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Month: March 2017

20 Things We Learned from Ben Affleck’s Live By Night Commentary

Posted in Celebs, Crime, Movies, and Trivia

Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 20 Things We Learned from Ben Affleck’s Live By Night Commentary.  Here are three of my favorites…

7. The falling snow is done via CG, and when one of the guys compliments its look and how it even appears to land and melt. “Yeah, the first time it didn’t,” says Affleck suggesting he had words with the effects folk, “but by the time it was finished it landed.”

14. He says shooting a scene with a burning cross and Klan members in their hooded uniforms made him realize how terrifying the real thing must have been.

20. This is Affleck’s favorite of his own movies. “Everything about it was so much harder to do and required so much more elaborate work.”

10 Invasive Facts About “Mars Attacks”

Posted in Celebs, Horror, Humor, Movies, and Trivia

Mark Mancini and Mental_Floss present 10 Invasive Facts About Mars Attacks.  Here are three of my favorites…

The concept of a Mars Attacks! movie first surfaced in 1985, but development wouldn’t begin in earnest until 1994, when screenwriter John Gems and director Tim Burton got involved with the project. To bring the aliens to life, Burton intended to utilize stop-motion animation, something he’s “always [loved] and always will.”

Early in pre-production, a set of 12-inch articulated Martian models were built for testing purposes. At first, Burton’s plan was to have these animated in front of a blue screen. They would then be inserted digitally onto miniature sets by the artists at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Ultimately, though, Burton decided to abandon the stop-motion approach when ILM presented him with some impressive screen tests featuring computer-animated aliens.

Despite this, Mars Attacks! still pays tribute to the older effects technique. At Burton’s instruction, ILM animated the digital extraterrestrials as if they were stop motion puppets. This is why the Martians move a bit more rigidly than did most contemporary CG characters, such as the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park (1993).

Let’s do a quick head count. Glenn Close, Martin Short, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Michael J. Fox, and Sarah Jessica Parker are just a few of the big names on this movie’s mile-long list of stars. And yet, when the casting process began, Mars Attacks! struggled to attract any players with serious marquee value. Gems blames this on the fact that most of its characters either die in some cartoonish manner or end up disfigured.

“Agents didn’t want to see their star clients playing loser roles, and a lot of big acts passed on the project,” he says. “At one point, we thought we were going to have to cancel the film. The guy who saved our butt was Jack Nicholson.” According to Burton, the Academy Award-winner was enthusiastic about joining Mars Attacks! from the very start. After sending Nicholson the script, Burton gave him a call while location-scouting. “Which part would you like to do?” asked the director. “How about all of them?” Nicholson replied.

In the end, he was double-cast as President Dale and a sleazy Vegas businessman. Once word got around that Nicholson would be involved, other celebs lined up to join the ensemble. “We started getting requests from more stars than there were parts for,” Gems notes. “It was like a tidal wave when Jack came on.”

While Burton toiled away on Mars Attacks!, Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich were writing an alien invasion movie of their own, but theirs was to have a more serious tone. The duo knew that both pictures would be released at some point in the summer of 1996.

“I said to Dean, we can’t do our film after a parody comes out. We had to beat [Burton] to it,” Emmerich recently said in an interview with The Guardian. “If it came out on the 4 July weekend, we would beat Mars Attacks!, which was coming out in August. So we wrote the concept around the release date. Dean said: ‘Let’s just call it Independence Day; we can come up with something better later.” The rest is history.

15 Modern Horror Movies Stephen King Has Personally Recommended

Posted in Celebs, Horror, and Movies

John Squires and Bloody Disgusting present 15 Modern Horror Movies Stephen King Has Personally Recommended.  Here are three of my favorites from his list…

“The ending will tear your heart out… but so will life, in the end. Frank Darabont’s vision of hell is completely uncompromising. If you want sweet, the Hollywood establishment will be pleased to serve you at the cineplex, believe me, but if you want something that feels real, come here. Darabont could have made a higher-budget film if he’d added a cheerful ‘It’s all OK, kiddies’ ending, but he refused. His integrity and courage shine in every scene.”

4) DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
“Genius perfected would be Zack Snyder’s Dawn remake, which begins with one of the best opening sequences of a horror film ever made. Snyder’s zombies are, it seems to me: fast moving terrorists who never quit. You can’t debate with them, you can’t parley with them, you can’t even threaten their homes and families with reprisals. All you can do is shoot them and then steer clear of the twitchers. Remember that their bite is worse than fatal.”

“The Scott B. Smith-scripted adaptation of his novel isn’t quite as creepy as the book, but the sense of dismay and disquiet grows as the viewer begins to sense that no one’s going to get away. With its cast of mostly unknowns, this would play well on a double bill with Snyder’s Dawn [of the Dead] remake.”

Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains 47: Steranko, Wrightson, Zeck & More!

Posted in Art, and Comics

If you’re a fan of fanzines, then you’ve got to check out Ken Meyer, Jr.’s monthly column Ink Stains.  Each month Ken (who is an amazing artist) posts… well, let’s let Ken explain…

I have a collection of over 200 fanzines from the 60’s-80’s that I plan to scan and talk about, one at a time. I hope to have some of the participants answer a few questions. Many of those participants are established comics professionals now, while some have gone on to other things. I will show a few snippets from each zine and give you a link to download a pdf of the whole thing, which I hope all of you will do!

For Ink Stains 47, Ken took a look at Fantastic Fanzine Special #2 from 1972 from Editor: Gary Groth and Publisher: Alan Light

Fantastic Fanzine Special #2 features –

  • Wraparound cover by Dave Cockrum
  • Spot illos by Dave Cockrum, Dennis Fujitake
  • Articles by Gary Groth, Jan Strnad, Martin Pasko
  • Transcript of James Warren’ keynote speech at the 1971 Comic Art Convention
  • Photos from the 1971 Comic Art Convention (the pros looked mighty young)
  • Coverage of The Parade of Super-Stars with winner Mike Zeck as Black Bolt!
  • Coverage of a Q & A with Steranko!
  • Berni Wrightson full pager
  • Plus more articles and fan art


I’d never seen Fantastic Fanzine Special #2 before.  To me the highlight is the Steranko Q&A, the photos from the 1971 con and of course see my buddy, Mike Zeck rockin’ it as Black Bolt!

Ah, the memories of the glory days of fanzines.  Thanks to Ken Meyer, Jr. for making these available!