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Movie planner

If you're planning to see one film a week in 2009 (with two weeks off for sanity's sake), here's a list of 50 flicks due for release next year. Star Trek and the latest Harry Potter seem to be given hits, but I'm not sure about how the rest will fare.

Box office blunders

"We've been making, in the main, dark, depressing, bleak pieces. Nobody goes to see them."

So says the Screen Producers Association of Australia's new president Antony I Ginnane. Now, what's going to be done about it?

Bond on Bond

Roger Moore, the underrated star of seven James Bond films, says he is sad that the franchise has become so violent. I haven't seen Quantum of Solace yet but, in general, I'm with him. Bring back the humour - and the amazing gadgets - and leave the ultraviolence to Hollywood.

Wonder of wonders

How many Wonder Women will there be? Australian model Megan Gale has already been tapped (as the Americans say) for the on-again-off-again Justice League: Mortal film. Now Beyonce is also said to want the role, perhaps in a different film.

Brand power

Russell Brand may have lost his job in British radio, but apparently he's in the frame for a part on the next Pirates of the Caribbean film.

What's in a name?

The decision to name a Perth theatre complex after the late Dark Knight star Heath Legder may be overturned. It never made sense to me in the first place, as Ledger was primarily known as a film actor not a stage performer. It's a bit like naming a rugby league ground after an AFL player.

Not so fancy free

Question: What is the decent minimum interval between an original film and its remake?
Answer: I don't know; but is the world really ready for another version of 1984's Footloose? It will star Zac Efron of High School Musical fame, who will reportedly earn a "close to mid-seven figures" pay packet (eek!), and there's more about it here.

Only in America

A Star Wars fan has made a "life"-size cake in the shape of Yoda, the grammatically challenged Jedi master. Don't believe me? There's a picture here.

Last chance to save the Regent

The fate of Brisbane's Regent theatre could be sealed in just over two weeks. If you want to object to Brisbane City Council before the November 7 deadline, either as an individual or a group, there's now a complete guide at The direct link is here. Make sure your objection addresses the proposal directly, and includes as many facts as possible, plus a viable alternative (e.g. restoring the original auditorium). Even if you don't plan to make a formal objection, please consider writing to or emailing Premier Anna Bligh, deputy premier Paul Lucas, Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and the building's owners. Their contact details are on the STR website under "Links". This could be our last chance to stop the Regent going the way of the Her Majesty's, the Wintergarden, Festival Hall, the Forum, the Paris, the Metro, Cloudland and so many other of Brisbane's heritage venues.

Holmes, sweet Holmes

Many, many years ago, I managed to impress a few people by knowing the answer to this trivia question: Which fictional character has been portrayed most in movies? The answer is (or, at least was) Sherlock Holmes, and the reason I knew the answer is that I'm a fan. The last time I lived in the UK, I bought and quickly devoured the complete collection of Conan Doyle's Holmes stories. I've seen many big and small screen portrayals of Holmes, from Basil Rathbone (pictured) to Jeremy Brett and John Cleese. Guy Ritchie is now making another film starring Robert Downey Jr who, according to the Daily Mail, will play the character as a Charlie Chaplin lookalike. I don;t like the sound of that, but it doesn;t matter. However the film turns out, and whether I like it or not, the character is resilient enough to turn up again. And again. And again.
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