Morning Pour is your daily stop for quick links, news commentary and trend-spotting. Here are your ten topics for November 8, 2011:
1. New design and logo
First, a bit of internal news. As you can tell, Spout has a new look, along with the rest of the Indiewire website and blog network (Thompson on Hollywood, The Playlist, etc.). I'm very excited about the redesign and I'm especially proud to feature a brand new logo for Spout that was drawn up by my graphic-designing brother Brandon Campbell (he's also amazing with the motion graphics, documentary filmmakers out there who might be looking...). Just as the rest of IW is, Spout is still experiencing some glitches here and there so please bear with us. For the most part things are working pretty well and other minor issues are being fixed very quickly. Let do let me know what you think or if you spot any problems.
2. What should the "Where's Waldo" movie plot be?
Yesterday's news that a live-action "Where's Waldo" film is in development -- now at MGM instead of Unversal -- has had blogs suggesting and joking about ideas for how it ought to be. One of Movieline's 5 Feasible Storylines fits right in with my list of Christmas movie ideas from last week. But I think any version, no matter how inspired or faithful, is completely unnecessary since this old parody of the "Bourne" franchise was all we ever needed:
3. Famous last words
Dustin Rowles of Pajiba has compiled a terrific countdown list of The 70 Greatest Last Film Lines of the Modern Era. I guess there might be spoilers, but most are so meaningless out of context. Besides, it's pretty much a list of 70 films of the past 30 years that you should have seen by now anyway, like "Back to the Future" and anything by the Coen brothers. I guess my favorite script of all time, "Heathers," doesn't have that great a final line. Nor do any Charlie Kaufman films?
4. Batman being John Malkovich
How did Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne come up with that grizzled voice for when he's Batman? It took a few tries, including speech types apparently influenced by John Malkovich, Al Pacino, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Seinfeld, Dustin Hoffman and Steve Little -- this last one was likely unintended. Also accidental was the final sound:
5. Action movies for film snobs
Screen Junkies lists 7 Classic Action Films Even a Film Snob Can Love, which includes gems like "Seven Samurai," "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Das Boot." And let's not forget, all you Criterion Collection completists, that "The Rock" should've made the cut, as well.
6. Quentin Tarantino - The Works
I like this mash-up of Quentin Tarantino movie clips as much as the next QT fan, but the music is all wrong for an appreciation of his works.
7. Want a reason to get angry at the rich?
How about one rich guy with tons of excuses and defenses for why he stole millions of dollars from his clients? Even if you don't want the most infuriating time at the movies ever, you should see Marc H. Simon's "Unraveled," a candid film on corrupt lawyer Marc Drier, which is playing at DOC NYC this week. Check out my review at Doc Channel Blog, in which I compare it to "Into the Abyss" and "25th Hour" and recommend to people who like "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and "Inside Job." Occupy the theater for this when you get the chance!
8. Leonardo Da Vinci, action hero?
The pitch to or from Hollywood of a tentpole franchise involving Leonardo Da Vinci as an action/adventure hero is not a new one. But Variety reports another spec script with the concept has just been set up at Warner Bros. Can they turn one of them into a "Hudson Hawk" sequel where the flying machine is also a time machine and takes Bruce Willis and Andie MacDowell back 500 years to encounter the cross-dressing young artist/inventor?
9. What's the most unforgettable moment in documentary history?
According to POV's Tom Roston, the answer is the "gun thug" scene from Barbara Kopple's "Harlan County, USA":
Tensions are high in this Oscar-winning documentary about a coal mining strike in Kentucky. But when a mining company hire, Basil Collin, lazily waves his gun first at picketers, and then at director Barbara Kopple's camera, the stakes become clear: this is not a movie. This is life. With real thugs. And real lives are at stake. It's the smoking gun moment you'd think could only happen in a Hollywood film.
Other choices on his list of ten include parts from "Gimme Shelter," "Paradise Lost" and "Crumb." I'm having as much trouble choosing my pick as I have choosing favorite docs overall. I'd probably include the last shot of "The Thin Blue Line," the bloody cove in "The Cove," the cameraman filming his own death in "The Battle of Chile," Little Edie's song and dance in "Grey Gardens" and the seal hunt in "Nanook of the North." I'm probably forgetting some, which I guess disqualifies them anyway.
10. "Blue Velvet" vs. "The Dark Knight"
The first round of Pass the Popcorn's History of Movies Film Festival is almost over, with scene reenactments from "The Matrix," "The Social Network" and other favorites going into the next stage of the bracket. So far none of the sweded remakes I've voted for have advanced, but today I'm going for the sock puppet performance of a scene from "The Dark Knight," which is already pummeling its "Blue Velvet"-remaking competitors.