Friday, July 30, 2010

TOYS: 2010 SDCC Highlights (News)

Last week several industries traveled down to San Diego for a series of panels and interviews for fans that unveiled plans for the following year. Here's some of the interesting TOYS that debuted at SDCC:

--Not only were there BioShock toys but also mask replicas cast in resin displayed at the convention.
--LEGO unveiled a store exclusive at the con, Obi-Wan's Jedi Starfighter.
--Off the hype of the Predators movie, a whole slew of Predator related merchandise is on the horizon.
--Kotobukiya represented Marvel well at the con, showing off Hulk statues, and their Bishoujo line including a SDCC exclusive White Phoenix.
--Hasbro unveiled figures for Marvel's upcoming movies, Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor.
--Gentle Giant is taking nostalgia to another level with recreating classic Kenner original Star Wars figures into 12-inch behemoths.
--DC Direct brought a load of DC figures,statues and busts including those tied to the comics Brightest Day event and their upcoming MMORPG DC Universe Online.
--McFarlane Toys showed off the upcoming bunch of Halo: Reach figures on the way.
--Last but not least, TriForce showed off some awesome looking Gears of War weapon replicas.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's toy themed picspam.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

GAMING: 2010 SDCC News Highlights

Last week several industries traveled down to San Diego for a series of panels and interviews for fans that unveiled plans for the following year. Here's some of the interesting GAMING news to come out:

--At the Marvel vs Capcom 3 panel, Okami's spirit dog Amaterasu and Devil May Cry's Trish were among those announced as new characters for the game.
--DC Entertainment released a five minute trailer of their highly anticipated MMORPG, DC Universe Online.
--Top Cow Productions announced its intentions to develop a video game starring one of their flagship characters, Witchblade.
--Over at the Street Fighter Mania panel, it was announced that Street Fighter X Tekken would be coming.
--The Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series will be making the jump to consoles with a video game for the Nintendo Wii and DS.
--A Spider-Man:Shattered Dimensions trailer made its Comic-Con debut.
--Warner Bros. Interactive is developing a hardcore, violent game based off the DC Comics franchise, Suicide Squad.
--A Green Lantern video game is coming Summer 2011 but how connected it is to the movie will determine how high expectations are set.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's gaming themed picspam.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

COMIC: 2010 SDCC News Highlights

Last weekend several industries traveled down to San Diego for a series of panels and interviews for fans that unveiled plans for the following year. Here's some of the interesting COMIC news to come out:

--Five years after Marvel had the Sentry tear apart Carnage in space, Spider-Man foe Carnage is coming back in a mini-series.
--Smallville's iconic heroine, Chloe Sullivan, is finally making her long-awaited debut in DC's comic pages as a character in the Jimmy Olsen co-features in Action Comics.
--Wildstorm bringing several video game titles to ink with tie-ins for Gears of War, God of War and Ratchet and Clank just to name a few.
--The Green Lantern panel shows that area of the DC Universe has never been bigger. Upcoming: Sinestro Secret Origins, a story on Sinestro's yellow ring and a change for Carol Ferris.
--IDW announced that it will publish a four issue anthology series of new Rocketeer stories with painted covers by Alex Ross. The more the better for such an iconic character.
--DC announced an ongoing Static series for 2011, and Justice League #50 features a face-off with the Crime Syndicate.
--Marvel announces 'Avengers 3' and a Tron: The Betrayal graphic novel.
--Winners for the 22nd Annual Eisner Awards.
--DC also talks about a new book, Flash:Speed Force and a new costume for Bruce Wayne in 'Batman Inc'.
--After the success of Mass Effect:Redemption, Dark Horse brings Mass Effect:Evolution.
--Another TV show is being brought to life in comic form. This time around, Zenescope resurrects Charmed.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's comic themed picspam.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TV: 2010 SDCC News Highlights

Over the last weekend several industries traveled down to San Diego for a series of panels and interviews for fans that unveiled plans for the following year. Here's some of the interesting TV news to come out:

