Thursday, December 27, 2012

El Esqueleto Issue #5, Page #6

Page six is up! I hope everyone's having a great holiday and what not.
-Matt


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

El Esqueleto Issue #5, Page #2

After a nice week off, (Hope everyone had a wonderfull Turkey Day!) we're back with a new El Esqueleto page.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

DVD REVIEW: THE EXPENDABLES 2

DVD REVIEW: "THE EXPENDABLES 2" - DVD + DIGITAL COPY

RELEASE DATE: November 20, 2012



STARRING: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Scott Adkins, Nan Yu Also Jean-Claude Van Damme, With Bruce Willis, And Arnold Schwarzenegger


DIRECTOR: Simon West

One of my first loves is film and one of the things I had always hoped was for this blog to get big enough to get review copies of upcoming DVDs and BluRays. Well, in the last few weeks, Lionsgate and HBO Home Video has started sending me screener emails for upcoming releases. So, when I run across something that I think will fit well on the blog, I plan to request a review copy.

Yesterday, the fine folks at Lionsgate sent me a copy of the upcoming DVD release of "The Expendables 2" and I gave it a watch.

As a 80s kid, I grew up on the action movies of Stallone, Arnold, Willis, Van Damme, Chuck Norris and Lundgren. These guys are legends and they defined a couple of decades (plus some) of genre film. Seeing these most of these guys in Expendables 1 was like a great ice cream sundae. Now in Part 2, it's like someone hooking up an I.V. with Cinnabon icing to your heart. It's pure action movie bliss.

THE FILM:
Stallone and company are forced to recover blueprints showing the hidden location of 5 tons of plutonium in former Soviet Russia. Added to the mix are bit parts by Chuck Norris (as the Lone Wolf), Arnold and Bruce, Van Damme (as the aptly named big boss baddie, Vilain).

It's a fast-paced ride, that manages to give the most of the heroes rewarding character building moments. Couture and Crews seem to get the short end of things. Lundgren (a personal favorite of mine) get some get moments as Gunner, the addled former junkie/chemical engineer who is a zero with the ladies. He's a lovable oaf and stole the show. Stallone is fun. Arnold and Bruce bring their "A" game and Van Damme plays it great as a flamboyant and somewhat spacey bad guy. Norris has that twinkle in his eye. It seems like everyone's having fun.

The film is larger in scope and eastern block setting is a great. Cold and desolate. There's some great action set pieces: Nepal, boat chases, an abandoned 1950s era "Anytown, USA-type city" that the Soviets used as a trained ground, an abandoned mine and and Airport. Plenty of shoot 'em up action with some "Holy Shit!" violence peppered in.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
• GODS OF WAR: Assembling Earth's Mightiest Antiheroes (A rather disappointed fluff piece on Expendables 2. Check out instead, "Inferno", the doc on the making of the first Expendables for a great look at making a modern action film)
• ON THE ASSAULT: The Real-Life Weaponry of THE EXPENDABLES (for the firearm fans, Randy Couture takes you on a tour of the Las Vegas GUN SHOP to educate you on the weapons used in the movie, info on the guns and use in a firing range)
• BIG GUNS, BIGGER HEROES: The 1980s and the Rise of the Action Film (The gem of the special features with a looks at the 1980s and the evolution of the action film, the political landscape and the growth of the "Me" decade)
• GUNS FOR HIRE: The Real Expendables (a doc on real life security forces like Ronin)
• Audio Commentary with director Simon West
• Deleted Scenes

• Gag Reel

OVERALL:
A great action film. Superior to the first is scope, action and character development. The film looks and sounds great, even in standard def DVD. The release also has a digital copy from iTunes and it looks like a UV copy is also included. If you liked the first Expendables, this is a much see. If you love 80s action movies, this is like the ultimate mix tape of your favorite screen legends.

RATING: 9 out of 10
  LINKS: Lionsgate Ependables 2 DVD Amazon's "Expendables 2" DVD Amazon's "Expendables 2" Blu-ray

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EL ESQUELETO #5

Issue #5 of "El Esqueleto: The Skeleton" begins this week. Weekly page updates every Wednesday.

"The Coffin Train of Planet Agony" begins...









Marvel Productions Promotional Art (Part 3): Never was

This final post of art from "Comic Features" issue #33 features cartoons that Marvel Productions pitched, but never got produced.

"ANT MAN" and is looks like Wasp too. Amazing pitch art. Looks like Doug Wildey art to me. Can anyone I.D.?


