Open Thread for October 1, 2010

I’m BACK! I’m BACK in the Open Thread a-gain …

In movie news: George Lucas has announced his plans to release the Star Wars saga in 3D, starting with Phantom Menace and continuing through to the good ones. I expect good things out of Lucas, one of the visual arts pioneers of cinema, but if the secret to the Force turns out to be “unobtainium” I will throw up.

Good TV is back! Community, Modern Family and Boardwalk Empire have all kicked off, restoring America’s faith in the boob tube. Sadly, Fox’s Lone Star was canceled, having only drawn twice as many viewers for its pilot as Mad Men does on an average week. Fortunately, Detroit 187 still has feisty cops!

lone-star

True, he doesn't play by the rules ... but does he piss off his chief? No? NEXT.

The big news this weekend: the opening of the critically acclaimed The Social Network. Wrather already talked about it last week, so what more can I say? We’ll be sure to post our thoughts about it to our Facebook page (SPOILER ALERT: they start a company called Facebook).

Finally, we say goodbye to Tony Curtis, one of the most versatile actors of the 50s and 60s. Funny in Some Like it Hot, passionate in The Defiant Ones and poignant in Spartacus, he compacted a wide range of styles into a thick Brooklyn accent. Rest easy, Tone.

Could a passionate Facebook petition, trust in the Force or a Tony Curtis guest appearance have saved Lone Star from cancellation? Or is there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.

22 Comments on “Open Thread for October 1, 2010”

  1. Chris #

    Some Like it Hot is one of my favorite movies, and while I’m a big Jack Lemmon fan, Tony Curtis stole the show in that film. Of course, this may be because he actually attempted an actual, unique woman’s voice, whereas Lemmon pretty much talks like himself with a slightly higher tinge to his voice. Except for all those times when his character just starts talking like Jack Lemmon.

    In news you didn’t mention, the next edition of the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes movie added Stephen Fry as Mycroft and Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty. While, if I recall your podcast correctly, there were some mixed reactions to the film, I really enjoyed the first one and this news has me looking forward to the second one. I like Fry and I think he’s almost an ideal Mycroft, and the one clip of Mad Men I watched on YouTube to get a sense of Harris leads me to believe he can probably do a good job with what will presumably be a meaty role.

    Also, the trailer for True Grit is out. It’s the only movie coming out in the rest of this year I know I want to see some day.

     
  2. Darin #

    imdb.com changed their format. I’m not sure when, but I don’t like it. I get the impression that they said, “hey, let’s see if we can provide the same info in the same space, but somehow increase the ad size and width. UGH! I went to Yahoo! movies.

    I haven’t seen The Social Network so maybe somebody can help me understand how a young rich asshole at Harvard(not my words about the character in the movie, many other peoples) who, as far as I can tell, screws his friends is so popular a movie. Similarly, I am a gleek (glee geek), and I see little value in musicals, but the shows production quality is top notch and my wife loves it so I get into it.
    Can someone who has seen this movie answer this – Are we supposed to get into the production is so well done and/or to what degree is the FB phenomenon driving this movie?

    What makes an anti-hero “Oscar worthy” – something that I have heard often already?

    More importantly, when is Perich going to get an avatar? =)

    Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake do a tour through the rap, Jimmy keeps up with Justin…
    http://newsroom.mtv.com/2010/09/30/justin-timberlake-jimmy-fallon-history-of-rap/

     
    • Chris #

      I’m paraphrasing a “tweet” from a writer from The AV Club, but the gist of what he said was, “The new IMDB format is good unless you want to look up stuff about movies.” I think that about covers it.

       
      • John Perich #

        Ha!

        I’ve noted that, once you click off that first page, everything else is in the old format.

         
        • Lauren #

          If you log in, you can change your settings so that it will display the old format. There was a huge backlash on their message board towards the new format, so I guess allowing you to change back to the old format if you so desire is their rather underwhelming solution.

