Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Violence

True Detective – By Javier Vera Lainez

Madrid based graphic designer/ illustrator Javier Vera Lainez has taken his love of the hit HBO series, True Detective to the next level with some sensational prints. He has done one print per episode in a silhouette style that is reminiscent of the Star Wars series by Olly Moss (which can be seen HERE). You can purchase individual prints or as a series HERE. Click on the image to see full size individual posters.

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Snowpiercer **

snowpiercer-posterAfter a prolonged ‘disagreement’ between director Bong Joon Ho and distributor Harvey Weinstein over the length and pacing of Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer the film was finally released in the States earlier this month and here in Australia this week. It wasn’t worth the wait. The film, which stars Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, John Hurt and Ed Harris has done well in Korea and France and has gotten strong reviews… and I’m perplexed as to why.

Snowpiercer is an adaptation of French graphic novel La Transperceneige by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette. The Snowpiercer of the title is a massive train that travels around the world via a perpetual motion engine in a future frozen wasteland. The train is massive, divided into the spacious front and middle carriages in which the wealthy and privileged live in relative luxury while the lower classes are crammed into the back few carriages, living in squalor and fear for their lives. Led by Chris Evans, it’s the ‘Masses Against the Classes’ as the inhabitants from the back of the train fight their way to the front…

I had high expectations for Snowpiercer, the source material is good, and Bong Joon Ho’s previous films, The Host (2006) and Mother (2009) are exceptional examples of their relative genres. Snowpiercer starts well; is beautifully shot, it looks incredible and continues to look incredible throughout. The performances are all fine, the cast is very strong for a genre flick, Tilda Swinton is always great and I like John Hurt and Jamie Bell. It has some fantastically graphic violence and some oddly dark humour. All aspects that would generally make for an enjoyable genre flick, but for some reason it just didn’t work for me.

I think one of its main problems is it’s not sure what it wants to be. It made no sense, you can get away with stereotypical dialogue and nonsensical set-ups and reveals in graphic novels as you are generally more forgiving with the format. Transferred to film we expect more, and visuals aside Snowpiercer doesn’t provide anything else. I’m sure that fans of the film will point to its world society in microcosm, a dark satire and declare it a ‘thoughtful’ piece of work, and ‘damning world view of the future’ or some random rubbish.

Without spoiling it, I really hated the ending. When Evans finally gets to the front of the train, not a spoiler, the ‘mythical designer/operator’ reveal just made no sense and descends into nonsense rapidly. If anyone is really shocked or amazed at the ending they probably haven’t seen many good films. It’s inspired and sloppy, stylish and dumb.

To my mind, Harvey Weinstein was probably right this time around… he should have been allowed to cut it.


Herbert White by James Franco

James Franco is everywhere these days. Between acting in just about everything and directing feature after feature, it seems safe to say that he’s in the prime of his creative output. In terms of his directorial efforts, Franco definitely has an affinity for adapting tough pieces of literature, like his upcoming feature Child of God, which is based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy, plus As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury, both of which are based upon William Faulkner novels previously thought to be unadaptable. The adaptations didn’t start with that recent trio of films, however, but in the late 2000′s with several short films based on poems. One of these short film adaptations comes from a Frank Bidart poem called Herbert White, and, as luck would have it, it’s is probably one of the most disturbing films that you will ever see… and it stars Michael Shannon. Click on the link below… WARNING: Some people may find subject matter disturbing.

http://www.vice.com/read/james-francos-short-film-herbert-white-450?utm_source=vicefbus#ooid=s3Zm41bjq9sxnP227Lbe5ZeH78w-VHWR

If you’re interested you can check out the original poem HERE


Snowpiercer – Reprinted by Titan

Titan Comics is a division of Titan Publishing who, as well as releasing all-new monthly comics titles, continues to restore and reprint the best classic comics, bringing back seminal titles of yesterday in deluxe volumes. They have just released a translated version of the 1982 French graphic novel “La Transperceneige“, which is the basis of the upcoming movie, Snowpiercer, starring Chris Evans.

The dystopian tale takes place after a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet. The final survivors board the SNOWPIERCER, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. The train is massive, 1, 001 carriages, with the lower classes crammed into the back, living in vile neglect as the rich and privileged live towards the front of the train in luxury. When cryptic messages incite the passengers to revolt, the train thrusts full-throttle towards disaster.

