Category: Movies


Escape from New York book Walsh

Forty years after the release of the sci-fi classic Escape from New York, fans will at last get a look at the making of the movie.  In celebration of the 40th anniversary of John Carpenter’s one-of-a-kind story of Kurt Russell’s future criminal Snake Plissken and his attempt to rescue the President from a downed plane over a locked-down New York City, Escape from New York: The Official Story of the Film pulls from the studio archives a trove of behind the scenes photographs to showcase the creation of the movie.  You can pre-order the book now here at Amazon, and check out a preview of the book below.

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mash-up kurt russell

If you’re not a Kurt Russell, please avert your eyes and come back later.

A big Kurt Russell project is coming your way this year.  Director John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China and his Escape from New York will see a dream mash-up only the way BOOM! Studios could do it.  Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York will become a six-part crossover comic book series in the Fall.

Written by Greg Pak with artwork by Daniel Bayliss, your favorite swaggering truck driver Jack Burton (played by Kurt Russell in 1986’s Big Trouble in Little China) will be teleported to the bleak future of 1997, where he meets the Man with No Name-inspired, eyepatch-wearing Snake Plissken (also played by Kurt Russell, in 1981’s Escape from New York).  Check out the two variant covers for Issue #1:

Big-Trouble-in-Little-China-01-550x835    Big-Trouble-in-Little-China-02

And here is the full poster together:

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Next to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, there is probably no other actor in the action genre who has had more action figures with his likeness.  Snake Plissken himself, Kurt Russell.  Once upon a time movies like Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China came and went with no toys or collectibles, mainly thanks to a clash between R ratings and the unwillingness of toy companies to release toys for such films.  But even those classics now provide fans of Kurt Russell with a desktop warrior of many of his films to guide their day.  Today we’re running down a brief history of Kurt Russell in action figures and collectible toys.

The first image we had of Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, were images of collectible figures for his character Ego.  You can get his Marvel Legends version of the figure here:

If Dorbz are your thing you can also find him in that format here, and as a Funko Pop! figure here.  There is also a MiniMates version, but no Hot Toys or Sideshow versions of Ego available–yet.

   

Although we’ve found no Bone Tomahawk or Tombstone figures for Russell, his Western The Hateful Eight resulted in a 1:6 scale figure of Russell’s John Ruth, available here, an eight-inch version here, and a Funko Pop! here.

   

But how about the Kurt Russell classic characters?

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EFNY01_coverB   EFNY01_coverD

That’s right.  The character made famous by Kurt Russell in John Carpenter’s Escape from New York and Escape from L.A. is back.  Tomorrow BOOM! Studios is releasing Escape from New York, Issue #1, a continuation of the exploits of the guy with the eye patch that everyone wants dead.

Written by Christopher Sebela (Ghost, Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone) with artwork by Diego Barreto (Irredeemable, Robin), Plissken is Public Enemy Number One.  He’s a survivor in a post-apocalyptic ride that finds Plissken in a 1980s-inspired action world parallel to Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

Keep an eye out for a slew of extra variant covers for this issue.

EFNY01_coverC   EFNY01_coverA

After the break, check out a preview of Issue #1, courtesy of BOOM! Studios:

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Escape from New York cover D

Back in July, BOOM! Studios announced that Snake Plissken would be back.  One of John Carpenter’s best, the 1981 sci-fi flick Escape from New York went on to have a rather bleh sequel with 1996’s Escape from L.A.  BOOM! is returning to the classic we all love with its continuing story of the action anti-hero with the eye patch in its new Escape from New York series.

Writer Christopher Sebela (Ghost, Alien vs. Predator) and artist Diego Barreto (Planet of the Apes, Irredeemable) along with cover artists Declan Shalvey, Jay Shaw, and Alice X. Shang will be telling the new tales of this loner in a future Earth’s World War III.

Escape from New York cover A Escape from New York cover C

Following on the heels of its first John Carpenter-Kurt Russell team-up monthly ‘zine, BOOM! Studio’s successful Big Trouble in Little China series, Escape from New York should satisfy our desire for more stories from the John Carpenter ‘verse.

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Hateful Eight trailer

We’ll have plenty of reasons to see The Hateful Eight next year.  Quentin Tarantino has a measured pace releasing his movies and you never know whether the next film will really be his last.  He’s filmed this Western in 70 mm Panavision so it should play well on the big screen.  He’s hired Ennio Morricone, composer of the scores for A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, for the ultimate throwback feel.

We get to see one of our favorite genre actors–Kurt Russell–in yet another tough-guy role.  We’ll hopefully add John “The Hangman” Ruth to the likes of Jack Burton and Snake Plissken.  Jennifer Jason Leigh provides a rare appearance–the actress who rarely gets leading roles and is said to have turned down many a role to be made famous by others.  And then we have the next Samuel L. Jackson performance, which we always can bank on.

Hateful Eight comic-Con SDCC 2015 poster Tarentino

This has neither the look of the classic Western nor the modern Western like Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.  This is equal parts 1960s spaghetti Western and something very modern.

Check out the first preview released for The Hateful Eight: 

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Big Game president capsule lifepod

The President of the United States is forced to jettison from Air Force One when it is under attack.  An unlikely hero comes to his rescue.

Sound familiar?

It’s actually not a remake of Escape from New York, but you couldn’t find a film that pulled a plot so clearly from another.  But don’t expect to see star Samuel L. Jackson don his Nick Fury eye patch to play Snake Plissken.

