Tagged: Samuel L. Jackson

Win Tickets for the European Premiere of “The Avengers”

solicited cover

The good news: there’s a way to see The Avengers earlier than anybody in America. The bad news: you’ll have to be in England to do it.

Uniqlo.com is offering the chance to win two tickets to attend the European premiere of Avengers Assemble in full 3D at its European premiere in Westfield, London.

Written and directed by Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly fame and starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, and Samuel L. Jackson, Avengers Assemble follows S.H.I.E.L.D’s Nick Fury’s formation of The Avengers: a superhero collective comprising of The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, and the Black Widow to fight an enemy which threatens the safety of the world.

Fill in the form below for a chance to win. All entries must be made by April 13th at midnight BST (that’s 7 PM in Eastern Daylight Time).

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Monday Mix-Up: The Avenger Friends

Letterman on the Avengers comic

With all the hoopla over The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble if you’re in the UK) coming to theaters on May 4, it’s worth remembering the original TV series that this was all based on, starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg, and Samuel L. Jackson.

C’mon– don’t tell me you don’t remember this:

 

MARTHA THOMASES Goes For The Ghost

This has been a week to experience anguish, not least of it over the upcoming movie based on Marvel’s Ghost Rider character. As you know if you read this site (for example, here and here), Marvel (or its corporate overlords) is behaving dickishly towards Gary Friedrich, one of the character’s creators.

Now, I’m not a fan of Ghost Rider. To the best of my memory, I’ve never read the comic. I haven’t seen the first movie, not even when I’m just mindlessly staring at the television. I’m not a big Nicolas Cage fan (although, when I’m mindlessly staring at the television, I’ll always watch Con Air, which is amazing if only for the sympathetic psychopath child molester played by Steve Buscemi).

But I really really really want to see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. I adore the work of directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Crank: High Voltage is the reason that the phrase “motion picture” was invented. If you haven’t seen it, really, run right out. Don’t just take my word for it.

They even took the terrible script that was Jonah Hex and made it boogie along. It helped that they had Will Arnett. I think all comic book movies should have Will Arnett, especially the ones that don’t have Samuel L. Jackson.

Should I deny myself the potential joy of a Neveldine/Taylor film for Gary Friedrich? I don’t think I know him. Who is he to me, or I to him? Why should I care what happens?

Well, it turns out, I should care, and you should, too. My life is greatly enhanced by the existence of creative people. Even creative people who sign crappy work-for-hire contracts because they are so short-sighted, they consider that feeding their families and keeping a roof over their heads was more important than their artistic integrity.

Been there. Done that. And if, by some miracle, my work gets optioned, I would much prefer sharing in the glory (and, maybe, the profits) to getting sued.

So, in the interest of karma, I will do my best to create the world I want to live in. Maybe I’ll go to the movie this weekend, maybe not. But I’ve already tried to do right by writers and artists everywhere by showing some appreciation here. If you’ve enjoyed my work, or Gary’s work, or anyone’s fiction, stop by and give what you can afford.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman Offers His 12 Cents

 

Bad Girls, Good Guys, and Two-Fisted Action: Genre-Bending: How Pure Should Pulp Fiction Be? New Pulp authors respond.

Bad Girls, Good Guys, and Two-Fisted Action: Genre-Bending: How Pure Should Pulp Fiction Be? New Pulp authors respond.

Sean Taylor posted an interesting query on his blog http://seanhtaylor.blogspot.com/. Sean asked ‘How Pure Should Pulp Fiction Be?’ Some of New Pulp’s finiest responded.

When you think of pulp fiction, what springs to mind? The hard-boiled P.I.? The lost Earthman winning and wooing on Mars? The jungle lord? The aviator adventurer? The masked vigilante precursor to the comic book super hero? Weird horror tales with skeletons and damsels in distress? (For the sake of argument, let’s all assume you didn’t immediately go to the movie with John Travolta and Samuel Jackson, even as good as it is.)

Pulp has covered many genres, and was originally so named because of the cheap paper on which it was published. Pretty much everybody who loves the style knows that.

But, over time, some genres tended to become more synonymous with the definition of pulp than others.

And some would argue that pulp itself is a genre. (For the sake of this article, we’re going to treat pulp as a style of telling a story and not a genre unto itself, since so many genres were represented within its ranks.)

To explore this idea further, we went straight to several of new pulp’s top creators. You can see their responses at http://seanhtaylor.blogspot.com/2011/12/genre-bending-how-pure-should-pulp.html?spref=tw

Meet the Avengers

In case you missed it, here are the character specific one-sheets to tease next spring’s Avengers movie. And sandwiched in-between are the official details.

