Just another sane Monday in movieland.
* Halcyon, a somewhat odd firm with an all but empty website, has officially put its one and only asset and reason for being, the rights to “The Terminator” franchise, on the auction block. So reports Variety and Nikki Finke. Suddenly, over at Whedonesque — yes, the Joss Whedon fansite where the beloved cult TV and occasional film creator occasionally posts — Whedon links to it and posts a very serious offer. So serious, in fact, that Finke — who occasionally claims she “doesn’t do geek” runs the item. Meanwhile, back at Whedonesque, the Whe-man and a commenter who appears to be both a fan of the Joss and the late singer-songwriter Warren Zevon (some folks are just blessed with too much taste) note an earlier serious offer.
Quote of the week (probably):
Well, here’s what I have to say to Nikki Finke: you are a fine journalist and please don’t ever notice me.
* Sony Classic has picked up the rights to “Mother and Child,” the latest film from arthouse/cable director Rodrigo Garcia, still probably best known to a lot of people as the son of Columbian literary great Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s not too surprising a pick-up, even in this tough market, given that the cast includes Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, up-and-comer Kerry Washington (“Ray,” “The Fantastic Four”), and Samuel L. Jackson.
* Thinking about “The Men Who Stare at Goats” which comes out this Friday, Jeff Bridges gets appropriately trippy but not in too dudish a way.
* This is a few days old, but for those of us who find ourselves unduly fascinating by the Church of Scientology, via Kim Masters, here’s an interesting new story opened up last week. Writer-director Paul Haggis (“Crash”) announced he’s leaving the church.
* Speaking of old gossip from old people, if you somehow missed last week’s interview with 83 year old literary lion and recovering screenwriter Gore Vidal in The Atlantic, and if you’re ready to be provoked and not always in a good way, you should. For the record, I have to say that his comments about Polanski’s victim are reprehensible.
I’ve quibbled about word choices and moral grandstanding, but actually putting the blame for all of this on a 13 year-old is ridiculous and shameful. Vidal enjoys being a contrarion and has made any number of bizarre statements — mixed in with spot on observations — over the years I’ve been an admirer of his writing, but these particular remarks set a new, low bar and save for his sarcastic.
Also, while it’s possible Polanski’s image even before the incident suffered a bit for being foreign and making horror movies, there’s zero reason to think antisemitism played any role in the matter. I’m convinced of this mainly since I doubt most people even realize he’s part Jewish in terms of his ancestry. (Culturally and in terms of his upbringing, Polanski is actually probably more of a lapsed Catholic.) Still, following something Bill Maher said far more humorously than I, considering Vidal has been a provocateur his entire life, he’s hardly going to stop now that he’s 83. I wonder what he’ll be saying at 90?