It’s been somewhat surprising, even given my own innate skepticism about practically everything, that for the last week or so there’s been very little compelling movie news — really very little that I could bring myself to even mention here. To be honest, I kind of liked that way. Much less time consuming and more fun to just throw trailers and stuff at you guys. The last 24 hours or so, however, have been a very different story.
* I often wonder where George Lucas went wrong in a number of departments. Today he’s King Midas in reverse with actors — who else could actually make Samuel L. Jackson boring? — but he directed the very well acted “American Graffitti.” His first two “Star Wars” movies were imperfect but great, great fun — and he had the great good sense to bring in the best writers available, and a very strong director, for the second one. He insisted on doing the three prequels himself, however, and in my opinion and lots of other people’s, showed how borderline unwatchable a space opera could be.
What went wrong? I don’t know but one thing that did happen to Lucas was the departure of producer Gary Kurtz, he of the Abe Lincoln beard who I honestly haven’t thought about in decades.
I try hard, very hard, to keep an open mind about upcoming projects. However, this attempt to try and reboot one of my favorite Warner Brothers animated creations, the character who eventually came to be called Marvin the Martian, just sounds weak. However, I want to be upbeat today and ignore the 1,000,001 reasons why a CGI Marvin surrounded by live action characters “in the manner of “Alvin & The Chipmunks,” makes me cringe. I sort of doubt it has much promise commercially either. (The little kids who loved furry Alvin might not cotton to a helmeted black ball with legs.)
So, instead of dwelling on the character’s uncertain future, why not take a look at his glorious past? Here is director Chuck Jones and writer Michael Maltese introducing the character not yet named Marvin opposite Bugs Bunny in 1948’s “Haredevil Hare.” You might notice that Mel Blanc’s initial voice characterization of the Trojan-hatted alien is somewhat different from the voice we now know and love. It’s also a bit ahead of its time for a brief allusion to rabbit-on-dog outer space gay romance. Put something in cartoon form, and you can away with moider, I tells you.
Note: If you have any problems viewing this, there’s a slightly lower resolution version available on YouTube.
The next installment in the “Saw” series is only 10 days away, and what better way to prepare for the latest round of death traps than with a 30-second round-up of the first movie as enacted by bunnies? Enjoy!