Friday, May 30, 2008

The 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals Air Tonight On ABC

The Scripps National Spelling Bee logoI think the Scripps National Spelling Bee has officially passed the World Series of Poker as the biggest non-sport sporting event in the United States. It’s amazing how much press and television time The Bee gets. Obviously it’s not given as much screen time as the WSOP, but The Bee finals have graduated from ESPN to primetime on ABC.

The National Spelling Bee “is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company and 280 sponsors” around the globe. (link) To be honest, what reminded me to write about The Bee is a great article on ESPN.com by Elizabeth Merril about Samir Patel entitled “Spelling Bee Icon Samir Patel Moves On To Next Challenges.” It’s a really interesting article about Samir’s sudden rise to fame as a 9 year old child who placed third at the 2003 National Spelling Bee and his life now as a 14 year old, no longer able to compete after 5 appearances due to the end of his eligibility.

Samir Patel
Patel’s best finish in The Bee was in 2005, when at age 11 he finished second. And so, while the world’s best spellers of English spend a week in the nation’s capital, the most famous speller of them all sits at home with his family in their Texas home. It’s a really interesting article on a promising young man who seems to have not let the fact that he never won the National Spelling Bee bother him. It’s also a quick read, which you can find here.

The 81st Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee began on Thursday with 288 champion spellers competing in Washington, D.C. for the title of the nation’s top speller, a monetary prize of $35,000, a $2,500 savings bond and a set of reference works. (link)

Broadcast Times (link)

The Semifinals air live on ESPN from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm EDT tonight, Friday, May 30th.

The Championship Finals air live on ABC from 8:00 to 10:00 pm EDT tonight, Friday, May 30th.
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F.Y.I. - The Blot’s On Vacation

The Blot’s heading out of town today for an early summer vacation in sunny California. I won’t have internet access for five whole days, so it's goint to take a while for me to respond to any comments or e-mails from the next few days. I know Aly is pretty excited to see how I do away from my computer for almost a full week.

The Blot Has A Posse
Even though I won’t be back until Wednesday morning, fret not. I’ve gone ahead and set up some automated posts for the next three days. There won’t be as many posts while I’m out of town, but there’s definitely some interesting stuff coming up. I’m sure I will have tons of late breaking news to catch up on when I get back. And don’t worry, I definitely found time to watch Lost before heading out of town. Look for my full recap on Lost’s 2-hour season finale sometime next week. Have a good weekend everyone!
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kidrobot Fatcap Series 2

Today Kidrobot released their newest line of 3 inch Fatcap designer vinyl figures. Fatcap figures have the same basic body as Kidrobot’s line of Dunny figures, but with a spray cap head (tying the figures to the graffiti community). Fatcap Series 2 includes 17 regular figures plus two rare chase figures by artists such as Bubble Fetishist, Tilt, DOMA, Sket One and MAD.

Kidrobot's Fatcap Series 2
2008 NYCC Limited Edition kaNO x PON PrintMy personal favorite has to be PON’s Feed Fatcap. This New York artist’s work is really great, and I love his incorporation of Pigeons into everything he does. You can check out more of his work, including this limited edition print he collaborated on with kaNO, at his website Feed The Pigeons.net.

Fatcap Series 2 figure by PON
Check out a few of the other Fatcap Series 2 designs below. These limited edition figures are blind box items, retail for $6.95 each and can be purchased here.

Fatcap Series 2 figure by Tizieu
Fatcap Series 2 figure
Kidrobot's Fatcap Series 2
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She & Him To Tour North America

You know its summer when every music act in the world announces a tour of the U.S. and Canada. Not to be left out are indie darlings She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward), who announced yesterday they would be embarking on a North America Summer Tour.

She & Him (M. Ward & Zooey Deschanel)
After a few shows earlier in the year to promote their debut album, Volume One, Ward and Deschanel have decided to go on their first official tour as a band. She & Him’s Summer Tour 2008 only has 13 stops, so if you were hoping to catch the indie duo live you’d better start making travel arrangements now. The tour's pre-sale began on Wednesday, May 28th and the general sale for most of the tour's shows begins this Friday, May 30th, at 10 am (local time).

