Author: Craig Zablo

First Pics for "Assault on Precinct 13"

I was excited when I heard that a remake of “Assault on Precinct 13” was in the works.

The original is one of my favorite John Carpenter movies, and even though he’s not directing the remake, it still should kick butt.

When I heard about the casting, I was even happier: Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Gabriel Bryne, Brian Dennehy, Maria Bello, John Leguizamo, and Ja Rule.

Now that the first pictures are available I’m feeling positive that I’m going to really like the movie. As long as they don’t mess to much with the script, Assault looks to be a winner!

The Hits Keep on Coming

While surfing the web, I came across this great little interview with Robert B. Parker. It’s a brief interview, but packs in a ton of interesting information about Parker; how he writes, the surprisingly little research that he does, and why he and his wife live on different floors in the same house.

Parker has been writing novels for over 30 years and at the age of 72 shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, this year alone, Parker‘s had three books published and each of them hit the best seller list!

Bad Business was the 31st Spenser novel [and if you like to read you owe it to yourself to check out the entire Spenser series].

Melancholy Baby was the fourth to feature female detective Sunny Randall.

And last, and definitely not least was Double Play.

Double Play is one of my all-time favorite books by Robert B. Parker. Set in 1947, the novel focuses on the relationship between Joe Burke [a hardened WWII vet with a death wish who has been hired to bodyguard Jackie Robinson] and Jackie Robinson [the first black man to break into the major leagues]. Along the way there’s gangsters, dames, double-crosses, murders and more. It was truly a great read and I hope that Parker writes more Joe Burke novels.

Knowing how prolific Robert B. Parker is, I’d say that’s a good bet!

New Sin City Posters

Yeah, I want to see Sin City more than any other movie coming out in the next year or so.

Why wouldn’t I?

I love Frank Miller’s Sin City comics. And Frank‘s co-directing this baby.

I’m a huge fan of Robert Rodriguez‘s direction.

Bruce Willis is da man.

MIckey Rourke as Marv is inspired casting. And you know Marv is one of the coolest characters ever.

And let’s not forget that Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Josh Hartnett, Michael Madsen, Clive Owen, Nick Stahl and Elijah Wood are co-stars.

What’s that? You need just two more reasons to be convinced that Sin City is gonna rock?

OK. 1] Check out the poster above of Bruce Willis as Hartigan. and 2] Click HERE to see the new Rosario Dawson poster.

Now are you convinced?

Nightscape

I’ve been a David Morrell fan ever since I read First Blood, way back in the early 70’s. [Yeah, long before I even knew who Sylvester Stallone was!]

It doesn’t matter if it’s all out action, a thriller, horror, suspenseMorrell can write it all.

I just discovered that his second volume of short stories, Nightscape, has been published.

I’m putting in my order tonight.

Dawn of the 300

I’m a huge Frank Miller fan.

The Dark Knight Returns.
Daredevil.
Ronin.
300.
Sin City.

Classic stuff. And as most of you know, Miller is teaming up with Robert Rodriguez to co-direct Sin City for the big screen.

How could it possibly get any better than that?

How about director Zack Snyder [“Dawn of the Dead” – which I liked better than the original!] bringing 300 to the big screen?!

Yep, it’s true. And you can read about it HERE.

Trick or Treat?

Ah, Halloween is here.

And since I have a TON of work to complete before the Trick or Treaters begin to arrive… Let me leave you ZONErs with just this little treat.

Click HERE and see how many differences you can find in the pictures.

You may be shocked at the answer!

Dr. Jekyll has Two Secrets

In the spirit of Halloween, I’ve been watching [and enjoying] quite a few horror movies lately. As most of you know, I’m a big fan of the genre especially the classic monstersWolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Creature from the Black Lagoon

Until this week I was never a fan of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde [in any of the many movie versions]. I decided to watch the 1931 film starring Frederich March and Miriam Hopkins. I know I had seen it before when I was a kid and it didn’t impress me. Watching it again the other night was like seeing it for the first time.

Fredric March won a Best Actor Oscar for his role[s]. Miriam Hopkins is just right as the saucy barmaid who adds fuel to March’s fire. The special effects were excellent.

What suprised me most was the movie used Jekyll’s sexual frustration as the focal point of the duality of man’s battle with good vs evil. For a film made in the 30’s it was pretty surprising.

