Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thor 2 Hits July 2013


Looks like we haven't seen the last of the God of Thunder. The Hollywood Reporter's Heatvision blog is reporting that Marvel and parent company Disney (who will be now handling distribution for Marvel's productions starting with next year's The Avengers) has set July 26, 2013 for the release of Thor 2 http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/thor-2-headed-theaters-july-207365. The article also reports that director Kenneth Branagh will not be returning to direct, following a "mutual parting of the ways" as the article reports. We'll have to wait and see who replaces him. UPDATE: July 3: While a new director hasn't been found yet, a writer has: Don Payne, who worked on the script for the first Thor, as well as Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and episodes of The Simpsons, has been hired for screenwriting duties http://www.slashfilm.com/don-payne-writing-thor-2/ . I wonder if Comic Book Guy will approve?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pixar's "Brave" Teaser Trailer


After running with this weekend's Cars 2, Pixar has now released online the teaser for their next movie, their first fairy tale adventure that is (based on the plot description from IMDB) "set in Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, Brave features Merida, an aspiring archer and impetuous daughter of royalty. Merida makes a reckless choice that unleashes unintended peril and forces her to spring into action to set things right." The film's direction was recently taken over by Mark Andrews, who did a variety of odd jobs (including second unit director and work on the script) for John Carter (of Mars) and it looks like he might deliver a good rousing film. If anything at least it won't have Larry the Cable Guy in it. Enjoy the teaser below!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Comic Review: Rocketeer Adventures #2


Are you ready for more high flying fun?

As with the previous issue, this one is divided into three short stories. The first one, "It Ain't the Fall That Kills Ya..." by veteran comics writer Mark Waid and art by Chris Weston, find Cliff Secord, girlfriend Betty and friend Peevy in San Francisco for the Golden Gate International Expo where Cliff plans on using the rocket pack to gain attention and make some money. His plans go awry however when he's shown up by Aeroman, a comic book hero-or in this case a model who just hit on Betty-and Cliff has to rescue the fake hero when a sniper decides to take him out.

The second story, "Betty Saves the Day!" by writer-artist Darwyn Cooke (DC: The New Frontier) is a tongue-in-cheek homage to Saturday matinee serials as an injured Cliff and Betty escape a runaway train only for Betty to suddenly have to strap on the rocket and save both of them, which isn't easy in high heels and stockings.

The last story "TKO" written by Lowell Francis with art by Gene Ha, has Cliff in a knockout brawl with another rocket man in Los Angeles. Cliff has to use his wits and his abilities to avoid bats and his opponent's arsenal or otherwise he might not survive.

Like the first issue, I really enjoyed the approach that publisher IDW is taking with the character and the fun, light hearted tone. The first story is a hoot, a fun take on comics-complete with Cliff's dismissal that "no good is ever gonna come from those things!" as well as a good story on what people do to get famous. The second also brings welcome humor that Darwyn Cooke showed off well during his run on DC's The Spirit. I also loved the setup with it's opening recap and the promise of episode 7 and that it gives Betty a showcase, even if she is probably more scantly clad than most serial heroines. The last story is a little of an odd man out as it drops the humor for more action. But it delivers that big time, thanks to Ha's artwork and the idea of two rocket men doing battle. I also thought it was a cool touch how Francis handled the story, using a boxing announcer's comments during a bout as a comment on the fight going on outside the arena.

Throw in a cool pinup piece by artist Geof Darrow and a choice of two cool covers, one (shown above) by Alex Ross and another using original art by Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens and you got a great comic book that any fan of the Rocketeer should snap up. Again I'll break from the norm and give it a full **** star rating.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tars Tarkas "In Stock" and John Carter News


Some brief news bits for your morning. First up Triad Toys' web site is now listing their Tars Tarkas figure in stock http://www.triadtoys.com/Licenses/John+Carter+of+Mars/TARS+TARKAS+M%7CX+FORMAT+FIGURE.html. A friend who purchased it also told me that he received confirmation that it has shipped so those who pre-ordered watch your mailboxes.

Next up the Hufffington Post has a really good article looking at Edgar Rice Burroughs and his influence on current pop culture http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-nevins/how-classic-sci-fi-and-comics-have-defined-hollywood_b_877427.html. Definitely worth a read for fans.

Finally a possible web site has popped up. On a previous post I mentioned that Disney had trademarked certain website addresses. I had just tried http://www.johncarterarrives.com which before usually came up with an error page not found message. Today though I was redirected to http://disney.go.com/johncarter/. The site currently says "Page Not Found" but the fact that the former address led to that one possibly mean that the trailer and something else could be popping up soon.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens Behind the Scenes



While we wait for any possible John Carter trailer sightings, here's a new featurette on Jon Favreau's upcoming sci-fi western with interviews with the director, writers and producers Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg to keep you busy. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris #4


If there was one thing missing from this week's teaser poster and concept art release it was any sight of the incomprable Princess. So here you go!

