The Morning Read: Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo celebrate Cinco De Mayo ‘Machete’ style

05.05.10 9 years ago 14 Comments

Welcome to The Morning Read.

Over the weekend, it started to sink in.  I am turning 40 this month.  There’s no way to spin that to feel like I’m young anymore.  That is a number that used to make my skin crawl when I was young.  I used to joke about making a pact with another friend with a birthday the same month that we would go on vacation and end things in a blaze of murder/suicide glory rather than face life after 40.  Now, as someone with kids and a career that’s nothing like what I expected or attempted, I am in such a different headspace that I can hardly believe that younger version of me was actually me.

It’s made me nostalgic for the great movie going experiences I’ve had in my life so far and it’s made me reflect on all the intriguing twists and turns that got me to this particular point.  I consider the great movies in my life to be milestones by which I can trace my own development as a person.  I know where I was and who I was when I saw things for the first time, and one of the reasons I revisit certain films is because I know I’ll be different when I get back to them, and that difference is worth observing.  When I was 19, I saw “Lawrence Of Arabia” in the theater for the first time, and it blew my mind.  On May 30, the Aero theater is showing “Lawrence” in 70MM, and I think I’m going to see how many friends I can round up to join me for that screening.  It’s my favorite film, and it seems like a wonderful way to celebrate what is frankly a difficult birthday for me to internalize.

In the meantime, enough mopery… let’s see what’s going on out there…

A few months ago, I included a link in The Morning Read to a creeeeeepy little website called “Have You Ever Seen This Man?”  Well, it looks like Sam Raimi’s Ghost House productions has optioned the website’s film rights, and Bryan “The Strangers” Bertino is going to make a movie based on it.  There’s something simple and iconic about the idea, and I’m really curious to see what Bertino makes of it.  Good opportunity, and I hope he takes full advantage of the possibilities.

Probably the single greatest piece of footage out there today is the amazing Arizona response trailer that Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo released for “Machete,” just in time for Cinco De Mayo:

Love it.  And I am ashamed of Arizona in a way that I can barely articulate.  Nice to see someone have fun with a truly grotesque situation.

I’m not terribly interested in Rachel Weisz making that Jackie Kennedy movie, although I’m willing to be proven wrong if I love the final result.  For now, though, I’d be way more curious to see this thing she’s trying to make with Karyn Kusama.  Sounds delightfully freaky.

If you can read this story without being deeply moved, you and I have different empathy thresholds.  I think this is an amazing story, and I hope it was as magic for the kid in the story as it seemed to be from reading about it.

And speaking of superheroes and inspirational, heart-warming stories:

That Joker is insane.  He looks just like Cesar Romero.  In general, the design on that parody is preposterously well-done.  Warner and Fox have to get a headache looking at how close that is to the ’60s TV show.  I’m not sure how, even with parody laws, they get away with that, but for a whole bunch of guys who entered puberty watching Yvonne De Carlo in a Batgirl outfit or Julie Newmar or Eartha Kitt or Lee Meriweather dressed up as Catwoman, that is going to be a DVD worth ruining.

There’s a fine line between parody and copyright infringement, but at least with movies or TV shows, there are legal remedies if you feel you’ve been ripped off.  Stand-up comics don’t have any sort of built-in protection, and as a result, it’s easy to steal from comedians.  I’m glad to see that it’s harder to get away with it clean, though, in the age of the Internet.  Patton Oswalt was alerted to the work of a guy named Nick Madison and after watching some YouTube footage that must have been positively skin-crawling, Patton called the guy out in public.  The amazing thing is how Madison then actually made things worse by offering up a mealy-mouthed half-hearted “appology” to Patton, which led to another public shaming.  Hey, Nick Madison… shut up while you still can, dude.  Ugly.  Ugly.  Ugly.

Here’s a great Glenn Kenny piece about slasher movies, and it’s nice work covering familiar ground.

This is a great trailer for a great movie…

… and I look forward to writing more about the film soon.  It’s something else, rattling around inside of me since I saw it at Sundance this January.

I wouldn’t get too worked up about the additional photography for “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World”.  These aren’t reshoots… they’re just punch-ups, a few little odds and ends that Edgar Wright can use to punctuate his film a little more.  I think all films should have additional days of photography built in after editing.  They can’t all afford it, but there are few filmmakers who wouldn’t welcome the chance to go back and pick up a few more little things that really add the flavor to the finished film.  Edgar explains this overblown non-story over on CHUD today.

Let’s all calm down a little and enjoy a wee bit of poetry courtesy of the great Bill Murray:

Good lord, I love that guy.

I didn’t care much for Samuel Bayer’s remake of “A Nightmare On Elm Street,” but I didn’t really have an animosity towards the film or the filmmaker until I read a quote of his from a “Fangoria” interview.  Any director who starts the conversation with “… some of these fans on the web should just get up, stretch, breathe, go outside and get some fresh air, maybe get a girlfriend and just get a life. They should see the movie and make up their own minds.”  How incredibly defensive filmmakers get when they make movies that fans reject.  Remember… it’s never because you made a bad movie or missed the point of what you were remaking.  No… it’s because the people who criticize your work don’t get enough sex.  Right.

Since publishing the story about the “Super 8” trailer yesterday, I’m hearing all sorts of crazy things about what it might actually be.  So far, I’ve been careful to say that I don’t know what the trailer actually is… only when we’ll see it.  I mentioned that I’d heard a few sources claim it was a “Cloverfield” sequel, but I wasn’t comfortable claiming that as fact.  It didn’t feel right to me.  The Vulture claimed yesterday that they were 100% sure it was “Cloverfield”-related, and then after seeing JJ in public last night, they’re now printing his denial of that.  Either way, we’ll see the trailer tomorrow night, and I’m dying to lay eyes on it and start this next round of games with Abrams leading up to the film’s production and release.  In the meantime, I’m flabbergasted that anyone would want to spoil the end of “Lost” for themselves or for readers this close to the airdate.  Even so, call sheets and script pages seem to be turning up in various places, and I can’t recommend clicking those links, but I also know some of you won’t be able to resist.  I would rather play the “what do you think is going to happen” game for a few more weeks.  I hope Stephen Totillo’s not proven right here, and that there’s something more to what’s coming than just a boss battle.  We’ll see, though.

Amazing.  Just amazing.

RT @mintzplasse Don’t believe what you are hearing about ‘Kick-Ass 2,’ guys.  It is not confirmed, but I will love to do it when the time is right!

This is why game reviews are not my primary purpose in life.

Although, speaking of game reviews, I have another reason for XBox envy, it seems.


Some retirements make you sad.  Others make you laugh profusely.

Mark Lisanti’s brain doesn’t work like other people’s brains.  And thank God for that.  Here’s proof.

… must not… make… lazy jokes… or take… cheap obvious shots… must… not…

I like this trailer a lot…

… but that premise has mold on it.  Really?  A hitman on his last job?  That’s been a cliche since well before I was born.  I trust Corbijn and Clooney, but I’m amazed that’s the actual synopsis of a real movie in the year 2010.

This is flat-out remarkable.

And finally, a question:  do you agree with Roger Ebert?  I haven’t been in sync with him on much lately, but we may find some common ground on this one.  I think there are a lot of great voices out there right now, and one of the greatest things about Roger has always been his willingness to support and promote other writers.  It’s generous, and it’s vital if we’re going to continue to have a strong and vital community of film criticism.

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

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