In this morning’s roundup of movie news ‘n’ notes from around the web, “Get Low” gets high marks, but the future for movie futures was always bleak.
As Mark Harris explains it, brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald’s plan to turn movie grosses into a futures-trading market – a plan that was effectively killed by Congress last week – was probably always doomed. “The creation of a speculative market, particularly one in which speculation itself could damage a movie by lending what [interim MPAA chief A. Robert] Pisano calls a specious ‘aura of financial authenticity to gossip,’ would be more of a wild card than a stabilizing force,” writes Harris, who also suggests that the idea, if instituted, would have been likely to lead to government oversight of Hollywood’s accounting practices. And we all know thatcould never be tolerated by the studios. (New York Magazine)
Anne Thompson sounds the alarm: “Get Low” had 100 percent positive reviews at Rotten Tomatoes – so just before 7 p.m., less than an hour before the film’s premiere at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Thompson posted “Psst! Don’t tell any contrarian film critics.” Apparently, though, somebody let the cat out of the bag: by midnight, that 100 percent rating had slipped to a 92 percent, courtesy of pans from her indieWIRE colleague Eric Kohn and from Nick Schager at Slant Magazine. But director Aaron Schneider’s understated character drama with Robert Duvall and Bill Murray still has a perfect score with the site’s “Top Critics” gang – and, as Thompson predicted, it went over quite well with the Academy audience, particular Duvall’s performance. (Thompson on Hollywood) (Photo by Sam Emerson/Sony Pictures Classics)
If you think that the casting of Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk were odd choices in the world of comic-book movies, “The Avengers” director Joss Whedon would beg to differ. Russ Fischer reports on a Comic-Con interview in which Whedon explained precisely why he picked the two actors. For Hawkeye, a superhero armed with a bow and arrow, he wanted a “very grounded” actor who could get across why the character wants to shoot at bad guys from afar; for the Hulk, he needed somebody who was “beaten up by life, but not defined by that.” And you know, that actually makes sense. (SlashFilm)
The new French Revolution, apparently, is in the world of animation. So reports Eric Pfanner, who visits the Mac Guff Ligne animation and visual effects house in Paris, where they did animation work for “Despicable Me” and are now working on a version of the Dr. Seuss tale “The Lorax” for Universal and another film for Illumination. Other French effects and animation studios are doing contract work for Hollywood, buoyed by subsidies designed to attract film work, and by the declining value of the Euro against the dollar. One of his examples of how the French have a history in the field: Frenchman Georges Melies made “A Trip to the Moon,” which might well be the first special-effects movie ever, back in 1902. It may be a stretch to think that has any bearing now, but c'est la vie. (The New York Times)