Most of you regular “Knuckleheads” have read many of my past columns where I’ve asked where have the manly actor types in Hollywood gone. The guys that fell into that category were guys like Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, John Wayne, James Corburn, Robert Mitchum, and so on. Yes, I know those guys are all dead, but what has Hollywood done to build on that base and let it continue to grow? That’s a lost audience and more important to them, lost revenue.
You’ve heard me mention that Hollywood, like current comic books, doesn’t realize who their audience really is or the amount of untapped consumers that they are missing. So much of it is spent on the quick fix and gimmick. It’s fine to have a gimmick or two now and then, but only if you have a long haul plan and a solid foundation to always keep the house of ideas standing.
When it comes entertainment I enjoy both sides of the table. I love the marketing/business side as much as I love the creative end. I’m one of the trained and lucky few that has a long career in both. I wish there was a better way to get the two to better understand each other and work together. That was part of my frustration 10 years ago when I was at Image Comics. We had a group of very creative people and the deep pockets to be one of the biggest muscles in entertainment, not just comic books, but the lack of team work and on going personal agendas kept that from happening. It was a great job; it was a frustrating job. Like really good beer it just got pissed away.
Sometimes in entertainment it’s up to the individual to make that change themselves with their career. I admire someone that will take the risks and do what needs to be done to make their career grow.
That brings us to the actor Paul Walker. Most of you know him from the movies and early TV work he’s done. From Highway To Heaven and Charles In Charge to his recent films of Running Scared and Eight Below. His greatest fame has come from the teen movies The Fast And The Furious and it’s sequel. Except for Vin Disel, both films are flashy and filled with pretty young people. That was the target audience. Not a bad thing, but Hollywood seems to think that only young people go to the movies. I feel they believe that the only time they get older people (35 and up) is when they produce animated/computer movies and the parents take the kids.
I know that they are missing out on a huge adult audience. One of the reasons there has been a box office slump is because there are few entertaining movies made for the 35 and older group.
Back to Paul Walker. I think he is trying to make his move to the next career level. He’s 32, has a kid in real life and knows that he can’t, or shouldn’t continue to make teen movies. He doesn’t wanna end up like the popular guy in high school that graduated, got older and then ended up continuing to hang out at Dairy Queen trying to keep the fires of his youth stoked instead of becoming a man and moving up.
Walker’s last two films are steps into the direction of moving up. The Disney film he made Eight Below was a great all ages family film where he played a adult of his own age that appealed to young and old. It was a great move because it exposed him to all ages?little kids, teens, tweens and adults. That way all viewers know of him and have had the chance to see him.
Next was Running Scared. Truly an adult movie meant for adults. Violent, powerful and sometimes perverse. By doing that and Eight Below back to back it showed that there is not a certain label as an actor you can shove him in. He’s trying. He is not satisfied with just riding out the teen movies and pretty boy roles until they peter out and he either ends up on Celebrity Fit Club or waiting for a 70 year old Tarantino to cast him in Pulp Fiction 4.
Walker’s next movie is yet another correct step forward. The Death And Life Of Bobby Z. Back in 1997, I read the novel of the same name by Don Winslow. It has always been one of my favorite crime novels. It’s violent, funny and can even be touching in parts. There are enough quirky characters to satisfy my lust for interesting people and the dialogue lean and witty without saying “watch me!” like a five year old kid at the McDonald’s playground.
The Death And Life Of Bobby Z; here’s a thriller with everything going for it–a great plot gimmick, excellent action and sex scenes, beautifully-realized characters on every level, and a crisp, pungent, in-your-face writing style that rarely stops to let you catch your breath. Nobody has actually seen the legendary Laguna Beach surfer-turned-drug dealer Bobby Zacharias for years, so a nasty federal agent thinks he has a chance of passing off a lookalike in a hostage switch with a Mexican drug lord. Bobby Z’s double, a career screw-up / former marine named Tim Kearney, takes the deal because it means a chance to get out of prison–where the Hell’s Angels want to terminate him for killing one of their beloved members with a license plate. But when the switch backfires, everyone in the world is after the fake Bobby Z–who takes off with the 6-year-old son of the real Bobby on a cinematic, fully satisfying run for their lives.
