Archive for the ‘flash gordon’ Category
Filed Under flash gordon, perils on planet x, where the wild things are
Gonna kinda ease back into this after a couple of days off. Hope everyone’s holidays have been swell so far!
Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon
Over at the Perils on Planet X production blog, Christopher Mills has the skinny on a new, complete collection of Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon work. Gettin’ it.
Perils on Planet X
Mills also has the Eduardo Barreto variant cover for the first issue of his own, highly anticipated (by me, especially) space pulp, Perils on Planet X.
Where the Wild Things Are
/Film links to a long AICN interview with Where the Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze. I love (and this is totally not sarcasm here) how Jonze has to sort of feel his way around in order to describe what he was going for with the film. It’s very heartfelt and real, like he – you know – actually has a creative vision and passion for the movie.
Filed Under aliens, chuck, flash gordon, grant gould, indiana jones, jessica hickman, keira knightley, robots, shazam, thing, wanted
Ben Grimm loves Indiana Jones
Bully’s got the story.
Siskoid’s got cool stuff too
Namely: write ups on underappreciated DC characters like the Grim Ghost (who’d be much more interesting if he still called himself the Gay Ghost), G.I. Robot (it’s all there in the name, pal), and the dino-kicking, poison-blooded Green Man. Gorilla Grodd’s there too, making me fantasize about what a cool comic it would be to have him fight the Green Man, G.I. Robot, and the Gay Ghost.
Did Millar bait-and-switch the Wanted movie?
Trying to head off potential complaints that Wanted
is no longer a superhero story like the comic it’s supposedly based on, Top Cow spokesman Mel Caylo explains
that the movie is actually based on Wanted
’s original concept
; not the comic that was produced from it.
“What many people don’t know is that Wanted was optioned before the series was concluded … At that time, Mark had an idea based around a society of assassins that worked underground or behind the scenes, and that’s what the producers bought. Mark then decided to go in the direction that Earth was once populated by superheroes, but they have been vanquished, … and supervillains now run the Earth [in] five major cabals that run the whole world.”
Before the series was “concluded?” It sounds to me like it was optioned before the series was started. I’m not saying that Millar was necessarily unethical because I don’t know what kind of communication went on with the filmmakers as he was changing his mind. I am saying though that I’m way more excited about the movie than I am about ever reading the comic.
Billy Batson and the Legend of Shazam
Speaking of movies’ being faithful to comics, Peter Segal (Get Smart
) reassures fans
that he’s going to keep the Shazam
movie as faithful to the original comics as he can.
“You have to please the original fans, but also make it survive on its own for people who might not be familiar with the series,” Segal said. “So we try to do both, and that’s constantly the balancing act. But I think the underlying similarity between adapting Shazam and adapting Get Smart is you have to love the source material, you have to embrace it. You can’t look at it as a fixer-upper.”
You know, the way DC has.
Flash Gordon comic
Filed Under avengers, bittersweet, captain america, flash gordon, indiana jones, sea adventures, seaguy, spider-man, spies, thor
Wait… Indy’s not real?!
I am shocked! SHOCKED, I tell you!
The Lost Ark Raiders, on the other hand…
Are very real. And German.
Indiana Jones makes everything better, part 468
Indy 5 possible
And Lucas is already figuring out ways to make it suck:
I haven’t even told Steven or Harrison this, but I have an idea to make Shia the lead character next time and have Harrison come back, like Sean Connery did in the last movie. I can see it working out.
That’s just depressing. George, you do realize you couldn’t call it Indiana Jones and the Whatever, don’t you?
No, you probably don’t.
Hey, you guuuuuuuys!
On a potentially much happier note, The Sesame Workshop is bringing back The Electric Company. I’m not holding my breath that it’ll have those Awesome Spider-Man segments or Easy Reader, but I bet Letterman’s a possibility.