Genre:                         Action-adventure
Rating:                         TBD
U.S. Release date:       May 4, 2012

Running time:

Cast:                            Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson

Director:                       Joss Whedon

Producer:                     Kevin Feige

Executive Producers:   Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau, Patricia Whitcher, Louis D’Esposito

Screenplay by:                        Joss Whedon

Marvel Studios presents Marvel’s The Avengers—the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, Marvel’s The Avengers is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series The Avengers, first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting eventmovie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when Marvel’s The Avengers assemble in summer 2012.

In Marvel’s The Avengers, superheroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.

MARC ALAN FISHMAN: Lights. Camera. Avenge.

So, I just watched the trailer for The Avengers. I had to change pants. Because I pooped them. Why the premature defecation, you inquire? One movie with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, Worthless Chick and Bow and Arrow Man… that’s why! In all seriousness (that would be the seriousness of a comic nerd geeking out at maximum dorkatude), it’s because this is the culmination of years of planning on Marvel’s part. And simply put, it looks like they aren’t going to screw it up.

In their own rights, each of the Marvel heroes who have been given a solo movie have done spectacularly well. Iron Man grossed over $318,000,000; Thor nabbed over $181,000,000; and the glorious Captain America took in over $175,000,000. Bob Wayne at DC once said “You vote with your dollars…” and by the looks of it, America (nerd and non-nerd alike) has proven its love for the Marvel movies.

Speaking purely from a fan-boy perspective, I’ve had nothing but mad love and respect for their cinematic endeavors. Iron Man was grounded in reality (for 4/5s of the film), and elevated by a continuously energetic performance by Robert Downey Jr., Thor was able to mix the completely ridiculous with powerful mythology and gave us perhaps one of the hardest to believe Avengers such that we as an audience believed a God could be a superhero. Captain America was able to build a fantastic period piece that gave the world an iconic and fearless leader. And now, Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios is cramming all of them (and a handful of others) into a single picture.

The basic fear most fanboys have had since the idea of an Avengers movie was dropped on our collective consciousness revolved around over-complexity. Rumors of Loki, the Kree/Skrull war, Red Skull, and numerous other villains danced on message boards. And let’s face it. Putting 4 or 5 “A-Types” into a team picture will potentially numb any chance at character building and nuance. If Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Incredible Hulk each required their own picture, how can they share the limelight? And on top of it… Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury looks to be far more than just a cameo to boot. In simpler terms, The Avengers could easily become 10 gallons of Superhero in a 5 gallon hat.

If the trailer is to be any indicator of what the final product will be, I feel like Marvel is headed in the right direction. With the origins of every character now “public knowledge,” things feel natural. Iron Man and Captain America are both formidable leaders in their own right. In the trailer, they knock heads almost instantly. Whedon, who wrote the script, has a real clarity of character. Tony’s response is pitch perfect. Thor, while not uttering a word, carries himself as we expect… Regally, with a dash of arrogance.

Other glimpses of the titular characters are equally impressive. Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner certainly holds himself with a quiet struggle. And the choice to make Loki the villain creates a real urgency for the assembling. A mad god? Yeah, that’s a job for the Avengers. I know this all seems a bit of a hyperbole of analysis, given that all we’ve really seen is 12,000 seconds of footage (with a solid third of that dedicated to ominous shots of New York, explosions, and Iron Man flying)… but I’ve watched the trailer a couple times now, and each time I retain the same silly grin.

Marvel’s missteps – Wolverine, Elektra, Daredevil (which I actually liked), and most likely one (if not more) of the Blade flicks – all shared a plethora of groan worthy moments. In each, the self-seriousness never felt earned by the fans. That, and Wolverine was given Clark Kent’s origin part-way through his movie. I wish I could pinpoint exactly why the Avengers, with its surplus of superheroes, seems to capture my glee, with no bitter aftertaste of “this could be a train wreck.” Could it be I just want it to succeed too much? With Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Thor all leading up to this, it may very be such that I can’t fathom this flopping. I’ve dropped far too much cash at the multiplex to see Marvel bellyflop.

At its core, the Avengers is true fanboy porn. An assembling of Marvel’s best and brightest (and Hawkeye, cause, you know…) to fight the biggest of fights, is the stuff dreams are made of. To see it in live-action glory, with a bevy of computer effects and explosions is everything comic fans have dreamed of. I postulate it’s akin to The Dark Knight, where the general masses will appreciate our medium in a new light. It raises our collective mojo up just a notch. And anytime a comic nerd looks better than a Trekkie or LARPer… well, that’s just gravy. If you haven’t checked it out yet, do go watch the trailer… and come back here to tell me if I should stave my excitement, or just invest in a few more pair of paints prior to its debut.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

“Avengers” Trailer released

And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes were united against a common threat — to fight foes no single hero could withstand.

