Friday, November 27, 2009

Tis' The Season For The Treason And Other Trifling Moments

Hopefully everyone out there is having a wonderful Thanksgiving--- mine was spent working, but hey, can't have it all, can we? While I was out and about, I'll admit, I've never seen so many people buying turkey/peanut oil combo's in my life! (Deep-fried turkey moves like Blue Magic around here) Of course, my time leads into the wildest shopping day of the year--- the infamous BLACK FRIDAY! Even with the economy the way it is, that didn't stop the hundreds of people out there buying everything from ROCK BAND to ZHU ZHU PETS (the EBay Toy of the Year), laptops to flat screen TV's... Of course, desperation and excitement often go hand-in-hand on days like this.

For example, I happened to come across this one guy stealing 10 Rib Eye steaks at $18 bucks a pop, shoving them down his pants! His PANTS, mind you... As he shoves them in one after the other, he doesn't realize that the plastic wrap on the packs are tearing, causing the blood in the packs to run.

Here's where I come in.

I walk up on this guy just as he finishes the last pack, whipping around in a sudden mix of shock, fear, and embarrassment; saying, " Hey man... I'm just trying to feed my kids..." My reaction is more like, ' Gee, sounds like a great After-Thankgiving-Sampler, but I think your failure to include a maxi-pad in your larceny list is duly noted', as I point down to the HUGE blood stains running down the front of his pants. He yanked the hundred-eighty-odd bucks in steaks out of his Murder One Jeans and hauled ass as people stopped and stared.

Needless to say, it's a holiday... I just stood there and laughed. And now, so are you.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING from PLANET GRIFFIN... And after the bathroom break, it's back to work.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In The Race To Capitalize On Things Great And Small

I find movie parallels interesting.

Y'know... SPEED and it's suspense counterpart, BLOWN AWAY... ARMAGEDDON and its dramatic counterpart, DEEP IMPACT... Those movies that didn't just capitalize on taking us for our hard earned entertainment dollar, they wanted to see which production house could get to the screen first to take our hard earned entertainment dollar! Here's the new examples for 2010:

FRANCIS LAWRENCE (Constantine) recently announced his development acquisition of IN THE SMALL, illustrator Michael Hagues' apocalyptic graphic novel of a world where humans--- and ONLY the humans--- have shrunk to 6 inches tall, leaving the rest of the world intact to scale. Mankind is now forced to contemplate its survival while also dealing with its new role at the bottom of the food chain. (Again, this is another example of indie works that should've recieved wider release) In an excerpt from the book, Hague sums up the full implications quite nicely:

"... The Blue Flash had reduced mankind to feeble insignificance--- a mere one-twelfth of its former size... Centuries of technological and mechanical advances were rendered useless...
There was no one to extinguish the fires... No one to tend to the injured... No one to restore order. The remnants of civilization were everywhere, but civilization as it was, was gone. Forever.
Many soon found what it was like to be at the bottom of the food chain. Many lost the will to live. But some, despite all the terrible hardships, were determined to find the strength needed to survive."

Now, it was originally announced that Lawrence would begin prep on the better known comic property, SERGEANT ROCK, but later changed his mind in favor of this one. Who knows what changed his mind..? Could be that he decided against SGT. ROCK being set in modern day Iraq, perhaps? Could be he's kicking himself over the implications of passing up the Star Trek reboot for The Omega Man remake (oh, I'm sorry--- I AM LEGEND)? Could be that uber-geek J.J. ABRAMS announced this project as his next development project only a few weeks prior...?Who knows? Maybe it's all just another Hollywood coincidence... Having said that, it might be pretty damn cool to find out! This is PLANET GRIFFIN.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Big In Japan: Matthew Reilly Manga?!

Those of you who know me and the inner circle of PLANET GRIFFIN knows that I am a HUGE fan of writer MATTHEW REILLY, whom I can easily say his work is to action as JAMES ELLROY is to American Crime fiction... It's just that simple. (I still can't imagine why Hollywood hasn't begun following up on Reillys' book already, seeing as how two studios bought the rights to all of his books so far...) With the upcoming release of Matthew's latest book, FIVE GREATEST WARRIORS in January, I learned of the possibility of the re-releasing of the manga... That's right.

Originally released in 2004, this non-english Manga series follows the plot of its english counterpart faithfully, sparing no visual expense as far as the supercharged action and cliffhanger suspense is concerned--- no small feat realizing that the book is non-stop on all fronts! The manga offered many easterners an opportunity to see USMC Shane Schofield, callsign 'The Scarecrow', battling it out, Die Hard-style, against British SAS, French Black Ops, and killer whales, for an incredible secret buried miles below the ice!

