The Mix : What are people talking about today?

Marc Alan Fishman: Facing My Fears

As I noted last week, Unshaven Comics’ trek to Hotlanta for the annual Dragon Con had me face down several fears all at once. As Unshaven Matt Wright was sidelined due to a babysitting emergency, the biggest fear for me was knowing that our terrific trio was reduced to a dingy duo. Beyond that, there was the continual fear that our little shtick will finally reach the point that it doesn’t garner the excitement we count on to close sales. Add that ennui to the more concrete fear that a ten-hour trip in the car while completing the Whole 30 diet – one that forced me to give up everything but lean protein, fruits and vegetables – would make what is normally a doable drive become something more akin to the trek undertaken by a ragtag fellowship of adventurers trying to ditch a silly ring.

Backup just a wee bit further and I was dealing with the fear of finishing our comic. In what was our second year without a new book to bring out to shows, the creeping horror of attending a show yet again without anything new to our names had forced me to use vacation time from my day job – and then working 12 hours a day to ensure we limped across the finish line. But once production was done on the digital end? Well, then came all the tiny nightmares: getting gigs of data over to our printer intact, checking proofs, correcting errors, and then awaiting the full order for Atlanta to be printed, cut, and stapled.

All of those fears aside, I also decided that life isn’t worth living unless you’re burning the candle at every conceivable end. Upon our return from Dragon Con, the awesome editors of Mine!, Joe Corollo and Molly Jackson were kind enough to allow me a chance to contribute to the book. I had a plan in place – to work hand in hand with a friend of mine very close to the cause, to produce something original and funny (a specific request by said editors). But life never works exactly as we plan, right? My collaborator went on an impromptu vacation, and I felt the pinch to produce my script sans net. This, above production woes or travelling drudgery scared the bejesus out of me.

For the last five years or so my comic series The Samurnauts has been a comfortable and fruitful universe to play in. The rules had been well defined by myself and my Unshaven cohorts. Our stories had been written and everything stayed right in my wheelhouse. That house, you ask? Taking those things I loved growing up, and putting a new twist on them to produce something that kids would enjoy, but adults could appreciate the layers built below the surface of the shiny comic action. But Mine! is a beast far outside the realm of immortal Kung-Fu monkeys and zombie-cyborg space pirates.

So there I sat with the blank screen blinding me. No collaborator to bounce ideas off of. A deadline perilously perched at the precipice of my palms. And no alliterative allegories alerting me to an able-bodied antiphon. If Sinestro were real? I could charge his ring from the sweat forming on my brow. Here, with this opportunity to be a part of a book alongside living legends (too many to mention), did I actually have a leg to stand on… or was I destined to tuck my tail between my legs and just scamper off to make some toys tussle with one-another.

In all of these situations, I am lucky now to be a father. To see in my two sons how fear (and the reaction to it) molds who we are. Be it my younger, Colton, timid and terrified of a two-foot tall Domo I was making wave, or my older, Bennett, scared to even open his mouth for a patient dental hygienist. In both of them, I see myself. Scared, and frozen as I try to check-down the possibilities. Would Unshaven Comics not sell well? Would Samurnauts simply remain forever incomplete? Would I have an original idea to sit in the same book with the likes of Mark Waid, Neil Gaiman, John Ostrander, or Brian Azzarello?

The answer came from one of the biggest mentors in my high school days. Dean Auriemma, my fine arts teacher, instilled in me the keys to overcoming my fear. Sadly, he didn’t know Hal Jordan from Michael Jordan, but I digress. The memory here is preserved like the dino DNA in Jurassic Park. There I was, sitting, mouth agape, at my drawing board. Before me strewn a hastily fastened together still life from which we were to create our work. Mr. A sauntered up behind me, and gruffly asked “What are you doing? Waiting for it to draw itself, buddy?”

I stammered back (not unlike Bennett when asked about the evil dentist) “I… I don’t know.”

Mr. A leaned back on his heels, and dropped a truth bomb that has resonated with me ever since:

“Just start doing what you know. If you wait for the answer to come, you’ll be waiting forever.”

And so too did every recent fear in my life fell before me. I put my head down and finished our comic. I stood up, and sold to every passerby in Atlanta. And damn it all, I started writing my script for Mine! By leaning in to what I knew, and soon thereafter, my script came together – as did Molly and Joe’s approval and acknowledgment.

