Tuesday, February 09, 2010

"24" update

Seven hours in, and it's still a little early to tell whether or not 24's 8th season will be one of its better ones, although the tormented-Renee subplot has at least given Jack a believable reason to stay engaged in our nation's latest fictional conflict. The blond CTU agent's shady past feels like a time-killer, and the politics with President Taylor feel a little slow right now, but it's early in the season and I'm moderately pleased with where things are headed overall.

Today Variety announced that 20th Century Fox has hired screenwriter/director Billy Ray to write a script for a potential film version of the popular TV show. This excites me because I have been impressed with almost everything that Billy Ray has been involved with in recent years, including last year's superb political thriller, State of Play, as well as the engrossing dramas Breach and Shattered Glass, both of which suck me in every time I catch them on TV.

The immediate likelihood of a film version depends on whether or not Fox (the TV-side of the studio) decides to renew 24 for a ninth season. That decision is expected in the next few weeks so that producers will know whether or not to write the Season 8 finale as a series finale or simply another season finale. The number of viewers for Season 8 are down a little from last year, and have never reached the highs of Season 5, but are still a far cry from the puny audience that greeted the show through its acclaimed first season (when it was lucky to get a renewal). It's an expensive show to produce, and doesn't repeat well due to its serial nature. But like Lost, it's always been a profitable show, thanks in part to successful DVD sales (which is how many viewers prefer to watch the show).

In any case, whether on the big screen or small, it sounds like Jack Bauer will live to see another day, which is always welcome news. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Prequel blues

Is it just me, or has all this prequel business gotten out of hand? I mean really, can you think of one single good prequel? Star Wars: Episode III was decent, especially in comparison to its own crappy predecessors, but seriously, name one prequel that was actually worth retelling a story you already know. You can't do it, can you? Neither can I. (Last year's Wolverine being a perfect example of boring redundance.)

So it's with great disdain that I relate the latest Bourne rumors from Matt Damon. Specifically, he says that the studio will likely make a Bourne prequel with a different actor prior to finally getting around to a new Bourne sequel (which he says may be five years away!). After all, Jason Bourne only became interesting and relatable once he forgot who he was. I mean seriously, who wants to see him become a cold-blooded killer? Anyone else think this is a terrible idea?

This news, coupled with the recent Spider-man franchise reboot (seriously, a reboot already?), really makes me irritated at the lack of original thought coming out of Hollywood these days. Your thoughts?