Tuesday, October 29, 2013
More video fun and a question at the end. Here's another fan video set to the song "Without You" from the Glee soundtrack that manages to capture the cosmic romance of John and his beloved princess. The question is why do these fan videos manage to bring across this so much better than the movie? The lack of bad bickering, dead wives or good editors from the clip? Something to ponder as you watch this and as usual leave any comments below.
Monday, October 28, 2013
While we wait for any more bombshells from Episode VII, some cool videos have popped up online from the original trilogy. The first one up is a blooper reel from the original film, which is pretty cool if only to see Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher cracking up (also don't worry as the first little bit has no audio). The next video comes from a laserdisc that was sold on Ebay that features alternate takes and behind the scenes footage from Return of the Jedi. For more on the later hit https://www.facebook.com/rotjeditdroid?ref=br_tf and enjoy the videos.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Not much going on Barsoom wise (even though if you want to start feeling disturbances in the Force over the recent Episode VII news or debate the new 50 Shades guy feel free to comment below-my take relax on the first and who gives a f--- about the second) here's a brief video clip for those who speak Spanish promoting John Carter on Disney's Cinemagic Channel. I guess "Tengo una cueva de oro" sounds better doesn't it? Take a peek and enjoy Dubbed Kitsch!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Courtesy of ERBZine is something that would have been cool. Some artwork by Russ Manning (best known for his Tarzan comics) for a comic book adaptation of The Chessmen of Mars for Dell which would have followed up their previous comic book adaptations of the first three Barsoom novels. I wonder if Dynamite or another publisher will ever get around to a Chessmen comic? Oh well check out http://www.erbzine.com/mag8/0831d.html for more artwork.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
And 3 and 4. Despite having his character (SPOILER for those two people who haven't seen it) met his demise at the end of the first Avatar, James Cameron himself has confirmed to Deadline that Lang will return for the upcoming sequels. In his statement Cameron said “I’m not going to say exactly how we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all." (As long as it isn't as a shape shifting Sith-Thern OK.) For more comments from Cameron hit http://www.deadline.com/2013/10/james-cameron-has-found-avatars-darth-vader-its-stephen-lang/.
Monday, October 21, 2013
More Dejah, more horror.
After revealing her feelings to fellow survivor Teevine, Dejah begins to exhibit post traumatic stress (or the Barsoomian equivalent of it). But it really hits the fan when she attends a wedding (between a Thark and a Red Woman-I'll say no more) Dejah flips out when a mystery package arrives from the evil Voro. Deciding there will be no relief in her life until she settles this, she releases the Thark Zon Tar with a message-a meeting in the Green Dome, where one two people enters, only one person leaves (cue a chorus of "We Don't Need Another Hero").
OK this issue is pretty much just setup, showing that expanding the story to 12 issues might needed questioning. I did think showing Dejah's vulnerability and her fear that she is losing control of her life is an interesting concept and how even John Carter is unable to help her adds to the drama. But the last page's decision to basically go to Thunderdome...well as long as a blind ape doesn't show up.
The art in this issue by Lui Antonio also has some weird choices. Possibly to show Dejah's mental state, all the wedding guests are just ghostly blue and non descript, a choice that calls too much attention to itself. Beyond that it's the usual good job with the darker look and artwork befitting the story being told.
I'll close by saying that this was OK, nothing more. I'll be back soon.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
This week's comic reviews it's double your Dejah fun. Why does that sound so dirty?
With Dejah and Kantos Kan held prisoner by Mortus and his Machine Men, Tardors Mors reluctantly agrees to launch an air strike over Yorn. But with resistance from Ner Jon, the acting Jeddak of Yorn, Tardors agrees to let Ner and his invisible airship attack Mortus' stronghold. That doesn't leave much time for Dejah and Kantos to escape with their heads still attached.
Yes it's the end of the Machine Men storyline and I'm happy to see it end. I wasn't too big on this arc so to see end it come to an end is a relief. It has some cool action sequences and an optimistic ending but I hope this is the last we will see of Mortus.
I also hope that Carlos Rafael returns to do the art. Nothing against Debora Carita but I miss Rafael's work. Still Carita does a decent job and brings the story to a good end with some nice artwork.
So that bids adieu to the machine men. Tomorrow another Dejah story continues. Until then folks...
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Let's just jump in shall we?
While Tarzan attempts to find a new home for the Mangani, he's being pursued by both his cousin William Greystoke and a fortune hunter, Albert Werper. However both men have an ulterior motive: to find the mythical "savage land" of Opar. With Jane and Robbie trying to warn Tarzan, a bounty hunter on the trail of Robbie and a race of apes known as the Targani the quest is more perilous than anyone thought. Especially when they meet the ruler of Opar, Queen La...
With his third entry in the series Andy Briggs has crafted probably the best one yet. Moving quickly through its 188 page length the book features the sort of action that fans of the pulps will enjoy while at the same time evoking Edgar Rice Burroughs' standard plots of greedy hunters, lost cities and Tarzan in savage action. Briggs also comes up with ways to update Burroughs' characters to modern times without losing their original purpose, even Welper and La that makes it fun for ERB fans.
