Warner Bros. wants Affleck for "FPS: THE MOVIE"

THR reports that Warner Bros. and Joel Silver are courting Ben “Comeback Kid” Affleck to direct and star in the high-concept action feature “Line of Sight.” The screenplay is a commandos-transporting-cargo-through-enemy-territory deal, but here’s the gimmick: They want to do the whole thing in POV, “akin to a first-person shooter game.” Gaming-industry vet F. Scott Frazier wrote the original script, but it’s now being ‘polished’ by “Halo: Reach” writer Peter O’Brien.

This was probably innevitable, what with the penetration Call of Duty etc. have had in the media, but it doesn’t stop it from being a not great idea. The “FPS sequence” in the “Doom” movie was a cute moment, but the equivalent of watching someone play CoD for 90 minutes on a big screen? No thanks.

“First person” filmmaking has been tried before, most notably for “Lady in The Lake” in 1947, but it’s never really caught on as anything but a stylistic gimmick that tends to get a little old. Watching an entire movie over the barrel of Ben Affleck’s rifle-barrel sounds like unmitigated torture… though not QUITE as torturous as the innevitable studio spin about how this perspective “brings action filmmaking up to date with the vibe of a New Generation.” Blegh.

First Look At "The Man Of Steel’s" Enemies!

hat-tip to Devin and to ComingSoon

Pix snapped by fans on the “Smallville” location-shoot of “The Man of Steel” offer a first look at Superman’s full costume in broad daylight, the reveal of villainess Faora, and an another actor whose attire – or lack thereof – is setting off a ton of fan speculation.

What’s after the jump COULD concievably constitute spoilers, but I doubt it…

Okay, so this first one is your first look at Faora, who I think most people have assumed was going to be a secondary villain because “everybody knows” she was the basis for General Zod’s ladyfriend Ursa in “Superman II.” In the comics, Faora is generally the boss and Zod etc take orders from her… otherwise, same basic character: Evil woman with the strength of Superman who homicidally-hates all men (if that characterization makes it into the movie, it won’t help the common critique of both Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan as latent mysogynists.)

I like the “Rarrr! I’m a Bad Guy!!” spiky black space-armor – very “comic-booky,” exactly the sort of thing I want to see in a Superman movie at this point. Also like that she has a cape – it’d be awesome if the idea is that capes are just “what people wear on Krypton.” I’m feeling like this outfit, plus Superman’s big billowy red cape and straight-off-the-page physique seen below, could end up being Exhibits A and B in the “Bob Was Right About Zack Snyder Being Right For This Project” case. But it’s the OTHER “costume” people are more curious about…
The guy in the motion-capture suit has been snapped in other images already. People have been assuming that it’s actor Michael Shannon, who’s (supposedly) playing Zod, but I’m not so sure. Whoever it is, it seems to confirm that there’s a major character in this whose being realized through motion-capture animation… so who (or what) is it? Is Zod some kind of creature? Does his power manifest in some body-altering way (Super-Saiyan Zod?) Or… is this some OTHER enemy that wasn’t confirmed yet – Brainiac? Parasite? The Kryptonite Man?

It’s worth pointing out, I think, that waaaaay back in April a largely nonspecific synopsis of the movie’s basic story got posted on a non-news site and everyone brushed it off as a fake… only to have the REAL synopsis released last week match it perfectly. Why is that significant? Because that “fake” synopsis named a different villain than Zod or Faora: METALLO. Granted, I don’t think any of those is terribly likely, but now that these pix are out there Warner Bros. will probably have to say who/what it is sooner than later.

FWIW, supposedly the big “new” angle on this version of the character is that Superman is not as overwhelmingly trusted/embraced by the public and the world’s militaries as in the past – some have suggested that this is partially due to the “evil” Kryptonians having shown up to start trouble BEFORE Clark Kent has decided to adopt a costumed identity and use his powers in public. The “fake-sounding” site had suggested that Metallo (a Kryptonite-powered robot) starts out as a man-made anti-Kryptonian weapon.

Six More Opinions, Likely To Be Unpopular

Bitterness and politics after the jump. You have been warned.

It is now the 21st Century. People living in the developed world in this day and age who sincerely believe in Creationism and/or “Intelligent Design” (aka CREATIONISM) are not quaint, cute, old-fashioned, etc – they are mentally-unwell and/or mentally-deficient, and should be classified and regarded as such.

Politicians who pander to the type of people described above are contributing to the degradation of their nation’s intelligence. I don’t know that that’s a crime, but it ought to be.

Persons and/or groups who spread provable untruths about abortion causing cancer, certain forms of birth control being dangerous, etc, should be ROTTING in jail for reckless endangerment. So should Jenny McCarthy and every other committed zealot of the vaccines-cause-autism insanity.

Serious question: Let’s just pretend for a minute that ALL of the reputable science is wrong and Climate Change is simply a natural-cycle that man plays no part in. If we proceeded to implement ALL of the carbon-curbing, pollution-reducing regulations intended to put a dent in it ANYWAY… what of genuine long-term value would we LOSE? As in, even if completely overhauling the energy industry, cleaning up the air, reducing emissions, fast-tracking solar, wind, whatever power etc does NOTHING to impact Climate Change, wouldn’t it still have been worth-doing?

If it came out tomorrow that Barack Obama (or ANY non-GOP president) was guilty of Nixon/Watergate-level shady dealings, I would STILL rather keep him where he is than elect a Republican; and I would make that decision EXCLUSIVELY in the interest of making sure that only pro-choice judges are nominated for the Supreme Court and federal judgships.

I do not consider it a problem that a small percentage – usually less than half – of Americans tend to vote in a given national election. I consider it a problem that too much of said small-percentage is made up of nincompoops with no business making decisions that will effect the course of a country. If I had the power I’d arrange it so that a major NASCAR event, a UFC title-bout, the opening of the next Michael Bay movie and the finale of “American Idol” ALL took place on the same day as the next presidential election. Let’s give “Government By Consent Of The Not-Easily-Distracted” a try for a change.

Peter Jackson EVISCERATES Corrupt Arkansas Justice System

Yesterday, the state of Arkansas accepted an “Alford Plea” and freed the West Memphis Three after 18 years of what is widely held to be false imprisonment. And while it’s great news for the three men – one of whom was facing death row and in frail health – it’s most-definitely NOT any kind of justice. The conditions of the plea shield the state from being held to account for their grotesque handling tof the ordeal, allowing the prosecution to escape reprecussions for one of the most public acts of legal malfeasance in modern American history.

Director/producer Peter Jackson, who was revealed yesterday to be a big wheel in the money/coordination efforts to get the case re-examined, has posted a detailed summation of his thoughts on the affair, which amount to a BRUTAL yet wholly-appropriate dressing-down of the entire Arkansas legal system. You should read the whole thing, it’s DAMN good stuff, but here’s my favorite passage:

“It goes on and on … any serious detailed look into the facts and science of this case quickly reveals what an appalling miscarriage of justice it is. Any vaguely intelligent person would come to the same conclusion, if they take the time – except for Mr Ellington and his justice league. But then, to be fair, Mr Ellington has a job to do, and a good reason to protect his State from admitting any fault. 42 million good reasons in fact. The most telling thing Mr Arkansas Justice Mouth-piece said this morning was that a guy who proved he was wrongfully convicted in another State, was awarded compensation of $14 million.

Follow the money.”

Folks, when people say that “liberal Hollywood” and “Middle America” are “at war”… HELL YES they are, and THIS kind of shit is both the WHY and the HOW – as in HOW you know who the good guys tend to be. These three innocent men rotted in jail unjustly for almost two decades almost-entirely due to their being “different” in a conservative, religious, rural community. They are free today because filmmakers, documentarians, musicians and other assorted activists both well-known and unknown saw a wrong – and, in many cases, felt kinship with the put-upon “different” in our society – and shoved the case into the spotlight until this small sliver of right was done.

From here on out, any putrid pundit who starts blowing his/her trumpet about how wrong it is for “Hollywood” to be trying to change values and influence people in “REAL America” deserves to have this case shoved right back in their faces. Hard.

Ghost Rider Returns

I actually LIKED the original “Ghost Rider.” Yes, Cage was too old to play the part as it was written (it looks like they’re playing him “same age” this time) and it was silly as hell, but it had kind of a retro-schlock vibe in it’s best moments that I wished permeated the whole piece; and it MUST be said: The “on fire” form of Ghost Rider himself is one of the best translations of a supernatural-superhero to live action ever.

NONE of that, however, is a reason to anticipate a sequel. No, the reason to anticipate a sequel is that “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” has been placed in the hands of filmmaking duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the insane geniuses behind “Crank.”

Yes, I do believe he’s supposed to be pissing flames in that last shot. Normally you’d have to assume it was anything BUT that, but consider who’s directing…

"West Memphis Three" are FREE

After 18 years, three men from Arkansas convicted of murdering three young boys on what is widely regarded as flimsy-to-nonexistant evidence have been released from prison via a plea deal following new DNA evidence that found no trace of the accused at the crime scene. The actual deal is a legal manuever that allows the men to go free and mantain their innocence while conceding that the state did have enough evidence to convict them; which kind of sucks but at least must be preferable to Death Row.

The case had been the subject of two HBO documentaries called “Paradise Lost” that brought national attention, and especially galvanized fans and musicians of the metal genre into activism (the doc was the first time Metallica had allowed their songs to be used in any movie) via the implication that the state had targeted them based on their affinity for heavy-metal music and clothing (this was 1993, during one of the “metal is secretly satanic” panics.) A third installment of the series was planned to debut at Toronto this year, and presumably now needs a new ending.

While the case had long earned the attention of famous activists, it was learned today that a great deal of the money and coordination of efforts that led to the new evidence and the new case was quietly being set up and spearheaded by “Lord of The Rings” helmer Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh.

Justice May Finally Be Coming For The West Memphis Three (UPDATED!)

UPDATE! This may be the first time I’ve ever posted a non-movie-geek story only to have it BECOME a movie-geek story afterwards: According to Deadline, two of the key players putting up the money for the new independent investigations that have helped dig up the new evidence and hearings that may free the West Memphis Three later today… Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, nicely answering any curiousities you may have had about whether or not they could get any more awesome.

ORIGINAL POST: Part of me doesn’t even want to report on this, for fear of jinxing it, but if this pans out for the good it’ll be a pretty damn big moment.

For those who haven’t heard of this before (which is understandable, it’s been almost two decades and the media never paid long-term attention) in 1993 three young men from West Memphis were convicted on what is widely regarded as flimsy evidence (and perception that the accused were “satanists” because of their fashion and music preferences) for the horrific murders of three children. The case recieved national attention thanks to a pair of HBO documentaries. In the 18 years since, despite recurring waves of international protest and activism, two of the accused are still serving life sentences and one is still sitting on death row – all three having continued to maintain their innocence.

Last month, a new DNA test using material from the actual crime scene was found not to match the defendants. Just this past evening (August 18th), it was revealed that a new hearing for all three defendants had been called – without much warning – for the following day (today.) There’s been conflicting reports leaking all night as to exactly what is going down – are they being released, is there a plea deal, what will they plead to if so (“no contest” would seem kind of likely), is it all of them or just one or two, etc.

But it really does sound as though justice MIGHT finally win out for these guys, and if so that’ll really be something to see.