Saturday, March 31, 2007
More from Wheaton can be found on the original blog by clicking here."
Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
• The featured images — BF, DV, old Obi-Wan, Yoda, Han Solo and Chewie, Anakin fighting Obi-Wan, Queen Amidala, Luke, Leia and R2, Emperor Palpatine, the Stormtroopers, C-3PO, the Millennium Falcon, Darth Maul, and an X-Wing Fighter — do not include Jar-Jar Binks. Phew!
Unwatchable kids film + Musical = JPX's second worst nightmare of the week (the first being the Robert Smith/Simpson collaboration)
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I have to weigh in here (even though we're about as far afield from Horrorthon subject matter as possible) (Okay, not) because:
1) There is no question whatsoever that they got matching nose jobs a ways back (see photos); and
2) I think they're ridiculously hot and I don't care who disagrees (see photos).
I know it's fashionable to dis them because they're such idiots or because they turn the task of fashion icon into such a weird excuse to wear yards of gypsy fabric rather than actual clothes or because they dropped out of college since "writing papers is no fun," but when this translates into harshing on their looks, I say, "I do not agree."
Okay, we can change the subject.
"You like Spider-Man," Topher Grace grinned last week, "but isn't it about time that somebody kicked his ass?" Now, with only six weeks left until the release of "Spider-Man 3," the man who will soon be known as Venom is promising we'll finally see Peter Parker getting pummeled.
"He kicks Spider-Man's ass," Grace grinned, reflecting on his black-suited supervillain. "It was interesting, and it was hard. I had to do a lot of working out, which is very new to me. ... I play a bad guy, so that was a very different experience for me, acting-wise."
Cast alongside series stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco, the "That '70s Show" star insisted he'll be right there in line with the rest of us come May 4. "I'm the guy that's going to be driving around to theaters opening weekend to watch it," he smiled. "I used to collect the comic books, and I'm pretty geeked out about it."
Spider-Man 3 opens on May 4.'
Chris Carter, creator of "The X-Files", told SFX magazine in 2005 that he's still trying to get a second movie based on his classic TV series made.
He's probably dead, huh?
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Live. In person. Within humping distance. Ours for the taking.
With the new movie set to debut, there's also a new soundtrack to go with it, and that's what this little event was for. Brian was ostensibly covering it for work, and I was ostensibly his photographer for the hour, ostensibly because motherfucking holy shit it is my BIRTHRIGHT to be as close to real live Ninja Turtles as humanly possible.
So, I'm standing in this little gated off section with all of the other photographers, and boy, they were vicious. Everyone wanted the right angle. People kept giving me devil eyes when they thought I was stealing their turf, but I was all like, "chill, I'm here to get a few grainy pictures for my blog, grab a complimentary TMNT button and go home." Only instead of actually saying that, I kinda just looked down timidly.
Soon, the line formed. I'd be lying if I said hundreds, but certainly, there were dozens of Ninja Turtle maniacs of all ages waiting to shake hands with the lean green fighting machines. It worked like this: If you bought the soundtrack, you got to meet with the Turtles. That catch paved way for me getting to eavesdrop on the greatest conversation ever, where a slimy, creepy store manager started complaining to one of the studio peeps about how he was gonna "go into a rage" if people just returned the CDs after getting their Ninja Turtle fix. If only Hamato was there to mediate.
Finally, the announcement blared over the store speakers. The Turtles…had arrived.
After letting the press direct the Turtles through 450,000 action poses, the patient fans were finally allowed to mingle with their heroes. The kids and twenty-something goofballs went home happy, and because I was in the right place at the right time, I went home with a swank set of Ninja Turtles promo magnets.
Star Wars creator George Lucas was not involved in the process, but "he blessed the idea of it, and when the artwork was finished, he loved it," says Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing.
In the era of e-mail, text-messaging and cellphones, there is also a hope that the high-tech fantasy world of Star Wars will inspire a new wave of low-tech correspondence.
Stamps such as this also can pump revenue into the Postal Service because many collectors will buy the stamps but never use them, she says.
The one previewed of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) sending R2-D2 with an urgent call for help to Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, is particularly appropriate, Bizzotto says: "We like to think of that as mail being sent through R2-D2."
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
"It was so wrong," said one insider. "The director is saying, 'Harder! Faster!' and the father is giving Winters the thumbs up." Jack Birch was on the set every day giving orders - even telling director Eric Mandelbaum where to place his camera so that Thora would look her best. Mandelbaum was about to shoot the first sex scene Monday when, "all of a sudden, the front door is being kicked in. Her father was threatening to kill the assistant directors. Then he threatens to pull her from the movie with three days of shooting left." Making matters worse, a problem with the focus on the camera necessitated 14 takes. "It was the most bizarre, perverse scene," said our witness. "One girl on the crew broke down crying."
