23 June 2007

A Little Peppa With Your Irons?

Not really sure what this title means, but this is a fairly exciting picture even though its just a shot of the primary cast of Iron Man. We've got Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, and Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane the Iron Monger.

I am surprised at how much I am anticipating this film. So far, much more so than Hulk or Hellboy 2 - Though The Dark Knight is still my must see of 08.

The Friends and Foes of Batman - Batgirl

Batgirl is one of Batman's crime fighting parters (not to be confused with Batwoman). Several incarnations of the character have existed since the early 1960s, though there has never been a "Batboy." The best-known Batgirl was Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon. She debuted in the comics and on the live-action TV show at nearly the same time. Aside from the 60's TV show, Batgirl has also appeared in animated form in Batman: The Animated Series and The Batman, as well as in the stinker Batman and Robin as portrayed by Alicia Silverstone - though this incarnation of Barbara was related to Alfred rather than the comish. In Batman Begins, Jimmy Gordon has a baby, but it looks like it will be many a year before she teams up with the Bat.

Betty Kane

The original Bat-Girl was Betty Kane, the niece of Kathy Kane, Batwoman. Batwoman and Bat-Girl were created to be romantic interests for Batman and Robin as much as crime-fighting associates. Bat-Girl wore a red-and-green costume to "flatter" Robin. Bat-Girl appeared seven times between 1961 and 1964, but then disappeared in 1964 (along with Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite) when it was decided these characters were too silly. Bat-Girl reappeared in the late 1970s as a member of Teen Titans West; however, she only appeared a total of four times in this era.

Bat-Girl was reimagined as a character named Flamebird (after DC's crisis on infinite earths) who had many similarities to Bat-Girl in her costume, her interest in tennis, her history with Titans West, and her romantic connection to Robin. Flamebird's real name is similar to the first Bat-Girl's: Mary Elizabeth 'Bette' Kane.

Barbara Gordon

The next Batgirl was librarian-by-day Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon. On her way to a masquerade ball dressed as a female version of Batman, Barbara (also known as Babs) halted a kidnapping attempt on Bruce Wayne by the villainous Killer Moth, attracting the attention of Batman and leading to a crime-fighting career.

At first, Batman did not approve of Barbara's involvement in crime-fighting, but as she solved more cases, beat more villains, and became more skilled, Batgirl gained Batman's respect and trust. Barbara Gordon appeared as Batgirl from 1967 to 1988.

After relinquishing her role as Batgirl, Barbara Gordon was later shot in the spine and crippled by the Joker. She continued to fight crime, even though she was wheelchair bound, under the guise of Oracle, a free-lance information broker and expert hacker who has supported a number of different heroes, but most notably as the founder of and brains behind the Birds of Prey.

Helena Bertinelli

During the late 1990s a new Batgirl emerged. She was revealed to be the Huntress, Helena Bertinelli. An earthquake had leveled Gotham City, the government declared the city a no man'sland and Batman disappeared. To bring order to the city, the Huntress assumed the mantle of The Bat (she discovered criminals feared her more as Batgirl than they did when she was the Huntress). When Batman returned, he dubbed her "Batgirl" and said if she failed him, she would have to give up the costume.

When Huntress failed to protect Batman's territory from Two-Face and his gang of over 200 criminals on her own (while Batman himself was unconscious and tied up), he held her responsible and stripped her of the mantle. Huntress would later join Oracle's Birds of Prey, thus giving the group two former Batgirls.

Cassandra Cain

Cassandra Cain was a young woman of partly Asian descent who became the fourth Batgirl with the approval of both Batman and Barbara Gordon. She was given Helena Bertinelli's costume. Trained by her father, assassin David Cain, to be the ultimate martial artist and assassin, Cassandra was not taught to speak. Instead, the parts of her brain normally used for speech were trained so she could read other people's movements and body language and predict, with uncanny accuracy, their next move. This also caused her brain to develop learning functions different from most, a form of dyslexia that hampers her abilities to read and write. She eventually gave up the identity, but Cassandra remains Batgirl in the Titans East.


A young girl with various superpowers temporarily became the new Batgirl in the Birds of Prey, until Oracle told her to drop the identity. She has recently reappeared in a different outfit, under the alias Misfit. She became the third former Batgirl associated with the Birds of Prey.

Friend and Foe Profiles:

Ra's al Ghul
Talia al Ghul
Baby Doll
Bat-Hound (Ace)

The Dark Knight returns in 391 days!

22 June 2007

Indy's Back (Aches)

Harrison Ford is back in business. Let the anticipation continue.

21 June 2007

A Little Scare for Batman

According to a spy report on Superherohype.com Cillian Murphy was spotted on the Batman set. This is incredible news hinting that The Dark Knight may have another run-in with El Scarecrow. What do you all think? Good news?

Everyone Loves Pudding

Furious Iron Man Tidbit

Guess who is going to make a little appearance in Iron Man? None other than Nick Fury played by... you guessed it DAVID HASSELHOFF. He is reprising his role as the agent to lay the groundwork for an Avengers film.