--Felicia Day is coming aboard the Syfy series "Eureka" for 10 episodes next season. The charming, web-friendly actress has won over the web and seeks to spread her influence to the tv market.
--A new Transformers animated series is coming, Transformers Prime with a cg skin and will reunite the voices of Peter Cullen and Frank Welker in their classic roles of Optimus Prime and Megatron.
--The Smallville panel on Sunday confirmed that the big baddie for the final season is indeed Darkseid. Expect a future blog post on my dream season 10 for Smallville. Kryptonsite has started posting interviews from SDCC with the actors.
--During the Chuck panel, it was revealed that the role of Chuck's mom would be played by Linda Hamilton ("Terminator 2"). If the show can carry the lighter, fun feel that the extended part of season 3 had, Chuck should gain good momentum towards a fifth season.
--Out after SDCC but worth including, G4 is teaming up with Sony to create 4 animes based off Iron Man, X-Men, Wolverine & Blade. All stories veer towards a Japanese storyline and I wonder just how interesting American audiences will find it. Perhaps short stories/movies ala the Animatrix or the Batman animes would have been a safer bet.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's picspam on a TV theme.

Monday, July 26, 2010

FILM: A Magical Ride with Sorcerer's Apprentice (Review)

If you're a fan of fantasy, magic and overlooked good guys stepping up when it matters most, then you'll enjoy "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."

Inspired from the memorable sequence in Disney's 1940 epic, "Fantasia," where Mickey Mouse finds his hands full with bewitched broomsticks and buckets, the movie - directed by Jon Turteltaub ("National Treasure") - emcompasses more than that moment but does emulate the scene with a touch more humor than Mickey's cleaning escapade. The story centers around Dave Stetler, who at the age of ten crosses paths with Balthazar Blake (Nicholas Cage) and forever has his life changed when Merlin's dragon ring reacts to him.

Magical lore seeps in through the background as Balthazar is one of three apprentices of Merlin that were given the duty to protect the world from the followers of Morgana and spelled not to age a day until they discovered the Prime Merlinian. The adversary, Horvath, was also one of the three apprentices but his allegiances shifted when the last of Merlin's apprentices, Veronica, chose Balthazar for romance instead of him. Horvath embraces the ways of Morgana and seeks to punish the world for his pain and release Morgana in The Rising, leaving Dave Stetler as the final hope for the side of good as only the Prime Merlinian would have the power to defeat her.

Nicholas Cage shines in the role of Balthazar Blake, a sorcerer who has searched for over one thousand years for the Prime Merlinian. He plays the role of an out of his era mentor well, with a level of cool eccentricity that only added to his character's mystique. Jay Baruchel plays the twenty year-old version of Dave that has the stigma from meeting Balthazar ten years previously and is reluctant to step into the role of hero. But like Baruchel's animated role from this year's "How to Train Your Dragon" form Dreamworks, here in the role of Dave Stetler he grows into the responsibility placed onto his shoulders and surpasses expectations, becoming an endearing hero to the audience.

In a movie where the special effects will clearly make or break the look of the film, the effects in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" easily bring credibility to the magic that is thrown around by the characters. Balthazar's steel eagle that he creates from a building gargoyle - that locale gave me "The Dark Knight" vibes - and rides throughout the film looks phenomenal as does the bull statue Horvath animates near the end of the film but perhaps most impressive is the sequence where a giant paper dragon that is being marched through a Chinatown parade is then transformed into a real, fire-breathing version that chases after Dave.

The film's runtime comes in just under two hours and overall, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is a perfect example of entertaining Summer fun for the whole family. Filled with fantasy, magic, adventure and let's not forget the charming love story that is sprinkled in throughout makes it easy to recommend this movie as one you won't regret sitting down and enjoying with your family.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's picspam on a 'magical' theme.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Legion of Super-Heroes #3 (Review)

Written by Paul Levitz
Art by Yildiray Cina & Wayne Faucher
Cover by Yildiray Cinar & Wayne Faucher

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

If there is one thing that the past few months have shown, it is that Paul Levitz, former DC President and Publisher and now writer of Adventure Comics and Legion of Super-Heroes, was born to write the Legion. Amongst a crowd of books that performed much better than last week's selections, his Legion of Super-Heroes title rose to the top of the stack with a perfect mix of action, mystery and emotion to keep the reader enthralled.

