01 May 2009

G.I. Joe A Real American (Super)Hero?

I have been reluctant to talk much about G.I. Joe on this site because I am not really sure if it qualifies as a "superhero show." There has to be a line somewhere, but if you count Batman as a superhero, then why not the Joes? Still, its a slippery slope. Next thing you know, people are calling James Bond a superhero, and I would have to disagree with that.

Anyways, seeing as how after Wolverine there could be a major void in the genre until Iron Man 2, I have decided to add G.I. Joe coverage here. I wonder if its going to have that guy that turns blue in the sun or those twins that feel each others pain. Those are super powers, right? I really haven't been following this film too closely, mostly expecting it to be terrible. But this trailer sort of gives me hope. Not that it will be good mind you, but that it may entertain ala Transformers. At least, I don't expect a Dragonball level disappointment based on the little I have seen so far. For Dennis Quaid (AKA the poor man's Harrison Ford)'s sake, I hope it isn't a total disaster.

Spotlight on Deadpool

Wolverine has arrived in theaters. And while this is Wolvie's 4th live action outing some fans are more pumped to catch the live-action debut of Deadpool. Deadpool the mercenary antihero nicknamed the "Merc with a Mouth," for his constant wisecracks first appeared in The New Mutants #98 in 1991.

Like Wolverine, Deadpool was a product of the Weapon X program and has ties to Wolverine's past. He also shares Wolverine's regenerative powers. What he lacks is any real exposure in any on screen media. Deadpool made a couple of blink and you'll miss him cameos on the 1992 X-Men animated. Actually, he only appeared as a memory or as the manifestation of a shape shifter.

Earlier this year, Deadpool finally got his real first appearance in the animated Hulk VS. feature.

Hulk VS. managed to capture "talking man's" personality and costume, something that X-Men Origins: Wolverine would struggle to do.

The costumeless Deadpool does indeed spout of his mouth a couple of time sin X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but from the picture you can see he doesn't really look himself.

Depending on how well the Wolverine movie does, we may actually finally get a Deadpool movie, which I would hope could get the costume right. Those of you who see Wolverine may be a bit confused as to how that would work, but one of the "secret endings" of Wolverine sets the stage for X-Men Origins: Deadpool, a spinoff to the prequel. Sounds promising...

30 April 2009

The Justice League: A Super Friendly Tour (Part 1)

Although the Justice League has really only been featured in three animated series, those series have at least TEN different titles. Throw in a direct-to-video Justice League feature set as a period piece and a couple failed live action projects and your mind will be officially boggled. At least mine was. So, I have decided to take this opportunity to offer a tour through the history of Justice League shows. Shall we begin?

The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure

The Justice League got their big break in 1967 as guest stars during the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, their first outing titled "Between Two Armies." The League was showcased in a total of three shorts that entered a rotation along with The Teen Titans, The Atom, The Flash, Hawkman, and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) who all played second fiddle to the series' headliners Aquaman and Superman (Alas poor Aquaman... how the mighty have fallen).

This JLA line-up, aside from the Teen Titans, consisted of the rotating guest stars and the titular Superman and Aquaman. Notably absent were Batman and Wonder Woman but even more perplexing was the absence of Aquaman who only appeared in the title sequence. They were introduced as: The Justice League of America! The combined might and power of the Man of Steel and the Cosmic Crusader! The Winged Avenger--and the King of the Sea! The Tiny Titan, and the Scarlet Streak--all working together for good against evil as the Justice League of America!

Go ahead and watch the three episodes below.

Between Two Armies

Target Earth

Bad Day on Black Mountain

Availability: These shorts are available on the DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures DVD, or you can just watch the embedded YouTube clips here for free.

Up Next: Super Friends

29 April 2009

Scream 8 Times with the Scarecrow

Head over to AnimatedSuperheroes.Com for a pictorial history of Batman's fearsome foe The Scarecrow. The dude has been reimagined quite a few times over the years, but I am partial to the modern Batman: The Brave and the Bold look as well as the minimalist original Batman: The Animated Series take. I guess I like my scarecrows skinny and toothless.

Wolverine's Top Movie Moments

Check out IGN.com's countdown of the best Wolverine moments in the X-Men movies. The list is as follows:

10. Proving His Identity - Film: X-Men
(Wolverine's response to Cyclops when asked to prove he isn't Mystique)

9. Fastball Special - Film: X-Men: The Last Stand
(Danger room when thrown by Colossus)

8. Death Proof - Film: X-Men
(Self-impaling in the Statute of Lib fight)

7. You Always Hurt the One You Love - Film: X-Men
(Accidentally stabs Rogue during a bad dream)

6. She Chose You - Film: X2: X-Men United
(Wolverine consoles Cyclops after Jeans "death.")

5. Jean Slay - Film: X-Men: The Last Stand
(Death to Phoenix)

4. No Way to Treat a Lady (Deathstrike)- Film: X2: X-Men United
(Deathstrike fight)

3. Kiss Me Deadly - Film: X2: X-Men United
(Mystique tries to seduce Wolverine by taking various female forms)

2. Barroom Brawl - Film: X-Men
(Wolverine gets jumped after winning a cage match)

1. They Picked the Wrong School - Film: X2: X-Men United
(Wolverine unleashes on mansion invaders)

I guess these are pretty much the seminal Wolverine moments but I think the Deathstrike fight should be tops. Also, the whole Wolverine vs. Mystique in X-Men ending with a surprise impaling should be on the list. I expect some of the scenes from X-Men Origins Wolverine will make the list as well. Any thoughts? Comment away.

28 April 2009

Superman (1978) - Film Capsule

Hero: The Man of Steel, The Last Son of Krypton, Kal-El, The Man of Tomorrow, but the world knows him as Superman

Villain(s): The Greatest Criminal Mind of Our Time, Lex Luthor. We also got a sneak peek at General Zod's gang.

