Friday, November 30, 2007

RIP Evel Knievel

Robert Craig Knievel aka Evel Knievel died today. He was 69 years old. Many of you younger ZONE readers may not remember Evel, but my guess is you know something about this outrageous daredevil whose biggest claims to fame came from unsuccessful jumps.

In 1965, Knievel led a group that he named Evel Knievel's Motorcycle Daredevils. They would travel from town to town performing typical motorcycle stunts of the era: riding wheelies, driving through fire walls and jumping things. Knievel had a knack for self-promotion and a talent for jumping his motorcycle over things. In 1966 he began touring alone and his jumps continued to become bigger.

On New Year's Day in 1968 he failed in his attempt to jump the fountains at Caesar's Palace. Although the jump nearly killed him, it also launched him in to popular culture history. In the years to follow there would be more jumps, astronomical paychecks, tv and movie appearances, Evel Knievel toys and collector cards and an ever growing legend. Most kids my age went through a period when they considered Evel Knievel to be "the man." He was outrageous, traveled where he wanted, had tons of money and beautiful women and risked his life doing what he wanted.

In 1974, Knievel was paid $6 million dollars by ABC for the rights to televise his attempt to jump the Snake River canyon in a rocket-motorcycle. I remember watching the show live and my total disappointment when the chute malfunctioned almost immediately. Although Knievel continued to make big jumps and big money, I had lost interest. Knievel retired from big jumps in 1976, but continued touring into the 1980's. He had been in failing health in recent years.

In 2006, Evel was quoted as saying, "No king or prince has lived a better life." Evel lived his life doing things his way and for a several years he was as popular as any rock star. It's hard to imagine that a guy who jumped his motorcycle over things could have had such an impact on popular culture, but Evel Knievel did.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and fans.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ain't He a Beaut

Wowzers! Big props to my ole buddy Keith Mallow! Seems he's made People's list of the 100 Most Beautiful People in the Universe! With a kisser like that who'd a thought it? [Well, besides his lovely wife Monica??]

You can click HERE to see if you or any of your friends have made the big time.

Soloman Kane scored a first look at the Soloman Kane poster above. Kane was created by Robert E. Howard [the pulp writer best known for Conan].

You can bet that Raf and Chris Mills will be our resident experts on Soloman Kane.
My only experience with Soloman Kane was from a couple of Marvel comics [written and drawn by the great Howard Chaykin] that I read back in the 70's... and maybe a story or two from one of the Conan or Savage Sword black and white mags that Marvel used to put out. I enjoyed the character enough to read those stories when I came across them, but never felt compelled to seek out more. Maybe this movie will change that.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Children of Men

I'd wanted to see "Children of Men" for sometime now. Last night I got the chance. Wow! What an amazing movie. Set twenty years in the future at a time when there have been no babies born into the world for 18 years. It's a bleak, repressive, dreary and totally believable future.

Clive Owen plays Theo a normal man suddenly thrust into a role that possibly entrusts him with the future of humankind. Although Owen gets top billing [along with co-stars Julianne Moore and Michael Caine], it truly is director [and co-screenwriter] Alfonso Cuaron who is the star of this movie. His vision is so truly realized that we feel as if we are in the center of this nightmare world. His use of handheld cameras, long continuous shots, and harrowing set-ups leaves viewers on the edge of their seats and breathless.

The Good: Cuaron's direction; sudden twists; Michael Caine's character; Owen's first escape with the woman; how/why Owen avoids execution in the city; Owen's resolve to get to the woman despite the war raging around him; the Gypsy woman; the refugees' and soldiers' reaction to Owen leading the woman out of the building; ALL of the background details [kept in the background] that make the future despair seem so real; the fact that Owen isn't a super hero and never picks up a gun -- he's a normal man who rises to the occasion.

The Bad: a world without children... the scene with the empty elementary schools and playground... that such a world of despair could be so believable

The Ugly: People wounded/dying from the battles.

Children of Men is an amazing film.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you and yours have one of the best Thanksgiving Days ever. Count your blessings, eat too much turkey, ignore that family member who irritates you, make big plans, eat too much pie, doze in front of the tube, have a bit more turkey, and remember to watch a bit of the parade!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And We Have a Winner!

Who'd have thought that the winner of the Worst Book Title would go to a Walt Disney publication? After seeing the title Cooking with Pooh, I'd have to agree.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cloverfield Trailer & Questions

There's a new high definition trailer available HERE for JJ Abram's top secret monster movie, "Cloverfield." Now that we can see the trailer in high def [with the ability to go frame-by-frame] more questions than answers come to mind.

My two big questions are:

1] Why is the actor's face pixelated out? I've posted a screen shot above. We hear his voice, but are not allowed to see his face. Is he a surprise star? I have no clue.

