Tuesday, June 30, 2009
PLANET GRIFFIN has quickly become known for left-of-center Pop Culture, the occasional tale of humor, and more plugs for one book 'coming soon' than anyone can imagine! Tonight on PLANET GRIFFIN, Tonight's post is something that weighed on me for a while. I figured it was about time to let it go and assure a few people that I'm not an inhuman machine when it comes to (art)--- just flawed like everyone else. Like someone told me: 'Tell it to someone who doesn't know you."
Well here it is.
The pursuit of dreams can be an arduous task, whether in its infancy, caught headlong in its planning stages, or the logistical nightmare of plotting out its final stages. It takes an unusual type of dedication to 'finish what you start'.
Of course, sometimes the toll that kind of dedication can have on those around you isn't always noticed, nor appreciated. I know... I've been guilty of this.
For years, I have labored long and hard to create an independent enterprise from the ground up on the strength of my talents... Since 1991, I've toiled on my first works through alot of trial and error, hits and misses, and heartaches and triumphs. I gained the attention of the Hollywood machine, only to walk away because the deal wasn't going anywhere. ( I lost out to a romantic drama by Bruce Willis and Michelle Phiffer--- which tanked badly.) I've dealt with the Comic Industry on many an occassion, only to get cut off by ego's who were so afraid I would take their job. (Don't worry fellas... That's still comin') I have survived the pain of 2 marriages lost in pursuit of this. ( One thought the work was more important/ The other thought the work was more important than family and thought that 'nothing will come of it because nothing has happened') --- at one point, I found myself so heartbroken and waylaid, I burned pages! (I was saved by a friend who snapped me out of it by providing me with those very same page copies, saying ' Your talents are far too important to throw away... I refuse to see that happen.' Thanks MDouble)
Time management and sacrifice walk a fragile line, folks... For those of you, like me, who ARE driven to succeed, be warned of this: The price you pay can be great if you're not careful, because not everyone can understand what it is that drives you to do what you do. Practical people, to this effect, only see the end results and not the 'behind-the-scenes' blood, sweat, and tears. Forgive those who either don't know or don't do.
I know. I have.
Art can sometimes be the cruellest of Mistresses--- 'Her' rewards can be overwhelming, but 'her' paybacks are a bitch--- This is the hard lesson of the perfectionist and the driven to learn. ( The legendary ALEX TOTH taught me that before he died.) This is the hard lesson I've learned. Now, I teach this to the neophytes and serve reminders to the hardliners. To be driven is to stop at nothing, yet appreciate everything along the way. Never lose sight of this, folks.
After reading this, walk away from the computer/art table and find your loved ones, whoever they are. Give'em a BIG hug and kiss and let them know where you stand and where they fit in. You'll thank me for this later.
Now back to work.
PLANET GRIFFIN continues on with a design that I ran across earlier. As a film geek, I couldn't resist this--- New design swag from PAUL POPE!
Paul's latest print is from the 1961 AKIRA KUROSAWA classic, YOJIMBO, featuring the legendary TOSHIRO MIFUNE.
(The kanji type in the center reads 'Yojimbo'; the type along the bottom is' Mifune Toshiro' and his birth and death dates)
The designs are currently selling through Nakatomi, and they have almost sold out already! Track'em down here
Monday, June 29, 2009
Hi there, boys and girls! PLANET GRIFFIN continues its nonstop ellipse around the Pop Culture Spectrum, putting in more mileage than the Soul Train itself! ( You can't tell me that train animation wasn't HOT, y'all) Tonight we continue with a little ticket from Image Alum RYAN BENJAMIN. It seems that he's now turning his attention to motion webcomics, and his answer to Fight Club comes in the form of PANCRATIA (Hmmm... That title...) Check it out and see for yourself, cuz' I think it's cool to view! Now, if he could do something about that crazy title...
Last week, I had to get schooled by World Of Hurt webguru, JAY POTTS on the work of artist JIM RUGG. I checked out his site, and low and behold, I realize that this is the same guy behind the Slave Labor series, STREET ANGEL. While Jim isn't working on the exploits of a skateboarding ninja killer, he's working on this little beauty called 'AFRODISIAC', a pimp among men, fighting injustice in the name of truth... And a few hoes...
