x-men

Powerglove's Saturday Morning Apocalypse

Start with Danny Elfman's Batman theme + Heavy Metal + 8 bit platformer = Epic Fun!

I have not laughed that hard in a really long time.

Did they stop at Batman? No!  They covered all the classic:

Their cover of the X-men theme is amazing, and the Transformers, wow.  I feel guilty I didn't know about this sooner. 

Thanks to Badass Nerd for sharing the video.  This is in rotation for me now.

All I ask of a Superhero

Iron Man
Image via Wikipedia

A couple of people took me to task for my take on Iron Man 2. I like to think of myself as a simple man, but maybe that isn't true anymore.

Rethinking my expectations

I started reading comics as a kid.  Batman, Green Lantern, The Hulk, and the X-men were some of my favorites.  Growing up, superheroes were pure escapism.  Granted some of the characters had family problems, personal problems, and even Batman lost a Robin, but the stories were all larger than life.

Superhero flicks are still larger than life, but they have more "realistic problems."

  • Batman is a male Paris Hilton who fights crime.
  • Peter Parker wouldn't know what to do with the girl if he got her.
  • Tony Stark is rotting away from a self-inflicted disease + he is a male Paris Hilton who doesn't fight crime, he is bringing about world peace.

Holding out for a Hero!

Ok, everyone knows that I am a huge Bonnie Tyler fan, but every time I watch one of these movies, I hear her in the back of my head:

Where have all the good men gone And where are all the gods? Where's the street-wise Hercules To fight the rising odds? Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed? Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need

I need a hero I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night He's gotta be strong And he's gotta be fast And he's gotta be fresh from the fight I need a hero I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light He's gotta be sure And it's gotta be soon And he's gotta be larger than life

I want a superhero who is, well a hero.  They don't have to be perfect, and well they can have basic human flaws, but at the end of the day, they need to be a hero!

Returning to Iron Man 2, I thought Whiplash made a good case against the Stark family, and Tony just acted like the spoiled brat Whiplash thought he was.  I actually found myself wanting Whiplash to win.  I can't stand whiny, self-important bitches, and that is all I saw in Tony.  His womanizing turned me off, and his self-pity made me roll my eyes.  He dug his own grave, and I was ready to see him lay in it.

Escapism and Realism

I think my biggest issue with the film is that I was really looking for some pure escapism from the movie. That is what I look for in a superhero movie.

I watch a superhero for action, mystery, and pure escapism. Watching a super hero struggle with illness was outside the realm of what I wanted to see, especially with people in my life actually struggling with various illnesses that do not have a magical deus ex machina serum.  It felt like salt in the wound.

The illness reminded me of my real life, and the magic cure just upset me.  I went to see a movie where a superhero and super-villain tangled with each other until the film climaxed in a super-mega-ultra battle.

The movie, like all (not so) superhero movies since Batman Begins, opened with scenes of stark realism... but it is a superhero movie!!  Superheroes just aren't realistic, and films cannot serve two masters.

I am not sure exactly when escapism became a bad word, but my life is complicated enough.  Sometimes I just want to walk into a dark cave and forget about my real life for a couple of hours.  It might sound petty, but that is it.

I want a great, escapist spectacle from time to time, but more than anything, I want filmmakers to be honest with me and with their material.  If the movie is not an action movie, don't tell me it is.  If the movie is not a smart, well written think piece, be good with that.  Just don't pretend one is the other, and stop telling yourself you can be both at the same time.

A half-assed story with half-assed action is just a half-assed movie.  Two half-assed jobs never make a whole.

I know some of you liked the movie.  Great!  I wish I was one of you.  Keep having fun, and sharing. It is good to hear contrary opinions.  Just remember, we don't have to love the same things, we just need to help each other find more things we can all enjoy.

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Odd: Xavier Institute for Higher Learning In Real Life

Xavier Institute for Higher Learning Meet Your British Counterpart.  A Ribble Valley businessman put in a bid to buy the Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales.

Gwrych Castle is a 19th century mock castle ne...
Image via Wikipedia

His intentions is to open up a school or retreat for the psychically gifted.

“It has always been one of my ambitions to open a psychic retreat somewhere and this would work on several fronts.

It will be somewhere where psychics can go to meet like-minded people, to further their interests and develop their psychic senses.” He said.

