|OLD-TIME RADIO AND COMICS HEROES BURST BACK ONTO THE SCENE!03/28/12 @ 4:15 pm EST
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Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? (Hint: The guy dresses up in a cape and runs around at night. And it's not Batman.)
LUTHER RETURNS IN NEW TRAILER11/27/15 @ 12:51 pm EST
The Shadow still knows — as do Flash Gordon, the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet and other heroes of 1930s and '40s radio shows, pulp magazines and movie serials.
These good guys are making a comeback, though mainly in comics and feature-length movies. Next month, The Shadow receives a comics reboot courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment, which also publishes ongoing series starring Flash Gordon and Green Hornet plus a new title with pulp hero The Spider that's due in May.
On the big screen, a masked Seth Rogen stung bad guys in last year's The Green Hornet. And in The Lone Ranger, in production for release in 2013, Armie Hammer rides tall as the title cowboy with Johnny Depp as his sidekick Tonto. Baby Boomers grew up watching the Clayton Moore TV series in the '50s, although the saga began as a 1933 radio show in Detroit.
Though these characters may not be as well known as today's comic-book superheroes or the Star Wars and Harry Potter clans, they were the bee's knees for a generation that was decades away from the Internet and iPods.
Before Batman, there was the alter ego Lamont Cranston donning the shadowy mask and hat while haunting radio waves as The Shadow, voiced by Orson Welles in the late '30s.
And before Superman and Captain America there was Flash Gordon, an all-American space adventurer who tussled with planetary tyrant Ming the Merciless in sci-fi comic strips by Alex Raymond and serial films starring Buster Crabbe.
"The '20s and '30s are seen as a very romantic age, with the criminal underworld of urban America and high adventure of exotic foreign locations providing a bit of an edge," says Garth Ennis, who is writing the new Shadow comic. "The reality, I'm sure, would have been mostly a lot more mundane and occasionally quite grim."
He's crafting The Shadow as a dangerous champion of law and order with a flair for the dramatic, and he is embracing one of the vigilante's oldest and most famous traits: his habit of laughing as he consigns his enemies to their doom.
"I decided to be fairly sparing with it," Ennis says. "If he started howling every time he threw a punch or fired a shot, it would get old fast. So I decided to preserve the laugh for moments of deep, dark, extreme humor."
His take on The Shadow comic is a bloody affair, where the mysterious figure dispatches bad guys with violent aplomb. More than 70 years ago, though, audiences had to visualize with their imagination what was going on during the radio-show exploits.
The popularity of the old Shadow and Green Hornet radio shows and their ilk in their heyday is best compared to programs children flock to today, such as Hannah Montana and Dora the Explorer, says Martin Grams Jr., a radio-show historian and author.
Back then, kids and adults would read books, pulps and comics because they were a cheap form of entertainment, and radio was an even bigger medium because it was free.
Some adaptations tank
While movies measure success with box-office receipts, commercial sponsors would gauge ratings of radio shows based on the number of giveaway premiums offered during the commercial breaks — such as various Lone Ranger rings and badges. They were then used to persuade sponsors to stick around because of a large listener base.
It wasn't just kids, either. Housebound and disabled people "who couldn't go visit their local movie theater had the opportunity to enjoy action and adventure with the turn of their dial," Grams says.
"The business of pop culture was defined during the 1930s and 1940s when movie producers snatched up the screen rights to popular radio programs and produced motion pictures, serials and film shorts based on the properties."
Since then, movie studios, TV networks and comics publishers have attempted adaptations of those characters, with varying results.
The Lone Ranger TV series began in 1949, ran eight seasons and defined the character for many. Flash Gordon sped off to space with live-action and animated shows, and a 1980 film became a cult classic with Sam Jones clad in a white shirt bearing the word "Flash."
But two more recent movies, The Shadow (1994) with Alec Baldwin and the 1996 Billy Zane vehicle The Phantom (based on the comic strip from the '30s), were not exactly heroic at the box office. And Disney's new big-budget John Carter, based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp sci-fi hero, has thus far tanked.
