Monday, October 3, 2011

Reel Facts & Opinions

FACT: A new feature based on the classic TWILIGHT ZONE TV series is now in development. Directing candidates include Alfonso Cuaron (CHILDREN OF MEN), Rupert Wyatt (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES), Michael Bay (TRANSFORMERS) and Christopher Nolan (THE DARK KNIGHT). Unlike the feature produced in the 1980’s, this new film will feature a single storyline with just one director, and is reportedly based upon an original episode.

OPINION: Nolan is the clear frontrunner in the race to the Zone. On the surface, this seems like a great idea. But then again, Nolan doing a Humpty Dumpty film gets people excited, too. Twilight Zone episodes, which are basically short-films, are not easily stretched out to an 80 to 100 minute movie (just look at the recent THE BOX, which did poorly). The series always feels right at home when taken in shorter bites. This blogger would prefer to see another anthology film with a different director helming each story, as it would properly introduce a new generation to the Zone. Let Bay direct one, let Nolan, Wyatt, and Cuaron each direct one. Then invite Quentin Tarantino and you’ve got gold.

FACT: Speaking of Tarantino, Kurt Russell has replaced Kevin Costner in QT’s upcoming revenge-western DJANGO UNCHAINED. Russell will play Ace Woody (which sounds like a TOY STORY reject); an evil plantation owner responsible for training male slaves in fighting competition and female slaves in prostitution.

OPINION: Costner’s dropping out is disappointing, but bringing in Russell feels like a lateral move. Tarantino has been flirting with the western genre for years, so it’ll be good to finally see him dive in head first, although it’s all but a given that DJANGO will be one long Sergio Leone tribute/homage. How much would you like to bet we see Ace Woody in the Eastwood poncho?

FACT: With (goddamn) 3D revenue dwindling in the United States, the format may be facing the grave taking another blow last week courtesy of Sony Pictures. Sony has informed theatre owners that in May of 2012 they will no longer pay for the 3D glasses that go with the 3D movies. Other studios are expected to do the same. The move would bring the U.S. in line with the U.K. and Australia when moviegoers buy their glasses at the theatre and keep ‘em.

OPINION: One day, we will all look back on (goddamn) 3D as a strange footnote in film history, with this being the first nail in the coffin. If Sony is taking inspiration from the U.K., then God save the Queen...

What say you?

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