Posts Tagged ‘The Incredibles

26
Mar
12

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 260: Superheroes Beyond Comics

Although comic books gave birth to the superhero as we know it, that doesn’t mean they’ve been restricted to the four-color pages all these years. This week, Blake and Kenny share their own top ten lists of superheroes who were born outside of comic books, then dive into some of your suggestions. In the picks, Kenny goes with Aquaman, and Blake chooses Wolverine and the X-Men and the final issue of Tiny Titans. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 260: Superheroes Beyond Comics

03
Feb
11

What I’m Watching in 2011

Okay, we’re over a month into the year, it’s time for me to begin my running tally of movies I’ve watched in 2011. Those of you who see this list when it’s first posted will notice a definite trend towards 2010 films. If you’ve read this post, that makes a lot more sense. At any rate, this is where I’m keeping my annual running tally of the movies I see this year, and my quick rating of them. And if I review a movie at any of the many websites where I turn out such content, I’ll throw up a link.

What I’m Watching in 2011

  1. How to Train Your Dragon (2010), B+
  2. Infestation (2009), B+
  3. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), A
  4. True Grit (2010), A+
  5. Shutter Island (2010), B-
  6. Robin Hood (2010), C
  7. Easy A (2010), A-
  8. Splice (2009), D-
  9. Dinner For Schmucks (2010), B-
  10. Buried (2010), B+
  11. The Social Network (2010), A
  12. Repo Men (2010), C
  13. Logan’s Run (1976), B
  14. Exam (2008), A
  15. The Town (2010), A
  16. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010), B
  17. Fame (2009), B-
  18. Back to the Future (1985), A+
  19. Superman (1978), A+
  20. Cop Out (2010), D
  21. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010), C
  22. All-Star Superman (2011), A
  23. The Crucible (1996), A
  24. Unknown (2011), C+
  25. Legion (2010), C-
  26. The Book of Eli (2010), C+
  27. Mulholland Drive (2001), B
  28. A Bug’s Life (1998), B
  29. Battle: Los Angeles (2011), B
  30. RED (2010), B+
  31. Frozen (2010), B
  32. Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown (2011), B+
  33. A Beautiful Mind (2002), A
  34. Machete (2010), D
  35. Monsters (2010), C
  36. Let Me In (2010), B
  37. Limitless (2011), B+
  38. Devil (2010), C+
  39. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010), C-
  40. Scream (1996), A
  41. Scream 2 (1997), B
  42. Scream 3 (2000), B-
  43. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), A+
  44. Love and Other Drugs (2010), B+
  45. Moon (2009), A
  46. Fight Club (1999), B
  47. Megamind (2010), B
  48. Scream 4 (2011), B+
  49. The Experiment (2010), B
  50. It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010), A-
  51. The King’s Speech (2010), A
  52. Lottery Ticket (2010), C
  53. Mary Poppins (1964), A
  54. Ghostbusters 2 (1989), B+
  55. Wall•E (2008), A
  56. The Other Guys (2010), D
  57. Akira (1988), B
  58. The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story (2009), A
  59. The Phantom Tollbooth (1970), A
  60. The Last Unicorn (1982), B+
  61. Chicken Little (2005), B
  62. The Fighter (2010), B
  63. Saw: The Final Chapter (2010), B-
  64. Memento (2000), A
  65. The Untouchables (1987), A
  66. Thor (2011), A
  67. Firebreather (2010), B-
  68. Bookwars (2000), B-
  69. Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010), A
  70. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), C
  71. Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) (2010), B+
  72. Die Hard (1988), A
  73. The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993), B+
  74. The Princess Bride (1987), A+
  75. Holes (2003), B+
  76. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), B+
  77. Skyline (2010), D
  78. The Last Airbender (2010), C-
  79. The Last Starfighter (1984), A
  80. Duck Soup (1933), A+
  81. The Hangover Part II (2011), B
  82. Piranha (2010), C+
  83. UHF (1989), B
  84. Spaceballs (1987), B
  85. The Golem: How He Came Into the World (1920), B+
  86. Labyrinth (1986), A
  87. The Green Hornet (2011), D+
  88. Series 7: The Contenders (2001), B+
  89. 127 Hours (2010), B+
  90. Saludos Amigos (1942), B
  91. The Three Caballeros (1944), B+
  92. X-Men: First Class (2011), A-
  93. The Last Man on Earth (1964), B
  94. The Vampire’s Night Orgy (1973), F
  95. Chloe (2009), B
  96. Nosferatu (1922), A
  97. The Virginity Hit (2010), B
  98. The Color of Magic (2008), B
  99. Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011), B+
  100. Vanishing on 7th Street (2010), C+
  101. Green Lantern: First Flight (2009), A-
  102. Rubber (2010), C+
  103. Walt and El Grupo (2008), B
  104. Super 8 (2011), A
  105. Big Fish (2003), A+
  106. Black Death (2010), B
  107. Battle Royale (2001), B+
  108. The Faculty (1998), B-
  109. Green Lantern (2011), B-
  110. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010), B-
  111. Synecdoche, New York (2008), C
  112. The Phantom of the Opera (1925), A
  113. Fright Night (1985), B
