Spidey Reboot Reboots Repeat Villain

ccooperThe reimagined sequel to that reimagined superhero flick The Amazing Spider-Man has added another (potential) villain to the roster: Chris Cooper has signed to play industrialist Norman Osbourn, the man who eventually became the homicidal Green Goblin in the comic books and in Sam Raimi‘s trilogy.

The big question is if we’ll see the Goblin, or just Osbourn. After all, this sequel is already squeezing in a couple of major Spider-Man foes: Electro — played by Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, and the Rhino, played by Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti. It there room for a third baddie, played by a third Academy Award heavyweight (Cooper won in 2002)?

Let’s hope that returning director Marc Webb has learned some lessons from previous superhero sequels that got bogged down with more and more and more villains, eventually practically squeezing the hero out of his own movie — and all too often losing his dignity.

The Amazing Spider-Man sequel — with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone also returning — opens May 2, 2014.

Former Companion Told ‘Keep the Days Free’

leela_Classic DOCTOR WHO companion Louise Jameson (Leela) said something very interesting recently on Twitter — something that was almost what we’ve been waiting to hear!

Responding to a Tweet from a fan who suggested s/he would cry if the 5oth anniversary doesn’t include at least one past Doctor, Jameson typed:

“None of us knows yet what’s going on, just told to keep the days free.”

“Keep the days free?” For what — filming? And filming what — a new multi-Doctor story or some kind of documentarry? Who’s “us”? What does her Doctor, Tom Baker, know (if anything)?

It makes perfect sense that old companions would accompany previous Doctors — and with Steven Moffat reportedly writing the anniversary story right now, it’s no biggie that the erstwhile Leela has no real idea what’s happening. But the wording of what she Tweeted implied very strongly that more than one of the Doctor’s old assistants have been contacted and told to sit tight — and be available.

Now, game-playing is all well and good for the Celestial Toymaker and BBC executives, but fans are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with the reticence of The-Powers-That-Be because 96 percent of the rumors online are disappointing and pointing toward an underwhelming celebratory year. But I continue to hold out hope that the Beeb knows what a treasure it has in DOCTOR WHO and won’t risk alienating fans by hand-waving 50 years of loyalty.

The Dress That Was a DOCTOR WHO Monster Waiting to Happen

purplesidepurplebackI’ve never seen a dress that was more ready to be a villain on DOCTOR WHO than Jennifer Garner‘s wine-colored Oscar dress, which seemed intended to use as much fabric as possible.

There’s even this photo of Jennifer at right that looke like she’s running away from the fluffery on her own back. Call it a Giant Purple People-Eater claiming its first victim right in front of everyone!

As soon as I saw this Gucci dress I thought, “What a monstrosity,” and instantly pictured it as the baddie in a particularly low-budgted episode, perhaps from the Peter Davison era, or season 24 Sylvester McCoy.

Tell me you can imagine it, too: “Doctor Who vs. the Giant Purple People-Eater.” You can run, Jen, but they will bite you in the end!

What do you think: Is this dress a menace? What would be its weakness? (I’m thinking hubris.)

Catching Fire Promotional Posters

victorytour01And so it begins… the real promotional push in the ramp up to this fall’s big sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. (But who’s that guy photobombing Katniss?) Up until now, we’ve had to make due with some sexy set photos.

I like the idea of starting with these Victory Tour promotional posters because the campaign feels very organic. In the books, a Victory Tour was de riguer for the winner of the Hunger Games, and of course the Capital would be eager to put the best possible face on the unprecedented dual winners, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).

Of course, you can never go wrong with plastering Jennifer’s luminous face on anything, so it’s no surprise seeing her looking awesome here — beautiful and brave and heroic…
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Rumors of “The 11 Doctors” Resurface Again…

11doctorsartYes, this is one bit of fan service that just refuses to die — no doubt because DOCTOR WHO fans want it so very badly. The new twist on the same old rumor is that show-runner Steven Moffat — who is writing the anniversary episode as we speak — has fanned the flames with a cryptic remark of his own.

At a BBC Drama Commissions event last week, Moffat said:

“Getting the other Doctors involved would be very fitting for the anniversary episode wouldn’t it?”

YES, it would be very fitting, and it would be very possible to pull off — with the right script and the right approach to coaxing former actors back into their costumes.
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Matt Cooke: Once a Hockey Goon, Always a Hockey Goon?

Anyone who still doubts that NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan is really really bad at his job comes Reason No. 345,458,945,678 why Shanahan needs to be fired: He thinks it’s perfectly fine that Pittsburgh Penguins assassin thug goon forward Matt Cooke sliced the Achilles’ tendon of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, ending the star’s season.

That’s right; the head of the department of player safety doesn’t think cutting 70 percent of a player’s Achilles’ tendon is an issue.

Judge for yourself: The incident first happens about 7 seconds into this clip, but watch for replays from different angles that show a clear stomping motion by Cooke.

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Remember Byzantium? It Still Looks Cool

A while back I shared a scene from an intriguing-looking vampire film called Byzantium, starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton. Well, a brand-new international trailer has been released, and it gives a feel for what the Neil Jordan-directed flick is about. Check it out:

So it’s the story of a mother/daughter vampire team who must hide their existence because there aren’t supposed to be any female vampires? Sounds cool to me.

As best as I can determine, there is still no U.S. release date, but knowing how unimaginative U.S. studios are, look for this European-produced flick around Halloween.