What is so funny about these images?

After obsessing over The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep for the past few weeks, my daughter has developed an interest in Davey and Goliath — and for some reason she laughs every single time the logo at the beginning and end of each episode dissolves from the image on the left to the image on the right. Does anyone with a better understanding of child psychology than I have a clue why my two-year-old daughter might find this segue so funny?

My son has begun to laugh at this sequence, too, though I suspect he’s just imitating his twin sister; a few seconds ago, he found it funny even though he wasn’t even looking at the screen, he just heard the music and looked at his sister and laughed in her direction.

Caspian at the box office — the article’s up!

My second Reel News column is now up at CT Movies, and it mainly concerns the box-office woes of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, in addition to the usual news links.

BC Christian News — June 2008

The newest issue of BC Christian News is now online, and with it, my film column, which includes brief notes on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Silent Light and Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

The paper also reports that my column for them on Philip Pullman‘s His Dark Materials trilogy placed 2nd among editorials in the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers’ recent awards. Yay me!

Canadian box-office stats — June 1

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay — CDN $7,220,000 — N.AM $36,955,000 — 19.5%
What Happens in Vegas — CDN $6,460,000 — N.AM $66,074,000 — 9.8%
Made of Honor — CDN $4,190,000 — N.AM $42,965,000 — 9.8%
Forgetting Sarah Marshall — CDN $5,880,000 — N.AM $60,471,000 — 9.7%
Sex and the City — CDN $4,880,000 — N.AM $55,740,000 — 8.8%

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian — CDN $9,750,000 — N.AM $115,674,000 — 8.4%
Iron Man — CDN $23,040,000 — N.AM $276,625,000 — 8.3%
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — CDN $16,440,000 — N.AM $216,881,000 — 7.6%
The Strangers — CDN $1,150,000 — N.AM $20,707,000 — 5.6%
Speed Racer — CDN $2,040,000 — N.AM $40,558,000 — 5.0%

A couple of discrepancies: Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay was #8 on the Canadian chart (it was #12 in North America as a whole), while Baby Mama was #7 on the North American chart (it was #11 in Canada).

Bryce Dallas Howard joins Terminator 4

Kate Brewster, the future wife of John Connor, was first played by Claire Danes in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003). Then it was announced ten days ago that she would be played by Charlotte Gainsbourg in Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, which has already been shooting for a few weeks. Now, tonight, the Hollywood Reporter says Gainsbourg is being replaced by Ron Howard’s daughter Bryce Dallas, who was last seen playing Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3 (2007). Apparently Gainsbourg had to bow out because of the prospect of an actors’ strike which could have led to a scheduling conflict with a French comedy that she is already committed to.

Can you wipe away a soul?

I’m not exactly a big Joss Whedon fan, though I do like aspects of Firefly (2002-2003) and Serenity (2005), both of which my wife really likes. But I am a big fan of stories about amnesia and various other kinds of memory loss, and the questions such things raise regarding the nature of identity and the relationship between the body and the soul, etc. So now I’m wondering if I should check out Whedon’s newest series, Dollhouse, when it premieres early next year (or when it comes out on DVD afterwards).

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Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

Side note: I am intrigued by how the trailer above begins with the protagonist sitting underwater. When I first gave my massive, three-part lecture on ‘Memory at the Movies’ four years ago, I was struck by how several of the films I cited made significant use of aquatic motifs — most prominently in Finding Nemo (2003), perhaps, but it’s also there in Total Recall (1990), Dark City (1998), 50 First Dates (2004) and the Bourne trilogy (2002-2007), to name the first few films that come to mind.