Caffeinated Clint : 10 Things…


I’ve stopped-and-started this latest column more times than my DVD copy of “Australia” (just can’t seem to get through the thing). It was kicked off at my new office in Burbank (more soon), continued on a park bench where ducks preceded to nip at my ankles, and finished – a couple of days back, sans corrections – on my blackberry. It was only then that I decided to leave the column for a few more days – or was it a week? – until Fox aired the “Prison Break” finale; something told me it’d be worth a mention. Dunno if it was – but it’s in here. I can’t promise anything special from this week’s “Caffeinated Clint” but I can promise it’ll be better than that fuckin’ “Smallville” season-finale.

10 Things that are on my mind..

1. “Star Trek II : Spock and Uhura Teabag” – There’s rumours of old, button-popping Kirk coming back, even whispers that Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman may bring back classic villain Khan. Look – forget both of those guys. I love Shatner as much as the next pursit movie geek, but quite frankly, fuck him. We’ve already said goodbye to his Kirk a few movies ago; and does anyone – but Shatner’s accountant – really want his gratuitous cameo in the sequel? Seriously? Shit, there’s a reason Old Kirk wasn’t in the current “Trek” film – it made no sense. And the writers can brainstorm and toy with ideas as much as they want, the simple truth of the matter is, there’s no logical way of bringing the dead captain back for the next one either. I think J.J knows this – I just hopes he gets the final say here.

As for Khan? Isn’t this supposed to be a reboot?… leave Khan in the original series of movies, and come up with your own villain! Heck, maybe bring back the green chick that Kirk was set to screw before Uhura burst in; maybe she’s after Kirk for giving her a mouthful of ulcers? There’s a reason we went and saw the new movie, Paramount – because it wasn’t the same old shit; so please, give us more of the ‘new’ stuff.

Oh, and while I’m at it – J.J, Bob, Alex, Paramount… thanks for giving us the best damn Summer blockbuster in years. Maybe me feel like an unpopped, Erin Grey-lovin’ teenager all over again.

2. Lindsay Lohan – but only because I visited one of those dodgy, dirty public toilets today and saw a ‘turf used needles’ box near the wash basin.

3. Prison Break – Can’t decide whether I liked the finale or not (most haven’t). I’m not going to say what happens in it (in case there are people that haven’t yet caught it) but I will say it did feel a bit of a cheat. Maybe a more satisfying ending would’ve involved Michael and Lincoln playing ball with the decapitated heads of Whistler and T-Bag? Or, for that matter, one of the guys breaking into something not so brick-and-mortar but more of the catholic-schoolgirl variety (sorry!). Gotta say I’m an even bigger fan of William Fichtner than I already was, after the show, though; the man rocks like a Springsteen groupie.

Oh, Fox won’t be screening the two-hour prequel movie “The Final Break” – set before the last episode – and people seem honestly confused by the network’s decision not to air it. Um…I’ll tell ya why it’s going straight-to-DVD – because it’s not so much a “Prison Break” movie as it is a spin-off fixing on one of the less interesting characters from Season 3 – in this case, Gretchen, played by Jodi Lyn O’Keefe. Yes, all the regular “Prison Break” cast members will be in there, but by-and-large, it’s the ‘Gretchen’ movie; originally planned to be a backdoor pilot for a spin-off series nobody ever wanted in the first place. Who the fuck cares about anyone from Season 3? That was the season that ruined the show. Ok, so it could’ve been worse – we could’ve been watching a telemovie centering on that who-gives-a-shit character, Whistler (Chris Vance) – but seriously, stop your whining…. Fox may be doing us all a favour. YOU CAN ALSO READ MY SPECIAL : GOODBYE TO PRISON BREAK HERE.

Also, for what it’s worth, the fourth season of “Prison Break” wasn’t half bad. If you have any interested at all in the show, check it out on DVD.

4. Dieter Brummer – Watching all his former co-stars crack Hollywood must be pretty hard – but not half as hard as the drugs he was caught with shortly after winning the “Home and Away” gig. The lesson here? save the good times for Hollywood. (The guy was good in “Underbelly” though; maybe that’ll land him somewhere?).

5. Remakes – I’ll be honest, I think there’s room for some remakes (“Halloween”, “Red Dawn” etc)… but knowing some of my favourite films* (be it “Back to the Future” or “Ghost” or “The Goonies” or “Gremlins”) will be soon getting the Xerox treatment (they haven’t been announced yet, but I fear the announcement’s are imminent) is just god-damn depressing. Gun rests besides bedside table for the moment Taylor Lautner is announced as the new Poppy Doyle in a remake of “The French Connection”.

