Monday, July 18, 2011
Oh.. before I get started.. a young man working at SAM's today came up to me and said "has anyone ever told you, you look like Penn of Penn and Teller?" "No," I said, "but I love the guy. so thanks for that.. I guess... " It must have been the beard, the glasses, and the pony tail (we won't mention the large persona that goes along with it..). Okay.. back to our program...
~ FILMS NOW IN THE THEATRE ~
SUPER 8: Take the family to see this film. From 8 to 80 they'll all get a kick out of this film of kids and monsters that takes place in 1979. Brought to us by J.J. Abrahms (produced by Spielberg), who has been able to show us great TV and now great film. His new start on the Star Trek franchise was just great, brilliant, and fun. Anyone that can take Star Trek and give us a new crew with a great story to re-boot this has got my vote to continue to make more movies. Super 8 is no exception. Let me just say this, it's not a perfect film, (not many are), but in this world of so many average let's-churn-em-out film atmosphere, Abrahms actually gives us story and action, and even some moral tales for the kids to see. Do yourself a favor and go have a fun evening.. and definitely get a tub of popcorn before you go in.. heavy on the butter.
THE GREEN LANTERN and THOR: I've been a fan of Ryan Reynold's for quite some time now. Most of his early stuff is just "guy humor" as my wife would say, but as the years have gone by he has definitely grown. He did a good job in this film version of the comic character, brought some humor to the role, and showed he can be a super hero. The problem with this film is it just didn't have the writing it needed. It was fun but not exciting. Watch it.. but wait for the video.
THOR on the other hand.. whew! What a nice surprise! I would see this in the theater if you can. Good acting, great graphics, and Anthony Hopkins was very effective as the King of this clan. When his son is about to take the throne, an impending war put it on hold, but in the end he was shown the door with his ego barely able to fit through the portal to earth. There he begins to learn, he has a lot to learn, but as with all egos this takes time. Good action, good story, and the acting of THOR himself was believable. Oh, there's some commoraderie and romantic in there ta boot. WATCH THIS!
HARRY POTTER and the DEATHLY HALLOWS Part Two:
Ten years and most of the cast survived. The only one that I know for sure who passed was Richard Harris who originally played Dumbledore. He left us early in the series and Michael Gambon has effectively taken over for the rest of this magical story.
Part two brings us the the showdown of Harry and Valdemort at Hogwarts. Dark and deathly, I feel the series has grown along with the kids (and adults) who begain reading this series over ten-fifteen years ago, showing everyone that life does change. And not always the way you'd like it. Spending ten years with these characters, and actors, they've almost become old friends we get to see every two years. Hell this is more than some of my real friends and it was good to see them again. This is a good film, and definitely worth seeing at the theater with good sound, etc. it will draw you in and you don't want to leave for anything, to see what happens next (I needed to, but couldn't!). Is this the end? Well.. it is for this part of the ride.. but I'm sure JK Rowling or someone at Warner Bro.'s is looking to the future. And of course, there is always Harry Potter at Universal where it's the only place where you can purchase the secret drink of "Butter Beer."
I think it's time for us to go down and get a mug or two with the family.
~ FILM ON VIDEO ~
NEVER LET ME GO
This synopsis is written by Fox pictures. It sums it up quite well: "As children, Ruth, Kathy and Tommy, spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them."
As we're introduced to the kids in this story, they're singing the school song in this English school, which is obviously a private school. You will discover just how private it is.
These kids are raised in an orphanage-like facility where they're literally cut off from the world. So much so that the school they attend, also on the grounds where they live, teaches them about the dangers of death that is just beyond the simple fences that keep them in. All they really have is each other, and as they grow older, although semi-free to roam the countryside, they still only have each other. When you learn the secret of these kids, and what medical advances mankind has made for some, but at what costs?
Carey Mulligan's performance of Kathy is just fantastic. This young actress conveys so much even in the scenes without dialogue, which there are quite a few, she keeps you pulled in and you feel what is going on without a word. That's talent. Directed by Mark Romanek who pulled off the tone of innocence which transferred to unspoken desperation.
Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, who also brought us Remains of the Day, which has received a lot of attention and up for many awards the year it was released in 2005. Although not an original idea, I did find it interesting that the theme was very close to the novel by Michael Marshall Smith, "Spares," that was released in the mid-nineties - and I should note I published the "Special Signed Limited" of "Spares" - which I am very close to. Yes, it's approached from a different perspective, but very similar all the same. I won't say more as I don't want to spoil either story for anyone. The main idea became a popular topic in the 90's and early 00's. Both are science fiction with moral tales to tell. Should we or shouldn't we?
Watch This. It will make you think.
Read more about NEVER LET ME GO
Had the pleasure to watch Guillermo del Toro's 1993 film CRONOS. Starring Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman (del Toro's been working with him longer than I knew), with an intriguing performance by the young actress Tamara Shanath. This film is a classic example of "write a good script," and everything else will fall into place. Budget or not. The Cronos device can keep you alive forever, but at a price. At times sad, haunting, humane, with splashes of humor within, this story shows where del Toro was headed. A 50/50 split in English and subtitled Spanish, this story will grab you very quickly. Glad it was finally released on DVD. If you have Netflix, you can Watch Instantly. HORROR FANS WATCH THIS!
