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When I was working at Dave's Video, back in 1991, I got to know people from a wide array of crafts in the film industry, and I loved meeting the wizards behind some of the most magical moments in movie history.
Jim Danforth and his wife Karen were two of our regular customers, and you seriously couldn't ask for nicer people. Jim began his work in the industry working for Art Clokey, who created "Gumby," and when Ray Harryhausen worked on "Clash of the Titans," Danforth worked with him.
One particular afternoon, Jim and Karen came into the store, and they had an older English gentleman with them. They walked around the store browsing for a while, and at one point, I helped their friend find a couple of discs. After a while, they came up to the counter, and he set down the stack of movies he'd picked out. He handed over his credit card, and I glanced at the name.
After initially being something of a question mark on the schedule (remember when IMDb rather unconvincingly asserted that it was being released in February?), the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" now seems to be falling into the prestige groove we expect for the directors' work these days. A high-profile premiere in Competition at Cannes is just around the corner, while last week, an awards-friendly release date of December 6 was announced for the period folk-music drama. CBS Films may not be terribly experienced in this game, but they sure are aware that three of the brothers' last four films nabbed Best Picture nominations.
This news makes me happy for a lot of reasons.
First, I'm a firm believer that the right imagination can make something great of the overall "Dungeons & Dragons" property, and I think David Leslie Johson is a wicked smart guy and a fun writer. They're using a script of his called "Chainmail" that they bought last year and they're turning that into the foundation for the "D&D" film. Roy Lee and Courtney Solomon are producing for Warner, which is interesting. Solomon directed the terrible New Line "Dungeons & Dragons" movie back in 2000, and it's interesting to see how far genre fare has come since that release.
At the time, it made sense to try to sneak a much lower-budget fantasy movie in before "Lord Of The Rings" got off the ground to try to make some quick money off of a potential audience. If you're going to take a run at this kind of IP today, you have to take it seriously. There is way too much competition for that dollar, and at this point, if you half-ass it, the audience is going to see you coming. The reasons for each of these major franchises connecting or failing may be different in the small details, but in the broad sense, it's very simple. Either people connect, or they don't. If they do, they will become your best friends, carrying the word to everyone they deal with, actively finding ways to prolong their interaction with the property. And if they don't, then it's over. Done. They'll just move on to find something that does.
A review of tonight's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as the school goat hangs himself...
After Ben Affleck won the Best Picture Oscar for "Argo" -- and, apparently, the admiration and sympathy of the industry at large -- at February's Academy Awards ceremony, he could probably have persuaded Hollywood to greenlight just about anything he felt like making. Those on the lookout for a grand, overreaching folly in the actor's fourth outing behind the camera, however, may be disappointed to hear he'll be on familiar turf: like his 2007 debut "Gone Baby Gone," "Live By Night" will be an adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel.
Even as his girlfriend Kim Kardashian was whipping fashion-watchers up in a frenzy, Kanye West still managed to be the belle of the ball at the Met Gala last night. The punk-themed evening was, coincidentally, a fine match for what appears to be fits of screaming coming from the rapper and producer, who intro'ed his set with the phrase "I am a god."
What follows is a series of Vine clips from the event, including what appears to be an ode to his pregnant girlfriend: "You're awesome."
And what matters less is how they sound: what's more is that West is previewing new material at all.
A second case-in-point is that his production protege Hudson Mohawke, who's signed to Ye's GOOD Music label, reportedly spun two new West tunes during a gig last night [via Fake Shore Drive]. Details are a little more hazy on this one, but Kanye West forum Kanye To The ran a couple of short videos, having had some input from Kanye cohort Mike Dean.
Considering the clips haven't been pulled, and that Mohawke has no need to bite the hand that feeds, either they weren't finished enough to offend or he got Ye's blessing to throw them on.
West took to his vacated Twitter account over the last week, to post just the words "June Eighteen."
No matter how many times the topic comes up, there are still people who seem upset about the absence of the John Williams "Superman" theme from the upcoming Zack Snyder film "Man Of Steel."