Music to kill spies to
Bitter:Sweet’s first album The Mating Game was really darn good. Especially the title song, which someone should just build a James Bond movie around right now. Their new album Drama is coming out next month and from the tracks I’ve heard, it sounds even better than the first.
I was apparently too stupid the first time around to recognize the genius behind a heroic scuba-diver, a cigar-chomping tuna, and a moon-building Pharoah. Fortunately, opportunity sometimes knocks twice.
Flash Gordon reboot, take two
After the abysmal failure of the SciFi Network’s Flash Gordon series to be cool, it’s nice to hear that we may get to cleanse our palates with a fresh try. I’m guessing we have the upcoming Buck Rogers movie to thank for Hollywood’s interest.
Get it right, guys.
Captain America and Thor movie details (very general spoilers below)
Captain America will be a WWII period piece, though I’m guessing it’ll end with him in modern times (or that’ll happen early in the Avengers movie). Thor will be a fantasy film largely taking place in Asgard. It’s going to be so hard to get the Thor movie right, but I’m rooting for them.
Filed Under aliens, flash gordon, frazetta, galaxyquest, giant monsters, giant robots, knight rider, larklight, nazis, robots, star wars, steampunk, thundercats, vikings
Star Wars 1942
This idea is really long overdue when you think about it.
Out with Flash Gordon; in with Knight Rider
Really neither Flash Gordon’s cancellation nor Knight Rider’s being picked up as a series should come as a surprise.
I don’t know if this can capture the Awesomeness of the movie, but I’m sure gonna find out.
For those of us who like the steampunk movies but were a tad disappointed in The Golden Compass, here’s our second chance.
Frank Frazetta’s Savage World
Not too incredible Shrinking Man
Enough with the comedy remakes of cool scifi properties. It’s not attractive on Land of the Lost and it doesn’t make me want to see The Incredible Shrinking Man either. I mean, Eddie Murphy? Honestly.
Robot McGee explains fine art
Is fine art a mystery to you? Never fear. Now there’s a robot who will explain famous paintings to you. Sort of.
Steampunk Star Wars action figures
Somebody give this man a job designing these things so they can be mass-produced and I can buy them.
This sounds like a must-have and Bookgasm’s interview with the editors is a must-read if only for the numerous recommendations of other steampunk books.
Pretty self-explanatory actually.
Giant monster attacks inevitable
Why oh why will no one listen to the scientists?
We can say with certainty that there will be a giant monster attack on Washington DC within the next twenty years, and that this monster will probably pee on the Jefferson Memorial…
Wake up, people!
Giant robot imprisons cars
And it’s not like we can rely on our giant robots. They’re already turning against us!
Stupid scientists plan giant, buzz-saw-wielding, “fire fighter” robot.
This is going to go horribly, horribly wrong.
Kim Jong Il unfolds into giant robot
We’re all doomed.
On a lighter note, the alien vs. Vikings vs. giant monster movie Outlander now has a poster.
Super Robot Red Baron
“Red Baron is a show that’s all about chunky-looking giant robots fighting each other and thrashing lots of model buildings, which is a formula that’s pretty hard to find fault with.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
I guess Thundercats Season 2 is available in the UK now or something.
Filed Under flash gordon, john carter of mars, medieval, scifi, space opera
By Michael W. Kaluta
A John Carter of Mars Romance
By John Coleman Burroughs. Golden Age Comic Books has lots more John Carter art here.
The Legends of Charlemagne
By N.C. Wyeth. More Wyeth Charlemagne stuff here.
Filed Under batman, battlestar galactica, chuck, cloverfield, dinosaurs, flash gordon, giant monsters, giant robots, jurassic pak, king kong, lost, pulp, scifi, spies, steampunk, tom clancy, wonder woman
Battlestar Galactica at SCI FI’s upfront
Tons of pictures and a brief report of the event at the Battlestar Blog.
