Monthly Archives: August 2013

Summer’s End

Wow. I just did a count of all the movies I’ve seen this summer. We’ve hit a new record low, folks. I’ve only seen 3 films. But you know what? I’m totally cool with that.

In the days of yore before I had, you know, bills and a car payment, rent, etc., I would see almost every film released during the summer season. I used to collect the ticket stubs and marvel at their number.

Mind you, this was also when matinée showings were around $3 and evening films were $5-ish. Today’s matinée showing of The World’s End (I’ll get to that in a bit) was $8 freaking dollars!!! WTF!

My overdue point here is that I can no longer afford to go to every release as that really adds up. Instead of marveling at my stub stack, I’d be marveling as how quickly my bank balance plummeted. Ha!

Anyways, things being what they are, I’ve become a little particular when it comes to what I see over the summer months. I check out the releases and make a list of (a) what I’d like to see and then out of that (b) what I must, by all means, see. The rest go straight to the Netflix queue. Needless to say, my queue is a bit crowded right now.

So..what trifecta of films made the grade?

  1. Star Trek Into Darkness
  2. Pacific Rim
  3. The World’s End.

Just looking at that list made me realize that my genre of choice must be science fiction. Again, totally cool with that. Most of my favorite movies fall into that bucket, and really, why else do we go to the movies but to escape? There’s no further escape than sci-fi.

I’ve raved about Pacific Rim already, so you don’t need my thoughts on that. Star Trek? All I need to tell you is this: Cumberbatch. Nuff said. But The World’s End? Ahh…I’ve decided it’s the perfect film to watch for this summer’s end.

The World’s End is the final film of the “Three Flavors of Cornetto” trilogy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and directed by Edgar Wright. The other two films are Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.  TWE follows a group of friends as they attempt to recreate a pub crawl from their youth. During the crawl they discover their hometown has been taken over by aliens. The premise is a little zany but it totally works.

I’m a HUGE Simon Pegg fan so it’s hard for me to find anything wrong with the film other than that it had a bit of a slow start. Aside from that, it was awesome. There were several cameos from folks who were in the other two films as well as a couple from the Pegg/Frost/Wright TV show, Spaced  (if you haven’t seen this, shame on you).

Oh, also this movie was damn funny. I laughed and laughed. People in the theater laughed too. It wasn’t just me!! Anyways, that’s about it. I just wanted to note the few films I saw and say that I’m glad I saw them.

Did you see any stand-out films over the summer? Are you having to be choosy too? Let me know.

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Holy Hollywood, Batman!

So…Ben Affleck is the new Batman. My brain has been whirring with thoughts on this ever since I found out yesterday morning, but I thought it would be safe to sleep on it before I made any comments. Sleep achieved. Here we go, kids…

Let me first bring out the disclaimer that I really like Ben Affleck. I think he’s an excellent filmmaker and a pretty good actor. Argo  was my favorite movie from last year, so I was overjoyed when it won the Oscar for Best Picture. Despite what I’m calling a “rough patch” of acting choices in the early 2000’s, Affleck’s work of late has been pretty remarkable. 

All that said, I’m having a really tough time wrapping my head around the idea that he’s going to be donning the pointy cowl. Some of you regular readers are already aware of my undying love for the Batman. I think part of the problem here is that I just can’t picture Affleck in the suit. I can see him as a Bruce Wayne type, but that’s as far as I can mentally go at this early stage.

Maybe we’ve been ruined by the perfect casting of Christian Bale as the previous incarnation of our hero. That Christopher Nolan storyline (and the 3 movies) lived in its own separate universe as opposed to the previous Batman films which all sort of latched on to one another. Bale was Batman! 

I think we’re so embedded in Nolan’s universe, that it’s hard to see the other potential Bat universes that are out there. I love the Nolan universe! I really don’t want to leave. But I know that I have to in order to move on.

 I’ve decided that I’m probably underestimating Affleck. After all, when Michael Keaton was cast as the Bat for the 1989 Tim Burton production, people freaked out. Mr. Mom / Beetlejuice was going to be Bruce Wayne??!! It didn’t even compute. And guess who is my favorite Batman after Christian Bale? Yep, Keaton. Maybe we are in the same boat here with Affleck. So, after much thought, I’ve decided that I won’t be one of the naysayers. I’ll lend my meagre support to Mr. Affleck. Good luck to you, sir!

 Besides, this casting decision isn’t for a stand-alone Batman flick. It’s a Batman and Superman movie that will act as the sequel to this summer’s Man of Steel. I confess that I have yet to see MoS. It’s on my Netflix queue. That counts for something, right? I digress.

If Batman and Superman team up in the movie, then okay, cool. That will be interesting to see how the smartest man in the world works with the strongest. However, if they clash…if they find themselves at odds with one another, oh boy! I’ll be the girl cheering for Batman. If Affleck’s the one in the suit, I’ve still got his back.

Television Suicide (Don’t Do It)

I was browsing the interwebs the other day and a headline caught my eye. I can’t remember the exact wording, but let’s just say it was a remark about how Heathers (the TV show) wasn’t going happen.  My understanding is that it would be a sequel of sorts.

Why on earth would anyone want to turn Heathers (the movie) into a television series? Let me count all that goes wrong with that idea. Seriously, TV executives! What’s your damage?

1. Aside from rarities such as M*A*S*H and Friday Night Lights, movies turned TV shows lose something in the translation. They almost always fail. Let’s all remember warnings such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  and My Big Fat Greek Life. The only other time movies to TV seem to work is when the movie was a box office flop or turned into an animated series–thus allowing the show to reinvent the story. I don’t know if this would work for Heathers since the proposed sequel uses the original for its backstory. It’s not a reinvention.

2. Heathers is very much a cult classic. I think any adaptation of it would kill the very thing that made it so special. What if someone announced they wanted to do a TV version of The Breakfast Club? The beauty of movies is that the time and story captured between the credits is all there is. It’s a moment. 

3. I worry that unless Showtime or HBO got hold of the show, it would very much be a CW item and thus all the fun and originality would be sucked out of the show leaving a husk of advertisements for clothing lines and what music one heard in the just-aired episode. I believe Bravo had hold of this project and passed on it. Bravo worries me more than the CW since it seems to spend all its time documenting the lives of spoiled “housewives.” I honest don’t care, Bravo. I wish you understood that.

Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but come on! Here’s an idea. How about networks try for some original programming! Yes, it’s riskier than bringing something along with a built-in audience. But if it works, they’ve got something truly unique. The risk of a built-in audience comes to play when you offend them. Heathers the TV show? I’m already offended.