Star Wars: Episode 2 1/2

On August 15th, 2008 Star Wars hits the big screen once more, but this time as an animated film titled “Star Wars: Clone Wars.” Animated? Yeah…sweet CG with an animation style that really turns me on. The film itself is geared as a kick-off for the upcoming Star Wars animated series of the same name that will be airing on Cartoon Network (and eventually TNT)…all of which takes place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

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Star Wars writes:

On the front lines of an intergalactic struggle between good and evil, fans young and old will join such favorite characters as Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala, along with brand-new heroes like Anakin’s padawan learner, Ahsoka. Sinister villains — led by Darth Sidious, Count Dooku and General Grievous — are poised to rule the galaxy. Stakes are high, and the fate of the Star Wars universe rests in the hands of the daring Jedi Knights. Their exploits lead to the action-packed battles and astonishing new revelations that fill Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

I am extremely excited to see both this movie and the animated series. The cinematics look amazing. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out…it looks freaking awesome.

The fact that the new movie (and series) will be focusing on a larger cast of characters beyond Anakin’s storyline makes this The Clone Wars very appealing to me. We’ll see focuses on Kit Fisto, Ahsoka, Clone Trooper Rex, General Grevious, and many more. That is quite exciting to me! I’ll definitely be waiting in line on August 15th.

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Transformers Extended Trailer

An extended Transformers Trailer was released a couple of days ago…2.5 minutes of awesome transforming bliss. Here’s the trailer from YouTube:

The poster of the video on YouTube writes:

New 2.5 minute trailer for the Transformers movie, includes plenty of transforms (including a number of fancy manoeuvres by Starscream), although no TF voices.

This video was converted from a large resolution high-def video file, not from a screen capture which some people have posted. (BTW, feel free to blog/link this anywhere, it’s the best trailer yet).

Gives a little more insight to the storyline, including Earth’s reaction to their arrival, and it appears that Bumblebee is not going to have a particularly easy time of it.

A lot of footage we’ve seen before, but plenty we haven’t. This ain’t no cartoon, kids. Looks like we’re talking Transformers with a body-count and major property damage (not just a few dings in a couple of buildings, or a shootout confined entirely to the desert).

Note the arrival of the protoform Transformers (the “asteroids” crashing to Earth) and the use of the classic transform sound (!!) in Optimus Prime’s transformation.

I like the “it’s probably Japanese” crack.

A Torrent Of Blood And Awesomeness: The Movie 300

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I sat packed in the front corner of a theater last night with no popcorn, no candy, no soda; surrounded by excited teenage males, eager to see boobs and blood. My neck was arched and my body contorted in positions I didn’t know were possible just to watch a distorted view of the new movie, 300. My eyes rolled around like a steer before the slaughter as I waited for the movie to start…but previews first. Whoop-dee-doo. They were so-so…well…the Spider Man III trailer did rock my world but still didn’t drive away my discomfort.

The screen goes black.

I shift uncomfortably and moan.

The the title splatters across the screen in large, bloody letters. The theater squeals with delight, yet I sigh in my irritation at not having arrived sooner. I’m going to have the movie spoiled by my discomfort, I thought. And then the movie started and my mind was sucked away to ancient Sparta.

The movie was stunning visually, the artistry of the cinematography was truly amazing even at my front-of-the-theater vantage point. During combat scenes (and there are a lot of them), the stop-and-go effects of thrusts, bashes, blood flow, and gore really added a lot to the movie. Having not read the 300 comic I’ve nothing to compare the movie to, however, the story seemed solid…primary vocals from the characters on screen were battle cries and very eloquent “bravery” speeches, however, the movie was heavily narrated giving the viewers the feel they were watching a story rather than just a movie. Very well done.

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Effects were sweet, although I have some issues with the various views presented in the scene where Xerxes and Leonidas parley. From the beginning of that scene, we see that Xerxes towers comically huge over Leonidas, yet the camera views during their conversation changed that perception. Darby O’Gill and the Little People did a better job of this effect.

And that was my only real complaint.

So good was the movie that my discomfort and irritation at my position within the theater dissolved into nothingness. One thing was quite funny about that theater room, however. The movie showed plenty of breasts and a very brief, non-graphic sex scene…As I mentioned before, I was surrounded by teenagers. That became readily obvious any time a boob flashed on screen as a ripple of snickers and jibes swept across the room. That was more humorous that annoying…was I ever that way?

I will definitely be seeing this movie again. When next I see the movie, I’ll make sure to secure a better position within the theater so I can experience the full effect in all its glory. If you have a chance to see this movie in the theater…do so. You won’t be disappointed.

For a little background on the movie, here’s some info pulled from Wikipedia:

The film is a close adaptation of the graphic novel 300 by Frank Miller in which Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fight to the last man against Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive army of one million soldiers. Facing insurmountable odds, the Spartans’ sacrifice inspires all of Greece to unite against the Persian invaders. The story is loosely based on the Battle of Thermopylae which took place in 480 BC.

I want to read the Graphic Novel now. :) I sure hope the other comic book/hero movies coming out this year are as good! This month is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Then of course, Spider Man III and Transformers!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Trailer 2

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I must say, when the first trailer was released, I was psyched. When the plot and non-trailer screenshots came out I even more psyched. Now that the second trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been released…well, lets just say I wet myself. If you haven’t seen the trailer, check it out!

(Z let me know by posting)

TMNT Movie Update: Plot & Images

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very excited about he new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie that’ll be in theaters March 30th, 2007. The plot, as written on IESB reads:

After the defeat of their old arch nemesis, The Shredder, the Turtles have grown apart as a family. Struggling to keep them together, their rat sensei, Master Splinter, becomes worried when strange things begin to brew in New York City. Tech-industrialist Max Winters is amassing an army of ancient monsters to apparently take over the world. And only one super-ninja fighting team can stop them ”those heroes in a half shell” Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael! With the help of old allies April O’Neil and Casey Jones, the Turtles are in for the fight of their lives as they once again must face the mysterious Foot Clan, who have put their own ninja skills behind Winters endeavors.

