Friday, July 31, 2009
PLANET GRIFFIN comes back with the return of the Next Top Ten That Move On Paper--- Movies that should be comics! Tonight's entry is a little different...
Now, the difference here is that a comic adaptation was done by WILDSTORM just before the release of the film... Sadly, it was an adaptation that wasn't worth the time put into the publication. The Chris Evans' actioner wasn't the best of movies to be sure, but there's enough premise in this flick to warrant a comic series worth it's salt. (It's bad enough that in watching this film, two things come to mind: 1. After watching this, I feel like I have to go back and watch JUMPER, and 2. After watching this, it feels like Hollywood tried to make an expanded episode of HEROES with terrible results.
I mean, I liked the backdrop (the seamy underbelly of Hong Kong), I loved the character concepts (Pushers, Movers, Bleeders, Watchers, and Shadows), and the great SFX that went into it--- Unfortunately, the characterizations were paper thin, the plotline was garbage, and the work that went into casting was entirely hit or miss... So you're probably even wondering why I even list this in the first place, right? Well, it comes right back to the concept itself. Don't you hate it when a movie comes with an adaptation that simple doesn't do the project justice? Even worse when BOTH projects tank due to lazy, take-the-money-and-run development?
Still, from a creative standpoint, I view it as something that could've been far better than what it was. ( Making it a grindhouse flick in about 30 more years) The debate continues with this one--- as a creator, doesn't the adaptation in your mind always come out much better?
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Ah yes. PLANET GRIFFIN returns, dedicated to those NEXT 100 who keep their knees clean and their backs straight... No bowing down... No bending over... Today, we look at the little company that's not so little anymore--- IDW Publishing.
When IDW first appeared on the scene, I viewed the company as a little engine that could, introducing indie fare like 30 Days Of Night and keeping Ashley Wood on permanent retainer for the slew of 'artbook experiments' that don't always make it past the first issue--- as time progressed, it seemed as though IDW was turning into yet another DMV--- a licensing agency--- picking up everything from Transformers to G.I.Joe to Angel to Astro Boy (of course, they also have cool original works like Bob Fingerman's FROM THE ASHES, TORPEDO VOL.1 by legendary Jordi Benet, and the new deluxe edition of Dave Steven's ROCKETEER! Pure, Old School Geek Love!)... Of course, these things were only window dressings in comparison to the long view they were about to show.
With the conclusion of this years Comic Con, the announcements of former DC Editor BOB SCHRECK becoming Senior Editor of IDW and J.Scott Campbell bringing DANGER GIRL into the fold took the panel audience by surprise... Long view indeed.
Bob Schreck, who doesn't step into his new digs until October, is a legend of almost 33 years in the business, primarily with DC COMICS, as he was let go from 'the majors' this past spring after it was announced back in January... I personally still think that his removal was one of the stupider moves by DC-Warner, but now like NEAL ADAMS, Bob has now learned that 'Company loyalty is an oxymoron.'
Despite the DC situation coming across the way it did, Bob seemed to hold no grudges... " It's been an interesting 4 and a half months since my layoff, and the first email I got was from Scott Dunbier--- love from across the country," he says. " There's nothing that I can talk about yet because I don't start until October 5th, but I have a lot of friends in the business that I've been blessed to call my firends and work with over the last 20/30 years. I think a few of them are going to follow me on over..." Hmmm... Maybe this was the veiled comment that's helping fuel the rumor of DC's current editor, DAN DIDIO, possibly jumping ship next...
As for Campbell, whose Danger Girl back titles will be available through IDW and their new IPhone format of digital comics (along with the other 80-odd titles IDW has included for download) , his reasonings sort of backed up Schreck's last statement...
"It seemed like a natural fit for me," Campbell says... "I had a very enjoyable time at DC Comics with 'Danger Girl,' but when the time came for me to renew, it seemed to me that [IDW] was a natural fit … Personally, for myself, I feel that IDW represents the old school Wildstorm anyway. I find that I know more of the guys here than I know at DC anymore. I'm very happy about 'Danger Girl' being here and I'm looking forward to the future. Hopefully, as time goes on, there'll be bigger and bigger projects with 'Danger Girl.'"
