Monthly Archives: May 2008

Trailer to the Coen Brothers Next Movie, “Burn After Reading”

John Malkovich plays Ozzie Cox, a CIA vet who is fired because he is an alcoholic. He takes his revenge by writing some inflammatory memoirs. Cox’s soon-to-be ex-wife Katie (Tilda Swinton) steals the disc containing his memoirs and accidentally leaves it at the gym where it is found by a trainer, Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt) and the gym’s owner, Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand). They believe they can use the info to blackmail Cox. Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney) is an oversexed, fanatically fit, lactose-intolerant federal marshal who is sleeping with Cox’s wife. He meets Linda via an online dating service and gets entangled in the blackmail scheme, when he stumbles across Chad breaking into his and Katie’s house.

Burn After Reading is due to premiere on August 27. The film is the Coen brothers’ first since the Academy Award-winning No Country For Old Men. Watch the trailer below!


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Marvel Comics Announce Stephen King’s “The Stand” Comic Book Series

Acclaimed writer, Stephen King brings yet another blockbuster property to Marvel Comics.

Just as the second mini-series of Stephen King’s Dark Tower franchise is hitting very high atop sales charts, Marvel has announced that King’s massive project The Stand will also make the leap to the comic book industry.Stephen King will have his hand in this adaptation as well. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa will be helming the script of the comic books with Mike Perkins handling the art duties. Marvel’s Arune Singh mentioned that The Stand was currently slated to launch alongside another Dark Tower mini-series.  The plan is to release the comic as six five-issue story arcs, or thirty issues in total. The first issue is scheduled for release in September 2008.
Below is the initial art released by Marvel.   The official announcement can be found here.  







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New Stephen King Book Due in January?

On the Simon & Schuster website, there is a new book by Stephen King entitled “Stephen King Goes to the Movies”. The 400 page paperback is due on January 27, 2009.  I will post more information when it becomes available.



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McSweeney’s Quarterly # 27 Features A New Stephen King Story

I have mentioned McSweeney’s Quarterly on this blog before.  If you have never read this literary journal before, # 27 is an issue that you really don’t want to miss.


It features a cardboard slipcase with a city scene printed on it with die-cut rectangles for windows.  Within the sleeve are three separate books. The first contains a great cover wrap illustration by Scott Teplin with six fiction pieces including the new Stephen King story, “A Very Tight Place”.


The other two books are art collections which is rare for McSweeney’s. The book “Lots of Things Like This” was produced to accompany a gallery show at apexart that exhibited drawings and paintings with three criteria:  an image with text and humor.  Included are works from David Shrigley, William Steig, Henry Darger, Raymond Pettibon, Shel Silverstein, musician Leonard Cohen, musician David Berman, Chris Johanson, Maira Kalman and many more artists.


The third book is an un-released Art Spiegelman sketchbook titled Auto-phobia which is filled with Spiegelman’s energetic ink drawings.


You can order a copy of this beautiful book here .



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LOST: Reversed Phone Message for Kate

In last night’s LOST finale, Future Kate received a creepy phone call before having a haunting encounter with Claire, who was hovering over toddler Aaron and telling Kate, “Don’t bring him back!” But who was on the phone? The message was reversed and difficult to understand.  Here is the message, played forwards:


Message for Kate


Who is it? It sounds like Christian Shepherd but some argue that it’s Ben, Locke or even Richard Alpert.


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LOST: Was That the Psychic?

On last night’s LOST finale, after Locke left the Orchid and met up with Richard Alpert and the Others, did you happen to notice this guy? He looks a lot like Richard Malkin, the psychic Claire visited in season one — the guy who told her she had to raise Aaron herself and then gave her a ticket for Flight 815.  That would be an interesting, plot twist!


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LOST Season 5 Returning in January 2009

After one of the most satisfying seasons, LOST will return in January 2009 and will have 17 episodes.  Unfortunately, we will have to wait 8 months to see what happens next. Season 5 will focus on why the people in the outside world need to get back to the Island.  The show is scheduled to air for 2 more years and end in 2010.



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Victoria, B.C. Canada

We just got back from an amazing road trip to Victoria, B.C. Canada. Just a drive up north and a 90-minute ferryboat ride and we arrived. This was our first time to Victoria as we had previously only visited Vancouver. There was a lot to see and do. We were able to explore by foot as our hotel was directly across the street from The Empress on the Inner Harbor. We found tons of totem poles outside the Royal BC Museum in Thunderbird Park. We walked up and down Government Street and explored a bunch of interesting shops. We drove to Butchart Gardens to enjoy the scenery there and admire this extremely beautiful place and a must see once in your lifetime. We explored the coast and watched some parasailing with the beautiful backdrop of the US Mainland. We were lucky to see an amazing sunset. Definitely recommended for a bit of Britain close to home as evident by the look and feel, especially the Parliament Building. The drive home was amazing as we were able to drive through Olympic National Park. We both had such a great time!


