Open Thread for November 12, 2010

Call of Duty Black Ops, Conan’s return, Taylor Swift and Dino de Laurentiis.

If you like it, then you shoulda put a thread on it. Whoa-oh-oh.

First off, Call of Duty: Black Ops shattered the one-day sales record previously held by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, clearing $360 million in twenty-four hours. Media observers were quick to note that video games cost more than movies, so it’s not like the film industry is dying or anything. They also insisted that you shouldn’t do the math, dividing $360 million by $60 to get 6 million units sold, and then dividing $34,825,135 (the opening weekend of The Expendables) by $10 to get 3.4 million tickets sold. Because math is for nerds, right?

Conan O’Brien returned to late night this week. Though his show’s viewership dropped by a third between his premiere and the following evening, this shouldn’t shock anyone. What should shock people: his ginger beard. What, is he gonna pillage the Netherlands or something?

Site favorite Taylor Swift won big at the Broadcast Music awards, becoming the youngest country songwriter ever to be honored. She lost out to Miranda Lambert at the CMAs later this week, however. Expect to hear more on Swift’s next album, “Think She’s Prettier?”, coming in 2012.

Finally, OTI bids farewell to pop culture titan Dino de Laurentiis. Producer of Serpico, Barbarella, La Strada, Death Wish, Blue Velvet and the 1976 King Kong remake, he had a varied but epic career bringing film to mass audiences.

In memory, here’s a trailer for his Jaws knock-off / cash-in, Orca (1977):

Will Conan O’Brien don a cable-knit sweater and hunt killer whales until Special Forces operative Taylor Swift puts a stop to him in the hottest FPS of the year? Or was there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.

17 Comments on “Open Thread for November 12, 2010”

    • Chris #

      Yeah that was amusing in its unfortunate timing. What I found most surprising, however, is the fact that Jim Davis writes his comic strips months upon months in advance and doesn’t know when they are going to get run.


  1. Eli #

    Apparently, Limewire was shut down for good by court order this week. It might have been last week actually, but I can’t seem to find out anything substantial about the news without actively looking. Seems rather quiet.


  2. Wade #

    Having seen “Unstoppable” this evening, one of my first thoughts was that this was a movie begging for a Mark Lee-style, “Armageddon”-esque power ballad. Instead, we got about a minute’s worth of a badly chosen hip-hop song and a bombastic score to play us out into the lobby.

    As for the movie itself, it’s pretty decent as far as Tony Scott movies go. I kind of hope the “industrial accident action yarn” becomes the next big wave of disaster cinema.


    • Gab #

      I’m picturing Bruce Willis battling to stop a runaway steamroller and Will Smith dealing with an uncontrollable wrecking ball.

      I’m totally down for that.


      • Wade #

        Conceivably, all of these movies could be titled “Unstoppable”.


        • Gab #

          Sequels, my friend, sequels. A franchise like that would be unstoppable in itself, aye?

          If only I had/ was good with Photoshop…


          • John Perich #

            This massive chasm is … UNBRIDGEABLE.

            This oil well fire is … UNQUENCHABLE.

            This appropriations dispute in the Senate is … INTRACTABLE.

          • Rob #

            Nay, not intractable – this appropriations dispute in the Senate is… IRRECONCILABLE.

            (Replying to Gab because it seems Perich’s comment is nested at the maximum allowable depth.)

          • Gab #

            Here’s a fail one.

            King Theoden: “This fortress is… IMPENETRABLE.”

  3. Trevor #

    My buddy and I were riffing this morning about a Michael Bay take on the classic “Minesweeper” game, in which Ben Affleck (or Bruce Willis, if you want to skew older) is a retired (you guessed it) mine-sweeper who’s called back into action by a mad bomber (I thought about De Niro, but Gary Busey could use the work) who lays mines all over the world, and the only man who can stop him is the one man who lost his entire family to Busey’s bombs years ago.

    You know this is being greenlit as we speak, right?

    As for Conan, I tuned in all this week for moral support, but I know that he’s not going to be much different from his NBC days (ginger bread being the aberration, of course). As the reviewer on the AV Club’s TV club pointed out, it’s still Conan doing the usual late-night stuff, but something’s comforting about that. I’ll probably watch the Daily Show more often, but Conan will be around a while, TBS is happy with any viewers they can get. Unless Jay Leno suddenly comes calling…


  4. Gab #


    There have been some rumors of potential female leads in the next Batman movie, and one of them is Blake Lively. I have only seen her in the Traveling Pants movies and Accepted, so I’m curious if someone that has seen her in more could comment on whether they think she’s a strong enough actress to be either a love-interest or villain in Nolan’s universe.


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      I wonder if Pete can. She was supposed to be pretty good in The Town, which I know he’s seen.