(via Lancashire Telegraph)

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DVD Releases: November 3, 2009

gi_joe_dvd_coverOut this week we have four DVDs to feature:  G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Aliens in the Attic, Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End, Sand Serpents.  Do we Love It, Rent it, or Avoid Like Plague?

Owner

Renter

Don't Care

Avoid Like Plague

[reus name="Donation Box"]

If you really must waste your money don't buy the DVD just give it to us at least it is going to a good cause.

  • Sand Serpents: I happened upon this SyFy movie while house sitting and exploring cable again. It was terrible retelling of Tremors which at least had characters in it I liked.  If you are looking to torture yourself they are streaming it on netflix.  Do yourself a favor and Avoid this one like a plague.

[reus id="11"]

DVD Releases: September 15, 2009

Out this week we have five DVDs to feature:  Sanctuary: The Complete First Season, Doctor Who: The Next Doctor, The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season, Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Clone Commandos, Primeval, Vol. 2 (Series 3), X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

  • sanctuary.jpgSanctuary: The Complete First Season:  What a great sci-fi show.  I love how it started as an independent web project utilizing an all virtual backdrop style that looks great.  A must own exploration into the world of the abnormals.   In season one we get to see the Sanctuary, Witches, a folding man, the dangerous Kush, the ever adorable Nubbins I want one and I know not to feed it after midnight, Nikola Tesla, Werewolfs, Vampires, and much more.  Starring: Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Emilie Ullerup, Ryan Robbins, Christopher Heyerdahl, Agam Darshi.  I can't wait for season two to start on October 9th
  • Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (2008 Christmas Special): Victorian London is the setting of this "Doctor Who" Christmas special, which finds the time-traveling doc (David Tennant) arriving in the city on Christmas Eve, 1851, to investigate a string of murders -- only to encounter a familiar foe: the Cybermen. He also crosses paths with another Doctor (David Morrissey) -- whom he believes is a regeneration of himself -- and together they must battle their common enemy, the evil Mercy Hartigan.
  • The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season: This show is great geeky fun that is also a celebration in fandom.  Whenever I want a nice laugh that still stimulates my mind with random science and a verbose vocabulary Big Bang Theory is my pick.  I see a lot of myself in Leonard and I do live with Sheldon.
  • star-wars-clone-wars-clone-commander-front
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Clone Commandos:  The second pack release of the TV Star Wars Series: Clone Wars.  This DVD has four really good episodes  "Rookies," "Storm Over Ryloth," "Innocents of Ryloth" and "Liberty on Ryloth."  Full of Mace Windu goodness a plus yet not the complete series.  I already own the complete series through Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  For those wanting to get it on DVD I would wait for the complete season which has a rumored fall release, fingers crossed.
  • Primeval, Vol. 2 (Series 3):  Is this series any good?  I have watched some of the trailers for it but they did not get me excited to want to watch it.  Evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter recruits Egyptologist Sarah Page to the team, hoping her research can shed some light on the mysterious time anomalies that continue to deposit dangerous dinosaurs in modern England.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine:  This movie was an utter piece of excrement.  Don't waste your time.  If you are insistent on wasting your money then at least support us by buying it here:

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Darth Vader's march on the Jedi Temple accompa... Image via Wikipedia

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The Deadpool Solution

deadpool_common_senseI can only assume that most X-Men, comic geeks (I use that term affectionately to recognize my kin), and general sci-fi fans were extremely disappointed by the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie.  Like many adaptations, Hollywood strayed too far away from the source material and left us with the husk of what could have been.  More to the point, they introduced and set-up Wade Wilson aka Deadpool for a possible spin-off, which had now been "Greenlighted," but pervert him to the point that he's no longer palatable for us.  Maybe not.  I present to you, The Deadpoool Solution.

The Pitch

The concept is really simple.  As the movie has said, Wade was the only member of the Team X (Yes, I'm referring to them by their comic name.  We keeps it real here in the comic geek hood. Yea! Yea!) that could handle/survive the implantation of all the mutant powers.  When did Wade become a mutant?  Nevermind. We take the story from Wade's involvement.  To do this we have to give him some sort of BS power like hyper-agility, which will explain his sequence in the beginning (I'm trying to stay vague for those of you that haven't seen the movie yet) and will somewhat explain his constant chatter.  This power will allow his body to quickly adapt to anything new that has been introduced to it.  This is not a healing factor.

