Saturday, July 5, 2014

Orphan Black's Clone Dance Party

I've heard so many great things about the BBC America series ORPHAN BLACK - the incredible acting from lead Tatiana Maslany, the premise - but I've yet to catch the show.

This visual effects clip of the "clone dance party" makes me want to watch it even more.




Saturday, June 28, 2014

Star Trekking with DC Comics

We love all things Star Trek at the blog here. Back in the day - 1987 to be exact - DC Comics published "Who's Who in Star Trek," a limited series featuring the work of various artists as they gave you the rundown on the most prominent characters in Star Trek up to that point.  Howard Chaykin did the amazing cover artwork (issue No. 1, below).

(art from DC Comics of the 1980s)

The great blog DC Comics of the 1980s has Chaykin's art on display for both issues. 


Star Trek is a Registered Trademark and Copyright 2014 by CBS Studios, Inc.  No infringement of those rights is intended with this article.


1980s Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV Intros

Here's a great video posted to You Tube which compiles a ton of fun old sci-fi and fantasy TV series opening titles.  The poster, RwDt09, titled it, "11 INTROS TO TACKY 80s SCI-FI/FANTASY TV," but I recall being enthralled by a least of couple of these lost gems: Manimal (due to Stan Winston's great spfx makeup work) and Wizards and Warriors (which had its comedic charms).

But The Highwayman...any show where Sam J. Jones drives a big rig with a GIANT FREAKING HELICOPTER on the front...yeah, that's the definition of "tacky."



Count how may of these shows had one of those openings that explained the show's premise each and every week (The Phoenix, Matthew Star, Outlaws, Highwayman).

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Expendables IV: The Wrath Of Shatner

William Shatner.  Expendables 4. 

Let's make it happen, Stallone.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Gotham tv series to shine a light on Batman's Universe

Comic book adaptations are all the rage now-a-days.  Marvel has been consistently lighting up the theatrical box office the last several years with not only their Marvel Cinematic Universe films featuring big guns Iron Man, Captain American, Thor and the Avengers, but also their top tier heroes in separate studio franchises in Spider-Man and the X-Men consistently racking up the big numbers.

However, right now, I'm more interested in the small screen.  Specifically a corner of the Batman-universe to be covered in the upcoming Gotham tv series, which follows a young pre-Commissioner Jim Gordon as he learns what it means to be a good cop in a very bad city.

The cast looks amazing, headed by Ben McKenzie (last seen in the great, lamented cop show Southland) as Gordon, the always interesting Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, Gordon's GCPD mentor, and Sean Pertwee assaying the role of Alfred the butler, watching over the young Bruce Wayne as he deals with the loss of his parents.

The Fox Network looks to have faith in the show as they've given it a series commitment (the number of first season episodes yet to be determined).  Bruno Heller, of Rome and The Mentalist fame, is showrunner.  SuperheroHype.com has a chat with Heller.

Gotham debuts in Fall 2014.  Bat-night and bat-time to be determined.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Another Bat-Short for The Batman's 75th Anniversary

Acclaimed animator/writer/artist Darwyn Cooke has a new short film featuring one of the more unique twists on the Batman mythos, a futuristic version called Batman Beyond (based on the short-lived animated series of the same name).  It was created to celebrate Batman's 75th Anniversary this year.

Actor Kevin Conroy once again voices the aged Bruce Wayne, with the new younger Batman voiced by actor Will Friedle.





Cooke first came to fanboys' attention after designing the amazing opening titles for Batman Beyond, seen below. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Batman Is Back In A Bruce Timm Short Film

75 years.  That's how long the Batman has been prowling the streets of Gotham City, delivering his unique, laser-focused brand of two-fisted justice after first appearing in Detective Comics #27, cover dated May 1939.

Legendary animator Bruce Timm - the chief designer and architect of Batman: The Animated Series - returns to the cowl with a terrific animated short film he conceived and directed for DC Entertainment to celebrate Batman's long reign.  It's sepia-toned for a vintage feel, retro-cool and doesn't waste a single frame. 

And, yes, Kevin Conroy voices Batman.






Sunday, March 30, 2014

Avengers Assemble (Via Waffle Iron, If Necessary)

The fine, funny folks at College Humor featured a pic (click here) comparing and contrasting the Avengers circa their 1978 TV incarnations with the big budget 2012 incarnations.  What a difference a couple decades and a few hundred million bucks does to a superteam.

