Dennis Farina, mostly known for entertaining and hard-nosed detective roles, passed away today at the age of 69. He's most well-known for his role in Law and Order but had a rich film life going back to Michael Mann's Manhunter in the '80s. Farina also did some voice acting on the side, giving gruff life to Wildcat in Justice League Unlimited.
I know that his detective work is what will most likely secure his legacy, but the man's comedic delivery should not be overlooked. He's one of the few people to land a good punchline in the otherwise manic Snatch. My favorite film that he starred in is also my favorite film about baseball, Little Big League, where he plays a baseball manager gloriously and has a funny, barely contained rage fest when he gets fired.
In lighter news, Comic Con has come and gone with a few film nuggets regarding upcoming comic book projects. For me, the most interesting will be the currently untitled Batman / Superman film. DC may be floundering in the print but their successes have come with a more interesting stamp from the director on their films. Marvel talked about their boatload of sequels as well to The Amazing Spider-Man and their ongoing Avengers cash cow. Thor, the first ASM, and The Avengers ranged from horrible to just plain dull so I'm not optimistic that Marvel is going to toy with a winning formula.
Speaking of which, the first leaks of the Veronica Mars movie have started coming out. This isn't a project I'm excited about either though I know that VM has many fans, including some cowriters here at the site. Ryan and I had a discussion a few months ago about whether it is better to let IP's die or resurrect them to give fans more of what they want. I hope the new film will please the fans, but I wish the cast and crew would have spent their energy putting something new into the world.
Which brings me to the last bit of news that is something Ryan and I differed on quite a bit. Kickstarter has been used by many lesser known artists to get their work produced and distributed and is now being increasingly used by more well-known people. I've backed some failed projects, including a documentary on Andrei Tarkovsky, but also successful ones like the production for the delightful Brawl in the Family book. Spike Lee is the latest high-profile artist to turn to Kickstarter for his funding and the fact that someone of his stature has to go this route for funding is troubling.
Lee's personal films haven't been as good as his director for hire stuff the last decade but have still been interesting. Perhaps the failure of some of his more personal projects, and you won't find me defending She Hate Me in the slightest, has put the kibosh on him finding funding outside of a mercenary sense. It's disappointing, but I hope that an artist of his caliber finds the means to have free reign on his final product.
Thanks for reading, my review of Danny Boyle's Trance is slated for tomorrow.