“I, the Jury” – Drew Struzan and Armand Assante

The poster above for I, the Jury is my favorite Drew Struzan poster.  That shows how much I love that print since Struzan also did amazing posters for First Blood, the Indiana Jones films, the Back to the Future series, the Star Wars films… well, you get the idea.

I guess it’s fitting that Struzan’s I, the Jury poster isn’t as highly rated with fans, since the movie is also underrated.  I thought Armand Assante was excellent as Spillane’s Mike Hammer.  Barbara Carrera fit the bill as the sexy fem fatale. Laurene Landon was surprisingly good as Velda.  Geoffrey Lewis and Paul Sorvino are welcome additions to any film.  Perhaps I, the Jury under-performed because Mike Hammer was updated to current times rather than the 1947 period in which it was written.  Larry Cohen the screenwriter, was also set t0 direct, but was let go after just one week of filming.  Reportedly he fell behind a day of shooting and went over budget by $100,000.00 in that first week.  

Initially planned as a trilogy, Cohen was unable to get the other two films made.  Which is a shame.  At least we will always have one good film with Assante as Mike Hammer… and the very cool Drew Struzan  I, the Jury poster.

Happy New Year and a Look Back at 2020!

2021 is almost here.  2020 has been quite a year… and not all in a good way.  I thought before I wish you a Happy New Year (and go in to watch the official dropping of the ball to signify 2021 is indeed here) I’d take a brief look back at 2020.

When the 202o started, I was excited.  I was scheduled to retire after nearly 36 years as an educator.  I had a great career as a teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal.  I served as a soccer, football and basketball coach.  I was fortunate to work at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  I worked as an administrator on the construction of two new schools (the AP of one and the Principal of the other).  I had decided that my last day with students at the end of the 2020 school year would be my last day of work.  I thought it would be cool to have my last day with students be my last working day.  Unfortunately that was not to be.

Because of the COVID pandemic we went to virtual school after Spring Break.  Students and teachers worked from home for the remainder of the school year.  My AP and I continued to work from school and home (splitting the week so one of us was always at school).  I retired at the end of May.  My wife and I had talked of having a big retirement party (she had retired in December).  We would invite family and friends for an evening of fun.  Thanks to COVID, that idea was shelved.

My plan after retirement was to travel with my wife (short trips around the country).  I also planned to attend several comic conventions with my best bud, John Beatty.  Yep, The pandemic put an end to both.

Since the start of the pandemic my wife and I have stayed at home except for take out meals when not eating at home and our only travelling was the two miles to my oldest son’s house to visit him, his wife and our grandson.  Since the pandemic started I’ve known more than a few people who contacted the disease.  Some had to be hospitalized and two died.  I’ll be so glad to get the vaccine and for things to get back to “normal”.

Being home so much gave me the opportunity to watch a lot of movies.  I normally see about 200 a year (mostly streaming).  This year I saw 453.  Yep, over two times as many.  I also read more novels.  I usually average about 20 – 25 a year.  This year I read 34.  I would have saw more movies and read more books except I was laid up with my medical emergency in September/October.

As you’re probably aware, I had to go to the emergency room in September.  Ultimately, I had surgery and they discovered my gallbladder had ruptured and gangrene set in.  I was in the hospital for six days and the doc said had they not operated when they did I probably would have died.  Talk about an eye-opener!

As we head in to 2021, I look forward to getting the COVID vaccine.  I probably won’t be able to get mine until the 3rd or 4th wave.  I’ll be thankful whenever it becomes available.  I hope things will begin to return to normal in the summer.  Maybe my wife and I will be able to do a few trips.  Who knows, maybe John and I will have a convention or two to attend.

The StalloneZone turns 25 in 2021!  Hard to believe.  I plan to do more with the site and work on ways to interact with fans more.  I also hope to start doing video reviews on this site, as well as livestream sessions with creators and fans (here and at the SZ).  We have an active forum and I’d love to interact on livestream with those folks and others — we could have some lively discussions!

I hope that 2020 has had some highlights for each of you.  I want to thank you for visiting my site (and the StalloneZone) and appreciate the e-mail and comments you leave me.

Enough rambling.  Time to get ready for the ball drop.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

R.I.P. – Dawn Wells

Dawn Wells, best known as Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island died yesterday from Covid-related complications at the age of 82.  

Wells went to Hollywood after she competed in the 1960 Miss America pageant as Miss Nevada.  There she found success making guest appearances on nearly every major television show including Wagon Train, Cheyenne, Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip, Bonanza and others.  In 1964, Wells won the role of Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan’s Island.  The series ran for 3 years and 98 episodes. Surprisingly Gilligan’s Island gained even more popularity when the series ended and went into syndication.

After Gilligan’s Island, Wells continued to have success with guest appearances on other television shows including The Invaders, The Wild, Wild West and Bonanza.  Wells also appeared in theatrical releases including Winterhawk, The Town that Dreaded Sundown and Return to Boggy Creek.

