Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Like It When Warner Bros. Does Exactly What I Want Them To Do

I got my wish. Warner Bros. Studios is planning to reboot its tepid Superman franchise, hopefully in a similar manner to the way the Batman franchise was revived. I was fairly disappointed with Superman Returns, and for two years I've been talking the ears off of anyone nearby about how Warner Bros. dropped the ball with Superman Returns. Now they're starting from scratch, and here is the list of what I think has to happen in order for the movie to live up to its potential:

1.) Kevin Smith must write the script. He definitely has the necessary familiarity with the comic lore, and at one point he was even tapped by Warner to write a Superman movie script. One of the perennial problems with comic book movies is an abundance of stilted dialogue, and Smith's adept skill at writing dialogue would elevate the script to a higher level of film. Don't ask him to direct, though. He's not right for a blockbuster action film, and he knows it (see: The Green Hornet). Who should direct, then? Well, I'll tell you:

2.) Len Wiseman must direct the movie. He has less than a handful of films under his belt, but with that small sampling he has proven to have the best eye for action sequences in Hollywood (well, maybe he's tied with Christopher Nolan, but Nolan's talents are obviously needed for a third Batman film). Both of the Underworld movies, as well as Live Free or Die Hard, are shot in such a way that we can actually SEE what's happening in the amazing action sequences. Wiseman doesn't subscribe to the "shaky camera = ACTION!" school of thought whose disciples include Paul Greengrass and Michael Bay. He knows how to use angles and cuts effectively to provide a perfect framing for the big stunts. His dedication to practical special effects would cut down on the CGI factor as much as possible, and help the audience to accept the Superman universe as some form of reality.

3.) Cast another unknown actor as Superman. Just don't try to find another Christopher Reeve doppelganger. Find someone who looks like he's between the ages of 32 and 35, but has an ageless quality about him. Find someone who will likely look exactly the same in the third or fourth film (7-10 years down the road) as he does in the first. Basically, find someone who was the "Brendan Fraser" factor. And make sure he can ACT.

4.) Place the story in a post-Crisis framework. For all of you non-nerds out there, that basically means that we need a movie about the CURRENT Superman universe, not the 1970s version. That means that Lex Luthor should be a prominent and powerful public figure who is secretly a master criminal. He should be a successful businessman in the public eye, whose illegal activities are known only to a few people who are unable to expose his misdeeds. I don't have a definite recommendation for an actor to play Luthor, but I will say that I wouldn't mind bringing Kevin Spacey back. He was the one bright spot in Superman Returns, and I think he could handle a post-Crisis Luthor role very well. However, some sticklers may insist on Luthor being closer to Superman's age, in which case a slightly younger actor would be needed. I'm just not sure who, right now.

5.) Cast a better/older Lois Lane. Kate Bosworth was just too young, and she wasn't right for the role. If Warner Bros. wants to do this the right way, they will cast Anne Hathaway as Lois Lane. No, there are no other options. It has to be Hathaway. Just look at her. She IS Lois Lane. I know she's not much older than Kate Bosworth, but she has an air of maturity about her that would allow her to play slightly older. Oh, and I wouldn't mind if Warner Bros. let her gain back the 20 pounds or so that she recently lost. Whoever told her she needed to drop weight needs to be punched in the throat.

There it is. The recipe for an incredible Superman movie. Let's just hope Warner Bros. keeps following my advice.

Here's what I think we'll ACTUALLY get in the movie:

-Written and directed by Brett Ratner
-Starring Shia LeBeouf as Superman
-Dane Cook as Lex Luthor
-Jessica Simpson as Lois Lane

Let the ball-dropping begin.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Rules: 8/21/08

Rule #1

No more video game movies until we get a decent Super Mario Brothers movie. We don't need movies based on Bloodrayne, Alone in the Dark, Hitman, DOA: Dead or Alive, Tomb Raider, or Max Payne. We need a Super Mario Brothers movie that doesn't make fanboys' brains bleed. I'm talking to you, Pixar and Dreamworks. Either one is fine, just as long as it gets done. And soon. If you don't reset the standard, pretty soon we'll be staring down the barrel of a live-action Crash Bandicoot movie, starring Shia LeBeouf and directed by Michael Bay.

