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Bale Out

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THR reports that Christian Bale has stepped down from the lead role in the Danny Boyle helmed Steve Jobs biopic, written by Aaron Sorkin.

Sources say Bale, after much deliberation and conflicting feelings, came to the conclusion he was not right for the part and decided to withdraw.

While Bale’s exit is probably a blow to the film, you have to respect the guy for taking a long look at it, realizing he wasn’t right, and hitting the eject button at the beginning of the process before the process got too far along. It’s something I wish actors would do more often. There’s such a drive among studios, performers, etc. to create a “personal brand” that people seem reticent to say no to things as often as they probably should.

No doubt Bale will find another great project to work on and you have to to imagine with Boyle and Sorkin on board a new Steve Jobs will be found soon enough.

Dumb alternate titles for this article: iQuit, Steve Job(less)

@movingpicpod

Happy Halloween folks!

In the spirit of the season Variety is reporting a new collaboration between Sam Raimi and Fede Alvarez, the men behind the original 1981 Evil Dead and the 2013 psuedo remake respectively.

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There were lots of rumours floating around about both a sequel to the 2013 remake as well  as Army of Darkness 2. But instead it looks like they’ve decided to put their heads together on an all new IP.

The new film, entitled A Man in the Dark, is described as such:

The story centers on a trio of teens who get away with perfectly planned home robberies and have targeted a reclusive blind man with millions of dollars in hiding. But as soon as they break into his home, the tables are turned and they find themselves fighting for survival against a psychopath.

I was actually a big fan of the 2013 Evil Dead and even though the concept for this new film is something we have seen before, I am optimistic that Raimi and Alvarez can do something fun with it.

@movingpicpod

45 minutes!

EW spoke with Peter Jackson last week about The Battle of the Five Armies, the third and final entry in the Hobbit film trilogy. It mentions that the titular battle at the climax of the film will last 45 minutes. Even assuming the film run time is in the 3 hour range, that’s still nearly a third of the movie just for one battle sequence. That’s massive.

The original description of the battle in question is less than 1500 words. You could probably read it in less time that in takes to get through the trailer at the bottom of this post if you really tried.

I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising considering that The Hobbit is a 320 page novel that has now been expanded into 3 films with a running time closing in on close to 9 hours of screen time.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is released on December 17th in the US.

@movingpicpod

In this HitFix interview, Grieg Fraser (DP on Zero Dark Thirty, Killing Them Softly) talks about being tapped to film the Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) helmed Star Wars spin off.

With all of the talk the last few days about future plans for Marvel and DC cinematic universes, it’s interesting to think about the future of the Star War intellectual property. Only a few leaked photos/concept art pieces and zero footage of the first JJ Abrams Star Wars film has been seen and yet there are already multiple sequels and spin offs in the works. With at least a three movie trilogy and rumoured Han Solo and Boba Fett spin offs in the works, we’re talking about no less than five films over the next several years.

Can the market sustain another massive genre specific cinematic franchise. One could reasonably argue that folk who are interested in Marvel or DC or Star Wars would probably be interested in two or more likely all three of those properties in some way. Let’s take a look at 2017 in this lovely infographic put together by Comics Alliance.

There are 10 (10!) movies scheduled between Marvel and DC in 2017. Save Lego Batman all of these will probably have budgets in the $150-$200 million range including marketing. Possibly even more for Justice League which will necessitate a huge cast. Now add in two or maybe even three Star Wars movies. Things get bloated very fast. Even assuming one or two of those Marvel/DC movies is delayed, it’s still a rough schedule to wrap your head around. We are quickly approaching a state of having one or more “event” movies every single month.

How many times can the planet (or a planet in the case of Star Wars/GotG) be endangered before audiences start tuning it all out?

But hey, I don’t blame Disney/Marvel or WB/DC one bit. In poker they say to put your chips on the table when you know you have the best hand. These movies are selling right now and it makes complete sense for these companies to be going all in. I just have to wonder about the saturation point and how much is too much.

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@movingpicpod

The Age of Ultron trailer leaked so Marvel just said “screw it” and released the official trailer. A good call on their part. There’s a lot to chew on between the first good looks at Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Ultron himself, and that Hulkbuster armor that everybody is so jazzed about.

I’m pretty excited but I hope this one avoids the dreaded bloat that so many sequels, and especially the current crop of comic book movie sequels, succumb to. From the looks of the trailer a lot has to be accomplished; introduce Ultron, turn him bad, introduce Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, turn them bad and then possibly redeem them, Hulk goes on a rampage causing Iron Man to reveal his heretofore unseen Hulk-goes-on-a-rampage contingency. And that’s not even mentioning the still unseen (in motion anyways) Vision.