The only thing that threw me off are the cover designs that look a little too pre-Macross style for my taste, but you can never judge a book by it's cover... If this project comes stateside, I'll definitely be onhand to snatch'em up! In the meantime, PLANET GRIFFIN offers the SCARECROW series the highest recommendation it can give! Don't sleep on it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Catastrophic Beauty

If major metropolises, like say New York or Tokyo, were hit with catastrophic rises in sea level due to global warming predictions, what would everyday life be like in its wake? Would people navigate the city streets in gondolas or fish from river banks in the heart of the city?

This is the portfolio idea that STUDIO LINDFORS, a New York architecture firm, recently realized. The stark reality of what could be if the current atmospheric predictions remain on track in this new series entitled AQUALTA. Definitely a crisis worth framing, don'tcha think?

MAD MAX: The New Face Of Road Rage After 30 years

PLANET GRIFFIN WEEKEND EDITION takes in the trilogy that redefined Post Apocalypse--- GEORGE MILLER'S MAD MAX Trilogy! What makes this so special is that today marks the 30 year anniversary of the first film, as well as Miller's announcement of finally deciding on who will play the coveted role of Max Rockatansky in his long awaited sequel, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD...
British actor TOM HARDY, who recently finished BRONSON (a film that transformed presumed pretty boy Hardy into real life hardened criminal Charles Bronson; shocking the hell out of audiences everywhere). Needless to say, after the sad realization that Mel Gibson was too old to assume the role he made famous, as well as the surprising decision to pass on obvious choice SAM WORTHINGTON, Miller silenced all of his critics and made them sit up and take notice.

Production has now commenced on the new film with shooting prepped to begin at the start of 2010 with a 2011 release. Miller has also shared his plans on continuing the storyline left off from Beyond Thunderdome rather than reboot the series from scratch. The director stressed that this new film would be 'epic' in its scope and '... prove beyond all doubt that the Mad Max character will once again sit atop the heap of the action hero pantheon...' Also, Miller's veilled musings of 'big surprises' already have many a blogger wondering if Mel himself would make an appearance.
As a big fan of this classic 80's series, I'm really hoping that Miller can pull this one off. I'm already a little jaded at Hollywood's tirade of remakes and continuations of franchise pictures that simply don't work (unless you count JJ ABRAMS STAR TREK, which was a great exception), so for Miller to return to the franchise he made great in the 80's, I can only hope that he or Hollywood doesn't screw up this one for the sake of a quick profit... In other words, a PG13 rating just ain't gonna cut it. You know what to expect should this movie go megaton--- I'll have no problem cheering it on in a future review drinking coffee out of a Max Rockatansky mug.

This will be the new face of road rage in a future where seatbelts no longer exists. This is PLANET GRIFFIN WEEKEND EDTION.

Friday, November 20, 2009

THE BIG BUZZ: The Wild Life Of A Born Storyteller

My grandfather was a Johnny Cash fan when I was a kid. My granddad used to say, "Whenever you want to listen to a born storyteller, you listen to the Man in Black". Once I heard it for myself, I understood that meant. Visual storytelling through sound was Johnny's forte that still stands to this day. For German artist REINHARD KLEIST, it was a no-brainer... One born storyteller telling the tale of the other.

JOHNNY CASH: I SEE A DARKNESS OGN, which has already won numerous international awards, including the Max Und Mortiz award (Germany's equivalent of the Eisner award here), has now arrived here in an english version available through ABRAMS COMICARTS, and features the life of Cash from childhood to the infamous concert held at Folsom Prison, which cemented his legacy and stands as the centerpiece of this book.

This book is a prime example of why I love the storytelling medium. Kleist uses the prison sequence as a parallel to the singer's own tribulations in life. From the hard partying to the drug-induced hazes between performances; the physical, chemical, and emotional walls built up around Cash's life was something the late singer struggled with his entire life. The intertwining of both sequences around the recount of Glen Sherley, an actual Folsom inmate who met Cash at that time, is pure genius. The monochrome black and white wash style is straight to the point in this one, creating style without being stylish or overly flashy... Just like the man himself.
PLANET GRIFFIN definitely concurs with the buzz surrounding this one. The biggest challenge is catching a copy when it hits the shelves. This is THE BIG BUZZ.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nothing New Under Where The Sun Don't Shine... And That's Just Fine!

The world of high concept style in regards to cosplay has never been a secret. Recently, one of its hottest trends is nothing new, but an old school fashion that's never gone out of style! Ero-cosplay (Erotic Costume Play for you latecomers) idol USHIJIMA recently shot displays of fundoshi (a traditional male underwear stretching back a few hundred years in Japan) for Sankaku Complex,
revealing a new sales trend for women (who traditionally are viewed wearing no bottoms in Japanese practice).

Now, the closest this trend has ever gotten in America is the thong, and even then, it's not for everyone! But here at PLANET GRIFFIN, you gotta admit, it's quite the sight to see!

