This morning I’m starting a new feature here on Morgan on Media, the Weekly Weblinks. I’ve been seeing a few other bloggers start up various “Follow Friday” features, or other ways to share readers around the net, and I felt like this would be a good way to do my part. Each Weekly Weblinks feature will include several links to specific blog posts that I have enjoyed reading, and think are worth sharing. It will also include various news tidbits that I felt like saying a few words on, but which didn’t warrant a full post on their own (news pieces where I do have more to say will remain as their own posts under Media News). And it’ll often have another item just for the fun of it.
Because these are articles that I’m finding as I go along the week, the exact nature and number of the links will vary from week to week. Bloggers who I follow are likely to have a greater representation — I wouldn’t be following them if I didn’t like what they write, after all — but other posts I come across can and will show up as well. If any of the posts sound interesting to you, check them out; that’s what it’s all about.
BubbaWheat of “Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights”, introduces his “Almost Super” series of posts reviewing movies that aren’t about superheroes but still have that same fantastic feel to them, with his review of the 1984 film Gremlins.
Funk’s House of Geekery argues that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp need a break from each other, with the lack-luster reception of their last few collaborations.
Fogs adds the 1980s teen classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to his list of Movies That Everyone Should See. It’s an in-depth look at just why, after all these years, Ferris Bueller is still our hero.
Mark Walker has some fun at the expense of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, by stitching together quotes from their various movies into one profanity-laden argument, in the debut of his Let’s Have a Sit Down feature. Very well done, and very funny.
And finally, Michael Dworkis of Pop Break considers what the cancellation of Napoleon Dynamite means for Animation Domination, and whether FOX needs to start looking for cartoons that aren’t cynical sitcoms derived from Seth MacFarlane. Personally, I think the man has a point.
A collection of 500 fairy tales, many of which were otherwise unknown, has been discovered in Germany. The fairy tales were collected by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, who was active collecting stories around the time the brothers Grimm were. Even though there is sure to be some overlap with known tales, the existence of such a large trove of unknown fairy tales could provide a lot of fodder for new material within the fantasy genre — considering fairy tales seem to be the big thing in movies right now, how cool would it be to see a movie based on a fairy tale nobody has heard in 150 years, instead of Snow White #4?
The Hollywood Reporter reports that a Fraggle Rock movie is in the works, and has just been assigned to Jim Byrkit and Alex Manugian for script-writing. A couple years ago this would have had me feeling a little concerned; now, after the success of The Muppets, I’m cautiously optimistic. Note that since the Fraggles were not one of the properties sold to Disney, this would be under the Jim Henson Company itself. Hopefully it’s a movie that holds true to the spirit and quality of the original TV series.
Some sad news. Ray Bradbury, author of The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and perhaps most famously, Fahrenheit 451, has passed away at the age of 91. I must confess that even though I read a lot of sci-fi, I haven’t yet read any of Bradbury’s work. However, he’s one of the most cited influences within the genre, and one of the most celebrated by people who would not normally consider themselves sci-fi fans. His writings have been adapted to film and TV many times, including four feature films currently in development (Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Dandelion Wine). He even had his own television series, The Ray Bradbury Theatre from 1985 to 1992. His influence and legacy will continue on long after his death.
Slashfilm brings news on Transformers 4. Michael Bay is directing for the last time, setting up the franchise for a new director to take over with the fifth film. There will be an entirely new cast of human characters, and the robot characters will be undergoing a redesign. Personally, all of that sounds good and logical to me except for Michael Bay still being attached. But you can’t win ‘em all.
20th Century Fox has announced some release dates, including some schedule changes; Sci-Fi Mafia (among others) has the press release. Of particular note are the sequels to X-Men: First Class being assigned a July 18, 2014 release date, and the second Percy Jackson film, Sea of Monsters, being scheduled for August 16, 2013, delaying it a few months from its March release. Being delayed more dramatically is Robopocalypse, Steven Spielberg’s film about the Osage fighting off a robot uprising. Originally scheduled for July 3, 2013, it is now slated for April 25, 2014. No reason for the delay is given. While I was originally concerned about the implications — I thought the Independence Day weekend bespoke a high level of confidence in the film — the press release has made me reconsider just a little bit. Not a lot, but a bit. The press release notes that the move was made in conjunction with Dreamworks and Disney — the film is a collaboration between Fox and Dreamworks, and Disney is distributing the film in the U.S. — and that the move puts Robopocalypse opening internationally the same weekend that fellow Disney-distributed film The Avengers opened to overwhelming success. While I don’t think the release schedule was the primary reason for the success of The Avengers (I’m going to go with “lots of superheroes, a great cast, and great writing” there), the idea that Disney and Fox are trying to capture that same success for Robocopalypse by utilizing the same kind of release schedule might still indicate a high level of optimism for the film. (Special thanks to T. of The Focused Filmographer for first alerting me to this.)
Just For Fun
One last link just for playing around with. The Oracle of Bacon is the ultimate website for determining just how many degrees of separation exist between any two actors. Find out just how far Kevin Bacon really is from somebody, or find a link between two other actors. Discover that Robert Downey Jr., who played Charles Chaplin, has only two degrees of separation thanks to Geraldine Chaplin; or that Rosanna Arquette is closer to Arquette family patriarch Cliff than any of his other descendants. It’s a fun little program for movie lovers; nothing of consequence, but if nothing else it can resolve arguments in Six Degrees of Separation.