Specials: New Yorke in June? Irons and Malkovich. The future of X-men.

I’D LIKE NEW YORKE IN JUNE (but it’s coming to stores in July) 
The new Thom Yorke solo album The Eraser is coming, and today I heard a few tracks from it. I enjoyed them. They sounded like songs from Amnesiac, with fewer guitars. The twitchy electronic loops and beats are there, and familiar power-chords, along with Yorke’s typically spooky vocals and lyrics. But I can’t say it struck me as anything more than half-decent Radiohead b-sides. Maybe if I hear the whole album, it’ll make more sense to me why Yorke went and did this.

BESTSELLING BOOK TO BECOME, WHAT? A MOVIE?
What would it look like if John Malkovich and Jeremy Irons decided to be in a fantasy epic? Something like this.

PRODUCER RALPH WINTER ON X-SEQUELS
Will there be more X-Men films? Yes and no, according to producer Ralph Winter. Yes, there will be films about these characters, but no, not as “X-Men movies.” Looks like Wolverine will get his own movie, and perhaps Magneto as well.

I love these characters, and I do hope we see them again. I wish I had liked X-Men: The Last Stand. I visited the set several months ago, and sat right next to Brett Ratner. We watched as Magneto lifted Wolverine off the ground and threw him into some trees. Cool stuff. It’s amazing how much work is involved in three seconds of footage. There were about a hundred people running around that set.

But alas, so many cool stunts and effects, such thin storytelling. Last Stand needed a stronger script that explored the characters’ development in-depth, the way the first two films did. They were some of the most thoughtful comic book films yet made. This one looked great, and the cast were as engaging as always, but it wasn’t very thoughtful storytelling. Joss Whedon’s comics did a better job with the material. You can’t develop complex characters and then just dump them from the franchise in forgettable death-or-departure scenes, unless you want fans to go away very disappointed.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Levi

    Ohhh man! Eragon was horrible! It almost reads like a spoof novel. I only made it a few chapters and even that was like pulling teeth.

  • Gene Branaman

    There was so much hype about Eragon a couple years back, it’s writer Paolini being a 16 (or so) year old homeschooler when he wrote & self-published it & it received some great write ups, so I took a chance when Knopf released it. I enjoy light SF & fantasy when I have the time, which is rare. But I couldn’t get very far into it. It reads like it was written by a 16 year old, homeschooled or no. Definitely does not live up to the hype. There should have been a fairly extensive re-write/edit period prior to its release by Knopf. My 15 year old nephew loves it & has read it many times, but he’s at a disadvantage, never having read better literature.

    I’ve promised my nephew I’ll read the book so I’d better finish it, I guess. Hopefully there are some good writers on the film version & they’ve made quite a few improvements. But I’m not holding out much hope.

    I figured we’d see a bunch of really lame fantasy films after Jackson’s LOTR & this may be one of them. An example of H’wood tryin’ to jump on a bandwagon.

    “Come on aboard
    I promise you
    You won’t hurt the horse.
    We treat him well,
    We feed him well.”


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