14 April 2007

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Tombstone

What would you like on your Tombstone!?

Lonnie Thompson Lincoln was born in Harlem, New York. As Tombstone, he is a superhuman hit man and mob enforcer. He is frequently hired by the Kingpin and has close ties to organized crime and considerable influence within the prison system.

Lonnie started out as troubled youth who was bullied by his peers because he was Harlem's only African American albino. He became a school bully, taking protection money. The school newspaper was edited by Joseph "Robbie" Robertson, who was going to run a story on Lonnie's activities but pulled it when Lonnie intimidated him. Unfortunately, Lonnie allowed his personal demons to direct the course of his life and he turned to a life of serious crime.

As a hitman and enforcer, Lonnie used his albinism to his advantage. He filed his teeth and nails to points, giving him the appearance of a vampire. This frequently caught his opponents off-guard making it easier to kill them. He also lifted weights and engaged in many street fights to hone his fighting skills. As an adult he stood over six and a half feet tall.

As an adult Robertson would regret ever having known Lonnie (who was now known as Tombstone on the street). One night Robertson, now working for a local paper, went to meet a source only to see him being killed by Tombstone. The latter threatened to kill Robertson if he ever confessed the story. Robertson kept the secret for over twenty years whilst Tombstone became a powerful mob enforcer, killing many others. The situation exacerbated when Lonnie returned to Robertson's neighborhood. Eventually Robertson went to the police which resulted in Tombstone's incarceration, but not before Tombstone seriously injured Robertson nearly permanently damaging his spine.

Robertson however was also incarcerated by a judge on the Kingpin's payroll for suppression of evidence. In prison, Tombstone made Robbie's life a living hell and eventually broke out of and forced Robertson to come with him. Tombstone was confronted by Spider-Man but eluded capture after a harrowing battle in which Lonnie and Robertson (fighting on the side of Spider-Man) were knocked into a river. Both men survived and a temporary truce was agreed. Robertson was then given a full pardon for helping recapture Tombstone.

Lonnie eventually gained a superhuman physical constitution. Under a strange set of circumstances, Tombstone was locked in an airtight chamber with experimental gas at the Osborn Chemical Plant. The gas was absorbed into Lonnie's bloodstream and had a mutagenic effect on his body. This resulted in the manifestation of enhanced strength and other heightened physical abilities.

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
The Sinister Six
Spider Slayers
The Spot

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 20 days!

Michael Bay Stikes Again!

Good news Bay fans! According to IESB.net following his work on Transformers, Bay will team up with Bruckheimer to adapt Prince of Persia.

"Jerry Bruckheimer has been busy as of late with his Pirates franchise and his countless hit TV shows but still he has been working hard to get other film franchises off the ground. The IESB can exclusively report that his upcoming film, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, has found a director and a release date!

ImageSo I am sure you are wondering by now who Jerry has tapped to direct the adaptation of the best selling video game, right?

Bruckheimer has teamed up with him in the past to bring you Bad Boys I and II, The Rock, Pearl Harbor and Armageddon. Yes, that’s right, Michael Bay is directing Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for a Summer ’09 release.

The IESB was able to confirm with Disney Studios that they are hopeful that Michael Bay will indeed direct the picture right after he is done with this Summer’s blockbuster, Transformers.

You might remember a couple of years ago when we confirmed that Bay was behind Transformers just as he was finishing The Island. So now, just as he is finishing up Transformers, we are announcing that he will in fact be behind Bruckheimer’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

This feature film adaptation is “based on the video game, which follows an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world.”

The original creator of the game, Jordan Mechner, has said that "Rather than do a straight beat-for-beat adaptation of the new videogame, we're taking some cool elements from the game and using them to craft a new story - much as 'Pirates' [of the Caribbean] did with the theme park ride."

Mechner wrote the first draft of the screenplay for the feature film with subsequent drafts by Jeffrey Nachmanoff.

Originally developed and published Ubisoft, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a third person action adventure video game that received widespread critical acclaim.

The Sands of Time is the first of a trilogy. Released in 2003, it was followed by Warrior Within in 2004 and The Two Thrones in 2005.

It appears that gone are days of Uwe Boll and crappy video game adaptations (well almost, there is still In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale to deal with unfortunately). There is almost a Renaissance feeling in the air with video game adaptations garnering more respect as well as better casting. Hitman is a perfect example with Timothy Olyphant cast in the lead role as Agent 47. Let’s hope things continue in this upward trend!

12 April 2007

More Venomy Image

Behold the wonder that is Spider-Man 3!

Spider-Man 2 - Unrated, Extended Cut (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition)

Spider-Man 2.1 Scene - JJ's PJs

Check this scene that will be in the Extended Cut of Spider-Man 2. Why was this gem cut?

Spider-Man 2 - Unrated, Extended Cut (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition)

Formula For A Delicious Bacon Sandwich

N = C + {fb(cm) · fb(tc)} + fb(Ts) + fc · ta.

According to the New York Times, British researchers have come up with this formula after slamming 700 sandwiches over 1000 hours. That can't be healthy.

"It concluded that the best bacon butties were made with crisply grilled, not-too-fat bacon between thick slices of white bread."

So, for an explaination of the variables:

"Ideally, Danish Bacon said, 0.4 newtons should be applied to crunch the sandwich, creating 0.5 decibels of noise. The formula uses these values: N = force in newtons; fb is the function of the bacon type; fc is the function of the condiment or filling effect; Ts is the serving temperature; tc is cooking time; ta is the time taken to insert the condiment or filling; cm is the cooking method and C represents the breaking strain in newtons of uncooked bacon."

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, suddenly my job doesnt seem so pointless.

Radar Blips - The Rocketeer

The Year: 1991

The Players: Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connely, former Bond Timothy Dalton, and Lost's John Locke as Howard Hughes

The Take: $47 Million

The Rocka-Who?: The Rocketeer is a superhero created in the 80's based on 1930's pulp heroes. He doesn't actually have any powers, just a jet pack and helmet. He is basically the Batman foe Firefly, but he isn't evil, and doesn't shoot fire.

Why you should see it: This is a fun flick which sticks to the expected superhero formula pretty closely. Its got some nice flight sequences and some nice blimp action. Basically, its a throwback to the days when movies were just good clean fun.

11 April 2007

I am Iron Man

This ain't no Iron Butterfly, its the Gray FE Suit from the Iron Man movie.

Invincible Iron Man

Ultimate Avengers - The Movie

Ultimate Avengers 2

10 April 2007

Next Up Next

I'm not sure what happened, but the film Next is now being released on April 27 as opposed to sometime in September as previously listed on my sidebar. Next is based on the short story The Golden Man by Philip K Dick. Other Dick book to film adaptations include Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck, Screamers, A Scanner Darkly, Impostor, and of course Blade Runner.

Not only does Next feature the semi-annoying Nic Cage, but Nic has repoed Tom Hanks' mullet from The Da Vinci Code. Aside from that, Next looks interesting as most Dick adaptations are. I love Minority Report and quite enjoy Paycheck as a poor man's Minority Report. Even Impostor wasn't all that bad... so bring on NEXT!

Minority Report (Widescreen Edition)

Paycheck (Special Collector's Edition)

More on Super Max to the Max

More on Super Prison Break to the Max: The Movie. From the horses mouth (AKA Goyer's MySpace Page):

Is it real? The answer is "YES", it's a real project. It's just in the early stages of development, but amongst the tidal wave of super-hero movies hitting the screen, this more classically post-modern take could be pretty damn fun.

The basic concept actually came about through Justin Marks, a terrific young writer my wife Jessika (a producer) had previously worked with. They thought the idea of a prison-break story set in a jail designed exclusively for super-villains was a cool one. And I heartily agreed. After some discussion, we decided it would be fun to frame a super-hero and toss him into the meta-human mix.

From that point, it seemed like the next logical step was to set the film in either the Marvel or DC Universe. That way, we could populate the movie with all sorts of cool B and C-character Easter Eggs. We eventually landed at DC. Green Arrow, given his hard-hitting, moralistic tendencies, seemed like the most interesting hero to put through the institutional wringer.

Ink Blots LIX - Treasure Planet

Treasure Island in Space got the go-ahead after Ron Clements and John Musker delivered the mega hits The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and the profitable Hercules. Greenlighting their baby Treasure Planet was fulfillment of a promise for their successful contributions to Disney. Honoring this promise would cost the House of the Mouse. As demonstrated by Atlantis, Final Fantasy, and even way back with Starchaser, the recipe of sci-fi + animation resulted in little audience appeal. Unfortunately, Sci-Fi films (even animated ones) aint cheap. Treasure Planets innovative combination of traditional animation with CG elements such as Silver's cybernetic arm, cost a lot to create. The film was a major flop. Costing $140 million, the film only recouped $38 million domestically (opening against Harry Potter 2 and The Lord of the Ring: The Two Towers wasn't wise either). Brother Bear and Home on the Range became the lame ducks of traditional animation at Disney, as Treasure Planet's failure ushered in the digital age of such classics as Chicken Little... (riiiiiight).

So, back in 2002 when Treasure Planet came out, I am sure the thoughts that went through my head were also in the heads of many other potential moviegoers, namely "why is it in space?" The space angle seemed like a gimmick and a very unDisney one at that. Though Disney had recent success with Lilo and Stitch, the company was better known for straight adaptations of classic fairy tales not sci-fi adventures. I went to Disneyland around the time of this film's release, and all of the advertising for Treasure Planet seemed so out of place. Maybe it was, or maybe Disney had just too narrowly defined its image in moviegoers minds. One other thing that bothered me a lot about promotions for the film was the design of the main character. His look must have been inspired by both Vanilla Ice and a young George Washington. His hair was shaved on the sides but he had a rattail at the bottom and also wore a shiny earring. The whole concept seemed bizarre and just lame.

The film introduces Jim Hawkins, your typical rebellious teenager (with atypical sense of style) out on his solar surf board - basically its like hoverboarding in Back to the Future 2. Jim keeps getting into trouble because he thinks his life is a dead end. Then, one stormy evening, a wounded alien gives him a map to a treasure planet and a warning to beware of the cyborg. Jim and his mother's friend set off on a quest to find the treasure. Luck would have it, that the ship chef happens to be a cyborg. Coincidence? Are all cyborgs evil? Do they find the treasure? Does Jim cut his hair? Watch Treasure Planet to find out.

This film had been around for a couple years when I finally watched it. While the idea of sailboats in space is admittedly a bit strange, the film is a lot better than I expected, and the "in space" aspect is actually a decent twist allowing for truly great animated sequences and diverse characters. The animation is top notch. At one point a pod of Orcus Galacticus, or space whales, fly past the ship. These creatures look fantastic. Questions of how they breathe in space or fly are forgotten as the image is so majestic. Also well done is the animation of the cyborg Silver. His CG arm, eye, and head gears blend surprisingly well with his traditionally animated body. The CG elements do not scream out that they do not belong as do some elements in other hybrid films. I also enjoyed the obligatory creature sidekick. This time, the creature is an alien named Morph who can (as you may guess) morph into any shape. He remains cute and a good visual gag without becoming super annoying. B.E.N. on the other hand, a crazy robot that Jim meets up with during the quest, does become a nuisance. He has literally lost part of his mind, and rambles on and on thanks to a performance by Martin Short. Another element of the film that was irritating was the nature of Silver. He switches roles as good guy and bad guy too many times, and it isn't just an act. Are we supposed to hate him, or love him? Someone in the story department needed to decide if he was going to be a hero or villain because he can't have it both ways. Overall though, the animation in this film is its real strength as it builds fantastically realized scenes upon the story of a classic novel. Treasure Planet may not ever join the top tier of Disney classics, but it certainly isn't at the bottom of the barrel either as I had once thought. Even with his bad hairdo, I give Jim and Silver a B.

Treasure Planet

09 April 2007

Green Arrow - From Smallville to the Big S"Green"

Prison is not s good place for a Queen, and thats just where Green Arrow Oliver Queen may find himself in Super Max, an in development film. Its a new take, but could be pretty cool.

Wizard describes the film as follows:

Maybe it was giving up the gig writing and directing “The Flash” for Warner Bros., but it seems like David Goyer’s a little bit more into villains these days.

Just weeks after he and Warners envisioned very different takes on the Flash, Goyer sold the studio on an idea that focused on the more villainous side of the DC Universe.

“Super Max” is Goyer’s take on supervillain incarceration in the DCU. Revolving around a wrongly convicted Green Arrow being whisked away to the super max prison for out-of-control heroes and villains (where he's forced to face a number of inmates he put there), Goyer says the flick—which he’s developing with writer Justin Marx—isn’t just a Green Arrow film.

“He’s Green Arrow for the first 10 minutes of the movie, and then he’s arrested and his secret identity is revealed,” says Goyer, who also has plans to do a graphic novel or miniseries that would tie in to the possible film. “They shave his goatee and they take his costume and send him to prison for life, and he has to escape. It’s like ‘Alcatraz,’ and he has to team up with, in some cases, some of the very same villains he is responsible for incarcerating in order to get out and clear his name. Of course, tons of people try to kill him while he’s in there. We’ve populated the prison with all sorts of B and C villains from the DC Universe. For the fans, there will be all sorts of characters the hardcore comic book junkies will know, but they’re all going to be there under their human names and no one is wearing a costume, but there will be a lot of characters with powers and things like that.”

08 April 2007

3quel Throwdown - Spider-Man vs Shrek vs Pirates

Above (Click to Expand) is a chart of the massive earnings of the three franchises facing off next month. A fierce month of competition is surely coming. I do not recall a single month that held the releases of 3 highly anticipated "3quels" and this showdown should be fun to watch. Who will win? The moody Spider, the grumpy Ogre, or the deck swabbing Pirates?

May 4 features Spider-Man 3. Venom should be a popular draw, and the fact that Spidey has 2 weeks of little competition can't hurt either. Also, Spider-Man 1 and 2 have the highest combined domestic earnings of the bunch.

May 18 will feature Shrek the Third. Shrek 2 was the biggest hit of all 6 movies in the three franchises thus far. But with a glut of computer animation, can the trend continue?

May 25
features the end of the hot Pirates trilogy with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Picking up where part 2's cliffhanger ending left off this film is highly anticipated. The Memorial Day weekend boost should be nice as well.

My prediction is that Pirates 3 will win the domestic (about $375) and international battles. Spider-Man 3 will have the biggest 3 day weekend total ($120), but of course with Memorial day, Pirates will also win the biggest 4 day total ($130). Shrek will do ok, but will come in 3rd in all categories. Anyone else have theories? Lets hear them.

Spider-Man 2 - Unrated, Extended Cut (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition)

Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)

Shrek (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Shrek 2 (Widescreen Edition)