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Week In Review

The 168 Turnaround: Bearded Bin Joins Cooper In Hell

THIS WEEK: May1 – May 7, 2011

OSAMA BIN LADEN: Immediately following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, I couldn’t help but wonder how long it would take Hollywood to start shooting a film adaptation of that day’s horrors.  Turns out, it took less than five years; in 2006 we saw the TV film Flight 93, as well as the studio films United 93 and World Trade Center.  And now, with the killing of Osama bin Laden, I again wonder how long it will be until this event hits the big screen.  For me, these kinds of films are somewhat troubling.  I understand that all stories need to be told, but do they all need to be dramatized?  If so, how soon after is too soon?  On another note, with the repeated changes to the specific details surrounding bin Laden’s death, I also can’t help but wonder about the tone of the inevitable films.  With conspiracy theorists throwing fits all around the world, I’d be surprised if one of the films wasn’t chin deep in conspiracy lore.  Whatever the case may be, I hope Hollywood doesn’t rush into anything they’re going to later regret.  If it were me, I’d hold off until I’d gained a bit of perspective.

IRAQI BOOK FAIR: For the first time in over twenty years, the war-torn country of Iraq held a government-organized book fair.  Over a two-week period, more than 200 publishing houses from various countries displayed 37, 000 books, marking Iraq’s return to the global literary scene.  Because of sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait, and then because of the turmoil following America’s invasion of Iraq, the country has been nearly cut off from other writers around the world.  As a firm believer in the power of fiction, I see this as a considerable step in Iraq’s long march toward recovery.  Here’s hoping we begin to read and acknowledge more of their writers as well.  For more info, click here.

PARADISE LOST: Speaking of literature, word on the street is that The Hangover star Bradley Cooper is in talks to play Lucifer (i.e. Satan) in a big screen adaptation of John Milton’s 17th century epic poem, “Paradise Lost.”  The poem, which follows the Fall of Man, is a particularly compelling contemplation of Hell, its minions, and even its geography.  As far as literature goes, it doesn’t get much better than this, which is why I’m a little dismayed to learn that the film adaptation will be an action movie and likely shot in 3D.  Personally, I don’t think Cooper has the acting chops to pull this off, though I’ll give him credit for giving it the good old college try.  Of course, nothing’s been finalized, so there’s no need to get my nickers in a twist…not yet, anyway.  For more info, click here.

ROTTEN TOMATOES: When it comes to movie websites, there’s a handful I visit more than others: Aint It Cool News, Chud, and Jo Blo just to name a few.  But before I started visiting any of those sites for my movie news, I was already an ardent fan of Rotten Tomatoes, one of the most popular movie review sites available.  Indeed, Rotten Tomatoes’ “Fresh” or “Rotten” designation has had significant impact on just how well a film does at the box office.  But now comes news that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has recently become the proud owner of the site.  That’s right, a major movie studio has just bought an influential film review site—if that doesn’t sound like a conflict of interest, then I don’t know what does.  According to Warner Bros., Rotten Tomatoes will remain independently operated, but I can’t help but feel a little uncomfortable with the news.  I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: President Obama on Death of Osama bin Laden (SPOOF)
This is perhaps the most creative response I’ve seen to Obama’s announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed.  The impersonation is nearly spot on.

The 168 Turnaround is a week-in-review column, a place for me to reflect on the week’s most interesting pop culture news items.  If it mattered to me or I think it might matter to you, then it will be here.  If I’ve overlooked an important news item, or if you have a comment or question, please leave a response below.  Thank you for reading.

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