Thursday, June 7, 2007

Two new high-profile lawsuits.

Who doesn't love a Hollywood lawsuit?! Apart from the people actually in them.

Anyway, there are two new high-profile lawsuits:

First up, Judd Apatow is being sued by Canadian author Rebecca Eckler because Eckler says Knocked Up copies her novel Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-Be.

Says Eckler: "A lot of people, I’m sure, will say, 'Well, getting drunk and knocked up, it could happen to everybody.' Well, the fact is, it doesn’t happen to everybody, and no one had written about it before I did. And he didn’t sell the screenplay until after I did."

Nobody had written about it before Eckler? What? That's like saying no one had written about mental retardation before Forrest Gump.

Says Apatow: "The book is about a woman who gets pregnant by the fiance that she loves on the night of her engagement party. The film is about a one-night stand between a pot smoking slacker and an ambitious young woman that leads to a pregnancy and their attempts to get to know each other."

I definitely agree with Apatow here. Anyone who checks out the preview of the book at Amazon will be able to tell that they're two very different stories, and only the first few pages are there. Plus, it's also evident while Knocked Up the movie is brilliant, Knocked Up the book is not. If I ever hear the phrase, "Did I...did we...did me?" again, I will personally hunt down Eckler and rip her fucking head off.

The trial is scheduled to begin in March 2008.

The second lawsuit which, to me, is less interesting, but which is much larger: Fifteen actors from the Lord of the Rings movies are suing New Line Cinema for allegedly withholding an estimated $100 million profit from merchandising. None of the well-known actors either, but that doesn't make the suit any less serious.

New Line must really be a bunch of assholes, because this is the third lawsuit against them in regards to Lord of the Rings alone. Peter Jackson has sued them for withholding profits from Fellowship of the Ring (subsequently losing his chance to direct the forthcoming Hobbit adaptation), while Saul Zaentz settled out of court over the rights to the books.

Man, Hollywood lawsuits. They must suck.

Paris leaves jail.

Okay, I made an internal vow not to blog anymore about the tabloid trashiness of Paris Hilton going to jail, but this I just could not resist: After serving only five days of her 23-day jail sentence, Paris has left jail.

Apparently, it was because of some sort of "medical condition." Celebritis, maybe?

Now the rich bitch is under house arrest, and her sentence has been bumped back up to the original 45 days. But what's the point? Where's the punishment? Where's the justice when the entire time she can pal around with her famous friends, sip mojitos, shove some more dogs in her purse, and basically have all the freedoms that time in jail would've made her grateful for?

This is wrong.

Stan Lee gets his Mickey Mouse on.

One of my very most all-time favorite creative people (right up there with Joss Whedon, John Lennon, and Quentin Tarantino), Stan "The Man" Lee, has signed an exclusive multi-year first look deal with Disney.

Though I have to say, as much as I love the guy--and it appears I'm not alone, as when he came onscreen in Spider-Man 3, the entire midnight screening burst into applause--he's not been creatively up to par in decades, the exceptions being his rare parlays back to Marvel Comics to play around with the characters he's already created. I keep seeing his direct-to-DVD animated features at Blockbuster and almost keep checking them out before pulling my hand back; I know that only disappointment can be in store.

In any guess, who knows? Maybe this deal will do good for both he and Disney. And at least it can never, never ever ever ever, be as bad as Stripperella.

Silver Surfer rises to...PG?

The Silver Surfer is badass. Galactus is badass. Further proof that the film featuring them both, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, won't be? The MPAA just slapped it with a heavy, badass, totally violent...PG rating. The first film was rated PG-13, and it featured only one--incredibly lame--group fight sequence. There were assorted lame one-on-one action matches that didn't really matter.

So if you were expecting the Silver Surfer to beat the shit out of the Fantastic Four and the world in general before Galactus came down to eat everybody and fuck things up royally, well...that'll probably still happen. But it will be very tame, and most likely not violent in any meaningful way. I'm not saying I advocate violence or want it to be all I see in a movie,'s a movie based on a comic book which features regular group fights and has its fair share of PG-13-esque violence.

So, once again Tim Story, fuck you.

A little public service in India.

India, home to over a billion people, is the second most populous nation in the world (China is the first), and has for many decades faced serious overpopulation problems. It is also reported to be the country with the highest number of HIV-positive cases. So, in an effort to curb such conditions, health officials in India have been handing out condoms at porno theaters.

I think this is a logical, reasonable way to handle the matter, and I hope it helps (though I won't be crossing my fingers).

Movies that rock! Literally!

This is a very fun little event: Netflix is launching Netflix LIVE! On Location, where three actors who also dabble in music will perform shows in areas where they've filmed a movie, then show said movie. For free!

Currently on tap:

Dennis Quaid and the Sharks at Spanish Plaza in New Orleans, Louisiana, with The Big Easy (6/21)
The Bacon Brothers at Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland, with Diner (7/15)
The Bruce Willis Blues Band at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, with Armageddon (8/2)

I wasn't even aware Dennis Quaid or Bruce Willis fronted bands, but I can say this: Diner is a classic, Armageddon is typical Michael Bay drivel, and I've never seen The Big Easy.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Idol spawns another movie star.

American Idol season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee will star in a dark indie romcom called The Last Caller. It's about "a self-obsessed woman who searches for love, hope and meaning during a few random events with other urban seekers."

Sounds...interesting. And it's got to be better than Idol's first contribution to the film world, the infamous Justin Guarini/Kelly Clarkson crapfest From Justin to Kelly; McPhee has the potential to rival Jennifer Hudson's Dreamgirls, because, contrary to what you've heard, the movie is a piece of shit and Hudson does a terrible job in it (despite delivering the film's only genuinely arousing, jaw-dropping moment, her performance of "And I'm Telling You I Am Not Going").

Plus, she's not singing in it. Which, for folks like me who much preferred the energy and spontanaiety of winner Taylor Hicks (the only Idol winner so far who's truly captured me, though Clarkson comes close), has got to be a good thing.