BC Christian News — December 2007

The newest issue of BC Christian News is now online, and with it, my film column, which looks mainly at Atonement but also includes a mini-review of Juno. I will have longer and/or alternate reviews of both films up at CT Movies later this week.

DEC 10 UPDATE: A slightly longer version of the Juno portion of this column is now up at the MB Herald, too.

Canadian box-office stats — December 2

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.

American Gangster — CDN $10,950,000 — N.AM $121,732,000 — 9.0%
Beowulf — CDN $5,840,000 — N.AM $68,613,000 — 8.5%
Bee Movie — CDN $9,830,000 — N.AM $117,643,000 — 8.4%
No Country for Old Men — CDN $1,920,000 — N.AM $23,030,000 — 8.3%
Hitman — CDN $2,500,000 — N.AM $30,204,000 — 8.3%
Awake — CDN $490,101 — N.AM $6,011,000 — 8.2%
The Mist — CDN $1,510,000 — N.AM $19,255,000 — 7.8%
Fred Claus — CDN $4,060,000 — N.AM $59,783,000 — 6.8%
Enchanted — CDN $4,350,000 — N.AM $70,620,000 — 6.2%
August Rush — CDN $1,180,000 — N.AM $20,354,000 — 5.8%

A couple of discrepancies: American Gangster was #9 on the Canadian chart (it was #11 in North America as a whole), while This Christmas was #2 on the North American chart.

Christian Bale “confirmed” for Terminator 4

Nothing really new here, but if you’re as curious to see where the franchise goes as I am, I might as well quote today’s Entertainment Weekly:

The rumors have raged for the past few weeks but Hollywood Insider can now confirm that Christian Bale is set to star in the Terminator reboot…Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. No official word yet on what role Bale will play in the film, which McG is directing and Halcyon is producing for Warner Bros. One source tells HI that the story line is a big departure from the originals starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Details are being kept so close to the vest that only a very few people have read the last ten pages of the script. All we know is that Bale is one valuable commodity to those folks at Warners. (A studio spokesperson had no comment, other than to say that Salvation isn’t set yet, meaning it has not been officially greenlit.)

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter now has the story too.

DEC 3 UPDATE: And now Variety has the story — along with the news that, yes, Bale will play John Connor in his 30s, and not a Terminator, as one earlier report had it.

Scorsese, flashbulbs, Hitchcock, lightbulbs.

Glenn Kenny at Premiere.com has just posted some screen captures from Raging Bull (1980) and The Aviator (2004), noting how Martin Scorsese has projected his fear of flashbulbs onto the heroes of his films.

Coincidentally, today GreenCine Daily happened to link to this site, which features a video in which Scorsese “preserves” a supposedly unproduced Alfred Hitchcock film, called The Key to Reserva, by shooting what is left of its screenplay — and a lightbulb features very prominently.

The Scorsese video is quite amusing, by the way. Check it out.

Captain Sulu to appear in Star Trek XI?

TrekWeb.com is reporting that George Takei did an interview in the newest issue of Starburst in which he revealed that he will be in the new Star Trek movie — presumably as Captain Sulu, who was last seen in a flashback episode of Star Trek: Voyager (1996) that took place during the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991; my comments), but who knows.

And yes, he will reportedly share a scene with Leonard Nimoy.

If Takei is playing Sulu, will his scene take place in the 23rd century, after the events of the first six movies? Or will it take place in the 24th century, which is where we last saw Ambassador Spock, and where the new film will reportedly start?

If the former, then how will they squeeze yet another time period into the existing storyline, which is said to veer between the 24th century and the young Sulu‘s early days in Starfleet? And why couldn’t they have used the same device to fit in a glimpse of William Shatner as the older Captain James T. Kirk? And will there be any reference to Sulu’s daughter, who was present for the “death” of Kirk in Star Trek: Generations (1994; my comments)?

If the latter, then will Takei be made up to look at least as old as Admiral McCoy was, when he appeared in the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)? (Apparently, based on a line of dialogue in an early episode of Voyager, there is reason to believe that Sulu lived to be over 100, just like McCoy.)

UPDATE: TrekMovie.com says Brad Altman, Takei’s “business manager and partner”, has officially debunked the rumour, telling the site: “The Starburst Magazine article is erroneous, we will be as surprised as the fans if George is in Star Trek XI.”

The Golden Compass — marketed to Catholics?

For the past few months, I have been asking certain Christian movie publicists if New Line Cinema would be making any effort to reach out to the religious market, to dampen the controversy over The Golden Compass.

I have been on a few New Line junkets myself — for films like The New World (2005) and The Nativity Story (2006) — and last year another studio, Sony Pictures, made a point of “engaging” the religious media while publicizing the similarly controversial The Da Vinci Code (2006).

But apparently, no, I was told it did not seem that New Line would be doing anything of that sort on this particular film.

Now, however, comes word from Catholic blogger Amy Welborn that New Line is hoping to advertise their film in diocesan publications.

To make their case, the studio cites a positive review of the film written by Harry Forbes and John Mulderig of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Film and Broadcasting — and the studio even claims to have “spoken extensively about this film” with Forbes.

In response to that last claim, Welborn asks, “What does that mean?”

Good question. And I have no idea what the answer is.

But I will note that Forbes does sort of work for the studios, in the sense that he is the Catholic representative on the MPAA’s ratings appeal board, and I don’t think it would be a stretch to hypothesize that long-term chumminess with the studios could have influenced his critical sensibilities.