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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Get In Line for Spidey 4's Black Cat

I'm shocked this is as big of a deal as it is. (Or maybe it's not.) Oh, don't worry. I promise this won't be a glorified comic book-to-movie fanboy rant like my last post. Actually, I hardly touch comics and I certainly don't know much about this post's title character. (No, not Spidey.)But the attention around it is what gets me.

Rumors are flying that the Black Cat will be the next pseudo-villain in the Spider-Man lineup. At first I thought, "Oh, okay. So it's Spider-Man's Catwoman basically?" Apparently that's almost too much of the case as I've only read negative feedback from fans since this rumor began.

Now for those fretting about the idea of Black Cat serving as the web-slinger's next antagonist hold on to this bleak hope. Sony has apparently denied the rumors. Regardless, the possibility of Black Cat in Spider-Man 4 is looking inevitable. With so many rumors flying about actresses trying for the part I think it's safe to say she's in.

So who's up for the role? Well lets plow through the list of rumored cats. Rachel McAdams was the original rumor, and heavily favored by fans who were okay with Black Cat's break in to live action. But the actress has since denied those rumors. Shame really. I think she would have really nailed the part. (And the Spider. Gigiddy.)

Next up, British babe Romola Garai. Don't know who that is? Don't worry, no one does. Admittedly, she looked the part, but with credentials like Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights I think we can boot her out.

My personal favorite out of the lot is Julia Stiles. I know, I know. Why? Admittedly, she may not look the part, but she takes on the tough-babe persona pretty well. (Bourne anyone?) I feel like Black Cat would be the next big step for her. Granted, I don't know much about the Black Cat, but I do know if you're going to do the whole Catwoman/Batman relationship with Spider-Man the chick better be one tough cookie. Lets just say the bell collar would fit around Julia's neck pretty well.

Finally, we have Anne Hathaway. Supposedly the producers are very interested in giving her a staring role. Now, I like Anne Hathaway, she's a fine actress, but the Black Cat? I did grab the right picture from the internet, right? Very white, (or really blonde?) hair and all? Does she fit the complexion? Would white hair be a bit much for Hathaway? Aw, whatever. With all the advances in special effects and what not I'm sure it isn't a big deal. Even still she doesn't strike me as someone who could pull off the look.

So what about you crazy Spider-Man fanatics out there? Is it worth seeing Black Cat on the big screen? I don't have too much of a problem with it, but, again, I don't know much about her beyond wikipedia. I will say this. It might be worth it if we can get Kirsten Dunst out of these flicks. Can we all agree she's the worst love interest for a hero in any of these superhero movies? Yeah. You agree. She's a bitch. Go ahead. Bring in the home wrecker.


The Shadow of the True X-Men 3

Reading this kind of stuff infuriates me, but at the same time it fascinates me. It’s incredible to see a bad idea come to life and a good idea left in the trash heap. To be fair X-Men: The Last Stand actually had some intriguing ideas, but besides being executed terribly they also paled in comparison to what could have been.

“Huh? What could it have been?” For starters it could have been good, but that’s the obvious answer. During a Slashfilm podcast co-writer of X2, Mike Dougherty, mentioned story ideas for the third movie he had on the drawing board with director Bryan Singer.

For those using the Internet for the first time, Bryan Singer directed the first two X-Men films. When he was asked to direct his dream project, Superman Returns, he left Fox’s X-Men franchise at the mercy of director Brett Ratner-- The man responsible for arguably the worst conclusion to a single franchise: X-Men: The Last Stand.

But before Brett Rat-Fink mutilated the storyline and Dougherty left with Singer for Superman Returns, there was a very solid blueprint for the third movie. Screenrant was nice enough to extract Dougherty’s X-Men 3 story from the podcast.


“The idea – you open up with Alkali Lake [where Jean Grey supposedly died in X2] but it’s completely barren and dried up and there are these odd reports of strange phenomena going on around the world accompanied by bright lights in the sky.”

“The idea would be that both the X-Men and the Brotherhood realize that, essentially, a very god-like force had entered their reality and that it was causing disruptions around the world – mutant prisons being decimated. I had pitched an idea about a fleet of cargo ships getting torn apart in the Atlantic and you found out that they were shuttling mutants as slave labor.”


“So basically you found out that the Phoenix [Jean Grey] was going ‘round the world taking things into her own hands and that she had basically returned as a god, which they did touch upon in X3. She had viewed herself as above the conflict, that she was here to end things on her terms, she was basically sick of the fighting and she was going to take things into her own hands and she didn’t give a shit what the X-Men or the Brotherhood had to say about it.”

