Posted on: September 11th, 2009 NERDWATCH – The Boys

 

Welcome to the first installment of NERDWATCH, a new regular column here at GKS. NERDWATCH highlights some of the must-read collected stories in comic books. No matter if you’re new to comics, or a seasoned veteran, NERDWATCH serves as your trusted comic book checklist.

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There are so many mainstream greats when it comes to comic book stories. There’s just no disputing a top-ten list with Watchmen, Preacher or The Dark Knight Returns. For the first edition of NERDWATCH, I wanted to showcase a lesser known title, written by one of the medium’s finest writers – The Boys by Garth Ennis.

If you’ve read Preacher, one of the finest comic book stories ever told, you have a great idea of what Ennis’ writing is all about; he’s dark, gritty, wildly explicit and yet hilarious at the same time. Ennis is the master of the “nothing sacred” and “show no mercy” approach, but his work is not just shock value. He creates these indelible characters and develops them to a tee, while crafting stories that are near-impossible to put down. If you haven’t read Preacher, well, you are most certainly missing out. When I finished the last page of the ninth and final volume I, was touched but equally saddened that the ride was over.

While The Boys fits in an entirely different genre from Preacher, the superhero capes-and-cowls type, you can tell right away that it’s Ennis. Call it a chaotic comfort, if you will. Where Ennis only touched on sexual perversion and violence with Preacher, he downright embraces it with The Boys. The story is simple yet intriguing: Thanks to a new drug called “compound v”, comic-book superheros exist in our time, saving the day and stopping crime. But behind closed doors these heroes aren’t as righteous as they seem; wild sex, drugs, deplorable behavior and carelessness are the norm and the CIA has instated a small group of operatives, The Boys, to reign them in if needed. Led by Billy the Butcher, The Boys use extreme violence and tactics to maintain order.

The first two trades, collecting the first 14 issues of the series focus mainly on Billy the Butcher getting the team back in business, and Wee Hughie, the team’s newest recruit – a Scottish conspiracy-nut whose girlfriend is killed by a clumsy superhero. In one of the most obvious examples of celebrity emulation, you will almost immediately recognize the person which Hughie is drawn after, English actor Simon Pegg. The rest of the team is filled out by Mother’s Milk, the large African-American presence, The Frenchman, an elegant yet absolutely insane francophone, and The Female, never speaking and almost cherubic in innocence, yet terrifyingly lethal.

The Boys Ennis Robertson Wee Hughie severed armsThe pages of this book are just dripping with juxtaposition; colorful capes and smiles and heroes over-top of rough sex, prostitution, drugs, homo-erotic fantasy and extremely graphic death and physical destruction. The greatest thing about Ennis’ writing is his ability to make you feel depraved yourself for laughing, but he truly does make someone’s arms getting ripped off, funny. It’s not that the writing takes the low-road like a shoot-em-up action film, but yet he is such a craftsman with dialogue and pacing and even the situations themselves that you can’t help it. On the surface the book has the superflous impression of the superhero tales of yore, except the Superman archetype forces the Supergirl archetype to perform oral sex on him and the rest of the Justice League. And even considering all that, the rawness comes off very real, with mascara running, teeth flying and lips swelling. It should be noted that Darick Robertson’s art, a mix of realism and exaggerated comic style, aids and enhances the flow of the story quite nicely. 

I’ve only read the first two trades of the series and I was hooked with the first few pages of issue #1; this is an incredible read for casual or hardcore comic fans, as long as you’re cool with explicit language, violence and sexuality. So far their has been 33 issues released, over five trade paperbacks; Garth Ennis has stated that the series, published by Dynamite Entertainment, would end around the 60 issue mark.

But that’s not all, if it’s a comic book, there has to be a film in development, right? Well… maybe. Variety reported in February of 2008 that Colombia Pictures had acquired the rights to a film based on the book, with Neal Moritz (I Am Legend, Fast & Furious) producing. No other news on the project since August, 2008 when The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay (Aeon Flux) are handling screenplay duties.

