31 December 2007

Most Anticipated of 2008 (10-6)

'08 should be a good year for geeks at the movie theater. Here are my top 10 most anticipated movies of next year. You can also reminisce with a look at my anticipated of '07 right here. And come back tomorrow for the top 5, or try and guess them today.

#10 The Chronicales of Narnia: Prince Caspian

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe brought good production value to a live action adaptation of the most famous Narnia tale. Overall, the film was pretty well done and it will be nice to see the story continue with the less well known books. The trailer for this looks promising and Prince Caspian should hold me over until Dawn Treader.

#9 The Incredible Hulk

I actually enjoyed 2003's Hulk (which coincidentaly came out on the day I got married) especially Hulk thrashing desert tanks and choppers. I liked the build up, but I must admit, the end was lame. Still, I wont mind a poodleless, mindless follow-up with a better villain than Nick Nolte's "cloud monster."

#8 Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Hellboy was a pretty entertaining film with bizzare baddies like the wind-up ninja and helldogs. In this sequel, there is some new ally wearing a dive suit, and Hellboy fights the tooth fairy. This should be a fun movie that could outshine the first. Check out the trailer.

#7 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

This one might rank higher if I had more to go on than this single generic image from the movie. This was my favorite book of the series, so I hope they do it justice.

#6 Bond 22

This movie is all set to film, but it doesn't have an official title yet. With Casino Royale being many people's pick for best Bond movie ever, the follow up has big shoes to fill. I have high hopes, but even if it doesn't match Casino, it will surely still be better than Never Say Never Again.

27 December 2007

First Looks - Bolt and Hulk

UPDATE: Here is Dr Banner as well.

Here's a couple of pics from next year. First is the not really a super "hero" Hulk. This is nice and different from the last movie, but still true to the character. I like.

Second is the dog that thinks here is super powered but isn't, Disney's Bolt. I'm not sold on this yet. It looks kinda generic, and being voiced by John Travolta doesn't really excite me either. But who knows.

Radar Blips - Galaxy Quest

The Year: 1999

The Players: In addition to the this time tolerable Tim 'the Toolman' Tailor, you get Severus Snape, Ripley from Aliens, The Mac Guy, and Monk.

The Take: $72 million

Star Trek Parody Eh? Sounds Kinda Lame: This movie is actually a fairly respectful action comedy rather than a "Hot Shots" style spoof.

Why you should see it: The bast way to describe this movie is to imagine the cast of Star Trek being forced to command a real starship Enterprise by real world aliens who had seen the show on TV and thought it was real. So while this is a comedy, its also an honest to goodness sci-fi movie as well. I put off seeing this for years because it seemed like a lazy cheap shot at Trek, but it was a nice cable surprise.

26 December 2007

Time Lapse Homer

From last weeks Simpsons episode, blatantly copying a famous youtube vid. Cool nonetheless.

25 December 2007

Ink Blots - Surf's Up

After the underwhelming Happy Feet, I pretty much felt that the demand for cartoon penguins had died out, but like so many other animated movies, the penguins came in pairs. 2007's Surf's Up offers a mockumentary style tale about surfing penguins (and one chicken). Admittedly, I wasn't expecting much, but the movie delivered a delightful diversion and was actually pretty funny. One joke that I quite enjoyed was when Chicken Joe said he never really knew his dad, while the camera showed a picture of Joe's papa. Then the camera zoomed out revealing the picture on a bucket of chicken. Ha ha.

The movie follows Cody, a young surfer who was inspired in his youth by the legendary surfer Big Z. Cody enters a surfing competition along with Chicken Joe and Tank Evans. Unfortunately, Cody can't surf too well and Tank is an SOB, but when beach bum Geek takes Cody under his "wing," there is some hope for the underdog.

Anyways, nothing too deep here, but midway through the movie I found myself caring about what was going to happen and hoping that somehow the movie didn't take the cliche path of making Cody become a legendary surfer in a weeks time in order to win the championship. I won't say what happens, but the resolution was satisfactory.

