Mike Zeck’s “Get Carter” Prelim

If you’re looking through the SZ Art Gallery in order, then you saw Mike Zeck’s finished Jack Carter piece. [If you haven’t then you’re still in for a treat!] Mike also sent me this prelim that he worked up before doing the final version. Man, is he great or what?
Mike accepts commissions and you can see more of his work at his site. Please tell him I sent ya [and let us see what YOU get]!
– Craig Zablo (July 20, 2002)

Sly by Sergio Toppi

Sergio Toppi is one of the Italian masters that people like Frank Miller, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mike Mignola, Walt Simonson, Mike Zeck, and many others go crazy for. Big John Beatty was raving about how nice this piece is when he saw it. And who could disagree?

It is pen and ink on Bristol board, about 13″ x18″ and it is currenty available for sale from Enrico who operates Red Sector Art. Enrico has one of the nicest art sites on the web. He respresents a wide variety of excellent artists (many are available for commissions) and his Frank Zappa site has provided me with the inspiration to put up a permanent StalloneZone Sly Art Gallery! (E-Mail me if you would like to contribute.) Check out Enrico’s Red Sector Art  and please let him know that you learned about it from the StalloneZone!

– Craig Zablo (April 28, 2002)

Artwork © Sergio Toppi

Bad Ending for Blake

Police went to the home of actor Robert Blake on April 18, 2002 and CNN reported that they were there to arrest him in the death of his wife, who was gunned down outside a Los Angeles restaurant a year ago. Blake is shown in this 1985 publicity photograph from the television program “Hell Town.”

We had just finished watching “Survivor” and I was heading in to check my e-mail when I got a call. “Turn on CNN. They’re getting ready to arrest Robert Blake for the murder of his wife.”

I can’t say that I’m shocked or surprised. Although I wouldn’t be willing to say that he’s guilty, it doesn’t look good. I read quite a bit about the murder (how could you avoid it at the time?) and none of his explanations ever seemed to really make sense.

I’ve always liked Robert Blake‘s acting. “Baretta” was an enjoyable series and he’s been in several very good movies. It’s too bad that this doesn’t look to have a happy ending.

RIP – Robert Urich

Robert Urich passed away at 4:25 this morning after a long bout with cancer. I knew that he had been diagnosed with cancer several years ago, but I was under the impression that he had beaten it.

Although Mr. Urich appeared on many television shows, he was probably best known for his role as Spenser on the series “Spenser for Hire” based on the popular series of novels by Robert B. Parker.

Robert Urich also appeared in other television series including “Soap,” “Vega$,””The Lazerus Man,” and “Lonesome Dove.”

He was extremely active in supporting cancer research. With his wife he created the Heather and Robert Urich Fund for Sarcoma Research. He is survived by his wife; three children; two brothers; a sister; and his mother. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday in Los Angeles.

“UC: Undercover” Unlikely for Renewal

I read today that it is unlikely that UC: Undercover will be brought back next season and that’s really too bad. If you never happened to catch the show, then you really missed a good and potentially great series.

UC: Undercover was created by Shane Salerno. Oded Fehr, Jon Seda, Vera Farmiga, Bruklin Harris, and Jarrad Paul made up the cast. Guest stars such as William Forsythe, Ving Rhames and Steven Bauer were regularly featured!

If the series isn’t renewed, I hope that we’ll get an occasional tv movie.

“Training Day” is a Winner!

I finally got an opportunity to see “Training Day” — what a powerful movie. No doubt, if you’re a movie fan, you’ve heard the hype. This is one movie that lives up to it.

Denzel Washington turns in a truly Oscar-worthy performance (his best yet, in my humble opinion). Ethan Hawke is excellent as well. While this movie isn’t for everyone, it is for my money one of the best movies that I’ve seen in months.

If you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear your thoughts… if you haven’t, consider it on your next trip to the video store. As for me, this baby is gonna end up in my personal collection!

“Killer Inside Me” Coming But Who to Play Lou Ford?

