Hollywood film and TV producers often have to play the name game. Coming up with the right moniker for a character isn’t as easy as putting a first and last name together. There are often legal concerns. Imagine the grief anyone who happened to be named Hannibal Lecter would have gone through after the release of “Silence of the Lambs.”
It’s no big deal with stories based on real stories but even then some names get changed to protect the innocent.
In the film “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,” scheduled to open Dec. 21, the character played by acrobat/actor Erica Linz is named Mia. You might not have picked up on that unless you stay for the credits as her name’s only mentioned once.
Mia goes to a rundown circus where she’s smitten by the aerialist. He’s so distracted by here that he misses a grab and falls to the circus floor. Instead of being killed, he’s pulled down into a sandy vortex followed by Mia. She ends up in a wonderland of strange and weird characters not unlike Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
“A little known fact is my character is named for the actress who starred in the recent ‘Alice in Wonderland’ movie,” Linz tells me.
It was Mia Wasikowska who played Alice in the 2010 Tim Burton movie “Alice in Wonderland.”
I admit: I’ve never seen a single episode of “Dark Shadows,” the goth soap opera that ran for five season in the late 60s/early 70s. But still I formed a picture in my head of what I thought it was about.
This is not it.
The Burton staples are all here: the Danny Elfman music, Johnny Depp being a goofy weirdo, Helena Bonham Carter in a silly costume. But the cheesy 70s setting … I don’t know. It’s kind of bumming me out. The whole thing makes me want to watch Burton’s Big Fish just to get the image of Eva Green’s tongue out of my mind.
What say you? Does this movie look awesome or awful?
The following is a picture allegedly taken on the set of the latest Johnny Depp/Tim Burton effort, “Dark Shadows,” based on the television show from the 1960s/70s.
(It is frequent Beehive commenter Blake Jones’ favorite show, so this might just kill him. Sorry, Blake.)
What you’re looking at is Johnny Depp in full makeup as the vampire Barnabas Collins:
You know, Depp, Burton. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. Fool us three times … seriously, just stop it.
No matter whether you opt for watching TV, renting a DVD or going to the movies this weekend, there are some first-rate selections.
MOVIES “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2″: The end is here. This final film in the long-running film franchise is superbly acted and full of great special effects. None of that really matters to all of the loyal fans. All they want to know is if this movie is a proper farewell. It is.
DVD “Rango”: A chameleon (voiced by Johnny Depp) comes to the rescue of a small town when he’s lost in the desert. Director Gore Verbinski’s first venture into animation is a rootin’, tootin’ good time. It combines the cheesiness of spaghetti Westerns with the offbeat attitude of “Blazing Saddles” and delivers it all in a spectacular computer generated form.
TELEVISION “Friday Night Lights,” 8 p.m. KSEE (Channel 24.1): It seems like this series ended three years ago but tonight is the actual finale to the family drama’s five-year run. It’s a proper way to close the door as the team headed to the state championship game.
Pirates, spies and TV stars top this weekend’s entertainment options
MOVIES “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”: Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is on a quest to find the Fountain of Youth. Director Rob Marshall deals with multiple storylines such as the race between the English and Spanish to find the fountain, a feud between Sparrow’s old foe Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and the ruthless Blackbeard (Ian McShane), a live-action story line of “Little Mermaid” and sexually-charged battles between Sparrow and an old flame Angelica (Penelope Cruz).
DVD “Covert Affairs: Season One”: The cable action series works because of the strong performances by Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham who plays a blind CIA agent who uses his computer skills to mentor a CIA trainee. It’s a perfect mix of action, drama and comedy.
This would be a good time to pray for rain so you can stay indoors to watch all of the college basketball.
TELEVISION “NCAA Basketball Tournament”: Last night’s games are proof you aren’t going to find any programming with more drama as the contests being played tonight-Sunday in the college cage tournament. Here are tonight’s games: North Carolina vs. Marquette, 4:15 p.m. KGPE (Channel 47.1); Kansas vs. Richmond, 4:27 p.m. TBS; Ohio State vs. Kentucky, 6:45 p.m. KGPE (Channel 47.1); and Florida State vs. Virginia Commonwealth, 6:57 p.m. TBS.
MOVIES “Sucker Punch”: Director/writer Zack Snyder’s story about a young women who imagines her escape from a mental institution has problems. But, the film is so visually stunning it should be seen on the big screen. Emily Browning stars.
It looks like the weather will be nice this weekend. If you prefer to stay indoors, here are a few suggestions to keep you amused.
TELEVISION “The Defenders” 8 p.m. tonight KGPE (Channel 47.1): This episode of the legal series starring James Belushi and Jerry O’Connell could be the season finale or series finale. Ratings are in the middle and it could go either way.
MOVIES “Rango”: Yes, there’s a new animated film on the block with “Mars Needs Moms.” Both are equally strong visually. But the writing in “Rango” is light years better. This critters version of a spaghetti western should not be missed.
DVD “The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season”: The AMC series, based on the popular Robert Kirkman Image Comics series that launched in 2003, is a brilliant blend of horror elements with human stories that has done for the horror genre what “Mad Men” did for TV dramas. Both show that familiar formats can become very original through great writing, acting and cinematography.
The winners have been randomly selected to get the tickets to see the early screening of “Rango.” They include commenters Paul, Monica, Mike, Kyle and John. Thanks for participating and keeping watching for the next ticket giveaways.
Original post: Howdy partners. You say you got a hankering to see the new film “Rango.”
It doesn’t matter if you are as tickled as a lightning bug in a bottle of sarsaparilla about how Johnny Depp provides the voice of Rango, how the movie takes shots at spaghetti westerns or you just never miss an animated movie, this is your lucky day.
We want to give you a chance to be ahead of the movie posse who’ll have to wait until March 4 to see the movie. We’re giving away tickets to the 7 p.m. March 1 screening of the animated movie at the Edwards Fresno Stadium theaters, 250 Paseo del Centro.
Five winners will get four reserved seats to see the early screening. These are reserved tickets, so you won’t be herded like cattle into that long line but are guaranteed great premium seats.
But wait, there’s more. We’ve got some promotional items for the five winners.
All you have to do to is leave a comment telling us whether you like animated or western movies better.
The five winners will be randomly selected from all of the commenters. You have until 4 p.m. Thursday to enter. Check out the pesky rules and regulations below.
The official trailer for Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” has finally been released, and it’s pretty cool:
But while watching it, I kept thinking, “Yeah, but what about Alice?” I mean, everyone keeps saying her name — the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Red Queen — but Alice barely gets to utter three words in the trailer (apparently the price one pays when starring in a movie with Johnny Depp and a CGI cat).
I recall the story of Alice as being a quirky children’s tale about a young girl who falls asleep and dreams of a place where rabbits tell time, caterpillars smoke weed hookah pipes, and a lot of stock is placed in one’s ability to memorize poems.
Tim Burton clearly got a lot more out of it. Images from his film adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland have made their way to the web, and unlike Disney’s first delightful adaptation that gave birth to two delightful rides at Disneyland featuring delightful singing flowers and whimsical spinning teacups, this one features what might be a killer clown and Anne Hathaway. (Sorry, that was redundant.)