"Reign of Fire" Rocks

I went to “Reign of Fire” hoping for an action-packed roller-coaster ride. I wasn’t counting on it, but I was hoping.

Reign of Fire” boasted a screenplay by three people [Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka, Matt Greenberg], that I’ve never heard of, starred Christian Bale, and Matthew McConaughey [neither considered “A” list stars], and was directed by Rob Bowman [who didn’t impress me with the “X-Files” movie]. The odds were that the film would be entertaining at best… the odds were wrong. This film rocks.

Bale did an excellent job in his role but McConaughey OWNED every scene he was in. The direction, production values, special effects were all top notch. I must admit that the ending did let me down a bit but not enough to stop me from adding this baby to my library when it is released on dvd.

Reign of Fire” rates a B+.

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

Hellboy Goes Green

Ain’t It Cool News has reported that the Hellboy movie based on Mike Mignola‘s fan favorite character, Hellboy, has been greenlit. Guillermo Del Toro (“Blade II“) is set to direct. Despite earlier reports that Vin Diesel might play Hellboy, it appears that Ron Pearlman will get the role instead. This is cool for a number of reasons, the first two being that 1) Pearlman was the first choice of both Mignola and Del Toro and 2) Pearlman is so right for the role! Filming begins this winter in Prague! You can get full details here.

Hellboy is one of the few comics that I buy EVERY time it comes out. Mignola never disappoints. Here are a couple of trade paperbacks that could help you get up to speed if you’ve missed out…

Hellboy: Seeds of Destruction

Hellboy: Conqueror Worm

Hellboy: Odd Jobs

I’m really excited about the prospects for the movie Hellboy. Del Toro is a fan of the comic, Mignola is working closely with him and Pearlman completes the trio. This could be really cool. I’ll keep ya posted!

Training Day Lives Up to Hype

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!

“Training Day” rates an A+

Rating:

“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!

Hellboy Next for Del Toro

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!

 

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!

Sammy Terry

The scary looking guy to the left is Sammy Terry. If you grew up in the midwest, there’s a good chance that you watched and enjoyed him as he hosted “Nightmare Theater” out of Indianapolis back in the mid 60’s through the 80’s.

I used to love staying up late to watch the monster movies that he presented. Thanks to Sammy and his “Nightmare Theater,” I discovered the classics (“Bride of Frankenstein,” “The Thing,” “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and many others]. Sammy would come on to introduce the movie and tell bad jokes… he would then be back after commercial breaks with more bad jokes… and of course, he would end each show wishing everyone “pleasant nightmares.”

I was happy to find a site dedicated to Sammy, the scariest guy that we all loved!

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