This issue continued several storylines like Earth-Man's adventure with the Green Lantern ring, Saturn girl's continuing search for her kids having her cross paths with Lightning Lad & Lass, and the end to Saturn Queen's brief reign of terror against the Legionnaires. Earth-Man's story was the proper choice to get most of the focus in this 40 page issue with the other two getting just enough time to get the impact of the results.

The art continued to stay steady throughout the issue, and some of the moments featuring one of my favorite legionnaires, Sensor Girl, looked even better. And something that is always nice to see, the cover actually covered a moment in the issue! During Earth-Man's Green Lantern rescue mission, he gets put in the position that requires Sun Boy's reluctant help.

While Earth-Man seems like an agitating character, I had liked the turn of events of a Green Lantern ring selecting him. However, with his removal and abandoning of the ring at the end of this issue, I worry that my interest in the character will wane without that new dimension to him. I'm by far not an expert or even that knowledgeable of the Legion but I know that I enjoy how Levitz handles them and look forward to the next issue.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's picspam on the Legion theme.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Avengers Academy #2 (Review)

Written by Christos Gage
Art by Mike McKone
Cover by Mike McKone

Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Price: $2.99

In a week where most titles fell short of being satisfying, Avengers Academy made it to the top of the stack by being true to itself. The second issue into the new iteration of future Avengers that aren't the Young Avengers and probably will never be actual Avengers even though there are way too many Avengers groups is presented through the prospective of one of the new "students", Finesse.

We learn her origin and the extent of her powers, along with just how dangerous she is compared to the others in the group when she attempts to manipulate Hank Pym and inadvertently finds a much better target to fill her thirst for knowledge, Quicksilver. I must admit despite her slight, cold personality I am enamored with the analytical mind she possesses and right now seems like a great and terrible choice for the group's "leader". I imagine we'll learn the flaws of every character in the title but I'm betting there's a reason she was the first we learn about, after all her skills was how the group found out what the teachers think of them.

The cover is a bit misleading as the story has focused on the kids and not their teachers who make small cameos for the most part. Can't blame wanting to bank on the notable characters while they build up the unknowns, but I can certainly hold out hope that the teachers will eventually carry their share of stories in the pages of Avengers Academy.

Clearly it's an interesting direction to take the series by having the main stars in a position where they could become villains just as easily as they could be heroes and that they see the teachers as seeing them as threats. It's taking a step beyond what was explored in Avengers: the Initiative with the likes of Hardball and Trauma touching the side of evil. I haven't been able to enjoy villain books like Secret Six or Thunderbolts but I'm hoping that Avengers Academy will just skirt the edges and keep me reading for issues to come.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's picspam on the Avengers Academy theme.

Friday, July 16, 2010

TV: Supergirl Returns to Smallville for S10 (News)

EW's Michael Ausiello announced earlier this week that Laura Vandervoort would return to the role of Kara for an episode in Smallville's upcoming tenth and final season.

I wish it was for a several episode arc at least, but as a big Kara fan from S7 I'll take what I can get and with Laura's role on ABC's V I'm sure her time is not as free as it once was. With the news last month that John Schneider would also be returning in season 10, this marks the second Smallville alum scheduled to return and hopefully there will be others that follow and help buffer the reduced presence Allison Mack will have in the final season.

The 10th season of Smallville premieres September 24, 2010 on the CW at 8PM.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's picspam on the Supergirl theme.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

FILM: EW's First Look @ Green Lantern (News)

The cover of EW's upcoming issue for the week of July 23, 2010 has the star of DC's next feature film:
... Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern!  This issue includes a preview of next week's San Diego Comic-Con 2010 where WB will debut Green Lantern footage to fans.

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.

Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax, he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

Green Lantern lights up screens June 30, 2010.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's picspam on the Green Lantern theme.