Wednesday links that I write while hoping I’ll never get stuck with a heroin needle by a crazy man:
Let’s hope no one got ahead of themselves and made any signs that said, “Pocono Pines, Home of the Only 2-Time Dancing with the Stars Champion Kelly Monaco.” She lost last night.
Maybe I won’t be as behind on movie watching this year as I think I currently am. I’ve seen two of the five Spirit Award nominees for best feature (Bernie and Moonrise Kingdom), have designs to see another this weekend (Silver Linings Playbook) can see another on DVD Tuesday and another in late January. Granted, there is no way I’m going to see everything releasing in December, I’m hoping to nail down SLP, Django Unchained, Promised Land and perhaps Zero Dark Thirty, letting The Hobbit, On the Road and Not Fade Away slip by. Normally, I’m all for theaters trying to make money, but when we get to movie season, when I’m under the gun to catch as many movies as I can before the Oscars, I sell out. It’s the time when I love the quick turnaround dates on DVD releases, the availability of movies OnDemand before they’re even in theaters (Loneliest Planet and Save the Date will be watched in the coming weeks). Golden Globe nominations come out Dec. 13, and Poppers (that’s what I think I’m going to start calling the blog readers and worry about typos some other time), that’s when we’re in the thick of movie season.
Just in case you want to catch up on some of the movies you’ve never heard of in the Spirit Awards and some others that could make someone’s top 10, here are the DVD dates:
Available now: Moonrise Kingdom, Bernie, Ruby Sparks, Safety Not Guaranteed, Return, Magic Mike, Sound of My Voice, Your Sister’s Sister
Dec. 21: Killer Joe
Dec. 31: Looper
Jan. 8: Compliance
Jan. 15: The Intouchables, The Paperboy
Jan. 22: Keep the Lights On, End of Watch
Jan. 29: Seven Psychopaths
Feb. 12: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
That should keep you busy for a while.
The only qualification I know of for the Spirit Awards is a movie that is made for less than $20 million. Since budgets aren’t always publicized, and aren’t always correct when they are publicized anyway, it’s tough to know who’s being snubbed and who’s not. Two that seem like they should be in the Spirit Awards, but whose budgets are too big: Argo (budget $44.5 million) and The Master (budget $30 million). But uh oh, the budget for Promised Land, the movie about fracking in a small town, is a reported $15 million. Director Gus Van Sant has been nominated for five past Spirit Awards, so if it is a case of the movie just being snubbed, it could be a tough go of it for Promised Land anywhere else other than Pennsylvania and New York.
The whole Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Batman thing already is out of control, with the report that he will be, then the denial that he won’t be, and on and on we’ll go for the next couple of months until it’s confirmed he will be Batman, or Robin, or the new Green Lantern, or one of the Wonder Twins … whatever. (Heavy spoiler alert coming if you’re waiting for Dark Knight Rises on DVD!!!) Wanna know how all this talk could have been ended? BY NOT POINTING THE END OF DARK KNIGHT RISES SO DEFINITIVELY IN THAT DIRECTION!!! The first time I read about Chris Nolan getting pissed off about the 8 billionth reporter asking him about the Gordon-Levitt rumors, I’m gonna put my head through a wall. He brought this on himself. DKR was supposed to be the end of his trilogy, with no chances for sequels. Right? Right. So what does Nolan do? In the last two minutes of DKR, he keeps Bruce Wayne miraculously alive and introduces Gordon-Levitt as Robin, and possibly the new Batman. I don’t get it. While it was nice to have the possibilities at the end of DKR, now we have to deal with “will they or won’t they” rumors about old Batman players coming to the new versions. It starts with Justice League. It’s not that I’m against JGL for JL (see what I did there?), I just wish Hollywood types wouldn’t be so secretive about it. End the Dark Knight series, don’t end it, whatevs. But at least let us know what you’re doing with it. And Nolan, this is on you, totally. So deal with the media.
But wait, that’s not all when it comes to comic book movie continuity! The X-Men franchise said it was rebooting, getting rid of all the old people and starting fresh. Which they did. Whether you think that was a good idea or a bad idea, that’s up to you. I vote bad idea, and not a very good movie, but that’s me. And yeah, everyone loved the Hugh Jackman cameo in X-Men: First Class, we all got a big chuckle out of it. But to bring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan in, seemingly as integral pieces of the plot, is to mess with continuity. I think they messed with continuity enough when they brought Stewart in to the first Wolverine movie, but it wasn’t obtrusive. To bring him into this version of the X-Men movies — along with McKellan — doesn’t make sense. I didn’t like Amazing Spider-Man. I thought it was a thoroughly pointless exercise in Hollywood excess and greed, and a complete over-reach for the re-branding of Peter Parker. It was almost as if Marc Webb never read a Spider-Man comic book, ever. But at least they (correctly) blew it totally up with no connection whatsoever to the previous movies and tried something fresh. Well, somewhat fresh, at least. I still think it looked like a snazzy retelling of the first Spider-Man. Anyway, that’s what X-Men should be doing. No connections to the prior incarnation of the franchise whatsoever. But, as long as I mentioned Patrick Stewart, then I can use it as an excuse to watch one of my favorite awful SNL parodies.
For a second, let’s take the whole Angus T. Jones thing at face value and say he just got a little too zealous about his new-found religious stances and made a mistake. OK, that second is up. When in Hollywood do people ever do anything they don’t really mean, or something they didn’t really believe in? Never! Everything is a cold, calculated maneuver to further their career in one way or another. Especially in Jones’ case, it’s less than two years after the most publicized, scrutinized, disastrous TV fallout ever and it was on his show! He saw first-hand what some well-placed jabs can do, so let’s not think for a second this is a young kid screwing up. There are two options here: 1. The kid wants out of his contract and really wants to leave. That’s cool, I’m sure there are thousands of people with just as much talent as him ready to take his reported $350,000-per-episode salary. Seeing as it’s arguably the most vanilla sitcom on TV, who cares who is in that part? 2. He’s pulling a Kirk Cameron, saying he’s walking unless the story lines change to reflect a more Christian objective. The difference is Growing Pains couldn’t exist without Kirk Cameron. 2.5 Men goes on without Jones.
Why did they wait so long to announce this? Was it contentious negotiating? Because I’d imagine they went something like this:
Ben Savage: “We want our own trailer.”
Danielle Fishel: “OK, we want our dressing room.”
Savage: “But we’ll share!”
Fishel: “No problem, we’ll change in the car. We get a car, right?”
Fishel: “A driver?”
(Studio guy looks at his watch.)
Savage: “Cool, we usually walk everywhere anyway. No biggie. But we walk without a hairdresser.”
Studio: “OK, see ya.”
Fishel: “Wait, he meant we go for a walk without it! And like we said, we walk everywhere. So what do we get paid? We want a hunnnndred and fifteee thouuuusand dollars!”
Savage: “Well we’ll settle out of court for 20 bucks.”
(Both laugh. Studio guy not so much.)
Savage: “Two-fifty and a jawbreaker?”
(Both laugh again.)
Fishel: “What, you’ve never seen Friday?”
Studio: “Actually, that’s what we’re offering, two-fifty and a jawbreaker.”
Savage and Fishel (at the same time): “SOLD!!!”