Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Follow-Up Post, March Edition

It's been a while since I did an update post, and there are several prior entries that I think need an addendum, including the Oscar Post Mortem I wrote up on Monday. Without further ado, here are some additional thoughts on subjects discussed in previous posts.

Oscar 2011 Post-Mortem - This year's ceremony turned out to be one of the shortest in the last thirty years, and apparently there was a lot of chaos going on behind the scenes. At least two production numbers and an appearance by Shrek were cut, the latter due to technical difficulties. Excised "Grease" and "Evita" segments of the intro montage can be found online, and a clip of James Franco murdering a Cher song from "Burlesque" was recently yanked. The jury's still out on whether this was a good decision or not, but I think the whole crew should have spent less time cutting those spiffy ABC promos for the ceremony, and actually worried about the ceremony itself. And I'm guessing one of the reasons why Franco looked so distracted all evening was because he was sending out live Tweets all night. Oy.

My Holiday Wishlist - So far, so good. The MGM bankruptcy is going well and all the delayed projects I was interested in are going forward. They even managed to get Sam Mendes back for the next Bond movie. We also got a very promising new version of "At the Movies" currently airing on PBS, and this year's "Doctor Who" Christmas special was pretty darn kickass. Alas, Hulu's new deal with Criterion means that Netflix is going to be more depleted of older prestige titles in a few months, and I haven't had any luck tracking down any of the obscure titles I listed. I was also dismayed to realize that all the major rental services only carry domestic releases, meaning that it's impossible to get my hands on titles like Luis Bunuel's "Los Olvidados" and Roberto Rossellini's "Stromboli," which are only available through foreign distributors. Also, no flatscreen and Michael Bay remains sad and alone.

The Battle For Thursday - You know, maybe if Charlie Sheen's ongoing hissy fit does end up shutting down "Two and a Half Men" permanently, they'll send "The Big Bang Theory" back to Mondays and I won't have to choose between watching "Big Bang" and "Community" live. Sigh. I know it won't happen, because CBS has been doing so well with its new Thursday comedy block, but a gal can dream, can't she? I dropped "Big Bang Theory" for "Community" completely over the winter break for a few episodes, but I'm slowly falling back in to the same old pattern of watching "Big Bang" live and "Community" on Hulu. I can't help it. I've totally fallen for the frumpy charms of Mayim Bialik's Amy Farrah Fowler. Even Troy and Abed (in the morning!) are no match for her.

The Problem With Mary Jane - One nice thing about this new spate of fairy-tale themed movies is that it means a lot of new female lead roles. Amanda Seyfried will be headlining "Red Riding Hood," Gemma Arterton will star with Jeremy Renner in "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," and there are no less than three different "Snow White" projects gearing up, one with Kristen Stewart. However, the biggest plum role in the pipeline is Katniss of "The Hunger Games," an upcoming action film based on the young adult novel by Suzanne Collins. It's being geared up to be the next big film franchise, and already has a sizable fan base that's been buzzing about potential candidates for months. As for Alphonso Cuaron's "Gravity," after months of drama and a list of contenders as long as my arm, the lead role appears to finally be going to Sandra Bullock.

The Search for the Mom-Friendly Movie - Next year may be easier to find suitable movies for my parents, as there have been several news articles pointing out the resurgence of older audiences at the movies again, and making Oscar fare like "The King's Speech" and "True Grit" into bona fide blockbusters. While mid-range films are unlikely to make a comeback, there's been a welcome trend toward older stars in genre fare. Liam Neeson just had a good turn in "Unknown," which was much better than his last two action films, "The A-Team" and "Taken." Also, Meryl Streep shows no sign of slowing down. This year she'll be playing Margaret Thatcher in the bio-pic "The Iron Lady," and no doubt gunning for Oscar nomination number seventeen come December.

And finally, remember Disneyland: The Movie?! It's still moving forward, along with plans for - I kid you not - a Jungle Cruise movie starring Tim Allen and Tom Hanks.

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