I think it’s safe to assume that Simon Pegg would most likely be up for the role of Wee Hughie should The Boys make the jump to the big-screen.

Until the next installment of NERDWATCH, pick up The Boys and enjoy.

 

Posted on: September 10th, 2009 [REVIEW] Kick-Ass #7: Touching Your Inner Fanboy

“I always wondered why nobody did it before me. I mean, all those comic book movies and television shows, you’d think at least one eccentric loner would have stitched himself a costume.

Is everyday life really so exciting? Are schools and offices really so thrilling that I’m the only one who ever fantasized about this?

C’mon. Be honest with yourself. We all planned to be a superhero at some point in our lives.”

Did you? I did. Do…whatever. I want to fly, make constructs with a power ring, take people’s powers and memories by touching them, fly around with a lasso in an invisible jet and scream a scream that would make your head explode. One day I’ll figure out how to unleash my super powers. I could always fall back on Plan B where I sit in a wheelchair and have a super computer in a tower. I currently have a MacBook in a basement. Almost there!

Well, I read that dialogue above from the first page and Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass won me over. The second page had the poor guy getting his testicles electrocuted. Now doesn’t that sound like a riot? Do you guys remember how excited I was for the panel at SDCC? No? I was stoked. True, it was more geared towards the upcoming movie but I still popped a squat through a panel or two to see the cinematic interpretation of the book I loved.

The entire premise of the book is outrageous: comic book fan buys a wet suit on ebay and decides to fight crime. Yeah, okay-that’s not outrageous. How about a foul-mouthed ten year-old girl that partners up with her father in taking down drug lords via some awesome sword work? Closer.

Dave Lizewski is a high school student that reads his fair share of comic books and finds himself bored enough with his own life that he decides to patrol the streets of New York in a wet suit. His brilliant superhero name? Kick-Ass. His main concern? How many friends he has on MySpace. He’s more confident when he’s got his costume on underneath his clothes, so he’s getting to be a bigger hit with the ladies. He meets another masked vigilante and they become friends. Things are going great. Then when they meet Big Daddy and Hit Girl, Dave finds himself a little in over his head a.k.a. electrocuted balls.

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The seventh issue of Icon’s ongoing story hit the stands today. It completely lived up to the action and humor of its former counterparts.

There’s a lot of gore; I won’t lie to you. John Romita Jr. manages to lighten it with his cartoon-like style. Hit Girl is a little unsettling at first, but it’s really become her book. The whole thing is dark and twisted but it has this good-natured innocence to it. It’s as if I were living the life of a superhero. Even though I’d try to turn out like Hit Girl, I’d turn out like Kick-Ass. I know it.

Have you been good this year? Do you feel you unrewarded for some unnamed feat of heroism? Did you not punch that one guy at work in the face? BUY KICK-ASS. You deserve it. No, don’t wait for the trade. You’ll probably be waiting forever. These issues take a while to come out. There are reprints of the earlier books. If you like fun and don’t flinch at curse words, you’re going to love it.


Posted on: September 10th, 2009 A Discussion With Max Ryan

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You ever see one of those actors or talents that you just know is going to explode? Not literally, but in the sense of star quotient. Well, GKS’ own Ryan & Gavin recently had the pleasure of chatting with one such person – actor Max Ryan.

Those in the know will remember Max from his villainous debut in Kiss of the Dragon alongside Jet Li and more recently as the big bad guy opposite Jason Statham in Death Race.

Listen to the full interview below, where we touch on everything from being the “hope of Europe” and superheroes to Max’s next big projects including a new take on the Hunchback and his own comic book, The Devilfish Project.

 

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Audio not working? download the interview (right-click and ’save as’)

 

Thanks to Max for taking the time to gab with us; seriously folks, dude is so legit and fun to talk to. We just might have to get a part II going sometime…

Visit Max Ryan’s official site or follow him on twitter.

Posted on: September 8th, 2009 REVIEW / GIVEAWAY: Sideshow Collectibles

CONTEST CLOSED: Congratulations to Kiaran of Edmonton, AB on winning this here zombie toy. Stay tuned for more great giveaways!

