With the Guardians of the Galaxy movie just a few months away I've seen a few people asking about where to start reading Marvel Cosmic or the Guardians, so I've decided to compile a list of all the comics that make up the modern Marvel Cosmic universe that inspired the movie. Not all these books have the Guardians as the main characters but but will have one or two of the members in them.
Refn is a director of smart and stylish crime thrillers that include the critically acclaimed Drive and the neon noir Only God Forgives as well as the Pusher trilogy and Bronson. I think if they ever make a MK film/TV show it will likely be based on the current Ellis run and I think this man could get the exact style of the book and he's also a comics fan. Sample:
I love Ryan Gosling, I think he's a fantastic actor but he's pretty much been fancast as every superhero under the sun but the one character I think he would be perfect for is Moon Knight. Not only is he the directors actor of choice but he was also one of the main inspirations for the current MK creative team. He has the acting chops as well as the swagger and the look of someone that is perfectly calm but has all that rage bubbling beneath.
I know Randell is meant to be Marc's younger brother but I always liked the idea of him being older for some reason and I think Cole is a great actor that can play "mean and crazy" very well. He's been in films like Tears of the Sun, Pitch Black, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Tiger Land and Transcendence.
Being a duder from rural-ass Scotland there wasn't many places I could get comics, but amazingly my local newsagents (remember when that was a thing?) used to occasionally get Marvel Collectors Editions, these are the comics that set me on the way to geekdom. I was trying to clear out the cupboard in my room out today and just found a polythene packet full of my old comics. I have:
A Gallery of Rogues is a semi-regular noir fiction blog that will contain reviews of games, books and movies as well as topic articles (Blog Theme and Background Sound: The Pine Box Boys.
These Bastards Sure Are Southern.
Now I've never been to the good ol' US of A before, let alone the American South but through books and movies I think I have a good feel for it and it's always been the part of the country I have the most affinity for. To my eyes the South has a lot in common with Scotland (where I'm from) which is ironic considering they are both at different ends of their respective countries and both have completely different climates. Yet both are very rural places that are fiercely protective of their cultural identities. Football (be it American or not) is a big deal in both areas. Religion is always a background tension in both areas. And the population of both areas are thought of as a bit more gruff and harder and are often looked down upon by the rest of the country. So because of this I'm a fan of any fiction that features Southern Americana and this is one prime example.
Southern Bastards is steeped in the South. Everything from the warm colour schemes provided by Rico Renzi and Jason LaTour, to the drawl that Jason Aaron gives to every character in the book. From the second you meet the main character Earl Tubbs, you just know you're in for a home cooked revenge thriller that couldn't have been set anywhere other than south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Speaking of the art, it's fantastic. Aaron made all the write calls when he was deciding when he needed to add text and when he could just sit back and let LaTour spell it all out for us with his amazing art. Just with a few choice panels we get a feeling for who these characters are and what their relationships were like and the mood is established from the get go.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I got nothing.
Southerns Basterds is a gritty rural noir that couldn't be more southern if it was rustling cattle while whistling Dixie. Jason and Jason kick the series off with a perfect blend of story, mood and action that should hook any reader in to the world of Coach Boss and Earl Tubbs.
A Gallery of Rogues is a semi-regular noir/espionage/martial arts fiction blog that will contain reviews of games, books and movies as well as topic articles (Blog Theme and Background Sound: The GrandMaster and Rainy Mood)
The Grandmaster is is a martial arts-drama set in the 1930s-40s and tells the story of the legendary Wing Chun master known as Ip Man, who many people will know was the master and teacher of one Bruce Lee. This movie, directed by the artsy film maker Wong Kar Wai, tells the story from Ip Man's rise to the head of his kung fu school, through Japan's invasion of China during WW2 and ends with him settling and opening a martial arts school in Hong Kong.The film starts with Ip Man competing with rivals to be the next grandmaster of his school of kung fu. He must be tested by the other grandmasters in various duals as well as navigate the political intrigue as each school isn't so friendly to each other and rivalries quickly start to form.
From the get go the one thing that is apparent is that this film looks goddamn gorgeous, whether it's the 12 man battle royal in the rain drenched streets of downtown Foshan or Gong Er practicing the 64 Hands style in the stark snow blanketed wilderness of northern China, man does this film look good. It's not just the setting that makes the film look great but also the masterfully choreographed fight scenes. Each punch or kick thrown has a weight and impact around it but is also graceful and never looks clumsy. Unlike other movies about Ip Man this one clearly embraces the myths surrounding the man and uses it to embellish the fight scenes, nothing too outlandish but just enough to give it a bit more flavour. The standout fight in my opinion is when Gong Er finally get's her showdown with Ma San at the train station, here she truly looks like a master using a mixture of martial arts styles.
This isn't your regular martial arts film though, it's not all about the fighting and there is some fantastic acting and drama here as well. Tony Leung does a fantastic job of portraying the virtuous but cool as ice Ip Man who is trying to look after his family in the harshest of times and Ziyi Zhang steals the show as the prideful daughter of a grandmaster that is trying to bring honour to her school.
