Monday, June 30, 2008

WALL-E

(2008) ****3/4

If you ever saw the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch, perhaps you got all jazzed by the opening like I did. It takes place in a huge spaceship, where a zillion different aliens are attending the trial of Stitch. And it's AWESOME, because it's freakin' DISNEY doing a freakin' SCIENCE FICTION movie. The aliens, the interiors, the spaceships -- everything is Disney-slick and eyepoppingly right. It's like the Captain Sternn sequence in Heavy Metal but, you know... good.

Of course then the movie lands on boring old Earth and it's about Hawaii and hijinks and the value of families and hawdy ho and hoopdy hoo, and I totally forgot about that awesome beginning. Until six years later when the Pixar logo faded out and the song from Hello Dolly started up and the screen blossomed with Hubble-style images of planets and stellar phenomena, except they've been created by freakin' PIXAR and they're beautiful and the rush of excitement I described above came rushing back -- except because it's Pixar this time and because I knew the whole movie would be sci-fi, the rush was multiplied by a factor of about a billionty billion.

The alchemy of this movie is mixed so perfectly I find it difficult to know how to begin, (except to start with the plot summary that you've probably all read a few times by now, so I won't).

There are two major settings in this movie: the garbage-strewn Earth and the vast spaceliner Axiom, and both offer sights so creative and delightful I started to feel let down by other sci-fi movies that have explored these ideas before. One scene of WALL-E and Eve watching the glow coming off a fleet of burning, beached oil tankers was so starkly beautiful I forgot for a moment how superbly grim this movie's premise is. The achievement of making a children's movie about environmental apocalypse cannot be understated. This movie is Silent Running but up in your face, actually showing you the blasted vistas those older flicks could only talk about. And yet somehow the bloated human characters come off as appealing and sympathetic, otherwise this never would have worked.

I've heard a number of people say the trailers for WALL-E raised not one jot of interest for them, a statement I'll admit I tended to ignore since I'm such a diehard Pixar fan. I wonder how much of that indifference hinges on the resemblance between WALL-E and the stupid Short Circuit robot, and whether people extrapolate a plotline along the lines of the old chestnut "a robot... with feelings?" The thing is, all the robots in this story exhibit feelings. Eve demonstrates this moments after her arrival, slyly watching for her host rocket's departure before she suddenly indulges in a joyous display of aerial acrobatics.

What sets WALL-E apart from every other character in this story are his years of being the Earth's only companion -- he engages with the world in a way that's completely fallen out of fashion. Once he enters the regimented spacebourne society, he immediately begins to change it, merely by waving to other robots or shaking someone's hand. That this elemental humanity can come from a pair of binoculars atop a box is a testament to the potential of animation. There's an early scene of WALL-E and Eve both enraptured by the flame from a Zippo lighter that is somehow so evocative, so achingly real and true that it quietly punches right through the fact that you're watching such abstract characters -- or even that you're watching an animated film at all -- and just warms your heart in a butane glow.

So for all my gushing, why drop the quarter star? Tiny quibbles: Despite the fact the live-action footage was limited exclusively to viewscreens, I still found it a little jarring to imagine the coexistence of real life and what I was seeing (this despite the funny and ultimately touching performance of Fred Willard). I think I also felt the film's optimism, while completely necessary, was a tad naive. It might be a bias against certain old sci-fi movies of a similar stamp; for instance, when the civilization in Logan's Run breaks apart at the end and everyone swarms to the surface and marvels at the sight of the old man up there, I always thought it'd be more realistic if they went into a panic and tore him apart.

These nitpicks amount to nothing against what is a truly remarkable film. I could go on and on about the design of the Axiom and all the robots aboard her, but you should really just go see it for yourself. And don't miss the closing credits! At least stay until the names start scrolling upwards, it's a perfect little denoument.

Major Briggs died!


From AICN, Don S. Davis, the busy character actor who played Major Garland Briggs on “Twin Peaks,” has passed away.

He was 65.

Davis' role on “Peaks” may have inspired producers to cast him as military men on other sci-fi shows, including Captain William Scully (Dana’s pop) on “The X-Files” and Major General George Hammond on “Stargate SG-1.” One of his final filmed appearances was for the direct-to-DVD movie “Stargate Continuum,” which hits shelves July 29.

Before turning to acting, he was a real-life U.S. Army officer.

His list of credits on IMDb is huge, and demonstrates his penchant for playing a wide array of authority figures, including judges, principals, correctional officers and doctors.

Happy Birthday DCD!

Yes, that's me on the left.

An open letter


Dear 1980s high school picture girl,

You have no idea how much I loathe you. Not a day goes by where I don’t eventually stumble upon your homely visage. I never know when it’s going to happen, but eventually you always end up popping up and disrupting my day with your ugly-ass glasses, your clown nose, and a haircut that can only be described as looking like the tip of a circumcised penis.

Barber: What’ll it be today?

1980s high school picture girl: “Give me the penis”

Barber: “Circumcised or uncircumcised?”

1980s high school picture girl: “Circumcised, please”

Barber: “Will do!”

Believe it or not 1980s high school picture girl, I don’t care whether or not you became a model. I don’t care to know anything about you. All I know is that you probably weren’t getting any in high school due to your penis haircut and glasses that can most likely be seen from outer space.

If anything, your picture is the number one reason I’m not curious about people from high school. I have never met you but I hope you are somewhere being unhappy. I hate you.

JPX



UPDATE!

Things didn't improve for 1980s high school picture girl.

Will Smith creates Scientoloschool?


From TMZ, The fancy new school in a fancy L.A. suburb founded by Will Smith is still getting heat for possibly teaching as much L. Ron Hubbard as F. Scott Fitzgerald.

But Will is hancocking all the speculation, in the L.A. Times, even though some of its teachers are Scientologists, and even though it will use teaching methods developed by LRH. Honchos at New Village Academy say that the school has no religious affiliation, and that faculty won't be pushing any Dianetical agenda.

But critics say that "study technology" is a Scientolomethod that New Village will use – but isn't recognized as useful by anyone.

Kevin Smith Reviews The Dark Knight


From slashfilm, Last night was EPIC. I had one of those movie experiences that only happens once in a long long time, where you leave the theater completely blown away by what you just experienced. Folks, this isn’t hype - The Dark Knight is a movie will destroy your expectations.

Not only did I get to see The Dark Knight, but I got to see it with one of my favorite directors / one of my idols - Kevin Smith was my guest. How cool is that? I honestly didn’t plan to name drop, but it seems like Smith talked about it in his latest blog entry. And as cool as that sounds, and was, Nolan was some how able to completely overshadow that fact with his new film. I’m under embargo not to review the movie until release (not that Warner Bros would shoot me over the completely glowing review I plan on posting), but Smith gives his breif spoiler free review which almost completely echos my own thoughts.

“Without giving anything away, this is an epic film (and trust me: based on the sheer size and scope of the visuals and storytelling, that’s not an overstatement). It’s the “Godfather II” of comic book films and three times more earnest than “Batman Begins” (and fuck, was that an earnest film). Easily the most adult comic book film ever made. Heath Ledger didn’t so much give a performance as he disappeared completely into the role; I know I’m not the first to suggest this, but he’ll likely get at least an Oscar nod (if not the win) for Best Supporting Actor. Fucking flick’s nearly three hours long and only leaves you wanting more (in a great way). I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed by it. Nolan and crew have created something close to a masterpiece.”

WALL-E Voted in the Top Ten Best Movies of All Time


From slashfilm, At the conclusion of the film’s opening weekend, over 5,300 IMDb users have rated Pixar’s WALL-E, resulting in a 9.3 average user rating. This currently places the film at #9 on IMDb’s top 250 movies of all time, behind only Godfather 1 and 2, Shawshank Redemption, Good Bad and Ugly, Pulp Fiction, Schindlers List, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Empire Strikes Back. But with only 5,000 votes, the movie will likely drop on the list as more votes are counted. But the question is how far? The high placement is worth noting because it rarely happens. And when it does, the movie usually lands a fairly high placement.

Meanwhile, on Rotten Tomatoes, WALL-E has a 97% fresh rating with almost 150 reviews. This puts the film at #13 of all time for movies with 100 or more reviews.

Vinyan looks creepy!


