The Lone Ranger has come and, as expected by everyone but Disney, left its stinking dead bird carcass on the floor of thousands of multiplex theaters instead of on Johnny Depp's head. Dick Cook and Rich Ross are just gifts that keep giving, even a year after hiring Alan Horn as chairman of the studio. But, honestly, it's embarrassing to keep watching someone continually fall down on their face, even if they have great success with other areas of their studio (Avengers, Wreck-It Ralph, Monsters University, etc).
My first thought at seeing the holiday weekend numbers was that these successive major flops could end up being the best thing for Disney, as they retool and look inward, maybe get back to the middle budget type of stories that they really made work in the 90s. But looking ahead at their upcoming release slate, it's all big budget "safe" stuff. Some of it is exciting stuff, but most of that is properties that they just went and bought (Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars). You don't quite see a minefield for the studio overall thanks to that outside properties safe ground, but you don't see that they've learned any kind of lesson from this repetitive blockbuster syndrome either. In fact, the biggest Disney original that sticks out most to me on that list is Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Because, really, what would our lives be without a fifth Pirates movie?
I think it's high time for Disney throw away this idea of blockbusters and reunite the Mighty Ducks, the fat kids from Camp Hope and the Jamaican bobsledders for a new kind of super hero team. It couldn't possibly be worse than The Lone Ranger was.
Don't forget the Criterion/Barnes & Noble sale begins on the 9th at 3am Orlando time. (They've also got a buy 2 get 1 free deal going on, which hopefully overlaps like it has in the past.)
News, links, etc:
-Everyone loves The Bling Ring except Rachel Bilson, one of the actors whose bling was a target of said ring. (Guardian)
-No one should be allowed to write about Marilyn Monroe except for Kim Morgan. (LA Review of Books)
-Revisiting the Chuck Jones animation that made Daniel Hillard quit at the beginning of Mrs. Doubtfire. (Cartoon Brew)
-Why not watch every music video that Paul Thomas Anderson has directed? (Cigs&Redvines)
-David Carr on the strange lovability of Michael Cera. (NY Times)
-Google Maps has added the Leavesden Studios set of Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter WB Studio Tour. (Laughing Squid)
-Less interesting is the map of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, although the street view seems to be from before they added Hogsmeade. (Google Maps)
-An interview with Leah Shore, director of Old Man, who is kind of an exciting talent coming up in animation right now. (Cartoon Brew)
-Frank Serpico (the real one) is back in the news, in a fight with a land developer in Upstate New York. (NY Times)
-A little bit of crossover news from the hockey world: Cam Neely might be revisiting Seabass in the next Dumb and Dumber movie. (@TSNBobMcKenzie)
-Congrats on the Oscar, now step into my office because you're fucking fired. (THR)
-Kale is the tool of the devil. (THR)
Trailers, posters, etc:
-In Saturn's Rings, a richly detailed set of photographs and video taken from the Cassini-Huygens mission through the solar system. I finally just got a computer a few months ago that can handle 1080p and now YouTube is doing 4k. Dammit. But to hell with 4k anyway, I need to see this in like 20k. (The Film Stage)
-Hopefully Cutie and the Boxer lives up to its hype as the next big art documentary because it looks kind of amazing. (Apple)
-The third trailer for the Coen Bros Inside Llewyn Davis. Please forgive the many misspellings you will inevitably find of the title over the next few months. (Apple)
-Looks like LAIKA has another strange hit on their hands with The Boxtrolls. (Cartoon Brew)
-Jean-Luc Godard's new film, Goodbye to Language, looks like a home movie? (Rope of Silicone)
-The new Johnnie To film, Drug War, which should eventually make its way over here. (Apple)