Rule #2

It's okay for China to start executing American journalists at the Olympics. Michael Phelps just capped off the most dominant Olympics performance ever, and all the journalists care about is whether or not he's dating Amanda Beard. I give up. American journalism has officially outlived its usefulness. It's time to cleanse the palette and start over. So China, do us a solid and trim the weakest of the herd. Just leave Tom Brokaw and Bob Costas alone. They're good guys.

Rule #3

Enjoy the movies this summer, because next year is going to suck. This summer has been an embarrassment of riches as far as movies are concerned. Iron Man, Indiana Jones, Wall-E, The Dark Knight, Hancock, Tropic Thunder...this summer has basically been one continuous nerdgasm. Next summer, we'll have Harry Potter and...nothing else. The WGA strike really threw a wrench in the works for movie studios. No writing meant no new scripts, which meant no new movies. We've temporarily run out of franchises. No more Pirates of the Caribbean, no Spider-Man, no Batman, no Shrek, no Star Wars...nothing. As far as I know, there are no comic book movies slated for next summer, and the sci-fi genre will be limited to the next Terminator movie. I guess we'll all have to get outside and get some exercise. I have a feeling, though, that no matter who is President next summer, Americans will not need escapist entertainment quite as much as we have for the past eight years.

Rule #4

It's okay for guys to watch So You Think You Can Dance. It's not totally a "chick show." Case in point:

That's just sick. And not at all girly.

Rule #5

Gilmore Girls is pretty good, too. Check it out.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jesus Christ Traded

Pudge Rodriguez to the Yankees. Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers. Brett Favre to the Jets. And now, another big trade involving a very big name. Jesus Christ, the perennial MVP of Christianity, has been traded to Hinduism in exchange for Vishnu and a future 2nd-incarnation pick. Jesus will be taking over for Vishnu as an incarnation of the Hindu god Rama. Christ released an official statement, saying "I just feel like it's time to move on. I've been with Christianity for a long time, and I want to try something new. Yes, it's a new challenge, but I know I can accomplish anything as long as I keep myself in my heart." Vishnu was a bit more daunted by his new role, especially the upcoming hectic Vishnumas season coming in December. In a recent interview, Vishnu said that he is looking forward to meeting with Santa Claus and working out a plan of attack for the busiest season of the newly-renamed Vishnutian calendar. This trade has shaken up the rosters of both religions, and it should be interesting to see how this all plays out in the upcoming year.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Rules: 8/14/08

That's a plural noun, not a statement. I'm going to try to post some Rules every Thursday from now on. Start your skepticism now.

Rule #1

If you can't use a computer well enough to successfully check your e-mail, you can't run for President. A lot of things that go BOOM are hooked up to computers in Washington, and I don't want to hear that you accidentally blew up Guatemala because you were trying to update your MySpace page. If you have no idea how the internet works, stay in the Senate with Ted "series of tubes" Stevens (R, Alaska).

Rule #2

No more reporting on the "Montauk Monster" until we know what the heck it is. I saw pictures. It's a dead dog. Probably. Either way, I don't want to hear any more about it until we know for sure what it is. A guy should be able to check news sites while eating lunch without having a picture of a rotting animal suddenly popping up on the screen.

Rule #3

Stop complaining that the Chinese Olympic gymnasts were not old enough to be competing. They are some of the lucky few Chinese girls who were allowed to live after being born with what their government considers "inferior genitalia." Most of the other girls born around the same time were tossed off of cliffs or sold to Rosie O'Donnell. These girls got to be on international TV instead. Just be happy for them.

Rule #4

Opinions voiced by buffoon characters in movies are NOT always the opinions of the filmmakers. Sometimes "offensive" dialogue is used to illustrate the ignorance and/or stupidity of a comedic character. So don't get your underpants in a twist just because a character in a movie used the word "retard." Yes, it IS an offensive word. No, it wasn't the filmmakers' way of demeaning the world's disabled population. It was meant to establish the ignorance and vapidity of comedic characters. The offensive statements were and are intended as a detriment to THEM, not to the supposed victims of "naughty words." So go see Tropic Thunder already.

Rule #5

DO NOT CHEAT ON YOUR CANCER-STRICKEN WIFE! I don't care HOW boyishly handsome you are. Not cool. Bad boy. No biscuit. Thank God you didn't get the nomination. Jerk.