This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

The super-hero movie we supposedly don't want

Posted by: James Lileks under Architecture, Praise Updated: June 4, 2014 - 12:40 PM

This site says no one wants an Ant-Man movie. Really? More interesting than another normal-sized guy with excessive abilities who attracts some type of megalomaniacal villainy that demolishes half the city. It’s been a while since we had a miniaturization movie. But it seems no director wants to do it. Blastr:

After Edgar Wright’s hasty exit from the project he’s been shepherding for the better part of a decade due to alleged rewrites, Marvel has gone into triage mode to try and salvage the film’s fast-approaching July 17, 2015, release date. With Wright out, the studio moved on to Adam McKay (Anchorman), who briefly flirted before removing himself from the running.

More from Grantland:

On May 22, Grantland published this story. In it, Mark Harris suggests (among other things) that if Marvel Studios and its competitors don’t stop making superhero projects that super-serve their nerdcore base while befuddling and alienating casual viewers, the whole comic-book movie economy could collapse.

Well, it looks like they won’t nerd-core super-serve, if Wright’s out. I’m not unhappy Wright isn’t doing it; the Cornetto Trilogy seemed to offer diminishing returns as it went on, but that’s just my opinion. Wright has big nerd cred, and would have turned out a comedy / mystery with limited appeal - the sort of thing that gets murdered by word-of-mouth by people who don’t like the director’s style or rhythm. Hard to get a studio to commit to spending lots of money on niche products whose audience consists of registered members of AICN forums.

I’d have seen it anyway, as a rental. But it wouldn’t be a BIG TENT-POLE EVENT and all our superhero movies have to be BTPEs these days. Which brings us to Dr. Strange: it's a go.

Of course he has to fight Dormammu; of course the plot has to involve Mordo, the Loser Magician, and course the story ends with the big battle where Dr. Strange comes to Dormammu’s aid to fight the Nameless Ones. Annnd you’re thinking:

Yes, Nerds. But it would be a different kind of superhero movie. Name another one where the hero joins the bad guy for the right reason. Plus, Dormammu’s head is on fire, which is cool.

But please, no Johnny Depp for Strange. Robert Downey Jr. might actually have worked, long ago, before he decided to wink and prance through every movie.

Finally: Seth MacFarlane’s Western was a flop, they say. Why? Perhaps everyone figured they saw all the jokes in the trailer.

CRIME The Google Street View Axe Murder has been solved. Whew.

EVERYONE LOVES A LOG Whatever became of the man who invented the Slinky? TIFO says:

In 1960, Richard James left his struggling company, which was deeply in debt, and moved to Bolivia where he became a missionary.  When Betty refused to go with him, he told her she could have the company and he didn’t care what she did with it.  Betty then took over the company and proved to be a much better business person than her ex-husband. The company expanded greatly under her leadership and to date has sold over 300 million Slinkies.

She also named the product. I remember two things about Slinkies: how they were ruined for good if they ever got tangled, and the metallic aroma they left on your hands after a while. It was a pleasant smell. Not up there with Ditto fluid, but still good.

VotD This stretch of Brazilian road has been listed as “troublesome” by the National Association of Top-Heavy Lead-foots:

ARCHITECTURE Finally: a look at the forbidding Masonic Temple of Detroit. Incredible. There’s an incredible city there waiting for rebirth. You fear it’ll never quite happen, and it’ll turn into a place where people pretend they’re in Rapture in Bioshock. At least on rainy days.

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