Monday, November 16, 2009

UnEqualed: Edward Woodard RIP

Wow... PLANET GRIFFIN remembers one of the baddest Brits since Michael Caine's GET CARTER, Thespian EDWARD WOODARD, who died today at the age of 79.

Starring in films like BREAKER MORANT and THE WICKER MAN, Woodard is more famously known to America as 'fixer' Robert McCall in the hit 80's show THE EQUALIZER (88 Episodes) and his hilarious return in Edgar Wright's HOT FUZZ. PLANET GRIFFIN salutes you!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

THE BIG BUZZ: Ed Brubaker's Angel Of Death!

PLANET GRIFFIN is back in orbit, bringing you the coolest in Alternative Pop Culture! Here's something I stumbled upon a few days ago... ED BRUBAKER, that mad writer of comic crime fiction (i.e., CRIMINAL), has been doing a little moonlighting in the film industry as of late. ZOE BELL ( UMA THURMAN'S stunt double in KILL BILL and the star of Quentin Tarantino's DEATH PROOF), LUCY LAWLESS (XENA), and TED RAIMI (Extra Extraordinaire and brother of SAM) have taken part in a webisode series called THE ANGEL OF DEATH, featuring Zoe as EVE, an assassin with no remorse, who learns how valuable that remorse can be after sustaining a knife to the head ( trust me folks, you definitely don't wanna miss THAT scene!), forcing her to remember ALL of her past kills!
Recently, the release of the DVD compilation of season one has caused a buzz among new viewers, hoping to find it on the web
( which, by the way, you can find the first 4 episodes via Youtube). After checking out myself, I agree that this flick ROCKS! Of course, I'm a geek of discriminating taste, so what do I know?! PLANET GRIFFIN will feature these episodes here, so stay tuned for Season Two, which is enviably coming! Check it out for yourself and see if this doesn't motivate some of you creators-in-training to get off your ass and CREATE something, cuz Brubaker damn sure did!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


PLANET GRIFFIN returns, after a bout of technical difficulties, returns to broadcast depth with the WEEKEND EDITION! Today, the PLANET returns to the world of ASSASSINS' CREED with a new series of short film episodes that serves as a prequel leading into the game.

Episode One: 1476 Florence, Italy.
Assassin Giovanni Auditore investigates the murder of the Duke of Milan, and uncovers a conspiracy that implicates some of the most powerful families in Italy, and quite possibly, the Vatican itself! Giovanni must expose the web of treachery before he himself is assassinated!
The PLANET has come back, folks! Enjoy the weekend and stay tuned for the new features to come!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Feeling Like You're On Another Planet...

They say there's nothing new under the sun anymore... Everything's a derivative of something else. From conceptual to realization, the idea generators that be tend to either 'remake' foreign series for an American audience or 'smashgenre' (mish-mashing various genre types together)... In the world of television, you've seen it in everything from Australia's 'Kathy and Kate' ( Dud) to the BBC's 'The Office' (Hit), to this interesting little remake whose original series sparked the imagination...

The two versions were written similarly, both with great casts and an even greater premise:
In 2008, Police detective Sam Tyler (UK's John Simm/USA's Jason O'Mara) is struck by a car, only to awaken back in time as a police detective in 1973. Stunned and bewildered, Sam continues his police work under the command of Gene Hunt (UK's Philip Glenister/USA's Harvey Keitel), trying to figure out why he's stuck in time, and more importantly, if what he sees and feels as real IS real. The real kicker of the series is keeping the audience guessing whether Sam's gone mad, he's in a coma (both of which living inside his own head), or actually back in time.

Each episode offered clues to what could be (seeing lost souls, hospital 'progress reports' on Sam's condition bleeding in through radio and TV broadcasts, the odd character suffering from the same 'lost in time' condition, and let's not forget about the little spaceships... Yeah, you heard me right...), making for an interesting mix of sci-fi and police procedural. I found the BBC version to be incredibly thought-provoking as Sam figured out what happens, going back to present day, yet longing to get back to 1973 (To which, Sam jumped off a building to solve that problem). The American version was slightly different, where Sam learns the answer by 'waking up' to realize that he's 'living' the David Bowie song... (The series writers of the American version were hard pressed to come up with a series finale that could actually make sense seeing as how the network pushed the series producers to rush the end due to poor ratings)

If you haven't seen either series, PLANET GRIFFIN recommends you give them a try--- the BBC series is vastly superior to its American counterpart, sad to say, but then, a radical idea must have an equally radical pair of balls to realize it. (The moral of the story, folks) The American cut, recently released on DVD, is still worth viewing (only the crappy ending kills it, everything else is actually pretty cool). In addition to radical ideas, the BBC gave it another go in a sequel series in which a future female detective awakens in the 80's (at least she was spared the era of The Mary Whitehouse Experience), struggling to find her way back while investigating a serial murder spree.