Sunday, May 31, 2009

Toy Story 3 Teaser Trailer

The movie comes out in June 2010.

I'm not really sure on the plot of it, but it looks like it has most of the original voice cast back.

Enjoy!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Music Video Mondays

This weeks music video goes back to the 70's. I'm not sure many people have heard of tha band, but I'm sure the song is waaaay recognizable. The name of the band is called Ram Jam, which was primarily in the 70's. The name of the song? "Black Betty".
I think an updated version was on the Dukes of Hazard movie, but I think it was done by a band called Spiderbait. There version is more rock, and, in my opinion, a better version of the original.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Music Video Mondays

I thought I would bring it back old school this week, and go back to the 80's.
This weeks selection is from a band that was formed in the 70's and became a big band in the 70's & 80's, playing along names like the Who & Rolling Stones.

This is one of my all time favorite songs, starting from when I heard it on the Empire Records movie. The video is absolutely horrid, but the song is awesome.

The band is The Dire Straits.
The song? Romeo & Juliet

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Art: Microheroes

Next up on the "My Art" series, is my tribute to the game Mike Tyson's Punch Out. Here is Little Mac, one of the stars of the game. The first three are from the original game; the next one is Little Mac in a suit ('cause, y'know, boxers try to look respectable too); the last one is from his upcoming appearance in the Wii Punch Out game, coming out mid-2009.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Music Video Mondays

For this week, I thought I would switch it up a little. FOr one, I thought I would pick a recent song. Secondly, I thought I would make it a fun, "poppy" song. Plain White T's is an awesome band. I really like a bunch of their music.

Here is there video: "1234" by The Plain White T's

Sunday, May 3, 2009

X-Men: Origins - WOLVERINE



At first, when I heard about this movie, I was HIGHLY skeptical. The first X-Men movie was really good, but the other two sequels went downhill from there. I wasn't really looking forward to seeing the new spin off movie. I was of that opinion until I saw the first trailer for it. Instantly, my mind was changed. I thought the trailer looked awesome, and if it was that good in a minute & change, then I wanted to see what else was going to go down...

I had gotten really excited to see the movie, as the date for release was drawing closer & closer. Finally, it came out, and I raced to see it. (I was one of those people that went Thursday night at midnight to see it). I came out of the movie feeling two ways:

A)the first feeling, as a writer, felt that this was a good, strong movie. It had all the bases covered, and the story was fully formed and well written (not so much the dialouge, but the movie itself).
B)the second feeling, as a fan of the comics, had left me underwhelmed.
There were so many little things that I didn't like.

I was thinking about doing a review of it, until I came across this article on IGN.COM about the movie. In a nutshell, it basically describes the differences of the comics and the movie. It's a good article, and it would pretty much be the same way if I had to write a story about this movie. This story just covers the facts; for the full story, please go HERE.


Wolverine & Sabretooth

One of the driving themes of the entire movie is the troubled relationship between Wolverine (a.k.a. James Howlett or Logan) and Sabretooth (a.k.a. Victor Creed). In this, it's no different from the comics. The lives of these two have intertwined for decades, after all.

The movie establishes that Wolverine and Sabretooth are actually brothers. James' "father" ran an estate in the Canadian wilderness; Victor and his father worked as groundskeepers. James quickly discovered that Groundskeeper Logan was his real father, making he and Victor brothers. This entire sequence pulls heavily from the early issues of the mini-series Origin, and in some ways is the most faithfully adapted portion of the movie.

However, in other ways it diverges far from the comics. In Origin, the character Dog takes the place of Sabretooth. Dog was an analogue of Sabretooth, and only that. Rather than flee together, Wolverine and Dog became sworn enemies after the disaster in the Howlett manor. Wolverine and the real Sabretooth didn't encounter each other until sometime later. One other bit worth noting - they're not related in the comic books. Writer Chris Claremont intended Creed to eventually be revealed as Logan's father. Alas this never came to light.

Another somewhat more minor difference is the date during which these scenes took place. In Origin, James was born during the later years of the 19th Century. In the movie, the date was established at 1840. The brothers were seen fighting in the Civil War in the opening credits, whereas the comic Wolverine wasn't even born at that point.

But the two did fight as allies during their time in Team X. They were even friendly for a time, at least until Wolverine decided to set out on his own. More than anything, the movie diverges from the comics in is depiction of Sabretooth as a troubled yet loving brother. Even at the end, Movie Victor did the terrible things he did out of a misguided attempt to win his brother back. In the comics, Sabretooth has done far worse and for far less reason. They might have been allies once upon a time, but the comic versions generally loathed each other right up to Sabretooth's death.

While it may be tempting to cry foul with these changes to Wolverine's origin, it's also worth noting that in many ways the movie version of the Wolverine/Sabretooth dynamic is far more clean and concise than what is being established in the comics at the moment. Does anyone really want Romulus to enter the picture, or for the script to deal with the notion that Wolverine and Sabretooth are Lupines, not mutants? We didn't think so.