  114. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), A
  115. The Fugitive (1993), A
  116. Cars (2006), B+
  117. Cars 2 (2011), B+
  118. After.Life (2009), C
  119. Zapped! (1982), D
  120. James and the Giant Peach (1996), B
  121. Young Frankenstein (1974), A
  122. The Addams Family (1991), B+
  123. The Great Muppet Caper (1981), B
  124. A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner (2011), D
  125. Dracula (1931), B
  126. Death Note (2006), B
  127. Tales From the Script (2009), B+
  128. Unthinkable (2010), B+
  129. The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (2007), A-
  130. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), B
  131. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), B-
  132. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), B+
  133. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), B+
  134. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2008), B-
  135. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), B+
  136. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010), A
  137. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011), A
  138. Frankenstein (1931), A
  139. The Mummy (1932), B
  140. Be Kind, Rewind (2008), B
  141. 25th Hour (2002), B
  142. The Incredibles (2004), A+
  143. Zodiac (2007), A
  144. Rec (2007), B+
  145. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), A
  146. Miller’s Tale (2011), B+
  147. Freaks (1932), B
  148. Red Riding Hood (2011), D
  149. Battle Royale II (2003), C
  150. Cowboys and Aliens (2011), C+
  151. Ernest Goes to Camp (1987), B
  152. Ernest Goes to Jail (1990), C+
  153. The Beginning of the End (1957), F; MST3K Riff, B
  154. Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966), F; MST3K Riff, B+
  155. Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension (2011), A-
  156. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), A
  157. Cat People (1942), B
  158. Curse of the Cat People (1944), C-
  159. Sucker Punch (2011), D
  160. The Fly (1958), A
  161. Peeping Tom (1960), B
  162. Best Worst Movie (2009), A
  163. Troll 2 (1990), F
  164. Psycho (1960), A
  165. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), A
  166. Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011), B
  167. Super (2010), B+
  168. The Haunting (1963), B
  169. Night of the Living Dead (1968), A
  170. The Last House on the Left (1972), C-
  171. Suicide Girls Must Die (2011), C-
  172. Wait Until Dark (1967), A
  173. The Exorcist (1973), A
  174. Gamera (1965), C; MST3K Riff, A
  175. Gamera Vs. Barugon (1966), D; MST3K Riff, B+
  176. Gamera Vs. Gaos (1967), D; MST3K Riff, B
  177. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), C+
  178. Jaws (1975), A
  179. Carrie (1976), B+
  180. Suspiria (1977), D+
  181. Gamera Vs. Guiron (1969), D; MST3K Riff, B+
  182. Contagion (2011), C+
  183. Halloween (1978), A
  184. Alien (1979), A
  185. The Shining (1980), C+
  186. Friday the 13th (1980), B
  187. The Evil Dead (1981), B+
  188. The Thing (1982), A
  189. Poltergeist (1982), B+
  190. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), B
  191. Return of the Living Dead (1985), C-
  192. Misery (1990), A
  193. Ringu (1998), B+
  194. The Blair Witch Project (1999), B
  195. Saw (2004), A
  196. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949), B+
  197. The Creeping Terror (1964), F; MST3K riff, B+
  198. Mad Monster Party (1967), B
  199. Zombiemania (2008), B
  200. Tower Heist (2011), B-
  201. Scream: The Inside Story (2011), B
  202. Still Screaming (2011), A
  203. Your Highness (2011), D
  204. Repo: The Genetic Opera (2008), B-
  205. The Cannonball Run (1981), B
  206. Batman: Year One (2011), A-
  207. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), A-
  208. Up (2009), A+
  209. The Muppets (2011), A
  210. Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas (2011), B
  211. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964), F; Cinematic Titanic Riff, B
  212. Christmas and A Christmas Carol (2009), D
  213. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972), F; RiffTrax, A
  214. The Great Gatsby (1974), A
  215. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), B+
  216. Tom and Huck (1995), Bl
  217. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), A
  218. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999), B
  219. Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas) (2005), A
  220. Scrooged (1988), A-
  221. The Magic Christmas Tree (1964), F; RiffTrax B+
  222. It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002), B
  223. The Lemon Drop Kid (1951), B
  224. Miracle on 34th Street (1947), A+
  225. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), A+
  226. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), A
  227. A Christmas Story (1983), A
  228. Love, Actually (2002), A
  229. Source Code, (2011), B+
  230. Paul, (2011), C+
  231. Tron: Legacy (2010), B+
  232. Attack the Block (2011), B+l
  233. The Captains (2011), A
  234. Gnomeo and Juliet (2011), B
  235. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011), C

