Discovery Crew – RIP

Much of the time you’ll find me talking about heroes here. Movie heroestv heroescomic book heroes.. Today I want to remember some real life heroes. The pictures are of the Discovery‘s crew Top row from left are Navy Capt. David Brown, Pilot William McCool, Laurel Clark, Rick Husband, and bottomfrom left: Payload Commander Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, Israeli Air Force Col. Ilan Ramon.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of these real life heroes.

Chow Yun-Fat Walks Like a Dragon

CHOW YUN-FAT [“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”] is set to star in “Walk Like a Dragon.” CHOW will play an Asian official who finds himself going against drug lords who have followed him to the US.

CHOW YUN-FAT was already a worldwide star before coming to the US in 1998 to make “The Replacement Killers.” He next appears in “Bulletproof Monk,” due out April 16th.

“Walk Like a Dragon” was originally developed to star DEWAYNE “The Rock” JOHNSON, who instead committed to the “Walking Tall” remake. [A “Walking Tall” remake?? I’d “Walk Like a Dragon” away from that project!]

Kurt Russell is Dark Blue

I hadn’t heard a lot about Dark Blue  until recently. Sure, I knew that KURT RUSSELL was in it. And yeah, I knew it was a cop movie.

Then I learned that VING RHAMES would co-star [another plus]. Next I saw the trailer… and discovered that this wouldn’t be the normal “good cop” movie.  Then I learned that JAMES ELROY was one of the screenwriters [another plus]. After that  I was sold.

Finally… well “finally” won’t happen until the movie opens… and I’ll finally get to see it.

Nolan Excited About Batman

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN [“Momento” “Insomnia”] has signed on to helm the next Batman movie. NOLAN was quoted as saying, “I grew up with Batman, I’ve been fascinated by him and I’m excited to contribute to the lore surrounding the character. He is the most credible and realistic of the superheroes and has the most complex human psychology. His superhero qualities come from within. He’s not a magical character.”

FRANK MILLER [writer/artist for the two classic Batman series: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns] is said to be working on a script. NOLAN directing from a script by MILLER would be a fan’s dream… at least this fan’s.

Alias Worth the Effort

I’m adding another show to my “Must See TV” list. It’s not a new show, and it’s one that I’ve regularly watched since it’s premiere. It’s called Alias  and is on ABC Sunday nights at 9PM. You’re probably wondering why I’m just now adding “Alias” since I watch it every week. Good question.

The reason is, Alias  is not an easy show to get into. It’s about a young woman who is a double agent for the CIA against an organization known as the Agency which has ties throughout the world and does really bad stuff [not quite world domination stuff but bad none the less]. The agent’s father is also a double agent working toward the same goal… her mother was a double agent for the Russians but now may [or may not ] be working with the CIA. Her fiance was murdered when she told him about her connections but she now is getting involved with…

Did I loose you in there? Probably so… and therein lies the problem. The show is GREAT for fans who’ve been following from the start. The plot twists and character development have really worked. The action and production values are on par with most movies… but even given all that… for those unfortunate souls who’ve just tuned in for the first time, it probably was very confusing.

Well that’s all about to change. The next few weeks will be a great jumping on point for anyone who wants to give the show a try. In addition to the regular cast [JENNIFER GARNER, VICTOR GARBER, LENA OLIN, RON RIFKIN, MICHAEL VARTAN] there will be guest stars such as RUTGAR HAUER, ETHAN HAWKE, and CHRISTIAN SLATER. So give it a shot. Who knows, maybe it’ll make your “Must See TV” list.

Billy Joel Hospitalized

Less than 90 minutes ago it was reported that BILLY JOEL had been in a car wreck and was hospitalized in stable condition. JOEL apparently went off the road and hit a tree on Friday evening. Specific details are still sketchy and the hospital has not released details of JOEL‘s injuries.

As a longtime fan, I want to wish BILLY JOEL a speedy recovery.

Update January 26, 2003 10:07 AM EST – It has been reported that BILLY JOEL has been released from the hospital.

Meet Bill Marimon

Bill Marimon is one of the nicest guys that you’d ever meet. Bill‘s worked for AC, DC [not the band], and Marvel. He’s now available for commissions. [His art is great and his prices are reasonable — can you think of a better combo?]

I’ve put together a site to showcase some of Bill‘s work. Check it out!

FX

Can you imagine a party where the guests of honor included LINDA BLAIR, Insane Clown Posse, JIMMY “The Mouth of the South” Hart, JOHN BEATTY and other celebs in addition to THOUSANDS of fans? The FX show in Orlando was THAT party!

