Category Archives: Comic and Graphic Novel

Crumb (1994)

 

crumb

Director Terry Zwigoff
Starring Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Charles Crumb, Maxon Crumb. USA. 2h

Crumb is a tragically funny and deeply insightful documentary about one man’s ability to turn his innermost feelings into art which spoke for an entire generation.

This incredibly personal glimpse into the life of a genius accompanied by a very fitting ragtime soundtrack as this documentary aims to dig deep under the skin of the illustrator to the point of him actually being psychologically affected by the filming. Continue reading Crumb (1994)

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Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)

 

dead mans shoes

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When I first watched this I didn’t know what to fully expect, I knew it was going to be a British drama with some grisly scenes, but what I didn’t see coming was the full force of dark tormented film making with a stark and dangerous edge.

Paddy Constantine stars as Richard, a troubled veteran who’s returned to seek out the truth about his mentally vulnerable brother Anthony (Toby Kebbell) death, upon a little bit of investigating he soon realises that a group of low lives were befriending him in order to torment him and he soon lavishes them with his own brand of deep psychological torture and a icy revenge. Continue reading Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)

Constantine (2005)

constantine

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I was totally reluctant to see this and it did take a couple of years for me to finally give in as it was on Film4 and generally they don’t fuck around with shit films.. generally.. The movie was never going to be as good as the comics, and very few comic remakes are that good, and on top of this Mr Keanu (I’m a wooden puppet) Reeves is cast as the lead and I stepped back crying OH HELL NO, until i realised Tilda Swinton had a small part and decided it would be worth it to perve on her.

Hellblazer.. *ahem* I mean John Constantine is like a detective/guardian who deals with all things religiously supernatural, demonic possession, angels and demons who try to interfere a little too much etc etc, with the help of his ambitious sidekick he’s onto something big here that leads him almost straight into hell and to Devil himself. After rescuing a young girl from a demon a little secret is let out, and John is on the case of trying to stop one of the devils sons from coming back to burn this earth and claim it for his own. Dect Angela Dodson  (Rachel Weisz) has recently lost her twin sister to suicide and through messages left behind and Constantine’s help the pair are in for a wild ride as they try to decipher the mysteries of Hell’s army. Continue reading Constantine (2005)

Let it snow

We’ve had a lot of snow lately; in fact it’s snowing right now as I write this.

I personally love the snow and cold weather is much more attractive and exciting than sunny dry vistas.

Snow has inspired a lot of literary and cinematic works. Even our fables and legends have a lot of snow and ice in them, like the legend of Jack Frost and books like the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Snow Queen and our yearly favourite animated short, The Snowman.

Here are some movies that are all connected by snow.

30-Days-Of-Night_7575_130 Days of Night (2007) – One of the few comic to movie remakes I actually enjoyed and also one of the best beheading scenes to date. I had to include this in my top snow movies, as it’s illustrates some of the unusual situations your posed with if you want to live in a cold and snowy area. There are several places that you can live where there are seasons of night, and obviously dark tales come from these areas, there are increases in crime and the folk law is much more sinister. You’ll notice northern European fairy tales rarely have a happy ending and the Swedish crime noir that seem to be all-popular now have had the prolonged winter darkness used as the reason why the stories are so shadowy and gruesome.

alive movie photoAlive (1993) – I remember when this was first released, I was a young teen, just starting high school and everyone at school was talking about cannibalism.. * shock horror! *  I had already read an awesome book called Flesh and Blood so it was quite tame for me. It’s funny how you have to be a certain age to see a movie but not to read a book!? But a brilliant adaptation of a true life event, regrettably it’s one that I haven’t researched the real life event to compare yet but it’s something that I like to do.

Alien_vs_PredatorAlien Vs Predator (1993)  – Not the best Alien movie or an acceptable Predator movie but I really did enjoy this, maybe I have a thing for science fiction in the snow, after all The Thing (1982) is one of my all time favourite movies. This film isn’t accurate or true to either story line, but as an independent film it’s okay to see some devastation in an abandoned whaling town.

