25 November 2006

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Jack O' Lantern

In the mood for some pumpkin pie? Serving up Jack O' Lantern.

Before he was the Hobgoblin, Jason Macendale wore a flaming pumpkin mask, flew on a disc glider and went by the scary moniker Jack O' Lantern. As a powerless thug, he was just a minor villain. For a while he teamed up with the Hobgoblin, then became the Hobgoblin, and was eventually possessed by the Demogoblin. Ultimately, the original Hobgoblin returned and killed poor Jason.

There have been 4 Jack's O' Lantern, the fourth also going by the title Mad Jack. Over all, Spider-Man hasn't had too much trouble dealing with these Jacks, but the Web-head should really consider a truce with goblin-kind as they seem to have endless numbers to continually terrorize him.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
the Chameleon
Doctor Octopus
the Green Goblin
J. Jonah Jameson
Jack O' Lantern

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 160 days!

21 November 2006

Ink Blots XXXIX - The Triplets of Belleville

It's a little odd to call a movie under appreciated when it was nominated for an Academy Award, but then again, though nominated for the Best Animated Feature in 2003, The Triplets of Belleville lost out to Finding Nemo (a film I find to be over rated). And while Triplets got its 15 minutes of fame, it doesn't seem to be revered today as it should. Especially from the perspective of this animated film glut that we are currently riding, Triplets was something different, and a true gem.

This movie centers around Madame Souza, an elderly woman raising her grandson Champion, and prepping him to compete in the Tour de France. But when Champion is kidnapped, Madame Souza, and her dog Bruno set off for Belleville to rescue the lad. That is where they team up with the elderly titular Triplets to save Champion from his captors.

There is very little dialog in this film, much of the entertainment comes from the visual gags such as Bruno's black and white dreams, and his hatred of trains, and the Triplets household object cabaret. The music in the film is also superb. In fact Belleville Rendez-Vous was nominated for the Best Original Song but lost out the that juggernaut that was Return of the King which swept every category without mercy.

Belleville made a modest $7 million in the US and a total of $15 million worldwide, but box office returns seldom represent quality. This is a film that may look a bit weird at first glance with its exagerated comic book style designs, but the film is sure to entertain and thus it earns an A.