Some Movie News

In the last week or so there have been some interesting announcements out of Hollywood that are worth a mention.

First up, Johnny Depp is a really busy guy. Johnny’s said that there will be another outing for Jack Sparrow in a Pirates film. Last week Disney announced that Johnny is in fact cast as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s upcoming Alice in Wonderland. This makes me happy. Wanna bet Helena Bonham-Carter is the Queen of Hearts, anyone? Cinematical has 2 photos from the set, if you’re curious to see what Alice herself looks like.

Johnny’s also signed to play, and I think this is kind of weird, Tonto in a Lone Ranger film. A Lone Ranger film. Directed by Jerry Bruckheimer. Can you blow up horses? Anyway, to make it weirder, there’s a rumor that George Clooney is interested in playing the Lone Ranger himself. Okaaaaay…

Johnny is also apparently signed to play something in Sin City 3. Doesn’t that imply that there’s a Sin City 2 in the works?

In other movie news, as I’ve mentioned before, Guy Ritchie is working on one of two Sherlock Holmes films. Well he’s working on filling out the cast so Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes) is possibly slated to be supported by Jude Law as Dr. Watson while Rachel McAdams is onboard to play Irene Adler, Sherlock’s love interest. I love Rachel McAdams so this makes me very happy.

The third bit of movie news is that there’s a director in talks with Marvel Studios to direct the upcoming Thor movie. Thor, as you might not know, is a Marvel comic book character based on the Norse God Thor. What caught my eye about this is the fact that Kenneth Branagh is in talks to direct this Thor film. KENNETH BRANAGH. I had to open the article to look at the photo to make sure it was the same Kenneth Branagh I was thinking of. The Kenneth Branagh of the zillion Shakespeare films. Yep, same guy. Huh.

Celebrating the freedom to read

The American Library Association’s Banned Books week begins today and runs thru October 4. What exactly is this week about? In the words of the ALA:

Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW’s 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

The Christian Science Monitor has a nice summary on why this week is important.

The list of most challenged books in 2007 is as follows:

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism

6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7) “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8) “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10) “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Off the list this year, are two books by author Toni Morrison. “The Bluest Eye” and “Beloved,” both challenged for sexual content and offensive language.

Get out there and read something offensive, America! 🙂

As a musical?

Variety reported this week that a stage musical version of American Psycho is in the works and is looking to head to Broadway. Yes, you read that right, American Psycho: The Musical.

If you haven’t seen the film, it’s actually worth a rent. It’s a very dark comedy set in the 1980s. It stars Christian Bale (yum!) as a 1980s yuppie Wall Street guy who also likes to, you know, kill people sometimes. Oh and Bale’s character really likes the music of Phil Collins.

I just wonder if there’s actually a huge Broadway audience for this thing. The film gets a bit bloody as I recall and it just seemed to have limited market appeal but maybe that’s just me. It’s no weirder than other musicals coming to Broadway I suppose.

American Psycho

If my husband had money to burn…

…he’d make me wear this, all the time:

wearable airbag

It’s a wearable airbag for the elderly or, like me, clumsy. I mention this because on Tuesday I wiped out in a parking lot. I have a golf ball sized lump on my ankle, and I’m hobbling around. I’d been accident free for a long time!

Oh, and by the way, they advertise it as “looking like a cool fanny pack.” I know someone who will find THAT extra appealing!

Stonehenge solved?

Two British archaeologists think that they’ve figured out what in the heck Stonehenge was used for. CNN reports this:

Professors Geoffrey Wainwright and Timothy Darvill argued their own explanation for the mysterious monument: Stonehenge, they said, was a kind of primeval Lourdes, drawing prehistoric pilgrims from around Europe.

“We found several reasons to believe that the stones were built as part of a belief in a healing process,” Wainwright told journalists assembled at London’s Society of Antiquaries.

Wainwright and Darvill, the first to excavate the site in more than 40 years, said the key to their theory was Stonehenge’s double circle of bluestones — a rare rock known to geologists as spotted dolomite — which lie at the center of the monument.

Dragged or floated on rafts from Pembrokeshire in Wales to Salisbury Plain in southern England, he said the bluestones were prized for their healing properties — as evidenced by the small mountain of flakes the scientists uncovered during their dig.

Pieces ended up buried in tombs across the area, a testament to people’s fascination with the rocks, Wainwright said.

The proof was not only in the stones — but also in the bones. Skeletons recovered from the area showed signs of serious disease or injury.

“People were in a state of distress, if I can put it as politely as that, when they came to the Stonehenge monument,” Darvill said.

The evidence, they said, pointed to a kind of shrine where people from across the Europe would go to seek healing. But they cautioned that that did not rule out alternative theories for Stonehenge’s uses.

“It could have been a temple, even as it was a healing center,” Darvill said. “Just as Lourdes, for example, is still a religious center.”

So there you go – mystical healing shrine thingie.