Sacrificial Lamb

I liked how my off-the-cuff comment to this Jeff Wells’ thread about a potential Rick Santorum presidential candidacy being a sign that the GOP is essentially conceding the 2012 election to Obama (re: let the “true believer” with no real shot run and lose, regroup for the likely-open spot in 2016, tell the religious-right to please stand-down and zip-it for a change because “their guy” so clearly failed last time) so I’m reposting here. Slow news day:

“The thing is, The GOP isn’t REALLY as “split” on this stuff as it sometimes seems. Social-conservatism doesn’t fit with The Right’s professed ideal of anti-nanny-state “rugged individualism;” but the actual percentage of the “movement” – especially at the power-brokering level – that buys into it is tiny, and most of THEM are younger people and loner types.


By and large, it’s a movement chiefly of old white moneyed men (and those whose fortunes are tied in with the same) who prize economic liberty (re: “The Free Market”) above all else because it’s best for their business interests; and whether or not they “believe” in social-con ideals they SUPPORT them as policy because it’s also good for business: enforcing “live clean, marry young, move to burbs, pump out brats” as the ONE “good” standard of living is tailor-made to produce a booming population of prefab consumers; while social-liberalism doesn’t, at least not quite as effectively.


It’s also the case that even the ones who DO subscribe to some malformed version of Objectivism/Libertarianism only really see it in their own terms: The “Cowboy” ideal – emphasis on BOY: They’re all about the INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM!!! of adult white men to drive whatever car they want, build whatever size house they want, shoot whatever animal they want, etc… but that same freedom can’t POSSIBLY be extended to, say, WOMEN. Absurd! If women had the same level of Individual Freedom they did, who would stay at home and keep up the house so they’ll have TIME to go live the Cowboy Ideal!? If women were as free to not have children as men are, who will pump out the kids needed to replenish my menial-labor staff and consumer base!?”

Had it slipped into my mind at the time, I might’ve added my own emerging calculation that the entirety of humanity would improve immeasurably if we were all having a lot more sex (or whatever fires your engine, really) but a lot fewer children.

Bile

I didn’t like “American Pie” when I was of the exact age it was supposed to be relevent to me – but then, high-school movies aren’t actually for High Schoolers but for grade-schoolers who fantasize about being High Schoolers so… whatever. I’m 31, I’m sure there are 20-and-under folks with really fond, life-changing memories of these movies. At least, that’s what this “American Reunion” trailer is banking on…

Y’know, my problem with this isn’t that the original was only 13 years ago. My problem is that the THIRD movie – which was also about them all being adults wistful about their high-school days – was barely NINE years ago.

Also, I’ve got to ask… these movies are largely being made by people much older than the characters themselves; but am I the only one who notices how incongruous the whole “mid-30s adulthood grind” thing mus feel compared to what seems to be the REAL situations of the generation that graduated when these kids are supposed to have? I mean, did no one writing this look at the current economy, demographic studies, the THOUSANDS of books written about “Boomerang Kids” etc and pick up that Generation Y is by-and-large NOT at the “world wear rat-race” point that they (the writers/producers) may have been? I mean, Jim is married, has kids and a house of his own in his mid-30s!? Dear lord, what’s he got to be weary about – compared to the rest of his generation his fucking SUPERMAN!!!”

Rights

In the spirit of NJ Governor Chris Christie playing election-year politics with people’s lives vetoing the legalization of gay-marriage passed by the elected representatives of the NJ State Senate because, to quote the Governor, “an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide;” here is a quote from someone present-day Conservatives pretend to have read books by respect on the subject of putting civil-rights issues up for popular vote:

“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)” — Ayn Rand.

Prospects Looking Grim For "John Carter"

Deadline reports that “tracking” (re: “do audiences care?”) numbers for Disney’s impending “John Carter” are looking pretty poor, despite good early reviews starting to slip out. Blame is being laid at the feet of bad marketing and the Mouse House’s seeming indifference to the project (which was begun under a different regime than currently runs the show there.)

