Movie Forum: Here comes Superman
05:00 AM, Apr 19, 2013
Every Wednesday, the Movie Forum convenes to discuss the latest news from the film world and answer questions submitted by you, the reader.
This week, USA TODAY movie reporters Bryan Alexander and Brian Truitt tackled the MTV Movie Awards, from our favorite moments to the best new trailers. We also discussed the brand new Man of Steel trailer that’s been setting the internet aflame and whether the expectations for the film have been elevated. Additionally, we took a look at Oblivion and the “Tom Cruise Effect” on movies, and debated the merits of World War Z and zombie media in general. Finally, we answered a reader’s question about where Oblivion will rank in the pantheon of sci-fi flicks.
Also, we managed to savage Dean Cain. Sorry, Dean Cain!
John Elliot: Welcome to the USA TODAY Movie Forum!
We’re feeling SUPER today! (ha, ha)
I’m John Elliot, online producer for USA TODAY Movies and I will serve as your moderator. Joining me today are USA TODAY movies reporters Bryan Alexander and Brian Truitt
How this works - Each week we solicit questions, online, from our readers on the latest news from the world of film.
This Week? MTV Movie Awards, hot new trailers, Oblivion, World War Z, and Cannes!
Remember: you can submit questions right here and now and we will tackle them later in the chat.
So let’s get started!
Let’s start with Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards, certainly one of the more laid back movie awards, and host to a bunch of memorable moments (perhaps one MORE memorable than most), but Brian Truitt, what was your favorite moment from this year’s Awards?
Brian Truitt: What’s up, peeps! My favorite moment, because I’m not a teenage girl, was seeing the Avengers not only get best fight but also best movie. Take that, Oscars! Rebel Wilson in an Iron Man suit was pretty funny too.
Bryan Alexander: I thought Rebel rocked it in general
Brian Truitt: For sure.
Bryan Alexander: There might have been too much of a good thing. But she was pretty on
I loved the movies she got cut from. I’m a sucker for those
But she has such a great deadpan.
There were some great moment.
Brian Truitt: And while I am not a teenage girl, I did kinda heart Pitch Perfect so it was cool seeing her win for that.
Bryan Alexander: Agreed. That movie didn’t rock the box office, but it’s amazing the power it has with that age set
People love it. And of course we have the sequel announced.
The movie was a lot of fun.
Brian Truitt: Taylor Lautner winning best abs or whatever and then coming out with a fake beer gut was slightly amusing.
Bryan Alexander: True. But my favorite moments are the small things. Like Jamie Foxx removing the gum from his mouth before getting his Generation award. Classy.
Wasn’t subtle enough.
Brian Truitt: I wish he would have come as Electro.
Bryan Alexander: And here’s a big one. The ratings were off the charts.
A lot of that goes to Rebel Wilson really.
And the fact that you know something crazy is going to happen…paging Aubrey Plaza
John Elliot: So the real question… Was the Aubrey Plaza/ Will Ferrell “Kayne West Moment” scripted or not?
Brian Truitt: Well, she did have a hashtag of her new movie sharpied across her chest, which makes me think it was a publicity stunt. I am hoping it was unplanned, because otherwise that was really bad. Will Ferrell was the only thing keeping that somewhat entertaining.
The hazards of an open bar.
Bryan Alexander: Is it open bar at the MTV?
I think Globes are open bar. MTV you bring it in a brown paper bag
Brian Truitt: is it run by the Foreign Press Association? If so yes.
Bryan Alexander: I think it’s run by MTV suits
Brian Truitt: I bet somebody had a 40.
Bryan Alexander: A couple of 40s and a Sharpie. Dangerous
John Elliot: Aside from reviving long dormant memes, the MTV Movie Awards showcased a bunch of new trailers. What was the best looking trailer you saw awards night?
Bryan Alexander: Hunger Games!
For sure. I love that Katniss is going to be portrayed as the baddie. Turn the masses on her. Love it.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman always has that gleam in his eyes when he plays evil.
Brian Truitt: Or, Plutarch Heavensbee, as he likes to be called.
Bryan Alexander: Doesn’t roll off the tongue
Brian Truitt: It’s no Benedict Cumberbatch, that’s for sure.
Here’s my thing with the Hunger Games trailers: The first movie was good and all but dang, the trailers always make them look like Syfy original movies on Saturday nights but with less Dean Cain.
Bryan Alexander: Please explain
You’re thinking cheesy?
Brian Truitt: They look hella low budget. And cheesy.
Bryan Alexander: Or the whiff of cheese
Brian Truitt: More than a whiff.
Bryan Alexander: A strong breeze.
Brian Truitt: Like an aerosol can of it.
Bryan Alexander: That’s the gig with that those movies. You have to build it in.
It is amazing that they don’t put in a little bit more, considering the cash they are going to pull out of it
Brian Truitt: Yeah, and it’ll look good finished. It wouldn’t be a problem if they all didn’t look like hoity-toity peacocks.
Yes, I am looking at you Elizabeth Banks.
Bryan Alexander: Wait, that’s the best part! Elizabeth Banks is pushing it to new awesome levels.
