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Archive for May, 2004

Tricksy.

Time? What time do you think we have? While the world enjoys the RotK theatrical edition (released on DVD last Tuesday…or earlier, if you live in NYC), the Extended Edition runs into delays, and now might not see the light of day until 2005. For what it’s worth, Entertainment Weekly has at least confirmed some inclusions, although nothing we haven’t heard before. Ah well, I’m ok with waiting a few extra months if it’ll mean a difference in quality.

Don’t Call it a Comeback.

In the wake of Dubya’s free-falling popularity, are the House Dems poised to reverse the 1994 GOP takeover? One can only hope.

Self-Flagellation.

“WHO THE H*#&! ARE YOU AND WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO MUCK AROUND WITH THIS TREASURED PIECE OF LITERATURE, YOU AMERICAN HOLLYWOOD HACK? Ah. Good one. Yes, I can see why a lot of people might be wondering this…” Screenwriter Karey Kirkpatrick talks about his contribution to the forthcoming Hitchhiker’s Guide film.

Not-so-friendly fire.

They can’t handle the truth…Senator John Warner (R-VA) takes heat from his fellow Republicans for leading the inquiry into Abu Ghraib.

Attack! Attack!

Be afraid. Be very afraid. And don’t say we didn’t warn you. Nothing changes an undesirable news cycle quite like another terror threat, does it? As the AP article notes: “The sudden warning returns the nation’s attention to terrorism, the issue that President Bush has highlighted as a central theme of his re-election campaign, after intense focus on other subjects like Iraq and prisoner abuses in Iraq. Bush has lost ground in the polls, falling in approval ratings to the lowest point of his presidency.

To be fair, releasing pics of the possible suspects is probably more helpful in preventing a future attack than the usual exhortations to buy duct tape. And nobody want to see another 9/11, particularly those of us who live in NYC. Still, the very fact that news articles have to concede that Dubya may just be pushing the Panic button for political points proves how untrustworthy this president has become. And don’t you love how Bush officials keep suggesting that Al Qaeda wants to “have some impact on the electoral process,” as if voting Democratic means the terrorists have won? Sorry, but you’ll have to count me among the many Americans who thinks that terrorists have more to fear from John Kerry than they ever would from Dubya’s haphazard and crony-driven homeland security agenda.

The Unsubtle Pie.

Will Chris Weitz of American Pie direct His Dark Materials? This sounds like a terrible idea at first…then again, I thought he and brother Paul Weitz did a solid job with About a Boy. Well, hopefully they won’t throw out the Tom Stoppard script too quickly…

Back in the Saddle?

While Indy 4 flails about in Development Hell, Harrison Ford signs on for James Cameron’s Godspeed, which so far sounds like something between Solaris and Outland. Unfortunately, Cameron is only producing this flick, and so his much-awaited sci-fi 3D spectacular still waits in the wings.

Ogling the Ogres.

I was remiss in noting in my last update that I — like most of America — caught Shrek 2 over last weekend. Not much to say about it really…I thought it was as entertaining, eye-popping, and effervescent as the first outing, if ultimately somewhat insubstantial. I enjoyed myself while Shrek was on, then promptly forgot about it, but what more can you really expect?

Antonio Banderas as Puss-in-Boots (at left) was a quality pickup for the franchise, and I particularly liked the COPS takeoff and anything involving the blind mice. Still, if I have a beef with Shrek 2, it’s mainly that the movie wouldn’t stop trying to sell me the associated soundtrack of easy listening tunes and contemporary standards. Enough already! I prefer my fairy tale adventures without merchandising tie-ins…there’s only so many Versarchery, Farbucks and Old Knavery jokes one can make before the film feels complicit in the commercialism it’s sending up. But, that’s the ogre talking…All in all, Shrek 2 is 100 minutes of solid escapism, which is more than you can say for a lot of films so far this summer.

Bend it like Baker, Pertwee, and Davison.

Word is BBC’s new Dr. Who will face David Beckham and a handful of other celebrities when the Autons take over Madame Tussaud’s in the forthcoming new series. I hadn’t heard that Christopher Eccleston has been confirmed as the ninth Doctor before, either. That’s not bad, although he’d probably have made a better Master.

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