After some hunting around, I’ve found some decent Movie stills on both IMDB and ComicBookMovie.com. I’ve organized them on Flickr and will add more as they become available.

LeonardoDonatelloTurtlesTurtle TowerSplinterThe TeamAwesome Leo ShotThe FootNo ClueSome DudeRaphael and CaseyCasey and ??  Rocksteady?The Team 2

The TMNT animation style is to my taste, although April O’Neil looks a little odd. The Foot look amazing and Splinter – while quite different from the live-action movies – looks awesome. I’m happy to see that Casey Jones is once again a part of the team. All things considered, this movie looks pretty ballsy. Lets hope the story is better than Turtles 2 & 3.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Trailer

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Zach expressed his excitement about the upcoming super hero flick, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and I was excited to see the trailer Monday evening (although it was released on the 26th). The trailer follows The Human Torch chasing the Silver Surfer. The effects look great, and the Silver Surfer looks freaking awesome!

You can check out the trailer over at Quicktime. The movie’s release date is June 15th, 2007! w00t w00t!

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Transformers Movie Trailer

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Lately I’ve noticed increased traffic to my Transformers Teaser Trailer post and became extremely excited. Could this mean another trailer? I spoke with Zach last night and he found it over at Yahoo!

Zach writes:

There seems to be a pretty strong human component to this film which is important to me. Additionally, the trailer indicates a good strong amount of action. This is expected and welcome in a Michael Bay film (see Bad Boys). Finally, I really like how the transformers look. The special effects are spot on.

I find myself convulsing from the sheer excitement I have for this movie. I was a huge Transformers cartoon fan when I was little (remember way back then?) and the toys are still awesome. Causing particular excitement is this (somewhat blurry) shot of Bumblebee…he looks simply awesome:

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In the trailer, the lines: “Some have come to save us. Most have come to destroy us.” make me super-giddy. The trailer was ballsy and I’m definitely counting down the days till opening night (July 4th, 2007)!

Note: the Decepticon at the top of the post is Blackout.

Two New Transformers Teaser Posters

Two new posters have been released for the sweet new Transformers Movie due out in 2007.

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On another note, the voice of Optimus Prime will be done by Peter Cullen, the original voice for Transformers: Ironhide, Optimus Prime, Slugslinger, Streetwise, Wingspan and Nightstick. (and oddly enough, the voice actor for Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh as well as a shlew of other animated shows/movies). Awesome…just freaking awesome.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Nice! On March 30th of next year a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is coming out! Talk about a blast from the past. While this movie isn’t live-action like the previous 3, the CG in the trailer gives me high hopes. I’m a huge fan of the Ninja Turtles and was excited when they made a come-back a few years ago and this is just icing on the cake.

Next year is bound to be good…Transformers AND TMNT. w00t!

Superman Returns

Superman Returns Randy over at OptimalStupidity posted his spoiler free review of the new Superman movie: Superman Returns. He writes:

…To say I was satisfied with the movie would be wrong. I was absolutly blown away. Never has Superman seemed so real on screen. You could completely imagine the stuff you see in the movie happening in real life. I even caught myself this morning looking up into the sky and imagining seeing Superman fly by. It was an odd moment and it helped me solidify in my mind just how good a job they did on the movie.

He goes on to describe the cast members and their respective roles and is happy to report they all did their characters justice…this was one aspect that both he and I were worried about. How could you even match Christopher Reeve as Superman? Well, Randy reports that Brandon Rooth did an excellent job (although he’s still no Christopher Reeve):

Brandon Rooth did a better job as Superman than I could have hoped. There are moments in the film when you swear he’s channeling Reeve.

Needless to say, I’m sitting on pins and needles for Friday when I actually get to see the movie…I’m taking that day off to appropriately prepare :D

Spider-Man 3 Teaser

Spider-Man 3 The Spider-Man 3 trailer has been posted at Apple Trailers! Holy crap. It looks insanely cool. It seems that next May we’ll be seeing Tobey Maguire back as Spider-Man…in Black? We’ll also be seeing Venom (Topher Grace), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), the Green Goblin (James Franco), and of course, MJ (Kirsten Dunst).

The sports a sweet Sandman scene; a lot of shots of Spidey in black; the much needed and too few shots of MJ; and a little Green Goblin. Lets hope this movie continues the current Spider-Man trend and one-ups the previous!

UPDATE: Zach has put together an excellent detailed look at the Spider-Man 3 Teaser. Check it out.

Ghost Rider

ghostrider The Ghost Rider teaser trailer is finally out. Even though I’m excited about the idea of a Ghost Rider movie, I’m still a bit iffy on the casting. Nicholas Cage is the Ghost Rider…Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy, but he seems odd in that role.

The graphics look decent and its bound to be pretty action packed, lets hope the story holds its own. I’m a huge fan of the superhero genre and the movies that have been coming out recently have been pleasantly good. My fingers are crossed on this one.

Now, its important to note that there are two trailers that were released…the international and the US version. The international one is by far the better of the two as the US version is missing: a run from the cops, a shot of Eva Mendes’ butt, and some extra melted objects. Zach seem to think its based on strict limitations to the trailer to keep it within the appropriate Trailer rating. Ah well…at least US version has text. Whoop-de-doo.

The scheduled release date for the US is February 16th, 2007. A little late to be a Valentine’s Day present for my wife…but I’ll see what I can do.

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