“Jaws” Trivia!

Dan Grant, at Top 10 Films, in honor of the 45th anniversary of the release of the first summer blockbuster presents: 45 Things About “Jaws” You Might Not Know.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorite Jaws facts as well as my thoughts on each…

4. Richard Dreyfuss’ casting – Richard Dreyfuss originally turned down the role of Hooper because he thought making the movie would be a pain in the ass. After he saw himself on big screen in the Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz he thought he was so awful that his career would be over and he immediately called Steven Spielberg to ask if he could have the role.

(Funny the difference a day or perceived poor performance can make. – Craig)

9. Percy Rodriguez’s iconic trailer voice-over – Percy Rodriguez did the voice-over in the trailer for Jaws. When the producers first came to him, they wanted an upbeat, happy-sounding and almost adventurous voice-over for the trailer. It was Percy’s idea to have a darker and brooding and ominous sounding tone. It worked a treat.

He eventually got his way and many people credit lines in the trailer like “there is a creature that is alive today which has survived millions of years of evolution” and “it was as if God created the devil and gave him (dramatic pause) Jaws”, as major reasons why people flocked to the theatre to see it.

(Watching the “Jaws” trailer attached to this fact at Grant’s post it reminded me of how, in the pre-internet days, important a trailer was to the success of a film.  The “Jaws” trailer made you want to see the film.  Much credit needs to go to Percy Rodriguez.  He was right to push for a darker, more ominous tone! – Craig)

14. Dreyfuss’ surprise – Richard Dreyfuss was so disillusioned with the movie that after his time on set was done, he proceeded to trash it on several different talk shows in the United States. But when he saw the film opening day, after he left the theatre, he jumped into Roy Scheider’s arms and exclaimed “He did it! He did it!” Roy asked him who he meant and he said “Spielberg, Spielberg actually did it!”

(Sounds like Dreyfuss was going through a period of seeing the glass half-full.  He only agreed to star in “Jaws” because he thought he was so terrible in his previous film that he wouldn’t be offered more roles.  Then filming wraps on “Jaws” and Dreyfess downplays how good it is… until he sees it with an audience. – Craig)

“Valley of the Gods” Trailer is Here!

Check out the Valley of the Gods trailer below, read the plot summary and then please tell me what we’ve just seen.

Starring Josh Hartnett, Bérénice Marlohe, and John Malkovich, Valley of the Gods contrasts abundance and poverty through three separate storylines, featuring a middle-class writer (Hartnett), an eccentric trillionaire (Malkovich), and a struggling Navajo community. Post-divorce, copywriter John Ecas undertakes the biography of the richest man on earth, who is dead-set on mining sacred lands for uranium. When modern advance runs afoul of long-dormant guardians from ancient legend, even the most unimaginable wealth may soon meet its match.

Joe Kubert’s Cover Layout for Superman vs Muhammad Ali!

At first glance the art above looks like the cover to the classic comic Superman vs Muhammad Ali, right?

Wrong!

It is actually the cover layout created created by the great Joe Kubert.  Yes, it’s hard to believe that beautiful piece of art could be considered a layout.  Neal Adams took Kubert’s idea and created the masterpiece that was actually used for the cover.  Adams also went a step further by drawing the faces of 172 celebrities in the crowd.

The fine folks at The Bristol Board have posted up not only large versions of Kubert’s layout and Adams’ finished cover but also a key listing all of the celebrities in the crowd.  Click over and you’ll see that Superman’s bout against Muhammad Ali was attended by folks such as President Jimmy Carter, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Christopher Reeve and many others!

David Ayer’s “Tax Collector” Poster and Trailer are Here!

Here’s the poster and trailer for David Ayer’s Tax Collector.  I’m an Ayer fan and will check out anything he does.  Tax Collector looks to add to the reasons why I follow Ayer’s films.