LOST Finale: Octagon Global Recruiting

While watching the awesome season finale of Lost did anyone else notice the peculiar commercial for Octagon Global Recruiting? It appeared as an odd infomercial for journeymen.


If you go to the website, it is a Lost tie-in.  The dates that Octagon will be ‘recruiting volunteers’ in the San Diego area coincide with the big San Diego Comic-Con?


Check out the site .


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Stephen King’s “Dark Tower: The Long Road Home” Premiere Hardcover

It’s the return of the best-selling comic book series, inspired by Stephen King’s epic The Dark Tower! Gunslinger Roland Deschain has seen the death of his lover Susan Delgado. And the Big Coffin Hunters who burned her at the stake are now in pursuit of Roland and his ka-tet Cuthbert and Alain. The friends are forced to flee into the desert with the deadly posse in hot pursuit… .and Roland is in a coma! Don’t miss the next chapter in the saga of the Gunslinger whose quest for the Dark Tower will shake the foundation of reality itself!


This hardcover collects Dark Tower: The Long Road Home #1-5 and is scheduled to be released on October 29, 2008.  The book can be pre-ordered here.


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Beverly Hills Cop 4 in the Works

Paramount is developing a fourth installment of Beverly Hills Cop with Eddie Murphy reprising his role as Detroit detective Axel Foley. Murphy reportedly took the idea for another movie to the studio, which was looking to do another project with him following the Karey Kirkpatrick-directed NowhereLand, which Paramount releases in June 2009. The fourth Cop movie is set to start production some time next year for a summer 2010 release, with Brett Ratner in talks to direct. Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the first three Beverly Hills Cop films with late partner Don Simpson, won’t be actively involved. The original Beverly Hills Cop, released in 1984, grossed $316 million worldwide. Together with the 1987 sequel and 1994 third installment, the trilogy grossed $712.9 million worldwide. Murphy is currently starring in the Brian Robbins-directed A Thousand Words. Ratner is working on the Hugh Hefner biopic Playboy. (Variety)


Carol Burnett Star Harvey Korman Dies At 81

Harvey Korman, the tall, versatile comedian who won four Emmys for his outrageously funny contributions to “The Carol Burnett Show” and played a conniving politician to hilarious effect in “Blazing Saddles,” died Thursday. He was 81.

Korman died at UCLA Medical Center after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm four months ago, his family said. He had undergone several major operations.

“He was a brilliant comedian and a brilliant father,” daughter Kate Korman said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “He had a very good sense of humor in real life. “

A natural second banana, Korman gained attention on “The Danny Kaye Show,” appearing in skits with the star. He joined the show in its second season in 1964 and continued until it was canceled in 1967. That same year he became a cast member in the first season of “The Carol Burnett Show.”

Burnett and Korman developed into the perfect pair with their burlesques of classic movies such as “Gone With the Wind” and soap operas like “As the World Turns” (their version was called “As the Stomach Turns”).

Another recurring skit featured them as “Ed and Eunice,” a staid married couple who were constantly at odds with the wife’s mother (a young Vickie Lawrence in a gray wig). In “Old Folks at Home,” they were a combative married couple bedeviled by Lawrence as Burnett’s troublesome young sister.

Korman revealed the secret to the long-running show’s success in a 2005 interview: “We were an ensemble, and Carol had the most incredible attitude. I’ve never worked with a star of that magnitude who was willing to give so much away.”

After 10 successful seasons, Korman left Burnett’s show in 1977 for his own series. Dick Van Dyke took his place, but the chemistry was lacking and the Burnett show was canceled two years later. “The Harvey Korman Show” also failed, as did other series starring the actor.

“It takes a certain type of person to be a television star,” he said in that 2005 interview. “I didn’t have whatever that is. I come across as kind of snobbish and maybe a little too bright. … Give me something bizarre to play or put me in a dress and I’m fine.”

His most memorable film role was as the outlandish Hedley Lamarr (who was endlessly exasperated when people called him Hedy) in Mel Brooks’ 1974 Western satire, “Blazing Saddles.”

“A world without Harvey Korman — it’s a more serious world,” Brooks told the AP on Thursday. “It was very dangerous for me to work with him because if our eyes met we’d crash to floor in comic ecstasy. It was comedy heaven to make Harvey Korman laugh.”