2] Did you notice that one of the women in quarantine seems to blow up? I've posted a screen shot below. She is being moved by men in HAZMAT gear and appears to be a normal woman, but suddenly her body starts to expand. Perhaps the monster is able to infect humans and create others like it? PURE speculation on my part... but she does appear to be blowing up.

So watch the trailer and let me know your thoughts.

RIP Dick Wilson aka Mr. Whipple

Dick Wilson the actor who played tv icon Mr. Whipple in over 500 commercials spanning 21 years died today. Mr. Wilson was 91. If you grew up in the 60's, the 70's or 80's you knew Mr. Whipple and not to squeeze the Charmin [at least when he was around].

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Wilson's family, friends and fans.

Riddick's Return?

One of my favorite movies is "Pitch Black." I loved how it came out of nowhere, without a big name writer, director or stars and nailed it. Everything about the movie worked for me. Especially Vin Diesel as Riddick. I also thought it was cool that writer/director, David Twohy and Vin Diesel were in sync with the character of Riddick; so much so that they planned to bring him back in a trilogy.

I have to admit that "The Riddick Chronicles" was a bit of a let down. Suddenly we learn that Riddick isn't human and will play a role in saving the universe. Argh. I liked Riddick as a tougher than nails, human ex-con on the run who cares for no one except himself and his own survival... and yet risks his life to save a child. Still, "The Chronicles of Riddick" had it's moments [and enough of them to earn the movie a place in my dvd library]. And yeah, I'd still like to see more of Twohy and Diesel teaming to bring us further adventures of Riddick. Two movies and an animated adventure just weren't enough. There was so much untapped potential with Riddick that there had to be another movie. That seemed unlikely since "The Riddick Chronicles" didn't do as well at the box office as hoped.

Maybe things have changed. David Twohy recently announced on his website: "All I can say now is 'We're talking about it.' The DVD numbers were really good - we know that, and some potential financiers know that. But if another movie surfaces, it probably won't be a Universal movie and probably will be an independent movie. Which means we'll have to make it for substantially less than the last installment. That's okay. 'Pitch Black' was $22 million all in. Maybe it's time to go back to our roots - as we go on to The UnderVerse. "

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about.

Terminator is Still Cool

I was surfing the net and came across this really cool Terminator artwork. For a wallpaper size look, click HERE.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ain't No Dummies Here

UFC 78 Results

Let's take a look at the results of last night's UFC 78 matches.

Michael Bisping vs. Rashad Evans was the main event. Evans scored a split decision victory to remain undefeated. Both Chris and I picked Evans to win [although Chris thought it would be by a 2nd round TKO and I felt it would be by decision... still Chris and I are 1-0 with our picks].

Thiago Silva vs. Houston Alexander - both Chris and I went with Alexander. Chris thought it would be a quick KO and he was right. Unfortunately, it was Alexander who was KOd making Chris and I 1-1 with our predictions.

We had the fight as David Terrell vs. Ed Herman, but it ended up being Joe Doerksen losing to Herman so our predictions are out the window.

Chris predicted Ryo Chonan to upset Karo Parisyan. That didn't happen. Parisyan won by unanimous decision. So I'm 2-1 and Chris drops to 1-2 with our predictions.

Frank Edgar defeated Spencer Fisher by unanimous decision. Chris took Fisher making him 1-3 while I went with Edgar leaving me 3-1. If only we'd made a bet...

Friday, November 16, 2007

UFC 78 Predictions

UFC 78 takes place on Saturday. Let's take a look at who's fighting and who I and our guest commentator, my son Chris aka Coach Shooter pick...

Michael Bisping vs. Rashad Evans is the headline fight pitting two undefeated fighters [and winners of the Ultimate Fighter title]. Coach Shooter takes Evans in a 2nd round TKO. I'm going with Evans as well, but I think it'll be a decision... if it ends early it could be Bisping getting the W.

Thiago Silva vs. Houston Alexander - both Coach Shooter and I are going with Alexander. Coach Shooter says that it'll be a quick KO within the first two minutes.

David Terrell vs. Ed Herman: Coach Shooter and I differ on this one. He thinks Herman will win a bloody decision, but I see it going for Terrell.

Ryo Chonan vs. Karo Parisyan. In what I think could be the most exciting fight of the night, Coach Shooter is predicting an upset win for Chonan. I'll stick with Parisyan winning by submission.

Frank Edgar vs. Spencer Fisher. Spenser "the King" Fisher will get his crown knocked off according to Coach Shooter. I'm not so sure. Okay, to make it interesting, I'll go with Edgar.