As this issue opens the Jeddaks of Helium, Ptarth and Zodanga are holding a secret meeting on how to deal with the Jeddak of Yorn and his fusion with the monsterous Colossus. But personal squabling and an attack by the creature sends everyone into hiding in the "howling mesas where the driving winds will deter Yorn's air scouts." However when ambushing a group of ground riders, Dejah and her men find Prince Vallin, whose scientific genius produces a device to sever Yorn's connection with the Colossus. Dejah volunteers and before too long is outfitted with another Vallin creation-a pair of golden wings since...well a one man fighter should be able to penetrate the outer defense and install the device. But when Vallin lays his heart on his sleeve to Dejah the two discover how much hurt this conflict has caused.

With one more issue to go until the final issue in this storyline, this issue takes a suprising slow approach to setting up the final battle and actually benefits from it. The opening sequence-where the Jeddaks argue with each other-does a pretty good job of capturing the petty rivalries and squabbles of the various red men of Barsoom present in the novels. We also get a cool cameo appearance (I won't spoil it here) and some nifty action scenes. The last scene between Dejah and Vallin also brings an emotional core to their relationship.

Carlos Rafael's artwork is once again top notch so no complaints there as are the cover art by Paul Renaud and Joe Jusko. I just hope all three stick with the series when the next story arc begins. So in closing this might be the best issue so far of this series and a good setup for the climax next month.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

John Carter Movie Concept Art and Stanton Speaks


After a good year of nothing we now get the goodies! Following up yesterday's poster release, the Los Angeles Times' HeroComplex blog scored an exclusive interview with John Carter director Andrew Stanton and the unveiling of two pieces of concept artworkhttp://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/06/16/john-carter-andrew-stanton-on-martian-history-comic-con-and-monty-python/ . I won't post the entire interview but here is some snippets that caught my attention.



On where the film is now: "We’ve cut the movie together and started the whole visual effects animation process last summer and then we did a month of re-shoots in L.A. in April, and now it’s just a race to get it all done in time. "

On his approach to adapting Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel: " I was able to recognize the fact that [the book] was not as solid in the material as I had remembered. At the same time I put a lot of value on the fact that I had remembered it and that I couldn't ever stop thinking about it. The bones of it were strong, the sediment, the soil of it, was really fertile and ready to have built from it."

On the look and design: "I looked at things like Apocaplyto and Rome and even things like Shogun and Lawrence of Arabia, things that as a viewer I could accept as having a level of historical research."

And on the lack of a Comic-Con presentation: "I know some people will read that as a sign that we’re unsure of our property. It’s just the opposite. We want to control how and what is being seen and the way it is presented."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

John Carter Teaser Poster!


And here it is ! Posted on Apple's ITunes section http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/disney/johncarter/gallery/ our first glimpse of something-in this case star Taylor Kitsch and the promise that "John Carter Arrives 3.9.12." A brief update-I added a new poll asking what you think on the side.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #7


Again I can't think of a snappy opening. So here we go.

When we last left off, John Carter had become separated from Dejah Thoris and Sola after escaping the Tharks. As this issue opens he has stumbled upon a strange structure that he soon discovers is an Atmosphere Factory that maintains the air of Barsoom. Inside he finds the factory's keeper who accidentally reveals the code to enter and leave the factory to John and plans to correct his mistake. John escapes though and soon finds three brothers-the Ptor family-who provides needed information-Dejah is being held captive by Than Kosis, the Jeddak of Zodanga. And if that isn't enough the king's son Sab Than has developed an interest in Dejah. With some red body paint John sneaks in and becomes a scout in the Zodangan air force and ends up saving the nephew of Than Kosis. His reward is guarding the Jeddak. And as the issue ends possibly the Jeddak's future daughter in law...

Like the previous issues, this one's strongest asset is Arvid Nelson's writing. Again the plot is direct from Burroughs (except for the notable absence of Kantos Kan) with the factory, the Ptors, the arrival and rescue of the nephew and some nice little touches...It's all there. I admit this does cause a lack of suspense if you've read the novel and know where things are headed but to this fan-after the original Marvel series and its additions-it's nice to see someone who has read the book and is determined to remain faithful to it.

Where this issue gets off track is in the art, or rather some of the artistic choices, especially with the characters. The factory keeper is drawn here as a midget who looks like a voodoo chieftain from an old jungle or Tarzan movie while Than Kosis is another rotund bad guy. And Sab Than? He looks like he's 15 years old! And the city of Zodanga isn't shown off enough. Maybe that will be fixed in the next issue.

So I guess the score is this: the writing is strong but the art-or at least some of the artistic choices-needs work. Still fans of John Carter who've been keeping up will enjoy this issue. And another A+ for the cover artwork by Joe Jusko. Next to the Rockwell cover for issue 5, this might be the best one of this series.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

John Carter Trailer and Comic-Con News


Well this morning we have some possible good news, some bad news and some questionable news. In this case from ERBzine http://www.erbzine.com/news/ who has some information from James Sullios, president of ERB, Inc, concerning the upcoming John Carter film. The info as follows:

-the first trailer for the film will be attached to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 coming out July 15.
-That Disney has decided NOT to promote the film at all at the San Diego Comic-Con.
-The film is currently undergoing reshoots of the "live scenes of the film."