"My theory is that modern audiences have a hard time accepting un-ironic heroism unless it's presented just right," says Eric Trautmann, writer of Dynamite's Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist series. (A devotee of the era, Trautmann has a Maltese Falcon on his desk, a statue of Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, a Buck Rogers blaster and a replica 1930s radio.)
He concedes that pulp is difficult to write because it requires a certain innocence. Nazis show up in his series, but when they're the evil-doers du jour, modern audiences can't help but think of the Holocaust, "a sort of demise of innocence for the Western world." That makes it a lot harder to take the proceedings seriously.
'We're all geeks in a way'
"The obvious inclination is to keep things a little more self-referential and cartoony, tongue firmly in cheek," Trautmann says, "and that kind of thing really works against the story, the character, and readers' and viewers' embracing the tale."
Those characters of yesteryear, however, remain important in the history of pop-culture heroes, says comic-book artist Alex Ross, one of the creative spearheads of Dynamite's pulp series.
"Seeing how a character like The Shadow would influence every other flamboyant costumed hero in history was very interesting to me," he says. "A load of the earliest superhero fashions came from the artists swiping from Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon."
Heroic fiction draws from a lot of the same wells. Without John Carter in 1917, Trautmann feels we probably don't get Flash Gordon in 1934, a quintessentially American protagonist whose "unflappable 'can do' attitude and unshakable optimism would resonate in almost any era." Without Flash, there's no Luke Skywalker or Han Solo in Star Wars, and without that, we don't get Avatar.
"Even Star Trek owes a debt to period literature —Captain Kirk as Horatio Hornblower in space," Trautmann says. "Heroic fiction shares those archetypes and themes, so that influence is probably so ingrained now that a modern practitioner might not even be aware of what influenced the sources he or she is drawing inspiration from."
Affection for heroic pulp specifically — as with old-school sci-fi, fantasy and mystery stories — seems to be cyclical, Trautmann says. But the resurgence of these characters is also being helped by an overall nostalgia for the early- to mid-20th century, from Boardwalk Empire to Mad Men.
"It's been a rough decade or two," he says. "Looking back on what seems to be a simpler, less complicated time is certainly appealing."
Curiosity and a drive to seek knowledge are probably the main reasons people like to revisit historic pop culture, Grams says.
"We're all geeks in a way, trying to intake all the information we can on a comic-book character or movie, then digest, then recollect to friends to show how much more we know than they do."
The historian enjoys seeing kids introduced to heroes that were a seminal part of their grandparents' lives. He says it's a good bet they know tons more about The Hunger Games and Twilight than old Shadow magazine tales, and have no idea of the existence of Lone Ranger radio shows of yore.
"In my experience," Ennis says, "these characters tend to be pretty strong to begin with: They go through periods of revival, then slump due to overindulgence, then lie dormant, then undergo the next revival. But they always come back."
And, Grams notes, "the oldies are still the goodies."
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A FAIRLY SPOILER-FREE STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS SOUNDTRACK LISTING OFFERS ONE OR TWO HINTS AT MORE PLOT11/27/15 @ 12:44 pm EST
BBC One has released a new trailer for the upcoming special of Luther
. The special will see Luther on a leave of absence from the police force, but soon to return to London when he hears shocking news and a cannibalistic serial killer begins a murderous spree. Idris Elba
returns to star. The special will also feature Darren Boyd
, Rose Leslie
, Dermot Crowley
and Laura Haddock
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RIDLEY SCOTT CONFIRMS TWO MORE ALIEN SEQUELS AFTER ALIEN: COVENANT11/27/15 @ 12:39 pm EST
Stitch Kingdom reports Amazon France has uploaded details on the John Williams
soundtrack for that well-known Star Wars
movie that’s coming out in just three short weeks. The track listing has since been removed from the Amazon France page. None of the tracks feature names as shattering as The Phantom Menace
‘s infamous “Qui-Gon’s Noble End,” but depending on how much you want to more you want to know, you might want to avert your eyes.
Granted, if you’ve been following the stream of clips, there’s nothing too surprising here … except maybe the last track.
