Monday, July 22, 2013

The Tough Guy From Chicago. In Memorium: Dennis Farina

It was learned earlier this evening that the once quoted 'King of the Second Act', the legendary DENNIS FARINA, died earlier tonight. He was 69 years old.

Farina a stage name (Originally Donaldo Gugliermo), the Chicago native used his 18 year experience with the Chicago Police Department to land a consultant job with Director MICHAEL MANN for the JAMES CAAN thriller THIEF. It was this job that his love for film acting began, inspiring his reemergence from badge to bad guy and the beginning of his 2nd career. The legendary MIAMI VICE followup show CRIME STORY led to other film roles--- MIDNIGHT RUN, OUT OF SIGHT, GET SHORTY, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SNATCH, YOU KILL ME, and BOTTLE SHOCK.

PLANET GRIFFIN honors the memory of the tough guy from Chicago.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

First Look: The Fifth Estate

Good Evening. Are we back on the air..?
Welcome back to PLANET GRIFFIN, your orbiting pirate blogcast that continues its rants and raves like Howard Beale being mad as hell at the UBS Network! As such, it's no secret in this day and age that information is power--- and no one wielded better than info hacker and WikiLeaks founder, JULIAN ASSANGE, who still resides (or hiding) in London's Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid various charges, from sex with a minor (Polanski would be proud) to espionage against the United States... Well, despite the ongoing affairs, none of this is stopping Hollywood from it's appointed rounds!
THE FIFTH ESTATE, directed by BILL CONDON to be released January 1, 2014, seeks to lift the shroud of the elusive Queensland pirate, with BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH in the title role, as well as his strained relationship with close friend DANIEL DOMSCHEIT-BERG (played by DANIEL BRUHL). Throw in ANTHONY MACKIE, DAVID THEWLIS, and LAURA LINNEY, as the White House press staff determined to stop them, and we may be looking at a new version of ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN--- in reverse!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reading Is Fundamental... Among Other Things

PLANET GRIFFIN has arrived back to orbit to deliver more in our series of the strange and unusual thunderdome we call pop culture! Tonight, we turn our attention to something you don't normally see here... But damn if it's not entertaining!

Back in April of this year, Photographer CLAYTON CUBITT embarked on a rather ambitious video series that went viral almost overnight... The video series has scored a whopping 18 million views in over 200 countries! Cubitt's theme?  Orgasm As Art.

Yes, I said orgasm as an artform.

Now, with that said, most people would expect porn or some lurid performance that can't be shown in public theater. Cubitt quickly found a way around that, setting the stage for a deviously tasteful, though still controversial project... It was here that HYSTERICAL LITERATURE was born.

Model subjects of various ethnic backgrounds are asked to table read passages from different forms of literature; be it Toni Morrison or William Shakespeare. Underneath the table, however, is a production assistant using a Hitachi vibrator on the subject while they read! The subject is asked to read until she/he reaches a climax; creating the most honest reactions possible while being videotaped. The approach of the subject matter is what's most intriguing, as seeing how the only reactions you experience are from the reader and the simulating deed is never shown, this arthouse project has become one of the most underrated, yet talked about video series out there!

In a current series of 7 sessions, the project has recently expanded to include a recent star reading in comedienne MARGARET CHO, whose performance is hilarious and must be seen to be believed!

Not for the faint of heart or close minded... As if that would stop anyone. One thing is definitely certain: After viewing this series, you'll find that reading IS fundamental... Among other things...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It May Be Remade, But It Never Gets Old

After a short break, the orbiting blogcast of PLANET GRIFFIN has returned to deliver the news on the return of director SPIKE LEE and his surprising remake chores on the Americanized version of OLDBOY, the 2003 manga masterpiece by NOBUAKI MINEGISHI/GARON TSUCHIYA, the film adaptation made famous by Korean director PARK CHAN-WOOK and fiercely championed by the likes of QUENTIN TARANTINO and the COHEN BROTHERS; bringing a fresh spin on the Payback genre.  JOSH BROLIN (No Country...) will take over the original lead role as an Advertising Executive kidnapped and forced into a 15 year incarceration in a non-descript room; only to be mysteriously released with no explanation. The next 5 days become a race against time to find out why he was held and exact the most brutal revenge imaginable as he also seeks out the people who murdered his wife and holds his daughter captive.
Spike, no stranger to controversy, is venturing into new grounds with remaking an Asian thriller; much like MARTIN SCORSESE did with his Oscar winning INFERNAL AFFAIRS remake, THE DEPARTED. This October, a decade since the release of the original film, audiences will find out whether this adaptation will be able to hold its ground and fight, because no matter how many times it may be remade, the payback just never gets old!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

To The Man Who Was Too Busy Looking Good. In Memorium: Jim Kelly

“I broke down the color barrier---I was the first black martial artist to become a movie star.”

In the wake of the 'Rocket's red glare', there is yet another saddening loss in the annals of Hollywood. To PLANET GRIFFIN and many other web outlets, the loss of Martial Arts Actor, JIM KELLY, was a sobering kick to the face and a huge loss for an industry that many feel should've been recognized a lot more than he was.

The first commercially recognized Black Martial Artist, Jim's afro-flash swagger made heads turn upon his first appearance in ENTER THE DRAGON; shortly after winning the Middleweight Division Title in Long Beach, Cali.  Kelly's role, though second only to Bruce Lee, made a lasting impact on the film, even upstaging the legend himself with quotable dialogue that's lasted almost 40 years later. It was obvious that Kelly was 'too busy looking good' on film, and it showed... Thus setting the stage for his next biggest hit.

Hollywood in the 70's, during the rise of the Grindhouse era, made quick use of Kelly in 1974 with the release of BLACK BELT JONES--- a film that stradled the line between Kung Fu flick and Blaxploitation--- and became as big a success as ETD; as well as THREE THE HARD WAY and BLACK SAMURAI.

 Kelly was only 67 when he succumbed to cancer. Even decades later and among the  countless public appearances, Kelly's legion of fans would most likely tell you that he was STILL looking too good to notice the end.  

PLANET GRIFFIN fully agrees with that assessment. He will be greatly, and we do mean GREATLY, missed.


For Those On The 4th Of July

For those who served.
For those who remembered why.
For those who holds the matches and the charcoal.
PLANET GRIFFIN wishes all a safe Independence Day!