More than just these gems, Jim's work is definitely more than just comics... But those of you in the know already know this.
I can dig it. Check out the link along the side, or catch the full review over at THE WORLD OF HURT.COM--- you'll be surprised at what you see.
Thanks Jay--- another lesson learned from the Hurt Locker.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Man, if you haven't checked out The VENTURE BROTHERS yet, you're missing out on one of the funniest parody series to hit Adult Swim! Watching the uncensored box sets (Season 3 just came out a few weeks ago ) --- have you ever laughed so hard, that you stagger to the bathroom hoping you made it? HA! THAT'S the Venture Brothers!
As a twisted send-up of Johnny Quest ( a personal old school fave my Dad introduced me to), the exploits of brother-boy clones HANK and DEAN VENTURE, DR. THADDEUS 'RUSTY' VENTURE and their swedish murder machine bodyguard BROCK SAMPSON rank among the wildest you will ever see--- meaning that writer-creators Jackson Publick a.k.a. Christopher McCulloch and 'DOC' Hammer are definitely NOT above throwing in twisted versions of the familiar to go along with the kitchen sink... Best example: The Groovy Gang--- those crime solving misfits from another time and place, with Sonny ( a highly unstable basket case version of Shaggy) and his dog Groovy ( a darker, mangier version of Scooby, who talks only to Sonny in a way that creepily reminds you of Son Of Sam back in the 70's)... And lets not even get into the 'Groovy treats', which comes in the little brown bottle.
Recently, the creative team behind the show lost their heaviest hitter, the voice of Brock, PATRICK WARBURTON... The verdict on whether they can convince him to come back to conclude Season 4 (which may be the last go round) remains a mystery. At least they managed to release the soundtrack, done by Foetus frontman J.G. Thirwell . See, once you get something really good going... Sigh...
Anyways, for the uninitiated and the cagey veteran, Check out the Season 3 teaser AND the infamous VENTURE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!
When I came across this magazine pic, I thought it was so cool, I had to let it shine on PLANET GRIFFIN! In Japan, the Blaxploitation era is alive and boomin'! ( Even I was amazed at how much of the era is archived and shared over there--- and don't get me started on their Jazz sets...)
Among some of the HOT memorabilia right now is this oversize mag called 'Soul of Black Movie' (literal translation)--- featuring poster pull-outs of some the classic films of the 70's heyday, from the legacy of Pam Grier to 'Coffin Ed' and 'Gravedigger Jones'--- I'm not sure if this is a one-shot or an ongoing mag (This item was up for bid on EBay), but from the looks of it, the Japanese damn sure got it right!
Friday, June 26, 2009
The Most Iconic Man in the World of Entertainment, Michael Jackson.
It's widely thought upon that entertainers, like planes, go in 3's... This week, the theory sadly proved to be true. For those of my generation, it's strange to think back on things like Star Search (the original blueprint of what American Idol is today), Publisher's Clearing House, and Carson and NOT think of Ed... To remember a time when we were introduced to 3 angels in a house, connected by a voice known only as Charlie... To finally realize that mortality and circumstance catches up to ALL OF US--- Even a star who ranked in a rarified stratosphere among the likes of James Brown and Elvis Presley.
Tonight, PLANET GRIFFIN presents this as more a reminder than memorial... A reminder that life is surely not promised, and that everyday is another chance to get it right. This is obvious of the three pictured here, who, for all their triumphs and tragedies, lived life to the absolute fullest and affected alot of lives along the way. So, with that said---
--- What will you do with YOUR chance?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Richard Kelly... The man that gave us the superb headtrip that was DONNIE DARKO... And the maligned headspin that was SOUTHLAND TALES, is back. This time, he's giving us a choice...