He also appeared in the Brooks comedies “High Anxiety,” “The History of the World Part I” and “Dracula: Dead and Loving It,” as well as two “Pink Panther” moves, “Trail of the Pink Panther” in 1982 and “Curse of the Pink Panther” in 1983.

Korman’s other films included “Gypsy,” “Huckleberry Finn” (as the King), “Herbie Goes Bananas” and “Bud and Lou” (as legendary straightman Bud Abbott to Buddy Hackett’s Lou Costello). He also provided the voice of Dictabird in the 1994 live-action feature “The Flintstones.”

In television, Korman guest-starred in dozens of series including “The Donna Reed Show,” “Dr. Kildare,” “Perry Mason,” “The Wild Wild West,” “The Muppet Show,” “The Love Boat,” “The Roseanne Show” and “Burke’s Law.”

In their ’70s, he and Tim Conway, one of his Burnett show co-stars, toured the country with their show “Tim Conway and Harvey Korman: Together Again.” They did 120 shows a year, sometimes as many as six or eight in a weekend.

Korman had an operation in late January on a non-cancerous brain tumor and pulled through “with flying colors,” Kate Korman said. Less than a day after coming home, he was re-admitted because of the ruptured aneurysm and was given a few hours to live. But he survived for another four months.

“He fought until the very end. He didn’t want to die. He fought for months and months,” said Kate Korman.

Harvey Herschel Korman was born Feb. 15, 1927, in Chicago. He left college for service in the U.S. Navy, resuming his studies afterward at the Goodman School of Drama at the Chicago Art Institute. After four years, he decided to try New York.

“For the next 13 years I tried to get on Broadway, on off-Broadway, under or beside Broadway,” he told a reporter in 1971.

He had no luck and had to support himself as a restaurant cashier. Finally, in desperation, he and a friend formed a nightclub comedy act.

“We were fired our first night in a club, between the first and second shows,” he recalled.

After returning to Chicago, Korman decided to try Hollywood, reasoning that “at least I’d feel warm and comfortable while I failed.”

For three years he sold cars and worked as a doorman at a movie theater. Then he landed the job with Kaye.

In 1960 Korman married Donna Elhart and they had two children, Maria and Christopher. They divorced in 1977. Two more children, Katherine and Laura, were born of his 1982 marriage to Deborah Fritz.

In addition to his daughter Kate, he is survived by his wife and the three other children.



New Wacky Packages Book

I loved these when I was a kid and now they are collected in this recently published book.


Wacky Packages—a series of collectible stickers featuring parodies of consumer products and well-known brands and packaging—were first produced by the Topps company in 1967, then revived in 1973 for a highly successful run. In fact, for the first two years they were published, Wacky Packages were the only Topps product to achieve higher sales than their flagship line of baseball cards. The series has been relaunched several times over the years, most recently to great success in 2007.

Known affectionately among collectors as “Wacky Packs,” as a creative force with artist Art Spiegelman, the stickers were illustrated by such notable comics artists as Kim Deitch, Bill Griffith, Jay Lynch, and Norm Saunders.

This first-ever collection of Series One through Series Seven (from 1973 and 1974) celebrates the 35th anniversary of Wacky Packages and is sure to amuse collectors and fans young and old.



Journey’s New Lead Singer

Arnel Pineda’s story is truly one for the Internet age. The Philippines-based Pineda was featured in several YouTube videos showcasing his band, The Zoo, and while the musicianship backing him up wasn’t all that great, Pineda’s voice shone, particularly on tunes like “Faithfully” and “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Journey just happened to be looking for a new singer after the departure of Jeff Scott Soto, the latest in a line of disappointing post-Steve Perry pretenders. Guitarist Neal Schon happened upon Pineda’s videos online, dropped him an e-mail and asked him to join the band. 

Here is Arnel Pineda and Journey performing on Ellen…he does sound a lot like Steve Perry.


3 Scenes From Tonight’s LOST Finale


Variety has posted 3 scenes from tonight’s LOST finale.  Watch them here.


J.K. Rowling Pens Harry Potter Prequel For Charity

LONDON, England (CNN) — Life before Harry Potter was apparently short but sweet. J.K. Rowling, the author of the blockbuster book series about the boy wizard, is writing an 800-word prequel to be auctioned off for charity, event organizers said Thursday.

The hand-written prequel is signed by the author, according to Waterstone’s, a UK bookstore chain that is hosting the event in central London. It finishes with the words, “From the prequel I am not working on — but that was fun!”

The card on which the story is written measures 14.6 by 20.9 centimeters (5.75 by 8.25 inches) is signed “JK Rowling 2008.”

