So yesterday morning I was once again, as is my custom, immersed in the great comforting warm bath that is the New York Times' Arts and Leisure section when the following interesting and alarming news item caught my attention:
Question No. 1: Will it be 24 hours long? Question No. 2: Will it still have short breaks roughly every 15 minutes so that its viewers - and, presumably, its protagonist - can go to the bathroom? Fans of the Fox action series 24 may soon learn the answer to these and other pressing questions now that a feature film version of the television show is in the works. Variety reported that the motion-picture division of 20th Century Fox has hired the screenwriter Billy Ray (State of Play, Shattered Glass) to write a script for a movie-length adventure for Jack Bauer, the secret agent (played by Kiefer Sutherland) whose world-saving exploits always take exactly one day to unfold. The Variety report said that Mr. Ray's screenplay would likely be set in Europe (where clocks are already set to 24-hour time).
I don't know about you folks, but I really want this movie to run a full day in real time. Think of it as a Jack Bauer version of Berlin Alexanderplatz, only nine hours longer and with torture.
Seriously, though, I'm actually looking forward to the film, whatever its gimmick turns out to be ultimately. I mean, I'll grant you, given that scripter Billy Ray's aforementioned State of Play was one of the limpest excuses for a thriller in recent years, I was initially put off by the news he was involved in the project. Of course, then I remembered that the big plot twist in 24's seventh season involved terrorists discovering a heretofore undetected river flowing under the White House, and I realized he couldn't possibly come up with anything stupider than that.
And in other cinematic news, apropos of nothing in particular, I would like to note that Turner Classic Movies ran a certain classic cheesy dinosaur flick this morning, prompting my local cable system to once again put up my all-time favorite movie synopsis on its programming guide:
"One Million B.C." : Victor Mature, Carole Landis  -- Earth moves, and the meat-eating Rock People banish a caveman to the Shell People, who prefer vegetables.
Poetry, my friends. Sheer poetry.