Bandwidth issues may be slowing me down, but they’re not stopping me from making my rounds. It’s Friday morning, so it’s time for our weekly assortment of blog posts and news links, complete with a shiny new graphic I spent my downtime creating. In fact, this edition of the Weekly Weblinks is just a bit heavier on the news than it has been, and I’m not skimping on the blog posts either. There are a few reviews of new movies, a review of a much-reviled comic book movie, and a review of one of the greatest comedies ever made.
On the news front, there are quite a lot of things to cover, from rumors and news on comic book movie directors, to a surprising film adaptation, a film franchise which is getting rebooted, and — refreshingly — one which isn’t. So read on for the Weekly Weblinks!
Let’s start this off with something a little unusual. Over at Man I Love Films, Sir Phobos has compiled a list of the Top 10 Scenes of People Getting Eaten Alive. I have to hand it to him, it’s a subject I haven’t seen broached on a top 10 list before.
Suppose, though, that you want to feed your head, instead of having it fed to somebody. Andrew Crump has a review of the new film Ruby Sparks, about a man whose fictional dream girl comes to life.
With the remake of Total Recall a lot of movie fans have been seeing double. But FlixChatter has a double review of the new film. Ted’s a big fan of the Arnold Schwarzenegger original; Ruth barely recalls it. Check out what they think of the remake.
Despite hitting limited theatres last weekend, Killer Joe may not get a lot of publicity, being a violent NC-17 film. But if you’re looking to find out more about it, Dan the Man has you covered with his review.
Like a lot of bloggers in the past month, Will at Silver Emulsion has been working his way through the Batman films. Here he takes a look at 1997’s Batman and Robin, the most maligned of all the Batman movies, and finds it’s actually enjoyable in a certain light.
And finally, Eric at the Warning Sign covers one of my favorite films in his Movie Project: The Blues Brothers. Despite being a Chicagoan, Eric had never seen this comedy before. It’s always fun to see someone discover a great film; go see what he thought!
A few days ago, I mentioned that Joss Whedon is back on board for The Avengers 2. Well, it turns out there’s just a bit more to it than that. Cinema Blend reports Whedon has signed a three-year exclusive contract with Marvel Studios, so he’ll be lending his creative input to a few other films as well. Exactly what films is unknown, but Cinema Blend speculates he could take some of the writing duties for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Speaking of directing large groups of superheroes, Slashfilm has a rumor that Warner Brothers is approaching Ben Affleck to direct their upcoming Justice League movie. It’s just a wild rumor at this point, and Affleck has stated in the past that he’s done with superhero movies, and that he doesn’t want to direct any film he doesn’t act in, but what do you think? Could Ben direct Batman, Superman, and all the rest?
In a surprising move, Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, has been bumped from its Oscar-ready December 25th release date, instead being delayed until summer 2013. The reason for the movie is unknown; I’ve seen some speculation that it was to update it into 3D, but the film had been advertised as 3D from the first trailer, so it seems unlikely that it wouldn’t have been ready. Warner Bros., for their part, aren’t giving a solid reason, merely implying that they think they’ll get a wider audience for a summer release (considering there have been some big blockbusters at Christmas releases — such as The Lord of the Rings — I’m not sure I buy this explanation either.)
Some sad news: The star of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, actor Bob Hoskins, is retiring at age 69 after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. His most recent film was Snow White and the Huntsman. He is rumored to have a role in next year’s Aleksander Rouge; if so, that will be his final film.
Universal Pictures apparently hasn’t learned their lesson from the mediocre returns and critical thrashing that their Stoogeless The Three Stooges movie received. Cinema Blend reports Alex Zamm has been tapped to direct a new feature film of The Little Rascals. Now, personally, I feel that this is much like the basic problem with a new Three Stooges movie — it’s not Our Gang when you’re casting new people in it. And the 1994 film was pretty dire. And then, of course, there’s Zamm himself. Most of his filmography is direct-to-video Disney sequels, such as Inspector Gadget 2 and The Tooth Fairy 2 — which is to say, direct-to-video sequels of movies nobody watched in the first place. His sole theatrical feature film? Chairman of the Bored. In the likely event you’ve blotted that film from your memory, it starred Carrot Top. I don’t think I’m overstepping my bounds to say I’m probably not the only one to have severe doubts about this movie right from stage one.
Fans of 80s movies have been getting used to their favorite movies being plundered for remakes and sequels. We’re usually not happy about it, but we’ve come to expect it. Well, hold onto your hats, because producer Frank Marshall has said a few words about making a third Gremlins movie, or even a reboot. And those words are “no” and “hell no”. Marshall says making another Gremlins sequel this far after the other films would be like making a sequel to E.T., and those films should just stay where they are. He further says that he thinks any remake would have to get approval from Steven Spielberg in order to be made, so it sounds as if the franchise will be allowed to rest in peace. Thanks, Frank. It’s nice to see some integrity in Hollywood regarding franchises.
Of course, not all strange and fuzzy creatures are staying away from the big screen. according to the Hollywood Reporter, ALF is making his way back to the public’s eye and onto the big screen. Jordan Kerner, who produced The Smurfs for Sony, is producing the film adaptation of ALF for the studio. Puppeteer Paul Fusco, the creator and voice of ALF, is on board to remain as the voice of the character, but reportedly the film version of ALF will be CGI and not a puppet. Personally, I have mixed feelings about seeing ALF on the big screen (I always liked ALF, but successful movie adaptations of sitcoms are few and far between, and I doubt they’re going to work from the animated series). But my biggest concern is the CGI… I think that’s a mistake. I think ALF would probably look best as a puppet, just like he was on the live-action show, and The Muppets certainly proved it was possible to have a successful puppet film in this day and age. But I’ll withhold judgment until I see the Melmackian in action.
And finally, one topic of discussion that isn’t exactly news, just an idle comment. On his Facebook page, Dan Aykroyd talked a bit about how much fun he had working on the film Sneakers, and stated it would be interesting to see the characters again in a sequel. Now Dan… I’m a fan of yours. You’ve been in several of my favorite movies, and Sneakers is one of them. But this has got to stop. The Blues Brothers was fantastic. Blues Brothers 2000 was mediocre. Ghostbusters was terrific. Ghostbusters 2 was merely good, and Ghostbusters 3 sounds more terrible by the day. Sneakers is over 20 years old. Yes, it could be updated for today. But the story is told, and we don’t really need to see these guys again. I understand your love for your old movies. We all love your old movies. But I think I can speak without fear of contradiction that most of us don’t want you to revisit those old movies, we want you to make new movies with the same care and quality as those old movies. As much as we love The Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters, and Sneakers, we’re unlikely to love a decades-delayed sequel as strongly, even from nostalgia. But it’s not impossible for you to give us something new to love, if you’d just put as much effort into it as you did when you made those films. And not, you know, stuff like Yogi Bear. Come on.
Fortunately, Sneakers was not a film spearheaded by Aykroyd originally, so this is more likely to be just idle musing than anything resembling an actual plan, but still.
Just For Fun:
One of my most frequent time-wasters on the web is Sporcle.com. Sporcle is a quiz game site, and it has thousands of quizzes, broken up into various categories including movies, television, and entertainment. There’s also a user-created quiz section (with quizzes of varying quality), with the best of them being published to the main site. I’ve made some quizzes of my own on various topics as well, though lately I’ve mostly just been stopping by once in a while to play other peoples’ quizzes. If you consider yourself a trivia buff on any subject, it can be a fun site to test yourself on.