She & Him Summer Tour Dates
July 23rd - Toronto, ON - Opera House
July 24th - Northampton, MA - Academy of Music
July 25th - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
July 26th - New York, NY - Terminal 5
July 28th - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
July 29th - Atlanta, Georgia - Variety Playhouse
July 30th - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
July 31st - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
August 2nd - Newport, RI - Newport Folk Festival
August 5th - Chicago, IL - Park West
August 7th - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
August 8th - Madison, WI - Barrymore
August 10th - Baltimore, MD - V Fest
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lost Wednesdays - The Day Before The Season 4 Finale

Lost - Michael Emerson as Ben LinusMan, I can’t even describe how excited I am for Lost’s 2 hour season finale tomorrow night. I have been trying to stay away from spoilers as best I can because I really don’t want to know anything about Thursday night’s extended episode, but no matter where I turn I keep hearing about one thing over and over…death. But that’s to be expected when it comes to Lost. If we’ve learned anything these past few years it’s that no one’s safe. Well, except for who’s still alive in this year’s Flash Forwards, the Oceanic 6 and Benjamin Linus.

Lost - Kevin Durand as Martin KeamyI’ve got two interesting interviews to pass along, the first is from USAToday and it’s with Kevin Durand, or as we all know him, the vicious mercenary Martin Keamy. You can read the interview in its entirety here. The second interview is from TV Guide and is with everyone’s favorite villain, Ben Linus. Ok, it’s really with Michael Emerson, the actor who plays Ben, but aren’t they really one in the same? You can read that interview here.

And lastly, thanks to Whitney over at Pop Candy for pointing me in the direction of this awesome YouTube clip. (link) It takes all of this season’s Flash Forwards and puts them into chronological order! The clip clocks in at a little under 9 minutes long, so it’s definitely not short, but if you love Lost and have ever wondered how everything in the future fits together then you definitely need to watch the video below:

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The Witchblade Teaser Movie Poster

The extremely popular Top Cow Productions comic book Witchblade seems to have more lives than its primary hero, the wielder of the extraterrestrial weapon known as The Witchblade, Sara Pezzini. The Marc Silvestri comic book has been around now for over 10 years, and after a failed attempt at a live action television show starring Yancy Butler as Sara Pezzini, comes word that a live action feature film entitled The Witchblade is in the works for a release in 2009.

The Witchblade Teaser Movie Poster
While I’ve never really followed Witchblade, I’m really impressed with the longevity of the book and the many different mediums the book’s characters have been adapted to. Along with the live action television show and movie, Witchblade has also been re-imagined into a 2006 Anime television series and a line of Manga books. In a medium like comic books, which is predominately dominated by male characters, the staying power of Witchblade and its two prominent female characters, Sara Pezzini and Danielle Baptiste, is impressive and speaks volumes as to the richness of the Witchblade universe.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Psych Casts Cybill Shepherd As Shawn’s Mom

Cybill ShepherdAfter the huge cliffhanger at the end of Psych’s Season 2 finale (when Shawn’s rarely mentioned mother finally returns home), comes word that the USA Network dramedy has officially cast the mysteriously absent mother of psychic detective Shawn Spencer. Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting) is set to appear in a multi-episode arc as the television mother to James Roday’s Shawn starting with the show’s Season 3 premiere on July 18th on the USA Network. (link)

Psych on the USA Network
Psych - Corbin Bernsen, James Roday & Dule HillIt is being reported that “her character, Madeline, is a private practice psychologist who, after spending a few years abroad, returns to Santa Barbara to pay her ex-hubby (Corbin Bernsen) and son a visit and ends up helping them with a case. She’s described as being a free spirit and the source of Shawn’s adventurous side.” (link) I’m pretty excited to see Ms. Shepherd join the cast of Psych, even if it is only for a few episodes, and how her free spirited character plays off of Bernsen’s by-the-books retired police officer, Henry Spencer.

PsychPlus, it’s been hinted at throughout the series that Roday’s Shawn has some mommy issues, so it’ll be nice to see those issues finally explored this season. Psych is one of the best hour-long comedies on the air today, and an excellent example of the quality television the USA Network airs on a regular basis. If you’re not watching Psych already, make sure to set your DVR’s for the Season 3 premier of Psych on Friday, July 18th at 10/9C.
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NBC Announces Its Fall Series Premiere Dates

I think this is utterly bizarre! We’re not even into June yet and already NBC is announcing when their television shows will debut/return this fall. (link) I can’t think of a reason why they’re doing this now, besides maybe just trying to get a little early publicity while the other networks are off doing other things, like getting ratings. Again, NBC was fourth this year in the television season ratings rankings. (link) I guess at this point any early publicity for their scripted shows is a good thing.