deadpool_who_meWade has been living a quiet life, like the rest of them.  Unlike them, he's quickly dying from cancer.  An adverse affect of his hyper-agility, rapidly spreading the cancer through his body.  Aware of Wade's condition, Stryker approaches him about coming to work for the government again, and offers to find a cure for his cancer.  Once Wade agrees to come back in, it all begins.  Of course, Wade is completely unaware that Stryker is the one who had him exposed to a cancer-like agent to bring him in.  Much like he does with Wolverine, Wade had to come on his own volition.  Stryker begins testing his theory by giving him a bit of Sabretooth's healing factor.  Once he realizes that his plan will work (Wade's cancer goes into remission), he has Wade placed on continuous sedation and begins with the mutant hunt and other experiments.  It's at this time Stryker decides to fuse Wade's mouth shut using acid.  (I am aware that the healing factor should prevent this from happening, but it has to be done, and it can't be done prior to getting the healing ability.)  He also gets the idea to infuse him with adamantium and decides to test it first on Wolverine; needing his healing factor.

deadpool_v_wolverineNot wanting to lose such a valuable test subject and possible perfect soldier, Stryker has Sabretooth bring him a young man named Jamie Madrox.  You may remember Madrox as being poorly written and misplayed in X-Men: The Last Stand.  Madrox, also known as the Multiple Man, has the ability to create duplicates of himself.  Not clones, but exact duplicates of the original.  In the comic, he can't control this ability as his dupes are spawned by kinetic energy and has to wear a special suit which allows him to control if and when a dupe will spawn; still brought about by kinetic energy.  You can see where I'm going with this.

Stryker has Madrox's ability synthesized to create a duplicate of Wade to do all of his experimentation on.  If something goes wrong, he hasn't lost the whole show, and can start over again with another dupe.  The synthesized version is a onetime use, with plans to fully infuse the ability in him and create a full army once Deadpool has been perfected.

After Wolverine is given the adamantium Wade is infused with Logan's ability and a dupe is created so that they can inject him with adamanium, too.  The events of the Wolverine movie prevent Stryker's plans for a Deadpool army from proceeding.  Wolverine and Sabretooth fight and kill the Deadpool dupe and the Three Mile Island base is destroyed.

Wade emerges from the rubble of the base with no knowledge of the recent events.  He knows that he's cancer free, and that he has a healing factor now.  He slices his mouth open so he can talk, and covers his disfigured face with a scrap of cloth he finds.  So begins the Deadpool movie.  Now, to help push him to that edge-of-sanity Deadpool we know from the comics, we can have him find the disembodied head of his dupe.  Not knowing how of why he's looking at himself decapitated, his mind would start to warp a bit.  To do this, we scratch the stinger ending with Deadpool (since not everyone gets to see it, it's easier to do away with) and use this.  Trying to use the extra ending creates additional problems we don't need; all the extra powers and 2 foot non-retractable adamantium claws would dilute the true character and weigh down the story.

Why Wolverine’s Claws Might Not Be a Good Idea

The brilliantly funny people over at college humor does it again.  I laughed so hard at this more reality based look at Wolverine’s powers. I love superhero stuff especially the X-Men.  In the comic they had the common sense to put in the blood that would inevitably occur when Wolverine sheds his claws.  This is, as expected, one of the major problems with the latest catastrophe (I just can’t call it an X-Men film).  For those of you unfortunate enough to have watched it you can now get come catharsis with this video.

The premise is a couple of guys save up to go through a medical procedure to get Wolverine’s mutant powers.  They saved up all the money they could but unfortunately find out that the costs of the procedure will be double since Wolverine has two mutant powers adamantium claws and mutant healing.  Which one will they choose?  Watch the video above.

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Review: X-Men Origins Wolverine

Overall Rating: 1 (that is out of 10) X-Men Origins: Wolverine is an atrocious X-men film and a horrible movie.  If you are an X-Men fan please do not watch this movie it may bring out your inner Hulk.  For those of you looking for at least a good action movie you too will be disappointed.  It even failed to deliver an wolverine-weapon-xexciting action movie opening with 10 minutes of awkward action coupled with another 20 min of action which sags terribly in the middle only to pick up when gambit arrives and then deliver an ending that is less exciting then watching a drunken bar brawl.  Please, I implore you do not torture yourself by watching X-men Origins Wolverine go buy X-Men, Volume 1 or Wolverine: Weapon X and enjoy good X-men.

