It’s been said before that big studios often release the same story two or three times within a couple of years: Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, Armageddon and Deep Impact, The Others and The Sixth Sense. Over at Apple’s trailers site, the latest Hollywood obsession seems to be women dealing with the disappearance or reappearance of lovers, husbands and/or children. Trailers for Birth, P.S., and The Forgotten are all showing simultaneously.

In a similar way, someone wants to cash in on Rings-mania by attempting to make a TV movie based on Le Guin. I’ve hardly opened a Tolkien, but I read and re-read books in the Earthsea Quartet as a child, seduced by them, despite barely understanding them. You could argue that the Earthsea books are more about psychology and culture than magic, but the stills of the film version look worryingly low-budget.

Last week me and Sparky Andy were giving Leasey a hard time about her taste in cinematic men, forbidding her, on behalf of all straight males, from finding Patrick Swayze attractive. Below, connoisseurs of the finest in Anglo manhood (of all sexes and persuasions) can browse the PooterGeek gallery of frontrunners in the race to be Bond, James Bond, now that the bookies seemed to have closed betting on the race. Follow all the links in the list, Leasey, for a lesson in bathos:

I am not at liberty to reveal who has been chosen for the role, but let’s just say that many will regret overlooking the dark horse on the right of this photograph.

Losing candidate Colin Farrell has been the subject of much mockery lately. I can’t watch any trailers for the disastrously received Alexander without laughing at the terrible, terrible hair they have given him. (Terrible hair, incidentally, is one of the reasons why you ladeez are not permitted to find Patrick Swayze—or Kevin Costner, or Wesley Snipes—appealing.) Alexander is one of those movies that film reviewers not-so-secretly relish: it’s so bad they can finally deploy put-downs they have been saving for months. I enjoyed this quote from the New York Times review (via Judith) about Angelina Jolie’s performance as Olympias:

“As the young marauder kills and enslaves peoples from Egypt to India, Mr. Stone repeatedly returns us to Olympias, snakes coiling around her body and chastising her absent son in a bewildering accent, part Yiddishe Mama, part Natasha of “Rocky and Bullwinkle” fame: “You don’t write, you don’t call, why don’t you settle down with a nice Macedonian girl?” or words to that effect. Rarely since Joan Crawford rampaged through the B-movie sunset of her career has a female performer achieved such camp distinction.”

but the following, from the review in the mighty East Valley Tribune is my favourite to date:

“Not content to direct a mediocre historical epic, filmmaker Oliver Stone marshals all of his talent as a provocateur to direct a colossally bad one in “Alexander,” starring Irishman Colin Farrell as the legendary Macedonian warlord.”

“It’s a shame, too, because mediocrity is so tantalizingly within the director’s reach.”

(And another thing: I have listened to confused patrons have the 50 First Dates/51st State disambiguation discussion in my local video shop three times now. It’s getting boring.)