Archive for September, 2008

My Top Five Choices For Green Lantern

Posted in Celebrities, Comic Books, Movies, Science Fiction, Superheroes with tags , , on September 30, 2008 by Jeff Carter

According to this First Showing report, the long in development Green Lantern film took another step closer to seeing the light of day this week. The film will of course be an origin story, centering on white-bread test pilot Hal Jordan rather than soul brother architect John Stewart. (The Stewart version of Green Lantern will be featured in the upcoming Justice League film and will be played by Common).

Provided Hollywood doesn’t screw this one up with merchandising demands, script alterations, and hideous casting decisions, Green Lantern has the potential to be another Iron Man in terms of box office success. It should also be a spectacular special effects bonanza, with the variety of fun energy shapes (giant fists, axes, hammers, etc.) that Green Lanterns can produce with their power rings. The key to the movie’s success is finding a strong leading actor to portray the fearless Hal Jordan. Here’s a look at what I think are the top five choices:

5.) Mark Wahlberg: I’ll be the first to admit that I used to despise this guy. I looked at him and all I saw was a former underwear model/rapper/obnoxious wigger who wanted to add acting to his resume.  Things changed with his role as Dirk Diggler in P.T. Anderson’s porn saga Boogie Nights, however. He showed some terrific range in that flick, balancing humor and drama deftly, and since that breakthrough role he’s made nice career for himself with strong performances in films like We Own The Night and The Departed. Wahlberg has yet to star in a huge superhero blockbuster (the upcoming Max Payne doesn’t really count), and GL may be the perfect vehicle for him.

4.) Gerard Butler: After 300 this guy has been rumored to be up for every superhero role from Captain America to Aquaman, but so far he’s shied away from any cape-and-cowl offers, choosing to mix it up on an island with Jodie Foster and Little Miss Sunshine for some mysterious reason. Perhaps the imposing Scotsman is just waiting for the right pair of tights to don, and Green Lantern may be the opportunity he’s been waiting for.

3.) Thomas Jane: I know, I know, he’s already played The Punisher, but so what? Jane was the only decent thing about that festering dungpile, and he’s one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood (Don’t believe me? Check him out in The Mist. Awesome stuff). He has one of those faces that’s suitable for just about any superhero and you could sure as hell do a lot worse.

2.) Aaron Eckhart: I never thought much of this guy, and as a matter of fact, I was always confusing him for Thomas Jane for some reason. He always seemed like a pretty vanilla actor, but then a little role in a movie called The Dark Knight came along and changed everything. People like to talk about how mind-blowing Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker was, but Eckhart absolutely owned Harvey Dent and showed range above and beyond what anybody could have expected out of him. I don’t think audiences would have any problem buying Eckhart as the brash, cocky, fearless test pilot.

1.) Nathan Fillion: Yep, that’s right, good ol’ Captain Mal himself. I’m sure I just made a ton of Browncoats happy (not to mention padding my stats with Fillion image searches, heh heh). Anyway, Fillion may not have the star power of the other actors on this list, but I believe if given the right opportunity, Fillion can become a huge leading star in Hollywood. As Firefly has already proven, Fillion has the talent, the looks, and the charisma to be a hero and a leader in a sci-fi setting. He certainly deserves a better fate than his post-Firefly career has dealt him, as he has languished in guest roles on LOST, and the abysmial Desperate Housewives…*shudder*. Fillion really needs the break and that is why he’s my number one choice for the role of Hal Jordan. The only thing that may stand in his way is another masked man role…fans are currently clamoring for him to take on the mantle of The Lone Ranger alongside Johnny Depp as Tonto in the upcoming Disney film.

Lo Pan’s Link Dump 09-25-08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , on September 25, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

Ratings for season 3 premiere of Heroes=EPIC FAIL. Wow, that’s quite a drastic turnaround in viewership. I continue to watch this show more out of habit and a desire to see Ali Larter in lingerie than anything else, but I’ve always maintained that it’s one of the worst shows on television. Characters constantly do idiotic things and switch allegiances and personality traits to accommodate the sloppy, plot-hole ridden writing.  At least Malcolm McDowell is back this year, that guy is just a bowl of badass.

