1) First, I apologize for not doing my job. TCM on their late night Friday cult movie slot just showed obscure Jabootu subject Heavenly Bodies. I didn’t notice this until the movie actually started, and thus was unable to alert everyone. Sorry.

By the way, TCM on Wednesday morning (the 21st) at 7:15 EST will be showing The Chapman Report, a film I’ve always wanted to take a look at. So anyone with a burner who was wondering what to get me for Christmas, feel free.

2) Although I see very few new movies these days–I believe this entire year I’ve only seen Thor and Captain America in theaters (I went to see The Muppets one night, but it was sold out), I liked the earlier Mission: Impossible films, and planned to see the latest one. Well, good gosh, the film has a 95% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so that’s a definite yes, then.

I’m not the only one uninterested in Hollywood’s modern fare, by the way. The box office is slumping something fierce lately, and considering the catastrophic drop in DVD revenues, the industry is going to be in a world of hurt if things don’t turn around soon. In fact, the DVD thing means they are in a world of hurt even IF things turn around soon.

Which they won’t, in the long run. As with broadcast TV (and as I’ve argued many times before), the business model used by Hollywood is inanely out of touch with whatever moviegoing culture is left. Basically Hollywood has alienated everyone who isn’t a teenager from going to see films, aided by theaters that a) don’t even try to keep the theatergoing experience from sucking, vis a vis yakkers and cell phone users and people bringing tots into non-tot movies, and b) aligning with Hollywood’s blockbuster mentality by having 30 screens in a theater but only showing like four or five different movies.

Hollywood, of course, isn’t trying to deal with the situation, other than looking desperately for some gimmick to replace the DVD revenues that for a decade have papered over the industry’s inherent business model problems. Here’s a hint; it won’t be 3-D.

3) Denzel Washington is mulling starring in a big screen translation of The Equalizer. Whatever. I mean, it’s not the worst idea ever, but just seems as lazy and pointless as 98% of what Hollywood does these days. Not to mention bewildering. The Equalizer is a show I really liked back in the day. However, it’s both obscure and generic enough conceptually that it’s one of those deals where you wonder why they bother stamping that name on it, rather than just making a new but similar ‘original’ version. Hell, Fox’s recent Human Target series was basically The Equalizer.

4) One reason to hope that David Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a huge hint is it might help him get the $50 million he wants to produce his animated The Goon movie. I posted this test footage awhile ago, but what the heck:

We can only hope the movie includes this scene:

5) Joe Simon, the co-creator of Captain America back in the ’40s, passed away this week. Mr. Simon was 98.

6) The next skein of The Amazing Race will start on Feb 19th. The last iteration was just OK, although the steeple chasing rabbits were awesome.

7) Please, for the love of Pete, stop shakin’ the fricking camera for this one:

No Seagal, which I think suggests exactly how big of a wad he is.

  • Alex

    Don’t forget Spielberg’s TinTin, That might be the monster hit of the Christmas season. It already did great in Europe. The character isn’t as well known in the United States but I’m sure kids will love it.

  • Rock Baker

    One of the drawbacks to this new old computer is that I can’t watch videos (there goes my YouTube account)!

    The last thing I went to see theatrically was Piranha 3D, and that (plus ticket prices) have prevented me from laying down anymore cash at the box office when I can just wait for my brother to pick up the latest Marvel movie. IF I ever go out to another new movie, I’ll hit the drive-in theater so at least I can see an actual film print be screened. That was the first thing I went to see since 2005’s King Kong, so I admit part of the problem might be that I’ve been seeing stinkers on those rare occasions I actually got to see a new movie.

    It would seem the movie business is on its last legs if for no other reason than I’m finally getting in on the game (via the screenplay for the soon to be completed VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF TEENAGE CAVEWOMEN). The habit seems to be that I get my fingers into a field and its either dead (pinup art) or dying (comic books). In fact, this pattern should send shivers of fear into the fields of movie reviews, Facebook, and private blogs.

    I hold out hope that movies themselves will survive via independent productions once the majors all collapse under their own weight. The math is really simple: lower budget = higher profits, as opposed to the other way around. Also, making movies that people might actually want to see might be another step in the right direction (insert your own VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF TEENAGE CAVEWOMEN joke here).

  • Fisheyenomiko

    I think the last movie I went to see was HP & the Death Hallows, Part 1.  Between having a decent-sized tv screen, rentals and store-bought goodies being less than a movie ticket and the concession stand*, and being pretty introverted anyway, I just find it easier to watch at home.  The only movies I’m considering going to the cinema for in the foreseeable future are The Hobbit and The Avengers.
    *For the record, I know that theaters get most of their money through concessions, so when I do go to the movies, I have no qualms about getting stuff.  But the alternative is still cheaper.

  • Rock Baker

    The old site isn’t coming up again, can somebody look into that? That’s the one I bookmarked (and the one I still enjoy reading as I find it more aesthetically pleasing than all this blackness).

  • Terrahawk

    The problem with TinTin and the animation flood in general is I think people are getting tired of animated films.  As my mother said recently, “I would like to see a film with real people in it.” 

