Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Instant album cover

This is a fun little art project if you have a minute. I saw this on Pop Candy, but the idea comes from this blog here. Welcome to the CD Cover Meme. Here's what you do to create your very own album:
Click on the link above. Scroll down to the bottom and copy down the last four words of the last quote. That's your album title.
Click the link above. The title of the article is you band name.
Finally click above. the third photo is your album cover.

Now just put it all together and see what you've got :) Here are three CD covers that I made. I think they all look fairly believable.

Original photo found HERE.

Original photo found HERE.

Original photo found HERE.

Pretty cool eh? I know I only used three words on two of the covers, but it just made more sense. And basically I think this proves that all cool sounding bands really need is a good dose of haphazardness. Try it out and let me know what you get in the comments. :)

Star Wars revealed

In case you haven't seen it yet. Probably the most astute deconstruction of Star Wars ever...

Genius. Sheer genius.

Silver Surfer coming... one day

FINALLY we have some more news on the Silver Surfer film. A year or so ago Marvel was touting the Surfer as one of its projects on the horizon; maybe not for immediate action, but something that they were going to address eventually. But since then they haven't mentioned him at all. The last news we heard was in June after FF2 came out, that Marvel had hired the ever amazing writer J Michael Straczynski to write a screenplay for the proposed prequel film. Well at Wondercon this past week Straczynski had an hour long panel all to himself and he briefly touched on his work on the film.

According to this report from Newsarama he has finished the screenplay and turned it in to FOX. Specifically regarding the content of the film, Newsarama reports "it will cover the origin of the character. He said it will feature Galactus, noting that the latest Fantastic Four film held off on showing Galactus to reveal him for this film. "

Nice. I'm glad they at least have a script now. And the note that Galactus will finally be explained on film. Revealed to be... hopefully more than just the cloud of smoke we saw in Fantastic Four. It all sounds good. With Marvel's plans to release one film in '09, and then 2 a year each year following that I think it might be a little while before the Surfer hits our screens; I just hope its not too long. This is just speculation here, but 2011, or 2012 seem likely candidates for a timeframe.

More on this as it develops...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Justice League lives again

With the writers strike over Warner Brothers have apparently decided to reconnect the seemingly firmly unplugged Justice League movie. Rumor has been swirling since the strike ended that the WB planned to start up production again on this project but today Variety confirmed that there is a plan in effect now to get Justice League in theaters sometime in 2009.

The actors have been advised to continue training for their roles, and director George Miller is still prepping in Australia, despite recent rumors that production may be moving to Canada. The script is apparently being polished, and I think the time being taken is a good thing. Oh don't get me wrong I still think this is a very bad idea; but if its going to be done, at least they should try to do it right. Speaking of which there have been some in my opinion, rather mean spirited rumors that the film would get going now WITHOUT the characters of Superman or Batman appearing, but those are unconfirmed and I think rather ridiculous; those are marquee characters and it simply wouldn't be JLA without them. Speaking of which AICN reports that big bad ass looking actor Hugh Keays-Byrne has been cast as the Martian Manhunter in the film. Also it's been mentioned that the title of the film may have been changed to "Justice League: Mortal". ummm... okay. I suppose there is the whole thing about how the Justice League of America might not play so well around the world, but isn't that kind of like hiding who these characters are a bit, I mean that's what the comic is, why should it be different in the film.

Anyhow, I can't say I'm super stoked about this news, but at least they can now take their time to try to make it right. And I know I will be excited to see these characters on screen. Just for now I have to wonder if it wouldn't be better to just let this lie for a bit. I mean Warner's is like 10 years late to the comic book film bandwagon already (totally absurd considering they own DC comics) so why not wait another year or two. Personally I'd be all for a solo Wonder Woman, solo Flash, and solo Green Lantern movie (well maybe with a few other Lanterns so not technically solo) instead of a rushed Justice League film. Sigh... I just hope they get Aquaman right ;)

The Fall trailer

This trailer for the upcoming film The Fall is a weird looking to say the least. Weird and beautiful. I suppose that's what should be expected from avant guarde director of The Cell, and soon to be helmer of the updated version of Westworld, a man so ballsy he simply goes by Tarsem. Check out this really interesting trailer.

Definitely pretty something different eh? The film will open in limited release this March.

Wondercon '08 - Starship Troopers 3 panel

One of my great guilty pleasures is the first Starship Troopers film. I LOVE it. And the crazy thing is when I saw it like a lot of people I think, I absolutely hated it. But I think that first time I wasn't really taking the film for what it was. Starship Troopers works on a lot of levels, yes its a silly action movie about giant bugs, but its also a commentary on war, on society, on media, and on our very natures. I know its easy to lose that in the communal shower scenes, and the gallons of bug blood flying everywhere but there is a really quirky, tounge-in-cheek commentary going on throughout. I wouldn't say it reaches the introspectiveness of the book, which by everyones account including my own, is a genuine sci fi classic; but the film does have some meaning and I think value, if you know how to appreciate it.

Then came the cartoon. To this day one of the tightest most interesting cartoons ever made, Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles. I'm not even sure how to describe how great this show was, I HIGHLY recommend you check it out though. You can find it all on dvd, and I recommend the Paul Verhoeven approved master edition.

I've watched the first Starship Troopers film maybe 30 times. Its honestly one of my all time favorite films. The second film on the other hand I've only seen twice. It's not to say that its bad, but it was such a smaller budget and the story was so small, I enjoyed it definitely, but it didn't have anything new to say or show; and that's unfortunate.

