Much has been made about the failure and ineptitude of the recent Fantastic Four adaptation. From the public squabbling between the director and studio to the seeming lack of promotion, it sure sounded like the cards were stacked against it from the very beginning. After hearing about its disastrous opening weekend and universally negative reviews, I almost started to believe that there was no way it could be that bad. I mean, even Catwoman was fun to laugh at, right? Then I sat down in the theatre, the movie started and all hope vanished.

Coming soon: FantFourStic

Coming soon: FantFourStic

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Watching People Watch the Watchmen

Posted: August 24, 2015 in DC, Watchmen

This was originally written in the Spring of 2009 and it was rediscovered after discussing it with Brian Baer during a CommentaryCast recording recently. I figured it would be worth posting on here, due to the subject matter.

Amen, Doc.

Amen, Doc.

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**Andrew Prenger wrote this article about his favorite worst game ever made. Of course one of DC’s worst video games was based on Aquaman. If they won’t take him seriously, how do they expect us to? Anyway, enjoy!**

title

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hex

Here’s a rare behind the scenes photo of Colby forcing Baer to watch this movie.

Here’s a little clip from the most recent CommentaryCast in which we watch Jonah Hex. This is what it’s like if you listen and watch the movie at the same time…

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Jonah Hex is an absolute failure of a movie on nearly every level. Directed by Jimmy Heyward, there are numerous anecdotes of how troubled the production was. The fact that there was barely 80 minutes worth of usable footage of a character that should be pretty easy to adapt is a decent indication of how much of a mess the filming and editing of said film was. This CommentaryCast features a distinctly different style than the last, since I had done research by reading the original script and Brian wasn’t three beers deep when recording started. This also marks the first contest we’ll be doing, but not the last . Listen along and see if you can answer the trivia question! With that, enjoy the ineptitude that is Jonah Hex

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**Panel to Pixels is a new column that will examine video game adaptation of comic books. I’ve discussed video game’s take on specific characters only a couple of times in the past. And really, I had always figured this blog would focus on film and television. However, after playing this game I felt the need to share it. And once the flood gates are open, you know how it goes…**

Comic books and video games have had a long history together. Sadly, that history has largely been marred with sloppy, second-rate productions that are more about cashing in on a licensed character than they are about making a decent game (Superman 64 immediately springs to mind). That said, there have been some shining examples of how good a comic book video game can be. The Arkham series has created a bankable franchise out of Batman and his ever-expanding rogues’ gallery and a game based on X-Men Origins: Wolverine ended up being far, far better than the film of the same name. Again, those are the rarities. Whenever a comic-based game is announced it’s always met with a healthy dose of skepticism, even if the company working on it has a proven track-record in designing top-notch licensed content.

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**Once, a loooong time ago, the Marvel brand was not the cinematic behemoth that it is now. Yes, youngsters, there was a time before X-Men, Iron Man and Blade. Novelist Brian Baer took a 90-minute look into that dark time recently and came back with this dispatch of what he witnessed.**

The 90’s was a weird period for Marvel. Between the chromium covers and bankruptcies, the company had found success in animated series, namely with X-Men and Spider-Man. They attempted to spin that momentum into live-action properties in 1996 with a made-for-TV movie/pilot for a Generation X TV series. That show wasn’t picked up, but in 1998, they gave it another try with an adaptation of their long-running super-spy, Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD.

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Blade is the first new CommentaryCasts to be posted in this new format. Starring Wesley Snipes, this 1998 film is the first to kick-off the modern “Golden Age” of comic book films. That’s especially interesting since the studio that released it, New Line, didn’t promote it as such. It’s not too odd considering the cinematic pedigree of movies based on comics at the time (and let’s not forget that this was only a year after the Great Bat-Implosion…also called Batman and Robin). But it’s cool to see the cinematic juggernaut that comic book movies (and Marvel especially) have become, with much thanks going to the strong foundation that Blade laid. Brian and I discovered that even with dated cgi, it’s still an incredibly entertaining action flick. Read the rest of this entry »

The 2014/15 television season has become well known as the season of the comic book television series. While we used to be content with the occasional Smallville or Birds of Prey (ok, no one was content with Birds of Prey), it’s now possible to watch comic book programming 5 nights a week (or more thanks to DVR). While most of these shows have been ratings successes, I’ve been looking at them on my own scale of general artistry and adaptation. To me, not all of them have been stellar, but it’s certainly been interesting to watch them grow, regardless.

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For those keeping track, this is the fifth CommentaryCast and also the fifth one to reference THE Matthew Stacey, he of myth and legend. At this point, I fear the inside jokes and shorthand between myself and Mr. Baer threaten to overtake regular discourse and comic-movie-based trivia. But, I don’t fear it enough to stop. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is the very definition of “cult classic”. It received great reviews but piss-poor box office receipts. And like any good cult classic, it’s found a vocal and passionate fanbase on home video. Directed by genre god Edgar Wright, you  may never see a comic book movie that is directed quite so beautifully. Read the rest of this entry »