Lancelot Links (Is Pissed at QT)
- "Iron Man 2" trailer, dudes! Questions: 1) Are they overdoing Tony Stark with the "Yes, dear" line? He was so good in the first movie, but sequel writers tend to exaggerate the actor's first-movie exaggerations (see: Capt. Jack) and ruin 'em. Hope that's not happening here. 2) Iron Man makes a nice metaphor for America in the 21st century, doesn't he? Initially cocky and triumphant while enemies gather; then dazed and hurt; then ready for action. The difference is that Iron Man was smart enough to get a partner. An equal partner, Mr. Blair.
- Related: Sam Worthington as Captain America? It's an unfound rumor, and some object because he's Australian, but he sure looks like he'd fit the part.
- Phil Contrino of boxoffice.com wonders if "The Hurt Locker," which is garnering all the critics' awards, can possibly win best picture when it made only $12 million at the box office. "Crash is this decade's lowest grossing Best Picture winner with $54.6 million," he writes. "Technically, Annie Hall has the lowest domestic gross of any Best Picture winner since 1970 with $38.3 million in 1977, but that equals around $124 million when adjusted for inflation." Contrino seems to suggest moviegoers are at fault for the dismal box office, and maybe they are, but Summit Entertainment never really put the movie out there, either. Its widest release was only 535 theaters.
- Speaking of "Crash": Manohla Dargis goes off on the sexism rampant in Hollywood: the lack of female directors, the lack of smart female movies, the fact that time and again Hollywood executives seem to think women don't go to the movies—despite all evidence to the contrary. Spleen is definitely, and legitimately, vented. Then there's this beauty: "Let's acknowledge that the Oscars are bullshit and we hate them. But they are important commercially... I've learned to never underestimate the academy's bad taste. Crash as best picture? What the fuck."
- There's a great piece by Jeffrey Toobin in the Dec. 14th issue of The New Yorker on the legal issues surrounding Roman Polanski's arrest on statutory rape charges in 1977—not to mention his flight from, and attempted extradiction back to, the U.S. earlier this year. You need the print edition to read it in full, though. The abtract is here. Toobin is smart on the ways Polanski's celebrity both helped and hurt his case. There's little doubt, from Toobin's description, that Polanksi committed a crime in 1977. There's also little doubt, from Toobin's description, that those charged with that crime—that is, statutory rape—rarely did prison time back then. His recent incarceration in Switzerland, meanwhile, resulted from renewed interest in the case because of a documentary, "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired," which more or less declares him not guilty, and more or less on the strength of an interview with then-deputy district attorney David Wells, who implied misconduct on the part of the presiding judge. But Wells has since recanted that portion of the interview. Leaving us where? In a big fat no-man's land.
- Quentin Tarantino is starting to piss me off. Not as a filmmaker but as a critic. Here he lays out his top 8 movies of the year. I like that he includes "Funny People" and "Observe and Report," two underrated serio-comedies starring Seth Rogen. But "Star Trek" at no. 1? The thing is lukewarm "Star Wars." Does he like it s much because J.J. Abrams kills off the sacred in the "Star Trek" universe (the planet Vulcan) as QT kills off the profane in ours (Hitler in "Inglourious Basterds")? That's not enough of a reason. The accompanying video of QT adds little, but I suppose I should cut him some slack because he is taking this seriously. He talks of going to see certain movies again to see if they've risen in his estimation. That's more (twice more) than a lot of Academy members do.
- Finally, via my friend Mr. B., a Season's Greetings from the Seattle Mariners, who are getting smarter all the time. It's a clip from a game last...September? Ichiro hitting a walk-off homerun off some hack named Mariano Rivera. Makes. Me. Smile. Touch 'em all, Ichiro!