19 August 2006

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Boomerang

Spider-Man 3 is still a ways off, but a new villain profile is here.

Fred Myers, Boomerang is former professional baseball player turned assassin for hire. He hurls boomerangs with deadly accuracy ala Bullseye (one of Daredevil's arch enemies). This dude has all sorts of trick boomerangs as well especially exploding boomerangs. He is not much of a threat to the web-head (or any of his other targets for that matter), and should probably think of another line of work.

*Note, DC comics has a similar character named Captain Boomerang who may have been an influence on Marvel's Boomerang.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 258 days!

18 August 2006

Kneel Before Zod... I Mean Lex

Enjoy the Season 6 Promo of Smallville.

17 August 2006

UPDATE: Superheroes on Screen - A Big Small Update and a Fantastic Change

UPDATE: Your first looks at Oliver Queen in archery mode and the "S" (not the "8"). Also, check out kryptonsite.com for all your Smallville needs.

The brand spanking new CW network has released the following long spoilery summary of what to expect in Smallville's 6th season. Sounds like its going to be fun:

Now beginning its sixth season, this new interpretation of the enduring Superman mythology and its classic characters blends realism and adventure into an exciting action series. This season, Clark Kent (Tom Welling, “Cheaper By the Dozen”) and Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum, “Sorority Boys”) have become the sworn enemies that comic book aficionados have always known and loved.

Seventeen years ago, a meteor shower burst from the heavens, raining destruction on the unsuspecting citizens of Smallville, Kansas. Clark’s transition from boyhood to manhood has been particularly difficult. He has struggled to come to grips with his emerging superpowers — and the effects of various forms of kryptonite — while battling the strange things that have plagued this idyllic Midwest hamlet since the meteor shower.

In last season’s finale, Brainiac (James Marsters, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”) unleashed a deadly computer virus upon the world while Zod, an evil Kryptonian responsible for the destruction of that planet, took over Lex’s body. Lex was imbued with special abilities much like Clark’s. Lex confided in Lana (Kristin Kreuk, “Earthsea”) about his new powers, and the two grew closer. Clark realized the only way to stop Zod was to kill Lex with a crystalline dagger given to him by Jor-El. Finding he couldn’t murder his former friend, Clark instead impales Brainiac with it, inadvertently opening the portal to Zod. This explosion ultimately sends Clark to The Phantom Zone, leaving Lex/Zod to rule the world. Lois (Erica Durance, “The Butterfly Effect 2”) and Martha (Annette O’Toole, “Superman III”) were left unconscious on a LuthorCorp jet that was about to crash, while Lionel (John Glover, “Batman and Robin,” “Annie Hall”) and Chloe (Allison Mack, “My Horrible Year!”) were trapped in a limo surrounded by rioters.

This season Clark must battle his way out of the Phantom Zone. Thrown into this Kryptonian jail created by Jor-El, Clark finds himself without powers and surrounded by revenge-seeking criminals sent away by his father. Jor-El’s old assistant, a young woman named Raya (guest star Pascale Hutton), comes to his aid in the Phantom Zone and helps Clark escape. Unfortunately, there may have been others who escaped with him.

The guardians of Clark’s secret identity have always been his adoptive parents, Jonathan (John Schneider, “The Dukes of Hazzard”) and Martha Kent. However, last season, Jonathan died of a heart attack after discovering Lionel knew Clark’s secret. Clark feels responsible for his death and has a difficult time adjusting to the loss. Martha took over Jonathan’s Senate seat and hired Lois to be her chief-of-staff. This season, Martha continues to adjust to life without Jonathan, but is conflicted about her growing feelings for Lionel. Though Lionel has offered to help Clark, Martha is unsure of his motives.

Lana felt utterly betrayed by Clark last season and turned to Lex for comfort. Encouraged by Lex’s openness, she vowed to stand by him. This season, their relationship gets serious, widening the gap between Lana and Clark. While Lex loves Lana, he is still driven by his ambitions and continues down the path of evil. Though he promised to always tell Lana the truth, he realizes some things need to stay a secret in order to maintain his relationship with her.

Clark and Lex’s friendship has completely dissolved, and the two have become enemies, forcing Clark to work harder to protect his secret. On top of the fact that Lex stole Lana from him, Clark sees the dangerous path Lex is taking and vows to stop him. This season, best friends turn into bitter enemies battling the very forces of good and evil.

Additionally, there is a new billionaire in town with the arrival of DC Comics character Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow (Justin Hartley, “Passions”). Although he has no superpowers, Oliver is a gifted archer who qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, but chose to put his skills to work as the “emerald archer.” He steals ill-gotten gains from the rich and gives to the poor. Oliver comes from Star City to Metropolis to aid in the recovery from Brainiac’s deadly virus. While in town, he meets and is charmed by Lois Lane, igniting suspicion and a little jealousy in Clark. Oliver discovers Clark’s abilities and asks Clark to join him in his new project – forming a league of superheroes.

