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Entries in Joss Whedon (30)

Saturday
Sep142013

Burning Questions: War of the Five (Nerd) Kings

Hey everybody, Michael C. here. There are certain phrases entertainment writers are fond of throwing around until they lose all meaning. If pop culture pundits are to believed at any given moment there are around a dozen “Best Shows on Television” and twice that many “It Girls”. 

One phrase run into the ground this past summer was declaring such and such person “King of the Nerds -every week saw a new monarch crowned by the media. So in an effort to save everyone the confusion I propose we settle the matter here and now:

Who is the current King of the Nerds?

If we were to put things into Game of Thrones terms (and why wouldn’t we?) George Lucas is the Mad King who used to be the unquestioned ruler but had to be deposed when he lost his mind and started dragging his own films out onto the throne room floor to be destroyed. Peter Jackson would be the Robert Baratheon who was swept into power on the glory of the Lord of the Rings trilogy but whose subsequent projects became increasingly bloated until he was but a shadow of the leader he was when he first took the crown.

Now into the power vacuum wades these potential heirs to the throne and their fervent armies of fans:

JOSS WHEDON – The Popular Favorite

Hand of the King: Nathan Fillion

Claim to the Throne: Tough to beat his combination of mainstream success and cult adoration. Currently at the helm of The Avengers franchise, which, in case you failed to notice, was box office champ of the summer for the second year in a row. Its television spin-off Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuts a week from Tuesday. Fans don’t come more loyal than his legion of followers. 

Achilles Heel: Does he desire the title? Low-budget black and white Shakespeare adaptations? Internet musicals? Talk of doing a ballet? He seems more like a theater dork at heart.

 

SIMON PEGG – The People’s King

Hand of the King: Nick Frost

Claim to the Throne: Listen to him talk for 5 minutes (or glance at the cover of his book) and it’s clear that he is the real nerd deal. When he isn’t improving mega franchises with his presence, he is spearheading the Cornetto trilogy, the cult success of the last decade.

Achilles Heel: Can't really break out of cult status as a leading man, but then again, maybe that’s a plus for a Nerd King.

 

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH - The Knight of Flowers

Hand of the King: Martin Freeman

Claim to the Throne: Provokes the opposite of Affleck casting tantrums. Welcomed with open arms every time he shows up in a new geek-friendly franchise, which lately feels like all of them.

Achilles Heel – Sic Transit Gloria. In a year or two his roles in the The Hobbit, Star Trek, and Sherlock will all be in the rear view mirror.

 

JJ ABRAMS – World Conqueror

Hand of the King: A Pile of Money

Claim to the throne: All your franchise are belong to him. Accomplished the obscene fantasy of landing both the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises. Who can top that?

Achilles Heel: He has the power but does he have the love of the people? Star Wars and Star Trek aren’t what they once were and he his films have the habit of leaving vocally disgruntled fans in their wake. The masses could rise up against him.

 

GUILLERMO DEL TORO – The Connoisseur’s Choice

Hand of the King: Ron Perlman

Claim to Throne: One of the few guys creating original visions for the screen instead of rebooting and rehashing old ones. Lackluster response to Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, a project he was originally attached to, has only increased his cred, “If only Guillermo had done it…”

Achilles heel: Pacific Rim suggests he loses some of his mojo when reaching for mass appeal. More suited to work on the fringes than to sit on the throne.

 

It doesn’t feel right for me to make such a momentous judgment on my own, so I leave it to you. Declare which army you would join below or make a case for a different candidate altogether in the comments. 

 

 

 

Previous Burning Questions
You can follow Michael C. on Twitter at @SeriousFilm. Or read his blog Serious Film

Monday
Jun102013

Box offices binges on "The Purge"

It's Tim, taking over Monday box office duties for Nathaniel while he's away, so if I've made some little formatting mistake, apologies in advance.

It says all there is to say about the cool state of the box office right now (nobody wants to put something out just in time to have Man of Steel cut its legs off next week) that the big story is a horror movie with toxic word of mouth hugely outperforming expectations. Truthfully, though, $34 million for the Ethan Hawke home invasion thriller The Purge is pretty impressive: it more than doubled the open weekend of Hawke's last horror picture, Sinister, while blasting past pretty much every comparable film in recent memory. That's what a drought in the marketplace will do for you: horror fans will turn out to see new wide releases if it's been a long time, even if the new release in question looks completely awful. I know whereof I speak.