Rowling is one of 13 authors invited to contribute to the June 10 auction, the proceeds of which will go to a dyslexia charity. Other authors include Margaret Atwood, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby, and Tom Stoppard.

“We never dreamed that J.K. Rowling would donate something so precious, and we’re incredibly grateful,” said Gerry Johnson, managing director of Waterstone’s. “I can’t begin to guess how much it will raise at auction.”

All 13 cards are being sold without a reserve price, Waterstone’s said. Spokesmen said there is no telling how much it will fetch.

A previous 93-word storycard from Rowling, which referred to the book “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” sold in 2002 for $53,000. Rowling later produced seven hand-written copies of a new work, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard,” one of which sold for $3.9 million in 2007.

“Given the enormous interest we have seen in recent times for autograph work by J.K. Rowling, the prospects for her storycard are good to say the least,” said Philip Errington, a specialist at Sotheby’s auction house, which is helping to organize the sale.

It won’t be just the lucky bidder who gets to read about life before Harry. Waterstone’s plans to display facsimiles of the cards at all its stores in Britain and online shortly after the auction, and a printed book featuring all 13 cards will go on sale in August, the store said.

All profits from the book will benefit Dyslexia Action and English PEN, a writers’ association, Waterstone’s said.


New Book Announcement: The Big Book of Necon Features A Rare Stephen King Story

The Big Book of Necon features contributions by Stephen King, Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, Jack Ketchum, Rick Hautala, Thomas Tessier, Chet Williamson, Douglas Clegg, Brian Keene, Ramsey Campbell, Douglas Winter, Thomas Monteleone, Gahan Wilson, Jonathan Carroll, John Coyne, Alan Ryan, Lucius Shepard, Graham Joyce, Tim Lebbon, and over 30 other artists and authors who have made Necon the most popular convention of the horror genre over the last three decades!

Bob and Mary Booth invented The Northeast Regional Fantasy and Horror Convention (Necon) in 1980 after they ran the 1979 World Fantasy Convention. Attendance at Necon has always been capped at 200 participants, which adds to the convention’s close-knit atmosphere—but also creates a high demand for tickets. If you’ve never been able to attend this incredible summer gathering, The Big Book of Necon will give you a glimpse into what makes that convention so special. And if you’re already a Necon regular, this generous volume will bring back a lot of fond memories.

Featuring works from over 50 contributors, The Big Book of Necon provides hours of great horror/dark fantasy reading from some of the most important names in modern horror. Many of the short stories, essays, poems, and artwork originally appeared in the annual program booklet, which is exclusively printed for the attendees each year—and in the case of the Necon XX volume, with its rare appearance of Stephen King’s “The Old Dude’s Ticker,” now sells for as much as $250-$500 on eBay.

To learn more and/or order The Big Book of Necon, please click here.     

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Heroes Back in a Big Way This Fall

NBC will usher in the 2008-09 season with a big, splashy return for “Heroes,” which will end a 9 1/2-month absence from the air in September.

The network is turning over its entire prime-time slate on Monday, Sept. 22 to the show, starting with an hour-long clip show to refresh viewers’ memories on what’s happened so far and leading into a two-hour season premiere.



Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time

The new issue of Rolling Stone not only has a cover that features a who’s who of six-string greats but also boasts the RS-curated list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time. Chuck Berry’s 1958 dawn of rock classic “Johnny B. Goode” leads a list that includes legends like Hendrix, Clapton, Page and Santana.  Click this link  to check out the complete list and to find out if your favorite jam made the cut.



The New Photograph Of The Watchmen’s Minutemen

Ain’t It Cool News has posted a photo of 1940′s Minutemen in the Watchmen movie, coming to theaters on March 6, 2009. The photo includes the classic Silk Spectre, Nite Owl, Captain Metropolis, Mothman, Silhouette, The Comedian, Dollar Bill and Hooded Justice.



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The Watchmen’s “Black Freighter” DVD Update

Originally thought to be coming as part of the Watchmen DVD, the New York Times now reports that the Zack Snyder-directed animated side story “Tales of the Black Freighter” will get released on DVD five days after the Watchmen movie hits theaters on May 6, 2009.

The “Black Freighter” DVD will include a documentary-style film called “Under the Hood” that delves into the characters’ backstories. The Watchmen movie is expected to hit DVD itself four months later, followed by an “ultimate” edition in which the two are edited together into one megamovie.

In addition, the studio plans a dozen 22- to 26-minute Webisodes to help make the complex story easier for the uninitiated to digest. Called “The Watchmen Motion Comic,” it will be a panel-by-panel slide show of the graphic novel narrated by an actor. Those together might get a DVD release as well in the future.

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