As a fan of X-men I will not list all of the inaccuracies here to keep from making this a multi-page review.  Suffice it to say this movie failed to have have anything to do with the X-Men story or setting.  It even conflicted with the previous X-Men movies.  As a movie it was so terrible I will just discuss those failings.

x-men-volume1This movie was nothing more then a series of poorly Knitted together scenes that were ripped off from other movies.  To list some:  Tomb Raider, There’s Something About Mary, Star Wars VI, Heroes, and the final fight scene with the boss was ripped poorly from Star Wars I.  Dead Pool makes the same Darth Maul appearance then they copied the fight scene.  Darth Maul fighting Qui-Gon Jinn only Qui-Gon and Maul can regenerate their stab wounds which gives enough time for Obi-Wan Kenobi to join the fight where they still cut Maul in 1/2 and he falls down into a hole.

Another glaring issue of this movie is that it somehow showed too much with out showing enough.  Imagine a naked Hugh Jackman with full frontal that is Ken dolled… really, why not position the camera to avoid the full frontal or give Mr Jackman the balls to pull off the scene. How about up close shots of the claws ripping out of Wolverine’s skin and no blood, not even stained skin.  The list goes on.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine failed as an X-Men movie.  It even failed as a movie.  I strongly urge you to enjoy good X-Men and either watch X-Men, Volume 1 or read Wolverine: Weapon X .

Likes

  1. Gambit was ok, not great but ok
  2. Jen looked neat
  3. Dead Pool was good in a short scene toward the beginning of the movie.  (unfortunately the rest he sucked in)

Dislikes / Concerns

  1. Failed to have anything to do with the X-Men story or setting
  2. Failed to deliver exciting action
  3. Failed to even be consistent within the previous X-Men movies
  4. The majority of the scenes were poorly stolen from other movies
  5. The effects sucked: they were poorly composited, looked fake, and had proportion issues
  6. The pace sucked and was exacerbated by the poor transitions between the drama movie slapped into the middle of the action movie.
  7. The setting had many issues that shattered the illusion: the scene of the secret base in Canada, even the tree types were in conflict.
  8. The acting was atrocious especially the issues of accents:  Gambit could not keep a consistent accent and did not sound very Cajun at best.  I also need clarifying:  The Canadian lumberjacks had a deep south redneck accent I don’t believe this is right.  If your Canadian would you help clarify this for me in the comments?
  9. The Visuals showed too much and too little at the same time.
  10. Ken Dolled Hugh Jackman
  11. The majority of the characters were flat, inaccurate, or superfluous
  12. Failed to have a consistent or believable tension between Sabertooth and Wolverine.

More conversations on everything X-Men here, or read Theater or Renter: May 2009, A video look at X-Men Origins: Wolverine.


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Theater or Renter: May 2009

Theater or Renter: May includes eight SF movies:  X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Battle for Terra, Star Trek, Angels & Demons, Terminator: Salvation, Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian, Up, Drag Me to Hell.  Will we watch? Will we rent? or do we even care? Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then share with us your comments: does the movie, it’s trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Release Date: MAY 1st

Listed as: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Director: Gavin Hood

Produced by: Hugh Jackman, Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter, John Palermo

Written by: David Benioff, Skip Woods

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Dominic Monaghan, and Ryan Reynolds

The Plot / Story: The first chapter in the X-Men Saga, unites Wolverine with several other legends of the X-Men universe, in an epic revolution that pits the mutants against powerful forces determined to eliminate them.  Are you concerned that there is no story in that description... I am. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

for more read: A video look at X-Men Origins: Wolverine, And here.

Battle for Terra

Release Date: MAY 1st

Listed as: Animation, Adventure

Studio: Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions, MeniThings Productions

Director: Aristomenis Tsirbas

Produced by: Ryan Colucci, Keith Calder

Written by: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Story: Aristomenis Tsirbas

Stars: Brian Cox, James Garner, Evan Rachel Wood, Justin Long, Dennis Quaid, Danny Glover, Amanda Peet

The Plot / Story: When the peace-loving inhabitants of the beautiful planet Terra come under attack from the last surviving members of humanity adrift in an aging spaceship, the stage is set for an all-out war between the two races for control of the planet.  But will an unlikely friendship between a rebellious young Terrian and an injured human piolt somehow convince their leaders that war is not the answer? (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Star Trek (2009)

Release Date:  MAY 8th (May 7th in some theaters)

