Sunday, October 17, 2010

This week in random Hollywood re-tread news: The Hobbit, Top Gun 2 and Scream 4

I used to do a lot more random "news" and hodgepodge entries. Let's try to bring that back on a lazy Sunday that doesn't feature Chris Parnell and Andy Samburg, since Saturday Night Live was a repeat last night anyway.

- It seems like The Hobbit is back on. This makes me happy, especially since Peter Jackson is attached as the director now, as opposed to just being a producer.

I actually thought it was a bit odd that Peter Jackson started with The Lord of the Rings, as opposed to The Hobbit. In terms of source material, The Hobbit is about 100 times more readable and accessible. It moves at a pretty brisk pace, and there is a lot more action. Also, there is a giant effing dragon in it! That's always a selling point in movies for me.

In contrast, The Lord of the Rings trilogy has lots and lots of talking, along with aborted encounters. For example, the hobbits run into the ring-wraiths in the first book, but they don't fight them. This is a common theme through the series, as they run from the Balrog, the Ents take care of Saruman, and the one ring gets destroyed in a bit of luck, via a misstep by Smeagol. I think the height of the movies / books comes in one of the few confrontations, that of Eowyn dispatching the Witch-king. It was the only moment that made me go, "Wow, that's awesome!" The rest of the movies just featured a deep appreciation for what Peter Jackson had created, but yet, I wasn't spellbound.

- Unfortunately, Top Gun 2 sounds like it's going to suck. Blast is reporting via other sites that Tom Cruise isn't involved, and they haven't lined up Jerry B. as a producer, or other cast members. You can read their news item here. Without Tom Cruise, why bother calling it Top Gun? The movie is all about him!

I suppose they could try to lure Val Kilmer and/or Anthony Edwards back into the fold, and make a true sequel or prequel. But without either one of them or Cruise, it'll just seem like one of those crappy, unrelated movies that just uses an old series title to make a quick buck. (I'm looking in your direction, Bring It On Again and Dumb and Dumberer.)

Therefore, if you're actually going to do Top Gun 2, I think you need to make it into a spoof. I'm talking Naked Gun or Hot Shots or Airplane! style, with completely unawares characters in ridiculous situations. For example, you definitely need to the do the bizarrely hyper-gay volleyball scene again, but up the ante. Repeat it 15 times throughout the movie, or have a whole slew of volleyball players, or just make the whole movie about a big volleyball tournament as opposed to having anything to do with fighter jets.

- And finally, I find it odd that Neve Campbell was the holdout for Scream 4. Hey Neve, it's not like your door is getting knocked down by greedy agents desperate to ink you for your next role. Except for guest spots in some good television shows, her last prominent role was... Scream 3. Whoops.

I will add that Neve was really attractive in Party of Five, and especially Wild Things. Man, Kevin Bacon is probably a happy dude for life because of Wild Things... that son of a bitch. On top of that, he has a fun game named after him! And he's named after a delicious item of food! That sly, sneaky bastard.


  1. I'm so glad Peter Jackson is attached to The Hobbit now...I actually loved his adaption of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I only had a few minor issues but I thought overall they were fantastic.
    Is The Hobbit still supposed to be two movies? Because I think that part is ridiculous. If they could jam The Lord of the Rings into one movie each they can certainly do so with The Hobbit.
    Scream 4? Sigh. I love the first one but never bothered to see the others. The brilliance of the first one was that it was scary (at the beginning) but it was also a parody of itself and all scary movies. So clever. The other ones just seemed like slashers.

  2. If they include Val Kilmer, it would have to be a parody. The dude weighs 50 pounds more now...

  3. @ Sierra - I thought the adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy was really well done, but at the end of the day, the source material is still really dry and talk-y. I think Jackson was able to get around this for the second and third installments because, thankfully, there are long battles that are boring in the book, but good for film.

