I’m not a big Red Sonja fan, but I am a Howard Chaykin fan. I especially like his take on Red Sonja shown above. If you dig it as well, you can click over to The Bristol Board to see a super-sized version.
The Prey – check out the poster and trailer. It definitely has a Most Dangerous Game feel (and one that has been copied many times) but when done right, these films are fun.
Undercover Chinese cop Xin (newcomer Gu Shangwei), is on a secret international mission when a surprise raid puts him in a remote Cambodian jungle prison that plays by its own rules.Ruthless warden (Vithaya Pansringarm) sells prisoners as human prey for rich hunters looking for thrills in the jungle.
After years of hunting down ruthless criminals, Xin suddenly finds himself running for his life. If Xin manages to survive this sadistic game, he’ll walk out of the jungle the same way he came in: as a free man. If Xin fails, he’s just another hunting trophy.
Sputnik looks like something that I’d love to see late night at a drive-in. Check out the poster and trailer!
Director: Egor Abramenko
Starring: Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov
Due to her controversial methods, young doctor Tatiana Yurievna (Oksana Akinshina) is on the precipice of losing her medical license. Her career may not be over, though. After she’s recruited by the military, Tatiana is brought to a secure science research facility to assess a very special case, that of Konstantin Sergeyevich (Pyotr Fyodorov), a cosmonaut who survived a mysterious space accident and has returned to Earth with a unique condition: there’s something living inside of him that only shows itself late at night. The military has nefarious plans for it. Tatiana wants to stop it from killing Konstantin. And the creature itself thrives on destruction.
Thomas Jane, Anne Heche, Jason Patric, and Gregory Harrison star in The Vanished. Here are the poster and trailer. I like the looks of this.
The Bay of Silence stars Claes Bang (who was excellent in Dracula), Olga Kurylenko and Brian Cox. Above is the poster and below the trailer.
Will believes his wife Rosalind is innocent of their son’s suspected murder, only to discover the devastating truth behind her past links her to another unsolved crime.
Starring: Claes Bang, Olga Kurylenko and Brian Cox
Directed by: Paula van der Oest
Midnight of the Soul is a paperback that collects the five issue mini-series published by Image Comics.
- Writer: Howard Chaykin
- Artist: Howard Chaykin
- Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
- Letters by: Ken Bruzenak
- Cover Artist: Howard Chaykin
*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***
Joel Breakstone, a GI liberator of Buchenwald and brutally damaged goods, follows a path of vengeance that leads to redemption in a violent journey into his own heart of darkness―in a spiritual adventure from comics’ contemporary master of crime and punishment, HOWARD CHAYKIN.
Joel Breakstone is having a bad night. Of course every day and night since coming back from the war five years ago has been rough. Breakstone can’t shake the memory of an incident that nearly killed him. He and his buddy had come upon a Nazi about to execute a POW. A shootout occurred and when the smoke cleared his buddy, the POW and the Nazi were dead and Breakstone was severely wounded. He lived, but came home with a drinking problem.
But back to Breakstone’s bad night – After a bad argument with his wife, she leaves for work. Breakstone while looking for some booze finds evidence that his wife has been working as a hooker. Still half drunk, Breakstone grabs his gun and jumps on his motorcyle to find her.
His wife is with one of her best clients, a musician under contract to mobsters. Suddenly a man busts in and kills the musician. Breakstone’s wife barely escapes.
Breakstone is on the hunt for his wife. The killer and the cops are also looking for her. Before the night is over she will be found. Who will get to her first? And will it matter?
I’m a big fan of Howard Chaykin stories and art. Often Chaykin doesn’t hold back on the adult situations in his tales and this is one of those. If that’s offensive, this yarn isn’t for you.
Midnight of the Soul has a lot going on besides the hunt for Breakstone’s wife. There is also the mystery of why the musician was murdered. Plus Breakstone’s foggy memory of the incident that left 3 people dead and nearly killed him. All will be resolved before the night is over.