NBC logo
Since NBC’s decided to share the dates scheduled for the launch of their 2008-2009 television season, I thought I’d pass along the info to all of you. Check out the season premieres of returning shows and the debut of brand new shows below:

NBC's Fall 2008-09 Premiere Schedule (all times ET):
(link) New Programs in UPPER CASE

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
AMERICA'S TOUGHEST JOBS
Series Premiere - 8-10 p.m.
Returns on September 19 - 8-9 p.m. for five weeks
Then Resumes from 9-10 p.m. on October 24

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Heroes Clip Show - 8-9 p.m.
Heroes Season Premiere - 9-11 p.m.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - 10-11 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
KNIGHT RIDER - 8-9 p.m.
Lipstick Jungle - 10-11 p.m.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
My Name Is Earl - One-Hour Premiere - 8-9 p.m.
The Office - One-Hour Premiere - 9-10 p.m.
ER - 10-11 p.m.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Chuck - 8-9 p.m.
MY OWN WORST ENEMY - 10-11 p.m.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3
Life - 10-11 p.m.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9
KATH & KIM - 9:30-10 p.m.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17
CRUSOE - Two-Hour Premiere - 8-10 p.m.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30
30 Rock - 8:30-9 p.m.
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Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Ramblings

Well, it’s Memorial Day here in the U.S. and I’ve got some exciting activities planned for my day off, so this’ll be my only post of the day. It sounds like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did really well this weekend even though most of the movie’s reviews were pretty unfavorable. I’m still trying to decide if I need to suck it up and go see it. I just hate tarnishing my memories of the first three movies. Anyone out there have a favorable review of the movie?

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Theatrical One-Sheet Movie Poster
Because of the holiday weekend there hasn’t been much else going on. So, I thought I’d share a few Threadless t-shirt designs I’ve really liked from the past three weeks that I haven’t gotten around to posting about. Some were funny, one was pretty creative and one just reminded me of some funny cartoons I used to watch back in the day (so I had to include it). Hope everyone has a good Memorial Day Holiday and I’ll see you back here tomorrow!

Self Destruction by Andrew John Mohacsy

Theadless - Self Destruction by Andrew John Mohacsy
Dog Fight by David Thorley

Threadless - Dog Fight by David Thorley
Bowler by Dann Matthews

Threadless - Bowler by Dann Matthews
Saturday Morning Reruns by Jim Mitchell

Threadless - Saturday Morning Reruns by Jim Mitchell
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Friday, May 23, 2008

Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes logoThere are two things (among a list of others) that The Blot loves, random t-shirts and cupcakes. So when I first heard about the indie clothing brand Johnny Cupcakes up in Boston, MA, it was a no brainer I was going to dig their shirts. You see, while the store may look just like a bakery, there are no real cupcakes…just the coolest, funkiest shirts in the northeast. I’ve been telling myself for a year now that I wasn’t going to buy one until I walked into their flagship store, but since I’ve still never been to Boston I’m thinking it’s time to cave in and order a few.

The Johnny Cupcakes Store in Boston, MAJohnny Cupcakes was founded by Johnny Earle and started out as a joke back in 2000 when he decided to start making t-shirts as a side business. (link) By 2001 he was selling shirts out of the back of his 89’ Toyota Camry and the rest, they say, is history. The clothing line’s logo is a riff off of the traditional skull & crossbones symbol, replacing the skull with a cupcake. Like the logo, most of the company’s clothing line “uses cupcakes as the prominent feature…often replacing iconic symbols with cupcakes.”(link) According to the Johnny Cupcakes website, the company is adding a third store (and their first outside of the Boston area) in Los Angeles later this year, somewhere near Kidrobot’s LA store. (link)

Johnny Cupcakes - Crossbones Hoodie
Johnny Cupcakes - Boston's Finest Gold T-Shirt
Boston Celtics logoWhile I definitely dig the traditional Crossbones shirts the most, I have to say I love their take on the Boston Celtics logo. As you all know I’m a sucker for shirts that riff on sports teams and their logos, so I think I’m going to have to pick this one up when I finally place an order. Since I’m an alumni of the University of Alabama, I might also have to get a Houndstooth Chef Crossbones t-shirt to honor the late, great Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

Johnny Cupcakes - Boston Basketball T-Shirt
Johnny Cupcakes - Houndstooth Chef Crossbones T-Shirt
So, if you’re looking for some new shirts to add to your closet and can’t make it up to Boston, then definitely check out the Johnny Cupcakes online store to satisfy all of your cupcake cravings!
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Hot Chip - 2008 Made In The Dark North America Tour

Hot ChipThe other band that I really wanted to see this summer, which I alluded to yesterday, is the British electropop group Hot Chip. I had read so much about Hot Chip before I ever had the opportunity to see them that I wasn’t quite sure they’d be able to live up to the hype. When I did finally catch their set at Lollapalooza 2006, they blew me away. I’m really not a huge fan of electro/dance music, but I really enjoyed the way they reproduced their songs live by using guitars, pianos and drums. In a weird way it reminded me a lot of the way The Roots use instruments to make their unique brand of hip-hop.