The film is currently out but pick up the graphic novels to see author Jacques Lob and artist, Jean-Marc Rochette’s original vision in all its glory… it’s much better than the film. Review next week. Here is a look at the trailer for the movie that stars: Chris Evans, Song Kang Ho, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, and Ed Harris.


Universal Look To Relaunch Monster Franchises

universal-monstersNot sure how I feel about this, I’m still scarred from that vile Van Helsing movie… Universal Pictures most enduring legacy is its library of classic movie monsters that include Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Creature Of The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Bride Of Frankenstein, and The Mummy. Universal is now dedicating renewed resources and an unprecedented, far-reaching commitment to revitalise its monster heritage.

The studio is in early stages of developing a substantial new production endeavor that will expand and unify a network of classic characters and stories. The architects of that narrative will be Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan. Kurtzman recently broke with partner Roberto Orci, but his big-scale projects have included Transformers, Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man. Morgan is the writer behind five installments of The Fast And The Furious, which has been Universal’s most reliably lucrative franchise. It’s not set in stone yet if either will write, but they will soon be going around town enlisting talent to bring new cinematic life to these enduring characters from lore, literature and Universal’s own library. While Universal has selectively tapped its Movie Monster library for The Mummy, Van Helsing, The Wolfman, and the upcoming Dracula Untold, this will be the first time that the studio has formalized an approach to these classic characters in a cohesive, connected way rather than as a series of stand-alone projects by disparate filmmaking teams.

They’ve begun the meetings to put together an interconnected slate of Monster films, and the first will be a reboot of The Mummy, which will be released April 22, 2016. Part of their duty will be to work closely with production, marketing, promotions and consumer product to support the revival. They will also reevaluate projects which have preexisting attachments, and bring it under one cohesive strategy.

Obviously some of those monster pictures haven’t panned out. With Marvel Studios and Disney building a billion-dollar business relying on the Marvel Comics superhero character library, Universal seems to be trawling it’s heritage and is looking to dust off and modernize the classic movie monsters that inspired many of the movie monsters we see today.

I’m just wary…


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Concept Art

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Check out this incredible concept art for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by the Aaron Sims Company, you can see more of their work on the official website HERE including images and sculpt (Caesar below) from Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

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Sin City: A Dame To Kill For – Trailer 2

The latest Sin City: A Dame To Kill For trailer…. character introductions.


American Psycho on Broadway!

american-psycho_final-posterOff-Broadway powerhouse Second Stage will present the U.S. premiere of the much praised (and much debated) American Psycho, the musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel (and 2000 Christian Bale-starring film) about excess, murder and flashing the right labels. The show — with music by Duncan Sheik, book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, staging by Rupert Goold and a starring performance by Matt “Dr. Who” Smith – opened last December at London’s Almeida Theatre and was considered a shoo-in for Broadway next season. It still may be.

That’s a challenge for the Ellis novel, which prompted furious protests from feminist and human rights groups in reaction to its explicit, play-by-play depiction of the brutal torture and murder of women at the hands of protagonist Patrick Bateman, which the book’s defenders insisted was satire of a society gone mad with material obsession and moral vacuity. The musical has inspired almost inevitable comparisons to Sweeney Todd.

54 Below Press Preview With Duncan Sheik, Sierra Boggess, Alice Ripley, Paulo Szot, Anat Cohen And Maucha Adnet,The Almeida production of American Psycho prompted mostly favorable reviews along with some dissenting voices: “Goold’s production [has] a cool wit that actually enhances the story’s satire,” wrote Michael Billington in The Guardian. “Sheik’s music also evokes Bateman’s Eighties pop icons, such as Phil Collins, and provides an ironic commentary on the action. Instead of stand-alone songs Sheik gives us music that reflects the world the characters inhabit…This is a show that confirms the mythic power of Easton Ellis’s story and leaves us all dangerously entertained.”

american-psycho_matt-smithCharles Spencer, in The Telegraph, demurred: Sheik, he wrote, had told an interviewer that he initially thought it ” ‘was the worst idea for a musical ever.’ I rather agree, but although I cordially disliked this show, I suspect it is going to be a big hit and that a transfer to either the West End or Broadway is inevitable, especially since it stars the soon to be retired Doctor Who, Matt Smith as the psychotic Patrick Bateman…You could sense the audience lapping up this empty mixture of ironic style and sudden moments of violence, and there is no doubt that Rupert Goold’s production is smart and sharp. But like the novel on which it is based, it is also glib, heartless and pretentious.”