It turns out we have nothing to fear but fear itself – in our brightest days … and darkest nights.

Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman and Collen Doran

I didn’t remember Neil Gaiman’s story “Troll Bridge” well. In fact, if you’d asked me about it, I would have assumed some confusion on your part with Terry Pratchett’s short story “Troll Bridge,” and tried to lead you in that direction.

But story titles can’t be copyrighted, and even good friends can use the same ones without stress or strife. I’d forgotten it, but Gaiman did also write a story titled “Troll Bridge,” originally for the Datlow/Windling anthology Snow White, Rose Red in 1993 and collected a number of times since then. And, since Gaiman has a huge audience in comics that might not be as familiar with his just-prose works — or, at least, there are publishers willing to bet that’s the case — a number of his short stories have been turning into short graphic novels from Dark Horse over the past few years.

Last year it was Troll Bridge ‘s turn, adapted and drawn by Colleen Doran.

I’m not sure short stories need to turn into graphic novels, but they’re about the right length — a twenty-page piece of prose can be a forty-eight-page graphic novel and fit comfortably into that size, without the usual Procrustean manipulations to fit the format. So, given that it’s possible, and anything both possible and likely profitable will happen, the only question left is: how well does this story work, translated into this new medium?

It works pretty well, actually. “Troll Bridge” is a story of episodes — a boy meets a troll under a bridge near his home, somewhere in then-rural England, and then other things happen over time — and that translates to comics just as well as it works in prose. The troll itself, as seen on the cover, is traditional, which is fine for this twisted-traditional story. And the boy looks much like Gaiman might have at the same age, which is of course the point, as in so many Gaiman stories. (He works from material based on his own life a lot more than I think he gets credit for.)

So this boy meets a troll, who wants to eat his life. The boy would rather his life not be eaten, so he makes a deal. And this is a fairy tale, so that deal comes out badly in the end — fairy tales only reward the heroes who are strong and true throughout, and have the luck to be born third. (And not even them, all of the time — fairy tales are one of our bloodiest types of story.)

I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten whatever lesson “Troll Bridge” has to impart — unless it’s “keep away from bridges, because trolls lurk there and will eat you” — which may be why I keep forgetting it. Burt this is a good adaptation of that story, keeping the flavor of Gaiman’s narration and adding Doran’s pastorally-colored and carefully seen vision of his world. I’m still not 100% convinced this story needed to be adapted, but, if it was going to be anyway, this is definitely a successful version.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Winter has Arrived and so has Game of Thrones Season 7 on Disc

New York, N.Y., September 14, 2017 – The record-breaking phenomenon is back with a season that proved to be well worth the wait! Action-packed from start to finish with the series’ most epic battles yet, the HBO® drama series Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season will be available for Digital Download September 25th and on Blu-Ray™ and DVD December 12th. The latest season of Game of Thrones featured the most-watched premiere and finale episodes in HBO history, and the series remains the most-awarded drama series in Emmy® history, with 109 nominations to date and winning the 2015 and 2016 trophy for Best Drama Series.

Available December 12th, The Blu-ray™ and DVD sets are packed with exclusive new bonus content including audio commentaries on every episode, two new behind-the-scenes featurettes, and, for a limited time only, a bonus disc containing Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of the Seven Kingdoms, a 45-minute, never-before-seen extension of the Clio Award-winning History & Lore features included on previous individual Blu-ray™ season releases. Narrated by some of the series’ biggest stars including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), the companion piece to season 7 reveals the fascinating story of how the world of Westeros as we know it came to be– including what happened the last time a Targaryen invaded the realm!

Available September 25th, the Digital Download release for Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season includes an exclusive new “Creating the North and Beyond” featurette that takes fans behind the scenes of Jon Snow’s epic trek north of The Wall and his latest battle with the Night King’s army.

Blu-ray™ & DVD Exclusive Bonus Features Include:

  • Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of the Seven Kingdoms- From the Game of Thrones realm comes the never-before-seen story of the tumultuous events that shaped the world of Westeros for thousands of years before the series start. Cast members Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger), Conleth Hill (Varys), Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) team up to narrate  the animated telling of Aegon Targaryen’s attempts to conquer the Seven Kingdoms, written by show writer Dave Hill.
  • From Imagination to Reality: Inside the Art Department- Extensive two-part featurette detailing the astonishing work of Production Designer Deborah Riley and her Art Department, dissecting the process behind the creation of this season’s incredible new sets, including Dragonstone, Casterly Rock, Highgarden, the Dragonpit, and more.
  • Fire & Steel: Creating the Invasion of Westeros- Revisit this season’s most pivotal moments with this behind-the-scenes featurette, including interviews with key cast and crew breaking down how fans’ favorite moments were created.
  • Audio Commentaries- Commentaries on every episode with cast and crew including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Jacob Anderson, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, and more.

