The Death of Cinema: This week's most depressing Movie-related stories (1/27/14)

Note: The opinions of these news stories are based on the author's very pessimistic view of Hollywood. Viewer Discretion is Advised.

Jesse Eisenberg cast as Lex Luthor:



Move over Ben Affleck, the award for most left-field Superman movie casting decision has a new winner! This Social Network star has been cast as the infamous Superman arch-rival. Now, I'm no DC comic or superhero fan-boy by any stretch nor was I a fan of 2013's Man of Steel. However the thought of a Superman-Batman team-up/battle has it's appeal. I am also someone who didn't care one bit about Affleck's casting and actually applauded the against type casting. Remember how outraged you were that Brokeback Mountain's Heath Ledger was going to play the iconic Joker role and ended up portraying one of the best villains of all time? Yea, I had that same confidence in Affleck! I also have long been somewhat of a distanced fan of Zack Synder. I enjoyed 300, Watchmen, and the Dawn of the Dead remake for what they were but now I feel like he has gone off the deep end with this film's casting. Is Jesse Eisenberg a good actor? Yes. The Social Network and The Squid and The Whale are perfect examples of Eisenberg playing the selfish, neurotic genius with zero social skills, but I don't know if I believe him as the genius supervillian who matched wits and provided Superman his greatest foe. People could use the Ledger argument for Eisenberg that he seemed like an oddball choice that paid off and went above and beyond audience expectations but Ledger also seemed to have a bit more of diversity in his roles moreso than Mr. Eisenberg.

Pitch Perfect 2 announced for 2015:


Ugh. I know what you are thinking. I am a man, why would I even like or care about the Pitch Pefect films? You know what? I actually don't mind a romantic comedy or female-centric comedy when it's done right. Yes, I even enjoyed the classic cheerleading romp Bring It On when it was first released or Tina Fey take on bitchy high schoolers with Mean Girls. I settled in to give the first Pitch Perfect a chance hoping the mixture of acapella covers and Anna Kendrick would make up for it but what I got was an over-the-top, annoying exercise in lowest common denominator feminism. The ultra irritating Rebel Wilson plays Fat Amy and that's about the extent of the wittiness this film offers. So does the world need a sequel so teen girls can watch acapella singers act catty towards each other and an asian girl roll around in another girl's puke? Not in this humble writer's opinion. The only silver lining: Elizabeth Banks is attached to direct. I guess it is tougher to be a female director in Hollywood than I thought.

A Million Ways to Die in the West gets a trailer:


Seth Macfarlane has written-directed an original live-action western and the only victim that seems to exist in the trailer is comedy. I think Macfarlane is a talented individual, writer, and vocalist but I don't think he has the feature-length film thing down yet. Count me as one of the few who absolutely loathed 2012's Ted. I can enjoy stupid comedy and mindless entertainment but Ted felt like it was smacking me with a sledgehammer to make sure I understood the jokes and pop-culture references. I barely chuckled the whole screening and felt empty afterwards and that's how I felt after watching his newest trailer. Props to him for assembling an all-star cast of Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, and Liam Neeson (!) but I didn't laugh once at any of the trailers attempts at comedy which seemed to only be a handful of things:

1. Characters making uncomfortably vulgar sexual comments
2. People unexpectedly being brutally killed in extremely gory fashion
3. Obvious punch-lines to easy setups (gunslinger can't shoot glass bottles even at point blank range)

Maybe there is a reason there hasn't been a western-themed comedy since Blazing Saddles.