A busy week this time around, folks! (Yes, I used the word ‘folks’. Deal with it.) Friday is a packed day, so here’s your essential information a wee bit early. Wouldn’t want you to get impatient, right? Let’s go!
In this week’s “At this rate, no problem!” story, Netflix would like to see 50 % of their library to consist of original programming within the next few years. In the past year Netflix’s catalog of existing non-original material has dropped by about 30%, and that is going to continue. but it’s only a bad thing if you are looking to get rid of cable. With the competition increasing with companies like Hulu, Amazon, and the like.
Far as I’m concerned, though, as long as Netflix continues to create such great original programming as Stranger Things, House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones, I’m perfectly ok with a 50 % catalog of original stuff.
In this week’s “Rumors and speculations” story, word on the street is that Marvel’s up-coming Avengers: Infinity War my actually be derived from the comic publication Infinity Gauntlet, NOT Infinity War.
Published in 1991, Infinity Gauntlet sees Thanos using the Infinity Stones to wipe out half of all life in the universe in a bid to impress the object of his affections, Death (who is usually portrayed as a woman in the comics). Naturally, a whole bunch of superheroes join forces to try and fight back. The comic book version of Infinity War, on the other hand, was published in 1992 as a sequel to Infinity Gauntlet. It follows Adam Warlock coming into possession of the Infinity Gauntlet and going toe-to-toe with Magus. Neither of those characters have been introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point.
But Marvel still has time to introduce some characters, so it’ll be interesting to see which way they go with it. Unless the whole world is sick of these superhero movies by then and no one goes to see them. That’ll be fine – more room in the theater for me!
In this week’s “Magnum, P.I.” story, ABC is looking to add that show to the growing list of reboots and such. However, this time the show will focus on Magum’s daughter, Lily “Tommy” Magnum.
Eva Longoria’s company UnbeliEVAble entertainment and Leverage creator John Rogers are putting this show together, though no casting is figured out yet. The show will keep the fun, action-packed style of the original as it follows Magnum’s daughter, Lily “Tommy” Magnum, who returns to Hawaii to take up the mantle of her father’s PI firm. She and her tribe of friends mix tropical beaches with the seedy underbelly of international crime and modern espionage, even as she tries to unravel the mystery of the blown spy operation that ended her career in Navy Intelligence.
If you’re trying to remember how Magnum had a daughter, let’s review: Lily, who appeared in four episodes of Magnum, P.I., had been raised by her mom, Magnum’s once presumed dead wife Michele, and her second husband. Following their death, the little girl was reunited with her birth father who at the end of the series vowed to provide a stable home for her.
They better get Tom Selleck to be in this every once in a while.
We have another loss this year: director Curtis Hanson passed away last Tuesday at age 71. After being in the industry for 25 years, he finally made a truly great film, L.A. Confidential. He followed that with Wonder Boys, and then 8 Mile, also both considered great.
Could talented artistic people maybe stop dying this year, please?
In this week’s “No fanfare, please” story, Paramount quietly released a bunch of 10 second teaser trailers for it’s upcoming live action film, Ghost In The Shell. Despite all the controversy surrounding the casting choice of Scarlett Johansson, it actually looks pretty cool. But, we’ll see.
In this week’s “Oh Em Gee, love is dead!” story, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie broke up. Romantics everywhere are jumping off of bridges and the sobbing and gnashing of teeth is drowning out the eye-rolling of cynics everywhere.
There are rumors that actress Maria Cotillard was having an affair with Pitt, strong enough rumors that she has come out with a statement denying that such a thing happened. On top of that, there’s talk of Pitt verbally abusing one of their kids on a plane or something, but, ugh.
I think we should stop caring so much and move on to more important things. Like cats!
In this week’s “Meow meow meow!” story, Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired the North American rights to Ceyda Torun’s Kedi, a documentary about the street cats of Istanbul.
Kedi will be on the festival circuit this Fall, then release in theaters early in 2017.
The documentary explores the hundreds of thousands of cats roaming the metropolis of Istanbul freely — a tradition that dates back thousands of years. Claiming no owners, these animals live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame. I want to see this! Kitties!
In this week’s “At least he knows” story, James Murdoch, the CEO of media conglomerate 21st Century Fox has criticized his own film studio for its “failure” and that “fundamentally, we have to make better movies”. FINALLY, somebody in control admits to it.
Murdoch was speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference and, in remarks quoted by the Hollywood Reporter, he addressed the difficulties faced by his film division, 20th Century Fox, after a series of poor box-office performances, including Ice Age: Collision Course and Independence Day: Resurgence.
Murdoch told the conference: “I acknowledge that failure is where we are,” but pointed out that Fox had “avoided, which some other studios have not … massive losses”.
He added: “Fundamentally, we have to make better movies, we have to do it more consistently.”
Well, duh. But of course, he had to save SOME face, as he also talked-up their upcoming projects like the Avatar, Wolverine, and Planet of the Apes franchises. “I feel better creatively today than I have for a while.”
Just more talk? Probably.
In this week’s “Last of the Tall Man” story, legend Don Coscarelli releases his last Phantasm movie this year, Phantasm: Ravager. The original Phantasm came out in 1979, and spawned three sequels in 1988, 1994, and 1998, respectively. Most of us know the great actor, Angus Scrimm, if only for these films. Actually, these might be the only films he ever did. And seeing as he passed away, this last Phantasm film was his last performance.