Huge Sci Fi live auction on the Ebay
Includes Charles Middleton’s Ming cape from Flash Gordon (1936), a hydraulic velociraptor from Jurassic Park, Michael Keaton’s Batman costume, an original King Kong poster, and more. SCI FI Wire has the details.
Didn’t like the ending to Cloverfield?
Wonder Woman statue
I’m not enough of a fan to fork out 300 bucks for it, but dang that’s a nice statue. Real leather and fabric on the costume and everything. Not sure what the lasso’s made of, but it looks real too.
Scifi is dead; long live the Kings
One of the reasons io9 cites critics as saying why the science fiction genre is dead is that “SF is now real life.” To which I say, “Fine.” I’ve always been more interested in the fantasy elements of it anyway. Hard scifi bores the crap out of me. Hard scifi is inexcusably deficient in Wookiees, ray guns, and space princesses.
Fortunately though, not all modern scifi authors feel like they have to realistically portray or predict the science. Maybe it’s not real scifi, but I’ll take S.M. Stirling’s version any day. He describes his novel In the Courts of the Crimson Kings this way:
“In [the book's] timeline, we discover in the course of the 20th century that Mars (and Venus) are living worlds, with strangely humanoid inhabitants–[which is] confirmed by Soviet and American space probes in the early 1960s… The Mars of Crimson Kings is a dying but still habitable world, with the wreck of an ancient civilization that once ruled the entire planet under the Tollamune dynasty, when Earthlings were still cracking flints and fighting off cave bears.”
New Jack Ryan movies?
Not interested. The franchise has already been killed by the Affleck reboot. Trying to start over yet again is like making a copy of a copy, even if Sam Raimi is directing. Unless of course they get someone really cool to play Ryan, in which case I don’t care what the character’s name is, I’ll see it because it’s a spy movie with a cool actor.
But honestly, if they want to just toss a Tom Clancy name on their non-Clancy movies to increase audience recognition, they should make them Mr. Clark movies and let Ryan appear as a recurring, supporting character.
Steam Wars and Undead Backbrain
Robert Hood’s Undead Backbrain blog is fricking Awesome and you should be reading it. It would save me having to link to him every single day if you did, which is what it looks like I’ll be doing if his content stays as consistent as it has so far. He’s the one who turned me on to Automatons and that viking vs. aliens film.
Now though, it’s all about Steam Wars, a steampunk giant-monster project by the guy who did The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. Even if the film never gets made, it’s worth the post just to see the concept art.
Chuck news (and a little bit of Lost)
The writers of Chuck are taking advantage of their strike hiatus to tweak the show a little. According to TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello who attended the Chuck panel at Paley Fest, “‘The idea is to own the fact that we’ve been off the air for several months, so there’s a reset that’s going to happen,’ said (co-creator Josh) Schwartz of the second-season premiere, slated for September. ‘We’re going to bring in some fresh new characters, some new villains.’”
Lost producer Damon Lindelof moderated the panel and snuck in a bit of Lost news “by revealing the real reason the four-toed statue has yet to be seen again. After the monument first appeared ‘we got a note back from the network that said, “This is too weird,”‘ he explained. ‘I was like, “Do you watch the show? This is too weird?” Essentially, they said, “Could it be a six-toed statue?” I was like, “Someone explain to me why a six-toed statue is less weird than a four-toed statue?” And they’re still noodling on that.’”
I might change my mind once Battlestar comes back on and I start getting into it again, but right this second I need some convincing that the Caprica prequel series is going to be worth watching. It sort of sounds like Dynasty in space.
Filed Under bulldog drummond, flash gordon
I gave it a shot. Really I did.
In spite of pre-show publicity about wormholes instead of spaceships and how Ming was going to be all charming and stuff, I wanted to like SciFi’s new Flash Gordon show. But I just don’t.