Anyone who’s anyone knows that when it comes to collectibles, Sideshow Collectibles is king. Since 1994, Sideshow Collectibles has maintained the reputation for producing some of the most eye-popping designs and sculpts and collectibles for some of the world’s most famous properties. These are luxury items for us collectors. It’s with great excitement that I present a review and giveaway for one of their hottest new items, The Harbinger from Sideshow’s The Dead line.

The Dead line features all-original concepts and designs with a horror flavor, specifically zombies. The Harbinger itself is a fully articulate 12″ zombie priest. Check out my video review below, and keep reading for full specs and photos and info on how to win one of these bad boys, as you read that right…. we’re giving one of these away to one lucky reader!

Video Review:

Figure Specs:

  • Figure stands 12″ tall
  • Fully articulate body (feat. Prometheus body system) with 30+ points of articulation
  • Real fabric costume, including pants, coat, sash, priests collar, cummerbund and rosary
  • Figure comes with bible prop piece and display stand

Images:

Check out the official page for The Harbinger at Sideshow Collectibles.

Now… here’s the really good part…

Giveaway:

Thanks to the spectacular people at Sideshow Collectibles, Giant Killer Squid is giving you the chance to win a free 12″ Harbinger figure of your very own.

How do I win one? Easy.

Send an email over to contest [at] giantkillersquid [dot] com with your name, full address and the answer to this question: What is the name of the shopping mall in which the original Dawn of the Dead took place?

Put ‘SIDESHOW’ in your email’s subject line, and have your entry in by September 30th. Winners will be contacted via email. Residents of the US and Canada only please.

May the best ghoul win.

Posted on: September 7th, 2009 Halloween 3D Update: Writer/Director Announced

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Last week we reported that the Halloween franchise would continue next summer with a 3D installment, sans Rob Zombie. Well today we received word on who exactly will be stepping in Zombie’s stinky, horrible shoes to helm this uneccessary entry into the franchise.

Fangoria broke the news that Patrick Lussier will direct the 3D feature for the Weinstein Co. and will see a release next summer. Lussier worked as an editor on such horror flicks as The Eye, White Noise 2, Cursed, Halloween: H20 and the second and third Scream movies. More recently though, Lussier directed the 3D slasher remake of My Bloody Valentine, another pointless, uninspired remake riding the 3D bandwagon.

If that’s not frightening enough, Halloween 3D will be written by… drumroll please… Ehren Kruger, the co-writer of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Not giving Kurtzman and Orci immunity on Transformers, but it’s widely speculated that Kruger was the real driving force behind the terrible, near-offensive writing on this summer’s biggest mess.

So there you have it. Signs point to ‘yes’ that Halloween 3D will be a heaping turd. I couldn’t be less enthused about this unless it was through Fox.

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Posted on: September 7th, 2009 Rambo 5 Goes Sci-fi

RamboVThe last couple years have seen Stallone revisit his Rocky and Rambo franchises, both with pretty decent results. I absolutely loved Rocky Balboa and thought that Rambo, the fourth movie in the series, was a fun return to what was a great franchise that soured over a few shallow sequels. Since then, Stallone has been talking about keeping it up; there were rumors floating around about a possible sequel to Cliffhanger, and the inevitable fifth Rambo film.

While I can’t comment on the Cliffhanger sequel, Rambo 5 is a certainty. Here’s where it really gets interesting though. Shortly after the release of Rambo, Sly was quoted as saying that if there were to be another film he’d like to see it taken in a different direction, something with a sci-fi twist. That set the internet ablaze with prayers for a Rambo vs. Predator or Rambo In Space. And while Rambo being approached with a science-fiction vibe is a bit jarring and unbelievable, it is equally ballsy and progressive. Do we really need to see John Rambo kill a whole bunch of *insert foreign soldier villains here*?

So this is what’s happening, says the man Sylvester Stallone himself. Rambo 5, currently titled Rambo V: The Savage Hunt, will feature John Rambo in the realm of sci-fi, taking on a genetically enhanced creature. Sounds pretty wild if you ask me, but I’m very excited to see how this will play out.

