TMR: Sly’s ‘Expendables,’ ‘I, Frankenstein’ is alive, and Eli Roth drops hints

04.16.09 8 years ago 7 Comments

Karen Ballard

Welcome to The Morning Read.

“Yes, that man loved his pie.  And his offspring became a long line of pie lovers.  And though the Goon was not related to that man, he too loved pie.”

– Eric Powell, “The Goon,” Issue Four, Volume One

Dunno why, but that’s had me giggling for days.  How’s your Thursday morning treating you?  I think I finally got a handle on my work week by turning down a few things that I’d really like to do, but that I simply cannot find the time to do, either in the going and the doing or in the writing about it in a timely manner thing.  I’ve decided that instead of disappointing new people, I’m going to wrap up some of the long-term disappointments I’ve had in progress for a while now.

I exaggerate.  Slightly.  I overcommit out of genuine interest.  I hope people appreciate at least that much.  But a week like this and a worknight like the one I just had help when I’m pushing this rock uphill.  I feel like I did what i needed to get done in order to get today’s stuff done, which means I might finish out the week the right way, and that would be great.

You’ll notice I’ve changed the headline style.  By now, having the column name and the date take up more room than the headline seems a little silly.  It’s The Morning Read, but for the headline, a simple TMR will do, and the blog automatically dates each entry, so why put it again?  Hopefully this will make the headlines cleaner and easier to read.  Let me know what you think.

[more after the jump]

I love how completely low tech and grass roots the production blog for “The Expendables” feels.  If Cannon Films had run a blog back in the day, I anticipate it would have felt exactly like this.  And that’s a compliment.  Right now, Sly Stallone and Jason Statham and Eric Roberts seem to be the guys who are most in the mix.  If you read the blog and every update, you’ll probably know almost everything about the film by the time it finally opens, and that sort of transparency will probably work for this film.  What plot twists are they going to protect from us?  Something blows up?  What’s the twist.  Something different blows up?  Whatever.  Go crazy with spoilers.  Show us everything.  As long as they keep putting up those stills, that action movie porn, then fans are going to stay engaged.

Congratulations go out this morning to Robert Sanchez of and Ryan Rotten of Shock Till You, as both of them are involved in bringing “I, Frankenstein” to the screen.  It’s a really solid and fun idea, a film noir story told in a world peopled with the classic monsters of literature.  Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, The Invisible Man, The Mummy… all of them intersecting in this monocrhomatic world.  You can read a dry trade announcement of the project, or you can read an interview with Kevin Grivioux, the creator of the proect, complete with an early concept sketch of the Monster.  Your call.

Okay, I’ll admit it.  I’m intrigued by the vague claims Eli Roth is making regarding his next two films.  I try to never get too hooked at this stage, when things are still secret and people are teasing just a bit.  But Eli’s plan to make two movies for the price of one big one and his description of both films… well, it all sounds pretty great to me.

So tell me… if you’re a “Family Guy” fan, are you excited by “The Cleveland Show”?

Oh, my… The Onion sure can cut right to it, can’t they?

And speaking of, you think Warner Bros. was happy about this?

Yeah, me, too.

I wish there were any way in Hell I was going to be able to attend Coachella this or any year, but I’ll content myself with reading about it.  I thought the gallery that our own Melinda Newman wrote of the ten acts most worth seeing at Coachella was particularly good.

Don’t forget that today at 6:00 PM PST, the new “Harry Potter” trailer premieres.  Check back here to HitFix to see it in our own embedded format.  Can’t wait.

You know what makes American Apparel a bunch of scumbags?  If you do something stupid like put a celebrity’s face in your advertisements without paying them or even asking them, you’ve got to know that eventually, someone’s going to knock on your door to ask you what you were thinking.  That can’t have been a surprise to them.  They happened to pick a celebrity (Woody Allen) who has been absolutely dead set on not appearing in any advertisements in this country, and he’s held firm on that point for as long as I’ve been a fan of his work.  It was the exact wrong guy to use, and of course, he sued.  All of this so far should be fairly obvious to all involved.  But to try to somehow divert attention from your wrongdoing by attacking the guy whose image you tried to use to sell your clothes?  That’s just crazy.  It’s akin to a three year old breaking a toy rather than sharing it with someone else.  It’s not just difficult to understand… it’s flat out stupid, and I sincerely hope it’s considered grounds for Allen to decimate them in court.  I don’t care what someone’s done… you don’t get to exploit them and then defame them as a matter of whim.

I’ve seen people discussing this clip that shows where the Disney animators, over the years, have repurposed performance loops in animation, and if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s absolutely worth a look, and ask yourself, does this change how you feel about Disney’s animators, and are those movies ruined for you?

No, me, neither.

I’d reeeeeeally like to read this.

Hey, I just noticed that Todd VanDerWerff wrote the “Dollhouse” recap from the Paley Fest that we published here at HitFix.  Todd’s a good egg, and it’s nice to have him here as a guest.  And besides… his “Dollhouse” article is a damn good read.  I still feel so nervous as a fan of Whedon’s work, so paranoid of cancellation, that the only way I’ll watch season one is on DVD, in the week ahead of the season two premiere.  And even then, I’ll still be nervous the ax is about to fall.

Kim Voynar may be one of the last columnists to weigh in on the “Observe and Report” date rape issue, but her considered response is one of the best I’ve read about the ideas that are really at play here.  She says some things that no other columnist has said about the realities of the character that Anna Faris plays and the character that young women across America choose to play every weekend.  It’s a tough read, but I think it’s also one of the absolute best by anyone on this topic.  Like Michael Cieply’s saying… calm down.

As much as I’d like to see all the films that are being shown during the Cinemapocalypse Road Tour, I would not much care for going to Portland for any amount of time.  Why not?  Because they felt the need to pass a law about this, meaning it happened often enough they had to specifically say, “Don’t do that.  It’s illegal.”  No thanks.

Moby’s description of this benefit concert that just happened is exuberant and interesting and makes me wish I could have been there.  This was the David Lynch “Change Begins Within” charity concert, and if you hadn’t heard or seen, David Lynch actually just directed a video for Moby:

And finally this morning, The A/V Club put together a list of 24 great films that they never want to see again because they’re just too hard to sit through.  Now this is a list I can get behind, although I’ve never seen a great film I really only wanted to see one time.  Even the hardest stuff I love, I come back to eventually.  But see what you think of their list, and then I’ll see you back here tomorrow morning.

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

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