Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mark Wahlberg Netflix Spenser Movie Update

© by Gerald So | 5:00 AM

Since the June 26 announcement that Ace Atkins' second Spenser continuation novel, Robert B. Parker's Wonderland, was being adapted for a Netflix movie starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Peter Berg, Ace has said in a July 15 interview with The Real Book Spy he has no involvement with the movie beyond having written the novel.

On August 4, Boston Casting had an open call "[s]earching for real people—character men with tough faces."

Yesterday Ace tweeted a Collider Peter Berg video interview in which the director said Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Payback, Mystic River) was writing the script, apparently replacing originally-announced screenwriter Sean O'Keefe. Berg also said he was two weeks away from announcing the rest of the cast and the movie was scheduled to start shooting the last weekend of September.

Helgeland's cred is undeniable. I hope he shows familiarity with Spenser as he did with Dennis Lehane. I had been most concerned about the original premise of a Spenser fresh out of prison, stripped of his P.I. license, and sucked back into Boston's underworld, but it may change with the writer.

Berg did say the movie would be darker and more contemporary than Spenser: For Hire, but then Parker's books always were harder-edged, and the more contemporary setting tracks with Atkins' books.

I'm also following Wonderland's IMDb listing.

Monday, August 06, 2018


© by Gerald So | 4:45 AM

A mindless monster's killing spree reaches Metropolis, mauling the Justice League in its path. Only Superman (Jerry O'Connell) is powerful enough to stop the beast, but his unprecedented effort leaves him bloodily beaten as well.

I remember the spike in interest when DC Comics announced it was killing Superman in 1992. I wasn't the fan I would become with the 1993 premiere of TV's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. My brother, not much of a Superman fan himself, bought the complete trade paperback, and I flipped through it but didn't get into the story.

In the years since the event, I've pieced together why it didn't resonate with me. I like a good match: equally complex and powerful opponents. Doomsday had no mind, no motivation. He was as simple as the idea of killing Superman.

That said, I can't say it failed as a publicity stunt. Similarly, Superman: Doomsday launched Warner Bros. Animation's PG-13 direct-to-video line in 2007. I bought and enjoyed it along with most of the line. The Death of Superman animated movie, releasing tomorrow, attempts a more faithful reflection of the comics event. As always, though, what hooked me was the portrayal of Lois and Clark's relationship.

Many of Warner Bros. Animation's New 52 Justice League voice actors rejoin O'Connell, lending their characters' chemistry. O'Connell's wife Rebecca Romijn debuts as Lois, but their real chemistry is just as clear, bringing out the authority and down-to-earth quality that I want in Clark and Lois and that must come through to deliver the impact of this story.

The movie ends with the discovery that Superman's body is missing, and the closing credits tease the four main characters in next year's continuation, Reign of the Supermen.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Incredibles 2

© by Gerald So | 9:00 AM

On a rare free Saturday for both of us, my brother Henry and I watched The Incredibles 2. Henry is more tired of superhero movies than I am, but he was eager to see this as a fan of the 2004 original.

Happily The Incredibles 2 isn't a victim of superhero fatigue given the wave of movies that followed the original. That said, I did find it odd going along with the sequel's conceit that only six months had passed.

If I had re-watched the original to prepare, I might have found the plot too similar. This time, Helen Parr/Elasti-Girl is recruited by siblings Winston and Evelyn Deavor, who propose fitting superheroes with body cams to show the good they do free of media spin and encourage the nations of the world to legalize them.

Unfortunately one of the Deavors actually has a sinister plan to frame superheroes and wipe them out permanently. If you have a decent vocabulary and a taste for puns, you'll guess which.

That aside, I most enjoyed the moments of Bob trying to adapt to being the stay-home parent.

To sum up, The Incredibles 2 doesn't disappoint but doesn't leave much of impression of its own, either. It's just fine.