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RESULTS! The SmackPoll: Comic-Con Superhero Edition

July 24, 2011 Movie Smackdown 0

THE RESULTS ARE IN. All the fighters have entered the ring now in this “Summer of Smackdown!” With the release of Captain America this weekend, the battle for blockbuster superiority is now in full swing. So far Thor has dropped the hammer on the competition, taking in over $446M since its international release.

From the beginning, we’ve had our SmackPoll up, asking our readers which film they think will go down as the best super-hero film of the summer. No, it’s not scientific, nor even a real fair fight given the staggered release dates, but it is kind of surprising. As of today, the film that just was released Captain America: The First Avenger is in first place, followed by Thor, followed by X-Men: First Class and it’s DC’s Green Lantern at the back of the pack.

The poll will stay open until the end of Comic-Con on Sunday at 5:00pm PST. If you’re in attendance, or following things on the Internet, pass the poll around to your friends and, now that Captain America is out, let’s see if he can hang on to his lead. […]

Spider-Man Gets New Threads

July 14, 2011 Movie Smackdown 5

Now that re-boots are planned while the last re-boot is finishing its run, it’s back to the beginning for Spider-Man in the new imagining. Because this version known as The Amazing Spider-Man is set in high school, it’s out with old-man Tobey Maguire and in with new-guy Andrew Garfield. Although to be honest, Garfield is like only seven years younger than Maguire and would probably last about five minutes in a real high school before somebody outed him as an undercover cop or something.

But this is Hollywood, so never mind. Along with the new actor, Spidey is getting a new costume. And the new costume is getting its coming out party in this week’s Entertainment Weekly with a cover splash (seen here) and a collection of other photos showing off the new look.

We first got a look at the suit six months ago, so in the carefully orchestrated run up to release, it’s time to throw some more fuel on the fire. It’s all timed for fan boys and girls in anticipation of next week’s trailer premiere and San Diego Comic-Con panel. That trailer is rumored to be first scene by the public in advance of the July 22nd release of Captain America: The First Avenger. […]

The Transformers Trilogy -vs- The Spider-Man Trilogy

July 1, 2011 Rodney Twelftree 7

Giant robots fighting on Earth. Heroic spider-themed young man finding his way in the world. Measure out in equal increments, stir rapidly until explosions and effects look shiny, and serve with a cool drink and surround sound. The ultimate trilogy Smack (at least for this year!) finally lands on Earth, as we put Optimus Prime, the Decepticons and all that Bayhem into the Smackring with Spider-Man, Doc Oc, Sandman and Mary Jane Watson. And we all know Kirsten Dunst can land a punch.

It’s The Spider-Man Trilogy vs The Transformers Trilogy. It’s all out geek-cool Smackness!!! […]

Green Lantern (2011) -vs- Iron Man (2008)

June 17, 2011 The FilmGuru 7

Imagine willpower given form by technology from beyond our world. Or willpower shaping technology made in the U.S.A. We’re starting a battle of wills between two fighters: one a hotshot test pilot turned intergalactic cop, the other a hotshot playboy industrialist turned superhero.

In the DC Comics universe, Green Lantern is one of the heavy hitters. He’s a man without fear, who uses an alien ring that transforms thought into reality by sheer force of will. So it only seems fitting that we pit him against Iron Man, the Marvel Comics version of Steve Jobs combined with Donald Trump. Iron Man is one man’s technology and ingenuity given form in the ultimate expression of man as machine. […]

X-Men: First Class (2011) -vs- X-Men (2000)

June 4, 2011 The FilmGuru 4

The last time we saw mutants on the big screen, it was the disappointing third installment in the X-Men trilogy, appropriately titled X-Men: The Last Stand. What had begun as a promising franchise under the steady hand of director Bryan Singer turned to crap under the watch of replacement director Brett Ratner. As Joel Schumacher had done with the Batman franchise, so too had Ratner done with the X-Men.

Now, after five years, the mutants are back. Instead of trying to resurrect the franchise by fixing the problems of the previous film (which included killing off two of the main characters), the new franchise is starting over at the beginning with a prequel. Now we have a chance to look at two different beginnings for the X-Men franchise and see which one works better.

Now, after five years, the mutants are back. […]

Summer of Smackdown: The Superheroes

May 4, 2011 The FilmGuru 3

The “Summer of Smackdown!” has officially begun. With the release of Thor over the weekend, the battle for blockbuster superiority is now in full swing. Thor dropped the hammer on the competition, taking in over $66M in its opening weekend in the U.S. — this after grossing more than $100M worldwide since its international release.