*Thank god, Robert Rodriguez has the smarts to sequelize “Predator” and not remake it – that would’ve only led to heartbreak.

6. Studios that don’t think the internet’s worth an ounce of hash – I’ve heard it from quite a few webmasters over the past couple of weeks (even in the states where the internet is more widely accepted by the studio world) – “x studio treats us like peanut-encrusted shit”. Yeah, seems there’s still some bad blood between the film website and film distributors/publicists. Yep, we’re still the scary over-opinionated assholes of the www. Of those folks that have spoken of their relationships with distribs, someone complained of “not even being able to get an email returned”, another told me that he couldn’t ‘’get into media screenings despite having an audience three times as large as those that do attend the screenings” (CHUD’s Devin is no longer welcome to go to Fox screenings, for instance – go figure! big mistake!), and quite a few have complained of publicists straight out lying to them about interview opportunities – as in, x website has heard someone’s doing interview for x film (and they’re right) but the publicist will flat out deny interviews are happening (I can name a studio that frequently does that; gutless) because it’s easier to fib than to tell the understandably irritated journalist the truth. As I tell my colleagues, give it time – one day the dinosaurs will realize that new media is where it’s at. At the moment, these distribs may be giving a church newsletter an exclusive interview with so-and-so before over an Internet site with millions of viewers, but one day that same publicist/studio will have her lips firmly pressed to your ass; I guarantee it.

What do I think is the problem? Well, the problem, I believe, is that film websites (well, the independently-run sites anyway) can’t be bought – they/we actually have an opinion – and some studios aren’t prepared to be in bed with anyone they can’t, er, get on top of.

I will say this, most of the studios we deal with are excellent – I can’t deny that; we’ve been flown to exotic locales for set visits, offered exclusive interviews with talent before anyone else (and sometimes ‘over’ anyone else), and regularly invited to long-lead screenings so we can make the U.S release date of such-and-such a film. It differs from studio to studio… publicist to publicist… but by-and-large, Australian distibs do seem to be a little fonder of the web than they used to be. And the ones that aren’t as fond? Well, you don’t see their films plugged half-as-much here do ya?

7. There’s some stuff happening – stuff I can’t quite discuss yet – that’s going to remit my livelihood in a bit of a different direction. It’s all good, but I’m afraid I’m going to have less and less time for my media commitments. I’m not going anywhere… You might just find me writing more and more stories under the name ‘Hairy Knows’. I mention this because I’ve been caught up of late and have about 300 emails to answer… one of which could be yours. I’m not snobbing you, just busy as a whore at Mardi Gras.

8. Smallville – KILL CHLOE NOW. We’re all sick of waiting. Give us a reason to watch again.

9. Terminator Salvation – A producer colleague of mine saw the film a few months back (before Arnold’s cameo – said to be reminiscent of his ‘Madame Tassuads’ wax figure – was inserted), and even then, said it was merely OK. I believe his/her exact words were “Look, it’s not a bad film – but it’s not a Terminator film”. The more and more I hear about it, the less excited I get. Still, I’m going to continue to hold out hope. Hopefully it’s one of those films that, whilst it mightn’t appeal to everyone, will appeal to me – kinda like “The Incredible Hulk” or “The Boat That Rocked”. I’m known to like cheese. Look, so long as Worthington rocks as much as I hear he does, Hamilton’s narration has remained in the film, Moon Bloodgood’s topless shot is on the DVD, and the iconic Terminator theme plays ‘somewhere’ – I think I’ll be happy. I’ll be sure to let you know anyway. (Surprisingly, some of the best comments I’ve heard about the pic are about McG’s direction; that’s a good sign.. for the franchise).

10. Unbound Captives – Pretty good script, Madeleine Stowe has obviously put a lot of time, energy and thought into it. Still… can’t fathom why Fox would want to put $5 million dollars for it? It’s not that good. (Oh, and Robert Pattinson is all wrong for the role of the son – note to casting director : go watch ‘Heath Ledger in The Patriot’ and recast the role). I also don’t understand why Stowe can’t play the female lead – she’s not that old, and quite frankly, I think she’s still an out-and-out fox. But what do I know? I work on the Internet.

Until next time,
‘Caffeinated’ Clint