As for the animation, it was fantastic. The water looked photo real, and watching the tide and beaches made me miss California. The penguins also had wet suit like designs that were kind of cool. The documentary style also gave the film a fresh angle that kept things interesting and different than the rest of the glut of CG animal adventures.

In closing, Surf's Up was not a big hit in theaters earning just $59 million, but this little film deserves a second look. In the battle of the penguins, Surf's Up easily wins out to the tune of a B+.

..and on a final note, lets let the penguin thing rest for a while eh?

24 December 2007

A Wall-e of a Trailer

Thanks J, I forgot this one in yesterdays batch. My personal pick for June '08.

23 December 2007

Trailer Round-Up

I've been away on some vacation, and neglecting my duties as chief of the chips. But I am back and here are a few of the gems that came out this past week.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army may not win any news fans for Big Red, but it looks to deliver for fans of the first.

The Dark Knight got some special IMAX preview treatment with a 6 minute Joker intro. This dude looks crazy - insane in the mainframe, some might say.

Coraline is a stop-motion Neil Gaiman adaptation. Though this isnt a real trailer, it promises a movie along the lines of The Corpse Bride.

18 December 2007

Ink Blots - Futurama: Bender's Big Score

If the Simpsons Movie was made for anyone who's ever enjoyed an episode of the Simpsons with little extra for die hard fans, this first of four DtV Futurama movies was made for people who have seen every episode of the series and to hell with casual fans. And thats the way I like it.

In the movie, the gang discovers the secret to time travel on Fry's butt. Bender uses it to loot the past, and Fry himself returns to the year 2000. Of course, it wouldnt be time travel without paradoxes (paradoxi?). For example, one alien went back in time, caught up with himself, "one thing led to another and we ended up an my place, out should I say our place." Funny stuff. Hermes also gets decapitated. Everyone got some good moments with the exception of Amy, but shes kinda boring anyways. Also, alien scammers take over Earth leading to an epic battle led by the one and only Zap Brannigan and his immodest uniform.

There were so many cool moments in the movie, a recap of famous email scams, a fleet of gold and jewel encrusted death stars, Nibblonians, Santa and his pals Kwanza bot and Chanuka Zombie AKA CZ, the mafia bots, Richard Nixon's head, Spiro Agnew's body, Al Gore, the Globetrotters, hedonism bot, and hypnotoad... I LOVE HYPNOTOAD...

There are little nods to continuity like Fry's dog's petrification, and the destruction of Old New York during Fry's hibernation. There is even a new love interest for Leela (much like the out of nowhere new boyfriend for Lisa Simpson), but this character ends up being worth introducing. I could tell this was made for me, and people like me who love Futurama.

So, if you havent seen the show, should you pass? No, its still a good movie, you will just not have as many gleeful moments while watching. The thing that really elevates this movie (and Futurama episodes like The Sting, Parasites Lost, and The Devils Hands are Idle Playthings) is that not only is it hilarious, but it delivers on emotion too. I did not see the end coming, and the story was so well crafted alternating between the years 2000 (where Bender assassinated a Fry copy) and 3000 (where Santa put the scammers on his naughty list). I would give this movie an A, but I want to leave room for the next 3 movies so for now I will award an A- with a chance for reconsideration.

EDIT: After seeing The Beast With a Billion Backs, which did not improve on this effort, I am regrading this one a solid A.

14 December 2007

Darkedy Knight Goodness

Enjoy a trailer and a couple postas.

13 December 2007

Ratatouille Wins the Golden Globe

...At least it will. With competitors Bee Movie, and The Simpsons Movie, Ratatouille is a shoe-in for best animated feature. Don't get me wrong,the rat deserves to win, it was fantastic, but surely there were other better movies that didn't get nominated. Surf's Up and Meet the Robinsons were both superior to Bee Movie, and even though I haven't seen it, Persepolis is most likely better as well. And, while the Simpsons was enjoyable, a best picture it was not.