'Press the RED BUTTON and kill a stranger for a cool million, or... ' Well, that's the trick... Kelly's work has always been a little ' ...If David Lynch taught Quantum Mechanics while doped up on mesculine...', therefore, this film will either come off as a thinking man's suspense thriller, or another headspinning hangover that moviegoers will have a hard time recovering from.
Just tell me the trailer doesn't give you a 100 BULLETS vibe, right?
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Hanging back with Work Partner/Best Friend/and fellow NEXT 100 man MYRON MACKLIN from the ART NINJA STUDIOS during the HEROES show. I got a chance to see some more of his current 'best kept secret' THE ZOO ACT, an original graphic novel that will keep designers on their toes guaranteed!
Check out the preview over at ISSUU.COM (search: Myron Macklin), or continue to marvel at his technique at ARTNINJA.COM.
By the way, what you can't see in this pic is the fact that my portfolio case weighed in at a ridiculous 85 POUNDS... Carrying around so much work is part of my workout/work ethic... After this photo was taken, Mack laughed his head off while I maintained my composure... And my back.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
The Infamous RodBuddah stands alongside fellow NEXT 100 man Jay Potts, creator of the
Bad Ass webcomic THE WORLD OF HURT. Jay's handshake can also kill you.
Following up on the HEROES CON weekend, PLANET GRIFFIN got a chance to hook up with NEXT 100 frontman JAY POTTS, proudly sporting the Black Fist T-Shirt from his ongoing web series, THE WORLD OF HURT (check out his site and demand a shirt--- I am!). In the world of comics, those who know know that ego's can run RAMPANT in a place like a con... But I can say, firsthand, that Jay leaves his ego at the door before he even shakes your hand! THAT alone sold me more than anything! We got a chance to meet up briefly before the hustle and bustle of the show pulled us seperate ways. One thing I did get chance to learn was his plans to collect THE WORLD OF HURT into a print edition--- future plans, mind you, for the exploits of the PASTOR still has a ways to go--- but the thought still has me geeking for a future copy!!!
For those of you who haven't checked it out, you're missing out on a kick ass story revolving around the world of the Pastor, a bad mutha who gets the job done where the MAN can't! A 70's style blaxploitation series that has recently drawn the attention of AIN'T IT COOL NEWS as 'one of the hottest webcomics out there'! Besides, Jay has a style reminiscent of the old 70's Marvel style when LUKE CAGE first rocked blocks in his own series (y'know, before the guy with the hot right hand joined in!)
HURT installments come out every Wednesday, so don't be afraid to get your HURT on!
Click the Sidebar link for THE WORLD OF HURT and see for yourself why Jay stands strong as a member of THE NEXT 100!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Yeah, I'm calling you guys out. I think you're chicken. Afraid of failure or just plain lazy. Prove me wrong. Ha!"
"I don't really stand amazed when people say, "i have this great story idea about a robot... I just need someone who can draw." I want to say, "Gee, I have 80 stories about robots and I can only draw this one graphic novel this year and it's not about robots... maybe next year.
Ideas are cheap. Execution of ideas are the rarest. I hate talking tabout what I'm gonna do, what I'm gonna do, someday I've got this movie I wanna make... just do it."
- Doug Tennapel
PLANET GRIFFIN has gained greater wisdom with this, so I hope the rest of you out there learn something. Special thanks to Brian for bringing this to my attention.
To the uninitiated, RACHEL RAGE is a revenge tale centered around the title character. Her hatred towards the town's uber-corrupt Sheriff Stewart and his deputy henchmen is boundless. The reason? The death of the only 'father' who has ever dared to love her--- 'Papa Sol' Soloman. What makes a bad situation worse? Sheriff Stewart is her father, not Papa Sol!
So begins a spectacularly bloody, downward spiral for all the characters involved, and Rachel is subjected to more hell and misery than any 3 women should ever experience in a lifetime... But then, there's something else about Rachel that makes her more than most women---!
To those who have read the online webcomic, you already know this story... Kind of. The twisted cliffhanger ending within the last chapter of the print edition not only caught me off guard, but actually had me go back to re-read the book in order to see how misleading the story is! Sorry folks, you're gonna have to pick up the print edition in order to pick up where the webcomic leaves off...
