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Category >> hooray for Hollywood

Adele tops French BO, Variety Mixed But Encouraging
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under Jacques Tardihooray for Hollywood 22 Apr 2010 3:29 PM

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec movie poster

Luc Besson's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, adapting the earlier volumes of Jacques Tardi's graphic novel series, opened last week at a solid #1 at the office in France (handily beating the only other major opening, the Matt Damon Iraq flick Green Zone), to generally positive reviews. There was general praise for the lead performance by Louise Bourgoin (although some reviewers familiar with the original comics lamented the "sweetening" of Tardi's cranky original), the special effects, and the fun-ride aspect of the movie, less enthusiasm for some of the broader farcical aspects, and a general consensus that the Paris-based sequences worked better than the Spielberg-ish Egypt-based ones.

Given the last few Besson movies, the reaction boiled down to "Whew! Better than we expected!"

Not many domestic reviews yet, except for the inevitable Variety. We can't link to it as this review is subscribers-only, but here are some excerpts:

"Take Indiana Jones and replace him with a knockout redhead, a slew of CGI and a somewhat bloated storyline, and you'll get an inkling of what lies behind Luc Besson's costumer/creature feature, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec....most notable for newcomer Louise Bourgoin's captivating perf as a fearless, wisecracking heroine who — this being France — drinks, smokes and plays in the buff."

And, what we were waiting for: "Massive local rollout delivered a strong opening, and should venture beyond Francophone markets." Yes indeed!

They go on: "With handsome production values, polished visual effects and eye-popping locations (shot by Besson regular Thierry Arbogast) that include icons like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, pic smoothly blends state-of-the-art CGI with a story set in pre-WWI France."

Cine-nerd note: Arbogast shot pretty much all of Besson's movies (think the glory days of Leon/The Professional and The Fifth Element), as well as the late-career Brian De Palma masterpiece Femme Fatale, Emir Kusturica's wacky Black Cat, White Cat, the absurd but compellingly watchable Penélope Cruz/Salma Hayek megacleavage western Bandidas (admit it, didn't that description tempt you to add it to your Netflix queue?), and, uh, cough, the Halle Berry Catwoman.

Variety also cites Gilles Lellouche's performance as the hapless Inspector Caponi as "amusing" and notes that Mathieu Almaric (the villain from Quantum of Solace) is "practically unrecognizable with pasty makeup and buck teeth."

And boy, they just can't get enough of Mademoiselle Bourgoin:

"...what frankly saves pic from its convoluted plot and boilerplate villains is Adele herself, thanks in no small part to the all-consuming performance of Bourgoin (who made a noteworthy debut in Anne Fontaine's 2006 The Girl from Monaco). Delivering lines with screwball timing, while sporting an assortment of disguises like a sexed-up Lon Chaney, she dominates practically every scene and makes us regret the ones without her."

No U.S. distributor or release date yet, but I'd be awfully surprised if it hasn't been grabbed by the time Cannes finishes up late next month.

Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adele Blanc-Sec opens next week...
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Jacques Tardihooray for Hollywood 8 Apr 2010 4:37 PM

...in France, with the world premiere in Brussells tomorrow. Still no announcement of U.S. distribution for Luc Besson's adaptation of Jacques Tardi's ADELE BLANC-SEC (we're still hoping it will open here when we debut the first volume of our new translation of the original comics at Comic-Con), but here's the final trailer, with lots and lots of new footage:

Exciting!

Daily OCD: 3/23/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPopeyeMiss Lasko-GrossMatt ThornmangaLove and RocketsJules FeifferJaime HernandezJacques Tardihooray for HollywoodDaily OCDCarol TylerBest of 2009 23 Mar 2010 3:19 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man

A Mess of Everything

List: Booklist's Ray Olson names the Top 10 Graphic Novels of the past 12 months, including You'll Never Know, Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler ("Alt-comics veteran Tyler fully demonstrates her artistry in a book about her father’s WWII experiences, her childhood and present struggles raising her daughter, and her growing realization of war’s long-term effects on soldiers and their families.") and A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("With washed and faded and wildly varied artwork and writing that sounds utterly like a teen’s voice, Lasko-Gross makes high-schooler Melissa’s late-teen experience real enough to nip incipient nostalgia in the bud.")

Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 4): Penny Century  [Pre-Order]

Review: "This charming collection of stories from the long-running and much acclaimed Love and Rockets explores friendship and romance through the interconnected experiences of several characters over many years. ... What's impressive about Hernandez's work isn't so much each story on its own as it is how all the pieces fit together into a whole world that's almost but not quite like our own. ... Hernandez's gorgeous art is both expressive and simple... It all comes together to construct a world and people easy to relate to." – Publishers Weekly

It Was the War of the Trenches [Pre-Order]

Review: "Tardi's work which is distinguished by an unstinting attention to locale and detail, captures the true horror of war in a way that no other artist has been quite able to achieve. ... [It Was the War of the Trenches] is the story of man against the system, with the system as the ultimate winner. This is a story for our times." – Peter Richardson (via ¡Journalista!)

Explainers: The Complete Village Voice Strips (1956-66) [2nd  Ed.]

Profile: Benjamin Ivry of Forward looks at the career of Jules Feiffer, who says "From my earliest cartoons, I’ve tried to work in front of audiences who may not be happy with what I’m saying. In the then left-wing Village Voice, I criticized the student left and they weren’t happy. I don’t find it fun to work before audiences who would agree with me; I prefer to challenge their preconceptions. My role is to push and prod and challenge, and I try to do it pleasantly rather than otherwise."

Interview: Big Think presents a multi-part video interview with Jules Feiffer

A Drunken Dream and Other Stories - Moto Hagio

Interview: Robot 6's Chris Mautner talks to Matt Thorn about editing our upcoming manga line: "My goal is to make a line that will appeal to the twenty-something Sailor Moon/Pokémon generation that feel they've outgrown the bulk of what is currently available, and that will also appeal to intelligent grown-ups who just enjoy a good read, but have never seen themselves as readers of manga, or even comics. I'd like to provide these people with smart, high-quality, accessible manga."

Popeye Vol. 1:

Hooray for Hollywood: That Popeye movie is going to be in 3D, will not co-star Supergirl

Black Hole short film redux
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videohooray for HollywoodCharles Burns 18 Mar 2010 4:59 PM

Black Hole titles

This 2007 short film adaptation of Charles Burns's Black Hole by director Rupert Sanders seems to be making the rounds again. I can't locate any info out there as to why or how this was made, but it's worth a second look.

Still more ADELE BLANC-SEC! (Behind-the-Scenes Video)
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under videoJacques Tardihooray for HollywoodComing Attractions 17 Mar 2010 10:15 AM

Not sure exactly what the provenance of this clip is [ed. note: it's an official promotional behind-the-scenes video; Kim came across an unauthorized re-posting on YouTube, hence the mystery], but it starts off with some clever juxtapositions of ADELE BLANC-SEC panels and pages with clips from the movie version, and segues into some nifty behind-the-scenes shots, including a set visit by Jacques Tardi (you see him first at 0:48 watching as his wife Dominique Grange chats with Adele).

I can report that I have finished the translation of ADELE BLANC-SEC VOLUME 1 (which comprises the first two books in the series) and am just waiting to get the digital files from the publisher so we can start lettering. Sell your copies of the NBM version on eBay and reserve your copy at San Diego Comic-Con now!

New Adele Blanc-Sec movie trailer
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoJacques Tardihooray for HollywoodComing Attractions 12 Mar 2010 11:38 PM

Here's the new trailer for Luc Besson's movie adaptation of Jacques Tardi's Les Aventures Extraordinaires d'Adele Blanc-Sec (hat tip to Boing Boing). Man that looks like a fun movie. As we've teased a bit in the past, our new translated editions of the Adele stories start coming out later this year. No U.S. release for the film has been announced yet, unfortunately.

Things to see: 3/8/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zippy the PinheadTom KaczynskiThings to seeSteve DitkoSergio PonchioneRobert GoodinRichard SalaRenee FrenchMichael KuppermanMark KalesnikoJordan CraneJohnny RyanJohn HankiewiczJim Florahooray for HollywoodHans RickheitGabrielle BellFrank SantorofashionDerek Van GiesonDame DarcyBill Griffith 8 Mar 2010 6:17 PM

I might have to start posting these art-blog roundups on the weekends too... these Monday updates are outa control...