Last Updated on January 1, 2012.

21
Jul
10

Classic EBI: Demons, Castles, and the House of Mouse

In today’s Everything But Imaginary column, I expend a bit upon something I mused over here Monday — the idea of a storytelling universe where the world is the real star instead of the individual characters. When has it worked? How does it work? Will I try it myself?

Everything But Imaginary #360: Share the Universe!

And in today’s EBI Classic, let’s step back to March 7, 2004, just before a summer where a lot of superhero movies were about to cut loose, and how that made me feel…

Demons, castles and the house of mouse

Sunday evening I got an e-mail from my Uncle Todd. “Hey, looks like the Hellboy movie is number one this weekend,” he wrote. “That should make you feel good.”

“Actually,” I wrote back, “what makes me feel good is that the movie didn’t suck.” Comic book movies, at least over the past 15 years or so, since the first Batman, seem to have fallen into two categories: critical and commercial successes that pundits predict will birth a new breed of comic book readers that never actually show up, or major flops that the comic reading publish wishes people would rather forget but know inevitably will be trotted out as a comparison the next time a comic book movie is made. We’ve been lucky for the last few years. Marvel hit it big with the first Blade movie after 30 years of terrible attempts at movie and television projects, but Wesley Snipes seems to have been a magic charm, because Marvel movies have been, for the most part, very good since then. (Yes, I know some people didn’t like Daredevil or Hulk, but I did like ‘em and it’s my column, so nyeah.)

Most of these characters, with the exception of Blade, were at least moderately well-known to the public at large before the movie came out though, and even Blade had the force of coming from powerhouse Marvel Comics. I’d been wondering what would happen if someone made a good movie based on an obscure character from a smaller company.

Enter Hellboy.

Even I, geek that I am, didn’t know a tremendous amount about Hellboy. I’d read his first trade paperback, Seed of Destruction, and a few random other appearances, but I didn’t carry around much knowledge of who he was or what he did. What’s more, I was a little worried about a live-action movie because, even with a great actor like Ron Perlman in the title role, the character’s makeup looked a little campy and I was afraid it would turn people off. Still, it was a comic book movie, and since the mission statement of this little column includes trying to get more people reading comics, I took it upon myself to see the film and determine if it could potentially help.