Chloe is pleasantly surprised when former fling and aspiring photographer Jimmy Olsen (guest star Aaron Ashmore, “Veronica Mars”) joins the staff of The Daily Planet, and the two rekindle their relationship.

Reinterpreting the Superman mythology from its roots, “Smallville” was developed for television by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (“Shanghai Noon,” “Spiderman 2”), based on the DC Comics characters. Gough and Millar serve as executive producers, along with Ken Horton, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola. The series is produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions, Millar/Gough Ink and Warner Bros. Television Production Inc. SUPERMAN was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Also today, the title of next summer's Fantastic Four Sequel has officially been made Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. This summary was also released. See you on June 15!

In the sequel, the enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As the Silver Surfer races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery of The Silver Surfer and confront the surprising return of their mortal enemy, Dr. Doom, before all hope is lost.

Site Tweaks and Features

You may have noticed that recently this site has undergone a few tweaks in an effort to differentiate it from all those minima black template blogs out there. You may also have noticed that when you sit down to eat a bunch of chips, it's what is on the side that really makes the experience notable. Whether you are dipping salsa, or french onion dip, the side has a big role to fill. That is why the sidebar of this blog, now titled ~SIDE of CHIPS~ has been loaded with useful links. In addition to the usual recent posts links, there are links to all of my past animated feature reviews (Ink Blots) as well as links to my Superhero Retrospectives. Lastly, there are a list of upcoming "films on tap" with release dates along with links to their official sites. I trust this information will make your visits to ServeWithChips all the more pleasurable. Eat up.

15 August 2006

Ink Blots XXV - The Incredibles

As good as this film is, I will resist the urge to lazily refer to it at any point in this review as "incredible." Brad Bird, director of the under- appreciated The Iron Giant, makes his Pixar debut directing this film (Next up for Brad is next summer's Ratatouille). The Incredibles is everything that a Fantastic Four movie should have been. This film masterfully presents a super family with internal and external conflict that is able to pull together in the end. Opening in November of 2004, The Incredibles earned the largest opening weekend and second largest total ($261 million) for any Pixar film.

The Incredibles opens during a golden age for Superfolk. Mr. Incredible (perfectly voiced by Coach Craig Nelson) is in his heyday. In the first few minutes he manages to stop a high speed chase, ditch Buddy, the annoying wannabe sidekick, foil Bomb Voyager the French bomber, and rescue a man falling from a sky-scraper. Unfortunately, that man he saved did not want to be saved. The man sues, and a flurry of lawsuits against "supers" follows, and superheroes are forced into retirement.

The story picks up fifteen years later. Mr. Incredible is now living the mundane life of an insurance claims agent. He has settled down with Elastigirl, and has a couple of superpowered kids (Dash and Violet). He and his buddy Frozone (Samuel Jackson on ice skates) long for the glory days and sneak out to fight crime at night. But when the mysterious Syndrome's scheme kicks in, the world will finally need the whole Incredible family to save the day.

The humor in this film is clever and truly funny. The superhero genre is parodied though still respected. Throughout the film, we are shown the perils of capes (the cause of several superheroes demise) and taught the term monologuing (when the villain goes off on a long speech revealing all of his plans rather than just offing the good guy). Also hilarious is the Q like character Edna Mode, a little gadget maker voiced by Bird himself. Another of this film's highlights is its score. The jazzy sleek music gives The Incredibles a retro spy feel that fits perfectly with the onscreen action (not to knock Randy Newman, a Pixar standby, but his style would not have really fit in here).

It is great how the heroes' powers compliment one another and fit the particular character. Mr. Incredible is super strong and nearly invulnerable, mom (Elastigirl) is always stretching, the young hyper Dash is super fast, and Violet, the adolescent girl wants to blend in and can turn invisible, and the baby Jack-Jack still has limitless potential.

I must mention that while possibly homages, there are a number of elements in this film the appear to be blatant rip-offs. I mentioned the Fantastic Four above, it' no coincidence they come to mind when watching this film. The Incredibles family is also pretty much four members. The dad and the Thing are both super strong. Elastigirl and Mr. Fantastic are both stretchy. Violet and The Invisible Woman can both turn invisible and can both create force fields. The only missing Fantastic is the human torch (homaged by Jack-Jack), replaced by a Flash clone in Dash. The Underminer, a villain that appears in the end of the feature is strikingly similar to the Fantastic Four's enemy Mole Man. Frozone slides on ice slides just like the X-men's Iceman. The Omnidorid's tentacles are quite reminiscent of those used by Doc Ock. Even the name Elastigirl (Helen Parr) was coined years ago by the Doom Patrol's Rita Farr. All of these "inspirations" would bother me a lot except that the execution of the film is so perfect that I can overlook these details. The Incredibles is so much better than the Fantastic Four movie that followed it, and even the acclaimed X-Men films never made use of the ice slides that Frozone makes look so "cool". Brad Bird should be given freedom to use any element of any superhero he wants in a much longed for sequel to The Incredibles. If it is not obvious, I love this movie. It is as near to perfect as a film can be and gets an A+.

The Iron Giant (Special Edition)

The Incredibles (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)