Friday, April 18, 2008

New Spirit Poster

A new poster for Frank Miller's film adaptation of Will Eisner's The Spirit has hit the net.
by Larry_Chimp_Man

I was initially excited for a Frank Miller-directed The Spirit. Miller is a visionary in the comic book world and I was interested to see how he would translate the iconic character of The Spirit to the silver screen. My anticipation began to rise as Gabriel Macht, Sam Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, and Paz Vega all signed on to do the film. It's all been downhill from there. First it was the announcement that Miller would shoot the flick in sheer green-screen environments. Then it was revealed that Miller had changed the traditional colour-scheme of The Spirit from blue and white to black and red. Then the Sin City-esque teaser posters came out. Then the piss-poor set photos.

Now we have an official one-sheet. It's gritty, it's dark, it screams Frank Miller. Check it out below.

I have no problem with changing details when adapting a book, comic, whatever. However, I do have a problem with changing the tone of the source material. Will Eisner's The Spirit may have been chock full of noir and crime drama, Miller's got that down pat, but it was also lighthearted and romantic. Eisner's stories were often comedic and rarely dipped too deep into dark themes or disturbing content. That's not to say Eisner steered clear of gritty stories, he didn't, but he grounded his Spirit in a world where slapstick violence and comedy were key.

Frank Miller's vision of The Spirit doesn't seem to match. It's as if the writer/director picked up the character and plopped him down in his Sin City universe. It's a disgrace to the source material and it's a sign of disrespect o the deceased Will Eisner.

What do you guys think? Am I being too harsh on Miller or do I have a case here? Post a comment and let me know what you think about the above poster and Miller's vision for The Spirit.


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Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe Announced

Midway is pitting their Mortal Kombat lineup against all your favourite DC heroes.
by Larry_Chimp_Man

Midway is shaking things up with one of their flagship franchises. Mortal Kombat, the fighting game infamous for 0ver-the-top blood and gore, gruesome finishing moves, and a boat-load of attitude, is adding a lineup of guest fighters into the fray. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (previously known as Mortal Kombat 8) will allow all your favourites from both the MK and DC universes to smash heads. Midway hopes the inclusion of DC heroes will kick their once-unstoppable fighting franchise back into top gear. An announcement trailer was released today, check it out below.

I'm not that impressed. The fighting looks incredibly stiff and the character models just aren't doing it for me. I'm not a fan of the Batman model Midway is using as he looks bland and boring. I would have preferred something more stylized for the Dark Knight.

Also, I've heard that because DC is involved in this Mortal Kombat release Midway has toned down the blood and completely removed fatalities from the game. It makes sense, I couldn't imagine DC signing on to a project that would allow Scorpion rip Batman's head off. However, this is sure to piss off quite a few MK fans. The series is all about the over-the-top violence and bloody fatalities, throw all that out the window and you have just another typical fighting game.

It'll be interesting to see where this game goes. I'll most likely pick it up for the chance to fight with Batman, The Joker, and all my favourite DC heroes. Although, reading up on the lack of gore and watching the above trailer make me question if MK vs DCU will be any good. It'll be interesting to see if this sparks any word from the Capcom camp about the possibility of a future Marvel vs Capcom game.

Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe hits shelves this fall and will be available for the Xbox 360 and PS3.


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Amazing Spider-Man #555-557 Review

Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo deliver a three-issue Spidey treat.
by Danger

The current Amazing Spider-Man storyline helmed by both Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo is a continuation of the no-strings-attached, Brand New Day Spider-Man. Sometime in the later half of 2007 Marvel announced that their Amazing Spider-Man title would hit the shelves three times a month. Four different creative teams were brought in with a month each to tell their story. Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo make up the final team to deliver their take on a post-One More Day Spider-man.

Amazing Spider-Man #555 kicks off the three issue arc and sets the story off strong. New York has been overrun by a freak snow storm, but is it of natural occurrence or is something else working behind the scenes? Can Spidey find out the real reason behind the frostbite-inducing cold that has taken over his city? Will Spider-Man be enough to save the day?

Zeb Wells, known best for his Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways tie-in, is a writer who understands what Spidey is all about. Wells' Spidey is a loudmouth but easy to relate to, he makes mistakes and shows weakness but is heroic when need be. It appears as if Marvel is breeding Wells to be one of their top new writers and have decided to test his chops with his turn on an A-list character book. I for one, believe that he's done a great job on the book and look forward to seeing a lot more from him.

Canadian artist Chris Bachalo is no stranger to Marvel Comics. After getting his start on DC's The Sandman, followed by some other collaborations with Neil Gaiman, Chris was hired by Marvel. Chris co-created Generation X with Scott Lobdell, later moving on to do a plethora of X-Men books. It's hard to find artists that 'get' Spider-Man but Bachalo knows what he's doing with the character. His expressions are wild and his Spidey is very well defined.

