Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Coming Soon and Top Ten

God Dammit, what a fucking pitiful month December was. "The Spirit" seems to be fulfilling all my worst ideas about it and "Quantum of Solace" wasn't nearly good enough to go see again (ever, for any reason). The theaters were a barren wasteland of holiday comedies and other such saccharine drivel. Doesn't look like next month is going to improve matters much, but let's look anyway.

Coming Soon:

January 2 brings us nothing. Really. Not a single major release that I can find is coming out on Friday ("Defiance" is getting a limited release to make the Oscar deadline. I'll get to that in a bit).

January 9 gives us something worse than nothing in the form of "Bride Wars," starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway as brides competing with each other for some dumbfuck reason or other.

Also opening is "The Unborn," a horror film from David S. Goyer. The preview has some creepy elements to it, but it looks like a pretty standard J-horror retread. You'll notice they're marketing it as "from the co-writer of 'The Dark Knight'" rather than as "from the director of 'The Invisible'" even though the latter credit seems more relevant.

January 16 brings us the above mentioned "Defiance," a story of courage, honor, Jews, WWII and other Oscar-ready topics. Stars Daniel Craig and some Nazis.

Also opening is "My Bloody Valentine 3-D," which looks about as good as something this completely and utterly pointless can look. The reason this is coming out a month before Valentine's Day is that the "Friday the 13th" remake already took the February 13 slot. It's kind of like watching one retarded elephant get knocked down by another, larger, retarded elephant. You feel a little bad for the smaller one, then you get over it when you remember that they're just a bunch of retarded elephants.

January 23 births another "Underworld" sequel screaming and wet into this world, something I need like a lead pipe to the cranium. Also opening is "Killshot," an Elmore Leonard novel adapted into a total Weinstein Bros.' clusterfuck. The film was directed by John Madden and produced by Quentin Tarantino, so by all rights it should be shitting money right into Harvey Weinstein's wallet, but apparently the film came out as such as turd that it's had its release date moved back five times and is now nearly three years old.

Top Ten at the Box Office:

1. "Marley & Me." If there is one thing in this world that bores me more than football movies, it's dog movies. I feel sticky and weird just looking at the posters for them, like my skin has just be rubbed with cane sugar. I have a low tolerance for heartwarming tales of companionship, and I personally don't like owning pets (I have a rule not to own anything that will die if I leave my apartment locked and unattended for three weeks). A more appropriate tagline: "The story of an adorable pet that can be replaced at least five times in the average human lifespan".

2. "Bedtime Stories." Jesus, people must be ill this time of year if this is the kind of crap that's at the top of this list. Adam Sandler and Disney, working together with some gimmicky kid's comedy that exhausted its novelty about three seconds into the preview.

3. "The Curious Case of How People Have Been Fooled Into Believing David Fincher Has Any Real Ideas." He also apparently doesn't have an editor, since this adaptation of an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story has been pumped to a solid 159 minutes, I guess to give that fabled Brad Pitt thespian talent some room to breath.

4. "Valkyrie." This is the tale of a plot by some Nazis to assassinate Hitler during WWII. Gee, wonder how that turned out? So is it like "The Lost Stories of World War II" month or something? I am fucking sick to death of that war. Why not a good World War One story? Maybe something about the Battle of the Somme, that one where 1.5 million people were killed over the course of four months (including 57,000 British casualties during the first day alone). Fuck all this "no moral ambiguity, good guys v. bad guys" crap. I want rivers of blood and years of rotting, screaming horror. That's a war, people.

But I digress. The real point of "Valkyrie" is to revive Tom Cruise's public image from the shit-filled gutter it's been squatting in for the last few years. Too bad he never got that "acting" thing down right.

5. "The Yes Man." Christ, this is getting painful. Did Jim Carrey's cash jacuzzi need a refill, or has he just been tossing piles of money into a large wood fire oven so as to give his homemade pizza that "pitiful waste of riches" zing it was missing? This is so fucking unnecessary I'm surprised I can even focus on it for long enough to write this. Surprised, but not pleased.

6. "Seven Pounds." I care less about movies the more Will Smith is in them. And I mean that in a general sense, not a specific one. I actually become less of a fan of cinema the larger a star Will Smith becomes. I think his continued desire to make movies actually ruins movies with which he has no connection. If he continues on this upward trend, within the next few years I'll probably feel the same way about "Casablanca" as I do about drinking warm spittle.

7. "The Tale of Despereaux." CGI mouse, knightly adventures, no real interest. Gotcha.

8. "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Sometimes I worry that mediocrity is winning the war for our culture. Then I remember that mediocrity is the norm, not the exception. And I cry.

9. "The Spirit." I had such high hopes after the first preview. Should have seen it coming. With every other second of this film that got revealed over the following months, the anticipation I felt withered and eventually died, like an old woman who led a grand, exciting life only to be taken down in a long and painful battle with the diseases that resulted from her decades of debauchery and hedonism.

10. "Doubt." This looks pretty good.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Slow Grinding Nothing: Opening This Month

This Friday we get a treat in watching Beyonce Knowles try and pull off Etta James in "Cadillac Records," a biopic about Chess Records and its classic artists. Apparently Knowles is the only star any studio executive can think if to play a R&B artist, since she's about a stone too thin to play the singer during her peak years. Mos Def is Chuck Berry, so I can't complain too much.

Also opening, for some reason, is "Punisher: War Zone," a rejiggered sequel with a new star and new director, though oddly enough it seems to have kept the same script. Original star Thomas Jane has been replaced by equally cardboard-like Ray Stevenson (seriously, are these guys grown in a lab somewhere?) though I doubt anyone will notice.

December 12 brings us what has to be one of the most useless things ever (and I'm including that tiolet paper dispenser with the iPod mount attached to it in this category) in the form of the remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still." The film stars Keanu Reeves, to the extent that Keanu Reeves can "star" in anything. I'm guessing what happened here is that someone saw how much that "War of the Worlds" thing Spielberg did worked and decided to dig up another old chestnut from the classic sci-fi era and dump a useless lump of chalk such as Keanu in it.

Also opening is "Gran Torino," a new urban drama from Clint Eastwood. Though Eastwood has already released one piece of Oscar-bait this year, it seems he feels like hedging his bets a little for award season and is starring in this one as well as directing it. Still, he seems to have aged into his badassery pretty well and his voice sounds like an earthquake in a gravel pit, so no complaints.

On December 19th is "Seven Pounds," another Will Smith tale of hope and understanding that will make serious bank and be forgotten before the year is out.

Also opening is "The Wrestler," a film for all of those people who wanted to see Mickey Rourke back in a starring roll, with Marisa Tomei as his female lead. At least, I assume there must be people out there who wanted to see that. There are people who like to have sex while dressed in animal costumes, so why not?

Of course, we can't forget the latest Jim Carrey pain parade, "The Yes Man," in which America's beloved fartsmith comes back to form (and $20 million dollar paychecks) with some convoluted plot designed to make him do absurd things that make no sense. It truly is a season of miracles.

December 26 brings us "The Spirit," Frank Miller's adaptation of the classic Wil Eisner comic. The first preview I saw was impressive and at first I was looking forward to some cheap holiday badass entertainment. However, everything else I've seen from the film since then has been, to put it politely, llama shit. I'll probably still see it, just because some train wrecks deserve to be watched.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Opening This Week and the Top Ten

Opening This Week

The big one is the sequel to 2006's James Bond revision, the ball-flatteningly awesome "Casino Royale." Called "Quantum of Solace," this film picks up where "Casino" left off, with Daniel Craig James Bonding it the fuck up by running over rooftops and shooting things and wearing suits and generally just being a badass.

Some might wonder at my enthusiasm for these new Bond films given my dour view of everything else that's been released in the modern era. Basically, I just enjoy seeing an action film that feels real, uses CGI only when necessary and has a fairly smart script. I feel the same way about the new "Batman" films. Not necessarily the best movies ever, but how rare is it for you to experience a purely entertaining piece of cinema that doesn't insult your intelligence? It is very fucking rare, that's how rare. Let me have my moment.

Also opening is... fuck it. James Bond, motherfuckers!

Top Ten at the Box Office

1. "Madagascar: Escape 2 Mediocrity." Our lovable cast of talking animals runs through another hackneyed piece of rote comedy for the kiddies. Will anything of interest happen during the 89 minute running time? My prognostications say "no, nothing will happen."

2. "Role Models." Energy drinks plus assholes. Has there ever been a riper subject for comedy?

3. "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" Hey, Vanessa Hudgens. I saw your vag on the Internet. Just thought you should know.

4. "Changling." Clint Eastwood's latest piece of Oscar-bait, aiming for a "Chinatown," "wow wasn't Los Angeles interesting during the 1920s and 30s, it sure is the only city in the world where anything ever happened" thing.

5. "Zack and Miri Make a Porno." I'm split over this. A lot of people have told me it's funny, but on the other hand I want to see Kevin Smith lose his nuts in an accident with an industrial cheese grater. Decisions, decisions.

6. "Soul Men." A film about two former soul singers who reunite for one last concert. Stars Samuel L. Jackson and the ghostly visage of the late Bernie Mac.

7. "Saw V." Holy shit, are they still making these? I must have stroked off there for a month or so. People have noticed that these all suck, right? Like, with bad scripts and horrible acting and cinematography that wouldn't pass muster at a low-rent film school award show?

8. "The Haunting of Molly Hartley." Bland, cheap-ass PG-13 devil possession thing. Has Catholic schoolgirl uniforms going for it, but not much else.

9. "The Secret Life of Bees." Estrogen-fest. Not my kind of thing.

