Monday, October 25, 2010


This documentary, which is now playing under the less inflammatory title THE TILLMAN STORY, debuted at Sundance as I'M PAT FUCKING TILLMAN and I will be refering to it as such here. I completely understand the motivations behind the title swap as being utterly harmless, but such a mollification of language is indicative of themes presented in the film, so I will make a point of it here. The film's original title stems from the alleged last moments in the life of the former football star and fallen Army Ranger. As he was being bombarded with friendly fire, he answered with the words: "I'm Pat Fucking Tillman! Why are you shooting at me!?". This title is more appropriate to the film's content, but the colorful language is too tough for some, as perhaps is the use of a dead hero's final, angry, desperate words. There's a clip in the film where Barbara Bush expresses the sentiment that seeing fallen soldiers' coffins isn't pleasant and therefore something that no one would want to see (or ought to). The simple, quiet title of the film, THE TILLMAN STORY, does not convey the ugliness, emotion and truth of Pat's untimely demise. It brushes over the original title, just as people like Bar Bush would gloss over the horror of war inherent in those returning caskets. To me, this film is and will remain I'M PAT FUCKING TILLMAN. It's not pretty, it's not PC, but neither is the content therein.

This documentary, directed by Amir Bar-Lev, might be the most infuriating film anyone will see this year. Despite his lack of wanting for such lofty praise, Pat Tillman was a hero and one hell of human being. The former Arizona Cardinal gave up millions of dollars playing in the NFL to enlist as a private in the United States Army Rangers. His reasons are entirely his own, but as far as the public knows, he did it because he couldn't bear an existence standing on the sidelines while the world fell apart. His death by friendly fire while serving his second tour of duty in the Middle East was covered up by the government and they instead used a fantastical account of the events as wartime propaganda. Pat Tillman deserved a hell of a lot more than that and so did his family.

The documentary excels in weaving the confusing and contradictory tale that was fed to the Tillmans after Pat's death. It doesn't attempt to give any solid conclusions because they still have not been reached. The film is frustrating to watch because it's apparent that there are some individuals in the military and the government who are privy to the details of Pat's death that have no intention of shedding light on the incident. The film doesn't try to blame the overly-aggressive soldiers for their actions (though it does touch on the vicious nature of young men at war), the truly reprehensible actions are of those mentioned above who have the answers, but cover them up to save their own asses and exploit Tillman, "the most famous enlisted man in the US Military".

The Tillman family's search for truth and accountability is more than admirable. It's practically unbelievable what lengths they had to go through to even start to understand the circumstances of their son's death. They are shown to be a unique family, just as Pat was a unique soldier. Their lives are not the chronicle that the US propaganda machine wrote for them. They would not allow their son to be used for something he wasn't and never wanted to be. Pat Tillman wasn't a comic-book character; he wasn't Captain America. He was an intelligent, driven, and truthful man who questioned the actions of his country even while he served it. The way he was used and portrayed post-mortem is shameful and an embarrassment. Bar-Lev's film does a great job of depicting the Tillman family's loving dynamic and their sad and frustrating struggle to find truth in a land where it is not a virtue.


Nerd News

Pretty good nerd news this past week. Pretty pretty pretty good.

1. Casting begins for THE HOBBIT -

It's been long rumored that Martin Freeman (BBC's "The Office", HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE) will be taking on the role of Bilbo Baggins in THE HOBBIT and this past week we got confirmation. According to producer and now director of the film, Peter Jackson, there was never anyone else. The titular role, previously played by Ian Holm, is a difficult one to cast. It calls for an actor with both comedic and dramatic chops as well someone who can elicit enough empathy without being too pathetic. I dare say that Freeman is all of those things and the perfect choice. Of all the actors mentioned in connection to this role, he is the only one I was ever excited about.

