Better late than never, it’s your Friday and weekend movie news dump

Since I took a day off earlier in the week, I’ve got probably enough material for fifteen separate blog posts, but just one will have to do…

* Since about Wednesday (my day off) items about the upcoming Superman film being presided over by Christopher Nolan have been rolling out. First Latino Review broke the news in Spanglish that writer David Goyer, who has been involved with Nolan’s Batman franchise from the start, would be on board. Now IESB (via Bad Guy Wins) reports what it says are rumors that  the director of the Superman film will be Christopher’s writing partner brother, Jonah, making his directorial debut.

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That seems reasonable enough especially given that Nolan’s going to be busy with the third instalment in his Batman franchise. I get a bit more skeptical about the idea that Nolan will be sticking around to direct the long-mulled Justice League movie which would presumably include the new Supes (whoever he may be; sorry Brandon Routh), the current Batman (just as long as no one gets into his eyeline), and Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern, but I suppose anything is possible.

* I could spend the next week trying to figure this one, but negative PR campaigns against Best Picture Oscar nominees have become de rigeur in recent years and the shrapnel is flying in more than one direction around “The Hurt Locker.” First there were stories from Pete Hammond and a typically voracious Nikki Finke about anti-“Avatar” e-mail blasts by producer Nicolas Chartier. Today there was a far more substantive front page news story in the Los Angeles Times on some disagreements among military people about the film’s putative claims to authenticity. The most serious allegation — which doesn’t appear to be anywhere close to being proven — charges that the crew drove a Humvee into a Jordanian village in order to film angry locals.

Though I think quite highly of Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a frequent guest on Rachel Maddow’s old radio show, I think his criticism is way off-base and was surprised to see him on the anti-“Hurt Locker” side. I don’t think anything in the film indicates that the dangerous-seeking behavior of Jeremy Renner’s character is supposed to be typical, but simply one person’s reaction to an insane situation. Still, it’ s easy to understand why some might kind of forget the movie, though attempting to mirror reality to some degree, makes no claims to being anything other than fiction.

Steve Pond covers the push-back by reporter-turned-screenwriter Mark Boal.

The Hurt Locker

* An attempted revolt by British Exhibitors against Disney’s decision to greatly shorten the window in Europe between the release of Tim Burton‘s upcoming “Alice in Wonderland” and the DVD release has been put down. Earlier in the week, Kim Masters asked “Has Disney Gone Mad“? Maybe, maybe not. I’m still trying to remember what the dormouse said.

* Documentarian R.J. Cutler of “The September Issue” is making the switch to dramatic films with “Au Pairs,” writes Mike Fleming. Not that his temporary site-partner, Nikki Finke, is MIA. No, she has word that one of my favorite oft-filmed tales, Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, is going to filmed by one of the least respected directors now working. In 3-D. Oh, joy. Let’s hope that rival film gets going soon with a decent helmer.

* Angelina Jolie has exited “Wanted 2” and is going to do a movie with Alfonso Cuarón (“Children of Men“) instead. Excellent choice.

* Remember that very cool, very profane, very hilarious trailer for “Kick-Ass” I ran here some time ago? Well, not everyone is amused. If studios want to make it a bit harder for kids to see this kind of material, I have no objection, but the focus on the horrors of children cursing amuses me. I’ve never heard more constant and strongest profanity used than I did during my schooldays between, roughly, the third and eighth grades.

Will Smith in
* Unlike the Playlist’s Gabe Toro, I think Will Smith would be just about perfect for a remake of Alfred Hitchcock‘s “Suspicion.” For one thing, the film is one of Hitch’s weaker hit movies, despite being quite gripping for much of its length. It’s ending was famously changed and it’s ending is pretty much an insult to the audience’s intelligence. It would be nice to see someone do it right this time. In any case,  I don’t think Smith is as far from Cary Grant as Toro seems to think. It’s not his fault today’s Hollywood has a problem with making romantic films intelligent grown-ups can stand to watch.

* Roger Ebert‘s voice as a writer is one of the strongest of any film critics and is stronger than ever these days. Sadly, of course, he hasn’t been able to actually talk in some time due to the complications of his cancer surgery, but he has found something like his spoken voice again through some new digital technology and will be exercising it on the show of an old Chicago acquaintance of his, Oprah Winfrey, this Tuesday. (Via Herc and HuffPo.) Ebert discusses the technology on his site, and if you’re curious if how the two dates Ebert and Winfrey went on back in the day helped pave the way for her media empire, read here.

  

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