16 February 2008

The Friends and Foes of Batman - Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter, inspired by the dude from Alice in Wonderland, debuted in 1948. He has appeared on the live-action TV series, and in Batman: The Animated Series.

Jervis Tetch is fascinated with hats of all shapes and sizes, as well as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass, particularly favoring the chapter 'A Mad Tea Party'. He is obsessive-compulsive, highly delusional, suffers from psychotic manic depression, and can even sometimes be homicidal. He exhibits delusions and thought processes typical of schizophrenia. Not only is he often known to quote and reference Carroll's Wonderland novels, but he often fails to discern between these stories and reality. As shown in Secret Six, he won't eat a piece of food that doesn't have a hat on it. It has been hinted in recent years that he is a pedophile, kidnapping little girls with the name "Alice".

In his first appearance, the Mad Hatter attempted to steal a trophy from the Gotham Yacht Club, but was foiled by Batman while he tried to rob spectators from a high society horseshow. Tetch was subsequently sent to Arkham Asylum.

Later a different, moustached Mad Hatter appeared, claiming to be Jervis Tetch, but he was revealed as an impostor and subsequently disposed of once the real Tetch re-appeared.

The real Jervis Tetch came back in 1981. Tetch had with him a pet monkey (named Carroll Lewis, although the Hatter claimed the monkey refuses to tell him how it came to have the name), as well as a mind-erasing machine. Tetch claimed to have killed his impostor, but that turned out to be untrue when the impostor returned one last time in 1987.

It was in 1983's that Tetch was first portrayed with the mind-controlling devices for which he is now best known. He even slipped one into Scarecrow's hat and took control of him for a short time. Tetch seemed to have died under the wheels of a train, but that turned out to have been another trick.

In the Knightfall saga, the Mad Hatter was the first to strike from the breakout of Arkham. He invited all criminals to a tea party to which Batman and Robin would come. One of the criminals was Film Freak, whom he sends to find the person who broke them out of Arkham. Batman and Robin come and defeat the Mad Hatter as Film Freak is killed by Bane.

Tetch had even kidnapped Lucius Fox of Wayne Enterprises and held him for ransom. Once again, Tetch was stopped by Batman, but not before using his advanced equipment to feed information from Fox's mind into his computer.

Tetch at one point became so obsessed with Alice in Wonderland that he began kidnapping assorted people in Gotham and dressing them up like characters from the story. He managed to kidnap Lt. Gordon's adopted daughter, Barbara Gordon, and cast her in the title role. The combined efforts of Batman and Gordon led to Tetch's defeat and Barbara's safe return.

In another caper, Tetch devised a plan to implant his mind control devices in Walkmen, which he gave out to young girls at Dick Grayson's school in order to sell the young girls to millionaire third-world dictator Generalissimo Lee. The young Robin managed to defeat the Mad Hatter.

One of Tetch's latest plans consisted of implanting his devices in "free coffee and donuts" tickets he handed out in front of the police stations in Gotham. That plan had him controlling most of the cops in the city. He even had Gotham police detectives Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya break into a bank for him. Sasha Bordeaux helped Batman stop him this time around.

Tetch shows up in Gotham after it is rocked by a devastating earthquake. He adds to his body count, callously murdering a policeman. His goal is to unearth a trove of valuables, which in the end turn out to be classic hats.

More recently, Tetch tried to escape Arkham Asylum with the aid of a guard under mind control. The guard fired on police and died in return fire. Tetch was shot multiple times and left in critical condition. It was thought he might have died, but a small appearance later revealed he was working for Black Mask and proved otherwise.

While working with Black Mask, Tetch implanted a mind control chip directly into Killer Croc's brain, which caused him to mutate again due to the virus he was injected with by Hush and The Riddler. Croc embarked on a quest to get revenge on those responsible for his mutation, and started with Tetch. Batman arrived in time to save Tetch, but Croc escaped.

The Dark Knight returns in 153 days!

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - Litmus (1x06)

Oe of the previously seen Human Cylons reappears and suicide bombs Galactica. This forces the higher ups to reveal that Cylons look like humans. There will be repercussions here, but in the mean time an independent tribunal convenes to point the finger of blame for this incident.

So, Chief Tyrol and Boomer were continuing their romance against orders, and meeting in secret. Boomer left one of the hatches open during their midnight meeting (likely on purpose) allowing the bomber to obtain the explosives. One of the Chiefs crew confesses to protect the Chief and is put in prison. The chief confesses to Adama, but is told that the crewman still lied under oath and must be punished. The Chief is told that he is too important to be put in the brig, but he is going to have to live with the guilt of what happened to his loyal crewman. The Chief ends it with Boomer, but still doesnt turn her in for the previous water bombings.

In the meantime, the tribunal goes mad with power accusing even Adama of collusion with the Cylons for not revealing their human secret sooner. He disbands the tribunal.

Also, Helo rescues Boomer #2. He loves her.

The Chief really screwed up, and it was good to see him feel horrible for doing so. Anyways, the next few episodes really benefit from this one. Now that the fleet knows Cylons look like humans, paranoia ensues. Anyone could be a Cylon. This was a pretty good episode, kinda like an episode of JAG or something, but nothing really put it over the top. 4 out of 5 suicide bombers.

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - You Can't Go Home Again (1x05)

The search for Starbuck continues. The Adama boys use ridiculous amounts of fuel searching for Starbuck's crashed ship, and linger far too long in the sector. They stay beyond the capacity of her oxygen supply (she may have had a reserve supply) putting Adama again at odds with President Roslin. But just when hope has faded, a Cylon Raider appears. Apollo tries to shoot it down, but its one evasive SOB.

Turns out Starbuck gutted the crashed Raider (its part mechanical and part biological), and figured out how to control it- bringing Galactica a nice prize.

Finally, Galactica got a break. After four episodes of deaths and losses, finding Starbuck in this desperate situation was very powerful. This episode also set up some crucial points. This Raider will come in handy later, and Starbuck's broken leg will keep her out of the action for a while. Also, on Caprica, Sharon fakes getting captured to test her newfound love with Helo...
Great episode. 5 out of 5 gutted Cylons.

Watch the dogfight from the previous episode, sorry its not in English:

Everyone Loves Jell-O, Even Wolverine

According to Comingsoon.net, Sabretooth will have company taking on Wolvy in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in the form of the massive, immovable BLOB.

I would love to see Wolverine slice and dice that fat bastard.

15 February 2008

Smashing Hulk

If this is really what Hulk is gonna look like, better be careful not to piss him off!

Batmanime First Look - UPDATE: NEW LINK

This looks pretty amazing. So, we get to also see anime Deadshot, Scarecrow and Killer Croc. Not sold on Croc, but the other two should be fantastic.

14 February 2008

13 February 2008

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - Act of Contrition (1x04)

This is part one of two focusing on the fall and rise of Starbuck. The episode opens with a lighter mood. Flattop is celebrating his 1,000th landing, until a drone breaks free of a rack and fires, killing like half the pilots. Oops. Mood darkens.

Now, Comander Adama looks to Starbuck to train some new "nuggets," as she has formerly been a flight trainer. Little does he know, Starbuck passed Adama's son Zach in flight school, even though he sucked, because she was in love with him. Then he crashed and died. Oh the guilt. Now she doesn't want to have any of the new guys die on her watch. Anyhow, she winds up training Hot Dog (Edward James Olmos' real life son, "thanks for the job dad"), Kat (who only ceases to annoy upon her death episode), and Chuckles (dies after like 2 more episodes). During the training, a Cylon Patrol appears. Starbuck takes on 8 ships. Hot Dog shoots one, and breaks his ship. Starbuck shoots 7, but crashes on a toxic moon. TO BE CONTINUED...

It was nice to have the Zach/ Starbuck story told, and the scene when Starbuck confessed to Adama was very powerful. Also the Starbuck dogfight was superb. Another quality episode, but I am reserving top marks for the very best. 4 out of 5 Hot Dogs.

