Friday, October 31, 2008

Four years of happiness...

A Halloween wedding...
I love you Hon...

Happy Halloween!

I'm looking at getting a Blu-ray Player for Halloween,
here's a list of some of the best Horror movies for your player for this holiday! (As posted on SCIFI.com)













1. Evil Dead II. OK, how the heck did they make this old movie look so good? It was just Sam Raimi and his buddies out in the woods! Anchor Bay's Blu-ray has such clarity that it looks like Bruce Campbell is backflipping right in your living room. There are a few shots that look like mere film stock, but since 90 percent of this restoration shows off gritty cabin debris and bright red and green blood (depending on human or demon victim), it is an amazing hi-def achievement.

2. Dawn of the Dead. George Romero's original also falls into the category of how the heck did they get a movie this old to look so good? The setting and fashions are definitely of the '70s, but it's so clear it's like looking through a time portal into the era of plaid shirts and moustaches. The colors are bit more muted, since the main setting is a drab mall, but the details are sharp: everything from scuff marks on the floor to chewed-up human flesh between the zombies' teeth.

3. Beetlejuice. Warner Brothers has been doing a fantastic job of remastering their catalog titles to make them look superior to even new releases. Even though Tim Burton's ghostly comedy was shot on simple 35mm film more than 20 years ago, they've brought the colors of his surreal afterlife vividly to life. Check out the colors in the desert outside the front door or in the afterlife waiting room. All the hand-crafted details of the prosthetic makeup work is highlighted in this new release.

4. John Carpenter's The Thing. Here's another case of the wows for a nearly 30-year-old film, which looks so clear, you might actually believe Kurt Russell is still that young. The snowbound setting of this alien fright fest are especially tasty: Marvel at the details in the white powder, as well as the science station and its day-to-day wear and tear. Because so much of the film is dimly lit, The Thing also exemplifies Blu-ray's ability to show clarity in low light.

5. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. Not a terrific movie, it may nevertheless be the shiniest movie on Blu-ray so far. Between the alien scales, Predator armor and metallic industrial settings of the film, everything just shines light off the screen. The original Predator is already available in a substandard Blu-ray version. Let's hope that this AVP:R release augurs a remastered Blu-ray Alien quadrilogy.

6. The Fly. David Cronenberg's classic 1980s SF movie is stunning in this restoration. Every detail of Jeff Goldbum's mutating Brundlefly comes through sharply, and those big '80s hairdos are equally scary. Also dimly lit, this film benefits from Blu-ray's ability to distinguish the subtle gradations of dark and light often found in the best horror movies.

7. I Am Legend. This vision of the apocalypse is so clear that you believe New York will really look like this a few years after everyone dies. The lush colors of greenery penetrate the cold, crisp cityscape. There's plenty of detail visible in all the crumbling buildings. And Robert Neville's (Will Smith) bright red car radiates as it rips through the solitary city.

8. The Mist. Frank Darabont's visualization of Stephen King's scary novella features striking visuals, considering its mundane supermarket setting. When the monsters creep in, they add a gory dash of color, but even the shelves scattered with colorful cereal boxes add vibrant highlights. The film's action lights up other scattered action scenes with bursts of orange flame.

9. Pan's Labyrinth. Guillermo Del Toro's intense vision of childhood fantasy is a prime candidate for home-theater demos. Set in the lush Spanish countryside, the real world scenes provide lots of detail. But it is the fantasy that shines brightest: Blu-ray brings to vivid life the movie's glowing fairies and slimy toads. You'll want to freeze the frames of Doug Jones' Faun and Pale Man to study every detail of the fantastical makeup.
10. Cloverfield. Blu-ray adds even more realism to this SF monster movie's faux handheld video camera. The disc doesn't push the colors to surreal levels or amp the clarity beyond that of a typical consumer camcorder. When the Statue of Liberty's head flies into frame, it looks like a tourist camera shot it. When the monster rips through the background, it looks like some dude just got it as he was running away. Since that was the artist's intent, the Blu-ray delivers completely. --Fred Topel

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost done…

I’ve been very busy around here trying to unpack all of my stuff. Hazleton was hit with a big snow storm on Tuesday, so I took the day off. The Kitchen, living room, and bedrooms are done. The gaming room (Jarrett’s bedroom) is also mostly done, but I have to get all the gaming figures up on the shelf. My painting studio looks like a bomb hit it, so no figure painting just yet. I will get to painting and posting figures soon I think. Halloween is this Friday, and it’s my wedding anniversary, four years now. Here’s some Halloween type fun to look at…

First up what’s better then zombies and comics? Comics about Zombies!


