3-D is such a buzzword these days, it's no wonder even the most eclectic arthouse filmmaker are interested in wrapping their fingers around this revived-and-improved technology. Look what you've done, James Cameron! Of course, inspiring other filmmakers to work on this cutting-edge plane is hardly the worst crime Avatar has committed. No, that would be manslaughter.
• I'm still not sold that M. Night Shyamalan's adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender will do the cartoon series justice, but even I have to admit that these two new banners from Yahoo! Movies are pretty cool. It's missing two more nations, but maybe they're saving those for the sequels.
• YouTube has launched their rental service, and it's not so bad. While many movies are available at the YouTube Movies channel for free, five of the latest ones cost $3.99 each to rent. Here's the cool part: three of them just debuted at this year's Sundance, so you get to watch them without having to go to Park City.
• A Korean Zatoichi? Not only would that be very interesting to see, but I also wonder how the Japanese would react to such a thing. Critically-acclaimed Korean director Lee Jun-Ik is directing a period action flick as his new project, and as Twitch pointed out, the "legendary blind swordsman" character depicted on the poster looks suspiciously like a certain famous master from Japan.
• Want to know how Marvel's upcoming Thor movie is going to connect to their shared movie universe? It's been confirmed that Clark Gregg, who played S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson in Iron Man, will appear in Thor as well as Iron Man 2, implying that the two movies exist in the same world.
This will be the testing ground for whether or not an Avengers movie is acceptable down the line, sine it would mean that immortal Norse Gods exist in Iron Man's tech-centric "realistic" world.
• An animated zombie movie? I'm in.
• I like Bruce Campbell a lot. I spent half of my youth worshipping the guy. I even convinced myself to enjoy My Name is Bruce, the self-referential Bruce Campbell fanwank movie. Despite its shortcomings (to put it generously) and somewhat nasty mockery of his own fans, it was all in good fun. None of this helps me to muster any excitement for Bruce vs Frankenstein, the sequel Campbell announced last week via AICN.
Like My Name is Bruce, Campbell will star and direct this one. How much more milage can you still get from this "Bruce" character, though? And Frankenstein? In Oregon?
• In "is this a falling out?" news, Deadline reports that The Weinstein Co passed on Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse spin-off Machete, with an insider claiming that the movie looks awful. Not that I doubt that to be the case, but Weinsteins? The same Weinsteins who spent years piggybacking on Rodriguez and Tarantino's films... badmouthing a Robert Rodriguez film? Machete is now being distributed by Fox, who are also cranking out Predators with Rodriguez.
Speaking of Machete—what's up with the strange collection of actors on the cast? Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay Lohan? Wow.
• According to MarketSaw, a third Gremlins movie is in development. In 3-D, of course. Ah, who cares anymore.
• Speaking of 3-D (and at the risk of being hypocritical), though I've never been a huge fan of Disney's Beauty & The Beast (not when there's a better version out there), when I saw the 3-D footage at Comic-Con last July, I was actually pretty impressed. 2D animation looks very interesting when they're layered and popping out of the screen. So it's quite disheartening to hear that Disney is pushing the film back to 2011 rather than releasing it this Valentine's Day.
• Summit is turning Push into a TV series, to be written by Watchmen writer David Hayter. Given that many criticized the movie as Heroes: The Movie, is the TV series going to be Heroes: The Movie: The Series? Ten bucks says it lands on NBC as a potential future replacement for Heroes.
• A Taiwanese man died after watching Avatar. No, this isn't one of those coincidental death things. Doctors have ruled that the movie was indeed the cause of death. It seems that the man was so excited by the movie that his brain started hemorrhaging, which led to his death.
• No matter how photorealistic computer imagery will become, I don't think actors will ever be replaced. You can animate a virtual character close to being human, but you still need a human element underneath to give it the signs of life. Even James Cameron seems to agree with this, but he's proposing the next best (worst?) thing: restoring youth to aging actors.
“How about another Dirty Harry movie where Clint looks the way he looked in 1975?" Cameron suggests. “Or a James Bond movie where Sean Connery looks the way he did in Doctor No? How cool would that be?”
If this ever becomes a real practice, it wouldn't be long until it's applied to the dead. Can you imagine how biopics would be like? Instead of watching Jamie Foxx pretend he's Ray Charles, you can actually capture Foxx's performance and voice, and use them to control a virtual Ray Charles that looks exactly like the real thing. I can't decide if that's scary or exciting.
• Looks like the third entry in The Twilight Saga, Eclipse, might really be aiming for something other than teen girl knee-buckler. Not only is David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) insisting that it's going to a brutal and much more violent film that its two predecessors, now Movie Score Mag reveals that it's racking up soundtrack gravitas, as well, by hiring none other than The Lord of the Rings composer and frequent David Cronenberg collaborator Howard Shore. Do you think they're going for epic or horror?
• Weird Al Yankovic is developing a live-action feature film for Cartoon Network. The project is unknown at the moment, but we do know that it's written and directed by Weird Al, it will have a teenage protagonist, and it is neither a sequel to UHF or a documentary about Winston Churchill. That narrows it down some...
• Gaspar Noe, director of such family wonders as the infamous Irreversible and the wave-making Enter the Void, is turning his attention to un an unexpected dimension. Last year at Cannes, Noe announced that his next project will be a joyful melodramatic porn film and an apologia for vice. Hollywood Wiretap now reports that the film is going to be shot in 3-D. A Gaspar Noe porn film in 3-D? Just hand me them glasses right now.