Get ready to reach nerdvanna: the 2012 summer-movie geekfest officially starts today with the U.S. debut of The Avengers‚ WOOHOO!!! Although The Avengers rule this weekend (and probably the next few), let’s not forget that the final installation in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy debuts July 20, and a fresh trailer for The Dark Knight Rises just hit YouTube:
I admit to not being a fan of the Bats films, but I’m feeling the DC love right now.
How Book Publishing Really Works
Novelist James Renner, The Man from Primrose Lane (Xpress Reviews, 3/8/12), gives a unique breakdown on how modern book publishing works as part of his Crazy Stupid Fast 2012 Book Tour. Now this is funny:
Ok, so if readers are Han Solo, which character should represent librarians, who offer these books to the reading public? Are librarians Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, or‚Ä¶ (insert breathing sound) Vader?
Leave the Gun, Take the Rites
Here’s another hard lesson for authors out there: Paramount Studios has sued Mario Puzo’s estate over the latter’s alleged sanctioning of new books based on The Godfather. Paramount, and not Puzo’s family, apparently owns the rites to the characters populating the gangster epic. According to the suit, the two parties agreed on the publication of only a single follow-up volume to the saga, which was published in 2004 as The Godfather Returns.
Paramount claims that the Puzos are behind a second novel‚ The Godfather’s Revenge‚ and a third volume, The Family Corleone. Initially, Puzo’s estate said the claims were unfounded and dubbed them hogwash but check out this actually quite funny video for The Family Corleone:
Writers, read those contracts closely, or bada bing, you’ll end up tap dancing like Sonny at the toll booth to get the rites to your own creations back.
[Godfather trivia: Actor Richard Castellano playing Clemenza adlibbed the line, Leave the gun, take the cannoli, and James Cann as Sonny added bada bing to his dialog when telling younger brother Michael, What do think this is the army where you shoot them from a mile away? You gotta walk up to them and bada bing, you blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit. Cann said later that he didn't consciously add it, the words just came out when channeling Sonny. Thus, bada bing entered the vernacular. How bada boom was added to it later is anyone's guess.]
A heads up to my fellow Robert Louis Stevenson fans: the SyFy Channel is airing a new production of Treasure Island this Saturday, May 5. It’s not one of that truly crappy station’s (oh, for the glory days of Sci-Fi Buzz, Cool Stuff from the Cosmos, and MST3K) original productions like Megacroc vs Pythonasaurus, this has name actors like Donald Sutherland as Flint, Elijah Wood as Ben Gunn, and Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver. Hawkins carries the story, and the review I read said young actor Toby Regbo apparently is solid as Jim, so this might be worth a shot. Roll the trailer.
Stepping outside the geekosphere, two major literary events happened on this date. First, in 1939, James Joyce’s long-running work in progress was released as Finnegans Wake. As much as I love Ulysses, I’ve never been able to get through this one. Just couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. Some day though.
Second, on 5/4/53, Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea, which, as much as I love Ernesto’s work, frankly is mediocre. A shame since it’s the one Hemingway book that every high school punk still has to read and maybe the only exposure they ever have to him.
There’s some damn fine writing in there, and, as many have said, even second-rate Hemingway is still better than most other writers, but it’s far from his best stuff. The Pulitzer was more a reward for his life’s achievement. He deserved it for that, so what the hell.
A good weekend all. Get your geek on! Avengers, baby, Avengers!