07 April 2006

Pajama Party - Storm's A Brewin'

May 26th is coming, and the marketing campaign is ramping up. This week some new X-Men footage was shown in TV spots, and now I am passing it on to you. Its still not clear if The Last Stand is really the last X-Men film. Its been tauted that way, but actors are signed on for sequels. I guess it depends on how much money this one makes, and on who survives. But either way, there are plans for Wolverine and Magneto prequels. My gut tells me that there will be a whole new set of movies focusing on the youngins, not that I would be heartbroken if Rogue was MIA. But it could be cool to have Iceman, Colossus, Shadowcat, and Angel take center stage. Throw in Emma Frost and Gambit, Cannonball, or Havok, and you've got yourselves a hit. They could take on Pyro, Scarlet Witch or any number of baddies (they could even bring in Niles to keep Beast company). There are plenty of mutants to go around. I don't mind if some of the originals stick around, but enough Wolverine already! He has a dark past, I GET IT.

But until then, enjoy this ad. X3 don't look half bad.

05 April 2006

Disappearing Ink #7 - Princess Mononoke

"The Star Wars of Animated Features!" Roger Ebert's quote on the Princess Mononoke DVD case caught my eye one evening as I was killing time at the local Media Play (now out of business). I had never really given anime a chance, though I had seen Akira, it was so weird. But I was bored and decided to give this film a chance. It opens with Ashitaka fighting a crazy boar covered with nasty worms. While the boar is defeated, Ashitaka is mortally wounded and spends the rest of the movie seeking a cure for his ailment. Along the way, he meets the savage Princess Mononoke. I was blown away by many parts of this film. My mouth dropped open when Ashitaka let fly an arrow so powerful that it dismembered its target. To this day, the little bobble-headed tree spirits continue to bring a smile to my face when I see them. I was disgusted by the blood vomiting boar, confused by the oddness of the forest spirit, and moved by the gorgeous score. The animation is beautiful, especially the lush forest environments and the fast paced scenes when Ashitaka is riding atop his trusty elk Yakkul. There is a true resonance about this films depiction of man and nature. But most engaging in this film is the story. There is definite conflict though no clear cut villain. The film really affected me, and I was saddened that I had never heard of it before. I wanted to see everything this Miyazaki chap had ever made, and a whole world of amazing animation was opened up me when I discovered Studio Ghibli.

Mononoke made $159 million world wide, but sadly only $2.3 million of that in the US. As it turns out, I'm not sure about the Star Wars connection other than that this film is genre defining. Along with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, this is one of my very favorite movies and scores a definite A+.

Check out my past reviews:
The Black Cauldron
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Grave of the Fireflies
The Iron Giant
Kaena: The Prophecy

03 April 2006

The Simpsons Movie Trailer is Here!

If you went to Ice Age: The Meltdown this weekend (which an unbelievable number of people did, giving the film a HUGE $70.5 million weekend, slightly bigger than that scored by The Incredibles) or if you tuned into the so-so episode of The Simpsons starring Grandpa as a matador, then you may have already seen it. For everyone else, or for those wanting a second helping, here it is:

So, what's this movie about, and why is it coming out now after 17 seasons? Hmmm... Excellent questions. Are there really any stories left to tell? Maybe only ones that are longer than 21 minutes. Anyways, I'll be there for it!