Spider-Man has gone through some tough times over the year. Flip-flopping through two sides of a war, losing friends and allies, and losing the love of his life. Thanks to the controversial One More Day story arc he has a chance to start things fresh. But is this a good or a bad thing for Spider-Man? So far I'm enjoying most of what has come out of it, but I do hope that things do get better for both Peter and the readers.

One Sentence Review: Quite possibly my favourite storyline out of the first four creator groups. | 8.0/10

Larry_Chimp_Man's Second Opinion: The past three issues of Amazing Spider-Man deliver one of the best Spidey arcs within recent memory. Spider-Man should be, above all, about fun and over the past year we've seen all of that stripped out of the character during the Back in Black and One More Day storylines. Brand New Day was a chance to rectify the Wallcrawler and return him to his roots. The first three arcs were hit and miss, unable to bring back the Spidey we all know and love. This fourth arc, however, is right on the money. Zeb Wells writes a Spidey that is witty yet human. Wells shows Spider-Man's vulnerability but doesn't dwell on it, allowing the character to remain light in dark situations. Chris Bachalo is perfect for Spider-Man and his work feels like a taste of a more mature Humberto Ramos. He's characters are very well animated and his panels are extremely detailed yet beautifully composed. One can hope we see Wells and Bachalo back on a Spidey book in the near future as they have found a way out of the mess that is Brand New Day and delivered an excellent Spider-Man arc.

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Philip Tan Signs DC Exclusive

The former Spawn artist is now under DC's lock and key.
by Larry_Chimp_Man

Philip Tan has signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics. Known best for his work on Spawn and Spawn: Godslayer Tan will co-pencil DC Universe #0 as well as a yet-to-be-announced title for DC Comics. Tan is clearly excited about his new gig:

“There are some big things happening in the next year at DC. And I'm very excited to be a part of that. The project I'm working on really is one of the biggest of my career. I'm more excited than anyone else to announce this project. Unfortunately, I can't talk about it yet. But now, at least I get to tell people it's something really cool for DC Comics.”

I really enjoyed Tan's work on Spawn and can't wait to see what he'll do for DC. In a perfect world his super detailed and extremely gritty artistic style would translate directly into something Batman oriented but you never know what project he'll pencil.

What do you guys think about Philip Tan's exclusive contract with DC? Are you a fan of Tan's art? Post a comment and let us know your opinion. Also, check back to MediaZEALOT all weekend as we'll be bringing you all the need-to-know news coming out of New York Comic Con.


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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Smith, Reitman to Blog for NHL

Directors Kevin Smith and Jason Reitman, along with a dozen other celebs, have signed on to blog for the NHL about their love of hockey.
by Larry_Chimp_Man

There's no denying that die-hard hockey fans in the United States are some of the most passionate fans in the country. They stay true to a sport often lost in the shuffle due to a low percentage of the market share and a piss-poor TV contract. Most casual sports fans in the US couldn't care less about the sport of hockey and, while it has been gaining steam over the past few years, it's still not seen as a major sport south of the border.

With the NHL playoffs upon us the National Hockey League has once again turned to celebrity blogging as a means of propelling the popularity of their sport. Directors Kevin Smith and Jason Reitman have signed on to blog about their love of the sport as have a wide array of other celebrity personalities. Each blogger will follow their favourite team as they make a push for the Stanley Cup. Joining Reitman and Smith are actors David Boreanaz, William Fichtner, Tom Cavanagh, A.J. Buckley, and Geoff Stults along with The Hills star Lauren Conrad. Western singer Dierks Bentley has also signed on to the blog for the playoffs.

Jason Reitman has publicly shown a tremendous admiration for hockey for years. The director may be Montreal-born but he's a Vancouver Canucks fan through and through. He's worn their team colours during press coverage for his films Thank You For Smoking and Juno as well as producing the infamous 'Swedish Twins' commercial for the NHL. However, it'll be interesting to see how Reitman covers the Canucks cup run considering the team wasn't able to make the playoffs.

Kevin Smith has been blogging for years on his own site Hopefully all the comedic insight found on that sight will be carried over as Smith covers the New Jersey Devils cup run. Smith has showcased his love for the sport in every film he's done as hockey has become one of the director's recurring themes. Hopefully the New Jersey native doesn't hold anything back when deciphering the Devils' cup run.

While a few celebrity bloggers aren't likely to cause a spike in hockey popularity in the US I'm sure these blogs will open the doors for a few future fans of the sport. The NHL may be making some wrong turns when it comes to TV contracts and hockey coverage in the States but their sport marketing is spot-on. Hopefully the momentum currently behind the sport continues to slowly push hockey forward and into the spotlight.

What do you guys think about all of this? Is it right for celebrities to get caught up in sports marketing? I'm all for it if it's done in a creative fashion but one could argue something like this is simply an elaborate commercial. Post a comment and share your thoughts.

Click on over to the NHL's BlogCentral to follow your favourite team along with Smith, Reitman, and others.


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