You’d think Jewish New Year and Labor Day coming so close together would slow down the pace of movie news a little, but leisure is for suckers and Yahweh is just another bit player in this hard luck town.

* The talk of the geek-o-sphere for some time is going to be the announcement of a massive and potentially trendsetting film/television cross-over adaptation of Stephen King’s multi-volume “The Dark Tower” mega-epic. Universal, which has had some very tough times lately, is taking what I’m guessing could be a make-it-or-break-it gamble on the project, the news of which was broken by Mike Fleming earlier.  I’m not a King reader, but I am intrigued by the fact that it’s a western-science fiction-horror cross-breed. In any case apparently the plan is to start with a movie, go to a 22 episode not-so-mini-series, and then onto another movie, another series, then wrapping it all up with movie. The idea being to provide fans with both the grandeur of theatrical films and the detail and time of a television series.


It’s intriguing but laden with potential pitfalls. One is that it demands an awful lot of time and people who aren’t following the series may feel shut out of the latter two movies. The other is that, quite frankly, I feel the “A Dangerous Mind” creative team of director Ron Howard and writer Akiva Goldsman — who I gather will be writing and directing the first two films and the entire first series at least, which could be some kind of record if that’s what’s really going to happen — simply haven’t indicated they’re up to this kind of material. I hate to say it but winning Oscars can be negative indicator sometimes.

It’s not that I doubt their ability to crank it all out. Howard is obviously a very competent director who knows how to make highly professional material and I have tremendous respect for him as an individual and one of the more positive forces in Big Moviedom. However, he’s always shown a tendency to play it safe and often a bit dull when the chips are really down creatively as a director and none of Goldsman’s movies have been all that inspiring to me either. All I’m saying is that I had a good feeling about Peter Jackson taking on “The Lord of the Rings” and I have a bad feeling about it, though I’d seriously love to be wrong.  Something tells me this project needs a real lunatic and Ron Howard is one of the sanest guys in show business. Huge King fan Quint at AICN has similar misgivings. He has a more riding on this than I.

* Simon Abrams is right re: “Kick-Ass” doing a lot better than people assumed. Even though I cover the weekend grosses here, we all make way too much of those openings and fail to look at the overall picture. Calling a movie a bomb that makes nearly half its budget in its opening weekend is just idiotic anyhow. The actual success of the film may have figured in the ongoing financial struggles between Lionsgate and Carl Icahn.

Aaron Johnson is

* If ever an actor was born to a play a hobbit, it’s Brit stand-by Martin Freeman. Despite tabloid stories to the contrary, he may be meeting his humanoid destiny as young Bilbo after all.

* I love the idea of Zhang Ziyi starring in a new film of the Mulan legend. Jan De Boont directing in English, however, not so much.

* So Clint Eastwood could have been Superman or James Bond, which would never have worked in either case and he was smart enough to know it. On other hand, he liked the Submariner. That almost could have worked. Almost. “Do you feel lucky, shark? Do ya’?”

* Oh, man more “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” finance problems. You’ve got to admire Terry Gilliams’ fortitude.

* James Franco’s SNL documentary has a distributor.  Mr. Franco has also entered TMI territory promoting “127 Hours.” As for just how Aaron Ralston passed his time before he was forced to his drastic solution, I guess even in the greatest extremes, a young man’s fancy must be satisfied from time to time.

* Tell the folks at Big Hollywood — a new Ronald Reagan biopic is in the offing. Monica Bartyzel has the details. I agree with her that Brandon Routh makes a lot of sense in terms of casting.

* Oh, and just because today is the start of the most solemn period on the Jewish calendar, Uwe Boll should go fuck himself. Twice.

I’m not the kind of guy who gets easily offended and tend to think that no topic is too sacred for art and everything is fair game and, even when something doesn’t work and turns out badly, you can’t blame people for trying. However, even I have my limit and this no talent attention seeking mega-assclown has found it because he actually seems to know he has no talent and no taste and he makes a movie called “Auschwitz” anyway.  No links and absolutely no embed of the beneath contempt trailer. I hope I’m never forced to mention his film or him ever again.

* Just what we need in L.A. Another indie studio has fired most of its staff.

* The Academy has apparently found Jean-Luc Godard and he might accept his award. The sad part is that it won’t be televised so, sorry, Jean-Luc, there goes your chance to have your work exposed to countless young people who might never have heard of you before. I’m personally a bit angry that the Oscars no longer televise the lifetime achievement awards. I guess attention doesn’t have to paid, after all. Who cares about history or greatness? I don’t care if some people were bored by the old presentations. I really don’t. If movies bore you, why are you watching the Oscars?

* As a gorephobe who nevertheless made it through “Zombieland” with a certain amount of wincing, I am not thrilled that the sequel will be in 3D.

* RIP director Clive Donner and actor Glen Shadix. You probably knew him as Otho.