In Theaters, VOD and Digital HD August 7th

Written and Directed by David Ayer
Starring Bobby Soto, Cinthya Carmona, George Lopez and Shia LeBeouf

Synopsis: David (Bobby Soto) and Creeper (Shia LaBeouf), are “tax collectors” for the crime lord Wizard, collecting his cut from the profits of local gangs’ illicit dealings. But when Wizard’s old rival returns to Los Angeles from Mexico, the business is upended, and David finds himself desperate to protect what matters more to him than anything else: his family.

Art Livestream: Rocky Balboa & Apollo Creed by Jarrod Alberich & Mark Hatherley

Hey!  I just wanted to let everyone know that my buddy, Jarrod Alberich aka the Yardsale Artist, is teaming with his pal Bermuda Mark Hatherley for an Art Livestream.  Jarrod will be drawing Sly Stallone as Rocky with Mark creating a Carl Weathers as Apollo companion piece.  You can tune in at 5pm CENTRAL using this link.  I hope to “see” you there!

Sly Stallone’s All-Time 10 Best Movies!

Colin McCormick at ScreenRant decided to do a little research and came up with the 10 Best Sylvester Stallone Films, According To IMDb.  Well, you know me and lists.  Below I’ve compared the IMDb rankings to mine followed by my thoughts…


Sylvester Stallone’s Best Films

IMD Rating

Craig

10. Rocky IV (1985:) 6.9

10. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 (2017)

9. Cop Land (1997): 6.9

9. Rocky IV (1985)

8. Rambo (2008): 7.0

8. Creed II (2018)

7. Rocky Balboa (2006): 7.1

7. Rocky II (1979)

6. Creed II (2018): 7.1

6. Creed (2015)

5. Rocky II (1979) 7.3

5. First Blood (1982)

4. Creed (2015): 7.6

4. Rocky Balboa (2006)

3. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 (2017): 7.6

3. Rambo (2008)

2. First Blood (1982): 7.7

2. Cop Land (1997)

1. Rocky (1976): 8.1

1. Rocky (1976)

The IMDb list is a good one.  For my rankings, I put a little more emphasis on the films that starred Sly than for one’s where he co-starred or had a cameo (GotG2).  Creed rated higher than Rocky 2 because of Sly’s performance.  He should have received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Had I made the Top Ten List I would have tried to find a way to include Nighthawks and Get CarterParadise Alley and FIST… but there are just too many Stallone favorites to list just ten.  Still, it was a fun exercise.  Your mileage may differ, but give it a shot!

Chuck Norris Trivia!

Jake Rossen from Mental Floss is back and this time he brought Chuck Norris with him.  Check out 8 Surprising Facts About Chuck Norris.  Here are three of my favorite facts and my thoughts on each…

STEVE MCQUEEN GOT CHUCK NORRIS INTO ACTING.
(This one surprised me.  I would have thought Bruce Lee would have gotten credit for this since it was Lee who gave Chuck Norris his first big break.  Maybe it was McQueen who first suggested that Norris give acting a try. – Craig)

CHUCK NORRIS NEEDED TO OBEY A PRODUCER’S REQUEST IN ORDER TO FACE OFF AGAINST BRUCE LEE.
(Chuck Norris tells the story that when Bruce Lee contacted him about co-starring in Way of the Dragon, Norris jokingly asked who would win the climatic fight.  Lee replied that he would.  Norris said, “So you want to beat the World Karate Champion?”  Lee’s response: “No, I want to kill the World Karate Champion.” 🙂  – Craig)

CHUCK NORRIS HAD HIS OWN CARTOON SERIES.
(It’s easy to forget just how popular Chuck Norris was.  At one point he had his own line of jeans, a cartoon, a comic book series, a television series, made movies, created his own style of martial arts and more.  Oh, and let’s not forget the ever popular Chuck Norris jokes. – Craig)

If you’ve read this far, you’ll enjoy Rossen’s 8 Surprising Facts About Chuck Norris.

“Demolition Man” Trivia

Chris Hayner, at Gamespot, came up with a piece called Demolition Man Easter Eggs: All The References And Things You Didn’t Know.  My guess, is our regular readers will know most of these, but then again, unless you click over, how can you be sure?  At any rate, here are three of my favorites and thoughts on them…

3. Modern-day LA almost looked very different:  When John Spartan goes in to capture Simon Phoenix, he’s brought to the scene by helicopter. Originally, director Marco Brambilla and his team planned to use a blimp in the scene. However, due to the fire effects used in the scene and the presence of heavy winds, it was decided that would be too dangerous.