From bloodydisgusting, Still not having accepted the loss of their son in a tsunami disaster, Janet and Paul Behlmer are back in Bangkok. Hanging onto the fact that his body has never been discovered, Janet desperately clings to the idea that pirates might have kidnapped their kid in the confusion that followed the catastrophe. Looking for someone to guide them in the Thai underworld, they bribe their way to a mysterious Mr. Gao, who takes them to Ranong, where a mercenary supplies them with a boat and crew to explore the pirate-infested shores of Burma. Slowly, they will lose themselves into a strange child-infested jungle and to their inner demons.

Check out trailer here

New James Bond trailer!



Catch it before it's taken down here

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wall-E continue's Pixar's winning streak


By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY

Wall-E tied for the third-highest debut for a Pixar film, taking in $62.5 million this weekend, according to studio estimates from Nielsen EDI.

The debut was big even by Pixar's gold standards (the studio has never had a movie that did not open at No. 1), eclipsing projections by more than $10 million and earning the seventh-largest debut for any animated movie.

In the Pixar canon, it falls behind only The Incredibles, which debuted at $70.4 million, and Finding Nemo, which bowed to $70.2 million. If estimates hold, it will have tied the debut of Monsters, Inc.

That's no small feat, considering the film is virtually silent in the first half and is a love story between two robots who rarely speak and inhabit a garbage-strewn, abandoned Earth.

But Pixar has become what its parent company, Disney, once was: a studio that draws audiences on its name and reputation. And Wall-E garnered recommendations from 96% of the nation's critics, according to the survey site RottenTomatoes.com.

Wanted, the violent action film starring Angelina Jolie, had nearly as impressive an opening. It bested predictions by $11 million, taking in $51.1 million and enjoying a higher per-theater average than Wall-E, doing $16,100 a screen, compared to Wall-E's $15,700 a screen.

The debut was the highest on record for an R-rated movie opening in June, and the sixth biggest R-rated debut ever. The Matrix Reloaded holds the title with $92 million.

Get Smart was third with $20 million, bringing the Steve Carell comedy to $77.3 million.

The animated comedy Kung Fu Panda brought in $11.7 million, good for fourth place and a total of $179.3 million. The Incredible Hulk did $9.2 million and took fifth. Its overall haul is $115.5 million.

Ticket sales were up 24% over the same weekend last year.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I am no longer a DW virgin. I feel so dirty.



Ok, so I took AC's advice on the first two songs and purchased "Bohemian Like You" and "Be-in". So can I hang out with the cool kids now?

Music Friday!

I should be doing about 18 loads of laundry right now, but I figured why let my productivity begin at this point in the day?


Ironically, I'm pretty sure the song by Yael Naim was used on an I-pod commercial, so I definitely heard it a lot. However, I did not have a visceral reaction like miko. I found it simple and pretty. Using Octo's ruler, I'm not sure if I would put it on a mix tape, wait, did I just say mix tape? Well, you know what I mean. But I can see the "Happiness" draw.

Oh me, Oh my - First I want to say that I love the track by Frou Frou on the "Garden State" soundtrack. (Actually, I love that whole album.) This is quite the different sound. I didn't love the whole song - but the first "God, are you there" did give me goosebumps, which I always take to be a good sign. She definitely has a powerful voice, which I dig, but the music itself didn't effect me as much as that one line.

Jordan
I want to point out first to JPX that the line is, "I've been downhearted baby..."

I actually didn't know I knew the Primitive Radio Gods song until I heard it. I had no idea of the name of the song, which isn't really that odd for me. Needless to say I was delightfully surprised to hear the opening notes. "Oh, I love this song!" And I do. You picked two good ones actually. As I commented, "Life in a Northern Town" is an old favorite of mine. I remember this video pretty vividly - especially the line "In winter 1963, It felt like the world would freeze..." there was a shot of a woman in a super fitted 60's suit with sky high heels walking around this giant mound of snow on a sidewalk
. At least that's how I remember it. And I know I could find it on Youtube, but I prefer my memory. So nice work, Jordan!