Thankfully though Starship Troopers 3: Marauder is on the way, and this year at Wondercon I was lucky enough to attend the panel. In attnedance were Johnny Rico himself Casper Van Dien, and the lovely Jolene Blalock, of Enterprise fame, as well as the director, and writer of not just the Starship Troopers film but also RoboCop, Mr. Ed Neumeier. They began by screening the trailer for us which was handily just launched online today. Check it out.

Then they talked a bit about production and took questions from the audience. I have to say I was impressed with the look of the film, especially as compared to the second one. And I think everyone agrees that its great to have Casper Van Dien back. He was really a goofball during the Q&A, which somehow didn't surprise me... but it was fun. here are some of the points they covered.

They made the movie over a long period, almost 6 months, filmed in South Africa. This is the directorial debut of Ed Neumeier and he said he really enjoyed the process. He also said that the process of getting this film made was interesting. After the first film was a commercial success, but mix bag for critics the sequel became a tough sell to Sony; especially since regime changes in studio management left mostly people who didn't "get" the film in charge. They were given a pittance to make the second film, but once that actually made pretty decent money on dvd sales the studfio was forced to reassess their Starship Troopers strategy. When then came to Ed to ask if he wanted to make another one, they apparently told him that they wished they had invested more mney in the second film, and wanted to try to make it up with this third film. So while Marauder is not a huge budget film, and is scheduled to go directly to dvd as opposed to in theaters it is still expected to be bigger better and more bad ass than the previos installment.

The cast took a number of standard questions about what filming was like, how it was to work together and the like. Van Dien did mention that we can definitely expect to see the 'bounce' drops of the exo-suits from the book in this film. In fact I had forgotten, those suits are called Marauders, so they should play a big part in the film. There were three new types of bugs invented for this film. One of them you see in the trailer, the 'bombadier' bug which is basically a hand grenade, and a scorpion style bug which shoots energy blasts from it tail. The third type they chose to keep secret for now.

After that they showed us a bit more footage, which uniformly looked fun and bloody. I think they're really going to get back to the social commentary elements of the movie the "would you like to know more" sections and the like, becuase Neumeier mentioned how that was lacking the the second film.

Overall I have to say I was very happy with the panel. And it was great to see Casper Van Dien in person. If I have one complaint its that NPH isn't in this film. Although they did say they asked him to be in it, playing the Sky Marshall no less, but with his schedule for How I Met Your Mother he decided to pass. Regardless, I think this should be a pretty cool flick and I am definitely looking forward to it.

Starship Troopers: Marauder comes out on dvd July 15th, 2008.

Wondercon '08 - Spectacular Spider-Man

At the San Diego Comic con this past year I was glad to get a chance to attend the panel for the new Spectacular Spider-Man animated series. And now at this year's Wonder-con I have actually seen the first episode. As a refresher, this series is set some 4 months after Uncle Ben has died, Peter is still in high school, and this version of the story includes Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, Harry and Norman Osbourne. No one has died, there's on weird continuity to remember, just know that basically it's got everyone in it. Check out the trailer...

At the SDCC Q&A panel the series creators suggested that they were going to try to have every single character seen on screen be someone really referenced from the comics. But rather than be a strict tribute they were not going to stress about mixing things up a bit. And from this pilot I have to say both of those tenants hold true. The first story, Called "Survival of the Fittest", sees Peter / Spidey fighting The Enforcers, and a very revamped and updated The Vulture. voiced superbly by Robert Englund. I have to say right off I loved the fact that The Enforcers were in the episode. They have not been seen very often on film and are really cool characters. One notable character was surprisingly missing though, Mary Jane, but then intead Gwen Stacy was in the story throughout, playing the Chloe to Peter's Clark (if you get the Smallville reference). Its a thankless role though that I definitely wasn't expecting to see her in.

Aside from that interesting development though, my biggest shock as a fan of the comics came in the story and presentation of this first episode. I was just amazed by was the sheer volume of character seen. I finally got what they meant when they said everyone would be someone. In this episode alone, although not addressed specifically, we see as mostly background players Norman and Harry Obsourne (obviously Green Goblins 1 and 2), Flint Marko (Sandman), Dr Curt Conners (Lizard), Eddie Brock (Venom, and recast as Gwen's brother?!), Hammerhead, Kingpin, Flash Thompson, Liz Allen, Betty Brant, and even more I'm sure more I'm forgetting. I was surprised to be so entertained simply by the waiting for the 'who will pop up next' factor.

That all aside though taken as a story unto itself, this episode was pretty decent. I think the show may be written a bit younger than I was hoping for, aiming a bit more at the tween crowd than the teen one, but there was more than enough there to entertain the likes of me. I enjoyed most of the twists and turns in the episode and felt that the animation was very appropriate for the feel of the show. It's simple but good. Solid, but I doubt it will be executed on par with say the Legion of Superheroes cartoon. I liked it overall though, and definitely intend to watch it when it officially premieres on the Kids WB this March 8th, 2008.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar winners '08

Here are the winner's of you 80th Academy Awards...

Winners in RED.

Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman - Juno
Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood

George Clooney - Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones - In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises

Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie - Away From Her
Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney - The Savages
Ellen Page - Juno

Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook - Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
Ruby Dee - American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan - Atonement
Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

Christopher Hampton - Atonement
Sarah Polley - Away From Her
Ronald Harwood - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood

Diablo Cody - Juno
Nancy Oliver - Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
Brad Bird - Ratatouille
Tamara Jenkins - The Savages

Beaufort (Israel)
The Counterfeiters (Austria)
Katyn (Poland)
Mongol (Kazakhstan)
12 (Russia)

Surf's Up

American Gangster
Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Golden Compass
Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
There Will Be Blood
Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Roger Deakins - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Seamus McGarvey - Atonement
Janusz Kaminski - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Roger Deakins - No Country for Old Men
Robert Elswit - There Will Be Blood

Albert Wolsky - Across the Universe
Jacqueline Durran - Atonement
Alexandra Byrne - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Marit Allen - La Vie en Rose
Colleen Atwood - Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Taxi to the Dark Side

Christopher Rouse - The Bourne Ultimatum
Juliette Welfling - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jay Cassidy - Into the Wild
Roderick Jaynes - No Country for Old Men
Dylan Tichenor - There Will Be Blood

Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald - La Vie en Rose
Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji - Norbit
Ve Neill and Martin Samuel - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Dario Marianelli - Atonement
Alberto Iglesias - The Kite Runner
James Newton Howard - Michael Clayton
Michael Giacchino - Ratatouille
Marco Beltrami - 3:10 to Yuma

"Falling Slowly" - Once
Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova
"Happy Working Song" - Enchanted
Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
"Raise It Up" - August Rush
Nominees to be determined "So Close" - Enchanted
Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
"That's How You Know" - Enchanted
Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis - The Bourne Ultimatum
Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland - No Country for Old Men
Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane - Ratatouille
Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe - 3:10 to Yuma
Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin - Transformers

Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg - The Bourne Ultimatum
Skip Lievsay - No Country for Old Men
Randy Thom and Michael Silvers - Ratatouille
Matthew Wood - There Will Be Blood
Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins - Transformers

Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood - The Golden Compass
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier - Transformers

La Corona (The Crown)
Salim Baba
Sari's Mother

I Met the Walrus
Madame Tutli-Putli
Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)
My Love (Moya Lyubov)
Peter & the Wolf

At Night
Il Supplente (The Substitute)
Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)
Tanghi Argentini
The Tonto Woman


Based on my obviously terrible predictions I only got 7/24 correct. Funny thing, when I made those predictions I hadn't seen barely any of the films. Now, having seen almost all of them, during our Oscar party this weekend I also only got 7/24 correct. Man I'm bad at this...

Oh well, it was a good show at least.

Wondercon '08 - personal shenanigans

This weekend may have been the big Oscar hoopla; but here in San Francisco it was also that time of year again. The time for Wonder-con. This year as I mentioned a while ago I just didn't have time to drop by for very long. Inn fact I really only spent about half the day on Saturday there, which kinda sucked because I had to miss out on many a fine sounding panel discussion; but overall I'd definitely say I still had a really great time. Since I simply can't afford to make it down to San Diego every year, its nice that there is a cool con up here for the local Bay area crowd.

My thought with the convention floor, when I first got there, was pretty simple. I was planning on wandering around for a little bit, seeing if I could find a 50% off trade paperback seller grab a few odds and ends and then head off to the panels. This is a big show and growing every year but the booths aren't huge, and while there's a lot of space, it's pretty manageable. Lucky for me too because I found a 50% comic booth almost right away and so I went to work. My thought was that I'd pick up a few bits and pieces I've been missing, see if I couldn't complete my Swamp Thing run, grab the latest trades of Fables here, and Hellboy there, then maybe wrap it up with an Essential or two. Instead I decided to go another way.

The great thing about these 50% bins is that if you see a run of something you'd been meaning to pick up but were too intimidated because of the length, this is a great opportunity. Like how I've been wanting to catch up on the Ultimate X-Men line for a few years now, but I was put off knowing that it was already 16 volumes strong and still going. That's a lot of investment, especially at $14 a pop. So last year at SD comic con I bought them all at 50% off, and felt honestly justified in the price. That kind of value is just too good to pass up.

This year however as Erica and I are seriously looking at buying a new residence, we don't have that kind of disposable cash. So I kept myself to a limit of $65. Which I thought was pretty good. I ended up picking up the first 6 volumes of Marvel's House of M event. And since there are only 3 more in the series, followed by I think 6 follow ups in Decimation, this is a good start. And reading this event will finally get me up to speed on leading into Marvel's big cross company event from this year Civil War. I was looking at the graphic novels for that and there are seriously like 15 of em... gonna take me forever to buy and read those, hopefully they stay in print long enough. Sheesh...

Also, aside from the comics I picked up a bootleg dvd of a tv series I've been wanting to see for a very long time, G.I. Joe Extreme. As most of you can probably tell, I am a bit of a G.I. Joe nut. I have all the dvds that have been released, expect for that Sigma Six crap, and am REALLY looking forward to the movie. Extreme was a show that I totally missed in it's life on the small screen and I am sad I did. Basically it was a short lived tv series, and direct follow up show to the Real American Hero series we all know and love. Extreme was on for two seasons in '95 and '96 and stared a new cast of Joes, led by the bad ass Lt. Stone, against the forces of S.K.A.R. (Soldiers of Kaos, Anarchy, and Ruin) and their leader the masked Ironclaw... here check out the opening credits...

Very 90's, eh? Totally extreme! And totally awesome! Anyhow, after watching two episodes so far, I understand why kids might not have really gone for it, the show isn't bad per say; it just isn't all that original. But I'm really glad I picked it up, its cool to see these bootlegs finally. If I'd had another $20 I would've definitely picked up the unaired Global Frequency television pilot... maybe next time.

So other than the shopping and the wandering I did manage to hit two panels. One was for the new Spectacular Spider-Man animated tv series set to air this fall, and the other was for Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, where I actually got to see Casper Van Dien and Jolene Blalock live in person! I think I'll post a report of those panels on their own though, just easier for future reference. In the meantime though, why not check out some of more pics I took around the con. I didn't go too nuts on the photos this year, but then again I only had a few hours.

