The last month has been a very interesting one so far. The long awaited Amazing Spider-Man Movie has broken tons of box office records, the delayed Overstreet Price Guide was finally shipped, Wizard held their first Philly Convention and we sold our first TV show.
Metropolis Entertainment is a company Stephen and I founded 2 1/2 years ago with the idea that we could take our knowledge of comics, sci-fi, fantasy and pop culture in general and create new properties that could be made into movies, TV shows, video games, books etc. Along with our partners Bob Underwood (Head Writer) and Carl Paolino (Director) we have created Monsters Wanted. The basic premise behind Monsters Wanted is this- for all these years we the public have thought the stars of our favorite Monster movies were actors in hours of make-up, they weren't, they were real monsters! Our story takes place in a small neighborhood in LA where many of the "monster actors" live. The story centers on their daily trials and tribulations trying to make it big in Hollywood.
Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame will be heading up our all star cast of voice over actors including Billy West, Joe Alaskey, Rob Paulsen and Tress MacNeille. A&E is doing a biography on Mark Hamill Tuesday May 21st at 8pm and midnight, if you would like to see what goes on behind the scenes check it out! I believe the Monsters Wanted promo will be shown at the end of the show. Monsters Wanted will be premiering on AMC during Monster Fest Halloween 2002! If you would like to see an early teaser we put together to sell the show go to www.metropolisent.com and click on the frame that says Monsters Wanted. I hope you make sure to watch when we premiere this fall!
I think the gang over at Gemstone Publishing did a great job on the Price Guide. I am really enjoying having the VF price listed and for the most part they have done a good job with the pricing. The one area I am having a problem with is the huge jumps in prices for Action #1, Detective #27 and Marvel Comics #1. They may be warranted but I do not think it is good to have books jumping $65,000.00 to $75,000.00 in one year.
The promoters at Wizard have done a great job with their 1st Philadelphia Comic Convention. Unlike this year's Wonder Con, which was a complete snooze-fest, lifeless and boring, the Philly show had a lot of energy and excitement. Most dealers I spoke with did very well. Please note that I did not feel either show had a lot to offer in terms of quality gold or silver but hopefully the new Wonder Con owners- Comic Con International will run a better show next year. Please don't get me wrong there were some great books at both shows but it is not like it used to be. I fear that with all of the new auction companies in the game and of course ebay, we will see less and less quality material at shows.
Spoiler Warning- The following is a review of the Spider-Man Movie by Ed Sanchez, our Sales & Internet Manager and all around movie expert- enjoy!
After decades of development hell, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's seminal super-hero creation, the Amazing Spider-Man, has finally made it onto movie screens across the world. Response to the movie has been phenomenal, all but assuring that the film will earn a spot on the all-time box office champs list as well as guaranteeing that there will be at least two sequels (the first already planned for a Summer 2004 release, mark your calendars). It can truly be said that Spider-Man has gone global!
Spider-Man The Movie, as directed by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead Trilogy, A Simple Plan, The Gift), is a fun summer pop-corn flick easily accessible to both confirmed Spidey fans and newcomers. The story and Screenplay, credited to David Keopp, do not offer anything particularly new or innovative even to the Silver Screen super-hero genre. However, taking equal parts Superman: The Movie, Batman (1989), and combining that with the updated effects and cool pop appeal of X-Men, the end result is a movie that entertains, and that after all, is the ultimate goal. The screenplay introduces, albeit in a broad sense, the basic story of Peter Parker. Peter is bitten by a radioactive super-spider, inherits the powers of said spider and, after he makes a life-changing mistake, vows to adhere to the words of his beloved father figure, Ben (Cliff Robertson), who warns him "With great power comes great responsibility", which becomes Spider-Man's mantra. Before too long, Peter is swinging away like Tarzan in a concrete jungle saving lives and becoming New York's mysterious benefactor until the Goblin, on a mission of revenge, makes the scene and things get serious. Events move briskly into place for a final confrontation and the film ends with a (needless) self-sacrificing gesture by our hero.
The casting, with the exception of Cliff Robertson, who plays a rather limp Uncle Ben, is amazingly accurate. Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville, The Cider House Rules, Wonder Boys) is perfect as Peter Parker, he could be any of us and plays it as though he were. His Spidey is the super-hero we all wanted and waited to see. Kirsten Dunst, a veteran of 40 films at 19 (Interview With A Vampire, Bring It On, Wag The Dog) is a fine addition as Mary Jane, although I got the impression that Dunst, more familiar to audiences as a Blonde, would have worked better as the tragic Gwen Stacy. Dunst does bring the right attitude to the part as Peter's high-school sweetheart and she even looks a little like one of John Romita's females (the legendary artist who pencilled so many issues of Spider-Man). Willem Dafoe (To Live and Die in L.A., Platoon, Clear and Present Danger) is perfectly cast as the Green Goblin, but the helmet over the actor's head obscures his features and fails to take advantage of a face that was born to play the Goblin (anyone who has seen Dafoe in Shadow of the Vampire will know what I mean). Still, Dafoe does manage to sell himself as both Harry Osborn and the Goblin.
The special effects, headed by John Dykstra (Oscar winner for his work on Star Wars), are top-notch here, if a bit over-exposed (Spidey does look like a cartoon when he's shown CG for too long). Yet, the thrill of watching Spider-Man swing from building to building is something that this movie fan has been waiting for since I first read a Spidey comic. There are also some special treats in the film for the fans. Doctor Connors (The Lizard) and Eddie (Brock, AKA Venom) are mentioned. There are cameos by Stan Lee, perennial Raimi collaborator Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead trilogy), and Raimi's brother Ted (Xena, Warrior Princess). J.K. Simmons (HBO's OZ) turns in an appropriately over-the-top performance as J. Jonah Jameson (perhaps a Jar-Jar like reaction might take effect here, you'll either love him or hate him) and the audience is left wanting more. The film will not please every die-hard Spider-Man fan but if you sit back and relax, you'll have a great time. The 30-second preview of next year's Hulk movie, directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is just one more reason why Spider-Man is the movie to see this summer - that is, until Star Wars Episode II opens. One thing is certain - Spider-Man is cool and now the whole world knows it.
Vincent Zurzolo & Ed Sanchez