“Twilight” actress, Ashley Greene stars in this cover shoot for the December issue of GQ UK, lensed by Benny Horne. Styled by Zanna Roberts Rassi with looks from Michael Kors, Lanvin and Dolce & Gabbana.
Deadman is another comic with a cool story that I think would make a good movie if done right. Excuse the resemblance to Daredevil. Here’s the Comicvine origin.
The Deadman, born Boston Brand, was a well known trapeze artist who was killed by newly joined member of the League of Assassins, The Hook. (It wasn’t personal, the mission was only for initiation purposes.) For the many kindnesses that Brand had performed during his life, Deadman was saved and given his powers by Hindu goddess of balance, Rama Kushna, so that he should find his killer and settle the score.
He began to hunt for his assassin, knowing only that the man had a hook for a hand. When Deadman learned that a villain called the Hook was a member of the League Of Assassins, he was certain it was the same man who killed him. Along the way of his journey, Brand continued to interact in peoples lives, doing good deeds in his own way. One of the people was another aerialist known as the Eagle. They would first meet in St. Louis where the Eagle tried to kill him during a performance while in the air. Boston Brand as Deadman would see justice done as the Deadman when the Eagle was hired to replace him.
Deadman eventually tracked down the Hook, only to watch him die at the hands of the Sensei, leader of League of Assassins. Then with his brother Cleveland and new friend Batman, Deadman then prevented the League of Assassins taking control of the fabled Himalayan land of Nanda Parbat. Deadman was subsequently called upon to do the duties expected of spirits, such as him, greeting those entering the Land of the Just Dead. In this role Deadman guided the Phantom Stranger, the Spectre, Etrigan the Demon, and Swamp Thing in order to rescue the spirit of Abby Arcane after she was murdered by her uncle.
Deadman has teamed up with other spectral heroes, joining the Phantom Stranger and Swamp Thing to combat the threat of a “primordial shadow” that imperiled Heaven and Earth. When Asmodel usurped the power of the spirit of wrath, Deadman formed part of a strike force of sentinels of magic with Doctor Occult, Felix Faust, the Phantom Stranger, Ragman, Raven, and Sentinel assembled by Zatanna to oppose the fallen angel. Deadman continues to work with people on Earth, hoping one day to achieve a peaceful reward.
Powers and Abilities
As a spectre, Deadman has many supernatural abilities, most notably, the ability to possess other living creatures. The possession is strong enough to allow Deadman total control of the host body, although some particularly strong-willed persons have been shown to be able to resist the possession and exorcise Deadman from their bodies.
He possesses the ability to fly and cross the boundaries between the land of the living and that of the dead with ease, and as such, he maintains an intimate knowledge of the supernatural world.
Deadman is also invisible to most people, with the exception being those with similar supernatural abilities to his own. This, along with his intangibility, are out of Deadman’s control.
As a human, Boston Brand was an elite gymnast and trapeze performer, capable of phenomenal feats of agility and strength.-Source
By Scott Tre
In the year 2074, organized crime has become much more sophisticated. This is due in large part to the invention of time travel, which is almost instantly outlawed due to its propensity for misuse. It proves quite a handy tool for carrying out hits and disposing of corpses. Various mafias employ it too just such nefarious ends. Intended targets are sent 30 years into the past, where a hitman known as a looper lies in wait. The looper than takes out the target and gets rid of the body. The loopers ask no questions, they simply follow orders and are paid handsomely in return.
Eventually, the day comes when each looper is expected to kill their future selves, thus “closing the loop.” One such looper is Joseph “Joe” Simmons (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). However, when the time comes to close his own loop, Joe hesitates, along his 55 year-old self (Bruce Willis) to escape. This not only voids Joe’s contract with the crime syndicate, but makes him a marked man. He hopes to save face by tracking down his older self, but this proves much easier said than done.
Looper is the third feature film from writer/director Rian Johnson. It’s a sci-fi actioner that involves the concept of time travel. That puts it squarely in the same genre as films such as The Terminator or 12 Monkeys. Though it shares some obvious similarities with those films, Looper is very much its own animal. It not only contemplates plot intricacies and paradoxes, but how such things affect the characters on a human level.
Looper takes place in a future world, but much of the production design suggests the American Old West. The story takes place in Kansas City, which has a suitably futuristic skyline. Take a closer look, and the details begin to emerge. The Mecca rests in the middle of a veritable no man’s land, like a frontier town hidden in the desert. Those who higher on the economic food chain can afford hover bikes that look like steampunk choppers. Professional criminals carry large, powerful six-shooters like cowboys. The loopers themselves carry a futuristic variation of the old blunderbuss flintlocks. This retro fantasy world is the kind of future that George Lucas has always championed. It looks and feels used.
As with any western, the plot of Looper facilitates an inevitable showdown between a good guy and a bad guy. The twist here is that both the antagonist and protagonist is actually the same person. The hero is fighting himself in the literal sense. That little conceit opens up a number of tantalizing possibilities that Looper is only too glad to explore. That kind of thematic brevity is a big part of its appeal, yet the film also has a sense of restraint. It leaves enough to the imagination to keep truly thoughtful viewers engaged.