Zombie Tales
Vol 1 TPB

Writer(s): Keith Giffen, Andrew Cosby, Johanna Stokes, John Rogers, Michael Alan Nelson

The best-selling zombie anthology finally gets collected, featuring work from the best of the best: material written by Mark Waid, Keith Giffen, Eureka creator Andrew Cosby, Transformers the Movie writer John Rogers, Eureka TV show writer Johanna Stokes, Fall of Cthulhu writer Michael Alan Nelson, and more! Artists featured are a non-stop constellation of names: Keith Giffen, Fallen Angel's J.K. Woodward, Painkiller Jane's Lee Moder, 100 Bullets' Dave Johnson, Mark Badger, and many many more!

This edition collects Zombie Tales #1, Zombie Tales: Oblivion, and Zombie Tales: The Dead. Boom! Studios has volume one on their site you can read for free. :LINK

New on DVD is the instant classic Zombie Strippers.
This thing’s got Oscar written all over it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Doctor Who festive teaser planned

A two-minute teaser clip from this year's Doctor Who Christmas special is to be shown during the BBC's Children in Need charity evening next month.

Viewers will see the opening moments of The Next Doctor, which again features David Tennant in the title role, alongside guest star David Morrissey.

The snippet will be broadcast on BBC One on Friday, 14 November.

The festive schedule has yet to be confirmed but the Doctor Who special is usually screened on Christmas Day.
Last year's edition - featuring singer Kylie Minogue - was seen by 13.3m people.
This made it the second-highest audience of the year, behind the EastEnders Christmas episode.
Further guests and plot teasers are likely to be revealed in the run-up to the festive season.


(YAY!!!!!)

All moved in…

Man I hurt; it was a crazy, hard, and fast move. My special thanks to my father inlaw, John, my son Jarrett, and The Neen. We did have a couple of no shows, and it really hurt us in time and heavy lifting. Ah but what the hell, we are in… Anyway the season is almost done, and I want to do something special with my wife, Halloween is our wedding anniversary. So with the season here’s a cool site for carving Zombie Pumpkins…

ZombiePumpkins.com

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Moving....

Tonight is my last post till I get internet connections in Hazleton.... I hope to be online by Sunday...
-Peace!!!

Finally we move this weekend…

It’s been a long hard road, but this Saturday we move into the new place. I’ve been driving to work with car loads of boxes to help with the move, mostly gaming stuff so that I could make sure my “toys” were safe… I am aching to paint figures again, it’s been over a month and I’m foaming at the mouth to get to it. I’ve been looking at all the blogs I follow and I want to make cool scenery, build models, and get my forces on the table again… UGH! I’ve just been informed that one of my battle reports has a write up on wargamingforums.com.
That is VERY cool! Here’s the link: Battle

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Joseph To Be First Black Doctor?

David Tennant hasn't yet abandoned his starring role in the BBC SF series Doctor Who, but rumors have already begun circulating that Paterson Joseph--who guest-starred in the first season--may be the leading candidate to replace Tennant as the 11th Doctor. Joseph would be the first black actor to assay the iconic role.

Joseph's agent reportedy denied the Doctor Who rumor when approached about it last week. When SCI FI Wire contacted Joseph directly, his initial response was a text message that said, "I am on a list of God knows how many others, but flattered to be considered."

That was followed by an e-mail a day later, saying, "The news on Who was news to me as of last Wednesday, when my agent said they'd had lots of journos asking if the rumors were true. That's all I know, and I'm very pleased to even be thought of in this way. It's a blast!"

The rumor, which should be taken with a grain of salt, was first reported by British journalist Richard Johnston last week in his online column "Lying in the Gutters."

Joseph played Roderick in the Doctor Who two-part episode "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways."

Joseph's recent TV appearances include the U.K. series Peep Show, Green Wing and Hyperdrive, but he is probably best known to genre fans for his scene-stealing performance as the Marquis de Carabas in writer Neil Gaiman's short-lived 1996 BBC series Neverwhere.

