Better Than Who Wants to Be a Superhero? ?

It's just the morbid curiosity, but I'm going to have to set my DVR to record (I was going to say tape) Guiding Light tomorrow just to see the tie-in to the Marvel Universe. I'm sure there won't be any refrences, but my curiosity has gotten the better of me.

Check your local listings...


Hellboy: Sword of Storms

If you didn't catch the premier of Hellboy Animated, I'm sorry to say, you really missed out. It was awesome! I don't often watch movies more than once (time pressures, you know), but I saved this one on my DVR so I could go back to it again. The film has the same sensibilities of the movie. If you like Hellboy, you'll enjoy this. The writing was great - I found myself laughing about 20 times as much as I did when I caught RV on that plane trip back from California. I was really impressed by the way they worked in the Japanese folklore. I'm not too familiar with it, but it looks like they did their homework. An interesting comment by Tad Stones (producer/director/writer) on the Hellboy Animated blog was that the weirdest stuff you see in the movie is usually the most authentic Japanese folklore.

I mentioned before that the main characters returned from the movie, so Abe Sapien's voice really threw me. But then I remembered reading somewhere that the voice of Abe in the cartoon was the actual actor from the film (Doug Jones), while it was David Hyde Pierce that voiced him in the movie (but didn't play the physical part). Weird. I wonder if Jones will do the voice in Hellboy 2.

If you weren't able to catch it on Cartoon Network, you'll have to wait until February 6 to get it on DVD. Well, as good as it is, I'm sure the P2P networks will be carrying it before then, but that would be cheating.


Frank Miller: 300, Sin City 2, The Spirit

Just found out from Comics2Film that the official 300 website is finally live. See link to the right.

Also, Comic Book Resources recently interviewed Frank Miller about the film. Take a look at Frank's take on 300. He also briefly mentions Sin City 2, and The Spirit movie he'll be writing and directing.

Thanks to Comics2Film


Hellboy Reminder

Don't forget! Hellboy: Sword of Storms is on Saturday night on Cartoon Network.

I just set my DVR. It's on 8:30-10 pm here (Central), so I guess that makes 9:30-11 Eastern.


It's the End of the World As We Know It?

The crossover event of the decade!

Or the lame idea of the century?

I apologize to all the True Believers out there when I say this, but it had to be Marvel that came up with this.

This fall, the Marvel Universe is crossing over with The Guiding Light. Yes, that's a soap opera.

Starting this week (that's tomorrow, I guess), 4 Marvel comics will have a back-up story featuring the New Avengers (along with a number of other heroes and some villains) descending on Guiding Light's town of Springfield.

Why? Well, obviously because (due to a Halloween accident) one of the characters on the show develops super powers. To be honest, I guess I'm almost surprised this hasn't happened before.

I can't bring myself to talk about it any more here, but if you want to know more (including a list of comics that carry the story), take a look at this article in the The Gazette out of Colorado Springs.

Thanks to Pop Candy.


Heroes Comic Books

Superheroes and comics books will always be intricately linked, so it makes sense that one of the characters in Heroes is an artist who publishes his own comics (and, by the way, can paint the future). In at least one issue, he's prognosticating the details of one of the other character's journeys - someone he's never met.

But the point of this post was to mention the Heroes on-line comics NBC has put on their site that give a bit more background of what's going on. There are four 7-page comics, available for viewing in a Flash-enabled browser or downloading as .pdf's. For example, want to know how Mohinder got the taxi-driving gig? It's all there. Take a look at them; they're not bad. Then, take a look at Heroes if you haven't - it's definitely worth a watch. I suppose I should have posted this yesterday, but the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th episodes are being shown on NBC tonight. Unfortunately, I just found this out, and the 4th episode is just starting. NBC shows the most recent episode on-line for free, and you can watch them on iTunes for a couple bucks each.

On a side note, I just noticed that one of the writers is Jeph Loeb (who you're familiar with if you've spent any amount of time in the world of comics). NBC's got an interview with him here.


