-Happy Birthday to actress Luise Rainer (“The Good Earth”). She turns 101 today!
-The shortlisted ladies up for the female parts in “The Dark Knight Rising” are a boring lot of bland, familiar and predictable names, including the very bad fits Jessica Biel and Keira Knightley. Come on, Warner Bros., we gave you a handful of good, outside-the-box suggestions. I really think Rebecca Hall would make a terrific love interest for Batman.
-Paul DeBenedetto at comics blog Wednesday’s Child wonders if 2011 will bring the end of comic book movies:
We are now in the post-Watchmen, post-Losers, post-Jonah Hex age. Audience patience with the genre is growing thin, and the buzz of superhero movies is dwindling as the months move on. As fewer objectively good cape movies are being produced by Fox and Warners, the type of audience who would be willing to see said films is shrinking. Marvel and DC, it seems, approach filmmaking the same way they approach comic making: just churn out whatever lazy work you can, as fast as you can do it, and watch people consume it. Rather than aim for best work possible they opt for pandering to a tiny subset of movie fans. It’s a short-term plan at best: catering to a group of rabids in their niche publishing world totally works, but catering to that group in the cinema world is an idea set up to fail.
I doubt the genre can end before “The Dark Knight Rising” comes and goes and Christopher Nolan has left the comic book movie business. But otherwise, yeah, this year’s crop looks pretty bad.
-Artist Tim Doyle made the above artwork of “The Vietnam War Movie Memorial.” From his accompanying text:
Do I hate war movies? Heck no. They can be great fun, great social commentary, and depress the hell out of you. They can also exploit, lie, and whitewash. But no one should ever mistake them for what they are- complete fiction. Even the ‘true’ stories aren’t really true.
So all of the above was kicking around in my head when I created the above piece. I hope it offends the right people and the original intended message comes through.
-Eventually every musical and soundtrack-heavy movie will be adapted to Broadway. The latest is “Once,” which won an Oscar for Best Original Song.
-Timed to the PDF publication of his book Planet Hong Kong, David Bordwell chronologically lists a cheat sheet for 25 must-see HK classics. Sadly, the first I’ve seen is #13 — “Police Story” — and I’ve only seen four others. I definitely need to catch up with the basics!
-A new ending to “Return of the Jedi” imagines if a large fragment from the Death Star hit Endor like an asteroid. I’m sure some people would have been glad to see the Ewoks wiped out. But what about Han, Leia and Chewbacca?
-And because the “Star Wars” fandom never stops, especially when there’s snow, here’s a take on the earlier Death Star destruction:
-Some of the titles on Best Week Ever’s truthfully titled list of ’14 Movies From 2010 You Already Forgot Existed’ include “The Greatest,” “Creation,” “Daybreakers” and “Unthinkable.” Anyone remember these?
-It’s missing the recently revealed idea to kill Ben Affleck’s character in “Good Will Hunting,” but Den of Geek looks at ‘the movie characters who were supposed to die (but got saved by a rewrite).’ Obviously there are spoilers. Here’s one I wasn’t aware of:
Now granted, Alexander Knox wasn’t a major character in Tim Burton’s film of Batman, back in 1989. Yet, as played by Robert Wuhl, he was an important one, working alongside Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) to try and uncover the mystery behind the Bat. However, would the character have been more memorable had The Joker killed him in the denouement of the movie?
That was, as it happens, the original plan. However, as Robert Wuhl himself revealed many years later, they “liked [my] character so much that they decided to let me live”. That said, Knox didn’t appear in the sequel, Batman Returns, although Vicki Vale was mentioned once in the film.
-I hope this “TRON”-inspired Segway means the next movie will feature Will Arnett
-Here’s a 90-minute movie completely made out of “Grand Theft Auto IV” footage. It’s called “The Trashmaster”