Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Must be Thursday...Could Never Get the Hang of Thursdays

Wow. I'm re-discovering "Weird Al" Yankovic's latest album, Straight Outta Lynwood.

For those who didn't know, Straight Outta Lynwood came with a DVD, containing the entire album mixed down in 5.1 channel surround sound. Even scored a Grammy nomination for Best Surround Sound Album. So, I'm listening to the surround sound mix right now.

It's really cool. He occasionally drops a certain instrument, or the back-up singers in the rear channels, and you're like, "Whoa! Where'd that come from?"

I might be buying more albums on DVD now.

Now here's some news that's making me overjoyed.

Spy reports are coming in from the set of The Dark Knight (aka Batman Begins 2) that Cillian Murphy has shown up on the set, and he's reprising his Batman Begins role of my favourite Batman villain, Dr. Johnathan Crane, better known as the Scarecrow.

So now, people are wondering, how big a role does the Scarecrow have in this film? A patsy for the Joker? A sub-plot about his latest scheme? My personal preference: a pre-credits sequence, where Batman ties up the loose ends from the first film.

The Dark Knight is scheduled for theatres in June of 2008.

Over on the Marvel side now comes a report today that Samuel L. Jackson has just filmed a cameo as Nick Fury for the live-action movie version of Iron Man, due out in May of 2008.

Of course, I have to take a moment to acknowledge the biggest geek news of the day, the trailer for Blade Runner: The Final Cut.

Never been able to get behind Blade Runner...it's kind of like a certain lite beer to me: tastes great, less filling. However, I do have to acknowledge it's fascinating release history.

For those who don't know, Blade Runner is a classic, 1982 sci-fi film from Ridley Scott, same guy who did Alien, Gladiator, and American Gangster, coming this fall. But, the movie studio executives found it be kind of confusing, took it out of Scott's hands, and re-edited it, gave it a happy ending and other crap. Needless to say, it didn't do so well at the box office, and Scott was upset.

Flash forward 10 years. Blade Runner is on its way to becoming a cult classic. The movie studio starts selling a workprint (movie talk for "rought draft") to theatres, and calling it a director's cut. Naturally, Scott is pissed, because he had no involvement in it whatsoever, meaning it wasn't a true director's cut.

So, the studio brings in Scott to do a proper director's cut. But, Scott's still not happy. The project turns out to be rushed, underfunded, and, to top it all off, Scott was busy making Thelma and Lousie, meaning he couldn't devote himself 100% to the project. Blade Runner: The Director's Cut officially hits theatres in 1993. Once again, it doesn't do so well. Once again, Scott's not happy.

Jump forward to Y2K. Scott is once again Hollywood's golden boy, thanks to the success of Gladiator. And, with the exploding DVD market, the movie studio approaches Scott about doing a final, authoritative, final edit of Blade Runner, for the super-special-edition-DVD market. Scott gladly jumps on board.

This time, Scott is able to focus his complete attention on it. He's hands-on for the whole thing. He even gets to go out, shoot new footage, and make some new special effects. The goal is to have it in stores for 2002, the film's 20th anniversary.

but...one of the film's original producers steps forwards. Claims the movie rights have reverted to him. Film can't be released until the courts sort this out.

Flash forward to last fall. The movie studio announces that the court case is settled, and they now own Blade Runner lock, stock and barrel. To celebrate, they re-release Blade Runner: The Director's Cut to DVD in a brand-new, animorphic, beatiful picture.

And they announce that Blade Runner: The Final Cut will be coming out in the fall of 2007, in a 4-disc ultimate mega special edition with all 4 edits of the film (original, Director's Cut, Final Cut, and European, which was a little different) and more bonus materials than you can shake a stick at.

There's even talk of a brief theatrical re-release. We'll find out for certain when fall draws closer.

I wasn't too big on the film, but you gotta respect the history.

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