* A side-effect of the slow-going sale of MGM, the slowed down production of “James Bond 23” and, to some degree, “The Hobbit” writes Anne Thompson.
* I haven’t seen “Up in the Air,” yet, so I’m not reading this item about Jason Reitman responding to a rumored deleted subplot, but there’s no reason you can’t if you’ve seen it or don’t mind big spoilers.
* Inevitably, the apparent mega-success of “Avatar” brings out Hollywood’s copycat side re: 3-D. Oy.
* Every cinephile’s favorite company, Criterion, plugs their 2010 release schedule via primitivist postcard. Next time, they should go the extra mile and promote their releases via cave painting. Tops on my wish list: the restored “The Red Shoes.”
* I suppose I should wait until I’ve caught up with “Taken” to pass full judgment, but I can’t help but wonder about Paramount’s apparent approach to choosing directors for the latest attempt at Frank Herbert’s “Dune.” It’s not that I think Pierre Morel is a bad director. His “Banluie 13” had some very good sequences, even if its story was the usual Luc Besson not-quite-story. But why does Paramount apparently think this is just another hard-charging action flick? To me, this is a movie that needs someone with a bit of David Lean or John Ford in him. Giving helmers who are strong on thud and blunder, but not necessarily on story and character, “Dune” is like assigning a smart second-grader to do a book report on The Brothers Karamazov. They might figure out the storyline with a lot of effort, but they’ll never get near the meaning — though I’d be delighted to be proven wrong.
* Flixter is acquiring my favorite review aggregating site, Rotten Tomatoes, from IGN (owned by Murdoch’s News Corp.) A very interesting merger, I think. Dylan Stableford of The Wrap has a brief interview.