Monthly Archives: March 2009

Spider-Man in Trouble Again

Poor Peter Parker just can’t seem to catch a break these days. Even with a Broadway musical in the works with tunage by Bono and The Edge, and saving a kid in Bangkok, it seems everybody’s favorite wall-crawler is in trouble again – this time with idiot parents and illiterate librarians.

A Milliard, Nebraska mother is outraged that her six-year old son got a Spider-Man trade collection from his school library, specifically Amazing Spider-Man: Revelations Vol. 2 by J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr., saw a drawing of a bikini-clad Mary Jane and it rotted his brain. And let’s not leave out the fact that the book is rated (as are most Marvel Comics) for ages 12 and up, so thumbs up to the librarian that gave the kid the book.

First off, it’s just a bikini, folks, and Mary Jane Watson/Parker/Whatever is one sexy fictional character, and John Romita Jr. is a helluva an artist, so I wouldn’t expect less. And let’s be frank, this could be much worse. Notice how the outraged mom doesn’t have a thing to say about the violence in the book. That must be okay for her precious child.

And of course no mention is made that at least this is a child who is not only reading, but actively using a library at age six. I think this is a triumph in itself and something any parent should be proud of. But then again, what do I know? I learned to read at barely the age of four… from those dreaded comic books.

Advertisements

Zatanna in Smallville

The title says Zatanna in Smallville, but really now, when was the last time anything in the “Smallville” TV series actually happened in Smallville? Just get it over with and rename the series “Metropolis.” Or better yet, “Superman.” This whole Superman without actually having Superman is wearing on me, but I digress.

This week’s episode “Hex” featured the live-action debut of a fan favorite character from the comics, Zatanna Zatara. And we got the classic version, complete with top hat and fishnets. Filling those fishnets more than adequately is the sexy Serinda Swan, whose rumors indicate will also be starring in the much-anticipated Tron 2.0.

As much as can be expected in the ersatz version of the DCU presented in “Smallville,” Zatanna is presented rather close to the original. There is a father quest involved, she actually does speak her spells backward and daddy is even mentioned by name as the world’s greatest magician – proof positive of a Golden Age in this continuity. Other Easter eggs in “Hex” include cameos of the Justice League, as well as the regularly scheduled soap opera stuff.

And when are they going to give Justin Hartley his own Green Arrow spin-off? He’s the best part of this show as long as Clark’s not putting on a costume…

Eurovision 2009: Greece, Moldova and Spain


“La Noche Es Para Mi” by Soraya (Spain 2009)

All three are great examples of what Eurovision is all about, and all three strong contenders. We’ll see.

Monsters, Aliens and Other Animated Things that Go Bump in the Night

Monsters Vs. Aliens ~ What starts off as B-movie homage ends with superhero sensibility in this surprising 3-D entry this weekend. Using templates from Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Fly, The Blob and even Mothra, this flick espouses the idea that monsters have been kept top secret by the government for decades, and when aliens attack, they are unleashed to save the world.

DreamWorks does it again, keeping up with the technology and with Disney/Pixar here, and even presents a new form of 3-D that’s better than anything that’s come before – and if you see it in IMAX, it’s just that much better. The voice cast is terrific, Reese Witherspoon and Stephen Colbert especially. This was one of the more fun flicks I’ve seen this year, recommended.

Hoodwinked ~ This computer-animated twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story wants so badly to be Shrek it hurts, yes, it literally hurts the viewer. It tries far too hard to be different and irreverent when it could have simply told the tale with a few clever in-jokes and modern music, but they just went for trying to one-up the big green ogre instead. Good for free or if nothing else is on.

Coraline ~ A very interesting and creepy fantasy from ‘one of the directors of Nightmare Before Christmas’ (not the one you think), and a lot of fun – for adults, and even then it might be a little scary. Hollywood seriously needs to bring more of the work of Neil Gaiman to the big screen. And I will never understand these parents who bring their kids to a movie just because it’s animated or has a child in it thinking it’s okay. Read about films before you go. The idiots who brought their infant children to the theatre for this one probably would do the same thing with The Omen or Fritz the Cat. Recommended, but not for kids.

Don’t Apologize Reloaded

Astro Boy Trailer

Astro Boy, or Mighty Atom as he was known in his native Japan, ushered in the anime age for many here in America.

In the early 1960s the classic Tetsuwan Atomu manga by the genius Osamu Tezuka was brought to animation in Japan and quickly sold to NBC in the US. The series’ success quickly paved the way for “Gigantor,” “Kimba” and “Speed Racer,” and changing animation forever.

There have been more than a few manga and anime series of Astro Boy, and even a rare and very hard-to-find live-action movie, and now Imagi Animation Studios, a Japanese-American collaboration, is readying a new CGI Astro Boy film for theatres. Here’s the trailer:

Interesting. Is it me, or is it just not Astro Boy unless he’s barechested? Either way, it looks great, and has a rather impressive voice cast. I’m looking forward to it.

Astro Boy hits the big screen in October 2009.

Eurovision 2009 Ukraine

Put the kids to bed before clicking play…

I guess this is proof positive that if you wrap anything in chocolate, including Cirque du Soleil, it makes it better. This celebration of the cocoa bean is this year’s entry into Eurovision from the Ukraine – “Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl)” by Svetlana Loboda.

Hmmm… I think I know what I want for Valentine’s Day this coming year…

SyFy

Soon, very soon, the SciFi Channel will become SyFy. Not only the logo, the taglines and paychecks, but the URL for the website as well. They mean business.

The folks at the network want to make more money, and apparently you can’t copyright or trademark the generic word ‘scifi,’ a term coincidentally originally coined by the late great Forrest J. Ackerman. So they have gone with the sound-a-like SyFy, and now they can make full and sole profits on SyFy t-shirts, thermoses and anything else they can think of. Here‘s the official press release.

Thanks be to marketing. If only Forrey had thought of that one all those years ago. Hmmm, maybe the new slogan should be “Imagine Greater… Profit…”

Spider-Man Alive and Well in Bangkok

Spider-Man is real for one eleven year old boy in Bangkok today.

From DannyChoo.com:

A firefighter donned a Spider-Man costume to coax a frightened 11-year-old boy from a balcony in Bangkok, Thailand.

Teachers at a special needs school in Bangkok alerted authorities on Monday when an autistic pupil, scared of attending his first day at school, sat out on the third-floor ledge and refused to come inside.

Despite teachers’ efforts to beckon the boy inside, he refused to budge until his mother mentioned her son’s love of superheroes, prompting fireman Sonchai Yoosabai to take a novel approach to the problem.

The sight of his hero holding a glass of juice for him brought a big smile to the boy’s face.

“I told him Spider-Man is here to rescue you, no monsters are going to attack you and I told him to walk slowly towards me as running could be dangerous,” Mr Somchai told local television.

The young boy immediately stood up and walked into his rescuer’s arms, police said

Mr. Somchai said he keeps the Spider-Man costume and an outfit of Japanese television character Ultraman at the fire station in order to liven up school fire drills.

French Fry Diary 18: The Pop Shop