Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #288: Miscellaneous Musings


What are they up to at Relativity Media? First they buy Rogue Pictures, a company with no distribution and a questionable library, from Universal, then they go into a lame "brand awareness" deal for Rogue with the Hard Rock Casino, and now they're buying up MGM's debt.

MGM has a lot of crushing debt that's keeping the company from moving forward, and Relativity could be buying it up in order force a bankruptcy and gain control of the company, either as their own distributor, or to strip it down and sell off the assets for a profit.

I've already discussed what should be done with MGM, and a commenter added that some money might be had selling the MGM trademark to Warner Bros. (Who own the MGM golden age library), but the question is, does Relativity have what it takes to do what needs to be done. Saving the venerable studio is really not an option anymore, it's history, it's toast, it's done and dusted, what has to be done is a complete reinvention of the entire shebang.


Director and suspected thespian Kenneth Branagh has picked an Aussie actor Chris Hemwsworth for the title role in Marvel Comics movie adaptation of The Mighty Thor. Now I noticed that some of the commentariat at Nikki Finke's site are a little miffed that the role didn't go to an American actor.

Well there are two reasons for this:

1- Method Acting. Too many American actors are wrapped up in the whole "method" made famous by the Actor's Studio. Now while in the right hands method acting can provide an element of realism to a role, it's not that great when you're playing the Norse god of thunder.

The role of Thor, even without the faux Shakespearean dialogue, requires a certain amount of bombast that would come across as hammy from a method actor. Any actor doing the role of Thor requires a certain amount of classical background, or the capability to be moulded to give a classical theatrical performance. It has less to do with "being" the role, than "selling" the character.

2- Machismo. Face it, too many American actors in the Thor age-range are a little lacking in the testosterone department. Clint Eastwood, who is pushing 80, looks like could take all of them on, and dole out the harshness upside their pretty, carefully coiffed, heads.

Hollywood has wasted too much time looking for faces that could go on a magazine cover, that they have none that look like they could take a punch.

When casting an "action star" you need someone who looks like they could back you up in an Old West saloon brawl. Most of young Hollywood look like they would scream "NOT THE FACE!" and run away to put the moves on Miss Kitty while you're getting your ass handed to you on a plate by the Clantons.

Now I'm not sure about Thor wrestling crocodiles while yelling "crikey, she's a big'un!" will be appropriate, but I'll give Branagh the benefit of the doubt.

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