This could be my kind of cheese.

Outlander stars Jim Caviezel as an alien who crash-lands on Earth in Norway in the year 709. And he brings a monster with him, too. So Caviezel the alien teams up with some Vikings, played by the likes of Hellboy co-stars John Hurt and Ron Perlman, to go hunt the monster down. Awesome. Watch the trailer here.

Doug Jones on Hellboy and Christianity.

I haven’t got time to say much about Hellboy II: The Golden Army right now, but suffice it to say that it might be my favorite comic-book movie of the year so far.

I mention it now simply so that I can link to this interesting interview that Twitch did with Doug Jones, who plays Abe Sapien and a couple of other characters in the film:

Guillén: When Guillermo and I sat down to talk, we spoke a bit about the Catholic underpinnings prevalent in much of his manifested world. I’m aware that you are also a practicing Christian, are you Catholic?

Jones: I’ve been a lot of denominations over the years but I call myself a generic Christian, yes, and am attending a church now that would remind you of Catholicism. It’s more orthodox. On the first Hellboy, when I was given the script the first day and was told to go home and read it that day and get back to him that night, I’m reading the script called Hellboy and he’s a demon from Hell. I’m thinking, “Okay, I have to respectfully find a way to tell Guillermo I can’t do this movie.” That was my first thought before I cracked open the script. Then I started reading it and realized, “Oh my goodness, I am so not offended by this. In fact, I’m enlivened by it. I’m finding my faith being nurtured and challenged by this story. This is good.”

I loved seeing images in that first movie, where Hellboy had a decision to make. He was being enticed and tempted by the nemesis in that film to regain his princely place in Hell. “Here is the power you can have. Here is what you were meant to be really. And here’s what I can offer you.” That’s when his horns grew back, during this decision, when he was feeling tempted by that offer. Well, that’s when our young agent Myers was watching this, got Hellboy’s attention, and tossed him the rosary that his father Professor “Broom” had given him and that he grew up with as a boy demon. Hellboy caught that rosary in his hand and the image of the cross was burned into his palm. Looking down at his palm is when he realized who he is now and what decisions he had made in the life he’d chosen for himself. That was such beautiful imagery for me. Anyone who comes from the faith that I come from can relate to it and understand.

Guillén: Guillermo excels at expressing the rockbed of faith within even the lapsed Catholic. He pronounces these lines of faith so clearly and—as you said—respectfully in his visual imagery. While filming in Budapest, was your faith heightened by the proximity of orthodox practice?

Jones: Being in Eastern Europe—or Central Europe, as they’re calling it now—has always done that, yes. I love walking around in an old city like that and walking past a cathedral that has so much history. In Budapest, as well as Prague where we filmed the first Hellboy, a dear friend of mine, Brian Steele—who has played a lot of creatures alongside of me over the years; he was Sammael in the first Hellboy and plays Wink and three other creatures in Hellboy II as well—he knew I was a churchgoer and on Easter Sunday while we were shooting the first Hellboy movie he said, “I’d like to go to this Catholic cathedral you’ve been attending for Easter, if I can join you?” I said, “Of course! Come with me.” We walked into this old cathedral, which was absolutely ornate and gorgeous with art work that has been handed down through centuries, and sculptures of Jesus and angels, amazing art work, a building that had so much history to it, and had been active with church services happening almost on a daily basis for hundreds of years, Brian walked in there with me and he said, “Wow!”—we’re whispering in the back of the church because the service had already started—”You can tell a lot of prayers have been answered in this building.” So, yes, that part of Europe is steeped in tradition like that and with history.

DC and Warner — getting their act together?

Marvel Comics has been having lots and lots of success lately, first with its standalone franchises such as X-Men (2000-2006) and Spider-Man (2002-2007), and now with Iron Man and, to a lesser extent, The Incredible Hulk, the two of which Marvel plans to bring together in a few years with a couple more superheroes for a major, major cross-over called The Avengers.

Meanwhile, what is DC Comics doing? They’ve got a successfully rebooted Batman franchise, of course, but beyond that? There are rumours of all sorts of superhero projects in the works — from Wonder Woman and The Flash to Green Lantern and the Justice League — but it’s not clear which of these projects are related to each other and which are not. And in any case, everything — even the Superman franchise, which Bryan Singer tried to revive a couple years ago — seems to be stuck in development hell right now.

