spider-man 4 delayed, james bond on track and a midseason tv report card for new shows

Enjoy today’s links:

it will be this many years until spider-man 4 comes out

it will be this many years until spider-man 4 comes out

There’s two ways you look at it when a movie gets delayed because of script and production problems, as is seemingly the situation with Spider-Man 4. You can think, “Crap, they can’t get this right, this movie is going to suck donkey turds.” Normally, that’s the way I’d lean. The other option is to say, “OK, they’re delaying it to make sure they get it right.” That’s the direction I tend to believe this time around because for once, I’m not taking the cynical view. I really believe Sony does not want to completely ruin one of the 10 biggest franchises in film history and instead of rushing ahead with something that doesn’t feel right, they’re going back to the drawing board to make sure it is right. If the studio puts out a Spider-Man 3, it’s in danger of losing everyone involved. That ain’t what it wants. It’s obvious the last one left a bad taste in the mouths of director Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, otherwise, all three would have signed on the dotted line no questions asked when they were approached about a fourth installment. Instead, all three made it difficult, especially Dunst. The last thing Sony wants to do is end this gravy train and reboot the franchise before it has to. So it makes sense that everyone involved would want to take a step back and evaluate where the project is. At least that’s what I’m telling myself to make sure I can sleep through the night without seeing Topher Grace’s fake fangs in my nightmares. And not because he scared me. The line to snap up that release weekend is already forming, believe you me. The fight is apparently over Raimi wanting to use The Vulture and the studio wanting Black Cat. I’m siding with the studio, Vulture is stupidly stupid.

Another 2011 release is on track, with Sam Mendes in talk to direct the next James Bond installment. Good for him, but this doesn’t seem like it would be a project anywhere near his wheelhouse. So I’m not sure where this is going unless it’s always been Kate Winslet’s dream to be a Bond girl. Maybe Bond gets married, divorced and tries to kill himself? Now that sounds like a Mendes movie. On the bright side, it’s not Marc Forster again since Quantum of Solace kinda blew.

But hey, 2011 is pretty far away, we just started 2010. So let’s concentrate on the good stuff that’s coming up like … like … hmm, what is good that’s coming out this year? I took a quick look at the big movies coming out a week or so ago and all I could come up with that I’m excited about is Iron Man 2, and even that I could take or leave even though I loved the first one. After a closer look with this article, I’m sticking with my original sentiment. 2010 is going to stink. At least as far as I can tell.

Time to take stock of the TV season before our favorite new shows return from the holiday break. Nothing new or surprising here in TV Guide’s midseason report card. Modern Family is the only show that gets an A even though I still don’t get it. At least not at that magnitude. Cougar Town seems a little high at B+, B- sounds more like it. The second-highest-graded show is Vampire Diaries at A-, and I’ll go along with that as the second-best new show of the year. My rankings of new network TV shows this season: 1. Glee 2. Vampire Diaries 3. Community. And I’d recommend all three. The next tier of shows I think are good, but I wouldn’t tell anyone to rearrange their lives to watch: 4. The Middle 5. The Cleveland Show 6. Modern Family 7. Cougar Town. 8. V 9. The Good Wife (although I’ve only sporadically seen it). The Middle is close is close to being officially recommended. The bottom: 10. FlashForward 11. Melrose Place 12. Brothers. Maybe I’m being a little harsh on FlashForward, but now that Vampire Diaries is in my life, I’m officially off it.

We’re late by a couple days because some stuff already has come back or premiered, but as far as I’m concerned, the winter TV season starts tonight with the return of ABC’s Wednesday night comedy lineup and the start of Nip/Tuck’s final season. Sorry, Bachelor, you don’t count. One weird thing of note on that returning show cheat sheet is that V isn’t coming back until March 30 when it originally was supposed to be back in early March. That tells me ABC has either cut the order for the show or is going to air the season (series?) finale sometime in June to steer clear of the glut of May finales. The good news — it’s being paired with the final season of Lost. There was talk it would go with FlashForward, but I’m happy V is staying away from that sinking ship. Not that V was really solidly floating in the first place anyway.

some advice -- don't go into the movie looking for her

some advice -- don't go into the movie looking for her

I think I made good use of the hiatus schedule by catching up on some movies. Watched (500) Days of Summer last night, bringing the list of best feature Spirit Award nominees I’ve seen to three, and Amreeka comes out on DVD on Tuesday. Liked it a lot even though I had to deal with the distraction of seeing Minka Kelly’s name in the opening credits, then wondering for the entire 90 minutes when she’ll turn up. “Oh, she’ll be one of his rebound women. Never mind, she’ll be at this wedding. Oh, wait, he’s going to a party, she’ll be there … where the frig is this girl?”Just in case you’re a rabid Friday Night Lights fan like me, she’s in the last two minutes of the movie and says about 50 words. Anyway. The movie is a great premise — what happens when roles are reversed in a relationship and the guy acts like the stereotype of a girl and the girl mentally acts like the guy? — and it’s pretty flawlessly executed to the point that I’m pretty sure Zooey Deschanel’s Summer could be the daughter of Satan. At the very least, she’s the evolution of Winnie Cooper, the tease of a woman who has no qualms about toying with men and gets away with it because, according to the movie, she’s so pretty. Whether Zooey Deschanel is hot or not (she really isn’t) is a whole other issue. But the whole “I’m not looking for a relationship now” thing was my line in college — and it NEVER worked. Ever. The girl would always agree to it initially, and the culmination of the two-week “relationship” would be me getting a beer thrown at me during a flip-cup game or a series of cuss-filled voice mails requesting I never talk to her again. And when I tried to explain the situation to other girls, they would say I was in the wrong for even asking that in the first place. So the fact that a girl can get away with it is bull jive. Other than that, it’s a great spin on the classic chick flick.

Hey, wait, didn’t Sharon Stone used to be the hottest actress in Hollywood? Now she’s doing guest spots on SVU? Yeesh. Although it is a step up from her last movie appearance, some kind of Val Kilmer-50 Cent straight-to-DVD action movie. She was still getting decent work until 2006 — she was one of the few redeeming qualities of Broken Flowers and was good in Bobby — but 2006 was the year she made Basic Instinct 2, universally hailed as one of the worst movies ever made. She’s apparently been blackballed because of that one horrendous movie. So why not just embrace it? Make another five Basic Instincts that are all straight-to-DVD and call it a career. Pretty please?

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