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News Around the Net

I’ve gotta open with Alan Moore’s article about his feelings on the Guy Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta (his brilliant comic book series, published in 1982) is now being used by protesters of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.  The piece is a fascinating read (and if any of you haven’t read the brilliant V for Vendetta, do so immediately!!  The film adaption is OK, but the original graphic novel is genius.).

Alan Sepinwall on Hitfix posted an article in honor of The Simpsons’ 500th episode (a ludicrously incredible milestone) asking fans to pick their favorite Simpsons episode.  The article currently has nine pages of comments and is still going strong.  You’ve got to read them — it’s a wonderful trip back down through memory lane, remembering classic Simpsons episodes.  By the way, my pick?  “Homer the Heretic” (in which Homer decides not to go to church and winds up having the best day of his life, then starts his own religion, then finds himself trapped in a fire from which he must be rescued by his friends of other faiths, “be they Christian, Jewish, or… miscellaneous.”  “Hindu!  There are seven hundred million of us!”).

And if you’re looking to kill any MORE time, check out Mr. Sepinwall’s follow-up post asking fans to pick their favorite Simpsons quote: “Pick Only One Favorite Simpsons Quote? That’s unpossible!” That article has NINETEEN pages of comments and they’re all so much fun to read through.  My favorite Simpsons quote?  “Man alive!  There are men alive in here!”

Capone at AICN has posted the start of a fascinating interview with David Wain.  I am very excited for his new film, Wanderlust, starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston.  Here’s the red-band trailer and here’s the green-band trailer.  They’re quite different and both are very, very funny.  (I especially love the green band trailer for including lots and lots of Party Down’s Ken Marino, who co-wrote the film with Mr. Wain.)

If you have eight minutes and forty-two seconds to spare, I encourage you to check out this video montage of Nic Cage’s 100 greatest quotes.

I’ve been watching this slightly-extended version of The Avengers’ Super Bowl spot a LOT lately.  I REALLY hope this movie is good!  In all of these trailers it still looks pretty small-scale to me, which has me worried… and I think the new versions of both Thor’s and Captain America’s costumes both seem a little more “costumey” and less real than the versions in their individual films.  Still, it’s nice to finally see a glimpse of the extra-terrestrial bad-guys (please let them be Skrulls please let them be Skrulls) and that circular pan of all the heroes ready for action is pretty bad-ass.  I can’t wait to see this film.

Bond fans!  Check out Sam Mendes’ first video-blog from the set of Skyfall, the upcoming James Bond film:

VFX wiz Daren Dochterman, who was one of the key creative forces behind the Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture that was released to DVD (almost a decade ago!  Wow!) was bummed that the recent blu-ray release of TMP didn’t include HD versions of the film’s (totally bizarre and wonderful, narrated-by-Orson Welles) trailers.  So he’s decided to create them himself, recreating the original trailers shot-by-shot.  Here’s one:

You can see more here.  By the way, if you’re a Trek fan and you’ve never seen the Director’s Edition of TMP, I highly encourage you to check it out.  Working with original director Robert Wise, a small team of filmmakers made a ton of little trims and corrections to the film.  They tightened up the narrative, completed the famously unfinished sound mix, and added in a number of new CGI visual effects shots.  But — and here’s the important thing — in marked contrast to the Special Editions created for another film franchise with “Star” in the title, these new CGI effects shots are incredibly subtle, designed to perfectly mesh with the original model work from 1979.  It’s exactly how this sort of work should be done.  I hope to someday see this version of the film — by FAR the best version of the film, far superior to both the original theatrical version and the extended, even more lugubrious TV version — released on blu-ray.

Well, I like the title for the fifth Die Hard movie (it’s very Klingon!), but I must say the news that this is really happening doesn’t exactly fill me with excitement.  Did anyone walk out of the painfully mediocre fourth film and think, “man, I’d like to see another one of those!”??

Let me end for the day with a link to an interesting story about The Weinstein Company’s attempts to overturn the R rating the MPAA gave their new film Bully, a documentary on school bullying.  I’ve long been fascinated by the haphazard way that the MPAA designates ratings (I HIGHLY recommend Kirby Dick’s magnificent documentary on the subject: This Film is Not Yet Rated).  The Weinsteins have released a statement that they are considering a leave of absence from the MPAA.  It might just be bluster, but I am fascinated by the idea of a major company withdrawing from the MPAA.  It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.  (And I am fascinated to see Bully.)

See you all back here tomorrow!

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