Geek Buzz: See Heath Ledger's Final Project; but There's No Seeing 'G.I. Joe'
Random news and names now crossing the transom of comics culture...
"The Dark Knight," it turns out, wasn't Heath Ledger's last act of art.
The late Aussie actor -- who won a posthumous Oscar this year for his role as the Joker -- directed a music video for the Modest Mouse song "King Rat." The band yesterday released the six-minute animated video, which shows whales hunting humans for sport. The environmental point is made through an intriguing mix of black humor and, well, red plasma.
Ledger died last year at 28. At the end of the video is a message that says: "This began with our friend, a great defender of life, and was completed in his spirit."
Modest Mouse has posted the "exclusive video premiere" on its MySpace page.
THAT'S A NO-GO, 'JOE'
Call it "Admission Impossible: Why Critics Can't Preview G.I. Joe."
Comic Riffs reported last week that Paramount Pictures decided to screen "G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra" last Friday night at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Md. -- a screening strictly for "U.S. service members, their families and patients from Walter Reed Medical Center." Press could cover the red-carpet and snap pics of Sienna Miller and Marlon Wayans, but actually gain entry into the screening? Nothing doin'.
This is apparently the "Transformers" effect -- referring to the recent sequel that bombed with critics but exploded big-time at the box office. For "G.I. Joe," the studio has told various media outlets that it's trying to build interest in "the Heartland" and elsewhere outside the Usual Media Maelstroms that are New York and L.A. Paramount has reportedly also screened the film in such places as North Carolina, Ohio and Arizona -- but not for mainstream critics. (In a telling move, the studio didn't screen footage of the film at San Diego Comic-Con, either.)
When the film opens this weekend, we'll see whether the "prevent defense" strategy pays off at the box office. Meantime, "the Heartland" likely feels very little sympathy for all those mainstream critics who can only champ at the bit that is the teaser trailer:
Who knew an animated film that runs less than two minutes could cause such a stir?
Greece's Acropolis museum had said it would cut some scenes from a short film by the Greek-born French director Costa-Gavras, who won Oscars for "Z" and "Missing." But that decision drew protesters and threats of lawsuits within weeks of the museum's opening. Now, Reuters reports, "The informative film will continue to be shown" in full, museum director Dimitris Pantermalis said in a statement.
Gavras had demanded that the film not be altered. Reuters says the film "informs visitors about the history of the 5th century B.C. Parthenon temple and depicts early Christians damaging the monument."
HORRORS: IT'S DEL TORO'S PICK
For a remake of Spanish-language horror flick "The Orphange," producer Guillermo del Toro has decided to go with Larry Fessenden, a low-budgie horror veteran, says the Hollywood Reporter. Fessenden also scripted it with del Toro. The film made $71 million globally but grossed just $7 mill in North America.
THE RELATED READ:
THE "DARK KNIGHT" POLL: Who's the better Joker -- Heath or Jack?
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