Thursday, September 26, 2013

David Yates' "Tarzan" Back on Track


It looks like Tarzan will be ready to let loose the bull ape cry after all. According to Variety, director David Yates' film is now back on track after Warner Bros suspended production after concerns over the costs http://variety.com/2013/film/news/christoph-waltz-tarzan-1200665414/ . The article also has some news on the potential casting, with Oscar winner Christoph Waltz being considered for the villain "a  military figure that crosses paths with the King of the Jungle." The article does not mention if Alexander Skarsgard is still in contention to play Tarzan but according to a source actresses Emma Stone and Margot Robbie are front runners for the role of Jane. UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter has more news about the film and Waltz' role in it. According to http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/christoph-waltz-talks-tarzan-637398 Waltz will play a Belgian Solider named Captain Rom, who attempts to capture Tarzan in exchange for priceless diamonds. The report also confirms Skarsgard's casting as Tarzan and that Dark Horse Productions-a spinoff of the comic book company that published Tarzan back in the 1990s-is co-producing with Jerry Weintraub Productions. The film looks to begin filming if all goes to plan next year for a possible 2015 release date.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shane Black Talks "Doc Savage"



Some news on the Man of Bronze courtesy of IGN, which posted a video interview with writer-director Shane Black on his plans for the movie and how to keep the character faithful while making him accessible to modem audiences (as long as it doesn't mean Stantonian "damaged goods"). Take a peek below and let us know what you think.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pulp Crazy: The Barsoom Cycle


Some video fun for your Monday. In this case the site Pulp Crazy (http://pulpcrazy.com) has posted a video history of the Barsoom series with some cool artwork and some facts. So take a peek below and leave your thoughts afterwards.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris and the Green Men #6


As we continue Dejah's quest for revenge, more intrigue threatens the fragile peace between Helium and the Tharks.

Following the arrest of Tars Tarkas, Dejah orders him released but the discovery of several killed Tharks leads to tensions and frayed trust. Meanwhile the flesh eating Voro how's revenge against Dejah as well a plan to end Tars' rule as Jeddak. With suspicious advisor Rek coming close to discovering the truth Dejah finds herself in more danger than before.

Truthfully not much happens in this issue as writer Mark Rahner builds up the tension between Dejah and Rek as well as the growing distrust between the Red Men and the Tharks. Not to say this issue doesn't have its problems. A brief sequence brings back the grisly "torture porn" aspect while John Carter is being reduced to a nothing part and make me wish he was more involved in the story. 

Lui Antonio's artwork does a good job capturing the tone with subdued color schemes and some nice character design. I do have to ask though-was it me or did Dejah's anatomy seem to get bigger with each panel?

I'll give this one a fair pass. Not as grisly as before but I still have to wonder if stretching this out to 12 issues was a good idea. Until next time Kaor!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Tribute


With the 50th anniversary only two months away, here's a cool fan video tribute to the history of the Time Lord and his various incarnations. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Taylor Kitsch Talks "John Carter" Sequel


So what would have happened in the sequel? While promoting the film The Grand Seduction at the Toronto International Film Festival Taylor Kitsch talked the scrapped sequel with the Toronto Sun. After talking about the film's disappointing reception, Kitsch commented "I had the hard outline for the second one and it was f---ing awesome; very intense. Working with Willem (Dafoe) and Lynn Collins again would have been great, and Mark Strong had an even bigger part." Oh well at least we have the books (and SNARK ALERT considering Andrew Stanton's fondness for taking ideas from other movies who thinks Strong's Matai Shang would have been revealed as Carter's father?). For the rest hit here.


Monday, September 9, 2013

"The Art of Dejah Thoris" Announced


OK another book for your Christmas shopping list. Dynamite has announced The Art of Dejah Thoris and the Worlds of Mars, a new book collecting various artwork from their Barsoom comics. From the offical press release:


September 9, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ – Baltimore Comic Con Announcement - Dynamite is proud to announce the December release of The Art of Dejah Thoris and the Worlds of Mars, a hardcover collection featuring over 250 pages of full color artwork from some of the finest illustrators of modern fantasy comics.  Depicting cover artwork and pin-ups from Dynamite’s exceedingly popular line of Warlord of Mars and Dejah Thoris comic books, this magnificent art book counts industry heavyweights Alex Ross, J. Scott Campbell, Art Adams, Francesco Francavilla, and Joe Jusko among its many contributing talents.
Since the first serialized adventures in 1912 of the Martian Princess Dejah Thoris and her beloved hero, John Carter, science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts have dreamed of the faraway Red Planet (known to its inhabitants as Barsoom), its wondrous sights and monstrous perils.  In hundreds of full-color illustrations, the finest artists of modern fantasy have brought the dying world of Mars to life, depicting scenes of brutal conflict with alien beasts, quiet moments overlooking Martian wastes, and enticing visions of an exotic princess at her most intimate.
Of the Warlord of Mars universe, Dynamite Senior Editor Joseph Rybandt says, “A significant part of my childhood was spent exploring the world of Barsoom.  One of the immeasurable perks of this job is seeing childhood dreams come to life, and none have come more vividly to life than the incredible art month in and month out depicting the world of Barsoom and her glorious princess, Dejah Thoris.”
This magnificent collection of illustrations include all cover artwork to date from Dynamite’s variety of Warlord of Mars-related comics, including Warlord of Mars, Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris, Warriors of Mars, Dejah Thoris and the White Apes of Mars, Warlord of Mars: Fall of Barsoom, and Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars.
The Art of Dejah Thoris and the Worlds of Mars is solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ October Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in December 2013.  Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of The Art of Dejah Thoris and the Worlds of Mars with their local comic book shop or hobby specialty store.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Comic Review: Lords of Mars #2


As usual no snappy opening. 