Due to the popularity of Gilligan’s Island in syndication, Over a decade after the series was cancelled, Wells returned to play Mary Ann in three made-for-tv movies (Rescue from Gilligan’s Island, The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island).  Wells even voiced Mary Ann (and Ginger) on the cartoon series Gilligan’s Planet.  Wells continued to stay active appearing on tv shows and movies through 2019. 

By all accounts Dawn Wells was really as sweet and loveable as her character Mary Ann.  Its funny to think that when I was a kid, you liked either Mary Ann or Ginger and I was always on the Mary Ann bandwagon.  So were most of my friends.  That’s because we were on the Dawn Wells’ bandwagon.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dawn Wells’ family, friends and fans. 

 

RIP: William Link

William Link, best known as co-creator of Columbo, passed away on Sunday, December 27th from congestive heart failure.  Mr. Link was 87.

William Link often partnered with Richard Levinson to write, create and produce everything from radio scripts to teleplays and feature films.  In addition to co-creating Columbo, Link along with Levinson and Peter S. Fischer created the popular and long-running television program Murder, She Wrote.  Link and Levinson also created Mannix in addition to other tv series.  Link and Levinson’s television movies included My Sweet Charlie, That Certain Summer, and (my favorite) The Execution of Private Slovak starring a young Martin Sheen. Their scripts for feature films included The Hindenburg; Rollercoaster; and Steve McQueen’s last film The Hunter.

Link and Levinson won numerous awards throughout their long partnership including two Emmys, two Golden Globes, four Edgar Allan Poe Awards and many others.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to William Link’s family, friends and fans.

“The Capote Tapes” Poster and Trailer

I’m not a fan of the poster but I do like the trailer for The Capote Tapes.

Truman Capote became famous for his writing with Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood.  The fact that they were turned into very well received movies added to his fame.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s was nominated for 5 Oscars and won two.  In Cold Blood was nominated for four Oscars.

Although Capote would go on to write other shorts stories, novels and teleplays, he became best known for being famous.  Capote was popular on the talk show circuit.  He was flamboyant and loved telling stories.  I look forward to seeing The Capote Tapes and someday pulling In Cold Blood off my to-be-read bookshelf and reading it.

In the 35 years since his death, Truman Capote has remained a source of curiosity to many. His works, including ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘In Cold Blood’, have maintained their place in the literary canon of great twentieth century American literature and still appeal to readers across the globe today.

‘Answered Prayers’ was meant to be Truman Capote’s greatest masterpiece, an epic portrait of NYC’s glittering jet-set society. Instead, it sparked his downfall. Through never before heard audio archive and interviews with Capote’s friends and enemies, this intimate documentary reveals the rise and fall of one America’s most iconic writers.
#TheCapoteTapes

“Westworld” (1973) Modern Day Trailer!

I saw Westworld when it was first released.  I was almost 15 and thought the movie was awesome.  Living an hour from Disney World made the idea of a futuristic amusement park for adults seem reasonable.  I thought it was a surprising plot twist that they guy that appeared to be the sidekick (Benjamin) to the hero (Brolin) turns out to be the movie’s star.  Well, sort of.  Top billing, of course, went to Yul Brenner, who played a terminator years before Arnold.

I bring this up today because HBO Max just released a modern day (recut) trailer for Westworld.  Makes me think it’s time for another viewing.  Maybe I’ll do a Westworld and Capricorn One double feature.

A high-tech amusement park for adults features three recreated historical environments – Medieval World, Roman World and Western World – populated by highly realistic androids programmed to indulge the whims of every high-paying guest. The main attraction of Westworld is the Gunslinger – a robot programmed to start duels but who can always be killed by humans packing special guns. John and Peter, two buddies on vacation, wake up in a Westworld bordello after a night of brawls and booze, not yet knowing that a system-wide failure has infected the androids and placed them in mortal danger. Stream the 1973 film, Westworld, on HBO Max today.

New Year’s Eve Twilight Zone Marathon Has Been Expanded – Revised / Updated Schedule is Up!

The Twilight Zone New Year’s Eve Marathon schedule has been revised and updated.   Shadow & Substance (an excellent Rod Serling fan site) has the full schedule.  The TZ Marathon now runs from December 31, 2020 starting at 6:00am est through 6am est on January 2, 2021.  Before you click over to check it out, let me suggest some favorite Twilight Zone episodes…

Thursday, December 31, 2020
6:50pm – Time Enough At Last
8:05pm – The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street
9:45pm – The Howling Man
10:10pm – Eye of the Beholder
11:25pm – The Invaders

Friday, January 1, 2021
2:00pm – The Shelter
3:30pm – The Grave
6:30pm – Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?
8:00pm – The Midnight Sun
9:00pm – To Serve Man
10:00pm – Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

“My Name is Roscoe: The Life and Legacy of ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle” by Joe Ramoni

I love movies.  Because of my love of film I search out older movies.  Thanks to TCM that’s not as hard to do as it once was.  So whenever there’s an older film that I think I might like I check it out.

