Some Random Stuff

I’m a little backed up with things to review, but there are a couple that I’ll be sure to get to in the next couple of days: I should have my thoughts on the riveting street art documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop later this afternoon, and hopefully a review of Toy Story 3 sometime tomorrow. But for right now, just a few thoughts on some upcoming films, plus the latest bit of speculation in MGM’s Hobbit saga.

With Guillermo del Toro backing out of the directing job for The Hobbit, speculation on who will take over has run rampant – the most persistent rumor, of course, is that Peter Jackson himself will return, although Jackson continues to deny this. But some stories are reporting that Neill Blomkamp, director of last year’s surprise sci-fi hit District 9, is Jackson’s top choice. The move makes sense: Blomkamp displayed considerable imagination, refined filmmaking skills and an ability to squeeze every bit of potential out of a limited budget. And, of course, Jackson has been a friend and mentor for the young director (Jackson served as a producer for District 9).

At this point, I can’t imagine that any director would have much creative leeway in a film that Jackson and Del Toro have pretty much finished designing. Still, the exposure would certainly ensure that the talented Blomkamp’s career remains on the rise, and I would prefer to have someone like Blomkamp over a complete lackey like Brett Ratner (the Rush Hour series, X-Men 3) or even Sam Raimi (the other leading candidates).

Now, I’m sure you’re asking, why is it that Jackson can’t just return himself and complete the vision he began with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, anyway? Well, Jackson has time commitment issues after agreeing to direct the second in Steven Spielberg’s planned trilogy of motion-capture animated films based on the famed Belgian action-adventure comic book series, Tintin. I’m extremely concerned about this series, considering my love for the Tintin books and Spielberg being…well, Spielberg (though I adore the idea of motion capture allowing the best comic duo of our time, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, to play twins). So, Peter, if you’re reading, how about you just quit that job – which is sinking ship waiting to happen, anyway – and just come on back to Middle Earth, kay?

In other news, a few more trailers to run by you guys: the first is for a very important upcoming documentary. If you don’t know the story of Pat Tillman, you MUST see this film. The death of Tillman, the most famous enlisted man in Afghanistan, by friendly fire and the ensuing cover-up is a sickening, tragic tale, a grim metaphor for everything that went wrong with America’s occupations in the Middle East.

And, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have The Green Hornet, a comedic action romp starring Seth Rogen, directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep), and featuring Christoph “Hans Landa” Waltz back in villainous territory. Could be goofy, entertaining schlock.

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