Who Will Play Wonder Woman? My Vote’s In For Emily Blunt

So, according to the folks at Entertainment Weekly, that Wonder Woman movie that’s been in development hell for the past decade will finally see the light in teh next few years, thanks to the folks over at Marvel raking in ungodly amounts of money from The Avengers. Seems like the good people down at DC Comics are finally realizing that ass sells tickets. No, guys don’t really want to see a female superhero, but they do want to see a female in a skintight supersuit.

Being of the lady persuasion, this is the reason I really went to see the Avengers.

After all, you can’t spell The Avengers without t  and a, if you know what i’m saying.

Anyhow, since it seems like the Wonder Woman movie might finally occur, i’m putting in my bet now:

Emily Blunt.

Yes, she’s British.

But here’s why she’d make a good super heroine:

1) She’s sassy

2) she’s hot

An American accent isn’t that difficult to pull off. And, after Anne Hathaway was woefully cast in The Dark Knight Rises, we now know that anything goes.

Emily Blunt looks the part. She’s a pale brunette with a killer bod and eyes that seem to twinkle with the power of the unknown. Did I mention she’s attractive?

Anyhow, if my prediction is right, you heard it here first.  Something about this woman screams Wonder Woman to me.

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First Hobbit Teaser

The first teaser trailer for The Hobbit was released this evening on iTunes! It’s pretty spiffy, and fairly long and detailed as far as teasers go. Check it out here:

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/wb/thehobbit/

The Extra Part

“I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason.” – Hugo Cabret

I Just Had a Lord of the Rings Fangasm

 

I’m going to order a print of this.

In Which I Meet An Actual Screenwriter

As some of you may know, I aspire to be a screenwriter. One day I hope to have one of these:

Hey, sexy.

Unfortunately, I go to a school that doesn’t really have a screenwriting department to speak of. The one professor who teaches screenwriting is on sabbatical this year. I’m taking playwriting, which is pretty cool, but I can’t take home Mr. Oscar by writing plays.

Mr. Tony Award may be dapper, but he's no hunksickle like Mr. Oscar is.

So, I kind of try to find screenwriting experience opportunities wherever I can.

Two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend something pretty fricken cool:

A talk given by Mr. Carl Gottlieb, screenwriter of Jaws, held at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

Cool, right?

So cool.

The guy is kind fo a Hollywood legend. He wrote Jaws, Jaws 2, and Jaws 3D, as well as The Jerk, which he co-wrote with star Steve Martin.

Comedic genius.

He also acted, as well, and played a character called Iron Balls McGinty.

Yeah.

The guy hasn’t done too much in a while in terms of screenwriting, but he did write The Jaws Log, which is considered one of the best film logs ever, which I purchased and got signed after the talk.

I’m nto a huge Jaws fan, but I recognize it as a staple of Hollywood, a bridge to modern filmmaking, Spielberg’s first epic. Gottlieb gave an interesting account of his experience on the film, when he and Spielberg were bffs. He recounted to us a favorite memory of his, from after Jaws was filmed, on the Universal lot in Hollywood:

Basically, Spielberg and Gottlieb still hung out after the picture was made, and their offices were both on the Universal lot. Universal gives studio tours, which include taking the tourists through various recreation film sets and attractions. One such attraction is a giant mechanical Jaws shark that jumps out of a random pool and scares the shit out of pretty much everyone.

So Gottlieb and Spielberg would every-so-often take their lunch to a hill on the lot, watch people lose their shit over this shark, and laugh themselves silly about it.

Anyways, after the talk I went to get my book signed by the man himself. I told him that I was an aspiring screenwriter, and if he had any advice.

To paraphrase, he told me to “keep writing,” and to not get too attached to one piece. Write, write, write and don’t give up.

I will, Mr. Gottlieb, trust me.

Of Barbarians and Hurricanes

I’ve been a bit busy.

Last Friday I made my pilgrimage down to my esteemed place of scholarly learning, The College of William and Mary.

This is where I go to school.

For those of you who don’t know, The College was founded in 1693, making it the second oldest institute of higher learning in America. Thomas Jefferson went there so Harvard can suck my theoretical dick. It was founded by a royal charter by these two hotties:

And now it serves as the Hipster capitol of the mid-atlantic.

