07 October 2006

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Electro

ZAP! Here comes Electro.

You have to give Electro credit, it takes some big wavos to go out in public with a mask like his, even if you are a supervillain.

Maxwell Dillon had dreams of becoming an electrical engineer (wow what aspiration) but not wanting him to be angry if he failed, his mom convinced him he was not intelligent enough, and Max reluctantly took a job as a lineman for an electric company. While he was repairing a power line, he was zapped by lightning and transformed into a living electrical capacitor. Electro was born.

Electro quickly turned to crime. One of his first heists was to rob the Daily Bugle Building stealing from Jameson's safe right in front of him. Jameson accused Spider-Man of being an alternate identity of Electro (that makes a lot of sense), prompting Spider-Man to prove the publisher wrong. Spider-Man eventually used a fire hose to short-circuit Electro.

After a number of defeats, Electro tried to take over New York City's power supply in an attempt at glory and respect. Spider-Man thwarted this plan and convinced Electro to quit his criminal career. But of course, retirement was just temporary. Eventually, The Rose agreed to fund an experimental technique that would amplify Electro's abilities, in exchange for Electro's services as an enforcer. Seeing this as a chance to rise above the string of failures that had made up so much of his life, Electro underwent the procedure. Electro attempted to demonstrate his newly amplified powers to the world, once again attempting to take control of New York City's power supply. Wearing an insulated suit, Spider-Man stopped him. Electro, in an effort to make a final grand gesture, Electro threw himself into the Hudson River while his body was highly charged, seemingly killing himself in an explosion.... but he survived. Still he tries to gain respect, but Electro just isn't that smart.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
the Chameleon
Doctor Octopus

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 209 days!

06 October 2006

Superheroes on Screen - More on The Flamehead Trailer

A couple days ago, I posted a link to the trailer and gave a couple thoughts. Overall, I think Ghost Rider looks great -- but I was also one of the ones that didn't hate Daredevil. I get excited whenever one of the comics I used to read gets the big screen treatment. Having said that, I don't know how big an audience this will attract. I would be surprised if it makes enough to warrant a Ghost Rider 2, but I will be sure to check this one out.

Here are some words from director Mark Steven Johnson on the trailer from Superherohype.com:

I just wanted to say thanks for both the kind words and the criticisms on the new trailer. It all goes towards making a better movie. There's a couple things I thought I'd mention that might help explain what you're seeing. First, the TRANSFORMATION. Ghost Rider is a PG-13 movie, albeit, a very intense PG-13 movie. The MPAA governs the movie trailers as well. And one of the rules is that you can't show people on fire in a PG-13 trailer. Obviously, this presents a problem for us. So for the fans who have wondered if that's all there is for the transformation -- God no. Not by a long shot. But that's all we can show. In fact, we had to cut many shots out of the trailer for being too intense or horrific. I'm hoping to post something on the official site on a blog in the next 24 hours so be sure to check there. Just make sure you download before it gets yanked off.

Second, the VOICE. The voice of Ghost Rider can't be judged on an internet trailer. There are multiple tracks of animal growls, fire, rusty chains, etc. mixed into Ghost Rider's voice. But all of those tracks have to be terribly condensed into a trailer like this and so all you can really hear is a deep, raspy voice. Trust me, GR's voice will rock the movie house.

Third, the HUMOR. Ghost Rider is not a jokey movie. It just has humor to balance the intensity (some of which you can't see in the trailer for reasons stated above). Remember that to us Ghost Rider is a known character. But to the general public he is very dark and intimidating. The marketing team are just (wisely) trying to reach as broad an audience as they can and move beyond the core group.

Fourth, BLACKHEART. What you've seen in Mephisto and Blackheart are glimpes into their demons forms. But by the end of the film Blackheart will evolve into his BEAST form. You haven't seen that yet, I'm saving it. It's not exactly the comic, but it's closer, demonic, and spikey! Fifth, the POSTER. There will be multiple images to sell the movie. Some will be about the love story, the Beauty & The Beast, while others will be hardcore Skull shots. Keep an eye out for new images soon. Hope that helps. I'll check in again soon.

Superheroes on Screen - Cheap DVD Art

When did Photoshop become the tool of choice for big studios making DVD art? Click on these covers and tell me you couldn't have made them yourself at home. Why not just use the theatrical posters? For the most part those are good images, and they are already made, making them even cheaper than attempts. It is a sad state when fan art can easily outshine the real deal.

Speaking of the X-Men 3 DVD, it was a big hit. X-Men and The Little Mermaid were both released on Tuesday "Industry sources peg combined consumer spending on the titles to be more than $80 million, making Tuesday the biggest fourth-quarter opening day in the history of home video." WOW! I also heard a rumor that some X3 DVDs have 10 deleted scenes, and some accidentally got printed with 22, and there is no external way to differentiate. Way to go Fox.

Lastly, it been awhile since the last Superman Returns box office update. Supes expanded into dollar theatres last weekend, and picked up some steam. CK is less than 2 million away from the 200 mil mark. That's a surprise to lots of naysayers.

Superman Returns still needs $943,856 to reach $200 Million

04 October 2006

Superheroes on Screen - Flamehead Returns

The new year will be here soon, and the first hero out of the gates is the demonic Ghost Rider, coming Feb 16. Check out the new Ghost Rider trailer at Moviefone.com and enjoy these posters while you are at it.

03 October 2006

Ink Blots XXXII - The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

What theme could you make for October other than Monster Month? Well, here it is.

During World War II, Disney made a series of lower cost anthology features including Melody Time, and Make Mine Music. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad marks the return toward full length animated features, preparing the way for Cinderella. This film contains just two 30+ minute films focusing on "famous characters in literature."

First up is Mr. Toad from the Wind in the Willows. J. Thaddeus Toad is introduced as are his friends Badger, Rat, and Mole. Mr. Toad loves riding his horse and carriage around, until he finds a new "mania"- the motor car. His buddies lock up Mr. Toad until he gets the lust for the motor car out of his system. You see, Mr. Toad is running up huge debt with his hobbies. Next we see, Mr. Toad is arrested, accused of stealing a motor car. Did he do it? That is what the rest of the film seeks to discover through various courtroom shenanigans, jailbreaks, and a showdown with Winky and the weasels. One of the greatest things about this film is that it served as inspiration for the awesome Disneyland attraction Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

The second story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, tells the tale of Ichabod Crane the Colonial schoolteacher and his courtship of the beautiful Katrina. This adventure is narrated by none other than Bing Crosby. The characters themselves for the most part remain silent. Things are going great for "Icky" until after a Halloween party when he come face-to-face, or rather face-to-neck-hole with the Headless Horseman. It is during this scene that the film really justifies its existence. As Ichabod rides down the path through Sleepy Hollow, he is confronted by various shrieks, creaks, and moans, and the animation helps to add to the chilling mood.

Watching these two segments did not really leave me feeling like I had just been entertained by a full length movie. While the stories were both fine, they were not spectacular by any means. Only the encounter with the Headless Horseman was really great, establishing the Headless one as a truly frightening monster. Still, there was not anything in this film that I hated. Thus these adventures take home a C+.