Now that Thor has started things of with a thunder crash, let’s a take a look at what other movies are in the running to shake the heavens this summer.

First off, it’s no secret that this is the summer of superheroes. An unprecedented number of comic book adaptations are coming to the big screen this summer, and four of them are superhero favorites. […]

Thor (2011) -vs- Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (1980 | 2006)

May 4, 2011 Rodney Twelftree 9

Down here in Australia, we actually got Thor in our theaters a full two weeks before the God of Thunder finally visited the United States. Along with our Aussie pride that the title character is played by local lad Chris Hemsworth, that still doesn’t quite equal what our American friends may be feeling over the success of Seal Team Six, but we take our thrills where we find them.

Comic book heroes coming to blows is a concept as old as the medium itself, but this Smackdown pits entire universes against each other. Thor versus Superman. Marvel versus DC. Yes!

The extraterrestrial Superman is the most recognizable comic book character ever created and Thor, the mythically awesome Stan Lee-created Asgardian God who comes to Earth, are the powerhouse figures of their respective comic book universes. DC Comics has published Superman since 1939, while Thor has been around since Marvel introduced him in 1962. Both have incredible powers. Superman derives his incredible strength and abilities from his proximity to Earth’s yellow sun, while Thor’s powers come from his family lineage as a Norse God (who may be an extraterrestrial himself) — the God of Thunder, to be exact. […]

Lois & Clark: The (Old) New Adventures of Superman

May 3, 2011 Bryce Zabel 3

I have so many great memories about the Man-of-Steel, it’s hard to know where to start. Like… being a six year old buying a Superman comic from a magazine rack in a drug store… Running home to watch George Reeves in a syndicated re-run of the first TV series… Standing in line for hours to watch Superman: The Movie starring Christopher Reeve.

Nothing compares, though, with working on that first season of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. It ranks as one of the greatest creative satisfactions I’ve had in the series TV business.

I had first worked with Deborah Joy LeVine (she received the WGA “Developed By” credit) on an ABC law series called Equal Justice. A gifted writer, she had written an exceptional pilot that ABC had picked up and, at the same time, ordered a half-dozen back-up scripts. So before film was even being shot, Deborah Joy, her brother Dan and I were throwing “super” ideas around every day in a little trailer on the Warner Brothers lot. […]

Let’s At Least Agree on Truth and Justice…

May 2, 2011 Bryce Zabel 1

UPDATE (5/3/11): In one of the most spectacular examples of bad timing imaginable, Superman has renounced his America citizenship when the world’s attention is focused on the United States military’s success in taking out Osama bin Laden. Nobody at DC Comics can be happy about this. But in this post, done the day before Osama’s death, we questioned whether they had the tone right on their decision in the first place, even if they felt it was the inevitable evolution of their character.

Like a lot of people, I was taken by surprise hearing the news that Superman has renounced his American citizenship. Honestly, this felt more striking than even the news in the early ’90s that D.C. Comics planned to “kill” him. Of course, in the comic book universe death is not forever while this new “citizen of the world” orientation probably is.

In short: In Action Comics #900, Superman tries to intervene in Iranian protests but gets perceived as a tool of the United States. He gets peeved and announces he will go to the United Nations and renounce his citizenship. Aside from the obvious inflammatory nature of this to some people (most of whom do not read Superman anyway), I can’t get the image out of my head of Superman talking to the U.N. in that dreadful fourth installment of the Christopher Reeve film series, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. […]

Superman -vs- The American Way?

May 1, 2011 The FilmGuru 3

For years, Superman has been heralded as the champion of “truth, justice, and the American way.” But the editorial staff at DC Comics has dared to challenge this ideal by creating a controversy of global proportions. What does it mean for the U.S. if Superman is no longer American?

This week, Superman made news headlines by declaring that he intends to go before the United Nations and renounce his American citizenship. In “The Incident,” a story featured in the 900th issue of Action Comics, Superman is questioned by the U.S. national security advisor regarding the hero’s recent appearance in Iran.

What happened was this: Superman heard about protests in Tehran against Ahmadinejad’s administration. Knowing that past protests had led to violence and protest leaders being arrested, he decided to make sure things didn’t get out of hand. He landed at the protest and stood — neither moving nor speaking — for 24 hours. Then he left.

Considering the already tense state of affairs between the U.S. and Iran — not to mention the situation in countries like Egypt, Libya, and Syria — it’s no surprise that Superman’s simple appearance at a protest could spark concern from both governments. To Iran, this must have looked like America holding a nuclear bomb over their heads.

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