Team X & Stryker

Early in the movie, both Logan and Victor are inducted into Stryker's covert squad known as Team X. Both men did serve time with this squad in the comics. The core lineup was somewhat different and more fluid. Along with Wolverine and Sabretooth, Team X normally included Maverick and Silver Fox. Others like Deadpool and Kestrel wandered in and out at times, but Wolverine generally served with those three partners.

Agent Zero is one of the more heavily modified characters in the film and the moniker is another code name used by Maverick in the comics. Before he lost his powers, Maverick could absorb and redistribute kinetic energy, as well as heal wounds to a much lesser extent than Wolverine. The movie Agent Zero shares only his skill with firearms. Even their ethnicities differ.

Even more modified is Deadpool... but we'll get to him later.

John Wraith/Kestrel, on the other hand, is largely similar. In the comics, Wraith is a teleporter who prefers to keep his talent a secret except when absolutely necessary. The look is similar as well, right down to Wraith's trademark cowboy hat. In the comics, Wraith is given an artificial age suppressant, and it's unknown whether the members of Team X in the movie receive similar treatment.

Fred Dukes was interesting in that he only morphed into the Blob halfway through the movie. In either iteration, the Blob is incredibly strong, but in the comics his massive girth is part of his mutation. Dukes was never a member of Team X, instead preferring to serve in the Brotherhood of Mutants when not stuffing his face.

Gambit is another character who had no history with Team X in the comics. In terms of powers and mannerisms, however, Taylor Kitsch's Gambit is very much in line with the source material. The only aspect of his powers missing from the film are his eyes. In the comics, Gambit's eternally red pupils are capable of hypnotizing others, a trait that comes in handy during his thieving missions. Speaking of which, no mention is made of Gambit's life as a thief or his connection to the Thieves Guild. Should the character receive his own spinoff project, we expect that will change.

Dominic Monaghan plays an obscure mutant named Bolt. This is contrary to early reports that Monaghan would play the bird-like mutant known as Beak. Bolt was not a member of Team X in the comics, though he did share a connection to Maverick.

Finally, Stryker himself has evolved quite a bit from his comic book self. In the comics, Stryker is actually a preacher – a religious bigot who preaches that mutants are an affront to God. Movie Stryker is no man of the cloth. His personal views on mutants are far more nebulous, though he clearly isn't above using and abusing them for his own gain.


Wolverine & Silver Fox

Wolverine had himself a number of ladies in the murky years before Weapon X. Hell, he's had his fair share even after then. Silver Fox was wisely chosen for this movie because of her own connection to Weapon X.

That said, there are more than a few differences between the two versions. In the comics, it was established that Logan and Silver Fox were lovers early in the 20th Century. Silver Fox was killed by Sabretooth on Logan's birthday, starting off a trend of lousy presents that would continue for years.

However, the truth of this relationship has been repeatedly called into question. Much of their life together seems to have been fabricated by Weapon X and implanted into Wolverine's mind as false memories. When encountering Silver Fox on Team X, she has no memory of their romance and no particular love for Logan. In fact, Silver Fox is generally much more cold and grim in the comics, eventually betraying her country and becoming a HYDRA agent. This betrayal carries over to the movie to a certain extent, though it's clearly implied that Fox felt true love for her man.

Silver Fox's powers in the movie are also re-imagined. In the comics, Fox is just one of many Weapon X-ers granted an artificial healing factor. In the movie, she is able to manipulate others by touch. While she was a skilled soldier in the comics, Silver Fox has more of a support role in the film's Weapon X hierarchy.

Lastly, Silver Fox and Emma Frost are not meant to be sisters. We know that must be surprising given how strong the family resemblance was in the movie, but they aren't. (Could you hear the sarcasm through your monitor?)


Weapon X

In a very basic sense, the Weapon X of the movie is similar to the Weapon X of the comics. Both are secretive government organizations bent on creating new breeds of super-soldiers. The movie draws strong inspiration from Grant Morrison's New X-Men and subsequent stories, which established that Weapon X actually stands for "Weapon Ten", and that the group was an offshoot of the larger Weapon Plus program. In the comics, Weapon I is none other than Captain America, though referencing that in the movie would be impossible.

In terms of Logan's own role and the players involved, though, the two versions differ greatly. Logan did not volunteer for the adamantium bonding procedure in the comics. Instead, he was rather forcibly taken by Weapon X agents and subjected to the process against his will. Granted, having Logan willingly submit himself to the procedure does add an extra layer of tragedy to the events.

As mentioned earlier, the comics version of Stryker was no military man and had no role in Weapon X. The program was run by a man named Professor Thorton, who placed one Dr. Cornelius in charge of the actual adamantium procedure. Unless we blinked and missed them, neither man is in the movie. (It's entirely possible given the fact that not much screen time was spent on the adamantium procedure.)

