The Morning Read (2.27.09) Kotaku liveblogs 'Street Fighter,' 'Sita' sings online, and Morgan talks Jolie
Plus the 'Green Lantern' director who almost was, amazing 'John Carter' and 'Superman' art and Drew Barrymoore to direct third "Twilight"?
We're starting right on time today, so we'll dig in and see what there is to read to kick off the weekend. Really browse for a while. Want to wish my baby sister a Happy Birthday out there in N.C. Of course, my baby sister is in her 30s at this point, so maybe that's not technically accurate.
Kotaku's just plain doing great work these days, and there's a lot of material there that crosses over into film and other areas of pop culture, where games collide with these other things. A great example is their article where they were sent a screener of the new "Street Fighter" film opening today, and they liveblogged it as they watched it.
I think Kotaku's reaction to that film is particularly telling. If someone makes a really great video game movie, that community will stand on the rooftop and beat their breasts. They will absolutely crow about it. And I have a feeling, pretty darn good would be enough for them to consider something amazing at this point. Because there are no good videogame movies. Some of them have very interesting things about them, but as complete films you can really recommend to someone? Nope. Not yet.
[more after the jump]
I love the guys at WETA, and not just because of the undeniable quality of their work. They strike me as a big crazy family of artists who understand that they can make or do practically anything with the resources at their disposal. Thankfully, they use their powers for good.
Over at Ain't It Cool, Mr. Beaks is writing a series of articles leading up to the special 30th anniversary screening of Arthur Hiller's "Nightwing." I can honestly say I've never seen the film outside of that crappy pan-and-scan original home video and cable transfer, and I'm trying to figure out if I can make it to this screening to finally see the entire widescreen image. So far, Beaks has spoken to Nick Mancuso as well as Stephen Macht. I love it when Beaks starts talking about older films... it's probably his strongest suit in print, and he really gets people to relax and open up during these interviews.
Also at AICN, Yoko's got a new edition of her "Cool Cuts" column. I dove back into talkback for a few days this past week after Harry ran a link to my "Watchmen" review, and I love the theories that somehow the lovely Mrs. Knowles hastened my departure from the site. You guys do know that Harry gave her the nickname Yoko with full awareness of the implications, right? Tis a joke. Nothing more. She's super-cool, and what I like about her doing a music column for AICN is that the site was always meant as a repository for writing about the things that geek us out, and in Patricia's case, she's a huge music geek. It's as honest a reason to write a column as I can imagine, and I like that she's bringing a whole different voice to the site.
You know, I've tried to get into "Dollhouse," but it's not doing it for me yet. I just don't think the show's got a single coherent point of view yet, and it seems like everyone's trying to bring this inert thing to life, no matter what. I love Eliza Dushku, and I sincerely hope someone figures out her particular heavy-lidded husky-voiced appeal and creates the right vehicle for her. But no matter how much Whedonites try to convince themselves to love "Dollhouse," I can't see it lasting. I'd much rather scratch this one and send Whedon back to the drawing board. I'm sure he's got more great television in him. This just isn't it.
Great piece on Wired today about the secret lives of comic book store employees. As someone who spents several years as a video store clerk, I recognize my peoples when I see them.
I've been to many amusement parks over the years. Hell, I practically grew up at Walt Disney World in Florida just because of proximity. But there's an article at Dark Roasted Blend about the world's strangest amusement parks, and there are some real winners out there. Dubailand looks f'ing nuts.
And if you're in a list sort of mood today, Topless Robot also has a piece about some old-school 3D films they love. I wish there were enough screens for that "Jonas Bros." movie to come out today without forcing "Coraline" off, but I hope you at least took advantage of the last few weeks to see "Coraline" projected in 3D. It's amazing stuff.
And while I linking to audio pieces, you should listen to this brutally honest interview with Wayne Kramer, director of this weekend's "Crossing Over."
And my last audio link this morning will be heaven for any old-school video game nerds out there. Seriously. You are not ready.
Kim Morgan, a dangerous woman herself, offers up a great defense of all things Angelina Jolie.
Okay, so every "Twilight" film will evidently be helmed by someone different. That could actually be a good thing for the movies, since it'll keep each one fresh. But is Drew Barrymore really ready to step into franchise filmmaking? Shouldn't we see her first film first?
Is James Rocchi really, really polite, or just really, really Canadian? And is there a difference? Over on his blog, Rocchi has some rock-solid advice today for nascent film reviewers. If you have any interest in doing this professionally, you'd do well to take his words to heart.
As we contemplate a "Green Lantern" starring Anton Yelchin (I remain unconvinced on this kid, even after seeing chunks of both "Star Trek" and "Terminator: Salvation," ThePlaylist takes a look at how Gil Kenan, director of "City of Ember" and "Monster House" fits into the saga of wrestling one of DC's strangest marquee characters onto the screen.
We broke the news here yesterday at HitFix that Eddie Murphy is set to star in Bill Condon's Richard Pryor biopic. Condon's been immersed in the world of Pryor for a while now, and I'm a raving Pryor fanatic. It's not just that he was hilarious or that his approach to stand-up helped to revolutionize the form... it's the honesty, the unflinching nature of his work. Even when Richard tried to lie in his work, he couldn't. He's just not built that way. His art is one of the great legacies in all of stand-up comedy, and I hope this film becomes a great tribute to how Richard's art was formed and why it mattered. And I hope Eddie brings his A-game. I still think Condon is the one guy who has broken through that movie-star defensive barrier that Eddie has worn like armor for so long now, and I hope this second collaboration goes as well as their first.
And I don't know which of these final two links today are more exciting, because both of them are wonderful. First up, production designed Phil Saunders has been posting to his blog, and a lot of people started linking to him because of an image he developed for the long-dead JJ Abrams/McG/Brett Ratner version of "Superman." And it's a good one, no doubt, showing off what the Kryptonian battle armor would have looked like. But there are much bigger treats over there on his blog, including several examples of what we might have seen if Favreau had made "John Carter Of Mars." And I'm surprised by just how groovy all of the artwork from McG's abandoned film version of "Hot Wheels" is. That film might have actually been a trip if they'd pulled it off, but in a post-"Speed Racer" world... that ain't happening.
The last link is one I've been waiting for, a way to legally watch "Sita Sings The Blues," the innovative animated film that was hailed by Roger Ebert but which has been on copyright-infringement lockdown. The entire film is available for online viewing thanks to the fine folks at Reel13. Check it out. I'll be watching it myself a little later tonight, and can't wait.
Thanks for spending the week here at HitFix. I've got a few more things today and this weekend, and then all sorts of awesome planned for you next week, including a day-by-day, character-by-character look at "Watchmen," the beginning of the Motion/Captured Must-See Project and even a very special set visit. But more on that soon. For now, time to make an Amoeba run with Toshi to get him some movies for his flight next week.
Here's our intro to next week's "Watchmen" interviews again. My son thinks I'm the coolest guy ever 'cause I got to fly "the spaceship," but he doesn't understand why I won't take him to Amoeba in it.
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