Some more entertainment highlights of recent days.
1. I mocked Daniel Craig for being the next James Bond like so many others. He was blonde, didn’t look the part and sounded like a bit of a wuss. Clearly Clive Owen would have been a better selection. Well, I’m man enough to offer up a mea culpa. Rotten Tomatoes is showing an astonishing 95% positive reviews for Casino Royale. It may end up one of the best reviewed movies of the year. I’m not saying it’s going to get nominated for Oscars, but that’s still impressive.
So is the box office. Nearly $41 million on an opening weekend with a basically unknown guy playing Bond is a very good start. Also, I read an article that says about 60% of the money a Bond film makes is overseas, so I suspect it’s going to do quite well. My rough guess is probably around $350 million worldwide. Oh, and for those of you who say move reviewers don’t matter, piss off. The glowing reviews for the movie in the weeks leading up to its release clearly impacted how many people went.
It’s not here yet, of course. I suspect I might end up seeing it back in St. John’s before it winds its way up here.
2. Is there any doubt anymore than Michael Jackson has become a Star Trek alien? And how much did he have to pay those kids to act happy around him when the sensible thing would be to have a severe arachnid reaction (the kind when you’re around something that is clearly not human and creeping you the fuck out). Terrifying.
3. Quite possible the stupidest bit of news you’ll read out of Hollywood this month. Peter Jackson has been told by New Line Cinemas that his services will not be needed while the company goes forward with The Hobbit and a Lord of the Rings prequel. Because you just know that’s going to work out well.
4. Studio 60 nailed it last night. There are many problems with the show, but one of them was of high expectations. Very few shows come out of the gates without severe growing pains, but considering how good the pilot was people expected Studio 60 to be perfect. Also contributing was Aaron Sorkin writing it. Everyone was expecting The West Wing all over again. The first season of the West Wing was a miracle the likes of which we will probably never see again on network TV. It barely missed a beat.
NBC is clearly giving it a chance by picking it up for the rest of the season. Hopefully more shows will be like this, where Sorkin has now figuring out what is working and what needs to go. It was funny and well written and Matthew Perry and Sarah Paulson are slowly creating one of the nicer romances on television.
5. Things are looking grim on The Amazing Race. With the Cho brothers falling last night (and really, they kind of deserved to go. They were nice, but they ran a terrible leg), there are four teams left. One is evil, two are severely annoying and one is pretty ok. So the odds are long for good triumphing.
The face of evil is two pretty cheerleaders, who are fairly blatant about their evil. The two annoying are the squabbling couple and the single moms for Alabama. Now, as much as two black single moms could certainly use the money, they’re not very likeable in the show. The ones to cheer for are two friends, who are models and recovering addicts. Not normally someone I would cheer for, but they seem nice, work well together and aren’t aggravating.
Still, the odds are stacked against good winning out. But I remain hopeful. Just so long as the cheerleaders don’t win. I think I might become sick.