If you’re curious, here is the listing as reported by Stitch Kingdom:
1. Main title and the attack on the jakku village
2. The scavenger
3. I can fly anything
4. Rey meets bb-8
5. Follow me
6. Rey’s thème
7. The falcon
8. That girl with the staff
9. The rathtars!
10. Finn’s confession
11. Maz’s counsel
12. The starkiller
13. Kylo ren arrives at the battle
14. The abduction
15. Han and leia
16. March of the resistance
18. On the inside
19. Torn apart
20. The ways of the force
21. Scherzo for X-wings
22. Farewell and the trip
23. The jedi steps and finaleStar Wars: The Force Awakens
will release its ultimate spoiler on December 18th.
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Aliens | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
NEW GREMLINS FILM WILL NOT BE A REBOOT11/27/15 @ 12:35 pm EST
It will take three films to get for Prometheus
to sync up with Alien
if you don’t count Prometheus
. According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Ridley Scott
has confirmed there will be an additional two films after
his upcoming Alien: Covenant
. “Its a very complex story. Its an evolution of what I first did withPrometheus 1
,” he said at a press conference in Sydney, Australia. “Prometheus 1
was borne out of my frustration that on Alien 1
in 1979 – I only did one as I don’t normally do sequels. I was amazed that in the 3 that followed that no-one asked the question ‘why the Alien, who made it and why?’ Very basic questions. So I came up with the notion of Prometheus 1,
which starts to indicate who might have made it and where it came from.”
The new film will be shot in Sydney’s Fox Studios in March and tell the tale of the colony ship Covenant
as it meets up with Michael Fassbender
‘s homicidal android David.
“I’m now going to the next one, which is the next evolution directly connected with the first one, which was this Shaw, when he[sic] replaced Michael Fassbender in two pieces and we’ll kind of pick it up there and it will evolve,” he said. Previously, it was assumed Noomi Rapace
would be returning as Shaw, Scott indicated she will only appear briefly in the new film. “When that’s finished there’ll be another one,” Scott continued. “And then another one which will gradually drive into the back entrance of the film in 1979.”
Scott’s ultimate aim is to explain how that derelict ship in the original Alien
crashed and answer two questions that have remained in his mind since completing the first film: “Why was this space jockey there and why did he have an Alien inside him?” The answers require four films, it seems.Alien: Covenant
lands in theaters on October 6th, 2017.
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ZOOLANDER 2' TRAILER SCORES RECORD TRAFFIC FOR A COMEDY FILM IN ITS FIRST WEEK11/27/15 @ 12:21 pm EST
According to Comicbook.com, the newGremlins is still on the way and it will not be a remake. Their source: actorZach Galligan, who played protagonist Billy Peltzer in the two previous movies.
“It’s not going to be a reboot,” Galligan told the audience at a screening of the first Gremlins at Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square. “It will not be a remake in any way, shape, or form. Chris Columbushas come out and said that the first film is very near and dear to his heart and as long as he is alive it will never be remade.”
Instead, the film will be set thirty-some years after the original. “All of the elements from the first, at least the first Gremlins movie — Chris Columbus didn’t really have much to do with the second Gremlins movie so I don’t know how he feels about that — but all of the things and events that happened in the first one will be referred to,” said the actor. “And apparently some of the characters from the first one will reappear in the new one they are planning right now. I swear on my life, I don’t know if I’m in it or not, but I think there is probably a decent chance since I’m one of the few people left standing from the first movie.”
The script is being handled by Goosebumps screenwriter Carl Ellsworth, but all other details are unknown, including Columbus’s feelings on Gremlin 2: The New Batch.