At any rate, if you’re looking for a good movie for Halloween, give the 1931 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a view. You might discover that there’s more to both Dr. Jekyll and the movie than appears at first glance!

“Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Hide” [1931] rates a B

Chicklis Gets Close

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Glenn Close will join “The Shield as a series regular for the upcoming fourth season.

Close, who won an Emmy for “Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story,” will appear in all 13 episodes. Production is set to start in January with new epsiodes airing by May.

Close will play the new captain [What about Aceveda?] who will probably butt heads with Detective Vic Mackey (Emmy-winner Michael Chiklis).

Close will next appear on the big screen in the Merchant Ivory production “Heights” and Chicklis is currently playing the Thing in the big screen version of “The Fantastic Four.”

Man, I can’t wait for the new season of “The Shield” to start… and May is so far away!

The Beatles, Led Zepplin and…

Yesterday I came across a listing of the top-selling albums of various decades. Nothing really surprised me about the top selling albums of the 70’s or 80’s… but the 60’s was a different story.

Almost everyone knows that The Beatles dominated the charts in the 60’s. Now here’s the surprising thingonly two other groups busted into the top ten with The Beatles.

One was Led Zepplin. Can you guess the other?

Click on the HERE for the correct answer.

RIP: Christopher Reeve

Early this morning, while on my way to work I heard that Christopher Reeve had died.

It was like a gutshot.

Christopher Reeve’s death was so unexpected … despite the fact that he had been a quadriplegic for the last nine years of his life. Yet, it was in these last nine years, when Chris’ health was at his worst that he was at his best.

Christopher Reeve is most famous for his role as Superman. And rightly so. Although a virtual unknown actor when chosen for the part, Reeve vaulted to the ranks of one of the most identified stars in the world once the movie was released.

Reeve was the perfect choice. And not just because he looked like Superman when in the suit. Christopher Reeve not only understood the difference between Clark Kent and Superman but had the chops to make the difference come alive with just a pair of eyeglasses and his acting ability.

Christopher Reeve went on to other starring roles, but none had the impact of him playing Superman. But how could they, Reeve and Superman were such a perfect fit.

Then nine years ago when Christopher was injured he took on another role, that of role model. Christopher Reeve dealt with his paralysis with grace, dignity and determination. He became the focal point of hope, not for just those who sufffered from spinal cord injuries, but for anyone who thought about feeling sorry for him/herself. How could you, if Christopher Reeve could face his troubles with such a positive outlook.

Christopher Reeve will always be remembered for his role as Superman, but I believe that the true super man was Christopher Reeve.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Cavalcade of Comics

Yesterday my wife and I drove up to Jacksonville to spend the day at the Cavalcade of Comics 2nd Annual Bennefit to fight Tourette’s Syndrome. Comic’s legend Don Perlin and his wife spearhead the event and this year looked to be even bigger and better.

The show had been moved to an elementary school because it had grown so large. Outside a children’s chorus was starting to line up, there were games for kids, people in costume, and the artists were setting up.

We headed into the artist’s room and the first person that we saw was Don Perlin. Don came over and thanked us for coming and for posting info about the benefit here at the ZONE. How cool is that?

Doralaya and I were checking out the art that was up for auction, and we ran into Robert Smith. Robert‘s an old buddy (and one of the guest artists) and he said that he wanted to do a Cobra piece for my gallery. Cool! The con hadn’t even officially started and things were already going great!

Jason Sobel was set up with Alex Saviuk, Bob Layton and Don Perlin. I met Jason at last year’s event and he did a Judge Dredd piece for me so I’ve kept an eye on his work. The sketches Jason was turning out yesterday were leaps and bounds ahead of last year. Keep an eye out for this guy!

Alex Saviuk is not only a great guy but also a very talented artist. Before he was even seated he had a list of eight or ten sketch requests. Bob Layton‘s list was swamped as well. Since I didn’t have a Stallone from either Alex or Bob, I asked if they’d put me on their lists. They agreed.

Doralya and I went back to check out more of the auction art. My prediction was that the Kubert “Sgt. Rock” would get the highest amount, but the piece with the most buzz was the Neal Adams’ Batman and Robin piece?! My favorites were a Wrightson pencil sketch called The Reaper and a print by Lee Ames called The Magician.