AICN nabbed themselves the official synopsis from Sly himself; you can also check out some audio of Stallone talking about the flick.

Although I’m supporting what we’ve heard so far, I’m not ignorant to the fact that this could be a tough pill for audiences to swallow, though at the end of the day I’m sure we will have a balls-out action flick with Rambo doing what he does best: kicking ass, only this time we get some monster stuff thrown in for good measure.

What are your thoughts on Rambo venturing into sci-fi territory?

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Posted on: September 6th, 2009 Collector’s Edge – Why have you ruined vampires for me?

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The whiniest story ever

Good news for you Edward my dear, it's that time of the month!

Good news for you Edward my dear, it's that time of the month!

Yep, that’s the official Twilight set of Barbie and Ken dolls. If you followed me on Twitter, you’d know I have a soft spot for these type of Barbie Collectables. They are fun. Now let me get something straight here about Twilight – I read the books. I didn’t undertand what the draw to the first one is cause it’s about 200 pages of a whiny girl wanting to be a vampire and a whiny boy saying no. Seriously. Then I read the second book and it was actually pretty good, and kinda made the first one seem to make sense overall. Didn’t read the last two. Yet. And then I saw the movie and it was probably the gayest thing I have ever seen. It made me really like the book that much more. But all of that aside, I have no doubt this doll set will become an ultra hot item very, very soon cause there is an army of Twilight Fangirls out there drooling to be Bella. Oh well, at least my like of vampires hasn’t been tainted by this chick flick fodder vampires we get today. Now I say give me a TruBlood collector set and then I would be excited.

The best science kits ever

Comig soon kids! Shoot lighting from your fingertips in the Force Lightning set! Smite your parents!!

Comig soon kids! Shoot lighting from your fingertips in the Force Lightning set! Smite your parents!!

I walked into TRU the other week and saw this entire new line of Star Wars Science sets. Imagine science expirenents with a Star Wars license! It is amazingly sweet. The sheer variety of what they have to offer is quite impressive as well. I will be picking these up for my son and will be doing a review on them soon.

The smell of death

For those special nights with green skinned women.

For those special nights with green skinned women.

Ok, I am no Star Trek lover or anything, but these are pretty sensible tie ins for a Fanboy. Star Trek cologne. Yep, they actually made one called Red Shirt. What does it smell like? Desperation and death? I must seek these out to see why they got made. They must smell good, you know they have to other wise why bother? I am hoping the Red Shirt is the one to get. It’s just too funny to pass up. “Oh, what’s that dashing scent you have on tonight?” “Red Shirt.” Cue drive by and bam! you got yourself a great evening.

Bring your change to the dark side

Give me your copper for my shiny new helmet!

Give me your copper for my shiny new helmet!

I am going to file this one in the pointless bin, which really stings me deep. Especially after I just sent up the Star trek cologne line. Especially, especially since this is a Star Wars themed item. It’s not even, well, cool or warranted. I don’t know about you but unmasked Darth Vader does not scream ‘Put your money in me’. I know not every Star Wars collectable needs to be top of the line, but were they even trying with this one? Way to go Lucas Film. This is another pitch meeting I would have loved to be in on. “Hey I got this great idea for a piggy bank. Ready for it. Darth. Vader. Unmasked.” Someone give that guy a raise.

Toy Story Toy’d. Again

Bring me this Chip Hazard, I'll show him a thing or two.

Bring me this Chip Hazard, I'll show him a thing or two.

