Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Holiday Wishlist

This year for Christmas, I want:

For MGM's bankruptcy and reorganization to go smoothly, so we can finally get the productions of "The Hobbit" and the next "James Bond" films going. Is it too late to get Sam Mendes back for "Bond"? Also, so we can finally see the release of Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon's horror film "Cabin in the Woods," which has been delayed since February. I'm still ambivalent about the unfinished "Red Dawn" remake - it's never a good idea to tick off the Chinese. I will admit that MGM's tussels with Carl Icahn have been a lot of fun to follow in the press, but enough is enough. Give the lawyers and accountants their pound of flesh and get back to work.

For more older films available to rent on Netflix. Right now the company is turning its attention to acquiring currently airing primetime shows for its streaming service to cut into Hulu's business. I'd prefer that they pay more attention to building up their DVD film library, which makes far fewer of the old foreign and prestige titles available for rental than Blockbuster Online does. It's not a good sign when my local library system has more Criterions than they do. However, kudos for the getting the new cut of "Metropolis" into the Instant Watch section so quickly.

And on that note, for more restorations and rescues of obscurities and out-of-print films like King Vidor's "The Crowd" and Penelope Spheeris' "The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years." Both were made available on VHS long ago, but have yet to hit DVD or any legit digital distribution that I can find. This means accessibility is disappearing fast for them, and too many other films. There are a few companies like TCM, Criterion, and Kino doing what they can, but they can use all the help they can get.

For fewer reboots, remakes, and sequels. For more adaptations instead. It's perfectly fine to get your inspiration from older films and television shows. Many of the great directors riffed on each others' work. However, the recent proliferation of 80s reboots and tentpole sequels is starting to wear on me. It never fails to impress how much wonderful material is out there in books and plays and suchlike sources that have the potential to be great movies. And whatever happened to the "based on a true story" tagline?

For Comcast to not become the Evil Galactic Empire. Between the recent Net Neutrality spat and my see-sawing cable bill, I am this close to cutting the cord again. I know that Comcast is in an awkward spot as a giant media conglomerate, straddling old and new media and that merger with NBC still no closer to going through, but they seem to be a on the wrong side of every battle lately.

For Michael Bay to find true love. Hear me out. Once Michael Bay finds true love, this would lead to marriage, a couple of kids, and possibly, finally, the necessary maturity and new parent worldview to make a "Transformers" movie that is actually age-appropriate for its target audience of little boys. You know, the ones who actually play with the Transformers toys that Hasbro is using the movies to shill?

For a new film review show to fill the gap left by "At the Movies." I've been making do with Fimspotting and Spill podcasts, but it's just not the same. I know that Roger Ebert has something in the works, and there are others on the internet gamely trying to find a new model for a review show. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the old model, but best of luck to anyone making the effort.

For "Winnie the Pooh" to do well enough in theaters that Disney will keep making traditionally animated films. This may be the last chance before American studios totally surrender on the 2D front to the French and the Japanese. As for CGI features, they've had a record year at the box office. Here's to their continued success in the future, but I also hope we'll see the big studios start taking more risks.

For all the new films and television shows coming out in this winter and next year to exceed my expectations, and for those that didn't to improve.

For "The Big Bang Theory" and "Community" to be in different timeslots so I can watch them both sitcoms live without guilt.

For the news pundits to take a minute, breathe, and realize that things aren't quite as bad as they make out.

For more arthouse theaters and more arthouse theater patrons.

For a really kickass "Doctor Who" Christmas special.

And a flatscreen TV.

Happy holidays!


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