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News Around the Net!

The casting announcements have been coming fast and furious for the new Spider-Man film, but I just can’t muster up much excitement.  I simply think it’s a terrible idea to re-boot the Spider-Man franchise, which felt to me like it still had a ton of gas in the tank (despite my dislike of Spider-Man 3).  Take the recent news that Rhys Ifans will be playing The Lizard in the new film.  That should be exciting news — I think the Lizard is a great Spidey villain.  But I’m just bummed that they’re finally using The Lizard in a Spidey film and the great Dylan Baker — who appeared as Dr. Curt Connors in ALL THREE previous Spider-Man films — isn’t going to get to play the character.

Speaking of big announcements about which I just can’t muster up too much excitement is the news that George Lucas will be releasing the Star Wars movies back to theatres in 3D, as well as the follow-up announcement that they’re also working on 3-D conversions of the Indiana Jones films.  On the one hand, any excuse to see the Star Wars and Indy films back on the big screen is exciting.  (After having so much fun seeing Back to the Future back on the big screen, I’ve been hoping that other studios would follow suit and bring some of their best films back to theatres so we can enjoy them as they were meant to be seen.)  But I’m not so excited about the 3-D conversions.  That has the potential to be cool, but a big part of me would really just rather see a beautifully restored 2-D print of those films.  Also, Lucas has unfortunately decided to release the Star Wars films one per year, in order of episode number — which means he’s starting with Episode I, and we won’t get to see The Empire Strikes Back until something like 2016!!  That stinks!

I’ve been interested in the upcoming sci-fi film Skyline ever since seeing the trailer.  But I’m even more interested now, after reading Mr. Beaks’ great piece at AICN about how Colin & Greg Strause basically made the film independently, free from studio oversight or interference.  I can’t wait to see what they’ve put together.

Check out this amazing web-site that contains a treasure trove of footage of Andy Kaufman performing throughout his career, arranged chronologically.  Astounding.

I’d never heard of this movie before seeing the trailer, but now I’m intrigued:

The combination of Andy Serkis (who played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films) and Simon Pegg is genius, and it’s exciting to see John Landis directing again!

Like most viewers, I was pretty stunned by the grim couch gag that opened one of last month’s episodes of The Simpsons.  If you missed it, check it out here, and then continue on to read the New York Times’ fascinating conversation with show-runner Al Jean as to how that opening sequence came about.

This is pretty awesome: a movie map of the United States!  Each State is labeled with the film that best represents that state.  Some fun choices here!

Amid all of the excitement over the recent release of the Back to the Future trilogy on blu-ray, various web-sites are starting to report one small wrinkle: the discs are impossible to remove from the case!!  The package design is apparently so perplexing that Universal Studios had to release an INSTRUCTION GUIDE on how to remove the discs!!  Click here to see it for yourself.  Boy, what an embarrassment…

Finally, for the true geeks out there — click here to check out a web-site filled with articles attempting to pinpoint the locations of planets featured in famous sci-fi shows and movies (Star Trek, Babylon 5, Dune, etc…) within our galaxy.  There is a lot of serious science to be found on this site, trying to make sense of some of our beloved science fiction.   If you’re looking for an afternoon to waste, this is not to be missed.