OK the news about the trailer is welcome but why is Disney skipping Comic-Con, the biggest fanboy/geek convention of the year? Do they think the film has no appeal to that audience or is there something else? It doesn't help their cause that's for sure. Also the news of reshoots can be seen as either helping the film or because of problems that have popped up. We'll have to wait and see what Disney's official spin on this will be.

Friday, June 10, 2011

More Mark Strong on John Carter (OF MARS!)


So I'm a day late with this one. MTV scored a brief chat with Mark Strong who gave us more info on the upcoming John Carter http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2011/06/09/green-lantern-mark-strong-john-carter/?xrs=share_twitter. Along with the usual gushing, he did reveal some news-first up don't expect the Therns to be sporting their wigs as apparently "the feeling was that recreating that on film was a little bit strange." (Shape shifting isn't I guess?) Also that the film will stand out: "The thing that I think will distinguish it, which I'm most excited by, is that even though it takes place in space — it's science fiction — it's from a Victorian point of view." That actually sounds good for a change.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Marvel's "John Carter: A Princess of Mars"



I guess this wasn't that much of a surprise if you think about it. Marvel has announced they have partnered with the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate to produce their own comic book series according to the site Comic Book Movie http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/scifimediazone/news/?a=38946&t=Marvel_Announces_John_Carter_A_Princess_of_Mars. No mention is made of Disney's hand in this but considering Marvel published some TRON comics last year this is probably another way Disney will be using Marvel to help promote their movies. From the official press release:

"By working closely with the ERB estate, all John Carter comics produced with Marvel Entertainment will be considered part of the official canon, adding new layers to the rich mythos created by Burroughs.

Transported to the dying planet of Mars, Captain John Carter must now fight for his life against creatures unlike any ever seen by mankind. But as he finds himself enveloped by an alien civil war, he meets the proud and beautiful Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, who will change his life forever!

“With our new partnership with Marvel Entertainment, we believe we have found the best creative force to revive the thrills and adventures in the 21st Century of the legendary John Carter of Mars. We are looking forward to introducing this original interplanetary adventurer to a new generation of fans and await the first issue with great anticipation,” said James Sullos, President of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

Re-envisioned by acclaimed scribe Roger Langridge (Thor: The Mighty Avenger) and fan-favorite artist Filipe Andrade (Onslaught Unleashed), with covers by Eisner-winner Skottie Young (Wonderful Wizard of Oz), John Carter: A Princess of Mars #1 (of 5) brings you the story you love like you’ve never seen it before.

“Edgar Rice Burroughs created one of the great action heroes in John Carter and we’re excited to bring his novels to comics for a new generation,” said Axel Alonso, Marvel Editor-In-Chief. “Roger and Filipe are going to blow everyone away with their take on the John Carter novels, keeping fans new and old on the edge of their seats.”

This September, one of the greatest action stories of all time comes to life in John Carter: A Princess of Mars #1!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Warlord of Mars Volume One Announced


For those who have missed an issue or just wanted to wait this is for you. Amazon is taking pre-orders for Warlord of Mars Volume One, a trade paperback of the first 8 issues from Dynamite Comics http://www.amazon.com/Warlord-Mars-TP-Arvid-Nelson/dp/1606902067/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1307409270&sr=8-4. In addition to the issues the book will also contain "bonus material and a complete cover gallery featuring such great artists as Alex Ross, Joe Jusko, J. Scott Campbell, Lucio Parrillo, and more." The book is set for release October 11. I would also like to take a moment to mention a new feature here-a weekly poll on the side. This week's question concerns the recent retitling of the John Carter of Mars movie. Just make sure to vote and let the people know how you feel.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Warlord of Mars 2012 Calendar


For those who like calendars and ogling Dejah Thoris here you go! Dynamite will be publishing a 2012 calendar that is set to go on sale on August 31. From the website http://www.tfaw.com/Posters/Profile/Warlord-Of-Mars-2012-Calendar___387279 here's the description: "Start 2012 with a trip to Mars! This full color calendar features incredible art by J. Scott Campbell, ,Alex Ross, Joe Jusko, Paul Renaud, Arthur Adams, and Lucio Parrillo from the hit Warlord of Mars comic books. 2012 is the year of John Carter and his adventures on Mars!"

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tarzan Returns!


To the big screen anyway. According to Deadline, writer-director Craig Brewer (whose credits include Hustle and Flow and the upcoming Footloose remake) has been hired by Warner Bros to write and possibly direct a new live action Tarzan film http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/craig-brewer-makes-tarzan-deal-writing-ape-man-saga-as-trilogy/ with plans for it to be an opening chapter of a new trilogy. No word on whether it will adapt any of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels or be an original story though so we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Green Lantern Featurette


OK more Green stuff. In this case a featurette called "The Oath, The Ring and The Lantern" that should help fill in the blanks for those unfamiliar with the mythology of the movie. Enjoy!