Over the years I’ve been to many conventions and the FX show was the biggest to be able to retain the feeling of a small show. FX was obviously well planned and had something for everyone. The Orlando Convention Center is huge but this worked to the advantage of the show. Dozens and dozens of dealers were located throughout the hall. Collect toys? Every kind from board games to action figures were available. Looking for original art? Not only were several artists on hand, but at least three comic companies also set up booths. Want to see the car from “Knightrider?” It was there. Maybe you want to meet and get autographs from celebrities. Remember the guest list? They were all there and signing.

If you’re getting the idea that I liked the FX show you’d be wrong. I loved it and am looking forward to the next show. If it sounds like something that you’d like then maybe then maybe we’ll see you there.

The Hunted

Sometimes after seeing a trailer you think, “I’ve seen this movie before.” It’s not that you really have, it’s just that you’ve seen so many like it that you know EXACTLY what’s going to happen.
The question then becomes, is it going to be worth my time? Most often the answer is “no.”

In the case of The Hunted  the answer, for me, is definitely, “yes.”

Sure, it looks like “First Blood.”

And yeah, we’ve seen this kind of film many times before, but NOT with TOMMY LEE JONES and BENICIO DEL TORRO! They alone are worth the price of admission.

I’m sure that The Hunted  will take a lot of hits from critics for being derivative. I’m also sure that I’ll be in the audience loving every minute of it!

Al Hirschfeld – RIP

AL HIRSCHFELD passed away today at the age of 99.

Mr. HIRSCHFELD, perhaps the best known caricaturist in the world, had captured the likeness of everyone who was anyone in show business from the 1920s until his passing.

AL HIRSCHFELD was known for hiding his daughter’s name , NINA, in each of his pieces [sometimes more than once]. This tradition began in 1945. After about a month, Mr. HIRSCHFELD briefly stopped putting in the NINAs, but fans quickly complained and the NINAs were back to stay [along with a number indicating how many NINAs were hidden in each piece!].

Our thoughts and prayers go out to AL HIRSCHFELD‘s family and friends. [Thanks to John Beatty for the heads-up.]

The Shield Wins Two

I was really happy with the two wins yesterday. No, not the Bucs and the Raiders [although I was pulling for both of them]. I’m talking about “The Shield” winning a Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Series and for MICHAEL CHIKLIS picking up one for Best Dramatic Actor.

“The Shield” has been in my “Must See TV” category since it’s premiere. I usually tell people that it’s one of the two best shows going, but with yesterday’s win, I’ll drop the two.

Michael Jackson’s Face

MICHAEL JACKSON‘s face has made the news again. Or at least it will when it is the subject of a special edition of NBCs “Dateline” set to air at 10 p.m. EST Feb. 17th. When I first heard about this, it struck me as funny that a “news” program would seriously cover such a silly subject… but I have to admit I was kind of intrigued.

No one can dispute that MICHAEL JACKSON is an extremely talented individual. But it would also be hard to argue that he’s not getting more and more bizarre as the years go by. Thinking about the changes that have occurred in his behavior and his face, one could almost argue that as his actions get stranger his nose gets smaller. After MJ holding his baby over a fourth floor balcony, I might just have to tune to see if he still has one.

Richard Crenna – RIP

RICHARD CRENNA, the Emmy award-winning actor has died. He was 76.

Mr. CRENNA, whose credits included all three “Rambo” films, “Body Heat,” the classic suspense film “Wait Until Dark,” as well as many other roles, died of pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

RICHARD CRENNA is survived by wife and three adult children. A public service is to be held Jan. 25.

Travolta and Jackson in “Basic”

The movie is “Basic.” Ok, then.

JOHN TRAVOLTA. SAMUEL JACKSON. GIOVANNI RIBISI. ANDY GARCIA. CHRISTIAN de la FUENTE. HARRY CONNICK JR.
Directed by JOHN McTIERNAN of “Die Hard” and “Predator” fame. The trailer makes it look like it’ll meet our best expectations.
We’ll find out when it opens on April 18th.

The Art of Sin City

FRANK MILLER is a genius. Although he’s worked in both movies and comics, it is in the latter that he has really made his mark. In the early ’80s, MILLER re-invented Daredevil taking him from a thrid rate hero to one of the most popular comics hitting the stands. After Daredevil came Ronin, and then Dark Knight Returns, the series that woke up mainstream America to the fact that comics were still around. MILLER went on to create Batman: Year One, Sin City and the groundbreaking 300.

But it is MILLER’s SIN CITY series that remains my favorite. All of the stories are set in the same corrupt big city and quite often feature overlapping characters. Every tale is well worth the price of admission and now MILLER even has released a book dedicated to The Art of Sin City. My copy hasn’t made it to the bookshelf yet, as I keep looking through and admiring the genius that is FRANK MILLER.