But to be fair, while Thor, Captain America and the Hulk are all from late 1970s CBS TV series/TV movies, CH's '78 "Iron Man" is actually a character called Exo-Man, which is not a Marvel Comics character, but rather a TV movie/pilot that didn't get picked up.  Ok, so it's an Iron Man rip-off, and from what I vaguely recall from watching the thing, Exo-Man used a giant wafle-iron-like device to suit up.  Oh, here it is (thanks YouTube) .


Holy Bootleg Figure, Batman!

We don't feature toys too much on the blog here.  The newer toys enjoy the best manufacturing processes, with things like laser scanning, better sculpting and articulation, and just better materials than toys of old.

There are still places that make toys that are, shall we say, less than of good quality?  Yeah, we're talking about crap bootlegs that look like they were made 40 years ago under the most backward of manufacturing conditions, with lots of poisonous lead-based paint likely used for good measure.

Comics Alliance has a nice post up about bootlegs, specifically a bootleg Batman that has to be seen to be believed.  (photo from WeirdoToys.com)

This is just all kinds of f--ked up, but in a hilarious way.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Photoshop Phasered Fumetti

Blasts from the Photoshop TOS Fumetti past.











Star Trek is Copyright 2014 and a Registered Trademark of CBS Studios, Inc.  Screencaps from Trekcore.com. Metaluna monster Copyright Its Respective Rights Holder. No infringement of these rights is intended with this parody.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Snake Plissken takes on Hazel the Maid

Perhaps the greatest "double feature" EVER aired on OTA station Antenna TV this morning.  From 6a -8a, they showed the scifi actioner "Escape From New York," featuring the adventures of the cynical, wise-cracking, take charge Snake Plissken.  This was immediately followed by two episodes of "Hazel," the classic 1950s sitcom about the adventures of a cynical, wise-cracking, take charge maid named Hazel.

I just know Hazel would have had a field day cleaning up NYC after it became a maximum security prison. 




Monday, February 10, 2014

Swing On Over To The Monkey Bar

Because it's a slow news day as far as monkeys are concerned, and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes isn't out until July, here's a primate photo-op I ran back in December 2009.






Planet of the Apes series is Copyright 2014 by 20th Century Fox. No infringement of those rights is intended with this parody.  Andy Serkis mo-capped all the monkeys in this pic!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A New Food Truck Rocks Vasquez




Star Trek is Copyright 2014 and a Registered Trademark of CBS Studios, Inc. No infringement of those rights is intended with this parody. Screencaps from Trekcore.com. Metrons eat free.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR



Star Trek is Copyright 2013 & 2014 and a Registered Trademark of CBS Studios, Inc. No infringement of those rights is intended with this parody. Screencaps from Trekcore.com.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Celebrate Movie Posters Of Old

A blogger named Frederick has a terrific fun blog called HELD OVER MOVIES where he puts up old newspaper ads for movies. 

Check it out for a couple reasons: 1. the great rush of nostalgia at seeing ads for pics like Orca, The Spy Who Loved Me, Planet Of The Apes, chop-socky classic Exit The Dragon, Enter The Tiger and something called Superargo vs. Diabolicus, and 2. the thrill of seeing old-style poster designs and paintings (before Photoshopping everything became the norm).

Since Darren Aronofsky's new film Noah is coming out in 2014, this poster for In search of Noah's Ark seemed the perfect thing to post here.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Godzilla ROARS In 2014!

Move over, Mothra. Cram it, Cloverfield.  And pack it in you Pacific Rim kaijus. The first - and best - giant monster of them all it coming back to the big screen in May 2014. 

We can only be talking about Godzilla.

The new American Godzilla film is directed by Gareth Edwards (the fun low budget scifi movie, Monsters), with a shooting script by Frank Darabont.

This first teaseer trailer is phenomenal.  Serious, smart, great mood and atmosphere, incredibly realistic visual effects.  And, holy crap, that ROAR at the end is - to use a classic Marvel Comics cover blurb - "senses shattering!"  

This movie should rock so f#@%!*& hard!

Here's the teaser from You Tube:




Sunday, December 22, 2013

Three Words That Strike Fear Into Movie Watchers

Here are three words on film posters that strike fear into movie-watchers everywhere: "and Richard Grieco."

Mr. Grieco has been coasting on his status as one of the 21 Jump Street TV brat pack dudes, but, come on now, that show ended over 20 years ago.  Grieco was only on it for one season, plus one season on his character's spinoff show.  Jump Street was nowhere near as influential or popular a show as, say, Miami Vice, so come on people, it's time to stop renting the crap Grieco makes.

Comics Alliance had this to say about "mockbuster" The Almighty Thor, which stars Patricia Velasquez, Kevin Nash "and Richard Grieco" - "Almighty Thor is nowhere near as good as you want a movie starring Richard Grieco as Loki and Big Daddy Cool Diesel Kevin Nash as Odin (with absolutely no effort made to hide his tattoos) to be, but it does feature dinosaurs and Thor with a machine gun."