On that day… The Avengers trailer was released.

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”–the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012. In “Marvel’s The Avengers,” superheroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.

Ultimate Spider-Man 2 Revealed to be Black-Hispanic

The Ultimate Universe’s next Spider-Man will be a half-black, half-Hispanic teen named Miles Morales. As revealed in today’s USA Today, the new Ultimate Spider-Man #1 will be the most radical next step in differentiating the imprint from the core Marvel Universe.

Brian Michael Bendis, one of the Ultimate Universe’s chief architects, will write the new series, debuting in September, with art from Sara Pichelli. But first, Morales will be introduced in this week’s Ultimate Fallout #4. The miniseries’ title refers to the repercussions felt in the superhero community over recent events including the death of Peter Parker.

“The theme is the same: With great power comes great responsibility,” Bendis told the newspaper. “He’s going to learn that. Then he has to figure out what that means.”

The notion of making Parker’s successor a man of color was partly inspired by the NBC series Community. Star Donald Glover had been campaigning via Twitter for consideration as the lead in the Sony reboot of the live-action film series, a role that was given to Andrew Garfield. Last fall, the season premiere featured Glover in Spider-Man pajamas. “He looked fantastic!” Bendis said. “I saw him in the costume and thought, ‘I would like to read that book.’ So I was glad I was writing that book.”

The Italian artist used Glover as the inspiration for Morales’ look much as the Ultimate Nick Fury was largely inspired by Samuel L. Jackson who went on to play Fury in the Marvel Universe film series beginning with Iron Man  in 2008.

“It’s certainly long overdue,” Bendis said. “Even though there’s some amazing African-American and minority characters bouncing around in all the superhero universes, it’s still crazy lopsided.” It should be noted that the Spider-Man who operated with organic webshooters in the 2099 speculative future line of comics was a Hispanic named Miguel O’Hara. Morales will also be the product of a mixed heritage, much as Alonso himself is from a mix of cultures (his father is Mexican, his mother is British).

“What you have is a Spider-Man for the 21st century who’s reflective of our culture and diversity. We think that readers will fall in love with Miles Morales the same way they fell in love with Peter Parker,” Axel Alonso, Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, told the paper. Parker’s supporting cast, including Gwen Stacy and Aunt May will figure in the early storylines.

Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962 and by 1999 it was decided the series (and the larger Marvel Universe) was a little too insular for the casual reader. Then-president Bill Jemas decided a parallel line of books could take those core concepts and retell the stories using modern storytelling and characterizations. The Ultimate Universe was introduced in 2000 and was an immediate success, powered by Bendis and Mark Bagley’s Spider-Man. By 2010, though, the UU and MU were strikingly similar so things were dramatically shaken up in a series of cataclysmic events that shook the UU’s status quo, beginning with the wholesale slaughter of half the X-Men, including Wolverine. Those events continued to play out, leading to Spider-Man’s heroic sacrifice, taking a bullet from the Punisher, intended for Captain America.

Avengers, Assembled: First Looks of Mark Ruffalo as Hulk and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill

Marvel Comics released a wide variety of posters at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend with Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Scarlett Johannson as the Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, all in advance of the May 2012 release of the Avengers movie directed by Joss Whedon, and all making a giant poster after it’s all, ahem, assembled.

The images were created by Marvel Studios Co-Visual Development Supervisor Ryan Meinerding and Charlie Wen. Check ’em out.

Jurassic Park Trilogy Comes to Blu-ray

We’re still savoring the goodness found in the Superman and Lord of the Rings treasure chests but now we have something to put on our Christmas list. Coming in October is a Blu-ray box set of the three Jurassic Park films and there’s something to recommend in all three. Here’s the formal release:

Universal City, California, June 27, 2011 – The wait is finally over to experience one of the most anticipated motion-picture trilogies of all time like never before when Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III debut as a trilogy set on Blu-ray™ October 25, 2011 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s award-winning cinematic franchise, based on the best-selling book by  Michael Crichton, generated nearly $2 billion combined at the worldwide box office and featured groundbreaking visual effects that changed the art of movie-making forever. Now, all three epic films have been digitally restored and remastered in flawless high definition for the ultimate viewing experience. Additionally, the films’ visceral sound effects and the unforgettable music from legendary composer John Williams can now be heard in pristine 7.1 surround sound. Arriving in stores just in time for holiday gift giving, this collectible three-movie set also features hours of bonus features, including an all-new, six-part documentary and digital copies of all three films that can be viewed on an array of electronic and portable devices anytime, anywhere.  The Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy is also available on DVD, as well as in a spectacular Limited Edition Blu-ray Trilogy Gift Set which includes a custom T-rex dinosaur statue. (more…)