Tag: Jr. (Page 1 of 2)

It’s a brand new week in the movie rumor mill

And there may be some actual news mixed in here. Maybe.

* The big story today is that a lot of people have sussed out the the 23rd James Bond movie is, according to the possibly not-so-super reliable UK tabloid “canned.” Obviously, the same fiscal black hole at the once mighty MGM that is screwing things up royally for “The Hobbit” is also at least delaying the latest entry in what has to be the longest-running franchise in movie history.

He may be a bit emotional, but it’s hard to disagree with the passion of Harry Knowles on this, while Kevin Jagernauth provides some necessary background to the story. I agree that it’s a bummer this is happening during the era of Daniel Craig. As far as I’m concerned, Craig is easily the best Bond since Connery.

Daniel Craig in Casino Royale

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Advice to aspiring filmmakers: If you can’t be good, be delusional

I’m not sure how I wound up there, but this morning I found myself reading Jonah Weiner‘s thoughts about James Nguyen’sBirdemic: Shock and Terror,” the latest “so bad it’s good” production to find some success as a midnight movie and to get more than its share of coverage for so doing. Then I watched the ABC News video which I will present without further comment, except to apologize for the small size of the image. (ABC’s player won’t permit altering the size, for whatever reason.) You might also want to check out this amusing BBC item about it as well.

Okay, so now it’s time to talk about something I’ve learned about the movie world and frequently expressed verbally, but never online.

In my travels around the very lower rungs of the film world, I’ve noted that there are exactly two ways to have a career as a filmmaker. Be extremely well focused, productive and hardworking — being hard working to the point of actual madness won’t hurt, if you and your loved ones survive it — be very smart, passionate, creative, thoughtful, and lucky and you might have a decent-to-great-career.

The  other path still involves hard work, or perhaps simply a truly bad case of ADHD and/or mania, and no particular amounts of intelligence or creativity is called for, though passion and luck are still required. But here’s the secret to the second path — no matter how badly something turns out, you must never entertain the thought it might actually be bad. When you ask your best friends what they thought of your script, if they start to look down and change the subject, you must assume that they are doing that because the script is so good they are beyond words. If you’re of a nastier disposition, assume they’re jealous. If you’re somewhere in between, assure yourself that they’re simply unable to comprehend what you’re going for. Can’t blame them if for not being as brilliant as you are.

The next step is to use your honest passion to persuade clueless and/or desperate crew and actors to be in your film for little or no payment and, if you can’t afford to self-finance, get star struck dentists or CPAs to “invest.”  When the film is completed, ignore the three awful reviews you were able to garner and dwell on the fact that your film was an official selection of the Rancho Cucamonga Film Festival. Do not notice — much less learn from — your mistakes. That would involve not being delusional, and you need your delusion the way a shark needs teeth.

At this point, you will perhaps be able to find bottom feeding producers who will note that you’ve been able to complete a film — a real achievement in itself. They may then choose to pay for another film for reasons of their own. If not, there are always more dentists and CPAs. The beauty of video technology is that you need fewer of them than you once did, though you’ll also have more delusional competition than before, too.

And then, my son or daughter, you may just have a career. Not a brilliant career, but a career. I have seen this happen with my own two eyes. How do you think Ed Wood kept on working throughout his life, writing novels and screenplays and directing movies despite the fact that he had absolutely no talent for any of it?

But what do you do if your film has the kind of luck that “Birdemic” is enjoying and becomes a midnight cult hit? What if theaters nationwide are full of inebriated youth laughing derisively — an indignity that never quite happened to Ed Wood, though I’m sure he could have used the cash? Do you bow your head in shame all the way to the bank and make off for an island paradise, never to be heard from again? No, because if you had any shame, you wouldn’t have made that terrible but funny movie in the first place. You might have, in fact, made something boring, and that’s the worst fate of all for a movie.  Much better to have created something truly memorable.

Nguyen appears to have trademarked the phrase “Romantic Thriller” and declared himself the “master” of it. That takes some balls™.

Midnight at the movies

Not quite a movie news dump, more of a movie news sampler…

* The various Deadline folks have a lot of reporting going on tonight, starting with the news from Mike Fleming that Robert Downey Jr. is negotiating to possibly star in a new science fiction film Alfonso Cuaron wrote with his son. He also reports on the somewhat delayed sale of a hot Sundance feature staring “Twilight” fave Kristen Stewart, James Gandolfini, and Melissa Leo. In addition, there’s word from the London office that 72 year-old Dustin Hoffman is finally graduating to directing with an upcoming project with BBC Films.

* Todd Gilchrist has the closest thing yet to an official review I’ve seen of “Kick-Ass” and it’s…mixed. Could the film already be a victim of its already amazingly effective hype? Or is it that Gilchrist is, after all, just one guy? Of course, there’s always the possibility that it’s simply not as good as we all seem to be expecting. If so, shoot me now, I say!


