Geeky Friday: JAWS on Blu-ray, The Dark Knight Rises, Remembering Bram Stoker

Bite me, baby, bite me!

Universal FINALLY has announced that a super-restored edition of JAWS is coming on Blu-Ray August 14‚ YES! YES! YES!!! Thank the maker! The studio has posted this documentary snippet about the film’s meticulous restoration. WARNING: To my fellow diehard JAWS fanatics, buckle your seatbelts and grab hold of something, boys, otherwise you might fall out of your seats. Oh, and you might need to change your drawers, too!

OMFG! Can you believe how amazing that looks! If we had to wait this long for the film’s Blu-ray debut, at least it seems like the job is being done right. Thank you, Universal! (This almost makes up for closing the JAWS ride at your Orlando theme park to make room for another Harry Potter pavilion‚ you bastards!). August 14 can’t come fast enough!

Titan Snags The Dark Knight Rises Novelization
My gal Katharine over at Titan Books informs me that Titan has scored a coup by snagging the tie-in novelization to Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated swansong in the Batman series. The Dark Knight Rises is being written by Greg Cox, who previously penned the official novelizations for such major Batman comic book storylines as Infinite Crisis (2006), 52 (2007), Countdown (2009), and Final Crisis (2010).

He also has produced numerous bestselling adaptations and original novels based on Star Trek, Underworld, Warehouse 13, and other popular properties. His original novel Terminator Salvation: Cold War won the 2010 Scribe Award for tie-in fiction, and CSI: Headhunter took the same prize in 2009. The guy’s no slouch, so this is way cool. The film opens Friday, July 20 (and should do mondo box office) followed by the book on July 24.

Thin Casting
Be careful what you ask for. For ages, I’ve carped that Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man needs to be remade into a serious crime film. I love the original with William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, but it’s is half a comedy with Powell mugging for the camera while pretending to be half stewed and even the dog has its own schtick. Nick Charles is Greek (Charles isn’t his true name) and decades older than Nora, who should be in her early to mid 20s. Alfred Molina and Natalie Portman would be perfect casting.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Warner Bros is after Rob Marshall to direct a remake with our old pal Johnny Depp as Nick. I guess he’s done so well as a drunken pirate that the studio figures he could play a half-in-the-bag detective standing on his head. A handful of babes are being considered for Nora, including Rachel Weisz, Carey Mulligan, Kristen Wiig, Emily Blunt, Amy Adams, and Emma Stone. I still think Portman is best, but Stone is my choice from that gaggle. She’s 20something and as cute as she is funny (assuming this is as goofy as the original, but, if not, The Help showed she also has drama chops), and rocked hard in Zombieland and Easy A.

Picnik Sleeps with the Fishes
For some asinine reason, Google yesterday pulled the plug on its gangbusters photo editing site, picnic. I got turned onto picnic years ago after reading about it in Popular Photography, and clued in everyone on the LJ staff before heading off to an ALA, where we’d need to edit pix for blogs and news stories. It’s been a staple here ever since. Picnik was founded in Seattle in 2005 by Mike Harrington, Darrin Massena, and Jonathan Sposato and bought by Google in 2010. Why they’d pony up cash just to kill it only two years later boggles the mind, especially with all the absolute crap that’s on Google, why kill something useful?

There are numerous free online photo editing sites, but picnic was the simplest and most efficient. Thankfully, the same crew who invented picnic now offers picmonkey, which does the job but is not as good. I guess it’ll have to do. Monkey time!

Vampire Men
Today marks the centennial of Bram Stoker’s death. Dracula still is the best vampire novel ever written, and a plain good book, period. I just wish a solid, accurate film adaptation would be done, but, after The Thin Man news above, I better not speak too loud or we’ll get another Coppola disaster.

And after the recent Dark Shadows rant, let’s bid farewell to actor Jonathan Frid who died April 13. Here’s a recent cast reunion pic with Frid in the middle:

On a brighter note, big Geeky Friday birthday greetings to George Takei, Star Trek‘s Sulu; Andy Serkis, Gollum from The Lord of the Rings; and Veronica Cartwright from The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, The Right Stuff, and Alien. Met Veronica years back at a ChillerCon, and she was a sweetie.

Have a great weekend, all. Get your geek on!


Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.