John effectively hides the surprise out in plain sight, thereby raising the stakes and setting the stage for the sequel, RACHEL RAGE: SHORT TIME WOMAN, which is currently in the works and coming soon to the OldeTowne.com multiplex nearest you! I was also surprised to note that yours truly AND PLANET GRIFFIN were shown love not once, but TWICE within the pages of the RACHEL RAGE compilation! With that said, I'm gonna say this for the cheap seats:
John Aston and his rebellious indie creation RACHEL RAGE will definitely catch saavy readers by surprise, much in the same way Brian Michael Bendis caught indie readers off guard with JINX and GOLDFISH... This series is the startling introduction of a writer/creator whose genre-style of 'Southern Hostility' is definitely the beginning of something much bigger to come! Definitely a NEXT 100 Player
The RACHEL RAGE OGN comes in two editions--- A 'Stripped Down' edition, which is a B+W release of the original story, OR The 'Unrated Director's Cut' , which is full color and contains some of the more--- sleazier aspects of the exploitation genre ( Definitely NOT for the kiddies, but well worth the extra change!)... The UDC version also contains bonus material in the back section.
Click the OldeTownecomix.com link on the sidebar and go order your copy today!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I can't believe I survived yet another year! You see, June 17 is my birthday, and believe me, I had one heckuva time getting there! Most of my day was spent doing EVERYTHING else except what I do best: NEW ART! At least I made up for it by watching the Uncut Season 3 VENTURE BROTHERS boxset ( If you tell me you haven't seen it, I don't think I can believe you...) . To everyone who sent greetings and happy birthday wishes, I humbly thank ALL of you! And after a day like Wednesday, I REALLY appreciate it!
Now that another year milestone is behind me, I turn my attention towards HEROESCON coming up this weekend. I'll be milling about the first days opening and maaaaybe Saturday, looking forward to meeting up with all of THE NEXT 100 crew. Can't wait to see you there!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Back in time about, say, 2 years ago, there was a little anime proposal in Japan called AMAZING NUTS! One of the hottest clips on this 3 part bill was GLOBAL ASTROLINER. It gave the creative juices a decent jolt, so I thought I would throw it up... I was amazed to discover that it passed under the radars of alot of people! But here at PLANET GRIFFIN, there's no such thing as old school/new school--- there's only class--- so don't be late!
This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by the Infamous RodBuddah, serving the best antiques all day!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
'I'll be your pallbearer...'
This cat can best be described as a 'James Bond of the West', due to the arsenal that the character carried, as well as Sartana's creator, PAROLINI, was a self-confessed Bond fan---Playing cards that were thrown like shuriken, cigars disguised as dynamite, a 'long range' Winchester (you'll see what I mean), and even a church organ that fires bullets--- the popularity of this character in Europe would lead Parolini to follow Sartana up with another famous Spaghetti Westerner: SABATA starring LEE VAN CLEEF! What really got me with this character was the fact that he was like a ghost. Bear with me...
In SARTANA movies, it was always heavily implied that the character was an avenging spirit with spectral abilities. He pops up out of nowhere, seemingly 'bulletproof', stays one step ahead at every turn, he only goes after people that 'deserves a hot one', and his past is nil and void.
The movies are highly stylized in terms of action and pack large body counts, despite their small production budgets. Of course, Sartana being a spaghetti western, has it's share of campiness, excess, and hard to follow plotlines (depending on if you're watching an 'official' version or one of the 'bootleg' versions the genre is expected to have).
Personally, I love'em! Check out the new Spaghetti Western Bible: The Grindhouse Experience boxset thats out now--- The complete saga even carries the infamous Sartana vs. Django! How's THAT for Grindhouse?!
PLANET GRIFFIN continues its orbit through the alternate pop culture underground, in search of cool that's not always spoken of! While checking out the news sites, I came across the debut of Wildstorm's latest blog, THE BLEED, and discovered that the continuing adventures of PLANETARY begin again in October with issue 27!