Perhaps more germane to this particular story is the actor's work in last year's Jekyll miniseries, which was created by Steven Moffat, who will be taking over as the new Doctor Who show runner in the upcoming fifth season in 2010. Did that role give Joseph the inside track? Only time will tell.

While many Doctor Who purists are already resisting the notion of a black actor taking on the role, the biggest obstacle could actually be Joseph's role as Greg Preston in the BBC's upcoming revival of the 1970s post-apocalyptic drama Survivors. According to the show's producer Adrian Hodges (Primeval), "He's a lovely actor, and he has immense likeability on screen. To me, he has hero written and integrity written all over him, and he's a great actor. We're very pleased with him, and we won't kill him off any time soon, I promise you that!"

The fourth season of Doctor Who will be released in the United States on Nov. 18. The series is currently on hiatus in the United Kingdom but will continue with a series of one-off specials, after which a new production team will take over with season five in 2010. --Joe Nazzaro

Jackson On Fury, Iron 2, Spirit

Hollywood's resident badass Samuel L. Jackson is bringing his swagger to a slew of SF related-films and revealed that he's angling to beef up his Iron Man cameo role of Nick Fury in Iron Man 2 and subsequent Marvel Comics films, leading up to The Avengers.

On Oct. 18, Jackson happened to run into Iron Man director Jon Favreau at the Scream Awards in Hollywood, and they got to talking about Nick Fury's prospects in future Marvel properties--and potentially his own film, Jackson said.

"I would love that, but he's got to be part of Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, and then The Avengers will probably happen at some point," Jackson said in a group interview in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Oct. 19, where he was promoting the comedy Soul Men. "I [feel like I] haven't actually played Nick Fury yet. I kind of showed up as Nick Fury. It's interesting, because I saw Favreau last night. Script's being done. I was hanging out with George Lucas at the Scream Awards, and he just happened to be there."

Jackson added that David Hasselhoff, who played Nick Fury in a 1998 TV movie, is not angry that Jackson took the role in the movies. "I saw him the other week, he didn't seem to be," Jackson said, with tongue in cheek.

Jackson will be seen soon as the villainous Octopus in Frank Miller's comic-inspired The Spirit this Christmas and in a live-action adaptation of his animated TV series Afro Samurai.

Jackson has already seen the final cut of The Spirit and tells Miller fans to expect a surprise. "I've seen it," he said. "I loved it, and it’s got its own kind of space. A lot of people think it's going to look like Sin City, but it's not. It looks totally different."

Tonally, Jackson said the film's fight scenes evoke Looney Tunes cartoons. The Octopus and the Spirit (Gabriel Macht) hit each other with oversized weapons, like giant pipes and toilet bowls. "It's a real-live action cartoon, because we get to do some kind of outrageous stuff to each other, and nothing happens."

Meanwhile, Jackson said that he's still waiting for a script for the live-action Afro Samurai. Jackson provides the voice for the animated Afro Samurai series and expects to play the live-action incarnation. He said that he doesn't know whether the story will follow the cartoon or retell it with an origin story. "I don't know yet," he said. "They haven't turned in a script. They won't turn in that script." --Fred Topel
Samuel L. Jackson is the Octopus in Frank Miller's The Spirit.

World War Animation

This was sent to me by my thirteen year old son Jarrett

Friday, October 17, 2008

Trek Beams To EW

Entertainment Weekly released an image of Zachary Quinto as Spock and Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk from J.J. Abram's upcoming Star Trek movie, the cover of its Trek-themed issue due out on Oct. 17.

The magazine also features an interview with director Abrams, who responds to William Shatner's YouTube.com video chastising Abrams for not including him in the film.

Abrams has seen the video, of course. "I don't know how my life has become a thing where William Shatner talks to me through YouTube," Abrams told EW. "I was such a huge fan of his, but we wrote a scene for him in the movie, and it didn't feel right. And he said to us--he said publicly--that doing a cameo didn't interest him. Which I totally appreciate. But we did try." EW tried to reach Shatner, but he declined to be interviewed. Through a spokesperson, he said, "I don't think it would be appropriate for me to be involved in the Star Trek universe at this point."