Big Game theatrical poster

Samuel L. Jackson is starring as the American President in Big Game, a new film coming this year to U.S. theaters from Finnish director Jalmari Helander.  Unlike Jackson’s doomed from the get-go man on a plane action vehicle Snakes on a Plane, this movie actually looks like it could be fun.  Take a look for yourself below, after the break.  The movie arrives in theaters in Finland next month, but does not yet have a U.S. release date.

Jackson’s President is shot down and he climbs into an on-board escape lifepod just as Donald Pleasance’s President did in John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic.  But the replacement for Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken is no tough-as-nails ex-war hero turned criminal.  It’s young actor Onni Tommila, who plays a young teen in the European wilderness fulfilling his own coming-of-age ritual journey in search of a trophy to take back to his people, to prove his readiness to become a man.  And he’s had no reason to know or care about the President of the United States.

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BOOM_DawnPOTA_003_A_Main    BOOM_Cluster_001_A_Main

With the dozens of new titles from all the comic book publishers being released Wednesday, we thought we’d hone in on a few with the independent publishers you might miss.  The first new Legenderry title featuring Vampirella is out tomorrow from Dynamite, as is a new Jungle Jim series and sci-fi series called Cluster.  From the classic genre film world, BOOM! Studios is releasing new issues of Escape from New York and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. 

Legenderry: Vampirella Issue #1 is packed full of great steampunk elements.  It’s the first of three new series spinning out of the world created by Bill Willingham.  King: Jungle Jim Issue #1 brings Flash Gordon creator Alex Raymond’s series to a modern audience.  Great characters and artwork have the classic feel of Raymond’s original stories.  BOOM! Studio’s new Cluster series is an interesting sci-fi story giving prisoners a chance to get out of life sentences if they’re willing to work in a futuristic military service.

KingJim01-Cov-A-CookeCol    LegenderryVampi01-Cov-A-Benitez

Escape from New York, Issue #3 continues the BOOM! Studios adaptation of the further adventures of Snake Plissken.  And Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Issue #3, also from BOOM!, follows the exploits of the apes from the successful reboot movie series.

Check out all the previews, after the break:

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Lost Themes cd Carpenter

Forty seconds into “Vortex,” the opening track on John Carpenter’s new album Lost Themes, and you’re already caught up in a 1980s thriller.  You don’t know for certain who is doing the chasing and who is being chased, but you get the feeling you are the one running.  Are you Roddy Piper in They Live?  Stevie Wayne in The Fog?  Jack Crow in Vampires?

Carpenter, known for composing 16 of the soundtracks for major films he directed, has released his first solo album, on the Sacred Bones Records label, full of tracks that could be scores for future–or lost–films, films only Carpenter could make.

You’re dropped into what could only be the aftermath of Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness with the second track, “Obsidian.”  There, behind the old tenement.  Jameson Parker’s Brian Marsh awakens from a dream in the alley.  His girlfriend is back and this time she made her way through the portal of green goo into our time.  Again, it’s time to run.  And then there’s a shift.  In fact, in 8 minutes an entire story plays out.  Carpenter’s trademark pulsating synthesizer rampage and unapologetic steely trumpet solo is cheering on our hero in an honest to goodness rock ‘n’ roll hero anthem.

Prince of Darkness clip

We get some relief in “Fallen.”  Maybe Karen Allen’s Jenny Hayden is helping our lost friend as he returns from afar in a lost soundtrack to Starman?  Maybe it’s the return of The Thing or the theme of the ice cream man in Assault on Precinct 13.  Whichever, Carpenter knows the soundtrack of someone strange amongst us.  Think classic 1950s sci-fi meets the 1980s.

Halloween screencap

You can’t help but get that hollow feeling at the opening of the next track, “Domain.”  Uncertainty?  Maybe.  But it’s a trick, juxtaposed against something.  Someone hopeful, someone optimistic leads the way this time, almost in a Sam Jones Flash Gordon sci-fi/fantasy montage, replacing Eddie Mercury with our eminent director composer.  The themes here are new for Carpenter, no Snake Plissken, no Jack Burton.  This is an entirely new sound and perhaps the unmade movie he makes us want to see the most.

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Alien retro action figures

It’s time to pull your vintage Kenner Star Wars and Indiana Jones figures and spaceships out of the closet.  Remember wanting to pit your vintage Boba Fett action figure against the alien from the movie Alien, but there was no Alien figure out there of the correct scale?  Did you ever want to set Han Solo and Firefly’s Mal on a mission to the Outer Rim in the Millennium Falcon? Have you ever considered teaming up Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Bill and Ted to take on Ahnold’s Terminator?  Or stage the ultimate face-off between Snake Plissken and the alien from Predator?  Funko toy company is going to make your dreams come true.

ReAction logos

With the December 2013 release of a retro 3 ¾-inch line of action figures with 5 points of articulation from the movie Alien, Funko is beginning a series of more than a dozen licensed properties that will get the vintage Kenner-style, retro action figure treatment under a vintage Kenner font “ReAction” brand.  Based on drawings and prototypes of a halted 1979 line of Alien movie action figures intended to add to the Star Wars action figure toy market, Funko is releasing its first line of five Alien action figures to whet collectors’ appetites.

ReAction Retro Alien figures series

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