“ABC News has conducted an exhaustive investigation of the Kennedy assassination, complete with a computer-generated reconstruction, which irrefutably confirms that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, the network said Monday. A two-hour special on the event is scheduled to air Nov. 20, two days before the 40th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s killing.”
Over the years, I’ve read just about every theory on the assassination of JFK and watched too many “documentaries” to even begin to count… I’m sure that I’ll tune in to see what ABC News has to say, but I doubt that it’ll have the DEFINITIVE answer.
Did I just hear the sound of males around the world sobbing?
I don’t know which surprised me more: that “Scary Movie 3” opened in first place [beating out “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Mystic River,” “Runaway Jury,” etc.], that it earned $48.1 million in it’s opening weekend [$48.1 MILLION!} or that it posted the best first weekend ever for a movie opening in October.
One thing that won’t surprise me is that with numbers like that, there WILL be a “Scary Movie 4!”
I just finished reading Steve Niles’ Dial M for Monster. Dial M is a book of short stories featuring his monster hunter, Cal McDonald. You’ve heard me praise Niles’ work before and this book is no exception. I love everything about the world Niles has created for Cal [and I’m especially glad I can safely visit without fear of vampires, werewolves, fiends or other creatures coming after me!]. I’d suggest that you start with Guns, Drugs and Monsters [the first novel in the series] and then follow it up with Savage Membrane [the second].
If you’ve read this far, then you’re probably a real horror fan. You probably already know that a Dawn of the Dead remake starring Ving Rhames is coming out next March. But did you know that the trailer is available now? At first I didn’t think that a re-make of Dawn of the Dead was a good idea since the original trilogy [Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead] by George Romero are considered cult classics. But I did like the remake of Night of the Living Dead ]… plus Ving Rhames is starring… so why not? Plus, it’ll give me one more thing to love about Halloween!
Man, I love Halloween!
As we get closer to the big night, I find myself drawn to scary books and movies. For some reason even more so this year. Maybe it’s because there are so many good ones available.
I just finished reading Steve Niles‘ Dial M for Monster. Dial M is a book of short stories featuring his monster hunter, Cal McDonald. You’ve heard me praise Niles‘ work before and this book is no exception. I love everything about the world Niles has created for Cal [and I’m especially glad I can safely visit without fear of vampires, werewolves, fiends or other creatures coming after me!]. I’d suggest that you start with Guns, Drugs and Monsters [the first novel in the series] and then follow it up with Savage Membrane [the second].
If you’d like to get a taste of Niles‘ work before commiting to a novel, then by all means check out 30 Days of Night. This award winning comic series [with art by the extremely talented Ben Templesmith] is being developed into a feature film produced by none other than Sam Raimi! Why wait for the film? The graphic novel is available now and well worth every penny!
Changing gears just a bit… on Tuesday, one of my two favorite movies so far this year, becomes available! That’s right 28 Days Later is available Tuesday! Man, I can’t wait!
If you’ve read this far, then you’re probably a real horror fan. You probably already know that a Dawn of the Dead remake starring Ving Rhames is coming out next March. But did you know that the trailer is available now? At first I didn’t think that a re-make of Dawn of the Dead was a good idea since the original trilogy [Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead] by George Romero are considered cult classics. But I did like the remake of Night of the Living Dead ]… and Ving Rhames is starring… so why not?
Plus, it’ll give me one more thing to love about Halloween!
The action is over-the-top and brutal. The first payback that we see is really well done. It has the right mix of Tarantino heightened reality, humor and action. Then we have a flashback to the hospital and this is where the movie starts to loose me. There are a couple of scenes with a red neck and Buck the orderly that just really push the envelope. And for some reason everything after that seemed truly excessive and redundant.
I guess we’ll know in February.
On another note, the trailer for the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre played before Underworld. I haven’t seen the orginal in years [and didn’t really care for it when I saw it], but this remake looks interesting… As does Gothica with Halle Berry [both of which also fit our continuing horro theme].
“Underworld” rates a C
House of the Dead has an interesting trailer and a classic plot. A group of young people find themselves stranded on an island with a group of zombies that want to kill / eat them.
If I go to see it, am I expecting a classic? No. An award-winning film? No. A scary good time? Yeah. And what more should you ask from a drive-in movie?
These are the big three. The kings of the hill. The monsters that other monsters aspire to be.
And next summer they’ll all be in the same movie!
Van Helsing stars Hugh Jackman as the famed vampire killer, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing.
In the screenplay, written and directed by Stephen Sommers, Van Helsing goes to Transylvania to hunt down and kill Count Dracula, and finds himself up against the Wolf Man and Frankenstein’s monster as well. How cool does that sound?
Cool enough that even though the movie doesn’t come out until May of next year, they’re already planning a tv series “based” on the idea and leaving the door open for sequels.
And that’s just great news for horror movie fans like me!
The drive up was great. John H. was at the wheel, Beatty was in the back seat doggin’ John H’s amazing collection, and I got to ride shotgun, laughing at all of the nonsense. We made it up in record time, or maybe time just flew by because we were laughing so much.