Also, a good portion of the Dwarves were also cast:

Richard Armitage - Thorin
Graham McTavish - Dwalin
Robert Kazinsky - Fili
Aidan Turner - Kili
John Callen - Oin
Peter Hambleton - Gloin

Rumored for the production are:

Sylvester McCoy - Radagast the Brown (For the uninitiated, Radagast is the third wizard in the triad also featuring Saruman and Gandalf. He's not as powerful and spends most of his time in the wilderness, but he's still a pretty rad character.)

Michael Fassbender - in an unspecified role. It would be awesome to have him as part of the cast, but I can't be sure of who he'd play. Possibilities include: Beorn, a Wood Elf, or Bard. My money is on Bard though.

Leonard Nimoy - an unspecified role. This would also be great. I'd be happy with him in any role, especially a live-action one, but my suspicions have him voicing Smaug the Dragon.

British actors David Tennant ("Dr. Who") and James Nesbitt ("Jekyll") are also rumored for the film.

Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving are said to be returning in their LOTR parts.

2. TOTAL RECALL remake casting rumors -

Who cares, really? I'm not even a huge fan of the original and I'm even less of a fan of this remake with Len Wiseman at the helm of a Kurt Wimmer script. I'm just passing along the news: Colin Farrell is apparently the top choice for the lead, but Michael Fassbender and Tom Hardy are also in the running.

3. Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" is being made into an animated film -

I may have heard this news before, but I've completely forgotten it until now. Apparently, Danny Devito will be voicing the title character and Ed Helms ("The Office") will take on the antagonist role. This story about a sour and persistent tree-hugger is incredibly timely and should make for a fun film. Look for it in 2012.

4. A correction from last week:

I wrote a bit about THE CROW reboot last week and mentioned Stephan Norrington (BLADE) as the director of the film. However, it now appears that Norrington has dropped out of the film due to creative differences. I'm still interested in this reboot, primarily because of Nick Cave's involvement, but this news could spell the end of the project's potential.

5. Spielberg picks his next project -

Now that Spielberg has wrapped up production on both his animated TIN TIN film and the WWI drama WAR HORSE, he's quickly moved on to another project - ROBOPOCALYPSE. Based on the yet-unreleased book of the same name, the film will deal with the aftermath of a robot uprising. I haven't read the book, so I can't speak to the narrative's quality, but I'm a bit iffy about this movie's potential. I love a good post-apoc/evil robot scenario, but this just doesn't seem like a good fit for the director. Spielberg lacks the energy of his youth and all I can anticipate from this film is something similar to the uninspired WAR OF THE WORLDS. I bet some annoying actors will be cast as the leads and the entire film will follow them being hounded by monstrous robots. Frankly, it's even more likely that the film never gets made and Spielberg moves on to something else. The most I can expect from ROBOPOCALYPSE: that it's better than last year's dreadful TERMINATOR film.

6. Speaking of evil robots...BSG is coming back!

That's right, nerds. A new "Battlestar Galactica" pilot just got the greenlight from SyFy. This potential series, entitled "Blood and Chrome", would follow William Adama in the 10th year of the first Cylon War. No release date has been set for the two-hour pilot and no casting announcements have been made about the main character. This project is very much in its infancy, but SyFy and Ron Moore seem serious about it, so we can hope for the best. I, for one, am very excited about the possibilities that come along with "Blood and Chrome". I don't hate "Caprica", the BSG prequel series, but it diverges so drastically from the tone of its predecessor that it leaves me wanting. "Caprica" has its own important story-arcs, which is cool, but the Cylons are such a backdrop that I fear they'll never surface as something important to the series. I want a return to Battlestar warfare and wartime drama. Hopefully, that's what this series will bring to the table (if it ever actually gets made).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I don't really feel the need to give this film a lengthy review. It's not your standard film, just a bunch of gags edited together in no important order. It was the funny, disgusting, shocking stuff you'd expect from the Jackass crew. I laughed hard and enjoyed myself thoroughly, so it was a success.

