23 June 2006

Pajama Party - Super Moments

I just heard there was a new Superman movie coming out soon! In anticipation I am listing the top 5 Superman movie moments from the first 4 films.

5) Superman Turns Back Time

In the original movie, Superman was able to achieve what Cher can only sing about. After ol' Margot took a dirt nap, Superman got angry, very angry. He flew so fast that the earth spun backwards and time reversed (or was the earth spinning backward just a manifestation of time going backward?). In any case, it was nice to see that if he gets mad enough, Superman can save anyone.

4) Vera Webster Turns into a Robot

This scene gave me nightmares as a child. In Superman III, a supercomputer went predictably haywire, and the already hideous Vera Webster was given a makeover from hell. The computer assimilated her creating a veritable cyborg.

3) Superman Versus Clark Kent

Another great scene from Superman III occurred when the evil Superman's conscience started to kick in. A knock-down drag out fight in the junkyard saw Clark Kent teaching his alter ego a thing or two. After winning the fight, Clark opened his shirt to reveal... a nice clean uniform.

2) Superman Versus the Kryptonian Thugs in Metropolis

Zod, Non, and Ursa were not fooling around. These naughty Kryptonians didn't pull any punches in their epic showdown with Superman in the streets of Metropolis. Superman was doing pretty well until he decided to start saving people instead of kicking butt.

1) Kneel before Zod

My favorite Superman movie moment occurs near the end of Superman II. Just when it appears that Superman has lost his powers, and the bad guys have won, Zod makes Kal-El kneel to kiss his hand. That's when Superman crushes Zod's powerless hand and the Superman anthem pipes up in the background. Once again, Superman outsmarted the criminals and saved the day.

21 June 2006

Disappearing Ink XVIII - Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume 1

When Luke Skywalker first learned that the "old hermit" Ben Kenobi once fought with his father (Anakin) in the Clone Wars, excitement filled his voice and my imagination. What were the clone wars? When episodes 1-3 were announced, again I felt excitement at seeing Jedi versus endless platoons of clones in battle for 3 whole movies! Oh how wrong I was. Not only were the killer clones the good guys, but the clone wars were scarcely even shown in the films. For shame! These epic battle took place between episodes 2 and 3, off screen. We got Jar-Jar, we got young Boba Fett, we even got lots of clones in the prequel saga, but we did not get our fill of honest to goodness clone wars. That's were this movie fills in.

Fortunately, Cartoon Network along with Lucasfilm was able to create an animated "microseries" filling in on some of the events taking place after the clones attacked, but before the Sith got their revenge. Originally aired as 20 3-minute episodes (each installment complete with a recap and sneak peek of the next episode), this first volume of Clone Wars has been edited together into a 60 minute film on DVD. If only the content here could be translated into live action. This volume pretty much does a better job of satisfying fans expectations of what more Star Wars movies should deliver than do the actual films. I should mention that a second volume followed depicting the events immediately preceding Episode III. Stay tuned for that review eventually.

Clone Wars delivers a highly stylized, and surprisingly light on dialogue (which for Star Wars is ALWAYS a good thing (for example "sand is rough..." from AOTC)), depiction of several key battles. Obiwan leads some clone troopers against a droid stronghold supported by the bounty hunter Durge, Anakin chases after the Sith wannabe Asajj Ventress, Kit Fisto impresses in an underwater battle, and Mace Windu shows why he is deemed Yoda's equal. In addition, the dreaded General Grevious is introduced, and he is actually a worthy foe. For delivering massive space battles involving hundreds of little digital ships instead of too-long pod races, and fast-paced Jedi skills instead of Jar-Jar antics, Clone Wars Volume 1 earns an A-.

Here is a peak at the first segment (en espagnol for fun):

Check out my past reviews:
Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume 1
Starchaser: The Legend of Orin
A Grand Day Out With Wallace and Gromit
The Last Unicorn
Fire & Ice
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

18 June 2006

B.O. Derby

Vrooooooooom! Cars stayed in the lead this week and raced into 5th place overall for the summer. In spite of the film's decent performance, it appears Cars is going to struggle to match the performance of other recent Pixar film's box office. Nevertheless, as long as Cars overtakes Ice Age 2, I will be happy. Four new films opened, and while Nacho Libre did good business (almost 28 mil), Garfield 2 did not. Does this mean we won't get Garfield 3? I sure hope so. X-Men remains in first, and along with that distinction, the film also passed X2's domestic take. Only two more weeks til Supes begins his quest for the #1 spot.

Current Rankings:

8) Poseidon - $56,498,000
7) RV - $66,409,000
6) The Break-Up - $91,931,000
5) Cars - 114,505,000
4) Mission: Impossible III - $130,003,000
3) Over the Hedge - $138,755,000
2) The Da Vinci Code - $198,501,000
1) X-Men: The Last Stand - $215,549,000

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