Let it be known, I take my James Spader fandom very seriously. I was introduced to his unique brand of intense sexiness through Sex, Lies, and Videotape only to fall head over heels for the guy in Boston Legal. Since then I've watched everything I can get my hands on so I can wait for those consonants to roll out so tantalizingly with every line reading.
So the news that he's been cast as Ultron in the Avengers sequel is something I'm happy about only because Spader deserves the continued exposure. He was the best part of Lincoln and even his new television show, The Blacklist, is something I'm going to watch even though the quality looks a bit sketchy. I'm still more dubious about the quality of the Avengers sequel, which I've gone over a bit in recent news and Whedon comments.
Also, Whedon took umbrage at another bastion of pop culture with a complaint on Temple of Doom. There's a scene in Temple where Indy reaches for his gun to take out two swordsmen and finds the holster empty. This, of course, is a deliberate callback to a similar scene from Raiders of the Lost Arc when Indy was set to have a gigantic sword fight and, because Harrison Ford was sick, just shot his opponent. His complaint, essentially, is that culture is starting to ape culture whether it makes sense or not and that it's not a complete experience if you have to watch or experience something else before taking in a movie. You can see both clips and part of the Whedon excerpt here.
The idea that Joss Whedon, of all people, is complaining about a joke not making sense if you had not seen Raiders astonishes me. Buffy is packed to the brim with jokes that only make sense if you had watched previous episodes and are well versed in pop-culture to begin with. This is to say nothing about his written work with The Cabin in the Woods, which requires a wide cast knowledge of horror films for the comedy and the thrills to work at all. You can work in my earlier critique about The Avengers, or even Serenity, which required audience members to have watched an entire seasons worth of television to completely grasp. More odd, and strangely hypocritical, comments from a usually thoughtful man - but worth discussing.
In a final bit of levity, a brief science fiction film called Star Drunk was written and performed with everyone in the latter state. This is the sort of thing that behind the scenes featurettes are made for, so until then I'll have to take great amusement in that line reading of, "Goooooorrgonzo0llllla."
Tomorrow Kyle and I will be going through the Tarkovsky epic Andrei Rublev.