Posted on November 8, 2008
More at Timothy Lim’s deviantART page.
Posted on September 27, 2008
For more geek-friendly custom ponies (including Batman, Catwoman, Cthulhu, and others), check out Mari Kasurinen’s deviantART gallery.
via Topless Robot
Posted on September 17, 2008
Remember when Cyclops died in X-Men 3 and nobody cared (or even seemed to notice)? io9.com counts down the 12 Weakest Deaths in Science Fiction History.
Posted on September 8, 2008
An unaltered panel from 1981’s DC Super Heroes Super Healthy Cookbook. No offense, Green Arrow, but are you sure that’s the most responsible way to teach kids how to make a fruit skewer?
via Scan Daily
Posted on September 3, 2008
Oh, the things that set my geek heart aflutter.
Posted on August 31, 2008
We know that Governor Palin supports offshore drilling and opposes same-sex marriage, but what’s her stance on the future of Human/Cylon relations?
Posted on August 26, 2008
I find it vaguely disturbing that Batman’s — er, make that Spiderman’s — modus operandi is to “stroke all criminal activates and criminals everywhere.”
via Scans Daily
Posted on August 23, 2008
In the wake of The Dark Knight’s record-breaking box office haul, it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. has set ts sights on a complete reboot of the Superman movie franchise — more or less ignoring 2006’s disappointing Superman Returns.
My Superman reboot would take the franchise in a completely different direction. First up, I’d set the film in 1938, the year of Superman’s debut in Action Comics #1. Moreover, I’d use CGI to create a highly stylized Metropolis, evoking a retro pulp art aesthetic and harkening back to the Fleischer Superman cartoons from the 1940s. If you’ve seen Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, that’s very close to what I have in mind.
Lex Luthor would be the film’s villain — depicted here as a mad scientist who unleashes an army of giant robots on the unsuspecting citizens of Metropolis. Lois Lane is a tenacious reporter for the Daily Planet with a knack for finding herself in harm’s way. Meanwhile, Superman is something of a mystery — new to the scene, nobody knows where he came from or what he’s doing in Metropolis. I’d also scale back his powers a bit to bring them more in line with his early appearances (i.e. stronger than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound). From there, the film basically writes itself: Superman smashes a few dozen robots, captures Lex Luthor, and rescues Lois Lane from certain doom.
Of course, I’m probably the only person on Earth who would want to see a retro Superman flick. As far as a more “box office friendly” reboot of the Superman franchise goes, I have a few suggestions after the jump.
Completely forget the previous movies. Bryan Singer’s slavish devotion to the earlier Richard Donner films nearly sank Superman Returns. It’s time to go back to square one — recast and start from scratch. Oh, and for God’s sake — get rid of Lois and Superman’s love child.
Resist the temptation to make Superman a “dark” character. Grim and gritty works for Batman. For Superman? Not so much. Avoid playing up the whole Last Son of Krypton angle too much (i.e. Superman as the only one of his kind, alone on Earth). Superman isn’t some tortured soul in tights and a cape; he’s the superhero archetype. Save the deep inner turmoil for another character.
Find a new villain. Lex Luthor has already shown up in four of the five Superman film’s (and been played a bit too often as corny comic relief by both Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey). It’s time for Superman to face a new villain. Brainiac seems like the most obvious choice, but I could see Doomsday or Darkseid making for interesting antagonists, as well.
Find an actress who can play Lois Lane as a smart, strong woman. This is at least one area where Margot Kidder outshone Superman Returns‘ Kate Bosworth. Lois should be a strong-willed, aggressive reporter who will do literally anything to get the story (and who can’t stand being scooped by a farmboy from Kansas). Moreover, she should be like a force of nature at the Daily Planet — recklessly ignoring Perry White’s orders, bossing around Jimmy Olsen, and calling Clark Kent “Smallville” whenever the opportunity arises.
Feature a cameo from Ma and Pa Kent. Just like Alfred keeps Batman grounded, Ma and Pa Kent are an important part of Superman’s life. I’d love to see them appear in a new Superman movie — either in a flashback or during a brief visit to Smallville.
I’m curious to hear how my readers would go about rebooting the Superman movie franchise. Casting ideas? Favorite villains? Major “do’s” and “don’ts” for bringing the Man of Steel back to the big screen? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
Posted on August 18, 2008
I remember the exact moment that I completely lost faith in the Star Wars prequels. It was during the climactic arena battle in Attack of the Clones, while R2D2 dragged C-3PO’s detached head back to his gold-plated droid body. That’s when Threepio groaned, in his inimitable manner, “This is such a drag.” Get it? Drag? Oh, George — you’re such a kidder!
Over the past few years, however, my opinion on the prequel trilogy has softened considerably. I’ve steadily grown to appreciate the intricacies of Palpatine’s grand plot to overthrow the Republic, Ewan McGregor’s charming performance as Obi-Wan Kenobi, the understated menace of Christopher Lee’s Count Dooku, the spectacular lightsaber duels, the gorgeous special effects…I’ve even made peace with Jar Jar Binks (almost). No, the prequels aren’t perfect. No, they don’t live up to the Original Trilogy. Nevertheless, there are some pretty decent Star Wars moments lurking in Episodes I through III.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is Lucas’ latest entry in the Star Wars saga, a CGI-animated flick set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Essentially a theatrical pilot for the upcoming television series of the same name, The Clone Wars has been met with dismal reviews from critics and Star Wars fans alike. For instance, Linda Barnard of the Toronto Star raves, “Pretty much drives a stake into the heart of every loyal fan of the movies!”
Well, I’ve seen The Clone Wars…and it isn’t that bad. At least I didn’t think so. I’ll address some of the most common criticisms leveled at the film after the jump.
Criticism: Ahsoka Tano is the most annoying character since Jar Jar.
Criticism: The animation is cruddy.
Criticism: The plot feels too episodic, like a television series.
Criticism: Ziro the Hutt is flamboyantly offensive/offensively flamboyant.
Criticism: The storyline is inconsequential to the Star Wars saga as a whole.
Criticism: It’s a stupid kids’ movie.
Maybe it’s just me, but The Clone Wars didn’t seem like the franchise-killing train wreck so many reviewers and fans have made it out to be. Despite a few missteps (I’m looking at you, Ziro), the film offers high-impact action sequences along with some genuinely fun character moments that tap into that undeniable Star Wars charm. Furthermore, Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress is a darkly captivating villain who makes the most of her limited screen time, Christopher Lee once again strikes all the right chords as Dooku, and the actors providing the voices for Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padmé turn in solid performances.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars may not measure up to Genndy Tartakovsky’s similarly-titled Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series from a few years back (much less the best moments of the Original Trilogy), but it’s a decent enough movie in a post-prequel world. If nothing else, it has me looking forward to the debut of the television series later this Fall…which, I suppose, was the entire point of the film in the first place.
The verdict: B-
Posted on August 17, 2008
Sometimes, seeing photos of another couple’s wedding makes me want to run out, book a venue, and renew my own vows. Case in point:
Just so we’re all on the same page here, that’s Admiral Ackbar of the Mon Calamari getting married to Rebel leader Mon Mothma. With Slave Girl Leia presiding. More details here.
Speaking of Star Wars, I should have my review of The Clone Wars posted tomorrow.
Posted on August 1, 2008
It’s about time the foes from Super Mario Bros. 2 got their due!
Posted on June 25, 2008
Hold on a second…did I just watch a 90-minute cartoon about tentacle rape?
Without treading too far into spoiler territory, that’s the central plot of Futurama’s latest straight-to-DVD feature, The Beast with a Billion Backs. An anomaly opens up in space, allowing a giant tentacle monster from another universe (voiced by David Cross) to get freaky with everyone in our universe.
As you might imagine, the humor is slightly raunchier than the average Futurama outing — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, The Beast with a Billion Backs gets off to a rather slow start, while Bender is stuck in a B-story about a shadowy League of Robots that doesn’t really go anywhere for most of the film. Overall, the movie felt like a slight step down from Bender’s Big Score in terms of quality. Nevertheless, The Beast with a Billion Backs certainly offers its share of laughs. I was particularly delighted to see newly-promoted Rear Brigadier Zapp Brannigan in a supporting role, bravely defending our universe from the encroaching tentacle threat. As for the animation and voice acting, they’re as good as ever .
The DVD release — awesomely packaged with kitschy retro sci-fi art and blurbs inviting the viewer to “See! A monster of questionable morality!” — also includes what’s being billed as Futurama: The Lost Adventure. Basically, the “lost” episode consists of the 3D-animated cutscenes from 2003’s Futurama video game, strung together into a surprisingly cohesive story about an attempt by Mom (evil CEO of Mom’s Friendly Robot Company) to take over the universe. All the familiar voice actors are on board, and it makes for a fun new addition to the Futurama universe –at least for those of us who don’t own an Xbox.
To sum up, I wanted more from The Beast with a Billion Backs, but slightly disappointing Futurama is better than no Futurama at all. I’d certainly recommend the DVD to any Futurama fans out there, but I suspect most either already own it or are in the process of securing a copy.
The verdict: B-
Posted on June 9, 2008
1. It’s Indiana Jones.
2. It’s LEGO.
3. Any video game where Temple of Doom’s Willie has the “special ability” to scream so shrilly that she literally shatters glass (making otherwise inaccessible items and areas available to the player) is tops in my book.
Posted on July 27, 2007
It’s official: Zachary Quinto, best known for his role as the villainous Sylar on Heroes, has been cast as Mr. Spock in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. I’m definitely cool with that. Internet rumors suggested early on that Adrian Brody might play the half-Vulcan science officer, but I think Quinto is a far better fit.
There’s no announcement yet on who will play Kirk, and Matt Damon has dismissed his attachment to the project as mere Internet speculation. I’m so attached to William Shatner in the role, I can’t think of a proper replacement. For whatever reason, my gut instinct is Christian Bale, but having him play both Batman and Captain Kirk would be too much of a nerdgasm even for me.