That's a testament to the emotional connection that people have with film music, some of which is conscious, some of which is involuntary. There are things that we connect with at various points in our lives that have a nearly chemical reaction on us when we encounter them later, and you can rail about it or struggle with it or try to ignore it, but that's the truth of it. Most of the time, our love of certain pieces of art goes deeper than we can explain, and I suspect that for a generation of people, that 1978 "Superman" is a deeply felt piece of childhood. It certainly was for me.
And let's put that in perspective. Today, if you're a regular moviegoer, you're used to powerful sonic experiences as a routine thing. Even a basic surround set-up these days can be impressive, but in 1978, Dolby surround was brand new, and not everyone knew what to do with it yet.
Carrie Underwood to sing NBC's "Sunday Night Football" theme song
The producer of "SNF" says the former "Idol" winner was the first and only choice to replace Faith Hill.
Report: Nickelodeon cancels "Supah Ninjas"
Nick hasn't confirmed the cancelation of the 2-season series, but its creators have said it's over.
"The IT Crowd" coming back for 1 last episode
Creator Graham Linehan will gather the cast of the geeky British sitcom for a one-off special.
Dave Chappelle starred in a mid-90s spinoff of "Home Improvement"
Chappelle, 22, starred in the short-lived "Buddies" in 1996 after he and future "SNL" star Jim Breuer appeared on "Tool Time."
Tweets on TV -- an annoying trend
The on-screen Twitter clutter is getting out of hand.
Jerry Seinfeld & Jimmy Fallon discuss their jean jacket-wearing past
At the Met Costume Gala, the two also talked about why they don't have tattoos.
Phil Hartman's 1970s album is getting animated
The former "SNL" star recorded "Phil Hartman's Flat TV" when he was with the Groundlings.
Couples are partaking in "Game of Thrones" engagement shoots
"The Wedding is Coming."
"Duck Dynasty" star releases his memoir
Phil Robertson recalls his wild early years and later discovering God in "Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander."
Whatever happened to "Arrested Development's" Annyong "Hello" Bluth?
Justin Lee, who played the role at age 14, is now 23 and not expected to appear on the Netflix season. PLUS: New "Arrested" poster makes clear this is a limited run Netflix series.
PBS tackles America's founding document in "Constitution USA"
"Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me" host Peter Sagal uses a lot of look-at-me gimmicks in the four-part series, beginning tonight.
I had a chance to talk to Kal Penn at the premiere of his new show, "Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius," and found that the "Harold & Kumar" franchise and "House" star as well as former Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement (say that ten times fast) has some, as you might expect, big ideas. The show (which airs Wed. at 10:00 p.m.) challenges 10 real-life rocket scientists, engineers and brainiacs to solve tricky problems and, on occasion, blow up stuff, all while living together. Here's what Penn had to say about doing battle with stupidity, why girls are underrepresented on the show, and why STEM classes count.
I never expected to actually see a studio announcing "Doc Savage".
Sure, we've reported on the various blips and bloops about this one over the course of the development so far, and just over a week ago, we mentioned this as a very real possibility for Black to return to as his next film.
Now it appears to be official. Sony sent out the press release a little while ago announcing a formal deal with Shane to write and direct what I'm sure they all hope will be the first of many "Doc Savage" movies. This is a thrilling moment on a lot of levels. First, Shane Black has never been more white-hot than he is right now. Even the release of "Lethal Weapon" can't compare to this based on what a commercial juggernaut "Iron Man 3" has become. I'm sure everyone expected it to be a hit, but it's a sensation. The money it's earning is sort of amazing. Marvel defies all expectations each time out.
One of your least favorite things about the summer months is the featured creature in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Mosquito" music video. The famed blood-sucker spends the clip doing as the song says.
The CGI winged nuisance also changes shape over the duration, taking on neon colors and getting greedy, chowing down on a little boy's hand. Curiously, director Shimbe Shim shows the mosquito's victim's face in the lower right hand corner, making a display of him watching us and watching it, without the ability to do anything to warn him. The insect ultimately gets his, but it is a very uncomfortable time up until then.
Perhaps the wily song has the same initiative: to make the listener a little perturbed and slightly violent, a little raging weirdo among the other weirdos on the album that shares the same name as this track.
Whatever, just keep it away from me.