When it came time for audience reaction, some asked what IDW's strategy was in terms of producing film adaptations of their comic books, Ryall said: "We've always said from the start, we're a comic book publisher, not idea developers trying to get movies made. We're not just trying to throw something out there that hopefully gets picked up. It's gotta be a damn good comic for us to consider it."IDW is now poised for a massive upshot for 2010, it seems. The little-company-that-could has now become the bigger-company-that-is, seeing as how IDW has now become one of the BIG 3 behind DC and Marvel, replacing IMAGE. And to think that IDW was a little idea that could... Who knew, right?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Bounty hunter... The Scarred 'Demon-of-the-West'... The birth of the new spaghetti western?
Lensing began in April with the $35 million film, directed by 'Horton Hears A Who' director Jimmy Hayward (after Crank helmers Nelvedine & Taylor dropped out for the Gerard Butler 'Game')... The first trailer unveiled at Comic-Con yesterday, featuring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, and John Malkovich.
The film is being touted as equal parts Spaghetti Western, Epic Actioner, and Zombie-splatterfest. Josh Brolin, who plays the facially disfigured Hex, says "... The studio was a little nervous about it... This wasn't a big paycheck by any means, so the actors that did this did it for the insanity..."
My father was a HUGE Jonah Hex fan when I was a kid; collecting the series since All-Star Western (AKA Weird Western Tales) in 1972, following with the entire 92 issue run of the self titled Jonah Hex. The series never broke any sales records--- not even the Post Crisis HEX, which transported the cowboy, a la' John Carter of Mars, into a Mad Max/Road Warrior styled future... While the series floundered here in the states, the acclaim in Great Britain, Spain, Japan, and Italy was strong. (Of course.) It wasn't until the mid 90's that Joe Lansdale stepped in and re-ignited the old cowboy in the 2 VERTIGO releases, WORMWOOD and my fav, TWO GUN MOJO--- which leads us to now.
Based on the current response from the viewers of the Hall H showing,the film has a production quality that makes it look like a blockbuster budget, and yet maintains a look like the old spaghetti westerns of the 60's and 70's... Time will truly tell here. If Brolin's performance is anywhere near NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, then we'll truly hJave something to talk about. JONAH HEX current release date is JUNE 18, 2010... Hopefully, Palmiotti and Gray will figure out what to do with the sliding sales of this series by the time the film hits theaters, because the Weird West is too juicy a genre to allow it to waste away.
This is the PLANET GRIFFIN WEEKEND EDITION.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
As if word of PRINCE OF PERSIA as a film release wasn't enough, USAToday has releaseed word of PoP as a comic release as well. The Prince of Persia- A Graphic Novel Anthology will arrive on bookshelves in April of 2010, one month ahead of Jerry Bruckheimer's film production starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The 128 page hardcover/trade will feature 6 stories written by JORDAN MECHNER, the creator of the original PoP videogame series.
The cover artist is none other than Spawn creator Todd MacFarlane, who expressed in an interview that he imagined Prince as "... Light-hearted entertainment that's a little more serious than the Pirates of the Caribbean films..." In addition to plugging the PoP trade, Todd also took a moment to mention his new series, HAUNT, which debuts at Comic-Con and releases publicly in October, as well as his latest line of HALO 3 figures premiering this month.
In other Comic-Con news, MacFarlane and Stan'The Man' Lee will be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for the 1990 release of Spider Man #1 (which sold 2.5 million copies), becoming the best selling comic of all time. Wow... Really?! What about the 8.2 million Jim Lee sold for X-Men #1?! What about the 10 million Jim Lee sold for WildC.A.T.S. during the Image boom?! But then again, as a DC source close to PLANET GRIFFIN informed us, the initial sales figues for any company '... are not as accurate in comics as many people believe...'
MacFarlane also comments on the state of Comic-Con, which began in 1970, and its changes...
" It's a pop culture con, now. You can argue us comic guys who were there at the beginning are now getting pushed to the corners," he says. Admittedly, even trades like USAToday and Variety both agree in their bylines of 'Contact with TV, Film, and maybe even comic books'.
"You went to buy and trade comic books and show your portfolio around. All that still happens, but now it's more of a showcase for upcoming movies and to get buzz on blogs and Twitter. Hollywood really takes over. It brings a lot of people because they roll out a lot of celebrities. … Hollywood five, six or seven years ago resisted places like this. Then it figured it out and rolled out Sin City and I and you began to get TV shows like Lost and Heroes. It works. The only way you need to be afraid going there is if you are walking in with not quality product."
[He says he plans to see] "the people that you've hung out with for not only years but now we're starting to count decades. ... You used to be able to run into a lot of people. Now there's so many people you have to organize yourself," he says. "It is tough to make any real giant noise unless it's movie-related because I'm not there announcing the latest Spawn movie. Maybe I can get it next year."
I can see MacFarlane's point here. Comic-Con's attendance numbers swelled considerably last year with the cast of Twilight, drawing in more females and parents than anyone's ever seen since... well, the Image boom. This year, TV titles such Fringe, The Simpsons, and even Burn Notice will preview new footage alongside movie heavyweights like the upcoming Iron Man 2, as well as District 9 and the Twilight sequel, New Moon. From this angle, the pattern has become obvious: The Comic Con has definitely become, as USAToday describes it, 'the Pop Culture ConFab'... A Fabricated Pop Culture con that's more of a comicdom's version of Hollywood SHOWEST than what it originally started off as--- a comic convention.
All of the major news articles heavily hype Marvel, DC, or Hollywood productions (Hollywood productions, btw, that hold a certain measure of control over Marvel and DC anyways) --- everyone else is nothing more than a footnote not to be mentioned... And although artists/writers/creators can still show their works to various companies and editors, they will still be hard pressed to do that, considering their challenge to reach those very people amid the 125,000 expected to be in attendance, not including the Hollywood machine. Independents in attendance, who are '... already diminishing...', face near-complete extinction (this is by current Comic-Con standards) in the quest of reaching new readers, essentially becoming an artists alley version of the freebie table you would see at shows like Heroes Con or smaller... Their best hopes of exposure in the current climate, is to be seen by a young PR person who runs material for the Hollywood studios.
As harsh as it sounds, it's now quickly becoming a very painful truth. I know... Once among the number of over-enthusiastic people who wanted to go to 'The Mother Of All Cons' to merely hock my wares and 'walk the stroll' like a comic-laden version of 'Hunt's Point'... The difference now being that I'll still 'walk the stroll' and look good doing it, but I'll have product that's expected rather than unknown. Heh. This is PLANET GRIFFIN, keeping it ill like Howard Beale.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
PLANET GRIFFIN bounces back with yet another glimpse into the world of what's coming soon--- and from the innovative company of Artificial Mind and Movement (A2M) and SIERRA comes WET, a unique action/adventure title that I've been following since late 2007. After several development hang ups, it looks as though the gang is finally on track to a definite release this fall, and looking at the gameplay, I can only say WOW! I can definitely say that this title is a third person unlike any other I've seen in style, design, and gameplay! Keep a towel handy to wipe the continuous stream of sweat from your brow...
WET is a retro stylized 3rd person actioner that revolves around RUBI MALONE (voiced by Dollhouse star Eliza Dushku), a wetworks op-for-hire, who lives by the blast of her dual six-shooters and the hard edge of her samurai sword. Propelled by an original 70's soundtrack and a grindhouse visual (they even utilize the voice pitchman that imitates the legendary ADOLPH CAESAR), Rubi travels the (under)world on a payback mission, asailled by double crosses at every turn! A sure fire hit with the gaming crowd as well as the Grindhouse Goodfellas if they get it right! With this, plus a bizarre mix of humor and violence mixed in, all I can say is start saving your pennies now kids!
Wow! The latest word has finally emerged on the new PRINCE OF PERSIA film brought to you by makers of Disney and the mighty Jerry Bruckheimer! For those of you who either don't play video games or have been living under a rock, the new film is the latest adaptation of the Prince of Persia video game trilogy from UBISOFT (who are also responsible for ASSASSIN'S CREED, a similar hybrid, so don't be surprised at what comes next!). The game became a modest success in the commercial gaming world, but a monstrous cult hit that's still going strong today--- with the Parkour-style combat system and the badass central character, the move to celluloid was a no-brainer! Starting with the first game in the series, THE SANDS OF TIME, a young Prince Dastan (played by Jake Gyllenhall) reluctantly allies himself with the enigmatic Princess Tamina (played by Gemma Arterton) to safeguard a dagger that could open the Sands of Time, a power that bestows the ability to reverse time... Of course, the unthinkable does happen... Who knew?