But hey. In Joss we trust, right?

Oh, and here’s the poster in case you’re interested in that sort of thing.

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@movingpicpod

Movies are expensive. How expensive? This article (I’ve transcribed the list below) from /Film does a pretty good job of enumerating the huge budgets on modern blockbuster trilogies like The Hobbit and Transformers.

Keep in mind too, that when you see a movie’s budget it only includes the production costs. All of those TV commercials, internet ads, and press junkets can oft times double the price of these already massive budgets.

While I’m all for entertainment, it does kinda seem like we could put some of this money to better use than making yet another Transformers movie or adapting the latest dystopian YA novel du jour.

  1. The Hobbit Trilogy – $745 million
  2. The first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies – $650 million
  3. The Dark Knight Trilogy – $610 million
  4. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy – $597 million
  5. The Chronicles of Narina trilogy – $560 million
  6. Iron Man trilogy – $556 million
  7. The first three Transformers movies – $556 million

@movingpicpod

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So this has been all over the place. A local report out of Detroit has released some rumours into the wild, the biggest of which is that the Carrie Kelley version of Robin will appear in Superman v Batman as played by Jena Malone. Malone has been confirmed in the film but not in a specific role as yet.

I’m all for seeing a big screen version of Carrie Kelley and I think the casting is pretty spot on, if true. But man, are they cramming a lot of stuff into this movie. At a bare minimum we have Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Lex Luthor. Add to that a semi-confirmed rumour of Cyborg and now possibly Carrie Kelley. It’s a lot. And I can’t help but think that unless it’s a lot of quick cameos, the movie is going to feel incredibly bloated. Or worse balloon to some insane running time, a current fad in big budget, special effects movies that I’d like to see go away.

I’m certainly excited for WB/DC to get their universe fully up and running, but it seems like they are trying to jump straight to the end state without doing the requisite setup.

@movingpicpod

Fight Club was released 15 years ago today. I’ve mentioned my love for David Fincher previously and Fight Club is the film that started that relationship.

In 1999 I was freshly 16 and working my first ever job as one of those kids in the movie theater with the red vest and bow tie that tears your tickets and cleans up all the popcorn you spill. My Mother had been diagnosed with cancer about a year prior and this was the first of many jobs I would hold over the next several years in order to help with various expenses. I was (and I still am) a nerd. Into comics, books, video games, and cinema in that all too obsessive way; still a decade or so away from the time when all of my passions would suddenly become accepted and mainstream.

Needless to say, Fight Club was aimed squarely at my forehead and boy did it hit its mark. I bought the VHS (I still had a VCR!), then the DVD, the special edition Blu-Ray, the other special edition Blu-Ray. I watched and re-watched endlessly, listened to the commentaries, spouted quotes as though I had written the words. I too was in a transitional phase of my life where everything seemed to be changing and I couldn’t control it. I too wanted more and better for myself but couldn’t figure out why. And yes, I too railed against advertising that told me what a “man” is and how I should look and dress. That this particular diatribe is delivered by Brad Pitt was somewhat lost on my, still developing, filmic sensibilities.

While I no longer have as much to rebel against (“My insurance is changing again?. Ugh. I’ll go beat myself up in the parking lot.”) Fight Club still holds up for me in a big, bad way. It was such a huge cultural milestone in my life in much the same way that Pulp Fiction was 5 years before (Yes, I saw Pulp Fiction in a theater when I was 11. But that’s another post. [Also, Happy 20th Birthday to Pulp Fiction!]) but at a much more important time in my life. I felt like I had so many problems, so much to act out against and here were adults, well one adult and one imaginary friend, that didn’t have it figured out either. They had jobs they hated and Dads that left them just like I did. For all of its absurdity it felt starkly real to me. I hope it still feels real in 15 more years.

@movingpicpod

 

I launched my podcast today. This is a big deal for me and thanks everybody for listening, commenting, reviewing, etc.

For the past several years I have been floundering quite a bit. Essentially I was still struggling with the “What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up” question.

Apparently I want to hang out with my friends and talk about movies. Which is what I’ve always done, now I’m just doing it into a microphone for other people to listen to and (hopefully) enjoy.

Earlier this week I received some news that will effect a large change for me sometime in the next 6 months. I’m not sure yet if this will be a good change or a bad change. But what I do know is that this podcast has now become the most important ongoing project in my life and I’m going to try very hard to keep making it better every week. Hopefully lots of people will come along for the ride and help me make it better with feedback, comments, and criticism.

Thanks,

Mike

PS: I know the look of the site is a bit lacking at this point but I wanted to get content out into the world first. All the pretty bells and whistles will come with time.

@movingpicpod