One of the hallmarks of Weapon X is that many shadowy figures run the operation from behind the scenes, including Romulus and Sublime. While the nature of a shadowy figure like Romulus prevents us from definitively claiming he has no role in the movie's plot, it's clear the manipulative villain was not a priority. Legions of Romulus haters can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

A defining characteristic of Logan as a character is his amnesia. Obviously, the movie needed some way of having Logan's memories wiped so he could embark on the path to becoming the man we see him as in the first X-Men movie. The comics established that Wolverine's memory loss was at least partially caused by his own body. In times of great trauma, his healing factor wipes his mind in order to help him cope. For instance, shortly after fleeing the Howlett homestead in Origin, his mind had already erased much of his past life. Coupled with the brainwashing courtesy of Weapon X, Logan's faulty memories can easily be accounted for.

Not so in the movie. Logan suffered no memory loss after manifesting his powers and killing Groundskeeper Logan. Even after being bonded with the adamantium, he still retained full memory of his 100+ years of life. It wasn't until Stryker fired several adamantium bullets into his skull that Logan suffered catastrophic brain damage. This seems a rather crude way of going about it, and we think many would agre that the story should have allowed for a more natural erasure of his memories.


Deadpool

Perhaps no changes in the movie are likely to attract the wrath of X-fans like the modifications to Deadpool. Visually and in terms of powers, there is almost nothing to connect codename Weapon XI to the goofball assassin running around the comics.

The comic book Deadpool's origin goes something like this – Wade Wilson was an ex-military man dying of cancer. He volunteered for the Weapon X program in hopes of somehow finding a cure for his condition. The organization's goal was to artificially recreate Wolverine's healing factor in the body of a normal human. The procedure worked, but a little too well. Wade gained a healing factor that put even Wolverine's to shame. It held his cancer at bay, but Wade's cancer also reacted to his new defenses by generating an excess of new body tissue. His entire body became covered in tumor-like sores. Worse still, the procedure warped his mind rather severely.

This is where Deadpool's sense of humor comes from. Thanks both to his fragile state of mind and the loss of his family, he retreated into a wacky persona who never shuts up. Deadpool is crazy enough to realize he's in a comic book, but at the same time, not quite as insane as he would like everyone to believe.

Other than the healing factor, Deadpool has no powers to speak of. He gets by with an excess of heavy artillery and a willingness to soak up damage like a proverbial sponge. This approach has kept him alive over the years, and occasionally allows him to pay the bills as a mercenary.

In the movie, Wade is already a highly skilled soldier when he joins Team X. His fighting skills appear to outclass even Wolverine and Sabretooth's. His trademark sense of humor is also readily apparent. None of this is necessarily a bad thing - Deadpool's major appeal is his wacky humor.

The problem comes from the decision to turn Deadpool into Weapon XI, a literal chimera who harnesses multiple mutant powers. In the comics, Weapon XI was a mutant named Kane who had the power to morph his cybernetic arms into various shapes. In the movie, Weapon XI is Wade Wilson after years of horrific experiments have left him mute, docile, and almost unrecognizable. Various mutant genes pulled from Cyclops, Wolverine, John Wraith, and numerous others have been forcibly grafted to his DNA. With these characteristics added, Deadpool becomes a serious physical threat, but the central premise behind the character is all but gone.


Cameos

Speaking of crowds, the movie was packed to the brim with various mutant cameos. Despite ostensibly being a solo superhero movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine easily had more mutant cameos than either of the first two X-Men movies.

Cyclops was the most prominent. Cyclops' story proceeded much as it did in the comics. After spending an unhappy childhood fearing and misunderstanding his optic blasts, Cyclops was approached by Xavier, becoming the first X-Man. A young Xavier himself makes a cameo appearance, much as he did in the opening scene of X-Men: The Lat Stand. The main difference here is that Cyclops was never kidnapped by Weapon X. The worst opponents he faced as a teen were bullies and bigots.

Also prominent in the movie's climax was Emma Frost, the future White Queen. Oddly, Emma's powers in the movie seem confined to her diamond mutation. No evidence of her psychic abilities is seen. Additionally, Emma was never a prisoner of the Weapon X program, and never encountered the X-Men at all till her time as the White Queen.

Toad, Quicksilver, and Banshee all appear as prisoners of Weapon X. Toad, of course, appeared in the first X-Men movie as an opponent of the X-Men. The other two characters have yet to appear in the film continuity. It's unknown whether Quicksilver is intended to be the son of Magneto as he is in the comics.

Stryker's son Jason appears, obviously much younger than his X2 self. Jason is intended to take the role of the hypnotizing Mastermind, though his powers were not utilized in this prequel.

One cameo notable by its absence was Storm. Early images and trailer footage showed a very young Storm in the scene where Team X hunts for the mystery metal in Nigeria. Storm actually grew up in Kenya in the comics, but otherwise this scene was plausible. The metal itself qualifies as another Marvel cameo. Based on the region, it's entirely possible Stryker was hunting for vibranium, a known component of adamantium. Vibranium is a fictional metal in the Marvel Universe, the majority of which is controlled by Black Panther and the nation of Wakanda. Sadly, a Black Panther cameo was not in the cards.