Julie
Ding!Ding!Ding! We have a clear winner ladies and gentlemen!! Two completely new songs that I totally, totally love. (And I'm not just trying to butter you up as the newest member of the family)

Oogum, Boogum is absolutely so fun! "Cute little skirt wid your brother's sloppy shirt?" I am so sold! I only wish we had a radio station that would play this song over and over. Great song.

And Common People? Hi-LARIOUS! And what a great back beat. I caught myself head-banging to this song. And the line Octo mentioned when Joe Jackson comes in for the first time - awesome. I also personally love the line, "Cause, everybody hates a tourist." Because that is absolutely true. Working in an industry that relies on tourists - as a huge generalization - they suck. I think I have an odd crush on William Shatner or something. I had no idea he was doing anything like this and I think it's totally cool.

So Bravo, Julie!

JPX
I dug Intermix. Even though when listening to it in the car with the children I was a little nervous Jake would find the beginning "scary." Those first 30 seconds are a bit "Halloween-esque." I've always dug the techno and I did like the way this incorporated that sound but didn't have that heavy techno beat that can get so tiring after awhile. As you mentioned, the balance of hypnotic sound and tribal chants was nicely put together.

Lover of the 80's tunes as I am, I have to admit that Reach the Beach was one of my least favorites. What did AC say? "
too lugubrious 80s for me." That kind of summed up how I felt about it. Octo and I saw The Fixx in concert when they opened for the Moody Blues - I was "eh" on them at the time and that opinion doesn't seem to have changed.

AC
311 has never been one of my favorites. I think I'm going to like them, and then they tend to get a little too "yell-y" for my taste. I actually did like the lyrics to this song, because we can definitely all go a little crazy sometimes. I just sort of feel like they are all over the place musically.

*Sigh* I'm sorry, but the Grateful Dead just aren't my cup of tea either. Again, I enjoyed the lyrics of the song, and the funky little beginning notes had me hoping. But then I kept finding myself zoning out in the middle of the song. It just didn't hold my attention if that makes sense? Not exactly the "belt out" style I prefer.

(But I'm keeping hope that we will bond over the Dandy Warhols!)

Whirlygirl
Waltz reminded me a little bit of the Gypsy Kings instrumental stuff I have heard, although without quite as much flamenco influence. (Little aside, I only had the Gypsy Kings because I worked at a record store in Key West for awhile and it was a freebie.) Anyway - I liked it. I'm always impressed by good instrumental music because I think that can be a harder sell. I'm interested in getting some more of their tunes, especially since there seems to be so much of it as you mentioned.

Moving Sidewalk is a cool song. It definitely adds something to picture you doing your little airport dance when listening to this tune. Seriously, great zippy beat and totally fun!

And FINALLY(!)
I'mnotmarc
I'm going to do Bill Ricchini first. Very pretty tune, but I actually had a bit of a hard time hearing the lyrics. I felt like it was at some wavelength that I couldn't hear or something. I agree that his voice seems quite capable of hitting some cool notes - but I couldn't make much out as far as the actual words.

Preface - I have a great love of piano music, it is an instrument I have always been enthralled with. Here is my story about Brad Mehldau: You all may remember that I was driving up to my sister's a little north of Boston two weeks ago. Once you get off the highway you have to get on this long winding road that can be annoyingly slow. The Brad Mehldau song was on when I hit South Border Road and it was exactly what I needed. It absolutely calmed me down and seemed to cure me of my road rage. (Which is really a very rare occurrence, well occasional... okay it's all the time, but really, people are idiots!!) Anyhoots - I love this. When that nice tska-tsk of the drum came in it reminded me of Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown tunes a bit. Clearly I don't have I'mnotmarc's insight into the musicality of the piece, I just know I am definitely getting some more of this guy's stuff.

This was a really fun experiment and I'm really glad we did it - props to miko for a great idea! And now I have to go fold 100 lbs of laundry...thought I was kidding about that didn't you?


Commando remake? Sacrelige!


From worstpreviews, Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1985 film "Commando," features the California governor in his prime. The muscles are big, the action is extreme and the lines are corny. Apparently, the film is so good that the Russians decided to remake it.

