It’s been six months since Hunger Games: Catching Fire which means it’s time for the latest post-apocalyptic, kid-lit franchise to get its shot at box office glory. Say what you will about Hollywood dumbing-down America; at least they’ve taught millennials the meaning of the word “dystopia” (regardless of what David Axelrod seems to think).
The story takes place within a city that’s been walled off in order to protect its citizens from an unrevealed (hey, that’s what sequels are for) threat. Civilization has been divided into five groups; each tasked with its own societal function. These factions (as they’re called) are: Abnegation, meant for the altruistic; Amity, for the nonviolent; Candor, for the truthful; Dauntless, for the courageous; and Erudite, for the intelligent. But some are “factionless” and live in the periphery of society eating from dumpsters and just being generally all around sad and stuff.
While you are born into a faction you are allowed to select your own faction on your 16th birthday. In an effort to help you choose “correctly” the government administers a test that reveals to you which faction you are best suited for (though you are technically allowed to select any faction). Enter our heroine Tris (Shailene Woodley). She was born to Abnegation but has never really felt like she fit in. (Teenagers, amiright?) Her test reveals her to be…da, da, DAAA…divergent. (Gasp.) This proves to be problematic as the government frowns on the factionally ambidextrous. And by “frowns on” I mean “hunts them down and kills them.”
Ain’t it grand?
Wes Anderson has a toy box. And in this toy box, Anderson has a camera – some might find it frustrating, while others find it magical – that frames almost every scene perfectly symmetrically. Sometimes this camera, from a fixed spot, will rotate left or right 90°, even 180° (and once in awhile, this camera will pivot all the way around, revealing a 360° set.) When the camera does move, it dollys left or right, following characters that move left, right, forwards or backwards – rarely does anyone move from a fixed line in a Wes Anderson movie.
Also in Wes Anderson’s toy box, are characters that are offbeat, sometimes cartoony, other times remarkably thorny, yet all likable, even when they do unlikable things. And these characters are played with a trusty collection of action figures… let’s see, he’s got a Bill Murray, always a favorite, a Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson usually makes an appearance somewhere. Yay, Jeff Goldblum! Ooh, Bob Balaban! Not always used, but a welcome sight…
Jason Bateman’s directorial debut is cynical, shrewd, and remarkably sweet. If the reaction of the audience is any indication, Bateman could have struck gold in his first attempt behind the camera.
Batman plays 40-year old, Guy Trilby. Trilby comes up with the idea to crash the Golden Quill Spelling Bee, which is intended for 10-year old students. While spelling bee officials and parents of contests try, they just can’t find a way to get Trilby out of the competition. I, myself, was amazed at some of the words that were picked in the spelling bee. I had never even heard of some of the words before.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the grass is growing, and Wizard World is making it’s return to St. Louis. That’s right fanboys and fangirls, Wizard World St. Louis is returning to the Gateway city on April 4-6 at the America’s Center.
With the amazing turnout from last year, Wizard World decided to make St. Louis a regular stop on their convention circuit. Last we were treated with guests Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead), Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), and Stan “The Man” Lee. This year will also feature a plethora of comic book and pop culture guests for you to see and meet – along with some con exclusives and great panels for you to enjoy.
As great as last years event was, this year is shaping up to be even better. Making their way to St. Louis this year will be superstar artists Greg Capullo (Batman, Spawn, and Haunt), Salvador Larroca (Invincible Iron Man), Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams(Batman & Green Lantern), and Ethan Van Sciver (Green Lantern: Rebirth & Flash: Rebirth). Those are just a few of the heavy hitters coming this year. Other amazing talent include David Mack (Daredevil & Kabuki), Carlo Pagulayan (Incredible Hulk), Arthur Suydam (Marvel Zombies & Army of Darkness), James O’Barr (the creator of The Crow), and Mike Grell (Green Arrow & Warlord). This however wouldn’t be a St. Louis Comic Con if we didn’t have some home grown superstars of our own now would it? Also making appearances this year will be St. Louis’s own Cullen Bunn (Wolverine, Magento & the upcoming Sinestro), Chris Samnee (Daredevil, The Rocketeer, and Thor: The Mighty Avenger) Brian Hurtt (The Sixth Gun), and Matt Kindt (Justice League of America & Mind MGT).
David Mack also drew the Wizard World St. Louis exclusive variant cover of Wolverine and the X-Men #1. It will be given the first 3,000 VIP attendees at the show. There will also be a black & White sketch variant. That issue will be limited to 2,500 copies, and will be available at the Wizard Wold store on the convention floor.
This announcement is for all you Batman fans. This year, The Dark Knight is celebrating his 75th anniversary. And at St. Louis Comic Con, you will be able to meet the original Dynamic Duo themselves: Batman & Robin! Adam West and Burt Ward will be here, and are available for photos and autographs. And that’s not all! Making her very first convention appearance, we are proud to welcome Athena Finger, the only grandchild of Bill Finger, the uncredited co-creator of Batman and almost all of the “Bat” supporting cast. I’m sure you’re telling yourself: “Joe. I’m not a fan of these so called funny books, but I do love pop culture. Is there anything for me?” Fear not dear reader, there is. If the comic guests don’t do it for you – listen up you primitive screw-heads! Come to meet your favorite cult hero, Ash himself: Bruce Campbell! That’s right my friends, Bruce Campbell will be at Wizard World.
Also coming this year will be Nathan Fillion (Castle & Firefly), William Shatner (Star Trek), Karen Gillan (Dr. Who), Sean Patrick Flannery (Boondock Saints & Dexter), WWE Superstar Chris Jericho, Sean Astin (the Lord of the Rings trilogy), Manu Bennet (Arrow & Spartacus), Summer Glau (Firefly & Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC), Milo Ventamiglia (Heroes), Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Dollhouse), Alan Tudyk (Firefly & Tucker and Dale vs Evil), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid) , John Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Jason David Frank (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), and Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk)
This years show is shaping up to be even better than last year. If you haven’t picked up your tickets yet, you can head over to the official Wizard World website. There you can pick up tickets for the show, find out how to get autographs and picture with your favorite celebrities, and a full list of everyone that will be at the con.
This week on Reel Spoilers it’s Need for Speed. Can another franchise capture the, ummm…magic (?) of the Fast & Furious franchise? Has this generation finally found it’s own Hal Needham? Should this generation even want to?
Plus, Kevin gives a box office report, Dan (remember him) is back and has a video recovery for us, and if that’s not enough we take a stroll down memory lane where we discover that we miss drive-ins even if they did kind of suck.
It’s Reel Spoilers #36: Need for Speed.
You’ve been warned.