Thursday, March 18, 2010

Out Of The Ether 3/15/10

Well all, it's time for the latest in movies news deemed worthy of your highness's.

First, a fond and heartfelt farewell to Peter Graves, who at the ripe old age of 83, has passed on to the great theater beyond. How much really needs to be said about the man who brought me the great Captain Clarence Oveur in Airplane. I don't know I can count the number of times I've seen the film, and would be even less capable of figuring out the number of times I've ever thought it funny to ask a friend if they had ever been in a Turkish prison, liked gladiator movies or had ever seen a grown man naked. He was also in this little television show called Mission Impossible, that spawned a kind of successful film franchise many years later (read: sarcasm). But to me, he'll always be Clarence Oveur who brought me and many others many hours of laughter. Thank you Mr. Graves, a more necessary thing has never been done. 

Let's talk news of the weird. Have you ever thought of an idea for a story or a movie you thought would be good, told someone about it or written it down and then some time later seen a film, television show or book which is eerily reminiscent of your idea? If you've any creative bone in your body that ever wants to express itself in some kind of storytelling, you've probably had that experience. It's extremely common. I say this, because apparently, someone feels somewhat slighted by their submission of a film treatment to Dimension, featuring a female character named Ren, and Dimensions subsequent release of Kill Bill, featuring Lucy Liu as O Ren Ishii. He's apparently filed a lawsuit against Dimension and Quentin Tarantino. It's not all that unusual to have someone who at some past date submitted an idea to sue a studio for a later film which bears some similarity. That in itself isn't something I'd have thought of passing on to you all. The rest of the story.... is definitely interesting, and pretty hilarious in a sad and pathetic sort of way. Included though, is word that Tarantino might be working on a documentary about former Dimension head honcho and all around Hollywood power broker, Harvey Weinstein.

Do you like football? How about Robert Deniro? How about a football movie starring Robert Deniro? Sounds like box office gold right? Well, someone else thought so too... ESPN films. Shocking,  I know. But, Deniro is apparently slated to play Vince Lombardi in........................................ wait for it..................................................................................................................................... Lombardi. I don't know what to think about this. One part of me thinks it would be very cool to see Deniro take on the role. On the other hand, it is ESPN films. Following the link in the title to see the rest of the details.

More biopic news, you say? Well, for you, anything. How about a J. Edgar Hoover biopic? Personally, I know as much about J. Edgar Hoover as I'd ever need, but since Clint Eastwood is signing on to direct, I'm suddenly interested. Now, all we need is Rudy Guiliani to star. We know he's got the wardrobe already, and noun, verb, communist is certainly within his grasp. Not very funny, I know. Give a guy a break.

Here's one to file under "????????" Someone over at Warner Brothers is apparently very worried about the impending end of the Harry Potter series. They're kicking all kinds of projects into gear which seem specifically tailored to replace Harry Potter and to take advantage of the success of Sherlock Holmes. The newest idea is apparently turning Leonardo da Vinci into an action hero. This is not a joke. I think this has the chance to be a successful and fun franchise, if they can get Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law to star in it, and then hell freezes over.

In news actually related to Robert Downey Jr. (when is it going to start being ok to refer to him strictly as RDJ?), he's apparently in talks to appear in the latest film from Children Of Men director Alphonso Cuaron. The upcoming 3D science fiction epic is currently being called Gravity. Check out the rest of the details behind this link. This is exciting news to me, and it almost doesn't matter who stars. I know there are people who don't like Children Of Men, but I think they might not actually be human. They are more likely the Mole Men John Hodgeman refers to in his book, More Information Than You Require. You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't listen to this in audiobook format.

Edward Norton is taking the ultimate risk as an actor, playing twins. I say this is the ultimate risk because it seems there are only two categories the "one actor playing twins" movies fall into, either extremely interesting and intelligent or painfully horrible. /film has a clip and Ain't It Cool has a review of this film, combined with a review of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Fearnet is reporting (via Variety) that Leonardo DiCaprio's company Appian Way has a gothic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood in development and that DiCaprio may have some interest in starring. The thing which makes this interesting to me, is that word is this version will be gong back to the early versions of the story which were passed down orally before the tale was committed to writing. It could be interesting. It could also be total crap. We can always hope.

South By Southwest (referred to as SXSW from here on out) is in full swing and there's lots of rumor and review coming out of it. One film making a big splash is simply titled Serbian Film  and is apparently grabbing all the controversy for it's shocking nature. This, of course. piques my interest. Quint over at AICN has a review that intensifies that interest. If it can get a reaction like that out of a hard core film geek like that, well, I'm going all in. The problem is, so far, no one has picked it up. Let's hope Magnet, Anchor Bay, Blue Underground or one of our other reliable genre home entertainment companies grabs it up. There's an equally interesting review over at Cinematical. And one more from Fearnet. Why am I giving you three different reviews for one film? Two reasons: the first being all of them were genuinely shocked by the film (no small feat). The second being they all have different reactions to the film. Anything that can be repeatedly referred to as the most shocking film of all time, the most disturbing film a hard core film geek has ever seen is at least interesting to consider or it should be.

There are two music documentaries I've been reading up on that sound like they might be some real fun. The first is about The Kashmere Stage Band. Apparently, they were a high school jazz band from Houston TX in the early seventies and ended up becoming a world  touring, world rocking funk band under the tutelage of a man they called "Prof." I'm a sucker for a good music documentary, because let's face it, a cool documentary, which just happens to have great music, is a better way to spend that time than many others most of us can think of. I've certainly wasted enough hours watching films which weren't very good, and didn't even have good music to give me a decent excuse. Thunder Soul sounds like something I'd travel to DC to catch.

The second of the music doc's I wanted to alert you all to follows The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights. Admittedly, I'm a fan of The White Stripes, so that helps. But, music documentaries following well known bands on tour (it sounds like quite an interesting tour, with bowling alleys and the whole  nine yards) often end up being self aggrandizing crap. The good concert documentary is the unusual one, and this one has gotten enough good word for me to think it might not just be for fans of The White Stripes, but fans of documentaries in general. Maybe being a fan of the band is an added gimme. There's some interesting yakkety yakking at the beginning of this review, I thought it was worth reading. If you don't you can skip through it and the review is all meat.

That's all for now. If I don't finally publish this edition, I'll just keep finding more stuff to add to it, and none of it will be relevant by the time you all read it.

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