Friday, May 31, 2013

A Dark Knight On 42nd Street. WOW!

From the mind of creator Francisco Francavilla, comes one of those design ideas that DC Comics could've used a long time ago--- a 70's Exploitation/Grindhouse version of the iconic Batman! Initially nothing more than a filler for Francavilla's PULP SUNDAY blogsite, has blossomed into a growing fanfare of curiousity... Yours truly, THE INFAMOUS RODBUDDAH, included. Francavilla's story pitch for the character is an Elseworld-style take on the character, as filmed by iconic exploitation giant, Amercian International Pictures. It even comes with a 'Pam Grier styled Selina Kyle' and a wild handlebar mostauched Lt. Gordon! If DC green lights, we could possibly see the Graphic Novel format by year's end.

As much as I rant on the BIG 2 (among other funny people and places), I'm a sucker for great Grindhouse (the last vestage of wildly creative entertainment from a bygone era), and coupled with the Dark Knight is a NO-BRAINER indeed!

*This Message has been brought to you by PLANET GRIFFIN and the theater management. One or more missing reels may be involved, so please excuse. If you can't accept it, piss off. Thank you.
-The Management

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Does New Look Like..?

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them… That doesn’t mean we don’t listen to customers, but it’s hard for them to tell you what they want when they’ve never seen anything remotely like it.”
- Steve Jobs

For those of you just tuning in, welcome back to PLANET GRIFFIN, the pirate blogcast that holds orbit over that grand dumpsite known as pop culture. For those of you who never left, thank you for sticking around! (Hopefully, you didn't drink all the beer while I was away...)

Okay, to the Up and coming Creator's out there, I ask you--- what does new look like?

The above Jobs quote is something you can apply to virtually any medium at any given time. In this new age of technological interconnectivity and derivative concepts, the idea of creating something original is not the easiest thing in the world to do. Meanwhile, while an exceedingly small group of people are pondering that very question, the larger multimedia corporations are doing the thinking for you...

Don't believe me? Let's take Hollywood, for example... Here is a massive entertainment consortium that believes it KNOWS what you want, simply because you wanted it before. (This made X, therefore it'll make X again...)  Notice how many remakes, revisions, reinterpretations, and reimaginings (my personal fav) that have come down the pipe in the last 5 years? It seems as if the Industry views us as an ADHD audience, in constant need of cinematic adirol or we'll lose interest and begin eating our feet... Realize that the need for 'formulas' exist only because no one's bringing a better equation to the table... What does new look like?

Comics are another example... How many times will we be sold on the 'Next Big Thing' only to find out it's the 'Same Old Thing' in flashier dress. Keep in mind, this is coming from the 'Mainstream Majors' like Marvel, who are white hot with so many film projects (Marvel, as of this week, became the FIFTH most powerful film production house in Hollywood), they're coasting and slacking on what made them what they were to begin with: A House of Ideas.
The Comics Industry KNOWS what you want, simply because you wanted it before... Creator's, again I ask you, what does new look like?

Flashy gimmicks, bright lights, and nil-meets-non-attention span boom-bap is what currently holds many enthralled, but the drawback to all of these things is that none of it is built to last. People are still waiting for something new. Something different. Something they can hold fast to... Which is a feat in and of itself because that timeless new material is still out there somewhere... Awaiting release from the mind of a creator out there with the moxie and the will to make it real.

ORIGINAL CREATIVITY STILL EXISTS. It has to... Because we're still waiting to see what it looks like.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Planet Griffin PSA For Memorial Day

 As such, we're sending HUGE shouts to all the Heartbreakers Risktakers and Freedommakers wearing a uniform to defend this country, as well as those who EVER wore this country on their backs at great personal risk to allow us to stay wild and free!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

To All The Pretty Girls Who Play Dress Up... We THANK YOU

Hello Boys and Girls! Welcome to PLANET GRIFFIN!
In the world of comics, Cosplay, or Costumed Players, has carved a rather unique niche into an industry of Mass Marketed Superhero glory, along with the multi-million dollar tie-ins and every dream a fanboy/girl could have of meeting a real life equivalent of their 4 color fantasy world on paper... In fact, cosplay has transformed into an overnight smash, despite the fact that it's been around for over a decade.

K MIYUKO, (above) is among the hottest of South Korea's blossoming cosplay stars. Her mix of bad girl mystique and schoolgirl innocence is spot on for the Comic Con set!

Japanese cosplay star SEIYUU has scored huge with her portrayal of the REIKA SHIMOHIRA character from the violent and bloody hit manga series, GANTZ! Check out more of her work on Deviant Art under the moniker of 'Vamp Beauty'

YA YA HAN is one of the longest running Cosplay models out there, (10 years!) and one of the few women to actually turn Cosplay into big business as well as become the first female cosplayer to be recognized by Convention Promoters as a Guest of Honor in their shows! Han's most recognizable alter ego on the Con scene, DC's Catwoman, is a hit on every stage she lands on!

