Extras! 24 November 2014

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Welcome to The Extras! A daily dose of all the smaller movie related news, clips and just plain cool stuff that you might have missed!

  • If you watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 this weekend past – and judging from the $245 million international box office haul, a lot of you did – then you would know that one of the movie’s best moments is star Jennifer Lawrence’s stirring rendition of Katniss singing “The Hanging Tree”, the lyrics of which was written by Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins with the band The Lumineers writing the music. It’s an incredibly emotive piece of music, and for those of you who didn’t watch the movie yet, you are in luck as the song has now been made available online.

  • Are you enjoying Constantine, NBC’s adaptation of DC Comics’ celebrated supernatural comic book “Hellblazer”? Well, then I would suggest you don’t get too attached yet. Despite showing a 38% bump in ratings for its fifth episode this Friday past, the show has been very inconsistent in the ratings, with most of it leaning on the lower end of the spectrum. As such NBC has informed all cast and crew to stop all work after completing the show’s 13th episode, which was the last of the show’s initial episode order. That doesn’t mean that the show is cancelled yet, but rather that NBC is waiting to see if this recent ratings upswing continues before committing to a full season order. Time to make some magic, Constantine!
  • The only pics of the cast of Terminator Genisys that we’ve seen so far, have been the horribly staged promo shots with the paintball guns and the dislocated jaws. But thanks to a German tour group who hit the Paramount lot this weekend past, we’ve finally managed to snag a proper pic of Arnold Schwarzenegger once again as the fabled T-800 Terminator. I would say that he still looks good, but he’s actually a bit battle-worn here. In a good way!

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  • Posters of the Day: Interstellar fan posters by XombieDirge
  • Hollywood has a very annoying habit of copying anything that becomes successful, irrespective of just how difficult it may. The latest trend is of course shared universes, with every studio seemingly wanting one after Marvel hit big with theirs. The problem is that Marvel’s approach won’t work for everybody, something that even the people at Marvel are aware of. Case in point, Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn who succinctly laid it all down in a Facebook post titled “CARTS BEFORE HORSES & HOLLYWOOD’S NEW LOVE OF SHARED UNIVERSES”

“Listen, I love big ass shared universes in movies, as well as huge franchises. But I’m a little worried about the numerous shared universes being planned by the studios, without having a strong base film to grow from – or in some cases, NO base film to grow from. Star Wars had the original Star Wars, the Marvel Universe had the original Iron Man, the Dark Knight series had Batman Begins, even movies like Transformers and Twilight – these were movies audiences loved, and the audiences demanded more from these characters. But these days studios are trying to grow trees without a strong seed. Execs and producers and sometimes even directors are focused on the big picture, without perfecting the task directly in front of them – making a great movie. And studios are trying to grow franchises from non-existent films or middling successes. It’s like they aren’t taking audiences into account at all anymore.

I know George Lucas, Kevin Feige, John Favreau, etc, had ideas where their films would potentially lead in the face of success. But I don’t think it ever got in the way of making that first movie count as if it was the last, of making it something wonderful that people would love whether it led to other films or not.

In short, I think this new business model is flawed. I think filmmakers and studios should be prepared for the big picture, but never, ever let it get in the way of making a single great film. Be a little more experimental and see what works as opposed to trying to force success. And mostly, remember that we as an industry exist to serve the audiences, to communicate with them – they have a voice in what we create as well. We are not here to dictate what they want to see, mostly because that’s simply not possible.”

  • This Thursday the US will be celebrating their annual Turkey Apocalypse, aka Thanksgiving. That means that the following day is Black Friday, a consumer feeding frenzy in which stores all of America slash their prices to ridiculous lows, usually resulting in absolute pandemonium. All of which sounds like the perfect setup for a movie.

  • Rick Moranis was just gold in timeless classic Ghostbusters, but he nearly didn’t get the part. Director Ivan Reitman revealed over the weekend that he initially offered the role of Louis Tully to (pun not intended) comedy heavyweight John Candy, but that Candy passed on the role because he just didn’t get it. Also, he has a strange thing for German dogs.

“He didn’t like the treatment that I had sent. He didn’t get it. He said, ‘Well, maybe if I played him as a German guy who had a bunch of German shepherd dogs.’ I said, ‘Well, maybe you can do it with an accent, but I don’t think all that’s really necessary.’”

Okay then. When Candy passed and the role was offered to Moranis, the latter apparently immediately responded to Reitman by asking him to “please thank Candy for me. This is the greatest thing I ever read.” And the rest is history.

  • I haven’t seen The Last Starfighter in decades, despite it being one of my favourite movies as a kid. Actually that’s exactly why I haven’t rewatched it, as I’m afraid the nostalgia might be washed away by the reality of how badly it’s aged. After seeing this fan-created modernized trailer for the sci-fi classic though, I’m finding it very hard to not dust off that old VHS tape again.

  • Get ready for Downward Dogs to kick your ass, as Jackie Chan is reteaming with regular collaborator Stanley Tong (Police Story 3 & 4, Rumble In The Bronx) for Kung Fu Yoga, which apparently is exactly what it sounds like. The action comedy is set to be a joint Chinese-Indian venture that will apparently see some of the biggest stars from both countries sought to participate in the film.
  • Hey, if we’re going to start off today on some haunting movie music, then we may as well finish the same way. Symmetry! Billy Boyd, who played pipe smoking hobbit Peregrin “Pippin” Took in The Lords of the Rings, is singing the closing credits song to The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. Suitably titled “The Last Goodbye”, it’s an incredibly fitting tribute for the end of franchise, made even more so by the fact that the song will make you feel ALL DA GOOSEBUMPS!

If you have anything you would like to contribute to Extras, whether it be interesting stories, funny videos, or artistic photos of yourself in morally questionable poses, feel free to drop a mail to [email protected]

Last Updated: November 24, 2014

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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