Ok, I jest, the part will really be filled by mother ****ing snake hater Samuel L. This is another big win for Iron Man. The character of Ultimate Nick Fury was custom made for Sam, so its nice to see him actually get to play the dude. Iron Man just may be the next great superhero franchise.

Coming Soon - Transformers Animated

What will they think of next!? Transformers seem tailor made for an animated series. I can't wait! Hopefully they come out with Transformers toys soon. Those would rock!

Radar Blips - Hellboy

The Year: 2004

The Players: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and the voice of Niles from Frasier

The Take: $60 Million

Did someone say "Hell"?: Hellboy was the nickname for the cute little baby demon summoned from hell by Rasputin to usher in the apocalypse.

Why you should see it: There are quite a few nice throw down scenes between Hellboy and some demon resurrection dogs. Also, one of the bad guys can wind himself up into a killing machine, and if you take off his mask he doesn't have eyelids or lips. The whole premise of a government employed demon works here. Hellboy has some good one-liners, and overall the movie is just cool.

20 June 2007

Hulk Tease Puny Humans

Midweek Survey - Pixar Sequels

Which Pixar films would you like to get the sequel treatment?

The Spectacular Spider-Man

First look at the upcoming animated series.

19 June 2007

Rise of the Dark

Coming October 5 from Walden Media (the folks behind Chronicles of Narnia and Holes). Enjoy the posters! I don't know much about this book, but if you do, feel free to post your thoughts.

Ink Blots LXIX - Shrek the Third

I think I liked Shrek better when no one liked him. At the beginning of Shrek the Third, the not so jolly green ogre assumes the crown of far far away much to the joy of the townsfolk. What!? When did Sir Shrek become a hero to the people? I liked it when Shrek was being hunted and despised. rather than celebrated. Anyhow, Shrek, wanting nothing more than his simple swamp life, seeks out Justin Timberlake aka little Artie to rule in his stead. Hilarity ensues.

There were a couple of good jokes in the movie. I always enjoy the gingerbread man and a scene where his life flashed before his eyes was great. Also, Pinocchio's efforts to not lie while obscuring the truth earned a chuckle. Unfortunately, while Shrek 3 wasn't by any means a bad movie, it was just more of the same. More Evil Prince Charming, more grumpy Shrek, and more ugly Fiona. Fiona even gets a posse when she throws a baby shower for the little ogrelings in her belly. Of the group, Snow White was the best with a great homage to the Disney Snow White film ending in an animal assault.

Once again, the animation in Shrek the Third was top notch. Basically, Shrek the Third is a fairly good time (as long as your kid isn't continually trying to escape from the theatre) especially for fans of the first 2 films. The movie is raking in the cash zipping past Shrek 1's 267 mil and looking to close out around $320 mil or so. Still I doubt crowds are aching for the impending Shrek's 4 or 5, but Dreamworks can't stop shaking their main moneymaker. Shrek the Third isn't a total turd, but failing to really mix up the formula, Shrek 3 makes a C-.

18 June 2007

Bat Shark Repellant Not Included

Thanks to Tom Saville for pointing me to this higher quality image of the new bat duds.

I'm a DC

ACTUALS: Fantastic Four Surfs to the Top

Proving the superhero genre is still alive and well, The Fantastic Four sequel rose to the occasion capturing the weekend crown. Its $57 million take is slightly larger than the original's opening weekend total of $56 million. While the film will probably settle for around $150 million or so, the reasonable budget of $125 millionish will allow this film to turn a profit while at the box office. With toy sales and DVDs Marvel and Fox should be eager to get the ball rolling on the Silver Surfer solo film and also on a Fantastic Four - 3: Rise of H.E.R.B.I.E.

Shrek is closing in on the $300 million mega mark and should get there by next week. I am also ready to officially state that Pirates 3 has been a disappointment. It may not even get to $300 million (which was its purported budget) so even with its huge earnings its gonna have to wait for DVD release to get into the black. So far I am pretty happy with my predictions (aside from my $100 million overestimate of Pirates), we will see if this upcoming week's Evan Almighty does well enough to make the summer's top 9.

Current Rankings:

#9 Georgia Rule - $18,778,570 (-.-%)*
#8 28 Weeks Later - $28,031,155 (-.-%)*
#7 Surf's Up - $34,625,490 (-.-%)*
#6 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - $58,051,684 (33.1%)*
#5 Ocean's 13 - $70,429,741 (-.-%)*
#4 Knocked Up - $90,016,695 (-.-%)*
#3 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - $274,145,510 (69.1%)*
#2 Shrek the Third - $297,245,100 (91.4%)*
#1 Spider-Man 3 - $330,021,137 (86.8%)*

*Percentages earned relative to my predictions

My Predictions:

#9 Evan Almighty - $170,000,000
#8 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - $175,000,000
#7 The Bourne Ultimatum - $185,000,000
#6 Transformers - $205,000,000
#5 Ratatouille - $260,000,000
#4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - $275,000,000
#3 Shrek the Third - $325,000,000
#2 Spider-Man 3 - $380,000,000
#1 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - $395,000,000

Family Friendly Tarantino - Coming Soon From Aardman

Following the less successful but genius Were-Rabbit and near bomb Flushed Away, Aardman animation has regrouped and announced plans for its next slate of films. Projects include:

The Cat Burglars about milk thieving stray cats promising to be in the style of "family friendly Tarantino."

