The Morning Read (3.27.09) Ridley Scott in 3D, Neil Marshall in ancient Rome, and 'Land of the Lost' test-screens
In honor of this week's weirdest casting news, I'm watching one of the discs from the latest chronological collection of "Three Stooges" shorts. This is the box set where Curly retires and Shemp comes in, and it's a little sad seeing how sick Curly obviously was even before the stroke.
Have you seen the new trailer for "Fame"? Man, I was a fan of the original, and I even enjoyed the TV series during its first few seasons. It's one of those fairly foolproof concepts, and I'll give the people who cut the trailer credit for trying something different. I hope there's some weight to the film, though... that's why Alan Parker's movie worked... that R rating allowed them to present real kids with real lives in a way that didn't seem to pander. My big question about the remake is what relevance does "Fame" have in a post-"American Idol" world? There are so many ways to grab your fifteen minutes now that I'm not sure kids want to hear "hard work and actual talent" as a formula for success.
How about the also-new trailer for "Away We Go," the new film from Sam Mendes? Looks to be a 180-degree turn away from "Revolutionary Road," and that delights me. It's a big year for Dave Eggers in the film world between this and "Where The Wild Things Are," and I love the simple warmth of this trailer. John Krasinski looks good in it, but what I found to be the great surprise of the trailer is Maya Rudolph, who looks like she's doing very grounded and real work. We haven't seen much from her on film, so I'm very curious to see if she shakes off the "SNL" in this role.
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Roger Ebert writes this weekend about his upcoming Overlooked Film Festival, which I've been lucky enough to attend as a featured speaker. Sitting onstage with Roger talking about anime and "Metropolis" and science-fiction on film is one of the highlights of my life, much less my career. He's an amazing host, and it's a great audience to join for movies like "Baraka," "The Fall," "Chop Shop," "Let The Right One In," a restored "Woodstock," and more. If I could go, I would this year, but for those who do, enjoy it. It's a treat.
Brendon Connelly at /Film used to run his own site, but now he contributes sharp, knowing commentary on the UK side of the industry for Pete Sciretta's site, and it's a good home for him. Today, he's got a nice article pulling together rumors and information about a film that Ricky Gervais is making called "The Men From The Pru," which started life as a possible TV series.
I take heart from the fact that Ridley Scott didn't direct his first film till he was almost 40. And I am thrilled at the notion that he might be making "The Forever War" in 3D, based on what he's seen from "Avatar." That must be one hell of a demo reel Cameron keeps showing other filmmakers, and the idea of Ridley Scott working in 3D gives me crazy eye boners, even as I'm sure it makes HitFix's Dan Fienberg want to cry at the promise of future headaches.
Biggest news of the day in my house? "Yo Gabba Gabba" is coming back for season three.
Ain't It Cool got a fistful of test screening reviews for "Land Of The Lost," and it's promising. Could the movie really play as a cross between "Anchorman" and "Jurassic Park," because that sound sort of great.
Wanna see what Neil Marshall's been up to? Rotten Tomatoes has your first look at the set of "Centurion," his new Roman/Picts battle epic? The ridiculously cool Dominic "McNulty" West? The ridiculously hot Olga "Ridiculously Hot" Kurylenko?
The guys over at The House Next Door have put together a two-part discussion of movies they feel are overlooked, and you can read about "The Undertow" or "Solaris" right now, both worthwhile conversations.
The always-interesting Kim Morgan over at Sunset Gun put up a couple of great pieces in the last week. She's got a sensation piece on Brigitte Bardot's role as the modern Don Juan, as well as a look back at Polanski's "Repulsion." Always worth the read.
Remakes are weird enough, but re-animating old films is a very strange idea, and yet I find myself compelled to want to see "Night Of The Living Dead," which they're working on right now. You can read about this bizarre new concept at Cartoon Brew today.
I've said before that the way vintage films are handled is going to be one of the major factors in the success of BluRay as a format, and Glenn Kenny seems excited by the BluRay transfers of "South Pacific" and "An American In Paris" right now. He also has some questions about how Owen Roizman and William Friedkin are going to work together on the new transfer of "The Exoricst" after all the ill will back and forth regarding "The French Connection." His questions were raised after reading the transcript from the Warner Home Video Theatrical live chat that was hosted on The Digital Bits. It's a great read for those of us who are still addicted to home video, and a really porny list of potential releases for the next year. I already can't afford all the movies I want... between this and the new Warner Archives project, I'm going to be very broke all the time. And I love it.
And to wrap it up for the weekend, I'll leave you with this, a truly indescribable trailer for a proposed anime series called "Cat Shit One":
I can honestly say that is the last thing I expected to see when I woke up today. I'm not 100% convinced I'm actually awake.
The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday. Except when it doesn't.
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