Metafiction Sends ABC Down the Rabbit Hole With Derrick Storm Series
August 21, 2014

I’m stunned by this news. I thought it was weird enough reading the Richard Castle novels — someone wrote a TV show starring a writer, and then the company released books referenced on the TV show supposedly by that writer that were more stories that could have been plots on the series, but with another level of fictionalization. Where’s the thesis on all this about self-referentiality and postmodernism?

But wait, there are more than one series of works by Richard Castle — in addition to the “Nikki Heat” books, there are “Derrick Storm” books, which was the series we see him concluding at the beginning of the Castle show. (And I’m not even mentioning the various comics and graphic novels with the character.) Those books are spy thrillers, so I haven’t read them.

Now Variety reports that ABC is developing a Derrick Storm series for television. Although executive producer and Castle creator Andrew Marlowe has moved on from that series as it prepares to launch season 7, he and wife Terri Edda Miller will be producing this new show in conjunction with Gregory Poirier, who is writing the pilot.

Of All the Gin Joints
August 17, 2014

Out next month is a wonderful read for anyone interested in Hollywood history and/or alcohol — and really, can the two be separated?

Mark Bailey has assembled in one volume short profiles of movie stars and writers, particularly those notable for how much they imbibed; their often notorious incidents involving drinking; descriptions of famous clubs and watering holes from the past; scenes from classic movies affected by alcohol; and classic cocktail recipes. I wanted to try them all, from the Cocoanut Grove to the Orange Blossom to the Vesper Martini!

Of All the Gin Joints — title taken, of course, from the famous Bogart line from Casablanca — is an excellent time capsule, evoking memories of Hollywood from its earliest days up through the 1970s. The saddest part of the book is how some of the landmarks, gloriously described, no longer exist, replaced by apartments or strip malls.

(The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)

New Movie Strategy: Avoid a Bad Rep by Retitling
August 16, 2014

I find this vaguely clever, since I still want to see the Tom Cruise/ Emily Blunt science fiction movie Edge of Tomorrow when it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on October 7. And I agree that the title is terrible, since it sounds like an old soap opera.

Vox.com is reporting that Warner Brothers is doing its best to rename the movie for home markets, using the previous tagline “Live. Die. Repeat.” as if it was the movie’s title. You can see that at Amazon Instant Video, for example, where the preorder is titled Live. Die. Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. (The same is true on iTunes.) The Blu-ray is still listed under the original title, but as you can see from the packaging, they’re working on creating a different impression on the casual buyer. Clever!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Gag Reel
August 14, 2014

To promote the DVD release of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 next month, Disney has released this blooper-filled gag reel showing the stars blowing lines, having prop problems, and breaking up.

I always find these types of things interesting, because they humanize the actors behind the characters.

Warner Re-Releases Burton’s Batman for 25th Anniversary
August 14, 2014

Batman 25th Anniversary

This November, to mark the 25th Anniversary of Batman (the one directed by Tim Burton in 1989), Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release a new Blu-ray, the Batman 25th Anniversary Two-Disc Edition. List price is $24.98.

They’re putting it in the “studio‚Äôs distinctive new sleek Diamond Luxe collector-style packaging” and adding a new documentary, “Batman: The Birth of the Modern Blockbuster”. That addition is promised to be “a look at the phenomenal marketing, extensive merchandising, and franchise foresight that set the template for the next 25 years of tentpole pictures.” In other words, we wouldn’t have the successful blockbusters we do now without this film, starring Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Jack Nicholson as the Joker, and Kim Basinger as V-V-Vicki Vale. It’s an Oscar winner, too, for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Anton Furst and Peter Young).

Muppets Most Wanted — The Statler and Waldorf Cut
August 11, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted is out on home video tomorrow. To mark the date, Disney has released this bonus feature, in which Statler and Waldorf present their own edit of the movie.

It’s nice to see the characters so much like I remember them — this gag, although predictable, is exactly what they would want to see in the movie.

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