10. "Eagle Eye." I still refuse to believe the basic concept of this film, which is that someone actually wants to know what Shia LeBeouf is doing at any given moment. Because if it's not "drowning in a pool of his own mediocrity," then I can't conceive of anyone having an interest.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Extra Spooky Blog Post

Since I feel like getting into the Halloween spirit at the moment (as opposed to tonight, when I will get into the "drunken stupor" spirit and later the "beat up children and steal their candy" spirit) I think I will regale you with a list of the planned horror releases we have no choice but to look forward to over the upcoming months. Enjoy wearing a novel costume (perhaps celebrating some abstract subject, or possibly as a "sexy" version of a common profession) while celebrating this ancient harvest festival in the traditional manner, i.e. throwing the bones of slaughtered animals into a bonfire and pouring ale into the ocean as a libation for the sea gods.

Now for our horror movie goodness:

November 7 brings us "House," which is fortunately not a remake of the 1980s non-classic, but makes up for this failing with one of its own, in that it's a fairly generic serial killer thriller that focuses on the battle between good and evil with what some are calling a Christian bent. Golly, wonder which side will win? Has some Michael Madsen crazy goodness, so there is that at least.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the November 21 release of "Twilight," which isn't a horror film per say, but does have vampires. It's based on a wildly popular series of young adult novels, which is really all I need to know to know that I have next to no interest in it. This has a built in screaming-teenage-girl fan base, so I don't think my support will be missed. I have a general equation I live by, which is that if you want to make something completely mediocre, just add vampires to it. Cop shows, superhero comics, romantic comedies and basically any horror film made since 1980. I'm fucking sick of vampires, and you should all be ashamed of yourself.

There are no major horror releases in December (to be expected during the award season rush) but January 9 brings us a ripe slice of shit in the "Hellraiser" remake. This will probably be pushed back again as a new director, Frenchman Pascal Laugier, was just announced a couple of days ago and there has been no announced cast. Ideally, it never happens. Realistically, the best you can hope for is mediocrity.

January is a common dumping ground for studio leftovers and embarrassments, which brings us to "My Bloody Valentine 3-D," which opens on January 16. From the preview, it seems the primary reason for this remake to exist is so pick-axes can be thrown at the screen. The hopeful could take it as a sign that the horror movie remake cycle is coming to an end, since they wouldn't be trying to spice up these blandfests with 3-D gimmicks otherwise. I'm not hopeful, and the rest of this list should explain why.

January 23 brings us the exciting third film in the "Underworld" series, "Rise of the Lycans," in which... Kate Beckinsale isn't in it? Fuuuuuck. Her tight leather pants were the only thing that made the first two films bearable (if slightly frustrating).

On January 30, we get a treat of another bland J-horror-inspired (not a remake, fortunately) film about creepy ghost children. "The Uninvited" stars some people doing some things and this will be forgotten before the second reel starts.

February 13 brings us the reason that the "My Bloody Valentine" remake didn't open closer to Valentine's Day in the "Friday the 13th" remake/reimagining thing. Fanboys will shit their pants over this right up until it opens. From what I've seen so far, looks fairly generic, but apparently I hate everything .

Skipping ahead to April 3, we get "The Wolf Man" remake as part of Hollywood's continuing effort to shit on my fond childhood memories. The cast is solid (Benicio Del Toro stars, with Anthony Hopkins as his father) but the director is Joe Johnston. He's one of these hack directing automatons you hire when you want something to be moderately successful and as mediocre as possible (try to envision these films in your mind: "Jumanji," "Jurassic Park III" and "Hildalgo.") If you like weepy sentimentality in your horror films, this will be the one for you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Divorce, Pestilence and Fashionistas

Their Pain is Funny
Gweneth Paltrow has stated publicly that she is offering her support to Madonna, who is going through a divorce with husband Guy Ritchie. Because nothing soothes the pain caused by a painful break-up like the support of your skeletal, talent-atrophied friends.

The State of the Nation
Vice-Presidential candidate and Brit Hume fan club member Sarah Palin recently courted some controversy in the press by referring to small towns as "the real America" and as being "the pro-America" parts of this country. The irony of her being married to a secessionist aside, I'm really sick of the trumping of "small town values" over all others. Small towns are where you live when you don't have the ambition or drive to try for something better, or where you move to once you've earned enough money to be able to afford to never have to actually deal with the problems with living in one. They're not inherently nicer or better than urban areas. The dimwit-to-normal-intelligence ratio is about the same in each setting (that is, staggeringly skewed to the former). Mrs. Palin's husband, Todd, also had a great little quip along the same lines recently, referring to "hunting and fishing" as American values. We'll let Mr. Palin's confusion over the difference between "values" and "activities" slide for a moment. Along these lines of thought, in terms of time spent engaged in them, some more accurate American values would seem to include "meth production" and "complaining about Mexicans."

Fuck small towns.

Death of a Professional Prick
Richard Blackwell, a fashion critic famous for his annual "Worst Dressed Women" lists, died on Sunday of complications from an intestinal infection. I guess that's what happens when you spend your career pulling opinions out of your ass. I know I should probably be more sensitive to the passing of an old man, but I honestly see anyone involved in the fashion industry as being the scum of our planet. It's a massive, useless scam perpetuated by the vainest, most self-possessed people imaginable and supported by the simpering, suckling need for status and conformity. But I digress.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Top Ten at the Box Office

1. "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." Just watching the preview for this film is like having a physically incarnated form of pure evil violently fuck your eye sockets.

2. "Eagle Eye." Two people find that their every move is being watched by a mysterious person with sinister intents. The film makes no sense though, in that one of the people is Shia LaBeouf, and no one is interested in what Shia LaBeouf is doing, ever, anywhere, for any reason.

3. "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist." Movies about the trials of teen relationships stopped being interesting to me the moment I was no longer a teenager. After that moment it just became a bunch of self-obsessed brats who think they know what real suffering feels like.

4. "Nights of Rodanthe." This title + Richard Gere tells you everything you need to know about this film. It will magically cease to exist the minute no one is paying attention to it any longer.

5. "Appaloosa." Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen star as lawmen in a Western. I think that the only reason this film exists is because it's such an obvious idea that the universe simply brought it forth from the ether to fill the necessary gap.

6. "Lakeview Terrace." I wish that Hollywood directors would just stop pretending they have something interesting to say about race relations in America. Because they really do not.

7. "Burn After Reading." Brad Pitt plays a blithering idiot pretty-boy.

8. "Fireproof." A married couple, who are also fire fighters, try to save their marriage with a blatant, simpering metaphor.

9. "An American Carol." This is part of the reason public discourse in America has sunken so low.

10. "Religulous." This is the other part.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blithering Idiocy

Just Plain Folks

The vice-presidential debate became the most watched inconsequential event on television last night. The big surprise was that Sara Palin surpassed everyone's expectations during the debate. This really isn't too much of a shock if you think about it, since the bar was set so low for her, the simple fact that she did not shit her pants right there on stage was considered a minor personal victory. You know that when we consider the fact that a politician can construct a semi-coherent sentence one of their positive points, then we have taken a significant turn as a culture.

Opening Today

For some reason, Hollywood has collectively decided to release every single film currently in production into theaters today, so this is a bit of a doozy.

"Beverly Hills Chihuahua." This film's existence makes no sense in a rational universe.

"Nick and Norha's Infinite Playlist." Michael Cera slowly begins to corner the market on teenage awkwardness, right on his way to becoming his generation's John Cusack. He'll be making vaguely liberal political parables within a decade or so.

"Blindness." The advance word on the street is that this kind of sucks. Who would have thought an adaptation of an unfilmable novel would have such trouble getting off the ground with critics?

"Religulous." A snarky atheist goes around and mocks other people's beliefs. Whoop de fuckin' do. Has it occurred to anyone else in the world that Bill Maher is kind of a fuckin' idiot and he ought to be dumped on the same liberal trash-heap as Michael Moore?

"How to Lose Friends and Alienate People." My Saturday nights, brought to a theater near you.

"The Express." Motherfuckin' football movies. I can't name two football movies off the top of my head that I actually give more than a shit about (I stall out after the original "The Longest Yard"). I doubt this is going to make the list.

"Flash of Genius." Based on a true story about a man who finds that his copywrited invention is being used without his permission by an auto manufacturer and takes his case to court. The judge throws it out when it is revealed that the inventor is played by Greg Kinnear.

"An American Carol." A conservative spoof of Michael Moore directed by David Zucker about a filmmaker trying to cancel Independence Day. In other words, the man who directed "BASEketball" thinks he has something relevant to add to the grand American political discussion. This just sounds plain retarded. Honestly, is Michael Moore even worth spoofing? Is this really the best conservative filmmakers can do? "Ha ha, Michael Moore is fat and hates America!"? You all suck so hard.

One of these days we may have a filmmaker who knows how to express his politics in a way that's elequent and convincing. A modern Preston Sturges or an updated Milos Forman. And what will happen? That director will be ignored and never be able to get a film into production, because our political landscape insists on nothing more than cheer leading for one's own side and sneers at the other side.

This is the sound of me giving my own country the middle finger. Suck it, America.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Opening Soon and Top Ten

Opening Tomorrow:

Tomorrow brings us the latest Oscar-bait from Spike Lee, "Miracle at St. Anna," which in some sort of strange Best Picture trifecta has managed to incorporate racial issues, religious overtones and WWII. Also opening in limited release is "Choke," the first Chuck Palahniuk adaptation since "Fight Club" (fuck you, "Fight Club").

Top Ten at the Box Office:

1. "Lakewood Terrace," in which Samuel Jackson plays an LAPD officer who torments his new interracial-couple neighbors. This is director Neil LaBute's attempt to wash away the shameful, toxic aftertaste of his "Wicker Man" remake with a punch-in-the-face obvious message film. The narration in the preview might as well just say, "The black guy is... A RACIST! It's a switcharoo!"

2. "Burn After Reading." The Coen brothers fill out the part of their contract that says they have to follow every classic with a couple of middling comedies. This film does remind me, however, that George Clooney is just about the only major Hollywood star I can actually look at and think, "You know, I don't mind that guy. I don't want him to die in a chemical fire or anything."

