2016 has only recently taken the wheel from 2015, and you know what that means!
That’s right! It’s time for my list of Top Ten 2016 Movies That Will Inevitably Disappoint Me!
2016 has only recently taken the wheel from 2015, and you know what that means!
That’s right! It’s time for my list of Top Ten 2016 Movies That Will Inevitably Disappoint Me!
So it’s finally come to this. The last four members of the Suicide Squad (Or, as it’s officially known, Task Force X), three of whom are probably going to be the main focus of the movie (Because shoving more than three origin stories into one movie might be kinda impossible).
George Harkness/Captain Boomerang
First appearance: Flash #117 (December 1960)
Created by: John Broome, Carmine Infantino
Portrayed by: Jai Courtney (Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Unbroken, Jack Reacher)
Other portrayals: Donal Gibson (DC Animated Universe), John DiMaggio (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Nick Tarabay (Arrow), James Patrick Stewart (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox), Greg Ellis (Batman: Assault on Arkham)
Trying to find bright spots in Jai Courtney’s filmography is… Well, it’s something.
Anyways, George “Digger” Harkness was born in Kurrumburra, Australia, the illegitimate son of an American toymaker and an Australian woman. Harkness’ life in the wilds of small-town Australia was complete and utter shit, as he was growing up poor, and under the thumb of his abusive stepfather. Harkness turned to crime, committing robberies with the help of his trusty boomerang, a traditional Australian weapon that he had grown extremely proficient with, because what the fuck else are you supposed to do when you’re a teenager growing up in the Australian Bush?
When a robbery goes horribly wrong, his stepfather kicks him out of the house, so his mom sends him to America to start over… And when he gets to the States, he immediately begins a career as a criminal, coming into conflict with the Rogues, a group of supervillains dedicated to taking down the Flash, and eventually the Suicide Squad.
While he is likely the least completely in sane of most iterations of the Squad, he shouldn’t be mistaken for a good person. He has little to no regard for human life (At one point leading his teammate, Mindboggler, to her death, solely because of petty differences), is just about completely amoral, and, if that wasn’t enough, he’s fond of sexual harassment, and is also overtly racist, making him one “That’s not a knife, this is a knife!” away from being the evilest possible version of Crocodile Dundee.
Hopefully, Jai Courtney is a better actor when he’s using his natural Australian dialect. I mean, he’s a Hollywood actor, there must be talent and charisma buried somewhere under the mountainous lack of appeal, right?
I’m being awfully critical for someone who doesn’t have the courage to use his real name online, aren’t I? I dunno, he’s probably a super nice guy.
First appearance: Batman #59 (June 1950)
Created by: David Vern Reed, Lew Sayre Schwartz
Portrayed by: Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of– Oh, fuck this, if you don’t know who Will Smith is, why are you even here?)
Other portrayals: Michael Rosenbaum (DC Animated Universe), Tom Kenny (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Bradley Stryker (Smallvile), Michael Rowe (Arrow), Jim Meskimen (Batman: Gotham Knight), Neal McDonough (Batman: Assault on Arkham), Chris Cox (Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Knight)
Unlike the majority of the Squaddies, Floyd Lawton had a fairly privileged upbringing, growing up with insanely wealthy parents and an older brother, Edward, whom he adored. While his parents also adored Edward, they neglected Floyd, treating him poorly, because you can’t have a member of the suicide squad without family issues, apparently. His dad, being a neglectful asshole, was cheating on his mom, so Mrs. Lawton, giving vindictiveness a whole new ordered her sons to murder their dad. .While Floyd was appalled, and attempted to warn Mr. Lawton, Eddie was, disturbingly enough, all for it, locking Floyd in the bathroom and going off to do the deed. By the time Floyd broke out of the room and grabbed his rifle, Eddie had already paralyzed his dad from the waist down. In the ensuing fit of rage, Floyd shot Eddie in the face. Psychologically disturbed by this incident (Duh), Floyd trained as a marksman, and became a master assassin, becoming a semi-frequent opponent of Batman’s, and a staple of the Suicide Squad.
