Welcome to The Morning Read.
And now the cycle is complete. This is how it works these days, right? You make a foreign-language genre film, you get it booked into festivals, it gets picked up by a smaller distributor, and then as soon as it gets some US theatrical play, someone sets up an American remake. At this point, if you don't manage to sell your film as a remake, then there must be something wrong with your movie.
Certainly, there's nothing wrong with "Trollhunter," which I just reviewed the other day. I guess I shouldn't be surprised to hear that it's been set up as a remake. Chris Columbus and CJ Entertainment & Media are going to co-produce the American version, and it looks like they've already got a writer attached, Marc Haimes. Last year, there was word that Andre Ovredal, who wrote and directed "Trollhunter," was going to work with Columbus on an original film in the vein of "Gremlins," and I guess this means Columbus is a fan in general. I still want to strongly encourage you to seek out and see the original, either on VOD or at one of the film's theatrical dates, but I guess this remake is inevitable.
Meanwhile, Warren Beatty loves to talk about making a "Dick Tracy" sequel, and he even waged a fairly ferocious court battle to make sure that he's got the right to do so. Last night, when his 1990 comic strip adaptation played as part of the LA Times Hero Complex Film Festival, he talked about the potential sequel in the Q&A. I have such a fondness for his first film, for the way he designed it, for the way Vittorio Storaro shot it, and although he hasn't given me many opportunities to write about him in recent years, I'm a bit of a maniac when it comes to Beatty's work overall. If he really does make this sequel, I'm in. I'm ready. I just have my doubts that we'll ever actually see it.
Over at Film School Rejects, Brian Salisbury tackles "The Rock" in his latest edition of "Junkfood Cinema," and I agree with him that "The Rock" is, in fact, a bad movie. At the very least, it's a terrible script that has one of the biggest, dumbest problems I've ever seen in a movie that otherwise smart people seem to excuse on a regular basis. If Nic Cage is a chemical weapons expert who never uses a gun, then why does the film send him to an island to do absolutely nothing of import with the chemicals while just doing basic big dumb action hero stuff with a gun? They spend so much time setting up his character, then throw all of that out the window immediately. It's so frustrating to me as a writer that I can't enjoy the mayhem that is, I will admit, well-staged.
I'm sure Devin Faraci's editorial that positions the "X-Men: First Class" portrayal of Magneto as a comment on Israel will only attract reasonable, friendly conversation in the comments section of his site.
Colin Geddes is one of those guys who lives and breathes film, and I feel very lucky to count him among my friends these days. I've really only gotten to know him over the last year and a half, first as the programmer of the excellent Midnight Madness section of the Toronto Film Festival, then as the new head of ActionFest, and yet I can already tell you that he walks the walk. When there was a massive collection of 16mm film prints on the verge of being destroyed last year, Colin mobilized the forces, swung into action, and rescued the archive. Check it out.
Have you checked out the new Bill Simmons site Grantland yet? Good stuff, with an impressive roster of contributors, and if they're going to treat game reviews with this degree of intelligence, then I am going to be a regular reader. I'm wrestling with my own feeling about "L.A. Noire," which I'd like to be able to articulate soon, but for now, this is the best piece I've read about the game anywhere.
Have you read the epic interview with Dan Harmon that was published this week on The AV Club? If not, you should. Harmon, the creator and showrunner for "Community," is a fascinating guy, and this is a really candid, compelling piece about the state of the art in network television right now.
When I was growing up, my mom and dad were both voracious readers, but they would get rid of books as soon as they finished them. I believed in keeping books and re-reading them, something which baffled both of my parents. As a result, I know which side of this conversation I fall on, but how about you? Are there books you revisit frequently, and if so, which ones? And why? For me, the works of John Irving, the original Doc Savage pulps, the Fleming Bond novels, the McDonald McGee books, and more all end up getting revisited on a semi-regular basis.
I thought it was pretty great when Attorney General Eric Holder recently made a public request for more episodes of "The Wire." I am all for getting Congress involved and ordering this to happen. But I love that David Simon finally responded, and said, "We are prepared to go to work on season six of 'The Wire' if the Department of Justice is equally ready to reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of our misguided, destructive, and dehumanizing drug prohibition." End the drug war for more seasons of "The Wire"? THAT IS A DEAL, DAMN IT!
I am almost sure Rob Delaney is serious about this, and it seems like a very rational approach to the discussion of women's body issues.
RT @bazecraze Oh, Tracy Morgan, that was a terrible choice for your first coherent sentence.
We ran a first look image from Pixar's "La Luna" earlier this week, and now there's a clip from the film online.
It is flat-out ridiculous that the BBFC refused to classify "The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)" for release, and even if I have no interest in seeing the film, I think you'd have to be insane to argue that the film is any more potentially harmful or dangerous than any other extreme horror film, and the notion that an arthouse release somehow makes a film okay when a mainstream release of that same film would be a problem is elitist and, frankly, stupid.
You want some Tommy Wiseau for the weekend? Of course you do.
Remember the reel of super 8 film we got that was part of the "Super 8" viral campaign? Well, the entire thing is finally done, and you can see it all together as one film right here:
This is an excellent piece about the question of whether you need to go to film school or not. It's not a definitive answer, but it is one that comes from an informed position, with some real experience behind it.
And after you read that, read Shannon Shea's piece on sneaking into film school. Nice double-feature there.
Film Crit Hulk make good points. Have interesting theories. DREW READ!
Has Tracy Morgan seen this yet?
Paul Scheer reading from the work of Jim Belushi? Yes, please.
I wonder if the Milky Way's twin galaxy has its very own Jim Belushi, and if so, I wonder if their very own Paul Scheer finds their Jim Belushi hilarious. I'll bet Jim Belushi is worth making fun of in every galaxy.
Finally, one the great mysteries of our time is on the verge of being unraveled, and you can start trying to crack the case right here.
I hope you guys have a great weekend. I have a few more things for you tonight, and then a "Saturday Night At The Movies" for you tomorrow, so keep checking back, and then I'll see you here all over again on Monday morning.
The Morning Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Except when it doesn't.