Listed as: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Studio: Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Bad Robot Productions

Director: J. J. Abrams

Produced by: J. J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof

Written by: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman

Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Eric Bana

The Plot / Story: The origin story of Captain James T. Kirk, Spock and the crew of the USS Enterprise before they had boldly gone where no man had gone before. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

For more articles on Star Trek read here

Angels & Demons

Release Date:  MAY 15th

Listed as: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Studio: Imagine Entertainment

Director: Ron Howard

Produced by: Brian Grazer, John Calley

Written by: David Koepp, Akiva Goldsman

Stars: Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer, Ewan McGregor

The Plot / Story: Based on the book Angels & Demons by Dan Brown.  Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon finds himself in Rome, where he has to race against time to prevent the Illuminati, a secret society, from putting in motion a terrorist act that could destroy the Vatican. He's aided in his quest by the beautiful Italian scientist Vittoria Vetri (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

For more on Angels and Demons read:  Trailer: Angels & Demons TV spot

Terminator: Salvation

Release Date: MAY 22nd

Listed as: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: McG

Produced by: Derek Anderson, Victor Kubicek, Jeffrey Silver, Moritz Borman

Written by: Screenplay: John D. Brancato, Michael Ferris, Uncredited: Jonathan Nolan, Anthony E. Zuiker, Shawn Ryan, Paul Haggis, David C. Wilson, Characters: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd

Stars: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, Jane Alexander, Helena Bonham Carter

The Plot / Story: John Connor is joined in his attempt to defeat Skynet and its army of Terminators by Marcus Wright, a man who apparently has been rescued from the past, though Connor wonders if instead he's been sent from the future as a foil to his plan. As Connor and Wright push deep into the heart of Skynet, they get closer and closer to learning the secret behind the organization's mission to wipe humankind off the planet.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

For more articles on Terminator read here

Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian

Release Date:  MAY 22nd

Listed as: Action, Comedy

Studio: 21 Laps Entertainment

Director: Shawn Levy

Produced by: Shawn Levy, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan

Written by: Screenplay: Thomas Lennon  Story: Robert Ben Garant

Stars: Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest, Alain Chabat, and Robin Williams

The Plot / Story: Security guard Larry Daley infiltrates the Smithsonian Institute in order to rescue Jedediah and Octavius, who have been shipped to the museum by mistake. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Up

Release Date: MAY 29th

Listed as: Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family

Studio: Pixar Animation Studios

Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Produced by: Jonas Rivera

Written by: Bob Peterson, Ronnie del Carmen, Thomas McCarthy

Stars: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Jordan Nagai

The Plot / Story: By tying thousands of balloon to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn't alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Drag Me to Hell

Release Date: MAY 29th

Listed as: Horror, Thriller

Studio: Ghost House Pictures

Director: Sam Raimi

Produced by: Grant Curtis, Joshua Donen, Joseph Drake, Nathan Kahane, Sam Raimi, Robert G. Tapert

Written by: Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi

Stars: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, David Paymer

The Plot / Story: A loan officer ordered to evict an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse which turns her life into a living nightmare. Desperate, she turns to a seer for help, and learns she only has a short period of time before she is literally ushered into Hell. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)


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DVD Releases: April 28th, 2009

Out this week we have 5 DVDs to feature: X-Men, Volume 1, X-Men Volume 2, Jetsons: The Movie, Castle Ghosts of the British Isles, and J. R. R. Tolkien.

  • X-Men, Volume 1:  I waited years for this to finally come out on DVD.  This is by far the best representation of X-Men beyond the comics.  I loved the animation style and the story lines were amazing.  I burnt through so many tapes of this series and now that it is on DVD it is a must own!
  • Jetsons: The Movie: This is one of those movies that was not that great but loved by fans of the Jetsons.  This feature-length animated film came out in the 90’s and is based on the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
  • Castle Ghosts of the British Isles: This program investigates the myths of ghosts associated with various castles throughout the British Isles.  I’m a sucker for these types of shows I love hearing the ghost stories from various places around the world.  Having not seen this production I will have to rent it to see if it is good.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien:  This film tells the story of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.  This 1998 BBC production is finally out on DVD.  I really enjoyed other BBC productions like this one and have high hopes for the contents.  A high recommendation for any fan of Lord of the Rings and J.R.R. Tolkien.