* The Red Skull has always been one of my favorite supervillians — just pure evil and nothing but. I think casting  Hugo Weaving to play him in the upcoming Captain America flick is probably about as good a choice as they could make. If anyone can act without skin, it’s Weaving.

* Quentin Tarantino will not be smurfing around, after all. He did, however, accept an award at SXSW, which is just getting started and where our own Mr. Jason Zingale is hanging out.

* Patrick Goldstein doesn’t approve when Tom Hanks has the temerity to voice a strong opinion because it annoys rightwingers and that’s just the worst thing ever.  Yes, it’s a celebrity’s job to play it safe at all times. Good to know. I wonder if he’ll hold rightwing actors to the same standard when they say something controversial. It’s a true fact that many journos who probably themselves vote Democrat wind up carrying the water of the far-right through their obsession with being even-handed at all costs at all times and regardless of the merits. The American rightwing really did a number on the press during the late 20th century, and it doesn’t look like they’ll ever recover.

* I hate to see any creative person lose their job, especially in this economy, but I hope this item means there’ll be some kind of shift in the creative direction of Robert Zemeckis’s future animated/motion-capture projects. How anyone can think that style of animation is  anything other than creepy — and not in a good way — is beyond me.

(500) days of Spidey news?; all together now in the uncanny valley…and a whole lot more

Yes, we ‘ve got movie news…

Peter Parker/Spiderman
* Nikki Finke’s new best friend, Mike Fleming (or someone, it’s written in the third person), writes tonight that director Marc Webb of the very popular indie relationship comedy, “(500) Days of Summer” is right now the most likely director for the just announced “Spiderman” reboot.  Fleming, or whomever, writes that  Webb has “no superhero experience,” which is not really the issue. The issue is that, while he’s quite capable of making an okay indie comedy (I’m not the movie’s biggest fan), he has no action experience and Sam Raimi had obviously quite a bit before attempting “Spiderman.” Still, the choice of Webb wouldn’t be half so strange as another one mentioned by Fleming (or whomever) apparently in all seriousness: Wes Anderson.

I wish we lived in a universe where studio executives would be so weirdly brave. And, hey, if Anderson’s not available, they could try David Lynch. I don’t know about the masses, but I’d definitely pay to see either movie.

Fleming (or whomever), however, is absolutely correct that, if he were just a bit younger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be the guy to play the new Peter Parker. Oh, well.

* Fleming also has it that Daniel Craig is “in talks” to replace a vacating Robert Downey, Jr. on the comic book adaptation, “Cowboys and Aliens.” Interesting transition. Downey seems more alien than cowboy; Craig is definitely more cowboy than alien.

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The Next Food Network Star new season debuts Sunday June 7

Yes, it’s really been a year since Aaron McCargo, Jr. won Season 4 of “The Next Food Network Star,” one of the network’s most popular and talked about shows. Since then, McCargo has his own show, and Season 2 champ Guy Fieri is about as ubiquitous on TV as Peyton Manning or Oprah. So, you see, The Food Network takes this show very seriously, and well they should. Not only is it vital for them to keep finding new talent, but we are able to enjoy the process as ten finalists battle it out with tough challenges and nerve wracking on-camera experiences.

Season 5, which kicks off this Sunday June 7 at 9:00 pm ET/PT and 8:00 pm CST, features finalists Brett August (Washington Heights, N.Y.), Katie Cavuto (Philadelphia, Pa.), Melissa d’Arabian (Keller, Texas), Teddy Folkman (Alexandria, Va.), Eddie Gilbert (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Jen Isham (Orlando, Fla.), Debbie Lee (West Hollywood, Calif.), Jamika Pessoa (Atlanta, Ga.), Michael Proietti (New York, N.Y.) and Jeffrey Saad (Los Angeles, Calif.).

The challenges promise to be even tougher this time around according to a press release, and we had the chance to ask judge and long-time network personality, restauranteur and Iron Chef Bobby Flay how he felt about the challenges.

“I do think sometimes the challenges are hard, but that’s what this is about,” he said. “If everyone was perfect in every challenge, there would be nothing to watch. You want to see how they do under pressure and how they handle it.”

In addition, since Flay is the lone chef on the judging panel along with Food Network execs Bob Tuschman (Senior Vice President, Programming and Production) and Susie Fogelson (Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy); he admits that he is looking more for that special culinary talent first and foremost, while the other two may have different priorities.

“Since I’m the chef on the panel, I’m always protecting the food,” he said. “It’s three things–they need to be able to cook with authority, they need to be able to be a good teacher and inspire, and then if they have those two things they need to be entertaining. All three of those things are the recipe for success.”

In addition to Flay, there are several network personalities that will help with the challenges and with guidance to the ten finalists. Those include Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown, Guy Fieri, Ina Garten, Emeril Lagasse, Gina and Pat Neely, Masaharu Morimoto, Ted Allen, Tyler Florence, Michael Symon McCargo, Jr.

We’ll be blogging the entire season right here starting this Monday, so tune in and then read us right here and let us know what you think!

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