Stephen Chow to star in and direct the Green Hornet movie. This project just keeps getting weirder and weirder. It started life as a Kevin Smith film, who was going to treat it as a serious superhero adaptation, but he chickened out after writing the screenplay and the property floated around until Apatow cronie Seth Rogen decided to take a stab at it and turn it into a campy comedy. Now, the Kung Fu Hustle guy gets on board? This will either kick unholy ass or suck harder than The Love Guru…*shudder*

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed-The Movie? This pains me to say George, but it’s over. That dead horse you’re beating is just a bloody pile of guts at this point.

Here’s a report about a ton of upcoming genre projects from Disney, including The Lone Ranger, Pirates 4, National Treasure 3, Cars 2, Up, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and Wild Hogs 2: Bachelor Ride. I learned two things from reading this report; Johnny Depp is owned by Disney and I’d rather set a basket of puppies on fire than watch Wild Hogs 2.

Finally, here’s some Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen spoilers featuring info on some new characters which will be familiar to TF fans.  And here’s some concept art of Megatron’s new tank mode. There’s also a rumor going around that this Transformers movie might actually be watchable, but there’s no confirmation yet. 

Stuff Geeks Like #2: Idol Worship

Posted in Stuff Geeks Like with tags , , , , , on September 23, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Much like the ancient Greeks looked toward the heavens for guidance and wisdom from their Pantheon of Gods such as Zeus, Poseidon, and Ares, so to do geeks in modern society worship powerful beings who sit upon high thrones and dispense their wizardry to the masses. These powerful beings, however, are more apt to entertain their followers with retarded Rastafarian aliens or homoerotic hobbits than cast down thunderbolts or give fire to mankind.

The “Geek Pantheon” is primarily dominated by men whose physical traits consist of beards, glasses, and a large, unkempt mass of hair. The hierarchy of Geek Gods is as follows:

George Lucas (The Geek God of Star Wars, Indiana Jones). With his towering mane of white hair, a mighty white beard, and a double chin the size of a fetus, Lucas bears more than a passing resemblance to the Lord of the Gods, Zeus. But instead of casting down thunderbolts to punish mankind or impregnating various women to create more Gods and heroes like Hercules, Lucas gave birth to Star Wars, one of the most beloved (and also heavily scrutinized) science fiction/fantasy franchises of all time.

Though he is still powerful and influential, Lucas’ wisdom and judgment (especially regarding the Star Wars franchise) has deteriorated to the point where he believes Jabba the Hutt’s uncle should be covered in neon-colored tattoos, wear a feather headdress, and speak in a homosexual southern accent.

Stan Lee (The Geek God of Comic Books) Though many say his longtime creative partner Jack Kirby is the true power behind the early days of Marvel Comics, no other figure is revered or beloved in the comics world as Stan Lee. A jovial, kindhearted man with a penchant for alliteration, Lee is credited with the creation of dozens of popular and enduring superheroes such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Hulk, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, and The X-Men.

In his old age, Lee is little more than a mascot for Marvel comics, spending most of his time making brief but amusing cameos in the big-budget film adaptations of the characters he co-created over 40 years ago.  Lee’s most recent cameo was in Iron Man, where he was mistaken for Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner. This comparison isn’t much of a stretch, considering the last relevant contribution from either one occurred in the late 1970’s.

Peter Jackson (The Geek God of Lord of the Rings), When the first of the Star Wars prequels failed to meet expectations in 1999, there seemed to be a desperate cry from the geek legions for a new fantasy franchise that would capture their imaginations and suck their disposable income dry. Enter Peter Jackson and his adaptation of one of the greatest literary works of all-time, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Audiences thrilled to Jackson’s beautiful gay love story of Sam and Frodo, two tiny hobbits who braved a treacherous journey through a mystical land of evil wizards, orcs, and a giant eyeball, to frolic together in a fluffy feather bed with two other hobbits, a dwarf and an effeminate elf. Truly Moving.

Jackson has recently violated the geek idol appearance code by shedding 50 lbs, cutting his hair and getting Lasik eye surgery. For these crimes, and for the King Kong remake, he is dangerously close to being cast out of the Geek Pantheon.

Gene Roddenberry (The Geek God of Star Trek): Though not bearded or bespectacled, Roddenberry is slavishly worshipped and idolized by Trekkies, the highest echelon of geek culture. When questioned about their great love and admiration for Roddenberry, Trekkies will undoubtedly regurgitate the standard cliches regarding Roddenberry’s “visionary” ability to “hold a mirror up to society” and use science fiction metaphorically as a means to explore controversial themes such as civil rights, racism, gender roles, interracial romance, military politics, and the mating habits of fuzzy balls.