You must remember Phantasm, right? Remember the horror movie with the flying silver ball with the spikes sticking out of the front? And when it slammed into someone’s head, it would suck the blood out and shoot it out in a big spray like a squirt gun? Yeah, you remember.
“Phantasm: Ravager is the concluding chapter of Don Coscarelli’s always independent, unexpected and subversive Phantasm film series. After spanning four decades, Phantasm Ravager completes the story of intrepid ex-ice cream vendor Reggie (Reggie Bannister, a veteran of all five Phantasm films) in his lifelong pursuit of his nemesis, the malevolent Tall Man. In this final entry, Reggie is forced to confront the mysteries of death which always lie at the dark heart of the Phantasm saga.”
Coscarelli only co-writes this final chapter, while new-comer David Hartman directs and co-writes. I may have to go back and revisit these films and check out this one.
In this week’s “Genius is born – not paid” story, actors Rupert Everett and Colin Firth have begun shooting Everett’s long-gestating Oscar Wilde biopic, The Happy Prince. The film takes place in the last days of Oscar Wilde’s life. Everett directs from his own script, which also stars a stellar cast: Colin Firth, Edwin Thomas, Colin Morgan, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Beatrice Dalle(!), and John Standing.
The biopic tells the story of the last days of famed playwright Wilde. As he lies on his death bed, the past floods back to him, transporting him to other times and places.
I do like me some Oscar Wilde.
In this week’s “Where did this come from and how do I see it?” story, Operation Avalanche is a film I haven’t even heard about. But suddenly I want to see it. What begins as a wickedly funny conspiracy theory comedy about a team of CIA agents who fake the moon landing in 1969 slowly shifts into a thrilling, paranoia-fueled thriller, shot and edited to look like a long-lost documentary secretly assembled by the man in charge of the project.
Matt Johnson co-writes and directs and Matthew Miller produces. Apparently these guys didn’t have much of a budget, but also not much help from anyone that would have been helpful. they even had to sneak into
NASA on a tour just to get some of the shots for the film. Yep.
I am totally intrigued and want to find this film.
In this week’s “I’ll watch Brendan Gleeson do anything” story, the upcoming new film, Trespass Against Us, starring Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson, looks pretty awesome.
Directed by Adam Smith and co-starring Lyndsey Marshal and Killian Scott, “Trespass Against Us is set across three generations of the Cutler family who live as outlaws in their own anarchic corner of Britain’s richest countryside. Chad Cutler (Michael Fassbender) is heir apparent to his bruising criminal father, Colby (Brendan Gleeson) and has been groomed to spend his life hunting, thieving and tormenting the police. But with his own son, Tyson (Georgie Smith) coming of age, Chad soon finds himself locked in a battle with his father for the future of his young family. When Colby learns of Chad’s dreams for another life he sets out to tie his son and grandson into the archaic order that has bound the Cutler family for generations. He engineers a spectacular piece of criminal business involving a heist, a high-speed car chase and a manhunt, which leaves Chad bruised and bloodied and with his very freedom at stake. With the law cracking down and his father tightening his grip, Chad is forced into increasingly desperate measures.” (Official synopsis)
Yep, gotta see this too. However, it will only be on DirectTV on November 24, then in theaters in 2017.
In this week’s “At least the cast is good” story, Sony has added two new cast members to their upcoming remake/sequel of Jumanji: comedian Rhys Darby, and Morgan Turner. They are joined by Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, along with Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Nick Jonas. Jake Kasdan is still directing.
In this week’s “More is never enough” story, Disney says they are certainly planning a third installment in the Star Wars stand alone anthology films. Rogue One is just the first, with the Han Solo movie coming second, with this third in 2020. So, have no fear, there will be no shortage of Star Wars films for the foreseeable future.
In this week’s “Road movies aren’t just for young hippies” story, Sony Pictures Classics has acquired various rights for the film The Leisure Seeker. Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland star in the film, shooting now, as a couple on a cross-country journey in their vintage camper fleeing the pressures of doctors and children.
This is director Paolo Virzi’s follow up to his film, Like Crazy. Francesca Archibugi, Francesco Piccolo, Stephen Amidon, and Virzì adapted the screenplay inspired by the novel of the same name by Michael Zadoorian.
Pretty hard to say ‘no’ to the likes of Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.
And finally, in this week’s “Shia LaBeouf’s reputation preceeds him” story, tennis legend, John McEnroe says that he’s surprised that no one has bothered to contact him in regards to the biopic film about himself and other tennis great Bjorn Borg.
Currently in production, the pic focuses on the rivalry between McEnroe and Borg back in the late 1970’s and 80’s. But no one has bothered to get in touch with McEnroe, so that would seem that nobody is doing any real in-depth research. You’d think it would make the most sense to actually talk to one of the people you are representing in your film, yes? You know, first hand experience is an ideal source of information.
“I don’t know if they are planning on doing the whole movie without input or any type of arrangement from me or Björn,” said McEnroe. “I haven’t seen anything, and they’ve already started the movie.”
He continued: “It doesn’t seem like they are all that interested in talking with me. I don’t know how you can do it without ever meeting me. Maybe you could talk to a few of my friends.
And my favorite bit: McEnroe said that psychologically, LaBeouf could be a good fit – “Supposedly he’s crazy, so maybe that works” – but that he was concerned that physically he would struggle to convince. Both he and Gudnason, said McEnroe, “look like actors who can’t play. You see these guys, they go out there and they barely even know how to play tennis.”
Oh, John McEnroe, I loved your antics back in the day on the tennis court, I’m loving your perspective on this now.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, giving you this a bit early, so you can get in on the LAPodfest tomorrow!