I really did want to release this Blog as regularly as Nick requested, but damn if I just couldn’t think of interesting things to talk about every day. Kudos to Nick for religiously putting his pen to the paper every day for his Blog. So, in my pondering of what to write about, I have decided to completely rip off a column from another web site that I read and do a little thing each week where I look at all the news that was posted through the week and give my opinions and take on those news items.

This week included a lot of rumors, including questioning who Josh Brolin would play if cast in the new Terminator movie and who would fill out the roles in the Wolverine spinoff. Rumors are fun, but I want to use this space to give my opinions on the actual movie news items that appeared this week. I will credit the staff member who posted the news after each news item.

The News: “According to PR Inside, Sylvester Stallone is in talks to make The Dam, a sequel to Cliffhanger.” – Devin (02.16.08)

My Take
: This is a very disappointing piece of news for me. I really enjoyed the fuck out of Rocky Balboa. I then groaned when it was announced that Stallone would be bringing back John Rambo. However, that movie surprised everyone by being more fun than expected. I now groan again. I have given up on my stance that the movie has no chance to be good, as Stallone has now proven me wrong twice. The reason I groan after this announcement is because I want Stallone to do something special with his new popularity. Why can’t Stallone take all the good will bestowed upon him by his last two success stories and help get another movie like Copland off the ground? I would rather see something good and original come thanks to Stallone’s name attached than the continued influx of sequels. Stallone used his last critical success (the aforementioned Copland) to get large budget flicks made, but by choosing a remake of Get Carter, he ended up in the abysmal Driven and underwhelming D-Tox. Stallone is in our good graces again. I would hope he would have learned something during his career, but if he follows The Dam with Judge Dread 2, I will officially give up on the guy.

The News: “Twitchfilm has the first image of the titular box from Richard Kelly’s next film, which is an adaptation of the six page Richard Matheson story Button, Button” – Devin (02.18.08)

My Take
: I loved Donnie Darko. I loved Donnie Darko so much, that I will ignore the bad reviews Chud has been posting about Southland Tales and go ahead and pick it up when it is released. There are two places that I trust reviews from: Chud and Empire Magazine. Chud has ripped Southland Tales to shreds and Empire gave the re-edited version 3 out of 5 stars. That gives me a 50/50 chance that I might like it. Plus, Devin didn’t like Batman Begins and I really dug the flick, so my tastes don’t always match up with the site’s star reporters. As for Button, Button, I really hope it is a good. Devin seemed to be encouraged by what he has heard about the script, and while it does seem like a feature length Twilight Zone episode, if it is anything like Donnie Darko I will be very happy. For some reason, hearing Richard Kelly news makes me wonder what Rian Johnson’s follow-up to his wonderful Brick will be like? Anyone heard any news on The Brother’s Bloom?

The News: “Watchmen: Zack Snyder has blogged about the end of shooting on the movie, and he included this awesome picture of Rorschach using hairspray and a lighter to put a cop on fire.” – Devin (02.20.08)

My Take: There is a lot of venom being hurled upon Zack Snyder by certain people. He is being called a hack and a mediocre filmmaker. I have to disagree completely and here is why. In his first feature length film, he took the beloved (and flawed) classic horror film, Dawn of the Dead and updated it for a new generation. I really enjoyed his take on the film, although the fast moving zombies really changed the dynamic of the monster. He even showed a sick sense of humor that I thought would be appreciated on a site like Chud. He followed that up with the polarizing 300. I really liked the flick, and felt that it showed a true sense of respect to the source material. I do not feel it was that much better of a Frank Miller adaptation than Sin City, but it was still as close to the graphic novel as I think anyone could have gotten. That makes him suitable, in my eyes, to make Watchmen. He is two-for-two so far in my opinion, so I am excited to see him bring this great comic to life.

The News: Director, David Yates, had decided he wanted to do the last Harry Potter film after all.” – Russ (02.20.08)

My Take
: I feel that Harry Potter has become a stronger franchise since two things happened: they replaced Chris Columbus after two films and the kids really grew into their characters. I think Columbus served a good role in kick-starting the franchise because he made the movies to be geared for kids, which the first two books did as well. However, when the kids grew older and the books grew darker and more dangerous, more mature directors were needed. The first director after Columbus was a magnificent choice with Alfonso Cuaron. Yes, he had the great spot of following a lesser director, but damn if he didn’t hit one out of the park with Prisoner of Azkaban. However, following the incredible Children of Men with another Harry Potter film would have been a step back for the filmmaker. Mike Newell followed Cuaron, keeping the franchise dark and dangerous while giving us another solid addition to the series. David Yates stepped up for Order of the Phoenix as the least experienced director so far, but did a pretty good job anyway. It was a step down, in my opinion, from the previous two films, but the book was also a step down from the prior two in the series. I am very interested in his take on Half-Blood Prince, as the book was one of the most action packed in the series. I will reserve judgment for his rumored signing on to Deathly Hallows until after I see the sixth film. I hope it will work out, because the progression of the films has really kept me excited throughout the last six years.

The News: “Variety is reporting that David Fincher has signed on to direct the adaptation of Charles Burns’ incredible graphic novel Black Hole, which currently has a screenplay by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary.” – Devin (02.20.08)

My Take
: This has me excited for so many reasons. First, I love just about everything that David Fincher has done. Fight Club, Seven and Zodiac are masterpieces. Panic Room, Alien 3 and The Game all have some problems, but feature great camera work and are all shot better than most movies out there today. Neil Gaiman is a great writer and I am so happy to see him starting to have some success in the film business. He has some great novels out there, and if you have not read Good Omens, stop reading this and go buy the book now. For those of you who are literature illiterate, you have seen Gaiman’s touch on Stardust (he wrote the novel) and Beowulf (he co-wrote the screenplay). Roger Avary is the guy who helped write Pulp Fiction, but was left out of the credits to allow room for the addition of Quentin Tarantino’s ego. He also co-wrote Beowulf. With these three men behind the movie, something magnificent will be born. With Devin’s recommendation of the graphic novel for Black Hole, this seems to be a no-lose situation.

The News: “The CHUD staff got a peek at these very cool one-sheets for The Ruins” – Jeremy (02.21.08)

My Take
: Not much to say here. I like the one-sheets but I did not like the trailer. I’ll wait and see. What I do think is that Scott Smith is one lucky son-of-a-bitch. The guy goes out and writes his debut novel (A Simple Plan) and it is picked up by Hollywood, making him an instant millionaire. What does he do? I would like to imagine he bathes in his money Scrooge McDuck style until a new idea hit. He goes and writes that novel (The Ruins) and guess what? Hollywood comes calling again. He is either a man aspiring novelists aspire to be or who struggling artists aspire to kill. That brings me to the best part of this news write-up. “But then that little Nico Toscani on my shoulder reminded me that no one is above the law, so I did the honorable thing and killed Henry Silva.” And that is why is lucky to have Jeremy writing for us.