In the mid to late 90’s the vast Star Trek empire began to crumble with the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a TV show so monumentally dull and nerdy that even the most socially retarded Dr. Who fans balked at watching it for fear of being labeled “uncool”. Despite this, Trek conventions continue to attract millions of unwashed virgins each year, and fans of the saga hold on to the delusional belief that LOST creator J.J. Abrams “re-imagining” of the Star Trek universe in 2009, which stars the bad guy from Heroes as Spock and Harold from Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle as Sulu, will somehow usher in a bold new era for the franchise.

Other lesser Geek Idols include Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, George Romero, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Anne Rice, Jack Kirby, Ridley Scott, and Gary Gyax.

Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 09-18-08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

Well, here’s an interesting idea: Aint it Cool? News reporter Moriarty thinks the Coen brothers would make an awesome Superman movie. I’m a big fan of the Coens, and there’s no question they can shoot the shit out of a movie, but I keep picturing Javier Bardem playing Superman with that creepy bowl haircut he sported in No Country For Old Men. *shudder*

Tahmoh Penikett (Helo on Battlestar Galactica) discusses the fate of his character in the series finale and how brilliant the Galactica writers are. If I were him, I’d be happy with any final scenario for my character as long as it still involved banging Grace Park on a regular basis. In a related story, the Battlestar Galactica franchise is 30 years old today. Holy crap I’m old.

Will Ed Norton be back as the Hulk in another sequel or in The Avengers movie? I think you’ll have a better chance of seeing a sequel to Blankman than another Hulk solo movie, but I think Marvel will throw some money at Norton, Downey Jr., Jackson, etc., to get all of them aboard for the Avengers. Speaking of Marvel’s super-team, is Eva Longoria in the running to play the Wasp? Please God no…

Here’s some footage of uber-hottie Megan Fox auditioning for the first Transformers. If you watch this and think, “Man, she is a God-awful actress”. Ask yourself this: would your penis you say “no” to her? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Finally, another Aint it Cool? News contributor attended the Paramount Pictures 2009 slate press screening, and saw some nearly-completed scenes from the upcoming G.I. Joe movie. To the shock and surprise of absolutely no one, it looked like ass in a can. Of course, I already outlined in great detail why this movie is going to be a giant piece of Rhino shit, and this report just confirms my beliefs.

Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 09/09/08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , , , , on September 9, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

AWWW HELL NAW!!! Will Smith as Captain America? Say it ain’t so! Oh, ok, it ain’t so. -Whew-.

Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi “officially” back for Spider-Man 4 (and possibly 5). This is probably terrific news for a lot of Spider-Man fans out there, but I was hoping for a fresh start to this series. Part of the allure and staying power of comic books is that artists and writers come and go, but the characters endure because new creators come aboard with different perspectives and directions. In this case, any direction away from emo haircuts, jazz dance numbers, and the painfully mediocre and mis-cast Kirsten Dunst would be a good way to go.

Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and the rest of the Judd Apatow boys as Ghostbusters? Looks to be that way, according to recent comments by Ghostbusters actor and co-creator Harold Ramis (Egon). There’s a part of me- a teeny, tiny part of me deep down inside, that thinks a Ghostbusters sequel/reboot with Bill Murray and the rest of the old school Ghostbusters acting as mentors to some of today’s top comic actors would actually be a fun and cool idea. In all honesty though, this would probably turn out to be one of the most epic disasters in movie history. You just can’t catch lightning in a bottle twice. Blues Brothers 2000, anyone?

Some people in Chicago see an early screening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Apparently it’s really shitty and isn’t very faithful to the book at all. Shocking.

New trailer for the Star Wars: Clone Wars CG-animated series on Cartoon Network. 100% southern, homosexual Hutt free!

Finally, check out the uber-awesome Big Lebowski 10th Anniversay Special Edition DVD!