Also starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina, this Mike Newell directed film will definitely be big-as-in-epic, especially considering the amount of muscle that Newell and Bruckheimer brought to their last outing, the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy! If the movie can match the savage grace of the games ( which I still play regularly, BTW), then you can be assured that this flick can come complete with the PLANET GRIFFIN GUARANTEE!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Taking a moment to reach back into the Daze of Wayback yet again, I recall the time of the 6 inch titans known as MICRONAUTS. Beginning with the toys in 1976, Bill Mantlo thought the idea behind them was so cool, he wrote a galactic space opera that would actually outlast the toy line itself! Along with artists like Pat Broderick, Michael Golden, Gil Kane, and Butch Guise, this series continued to strike like a moment of righteousness with each issue... With the 'world-of-innerspace under siege' plotline, the characters (ACROYEAR and BUG were the consistent standouts), and BARON KARZA, perhaps one of the best badasses in comics, even if he stood 6 inches tall! There were attempts to revive the series, DEVIL'S DUE made the most notable attempt a few years ago, but even then, it didn't have the punch of the 70's series ( I understand fellas--- Marvel wasn't giving up the BUG character at all)... Still, it was a cool nostalgia nod.
On his blogsite, writer Warren Ellis once commented on how the Micronauts were 'everything that's wrong with comics', emphasizing the importance of original material and new concepts. Ironic that he would be working on such titles as JLA, Fantastic 4, and a rework of the New Universe only AFTER he made the statement. Another clash of personal feelings and contractual obligation, I guess... Regardless, I still maintain the fond memories of the MEGO-Marvel days and the entertainment of those things great and small...
Looking back in hindsight, I still laugh now at how mesmerized I was with the movie, all the while trying to figure out if my Stretch Armstrong actually had a stretching limit ( it did, at the cost of an elaborate fishtank, but that's another story)... Heh, nostalgia... This is PLANET GRIFFIN.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
My man SAMAX AMEN over at GHETTOMANGA dropped this little tidbit, and being a huge fan of the faux trailer from GRINDHOUSE, I couldn't help myself! Robert Rodriguez has begun pre-production on MACHETE, the tale of an ex-federale on a mission of revenge of the men that double-crossed him, with a definite shooting schedule set to begin at the end of the month! This is a geek glory moment here--- as many fans attest--- that a mock trailer can conjure up such excitement and curiousity ( I mean, there are drawbacks to that theory... Remember SNAKES ON A PLANE?) . Anyways, there's more to Robert's madness than grindhouse flair... After the battle with Universal over the future of BARBARELLA, he's sharing his directing duties with his editor so he can focus his primary attention on a sci-fi actioner known as NERVERACKER, in which agent JOE TEZCA squares off with rampaging creatures (hence the title) in a future-perfect society (as long as Rob can one-up DEMOLITION MAN, this should be good!)... Release is set for April 10th of next year. Afterwards, Rodriguez will re-envision yet another sci-fi classic, PREDATORS!
Of course, the verdict is still out on whether he'll commit to the one-two punch of producing the new CONAN film, as well as beginning production on the long-awaited RED SONJA... 2010 will definitely be the year of Robert Rodriguez , it's just a shame that we'll have to wait so long...
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Here on PLANET GRIFFIN, the topics are various to be sure, but videogames don't come up that often... But man, after getting a taste of the new BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM for the new platforms, all I can do is geek out! With a freeform combat system (Prince of Persia and Jet Li's Rise to Honor tried to develop that combat with mixed results) that works on a REAL level of combat, you can feel the skulls rattle as you throttle a villian in the neck to take him down! Facing the veritable who's who of weird rogues in the Asylum takes me back to the days of sitting down and reading the ARKHAM ASYLUM Hardcover for the first time ( Aaahhh... Memories... ).
This is The Dark Knight done right! From the immersive gameplay to the gadgets used ( lets not get started on the Predator or Detective modes on here), you simply can't miss out for those of you who have a next-gen system. Check out a demo at your local Game Stop to see it for yourself. After seeing the capabilities, I can understand why the release date got moved to accommodate all the features.
Monday, July 13, 2009
PLANET GRIFFIN continues its menace of the pop culture landscape with THE BIG BUZZ! The hot talk around the entertainment circle right now is the District court ruling on the case involving WARNER BROS./DC COMICS versus the Heirs of Superman co-creator, JEROME SIEGEL.
Apparently, the 'Siegel heirs' contended that DC Comics had made a 'sweet deal' with Warner Bros. involving licensing fees paid to DC surrounding the 2006 release of 'Superman Returns'... DC earned 13.6 million from the films' total earnings. The heirs claim that DC was 'unfair' in their dealings in 1999 when they 'sliced up the Superman pie' with Warner Bros.... (Keep in mind, the Siegel heirs won a ruling a year ago when they were awarded half the copyright for the Superman material.)
Get this: Feature film rights- 1.5 million upfront, 18.5 million for option extensions over the next 31 years, 5 percent of first dollar worldwide distribution gross (foreign rights) or 7.5 percent domestic gross (American rights)--- whichever is larger. Also, the TV rights for 'Smallville' in 2000: 45,000 per episode, 3 percent of the gross for the first 1.5 million and 5 percent thereafter.