Brian Truitt: The purple lipstick is a bit much though.
Bryan Alexander: Never. Enough. Purple
John Elliot: And speaking of new trailers…What are your thoughts on the new Man of Steel trailer?!?! Brian, you’ve already written some about this, and the internet as been joyfully squealing all morn. It seems like the expectations game has been kicked up a notch…
Brian Truitt: I would say. I mean, I’m not a HUGE Superman fan - always found him a bit boring - and while I wasn’t crying like half my Twitter feed, I thought the trailer looked amazing. I’m finally buying Cavill as Supes, Russell Crowe looks awesome as Jor-El and OMG Michael Shannon looks EPIC as General Zod. Any time when Supes is punching dudes in midair is an auto-win.
Bryan Alexander: How can you not on the Henry Cavill train from the start. His jaw alone was born to play the part
Brian Truitt: And we also got to see Lois Lane for more than a second here. I kinda dig Amy Adams in the role, and her and Supes have a nice moment.
Brian Truitt: Brandon Routh still looks more like Supes than Cavill to me. Cavill just might get the better movie.
Bryan Alexander: That’s like saying Mario Mendoza looks more like a ballplayer than Don Mattingly
Brian Truitt: What will be really interesting to see is if Warner Bros. really is going all in with Man of Steel here, they may be seeding some stuff for a Justice League movie down the line a la Avengers. And if Gina Carano shows up as Wonder Woman, I will nerd out mightily.
There is only one General Zod and his name is Terence Stamp. Get that straight from someone who has seen Far From the Madding Crowd at least 30 times.
Bryan Alexander: I love it.
Brian Truitt: Woz! I will give you that Stamp is so far the ultimate of Zods KNEEL!!! but Shannon has some chops and an attitude.
Bryan Alexander: I’m liking seeing the trim Russell Crowe. He looks amazing. Big workout to get into that part.
Clearly came off it before the Oscars
John Elliot: Readers…USA TODAY”s own Susan Wloszczyna!
Brian Truitt: I wonder if he’ll sing before Krypton blows up.
Bryan Alexander: But it just goes to show that when he’s motivated, he can still kick a little ass
And then sing about it afterwards.
Brian Truitt: He plays nightly at the bottle city of Kandor.
Bryan Alexander: That’s a good one.
Brian Truitt: #NERD
Bryan Alexander: I love geek jokes
John Elliot: Okay, prediction time: Bigger box office - Iron Man 3 or Man of Steel?
Bryan Alexander: It’s going to be hard to argue with Man of Steel
I just feel that is the ONE movie of the summer that EVERYONE is looking forward to
Not that Iron Man 3 is going to suffer, especially with its dynamic star.
It will be huge. But I feel like the guy in the blue suit will come out on top. What do you think BT?
Brian Truitt: Agreed, Bryan. Iron Man 3 has all that Avengers heat, but Iron Man 2 was not that well-received among fanboys and it will make a crapload of money, but Man of Steel may be its Kryptonite. There is so much interest in this Superman movie, it’s insane.
Plus, we’re forgetting The Wolverine. I would not be surprised if it’s good and overtakes Iron Man 3 by a smidge.
John Elliot: Alright, now moving on to upcoming releases…
The new Tom Cruise sci-fi/action flick Oblivion opens this weekend. What have you seen/heard about the film? Classic Cruise?
Bryan Alexander: I saw it the other night. It was not The Minority Report even though it was true, true Sci Fi. More than I expected. I wasn’t blown away. But it has rocked the overseas box office and it’s going to rock this box office. That’s my prediction.
The movie opened very strong overseas already.
It’s incredibly complex and there are moments of confusion. There’s a part in the middle where I was like “What the what the?” But they bring it all back together, for the most part. And Cruise will carry it.
Best thing about it. The Jetsons style house he lives on in the bang up Earth. And that space ship kind of rocks. He does a lot of flying.
Brian Truitt: I think like many action movies these days, it’ll be strong overseas where Cruise is like a god, but I’m not sure it’ll do THAT well here. My nerds in the field aren’t too impressed by it, and it looks like a mess. Though some of the sci-fi-ness looks cool. Plus, will Tom Cruise just make a movie where he’s not spending so much time running? Buy a treadmill.
Bryan Alexander: It has the whiff of a lot of movies.
Brian Truitt: It seems Avatar without all the cool fauna.
Prometheus without the deep thinking.
Bryan Alexander: I felt sort of Matrix like. And 2001 ultimately.
John Elliot: Let’s talk about the Tom Cruise effect for a moment… Has Tom been able to recreate the box office success he received pre-Oprah’s couch/Lauer interview?
Bryan Alexander: He goes up and down. Much like the couch. He was on such a role again with Mission Impossible. Then it was Rock of Ages, which totally tanked (though I liked him in it) And then there was Jack Reacher. And that franchise went off like a dud.
So all eyes will be on this weekend to see the state of the union
Brian Truitt: I think MI has been his one true hit most recently, which is odd considering how big a star he is. But not sure how much tabloid publicity equates to ticket sales.