Source: Deadline | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
‘PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES’ FEASTS ON A NEW UK TRAILER11/27/15 @ 12:17 pm EST
Paramount Pictures reports that the Zoolander 2
was the hotstepper in its first week of release, racking up 52.5M views online; the most for any comedy trailer ever.Zoolander 2
‘s first week web traffic outstripped Dumb and Dumber To
which clocked 49M views. It also beat the first week trailer clicks of 22 Jump Street, Hangover 3, Ride Along 2, Anchorman 2
, and Trainwreck
The sequel to the 2001 comedy opens on February 12 next year. Stiller reprises his role as the dimwitted Derek Zoolander along with Owen Wilson as rival model Hansel, and Will Ferrell as the notorious fashion mogul Mugatu. Derek and Hansel are hired by Interpol agent Valentina (Penelope Cruz) to investigate a death plot against the world’s most beautiful people, including Justin Bieber.
Also along for the ride are Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, Milla Jovovich, Christine Taylor, Justin Theroux, Kyle Mooney and Benedict Cumberbatch. Theroux, Stiller, Nick Stoller and John Hamburg wrote the sequel. Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld, Scott Rudin and Clayton Townsend are producing. Jeff Mann is executive producing.
The first Zoolander
opened on Sept. 28, 2001 to $15.5M stateside, and finaled with a domestic take of $45.17M and a global gross of $60.8M.
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THE RED POWER RANGER MORPHED INTO TODAY'S MACY'S PARADE11/26/15 @ 7:48 pm EST
“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” has unleashed a new U.K. trailer that deftly blends the themes of Jane Austen’s classic with the tropes of the horror and actiongenres, while laying out the film’s premise.
Based on Seth Grahame-Smith bestselling parody novel of the same name, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is set in a post-apocalyptic 19th-century England overrun by the undead. Lily James stars as Elizabeth Bennet, a master of weaponry and the martial arts, who must unite with Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) to rid their country of the zombie menace, and to discover their love for one another.
Directed by Burr Steers, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” also stars Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Charles Dance and Lena Headey. The film opens Feb. 5 in the United States and Feb. 12 in the United Kingdom.
Source: TBO | Categories: Misc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a CommentCATCH SPIDER-MAN IN TODAY'S MACY'S PARADE?11/26/15 @ 7:44 pm EST
Source: Marvel | Categories: Spider-Man | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
Spidey was just a'swingin' through New York on Turkey Day today! REMEMBERING THE 1987 MARVEL THANKSGIVING DAY FLOAT11/26/15 @ 7:31 pm EST
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NEW STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS TV SPOT FOCUSES ON KYLO REN11/26/15 @ 7:24 pm EST
With Spider-Man making another appearance in the Thanksgiving Day parade (among others like the Red Power Ranger), ComicBook.com took a trip back in time to when Marvel actually had a float. That’s right, if you’re in your 20’s or younger you won't remember this, but there was one year where all your favorite of Earth’s Mightiest were featured in the flesh way before the idea of a Marvel Cinematic Universe was even a glimmer in the company’s eye.
Back in 1987, the float was supposed to tell a really strange story. From what we can tell, it involves Doctor Strange summoning Captain America (from a giant comic book) to help Wolverine against the tyrannical Doctor Doom. We also get cameos from some other heroes and villains as well.
Here's the video: https://youtu.be/vVdgmkc-xJA
And here’s a rundown of everyone involved:
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Disney might be done with Star Wars: The Force Awakens
trailers, but the Star Wars: The Force Awakens
TV spots appear to just be getting started. The majority of footage in the TV spots comes from the trailers, but Disney appears to be including a couple of snippets of new footage in each spot. The latest TV spot brings new looks at Kylo Ren.
Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen withStar Wars: The Force Awakens
The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.
Latest TV spot: https://youtu.be/-mH7Y0EUOfc
Latest News1. LUTHER RETURNS IN NEW TRAILER
Updated: 11/27/15 @ 12:51 pm
2. A FAIRLY SPOILER-FREE STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS SOUNDTRACK LISTING OFFERS ONE OR TWO HINTS AT MORE PLOT
3. RIDLEY SCOTT CONFIRMS TWO MORE ALIEN SEQUELS AFTER ALIEN: COVENANT
4. NEW GREMLINS FILM WILL NOT BE A REBOOT
5. ZOOLANDER 2' TRAILER SCORES RECORD TRAFFIC FOR A COMEDY FILM IN ITS FIRST WEEK