    I think The Hobbit will work as two movies just because otherwise, you'd probably need one three to five hour movie. A lot happens in that single book, which is kind of what makes it different from all of his other writing, at least to me.

    The original Scream was awesome, and the second one had some decent parts here and there. But yeah, your assessment is correct for the series on a whole.

  4. @ Bob - heh, Yeah, he's looking pretty "stout" in his most recent photos. Also, if I recall correctly, he's kind of anti-Hollywood now.

  5. I am not sure why the world even needs a Top Gun 2.

  6. Is it sad that I have no desire to see any of these sequels or prequels or anything for that matter. I'm so bummed at the Hollywood movie system right now. :/ It's so unoriginal lately. Or at least just BLATANTLY unoriginal. Robbing from books, comics, TV shows, and, the obviously unneeded sequels.

  7. Agree with you about LOTR--surprised they started with that one, but the films were outstanding. I'm hoping The Hobbit will be just as good.

    Yeah, um, Top Gun 2 without Maverick-you-big-stud-take-me-to-bed-or-lose-me-forever?!?! No, just no! How can you do a sequel without Mav?! Although, I have a sneaking suspicion it would suck even with Tom...there's just nothing to beat the original. It's a film full of eye candy for women. Two words: Volleyball scene. Enough said.

    Scream 4: I dunno how I feel about a 4th installment. The 3rd wasn't that great, at least I didn't think so.

  8. @ Megs - I imagine that the creators / producers see it as a way to cash in on the name, but yeah, I agree with you in principle. The only way it could be any good is as a cheesy-bad movie, since the original isn't an Oscar winner or anything.

  9. @ Christina - I agree with you for the most part :/ Even a movie like Scott Pilgrim, which I adored, was based on a book. I also love Quentin Tarrantino films, but most of his work is an homage to other previous films.

  10. @ THE Frisky Virgin - I'm hopeful about The Hobbit as well. I think Smaug alone could make the movie worth seeing.

    The original Top Gun movie is good for women, except that all those dudes are gay, you know ;)

    Unless it is very tongue-in-cheek, Scream 4 will probably suck. I think the series lost a lot of steam once Scary Movie came out, as Troy from Community might say.

  11. Why does every guy I've ever known tell me the guys in Top Gun are gay?! lol Seriously, let's just ruin the best scene ever...well, one of them, anyway. :)

  12. @ THE Frisky Virgin - Well, you still have the Kelly McGuiness scenes. And also, the sexuality of a woman has never bothered me. Portia de la Rossi is still gorgeous to me.

  13. Steve, I think it's safe to say The Hobbit will be a commercial success, whether one film or two, even if Smaug looks cartoony or he invents stupid extra scenes. Which means, well, it's time to start our imaginary casting for a Silmarillion movie...

  14. I'd make a kick-ass Turin Turambar.

  15. @ Aaron - Oh, I definitely think The Hobbit will make a ba-zillion dollars. However, a Silmarillion movie would be a much tougher sell, since it's so scattered and the only really recognizable tale is about how the One Ring gets lost.

  16. I know, but it would be fun to cast.

  17. I was thinking, with the right approach, you could do four tremendous Silmarillion films. Each would have a clear beginning and end, but as part of a larger narrative (no half-hearted, weird cut-off points, but obvious more is to come). Helping tie the thing together would be taking advantage of three characters who have roles in all four -- Maedhros, Morgoth and Thingol.
    Part I: The Curse of Feanor
    Part II: The Tale of Beren and Luthien
    Part III: The Children of Hurin
    Part IV: The Fall of Gondolin
    Never will happen, but if I were in charge, that's four blockbusters. Deep enough in myth and storytelling to win over intelligentsia and hardcore fans, but fun and exciting enough for blockbuster fans. It would move like the book, because the book was never MEANT to read like that. He never finished it. The unfinished stuff has lots of life to it.


Try not to be too much of an ass, unless completely necessary. You are subject to tyrannical moderation.


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