Star Trek beams down May 9, 2009.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vampire Zero: Zero Revives Monster Vampires

Horror author David Wellington told scfi.com that in his latest novel, Vampire Zero, vampires exist--they're real, and everybody knows it.

"Except most people think they were driven to extinction years ago, and only a few cops remember how to fight them when they come back in a big way," Wellington said in an interview. "These aren't romantic vampires like you'll see on True Blood."

Rather, Wellington said, his vamps are monsters. "Definitely monsters," he said. "They don't want to read you poetry. They want to tear off your head and drink blood out of your stump. They're big, hairless and snowy white with red glowing eyes. They have triangular ears and mouths full of shark teeth. Nobody wants to have sex with my vampires. Well, except for one guy."

In the book, vampire hunter Laura Caxton has a vampire she needs to kill, but this one's different--his name is Arkeley, and he's the man who trained her how to kill vampires. "So he knows all of her tricks," Wellington said. "He invented them. What worries her most is that there are some things he never got around to teaching her. Then there's the threat that he'll become a Vampire Zero--that is, that he'll start creating new vampires and start up an army of the undead, forcing her to spend the rest of her life chasing down his progeny."

Vampire Zero has been percolating in Wellington's head since he first came up with the idea for Thirteen Bullets, the first book in the series. "I wanted to create a Van Helsing character who would go to any lengths to fight vampires, and I needed an example of just how far that would take him," Wellington said. "Obviously, he was willing to die if he could take a vampire with him. I toyed with the idea of having him tie up Laura Caxton and leave her as a snack for a vampire just so he could trap it. That didn't seem particularly compelling for either of them, though. It would make Arkeley a pure villain and leave Laura in a helpless, traditionally victimized role I didn't like. So then it occurred to me--would Arkeley go so far fighting monsters that he would become one himself? And the answer was yes, yes he would." --John Joseph Adams

Review of What the !? Miniatures



Here's a nice review of some of my friend Brian Cottrell's latest Zombie figures...
:LINK

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wow...

My Picture
They like my artwork but should give me credit!
http://www.vladtepes.info

DIARY OF THE DEAD







DVD Release Date: May 20, 2008
Retail: $24.95


A group of film students are making an independent horror film when they become trapped in a world being consumed by flesh-eating zombies. In an obsessive, unflinching eye, one filmmaker documents each death on camera. As the lucky survivors take final refuge, the film continues to roll, recording every detail for future generations… if any survive.

DIARY OF THE DEAD Special Features:
• View Film With Audio Commentary By Writer/Director George Romero, Director Of Photography Adam Swica And Editor Michael Doherty
• Character Confessionals
• The First Week
• The Roots
• Familiar Voices
• For The Record: The Making Of Diary Of The Dead
• Myspace Short Film Contest Winners

Jovovich Confirmed For Clock

Bloody-Disgusting.com confirmed its rumor that Milla Jovovich is set to play Alyssa Barron in Senator Entertainment and The Weinstein Co.'s Clock Tower.

The supernatural movie is based on the best-selling survival horror video-game franchise from Capcom. Shooting is scheduled for November in Los Angeles.

Eric Poppen's screenplay is said to take its cue from the second installment of the Clock Tower series, which finds the heroine locked up in a psychiatric hospital trying to escape the curse that has haunted her family for generations, ComingSoon.net reported.

Jovovich is perhaps best known for playing Alice in the film franchise based on another Capcom game, Resident Evil.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Zombies: Dance of the Dead

Sam Raimi’s new straight-to-video production house, Ghost House Underground, has about eight brand new horror movies being released on DVD today. More horror for the masses, I can’t wait. Here’s a shot of one of the bunch…

Monday, October 13, 2008

My old buddy Eric.... from Three Skulls...

Giant monsters....

Why are people still into giant monsters? Godzilla, Rodan, Gamera? I'm totally surprise that this is still "big" business but it is, the New game Monsterpocalypse.com just sold out its pre-release! Here's a quote from Privateer Press:
Starter sets for Series 1: Rise have sold out at the manufacturer level prior to the product’s upcoming launch date of October 10th, 2008. “We have seen such an overwhelming demand,” said Sherry Yeary, President of Privateer Press. “That we already have a re-stock of starter sets ordered and due to arrive in November.” Retailers should contact their distributors to inquire as to the availability of MONSTERPOCALYPSE starter sets.
Madness!
Also in Japan Big monster movies are still being made!