Hot Chip
Since Hot Chip’s based in the UK, it seems like most of their shows are either in Europe or, when they do come to the US, in New York or LA. When I heard they’d be traveling to the U.S. this fall to perform at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, I saw my chance to finally see them again. But of course, similar to The Hold Steady, Hot Chip has chosen to only play Austin and Dallas while in Texas during their 2008 North America tour. I’m crossing my fingers ACL schedules them to play on that Saturday (so I have a chance to see them), but according to the band’s official website it looks like they will be playing on the Friday of the music festival.

Hot Chip - Made In The Dark album cover
If you’ve never heard Hot Chip before and would like to give them a listen, then I can’t recommend highly enough their second album, 2006’s The Warning. They also recently released their third studio album, Made In The Dark, early this year to rave reviews. It’s a great album in its own right, but I’d suggest picking up The Warning for your first Hot Chip experience. If you happen to be in a city where Hot Chip will be performing this fall, make sure to buy your tickets early and send The Blot some pictures.

Hot Chip
Made In The Dark
2008 North America Tour Dates
Sept 21 - Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern
Sept 22 - Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern
Sept 23 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theater
Sept 25 - Dallas, TX - Palladium Ballroom
Sept 26 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
Sept 28 - Chicago, IL - Metro
Sept 29 - Chicago, IL - Metro
Sept 30 - Toronto, Ontario - Koolhaus
Oct 01 - Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
Oct 03 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
Oct 04 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
Oct 05 - Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero
Oct 07 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live
Oct 08 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
Oct 09 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army - New European Character Movie Posters

These new Hellboy II: The Golden Army European character movie promotional posters are sooo much cooler than the original Hellboy II Teaser Character Movie Posters I blogged about back in January.

New Hellboy II: The Golden Army European Character Posters - Hellboy
New Hellboy II: The Golden Army European Character Posters - Liz Sherman
Those first few character promo posters were just headshots, while these new and improved ones are full bodied and give us a better look at the movie’s creepy looking villains. Along with posters of the movie’s three main heroes, Hellboy, Liz Sherman and Abe Sapien, we get two posters featuring Prince Nuada and the Angel of Death, a creature that looks like it just stepped out of Guillermo del Toro’s oscar nominated Pan’s Labyrinth.

New Hellboy II: The Golden Army European Character Posters - Prince Nuada
New Hellboy II: The Golden Army European Character Posters - The Angel of Death
If you haven’t been able to tell from previous Hellboy posts, I love Guillermo del Toro’s work and can’t wait for this film to come out. He just has such a unique vision that translates amazingly onto the screen. Pretty much everything this guy touches is cinematic gold. And, while I’m not a huge middle earth fan, I know del Toro working with Peter Jackson on The Hobbit films will amount to some unbelievable special effects and movie telling. The Hobbit won’t be out until 2010, but you can see Hellboy II: The Golden Army in just 7 weeks!

New Hellboy II: The Golden Army European Character Posters - Abe Sapien
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The Hold Steady - Stay Positive Album and Summer Tour

The Blot just can’t get enough of the Brooklyn, NY by way of Minneapolis-Saint Paul band The Hold Steady. There is just something about Craig Finn’s voice and lyrics that allows the band, at least to me, to really stand out from the rest of indie rock nation. From the first day I heard Boys and Girls in America, the band’s 2006 album, I was hooked. I’ve been waiting patiently for the band’s latest album, Stay Positive, to hit store shelves, and thankfully I don’t have much longer to wait. The Hold Steady’s fourth album will be released on July 15th on Vagrant, and the very next day the band will head out on a three months summer tour in support of the album. Stay Positive’s first single, “Sequestered In Memphis,” is available now on Itunes.