Comic Book Prequels

Recently, a couple of films have had comic book prequel releases before the movie. I'm not sure if this is the cool new way to market movies, or (to quote Alan Moore) just "one step in the digestive process of Hollywood eating itself."

All the buzz seemed to indicate that The Covenant (which hit theaters in September) was based on a graphic novel published by Top Cow (see Comics2Film, Comic Book Movies, Superheroes Lives). But further digging seems to point to the fact that the comics were based on the movie idea and were intended as a prequel to the film (see this Comic Book Resources article or this IGN set visit). While the entire graphic novel of The Covenant is now available, the first two issues can be read on Top Cow's web site.

E. Favata's Comic Book Movies has been keeping up with Southland Tales, which should be released sometime in January. This is something I'll definitely plan on seeing. Not necessarily because it has anything to do with comics, but because it was written and directed by Richard Kelly, who also wrote and directed Donnie Darko, one of my all-time favorite films. Southland Tales has an eclectic cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar (as Krysta!!), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Sean William Scott, Mandy Moore, Janeane Garofalo, Christopher Lambert, John Larroquette, Jon Lovitz, Cheri Oteri, Justin Timberlake, Kevin Smith. It would be worth seeing just for the cast, even if it didn't have an interesting premise - several people's lives intertwine with a setting "in the futuristic landscape of Los Angeles on July 4, 2008, as it stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster."

You can see on the official web site that parts I (Two Roads Diverge), II (Fingerprints), and III (The Mechanicals) are graphic novels, while parts IV, V, and VI are the movie itself. The first 2 graphic novels have been released, while the 3rd has a release date (according to Amazon) of October 18. I don't know how I missed these in Previews. Southland Tales: The Prelude Saga, a collection of all 3 parts is set to be released in December.

To read more about the film and the graphic novels, take a look at this Interview with Richard Kelly.


My Power Is To Make Your Brain Leak Out Your Ears

Great. Variety (and SuperheroHype) are reporting that the Sci Fi Channel is greenlighting a second season of the anti-climactic Who Wants to Be a Superhero?

Just please let it die. Spike is killing Blade, but this crap makes it to a second season? Not that I was into Blade enough to launch an internet campaign to renew the show, but Superhero makes Blade look like Citizen Kane. I guess people will buy a reality show no matter how lame the execution. The really sad thing is that I'll probably tune in again, and this time it'll be drawn out to 10 episodes, as opposed to 6.


New Ghost Rider and 300 trailers

A couple new trailers out this week:

300. This film looks amazing. It'll be interesting to see how it does at the box office. On a side note, here are a number of scenes from the film compared side-by-side to scenes from the comic, er, graphic novel (they all seem to be from the trailer, so not a ton of spoilers). A whole new level of staying true to the source material.

Ghost Rider. I'm definitely looking forward to this one. Sometimes the CGI looks a bit corny with the Ghost Rider's talking skull, but I'm thinking that this might be like The Thing in Fantastic Four, and that, in context, it'll blend in to the film a little better.

Thanks to Comics2Film.


X-Men (2000) mini review

based on a comic book

In my opinion, X-Men (packaged this week in trilogy form with X-Men 2 and 3) is probably the best serious superhero or comic-based movie ever made; it doesn't miss a beat. Who would have thought that Hugh Jackman would have made the perfect Wolverine? (Especially if you've seen follow-ups Swordfish and Kate & Leopold - both movies I enjoyed but with Jackman playing very different characters.) Or that Professor X would have been played by Patrick Stewart - who was on every X-Men film fantasy cast list since the beginning of Star Trek: The Next Generation? Directed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects), this film succeeds in just about every way I can think of - overcoming nearly every obstacle that tends to run a comic book movie aground. No extended origin stories, not a lot of corny dialogue; in fact, there are lines stolen straight from the comic book that sound right when spoken out loud, Bub.

In this movie, the X-Men- mainly Professor X, Cyclops (James Marsden), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), and Storm (Halle Berry), along with many, many cameos - are first introduced to Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Wolverine. These X-Men are pit against Magneto (Ian McKellan) and his Brotherhood of Mutants (consisting of Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), Sabretooth, and Toad (Ray Park - Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I)) in a scheme that is much more interesting if I don't spoil it for you here. The scheme works (as part of the film, that is), the action sequences work, the characters work, all leaving you screaming for a sequel.

So, how do I give this a 9/10 after singing it's praises? I guess because after rating about 30 or so comic book films, I realize my ratings are of a film's quality overall, not ratings "for a comic book film". So, while for a superhero movie, X-Men is the cream of the crop and would garner a "10" in comic book world, it's still a "9" (IMO) as an overall movie. Worth seeing if you've never even heard of the X-Men.

See it if you like action films in general, even if you have to ask "what's an 'x-men'?"

Don't see it if your form of movie escapism keeps you out of the realm of "suspension of disbelief".


Krista Was Right

Just don't tell my wife I said that.

OK, since it's now been confirmed that what Jill Wagner said on her blog about Blade being cancelled, I will stop talking about the fact that my wife's name is Krista. (Although, that is a really cool fact.)

Back to regular programming.

Thanks to Sci Fi Wire and Comics2Film.

X2: X-Men United (2003) mini review

based on a comic book

It's not often that a sequel meets the expectations created by the first, but I'd have to say that X2: X-Men United does. The introduction of Nightcrawler is amazing. Fight sequences are gripping, story and dialogue are excellent - the film is great, just like the first.

In the second X-men movie, we are introduced to William Stryker (Brian Cox). As is evidenced by the title of the movie, the X-Men team up with the Brotherhood of Mutants to stop Stryker from his insidious plot. Central characters returning from the original include Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Storm (Halle Berry), Cyclops (James Marsden), Rogue (Anna Paquin), Iceman, Magneto (Ian McKellan), and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos). New (central) characters include Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming - Son of the Mask, Josie and the Pussycats), Lady Deathstrike, and Pyro. There are also several other cameos in this film.

According to Wikipedia*, X2 is based loosely on the X-Men graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills.

See it if you want to see the continued X-ploits (sorry) of the X-Men brought to the big screen.

Don't see it (yet) if you haven't seen the first X-Men.

*see Wikipedia article on X2.


X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) mini review

based on a comic book

X-Men - The Last Stand
came out on DVD today, so I thought it'd be a good time to share my thoughts on the film.

While an enjoyable movie on it's own, the third title in the X-Men franchise definitely suffered with the loss of director Bryan Singer. Even though this film might have as many or more references to the comics*, a bevy of problems erupt in this film; primarily, there's too much going on and it's not enough of a character-driven story to rate as high as the first two.

That being said, it was still worth a watch, and is still toward the top of the heap of comic book movies, which contains the likes of Batman & Robin and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Along with several recurring characters (Prof X, Magneto, Storm, Rogue, Cyclops, Wolverine, Mystique, Iceman, Pyro), The Last Stand introduces Colossus and Shadowcat (in more than cameo roles), along with Beast (Kelsey Grammer), Psylocke, Callisto, Multiple Man, Leech, and Angel. In this film, old rivalries are revived as we once again see X-Men take on the Brotherhood of Mutants, when a company develops a "cure" for the mutant gene. We also see the resurrection of Jean Grey as Phoenix, an obvious reference to the Dark Phoenix storyline in the X-Men comics.

See it if you want to see the resolution of the X-Men trilogy.

Don't see it if you'll be too disappointed that Bryan Singer jumped ship to do Superman.

*For more references to the comics, see the "Comparison with the comics" section of the Wikipedia article on X-Men 3.

Note: The Stan Lee Collector's Edition of the DVD also contains "an exclusive original mini-comic written by Stan Lee." Yay.


Krista and Blade

Bones recently commented on my Blade post that Jill Wagner, who plays Krista (which also happens to be my wife's name - same spelling, even), mentioned in her MySpace blog that Spike has pulled the plug on the second season.

However, if you go there to look now, that particular blog entry has been deleted (I didn't discover this myself, but found out from Comics2Film). Hmmm...does that mean anything? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.