A couple of amazing "Daredevil and Lightning the Super Dog" pitch pieces. These look like John Romita to me. Can anyone confirm? I've read that this one was almost bought, but fell apart at the last minute.


Iron Man. This looks so amazingly cool. I know the actual shows never live up to these pitch pieces, but this is awesome. Again, this looks like Doug Wildey artwork. If anyone knows for sure, please LMK. 


"THE MONSTRESS". looks like an original creation. And the signature in the bottom right of the first panel sure looks like Doug Wildey. What an amazing artist. I would have put him on any show I was trying to pitch.  


Looks like Marvel was going for a "Howard the Duck" cartoon.


Another never was, "Hulk Hound". Though decades later Ang Lee would use Hulk Poodles in his Hulk movie. 


 
 Something called "Muffy" that looks like a comedy with a yellow transforming VW bug. The robot reminds me a lot of the old Super GoBot, Bug Bite (especially those arms). Wonder is this got dumped because of Transformers?


Another Hulk comedy, "Teen Hulk". I get heavy "Thing Ring, do your thing!" vibes of this. But I think the idea of a Teen Hulk is kind of intriguing as a more serious comic book story. Volatile teen emotions with the danger of a Hulk. Maybe it's been done in the comics all ready?


Last up, something called "The Aliens" Looks like alien super heroes. And is I can decipher they smaller panels correctly, they crash on Earth, hide as part of some sports team, looks like journalist trying to uncover they truth and and alien villain disguised as a human.

Anyway, hope you all enjoy the images. If you're a fan of the old Marvel cartoons, I recommend picking up a copy of Comic Features #33. Looks like you can get a copy for $3-5 on eBay. A fun read with some cool artwork.

-Matt
aka Dr. G

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Marvel Productions Promotional Art (Part 2): Spider Friends!

Marvel Productions art part 2: Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends.

This issue of Comic Features (#33) had a lot of nice Spidey art and some cel artwork with backgrounds.

 Bobby Drake aka Iceman concept artwork


Angelica Jones aka Firestar is still called "Heatwave" in this piece.


 Great pitch art for "Spider Friends" of Spider-Man, Iceman and Firestar fighting Doctor Doom. I assume the show title was changed because it's very close to "Superfriends"?

Cel artwork of Captain America

Cel art of Spider-Man. Looks like a Hydra symbol behind him there. 

 Cel art of Spider-Man web slinging. Can't remember the girls name...


Great cel art of the Spider Friends racing to action.

Tune is Tomorrow for the final part with production are for shows that never got made.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Marvel Productions Promotional Art (Part 1): They Live!

I, like many of you out there, am a big cartoon fan. Especially of 80s ear cartoons. Some of my favorites were the Marvel Productions (Transformers, G.I. Joe, Dungeons & Dragons, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, etc).

I'm always on the prowl for info and art from this period and as happy to run acrosss an old issue of "Comic Features" magazine with a big full-color article on Marvel Productions. This is from January 1985 issue (#33) and the article features some great production art for shows that aired and shows that never got past the concept art phase. I've taken some high rez scans and made large JPEGS of the various images. Share as you like and please credit or link geektarded.blogspot.com if you do.

Now, the fun! Part 1: Shows that aired

The main reason I bought this issue was this image. I'm a huge Transformers fan, especially the original cartoon series. I've never seen this image before. Optimus Prime fighting a trio of Laserbeak cassette bots.
The crazy thing is A) a kid piloting Optimus (or just riding along) and the Green VW Bug convertible with the girl driving. Is this an early version of Bumblebee and Carley? Is that Spike in Prime's chest? My mind is blown! 

Pandamondium! I have faint memories of watching this at my Aunt's house on Saturday mornings. She seems to think the show was funny and would watch it with me and my sister. It's one of those shows that have disappeared. I've never seen it air in reruns or dvds, or even copies online. 

Meatballs and Spaghetti. I only vaguely remember this one. Might have watched it once or twice as a kid. I think I used to mix it up with Wolf Rock...

Ahhh, Dungeons and Dragons! One of my favorites. Seems like this re-ran forever on Saturday Mornings. Love this show. The DVDs are dirt cheap. I've got the set that came in the faux AD&D game box. Great show. Of note: Presto's in red robes instead of green (maybe they changed it since Venger and Dungeon Master both wore red) Uni's got mint green hair too. I'd love to have posters of these images. 


Up next: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.