It also bears the distinction of being the first film I've seen in 3D. I've resisted this trend because it strikes me as mostly pointless and a bit cheesy, but it works very well for these sight-gags. I wasn't blown away by it, but I did appreciate the clarity of the 3D images and the way it was utilized for the film. I still can't imagine seeing a traditional narrative of any sort, action or otherwise, in 3D as I feel it would be very distracting.

Back to JACKASS:

I find these guys to be so likable when they're together (even Bam). I appreciate the fact that they all put themselves through so much pain and discomfort for our enjoyment. I can't imagine that any of them really need to for the money anymore, especially Knoxville, who nearly breaks his neck after being gored by a bull, or Bam, who runs through a corridor of stun guns and cattle prods. This film gives the impression that this is the gang's final hoorah and that they'll be moving on after this. It's the end of an era. The credits montage of old-footage was actually quite touching and shows what a big part of each other's lives they've all been. However, due to the immense success of the film, the studio is considering releasing another full-length Jackass feature using footage the guys left on the cutting room floor, so perhaps it isn't time to say goodbye quite yet.

A couple quick notes:
1. It was nice to see a happy, healthy, sober Steve-O, back from the brink of self-destruction.
2. If you haven't seen the film yet, prepare yourself for a lot of Chris Pontius penis.

Trailer Time




I can get behind this. It looks like a lot of fun.

There's a SCREAM 4 trailer out there somewhere, but I couldn't find a way to embed it here. Check it out if you're interested, but personally, I think it looks really lame.

Also, a new HARRY POTTER 7 trailer just hit the internet. I'm surprised I haven't seen more ads already, but with the movie's release now only a month away, I bet the WB turns on the heat. Check it out here.

Nerd News Plus

There's a ton of nerdly news to report on, so let's get started.

1. Tom Hardy - the first new actor to sign on to Nolan's 3rd Batman film:

It has been reported that Tom Hardy will play a key role in the next Batman installment, but what that role will be is still a mystery. All signs point to him playing some sort of villain, but that also has not been confirmed. There have been strong hints that The Riddler will be Batman's primary antagonist for this film and rumors were putting Hardy's INCEPTION co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt close to that role. It's entirely possible that Hardy will don the question-mark suit (hopefully not literally), but it's just as possible that he will be playing someone else. "Kick-Ass" and "Wanted" creator Mark Miller claimed to have an inside scoop earlier this week, stating that production would be taking place in Louisiana and that Killer Croc would appear in the yet-untitled film. This seems highly unlikely considering Nolan's style, but it's a lead.

Personally, I hope that Hardy is a non-Riddler villain. He has some impressive acting chops and some serious bad-guy charisma (see BRONSON). I would be okay with him playing Nygma, but I think he's better suited as Black Mask or some other less-exposed rogue. I also wouldn't mind him in the role of Jean-Paul Valley, Batman's apprentice and unstable replacement in the series "Knightfall". Either way, production on the film begins very soon, so hopefully some answers will out.

2. Rhys Ifans will play The Lizard in Spider-Man reboot:

News of Ifans' (GREENBERG, HANNIBAL RISING) casting broke last week and it only took a day to reveal which villain he would be playing. Ifans is a very talented actor and this is a huge break for him. This film is becoming more and more appealing with each new bit of info. However, I am not entirely enthused with the news that The Lizard will be Spidey's primary antagonist. Spider-Man has a pretty lame Rogue's gallery, so there isn't a ton to choose from, but The Lizard? If the actor cast were of any lesser quality than Ifans, I wouldn't be terribly optimistic. We'll just have to wait and see how this all pans out.

3. Darren Aronofsky likely to helm WOLVERINE 2:

This rumor has been on the horizon for a while now, but that doesn't make it any less of a shocker. Aronofsky (BLACK SWAN, THE WRESTLER) was briefly mentioned in connection with the Superman reboot, but that job went to Zach Snyder. His buddy, Hugh Jackman, then turned on the pressure for Fox to offer him the Wolverine gig. This will likely put the director's adaptation of John Vaillant's non-fiction book "The Tiger" on hold for the foreseeable future.

