The Morning Read: Did 'The Avengers' just gain another bad guy?
Welcome to The Morning Read.
That's so weird. I was going to celebrate my birthday yesterday with a few posts about various things, and I took a break for a quiet lunch with my two boys, Allen and Toshi. We all had juice boxes, and then I woke up and it was hours later and we were in Thailand and we all had Yo Gabba Gabba tattoos on our faces. I got Brobie.
Whatever the case, it's going to be a busy weekend. "Saturday Night At The Movies" will return this week, now that "Saturday Night Live" is on hiatus again. You can look for that around 8:30 PM PST on Saturday nights. I've also got a few pieces about things we're going to do here on the blog for the summer, during the big popcorn movie season, and ways you guys can be more active, because I do value your voices in the mix as well. It's summer. We should be having fun. That's what summer and movies are about as a combination, right?
Our review of 'Super 8" won't be up until next week, on June 1st, but this weekend, our full review of "X-Men: First Class" will be up, and we're going to dig into one of the most interesting Marvel movies made by any studio so far. In addition, we'll have reviews of films like "Submarine" and "Bad Teacher" and "Green Lantern" and even "Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer." In each case, we'll try to have the earliest possible reaction for you. It's a busy crowded summer, and you deserve to know what to expect from "Mr. Popper's Penguins" or "Cars 2." As July rolls in, look for word on "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon," including reviews of both 2D and the 3D IMAX versions of the experience. We'll be sure to review the new Tom Hanks film "Larry Crowne" and the raunchy comedy "Horrible Bosses" and, yes, even films like "Monte Carlo" and "The Zookeeper," because you seriously never know.
You can count on Motion/Captured for a breakdown on everything that's in the theaters this summer, whether it's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" or "Another Earth," whether it's "Winnie The Pooh" or "Captain America," or "Friends With Benefits" or "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan." The reason you can rely on us isn't because we believe our opinion is better than anyone else's, but because we opine on so many movies that the cumulative weight of all of that, all of those reviews and interviews and analysis pieces, removes the individual significance from any one review. You're not coming here just for my "Cowboys and Aliens" review. In a vacuum, what is any one review worth? But when you read that and my "Crazy Stupid Love" piece and even my review of "The Smurfs," then you'll get a sense of my consistent voice and likes and dislikes from film to film, genre to genre, as open and fair as I can be. And all of that is just what's coming out between now and Comic-Con. And that's just a look at the new films we'll be covering. We'll obviously also be covering books and DVDs and Blu-rays and older films and whatever else interests us in that same time period. Which mean, yes, we'll stay plenty busy this summer, and we want you to share it all with us.
Enough about the future, though. Let's see what's going on right now all over the Internet. Over at Latino Review, the one and only El Mayimbe broke the story that there will be an unexpected second big-name villain in "The Avengers." Or maybe even third, based on how you're counting. It's a pretty big piece of information if true, and so I'll just link you to their site without hinting about who it is or how they might fit into the movie, and if you don't want to know, don't click that link. Sounds interesting, though, and more than ever, I'm just curious to see how Joss Whedon brings all of these elements together in a film that is less than seven hours long. Normally I'd say it sounds too busy, having all these villains, but if you're going to put Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, and the Hulk together, they'd better have a credibly-scaled threat to face.
Broken Lizard is back in business, and it looks like Jay Chandrasekhar is directing again for "The Baby Makers," a sperm bank heist movie that will add Paul Schneider to the mix with Lizard regulars Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, and Paul Soter. Sounds good to me. I think "The Slammin' Salmon," their last film, was one of their best, and I'm always rooting for them as a group.