Doralya bought several raffle tickets then it was lunch outside with music from a middle school jazz band. As we settled down with some Mexican food we watched a karate presentation and several Jedi sword battles.
; ) The food was good and the jazz was even better.

When we went back into the artist’s room we hooked up with some fans and spent time sharing art and stories. Robert Smith came over and gave me my Cobra sketch!

Bob Layton‘s wife came over and asked if I would mind if Bob did my Stallone piece at home.

Bob was getting tons of requests and it’s take longer to draw Sly (for the first time) than Iron Man or Spider-Man for the 1,000th time. By doing my piece at home more fans would get a piece of art and the benefit would raise more money.

How could I argue? I told her that would be no problem.

I’m just excited to be getting a Stallone piece from Bob!

Robert Smith taught a wonderful session with little kids who want to be artists. While that was running I had a chance to speak with Ed Hall and thank him again for the Stallone piece he did for me last year. Ed was sitting with Dana Sumers [Politcal Cartoonist for the Orlando Sentinal] and Tom Armstrong [Marvin]. I asked Dana if he’d like to do a Stallone piece for my gallery. Tom said he’d give it a shot. I thanked him and headed back to catch the rest of Robert‘s sketch session.

After the session I headed over to put in my donation for my Bob Layton piece. Alex said that he’d also like to do my piece at home so I kicked in that donation as well.After a bit of visiting I headed back to get my Stallone piece from Dana Sumers. Dana said that after five or six false starts he came up with one that worked. I agreed with him; it does work! Dana said that Tom Armstrong also did a Sly drawing. As Tom was signing it for me, he added a little Marvin peeking over Sly. How cool is that?

The show was starting to wind down.

It’d been a great day. We made our way around and said our good-byes (and although it looks like Alex is begging us not to go, that’s just an illusion).

Then it was back on the road home.

Hopefully, the benefit made even more money than last year. It seemed to be better attended. I know that everyone I talked to had a super time and are planning to attend again next year.

I know, I’ll be there!

RIP: Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield passed away this afternoon.

Man, I really enjoyed Rodney‘s comedy. Most people really became aware of Rodney Dangerfield after he appeared [and got the best laughs] in Caddyshack.

But I remember him first from his standup comedy on variety shows in the 60’s that I used to watch with my grandparents. Rodney’s trademark line, “I don’t get no respect” was always followed by several great one-liners.

I don’t get no respect. When I was born I was so ugly the doctor slapped my mother.”

I don’t get no respect. I was in a bar and a guy asked me if I had any naked pictures of my wife. I said, ‘No.’ He asked me if I wanted to buy some.”

After Caddyshack, Rodney graduated from co-star to star status and headlined several movies. But it was always his standup that appealed most to me.

Now Rodney’s gone. I’m going to miss seeing him pop up from time to time with another spin on his “I don’t get no respect” lines. But I’ll always have great memories of watching Rodney perform and all of the laughs he gave us.

And you have to respect that.

Our prayers go out to Rodney‘s family and friends.

Bill "The Raytrix" Marimon

My buddy, Billy Ray [“The Raytrix”] Marimon dropped me an e-mail with his latest painting attached.

Yeah, that’s it… well, a small jpg of it anyway.

You can see a larger version of it by clicking on the picture or HERE.

You can also see more of Bill‘s work HERE at his website.

Bill‘s a talented artist and his prices are very reasonable. If you decide to visit his site, please tell him I sent you his way!

Hurricane Jeanne and Rain Storm

Hurricane Jeanne came and went without causing as much damage to our area as initially predicted. Still, I spent most of the last three days helping to run a hurricane relief shelter.

One of the best parts of that whole experience was that in my downtime I had an opportunity to finish Barry Eisler‘s third novel, Rain Storm.

All of Eisler‘s novels feature John Rain, a Japanese-American “struggling with his own divided nature: Japanese / American; soldier / assassin; samurai / ronin.” Rain, as written by Eisler is “a remarkable creation, a multifaceted killer with the soul of a poet.”

Eisler‘s first book, Rain Fall, put him on my favorite author’s list. His second, Hard Rain, proved that the first book wasn’t a fluke. Rain Storm cements Eisler‘s place as one of the best series writers working. Don’t take my word for it, check out what EVERYONE is saying.

Yeah, Eisler‘s that good. [So is John Rain, for that matter!]