News, thoughts, and other nonsense.

Hello, there. Yes, I’m still alive. I won’t bore you with a bunch of excuses for being a slacker; I’ll just say life has been busy. But! The world of movies has also been busy, and there are plenty of interesting things to discuss. So let’s, shall we?

1. Momentum is building around a film adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel Ender’s Game. A lot of us nerds might be cranky about a movie being made, but realistically, it was going to happen someday, and I personally think that if it’s done well, it’ll make a pretty good movie. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s the story of a extraordinarily gifted boy who is recruited by the government to rid humanity of an alien enemy. That’s oversimplified, of course, but that’s the gist of it. There will be lots of special effects, and I think given the popularity of things like the Hunger Games series right now, it’s a natural choice for Hollywood (or whoever). The most recent news regarding the project is the announcement that Asa Butterfield, currently to be seen as the title character of Hugo, has signed on to play Ender. Given the positive buzz surrounding Hugo and Butterfield’s performance specifically, I think this is a good thing. (Has anyone seen Hugo? I’m dying to.) At any rate, in the new internet tradition of trumpeting every single casting decision from the rafters, I’m sure we’ll be getting up-to-the-minute news on this one. Apparently Harrison Ford is also being discussed? Ooh.

2. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yeah, Christmas, but I’m talking about the start-up of awards season. Despite all its flaws and intricacies, I love it dearly. I’ve particularly enjoyed playing with the prediction charts over at the Gold Derby website. It’s interesting to see who would appear to be a lock (Christopher Plummer for Beginners, yay!) and who doesn’t have as much buzz as one might like (Fassbender for Shame). I realize that having these discussions is silly when I haven’t seen any of the movies in question, and I know that a lot of people like to argue for the things they like without any understanding or appreciation of the “politics” involved, but, for me, all of that is part of the fun. I guess it’s sort of like fantasy sports, in some ways. It’s less about team loyalties and how good you think something/someone is and more about how it all shakes down when you look at all the factors.

3. In further Les Miserables news, we are now being subjected to an awful list of potential Eponines, including Lea Michele, Taylor Swift, and Scarlett Johansson. Given that Eponine’s got some great songs (my husband is rolling his eyes right now), I guess the best choice would be Michele, who has actually played the role on stage, but admitting that really depresses me. She just doesn’t fit with the rest of the cast, somehow. I think that Anne Hathaway is a poor choice for Fantine (clearly, CZJ was busy), but she might actually have served better as Eponine. Who’s your pick? I feel like I’m missing someone good …

4. Finally, a bit of movie-going research! You might recall that a few weeks ago, I posted about why everyone should see A Fish Called Wanda. Now, when I posted that link to Facebook, I got quite a lot of response from a particular group of friends, none of whom had ever seen the movie before. As it so happened, we were going to be in a position to get together with those people over Thanksgiving, and so we arranged a screening in order to educate them. They were all very kind to humor me and not only sit through the movie, but also provide me with a bit of feedback. And so, we’ll let the jury (ha ha, get it?) decide whether or not AFCW is a “must-see”.

Our viewing group was made up of a seven individuals, four women (not counting me) and three men. Now, full disclosure, one of the men present had seen the movie before, but he saw it with me (about a year or so ago) because I told him that he really HAD to, and so he still counts for the purposes of this very highly scientific study. So! Of the seven, only one declared that she flat-out didn’t like the movie, citing a lack of sympathetic characters and character development, which I can understand. She did acknowledge that it was funny, however. Of the remaining 6 people, two deemed it enjoyable, but not anything they’d have chosen to watch without coercion. The rest all gave it positive reviews, citing the excellent cast, comedic timing, and the performances of Kevin Kline and John Cleese, particularly. All in all, I think I am going to count this showing a success, and officially declare A Fish Called Wanda a truly “must-see” movie. I shall leave you with some poster-worthy quotes from my guinea pigs fellow movie fans. Enjoy!

A witty, keep you on your toes, don’t drink anything at the wrong moment or you’ll have your own spit take, delight that I would watch again. — Sarah
Better than a sharp stick in the eye! — Jake
John Cleese made the movie worth watching for me … three stars. — Heather
A charming and quirky little caper. — Sarah Jean
A very enjoyable movie overall! — Alex
Great ensemble, excellent comic timing and performance. Feel bad for Ken. — Ben
Certainly it’s funny and the clothes are hilariously awesome … the fish thing ruins the movie for me. — Jen

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4 responses to “News, thoughts, and other nonsense.

  1. Ender’s Game was one of the first books I reviewed at my site (http://tipsfromchip.blogspot.com/2011/02/book-enders-game.html) and I consider it one of the five best science fiction novels ever written. Having said that, I’m not thrilled with the casting news for the simple reason that the actor is too old. Yes, they will have to age Ender up to get someone who can act well enough for the part, but making him a teenager? What does this do to the ages of his older brother and sister, where their ages are also an important plot point in regards to their efforts to sway public opinion?

    In regards to making someone watch something, I took Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog to my sister’s. She didn’t care for it AT ALL – the first person I have ever met who saw it but didn’t at least like it, let alone love it. She said she was wondering what Neil Patrick Harris was thinking in taking the role. She figured if more people saw this it would ruin his career. My reaction to her reaction was “wow.”

  2. Nice collection of news here Sam. I LOVE the MALE cast of Les Miserables but now the female cast is getting worrisome. I could live w/ Anne though I’m not jumping for joy at her casting but the 3 actresses you mentioned, meh! I know what you mean about Michelle not fitting in w/ the rest of the cast and I’m so bored w/ Scar-Jo. I sure hope they find someone who’s worthy to be in the company of Crowe, Jackman AND possibly Geoffrey Rush!

  3. welcome back! 🙂

    i laughed at your comments on Les Miserables. Even with my love for Scarlett, I can understand where you’re coming from!

    but @Ruth, how can you say you are “so bored w/Scar-Jo” when you rarely even watch any of her movies?! 😀

  4. Eponine sucks.

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