While not as batshit insane or downright monstrous as the others, Deadshot is still fairly crazy, having an extremely short fuse, an indifference to the lives of the people he harms, and an intense hatred of Batman solely for being one of the few people to make him miss a shot.
He also has an intense death wish, and it is suggested that the sole reason that he is a member of the Squad is because he secretly hopes that he will die as a result of a mission. And who says DC is dark?
Lastly, if you’re one of those people who has an issue with Will Smith playing a character that is traditionally Caucasian, you need to seriously consider removing yourself from the gene pool for the good of humanity.
Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn
First appearance: “Joker’s Favour” (Batman: The Animated Series)
Created by: Paul Dini, Bruce Timm
Portrayed by: Margot Robbie (Pan Am, The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus)
Other portrayals: Mia Sara (Birds of Prey), Hynden Walch (The Batman, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Batman: Assault on Arkham) Meghan Strange (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Tara Strong (Arrow, Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles, Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Arkham Knight, Injustice: Gods Among Us), Arleen Sorkin (DC Animated Universe, Batman: Arkham Asylum)
The most effective poster girl for Hybristophilia since Bonnie Parker, Harley Quinn is a special case in that she didn’t actually debut in the comics. In fact, she debuted on the fantastic cartoon from the Nineties as Joker’s bubbly sidekick, and skyrocketed to prominence since then, for, uh, reasons.
Born Harleen Quinzel in the city of Brooklyn (Her accent is as much a part of her character as insanity and a black-and-red colour motif, Harley excelled in her education, getting a job as a psychologist at Arkham Asylum in Gotham City, which is a place where most Batman villains go in between prison breaks. Why anybody would willingly move to Gotham City in the first place is belong me, but whatever.
Fascinated with psychopaths, she was naturally drawn to the biggest psycho of them all, the Joker. Convinced that he had been misdiagnosed by the other shrinks, Harley continually visited him, trying to get inside his brain and learn what makes him tick.
While Dr. Quinzel was smart, she wasn’t as smart as the Joker. Manipulating her with a couple of well-placed sob stories, she eventually felt so sorry for him that she fell hopelessly in love with him.
Believing that they were meant to be together, Quinzel adopted a jester-like persona and helped bust Joker out of prison. Overjoyed, the Joker took her to Ace Chemicals, the place where he became the Joker, and shoved her into one of the same vats of unnamed chemicals that he fell into. The chemicals have a similar effect on her as well, colouring her hair, bleaching her skin, and driving her completely bananas. Becoming Joker’s sidekick, the reborn Quinzel adopted the moniker of Harley Quinn, and took her place by Joker’s side.
Becoming Joker’s on-and-off girlfriend and sidekick, the newly christened Harley Quinn’s life became a cycle of ultraviolence and abuse, happily plotting and murdering with her “Puddin'” or “Mistah J” one day, while getting mentally abused and smacked around by him the next, even getting shoved out of a building by her homicidal boy toy at one point for trying to kill Batman without him.
Lately though, she’s established a separate identity from Mistah J, leaving him and becoming a little more morally ambiguous than straight-up evil since joining the Suicide Squad, though she’s still prone to the occasional murder spree.
Fun fact: Harley Quinn’s big-screen debut was originally supposed to come in the sequel to the infamous Batman & Robin, Batman Triumphant. She was going to be the co-villain along with Scarecrow. This version of the character was written as being the daughter of Jack Nicholson’s Joker from Tim Burton’s Batman, who would’ve had cameos in Batman’s flashbacks (As a result of Scarecrow’s neurotoxin). After Batman & Robin ruined the franchise (At least until Batman Begins), Triumphant was cancelled.
That’s not all though: Do you know who was rumoured to be playing such a psychologically complex character?