The name of the new movie is "Day D," which is directed by Mihail Porechenkov, who also stars. The film is word for Russian word the same as "Commando," except for a very awkward snowmobile scene. There is even a scene from the original when Arnold drops Sully (David Patrick Kelly) from a cliff and tells Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong)... "I let him go." In this remake, Porechenkov says "I didn't lie to him." I'm guessing that only moments ago, he told whoever he was holding that he would let him go and then kept his word. Check out the trailer below and see for yourself.


See trailer here

Creepy Saw V poster

Dark Knight Ticket Sales Eight Times as Much as Spider-Man 3


From slashfilm, WOW. Fandango is reporting that dozens of showtimes for The Dark Knight are already sold out for the midnight screenings on Thursday night/Friday morning, July 17th. That’s right, even with a full three weeks before the film hits, screenings have begun to sell out. A few theaters have begun to add 3:00am showtimes on Friday morning to help meet the consumer demand.

Update: As of June 27, “Dark Knight” has sold eight times as many tickets on MovieTickets.com as “Spider-Man 3″ at the same point in the sales cycle — 21 days from the film’s official release. “Spider-Man 3″ is the No. 10 film on MovieTickets.com’s Top-10 Performing Films of All-Time.

Are we going to finish the music reviews?


I feel bad because I think the folks who turned in their music later are getting the shaft. I was away for a week, so that's my excuse--I'll get to the last 5 soon.

Off topic, this guy kind of rules.

Death Race Poster Reminiscent Of Uwe Boll




From cinemablend, Jason Statham’s new movie Death Race, despite the incredible waste of fossil fuels it represents, looks like it might be fun. The movie’s first official poster has popped up online over at ShockTillYouDrop, and it looks fun too… until you notice its strange resemblance to something else.

The poster is weirdly similar to the poster for the much hated Uwe Boll movie In the Name of the King. In fact, it’s almost a mirror image. Does Jason Statham’s head naturally lend itself to being post in that exact position next to an angular line? Does Jason Statham only have one expression? Or do they actually want to associate their film with one of the most reviled movies of all time? Personally, I think they’re trying to bait me into giving them a good quote.

Sarah Jessica Parker to Play Uppity Manhattanite


From iwatchstuff, Sarah Jessica Parker is being typecast! No, not as a horse (ha! because she has an equine-esque head!), but as a gravely familiar, single, fashionable female living in Manhattan's Upper East Side for The Ivy Chronicles. From the Hollywood Reporter:

The actress is in talks with Warner Bros. to star in "The Ivy Chronicles," a story of class and the single woman in contemporary New York. It centers on Ivy Ames, an Upper East Side woman who, after losing her high-powered job and getting divorced, starts over again in a less ritzy downtown apartment. After pulling her children from private school, Ames starts a business to help upper-middle-class women get their children into elite kindergartens.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone; SJP has a history of following up her famous roles with eerily similar subsequent roles. Let's remember!

1984-: Sarah Jessica Parker takes a role in Footloose alongside Kevin Bacon, only to later take numerous other roles in films that, through referencing other films with shared actors, can also be connected to Kevin Bacon.

1986: Following up on the part of army brat Janey in 1985's Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Parker spends the entirety of the following year having fun.

1987: Having played a friendly intern in Disney's family science fiction film about a boy abducted by an alien spaceship who returns to find that eight years have passed on Earth, Parker next takes a role in a TV movie as an isolated woman opening herself up to find love. Coincidence? I think not.

1989: Parker follows up the role of an awkward teenager on Square Pegs with another geeky high school role, playing the role of Steve Urkel for nine seasons of Family Matters.

1997: After marrying later-Inspector Gadget star Matthew Broderick, Parker becomes a polygamist, predictively marrying Inspector Gadget 2's French Stewart and the voice of Don Adams.

See? It only makes sense.

Baroness Will Have Larger-Than-Expected Boobs


From thesuperficial, If you decide to give in to masochistic curiosity and pay to put a hit on your childhood nostalgia (by which I mean buy a ticket to G.I. Joe), a few questions will likely pass through your head before you're able to successfully slit your wrists with your seat's cupholder. "Why have I done this? Is Step Up really still talking? Are those really Sienna Miller's boobs, because I remember them being smaller when I looked at all those naked pictures of her.
You may never get answers to the first two unless an usher can quickly fashion a tourniquet from a popcorn bucket, but I can help you with the last: No. No they aren't.

