Welcome to The Morning Read.

It's a week of many screenings.  I think after I see "Up" tomorrow night, I'm sort of done with all the big May titles.  I was pleasantly surprised by the new Sam Mendes film last night, and today, I'm off to check out what's being called by many "the big comedy of the summer."  It's feeling like summer for sure now, and so before I get started on another full day of running around, let's see what's going on out there this morning.

Roger Ebert's interview with James Toback yielded some remarkable material, and he's run big chunks of unfiltered Toback on his main site.  What's interesting is the way Toback's observations on death and God and mortality and madness serve as a bookend to Ebert's own thoughts about the end of life and what's beyond, a subject that I'm sure anyone with profound health issues has had to consider closely.

Okay, Warner Bros., enough with the viral marketing.  It is not acceptable to kill Swedish people just to sell tickets to "Terminator: Salvation."

Quint's new A Movie A Week column examines "Phone Call From A Stranger" today.  As always, Quint's a ton of fun to read as he chips away at expanding his film knowledge, one title at a time.

[more after the jump]

Now that Vern has reviewed "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," I think it's safe to say that movie is done being reviewed.  Meanwhile, over at Gizmodo, there's a piece about a dude who made his own Wolverine claws.

 


Real Working Homemade Wolverine Claws - X-Men - Amazing videos are here

 

That's all well and good, bub, but you might want to rethink your plan.  And let me illustrate why:

 


Why Having Wolverine's Claws Would Suck -- powered by Cracked.com

 

Thanks to what appears to be a Disney Channel promo show of some sort, there's some new footage out there today from "The Princess and the Frog," which I only noticed because the guys at /film spotted it first.

 

 

Interesting.  I'm finding that this new packaged John Lasseter is less appealing to me than the Pixar figurehead of the past.  That whole thing was just a little too Stepford Animator for me.  The footage, though, is interesting.  I like that the bad guy is a voodoo priest, and the animation has a really lively, exaggerated quality that's not quite typical Disney, and that's a good thing.  It looks like whatever the movie is, it's not just business as usual.

Awwww, man.  I just read that Dom DeLuise died.  I have to say, I think What Would Tyler Durden Do had the best impulse in terms of paying tribute to DeLuise, since there's one thing many of us who grew up in the '70s will remember about him more than anything else:

 

 

He didn't make films I would consider classics, but as a performer, DeLuise was an original, a guy who obviously considered it important to entertain the people surrounding him at all times.

In the mood to read some scripts today?  Forces Of Geek has put together one page where you can read a stack of unproduced work like Darren Aronofsky's "Batman: Year One" or the JJ Abrams "Superman" script I infamously reviewed so many years ago.

The House Next Door has up a new installment of "Understanding Screenwriting" that references "Monsters Vs. Aliens," "Grey Gardens," "30 Rock," and more.

Did you like the "Ponyo" still yesterday?  There are even more of them online now, and I really love the way this one looks.  I can't wait for Disney to start screening it, as this is one of the films I'll be sharing with Toshi in the theater this year.

With Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris signing on to direct "Used Men," or whatever it's going to be called now that they're reworking the concept so radically, I'm betting it actually gets made.  Originally, if you don't remember this pricey almost that Fox came close to making a few years ago, it was a buddy comedy about two clones who decide to take a journey to find the fabled Mantopia when they are set to be "retired."  It was a Jim Carrey/Ben Stiller film at that point.  Now Stiller is attached, but Reese Witherspoon is going to co-star, and the story is more about the relationship between Stiller and the woman who owns the clone.  I'm wondering if their signing on to this movie means that the untitled Cameron Crowe volcano comedy is a dead issue now.

I love fake covers for DVDs.  I ran a link recently to a forum where the members had spent the weekend doing Criterion-style covers for videogames, and now check out this forum thread where people create Criterion covers they wish actually existed.  There's an image for "The Elephant Man" about three pages in that is a stunner.  And after you find your imagination sparked by all these covers-that-never-were, hop on over to Amazon and vote on what Criterion title should hit BluRay next.

Okay.  Out to make that screening.  More material coming later today.

The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday.  Except when it doesn't.

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