Things are supposed to quiet down as far as big movie news is concerned for the next couple of weeks, so enjoy these little draps and drabs of movie news from the last week while you can…

* It’s not quite on the level of finding a mysterious monolith on the moon but it comes close. AICN has it that EFX pioneer genius Douglas Trumbull has said that 17 minutes of lost outtakes from Stanley Kubrick‘s “2001: A Space Odyssey” have been found in a salt mine in Kansas. It’s important to remember this story, such as it is, originates from a message board and perhaps isn’t the best sourced item to ever hit the ‘nets. But what better place to store outtakes than a salt mine in Kansas? A pepper mill in Encino?


* Since the story’s been out since the beginning of the week, by now you’ve no doubt heard the news that Jon Favreau has walked away from “Iron Man 3” in what we’re being assured was an entirely amicable split motivated primarily by his desire to make the Disneyland themed “Magic Kingdom.” As a lifelong Southern Californian and a current resident in good standing of the city of Anaheim, I love the Happiest Place on Earth as much as the next guy. However, as the premise for a movie, I’m hugely skeptical and wondering just what it is that is getting people of the caliber of Favreau and Guillermo del Toro on board with this these theme-parked based projects. (I’m much less skeptical of the Fincher “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” because, well, it’s based on a beloved book of my childhood as well as a pretty cool Disney flick, not a ride.)

* More old news too interesting to pass over, especially in light of what appears to be an impending box office success for “The Fighter.” Eminem/Marshall Mathers may be returning to films in the company of “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter with the boxing tale, “Southpaw.” I have to admit to having lost track of the rapper’s recordings along with most contemporary music, but I’ve always thought the guy was, if nothing else, an incredibly talented writer even if he occasionally let his creative id get the better of him. Should be interesting.

* Film Comment has made if official, Olivier Assayas’ massive “Carlos” is the cinephile flick of the year. #2 on the list was “The Social Network.”

* The Chicago Film Critics have issued their awards nominations. Not much we haven’t seen here before though a nice win for that singular twin, Arnie Hammer.

* David Schwimmer is the latest filmmaker to take on the MPAA’s rating system. Good lord, there needs to be some kind of reform of this thing. On that point the Ebert speaks and points out the absurdity of the current rules on language, in particular:

Mr. Valenti was correct that the MPAA should not evaluate a film as a critic might. In theory, the ratings board should have no opinion on whether “Blue Valentine” is good or not. It should stick to bean counting. But counting beans has led to another controversy that the Weinsteins are currently embroiled in. Their film “The King’s Speech,” the fascinating personal and historical story of George VI’s work with a therapist to overcome a stutter, was rated R because of one scene involving use of the f-word. To be sure, it was used a lot, but probably not more often than the average teenager hears it in a day. Once you’ve heard one f-word, you’ve heard them all.

* Speaking of Roger Ebert, I’m delighted to report that he’s returning the concept of intelligent movie reviews to a TV set near you starting this January.

* Another story I’m a bit late to, but still want to mention: I’ve been following the progress of the Joel & Ethan Coen screenplay for a remake of the fun sixties caper flick, “Gambit,” for some time. The latest is that the current movie king of England, Colin Firth, is in talks to star as the larcenous lead. Meanwhile, the Independent reminds me that Firth is more surely going to be featured in the new film verson of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by my favorite spy author, John Le Carre. I think I need to re-read that one.

* As a native born Angeleno and a reader of crime fiction from time to time, I am ashamed to admit I’ve never read any of Michael Connelly’s books with or without his most famous gumshoe, Harry Bosch. Considering how long his character’s been around I have no excuse. And, if you’re wondering why he hasn’t shown up in the movies or the television box yet, Deadline — at the end of a busy week — has that covered as well.

And now, you’re moment of gumshoe.