Diabolical Scheme: Real estate. Lex Luthor would hit the San Andreas fault line in California with a nuclear missile creating a new shoreline consisting of former desert that he had bought "dirt" cheap.

Coolest Moment: The Superman vs San Andreas sequence is probably the highlight of the movie, though honestly, when the Superman theme begins to play is when the the movie gets me the most excited.

Comic Book Logic: When Superman turns back time, why doesn't he prevent the disaster all together rather than just saving Lois? Also, if he could fly so fast, why couldn't he catch the missiles in the first place?

Opening Weekend: $7,465,343

Total Domestic Box Office: $134,218,018

Adjusted Domestic Total: $412,978,517

Review in 50 Words or Less: Visionary and epic, but not as fun as the sequel. Slightly dated but still well worth your time. One of the greatest movie scores ever. Weak villain and lame villain ploy. Perfect casting for Clark Kent /Superman. Gotta give it to Brando, his limited screen time as Jor-El was superb.

27 April 2009

What to Expect in 2012 and Beyond From DC

Possible Future Films From DC*

Batman 3

While the date hasn't been announced yet, its 95% certain the eagerly awaited sequel to The Dark Knight will hit in Summer 2012. After a four year wait, audiences will be salivating. Not sure who the villains will be, but going with the realistic theme Riddler and/or Catwoman have to be the front runners. Please NO Penguin.

Green Arrow

Back in 2007, development of a movie focusing on a wrongly accused Green Arrow's efforts to break out of a supervillain prison, was announced. "Super Max" had a lot of potential for supervillain cameos including-Riddler, Lex Luthor and the Joker-and also offered something different than the tired origin tale. Since the original announcement, Green Arrow has continued to enjoy increasing exposure on Smallville and in animation appearing in The Batman and Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

According to script writers, "We're in a world where instead of just trying to contain a guy who's really big, you're trying to contain a guy who can — in the case of Icicle — who can freeze things. What kind of a cell would a guy like that need in order to have his powers neutralized? So to escape from Super Max they have got to go through the most elaborate heist we've ever seen, involving superpowers. Because the prison itself kind of has superpowers!"

I am all for this movie, but no official "green" light yet.

Other possible DC movie are pure speculation with hopes that a phoenix will rise from the ashes of many recently abandoned projects:

Wonder Woman

For a while there, a Wonder Woman film was getting under way and looked likely to happen. Then in February 2007, it fell apart. Director Joss Whedon announced:

We just saw different movies, and at the price range this kind of movie hangs in, that's never gonna work. Non-sympatico. It happens all the time. I don't think any of us expected it to this time, but it did. Everybody knows how long I was taking, what a struggle that script was, and though I felt good about what I was coming up with, it was never gonna be a simple slam-dunk. I like to think it rolled around the rim a little bit, but others may have differing views.

Word is, WW is still being mulled around, but nothing firm.


The day after the Wonder Woman debacle, director David Goyer announced:

I am sad to say that my version of The Flash is dead at WB. The God's honest truth is that WB and myself simply couldn't agree on what would make for a cool Flash film. I'm quite proud of the screenplay I turned it. I threw my heart into it and I genuinely think it would've been the basis of a ground-breaking film. But as of now, the studio is heading off in a completely different direction. I expect you'll hear of some new developments on that front shortly.

...Still waiting on some new developments, but I have to assume Flash is on a short list of next in line projects.

Justice League: Mortal

In 2007, efforts were made to rush out a Justice League movie before the writers strike could kill it. A script was written, a director hired, and casting begun with a $220 million budget. Due to script concerns, the film was put on hold. At the time, Adam Brody had been cast as Barry Allen / The Flash, D. J. Cotrona as Superman, rapper Common as John Stewart / Green Lantern, supermodel Megan Gale as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, Armie Hammer was cast as Batman. The character of Ra's Al Ghul's daughter Talia was also rumored to be in the film.

Fans hated the idea of a teen / early 20's league and hated the idea of a separate Batman from the one established in Batman Begins. The success of The Dark Knight put the final nail in this coffin though A Justice League film may eventually happen if solo DC hero projects are successful (the Marvel Avengers model).

Captain Marvel AKA Shazam!

And another one bites the dust. In January 2009 the long in production lighthearted action comedy Shazam! movie featuring Captain Marvel died. Screenwriter John August said:

In retrospect, I can point to two summer Warner Bros. movies that I believe defined the real issue at hand: Speed Racer and The Dark Knight. The first flopped; the second triumphed. Given only those two examples, one can understand why a studio might wish for their movies to be more like the latter. But to do so ignores the success of Iron Man, which spent most of its running time as a comedic origin story, and the even more pertinent example of WB's own Harry Potter series. I tried to make this case, to no avail.

The above quote is pretty insightful as to what is going on with DC properties at Warner Brothers. They have a ton of great properties to work with but want every one of them to be a huge success. Unfortunately, you don't get your Iron Man's without your Ghost Rider's too. Hopefully a hit with Green Lantern will inspire more DC heros to get off the bench and into the game.

The Doom Patrol

In 2006, word broke of a possible Doom Patrol movie. For the uninitiated, the Doom Patrol team consists of several DC outcasts and has been seen in the animated Teen Titans series. No word on this project for over a year.

Constantine 2

As recently as last week, word of a Constantine 2 continues to trickle forth. Not sure who is clamoring for that, but if he beats Flash out of the gates, I will not be happy.

Also no word yet about Aquaman, The Wonder Twins, The Atom, or the The Teen Titans. Any other DC dudes worthy of a feature film?

Up Next: The Infinite Potential for Sequels, Prequels, and Reboots

*Prequels, Sequels, and Reboots Not Included