SBox NewsCorner (3/1 – 3/7/18): Avengers Date Change, Oscars So In Trouble, Live Action Pooh, & Whatnot

I’ve been contemplating making a series like this for a while and figure what better time than now to finally test it out. Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pride and copious amounts of gas that I bring you the SBox NewsCorner, where I take random entertainment news from the passed week and discuss them with you.

I know it’s not the most original concept in the world to make a “this week in news” type segment, but I want to try it out anyway. You see, one of the challenges of running a mostly op-ed based entertainment blog is figuring out which topics I should cover over others. Due to not having a ton of free time to get every post I want to make out into the world (damn you college), I often don’t get to cover all the stories I want to in a given week. Also, some stories I only have a little less to say about than others, which means it’ll often get lost in the shuffle while I focus my time elsewhere. That’s why I’ve been considering ways to talk about a wider range of topics in a way that’s both convenient and fast, and this is what I came up with.

Keep in mind that since this is series is still in the experimental phase I’ll be tweaking it as I go (whether it be the name of the series or the format I use to cover it). Hopefully the result will be something much easier and much more appealing to you guys. So, please, in the comments below let me know what you think of this idea. If you can think of anything I can improve on or that you hate about this, by all means write it below so I can make this series the best it can be.

By the way, these long intros won’t be in the next installment of the series. I’m simply doing it because it’s the first and… blah blah blah, let’s talk movies and games!

Silver Surfer Movie in Development

Okay, I’m kind of cheating with this one since this news broke last Tuesday, but I’ll make an exception. This is too cool to not discuss.

While acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney is still being finalized by the FTC and on track to be completed early next year, Fox is still working on their own movies, including those involving the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Some examples include Gambit, Doctor Doom, Deadpool 3, X-Force, and Silver Surfer. Well, on February 27, some movement on the latter film project were announced as the standalone Silver Surfer movie has found a writer. Comic book author Brian K. Vaughn, best known for Y: The Last Man and Runaways, is currently hired to write the movie which at this point has no further details.

You know, if this were a year ago I’d be currently complaining this for the simple reason that this should be in the MCU. But with it being 2018 and Fox being in a very transitional phase at this time, every announced Fox/Marvel film is now ten times more tantalizing to me than usual. See, we already know that once the Disney deal is official, the Fox/Marvel characters are going straight into the MCU. We don’t know exactly how it’ll work yet, nor do we know if Fox’s planned films will be carried out by Marvel Studios thereafter. However, if the groundwork is already being set for a Silver Surfer movie with a writer already attached, maybe Disney will utilize it. The result could not only be a Silver Surfer movie in the MCU but potentially getting said movie even sooner than expected.

I personally love the idea of a Silver Surfer movie. Seeing as the MCU is heading in a more cosmic direction post Avengers 4 next year, this is a natural choice for a future movie. In fact, if they’re intending to make this movie tie into the MCU right away, I think this movie would be an ideal place for a Guardians of the Galaxy cameo. Just an idea off the top of my head. Here’s another one: Michael Rosenbaum should play the Silver Surfer. He’s already used to playing a bald guy from being in Smallville and was almost cast as Star Lord. What more can you ask for.

Avengers Date Change

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This news caught me way off guard, but I’m so glad this is happening.

If you’ve been looking forward to Avengers: Infinity War as much as I have, you probably had the date May 4, 2018 memorized so that you’ll never forget when the movie is coming out. This date, of course, falls in line with Marvel’s tendency to release their movies in the first week of May. (Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 in 2017, Captain America: Civil War in 2016, Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, you get the idea). However, this tradition is now being overturned for the first time in years as Avengers Infinity War has changed their release date to April 27, 2018.

This is huge news not just due to this going against what I like to call the “Marvel May” tradition, but because my most anticipated movie of the year will be in my life one week earlier than expected. Make no mistake, I will be seeing this movie the first opportunity I get. I don’t give a fuck what’s going on April 26 at 7PM. That’s my Avengers time! Do not disturb!

With that said, I along with a few others immediately wondered why Marvel would do this. One potential reason is to allow Avengers to open at the same time as international markets. This translates to: 1) a much higher box office return on opening weekend which could aid a potential record; and 2) no douche bag spoilers. Another possible reason for the date change could be how crowded May has become with Solo: A Star Wars Story and Deadpool 2. This would make sense since both movies can and will eat at the Avengers chances at being the highest grossing movie of all-time. Whatever the case, though, I’m happy that this decision was made.

