02 December 2006

Transformers: Uping it Another Ratchet

Presenting RATCHET- Not sure if this thread title makes sense, but another Autobot has been unveiled.


The names of the Autobots and Decepticons appearing in next summer's Transformers movie were released along with a bit of commentary. I thought that would throw in a few pictures of the robots as an added bonus. Click for bigger version. Sadly there is no ghetto-blaster (or iPod) Soundwave, but I admit the "flame" look on Prime looks A-Ok. Enjoy.


Optimus Prime - "The king!"

Bumblebee - "He's the same underdog character we always knew and loved." [Note: Except he's a Camaro in the new movie.]

Jazz - "He's eager to take on the Decepticons."

Ratchet - "Ratchet, who was an ambulance in the cartoon, will appear in a new form."

Ironhide - "The muscle. A tough soldier who can make any Transformer bust an o-ring just with his stare!"


Megatron - "He's been portrayed as pure evil but we're trying to get a little bit behind the evil in this movie. ... He has a slightly less idealistic version of what he thinks humanity is worth."

Starscream - "Always secretly plotting to dethrone Megatron..."

- "An extremely pissed off Decepticon."

Bonecrusher - "The closest thing to a Constructicon in the film."

Barricade - "The hunter of the group -- a cop car."

Scorponok - "Closest thing to Beast Wars or Dinobot in the film."

Frenzy - "A smaller form able to infiltrate spaces -- a stealth spy."

Blackout - "The guy who takes out our ability to fight back."

Support SERVEwithCHIPS: The Transformers - The Movie (20th Anniversary Special Edition)

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Jackal

Rar! Here comes the Jackal.

Prof. Miles Warren was once a professor of biochemistry at Empire State University. Warren focused his attention towards methods of cloning, inspired by the creation of a full-grown frog to attempt to clone humans. When he killed his lab partner Anthony Serba (who had discovered the truth) Warren became completely insane, developing the personality of the Jackal as he tried to convince himself that someone else had killed his assistant, rather than he himself (Hmm... Sounds a lot like the Green Goblin so far).

In his first appearance as the Jackal, he attempted to manipulate the Punisher into killing Spider-Man (this was the popular anti-hero's first appearance), but when the Punisher learned of the Jackal's deception, he turned against Warren.

The Jackal subsequently worked to create clones of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. However, his first apparently successful attempt quickly began to show signs of degeneration. It was much later revealed that this clone managed to escape before Warren could kill him, and would come to be known as the serial killer called Kaine. Warren then refined the process, and although several more failures resulted, he eventually successfully created clones of Gwen, then Peter, who did not suffer from the tell-tale degeneration. The Parker clone and the Jackal were both apparently killed in battle with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #149 (October, 1975).

Almost twenty years later, it was revealed that the clone of Peter had survived the explosion and went into hiding. In addition, Prof. Warren had made a clone of himself before he died, who went into hibernation for several years. However, in the intervening years another clone of Miles Warren ("Warren Miles") appeared, and actually married the Gwen Stacy clone. He also used his experiments to mutate his own DNA and give himself attributes of an actual Jackal (Maybe they should call him Jackal-Man); prior to these events, the Jackal's physical abilities had merely been the result of training rather than any superhuman powers.

The Peter Parker clone, unaware that the Jackal lived, took the name Ben Reilly, and went into exile. Years later, he returned to and became the Scarlet Spider. The Jackal returned at this point and convinced both Parker and Reilly that Reilly was the real Peter Parker and that the other man was the clone, and created a number of other Peter Parker clones who came into conflict with Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider. Ultimately, the Jackal, in the process of attempting to kill and replace millions of people with clones he could control, was killed falling off a tall building while trying to save the Gwen clone, who was saved by Spider-Man.

Shortly after, Parker retired to spend more time with his pregnant wife, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, and Ben Reilly briefly replaced him as Spider-Man, until he died at the hands of the Green Goblin, finally revealing in the process that Parker was and always had been the original Spider-Man.

In the 2005 limited series Daredevil Vs. Punisher, The Jackal returned once again. This version of the Jackal is a fourth clone of Miles Warren, even further genetically altered to a point where his body is always cold (causing him to wear a thick fur coat even in the hottest weather) and he now needs to suck blood to survive. He became a crimelord and allied himself with Hammerhead, but the two of them eventually went to jail.

Villain Profiles:

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

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 153 days!

01 December 2006

Superheroes on Screen - Double Spider Trouble

Another cool Spider-Man 3 image. I sure hope this film lives up to its potential.

30 November 2006

Superheroes on Screen - My, What a Fantastic Car You Have

USA Today has brought us the first look at the Fantasticar from the FF2 film. Its sleek, its hip, but where does the Thing sit?

28 November 2006

Ink Blots XL - Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Its InkBlots #40! I had to look up the Roman Numeral Guide for this one.

In 2002, Spirited Away took home the award for Best Animated Feature Film - and rightly so. But when you are up against one of the greatest films ever made, its easy to get overlooked as was the also nominated Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Back before Dreamworks teamed up with PDI to perfect the computer animated fart joke and pop culture reference, Jeffrey Katzenberg's Dreamworks animated studio made beautiful traditionally animated films. Spirit presents the untamed frontier of North America where wild horses ran free. Throughout the film, the titular horse Spirit runs through gorgeous canyons and fields as he seeks simply to maintain his freedom. The animation truly captures the majesty of the mustang and though many seek to tame him, Spirit will not be broken.

The story of the film is fairly straight forward, and that's the beauty of it. There is not some ridiculous convoluted plot driving the movie, rather the simple desire of Spirit to feel the wind through his mane in the open fields. While the film is narrated by Spirit, during the movie, none of the animals including the horses actually speak. Instead, their artfully drawn eyes and body movements convey their thoughts. Especially now in 2006 with so many talking animal movies, it was nice to see an movie about animals that maintained some realism and did not strip the "heroes" of their dignity by making them spout out idiotic one-liners. The relationship that Spirit develops with Little Creek, a Native American that captures him, is also touching. There are so many things going for this film that hearkens back to simpler times. Unfortunately, there is one big thing against it... the music.

While a Bryan Adams song or two may have fit the mood of the film, it seems that every major plot development is accompanied by Bryan, and Bryan is just not that great (at least in my mind) to justify his monopoly of this film's soundtrack. It's the same problem that Disney's Tarzan ran into with Phil Collins. When a single artist sings so many songs in the film, they all tend to blend together. None of the songs is horrible, its just a little too much when all of them run back to back.

This may not be the greatest film ever made, but it's fantastic depiction of the American West and of the simple yearning to be free make it stand out. It's $73 million box office fell short of its $80 million budget, but hopefully the timeless nature of this films subject matter will allow Spirit to age well and gain appreciation over time while some of Dreamwork's other films become horribly outdated. There really aren't a lot of animated films about horses, but this one does the species proud, and if it weren't for Bryan Adams overload, Spirit would probably earn even higher than its B+.

26 November 2006

Transformers First Film Footage

If you want to check out images of the them Autobots and Decepticons, check out my old posts, but for a real treat of actual film footage featuring Skorponok, you need look no further. Click it for full effect!