Author: Craig Zablo

Zack Snyder Interview [2006]

Zack Snyder is on a roll.

Snyder first came to my attention when it was announced that he would direct the “remake” of George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead.”

There was a ton of pressure on Snyder, not only because he was a first time director, but also because he was treading on sacred ground [well, at least to zombie fans]. There were a ton of folks who whined that the movie would suck (even before a day of film had been shot). Snyder defied them all and turned in one of the best zombie films ever.

Snyder then turned his attention to translating Frank Miller‘s epic 300 to the big screen. Next to “Rocky Balboa,” “300” is the movie that I am most looking forward to seeing. Check out the official site and you’ll see why.

Next up for Snyder is Alan Moore’s “Watchmen.” You can tell from this interview that Snyder is having a blast. He must feel like a kid in the candy store… or maybe that should be a bakery.

After all, he is on a roll.

M. Knight and his Lady Take a Dive

M. Knight Shyamalan’s “Lady in the Water” was getting a negative buzz well before it’s release this weekend. Now that it scored just $18.2 million [just?] and came in 3rd at the box office, many people will write off both Shyamalan and his movie.

And that’s too bad.

The biggest knock against M. Knight is that he creates glorified “Twilight Zone” episodes for the big screen. Sure, many of M. Knight‘s movies do have a big twist at the end, and his movies do have a reoccurring theme of faith, redemption, and that there are mysterious forces around us [like some of the better TZ episodes]. And while I can see where his critics get this complaint, my response is, “So what?” I love classic Twilight Zone episodes.

“Lady in the Water” is a modern day fairy tale. Perhaps we’re just too jaded to get it. But, and this is a big but, if you’re willing to go with the tale, you’ll have a good time. Paul Giamatti is amazing in this role. Academy Award amazing. The rest of the cast is splendid. The direction, special effects and music all add to the overall enjoyment of the film. But the bottom line is if you sit back and start to analyze the film as anything but a fairy tale [which it was meant to be], it falls apart. But then so would “Little Red Riding Hood,” “The Three Bears” and even a classic movie like “The Wizard of Oz.”

While “Lady in the Water” isn’t a classic movie [no, it’s not on par with “The Wizard of Oz”] that can be embraced by the masses, there is an audience for it. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think that I was going to like “Lady in the Water” as much as I did and I’m a Shyamalan fan. And there’s the rub. If a fan like me wasn’t overly excited about the story, then how are you going to get non-fans into the theater? The answer appears to be that you’re not.

And that’s too bad. “Lady in the Water” rates a B.

Shawn Surface

Shawn Surface is an independent comic book artist best known for his work at Bill Black’s AC comics and “Bubba the Redneck Werewolf.” I first met Shawn a few years ago at a TampaCon. We talked about comics, movies and art. I left the show thinking that I’d like to get Shawn to do a piece for my Stallone Gallery.Finally at this year’s Heroes Con things worked out. Shawn decided to draw Sly as The Punisher. Click HERE and you can see the result.

Shawn is available for commissions and is reasonably priced. Check out his website and tell him I sent you!

RIP Mickey Spillane

Mickey Spillane died yesterday. He was 88 years old and had cancer, so the news shouldn’t come as quite a shock. It’s just that Mickey Spillane was one of those guys that seemed like he could live forever.

Although Mr. Spillane started his career as a comic book writer, it was his Mike Hammer novels that made him a superstar. The first, “I, the Jury” was a hit with readers everywhere, critics be damned. Spillane followed up with 12 other Mike Hammer books… 9 other novels… and a bunch of short stories. Most folks don’t realize that Mr. Spillane also wrote two young adult novels [one which won a prize from the Junior Literary Guild].

As much as I enjoyed Spillane‘s books, I liked his attitude even more. He considered himself a writer, not an author. Spillane was more concerned with royalty checks than reviews… and his fans dearly loved him.

I miss him already.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mickey Spillane‘s family, friends and fans.

My Gallery is Moving!

I’ve decided to move my Stallone themed art collection from my site to You can now see my gallery there. [Well, at least 1/2 of it… the rest is going up later this week.]

If you’ve never checked out the Comic Art Fans site, you should. But my advice is to go when you have some time to spare. There’s so much cool stuff there that you may even forget to check out my collection!

Rosario Dawson is Everywhere…

and that’s a good thing!
Sometimes it seems that no matter where you turn you’re going to see the same celebrity. It could be that he is out promoting his latest movie or cd. It might be that something of significance has taken place in her life and every dang magazine, newspaper and news entertainment show thinks we just have to see the latest.
And that’s why there are times that you can not escape Britney Spears, Brad & Jennifer & Angelina, and even, God help us, Anna Nicole Smith.Lately, everywhere I look, I see Rosario Dawson. [And no I’m not having flashbacks to Heroes Con.] It could be I see Rosario everywhere because she has a new movie coming out [“Clerks 2”] and a new comic [O.T.C.] with a lead character based on her. Then again, it could be that Rosario is everywhere because she is so cool.

Rosario is featured in the July 21st issue of Entertainment Weekly where she talks about growing up at times “without water, heat and electricity,” movie roles, her new comic [O.C.T.], and even Klingons. You can catch the on-line version HERE, but you’ll miss out on the photos of Rosario.

People magazine also has a mini on-line interview with Rosario HERE.

If you want to know more about Rosario‘s comic, O.T.C, then click HERE.

Yep, Rosario is everwhere… and that’s a good thing!

