11 items from 2014
Here's another installment featuring Joe Dante's reviews from his stint as a critic for Film Bulletin circa 1969-1974. Our thanks to Video Watchdog and Tim Lucas for his editorial embellishments!
Four horror tales centering on haunted house. Well made and acted, an exploitable entry for general dualler markets, but rather mild for more bloodthirsty horror audience. Could have had class potential except for the title. Ok boxoffice future overall. Rating: Gp.
Its sanguine title notwithstanding, The House That Dripped Blood aims at quiet chills rather than boisterous thrills, taking the form of four horror stories of varying quality centering on an accursed country house. Production, direction and acting are of a high standard, although the stories written by Psycho's Robert Bloch lack the sensational aspects to wholly satisfy the present blood‑and‑guts horror market. In fact, were it not for the title, this could be a fairly »
- Joe Dante
Comics are big business. Well, actually that’s not true, since sales of funny books have been steadily declining – although helped by the leap into digital as of late – but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some huge successes over almost a century of sequential art.
Some series have managed to break the million-selling mark due to popularity, some to notoriety, some down to sheer perseverance. A lot of them might surprise you, too – they’re not all underwear perverts in there – but how’s about we stop beating around the bush, and start counting down the nine biggest-selling comic book series of all time?
9. The Phantom
Sales: Over 150 million
Beginning life as the hero of a newspaper strip in 1936, The Phantom’s escapades are frequently repackaged into full-length comic books for the overseas market, which is partly why the number of sales has reached such heights. »
- Tom Baker
(Cbr) "The Phantom" shall rise again! The Tracking Board reports that The Mark Gordon Company has secured the rights bring Lee Falk’s comic strip hero back to the big screen. Referred to as The Ghost Who Walks, the Phantom is a legacy character whose roots trace back to the fictional African country of Bangalla. For centuries, men have donned a domino mask, skintight costume, guns and a pair of rings to right wrongs and fight evil doers. Created by Falk in 1936, The Phantom has gone on to have a long life appearing in serials, comics, cartoons, a 1996 film starring Billy Zane and a 2010 Syfy miniseries. »
- TJ Dietsch, Comic Book Resources
Black mask and purple tights, what could go wrong? In 1996 lots of things went wrong for the big screen adaptation of Lee Falk’s beloved superhero The Phantom. It totally bombed at the box office regaining a measly $17 million of it’s reported $45 million budget. This was a time when superheroes weren’t greeted with friendly open arms by viewers and it would be another four years before Bryan Singer’s X-Men would break the mold to bring a certain cool aspect to comic book characters. The Tracking Board are now reporting that a new adaptation could soon be moving forward with producer Mark Gordon (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, Source Code).
Billy Zane was the first to don the purple suit 18 years ago and in 2009 Ryan Carnes (General Hospital) started as the character for a short lived mini-series which again wasn’t met with positive reviews. Sam Worthington (Avatar, »
- Gavin Logan
Drew Simon is said to be executive producing the project and they are currently seeking writers to spin this new adventure of 'The Ghost Who Walks'.
The strip followed the purple-suited hero who resides in the fictional African country of Bangalla. The Phantom is thought to be immortal but is actually a legacy hero - descended from twenty previous generations who adopted the same guise.
The current one is the twenty-first man to take on the title. The character is also human, no superpowers, and must use his wits, reputation and athleticism to fight crime.
Two recent attempts to adapt the character to the screen proved disastrous. Billy Zane starred in a 1996 film which was both a critical and commercial flop. »
- Garth Franklin
News Simon Brew 1 May 2014 - 06:24
Ah, Billy Zane must look at this and wonder how things could have turned out differently. In a time when comic book and superhero movies weren't the dominant force at the box office - that'd be 1996 - he took on the role of The Phantom in Simon Wincer's big screen take on the character. Things did not go to plan, the film wasn't greatly received, and whatever plans were in place for a franchise were swiftly dumped when the box office numbers came in. We don't enough know if Mr Zane got to keep the costume.
However, The Phantom's big screen days may not be numbered. A recent television take on the character called upon the power of few viewers, and thus came »
Yes, what you’re looking at is a picture of a man in purple spandex riding a horse. That’s Billy Zane in costume as The Phantom, in the eponymous 1996 mega-flop from Paramount Pictures. Someone in Hollywood must have fond memories of the cult classic though, because the character is now getting another shot at the big screen.
Created by Lee Falk in 1936, The Phantom is a costumed crime fighter operating in the fictional African country of Bangalla. He doesn’t have any superpowers, and instead relies on his intelligence, strength and fearsome reputation of being an immortal ghost in order to conquer his foes.
Of course, he’s not a ghost, but in fact the twenty-first person to don the purple costume. The story begins in 1536, with a sailor named Christopher Walker. When Walker’s father is killed by pirates, he swears an oath to fight evil as the Phantom. »
- James Garcia
The Tracking Board is reporting that producer Mark Gordon (The Patriot, Source Code, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair) is mounting a new adaptation of The Phantom, based on the beloved comic book character created by Lee Falk in 1936.
The original comic centered on the 21st version of The Phantom, whose background dates to the year 1536, when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was killed during a pirate attack. He swore an oath on the skull of his father's killer to fight evil, which started The Phantom's legacy that would be passed from father to son.
The character has been adapted in the past, with a 1996 feature version of The Phantom starring Billy Zane as the title character, which famously bombed, earning only $17 million at the domestic box office from a $45 million budget. The feature did not even receive an international release. The Phantom was revisited in »
Apparently Mark Gordon is bringing The Phantom back to the big screen. The cult superhero has been the focus of countless tv, film, animated and comic book adaptations since his creation back in 1936 -- most recently a 2009 tv series that lasted only one season, and most memorably (though definitely not for the right reasons) the 1996 big-screen flop starring Billy Zane. That's not to say there's no potential there; the character has endured for good reason, and has appeared in a number of interesting incarnations over the years -- arguably the best being the Phantom 2040 animated series. This latest version has Drew Simon on board as executive producer for The Mark Gordon Company, and they are said to be currently looking for a new writer. Will you be glad to have "the ghost who walks" back? Or do you think he's had his day? Sound off in the »
Odd List Andrew Blair 25 Apr 2014 - 06:29
They're despicable, smug and downright unpleasant. Andrew lines up his pick of 50 biggest unpleasant, sometimes heroic folk in cinema...
Nb: This article contains swearing and spoilers for numerous films. Bear in mind that it may be not safe for work, and if you haven't seen a film mentioned in a particular entry, do consider skipping to the next one.
Conflict drives drama. Unpleasant people create conflict. Thus, cinema is crammed with huge, provocative arseholes/assholes (we went with the latter on the headline, but now we're in the article, we're going more arse than ass). There are obviously too many to list, but we've provided you with a thought-provoking array of multi-faceted bell-endery. That said, feel free to copy and paste the phrase, "Nice list, but you forgot x" to save time when placing comments below! The 'nice' bit is not compulsory.
My first real attempt at understanding the brilliance that was Stanley Kubrick came in my freshman year of college, when I wrote a research paper on 2001: A Space Odyssey for an English class. After all that work, I only received a B and found myself more confused than ever. But there it was – the spark that Stanley Kubrick’s work produces. Kubrick’s best films were experiences; it’s impossible to “half-watch” one of his many masterpieces. And that’s what the movies on this list do. They take you on an odyssey of visual wonder, psychological tremors, and expect you to do as much work as the people involved in the making of the films. Yet, in the end, Kubrick’s films didn’t feel like homework. They felt like vacations to a world where deep thought is a welcome respite.
20. The Thin Red Line (1998)
Directed by Terrence Malick
What makes it Kubrickian? »
- Joshua Gaul
11 items from 2014
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