I ran a link to a Terrence Malick interview from the '70s in the last morning read, and today, there are three Malick-related treats for you as "The Tree Of Life" opens in limited release. First, GQ of all places just did a great oral history piece on "Badlands." I love it. Meanwhile, the LA Times got confirmation that Malick still intends to do "The Voyage Of Time," an IMAX documentary that will be narrated by Brad Pitt that sounds, honestly, like an expanded version of the middle of "The Tree Of Life," and it sounds like it will be ungodly gorgeous. Finally, this mash-up "conversation" with Malick is particularly awesome because it uses a photo of him that I haven't seen 10,000 times before.
This long-form profile of Jon Jacobs, who I guess is a controversial figure in the gaming community, is both well-observed and also another reminder that the definitions of social reality are changing in some remarkable ways these days.
I know we're going to see "Cabin In The Woods" this year, but beyond that, this is a nice piece by Dustin Rowles that highlights some finished movies that are trapped in distribution limbo right now.
Vulture had some folks pick their most-anticipated summer movies, including Paul Scheer, Diablo Cody, Rob Corddry, and Miranda July. Some nice titles in the mix there. And speaking of July, her new movie "The Future" will be out on July 29, and there's a pretty sharp piece on IndieWIRE about how Roadside Attractions is approaching marketing a movie that they don't even totally own, and July's decision not to sell her well-liked new festival favorite.
"An Open Letter To The Gentleman Blow-Drying His Balls In The Gym Locker Room," I applaud you.
If they're serious about closing the 405 for an entire week in July, I may just flip out completely and move to Gliese 581d. That'd show 'em.
This guy fired a lime through a slab of beef. I propose we create a new holiday to celebrate this fact.
Occasionally, I find a tab open on my browser, totally unsure how I got there or why it's open. This is one such link, and while it's a very well-written letter, part of a larger conversation, I have no idea what got me to that page.
My buddy Kevin is already back at work on his series "Cougar Town," but he's got enough time to post important information on Twitter, like this YouTube video. I didn't know this existed until just now, and now I can't imagine a world where I don't own one:
Andy Howell, host of the new science show "Known Universe," is one of the old school AICN contributors, and I love when Copernicus shows up on the site to drop some knowledge. Andy is a truly brilliant guy, and his point-of-view on "E.T." forced me to see the film in a whole new light. When "Avatar" came out, he wrote a piece on AICN about the science of the film, and that led to people hiring Andy to speak on the subject. It's a great read. Now he's done it again with "The Science Of 'Thor'," and I highly recommend you check it out.
This "Tetris" footage is terrifying. Jin8 is obviously a mutant:
Having spent the last six years watching the development of my kids close-up, I am fascinated by the conversation about what children's cognition is really like.
This is self-evident, right? Of course it's our sedentary lifestyles that are killing us.
John Gholson will be writing a bi-weekly "Countdown to 'The Avengers'" column for Movies.com? Well, count me in. And they've got Eric D. Snider there as well, writing about summer movies? Pinch me. That site's getting sexier by the day.
And speaking of sexy…
… there is nothing sexy in any way about that video. Dear god.
I hope this Mars expedition goes well:
Pulp performing together again is almost as rare a sight as footage from Mars, and very cool besides:
Alan Rickman's letter to Jo Rowling to thank her for "Harry Potter" is, I must say, straight-up classy.
Are you a movie poster nerd? Have you seen Film On Paper? It's crack. Seriously. If you click that link, you may lose your entire afternoon.
Ruggero Deodato shouldn't talk about altering "Cannibal Holocaust." It is what it is precisely because he went too far and transgressed openly.
Finally, Kubrick fans should immediately run to get this album of remixes by 57 Splits, which is built around music from his movies. It's very cool.
That reminds me… if you haven't picked up Dangermouse's new album "Rome," which is like a soundtrack album to a non-existent spaghetti western with appearances by Jack White and Norah Jones, among others, you absolutely must. It's tremendous, and I haven't been able to play anything else in my car in the last week. On that note, I'm wrapping this up for the week, but there will be more reviews and articles here all weekend, so please… make HitFix part of your holiday weekend, and have a safe one out there.
The Morning Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Except when it doesn't.