First appearance: Legends #1 (November 1986)
Created by: John Ostrander, Len Wein, John Byrne
Portrayed by: Viola Davis (Doubt, The Help, How to Get Away With Murder)
Other portrayals: C.C.H. Pounder (DC Animated Universe, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Batman: Arkham Origins), Sheryl Lee Ralph (Young Justice), Pam Grier (Smallville), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow), Penny Johnson Jerald (Justice League: Gods of Monsters), Angela Bassett (Green Lantern)
If this series of mine has taught you one thing, it’s that, aside from Katana and Rick Flag, the Suicide Squad are awful people. Murderers, psychopaths, even a cannibal that looks like a giant crocodile. And yet, the worst person out of them all may be their leader, a non-superpowered, physically unthreatening civilian named Amanda Waller.
Born in Chicago, Waller married young and had a large family with her husband. All was well until their son, a basketball prodigy, was murdered in a mugging, and their daughter was raped and killed in an alleyway on her way home from church. Her husband set out to find the rapist, and both men were killed in the process. Understandably hardened by this experience , Waller devoted herself to her studies, earning a political science degree and earning a job in politics. Working her way to the highest levels of the US government thanks to her ruthlessness and cruelty, Waller discovered the files of the very first Suicide Squad (The one that Rick Flag’s dad was a part of) and convinced the president to re-open the program. Waller essentially took control of Belle Reve Prison, and spirited away the more dangerous supervillains for use in the program. Fixing them with remote-controlled detonation devices to prevent rebellion, she forced the Squaddies to carry out black ops missions for the US government, assassinations and the sort, and in return, they would earn reduced sentences.
Will this origin be the same in the movie? Almost certainly not, but hey, this isn’t an exact science, this is just meant as kind of a background for the characters.
Speaking of them, there’s still a few actors (Scott Eastwood and Common among them) whose characters haven’t been announced, and at that time, I’ll do another profile for their characters, but until then,uh, (Insert appropriate quote from the trailer).
To be continued… Probably…
“Why Kenny” you may be asking, “What’s up with this horrid new background colour?”
My response: I don’t fucking know, why don’t you ask WordPress? They’re the ones who changed it without consulting me, and won’t let me change it without upgrading to WordPress Premium!
I spent two hours raging at the hand that feeds, even writing a couple snippy tweets to post @Wordpress when I could’ve been writing this post or catching up on one of the many shows that I’m behind on (Follow me on Twitter here, please and thank you!!!).
Ah well, such is life. Part 1 (Where I talked about the ever-ubiquitous characters of El Diablo, Slipknot and Katana) can be found here if you missed that. For now, let’s just get on with it.
First appearance: The Brave and the Bold #25 (1959)
Created by: Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru
Portrayed by: Joel Kinnaman (The Killing, RoboCop, Run All Night) (Fun fact: It was originally gonna be Tom Hardy, but he dropped out due to his commitment to The Revenant)
Other portrayals: Adam Baldwin (Justice League Unlimited, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate) Ted Whittall (Smallville) Lex Lang (Justice League: The New Frontier)
There are a grand total of three Rick Flags in the DC Comic Universe, and as far as I know, it hasn’t been specified which one appears in Suicide Squad, exactly, but it’s a pretty safe assumption that the Rick Flag appearing into this movie is the second one, Rick Flag, Jr.
Flag’s dad, the original Ricky F, was the leader of an elite squadron of soldiers named the Suicide Squadron (No real relation). He married Sharon Race, and had a kid who, in a shocking turn of events, was also named Rick Flag. Little Ricky’s presumed happiness was short-lived when his mom was killed saving him from oncoming traffic, and his dad sacrificed himself to save an entire town from annihilation. Flag then devoted himself to the military, and was eventually recruited into the Suicide Squad.
And that’s the story of Rick Flag….. Or is it?
See, there’s a chance that Flag’s real name is actually Anthony Miller, and that he was tortured by General Wade Eiling (Another DC supervillain) and brainwashed into thinking that he’s the son of Rick Flag. So, yeah, intrigue!