Zippy the Pinhead - the Movie

• Airbrushed Zippy the Pinhead art (artist unknown)! Posting this on Facebook, Bill Griffith says "This is the 2-page spread ad for the 'Zippy Movie' from Variety magazine, 3/29/90. The ad was taken out by the Aspen Film Society (at that time they were the producers of the movie) in hopes of attracting a studio/distributor. Are we in turnaround yet?" More about it (and the likewise never-to-be Zippy TV show series) here

Galactic Breakdown - Johnny Ryan

• Check out all the artwork from the Covered art show here on the Secret Headquarters Flickr page — I'm pretty sure I haven't featured this Johnny Ryan piece on Flog before — and organizer/curator Robert Goodin has a report and photos from the opening on his blog

Oscar - Michael Kupperman

Michael Kupperman awards the Oscar for best Oscar

sketchbook - John Hankiewicz

John Hankiewicz does Ditko , plus another sketchbook page

Penn's Best - Frank Santoro & Jon Good

• A 1994 minicomic by Frank Santoro & Jon Good

necklace - Dame Darcy

Jewelry and accessories "made from 100% genuine doll" by Dame Darcy

Peculia meets Jack the Ripper - Richard Sala

• Several new pieces by Richard Sala available at Comic Art Collective or direct via Richard's blog

Aspects of Love - Jim Flora

Detail of a mid-1990s Jim Flora illustration

Lucky - Gabrielle Bell

The conclusion of Gabrielle Bell's New York story

Woman with Freckles - Mark Kalesniko

Mark Kalesniko is really channeling Egon Schiele in this one

La Paura si chiama Poliedricus! - Sergio Ponchione

• Yowie! Sergio Ponchione presents a full-color Grotesque story from the pages of the new issue of Linus

thewlis 3 - Renee French

This one from Renee French is even creepier as the follow-up to this one

Ectopiary page 14 - Hans Rickheit

Cochlea and Eustachia - Hans Rickheit

Ectopiary page 14 and a Cochlea and Eustachia one-pager from Hans Rickheit

Abstraction House - Derek Van Gieson

More from "Tales of Abstraction House" by Derek Van Gieson

structure - Tom Kaczynski

• Three more structures by Tom Kaczynski: "incoherent amalgamation," "basalt garden" and, above, "The Tomb of Jack Kirby"

What Things Do - Jordan Crane

• More new Jordan Crane at What Things Do

Daily OCD: 3/1/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Terry ZwigoffreviewsNewaveLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJoe SaccoJasonhooray for HollywoodDaily OCDcontestsawards 1 Mar 2010 2:00 PM

In like a lion with Online Commentary & Diversions:

Almost Silent

Review: "Thank God then for Almost Silent, a new collection repackaging some of Fanta’s older Jason books — some of which are no longer in print in their original format — as an anthology the same size, shape and design as Low Moon. ... Buy it to read the stories, keep it to restore order and balance to your bookshelf." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

Newave!  The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

Review: Avoid the Future collects and expands on their first 10 Twitter micro-reviews of Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s: "More than just a collection of mini-comics, the book features interviews and insightful commentary from some of the creators as well as the lovingly-reproduced source material."

Love and Rockets #1  (Unpublished)

Opinion: Comic Book Galaxy's Marc Sobel makes a case for reading Love and Rockets in the original comic-book format

Palestine: The Special Edition

Contest: "Beaucoup" Kevin Church is giving away a copy of Joe Sacco's Palestine: The Special Edition to one randomly-selected winner

Art School Confidential

Award: Congratulations to Crumb, Ghost World and Art School Confidential director Terry Zwigoff for being awarded the Maverick Spirit Award at Cinequest 20 (why it's reported by an automotive news website I have no idea; via Bleeding Cool)

Teasers.
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under Jacques Tardihooray for HollywoodComing Attractions 14 Jan 2010 7:37 AM

The Luc Besson adaptation of Jacques Tardi's ADELE BLANC-SEC movie, due this Spring, now has a teaser trailer which can be seen here:

No shots of Adele herself yet, but the bearded fellow in the final scene is Armand Fallières, whose name Jeopardy! champions (paging Ken Jennings!) will shout out, preceded with "Who is...?" — if the clue is "President of France from 1906-1913." Encouragingly, the scene is taken straight from the book. Will this be a movie adaptation of a classic comic that remains totally faithful to the original, without COUGH*Watchmen*COUGH embalming it?

I'm sure everyone is now thinking, "Gee, with that ADELE movie coming out, wouldn't this be a great time to re-release those ADELE books that Dark Horse and NBM released the first few volumes of back in the last century, although preferably with spiffed-up lettering and a brilliant new translation, in time to enjoy some of that movie P.R.?"

Why, it sure would.

Dash Shaw Sundance Institute announcement update
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under hooray for HollywoodDash Shaw 14 Dec 2009 3:20 PM

Slobs and Nags model sheet

On his blog, Dash Shaw provides more information about and some preliminary artwork from Slobs and Nags, the film that he has been selected to attend the January Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab to develop (first announcement here; additional coverage from /Film): the film will be produced by Howard Gertler and John Cameron Mitchell, and the project reunites Dash with the creative team behind The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. with the addition of Frank Santoro. To quote Dash: "Yay!"