Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Read Dirty, Stay Clean: An Oldetowne first!

Maaaaaannn, PLANET GRIFFIN considers this a true pimp promotional piece here... Timed for release of the Rachel Rage OGN, fellow NEXT 100 member John Aston has come up with a unique piece--- A Brown Sugar bar of soap complete with its own brass gun casings molded right in! C'mon y'all--- Step right up and get your clean on while you read about a super grimy tale of the deep south!

If this is any hint/ indication of where Rachel's going next, consider me SOLD!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The New Kung Fu Grip: G.I. JOE RESOLUTE

"When I was a child, I thought as a child. I played as a child.
As I became a man, I put away childish things.... "

Well, that same line of thinking must have been running through the minds of the creators of the new G.I.JOE series, RESOLUTE, because they threw the old 80's series textbook out the window on this one! Welcome one and all to the hindsight review of PLANET GRIFFIN!

To all of you 'cold war kids' out there who thrilled to the serialized adventures of the 80's cult classic will no doubt already be well aware of the new series ( the promo trailer debuted at last year's San Diego Con to a packed house of drooling fanboys and girls), currently in rotation over at AdultSwim.com... And, as you can see, the daze of old are fondly remembered, but left at the production house door as a new generation of JOE thrillseekers can see what we did not back in the day--- A more adult oriented JOE !
Cities are 'vaporized' a la' Independence Day, Snake Eyes lives up to the hype as 'silent but deadly', Cobra Commander is played as a true psychotic threat to world security and not the asthmatic weak buffoon , and old friends and foes that merely took up space as minor background characters in the late 80's are summarily dispatched early on in the opening episodes; driving the point home that the series creators are trying to get your attention and assure you that this isn't your granddad's JOE with the average kung fu grip---

---But rather, a kung fu grip that's already crushed your throat before you've realized what happened!

While I really like the approach they've taken with the webisodes, I noticed that the same tech-heavy influence that played a role in the 80's is still in effect here. My personal take would be to present the beginnings of a gritty, grimier JOE a la'
APOCALYPSE NOW to a stylized BLACK HAWK DOWN ; building up to what they will become in the 21st century. Strip it down to a leaner and meaner private military organization, dedicated to crushing the underground terrorist organization known as COBRA!!!

Oh sorry.... Geek flashbacks of the kung fu grip.

Check out the latest webisodes, premiering by the time you read this review over at AdultSwim.com. Knowing IS half the battle, y'know...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Unexpected Return of an Old Friend: JCVD

Hi there, boys and girls! Welcome to the weekend edition of PLANET GRIFFIN!

Once upon a time, in the lore of 80's action heroes, there was a little known martial artist/actor emerging from Belgium known as Jean Claude Van Damme. His well-documented cockiness and high flying kicks cemented his name as an action star, but nothing, it seemed, would ever rank him above the B-movie ghetto's into the A-List high rise... Well, Hard Target would've got him closer if he weren't trying to tell director John Woo how to direct... Maybe.

Heavy drug use, the inability to land decent acting roles, and ugly custody battles have forced the self-titled 'muscles from Brussels' star to fall from grace much faster than most. Then came the silence.

But that's not the end of the story.

Jean Claude decided to follow the route of Mickey Rourke and give it one last shot. Man, was that shot ever worth it. JCVD is a strange combination of self-parody, autobiography, suspense film, and dramatic poignacy, a film that no one could've predicted... Jean Claude playing himself.

JCVD follows the exploits of a time ravaged Jean Claude Van Damme whose time in front of the camera may have finally come to an end (he's losing film roles to Steven Seagal of all people). Plagued by the aforementioned problems in his life, Jean Claude returns to his Belgian hometown to sort out his financial problems and figure out what should his next move be... As fate would have it, that's being decided for him.

As the film takes a huge left turn revealing itself slowly and surely, you shockingly learn that Jean Claude can act! Even more unexpected, midway into the film , Jean Claude pulls off the one trick with this film that most great actors won't even attempt anymore--- Jean Claude breaks the fourth wall of the film to talk to the audience! Nothing hokey or desperate, he simply gives you straight talk--- and you'll love him for it!