6 New MCU Film Dates Announced

I don’t have a ton to say about this one, but since I mentioned the Silver Surfer and the MCU, I feel it necessary to mention. On Thursday, March 1, Disney announced 6 new release dates for MCU films coming between 2021 and 2022. While these dates are currently for unnamed projects, the dates are as follows:

  • May 7, 2021 
  • July 31, 2021 
  • November 5, 2021
  • February 18, 2022
  • May 6, 2022
  • July 29, 2022

This is on top of 3 other releases dates for MCU films in 2020:

  • May 1, 2020 
  • July 31, 2020 
  • November 6, 2020

The fact that more Marvel movies will be coming out up to 2022 isn’t really a surprise, especially since Marvel Studios previously slated that they have films planned up to the year 2025. However, since we have these dates to look forward to, I thought it’d be interesting to make some quick observations and make some uneducated guesses as to which films will fill these slots.

First off, I’m pretty confident that Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 will take the May 2020 slot. It’s the only film officially announced for 2020, and Guardians has been released in May before. Doctor Strange 2 should then be out either November 2020 or November 2021. I’m not entirely sure which one, but November’s a safe bet for that film. For the sake of this post, I’ll assume the 2020. Black Panther 2 will take February 2022 for Black History Month, and Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 should be July 2021 to keep Spidey films 2 years apart. Ant-Man 3 will then probably be July 2022, though it could also be eligible for the July 2021 slot in the event Spidey leaves the MCU or is moved to a non-summer date. Finally, I believe Avengers 5 to be a May 2022 movie, three years after Avengers 4 since all previous Avengers movies (except 4) have been.

That leaves 3 dates unaccounted for: July 2020, May 2021, and November 2021. tempting as it may be to speculate that these could be X-Men/Deadpool/Fantastic Four slots, that’s probably not likely at this time. Those will most likely have release dates all their own, which means at least one of these should be all new properties. I say that because there’s a possibility that Captain Marvel 2 and Black Widow could be among the possible candidates for these slots. For the sake of argument, let’s just assume Black Widow is the November 2021 movie, Captain Marvel 2 is the May 2021, and… I don’t know… Adam Warlock for July 2020? He was teased in Guardians 2, so maybe.

Nintendo Switch is now 1 year old

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On Saturday, March 3, Nintendo’s seventh home console and/or sixth handheld console, the Switch, celebrated its first anniversary on the market. And boy, did Nintendo have a successful year in that time!

As of March 2018, the Nintendo Switch has 839 games on the market (86 of which are exclusive) and has sold nearly 15 million units worldwide. The latter achievment is especially significant when you consider that it is the fastest-selling console in Nintendo’s history and that by December 2017 it had already outsold its predecessor’s lifetime sales and then some. The Switch has also in one year been home to some of the highest rated and highest grossing games of the year, from Zelda: Breath of the Wild to Super Mario Odyssey.

Clearly the Odyssey has done very well for itself so far. I’m honestly very happy that the Switch was actually able to find a substantial audience that have taken to the system so lovingly. I say this especially considering Nintendo’s financial woes the past several years. Since the Wii began faltering around 2010, the company had been in a downward slope in terms of finances; something not helped by the Wii U doing as poorly as it did. That’s not to say Nintendo was ever in danger of going away forever, but it was clear that their future in hardware would’ve definitely been halted if the Switch ended up bombing. That’s why as a Nintendo fan of more than a decade I’m glad to see the company doing so well. I applaud them for making a damn good system with damn good games and damn good marketing.

I don’t have the Switch myself yet, mostly due to it being incredibly hard to get hands on up until a few months ago. However, as soon as my budget isn’t solely dedicated to Chick Fil-A, I’ll definitely be joining in on the fun. That way I can get my hands on Mario Odyssey and never be seen again.

90th Oscars (Winners & Ratings)

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On Sunday, March 4, I was at a wedding and missed watching the Oscars live for the first time in 3 years. This is important to note for later, but for now, let’s talk about the big highlights of the 90th Academy Awards. I won’t talk about everyone who won, but I’ll touch on the big ones.

This year 9 films were up for Best Picture with The Shape of Water ultimately winning the award. The win was preceded by 3 additional award for Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. Dunkirk won the second most awards of the night with 3 awards in Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Film Editing. Other major wins include Coco receiving two Oscars (Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song),  Gary Oldman winning Best Actor for Darkest Hour, Frances McDormand winning Best Actress for Three Billboards Over Ebbing, Missouri, and Get Out (my favorite movie of last year) received one Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

In terms of the winners of the night, I’ll admit to not being too well versed in this year’s nominees and ultimately shrugging along with 80% of the results. I do wish Logan would’ve won Best Adapted Screenplay, Star Wars won Best Sound Mixing, War for the Planet of the Apes won Best Visual Effects, and The Greatest Showman won Best Original Song. I also wish Detroit was nominated for something. ANYTHING! Same with LEGO Batman Movie. That should’ve been nominated over Boss Baby.

However, the most interesting thing about the Oscars this year wasn’t who won the ceremony, but how many people showed up to watch. That’s because this year’s Oscars was the lowest viewed one in history, continuing its downward tragectory in annual viewership that started a couple years back. This left a lot of people speculating as to why.