When we arrived things were just getting set up. A couple of tables had been set up inside, so we joined Don Perlin (Marvel Comics), Duck Edwing (MAD Magazine), Ed Hall (political cartoonist), and Jason Sobel (Fuzzy Dice Studios). Robert Smith was out in the crowd set up to do caricatures.
John H. wanted to speak to Mr. Perlin about a Star Wars commission, but told me that I should try to commission him up for a Stallone sketch first. Unfortunately for both of us, Mr. Perlin had a line already. But sitting directly in front of me was Ed Hall. I really enjoy his work and so I approached him about doing a Stallone piece. He agreed and the result was really cool. I’ll post it with next weekend’s update. Ed was amazing in that he was able to draw so many caricatures of famous people without any reference.
Seeing that I had popped for a piece, John H. approached Duck for a Spy vs Spy commission. John asked for a panel gag and offered four times the going rate for a sketch. Duck agreed and then to our surprise said, “You know I’m the writer for the strip, not the artist, right?” To John‘s credit, he said, “that’s cool” and went ahead with the commission. Duck drew him a funny seven panel Spy vs Spy strip. John then kicked in an extra $20 toward the charity so Duck came back and drew him a large executioner!
The crowd was constant throughout the day. “Soft Spike” jokes were flying from everyone. Big Beatty did some really nice sketches. He started off with a nice Captain America and Deathlock. He also did cool sketches of Iron Man, Green Goblin, and others!
Jason Sobol was sitting in front of me with his portfolio and a great sense of humor [especially when I called him Josh a couple of times]. At any rate, he didn’t soft spike me [you’d had to have been there] and drew me a cool Sly as a young Judge Dredd. I’ll post that this weekend.
As the show wound down it was time for the auction. John H. had his eye on two pieces, the Kubert “Sgt. Rock” and a Beetle Bailey Sunday page. It came down to the wire between John and another guy for the Kubert piece, but I’m happy to say that John won! Man, the Sgt. Rock is even more impressive in person. It could be the cornerstone of ANY collection! [John also won the Beetle Bailey page!]
All in all it was a great little event that raised a fair amount of money for a very good cause. I hope that they’re able to put it on again next year. If they do and you live within driving distance, you should plan to attend… you’ll get to meet some really nice people, possibly pick up a sketch or original art and maybe, just maybe, find out what it means to be soft spiked!
Ok, cool. An epic film should have a huge story and what could be bigger than saving your country? [Yeah, Bond would save the world but this isn’t Bond.] So the story idea works.
Next there are a bunch of characters. Johnny Depp steals every scene as a rogue CIA agent. Mickey Rourke has an interesting role as American criminal who has escaped to Mexico and has joined Willem Dafoe’s cartel. Both Rourke and Dafoe are under-used. Dafoe plans to take over Mexico by bankrolling a coup using an evil General. The General killed Bandaras’… hey!
Yeah, now I see the problem. Although there’s a huge storyline and a lot of interesting characters, the story kind of bottoms out. Still, it was fun and ya gotta love the action… and did I mention that Johnny Depp absolutely rules in this movie?
“Once Upon a Time in Mexico” rates a “C.”
On a side note – there was a preview for a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. Jack Nicholson’s line, “We’re not all doctors, baby” left me laughing out loud. You have to see it, since telling it wouldn’t be as funny, but when you do see it, make sure you’re not drinking anything!
Remembering three who died:
John Ritter died suddenly last night from a heart attack. He was only 54 years old. Although best known for his role as Jack Tripper on “Three’s Company” and the star of “8 Rules for Dating My Daughter,” I believe his best work was not in either of these sitcoms. It wasn’t even a comedy. I thought his best performance was as Vaughn in Sling Blade. Perhaps I’m in the minority with this opinion, but I know that we all agree that he was loved by his fans and will be missed.
Johnny Cash was known as the Man in Black. I remember as a child singing many of his songs… “A Boy Named Sue”…“Burning Ring of Fire”… “Folsom Prison Blues”… A new generation had discovered the Man in Black and he recently won an award on MTV. MTV! I’m so happy that he lived to see it and that we’ll always have his music.
The Falling Man. I just read a piece from Esquire magazine about the search to discover who was photographed jumping from one of the twin towers on 9-11-01. Tom Junod wrote such a compelling piece. Here are the first few opening lines:
In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity’s divine suction or by what awaits him.
I read the article and it stayed with me throughout day. The combination of my memories of that horrific day, combined with the beauty and horror of the photo and the eloquent text by Junod just kept coming back to mind time and time again as the day moved on.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of John Ritter, Johnny Cash, the Falling Man and all of the victims of 9-11.
Christian Bale has been cast as Bruce Wayne in Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming Batman movie, to be directed by Christopher Nolan [“Momento”].
Principal photography is expected to begin in early 2004. The movie is written by David Goyer and Nolan, and will follow the early career of The Dark Knight.
Christopher Nolan is quoted as saying, “What I see in Christian is the ultimate embodiment of Bruce Wayne. He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for.”
I totally agree.