Tag Archive: Kurt Russell


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It must be time again to analyze the importance of a good movie trailer.  A good movie trailer may not indicate a good movie is behind it, but if you can’t even create a good movie trailer from your movie footage then the movie behind it probably doesn’t stand a chance at being good.  Just take a look at all the horrible Batman v Superman movie trailers and this week’s unusually large barrage of over-exuberant advance reviews.

We now have a our first look at what could be a great disaster movie if it wasn’t about a real disaster that has nothing possibly entertaining to share–the failure of BP and the oil industry to properly see that its equipment did what it was supposed to instead of ruin the ocean, nature, and the planet.  But this trailer for Deepwater Horizon reveals–in the way only an exciting action genre movie trailer can–this movie is “inspired by the true story of real heroes”.  What?  Big explosions!  Cool!  Nail-biting tension!  Neato!  The cutesy family talking about daddy’s job feels a lot like an advertisement for… BP.  What is the story of the BP oil disaster?  Wouldn’t a movie about that story star Mark Ruffalo as a lawyer fighting to see that the BP execs get what they deserve?  A story of volunteers trying to save the fish and birds drowning in oil?  Instead we get a well-stocked action film cast with the likes of Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, and John Malkovich–a great cast–for another movie.

Without a doubt it is too early to judge a film by its trailer, but that’s not the point.  It’s up to the marketing folks at the studios to grab us and get us hooked.  This trailer misses the mark.  The solution?  Go back and try again.  Unless this is as good as it gets.

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Bone Tomahawk

Review by C.J. Bunce

Writer/director S. Craig Zahler’s 2015 film release Bone Tomahawk starts as a classic Western about life on the frontier–living at home, visiting the local saloon, working in the local Sheriff’s office.  It quickly becomes a genre-bending damsel in distress/ “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” picture and much more.  Several other genre elements are woven together to create a solid, serious drama that is equal parts suspense thriller and gritty, meaty Western that rises above most efforts to make a classic Western in the past 45 years, if you forgive it for one scene that dips into gruesome, in-your-face horror.  Put Bone Tomahawk up there with Silverado.  It’s a far better Western than even the much celebrated Unforgiven.

Bone Tomahawk follows four men as they pursue the mysterious captors of a local frontier doctor–a woman (played by Lili Simmons)–and the criminal she was operating on (played by David Arquette) and the on-hand sheriff’s deputy (played by Evan Jonigkeit).  It’s a simple story, yet it couldn’t be more unique in its execution.  In possibly Kurt Russell’s finest bit of reserved, serious acting ever on film, he plays Sheriff Hunt.  Made of the same mettle as Gary Cooper in High Noon and John Wayne in The Searchers, he is relentless in his pursuit.  Patrick Wilson is equally relentless as the husband of the missing doctor.  His leg has been wounded from a fall and so he must forge ahead limping along throughout the film as he sleuths out what is really going on.  Think of him as a mix of Gary Cooper in Sergeant York and Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window Lost’s Matthew Fox is the slick but honorable, impeccably dressed gentleman barfly, who once had a thing for the doctor, and volunteers to help find her.  The posse is rounded out by the now crotchety character actor from film and TV, Richard Jenkins.  He’s droll and provides a different flavor of humor along the way.

Bone Tomahawk movie poster

Zahler isn’t afraid to let the movie flow at its own pace, and allow the viewer to soak up the scenery, the Western tropes, the camaraderie of the team as they eat and sleep and take their horses forward through the long desert way.  It’s an 1890s Assault on Precinct 13, only like High Plains Drifter the nature of the mystery is hidden from us for so long that the anticipation warrants calling this out as a top-notch suspense thriller.  Who stole the townsfolk and are they still alive?  And what is that strange music we hear in the wind before bodies start falling?  Like The Ghost and the Darkness, you want to run away from what is out there waiting for you–this feels like a ghost story, maybe even every frontier family’s personal nightmare come to life.

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Rogue One clip

Our annual “All the Movies You’ll Want to See…” series has been one of the most viewed of all of our entries at borg.com each year.  So this year we again scoured Hollywood and its publicity machine for as many genre films coming out in 2016 as have been disclosed.  Usually we select the 24 that look like the biggest hits, but we’re going all out for 2016.  The result is a whopping 48 movies, many you’ll probably want to see in the theater or catch on video.  We bet you’ll find a bunch below you’ve never heard of.  Bookmark this now for your 2016 calendar!

Most coming out in the second half of 2016 don’t even have posters released yet, but many do.  We’ve included descriptions and key cast so you can start planning accordingly.