To me, this functions as a sort of defibrillator for the property as X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE was embarrassingly bad. Up until this announcement, I had literally zero interest in the sequel. Now, I'm actually a tad excited. Early reports indicate that this film will take place in Japan and deal a forbidden romance that quickly turns ugly. I trust that Aronofsky will treat the super-powered franchise with the level of seriousness it requires to actually turn out well. WOLVERINE was diluted by too much garbage and filler, something that I feel this director will be immune to. However, there is concern to be had over studio intervention, which reportedly caused much of the first film's crumminess. Over-imposing execs might make it difficult for Aronofsky to make the film he wants, but he'll likely have a bit more clout on-set than WOLVERINE's Gavin Hood did. This will very likely be one of those interesting exceptions where a sequel outshines the original.

4. THE HOBBIT greenlit, Peter Jackson to direct:

This is a shock to absolutely no one. I would much rather have Guillermo del Toro at the helm, but that's just not in the cards anymore. I'm not a huge fan of Jackson, but I trust him with the Tolkien properties and if GDT couldn't do it, I'm glad it's him. Bout time with the greenlight though, hopefully things get rolling soon.

5. James Cameron possible for CLEOPATRA with Angelina Jolie:

Well, if Cameron is involved, it's probably going to be quite the epic. I could easily draw comparison to the Mankiewicz film from the 60's, which starred Elizabeth Taylor and was (and is) one of the biggest financial failures in film history, but I don't think it'll be the same this time around. Despite my negative feelings toward AVATAR, there's no denying its place in history as a global phenomenon. Whatever Cameron touches turns to gold, so this should be no different. The confident director has not signed on to the film just yet and is still developing other projects, including the AVATAR sequel.

6. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES loses O. Russell as director:

David O. Russell (THREE KINGS, THE FIGHTER) wasn't attached to this film for very long and has now left the director's seat vacant. Scheduling conflicts and a chance to direct DRAKE'S FORTUNE have led him astray and now the race is on to find a new director. David Slade (ECLIPSE, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT) is high on the list. He was recently in the running for the WOLVERINE sequel, but now that that appears to be off the table, this is a strong possibility. Also rumored for this production is THE DESCENT's Neil Marshall. I'd say that either is a respectable choice, but I'd much rather see Marshall take this on as I could him turning this into something pretty special.

7. More ALIEN prequel news:

Speaking of P&P&Z - Natalie Portman recently vacated the starring role for fear that she was too old to play the part. Now she's heavily rumored for the lead role in Ridley Scott's Untitled Alien Prequel. Reports have it that Scott wants DRAGON TATTOO's Noomi Rapace for the part, but the studio is pushing for Portman. Details on the role are few at this point, but it's said that she'll be a high-ranking military officer. I think I'd rather see Rapace in this, simply because she's a better fit, but I wouldn't be disappointed with Portman either.

Also, Damon Lindelof handed in his revision of the script over the weekend and execs at Fox are said to be very pleased. Why? Apparently, his version makes the PG-13 goal a bit more attainable and also cuts down on the amount of large, intricate (and expensive) sets that need to be built. I can't quite picture what this film's end-product is going to be. To hear Scott talk about it makes it seem like it's going to be monumentally epic and expansive, but these recent reports paint it more as a smaller, horror-flick in the tradition of the original. I can't say I'd be upset with either, I'm just curious to see how things actually turn out.

8. Wahlberg offered the lead role in Norrington/Cave's remake of THE CROW:

I'm a big fan of the original and actually pretty much behind this production because of Cave's involvement. However, I don't think this would turn out well. I like Wahlberg, but he's just not right for this. He's already done a lot of revenge flicks and he doesn't need to be involved in this one too. My vote: shoot for an unknown.

