Bad snacks, smart flicks, fanboy faves and an Ebert hater ...
One large buttered popcorn: 1,500 calories. One large soda: 500 calories. But you might want to memorize those numbers before you go to the movie theater, because you won't see them posted even if new FDA guidelines go into effect requiring restaurants and food-service businesses to post calorie counts on menus and displays. William Neuman reports on federal guidelines that initially included movie theaters, but were revised to exempt them after "comments we've gotten from a number of quarters," including the National Association of Theater Owners. NATO says theaters should be exempt because "movies [are] 'escapist entertainment' and that moviegoers [do] not go there with the intent of eating a meal." (I guess that means that calories don't count if you only consume them while doing something else.) The regulations won't go into effect before next year, and the FDA is asking for "consumer and industry" feedback before then. (The New York Times)
The indie drama, apparently, is back. It fell out of fashion during "the crash of 2008," says Anne Thompson – but on the heels of "The King's Speech" winning all those awards, studios aren’t so scared anymore, which means that movies like Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" and Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" are back in business. Her case study in the revived landscape for adult dramas is Tim Bevan's and Eric Fellner's Working Title. "Making more crap movies is the worst position," Feller tells Thompson. "Somebody has to invest in creating the movies of the future.”Then again, isn't that what even the people who make crap movies tell themselves they're doing? (Thompson on Hollywood)
Jon Favreau may have been the pre-convention favorite director to wow the crowd at the WonderCon gathering in San Francisco, but Jen Yamato says that "Immortals" director Tarsem Singh is the one who stole the show at the ComicCon-affiliated gathering. After presenting the trailer from his movie, which features Zeus and Athena and Theseus and the like ("strong visual parallels to Zack Synder's '300' abound," Yamato says), Singh apparently won over the fanboys and fangirls with his wardrobe, his thoughts on 3D, his description of the film as "Caravaggio meets 'Fight Club,'" and his self-made comparisons to Snyder and Michael Bay. And he described his influences as "the books you read, the literature you read, the porn you watch, the Tarkovsky films you’ve seen, the Discovery Channel with animals eating each other."Apparently, WonderCon fans love that stuff, and haven't heard the conventional wisdom that Singh (who's currently casting his upcoming version of "Snow White") is an amazing visual stylist who can't tell a story to save his life. (Movieline)
It probably would be best to just ignore this, but sometimes things are so appalling that you need to point them out. Mightily offended by the fact that Roger Ebert didn't like "Battle: Los Angeles," a "former national merit scholar" named Jeffrey Parsons (who seems convinced that his high school academic achievement is somehow proof that he's smarter than Ebert) writes Ebert a scathing letter calling the reviewer "a joyless a------" who clearly doesn’t enjoy movies much anymore. Considering the lengths to which Ebert has gone to continue seeing films, going to festivals and writing reviews (most of them positive) in the face of debilitating medical problems, I'd say that accusation is as patently absurd as the point of view that Ebert sums up in the headline he attaches to the letter: "I'm not only an idiot, I'm an a------." Or maybe Ebert is neither, and those labels ought to be applied to somebody else in this little dust-up. (RogerEbert.com)