The Morning Read (2.20.09) More 'Terminator' nerd-bait and 'Watchmen' FX
Okay... I think I've got my ideas all worked out now... some new things I'll be doing here on the blog. Because one thing I like is having certain things that publish at certain times... but I don't want those things to just be round-ups or press releases. I want them to be actual content... something worth your time to read. I think I've got a few new recurring features to integrate into what we're already doing that are really going to be fun to write, fun to organize.
And more than that... when I said yesterday that I think it's important that we all push for change in the blogosphere by positive example, I meant it. I want better reads every day, and so it only seems fair that I push myself to publish more interesting and unique content every day. This column's a great way to start the discussion each day, but this is a round-up of the work of others, and I don't want to let it end up overpowering my own work here.
We'll get started with them soon, as I get them ready, and in the meantime, let's wrap up this week with our last Morning Read till Monday.
BoingBoing featured a playlist of great movie themes that is actually embeddable, and I figure it'll make a great soundtrack for you as you read the column today. Here you go:
Appropriate to start with "Vertigo" and the mentally ill string stings of Bernard Hermann, because the subject of the first story I want to mention today is absolutely barking mad.
Why would Uwe Boll think anyone would want to help finance a movie for him? And specifically, why would he think there are thousands and thousands of people who would all want to help make a movie for him? He may e-mail me and angrily demand a boxing match (as he has done in the past), but it bears repeating: this guy is either an Andy Kaufman-style prank that just keeps getting funnier and weirder, or he is genuinely wackadoo.
Honestly? The more stuff they do like this, the more worried I get. I don't need some last-minute shoehorned cameo to convince me that this "Terminator" movie is "for real." Either it will be a good film on its own, or it won't. Linda Hamilton wasn't built into this film from day one... and now that they're in the home stretch, someone says, "Oh, hey, what if we put in some voice-over by Sarah Connor?" If it's something the film needs, sure, but if it's just more nerdbait, poured onto the film like gravy at the last moment, then it all strikes me as just plain trying too hard. Sometimes, you just get tired of being sold a particular film, and when it happens before the film actually gets released, it can be exhausting. In this case, it's that particular sales pitch that McG has given in person to the press a few times now. He really, really, really, really, really means it when he says he's going to try to make a really good future war movie. If "Terminator: Salvation" is anything less than awesome, it won't be for lack of trying. That's why I don't need a digital Arnold head jacked onto another actor or this Linda Hamilton stunt. Nerdbait, I says. Pure and simple.
Have you seen that TV spot for "Killzone 2" that's rendered all in-engine, using the actual gameplay assets?
The coolest part about that is that they're releasing that TV commercial in playable form, where the player will be able to examine everything you see the spot and interact with it all. That's crazy. Thanks to Kotaku for pointing this one out and talking about what it is we're looking at in the ad. When I look at a game on my HD screen, it's sort of overwhelming. We are very close to having giant virtual reality rigs in our homes, it feels like.
Also at Kotaku today, Leigh Alexander puts forth the proposition that there will never be any good video game movies. Or rather, why you as a viewer will never be happy with them.
I've mentioned that there's a debate right now over the new transfer for "The French Connection" on BluRay. I haven't personally seen it yet. But I'm curious since Robert Harris wrote about how good he thought it was, and now Glenn Kenny has gone on record to say that he disagrees. Vehemently.
Last Friday, I featured a link to Vern's review of "Every Which Way But Loose," a review I considered to be a new reason to live. Well, now I've got a matching set, because he just published his review of "Any Which Way You Can." Fantastic.
This makes me laugh and wince at the same time.
You know what the real benefits of fame are? Opportunity. You get offered the chance to do some very cool stuff... like this.
This Yahoo! Movies article on "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is little more than a well laid-out excuse to run the three trailers that were shown on Fox this week during various TV shows. Fine. I didn't see the shows, so this was my first look at this stuff, and I think it looks... okay. Interesting. I would love to be surprised by the film and have it be the sweeping weird personal journey that the trailers are trying to sell. Did they show us everything at this point? And if so, are you intrigued or impressed by what you saw?
You want to see a great example of a comments section on a blog that reacts to a posting in the best possible way? Check out this article on Cartoon Brew, where Jerry Beck asks for help with some obscure and specific information, and then check out what happens as his comments section swings into action. Great stuff.
Peter Bogdonavich drops a potential bombshell at the end of this article. Again... Cannes sounds insane this year. Better than average. If even half of what's rumored screens, it'll be a great line-up.
Okay. Time for a little bit of "Watchmen." I know... that's a daily subject right now, and you'll just have to bear with me if it's starting to feel like overkill. I saw "Watchmen" for the second time last night and...
... oh, wait. I'm embargoed. I'm actually interviewing everyone from the film today, and we'll have those interviews and other special "Watchmen" content coming very soon, but for now, I'm gagged.
Will Wheaton's not. But oh, well. Glad to see he liked it.
I wish I'd been free Tuesday night to attend the Apple Store event for "Watchmen," but thanks to BoingBoing, it sort of feels like I was.
How great is that?
There's a short editorial at FilmThreat about the casting of Freddy Krueger in the upcoming "A Nightmare On Elm Street" remake. Scott Mendelson seems to think no one can play Freddy except Robert Englund. I respectfully really really strongly disagree. In fact, I'd go so far as to say the opposite. Anyone but Robert Englund. Please. I insist. He can't play it again. No offense to Englund, but all of his return trips to the well have robbed him of his power in the role. Simply put... it may be comforting for a horror fan to see Englund in the make-up and costume, but it's not scary. And it hasn't been for a while.
I'll close the week out with two absolutely great reads by two absolutely great writers. These guys make me happy to do what I do. These guys are absolutely my peers, and it pleases me to say so.
Devin Faraci turned a screening of "Last House On The Left" into a prime opportunity to get a glimpse of what's going on with the "Red Dawn" remake. Shrewd, because now he's got a story.
And lastly, earlier this week I reviewed the new DVD release of Richard Donner's "Inside Moves." Now Mr. Beaks over at Ain't It Cool has his interview with Donner up, and it's great because I love Donner's no-bullshit persona in interviews, and because he and Beaks have a truly great conversation about the film.
Read the interview. See the film. And have a great weekend.
The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday. Except when it doesn't.
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