The Morning Read (4.07.09) Paramount wins the summer with ‘Star Trek’ in Austin

04.07.09 9 years ago 6 Comments

Paramount Pictures

Um, yeah, did we mention that Paramount just served everyone a huge plate of shut the f**k up?  Cause they did.

May’s going to be huge for everyone.  There’s no doubt about it.  There are so many giant movies coming out in May that it’s sort of sick.  “Wolverine.”  “Angels & Demons.”  “Terminator: Salvation.”  “Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian,” my nominee for most unweildy title of the year.  “Up.”  And those are just the giant mega-budget movies.  I also count another 12 films worth seeing in May, ranging from Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience” to Rian Johnson’s “The Brothers Bloom” or even Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me To Hell.”  That’s not a list for the whole summer, mind you… just May.

But last night in Austin, with the help of the amazing Alamo, Paramount threw down with a smile on their face, unleashing “Star Trek” on an unsuspecting crowd while also unveiling it halfway across the globe at a gala Australian premiere.  Surprise and red carpet.  Totally different experiences.  The Austin reviews are pouring in, and they’re fairly blissful.  Seems to me people really, really liked what they saw, and it also seems that much of what I took away from the early footage screening event I went to held true for the film as a whole, and that my early scoop on the film’s plotline turned out to be about 90% accurate.

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If you read Quint’s review at Ain’t it Cool, or Harry’s review, or the two reviews over at Film School Rejects, or if you read the review at CHUD, or the reaction from Moises at Hollywood Elsewhere, it’s obvious that the geek crowd is sold.  In.  Ready to accept it and enjoy the adventure movie.  I’m not so sure the hardcore “Trek” crowd is ready to accept the existence of this movie, but it sure seems like it’s working for everyone who’s seen it so far, and I’m hoping the LA screenings are going to start sooner rather than later.

It’s just impressive to see buzz managed with that sure a hand after watching the nightmare Fox has been dealing with for the last week on “Wolverine.”  And while Universal got a good deal of buzz off the “Bruno” trailer and that great SXSW sneak-peek, what Paramount just did with “Trek” has driven the core audience they’re trying to reach absolutlely crazy with desire now.  They covet “Trek.”  Opening day can’t get here fast enough now.  Truly… a brilliant PR game, and a stunning finishing move.  Watch them roll through their premieres with utter confidence now.

Fox is also on the defensive with “Dragonball Evolution,” but I’m going to bet right now it’s a lost cause.  I don’t sense any anticipation for that film out there, and if it’s got more than one weekend in it, I’d be shocked.  Frankly, I doubt it’s even got that.

I’m unfamiliar with Little White Lies, which appears to be a film magazine, but their new digital format is sort of great, and their most recent issues shines the spotlight on “Let The Right One In,” which is always a good idea, so check it out.

There’s a Vanity Fair column today that does a decent job of laying out some of the changing landscape of film financing and consumer habits right now, and you’ve got to love anyone who gets into such a potentially dry topic with the lede, “George Lucas Was Dead Wrong!”

Can we stop suing “Watchmen” yet?

There’s a new “Understanding Screenwriting” column up over at The House Next Door that’s worth a look, taking on subjects like “Race To Witch Mountain,” “Frost/Nixon,” and “30 Rock,” among others.

I’m thrilled that Michael Winterbottom worked out the financing on his long-rumored adaptation of “The Killer Inside Me,” one of the best books I’ve ever read and long-cursed when people have tried to bring it to the screen.  No less an artist than Stanley Kubrick tried and failed, so if Winterbottom finally pulls it off, I’m excited to see what he comes up with.

Imagine bringing a giant name filmmaker onstage to promote your product, only to have that filmmaker pull the competition out of his pocket during his speech.  Sounds horrifying, right?  It was.

Tom Carson tried rewatching “Pinocchio” and realized that the movie scarred his childhood and still terrifies him, and Glenn Kenny is trying to figure out why he didn’t have the same reaction as a kid.

Of the two new Michael Crichton books this press release describes, I’m more interested in the pirate novel.  I love the comparison to “The Great Train Robbery,” one of the most purely enjoyable Crichton novels and films.  I just hope they don’t start pimping out every doodle he ever made in the margin of a manuscript in an attempt to keep the brand alive.  He was an author, not a corporate mascot, so let’s keep it classy, folks.

Horror fans should be reading Ryan Rotten’s blog right now, where he details his trips to the sets of Rob Zombie’s “Halloween:  H2” and the remake of George Romero’s “The Crazies.”  Good stuff.

Speaking of Romero, I like this list of great mall movies.

And finally, today is Francis Coppola’s 70th birthday.  I know what BluRay box set I’ll be putting in to watch as I work, and I hope you guys celebrate it with a viewing of “The Conversation” or “Tucker: The Man And His Dream” or any of this great director’s work.  It’s good to know he’s out there, still working, still dreaming big.

The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday.  Except when it doesn’t.

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