Ok, makybe I missed something somewhere, but weren’t the original toys from the movie pretty good likenesses? I had a bunch of those, even the hard to find 12″ Buzz Lightyear that came in a, you guessed it, box exactly like he did in the movie. So now they are hailing this new Definitive Collection as the next coming. The Definitive Collection will feature exact likeness of the films characters and come in packaging that reflects their original packaging in the movie. Ok. They did that last time. So yeah, I wrote this off as a money ploy. But then I got to actually read about this new Ultimate Buzz Lightyear that not only looks like he did in the movie, but ACTS like he did in the movie. Walking, talking replica. Holy hell that is freaking awesome. So is the $130 pricetag. So i dug further into the line and realized that these do really look better than the old line of toys. Which I don’t understand. How can you mess up making a toy based on a toy? But compare the original Buzz with this ultimate Buzz and you can actually tell the difference. That and the old Buzz doesn’t walk. I want one of these Ultimate bad boys.

Gavin’s Most Wanted!

I'm a real boy!

I'm a real boy!

I am an AstroBoy fan. Always have, always will be. And yeah, I am excited for the new movie though I fear it won’t have the same Anime feel I crave. But who knows. And this figure is just plain sweet. Way to go Sideshow. You got some great partners there.

Filed under: News, toys | 2 Comments »

Posted on: September 3rd, 2009 Mastodon Scoring Jonah Hex Film

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It’s the perfect little opportunities like this where I get to talk about one of my favorite bands, Mastodon.

So we know that the Jonah Hex film, based on the DC comics character, started filming in April for a release in June of next year. What we didn’t know, until now, is that one of the greatest bands working today, Mastodon has been secretly scoring the film. For those of you who are familiar with Mastodon and their work, you can attest to the sheer awesomeness of this reveal. Their latest album Crack the Skye is nothing short of an absolute masterpiece. Though the band hasn’t had any previous experience in scoring a film, I am officially interested in Jonah Hex. This is the most interesting scoring news since it was announced that Daft Punk is scoring Tron: Legacy.

No word yet on the capacity of Mastodon’s score, whether or not it is just contributing a few songs, or actually providing the entire soundtrack; I will have my fingers crossed that a full length Mastodon album is en route via Hex.

Jonah Hex stars Josh Brolin, John Malkovich and Megan Fox. The film is a 19th century western with Jonah Hex (Brolin) being a partially disfigured bounty hunter who must stop a madman from unleashing an army of the dead to free the Confederate South. Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who) is directing, while Akiva Goldsman (a name bounced around here frequently as of late) produces.

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Posted on: September 2nd, 2009 [TRAILER] Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day

If you’ve seen the film Overnight, the documentary on Boondock Saints writer-director Troy Duffy, the thought of any studio letting this buffoon at another crack at a movie is pretty ridiculous. But in Hollywood money talks and all those who bought a copy of Boondock Saints on DVD (me included) put forth in motion the sequel.

Below is the first trailer for Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, a film that has been talked about since the release of the first one, which has now a huge cult film, and an unfortunate measuring stick for a great action movie. I’m not saying the first film is terrible, I enjoy it on a superfluous level, but let’s be serious – it’s highly “top 5″ material here. The dialogue is wince-inducing at times, the performances beg for more, and Duffy’s direction is as articulate as his interpersonal skills.

Boondock Saints II brings back actors Norman Reedus, Shaun Patrick Flannery, Billy Connolly, David Della Rocco and Bob Marley, while newcomers Clifton Collins Jr., Judd Nelson, Peter Fonda and Julie Benz join roster. The film takes place years after the first film and finds the McManus brothers brought back to Boston in the wake of a murdered priest.

The film is set for release on October 30th, on a hunch I’d say direct-to-DVD. I strongly encourage you to check out the documentary Overnight, it’s a fantastic peek into the utterly laughable life of Troy Duffy. I promise you won’t watch Boondock Saints the same again.

More Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Info
Filed under: Movies, News, Trailers | 1 Comment »

Posted on: September 2nd, 2009 Guy Ritchie to Direct Lobo Movie

lobo11A day after the announcement of a Deadman movie comes the announcement of another DC character getting the big-screen treatment. Warner Bros. let the news out today that a Lobo film will start production next year, and that Guy Ritchie will direct it.

Lobo, non-mainstream but a cult-favorite DC character, is a seven foot tall, blue-skinned Czarnian bounty hunter who travels across the galaxy on his flying motorcycle spreading his brand of trashy behavior and beat-downs. Apparently this film version will see Lobo hunting a bounty on Earth with the aid of a young girl. Sounds like Hollywood plot device to me. The film will also be rated PG-13.

