Don’t panic…

To all you thirty-somethings worrying about how you wasted your twenties and what you’ll do to make up for it before you’re forty, know that there’s still time to live your life, and take some courage from these sage words of Carrie Bradshaw:

“Enjoy yourself . . . That’s what your twenties are for. Your thirties are to learn the lessons. Your forties are to pay for the drinks.”

– From the film Sex and the City, 2008

The 25 Most Influential People in Comic Book Movies: #14 Mark Steven Johnson

Mark Steven JohnsonSome may call him a pioneer of dark and gritty comic book films. Others might say he’s the worst friend Marvel Studios could have. Either way, Mark Steven Johnson has certainly made his mark on Hollywood.  In 2003 he directed and co-wrote the screenplay for Daredevil, based on the eponymous Marvel character.  Interestingly, Johnson appeared in Kevin Smith’s 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back pretending to direct a Daredevil movie.  A few years later, he was actually hired by Twentieth Century Fox to direct Daredevil. Smith wrote several issues of Daredevil comics for Marvel in 1999 and had a cameo role in Johnson’s Daredevil. Ben Affleck, who starred in Daredevil, co-starred in Jay and Silent Bob.  These fateful coincidences notwithstanding, the film opened to mixed reviews.  In 2005, Johnson was the executive producer for the spinoff film Elektra (based on the Marvel character created by #7 Frank Miller), for which he also wrote an early draft script.  Reviews for this film were awful, and Rotten Tomatoes ranked it the second worst reviewed comic book movie of all time.  Did Johnson find redemption in 2007’s Ghost Rider (produced by #22 Michael De Luca with executive producer #5 David S. Goyer), which he directed and for which he wrote the screen story and screenplay?  It depends on who you ask.  It didn’t completely flop at the box office, and it got slightly better critical reviews than Elektra, but that’s not saying much. Despite these misfires, Johnson is set to direct a possible Daredevil II and co-write the screenplay for a film based on Marvel’s Luke Cage, but release dates have not yet been issued for these films. Johnson is currently involved as executive producer and writer for a television adaptation of Garth EnnisPreacher for HBO.

Influence Meter: ++++

The 25 Most Influential People in Comic Book Movies: #15 Gilbert Adler

Gilbert AdlerGilbert Adler kept the Crypt Keeper alive, as it were, owing a great deal of his accomplishment to his antecedent, the late writer/producer #24 Milton Subotsky. Where Subotsky first brought EC Comics stories to the screen with the original Tales from the Crypt in 1972, Adler continued the tradition through the 1980s and ‘90s.  Adler started by directing the Crypt Keeper sequences in HBO’s “Tales from the Crypt” television show in 1989, directing two full episodes in 1992 and 1993, and writing several episodes between ‘91 and ‘96.  During this time, he produced over 60 episodes of “Tales from the Crypt” for HBO.  In 1995, he directed Crypt Keeper sequences for the big screen in Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, which he also produced.  He soon directed, produced, and wrote the screenplay for his own feature length Crypt film Bordello of Blood in 1996.  In subsequent years he has served as the executive producer for DC/Vertigo’s Constantine (produced by #16 Lauren Shuler Donner, #8 Benjamin Melniker and #5 Michael E. Uslan) released in 2005, and as a producer of Superman Returns, also produced, directed, and co-written by #9 Bryan Singer, released in 2006.  He is reportedly set to produce the Superman sequel, Superman: Man of Steel, again with Singer, scheduled for release in June of 2009. He may also be the executive producer of the sequel to Constantine (also with Shuler Donner producing) if the film is ever actually made.

Influence Meter: ++++

The 25 Most Influential People in Comic Book Movies: #24 Milton Subotsky

Tales from the CryptIn 1972, Milton Subotsky (co-founder of Amicus Productions) became the man responsible for bringing the EC Comics tradition of pre-code horror to the big screen. He wrote and produced Tales from the Crypt, and its sequel, The Vault of Horror.  As Roger Ebert observes,

“The titles published by E. C. Publications were more dramatically drawn, scarier and unsurpassed in the department of divine retribution. Six months or a year after I discovered “Tales from the Crypt” and the other E. C. comics, they were taken off the stands during a national anti-comics frenzy. Dr. Frederick Wertham‘s “Seduction of the Innocent” charged that kiddies were becoming sadists because of horror tales, and overnight we were flooded with talking magpies. And so, alas, my career as a sadistic madman was nipped in the bud. . . . There the story might have rested, If it weren’t for Milton Subotsky, British producer of horror movies and old-time E. C. fan. Subotsky bought the movie rights for all the E. C. horror titles from their publisher, William M. Gaines, and “Tales from the Crypt” is the first film made from the material.”

Since that time, he can be indirectly credited as the inspiration for a number of sequels and spinoffs, including the HBO series “Tales from the Crypt” (directed, written, and produced by #15 Gilbert Adler) and Stephen King’s Creepshow. Milton passed away of heart disease in 1991.

Influence Meter: ++

In Treatment

Great show, on HBO.  If you can, watch it from the first episode.  The sequence is 1) Laura, 2) Alex, 3) Sophie, 4) Jake and Amy, and 5) Paul and Gina.  I think they’re scheduled up through week seven by now.

 Anyway, it’s truly amazing to see how pervasively and persistently denial runs through all of us.  Its unsettling when I find myself identifying with the characters I dislike the most on this show.

Love the One You’re With but Be All That You Can Be

 OK, the title of this post makes me want to gag.  But below is a great quote:

 “The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself, and if you find someone to love the you that you love, well then that’s just fabulous”- Carrie Bradshaw (Sex And The City).

Thanks to Kimberly’s Blog for this one.