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Caffeinated Clint – 29/10/06

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Coffee-drinking webmaster on the rampage




Caffeinated Clint
A weekly editorial Grande with a double shot
With Clint Morris

Introduction
New idea for Lachy Hulme and Matthew George: ‘Lets Get Snipes’.

Quarter way through coffee

Hey, just saw “Children of Men” – work hasn’t enabled me to catch a lot lately, there just hasn’t been time, so I’ve been catching these flicks later than I’d like (which is good for the wife, because she finally gets to see something) – and gotta say, what a punch it packs. Apollo sized punches. Sheer gem. I caught up with Director Alfonso Cauron at Comic Con this year actually. Really like the guy. Think he’s got a great vision – again evidenced by this little beauty. It’s also this film that’s made me like ‘Clive Owen even more’ – and at the same time, wish for Christs sake, he’d taken up for the 007 gig – and has me sorting through the masses of discs here looking for “Croupier” (good film if you’ve never seen it). Anyway, just wanted to mention it. There aren’t a lot of movies that are worth shelling out gold for these days – – – but this is one of them.

Half-way through coffee
Was just having a conversation with someone at Warner about this whole “Superman Returns being greenlight” report – – and yeah, seems it’s true, but more to the point there’s a couple of reasons why it has got the greenlight. Mainly, “Warner are still interested in doing this Batman Vs. Superman thing – always have been. Its always been the plan to do it, but only after Batman and Superman had a couple of solo adventures – so that’s exactly what they’re going to do”. Apparently Brandon Routh and Christian Bale have even got together a couple of times to talk about the inevitable match-up. As for when it will happen? Who the fuck knows.
This one was supposed to happen a couple of years back. Having had no success with getting either a new Batman and/or a new Superman movie off-the-ground, Warner decided to try and kill two birds with one stone and coalesce the characters. Granted, Batman and Superman had teamed up before – several times, beginning with the 1940’s comic book series World’s Finest – so it wasn’t a fanciful idea.
With Kevin Peter Walker scripting and acclaimed filmmaker Wolfgang Peterson (“Das Boot”) attached to direct, Warner had a go-project, one that was set to be unveiled in Summer 2004.
“It is a clash of the titans,” Petersen told Variety in July of 2002. “They play off of each other so perfectly. (Superman) is clear, bright, all that is noble and good, and Batman represents the dark, obsessive and vengeful side. They are two sides of the same coin and that is material for great drama.”
Not surprisingly, a number of actors were rumoured to be under consideration for the roles. It was whispered that everyone from big-name stars like John Travolta, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp were getting a look-in, as were ostensibly less-conventional options like Vince Vaughan, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Paul Rudd.
Though planning to announce his two stars by August of 2002, Peterson was still on the hunt for the perfect Superman and the perfect Batman.
The Internet went into a frenzy shortly after with rumours that both Farrell, as Batman, and Law, as Superman, had been hired.
The rumours died out about the same time as Warner announced it was putting the project in “turnaround”. Yep, another Batman project bit the dust.
Peterson’s optimistic that the project may still happen one day. “I ask the question myself quite often. I was just talking to Alan Horn about it and he said, “I always liked that concept so much.” I think it’s on the back-burner because Warner Brothers decided to go with single “Batman” and “Superman” movies”.
I dunno about you, but I’d like to see it. I really would.

Three quarters the way through coffee
This weeks big ‘fuck you’ goes out to the wealthy Mercedes driving pigs that are trying to put the ‘Browncoats’ in their place. The Browncoats, if you don’t know, are those stringent fans of Joss Whedon’s short-lived TV series “Firefly” and film spin-off “Serenity” – without them (we did a fair bit for the film too, actually) that film spin-off would never have been. Ya see, as soon as FOX cancelled Whedon’s sensational “Firefly”, these fans did whatever they could to make sure that the TV/film world didn’t forget about the passengers of the Firefly vessel, and as good as forced Universal into greenlighting a film version of the thing. Now as much marketing (ahem) as Universal did for “Serenity’, they didn’t do half as much as the fans did for it. Whatever money this thing made was because of the fans flying the banner and getting the word out. Sure, Universal put up a couple of snazzy new forum websites – – -but it was the fans, with their 24-7 back and forward postings, and referrals, that made the sites popular. They were essentially the ‘unpaid marketing team’.
As soon as “Serenity” failed to break the ‘success’ margin, Universal dropped both the fans and the franchise like a ton of bricks. And now, just to prove how single-minded and egoistic they are (frankly, I just think people with power love to remind people that they possess the power to squash them), they’re trying to kill some ‘fan-made’ “Serenity” merchandise – stuff that is only helping keep the ‘Serenity’ name alive, mind you! – from selling without their approval. OK, look, I understand that the fan-made merchandise that is being sold at CafePress isn’t official, and they shouldn’t be doing it, but look – – these guys did a shitload of volunteer marketing for your movie, have some fuckin’ respect!
Yes, you should probably stop them from doing it, but surely there’s a nicer way to go around it then essentially getting the legal department to scare them shitless with a “stop now. You are doomed. We’re about to steal the shirt off your back” email – which is essentially what’s happened. There’s an opportunity for BOTH parties here, ya see. Imagine these ‘successful’ T-Shirt creators/merchants teaming up with Universal? It could be a win-win for both, but some are just too short-sighted.
The Browncoats are taking it really well, and have been the ‘bigger’ ones in this case, here’s their response on the SerenityStuff.com site :
“Lot of panicking going on right now, and rightfully so. After years of the careful and unspoken “we won’t notice fan-made stuff as long as it doesn’t compete with our own merchandise, should we ever get around to making any” attitude from FOX and Universal, a conflict has arisen and a heavy hand is making itself known. No longer will fans get away with their own Serenity logo T-shirts or barely-Photoshopped crewmember designs. It’s not worth the hassle and Universal is well within their rights to block such things, even though in the real world I suspect this will end up costing them a lot in good will and fan backlash”, says the site.
“So, they can take our ship and take our crew and leave us to buy whatever licensed items are left over. But, and this is an important but, they can’t take the ‘verse from us.”
What Universal have asked ‘the people who promoted their movie for them’ to do is “within 72 hours, I must agree to: pay a retroactive $8,750 licensing fee; the permanent closing of my shop; turn over any merchandise referring to the Universal Property; and provide the last 12 months complete sales records… there’s more, but that’s the gist… oh, except for the threat of federal court and the statutory damages thingy of $150,000 per infringed work… don’t want to go leaving that part out”, says the 11th Hour site.
Isn’t there a nicer way to go about this?

