Warner Bros. Not Batman
Arrow is probably my favorite show on TV right now. I watch it semi-religiously and constantly think about possible permutations of the Arrow-verse. Do all of the references to Bludhaven mean Nightwing is on the way? Did Nyssa steal Sara's body and drop her off in a Lazarus Pit offscreen? Is the Atom going to shrink or is he really just a reskinned Ted Kord? Does Arsenal secretly have a drug habit? These are burning questions about a great show, but for all of that one thing consistently bothers me: basically, the show thinks Ollie is Batman. This isn't the worst thing in the world since Batman is awesome and it gave us the Huntress arc, which is probably my favorite arc in the whole show, but it does nag at me a little.
Dean Haglund is best known as Langly in The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen. Phil Leirness is a film director best known for the mock-doc Karl Rove, I Love You. Together, they host the Chillpak Hollywood Hour podcast, but tonight they'll be recording an episode of Topless Robot Live with us.
If you have any questions for Phil and Dean, or even Luke and Julia, post them in comments below and we'll get to as many as we can.
The toy is actually real - a few of my colleagues got one in the mail, and while it's not articulated nor equipped with laser-blast action, it does utter that hilariously inappropriate soundbite.
Also, good to know (via the YouTube description) that the giant creature he fights is called The Condor. Which makes him a kind of Condorman...
I am an unapologetic fan of the John Frankenheimer movie that came out, which works far better than it has any right to as a descent into madness that systematically kills off every character you care about (David Thewlis as romantic lead, in and of itself, is a ballsy, nutso casting move that I love). But when you see the documentary Lost Souls, about the making of it, it's clear that Richard Stanley's original vision was a million times MORE nuts, with stuff that was probably unfilmable in the mid-'90s, both for content reasons and effects limitations.
Pee-wee's Big Holiday will be released direct-to-Netflix. It is written by Paul Reubens and Paul Rust - his collaborator on the recent Broadway version of The Pee-wee Herman Show - and directed by John Lee (The Heart, She Holler), with Apatow producing.
While the title implies it's more of a direct sequel to Big Adventure than anything else, the only plot details so far are that
the movie kicks off with "a fateful meeting" between Pee-Wee and a "mysterious stranger," which inspires Pee-Wee "to take his first-ever holiday in this epic story of friendship and destiny."I don't want to get too bogged down in nostalgia, but Francis could use the work (and I just now found out he played John Wayne Gacy in a movie which is either creepy as fuck or just insanely silly).
It's nice to have actual details, finally - for the past four years or whatever it's been, I've kept wanting to yell: "IS THIS SOMETHING YOU CAN SHARE WITH THE REST OF US, AMAZING JUDD?" Apparently, finally so. I hope it's the best sequel we ever seen.
You might remember the unfortunate Hanna-Barbera cartoons of 1966, made shortly after Laurel's death. Well, Larry Harmon pictures, which coproduced those, just sold the rights to the French company Gaumont, which plans to make 78 new cartoons and "a range of licensed merchandise."
Watership Down (Criterion Collection) - Watership Down was one of my absolute favorite books when I was younger - an epic adventure with a quest, a team of heroes, a big bad evil villain who doesn't emerge until many other more abstract threats have been conquered, its own second language, and...aside from a weird last-minute twist, it's all about rabbits.
I didn't see the movie when it first came out, but when it finally came back around (in my youth, before everyone had a VCR, that happened a lot) I saw it and was disappointed that IT WASN'T EXACTLY LIKE THE BOOK. Hollywood didn't cater quite as much to authors as it does now - if the novel came out today, it would of course be planned as a trilogy with the third part split in two, converted to 3D and every last scene intact. But young me didn't get that sometimes things have to change, and an annoying Art Garfunkel song has to go somewhere in the middle.
I'd like to check it out again. Based on everything I hear, I bet it's actually a more decent adaptation that fundamentalist li'l me was willing to accept. A new director interview, as well as one with Guillermo del Toro for some reason, is included in the extras.
It could perhaps be argued that the best - or at least the most interesting - superhero movies made to date were the ones that came from idiosyncratic directors. Captain America: The Winter Solider was all well and good, I suppose, but it's the type of film that feels more like a studio mandate (which it was) than an urgent tale told my a creative mind eager to explore something new. The notion of the "auteur superhero movie" is not largely explored in today's marketplace, which values mythbuilding and multiple-film story arcs over singular, thoughtful deconstructive explorations of a superhero character (although, since Topless Robot recently endorsed Ava DuVernay to direct a Marvel film, we may see the age soon. Fans may even want it.).