    • fenzel #

      Yes, she is. Blake Lively is the real deal; she definitely has acting chops and some range. But it would be very easy to miscast her. She’s a very imposing presence – very smart and very physically strong looking. In the Town, she played somebody who had made a lot of bad choices and was misled who would normally be classified as stupid, but imbued a character that would be a throwaway in other movies with power, intelligence and pathos.

      If you didn’t give her enough to do, she’d probably look bored and out of place. If you gave her too much to do, she’d look like she was slumming. I’d have to know more about the character to know whether she’d be a good fit for it, but in the abstract I think she’s an interesting choice and we shouldn’t be too worried about her baseline talent or skill as an actress.

      I’d be more worried about her onscreen chemistry with Christian Bale. He’s all pale-face-and-dark-features, and she’s very sunny. They might not go together well. It’s interesting in The Town that she had some onscreen chemistry with Ben Affleck, but it was pretty obvious to the viewership that they weren’t supposed to end up together. That’s part of what made it very good casting.


      • Gab #

        Duly noted. I suppose if I don’t see The Town first, Green Lantern will be the litmus test for me in terms of how I think she’ll do in the next Batman movie. But I should probably make a sincere effort to see The Town, since I imagine her role there will be much closer to what she’d be doing in Dark Knight Rises (either as love interest or villainess) than her role as Carol in Green Lantern. Carol is bound to be a helluva lot lighter/funnier/snarkier/etc. in terms of personality than whatever she’d be given in DKR, if using the clips and sneak peaky stuff that has come out so far- it looks like it will be a very different movie tone-wise. More akin to Iron Man. And a love interest in that kind of movie is hardly ever angsty or dark. (Plus, while I haven’t read any GL comics, alack, alas, I do own the animated movie, First Flight and she’s pretty sarcastic/snarky in that- something that wouldn’t fly-HAH- in Nolan’s universe.)

        Fly in the Ointment/ What Could Make This Entirely Irrelevant: Her role opposite Green Lantern may impede her getting a role opposite Batman. Reynolds is double-dipping comic book characters, and so is Chris Evans, but I find it hard to believe a female lead would be given that same leeway. That’s a different can of worms, though, and it has less to do with Blake Lively’s talent and more with her plumbing.

        In terms of chemistry with Christian Bale, I think, in general, if the two actors involved are talented enough, they can overcome any physical chasms between their appearances because they establish the emotional connection through… everything else. Even if Blake is pale and light-looking, I’d hope she can play a character well enough that her personality doesn’t come across as a manic-pixie-dreamgirl in comparison to the angst-ridden, emo* Bruce Wayne that Christian Bale is inevitably going to portray. Because he’s bound to be so angsty, even a rather neutrally emotional gal is going to look at least a little sparkly in comparison. So I guess I’m not really disagreeing with you, but presenting the potential solution- which, judging from what you said about Blake’s acting, may, indeed, be possible. Here’s hopin’, aye?

        Although I will admit, that probably has something to do with why I’d love to see Rachel Weisz in one of the two female roles up for grabs- she has a physical look that would blend better into Nolan’s world. But Naomi Watts, a pale blonde, was another option in the article I read, and I’d prefer her over other options, too. The other actresses, Blake included, all seemed too… young. It’s ageism, yeah, but I can’t help but get the willies when I think of Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne kissing OR fighting with Keira Knightly. Meep. And the age thing was a big deal for GL fans when Blake was announced there, too, so maybe it’s more of the same.

        *Not that I don’t like it or think this is “bad”- there are a few things that are rather easy to make fun of about Chris Nolan/Christian Bale’s Bruce (like that raspy in-suit voice, ugh), but overall, it’s still written and performed very, very well.


  5. Gab #


    Question, though. Maybe I’m just being curmudgeony, but hear me out. The newest trailer for Tron: Legacy is out, but ever since the first one was online, all sorts of buzz about how awesome the soundtrack is and OH MY GOSH DAFT PUNK has been circulating on entertainment websites and forums and such. Fan- and nerd-boys are chomping at the bit for the soundtrack and can’t wait to get it. But what I can’t help but notice is how the music in all of the trailers for this movie sounds JUST LIKE Hans Zimmer and his brassy, “BWAAAAAAAAAAGH,” with the strings doing a bunch of light, sixteenth notes in the background. He gets made fun of for this all the time (not necessarily in a mean way, although sometimes yeah, you get someone saying, “Come on, dude, get a new style!”). So what I’m curious about is why I keep seeing this pedestalization of Daft Punk for their AMAZING ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK when, really, it sounds like the soundtrack for another Nolan/Zimmer collaboration. Or at least why more people aren’t saying, “Huh, that sounds familiar.” I mean, I thought it really was music from Inception the first time I saw a Tron: Legacy trailer, since I don’t have the soundtrack for the former (yet). Full Disclosure: I am biased. Zimmer is my favorite movie composer. But I still think, even if I didn’t like the dude’s stuff, I’d have thought Daft Punk’s music sounds incredibly similar.


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