Tuesday, December 30, 2014

'John Carter' Unused Footage Surfaces

Let's just jump in. Some clips have appeared online courtesy of editor Erik Jessen, who helped edit John Carter. The first clip "Dump Dejah" offers up some extra footage of our heroes reaching "the land of the dead" along with more Carter-Dejah bickering because you know that really establishes character. The second clip "Help Arrives" offers up a longer sequence between Dejah, dad and Dominic West's Sab Than, along with more of Mark Strong's Palpatine routine and more welcome James Purefoy footage. Take a peek and leave any comments below.

John Carter - Dump Dejah from Erik Jessen on Vimeo.

John Carter-Help Arrives from Erik Jessen on Vimeo.

Monday, December 29, 2014

'The Force Awakens' On Set Shot...of The Falcon!

I know it's just a piece of junk, but it still makes point 5 past light speed. Beyond that geek reference here's the deal: a glimpse of the Millennium Falcon on the set at Pinewood courtesy of a Fortune magazine profile of Disney CEO Robert Iger http://fortune.com/2014/12/29/disney-ceo-bob-iger-empire-of-tech/. While there isn't much discussion of the upcoming The Force Awakens-or the other Star Wars movies-it is an interesting read for Disney followers about the future of the company.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

'Tarzan' Potential Set Pics?

I hope you guys had a safe Christmas. With that out of the way, here's something to debate. I stumbled upon what could be some potential photos from the set of David Yates' Tarzan. I say potential since the source of these is a message board in another country http://www.moviemeter.nl/forum/6/12777/30 so you might want to take them with a grain of salt. Still if they are legit then it looks like some elements from Tarzan and the Leopard Men are being worked into the film. There is also a listing on the IMDB page for the film of a cast member as "Mbolongo Leopard Warrior" so make of that what you will. So do you think they are real or from some other production? Leave any thoughts below.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Retro Comics: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #11

With The Air-Pirates of Mars complete, this issue takes a look back at the historic meeting of the future Warlord and his incomparable princess. So get ready for "The Story of... Dejah Thoris!"

And if you've read A Princess of Mars, well you know the story. Boy goes to Mars. Boy gets captured by green four-armed Tharks. Boy meets girl. Girl is a hot Barsoomian princess. Boy fights to heck and back to rescue her and they live happily ever after (well until that Atmosphere Plant failed)...

With that said Marv Wolfman does a good job distilling those chapters into a quick, 31 page (with ads) comic book and still maintains the magic and appeal of Edgar Rice Burroughs. While some of the story is whittled down, we still get most of the highlights-from Carter and Dejah's blossoming romance to Carter's duel with Zad to their escape-and still understand the story, even for those who never read the book. In fact this is probably the best issue of the entire original run since it sticks close to Burroughs.

Taking over art duties after Gil Kane's 10 issue run is Dave Cockrum and Rudy Nebres and they manage to create a beautiful comic book. The characters-from the Tharks to Dejah Thoris herself-are rendered wonderfully as is the action sequences and quieter moments. It has that look that comic books don't seem to anymore and that makes for a nostalgic trip not only for Barsoom fans but comic fans period.

So with this stand alone issue we get not only one of the best in this series but in the entire history of John Carter of Mars comic books. Track it down if you don't have it already. Until next time have a safe and Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Comic Review: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #2

Sorry for the lateness of this review but things happen. That said let's head back to Barsoom shall we?

With one of the alien invaders in front of him and a white ape behind him John Carter looks to be in a no-win situation. But he's not about to get "torn apart by a White Ape." Instead using his strength and agility he manages to avoid death and in the aftermath gain two unlikely allies. He also learns that Helium has been captured by the "warlord" of the Kahori. Meanwhile we discover a little more about this "warlord" Joshua Clark as he interrogates Dejah Thoris about Carter's whereabouts. With nothing left to lose, Carter-with the aide of Tars Tarkas and the Tharks-capture a Kahori cruiser and head for Barsoom to meet their new enemy...

Following last issue this one again takes its time to setup the story rather than jamming in a lot of action sequences. For some that might be a little irksome, especially if you crave some ERB-style mayhem. But wisely Ron Marz seems to be setting up his pieces and the result is readable and entertaining. With some good scenes showing us John Carter's loyalty and chivalrous side counterbalanced with enough growing tension readers will find much here to enjoy.

Also back for his second issue is artist Ahishek Malsuni and he does a good job balancing the action and character designs, even if there is some bizarre choices (or maybe it's just those yellow boots Carter is wearing distracts only me). Still he captures Barsoom quire well and brings to life the creatures-from white apes to Woola-with skill and a nice hand.

