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Comic book movies are often seen as the domain of spandex-clad demigods who battle moustache-twirling villains, but if 300 and Sin City - which both originated on the pages of Frank Miller works - are anything to go by they're not essential to telling a great story.
With sequels to 300 and Sin City incoming, we take a look at 8 great examples of comic book-inspired films with no superheroes in sight.
Sin City (2005)
Co-directed by comic creator Miller and digital filmmaking pioneer Robert Rodriguez, this adaptation stayed faithful to the source material, with the filmmakers shooting actors on green screen and rendering the locations - almost exactly how they appeared on the page - in post-production.
Ghost World (2001)
Long before he was jousting with Shia Labeouf, comics »
Zombeavers. It’s all in the title. And given that such a title excites us here at Dread Central (but not in a necrophilia-bestiality kind of way, we promise), we figured it was high time to sit down with director Jordan Rubin to get the skinny on his upcoming horror-comedy feature.
Starring Cortney Palm (Sushi Girl), Hutch Dano (Zeke and Luther), Peter Gilroy, Rachel Melvin (Dumb and Dumber To), Jake Weary, Lexi Atkins, and Bill Burr, Zombeavers was written by Jon Kaplan, Al Kaplan, and director Rubin.
It revolves around three college girls who go on a carefree vacation of drinking games, topless sunbathing, and sexual exploration, only to find that their frolicking fun comes to an abrupt end when toxic zombie beavers try to eat them.
- Sean Decker
Trevor Hogg chats with Ales Kot about comics and the creation of Edward Zero...
“What is an artist?” asks Ales Kot. “If anything done sufficiently well is art, then I certainly come from a family of artists. My mother was a social worker and became an interior designer; her mother worked at the post office most of her life and her father worked as a steel worker, an army specialist, and a truck driver. My father worked as a miner, then sold steel and then built up a soccer club; his father worked on a high position in a steel factory and taught physics and mathematics while his mother worked in a store selling food most of her life. Thankfully, I was always encouraged to read and write and think on my own, at least by certain members of the family.” Kot believes, “Any merger of visuals and text is comics. »
Check out this video from the "In Conversation" series from Tiff Bell Lightbox, where Canuck auteur David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen discuss their working relationship, which has now spanned three films together ("A History of Violence," "Eastern Promises" and "A Dangerous Method"). In the video, the two talk about the perceived "control" in Cronenberg's films. Cronenberg rebuffs this notion, saying he's an "anti-storyboard" person; Mortensen agrees, saying the reason he enjoys working with Cronenberg is that before a film the director "plans everything, he tries to think of it from every angle, so that when [he] gets to the set [he] can throw it all away and see what happens." Cronenberg's next project is actually a non-Mortensen one: "Map to the Stars," starring Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, Carrie Fisher and John Cusack. It could very well land at Cannes. »
- Beth Hanna
We’ve been checking out the first trailer for The Two Faces Of January and it’s got a wonderfully disturbing feel to proceedings for the film starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Inside Llewyn Davis’ Oscar Isaac. It gives me the impression that there’s a ‘hidden secret‘ in the vein of A History Of Violence and undoubtedly a vibe of The Talented Mr Ripley, which is relevant because the latter is a novel written by the same woman - Patricia Highsmith.
The film is set in 1962, where a glamorous American couple, Chester MacFarland (Mortensen) and his wife Colette (Dunst), are in Athens during a European vacation. While exploring the Acropolis they encounter Rydal (Isaac), a young, Greek-speaking American who is working as a tour guide. He’s, obviously, drawn to Colette’s beauty and impressed by Chester’s wealth and sophistication, and so Rydal gladly accepts their invitation to dinner. »
- Dan Bullock
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 6 Feb 2014 - 06:08
Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2007, and another 25 overlooked gems...
For some reason, the number three was a common factor in several blockbuster movies of 2007. The third film in the Pirates Of The Caribbean series (At World's End) dominated the box office, Spider-Man 3 marked Sam Raimi's last entry as director in the series, while Mike Myers went for a hat trick of hits with Shrek The Third.
I Am Legend was the third and most financially successful attempt to bring Richard Matheson's classic novel to the big screen, Rush Hour 3 marked Jackie Chan's last action pairing with Chris Tucker, while Zack Snyder's musky sword-swinger 300 was notable for having the number three in the title.
Iffy attempts at numerology aside, 2007 was also a superb for year for movies in general - particularly underappreciated ones, »
In case there was any doubt Scandinavian filmmakers are proving they can deliver more than crime thrillers like “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
With Spanish cinema still caught up in the economic recession storm, Scandinavia is emerging as a fresh European hotspot for director-driven genre films. Anchored by a new generation of helmers coming from short films or commercials they dare to make genres clash.