In an interview, the Baroness-playing actress revealed she had to wear breast enhancers for the role because director Stephen Sommers apparently has this really strange, unique fetish that causes him to prefer large boobs over smaller boobs. Weird, right? From the SF Gate:

She says, "(I wear a) tight black leather outfit. And much bigger boobs.
"They gave me these things that looked like chicken fillets. The director said, 'I'm gonna be honest, I like girls with big boobs,' and I don't have them so we made them bigger."

I don't know why the presence of bust enhancers would come as a surprise. We already saw that Scarlett is wearing them as armor.

New Wii Clone Wars game lets you use your lightsaber!



Check out game trailer here

Review: 'Wall-E' is the best of the year


(CNN) -- The most consistent production unit in Hollywood just hit another home run.


Wall-E ponders a Rubik's Cube in the Pixar film "Wall-E."

Over the last decade, Pixar has become a byword for quality, combining cutting-edge digital animation with depth of character, slapstick comedy and rich, engrossing storytelling that appeals equally to kids and adults. "Wall-E" has all of that and more.

Written and directed by Andrew Stanton ("Finding Nemo"), it's Pixar's most ambitious movie and an instant classic.

Wall-E is a solar-powered garbage drone, the last one still operating on an abandoned toxic planet that looks an awful lot like -- well, is -- Earth. A rusty box sitting on caterpillar tracks, with a retractable binocular-shaped head, he compresses junk into building blocks and then piles them up into towers that are shadow-skyscrapers of waste in the ruins of an unidentified city.

Read full review here

*shudder* Giant squid found off California coast

Remains of a rare giant squid turned up off the coast of Santa Cruz, California yesterday. According to researchers from the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, this specimen was probably 25 feet long and weighed hundreds of pounds when alive. Only one giant squid has ever been caught on video alive. From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

A flock of gulls feeding on the carcass alerted the crew to the remains. Their first thought, said crew members, was that the animal was a seal but after motoring closer to it they recognized the chewed-up squid...

(Giant squid expert and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History curator Eric) Hochberg said there's likely several squid along the California coast, but because the animal swims at depths of thousands of feet, it's almost never seen and difficult to study...

"The animal is just so big and so rare ... it's very easy for people to get a little nervous about what it is, and the stories go from there," Hochberg said.

The 7 Most Hilariously Mismatched Superhero Battles

#3 Batman Vs. Calendar Man

Look up in the sky, it's a numerologist ice-hockey goalie! A TRON gay pride activist! No, it's just the supervillain Calendar Man, whose gimmick was that he committed crimes related to the date. Sorry, we're afraid that's actually it.

Making your crimes extra-predictable when going up against the Master Detective is not just a bad idea, it basically makes you a more math oriented version of the Riddler. And when you're a less creative version of the damn Riddler, you could probably be defeated by a blown dandelion seed, some soggy toilet paper or even (in extreme cases) the actual Gotham Police Department.

Calendar Man is widely regarded as the worst Batman villain of all time, and let's face it, that's saying something. In final proof of sheer mental incompetence, he joined a group called the Misfits who decided to join forces in order to raise their profile. That's right, in a world where crime only exists because Batman can only punch a finite number of criminals per second, these guys wanted to get noticed. Listen pal, if you're walking around dressed like that and people are still ignoring you, take the hint.

See the rest here

Did Oakland’s Cranes Inspire the AT-AT Walkers? The Answer Finally Revealed! Hint, Octopunk lied to JPX


For the last 27 years, residents of the San Francisco Bay Area has been proud of the container cranes at the Port of Oakland because according to local lore, the cranes were the inspiration for the AT-AT Walkers from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. There is even a popular t-shirt that is sold in the area drawing the comparison.

I’ve always been skeptical of the claim. Two weeks ago while driving across the Bay Bridge on my way to Pixar Animation Studios, I discussed with Alex from FirstShowing a possible story to discover the truth behind the creation of the AT-AT Walkers. The problem is that no one in publicity or available contacts could provide us with a definite answer, and that the only way you could be sure is to ask George Lucas himself, which is, well, almost impossible. And we concluded that we would probably never get the real answer.

