Super Heroes On Parade: X-Men2, TLEG, And More

Every week, Vern Seward takes a look at Appleis latest offerings at the QuickTime Trailer site, letting your know whatis new.

This must be the decade of the super heroes. Technology has finally caught up to the visions of comic book creators, and we can, at last, see and hear the power, understand the dilemmas, and sympathize with the plights of those fictitious characters many of us read about so many years ago.

Movie makers have tried many times to bring the excitement found on any page of a super hero comic to the big screen. We can point to the old serials, short movies shown in action-filled episodes designed to keep you coming back to the theater to find out what happens in the next installment. Shazam, Buck Rogers, and The Shadow were major attractions back then, but Hollywood eventually seemed to lose interest in comic book fantasies, favoring less costly real life portrayals.

In the 70s, Science Fiction helped movie makers realize that it was possible to create fantastic worlds and even more fantastic heroes. Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars showed us what could be, and movie goers gobbled it up. Still, it was hard to merge the fantastic feats of power that super heroes possessed with ordinary people. Technology was still not up to the task. Many may remember the pitiful made-for-TV Spiderman movie starring Nicholas Hammond. Spideyis mask looked like it had two metallic sieves for eyes, and forget about swinging through downtown traffic, this Spiderman could hardly climb walls.

Of course, you have Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrignois Incredible Hulk, which was believable because Bill Bixby could act and all Lou Ferrigno had to was grimace, growl, and flex his formidable muscles.

It took Christopher Reeveis Superman to finally tie the fantastic with the commonplace. Reeveis Superman was more human, he had urges and feelings, and he was far more complex than any of the previous versions of the superhero. Still, Superman was...super, and it was within the reach of movie makers to create a super man.

Then came Batman with it dark and brooding look at heroism on a more human scale. Batman didnit really have super powers so he was relatively easy to create with the exiting technology.

It wasnit until computers became powerful enough to generate realistic images that we could finally enjoy heroes who have extraordinary gifts AND who are still quite human. The first X-Men movie hinted at this. The extremely powerful opening scene in the German death camp where a young Magneto was separated from his family offered awesome results. The movie version of Spiderman followed and showed just how powerful and personal a hero can be.

Now the new X-Men movie will be coming out in May. The first movie did a great job depicting the heroes and their powers. Toad and Mystique, for instance, looked convincing, but then, they were very human in appearance. In the upcoming X-Men 2, Nightcrawler, whose appearance is definitely less human, makes an entrance. Nightcrawler could not have been done well without computer enhancements. In fact, many of the feats of strength and power would not appear realistic at all if it were not for computer enhancements.

X-Men 2 has a movie site that is very cool, BTW, so make sure you check it out.

Another movie that may not have been possible a few years ago is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. TLEG chronicles the adventures of a team of super heroes set against a Victorian backdrop. TLEG is led by none other than the very resilient Sean Connery. Take a look at this trailer and youill agree that without the aid of current technology this move would look dubious at best.

Both movies have trailers available for viewing exclusively at Appleis QuickTime Movie Trailer site.

Another QuickTime exclusive trailer is 28 Days Later, a British film about the survivors of a plague that kills most of the human population of the world. The film was a favorite in Britain last year, it could also do well here. Weill see.

Thatis going to do it for this week. Make sure you check out the trailer for Robota. Good stuff.