The movie pretty much sticks to the novel and should be released pretty soon. It has a wonderful cast: Laurence Fishburne, Rebecca Chaney (great babe, and can do the action), Keith Carradine, M.C. Gainey and the always great Joaquim de Almeida. Director John Herzfeld is a huge fan of UFC fighting and has also signed on many of the UFC fighters like Tim Silvia and Chuck Liddell for the parts in the movie. You can count on the fight scenes to involve some real life fighting moves.
There is what I would call an unofficial trailer up here. It’s just clips and not what I’d call a real trailer. Choppy and all, but you’ll get the idea. The novel was filled with some manly humor in both actions and dialogue. I’m hoping that the film hauls this along.
This film could do for Walker what Die Hard did for Bruce Willis? put him on the map for all ages. He is already known with the younger crowd, this could tip him over for the adults. If not, his latest film will seal the deal. Right now he is in post-production on Flags Of Our Fathers the film about the life stories of the six men that raised the flag at the battle of Iwo Jima during WWII directed by Clint Eastwood.
It’ll be interesting to track this guy’s career and movements to see if he can pull lit off. Maybe it’ll be a turning point for other young actors and for Hollywood.
The Results of The War On Terror And Crime-Cobb: Off The Leash #3
Are you tired of what terrorists have done and what they’re plotting to do next?
Are you tired of crime on every street corner you walk on?
Are you tired of comic book heroes that think the best way to defeat a bad guy is to talk him into submission?
Are you tired of wondering why Captain America or Superman hasn’t gone after Al Qaeda yet?
If so then your frustrations will all end this Wednesday when Cobb: Off The Leash #3 hits the shelves wherever manly comics are sold worldwide. The wrap up of this full-throttle testosterone ride will be coming to a bone-crushing end this week as you learn the fate of Frank Cobb and his friends. It’s wall-to-wall action; dark humor and dialogue that makes you wish you’d said it. (No ego here, eh?)
Me, Eduardo Barreto and all the folks at IDW Publishing hope you enjoy what reviewers are calling “the ultimate action movie put to print”. There are also a couple of pages of extra features with this final issue. I think you might just enjoy them. Remember there are two covers to this issue, both done by Eduardo Barreto. One is the regular direct market issue and the other is the “retailer incentive” cover. I think the ratio is 1:15
I look forward to your thoughts on issue #3 and the whole series in general. I’m always around so send those comments to me. Don’t forget to ask for it at your local comic shop and it wouldn’t hurt to email IDW and let em’ know you want more Cobb. Their website is http://www.idwpublishing.com.
Cobb goes where no other comic book hero is man enough to go?After the bad guys!
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
She’s blonde, leggy and has a classic face that would be right during any era of Hollywood. That’s Kelly Carlson. She one of the very quick rising stars in films right now. You’ve seen her on TV and in films such as CSI, 3000 Miles To Graceland, Starship Troopers 2, Nip / Tuck and she is starring new action packed manly movie The Marine with WWE star, John Cena. She’s smart, sexy and is destined to play the strong kinda roles Barbara Stanwyck played in films in the 40s. Watch her? you know I will.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week
DC Comics 1967
Okay, THIS is the real Aquaman. THIS is the real Arthur Curry. Not that longhaired, sword-handed (or whatever it’s made of this week) toga party boy that you’ve seen in the last couple of decades. This is the manly, don’t piss in my ocean Aquaman. As you can see on this great Nick Cardy cover, Aquaman is not satisfied with whuppin’ the soggy ass of one bad guy?Nope! He’s bustin’ the heads of two morons of the sea. He’s big, he’s tough and with one punch he’ll have you seeing starfish. In my manly opinion Nick Cardy has always drawn the best testosterone filled Aquaman. Y’all keep counting the days until I’m writing Aquaman. The tide will turn then,amigo.
Another week of summer has passed by. Kids are on their way back or already in school. I remember the last week before school started was always one of my least favorite weeks as a kid. Now days I wouldn’t mind having one of those weeks back. Football season has started and soon we’ll all be enjoying those nice fall days. We’ll go from mowing grass to raking leaves? to shoveling snow? what happened to the fun?
Before summer fades into another memory have a cold one on me and kick your feet up for a little bit. Remember that we’re all here for a limited time and annoying people never seem to go away. So enjoy yourself and relax when you can.
I have one question before I ride off into the sunset.
Has anyone heard anything about a DVD boxed set release of the great 60s spy show The Man From U.N.C.L.E?
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