Dan’s Movie Menu: Last Jedi, Aquaman, Black Adam, Thor: Ragnarok & More

Daniel Cohen’s Movie Menu Breaks Down the Big News in the world of film, and ranks them in order of important.

Dwayne Johnson confirms Black Adam/Shazam movies to be split in two (via MTV)

It’s fitting the very first topic ever on this new column is something like this.  If there’s one thing that annoys me greatly about movie news, it’s when studios dump out a bunch of stuff at random like a dart throw that they claim is happening, but it rarely ever does. Oh yeah, Sony has plans for that Sinister Six and Rated-R Venom film. Yup, WB is going forward with Nightwing and a Joss Whedon Batgirl movie. Channing Tatum’s Gambit movie is right around the corner. Here’s a tip for everyone at home: Until these movies get official release dates, you should just assume they aren’t happening. And even with release dates nowadays, those are suspect. Gambit had one for crying out loud.

So onto this news – Black Adam and Shazam. Here’s my reaction: Whoopty Doo. I get that it’s Dwayne Johnson, so that’s why people are excited, but seriously, splitting two D-level comic book characters into two movies? Come on. This isn’t Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It’s Black Adam and Shazam. How about we get that Flash movie, or Ben Affleck’s Batman flick before we start diving into Shazam. I’m sorry, but it’s Shazam.

Jude Law to play young Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts series

There’s nothing wrong with the choice of Jude Law here as Dumbledore.  Even though Law is a hit or miss actor, he’s pretty well suited for this role. The bigger problem for me is that I just don’t care about this new series.

The first Fantastic Beasts movie was about as interesting as a lollypop hidden in Hagrid’s beard. Aside from Dan Fogler, the characters weren’t a tenth as intriguing or complex as what the original Harry Potter series offered. Most notably, Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander was a complete whatever fest.

It seems like the series is shifting away from magical creatures (thank Merlin’s beard) and more into the Grindelwald/Dumbledore feud that permeated all throughout the wizarding world. While interesting on paper, this has the stink of unnecessary prequel territory, ala Rogue One. We don’t need to see how the Grindelwald/Dumbledore conflict played out.  We already know how it ends. The addition of Jude Law does nothing for me, as did Johnny Depp’s casting as Grindelwald.

Josh Brolin to play Cable in Deadpool 2 and beyond

I feel like we’ve been hearing about Cable’s casting since the beginning of time, which is ironic, as Cable is a time-traveler. The choice of Josh Brolin is good, but it’s not great.  This gruff, no non-sense guy will no doubt be a funny pairing with Ryan Reynolds, and Brolin will exude those qualities exceptionally well. When I think of the other actors rumored for the role though, I can’t help but be underwhelmed.

The idea of Michael Shannon, Pierce Brosnan, Kyle Chandler, and even Stranger Things star David Harbour, were infinitely more intriguing than Brolin. Brolin is a good actor, but I’ll say the same thing about Brolin in this role that I did when Benedict Cumberbatch was tapped for Doctor Strange – I already know what to expect.

The Thor: Ragnarok Trailer Drops


I am beyond infuriated with this trailer.

For those who’ve been familiar with me on the site for a long time, you know that I am not a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t think their films are bad, but the over praise they get maddens my very soul. As the first Thor movie was one of the few films I thoroughly enjoyed from the MCU, the sequel, Thor: The Dark World, was a horrendous disappointment.  An absolute trash dump, and possibly their worst movie. Even fans of the MCU will admit this one was a lackluster effort. I’ve had absolutely 0% excitement for Thor: Ragnarok. I barely gave it the time of day. Then this trailer happens.

As I’m watching this trailer, I couldn’t believe how much I was LOVING it. This is awesome. I am into this thing. The style looks very 80’s fantasy epic. Chris Hemsworth looks like he cares again. The visuals looked crisp and gritty, especially when you juxtapose it with how AWFUL Thor: The Dark World looked. Cate Blanchett looks like she may actually be a great MCU villain for a change. And even though I’m tiring of the whole “let’s use old popular music in superhero trailers” motif, that was a pretty damn good selection. Jeff Goldblum’s smarmy gladiatorial announcer voice is magnificent. Then the Hulk comes out, dressed in bad ass gladiator gear, as Thor gets this intense look on his face.  Then this happens…<

“YES!  We know each other!  He’s a friend from work!”

I hate everything. Typical. Marvel. Cinematic. Universe. They ruin this awesome trailer with the most MCU one-liner of all time. You’ve got to be kidding me. My entire excitement for this movie deflated in an instant. For a glorious ninety-seconds, I forgot I was watching a trailer for a Marvel film.

This is who they are. They COULD give us a bad ass Thor movie, but instead of that, they will water it down with catchy, funny little one-liners that lighten the mood, just as they did with Doctor Strange. This is their modus operandi.

In a way, I’m glad this happened.  Fool me once, shame on you (Iron Man 3). Fool me twice, shame on me (Doctor Strange).  Fool me a third time? Not going to happen. No chance in hell.

Dolph Lundgren to play King Nereus in Aquaman

It took us till the dessert portion of the menu, but we finally get to a piece of news I am 100% pumped about. As someone who grew up on Rocky movies, how can you not have a soft spot for Dolph Lundgren?

I must break you.

You will lose.

Iconic. He’s also the only worthwhile character in those atrocious Expendable movies. I’m not saying Dolph Lundgren is a master thespian, but much like Schwarzenegger, he has a presence about him that guys like Jason Statham or Vin Diesel will never have for me.

The idea of Lundgren as a rival water king to Momoa’s Aquaman sounds like a pretty damn good idea to me. Out of all the upcoming DCEU movies out there, I’m most excited about Aquaman, maybe even more so than Ben Affleck’s Batman movie. Wow.

Yes, there was a Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer. Pop open the leftovers and check out my full detailed analysis right here!

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.