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A recent Thursday at 10:23 a.m.: In the basement of Arion Press, where they still print books the old-fashioned way, Lewis Mitchell slid open a box of parts used to change the font size on the Monotype casting machines he has maintained for 62 years.

“I thoroughly enjoy the sound of the machines turning, and seeing the type come out is a joy,” Mitchell said.

He can tell by the sound of the moving springs and levers if something is awry with his machines — a skill he said all good technicians should have. Four different owners have run the business since Mitchell walked through the doors at age 18, and he has had several opportunities to leave, including a scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that he declined. Now 80, Mitchell can’t imagine retiring from the job he loves so much.

When Mitchell started making this kind of type, it was really the only way to print things, and now he doesn’t know how many books he’s helped print over the decades. There were once type-casting operations in most major U.S. cities, but now the practice is almost extinct. There are only two companies left in the world that cast type for printing presses, and Arion is by far the largest.

Mitchell has four grown children and nine grandchildren, but he calls the 20 type-casting machines his “babies.” “I treat them with kindness. I don’t use a hammer on them or an oversized screwdriver.” The first machine, which started the company during 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, is still its best machine — proof that Mitchell’s methods work. “My dad taught me from square one if you going to do something, you’re going to do it right or you don’t do it.”

By San Francisco Chronicle.

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As the source is somewhat less than airtight, you should probably take the following with the biggest grain of salt you can get your hands on — but on the off chance there’s some truth to it, this rumor is too wild not to repeat. A new report claims that George Clooney and Noah Wyle are vying for the lead role in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, which is being developed at Sony based on Walter Isaacson‘s bestselling biography. More details after the jump.

The story comes from the UK tabloid The Sun (via Cult of Mac), which reports that the former ER co-stars are competing against each other to play the late Apple co-founder. There probably aren’t many times I’d vote for Wyle over Clooney, but in this case Wyle actually seems like the better choice. For one thing, he’s already played Jobs once, in 1999′s Pirates of Silicon Valley. (Joey Slotnick also starred, as Steve Wozniak, while Anthony Michael Hall played Bill Gates.) For another, while I’m usually in favor of casting Clooney in just about anything, the suave leading man seems like an odd fit for Jobs’ charismatic but prickly demeanor.

Of course, one very likely outcome is that it’ll turn out this entire report is BS and it’ll turn out that neither actor was ever seriously considered for the role. That the studio would be eyeing Clooney seems somewhat believable, if only because the biopic is bound to be big and Clooney’s the kind of huge movie star they might want on their top-tier team. But I’d be very surprised if the powers that be tapped Wyle — who’s doing just fine, but is hardly the first guy you turn to when you’re loking for A-list talent — to reprise his Pirates of Silicon Valley role. In any case, Sony’s scrambling to get the project together quickly, so expect to hear more casting rumors flying around in the coming weeks. Who do you think would be a good fit to play the tech legend?

Just for kicks, here’s a video of Wyle doing his best Jobs at the 1999 Macworld expo:

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Let’s get into character here: this fucking news is better than spending a night with a manky Dutch whore and a shitload of horse tranquilizer. In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh has written and will direct a film called Seven Psychopaths, and Colin Farrell is starring. Your indie heroine Megan Ellison is financing, and today at Cannes the project added Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Christopher Walken. Those last two sentences are my favorite things I’ve written in days. If you feel about In Bruges the way some do, with Martin McDonagh writing and directing little questions like the plot of the film probably don’t even matter. But if your curiosity gets the better of you, that info is after the break.

Variety announces that the film is about “a screenwriter (Farrell) struggling for inspiration for his script, “Seven Psychopaths,” who gets drawn into the dog kidnapping schemes of his oddball friends (Rockwell and Walken). Things take a turn for the worse when a gangster’s (Rourke) mutt goes missing.”

Frankly with Martin McDonagh again directing Colin Farrell, I don’t care what the movie is about. I don’t care that Mickey Rourke appears to have sent his career right back into a tailspin. I have faith that, even if Rourke wants to take a dump on the set, McDonagh will be able to spin some gold out of it. And I know that he’ll get good work out of Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken. (A Behanding in Spokane, Martin McDonagh’s most recent play, ran on Broadway with Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken in the cast. McDonagh didn’t direct that, however.)

And as much as I appreciate the vulgar humor of his last film — In Bruges has some of the most absolutely quotable dirty dialogue in the last five years — it is the fact that the film was quite sad and even soulful in addition to being crazy and funny. There is a sheen of comedy and gangster violence, but it’s the stuff underneath that gives the movie life. Another director wouldn’t be able to break you with the scene between Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in the park in Bruges, but Martin McDonagh nailed it. I don’t know if that blend of tone and depth is what he’s aiming for with this second film, but my hopes are up.

This isn’t even a new project. If you read interviews around the time of In Bruges, you might remember that Martin McDonagh said things like this:

I’ve got a couple of film scripts that are ready to go. I’m not going to do anything with them for a couple of years, until I’ve traveled and had some fun. But there’s one called Seven Psychopaths; if I do another film, that’ll be it.

Here we are, three years later, and it is happening. A man of his word. I like that. And, obviously, I love this news.

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pepe-le-pew

He’s French, he’s in love and he stinks. Of course, we’re talking about Pepé Le Pew, the famously accented Looney Tunes skunk who strolls around Paris looking for beautiful women. Well, it seems that everyone’s favorite lovelorn skunk is going to be coming to the big screen and that he’ll be voiced not by the late Mel Blanc, but instead by none other than the current man of a thousand voices, Mike Myers. Warner Brothers is developing a film based on Pepé where he and the girl of his dreams, Penelope Pussycat, would be CG characters and everyone else would be real. Hit the jump for more on this turn of events and to see a video of what Pepé Le Pew means in today’s popular culture.

Vulture broke the story of Myers’ involvement in this project and said that “the decision to reinvigorate the Looney Tunes cast of characters — which includes fading American icons like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig — is a high priority for Warner Brothers….” Does that mean we’re going to get big screen films starring all of the Looney Tunes? Anything is possible, they are shooting a movie based on Battleship after all. Warner Brothers is losing the Harry Potter franchise next year and while they have more Batman and Superman films on the horizon, they’ve been looking at all their properties to find sustainable franchises to fill Potter’s billion dollar hole.. That’s why we’re getting Green Lantern next year and why other DC characters could be coming in a few years.

The last time the Looney Tunes were on the big screen was Looney Tunes: Back in Action which tanked, making about $20 million domestically against an $80 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo. Part of the reason could be because today’s kids simply don’t know the Looney Tunes. According to the Vulture article, there’s E-Poll Market Research data which says while 68% of audiences over 13 know who Mike Myers is, only 66% of those people know Bugs Bunny and 56% know Daffy Duck. And those are people OVER 13, who probably aren’t even the audience for a Pepé Le Pew movie.

Personally, when I think of Pepé Le Pew, I think of the below clip from the Dave Chappelle comedy special Killing Me Softly. It’s NSFW but hilarious. After you watch, let me know - do you think this movie is a good idea? Are you surprised a Pepé Le Pew movie is coming before a Bugs Bunny movie?

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