After tonight, I’ll be taking a break from the daily blogging grind for just a bit. That means I’ll be out completely for a couple of days at least and then you may see a post here and there and then, suddenly, I’ll be back like I was never gone in the first place, probably towards the tail end of the month. So, this will have to hold you for a little while.
* As of tonight, corporate raider Carl Icahn appears to be a majority stockholder in Lionsgate.
* I’ve never been a fan of the seventies movie of the silly seventies film version of “Logan’s Run,” but with Carl Erik Rinsch directing, my interest in the new film perked up considerably. Now, Alex Garland — who wrote and produced the not-entirely-unrelated upcoming version of “Never Let Me Go” which I discussed yesterday — has jumped on board, making it even more interesting. Better, they’re approaching it as a new version of the book, not a remake of the film. In the 1976 film, by the way, no one in the futuristic society was permitted to live past 30. In the novel, it was 21.
* Sam Raimi has been confirmed as the director of “Oz: The Great and Powerful.” Apparently Robert Downey, Jr., who just formed a new company with his producer wife, Susan Downey, is the most likely Oz at this point.
* Be sure and check out Will Harris’s terrific interview with one of the best, Isabella Rossellini. Easily one of the most fascinating actresses of the last thirty years or so, with quite a backstory behind her. Don’t miss it.
*Though Ms. Rossellini seems perfectly at home in a very humorous way with her fifty-something status, that is not really always the case for actresses. This month’s conversation between Jason Bellamy and Ed Howard at the House Next Door underlines that point as the cinephile thinkers discuss two of Hollywood’s greatest show-biz based films, “Sunset Boulevard” and “All About Eve,” both released in 1950 and both dealing with actresses who struggling with this whole passage of time thing.
* That film geek Ahab, Quint, manages to capture the elusive Ridley Scott and discusses “Alien” stuff, specifically the proposed 3-D prequels and Scott’s attitude towards the process, not to mention the brilliant advertising campaign for the original film.
* The White Elephant Blogathon has taken place. It’s a deeply sado-maschistic ritual in which film bloggers fob off films they wouldn’t inflict on their worst enemies to other film bloggers, and then have to review one such film themselves. Dennis Cozzalio caught the “Mannequin 2: On the Move,” and let’s just say the results border on the psychedelic.
*If Tom Tyker’s Wachowski-produced film version of the novel “Cloud Atlas” ever gets made, it’s likely going to be big.
* I’ve had some obvious mixed feelings about Nikki Finke since starting this here gig, but director Joe Carnahan’s idiotic attack on her confirms my initial unflattering hunches about him. I never understood why his film “Narc” got the praise it got. I found it merely irritating.
* One of several reasons I’m scaling back the blogging fairly radically for a couple of weeks is so that I actually would like time to catch some movies at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival. Karina Longworth and the gang at the L.A. Weekly are helping me to make some selections.
* RIP film scholar and freelance writer Peter Brunette, who died suddenly at a festival in Italy at age 66. Glenn Kenny has a nice remembrance up.
* The trailer for “Bagman,” retitled from “Casino Jack,” is anything but promising. Also, isn’t it time for an indefinite moratorium on the use of “Gimme Shelter” in trailers and even movies? I’m talking to you too, Mr. Scorsese!
Even though I had my quibbles, it seems pretty likely that “Casino Jack and the United States of Money,” also about the Jack Abramoff affair, will prove to be the better film.
* OMG! OMG! It’s the dark Miley!
* If you haven’t absolutely nothing better to do, you can watch the new Smurf movie’s teaser trailer. It’s looking like a real clustersmurf to me.
* Michael Winterbottom’s “The Killer Inside Me,” based on a the ultra-ultra-dark novel by Jim Thompson, has been the talk of the festival circuit for some time because of some scenes of extreme violence (just how graphic they actually are remains slightly unclear, though their emotional impact is clearly extremely strong) that have raised some hackles. Over at the the Daily Beast, Allen Barra marks its release by taking a look at Thompson’s works and wondering if they’re ever truly been filmable.
* Speaking of films that made their names with a single scene of violence against a woman, Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of “Psycho.” While there is no doubting that Hitchcock’s film is a hugely important milestone and its first forty minutes or so are a kind of perfection. Louis Vertel at Movieline is absolutely correct that it’s not his best — I’m not sure who thinks it is, except for people who haven’t seen many other Hitchcock movies. In fact, I’d rank it significantly lower than Vertel does. For me, it’s not even in Hitchcock’s top 10, though that less a knock on it than praise for a number of truly great films by of one of the real geniuses of the movies. It is, however, one of Bernard Herrmann’s very best scores.
On a separate note, if you’re a real movie geek, make sure you don’t miss another chapter in the long running Glenn Kenny v. Jeffrey Welles moviegeek smackdown, this time over “Psycho” and, wait for it, aspect ratios. Both enlightening and entertaining if a bit more polite than usual.
And, okay, “Psycho” is kind of amazing.