Marvel Entertainment Wins The Rights To Ghost Rider Character

I had no idea that the rights were being contested, but according to the New York Times, Marvel Entertainment owns the rights to the character, which were being challenged by Gary Friedrich, a freelance writer.

It’s probably not a coincidence that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is coming out February 17 of next year.


‘Tucker And Dale vs Evil’ Streaming

Tucker & Dale vs Evil, currently streaming on Netflix, is a horror/comedy with more levels than similar films.  It can be taken as a cautionary tale about the perils of prejudging people, or if that goes over your head, then perhaps a story about the perils of making hair-trigger assumptions.

Or you can take it simply take it on the level as a funny, gory-good time.

The Avengers Russian Trailer

The first trailer below my first two paragraphs is the official Russian trailer for “The Avengers.”  For some reason the characters seem more rounded (as rounded as one can get in two minutes and 13 seconds) and less like they were just posing.

It strikes me as odd because I would think that more Americans are familiar with the characters than Russians, which is why I guess we would be a more appropriate market for that particular cut.

For purposes of comparison, here’s the American version:

The Funniest Thing I Have Ever Seen Fred Armisen In

I have never been a fan of Fred Armisen, of Saturday Night Live and Portlandia fame.  Appearance-wise he’s ethnically vague enough that he can play Barack Obama one moment, and a white person the next.

The problem is that I don’t find him particularly funny.

That is, till I saw this video, courtesy of the Independent Film Channel and and Geek Tyrant.

By the way, it’s funny because Battlestar: Galactica is brilliant.

Underworld: Awakening Trailer

I don’t think that I posted this, so here goes.  I do so not because I expect the film to be that good–I don’t–but because I dig the genre.  That being said, how is it that Selene was able to be captured by humans?  If you take a look at the trailer, she makes short work of seven or eight armed men, so I am not quite getting it.

My thing is I don’t necessarily think that the “good guys” have to always win–in fact, sometimes things are more interesting when they don’t–but at least be consistent.

It’s also in 3D, which leads me to the conclusion that Sony/Screen Gems expect it to make its money quickly, before people realize that it will probably be a very mundane film.

And another thing: What is it with these vampires and guns?  Really?  Blessed (pardon the pun) with enhanced strength and speed, they still somehow feel the need to arm themselves?  I get that the Underworld films are essentially The Matrix with vampires and werewolves, but even the lame vamps of Twilight (or so I hear) don’t feel the need to arm themselves.

Brian’s ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ Review

“Tintin,” while perhaps not for everyone, is so well-done that the occasional misstep is easily forgotten. 

I must admit that I went into “The Adventures of Tintin” with somewhat low expectatations, due less to the input of Steven Spielberg, (director) Peter Jackson (producer)  and Steven Moffat (Dr. Who, Sherlock), Edgar Wright (Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Ant-Man) and Joe Cornish (Attack The Block, Ant-Man) handling writing duties than it being entirely computer-generated.

After all, I recall 2004’s Polar Express, and its creepy-looking CGI.

While “Tintin” shares extensive special effects with  “Express,” motion capture has advanced significantly since that time.

Sure, some characters’ movements still seem somewhat light and ungrounded–but most of the voice characterizations are engaging enough that it’s easy enough to overlook such instances.

All the individuals that populate Tintin’s universe are very stylized, and are very much inspired by Herge’s comic.    For the most part, this approach is effective though the comic had a density that relatively few scenes in the film sought to emulate.

What worked best for me, I almost hate to admit, was Snowy, Tintin’s intrepid, canine friend/companion/dog-of-all trades.  The characterization was spot-on and was done in a fashion that doesn’t an anthropomorphize him, like Scooby-Doo or any of the other four-legged humans that populate cartoons.

“The Adventures of Tintin” is, overall, fun and engaging, though perhaps a bit overlong for younger viewers.  Adults and teenage viewers that aren’t put out by CGI will have a good time.

The Gift of Coal

After the numerous problems in 2011 that Netflix has encountered under the leadership of Reed Hastings, it’s comforting to know that his stock option allowance has been slashed for 2012.

Sure, that means that the value of his stock options has dropped to $1.5 million, but seeing that his reimbursement has fallen to that amount, I hate to know what it would have been otherwise because I have always believed that there is little that warrants what many American CEO’s manage to earn.

Especially since they aren’t the ones doing the heavy lifting.