3. "My Best Friend's Girl." Speaking of dying in a fire...

4. "Igor." A lonely, abused outsider with dreams of greatness in a strange world, who happens to be voiced by John Cusack. This looks like gothic-light for the kiddie crowd, and I have about as much interest in it as I do in eating spoonfuls of mayo straight from the jar.

5. "Righteous Kill." Two men who have wasted their talent for a solid decade waste it together in a formulaic thriller.

6. "The Family That Preys." Tyler Perry seems to be competing in his own Shitty Family Drama Olympics. If that's the case, then he has another gold medal winner on his hands.

7. "The Women." A tale of drama, betrayal and revenge based on the 1939 classic. The entire cast, much like the audience, is female.

8. "Ghost Town." Ricky Gervais is haunted by the ghost of Greg Kinnear's acting career.

9. "The Dark Knight." Keeping Hot Topic in business for another season.

10. "The House Bunny." This is how much God hates you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Top at the Box Office This Week

1. "Bangkok Dangerous." Sometimes films will do really well for simple lack of competition. If a three minute film of John Goodman drooling on himself had been released last week, it would have beaten this in total box-office earnings. The only reason to see a new Nicolas Cage film these days is to take a look at what outrageous hairstyle he's currently sporting.

2. "Tropic Thunder." Every time someone tells me that this is the funniest movie they have ever seen, I sigh a little and then wander quietly back to my apartment, where I lock the door and proceed to weep uncontrollably.

3. "The Dark Knight." Yeah, it was okay.

4. "The House Bunny." Watching the preview for this film is like receiving a sharp, sudden kick to the testicles.

5. "Traitor." Don Cheadle is a national security threat and must be stopped, with deadly force if necessary. He is also starring in this new film.

6. "Babylon A.D." Vin Diesel must save the world by jumping out of an airplane. I think we can all agree this is for the best, assuming he doesn't wear a parachute.

7. "Death Race." I think that NASCAR would be so much more entertaining if the drivers were rewarded points for running over their fans. Someone back me up on this.

8. "Disaster Movie." The existence of this film actually makes other, unrelated comedies less funny. This movie is to humor what genital warts are to human sexuality.

9. "Mamma Mia!" I think I might suffer from clinical depression.

10. "Pineapple Express." Oh, nope, wait a moment. I'm okay now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Opening Soon and Top Ten

Opening This Week:

"Disaster Movie." I'm pretty sure this was approved due to a horrible mistake on the studio's part. These films are to humor what AIDS is to Africa.

"Babylon A.D." "Children of Men"-lite for the bang-bang-go-boom crowd. It doesn't look half-bad for what it is, but I'm beginning to suspect that Vin Diesel must have some sort of clause in his contract stating that he has to jump from an exploding plane while strapped to a snowboard and firing a machine gun in every movie he appears in. I'm interested in seeing how that plays out in his upcoming Hannibal biopic (maybe jumping off an exploding elephant while strapped to a canoe and throwing a spear. Just an idea, Vin).

"College." Three high school seniors are in for a wild weekend when they visit a local college. They meet with an academic adviser, tour campus and begin work on their applications while weighing the option to attend the school or to look into financial aid so they can afford something out of state. Then they puke on themselves.

Top at the Box Office:

1. "Tropic Thunder." Little bit of a dust-up over this film regarding its use of the word "retard." Protesting the film seems to have worked wonders.

Just a quick note though: Using the word "retard" when referring to a person with a particular mental disability is cruel and mean-spirited. Using the word in its actual sense, which means "slow or limited in intellectual development," is a pretty funny synonym for "stupid." For example: "Protesting a comedy because it satirically used the word 'retard' is kind of retarded."

2. "The House Bunny." Speaking of retarded...

3. "Death Race." Bang, kaboom, whoop de fuck. If it doesn't have David Carradine with a grenade for a hand, then I don't really give a shit.

4. "The Dark Knight." Do you remember "Batman & Robin"? I guess by that standard this is the greatest thing to happen in all of cinematic history. But by most other standards it's a decent action film with one iconic performance that will inspire way too many Halloween costumes this year.

5. "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Is it okay for me to say I don't really care all that much about "Star Wars"? Because I really don't. The original trilogy was pretty entertaining, to a point. But anything that has been associated to them since has been like some kind of weird anti-fun, causing joy to be sucked out of my life every time I encounter it.

6. "The Pineapple Express." Hey, Harold & Kumar! This is how you make a fuckin' stoner movie. Please pay attention.

7. "Mirrors." If you've seen the trailer then you can guess at this film's one spooky little trick it has to scare people with, which it no doubt drives into the ground. Looks about as frightening as a box of donut holes.

8. "Mamma Mia!" You can't stop it. The disease is inside of you.

9. "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor." Whenever I look at the ads for this movie, I can't focus on them. It's like when the people in the movie "Dark City" try to remember if they've ever seen daylight. My consciousness won't accept that this film exists even though my memory tells me otherwise.

10. "The Longshots." Fred Durst directed this. By seeing this movie, you are directly supporting the career of Fred Durst. Mull that over for a moment and then consider doing some charity work as a way to protect your immortal soul.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Random Prick Assault Force

Who Watches the Watchmen? No One

20th Century Fox has engaged in what industry insiders generally refer to as a "dick move" and filed suit against Warner Bros. to stop the release of the highly anticipated "Watchmen" adaptation. Not to just get a cut of the profits, but to actually keep the multi-million dollar production from ever seeing the light of day. This suit is in regards to a spat over the adaptation rights, which Fox claims it still owned. They of course didn't decide to work this out before the much publicized film went into production, instead waiting until after it was completed and slated for a Spring 2009 release before suing.

Personally I couldn't really give less of a shit. I have no great hopes for the film right now and am one of the few people around who still thinks that some stories just aren't worth turning into movies, especially ones that are so tied into their original medium. But then again, Kevin Smith has seen the film and says it's going to be great, and we all know that Kevin Smith's taste in cinema is unimpeachable.

Here I am employing sarcasm to indicate that I do not actually think that highly of Kevin Smith's cinematic taste, and in fact think that everything the man says or does in his life ought to be struck from human memory.

Five Bees for a Quarter

John McCain had a fairly interesting gaffe recently. When asked at a press conference how many homes he owns, his response was that he couldn't remember and that he would have his staff check for him. Pundits are still split on which fact is more disturbing: That McCain can't remember how many homes he owns or that he has to have staff members go and count them for him.

So can someone explain to me why the Republicans have decided to nominate Grandpa Simpson to be their candidate for the nation's top office? A crotchety, hot-headed war hero who exaggerates his accomplishments, often outright lies and seems to have a slim grasp of current events doesn't strike me as being an entirely stable choice. He's referred to Vladimir Putin as the president of Germany, doesn't seem to know the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims and has on multiple occasions referred to Czechoslovakia as if it were a current country, rather than one that split into two countries in 1993. One of these days I expect him to come out and tell the story about how he took the ferry to Shelbyville, because he needed to get a new heel on his shoe. So he tied an onion to his belt, as was the style at the time. They didn't have any white onions, because of the war. All they had were those big yellow ones...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dead Celebrity Hammer Throw

Fuck Multiculturalism

The big news in entertainment this week has been the veritable nationalistic orgy of the Beijing Olympics, which are about as exciting to me as clipping my toenails. Of course our whole nation is cheering on Michael Phelps, the gold-medal-winning machine of a swimmer. Swimming is basically an elaborate way to not sink under the water and drown; Phelps does it very quickly.

Do you remember during the Athens Olympics when Australian swimmer Ian Thorp said Phelps would never beat Mark Spitz's gold medal record? Apparently Phelps told Thorp to "go suck a dick" and has proceeded to wipe him out of the record books, and is now on track to exceed the Spitz record, powering his swimming performance on the gasoline of pure hate.

And that is truly what the Olympic games are all about.

Dead Celeb Coral

Couple of famous deaths this last week. Comedian Bernie Mac died of complications from pneumonia, while soul artist Isaac Hayes just up and died. In order to gauge my feelings about these events for you, let me updated my Death Response Priority List. In descending order of importance: Immediate family, close friends, pets, casual acquaintances, fictional characters, celebrities that I don't know personally, anonymous Chinese earthquake victims.

In response to Hayes' death, his former employers Matt Stone and Trey Parker had this to say: "Blippity bloppity blew Ron Paul."

Tom Cruise is a Penis

Tom Cruise has apparently been written out of an upcoming action film he was set to star in because he was considered too old to be a bankable action hero and that he no longer justifies his large paycheck. Since age has not stopped Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood, Nicolas Cage or any number of other hobbling old coots from playing the hero role, it stands to reason that the real purpose for removing Cruise from a project is that he is in fact a large walking penis that squawks in something resembling a human dialect. His attempts to get a fourth "Mission: Impossible" film off the ground have also met with problems, since no one seems interested in creating a multi-million dollar vanity project starring a third-rate punchline who resembles an anthropomorphized genitalia.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Coming Soon

Here's a look at a few of the cinematic tidbits that are ready to expand our film-loving pallet:

August 8: "Pineapple Express." A stoner action-comedy full of laughs and violence. Who could possibly be the audience for this? The trailer actually makes it look interesting and the cast is spot on, so this might be something to look forward to, though I'm still scratching my head as to how David Gordon Green ended up directing it.

Also opening is "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2," which will give the other end of the marketing spectrum something to watch. It stars a bunch of women in their mid-20s as college freshmen who must go through the loves and frustrations involved with being contractually obligated to do a sequel they have no interest in.

August 15: "Star Wars: Clone Wars." An animated gap filler for the trilogy of prequels, this exists as a simple testament to the gullibility of science fiction fans and of George Lucas' pure and unabashed hatred for all that is good and pure in this world.