Oh, I almost forgot these two interviews from this weeks Scream Awards -

Geoff Johns (Head of Creative at DC Films and Top DC Writer):

Geoff Johns talks GREEN LANTERN, DC Movies, and DC Superheroes on TV at the 2010 Scream Awards from ColliderVideos on Vimeo.

Damon Lindelof ("Lost", ALIEN prequel, STAR TREK 2 Scribe):

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse Talk LOST, the ALIEN PREQUEL, STAR TREK 2, and More on the Scream Awards Red Carpet from ColliderVideos on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Trailer Time

1. THE WAY BACK (Peter Weir) -

I'm a big fan of Weir, so I'm going to go ahead and say this will likely be very good.

2. 127 HOURS (Danny Boyle) -

I'm anticipating that this one will be very hard to watch considering what the main character has to endure, but I'm very much looking forward to it.

3. THE TEMPEST (Julie Taymor)

I'm actually a fan of Shakespeare's "The Tempest", but this looks kinda lame. It might still be okay, but the trailer is abysmal.


I still haven't seen THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, but plan to soon.

5. One last note: The GREEN LANTERN trailer is set to premiere in front of HARRY POTTER 7, so watch for it later next month.

Nerd News - Casting Edition

There have been some pretty big announcements as far as casting in the last couple weeks, so I thought I'd share them here.

1. Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury in biopic -

I think a Freddie Mercury biopic sounds like a very good idea. The guy lived quite a whirlwind life. And Cohen is probably the best guy for the job. His "Ali G Show" characters have run their course and this would be a chance for him to move on in a big way.

2, Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty in SHERLOCK HOLMES 2 -

I know Holmes lore really doesn't hold the popularity it used to, but Professor Moriarty is still one of the most well-known rogues in the world of fiction (remember when he came to life on the Holodeck and tried to take over the Enterprise?!). Anyway, there were a lot of high-profile actors up for this role. There were rumors of Sean Penn, Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis potentially taking the role before the announcement came about Harris. For those who don't know, Jared is the son of the late, great Richard Harris and currently featured on "Mad Men" as Lane Pryce. He also played the primary antagonist in "Fringe"s first season, David Robert Jones. From what I've seen, Harris is a tremendous actor with a lot of villainous charisma. This is a huge break for him and I'm pretty sure he'll make the most of it. The whole first HOLMES film was a build up to this storied encounter between rivals. Harris and Downey Jr. should put on a good show.

3. Noomi Rapace might take the lead in the much anticipated ALIEN prequels.

Ridley Scott's ALIEN prequels have hit a bit of a roadblock recently. Rumor has it, Scott wants an enormous budget for what he's planning to be two films. The studio might be willing to give in on this matter except for one thing: Scott wants his films to have hard "R" ratings. I'm really hoping the director can sway the studio over to his way of thinking, but I doubt it will actually happen. These films might not actually get made at all, which would be a huge bummer. However, I do think the studio is risking the artistic integrity and narrative potential of the films by watering them down to PG-13, so I'd understand if Scott can't move forward.

Back to my initial news: Rapace, of DRAGON TATTOO fame, has apparently made quite an impression on Scott and has now become the front-runner for the films' lead. I've never been Rapace's biggest supporter. I think she's a fine actress, but a bit of a horse-face and not the burgeoning starlet everyone seems to think she is. However, I do believe this would be the perfect place for her. I would be very happy to see her in the ALIEN universe because, to me, she has a very sci-fi look about her (not the Lisbeth character, but the actress herself).

4. Emma Stone to play Spider-Man's love interest in the reboot -

It wasn't long ago that I was trashing this film a bit, but I've come around in a big way. Mostly, I just realized that I don't really care for the Raimi films, so something different might be a lot of fun. Andrew Garfield will make for an amazing Peter Parker. Emma Stone might have made for a pretty good Mary Jane, but that would be a little on-the-nose. Instead, she'll be playing the chronologically accurate Gwen Stacey. I like Stone. I'm pleased with this announcement. Whether her and Garfield will have any on-screen chemistry is a question that will have to wait.

5. Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp might work together for the first time in Kathryn Bigelow's next feature -

Ever since THE HURT LOCKER, there's been buzz about Bigelow's next project. She's likely to do SLEEPING DOGS (formerly TRIPLE FRONTIER), which has been described as a South American crime drama. Reportedly, the film calls for an ensemble cast of five actors and many A-listers are lining up to work with the director, including Will Smith, Christian Bale, Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. Hanks and Depp are the first to be seriously entertained for the film.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I don't really need to talk about how great THE SOCIAL NETWORK is. We all had an idea about how things might turn out when we heard that Fincher and Sorkin were teaming up. The film currently holds an astounding 97% on Rotten Tomatoes with only five negative reviews in nearly two-hundred. It has been hailed as "important" and "the film of this generation". Does it deserve these lofty accolades? Obviously, my opinion, whether concurring or dissenting, will have no bearing on how the film will ultimately be received. It is what it is. Only time will tell if it is to become something truly important in film history. All I can say, in my humble opinion, is that THE SOCIAL NETWORK is indeed special.

Never once during my viewing of Fincher's film did I question its quality. Most movies take a few scenes to suck me in and even some of my favorites still had me debating their caliber until the credits roll (or after). THE SOCIAL NETWORK benefits from top-notch performances and a sense of drama that has no rightful place in a film about the invention of Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg and co. claim that much of it is fabricated). Fincher seems to possess a lens through which only he can shoot. His signature glossy, low-key lighting graces the picture and brings energy and life to the Ivy League world which is probably a lot less fun than this film would have me believe.

The film's non-linear path also gives it a little something extra. One reviewer called it a "ROSHOMON-style" of editing, which either means he's never seen ROSHOMON or he's an idiot. The editing in this picture is a lot simpler and a fair amount more interesting. Essentially, THE SOCIAL possesses a linear storyline, but intercut by scenes of the ensuing lawsuits that Zuckerberg has provoked. How things get to this point, especially concerning his best friend and Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, is a curiosity throughout the film.

There wasn't a single weak-link in the films ensemble cast with the exception of maybe Rashida Jones who, while not giving a bad performance, just didn't seem to fit within the film. Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg is about as perfect casting as you're likely to see. Eisenberg certainly carries with him a distinctive flavor to all of his performances and that comes across in this film as well, but not in a way that doesn't benefit the character. His trademark awkwardness is there, but it's not endearing, it's a sort of closed-to-the-world, insane-genius sort of awkward, with a dash of misanthropy. Some people have described him as a villain, but I don't see it that way at all. He's the protagonist, of that there's no doubt, but he's also a somewhat tragic character with some good intentions and very human motivations. I don't think Fincher or Eisenberg went out of their way to demonize Zuckerberg in any way, which could have been done with ease, but would have likely damaged the picture.

This film also served as a great introduction to a few other young actors. Andrew Garfield is very dynamic in his role as Eduardo. He'll be seen in the near future as Spider-Man and my money is on him out-shining Tobey McGuire in every way. Justin Timberlake has acted before, but never on this large of a film. His performance as Napster creator, Sean Parker, is comical and full of energy. Perhaps the most impressive performance, however, comes from Armie Hammer as the Winklevoss twins. While watching the film, I assumed that actual twins had been cast in the parts. Not so. I'm still not clear on the details, but I believe one of the brothers was played by a stand-in and Hammer's face was digitally superimposed over the face. This truly blows my mind. Never did I think that THE SOCIAL NETWORK would wow me with it's visual effects. Either way, Hammer is funny and charismatic in the roles and should have a bright future from here on.