First, the movie itself. Was it campy? Yeah. Was the makeup a little hard to swallow? Sure. Goofy dialogue and slightly unbelievable romantic subplot? Oh yeah. Nazis as villains? Boy, there’s a twist.

But was it fun?

Absolutely.

While not as tongue-in-cheek as, say, Batman and Robin, Hellboy was a movie that knew it was taking a kind of silly premise and had fun with it. What’s more, the actors looked like they were having fun, and that sense of fun jumped out and grabbed the audience. Joel Schumaker, in directing the last two bat-flicks, took the sillier parts of the premise and played them up, utterly disrespecting the character. Guillermo del Toro (who, not coincidentally, also directed Blade II), had fun with the silly parts but respected the serious parts, the characters, the creators and, most importantly, the fans. I walked out of that movie theater feeling cheerful, ready to see it again and ready to pick up the DVD.

Ah, but the test is whether or not it will get people to read Hellboy comic books. Well, I already had the second trade on order, and I’ll be on the lookout for some stand-alone comics on my weekly trip to the comic shop this Friday, so it certainly scored with me on that account. But I’m an easy sell, I needed to talk to people who don’t ordinarily read comics. So I did. Friends, family, co-workers. And here’s the thing: while not all of them are necessarily going to go run out and start buying the complete works of Mike Mignola, every single person I talked to was aware that Hellboy was based on a comic book. That’s unprecedented. Sure, most of ‘em knew Spider-Man was a comic, but they hadn’t heard of Daredevil and an awful lot of people thought X-Men and Hulk were based on the old TV shows.

So how on Earth did a little niche comic like Hellboy get it right?

Well, part of it may be the fact that the character didn’t have the stigma of a Saturday morning cartoon or an old Lou Ferigno TV show to live down, so people had no expectations. But it’s not like it’s being promoted as “Based on the comic book by Mike Mignola!” or even as “From the same guy who drew those purty pictures for Disney’s Atlantis movie!” I think the real reason is actually very simple: even from the earliest trailers that had me worried about the makeup, Hellboy was a movie that looked like a comic book. Now a lot of the time people say that in a detrimental fashion, but I mean it as the highest compliment. From the garish colors to the freaks in makeup to the incredible amount of energy on the screen to the overriding sense of excitement that the movie generated, even with a character no one had heard of who didn’t have a cape, this felt like the beautiful image people have in their collective conscious regarding superheroes (at least, the conscious of people who aren’t snobbish enough to deride anything with a superhero as being infantile).

Like I asked, will it get more people to read the Hellboy comic book? That remains to be seen. At any rate, I doubt it will pull in huge numbers except possibly from the preexisting comic book reading market. But one thing that is undeniable is that the movie has made people more aware of comic books, and that is a very good place to start.

And what gets me most excited is that there are still tons of comic book properties coming down the pipe. In just a week and a half the Punisher movie will premiere starring Thomas Jane as Frank Castle. I’m a little wary about that one, to be honest – I like Jane (he’s fantastic in 61*, my pick for the second-best baseball movie ever made), but the trailers disturb me. Especially the costume. Look, points to Artisan Entertainment for actually putting him in the skull as opposed to the tank top we had to sit through in the godawful Dolph Lundgren version of the character back in 1989, but couldn’t they have found a way to do it that doesn’t look like he’s wearing a silk-screened T-shirt?

(2010 Note: I rather did like the Thomas Jane Punisher film –and even if you didn’t, if you try to tell me that Punisher: War Zone was better, I will punch you in the spleen.)

Regardless, the Punisher is a much more well-known character than Hellboy and, again, I shall see the film for research purposes. Hellboy surprised me. Maybe this will too. My friend Jenny, I think, has the best attitude about the film. She has decided just to watch the flick and look for references to Garth Ennis’s run in the title. Well… if nothing else, Spacker Dave and Joan the Mouse are in the movie.

