By Jason Apuzzo. Thanks for your patience with today’s posts. We’ve been travelling.
• In the wake of yesterday’s post about the hardcore remake of Red Dawn, which certain Western critics are already deriding, word comes that the Hollywood filmmakers behind the forthcoming Karate Kid re-boot (starring Will Smith’s son) agreed to Chinese government censorship. We will have more to say about this in a forthcoming post, but here’s the money quote from the LA Times article about the decision:
“If Sony made Karate Kid with a Chinese partner, it could be a part of that Asian gold rush, but the deal would come with some foreseeable obstacles, including possible government censorship.
[Doug Belgrad, president of Sony's Columbia Pictures] didn’t think long before giving his answer. “That was enough to say yes,” says Belgrad.”
Thanks for the cave-in, Sony! I’m even more eager now to see Red Dawn - and also Bruce Beresford’s Mao’s Last Dancer, which finally gets its U.S. release this fall. More on all this later.
• Sex and the City 2 is the top grossing film right now worldwide, and the controversy about the film rages on. Phase 2 of the controversy involves a backlash against critics of the film, who are finally being called out for what many of them are: misogynists. See the backlash growing at The Guardian, The Nation, New York Magazine and at The Gloss. Claws really coming out on this one, as they should.
• Rumors flying (see here and here) that the next Die Hard film will be titled, Die Hard 24/7 – based on a tie-in (now abandoned) with the forthcoming Jack Bauer movie franchise. Weird idea. Also too complicated. The Die Hard series lost all its mojo for me when the last film dropped ‘Live Free’ from its ‘Live Free or Die Hard’ title overseas in order to placate foreign audiences (who are apparently assumed to be tyranny loving?). Maybe they should just call the next film Dead.
• Lady Gaga has a ‘controversial’ new video out, “Alejandro.” Saw it. Yawned. Warmed over Madonna meets Ace of Base. Berlin cabaret chic getting old. Gaga getting WAY too much attention. However, I would endorse a U.S. airdrop of iPods into Iran with this video copied onto it.
• In related news, reviews are coming out of Christina Aguilera’s new album, Bionic. See the LA Times review and also Speakeasy, and you can actually stream the entire album here. This is looking like Christina’s version of HIStory. She looks great, though.
• If a bionic Christina Aguilera isn’t enough for you, then check out this Wall Street Journal review of the new novel Android Karenina from Ben Winters. I might give this one a chance, but only on a very long flight.
• In a USA Today editorial, George Clooney is attacking Obama for his non-handling of the ongoing Darfur disaster. I agree, George. And how about opening your Italian villa to refugees?
• James Cameron backtracks on calling BP engineers ‘idiots.’ Maybe he’s just auditioning these guys to be his pool cleaners.
• The storyline to Indiana Jones 5 may have been leaked! I’m loving this plotline. BEWARE SPOILERS if you proceed to the link. So tired of hearing how Indy 4 was a ‘failure.’ I loved it, and it made $750 million worldwide. Some of my favorite bits were Cate Blanchett’s deliciously campy turn as a Soviet agent (wearing a Louise Brooks bob!), and the Soviet-alien mind control technology stuff. Who knew George and Steven were such old fashioned Cold Warriors? Can’t wait for Indy 5, no matter how old Harrison is.
• The Muppets are back! There’ll be a new Muppets movie in 2011, set for a Christmas release. Excellent news. Larry King now has competition.
• AND IN TODAY’S MOST IMPORTANT NEWS … Winter’s Bone star/hottie Jennifer Lawrence will soon co-star with Mel Gibson in a movie in which Gibson plays a man obsessed with a sock puppet. Not kidding here. Wish I were.
ON THE INDIE FRONT: • Bollywood films continue to kick ass at the indie box office. See here.
• The New York times has this nice article on The 48 Hour Film Project, which has produced a lot of nice work over the past several years. Click on over for more.
• Hot new documentary genre: docs blasting teacher’s unions. It’s about time, because our educational system is currently a disaster. Click on over for more details.
And that’s what’s happening today in the wonderful world of Hollywood (and independent filmmaking) …
Posted on Jun 9, 2010 @ 3:45pm.