“A few years ago everyone was talking about Nordic Noir, thanks to movies like ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ or drama series like ‘Borgen.’ Now we’re seeing the ‘Nordic Twilight’ movement rising with supernatural/fantasy stories, horror thrillers that are not made in a Hollywood way,” says Rasmus Horskjær, film commissioner at the Danish Film Institute, pointing out the trend has been inspired by Tomas Alfredson’s 2008’s vampire romance “Let the Right One In.”
Adds Horskjær, “Our genre films are slower, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter has gone missing with her young friend and as the minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The best lead is a dilapidated Rv that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces his release.
As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child’s life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?
Led by Jackman and Gyllenhaal, the »
- Dan Bullock
History hasn't always looked kindly on the Academy Awards, with classics often missing out and groundbreaking moments few and far between. We delve into the Oscars' chequered past – and assess this year's contenders
• Get in shape for the Oscars with Mark Kermode's month-long feast of film here
As we approach the 86th Academy Awards, it's worth remembering those two sobering facts, which perfectly encapsulate the inherent foolishness of gong ceremonies in general, and the Oscars in particular. Ask any film fan how seriously you should take the Academy Awards, and chances are they will point you toward the best director category, where the roll call of winners signally omits Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick, Jane Campion, »
- Mark Kermode
Tiff’s acclaimed Evolution exhibition — celebrating the career of hometown boy David Cronenberg — had just closed when Ocad University hosted a free discussion between him and Tiff CEO Piers Handling. For the past five months, the art school has been partnering with Toronto International on The Cronenberg Project, a multimedia exploration of the director of Dead Ringers, Crash and A History of Violence. It’s appropriate that the discussion before an audience of 325 students and VIPs centered on Cronenberg’s student years, early films and architecture. The talk began with excerpts from Stereo (1969) and Crimes of The Future (1970), […] »
- Allan Tong
The spirits of 1980s genre maestros like John Carpenter, Walter Hill and William Lustig hover strongly over Jim Mickle’s “Cold in July,” a superior piece of Texas pulp fiction that starts out like a house on fire, sags a bit in the middle, then rallies for an exuberantly bloody finish. Bolstered by a trio of strong performances from Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard and an uncorked Don Johnson, this ultra-violent, grimly funny hybrid of home-invasion thriller and revenge Western won’t be to most mainstream tastes, but should flourish with the same niche audiences who have deservedly come to embrace Mickle (“Stake Land,” “We Are What We Are”) as a noble upholder of a bygone B-movie tradition. IFC picked up distribution rights at Sundance.
The pic’s opening 30 minutes, arguably the best work Mickle has yet done, detail a startling attempted robbery and its equally harrowing aftermath. On a »
- Scott Foundas
Viggo Mortensen was at the height of his popularity when the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy came out over ten years ago. Instead of capitalizing on that fame by starring in more high profile projects, he has since become incredibly selective, having appeared in only ten films since 2004 with many of them being outside typical studio fare. His collaborations with David Cronenberg include three of those ten films: “A History of Violence”, “Eastern Promises,” and “A Dangerous Method.” Which begs the question: why does he love working with Cronenberg so much? Well, he talks about that in a half hour-long interview with Jian Ghomeshi on the Canadian radio show, "Q." The interview, overall, is fairly loose and Viggo is able to really get into it about his working process with David Cronenberg. He talks about how Cronenberg’s convinced him to do things he otherwise would not have done, such »
- Ken Guidry
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 16 Jan 2014 - 06:20
Another 25 unsung greats come under the spotlight, as we provide our pick of the underappreciated films of 2005...
It's underappreciated films time again, and this week, we delve deep into the year 2005 - a collection of months dominated by the likes of Star Wars: Episode III, another Harry Potter, Steven Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, Peter Jackson's King Kong, and CG family movie Madagascar.
It was also the year Pierce Brosnan formally bowed out of his role as James Bond, and Martin Scorsese's The Aviator was hyped to win the director his first Oscar, but didn't. Still, the contents of this list received nothing like the acclaim of The Aviator, nor the financial pickings of a Star Wars or Harry Potter. As ever, we've focused on 25 films which we think deserve a bit more love.
So with apologies to »
Syfy launches its new werewolf series "Bitten" tonight, and Steve Lund, who portrays flirtatious and playful werewolf Nick Sorrento, sat down with Dread Central to talk about his character, his co-stars, and what's in store for audiences. We have the details along with a new trailer!
We asked him to briefly describe the show and Nick. "[It] is based on the Canadian novel series Women of the Otherworld, written by Kelley Armstrong, who is a Toronto-based novelist," Lund said. "The story centers around the only non-male werewolf, Elena Michaels, and follows her through her battle between her werewolf life and her desire to have a normal human life."
