Welcome to The Morning Read.
Wow, the schedule's starting to get complicated already, and we're still about two weeks away from the start of Sundance. I'm going to have to give up sleeping this year, I think. You don't need that, do you?
Over at CHUD, Devin Faraci broke the news that Scott Frank's proposed reboot of the "Planet Of The Apes" franchise, tentatively titled "Caesar," has been tabled. That is a shame, because I think what Frank was planning sounded fascinating, and if you want to know what might have been, read Devin's initial report from a while ago. But I'm not surprised. There hasn't really been much of a regime change since the last "Planet Of The Apes" by Tim Burton, and you saw what sort of empty, stupid spectacle that was. Why would they suddenly grow some taste and decide to make a smart and thoughtful movie using the "Apes" characters? Frank's film sounded expensive and dark and idea-driven. My hope now is that some other studio lets Scott Frank write and direct a big movie, because he's proven himself as both writer and director at this point, and the process he's been through for the last few years has gotten him comfortable with the idea of working on a mega-budget FX film. One of the smartest dudes in town is all dressed up with no place to go. Let's not leave him that way, eh?
Boy, this sort of attitude chaps my ass. I am not a giant Oscar fan, and when I read Jack Matthews telling Anne Thompson that sci-fi movies have no place in any serious discussion of what should or shouldn't get nominated for an Oscar, it reminds me why. These awards allegedly are to celebrate the best of film each year... not the best of mainstream non-genre film. If you want to make the case that "Chariots Of Fire" has aged better than "Raiders Of The Lost Ark," feel free. You're wrong, but feel free. I like Matthews... hell, his book on the Terry Gilliam behind-the-scenes fight on "Brazil" is one of the best ever written about the way this business really works. But on this particular subject, he sounds like a genre-hating dolt, and I have little patience for it.
Remember yesterday's piece about Sony 3D BluRays and the upcoming HD 3D channel? Well, looks like Disney's getting into the game, too. And the great news for me (yay, me!) is that my PS3 will be getting a firmware update that will turn it into a 3D BluRay player so I won't have to go buy a new piece of hardware. Good plan, Sony. Good plan.
I've never heard of the "Letters Of Note" blog until today, via my friend Keith, but I'm going to have to bookmark them now. They've got an awesome pitch letter from Jerry Siegel outlining his early ideas about "Superman," and as you can read, the origin story was a wee bit different at that point. What do you think... did the eventual changes pay off?
Jimmy Fallon was prepping to tape a promo with the Muppets the other day, and during mic check, a spontaneous version of the Harry Nilsson song "One" broke out. You can tell this isn't something that's rehearsed and polished, but what blows my mind is just how seamlessly the Muppet performers remain in character even while goofing around like this. These guys are magicians, and the Muppets are just alive. That's all there is to it:
Love it. LOVE IT.
This is intriguing news. Based on what I've heard from the people who work with him, James Cameron has the fire in his belly in a big way these days, and I expect he'll be developing a lot of material over the next few years. We're not going to see another decade spent away from movies. If anything, he may end up pulling a couple of Spielbergs on us, years where we see him knock out a couple of films back to back, and I suspect the subject matter of those movies won't be what we are used to from him. Verrrrrry curious to see what happens with this one.
Okay... this is the last piece of pre-release "Kick-Ass" publicity material you should watch. Trust me... you don't want to see any more than this out of context. I'll hand it to Lionsgate, though... this trailer gets the movie dead right:
Okay, I'm ready to go see it again now. How many weeks is it until SXSW?
RT @robhuebel: Tension at the dentist's office. His hands were in my mouth and I go, "hope you've never masturbated, ever". Got slapped in face.
Okay... I've got a lot more to share with you, but I have to get out the door so I can go interview Harrison Ford. Oh, look, I dropped a name. I'll leave you with one last video today, a jaw-dropping all-CG piece that I had to watch twice because I really can't process exactly what I'm looking at:
Alex Roman, I think I love you.
I may try to sneak in a special Weekend Read for all the good stuff that didn't make the column this week. In the meantime, I'll be back later with more reviews for you. Have a good Friday.
The Morning Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Except when it doesn't.
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