Blu-ray™ Exclusive Bonus Features Include:

  • Histories and Lore- 7 new animated pieces that give the history and background of notable season 7 locations and storylines including The Dragonpit, Highgarden, Prophecies of the Known World, the Rains of Castamere and more all narrated by cast members including  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen and more.
  • In-Episode Guides- In-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters and locations.

Digital Download Exclusive Bonus Features Include:

  • Creating the North and Beyond- Behind-the-scenes featurette delving into the massive undertaking of creating and filming the battle in Episode 6 of Season 7.

In Season 7, Daenerys Targaryen has finally set sail for Westeros with her armies, dragons and new Hand of the Queen, Tyrion Lannister. Jon Snow has been named King in the North after defeating Ramsay Bolton in the Battle of the Bastards and returning Winterfell to House Stark. In King’s Landing, Cersei Lannister has seized the Iron Throne by incinerating the High Sparrow, his followers and her rivals in the Sept of Baelor. But as old alliances fracture and new ones emerge, an army of dead men marches on the Wall, threatening to end the game of thrones forever.

Based on the popular book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” by George R.R. Martin, the seventh season of this hit Emmy®-winning fantasy features returning series regulars Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark).
Additional returning series regulars this season include: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Pilou Asbaek (Euron Greyjoy), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion),  Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), and Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand).

New cast members for the seventh season include: Jim Broadbent, Tom Hopper, and Megan Parkinson. Ed Sheeran guest stars in one episode.

 

                                   Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season

Blu-ray™, DVD & Digital Download

Digital Download:     September 25, 2017
Blu-ray™ & DVD:      December 12, 2017
Rating:                         TV-MA
Runtime:                     Approx. 437 minutes (not including extra features

Martha Thomases: The Horror! The Horror!

It is more than a little likely that, as you read this, I am getting a root canal.

Dentists terrify me. Not on purpose — they are not the stars of It — but, nonetheless, they fill me with dread.

I’m sure that most people who go into dentistry as a career are motivated by a desire to help others, and yet, when I go to the dentist, I can’t help thinking about this movie and this scene.

A lot (not all!) of horror fiction is about the fear and loathing of our bodies. As children, they frustrate us with their limitations. We can’t fly, and we are not tall enough to reach the cookies. As adults, they frustrate us because they no longer do the things they did when we were younger, like stay awake all night on purpose, or digest spicy food.

I’m not really a fan of horror fiction. My life as an informed citizen has enough horror non-fiction. However, I understand that fiction provides a way for humans to process our fears in a healthy way. And I enjoy Stephen King books, not because they are scary, but because he has a gift for creating characters he seems to really care about. If we didn’t care about them, we wouldn’t be frightened by the threats they face.

20100414-rock-bottom-remainders-stephen-king-band-600x411-4004220(A friend of mine was in a rock band with King, and he says the conversations on the tour bus focused on body functions a lot.)

The horror and thriller genres are, to me, most effective in prose, when I can imagine the threats, or in movies, where a good director (and script) provide surprising jumps. Comics can’t do that, at least not in the same way. Comics can give the reader some vivid imagery, and there is no limit to the amount of blood and gore and mucus the artist renders on the page, but, in the end, it’s just a flat picture. We, the readers, come at these images at our own pace. We can rip them up or throw them across the room if we like.

For me, the primary exception is Alan Moore. From his first Swamp Thing stories, with Stephen Bissette and John Totleben, he made stories that haunted me long after I finished reading. It wasn’t just the insects (although they gave me the icks), but the way he treated the characters’ perceptions of their bodies. The stories inspired not only fear, but disgust and mistrust.

More recently, Moore has explored these issues and this imagery in Providence. I confess that I’m not a big Lovecraft fan, so these books are not my jam. Still, Moore, with Jacen Burrows, gets plenty creepy and ominous, and perhaps you will enjoy it.

There are scary stories about ax murderers and the like, but it is those with threats from within that freak me out the most. As a culture, we especially fear women’s bodies. In modern film, from Rosemary’s Baby to this week’s debut, Mother!, it seems that the men who make most movies are terrified about women’s ability to have babies. What if women decide they don’t want to? What if women want to have babies, but with somebody else? What uncontrollable forces inhabit the bodies of women that allow the creation of other beings?

There aren’t many horror movies from the perspective of the women who might have children, especially when they don’t want them. The closest I can think is Alien and, this day, I can’t watch those movies because I read the comics adaptation first. A monster who plants a fetus in my body against my will that bursts from my chest? No, thank you.

The lesson I learn from horror fiction is that I am responsible for myself, especially my own body and what happens within it. Nothing will make me immortal, alas, but the choices I made about food and exercise and how I go through life are my own. This is why it is so important to me to support Mine!. Without access to health care, people cannot make the choices necessary to live the lives we want. We need to get PAP tests and STD tests and mammograms and birth control. We need pre-natal and post-natal care. Today is the last day you can pledge, and I hope you will.

Any other being that grows in and comes out of my body should only do so with my permission. The alternatives are too frightening.

Atomic Blonde Kicks Ass at Home Nov. 14

Universal City, California, September 14, 2017 – Double-crossed while sent to collect stolen intelligence in East Germany, elusive secret agent Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Fate of the Furious) unleashes a deadly arsenal of skills in ATOMIC BLONDE, the adrenaline pumping, stylish spy-thriller, coming to Digital on October 24, 2017 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on November 14, 2017, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Adapted from Antony Johnson’s graphic novel, The Coldest City, the explosive film set in the late eighties takes viewers on a high-stakes chase as Theron attempts to escape Berlin. The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital versions include commentary from the cast, filmmakers, stunt performers and fight coordinators, plus behind-the-scenes features that take viewers inside the making of the film’s intense stunt choreography.

Oscar®-winner Charlize Theron stars as elite MI6’s most lethal assassin and the crown jewel of her Majesty’s secret intelligence service, Lorraine Broughton, in ATOMIC BLONDE. When she’s sent on a covert mission into Cold War Berlin, she must use all of the spycraft, sensuality and savagery she has to stay alive in the ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. Broughton must navigate her way through a deadly game of spies to recover a priceless dossier while fighting ferocious killers along the way in this breakneck action-thriller from director David Leitch (Deadpool 2, John Wick).  Theron is joined by James McAvoy (Split, X-Men: First Class), Sofia Boutella (The Mummy, Star Trek Beyond) and John Goodman (Transformers: The Last Knight, Patriots Day) in what critics are calling “the best spy movie in years,” Shawn Edwards, FOX-TV.

BONUS FEATURES on 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY, DVD AND DIGITAL

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Welcome to Berlin – The ultimate setting for a Cold War spy thriller, Berlin becomes a character of its own. Go behind the wall for this making-off.
  • Blondes Have More Gun – Lorraine Broughton has one impressive set of skills. See what it took for Charlize Theron to fully transform herself into this tenacious character.
  • Spymaster – David Leitch spins the spy genre on its head through exemplary action sequences and complex characters. Hear from cast and crew what it was like to work with this cutting edge director.
  • Anatomy of a Fight Scene – Director David Leitch breaks down the incredibly detailed long-take stairwell shot in this anatomy of a fight scene.
  • Story in Motion: Agent Broughton – See Agent Broughton as you never have before in these motion storyboards.
  • Story in Motion: The Chase – Gascoigne is on the run. Find out who’s after him in this motion storyboard.
  • Feature Commentary with Director David Leitch and Editor Elisabet Ronaldsdottir

Atomic Blonde will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and Digital. The 4K Ultra HD will include all bonus features on the Blu-ray disc.

  • 4K Ultra HD is the ultimate movie watching experience. 4K Ultra HDTM features the combination of 4K resolution for four times sharper picture than HD, the color brilliance of High Dynamic Range (HDR) with immersive audio delivering a multidimensional sound experience.
  • Blu-ray unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
  • DIGITAL lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.

FILMMAKERS:
Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella, Toby Jones
Casting By: Mary Vernu CSA, Marisol Roncali
Music Supervisor: John Houlhan
Original Score By: Tyler Bates
Costume Designer: Cindy Evans
Edited By: Elisabet Ronaldsdottir
Production Designer: David Scheunemann
Director of Photography: Jonathan Sela
Executive Producers: Nick Meyer, Marc Schaberg, Joe Noezmack, Steven V. Scavelli, Ethan Smith, David Guillod, Kurt Johnstad
Produced By: Eric Gitter, Peter Schwerin, Kelly McCormick, Charliz Theron, A.J Dix, Beth Kono
Based on the Oni Press Graphic Novel Series: “The Coldest City”
Written By: Antony Johnston
Illustration By: Sam Hart
Screenplay By: Kurt Johnstad
Directed By: David Leitch

TECHNICAL INFORMATION 4K UHD:
Street Date: November 14, 2017
Copyright: 2017 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Selection Number: 62191888 (US)/ 62192922 (CDN)
Layers: BD-66
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity
Video: 2160p UHD Dolby Vision/HDR 10
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, Brazilian Portuguese, French Canadian, French European and Latin American Spanish Subtitles
Sound: English DTS: X Master Audio, Brazilian Portuguese, French Canadian, French European and Latin American Spanish DTS Digital Surround 5.1
Run Time: 1 Hour, 54 Minutes

DOLBY VISION:
Atomic Blonde 4K Ultra HD is available in Dolby Vision. Leveraging the HDR innovation that powers Dolby’s most advanced cinemas around the world, Dolby Vision transforms the TV experience in the home by delivering greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION BLU-RAY:

Street Date: November 14, 2017
Copyright: 2017 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Selection Number: 62184526 (US)/ 62187239 (CDN)
Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity
Video: BD: 1080p High-Definition
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian and Latin American Subtitles
Sound: English DTS: X Master Audio/Dolby Digital 2.0, French Canadian and Latin American Spanish DTS Digital Surround 5.1
Run Time: 1 Hour, 54 Minutes

TECHNICAL INFORMATION DVD:
Street Date: November 14, 2017
Copyright: 2017 Pictures Home Entertainment
Selection Number: 62184532 (US)/ 62187241 (CDN)
Layers: DVD 9
Aspect Ratio: 16.9 2.40: 1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian and Latin American Spanish Subtitles
Sound: English Dolby Digital 5.1/ Dolby Digital 2.0, French Canadian and Latin American Spanish Subtitles
Run Time: 1 Hour, 54 Minutes

Tweeks: SDCC 2017 Recap

We know you’ve been seeing some of interviews over the last couple of weeks from SDCC, but this week, we thought we’d give you a peek at what we were doing when we weren’t locked up in the press rooms at the Hilton!

We talk about The Tick (which starts on Aug 25th on Prime), take you on the IMDboat and to the Graphix & Nat Geo parties, introduce you to Amazon Rapids (a really super cool reading app for kids that reads like a screenplay), talk about the Her Universe Hot Topic Fashion show, ask Qmx about their newest collectables, and you know, other stuff too.

Dennis O’Neil: Weather Woes

Hurricane Irma is pretty much done wreaking havoc, but the worst of it is very bad. And it’s not over. Much of the hurricane season is yet to come and the weather might still have some nasty surprises for us.

And, of course, there’s always next year.

So let’s have a show of hands (lots and lots of hands): all who agree that Superman be confirmed as our official patron superhero? The more recollective among you may remember that I have mentioned this patron superhero stuff earlier: I can’t say exactly when, but sometime. If you are a practicing pagan, please pause on your way to hell while I define “patron saint.” According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, a patron saint is a person, having already transcended to the metaphysical, (is) able to intercede for the needs of their special charges.

Now, I don’t have a formal definition for “patron superhero,” but there’s no reason not to make one up if we have a mind to. After all, we can always change it later. Okay, a patron superhero is one whose life, persona and/or deeds can be identified with certain sort of problems and dangers to the common good. So maybe Captain Marvel – the one who changes from an overachieving youngster to a big dude in a red suit when he says “Shazam!” is the patron superhero of storms because a lightning bolt and a thunderclap accompanies the transformation. (The details of that transformation raise more questions than they answer. But back in his heyday, the post-war 40s, apparently nobody asked questions like that. At least nobody I knew.)

My suggestion that Superman be pronounced our patron superhero is not prompted by what Supes does – bend steel in his bare hands, change the course of mighty rivers, those riffs – but his identity. His true identity.

Surely you know the story. Kal-El is a scientist who insists that his home planet, Krypton, is about to blow up. Nobody believes him, and that nobody includes the savants and solons – the local authorities. Kal-El just manages to get his infant son into a spacecraft and into the sky when ka-BLOOEY! No more Krypton! But the kid makes it to Earth where he crash lands in the American Midwest, where the virtuous folk live. Stuff happens and eventually, the kid goes to a big city where he falls in with the executive of a printing company ad becomes a brand.

Here and now: we have had two category five hurricanes in the last month. Every weather-related catastrophe that has happened recently was predicted by scientists who warned us about Global Warming. And still, we hear from those who refuse to believe the evidence.

They should shut up.

Action/Comedy Gun SHy hits Disc November 7

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The hilarious and exhilarating action-comedy, Gun Shy, rocks out on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital HD), DVD, and Digital HD on November 7 from Lionsgate. Currently available On Demand, the film stars three-time Golden Globe® nominee Antonio Banderas (Best Actor: Evita, 1997; The Mask of Zorro, 1999; And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, 2004) as a spoiled and aging rock star whose wife is kidnapped while they are on vacation in Chile. With very few skills beyond playing bass and partying, he must pull himself together to save his wife from her hostile captors. From Simon West, the director of Con Air, The Expendables 2, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and The Mechanic, and written for the screen by Mark Haskell Smith and Toby Davies (based on the novel “Salty” by Smith), the Gun Shy Blu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $21.99 and $19.98, respectively.=

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

When vacationing in Chile, an aging and pampered rock star’s (Antonio Banderas) supermodel wife is suddenly kidnapped by renegades. Unable to navigate more than ordering a sandwich from room service, now he must take to the backstreets of Santiago in this hilarious caper that is as entertaining and it is hair-raising.

BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL HD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • “The Rock Star, the Pirate, and the Cast of Gun Shy” Featurette
  • “Just Who I Can Be” Music Montage

CAST

Antonio Banderas       Desperado, Zrorro, Machete Kills, Black Butterfly, The Expendables 3

Olga Kurylenko            Quantum of Solace, Oblivion, The November Man

Mark Valley                 Boston Legal,  Human TargetThe Siege

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Year of Production: 2017
Title Copyright: Gun Shy © 2017 Salty Film Limited. All Rights Reserved. Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2017 Saban Films LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Theatrical Release
Rating: R for language, some sexual content/nudity and drug material.
Genre: Comedy, Action
Closed-Captioned: N/A
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Feature Run Time: 92 Minutes
Blu-ray Format: 1080p High Definition, 16×9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation
DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation
Blu-ray Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio™
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Orbit Homes Nov. 7

SANTA MONICA, CA (September 13, 2017) – Packed with out-of-this-world action unlike anything you’ve ever seen, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets heads to 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), and DVD November 21 from Lionsgate; and on Digital HD November 7 and On Demand November 21. Based on the best-selling French comic series Valérian and Laureline by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières, published by Dargaud – visionary writer/director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy) advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga produced by Virginie Besson-Silla. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets stars Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad), Golden Globe® nominee Clive Owen (Children of Men), Academy Award® nominee Ethan Hawke (Best Supporting Actor, Boyhood, 2014), Golden Globe® & Emmy® winner John Goodman (voice) (“Rosanne”) with 7-time GRAMMY Award® winner Rihanna, and Golden Globe® winner Rutger Hauer (Bladerunner). The film features a soundtrack by Oscar® winner Alexandre Desplat (Best Original Score, The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014)

In the 28th century, Valerian (DeHaan) and Laureline (Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha—an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence, and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

The Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets home entertainment release features the five part documentary “Citizens of Imagination: Creating the Universe of Valerian” which delves into the creation of the characters in the film, including both humans and alien lifeforms, along with insight into the production design, special effects, and stunts. The home entertainment release also features a “The Art of Valerian” photo gallery, and Enhancement Pods. The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray versions feature Dolby Atmos® audio remixed specifically for the home-theater environment, to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray also features Dolby Vision™ high dynamic range (HDR), growing Lionsgate’s library of titles featuring both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Dolby Vision transforms the TV experience in the home by delivering greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors. Together with the captivating sound of Dolby Atmos, consumers will experience both cutting-edge imaging and state-of-the-art sound technology for a fully immersive entertainment experience.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.