I get that they’re trying to reach a “modern audience” and want to make the relationships and the tech “believable.” But did that have to make it so boring in the process? In the ’30s serials, the premise is set up quickly: an alien invasion is coming and someone needs to stop it. Zarkov has the plan and Flash and Dale get swept up in it by happenstance. Then the rest of the series is the three of them trying to save their planet from the merciless Ming and running into all sorts of monsters and aliens in the process. It’s adventure after adventure after adventure. It’s the stuff the inspired freaking Star Wars.
The SciFi series adds the element that Flash’s dad discovered Mongo years ago in some sort of top secret project (supposedly for NASA, but the real sponsors are a mystery). Dad’s former assistant, Zarkov (at least I think he’s Zarkov; two episodes in and I swear I haven’t heard him called by name), teams up with Flash and Dale (Flash’s ex-girlfriend who’s just moved back to town as a local news reporter) to uncover the mystery and figure out what the heck’s going on with all the alien sightings lately. Seems people from Mongo are starting to come to Earth to retrieve a device that belonged to Flash’s dad.
Instead of giant, sexy, space opera adventure, the show is going for a cross between The X-Files and Stargate SG-1 by keeping our heroes mostly earthbound and trying to uncover conspiracies. It might not make for a bad show if it weren’t Flash Gordon. And if we hadn’t seen the same type of story done better already in other shows. I mean, it’s Flash Freaking Gordon! I want to see him teaming up with the Lion Men to fight the Shark Men! I want him to kill giant monsters, escape deadly traps, and battle in alien gladitorial arenas! What’s with this lame ass skulking around at night trying to open a wormhole to Mongo while keeping the aliens’ presence on earth quiet?
I’ve given it two episodes; I’m not giving it any more. Someone let me know if it gets better and I need to check out the DVDs someday.
And speaking of series I’m getting tired of, I’m about done with John Howard’s Bulldog Drummond movies. They’re pretty harmless and disposable at only an hour in length each, but having every movie be about Drummond’s wedding getting interrupted by a sudden, unavoidable adventure has snapped my suspension of disbelief right in two.
I also don’t understand why Scotland Yard keeps trying to actively keep Drummond away from cases when he’s always right about them, nor why the Colonel so objects to being called “Inspector.” I much prefer the ones I watched first where the Colonel and Drummond are on good terms, with the Colonel going so far as to call Drummond in as a sort of consultant on cases that the Yard was having a problem with.
Filed Under flash gordon, jungle
The cover of this DVD said Jungle Man, but the title card in the movie itself claimed that it was Drums of Africa. I’m not sure what the deal is, but it’s not worth trying to figure out.
Whatever it’s called, it’s about an hour long, but half of that is filled with randomly insterted stock footage of animals. The other half-hour is about a party of rich folks who go to Africa to photograph some “lost” ruins called the City of the Dead. The group is made up of a young cad named Bruce, his best friend Andy, Bruce’s fiancé Betty, and Betty’s dad. Betty and her dad aren’t invited at first, but Betty whines about her boring life until Bruce and her dad cave. Her dad’s a pitiful, spineless guy who not only gives in to Betty constantly; he also lets himself get dragged along on her “adventure.”
Dad’s got a brother though who’s a missionary in Africa not far from where the City is supposed to be, so the group hires a worse-than-useless guide (he’s supposed to be funny, but he’s actually stupid, annoying, and dangerous) and goes to find Betty’s uncle. When they get there, they also meet a handsome doctor who’s using the mission as a lab from which he’s trying to cure a local, but deadly plague. And the reverend missionary has a pet tiger that he’s named Satan for some reason. I’m thinking that maybe he’s not as pious as he appears. Either that or he really hates that cat.
The Reverend and Doctor warn Bruce and Andy against trying to find the City. No one’s ever returned alive, etc., etc. Oh, but you need to know how to get there? Here, even though I’ve never been to the City myself, I’ll draw you a very detailed map.