I like that the action takes place over the course of one night. As Breakstone tracks down his wife his journey takes him across the city to strip bars, diners, and jazz clubs. Along the way we meet a wide variety of characters some who are also looking for Breakstone’s wife.
Chaykin is at the top of his game with the art in Midnight of the Soul. Jesus Aburtov’s colors enhance the story without drawing attention to his work in a “look at these hues” sort of way. Often I think Chaykin’s art works best in black and white, but not this time! The story reminds me of an old movie with a modern sensibility (or an “R” rating). Chaykin’s heroes, or in this case, anithero, don’t always do the noble thing, but they do what is right for their character.
That’s Rafael Grampá’s cover art to the first issue of BRZRKR coming to a comic shop near you this October.
Does the hero look a bit like Keanu Reeves? He should since Keanu is co-writing the 12 issue series with Matt Kindt. Artist Alessandro Vitti, colorist Bill Crabtree, and letterer Clem Robins will take care of the interior art. Here’s the synopsis for the series…
The man known only as Berzerker is half-mortal and half-God, cursed and compelled to violence…even at the sacrifice of his sanity. But after wandering the world for centuries, Berzerker may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, Berzerker will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.
Click over to Boom Studios to learn more about the series, see more art and read what Keanu has to say!
Shaker by Scott Frank
Hardcover: 335 pages
A swarm of nearly seven hundred small earthquakes – most in the 2.0 to 3.0 range – rattled the Mojave Desert between June and September.
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
Following a major earthquake, Ray Cooper is sent to LA to kill a man. Cooper has the experience and a reputation for getting the job done efficiently without blowback. Despite the chaos the quake caused, the hit goes well. As Cooper walks back to his car he stumbles on to a mugging. Given the option, Cooper would prefer to keep walking, but the muggers see him and things quickly escalate. An old man is killed and Cooper is shot twice as the gangbangers run away.
It doesn’t take long for the police to show up at the hospital where Cooper is recovering. A video surfaced showing Cooper standing up to the hoods as they kill the old man. Cooper is seen as a hero! The press is running with this angle and the video has gone viral (which is the last thing a hit man would want). The cops and the press have questions. Cooper knows that it won’t be long before the police are able to figure out his alibi for being in the area doesn’t hold water. Once that happens it’s an easy connection to the man he executed a few blocks away. Despite his weakened condition Cooper has to go on the run.
Running won’t be easy. The gangbangers that Cooper disrespected (for the world to see thanks to the viral video), want revenge. The cops want Cooper for questioning. And Cooper knows that someone far scarier than him has been sent to LA to “fix” the situation.
Scott Frank has created a crime novel with twists you won’t see coming by developing a believable cast of characters. Many authors hint at backstory, but Frank has the ability to move the story forward while at the same time showing us past events that have shaped the characters. I look forward to more novels from Scott Frank.
The poster and trailer for Hard Kill are here. Pretty generic looking on both counts, don’t ya think?
The work of billionaire tech CEO Donovan Chalmers is so valuable that he hires mercenaries to protect it, and a terrorist group kidnaps his daughter just to get it.
Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now is a paperback that collects the four issue Dominic Fortune mini-series published by Marvel Comics under their MAX imprint.
- Writer: Howard Chaykin
- Artist: Howard Chaykin
- Colorist: Edgar Delgado
- Letters by: Jeff Ecklebarry
- Cover Artist: Howard Chaykin & Edgar Delgado
*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***
The depression’s going strong, so when Dominic Fortune is hired to bodyguard Jock Madison, Vaughn Lorillard, and P.T. Oakley, three drunk and disorderly Hollywood stars, he jumps at the chance to pick up what looks like a few easy bucks, and maybe have a few laughs in the bargain. But when the trio of old school hambones and horndogs prove to be a bigger pain than he anticipated – and he accidentally stumbles across a conspiracy headed by mysterious American businessman Malcolm Upshaw and Delatriz Betancourt, the recklessly sexy granddaughter of Confederates who fled Reconstruction for South America – Fortune finds himself in hot water… with the fate of the USA at stake!