Earlier this week Variety reported that Dominic Sena (“Gone in 60 Seconds”) will direct the 1952 pulp fiction classic “The Killer Inside Me” by Jim Thompson. While I didn’t care much for “Gone in 60 Seconds” because of the story, I am fairly excited about the prospects for “The Killer Inside Me.”

First of all, it’s an excellent book, considered by many to be Jim Thompson‘s best. Stanley Kubrick called it “the most chilling and believeable first-person story of a criminally warped mind that I have ever encountered.” I agree.

But who to play the main character, Lou Ford, a sheriff’s deputy with a psychopathic side? My vote would be for someone totally unexpected… someone like Sylvester Stallone! Fans have been wanting to see him play a bad guy… well, this could be the role. Whoever is chosen should be playing totally against character… someone that everyone would NEVER suspect is a psychopathic murderer… if not Sly then maybe Harrison Ford? At any rate… check out the book!

John Carpenter’s “Assault on Precinct 13”

I’ve been going through some old files lately and came across the picture above. It’s from a movie, directed by John Carpenter, called “Assault on Precinct 13.” Although a real low-bugeted film, it is one of Carpenter‘s best. The story concerns a small group of cops, office workers and convicts fighting for their lives in an abandoned police station under siege by a street gang.

The picture above is of Darwin Johnston who played a real hard case named Napoleon Wilson. I was surprised that Johnston didn’t do more of these types of roles. Tony Burton from the “Rocky” movies co-starred. The movie is worth a look if you enjoy action/adventure.

Two “Matrix” Movies and a “Riddick” Trilogy

“The Matrix: Reloaded” will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 15th which is the same day the film will be released worldwide. Man, I am so stoked for this movie. I don’t see how there is any way that it can be as good as the first… and to think that before the end of the year we’ll also get to see “The Matrix: Revolutions.”

And while we’re on the topic of movies I am really looking forward to… did you hear that Karl Urban, [“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”] has joined the cast of the “Chronicles of Riddick,” which stars Vin Diesel? Thandie Newton [“Mission Impossible 2” “Shade”] is also in negotiations to join the cast. Thandie and Vin could make for a very interesting pair!

Now let’s see… Two Matrix movies released before the year is over… and a Riddick trilogy which begins filming in June.  Ah… life is good!

Del Toro Wants Perlman for “Hellboy”

Countingdown posted an item from director Guillermo Del Toro who said…

“I hope Hellboy is my next movie… It’s difficult for me to get a $60 million dollar movie financed with Ron Perlman as the star, but I’m not giving up, since Mike Mignola and I think he is perfect for the part. If you want to know what the movie will look like, just go get the comic book. I will be as faithful as I can…Abe Sapien is such a characteristic figure, that we will basically have to do him completely artificial through puppetry and CG, to make him *exactly* as Mignola drew him. But I think his voice could either go the Kevin Spacey way or the Steve Buscemi way. Two total opposites that would nevertheless make the character interesting”.

Thanks also to Dark Horizons.

Although there was some speculation early on that Vin Diesel would get the role of Hellboy, I think that Pearlman is also an excellent choice. He won’t bring in the inital crowd that Diesel. would, but if the movie rocks, the audience will find it!

Sly and Tom Cruise in “Death Race 3000”?

Cinescape.com‘s Insider News and Rumors‘ column reports today that TOM CRUISE continues to move forward with his “Death Race 3000” project. The report states that TOM CRUISE will not only produce but probably star in “Death Race 3000” as well. The film is set to be directed by PAUL ANDERSON (“Soldier,” “Event Horizon”) from a script by JONATHON LAWTON (“Pretty Woman,” “Under Siege”). According to the report LAWTON “would really like to get SYLVESTER STALLONE to come back to reprise his role as Machine-Gun Joe Viterbo” from the original “Death Race 2000.” LAWTON is quoted as saying, “Machine-Gun Joe is definitely part of the story. It would be a great casting decision.”

One would have thought that “Death Race 2000” would be one of the least likely movies from SLY‘s filmography to get a sequel… but, and this is a BIG but, if TOM CRUISE does decide to produce and star in “DR3000,” then SLY should jump on board!

– Craig Zablo