One sip to go

If there’s one thing I use to hate about my job working in film publicity – I did this before crossing over to the troupe known as the necessary evil, the media – it was following ridiculous rules that had been made up as simply a way of one’s power over the little man. One thing I really hated doing was calling up outlets – not usually internet outlets, because not many of them existed back then – and telling them they couldn’t run a review of a film because there was an embargo until the week of release. Now, I totally understood why the embargo was in place when it came to a shitty film… we didn’t want the word getting out… but what about when an outlet was about to run a very glowing review? Something they’re about to say, give four out of five stars too? It sucked. Someone ‘up stairs’ had decided it was easier to simply ban ‘all early reviews’ – even if a couple of them were going to be glowing fuckers that might’ve served as the best pre-release publicity some piece of shit needed.
I bring it up because it happened again last week. Not here, but at another site – a terrific little online horror website. They posted a review of “Saw 3” up – unaware that there was an embargo – and were forced to remove it within the day. Thing is, the review was SUPER POSITIVE. They essentially loved the film – a film that the studio is concerned is about to get a real critical molesting. So, the question arises, why not let them keep the film up? Isn’t it only going to help your film? Again, it’s people in power just throwing their weight around because they know their belt can take it.
In my book, Good PR is Good PR – regardless of whether the word leaks five days before you want it too. And if a film is supposedly as slipshod as the wheels on a 1982 Cortina; and someone wants to run an early positive review of the film – let them! Don’t you know it ‘hurts’ to shoot yourself in the foot?
If it was a scathing – because there’s no other kind when it comes to the two films I’m about to mention – review of a turd like “Cursed” or “Exorcist : The Beginning” they were trying to block, then that’s fair enough – they’re covering their own ground. But some free publicity, the likes of which you might NEVER get after the embargo date?
Someone’s really gotta rethink this ‘positing positive reviews of early movies ‘ rule – maybe then, they’ll see an increase in cinema admittance. Doesn’t take a mathematician to add up the possibilities there….



The Weekly Rap Sheet


CLINT’S……
Movie of the Week :
Children of the Men (see above)


DVD of the Week
: Crocodile Dundee 1 & 2


Watched the following 5 films this week… :
1) A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 ) The Net 3 ) Wyatt Earp 2 4) The Grudge 2 5) Cars


Favourite Hugh Jackman movie :
X-Men


Clint’s least Favourite Hugh Jackman movie :
X-Men : The Last Stand


been listening to…. :
The Phone ringing non-stop all week


Happy that…. :
”Bladerunner : The Directors Cut” is being released on DVD this week


Not Happy that… :
We’ve got to wait another year before the ‘real’ directors cut – the four hour version – is released


Predicting… :
Oscar nominations for “Children of Men”


Retro Pick of the Week :
: A Nightmare on Elm Street


Thinking that…. :
It’s about time someone took a chance on James Van Der Beek again


Star Nut of the week :
: See here


Confession of the week… :
I was a huge fan of Wes Craven’s “Deadly Friend”



This Week’s Useless bit of Advice
Look before leaping.


This Week We Salute :


Who? : Kristy Swanson
What do I know him/her from? : Probably the “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” movie, or even “Flowers in the Attic”.
What would you say is their best film? : Her most enjoyable film would probably be “Buffy”, but her best film is probably “Flowers”.
What did you see him/her first in? “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.
What have they been in lately? : A helluva lot of direct-to-video stuff, like “Soul Assassin” with Skeet Ulrich and “Silence” with Tony Todd – and they’re the better ones.
They done anything dire? : Does a bear shit in the woods?
They like anyone else? : I guess you can say she was Alicia Silverstone before there was an Alicia Silverstone
They still in work? : Yes.
Is their career freezing, cold, lukewarm, warm, hot or sizzling at the moment? : Lukewarm, but I see she’s getting into executive producing – so she’s at least still out there having a go.


5 Things You Didn’t Know About…….


“Top Gun” (1986)

1. Most of the movie was filmed in San Diego
2. Matthew Modine was offered the lead role of Maverick but declined
3. Tom Cruise was offered the chance to star in a sequel – but when he refused, the producers decided not to do it.
4. Bryan Adams was asked to allow his song “Only the Strong Survive” on the soundtrack, but he refused because he felt that the film glorified war.
5. John Carpenter was asked to direct.
Movie Rating :



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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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