Tune in Sunday to see who wins the fights and the predictions!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

No Country for Old Men x 7

Cinemablend has posted up 7 clips to No Country for Old Men. You can see them by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Revolver: Hit or Miss?

Have you seen THIS TRAILER for Revolver? I hadn't until just a few minutes ago.

It looks like it could be really good. With a screenplay by Guy Ritchie and Luc Besson and a cast that includes Jason Statham, Ray Liotta and Vincent Pastore, you'd have to believe it's going to be good, right? Then when you read THIS PLOT SUMMARY you have to ask, how can this not be a winner?

So why do I still have some doubts?

Monday, November 12, 2007

7 Deadly Wonders

Reading books written by Mathew Reilly is like watching an all-out action movie while riding a rollercoaster. His books are bigger than life, move at breakneck speed, keep you turning the pages -- and just when you then there is no way out for the hero, Reilly kicks it up a notch and comes up with another over the top set piece as the story hurtles forward.


Reilly's books are fun and his latest 7 Deadly Wonders is no exception. A rare solar event called the Tartarus Rotation is set to occur shortly. Several teams are racing to gather 7 pieces of a capstone hidden around the world. If they can recover and join the pieces in time for the Tartarus Rotation they will be given power such as the world has never before seen. There's a team from the United States, a team from England and a team of multi-national adventurers. [We'll be pulling for the multi-national team not because they're outgunned and out manned, but because they're the good guys.]

And that's all you really need to know. If you're in the mood for an adrenaline-charged roller coaster ride that'll make you put down the video game paddles and keep turning pages, then give Mathew Reilly's 7 Deadly Sins a try.

PS - I just discovered that Amazon has it on sale at a HUGE DISCOUNT -- click HERE for full details!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Living with the Walking Dead XXXombies

Zombies are in. Nearly forty years after George Romero recreated a horror genre, zombies have never been more popular. Let's take a look a three currently running zombie comics.

The Walking Dead, which single handedly jump started the genre back to comics continues to go strong. I've been talking up this series since the first issue and it continues to be the only comic that I must read as soon as I get it home. Issue 42 [43 is on stands now] has the most surprising double page spread that I've seen in any comic in years... then there was an even bigger shock when you turned the page. The original issues are hard to find and pretty expensive when you do. If you're just coming to the series you might want to seek out the paperback trades [Volume 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8] or spend a bit more for the hardcovers [Book 1 2 3]. However you get the stories, I can guarantee you a great ride thanks to the talents of writer Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard.

Living with the Dead #1 just came out from Dark Horse. Writer Mike Richardson and artist Ben Stenbeck team to bring us a Shaun-of-the-Dead-type zombie series that has just the right mix of humor. Two slackers are making the best of a bad situation. These guys have been best buds for years and if a zombie infestation can't break up their friendship, surely a cute babe won't. Right... right?

XXXombies #1 also just hit the stands. Featuring the talents of some of my favorite comic creators [Rick Remender, Tony Moore and Kieron Dwyer] this zombie tale is definitely not for kids [are any zombie tales?] since it follows a group of adult film actors and crew having to deal with, you guessed it, a zombie infestation.

My guess is, if you are a fan of the zombie genre, you'd enjoy any of these comics. If not, then not.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Heart of the Movie Quotes

I was in the mood for a list today and decided that the American Film Institutes's Top 100 Movie Quotes might be interesting to play with. So I looked at the list and decided to see if I could narrow it down to 25 quotes that contained the essence of their movie.

This list may not have the most famous ["Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" - Gone with the Wind], the funniest ["I'll have what she's having." - When Harry Met Sally] or the dumbest ["Nobody puts baby in a corner." - Dirty Dancing], but it does have 25 quotes which get to the heart of their movies. So here there are in no particular order...

  • "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.
  • "The stuff that dreams are made of," "The Maltese Falcon," 1941.
  • "Bond. James Bond," "Dr. No," 1962.
  • "There's no place like home," "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.
  • "You can't handle the truth!", "A Few Good Men," 1992.
  • "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get," "Forrest Gump," 1994.
  • "I see dead people," "The Sixth Sense," 1999.
  • "It's alive! It's alive!", "Frankenstein," 1931.
  • "Houston, we have a problem," "Apollo 13," 1995.
  • "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?", "Dirty Harry," 1971.
  • "A boy's best friend is his mother," "Psycho," 1960.
  • "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer," "The Godfather Part II," 1974.
  • "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!", "Sons of the Desert," 1933.
  • "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?", "The Graduate," 1967.
  • "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!", "Dr. Strangelove," 1964
  • "Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape," "Planet of the Apes," 1968.
  • "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine," "Casablanca," 1942.
  • "They're here!", "Poltergeist," 1982.
  • "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown," "Chinatown," 1974.
  • "Soylent Green is people!", "Soylent Green," 1973.
  • "Yo, Adrian!", "Rocky," 1976.
  • "Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast," "King Kong," 1933.
  • "My precious," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," 2002.
  • "I feel the need -- the need for speed!", "Top Gun," 1986.
  • "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!", "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Really Good... Really, Really Good or Not?