Also opening is "Tropic Thunder," which stars Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. as action stars who end up acting as real soldiers for some oppressed peasant-folk. Sounds great doesn't it? It certainly isn't an unabashed rip-off of "The Three Amigos," right? It will most definitely not be an embarrassingly ham-fisted sub-satire, like "Zoolander" or "Cable Guy," the last two films Stiller directed himself, right?

August 21: "Death Race." Director: Paul W.S. Anderson. Synopsis: A "not-really" remake of the cult classic, "Death Race 2000." Status: Will suck worse than a Dyson vacuum.

Also opening is "Hamlet 2," which looks to be this year's requisite middling indie comedy hit. The soundtrack will sell well at least. They always do with these films.

August 28: "Disaster Movie." A more apt title has yet to be logged into the history of cinema.

Also opening is "College," which is a comedy. About college. You can fill in the rest from there.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Politics as Bloodsport

I don't cover politics much in this blog, but seeing as the presidential primaries have now become my favorite form of televised entertainment, I feel I should post a nod to a few interesting ongoing stories:

The Revolution Will Be Televised

Katie Couric will become the first woman to head a major news organization's convention coverage, as she will be at the top of CBS's Democratic and Republican convention team. A bold stride for women everywhere, who can now take pride in the fact that their gender has produced one of the absolute fucking worst news anchors to ever grace a national broadcast station. Did you see her recent interview with Barack Obama? She asked him the same question FOUR FUCKING TIMES! She just could not drop that shit about the surge in Iraq and kept bringing it up until Barack just got up and popped her right in the goddamned mouth. Actually, that last part didn't happen. Except in this daydream I had where Barack Obama turns out to be Teddy Roosevelt in disguise and America elects a truly badass president again.

Barack Out With Your Cock Out

In other Obama interview news, Tom Brokaw recently interviewed the junior senator and managed to repeat basically every point from David Brooks' most recent New York Times column. This would be all fine and dandy if David Brooks weren't such a blubbering asshat. Honestly, the man has one trick, which is to break up social groups into convenient demographics based on sociological data he draws by shoving a hand up his own ass and seeing what he pulls out. He then gives the group some cutesy name and cashes another hefty NYT check while wiping is sphincter with a dead Iraqi, checking to see if any other ideas fell out before he tosses the mangled corpse off into the garbage. If he isn't just outright lying in his columns, he makes points so illogical and wrongheaded that you wonder why he hasn't been put into a special home or elected to a high cabinet position yet.

Teddy Roosevelt wouldn't have put up with that kind of shit. He would just stomp up to Brokaw and karate chop him in the face until he shut the fuck up, then he would have jogged to New York and punched David Brooks so hard in the balls he would have been singing falsetto for the rest of his life.

You know that saying of Roosevelt's, "Talk softly and carry a big stick"? That wasn't a metaphor for his diplomatic tactics. It was a literal description of his favorite hobby, which was to sneak up on people and then beat them savagely with a 2 x 4.

The Whiniest Generation

McCain and his surrogates have been complaining a lot in the press about how much press coverage Obama has been receiving (take a minute to soak in that irony). They've even released an ad pointing out how popular Obama has been with the large media groups. So basically the complaint is that their opponent is more popular than they are. This in spite of a recent studies that show Obama has received more negative coverage than McCain. You know McCain just wants to shake his fist and tell that damn darkie to get off of his lawn.

I know making fun of McCain's age is supposed to be so passe, but then he really shouldn't be acting like such a crotchety old bastard. This whole campaign is basically boiling down to the Democratic Jesus vs. Old Man Withers, Who Runs the Haunted Amusement Park (I think Obama could end this race right now if he just pulled off McCain's "Zombie Senator" mask, so we can all hear that this entire campaign was just a plot to get to a chest full of Spanish doubloons that are buried under the White House).

You know who would make a better president than either of these guys? Teddy Fuckin' Roosevelt:

Fuck yeah!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Opening Today and the Top Ten

Opening Today

"Step Brothers" opens in theaters today, much to the delight of not a fucking soul. Two adult men enter a sibling rivalry when their respective single parents marry each other. It looks, feels and sounds like a contract-filler, a way for Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay to wrap up their three-picture deal with Sony. And given Ferrell's most recent string of comedies ("Blades of Glory," "Semi-Pro") it might be wise to take into account that his comedic touch might be a tad, shall we say, non-existent? I'm trying to dance around the fact that this is going to blow chunks.

Also opening is the sequel no one even realized was happening, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe." Somehow, fans of the show got really excited about this when it was announced, as if it were some sort of major event rather than a quick cash run by a group of folks who couldn't find work otherwise. Honestly, how much did the show blow the last few seasons of its existence? If you answered "Why, it blew quite a lot, didn't it?" then you are correct. And the original film was serviceable at best, hardly the beginning of a franchise. So why get worked up? Just relax and let it go. It'll be okay. Shh. Hush now.

Top Ten at the Box Office This Week

1. "The Dark Knight." Yeah, no shit. The only surprise here is that the movie made a metric assload, rather than the more conservative metric buttload that industry insiders were expecting.

2. "Mamma Mia!" I still think this is an elaborate joke that's being played on me. There is no way someone could make a romantic comedy where people break out into ABBA tunes at random moments without having gleaned the idea from my nightmare journal.

3. "Hancock." Will Smith is cheered on as he unleashes wanton destruction on an unsuspecting world, possibly by releasing a new rap album.

4. "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Brendan Fraser and some kids fall down a deep dark hole. I was all for the movie until I heard there was more to the plot than that.

5. "Hellboy II: The Golden Army." Awesome-o-Meter currently holding steady at a 6 (translates to somewhere in between "bank error in my favor" and "new Terry Pratchett novel comes out in paperback").

6. "Wall*E." Pixar is really too good to be true. I fear that one day we'll find out all the money these movies made went to a fund for Nazi child molesters who have fallen on hard times (hey, I smell a sitcom!).

7. "Space Chimps." In space, no one can hear you masturbate and fling your feces at each other.

8. "Wanted." One of these days I'm going to make the perfect action movie. It will have real stunts rather than computer generated bullshit that feels lifeless and dull. It will have a plot that will engage your brain while it keeps your pulse racing. It will combine everything that was good about "Bullitt," "Predator," "The Wild Bunch," "The Road Warrior" and "Die Hard." It will be a film so awesome that Michael Bay will kill himself during the closing credits, right after his balls explode during the burning-freight-train-crashes-into-a-pirate-ship climax. I will show it once, to a select few who can appreciate how awesome it is. Then I will lock the movie in a vault and not allow anyone to ever see it ever again, in order to punish civilization for having made "Wanted" a hit.

9. "Get Smart." You can start by watching the original series.

10. "Kung-Fu Panda." I miss kung-fu movies. Nobody makes them anymore as far as I can tell, and I wouldn't watch them if they did. Basically I just have to wait and see if whatever Stephen Chow does next is any good and maybe see if that guy from "Ong-Bak" is working on anything. Oh yeah, pandas. Right.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dickheads and Useless Growths

Wow, That's Wacky

Andy Dick has been arrested for drug possession and sexual battery. Could you imagine being sexually battered by Andy Dick? The image just has some sort of weird R. Crumb surrealism feeling to it. Apparently he yanked up some 17-year-old girl's shirt and exposed her breasts to a bar on his way out the door and when he was pulled over by the cops later that evening they found pot 'n' pills on him. That this story didn't end with a severe roadside beating and tasering just goes to show that our law enforcement officials have their priorities all wrong.

Holy Mole

There is speculation that Sara Jessica Parker has had her trademark mole removed through cosmetic HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK WHY AM I EVEN WRITING ABOUT THIS AND WHY THE SHIT ARE YOU READING IT! JESUS!

Opening This Friday

The big news is the "The Dark Knight" will open this Friday, with the backlash occurring approximately 24 hours later.

Also opening is "Mamma Mia!," which takes place on a Greek island and is a musical full of ABBA songs. It's sort of like clinical depression, if clinical depression had choreography and a soundtrack.

Finally, like the not-so-bright cousin the older children are forced to take along with them whenever they do something fun, is "Space Chimps," a CGI kids film about talking monkeys. How original. It barely has a marketing campaign and the preview looks as if it's trying to avoid anything entertaining. I would pity parents that end up watching this with their kids, but really they have only themselves to blame.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Top at the Box Office This Week

1. "Hancock." Requisite Will Smith blockbuster for the summer. I'm pretty sure that this man has sold his soul for success. Nothing else explains it. He isn't that interesting of an actor, most of his movies are piddling and yet year after year he does nothing but hits. Is it worth roasting in Hell, Mr. Smith?

2. "Wall*E." Thank you for small mercies. Pixar has yet to fuck up ("Cars" was middling, but still entertaining) and this is looking to be a classic. Too bad I can't go see it without an audience full of annoying children. I sometimes think that no one under the age of 20 should be allowed into a movie theater without passing some kind of personality test first.

3. "Wanted." This film is such a juvenile male fantasy that you would almost think it were scripted by a gaggle of 10-year-old boys high on Mountain Dew and whippets. Nerdy man becomes super-assassin because he has all the skills his father had (making it "his destiny"). He also gets to date Angelia Jolie, who is a vampire (I don't mean she plays a vampire here, I just think that in reality she drinks human blood and cannot be killed by mortal weapons). The stunts are all computer-generated, so there is no sense of danger or reality, and in the end you will realize you just paid the price of a meal to watch a movie about someone who achieved a fantasy life without the slightest bit of effort, because he was special and you aren't.

4. "Get Smart." You can start by going to see something good instead of this movie.

5. "Kung Fu Panda." You know you want to see this movie. Why lie to yourself. OBEY THE PANDA!

6. "The Incredible Hulk." Still haven't seen it. Probably will eventually. You can't argue with a movie where a large green man rips a car in half.

7. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Again with This Shit?"

8. "Kit Kittredge: Pedophile Fodder."

9. "Sex and the City." This movie has herpes.

