Sunday, November 19, 2017

Casting the He-Man movie: Skeletor

Alright, I figured I'd better finish my series of blogs on potential casting choices for the upcoming He-Man movie before the movie is actually out!

So, jumping back onto the saddle, let's talk Skeletor.

He's one of the most important choices in this movie. Maybe even more important than He-Man. Christian Bale was a good Batman. Almost everyone can agree on that. But I've never met anyone who doesn't think Heath Ledger was an amazing Joker. That's the way I see it with Skeletor.

He's He-Man's arch-rival. He's the villainous part of the story. Every good story needs a good villain and, in this one, Skeletor is it. If the movie's decision-makers choose wisely, it could take the movie up another notch.

Who to choose?

Here are a few people I've come up with:

Daniel Radcliffe

I'm not sure what age range the rest of the cast is, but there's always a benefit to going young in movies where there's a potential to for a trilogy or a series.

 The benefit is that the actor is young enough to remain in that starring role for the next decade. Just look at Hugh Jackman.

 He was Wolverine for 17 years! Action movies require people to be in at least decent shape. That's a lot of fitness dedication to be in top shape for 17 years.

Radcliffe is, of course, best known for his work as Harry Potter. He's not a muscle head, but he seems to have a good build. I assume he could do some of his own stunts.

Everyone (or at least I do) pictures teenage Harry Potter when they think of Radcliffe, so it's easy to forget that he's a much more mature looking 28-year-old these days.

He's got the acting chops to get the job done and I think he'd have an interesting take on the role of Skeletor. I wouldn't mind a bit of he was chosen for the job.

Robert Pattinson

Another younger actor who is primarily known for one major role is Mr. Pattinson. Thanks to the Twilight saga, he's known for pretty much one role. Although he's done other movies, none of them have elevated him past the distinction of being a sparkling vampire in the Twilight series.

Assuming that the Masters of the Universe movie is even somewhat successful, it'd at least be a chance of pace for Pattinson. Instead of being the romantic interest, he'd be a villain. He'd be evil and part of an action movie. I think it'd look good on his resume, but I'm not his agent.

In terms of what he offers to the role, he's got name recognition. He's got decent acting skills. He's also got the physique and, I assume, the athleticism to succeed in the physicality of the role.

Skeletor was never a big hand-to-hand combat villain anyway. He was more of a Loki type of villain -- a plotting trickster with magical powers and a magical staff that he used as a weapon.

Robert Pattinson could handle the role of Skeletor just fine.

Michael Shannon

Michael who? That's probably a question you're asking, even if you've seen this guy in other movies before. He was General Zod in Man of Steel. That's his biggest role to date, but he's also appeared in 8 Mile, Bad Boys II, Vanilla Sky and even Groundhog Day. Needless to say he's got the experience required to play the part.

Shannon is probably more of an 'actor's actor' than Pattinson or Radcliffe. By that I mean he's got a lot of diversity in his filmography. He's taken small roles and large roles. He's acted on TV and in movies. I don't think he'd be unprepared to handle any kind of task the director or producer threw at him.

In terms of his physicality, he proved that he could be a formidable opponent for someone with superhuman strength in Man of Steel.

He's an older choice than the other two choices I've mentioned so far, but Skeletor can be older. Skeletor doesn't really have an age, so that's OK. Shannon doesn't have the name recognition, but he'd bring some good acting to the role.

James Franco

I'm not a huge fan of James Franco, but, for some reason, I could see this working. My impression of Franco is that he's a little out there. That can sometimes make for good actors.

 I can't think of one performance of Franco's that I've been incredibly moved by, but he gets the job done.

He's got some name recognition to his name. I'm good with going with unknown actors or actresses to fill roles. Look at how well it turned out for Marvel with Chris Hemsworth as Thor. However, I think the new MOTU movie needs some big names if it's going to be the start of a franchise.

Franco would provide the project with a big name and some acceptable acting skills as well.

