30 October 2009

Hopkins is Odin

Anthony Hopkins is Odin in the upcoming Thor movie. To get an idea what he might look like, we need look no further than King Hrothgar in 2007's Beowulf. Hail to the King.

29 October 2009

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Batman '89

Twenty-some years after the campy television series, Batman was due for a true reboot for a new generation. In 1989, audiences would forever be confused when they realized that they never knew the Joker had killed Batman's parents (a fact that would become even more confusing when Batman Begins remedied that bit of tid). But for the most part, Tim Burton's Batman was a triumph.

This "first" Batfilm redefined not only Batman, but the whole comic book genre. Sure, Batman was now wearing black rather than blue and was himself pretty much mentally unbalanced, but the movie worked. The well worn character was new again, and more intimidating than ever. Gone were the sidekicks (at least for the time being), the gimmick Bat-tech (like shark repellent) and one-liners.

In the movie, Batsy faced off against the Joker - at the time, a relatively extreme onscreen depiction of the character. This Joker didn't want to make you laugh as much as he wanted to kill you. Unfortunately, the movie made the mistake of killing off the villain in the end and the next run of movies took missteps trying to top the Joker by overloading the films with baddies.

The movie was a huge success, spawning three sequels and revitalizing the comic genre (before later films would nearly kill it). Batman brought in over $250 million, roughly $450 million adjusted for today.

Up Next: Batman Returns

28 October 2009

X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (1994) - Film Capsule

Heroes: The X-Men

Villains: The Dark Phoenix

Diabolical Scheme: Having inhabited a body, The Phoenix has given in to the thrill of emotion and power. Now corrupted, she wants to rule the galaxy.

Coolest Moment(s): Lots of smackdowns between the team and Dark Phoenix. Seeing the Marvel Girl costume was also a nice nod.

Worst Moment: The first half of the "saga" involved the Inner Circles lame attempts to trick Phoenix into marriage.

Review in 50 Words or Less: Not nearly as good as I remembered (giving X3 a little more of a pass) especially the wasted first 2 episodes. Still, one of the series' highlights providing a nice 80 minute retelling of one of comics' most epic tales. Overall, leaner and better than the first Phoenix Saga.

26 October 2009

Onscreen History of Speedy

Back in the day, Green Arrow was just a Batman copy cat. And along with being a Millionaire industrialist, and good Batman wannabe needed a teen sidekick / ward. Green Arrow's junior archer Roy Harper was dubbed Speedy.

Though not as well known as Robin, Speedy has had his fair share of appearances in superhero shows over the years. In fact, Speedy appeared alongside Wonder Girl, Aqualad and Kid Flash sans Robin in the 1967 DC Super Heroes Teen Titans shorts.

Speedy wouldn't appear on screen again for nearly 40 years, until he joined the supporting cast of the animated Teen Titans series. Speedy was first introduced as a Robin "clone," but went on to get a bit of development as a member of the Titans East.

Though not in continuity with Teen Titans, a very similar in design Speedy appeared alongside mentor Green Arrow (and other non-powered heroes Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E., Shining Knight, Crimson Avenger, and Vigilante) in the 2006 Justice League Unlimited episode Patriot Act in an homage to the classic Seven Soldiers of Victory team.

Speedy got a blink and you will miss him cameo in the Justice League: The New Frontier movie alongside other members of the Teen Titans.

In 2009's Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode Dawn of the Dead Man, Speedy appeared alongside Batman rival Green Arrow.

Finally, Speedy will appear in live action on next weeks episode of Smallville titled Crossfire. The catch, this appearance will actually be of the second sidekick dubbed Speedy, Mia Dearden. Speedy is fast becoming the world's best known sidekick (well aside from Robin and Batgirl at least).