The Kite Runner — the review’s up!

My review of The Kite Runner is now up at CT Movies.

Review: The Kite Runner (dir. Marc Forster, 2007)

kiterunnerIt’s probably safe to say you’ve never seen kite-flying scenes like the ones that form the emotional and metaphorical core of The Kite Runner. The film, based on the best-selling book by Khaled Hosseini, is partly set in Afghanistan in the 1970s, and the simple act of flying a kite comes to represent a freedom of spirit that is lost when the nation is invaded by the Soviets in 1979, and then remains lost when the nation is dominated by the extremist form of Islam that characterized the Taliban.

But the two boys at the heart of this story do not merely fly kites, they “cut” them — by chasing other kites through the air and curling around their strings until they snap. Kite-flying thus becomes a form of competition — and with the help of modern special effects, the film sometimes uses aerial shots to show how the airborne kites pursue one another, like fighter planes hot on each other’s tails.

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Clash of the Titans gets a director — ugh.

Variety reports that Stephen Norrington has been tapped to direct the remake of Clash of the Titans (1981).

Norrington directed the original Blade (1998). He also directed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), which may go down in history as the movie that ended Sean Connery’s career.

Somehow I am not expecting great things, here.

Then again, if Connery could be lured back to play Zeus, that could make this a riotously funny bit of camp. Or perhaps not.

Now I’ve got this image in my head of Zeus wearing a giant teddy-bear costume. And as surreal as that was in The Avengers (1998), it didn’t exactly make that movie funny.

Peter Jackson isn’t the only one suing New Line.

Variety reports that Saul Zaentz, who has owned the film rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings since 1976, is suing New Line Cinema for the chance to look at their financial records, to see whether they have paid him his proper share of the profits from Peter Jackson’s enormously successful trilogy.

You may recall that Jackson himself is suing New Line for pretty much the same thing — and that Jackson’s lawsuit is one of the reasons why many people think a film version of The Hobbit will never get made, at least not by these guys.

You may also recall that Zaentz said over a year ago that the film rights to The Hobbit would be reverting to him in the very, very near future — and that Jackson would make the film, with or without New Line.

And all of this is happening while New Line’s latest attempt at a popular fantasy franchise — Chris Weitz’s adaptation of The Golden Compass — has been seriously underperforming at the box office.

Make of all that what you will.

Eddie Izzard to voice Reepicheep?

So says Ain’t It Cool News in a dispatch from Butt-Numb-A-Thon 9, where The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian producer Mark Johnson apparently showed up for an on-stage interview.

The brave mouse was played in the BBC version of Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1989) by Warwick Davis, who is now playing the dwarf Nikabrik in the new movie.

(Hat tip to

Too cute.

My wife and kids are watching 101 Dalmatians (1961) right now, and every now and then a dog comes onscreen and my boy, standing next to the couch and staring attentively at the screen, says, “Arf! arf!” If I knew where my camera was, I’d preserve the moment for posterity. But this blog post will have to do.