Valkyrie and the Steve Taylor connection.

This new trailer for Valkyrie is much, much better than the one that came out a year ago. However, one line made me giggle, because it reminded me of a line from an old Steve Taylor song:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLTDHHWAt38]
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

There’s a bit in the trailer where one guy says, “Any problem on Earth can be solved with the careful application of high explosives.” That sounds rather similar to a bit in one of Taylor’s more controversial songs, where — as seen in the music video below — the protagonist sings, “There ain’t nothing wrong with this country / That a few plastic explosives won’t cure.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76E7MJsYx1g]
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

Note: Those who dislike the song or miss the fact that it is intended as satire should read Taylor’s comments at the link above.

Newsbites: The no-particular-theme edition!

Just a few things that came up last night and this morning.

1. Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski has been tapped to write the script for a remake of Forbidden Planet (1956). So we’ve got this and the upcoming remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Are there any other remakes of 1950s robots-and-spaceships movies in the works? — Hollywood Reporter

2. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire has been tapped to write Spider-Man 4. — Hollywood Reporter

3. Sony may step in and co-produce the Tintin movies with Paramount, now that Universal has backed out for financial reasons. Steven Spielberg, who is producing the films with Peter Jackson, apparently still hopes to start shooting the first film “as early as this year”, for release in 2010. However, because the franchise has been in limbo these last few weeks, Thomas Sangster will no longer be playing the lead role. — New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Anne Thompson

4. The “definitive edition” of The Passion of the Christ (2004) is coming to Blu-Ray in February. I wonder if this new edition will fix that typo. — High-Def Digest

5. Roger Ebert has published a new article on The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), excerpted from his new book Scorsese by Ebert. In it, he cites an influential essay on the film by my colleague Steven D. Greydanus, which I and one other critic also cited in our essays for the book Scandalizing Jesus?. — Roger Ebert

6. Allegedly, the kid who can see ghosts in The Sixth Sense (1999) was inspired by a real-life guy named Michael Jones, who is now 20 years old and has been featured in a couple of documentaries. — FilmStew.com

Two more movies not screened for critics.


It’s Halloween, so it must be horror-movie time — which often means snub-the-critics time. Last week, Saw V was released without being screened for critics in advance, just like some of its predecessors. And this week, it is The Haunting of Molly Hartley‘s turn to open without press screenings. Both films had night-before-release-date promo screenings in some markets, at least, but critics weren’t necessarily invited, and as always, for the purposes of the list I’m compiling, those don’t count.

James Bond: it’s a generational thing.


I got my pass to the sneak preview of Quantum of Solace today. I asked my dad if he wanted to come see it with me. He said yes, definitely. He took me to see my first James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only (1981), shortly after I turned 11 — and we have seen most, if not all, of the James Bond films together since then. Once again, it floors me to think that the first film in the series, Dr. No (1962), came out when my dad was 16. I wonder how many movie franchises that began when I was a teenager will still be kicking around when I’m a grandfather. And I wonder if they’ll still be cranking out new James Bond movies when my eldest son, who is currently almost 2 years and 9 months old, turns 11.

Another church makes a movie.


Fireproof is the third film to be produced by the non-professionals at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, and after just five weeks, it is only a few days away from passing Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002) to become the top-grossing independent evangelical film of all time — despite playing on considerably fewer screens than that film did.

So, naturally, people are beginning to ask if there are any other churches making movies out there — and FilmStew.com points to New Song Community Church in Oceanside, California. This church isn’t going the strictly non-professional route, though; instead, they got Brian Baugh, a cinematographer on films like An American Carol, to direct a teen drama for them, called How to Save a Life. They hope to have a trailer ready for the National Outreach Convention in San Diego next week.

The film has an official website, and the Christian Post ran an article on the film while the cameras were still rolling last summer. The two sources combined indicate that the film will deal with issues like suicide, teen pregnancy, and school shootings. Time will tell whether the resulting film is a decent drama, or a more sensationalistic successor of sorts to those cheesy youth-group movies that I mentioned here a couple years ago.

Newsbites: The DC Comics edition!

Just a few quickies here.

1. The Dark Knight director Chris Nolan has finally come back from his vacation and given a three-part interview about the success of his film, the thematic implications of his film, the potential or lack thereof for a big-screen cross-over with other DC Comics characters, and the possibility (and at this point, it is only a possibility) of directing the third Batman film himself. — Los Angeles Times (x2, x3)

2. Mark Millar spills more details about the Superman trilogy he wants to write: “I want to start on Krypton, a thousand years ago, and end with Superman alone on Planet Earth, the last being left on the planet, as the yellow sun turns red and starts to supernova, and he loses his powers.” He also invokes the example of Michael Corleone in the Godfather films, which is interesting, since he pooh-poohs Superman Returns for coming out so many years after the first two Superman films, yet the third Godfather came out after a similarly prolonged gap between films, and to a similarly mixed-at-best reception. — Empire

3. Remember those rumours about the allegedly altered ending to Watchmen, and the evidence which seemed to suggest that the rumours were bogus? Now it is said that Warner is “testing” at least two different endings, both of which apparently have completed effects. So the movie could go either way at this point. — Comic Book Resources

4. Sam Mendes, who won an Oscar for directing American Beauty (1999), is now attached to an adaptation of the Vertigo series Preacher. — Hollywood Reporter