Flag doesn’t have any superpowers, but he is in peak physical condition, and is a master soldier, pilot and has terrific leadership skills, being the field leader for the Suicide Squad until his character was phased out in recent years, replaced by Deadshot. He is not without his flaws, though, as he has a history of mental instability, even leading an entire Suicide Squad to their deaths during a poorly thought out mission. He doesn’t appear to be the field leader of this iteration of the Squad, due to him being both A) a lesser-known character in the comics nowadays and b) not Will Smith.
First appearance: Strange Adventures #187 (April 1966)
Created by: Bob Haney, Howard Purcell
Portrayed by: Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns)
Other portrayals: N/A (Appeared sans lines in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox)
Freelance artist June Moone was visiting a creepy old castle when she wandered into a place that should’ve been left well alone, where a strange being granted her magic powers. Taking hints from Shazam, the only way that she can summon her power is by saying the word “Enchantress”, upon which an unknown, malevolent entity known only as Enchantress takes control of her. While June Moon is a sweet, innocent human being, Enchantress is cruel and ruthless, taking joy in spreading fear and chaos throughout the world. After a couple stints as a hero, her amoral, power-hungry nature got her in a conflict with Supergirl, and she was portrayed as either a villain or, at best, a jerk anti-hero.
While Enchantress was a member of the Squad for a time, I don’t know if she’ll actually be part of the team in the movie, since she only appears with the other Squaddies in the one poster, and not at all during the trailer. We’ll see, I gue-OH MY GOD!!!!!
Waylon Jones/Killer Croc
First appearance: Batman #357 (March 1983)
Created by: Gerry Conway and Gene Colan
Portrayed by: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (The Bourne Identity, Lost, Game of Thrones)
Other portrayals: Aron Kincaid (Batman: The Animated Series) Brooks Gardner (The New Batman Adventures) Ron Motherfucking Perlman (The Batman), Stephen Root (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Wade Williams (Beware the Batman), Fred Tatasciore (Son of Batman), John DiMaggio (Batman Unlimited:Animal Instincts), Steven Blum (Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City), Khary Payton (Batman: Arkham Origins)
Waylon Jones was a poor orphan from the slums of Tampa, Florida (Although he has occasionally been portrayed as being a Louisiana Cajun), so his upbringing would’ve been shitty enough even when you discount the fact that he was born with some sort of atavistic disorder that gave him a slightly reptilian appearance and personality. He moved in with his shithead aunt to Gotham City, which is a very slight step up from Tampa, I suppose.
His aunt bullied and abused him as a teen, so much so that he ended up murdering her, and turned to a life of crime. Repeated run-ins with Batman and multiple stays in the hellhole that is Arkham Asylum turned him into a hardened murderer. In addition to that loveliness, his atavism progressed to the point where he has crossed the line from “Human being that looks kinda scaly to- AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!
I’m so relevant.
Anyways, besides his appearance, another thing that changed was OH MY FUCKING GOD TROY TULOWITZKI IS A TORONTO BLUE JAY?!?!?! WHAT FUCKING PLANET AM I LIVING ON!?!?!?!
Ahem. Sorry. Sports stuff.
Anyways, Jones’ low intelligence and tendency for primitive behaviors manifested itself into sociopathy and a taste for human flesh. I challenge Warner Bros. to make THAT PG-13.
Next Time: Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Amanda Waller!!!
During this year’s Comic-Con International presentations in San Diego, the world was set on fire by four different superhero movie trailers, one of which was released officially after the presentation, another of which was released officially after the trailer leaked, and the latter two, of which we only have blurry, shitty leaks to tide us over.
Considering the fact that the X-Men are a well known property, Deadpool has infected every facet of the internet and babies come into this world already knowing the origin stories of Batman and Superman, the comparative underdog, in terms of audience recognition, is the David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad, a movie about a group of supervillains named Task Force X who are recruited by a shady figure named Amanda Waller to do the government’s dirty work. That way, if they succeed, they get lessened jail sentences, but if they fail.. Well A) they’re probably already dead, and B) the government claims total innocence, as, you know, people just assume that the bad guys went on a rampage again, and the government remains blameless.
