Is Justin Bieber Playing Robin???

This comes from Justin Bieber’s official Instagram feed, tweeted along with the hashtag #robin??

It is almost-certainly bullshit (the prevailing theory is he’s promoting a Funny Or Die sketch), and the giveaway is the script itself: At this stage there very likely isn’t a full script, if there was it wouldn’t be out in the wild with a full-detail cover page using the actual title, the logos both look “off,” etc.

That said… I wouldn’t be at all upset about this. I’m too old to like (or even understand the appeal of, truth be told) the kid’s music… but I also too old to be personally affronted by it or by his existence. Yes guys; nonthreatening, vaugely-effeminate boys who can sing are popular with teenage girls. That’s not a new thing. Get over it.

To be honest, I would be “for” this strictly on the sole and sufficient basis that it would indicate a massive tonal and target-demo shift away from both “Man of Steel” and “Dark Knight,” and also because it would make horrible, horrible Batfans’ heads explode, and that’s a great service indeed. I love me some Batman, folks, but at some point his fandom morphed into probably the most vile and awful of geek subcultures (and I’m NOT the only guy who noticed this) and at this point I’m inclined to support anything they’d hate on general principle. Remember, these are people who are petitioning the White House to prevent Batman from being played by an actor who is guilty of having been photographed smiling and appearing in comedies.

But, whatever. It is VERY unlikely to be real. What IS likely (plausible, at least) is that it’s a brilliantly coordinated stunt. There’s a vocal contingent of Batfandom that hates Robin on principle (they’re the same guys raging about Ben Affleck, mostly), and this little bit of Bieber self-promotion could serve as way of inoculating them: The genius of Justin Bieber’s career is that he embodies the sliver of overlap between “irrational-cannot-shut-up-about-it-LOVE” and “irrational-cannot-shut-up-about-it-HATE” in teenybopper pop-music, and if Warner Bros. was to announce a Robin in the near future whoever it was would no longer be the worst possible choice. Everybody wins.

Honestly? Since it’s become pretty clear that WB isn’t looking at their shared-universe DC movies to be source-material mash-notes a’la Marvel’s crop up to this point, it might be a more interesting idea to let supporting-players like Robin be opportunities to experiment with unconventional casting, a’la “Man of Steel’s” Jenny Olsen (who probably would’ve been more controversial if that film had given two shits about anybody in Metropolis.) A female Robin (Carrie Kelly, Stephanie Brown, somebody new, etc) would be quite the attention getter, especially since non comic-reading people likely have no idea that there have been female Robins. Plus, it would remind embittered manchildren of the “The Dark Knight Returns” – the Living Gospel of the Grim n’ Gritty era, so there’s also that.

The Scarecrow

A “Viral Sensation” of Fiona Apple crooning an ironic-sad cover of a “Willy Wonka” song over maudlin “Captain Planet”-level wordless moralizing about “natural” food that’s actually a longform advertisment for an iPhone game that is itself actually an advertisement for Hipster Taco Bell?

Yeah. I’m gonna go have some Qdoba…

"HOMEFRONT" – Statham vs. Franco

Below, the trailer for the previously unheard-of “HOMEFRONT,” which features Jason Statham as a rural blue-collar All American dad (who I’m going to assume speaks with a heavy British accent as just one more level of daring people to mess with him) whose daughter gets into a scuffle at school and – having apparently inherited kung-fu genetically – earns her family the ire of the white-trashy family whose bully son she throttled. Standard stuff? Okay, maybe… except Bad Guy Dad happens to be Evil Redneck Meth Kingpin James Franco!

Oh, and also: Screenplay by Sylvester Stallone. So… yeah.

Escape From Tomorrow

You might remember hearing about “Escape From Tomorrow” during Sundance, usually in the context of the idea that no one outside Sundance was ever going to get to see it. It’s a surrealistic indie/underground psychological horror movie (“David Lynch doing ‘The Shining'” is a description I’ve heard) about a middle-aged guy during the last day of his family vacation at a huge theme park. Having received a phone call from his boss that his job will not be waiting for him when he returns home, he tries to hold things together (and keep the news from his family) while taking his daughter to the rides and attractions… where he begins to have nightmarish visions (or are they) of dark, sinister and even supernatural “things” happening in the park. So… corporatism, evil-under-surface-of-family-values, mass-market entertainment as opiate, you get the idea.