The central conflict is allowed to evolve as the narrative progresses, as are the characters themselves. Unlike so many other films of its type, Looper isn’t just empty spectacle. The characters are allowed to have actual arcs that go beyond mere plot resolution. They are morally complex, occupying different ends of the moral spectrum at different times in the narrative. Even their most deplorable actions can be understood if not condoned. No matter how complex the plot or elaborate the set pieces, Looper never forgets what it’s actually about, and that is a blessing.
One of the many joys of the screenplay is how Rian Johnson subverts the tropes of various genres. Looper is equal parts time travel yarn, western, and superhero movie. Those hidden identities gradually, and are handled in a number of unusual ways.
The cast is simply great. Bruce Willis looks less like the scrappy action hero of his younger days, and more like a grizzled shell of his former self. He’s tougher, more world weary. His appearance, coupled with the story’s context, gives his screen persona added weight this time out. Levitt, with the help of some very subtle makeup, looks like the younger Bruce Willis that might’ve existed in some alternate reality. He successfully mimics the mannerisms of his costar, yet his performance is much more than an impersonation. Both versions of Joe seem like the same person, but at very different points in life. Child actor Pierce Gagnon is not the usual precocious type. As Sid, He turns in a performance so creepy and effective that he often seems like a grown man in a child’s body. As Sara, Emily Blunt is a more complex version of Sarah Conner as depicted in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Looper is a masterpiece, bar none. It represents a new level of sophistication for a sub-genre that already has its fair share of notable classics. It’s everything that the best kinds of blockbusters should be, straddling the line between pulpy fun and thought provoking art. It doesn’t achieve that feat through gimmickry, but through great writing, acting, and direction. I doubt that a better time travel flick will emerge for quite some time.
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By Scott Tre
In the not too distant future, the United States of America has been ravaged by nuclear war. A vast megalopolis known as Mega-City One now encompasses the entire east coast. Due to its immense size and population density, the massive city-stat is a veritable cesspool of crime. Instead of sitting on bench with a gavel, Judges are given heavy artillery and charged with policing city streets. The most notorious of these is Judge Joseph Dredd (Karl Urban), as relentless a lawman as has ever existed.
One day, Dredd is partnered with a young rookie named Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby). The two respond to a call in Peach Trees, a giant slum contained in a single 200 story high-rise. In the upper reaches of the building, a vicious gang lord named Ma-Ma Lena Headley) commands an ever expanding drug ring that distributes a narcotic known as “Slo-Mo.” She locks down Peach Trees and places a bounty on the heads of the judges. Suddenly, both Dredd and Anderson are in the fight of their lives.
Dredd is an adaptation of the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd. It is the second such attempt to bring that property to the screen, the first being the execrable Stallone vehicle Judge Dredd. Thankfully, Dredd has no connection whatsoever to that debacle other than the source material itself. It takes a different approach to the material, offering something grittier and more stripped-down. It manages to be better and more entertaining than expected, though nonetheless routine.
If the 1995 version of Judge Dredd had two saving graces: The production and costume design. Mega-City One looked like Mega-City One, and the judges looked like judges. Dredd is no slouch in this department either, though the budgetary constraints are visible. The scope is much smaller, as the bulk of the action is confined to a single location. Mega-City One looks similar like any other modern city aside from the expected architectural exaggerations. Skyscrapers stand unrealistically tall. The aesthetic is also a bit grungier. Much of the activity inside Peach Trees takes place underneath minimal lighting, but it is still discernible.
In terms of plot and setting, Dredd bares some striking similarities to The Raid: Redemption. However, quite unlike The Raid, Dredd does not seek to raise the bar for action choreography. Good guys and bad guys alike wield some really cool hardware, but the execution is fairly standard. The slow motion photography echoes the “Bullet-time” technique popularized by The Matrix, though a bit more stylized. There’s not a stitch of martial arts-style fisticuffs to be found. What the film lacks in fancy pugilism, it makes up for in brutality. As gruesome as some of the bloodletting is, it never quiet reaches the “survival horror” grandeur of The Raid, but it still works.
The original Robocop took more than a bit of inspiration from the Judge Dredd comic strip, particularly it’s ultra-violent and satirical tone. Dredd is more than a bit reminiscent of Robocop. It’s surprising, then, that the satirical elements of both properties somehow got lost in the mix. There are the requisite jokes and puns peppered throughout the dialogue, but that’s about it. There’s nothing in the way of actual commentary, despite there being ample opportunities around every corner. That missing element could have added a few much needed layers to this film. From a story perspective, Dredd often feels very episodic. It plays like the pilot for a futuristic cop show. This is in keeping with the adventure serial format of the weekly strip, but it also makes the film feel a bit trite.
Karl Urban is a good a Judge Dredd as one can hope for. He’s one note and strictly business. His mouth and chin remain in a furrowed sneer throughout the entire film, and his eyes remain hidden by the helmet. Just as in the strip, the audience never really gets to “know” him. He represents the ideals of the system he serves, nothing more. Olivia Thirlby does a lot with the bare bones of a character she’s given. Her compassion contrasts well with Dredd’s merciless nature, yet she never seems less than capable in a firefight. The character of Ma-Ma is perhaps the only real let down. Her ruthlessness is treated casually. She’s merely a figurehead.
Dredd is very much like its main character: stoic, unflinching, and all about the job at hand. Its focus is narrow, and it’s single-minded in its purpose. Had it aimed just a bit higher, such qualities would play more as strengths than limitations. Missed opportunities aside, the film mostly fulfills its agenda, which is more than can be said for many of the blockbusters released so far this year.
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