You’ll notice that I said “bad guys”, and not “charming anti-heroes”. This isn’t Guardians of the Galaxy. These people are psychopaths, murderers and all-around genuinely evil. It’s just that the guys they go up against are even worse.
For proof of the fact that I’m not exaggerating that last point…
You will never hear the Bee Gees the same way ever again. You’re welcome.
The problem, in terms of mass appeal, anyways, is that a lot of these characters aren’t exactly superstars. In fact, some of them couldn’t really be considered Z-list. they’re that low on the totem pole.
Thankfully, for those of you who don’t have extensive comic book knowledge and haven’t gone ahead and Googled them yet, I have decided to do a quick three-part 101 on the members of the Suicide Squad, because content pays the damn bills (I wish), and I actually am a pretty big fan of some of these characters, at least. While I highly doubt that all of these backstories will be exactly the same in the movie, at the very least, this will provide a brief background of the characters.
With that said, let’s get the three most obscure of these guys out of the way first. Who we got here? King Shark? Black Spider? Catma-WHO THE FUCK IS THIS???
First appearance: Fury of Firestorm #28 (October 1984)
Created by: Joey Cavalieri, Gerry Conway, Rafael Kayanan
Portrayed by: Adam Beach (Smoke Signals, Flags of Our Fathers, Arctic Air)
Other portrayals: N/A
Oy gevalt. What the fuck am I supposed to say about this guy other than he shares a name with a mediocre metal band that’s full of assholes (Look up their treatment of Jay Weinberg and Alessandro Venturella) and that he’s probably going to be the first one to die?
Okay, I guess I can just parrot the Wikipedia page.
Christopher Weiss was a chemist who used his talent with chemicals to develop trick ropes. He then became an assassin, and eventual member of the Suicide Squad, who used “trick ropes”, like the fourth-rate Hawkeye clone he is.
I do like that Adam Beach is playing him though, because A) he’s a fine actor despite Joe Dirt and B) It’s absolutely a good thing to have First Nations representation in a big Hollywood movie that isn’t caricaturized, or played by Johnny Depp.
First appearance: The Brave and the Bold #200 (July 1983)
Created by: Mike W. Parr and Jim Aparo
Portrayed by: Karen Fukuhara (First film role)
Other portrayals: Vyvan Pham (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Sumalee Montano (Beware the Batman), Rila Fukushima (Arrow)
Katana is actually probably the only one of these characters who could actually be considered a good person. In fact, she wasn’t actually affiliated with the Suicide Squad in the comics, although she was part of the Amanda-Waller-led Justice League of America as a counter to Wonder Woman.
Anyways, Katana was born in Japan (Shocker, I know), and was an average Japanese girl, besides the fact that her parents made her get proficient in martial arts, because God forbid a girl learn self-defense of her own volition. Two brothers, Maseo and Takeo Yamashiro, both professed their love for her, but, though she loved them both, she chose Maseo. While Tatsu and Maseo lived on happily, Takeo went through a downward spiral, joining the Yakuza and rising through the ranks, eventually receiving a pair of twin katana, with the ability to capture the soul of every being it kills and communicate with that soul.
One day, Takeo went to Maseo and Tatsu’s place and challenged his brother to a duel for Tatsu’s affections (Because DC Comics apparently thinks that Japan functions like a bad anime). In the ensuing battle, Tatsu defeated Takeo, but not before Takeo killed Maseo with the magic sword, and the happy couple’s house was burnt down, killing their twins, Reiko and Yuki. With nothing left for her in Japan, she ventures off, determined to use her lethal talents to fight for justice, along with Takeo’s magical sword, which is now possessed by the soul of her dead husband.