The Hold Steady
What ticks me off is that while The Hold Steady is coming to Texas, they’re skipping over Houston! People always tell me that Houston is considered out of the way for many band when they are trying to formalize their travel schedule, but if you have time to hit El Paso, Dallas and Austin on your way to Mississippi, then you gotta fit in the H. This was one of two tours I really wanted to see this summer and I’ve now come to find out neither tours are coming to Houston (even though both are playing shows in Texas). I'd almost rather they weren't coming to the Lone Star State at all. At least Pearl Jam is staying on the east coast. I’ll unveil the other band/tour tomorrow, but until then you can check out The Hold Steady's 2008 sumer tour dates below.

The Hold Steady - Stay Positive album cover
The Hold Steady
The 2008 Stay Positive Summer Tour
May 16 - Brighton, England - The Old Market
June 08 - San Diego, CA - FM 94/9 Miller Lite Independence Jam
June 27 - Baltimore, MD - Ram's Head Live
June 28 - Philadelphia, PA - Festival Pier
June 29 - Brooklyn, NY - McCarren Park Pool
July 06 - London, England - 02 Wireless Festival - Sandisk Stage
July 08 - Liverpool, England - Liverpool Echo Arena
July 10 - Leeds, England - The Irish Centre
July 11 - Newcastle, England - Carling Academy 2
July 12 - Kinross, Scotland - T in the Park Festival
July 17 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
July 18 - Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom
July 19 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival
July 21 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre
July 22 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
July 23 - Fargo, ND - Fargo Theatre
July 26 - Seattle, WA - Capitol Hill Block Party
July 27 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
July 29 - San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine
July 30 - Los Angeles, CA – Avalon
Aug 02 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
Aug 03 - El Paso, TX - Club 101
Aug 05 - Dallas, TX - Palladium Ballroom
Aug 06 - Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
Aug 08 - Oxford, MS - Proud Larry's
Aug 09 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt
Aug 10 - Charleston, SC - The Pourhouse
Aug 12 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
Aug 13 - Norfolk, VA - The Norva
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G.I. Joe The Movie - First Look at Destro

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
G.I. Joe - Destro Mini-BustAfter having only seen pictures of two members of COBRA so far, today we finally get a look at another villain from the live action G.I. Joe movie. The Blot is pleased to bring you a picture of Christopher Eccelston (Heroes, Doctor Who) as Destro. Besides being the lover of The Baroness, James McCullen Destro XXIV is a Scottish arms dealer and leader of M.A.R.S. (Military Armament Research Syndicate), an organization that supplies COBRA with all of its weapons of mass destruction.

G.I. Joe, vol. 2. Issue #2 coverI’ve loved watching Eccelston ever since his debut in 2005 as the ninth Doctor in the BBC series Doctor Who. What troubles me a little bit is that in Eccelston’s G.I. Joe promotional photo he’s not wearing Destro’s trademark steel mask “forged from Beryllium Steel, a tradition dating back to the English Civil War, when an ancestor of his was caught selling weapons to both sides. Forced to wear a steel mask for his crimes (neither side wanted to execute the ancestor because they still wanted the weapons he sold), the Destro clan has since turned it into a symbol of pride, passing it down from father to son for over 20 generations.” (link)

G.I. Joe, vol 2. Issue #40 coverTo me, and I’m sure millions of G.I. Joe fans, Destro’s steel mask is an important aspect of the character and a large part of who he is (as well as the character’s most distinguished characteristic). He has always been one of those bad guys who skirts the line between villain and hero, and I’m excited to see how they use him in the upcoming film. Hopefully the G.I. Joe writers have worked his mask into the movie and at some point Eccelston’s Destro will “mask up” before going into battle.

G.I. Joe Movie - Christopher Eccleston as Destro
G.I. Joe Movie - Christopher Eccleston as Destro
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lost Wednesdays with Lost Season Four DVD News

We’re in the middle of what I like to call the Lost hump week right now. It’s the week long break between Part 1 of Lost’s season finale and Parts 2 and 3 of the Season Four finale, which will air a week from Thursday on May 29th, 2008. There’s not too much non-spoiler news circulating the net right now but I did find out that the date has been set for the release of the Lost Season Four DVD box set. Just in time for the holiday season, Lost - The Complete 4th Season: The Expanded Experience will hit stores on December 9, 2008. (link)

Lost: The Complete Fourth Season DVD Box Set
The five disk set with include all 14 episodes from this season including Lost bloopers, an Oceanic Airlines Safety Guide, audio commentaries and deleted scenes. There will also be five different documentaries including one on the Music of Lost and one on the Freighter Folk, which explores where “the folks on the freighter come from” and “what the show runners looked for in new cast members.” (link) Lost: The Complete Fourth Season DVD box set is available now for pre-order at Amazon.com.

