Friday, August 22, 2008

Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

Yesterday, I was standing somewhere waiting for a ride, and I started making a list in my head. A list of comic book movie wishes. Like, if I could make a list of comic book movie-related wishes, and they could all come true, what would they be? I'd ask for a Nolan Batman movie with the Riddler in it. Maybe a Fantastic Four reboot (and quick). Possibly an Ed Solomon-scripted Men in Black sequel. Above all, I'd definitely want another live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, the exact style of the first movie, that maybe more directly adapts the early seasons of the original animated series.

But the first wish that popped into my head, and was the thought that prompted the list to begin with, was that I wished there would be a direct Bryan Singer-directed sequel to 2006's Superman Returns. I don't think anyone anticipated a movie like this as the culmination of two decades of false starts and aborted attempts to bring Superman back to the big screen. Some people didn't like it, and they all had their own different issues with it. I was thrown by it, but only because it seemed like it was setting something up that we wouldn't get to until its hypothetical sequel(s). I'd had a similar reaction to Singer's X-Men, which he then followed up with the really awesome X2. So I wasn't too worried about it, and I actually like Superman Returns a lot. In the past year or so, there have been numerous worrisome rumors about Singer possibly not getting to do his follow-up (announced in early 2006 and referred to tentatively as "The Man of Steel"). The shooting date kept getting pushed back while Singer worked on other movies. In October 2007, his two writers actually left the project. And since then, there have been more rumblings that the franchise might get rebooted. The talk would never get too far, but it always troubled me that I never heard any quotes from Singer himself about what was happening. Last month, Warners supposedly started taking pitches from new writers for the Superman sequel. As far as anyone knew, this didn't mean Singer was necessarily losing the franchise, and Brandon Routh was still the official Superman.

Today we got confirmation from Warner Brothers that Superman is getting rebooted. Studio exec Jeff Robinov gave a whole quote explaining about how they're going to do like Marvel and introduce solo movies for each DC hero with the eventual intent of putting them all together in a Justice League movie, and that all the heroes will be dark and brooding like The Dark Knight. He elaborated, proving even further that he had no idea what he was talking about.

This really hurts me. I was emotionally invested in Superman Returns, and it looks like I'm never going to find out where it was going. I want to hear from Bryan Singer already. Why the fuck is Man of Steel dead?


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Bullshit.

Earlier this week, WB Entertainment President & COO Alan Horn announced that they were changing the release date of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from November 21, 2008 to July 17, 2009. He said it's mainly because a lot of other movies had WGA strike-related complications and they needed something like Harry Potter to pick up the slack come blockbuster season.

At the exact same time, Issue #1007/1008 of Entertainment Weekly hit the stands. It was a Fall Movie Preview double issue, and the cover was a picture of Harry Potter's face.

This kinda sucks for the Entertainment Weekly peeps, who pride themselves on having their collective finger consistently on the pulse. Especially because it's a double issue, so it'll be on racks and shelves everywhere for two whole weeks before they can put out another one. But if you ask me, this was no accident. Warner Brothers knew Harry Potter was gonna be the cover story of Entertainment Weekly. I bet they purposely waited to make the announcement so they could still get that fortnight of face time on newsstands.

Tricky, fellas. But not tricky enough.

Incidentally, I kinda preferred the idea of a Harry Potter movie coming out in the fall. Just, aesthetically, it seemed to make more sense. Now we gotta see it in the summer. And wait an extra eight months for the privilege. WB spun this by pointing out that it'll shorten the wait between Half-Blood Prince and the next Harry Potter movie. In other words, we should go fuck ourselves.


Friday, August 15, 2008

R.I.P. Bennigan's (1976-2008)

Bennigan's is dead. Or is it?

Everyone knows Bennigan's Grill & Tavern. Or, uh, Bennigan's Restaurant. Whatever it is, everyone knows it. And apparently, it sucked. I just read a little bit about how in the 90's, they started cutting costs by bringing in frozen products, low quality meat, and other garbage. For some reason, Mr. Bennigan, or whoever the hell was in charge of things, just didn't know how to run a good restaurant. But it was something you could rely on. "Where can we go for dinner?" "Bennigan's." "God no."

On July 29, 2008, Bennigan's owner S&A Restaurant Corporation filed for bankruptcy and Bennigan's officially became defunct (along with some other chain called Steak and Ale). Overnight, they closed their doors forever. It seemed like our world might never be the same. "Where can we go for dinner?" "Bennigan's." "Doesn't exist anymore." Man. But then I found out something else. Roughly half of all Bennigan'ses in the country were franchises, and thus, were not affected by the company's bankruptcy. All franchise Bennigan's locations remain open! This does me no good, because there aren't any Bennigan's locations around here (ironically, there used to be one, but I think it closed sometime last year just for sucking). And if there were, I wouldn't know, because the Bennigan's website is now a dead link. But maybe you, dear reader, out there in some other state (or any of its international locations)-- you may have a Bennigan's near you that is still in operation. Go there and choke down some of their disgusting low-grade meat. Celebrate the rogue slophouse that will not die.

Wait a minute. Steak and Ale. I REMEMBER THAT PLACE. I definitely went there once when my brother and I were in elementary school. The walls were stone, like a castle. Man, that brings back memories. And now it's gone forever?!

R.I.P. Steak and Ale (1966-2008)