10. "You Don't Mess with the Zohan." This movie is like Jesus pissing all over your grandmother's corpse. Think about it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dispatches from the World of Celebrity Cocksuckery

Presidential Politics

"Actor" Stephen Baldwin has stated that he will "leave the country" if Barack Obama is elected president. Is that a promise? Did Alec put you up to this?

My Dreams Come True

Someone has finally gotten around to torturing Christopher Hitchens. The reporter, pundit and "New Atheist" nitwit had himself waterboarded for an article in Vanity Fair and came to the conclusion that, by golly, it is actually torture and not just some frat prank we've been subjecting brown people to so they'll tell us all the things we want to hear.

I respect Mr. Hitchens and his opinions. I just wish they would have taken the procedure to its logical conclusion, because while he may be a good writer, he's also a total drunken douchbag.

Workers of the World Unite Again

There have been rumblings in Hollywood of another strike, this one from the Screen Actors Guild. While experts are saying it isn't likely to go full out, what with a lack of support from the union base and the $2.5 million a day in total lost wages for the members it would cause, I'm still holding out hope. The actors going on strike would mean a complete shut-down, not just a cough and sputtering like when the writers took a leave. No new shows, no new movies. Complete collapse. $23 million-a-day loss to the California economy. It would be beautiful. I think we need a little wanton destruction like this to shake things up. I'll happily let the half-dozen or so decent actors and actresses in Hollywood go if the endless piles of hacks go with them. Did you know that Tom Cruise is a SAG member? Keanu Reeves, Adam Sandler, Ashton Kutcher? Can you imagine a couple of months of these guys not working? Don't tell me it doesn't give you that nice, warm feeling inside.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Top at the Box Office This Week

1. "Get Smart." The cast is good and the source material is funny, but the director is like a giant black hole of funny out of which no humor escapes. Quick rundown of Peter Segal's previous films: "My Fellow Americans," "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps," "Anger Management," "50 First Dates" and "The Longest Yard." We're not exactly dealing with a master satirist here. Meanwhile, writers are the same folks who brought us "Failure to Launch" (you know, that movie that sucked) so I think the pedigree of this film is a tad mixed. Kind of like an Irish Wolfhound that has managed to breed with a particularly unfunny brick.

2. "The Incredible Hulk." If you wanted John Woo to direct your movie, why not just hire John Woo? No need to grab his retarded French cousin.

3. "Kung Fu Panda." I object to this movie on principle, but in practice it looks kind of funny. We have a conundrum.

4. "The Love Guru." If you're allergic to laughter, then this is the film for you.

5. "The Happening." How is it that a man who has made only one good movie (and at least three intensely shitty movies) can continue to get funding and support for his films? Do you know what could have been done with the budget that was used to make this piece of shit? Aside from the usual humanitarian aid efforts, it could have funded a scholarship for upcoming film makers. $50,000 a piece for 1,140 different directors to fund and market their films. How many good 90 minute movies do you think could have been made for what it cost to make this poorly-executed slumberfest?

6. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of One Decent Action Sequence and a Senseless, Annoying Plot."

7. "You Don't Mess With the Zohan." If you do, he might occupy your homeland with brutal apartheid.

8. "Sex and the City." I don't think it's normal for my balls to hurt slightly every time I hear about a movie. I should really have that checked out.

9. "Iron Man." Has anyone else ever wondered what would happen to Tony Stark if he sneezed inside that suit?

10. "The Strangers." I still haven't gotten to this yet. Looks bitchen'.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Horror Re-Hash

I'm all for taking an established series back for a do-over. It's worked before and can sometimes yield interesting results ("Batman Begins"). It's at least better than just doing the same thing with the same people for so long it becomes embarrassing to watch ("Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Fuck This Shit").

The one genre this doesn't really work is horror (in practice, at least). Similar to the way Hammer remade all of the Universal monster films for a decade or so, jazzing them up for the modern market, studios have been nabbing up the rights to established films and banking on the name recognition to give their box office an edge. The only the difference being that the Hammer films didn't suck so much.

While there have been directors making new and original horror films recently, all of the recent horror movie remakes have been shit. "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "The Amityville Horror," "Halloween," "The Hills Have Eyes," "Prom Night" and so on for a depressingly long amount of time. It's creative bankruptcy at its mind-numbing pinnacle. Even when the original film was no great shakes, the remake somehow manages to be worse. It's as if they're competing in a kind of shitty movie track-and-field competition and the remakes just have to go that extra mile for the gold.

Horror, as a film genre, is highly subject to trends (J-horror, "Scream"-like self-referential meta-slashers, "Saw"-inspired torture porn) and all trends eventually ebb. Unfortunately, it seems we've got to suffer for a few more years of this garbage. The remakes are still earning money so the studios think they have a winning formula, rather than just a depleted market with few other options and an undiscriminating fanbase.

Here's a few of the slated remakes of classic (or at least memorable) horror films. I found most of them through the scientific method of typing titles into the Internet Movie Database and seeing what came up. Good news: No "The Exorcist" or "Re-Animator" remakes on the books (though there is talks of another sequel to the latter, which is a tad depressing). The bad news: every movie on this list.

"Hellraiser." Yep. Countless shitty sequels notwithstanding, the series is going back to its roots. Fine, whatever. Slated for January 9, 2009 but there is still no director listed so we may be spared.

"My Bloody Valentine 3-D." The original was goofy slasher fun, but no one does that well anymore, so prepare to be depressed. The 3-D in the title doesn't help matters and the director's biggest film to date was "Dracula 2000." Remember that? Of course you don't. You also don't remember the two direct-to-video sequels he also helmed. Or the sequel to "White Noise" that not even Michael Keaton deemed worthy of being involved with. Yikes. Set for January 23, 2009.

"Friday the 13th." Now we get to the big time. Took some legal finagling before the studios that owned the rights to the original films got this worked out, but now it seems to be happening. I don't know, might be cool...wait a moment, who's directing it? Who the fuck is Marcus Nispel? Billy Joel music videos? Amy Grant? Cher? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Set for February 13, 2009 (whoa, on Friday the 13th. Probably the only thought that went into this shitpile).

"Last House on the Left." This one was too obvious. The director is Greek and has only done one film before, some shit about wayward teens that no one on this side of the world ever saw. The original was shitty and got by for being revolutionary. It's an historical piece, and the cards aren't stacking up for the remake to be worth the film it's being shot on. Slated March 6, 2009.

"The Evil Dead." I ain't making this shit up. No details other than a 2009 release date and that Sam Raimi is involved, though not as a director. Might even be an adaptation the musical they made of the original films, but I doubt we'll get off that easy.

"The Crazies." Set for 2010, this is a remake of one of George Romero's non-zombie films from the 1970s. The original mostly dealt with how government and military incompetence causes a massive viral outbreak and then how their continued inability to function without bureaucratic ineptitude and departmental infighting exacerbates the problem. Think they'll keep that anti-authoritarian element of the plot in? Yeah, just like they kept the dark humor and social commentary in the "Dawn of the Dead" remake. The director is also working on a "Creature from the Black Lagoon" remake for 2009, in Hollywood's continued collective attempt to piss all over my childhood. Also word of an "The Invisible Man" remake for 2010. You fuckers.

Couple of others I found but couldn't dig up any details for: "Susperia" and "Rosemary's Baby." Both slated for 2010, though I think the former might be more wishful thinking than anything else. The original was a crazy piece of work and any mainstream remake would streamline it so much you wouldn't even need to bother giving it the same name (not saying the won't do it). "Rosemary" would be watchable if they got a classy old-school director and a cast of actual actors. I'm cynical enough to think that this won't be the case and we'll be lucky if Keanu Reeves isn't in it.


I see as many of the big blockbusters as I can during the summer. Not that I enjoy most of them, but it beats being outside during the hottest, most pollen-filled months of the year. Same as anyone, really. But what's the fun in writing about the movies everyone is seeing? Why not take a look at some of the things that we can watch in the other seasons still scheduled to occur this year as we take our slow, inexorable march to the grave? Here are some of the post-August highlights:

September 26:

"Choke": Yep, it's a Chuck Palahniuk adaptation, the first since "Fight Club." Stars Sam Rockwell, so it has the built in indy-cred, but it's doubtful this will reach the same level of cultural influence as "Fight Club" did. Good. I'm fucking sick of that movie and anyone who likes it.

Fuck you.

"Blindness": Another adaptation, this one from the only essential Jose Saramago novel. Everything was lined up for this to be a big ol' bucket of awesome, but it got yawned out of its Cannes premier. Hell with it.

October 17:

"Quarantine": Group of people locked in an apartment building by a CDC quarantine and their experience is recorded by a news crew trapped with them. Rushed out remake of a Spanish horror hit looking to cash in on "Cloverfield"'s success. I've never liked viral internet marketing, going all the way back to "Blair Witch," and this seems like it's on a fast train to Blandsville. But if you can make a good horror film, I fault you nothing. Just try to make the movie more interesting than the advertising campaign.

October 24:

"Changeling": Clint Eastwood's play at "Chinatown"-like LA conspiracy. Getting some early buzz, but it stars Angelia Jolie and it is impossible for anyone to relate to Angelia Jolie on a human level, which is a bit of a detriment considering that's basically the job of an actor. Might be good, but I generally don't go for such obvious Oscar-bait, which is what all of Eastwood's recent films have boiled down to.

"Passengers": Airplane crash leads to conspiracy in the Pacific Northwest. Stars the ever do-able Anne Hathaway and apparently plays up the mist-and-fir-trees creepiness of the location, but it's helmed by a television director (sure sign of flatness) and is staying at PG-13, which is like coding something as being mediocre, over-test-marketed fluff.