Lost - The Island's Mysterious Four Toed StatueAlso, EW.com has a great article discussing Lost’s 17 Enduring Mysteries. It tackles everything from the big mysteries of “what is the monster” and “what are the numbers” to secondary/minor mysteries like what’s the deal with the Dharma polar bears. It’s an interesting, yet cursory look at all of the overarching questions still left unanswered as we enter the final homestretch and await the Lost’s final two seasons.
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Punisher: War Zone Teaser Movie Poster

Today I’m happy to post about a pretty cool new teaser promotional movie poster for the upcoming feature film Punisher: War Zone directed by Lexi Alexander and starring Ray Stevenson (Rome) as Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, and Dominic West as the villain Jigsaw. This movie is an official sequal to 2004's The Punisher starring Thomas Jane as the vigilante hero and will be in theaters December 5th, 2008. The fact that The Punisher is now already on his second feature film brings me to an interesting topic, the dramatic rise in fortune of Marvel Comics super hero movies compared to DC Comics films.

Punisher: War Zone Teaser Movie Poster
DC Comics current logoI just can’t get over the different direction the two companies’ movies have gone in in such a short period of time. In the 80’s and 90’s, DC Comics, with its parent company Warner Bros. behind it, ruled the super hero movie landscape with two very successful franchises, Superman and Batman, and a mildly successful syndicated television show in Swamp Thing. Once the Batman franchise deteriorated, so too did DC’s ability to make movies. Back then DC’s affiliation with Warner Bros. was considered a huge benefit to the company and a drawback to Marvel’s ability to get projects green lit. Marvel was then regulated strictly to television where it could only muster a series of made for TV movies including The Incredible Hulk spin-off movies, where the Hulk would team-up with other heroes like Daredevil and Thor, as well as pretty bad Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D starring David Hasselhoff (I won’t even get into the disaster of a flick that was Howard the Duck and the Dolph Lundgren Punisher film).

DC Comics original logoWhat’s amazing now is that what was once a benefit to DC has now become a major nuisance. Having to always use Warner Bros. to develop the company’s movies, when other studios may be better equipped to handle their stable of characters, has become a huge problem. It’s amazing that a studio can have so many well crafted stories handed them on a silver platter and they still seem to screw it up. As it is, Batman seems to be their only stable franchise, with Superman Returns stumbling out of the gate and the many rumored movies centered on Wonder Woman, the Flash, the Justice League and the Teen Titans all stuck in perpetual limbo. In fact, the only movies DC seems to be able to jump start anymore are their non-super hero titles coming from their adult oriented content such as V for Vendetta, Watchmen and Constantine.

Marvel Comics current logoOn the other hand, Marvel has now been dominating DC for over a decade and found a way to utilize their “free agent” status among the big movie studios. Not only that, but Marvel has been able to parlay their success into creating their only studio to move their summer blockbusters in house and reap a larger portion of the profits. Because of their success we not only have movies based on their top tier characters like the Spider-Man trilogy, X-Men trilogy, and Iron Man, but have gotten a whole slew of movies centered on the publisher’s second tier heroes like Punisher, Daredevil and Elektra. While many of these movies may not have all been great, they all did relatively well at the box office.

Marvel Comics 1980's logoSince the first X-Men film in 2000, Marvel has made a ton of super hero movies while DC has made three. Heck, in that amount of time Dark Horse Comics has gotten two Hellboy films in theaters and Image now has Wanted coming this summer. All in all, as a DC Comics fan this is really disappointing. I just can’t figure out what DC’s problem is. Super hero movies are at an all time high in popularity and yet DC seems stuck in neutral. How hard is it to write a great script for a Green Lantern or Aquaman movie? The first thing Warner Bros. should have done after the success of Entourage two years ago is get an Aquaman movie into theaters ASAP. Instead, I’m sure we won’t ever see the Wonder Woman or Justice League films that have been in preliminary production for months. In the meantime Marvel is pushing head with movies focusing on other second tier characters such as Ant Man and the Black Panther. This is just another reason why Marvel seems to dominate the comic book sales chart month in and month out, because they know how to satisfy their fan base. Hopefully DC will get their act together soon before it is too late and the super hero craze dies out.
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