04 December 2009

Onscreen History of War Machine

James Rupert Rhodes AKA Rhodey is the character most associated with the War Machine armor. Rhodey filled in for Iron Man when Tony Stark was off drinking, but when Tony returned, Rhodey assumed the War Machine identity.

Rhodey and the War Machine armor first appeared on screen in the 1994 animated Iron Man series.

During the '90's War Machine made the rounds on the animated circuit also appearing in a cameo as a member of SHIELD in an episode of the X-Men animated series.

Next up, War Machine and Spidey teamed up against Venom and Carnage on the Spider-Man animated series.

Then of course, Iron Man and War Machine made a stop on the Incredible Hulk animated series.

After his 90's whistle stop tour, War Machine took a hiatus, with the armor making a quick appearance in 2006 on the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes series.

Also in 2006, Tony Stark would don the War Machine armor when his traditional suit got busted up in the Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther direct to video movie.

The 2009 Iron Man Armored Adventures featured a young take on Iron Man and his friend Rhodey, and as you could expect, the story eventually led Rhodey back into the War Machine suit.

War Machine is slated to appear sometime in 2010 on the animated Super Hero Squad series.

Though War Machine did not appear in 2007's Iron Man movie, Rhodey sure did, even going as far as to say that some time he would like to try on the Iron Man suit.

Though, Rhodey was recast for 2010's Iron Man 2, it is now confirmed that he will be getting his wish.

And in 2010, War Machine will be making his big screen, live action debut.

03 December 2009

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

Thumper (or was it Thumper's mom) used to say, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all). I am going to take that advice and am not going to say nothing about Batman and Robin. Batman Forever lightened things up and did pretty well, so I guess the gang thought, "Hey lets add more neon, more nipples, more sidekicks, more villains, more jokes. That should be good, right?" Wrong. In 1997, Batman and Robin made just $107 million on a budget of $127 million. Not only that, but it put the Batman franchise "on ice" (haha) for nearly 10 years and almost killed the comic book genre before it began. I think it is safe to say, this was Batman's lowest point in his on screen career. It could only go up from here.

Its really hard to pinpoint the worst element of Batman and Robin. There are just so many candidates, but most of the negatives lead to the conclusion that the movie was intended to introduce and sell action figures and toys rather than entertain. Batman Forever had Robin, so of course Batman and Robin needed Batgirl (whose costume was surprisingly nippleless). And each of the heroes had not only their normal ugly costumes, but some silver embossed "special edition" variation.

Then there was Mr. Freeze. Oh my, the one-liners never stopped. Sadly, the movie writers took the reinvented and beloved origin given to Freeze in Batman: The Animated Series, and made it suck.

And since you can only sell so many Freeze toys, we were given Poison Ivy and Bane as well. Poison Ivy on her own wasn't that bad, but watching Batman and Robin fight over her was. And it sure was convenient that Batman had his own Bat-credit card on hand to impress her. He "never leaves the cave without it." Yikes.

Freeze and Ivy were bad, but Bane was ridiculous. The villain was reduced to a moronic Hulk-like stooge that doubled as a driver. This may very well be the worst use of any major super villain in any super hero film.

Its safe to say, fans were disappointed and plans for Batman 5 AKA Batman triumphant were canceled. That film actually sounds interesting, introducing Scarecrow and Harley Quinn (possibly played by Madonna) making Batman think the Joker has returned. But I am pretty sure what we ended up with in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight is worth not ever getting that sequel.

There is actually a fan edit of the film called Batman and Robin De-Assified, which literally "deassified" the movie by cutting all the close-up butt and crotch shots., lame jokes, and zany sound effects. The streamlined 66 minute film is reportedly not that bad but some of the bad parts had to stay in to keep the film's continuity. Basically, most of this stuff was cut:

Up Next: The New Batman Adventures

02 December 2009

There's a Firestorm a Comin'

When Batman: The Brave and the Bold returns in January, there will be a whole slew of new heroes teaming up with Bats. Among them, Firestorm. TV Guide has provided the first glimpse of the hero. I don't know too much about the guy outside of what I learned from Super Friends: He can change any inorganic matter into any other inorganic matter (basically an alchemist who can turn lead- but not plants- to gold) and he has the body of one guy with a Jiminy Cricket like conscience of a second dude. As a kid, I just thought he was pretty cool and always hoped he would reappear somewhere. Well his day has finally come.

01 December 2009

Wonder Woman (2009) - Film Capsule

Heroine: Wonder Woman

Villains: Ares and Hades

Diabolical Schemes: Ares, God of War, draws power from warring humans and hopes to become all powerful by influencing humans to start a nuclear war.

Coolest Moment(s): There are a couple of nice beheadings and some nice mythological monsters that get sliced and diced.

Worst Moment(s): Both Ares and Hades designs were pretty weak and unintimidating.

Comic Book Logic: It really didn't make sense to me why everyone just decided that it would be a good idea to show up in Washington D.C. for a big battle. And I may be wrong, but D.C. isn't on the ocean is it? Because I don't know if an Amazonian Navy could just come right up the Potomac. Then again, I'm no geographer.

Review in 50 Words or Less: Great way to reintroduce and modernize what sometimes seems like an outdated character. There was plenty of action and comedy and Wonder Woman was a lot more likable here than in Justice League. Steve Trevor was also well done in this solid entry in the DC line. Bring on Cheetah!

30 November 2009

Whats So Civil About War Machine Anyways?

Its official. War Machine will be helping to sell Iron Man 2 as if the movie needs selling.