Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Promise Broken: "Godzilla" Blu-ray Is Sans Akira Takarada

by Armand Vaquer

Godzilla is now out in home video. But, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. reneged on their promise to include Akira Takarada's cut scene from the Blu-ray edition of Godzilla.

Frankly, I don't find this surprising, but fans were told when word came out about Takarada's scene being cut that the scene would be included in the Blu-ray edition. Well, it's not there! (I have not purchased it yet, so I am relying on reliable sources.)

Above, the cut scene featuring Akira Takarada. Photo: Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros.

One fan wrote in Facebook:
Nearly Everyone involved promised Takarada-san's scene would be on the Blu-Ray. I have seen it in writing and I have it in writing myself. So I am waiting. Picture quality is not the issue for me. No Takarada scene is a deal breaker for me. I hope for a directors/extended cut later. Who knows. It will not be the first time the studio was somewhat less than respectful to the fans.
The Blu-ray and DVD discs of Godzilla has been met with mixed reviews. Some say the movie plays too dark and has noise, while others say it plays just fine. I suppose it depends upon the player and television monitor one is using.

It is my understanding that there's a special edition of the Blu-ray at Target department stores featuring a 30-minute featurette titled, "Rebirth of an Icon." In order to get it, one must buy the disc with the view of Godzilla's backside (or spines) on the box art (I've read).

Still, is it disappointing that Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. broke their word pertaining to Akira Takarada's scene.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 1st Series #94, August 1975, Marvel Comics

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 1st Series #94, August 1975, Marvel Comics

Starting At $198.95 Order Here

From Marvel Comics

Chapter 1: "The Doomsmith Scenario"

Professor X gathers the large team together in the school. He wants to congratulate them on their last battle as well as talk to them about the future. No sooner does he get the words out of his mouth when Sunfire speaks up and says he is leaving the team. Xavier tries to stop him, but Sunfire refuses. The other new members of the team stay, some hesitantly and Sunfire flies away. Banshee is asked and begins to say that he is too old for the team of young heroes, but accepts the challenge anyhow.

Unexpectedly, some of the original group as well as Lorna Dane and Havok decide to leave. They reason that when they joined the team, they were young and inexperienced. They have decided to live their lives on their own since Xavier has taught them to be responsible. Out of the original group, Cyclops is the only one to remain.

The next day, Cyclops says his goodbyes and tells Jean he loves her and that he is staying. She tells him she loves him and then leaves with the rest of the group. Cyclops brings the new team to the Danger Room for their first trial run. Thunderbird proudly decides to go first and a few seconds later is flung out the entrance. The next few days of Danger Room training runs the X-Men group hard. During one of the sequences, Thunderbird is grazed by a laser beam on his leg. Cyclops calls him out as being careless and tells him how he could have lost his leg if the laser was on full power. Thunderbird fights back until Xavier telepathically demands their disgraceful display to cease. He tells Thunderbird to get to the infirmary and Cyclops to report to his office.

Chapter 2: "Death O'er Valhalla High!"

In the Rocky Mountains of Colorado a helicopter flies near Valhalla Mountain. Buried beneath the mountain is the command center for NORAD. In the War Room, a package is brought to Joe Harris. He opens it and finds that it is a box that has written, "Press Me," on it. Joe laughs and presses the button. Instantly, the box disappears and a large portal opens above them. Out of the portal come five beings looking like various wild creatures.

The creatures attack the soldiers and quickly overcome them. More soldiers flood in and the battle continues but then a voice tells them to stop; it belongs to Count Nefaria! He is the boss of these creatures and says that he has detained the remaining soldiers with gas. He also reminds the creatures of how he made them, after he and his last group of criminals were captured by the X-Men. He remembers how he built these new beings with the help of Maggia scientists and says that he will use them to take his revenge on the world. He begins to turn dials on the computers.

Meanwhile, Cyclops thinks of how his reactions to Thunderbird during their training may have been overreactions. Nightcrawler enters and tries to console Cyclops, when suddenly a telepathic message from Xavier tells them to report immediately to the briefing room. They race there and find a video message from Nefaria playing on the main screen. Nefaria informs them that he has activated the "Doomsmith Command System" and demands that each country give him money as ransom and if they refuse to pay he will launch all the US nuclear missiles. He gives the world three hours to decide then the transmission ends. Beast comes up on screen and asks for Professor Xavier's help with Nefaria. The X-Men accept and head for their jet. Thunderbird demands that Cyclops allow him to join them and Professor X tells him he can, although still injured.

The X-Men are met by the Air Force when they reach Valhalla Mountain. They inform them they are taking the Avengers' place in the fight and then they are told to contact Lieutenant General Fredricks. They do and though he is reluctant to trust them, he allows their help. The army is attacking the mountain as the X-Men fly toward it. Nefaria spots their jet and fires the base's SAM's at them. Cyclops maneuvers the jet around the mountain to try to destroy the missiles. They hit the jet and Cyclops hits the eject button. An escape jet breaks away with the X-Men inside. Nefaria then fires the sonic disruptors at the jet and it disappears. The X-Men, however, free-fall toward the ground...

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 1st Series #94, August 1975, Marvel Comics

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Classic Comic Cover Corner – Marvel Family #1

From Nerdvana

A couple of weeks ago it became official that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been cast in the upcoming “Shazam” film (read about it at ABC News.) This came as quite a surprise in that, first off, they’re going forward with a Shazam movie? Is this something the public has been clamoring for? The second shock is that Johnson, who now is, arguably, the biggest star in the DC Movie Universe stable, is not even playing the main character, but will instead be playing the villain in the movie, Black Adam. Let’s be thankful it’s not Mr. Mind.

I’m all for superhero films. I’m a lifelong comics fan from back in the silver-age, so I remember the days when comics were looked down on instead of looked to as source material for Hollywood’s next blockbuster movie. But I can’t say I was ever a big fan of Shazam, and with so many other awesome characters still untapped, Captain Marvel (AKA Shazam) seems to be a very haphazard choice for a company struggling desperately to keep up with the competition (i.e. Marvel Studios.)

The Rock has long been associated with DC’s Lobo character, and I still think he is perfect for that part. The popularity of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie has proven that the world is down with an awesome space opera, and DC’s “Main Man” could have been their cosmic savior, but … no … instead we’ll have Johnson playing Black Adam, one of the most obscure characters in the collective pop culture consciousness.

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Marvel knows you love Wolverine. So it's killing him.

From VOX

In less than a month, Marvel will put one of its favorite heroes to sleep. Wolverine, the hairy, Canadian bundle of muscle with the claws, will die on October 8 (just in time for New York Comic-Con), when the comic book The Death of Wolverine wraps up.

There might be some questions as to why Marvel would want to kill one of its most popular characters and the face of the X-Men franchise. And there may be some queries as to how one kills someone who's immortal.

Here then, is a brief guide to the death of Wolverine:
Why is Wolverine dying? I thought he can't die?

Wolverine's death may come as a shock to people who aren't all that familiar with what's going on the Marvel comic universe. Most people know Wolverine to be the mutant with claws, but his real mutant ability, something that X-Men movies have made very clear, is that he has the ability to heal himself and is therefore immortal.

In Wolverine's solo series, writer Paul Cornell has written an arc in which Wolverine gets infected with an alien virus and loses his healing factor as a result. The loss of his mutant ability has been woven into the character's many comic book appearances. Here's a panel from Storm #2, which explores Wolverine's loss of his healing ability:

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Superman Celebration Plaque Dedication

by Armand Vaquer

Above, Jack Larson addresses the plaque dedication attendees. Photo by Steven Kirk.

Last month, the Tarzana area of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County saw the dedication of a plaque commemorating the 100th birthdays of Superman creators Jerome Siegel & Joe Shuster and Adventures of Superman star George Reeves.

Above, the plaque is unveiled by (standing) Jacqueline Hamilton, Jack
Larson, (kneeling) Stephanie Shayne Parkin and Laura Siegel Larson. Photo
by John McCoy-Staff Photographer, L.A. Daily News.

The location was selected as it was the only location shoot of the Adventures of Superman television show to feature all cast members. It was in 1953 that the location shoot took place for "The Man Who Could Read Minds" episode.

The plaque was dedicated by Jack Larson (Jimmy Olsen), Laura Siegel Larson (daughter of Jerome Siegel), actress Stephanie Shayne Parkin (daughter of Bob "Inspector Henderson" Shayne), actress Beverly Washburn (who appeared in Superman and the Mole Men) and Jacqueline Hamilton (granddaughter of John "Perry White" Hamilton).

Many in attendance at the plaque dedication wore George Reeves-style Superman shirts. If you would like a t-shirt in the George Reeves style, here's the information:

Contact Charlie Rose at charliecrose@gmail.com to order.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Red Sonja (1983 3rd Marvel Series) #1, August 1983 Issue - Marvel Comics - Grade NM

Red Sonja (1983 3rd Marvel Series) #1, August 1983 Issue - Marvel Comics - Grade NM

$6.00 USD - Order Here

1st printing.

This comic book is in new condition. Comic is complete with cover and all pages attached. This comic has very few flaws that warrant a NM grade.

Comic Book will be shipped bagged and boarded!

Written by Tom DeFalco, with art by Dave Simons and Vince Colletta. Cover by Walt Simonson.

"While Lovers Embrace--Demons Feed." While trapped in the middle of a town's economic war with a wizard, Sonja comes upon an enchanted medallion that protects her from all harm. But the amulet demands a high price from those who use its powers.