Personally, I like movies of all kinds, but even I know good acting from absolute crap, and I'm telling you, JCVD is a GREAT movie that's already getting critical raves from the world media and is making Hollywood notice him again... Once you see it for yourself, you'll also notice that this film is Jean Claude's personal revenge on the Hollywood system that almost blacklisted him as bad as it did Mickey Rourke.

... And he's currently living happily ever after.

JCVD hits DVD later this month. Definitely worth feeding the dollar to RedBox!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blog Double Feature Pt. 2: The Cute and The Vicious: Studio Anima

Continuing with tonight's blog double feature, a PLANET GRIFFIN review...

For those of you who have not seen this yet, you are now among a small handful who haven't.
PLANET GRIFFIN presents the Studio Anima from Japan... A small group of animators who have developed a CGI series known as CAT SH!T ONE , adapted from the manga series APOCALYPSE MEOW. The Manga, which originally featured a crack squad of American bunnies fighting Vietnamese cats in Vietnam, has now been updated to post 9/11 Afghanistan.

Looking to compete with America's PIXAR studios, this crew is off to a serious start! Since it's emergence on YouTube a few weeks ago, the trailer alone has generated well over a million plus hits and is a big hit with the anime/manga/and military circles! Of course, allow me to be clear that the independent creator circles overseas have more room to breathe than the mammoth challenges facing those of us here, but the level of passion and attention to detail here makes it all the more inspiring!

To my NEXT 100 out there, if this doesn't get your creative motors running, then you have definitely lost your keys!

Blog Double Feature Pt.1: The NEXT 100: The Vivid adventures of David and Liz Lillie

Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to a special blog double feature episode of the infamous PLANET GRIFFIN! Tonight, we continue with our ongoing series known as THE NEXT 100--- The series that showcases the next generation of artists, writers, and creators for the new pop culture that is to come! Tonight, we highlight a dynamic duo that already speaks to many blogreaders with their insightful blogspot, VIVID Productions (In a recent post, I include a special thanks to 'em), but many people state-side are only now beginning to realize what kind of one-two punch this group are planning to deliver to the industry.

The creative team of David and Liz Lillie are not widely known to the mainstream public yet, but that will soon change once their independent
title, an anthromorphic sci-fi-fantasy known as DREAMKEEPERS hits the market full steam!

Already reviewed by Ain't It Cool News and the UK Review as 'One of the most daringly original voices emerging from the independent comics scene', Dave and Liz add proof to the pudding as the visuals are akin to the stylings of animator-legend Don Bluth (think Secret of NIMH and you're already in the ballpark) with the high adventure style storytelling made popular by the likes of Walt Disney and TELLOS creator--- the late, great MIKE WIERINGO.

With an ongoing webcomic series, a developing animation reel for a television series, and building VIVID productions as an independent publishing house, Dave and Liz definitely have their hands full working to fill our hands with new product! Seeing is believing at Dreamkeepers.com to view the comic, character designs (Scintar and Grunn are my faves), and the overwhelming responses to their current works.

PLANET GRIFFIN is proud to recognize VIVID Productions as members of THE NEXT 100 and to their ongoing support of the new independent movement!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shot Day For Night: The Rage continues!

Hopefully everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend, cuz' it's now back to work! One who hasn't stopped to slow down is fellow Next 100 man John Aston! Working feverishly to ready a new trade paperback edition of his already hit webcomic Rachel Rage by the start of summer, John has already completed a new 30 page short based on the main villain from the Rachel Rage series: The psychotic Sheriff Stewart!

My take? John definitely earns the title of ' Grindhouse Goodfella' with this one... John actually keeps the story nice and tight here--- The ever-ominous 'theater screen' view actually enhances the storytelling, especially the opening panels of the story and the 'punch' of the ending scene.

Wanna find out how Stewart, Rachel's father no less, got that tarnished badge? Wanna find out what happens to those unfortunate souls who mess with the good Sheriff's 'constituents'?