Other flicks starring some folks "and Richard Grieco" include, A House Is Not A Home and Evil Breed: The Legend Of Samhain.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tom Laughlin: Indie Director/Writer/Actor of Billy Jack Film Series Dies

"I'm going to take this right foot...and I'm going to wop you on that side of your face.  And you want to know something...there's not a damn thing you're going to be able to do about it."

I imagine Billy Jack is having that conversation with St. Peter at the pearly gates.  Yes, you read that right, Billy Jack or rather his earthbound form of actor/writer/director Tom Laughlin has passed, on December 12 at age 82, from this reservation onto the next.

No one did Native American-US Army vet-turned-pacifist-action-hero like Laughlin.  He played the black hat-wearing, denim-clad Billy Jack in four films: The Born Losers (1967), Billy Jack (1971), The Trial of Billy Jack (1974) and Billy Jack Goes To Washington (1977).


As a kid, I loved the first two films in the series.  Laughlin had a likeable, genuine screen presence (although it's obvious when his double, Hapkido master and the movie's fight choreographer Bong-soo Han is being used).  Billy Jack wasn't a superhero, but man, could he open a can of whoop-ass on a bunch of dumb rednecks.



Monday, December 16, 2013

Community - A Look At Season Five

Community.  You love it.  You...can be indifferent to it.  I would say without a doubt that it was the most creative series on TV in its first three seasons (under creator and showrunner Dan Harmon), although, admittedly, it wasn't always the funniest.

After Harmon was fired for season four and other producers were brought on to guide the show, I lost interest, but watching the early episodes in syndication has got me wanting to once again sign up for classes at Greendale Community College. 

Here is the trailer, via YouTube for Season Five, which features the return of Dan Harmon to the creative reins of the show.  While I am sad that Donald Glover is leaving the series (the relationship between his character Troy and Danny Pudi's Abed is the true heart of the series)  I cannot wait for the latest paintball episode.


22 Jump Street...Hell, Yeah

Because the 21 Jump Street movie was such a wonderful, funny, raunchy surprise, here for your viewing pleasure is the restricted red band trailer for 22 Jump Street on YouTube:


SNL Puts Guy Fieri Into Christmas

The Christmas season brings to mind a few things:  snow, grandma getting run over by a reindeer, Rudolph specials, presents, and...Guy Fieri?

Well, thanks to the folks at Saturday Night Live you now can add the super-bleached host of "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" to your holiday yulelog with their Guy Fieri Full Throttle Christmas Special.

More fun than the actual Guy Fieri himself, SNL's X-Mas special features the "human equivalent of the food (he) makes," with guests like Kid Rock, Criss Angel, Kimbo Slice, Mimi from "Drew Carey" and the dudes from Duck Dynasty.

Check out the insanity here, courtesy of Screen Crush.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Twizzler Goes Star Trekking

Star Trek.  Twizzlers.

Two great things that boldly go together?  Well, apparently someone thought so, which is why we get this Twizzlers candy ad with a Star Trek TOS Enterprise and theme.

A funny thing, though, is they pattern the "warp effect" after the one used in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, not the Original Series, which uses the refit Enterprise and has a different musical theme.  But it works better in the context of the commercial (and it's another way to utilize more Twizzlers in the mix), so we'll let it slide.

Oh, well, it's still fun, with some great visuals.  And Twizzlers are still a sweet treat.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Star Trek Scribbles From Long Long Ago

My brother M sent me this pic.  It's from an old notebook* of mine from 1982.  Yup, that's a epic Star Trek Federation versus Klingons battle that I drew/doodled. 

Can't recall who won, though (hopefully, the good guys).


* Yes, kids, before blogs and the Interwebs and tablets and lasers you had to draw shit in spiral-bound school notebooks!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bananas: A New "Canvas" For Art

Two words: BANANA. ART.

Japanese “banana engraver” Keisuke Yamada once again shows that any material can be used in the creation of art.  Even delicious potassium-rich bananas.

Check out his great takes on Homer Simpson, Darth Vader, Marge Simpson, the Alien from Alien, and others at Comics Alliance.

Marvel Comics Shined In The 1980s

In the early 1980s, it was a good time to be a comic book reader.  There was a true renaissance going on in those four-color pages and Marvel Comics was at the center of it.  Under the direction of Marvel editor in chief Jim Shooter, writers and artists like Chris Claremont and John Byrne on Uncanny X-Men; Frank Miller working as writer and penciller (then later as breakdown artist for penciller/finisher Klaus Janson) on Daredevil; and Walter Simonson breathed new life into Asgardian mythology in penciling and writing The Mighty Thor. 