I will definitely say Wonder-con is a great convention. Every year, even if I just drop by for a single day I've enjoyed it. And one of these years I'll really do it right. Take the Friday off work and just spend the whole weekend seeing stuff. Maybe next year will finally be that time. Until then, enjoy these last few pics :)



Sunday, February 24, 2008

X-Files 2 trailer

Check out this sneaked new trailer footage of the trailer for the new X-Files film, shown off at Wondercon this weekend. And no I didn't take it, this is care of AICN. But make sure to watch it now before it's gone.

Personally I'm just not sure how excited I am. But I guess I was never one of those obsessive fans. I believe X-Files 2 is still filming now, but it's scheduled to come out on July 25th, '08. So it really won't be too long a wait I guess.

Hasbro partners with Universal

Just this past week, Hasbro signed an exclusive deal with Universal Studios to bring a number of it's properties to the big screen. No not Transformers, or G.I. Joe, those are already taken, but a heap of other stuff has fallen into Universals grubby little paws with this deal. Whether they can actually make something of it is another story.

With a first film proposed to hit theaters in 2010 or 2011 Universal will release at least one Hasbro film a year thereafter. Universal is still working out which property will be the first to hit theaters, but speculation is leaning towards a Monopoly movie, or perhaps something tied into Ouija. Already somewhat in the works, Michael Bay's Platinum Dune company has signed on as producers for the Ouija film, and Ridley Scott is currently in negotiations to be involved in a Monopoly movie.

I know, sounds kinds crazy right? I mean yes I understand there was a pretty funny Clue movie made once upon a time, but really?! I mean really?!!? is this what we've come to... I get that you can probably make money off of most anything, but for every Pirates of the Caribbean, there's also a Haunted Mansion or a Country Bears. Are we really going down this route with Hasbro?

Lets just have a gander through Hasbro's property catalog shall we... These are one that stand out to me as popular, interesting, or things that would be just funny as a film. Obviously there are some things like Spider-Man which Hasbro makes toys for that are licensed properties and probably aren't included in this deal. That said Habsro owns A LOT, with Kenner, Tonka, Galoob, Playskool and more as various subsidiary companies. Battle Beasts (you know how I feel about this, might be a license though), Easy Bake Oven, Jem and the Holograms (maybe licensed), Lite-Brite, Mr Potato Head (you know this one is definitely coming), and Spirograph, Of course, most of the articles I've read on this mention specifically the Stretch Armstrong property... and a number of board games. As Hasbro is the worlds biggest board game manufacturer, owning the Parker Bros, Milton Bradley, Avalon Hill brands. Some of their most popular agmes include: Candyland (I would let Tim Burton direct this one), Magic: The Gathering, Risk, Battleship, Scrabble, Jenga, and the Dungeons & Dragons franchise.

Crap, they really own a ton of properties.... Well, maybe this isn't such a weird deal, it just sounds weird. I think maybe we'll just have to look at this on a case by case basis. Does the world really need Play Doh: the movie? Maybe I'm not the one who should say... One thing is for sure though, we can look for developments from this deal to hit screens for years to come.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wolverine character breakdown

Even more Wolverine casting news has come down the pipeline in the last day or two.

The activity on this film has been pretty furious over this past week. With more and more mutant characters revealed than I think most anyone was expecting. I think these announcements should be the last of the Weapon X team to be cast though. First up, Dominic Monaghan, who we all know and love as Charlie from Lost, and Merry from LOTR, has been cast as Blackwing (aka Beak). And secondly Daniel Henney who is a Korean actor I know basically nothing about has been cast as Agent Zero. But really, what the heck does this mean. Even for me, and you know I have something of a passing interest in comic books, I'm a bit lost as to who is who is this film So I thought now that it looks like were through most of the main casting, and character revelations, we could break it down some.

First obviously is Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman. You all know him from the X-Men films. As we all should know, he is a mutant with a bad temper, extra keen senses and a super healing ability. This was used to the governments advantage when they surgically laced his bones with the super strong metal alloy adamantium as part of a secret super soldier program known as Weapon X. And yes his claws, at least in one iteration of the comics are actually bones, covered in metal. But I think originally when the character was designed, and in the film, they were supposed to be mechanical enhancements as part of the whole agent of destruction thing the government was doing. His brain was pretty screwed up in the government experiments too, and Wolverine ended up seriously blocking most of the memories of his troubled and violent past. We can assume that this film will explore the origin of Wolverine as a weapon of destruction as hinted at in X2.

That origin will probably have a lot ot do with William Stryker. A minor villain in the comics as seen in the X-Men films, Stryker, previously played by the incomparable Brian Cox, and soon to be portrayed by Danny Huston, is now a rouge army colonel and military scientist who has a dark and complicated past with the Weapon X program. My guess is that in this film he will be the military man organizing the superhuman Weapon X team.

Next we have Sabertooth, to be played in this film by the awesome actor Liev Schrieber. The character, a compatriot of Wolverine, suspiciously has much the same powers as him. Enhanced senses, an accelerated healing factor, and a feral-ness about him. He also has razor sharp claws, and fangs which he uses to kill as a homicidal mercenary. Sabertooth has long been an enemy of Wolverine, and I think its safe to say this film will explore how they became such antagonists.

Lynn Collins of The Number 23 takes on the leading lady role of Silver Fox. The character is a Canadian native (woot! woot represent!) and in the comics had a troubled past as both Wolverine's lover and a victim of Sabertooth advances and rage at rejection. I would guess, there will be some kind of love triangle in the Wolverine film. Silver Fox later showed up in the comics as a leader of HYDRA, a terrorist organization and main foe to SHIELD. One of the only female members of Team X her only meta-human power is the enhanced healing ability given to her by Weapon X.