While exploring the cave they were chased into, Tarzan and Jane find themselves zapped by a strange machine and wake up on Mars, where they help a young Thern named Khen Thanos from a bunch of red men who are attacking him. Revealing that the Therns can speak Earth English he takes Tarzan and Jane to meet his father, the new leader of the Therns, Jagati Khen. However it is part of a plan to get Tarzan to help remove the Therns' major enemy, the "dictator" of Barsoom-John Carter! 

Like the previous issue this one is more setup with Tarzan and Jane's arrival on Barsoom via a machine that looks like one of those devices from old Frankenstein movies, building up the Thern deception about Carter and John and Dejah Thoris' own suspicions as well as Carter's unease about being seen as a "god." While I'm sure some would like the story to hurry up I like the build up that Arvid Nelson is doing, establishing both Tarzan and John Carter's roles as well as reminding the reader of the treachery if the Therns and their goal to reclaim their glory and hold. 

The story is also helped by Roberto Castro's excellent artwork, which brings the story alive visually. The characters are well handled and what action there is is handled well and skillfully. There are a few choices that I wonder about-the Jabba the Hutt look of Jagati Then for example-but otherwise it's top notch work.

I'm giving issue 2 a solid A plus for setup and just flat out fun. What more do you want?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris #29


This week's Dejah Thoris marks a milestone. I'll get to that shortly but first more Machine Men fighting.

With her father and grandfather facing death from a RoboThark Dejah runs into the arena but finds herself facing the same fate until they're rescued by Ner Jon, whose cloaking device allows them to escape. Also being worked on is an invisibility suit and when Dejah takes it to find the reanimated Tash Lia, she gets more than she bargained for.

I said before I wasn't too thrilled with the return of Mortus and his Machine Men and this issue does OK as a setup for the final big issue, even if it becomes a little predictable. As usual Dejah gets in trouble, someone swears revenge, etc. I just hope when this ends we can get a breather and something  new.

As usual no qualms about the artwork by Debora Carita.

If you enjoy the Machine Men you will love this but I'm ready to move on. As for that milestone, with this issue Dejah Thoris has now passed Marvel's John Carter, Warlord of Mars as the longest running Barsoom inspired comic book series in history. Congrats on that and let's see if it will continue for a long while. Next time more Mars action. 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Edgar Rice Burroughs Centennial DVDs On Sale


I'll just link to our friends at the John Carter Files for more information http://thejohncarterfiles.com/2013/09/the-edgar-rice-burroughs-centennial-dvd-100-years-of-tarzan-and-john-carter-is-now-available/. The two disc set is now available so hit there to order.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Book Review: Tarzan and the Cave City



It’s been a while since a book review, so let’s take a look at one of the rarer-and unauthorized-adventures of the lord of the jungle!
Receiving word from an old friend, Lord “Freddy” Pembroke, Tarzan sends Jane off to England to visit their son while he heads back to his home to get ready for Freddy and two other guests, Professor Norton and his fiancée Marcia. Their quest: To find a 100 pound emerald, which in usual Tarzan fashion is belongs to a hidden tribe of Ondo, which is ruled by King Nanda and Queen Nirva. Well if you ever read a Tarzan novel you can figure out the rest. There is another race called the Bamos that worship the emerald, some gladiatorial combat, an evil safari headed up by a villainous Wong Feng and his chief killer Magra Taask and the usual captures, escapes and an army of apes on the rampage.

If you’ve never heard of this one well you’re probably not alone. Back in the early 1960s when Edgar Rice Burroughs’ work was being republished, several publishers assumed that the rights to his work and characters had lapsed into public domain. One of these publishers, Gold Star Books, went a step further and hired a husband and wife writing team, Peter and Peggy Scott to pen a new series of Tarzan adventures under the name “Barton Werper.” They had turned out five books when the Burroughs estate stepped in and through legal action forced the series to end and remaining copies to be destroyed. That hasn’t stopped the books from popping up from time to time for a cost (I lucked into this book for only 12 bucks) but there isn’t much information about the series , even on sites like ERBZine.
OK we got the history, the question is the book any good? Not really. Part of the problem is that it seems the Scotts only read the later, more formulaic books with their lost civilizations, squabbling safaris, Tarzan doing hero duty reluctantly, etc without much new or different. It also doesn’t include Burroughs’ trademark humor or sense of action as the sequences basically just happen with little to remember them afterwards. Even a huge ape siege led by Mangani ape “Jedak” (someone got their Barsoomian mixed up there) fails to excite as the story shambles along to its climax. Also the supporting characters fail to register with Pembroke, Marcia, the Queen and King being bland non-entities in the story.

Is there any redeeming qualities? Some occasional humor pops up here and there, mostly in the opening with Jane where Tarzan tells her to get “into your leopard skin” for some private time in the trees but sadly that fades away as Jane makes her quick exit from the story to head off and visit son Jack. There is also some comic asides from Jedak the Ape, who comes across as smarter than most of the humans in the story.
I guess the curiosity and rarity factor is the only thing that made Tarzan and the Cave City interesting but beyond being a collector I can’t see it appealing to anyone outside of die-hard “have to read every Tarzan story” fan. Still maybe at some point ERB Inc will republish the series if for nothing else the historical value. Until next time faithful readers, keep practicing the bull ape cries.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Lynn Collins Set For "Elementary"



Dejah meets Sherlock! Thanks to the official Twitter feed for the show here's our first glimpse of Lynn as a math professor who helps out Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) solve the deaths of two mathemeticians. The episode will air this fall on CBS so keep an eye out for the date soon.