           
    • John Perich #

      (1) maybe somebody can help me understand how a young rich asshole at Harvard(not my words about the character in the movie, many other peoples) who, as far as I can tell, screws his friends is so popular a movie

      For the same reason a movie about a snobby war veteran who murders cops, cheats on his girlfriend and orders the execution of anyone who disagrees with him (The Godfather) is so popular. We love the rise-to-power narrative in America.

      (2) when is Perich going to get an avatar? =)

      Eh, hushuppayomouf!

      (3) Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake do a tour through the rap, Jimmy keeps up with Justin…

      I’ve never been a huge fan of Fallon’s comedy, but he clearly has fun with what he does on the show – as opposed to the stilted self-consciousness of Leno and Letterman – and he has the Roots as his house band. The man’s a showman.

       
  3. Timothy #

    Star Wars prequels in 3D? I suppose that’s one way George can give the characters depth.

     
    • lee #

      ZING!

      Or, rather, for the podcast listeners: ZAP!

      Seriously, though, should everyone boycott Phantom Menace? I really don’t want to put down money to watch that again, but if it bombs at the box office, then the original trilogy won’t get the treatment, which I admittedly am interested in seeing in 3D.

      Who am I kidding, though. If hardcore fanboys organized a boycott, there’d still be plenty of people in the mainstream–with kids–who will come out to watch Phantom Menace in 3D. The (marketing) force is still strong with Lucas.

       
      • Bob in San Diego #

        I know I’m in the minority, but I really liked Phantom Menace. 3 things would have made it perfect (IMO)
        1) Cut Midichlorians. Thanks for putting Star Trek in my Wars.
        2) Loose about 2 hours from the Podrace. Yes, it will look great in 3D, but it is a giant dead stop in the middle of the story telling.
        3) Call it Episode 0, make Attack of the Clones Episode I, have the Clone Wars and Sith Episode II then Vaders Revenge is III.
        If those three things were done, I could forgive Jake Lloyd, Jar-Jar and everything else.

        Sidebar – scenes I’m looking for in 3D, aforementioned Podrace, Maul/Obi/Qui fight, Lava Fight, Trench Run, Astroid Escape, Speederbike fight and Fight above Endor.

         
        • Rob #

          Well, actually, midichlorians weren’t out of Star Trek, they were ripped straight out of Madeleine L’Engle’s book “A Wind in the Door”, where mitochondria serve pretty much the exact same function.

           
      • Timothy J Swann #

        I still maintain that Episode II is a far worse film – Jar Jar is annoying, but not critical. Hayden Christensen is apocalyptically bad, and is the fulcrum of the series.

         
        • Valatan #

          My problem with the Phanotom Menace is that the big set-piece centerpiece of the film (aside from Liam Neeson’s lightsaber duel, which was awesome) amounts to really stupid droids and ‘oops, I don’t know how to fly the starfighter, but I destroy all of the bad guys, including their base, anyway’

          That type of thing can work, if you kind of hide the overwhelming numbers, and laser-eye focus on the heroes, and slight-of-hand the bad guys’ incompetence–see the big fight scene in Japan in Kill Bill–but Lucas decides to hyper-emphasize the impressive size of the droid army.

           
  4. Pasteur #

    New Community looks as good as it was before. Is it just me or is Ken Jeong the most talented doctor on television?

     
    • Bob in San Diego #

      For the past two weeks, I’ve ‘ranked’ Community as the funniest Thursday show (Bleep My Dad Says has been the worst). Such a great show. The League is also fantastic.

       
      • Chris #

        Community has been very good, but Thursday night TV has still been disheartening because of NBC’s four comedies, Outsourced is getting the second best ratings. Some of that has to be the post-Office bump, but the fact that for two weeks that show has had a rating over five is really disappointing. Not just because that means Parks and Recreation probably won’t be coming back anytime soon, but because the notion that so many people are willing to watch that show is irritating. Not surprising, but irritating.

         
        • cat #

          I’ve liked Community but I think they’re still trying to find themselves after the break. There’s a lot of self-aware humor like when Jeff tells Abed that his behavior is “very first season” and humor that feels a little out of date. I’m waiting for it to get its bite back but I’ve no doubt that it will. Possibly schizophrenic or possessed Senor Chang seems promising though right now, just odd.