This is an incredibly interesting situation — one that I’d love to make a separate post about one day — but I’ll give a brief summary as to the popular theories. Some point to the ceremony’s increased emphasis on political commentary, isolating conservative and moderate viewers in the process, as well as taking the show away from its focus on film. Others point to the lack of popular films as nominees, not helped by the diminishing box office sales of last year. Many also point to the nature of the Oscars themselves, being a long, prestigious, circle jerk that fewer and fewer people want to take part in. To me, I think it’s a combination of the 3.

I think a quick fix would’ve been to relegate political talk as well as #MeToo coverage to a fixed section of the show similar to their In Memorium segment. Then focus on much better comedy and entertaining segments. Kimmel’s a great host, but the comedy from the presenters almost always suck. Fix that quick. Lastly, why doesn’t the Academy actually use all 10 slots for once? This pretentious bullshit with “we have 10 slots but its impossible for 10 movies to get enough votes each” is just plan stupid. It’s also a huge waste of marketing opportunity. Just imagine if, say, Wonder Woman or Logan was in that 10th slot. People would tune in to see if that won rather than something like Darkest Hour.

I have more ideas to fix the Oscars, too, but I’ll save tat for another time. As it stands, I love the Oscars and will continue to watch them, but even I have to admit I hope it gets better.

Evanescence’s ‘Fallen’ Turns 15 Years Old

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Let’s switch to a little piece of music news about one of my personal favorite bands, Evanescence whose first studio album, Fallen, celebrated its 15th anniversary this Sunday. The album, famous for its contributions to the genres of numetal and goth rock and for producing songs like “Bring Me To Life” and “My Immortal”, marks the first time mainstream audicnes heard from the likes of Amy Lee (my favorite female vocalist, by the way). It went on to sell 17 million copies since its 2003 release and has achieved seven times platinum as of 2008.

I’m actually not going to go too into my personal thoughts on this album as I plan on making a classic review of the album in honor of the anniversary. All I’ll say for now is that I love this album a great deal. I consider it a must listen for anyone who really loves rock or just wants an out there album with solid songs, great instrumentation, and amazing vocals from Lee. I really can’t wait talk more about this album, but until then go ahead and find this on YouTube. It’s certainly worth your time.

Lost in Space trailer

A few days back I noticed an odd trailer to a Netflix show that describes itself as E.T. meets Jurassic Park. Okay, color me intrigued!

Lost in Space is an adaptation of a 1965 TV series of the same name. (I never watched that show either, so apologies for the lack of insight). The premise is that this family that is part of the 24th Colonist Group becomes stranded on a foreign planet and must find their way back. There, a young boy named Will Robinson finds and befriends an alien creature.

I’m not really describing this trailer wonderfully well, I realize, but that’s because the trailer is actually really well made and chose their scenes so carefully that I really couldn;t tell you where this story is going after the boy find the alien. The trailer peaked my interest and then threw random snippets of awesome at me for 2 minutes straight. Now, I have something to watch next month

Rampage Date Change

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Avengers wasn’t the only movie to change its release date up. Rampage, the video game-to-film adaptation starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has also opted to move its release date up a week to April 13, 2018. Why? Well it’s definitely not because it’s the new trend to change release dates just a month before a film releases. No, it’s pretty apparent that this was to allow Rampage, arguably the biggest film of the month, to maintain its two week distance from Avengers: Infinity War.

Not much to say about this other than this makes complete sense. Rampage looks like it’ll be a nice dumb-fun movie which will have little problem making its money back even if it’s bad. However, if I were Warner Bros., I, too, would consider my video game movie about a wrestler taming a giant gorilla would have a better time opening against A Quiet Place and Truth or Dare than Avengers 3. That way, the film will have two whole weeks of owning the box office before Marvel sucks up all the money from our wallets.

 

Trump to meet with ESA Next Week

This will be a bit of a teaser since this is news of something that will be news next week. Besides, no matter what happens the aftermath of this meeting will be fascinating to those who play video games.

Next week, the 45th Commander-in-Chief and winner of the “Most Orange Man Alive” Award, President Donald Trump, will be meeting with the Electronic Software Association to discuss video game violence. Following the aftermath of the horrific school shooting at Parkland, Florida, the President placed the blame for the attack on bump stocks, mental health, and violent media. In regards to the latter he expressed his belief that when kids witness violent media in blockbuster films or in video games they are likely to act out violent actions in real life. Therefore he is proposing regulation on this via a stricter rating system among other restrictions, with some legislators around the country following suit with the president by proposing higher taxes on partocularly violent video games.