These creators, and others with similar passions on other titles, breathed new life into characters that were nearing the end of their second decade of publishing.  Some titles, like X-Men (which had been featuring reprints of earlier tales) and Daredevil were close to being canceled before these young creators took hold of them and revitalized them for a new generation of readers. 

A wonderful blog called Marvel Comics Of The 1980s celebrates that decade of creativity, including those heady early 80s years spotlighting not only the titles and talents listed above, but also gems like Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz's acclaimed run on Moon Knight; David Michelinie, Bob Layton and John Romita Jr.'s seminal Iron Man stories (many facets of which were used in the recent Iron Man big screen movies); and John Byrne's epic run on Fantastic Four, widely viewed as the best run on that title since the 100+ issues from series creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Green Lantern Shines Brightest In 60s Cartoon Series

Ever watch the 2011 Green Lantern movie they made with Ryan Reynolds?  They gave it a huge budget.  Reynolds was certainly a likeable comedic actor.  And they tapped Martin Campbell - who directed the incredible James Bond flick Casino Royale - to helm the film.

The result: total wackness.  Just a dull, boring movie.  Nothing memorable about it, except how unmemorable it was.

Filmation Animation did a Green Lantern cartoon series in 1967.  It was much more fun, faithful to the comic books, and exciting than the big budget movie ever was.  Check out this episode from YouTube.  And yes, the baddie is named Evil Star!


Blog Flim Sketchr Highlights Movie And TV Conceptual Design Art

There's a great blog called Film Sketchr which showcases a range of incredible artwork done for fantasy and science fiction films and television shows.  It includes concept art and paintings, storyboards and more from legends like Harper Goff (20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and Fantastic Voyage), Ralph McQuarrie (Star Wars: The Original Trilogy and ET), Andy Probert (original Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: The Motion Picture) to legends-in-the-making John Eaves (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Oz The Great And Powerful) and Ryan Church (Avatar and Star Trek: 2009 Reboot).

Check it out here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Spider-Man's Foe Kraven The Hunter Needs A Makeover

Spider-Man has faced his share of supervillains both in the 4-color comic book pages and on the silver screen. Green Goblin.  Doctor Octopus.  Sandman.  Venom.  The Lizard.

With Amazing Spider-Man 2 due in theaters in 2014, the villainous Electro will be added to the list.

One baddie we hope will NEVER see the big screen is Kraven The Hunter.  Kraven has simply the WORST costume design probably ever.  He wears an open vest with a lion's head - the big cat's eyes are where Krav's nipples would be (more on this later).  He also wears leopard spotted tights (Leopard.  Spotted.  Tights.) and strappy sandals.  Top this all off with a mustache that makes the Village People insanely jealous, and you have the worst-dressed spider-villain of all time.

Don't believe me, check out this pic:





Oh, and his "eye-nipples" shoot out some kinda jungle date-rape drug or sleeping gas (see panel 4, below).




Art by John Byrne and Dave Hunt, sourced from Grantbridge Street & Other Misadventures. Spider-Man and all characters shown are Copyright by Marvel Comics.


Space Ghost Designs

Hanna-Barbera produced a nifty adventure cartoon in the 1960s called Space Ghost. It ran in syndication for a number of years in the 70s which is when I eventually caught it.

Space Ghost was designed by now-legendary comic book artist Alex Toth.  I found these early Space Ghost designs at a blog called Rip Jaggers Dojo. It's always interesting to me to see an artist's design process (that early sketch would have been more cumbersome to animate).  That first sketch with the boots and the underwear on the outside would have made Space Ghost just another standard superhero costume knockoff. 

Mr. Toth's overall creedo of "less is more" prevailed and he nailed it with his amazing final minimalist Space Ghost costume design (among other refinements, no boots, no undies on the outside).

Galoob's ST:TNG Toys Revisited

Remember back in the day when Star Trek: The Next Generation first graced our tv screens?  After years of re-runs of TOS, new Star Trek: TNG episodes meant new Star Trek toys!

Whether you were an avid toy collector or just liked to keep a Data or Geordi action figure sitting atop your desk at work, or a phaser in the drawer to vaporize trespassers to your work station, the fine folks at Galoob Toys sought to please all those folks with some great toys.

The amazing site Trekcore - which this site is forever indebted to for their screencaps of every ST iteration - has a great three-part series looking at the Galoob/ST: TNG connection. It's a must read.

Trekcore's Part 1 of their Galoob retrospective.