This ain’t no Frosty, this ain’t no yeti, this ain’t no fooling around

A scary snowman who means business menaces some cute cartoon characters with idol-worshiping tendencies in this apparently somewhat controversial 1932 ‘toon released by RKO, possibly somewhat influenced by James Whale’s “Frankenstein.”

This, on the other hand, actually is Frosty, and jazzy, too.

  

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Friday night movie news dump

I’ve got a bunch of other stuff to get to, so let’s see how efficient and selective I can be tonight.

* We have a Bat-date and it’s July 20, 2012.

* “Iron Man 2” is already starting to rake it in.

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* I can’t believe I failed to mention this a couple of days back, but writer-director Bill Condon is handling the next “Twilight” film. These days, Condon is best known for “Dreamgirls,” and he did a brilliant job turning Bob Fosse’s anti-dramatic theater-piece, “Chicago,” into an audience-friendly hit as a writer. However, he’s made a horror film (one of the “Candyman” films) and also his terrific “Gods and Monsters” was an homage to “Frankenstein” director and all-around filmmaking great James Whale. In other words, he’s far more interesting a guy to do this than you would expect.

* News-flash: “Kick-Ass” man Matthew Vaughn will, once again, not be directing an X-Men movie. Don’t stop the presses!

* If James Cameron paid such careful attention to the science in “Avatar,” why couldn’t he also spend a little time on the dialogue?

* With all the sequels being made, why the f*** not “Anchorman 2”? Too many comedy superstars means too much $, I suppose.

* Speaking of money, you’d think it would be easy for David O. Russell to get enough money for two or so days of shooting to finish “Nailed,” written by Kristen Gore (Al and Tipper’s  funny daughter). It seems the quirky comedy (the extremely talented, conflict-prone Russell makes no other kind) has been sent to cinema hell — or purgatory if we’re all lucky — not by Russell, who for once seems to have things nicely under control, but by seriously troubled producer David Bergstein. For those of you with enough time, check out the long version of what left this film literally hanging as written by Kim Masters. Sad/fascinating stuff.

* Justly respected critic Todd McCarthy is back after being canned by Variety and blogging for Indiewire. Good news.

* J.J. Abrams may be doing something with Steven Spielberg. Quoth Beaks:

[It] will be “both a tribute to and a collaboration with Steven Spielberg”. The film, about which nothing specific is known, is intended as an homage to Spielberg’s ’70s and early ’80s output; “…an interpretation of some of Spielberg’s earlier films, but done in a personal way.”

…This is either kinda cool, or a little creepy. I can’t decide.

  

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Harvey and Quentin, Oscar, Michael’s good night (and more bad reviews), Doug J., Guillermo, and Frankenstein

As I prepare to dive back into LAFF, I’ve got some quick items with a mostly geek-friendly bent to keep y’all satisified.

* Remember those reports that latter day mogul Harvey Weinstein was pressuring Quentin Tarantino to shorten “Inglourious Basterds”? Well, Harvey’s back to tell you they were all BS, and he’s not bothering with the initials.

* The Academy has surprised just about everyone by announcing that this year’s Best Picture category will double from the usual five nominees to ten, as it was in days very long past. Nikki Finke, aka the $14 million blogger, is displeased, and she might have a point. Personally, I love the Oscars, but anyone who thinks that awards are any particular indicator of absolute quality is, well, kinda dumb. It’s all wonderful hookum and self-promotion to me, though its possible this is too much of a good thing.

* Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” had a fine opening midnight indeed. And IFC’s David Hudson shows how he’s allowing some critics a fine target, as well, including the fanboy film friendly folks at AICN.

* The very talented actor Doug Jones, a friend of a friend who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times, is probably the most famous man in Hollywood who’s almost never recognized. That’s because most of his acting is done in heavy disguise, but the man behind the Silver Surfer, Hellboy’s pal Abe Sapien, and two of the funkiest monsters in film history from the fantasy-horror masterpiece “Pan’s Labyrinth” is being kept busy by his frequent boss, “Pan”/”Hellboy” director and all-around cool guy Guillermo del Toro. The latest from an interview with Sci-Fi Wire is that Jones is scheduled to play the monster in “Frankenstein” in a new version to come along in about five years, right after del Toro has a chance to finish his work on the two scheduled “Hobbit” films.

The voluble and often hilarious del Toro is easily the premier monster film maker of our time, and the fact that he is turning to Mary Shelley’s proto-monster tale with Jones is exciting news indeed. If anyone can step into James Whales’ shoes comfortably it’s the guy who once told Terry Gross that, much as Christians accept Jesus as their personal savior, at an early age he accepted monsters into his heart. And, anyone whose seen Jones’ work knows he’s perhaps the only human alive who can make those huge Frankenboots first inhabited by the great Boris Karloff his very own. This one could be a spiritual experience.

  

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A little touch of Frankenstein in the morning

Inspired by the likely remake of a true monster classic

And then a scene from another monstrous masterwork.

  

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