“Man of Steel” opens in just under a month. It’s funny to think about how some of us (me, specifically) were not sure how to feel about this movie because, you know, Superman as a character is kind of dull and Zack Snyder is Zack Snyder. We (and by “we” I mean “me,” because whatever, I already wrote it, let’s just move on and never mention it again) weren’t against this movie, because it had potential, but it wasn’t atop our summer must-see list, you know? (You know.)
Now I can’t wait to see this thing. The last few trailers really won me over. The last one was great, sure, and this latest (and last) one is even better. It focuses a lot on Michael Shannon’s General Zod, the villain of the movie, which is wise because you can’t go wrong focusing on Michael Shannon playing a crazy person. And the new ad spotlights the action, which — based just on the trailers so far — looks nifty but also doesn’t seem like it will be the sole focus of the movie. (Each trailer does a great job selling different aspects of the movie. I realize I’m just complimenting the marketing here, which is odd, but the marketing has been very good!)
The point here is that “Man of Steel” looks great and I’m very excited, just in case you were wondering:
“The Office” has churned through essentially every imaginable station of sitcom-related public opinion. It has been the ill-advised adaptation of a British classic; the clear and tired rehashing of something we’ve already seen; the surprisingly solid, decent-but-not-great sitcom missing a few pieces; the very, very good sitcom built around a likable burgeoning movie star; the great sitcom of the moment; the show that is on the decline; the sad, former shadow of its former self; the beloved institution; and, finally, the show we’re going to miss, even if we stopped caring about it a few years back. Continue reading →
Vin Diesel chatted with Entertainment Weekly about the “Fast and the Furious” movies and “Riddick” and other things, and because he’s Vin Diesel he said some amazingly modest stuff about how Facebook became FACEBOOk because Vin Diesel used the site to talk to his fans. (I’m going to excerpt this at length, but again, you can read more over at Entertainment Weekly.)
So! Vin Diesel is the star of the “Fast and Furious” movies. He also has a lot of Facebook fans. Let’s dive in:
You’ve developed a big following on Facebook. What do you attribute that to?
Did you ever see the movie Social Network? Do you remember what they said the reason was to make Facebook?
To meet girls?
YOU GOT IT!
Let’s pause and appreciate Vin Diesel shouting “YOU GOT IT!” at the interviewer while discussing “The Social Network.” Continue reading →
Netflix released this trailer for “Arrested Development” on Sunday. It’s not a great trailer. But this was never a show that lent itself to being tidily summarized in ads, so I’ll choose to focus on enjoying seeing the cast in action again:
I used to approach this period on the TV calendar with quite a bit of apprehension (the kind of apprehension where I knew it was just about TV shows, not about anything of any actual personal or material importance, but a kind of apprehension nonetheless), because typically, most of the shows I like have always been either on the bubble or on their way out. There’s no real reason for this. I don’t intentionally eschew shows with big ratings or anything. We can’t control what we like and what we don’t like, and when it comes to television — a medium where, if you opt to watch a show as it airs, you’re deciding to commit yourself to a certain numbers of hours each year (unlike, say, watching a movie or listening to an album, where the time commitment isn’t so large) — the vast majority of shows fail, so the odds of you happening to find a new show and realizing it’s for you and that show being renewed repeatedly are fairly slim.
In recent years, as most of the network shows I watch have either wound down or become unwatchable, this has been less and less of an issue. Most of my favorite shows — the shows I feel like I have to see — aren’t on the broadcast networks. The shows I liked on the broadcast networks this season are, for the most part, ending on their own (“30 Rock”) or are safely returning (“New Girl”). There are shows I used to like, and those became poor shadows of themselves (“Community” and “The Office,” which is also ending). There are really only two shows on the so-called bubble I really wondered about: “Happy Endings,” a delightful live-action cartoon that remains in limbo (though I’m oddly confident in the reports that it will be picked up by USA), and a show that I really like and highly recommend but also a show that is just very entertaining; and “Parks and Recreation,” the best show on network television for a few years now. I like “Happy Endings.” I love “Parks and Recreation.” And so the fact that NBC has opted to bring it back for a sixth season is just terrific.
As I’ve written before, “Man of Steel” has potential. The initial trailers and information made it look perfectly fine, but there are some aspects (namely, Zack Snyder and Superman as a big-screen character) that have kept me from being too excited.
This trailer, which arrived on Tuesday, moves me firmly into the excited camp. It’s a really good trailer! And at the very least, it looks like they found a different way to tackle Superman. (Having Amy Adams and Michael Shannon in the cast, in addition to Christopher Nolan’s involvement, does inspire confidence.) I still feel like we have no idea how the actual movie will work if it’s a two-hour exegesis of Superman’s tortured psyche, but I am curious to see how they mix that with a superhero origin story.
Neill Blomkamp’s last film was “District 9,” a wonderful movie and probably the best sci-fi film to land over the last several years. So quite a few of us are eagerly, hungrily anticipating his follow-up, “Elysium,” which arrives this summer. We know he has assembled quite a cast — Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, William Fichtner and Diego Luna, among others — but today we got our first look at the movie:
Well, that definitely looks terrific. I like how the scenes on Earth evoke the similarly lived-in feeling of “District 9,” that sense he created of a world with its own texture and history, rather than another cold, polished CGI construct. Remember how Blomkamp almost directed the “Halo” movie, but that fell apart, so he went ahead and wrote and directed two sci-fi movies instead? I’m sure his “Halo” would have been interesting to see, but instead we got a pair of original films: a phenomenal one in “District 9″ and, now, a very promising one “Elysium.” I can’t wait.
If there are two things that this blog likes — and there are more than two things, many more, because we’re all human and we all have a diverse array of likes and dislikes, but for the sake of this post we’re going to focus on two things in particular — this blog likes Louis C.K. and this blog likes David Lynch. (I mean, obviously. Lots and lots of people like Louis C.K. and David Lynch. This blog also likes ice cream, because this blog makes the DARING LIFE CHOICES.)
Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago. …
His colleagues admired him as a workhorse. Ebert reviewed as many as 285 movies a year, after he grew ill scheduling his cancer surgeries around the release of important pictures. He eagerly contributed to other sections of the papers — interviews with and obituaries of movie stars, even political columns on issues he cared strongly about on the editorial pages.
The Chicago Sun-Times announced Thursday afternoon that Roger Ebert, the paper’s legendary film critic, had died.
You should without a doubt read “A Leave of Presence,” his final blog post, published less than two days before he died. I will excerpt only the final line, which I admit is completely cheap (and you should still read the entire thing), because it is one hell of a final line:
So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.
Longform has put together a few key Ebert stories, and additional collections, reflections and reminiscences are sure to come. [UPDATE: Here's the Longreads page with additional stories.]
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Ebert truly was one of the all-time greats. He remains an inspiration for countless people, myself included, who cannot begin to express how much we learned from him and enjoyed what he did and how he did it. Many of us who never met him, and who only knew him through his words, cannot help but feel like we lost someone we knew.
We have important and breaking* news, if you consider who hosts “The Tonight Show” or “Late Night” to be something even remotely important, and unless you are reading this from a retirement community or an NBCUniversal office, you probably don’t care all that much.