Not to say it was all perfect. The subplot of the bounty hunter after Robbie was dispatched just as quickly as it was introduced, making me wonder why it was even included. Some of the plot contrivances also wear thin, like the constant volcano and earthquakes that threaten the characters every time there is trouble. And while Jane is more action oriented sometimes she does things that make you wonder if she ever thinks things through.
That said this is still a fun read and leaves an open for another book. I just wonder where Briggs will take Tarzan from here. Rating ***1/2 out of four.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
This might be a long review, so you guys might want to take a break at some point.
Remembering how hard it was to review last year's Under the Moons of Mars anthology, I thought it would be best just to run off the stories I thought were the best, the worst and some brief comments on the ones left. Let me say though as a collection of stories inspired by the genius of ERB it's a commendable book, filled with fun-for the most part-stories all written by writers trying to recapture the spirit of Burroughs' work. Some succeed and some well don't. So which ones did the best? Here's my picks for the top three stories:
1. "The Forgotten Sea of Mars" by Mike Resnick. Yep the oldest story in the book is the one that does it best. As mentioned in the brief intro before the story starts, a previous contractual agreement prevented any new Barsoom stories (thanks Disney) but Resnick and co-editor Bob Garcia were able to include this one since it had been published before. Written in 1965, "Forgotten Sea" picks up where Llana of Gathol left off as John Carter launches a search to find Tan Hadron of Hastor, who was last seen still on board the Dusar when the crew mutinied and turned towards Pankor. Carter's search leads him to a still active and vengeful Hin Abtol and his mad scheme to conquer Barsoom. Resnick delivers a rousing story filled with enough action and Burroughs-like touches (especially the Chamber of Madness) that any fan should just pick this book up for this one story.
2. "The Dead World" by Paul F. Wilson. Wilson returns us to Pellucidar for this yarn, a good ripping tale in which David Innes and Abner Perry have to solve the mystery of a fallen object that unleashes a deadly vine that threatens to wipe out life in Pellucidar. Their quest leads them to the moon of Pellucidar and a shocking secret. While it takes a turn for the bizarre near the end it's still a good fast past tale and Wilson manages to keep the story flowing through its 40 page length.
3. "Apache Lawman" by Ralph Roberts. Instead of an alien world we head to another frontier, the old west for this continuation of the story of Shoz-Dijiji and his love Wichita Billings in this tale. Picking up where Burroughs' Apache Devil left off, the couple are trying to adjust to life when Shoz accepts an offer to become a deputy Marshal for the Arizona Territory. This brings him into conflict with his past life and "Death Bringer" in a final stand off. While it might seem jarring to have a western in this collection of scifi and fantasy tales, Roberts manages to craft a compelling tale that also reminds us of Burroughs' range of stories and the different genres he tackled in his life.
Honorable mentions also go to Peter David's "Moon Maid over Manhattan" (which brings us back to Julian 5th and Princess Nah-ee-Lah), "The Two Billys" by Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemons (which picks up with Mucker Billy Byrne being drawn back into the world of his love Barbara Harding) and Mercedes Lackey's "The Fallen: A Tale of Pellucidar (which tells the tale of Mok the Sagoth).
As for Tarzan? Well he gets three adventures that pit him against spies, aliens and. The first one, Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "Tarzan and the Great War" is a fast-paced tale picking up after Tarzan the Untamed as Tarzan finds himself drawn into a tale involving his past and a spy ring that needs to be busted up. Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah J. Hoyt's "Tarzan and the Martian Invaders" pits Tarzan against an alien invasion from another Mars that could put an end to human life as we know it. It's a fun tale that owes a bit to both Burroughs and HG Wells. Finally Joe Landsdale returns to the jungle with "Tarzan and the Land That Time Forgot" as Tarzan, returning from Pellucidar, crash lands into Caprona. It's a cool story filled with enough action to fill out several stories.
So that leaves the worst-or rather the most disappointing I felt. The big one is "Scorpion Men of Venus" by Richard Lupoff, which starts out as another adventure for Carson Napier and Duare but ends with the biggest slap in the face ending I've read in a long time. The sad thing is that it has an interesting premise and that it comes from Lupoff, one of the leading scholars of Burroughs but that ending just undoes everything and shows almost a contempt for the characters Burroughs created similar to Andrew Stanton and his bunch. This one almost made me want to throw the book across the room, if you know what I mean. The other disappointment is "To the Nearest Planet" by Todd McCaffrey, which returns us to Tangor and Polada. Unfortunately it takes a cool premise and meanders through its 50 plus pages until it also delivers an unsatisfactory ending similar to "Scorpion Men."
If you're still with me the question now is this book worth picking up? Definitely for fans who love Burroughs and fun adventure fiction. The best of this collection are fun exciting stories that honor Burroughs and his work and they are worth reading. The worst, well you can skip them or read them and let me know if I'm wrong in my thoughts. Otherwise it is a strong selection and I hope to see more in the future. So pick it up and let us know what you think either in the comments section. Until next time, Kaor!