For those of you who are not tuned into the Warren Ellis/John Cassiday masterpiece, I urge you to get out from under whatever rock you're hiding under and GO FIND THIS SERIES!
PLANETARY is/was the operational name of a group dubbing themselves publicly as 'Archeologists of the Unusual' --- A trio of powerful misfits who receives Trump-like funding from a mysterious Fourth Man within the group (those of you who have read this series already know who the fourth man is...)--- but their REAL agenda functions as a Rescue operation, with Elijah Snow as its leader.
The trio of Jakita, Drummer, and the 'ice man' Elijah Snow are pitch perfect in this series as they faced off against The Four ( Warrens' alternate take on Marvel's Fantastic Four), a merciless conglomerate of scientists who use their abilities to control the world rather than help it! Only someone like Warren Ellis could pull off this book--- a group of heores operating within an alternate version of both the DC and Marvel universes'--- stories that would find any other writer sitting in a courtroom waiting to get hit with every infringement and liable suit in the book--- which would be a bigger embarrassment to whoever filed suite cuz' Warren handled their material so well! Where else can you find the darker versions of GODZILLA, CAPTAIN MARVEL, DOC SAVAGE, THE LONE RANGER, TARZAN, THE FANTASTIC FOUR, and ALAN MOORE with hints of manga, THE MATRIX, and smart assed black humor all twisted into one complete package?!
To those who have read this series, you know that there was only ONE question that loomed unanswered by the end of issue 26:
Whatever happened to the original Planetary front man, AMBROSE CHASE?
Which leads to more questions:
How can Elijah Snow rescue him?
If PLANETARY is making a comeback, can this mean that THE GLOBAL FREQUENCY isn't far behind?!
Can you actually hear me geeking out as I write this entry?
Tune in this October as Wildstorm will FINALLY answer these and (hopefully) many other questions when Warren Ellis returns to give Mark Millar a run for his money!
Yeah, I said it.
Since the Top 10 Listing, I was blown away by an inexplicable moment of chance concerning this site. Example: I collared a guy on a petty larceny charge, and while we were going through paperwork, he happened to see one of my business cards... After a few minutes of silence, he finally spoke: " Have you ever heard of a site called PLANET GRIFFIN?" ( Keep in mind, he had no idea the card and myself were one and the same. ) I told him I did, to which he commented that the site was 'crazy' and that he thought the 'movie reviews' were 'pretty cool'... The only reason he brought it up was because he had seen the card design on this site.
I must admit, that was one the coolest, as well as most ironic, moments to happen this summer--- and it's only just beginning! I got such a kick out of that moment, I HAD to put it up for you! So, to the young man getting ready to for his first offender's program, I say thank you for recognizing PLANET GRIFFIN... And please don't commit the crime again.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Here it is! PLANET GRIFFIN has finally reached the end of the road here on this Top Ten list. Judging from the email response (It's okay, good people, you can include comments on this thing.), some readers were turned on to films they weren't aware of, or want to try thanks to my reviews... To this I say money is tight, people! if you're gonna watch a movie, make sure you can have as much fun with it as humanly possible and get the biggest bang for your buck! With that said, let do this...
NUMBER ONE: TRUCK TURNER
Without a doubt, the man known as ISSAC 'Black Moses' HAYES, along with Director Johnathan Kaplan, created one of the baddest
cats to walk on the silver screen in 1974. No one can deny the power that this film had in the blaxploitation era of the 70's, nor can it be denied as a cinematic gem today! Quentin Tarantino's celebrated 'casual conversation between crooks' style ORIGINATED with this film ( Watch this film, then parallel it alongside RESERVOIR, TRUE, PULP, & BILL and tell me what you find!) The late great Issac gave us a tough-as-nails former football pro-turned bounty hunter of dangerous and hard-to-reach felons, but soft enough to wear a cat pissed shirt because the cat belongs to his girl---classy. Throw in the legendary YAPHET KOTTO as killer pimp/gangster 'HARVARD BLUE', and most surprising of all, a stellar, smashmouth performance from 'Star Trek's' NICHELLE NICHOLS as House Madam DORINDA--- and I do mean smashmouth---and you have no excuses on why you shouldn't like one!
