A lot has been said about online entertainment news reporting, and how it's basically rumors propagated by blogger after blogger after blogger until somebody in the know actually comes in and refutes it. (Except even then, bloggers will claim that person is lying.) So we aren't going to put much stock in this insider report that George Lucas will finance new Stars Wars movies with the scratch he makes from re-releasing the old ones in 3-D. However, it has gotten me thinking about whether I'd actually want to see them. The crazy action in the LucasArts video game The Force Unleashed shows that the
Far be it from me to say that George Lucas used up all his good ideas back in the '70s and '80s, but... George Lucas used up all his good ideas back in the '70s and '80s. Exhibit A: ...Well, pretty much anything he's done since the late '80s. But what I want to focus on here is Exhibit B: He recently suggested to Samuel L. Jackson, the most notorious part whore in all of Hollywood that perhaps he should start thinking about directing. Not to suggest that Jackson might not be a talented director -- we'll never know until he actually does it -- but why do I think this might be something Lucas suggests to every actor out there, ever? I mean, not everyone is cut out to direct, George. (See also: Wars, Star - Episodes I, II, III).
George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford can ignore the (generous mixed reviews and Ford's age (66!), but they apparently cannot ignore Indy's box office power, and therefore a fifth Indiana Jones film might be on the way, according to Ford. He said Lucas is "in think mode" and, "It's crazy, but great." I would like to emphasize the word "crazy" here, but it sounds like Ford's going to focus on the "great."
The world is buzzing today with news and gossip about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The big news, of course, is the LA Times story that maintains that George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford won't be paid until the studio brings in $400 million in revenue. That's a large haul, even for Indy. And it's a shocker in Hollywood, where actors, directors and writers usually get paid a high set rate first, and talk about residuals later. It's a risk on the parts of the big three, but they clearly believe in this movie, and were willing to bank (pun intended) on it making a haul big enough to cover the $400 million and still pay them loads of money. Or maybe they're doing it for the love? Naaah...
Why is George Lucas lowering our expectations on "Indy 4: Attack of the Jones"? He's making me nervous with his Wes Craven-esque "It's only a movie" comments. I can't bring myself to believe that the new Indy movie sucks, but I was always told that when a girl's Mama tells you her daughter is bad news, you believed it. And you ran. Lucas hasn't gone so far as to say the movie is sub-par, but his ominous protestations against those who are really looking forward to May 22nd has the Internet buzzing. It looks as if Lucas is invoking the Odienator Pessimist Principle, which states the pessimist is never disappointed. If the audience vibrates in their chairs as if the screenings were in Sensurround, and then collectively pass out in orgasmic glee when the credits roll, Lucas will feel great that he was underestimated crowd reaction. However, if the movie is anything like those nightmares he recently tried to pass off as Star Wars movies, he can tell us he told us so beforehand.
Lucas didn't write nor direct Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull -- a good sign if there ever were one. Ford is fit as a fiddle and Karen Allen is back as tough cookie Marion. The trailer is as full of excitement as the poster is full of background images, and rumor has it the movie realistically deals with Indy's age. Why shouldn't I be excited? I mean, what could possibly go wrong? What could Lucas be telling us between the lines of his statement? My imagination runs wild. Is Indy now being chased by a gigantic blue boulder that says Viagra? Does an uncredited Kate Capshaw shows up to pull the hearts out of the audience in the 3-D IMAX version. Could it be that Sean Connery shows up riding the giant head from Zardoz? Or that Cate Blanchett's villain turns out to be Bob Dylan dressed as Queen Elizabeth and screwing a 15-year old boy? Or that horror of horrors: Indy's sidekick is Jar-Jar Binks?
Lucas has tempered my excitement, but he's piqued my interest even more. This was probably the Emperor's evil plan all along.
The Guardian has reported on the outcome of a battle in "the royal courts of justice" between British prop designer Andrew Ainsworth and his nemeses Emperor Palpatine and the Death Star -- er, I mean, George Lucas and Lucasfilm. Lucasfilm, which had previously won a $20 million damages judgment against Ainsworth for copyright infringement in California in 2005, took their fight to the U.K., where Ainsworth was still manufacturing and selling replicas of the iconic white "stormtrooper" armor from the Star Wars film franchise.
Pineapple Express underachieved on its opening weekend, causing the Watchmen-addicted Zach to incorrectly predict it would unseat The Dark Knight. I challenged him, stating that Tropic Thunder would be Batman's nemesis. He said I was crazy, and I was -- like a fox! Let's look at this logically: On one hand, you have a stoner movie. They're having a resurgence thanks to Judd Apatow and company. On the other hand, you have a movie that, in the name of satire, makes fun of Blacks, Asians, and the mentally challenged. It also has a Scientologist using more Jewish stereotypes in his performance than a Mel Brooks movie on crack. And let's not forget the gory war violence and farts! How could anybody predict that Middle America would resist this movie?! You don't need to be Miss Cleo to get this one. While I wrestle Zach for the one measly dollar I've won, which he refuses to pony up, here are this weekend's box office numbers.
In under a week, the Cannes Film Festival will announce its 2008 line-up. Stalled by an impending writers strike, American filmmakers last year were too worried about what this would mean for the future to come up with much in the way of "avant-garde" movies in time for Cannes. Where last year saw several promising entries, including No Country For Old Men, this year it seems as though only Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York is headed for the competitive category, reports guardian.co.uk. According to the report, big-budget films like the new Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda are slated for "glitzy" showings, but will naturally not be vying for the chance to accidentally poke themselves on the prestigious (if spiky) Palme d'Or.
An Indiana Jones movie franchise without Indiana Jones is like... well, it's like an archaeologist without a trusty bull whip and well-worn fedora. George Lucas seems to have come to the same conclusion, recently telling MTV News that he's not looking for Indy's son Mutt Lange -- er, Williams -- to replace Papa in future films. This change of heart comes just three months after Lucas told Fox News that he had an "idea to make [Mutt] the lead character next time and have Harrison [Ford] come back like Sean Connery did in the last movie." A few Shia LeBoeuf-related news headlines later, Lucas says he's now looking for a new story for Indiana -- for "something for him to go after." He noted that it would take "'a huge amount of research to come up with something that will fit.'" As a former would-be archaeologist, I might be able to help.