Monday, October 14, 2013
Hey the Warlord's back! And still trying to solve the mystery of "Savages of Mars."
Still in Okar, John Carter and Tars Tarkas attempt to question the Okarian female Encennia, only to find her killed. Getting assistance from Marik, another Okarian, Carter and Tars discover a secret compartment and a shock-a frozen Thark head! After a brief talk with Dejah over the "wireless" (can you hear me now?) another secret room is discovered, a laboratory with Tharks and apts experiments, including a hybrid monstrosity that-quicker than you can say Frankenstein-comes alive and attempts to wipe our heroes. Will John and Tars get to the bottom of this mystery? Can they trust Marik?
As with this week's Lord of Mars issue, this one seems more setup than payoff as John Carter and Tars Tarkas play Holmes and Watson in their attempt to solve the mystery that has brought them to Okar. The mystery aspect is a pretty cool one, adding something different than the usual story lines that most comics have these days. I also liked how Arvid Nelson brought up Tars' own prejudice against the Okarians and how they might jeopardize the investigation and the peace Carter and Helium has with them. It was also good to see Dejah brought in to provide a clue so all in all another winner story wise.
With the art this issue lists two artists, Leonardo Oliveria and Rafael Lanhellas. While sometimes having two artists working on the same issue might cause problems with the art I couldn't find any. The characters were well handled, especially Carter and Dejah (and can I say it was the best looking Dejah in a long time?). The big action set piece with the Thark-Apt creature also rocked, bringing a breath of action and tension to the issue, thanks to the design and handling of the artists. I know sometimes the art in this series has gotten criticized, even by myself, but here it's really good.
I have to say I'm enjoying the "Savages of Mars" storyline. It's capturing the spirit of Edgar Rice Burroughs and having fun with these characters. The cool setup, mystery aspect and the unique twists and turns gives this story a big A plus. Until next time (and I'm four stories into the Worlds of ERB so I'll have that review up soon.)
Sunday, October 13, 2013
OK let's kick off this week's Barsoom comics as Jane begins to question life on Mars.
As Tarzan becomes comfortable on Barsoom, Jane starts to question their hosts, the Therns, and what they have planned. Reminding Tarzan of being forced into the cave in England that led to being transported to Barsoom, Tarzan goes off to blow off steam on a banth and decides to help the Therns in their quest to take down the false "god" John Carter. Meanwhile when his representative fails to communicate, Carter takes the Helium fleet to the Valley Dor to get to the bottom of the situation, unknowingly heading towards a confrontation he isn't ready for.
Like the first two issues, this one is more setup than action, with Arvid Nelson establishing Tarzan and Jane's disagreement over the Therns, Tarzan admitting he feels at home and Jane showing off her own skills. While some would probably like the story to get moving, the setup is paying off, leading to the big fight next issue (I hope).
As usual the artwork by Roberto Castro is quite good, especially the fight sequence between Tarzan and the banth. The character designs are nice and the art helps the story flow well with its vibrant color and design. So the usual thumbs up there.
I know this one is a short review but if you enjoyed the last two issues then you will enjoy this one as well. While I would like the story to get started, the setup is excellent and the build-up succeeds in getting the suspense going. I just hope the big meeting will pay off. So Tarzan and Barsoom fans pick it up and have fun. (Also is it just me or does Alex Ross' cover Dejah look like Sofia Vergara from Modern Family? Still a hot princess either way.)
Saturday, October 12, 2013
I'm still working through Worlds of ERB but here's some news for Pandorians. Coming Soon has posted a gallery of concept art for Disney's Animal Kingdom extension based on James Cameron's blockbuster. So now you can visit Pandora and get Mickey souvenirs at the same time! Hit http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=110122 for the rest of the gallery (and get ready for the Back to Barsoomers to moan how they got cheated out of Barsoom Land-or rather Stanton Land).
Friday, October 11, 2013
I know some of you probably think you've seen the movie already considering the number of trailers released. That said here's another one with more footage and in English for a change. Leave your thoughts below and come back as I'll have reviews up soon of The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs and this week's Barsoom comics.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I'll cut to the chase. Constantin Films has now an official web site up for their upcoming Tarzan film with trailers, a photo gallery and plot description...in German. Also the site hints that the film is now being targeted for a February 2014 release date at least in Germany so we'll have to wait and see when and if it hits US shores. Until then go to http://www.tarzan3d-film.de/ for more info.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Here's something for you kids of the 1980s: Droid World! Released as a vinyl record and book, this audio drama adapted an issue of the Marvel Comics Star Wars series and now is on line for your listening and viewing enjoyment. So sit back and have fun.
Friday, October 4, 2013
I'm waiting for both The Savage Lands and The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs to arrive (next week) so for the time being here is a trailer for the former. Sit back and enjoy (and possibly debate last night's Lynn Collins Elementary appearance afterwards).
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Sorry for the lame headline but I couldn't think of another. In any case sit back and watch this short film by Rainfall Films that brings Diana to life and brings us an idea of what the heroine could look like if she ever gets her feature film career started. Just leave your comments below.