The Grandmaster is definitely a great film however it does employ a pretty liberal use of slow motion shots, a few of them are even of things that don't typically warrant such, like a woman singing at a bar or a vista shot. The film does this so much it feels like it adds on 10 extra minutes to the movie. I see this as a small problem though as the even though the shots are lingering it's still pretty to look at.
: Tancharoen is most known for being the director of Fame and the Glee movie, the guy himself is a dancer and choreographer but the real reason I want him for Iron Fist is Mortal Kombat. This is the guy behind Mortal Kombat: Rebirth and the Mortal Kombat: Legacy series and if anybody has seen them then holy crap you know that they are good. Here is a sample:
The reason I picked Hedlund is because I'd like to see to see the Defenders cast be slightly younger than the Avengers counterparts and I think Garrett is a great actor and he also has a personality that matches Danny as well as he looks exactly like him. I know a lot of people want a martial artist to play him but Garrett as proven he is a physical actor in the likes of Tron.
I know, I know another dude from Glee (I don't watch the show, honest) seriously there is a reason why the best movie martial artists are dancers, Bruce Lee was a dancer, Jackie Chan was a dancer and Van Damme was a dancer. And not only is Shum an excellent dancer and martial artist (He played Sub Zero in MK: Legacy and will be starring in Revenge of the Green Dragon) but he's also a pretty good actor and has already worked with the director.
Brian Tee has been around for while, he's been in films like We Were Soldiers, Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift and The Wolverine and he's also been in tv shows like Buffy, Grimm and also played Liu Kang in MK: Legacy. Great martial artist and great actor.
This man needs no introduction, he's a martial arts legend that has played the likes of Shang Tsung and Heihachi Mishima as well as many many others. I can think of no one better to play the Dragon King of Kun L'un.
I've always liked Browder in TV shows like Farscape and Stargate and I'd like to see him in more stuff. I think he would do a really good job play Wendell Rand, I think him and Danny wouldn't get on that well because they are pretty similar and that could give it some cool tension.
Well the actor choice is a no brainer but the reason I want Colleen in the show is because she debuted in the Iron Fist comic before anywhere else and I think it would be a cool connection to the Luke Cage show if she appears here first Also I think I would amalgamate her with Blue Eyed Servant Girl.
On paper Brian De Palma (the man behind such films as Dressed to Kill, Scarface and The Untouchables) directing an adaptation of one of the best crime noir books by arguably the best noir writer, sounds like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately it just doesn't come together as well as you might hope.
In January 1947, the mutilated body of aspiring Hollywood Betty Short was found, severed at the waist, in an empty LA lot. Around this real-life case is spun a fictional web involving boxing rivals turned LAPD partners Lee Blanchard (AaronEckhart) and Bucky Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) – each increasingly obsessed with the case, each comforted by Lee’s girlfriend Kay (ScarlettJohansson) – and the powerful Linscott clan, including femme fatale Madeleine (Hilary Swank) and pill-popping mother Ramona (film-stealing Fiona Shaw).
The actors for the most part recite Ellroy’s staccato prose well enough, but while the characters in the book would crawl under your skin with their secrets and desires the live actors performances are just so shallow it's hard to care or even dislike any of them. I think the big problem with the movie was the casting in general, I've never thought of Hartnett as an exceptional actor and his performance in the film just isn't up to scratch. In period pieces there is a certain way the actors need to speak and hold themselves that is in fitting with the times but Hartnett doesn't even attempt to do this, if you didn't know any better you'd think he was back on the set of The Faculty. On the other side of that is Fiona Shaw who hams it up so much you can't help but either smile at the call back to the actors of yore or just cringe (although not as cringe worthy as the drug deal shoot out). The other two main character actors Eckhart and ScarJo seem to be phoning it in for the most part but the bigger thing that annoys me is that ScarJo's character Kay who was a strong woman who and a nuanced relationship with both the main leads in the book gets turned into a complaining temptress in the movie.
The movie does do some stuff right and it's mostly in the style department. Weirdly Hartnett's monologues are a lot better performed than his actual on screen acting and when it's accompanied by the sleazy saxaphone jazz that drips from the speakers it's all Grade A Noir. The details afforded to the costumes and 50's LA setting also help to set the scene and is arguably the movies greatest strength.
Overall The Black Dahlia is a great sounding and very pretty film with nice dialogue that's performed by mediocre actors portraying shallow characters.
A Gallery of Rogues is a semi-regular noir fiction blog that will contain reveiws of games, books and movies as well as topic articles (Blog Theme and Background Sound: Why don't you do right - YouTube and Rainy Mood)
Sin CIty 2 is one of my most anticipated comic book movies of this year and the more I see of it the more excited I become. Hopefully it can live up to it's stylish predecessor. Also keep an eye out for my review for this first movie.
Also here's the trailer for anybody that's not seen it yet.