Summer Movie Box Office Recap

Posted in Movie Reviews, Movies with tags , , on September 4, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Well folks, the Labor Day weekend has come and gone, offcially marking the end of the summer movie season. It was a very lucrative summer, with two movies grossing over $300 million, and one giant behemoth of a flick shattering all kinds of records to become the second highest-grossing movie of all time. Here’s my thoughts on the summer blockbusters, divided into monetary categories:

$400 million +

Only one movie cracked the $400 million barrier this year, blowing right by it to achieve a mind-blowing (for this theater-going era) $510 million and counting. I’m talking of course, about Beverly Hills Chihuahua, a funny and heartwarming masterpiece about a canine who—what? It was actually The Dark Knight? You mean that movie where Martin Lawrence travels back in time to Medieval England? I thought that came out years ago…

$300 million +: Iron Man, Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Iron Man was the commercial and critical darling of the summer until Batman showed up and absolutely annihilated ol’ shellhead. Still it was a massive hit for a third-tier comic book character that the “masses” were mostly unfamiliar with. Simply stamping the name “Indiana Jones” on a movie is good enough for a guaranteed $250 million, so there really isn’t much more I can say about how it performed. Considering that it was by far the worst entry in the beloved series, I think it’s actually quite surprising it took in over three bills.

$200 million +: Hancock, Wall-E, Kung Fu Panda

The $200 million mark is nothing to sneeze at in terms of a summer movie gross these days, especially when you factor in the downturn the industry has taken and the competition from Blu-Ray DVD and High Def home theaters. Just like the “Indiana Jones” brand is worth an instant box-office paypay, slapping the “Pixar” name in front of any title is also worth an easy $150 million at the least. No Pixar film has ever made less than $160 million, and even with the semi-hard sell concept of a lonely Robot on a devastated Earth, Wall-E still racked in a ton of cash. I was really surprised to see Dreamwork’s Kung Fu Panda hit this mark, however, but a fantastic marketing campaign that emphasized the colorful animal characters and Jack Black’s antics, really sold this movie to the kiddies (it was also a very good movie to boot).

Hancock is currently the fourth highest-grossing picture of the year, and it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. I never bothered to see it because I, unlike the legions of gullible, ignorant mouth-breathers out there who flock to any Will Smith summer movie, actually saw this piece of crap for what it really was, a skillfully engineered and pre-packaged crapfest. You could almost see and hear the excutives planning this turd in some boardroom somewhere:

Head Exec: “Ok people, what can we make this summer, what’s been popular?”

Clueless Underling #1: “Superheroes!”

Clueless Underling #2: “Will Smith”

Clueless Underling #3: “Will Smith on the Fourth of July! He owns that date!”

Head Exec: “Okay, a Will Smith superhero flick on the Fourth of July. Get somebody to write a script. Now, what’s for lunch?”

*sigh*

$100 million +: Sex and the City, Mamma Mia!, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Wanted, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, Step Brothers

$100 million used to be the gold standard for a successful summer movie, but nowadays that rarely even recoups the marketing budgets for these huge action/sci-fi/superhero pictures. Comedies, dramas, and musicals however, are still considered huge smash hits if they are able to reach this goal, and that’s what a good percentage of the films in this range are.

Get Smart proved Steve Carell could carry a summer blockbuster on his shoulders, and washed the bad taste of Evan Almighty out of our mouths. Mamma Mia! and Sex and the City were surprisingly massive counter-programming hits, proving that lots of women and gay guys go to the cinema in the summer. I don’t understand how a giant piece of runny, corn-riddled shit like Zohan even cracked $25 million, and I never got around to seeing Step Brothers, but heard good things.

On the action front, Narnia, Hulk, and The Mummy all were huge under-performers, especially Prince Caspian, which was predicted to do even better than its predecessor and generate Lord of the Rings numbers. Sadly, audiences didn’t flock to see more shitty CGI beavers and a lead character who looked like a Jonas Brother. The Incredible Hulk wasn’t able to shake off the rancid odor of Ang Lee’s ponderous 2002 Hulk film, or the bad press it was getting right before release when Ed Norton complained that the director cut out too much of the film’s dialogue and story elements. Wanted came out of nowhere to do great numbers with some terrific action sequences and the allure of Angelina Jolie, and as for the Mummy, it looks like the absence of uber-hottie Rachel Weisz kept audiences away there. Learn your lesson, Mummy people! Rachel=box office gold!