November 7:

"Quantum of Solace": "Casino Royale" was the sort of movie that made you glad you watched movies. Along with "Batman Begins" it showed that Hollywood can still produce pure entertainment that didn't make you feel guilty for enjoying it so much. Makes up for a lot of shitty 3D animated films about wise-cracking animals ("Madagascar 2" opens up the same day as this, by the way). With the "Batman" sequel, "The Dark Knight," looking to be so entertaining it could start its own religion, we might just luck out with two ball-flatteningly awesome sequels in one year. Unfortunately, with injuries and deaths to those involved in both sequels, it seems the two movies might be cursed. By the third films in each series, expect Christian Bale to end up choking to death on something humiliating and Daniel Craig to have his head sliced off by a helicopter propeller, sending it flying over the House of Parliament and landing with a "plonk" in the Thames.

November 21:

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." I only mention this because it means we're that much closer to this series being finished. I'm so sick of this stupid uber-jock prick who has never had to work a second for any of the many gifts he's been given.

Harry Potter is an asshole.

November 26:

"The Road": Movie studios have a really ham-fisted way of aiming for success. An adaptation of an author's work does well and suddenly anything available by him gets optioned. The book "The Road," has a scene where a baby gets roasted on a spit and eaten as food. Not exactly Thanksgiving material, but I'm not complaining so long as they make a good movie out of it. Music video director at the helm, which could go either way (the two ways being "shitty" or "not that shitty").

December 26:

"The Spirit": If the preview for this film does not get you pumped, then you do not have testicles. Frank Miller flies solo as director and is bringing the "Sin City" style to Will Eisner's classic noir comic strip hero. Miller's prose (he wrote the screenplay as well) is full of machismo and violence. This ends up being neo-fascist in any context other than the art-noir style he essentially created for himself (the uber-stupid "300" comes to mind). So this seems to be the ideal platform for him. If this ends up sucking, then I will have lost all hope in a just and merciful god.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Opening Soon and Top Ten

Opening Friday:

"The Incredible Hulk." Let me put this sentiment in all-caps, just to make myself as clear and irritating as possible: THE ANG LEE FILM WAS NOT A BAD MOVIE. It was an unsuccessful movie, it certainly wasn't a great movie, it could have used a little trimming (cut out Lee's sub-Freudian bullshit and this would damn well be a classic), but overall it was a solid piece of work. People complained that there wasn't enough action (too much subtext going on, which might not have been the best idea in when telling the story of a character best known for being green and smashing things, at least from a marketing standpoint). It wasn't the kind of movie you build a franchise out of and franchises are all Marvel is interested in, so now we're being treated to this odious filth. It's going to suck, we all know its going to suck, and because it's still going to do 10 times the business of the first film we'll be treated to at least two, maybe three sequels in the same style. The first one was a good film made at the wrong time with bad marketing. This film will be a bad film made at the right time with, well, bad marketing (the previews all make it look like shit).

"The Happening." M. Night Shyamalan should not be allowed to write his own scripts. That's really where he seems to fail as a director. "The Sixth Sense" was a solid movie, but it was one of those one-time brilliant ideas that creative people sometimes get (doesn't take a genius to come up with a clever idea and work backwards to build the plot). His need to top it has led to a string of poorly-plotted, increasingly lunatic movies that indulge his cinematic messiah-complex. "Unbreakable" was a non-entity, "Signs" was brilliant style wrapped around a trite plot, "The Village" was... "The Village" and "Lady in the Water" explored possibilities in the world of suck of which others had not yet dared dream. So expectations for "The Happening" are somewhat, shall we say, "tempered in the fact that most of his films are shit." He has the talent to make great movies, but he also has the ego to think he can tell interesting stories. Even Hitchcock knew his limits and had others write his stories, dude, and he also made his appearances short and subtle in his movies. Let it go.

Top Ten at the Box Office:

1. "Kung-Fu Panda." Considering that the film is about a wise-cracking panda that knows kung-fu, do you really think that saturation marketing is really necessary? Just a quick note to the press, "this movie is about a wise-cracking panda that knows kung-fu" would have been sufficient to get the point across. If the marketing for your movie makes "Bee Movie" look dignified, then you know you've overdone it.

2. "You Don't Mess with the Zohan." This movie might have been good if it had stared Sacha Baron Cohen or Stephen Chow, or anyone with real comedic talent. Even a better director would have added a little more polish to this turd. Instead we get another in a long string of goofy, pointless Adam Sandler comedies that involve a silly voice and a plot pulled from a hat. Complacent, meaningless time-fillers with all the creativity of nailing two pieces of wood together.

3. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Whatever." If this had been made ten years ago and with a script that attempted to make some sense, it might have been a solid film. Instead it looks just like the kind of movie that has gone through the bowels of pre-production hell and come out through the studio-system anus into the toilet bowels that are our multiplex theaters. It has a too many scripts fighting for dominance and too many action sequences that don't have any real meaning or influence. Fun enough, but overall an unmemorable addition to a series that is mostly unmemorable.

4. "Sex and the City." This is sci-fi geekery for women. Its absurd, poorly plotted and doesn't make any sense unless you have some obscure, esoteric knowledge. It's also sexist and focused solely on the lives of elite white people. Just like any number of countless science fiction franchises. Guys, if you ever hear a woman complain about "Star Trek," just point to this.

5. "The Strangers." The preview for this film is the best horror movie released this year. I'll probably need to do some personal confirmation on whether or not this is actually worthwhile, as film critics as a group seem to really suck at reviewing horror movies.

6. "Iron Man." Again with this.

7. "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." If you're going to adapt the works of a Christian apologist, at least pick something by someone interesting. May I recommend G.K. Chesterton?

8. "What Happens in Vegas..." Ashton Kutcher is going around touting the merits of the current fad celebrity religion of the week, Kabbalism, thus cementing his dipshit status. Madonna and Britany Spears have also gone along with this one at some point or other, so I guess its a religion that caters to the shallow and vapid. Much like this film.

9. "Baby Mama." Idiotic, heartless, makes-me-weep-for-the-future-of-my-generation romantic comedy trifecta in play.

10. "Made of Honor." Trifecta complete.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Top at the Box Office This Week

1. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Stuff blows up, fisticuffs are exchanged, none of it makes any sense and it didn't really need to be made. This is the second film in as many summers that has tried to play Shia LaBeouf as an action star, which is about as convincing as Keanu Reeves playing a professor of astrophysics. The joke there being that Keanu Reeves talks like someone recovering from head injury and Shia LaBeouf has about as much testosterone as a Girl Scout bake sale.

2. "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." I suppose the moral lesson of these films is that when life is difficult and things are looking their worst, it's best to escape into a magical world of fantasy where you are revered and respected for no reason other than that an arbitrary prophecy said you were special. I can see why it works so well as a religious parable.

3. "Iron Man." "Do not worry, America. Your corporate masters love you and are capable of learning moral lessons from their errors. They will protect and serve you. Go back to sleep, America. You have nothing to worry about."

4. "What Happens in Vegas..." This is the kind of movie that makes God cry.

5. "Speed Racer." Why pay for a ticket when I can just drive my car around really fast while looking right into a strobe light?

6. "Baby Mama." Whenever I see a plot summary that describes one of the main characters as "career-driven," I know I'm in for some goofy hijinks involving the differences between a stuffy office drone and a free-spirited rebel. You know, the kinds of conflicts that would occur if everyone was boiled down to the most basic of demographically confined stereotypes. Where someone who has a good job they care about learns to enjoy life from someone who, in reality, probably doesn't have health insurance.

7. "Made of Honor." It's not a movie, it's a bad dream I had after a night spent mixing Nyquil with my Heinekins.

8. "Forgetting Sara Marshall." When was the last time anyone saw a comedy that had a plot? Or have I just been remembering things that never happened again?

9. "Harold & Kumar Escape From Stupid Fucking White People While Smoking Weed. Weed Weed Weed." If these two aren't careful, they'll end up being the next Cheech & Chong. Which gives them maybe a decade of viable career status and about a half dozen shitty movies to make.

10. "The Visitor." A nuanced drama about love, life and friendship. What the fuck is this doing here?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So What Are You Going To Do This Weekend?

Here are some of the films opening tomorrow:

1. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Technically it already opened, but fuck you Hollywood, I ain't making another fucking list. The early reviews have ranged from "blah" to "decent," which is about what everyone expected, if they were to search their souls and be honest with themselves. There was no way this would match the original unless they decided to do some sort of series revamp with a new director and cast, which won't happen for another decade or so and might actually be something to look forward to. Until then we get a useless add-on to a series with one good entry and two decent-in-a-I-would-watch-them-on-cable-but-wouldn't-pay-to-see-them sequels. I'll probably see it, as the pickings for stupid entertainment seem surprisingly slim this summer.

2. "War, Inc." Just what the world needed: Two hours of ham-fisted political satire from liberals with million dollar bankrolls and no interesting opinions. Unless you are supporting anarchist revolt, your weak-kneed left-wing fun-poking ain't of any interest to me. Basically what I'm trying to say is, fuck you John Cusack. Remember back when a political satire could end with the human race exterminating itself? Now we get Dan Aykroyd doing a lame Dick Cheney impression.

3. "Postal." I'll give it to Uwe Boll. Dude found himself a niche and rooted himself in it like a bad scabies infection. I can't even really get up the gumption to hate him anymore. He's just a fact of life, like diarrhea, or syphilis. You can't hate the virus for making you sick, it's just what it does. Doesn't mean you have to like being sick though.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lost Loves, Gun Control and the Sweet Sound of Failure

Zero to Shit in One Weekend
"Speed Racer," which cost $300 million to produce and market, pulled in barely $20 million in the domestic box office this weekend. Almost makes you feel good to be an American for once, watching as we come together to say "no" to an unmitigated piece of crappy film making. Though just a quick note for Warner Bros.: The next time you feel the need to waste $300 million dollars with no prospect of earning a return on your investment, why not just give to poor people so they can buy food?

Celebrities Always Marry Each Other
Kate Hudson has denied rumors that she is engaged to Owen Wilson, because as we all know not even Jesus is capable of loving Owen Wilson.