For me, he’s best in roles where he’s not “Tom Cruise” like when he’s rocked out in Rock of Ages and especially as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder. That’s the one role I think he should have been nominated for an Oscar for because it was genius but also sooooo outside of himself.
John Elliot: He seemed to redeem himself publicly somewhat with his Tropic Thunder cameo, but the box office numbers still haven’t returned. Is that still a function of that fallout? Or are the movies not as good? Or is Tom Cruise just getting older and not as much of a draw with younger audiences? OR…is it something else?
Bryan Alexander: It’s just the vehicle really. MI did well because it was a rocking yarn. Jack Reacher was not. If he continues to get these great parts, which he will because he is Tom Cruise, he can still pull these parts off.
But there is a finite number of these parts. This was the first time in a while, and certainly not the case in MI, where I sort of felt, he looks a little bit past his prime
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to look like that. But at some point, even Tom Cruise is going to have to stop sprinting. But he still has a few more of these in the tank.
Brian Truitt: The thing is, he always going to be TOM CRUISE and will always have his choice of roles. You won’t see him on Syfy original movies with Dean Cain. (Sorry, Dean Cain.) But I don’t think he adds much to movies anymore other than a subliminal hint to go jogging.
Bryan Alexander: Why are you beating on Dean Cain today?
Brian Truitt: I’m not hating on Dean Cain. He’s Dean Cain. I’m adding to his Google rank right now.
Bryan Alexander: But onto Tom. I think the movie is going to do well, not super well. And it will obviously win the weekend respectably. And then all will be right in the universe. Because Tom Cruise has his touch back
Brian Truitt: Oh yeah! Dean Cain was Superman too! The world revolves around Dean Cain apparently.
John Elliot: From Oblivion to another apocalypse…Brad Pitt has continued his promo tour for World War Z this week with a surprise appearance at CinemaCon. Bryan, you’ve seen the film. Should people be excited for this latest zombie fare?
Bryan Alexander: Full disclosure. I have not seen the whole movie. I saw a significant amount of footage presented by Mr. Pitt himself.
I think it was the same clip they showed in CinemaCon, once again presented by Mr. Pitt. I think he gave the exact same opening line when he presented up there. So it might have been a recording of Mr. Pitt.
But the movie rocked my world.
Or at least the footage. I jumped in my seat twice.
The taking down of the helicopter and the zombies on the airplane are going to take it to new levels.
Zombies on a plane. I love it.
Brian Truitt: I am getting a little tired of zombies, but this does look interesting especially from how it looks.
Bryan Alexander: Mostly it’s a great ride from Pitt slowly starting to figure out that suburbia life has disappeared forever and suddenly caught up in this madness. Like 24 but with zombies running at full speed and breaking into your car with their head.
Really, interesting. I think this will pump the juices back into it.
Brian Truitt: I like Brad Pitt as an actor more so than Tom Cruise, but I do wonder how much he’ll add to all the random carnage.
If he turns out to be a zombie the whole time, that would be THE BEST.
Bryan Alexander: Zombie mole would be new
interesting that you are getting tired of the genre
Brian Truitt: It’s played out.
Bryan Alexander: I just needed it to go in a new direction. And I cannot wait for this to open.
Brian Truitt: Even on The Walking Dead, it’s more about people shouting at each other than the zombies.
Bryan Alexander: Onto the next undead please
Brian Truitt: WHAT ABOUT THE ZOMBIES????
John Elliot: Second prediction time: Bigger box office - Oblivion or World War Z?
Brian Truitt: Witches, man. Witches.
Bryan Alexander: This is easy for me. World War Z.
Brian Truitt: Oh yeah. WWZ. Not even close.
John Elliot: Alright, let’s finish up with a reader question!
How do you think Oblivion will rate among sci-fi movies?
Brian Truitt: Not very high, I don’t believe.
Bryan Alexander: I don’t feel like it’s a classic for sure. I feel it will do well at the box office. But it’s going to be swallowed up by the churn of movies.
It’s next year’s trivia question
Brian Truitt: If Oblivion does well, it’ll get pummeled by Pain & Gain next week.
Bryan Alexander: What’s Rock’s signature wrestling move?
Brian Truitt: That would be The Rock Bottom.
Bryan Alexander: That’s what is going to happen to it next week
Brian Truitt: BOOM.
Bryan Alexander: The movie landscape right now does look a lot like Earth in Oblivion however
Bryan Alexander: Small pockets of life
And a lot of Tom Cruise
John Elliot: Unfortunately, it’s time for us to wrap up!
Thank you Brian and Bryan! And a VERY big thank you to all our readers who participated and submitted questions.
Bryan Alexander: Thank you very much. Off to work out so I can look good the Pain and Gain premiere on Monday.
Aiming to have a bicep
Brian Truitt: Thanks John and fellow Bryan! And thanks to the readers for asking questions and tuning in.
John Elliot: Remember: you can submit your burning movie questions all week long, right here.
Thank you all for joining us for the USA TODAY Movie Forum! Please join us again next Wednesday at 3 PM EST/12 PM PST for another edition of Movie Forum.