American Horror Story: Freakshow. Promo #1

FX has released its first official teaser for American Horror Story’s upcoming fourth season, subtitled Freak Show. It features a representation of the previously revealed killer clown having forced a young girl into being mutilated into a fallen angel.


Game of Thrones Season 4 – Mackevision VFX Showreel

Mackevision is proud to be along with other world-class VFX studios part of the Game of Thrones saga. Check out their showreel from Game of Thrones, Season 4. Some SPOILER SHOTS…

Game of Thrones, Season 4 – VFX making of reel from Mackevision on Vimeo.


Indiana Jones – Poster Series

Awesome print series featuring Indiana Jones and the 3 Good Movies in the Series… Click on the poster and see larger individual posters of each movie.

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Restoration – Kickstarter Promo

RestorationRestoration is an online miniseries that follows in the tradition of the sci-fi we love : Philip K. Dick, Black Mirror, Twilight Zone, Warren Ellis & many others. We are taking a big sci-fi concept, fascinating characters, and weaving them together to tell a (hopefully) compelling and mind-bending story. It’s sci-fi with a soul. Because that is what we love and what we do.

Restoration explores what it means to be human. In what ways does the mind drive the body, and in what ways does the body drive the mind?

Many of us would’ve experienced that strange moment when you’ve driven home and you realise you can’t remember driving the car there. Now imagine being in a body that you think is yours and it drives your car somewhere else entirely – a place that is completely foreign to you.

That idea is at the heart of Restoration.

2019. A company – RESTORATION LIFE SERVICES – offers individuals the service of having their memories downloaded for backup. So, in the event of death, those memories can be uploaded into a new body, a generic host, nicknamed a “jerry”.

After a routine backup, Oliver Klein wakes up to find that his memories have been restored into a body that is not his own. Trapped in this foreign body, Oliver Klein struggles to reconnect with his family and his life, and must come face-to-face-with the truth that he is not the only Oliver Klein.

And this foreign body? It has its own “muscle memory”*. Soon, Oliver discovers that he is capable of doing things the original Oliver never could and never would.

Check out their Kickstarter page HERE


Night of the Living Dead – By Killian Eng

Awesome poster for Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead by Killian Eng. Available online HERE from July 15th.

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The Conjuring’s Annabelle Gets Her Own Movie

Conjuring_AnnabelleFor all those fans of creepy dolls in movies, your wish has been granted. Warner Bros and New Line have made an October 3 date with Annabelle, the doll from their horror hit The Conjuring. The companies had set aside the frame for an Untitled New Line Horror Film, making the date and title official with their Conjuring spin-off. WB/New Line also have sequel The Conjuring 2 set to be released October 23, 2015. Annabelle, directed by John R. Leonetti and written by Gary Dauberman, is neither a prequel nor a sequel but centers on the doll seen in the 1970′s Rhode Island-set Conjuring, which starred Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson and was directed by James Wan. Peter Safran and Wan are producing Annabelle , which stars Annabelle Wallis (Peaky Blinders), Ward Horton, and Alfre Woodard.


Guardians of the Galaxy – Simon Delart

Guardians of the Galaxy print by Simon Delart. Click on the image for full size individual prints.

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At The Mountains of Madness

Ath-the-Mountains-of-Madness_Guillermo-del-ToroAs dogged as ever, Guillermo del Toro is still desperate to being us an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness? Well, he’s willing to compromise with Universal Pictures, against his better judgement, stating that he’ll make the creature feature a PG-13 horror film.

The 3-D film originally had Tom Cruise in talks to star, but also had a ballooning budget of over $120M, which was a lot considering del Toro wanted it to be R-rated. The studio killed the movie, which resulted in us being gifted with Pacific Rim, among other great stuff like the forthcoming “The Strain.”