Anyways, unless Bee Movie pulls a Happy Feet and wins an award based on its "eco-friendly" message in spite of non-existent plot, I would say the folks at Pixar have done it again. Bravo.

12 December 2007

Superheroes on Screen - Retrospective 2007

December is here and the years in review have begun. Welcome to retrospective


Epic Movie kicked things off in January with parodies of some of the recent big movies including X-Men: The Last Stand, and Superman Returns. I did not see this one, but I cannot really imagine a coherent plot involving Willy Wonka, Narnia, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Earning less than $40 million, it looks like we are safe from an Epic Movie 2.

Third in line of a series of direct to video features from Marvel comics was The Invincible Iron Man. This film was an origin story of the Ferrite Man and featured battles with the Elementals and the Mandarin. I am not a real Iron Man aficionado, but this tale seemed to be a reasonable modernization of the Iron man story. Also, I really liked seeing Iron Man do battle in several different suits. He donned an underwater suit, a bulky medieval gray suit and of course the classic red and gold armor. This film did a good job whetting my appetite for next summers live action Iron Man film.

On Smallville, an arc featuring the Green Arrow culminated with an appearance of the Justice League. Impusle, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Cyborg teamed up with Clark Kent to stop Lex Luthor's army of meteor freaks. The Martian Manhunter would also appear in Smallville this season making Smallville one hopping town.

Ghost Rider busted out in February just like director Mark Steven Johnson's adaptation of Daredevil. The Rider did well for a February release opening with $45 million on the road to a $115 million total in spite of poor reviews.

In March, the stylistic adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel 300 broke all sorts of records and expectations. This little March release cruised past $200 million besting 2006's Superman Returns.

March also saw the return of "Turtle Power" with TMNT. This darker tale carried on the continuity set up in the live action Turtle films. Though it opened fairly strong, the turtles lacked legs, and the film just squeaked past $50 million. Still, with a modest budget of $34 million, "all shell" may break loose once again.

March also saw the Cartoon Network debut of Hellboy: Blood and Iron. Improving upon last year's Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Blood and Iron hoped to pave the way for even more Hellboy animated adventures. There was a ton of action in this film, and though I am not that familiar with Hellboy aside from his movies, I have enjoyed his adventures. I do not really understand how Hellboy can carry a franchise (the third animated film is underway, and another live action film will hit next year) while characters like the Flash, Green Lantern, and Daredevil struggle to stay in the limelight. Still, I look forward to the next outing which promises to introduce Lobster Johnson, a popular character from the comics whom I know nothing about.

Following up on Striperella, Stan Lee headed up a couple of half-assed animated films El Condor and Mosiac. These had good voice actors but shoddy animation. Oh Stan, how the mighty have fallen. Thanks for Spider-Man, but for noe, stick to your cameos. :)

To help build hype for Spider-Man 3, an extended version of Spidey 2 titled Spider-Man 2.1 was released in April. There were some nice scene extensions here including a more brutal train fight, more to the Doc Ock bank fight, and some character moments showing Harry and Pete's friendship and MJ's reluctance to her relationship with the future Man-Wolf. One of the funnier moment, JJJ pretending to be Spider-Man, can be seen here.

Spider-Man 3 Opened in May with an astonishing $151 million record breaking opening weekend. It went on to make nearly $337 million, good enough to be the year's #1. Read my thoughts here.

A pair of Extended DVDs graced the store shelves in June - Fantastic Four featuring H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot, and Ghost Rider. At least in the case of Ghost Rider, the extended version coincided with the original release, so it wasn't a complete double dip. As for the Fantastic Four, the DVD came with a free ticket to Rise of the Silver Surfer, making the double dip not too costly. I suppose I am in favor of these director's cuts to a degree. If studios force the directors to trim trim trim for the sake of more screenings per day. At least fans get to see what was intended. Even if the content isn't too meaty, it usually helps the movies flow and contains extra geeky references.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer opened pretty good for one of Marvel's "Midrange" of films. The draw of the Surfer helped the film to barely edge out the original's opening and finish with $132 million. This is an impressive feat considering the negative reviews that both films received. It looks like Fantastic Four 3 is coming in the form of another team up, as is a Silver Surfer solo outing.