$50-$100 million: Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, What Happens in Vegas, The Happening, The Strangers

Well, here’s where the disappointments come in. When you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing, special effects, etc. on what is perceived as a summer “blockbuster”, it’s devastating when audiences just don’t give a rat’s ass or the movie just gets lost in the crowded summer lineup. That’s what I’d like to believe happened to Hellboy 2, a great, imaginative, and gorgeous-looking movie that should be in the $200+ million category. It’s sickening to think this Guerillmo Del Toro sequel was out-grossed by the likes of Hancock, Sex and the City, and freakin’ Zohan! It’s yet another shining example of the brain-dead movie-going public who continue to slurp up the sugary, pre-packaged pap the studios churn out.

Tropic Thunder was also a disappointment. It had a massive budget of over $100 million (huge for a comedy), yet it failed to beat out more moderately budgeted comedies like Step Brothers or Christ, yet again, the Zohan. Simply incredible.

The Happening was a giant turd, and many people are calling it the nail in Manny Shyamalan’s coffin. We’ll see. I have nothing to add about the other flicks.

$0-$49million (A.K.A., The Shit List): Speed Racer, Meet Dave, The Love Guru, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Babylon A.D., The House Bunny, Space Chimps, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Disaster Movie, Death Race

Yikes, as wise old Ben Kenobi once said, “A wretched hive of scum and villainy”. Just looking at this list sends a tingling creeper up my spine. Awful, awful stuff here.

It seems like after the Wachowski brothers delivered those two reviled Matrix sequels, they just can’t buy a hit. Their attempt to make the old Speed Racer cartoon into a  surreal, manic, strobing, colorful, seizure-inducing movie did not play well with audiences at all. It was a massive failure that many on the Internet say is destined to become a “cult classic” like Tron in the future.

George Lucas thought he could package up three episodes of his forthcoming CG Clone Wars animated series, toss it up on the screen, and it would make at least $100 million based on the Star Wars brand, but casual audiences ignored it and fans threw it right back in his bearded face. Similarly, FOX thought there were still people out there who cared about the X-Files, and they were probably right, but stamping the “X-Files” name on a utterly boring snooze-fest backfired right in their faces as well.

Everything else mentioned up there just really isn’t even worth discussing. Ciao!!

*All Box Office info was gathered from Box Office Mojo.

Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 09/03/08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

I was pretty pissed off when I read this rumor about the final Battlestar Galactica episodes not showing up until April 2009 at the earliest, but my rage subsided when the SciFi Channel debunked the rumor. The final episodes of the series will begin airing in January as originally promised, which is still a ridiculously long time time to wait considering they’ve been in the can for quite some time now. Par for the course for a show that has aired something like 20 new shows in a two and a half year span.

“The Snowman” himself, Jerry Reed is dead. I absolutely loved Smokey and the Bandit when I was a kid, and I still want a black and gold 1978 Trans-Am to this day because of that movie. Jerry Reed was awesome as the Snowman, Burt Reynold’s trucker sidekick who hauled beer in his 18-wheeler in the first flick, a live elephant in the second, then took over as the Bandit for Burt Reynolds in the third. (Best Burt-less movie ever!). Reed also wrote great country classic like “When you’re hot, you’re hot”, and the all-time classic “Amos Moses”, which most of you young punks might recognize from the country radio station in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. R.I.P. Jerry.

Here’s a full rundown of all the deleted scenes and content hacked out of the Ed Norton Incredible Hulk flick. Most of it is boring psychological dialogue between Bruce and Betty’s douchebag psychiatrist boyfriend. I almost fell asleep just reading about it, so I can only imagine what it would have done to the audience watching in the theater. The Incredible Hulk is out on DVD on October 21, but if you want all 43 excruciating minutes of deleted footage, you’ll have to buy the Blu-ray version.

Red-Band trailer for Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Holy shit, this actually looks funny.

More legal wrangling and bullshit regarding the Fox lawsuit against Warner Brothers over the “Citizen Kane of comic book movies”, Watchmen. So help me God, if Fox successfully blocks the release of Watchmen, I’ll like, boycott X-Men Origins: Wolverine or something.

Here’s an interview with comic book writer Mark Millar, conducted by G4TV’s very own Blair Butler. In it, he discusses his latest comic project War Stories, as well as his plans to reboot the Superman movie franchise yet again with a three-movie epic saga. In a related story, I want to have sex with Blair Butler. Call me, Blair!

Finally, did you feel Cloverfield lacked something, like bouncing female breasts to go along with all that shaky-cam work? Well then, be sure to check out Cleavagefield!