Author: Craig Zablo

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!

RIP Al Hirschfeld

AL HIRSCHFELD passed away today at the age of 99Mr. HIRSCHFELD, 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.

John Ridley’s Drift

JOHN RIDLEY is best known for his “noir” novels. He wrote Stray Dogs which was turned into the cult classic movie “U-Turn” which starred SEAN PENN, JENNIFER LOPEZ [before she hit it big], and BILLY BOB THORTON. His other books have for the most part been in the same vein…

The Drift is unlike anything that RIDLEY has written before. Well, that’s not exactly true. You see, RIDLEY‘s other book s have all been very good and The Drift is no exception. In fact The Drift may be RIDLEY‘s best book yet.

The Drift is the story of a man[Charles Hanson] who seems to have it all… a good job, a loving wife and a child on the way. Charles sees it differently. He sees his life becoming more and more repetitive. He feels confined… until he decides to leave it all behind for a life on the rails. That’s right, he decides to become a modern day hobo. He meets many strange characters [most who wish to do him harm] and has many adventures in his effort to save a young girl from the life he has chosen for himself. The problem is, he has to find her before she is murdered. To say more would be to say too much.

Crowe’s Roll

RUSSELL CROWE’S on a roll, and the trailer looks good.
So it might be worth it to check out Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.  [The title could use some help though…] Based on novels by PATRICK O’BRIAN, CROWE plays “Lucky” Jack Aubrey, Captain of the H.M.S. Surprise…

If the trailer is any indication, CROWE‘s roll will continue.

Last Samauri

I don’t know. Maybe it’s because the  Kill Bill  trailer rocked so hard.

Maybe it because TOM CRUISE has had such a great run in selecting projects. [OK… I do remember “Eyes Wide Shut”… but I didn’t say perfect run, just a great one.]

At any rate I just saw this pic from CRUISE‘s “The Last Samurai” and after reading the synopsis, I have to say that it looks like it could be a winner.

Maurice Gibb – RIP

MAURICE GIBB of the Bee Gees has died. He suffered cardiac arrest before abdominal surgery last week and had been listed in critical but stable condition. He was 53.

I’ve always been a Bee Gees fan. I liked their music before the disco craze hit, loved the stuff that they did during it, and continued to enjoy their work even after it was no longer cool to do so. 53 is way to young to die.

We’ve lost another talent, but as cliche as it sounds, the music will live on. Our prayers go out to MAURICE GIBB‘s family, friends and fans.