To get there from my home, I had to take I95 Southbound. This trek usually takes me about two hours. However, the police made last Saturday “Let’s Piss Of College Students Trying To Achieve Greater Knowledge” day, and decided they would use the influx of students driving down to school as an excuse to fill their ticket books. The ensuing rubber necking and traffic accidents caused I95 to be backed up. Five hours later, and I was still on the road. I was so hungry that i had to stop in Ashland for a burger on the way down.

Ashland is a small town near Richmond, best known for a documentary in which they bitched about a Wal-Mart moving into their neighborhood for two years, and then decided that the low prices were too hard to resist and proceeded to shop there all day every day afterwards.

Worst. Town. Ever.

So there I was, after five hours on the road, chowing down on my burger at a stop light. Perched on the median were a few scruffy twenty-somethings who looked burnt out, and like they hadn’t bathed in a week. They held a sign saying they were hungry and needed food, a ride, anything. They looked high as fuck but I almost felt bad enough anyways to give them one of my burgers. It was at this point that they started to point and laugh at me, and started screaming things like “YOU LOOK SEXY EATING THAT BURGER, DAYUM.”

So I did something I have never done in my life:

I stood up for myself.

I flicked them off.

And it felt awesome.

And then I drove away as fast as the dickens.

So, after around six hours and two burger patties I finally made it down to my dorm room. It’s small, because after 300 years William&Mary still doesn’t have enough housing. Harvard may have us on that one. Still, it’s cozy and a veritable den of nerdom, which I share with one of my very best friends. The walls are adorned with a map of the Star Wars galaxy, a portrait of the entire cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and a fake love note from Tim Riggins of Friday Night Lights. Our carpet is one of those playmats they sell for kids, with a town on it so you can drive your cars around and play with your action figures.

This is us. Basically.

So I brought all of my action figures.

I love our room.

A few days after moving in, we rounded up our gaggle of friends and decided to see Conan the Barbarian. Most of my friends wanted to see it for the ‘sexy’ hunk of man meet that is Conan. I don’t really find the rugged, skull-smashing type sexy. I usually go for the skinny, bookish type. I don’t think Conan has ever seen a book, and if he had, he probably ate it and washed it down with the blood of his enemies.

"What is book?"

So I decided that I would treat the film as a Judd Apatow-style comedy.

I would summarize the film for you, but I really can’t. All I know is this:

It started out with Conan being born, a bloody, pale fetus, very similar to that trippy scene of Voldemort in the latest Harry Potter flick.

What WAS that about, anyways?

Then, Conan was a child, who liked to take a friendly game of “beat the shit out of your friends” and turn it into a less friendly game of “spot your village’s enemies and rip their skulls off.”

Playing-- he's doing it wrong.

Then his father is killed by a sadistic wizard warrior king and his crazy witch daughter. So years later he becomes muscular, revenge bent Conan, and the father-daughter team that fucked his life off has some creepy sexual tension that I tried to ignore but really couldn’t.

This is not okay.

Then a girl is thrown into the mix, and Conan just basically tells her to shut her stupid whore mouth until they eventually have sex

But with a face like his, who could resist? Oh, that's right, me.

That’s all I can really tell you. I think Conan won in the end. It’s been like four days and I don’t even remember.

Oh yeah, and it was in 3D. It was only showing in 3D. And it was the most eye-fucking, blurry 3D I have ever witnessed. Who the hell wants to see barbarian sex in 3D?

Oh, that’s right. Most people. Maybe I lack a sense of fun and whimsy. Maybe i’m growing cynical as the years slip by. Or maybe it was just a fucking terrible movie.

Arnold is disappointed.

Anyways, the only thing more destructive than a terrible 3D movie about a guy who lists his hobby as ripping people’s heads off and displaying his pectorals for all of the barbarian world to see is a hurricane, and that is what is pounding on outside my window.

The thing is, i’m not blogging this from the comfort of my nerd-den. I’m back at home in northern Virginia, listening as my parents watch the Antiques Roadshow on PBS. The college of William and Mary evacuated due to Hurricane Irene. I had to make the trek back up I95, though this time it only took about three hours. A giant Civil War era tree just fell down inches from my house, and the change in weather has caused my sinuses to bug out.