Operation Rudolph an actioner set on Christmas night showing the North Pole operation as an exhilarating ultra high-tech military procedure on a massive scale, revealing how Santa and his huge army of combat elves get round the whole world in one night.

Aardman is a great studio, not quite a Pixar but better than Disney, or Dreamworks. These sound like great films and much better than Sony (Aardman's new distributer) has been able to muster on its own.

From Variety,

Two months after announcing a three-year first-look deal with Sony Pictures, Aardman Features has unveiled a diverse slate of projects.

Lineup will be supervised by creative director Sarah Smith, who has been upped from head of development to the new role.

After stints as executive producer at the BBC and a string of comedy hits as a freelancer, Smith joined Aardman last year. Her impact on the claymation specialist has been immediate -- she has signed up a fleet of highly rated scribes for the Bristol-based animation powerhouse.

Smith has signed writers Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah ("Life on Mars") to work with director Steve Box on comedy heist "The Cat Burglars." The film about milk thieving stray cats will be in Aardman's trademark stop-frame claymation and combine the comedy action of Nick Park and Box's "Wallace and Gromit" feature with the cool styling of "Ocean's Eleven," Aardman claims. Box promises auds something altogether fresh -- "family friendly Tarantino."

Aardman co-founder Peter Lord returns to the director's chair for the first time since "Chicken Run" in 2000 with a comedy adventure based on the "Pirates" series of books penned by Gideon Defoe. Lord, Defoe and writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil, whose credits include the sitcom "Hyperdrive" and animation series "Slacker Cats," are working on the screenplay.

Also signed up to Aardman by Smith is Peter Baynham, one of the writers on "Borat," who is developing "Operation Rudolph," an actioner set on Christmas night. The Christmas movie shows the North Pole operation as an exhilarating ultra high-tech military procedure on a massive scale, revealing how Santa and his huge army of combat elves get round the whole world in one night.

Additionally, Nick Park is developing a new project. Details are not yet released but it is not another "Wallace and Gromit," according to an Aardman spokesperson.

"I'm passionate about matching the brilliance of Aardman's filmmakers with the very best talent in British comedy screenwriting," commented Smith. "This is an interesting time in the animation industry -- while there is clearly still a big appetite among cinemagoers for great animated films, there is a feeling of sameness about much of the product coming out of the industry at present, in terms of their stories. I think there's a great opportunity to excite audiences by raising the stakes in terms of the quality, intelligence and variety of the stories our animated films tell and the genres they inhabit."

Batpod Forever

Just a few days after the reveal of the new batcycle, another 2-wheel bat vehicle dubbed the "Batpod" is being unveiled. According to an article in the LAtimes. com,

It's not just because it's tricked out with grappling hooks, cannons and machine guns. The front and rear tires are both a monstrously huge 508 millimeters, and the engines are in the hubs of each wheel. Steering isn't by hand but by shoulder, since there aren't handlebars. Instead, there are shields that fit each arm like sleeves and have the ability to rotate around the bike's frame. The two foot pegs are set 3 1/2 feet apart on either side of the tank, which the rider lies on, belly down.

That tank also moves up and down — you know, in case Batman needs to dodge bullets or slide under semis.

And you know he will.

Sounds cool. Can't wait for 2008. Here is one other pic from filmick.

Before Heroes There Was The 4400

The television show The 4400 returned last night for season 4 on of all places the USA network. For fans of Smallville, Heroes or the superhero genre, this show is worth checking out. In the first season, 4400 people that has been abducted throughout the last 50 or so years were all returned at the same time to a lake outside of Seattle Washington. It is later discovered that some of these 4400 returnees have new enhanced abilities. Most are your standard fair healing, telepathy, etc, but some are sort of unique - the ability to make a plague from blistering skin, the ability to create alternate realities. What is more interesting is the manner in which they use their abilities, the effects of which are shaping the future. You see, it wasn't aliens that abducted and modified these 4400 people, it was the future trying to prevent a catastrophe.

The show centers around a couple of National Threat Assessment Command (NTAC) agents who manage the 4400 affairs often dealing with mini crises. While its not the greatest show ever, its pretty good for a summer hiatus show, and though the creators of Heroes claim to have never seen the 4400, they also claim to have never read X-Men, which is clearly untrue.

So if you've got the USA network and are looking for a new show to try out, give the 4400 a shot.