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Week In Review

The 168 Turnaround: Céline Dion Smiles And The Dark Tower Falls

A&E NEWS: July 17 – July 23, 2011

FUNNY FACES:  In an age when nearly everyone carries a camera with them (via cell phone), it’s inevitable that somebody will snap a picture of you unaware, capturing you making an awkward or silly face.  And since there’s no avoiding it in this day and age, you might as well not worry about it.  But I guess somebody forget to give that advice to international singing sensation Céline Dion.  Turns out the singer’s lawyers sent a threatening legal letter to the publisher of the Tumblr blog Ridiculous Pictures of Céline Dion and demanded that the blog be shut down.  Not having the funds to take the matter to court, the publisher did as asked.  Now, I can understand why someone might dislike a website dedicated to publishing pictures of him or her making silly faces.  Even still, for an uber celebrity like Céline Dion, this kind of thing shouldn’t even register for her.  You’re a multi-millionaire—buy yourself a yacht and move on.

SPIDER-MAN:  When director Sam Raimi first brought Spider-Man to the big screen, I was a little disappointed to find that his interpretation of the superhero was more in line with the original comics than with the less campy TV series I was familiar with (1994’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series).  Personally, I want Spider-Man to be dark and violent, not goofy—Raimi and I just didn’t see eye to eye.  And yet with the just released teaser trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man, which seems to promise a much darker interpretation of Spider-Man’s beginnings, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed.  No, it’s not that the film is a reboot (like I said, I didn’t like Raimi’s trilogy); the problem comes precisely at the 1:42 minute mark with the POV (point of view) sequence.  Crummy CGI aside, POV shot’s are almost always lousy—a sure sign of a lacking imagination.  Let’s hope the sequence won’t find its way into the film (after all, it doesn’t seem to serve any narrative purpose).  In any event, check out the trailer below.

THE DARK TOWER:  As a Stephen King fan, I’m glad that Universal and NBC’s ambitious plans to turn the seven novels of King’s The Dark Tower series into three films and two television miniseries have finally fallen through.  As far as I can see, the novels would make for lousy film adaptations (have I mentioned that the last two novels feature Stephen King himself as a central character?).  Universal’s decision to pull out, however, is somewhat surprising, as the studio had planned to begin production this summer on the first film.  Apparently there were budgeting issues, and of that I have no doubt, given the sheer scale of the narrative.  Ron Howard was set to direct, and Javier Bardem was said to star as Roland Deschain in this western/sci-fi/horror story of the last gunslinger’s quest to reach the Dark Tower.  Alas, the project is no more.

DRIVE:  The phrase “Bad Ass” is thrown around a lot, especially in praise of supposedly great action movies.  Every now and again, however, a film comes along that looks genuinely bad ass.  For me, the requisite ingredients for such a movie include an against-type lead; characters that are rich in principal, desires, lusts, contradictions, and motivations; sexiness that is achieved through posture and expression, as opposed to big boobs and full lips; and violence and action that has real weight and is imaginatively executed.  And so, I can’t help but get excited after seeing the red-band trailer for Nicolas Refn’s new film, Drive.  The director of Bronson and Pusher has delivered (if appearances can be believed) a film that looks truly bad ass.  From casting Ryan Gosling as the film’s lead, to the end scene with the bullet and the hammer—I can’t wait.  You can view the trailer below:

VIDEO OF THE WEEK:  Bootleg Fireworks Fail
Like most boys, I enjoy things that explode.  That, in and of itself, speaks poorly of my gender, as this video seems to prove.

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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