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

Archive for July, 2012

The Walking Dead – Season 3 Trailer

The trailer for the third season of AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead, screened at San Diego Comic-Con 2012. The third season of The Walking Dead will premiere at 9 p.m. October 14 in the U.S. Watch to the end for the return of Merle Dixon. “Fight the dead. Fear the Living.”


Léon: The Professional – Poster Art


Jean Reno

Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez known as Jean Reno (born July 30, 1948) is a French-Spanish actor. Working in French, English, Japanese, Spanish and Italian, he has appeared in films such as Subway, Nikita, Léon: The Professional, Mission: Impossible, Godzilla, Ronin, and The DaVinci Code.

Reno was born in Casablanca, Morocco. His Spanish parents were natives had moved to North Africa to find work and escape the Franco dictatorship. He moved to France at the age of seventeen and studied acting in the Cours Simon School of Drama.

Reno’s career began in French cinema, where he appeared in many of Luc Besson’s films, including Besson’s first film, L’Avant Dernier (1981). The two have continued to work together throughout their careers, in films produced, written or directed by Besson. These include Le Dernier Combat aka The Last Battle (1983), and Subway (1985), the ones that have achieved the most critical and commercial success include: Nikita (1990), the English-language films The Big Blue (1988), and Léon: The Professional (1994). Additionally, Reno did the voice-over for Mufasa in the French-language version of The Lion King, a role originally performed by James Earl Jones.

Reno has starred in such high-profile American films as French Kiss (1995), Mission: Impossible (1996) with Tom Cruise, Ronin (1998) with Robert De Niro, and Godzilla (1998). He has not neglected to work in French productions either—e.g., Les Visiteurs (1993) The Crimson Rivers (2000) and Jet Lag (Décalage horaire) by Danièle Thompson (2002), which was also a box-office success in France and L’Empire des loups (Empire of the Wolves). In 2006, he had a prominent role in the abysmal remake of The Pink Panther and its sequel, he also portrayed Captain Bezu Fache in The DaVinci Code. 

Undoubtedly, his best role is that of Léon, the lead role in Léon: The Professional (1994). The English-language French thriller was written and directed by Luc Besson, as well as Reno, it starred Gary Oldman as corrupt DEA agent Stansfield; a young Natalie Portman, in her feature film debut, as Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl who is taken in by the hitman after her family is murdered; and Danny Aiello as Tony, the mobster who gives the hitman his assignments.

Léon: The Professional is to some extent an expansion of an idea in Besson’s earlier 1990 film, La Femme Nikita (Nikita). In La Femme Nikita Reno plays a similar character named Victor. Besson described Léon as “Now maybe Jean is playing the American cousin of Victor. This time he’s more human.” The film received generally favourable reviews, although most of them focussed on the unusual relationship between the seasoned hitman and his 12-year-old apprentice, which was a breakout turn by young Natalie Portman, and of course Luc Besson’s stylish direction.

Also, as you can see from the post, he’s awesome material for caricaturists..!


David Warner

David Warner (born 29 July 1941) is an English actor who is known for playing both romantic leads and sinister or villainous characters, across a range of media, including film, animation, television, and video games. Over the course of his long career he is most famous for his roles in films such a Straw Dogs, From Beyond the Grave, The Omen, Time After Time, Time Bandits, Tron, The Company of Wolves, Star Trek V and VI, The Lost World, and Planet of the Apes. In 1981, he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special for his portrayal of Pomponius Falco in the television miniseries Masada. 

Warner was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England, the son of Doreen (née Hattersley) and Herbert Simon Warner. He was educated at Feldon School, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire and trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), London.

Warner made his professional stage debut at the Royal Court Theatre in January 1962, playing Snout, a minor role in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Tony Richardson. He had a successful run of stage work for over a decade.

In 1963, he made his film debut as the villainous Blifil in Tom Jones, and in 1965, starred as Henry VI in the BBC television version of the RSC’s The Wars of the Roses. A major step in his career was the leading role in Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966) opposite Vanessa Redgrave, which established his reputation for playing slightly off-the-wall characters. He also appeared as Konstantin Treplev in Sidney Lumet’s 1968 adaptation of The Sea Gull (1968) and appeared as Reverend Joshua Duncan Sloane inThe Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970); this was to be the first of his appearances for Sam Peckinpah. He was also cast against type as Henry Niles in Straw Dogs (1971). Warner’s sympathetic side had been evident in Peckinpah’s Cross of Iron (1977), where he portrayed Captain Kiesel. 

In horror films, he appeared in one of the stories of From Beyond the Grave (1974) and opposite Gregory Peck in The Omen (1976) as the ill-fated photojournalist Keith Jennings, and the 1979 thriller Nightwing. He also starred in cult classic Waxwork (1988), and featured alongside a young Viggo Mortensen in the 1990 film Tripwire. 

He has often played villains, in films such as The Thirty Nine Steps (1978), Time After Time (1979), Time Bandits (1981), Tron (1982), Hanna’s War (1988), and television series such as Batman: The Animated Series playing Ra’s al Ghul, and the anti-mutant scientist Herbert Landon in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In addition, he played German SS General Reinhard Heydrich both in the film Hitler’s SS: Portrait of Evil, and the television miniseries Holocaust; as sinister millionaire recluse Amos Hackshaw in HBO’s 1991 film Cast a Deadly Spell, who plots to use the world’s most powerful spell book – the Necronomicon – to unleash the Lovecraftian ‘Old Ones’ from eternal imprisonment upon the Earth. Warner was also considered for the role of Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street after producers were impressed with his performance as Jack the Ripper in Time After Time but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.

Other notable Sci-Fi and Fantasy roles include three episodes of the second season of Twin Peaks (1991), the charismatic “Aldous Gajic” in “Grail”, a first season (1994) episode of Babylon 5 and Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). In an episode of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, he played Superman’s deceased Kryptonian father Jor-El, who appeared to his son through holographic recordings. Warner has also played “ambiguous nice guys” such as Dr. Richard Madden in 1994’s Necronomicon: Book of the Dead. 

 


Taxi Driver – Behind the Scenes

Check out these behind the scenes shots from Taxi Driver (1976), continuity shots from the film’s climax, Scorsese and De Niro at the Rally, and Robert De Niro’s Taxi Cab Driver’s License.


Lifesize Gandalf & Bilbo in LEGO

Lifesize LEGO statues of Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins, of The Hobbit,  from Comic Con 2012. 


Aldous Huxley

Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer. Best known for his novel Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. Huxley spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death.

I’ve only read Brave New World (1931) and The Devils of Loudun (1952). Brave New World (1931, published in 1932), is set in London, AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of futurology. Huxley answered this book with a reassessment in an essay, Brave New World Revisited (1958) and with his final work, a novel titled Island (1962).

The Devils of Loudun is a historical narrative of supposed demonic possession, religious fanaticism, sexual repression, and mass hysteria which occurred in 17th century France surrounding unexplained events that took place in the small town of Loudin; particularly on Roman Catholic priest Urbain Grandier and an entire convent of Ursuline Nuns, who allegedly became possessed by demons after Grandier made a pact with Satan. The events led to several public exorcisms and executions by burning. I must admit that I read this book after seeing the Ken Russell adaptation The Devils at a college cinema.

Aldous Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, and satirist, and he was latterly interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism. He is also well known for advocating and taking psychedelics. By the end of his life Huxley was widely recognized to be one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time and respected as an important researcher into visual communication and sight-related theories as well.

For much more in depth reading about Huxley, and especially Brave New World, check out these website: huxley.net and these videos on youtube.