I think Dougherty is giving the actual third movie too much credit. When was comparing the Phoenix to a god touched upon in The Last Stand? Sorry. Minor rant. Dougherty continues…

“The one idea that I loved, that I really wanted to do, was that Cyclops would build the Danger Room. Cyclops felt guilty-- He felt that the X-Men were too weak. They weren’t strong enough; they weren’t fast enough, [and] that was the reason Jean died. If they were a little bit better at fighting, then she might still be alive. It was all about this guilt he had about her death and so he built the Danger Room to train them to be better. But in the end it really was about him not being able to let go of her, so that causes all the chaos and disruption in the movie. But in the end it’s about him letting her go.”

Okay, okay, so wait. Not only was Cyclops going to be front and center in the storyline, like he should’ve been, but it was going to develop him as the true leader of the X-Men? This sounds like the best idea for an X-Men movie yet… Alas, it wasn’t to be… Oh wait. It gets better:


“Ultimately she kind of becomes that cosmic force that Phoenix is known to be, she chooses to leave Earth and become a god, or at least a higher level of intelligence, and she goes into the cosmos possibly to kick-start life somewhere else… The final scene for me would have been her telling Cyclops, or her telling the X-Men, ‘I’ll be watching.’ Essentially she becomes a god.”

I love the “I’ll be watching” part echoing the end of the second film. But unlike this story The Last Stand had no regard for what happened in the first two movies. (Like the forgotten allusion that Magneto’s machine on Liberty Island [in the first movie] triggered the Phoenix mutation. Good catch Rat-Punk!) A razor sharp Cyclops sounded so much more interesting than the pitiful, tormented man that served as little more than a cameo in The Last Stand. And actually utilizing the Phoenix as the integral plotline instead of watching her turn to marble as a third tier subplot is *INSERT CLICHÉ GASP AGAIN* far and away more desirable.

So I want to applaud director Brett Rat-Shit for his duties on The Last Stand and taking strides to do the exact opposite of Dougherty’s plan: Deliver a damn good idea. I mean seriously? This is what we could have had? Superman Returns was decent, but not worth this sacrifice. Imagine if you will, the deep fire representing the vengeful Phoenix, scorching the night sky as Cyclops and Wolverine stand battle ready on a crushed Earth below. The stakes are high. Not even Magneto and the Brotherhood are as great of a threat. Why? Because this “god” is the women these two men love. That’s brilliant shit right there!

Now think back to The Last Stand. It’s like self-mutilation isn’t it? If you’re a sadist you’ve gotta’ love this article. With rumors of Bryan Singer possibly returning to the X-Men franchise, these ideas would be beautiful for a strong return to form. I refuse to believe it’s too late to clean up Brett Rat-Fuck’s menstruating curd of bile that is the third X-Men movie. Will someone save this franchise?

Monday, November 16, 2009

MUSIC REVIEW - The Killers - Live from the Royal Albert Hall

The thing about most live shows is that we all want to hear what the hits sound like live. Yes, Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” sounds great, Linkin Park’s “One Step Closer” rocks hard, Drake’s “Closer to My Dreams” is—Hm. Pothole there. Can’t do much for lip-syncing can I? But The Killers grant us a lot of great “second tier” songs that grab your attention in a way their album counterparts don’t.

Oh, sure, “Somebody Told Me” is still as sexy as ever and “When You Where Young” provides a badass finale that I wasn’t sure The Killers could even deliver. I also want to shout out to “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine,” a personal favorite that could have easily been the night’s closer. But overlooked masterpieces like “I Can’t Stay,” “Loosing Touch” and “Bling” make you want to go back and relive their album counterparts. They all just sound great, and the acoustics of the Albert Hall compliments Brandon Flowers’ vocals beautifully.

At times these less popular sings tend to outplay the many singles that are stretched across the set list. This can be both a great and terrible thing depending on how you look at it. For me it was nice to get the wake-up call of rediscovering non-singles. It literally got me to re-love The Killers.

Most of the songs are from the recent album, Day & Age. (That’s fine by me!) Their prior album, Sam’s Town, is mostly absent from the live show, (thank God) but the better songs do strike a chord. It almost makes me want to re-listen to Sam’s Town—Almost…

I won’t say The Killers “killed it,” because that’s probably been used for every executive-handjob review of this record. I will say they’re still appropriately named though. If only “Midnight Show” were added to the set. It would’ve really matched the energy of the rest of the show. Killers fan? Get it. And get it now. Semi-Killers fan? Keep it on your list of goodies to grab. You might find there’s more to love than you thought.

***½ out of ****

Trailer of Interest - Family Guy: Something, Something Dark Side

Remember Blue Harvest? The Family Guy episode that spoofed Star Wars well enough that it got too nerdy? Welcome to the sequel. Now for many Blue Harvest was something of a mixed bag. But for others, including myself, it was an enjoyable romp through the more important moments in Star Wars with Family Guy banter. And while the sequel's trailer isn't exactly hysterical, this isn't going to have the longest running time. So why spoil all the good parts? I need me more Darth Stewie.

HYPE-O-METER Scale 1-10: 7