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DVD Releases: April 21st, 2009

Out this week we have 2 DVD to feature: Wolverine and the X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy, Battlestar Galactica: Caprica


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The latest X-Men Origins: Wolverine Trailer

I’ve gone back and forth with the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie.  I want to be excited.  I want to love this move but I have been let down too many times with Hollywood’s X-Men movie franchise. I love the X-men and the story behind the characters yet Hollywood has not done a very good job translating that story and characters into the movie medium.  Take for instance their latest debacle being Phoenix in X-Men 3.

The earlier trailers and information about this film has lead me to believe that this would have little to do with the comic character Wolverine and more to do with the movie franchise mess.  Read A video look at X-Men Origins: Wolverine for more information.

After watching this latest video I have a little more hope.  It looks like they got the chemistry right between Wolverine and Sabretooth when we get to see the brief moments of them interacting.

It saddens me that for a movie I so want to love and look forward to I have to reduce my hopes to the spectacle in order to find hope.  The spectacle does look good but X-Men should be more than a spectacle flick.

Vision of a Fan Based Economy

Ira Rubenstein is the Executive Vice President of Marvel Comics' Global Digital Media Group.  Dave Roman is associate editor of Nickelodeon Magazine and a cartoonist.  Stuart Levy is the chief executive of Tokyopop.

This is a conversation they had at ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference:

Rubenstein: But Dave, I think there’s a difference. No one can write about Spider-Man or X-Men except for us.

Roman: I disagree.

Levy: Totally.

Rubenstein: Those are our characters. How could someone else write another Spider-Man story?

Roman: Because fan fiction is becoming so powerful. I’ve seen the power of fan fiction. Working at Nickelodeon, there are people out there doing ‘Avatar’ comics that are soooooo much better…

Rubenstein: But that’s like saying YouTube is a real entertainment channel. It’s not.

Roman/Levy/like five people in the audience: It is (THE BEAT).

They just don't get it.

Caretakers of Legends

As I said in What makes a fan a fan, studios and publishers have to stop thinking of themselves as copyright holders and more as caretakers of the franchises we love.  The good and the bad of the dialogue above is that Dave Roman and Stuart Levy seem to understand, but Ira Rubenstein still doesn't.

I have a feeling that many companies will go out of business before their leaders who do not understand the changes in the marketplace are replaced by people who do understand.  If there is a future, then we have to change the economic model from the owner/consumer model to a new fan based model.  Here are some of suggestions for a possible way forward.

Studio/Publisher Side

Producers of media have to come to terms with the fact the days of closely controlled monopolies they once held over the franchises in their care are over, and that they have to open up to accept new methods of distribution and a new relationship with their fans.

National Borders are meaningless

The first lesson may be the hardest.  We have believed for so long that National Borders were meant to limit trade.  Where media is concerned this is a recipe for piracy.

With the advent of digital downloads, online streaming, and print on demand, it is easier than ever for any and every release to be global.  Distribution models have to built that will allow for a studio/publisher to monetize their work in every country simultaneously.

Ads, Subscriptions, Purchases and Give-aways

Studios and Publishers have to realize that they will never again be able to rely on a single method to monetize their works.  There are four main ways businesses make money on the net:

  1. Ads: Not too many or it turns people off, but the opportunity to direct targeted ads to reader and viewers.
  1. Subscriptions: Allow readers/viewers access to ad free versions of your content that they pay a regular recurring fee.  There are two major subscription models:
      1. All you can eat:  Allow your subscribers to full access to your content library so long as they pay the subscription fee.
      2. Ala carte:  Allow your subscribers the right to own so many files a month based on subscription level.
      3. Purchases:  Allow your readers/viewer to purchase copies of your work.
      4. Give-aways:  Sometimes you have to give your work away to find an audience and make your money some other way.  For example: give away the streaming, but sell the file.

      Platform Independence

      Don't tie your work to one platform.  Give your readers/viewers options.

      Let us stream with ads or subscribe by the season or purchase outright.  You offer every method, we chose the one we want.

      Don't tie our purchases to a single player or device.  If I want to watch my DVD on my AppleTV, let me.  If I want to watch my digital files at a friend's house, let me.  If I want to watch my iTunes purchases through Boxee, let me.

      The more restrictions you place on your files, the more you encourage piracy.  The more freedom you allow you readers/viewers, the more money you will make.  You cannot expect to be respected by your reader/viewers, if you do not treat them with respect.  If you treat them like pirates, don't be surprised when they act like pirates.