Below, a comment of mine from Jeff Wells’ reporting on the same story:

The advance word is actually pretty positive, but the marketing has been ATROCIOUS. Starting with the awfu re-titling and continuing through the nonexistant print campaign and trailers that keep showing the same basic scenes and locations (the shorter promo clips show there’s WAAAAAY more to this than the Arizona-with-aliens stuff) and deliberately making the fairly outlandish plot and events sound as generic as possible (“our world is dying…” etc) …a lethal combination of chickenshit marketing goons (“don’t say Mars! Don’t say Mars!”) and Stanton etc. leaning way too hard on saving the “good stuff” for theaters.


Hell, they haven’t even TRIED for the “prestige boost” – i.e. like LOTR reminding audiences at every turn that they didn’t just pull this out of their ass, that it was “THE” movie of this massive decades-long cultural phenomenon. For fuck’s sake, every schlock airport novel that gets adapted has “BASED ON THE #1 BESTSELLER!!!!” screaming at the top of it’s trailer for the VERY reason that it makes the public go “wait.. am I not in on something? maybe I need to see this, I don’t wanna be left out.” But Disney somehow decides it’s NOT pertinent to tell people that this is based on one of the most important and influential works in the entirety of genre fiction? That it’s endured for a CENTURY? That it’s the source of Flash Gordon, Star Wars, LOTR, Avatar and damn near every other fantasy/scifi blockbuster thats ever been produced?


Disney does not give, and has not given, a fuck about this movie for a long time; that much is obvious. Like “Tron: Legacy,” (and the stalled 20,000 Leagues remake) it’s production is a leftover from the Dick Cook regime, when the big push was to build a “Disney Boy Brand” to compliment the princess brand and they were greenlighting every action/scifi tentpole that came across the desk… then it became easier/safer to just BUY a pre-built “Boy Brand” aka Marvel – why “waste” time on a question-mark like John Carter when you’ve got all-but-garaunteed blockbusters coming via Avengers and it’s sequels PLUS at least two more Captain America, Thor and Iron Man sequels AND whatever else Marvel wants to run up the flagpole? — ME.

It’s wholly plausible that the film is good, even great – but if so, it’s looking like this could be 2012’s “the good guys lose” moment a’la “Scott Pilgrim.” Pic opens March 9th.

Half of "Crank" to Write/Direct All of "Twisted Metal"

Brian Taylor, the “Taylor” half of the Neveldine/Taylor team that did the two “Crank” movies, is getting 7 figures from Sony to write and direct a “Twisted Metal” movie; presumably spurred by the impending (hopeful) success of the newest game.

I guess the question now is which of the many, many characters who could be played by Jason Statham (including some of the women) will actually end up being played by Jason Statham… or which “big guy” actor will be the fancasting favorite for Sweet Tooth – Tyler Mane? Derek Mears? Kane Hodder?

Neveldine/Taylor have “Ghost Rider 2” in theaters this weekend. It’s not screening for critics, but the word from those who have seen it (it played Butt-Numb-A-Thon and a few other places, apparently) is beyond bad. N/T have a good industry reputation and are well-regarded, but to be frank basically nothing they’ve done besides “Crank” has been close to successful, so… I guess Sony knows something I don’t.

Time To Start Paying Attention To "Wrath of The Titans"

Bad 80s-nerdstalgia news from yesterday: Michael Bay will continue fucking up “Transformers” at least one more time. Good 80s-nerdstalgia news from today: Michael Bay will NOT be fucking up “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” as it looked like he might be for awhile there. Instead, directing duties will fall to Johnathan Liebesman; currently of “Wrath of The Titans.” The same basic production/studio setup that shepherded that CGI-animated psuedo-sequel to the original trilogy a few years back are handling this one, but it’s set to be the beginning of a new series as opposed to a further continuation.

Liebesman has demonstrated mostly-solid action chops in the past, but overall his filmography is pretty bleak: nobody remembers or much cared about “Darkness Falls” or “The Killing Room,” and while he made bank with “Battle: Los Angeles” the movie was pretty damn terrible. On the other hand… he’s NOT Michael Bay.

So, right now this is good news as far as I’m concerned, and will remain so until the words “dark and gritty reimagining” escape the lips of someone on the production (innevitably “fanboy-proofed” by references to “the spirit of the original Mirage comics, naturally.)