Avalance (1999)  – A conservation one this time, a helicopter pilot works with a husband and wife in the frozen north tagging foxed for the EPA.

Cliffhanger (1993) – A botched heist in the Rocky Mountains.. with Rocky! It has a lot of clichés but it’s an ok movie. LOTS of ice climbing, dangers and perils.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004) – Trying to make the snow into a huge budget natural disaster with CGI wolves kinda sucked. It had some cool ideas and brought some interesting points to weather movies but it didn’t gel well together for me, maybe I’m just being a movie snob? It is a stunning story about a father and son trying to locate each other as the planet plummets into a rapid ice age, but for me personally it didn’t sink in.

Die Hard 2 (1990) – For me this movie has the Best “comedy” death scene in a snowy action movie? You have to love that icicle scene, thanks John McClaine, you demonstrated what our mothers always warned us about (or was it just my mother.. )

dead-snowDod Sno (2009) – HORROR time, we’re finding zombies everywhere, and nazi zombies aren’t usually too far behind!! It was a breath of fresh air when I finally got around to seeing Dead Snow. Finally a combination of senseless violence, zombies, snow and young fit men covered in blood! WHHOOO. The amount of fake blood used in this movie must rival Evil Dead! Actually which movie uses the most fake blood ever??

The Edge (1997) – I’m a big fan of Anthony Hopkins and it’s great that I get to include one of his movies in this list. It’s a gritty thriller with an introductory role for Bart, Bart the bear! I have a fear of bears now, Thanks Bart. I’d also like to say a little RIP to the big ole dude and congratulations on acting with Anthony Hopkins twice.

Essential Killing (2010) – One of the modern day silent movies, this is an emotional car crash of a movie. A man is pulled from his terrorist activities in Afghanistan to a military base in an unknown frozen land where he has to fight to stay hidden and survive. There is a lot unsaid in this movie which I respect as it makes you think and interpret what is going on and what happened.

the-fearless-vampire-killers-original-1Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) – Old school horror comedy all set in a icy cold landscape I’m not a huge fan of comedy and I don’t laugh my ass off throughout this movie BUT I do love it as it has a very unique style to it that I’ve never seen in any other movie. If anyone knows of something similar then let me know. I thoroughly enjoy this movie on a regular basis.

fargo1Fargo (1996) – The Cohen brothers know how to make a great movie. I can’t quite put my finger on WHY their movies are so good but Fargo was an instant hit with me. You never really see the full extent of the harsh climate but you do see people deal with a lot of snowy issues. And the first weather conversation I’d seen in a non weather movie for some time. They say it’s only us brits that like to talk about the weather.. yep just us and old bar men..  O,o

Four Brothers (2005)  – While these four brothers are looking to revenge their mothers death it becomes apparent that snow fills this movie from beginning to end! For that reason it’s worth a mention here.

Fritt Vilt  (Cold Prey) (2006) – I wasn’t won over by this film, it has some interesting moments but I didn’t think that overall it was all that exciting, maybe it needed to be shorter? It does have two more sequels maybe there is a bigger picture? A serial killer on the loose, preying on some teens who have tried to find shelter in a hotel with one of them injured and teens doing what they do best the isolation of the cold does not help the situation.

Frozen (2010) – I hadn’t bothered with this for ages, the cover put me off, (I know don’t judge by the cover.. ) I was expecting a few wimpy US teens to start complaining about being cold because of the snow outside BOO HOO.. but somehow I rented it out (I probably ran out new DVD’s at Blockbusters) It was brilliant!! It’s not the best movie of all time and won’t make my top 250 movies of all time but I have to admire it for the fact that it doesn’t have a fairy tale ending and it demonstrates how fragile we are in the natural world.

Frozen River (2008) – I think if this movie was set anywhere else it might not have been so desolate, the barren landscape and harsh conditions makes you feel so much more for the family and their problems. It illustrates just how harsh things can be in such a cold climate.

