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FUNNYBOOK MOVIES

Entertainment Weekly DrComic book superheroes are on the cover of Entertainment Weekly often enough to qualify for a special separate department inside. Early this year, the “Special Double Issue” of January 8/15, was devoted to “sneak peeks at 2016's hottest movies, TV shows, and more.” Right there on the cover — Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange.

I haven’t been particularly fond of Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes lately, but as Doctor Strange he may do very well. I should have expected that something was afoot for Strange when Marvel started yet another new title devoted to the Sorcerer Supreme. The book is clearly intended to pave the fan road to the movie, due in theaters next November. And the movie is undoubtedly going to be an over-the-top feast of special effects — an attempt, I suppose, at reproducing in motion what artists Bachalo, Townsend, and Vey have done so expertly in the comic book.

EW also took a peek at the Batman v Superman flick out in March; “X-Men: Apocalypse,” May; the new season on Netflix’s Daredevil, March; and “Deadpool,” February — more of which, anon:

            ■ “Deadpool,” the movie based upon the Marvel comic book anti-hero, arrived, and Stephen Rebello in Playboy heralded its arrival: “Are you ready for an r-rated, deeply twisted X-men spin-off in which the disfigured ex-Special Forces hero lets you know he’s aware he’s a character in a superhero movie and blurts out whatever is on his sardonically funny mind?” Co-star T.J. Miller says: “Rather than water down the comic book, they ramped it up and went for it. It’s a complex, dense film with comedy so far left of center that it makes fun of comic-book movies. At the same time, it’s a satirical superhero comic-book movie itself.”

            ■ A movie based upon Jules Feiffer’s Playboy cartoon, Bernard and Huey, is en route to the big screen, with an original script and new drawings by Feiffer. Production of the Kickstarter backed comedy was supposed to start in the spring.

            ■ With Disney’s roll-out of a live-action CGI-assisted version of “Alice in Wonderland” comes news that the studio is planing live-action remakes of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Dumbo,” plus spin-offs of other films — “Cruella” from “101 Dalmatians,” “Tinkerbell” from “Peter Pan” — and a sequel to “Jungle Book.” I’d like to see a live elephant with ears big enough to flap like wings. Maybe that’s the CGI-assist part.

            ■ I went to see “Captain America: Civil War” and it was terrible. It was too long. Too many fighting and grunting sequences. And except for Captain America and Iron Man, I didn’t know any of the characters. None were properly introduced. The viewer was wholly disoriented the entire time. This viewer, anyhow. To enjoy — or even follow — the movie, you had to have seen all the other Avenger movies, wherein the same actors portrayed the same iconic characters. Then you’d know who everyone was. I think Scarlett Johansson was Black Widow; she’s called Natasha once. But I’m not sure.

 

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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