Watch it:

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - Bastille Day (1x03)

Well, found water the fleet did, but in ice form. Mining the water required massive manpower, so the leadership decided to offer the job detail to a ship full of prisoners on the ironically named Astral Queen. What they did not count on was that terrorist leader Tom Zerak was on board. Tom takes over the ship holding Apollo hostage.

Apollo, a bit of a "radical thinker" himself negotiates a deal with Zarek that pisses off both his father and the President. Elections will be held within a year to legitimize the Secretary of Education (who no one voted for) as President. And the Astral Queeners get to run their own ship in exchange for mining the water.

Baltar manages to obtain a nuclear warhead to create his Cylon detector, with a little help from his invisible Cylon friend.

Oh, and fake Boomer and Helo are still on Caprica falling in love and trying to survive.

The mood of this episode was very dark, most of it taking place in the prison. Tom will be a pretty major player later on, and this was a pretty good introduction. The tension was palatable throughout, and the episode really establishes Apollo as the "hero" of the series. It also hints that he may make a good lawyer someday (perhaps in season 3). Although there weer no Cylon battles, there was a nice raid on the prison. Again, this was pretty good, but not quite up there with the greats. 4 out of 5 freedom points.

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - Water (1x02)

Boomer reverted to Cylon mission mode and destroyed the Galactica's water supply, apparently without her own knowledge. This placed the fleet in crisis mode looking for water in barren space. This also began an investigation as to who on Galactica may be a Cylon operative. Chief Tyrol, lover of Boomer, really should have come clean with his knowledge of Boomer's strange activities, but he covered for her thinking she had been "set up." Maybe some day someone will cover for him if it turns out he is a Cylon as well. :)

Adama and Roslin enjoy a brief honeymoon before they start to clash on major issues, and Lee, as military adviser to Roslin and son of Adam gets caught in the middle.

This episode was pretty good. It gave an idea of how the fleet was coping with everyday issues like water and food. Not too much action, but the Boomer plot added a bit of intrigue. 4 out of 5 JPs of water.


12 February 2008

Kung Fu Panda Trailer 2

My three year old thinks it looks good... At least its not Shrek 4 (yet).

11 February 2008

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - 33 (1x01)

This first regular series episode is in my top 5 of the entire series run. The episode opens during the 5th day of nonstop Cylon attacks occurring every 33 minutes. Each cycle, the entire fleet must calculate a Faster Than Light (FTL) jump. Galactica launches Vipers to fend off Cylon Raiders while the fleet jumps. Then Galactica jumps. Everyone is exhausted, having performed the routine over 200 times. Eventually, one ship is left behind, and the pattern in broken. Then the ship inexplicably shows up. Fearing that this ship, the Olympic Carrier, has been compromised, it and its 1,300+ passengers are blown up by the fleet.

This episode is extremely tense, capturing the desperation of the characters who are fighting for the survival of their species against terrible odds. Its a definite 5 out of 5 Vipers.

Watch it for yourself.

Hobbit Back in its Hole?

According to ComingSoon.Net, looks like Peter Jackson wasn't the only one who didn't get his cut of the LOTR gold. Now the Tolkien estate is suing as well. Way to go New Line. Only time will tell what this means for Bilbo of the 10 fingers.

The estate of "Lord of the Rings" creator J.R.R. Tolkien is suing New Line Cinema, claiming the company failed to pay a cut of gross profits for the blockbuster films. Here is today's statement from The Tolkien Trust:

The trustees of The Tolkien Trust, a British charity, have filed an action against New Line Cinema for its failure to pay a contractually required gross profit participation in the three films based on the world-famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. The trustees of the estate of JRR Tolkien and HarperCollins Publishers are co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The suit was filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The Lord of the Rings films produced by New Line are among the most financially successful films ever created by Hollywood and were released in 2001, 2002 and 2003 respectively. The cumulative worldwide gross receipts to date total nearly $6 billion. Notwithstanding the overwhelming financial success of the films, and the fact that the plaintiffs have a gross participation in each of the films, New Line has failed to pay the plaintiffs any portion of the gross profit participation at all.