How the Mighty Have Fallen
Dennis Farina was arrested recently for carrying a concealed handgun in the Los Angeles International Airport. I like to think that anyone who has recently spent a significant amount of time around Ashton Kutcher will start carrying a weapon capable of scattering another human being's head all over a wall, but I doubt the prosecutors will see it that way.

Top Ten at the Box Office:
1. "Iron Man." Why do women seem to love this movie? Nothing against women or the movie, but I'm just curious as to why every woman I have spoken to about it thinks it's great, despite being a loud, dumb action movie.

2. "What Happens in Vegas..." This movie is God giving you the middle finger.

3. "Speed Racer." A heaping serving of shitiness in a giant bowl of fucking stupid. As mentioned above, despite its place on this list it's actually bombing on a spectacular level.

4. "Made of Honor." A dime-store Hugh Grant in a rom-com plot that charts new territory in the land of retarded. I can see why it's doing so well.

5. "Baby Mama." A neo-"Odd Couple" story about a career-driven woman and some goofy nitwit she hires to be surrogate mother to her baby. Hijinks will no doubt ensue. Stars Tina Fey, the SNL alum voted "most humpable" by a majority of my male friends.

6. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." I hear that there might be jokes about penises in this one.

7. "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay." It's like they took my college dorm-mates and made a goofy stoner comedy about them. Illegal drug use and high crimes against humanity have never been so funny.

8. "The Forbidden Kingdom." Do you remember when martial arts movies had martial arts in them? Do you remember when you could hear that a movie had Jackie Chan or Jet Li in it and think that it might be entertaining in some way?

9. "Nim's Island." Top scientists have concluded that I do not give a shit about this movie.

10. "Prom Night." So where are the horror movies for grown-ups? Any of those coming out any time soon?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sizzlin' Summer Sinema

What with a film about a heroic international arms dealer protecting the world topping off the box office, it seems the summer movie season is now officially upon us. Let's take a look at a few of the upcoming offerings:

May 30: "Sex in the City: The Fucking Movie" opens up, bringing the tale of four women who have more sex in a week than Jenna Jameson has had in a lifetime to the big screen. Change the gender and you have "The Scott Baio Story," so I don't really get the appeal.

June 6: "Kung Fu Panda" brings the trend of CGI talking animals to dizzying new heights of absurdity, with a marketing campaign that does to media what the Japanese did to Nanking. Also opening is a new Adam Sandler comedy about a Mossad agent who follows his dreams of becoming a hairdresser, but eventually returns to his true calling, e.g. murdering Arab people.

June 13th: The latest from M. Night Shyamalan, "The Happening," opens up. The twist in this one is that Shyamalan has directed one good movie and a has shown himself to be a creatively bankrupt hack in every other project. Also opening is "The Incredible Hulk," the "sequel" to the underrated box-office bomb, "Hulk." Apparently to make sure the film will be a success, the studio has set everything up to make sure it can never possibly be good in any way whatsoever.

June 20: "Get Smart" brings a mostly forgotten television comedy to the big screen for no real reason other than it hasn't been done yet. Also opening is the "The Love Guru," a new Mike Meyers comedy that from its description sounds terrible and from the previews looks to be a crime against humanity.

June 27: "Wall*E," the latest from Pixar, promises to revolutionize modern CGI filmmaking by bringing a new and exciting concept to the screen: No celebrity voice talent. Also opening is "Wanted," some stupid bullshit about a kid who follows in his dad's footsteps and becomes an assassin, because apparently learned talents are hereditary.

July 4: "Hancock," which promises to ignite the summer by bringing the idea of a "super hero" to the big screen.

July 11: "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," which promises to ignite the summer by bringing the idea of a "super hero" to the big screen. Also opening is "Meet Dave," which is about how Eddie Murphy is controlled by a crew of small aliens living in his head. A terse, thrilling documentary.

July 18: Batman returns in "The Dark Knight," which objective observes are referring to as "the greatest thing in the history of anything." Also opening is "Mamma Mia!," which stars Meryl Streep in a non-cancer victim role as a woman who lives on an island where people suddenly burst into ABBA songs, possibly due to an outbreak of mad cow disease.

July 25: "Shitty Will Ferrell Comedy, Part 8" opens, along with a belated, pointless and idiotic new "X-Files" movie. Just go see the new Batman movie again.

August 1: "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" goes on to prove that you can't kill a moneymaking franchise no matter how mind-numbingly shitty it gets. Also opening is "Swing Vote," which stars Kevin Costner as a man whose vote will decide a presidential election. The story takes place in a fantasy world where Kevin Costner actually matters. Also also opening is "The Midnight Meat Train." I don't know what this film is about, but after reading the title I think I can just picture the whole movie in my head, so no need to bother seeing it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Top at the Box Office This Week

1. "The Forbidden Kingdom." "Hey, I know what would make this martial arts-fantasy film better! Let's shove an awkward white teenager in there! Who wants to see a whole movie full of Asians anyway?"

2. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." I haven't seen it. I probably won't, despite the stream of accolades. The plot is the height of rom-com inanity and I think Judd Apatow has passed the point of being decent and fallen off the deep end of overrated. That he's only producing rather than writing or directing means the film is banking on his name rather than his talent.

3. "Prom Night." Did we all read about the same film? Because the one I read about and decided to avoid as if it were a HIV-infected pit bull looked like a total piece-of-shit movie no one with an active frontal lobe could ever possibly enjoy.

4. "88 Minutes." Al Pacino continues to cash out the bales of artistic goodwill he has earned by starring in something that feels like fatal accident at the cliche foundry.

5. "Nim's Island." Enjoy that sunny fantasy world, kiddos. Dark days are coming fast. You will look back at this film with fondness while you write self-absorbed poetry and cut yourselves just so you can watch the wound heal and feel as if something has been accomplished.

6. "21." Holy bloody hell, is this still here? Is this really the best thing everyone could think to watch?

7. "Street Kings." Years of pre-production purgatory, three directors attached and a major scripting overhaul led to this cinematic abortion in which Keanu Reeves speaks dialog that's ludicrous even by his non-existent standards. Hugh Laurie has a role, so I'll cut it a little slack. Not enough to see it, however.

8. "Horton Hears a Who The Fuck Actually Likes This Movie?"

9. "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed." If you haven't heard of this, you aren't alone and are probably better off. This is that anti-science doc that has caused such a ruckus on the internet because of its claims that the theory of evolution led to the Holocaust. I suppose this is true, in much the same way as the laws of aerodynamics led to the September 11 terrorist attacks. The film is an unmitigated crock of shit (in part for its assumption that anyone wants to listen to Ben Stein talk for more than half a second at a time before punching him right in the fucking mouth), and audiences have responded with a colossal "meh." Despite the film's place on this list and the fact that it is now one of the highest grossing political documentaries of all time, it still only earned just over $3 million this weekend, about $500,000 short of its production budget. That isn't counting the many millions spent on marketing the film and the many more millions that will be spent on its legal defense (they kinda forgot to get the rights to a John Lennon song they used in the movie, and nobody is more lawsuit happy in the music industry than the lawyers connected to former Beatles. A song by the Killers and a number of the video clips shown in the film were also used without permission). Since few films do better in their second week than they did in their first, this is looking to be a turd in the water.

10. "Leatherheads." Earned less than the above movie despite only being in its third weekend and starring George Clooney.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Coming Soon

Here's a look at some of the films opening up over the next few weeks:

April 25 brings us "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay." I think I speak for everyone in the entire world when I say: Where the fuck did this come from? I'm all for mocking the plight of the forgotten and the tortured while simultaneously making goofy digs at those in power, but why have it star the two silly bastards from a movie that didn't really need a sequel? At least it has the decency to look funny.

On May 2 we get the unbridled coolness of "Iron Man," the story of a drunken billionaire who saves the world. Also opening is "Made of Honor," in which Patrick Dempsey plays an insufferable prick who ends up with the woman of his dreams. Basically a gender-switch "27 Dresses." The director is best known for "Leonard Part 6" and "City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold." Keep that in mind when this rakes in tens of millions of dollars.

The summer movie season really kicks off with "Speed Racer" on May 9. The Wachowski Brothers will undoubtedly employ their ability to make something that looks interesting without making a bit of fucking sense. Also opening is a film starring human genital wart Ashton Kutcher, who looks like a total douchbag even in the poster.

Finally, May 16 brings us "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." Trendy fantasy action mixed with a Christian parable and with Lewis's anti-Islam portrayals watered down. I'm really looking forward to when the post-"Lord of the Rings" film cycle comes to an end and we can move on to some other grating, overblown trend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Murder, Mayhem and Celluloid

They Train You About This Before You Start Work
Lawanda Jackson, a hospital employee at the UCLA Medical Center who was caught accessing the records of over 60 celebrities, insists that she had no intention of selling off the information and was only "just being nosy." By "being nosy" she of course means "violating a federal law." At that point it actually kind of stops being "nosy" and starts being "a criminal offense that you know perfectly well will get you fired."

The Great Depression Produced Great Movies
A couple of film projects have fallen apart due to financing issues reportedly related to the current recession, include a new Oliver Stone project and a Tim Robbins-directed feature. Go, Recession, Go! Let's see if we can keep Michael Moore from making another film!

Current Top Ten at the Box Office
1. "21." Still fucking at it with this, eh? I'll once again go out on a limb here and say that no movie ever made about gambling has been better than mediocre.

2. "Nim's Island." I read the description of this and went, "Huh?" Springtime family fun about some people and some things and fuck it I'll never see it.

3. "Leatherheads." The only really positive thing I can think to say about this film is that there could be worse movies on this list.

4. "Horton Hears a Who!" I rest my case. Dr. Seuss is probably spinning so fast in his grave at this point that he could be used as an electric turbine.