Well, it sounds like someone at DC Comics or Warner Brothers, the studio that has dibs on all of DC’s properties (both companies are owned by Time-Warner), has had enough of this confusion too. Variety and the Hollywood Reporter say “a big shake-up” could be in the works, as the head honchos of both companies have been meeting recently “to discuss a new direction for film adaptations.”

Meanwhile, there has been some buzz over an interview that Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier gave in France, where he seemed to suggest that Warner had asked him if he would be interested in making the next Superman movie.

This comes only a week or so after comic-book writer Mark Millar said that he and a “very well known American action director” were pitching a Superman reboot to Warner. Is Leterrier, who is French but recently made the move to Hollywood (having just rebooted the Hulk franchise, he is now attached to Warner’s remake of Clash of the Titans), the “American action director” in question? Or is that a whole different round of discussions?

And is Warner still talking to Bryan Singer, as well?

Well, whatever is going on with that franchise, it’s probably safe to say no particular project will be greenlit until DC and Warner have come to some sort of agreement on their master plan.

Nostalgia for what year and decade, again?

One of the weirder trends these days is the one that has studios releasing DVDs of older films with CDs of music that came out during the same decade but otherwise have nothing to do with the movies in question.

As luck would have it, my first exposure to this trend came a few weeks ago when I saw the “Decades Collection” editions of The Graduate (1967), Fiddler on the Roof (1971; my comments) and When Harry Met Sally… (1989) at the local Superstore.

Now, apparently, there are lots of other films in this series too, but these particular films all happen to be famous for their music: The Graduate has a classic soundtrack by Simon & Garfunkel; Fiddler on the Roof was the longest-running Broadway musical of all time at that time; and the original soundtrack album for When Harry Met Sally… introduced Harry Connick Jr. to the world, featuring nothing but his covers of classic songs made famous by Sinatra etc.

But do the CDs that accompany these DVDs reflect any of this? Do they contain any music that is featured within the films themselves? No, no, of course not, no. Instead, each disc is a miscellanous grab bag of whatever was popular on the radio at some point in that decade; if memory serves, the songs included on each disc are not even necessarily tied to the specific year in which the film came out.

The “Decades Collection” is put out by MGM. And now, according to Lou Lumenick, Paramount is getting in on the act too, releasing new “I Love the ’80s” editions of Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981) and various other films, each of which will come with a CD that includes a-ha’s ‘Take On Me’, Echo & the Bunnymen’s ‘Lips Like Sugar’, INXS’s ‘Need You Tonight’ and Erasure’s ‘Chains Of Love’.

Note: all of these songs were originally released between 1984 and 1988, which in pop-culture terms is a whole different era from the one that produced films like Reds.

The decade thing becomes even more absurd when you consider titles like, well, Fiddler on the Roof and Reds, both of which may have been produced in my lifetime but take place at least partly before my 93-year-old grandmother was born — and in a foreign country where the American popular culture of that time might not have had that much of an impact to begin with.

Journey to the Center of the Earth — the review’s up!

My review of Journey to the Center of the Earth is now up at CT Movies.

The barbarians are storming the theatres.

The good news: The young generation that consumes all sorts of entertainment via iPods and the internet is doing more than anyone else to keep the big-screen experience alive. Rather than undermine the movie industry, these “third-screen” technologies are actually supporting it.

The bad news: Theatres are increasingly catering to this generation by creating “rowdier, text-friendly auditoriums” that encourage this generation to do all sorts of rude but increasingly common things like chatting and sending text messages while the movie is still in progress.

So says Metro Times Detroit, via Jeffrey Wells.

I am vaguely reminded of how, at the Wanted screening I attended a couple weeks back, a guy sitting across the aisle and a few rows down from me pulled out his cell phone and lit up its screen, and a security guard came up to him and asked him to turn it off. “But it’s silent,” the guy replied, as though that were the point. Never mind that the phosphorescent glow of his cell-phone screen was taking my eyes and many other people’s eyes off of the movie that we were all there supposedly to watch.

See also this recent comment by my CT Movies colleague Todd Hertz.