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Oscar Nominee Embarrassments, “The Neverending Story” Ramifications and More Discussion Fodder

Oscar Nominee Embarrassments, "The Neverending Story" Ramifications and More Discussion Fodder

– That’s the movie I wish was coming out this weekend, instead of “Drive Angry 3D.” By designer Shane Parker.

Today’s roundup includes discussion fodder involving David Fincher, “The Neverending Story,” James Franco as Chris Campbell, the “Alien” franchise, “The Sandlot,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Boss of It All” and “Major League.”

Entertainment Weekly has listed the ’25 Greatest Working Directors.’ Topping it, edging out Christopher Nolan at #2, is David Fincher:

WHY HIM: His taut, meticulous thrillers reflect his own irrepressible obsessiveness, but his last two films are the work of a supremely confident maestro of visual storytelling. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) earned him his first Oscar nomination, and his Social Network proved even computer-programming could be riveting when properly ”Finchian.”

I don’t know if that’s a good enough argument, but this is a list that has the following explanation for why Martin Scorsese is on the list, at #4:

WHY HIM: He’s Martin Scorsese. I mean, come on…

– In response, Ryan Adams at Awards Daily names 50 people EW forgot, including the Coppolas, the Dardennes and a whole lot of foreigners.

– What happened to the bullies from “The Neverending Story”? Two are in therapy now — with the worst asshole of a shrink ever — and the third is even worse off. Also, this video has some additional “E.T.” sequel humor:
Thanks to Jon Pack for the tip.

– David Medsker at Bullz-Eye Blog spotlights the embarrassing early films of this year’s Oscar nominees. Included are Jeremy Renner’s “Senior Trip,” Michelle Williams’ “Timemaster” and Mark Ruffalo’s “Mirror, Mirror II: Raven Dance.” Obviously I have a soft spot for the James Franco pick, which definitely isn’t worse than “Annapolis”:

Movie: Whatever It Takes (2000)
IMDb rating: 5.2
The plot: Geek wants unattainable babe, jock wants geek’s unattainable neighbor friend next door. Geek and jock strike deal to help each other out, even though it’s clear that neither couple belongs together.
Franco’s character: Chris Campbell, the jock, natch.
How bad is it?: It’s not bad so much as it’s dull. It’s bad too, but mostly dull. Jodi Lyn O’Keefe is a lovely physical specimen, but she has the screen presence of a black hole, while Franco is stuck doing a character similar to Andrew Keegan’s Joey from “10 Things I Hate About You,” which came out the previous year. No one here has much personality, not even the geek’s even geekier friends (played by “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul and Tom Hanks’ son Colin). There is a reason this movie only made about half of its $15 million budget back at the box office.

– John Gholson at Cinematical devotes his Week in Geek column this week to the “Alien” prequel, “Prometheus.” Could it help the franchise?

I’m glad Fox and Ridley Scott aren’t just making an ‘Alien’ prequel. ‘Prometheus’ may or may not be about space jockeys or xenomorphs, but the mere fact that they’re not saying “THIS IS THE SEVENTH ALIEN FILM” is a huge positive — especially from Fox, a studio that never met a franchise it didn’t like to un-creatively bleed to death. ‘Alien’ doesn’t need any more ‘Alien’ films, but using that universe as a launching point for a whole new original movie is a very intriguing idea. It’s your cake and eating it too. It won’t undo the damage already done, but if we can get an exciting new sci-fi movie out of it, maybe we can beat ‘Prometheus’ to death for a while and leave ‘Alien’ alone.

– Danger Guerrero at FilmDrunk gives an in-depth breakdown of the ‘challenge scene’ from “The Sandlot,” an okay coming of age movie that I’m apparently too old to understand the Internet love for. His summation:

My favorite part about this scene is that it’s just that — a scene. Most movies would have centered the whole plot around this rich vs. poor, haves vs. have-nots struggle. Instead, it’s just four and a half minutes in the middle of the movie, sandwiched between a scene where one of them pretty much sexually assaults a lifeguard, and another where they all chew tobacco and produce a rather disturbing amount of vomit. You know, kid stuff. That’s what the movie is about — being a kid. And it captures that better than any other movie I remember seeing.

– Plenty of films and TV shows recycle the same shooting locations, but it’s a little weird seeing naked men in porn shots produced in the same room that the majority of “The King’s Speech” was shot in. Of course, the Oscar frontrunner did share the building with a pole-dancing class according to Colin Firth. NSFW photos and comparison at QueerClick [via Vulture].

– They’re here: a simple but not too random montage of 150 favorite and famous lines from the movies:
[via Live for Films]


– Instead of making “Arrested Development” a priority, Mitch Hurwitz is developing an English-language remake of Lars von Trier’s relatively simple comedy “The Boss of It All.” It shares a bit in common with “Arrested Development,” I guess, enough that casting Jason Bateman in the lead, as a man who can’t take the responsibility of being highest authority, would be too obvious. Also, Iben Hjejle must not reprise her role. As seen in “High Fidelity,” she’s terrible for American movies. A trailer for the original:


“Major League” is getting the ol’ original cast is now mentoring a new generation type of sequel with a fourth installment. Do we really need another one of these movies when we’ve got Kenny Powers?

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