Sounds like my kind of guy. I mean, who wouldn't want to see Thora Birch naked? Her boobs are huge. Plus she's got grea -- wait a second did you say her dad? *face slowly turns to horror and runs screaming into the distance*
The film in its current form is massively unfinished; with I would guess around 30% of the film in the final hi-def, super sharp animation. The rest was divided between hand drawn storyboards, and low res, choppy colour animation. The voice soundtrack was complete, but the musical score wasn’t.
In deference to the multi-page non-disclosure agreement I was forced to sign before being let in (and also of course to keep this free of spoilers), I am going to avoid being too specific in this review, and instead give my overall impressions of the film, so you wont get quotes, descriptions of scenes or anything which I feel might compromise the completion of the filmmaking process. However, I’ll still try to make this write-up worthwhile.
The first half hour of the Simpsons movie is hysterical genius. It’s classic. It’s old school. It’s violent. It’s slapstick. It’s clever. It’s everything you could ever want it to be. There’s a gag every couple of seconds (sometimes several going on in the background), and pretty much all of them hit the mark with confidence and accuracy. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages (definitely not since Hot Fuzz). Seriously. My head almost fell off.
The second half hour is a problem. Here we are attempting to further the plot, and add some conflict and exposition. It’s not that it’s bad, just that it isn’t really as good. The gag rate drops right off, and (shockingly for such a short movie) it feels a little slow. There’s some good moments in there of course, but it just seems to lose it’s zap and it’s zing. Here we could have done with branching off from the main story line and returning to perhaps some of the supporting characters for some laughs, some fun-poking, and some humour for humour’s sake. Padding if you will.
The final short act, where the climax is played out, and everyone learns a valuable lesson, is exciting, clever and extremely satisfying. It definitely ends well, if a little abruptly. It all wraps up pretty neatly, and the animation here is superb, mixing high quality 2D and 3D to outstanding effect.
I’d recommend the movie, yes - in its current state, to anyone who enjoys watching the show, and anyone who enjoys a laugh in general. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am looking forward to seeing it again.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Hat tip to octopunk for pointing this out. Ordinarily I pay no attention whatsoever to movie stars' birthdays. In fact, I kind of wonder how octo found out. Maybe he was obsessively lurking on her imdb page. Or maybe there's a parade going by with "HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEIRA" banners and a marching band. It is California, after all.
And what an end it was! Oh my God.
Then, once the stunning season finale was over, a somber message appeared on screen, with a regulation ominous-sounding narrator, who said, "Battlestar Galactica returns...in 2008."
Well, look at it this way: it's enough time for all you bums who aren't up to date on "the best show on television" to get up to date. Those of you who are a full season behind have plenty of time to catch up. And, octopunk, this means you, assuming you haven't indulged in your appalling practice of tuning in every so often and spoiling yourself just because "somebody in the other room was watching" or whatever your lame excuses always are.
2008. I can't believe it. I don't think the cliffhanger-suspense-retention-mechanism in my brain can withstand the pressure. Probably, it will just burn out and fail sometime this Autumn and I'll be going, "Galactica? What? What's that? I've never heard of it."
Okay, I'm done bitching; we can go back to watching horror movies and not getting a prize.
UPDATE: Don't read jpx's comment unless you don't mind season three spoilers. In fact, jpx, if you could replace your comment with a link, it might be for the best, don't you think? (I'm worried about octo's "virgin ears" here.)
UPDATE II: I went ahead and deleted the comment. Don't get mad, jpx; it's just that Galactica season three is so sublime that I wouldn't even want my eyes grazing over that article and catching a stray phrase or two if I hadn't seen the season.
And, of course, there's last year's Rocky Balboa, which surprised lots of snooty critic-types - i.e. people who wear ascots, eat brie and ride horses to work - by being a rousing return-to-form for an erstwhile movie star whose previous three efforts at career rehabilitation - D-Tox, Shade and the truly special Avenging Angelo - generally skipped theaters altogether (I left out Spy Kids 3-D because it didn't help prove my point). Though no masterpiece, Rocky Balboa had an emotional integrity that eluded most of the Rocky sequels by eschewing cartoonish he-man antics in favor of a rumination on going toe-to-toe with Father Time (and we know this is progress because, twenty years ago, that would've literally been the name of Rocky's opponent). Most excitingly, Stallone seemed engaged again as a writer; after embarrassing himself with such empty-headed doozies as Driven, Cobra and Over the Top, he rediscovered the voice that made the first Rocky a pop cultural sensation and a surprise Best Picture winner.
More importantly, Spider-Man called me this morning.
What an awesome promotion. Today marks the in-store debut of Spider-Man 3 toys, and Hasbro has just been totally godlike in their promotional brilliance. For one, each of the major chains has their own "exclusives." I think Wal-Mart bests TRU and Target — they've got some really cool black-costumed ultra-articulated Spider-Man figure that looks like the kind of thing that needs to be gracing the top of every geek's computer monitor by the end of the weekend. It's a safe bet that thousands of collectors zipped to all three stores this morning just to grab the exclusives, and I'm having trouble deciding if I'm happy or sad that I missed all of the hubbub. At the very least, I hope to own a "Spider Spud" Mr. Potato Head by the next time I shave.