Who would you choose to play Kirk? How about Bones, Scotty, and the rest?
Posted on May 4, 2007
Following up on my earlier countdown of top ten superhero films of all time, here are my picks for the worst of the worst. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to let me know in the comments section.
10. Superman III
This is the one with Richard Pryor, for those keeping score at home. There’s nothing quite like watching Supes play second banana to Pryor’s character, a computer savant who creates unstable synthetic Kryptonite by substituting tar for an unknown component in its mineral composition. That being said, this stinker is somewhat redeemed by the Evil Superman versus Clark Kent fight and the fact that the film’s “steal the fractions of cents left over after financial transactions” idea reappears as a subplot in Office Space.
How do you screw up a Hulk movie? Apparently, you hire Ang Lee to direct it, cast Eric Bana as Bruce Banner, and make it as boring as possible. The only good things to come out of this snoozer were those foam “Hulk Hands” toys that were everywhere back in ‘03.
8. Captain America
A low-budget film from 1991, Captain America is just plain silly — right down to the rubber ears they glued to the side of Cap’s mask to create the illusion that his actual ears were sticking through. Stranger still is the fact that Cap’s archenemy, the Red Skull, is Italian instead of German. The Red Skull as a character essentially boils down to two defining traits: 1) he has a head that resembles a red skull and 2) he’s a frickin’ Nazi! Why make the guy Italian?
Shaquille O’Neal as Steel, a member of Superman’s supporting cast in the comics. Of course, the only connection between this film and Superman is the S-shield tattoo on Shaq’s arm. Honestly, Shaq is so bad here that he makes Michael Jordan’s performance in Space Jam look Oscar-worthy by comparison.
6. The Fantastic Four (1994)
The Fantastic Four movie released in 2005 wasn’t perfect, but it was leaps and bounds better than the version Roger Corman produced over a decade earlier. In fact, the 1994 version was never intended for release; it was made entirely so the studio could retain legal rights to the characters. Of course, The Fantastic Four eventually turned up at comic book conventions and on eBay, giving the world a peek at a literal joke of a superhero movie. Just check out the trailer if you don’t believe me. The special effects are a particular highlight, including a Human Torch that only “flames on” once in the entire movie and a Mr. Fantastic who stretches by means of a fake hand on a stick. Classy.
5. Batman & Robin
I suppose now is the time to insert the obligatory “nipples on the Batsuit” reference. Where should I begin with this one? Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl? Arnold Schwarzenegger’s awful ice puns? Gotham City’s Day-Glo street gangs? That scene where Batman produces a Bat Credit Card from his utility belt (expiration date: “Forever”)? The codpieces? Actually, what bugs me most about Batman & Robin is a scene early in the film in which Robin is being pulled underwater by Poison Ivy’s plants. At one point, he surfaces for air before being pulled back under. What makes the scene ridiculous, however, is that Joel Schumacher just reuses the same shot of Robin coming up for air in reverse to show him being dragged underwater again. That’s just plain lazy, Joel. As bad as Batman & Robin is, however, it’s somehow still not the worst movie in the Batman franchise.
Enough to make viewers long for the deep characterization and intricate storytelling of Daredevil. It’s like a bad episode of Alias, only Sydney gets to say “shit” at one point. Yay, PG-13!
3. Batman Returns
I know a lot of people love this film, but I’d rather sit through a dozen viewings of Batman & Robin than watch fifteen minutes of Batman Returns. Like Tim Burton’s first Batman film, Batman Returns is all doom and gloom, starring a Caped Crusader who doesn’t mind taking criminals’ lives. Meanwhile, the Penguin is no longer a high-society criminal, but rather a disgusting sewer mutant who, at one point, straps rockets onto the backs of penguins to bomb Gotham City. Worse still, the interplay between Batman and Catwoman is supposed to be sexy, but it instead comes off stilted and awkward in large part because: 1) Michelle Pfeiffer can’t act, and 2) Michael Keaton can barely move in the Batsuit. Not even Christopher Walken could save this one from Burton’s bizarre vision of the Batman mythos.
2. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
My favorite part of Superman IV is when Superman uses his heretofore unseen “Rebuilding the Great Wall of China Vision” after a portion of the monument is destroyed by Nuclear Man (groan). Low-budget and lame, I wondered what went wrong with this film even as a ten-year-old.
Film exec: “Hey, remember how Halle Berry almost ruined the X-Men movies with her awful performance as Storm? Well, how does this idea sound? We’ll cast her as Catwoman! Only it won’t be the Catwoman from the comic books or Batman Returns. It won’t even be set in Gotham City! This is an all-new Catwoman, a heroine with feline superpowers! Oh, and remember that shiny black costume Michelle Pfeiffer wore as Catwoman? We’ll replace it with something far skimpier, but decidedly less sexy. The audience will eat it up with a spoon!” Someone should revoke Halle Berry’s Oscar for this debacle.
That’s it for Apropos of Something’s countdown of the ten worst superhero movies of all time! As always, I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments — especially if someone wants to mount a vigorous defense of Catwoman.
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