Some may scoff at the notion that Facebook is an important invention of the 21st Century, but it, along with it's less-popular social networking brethren, have changed the face of communication and inter-personal relationships for the foreseeable future. In a drug-fueled rant, Timberlake's character expresses the idea of people living their lives on computers, which certainly seems to be the way things are going. What does it mean then that such an invention was created by someone as reclusive as Zuckerberg? Does it mean that we will become like him and shun our real-world relationships? Or is it simply ironic that such a man created a way for the world to connect in a way that was previously impossible. THE SOCIAL NETWORK doesn't answer these questions, it only provokes them. Even though much of the drama of THE SOCIAL NETWORK is apparently made up, this version of events will be the most accessible for generations to come. For many people, this will be an important chronicle of the invention of such a life-altering application. Even if Facebook fades away, which only seems inevitable considering the fickle nature of today's consumers, THE SOCIAL NETWORK will still shed light on the early days of social networking, which isn't going anywhere.

My only problem with the film is that it could have been longer. Fincher's films usually near the 150 minute mark, but this was the more-standard 120 minute film. An extra half an hour might have given THE SOCIAL NETWORK a bit more recognizable beginning, middle and end. However, this is truly minor considering the many positives I saw in the film.


PS. The Reznor score was pretty good, though I hardly noticed it at times.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Nerd News - MAN OF STEEL has a Director

Nerd news has been on a bit of a hiatus, but some truly important headlines have surfaced recently and forced a return.

Let's start this one off with a bang:

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a director! Zach Snyder will be taking on the next Superman feature, tentatively titled THE MAN OF STEEL. -

I broke this down in my recent post "Rebuilding the Man of Steel". I knew Snyder was one of the directors in talks for the film, but he wasn't one of my favorites. This was especially so when it was announced late last week that BLACK SWAN's Darren Aronofsky was also in the running for the project. Apparently, this incredibly heavy burden has been placed on the shoulders of the WATCHMEN director. This will be Snyder's third film derived from the comic book medium (300 being his first). I'm still not behind the idea entirely, but I'm optimistic about the what the end result might be.

Having Nolan, Goyer and Snyder all working on the same project is a pretty big deal as they all have had a fair amount of success in the comic book genre (if you can call it that). I feel that in handling Superman, perhaps the biggest superhero icon, Snyder is going to have to make some stylistic concessions. His films rely on certain tricks: heavy CG, graphic violence and a lot of slow motion, all of which will have to be toned down or altered for THE MAN OF STEEL. Some of these elements might very well be in play, but if Snyder doesn't want to call down the collective ire of the fanboy universe, he'll have to watch the use of his signature moves. Metropolis will have to feel like a real city. Superman's fights can't go overboard in brutality and there's really no need to slow down the man who's billed as being 'fast as a speeding bullet'. There's no room for messing around with Superman, not when his future as a successful film property is at stake. With Nolan on hand as this film's "godfather", Snyder will likely have more filters than he is used to, which can only be good in this case.

Not everyone is a fan of Snyder, a lot of people downright hate him, but they shouldn't write off this picture before the dust settles. Snyder's presence does indicate that the film is going to be steeped in the kind of rock and roll action and drama that has been present thus far in all of his films. Warner Brothers and DC are hoping to breathe new life into Superman as a blockbuster franchise, they want to get away from what has rendered most of the films in the series unsuccessful; I don't think Snyder could make a traditional Superman film if he tried, whatever he brings to the table will move Big Blue in a new direction. Whether that direction is up or down remains to be seen and, unfortunately, will remain that way for another two years at least.

I know everyone feels differently about Snyder's WATCHMEN, personally I find it to be a very mixed bag, but the most positive part in said bag might be his handling of the omni-powerful Dr. Manhattan. There are a lot of similarities between him and Superman and I feel if he's able to bring some of that magic to THE MAN OF STEEL, we might end up with a very unique and exciting Superman film indeed.

Trailer Time Update - TRUE GRIT

Oooooo, looks like a legit trailer has been released for TRUE GRIT as opposed to the little teaser we got last week. Frankly, I just don't see how this could disappoint. Maybe the thing I'm most looking forward to about Christmas.