26 May 2006

Pajama Party Update - Avi Arad on Marvel Sequels

From Avi Arad, some updates on Marvel properties in development:

Spider-Man 3 (04 May 2007)

"This is definitely a '3' in terms of scale. Movie one was origin, movie two was, 'I cannot do it anymore,' and movie three is, 'I'm powerful, what does that do to me?"

Regarding Venom: "I don't know about Venom, I know about Topher Grace!....The black suit is a metaphor for Spidey's mental state. In Spider-Man 2 we wanted him to put the suit back on; here we'll want him to take it off. He cannot be the Peter we want him to be unless he takes the suit off...."

Fantastic Four 2 (15 June 2007)

"It's a couple of years later and we get to see what their life is like. What else is there for them to accomplish, what issues are in their lives, where's Doom?"

Regarding Galactus: "They'll be some pretty big surprises. What we're trying to do is not to show him, but to show someone else, initially."

Hulk 2 aka The Incredible Hulk (Summer 2008)

"It's still a study in anger. It's more a love story between Bruce and Betty. It has the feel of The Fugitive, and Bruce is on a mission to get rid of the Hulk. When you see the Abomination, you'll see something really special.


Anyways, what the heck is Warner Brothers doing? Marvel is totally riding the comic book movie wave (which in fairness they basically started), while DC is just getting their second entry out this summer with Superman Returns. So far, Marvel has release, 3 X-Men films, 2 Spidermen, Daredevil, Elektra, 3 Blades, Hulk, Punisher, and Fantastic Four. Ghost Rider, Spider-Man 3, and Fantastic Four 2 are all going to be out by the end of next year, and by the same time DC will still only have Batman Begins, and Superman Returns. Now I recognize that quality is important, but it seems that DC is missing a big opportunity to get their heroes out there. By the time Flash, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern get made, cinema will have moved on to the next big thing after the Marvel factory has scrapped the bottom of the barrel for more properties to produce (Ant-Man, Power Pack, Nick Fury). I want DC to get things right, but I think they could be a tad bit more aggressive with their schedule.

Pajama Party - Great Balls On Fire

The Ghost Rider trailer is here. Not bad. I am honestly looking forward to this one. Enjoy!

24 May 2006

Disappearing Ink XIV - Fire & Ice

As promised a few weeks back, it is time for the review of another Ralph Bakshi film: Fire & Ice. What a fun film this was. This 1983 adventure plays out like He-Man for grown ups. The story starts with Nekron, master of ice (there's you titular Ice) and controller of a giant glacier waging war on a small village of loin cloth wearing dudes. Nekron and his big ice cube are on their way to the fire (and here's your Fire) keep, destroying all that get in their way.

After a few introductions, Larn, survivor of the village massacre teams up with Teegra, voluptuous princess of the fire keep (after she escapes kidnapping by Nekron's thugs). Eventually, these two meet up with Darkwolf, the ultimate axe wielding tough guy. There is a little pterodactyl back riding, and then these three get serious. Will they prove a match for Nekron master of ice and his sorcerous abilities? I don't want to spoil the ending, but you can probably guess.

While the message may not be as strong as that delivered in Bakshi's Wizards, this movie doesn't masquerade as a kiddie film, nor is it prententious. The animation is more stylized and realistic with a peppering of booty thanks to the efforts of artist Frank Frazetta. Also, here is an example of rotoscoping that really works. This entire film was created by filming live actors, then animating over them resulting in "cartoons" that move with stunning realism. Unfortunately, while I am not sure how much this film cost to produce, I am sure it was more than the $760,000 it earned. Something most have gone wrong in marketing, because while the story is fairly straight forward, Fire & Ice is good semi clean fun worthy of a B.

Check out my past reviews:
The Sword in the Stone
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
Princess Mononoke
The Black Cauldron
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Grave of the Fireflies
The Iron Giant
Kaena: The Prophecy

21 May 2006

B.O. Derby

In the face of rotten reviews, Da Vinci sucked up a ton of box office bucks this weekend. Over the Hedge did not quite make the dough I expected, but with Memorial Day next weekend, expect both of these films to get an extra boost. As it stands, Poseidon is pretty much out of the race, and doubtful to make it to the 100 mil mark in spite of its $160 million budget. Next week, X3!

As it stands:

4)Poseidon - $36,778,000
3)Over the Hedge - $37,228,000
2)The Da Vinci Code - $77,000,000
1)Mission: Impossible III - $103,201,000

My Top 9 Predictions

9) Lady in the Water - $160,000,000
8) Poseidon - $175,00,0000
7) Mission: Impossible III - $205,000,000
6) Over the Hedge - $220,000,000
5) X-Men: The Last Stand - $225,000,000
4) Cars - $260,000,000
3) The Da Vinci Code - $275,000,000
2) Superman Returns - $325,000,000
1) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest - $350,000,000