I was traveling all day as Movieline's report from the Savannah Film Festival picked up steam around the blogosphere, but early on it was clear that two polar-opposite reactions were building in response to Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer's comments about his studio's well-publicized (at least, outside of the studio) recent flops. Either you love his blazing moment of candor -- because we've all thought the same about most, if not all, of the woeful Universal films mentioned -- or you despise what he stands for. But Meyer is a businessman, the President and COO of one of the largest movie studios and theme park conglomerates in the business. Should more filmmakers and studio heads follow suit?
Universal Chief Ron Meyer Addresses VOD Fiasco, Admits Cowboys & Aliens, Land of the Lost, Wolfman Kinda Stunk
Of the major Universal Studios flops in recent memory, a handful stand out for their massive, and high profile, box office failings: 2009's Sid and Marty Krofft adaptation Land of the Lost, 2010's abysmal Wolfman and geek cult film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and this summer's megawatt disappointment Cowboys & Aliens. No one, it seems, is more painfully aware of Universal's missteps than longtime studio head Ron Meyer, who candidly addressed his recent Tower Heist VOD experiment, revisited his rise through the ranks to the top of the Universal chain, and admitted Wednesday in Savannah that some mediocre movies deserve their fate: "We make a lot of shitty movies. Every one of them breaks my heart."
Well, that settles it -- America loves monkeys! Well, much more than they love Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman and poop jokes. So let's welcome our new simian masters and celebrate what this weekend's box office numbers mean: A) Apes > everything, B) R-rated comedies have to try harder, and C) so do Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig if they want to take back the crown from those damn, dirty Smurfs. Your weekend box office is here!
Not only is Olivia Wilde open to appearing partially nude in movies -- as she does in Cowboys & Aliens and the upcoming Change-Up, but she is totally down to talk about said partial nudity at length in interviews. Earlier this week, she admitted that her own exposed behind in the latter film was a surprise, even to her, and the other night on a special Jon Favreau-directed episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the actress told the host (and all of America) about the CGI movie magic involved in her topless Change-Up scene with Ryan Reynolds.
The Comic-Con crowd has always been good to Jon Favreau -- recall the splash he made here in 2007 with Iron Man, a geek director finding his people -- and charmingly (or cunningly, but mostly charmingly) Favreau knows it. So even without a panel to present at Comic-Con this year, he brought his latest film, the sci-fi Western Cowboys & Aliens, to San Diego in a big way: By hosting an enormous premiere filled with cast, crew, hundreds of fans, and a rousing, touching speech that seemed to genuinely come from the heart.
As evidenced by Jon Favreau's old talk show Dinner for Five, the guy likes to shoot the shit with people, and he's pretty good at it. So as a means of promoting his upcoming Cowboys and Aliens, he sat down to do a series of behind-the-scenes interviews with his cast himself. After the jump, watch Favreau and star Harrison Ford talk costuming, Star Wars ad-libs, Ford's Han Solo audition, and more in the first interviews of the series.
For a summer blockbuster whose makers are trying to emphasize its seriousness, Cowboys & Aliens sure is shaping up to be a fun little dust-tinged ride through the alien-infested Wild West. Or is it the Wilde West, now that marketing materials are giving fans the sense that resident hottie Olivia Wilde is actually in this thing? Behold, the second full trailer for Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens, packed with more (partial) alien peeks, more action, naked Olivia Wilde AND shirtless Daniel Craig! Yes, there's something for everyone.
Whether you watched it for the $3 million ads, the halftime show, or the men in tight spandex pants shoving each other up and down a grassy field, Super Bowl XLV was rich with memorable moments. Some got your geek pulse racing (ZOMG guys, it's Red Skull!). Others were expensive lapses in judgment (tsk tsk, Groupon) or unfortunate brain farts (Xtina, we're looking at you.) Relive the glory and the wonder as Movieline counts down the best and worst moments of Super Bowl 2011.