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Godzilla Anguirius 1955 Version 12-Inch Vinyl Figure

Godzilla Anguirius 1955 Version 12-Inch Vinyl Figure

Price: $149.99 - Order Here

When Toho Studios learned that they had a hit on their hands with 1954's Gojira, they did what any good studio does after they kill off their main character - they resurrected him! Godzilla Raids Again (known in the U.S. as Gigantis, the Fire Monster) was the second in the historic film series, and features a different Godzilla along with the first appearance of Anguirus! Presented in gray tones (replicating his appearance in the black and white film), this Toho Godzilla Anguirius 1955 Version 12-Inch Vinyl Figure stands 20-inches long x 12-inches tall. Each hand-painted vinyl figure is expertly crafted to capture every detail of the classic movie monster!

Size: 20-inches long

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Marvel Select Arachne Action Figure

Marvel Select Arachne Action Figure

Price $18.40 - Order Here

Don't get caught in her web!
Meet Arachne in her modern Omega Flight costume!
A classic super-heroine action figure from The Best of Marvel Select.
Multiple points of articulation and an amazing display base.

A previously hard-to-find figure is back! Back in black and better than ever, the Marvel Select Arachne Figure depicts the classic super-heroine in her modern Omega Flight costume and delivers a knockout in the process! It measures 7-inches tall and features multiple points of articulation. Originally available in limited quantities as part of the Best of Marvel Select assortment, now this femme fatale is ready to make her move into collections everywhere! Order yours today! Arachne figure itself measures approximately 7-inches tall. Ages 8 and up.

Age: 8+
Size: 7-inches tall

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

30 Days of AXIS

From Marvel Comics

The simmering flame first brought to bear in UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 over two years ago will at last burst into an out of control inferno on October 8 with the release of AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #1!

The Red Skull has declared World War Hate, using the potent telepathic abilities he pilfered from the deceased Charles Xavier to establish a “Red Supremacy” in the former mutant haven of Genosha, capturing and tormenting the Children of the Atom. In order to defeat this madman, the two teams that battled one another during AVENGERS VS. X-MEN will have to put their differences aside and unite.

Every day between now and October 8, Marvel.com and our social channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Google+ will release a new exclusive piece of AXIS content, from writer Rick Remender providing insight into the featured characters, first look art by Adam Kubert, and excerpts of dialogue from Remender’s scripts.

Watch the video below to get caught up on the story so far, and then see what the latest day has revealed about AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS!

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Return to Japan with Logan and Kitty Pryde in Death of Wolverine #3

From Marvel Comics

It’s the story that has the whole world talking, and Marvel is proud to reveal your first look inside DEATH OF WOLVERINE #3, the penultimate chapter in the blockbuster four-issue event! Experience the end of an era as creators Charles Soule and Steve McNiven take Kitty Pryde and Wolverine back to Japan for one last adventure.

Bruised and beaten from his last battle, the once indestructible killing machine returns to his wandering samurai roots as he ventures back to the Japan with Kitty Pryde in tow. Only not all is as it seems in the Land of the Rising Sun. With no greater opportunity than the present an old foe emerges, ready to end the Wolverine. Ogun has returned, prepared for his revenge. Yet in the shadows moves an even deadlier threat pulling the strings. Who is behind the bounty on Wolverine’s head?

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The Flash: A City Full of Clues

From DC Comics

Two weeks ago, The CW released an intriguing new promotional poster for The Flash, their speed-driven new series based on the popular DC Comics character. As you can see, the poster shows Grant Gustin as the Flash, speeding across a Central City street as his trail forms his signature lightning bolt. It’s a cool image that’s perfectly in character with the Fastest Man Alive, but what’s really gotten fans buzzing are all of the hidden clues and “Easter Eggs” found within the city. There are plenty of them, some easier to spot than others. How many have you found? And do you know what they all mean?

If you don’t, never fear. We’re here to fill you in, providing a little context and speculation. We’ll also be providing you with a DC Comics graphic novel that ties in with each clue, in case you’d like to learn more. So let’s start at the top, or near it at any rate, with a name and logo that fans of Arrow will instantly recognize…

Queen Consolidated is a fictional business company in the DC Comics universe and on Arrow. It was founded by the family of Oliver Queen, better known as Green Arrow (in the comics) or The Arrow (on the show). In Season 3 of Arrow, Oliver will fight to regain control of his family’s business.

It’s not hard to figure out why the Queen Consolidated logo can be seen in the poster. The Flash is set in the same universe and will cross over with Arrow in upcoming episodes. To get the goods on Queen Consolidated, we suggest getting caught up on Arrow by grabbing the Season 2 Blu-Ray set when it hits stands in a week and reading the tie-in comic published by DC Comics and written by the show’s creators. Start with ARROW VOL. 1.