In August, Marvel delivered its 4th DtV with Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme. This was another origin tale that ended just when the going got good. It seems a waste to do so much set-up for characters with no plans for follow-up projects. I have never been a huge fan of Doc Strange, but this was a pretty compelling story. But, like I said, it ends just as he becomes the hero we are all supposed to know and love, making me wonder, what was the point?

Also in August we were treated to the live action Underdog, which couldn't have been as bad as it looked... Could it? It managed $43 million, hopefully not enough for a sequel.

DC comics got the ball rolling in September with its first DtV release, Superman: Doomsday based on the Death of Superman story from the comics. While not perfect (what is?) this movie delivered the action and punches that Superman Returns lacked.

With Iron Man, Batman, Hulk, and Hellboy feature films, Justice League, Batman anime, and Young Avengers DtVs, a new Spider-Man animated series, and more Heroes, Smallville, and The Batman, 2008 may be a year of legend.

11 December 2007

Ink Blots - Bee Movie

After A Bugs Life, Antz, and last year's bomb The Ant Bully, ant movies had been pretty well mined. Ah, but there are plenty of other creepy crawlies out there that could carry a feature length film... or are there? The cleverest part of the slightly amusing Bee movie is its title. We join Barry Bee Benson trying to decide how to live his adult bee life. He ends up lost from the hive in a rainstorm, befriending a human. Eventually he learns that humans are exploiting bees for honey. He sues, courtroom drama style, and wins on behalf of all beedom. With a reclaimed mass of honey, the bees no longer need to work, and as a result all the pretty flowers die. But fear not, magical pollen obtained from a "float"-jacked Princess and the Pea Rose Parade float just might resuscitate all of the flowers to the accompaniment of a remix of the Beatles "Here Comes the Sun."

Lost you?? Well if you couldn't tell, the story is kind of all over the place. And in the end, we realize its better to just go along with the way things have always been than to try and make a difference. The animation in this film was fantastic, especially during the aerial bee flight sequences. The colors are bright and fun, but the story just doesn't match the palette.

Sadly, comedian Jerry Seinfeld just wasn't that funny, nor was the story very profound. So basically, this movie was a big ol waste of time. This seems to be Dreamworks new model, pretty movies that aren't funny and have pointless stories. Can't wait for Kung Fu Panda. Until then, Bee movie should be renamed C- movie.

10 December 2007

Bad Idea of the Week

A couple years after the penguin craze of '06, the Madagascar penguins are getting their own series on Nickelodeon. Sure, I liked the guys in the movie, but I don't think anyone needs 26 episodes of their antics.

Indy Cover Your Heart - New Poster

With Indiana Jones, Iron Man, and Narnia, May 2008 may turn out to be bigger (or at keast better) than the 3-3-3 combo of 2007's Spidey, Shrek and Pirates.

What do y'all think?

07 December 2007

All Signs Point North, The Golden Compass is Here

The buzz on this one aint so hot, but if it does well we will get parts 2 and 3 shot back to back. This book was good, but part 2, The Subtle Knife, could be all kinds of cool. At the very least, the bear fight in TGC will have to be worth checking out. Post your thoughts, opinions, and reviews here.

BUY IT NOW: The Golden Compass Novel

05 December 2007

Prince Caspian Trailer

I was pretty skeptical about this movie. The book is my least favorite of the series, but this trailer looks fantastic... and you know if the movie was no good, the trailer would be bad, right? I am actually getting excited for this series to continue. I will embed the trailer when it becomes available, in the mean time: CLICK ME

BUY IT NOW: Narnia on DVD

04 December 2007

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na BAT POSTER

Kind of a weird poster, I am looking forward to the upcoming trailer.

