by Shane “I Heart Midichlorians” Hnetka
Cinematographer Gordon Willis passed away at the age of 82 on May 18. Willis was the cinematographer for The Godfather films, as well as several Woody Allen movies in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The films he shot looked fantastic. With all the shaky camera today, Willis’ steady and brilliant work is be missed.
A NEW HOPE
By the time the new Star Wars movie finally hits theatres next year, I’m sure there’s going to be a ton of people sick of all the Star Wars blather. It’s already happening, with all the casting news and jettisoning of the expanded universe. The latest rumour is that Disney will release the original trilogy, unaltered, in their original versions on Blu-ray just before the new trilogy starts. That’s right — the version that George Lucas himself claims no longer exists and that Fox still has the distribution rights to might get released in the next year if you believe in the interweb rumour mill.
Why might this be a possibility? Well, Disney seems to be trying to clean the slate after the diarrhea tsunami that was the prequel trilogy; there’s hardly been a mention of them since the Mouse took over. And Disney might want to try and bring back all the cynical bastards that Lucas spawned after he messed with his original films. There are a lot of us out there, and releasing the originals de-specialized would be a good start. After all, Disney paid billions for Star Wars — they aren’t likely to be averse to trying to make it back by appealing to everyone.
Still it’s just a rumour. It would be nice if it’s true.
END OF THE ACTION?
I was having a conversation the other week and the person I was talking to was complaining about the death of the action movie. I don’t think he really thought that action movies were dead, just that there are no longer any action stars like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, etc. Yes, actors like Stallone are stilling around making bad action films, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone taking up the action-mantle.
The action film genre has only been around for a few decades, starting in the ’60s with the James Bond films. From there they’ve become a mainstay for Hollywood blockbusters. I don’t think they’re going away any time soon, but the ’80s action hero on the other hand no longer exists. This isn’t a bad thing. Having actors who can take on a variety of roles is a good thing. Even Stallone tried to be more than an action star.
Is the action star dead? Maybe, but if the result is another Jason Statham never makes 30 identical movies, each more bland than the last, this is a good thing.
Shane Hnetka is a Regina film and comic book nerd. He also writes Dog Blog’s weekly “Sunday Matinee” column at prairiedogmag.com.