Movie news night notes

The lesson for tonight is never rely on the “save and quit” feature of Mozilla to actually, you know, save your tabs. Here’s what I’ve been able to salvage.

* Probably the biggest geek movie news of today was word via Mike Fleming that “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” director Peter Sollett, also of the critically acclaimed “Raising Victor Vargas,” may helm the upcoming comic book adaptation, “Runaways.” Created by Brian K. Vaughn for Marvel, the book deals with the teenage angst of a group of kids who find out that their parents are supervillians and, of course, like all of us, they have some genetic baggage to deal with. Vaughn is also reportedly working on a script.

Another frequently mentioned name in connection with this project, who may or may not still be in the directorial running, is Joss Whedon, perhaps the cultiest of cult creators these days. Whedon is a natural thought given that he’s an accomplished film-maker comfortable with both relationships and action, made his name dealing with teen-angst on “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” and, much more recently, wrote several issues of “Runaways.”

On the other hand, “Playlist” has a bit of a cult following of its own though Sollett hasn’t had to deal with action yet. Christopher Campbell notes that Sollett “did make an indie romantic film, so like Marc Webb he gets a Marvel superhero movie” and gathers the predictably diverse reaction.

* This may not be the most thoughtful reaction, and it sure does sound like some funny people are involved with it, but the news of the animated “Star Wars” sitcom brings one response to mind: “Noooooooooo!!!”‘

* Another item from AICN’s Hercules, much more to my liking — it’s about the latest restoration of what has to be one of the most often restored movies in film history and certainly one of the most important science fiction films ever made, Fritz Lang’s enormously influential silent film, “Metropolis.” The latest version actually brings the film to its original roughly 2.5 hour running time — the 90 minute version of my youth was more recently brought up to about 2 hours — and will be getting a theatrical run before the inevitable Blu-Ray/DVD release.

metropolis

Better yet,¬† for me anyway, is that opening night will be at Hollywood’s Chinese Theater as part of the festival sponsored by my favorite movie cable channel by far, the great and glorious TCM.

Do I sound like I’ve been bought off ? That’s because I have been. Specifically, my press credential has just cleared and it looks like I’ll be at that premiere with a live musical accompaniment, come heck or high water. But why does it have to be running opposite Tony Curtis hosting a showing of probably the best sex farce ever made, “Some Like it Hot“?

* To my knowledge, writing screenplays “on spec” (i.e., in hope of someday being paid, but not right now) is something new writers are forced to do and old pros avoid like the plague, and is usually only done for strictly original material, never an adaptation. Well, “usually” is not “always” and odd arrangement where screenwriter Dante Harper was asked to write an adaptation of a short Japanese science fiction novel for no cash upfront has resulted in a huge pay day of roughly $3 million.

The book in question, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, is titled “All You Need is Kill.” (You’ve got to wonder who translated the title. I guess turning “kill” into a noun gives it that hilarious Japanese mistranslation sound. Or am I missing something otaku-ish here? Somebody tell me if I’m sounding fogeyish or lame or something.) The premise is being described as something like “Groundhog Day” meets “Starship Troopers” (the book not, I hope, the movie) but also reminds me of Joe Haldeman’s Vietnam-inspired¬† “The Forever War.”

* Daniel Frankel of the Wrap gives evidence of how far the anti-3-D conversion backlash may be going:

However, with critics and fanboys mauling this approach in “[Clash of the] Titans,” Sony specifically indicates in its trailer for the upcoming “Resident Evil: Afterlife” that the film was shot using the same digital 3D camera system that James Cameron deployed for “Avatar.”

* Apparently an ill-conceived “Yellow Submarine” isn’t enough underwater fantasy for Robert Zemeckis. “Dark Life” is an undersea science fiction with a plot that sure sounds like a classic-era western to me.

* As someone whose been around Comicon for longer than I’d like to admit to, I find the idea of moving it to my native Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or even (or especially) my current neighborhood of Anaheim horrifying — for me, it would rip the heart out of the thing. The relative ugliness of the Anaheim and Los Angeles convention areas would also be a bit of drag in comparison to the seaside location of San Diego’s convention center.

Also, San Diego is in general just, you know, nice. They also have (relatively) affordable hotels in the vicinity and decent public transportation. Las Vegas has that, too, of course, but who needs more fantasy when you’re in the middle of decadent Disneyland? Also, speaking of expenses, whose going to rip me away from the craps tables long enough to go the event? If the thing has to keep on growing, I suppose this $753 million expansion plan to keep in San Diego where it belongs makes as much sense as anything.

http://www.bullz-eye.com/mguide/reviews_2008/nick_and_norahs_infinite_playlist.htm
  

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