Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Fake Movie Poster: X-Men in Black

Agent K, Agent L, and Agent J respectively.

March 11, 2011 Posted by | Comic Books, Fake Movie Posters, Fluff/Inspiration, Marvel, Movies, Photoshop Creativity | , , , , | Leave a comment

The view from my chair: Franchise Characters

It’s no secret, the Vulcan Stev household enjoys movies.  The subject of movie franchises came up the other day during one of our many movie discussions.  “What’s a Franchise Daddy?” PIT #3 asked.

“A movie franchise is a series of movies set in the same fictional universe, telling stories usually revolving around the same key characters and most often released by the same studio,” is the definition we arrived at.

“Star Wars”, “Star Trek”, and James Bond were three franchises that jumped immediately to mind.  The discussion then evolved to the actors who made the roles famous.  How some actors will forever be defined by the role they played.  Sean Conery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig will forever be known as James Bond regardless of any other role they play.  William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are locked into the American psyche as Kirk and Spock.

Some of these franchise characters have successfully been played by more than one actor (James Bond, Obi Wan Kenobi, and more recently Kirk and Spock).  We got to wondering how some characters can be so linked to the actor that it seems almost sacrilege to recast the role (the furor over the recent Star Trek film all the way back to the controversy of Connery stepping out of the Bond role) to the fact some actors are so linked with the famous role they play that their careers never recover (Mark Hamil or Carrie Fisher).

PIT #3 then asked if there were any actors lucky enough to have two franchise characters to their credit.  We then defined a franchise character as having appeared in at least three separate films.  To qualify the actor has to have played the character at least three times.  We came up with this list:

mel-gibson-smileMel Gibson:  Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Detective Riggs from the Lethal Weapon.  Mel Gibson burst into the American film scene with his role of Max.  The Lethal Weapon franchise earned him a place on this list.

orlando-bloom

Orlando Bloom earned his place on this list with his portrayal of Legolas in the Lord of the Rings Films and his presence on the screen as Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

patrick2520stewartPatrick Stewart had a successful career long before Gene Roddenberry cast him as Captain Jean Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise D.  Seven years of inspired acting on his (and his castmates) part led a loyal fanbase to embrace a universe beyond the roles and actors of the “failed” 60s TV show.  Stewart’s prowess as an actor and acclaim among the hordes of its target audience gave 20th Century Fox all the reason it needed to cast him in the role of Charles Xavier in its X-Men series of films.

HarrisonFordPictureHarrison Ford has the unique position of being the only actor (we can think of) to play three franchise characters, though only two qualify by the rules we laid out.  Ford got his big break with the role of Han Solo in Star Wars.  Luckily for us, George Lucas listened to some advice and cast Harrison as Indiana Jones.  The role was sufficiently different from that of Han Solo that Ford was not typecast and averted the fate of Mark Hammil and Carrie Fisher.  Had Harrison not had problems with the script for “The Sum of All Fears” he would have had the unique spot of having three franchises to his credit with the role of Jack Ryan.

mckellenIan McKellen is another actor on this list who owes his place to the Lord of the Rings and X-Men sagas.  As such he is the only actor to have co-starred with others on this list in the same franchises.  Magneto and Gandalf have been kind to Sir Ian.

Sylvester StalloneSylvester Stallone should get a seperate categoy for the ten films he’s done with these two characters:  Rocky and Rambo.  Two characters each known by a single name.  Each character a flawed patriot.  Six Rocky films and four Rambo films put Sly on the list.    I may be wrong but I think he’s the record holder for number of films to his credit with only two characters.

matt_damonMatt Damon is a relative new comer to the list.  His portrayal of Jason Bourne in the Bourne series and Linus Caldwell in the Ocean’s Eleven series make him a member of this particular club.

arnoldDa Govinator gets an honorable mention for his roles as The Terminator and Conan the Barbarian though he only played Conan twice, he is the only actor to have portrayed Conan on the big screen.  The character in Red Sonja is also close enough to Conan to Give Arnold Schwarzenegger a mention.