"My character is Nick Sorrentino, who is one of the resident werewolves at the werewolf headquarters, Stonehaven, and my family has been in the werewolf game for generations. My grandfather was a former pack alpha, and my father is sort of the accountant for the group. »
- Scott Hallam
With its new werewolf series debuting tonight, Syfy recently held a press call with star Laura Vandervoort and Kelley Armstrong, author of the Women of the Otherworld series on which the show is based; and we have the Top 6 Things You Should Know About "Bitten" before watching the premiere.
Star Laura Vandervoort really does know martial arts.
Vandervoort elaborates: I grew up doing martial arts. So Elena feels like the other part of me. I relate to so much about her. Obviously not the werewolf part, but the fact that she can take care of herself physically... the writers [even] wrote in some extra hand-to-hand combat scenes. And especially in the finale -- we have this epic fight that I just had a great time doing. We had great stunt coordinators that help us incorporate the animalistic side to the fighting. It wasn't a part of the audition, but I think »
- Debi Moore
A new trailer is now online for the 13-episode first season of "Bitten," which premieres today on Syfy at 10p.m. Et/Pt tonight. Check it out in the player below! Based on the New York Times best-selling "Women of the Otherworld" novels by Canadian author Kelley Armstrong, "Bitten" is an emotionally charged thriller starring Laura Vandervoort ("Smallville," Ted ) as Elena Michaels, the world's only female werewolf, as well as Greg Bryk ( A History Of Violence , "Rookie Blue") as Pack Alpha Jeremy Danvers, Greyston Holt as Clayton Danvers, and Paul Greene as Philip McAdams. As someone who spent much of her childhood in the foster system, Elena (Vandervoort) had always craved a "normal" life and thought she finally »
Curious about Syfy's new werewolf series, "Bitten," which premieres on Monday? Then check out the opening three minutes of Episode 1.01, "Summons," which bring the sexy and also give us a taste of the type of transformation we can expect.
"Bitten" kicks off on Monday, January 13th, at 10Pm following the season premieres of "Lost Girl" (Season 4; 8Pm) and "Being Human" (Season 4; 9Pm) on Syfy. If you're in Canada, it begins Saturday, January 11th, at 9Pm on Space.
A new breed of werewolves is coming to Syfy with the acquisition of the first season of the new Canadian scripted series "Bitten" from leading independent studio Entertainment One (eOne). Season 1 of "Bitten" consists of 13 one-hour episodes.
Based on the New York Times best-selling Women of the Otherworld novels by Kelley Armstrong, "Bitten" is an emotionally charged supernatural thriller starring Laura Vandervoort ("Smallville," Ted) as Elena Michaels, the lone female werewolf in existence. »
- Debi Moore
No one came to blows, suffered a heart attack or stormed out of the room: In other words, it was an unusually mellow year at the National Society of Film Critics’ annual voting meeting, where the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” rebounded from its WGA and PGA snubs to win four prizes including best film and director(s). You could chalk up the calm tenor, I suppose, to the fact that 2013 was such a good year for movies, or to the Herculean storm that kept some of the group’s more contentious members stranded out of town (or merely at home in front of the fire). Or maybe it’s just that film criticism has become something of a more gentlemanly pursuit (recent events at the New York Film Critics Circle dinner notwithstanding) ever since it became an even less viable profession than folk singing. To quote the Coens, “I »
- Scott Foundas
Just in case you haven’t checked out the SciFi Mafia calendar (there’s a tab for it above) lately, our Mondays are about to get a lot more crowded. This week marked the return of Almost Human, but next week is when things get crowded, as it is joined by the return of its Fox neighbor Sleepy Hollow, and Syfy unleashes an entire block of programming, with the return of Lost Girl and Being Human and the premiere of Bitten.
We’ll have advance spoiler-free reviews of the Syfy premieres posted here on SciFi Mafia soon, but until then, here’s a TV spot and all the pertinent info:
TV Spot: Syfy’s All New Mondays
New York – January 3, 2014 – Get ready »
- Erin Willard
Feature Ryan Lambie 9 Jan 2014 - 06:25
It really doesn't seem that long since David Cronenberg completed his Don DeLillo adaptation Cosmopolis, and subsequently found himself without a project to direct. He had plenty of projects in mind - Eastern Promises 2, a sequel to The Fly, and a satire named Maps To The Stars - yet bizarrely, he simply couldn't get the financial backing to make any of them.
Happily, Cronenberg's fortunes have changed since, and in November 2012, he finally got the financing he needed for that latter project. Written by Bruce Wagner (of Wild Palms fame) it's described as a drama, thriller and satire. And from production company eOne's brief summary alone, it sounds brilliant:
Led by the loathsome yet funny and touching child-star Benjie, we »
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