Author: Craig Zablo

Beatty Speaks

My buddy, John Beatty has posted up a pretty nice little interview with him from nearly 20 years ago. If you click over you’ll read about his artistic influences, how he got to meet his idol Mike Zeck, his plans for the future and his $100 John Byrne haircut. It’s worth reading and I’d say that even if he didn’t drop my name in the interview.

Cloverfield Thoughts

I had mixed feelings going in to “Cloverfield.” I really liked the trailer and some of the hype boosting the movie. I thought the idea of a story told through a “found” video camera was interesting. By the same token, I knew that using the conceit of “the “video” would be limiting. But in the end, who doesn’t want to see a giant monster tearing up the city?

The Good: Once the action [finally] gets started and no one knows quite what is going on – seeing glimpses of the monster tearing junk up – crossing from the leaning building onto the stable one – a giant monster tearing up the city

The Bad: The movie takes forever to get crackin’ – being limited to just “the video” – what happens to people bitten by the little critters – the love story – what happens to the cameraman

The Ugly: People in the theater getting motion sickness – the monster – being limited to just one view of all the action

Overall I’m glad I saw “Cloverfield” although I must admit I was disappointed when I left the theater. “Cloverfield” won’t make it into my movie collection, and I have no desire to see it again… although I wouldn’t mind fast-forwarding to some of the good parts. I mean, who doesn’t want to see a giant monster tearing up the city?

Sketch Society

The first Sketch Society meeting for 2008 was held last Saturday. As luck would have it, the date conflicted with the FX convention and several Sketch Society members were committed to it and couldn’t make the meeting. So it ended up being Big Beatty and myself hanging out and shooting the bull as he sketched [sans reference] the Rambo piece above.

The next meeting is scheduled for February 23rd at the Java Junction. The fun kicks off at around noon. Hope to see you there!

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

I love my job, but if I was looking for a new one, I’d like a gig like Guy Fieri’s. Fieri is host of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives which airs on The Food Network. He travels the country visiting the best eatin’ establishments meeting the show title’s criteria and gets the lowdown on the grub and those makin’ it.

Yeah, I could go for a job like that!

RIP: Heath Ledger

I was shocked to hear that Heath Ledger was found dead today and that drugs may have played a factor. Although only 28, Ledger had already appeared in both critically acclaimed [“Brokeback Mountain” “Monster Ball”] and wildly popular [“The Patriot”] movies. Ledger seemed to me to be an actor who was more interested in being an actor than a star, although his upcoming role as the Joker in “The Dark Knight” would surely once again pushed him into the spotlight.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.

RIP: Suzanne Pleshette

Suzanne Pleshette, best known for her role as Bob Newhart’s wife, Emily Hartley, on “The Bob Newhart Show” passed away yesterday at the age of 70 from respiratory failure.

The first time I remember seeing Suzanne Pleshette on screen was in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” She played Rod Taylor’s ex-flame, Annie Taylor [who to me was more appealing than his new love interest, Tippi Hendren]. I know I saw her in other things [since she turned up in a lot of guest star roles], but my next memory is of her co-starring with James Garner in “Support Your Local Gunfighter.” Not long after that came the classic role on Newhart.

Suzanne Pleshette was pretty, fun-loving and brought a sparkle to the roles she played. She will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and fans.

RIP: Allan Melvin

I just discovered via Mark Evanier’s site that Allan Melvin passed away last Thursday. While you may not know his name, I’ll bet you’ll know his face. Melvin was probably best known as “Sam the Butcher” from the Brady Bunch, but there was a time when Melvin was, as Mark Evanier states, “in everything.”
Melvin appeared repeatedly on “The Phil Silvers Show,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Andy Griffith Show” [my favorite Melvin guest roles], “Gomer Pyle,” “Lost in Space,” “All in the Family” and so many more shows. He made every show he was on just a little bit better just by being there.Mr. Melvin was 84 years old and is survived by his wife, his daughter, his grandson and many fans. My thoughts and prayers go out to them all.

UFC 80

B.J. Penn and Joe Stevenson headline UFC 80 today live from Newcastle, England. Although there are, of course, other fights on the card, the main event is the only one that I am really interested in. My guess is that Penn will win, but given the right odds I would swing over to Stevenson [ya gotta love an underdog].

Maybe It’s the Poster

Unfortunately these days it’s rare that a movie uses actual artwork to attract viewers. Perhaps that’s why I have an interest in “Hellride.”

Then again maybe it’s because it’s about a biker gang out to avenge the murder of one of their own. Maybe it’s because it’s got a mix of horror thrown in. Or maybe it’s because it stars Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones and Dennis Hopper and is “presented by” Quentin Tarantino.

Then again, it could be simply because I like the poster.

Sketch Society

My buddy, John Beatty started up Sketch Society a while back. Sketch Society is a group of artists [amateur and professional] who would get together for informal sketching sessions. Although not an artist, I would go just to hang out and shoot the breeze [and occasionally live blog]. The meetings were irregularly scheduled but always a blast.

This year John has decided to have regularly scheduled meetings with the same informal “let’s get together to shoot the breeze, sketch, laugh and have a good time” atmosphere. The first is scheduled for January 26th. You can read more about the whole shebang HERE. Hope to see you there!

Doomsday: Drive-In Appropriate

The trailer for “Doomsday” makes it look like a riff on “Escape From New York” and I loved “Escape From New York.” I don’t think that I’ll love “Doomsday.” It’s more like one of the movies that I’d go to see at the drive-in where it would be playing with a couple of other movies. Many times none of ’em would be well worth seeing except as part of a triple bill.

Man, I miss those days.