Could This be Enterprise 2.0?

02 December 2007

A Joker's Flush of Joker Pics

Be it by mask or chemical burn, thats a face only Harley could love.

BUY IT NOW: Batman on DVD

01 December 2007

The Friends and Foes of Batman - Huntress

Over the years, several women have assumed the name Huntress. The original Huntress, renamed Tigress, had little to do with Batman. The second Huntress, Helena Wayne, was Batman and Catwoman's alternate reality daughter. The third Huntress, Helena Rosa Bertinelli, is a sometimes ally of Batman, and a member of the Birds of Prey.

Huntresses have appeared in the 1979 NBC Legends of the Superheroes TV special, the Birds of Prey series, and in the animated Justice League Unlimited.

Helena Wayne was trained by her parents to become a superb athlete. After finishing school, she joined the law firm of Cranston and Grayson, one of whose partners was Dick Grayson, alias Robin. Helena began her super-hero career when a criminal blackmailed her mother into resuming action once again as Catwoman -- an act which eventually led to her death. Helena, deciding to bring the criminal responsible to justice, created a costume for herself, fashioned some weapons from her parents' equipment (including her eventual trademark, a crossbow), and set out to bring in the criminal. After accomplishing this, Helena decided to continue to fight crime, under the code name the "Huntress." Helena formally joined the Justice Society of America where she struck up a friendship with fellow new superheroine Power Girl. Helena was killed while in the Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot, attempting to save the lives of several children. After Crisis ended, Helena Wayne's existence, like that of her parents and Earth-Two's Dick Grayson, was retroactively erased from the remaining Earth and the world no longer remembered her.

Due to the popularity of the character, DC Comics introduced a new version of the Huntress with the same first name and a similar costume, but with an entirely different backstory and different personality. The Modern Age Huntress is Helena Rosa Bertinelli, the daughter of one of Gotham's mafia bosses who, after seeing her entire family murdered by a mob hit, vows revenge. Batman rarely accepts the Huntress, believing her to be too unpredictable and violent. Others in the Batman family feel differently; for instance, Tim Drake has a good relationship with her. Early in his career he worked with the female vigilante, and later cleared her name in a murder case. Batman sponsored Huntress's membership in the Justice League, and for some time, Huntress was a respected member of the League. Under the guidance of heroes such as Superman, Helena grew in confidence but was forced to resign after Batman stoped her from killing the villain Prometheus. Helena is currently a member of the Birds of Prey, and although still prone at times to excessive violence, she has become a valuable member of the team

BUY IT NOW: Batman on DVD

Friend and Foe Profiles:

Ra's al Ghul
Talia al Ghul
Baby Doll
Bat-Hound (Ace)
Black Mask
David Cain
Calendar Man & Calendar Girl
Clock King
Crazy Quilt
Floronic Man
Mr. Freeze
Jim Gordon
Harley Quinn
Humpty Dumpty

The Dark Knight returns in 230 days!

30 November 2007

A Little Surfer for a Little Green

This little figurine (with comics and interviews on a DVD), listed for $14.99 was available for a "very special price" of $4.99 with purchase of Fantastic 4 - Rise of the Silver Surfer on DVD at Best Buy. Well guess what? The deal got even sweeter. These little dudes are marked down in the computer at a mere $.01, regardless of what the sticker says. The most likely place to find them is in the DVD section on the floor under the action movies. Feel free to stock up. They make great Christmas gifts! My local store had about 40 of them, but I restrained myself and just picked up a few, even though I still had a quarter burning a hole in my pocket. It also seems that EBay has had a recent influx of these little guys, so beware.

Happy hunting!

Malibu Returns

Well, maybe not Malibu, but his posse! Long live reality TV.

And the Lastest Wonder Woman Rumor Goes to...

Megan Gale. Who? I guess she was in Stealth. Quite a resume. At least she looks the part. Sure this rumor is "confirmed" but with JLA you never know. Thoughts?