The Bright Side of the Lucas-Disney Deal

Let’s try and catch up after a crazy week:

Now that I’ve got yesterday’s rant about George Lucas’ sale of Lucasfilm to Disney out of my system, it’s time to start looking at the bright side and future possibilities. I’ve come up with five:

anyone have a problem with mark hamill not being in the rest of the movies? yeah, me neither.

1. The Star Wars movies really don’t hold up well. They’re shoddily written and acted like a batch of freshly picked dingleberries. We only hold them in such high regard because in 1980, we really didn’t care about the fact that Mark Hamill couldn’t act his way out of a nutsack. We only cared that we had never really seen something this technically advanced on screen before. We were too invested in the franchise during the prequels to care and Lucas, for the most part, received a free pass. But now that there has been sufficient backlash from the prequels and Lucas’s resulting money grabs, Disney is going to have to prove something to us. It won’t just be able to mash together a bunch of video-game ready scenes and call it a movie like Lucas did in the prequels. It will be under tremendous pressure to make a movie that will pull us into Star Wars again, lest we just watch our 893 versions of the Star Wars DVDs we bought like the sheep we are. That pressure could make a great movie, given the tremendous resources at Disney’s disposal.

2. If I’d pick any one of my favorite movies to pass down to my two daughters as something we can enjoy together, regardless of how old we are, it would be Star Wars. My 4-year-old already is in to it, knows all the characters, and often asks to watch it. But sooner or later, we’ll have watched all six movies multiple times and then they’ll start asking me about lipstick and stuff. I need that like I need a hole in my head. So what better gift than every three years to have anticipation time and premiere time to go and see a new Star Wars movie? Even if we never had anything else in common, I can at least guarantee we’d have that.

hmmmmm ... ryan gosling?

3. It gets Lucas the hell away from Indiana Jones. Crystal Skull remains one of my most disappointing movie theater experiences, ever. Apparently, it was all Lucas’s fault. Obviously, Disney is going to make another Indiana Jones movie somewhere along the way, they’d be foolish not to. It doesn’t matter who is making the decisions on it — I just know that Lucas won’t be, and that’s a good enough start for me.

4. From what Mark Hamill told Entertainment Weekly, it sounds like Lucas was going ahead with Episodes 7-9 with our without Disney. That could have been a leverage ploy to get the buzz going around Hollywood and drive the price up for his company — cynical, yeah, but I’m not putting it past him — but it certainly seemed like he was going to get it done. Seeing as he effed up the prequels, wouldn’t it be at least worth exploring whether Disney would have a shot at doing a better job?

5. So maybe he’s not so bad after all. But if all this money goes to USC’s film school or something that benefits more rich white people, then he’ll be back in the doghouse for good.

There. I think I feel a little better.

still love this pic

Feb. 7 is the new Oct. 13, as NBC announced Community will premiere on Feb. 7, which is a Thursday. The good news: It’s off the TV death slot of Friday nights. The bad news: It’s back at 8 p.m. Thursdays, where it will be 100 percent TROUNCED by Big Bang Theory, rank near the lowest-rated shows of the year and lead to likely cancellation. If it had even mild success on Fridays, NBC might have decided to keep it around for another year or two. But the network is almost assuredly blowing up its Thursday sitcom lineup next year, which would leave homes on other nights for only the best-performing Thursday sitcoms. Community will not be one of them. I’m not even sure which way I lean on this.

It’s apparently a big deal that Matthew Vaughn isn’t directing the next X-Men and that Bryan Singer is. Umm, why? The movie wasn’t that great, it was a step down from all three previous X-Men movies — yeah, even the underrated, over-vilified X-Men: Last Stand — and getting Vaughn out of the way means there has to be a good chance that Bryan Singer will be back in the director chair. The same Singer who brought us the first and second movies in the franchise. We’ll not mention he effed up Superman something royal. Oh wait, we just kinda did. But he seems to know X-Men. And he was going to do the first one, he just had a commitment to Jack the Giant Killer that precluded him from it. I’m not sure why people are worried/concerned.

Oooooohhhhhhh maaaaaaannnnnnn was I off on Cloud Atlas. In retrospect, yeah, I should have seen its b-o-m-b BOMB status a mile away. Incomprehensible plot, the sheer presence of the non-Martix Wachowski siblings (which still sounds weird), the divisive reviews … all the signs were there. I based my prediction in Sunday’s paper (that it will make $110 million in its run) on adults who would show up to see Tom Hanks stomp on Hooch’s grave just for shats and giggles. Apparently I’m still living in 1995 when Tom Hanks could have starred in Jury Duty and it would have made $100 million. That tom Hanks is gone baby gone.

It’s not like it’s Big Bang Theory being filmed in our backyard, but Philly has been getting some TV play this year. The USA miniseries Political Animals filmed there last year, now the NBC midseason replacement Do No Harm is being filmed there too. If you’ve ever spent a second in any South Philly neighborhood, you know Always Sunny is filmed in Philly too. So even though the only major star sighting you’ll see is White Sean from Rescue Me, maybe this leads to bigger things in the future and more cameo appearances for Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

genre-altering.

From the “Get Ready to Feel Old” anniversary file for the day — the album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) will turn 20 next year. In related news, I just found another gray hair. That’s one of my desert island albums, and as far as I’m concerned, the last great rap album ever made. After 36 Chambers came the Puffy and Biggie Era, which led to me mostly tuning out of rap. So it’s been almost 20 years since I’ve bought a rap album. Actually, I think it might be 20 years since I’ve bought an album of any kind for myself. They talk about the opening line to the album and as soon as they said it, it went through my head even though I haven’t listened to that CD all the way through for 15 years: “Shaolin shadowboxing and the Wu-Tang sword style … If what you say is true, then the Shaolin and the Wu-Tang could be dangerous … Do you think your Wu-Tang sword can defeat me?

In the least surprising move announcement of the week, there will be a televised Sandy relief benefit tomorrow, presumably to help a bunch of Manhattan-ites buy new batteries for their iPhones after they fried them trying to update their Facebook status alerting the world to the peril of their cat, to aid the recovery effort for Richard Branson to rebuild his three beach houses and to give desperately needed help for the Atlantic City casinos to get open on Sunday instead of Monday. Whew! Too far? Yeah, probably too far. But I’d like to see where the money is going. It’s one thing when you have a telethon for a somewhat third-world country like Indonesia, but I’d question this one a little. The first people on the list should be going to the Red Cross to replenish their supplies.

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