Del Toro now has a blooming relationship with Legendary Pictures, producers behind the project, and in an interview with the WSJ reveals that At the Mountains of Madness may be back in his cards.

I said to them, that’s the movie that I would really love to do one day, and it’s still expensive, it’s still … I think that now, with the way I’ve seen PG-13 become more and more flexible, I think I could do it PG-13 now, so I’m going to explore it with [Legendary], to be as horrifying as I can, but to not be quite as graphic. There’s basically one or two scenes in the book that people don’t remember that are pretty graphic. Namely, for example, the human autopsy that the aliens do, which is a very shocking moment. But I think I can find ways of doing it.

We’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility in the future. Legendary was very close to doing it at one point, so I know they love the screenplay. So, we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’s certainly one of the movies I would love to do.

Guillermo-del-Toro_At-the-Mountains-of-MadnessMadness is the deliberately told and increasingly chilling recollection of an Antarctic expedition’s uncanny discoveries-and their encounter with untold menace in the ruins of a lost civilization-is a milestone of macabre literature.

In this day of studio control it’s always hard to trust the filmmakers to do what’s right for the movie, but if del Toro thinks he can pull it off with a PG-13, well, I’m he’s one of the few I’m happy to believe in.

Unfortunately, it looks like this could take a back seat to Pacific Rim 2, which he briefly talks about.

I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.

Read the full interview at the Wall Street Journal link HERE


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Rest But In Death – Berni Wrightson

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Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II is a feature length documentary uncovering the history, making of and unknown details of the making of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II films.

With interviews and testimonies from those most closely involved, the filmmakers hope to bring a comprehensive insight to these classic cult films.

You can help their cause on the kickstarter page HERE


Coronation of Caesar – By Orlando Arocena

coronation_of_caesar-by-orlando-arocena_vector_2014Awesome new print for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by artist Orlando Arocena, available through Hero Complex Gallery HERE


Constantine Won’t Smoke on NBC

John_Constantine_comicJohn Constantine is sad; all he wants is a smoke, he won’t however… His restraint comes from the standards & practices department at NBC, which is more powerful than any nicotine patch when it comes to killing off a nicotine habit. You can have rape, murder, torture and all manner of violence, but no smoking on network tv.

The character, a DC Comics mainstay since his creation by Alan Moore in the mid-’80s, is coming to television via David Goyer and NBC. And despite the fact that Constantine is a serious smoker (such a dedicated smoker, in fact, that lung cancer became a major plot point in his overall story) the network has said “no smoking” to the producers of Constantine.

Pilot director Neil Marshall explains some of the no smoking reasoning. Given that Constantine is about a damaged magic using-antihero who is more likely to hurt his friends than help them, is there really any thought that John Constantine, played by Matt Ryan, would inspire kids to smoke? (Maybe? Some people are pretty dumb.) Collider spoke to pilot director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday, several Game of Thrones episodes) who explained that NBC axed the idea of John Constantine smoking on television.

No we’re not [making him smoke]. It’s the one thing, a compromise I guess. On network it’s the one thing — you can’t smoke on network. That’s one of his character traits. We’re working around that. We’re trying to get aspects of it in there as much as possible. We’ll see.

Marshall says he doesn’t know what happens after the pilot, and that he can’t say whether Constantine’s cancer will end up being a plot point in some manner despite the lack of smoking. He does say there is no mention of cancer in the pilot.

Smoking aside, violence and disturbing content won’t be an issue. Which is to say that Hannibal may have evil company.

Hannibal is on NBC, and that’s pretty dark and disturbing. Whatever the regulations are, you can be as dark and disturbing as you want and we’re going to go in that direction. The intention is to be as dark and scary as possible with the show. And that was our whole kind of plan going in, to make it scary. So we’re going to explore all kinds of things. But the smoking is very frustrating. Who knows where it will go; where the story will go; where the character will go? There’s still lots of options.