The truth is, whether or not you’re a barbarian or a lowly college student, there is never a dull moment. Life is an adventure, full of traffic, heckling stoner hobos, terrible movies, and felled historic trees. And that’s what makes it worth living. You never know what’s going to happen next.

If you were thinking of seeing The Smurfs Movie….

Don’t.

Not only for the obvious reasons, but because Donnie Darko explains the whole thing:

If you were to see the Smurfs movie, do so only to see Neil Patrick Harris being fabulous:

"It shall be LEGENDARY!"

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Guess who finally saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes?

Yeah, I did.

Let me start by saying this:

I always forget how fucking powerful apes are. In my mind’s eye, apes are always cute, adorable, and baby sized, and frequently do adorable things that make for excellent Youtube videos.

How all apes look according to me.

Or this. They can look like this, too.

I rarely ever picture apes ripping off people’s fingers or (spoiler alert) electrocuting Draco Malfoy with his own taser.

But, in Rise, you are forced to accept the fact that chimps are not playthings, and they do not always simply get up to adorable hi-jinx. Never once in this film does an ape ever eat a banana. It forces the viewer to accept the fact that apes, especially when enhanced with fancy future drugs, are wont to look like this:

They want none of your human bullshit. Absolutely none of it.

So let’s start from the beginning:

James Franco stars as a doctor hell-bent on discovering the cure for Alzheimer’s. In real life, I would never trust James Franco in a laboratory. I don’t even trust him to host the Oscars without being blitzed out of his mind. In fact, if you go to your local Google search bar and start to type in “James Franco Oscars-” it immediately fills you in with “James Franco Oscars High.” The second hit is “James Franco Oscars Stoned.” The proof is in the pudding, people.

Tweeting about the Oscars from the Oscars is a very classy thing to do, James.

In my opinion, Franco is kind of the neutral guy in any film he’s in. He’s not bad– he’s very convincing. I’m just not going to stand up and applaud him.

Except there was one guy in the theater who kept trying to applaud everything. Every time the apes started to uprise, he would try and start a clap, and each attempt failed miserably. I wanted to turn to him and say “look, we’re at Planet of the Apes, you kind of signed up for a film about apes rising. Hold your applause for when James Franco gets mauled by a silverback gorilla.”

Which, he doesn’t. But you have to admit that would have made a cool ending.

Silverback gorilla finds it amusing that the humans let James Franco and the future Catwoman to host their Academy Awards.

Anyways, I digress.

So James Franco steals a baby chimp from the lab, the offspring of a chimp who had been tested on with a very fancy future drug. This future ape went batshit and lost James Franco’s company a lot of money, so they decide to put all of the other apes down. James Franco will have none of that shit, so he takes the baby ape for his own.

In his baby form, Caesar the chimp was actually very similar to my pre-conceived notion of what an ape acts like. If only he stayed like this...

So Caesar grows up with Franco, his Alzheimer’s ridden dad, and the girl from Slumdog Millionaire. Eight years pass, and the characters mysteriously do not age. At all. Not even slightly. The only character that ages is Caesar the Chimp. James Franco doesn’t even change his hair style.

"My god, why haven't we aged?? I think that's a more pressing matter than the apes that are running amok in the San Francisco Bay Area!"

Caesar eventually finds himself emotionally lost and depressed. On public outings he must wear a leash, yet he is far more intelligent than any human child his age. He asks James Franco, through sign language, “Am I a pet?”

Franco says no, but of course the question still lingers. After Caesar violently lashes out at a neighbor who verbally assaults Franco’s Alzheimer’s Dad, he is court-ordered to live in an ‘ape sanctuary’ run by a fat guy and his son who is mysteriously Draco Malfoy.

Now, after recently having been hugged by The Dark Lord Voldemort, I thought that Tom Felton’s career had reached its’ climax.

That's right Tom Felton, well done.

I have nothing against Tom Felton, really. Only…he’s kind of ridiculous. That’s why he was so great as Malfoy. There is always that one kid in every school where you have to stop and go “really? this kid exists?”

Hey ladies, wanna touch my pure-blood wand?