As a comic, IT IS THE NO-BRAINER WINNER OF THIS LIST!! ( This is my LUKE CAGE on film ) I would jump to the head of the line to do this as a continuing series... Especially since the concept is so open-ended!
'Mack' Truck Turner could be handled a number of different ways--- continuing where the film leaves off, with another assignment after the Bailbonds company is put back together--- the last days of Mack Truck Turner, where an old Turner trains up his offspring--- even a prequel storyline to detail the relationship between Mack and his partner, who was killed in the film.
Well, there it is folks! PLANET GRIFFIN concludes the TOP TEN--- if you've got any further suggestions, feel free to drop a comment! BTW, Don't be surprised if you learn that something from my list is already being adapted ( seriously,folks)--- Keep your eyes open and stay tuned!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Back in 1966, Director SERGIO CORBUCCI began filming a small indie western with a little known italian actor named FRANCO NERO and a $15,000 production budget... The far reaching impact of this film brings us to number 2:
This movie is a personal favorite of the genre (well, THE WILD BUNCH claims top spot, but this flick is still alot of fun), and as I said, its impact is still felt today. One of the visual appeals to this film is that despite being a western, Corbucci gives it the gloomy appearance of a gothic horror film--- mud caked streets brought on by the non-stop downpours, the world weary demeanors of the town's inhabitants, and the violence--- oh, the violence--- factors that kinda make you scream out for a hero to save you... Be very careful what you wish for.
Originally scripted, Django was NOT the main character's actual name---
Django was, in fact, the name of a Gatling gun that the Stranger kept in a coffin that he dragged around; laying waste to the redband caballeros that terrorized the countryside. Watching this film, you can tell that Corbucci made it paramount to take all of Leone's thematics one step further--- and it shows in every frame. ( To put it another way: Leone was BOYZ IN THE HOOD to Corbucci's MENACE TO SOCIETY... You get the idea.)
DJANGO only had one sequel (simply, DJANGO STRIKES AGAIN w/ Franco Nero and Donald Pleasence in 87_, yet over 100 films were made using the Django title. Kind of like Jim Lee imitators floating around during the Image boom of the early 90's, the impact of this new genre style was painfully clear.
And the impacts mentioned earlier? Robert Rodriguez would utilize the Django idea to greater effect in his EL MARIACHI series. The now legendary ear scene from Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS got its start with this film. John Woo hailed this film as an example of how to greater exemplify the hero surrounded by evil men during the filming of HARD BOILED. Takashi Miike immortalized his own tribute to Corbucci recently with SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO.
I can conjure the idea of DJANGO as a limited series with unlimited imagination. If A MAN WITH NO NAME can make it to the comicstand, it's only a matter of time before someone else realizes the power of the obvious. I'll make it! Anyone of The NEXT 100 will tell you: If you want to see something new, you've gotta make it yourself!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
PLANET GRIFFIN reaches the final stretch of Movies that could pull off a cool comic series, whether limited or GN, based on the strength of their concept---
1997 was the year of David Fincher, a visionary director with a talent for projects that seemed slightly off-kilter, but were killer concepts that impacted cinema in a big way!
( Especially with the one-two knockout combo of SE7EN and FIGHT CLUB) The Michael Douglas vehicle is still ripe for the comics treatment to this day, thanks to a killer concept that seemed made for the medium--- A snobbish billionaire is given a birthday present by his brother, in the form of an invitation to a company known as Consumer Recreation Services--- a company that, unaware to the public, actually specializes in Game Theory--- "... They make your life... Fun..."
It's with this phrase that Michael Douglas' life is thrown for a complete tailspin; trapped in an at-times nightmarish world where even the audience can never be sure if 'the Game' is an act or real--- right up to the very end of the movie! Now, imagine that this game theory can be offered to ANY Joe Everyman on the street--- Once you realize that, then you have the necessary components for a new game, new players, and the possibilities become endless:
What if a 'game' goes wrong...? What if the player is a criminal...? What if the 'game' turns on one of their own designers...?