Check it out at http://oldetownecomix.com

Tell John that PLANETGRIFFIN and The Infamous RodBuddah sent you!

Don't miss it!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chocolate Bunnies over Faith

I feel good today.

My elders used to tell me (and still do) about watching the sun on Easter Sunday and how extremely bright it shines--- They would say that the sun 'shouts' upon it's arrival to let the world know that the King has risen. Today, I got to marvel at just how bright the sun shone, and how grateful I am to still be here to share this.

I was in a Wal-Mart yesterday, watching the crowds fight over the Cadbury eggs, the stuffed rabbits, that plastic grass that never seems to leave your house once the package is open, and huge baskets filled with screw-top eggs and toys. I get it... It's for the kids... Of course, these things mean nothing without explaining the reason why.

My children awoke early this morning (no surprise there as a parent). As the breakfast plates emerge from the kitchen, I notice them standing at the door; my daughter saying "Jesus is telling everybody to wake up, because the sun's shouting." I stood there for a moment, attempting to maintain the delicate balance of eggs and bacon in my arms, thinking:

They got it.

I know this post isn't what you normally get here at PLANETGRIFFIN, but I believe wholeheartedly that it deserves to be said: Someone died for us all 3 days ago. Today represents his return. I'm very proud of that... And for me, there are no chocolate bunnies over faith.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brand New Day


Welcome one and all back to another edition of PLANET GRIFFIN and I sincerely wish you all a very Good Friday and a HAPPY EASTER--- and to everyone else out there, I say the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys!

It seems that independence is everywhere nowadays--- In a posted statement today, Trent Reznor of former Nine Inch Nails fame urged all recording artists to DROP their labels. The way Trent sees it, the music industry is taking too much from the respective artist and are "... completely out of touch with the industry..." Sounds kinda familiar.

His take on it makes sense... " A CD sells for 18.98, the artist makes 80 cents... With that, the artist has to pay back the money the label lends them to make [the record in the first place], AND THEN once it's paid, the LABEL owns the work. Who the f**k made that rule...?"

"... As an artist, you are the marketer..."

Heh. I can continue, but in the interest of my cool ass readers who don't have time for the same old thing (I'll leave that to OUR industry), I'll begin with this:

It's a brand new day.

That's right. To all those who can't understand why the path continues to be so crooked, yet the industry expects them to walk straight without question, it's a brand new day...
To all those who waste too much time criticizing what the NEW do instead of what YOU do, it's a brand new day...
To all those who spend their nights taking the BLUE PILL and refusing to see what's really going on, it is truly a brand new day... And I know how to recognize the blue few because I was once ONE of you!

To all of my NEXT 100: While people like Robert Scott of the CBIA talk about rallying the market against us because our business models don't walk their runways--- yet he still supports those models who wear a failed fashion--- it is a brand new day!

As an independent, I have no bonds and therefore no bounds... Today, I introduce NEW COMIC CINEMA to the world for the first time. A new brand unveiled to a new market. Invite me into your imaginations, and I assure you of a brand that'll be as household as Tide.

The future may be uncertain, but I intend to have alot of fun getting there.
Hit me if you're with me and haters do your jobs.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Return of the BadAzz Mofo: BLACK DYNAMITE

I've been keeping up with this one for a while... Now that it's on the festival circuit, I couldn't resist posting this one. Black Dynamite is a hilarious sendup to the great blaxploitation era of the 70's, and make good use of Michael Jai White's abilities in front of the camera. (Kinda ironic that one of his best on scene moments was deleted from KILL BILL vol.2, only to have him emerge in a starring role to a film that outpaces Quentin's own GRINDHOUSE film)... Add a roster of who's who in the movie industry--- the funny-as-hell cameo of ARSENIO HALL alone is worth the price of admission!

I said it before that the new grindhouse era is re-emerging in these troubled economic times... With this one, you can definitely leave your troubles at the door!

I urge all my grindhouse goodfellas to check this one out when it drops later this year! But don't be too loud--- you'll wake the rest of the bitches!