Ice Station Zebra (1968) – This movie is a thriller, but at some points instead of fighting among themselves the people find themselves fighting against the perils of the icy weather!

K2 (1991) – An adventure drama based around climbing the K2 Mountain, I think most mountains have their climb adventure movie. Not all named after it directly though..

Misery (1990) – How could I forget this gem!? I absolutely adore this film. The snow is the reason why a world famous writer gets taken out on his way home after writing a new novel. He’s picked up by his No.1 fan and all hell breaks loose in a crippling sort of way. I feel cold for the first part of this movie then I just feel all twangy in my legs.. * grimace* [edited 23.01.13]

Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) – A woman suffering from amnesia beings to recover her memories after trouble from her past finds her again. Apart from the killer deer scene I remember there is a constant supply of snow in this film.

Nordwand_986x1400Nordwand (2008) – Definitely in my top 100 movies of all time, based on a real life event, a tribute to two wonderful men and a brave attempt to climb the North Face of the Eiger (translates as the ogre) . I did some research after watching the film and it’s such a sad tale (dammit have I given too much away??) All the same there are some amazing shots of a distinctive landscape and it’s actually beautiful to see the connection between Andi (Andreas) and Toni during their climb. And I have to chuck in the fact I’m addicted to men/women with THAT 1930’s European hair cut.. * faints * also I think this man needs a shout out on he matter.

Orca (1977) – This movie isn’t exactly centred around snow but the most memorable scenes of the finale are in a polar area where man and beast battle for love and honour. Definitely left an impression on me.

Oorlogswinter / Winter in Wartime  (2008) –Near the end of world way II a 14 year old boy becomes involved with the resistance after coming to the aid of a wounded British soldier.

crimsonLes Rivieres Pourpres (Crimson Rivers) (2000) – I am adding this one in because it’s about several grisly murders in an alpine area and without giving too much away there is a great avalanche scene. The movie is a French horror crime movie, staring Jean Reno (who else?) and Vincent Cassel, trying to work out what a popular and prestigious college has to do with a series of odd murders. I really loved the movie and the others that followed.

Rocky IV (1985) – I do love my Rocky boxset, and as much as I remember the latter movies form my childhood I prefer the movies in order of release, the first being the best and loosing hope throughout BUT accepting that ALL of them have their merits and I couldn’t be without them. All in all the snow training scenes in Rock IV make me want to do my own winter exercises.. for me making a snow angel is as active as I get.

Scarce (2008) – a couple of retarded teens get trapped in an isolated cabin with some freaky locals.. I can’t say anything good about this movie, lets just say you’ll need a deck of cards and a bottle of bear while watching this movie.

main_imgSeraphim Falls (2006) – I could put a lot of other movies in this just because you see snow once or twice like Ravenous for example. Even though there is only snow in the beginning of this movie and might I add that the film starts off in the cold winter and ends in a desert so there are lot of landscape changes. The snow scenes are done in such a way that I really FEEL the cold so it gets a mention and it also the movie that changed my whole idea of Westerns so well done.

Shining (1980) – This movie I really adore when it comes to being cold. It is one of very few movies to demonstrate cabin fever on a supernatural level. The snow plays an active part as a cause of entrapment and a killer.

Shoot to Kill (Deadly Pursuit) (1988) – Not the best snow film but I have to add it because I learnt one thing from this movie.. there are battery powered socks that warm up your tootsies.. a must for any non snow lover. This is an underrated action film superb performances from all the cast.

Struggle to survive (1994) – this is one another heart string puller like Frozen River, it’s really odd because I watched this on TV and had no idea what the movie was called, didn’t care much either, then remembered it while writing this list and looked up “neil Patrick frost bite” and it seems EVERYONE has seen this movie and didn’t know what the title was!! Oh dear, it’s a great TV movie possibly based on a real life event, I’m yet to confirm.

