Think of this as a Movietone newsreel in blog form.
So we’re almost out of November and the fall prestige movie season still pretty much sucks. Man, there’s been such a drought of good stuff opening the last few weeks – at least where we live - that we’re even sort of looking forward to Australia, if only for the chance to visit a movie theatre. (We like the chewy Junior Mints at our local multiplex.)
The following is stuff we thought worth mentioning but not blogging about for a whole entry. It’s pretty much headed into our mental circular pile, but then again it’s also something of a slow news week. We’re feeling kind of sarcastic right now, too.
1. Speaking of Australia, kudos to its marketing team for the People magazine cross-promotion just as the film opens nationwide. Any other magazine, any other movie, and that same trick would just seem crass. For the record, we have nothing against Jackman himself. God knows he carried The Fountain on those broad shoulders of his.
2. Ralph Fiennes continues his life’s mission to make the ultimate pseudo-indie historical romance with next month’s The Reader. He’s getting close: this one looks like they took a bunch of other faux-arthouse flicks and combined them into a monstrous Wienstein Brothers version of Serpentor. As you read this a Barnes & Noble is setting up an endcap to promote a demographic-specific tie-in, while somewhere else Anthony Minghella is smiling.
3. We’ll go ahead and call next year’s Best Picture Oscar now: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button will beat out Revolutionary Road, though Kate Winslet will get Best Actress. Also, Valkyrie’s Tom Wilkinson will get Best Supporting Actor.
4. Characters welcome, schedules not so much: USA Network postponed the debut of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, shoving it back from a November 7 premiere to an unspecified date early in 2009. What’s even more irritating for the show’s fans is that USA did this after months of promoting the November air date on its airtime and website - even IMDB didn’t get the memo. Presumably the switch gets the long running cop drama, which just traded Chris Noth for Jeff Goldblum, out of its planned Friday Night Death Slot and into a schedule berth where people might, you know, watch it. Also, in the meantime it means the network can air more reruns of The Starter Wife. And who doesn’t want that?
5. Overrated, middlebrow director Sam Mendes wants to direct a film version of the overrated, lowbrow late-90s DC comic book Preacher. A critical darling for years after its release, the book was a bloody, self-consciously hip revenge/road movie saga that borrowed from a series of 1970s-era B-movie genre sources but never quite lived up to its potential. The screen rights became available after HBO dropped plans for an ongoing series. Mendes is reportedly now shopping for a script.
6. Hey, Oz fans: Dean Winters apparently looks set to join fellow alumnus Lee Tergesen in the recurring cast of ABC’s good but underperforming Life On Mars. The show’s on hiatus until the end of January, but if you’re a fan of Oz or any of the other shows to feature both actors – Homicide: Life on the Street, Rescue Me, L& O: Criminal Intent, probably others – take a chance on the increasingly David Lynch-esque Life On Mars.
7. Not that the people supporting California’s Proposition 8 would likely see a movie with Sean Penn or even one directed by Gus Van Sant, but had Milk come out sooner it might indeed have swayed more of this years’ all-important undecided voters. And between David Fincher’s Zodiac and now Milk, 70s-era San Francisco is starting to look like a uniquely strange and compelling place and time.
8. On behalf of the Humane Society, please do not give a live puppy, hamster, or cat to children smitten with one of the CGI products featured in Bolt. Studies show in many cases children lose interest and the animals become abandoned or neglected. Give the kids an official stuffed animal instead – there’s probably a truckload of them at Target and Wally World by now.
9. We’re looking forward to Whiteout already, even if its release date is still ten months away. Finally(!) a film version of a Greg Rucka story, this one a murder mystery set among the scientific research stations of Antarctica. In the meantime we’ll keep our fingers crossed for film versions of Queen and Country and especially Checkmate.
10. We’ve said this before, but we’ll say it once more: we’re still looking for someone to design a new blog header. If you’ve only come here for pics of Hellboy, if you’ve wandered over from Skeet Ulrich’s fan community, of if you just know something about graphic design, please email us. We’d like to work with you.
11. Finally, not a lot of people saw The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford , but as the trailer below demonstrates the visuals alone make it worth the rental. A supernova supporting cast and career highlight performances by Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck only accentuate the film’s unforgettable, Terrence Malick-esque visuals. Highly, highly recommended.
We’ll be back next Wednesday. Have a good weekend.
- Michael Kabel