Welcome to The Afternoon Read.

I don't have a problem with Bradley Cooper signing on to play The Crow because of any special feelings I have about The Crow.  It's more because it sounds like an amazing bit of career suicide just as things are heating up for Cooper.  For one thing, no matter who plays the part, they're going to be compared to Brandon Lee, and that's a sucker's game.  Lee's work in the Alex Proyas original is the very definition of a star-making performance, and there's not a lot of character to the character.  It's a make-up job, a sulk, and some violence.  I hope this is just an early round of the casting guessing game, and not something Cooper's really close to actually doing.  But when Borys Kit uses terms like "in early negotiations," that's very specific, and frankly, in this case, sort of terrifying.  Relativity, which just had a surprise hit with Cooper's movie "Limitless," seems determined to move quickly on this one, and with this casting news, it sounds like they're off to a really weird start.

So, uh, they appear to have discovered a new elementary particle, which cold possibly change our understanding of the properties of matter.  Nothing major.

Oh, my.  I understand the business reasons for fighting over the copyright to Rebecca Black's "Friday," but it doesn't change the fact that it's like having a knife fight over who gets to hold a turd.

You know, Sean Combs was a real surprise when he and I met on the set of "Get Him To The Greek," soft-spoken and serious about his craft, and utterly ego-free when it came to the notion of himself as an actor.  And now, I have another reason to be a fan.  Or, to be more specific, I've got 1000 new reasons to like him, and so does Evan Glodell, the writer/director/star of "Bellflower":




You know, I don't think it's enough to just say that Hollywood is misogynistic.  The truth is, most of what is generated in the studio system is terrible, and there are just as many actors who are treated badly by the system as actresses, and I think the problem is a general attitude that audiences around the world are stupid, and everything has to be played to the broadest of archetypes.  And not to be cruel, but at this point, I have trouble drumming up sympathy for Anna Faris as a victim of the system.  Once you make the choice to start modifying your body and your face in a permanent way, you're adding to the problem, not standing up against it.  Besides... this is not a new problem.

I used to be a fiend for novelizations of movies, especially when they came out before the film did.  Devin wrote a piece in which he laments the dearth of novelizations out there these days.  As much as it would be nice if these made a comeback, I'm holding out for the return of the Fotonovel.  Oh, yeah, I went there.

I can't honestly say I need a "Grand Theft Auto" movie.  Not now.  Not ever.  I think games work on a totally different level than films, and adapting one to the other rarely captures the essence of why we loved something in the first place.

Hugh Grant's been a busy boy.  And I don't think I've ever liked him more.

I'll be writing up a full rundown on the Cannes line-up tomorrow when it's announced, but in the meantime, it sounds like "Restless," the new film by Gus Van Sant, is going to be the opening film for Un Certain Regard, and I hope I'm there to see it.

If you've been here since the start of HitFix, you know how important it is to me to cover not just new films, but classic films as well, constantly expanding the conversation.  Eric Snider's column, "What's The Big Deal?", is a nice way of examining older titles with a fresh eye, and his take on "Eraserhead" is particularly worth your time.  And why do I link to Eric D. Snider so often?  Well, he's kind of a big deal, at least according to Chase Whale, who has impeccable taste in these matters.

I can't believe I didn't link to this earlier, but I need to correct that right now.  Thankfully, any list of the top 50 horror films of a particular decade complied by Scott Weinberg is going to be timeless, so it's not like there was an expiration date on this one.

I still don't want to see an "Evil Dead" remake, not even if Bruce Campbell says the script is great, and not even if he ends up playing a role in it.

Hmmm… a conversation about horror adaptations with Mick Garris and John Skipp?  Considering my work with Mick over the years and the fact that I tried for 18 months to get an adaptation of Skipp and Spector's "The Bridge" off the ground as an animated film, this seems like a conversation I need to listen to right now:

 


Oh, you better believe I'm going to order some of these.

Over at ScriptShadow, they just published a review of my 1998 script "Amusements," and while it's not a great review, it's an interesting read, and I think Carson would be surprised how much of his review I agree with now, from the vantage point of 13 years of further experience.

It's amazing what you can pull off in terms of low-fi animation now, and Richard Payne, working from Mark Millar's "Nemesis" comics, kind of blew my mind with this:

 

Deceit - Badman Silence from Richard Payne on Vimeo.



One of my few regrets when I spoke with Rob Reiner last year was that we didn't have more time, and I would have loved to speak to him more about his work as an actor.  As a result, this was a really gratifying read.

I am pleased to see people, particularly smart people like Peter Hall, defending "Your Highness" already.

And on that note, I've got a lot more to get to, so we're going to have to wrap it up.  I'm going to leave you with one last bit of "Your Highness" business, an interview I did with Justin Theroux that turned into the great Beard-Off of 2011:
 



The Afternoon Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, except when it doesn't.