The Latin beauty hailing from Southern California has quickly become THE hottest Cosplayer on the American scene! A belly dancer and model for the incredible works of Frank Cho, Ivy began in August of last year and virtually changing the game overnight! An avid gamer with stunning good looks and an even fiercer wit as a Game Column writer; Ivy has begun drawing non-comic reading crowds, just to see what all the hype is about, only to quickly discover that Doomkitty is not only the real deal--- but just getting started! Check her out on Facebook!



Sunday, May 19, 2013

Chasing Reality Disguised As A Dream: The New Education Of Suli Breaks

There are many things you can find in London on any given day: Trafalgar Square (love the fountain/beware the birds), Rain, Saville Row (my favorite clothing haunt), More rain, and SULI BREAKS, who has taken the Spoken Poetry World the same way as Usain Bolt in the 200m.  Not too much is known about the 'twenty something' spoken word prodigy (other than his recent YouTube success 'I Will Not Let An Exam Grade Decide My Fate', which went viral, garnering 2 million views and gaining speed) aside from his works becoming the voice of new reason in a world where students are measured by grade and not by talent. The video has prompting a response from the Government as it sheds an interesting light on the European Educational System.
Suli's emphasizes the need to 'inspire people's thinking towards education', saying '...people should understand that just because you're not good at a subject doesn't mean you won't succeed, just as if you're good at something, it doesn't mean you should pursue it if it is NOT what you truly want...'

 As a follow-up, he released another video known as 'The American'T Dream' is a sobering view on people who survive the Rat Race yet never take the time to truly live in it.

 "...If you don't build your dreams, someone else will always hire you to build theirs..." 

 Not one to rest, Suli is currently in the process of releasing an EP in the UK known as THE DORMROOM due out at the end of this month, so check it out!

Tell'em PLANET GRIFFIN sent you...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Two Women Enter. One Woman Leaves: RAZE

Those who remember actress/stuntwoman extraordinaire, ZOE BELL, from movies like DEATH PROOF and the web indie film ANGEL OF DEATH, know her for her death defying stunts and fight scenes. Now, in the upcoming indie fight film RAZE, Zoe will have the opportunity to not only hold her own in the acting arena, but her stuntwork as well as fight choreography!
Directed by JOSH C. WALLER, Zoe, along with 50 other women are abducted and forced into a 'two women enter/one woman leaves' arena where they fight to the death!
Despite it's humble low budget origins, RAZE recently went on to Cannes, where it sparked a fierce bidding war for the rights (IFC Films won the American rights).
Release date is still withheld, but judging from the rave reviews the film has acquired, it seems to be just the kind of film that Hollywood needs that doesn't come tied with a Happy Meal!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NEXT 100 Spotlight: Lost On 42nd Street

Once again, the pirate blogspot known as PLANET GRIFFIN orbits the blogosphere, bringing you the rants, the raves, and those cool things that lie in the recesses of pop culture. Tonight is actually a spotlight of sorts... The NEXT 100 Spotlight!  Now, it's no secret that yours truly, the Infamous RodBuddah, is a diehard movie fanatic. My knowledge of film is equatable to that reporter from the Incredible Hulk, but I digress...

One of my favorite genres is rooted in the Grindhouse Era of the 70's & early 80's... Seeing as how almost all movies are cyclical in nature, many of the elements of the times can be found within Hollywood movies today--- especially if you're a Tarantino fan! Grindhouse, with it's chopped and crappy film stock, bad editing, and it's double and triple features playing in some of the worse roadhouse theaters across America; is, in a word, a true piece of history... And like all history, for better or worse, must be preserved.

Take LOST ON 42ND STREET for example. Named after what was once the most dangerous strip in New York City, as well as one of the birthplaces of the Grindhouse Experience, this site of the same name is dedicated to preserving those hard-to-find films and soundtracks that the entertainment industry loves to emulate, yet can't reproduce nearly as well anymore. Keep in mind that this site is for fans from a fan who appreciates every aspect of a bygone era when we could jump a Big Wheel off a hilltop and not be considered crazy and when the technology that mattered most was your imagination when you sat in an old theater along with the human interaction of a crowd who felt the same way.

(Well, almost all... You still had to watch out for the pimp near the bathroom doors or the Hustlers trying to sell watches while stealing yours)

Pure escapism is what Lost On 42nd St. provides. Give it a try. When you get there, tell'em PLANET GRIFFIN sent ya!

(Hey! Click LOST or Soundtracks to get somewhere, will ya!)