I’ve watched a lot of silent films.  I started with the horror films and then worked my way to comedies.  Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd are considered the comedy kings of the silent film era.  As I began to watch and learn more about this time period, I was surprised to find that funny man Fatty Arbuckle wasn’t better known.  The films I saw with him were as good as any other comedian of the time.

When I came to learn that Arbuckle was the first comedian to be paid one million dollars from a studio, that Arbuckle had mentored both Chaplin and Keaton, that he started his own studio, that he wrote and directed films… well, I needed to know more about this man.  What I discovered was pretty sad.

Joe Ramoni has created an excellent overview of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle’s career.  It is worth a watch.

He mentored Charlie Chaplin, discovered Buster Keaton, and changed film comedy forever – before a scandal destroyed his career. His name was Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. Though you may recognize his name or face, few know the heartbreaking story of his life. This documentary short takes a look back at his controversial life & career to highlight what an instrumental figure he was in the evolution of cinema and why he should be more remembered today.

Written, Compiled and Presented by Joe Ramoni
https://twitter.com/joeramoni

Source: Mark Evanier.

“The Little Things” Trailer Starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto is Here!

Wow!

Check out the trailer for The Little Things starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto.  Then watch it again and pay attention to the little things.  The Little Things looks to be a winner and I cannot wait to see it.

Watch the trailer for The Little Things, bringing Denzel Washington back to screen alongside fellow Academy Award® winners Rami Malek and Jared Leto. Coming to theaters and streaming exclusively on HBO Max on January 29. #TheLittleThingsMovie

Academy Award winners Denzel Washington (“Training Day,” “Glory”), Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”) star in the psychological thriller “The Little Things.” John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Founder”) directed the film from his own original screenplay.

Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon (Washington) is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a killer who is terrorizing the city. Leading the hunt, L.A. Sheriff Department Sergeant Jim Baxter (Malek), impressed with Deke’s cop instincts, unofficially engages his help. But as they track the killer, Baxter is unaware that the investigation is dredging up echoes of Deke’s past, uncovering disturbing secrets that could threaten more than his case.

The main cast also includes Natalie Morales (“Battle of the Sexes”), Terry Kinney (“Mile 22,” TV’s “Billions”), Chris Bauer (“Sully,” TV’s “The Deuce”), Joris Jarsky (TV’s “Bad Blood”), Isabel Arraiza (TV’s “Pearson”) and Michael Hyatt (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”).

“The Little Things” is produced by Oscar- and Emmy-winning producer Mark Johnson (“Breaking Bad,” “Rain Man”) and Hancock, with Mike Drake and Kevin McCormick serving as executive producers.

Behind the scenes, Hancock reunited with several longtime collaborators, including Oscar-nominated director of photography John Schwartzman (“Seabiscuit,” “The Founder,” “Saving Mr. Banks”), Oscar-nominated production designer Michael Corenblith (“Apollo 13,” “The Founder,” “The Blind Side”) editor Robert Frazen (“The Founder”), and costume designer Daniel Orlandi (“The Founder,” “The Blind Side”). The music is by multiple Oscar-nominated composer Thomas Newman (“1917,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Saving Mr. Banks”).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents A Gran Via Production, “The Little Things” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film has slated for release on January 29, 2021 in theaters and on HBO Max and has been rated R for violent/disturbing images, language and full nudity.

“The Beatles: Get Back” Sneak Peak from Peter Jackson!

Beatles fans will love this sneak peak…

PETER JACKSON REVEALS SNEAK PEEK OF HIS UPCOMING MUSIC DOCUMENTARY
“THE BEATLES: GET BACK” ONLINE AND STREAMING ON DISNEY+

Feature-Length Film Opens in Theatres August 27, 2021

Acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson has released an exclusive sneak peek of his upcoming documentary “The Beatles: Get Back” for fans everywhere to enjoy. The 5-minute special look is available to fans worldwide on TheBeatles.com and streaming on Disney+.

Jackson said, “We wanted to give the fans of The Beatles all over the world a holiday treat, so we put together this five-minute sneak peek at our upcoming theatrical film ‘The Beatles: Get Back.’ We hope it will bring a smile to everyone’s faces and some much-needed joy at this difficult time.”

Acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson’s “The Beatles: Get Back” is a unique cinematic experience that takes audiences back in time to The Beatles’ intimate recording sessions during a pivotal moment in music history…

Ron Garney’s BRZRKR Preview Art is Here and Looks Awesome!

Boom! Studios has released preview art for BRZRKR, a new series from Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt (writers) and Ron Garney (artist). Bill Crabtree is set to serve as colorist with Clem Robins providing the letters.  Here’s the synopsis…

The man known only as B 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, B 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, B will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.

BRZRKR is set to run 12 issues/chapters. The series will also be collected in 3 graphic novels, each containing four issues/chapters. The drop date for the graphic novels are September 2021 (Volume 1), April 2022 (Volume 2), and September 2022 (Volume 3).

For more information and additional preview art check out Bleeding Cool’s First Look At Ron Garney’s Art on Keanu Reeves-Written Comic, BRZRKR.