Monday Morning Mixer: The 'Sky' is 'Fall'-ing again

Posted Monday, December 10, 2012 at 1:10 PM Central
Last updated Monday, December 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM Central

by John Couture

Holiday shopping was in full swing this weekend and the megaplexes took a big hit. Of course, that doesn't mean that everyone was out in the cold (or heat) trying to survive the hustle and bustle.

In case you missed it, friend of the site Kevin Smith announced that he is prepping Clerks III and more details filtered out over the weekend (see below). While most celebs were out shopping and not getting arrested for their drunken misdeeds, there were a couple nuggets that came out this weekend.

While we wait for the next long walk, aka The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, let's get caught up on the weekend that was. Sit back, grab some Joe and enjoy the MMM.

Box Office 411

How slow was it this week at the box office? The top 12 films earned a measly $73 million, good (bad?) enough for the third lowest weekend total of the year. Even those sparkly vampires from Twilight were unable to move the needle as they dropped from the top spot.

Interestingly, it wasn't new competition that slayed the vamps but everyone's favorite secret agent as Skyfall regained the top spot at the box office with $11 million. So far, Skyfall has earned $261 million through five weeks.

Skyfall has already surpassed Quantum of Solace's $168.4 million to become the top grossing Bond film of all time. Skyfall should continue to ride The Hobbit's shirt tails for a couple of weeks and should end up just shy of $300 million.

The weekend's lone newcomer Playing for Keeps proved that people just don't care a lick about Gerard Butler. Playing for Keeps opened in sixth place with a measly $6 million and will most likely become a deja vu blip on the collective conscience of moviegoers once The Hobbit opens this weekend.

SciFi-entology

Do you all remember those days when John Travolta was back? Before he was reuniting with Olivia Newton-John and singing awkward duets? Even before he was getting all handsy with masseuses?

Yes, believe it or not, there was a time when John Travolta was relevant again. Then, he started down a path of SciFi enlightenment that ultimately resulted in Battlefield Earth and his career was lost yet again.

I remind you of this tale, because it seems that history is repeating itself with fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise. After making a name for himself in straight action films, Tom has been dabbling in SciFi flicks lately and Oblivion is his latest foray into the genre.

I'll be up front and admit that I was pretty much in the dark about Oblivion before seeing the trailer below and the trailer did its job, it piqued my interest. I don't want to give anything away, but the trailer plays like a live action WALL-E in which the titular character is played by Cruise.

As boring as that sounds (and yes, the first part of the trailer is boring), there is a moment when the proverbial shit hits the fan and things pick up from there. Visually, the film looks stunning and should put a few butts in seats, but it's the interesting twist that is revealed that might actually make Oblivion stand out among its peers.

I'm at least interested to see where the film takes us from here and that's saying a lot these days.

Be Excellent to Each Other

You know, there's just something so cosmically cool about Alex Winter from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure creating a documentary on the rise and fall of Napster. It's as if the Gods were looking down and smiling on the great riff.

As pretty much everyone knows, Napster is the file sharing service that pretty much brought the music industry to its knees and forced them to embrace digital downloads. It created a void between those that create and sell music and those that buy and consume music.

Napster was the very public face that artists and music labels could attack in their war against musical evolution. They couldn't exactly sue or arrest their customers could they? Well, some did, or at least tried.

The result is one of the more compelling stories of the last 25 years and one that Alex Winter is obviously passionate about. The trailer for the film "Downloaded" is below and you can see just how compelling a film this is going to be.

I Assure You, We're Open!

Finally today, I want to end with a bit about Kevin Smith and his Earth-shattering (at least for me) news from Friday that he's going to re-open the Quick Stop one last time for Clerks III. If this is news to you, you can find the announcement article here.

There were a few details that surfaced over the weekend on Twitter about Clerks III and finally today, Kevin released a podcast he taped with Ralph Garman and Scott Mosier yesterday that goes into the story of how Clerks III came into existence. You can listen to the entire podcast here, but I will hit upon the highlights below.

I'll probably post these as an update on the original article as well to make sure that all of our bases are covered. But here is what we know at this point:

  • Kevin has a 70 page treatment for Clerks III that he is confident that he can convert into a script very quickly.
  • What will the story be? All of our conjecture aside, Kevin naturally didn't release many details on the story for Clerks III. However, he did say that it will follow the lead of its predecessors and take place over the course of a single day. Although, he did admit that much like Clerks II, there will be some stuff at the end that goes into the future a bit.
  • Speaking of the story, he didn't divulge too much about the plot other than to say that it revolves more around Randal this time instead of Dante, although naturally they are both in the film.
  • He said that he's aiming for a run time between 90 and 100 minutes which would be consistent with the first two films.
  • He is aiming for a release in 2014 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Clerks. It's not drop dead date, but one that he hopes to hit so that everything falls into place neatly.
  • He goes into the economics of making the film a bit and how The Weinstein Company has the first right to refuse and last shot to buy the film once completed. It's a tangled web that is best told by Kevin, so go listen to the podcast already. He did say that he hopes to use Kickstarter to fund one half of the budget and he will personally match the funds to set the final budget for the film.
  • To that end, one of the potential reward levels will allow you to choose to be an extra in the film. Kevin said that he needs lots and lots of extras for Clerks III. That's pretty interesting considering the first two films had little to no extras.
  • Kevin tweeted that he was planning on filming it in black & white, ala Clerks, but he seemed to back off that a bit in the podcast. It seems that he feels it would disingenuous to digitally film it in color and then simply hit a button to turn it black & white. Scott suggested they could film on black & white film, but it might be cost prohibitive. I say have your cake and eat it too Kevin. Let the audience decide. If Peter Jackson can release five different formats for The Hobbit, then why not release Clerks III simultaneously in both black & white and color. Let the audience decide!*
  • And finally, Kevin admitted that he has only told a handful or people the story outline for Clerks III, but that each time he tells it, he cries at the end.

Well, that's pretty much all that I've got for this past weekend. Enjoy your Monday and until next week, mix well!

* While the idea might be cost-prohibitive given that you would have to double the screen count in market, I still think it would be a truly unique way to go. Also, you could simply create the two versions and send them out randomly. That way, going in, the audience wouldn't know which version it is getting, black & white or color.

I know that I would most likely go and see it both ways and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Then, you can offer a black & white DVD and a color DVD, with both versions available on Blu-ray.