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Purge: New American Nightmare


In 2022, America has become the new dream. Unemployment exists at a staggering 1%, malaise and despair in the country is a bygone product of the past, and all seems right with the world... Because for one day a year, all emergency services are suspended. For one day, all crimes committed, murderous or otherwise, is legal. Welcome to the annual PURGE.

James DeMonaco writes and directs this multigenre sci-fi/horror tale (that appears to be a cross between DESPERATE HOURS and THE STRANGERS) centering around one family grappling with the morality of the event just prior to it beginning. The fateful decision to allow a stranger into their home after the event begins sets off a chain of events that leads to the family fighting for their lives while trying to preserve their own sanity by the morning. What appears to be a simplistic premise could very well be a horrifying glimpse into our future, as the division between private life and public domain is withering away to almost nothing, the erosion of society and sanity reaching critical levels, and the fears of our society slowly realizing that preservation may lie in taking more aggressive and radicalized steps, oh yes, the question of such an event gives alot of weight to what was originally conceived to be a simple home invasion gone wrong. Welcome to a brave new world. Hope you survive the experience...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


RAY HARRYHAUSEN. (1920-2013)
Clash Of The Titans.
Jason and the Argonauts.
The man who made characters like Sinbad and Hercules adventure like absolute badasses.
The inventor of the Dynamation visual effect.
The man whom Steven Spielberg says had '...a profound effect on visual effects; making creations like Star Wars and Jurassic Park possible...'
The man who single handedly wrote the book on Stop Motion Animation; making the inanimate effortless and the stop frame easy, died today in London at the age of 92.

One thing PLANET GRIFFIN can say with all certainty: The Medusa and the Krakken will never be seen quite the same way again--- and all the CGI in the world will never EVER change that.

Rest In Peace from PLANET GRIFFIN.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Heimdall Effect

Good Evening
Good Morning.
Amen, Hallelujah, and Peanut Butter.

The exceptional IRON MAN 3 is currently blazing a trail through the box office this weekend, proving to other films in release that the House of Stark is definitely one to be feared and that winter is no longer coming, it's here. Of course, this post is NOT about that obvious footnote. Rather, PLANET GRIFFIN has been following the behind-the-scenes of Marvel and Hollywood in regards to race and 'cast flipping' that has now become known as 'The Heimdall Effect'.
Race in the world of comics is still a touchy subject among the hardcore geekset. When THOR was released back in May of 2011, the major controversy centered around the role of Idris Elba in the role of Heimdall, the guardian of the rainbow bridge. The very idea of a Norse protector being a black man in golden armor sent a tidal wave of criticism to Marvel's doorstep and brought the race card back into play in the most unexpected of ways.

Almost 2 years since this event, Hollywood and Marvel has made it a point to push the envelope further... The internet traffic has been abuzz with word from Marvel of their (rumored) cast listings for their Phase 2 initiative of movies slated:

ANTHONY MACKIE (Gangster Squad) has been cast in the role of the FALCON for the upcoming Captain America sequel, THE WINTER SOLDIER.
CHADWICK BOSEMAN (42) is Marvel's draft pick for BLACK PANTHER; despite the fact that there's no upcoming production for the character; rumored to possibly a cameo in the upcoming AVENGERS 2, alongside announced entries Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver.
OMAR SY has been announced by Director Bryan Singer to portray the role of BISHOP in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST.

The biggest news has been the announcement of MICHAEL B. JORDAN (Chronicle) as JOHNNY STORM, THE HUMAN TORCH in Josh Trank's reboot of THE FANTASTIC FOUR. With the announcement of ALLISON WILLIAMS as SUE STORM, you can imagine the fan response when the question was asked about a black brother/white sister--- no different from how many fans were outraged at the ideas brought forth on Marvel's Royal Family...

The one thing that no one noticed through all of this is that these casting suggestions, though some have been gestating for months, have been announced almost ALL AT ONCE. It's almost as if Marvel's trying to qwell the negative stereotypes that have quietly plagued the back offices of Marvel for years... And though PLANET GRIFFIN is by no means calling the House of Ideas racist, the timing and reasonings behind why the House has made no efforts in better addressing such concerns remains suspect at best. (Hey, WAKANDA may be the driving force behind much of human advancements in the AVENGERS subplot, said force is still only an unseen, background player)

Hopefully, people will learn to get over certain gripes and complaints involving color and character. Comics are, after all, escapist entertainment. Sadly, there are some things we won't allow ourselves to escape from--- and when we do finally make a break from such sad and mediocre things; rushing headlong to the front door of exciting new experiences and enlightenment--- make sure you respect the man at the door as you pass through... Heimdall is a baaaaad man who demands respect!

Something to think about.