10 February 2007

From Rides to Musical Shorts: Live Action Sorcerer's Apprentice

I guess instead of adapting Teacups or People-Mover into their own films, Disney is going to make a live-action version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. This is probably the most famous segment from the 1956 classic Fantasia. As it turns out, there are a number of books and poems of the same name.

So, who is going to play the live action Mickey Mouse?

Superheroes on Screen - He-Hulk, She-Hulk

According to IESB.net, Nicolas Cage is in negotiations to develop The Sensational She-Hulk staring Eva Mendes. Once again, Marvel has shown its willingness to dig a bit deeper into its heroes arsenal for big screen adaptations.

In other news, The Incredible Hulk (She-Hulk's more famous cousin) has had his movie pushed up two weeks to June 13, 2008. So, hopefully they will announce some casting for this movie soon, as they need to start making it if they are going to make that date.

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Sandman

Enter Sandman

Mr Sandman is one of the big bads in Spider-Man 3, but what do we really know about him? A bit:

At the age of three, William Baker was abandoned by his father and forced to live in poverty with his mother. Throughout high school, William turned to theft and cheating to get through class and to make ends meet at home. After accepting a bribe, Baker was expelled from school and soon found work as a mob enforcer. Under the alias Flint Marko, Baker became involved in more and more illegal activity, and slowly developed a violent and bitter personality. Eventually he ended up doing hard time on Rikers Island for his dealings but managed to escape. Immediately after he fled to a beach near Savannah, Georgia where he came into contact with sand that had been irradiated by an experimental reactor. His body and the radioactive sand bonded, and Marko’s molecular structure was altered into a sand/dirt-like substance. Marko soon found that he could transform any or all of his body into sand, and adopted the name Sandman to match his new powers.

Marko clashed with Spider-Man for the first time at the school which the hero attended as Peter Parker. Marko was defeated by Spider-Man (who used a vacuum cleaner), but eventually resurfaced as a member of the Sinister Six led by Doctor Octopus. After being soundly defeated by Spider-Man several more times, Marko gave up and took a shot at battling other superheroes. Most notably, he created the original Frightful Four to combat the Fantastic Four, but his fledgling group of villains were beaten by the experienced heroes.

Sandman eventually discovers that—starting with his hand—his body is slowly transforming into glass, although he is able to reverse the effect. Afterwards, he decides to resume his struggle with his original adversary, Spider-Man, and allies himself with Hydro-Man to do battle with their mutual enemy. The two briefly merge into an unintelligent and largely ineffective mud monster, but split apart. Afterwards, Marko becomes deeply depressed, and the Thing of the Fantastic Four supports him, and encourages him to use his power in the name of good. Sandman would then make sporadic appearances in various Spider-Man comics, assisting his former enemy. The first such appearance had him coming to the rescue of Spider-Man and Silver Sable, who were outnumbered and surrounded by the Sinister Syndicate. Silver Sable is impressed by Sandman's performance and recruits him as a freelance operative. Sandman would also appear as part of the Outlaws, a group of reformed Spider-Man enemies such as Prowler, Rocket Racer, Puma, and Will o' the Wisp, who would turn up from time to time to help Spider-Man.

Flint briefly joins the Avengers as a reserve member. Later, he becomes a full-time mercenary in the employ of Silver Sable, as a member of her Wild Pack, serving alongside heroes such as Paladin and Battlestar.

He eventually reverts to his villainous ways, claiming to have faked his heroic career, although it was revealed that the Wizard had used his mind-controlling "Id Machine" to force him to act as a villain.

Sandman then rejoins a new incarnation of the Sinister Six, which is working with one of Spider-Man's deadliest enemies, Venom. Venom reveals that he had joined the team to make sure no one else kills Spider-Man, and turns on the remaining five. Dealing with Marko, Venom rips off and swallows a chunk of sand, which apparently destabilized Sandman's body structure. His body slowly begins to crumble away. He blames Spider-Man, but ultimately asks him to deliver a message to his mother. He also expresses remorse that he could not pull off the task of becoming an official superhero. The Sandman then crumbles to pieces and seems to die, washing away down a sewer and ending up as part of Jones Beach, New York.

Sandman's body and mind scattered with the grains of sand. The major part of his mind merges with the beach and begins swallowing people in an attempt to piece himself back together. Spider-Man tries to free the captured people from Sandman's beach consciousness, which is his evil mindset, and succeeds when Marko explodes from too many clashing mindsets. Soon the sand of the beach begins to spread to different areas around New York, and all of the different aspects of Sandman's shattered mind form individual beings - Marko's good side, evil side, feminine side and childlike side. Spider-Man locates all of the different versions of Sandman and attempts to convince them to return to one being. Sandman's evil side merges with his child and feminine sides, but Sandman's good side doesn't want to allow evil to become a part of him again. The new Sandman responds by abandoning his good side completely, which eventually crumbles into lifeless sand and blows away. While the new Sandman is not the sadistic monstrosity that his purely evil side was, he is a criminal and seems to lack any desire to become a hero or do good.

Sandman is one of the villains recruited to recover the Identity Disc, but is seemingly killed due to mutinous behavior. At the series' end, Sandman is revealed to be alive and working along with the Vulture to manipulate the other villains.

Villain Profiles:

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

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 83 days!

09 February 2007

Snakes on a Doom

Behold, Dr. Doom PhD from Fantastic Four 2 (Thanks JoBlo.com). Look on my works ye mighty... and DESPAIR!

Fantastic Four DVD

08 February 2007

Radar Blips - Return to Oz

The Year: 1985 (46 years after The Wizard of Oz)

The Players: No one you know.

The Take: $11,137,801

What's an Oz?: You know the land of the yellow brick road in the Wizard of Oz, well, Dorothy returns there.

Why you should see it: While the Wizard of Oz is a jolly little film full of Lollipop Guilds, songs, and pansy lions, Return to Oz takes a more twisted (and true to the books) approach to the fantasy land. Dorothy is committed to a mental institution for telling her tales of Oz and is threatened with electroshock therapy. Oz is now occupied by freaky Wheelers (dudes with wheels for hands and feet) a chick with a collection of interchangeable heads, and an evil rock dude who stumbled across some ruby red slippers. Luckily, a pumpkinhead and Tick-Tock are there to assist Miss Dorothy in setting things right. Sadly, Toto is AWOL but a chicken steps up to fill the token animal sidekick role.

Return to Oz

06 February 2007

Double Dip ALERT - Spider-Man 2.1

Ahh, the DVD market when you've never bought a movie enough times. Turns out the long rumored Spider-Man 2 Extended version is finally making its way to DVD just in time to cash in on Spider-Man 3's arrival. The thing is, they showed an extended cut of SM2 on FX around New Years. I don't know is it is this extended version, or another different extended cut, but the additions were pretty minimal. There was an all new recap of Spider-Man 1, just in case you forgot and the credits images weren't enough for you. Also there are little extensions to Peter's birthday party and an alternate costumed "elevator conversation." How this adds up to 8 minutes, I cannot figure out. They must have also replaced some shots with alternate angles and counted those as new footage. There may be some other changes, but you would have to be a bigger geek than me to notice them. So, if you already have Spider-Man 2 on DVD, this definite pass.

So, I wonder how long 'til Spider-Man 2.1.1.

Ink Blots L - The Plague Dogs

Every dog has his day, at least during dog themed month.

Rowf and Snitter are test subjects at an animal research lab, and when they get the chance, they escape. But once in the wild, they must prey on farm animals to stay alive. They team up with a crafty fox named "The Tod" who helps them to evade their human pursuers. At first, the lab denies any knowledge of the escaped dogs, but eventually the media breaks a story that 2 dogs are in fact missing from the lab and quite possibly infected with bubonic plague. This news causes the locals to demand action be taken. As a result, military forces are called in to track down the animals.

From the same director as Watership Down, The Plague Dogs is also based on a book by Richard Adams, and features similar lifelike animal animation. In fact, the animation is quite impressive as it captures the quirks and actions of these animals that give them endearing personality. This 1982 film never got a real release in the US, and even on DVD is only available in its full version in Austrailia. I guess there isn't a huge market for depressing animal films.

This is really a sad story about these two canines who just want to be free. They want to escape the cruelty of the "whitecoats" and find nice masters. Snitter has recently undergone some brain vivisection and so he is a bit out of it, but Rowf takes care of his little companion. This isn't your typical furry animal film. From the opening scene of Rowf being nearly drowned in a water tank, its clear that little kids would be deeply disturbed by the content here. These poor forlorn pups earn a somber B+.

The Plague Dogs

04 February 2007

Transformers - Biggest Collection of Pics on the Web

Here they are with newest additions: Designs of Ironhide, Bonecrusher, Frenzy and Starscream.


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."

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