Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Watchmen premieres, Downey composes, Spidey gets a Broadway date, and more!

Recent entertainment news that caught my eye...

Watchmen premiered in London on Monday (IMDb). Thank goodness it finally made it. It seems several critics were impressed, recognizing it for being dark and thought-provoking, though at least one critic was unimpressed. I am relieved that the critics didn't all immediately dump on it--this is a good sign. I was worried, and still am somewhat, that as good a comic as Watchmen was, it might have been made into an embarrassing movie. Anyway, I like the quote from Britain's Guardian, which says that Watchmen "makes last year's famously brooding Batman sequel The Dark Knight look like Alvin and the Chipmunks." The film opens wide next Friday, March 6.

Robert Downey Jr. is writing a musical (IMDb). I like Robert Downey Jr. And I like musicals. What do I think of his project? Well... Downey recognizes, as one might expect him to, that it sounds kind of silly when a movie star says he wants to become a singer, but he says that he's always liked to compose, and he is not new to singing. I think he's a smart and talented guy. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here. I hope his project goes well.

Speaking of musicals, one of the Broadway musicals I have been tracking has been given a premiere date. Spider-Man: The Musical is expected to premiere on February 18, 2010 at the Hilton Theater, with previews starting on January 16 (Variety). The musical has also been given a real title, "Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark". But for now, I'm just going to keep calling it Spider-Man: The Musical. This is a huge budget production to be directed by Julie Taymor, and while no casting has been confirmed, Evan Rachel Wood is expected to star as Mary Jane, and Jim Sturgess (who starred with Wood in Taymor's Across the Universe) is rumored to be considering Peter Parker. I'm looking forward to hearing more as this project progresses.

Michel Gondry, director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, has signed on to direct The Green Hornet (Variety). Seth Rogan, who co-wrote the script with Evan Goldberg, is starring. Stephen Chow was originally set to direct as well as star as Green Hornet's sidekick Kato, but though he stepped down as director, he still plans to play Kato.

Gore Verbinski has signed with Universal to produce and direct a movie based on Hasbro board game Clue (Variety). This is part of the same multi-picture deal between the studio and Hasbro that I've mentioned in a few previous posts, which has also put movies based on Candy Land, Battleship, Monopoly, and Ouija in the works. Unfortunately, this article also brings the first news I've heard of plans for the Stretch Armstrong movie I have been dreading. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that makes a Stretch Armstrong movie seem less acceptable to me than all the others, but somehow... I just really don't want to see it. Not much I can do though, other than hope that it gets lost in development hell. A movie based on Magic: The Gathering is still up for grabs...

Cate Blanchett has signed on to play Maid Marian in Universal's upcoming movie Nottingham (Variety). Except that it won't be called "Nottingham"--it's getting a new name, which has yet to be announced. Russell Crowe will star as Robin Hood, and Ridley Scott will direct as well as co-produce with Brian Grazer. The role of Maid Marian was left vacant when Sienna Miller stepped down last year. I think Cate Blanchett is a very classy actress; I hope the movie does her justice.

Warner Bros.' Sherlock Holmes movie, starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson, is scheduled for release on Christmas 2009 (Variety). That date will also see the release of Disney's new princess movie The Princess and the Frog as well as Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel (why oh why do such movies have to be made?). WB also announced that its Green Lantern movie will open on December 17, 2010, and they gave the final Harry Potter movie a release date: July 15, 2011. Save the date.

Lastly, I'd like to give a shout-out to the movie Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li which opens on Friday. It's almost certainly going to be awful--all previous movies based on video games have been, and I've seen no evidence to suggest this will break with that perfect trend, particularly since the studio is not screening the movie for critics (generally signifying a vote of no confidence). But I remember playing Street Fighter 2 on my old Sega Genesis way back when, and being a little girl, I of course favored Chun-Li. Okay, I only favored her in spirit; more often I could be found sweeping the playing field with sumo wrestler E. Honda's cheap rapid slap move (or whatever it was called). Anyway, I like Chun-Li, so I can't bash the movie, particularly because it stars two of my hot hapa gals--Kristin Kreuk and Moon Bloodgood. Even if I'm not willing to jump into the ticket line, I wish the movie success.

4 comments:

Sebastian said...

Hey, Mario Bros was quite a good film! But I think that's the only good one I can think of...

I'm sure a Sonic one would be good, too...

I had no idea it was called 'The Legend of Chun Li' -- they are really dredging the barrel now... I guess her long, toned-like-steel thighs might have some appeal... in the straight-to-video market...

Very excited about Downey's musical; he's intelligent, and he looks Jewish, I'm sure it'll be FINE!

Eleni said...

I'm not sure what "quite good" translates to quantitatively, but if I guess and assign it 7 out of 10 stars, then I can say that 73% of IMDb users think the Super Mario Bros. movie is worse than that (average user rating = 3.7/10). I haven't seen it, so I can't give my own opinion.

They had a couple Sonic TV shows that I watched on occasion. All I remember is that Sonic likes chilidogs. There apparently was a Sonic movie at some point, but it went straight to video.

Sebastian said...

'Quite good' as opposed to... seeing the top of the set in Mortal Kombat...

Are we talking live action Sonic? With a big blue bodysuit...? He's a hedgehog for frack's sake!

I think some research needs to be done... You're the academic -- fancy it?

Eleni said...

Good heavens, no, not a guy in a blue bodysuit. An actual blue hedgehog... from the land of double-tailed foxes and red echidnas.

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie was apparently two Japanese anime episodes that were edited together, dubbed in English, and released as a straight-to-video movie in North America on September 9, 1999. Not quite a "real movie" after all.