Like: G

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a new movie.

While serving in an overseas war zone, a Japanese Self Defense Forces unit is ambushed in a guerilla attack. Only the soldiers Goda and Garaemon survive the assault. The two men vow that they will find a way to prevent more soldiers from dying needlessly on the battlefield.

Years later, Garaemon has developed a body reinforcing agent that may accomplish that goal. But when his lab is attacked by a group of industrial spies, Garaemon injects the experimental serum into his own body. Things go terribly wrong, and the scientist is transformed into a vicious giant monster.

Garaemon rampages through Tokyo. The JSDF attacks with guns and tanks but nothing they do even slows the monster down. To save Japan and his fellow soldiers, Goda decides to use the secret weapon he has invented…the special anti-monster armored vehicle called Robo.

Now, at the final defense line along the Tamagawa River, two man-made monsters will battle to the death…

While Godzilla and Gamera take a movie break, other Japanese monsters have stepped up to fill the “daikaiju vacuum”. The Ultraman series continues with a new kaiju-filled film, DECISIVE BATTLE! THE SUPER 8 ULTRA BROTHERS (Daikessen! Chou Hachi Urutora Kyoudai), opening in September. Shochiku Co., Ltd. has revived their space monster Guilala for next month’s MONSTER X STRIKES BACK/ ATTACK THE G8 SUMMIT! (Girara no Gyakushu / Samitto Kiki Ippatsu!). Independent filmmaker Jun Awazu made the world’s first completely computer generated kaiju movie, NEGADON: THE MONSTER FROM MARS (Wakusei Daikaiju Negadon, 2005), comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto wrote, directed, and starred in the acclaimed DAINIPPONJIN (2007), and fan-turned-director Shinpei Hayashiya hopefully has the long-awaited DEEP SEA MONSTER REIGO (Shinkaiju Reigo) coming out this year.

Video clips from another new kaiju production entitled G recently surfaced online. Filled with crazy camerawork, extreme monster and robot action, over-the-top violence, slapstick comedy, and an assortment of special effects techniques, the preview footage quickly caught the attention of Japanese monster movie buffs.

On genre news sites and message boards fans have wondered if G was a new indie movie, a fan film, a short, or simply a trailer or FX highlight reel. There has been much speculation but little in the way of concrete information, so SciFi Japan recently spoke with the director/ writer/ editor/ FX director of G and got the official word on the production.

G is a 48 minute long independent kaiju film made by Kiyotaka Taguchi, a professional 2D FX artist who has worked on major studio pictures from Japan and the United States.




The 28 year old filmmaker was hired just out of college to work as the 4th AD to special effects director Makoto Kamiya on Toho’s GODZILLA, MOTHRA & KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK (aka GMK, Gojira Mosura Kingugidora Daikaiju Soukougeki, 2001). The following year, Taguchi went to work on the art staff under art director Toshio Miike. He built miniatures and dressed sets on GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA (Gojira x Mekagojira, 2002), GODZILLA: TOKYO SOS (Gojira x Mosura x Mekagojira: Tokyo SOS, 2003), and GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (2004).

Beyond the Godzilla series, Taguchi has created 2D effects for Kenta Fukusaku’s BATTLE ROYALE II: REQUIEM (Batoru Rowaiaru II: Chinkonka, 2003), Shinji Higuchi’s remake of SINKING OF JAPAN (Nihon Chinbotsu, 2006), the American sequel THE GRUDGE 2 (2006), the indie Japanese movie THE iDOl (2007), Fuji TV and Toho’s retelling of the classic Chinese tale MONKEY MAGIC (Saiyuki, 2007), and the American remake of the Thai horror movie SHUTTER (2008).

He is currently working on director Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s three part film series 20TH CENTURY BOYS (20-Seiki Shonen). Based on the sci-fi manga by Naoki Urusawa, a new BOYS movie will be released by Toho each season, with the first chapter opening in Japanese theaters on August 30, 2008.



told SciFi Japan. “The first Godzilla film I saw was the 1984 GODZILLA [aka GODZILLA 1985] when I was 4. To be honest, it was a bit traumatic! But I loved Godzilla and Ultraman. In junior high school I shot a kaiju film on 8mm video and used a sock puppet and fireworks.”

“As a boy I loved the ‘VS’ Godzilla series [also known as the Heisei Series] the most. Today, however, I prefer the classics and can see where the work done then really outshines everything since.”




G was shot with consumer grade handycam equipment, with filming taking place from 2000 - 2007. Taguchi started working on the movie when he was a student studying film direction at the Nikkatsu Visual Arts Academy (Nikkatsu Geijitsu Gakuin). Almost all the people involved in the film were students there, with the exceptions of music composers Akihide Hara and Kaoruko Aida and the actress Beniko who plays the character “Hono” in G. Beniko is theatrical actress who was introduced to Taguchi by a mutual friend.

The university students who worked on G named their group “Gokan”. Much of the acting in the film is rather poor, but the performances are acceptable with the understanding that the cast was made up of non-professionals rather than trained actors.



Saturday, October 11, 2008

We signed the lease today!

So Spooky, Jarrett, and myself drove all the way to Hazelton to sign the lease this morning. We move in on the 25th!
Here are some shots of our cool new pad!!!
I just wanted to show how large this apartment is...
Our new combo living room and dinner area...
The kitchen area with the Agent getting the lease ready...
The windows in our new bedroom...
14 foot ceilings, Jarrett is 5' 10"
The cool top windows, I have no idea how to put curtains on these...




The view from the loft of our bedroom




The Loft stairs...

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows

Watch the new trailer for "Spider-Man: Web of Shadows"! Starting October 21st, gamers can help Spider-Man fight the deadly symbiote invasion running rampant in New York City. "Spider-Man: Web of Shadows" will be available for Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP, PC and NDS. Don't miss S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Public Service Announcement below the trailer as well! Visit the official website for more info.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Will America Watch Watchmen?

This is an interesting article about The Watchmen movie, posted in scifi.com by Jeff Otto.
-------------------------
Will America Watch Watchmen?

Director Zack Snyder unveiled nearly half an hour of footage from his upcoming epic film Watchmen earlier this month. While fans and journalists--including SCI FI Wire--raved about the preview, our writer Jeff Otto wonders: Will mainstream audiences watch the Watchmen?

Rumors began circulating two decades ago about a film adaptation of Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' comics magnum opus, which was first published by DC Comics in 1986. Moore, whose contributions to the graphic-novel medium include The Killing Joke, V for Vendetta and From Hell, had delivered the genre's first masterpiece. The deeply layered epic was filled with visuals that seemed perfectly suited to cinema. But filmmakers puzzled at how to adapt it: Such a project would be costly, and the book itself lacked major action sequences, was unevenly paced and told a story at odds with film's traditional plot structure.

Filmmakers as varied as Terry Gilliam, Paul Greengrass and Darren Aronofsky were attached at different points during Watchmen's extensive "development hell" process, but all eventually opted out to pursue other projects.

For his part, the famously prickly and anti-Hollywood Moore never saw Watchmen as a fit subject for cinematic adaptation, no matter the director.

"There are things that we did with Watchmen that could only work in a comic," the notoriously private Moore recently told Entertainment Weekly in a rare interview. He added that the book was "designed to show off things that other media can't."

But one director persisted. Zack Snyder previously delivered fan faves Dawn of the Dead and 300. He ultimately won the right to make a Watchmen movie. The question now: Has he succeeded in adapting Watchmen as a movie audiences will want to see?

Considering the first footage screened at Comic-Con International and in previews in Los Angeles and New York this month, Snyder's Watchmen movie is clearly taking its look and feel from the frames of Moore's novel.

But that in itself may pose a problem. Can an adaptation be too faithful to its source material? It's clear fans of the graphic novel will likely love Snyder's adaption, but will a mainstream audience unfamiliar with the book get it?

Here are 10 reasons I think mainstream audiences will ignore Watchmen.

1. It's an alternate-history Cold War period piece. Considering that a large portion of the core moviegoing audience was in diapers in 1986 and is still too young to understand the political climate of the time, will the setting really resonate? Like it or not, younger audiences rely largely on television and movies for their historical perspective, meaning that they may be familiar with Vietnam and World War II, but not with the Cold War, which might sound like something Ian Fleming dreamt up for James Bond's adventures.