I’ll probably have much more to say about this once Trump actually meets with the ESA next week as we’ll know the nature of the meeting and whether he still wishes to pursue either implementation of a rating system that already exists (ESRB) or the taxation of violent media which will not go over well with the roughly 150 million Americans who are gamers. Until then, allow me to make my stance on the matter clear. A grand majority of peer-reviewed studies have found that violent games DO NOT cause real-world violence. I am sick to death of this tired and repeatedly disproven argument by people who appear to be hellbent on blaming everything they can but the factors that actually caused that shooting: lack of reliable background checks, ease of access to abnormally dangerous weapons, the failure of an institution to recognize a clear threat, our country’s utter indifference for addressing mental health, and an asshole who found it necessary to kill 17 innocent people without cause. Those are the things we should be looking at.

We as a society have learned the dangers of doing nothing in the face of tragedy, and I’m glad we’re actually taking action this time instead of just saying things and moving on. But the direct approach is usually the best one, and blaming media is an abstract solution to the problem. If we preoccupy ourselves with solutions that don’t work we take resources away from actual solutions, and for the sake of our schools and children we need actual solutions.

Christopher Robin trailer

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Disney’s newest live action adaptation is on its way this summer. Following in the footsteps of Maleficent, Cinderella, Pete’s Dragon, and Beauty and the Beast, it’s now time to bring a live action interpretation of… Winnie the Pooh?… What?

Yes, Christopher Robin comes to theaters August 3, 2018, and the first pieces of promotional material surfaces earlier this week. First in the form of this adorable poster that melted my heart, and then by the trailer which I still don’t know what to make of.

The concept is basically Winnie the Pooh meets Hooked with a little bit of Drop Dead Fred. Christopher Robin (played by Ewan McGregor) is a businessman of sorts who is about to take his wife and child on a vacation before he’s forces to stay for an emergency meeting; one where he must cut 20% of the staff in order to appease his boss. (So far, perfect premise for a Pooh movie). Christopher Robin is seen clearly in distress over the situation before he hears a familiar voice from behind. It’s Pooh! He’s so happy! Pooh whispers in his ear, “This is my swamp!”… Don’t worry, I’ll spare your childhoods and not continue that horrible joke.

The trailer was pretty good I guess. It spends more time on the life of an adult Christopher Robin than anything else, which can make the beginning of the trailer a bit dull, but when Pooh finally comes in it gets substantially more interesting for several reasons. First, I’m incredibly concerned for the mental health of Christopher Robin who is clearly regressing. Second, I’m glad they got the usual voice cast of the Pooh franchise back on board for this movie. As soon as I heard Jim Cummings, the 5 year old part of my brain got all giddy. Third, I find their choice of showing the Pooh characters as walking/talking stuffed toys fascinating to say the least. I think on the whole I like this option better than the alternative of a clearly CG Pooh, but it’s still kinda weird so far.

On the whole, I’m still not sure I like the idea of this film. I find it kind of unnecessary and have a feeling this will end up being just a bland, throwaway movie Disney used to get a quick buck out of nostalgiatards like me. Well, one way or the other it’s going to work. I’m going to see this movie and hope for the best, but hopefully my confidence in the film will rise as we get closer to the release date. Maybe when the next trailer shows the Hundred Acre Wood I’ll have a slightly changed tune.

A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2 Trailer

Our final piece of news for the week involves a Netflix show I fell in love with early last year, A Series of Unfortunate Events. I love this series so far, and seeing as all I knew of the series was the Nickelodeon movie with Jim Carrey, I can’t wait to actually see where the Bouldelaire’s story goes passed Book 3.

I won’t go too into the trailer here, but I’ll discuss some surface level stuff. Fans of the first season will instantly appreciate the familiar tone of up-beat pessimism. The comedy is also still present with perfectly smirk-worthy jokes sprinkled throughout the trailer. All your favorite characters are here and accounted for, from our three lead kids to Count Olaf and from Arthur Poe to the goddamn best part of this series himself: Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket. I’m sold just based on Warburton alone. I also picked up that this season’s location will include the boarding school, a hospital, and a carnival. (I’ll have to watch the trailer again to find out the last location, but I won’t because I want that to be a surprise).

I can’t wait until this series comes back later this month. If you haven’t seen the first season yet and are even slightly interested in 8 episodes of harmless fun, I highly recommend doing so; preferably before March 30th so we can rave about the show together.


That’s all the news for today. If you’ve made it this far and are still reading this. Thank you so much for giving this new segment the time of day. As I said, I’m still working out the kinks of what the NewsCorner will ultimately be, so bare with me as a start to get into the right rhythm. In fact, I highly encourage you to please leave a comment telling me what you think of this post. Tell me what I’m doing right and tell me what I’m doing wrong so I can make this segment the best it can be.

Also feel free to leave a comment about what you think of one or any of these stories. I’d love to know what you guys think?

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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