If The Mist is as good as the Stephen King story, it'll be really good. If it's as good as writer/director Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption it'll be really, really good. After watching this latest trailer, I'm still not convinced of either.

Monday, November 05, 2007

RIP: The Fabulous Moolah

I was never much of a fan of women's wrestling. Even when I was a kid and lived and breathed pro wrestling, I didn't care about the women mixing it up in the ring. Of course back then we didn't have the divas or the bathing suit matches, etc. Still, the one woman wrestler that I did know was the Fabulous Moolah. It amazed me that despite the country being broken up into territories, with each having their own champion, Moolah was recognized as the Women's Champion everywhere.

Mary Lillian Ellison aka The Fabulous Moolah was born in 1923 — the youngest and only girl of 13 children. Her mother died of cancer when she was just 8. Mary attended weekly pro wrestling cards with her dad and perhaps that's where he love of the sport began.

Moolah was the Women's World Champion from from 1956 to 1984. Then from 1985 - 1987. In 1999, at age 76, she won the title for a final time.

To be honest, I really didn't like most of the angles that the WWE used with Moolah when she came back in the late 90's. Still I admired the fact that at her age she was still able to get out there and take bumps and that her name still got a rise from the fans.

So despite the fact that I wasn't a fan of women wrestlers, I felt it right to pay my respects to a performer held in such high regard in the "sport" that I loved as a kid. Rest in peace, Moolah. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and fans.

Iron Man Goes International

The more I see of the Iron Man movie the more I think I'm really gonna dig it. The international trailer is short but, oh so sweet.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Real American Gangster

If the movie American Gangster captures half the flavor of this interview with the Frank Lucas, the real-life OG, then it's sure to be a winner.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Get Scalped with No Risk

I've been a fan of Scalped by Jason Aaron [writer] and R.M. Guera [artist] since issue one. In fact I like the series so much I've purchased both the individual comics and the trade paperbacks [Indian Country and Casino Boogie] as they become available.

Scalped is a crime comic set in the "world of gambling, gunfights, G-men, Dawg Soldiers, massacres, meth labs, trashy sex, fry bread, Indian pride..." And everyone is diggin' it. Brian K. Vaughan [Y: The Last Man, tv's "Lost"] calls it, "the best crime book you're not reading." Garth Ennis [Preacher, The Punisher] calls it the "best new series in years." Playboy, Wizard, Entertainment Weekly and many others have all praised the series.

So what are you waiting for? A money back guarantee? Click HERE and you've got one!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

When Magicians Collide

Are any ZONErs watching the magic reality show Phenomenon? If so, and you were watching last night, you saw Criss Angel throw down a million dollar challenge to one of the contestants as well as his co-host Uri Geller. More on that in a second…

I watched the first episode of Phenomenon and found it to be boring. I like good magic. Unfortunately the show didn't deliver. Further I didn't care for the co-hosts Uri Geller and Criss Angel. I guess it's because they're too hokey... not hokey like a guy who does magic as a hobby, but hokey in that they take themselves so seriously. Give me magicians like Penn and Teller or even David Blaine. I felt that the show was headed for early cancellation and I stopped watching.

If I had have tuned in last night I would have seen Criss Angel and Jim Callahan almost come to blows. After spiritualist Jim Callahan performed his act, both Geller and Angel were supposed to critique it. Angel called the performance "comical." Angel then pulled out two small sealed envelopes and offered Geller and Callahan each one million dollars of his own money if either of them could say what was in the envelopes.

Callahan became visibly upset and began to repeatedly call Angel an "ideological bigot" as he walked toward him. Angel got out of his seat and walked toward Callahan taunting him to tell what was in the envelope. The two were separated and the show went to commercial. You can see it HERE.

Sure, Callahan doesn't really communicate with the dead to find out that the item in the box is a toy car and the only way he can present the message is through a painful psychic experience where the answer comes to him written so it must be read in a mirror. Then again, Angel doesn't really walk on water, split women in half, or levitate.

For Angel to call out Callahan on national tv to prove he's a fake is stupid. Pot meet kettle.

Then again, maybe it was a set-up between Callahan and Angel to help hype the show. If that's the case the show is in worse shape than I thought and I know neither Angel or Callahan have enough magical powers to save it.