But after playing an aryan, stuck-up, racist wizard who received an uncomfortable hug, what does one do next?

You play a jaded American ape wrangler, that's what.

So, Tom Felton isn’t a bad actor. He’s just ludicrously ridiculous, and never quite seems to mesh with the tone of the film.  He just comes off as an awkward asshole.

So not much has changed.

Anyways, after being tortured in an ape concentration camp for months, Caesar decides he has had enough. And if I say anymore, I will spoil the entire movie. And I don’t want to do that, because it was good. So here instead are some spoilers for some famous movies, including the original Planet of the Apes.

 You’re welcome.

Now go to your local movie theater, pony up the twelve bucks and go see the movie right about now. Because as far as summer blockbusters go, this one has the most meat. It’s well filmed and interesting. It’s psychologically and almost scientifically compelling. And Andy Serkis is in it. That’s right, Gollum plays a Damn Dirty Ape.

"Precious?"

Minuit A Paris

I went to the movies again today, and, no, I still have not seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

This will be my face if I go another week without seeing this damn movie.

Instead, I went to the local arthouse cinema to see Midnight In Paris, the latest Woody Allen feature. Now, I have a problem with Allen. It is completely unfounded and ridiculous, so I hesitate to share it, but here we go:

In 1978, a little picture called Star Wars was nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards for 1977.

So was a picture called Annie Hall. The director of this movie was a man named Woody Allen. At the end of the night, it was he who walked away with the statue, while George Lucas was left empty handed.

Yes, that is really my reason.

Because of this, I have never seen a Woody Allen picture. Well, had, because I saw Paris tonight.

Alright, so the film starts with a nice montage of Paris. I am a francofile. I speak French rather well (or spoke French rather well; i’m a bit rusty now but I still read fluently). I have been to France twice. I did a summer program at Sorbonne University. I drank my first glass of wine in a Parisian cafe. I drank my first beer in a park near the pantheon.

We skipped our art history class and went to a little convenience shop on a hill. The man smiled and did not ask any questions as we dropped two 1693 beers and a box of delicate French cookies onto the counter. We were seventeen and nervous. By the time we got to the park, the beer was warm. We sipped at them slowly and mitigated our gulps with bites of cookie. We looked at each other and said that we couldn’t believe we were doing this. Drinking in the afternoon in a park in Paris. It was so cliche, but it was so damn perfect.

I do not drink in America. Wine does not taste as sweet if it is not sipped under a pale Parisian sun.

See, there I go. For those who love Paris, who miss Paris, who pine for Paris, even a glimpse of the city is enough. The opening montage almost brought me to tears. I saw places I had been.

I ate at that cafe. While it rained I stood under that awning. I stood in the shadow of the Moulin Rouge windmill and imagined that Toulouse Lautrec was painting me.

But the rest of the film could not equal those five minutes of montage.

Because Paris speaks for itself.

But I will get off of my classy Parisian soapbox and turn back to the film which I just viewed. The horrible, horrible film.

Most of the film consist of Owen Wilson, who was better as the tiny cowboy in Night at The Museum then he was as a whining, hopeful writer, trying to convince his girlfriend, Rachel McAdams, that she should enjoy Paris. Reprising her role of the class bitch from Mean Girls, McAdams bitchily shoots down all of Wilson’s hopes and dreams.

"How dare you insinuate that Paris is a city for poets and dreamers? I'm going to sit here and bitch and you're going to like it because i'm Rachel fucking McAdams and you liked me in The Notebook."

So Wilson mopes and whines about how much he’d rather live in the 1920s. Predictably, a car pulls up and a bunch of Parisian socialites drag him to the 1920s, where he meets Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Dali, and every other fucking person who was famous in the 1920s because, fuck it, they all lived back then, they must have all known each other and gone to the same exact parties and frequented the same exact bars.

Let's party like it's 1922.

And no one questions the fact that Wilson is dressed in modern clothes, speaks in modern slang. He even gives his literary friends his manuscript to read. His manuscript that takes place in the modern day. And they only briefly shrug it off. “It reads like science fiction,” one says. “but it’s good.”

So then Wilson meets Marion Cotillard, who is always amazing, radiant, and I have nothing bad to say about her. She’s both sexy and adorable, and her mastery of the English language grows better with each film.