Daniel Craig

How about this as a choice? Little bit of a twist? Craig is, of course, known for being Mr. 007 in what will be at least 5 different James Bond movies, but I think he'd be really good as a villain, too.

 Skeletor would be in the same realm as James Bond (action flick, big budget, kind of realistic but not really). It'd be a very distinct, different character, though.

I'd imagine he'd be happy to not be typecast as James Bond. Being a blue-skinned alien with a floating yellow head and a purple cloak would help expand how people see him, right?

Without a doubt, Craig would be fine with the physical aspects of the role. 5 James Bond movies kind of prepares you for any other action movies that come along. He's been in some other movies, of course, and there was a bit of variety in them.

I think Daniel Craig would be able to portray a complex villain (which is how Skeletor needs to be portrayed) and get the audience emotionally involved. For that reason alone, he's a good choice.

Willem Dafoe

Speaking of actors with a good amount of experience, Willem Dafoe's career goes back to the 1980's. He's starred in comedies, action flicks, superhero movies, and dramas.

He was the Green Goblin in the Spider-Man trilogy from the early 2000's.  He'll be Nuidis Vulko in 2018's Aquaman.

Some of his most recent credits include: Murder on the Orient Express, John Wick and The Fault in Our Stars.

Dafoe can get it done in whatever role he's given.  He's one of those actors who you may not know by name, but have probably seen at some point or another.  He's got a recognizable face, even if people don't know him by name.

That's, of course, due to all of his work in Hollywood.

What does he bring to the table?  Good acting.  Credible acting.  Both of those would help the MOTU be more than just a failed effort.  We saw the G.I. Joe franchise flop, despite some okay box office numbers and one of the two movies starring Channing Tatum, The Rock and Bruce Willis.

I'd like He-Man to be a nice mix of good cinematography, exciting action sequences, visually pleasing CGI (not overdone though!), impressive acting, and a script that combines drama and comedy.

Basically, I want it to be on point.  Dafoe brings impressive acting to the table and a load of experience.

Cillian Murphy

This is the one I want. This is my pick for Skeletor. In my dream world of fantasy casting, Cillian Murphy would be Skeletor. He's not a hugely recognizable actor, but he's got some major roles under is belt -- and a lot of them are as villains. He was the Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.

 He was also the creepy evil dude in Red Eye. Anyone remember that movie with Rachel McAdams? He was also the bad guy in the not-so-amazing Justin Timberlake futuristic flick In Time.

If Christopher Nolan were in charge of the MOTU movie, Murphy would be a shoe-in because Murphy also starred in Inception.

So, basically, Murphy can handle the acting. He's used to big productions. He's used to playing a bad guy. He looks to be in good shape, so I think he could handle some of the stunts, too.

I think Cillian Murphy would be a great choice. He's my number one pick.

I'm hoping someone in Hollywood has at least thought of him for the role, too!

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Casting the He-Man movie: The Sorceress
Casting the He-Man Movie: Evil-lyn
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Justice League - reviewed.

I went into Justice League the way I got into all movies that I want to see: without watching the trailers. I tried to avoid as many clips or previews or interviews or spoilers or reviews as possible.

And I wasn't disappointed.

One of my co-workers did mention to me that Joss Whedon apparently retweeted a review by Variety, which said that the villain in this movie was one of the worst villains of all time. I don't know if that's the case because I never actually took the time to find that tweet.

I did see a few months back that Diane Lane, who plays Martha Kent, mentioned on an episode of Watch What Happens Live that she didn't think Justice League would be as good as The Avengers.  She released a statement later, explaining that she was saying that she couldn't reveal spoilers and that she hadn't seen The Avengers.

So, there was that.  Outside of that little bit of information, I didn't know what to expect from the movie, but I was wanting big things.

I was really hoping, after the success of Wonder Woman, that this would be good. Why? Because I'm a fan of comic books and super heroes and I really want the DC Universe to do well on the big screen because that will mean even more DC projects in the future.

So how did this venture compare to some of Marvel's movies? I've got to say: it measured up. For comparison purposes, it reminded me a lot of Avengers 2 in various ways.

First off, the villain, Steppenwolf, wasn't amazing. If I'm being honest, he was OK. He was acceptable, but not a standout by any means. I think there was a little too much CGI involved with him. Additionally, he didn't really stand out that much.

 Just like Ultron in Avengers 2, Steppenwolf filled the need for a powerful enough villain to bring this awesome group of super heroes together against a common enemy.

 It's definitely not as though this guy will go down in super hero movie history as one of the best villains of all time, though.

Unfortunately DC comics doesn't have a bunch of really interesting villains. We've got Batman's villains, but none of them pose a threat against an allegiance like the Justice League. Lex Luthor is great, but, again, he's a human. He's not a physical threat against the likes of Wonder Woman, Aquaman or Superman.

As the DC cinematic universe continues on, they may need to consider coming up with some entirely new villains. I wouldn't mind that at all, actually. Or maybe they find some of the more obscure, yet still threatening villains and bring them to the big screen.

Or maybe they just need to work on their delivery. I didn't know anything about Steppenwolf going into this movie, but upon doing some research, I liked certain comic book depictions of him -- much more than the movie's depiction.

He gets the job done, though.

What really makes this movie awesome is the same thing that made Avengers, Avengers 2, and Captain America 3 awesome: the interactions between the heroes.

There are so many great moments in this movie, whether it's comedic one-liners or action sequences. Batman and The Flash were hilarious together. Alfred had some funny moments. Wonder Woman and Batman had a chemistry in Batman v. Superman and carried that on into this movie, too. Aquaman is freakin' hilarious! I'm anxious to see his movie next year.

The Flash should be a really good standalone movie as well.  His interactions with Cyborg made both characters stand out among some big names.

Cyborg was really interesting. I think he's an interesting enough character to warrant a standalone movie down the road.

Wonder Woman was just as amazing as she was in her own movie.  DC Universe has big money with Gal Gadot and if they handle the character the right way, there will be multiple success stories to come -- either in a Wonder Woman standalone film or in Justice League team-ups.

I know I mentioned how awesome Aquaman was a few paragraphs up, but it bears repeating.  He is a sarcastic bad-ass who can control the water.  Pretty much an under water Thor with an edge.

If you've ever watched The Big Bang Theory, you're probably familiar with the jokes at Aquaman's expense.  Maybe deservedly so.  However, this Aquaman is going to shatter the image of the blonde-haired comic book version with the orange and green attire.

It's interesting that DC is following Marvel's own already winning formula.

They started with Superman in Man of Steel.  Then gave us Batman v. Superman (with a Wonder Woman appearance).

After that, they went with a period piece for Wonder Woman (as Marvel did with Captain America's first movie).

Now it's the team-up in Justice League (like Marvel did with The Avengers).  Next, they'll give us Aquaman and The Flash.

What really impressed me with Justice League was the amount of foreshadowing towards the future Flash, Aquaman and Justice League 2 movies.  They acknowledged their previous movies with small references, told a separate story in this movie and looked to the future all at the same time.

That's an incredible feat for such a big project.  Major kudos to the writers, directors and producers for pulling that off.

Justice League was similar to Captain America 3 in that sense.  Lots of underlying stories, character development and connecting plot points.  Characters like Martha Kent (Diane Lane) and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) weren't forgotten.

What really excites me is that this is only the 4th movie into their big screen endeavors.  That means (hopefully) they'll only get better from here.

I'd like to give a more detailed review, but I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.  Maybe when the DVD is released, I'll do a full-on review.

Until then, go see this movie!  If you enjoyed any of the other DC movies so far, you're sure to enjoy this one.  If your allegiance lies with Marvel, you'll still probably enjoy it because DC is getting it right by using lots of the techniques that put Marvel on the map.

I'll end this review on this final bit of advice: if you watch the movie, stay until the end of all of the credits. You won't be disappointed that you did!

Related Content:
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Wonder Woman - reviewed.
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