This Weekend at the Movies: The Big Green Penguin Machine

Another summer weekend, another round of superheroes and kid flicks. And a quirky indie teen movie for good measure. Somehow, not a single one of them is getting good reviews.

Green Lantern

I tell ya, in this stacked summer, someone’s going to take the hit, and although the midnight box office was huge, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see this be the first real bomb. Oh, sure, they’ll find a way to spin a $40-$50 million opening into a success, but if the reported $300 million figure is right (including advertising), Warner Brothers will have a long journey ahead of them to make this profitable. Certainly not helping matters is the film’s current Rotten Tomatoes score, which while certainly representative of the reviews I’ve been reading, seems almost absurd. At a mere 23%, it’s the worst-reviewed major superhero film in years. I have a hard time believing it could be worse than Thor, but I’ll see for myself tomorrow (yes, I am absolutely the reason they keep making superhero films).

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Some slightly belated holiday and geek related thoughts from Hitler

My hurried blogging for today continues with two of those gosh-darned Hitler/”Downfall” videos I stumbled over. Yes, I never get enough of the things though I encourage you all to check the very serious actual film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and starring Bruno Ganz, with the correct subtitles

I like to think of these as yet one more delightful aspect of the world’s victory over Hitler and Nazism in 1945.

  

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Wednesday morning trailer, and it’s a big one: “Green Lantern” (updated)

I could opine, I could yammer, but everyone every geek will have his or her own response. Here is the first “Green Lantern” trailer. Make of it what you will.

UPDATE: Deadline has the scoop that Ryan Reynolds has been named People‘s Sexiest Man Alive. The Premium Hollywood writing staff has been passed over, again.

  

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Comic-con — notes written with tired feet

Comic-Con has gotten so enormous and so unfriendly to¬†writers (and, in different ways, other folks I’m sure also) that it even nearly did in a high end reporter with gazillions of studio contacts like Anne Thompson. I’ll save my no doubt semi-cynical reflections on the thing for later, but here are just a few movie stories from the con that I have time to write about it in a very brief window.

* You might consider going from Tolkien to a ride at Disneyland a major artistic comedown, but Guillermo del Toro obviously thinks otherwise and is a huge fan of what I admit is also my favorite ride at the park. The Wrap has more, oddly enough with no mention of the mansion. Was this another event? Still nice to see that the monster-loving del Toro’s uncensored speaking style hasn’t been cleaned up by PR standards and practices.

People Guillermo del Toro

Also from “The Wrap”: Dominic Patten writes that Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch” lived up to its name.

* I can’t watch the video here, but you can apparently see a now-bearded Joss Whedon personally confirm that Jeremy Renner will, indeed, play Hawkeye in “The Avengers.” Oh, and I guess that means that Whedon really is directing it, after all, official like.

* “The Green Hornet” is sounding a bit more fun to me.

* The perceptive and usually geek friendly Ms. Thompson was not personally wowed by “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” but she reports the audience at the screening she attended was. She does however have a video interview with writer-director Edgar Wright, which I haven’t had time to watch yet.

* I just had a bit of snafu/disappointment in terms of getting some good stuff for later on “Green Lantern” but the folks in Hall H had their geek buttons well pushed, it appears. (Not among them, a friend of mine here, who waited 2.5 hours in line and didn’t make it in, six people from the front of the line. He should have made it three hours.)

* An item having nothing to do with Comic-Con. According to a sexual harrassment suit, Casey Affleck appears to have a problem. I hope it’s only a legal one.

* Meanwhile, back in the real world where people pay to see movies, “Inception” is ruling the roost but sharing some of the wealth with the Angelina Jolie action vehicle, “Salt.”

Angelina Jolie in an arresting moment in

  

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A slightly lighter than usual end of week movie news dump

Well, at least I hope can get this done nice and quick because I’m really looking forward to making a Manhattan very soon. Forgive me if I miss something huge.

* As per Nikki Finke, the early box office returns for “Inception” are looking good.

* Though I was a big fan of “The West Wing” while he worked on it, my one complaint with Aaron Sorkin’s abandoned TV classic was that it was a bit rosy in how it viewed politics and politicians. Currently flying high as the screenwriter of the upcoming docudramas, “The Social Network” and “Moneyball,” he was almost the Gene Roddenberry of political drama in imagining a relatively ideal world that could be, but probably never would be. I don’t think excess positivity is going to be an issue in his movie directorial debut, as he’ll be covering the John Edwards mega-debacle. To think I contemplated voting for/volunteering for the egocentric jerkwad who, had he succeeded, would have sunk a party and a nation on the altar of his ego.

John-Edwards-NYC

* I don’t think I’ll really know what I think of Ryan Reynolds’ CGI-aided Green Lantern costume until I see it in the movie.

* Things have been hopping over at our sister site, Bullz-Eye.com. Earlier in the week Will Harris, with a little assistance from one or two other people who will remain nameless, took a look at 25 cinematic swan songs from film acting greats. Very cool (except for seven of them, which I’m unable to judge). Also, today, Will had a chat with his friend and rising young star, Dileep Rao, currently being seen in “Inception.”

* There may be no justice in the world, but Roman Polanski’s next movie is already being prepped, and it sounds good. It’s the film version of the London/Broadway hit play “God of Carnage.” Being as it’s a dark comedy/drama, it sounds right up Polanski’s alley. Also, Polanski’s 1994 film version of Ariel Dorfman’s “Death and the Maiden” was one of the most seamless stage-to-film translations I’ve ever seen.

* My high school history teacher, who was also a saxophone playing jazz fan on the side, always used to say that of all the rock music figures, the one he was sure wouldn’t last beyond another couple of decades in terms of popularity was Janis Joplin. Her super-gritty style was just too of the late sixties moment, he theorized. Indeed, she seems to be one of the less popular of the rock superstars of that era today. Well, director Fernando Meirelles of “City of God” and Amy Adams — a top-flight actress who is way cute to be playing the weather-worn Joplin¬† — will be hoping to disprove that theory with a new biopic.

* Okay, so we’ve got “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” so why not Cain and Abel with Vampires (and Will Smith)?

* I like the sound of this: Stanley Tucci, who obviously gets along very well with Meryl Streep, will direct her and Tina Fey in a mother daughter comedy.

Grindhouse
* The Playlist apparently wants to make me happy. First, they report that the long-awaited DVD of the pre-prepared exploitation double-bill, “Grindhouse,” as it was originally presented in theaters is coming this October. Second, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is apparently planning to appear in some kind of a musical. Interesting.

I’m just annoyed that I missed his rendition of the Donald O’Connor “Make ‘Em Laugh” number from “Singin’ in the Rain” on SNL last year and it’s gone from Hulu for some reason. Moment of rank and utterly baseless speculation here: Could a team-up with fellow three-namer Neil Patrick Harris be in the cards? “Dr. Horrible and Dr. Horribler” perhaps? Forget I said that.

  

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