It Could End No Other Way

We’re backed up so let’s hit the links. Gonna pick the winners for the Wurst Festival tickets later this afternoon, and I’ll post the winner tomorrow.

egotistical douche? misunderstood artist? both?

egotistical douche? misunderstood artist? both?

It’s confirmed now what we pretty much already knew — Edward Norton won’t be playing the Hulk in The Avengers movie. Both sides are saying talks were in progress for Norton to return to the Hulk role that fizzled as a movie in 2008, but it sounds like smokescreen. Norton and Marvel famously warred over the final cut of the Hulk movie — a version Norton himself wrote — and it nearly torpedoed the movie with Norton refusing to do most publicity for it. As it turned out, no amount of promotion would have helped as the movie underperformed, not even domestically making back its $150 million budget. It was the second failure of Hulk after the 2003 version barely resembled the Hulk legend. So even before you get to the Norton-Marvel relationship, Marvel already had to be sour on its Hulk relationship. At this point, it wouldn’t be surprising for a second if Marvel decided to rewrite its own history and form a movie Avengers team that doesn’t even include the Hulk. It would be one less hero in an already convoluted cast of characters, one less ego to try and fit in screen time for and one less paycheck to write. For his part, Norton is saying all the right things. The impression we’ve been given over the past couple of years is that he’s a huge fan of Hulk, and all the fighting and posturing he did on the movie set was the preserve the character’s integrity. That sounds all good, until you put it together with other Norton blow-ups and realize he may just be a jerk. Bottom line is, Marvel is finally rid of Norton, and the Hulk’s future in any upcoming movies — including The Avengers — has to be considered doubtful at this point.

relegated to ondemand viewing, if at all

relegated to ondemand viewing, if at all

When the heck did Tuesdays become the place to be for summer TV? Last night was jam packed with most of the summer’s biggest series on cable: Rescue Me and Louis on FX, White Collar and Covert Affairs on USA, Deadliest Catch on Discovery, Warehouse 13 on SyFy, HawthoRNe and Memphis Beat on TNT, Life on the D List on Bravo, Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family and The Hills series finale on MTV. All of a sudden, Tuesdays look like a sweeps week Thursday night. That doesn’t even count America’s Got Talent. Tonight? There’s barely any new scripted shows on, except for the season premiere of Psych on USA, Meet the Browns on TBS and Hot in Cleveland on TV Land. Which put together, have about as much buzz as a dead bee. I’ll never understand TV programming. Can’t we please space that stuff out over the week? At least USA immediately puts their stuff OnDemand. FX and TNT wait about a week.

Somewhere, Matt Stone and Trey Parker are either chuckling wildly under their breath, nodding at each other quietly in agreement, or just flat out telling everyone they see walking down the street, “See! We told you Mel Gibson is daffy!” The guy is a raging lunatic. He can’t get Lethal Weapon 5 off the ground soon enough. At this point it wouldn’t surprise anyone if video showed up of him in his underwear dressed in Braveheart warpaint driving a bus into Colorado chasing down a couple of kids for the $20 they stole from him. The happiest person in this whole mess is Tom Cruise, who is now looking downright sane for jumping on Oprah’s couch. Or maybe not …

For some reason, I’m fascinated with how Mission: Impossible IV is playing out, and how much of it hinges on what Knight and Day does around the world after it tanked in America. Sooner or later, Tom Cruise was goingto lose out on the franchise, letting a younger star step in and take over the Ethan Hunt role he made iconic. Hmmm. Iconic? Let’s go with “semi-famous.” Then Cruise would sit back, get a producer credit and watch the money roll in. I just didn’t think that time would be happening now. That seems to be an option for Paramount though, which has been trying to repair its broken relationship with Cruise. Apparently, after the lackluster performance of Knight and Day, the studio really doesn’t care if it repairs the relationship or not.

Here’s the easiest question you’ll ever be asked — what happens when an animated movie almost doubles its studio projections on its opening weekend? No other answer is acceptable other than “they make a sequel.” So look for Despicable Me 2 in about three years. There’s that guaranteed paycheck Steve Carell will be needing once he leaves The Office.

gotta make that money back that madoff stole from him somehow

gotta make that money back that madoff stole from him somehow

If Kevin Bacon really is going to sign up for X-Men: First Class, then it’s about time he gets it done so this thing can start shooting. I still can’t believe they’re going to make a release date of next June unless they want the movie to look and feel like poop. None of the villains people are talking about have much name recognition either, I feel worse and worse about this movie by the day.

No matter how you get your in-home movies — Blockbuster, OnDemand, iTunes, Redbox — we all owe a great deal to Netflix and what it’s done to expand the playing field. Before Netflix, it was Blockbuster or pretty much nothing. It’s exciting to know that the company is trying even more avenues to make movie-watching easier because the success of Netflix has allowed the other companies to realize the multitude of chinks in Blockbuster’s armor and exploit those weaknesses, making it easier and cheaper for all of us to watch DVDs. It’s revolutionized the industry so much that we’re about 20 years from Blockbuster being officially archaic and movie theaters closing down because people want to watch movies on their own time. Dealing with the hassle of going to a movie, where you stand a 50/50 chance of someone disturbing you somehow? By 2030, you won’t have to worry about it because every movie is going to be available for you on your TV or computer or phone. Netflix was just the beginning, but it gave Hollywood the blueprint for how the movie-viewing public wants their entertainment. We want it now, and we want it on our own terms. First it took down Blockbuster — next Netflix could be taking down movie theaters.

Fox was always my favorite fall network because it premiered some of its biggest new hows early in the fall season. It was like getting a free preview of the shows that were coming on before they got swallowed up in the mess of a new season of shows that fill your DVR and make new shows problematic to watch. It’s how I got into Prison Break, because it premiered in August. Wait, so maybe it’s not a good thing? Glee also started early last year. Even though I already was committed to it, it was nice to get to watch the first couple episodes without having to worry about watching something else. Anyway, that’s not happening this year for whatever reason. Fox is going the traditional route of just rollingout a “premiere week” type thing, just like ABC and NBC routinely do. Boring. I like the encore airings of shows late night Saturdays, it gives people like me an extra chance to DVR it then since I may have been DVR-ing something else during its first showing. Works out perfect too because I want to watch Lone Star, but I think it was losing out to The Event on Mondays at 9. Judge for yourself. First The Event …

… and now Lone Star …

That reminds me, I never did my fall TV viewing schedule. Maybe next week.

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