Any other questions? Good. We'll take the next player that screams...
Friday, June 5, 2009
...And shepherds we shall be,
For Thee, my Lord, for Thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti...
PLANET GRIFFIN continues on with a slight change to the repertoire. After a little thinking, the countdown continues with an entry I think is a little more deserving for the number 4 slot, so here it is---
THE BOONDOCK SAINTS
Anybody who kept up with the tumultuous history of this film knows that this is the one thing that writer/director TROY DUFFY actually did right (it was his mouth that destroyed everything else!).
This movie definitely deserves it's title of cult film right up there among the ranks of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, just don't expect me to throw bread at the screen
The tale of two local brothers and their friendship with a bumbling hood whose work for the Yakavetta crime family is fragile at best. When the brothers decide to destroy the criminal factions that plague their Boston neighborhood, the brothers become hometown heroes, and gains the respect of many--- including a psychotic hitman (played pitch perfect by Billy Connelly) contracted to kill them, as well as a gay FBI profiler (Willem Dafoe) who struggles with the thought of helping them versus taking them down!
When the trio disappears without a trace, therein lies the starting point for a new type of story to be told. The Boondock Saints would make for an incredible comic series, and the cult audiences who followed the film would be the first in line to pick up a copy! I know I would! See for yourself...
1936 - 2009
Tonight, PLANET GRIFFIN stops to recognize the incredibly sad news that iconic actor DAVID CARRADINE is dead at the age of 72. The BBC reports that Carradine was in Bangkok, Thailand filming scenes for a new film called STRETCH. He was found hung in his hotel room as part of an apparent suicide.
David Carradine's two, most notable roles was Caine from the Bruce Lee created vehicle KUNG FU and Bill from Quentin Taratino's two part revenge opus KILL BILL... But you must dig deeper, seeing as how this man's career goes back more than four decades! CANNONBALL (the original race flick of the 70's which the Burt Reynolds comedy was remade from), DEATH RACE 2000, CIRCLE OF IRON, THUNDER AND LIGHTNING, and countless others--- you'll be able to see David in six more films within the coming year, as he had just finished shooting all of his scenes.
PLANET GRIFFIN recognizes the great one who snatched more than a pebble from the master's hand... He snatched the hearts of a legion of fans who will miss him.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
A quick trip through the Wayback Machine finds me reeling as I realize that this entry is actually 18 years old (1991), but it still feels fresh when you watch it! That's the unyielding power of Ridley's younger brother TONY SCOTT and the blistering, glossy violence of NUMBER 5:
THE LAST BOY SCOUT!
Now, I know what many of you are thinking at this point: Rod's off his nut with this one! But when you watch the movie again in creative terms, you'll catch yourself rethinking: Hmmm... This could make a kick-ass limited series for a comic! Allow me to explain...
Back in the day, writer SHANE BLACK was on his game BIG TIME... Remember, we're talking about the man that created the LETHAL WEAPON series, as well as THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (for a movie that sagged at the Box Office, it's STILL a cult hit on DVD...) ... And most recently, Black returned to Hollywood with the indie noir KISS KISS BANG BANG with Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer ( a movie I actually liked... Purely for nostalgia.)
Anyways, the LAST BOY SCOUT was the first time the term 'smashmouth' was used to describe an action film--- where the dialogue was used as a form of action device--- BRUCE WILLIS as supercool private investigator JOE HALLINBECK was a brilliant piece of writing on Black's part--- his knack for character dialogue was smartassed, quick-witted, and breakneck! (Incidentally, if you re-watch DIE HARD WITH A VENGENCE, you'll notice similarities, dialogue-wise, between the John McClane and Zeus characters ( uncredited rewrites by Black, you say?! Couldn't be---! Right? But I seriously digress...) With the addition of former pro-baller turned private investigator JIMMY DIX ( played up to comedic effect by DAMON WAYANS ), why shouldn't we see another installment of HALLINBECK INVESTIGATIONS?
