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Musician-turned-director John Maclean strikes gold with this haunting mix of genres in the old west
Musicians have long been drawn to the cinematic myths of the old west. From the singing cowboys of early sound cinema (Ken Maynard, Gene Autry et al) through such big-screen Elvis vehicles as Flaming Star (1960) and Charro! (1969), to Glen Campbell in True Grit (1969) and Bob Dylan in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973), the western has proved the natural home of the troubadour.
More recently, Australian rocker Nick Cave has done some of his very best work writing and co-scoring The Proposition (2005) and even having a cameo as a storytelling saloon singer in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), on which he collaborated once again with long-term musical compadre Warren Ellis. Little surprise, then, that this first feature from former Beta Band musician John Maclean should be a western, albeit one »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
With Fox planning to bring X-Men to the small screen, we look at a few possible comic series that could be adapted...
Fox's apparent plans for a live-action X-Men series gives the fans of mutant's mutant superheroes a reason to be excited. Not just because it promises more screen X-Men that most of us ever thought possible, but also because there's a chance they might delve into a few areas of the license that, realistically, aren't ever going to make it to the movie screen.
The core concept of X-Men - essentially 'people with superpowers' – has lent itself to hundreds of different takes over the years. Assuming that they don't want to simply recast the big names and run two competing franchises based on the same core team (and they might well do this!) where else might they go to find the basis of the TV show?
Some of the »
Imagine a world where Hank McCoy is a sadistic geneticist, or where Cyclops is the right hand man of Mr. Sinister, or where Mystique is not nearly as neglectful of a mother, or where Magneto leads the X-Men. This reality was presented in The Age of Apocalypse, the most ambitious and sprawling of any X-Over, where Charles Xavier is dead, Magneto is the planet’s last hope, and Apocalypse has reshaped half the world to suit his own hellish designs. As far as crossovers and event comics go, The Age of Apocalypse is the summer blockbuster of all crossovers. Whereas Onslaught was like The Matrix Reloaded, a complete and utter failure that did its best to murder a franchise, The Age of Apocalypse was akin to Jurassic Park, a mile-a-minute thrill ride laced with breathtaking visuals and an intriguing central concept.
Essentially a gargantuan “What If…”, the X-Over event of »
- Andrew Doscas
James looks back at 7 previous X-Men TV shows to see what Fox's in-development series could do well to emulate and avoid...
If recent reports are to be believed, Fox is planning to bring the X-Men franchise to the TV in some form or another, doubtlessly hoping to compete with Marvel and DC's ever-growing stable of shows.
And why not? The X-Men are no strangers to television, with a surprising number of TV appearances under their belts. So what are they like, and what can Fox learn from them as it attempts to bring a new X-Men TV series to life?
This 30-minute animated short was produced as a pilot for an animated X-Men show and mostly used the 1970s Claremont/Byrne era team as its basis, though with one obvious exception. Had Marvel gone ahead, we'd have seen a team consisting of Professor X, »
Though set in Turkey, shot in Turkish, and telling a Turkish story about the demonization of female sexuality, Deniz Gamze Erguven’s beautifully mounted debut, “Mustang,” has an unmistakable West European sensibility. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends on audience perspective, but while many Turks will find the final salvation distinctly inorganic, few can argue with the director’s talent or that of her exceptionally fine, largely unknown cast of young women. Set in a remote Black Sea village where five sisters are forced to suppress their burgeoning sensuality, “Mustang” will gallop through fruitful festival fields, finding fertile pastures on Euro arthouse screens.
School’s just out, and five orphan sisters join their male classmates for a boisterously innocent beachside frolic. A scandalized headscarf-wearing neighbor reports them to their grandma (Nihal Koldas), who accuses them of pleasuring themselves on the shoulders of their boy peers. The perplexed girls, »
- Jay Weissberg
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Declan Shalvey
Colours by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered and Designed by Fonografiks
Published by Image Comics
The team of Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire has struck again. Hopefully, they will stick together beyond their last brief, but brilliant six-issue arc on Moon Knight, as the early signs of Injection are very positive. The creative team has once again succeeded at planting the seeds of a very mysterious and intriguing premise. Hopefully once the seeds start blooming, some pretty unexpected floral arrangements will appear. With Warren Ellis scripting, there shouldn’t be any less an expectation.
What makes this series begin on a high note is the ability to withhold information. The issue is light on expository and instead reveals a gradual build of bits of background, including a quick momentary look through a window into the past. The story begins with Maria Killbridge, »
- Anthony Spataro
Having braved a fearsome post-apocalyptic landscape for Mad Max: Fury Road, you couldn’t blame Tom Hardy for wanting to lighten the mood. He’s been in mischievous mode for a recent interview, revealing his involvement in a certain something from the world of Detective Comics.
If you’re looking for more detail, well you’re not going to get it. However Hardy has done a great job of ramping up expectation as you’ll see from the quote below:
(It) contains elements of all kinds of stuff. From Ocean’s Eleven, to Batman, you can get all the wrappers out and it would be a big, really cool, Technicolor, Pulp Fiction… It’s a psychological f—fest… as if you would take Transmetropolitan (the cyberpunk range by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson) and make it happen, but it’s not that out there it’s something which is much more real world. »
- Steve Palace
Collider has done a good job spreading out their interview session with Tom Hardy as he's out promoting next week's new release Mad Max: Fury Road. Last we checked in he gave details on why he had to drop out of David Ayer's Suicide Squad along with saying he'd like to star as The Punisher, but now he's talking about a DC Comics property he's "cooking with Warner Bros." but he's only teasing us, not giving us the entire picture: It's really good actually, it contains elements of all kinds of stuff. From Ocean's Eleven, to Batman, you can get all the wrappers out and it would be a big, really cool, Technicolor, Pulp Fiction... It's a psychological f**kfest, it's absolutely awesome. It's as if you would take "Transmetropolitan" and make it happen, but it's not that out there it's something which is much more real world. It could be like Heat, »
- Brad Brevet
The renewal comes three years after Hurd first set up shop with Ucp, the studio arm for NBCUniversal’s cable channels. At present Valhalla is in the midst of producing the drama series “Hunters” for Syfy and a drama pilot in the works for USA Network, “Falling Water.” Valhalla is also developing a Swedish TV adaptation, “Brothers in Crime,” and working with graphic novel scribe Warren Ellis on his first TV project.
“Our partnership with Universal Cable Productions has been an incredibly collaborative and creative experience,” said Hurd. “Having just renewed our deal, I look forward to a future of innovative and boundary-pushing projects.”
Jeff Wachtel, president and chief content officer of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, called Hurd “a powerhouse with a passion for making great content.”
Outside of her Ucp deal, »
- Cynthia Littleton
Aferim!This year, Tribeca moved back home, swapping out the East Village’s AMC Loew’s 7 for the venue they once used, the nearly invisible Regal Battery Park Stadium 11 as one of the festival’s main theater locations. Whether it is coincidence or just one of the festival’s grand themes, the finest films I saw were about movement. Characters search high and low for someone or something. While carrying strange cargo, they journey to the West, to the East, wherever, going from point A to point B. If not travelling, then characters are stuck, stranded, or even trapped in a spot, but desiring to move, move, move. There’s a whole lotta riding and talking going on in Radu Jude’s Aferim! Shot on black-and-white film (Kodak Double-x), the film is set in 1855 Wallachia, a time in which the Romani people had subhuman status, being slaves to landowning Boyars, »
- Tanner Tafelski
Tony Stark aka Iron Man has been around in comic books since 1963, first appearing in Tales of Suspense #39 before getting his own series in 1968. He has also made many appearances as a member of The Avengers and in other titles whilst Robert Downey Jr’s’big screen portrayal has been extremely well received by fans and critics alike. For those new to comics or even anyone looking for a great read, below are five of the best Iron Man stories ever told. Enjoy!
5) “World’s Most Wanted” Invincible Iron Man #8-19
Capitalising on the success of the Civil War and Secret Invasion events, this story finds Tony Stark on the run from Norman Osborn in a race to destroy all copies of the Superhero Registration Act, which contains the identities of most of the superhero populace. The final copy resides in Stark’s own brain which leads Tony to take drastic action, »
- Brendan Bergmanski
This week, it might feel a lot like Marvel-brand Avenging is the only game in town, but for anyone who wants a quieter, more nourishing time at the movies than the smash-quip-fight-quip-boom rhythm of Joss Whedon's inescapable blockbuster, David Oelhoffen's great Algeria-set western, "Far From Men" also opens. Our review from Venice is here, but to summarize, the film is a lovely, elegiac portrait of a hesitant friendship between opposites (played brilliantly by Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb), and draws strength from its stunning cinematography, its setting in the mountains and desert plains of civil war-torn Algeria, and its evocative score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. It's a film both new and familiar, as despite the language the characters speak, the cultural specificity of their problems, and the fact that it is based on an Albert Camus short story, it is unmistakably a western in the truest »
- Jessica Kiang
Back in 1987 fans of G.I. Joe got an animated film that has gone on to become a pretty divisive movie during a time which was probably the height of the popularity for the G.I. Joe brand. Much like the Transformers animated film from the previous year it can quite plainly be seen as a feature length commercial for a new wave, maybe even a generation of characters. I was overseas as a kid when it was released and when one of my friends got this on VHS it was Huge news in my circle, a part of a close knit U.S. military community in Italy. Back then it was just awesome and when you click it on now you realize that the intro remains one of the best in cartoon history. Yes, there was a time when you watched this and afterwards you wanted and waited for a Pythona figure, »
- Jay Tomio
Hugh Jackman has played Logan aka Wolverine in seven different films. It’s an impressive number that will shortly increase with a third solo Wolverine film and possibly X-Men:Apocalypse, although at the time of writing he has yet to be officially cast. A few other names are snapping at the heels of Jackman, notably the cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you include the forthcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron, Chris Evans has played Captain America four times (five if you include his appearance as Loki using magic to look like the first Avenger in Thor: The Dark World), Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth have portrayed Black Widow and Thor respectively four times each whilst the King of the McU, Robert Downey Jr. has made an impressive six appearances as Iron Man/Tony Stark (including his post-credit appearance in The Incredible Hulk).
Unfortunately for Hugh Jackman, as far as this article is concerned, »
- Brendan Bergmanski
Last year, while promoting his documentary 20,000 Days on Earth, Nick Cave told me that he and Warren Ellis were hungry to do more work scoring films. Specifically they were eager to do a horror film, but clearly they’re not about to be limited by genre. The duo has recorded a couple of new films […]
- Russ Fischer
“I don’t really look for movies based on the budget or the nationality or the language. I just want to be in movies that I wouldn’t mind seeing 10 years from now,” Viggo Mortensen recently told The Guardian. And while time will tell if "Far From Men" will still resonate a decade from now, in its corner is a film score by the always great Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. And today you can get a little taste of what they've contributed to the movie. Directed by David Oelhoffen (2007’s “In Your Wake”) and based on a short story by Albert Camus, the story follows a reclusive teacher (Mortensen) who helps a villager accused of murder (Reda Kateb from “Zero Dark Thirty” and “A Prophet”) escape into the mountains during the Algerian War. Below, you can preview the soundtrack which sounds terrifically moody, with influences and inflections from the setting. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The first issue, scripted by Paul Tobin and illustrated by Pj Holden, hits comic shops in June with a main cover by Holden that will ship equally with Robertson’s cover. Both feature the series’ main character, Cassandra “Potts” Potter, and a glimpse of the tentacled enemies she faces. “Gunsuits allows me to draw characters and creatures that come very naturally to me, which is what makes monster stories so much fun to create in the first place,” Robertson says.
Darick Robertson is well known in the comic book world for over the top action and Sci-Fi, having co-created the enduring Transmetropolitan (with Warren Ellis), The Boys (with Garth Ennis), and Happy! (with Grant Morrison). Recently he teamed up with filmmaker Adam Egypt Mortimer for Black Mask Studios’ Ballistic. »
- Holly Interlandi
Moon Knight #13
Written by Cullen Bunn
Pencils by Ron Ackins; Inks by Tom Palmer, Walden Wong, & Victor Olazaba
Colors by Dan Brown
Published by Marvel Comics
A latest “arc” of Moon Knight begins with the new creative team of Cullen Bunn and Ron Ackins. The title is quite a strange one. Given the majority of the big two’s output is overpopulated with comics deliberately written to fit into a six issue trade paperbacks a regular series from Marvel comprised of self-contained stories and only the barest of inter-issue continuity is nearly alien. While trying to follow up from the excellent run by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey is quite the Herculean feat but it’s safe to say the team is more than qualified for the task.
Bunn does a masterful job to match the haunting howling mood set the previous writers but also makes it his own. The »
- Grant Raycroft
Image Comics has announced that writer Warren Ellis and his Moon Knight creative team of artist Declan Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire are reuniting for the new sci-fi horror series Injection, which will be published by Image Comics.
Set in a dystopian future where the world has been poisoned, the first issue will focus on Maria Kilbride—a scientist working for a large multinational corporation at fault for the damage—who must deal with the messes caused by the company’s experimental research. She is joined in the effort by an investigator, a technician, and an esotericist.
“Injection is very heavily about the sort of things I’ve been discussing in my talks at conferences of late,” states Ellis. “The connections between deep history and the future, between folklore and technology, the ways in which the present moment is haunted by the future as well as the past.”
Injection #1 goes on sale on May 13th. »
- Gary Collinson
Universal Cable Productions (Ucp) along with Benderspink (We're the Millers, Ride Along) continue to make their mark in the ever popular sci-fi, superhero genre. Ucp and Benderspink are developing the comic book Dreadstar into a scripted series with iconic comic artist and creator Jim Starlin ("Guardians of the Galaxy", "Captain Marvel" and the "Infinity Gauntlet" Trilogy) who will serve as executive producer and writer. Ford Gilmore is also signed on to produce. The announcement was made today by Dawn Olmstead, Executive Vice President, Development at Ucp, who had this to say in a statement..
"Jim Starlin's cosmic space opera is a great read and it's time for Vanth Dreadstar to make his television debut. Ucp and Benderspink believe this series will galvanize existing Dreadstar comic followers and ignite a new generation of fans especially with Jim at the helm."
Dreadstar is based on the classic character from the Marvel-owned »
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