    I saw Tower Heist last weekend.  It was forgettable.  The Eddie Murphy character was painful and most of the jokes fell flat.  I think I’ve seen three films at the theater this year and I avoid anything with 3D. 

    As Ken points out, Hollywood has made the mistake of relying on teen audiences for seeing movies.  Watching big films from the 70’s and 80’s, I’m stunned by how much adult content there is (which I missed as a kid).  I don’t mean language or nudity, I mean deeper themes, relationships, and ideas that today are completely ignored in the rush to add another CGI action piece.  It is a lot like what has happened to TV, the focus on a single audience doesn’t necessarily create a better product.  When films had to cater to a wider audience, they were more intelligent because they had to draw adults as well as teens. 

  • The Rev.

    Yeah, not the best season of “A.R.”  It doesn’t help when I don’t like the winning team (or, in particular, one member.)  Still, I’ll be back for the next season.  And yes, the rabbit races were pretty damn great.

    I had meant to mention Heavenly Bodies earlier this week and forgot.  I did DVR it, though.  Since we’re on TCM, it looks like next Friday night there’ll be a bunch of the “Thin Man” movies, including the original, which I know you love, Ken.  (At least, I think I know that.)

  • Anonymous

    I *love* The Thin Man, one of those movies you can just watch over and over forever. (Although I love My Man Godfrey even more.) The sequels predictably degrade in quality, but even the lesser ones are quite fun.

    Heavenly Bodies was even letterboxed! Maybe they’ll run it again. If you can burn it to disc, bring it to T(ween) Fest and maybe we can subject Sandy to it.

  • Toby Clark

    The only movie on my list that I missed seeing in a cinema this year was Cowboys and Aliens, mainly because it didn’t come to my town. I’ve got a fair few planned for this coming month though: Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Tintin, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and possibly Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Ken! I found this somewhere:


    Fave comment: “Not to be confused with Shark Monster (1983), another quality picture”

    Italy is fucking amazing.

  • Anonymous

    They aren’t just hitching their horse to 3D.  Let’s not forget the SOPA abomination.

  • Beckoning Chasm

    Movies are an art form long gone.  The scent of money is upon them, and that drives them on, like hounds after a scent of blood.

    Yeah, I’ll miss B-Fest this year.  Bad as they are, at least stuff like The Room is TRYING to be a movie, not just an extended commercial.

  • The Rev.

    If I had a burner and the know-how, I would.  I’ll look into it; maybe I can get one for cheap?  At the rate I watch things on the DVR it’ll be there for months…

    I just watched that Goon video.  I’ve been saying this anyway since it’s one of the only comics I pick up anymore, but after seeing that…why the hell isn’t that a movie yet!?  The animation was great, the voice casting was just about perfect, it totally captured the spirit of the comic…great stuff.

  • The Rev.

    Ah, Devil Fish.

    If that’s on DVD, I need to get it so I can run a double feature with Sharktopus.

  • KeithB

    I learned the yesterday that there is a remake of “The Incredible Mr Limpet” in the works. Say what?

  • Anonymous

    Actually, now that I think about it, I think I have a DVD-R of the film burned  off the VHS tape. Wouldn’t look quite as nice as the TCM presentation, but it would suffice. I’ll bring that down with me in March.

  • Even more so than relying on 3D, look for the new trend now to be re-releasing older movies in 3D. When I saw Hugo the other week I couldn’t help but snicker that there were three trailers in a row before it for older films being re-released in 3D next year: Titanic 3D, Beauty & the Beast 3D, and Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace 3D. If those do well expect much more of that (especially from Disney) in the future. In the case of Phantom Menace doing well, it’ll seriously make me wonder what the hell is wrong with people.

  • Rock Baker

    Not sure I follow. Movies were always about selling tickets and making money for the producers. Or do you mean the pictures are costing too much money and are looking bloated?

  • Rock Baker

    I’m all for 3D movies, as I like showmanship and ballyhoo. The problem is that the movies themselves aren’t as much fun as they should be. Now, if someone takes advantage of the newest fad and re-issues something like House of Wax or Bwana Devil or any of the other color 3D movies from the golden age, I’d be the first to buy a ticket. What was that one? The French Line? “Jane Russell in 3D will knock BOTH your eyes out!”

  • sandra

    I used to go to the movies almost every week, until the year 2000, when I realized that of the hundred or so movies being released that year, I was only interested in seeing four :  Blair Witch Project, Shanghei Noon, Gladiator and – I can’t even remember the fourth title.  So I asked myself why I was wasting time and money going to see movies I didn’t usually enjoy, and stopped going.  Apparently I’m not the only one.  Since then, all the second-run houses in town have gone out of business.  The Hollywood, which had been run by the same family since 1935 closed up a couple of months ago.  As for first-run movies, the only one I have been to this years is DH2 (ie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2).  Between the ridiculous ticket prices and the fact that Hollywood’s target demographic is 14 year old boys who like to see things blow up, there isn’t much reason to go to the movies.  By the way, I have since seen Blair Witch and the others, and wasn’t impressed. Though I did wonder if the Romans in Gladiator had transporter technology:  Russell Crowe gets hit over the head in Spain (hispania) and when he comes to, he’s in North Africa !