As I always try to look for some new way to expand my offerings, I have decided to keep an eye out across the world of entertainment news and try my hand at news reporting/commentary on stories that catch my eye. Obviously, I cannot cover everything, nor will I be able to cover most of it, or much of it at all. What I will do is catch whatever I can as I can and hope that it delivers something new to you.
Blindness Sparks Protests
According to a story on IMDb, the National Federation of the Blind are protesting the release of the film Blindess. In the film an epidemic robs people of their sight resulting in a collapse of society.
Marc Maurer, president of the NFB, is quoted as saying: "The movie portrays blind people as monsters and I believe it to be a lie. The NFB condemns and deplores this film, which will do substantial harm to the blind of America and the world. Blind people in this film are portrayed as incompetent, filthy, vicious, and depraved. They are unable to do even the simplest things like dressing, bathing, and finding the bathroom. The truth is that blind people regularly do all of the same things that sighted people do."
I can understand the desire to ensure that a work of fiction does not do damage to real world issues, but I also don't believe in jumping headlong into protesting something that is not fully understood. Now, I am speaking generally and do not mean to imply that these protests are without merit, I just feel that all too often these protests have nothing to do with the content of said film and more to do with forwarding an agenda.
I have not yet seen Blindness, but I think it looks excellent, and with director Fernando Meirelles' track record (The Constant Gardner, City of God), I am apt to give him the benefit of the doubt with regard to film quality. As for the content and portrayal of the blind, the people in the clips that I have seen have just lost their sight. I find it hard to believe that they would be well adjusted enough to function normally. Also, this is an epidemic, and so it should be completely understandable that things could turn ugly as they become more frightened.
All I can really say is that we need to wait and see the finished film before jumping to conclusions. Besides, the book has been around since 1995 — was it protested then?
Robin – Batman = The Graysons
Variety is reporting that Warner Brothers and The CW are beginning development on a new pre-superhero series. The show, tentatively titled The Graysons, takes a look at Dick Grayson and the years before he dons a cape and mask as Robin, Batman's famous sidekick.
The series is being developed as a potential replacement for Smallville, which may be on its way out. It could also be used as something of a sister series should Smallville continue past this season. The funny thing is, if you asked me about the Clark Kent show last year, I would have told you I wanted it gone; however, through the first couple of episodes this season, I feel like it has stronger focus and is actually better. It doesn't hurt that Kristen Kreuk's Lana is gone; man, her character got annoying.
Anyway, The Graysons will follow the same pattern as Smallville, following young Dick as he makes his way in the world before becoming a costumed hero. I wonder just how young they plan on going? I would assume high school age, but how long will they be able to go before they introduce Bruce Wayne? I would think the Batman would have to appear in some form on the show.
In the end, all I hope for is that it is better than the failed Aquaman pilot. I also must admit that I would be interested in a Green Arrow themed spinoff.
Sherlock Holmes Begins Production
According to ComingSoon.net, the latest take on Sherlock Holmes has commenced principal photography in London. Frankly, I had no idea it was this close to rolling; I feel like I was just writing about the potential Watson casting. Well, I guess it does not matter, it just means we are closer than I thought to seeing it on the big screen.
The film is based on a new story by Lionel Wigram, inspired by the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tales. It will have Holmes facing off with a new foe named Blackwood. It is said that this tale will allow Holmes to display his exceptional fighting skills in addition to his intellect. Of course, this has been interpreted to mean that this will be an action oriented film that will not truly display the intelligence of the lead character. Time will tell if this true.
The cast looks good, and it will be interesting to see how well they fill their roles. Robert Downey Jr. is Holmes, Jude Law is at his side as Watson, Rachel McAdams is Irene Adler, the only woman to ever best the sleuth, and Mark Strong takes the Blackwood part. In the director's chair is Guy Ritchie, whose latest, Rocknrolla, is heading into theaters.
Kung Fu Panda 2 Is Heading Our Way
I guess it was only a matter of time, but Slash Film is reporting that Kung Fu Panda 2 is coming our way and already has a release date. June 3, 2011 will see the continued adventures of Po and the Furious Five.
The film proved to be a big hit, with a box office of more than $215 million. When a film is making that kind of coin, it is only a matter of time before they try to make a sequel out of it. The question is, does the source material have enough substance to support a second story? I think that Kung Fu Panda does. I mean, it is not really set up for an obvious sequel, but the characters are good enough to build upon.
Jack Black and Angelina Jolie have signed on to reprise their voices and it is expected that all of the principals will return for round two. Screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger are also signed to pen the sequel.
I liked the film and found it to be, possibly, the best film from Dreamworks Animation. It has a good story, good characters, and it is funny. Hopefully the second will have similar quality.