The trustees' UK lawyer, Steven Maier, of Manches LLP, said: "The Tolkien trustees do not file lawsuits lightly, and have tried unsuccessfully to resolve their claims out of court. But in this case, New Line has left them no option at all. New Line has not paid the plaintiffs even one penny of its contractual share of gross receipts despite the billions of dollars of gross revenue generated by these wildly successful motion pictures. To make matters worse, to date New Line has even prevented the plaintiffs from auditing the last two films of the series. The trustees are very aggrieved by New Line's arrogance."

The complaint seeks, among other things, in excess of $150 million in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages, and a declaration from the Court that the plaintiffs have a right to terminate any further rights New Line may have to the Tolkien works under the agreements, including The Hobbit, due to the serious and material nature of the breach of the agreements.

Bonnie Eskenazi, the trustees' US counsel who filed the complaint, said, "New Line has brought new meaning to the phrase 'creative accounting.' I cannot imagine how on earth New Line will argue to a jury that these films could gross literally billions of dollars, and yet the creator's heirs, who are entitled to a share of gross receipts, don't get a penny."

JRR Tolkien is the world-renowned author of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit." The Tolkien Trust is a UK registered charity that has made grants to charitable causes all over the world totaling over $8 million in the last five years alone

10 February 2008

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - Miniseries (0x01)

April hails the return of the great Battlestar Galactica. My challenge is to rewatch the first three seasons in preparation for that monumental event (its been on hiatus for a year). My plan is to post a brief recap after each episode to take you all along the journey with me.

The series began with the miniseries. It began kinda slow introducing us to the main characters and the Cylons. Man created the Cylons who in terminator / matrix fashion rebelled. An armistice was signed, and 40 uneventful years passed. The Cylons evolved, some taking human form, and they have decided to repay humanity with a genocidal attack. One of the "hot" models, no. 6, seduced the head scientist of the defense department and sabotaged the computer networks making the invasion a "sure thing." It is the day of Galactica's decommissioning. She is antiquated with old computers and networks, and is more of a tourist attraction, complete with gift shop and museum, than battleship.

Once the Cylons attack, they unleash a virus disabling all modern ships. A massacre ensues. When the dust settles, the Secretary of Education has succeeded to the office of President over a mere 49,000 survivors in a quest for the 13th colony on our Earth (but when?).

Quite a grim beginning to a grim series, ending with the revelation that Boomer, one of Galactica's pilots is also a Cylon. There are 12 human models, but many copies of each. Who are the others?

So for newcomers, here is a rundown of the important characters:

Commander Bill "Husker" Adama - Fleet Commander
Colonel Saul Tigh - XO, Lush
President Laura Roslin - President of the Colonies, Terminal cancer patient
Lieutenant Kara "Starbuck" Thrace - Hot shot pilot, former lover of Zach (dead) Adama
Captain Lee "Apollo" Adama - Son of Bill Adama, Commander Air Group (CAG)
Dr. Gaius Baltar - Self preservationalist, Accidental and secret traitor responsible for the destruction of the 12 colonies.
Lieutenant Sharon "Boomer" Valerii - Pilot, Doesn't know it, but she is a Cylon sleeper agent
Lieutenant Karl "Helo" Agathon - Stranded on the planet Caprica, Gave up his seat on the rescue ship to Baltar
Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol - Fixes the ships
Number 6 - Cylon, Duped Baltarinto giving her access to the defense mainframe, Exisits somehow in Baltar's mind

Overall, its a great start that, for a miniseries, set up a lot of interesting plot lines. It sure is a good thing the series got a greenlight because the mini hardly tied up anything. For a 3 hr show, I could have used one more good space battle. Also, since I know how good the series can be, I give this episode 4 Vipers out of 5.