4K/BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL HD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • “Citizens of Imagination: Creating the Universe of Valerian” Multi-Part Documentary

o   Paper, Ink, Flesh, Blood: Origins and Characters
o   To Alpha and Beyond: Production and Stunts
o   Denizens of the Galaxy: Humans and Aliens
o   The Final Element: Visual Effects
o   Wrap Up

  • Enhancement Pods
  • “The Art of Valerian” Photo Gallery

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Year of Production: 2017
Title Copyright: © 2017 Valerian SAS / TF1 Films Production. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Theatrical Release
Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, suggestive material and brief language
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Closed-Captioned: N/A
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Feature Run Time: 137 minutes
4K UHD Format: Dolby Vision, 2160p Ultra High Definition 16×9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation
BD Format: 1080p High Definition 16×9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation
DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation
4K UHD Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening, English Descriptive Audio
BD Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening, English Descriptive Audio
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio

Mike Gold: How Are You Getting Your Marvel Stories?

In this very space last week, I suggested there was a reason Marvel’s sales are off that is in addition to the negative reader reaction to such events as Civil War 2 and Secret Empire.

Let’s spread some numbers around. Buying into these mega-events is expensive. Each consists of dozens and dozens of comics — mini-series, tie-ins, one-shots, and so on. Each event takes about 50 or 60 hours to read in their entirety. The post-event comics come out after that, and you might be compelled to check out a few of the ongoing titles where the event changed the characters therein, although Marvel usually abandons those changes around the time the next relevant movie comes out. That’s more money and more time.

The whole thing takes the better part of a year to unfold; longer, as these days each Marvel event tends to segue into the next. You’ve got to work hard and spend a lot of money to complete a satisfying story, even if – as in the case for many with Civil War 2 and Secret Empire, you didn’t find the story all that satisfying.

However, for roughly the price of three individual comic books you can buy a ticket to the latest Marvel movie and get what is usually a satisfying experience — and your friends can join you in that experience. Of course, one should add the cost of an overpriced box of Snow Caps or some such to the tab.

You can watch as many Marvel teevee shows as you can absorb, and many of them are quite entertaining. Or if you want, you can wheel a cooler filled with snacks and drinks into your bathroom, bring in a tablet or a laptop computer, and stream an entire season of one of Marvel’s many, many Netflix series. As long as nobody else needs that toilet, you’re in superhero heaven with a story complete with a beginning, a middle and an end. I, for one, found the recent Marvel’s The Defenders to be very entertaining. Your opinion might differ, but it really shouldn’t.

If you’re already a Netflix subscriber, it’s free. If not, well one month of Netflix costs a hell of a lot less than one week’s worth of the current Mighty Marvel Event and you get enough other Netflix shows and movies to fill the Pacific Ocean. You will spend less time, energy and money following your favorite Marvel media madness than plowing your way through a pile of event comics that are mediocre at best.

So, I ask you this: even this particular competitive environment… who needs to buy all those comic books? And maybe that’s okay by Marvel’s owner, the Mickey Mouse corporation. They understand how to make and how to market movies and video. This comic book stuff goes against everything the bean-counters learned in MBA school – as far as those suits are concerned, everybody in the comics racket talks like Bizarro Number One.

Indeed, the profit of Marvel’s new comic book output for an entire year is dwarfed by the profit from the last Avengers-themed motion picture alone — even if those publishing profits had somehow mysteriously doubled.

I’m not suggesting Disney might not want to publish new comics, but as a return on investment, those resources might be more profitably allocated to the media side.

Shhhh! Don’t tell the Mouse! He can be a real rat, and rats don’t eat staples.

Many wags think someday Mr. and Ms. Consumer will shout enough is enough and demand superhero shows be replaced by… I dunno, maybe westerns or something equally trendy. I’m sure we won’t be seeing half-billion-dollar cape flicks in the theater with the near-monthly frequency we’re seeing now, but who knows? We’ve always had superhero movies and superhero stories, from the Scarlet Pimpernel to Sherlock Holmes to Zorro to Tarzan. The only question is quantity.

Does Disney care? Well, they’ll say they do, but they own all those Disney properties which, these days, includes the Marvel characters, the Star Wars empire, the Muppets, and Pixar. It’s not like they won’t have anything to whenever the superhero trend fades a bit.

Disney did not do much in the way of original Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cartoons for several decades, and they don’t do all that much with them today. Yet they continue to sell a lot of Mouse and Duck product of all sorts. They do not need to publish Marvel comic books in order to keep Captain America and Groot in the public mind.