I’d like to tell you that I won’t spoil the ending as a matter of courtesy, but honestly it’s because I’m already bored just thinking about the rest of the movie. There’s no way I’m going to take the time to type it out.
The only notable thing about the film is that it stars Buster “Flash Gordon” Crabbe and Charles “Ming the Merciless” Middleton as Doc Hammond and Reverend Graham. They’re not bad actors and Crabbe is even more charismatic here than he is in the Flash Gordon movies. It’s just too bad that Jungle Man/Drums of Africa is mostly about Betty and Bruce, so neither Crabbe nor Middleton has anything interesting to do.
Filed Under flash gordon, scifi
I really enjoyed the first Flash Gordon serial, so I expected to like the second one too. Unfortunately, Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars was disappointing.
It started out okay. After the adventures from the first serial, Flash, Dale, and Dr. Zarkov have turned into a sort of super team, going out in Zarkov’s space ship to defend Earth whenever trouble threatens. They’re returning from some mission or other when a ray from Mars strikes Earth and causes a bunch of earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Flash, Dale, and Zarkov get back in their ship and zoom to Mars where they learn that the Martian Queen Azura is siphoning off gas from Earth’s atmosphere. She needs the gas to develop weapons for her war against the Martian Clay Men and doesn’t care that she’s destroying Earth to get it. Flash and the gang quickly learn that Ming is on Mars and is the real mastermind behind the Earth’s peril. He’s out for revenge after Flash Gordon and is manipulating Azura to get it.
Which is all good, but unlike Flash Gordon, Trip to Mars tends to drag. Maybe the newness has worn off, or maybe the new characters aren’t as intriguing as the earlier ones, but I got bored watching Flash race back and forth between Azura’s city, the kingdom of the Clay Men, and the spooky forest of the Tree People. The first serial was full of whacked out monsters and man-animal hybrid races, but Trip to Mars sticks with just three and doesn’t get enough mileage out of them.
There’s some political intrigue as Ming works behind Azura’s back to achieve his goals, but Azura’s a nasty enough character herself that we never feel bad for her and the intrigue is inconsequential. It doesn’t matter which bad guy comes out on top, because Flash is going to have to take down both of them eventually.
Dale’s not as interesting a character here as she was in Flash Gordon. Not that she had a lot to do there, but we could see her and Flash starting to fall for each other and that was fun. Here, they’re such an old couple that any affection they show for each other is more buddy-like than romantic. For most of Trip to Mars I was convinced that at some point they’d decided to be “just friends” and we’d just never seen the conversation. But then someone (not either one of them, by the way) mentions matter-of-factly that Flash and Dale are in love, so I guess they’re still together. They’ve just lost the spark.
I might be a pig for saying this, but I wonder if there’s a connection between the easiness of their relationship and the fact that Dale’s quit dying her hair. It may have more to do with trying to get Jean Rogers to look more like the brunette Dale from the comics, but it amuses me to think that she no longer feels the need to go for the bombshell look she sported in the first serial. She also dresses a lot more conservatively this time around. I guess Mars is more modest than Mongo. This might raise an interesting discussion, but when a character is basically nothing more than eye candy, it’s too bad when she doesn’t even succeed very well at that.
Zarkov, on the other hand, has a lot more to do this time around. In the first serial he pretty much stayed in the lab, but here he’s a bona fide partner to Flash and spends as much time throwing punches as he does throwing switches. I’d much rather have seen Dale in that role, but that might be a lot to expect from 1938. Even Happy Hapgood, a goofy reporter who stows away on the adventure (he’d be played by Steve Buscemi if someone decided to remake it), gets in on the action. He’s played for laughs, but he’s still a bigger part of the story than Dale, who’s major contributions are to bomb the Tree People from the air and to be hypnotized into stabbing Flash. Not to dismiss her bombing the Tree People. That was pretty cool actually.
