Oh, Hell yeah, it’s another week of potentially informative and “and I can’t believe it!” film news! Let the disbelief commence!
In this week’s “Well, it was just a matter of time” story, it looks like Season 7 of Game Of Thrones will be delayed. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss say that they want to shoot the show in the colder weather, because, hey, ‘Winter Has Arrived” as far as Westeros is concerned, so it likely won’t premiere until later than April of whatever year it shows up. So, keep your pants on, people. It’s going to be a long winter.
In this week’s “Take THAT, conspiracy theorists!” story, Stanley Kubrink’s daughter, Vivian, told all those people that think America faked the moon landing to shut their pie-holes! And in addition, director Stanley Kubrick would never have anything to do with such nonsense!
That’s right, Vivian Kubrick denounced all those that say her director father, Stanley, helped the U.S. government to fake the 1969 moon landing. She begins: “Surely (!?) an artist, such as my father, whose profound degree of artistic integrity is self-evident, whose political/social consciousness is manifestly present in nearly every film he made. Whose highly controversial subject matter literally put his life at risk, and yet he continued to make the films he made … don’t you think he’d be the very last person EVER to assist the US Government in such a terrible betrayal of its people?!?”
She goes on to say that she realizes that there are certainly other kinds of real conspiracies perpetrated by governments and other organizations, “But claims that the moon landings were faked and filmed by my father? I just can’t understand it!!!? How can anyone believe that one of the greatest defenders of mankind would commit such an act of betrayal?”
“…when I state, categorically: the so-called ‘truth’ behind these malicious cranks persist in forwarding – that my father conspired with the U.S. Government to “fake the moon landings” – is manifestly A GROTESQUE LIE.”
You tell ’em Vivian! I happen to think that anyone who believes the moon landing was faked has too much time on their hands.
In this week’s “Out and Proud” story, John Cho, who plays Sulu in the mot recent Star Trek franchise films, says that his character has a daughter and a partner, which makes him the first openly gay character in Star Trek franchise history.
Cho says that the filmmakers decided to take a chill, low key approach it, not wanting to politicize the message, which is what we hope the real world at large will one day feel about gay people. Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin also wanted to do it as a nod to George Takei.
In related news, George Takei finds this news, “unfortunate”. Here’s what TV Line reports he said: ““I’m delighted that there’s a gay character. Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of [Star Trek creator] Gene [Roddenberry]’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
Takei had spoken to director Justin Lin recommending he instead add a new character that could be gay, but they didn’t heed his advice. “I really tried to work with these people when at long last the issue of gay equality was going to be addressed,” Takei said. But despite his intentions, the end result has left him “confused.”
In yet MORE related news, Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the new Star Trek film, Beyond, says he “respectfully disagrees with George Takei”. Pegg expressed sympathy with Takei’s sentiment that mainstream gay heroes were belatedly coming to the big screen, but rejected the idea that this meant a new character needed creating.
Pegg continued, “We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the ‘gay character’, rather than simply for who they are, and isn’t that tokenism?”
This is from a great article over at The Guardian, and it’s worth reading. It’s too long to print here, so you can go check it out there: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jul/08/simon-pegg-defends-gay-sulu-after-george-takei-criticism
As if that weren’t enough, Zachery Quinto had had some things to say as well, but it mostly echoes Simon Pegg’s perspective. Geez, we could go on and on with this story…
Well, however you feel about the outcome here, let’s just agree that everybody is still pretty awesome.
In this week’s “It ain’t dead yet” story, the 1990 film, Flatliners, is being remade, as I reported in an earlier Film News entry. But now Kiefer Sutherland has committed to a role! The Sony remake will also star Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Drobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemens.
No word on if Julia Roberts will return, but it’s a strange world and money is money, after all, right? This is being directed by Niels Arden Oplev, who directed the original version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
In this week’s potentially coolest story, David Lynch and the great Harry Dean Stanton are re-teaming – but both in front of the camera – for actor turned directer John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut film, Lucky.
Harry Dean Stanton plays the title character, a 90 year old atheist living in an off-the-map desert town filled with an odd assortment of characters. “Having out-lived and out-smoked all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent man finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self-exploration, leading toward that which is unattainable: enlightenment.”
Sounds kinda heavy, but I’ll watch Harry Dean Stanton do just about anything.
Lucky also stars Ed Begley, Jr., Ron Livingston, Tom Skerritt, Barry Shakaba Henley, Beth Grant, Yvonne Huff Lee, Hugo Armstrong and James Darren.
In this week’s “Didn’t you already make this?” story, Steven Spielberg and his Amblin Entertainment are developing the alien invasion thriller The Fall, based on a script by Australian writer Pete Bridges. The story is set amid an alien invasion and centers on a divorced couple who must travel on foot from downtown Atlanta to the suburbs, where their young children are home alone. Sounds like epically bad parenting… No director or actors are on board yet.
If you think it sounds familiar, that’s because it’s basically the same movie as Spielberg’s version of War Of The Worlds from 2005. Hopefully they’ll make it different enough to be worth our time.
In this week’s “JCVD” story, Jean-Claude Van Damme is starring in Kickboxer: Retaliation! Of course, it turns out Van Damme was already in Kickboxer: Vengeance this year, which releases August 19, which no one thought to tell me about, or much of anyone else, I guess. Now that I think about it, maybe I’ll wait for DVD/streaming. But you SHOULD see the film JCVD if you haven’t. It’s so good!
In this week’s “Let’s do it again” story, Warner Bros. and MGM have given a release date for their Lara Croft: Tomb Raider reboot. Alicia Vikander will play the British archaeologist/adventurer this time around, and the film will hit theaters March 16, 2018.
And in this week’s “Special kind of idiot” story, it turns out that a U.S. intelligence (HA!) agent used a key detail from the film The Rock to fabricate false information in the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) which aided in the case for the Iraq War in 2003.
This agent thought that the strings of green balls that contained a deadly toxin inside the missiles used in the film The Rock, were a real thing. David Weisberg, who co-wrote the film, says he was dismayed that experts did not realize that those green balls were a fabrication.
“What was so amazing,” said Weisberg, “was anybody in the poison gas community would immediately know that this was total bullshit – such obvious bullshit.” (Shall we just gloss over the whole “poison gas community” thing?)
Weisberg said he was not surprised a desperate agent might resort to movies for inspiration, but dismayed that authorities “didn’t do apparently the most basic fact-checking or vetting of the information. If you’d just asked a chemical weapons expert, it would have been immediately obvious it was ludicrous”.
He says that chemical weapons are generally kind of boring – two harmless invisible gases combine to make a deadly one. “There was no way to do that [realistically] on the screen with any kind of excitement. In real life it’s all invisible and boring, as per usual. So we invented this string-of-pearls approach to have these little globes with green gases in them, to give visual interest and to create jeopardy. If one of these globules broke you’d be in real trouble.”
Ah, the U.S. Government. Nothing says “‘Murica!” like using a Michael Bay film to fight the war on terror.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, thinking that maybe showing your enemies Michael Bay films might actually cause them to surrender.