On top of that, this isn't the Cold War of the history books, but rather an alternate history in which superheroes such as Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) help the United States win the Vietnam War and which makes Richard Nixon, perhaps history's most maligned president, a hero. In the book, Nixon is serving an unprecedented fifth term in office after successfully pushing for repeal of the 23rd amendment.

2. Ridiculous-looking costumes. If there's one thing director Christopher Nolan has proven with his two Batman movies, it's that audiences respond to superhero movies in as realistic a setting as possible. Aside from the ears and bat symbol, Nolan's superhero is a vigilante in a dark costume. Watchmen's Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), on the other hand, looks like a flamboyant tennis star in his cape and gold headband. Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson) is, well, an owl that looks vaguely like a gold Batman. Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) is pretty cool, but Laurie Juspeczyk's (Malin Akerman) Silk Spectre II costume looks like a reject from X-Men. And Dr. Manhattan looks kind of like a blue Mr. Clean. Did I mention he's also naked, bits and pieces flopping in the wind?

3. Old Folks. To be fair, Watchmen's first generation of crimefighters is only a part of the storyline. Still, nothing sends that desirable target demographic running for the exits quicker than old people. Senior citizens drove Cocoon, Driving Miss Daisy and The Bucket List to box-office success but are unlikely to buoy a comic-book movie.

4. Zack Snyder. Call me a cynic, but a remake of Dawn of the Dead and an adaptation of Frank Miller's 300 don't exactly qualify you as the man to adapt what is arguably the greatest work in the history of the graphic novel. Directors with stronger pedigrees passed, and I'm still a bit underwhelmed with the choice of Snyder. Don't get me wrong: His movies are good popcorn flicks. But I think Snyder has a way to go as a filmmaker before he's making movies on the level of Christopher Nolan, Peter Jackson or Sam Raimi.

5. Flashbacks and Allegories. Moore's story skips around almost constantly, which could prove quite confusing for audiences. The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) goes from rapist to Vietnam hero to modern-day murder victim. Sally Jupiter (Carla Gugino) goes from nubile pin-up to nursing-home resident. Hollis Mason (Stephen McHattie), the original Nite Owl, goes from crimefighter to rambling old coot. Moore's puzzle of an altered history comes together beautifully as the story weaves itself into coherence, but it remains to be seen whether Snyder can weave the complicated tapestry as adeptly for the screen as Moore did for the printed page.

And if the constant time shifts aren't enough, Moore also interwove into Watchmen's narrative a completely separate story, the comic-within-a-comic Tales of the Black Freighter. The allegorical Freighter tells the story of a pirate who journeys home on a raft of human corpses to warn his town of an impending pirate attack. Freighter's significance is confusing enough on the page and should probably be cut from the film, but Snyder has promised that he is committed to including Tales of the Black Freighter in his Watchmen movie at some point.

6. Lack of Familiarity. While Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men have been absorbed into the pop culture for decades, Watchmen's characters are known mainly to its core fan base. News of the impending film intrigued some non-comic aficionados to pick up a copy, as did Time's choice of the graphic novel for its list of the "100 Greatest American Novels." Still, the percentage of moviegoers possessing even a vague familiarity with Watchmen is small by comparison to those who know Peter Parker's alter ego.

7. Lack of Star Power. The casting of the accomplished actors Wilson, Akerman, Crudup, Gugino, Morgan and Haley excited comic and film geeks alike. But not one of these esteemed thespians has much box-office drawing power. For a movie already struggling to appeal to non-fans, that may be one obstacle too many on a growing list.

8. Length. Snyder announced last week that he is aiming for a film that runs two hours and 43 minutes. If the trailer's dazzling visuals succeed in sparking the interest of the mainstream to give Watchmen a chance, its running time may be enough to dampen that curiosity.

9. A Lot of Exposition. Unlike most comic movies, Watchmen isn't simply the setup for a ton of sequels. Moore's original novel comprises 12 densely packed issues with enough subtext to rival J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. But Peter Jackson had three movies to adapt Lord of the Rings. Snyder has only a single film to re-create Moore's entire epic.

With a massive cast of characters nobody's ever heard of, the film could take as much as a third of its running time setting up origin stories before viewers have even the faintest clue what's going on.