      Our Media

      You have to understand that you do not own this media.  If you allow your fans to have a sense of ownership over franchises under your care, they will feel a greater sense of responsibility for the future of the franchise.

      Next time we will discuss the Fan Side of the new marketplace.

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      A video look at X-Men Origins: Wolverine

      This series of three one minute videos gives us a better look at what the movie X-Men Origins:  Wolverine is about.  The movie will open May 1, 2009.  Watch all three videos below.

      1st spot

      Watching the first video confirms my concern that the movie is not too concerned with being true to the comic history of Wolverine and his relationships.  To their credit it looks like they will show a pivotal event in Wolverine’s past but with key changes.  I do like that they are going to keep his bone claws in though :)

      2nd spot

      The second spot titled brothers shows Sabretooth and Wolverine’s relationship as they go through a lot of the major wars in the last 100 years.  They hint at the reason for the feud between Sabretooth and Wolverine which is a deviation from the comic history.  The reason in the comic was so compelling so the deviation gives me concern that the feud in the movie will not come close to being compelling enough.

      3rd spot

      The third spot Legends is a summery of the conflict that will drive the rest of the movie.  Unfortunately the main conflict appears to be weak and by far when compared to the comics.  There are a lot of over the top action sequences which kind of board me.  I wondered if I finally got desensitized to the action but I think it may be just the trailer.

      I’m not going to trash the movie based on these promotions.  It really appears that this movie might be really bad but I will hold off until I can see it in the context of the movie.  Yikes very Yikes, I love Wolverine and X-men and I’m not excited about this movie.

      Exploring: X-Men Animated Show 1992-1997

      X-men-animated-series Marvel X-Men Volume 1 (2-Disc) and Volume 2 (2-Disc) are finally coming to DVD April 28th 2009.  This series is absolutely awesome and to date one of the best… nay best audio/video representation of X-Men.  I’m going to pre-order this it’s a must own.  The animated series originally aired from 1992 to 1997 on Fox.  See a full List of X-Men episodes here.

      The X-Men line up is: Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey, Professor X, and as well as an original character, Morph.  Also featured as guest-stars in at least one episode: Colossus, Nightcrawler, Emma Frost, Forge, Havok, Polaris, Cannonball, Banshee, Iceman, Archangel, Longshot, Dazzler, Sunfire, Psylocke, Cable, and Bishop. Keen-eyed fans may also spot cameos by other familiar mutants, such as Feral or Rictor. One prominent character, Shadowcat, did not appear in the series at all.

      Some of the famous storylines and events loosely adapted are:

      • Dark Phoenix Saga
      • Days of Future Past
      • The Phalanx Covenant
      • The Legacy Virus

      The series was also one of the few shining examples of Progressive Speculative Fiction from the nineties.  They addressed social issues like:

      • The ills of prejudice
      • Intolerance
      • Isolation
      • Racism
      • Divorce
      • Christianity
      • The Holocaust
      • AIDS hysteria
      • Even satires of television itself
      • Fundamentalism and government fascism

      Get your copies here:

      x-men-animated1 x-men-animated2

      (via Wikipedia)

      Speculative Fiction BOX Sets Limited Time Deals

      OMG I love Christmas, and Amazon made it even easier to give this year.  They have put out some excellent must own SF box sets at prices that are practically a give away.  The only catch is that the deals are limited time only so if you are thinking on doing this don’t procrastinate!