Ritchie is the one-trick pony behind Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, RockNRolla and this winter’s Sherlock Holmes. Lobo will be written by Don Payne (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) and is being produced by Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Akiva Goldsman (the creative genius behind Batman & Robin and  the next Fantastic Four film). 

No casting has been announced yet, though we here at GKS know of someone interested in the lead role, with the initials MR (hint: we just interviewed this cat, and you’ll be able to hear that soon).

Source: Variety

Filed under: Movies, News, comics | 3 Comments »

Posted on: September 2nd, 2009 Iron Man 2 May Get 3D Treatment

300px-Tales_of_Suspense_97Eugh this has pointless written all over it… Ain’t It Cool News is reporting that Iron Man 2, which was shot on film and not digitally, may be  converted to 3D, pending the cost and time to process.

Apparently a test was done with 1 minute of footage converted into 3D, that was quite impressive to the studio suits. John Favreau, the film’s director, has talked about his excitement of shooting in 3D before, but the film’s cinematographer, Matthew Libatique, prefers the look and feel  of shooting on film. And I can’t say I blame him, one of the most endearing things of the first Iron Man was the realism, the ability to attach to it right away. I fear that bringing the 3D gimmick into the scope would take away from the heart. Sure it would look cool, but for me personally, I can’t get invested in the flick if I’m being pulled out of the story or constantly taking notice of just the digital effects. If they did it right, with the proper camera, the proper process, and really involved Favreau and his team in making the 3D a part of the story, getting every wheel and cog turning in unison, then I can certainly get behind 3D. If James Cameron’s Avatar work becomes the standard.

Until then this is just a lame cop out gimmick.

Slashfilm has some great pointers on why this isn’t a great idea technically:

“The few live action 3D films have mostly been shot using 3D cameras, which essentially feature two lenses, one for each eye. Many of the films you see in 3D today were animated using a computer, created in a 3D digital environment, and rendered twice. If Disney wants to convert Toy Story into 3D, they return to the original animation files and render the movie with a second eye camera (there is more to it, but I’m trying to keep this simple). But with a live action film, there is no way to return to the original digital files, because there are none.

The 3D effect is created using a couple different methods, but basically they must recreate a 3D environment and graph the original image on to the 3d polygon. For a film like Nightmare Before Christmas, a stop-motion animated film, the process is passable. For sequences with humans, its less effective. Anyone who saw Superman Returns in IMAX with the few 3D sequences know what I’m talking about. You kind of get this 3D cut out effect, with layers of depth but the objects look flat. I’ve heard it has gotten better, but have not seen the 3D upconversion of the last Harry Potter film. You can see a video about how this process is done below.”

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Posted on: September 1st, 2009 Del Toro Developing DC’s Deadman

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I’ve been very vocal with my love for writer/director/producer Guillermo Del Toro. Not only is he one of the most talented directors and storytellers alive today, but you can tell he chooses to be a part of films that are his passion projects. Well it seems we can add yet another one of these to his to-do list.

Bloody-Disgusting is reporting that the man of a thousand talents, Del Toro, has attached himself to produce a feature based on the DC comics character, Deadman.

Deadman, a lesser-known but still beloved DC character, tells the story of trapeze artist Boston Brand who is murdered and resurrected as the mysterious Deadman. The character can jump around from body to body in search of his killer, solving mysteries, that sort of thing. The more casual fan will remember Deadman’s appearance in Kingdom Come, DC’s masterpiece from 1996.

This is great news for both Guillermo fans and comic fans; I really think Del Toro is a great fit for the comic book movie genre, even though Hellboy II didn’t nail it out of the park (Del Toro and Mignola take the blame for being overzealous on that one). Guillermo Del Toro is hard at work on The Hobbit films right now, and after that he is slated to direct four films for Universal: Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Slaughterhouse-Five and Drood.

Talk about living the dream.