The Thing (1982) – I’m going to chuck in both of the renditions of “Who Goes There” as they are both based in the snow. I admire this story in every way it’s been told, both movies and the radio play! The story tells of an alien being trapped in the ice, showing that the snow/frost can be a preserver too, this is also demonstrated in a few other movies like Thaw (2009) and Horror Express (1972).

transsiberianTranssiberian  (2008) – I do like this film, it’s interesting, deep and unfolds beautifully, I don’t like it when a movies takes forever to warm up or when the most of the action is at the very end for example, this tale of deception murder and drugs had a contact twist and tension throughout.The snow gets more intense as the plot thickens.

Toby McTeague (1986)  – Oh the shame that I remember this movie! I used to rent it a lot from the video shop, I’ve never seen it on DVD.. Basically it’s a high school kid who has his heart set on winning a dog sleigh race, so I’m adding this to count for all the puppy and dog snow movies out there.

tumblr_mctjjdikVN1ryoymqo1_500Trolljegeren (2010) – Even though this movie is a Found Footage Mocumentary like many others it has a characteristic style that reminds me something but I can’t put my finger on it. The iconic poster with the roll with the blue border and yellow writing just makes it stand out from all other typical movie posters, it’s like BANG, this is it, deal with it. Humm the movie, needs to be watched, I know a lot of people avoided it as they thought it would be like the Blair Witch (1999) but really folks it’s got a lot more going for it. Even though the movie isn’t dedicated to the snow, the ever-changing landscape is still all beautiful and there is a snow ending, so I thought it deserved a shout out. By the way if anyone has that poster for sale I need one!

Vertical Limits (2000) – Mountain rescue for the big screen as a sister has be rescued from the top of K2.

Whiteout (2009) – A killer being tracked in Antarctica around the time that the sun will set for 6 months!? I’ve not seen this yet but I’ve heard okayish reviews but another one that demonstrates mans fear of prolonged darkness.

And the rest…

I’d also like to add a few more items to this now epic list.

games

I know this isn’t a game blog, I’m not a huge gamer, I will find the odd retro game to amuse me from time to time, but as I have such an impressive snow fetish I thought I’d name a couple of games in my collection.

radio

BBC did a version of Who Goes There – which was very interesting to hear McCready as an actual Scott.

Nightfall did a few snow related shows including…

  • Weather Station 4 – A disembodied voice on the radio speaks to one of two men and a dog who are snowed in and running low on supplies, her suggestions become sinister as the situation becomes more desperate, her motive?
  • The Late Special A couple driving home in the winter loose control of their car and crash, the husband is pinned and the wife has lost her sights, but he guides her to a nearby train station by shouting directions, once she’s there she discovers that it’s not totally abandoned, but who is the man who acquires her help for her sight?
  • The porch light  – A newly wed couple have recently moved into the their new and lowly priced house, during the night they see a lone man standing under a streetlight waving at them but he casts no shadows, the husband remembers the rumours about he previous couple who lived in the house, were these true?
  • Windchill – A student lost in the snowy woods, while trying to find her friend cabin to study, chances upon a stranger who seems lost from our time, he’s helpful and friendly but there is a small ghost child that seems to be following him..

2000AD strips that should make it to the big screen

Right here is a run down of my favourite 2000AD strips/characters that I feel could make great movies. To see details of what has already been made into films check out this post.

Durham Red

Part of the Stontium Dogs, Durham Red eventually got her own strip, as a solo vampire bounty hunter bad ass kinda lass. There was an awesome strip based on a hunter killer game, similar to the tournament and obviously used Michael Wincott’s character from the Crow (1995) as the overlord who organised the tournament. This could be an interesting start to Durham in the Cinema. Sadly I think it would just turn into Underworld (2010). Although I think if there was ever a match, my girl Durham would kick ass.