Star Trek Beyond clip

What do we think will be the biggest hits of the year?  How about Star Wars: Rogue One?  Or Star Trek Beyond?  You’ve heard endlessly about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but 2016 will also see Doctor Strange, Captain America: Civil War, and X-Men: Apocalypse.  There’s even a handful of Westerns, with The Hateful 8, Jane Got a Gun, and another remake of The Magnificent Seven heading our way.

01 Hateful Eight poster

The Hateful Eight – January 1

Tarentino’s Western!  Ennio Morricone score!  Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Channing Tatum!

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The 5th Wave – January 8

Chloe Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber in an alien invasion.

03 400 days poster

400 Days – January 12

The CW’s Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, and Tom Cavanaugh in a movie about astronauts that seems to be a play on Ender’s Game.

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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 Trouble in Little China Rain Thunder Lightning

Last month the CEO for Funko released a hefty list of licenses that will be getting the retro-Kenner action figure treatment this year, as reported on here and here at borg.com.  The licensed properties include the original Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Jaws, Terminator 2, Aliens, The Dark Crystal, E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, Fight Club, Gremlins, Breaking Bad, The Fifth Element, V for Vendetta, Scarface, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Big Lebowski, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The A-Team, and The Munsters, among others.

For action figure collectors, one of the most requested films for the ReAction line, especially in light of last year’s release of Escape from New York figures, was that other John Carpenter film starring Kurt Russell, the cult classic Big Trouble in Little China. 

And Funko has just released final images of the figures and packaging for six figures from the film, and what great picks!  Best of all, 85-year-old, Minnesota-born, Golden Age of TV actor James Hong finally gets his own action figure, as Lo Pan!

Big Trouble in Little China Lo Pan ReAction Funko

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Funko Reaction logo

Last week we reported on Funko CEO Brian Mariotti’s “12 Days of Christmas” daily blog posts revealing the company’s new product offerings for 2015.  This included the increasingly successful Kenner-inspired, ReAction retro action figure line, which has spread like wildfire now that the various lines are hitting the masses thanks to Barnes & Nobles carrying the products in stores.  Mariotti revealed last week that 2015 will see new action figure series for the original Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Jaws, Terminator 2, The Dark Crystal, Gremlins, Breaking Bad, and Boondock Saints.

Today Mariotti revealed the rest of the licensed properties that will be turned into carded 3 3/4 inch action figures by the end of next year.  As we had hoped, one of those properties is John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China.  But now we know of twelve others.

Big Trouble in Little China movie poster

So what are the rest?  Drumroll, please…

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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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Django Unchained trade paperback cover

He’s a unique, visionary filmmaker of his generation.  And he really likes Western comic books.

In the foreword to the graphic novel adaptation of his Academy Award winning film Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino gives credit where credit is due, and why the comic book format is squarely appropriate for a director’s cut of his screenplay–the screenplay that won him a second Oscar for a screenplay after his win for Pulp Fiction.

Vertigo Comics’ Django Unchained was originally released last year as a six-part comic book adaptation of Tarantino’s four-hour long, first draft of the screenplay, later spread out over seven issues.  It’s a long narrative and by the end of part seven you will understand why editors exist.  That said, it’s a good tool for story writers, as his opening scene, measured pacing, and character development provide a window into the creative process of this singular screenwriter.  It features an adaptation of Tarantino’s work for the medium by Reginald Hudlin and most of the interior art was rendered by Serbian artist R.M. Guéra (who also served as artist on Jason Aaron’s Scalped) providing his own Western style.  Plenty of covers are featured, too, including one of Alex Ross’s best, Django walking from the burning house, which served as the cover to the final issue.

Alex Ross Django Unchained

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THE TOMB

Tailor-made for fans of The Expendables series, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are teaming-up yet again, this time in an action movie that has the look and feel of Stallone’s earlier team-up with Kurt Russell back in 1989 in Tango & Cash.  Tango & Cash had Stallone and Russell playing two cops who get framed and must survive in jail with the criminals they put there.  In the new Summit Entertainment release Escape Plan, Stallone plays a security expert who gets framed and lands in prison where he meets up with Schwarzenegger, an inmate who helps him devise a plan to escape.  And like the earlier entries in the “prison break” genre, movies like The Rock and Escape from Alcatraz, we’re not talking any prison break, but an escape from what is supposed to be the most secure prison on Earth.

The Expendables fans might think you’re not getting your money’s worth, without any Bruce Willis or Jason Statham or Jean-Claude Van Damme or Chuck Norris in this cinema outing.  But maybe focusing on the 1980s’ most prolific action stars may give fans who are still sticking by Stallone and Schwarzenegger what they want.  Everyone else will probably skip this one anyway.  Escape Plan also features Faran Tahir (Star Trek 2009, Dallas), Sam Neill (Jurassic Park), Vincent D’Onofrio (Men in Black, Full Metal Jacket), and 50 Cent.

Check out the first trailer for Escape Plan for yourself:

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