The Morning Read (2.05.09) 'Watchmen' goes viral and 'Thor' rumors
Thursday, Thursday. Lots of ground to cover. Lots to discuss. And on top of it, a full evening's worth of having my computer offline means I've got to make up for lost time with a big batch of material this morning and afternoon, including that Henry Selick "Coraline" interview (a pretty good one, I think) and my "Lost" recap and a fistful of reviews I've got ready to go... it's going to be a busy day all the way around.
About yesterday's movie... singular, as it happens, since I was unable to make it to the Grove last night... UNDER THE SEA was a great afternoon out with a three-year-old. Seriously. Great.
The IMAX 3D was impeccable, as I expected, and Toshi spent most of the time either terrified of the sharks or reaching out to touch the other fish. He spent the rest of the day talking about how the crocodile (actually a crocodile fish) and the sharks had scared him, but he was fine, and he wasn't really afraid, and he wanted to see it again. That's a hit where I come from.
[more after the jump]
Words can scarcely express my glee at the widespread proliferation of this viral marketing clip for "Watchmen" that has to do with the Keene Act. It's a canny piece of publicity, and just plain fun:
See what I mean? That's what I've been talking about for years now... the idea that film marketing isn't about hardselling an audience on abstracts... it's about beginning the ride early. The best marketing works like the set dressing along the path leading up to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. You can't see the thing itself yet, but look at all this great stuff that keeps you entertained and sets a tone and establishes the world for you. If you can do that, and then if you actually deliver on the promise, then I think an audience will follow you with pleasure.
That "Watchmen" clip showed up pretty much everywhere online over the last 12 hours or so, but to be fair, I saw it on CHUD first, just 'cause that's what I was reading. And speaking of superheroes, Devin wrote a good piece about a real piece of news that came from the slightest of sources, a Twittexclusive about Kenneth Branagh's possible-upcoming version of "Thor." Then Gabe Toro over at The Playlist also wrote a great piece about more current "Thor" rumors.
Ray Pride wrote a piece about the auction of Forry Ackerman's belongings that sort of broke my heart. It's not even that he says much... he doesn't. It's mainly a list of what's for sale. But what got me is that the sale's happening at all. Guys like Forry and Bob Burns... they don't want those things up for sale, vanishing into people's private homes... they always dreamed of someone stepping up and offering museum space for these collections. And Forry's stuff is unfortunately not going to be together now, and while I'm sure the owners will treasure each of these icons they buy, it still makes me sad that all of his work ends up scattered like sand.
I've had people send me sarcastic and pissy e-mails making fun of the way I treat the various studios I've visited around the world with reverence. In particular, I've always been very excited about visiting the English soundstages at Pinewood, Shepperton, and Elstree. There's so much history there, and it's a thrill to walk in those spaces, knowing what shot there. This artice totally understands that thrill. It's a heck of a great read, and Roger Moore comes off particularly well.
Oh, boy... The Dude is still talking about Sundance and "Dirt! The Movie" and getting punched, and this time, I think it is the single most hilariously long-winded distillation of everything I've learned about The Dude in the however-many years I've known him. And if you don't already know what I'm talking about in this paragraph, then I doubt reading this article is going to help.
Nice work by Steve over at Collider from breaking the story with Brendan Routh talking about "Scott Pilgrim" incorporating animation. It's only a vague hint of what Edgar's up to on that film, of course, but it's a provocative hint, and I love that people actually seem excited about this movie.
Y'know why I like the Geekdad blog over at WIRED? Uh, because I'm a Geekdad, most likely. Where else would you read an article about the "10 Science-Fiction Series I Cannot Wait To Share With My Kids"? Which is, of course, a follow-up to the recent and also-groovy "10 Science-Fiction Films I Cannot Wait To Share With My Kids".
Lux Interior has died. That sucks. A lot.
And while you're at BoingBoing this morning, you might bask in their totally awesome TED2009 coverage by Mark Frauenfelder. If you want something that's film-specific, it's worth starting with Jake Eberts, who talked about "Oceans," which is evidently a $170 million film Disney's distributing in 2010. I knew nothing about it until I read that article and then followed a link to this video:
Uhhhh... what? I am so curious to see what that is now. April 22, 2010. "Oceans." From Disney. Got it.
In the meantime, there are so many other TED2009 lectures that Frauenfelder's reported on. Like Seth Godin. Or Pattie Maes. Or how about the dude who invented the Internet? And no... I don't mean Al Gore. Although he did speak at TED as well.
I'm very, very sorry to see The Orphanage close.
I wouldn't mind seven great Batman films, but I doubt the series can maintain any momentum for that sort of sustained run.
And, finally, J. Hoberman writes about the effect the economic freefall we're in is going to have... or not have... on the movie business, and on what we'll see onscreen.