* Somehow, I have been sucked in to the Mel Gibson thriller, Edge of Darkness. It might be awful, but I want to try and separate Gibson’s acting prowess from his batshit insanity plaguing his personal life and just see how he does on screen after seven years away.
* Okay, enough with the Avatar box office news. It beat Titanic in worldwide gross, but not in domestic gross, but after $50 million more it will be the domestic gross and be “the biggest movie of all time.” Well, adjusted for inflation, Gone With the Wind is the biggest movie of all time, and there were obviously more tickets sold to Titanic, when the average ticket price was around five dollars as opposed to ten dollars. Avatar is cool to look at, but as an actual movie it is an empty shell. People need to stop trying to find racist or imperialistic themes in the film for a couple of reasons. 1 – the themes are so obvious and hammer you over the head, that it takes no real thought beyond what you see and process while the movie is in front of you, and 2 – this is the ultimate popcorn movie, nothing more, maybe something less, it doesn’t need deep analysis.
* Yesterday, there were three notable deaths. From the “isn’t he already dead” department, J.D. Salinger, joined by Zelda Rubinstein, who played Tangina the spiritual guru in Poletergeist. The third death is Miramax Studios, one of the pioneers of the indie film movement of the last twenty years, bringing us films like sex, lies, and videotape, My Left Foot, Pulp Fiction, and mainstream successes in Chicago, The Aviator, and No Country for Old Men. RIP.
* Ryan Reynolds seems to sabotage any credibility he might get. At the beginning of the week, he was accumulating praise for his role in Buried, a Sundance darling starring him and him alone buried alive for ninety minutes in a Middle Eastern desert. Yesterday, word came down that he was moving forward with Deadpool, a spin-off film from Wolverine. Yes, a fringe superhero with roughly the same skill set as Wolverine that really nobody knows starring in his own film, an offshoot of a wildly forgettable entry into the superhero film canon itself. In other words, nobody learned their lesson from Elektra. They better keep the budget low on this one.
* I watched the Wall Street 2 trailer two more times last night. I just love the energy and the fact that everyone seems to be having fun with the material. People say “this sequel is unnecessary.” Most of the time I would agree that a sequel to a popular film or franchise some twenty years down the road is a bad idea (Indiana Jones anyone?), but this sequel is perfectly in tune with the economic malaise of the country right now. It seems like the perfect bookend to the first film. And Michael Douglas looks like he is happy to be back in a relevant movie. Just dump the silly subtitle, Money Never Sleeps.
* Reading Roger Ebert’s Great Films, Volume 1, and loving it. Any film buff should check these out. Regardless of what you think of Ebert as a reviewer, he is a fantastic writer and he rivals the cinematic knowledge of Martin Scorsese.
* Let’s get a violent, dark remake of The Creature from the Black Lagoon up and running. And let’s not cast Sam Worthington, unless he is the creature.
* And speaking of Sam Worthington, he has been cast to play Dracula? Seriously? The guy will be a terrible Dracula. What kind of dirt does this stiff version of Russell Crowe have on studio execs?
* 3 weeks until Shutter Island.