Alan Silvestri

Captain America USO scene

Captain America was introduced to the Marvel universe in 1941 as a young man who gets injected with a super serum that changes him from a frail kid to human perfection. The idea of an ordinary person suddenly finding themselves with super powers has consistently appealed to audiences and comic book fans, but Captain America became one of Marvel’s most popular superheroes during the 1940s thanks to it’s patriotic message, something that was much needed while America was in the throes of World War II. But most notably, out of all the superheroes populating the Marvel universe, Captain America was the first character to get his own movie serial, the self-titled, Captain America. (The next Marvel superhero to hit the screen would be The Punisher forty-two years later!) The serial (and Dick Purcell) brought Captain America to life, but Purcell’s version was slightly different from the version in the comics. Purcell’s alter ego was that of District Attorney Grant Gardner while the alter ego in the comics was the formerly frail Steve Rogers. However the patriotic message and feeling of the comics remained constant on the screen thanks to music from composer Mort Glickman.

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If ever there was proof remakes are worthwhile, it’s the 1995 adaptation of Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone. Neither a critical nor a box office success, the movie would probably be forgotten entirely if it weren’t for the fact that it’s based on a very popular comic strip. In the UK, anyway. Also, as much as there is to dismiss about the movie, it has some good ideas that aren’t necessarily taken from the source material. Basically, it’s a movie that could be remolded into a very fine film. That said, the upcoming Dredd 3D doesn’t appear to be a remake so much as another attempt to mine a movie out of the character, which made its debut in the pages of 2000 AD in 1977. Not even the title is the same. Nevertheless, this isn’t simply an umpteenth adaptation of Romeo and Juliet or Anna Karenina. With comic-based movies we think of the franchise. While The Dark Knight is not exactly a remake of the 1989 Batman, there’s a tendency for people to be conscious of all movies involving the Caped Crusader, as a unified property. And we can’t rightly think about Dredd 3D without considering its predecessor, either. Two and a half years ago, Brian revisited the earlier version with a thorough look at its pros and cons for a Junkfood Cinema column. So, there’s no need to redo that, and I don’t mean to. What I mean to do is address the movie in the context of its […]

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In a New York living room, sometime in the early 1970s, a young boy is sitting in front of his television (possibly watching an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus) and playing with plastic toy figures of Earth’s mightiest heroes. He smashes The Hulk into Thor, zooms Iron Man around at incredible speed and makes Captain America leap over an H.R. Pufnstuf doll. Because, you know, he’s got one of those too. Forty some odd years later, that same little boy named Joss Whedon got a chance to slam those toys together again, and he achieved something that’s made up equally of the magic of childhood and the craftsmanship of a seasoned filmmaker. It was an impossible dream, a crazy call-out to the far left field bleachers, but The Avengers is the best movie that Marvel has made.

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Aural Fixation - Large

Bringing a beloved (or at least nostalgia inducing) television show to the big screen is no easy undertaking (especially for shows that have been off the air for a few good years.) The task of adapting existing material (whether it be from a book series, a comic book or a well-known public figure) can be daunting as you hope to live up to expectations while also trying cultivate new fans. When it comes to turning a television show into a film, having a few well placed cameos from the original cast, rooting the film in a story true to that show’s world and (seeing as many of these shows were comedies) not letting the film version take itself too seriously seem to be the keys to these adaptation’s success. With Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s updated 21 Jump Street taking to the silver screen this weekend, I realized that the one thing all these shows have in common (regardless of when they aired, who starred in them or what they were about) is also the one element that many television shows on air today have done away with – a catchy theme song.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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