Constantine premieres Friday October 24, at 10pm. Here’s the official blurb:

Constantine_NBCBased on the wildly popular comic book series “Hellblazer” from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine specializes in giving hell… hell. Armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and his wickedly naughty wit, he fights the good fight – or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he’s decided to leave his do-gooder life behind. But when demons target Liv, the daughter of one of Constantine’s oldest friends, he’s reluctantly thrust back into the fray – and he’ll do whatever it takes to save her. Before long, it’s revealed that Liv’s “second sight,” an ability to see the worlds behind our world and predict supernatural occurrences, is a threat to a mysterious new evil that’s rising in the shadows. And now it’s not just Liv who needs protection; the angels are starting to get worried too. So, together, Constantine and Liv must use her power and his skills to travel the country, find the demons that threaten our world – and send them back where they belong. After that, who knows… maybe there’s hope for him and his soul after all.


Outcast – By Robert Kirkman

outcast_robert-kirkmanThis title has been long anticipated and you can bet that has a lot to do with the name on the cover page. Kirkman is a non-stop dynamo with heavy hitter titles like The Walking Dead and Invincible under his belt, not just writing but creating the popular series. When it was announced he would be tackling a new horror title, anticipation was high. And damn was the wait worth it. Outcast is a comic that is introducing you into a whole new world head-first, it’s not going to tip toe you through the origins of the main character and general plot, it just plunges in and hits the ground running. And you keep up because it’s damn good. Like always, Kirkman does an excellent job at building real characters with realistic personalities and forty-four pages we have a demonic plot and a cast of characters we already know and sympathize for. It’s like reading a fantastic horror movie, where we get the bright sunny day exposition and then on a dime we get the gritty, terrifying plot threads. Artist Azaceta is a perfect fit for the title, creating smoky, grainy characters that fit into the world that’s being created. ShockTillYouDrop.


Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari – Remastered

One of the most iconic masterpieces in cinema history, Robert Wiene’s Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari shook filmgoers worldwide and changed the direction of the art form. Now presented in a definitive restoration, the film’s chilling, radically expressionist vision is set to grip viewers again.

At a local carnival in a small German town, hypnotist Dr. Caligari presents the somnambulist Cesare, who can purportedly predict the future of curious fairgoers. But at night, the doctor wakes Cesare from his sleep to enact his evil bidding…

Released in 1920, this film is incalculably influential (yes I’m looking at you Tim Burton), the film’s nightmarish jagged sets, sinister atmospheric and psychological emphasis left an immediate impact in its wake (horror, film noir, and gothic cinema would all be shaped directly by it). But this diabolical tale nevertheless stands alone – now more mesmerising than ever!


Audition – American Remake…

audition_posterI don’t understand how this will work but Terminator, Rambo, and Basic Instinct exec producer Mario Kassar is assembling an English-language adaptation of Audition, the infamous 1997 novel by Japanese author Ryu Murakami about a lonely widower who gets more than he bargains for when he puts out a fake casting call to find a new girlfriend. Audition was, of course, adapted in 1999 into a cringe-inducing cult film in its own right by Japanese helmer Takashi Miike. The new Kassar-produced version is based on the original Murakami novel and will transplant the story to an American setting.

In this version, to be directed by Richard Gray, Audition‘s unlucky protagonist is Sam Davis, who lives alone with his son following the death of his wife seven years prior and is convinced by a filmmaker friend to stage the fake auditions. The former ballerina with a mysterious past he falls for is now named Evie Lawrence, but otherwise details fall closely in line with Murakami’s best-seller.

Gray adapted the script and will tackle a fall shoot for Audition after filming wraps on his current project, thriller Sugar Mountain starring Jason Momoa. He also helmed and produced the Justin Long crime thriller The Lookalike, which Well Go USA is releasing this summer. DEADLINE.


Child of God – Trailer

Child of God — which James Franco co-wrote, produced, directed — is an adaptation of the 1973 novel by Pulitzer Prize-winner Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men and The Road. It’s the chilling story a pathological loner’s descent into crime and madness.

Based on an acclaimed novel set in the South, much like his 2013 drama As I Lay Dying. Child of God also features a breakout performance by Scott Haze, who worked with Franco on his last film (and his experimental Interior. Leather Bar.) Tim Blake Nelson and True Blood’s Jim Parrack also return to co-star.

Child of God played at the Venice, Toronto, New York and Austin International Film Festivals, and will open in select cities on Aug. 1. Among the many projects Franco has on his busy schedule are a biopic of writer Charles Bukowski, and another Faulkner adaptation The Sound and the Fury — with Haze and Nelson returning for both films.


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