An amazing trailer that you might think is a joke. It’s extremely funny, but it’s not a joke — it’s a real feature that apparently wowed ’em at Fantastic Fest, or it least it wowed Harry Knowles. The trailer certainly had that effect on me. Just watch.
With Halloween over, it’s time to look ahead to the holidays and take advantage of this slow movie news day to maybe do some volunteering for the political party of my choice (two guesses). And so, in the tradition of “Bad Santa” I suppose, “Rare Exports: A Christmas Story.” Enjoy.
I need to keep it brief tonight, but there are a few items tonight that I want to catch up with.
* It nice to lead with some good news. Jailed Iranian director Jafar Panahi has reportedly been released on bail from his imprisonment. The director, who was supposed to sit on the Cannes jury, had been on a hunger strike. The acclaimed film-maker appears to be in trouble because of a documentary about the Iranian protest movement.
* The lower than expected box office performance for “Shrek Forever After” had an effect on Wall Street. Moreover, Patrick Goldstein wonders if those inflated 3-D ticket prices might already be starting to backfire. I tend to agree. People may not mind paying a little extra for something that feels like a real event, but 3-D is already starting to feel old hat and, as Goldstein reminds us, there’s a lot more coming.
* This story fell between the cracks a few days back — and Louis Black doesn’t work for me — but Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me“) really is doing that comicon documentary that was rumored sometime back. It was originally plugged as a collaboration of some sort with Joss Whedon, but it turns out Whedon is just one of a few geek superstars who will be executive producing. That’ possibly the most elastic job title in show business, so his involvement could be fairly minimal though I’m sure he’ll appear on screen. Accompanying Whedon in backing the film are none other than Stan Lee and Harry Knowles.
* A long time ago, I found the novel, Less Than Zero, oddly compelling reading in that it was a vivid portrait of a human train wreck. That being said, Brett Easton Ellis is certainly not dispelling the widespread opinion that he might be a jackass with his pronouncements about female directors. May he shortly be visited by the ghost of Ida Lupino.
I had a nasty case of food poisoning yesterday. Not that you care, but a lot has been happening while I spent a day catatonic before TCM and IFC.
* There’s a new “interactive” trailer for “Avatar” that you can download if you don’t mind also downloading some new Adobe software (at least I had to on the computer I’m using right now). The reason “interactive” is in quotes is that the only thing unusual about this longer trailer is that it pauses and allows you to watch additional short promotional films based around the various characters and some of the hardware, etc. It also allows you to buy tickets early.
I’m not sure what “interactive” really means because just about everything is interactive to some degree and this does not particularly impress me as anything new or different. Maybe we can think of a new buzzword.
* And’s that’s not all. Anne Thompson has the scoop that “Avatar” may premiere at Harry Knowles’ annual, 24-hour invitation-only Butt-Numb-A-Thon despite some issues between Knowles and Fox. Also, you’ve probably heard about/seen this already, but the movie and writer-director James Cameron got the “60 Minutes” treatment Sunday night. Nothing earth shattering in the arguably slightly puffy Morley Safer piece, though it’s nice to hear Cameron admit that when it comes right down to it, amazing CGI/3-D or not, it all comes down to the story and what’s happening in the actors’ eyes. On the other hand, I really don’t need or want to see 3-D news stories. Will I will wind up doing so anyway?
It’s a crazy and very busy day, I’m still recovering from some extremely mild case of the blahs or something, and surely doubt there’s anything I can write more interesting than the colloquy in the comments of my earlier post on mega-online entertainment news/opinion doyen Nikki Finke, in which Ms. Finke posted a response, I posted a response to the response…and, well, you can all see for yourselves but parts of it were not pretty.
Still, I’d like to draw your attention to an interesting and not unrelated post on the whole question of journalistic — if that’s the world — ethics in this brave new online world we’re all in by Anne Thompson. Not only is her piece on the issues brought up recently food for much thought, but the ad hoc symposium in comments is must reading and includes comments by several well known critics, including her immediate subject, James Rocchi, as well as guest appearances by Harry Knowles, Jeffrey “the Dude” Dowd, Todd Gilchrist, and many other fine folks including a brief comment by me. It might be a bit inside baseball/meta for some, but definitely worth a look for anyone interested in this whole new media world we’re all carving out right now.
Just for the record, I don’t consider what I do here and elsewhere journalism in the normal sense but an attempt to honestly entertain and educate whoever happens to be reading. As long as the acceptance of a free DVD, screening, a paycheck, or fabulous all-expenses trip to fabulous Bermuda or Culver City doesn’t get in the way of that, there’s no problem. And, if it does, we have no one to blame but ourselves and you readers will eventually catch on. I also try to avoid actually reviewing movies by people I actually know personally a bit too well to be objective or even commenting on them without noting the relationship. For example, this link to a very exciting, violent, and sensual tongue-in-cheek extravanganza is only here because I’m friends with the filmmaker and I’m actually in the movie. Honesty — always the best policy.
Look here’s a great (and NSFW) trailer I just discovered. Ignore the little balding guy with the strippers!