“No Country for Red Suited Old Men.” A scene you won’t seen in a Coen brothers Western or semi-Western: Gene Autry sings and Jay Silverheels (Tonto of “The Lone Ranger”) appreciates his generosity and tunefulness in “The Cowboy and the Indians.”
You can call this paternalistic, and I don’t suppose you’d be wrong, but there’s also something kind of sweet about it, too.
Fun facts I just learned (or had forgotten): The Lone Ranger himself, Clayton Moore, actually has a small role in “The Cowboy and the Indians” but was, ironically, already costarring with Silverheels in the masked-hero western TV series by the time this movie was released in 1949, which makes a much older television show than I quite realized. I guess that makes it one of the very earliest filmed television series back when the vast majority of TV was live and television itself was a fairly newfangled item.
I’m taking a brief hiatus from my hiatus to present the first trailer for one of the most widely discussed upcoming films on the ‘net. First impression: no surprise that Seth Rogen and Michel Gondry’s “The Green Hornet” appears to be another slacker superhero flick, but take a look for yourself.
The performances from Rogen and highly skilled costar Jay Chou look reasonably okay. (You probably also noticed that we get a very brief look at Tom Wilkinson, Cameron Diaz, and villain Christoph Waltz, who I’m sure will be fun.) Still, I can’t get over my vague disappointment that it’s not a period piece, even though I probably already knew that it wasn’t and forgot.
Even though the sixties TV show was set in the same out-of-time contemporary time period as the “Batman” TV show, I’ll always associate the Green Hornet with the thirties and forties, the era in which the original radio show was made and set. There’s just something very old fashioned about the entire character and concept — Britt Reid is actually supposed to be the great nephew of the Lone Ranger, which was created by the same team of writers — but since I’m one of the very few people whose ever even listened to more than one classic-era radio broadcast of any sort, I don’t imagine that will be a commercial problem. There may be others, however.
With the completely and utterly sold-out Comic-Con starting mid-week, Hollywood publicists seem to be working overtime to fulfill your no doubt insatiable need for geek news. I could probably write seven or eight posts catering to nerd proclivities. But you’re getting just one today, (and, with the help of few snafus, this one took much longer than it should have). A few highlights
* Leonardo DiCaprio’s company has signed writer Rand Ravich (“The Astronaut’s Wife,” the TV series “Life”) to do a new film somehow tied to Rod Serling’s classic anthology science-fiction/fantasy TV series, “The Twilight Zone.” Many of you will remember the 1983 film, which utilized multiple writers and directors and consisted of three adaptations of well known episodes from the original series, one tale loosely drawn from a pair of episodes (sadly infamous due to the accident which killed actor Vic Morrow and two illegally hired children, very nearly ending the career of director John Landis), and a framing story featuring Albert Brooks and Dan Aykroyd. No word on what form this new film would take — a single tale would be missing the entire point of “The Twilight Zone,” IMO — and I’m unfamiliar with Ravich’s work. So, it’ll be interesting to watch this one move further along the pipeline.
[Update: Apparently, one year ago at least, the idea was to make a single film drawn from an episode of the series. Why, I have no idea. I learned this via Monika Bartyzel, you can read her post and my messed up comments here.