Welcome to the Evening Read.
Yes, that's right. I rearranged the schedule today so I could post those reviews first, and now I'm putting together an Evening Read after spending some time with the boys this afternoon. Lots of interesting stuff going on out there today, so I wanted to make sure we got a chance to share some of it before the day is done and I start celebrating my birthday... which, at this age, means "drinking heavily and weeping in the shower."
I'm not going to link out to the sites who are spoiling a very clever cameo in one of this summer's big movies, but I am going to ask the question why you would do that to your readers. I got yelled at (primarily by one guy repeatedly) by a few of you over my decision to run the "Muppets" trailer the other day without hiding the fact that it was a trailer for "The Muppets" in my headline, and that was a decision I had to contemplate. In the end, very few of you would have clicked on an article about an Amy Adams/Jason Segel romantic comedy that you'd never heard of before, and I don't blame you for that. I don't post stories with the specific goal of having no one read them, so I erred on the side of spoiling a two-minute trailer for you in that case. And that was, let's be clear, a piece of advertising. But regarding an actual movie? And a surprise hidden deep within that movie? There's no way I would do that to my readers. I won't even tell you what movie it was they screwed up. I'll just say that it's comparable to what would happen if there was a scene in "Cowboy and Aliens" where Han Solo showed up as one of the aliens and had an onscreen moment with Harrison Ford. The crowd would go berserk, right? Well, that's the way this particular cameo plays in its film, and the idea of someone posting the information as a headline… not even as part of a story, but as an unavoidable headline… makes me think that maybe studios aren't wrong when they play hardball on screening dates and embargoes. If you can't trust a fully-functioning adult to handle a piece of information properly, then you have to stop giving all the adults that information. It removes the temptation to be a total tit from the equation. Shame on you, Comic Book Movie.
Vin Diesel took to Facebook to give fans of his Riddick character a little bit of hope and hesitation today, saying David Twohy is in New York with him now, and they have the money to make an R-rated sequel to the films "Pitch Black" and "The Chronicles Of Riddick." In order to do so, though, Diesel has to agree to make the film for scale. Coming off a huge hit like "Fast Five," Diesel is no doubt trying to figure out the exact right next move to make, but I hope he is motivated by the movies, not the money. I'd love to see another film about Riddick, especially after the awful case of blue balls that the ending to the last one gave me. And if Twohy's onboard with him, then I believe it'll be awesome fun. Please take the pay cut, Vin. Pleeeeeeease.
This summer, I'm considering a trip to Montreal for some of the Fantasia Film Festival. I first attended back in 2001, and I love the fest and the people behind it. It's also a great time of the year to be in Montreal in general. Don't take my word for it, though. Check out these folks sharing their memories of the last 15 years of one of the great genre festivals anywhere.
As I try to figure out what to do with the kids this summer if I actually do end up taking a vacation of some sort, I am grateful for a list like this. I'm also grateful for a list like this. Now I'd just be grateful for some damn money.
I refuse to acknowledge that the kids from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" have aged. It's a lie. A damn dirty lie.
Oh, my god… someone actually interviewed Terrence Malick! Sure, it was in 1975, but beggars can't be choosers.
Leigh Whannell, one of the creators of "Saw" and "Insidious," is a very funny guy in person, and his blog is full of great stories, including this fairly recent one about his early days living in LA and an encounter with Alicia Silverstone that I would find hard to live down if it were me.
And speaking of great stories, Adam Scott's been around long enough now that he's got a pretty fantastic bag of stories to draw from himself. He shared 13 of them with Vulture, and it's worth a read.
I love reading how Mr. Rogers affected people. There are few folks working in entertainment who I believe do so from an entirely selfless place, but Fred Rogers was one of them, and I dearly love the man and his work. This piece, written by someone who discovered him late in life, does a good job of summing up why he still holds a very special and specific place in pop culture.
Why, yes, Trailers From Hell DID just add a blog. And, yes, they DID in fact kick off with a post from Joe Dante and a clip from "The Movie Orgy." The what? Oh, man, you need to know about "The Movie Orgy." Everyone should know about "The Movie Orgy."
I can't wait to take my sons on the newly-rennovated and redesigned "Star Tours." On G4, they had a pretty great piece showing the launch of the new version:
This is important to keep in mind on the day "Kung Fu Panda 2," directed by Jennifer Yuh, opens in theaters everywhere. It ain't easy.
I find stories of conjoined twins endlessly interesting, and there are some really amazing ideas in this piece about Krista and Tatiana Hogan.
I'll admit, the term "space archeologists" does not mean what I thought it meant. They're still very cool, and their work is fascinating, but I think I might be disappointed.
But I guarantee there is no way I would leave the Creation Museum disappointed. That place sounds straight-up awesome.
A see-through frog? That's pretty amazing, and proof that no matter how much we feel like the world is already fully catalogued, there are plenty of surprises left for us.
I really love this piece on Japanese vending machines. It's a lovely bit of cultural anthropology.
This weekend, with two big sequels opening, I'd say one got it right and one got it not so right, and it's a fine line. There is an art to making good sequels, and Vulture put up a piece that discusses that idea with Christopher McQuarrie, Richard Donner, Brett Ratner, Al Ruddy, and Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger, who co-wrote "Kung-Fu Panda 2."
Oh, boy. I hope Stephen K. Bannon's feature-length documentary about Sarah Palin debuts on pay-per-view, so I can say, "I can see it from my house!"
Real-world spy games have provided me one of the key obsessions of my educational life. I find the history of worldwide intelligence to be fascinating, and modern-day evolution of the various tricks of the trade is just as amazing as the history that got us here.
… wait… I thought snipes were made-up.
And to think, when I woke up this morning, I didn't know what a Tenga was. And I didn't know they made one to tie in to "Skyline."
Maybe this guy should have stuck with a Tenga instead of "accidentally" falling on an air hose. Yikes.
Over at Movies.com, which appears to slowly but surely be turning into the new home of the great Cinematical team, they've started a new column that we can certainly get behind here at the home of Film Nerd 2.0. I think the discussion about how to raise our kids in today's media landscape is an important one, and the idea of discussing when we show them certain things has real value, especially when it's handled as well as it is in this first edition of the column from Sean O'Connell.
This oral history of the rise and fall of Nirvana is sort of dazzling, and it makes me feel very old.
Script notes for "Network"? It's nice to remember that Cheyefsky was, in fact, human.
And any column that wraps up with a conversation about writing with Russell T. Davies is, in my opinion, a good column. On that note, I'm going to take off and spend the start of my birthday finally playing a little bit of "L.A. Noire."
There'll be plenty of good stuff here the rest of the week and this weekend, though, including a new feature that I hope will become a major piece of our back-and-forth here on the site. Keep checking back.
The Morning Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Except when it doesn't.