The summer has shot by in a blur, kids, and now has come full circle (how the hell did that happen?). It seems like just yesterday we were geeking over The Avengers opening in May and now it’s back in theaters this weekend for an encore performance to close out the Labor Day weekend. Speaking of The Avengers, ABC has hired the film’s writer/director Joss Whedon to create a TV pilot for a S.H.I.E.L.D. live-action series. Whedon will write and possibly also direct if his schedule allows. Way more intel here.
Carried Too Far?
Despite the simplicity of Stephen King’s novels, very few have been morphed into good films. Ironically, The Shawshank Redemption, a non-horror story, probably is the best movie made from a King story. His first novel, Carrie, is among the better screen adaptations, but that isn’t stopping it from being the target of Hollywood remake mania. Entertainment Weekly has scored pix from a new version starring Julianne Moore as the Jesus freak psychomom and a blood-soaked Chloe Moretz in the title role. I’m a fan of both these ladies, but Brian De Palma pretty much nailed Carrie in 1976, so why bother? Note to Hollywood execs: don’t remake the good movies, redo the bad ones and improve them, you bozos!
Diehard Uncle Stevie fans take note that Cemetery Dance Productions this December is releasing two trivia books based on his work. The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book by Brian James Freeman, Kevin Quigley, and Hans-Ake Lilja with illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne “features more than 1000 questions to test your knowledge of the movies, miniseries, and television episodes based on ideas conjured from the imagination of the King of Horror, along with more than 50 special illustration-based questions from Cemetery Dance favorite artist Glenn Chadbourne! In addition, the book concludes with a special afterword by Mick Garris, director of The Stand, The Shining, Riding the Bullet, Desperation, Bag of Bones, and many others,” the publisher said. The 438-page book is available both in paper (ISBN 9781587673115. $19.95.) and hardcover (ISBN 9781587673122. $40.).
Also, The Illustrated Stephen King Trivia Book: Revised & Updated Second Edition by Brian James Freeman and Bev Vincent with illustrations by Glenn Chadbourn features all of the original questions from the first edition along with more than 100 new questions about the author’s most recent releases (it goes up to the latest Dark Tower entry, The Wind Through the Keyhole). Also included are ten brand new illustration-based questions along with the 60 illustration-based questions from the original edition. The 470-page paperback (ISBN 9781587673153) will set you back $19.95.
The Road Is Life
Hollywood has been trying to film Jack Kerouac’s Beat bible On the Road since it hit bookstores half a century ago, and finally has succeeded. I’m not the only Kerouac fan that hoped it never happened, because like The Catcher in the Rye, I can’t see it being done right [Ready to cringe? Jerry Lewis tried for years to get the rights to film Catcher starring himself as Holden Caulfield, but Salinger, thank the maker, wouldn’t sell.] The action of the story is simple enough, but it’s so obtuse that capturing its spirit is the real difficulty.
This trailer worries me greatly because the focus is on the relationship between Dean and the his wife, Marylou. I’m unfamiliar with the two dudes playing Sal and Dean, and I’m glad they’re relative newcomers with no baggage, but casting Kristen Stewart as Marylou is cause for concern (although now that it’s been revealed that she puts out for directors, she’ll probably get a lot more work).
I’ve liked Stewart in a few other films, including a solid performance as Joan Jett in The Runaways, but I worry that producers will try to abuse her Twilight fame by enlarging her character, and am hoping that she’s all over this trailer for the sole purpose of suckering all the Team Bella yahoos into buying tickets.
Looks like it has potential, but fingers crossed. We’ll have to wait until December 21 to know whether or not to give it a—ahem—thumbs up (sorry, had to say it).
I can’t let August pass without wishing a happy anniversary to everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider Man, who debuted 50 years ago in the August 1962 issue of Amazing Fantasy #15. The cover was done by King Kirby and Steve Ditko with the story by co-creators Stan Lee and Ditko (Steve also drew the book).
Spidey is important for several reasons. Peter Parker was the first teen super, and shared the same high-school-era angst as other teens; he was as concerned with having a girlfriend as he was with bagging bad guys.
Spidey also was the first mask to find success. Other heroes before him wore full masks, but they fizzled. The other top guns in the holy trinity of comics either have half masks (Batman) or no masks (Supes).
Big props to Spidey—50 years later, he’s a superstar in print, movies, and Broadway. ‘Nuff said!
Thanks for tuning in. I’m keeping it short and sweet again this week (kinda) because I know you want to get the hell out of Dodge and start the long weekend ASAP! Whether you’re catching a movie, a ball game, last-minute rays, or just some extra Zs, have a great one, gang! And whatever you do, make sure to get your geek on, baby!