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. What I will do is catch whatever I can as I can and hope that it delivers something new to you.
The Crow to Fly Again
I am not sure what to think about this bit of news from Variety. It states that director Stephen Norrington is going to bring us a new take on The Crow franchise. On one hand I am excited, while on the other I am extremely skeptical.
When people ask me what my favorite movie is, for years the answer came back: “The Crow.” That is usually the title that still escapes my lips although the more movies I watch the more factors come into play such as mood and the last great film I saw. Still, more often than note I come back to Alex Proyas’ gothic masterpiece based on the graphic novel created by James O’Barr as a cathartic release to help him recover from the death of his girlfriend many years ago.
The Crow is a film that brings to life a hero driven by revenge and love. Ultimately it is a story of romance. It is tragic, action packed, dark, stylish, and brought to the screen in such singular style so as to become a cult piece of fiction that has gained even more power over the years. Of course, it is also remembered for the tragic accident that took the life of star Brandon Lee (son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee), who gave an incredibly charismatic and emotional performance as Eric Draven.
Now, the idea of a remake is almost unthinkable, but far be it from me to dismiss it out of hand. The original film did give way to three sequels (featuring different lead characters) and a television series based on the Draven story. From the Variety article I am unclear if this is a remake of the Eric Draven story or if it will be a new story using idea of The Crow as a vehicle, which is what the sequels did. I think I would prefer a new story, although I would not be against a new take on the Draven character. How’s that for non-committal?
Stephen Norrington is an interesting choice to take on such a project considering his last film was the not so good League of Extraordinary Gentleman. Of course, if you go back a bit further you will see that he acquitted himself well with Blade, and it is that film that gives me some hope that he could do well here. A lot of it will hinge on the story and the casting. It is going to take someone special to lead this film, and I believe that success will need to come from a possibly unexpected source, much like Heath Ledger’s intense performance in The Dark Knight.
Norrington told Daily Variety: “Whereas Proyas’ original was gloriously gothic and stylized, the new movie will be realistic, hard-edged, and mysterious, almost documentary-style.” Interesting, I truly hope he has it in him if this project does become a reality. If he does pull this off, and I truly want to believe that he can, I have another idea for him — I would love to see a proper dark and gritty take on Todd McFarlane’s Spawn character.
Gigantour 2009 Begins to Take Shape
Since 2005 Dave Mustaine has been putting together summer package tours with the express goal of delivering guitar driven metal to fans at a reasonable price. MTV’s Headbanger’s Blog has announced that the 2009 version of the tour is beginning to take shape.
The two bands just announced are Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine, which is just a little different from the 2008 edition that featured In Flames, Children of Bodom, Job For a Cowboy, and High on Fire. It will be interesting to see fans reactions to these choices considering their popularity and lack of “edge.” Both of these bands are quite good and do deliver some strong guitar work, but they are decidedly more mainstream than last year’s version of the tour.
Could it be a reaction to poor ticket sales the last time around? Possibly. When putting together a tour there has to be a profit to make the venture worthwhile. I would rather see a mix of mainstream and edgier fare if it means Mustaine can keep this package going. Hopefully it will be a mix and that the next couple of acts announced will be on the more extreme side of the coin.
Putin to Chair Film Board
Variety is reporting some interesting news coming out of Russia. It appears that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is going to be the chairman of the government council on the progress of domestic cinematography. Interesting, no?
You know, I always say there is nothing like government involvement to foster the forward progress of the arts. All right, I’ve never said that and likely never will in any meaningful way. However, I am intrigued by the possibilities if nothing else. As one experienced Russian film industryite told Daily Variety, “As usual, nothing good will come of it.”
In the Variety article there is talk of film as a tool for education and a point of reference for society. It also speaks of using innovative tools and fostering domestic and international releases. I am skeptical of government involvement as it generally leads to censorship and a stifling of true creativity.
What this will mean in the long run I do not know, but it could be something to keep an eye on.
Majel Barrett Roddenberry Passes Away
Widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Majel, passed away in her sleep in her Bel Air home surrounded by family and loved ones. Majel Barrett, as she was credited for her screen roles, was 76 years old and died of leukemia.
This is a sad day for the Barrett and Roddenberry families and my prayers go out to them in their time of need. It is always hard to lose someone close to you, especially with the holidays right around the corner. Unfortunately, I have had the sad experience of losing a close family member the past two Christmas seasons, so this time of year comes with bittersweet feelings.
Although she has gone home to be with Gene, there is much to celebrate her career. She is most closely associated with Star Trek, not only through her marriage but also as an actress and voice actor. She portrayed Nurse Chapel on the original series in the 1960s, Lt. M’Ress on the animated series in the 1970s, plus as the computer voice on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise(her role was more extensive in some of the series than in others), not to mention a number of the movies. She also completed work providing the voice of the computer for JJ Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek reboot. She even provided voice work for an episode of fan-produced series Star Trek: New Voyages.
In addition to all of her Star Trek work, she appeared in such films and shows as Westworld, Babylon 5, Family Guy, and the Gene Roddenberry created Earth: Final Conflict.
Mrs. Roddenberry is a woman who will always be remembered by family, loved ones, and fans alike. For more information regarding where to send condolences or donations in her memory, please visit Roddenberry.com.
Here is a scene from the episode “Amok Time” featuring Nurse Chapel and Spock: