Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wolverine and the X-Men: Get it on Blu-Ray

Wolverine has always been a very popular Marvel Comics character, but coming off of the heels of Wolverine's popularity in the X-Men film franchise meant that he could be marketed to a much wider audience, most notably, the Saturday morning cartoon franchise.

Wolverine has been seen in animation form so many times whether it's in episodes of the 80's cartoon Spider-man and Friends, on the failed X-Men pilot Pryde of the X-Men or the two X-Men series on Fox and Kids WB. Wolverine was always a main character, but he could never be the violent maverick he was in the comics due to the practices and standards of television censors. It wasn't really a big deal because Wolverine had the other X-Men there to support him. If he ever got out of line, they'd put him back in line and that was that.

When Wolverine and the X-Men was announced, expectations arose. It sounded like a catastrophe: an animated series that centered on Wolverine? How fluffy would he be? The answer here is, not that fluffy. Surprisingly, Wolverine and the X-Men is one of the most faithful adaptations of the X-Men stories combing both new storylines from the comic book line (Emma Frost joins the X-Men) and old storylines. (Rogue is in The Brotherhood of Mutants, Pyslocke, and other surprises.)

The first episodes set up Wolverine as the leader of the X-Men due to Jean Grey's disappearance and Cyclop's inability to cope with her absence. I naturally would think that Professor X would have assigned Storm the leader, like what has happened numerous times in the comics and in the last X-Men movie, but who would watch a cartoon called Storm and the X-Men? I would, but marketing has put Wolverine front and center for this one.

The series takes a while to set-up situations, but once it gets started, boy does it FLY!!!!!!! Some of the best moments of the X-Men storylines are captured in this series and some of the most interesting couplings as well. Storm and Angel? Who'd have thought? Also, characters that almost never get to shine properly in the animated form, like Scarlet Witch, Marrow and Polaris, make their appearances here.

The series juggles multi-storylines all at once: Jean Grey's disappearance, Emma Frost's motives, The Sentinels, Xavier in the Future and many more I don't care to list, but the strength in the show lies in the strong storytelling aspect.

And finally, Wolverine is not "fluffy" in the show. The original X-Men animated series and X-Men Evolution always had him being tamed by his team mates. In this new incarnation, Wolverine has chosen to tame himself for the sake of the team, and I think that works for his character.

A season 2 was planned for this series, picking up after a kick-ass cliffhanger, but those plans have been scraped. But with good news comes bad news. Wolverine and the X-Men is now going to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 12th. You know I'm going to be all over this.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - "It's not modern, it's ancient."

And that is probably one of the most thought provoking quotes said in Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight film series based off of the books by Stephenie Meyer who has denied ever having watched a single episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I believe her. If Meyer had seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer the series she would have easily avoided the many cliches that sprinkle her book: the forbidden romance between a human girl and a supernatural being; werewolves as the symbol of unveiled masculinity; vampires as the symbol of the outsiders of society.

To her credit, Meyer does do some original things with the werewolf and vampire mythos. Who else would have thought to make vampires sparkly underneath the sun? And doesn't every vampire movie have their own set of rules? Buffy, Underworld and even Nosferatu both had different takes on the mythos and the Twilight Series isn't any different.

After two movies, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) seem to finally be happy with each other. If only she could still be friends with Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who's heart she broke in the previous movie. If only that darn Victoria would stop trying to kill her. It appears that Victoria (Bryce Howard Dallas) has been making an army of the undead to come and attack Bella and it's up to her vampire friends and an alliance with their enemies the werewolves to save the day. Of course, Edward is a vampire and Jacob, Bella's other beau is a werewolf. Jacob spends most of the time with his shirt off - and for a brief moment naked - in his human form. This is the heart of the story really, this never ending love triangle, not the shirtless teen. 

The movie is very well paced and full of self referential humor. Edward asks Bella in one scene if the mostly bare chested Jacob even owns a shirt and Jacob in a later scene replies to Edward "I am hotter than you." The film does suffer from too many scenes of Bella and Edward conversing in what appears to be conversations they've already had a dozen times. Some of the editing seems sloppy. In one scene, it was very obvious that not all of the actors were all there at the time of shooting. The film also suffers from way too many oddly framed close-ups.

Eclipse already has a built in audience, so no matter how I review this film, it's going to make the money it has been destined to make and more. It's worth a watch, and it's very well acted compared to the first two, but personally I feel out of it's teenage demographic.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Vampires Suck - Twilight Parody Movie Trailer

I almost never post trailers here for reasons that deserve it's own post. I couldn't resist posting this trailer up because it was bound to happen: A Twilight Parody Movie.

Sadly, there hasn't been a really good parody movie released in a long time. I think the last good one was Spaceballs, seriously.

This trailer looks cute though and I have a feeling it's a billion times better than the actual movie, but go ahead, take a gander.