10. The Ending. If there is a weak element in Moore's almost-flawless epic, it is the ending. It was a letdown when it came out, and it seems even cheesier 20-plus years later. Snyder has revealed that he's changing the ending. Now when you take into account the fact that Moore is not involved in the project in any form, do we really believe Snyder and screenwriters David Hayter and Alex Tse have the chops to deliver the fitting end that Moore couldn't?

Watchmen opens March 6, 2009.

Looking for the first “Land Raider”

So I got into a discussion with my son’s gaming group this week about the beginnings of Warhammer 40K. I stated that most of the designs were borrowed from 2000AD comics like Judge Dredd. I stated that the first land raider was seen in the Judge Dredd comics, the cursed earth series. They said I was wrong. See here my friends are some of the Images I’ve found to share… so there… (Also some cool ABC Robots.)





Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More Marvel goodness in the future…

So in the next few years we should be seeing some Marvel comic goodness even though The Hulk has bombed once again… I personal have a small video collection of some of the best comic movies and I can’t wait to see some of the Marvel classic hit the big screen. Here’s the list of the next few movies coming from Marvel.

The First Avenger: Captain America

The boys over Film School Rejects discovered the plot to The First Avenger: Captain America which was printed in the latest issue of Production Weekly, an industry trade publication.

“Born during the Great Depression, Steve Rogers grew up a frail youth in a poor family. Horrified by the newsreel footage of the Nazis in Europe, Rogers was inspired to enlist in the army. However, because of his frailty and sickness, he was rejected. Overhearing the boy’s earnest plea, General Chester Phillips offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a special experiment… Operation: Rebirth. After weeks of tests, Rogers was at last administered the ‘Super-Soldier Serum’ and bombarded by ‘vita-rays.’ Steve Rogers emerged from the treatment with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. Rogers was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program. Three months later, he was given his first assignment as Captain America."

Thor
Partially disabled medical student Dr. Donald Blake discovers his heretofore unknown alter ego, the Norse warrior, Thor. ( No real news on this one, but they are looking at a release date of 2010.)













IronMan 2
"here's a scoop from www.cinemablend.com"
Marvel Studios made it official yesterday, announcing that Iron Man 2 is now a sure thing. That means it’s time to start thinking about what direction they’ll go for the sequel, and don’t think for a minute that Marvel doesn’t already have plans.

Tonight I got a message from a long time friend of the site, and one of our most spot on, regular scoopers. She’s had her ears out, and tells us she knows some of the things currently being considered for the next Iron Man movie.

Apparently the Samuel L. Jackson cameo after the credits in Iron Man wasn’t just a throwaway. Our scooper says his Nick Fury character will figure prominently into the next movie. One of the plot lines being pushed for the sequel has Jackson’s Nick Fury character enlisting the help of Tony Stark in going after a terrorist called The Mandarin.

If you know anything about Iron Man outside the movie, then you know that The Mandarin is one of his most notorious villains. The movie actually alludes to him. The terrorist group which captures Tony Stark at the beginning of the film is named “The Ten Rings”, a reference to the ten rings of power the Mandarin seeks in the comics.

We don’t know if the ten rings will still be a part of the character, but our scooper does say he’ll “have a monster at his disposal by the name of Fin Fang Foom.” That might be a nice change of pace. Give Iron Man something to fight besides his mirror image in a bigger suit. Meanwhile Fin Fang Foom also plays a role in Iron Man comic lore. In the comics, he’s an extraterrestrial dragon.

In addition to new bad guys, our source says they may be planning to involve other superheroes in the film. Maybe in the form of the cameo Iron Man is supposed to do later this summer in The Incredible Hulk. Chief among those is Thor, who may show up in more than just a cameo, possibly helping Iron Man. Thor has his own movie coming out the same summer Iron Man 2 hits, so that makes a certain kind of sense. It would be a way for Marvel to get people interested in a superhero franchise which, really isn’t as high-profile. Other possible superhero cameos include Hawkeye and Black Widow.

While our source for this is tried and true, please keep in mind that none of this is final yet. It’s still very very early in the Iron Man 2 production phase. With no script yet, anything could change, and with Iron Man 2 not being released till 2010, we’re going to have plenty of time to talk about it.

The Avengers

Not sure about the release of this movie since The Hulk failed so hard at the box office...
I would love to see The Avengers in live action, The Ultimates was a cool Animate movie, even though the really stepped away from the adult themes. The next four years is going to be fun. -Cheers!



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