The other characters revealed to be in the movie will fill out the ranks of Team X. While not all originally Weapons Plus characters, I think its great they have the ability to pick and choose whoever they think fits with the group best. Here's a quick run down of who they are and what powers they have:

Deadpool, to be played by Ryan Reynolds is a fan favorite, who Marvel hope to spin off into his own movie. The character is nicknamed 'the merc with the mouth' because Deadpool is known pithy cracks and pop culture references. He is a master martial artist, but usually uses high technology weapons to kill, and his only superpower is enhanced healing.

Remy LeBeau / Gambit to be played by Taylor Kitsch was never originally a member of Weapon X. He is a Louisiana gambler and smooth talking Cajun ladies man. In the comics he was a later member of the X-Men, and despite having ties to Mr Sinister, has always been paired as a love interest for Rogue. He has the ability to infuse inanimate objects with unstable kinetic energy, and usually charges playing cards which explode when he throws them at his enemies. Gambit is also a character that Marvel might well spin off into his own film, and Kitsch has sign on for a potential 3 films.

Blackwing / Beak / Barnell Bohusk is to be played, as I said above, by Lostie Dominic Monaghan. The character is an odd one, that has gone through a few different iterations. I suspect some kind of hybrid between the old character and the new one will be what appears onscreen. Barnell's powers originally induced through a natural bird-like mutation included hollow bones, enhanced agility, finger talons, and limited flight capabilities. However in the post House of M retconed Marvel universe Barnell is currently working for the New Warriors under the name Blackwing and and wears a bodysuit that gives him enhanced strength, flight, and energy manipulation powers.

John Wraith / Kestrel to be played by Black Eyed Peas frontman is the team's teleporter and also possesses accelerated healing powers. A pretty straightforward character, he is a bit paranoid, likes to use high explosives, and only teleports sparingly in battle.

and the final member of the Weapon X program is Agent Zero / Maverick, to be played by Daniel Henney. The character is a tracker and expert marksman. He also has the enhanced healing factor but relies on some pretty deadly high tech weaponry. In current continuity he has lost his powers completely.

And there you have it. Should shape up to be an interesting team of supers to see onscreen. I hesitate to use the word superhero as really they were more of a 'death squad', but maybe that's just semantics...

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is still filming in Australia, but should wrap soon. It is scheduled for a May 1st, 2009 release. And the director Gavin Hood, who also made the excellent films Tsotsi, and Rendition has speculated that if he gets to make a sequel he would like to see it take place in Japan. And why not, Wolverine has a long and very involved history. Maybe one day we'll even get that Alpha Flight / Wolverine story.

The Boys to the big screen

Another indie comic hit is making its way to the big screen as the violent and unpredictable story of The Boys got picked up last week by Columbia for development. Variety doesn't have too much to say on the matter other than that, but I thought I'd chime in on the matter. The Boys is written by my second favorite comic book writer... or maybe my favorite. I always have a tough time deciding between Garth Ennis, creator of The Boys and the excellent also in development Preacher series, and Warren Ellis, creator of The Authority, and Transmetropolitan. Anyhow, that's beside the point. The Boys takes the kind of superhero world that Ellis made popular in his Stormwatch and Authority days, and looks at another side of things. It's a darker much more realistic world and examines not just the often mentally unbalanced, and perverse "superheroes", but the fallout of a world with heroes. The background of the 4 colored Marvel and DC worlds. This is a book that takes the time to look at what happens to the guy whose girlfriend was just flattened by that crumbling building in the middle of the downtown superhero battle. It's a heroic deconstruction story, and its definitely not for kids.

The Boys specifically are a group of men, meta-humans enhanced with certain ass-kicking powers, that have been culled together by the CIA to act as a covert watchdog against other more public supers. They are the people the government has put together to make sure the Superman's of the world don't ever decide to turn on us. They are authorized the send a message to the superhero community. That they will be accountable for their actions. And if it comes to it, even take out supers that get too full of themselves. I actually just read the first six issues this morning on the train on the way into work and I have to say I'm impressed. It's a very mature, very violent comic that reminds me a lot of another great book The Authority. Check out my thoughts on that book over at one of my old sites here. And The Boys should make for a cool movie. They just better hire Simon Pegg for Wee Hughie...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Akira news: there's no use in hiding...

A while ago I mentioned that a live action Akira film was in the works, well a flurry of news has come down the pipeline about the film today, and I have to say I am really getting interested in the film. Or should I say two films. Variety reports that Warner Bros is fastracking the first of two planned films based on the popular manga for a summer 2009 release. The first film will cover the first three of the six total large volumes of the manga. Apparently in these post strike days, Warner's is eager to push through a high profile action film for the likely big budget wasteland next summer will be at the box office. They actually had let their rights lapse on the property, only to realize what had slipped through their fingers and snap them back up in a seven figure bidding war.

But that's not all the news, because Akira just got even higher profile. The Hollywood Reporter mentions that Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production company will be co-producing the films. And Ain't it Cool News scoops the rumor that Leo himself will be stepping into the lead role of Kaneda! Then they follow that up with the more solid info that soon to be G.I. Joe star Joseph Gordon Levitt will costar as Tetsuo.

This is great news. I can definitely see Leo stepping into the lead role. Kaneda is a great character, and Leo would really serve it well. Of course I think Joseph Gordon Levitt is great as well. And if you've seen the animated Akira film, you know what a meaty role Tetsuo is.

