Filmism.net Dispatch October 12, 2009

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I suppose a National Lampoon's Vacation sequel was inevitable in the current climate, but I don't know about the idea of focusing on Rusty Griswold (played by actors from Anthony Michael Hall to Jason Lively). Am I the only one who thinks it won't be the same without Chevy Chase as the bumbling but well meaning Clark?

Or Beverley D'Angelo, who gave many a teen boy in the 80s his first thrilling glimpse of movie breasts when she showed up a preening Christie Brinkley by showing Clark just where his bread was buttered in the motel pool?

While the 15 minute showreel/preview of James Cameron's Avatar was as impressive as expected, I've noticed something in the stills I've seen recently. As Cameron himself (with Terminator 2's T-1000) and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within proved, we still don't have sythespians quite right. And while the blue-skinned, flat-nosed Pandorans are indeed realistic, they tend to fall right into the Uncanny Valley to me (a fascinating anthropomological phenomenon, read about it if you have time).

Maybe seeing them in motion instead of stills will make a difference, but it's just one of the many technological challenges Cameron will have to overcome before audiences buy it.

We've seen weird casting before. That plummy Brit from Remington Steel as James Bond, Robin Williams as a potential psychotic killer ion One Hour Photo. But Adrien Brody in Robert Rodriguez's Predator redux? He kind of convinced as hero Jack Driscoll in Peter Jackson's King Kong , but that was more Jackon's wild, boisterous style than any machismo of Brody's...

in sequel news, Showgirls is set to enter the strange Plan 9 From Outer Space -style zone of becoming its own lucrative media property based entirely on how bad the original film was. Apparently a German producer is apparently developing a follow-up.

Tarantino has also confirmed he's going ahead with a third Kill Bill. With Bill (David Carradine) dead both in real life and the film and the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad all brutally dispatched during the two-parter's bloody battles, maybe it's going to be about The Bride (Uma Thurman) navigating a far more dangerous world than that of deadly killers – supervising six year old's birthday parties and getting Beatrix junior to piano practice on time.

Paranormal Activity has been reviewed pretty well but the buzz is getting loud. the director is already planning his next project, centred around Area 51. If it's a hit, here's my prediction. Studio execs will realise the kids who loved X Files, Dark Skies and the whole government-covering-up-contact-with-the-greys zeitgiest from the mid to late 90s have grown up and have their own kids now. So just like break dancing keeps coming back, that means a whole new audience for one of the most popular entertainment movements of the media age and some time soon we'll see an explosion of everything UFO-related. Quick, where can I buy stock in Stanton Freidman and Bob Lazar?

It's interesting that after Venom was one of the least successful elements of the bloated Spiderman 3 there's now a spin-off of it/him being written. Even Raimi himself went on record saying he wasn't interested in the character but studio licensing deals made him include it.

Anyone who remembers Eddie Murphy's early stand-up work will know what an inspiration Richard Pryor was on the young comic. He even realised his dream of working with Pryor in the so-so Harlem Nights. So it must have hurt that he's been moved off the Pryor biopic project, which as now gone to Adam Sandler's company Happy Madison and looks like starring Marlon Wayans.

Most critics and plenty of audiences worldwide have now seen Michael Moore's latest salvo Capitalism: A Love Story. In the voiceover at the end Moore is strikingly honest about how sick of fighting he is, saying 'I can't do this any more'. I haven't seen much about it in the blogosphere but wondered if there was anything behind it like a pre-retirement message or an illness?

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