Gorilla Grodd is a super-villain appearing in DC Comics, primarily as an enemy of the Flash. He debuted in Flash #106 back in April 1959. Keep your eye out for an Easter Egg in the pilot episode of The Flash in the form of a broken cage with a dangling “Grodd” nameplate.

If you’re new to DC Comics, it would be pretty easy to brush Grodd off as a silly villain. But if you’ve read any of his comics, you know that’s not the case. Between his genius-level intelligence, his strength and his telepathic and telekinetic powers, he’s one of the most formidable threats in the entire DC Universe. We suggest grabbing one of his recent storylines, THE FLASH VOL. 3: GORILLA WARFARE, for a glimpse of what he can do. As for why he’s on this poster…well, like we said, he is referred to in the pilot. It’s a fair guess that he may show up eventually in one form or another. Of course, whether he’ll be leading an entire city of sentient gorillas remains to be seen…

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Famed James Bond villain Richard Kiel dies at 74

From Entertainment Weekly

Richard Kiel, whose towering height and distinctive baritone voice defined his nearly 50-year career in television and films, most notably as the steely toothed James Bond villain Jaws, died Wednesday afternoon in Fresno, Calif. at the age of 74, TMZ reports. The actor had been hospitalized after breaking his leg earlier in the week, but it is still unclear if that was related to his death.

Kiel’s rep did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

The Detroit-born Kiel, who grew to be 7 feet 1.5 inches, worked various odd jobs, including cemetery plot salesman and nightclub bouncer, before making his television debut at age 21 in the NBC Western Laramie. His roles were always at least partially defined by his extraordinary physicality, including in the schlocky 1962 B-movie Eegah, which got a bit of a cult boost after being featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, where Kiel played a giant caveman who falls for a California party girl he accidentally encounters in the desert. Kiel was also one of the top choices to play The Incredible Hulk—a role that would end up going to Lou Ferrigno after the producers decided they needed someone more muscular (and after Kiel had already filmed some of the pilot).

Kiel continued to score a number of memorable, if sometimes bit, roles including stints as villains in shows such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Wild Wild West and in films like The Longest Yard and Silver Streak. But Kiel would ultimately be defined by his role as Jaws, the metal-mouthed James Bond villain of the Roger Moore-era who first appeared in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me and was apparently so popular that they had him reprise his role in 1979’s Moonraker. Those famous teeth caused Kiel immense discomfort, though. “They were nauseating,” he told The Guardian in 2009. “They were up in the roof of your mouth and gave you a gagging effect – you felt like you were going to be sick. It did add to the stoic part of my character – to keep from throwing up.”

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Kristen Wiig on Ghostbusters: "I'll do whatever Bill Murray tells me to"

From Digital Spy

Kristen Wiig has commented on rumours that she could star in a new Ghostbusters movie.

Bill Murray has said that he is helping to develop a female-led reboot of the horror comedy series, naming the Bridesmaids actress as a potential cast member.

"I will do whatever Bill Murray tells me to," Wiig told Yahoo.

"I don't want to pressure you," added fellow Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader. "But you should do it... And you should have a friend, who's, like, a guy who has to carry around your proton pack."

Wiig and Hader star together in the upcoming Skeleton Twins.

Linda Cardellini, Emma Stone and Melissa McCarthy were also recommended by Murray.

Paul Feig is in line to direct the Ghostbusters reboot.

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Venom film has "darker" potential than Spider-Man, says Alex Kurtzman

From Digital Spy

Alex Kurtzman has discussed the "darker" potential of Venom.

The writer-director commented on his plans for Sony Pictures' Amazing Spider-Man spinoff.

"The idea is that you can do things with Venom that you can't do with Spider-Man," Kurtzman told MTV.

"Venom is the representation of every line that will get crossed. He's a much darker character."

Sony is also planning a Sinister Six film starring Spider-Man villains, with Drew Goddard attached to write and potentially direct.

Details and a release date are yet to be announced for Venom.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rare George Reeves Photo Acquired

by Armand Vaquer

Above, Armand with a photo of George Reeves with his rifle collection. Photo by Jes.
This week, I managed to obtain a photo print (the details of which are confidential) from a photo shoot by former 1930s child actor Bill Seay (known then as Billy Seay) (1922-2012) of Adventures of Superman star George Reeves in his Benedict Canyon home.

Reeves is pictured in a tuxedo (sort of like James Bond, but this pre-dates the first Sean Connery Bond, Doctor No, by 3 years) with his rifle collection.

The photo was taken during a photo shoot by Seay purportedly on the weekend before Reeves's June 16, 1959 death. The photo session included the below well-known photo of Reeves sitting on his front porch.

Above, George Reeves on the front porch of his Benedict Canyon home.
It is a nice print and I will be matting and framing it shortly.