Wednesday, January 9, 2008

That's Entertainment!


Turning our horrified gaze away from the political primaries, we find an impressive media year ahead — starting with the monster movie Cloverfield, from Lost/Alias co-creator J.J. Abrams, rumored to have been influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, who I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s entry. But besides that: reports that this summer’s Iron Man and Hulk films will include a crossover scene in each, underscoring the fact that the films take place in the same fictional universe and implicitly setting the stage for an Avengers movie (starring a roster of Marvel heroes) down the line. Best of all, not only will Robert Downey Jr. cross over into Hulk as Tony Stark, the crossover scene in Iron Man will reportedly involve an appearance by Col. Nick Fury, played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson (after whom the Ultimate Marvel version of the character was modeled). Jackson will be the first person to tackle the role since the surprisingly entertaining David Hasselhoff TV-movie featuring the character (and the giant, rotating, holographic head of Madame Viper, not to mention Life Model Decoys, the Helicarrier, and Hydra Island).

•I also learned from DarkHorizons yesterday that Dune is being remade by the acclaimed director of The Kingdom (which makes sense if you think about it for a second — from House of Saud to House Atreides)…so some people may soon want to see Dune for a sixth time (I’m counting the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries version and all four cuts of the Lynch/Smithee 80s movie, each cut longer and worse than the one before it, like some repeating nightmare out of Inland Empire, itself worse than any of the Dune cuts). As for me: when I try to watch Dune, all I see is an Atreides that I want to kill (my friend Christine Ames liked Dune, but she is the only person I know who was handed a glossary by the movie theatre staff on her way in, which would have helped immensely).

•Slash is at #17 on the New York Times best-seller list this week with his self-titled autobiography, sandwiched between books on the American Revolution (#16) and Nikki Six of Motley Crue (#18). I genuinely love our culture (and the Whitneys for providing the photo of Slash and Bill Gates above — thanks).

•In the final hours Tuesday before the Ron Paul campaign ceased to be a source of pleasure, it offered me one last moment of joy when Jason Zengerle, on The New Republic’s blog, noted a Ron Paul fan dressed as Chewbacca waving a Paul sign on an overpass in New Hampshire, and a TNR reader rightly responded by asking, how do you know it wasn’t the real Chewbacca? Chewie, too, hates empire. (The real Chewie died in the Star Wars spin-off novels not long ago, but the actor who portrayed him, Peter Mayhew, lives on and once gave my acquaintance Jared, a DC Comics staffer, a thumbs-up sign from across a bar room, while eating a large cookie, when he saw that Jared was kissing a girl — if Jared dies tomorrow, I will not look upon his short life with pity.)

•I saw Sweeney Todd (bloody but good), and at its end, I got a glimpse behind the curtain of Hollywood magic — and you can, too. At least, on the print I saw (and perhaps all the others), at the very end when the R for Restricted notice appeared again for a split second, I noticed that at the bottom where it would normally say something like “Mature themes and brief nudity” it instead said “Reason box.” Oops. Who edited this thing — Edward Scissorhands? Ha! Edward Scissorhands! ’Cause, see, he’s like almost the same character!

•As if it weren’t enough that Michael Malice was the speaker at Lolita Bar and the co-author of my Book Selection this month, the versatile man has just launched the website WorstEmailEver — a hilarious forum for formerly-personal e-mails that are in the running for precisely that title.


Dylan said...

Ooh, Iron Man. During my comics phase — mid to late 80s, and generally only Marvel — that was one of my favorites. Is the movie going to have Tony Stark in his alcoholic derelict period?

Todd Seavey said...

At an early stage of the production, rumor was that the second _Iron Man_ film might deal with the alcoholism — but the encouraging trailers for this summer’s suggest they’re doing something almost as satisfying, depicting him as a morally-callous playboy who needs to rise above his lifestyle…and become a hero.