The Judge said in his 30-page ruling that there was "insufficient evidence that the 'Superman' film agreement between DC Comics and Warner Bros., whether judged by its direct economic terms or its indirect ones, was consummated at below its fair market value." In making such a decision, the judge looked at the licensing deals for properties like IRON MAN, X-MEN, and SPIDER MAN as well.
In a written statment by copyright claims attorney Anthoy Toberoff, the heirs of Siegel and Shuster will own the entire Superman copyright in 2013, effectively taking the iconic character out of the hands of DC Comics AND Warner Bros., if they so choose. Anyone seeking to use the character after that time would have to acquire an exclusive license from the Siegels and Shusters.
The Court pointedly ruled that if Warner Bros. does not start production on another Superman film by 2011, the Siegels will be able to sue to recover their damages. The Siegels look forward to the remainder of the case, which will determine how much DC Comics will owe them for their exploitations of Superman. The bad news of something like this is that the studios may rush a new production, resulting in another weak film adaptation.
Now... Maybe it's just me, but with the current friction stemming between DC and the Heirs, a move like 2013 could very well change the landscape of mainstream comics, and DC knows it. Imagine DC Comic properties WITHOUT Superman... Imagine Supes being published under ANOTHER imprint... Unthinkable, right? Heh.
This is PLANET GRIFFIN and THE BIG BUZZ.
Wow! What can I say about the state of affairs as of late... Those of you just tuning in, Welcome to PLANET GRIFFIN, the blogsite that keeps your knees clean and your back straight--- in other words, no bowing down and no bending over! I am your host, the Infamous RodBuddah.
I see more and more people are joining in and contributing to some of the discussions offered--- I personally welcome you all and your contributions make this site what it is.
Now, those of you who tune in regular, you may have noticed that I put the Next Top Ten Movies list on hold. After taking a closer look at all that's transpiring around us and especially the barn burner that THE BIG BUZZ caused, I want to keep that energy moving.
To all of my new viewers chiming in, know now that everyone involved with this site do far more than talk about the issues--- these guys and girls DO something about it. As you're now a part of this blog, your involvement is encouraged as well. As you can see my photo in this piece, it's there not to post a portrait of vanity, but to let you know who I am--- a Motivated Morpheus in this Comic book Matrix that has quite a few people jacked in, little realizing that the industry as we know it is now shrinking so fast, it threatens to destroy itself.
Independent multimedia is first on the chopping block. Now again, I must stress that I am NOT anti-industry, but rather anti-ignorance, so don't get it twisted... Mainstream don't like those who are too proud or too free, unless they can pocket off our profit.
Yeah, I said it. Welcome to PLANET GRIFFIN.
In response to THE BIG BUZZ, let me start by saying WOW!!! Keep the responses coming! It's safe to say that WEDNESDAY COMIC is definitely a STING to the comic buying public. I love the funnies, but I truly believe that folks would rather pay 75 cents for a daily newspaper that offers hope for a job than a $4 dollar newspaper that can't. The industry is changing faster than ever now, and the medium is moving in directions that far surpass the old comics rack we remember from the local drugstore. Digital is the new analog and multimedia is the future. Tactile entertainment is still king, mind you, but even a king knows how to err on the side of good judgement if it allows the kingdom to thrive. I believe there's room for everybody in this business, digital and tactile alike, but what NO ONE needs is crap--- of course, in this business, we all know that crap is also a matter of personal opinion...
Like the saying goes, "If you ain't bein' hated on, you ain't doin' shit." I personally believe that 'If you ain't doin' shit worth shit, what's the point of hatin' anyway?'... If you like what you like, support it any way you can. If you don't like it, leave it alone to allow someone who does like it to step in... What we shouldn't do is fall under the illusion of what we should like if we wanna remain 'in the club', as told by the mainstream or ego's that believe we can't make our own choices. Like children, we're sold on what's 'popular' or what's 'hip', and if we don't get with the program, we're ostracized for not wanting to be a part of someone Else's say so just because of their market share. Thank you Wizard magazine.