Then later this summer we’ll have Spider-Man 2, a film that will be fun, action-packed, true to the characters, a delight to watch and will leave a thousand over-hyped fanboys who went into the film expecting the second coming of Christ complaining about how much it sucked. (You don’t believe me? Let’s lay odds.) Spider-Man has certainly done more to boost comic books in the public consciousness than any film in recent memory, but I seriously think Marvel has bungled their end of it. Aside from launching Ultimate Spider-Man, they haven’t made any real strides to reach out and grab new readers, and that’s what is really needed.

Also this summer we’ll have Halle Berry in Catwoman. Let’s look at a photo of her in the costume. (You’re going to want to click on it to get a full-sized image for the complete impact):

Okay, now let’s talk about something that doesn’t make me want to wretch. This fall we’re going to have a film that, while not actually based on a comic book, does feature superheroes – Pixar’s The Incredibles, a comedy featuring the voices of Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson and Jason “No Middle Initial” Lee. Pixar is a studio that has never failed to enchant me – even their weakest film, A Bug’s Life, is head and shoulders above anything almost anyone else is putting out for children, and if nobody has snapped up the rights to do a comic book based on this film yet, they’d better get in gear. (Gemstone Publishing? I’m lookin’ at you, buddy.)

So what else is in the works? Well, there’s been a Fantastic Four movie in the hopper for as long as I can remember, and supposedly there are film versions of every Marvel character from The Silver Surfer to Iron Fist waiting to make waves. Over on the DC side they finally gave Batman to a good director (Christopher Nolan) and a good writer (David Goyer, who wrote the first two Blade flicks and is currently writing and directing the third one). There’s also talk of a new film to resurrect the Superman franchise, but that’s been in production hell for so long that I’ll believe it when I see it. And even then, I won’t believe it unless I see a signed affidavit stating that Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage were not allowed anywhere near the film. (Don’t send me hate mail, I like them both, I just don’t think either of them are right for Superman.)

Robert Rodriguez, who has yet to take my advice about him doing a Madman movie, is set to begin work on a star-studded adaptation of Frank Miller’s Sin City comic book. Even comic book geek-turned filmmaker-turned comic book writer Kevin Smith has announced he’s going to be taking time out of his hectic schedule of not finishing Daredevil: The Target #2 to make a Green Hornet movie for Miramax. The man may not finish writing his comics very often, but no one can deny he loves ‘em, and I expect that movie to be a lot of fun as well.

And not so long ago it was announced that my personal favorite superhero comic, Kurt Busiek’s Astro City, is in the works for a feature film with producer Ben Barenholtz, who has done a lot of work with those delightful little scamps The Coen Brothers (of Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou? fame).

Finally, let’s think about all the great comics that have the potential to be great movies. Special effects have finally reached the point where a Green Lantern movie may be feasible, and I’d do anything to see a great cartoon adaptation of Jeff Smith’s Bone, Doug TenNapel’s Creature Tech or Mike Kunkel’s Herobear and the Kid.

So if you’re a comic book fan who loves movies, this is a very good time for you.

But what if you’re a movie fan that wants to get into comic books?

Good question. I’ll see if I can answer it in just seven short days.

Favorite of the Week: March 31, 2004

Much like I expect people who expect too much of Spider-Man 2 to be disappointed with the film, I think the same plague took a chunk out of my favorite title last week, Avengers/JLA #4. After 20 years of buildup, it was inevitable that some people wouldn’t like the book. I, on the other hand, loved it. From the damaged timestream allowing us to see practically every Avenger and Leaguer ever fighting together, to spot-on characterization of Superman, Captain America, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Barry “Flash” Allen, not to mention beautiful artwork by George Perez and Tom Smith, this miniseries was everything I wanted it to be. All comics should be this good.

(One more 2010 note: It’s interesting, looking back at this column. Some of the movies I discussed here were hits, some of them were flops, some were never made. I completely forgot that Astro City had been optioned, because nothing ever came of it. Oh, and we’re all still waiting for Daredevil: The Target #2.)

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at Blake@comixtreme.com and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.




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