Fans of the first issue will find much here and if you haven't picked up this series yet what are you waiting for? Until next time faithful readers.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

'Tarzan:' Reality Meets Fiction?

Here's something for your Sunday faithful readers. While there hasn't been much talk about the actual plot of David Yates' upcoming Tarzan other than some basics a site called BooksnFilm has posted an interesting piece that looks at the historical events that has possibly inspired the film. In this case that the film will focus on the Congo Free State that was founded in the late 19th century by Belgium's King Leopold II and the ultimate revelation of the atrocities and genocide carried out under his rule. The link is that the characters played by Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz (George Washington Williams and Captain Leon Rom) are actual people who were involved in the actual events. To read the entire piece-including how this event inspired both Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes check out https://booksnfilm.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/what-are-christoph-waltz-and-samuel-l-jackson-doing-in-david-yates-new-tarzan-film/ and leave any thoughts below.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Retro Comics: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #10

We reach the end my friends. Of The Air-Pirates of Mars anyway as John Carter has his "Confrontation" with the Great One!

While Tars Tarkas contemplates returning to his own people, John Carter is abducted in the middle of the night and taken to confront the Council of Five's leader, a creature spawned from the Tree of Life (which also gave birth to the rest of Barsoom's inhabitants). Revealing his back story and his plan to return Barsoom back to its former glory by mass genocide, Carter engages in the most brutal struggle of his life (at least at that point) to save the world he now calls home.

Closing more with a whisper than a bang-even the climactic fight-this final issue of the Air-Pirates storyline raises some interesting questions about what is right and the choices that are made to protect life while at the same time the Great One's story of a dying planet brings up interesting ideas that might resonate in today's environmental movement so I give Marv Wolfman credit for approaching those issues even if the final conclusion closes this epic out with a disappointing climax.

As usual the artwork by Gil Kane and "the Tribe" (as credited) is the usual thumbs up quality. I especially like the portrayals of Tars and Sola and how they come alive on the page, along with the (mild) action of later on.

So we wrap up The Air-Pirates and bid them adieu. Until next time folks.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dark Horse Presents: 'Tarzan & the Gods of Opar'

The Lord of the Jungle is returning back to the comic book page this March. Dark Horse Comics has released their list of releases for that month and has announced that a new story, "Tarzan and the Gods of Opar" written and drawn by Mike Grell, will be included in Dark Horse Presents #8. For more info check out http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=57719 and stay tuned.

Monday, December 8, 2014

'John Carter, Warlord of Mars' #2 Preview

The latest issue of the new series comes out Wednesday and Comic Book Resources has a sneak peek http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=24959. Get ready for running and the most dangerous creature on Barsoom vs John Carter with a twist.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Goliathon That Time Forgot!

For those still lamenting the lack of a Woola toy this is probably as close as your going to get. In this case Goliathon from the recent Toy Story That Time Forgot (which did have some Edgar Rice Burroughs influences, including dinosaurs and an arena combat sequence). The funny thing is that it actually looks more like Burroughs' original description than what Andrew Stanton came up with for Woola so go figure. Goliathon reportedly won't be coming out until February but I actually saw it-along with other figures from this movie-at a local Wal-Mart so if you want one head there and enjoy having him eat up...well something.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Retro Comics: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #9

OK we're back as as 'The Air-Pirates of Mars' reaches it's wrap-up. So prepare as we get "Armageddon...At Last!"

Following the rock monster attack, John Carter commands an air fleet to the stronghold of the Council of Five and bring an end to their plans. But when the city's defenses prove more difficult then imagined-including an invisible shield and floating city-Carter, Dejah, Tars Tarkas and Kantos Kan find themselves fighting for both their lives and all of Barsoom, a battle that will leave lasting repercussions for our heroes.

Setting up the finale for the first story arc in the series, Marv Wolfman and company do a bang-up job, from capturing the action and peril of warfare to giving each character moments to consider their choices and the outcomes of them. From the opening, where Carter and Dejah and Kantos and Grogg debate their reasons for this attack (from revenge to noble intentions) to Tars questioning his own decisions to return back to his people, it's a surprisingly more weighty issue than just the usual fights and battles that most comic books, including this one, engages in.

As usual the artwork by Gil Kane and Rudy Nebres is top notch, capturing the characters and the action with skill and ease. All though Kantos' ponytail is a bit much.

If you want an action fix and a cool John Carter of Mars story to boot this issue delivers what you need. Next time "The Final Chapter in the Greatest John Carter of Them All!" as John Carter prepares for the final Showdown! Until then Kaor!

Dejah Thoris Sideshow Statue Revealed

Some Barsoom news from San Diego Comic-Con for you guys. Sideshow Collectibles has released first images of a Dejah Thoris statue for fan...