Welcome to The Morning Read.
Yesterday's double-feature was marked by huge stress getting to one theater (LA won that round, slowing me down enough that I was almost 20 minutes late) and then a nice surprise with the second film ("Land Of The Lost" is better than you think it's going to be), and then all sorts of tomfoolery here at the house once I got home. But here we are, last Morning Read of May, and there's plenty to discuss, so let's jump right into it, starting with what's On The Screen this weekend.
It's one of those rare days where there are two major releases, and both of them are equally worthy in different ways. Just depends what you're in the mood to see. If you're taking the family to see something, then you can't go wrong with Pixar's gorgeous new film "Up," and if you're on a date and you want something that's just plain fun, then "Drag Me To Hell" is about as good a ride as you're likely to get outside of an amusement park. There are a few limited release titles opening as well, including "Departures," the Japanese film that won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year, "Pontypool," a movie that's part zombie film, part Ionesco-style word game, and finally Jonathan Glatzer's "What Goes Up," (not to be confused with "Away We Go," which comes out next week) which stars Steve Coogan as a New York Times reporter who goes to a small town in Connecticut to interview kids about the Challenger launch, only to learn that his old friend, their teacher, has evidently killed himself. Olivia Thirlby, Josh Peck, Molly Shannon, and Hilary Duff co-star.
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I love that Total Film used Google Maps to put together an interactive guide to 25 great film locations you can visit. Great stuff.
Lego has become its own artistic medium at this point, and seeing someone recreate great movie posters is just one of its many wonderful uses.
One of the reasons I'm really sorry I missed Cannes this year was the rare opportunity to meet one of the primary muses in Godard's career.
This saddens me profoundly. If John Sayles can't get a book deal, then we are truly through the looking glass, folks.
In one of my Morning Reads last week, I ran a quote from Jane Campion at Cannes, and Kim Voynar read the same quote and responded with a full column that's got some smart things to say about gender politics in the film business right now.
Apple.com has the exclusive premiere of the "Toy Story 3" teaser trailer. Toshi just made me play it three times in a row. I'd say it does the trick, reminding us just how potent the Woody/Buzz chemistry is and reintroducing the whole cast. I was glad to see Slinky Dog is still part of the gang, too.
Speaking of Pixar, James Rocchi wrote them an open letter about a few minor complaints he has despite his deep love of their work, and someone else has been busy collecting "props" from one of my favorite of their movies.
I'm really entertained by these horror-movie-makin' kids (love the photo at the top of the article that must have been taken in Bob Burns's basement), and I wish them success with their fledgling film. But I would like to ask... who the hell lets middle school kids watch "Martyrs"? I'm almost 40, and that film disturbed me. I can't imagine what it would do to someone that age.
"School is back in session this September!" There is a NEW comedy premiering, and we want you to be the first to know! ....Yo Teach!
It was announced today that the half-hour comedy, Yo Teach!, starring Mark Taylor Jackson, will premiere as part of the NEW Fall line-up. Yo Teach! follows wise-cracking mentor Mr. Bradford ( Jackson ), who oversees a class of colorful high school underachievers. Each week, Mr. Bradford tosses his lesson plan to the wind and tackles a new moral dilemma while keeping one step ahead of Principal Andrews and the politically correct PTA.
Visit the official website for 'Yo Teach!' and learn more about the show, watch exclusive videos, browse through cast photos, and connect with other Yo Teach! fans.
If you just read all that and went, "Huh?" you were not alone. Many of my fellow webmasters were similarly confused by the press release sent out the other day by NBC/Universal. The gag, of course, is that there is no "Yo Teach!," and that guy who looks an awful lot like Jason Schwartzman actually IS Jason Schwartzman, playing Mark Taylor Jackson, who is roommates with Leo (Jonah Hill) and Ira (Seth Rogen) in Judd Apatow's upcoming "Funny People." There are a multitude of references to "Yo Teach!" in the film, including clips, and I love how they're selling it like a real show for the moment. This sort of marketing can be fun when it's done right, and this is one of those cases, IMO.
You know, I'm adopted, as is my sister, and growing up, we had very different reactions to that information. I guess it's never bothered me because I feel like my parents are such awesome people that I don't really care about where I was born. The only bummer is when I'm asked about my family's medical history and I can't answer the question. Makes my medical care a bit of a game of Russian Roulette. But despite being adopted, I don't feel like it's worth getting my dander up over the new film "Orphan," and frankly I think anyone getting upset about it is overreacting. I know... we've reached a point of hyperoffensensitivity (thanks for the word, Mr. Breathed) in our culture now, where everyone seems to spend their time looking for things to be outraged by, but this seems ridiculous to me.
There are waaaaaay too many awesome things happening in LA tonight. You can go to the New Beverly, where you'll see Christopher "Doc Brown" Lloyd introducing a triple-feature of the "Back To The Future" films, or you can go to the Aero where James Cameron will be showing a 70MM print of "Aliens" and doing a Q&A.
At this point, I'm convinced that 20th Century Fox doesn't actually exist. It's just a brain tumor of mine that makes me hallucinate some of the worst decision making humanly possible, like I'm seeing the Ghost Of Hollywood Future. Because come on... no one would be stupid enough to remake "Alien," not even with Ridley Scott producing. And, no, calling it a prequel doesn't make things any better. I'm sure Carl Erik Rinsch is very skilled, but that doesn't change how terrible an idea it would be to reboot a franchise that this studio has already proven they have no idea how to successfully manage. But since 20th Century Fox went out of business a decade ago and none of this is really happening, I can just relax... right?
I know it's not nice to mock the insane, but sometimes it's an almost sinful amount of fun, and it's not like this guy isn't begging to be a target. In a perfect world, Tommy Wiseau would hire this guy to star in "The Room 2," and I could retire from all of this and just watch that one film over... and over... and over... and over...
Next one to blame a video game for something terrible that is actually caused by parental neglect, I will punch you in the face until your entire family tree dies. That's a promise. And, yes, I learned that technique from a video game. Wooooot.
Have you seen the spy shots from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" set? The flashbacks with Freddy are very interesting in the script, and I think Jackie Earle Haley's going to positively steal the role from Englund if he takes that script and runs with it. It's a pretty radical reinvention in some ways, and there are some smart twists on a character that I felt was totally played out.
I am horrified by the implications of the outcome of this case, and I think a major, major wrong has been done here. I can only hope that somehow this works its way through an appeals process and gets reversed, because I can't accept that we have gone this crazy in terms of legal logic.
If I read Japanese, this would be the best news ever.
I've got a full weekend of work ahead, so keep checking back, and I'll see you for another Morning Read on Monday morning.
The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday. Except when it doesn't.
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