Let me say it again... Our business models don't walk your catwalks, and yet you want us to continue to support a failed fashion trend that's hurting more than it's helping. What's more, people who seek new ideas, concepts, and directions should have them, rather than continuously spoon-feed them the same shit and call it by a different name... It's past time we take tired ideas out of its comfort zone, because that's where the adventure truly lies. If the truth offends some folks out there--- good. I give no quarter in this. No more. PLANET GRIFFIN will now tell it like Howard Beale. This business can be crippling to many, making us to feel like we're losing our way because our creations don't fit with the status quo--- to those of you who feel that pain as you slave over your art table, I say don't stop and never quit--- the status quo fears the independent simply because you are the catalyst that will change things. Your 'pains' are merely the side effects of waking up from the pod you were unknowingly incubated from.
I should know. I too was a prisoner once. That 'maximum security' can be a bitch, can't it?
PLANET GRIFFIN has now emerged as the Neo Quo, as has GHETTOMANGA, as has OLD TOWNE, as has THE WORLD OF HURT, as has THE TRUE ORIGINAL ARTNINJA (which reminds me... ARTNINJA ATTACKS, your stuff is really cool, but keep in mind that there was an ARTNINJA already in place before you emerged, so really do your homework before you say that everyone else is imitating your stance, because you're actually standing on someone else's foundation. lol), as has ASHARU, VIVID, and the new NEXT members upcoming! The NEXT 100 are the neo quo to see simply because we've ALL grown tired of listening to what we should do coming from people who don't!
If I stepped on any toes out there, wear stronger shoes. This is PLANET GRIFFIN, and I am just getting started....
Friday, July 10, 2009
I admit, the all-star lineup in this thing is really good: Azzarello & Risso on Batman, Paul Pope on Strange Adventures, Arcudi & Bermejo on Superman, Gibbons & Sook on Kamandi-The Last Boy On Earth, and so on... As far as DC generating excitement with it's Wednesday lineup, they did their job and then some... Of course, the STING of the Big Buzz lies in the cost of it's format.
It's definitely a fun read, to be sure, but $3.99 for a 16 page newspaper? Even in today's cash strapped society, paying almost 4 bucks is too much, especially considering that you're buying a Wednesday comic in a newsprint format, which means you're paying for a disposable piece of entertainment... (I don't care how well you try to preserve it) Maybe after it's initial run is completed, DC may try to compile it all in a prestige format, making that compilation a book worth buying. Until then, remember that you get what you pay for... Disposable entertainment.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Re-emerging from an incredibly odd holiday weekend, PLANET GRIFFIN returns! Today the spotlight features the work of OTOMO SHOHEI... And though not related to the other Otomo of the legendary AKIRA fame, you somehow get the impression that their design classes were right across the hall from each other! Shohei's work has sparked quite a fan following as of late, with incredibly detailed pieces that twists and manipulates the iconism in Japan's super rich subculture. All at once grotesque and intriguing, the images strike chords in gallery viewers wherever he tours, and you kind of get the idea of where he's coming from... Whether its the gangland set or the media explosion that is manga, Otomo is not afraid to show things as many in Japan view or imagine them. See it for yourself at SHOHEI's site and make up your own mind!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Like HEAT, you can watch this film and easily see it as a precursor to the DeNiro/Pacino classic, as the gun battles rage (there is a 14 min. shootout in the openings of the film), the face off between Dillinger and Purvis isn't that much different from the Pachino-DeNiro exchange in the diner , and even has room for a hearty romance or two. (Which has tragic consequences in the end, but you already know this). What's really ironic about all of this is that certain elements from the life and times of Dillinger and Purvis served as inspiration for HEAT anyway. With this movie, the history of the bank heist feels like its come full circle here. Of course, you may walk away feeling like the banks are not the only things that got robbed.
Don't get me wrong, as a moment in history, it stands for what it is, but at the same time, it also left me feeling like something was missing--- Besides the theater audience. Depp plays the role of John Dillinger to the hilt, but knowing that, you can easily see where the performers around him fall flat or seem indifferent--- ESPECIALLY Christian Bale's performance of Lawman Melvin Purvis, who literally seems distracted in this film (he was still thinking about the grosses on TERMINATOR probably).
The Gangland cast has its moments, like the glimpses of mad genius Baby Face Nelson (trust me, never before will you see a man so willing to 'get his gun off'), the all too brief appearance of Pretty Boy Floyd (blam), the waning decline of ganglord Frank Nitti, and the FBI in it's earliest stages on inception (phone-tapping and recording in 1933 was done on phonograph records. ). No spoilers here, folks.
As a review, there's not much else to talk about with this one. It's a decent film, but save your cash until the release of the DVD (on Redbox no less), or simply watch HEAT again and enjoy the show.
sigh... Back to work