News Around the Net
This is fantastic: The Seinfeld reunion episode from Curb Your Enthusiasm season #7, edited together. Enjoy!
This is a great site that lists the various actors and actresses who played multiple characters in different Bond films. Great fun for the Bond fans out there!
Speaking of Bond, there was BIG NEWS last month that the James Bond movie producers and MGM have finally ended the nearly fifty-year-long legal battle with Kevin McClory, the co-writer of Thunderball. I’ve known about this rights conflict before, of course (it’s what led to another studio being able to make the competing Bond film, Never Say Never Again, that was released the same year as Octopussy), but what I didn’t realize was that this rights situation was what was preventing MGMN’s bond films from using Bloefeld or SPECTRE. My reviews of the Daniel Craig Bond films have been lamenting the absence of those two classic villains, and I am overjoyed at the idea that now the way is open for Bloefeld to be revealed as the head of Quantum, and/or for Quantum to be revealed as a branch of SPECTRE. I desperately hope the next Bond film walks through this now-open door!!
Hey, comic book fans: I’ve recently discovered two comic-book-related tumblrs that I am now obsessed with. First is John Byrne Draws, which is chock-full of absolutely gorgeous scans of Mr. Byrne’s original art from the decades that he has been working in the industry. There was a long, long time during which John Byrne was my very favorite comic book artist (and writer!), so this was a real treat. Then there is comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis’ tumblr, which is a showcase for two things: 1) amazing, extraordinary scans of classic comic book art from across the decades — work by many different artists from many different eras, being linked only by being some of the finest comic book art ever drawn, and 2) Bendis’ incredibly open, honest, funny and insightful Q & As with his fans. Both aspects of the tumblr are equally valuable — together, they’re an irresistible time-suck for me.
This is a fun article on 10 parts of the Indiana Jones films that bother the writer. I hugely agree with numbers 4 and 5. (Don’t worry, the article only focuses on the original Indy trilogy, rightly ignoring The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.)
This Star Trek reference-laden conversation between a Netflix employee and a customer is apparently real, and it is amazing.
This is a great article on two of my very favorite novels: Isaac Asimov’s The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun. Oh man do I love those two books. Nice to see them getting some love.
Here’s something else I’m delighted to see get some love: Quantum Leap’s classic JFK-assassination episode. So great.
I always like to listen to Kevin Smith talk, and this conversation from the New York Comic Con is good stuff.
R.I.P. Edna Krabappel. Sad news last month that Marcia Wallace, who has been voicing Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons for two decades, passed away.
I am very excited by the announcement that Marvel and Netflix will be creating four new Marvel TV shows, featuring the characters of Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. I am even more excited that the events of those four shows will then tie together into a mini-series, The Defenders! I am even MORE excited that Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods) is involved as the writer of Daredevil. This sounds like a super-cool new initiative. I love the idea of these street-level heroes getting the spotlight, both because I love these characters and because they feel like a great fit for a TV show (rather than other, more outlandish characters). And if you’re reading this and you don’t know who Jessica Jones is, she is a phenomenal character created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, first in their incredible (though, warning, very mature content!) series Alias (in which Jessica worked as a private eye, operating at the fringes of the Marvel universe) and then as a great supporting character in Mr. Bendis’ decade-long run writing The Avengers. Of all these characters, Jessica is the one I am most eager to see, and the one I am most worried about them screwing up. Please don’t screw up Jessica!! (And note to Marvel: it’s long-past time to get Alias back in print!)
Speaking of comic books on TV, The Weinstein Company and Robert Rodriguez are apparently working on a Sin City TV series? Um, ok. How about finally getting the long-in-development sequel film finished and in theatres, first??
So Fox is making another Wolverine solo film? I’m not sure how I feel about that. I thought The Wolverine was OK, good but not great. (Click here for my review.) And, of course, the first Wolverine solo film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was an abomination from hell. (Click here for my review.) I love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and he was so great in the first three X-Men films, but I’d really rather see him continue to play the character in additional X-Men films (I am very much anticipating Days of Future Past). I’m not sure what story Fox plans to adapt for another Wolverine film, and I wonder in what time-period it will be set. The ending of The Wolverine certainly left the door open for future stories, and I’d love to see the wedding of Wolverine and Mariko on film. On the other hand, the mid-credits scene in The Wolverine linked with Days of Future Past, and that story is set further in the future. Would the next Wolverine film take place after The Wolverine but before Days of Future Past? Or would it be set further in Wolverine’s past? It’s also unclear whether the events of Days of Future Past are going to alter the X-Men movies’ timeline, perhaps erasing the timeline of the original trilogy of X-Men movies and paving the way for the First Class timeline to continue forward, without risk of contradicting the events of those original films (which are set several decades after First Class). Lots of questions about. My hope springs eternal — there are certainly plenty of great X-Men and Wolverine stories out there that could be adapated. I’d just prefer to see Fox’s focus back on making a great new X-Men team film (ideally featuring Wolverine) every 2-3 years, rather than these solo films.
Speaking of Days of Future Past, this first bit of viral marketing for the film is terrific: a short video that suggests that Magneto’s powers were responsible for the altered trajectory of the “magic bullet” that killed JFK. I don’t know if this is something that will actually be a part of the plot of the film, or just a fun bit of marketing that the behind-the-scenes folks came up with, but either way it’s a neat idea.
In one last bit of Marvel movie news, I’ll leave you with this great opinion piece by Devin Faraci at badassdigest.com that Marvel Needs to Quit it with the 3-D already. I wholeheartedly agree, and have been saying so for years. The dismal, dark and muddy 3-D I suffered through when I saw the first Thor film in theatres was the last straw for me. I have chosen to see all the subsequent Marvel films in regular 2-D. In fact, these days, while I LOVE seeing movies in real Imax 3-D (that’s how I saw Gravity, Pacific Rim, The Hobbit, and several other big-budget films that had great 3-D), I don’t see any films in regular 3-D in regular movie theatres anymore. The quality is just too inconsistent.
I will leave you with this: George Takei has a new fragrance. It’s called “Eau My.” That is genius.