Yeah, that’s Rosario Dawson

No your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That IS Rosario Dawson in the picture with my mug. I’ve got to tell you Rosario was the most down-to-Earth celebrity that I’ve ever met. She is so cool! I was able to get the photo at the latest Heroes convention. Heroes is always a blast, and this year’s show was no exception. It was the biggest and best ever.

I plan to tell you more about it… but I’m sure that most of you are simply staring at Rosario… so I’ll do a con update later.

Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

I‘m going to be heading off for a little R&R so you might not see me around here much in the next week or so. One of my stops will be the HEROES CONVENTION in Charlotte. It’s been part of the Zablo family vacation for years and this one should be the best ever. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.

Big Beatty, Jazz and Papa will hold down the fort while I’m gone.

Talk to you soon!

Craig and the “Rocky Balboa” Blog

Craig and the Rocky Balboa Blog

A few weeks ago I posted MGM is in the SZONE! and discussed conversations that I’d had with representatives from MGM and Sylvester Stallone‘s office. At that time I wrote: “I’m not sure what role the StalloneZone will play in the official promotion of “Rocky Balboa”

Earlier this week, this was posted on the ROCKY BALBOA BLOG: Stay Tuned… The Rocky Balboa Blog will soon be updated with more great content and a brand new home

As you can imagine, I’ve been bombarded with e-mails from fans asking questions… so here’s the deal: I will be hosting the Rocky Balboa Blog. I was contacted by Sly‘s rep who verified Sly is very much aware of the SZ and SZoners around the world.

The Rocky Balboa Blog will be regularly updated with exclusive photos, news, interviews and more. Our first update will appear soon! The StalloneZone will continue to compliment Sly’s official site.

You’re still going to get regular StalloneZone updates, exclusives and more! The road to December 22, 2006 is going to be a fun one. I hope that you’re coming along for the ride! – Craig

They’re Coming to Get All of Us, Bar-bar-a!

Better watch your step. Zombies are everywhere this week.

Just this week it was announced that Brad Pitt beat out Leonardo DiCaprio to see who could bring World War Z to the silver screen. Seems kind of strange that two of the biggest stars in the world would be in a bidding war over a zombie movie. But there you go… World War Z is Max Brooks‘ follow up novel to his cult classic The Zombie Survival Guide.

It was also announced this week that Josh [”Lucky Number Slevin”] Hartnett is set to star in the movie adaptation of 30 Days of Night. I think that Harnett is an excellent choice for the lead and so does 30 Days author Steve Niles. Filming is set to begin in early August.

What’s That Saying About Going to the Mountain?

I just received a booklet advertising Comic-Con International and it had this cool cover by Adam Hughes.

Held annually in San Diego, Comic-Con International is one of the biggest comic conventions in the country [probably the world]!

Although I’ve never attended, I’ve thought about going. Each year the con gets bigger and bigger… I guess if it keeps expanding and I wait long enough, it’ll come to me.

A Man With Grand Ideas

I get a lot of e-mails from people who have all kinds of grand ideas about things. 99% of the time, these ideas go nowhere.

Thomas “Tiger” Vidmar recently contacted me. Tiger hosts a talk show program in Vegas. He said he was going to send me a copy of one of his programs [a call in with Elvis!] and a t-shirt.

Today the package arrived. It contained a nice workout t-shirt, a very nice golf hat, a soundtrack album [?] that he produced [!], and a copy of his call in show with Elvis.

So I listened to the call-in with Elvis. Funny and strange. I listened to the soundtrack for “Puckhead” which is a Tigar Vidmar production. It was an ecclectic mix of everything. Bob Dylan, Louis Armstrong,. Gene Autry, Dean Martin, The Mighty Mouse Theme song and more are on it. I’ve listened to it twice! LOL! I like the crazy mix.

So then I visted Tiger’s website. There I discovered that in addition to hosting a radio program, creating a “soundtrack album,” and producing shirts and hats [with his “Hombre de Palo” character], Tiger has also written a book which will be available this fall, and created a series of prints featuring his character!

Tiger seems to be a man with all kinds of grand ideas… but he’s doing something with them!

"Gargantarma" is Coming!

I’ve told you many times before about the Comic Book and Toy Show that Tim Gordon puts on several times a year in Tampa. Tim started doing the conventions about 3 or 4 years ago and they were pretty small affairs – but boy, were they fun.My son Mike, John “Big” Beatty, John “Johnny Star-Warz” Higashi and James “The James” Howell and I would always try to make the shows because we always had a blast. Over the years the convention has gradually gotten bigger [adding multiple guest artists per show, costume contests, an independent film room and more], but was able to retain that small show feel.

Tim will have his next show on August 20th. My buddy, Bill Black will be on hand [along with star Brenna Barry] to screen “Gargantarma” a documentary which explores the history of giant women in cinema. Legendary comic artist, Nick Cardy, will be the guest of honor! Several other guests will be on hand. 

If you’re able to make it, you should plan on joining us!

The Shield: One Last Season

This is the best news I heard all day:

Variety reports that:

FX has greenlit The Shield for a final batch of 13 episodes, which will premiere in early 2008.

The sixth season is currently in production and will begin airing early next year.

At this point it looks like the episodes in 2008 will be it for the show. FX president-general manager John Landgraf has said, “Shawn (Ryan — creator of The Shield) and I have been discussing how it will end.. I know what the arc is of the final season, almost through the last episode, and this is definitely the end of it.”

I’ll be sad to see The Shield end, but I do like the idea of it following it’s course to a definite conclusion. [Hopefully Lost will do the same.]