Button Man

Harry Exton, ex-mercenary, is a “Button Man”, a hired killer pitted against other killers in an underground sport. Each works for a mysterious “Voice”, a rich man of unknown identity. The object of the game is to kill your opponent, or capture him and take his marker – the first two joints of a finger. Button Men who lose three fingers are shot anyway. The “voices” profit from the game by gambling on the outcome, and a ruthless killer like Harry Exton can make a modestly wealthy man extremely rich. Exton decides to quit, only to discover that leaving the Button Man game isn’t so easy. What more needs to be said, it’s another tournament movie and probably a great one for Liam Neeson.

ABC Warriors

The A.B.C. Warriors are a team of war robots designed to withstand ‘Atomic’, ‘Bacterial’ and ‘Chemical’ warfare. They were built to take part in the long-running Volgan War,  Each robot has a distinctive personality – often one programmed by its human creators – but each is more or less able to act with free will. The team is made up of Hammerstein, Deadlock, Joe Pineapples, Blackblood, Mongrel, Steelhorn/the Mess, Mek Quake and Ro Jaws. There have been other members join up now and again over time. But with all of the Transformers movie technology this could be a marvelous film.

Nemesis

Nemesis the warlock was in the very first 2000AD comic I ever brought, drawn by Clint Langley (my all time favourite artist). I guess it was love at first sight. Nemesis is a a fire-breathing demonic alien, fights against the fanatical Torquemada, Grand Master of the Terran Empire in Earth’s distant future, and his attempts to exterminate all alien life. Grotesque, hyperbolic and violent, the series possesses a dark wit and biting satirical intent.

Slaine

Sláine is a barbarian fantasy adventure series based on Celtic myths and storieswhich first appeared in 1983. Sláine’s favourite weapon is an axe called “Brainbiter”. He has the power of the “warp spasm”, based on the ríastrad or body-distorting battle frenzy of the Irish hero Cú Chulainn, in which earth power “warps” through his body, turning him into a terrifying, monstrous figure who knows neither friend nor foe. He is a devotee of the earthgoddess Danu.

Obviously it would be hard for this not to turn into Conan (1984) but is there any hard of having an Irish Conan? NO! It would be amazing to see it embrace the old Celtic myths and I have to admit Ireland/Celtic myths tend to get forgotten by Hollywood, the only recent references I’ve seen to them would be from Hellboy 2 (2008 ) but Del Toro does like a good fable. I’m sure they would like to give the part to Michael Fassbender but I’d pefer to see someone more meaty in the role, is it really time for the New arnie??

Outlaw

He used to be a killer. He used to be the best. Now the past is about to catch up with him. How far is he prepared to go to save everything he hold dear? He is about to find out…

After all of the Django Unchained I feel a bit odd suggesting this! (JOKE) we need more positive black male characters in the movie business.

The story isn’t an easy one from what I remember, it’s actually quite similar to the background story in Tournament (2009) (and yes a thousand other movies)  Where the bad ass has his family killed and goes out for revenge so why not just chuck Ving Rhames in for good measure?

 
Rogue Trooper

Rogue, a G.I. (or Genetic Infantryman, a genetically modified, blue-skinned, manufactured elite soldier) and his three comrades’ search for the Traitor General. His comrades are in the form ofbiochips (onto which a G.I.’s entire personality is downloaded at the time of death for later retrieval) and are named Gunnar (mounted on Rogue’s rifle), Bagman (on hisbackpack) and Helm (on his helmet). He is genetically engineered to be immune to almost all known toxins. He can submerge in strong acid unaffected, and is able to withstand a vacuum in his bare skin.

Strontium Dogs

Now this would rock, after a Strontrium (90?) fall out Britian is left with very few people and then the mutations start.. BRILLIANT! But as this is a cool comic, they don’t turn into X men they aren’t pretty but they have a laugh! There are issues like segregation and the mutants are seen as second class citizens, and congriguate in ghettos in places like Milton Keynes. This is begging to me made a black comedy sci fi britflick? I’d like to see it as a proper doomsday film, with a similar cast actually, the boys did well in Dog Soldiers (2002) too (did anyone notice the cast was almost the same?)

Vector 13

Vector 13 was one of my all time favourite strips as it was a full story in each episode and it played out like the Twilight Zone or Outer Limits and I absolutely adore those shows. It would be a bit crap to draw one of these stories out into a full movie like the box (2009) that movie was a hour longer than it needed to be, wait the original was about right, did it really need to be drawn out into a movie? C’mon! Maybe this could be compiled together like Creepshow (1982) into a series of shorts?

We need some proper sinister MIB with some shocking tales to tell. If your into this kinda thing then I can’t help but shout about my favourite podcast, Mysterious Universe. I’ll add their links soon but in the meantime check them out here http://mysteriousuniverse.org/

Sinister Dexter

This strip started when I was about ready to give up on 2000AD due to costs but I did enjoy the first round. it features the exploits of gun sharks (hitmen) Finnigan “Finny” Sinister and Ramone “Ray” Dexter in the city of Downlode, sprawled across Central Europe “like a hit and run victim” I’ve noticed that the characters started out as the hitmen from Pulp Ficition (1994 ) but slowy turned into a dead clown and wesley snipes in appearance, lets face it, Mr Snipes could do with a bit of cash, so lets get this made and help a brotha out! To be honest I’d prefer to see Danny John Jules play the part.

2000 AD On the Big Screen

I used to read 2000AD and Judge Dread Magazine for most of my teenage life. I have a huge pile of comics that I flick through from time to time. Sadly not a lot of  my old time classics made it to the big screen and there were a lot worthy of it. Check out the post 2000AD strips that should make it on the big screen.

To date there have only been three film adaptations and only based on one strip and one other character, they are …

  • Hardware (1990)
  • Judge Dredd (1995)
  • Dredd (2012)

Sad isn’t it.. Well not entirely, lets recap.

Hardware (1990)

Hardware happens to be in my top films of all time. It is based on a 1981 comic strip from 2000 AD called SHOK. Initially slated by the press it did manage to grow a cult following.  It really is the showcase of what the future movement meant to a lot of us teens and young people in the 90’s, it’s got android body parts, machines, a crazy radio host, a bleak future that the hippies warned about, no children, radiation and big guns.  The movie also has a GREAT soundtrack including Minsitry, PIL and some of Simon Boswell’s best work. This is also one of those movies where a lot of musicians played a part,  quite literally and all from a then thriving alternative scene. Such people inclucded Carl MacCoy (Fields of the Nephilim), Lemmy  (Motorhead) and Iggy Pop as the excitable radio host Angry Bob!!!

Judge Dredd (1995)

I was so psyched when I read in 200AD that the Dredd movie was on the make! There had been rumors for so long and with a low comic to movie history, I felt that maybe there was a change for a good film for me to sneek into the cinema to watch.
Then bit by bit information was released about the film including Stallone being Dredd, I was a little shocked but I couldn’t think of anyone else who could play the part. Then I watched the movie, cried a little, it was nice to see mega city 1 and Ian Dury, then took my posters down.. I couldn’t believe it..he took off his helmet! How fucking dare he!

It was nice to know that a local family bike shop had made the vehicles for the movie, and it was brilliant that they killed off some of the immortal characters I had spent years reading about.. and humm.. I’m still a little traumatized by it all.

Now the final installment..  Dredd 3D (enough of the 3D please) it’s just Dredd (2012)

I can’t say much about this as I haven’t actually watched it yet, I don’t actually get a chance to see everything NEW OUT all the time. I’ll explain later..

But if Karl Urban could re do the scene where Dredd fights off the Angel Gang with his law book and back brush while totally naked (apart from the helmet) I might go and rent it now…

Progressively the 2000AD comic to movies have been going down hill for me, Ill have to give a full recap when I’ve watched the final movie but in the mean time there will be more info on what I’d like to see make it to the big screen.