that the film is set quite a while after the events of The Dark Knight. (8 years is official figure I keep hearing). Not only is this a great story setting but this could be a great move for Warner Brothers. With Nolan definitively stating this is the last Batman film he is directing. It’s been rumoured that he will be on the reboot as a producer much like his role on next years Superman Reboot “Man Of Steel”.

If that is the case, this reboot or next series of films could take place in those eight years. Bale has recently said he would up for a fourth film if the story is right- but we’ll have to wait and see. The Dark Knight Rises will be giving an epic conclusion to this wonderful journey and I think it will be the best movie of the summer. I’ve seen The Avengers and loved it, but I just think that TDKR will be better. Nolan hasn’t let us down yet and I think he will be able to top everything else we’ve seen. Either way, July 20th can’t come quick enough for this Bat-Fan.

I’ve shared my love for the epic-ly bad Resident Evil movie series in the past. These movies from Paul W.S. Anderson are so bad, that I can’t help but love them and be amazed that they just keep coming and coming every year- this will be the 5th movie in the series since 2002.

While not following the story of the games, the movies have interwoven the familiar characters in and out of the sequels. New for Retribution are Johann Urb as Leon Kennedy and Bingbing Li as Ada Wong (pictured right with Milla Jovovich as Alice). A surprise return to the series are Michelle Rodriguez as Rain, whose character (SPOILER ALERT) died in the original movie. Another deceased character making a return is Oded Fehr’s Carlos Oliveira, who appeared in both Apocalypse and Extinction. While I could care less about Rodriguez’s annoying character returning, I’m really glad to hear that Fehr’s Olivera is back as he was one of the most likeable characters introduced in the first four movies. Also returning characters from past films are Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine, Colin Salmon as James One Shade, Shawn Roberts as Albert Wesker, and Boris Kodjoe as Luther West.

Click to enlarge the images. The left image features Jovovich as Alice, and the right image features both Jovovich and Li.

Resident Evil: Retribution will be hitting theaters on September 14th, 2012. Are you excited for more zombie killing action?

Release Date: July 3, 2012
Studio: Sony
Director: Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer)
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Denis Leary and Rhys Ifans.
Plot: Peter Parker, an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy, and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets.

As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance — leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

Thoughts: When Sony first announced they were abandoning Spider-Man 4 and rebooting the series (so soon after the last flick int he series) I was pissed off. As off the mark as 3 was, I still wanted to see that series continue and get a proper ending. Or in the very least a better ending that it did get. But no, Sony didn’t want to fight to keep Sam Raimi on the project and instead we would get a reboot by the director of 500 Days of Summer, a great movie but by no means a movie that screams “I’m ready to direct Spider-Man!”

Months and months later and we only a few weeks from The Amazing Spider-Man coming out, and I have to admit, I’m really looking forward to it. The cast lives up to the title and really is amazing. Andrew Garfield looks spot on as Peter Parker (much better than Tobey Maguire ever did) and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey is inspired casting. Bringing it back to High School, a setting that Raimi jumped over for no good reason, was a great idea. The footage looks great and I’ve stayed away from spoilers, so I will genuinely be going in not knowing much and will be ready to be surprised.

21 JUMP STREET
This is one of those films that generally surprised me. Going in, I didn’t have high expectations. After all, Jonah Hill’s last comedy was The Sitter, but man did this movie bring the laughs. Channing Tatum is turning into the new incarnation of Mark Wahlberg, an actor known for his mostly serious movies who’s straight out awesome at comedy (but unlike Marky Mark, Channing’s actually a decent dramatic actor). There’s a ton of fun cameos in this pic, the gags are hilarious, and the movie delivers on multiple levels. Jonah Hill has shown that he can actually write a good film and I’m hoping he does more writing in the future.

Definitely a guilty pleasure film, it’s one of Jonah Hill’s best and a sequel is definitely on its way. The trailer undersells what’s likely going to be one of 2012’s best comedies.

****

You can check out our full crop of Mini-Movie Reviews by heading over to this link. Don’t forget to post below to let us know your thoughts on 21 Jump Street!

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