Morning Call Sheet: Andrew Klavan, Kyle Smith, Stephen King, and a Hearty 'Screw You' to DC Comics

–FINAL CHAPTER OF ANDREW KLAVAN’S HOMELANDERS’ QUADROLOGY RELEASED TODAY–

A very well-written, page-turning adventure series for the kids. God, country and values are treated as good things. On the other hand, terrorism and narcissism are treated as bad things. I think the word we’re searching for in this upside day and age is: Iconoclastic.

You can order the book here. I recommend all four. Klavan’s an amazing talent who also happens to be on our side. What more could you possibly ask for. Did you just say a film based on the series? Done.

Klavan blogs here and here.

KEVIN COSTNER UP FOR VILLAIN ROLE IN NEW TARANTINO FLICK

I’ve always liked Kevin Costner and was sorry to see his career all but derail 15 years ago with the triple-punch of the underrated “Waterworld,” the truly dreadful “Postman” (which even Tom Petty couldn’t save) and the stillborn “Wyatt Earp.”

Costner’s masculine, has a genuinely likable screen persona, and seems like a decent guy in real life — and in the right role he’s a very, very good actor. Try to picture someone else in “Field of Dreams,” “The Untouchables” or “Dances with Wolves.” You can argue he’s no Olivier ( I would counter with his unforgettable work in “A Perfect World), but at the same time he’s always managed to hold his own on screen with some powerful actors: James Earl Jones, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, etc — which is a talent all on its own.

Tarantino has an excellent eye for under-appreciated actors and a real gift for resurrecting those put out to pasture before their time. Now that he has some real age on his face, Costner would be perfect as a sadistic Western villain. An actor known for being a good guy personifying evil worked out pretty well ofr Henry Fonda in “oOce Upon a Time In the West.” I suspect the same will be true here.

UNIVERSAL WISELY PULLS PLUG ON STEPHEN KING’S “DARK TOWER”

King wrote some of his “Dark Tower” series when he could still tell a damn good story and some long after his storytelling tank had ran out of gas. Regardless, even in the good ole’ days when I gobbled up all things King, the story of Roland the Gunfighter was sheer torture to get through and completely forgettable afterwards.

To adapt a film from a book is one thing. At times, it even makes sense to adapt a film from a lousy book if the concept is good and the story itself is somewhat simple (“Bridges of Madison County,” “DaVinci Code,” “Along Came a Spider”). But these Dark Tower books are a real slough; confusing and self-indulgent.

King’s strength has never been in creating layers of mythology. He’s no Lewis or Tolkien and becomes un-readable when he thinks he is. This was a good move on Universal’s part, but you can bet they spent millions just to get to a point where the obvious became apparent.

Only in Hollywood.

AMEN, BROTHER, AMEN: KYLE SMITH HAMMERS HARRY POTTER–

Sitting unmoved and uninterested through all eight Harry Potter movies over the last decade or so, I often had the thought: Please don’t let this all be leading up to Harry P. and Lord V. standing a few yards apart zapping each other with their wands until one of them buckles.

Kyle and I are pals and share a similar political philosophy, but when it comes to films, oddly enough, we disagree much more than we agree. There are leftist critics I have more in common with in this regard. But when it comes to the uncommonly dull, episodic, and downright unbearable Harry Potter film franchise, we’re darn near soul mates. Here’s Smith’s excellent takedown, which I couldn’t agree with more or written half as well.

Smith blogs here.

TOTO’S FEELING GUILTY

When it comes to “Stealth” he should feel guilty. When it comes to the brilliant “Malibu’s Most Wanted,” however, he should feel guilty for feeling guilty.

–CHARLIE SHEEN PLOTS TELEVISION COMEBACK?

Though it was an awful movie, the concept for “Anger Management” is a pretty good one and you can definitely see it as a workable sitcom.

As far as Charlie Sheen goes, unless he does a John Belushi, he’s here to stay no matter how outrageous his behavior. I’ve always felt he was an underrated actor, most especially a comedic actor, and someone is always going to take another chance on him. Furthermore, his return to television is likely to the biggest thing since Little Ricky was born.

If nothing else, we’ll always have Sheen’s canon of epic B-films, from 1989’s “Major League” to 1997’s “Money Talks,” to remember him by.

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TODAY’S QUICK HITS

WHO DIDN’T SEE THIS COMING?

RATINGS FOR “BREAKING BAD” SEASON FOUR PREMIERE ARE SERIES BEST

AWESOME NEW “CAPTAIN AMERICA” POSTERS

TRYING TO CARE. FAILING.

BROODING SUPERMAN EQUALS SUCKY SUPERMAN. SCREW YOU, DC.

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CLASSIC PICK FOR WEDNEDAY JULY 20, 2011

TCM:

6:45 AM EST: Tomorrow Is Forever (1946) — A scarred veteran presumed dead returns home to find his wife remarried. Dir: Irving Pichel Cast: Claudette Colbert, Orson Welles, George Brent. BW-104 mins, TV-PG,

A beautiful and beautifully filmed and acted film that’s essentially the story of a mother (Claudette Colbert) who learns that winning the war means that mothers everywhere must risk making the ultimate sacrifice.

They simply don’t make films like this anymore and for whatever reason this particular one doesn’t get the attention it deserves. On its face the concept may seem a little absurd, but the emotional arc of the story and characters is handled so delicately and with such respect, that you soon forget.

Honestly, this one is not to be missed. A truly under-rated classic I promote at every opportunity.

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