Told in a cinematic style with whiplash action; this one can easily defeat any argument within 22 pages! ( Incidentally, BOOM Studios are already betting on that same mode of thinking with their upcoming DIE HARD series)
Now, I admit freely, that I studied the Shane Black method of writing when I wrote my second script draft of FIERCE CREATURES back in early 91', and I still stand by it to this day!
We're almost done, folks!
Stay tuned to PLANET GRIFFIN as the countdown continues...
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
By now, everybody remembers the fiasco that took place with the Tarantino/Rodriguez collaboration GRINDHOUSE--- The one thing that almost everybody agreed on were the trailers wrapped around the double feature... The best of the bunch being the Danny Trejo banger, which brings us to number 6:
Now, I'm personally a BIG fan of the grindhouse aesthetic (that's no secret), and despite the box office mishap of the film, this little gem is exemplary of the genre itself: most of what was 'grinded' out was crap and drivel--- but when you dig for it, you'll always find the diamonds in the rough. MACHETE is definitely that kind of gem !
I would personally stand first in line for a shot at a Machete series... Imagine the continuing adventures of an undercover federale', fighting THE MAN with the help of a shotgun-toting Padre and working out of the CHOP SHOP--- add the jittery 'grindhouse effect' to the artwork, and you'll have a real comic treat worthy of rolling up and sticking in your back pocket! Yes, PLANET GRIFFIN comes with a curveball on this one! Stay tuned!
Coming in at number 7 all the way from Thailand is dedicated to the ladies--- CHOCOLATE
After the smash success of ONG BAK, the production house BAA-RAM-EWE set off in search of a new action star to keep the wave riding high... In their efforts, they decided to make one from scratch... A young 23 year old newcomer named JEEJA YANIN. Here's the lowdown:
Born to a Yakuza father and Thai gangstress mother, young Zen was diagnosed with autism. If that weren't problematic enough, Zen's mother, who broke away from a jealous Ganglord due to her love affair with a Japanese rival, faced bitter reprisal from the local gangs that she used to control. Now stricken with cancer, it falls upon Zen and her hustler cousin to get the funds necessary for Zen's mother to get treatment. Luckily for them, mother was owed a large sum of money. Unfortunately, these debtors have become rather powerful in their own right in Mother Zens' absence. The result of it all leads to a fantastic spectacle of bone snapping and muay thai madness that actually leaves ONG BAK in the dust!
The action in this film naturally dwarfs what you'd normally expect here in America, but the story is the big surprise here. You really care about these characters along the way, which makes the third act all the more heartpounding and heartwrenching at the same time!
This would make for a great self contained graphic novel experience! Don't be surprised if you see a manga version of this one down the road and the Infamous RodBuddah saying 'I told you so...' The countdown continues ablaze as PLANET GRIFFIN gives you the TOP TEN MOVIES THAT MOVES ON PAPER!
Monday, June 1, 2009
CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE!
Now, this double act SCREAMS to be made into a comic series--- which makes complete sense once you watch them--- the frenzied pace, the bizarre smashmix of visual imagery, the rogues gallery of characters, the COMPLETE lack of reason, and the craziest concept that has ever been committed to film!
As a series, imagine the outrageousness of trying to figure out HOW to keep the main character alive as he faces two major concerns: 1) If you stop, your body shuts down... Literally! And 2) Your hitman status is notorious to the point where EVERYONE wants to kill you!
Try to imagine a character who goes from a heart pumping poisoned adrenaline to a mechanical heart-pump that's broken --- Classic!
From the artists' stand point, this one is such a no-brainer that the pencils would practically draw themselves! Extreme POV's, smash cuts, and your choice of different visual styles mixed together in unexpected ways... Want JOHN PAUL LEON meets JOHN CASSIDY? No problem. BRYAN HITCH meets ASHLEY WOOD? Why not?!
Nothing is taboo here... Which is why, like it or not, the film series is one of most popular currently out there! Notice the cult following with the DVD sales? There's a reason for that...
As the dynamic duo of Nelvedine/Taylor currently draft their third act of the CRANK trilogy, we can only wonder what a series like this would look like in print...?