09 December 2006

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Kangaroo

He isn't one of Spider-man's most feared foes, but he is one of the lamest. BOING, its the Kangaroo mate!


Thus far, there have been two men calling themselves the Kangaroo that have found themselves at odds with the friendly neighborhood Spider-man. The first of these was Frank Oliver,a boxer who developed a super jumping ability after years of studying kangaroos (in his free time while not boxing). He turned to crime after jump kicking and injuring a boxing opponent. Frank later had surgical upgrades which actually made him a tough match for Spider-Man, but Frank met an untimely end when attempting to steal a rare isotope which ended up burning him up upon exposure.




Brain Hibbs, the second kangaroo was a big fan of Frank Oliver. He bought himself a fancy kangaroo costume complete with "pouch cannon." Hibbs found himself in cahoots with the Grizzly and the Gibbon. Later, Hibbs underwhen gene therapy to become more kangaroo-like. He also began to think he was Frank Oliver, and developed an Aussie accent.




I don't think popular demand will call for either of these guys to make return appearances any time soon.



Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
Boomerang
Calypso
Carnage
the Chameleon
Demogoblin
Doctor Octopus
Doppelganger
Electro
the Green Goblin
Hammerhead
Hobgoblin
Hydro-Man
J. Jonah Jameson
Jack O' Lantern
Jackal
Kangaroo

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 146 days!

The 12 Days of Bookmas Countdown - #11

#11

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - After Disney's Chronicles of Narnia film, I decided that I would like to dip back into my childhood an revisit some of the Tales of Narnia. I went with the sequel to Wardrobe, the currently in film production Prince Caspian. I was constantly thinking about how this will work as a film, and I am almost positive it cannot be as good as Wardrobe. The book starts by having the kids return to Narnia, only a thousand years later. That could be cool, seeing the deserted castle and overgrown lands, and watching their surprise as the realize where they are. But the rest of the tale is just not that captivating. There is a mutant rat Reepicheep, and some swordplay, but any epic battle in a movie is not to be found here. The other thing that I don't like is how Aslan just shows up to save the day whenever he feels like it. He lacks subtlety and lowers the stakes. Of the Narnia books I remember well, this is my least favorite.


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Countdown So Far

#11 - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
#12 - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

08 December 2006

TMNT Trailer Power

Superheroes on Screen - Battle of the JLAs

When Smallville returns from the winter hiatus, we can expect to see the beginnings of a live-action Justice League featuring Superman, Green Arrow, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Nice! The word on the street is that before seasons end we may even see the Martian Manhunter and a Gothamite join the ranks. Very nice! And tonight after a lousy "very special episode" of Smallville focusing on the issue of illegal immigration (Superman himself being an undocumented worker) we were rewarded with our first look at the league. I have to say, its a marked improvement over the look of the JLA from the failed 90's pilot. The new costumed are much less puffy. Compare:



07 December 2006

The 12 Days of Bookmas Countdown - #12

My goal this year was to average out at reading one book each month to supplement my many hours of television and movie watching. When I was younger, I tended to read the works of Steinbeck and Hemingway along with other classics of American Literature. But this year I delved pretty deep into the Fantasy genre. I guess I am no longer afraid of getting beat up for reading books with dragons on the cover. Anyways, before the year is up I will present the 12 I read in a ranked order with a few quick thoughts on each. Comments are always welcome.

#12

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - I had always been curious what the big deal was about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Last year I read that book, and this is the sequel. While the first book was ok, this one seemed to drag. This one had a ship in a pocket, an alternate universe and a time trip to the origins of man on earth. If nothing else, these books sure are "zany." I don't know, maybe I just don't "get it," but even with a cliffhanger ending, I may not be continuing to part 3 Life, the Universe, and Everything.


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Transformers - Barricade

It's everyone's favorite donut eating Transformer - Barricade (pictured sans donut)

Also, check out a ton of other Transformers Pics here.



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06 December 2006

Hey, I Know That Guy. He's My Hiro



A clip from Austin Powers: Goldmember

05 December 2006

Ink Blots XLI - Catnapped! The Movie

Welcome to Cats Month. Strangely, next to mice, cats seem to be the most popular topic for animated movies, providing me with a wealth of choices this month. So, I will try and avoid the most obvious selections and present a few surprises.

Up first, Catnapped! The Movie. This little film comes from Japan and is reminescent of the works produced by Studio Ghibli, though it is more of a little kids movie. First off, the title of the film is a bit of a misnomer. Since kids are "kidnapped" regardless of who takes them away. A catnapping should involve someone stealing away some cats. Right? Well, perhaps the translation was just off, but this film actually involves the alleged kidnapping of two children by cats (still a kidnapping). I say alleged, because the kids pretty much went along on their own volition. Speaking of thing being lost in translation, I am not sure if there is some sort of Japanese myth about a cat kingdom, but both this film and a Studio Ghibli film, The Cat Returns, both feature mystical cat kingdoms where when people enter, they turn into cats. In any case Catnapped! The Movie coming out in 1998 beat The Cat Returns by several years, so if one is a "copy cat," it is The Cat Returns (though The Cat Returns is probably also a better film overall).

In Catnapped, Toriyasu an ordinary 10-year-old boy (who takes out his frustrations on his helpless hound) and his little squeaky voiced sister Meeko are awoken one night by felines. You see, Toriyasu's dog, Papadoll, has gone missing. He has been "dognapped" and taken to the cat kingdom where he has transformed into a monster who does the bidding for the evil princess Buburina. Some good cats have come to get Toriyasu to come and tame his pet and save the cat kingdom. Off the kids go to the cat kingdom, also known as Banipal Witt. Along their way they cross some colorful landscapes reminiscent of the voyage in Yellow Submarine. Once arriving in the colorful carnivale-like cat kingdom, the kids turn into cat people. They have just one day to find get Papadoll before they too transform into monsters. This may not prove too easy a task as Buburina has a power of her own. As a bratty child, she caused harm to come to the daughter of a sorcerer. Now everyone she touches turns into balloons, and if she gets really mad, she will not only balloonify her enemies, but pop them as well.

While the colorful and creative cartoony designs in this film are great, the actually animation is just so-so. Also, the film is aimed more at young audiences as compared to Miyazaki's films that appeal to all ages. The human characters are well developed, but I did not find myself too attached to any of the cat folk. They all seem relatively interchangeable. Still, the story is fun, and clever with a timeless quality to it. While it may not be up to the same quality level as The Cat Returns of other Ghibli films, very few movies are. Lastly, Catnapped! The Movie teaches kids to be nice to their pets, so I am giving it a B.


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Transformers - Bumblebee's Got a Stinger



He's back and this time he's taking no prisoners... It's BUMBLEBEE!

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04 December 2006

Transformers - A Slew of Pics!

Yet Another Update - Scroll down to see a whole slew of new pics. Ironhide, Brawl, Barricade, and Bonecrusher, I HAVE THEM ALL!


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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.

Autobots

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!"




Decepticons

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..."



Brawl
- "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."



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The Transformers - The Movie (20th Anniversary Special Edition)