Since the announcement of Toby Maguire stepping into Robotech, and now this, it seems like maybe a trend is starting. I sure hope it continues, I'm fine with stealing ideas from classic anime and cartoons. Maybe they can do Ghost in the Shell or Ninja Scroll next. Or something bigger like Escaflowne. Although I suspect something like Starblazers is probably more likely... Still, this is only good news. Akira is a great property, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it come to life on the big screen.

Bay is awesome!

Funny ad. Michael Bay is awesome...

Or would you rather hear the end of an act.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Upcoming Marvel - 02/08

Care of SuperheroHype! here is Marvel's list of upcoming projects...

It should be noted that because of the writers strike, Marvel will probably not have 2 feature films in 2009, as is their business plan from 2010 and onward. Which film will make the cut for '09 though is still up in the air. SHH thinks it will be Thor, and I hope so too.

Feature Film Projects Being Developed by Marvel – partial list
Iron Man, Marvel - Scheduled for May 2, 2008 release
The Incredible Hulk, Marvel - Scheduled for June 13, 2008 release
Ant-Man, Marvel - Writer/director engaged
Captain America, Marvel - Writer engaged
Thor, Marvel - Writer engaged
The Avengers, Marvel - Writer engaged

Licensed Marvel Character Feature Film Line-Up
Punisher: War Zone, Lionsgate - Completed principal photography; scheduled for September 12, 2008 release
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Fox - Director engaged; scheduled for May 1, 2009 release

Marvel Character Animated TV Projects
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, Moonscoop SAS (France) - 26, 30-minute episodes airing internationally.
Spectacular Spider-Man, Sony - In development; US distribution agreement with Kids’ WB; scheduled for Spring 2008 release.
Wolverine and the X-Men, First Serve Toonz (India) - 26, 30-minute episodes in development; scheduled for Spring 2009 release.
Iron Man: The Animated Series, Method Films (France) - 26, 30-minute episodes in development; scheduled for Spring 2008 release.
Hulk: The Animated Series, TBD -In development; scheduled for Spring 2009 release.
Super Hero Squad, TBD - In development; scheduled for Spring 2009 release.

Marvel Character Animated Direct-to-DVD Projects
Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, Lionsgate - Scheduled for August 2008 release.
Hulk Vs., Lionsgate - Scheduled for January 2009 release.
Thor: Son of Asgard, Lionsgate - Scheduled for September 2009 release.
Planet Hulk, Lionsgate - Scheduled for February 2010 release.

Marvel Character Live Stage Projects
Spider-Man, the Musical, Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Martin McCallum, Marvel Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment
In development/opening date to be determined; Julie Taymor director; music & lyrics by U2's Bono and The Edge

Marvel 2007 – 2008 Video Game Releases (Release dates controlled by Publishing partner)
Sega, Iron Man - Scheduled for release Friday, May 2, 2008.
Sega, The Incredible Hulk - Scheduled for release Tuesday, June 3, 2008.

Cool Iron Man short

Obviously made for kids, I don't think this animation really represents anything. Although they are in the process of putting together an Iron Man cartoon, I think this is just a fun little web adventure thrown together for Marvel Kids. I really like part 3 especially. They're all short so why not just check it out.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Toshiba pulls the plug on HD-dvd

Well, the rumblings that have been in the works for a while now have finally come to fruition. I guess last weeks decision by Wall-Mart to pull the plug o HD-dvd was the final kiss of death for Toshiba, as they've finally decided to officially discontinue their HD-dvd products. While they will still support the products on the market, they will no longer actively manufacture, or market the HD-dvd line. here is the full press release care of ComingSoon.

"Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.

HD DVD was developed to offer consumers access at an affordable price to high-quality, high definition content and prepare them for the digital convergence of tomorrow where the fusion of consumer electronics and IT will continue to progress.

"We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop," said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation. "While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality."

Toshiba will continue to lead innovation, in a wide range of technologies that will drive mass market access to high definition content. These include high capacity NAND flash memory, small form factor hard disk drives, next generation CPUs, visual processing, and wireless and encryption technologies. The company expects to make forthcoming announcements around strategic progress in these convergence technologies.

Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels, aiming for cessation of these businesses by the end of March 2008. Toshiba also plans to end volume production of HD DVD disk drives for such applications as PCs and games in the same timeframe, yet will continue to make efforts to meet customer requirements. The company will continue to assess the position of notebook PCs with integrated HD DVD drives within the overall PC business relative to future market demand.

This decision will not impact on Toshiba's commitment to standard DVD, and the company will continue to market conventional DVD players and recorders. Toshiba intends to continue to contribute to the development of the DVD industry, as a member of the DVD Forum, an international organization with some 200 member companies, committed to the discussion and defining of optimum optical disc formats for the consumer and the related industries.

Toshiba also intends to maintain collaborative relations with the companies who joined with Toshiba in working to build up the HD DVD market, including Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and DreamWorks Animation and major Japanese and European content providers on the entertainment side, as well as leaders in the IT industry, including Microsoft, Intel, and HP. Toshiba will study possible collaboration with these companies for future business opportunities, utilizing the many assets generated through the development of HD DVD."


And so it's finally over, Blu Ray wins... maybe now I can convince Erica that we need a PS3... or actually how long do you think it will be before the XBOX 360 has an external Blu Ray player. I just hope this means quality of high def dvds will go up, and the cost of players will go down. I'm thinking $150 or less is optimal. We'll have to wait and see what happens next.

JTTCOTE 3-D trailer

I really just wanted to put that acronym down to see how ridiculous it looks. But it suits the lighthearted feel of the film, Journey to the Center of the Earth, 3-D. The film is almost all digital made with real actors and CG locations. Kinda like Sanctuary, 300, or more likely Spy Kids 3-D. Just check out the trailer...

