Say what you will about Twitter being a bullhorn for the gibbering cacophony of the internet. Sometimes it can break a pretty interesting story or two.
Like this one, where one of Dominic Monaghan's (LORD OF THE RINGS, Lost) followers beseeched him a few days ago to ask fellow Lost-ian star Matthew Fox to start up a Twitter account of his own. Monaghan's answer was a tad on the blunt side:
Among sci-fi nerds, it's a fairly agreed-upon opinion that J.J. Abrams' reboot of the STAR TREK franchise in 2009 was a well done, perhaps even great, return to Gene Roddenberry's beloved brainchild. The cast was great, the effects spectacular, and the plot... serviceable. The only widespread complaint about the 2009 film was that the villain Nero, played as well as to be expected by Eric Bana, was a bit too white bread and run-of-the-mill to pose a real challenge for the Enterprise crew.
And with that complaint has come speculation that Abrams will pull out the big guns for STAR TREK 2 (title pending) when it comes to the antagonist. What bigger gun in the pantheon of ST villains than Khan Noonien Singh, prince of Earth, catalyst of the Eugenics Wars, owner of those creepy slug thingies that make you do bad stuff? Chatter amongst fanboys has steadily risen since 2009 that Khan could be, might be, will probably be, will definitely be ST2's meanie. Abrams has denied such talk from the beginning and now you can add Simon Pegg (Enterprise Chief Engineer Scotty) to the list of deniers. And Mr. Pegg has minced no words on the subject.
Ever since the news broke that Bane would be the big bad villain in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES in January 2011, forums have been rife with speculation over whether the Caped Crusader will meet his maker in the finale of Christopher Nolan's mega-successful BATMAN trilogy. Now, two recent quotes by TDKR screenwriter David Goyer and actor Christian Bale have begun making the rounds that, while hardly shedding new light on the mystery, are notable in that they appear to be hinting at two opposite fates for ol' Bats.
To the uninitiated, the character of Bane is best known (in the comics) for breaking Bruce Wayne's back during a wild brawl, putting the crime fighter in traction for months and nearly killing him. Bane's massive strength is due to an apparatus that pumps a constant supply of a super-steroid into his veins. Nolan seems to have taken a somewhat more realistic approach with the character in his film, as Bane's mask is apparently explained away as an analgesic delivery system that is assisting Bane in overcoming a recent injury.
Comparisons aside, it seems difficult to swallow that Bane, the one character that arguably came the closest to killing Batman in the comic books, was tabbed to be the villain in Christopher Nolan's ultimate BATMAN film through sheer coincidence.
Film crews, film studios, and film fans have a necessarily symbiotic relationship. In the process of making a successful movie, artists of varied description come together to create a product, the studios market and distribute said product, and the fans (who are hopefully sufficiently enticed to see it) go see the final result, delivering a huge stream of cash that makes the crews and studios feel that all of their hard work was worthwhile. This is the way of things.
But Hollywood is a strange enterprise. Although the above relationship is clear to even the greenest of industry followers, there is an unspoken rule that serves to protect the film trade's aura of artistry and creativity. And that rule is this: you're not really supposed to tell the public that you're making movies to make money. It doesn't matter that everybody knows, to varying degrees, that it really is about the money. As a film executive or spokesperson, it's not about the dollar signs. It's about breathtaking artistry, the excitement of scope, the incredible actors. Making hundreds of millions of dollars is historically treated as a happy side effect, at least in public; the deserving result of a job well done.
Turns out that the folks at Paramount Pictures and Hasbro lost their copy of the memo.
In the latest reminder that marketing for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is a mere shadow of its predecessor's, TDKR's marketing team has rolled out a new official poster for the film, which highlights Batman in front of a burning bat motif. That the exact concept was used in the most widely-distributed Batman poster for THE DARK KNIGHT appears to not have been lost on many fans or insiders, as the poster's release has been met with a deafeningly collective internet shrug.
I won't go so far as to say that poster is a lazy effort (although I'm close to saying that). It's merely the latest in a series of cinematic glimpses given by a marketing team that clearly believes that you will see their movie no matter how underwhelming and comparatively non-participatory its lead-up is. It would be somewhat clever to have Batman standing in front of an outline resembling a burning bat, in principle. The illusion of the Caped Crusader donning flaming wings is a potential allegorical megaphone, clearly implying a triumphant rise in the character (as does, you know, the film's title).
Except that the poster is framed in such a way that the illusion is ruined, as Batman's head doesn't quite line up with the outline of the flaming bat in the background, nor do the bat's wings come close to lining up with Bale's profile. In short, a once-over of the poster leaves one thinking, "Is that supposed to be all crooked and stuff?" as opposed to, "Wow, that's pretty cool! What do you think they're implying here?"
All across the United Kingdom, a certain species of unlucky chordata aves is rapidly learning what most of us have known for a long time: Pop-culture attention spans can be cruel mistresses.
Now that HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2’s November, 2011 release (the last of the beloved series) has been inexorably delegated to the status of ‘back burner fare’, children all across the UK are moving on. Out with the old Firebolt 5000s and horcrux replicas; in with metrosexual vampire gear and Katniss dolls. It is the way of the entertainment world.
Sadly, the irresistible force of popular trends has not been relegated to plastic toys and accessories, but has also affected hundreds of ill-advised pre-teen purchases of living animals. UK’s The Mirror is reporting that huge numbers of pet owls bought during Harry Potter's heyday are being unceremoniously dumped at shelters or released into the wild after their owners have, quite simply, tired of them. While the books and films slowly fade from the UK’s national consciousness, the owls (who can live upwards of 20 years) stubbornly refuse to die honorably or conveniently magic themselves into a more in-vogue pop-culture object.
With all the recent talk about THE AVENGERS and whether upcoming giants like PROMETHEUS or THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will be able to topple the Marvel moneymaker from the top of the 2012 mountain, the far less flashy Paul Thomas Anderson drama THE MASTER could very well end up as the greatest film of the year when all is said and done.
Why? Because it's Paul Thomas Anderson.
The first teaser trailer for PTA’s wink towards Scientology was released today - check it out after the jump. Interestingly, it features not a whit of the title character played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, but rather focuses on an intensely disturbing Joaquin Phoenix. In his first movie role since I’M STILL HERE (if you want to call that a movie role), Phoenix plays a drifter who becomes ensnared in Hoffman’s religion of sorts, ‘The Cause’, in post-World-War-II America. Probably not a stretch to say that, from the looks of this trailer, he spends much of the film seriously creeping a lot of people out.
Perhaps no other facet of this generation’s technology boom is more indicative of the concept of ‘unwashed masses’ than that of online opinion. Simultaneously liberating and maddening, the power to assail the trendy arthouse film or Hollywood blockbuster in the comfort of your Cheetos-stained Barcalounger has the 21st century written all over it. Although the majority of said opinions are launched from the safety of anonymity, strong internet conjecture does have its figureheads. In fact, it could be argued that no established filmmaker better encapsulates both the angry fanboy and famous Hollywood director in one hockey jersey-ensconced package than View Askew creator Kevin Smith.
In that vein, Smith is now planning to use his impressive pop-culture clout to prod film fans out of their parents’ basements and into your living room. In a newly-published interview with Wired Magazine, the CLERKS director has announced that his new show, Spoilers, has been picked up by Hulu for a minimum of 10 episodes. The program will involve an audience of roughly 50 moviegoers watching a film and then participating in a gab session, led by Smith.