There’s some other cool stuff in Trip to Mars. The Clay People generate a lot of pathos, there’s a bridge in Azura’s city that’s made out of hard light, and Azura’s soldiers have personal “bat-wings” built into their uniforms that they use as parachutes. The recap of previous episodes at the beginning of each chapter is also cool. They have a Martian soldier standing at a computer screen and turning a knob as comic strip panels scroll by and summarize what’s come before. It’s a nice homage to the source material.
But then there’s the crappy music. It’s obviously culled from a lot of different sources (I recognized Bride of Frankenstein, also produced by Universal) that seem to have been mixed into a single track and then looped over and over again. I can’t tell that any thought was given to how the music might affect the mood of the scene it accompanies. There’s light, ballet music over fight scenes and dramatic, “dangerous” music over simple exposition scenes. It’s a mess.
By the end, there was enough cool stuff and enough frustrating stuff that I’m divided about my opinion of it. It didn’t turn me off of the serials, but it did make me want to take a break before watching the last one, Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe. I liked it, but it was a disappointment after Flash Gordon, which I loved.
Filed Under barbarella, batman, comics, flash gordon, meme, mystery, scifi, star wars, superheroes, to read, writing is hard
- I don’t know Christa Faust, but we have some mutual friends, so I was immediately curious about her new novel Money Shot coming out next year from Hard Case Crime. The cover is amazing (as Hard Case covers are), but the sample chapter and the plot description are what got me: “It all began with the phone call asking former porn star Angel Dare to do one more movie. Before she knew it, she’d been shot and left for dead in the trunk of a car. But Angel is a survivor. And that means she’ll get to the bottom of what’s been done to her even if she has to leave a trail of bodies along the way…”
- Not really sure what category to put this under, but since it’s a shirt that spoils the twist endings to a lot of movies and books, I’ll put it here. Careful about clicking the link though. Even though most of the movies are older, there are a couple that I haven’t seen yet, and you might not have either. And if you’re watching the Harry Potter movies, but haven’t read the books, well… you’ve been warned. Still, it’s a great shirt and worth checking out, even if you’d have to be kind of jerk to wear it around.
- Disney-MGM has some awesome ads for their Star Wars Weekends event this June. Fer instance:
- The Barbarella remake has a director and he’s a good one. Now I just gotta get in touch with him about having Duran Duran do the theme song.
- Entertainment Weekly has some dirt on the Sci Fi Channel’s Flash Gordon show. I’m undecided about some of the changes they’re going to be making. Earth and Mongo’s being connected by a wormhole instead of spaceships will take some getting used to, but it does make a lot more sense than having Mongo flying all over the galaxy under its own power. I’m glad to see that Ming will be fleshed out into a villain with deeper motivations than just Wants to Rule the Universe. I’m disappointed though that Flash and Dale are exes. One of my favorite parts of the old serial was watching them fall in love (especially with Princess Aura around to complicate the process) and I feel cheated that we’re not going to get to see that in this version.
- I wasn’t sure whether or not to link yesterday to the site with the image of Heath Ledger as the Joker from The Dark Knight. There was some question about the site’s authenticity, so I just let it go. Shouldn’t have though, because apparently it’s for real. I’ve read some criticism about the makeup and how it’s not accurate to the comics, but whatever. This is far scarier than anything the comics have ever been able to convey. Congratulations to Christopher Nolan, the make-up artists, and Heath Ledger. I’m still a little creeped out.
- I haven’t done these comics meme things before, but I’ve wanted to. The Invincible Super-Blog is responsible for this one:
Writing is Hard
- One of the most useful (and entertaining) blogs for writers for the last two years has been Miss Snark’s. I’ve only discovered it in the last few months, but I was still very disappointed when I visited yesterday and learned that she’s closing it down. I’m going to miss her daily wisdom and humor, but I totally get her reasons for needing to call it done. At least she’s keeping her archives open for those times when I really gotta know something.
- Maybe The Rejecter will be able to fill the Snark-sized hole in my Reader.