El Diablo/Chato Santana
First appearance: El Diablo vol. 3 #1
Created by: Jai Nitz, Phil Hester, Ande Parks
Portrayed by: Jay Hernandez (Crazy/Beautiful, Hostel, World Trade Center)
Other portrayals: N/A
So obscure, Jesus Christ.
Anyways, Chato Santana is an ex-criminal who possesses the power of pyrokinesis, that is, manipulation of fire. One day, when trying to collect on a debt owed to him by some gangbangers, Santana burnt down the scumbags’ apartment building, killing everybody inside. Upon learning of the many innocents who lost their lives, Santana quietly turned himself in to the police.
On Death Row, El Diablo (Literally “The Devil” in Spanish, for all one of you who didn’t know that before) was spirited away by Amanda Waller, where she tortured him to ensure total loyalty, and enlisted him in the Suicide Squad. You’ll find this to be a recurring theme among these characters, by the way.
Next time: The not-so secret origins of Rick Flag, Enchantress and Killer Croc!!! OH, THANK GOD, THEY’RE ONLY SEMI-OBSCURE!!!
Last week, likely in response to Marvel’s announcement of the plot details to Captain America 3, Warner Bros. decided to go one further by announcing all of the movies planned for the DC Cinematic universe up to the year 2020, along with some casting details and a couple director announcements. So, was this really a hasty, impulsive announcement that doesn’t really bode well for DC’s ongoing rivalry with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, or is this a genius publicity move by WB that will get people to forget all about the MCU?
Definitely the former. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested though. So, after getting through the last of my TV reviews until this week’s Legend of Korra episode, I decided to take a quick look at the movie announcements, with each movie accompanied by a short blurb. Let’s do this!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release date: March 25, 2016
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Produced by: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder
Screenplay by: Chris Terrio (Argo)
Story by: David S. Goyer
Cast: Henry Cavill (Superman/Clark Kent), Ben Affleck (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman/Diana Prince) Amy Adams (Lois Lane) Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) Diane Lane (Martha Kent) Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor) Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth) Holly Hunter (U.S. Senator) Tao Okamoto (Mercy Graves)
Cameos: Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman) Ray Fisher (Cyborg/Victor Stone)
This is the movie that we currently have the most information on, as it’s currently the only movie that’s in production. Really, there isn’t much more to say about it. I still liked Man of Steel more than most and think that the returning cast from that movie could do a great job, I still have faith that Ben Affleck can pull Batman off (Even more so now that the photos of him in the batsuit have been released), and Jesse Eisenberg is still kinda iffy for me. I guess this is where you pull the Heath Ledger card on me, because “You don’t now if he’s gonna be great until you see him.” That’s true enough, I suppose. I guess we’ll just wait and see.
Also, high fucking time that Wonder Woman appears on the big screen. We had a damn Steel movie with Shaquille O’Neal and no Wonder Woman? Bullshit.
Release date: August 5, 2016
Directed by: David Ayer
Screenplay by: Justin Marks
This…. This announcement really threw me off.
I just don’t get it. There was no solo Batman or Superman movie announced, and yet, a Suicide Squad movie?
The only possible reason that I can imagine why this was green-lit is that Warner Bros. saw Marvel and Disney make all the money because of Guardians of the Galaxy and thought “Hey, we can make a movie starring charming criminals who become reluctant heroes!!! Let’s do that!”
Regardless, I’m still pretty pumped about the movie, although I’m kinda pissed off that it doesn’t look like Harley Quinn’s gonna be in it as, morbid sexual attraction aside, I think she’s a great character. But hey, Deadshot’s gonna be there, and even if he’s got a bunch of nobodies behind him, they’re in negotiations to bring in an A-list cast of Will Smith, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy and Margot Robbie (Who, just saying, would be a great Harley Quinn). Also, David Ayer is a pretty highly regarded director, having helmed movies like Fury and End of Watch. I dunno, it’s bizarre, but it could pay off.
To be continued…