          Also, does anyone else keep forgetting that Alison Brie is supposed to be playing a teenager? I don’t understand why everyone is so offended by Jeff kissing her and then the show reminds me.

           
          • Timothy J Swann #

            Interesting – I found the line about ‘first season’ the funniest so far.

             
  5. Tyler #

    So the rabid fanaticism surrounding Minecraft, the massively popular indie game, is desperately in need of overthinking, if you ask me. One of the writers needs to take the plunge.

     
  6. Nick #

    “I haven’t seen The Social Network so maybe somebody can help me understand how a young rich asshole at Harvard(not my words about the character in the movie, many other peoples) who, as far as I can tell, screws his friends is so popular a movie.”
    Partly what Perich said, for some it will be because it’s facebook, and for some (including me) it’s because Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher are both brilliant and it’s interesting to see how they’ll work together.

     
  7. Gab #

    I was sent a link to this shirt by someone that knew about the T Party thing on this site (because I told them!) and had to share on the Open Thread:

    http://www.tshirthell.com/funny-shirts/i-support-the-t-party/

    I can’t recall if y’all have seen it yet, so yeah. WEEEE!

    So now to sort of join the convo:

    The Good Wife also premiered this week, that made me happy.

    Lucas: Okay, so yes, it’s a ploy to get money again by him, which is to be expected. But the way they were filmed, I actually think they’ll look very, very nice- there are already lots of shots in all six movies that are conducive to 3D-ifying, amost as if he somehow knew 3D was going to get big in the future. So it won’t be the aesthetic that could potentially bother me, but the reason it’s being done. My gut reaction is, “DOOO NOOOT WAAAAANT!,” but still… They could look preeeeety.

    The Social Network: I’m interested because Sorkin wrote it and Justin Timberlake is in it. Call me crazy, but I actually think the latter is a real powerhouse celebrity- he’s good at the business aspect, highly attractive, and a talented musician and actor. I could overthink him a lot, but that’s the barebone thesis.

     
  8. cat #

    Speaking of the return of great tv shows, Gossip Girl has been doing strong right out of the gate while Glee is stumbling a bit. Where is my TFT podcast?

    In overseas news, the X Factor has finalized it’s finalists which means the actual competition can now start. I’ve been enjoying keeping up with the audition process but I’m happy they’re moving on because it’s been getting a little tedious.

    The Social Network: I’m looking forward to seeing it but what I can’t understand is how the media coverage inevitably turns to how it portrays Mark Zuckerberg. It’s highly doubtful that anyone will stop using facebook because of how an (admittedly embellished) film portrays it’s “creator”. Now…an article written by one Peter Fenzel is a different story…

     
    • Rob #

      Re: the facebook movie, the media seeks for the easiest way out.

      It’s easy for filmmakers and journalists to perpetuate the stereotype that people who program computers are smart but socially awkward. It’s just not particularly accurate in this case. In real life, Mark is a friendly dude with a bunch of good, real-life friends. There was a stupid piece in the Times where they asked someone from Gawker to speculate about whether Zuckerberg has Asperger’s syndrome. He *certainly* doesn’t, and the folks who say so are clueless about Mark Zuckerberg, Asperger’s, or both.

      Sorkin portrays Zuckerberg as an acceptance-seeking man-child, driven by social defeat. But in real life, Mark is driven by one goal: to make Facebook the predominant form of communication on the planet. He’s said as much. If Sorkin or A.O. Scott or other folks going to discuss whether Mark Zuckerberg is a good person, they should at least get his motives right – and maybe that will bring them to the much more profound question of whether or not it would be a good thing if most communication were through Facebook.

      Or if folks aren’t willing to go there, maybe they could take a page from Fenzel, and focus on how Zuckerberg’s sheltered belief in the universal benefit of a “more open” society couples with pressure from investors to produce a flagrant disregard for informed consent.

      In short – stop taking the easy way out, and voila, there’s a much more meaningful story. That goes for filmmakers and journalists both.

      Apologies in advance for re-posting this on the podcast thread when it goes up in a few hours. =)