The screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s Beat bible, On the Road, goes into wide distribution soon. The Entertainment Weekly review dubbed it’s an “almost painfully literal adaptation” that “doesn’t conjure the rapture of Kerouac’s bohemian romanticism.” Still, the film ranked a B-, which, frankly, isn’t terrible.
Film also is tackling Kerouac’s Big Sur, which is somewhat of a personal follow-up to Road. When that novel took off, Kerouac struggled with the sudden, overwhelming fame and sought escape. Lawrence Ferlinghetti let Jack use his cabin in the California woods as a hideaway. There he let his mind clear out, communed with—and probably smoked some—nature (he already was drinking buckets), and looked for some meaning to his life. He fictionalized his experiences in Big Sur. Roll the trailer:
One of the more gritty graphic novels adapted for the screen in the last decade was 2005’s Frank Miller’s Sin City. With its unique visuals, Sin City quickly became a favorite of fanboys who wanted more, more, more! Now, they’re getting it: Collider reports that director Robbie Rodriguez and many of the original cast members have regrouped for Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who recently appeared in both the time-travel flik Looper and The Dark Knight Returns, is joining the cast as “Johnny, a cocky gambler who disguises a darker mission to destroy his most foul enemy at his best game,” the site reports. Original sinners reprising their roles include Mickey Rourke, who knocked it out of the park as the bone-breaking Marv, Jessica Alba as the hip-shaking Nancy, Rosario Dawson as hooker-warrior Gail, and Jaime King as mystery woman Goldie/Wendy along with new cast members Dennis Haysbert, and Jamie Chung. Production is underway at Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios in Austin, TX.
The follow-up film weaves together two of Miller’s original stories with new threads and will retain the original’s signature look, although this time it will be presented in 3D (all the better to watch Marv splash gallons of blood). The screenplay is by Miller with William Monahan who nailed an Oscar for writing Scorsese’s The Departed. With a great director, a solid cast, and top writers, this sinner sounds like a winner (sorry, had to say it)! Too bad Elijah Wood won’t return as the psychocannibal anti-Frodo, but you can’t have everything!
Save the Monopoly Scottie!
Hasbro is giving its vintage Monopoly game a facelift by replacing an iconic token piece (hat, iron, thimble, shoe, etc.) with either a guitar, helicopter, diamond ring, robot, or a cat. The game company is letting the public decide by voting on facebook. I’ve owned a few Scottie dogs in my time (Duncan and The Great Fergus), so I want that piece to stay and certainly don’t want to see it replaced by a robot or, YIKES, a cat! There are countless cat weirdos out there (how many do you have?), so I’d say the feline is a shoe-in. Ditch the iron, wheelbarrow, or thimble, but save the Scottie!
Births & Deaths
Big GF birthday wishes to Walter Mosley, who adds a 60th candle to his cake today. I’m still pissed that he killed off Easy Rawlins, but he’s a nice guy—looooves librarians—so I hope he enjoys his day.
Richard Ben Cramer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and sports biographer, died January 7 from complications related to lung cancer. He was 62. Cramer won the 1979 Pulitzer for his dispatches from the Middle East, and put his journalism background to work in What it Takes: The Way to the White House, a volume on the 1988 U.S. presidential race. He scored a 2000 bestseller with Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life and penned two volumes on baseball great Ted Williams.
Author Evan S. Connell, author of Mrs. Bridge and companion novel Mr. Bridge (they were combined into a film starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward), and Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn, has passed at age 88. He was a finalist for both the National Book Award and International Man Booker Award.
Let us remember whodunit master and scotch sponge Dashiell Hammett, who died Jan. 10, 1961, at age 65. The Maltese Falcon is not only the best PI story ever written but one of the great American novels, period! Lastly, James Joyce bid the world adieu on Jan. 13, 1941, following surgery for a perforated ulcer. He was only 58 years old.
Have a good weekend. Get your geek on, baby!