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News: Stretch Armstrong Movie/SAG Strike Averted/Eddie Murphy Bombs Again

“Stretching” the Boundaries of Believability:

Flexible children’s toy “Stretch Armstrong” is being adapted into a feature film set to be released by Universal Pictures on “…April 15, 2011….”  The writer attached to the project is Steve Odekerk, screenwriter of “Bruce Almighty” and sequel “Evan Almighty,” as well as the Robin Williams vehicle “Patch Adams.” This is a decent comic resume, but I don’t think the pedigree of the writer is really the determining factor here (although it it is still an important feature in any film’s success or failure).  I think the film’s concept itself is so ludicrous that one questions why the attempt is even being made.  How much of a plot can be constructed around a superhero whose limbs have a large degree of stretchability?  “Oh no, the arms are elongating…!”
I guess given Odekerk’s comedic background, the film will probably be straight quirky comedy-I can’t see it as much else- it just doesn’t sound like a funny premise to my ears. The biggest surprise is who is going to direct the film.  The rumour is no one less than Opie himself: Ron Howard.    Maybe he can cross the film with a Dan Brown novel.  Oh no, the Vatican is covering something up!!   Stretch Armstrong as a Messianic figure, perhaps?

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Film School Rejects


Screen Rant


SAG Strike Averted:

The film community can breathe a sigh of relief with this announcement.  “The membership of SAG (the Screen Actors Guild) officially ratified its proposed new two-year TV/theatrical contract Tuesday by a margin of 78% to 22%.”  After,
“the 100-day writers’ walkout early in 2008…” prompted Tinseltown to “… to shave production deals, trim slates, (and) squeeze fees for the duration of that strike”, the prevention of a feared SAG strike has saved film production for the immediate future.  Following the lead of the other unions, this contract smartly established: “Jurisdiction and compensation for new-media work, which sparked much of the internal and external debate, were established for the first time, as they were in the DGA, AFTRA and WGA contracts negotiated last year.”
It is good to see the industry embracing and figuring out these details instead of following the lead of the music industry which chose to ignore the potential and actively lash out against the shifting tides of new media until the outdated business model is now in the act of collapsing.   The possibilities behind distribution models like Netflix and Internet pay-per-view are too lucrative to ignore, and it must be done with an eye to fair compensation at all levels.  The economy being what it is, everyone from the producers to the theatre popcorn vendors would have suffered greatly had SAG gone ahead with a strike.

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Eddie bombs again:

Eddie Murphy continues his string of toxicity at the box office. His latest clunker is entitled “Imagine That,” another family targeted film that looks as offensively bland as the majority of the films Murphy has put out in the last decade.  This film opened to a paltry “5.7 million dollars” over its opening weekend.  The take was so bad that it even caused Don Harris, “…executive vice-president of distribution at the Viacom Inc unit. (to exclaim) “We’re really disappointed,” at the Paramount film’s embarrassingly low take.  Yikes.  I bet the suits at Paramount are already crossing their fingers for a lucrative and early DVD release to make a decent return on this film.  This is not an isolated incident.  Murphy’s last film “Meet Dave”… opened to $5 million last July and finished with $12 million.”
What happened to Eddie Murphy?  The days of profane ultra-hip cop Axel Foley fighting crime in the “Beverly Hills Cop” movies or the edgy stand up of concert films like “Eddie Murphy Delirious” have been gone for a long time. In the last few years. he was the star of “…the largest financial loss of any movie to date, with a budget of $100 million and a total US gross of $4.41 million (total loss, $95.59 million)” with the universally maligned 2002 film “The Adventures of Pluto Nash.”  That seems to be where alot of this mess started for Murphy.  In the last few years, Murphy has directed his efforts toward entertaining us with fat suits (“Norbit”) and unfunny kid-oriented romps like “Daddy Day Care” and “I Spy.”   Even his close brush with Oscar gold in 2006’s “Dreamgirls” only briefly injected some credibility into Murphy’s derailed career.
I guess Murphy is just crossing his fingers that 2010’s “Shrek Forever After” repeats the earlier success of the franchise.  But even that is just an animated Donkey with Eddie Murphy’s voice, not really Eddie Murphy the actor.  2010 is also supposed to bring us another “Beverly Hills Cop” sequel; I hope the studio does not water down the movie and go the PG-13 route, neutering the raw humour that made the first few movies fun.  Maybe this is the start of a renaissance in Murphy’s career.  I know he is an actor with more potential than he has shown in the previous few years.

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Pluto Nash Trvia

Drew Williamson, Sound on Sight News Team.