Regular readers might have noticed that I’ve taken a couple of days off, and with the TCM Film Festival kicking off tomorrow night, and some other things possibly brewing, I might not be following my exact usual schedule for the next several days, though I’m sure I’ll be posting stuff, but we’ll have to see. In the meantime, there’s plenty going on and I’m sure I’ve missed something.
* We eventually did get a clear, but narrow, victor in the weekend box-office battle, but nobody’s too excited about the performance of “Kick-Ass.” The film will make money, $19.8 million is not bad for a $30-40 million dollar movie, and it should help everyone’s career, but I wouldn’t bet on a sequel unless it holds really extremely well and also cleans up in home video. Also, it should be noted that the superhero comedy had a slightly unfair advantage because of its late Thursday night opening getting included in the take — at least I think it was. Steven Zeitchik, who thought the film would break out in a major way, offers a post-not-quite-mortem.
* James Cameron‘s new interview with the L.A. Times will annoy conservative anti-environmentalists and climate deniers as well as fans of contemporary written science fiction. (It’s too complicated and self-referential to make a movie out of, Cameron states, apparently unafraid of the sweeping generalization.) However, “Avatar” fans will be delighted to know that two more movies appear to be in the offing along with that extended August 3-D/Imax re-release. Cameron’s cast and crew will be, I imagine, much less happy to learn that “Avatar 2” will involve water, and lots of it. What is it with this guy and moisture? (H/t the Playlist.)
* Speaking of the Playlist, they have a few other interesting items. First of, they don’t care much, but it’s looking like “Men In Black 3-D” will be happening with original director Barry Sonnenfeld and original stars Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. I think they’re right that getting all three for this is a commentary on shaky state of Hollywood right at the moment. They also have word that Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the first lady of France, will be in Woody Allen’s next film, after all. Also, Bobcat Goldthwait‘s gradually burgeoning career as a filmmaker is continuing with an “ass-kicking” western. To which I respond: is there any other kind?
* “Drama is dead.” When the agents completely take over all aspects of show business, that may actually be true. The very concept of even rudimentary stories and characterization will be in a lot of trouble, as well.
* If you are hilarious comic actor and somewhat less hilarious ex-TV talk show host Charles Grodin, or rather down on his luck director Martin Brest (last movie: “Gigli”), and you were wondering whether you might find a gig working on the proposed sequel to “Midnight Run,” Robert De Niro has some possibly unpleasant news for you.
* Sacha Baron Cohen and three “Curb Your Enthusiasm” writers are pitching something to somebody.
* I have a positive bias towards Anne Thompson. I met her once and she was swell, that’s true. Before that, however, I noted that her reporting is almost always sensible and dispassionate in the best sense — and she has interesting taste in movies. Today, she does a good job of clarifying what’s going on with the sale of Miramax by Disney as well as describing it’s effect on some interesting upcoming films, like Julie Taymor’s sex-change version of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” starring Helen Mirren as the wizard, Prospera. It’s not a done deal and, as I kinda sorta already figured out but perhaps didn’t explain as well as I should have. It’s not really a case of Harvey and Bob Weinstein buying their old studio back, but they will be acquiring some control over its future course, while tycoon Ron Burkle will be the actual owner.
(Does all of this mean I was wrong to castigate Nikki Finke for her castigation of writers at The Hollywood Reporter last week? I’m too tired to try and figure that one out. In any case, mean is mean.)
* Patrick Goldstein suggests that “Quantum of Solace” was such a bad, bad, bad film that it’s time to put the entire Bond franchise on indefinite hold after 48 years or more of fairly consistent production. (It’s in one anyway because of the ongoing sale/disaster at MGM.) Never mind the quantum leap in quality that was “Casino Royale.”
Perhaps I’m prejudiced because I’m a bit less of a fan of the mega-shaky cam approach of the second two “Bourne” films than some, but I think there’s still plenty of room for Bond. Moreover, while “Quantum” was no particular series high-point, Goldstein admits it still made plenty of money. As for Goldstein’s artistic argument, all I can say is that Bond survived the genuinely terrible “Moonraker” and “A View to a Kill,” then he should have no problem overcoming the relatively very mild “Quantum” disappointment.
I do agree that “Quantum of Solace” is a pretty “wretched” title, if the idea was for people to have any understanding of what it meant. Still, I go to movies, not titles for movies.