      • get your copy of sg-1 Stargate SG-1 - The Complete Series Collection $99.99:  This show rules!  I have the first three seasons but had to get this one when I saw the deal imagine paying less than $2 per DVD full of Stargate goodness!.  Stargate SG-1 Season 1, Season 2,  Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6, Season 7, Season 8, Season 9, Season 10,  Disc 51 includes: Ark of Truth Promo, Continuum Promo, "Stargate SG-1: The Lowdown (SG-1 Season 7)", From Stargate to Atlantis: The Lowdown (SG-1 Season 8 & Atlantis Season 1), Behind the Stargate: Secrets Revealed (SG-1 Season 8 & Atlantis Season 1), Disc 52 includes: "Sci Fi Inside: Stargate SG-1's 200th Episode (SG-1 Season 10)", "Behind the Mythology of Stargate SG-1 (SG-1 Seasons 1-10)", Stargate SG-1: True Science, Disc 53 includes: **Season Three, Timeline to the Future, Part 1: Legacy of the Gate, Part II: Secrets of the Gate, Part III: Beyond the Gate, **Season Four, SG-1 Video Diary: Teryl Rothery, "Stargate SG-1 Season 5: Gateway to Adventure ", Stargate SG-1: The 100th Episode, **Season Five: SG-1 Video Diary: Don S. Davis, **Season Six: SG-1 Directors Series: Smoke and Mirrors", SG-1 Directors Series: The Changeling, SG-1 Directors Series: Memento, SG-1 Directors Series: Prophecy, SG-1 Video Diary: Richard Dean Anderson Paradise Lost", Disc 54: **Season Seven: SG-1 Directors Series: Revisions, SG-1 Directors Series: Heroes, SG-1 Directors Series: Resurrection, "Behind the Scenes: Journey Inside Lost City", The Storyboard Process, "Bra'tac vs. Ronan: Designing the Fight", Stargate Magic: Inside the Lab, Richard Dean Anderson: "My Life as a Mime", **Season Eight: Beyond the Gate: A Convention Experience with Amanda Tapping" "Beyond the Gate: A Convention Experience with Michael Shanks" SG-1 Directors Series: Threads, Profile On: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, The Last Day of Teal'C, SG-1 Directors Series: Moebius, “Stargate SG-1 Alliance: The Making of The Video Game"
      • Battlestar Galactica Franchise Collection: $99.99 (Season One | Season 2.0 | Season 2.5 | Season 3.0 | BSG Razor)
      • The Ultimate Matrix Collection$24.49 (The Matrix/ The Matrix Reloaded/ The Matrix Revolutions/ The Animatrix)
      • The Mel Brooks Collection: $38.99 (Blazing Saddles / Young Frankenstein / Silent Movie / Robin Hood: Men in Tights / To Be or Not to Be / History of the World, Part 1 / The Twelve Chairs / High Anxiety)
      • Planet of the Apes - The Legacy Collection$26.99 (Planet of the Apes [1968] / Beneath the / Escape from the / Conquest of the / Battle for the)
      • The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection$22.99 8 Disc Collection
      • Alien Quadrilogy$32.99 (Alien/ Aliens /Alien 3 /Alien Resurrection)
      • Jim Henson's Fantasy Film Collection$20.49 (Labyrinth / MirrorMask / The Dark Crystal)
      • Godzilla DVD Collection 7-Pack$64.99 (Godzilla (1998) / Godzilla 2000 / vs. King Ghidora / and Mothra The Battle for Earth / vs. Destoroyah / vs. Space Godzilla / vs. Mechagodzilla / Giant Monsters All Out Attack / vs. Megaguirus)

      The Young (gay) X-men, who will die first?

      Youngx-MenMarvel released the Young X-men with two, count them two gay characters: Anole and a newish character, Jonas Greymalkin.

      Jonas Greymalkin, a character whose history was revealed with a story in X-Men: Manifest Destiny #3. It turns out that Greymalkin is over 200 years old and his powers were activated soon after his father realized that Jonas was gay. Furious, Jonas was beaten unconscious by his father and buried alive. Fortunately for Jonas, his powers (which include invulnerability) work best in darkness and, therefore, were well suited to surviving being buried alive. Jonas spent the last 200 years in a state of suspended animation, a time that ended when Jonas' grave was disturbed and he was thrown back into the modern world (After Elton).

      Given the history of GLBT characters in speculative fiction, I have to ask the question: "Which one will die first?"

      My money is on Anole because Jonas is invulnerable, but who knows, maybe he will be buried alive again. I hate to be a downer, but that is usually what happens to GLBT characters, and Marvel has done a good job keeping the streak going.

      Occult Heroes: X-men

      X_men__Occult_Heroes_by_genesischant There is something special about an image that makes you want to write fanfic dedicated to it.  The Paranatural Persons League is a great Victorian version of the X-men.

      1. Dr Harold McCoy- Chimera
      2. Scot Sumner- Basilisk
      3. Prof. Charles Excalibur- Professor
      4. Wilbur Worth II- Angel
      5. Buniq (Bunny) Excalibur- Skadi
      6. Jenny Grey Worth- Mistress Grey
      7. Lucan- Berserker

      I so want to write some fiction about these characters.  I am not sure I can hold back.

      Update

      I couldn't resist the urge, I started a WeBook Project to collect stories about these characters.  Start writing here.

      (via deviantART)