Dominic Fortune is an adventurer, but the depression has left him with few opportunities. So when Fortune is offered good money to babysit three out of control Hollywood movie stars, he takes the offer.
The hardest part of the job is keeping the three boozers from getting drunk enough to kill each other or make the papers. That is until Fortune stumbles across a potential Nazi plot to attack the United States. Fortune follows the clues and learns that the plan is real, the President’s life and the future of our country are at risk.
I’m a big fan of Howard Chaykin and Dominic Fortune is one of my favorite characters that he’s created. Because this story first appeared under the Marvel Max imprint (which was designed for mature readers), Chaykin doesn’t hold back on the adult situations. Yep, that means there is nudity and profanity. Not all Dominic Fortune stories are for “mature readers”, but this one is, so if that offends you, this yarn isn’t for you.
I had fun reading Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now. The adult content didn’t bother me (but could have easily been toned down without effecting the story). Dominic Fortune going against Nazis is a natural. Chaykin’s art is always a plus. Delgado’s colors were nice. He and Chaykin made a good team.
If you purchase the trade paperback, bonus material is included that was not reviewed above. The trade also contains a previously only digital story: Astonishing Tales: Dominic Fortune written by Dean Motter and drawn by Greg Scott, along with the Dominic Fortune stories from Marvel Preview #2 by Howard Chaykin and Marvel Premiere #56 by Chaykin and Terry Austin.
Here we have the Project Power poster and trailer which asks, “What would you risk for five minutes of power?” I’m not sure, but I will risk a couple of hours to check out this movie.
What would you risk for five minutes of pure power?
On the streets of New Orleans, word begins to spread about a mysterious new pill that unlocks superpowers unique to each user. The catch: You don’t know what will happen until you take it. While some develop bulletproof skin, invisibility, and super strength, others exhibit a deadlier reaction. But when the pill escalates crime within the city to dangerous levels, a local cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) teams with a teenage dealer (Dominique Fishback) and a former soldier fueled by a secret vendetta (Jamie Foxx) to fight power with power and risk taking the pill in order to track down and stop the group responsible for creating it.
The Shadow of Violence has a positive buzz. The poster above and the trailer below hint of the reasons for it.
Director: Frank Scott
Screenplay: Frank Scott
Stars: Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Merritt Wever, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Tantoo Cardinal, Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterson and Keith Jardine.
The Pitch: “Scott Frank, the screenwriter of Logan and A Walk Among the Tombstones has a screenplay called Godless. It’s really good, plus he’ll direct it!”
Tagline: Welcome to no man’s land.
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
The wild west in the 1880s was at times a Godless place.
Roy Goode is on the run. He’s being hunted by the notorious outlaw, Frank Griffin and his gang of marauders. Griffin has let it be known that he will kill any person, family or members of a town that provide comfort or safe passage to Goode. Although that sounds like an idle threat, every man, woman and child living in the town of Creed was brutally murdered by Griffin and his gang when they learned Goode had spent time there.
Now Goode, recovering from an injury, has found himself in LaBelle, a small town where a mining accident killed almost every man living there. If Goode leaves town, Griffin and his gang will still kill the townspeople. If Goode stays, he’ll die with them. One thing is for sure… when Griffin and his gang get to LaBelle there will be a reckoning.
I can’t sing the praises for Godless enough. Scott Frank, the writer and director has created a classic. Godless features a big cast and each role was filled perfectly. Each character feels real and we’re provided their backstory seamlessly as the story moves forward.
The story is told in 7 episodes and although I hated to see Godless end, the story was done. An advantage of being a self-contained story (and Frank makes excellent use of) is that all bets are off on who lives and who dies.
Godless is one of those rare shows/movies that resonated with me in all aspects and gets my highest recommendation.