Almsot there (but not quite) is Vin Diesel.  He’s played Riddick in two motion pitures and one animated direct-to-video release.  Although he’s played Domminic Toretto in three of the Fast and the Furious movies, it was only a cameo in Tokyo Drift.  Accord to IMDb both of these franchises have Diesel starring films in pre-production

September 26, 2009 Posted by | Movie Trivia, Movies | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

x_men_origins_wolverine_ver3Starring:
Hugh Jackman …  Logan / Wolverine
Liev Schreiber …  Victor Creed
Danny Huston …  William Stryker
Will i Am …  John Wraith
Lynn Collins …  Kayla Silverfox
Kevin Durand …  Fred Dukes
Dominic Monaghan …  Bradley
Taylor Kitsch …  Remy LeBeau / Gambit
Daniel Henney …  David North / Agent Zero
Ryan Reynolds …  Wade Wilson
Scott Adkins …  Weapon XI
Tim Pocock …  Scott Summers
Julia Blake …  Heather Hudson
Max Cullen …  Travis Hudson
Troye Sivan …  Young James Howlett

Synopsis by VS:
This is the origin story of Wolverine as interpreted by David Benioff and Skip Woods, the writers.  Many of the established facts from Marvel’s convuluted backstory of the character are incorporated into this movie.  As the story progresses the audience is treated to  revelations of Logan’s powers, training, and how he got his indestructible skeleton.

Reviewers: VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.5 pointed ears
I’m being a little more harsh than the kids.  Yes we are treated to Wolverine’s origin story.  The character’s backstory as revealed in the comics is convoluted at best and I’m not going to fault the writers for picking and choosing the elements they want to use.  I’ve seen complaints online about the use of Professor X and Cyclops in a Wolverine origin as neither of those characters seems to know anything about Wolverine in the first movie.  This is handled fairly well in my opinion as Wolverine does not directly interact with either character during the course of the film.

I’m not going to rail against the bending of the laws of physics this film inflicts as it is a COMIC BOOK adaptation.  I can view the movie for what it is.  My main problem with the film is that story focuses too much on style and not enough on substance.  This is an origin film I want to know WHY the character is who he is. 

The other reason I have for lowering my rating is the fact that this film is inconsistant with the previous three.  In the first movie, Wolverine’s claws are revealed to be mechanical (look at the X-Ray) and completely metallic (Magneto would not have been able to bend bone).   Yes, I know that Logan’s claws are bone and are part of his natural mutation in the comics but let’s try to stay consistant with what has been established for the film universe.  Sabertooth, if he is Wolverine’s brother does not seem to care to much about their meeting in the first movie.  You’d think that Sabertooth would’ve shown more interest in Wolverine in the previos movies if the relationship is as described in Origins.

PIT #1 – 2 pointed ears
It was interesting to finally see Wolverine’s background.  Things that have hinted at in the other X-Men films are revealed in this movie.  I liked the fact that the memory loss is attributed to something other than a technological brainwash.  I also enjoyed the fact that Wolverine’s past was revealed to be part of the larger Marvel film universe and not an isolated character that just runs into these folks in the first movie.

PIT #2 – 2 pointed ears
It was very nice that the writers tied Wolverine’s backstory into the larger picture.  The helicopter destruction sequence was very  nice.  Nothing in this movie detracted from an enjoyable filmgoing experience.

PIT #3 – 1.8 pointed ears
This was a very good movie.  I didn’t like the fact that Logan lost his  memories.  Yes, I know that it’s part of the character.  Daddy has explained it to me so many times.  That doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like it.

Overall 7.3 out of 8 pointed ears.
Nice summer popcorn flick.  This can be watched without needing to see the first three X-Men movies.  This film has received far too much bashing from fans.  It isn’t as bad as the pundits make it out to be.

May 30, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments