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?