Daily Dump for Wednesday (February 2)

Chances are, if you're reading this, you're only running your computer to generate heat in order to stave off Snowpocalypse Now. Seriously, did you see this?

That's NOT from a movie. That's the Windy City today. Luckily, I live in Omaha, which only has to contend with ridiculously sub-zero weather (a sneeze will freeze on your face)...but luckily, we were just selected as one of the top 10 drunkest cities, so the boozy booze will keep us warm inside. And if that doesn't do the trick, maybe these SIZZLING movie news tidbits will warm the cockles of your...cockles? I was going to look up the definition of that word, but I'm on a public computer, so that's probably not the best choice. Anyway, here's the day's big news!

WWSD?

That's right, now that we know Superman will be sniveling Brit Henry Cavill, we are left wondering Who Will Superman Do? As in, who is going to play the lovely and usually lackluster Lois Lane? The character in the comics has verve and fight, but she's usually used on screen as all women are used on screen in action movies: Bait. Superman will likely face some intergalactic villain with mind-bending powers who has traveled vast universes to find a foe worth fighting...and then decide the best course of action is to hold his girlfriend hostage. Seriously. The short list for the part reads like the short list for almost any part requiring boobies these days (provided said boobies aren't older than 30, in which case the answer is always Meryl Streep). Here they are:

Kirsten Stewart

Jessica Biel

Malin Akerman

Dianna Agron

Olivia Wilde

Rachel McAdams

Now, obviously, you know my vote. If the choice was between Rachel McAdams and anything else in the world besides "Save yourself from a horrible death, Ryan Syrek, or Rachel McAdams," I'm going to choose Rachel McAdams. Still, my rationale here extends beyond the obvious. Agron and Stewart are FAR too young (seriously, that they're on this list at all is troubling), Akerman and Wilde are capable but uninspired, and Biel is flat-out wrong for the part. If done right, Lois Lane is one of my favorite female comic book characters, and this is coming from someone who is only lukewarm on Superman in general. If done wrong, she's Kate Bosworth. I'm just saying...

The info that drove a bat-world battier

How desperate is the blogosphere for news about The Dark Knight Rises? A dude was thinking out loud on a blog about Robin Williams playing the role of Hugo Strange...a part that may not even be in the film and an actor never associated with it by anyone. The next day, there were posts and tweets and skywriters declaring ROBIN WILLIAMS IS HUGO STRANGE! Seriously, people are so jonesing for another fix of information that any real nugget may kill them. Then came a real nugget.

It sounds like the long-rumored reunion of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the only dude with three names that's famous for reasons other than assassination) and Chris Nolan is true. Now what? Well the rumors of who JGL may play have ranged from the insulting ("he kind of looks like Heath Ledger...maybe he's playing the Joker?") to the stupid (Robin?) to the sublime (a dude inspired by the joker?). Everyone seems stuck on Hugo Strange, but that's not true, I just don't feel it. And The Riddler was ruled out by Nolan himself. So who does JGL play? I don't think it's a superhero (no Nightwing) and I don't think it's a supervillain either. I think it's going to be someone prominent in Bruce Wayne's life that ISN'T those things. Maybe a politician? A new mafia member? Or maybe someone else....maybe someone like a Zzazz or something. Supposedly he's a villain and supposedly he'll "tie together" Catwoman and Bane, but that makes no damn sense. The point is, get ready for lots of idle speculation that has him playing one of a hundred roles, and we'll be wrong every time.

Gettin' back to Jack

I'm now even more excited for the franchise that refuses to die! That's right, the Jack Ryan franchise has had more fits and starts than an epileptic at a hundred yard dash, but it works every time. I've pretty much loved all of the Jack Ryan flicks from Hunt for Red October to Sum of All Fears. Now that Chris Pine is taking over, he's going to bring a boatload of charisma to the role. Seriously, I've seen Star Trek 1000 times now, and every time I watch it, I like him. The news got better today, as Steve Zallian is returning to the writing role. Dude wrote Schindler's List, which I'm guessing is not how he prepared for this gig. At any rate, I love spy movies. I love Chris Pine. I love that there's progress on this front. No Bourne movies means there's a void adult audiences are starving to fill. Fill us Chris Pine and Steve Zaillian!

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entered on 02/02/11 at 11:01 PM | read comments »


Cutting Room For February 2

  • For the longest time, if you wanted to see director Dan Mirvish’s Omaha (The Movie), you had to know Dan Mirvish. And that’s cool, but Dan’s a busy dude. So it’s my pleasure to tell you that the flick can now be streamed online through Microsoft and on X-Box Live…which would be great if my X-Box didn’t commit cyber seppuku a few days back. Still, good news for those of you with a memory for a classic local indie flick and a gaming system with a will to live.

  • Gather round, my dears, and I shall tell you the dark and twisted tale of Prometheus, the next flick from director Ridley Scott. When first we heard tell of it, this was a straight-up prequel to the Scott’s classic Alien. Legend had it Natalie Portman would star in a story about the abandoned ship discovered in the first film. Then came a cry of hogwash and malarkey! There was to be no Natalie, and it wasn’t an Alien prequel at all, so it had nothing to do with that ship. But from the beyond, a voice cried “Not so fast.” While Noomi Rapace would replace Natalie, it was an Alien prequel and would feature the ship in question! So what is truth and what is fiction? I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you.

  • Will Ferrell will appear in four episodes of “The Office,” and Judy Dench will return in the next Bond movie. Why put those things together? Um… Well, they both will play bosses and both are big names in big franchises. And then there’s the obvious sexual tension between the two, which makes it so hard to keep them apart.

    Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Check out Ryan on the radio on CD 105.9 (Fridays at around 7:30 a.m.), on his blog at thereader.com/film/C19 and on Twitter (twitter.com/thereaderfilm).


    entered on 02/01/11 at 11:33 PM | read comments »


Daily Dump for Tuesday (February 1)

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE? I lost a whole month of 2011. I mean, sure, it was January, which is so barely a month it may as well be February, but still...it can't seriously be 1/12th of the year in the tank already, can it? Man, I've got a get my act together. Speaking of getting one's act together: What's worse, Snowpocalypse 2011 or the COVERAGE of Snowpocalypse 2011? I have heard this called "an historic" storm, but until Jake Gyllenhaal fights off CGI wolves and outruns "the cold spot," how am I supposed to really weigh the meteorologic significance here? I mean, I haven't even heard one peep from John Cusack regarding neutrinos or the shifting of the earth's crust. (Fun fact: I have to look up John's name every single time to see if it has a C in the last name. I care that little about committing it to memory. Oh, what, act like I'm supposed to still care about him after 2012.)

Before we get into what I deem worthy of repeating to you today regarding movie news, here's a few tidbits I'm NOT sharing in detail: Hugh Jackman is "excited to do another Wolverine movie" and was told to use steroids by a blogger I admire (if Jackman isn't jacked enough, I must make Olive Oyl look Olympian). James Cameron wants to shoot the next two Avatar movies in some wicked frame rate, with even more betterer 3D (no word if he's just skipping straight to the fifth dimension). They may or may not be making not one but TWO more Final Destination movies, officially confirming the franchise's status as "most ironically titled." And, finally, Allison Brie has a cameo in Scream 4. Okay, you caught me, given my "Community" obsession (it's my new desktop background...giggle, giggle), you know I have to show you that image.

Oh, to be the man who gets to pat her on the head...

Now on to the news I DO deem worthy of talkity talk and bloggity blog.

Wait, but Joaquin Phoenix said he retired...he wouldn't lie, would he?

Actor retirements are like comic book character deaths. When it was finally revealed that Joaquin Phoenix's meltdown was a fake-out for a documentary that three people saw (meaning it was really worth it), we all knew it was just a matter of time before he decided to do some acting again.

He needed to come back with something that reminded everyone that as eccentric as he may be, he's a hell of an actor capable of some intensely intimate work. So, yeah, Phoenix may star in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as Abe's vampire mentor. Right now, this is just an offer that's out on the table. And anybody can make an offer and put it out there. Like, I offer Allison Brie the role of "Girl who sits on my couch while we watch her star in 'Community' together," but that doesn't mean she's considering the role. Sadly, unlike Brie who is likely filing a restraining order as we speak, it wouldn't surprise me if Phoenix was signing on the dotted line.

We're all gonna die...again.

I got Abbie (my wife) "The Stand" for Christmas. She loves postapocalyptic survival books to the point where we readily discuss our plans and strategies for that inevitable day when the zombies emerge. It's adorable. Her addiction, not the zombies. She had never read the standard-bearer for postapocalyptic writing and is now slogging her way through the mountain of pages. Turns out, she's got a strict deadline of a year or two to finish, as they are now going to make a new The Stand adaptation for the big screen. Not that the miniseries from 15 years ago isn't still etched in our minds. It starred...um...I do not remember. It's no surprise that this property is being revisited. What's surprising is that I like the idea. It can work well in 2 hours, provided they don't worry about fan outcry over each and every minor incident and subplot. Those work in books. That's the thing that kill me about people and adaptations. I was far more pissed about them making web shooters organic in Raimi's take on Spider-man than the loss of any minor subplots. Why? Well, that was a major character thing that showed how smart Peter Parker was. But if they have to trim fringe characters and extra scenes, that's fine with me. If you like all the extra filling in there, all the dense stuff...it's called reading and nobody is stopping you from doing it. The point is this: I hope they make a 2-hour, awesome movie out of this material and not a 3-hour opus to get every minor pit-stop in.

Let's settle this Diaz thing once and for all

I have shifted from finding Cameron Diaz a pretty distraction to pretty much loathing her existence.

Her name in a cast list is pretty much the kiss of death these days. So let's see what happens in Gambit. Aside from Diaz's inclusion, the only other knock is that it's a remake. But it's written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and Diaz will star opposite Colin Firth in a heist movie. I mean, that's probably the best shot she's going to have to get off my "Doody Actress" list, right? The Coens' pens are among the best in the biz, and Firth is so charming I probably won't throw things for his impending Oscar win despite it being totally unwarranted. I don't know if it will be good, but it's the last, best chance Diaz has in my book. And I know my opinion of her keeps her up at night.

Okay, that's it for today gang. See you tomorrow, when hopefully some cooler stuff happens.

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entered on 02/01/11 at 10:06 PM | read comments »


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The Trip to Italy

Another affable outing with two British comedians.

GRADE
B+


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


Guardians of the Galaxy

A gleeful space opera that is as visually stunning as it is hilarious.

GRADE
A


Lucy

A girl ingests a drug that makes her God. For real.

GRADE
C+


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damned apes are back and anything but dirty.

GRADE
B+


We Are the Best

Set in Stockholm in 1982, this is punk rock female adolescence at its finest.

GRADE
A


Take It Back

Fail gloriously, if you must fail. Go down swinging for the fences, punchdrunk and confident you’re making something truly...

more »


Cinéma Very Tame

A few quick confessions: Because we now have cameras, modern photorealistic paintings have always been, at best, modestly...

more »


Grade A-Holes

The proliferation of comic book movies has reached its cultural apex, so thoroughly dominating the box office and public...

more »


Lucy Goosey

It doesn’t work this way with people, but there’s a level of confident stupidity a movie can display that makes it...

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