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Stuff: British Internet Insanity, The Return of Tarzan, & Everybody Loves Russian Raymond

Returned to Sender

  • UK readers, it was nice knowing you. Because we sometimes link out to places that have copyrighted material, the government could block Needcoffee from your view–if we’re understanding how this new law will work–disclaimer needed because I haven’t read the whole thing. Granted, we don’t do much of such linking–compared to most of the rest of the net, anyway–but we will link out or embed videos. Generally we include a way for people to buy the thing in question, so I don’t lose any sleep over it. But more than anything else, I think the hilarity of watching the courts in the UK try to process the impending avalanche of requests is going to make this go away sooner than later. And the sadness of watching Twitter light up with proxies like was being done recently with…that’s right…Iranian protestors. UK: You can’t stop the net. Sorry. Nice round-up of links here.

  • Like Japanese entertainment stuff? You’re in luck. They have “a cabinet-level office for intellectual property rights strategy” and they want to double their export of fun stuff. We’re going to talk below about us exporting television shows internationally…but can we please get a U.S. version of this? Source: Variety, who doesn’t want you to read the original article.
  • Movies


  • Breaking Dawn looks like it will have Bill Condon helming it. It will probably be broken into two films, no doubt depending on how well Deathly Hallows fares at the box office in its two-parter version. Source.
  • Cowboys and Aliens, to be helmed by Jon Favreau and star Daniel Craig, has Harrison Ford on board. Release date is July 29, 2011. Production starts this summer. Scribes on the project are Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman (both from Transformers 2 among others), and Damon Lindelof (Lost). (You can see the long list of previous scribes here.) Source.

  • Fright Night is being remade by DreamWorks and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) is going to play Charlie. And you know Malcolm McDowell‘s at least been spoken to about taking the role of Peter Vincent, originally and brilliantly created by the late, great Roddy McDowall. I don’t know that for certain, but I mean–think about it. Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) is helming and Marti Noxon (Mad Men) is the scribe. I would be concerned about this, but after the Arthur remake being announced, I’m just sort of numb to everything being remade. So…yeah, whatever. Source.
  • Gears of War

  • Gears of War is on hold. Or, if we’re trying to be clever: it’s had a spanner thrown into the works. But we’re not trying to be clever, so don’t worry. Anyway, it’s sinking into development hell once more. Helmer Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard) is apparently jumping ship to a flick called Nocturne at Fox after the script from Chris Morgan (Wanted) and Billy Ray (State of Play U.S.) has gotten a budget and scope cut. I don’t know what they were thinking…after all, if they had just made it 3D they could have gotten it pushed through. Right?! Source.

  • Intruders will star Clive Owen and be helmed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later). It’s about “an 11-year-old girl who is forced to confront childhood demons.” But it has Owen in it, which is good enough for me. Source.
  • Johnny English 2 is coming with Rowan Atkinson returning, starting production in August. Why? Because it made money internationally. No other reason. Oliver Parker (St. Trinian’s) will helm. Source.
  • Books

  • Tarzan returns in 2011 thanks to the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate, who tapped Andy Briggs for Tarzan, The Greystoke Legacy. So if you want a lord of the jungle who’s “edgier and more feral,” less pulp adventure-y and more the moral “Eco Warrior,” and hangs out with an iPod-toting Jane, then you’re in luck. Could be worse–could be the Disney version.


  • Future Earth is a collaboration between Spielberg, DreamWorks and Discovery Channel to create an animated miniseries to take a look at what life will be like 25, 50 and 100 years from now. In other words, it will be a cult classic 150 years from now. Source.
  • How I Met Your Mother is going to get a version in Russia. There was already a deal to do the same with Prison Break. In the UK, Dharma and Greg is going to get a version on ITV. It makes sense: a great way to make more money off of shows is to sell the versions elsewhere. Also of interest is the mention of a “bootleg” version of Break in China and one of 24 in India. Unauthorized versions in China and India? Say it ain’t so! Anyway, apparently Russia already has a version of Everybody Loves Raymond. Here, I think the show’s better when translated to Russian and then back to English:

    Direct link for the feedreaders.

    We talked about international versions of Law & Order previously…

  • Shameless, the UK series, is getting adapted for Showtime in the US. This wouldn’t interest me alone, nor make it Stuff-worthy. The talented Emmy Rossum helps, but the fact that William H. Macy is playing the lead will do the trick. Macy plays a father whose children have to basically raise themselves, as he’s an alcoholic. Source.
  • Home Video
    The Lord of the Rings Blu-Ray
    Vampyres Blu-Ray

    The Lord of the Rings on Blu-Ray is a mixed bag and I feel bad in telling you to wait to purchase them, mainly because of this: this Blu-Ray/DVD set (BD for the feature films, DVD for the bonus bits) has the theatrical cuts only–and not the extended editions. And I’m one of three people on the planet who prefers the theatrical versions. I’m not sure why anyone’s surprised…it’s not like the extended cuts won’t ever been seen in hi-def. It’s not like you couldn’t smell an uberset coming out to coincide with The Hobbit films and then an uber-mongo edition when all five films are released together. I mean seriously, folks. It’s like this: if you’re a completist, wait. If you can wait until you get your extended versions (probably next year), then wait. If you just want to see them in hi-def, rent it. And if you have no patience, then buy. But for pity’s sake: wait till it goes on sale. (When it does, come back and use this link. Thanks.)

    Speaking of uncut versions on Blu-Ray, cult flick provider Blue Underground continues to roll out their library on Blu-Ray with the erotic bloodsucking lesbian film Vampyres, completely uncut. Granted, the cover art doesn’t scream erotic, so they point out co-star Anulka was a Playboy centerfold…and then they have a quote from Playboy on the cover. What I like about Blue Underground’s stuff is that they load their stuff with features, which is good for people like me who, speaking of Playboy, like to read the articles. There’s a commentary with the director and producer, interviews with the two main stars, and trailers. If you like your 70s erotic vampire flicks enough to want them in hi-def, well, then there you have it. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

    Men Who Stare at Goats DVD
    Ally McBeal: The Complete Second Season DVD

    The Men Who Stare at Goats deserves kudos for its title (which was taken from the book that inspired it) and its casting, the latter of which includes giving a goat billing with a cast like this one: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey. A cast like this alone can make a film worth seeing, but I’ll leave it up to you to determine whether the film alone can make the DVD worth buying. The features are a decent showing for this Anchor Bay release, with an interview featurette focusing on real life folks that the author Jon Ronson talked to for his book, plus two audio commentaries: one from Ronson, one from the director. There’s also deleted scenes. I recommend renting first and then if the spirit moves you, go ahead and invest. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

    Ally McBeal: The Complete Second Season hit this week from Fox and it’s a six disc set comprised of all twenty-three episodes. Apart from original music from the series, that’s about all you get. This should not be news, since the Complete Series (which came out last year) had a separate disc with bonus bits on it. Fox *cough* misplaced the copy they were going to send me (I’m sure) so I can’t speak personally to what was on there but just going from the list of contents, you’re not missing much. I have the feeling this is probably going to be the best presentation you get (until the inevitable Blu-Ray), and I don’t see where it’s being shown in repeats. So decide for yourself how big a fan you are and proceed with a clear conscience. Or at least a reasonable equivalent. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)