The movie is set to come out July 11th, '08.

Three board Imaginarium

About a month ago I mentioned how rumors were swirling that Johnny Depp was going to step into the role left vacant by the tragic death of Heath Ledger in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Dr Parnasus. Well the fate of The film has cleared up now, and it is not at all what was expected. In honor of Ledger, it seems like a number of stars have really stepped up to the plate, and now it has been confirmed that Depp will not be the only actor to continue the role began by Ledger. As a natural device in the plot allows for the multiple actor changes, the character originated by Ledger will now be played by Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, AND Heath Ledger... The everyman character of Tony "is transported into three separate dimensions in the fantasy pic; these new worlds, which Ledger accesses via a paranormal mirror, will now be inhabitated by Depp, Law, and Farrell."

I think this is a nice idea. Hopefully it will make sense in the movie, and honor the memory of Heath. As much as I'm looking forward to The Dark Knight, I'm glad Heath's last film wont have him playing a homicidal maniac. While production has not as of yet resumed, Imaginarium is slated for a 2009 release.

Gotham Knight vids

Ok, so there are two video's below for the new direct to dvd animated Batman film, Gotham Knight. The first is something of a sizzle reel. It's just the animation set to music, although I wonder if the choice fo music was made by the Youtuber. Regardless, you get a great look at this super stylized anime inspired action film. Check it out.

The second video here is the actual behind the scenes sneek peek video, which I haven't watched all of myself, and clocks in at around 9 minutes. Check it out if your interested.

Interesting, eh? Batman: Gotham Knight is set to come out this July.

General Hawk and more

Check out this great picture, care of, of Dennis Quaid all decked out as General Hawk in the new G.I. Joe movie. Apparently filming has begun in LA, so I hope well get more great photos like this soon.

Recently, Latino Review also broke the casting of the "small but integral" role of the President, to be played by stage and screen veteran Jonathan Pryce. I don't care if its small news, just so long as it keeps coming. So far there has been little to disappoint.

Planet 51 voices cast

Just under a full year ago, I mentioned a new animated movie that was on the books getting made called Planet One, a Spanish sci fi comedy film. To paraphrase myself the film is about an alien world populated by antenna sporting eight fingered humanoids. The planet for the most part resembles 1950s American suburbia. And into this mix a human astronaut falls. Invasion rumors spread, and hilarity (presumably) ensures.

Well, the film is moving along swiftly now that New Line has picked it up for release here. The title is now Planet 51, and the film is slated for a release on July 24th, 2009. And now Variety is reporting on the key voice cast, which by animated standards is pretty good if you ask me. The lead role of astronaut Chuck Baker has gone to your hero and mine, Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson. Who is joined on this adventure by Jessica Biel, Sean William Scott, and Justin Long. The film is written by Joe Stillman, famed as one of many writers on Shrek and Shrek 2. But despite that, I have high hopes for this film. I love sci fi animated features. They get made so rarely that I appreciate every one, although, other than Iron Giant, none of the ones I can think of have lived up to their potential. Hopefully Wall-E and this one will start a trend to change that rule of thumb.


Spidey musical cast

Just a quick note on this topic. It seems like the Spider-Man musical is moving forward swimmingly, as the rumors leaking out of director Julie's Taymor's camp say that the roles of Mary Jane Watson and Peter parker have been cast, and the actors are working their way throuhg rehearsals now.

And the role have reportedly gone to two adorable actors. Peter Parker is said to be played by Jim Sturgess, a British actor best known for playing the lead, Jude, in Across the Universe. Reportedly his American accent is spot on. The female lead though, that of Mary Jane, is said to being played by Sturgess' Across the Universe co-star, and famed Marilyn Manson girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood.

Hopefully, well probably, this will make it to Broadway, because if it camn do that, then it can make it out here to San Francisco, and you know I will be there in a heartbeat. Remember, all music and lyrics are being written by U2's, Bono and The Edge. Can anyone say rock-opera time.... exactly.

Could this be better than the Tommy musical, which I saw 3 times? Maybe... just maybe.

Cloverfield monster up close

Did you see Cloverfield and wonder, how the fuck does that thing actually move? I mean yes the monster is fast, and you can tell its got legs, and a lot of mouth and a big asss body, but even though I personally felt pretty satisfield by the end of the film, that I had actually seen enough of the monster, thats still a ways off from having a firm grasp on a full picture...

Well here's your chance now. The online Hasbro toy shop has a number of pictures of their $99 Cloverfield monster toy for your viewing pleasure. Although I'm not sure why the heck the toy is all white grey color when throughout most of the film it seems more brown grey. Regardless, you still get that final full body shot you've been looking for.

In case for some reason you still haven't seen the film, and don't want to be spoiled. Not that I think its in theaters anymore, I won't actually post the picture here. But please CLICK HERE to check out the pics, and of course if you so desire: purchase.

In case you don't want to look, but would like to know, the figure features:
  • - 70 points of articulation and incredible life-like detail
  • - Authentic sound
  • - 14” tall
  • - 10 parasites
  • - Two interchangeable heads
  • - Statue of Liberty head accessory
  • - Special Cloverfield collector’s edition packaging
I think it looks pretty sweet... too bad it's so pricey.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wolverine update

I may have fallen a few short days behind on the blog lately, but that just means that when I do post you guys'll get all the really fun goodies, right away. Like here with Wolverine. Last week, The USA Today showed us the first picture of Jackman as Wolverine for the upcoming, X-Men Origins: Wolverine film, and frankly, its pretty boss.

Very nice. Look's like he's about half a second away from busting outta that cage.