(While I think blimps are cool, that helicopter scene with Stallone bunging jumping to the rooftop while under fire set the tone for a great action movie!  I wish Demolition Man had leaned harder into that than some of the comedy elements. – Craig)

5. Another Simon Phoenix:  According to many sources, including AMC, Snipes was not the first choice to play the villainous Simon Phoenix. Stallone actually wanted Jackie Chan in the role. However, Chan reportedly turned it down because he didn’t believe his fans wanted to see him play a bad guy.

(Jackie Chan would have made a great Simon Phoenix, but I’m glad the role went to Snipes.  My guess is if Chan had accepted the part, the comedy elements would have increased.  – Craig)

10. Sandra Bullock wasn’t the first choice for Huxley:  Originally, Lori Petty (Tank Girl, Point Break, A League of Their Own) was cast in the role and even shot a scene. “It just wasn’t working,” the director said.

(Bullock was perfectly cast, but I would love to see the scenes shot with Petty. – Craig)

“Over the Top” Poster by Robert Sammelin

Robert Sammelin created this Over the Top poster. Sammelin, who lives in Sweden, is an Art Director and illustrator whose art can be found on video games, album covers, posters, illustrations, and comic books. 

Sammelin is also the first featured artist at JoBlo’s Awesome Art We’ve Found on the Net: Artist’s Edition.  If you click over you’ll see Sammelin’s riffs on Dirty Dancing; Escape from New York; Night of the Living Dead; Logan; Mad Max: Fury Road and more.  Then jump over to Sammelin’s Instagram for the full load.

“What We Do In the Shadows” Trivia!

I hope you’re watching What We Do in the Shadows.  It is the best movie to tv adaption yet.  What We Do in the Shadows is funny and clever, but most folks I talk to haven’t checked it out.

Scott Beggs at Mental Floss has.  He came up with  12 Regular Human Facts About What We Do in the Shadows.  So without further delay, here are my top three facts and thoughts on ’em…

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS BEGAN AS A SHORT FILM, AND HAS TURNED INTO A FRANCHISE.
(I did know that What We Do in the Shadows is a television adaptation of Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s What We Do In the Shadows movie.  I’ve seen and loved it!  What I didn’t know was the movie was an offshoot of their short film, What We Do in The Shadows: Interviews With Some Vampires.  I will have to look for the short film! – Craig)

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS HOSTED AN EPIC GATHERING OF POP CULTURE VAMPIRES.
(In addition to a perfect cast, What We Do In the Shadows features a variety of guest stars such as Mark Hamill, Wesley Snipes, Craig Robinson, Haley Joe Osment, Taika Waititi, Tilda Swinton, Danny Trejo, Paul Reubens and Dave Bautista. – Craig)

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS CONSTANTLY REMINDS US THAT VAMPIRES ARE HUMANS, TOO.
(THAT is it!  They are so relatable… except for the drinking human blood and turning into bats and stuff. – Craig)

If you haven’t checked out What We Do In the Shadows, please consider giving it a shot.

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RIP – Denny O’Neil

Denny O’Neil died yesterday at his home after a long illness.  Mr. O’Neil was 81.  Denny O’Neil was a comic book writer, editor, teacher, novelist and screenwriter for television and movie projects. 

Mr. O’Neil is often credited with steering Batman from the cartoonish character of earlier comics and the television series to a more serious creature of the night.  It was also O’Neil who wrote the classic, award-winning Green Lantern / Green Arrow issues that proved comics could shine a spotlight on issues of the day and still entertain.  He revitalized The Question for DC comics.  He served as a mentor and editor to Frank Miller on Daredevil.  He wrote the famous Superman vs Muhammad Ali comic.  He did all of these things and so much more.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Denny O’Neil’s family, friends and fans.