5. "The Ruins." Sounded awesome, but the previews provoked nothing more than a thundering "'k" within me. Withholding judgment for the time being.

6. "Superhero Movie." I swear by all merciful mother of fuck I hate these fucking spoof movies and by extension anyone who is involved in them or willingly pays to see them. You will all rot in a vast seething hell of your own creation.

7. "Meet the Browns." Is it too much to ask of Tyler Perry that he try to make a movie that's good?

8. "Drillbit Taylor." Did I miss something here? I mean, this movie sucks, right? I have not seen any indication that it's funny, have heard nothing but poor reviews about it from friends and critics alike and yet there it sits, squatting on this list like a dead cat in my chili.

9. "Shutter." So...much...pain.

10. "10,000 B.C." Yikes. You know, I used to get depressed that movies like this always seem to become popular. I harked back to a better time when people could see quality films on a regular basis and good movies earned money from positive word-of-mouth while bad films were buried and forgotten. Then you know what I realized? There was no such time. It has always been shit. We have always supported the basest, most anti-intellectual, marketing-focused drivel imaginable and we only imagine it was ever better because film history has been written by appreciators who praise the quality works while ignoring the shit. But in truth it has always been a pretty steady diet of shit. Now I don't get depressed anymore when I see movies such as this making a fortune. I just polish my rifle, adjust my scope and wait for the hand of God to guide me.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Top at the Box Office This Week

1. "Horton Hears a Who Gives a Shit!" Jesus Fucking Christ on an Fucking Pogo Stick, is this really the best we can do, America? Show some fucking self-respect for once.

2. "Meet the Browns." Tyler Perry indulges in his transvestitism again and pulls out another winner. Perry seems to have found the key to success in Hollywood: Find a formula that makes money and then plow it into the god damned Earth. I wonder why more people haven't tried this scheme? Ah, that's right. They have. And that's why as a culture we are being buried in a titanic mound of shit spewing forth from every available medium.

3. "Shutter." Creepy dead people in photos. Stars a "Grey's Anatomy" reject and an actress from a Michael Bay movie. Why not just spend the $8 bucks on some nails and a hammer with which to pound on your own or someone else's genitalia? Either way, it's much more entertaining, and you will have saved an hour and a half.

4. "Drillbit Taylor." Owen Wilson plays a con artist who exploits some socially inept teenagers for his own personal gain and finds love along the way. You know, I really do want to like movies. I always hope that each movie that comes out will be worthwhile and entertaining. And then movies such as "Drillbit Taylor" come out and a part of me dies inside like a cold, shivering child at the hands of a homicidal pedophile.

5. "10,000 B.C." Roland Emmerich deserves to have his cock rubbed with a nail file until there is nothing left of it. He is a blight on our world, creating distracting images that keep us from developing as a culture and attaining a state of true fulfillment. If you see any of his movies willingly, your soul will be poisoned forever and we won't let you on the spaceship when the rest of us go to explore the Universe.

6. "Never Back Down." Cage fighting and high school drama combined with "Karate Kid" to make some sort of uber-retardo plot about something that no one with an IQ higher than Econoline Van full of tweekers will ever care about.

7. "College Road Trip." I have this frightening vision sometimes that movies such as this are not actually written by anyone or approved by anyone. They just sort of enter development and are produced without anyone really knowing why, the product of a vast unseen evil that hides with the bureaucracy of major movie studios.

8. "The Bank Job." I'm probably going to go see this, if for no other reason than that it is the only movie on this list that does not look like a complete and utter piece of shit.

9. "Vantage Point." Stuff happens. It's confusing for awhile and then it starts to make a little bit of sense and then it ends. There, summed up the movie for you and I haven't even seen it.

10. "Under the Same Moon." Illegal immigrants are people too. They have obvious, saccharine family dramas made about them just like the rest of us.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Random News

Disposable Income Scattered to the Wind
People came out in droves this weekend to see Hollywood piss all over a beloved childhood classic and subsequently "Horton Hears a Who!" had the best opening weekend of a film so far this year. Expanding a book that couldn't have more than 500 words into a feature length film, "Horton" tells the tale of an elephant that can hear a microscopic civilization and attempts to protect it, thus imparting the valuable moral lesson that we should all listen to the voices in our heads and do what they say, even if other people tell us we're crazy.

Religious Persecution and Fart Jokes
Hindus are raising a ruckus over the new Mike Meyers comedy "The Love Guru," apparently for its stereotypical and insulting depiction of Hindu holy men. Not that you need a reason to protest the release of a new Mike Meyers film, as the man is about as funny as watching puppies get thrown into a stump grinder...over and over again...for a solid hour and a't...stop.

Paul Retains Custody of Ringo
Paul McCartney's ex-wife Heather Mills has been awarded nearly $50 million in their divorce settlement, an amount I believe Sir Paul was able to dig out from under his sofa cushions. The divorce will certainly inspire McCartney to write another album, to be played exclusively at Starbucks and to be purchased solely by his fellow pod people.

Rich People Breeding
Halle Berry recently gave birth to a baby girl. You know what this means, don't you? Someone has had sex with Halle Berry and it's not me. I guess I'll just have to hold out for Natalie Portman (I forgive you for the "Star Wars" prequels, sweetness, just promise you won't do it again).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Coming Soon!

Here's a look at some of the upcoming releases audiences will be sure to just orgasm in their pants about:

March 21: "Drillbit Taylor." I'm guessing, based on the previews, that the release of this film was the reason for Owen Wilson's emo moment a couple months back. A couple of high school freshmen get picked on too much and hire a blah dee blah who gives a fuck? What has been released from the film so far couldn't be less funny if it involved the anal rape of starving Ugandan orphans, so unless they're holding back on us (the filmmakers, I mean, not the orphans) this will probably be a mild distraction for the inebriated and not much else.

March 28: "21." "Based on actual events" in much the same way your bowel movement this morning was based on the tandoori platter you ate last night. Young math wizards count cards and take casinos for millions. Notice how they shove all of the Asians into the background and sex everything up? This is supposed to a group of MIT students, right? Also, from the previews, the main character seems to need the money to pay for school, but is also shown getting phenomenal grades at one of the most prestigious universities in the country. Which would mean he would be eligible for big time scholarships, right? If you can't wrap up your glaring plot loopholes in the preview, then that doesn't imbue me with a lot of confidence for your project.

April 4: "Leatherheads." George Clooney attempts old-fashioned scewball comedy with this film about football players in 1925. The main plot thrust involves attempts to discover why Renee Zellweger never opens her eyes.

April 11: "Prom Night." A remake! A PG-13 horror film! A cast of nobodies and a television director! It couldn't possibly suck! (By the way, for you horror fans out there, director Nelson McCormick is also planning on shitting over "The Stepfather").

Monday, March 3, 2008

Top at the Box Office This Week

1. "Semi-Pro." Will Ferrell farts out another sports comedy, full of piddling "improvisation" and 1970's kitsch. Top at the box office, despite only pulling in just over $15 million, about half its expected earnings. Great start to the week.

2. "Vantage Point." Five points-of-view are tied together depicting an attempted presidential assassination. This is the sort of film that critics will call "Rashomon" style in order to sound informed, despite the fact that just telling a story from different perspectives doesn't make it anything like "Rashomon." Not that anyone will remember this film in three month's time.

3. "The Spiderwick Chronicles." I keep forgetting this movie exists. Then I have to write this list and I remember it for a moment and then it slips away again.

4. "The Other Boleyn Girl." Whenever I hear that a movie is about British royalty, my heartbeat drops a bit and my lids start to slide shut. Generally someone has to slap me in the face to keep me from lapsing right into a coma. Eye-candy of the year Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman star as sisters fighting for the affection of King Henry VIII, who murdered his friends and caused his country endless misery during his rule, starting his own religion because he wanted to bang one piece of ass rather than another. How romantic.

5. "Jumper." This still exists? Fuck, fuck, fuck.

6. "Step Up 2 the Streets." I'll sum up the entire appeal of this movie: jiggle jiggle jiggle.

7. "Fool's Gold." 20 years ago this would have starred Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn. I guess Hawn's daughter will have to carry the torch with her own slab of beefcake by her side.

8. "Penelope." As soon as I hear the words "modern-day fairy tale about a princess who..." I die a little more inside. If we really wanted to make an old school fairy tale, the princess would end up raped by gnomes and someone's grandmother would be dismembered. Have you ever actually read any of the Grimm Brother's tales? The closest modern equivalent is "Tales from the Crypt."

9. "No Country for Old Men." Riding the post-Oscar rush, though I might add still earning less than all of the movies I have just mentioned.

10. "Juno." Yes, it is a good movie. No, it is not the best written film of this or any other year. I have said my piece.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Some Notes on the Oscars

Pretty run-of-the-mill ceremony this year, even though it is the award's big 8-0. Jon Stewart was occasionally funny and kept out of the way, managing not to mince around and embarrass everyone and himself, as seems to be the Oscar tradition going back to the Billy Crystal days. When jokes fell flat, it usually wasn't Stewart telling them. There was also no interpretive dance, though having to listen through three songs from "Enchanted" was a bit of a trial (no Celine Dion though, and thank you Jesus for small mercies).

It helped that the movies nominated were at least good-to-great this year, and there was nothing on the odious level of "Crash" or "Gladiator" floating around, causing me to go into spittle-flinging rants.

Here are a couple of stray observations:

-Michael Moore did not win for best doc, so we can all just go back to pretending he doesn't exist.

-The fucking penguins did not win an Oscar.

-The Foreign Language award went once again to what was reportedly the worst of the candidates, carrying on the long running Oscar tradition of making sure that the only foreign films most Americans hear about are the shitty ones.

-Now that Diablo Cody has won an Oscar, maybe she'll go on to write something with multidimensional characters who don't speak in inanely quirky dialog.

-Weird how everyone who won the major acting and directing categories, even the best film, seemed to deserve it.