I have no idea why she agreed to be in this film.

See this film instead. More Cotillard, less Owen Wilson.

In an Inception-like turn of events, Wilson and Cotillard travel back in time again– to the time that Cotillard would most like to live in– la belle epoch.

And then she had an elaborate dream within a dream within a dream starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The lesson we’re supposed to be learning here is that one should be happy in his or her own time. It isn’t the era you were born in– it’s the outlook you have on life.

If you want a more logical film about wanting to live in a different era and falling in love with a chick who is probably dead in the that the main character is actually from, you should see the 1983 film Somewhere In Time, starring Christopher Reeves (pre-wheelchair) and Jane Seymour. It is severely under-appreciated, although it does have a cult following with an extremely active fan club.

It is also the film which I am named after. Jane Seymour’s character is named Elyse McKenna.

So i’m not biased or anything.

I know, you're jealous. You wish that you were named after a character from an unsuccessful '80s movie, too.

It’s a charming, underrated film, and is sure to make you cry if you have any amount of estrogen in your body at all.

So, please. Skip Midnight In Paris, and rent Somewhere In Time instead. Or rent Amelie or He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not or A Bout De Souflee (Breathless) or Paris, Je T’aime, because those films do not try to force Paris upon you; rather, they show how Paris so seamlessly works its’ way into a person’s heart and soul. They do not tell you what Paris should be– they show you what Paris really is.

Or, better yet, go to Paris yourself. Climb the hills of Montmartre, stand on the steps of Sacre Coeur, and look down at all of Paris. Close your eyes and open them and realize that this is real; a city this beautiful really does exist on earth. As Owen Wilson says himself in the film, how can any piece of writing, art, poetry equal the beauty of this city?

It can’t. And Midnight in Paris doesn’t even scratch the surface.

Can Anne Hathaway make a half-convincing Cat Woman?

Just the other day, the first production stills of Anne Hathaway as Cat Woman from The Dark Knight Rises were released.

My first reaction was this: ANNE HATHAWAY?

Anne Hathaway’s career was basically kicked off by the film version of the Princess Diaries, in which she played Mia Thermopolis, a gawky teenager whose shyness made her nearly invisible to her classmates, who one day finds out that she is a princess of a small European principality. Oh, and that her grandmother is Julie Andrews.

"I'M CAT WOMAN? NO WAY CAN MY HAIR FIT IN A LYCRA SUIT."

By the end of the film, Mia is beautiful, her friends accept her for who she is, the popular kids leave her alone, and she flies off to her principality, Genovia, with her cat Fat Louie.

Foreshadowing of what is to come?

Since then, Hathaway has been America’s sweetheart.

She’s played another princess (Ella Enchanted), a queen (Alice in Wonderland), a fashion magazine gopher (The Devil Wears Prada), Little Red Riding Hood (Hoodwinked!), Jane Austen (Becoming Jane), and a bird (Rio).

A nearly extinct motherfucking bird.

Let’s explore Catwoman.

Catwoman, or Selina Kyle, has been part of the Batman universe since the first issue of Detective Comics in 1940. Catwoman’s dish is that she’s a burglar prostitute who has somehow gone a little loopy somewhere in the mix.

In Batman Returns Catwoman was played by Michele Pfieffer, and looked like this:

Puurrrrrrrrr.

In 2004’s train wreck, Catwoman, Halle Berry played the feline femme fatale, and she looked like this:

Me-ow.

And now Anne Hathaway, the princess of Genovia, comes riding in on a motorcycle and wearing bulbous goggles? Furthermore, she appears to be fully clothed, and to possess no form of SNM style whippy weaponry. This could be a problem.

Look, the girl has chops. She’s funny and convincing in every role she plays, and i’d honestly love to hang out with her and get some cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery with her.

Nothing says evil like frosting.

But that’s the problem: my dream itinerary for a day with Hathaway is getting cupcakes, and i’m sure most people’s would also involve some sort of cutsey baked goods.

She’s just frigging cute. I see her more as a kitten than a cat.

But maybe Christopher Nolan knows something we don’t.

"Don't worry everyone-- I got this. "

 

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