Read more on CRONOS Here!
With my thoughts on films I usually link to their respective IMDB (Internet Movie Database) page. You can find video, synopsis, and much more. Most of these films you can find at Netflix, or On Demand cable if you're lucky.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
DAVE: Pete, CHAMBER OF CHILLS is a classic series from the Harvey publishing era correct? How did PS decide to publish this series?
PETER: I've long felt that most of those old comic books — and I'm thinking here of not just Harvey or the much more famous EC line but also Fox and ACG, Avon and Alax-Farrell — I felt a lot of them were in desperate need of a renaissance. So I got in touch with my good friend Paul Stephenson, a fellow enthusiast with a big collection, to see if he wanted to come on board with me on a subsidiary company to PS called PS Artbooks. Our first volume was a celebration of the life and work of Dan Dare artist/creator Frank Hampson called TOMORROW REVISITED and the second is the first of four collections of Harvey's CHAMBER OF CHILLS. Coming up next are WITCHES TALES, then TOMB OF TERROR and finally BLACK CAT MYSTERY. But, at the same time, we're also developing ACG's FORBIDDEN WORLDS and ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN . . . the latter being the very first anthology horror comic.
DAVE: PS Is issuing the CHAMBER OF CHILLS series in four volumes. Volume one features an introduction by Joe Hill. Will Mr. Hill be a part of every volume or with there be other guest introductions for the rest in the series?
PETER: Ever supportive, Joe agreed to give us a boost with the first book — he won't be doing any more. The second book (WITCHES TALES) has an Intro from Ramsey Campbell with cadaverised artwork from Bryan Talbot. The third one (TOMB OF TERROR) features a foreword from Stephen Jones (editor of the award-winning Best Horror series) with ghoulish rendering art-wise from Randy Broecker. Here's Bryan's piece for Ramsey (see artwork featured here).
DAVE: Artist Glenn Chadbourne is involved in the first volume. Can you clarify what he will be adding to this edition? Will he also be involved in the future volumes?
PETER: Glenn — along with Joe — is signing the special art-boards for the tray-cased lettered edition of CHAMBER . . . just 26 copies. Joe, meanwhile, has signed the cards for all the slipcased copies. Although we're not planning on having him do any more Harvey volumes, Glenn has just completed a new take on the cover art for ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN #2 and he's also turned in a couple of wonderful pen-and-ink self-portraits. PS favorite Edward Miller is doing the same with a copy of FORBIDDEN WORLDS. We've got plans to speak with other artists along the way — and guest introductions from lots of other household names who are dyed-in-the-wool comics fans: let's face it . . . there's a lot of volumes to go at, so long as they perform well commercially. And all this is for the ACG volumes, which will follow a slightly different route to the Harvey ones in that there will not be a traycased edition. So just 300 slipcased and 674 bookshop copies.
DAVE: The first volume is being released in three states. The 300 signed, the 674 hardcover, and of course the lettered edition. Will the 300 and 674 edition both be numbered?
PETER: The full run is one thousand copies: that's 26 lettered, 300 slipcased and 674 unsigned. The 300-copy run will be numbered but there are no plans to number the 674 unsigned copies. I guess we could produce a separate sheet for the bookshop edition that I could sign by way of a proven limitation — let's see what the fans say.
DAVE: Is there anything else you would like share with us about this series?
PETER: We're having a ball . . . an almost obscene amount of fun. But it's hard work. These comics are occasionally a little clunky in the plotting and dialogue departments but, man! . . . the artwork just sings off the page. I kicked off my love of comics with British black and white editions of the likes of DC's CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN, THE FLASH, MYSTERY IN SPACE and BLACKHAWK just before we started getting the regular four-color versions (dated November 1959) in the spring of 1960. But a personal fave for me was ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN which ran for 20 British issues before it was dropped to make way for the US original. I still have all those comics and it could be we'll put out volumes of those, too. Like I say, we'll just have to see how they're received. But believe me, we've got lots of plans for the future…
Thank you for filling us in Peter. As a long time fan of comics, and horror comics especially, I'm looking forward to this series.
Friday, July 8, 2011
As most of you know, Rocky Wood, President of the Horror Writers Association, has ALS or more popularly known as Lou Gherig's disease. We at the Overlook Connection have been raising funds from selling Rocky Wood's Stephen King collection that will go to purchase a device that will help him communicate after the disease has taken it's toll.
The hard truth is this disease is terminal. ALS slowly begins slowing down the body's movement to the point where your eyes are the only thing left you are able to move. The device that Rocky needs to purchase actually tracks his eye movements to help him communicate with his computer. Recently Rocky appeared on ONE PLUS ONE, a news program in Australia, and during the interview he said "I don't think you can measure what it's like to not move, but to lose the ability to communicate for anyone but especially for a writer it's even worse." With this device, which costs $25,000, he can continue to be a part of the world.
A letter from Rocky appears at the head of his items we have for sale and explains his situation. If you would spread the word about these items for sale in your postings and newsletters it would be appreciated.We're trying to raise these funds as soon as possible and I'm enlisting your help here and any attention you can give is much appreciated.
We've received many requests to just send a donation. If you would like to send a donation you can do so directly via PayPal to Rocky at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your time and support for a wonderful person in our community.
Overlook Connection Bookstore and Press