This week saw the countdown to the end of the Twilight movies, though we didn’t pay it much attention. Kevin gave us a drinking game to play while watching the whole series in marathon form, but that’s it. Maybe we were all too busy still appreciating the greatness of the latest James Bond — a series that fortunately didn’t conclude after only five installments — or skipping through to wonder about the future, as in whether The Mortal Instruments is the new Twi-like sensation.
We did, of course, review the final Twilight Saga film, and we remind and invite you to check out that and other reviews of new releases (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2; Lincoln; Anna Karenina; Price Check) as well as an interview with Anna Karenina director Joe Wright. We also watched a lot of trailer, including new spots for The Host (from Twi-lit author Stephenie Meyer), Oz: The Great and Powerful, The ABCs of Death (Red Band) and, yeah, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. We also saw some short films that readers seem to have enjoyed a lot, including The Sleepover and Dragon Baby.
Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the break.
With Skyfall now playing in theaters in the U.S., we may not be seeing any more Countdown columns, but that doesn’t mean the discussion should end. In his latest Culture Warrior column, Landon looked at the latest James Bond film with focus on its mix of nostalgia and modern relevance: “Instead of updating Bond to the twenty-first century, Sam Mendes and company presume that Bond possesses a lasting appeal not by some assumed adaptability and continued relevance, but because of the character’s enduring reliability and potent appeal to the past. It’s not that the old is new again; instead, old is the new new.”
Late last week, the Academy narrowed the Best Animated Short category down to ten films, including Disney’s Paperman, the Simpsons bit The Longest Daycare, and a new work by the director of Akira called Combustible. In a special edition of Daniel’s Oscar coverage, he listed and analyzed the chances of all of these shorts. On a possible frontrunner, The Eagleman Stag: “This might be the best short of the year. Obviously that’s a ridiculous statement, given the sheer number of shorts and the impossibility of seeing them all, but Mikey Please’s thesis film at the Royal College of Art is extraordinary. It’s akin to an animated Tree of Life with a much less exasperating sense of self, and you can watch it online right now!”
More Academy Awards coverage from Daniel:
Reality Check: The Oscars Don’t Really Reward Movies that Challenge Who We Are
Continuing the trend of previewing prologues in December for films not fully hitting theaters until the next summer, Star Trek Into Darkness will unload its first nine minutes next month in IMAX 3D, the tease being attached to the first Hobbit film. Kate reported and commented on this big news: “Are you simply unable (or, more precisely, unwilling) to wait until May of next year to see more of J.J. Abrams‘ patented lens flares, Chris Pine’s tight pants, and Zachary Quinto‘s perfectly pointy ears? Desperate to find out just what sort of “darkness” we’re “trekking” into? Do you just like going to movie theaters to see tiny slices of footage from full-sized features? You’re in such luck!”
Before we posted the trailer for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Kate had some questions about the new YA fantasy film franchise. Here’s the first one: “Lily Collins is looking pretty rough here – is she okay? Is her character, Clary Fray, sick? Has she never been exposed to the sun (actual, legitimate concern)? Does she need more vitamin D? Is she getting enough to eat? No, she is just thin and supposedly “delicate.” Still looks like she needs to get outside more.”
One of the most disappointing films for many this year, Prometheus has nevertheless continued to be an interesting work to talk about. An early draft of the screenplay leaked online recently and provided even more fodder for discussion. J.F. (who didn’t hate the final product) read the script and laid out some significant parts that shouldn’t have been edited out. He writes: “I dunno if it’s because I’m so desperate to like this movie that I’ll accept any kind of explanation, or if that it’s actually good writing, but holy crap do I find this explanation satisfactory. ‘We forgot the map’ is so much better than ‘Oh look, we’re lost now because screw it we don’t need to explain this to you.'”