The hook? The theme park in question is Disney World, and much of the film was actually shot there. Covertly. Guerilla-style. Without any permission or consent from Disney. Using consumer-grade cameras, phones and actors blending into the “regular” crowds. Because of this, everyone figured this would become a permanent underground fixture and nothing more, since surely Disney would sue over unlicensed use of their… everything, pretty-much. But, as it turns out, the Mouse House has opted to go “hands-off” on this one (so far) and now “Escape From Tomorrow” is hitting theaters and VOD on 10/11. Below, the first official trailer:

I’m actually not especially surprised that Disney hasn’t gone hardline on this one. As a company, they have a quixotic policy when it comes to their copyrights – you can find oceans of clearly-infringing fan videos, mash-ups, etc. on YouTube, but they seldom get pulled down. Their view seems to be that the pennies hypothetically saved on wrangling such material are worth foregoing in the longer-term goal of keeping fans onboard the highly-lucrative brand love-train.

I haven’t seen the film itself yet, but I want to and I’m curious to see what the reaction will be. Most of the Sundance reviews seemed to ultimately concede that the actual film isn’t precisely a masterpiece (guerilla-shoots like this rarely are) in terms of it’s storyline, pacing etc; and from descriptions a lot of the “family-theme-park-as-den-of-evil” shtick sounds a bit warmed-over. So it’ll be interesting to see how it’s received by audiences outside the industry/press festival circuit who aren’t likely to be as immediately appreciative of the logistics and audacity behind a shoot like this.

Stop DISNEY From Ruining Movie Theaters

I’m not a fan of how watered-down and toothless the internet has rendered the “mobilizing” consumer outrage via letter-writing, petitions, boycotts, etc – it’s so damn easy to now legitimate greivances now fight for attention with (and get afforded the same weight as, i.e. NONE) asinine fan petitions to change the casting of Batman. That having been said, when a corporation makes an ASININE decision that promotes something truly stupid… yeah, I’ve got ZERO problem saying they should get inundated with angry letters, phonecalls, etc.

With that in mind, lets ALL bug the ever-living HELL out of Walt Disney Inc. for THIS abomination: They want to start encouraging people to bring their iPads to movie theaters to play games along with the film.

Before everyone jumps down my throat: Yes, I can tell that (by all appearances) this is for a special-engagement thing where doing this is the “point” of the screening (a re-release of Little Mermaid, in this case.) But the precedent is just all-around bad news. “iPad/Phone-enhanced” screenings is one stop away from “iPad/Phone-ALLOWED” screenings, which is another step towards kissing the idea of asking the mongrel hordes of Joe & Jane Sixpack and their 2.5 rugrats to behave like civilized human beings in movie theaters goodbye.

Hell, time was bringing kids to a movie theater was a good way to teach them how not to be assholes in public: “Sit down, behave yourself and shut the fuck up because there’s a movie up there for you to watch” was good training for “sit down, behave yourself and shut the fuck up because we’re in court/church/a-nice-restaurant.” Now, “family moviegoing” seems more an more like a way for exhausted parents to inflict their brood on everyone else for a few hours (“No, fuck YOU everyone else whose different life choices I desperately envy right about now!”)

This should get nipped in the bud. “People who value a good theater experience are attacking Disney in waves!” should be a story on Deadline/Variety/etc tomorrow. At the very least, they should be shamed into having to issue an apologetic/clarifying “this is only for specific showings” press-release – at BEST, they should have to do a “face-saving” move of putting a message about how you SHOULDN’T bring you’re goddamn iPad into a “normal” theater before the screenings.

Appropriately, it’s not easy to find where to send a complaint to the Disney Corporation. For now, here’s their guest services page. If I find whatever email/number it is people use to lob complaints at this particular monolith, I’ll post it then.

ROBOCOP Remake Trailer

Fuck. Every. Single. Solitary. Thing. About. This.

Seriously. There’s not one thing in this that doesn’t look terrible or at best painfully plain and generic. I hate everything I’m seeing here, with the possible exception of Michael Keaton – him I just feel kind of bad for.