Meanwhile, Wedding Crashers reunion/feature length Google ad The Internship has made exactly the non-splash that could be predicted based on how much nobody in the entire world was talking about the movie, though it's worth pointing out that it's not particularly out of line with the recent films Vince Vaugn and Owen Wilson have made seperately in the past few years. Also, Fast & Furious 6 broke the $200 million mark before Star Trek Into Darkness, which is a statistic that I don't think anybody would have willing to predict at the start of the summer.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN
01 THE PURGE $34.1 *NEW*
02 FAST & FURIOUS 6  $19.2 (cum. $202.8)
03 NOW YOU SEE ME  $19.0 (cum. $60.9)
04 THE INTERNSHIP $17.3 *NEW*
05 EPIC $11.9 (cum. $83.9)
04 STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS  $11.4 (cum. $199.9) The Dumbing Down of Star Trek
07 AFTER EARTH  $10.7 (cum. $46.1) M Night Shyamalan's Fall
08 THE HANGOVER PART III $7.3 (cum. $102.3)
09 IRON MAN THREE $5.8 (cum. $394.3) Reviewed & Podcasted
10 THE GREAT GATSBY $4.2 (cum. $136.1) Reviewed & Dreamt About

In limited release, Frances Ha and Before Midnight are both purring along nicely (both were up from last weekend, in fact!), though neither they nor anything else came close to breaking into the top 10. The only prominent new film, Joss Whedon's modern-dress version of Much Ado About Nothing, put up a strong but not mind-blowing $34,388 per-screen average at five theaters, and didn't even crack the top 20, though its nationwide expansion on June 21 ought to improve its fortunes considerably, while giving all of us who don't live on the coasts a chance to see what Whedon's post-Avengers palette cleanser plays like.

Did you see anything this weekend? I didn't, taking advantage of the weather to do yardwork, though a friend and I are catching The Purge tonight. Like I said, horror fans are used to seeing things that we know are going to be utterly worthless.

Tuesday
Jun042013

After Link: Blue Jasmine, Red Wedding, Emerald City

Stranger Than Most encourages you to see these 20 underseen masterpieces. Lot of great films mentioned though I shall limit my "seconded!" shouting to Summer Hours, Three Women and [safe] today
Guardian Joss Whedon "I kept telling my mom that reading comic books would pay off"
Gawker volcanic imagery aside, After Earth is not scientology propaganda, just a crap movie
Hollywood & Swine after After Earth's rough opening weekend, Sony cancels "take your kid to work day" LOL
The Atlantic when did men -- other than George Clooney of course -- lose their charm?
Cinema Blend pages from Heath Ledger's Joker diary. CB claims this is from a German tv series but the narration is in French so I'm not sure what's going on

WSJ Speakeasy Interesting... turns out Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine is a riff on the Bernie Madoff scandal and Speakeasy claims that Alec Baldwin's performance will be talked about. (Perhaps I should change that supporting actor chart?)
Salon The internet is losing its collective mind over Game of Thrones. As I said on twitter, I am more and more convinced that fans are victims and George R R Martin and the HBO series are their abusive lover. FWIW I quit reading the books after the Red Wedding. It's just not for me. Don't need the gore and the abuse!
Playbill sings the praises of Broadway breakthrough Annaleigh Ashford from Kinky Boots. Is she the next Goldie Hawn? 
Cinema Blend The Wizard of Oz (1939) is converting to 3D and IMAX for its 75th anniversary next week.
/Film ruh roh. The screenwriter of Green Lantern is signing on to the Blade Runner sequel. It was already a bad enough idea, lightning rarely striking twice.

Watch & Listens
YouTube Patrick Stewart speaks out on domestic violence and mental health awareness - lovely
KCRW - The Business interviews (literally) naked Mitchell Hurwitz on the challenges of continuing the Bluth story for a 4th season of Arrested Development

And did you see this fun video tribute above to Cyndi Lauper whose show Kinky Boots (just discussed) has a ton of Tony nominations? Various morning shows and current Broadway casts contributed for the 30th Anniversary of her classic hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"

Monday
May272013

Linking Spirit

Nostalgia Critic wonders if the film parody is dead. From Young Frankenstein to the Scary Movie movies it is a free fall plummet rather than a steady decline. Lots of clips to illustrate.
Cinema Blend The Muppet Movie is coming to BluRay for the first time
Marvel Thor The Dark World's official site is up 
Fast Design movie posters that reduce your favorite films to geometric shapes - some of these are awesome. Others I dont quite get.
"Fighting Spirits" check out this 5 minute animated short, a semifinalist for the 2012 Student Oscar, about rival ballerinas

Slate great magazine articles that inspired movies from Bling Ring to Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Coming Soon The Weinstein Co's buying spree continues unabated: Jane Got a Gun, Carol, Passengers, Suite Francaise, and The Young and Prodigious Spivet 

Off Cinema
Salon how "You are My Sunshine" became a children's classic 
i09 Joss Whedon's commencement address at Wesleyan "you are all going to die" 
Advocate an interview with Katee Sackhoff. I love her but unfortunately never see her in anything because of the very limited types of shows she appears on.
Slate engaging piece on how technology hindered Arrested Development's popularity in its first three seasons, a show ahead of its time

More Cannes?
Awards Daily two clips from the Cannes champ Blue is the Warmest Color
Ultra Culture excellent piece on the issue of "real sex" in filmmaking and how fake it all still is
Film Comment interesting discussion of the competition films at Cannes from several critics. I love the harsh discussion of Only God Forgives  or at least the parts of it I read (too many spoilers) and the notion that Ryan Gosling should never speak to Refn again. This makes me want to see the movie even more!

TM: It’s very fetishistic about all those aspects—the martial arts aspects, the Asian aspects, the notion of framing. It’s just a big wank frankly. And looking at it from a career point of view, he can get all the big actors he wants at this point because he’s famous and has this free rein. I think he needs to be careful about doing films like this. He needs to be smarter about his career and his script writing. 

JR: It does seem now that there’s a group of filmmakers, and Gaspar Noé is one of them, who are sort of writing fan letters to each other. Noé making films for Refn, etc. This little group of the “wild boys.”

Hee!

Saturday
May112013

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Resurrection and the Protocol of Promos

Last night the first promotional photo of the cast from the new Joss Whedon series "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." premiered. And here it is in all its *anonymous* 'glory'...

Whedonverse Series #5... Expect That it's More Marvel Universe... So Marvel Universe #1 (Reboot)?

more from the Whedonverse and promo photos after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct292012

Joss Whedon "Endorsing" Mitt Romney

One week from tomorrow we choose America's future. Every time I see a statistical tie or tight race type of poll I hear Giles' weary dismay on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The earth is doomed."

Hee!

Thursday
Aug302012

Linkomaniac

My New Plaid Pants asked a very smart question of Vera Farmiga. What is her deal with playing mother to murderous children? She'll play Norma Bates for a Psycho prequel tv series.
Playbill Megan Hilty continues her Marilynization with the cast recording of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes "Little Girl from Little Rock" ...♥ Hilty!
Advocate Evan Rachel Wood considering the lead in a girl truck driver drama. Although honestly, I can't imagine what a cross between Smokey & The Bandit and Thelma & Louise, as its described, would possibly be like... tonally speaking.

Movie|Line god bless Ryan Gosling. Hollywood was slow to hand Christina Hendricks the leading roles she deserves but her Drive leading man is now providing one. The film, his directorial debut, is a noir called How To Catch a Monster. Now that that problem has been resolved... can someone hand her the Emmy she also deserves?!
Stale Popcorn reacts to the news that his beloved Jamie Bell will appear in Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac

i09 on the desperation Warner Bros / DC must be feeling having let Joss Whedon get away (via their Wonder Woman squashing). Now what to do with The Justice League movie? What to do. Meanwhile...
Vulture Joss Whedon is beginning work on S.H.I.E.L.D. your weekly televised dose of the Marvel Universe and is married to Marvel indefinitely on multiple projects
CHUD apparently Rachel Weisz has been cut out of Terence Malick's To the Wonder entirely. Oh Malick. You're so unpredictable and predictable simultaneously. 
Empire Online Charlize Theron may star in a Marie Colvin biopic. Maybe she wants a second Oscar? Biopics are the way to go. 
Vulture Matt Zoller Seitz on Louie's brilliance

Retro
Advocate Barbra Streisand's next album -- just one month away -- is a collection of unreleased material, including "I Think It's Going To Rain Today". That's such a great song but I can't live without Bette's version from Beaches so nothing else will measure up! Do you think this winter holds a major Babs revival what with this CD in the fall and The Guilt Trip coming to movie theaters for Christmas?
Broadway Blog uncovers an old performance duet between Liza Minnelli and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Tom @ The Broadway Blog finds so many wonderful thing.
Interiors on the great Lost in Translation (2003)

Sofia Coppola creates an impossible scenario using the space of the hotel room; she brings two married people, puts them in bed together, and somehow makes their entire encounter feel innocent.

That film sure is aging well, right?