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Posted on: August 31st, 2009 Fox to Reboot Fantastic Four

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If at first you don’t succeed, try again. And if that second try doesn’t succeed, you’d think they’d give up, but no dice.

On the day that Disney announced it’s acquisition of Marvel, 20th Century Fox has declared a reboot to the Fantastic Four franchise. This sounds like a case of Fox hurrying to develop a film in order to keep the property with them instead of it eventually reverting to Marvel, now Disney.

According to Variety, Fox has tapped Michael Green to write the film. Green has previously worked on Smallville and Heroes and recently co-wrote the upcoming Green Lantern screenplay. Akiva Goldsman has been hired to produce the third film based on Marvel’s fantastic family. For the record, Goldsman was responsible for writing Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Just throwing that out there for you.

If you’ve seen the first two films you can attest to the sheer amount of suckage on display, but with a ‘reboot’ we’re supposed to sleep easy knowing that they’ll make it properly this time. It is suspected that none of the talent from the first two Fantastic Four films will be involved.

More on this as it develops. What say you, is Fantastic Four worthy of a second chance?

Filed under: Movies, News, comics | 1 Comment »

Posted on: August 31st, 2009 Halloween 3D Next Year, No Zombie

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This one here’s kind of a head-scratcher given the critical and financial backlash at Rob Zombie’s Halloween franchise: Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of the Weinstein Co. announced yesterday that the Halloween franchise will move forward again with a 3D installment set to hit theaters next summer.

The film, only known at this point as Halloween 3D, will not be helmed by writer-director Rob Zombie, who’s Halloween 2 opened last weekend to a disappointing $17,405,000. The reviews have been equally as bad. Apparently the Weinstein’s have already met with a director who has “experience in horror and has a different take on the franchise”. Please lord, let this mean a Jaws vs. Michael Meyers in 3D.

Oh Hollywood, I ask you these two questions.

1. Do we need another Halloween movie, be it straight sequel or another attempted re-imagining?

2. Does it need to be in 3D?

Source: LA Times

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Posted on: August 31st, 2009 Disney Acquires Marvel for $4 Billion

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So, this is what it’s like when world’s collide. In one of the biggest, shocking reveals as of late, Disney has agreed to purchase Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion.

Read Disney’s press release here.

“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories”, says Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walt Disney.

Before you start lighting the torches, screaming heresy just yet, let’s take a look at what this really could mean for Marvel.

  • More money to back projects already in place
  • More spotlight on the company itself
  • More weight thrown towards developing cartoons and animated features
  • Higher probability of consolidating licenses from other companies, like Sony Pictures (Spider-Man) and Fox (Fantastic Four, Daredevil ,etc.)
  • The possibility of a Marvel/Pixar project; John Lasseter (the CEO of Pixar) has met with Marvel execs and was reportedly “so excited he needed to be calmed down”
  • Opportunities with ABC, which is owned by Disney

Before you jump on the all-to-familiar “don’t rape my childhood” bandwagon, let’s give Disney a little more credit here. Disney owns a ton of companies, yes, but have they destroyed them? Hardly. Look at Pixar. Look at Miramax Films. Look at ABC which is home to your precious Lost. Disney would not mess up a $4 billion dollar investment, one that is already an internationally established company, and Marvel would not sell out if they weren’t  comfortable that this was a great decision for the company. Heck, look at the all the great things to  come out of Warner Bros. and DC.

Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada has been using twitter to shed some insight on the purchase, with tweets like:

“If you’re familiar with the Disney/Pixar relationship, then you’ll understand why this is a new dawn for Marvel and the comics industry.”

“Everybody take a deep breath, all your favorite comics remain unchanged and Tom Brevoort remains grouchy.”

So suffice to say this is an exciting time for media and comic fans alike. It will also take a long time for the effects of this acquisition to be seen. Comic Book Resources has a really great, comprehensive article with details of the purchase here, and Film School Rejects posted a fantastic article, 6 Things You Should Know About Disney Buying Marvel.

More news on this  as it develops. What say you, does the House of Mouse buying Marvel excite you?

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