"Buffy" to join the reboot ranks

We’re now approximately a little over a year and a half away from me being proven right about the wisdom behind “Spiderlight” (though it’ll be an additional 2 to 5 years before many/most are willing to admit it…) and the “reboot” mini-trend is still ramping up. Next on the docket: Warner Bros. today announces that they’re going ahead with a new “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie.

Without Joss Whedon involved. At all.

For those not “up” on how this all works behind the scenes, Whedon doesn’t actually “own” Buffy. He wrote the original screenplay that was turned into a sort-of-okay movie back in 1992, but wasn’t a fan of how it ended up. When given the opportunity to expand his concept into a TV series, he went for it and the rest is recent-history.Warners has been talking about doing another movie seperate from the show for years now, but apparently a “reimagining” pitch by a completely-unknown screenwriter named Whit Anderson, who thus far has offered up little solid information about the project other than the profession of being a “big fan” of the show and the now-mandatory namedropping of “Batman Begins” as a kind of preemptive defense of the reboot concept.

All in all, some really, really depressing news.

The story behind the story, of course, is that Warner Bros. is clearly still looking for a new stable cash-cow franchise. They’ve been able to rely on “Harry Potter” for a yearly garaunteed mega-hit for almost a decade now, and with that ship about to sail they’ve been scrambling for replacements. Hence, the sudden rush to get a Marvel Studios-style “machine” in place for the DC properties and now this.

This I can get behind

Conventional wisdom is beginning to coalesce that “The A-‘Meh’-Zing Spider-Man” has, if nothing else, a better cast than it’s predecessors. Conventional wisdom, obviously, does not know the difference between “better” and “more interesting;” but whatever. This was around the same point in the buildup that people started to think “Transformers” could concievably be good, too… but we’ll all find out in 2012.

In any case, finally a piece of casting I can 100% say is pretty damn awesome. It says precisely jack about the rest of the production, but I think it’s cool in and of itself – which, of course, can only mean that this will be the one that everyone else HATES: Denis Leary is Captain George Stacy, aka “Gwen’s Dad.”

I like it. Here’s why:

Well, first off: I’m from Boston, so I’m sort of obligated to at least give Denis the benefit of the doubt on everything he does. But mainly, it’s the first casting decision that actually seems to indicate an interesting character direction.

See, while Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben) and Sally Field (Aunt May) are both fine actors, their casting here simply REEKS of lazy, unimaginative thinking because we’ve seen them do these parts (Famous Quotation Reader and World’s Greatest Mom, respectively) hundreds of times before. Contrast that with last time, where casting the same roles with veterans who were known but not “household names” (Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris) was an early clue that they were looking for performances.

Denis Leary, on the other hand, doesn’t exactly take every role that comes along, isn’t at the top of any agency’s list and is far removed from the traditional image of Captain Stacy; which is an indicator that they have something interesting in mind for the character. Color me interested, in any case.

P.S. Let’s not get into the Bill Hicks thing, huh?

Green Machine

Ladies and Gentleman, the (sort-of) live-action debut of the world’s most-beloved color-oriented superhero NOT possessing a vagina… The Green Lantern:

Video after the jump (Blogger? Please fix this embed-code issue.) I like what I’m seeing. A lot:

I mean… could it be? A Warners/DC superhero movie that’s not trying to pretend it’s anything but a superhero movie? Bright and colorful, all the cosmic stuff and aliens and puffy-brained bad guys right up front, no tacit apology being made for how weird everything looks? It’s about fucking time.

Yes, the CGI is obviously unfinished and they’re trying to have it both ways with the tone (it wants to be a “funny” trailer and an “epic” trailer at the same time) but this is EXACTLY what they needed to turn the buzz around, i.e. a metric ton of “first looks” – The Ring, The Costume, Oa, Tomar Re, Kilowog, Abin-Sur, Sinestro, Hector Hammond ALL accounted for. Mission accomplished, fandom (probably) placated. NOW they need a “story trailer.”

I maintain that part of the reason for the first “Iron Man’s” surprise mega-success was that it had the best trailer EVER for a character most people had never heard of: It gave non-fans the ENTIRE first act and origin-story in condensed form: Awesome fun guy captured by Terrorists, makes a Robot-Suit to fight Terrorists, then makes BETTER Robot-Suit to fight MORE Terrorists. Boom. Ticket sold.

This, while solid, probably isn’t gonna do that for people who don’t already know who Green Lantern is. They need (and will probably “do” later) a trailer to give “regular” audiences a solid idea of what the Green Lantern Corps is, how the ring works, etc. Right now, if you’re not already a fan, the takeaway from this trailer is: “likable actor can fly and shoot green stuff at aliens.” Not bad… but it’s not the “pre-awareness” that blockbusters are made of.

Max Bialystock has done it again!

Before you ask: Yes, that’s supposed to be The Green Goblin. When people act incredulous at how protective comic-book fans get about costumes… THIS IS WHY.

I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but the existance of the forthcoming “Spider-Man Musical” – directed by Julie Taymor with music by Bono and The Edge, no really – really does seem like something that can ONLY exist as a front for something else… or an outright CON, like in “The Producers.”

But WHAT would the con be? Is someone at Sony funneling money into this to make “Spiderlight” look better by comparison (it’s working…)? Is Marvel Studios trying to kill their own character’s brand so they can buy his movie rights back cheaper? Does Julie Taymor, or maybe Bono, hate superhero movies and this is all an elaborate gamble to kill the genre off a’la “Batman & Robin?”

Vogue has an Annie Leibovtiz fashion shoot up based around the shows costumes, and they look… wow. Now, firstly, the whole premise of this shoot is stupid: Broadway stage-show costumes like these aren’t meant to be viewed either this close up or static. But even taking that into account… Holy Crap.

In any case, here’s a picture of thoroughly-useless, inexplicably-popular villain Carnage as he appears in the show…

If nothing else, will anyone who still hasn’t come to term with The 90s sucking please just take a moment and drink that trainwreck in, at long last?

Cat beats up two Alligators

CAPTION A: “World’s Bravest Cat Defends World’s Dumbest Humans from Alligator Attack.”

CAPTION B: “Cat Selfishly Deprives Alligators of Meal, Humans of Darwin Award Victory.”

So… who comes off WORST here? The two Alligators backing down from a fight with Garfield, Captain FlipFlops, the dumbshits letting their kid run over to the giant wild carnivores, or the guy filmming this spectacle?

Zombie Odyssey

#1 question/critique offered every film critic: “Why don’t you make your own damn movie?”

My general response: Does PARTICIPATING in one count?

This was made back in 2004, directed by my friend Tim and co-starring myself and multiple other friends and aquaintances. My brother and I produced, edited and did the optical effects (no CGI) Kristen Juliano did the really, really impressive makeup. The basic idea is “The Odyssey” reworked as a Romero-style Zombie Apocalypse saga.

That’s me with the axe, and Tim as the lead zombie. This is the first time a “full uncut” version of this has been online, thanks to YouTube’s time extension of recent.