And as for casting, well there have been a flurry of announcements. I know quite a while ago I told you that Liev Schreiber will be in the film. Well, that's still true, but not in the role I originally thought. Schreiber will play Victor Creed /Sabertooth, only a younger more dashing version of Sabertooth, than we saw in X-Men. After all, this is the story of Wolverine, and his entanglement with Weapon X... oh I just have my fingers crossed for an Alpha Flight reference.

Schreiber is joined now by 30 Days of Night star, Danny Huston. He was the scary bad guy. no, not the one with the blood beard, the main bad guy. Anyhow, he will be playing the role I had thought Schrieber was up for; that of William Stryker. If you'll remember X-Men 2, he was the manipulating bastard that was played so brilliantly by Brian Cox. According to IESB Stryker is joined on screen by longtime Wolverine love interest Silver Fox, to be played by Maggie Q. I don't know a ton about her character, other than she has some sort of SHIELD connection, and had an almost fatal run in with Sabertooth at one point, but whatever the case I'm sure she'll make a great addition to the cast.

That's not all though, the rumors they are a flying. The film will reportedly have a number of great fun cameos by characters we've all been wanting to see. One of which, who I frankly thought should've been in the first X-Men film, is now reported to be making an appearance. The Blob. A truly great, often underrated character, just seeing this HUGE guy on screen should be a great show. Secondly and more importantly, as it might itself lead to another spin-off film, Deadpool is now rumored to be making an appearance. And who might be said to play 'the merc with the mouth'? None other than the once upon a Flash, Mr. Ryan Reynolds...

And even literally as I type this I just saw some more news, hot off the presses at Superherohype, everyone's favorite drunken Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch will be playing none other than longtime X-favorite Gambit in the film. wow, now thats a great role. This film really is chock full of cameos...

And who knows what else is to come from this film? Might I really get my Alpha Flight dream? We can only guess, but since Wolverine is well into production in Australia now, we'll have to keep our eyes peeled, more goodies should definitely be on the way.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is set to come out May 1st, 2009.

UPDATE 02/20 - One more cast addition in the day following this post. Black Eyed Peas front man has joined the Weapon X program as John Wraith, aka Kestrel, a classic character and the team's teleporter. Oh, and if that wasn't good enough, 20th Century FOX has confirmed all of these casting choices. So now we're set. Can't wait to see how this turns out.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wild Things clip

While still a ways off, having been pushed back to a 2009 release, Where the Wild Things Are is definitely a film that a lot of people will be interested in. Not just because the children's story is so revered, but also thanks to Spike Jonze's directorial involvement.

Apparently this is a leaked early clip, that has had some CG work done on it, but is not complete yet. Check it out.

It's got potential definitely, but I'm not sold on this clip really being there yet. That said, I love the idea of this film, I love that Jonze is making it, I love the look of where they're going. This film, if played right could be great. More is sure to come. And watch the clip before it disappears.

UPDATE 02/19 - Spike Jonze himself has come out to comment on this leaked footage. According to here's what he had to say:

"That was a very early test with the sole purpose of just getting some footage to Ben our vfx (visual effects) supervisor to see if our vfx plan for the faces would work," Jonze said. "The clip doesn't look or feel anything like the movie, the Wild Thing suit is a very early cringy prototype, and the boy is a friend of ours Griffin who we had used in a Yeah Yeah Yeahs video we shot a few weeks before. We love him, but he is not in the actually film...Oh and that is not a wolf suit, its a lamb suit we bought on the internet."

Well, I suppose that answers a few questions. It also makes me feel much better about the clip. I just hope they give us something real soon. I really want this to be another amazing film from Jonze.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Street Kings trailer

Keanu and Common? Together at last... Street Kings is exactly what I've been waiting for ;) Check out the trailer.

A part of me is just appalled by this film which looks only slightly better than Bad Boys II. But another part of me thinks that hey, you never know... I mean as they point out in the trailer it's directed by the writer of Training Day... that's good, right?

No seriously, this film really might be what Keanu needs for his career at this point, a gritty cop drama. But I think what would be really the smartest move for him, would've been to take on the role of the outright villain. That said, this role seems like it might be a decent compromise. Still the star, but a little bit bad. We'll have to see what becomes of Street Kings when it comes out on April 11th.

Rain in Ninja Assassin

Once again we find ourselves face to face... with Rain!

Yes Rain, the Korean pop sensation and soon to be international acting superstar has been cast in the Wachowski brothers newest project "Ninja Assassin". While the Wachowskis will probably not direct, leaving that job to their good buddy James McTeigue of V for Vendetta fame, this is still some pretty cool news. I have no idea what its about, but hey, its got the Wachowskis, is called Ninja Assassin, and stars Rain; how can that not be great?!

Worthington on Terminator

According to reports, actor Sam Worthington, once rumored to be up for the roles of both James Bond, then Duke in G.I. Joe, and currently slaving away for James Cameron on the set of Avatar, has been cast as the lead in the new Terminator film.

Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins as we know takes place after the war with the machines has been raging for a while, and is set to be a trilogy of films that will tell the story of the resistance, and, one presumes, the ultimate victory of humankind. But as I mentioned here before, the lead role, the central figure in the films, and especially this first film, will not be John Connor, now confirmed to being played by Christian Bale. The film will follow resistance soldier Marcus, about whom details are still sketchy. But reportedly might be some kind of former convict, and will definitely be pretty badass.

Whatever or whoever he is, I think that's pretty good news. It's funny when people like this Worthington guy get 'famous' in the industry before anyone really knows who they are. But to go from James Cameron to The Terminator is a pretty sure sign his star is on the rise.