I'm Just Sayin'…#51

Columns, News, Top Story

Hello and welcome back to this week’s edition of…

Before we get started, I just wanna mention once more that in two weeks I’ll be a part of COMEDY PARTY USA’s spring contest at The Pinch Bar & Grill237 Sullivan Street, in the West Village just off 3rd Street (just two blocks east of the 4th Street subway stop for the A, B, C, D, E, F or V trains). This preliminary round is set for Tuesday, March 24 at 9pm, and the winner returns for the Finals on the 31st. There’s no cover charge, and there is no drink minimum. Come check it out if you can!

Also – I found some great interviews in the past week that I wanted to pass along – PulseWrestling has got the goods on an interview ESPN conducted with Bret “Hitman” Hart in conjuction with the upcoming release of WWE’s LEGENDS of WRESTLEMANIA video game. The CGI in those screenshots is horrible, IMO – but the interview more than makes up for that, as it offers a little more of the kind of frankness you can expect from the former WWF great – especially if you’ve read his book. If you haven’t…what’s the holdup?

Meanwhile over at Newsarama, there is an amazing interview conducted with Peter David, as he discussed ’90s cult favorite SPIDER-MAN 2099. It’s broken up into three parts – click here for PART ONE, here for PART TWO and here for PART THREE. Seems like you could stop traffic sometimes with the announcement of a Grant Morrison interview, or an Alan Moore, but let’s not forget some of the sheer genius available on this side of the pond…deal?

IGN.com has been getting their scoop on this week, as not only do they get into the return of NEW MUTANTS…

Is that Cipher under Magik's right armpit? Man, doesn't ANYBODY stay dead anymore?

…but they also got their hands on some teaser artwork for Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s upcoming BATMAN and ROBIN.

I didn’t get the sense that the article itself really said anything, and unless my eyes deceive me, I could swear Quitely’s recycling his Blackbird design from their time spent on NEW X-MEN – and is it just me, or have the Batmobiles been getting consistently dumber looking ever since Jeph Loeb & Jim Lee’s HUSH?

Why does the Batmobile look like a Super Mario Bros. baddie in that last panel?

In any case, I gotta say I am digging Robin’s new costume! I will grant (pardon the pun) that I don’t consider it perfect – I prefer a more “classic” domino mask, and that head/neck ratio, quite frankly (again, pardon the pun…a LITTLE bit!) makes him look like a candied apple – one comment refers to it as “the Batman/Cassandra Nova as Robin crossover I’ve always dreamed of” …scuse me a moment…


…okay –  but I have been waiting for DC to get rid of that God-awful Bat-centric revamp that Tim Drake had been sporting since ONE YEAR LATER, and this is a vast improvement; probably the nicest looking costume re-design since Tim Drake first showed up! IGN.com is promising  a more in-depth look at DC’s plans for Batman after “Battle for the Cowl” on Friday, so be sure to check back over there. I know I will.

Another bit of news from a few weeks back, it looks like Marvel won’t be taking anymore unsolicited submissions. In fact, as I understand it they were the last major publishing house that had an open submission policy, so I guess that’s gone the way of Woolworth’s. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise; with the sheer volume of fanfic sites available online for Bendis & Co. can look to for “inspiration” for their next big summer “epic,” who needs people sending in stuff via snail mail anymore?

And then there’s this “exclusive” from IESB.net, that FANTASTIC FOUR could be the next film property in line for a reboot.

Quoting the article: With DAREDEVIL already getting the once over and PLANET of the APES also in the running for a new start with a prequel in the works, FANTASTIC FOUR is joining the reboot gang.

The two films previously released never really caught on with the fans and the studio is reportedly looking to completely retool, recast and recrew the franchise. This means no Tim Story, no Iaon, no Julian (thank the maker, he never sat well with me as Dr. Doom), no Chris, no Chiklis and no Jessica…

…The franchise is looking to be “less bubble gum” this time round following the IRON MAN template, which was a complete success in reviews and box office take but a bit darker when it came to its superhero. IRON MAN was in no way as dark as THE DARK KNIGHT but was funny, action-y as well as a bit on the serious side.

I’m actually conflicted about this one. In general I’m getting annoyed with all the rebooting that’s happening with this movie franchise or that, but there’s cases like THE INCREDIBLE HULK where it apparently helped, and DAREDEVIL where I actually agree that a reboot would be a good idea – so long as they really take their time and get it right. But then there’s cases like this one where I feel like a really fine touch should be used.

The first two FANTASTIC FOUR movies, while nowhere in the league of say, SPIDER-MAN/SPIDER-MAN 2, X-MEN/X-MEN 2, BATMAN BEGINS/THE DARK KNIGHT or IRON MAN, they weren’t the worst that we’ve seen, like THE SPIRIT, CATWOMAN,  X-MEN 3 and – depending on who you ask – SUPERMAN RETURNS, DAREDEVIL,or HULK. It wouldn’t need much to make a better story – something similar in  tone and/or approach to IRON MAN would be a smart move. Well that, and perhaps keeping the Mr. Fantastic/Doctor Doom relationship a little closer to the comics as opposed to that grotesque, almost Ultimate-styled revision.

The article closes by asking the audience who should play who, and in actuality some of these roles are already rather well cast, and it would be a shame to lose them. I for one did not like Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman, and as far as I was concerned that was probably the only misstep as it came to casting the actual team. But we have a perfectly good Thing in Michael Chiklis…

…and both he and Chris Evans as the Human Torch were perfect. They looked their parts, and they played them exceptionally well. So really, in those places where they actually got things right, what’s the point in looking elsewhere?

Same with Mister Fantastic…

Ioan Grufford looked the part just fine – it was the characterization that he was given in those first two movies that handicapped him. The Reed Richards he was playing didn’t have any sense of command, and most times came off like an overwhelmed wimp. I’m not so sure if that this was a deficiency of Ioan’s as much as it was the material he was given. The man knows how to play a charismatic leader – after all, in some circles he is to Horatio Hornblower what Jeremy Brett or Basil Rathbone were to Sherlock Holmes.

So if 20th Century Fox is serious about trying again with Marvel’s First Family, I think they should try something similar to what happened with James Bond; use a scalpel instead of a machete, keep those things that work, and junk the rest. At the very least, find someone else to play the Invisible Woman – Charlize Theron, maybe? – give us a screenplay that goes light on the camp and heavy on the adventure, and it’ll all work out. But I’ll guess we’ll see what happens there.


Haven’t seen it yet, not sure when or if I’ll get the chance. Thoughts from those who have, greatly welcomed! Til next week!