I'm not sure how long this morning's Morning Read is going to be. I'm preparing it a little earlier than normal since my youngest son, Allen, is having his tongue operated on this morning at 7:00 AM, and I need to post this before we leave the house. It's a minor thing, but it's still enough to keep my wife and I on edge until we see how things turn out. It's been something we've been trying to schedule for a while, so it's nice that we'll finally have it out of the way.
The first big piece of news today, of course, is that we're about to see the first trailer for Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds," and there's a quick tease for the premiere of that trailer already online. Holy cow. That monologue of Pitt's is the reason I bet he took the project... it's that good a monologue, and I'm not at all surprised to see the trailer use it as the spine on which the footage hangs. I'm dying to get a look at the entire trailer, and also to read the set visit report that Harry Knowles is going to publish at some point over at Ain't It Cool. He just spent five days on-set, and I'm willing to bet he'll have all sorts of new info about the film to drop on readers as soon as he gets the go-ahead to publish. If you want to see the tease in HD, YouTube's got it.
[more after the jump]
I don't spend time writing about the awards race each year for a variety of reasons. First, I think the Oscars are silly. I really do. I can appreciate it as one part of the Hollywood tradition, but I don't think the awards themselves have any significance beyond the career bump they can give some winners or as a marketing tool for certain films. But it's more than that... I don't write about the Oscar race each year because it's not something that I feel qualified to write about. I don't have my finger on the pulse of the Academy. I don't work that circuit. I don't spend my year worrying about the way campaigns are run or what a release date means or who's leading what whisper campaign. I just don't care, and so me trying to write about it would be ridiculous. I wouldn't be serving my readership at all. If you want a perfect example of someone writing about something they don't understand and offering up outright hot air in place of cogent analysis or genuine reportage, look no further than David Poland's blather about "Watchmen" he published this morning. David can speak with authority about Broadway. He can speak with authority about Oscar season. But when it comes to (A) understanding the market for "Watchmen" or (B) actually speaking to anyone who is any position to talk about the finished film's quality, he is completely lost. I'll be honest... I'm a little weirded out by the commercial prospects for the film. A part of me just doesn't see America tuning in for this one, no matter how canny the sales job by Warner Bros. and no matter what the film is. I think it's dark, I think it's strange, and I think there's a chance the film will be "Blade Runner," hugely influential on what we see for the next 20 years without actually being a commercial success. I hope I'm wrong. But I know for a fact Poland's wrong. His "sources" who have allegedly seen the film are either (A) misleading him (B) invested in the film's failure (C) fictional or (D) in a very small minority. The word of mouth has certainly NOT been largely negative. In fact, it's the opposite. So far, I've spoken to or heard reactions from a grand total of three people who I know have seen the film, and each one of them had very strong reactions to it. Whatever "Watchmen" is, it will not be a film you just shrug off afterwards. And Poland's also wrong about Warner Bros. not showing the movie to people.
They're just not showing it to him.
If you're familiar with the tortured development history of "Alien 3," then you may remember the period when they were working with director Vincent Ward on a version of the film set onboard a wooden planet that was a sort of space cathedral. Seriously. If you've ever wondered what that might have looked like, the answer is online now. That's a nice catch by BoingBoing, who directed me to the article.
Francois Ozon has a new film opening in France tomorrow, and Greg Ellwood, my EIC here at HitFix, sent me a link to the trailer yesterday to ask me "What the hell is this?!" I have no idea, but it's sort of charming, and I ended up watching it a few times. Color me curious now to see "Ricky," the story of the baby... with wings? The only reaction I've seen to the film's Berlin Film Festival screening was over at Greencine Daily.
Frosty from Collider had a quick chat with Michael Bay last night on the red carpet of "Friday The 13th," and it's worth a listen if you'd like some more clues about what to expect from "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."
Kim Morgan, easily the most crushworthy LA-based film writer, happens to also be a hell of a read. I missed her goodbye to Lux Interior last week, but when I read it yesterday, it seemed to me to be the very best piece about him that I read anywhere since his death, and worth a link.
I had a conversation the other day with a friend about publishing a book about film, something I've been asked about by a number of people over the last decade, and I have a few ideas I think might work, but I feel like the volume of work I've done at Ain't It Cool and that I'm now doing here sort of overwhelms my desire to sit down and spend even more time on a project writing about movies. Besides... I know I like to read old Pauline Kael books to relax, but not everyone's like me. It's important to me to have an archive of my work at Ain't It Cool and to create a body of work here that means something, but I do wonder about the permanence of it. How long will anyone continue to read the things I write? Are they just transitory, gone as soon as you guys have laid eyes on them? Roger Ebert contemplates the same ideas in his column today.
Big Media Vandalism is celebrating Black History Mumf, and today, they're examining the history of the musical.
I really love Cartoon Brew. It's the single most hardcore animation community I've found online, and I think Jerry and Amid, who run the place, are both sensation advocates for the art of cartooning. There's a great piece over there right now about an advertising company that essentially ripped off the work of a college kid, and it's this sort of a piece that makes me check the site as often as possible.
I can hear my wife up and moving around, getting ready to go, so I'll wrap it up with my favorite link of the day, an Onion piece (that's really, really, really NSFW, language-wise) that might be the single best lampoon of our obsession with gadgetry that I've ever seen. When I show this to my wife, she won't laugh. She'll just stare at me and say, "Now you see how you sound?" Check it out. I'd laugh if I weren't so busy wincing at how right it is.
Now it's off to the hospital. I've got four more articles for you this afternoon, but not until I'm back home and we've got everyone settled in again.
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