I’m not going to lie to you. It’s a pretty boring news day out there. We might have to get some gimmick blog posts ready if it’s gonna stay this quiet:
In the least shocking news since Land of the Lost became the biggest bomb of 2009, Sandra Bullock is divorcing Jesse James. One down, one to go. If you were taking bets in February about who would get divorced first, Elin Nordegren or Sandra Bullock, what would the odds have been? Nordegren had to be something ridiculous like a 1-to-20 favorite and Bullock had to be somewhere around 1,000-to-1, right? Bullock was on top of the world -- she won the Golden Globe, was about the win the Oscar, showed she had a phenomenal sense of humor by showing up to accept her Razzie Award …
… and was getting patted on the back by every power player in Hollywood after one of the most profitable female acting careers in history. At every awards dinner, there was her husband right behind her, this tatted-up motorhead dressed in a tuxedo. In the process, she was giving hope to every woman in the world. “Maybe I can change my boyfriend” or “Maybe I can tame that bad boy.” Forget it, 10,000-to-1. Then all of a sudden, she finds out her husband has been screwing around with a Nazi, Tiger Woods starts sending thank you notes to James and thousands of women dumped the biker boyfriends. How Sandra Bullock hasn’t checked herself into the loony bin is beyond me. No matter what you think of her, you can’t help but feel bad for her.
The Iron Man 2 blitz has begun in full force, and while it doesn’t seem to have the same desperation as last year’s Wolverine marketing campaign, it’s going to get annoying. Then again, we’re still more than a week from the premiere, so who knows? Something to shoot for, right? It doesn’t have the same worries that Wolverine did — like an Internet copy floating around out there a month before the release — and it’s a sequel rather than a spin-off of an ensemble. NBC knew they had a winner on its hands with Frasier — that doesn’t mean the network wasn’t scared. For such a slam-dunk sequel though, it’s had quite the dubious history. The studio wanted to get right into production after the original surprised everyone with an almost $600 million worldwide gross, but director Jon Favreau held out. Then it replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle, low-balled Mickey Rourke and became the first Twitter-friendly blockbuster. Whew! That’s quite a two-year stretch. The first batch of reviews are starting to come in, and they seem pretty lukewarm.
Maybe because Tuesdays at 10 got really crowded by the end of March, maybe because it didn’t seem to have the same feel it did last year, or maybe because I just lost interest, but Southland fell to the fringe of my DVR rankings after February. Apparently it stayed on the radar of enough people, because TNT renewed it for another year, which it probably deserves. Because it was just as gritty and emotional as it was for the first year on NBC and there were moments I really liked from the TNT original portion of the season. I guess there just weren’t enough of those moments. Because of how the season played out, with the “season finale” on TNT actually designed to be aired on NBC around Thanksgiving, it certainly didn’t have the feel of a finale. It was still good, but it wasn’t that much different from any other episode. My wife, who likes the show a lot more than I do, hasn’t even gotten around to watching the finale yet, so apparently it just doesn’t have that feel of immediacy.
Perhaps the people behind the Broadway musical version of Spider-Man are getting exactly what they deserve for conceiving a Broadway musical version of Spider-Man. They should have realized it was a ridiculous idea from the jump and that Spider-Man fans have barely ever heard of Broadway, let alone know how to buy tickets for a show. But there will be books written about the demise of the show, and one of the most important chapters will be the day when theater lover Alan Cumming left the show because of a marginal part on The Good Wife. This whole thing is doomed, but there’s too much money riding on it now to quit. Which it should, because it’s such a dumb idea.
Memento has been on a lot lately, but I never get the chance to fully digest it because it’s such a hard movie to pick up on unless you’re watching it right from the start. And it’s an even harder to movie to pick out of your DVDs on a Saturday at 2 in the morning because it takes such concentration to watch. Those are basically the two ways I watch movies anymore, so if you take those away, I got nothin’. That doesn’t mean I still don’t consider it one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, and put it at #8 of my best movies of the 2000s. When my wife told me she had never seen it, we went out and rented it that night — it’s that kind of movie to me. Some movies when you leave the theater your head is spinning because you can’t quite grasp how that piece of trailer trash ever made it to the big screen. Memento was one of the few movies I can remember leaving the theater with my head spinning in a good way. It was original, provocative movie-making at its best, filled with amazing storytelling, a legitimately plausible twist ending and one of the most underrated performances of the decade from Guy Pearce. If it’s only getting its true recognition 10 years later, so be it. Just as long as it gets that recognition.
When you’re making a sequel, the best way to ensure that it has the same kind of box office appeal as the first one is to make sure all the players — actors, directors, writers — are intact for the second one. But when you’re making a crap sequel from a movie that was crap in the first place, no one seems to mind who comes back, just as long as there’s a sequel with more money to bilk out of an unsuspecting public that says, “I kinda liked the first one, why not?” They are then treated to movies that look nothing like the first and make people regret they didn’t spend their time rearranging their sock drawers. So for people looking for sequels to Clash of the Titans and Journey to the Center of the Earth, beware. It looks like you should be safe though if you think a sequel to How to Train Your Dragon is a good idea. Or hopefully if your kids do.