Although two movies I’ve been looking forward to for awhile (The Social Network and Let Me In) are now playing, I’ve been AWOL from the theatre lately. No worries, I’ll get to them eventually. Actually, Let Me In will have to wait for DVD since its already disappeared from my local theatre. I will definitely be seeing The Social Network this weekend though.
In the meantime, I’ve been keeping a close eye on movie news, so here’s a quick rundown of some things you might’ve missed in the last couple of weeks…
This news item has been practically crashing my RSS reader thanks to all the discussion going on about it. So, time to toss in my two cents.
A quick summary… The first trailer for the film The Dilemma came out last week. It began with Vince Vaughn addressing a boardroom with the following words: “Ladies and gentlemen. Electric cars… are gay. I mean, not homosexual gay, but, you know, my-parents-are-chaperoning-the-dance gay.”
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) protested the trailer, which Universal – the studio behind The Dilemma – subsequently pulled. GLAAD’s president, Jarrett Barrios, gave an eloquent summation of the reason for his organization’s disgust. “Amidst a rash of bullying related suicides and anti-gay hate crimes, we need to tell Universal and America that our community is tired of being used as a punch line.”
Reactions amongst film bloggers and journalists were all over the map. Cinema Blend’s Josh Tyler essentially told GLAAD to suck it up. Scott Weinberg at Cinematical agreed the trailer was in poor taste.
Vince Vaughn also issued a statement about the controversy, saying, “Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together. Drawing divided lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us. Most importantly, where does it stop?”
GLAAD considers the removal of the line from the trailer a partial victory, and continue to lobby to have it excised from the film itself before its release in January.
As for me, I can see both points of view. I’ve always thought using “gay” as a synonym for “bad” was a little strange, if not plain homophobic. But word meanings do change over time. “Gay” can also mean “happy or carefree,” but when was the last time you heard someone use it in that way?
In the end, the notion that being gay is somehow bad is something I don’t agree with at all. But I’m not sure I necessarily agree this means statements like the one made in The Dilemma‘s trailer should be censored. The way comedy seems to work for some people is everything’s fine and nothing’s off limits – until they’re the ones being made fun of. Maybe that attitude is the real problem.
Death of Sally Menke
She passed away at the end of last month, so this isn’t a very timely entry. But if I’m doing a post about movie news, I really have to mention her. Sally Menke was an editor, best known for her work with Quentin Tarantino. The two collaborated on nine different films, starting with 1992’s Reservoir Dogs.
Director/editor relationships tend to move around a lot from film to film, but obviously Menke and Tarantino had a connection. In an acceptance speech at the 2007 ACE Eddie Awards, Tarantino acknowledged Menke, saying “The best collaborations are the director-editor teams, where they can finish each other’s sentences.” He went on to add Menke was his “only, truly genuine collaborator.”
Today, Tarantino’s style is well-known and oft-imitated, but I can only imagine what Menke must’ve thought back in 1992 when she read the script of Reservoir Dogs. With its repeated use flashbacks and flashforwards, the film could’ve been a real mess. But thanks to Menke’s deft hands, it came out perfectly. And the duos work only got better as time went on.
Sally Menke was only 56. She will be missed.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 not in 3D
The title pretty much says it all, actually. The original plan for Warner Brothers was to release both halves of The Deathly Hallows in 3D. The film was shot in 2D and was to be converted in post. Instead, with Part 1‘s November 19th theatrical release date looming, the studio issued a statement saying “we were unable to convert the film in its entirety and meet the highest standards of quality.” Part 2 is still slated for a 3D theatrical run next year.
It’s a little strange (and unfortunate for fans of the series who were looking forward to seeing their favourite characters in 3D), but good on Warner Brothers for not just throwing together a poor conversion and tossing it out the door. Seems they learned something after all the abuse they got for the poor 3D in Clash Of The Titans.
Casting for Spiderman reboot
We already knew Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) was going to direct and Andrew Garfield (the Red Riding trilogy, The Social Network) was Spidey, but beyond that, there were a lot of question marks about the new Spiderman movie. Well, now we know a little bit more. Emma Stone (Superbad, Easy A) has been cast as Gwen Stacy, and Rhys Ifans (The Boat That Rocked, The Shipping News) will play The Lizard.
I’m a little ambivalent about this news. On the one hand, I think Stone is great, but Ifans doesn’t really do anything for me. Just have to wait for 2012 to see I suppose.