Well it turns out that San Francisco Chronicle journalist Peter Hartlaub was finally able to ask Lucas about the story, and guess what? Yup, it’s completely untrue. Just another urban myth:

“That’s a myth,” Lucas said, politely but firmly. “That is definitely a myth.”

And for anyone who might also believe that the trench-like San Pablo/MacArthur exit on I580 might have inspired the surface of the Death Star, Lucas also insisted “that’s a myth, too.”

Phil Tippett, the stop-motion animator who was responsible for the sequence says that the original vehicles actually looked nothing like a container crane, and more like a garbage truck.

“At one point in the design they were going to be big and kind of radio controlled,” he said. “More like big armored vehicles with wheels.”

So there you have it. Another Urban Movie Myth BUSTED. Next week on Urban Movie Myth Busters we will attempt to prove that the Hoverboard from Back to the Future isn’t real.

Eastwood still considering new Dirty Harry film!


From filmstalker, Clint Eastwood had said that he wouldn't return to the role of Dirty Harry. But now he has said he isn't ruling anything out, and with the right script he might just make a return.

I suppose they could write something that has Dirty Harry coming out of retirement as a consultant or something. Is he hinting for someone to write something?

It was only in May at the Cannes film festival that Clint Eastwood said this about rumours he might play Dirty Harry again:

No. That rumour's incorrect.I have no intention. There are certain things you have to be realistic about. Dirty Harry would not be on a police department at my age, so we'll move on from that.

He also joked that Angelina Jolie who starred in his film Changeling should be play a female Dirty Harry. He seems more receptive now though, and has said he isn't ruling anything out. He's waiting for script that fits the bill though:

I'm 78 years old, and you're pretty well drummed out of the police force by that age. There could be a scenario. I suppose if some mythical writer came out of nowhere and it was the greatest thing on the planet, I'd certainly have to think about it, but it's not like I've ever courted it. I feel like that was an era of my life, and I've gone on to other things. I'm not sure about being Dirty Harry again, but who knows?

He was speaking to MTV through Digital Spy. So he's at least open to the idea, maybe they just caught him on a bad day at Cannes. Would you want to see Clint Eastwood back as Dirty Harry? Any ideas what the plot could be? Or maybe you'd rather see Angelina Jolie bringing down criminals?

Clash of the Titans remake director


From filmstalker, The Clash of the Titans remake has a director, and frankly it's a bit of a surprise and promises that the film is going to be filled with huge amounts of action and some big set pieces. It also suggests that there's going to be way more CGI than stop motion.

Lawrence Kasdan is the writer responsible for the script for this remake, and that's good news I reckon since he has The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Body Heat, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Big Chill, Silverado, Wyatt Earp and...oh...Dreamcatcher.

So who's the director? Well it's none other than Louis Leterrier. Yes, that's rather an odd choice. While Kasdan is filled with action-adventure, Leterrier is, well you could argue the same actually, however The Transporter, Transporter 2, The Incredible Hulk and Danny the Dog are a bit of a different take on the genre.

The story comes from Variety through Coming Soon.

I don't know if this means we're heading for a Clash of the Titans filled with CGI and martial arts fight scenes, but it's certainly going to have action, adventure, and more action.

Quantum Of Solace Trailer On Monday


From cinemablend, The only thing people care about more than Batman these days, is a guy named James Bond. Once TDK is released, we’ll all be free to start lusting after 007. To pave the way, Columbia Pictures has announced they’ll be releasing the first ever trailer for Bond’s next adventure Quantum of Solace, this coming Monday.

The trailer will hit the internet on AOL here in America and on MSN everywhere else, during a very brief, two-hour window Monday June 30th at 9:00 am, after which it’ll be sent out to second rate independent sites like this one for sharing with all of you.

If you haven’t quite figured out this internet thing, don’t worry. It’ll also be attached to prints of Will Smiths’ new film Hancock when it hits theaters next weekend. Having just endured Hancock though, let me assure you that you’re better off staying home and watching James Bond’s new trailer on the internet.


Can't wait? JPX found 10 seconds of the trailer here. Check it out for a taste and I think you'll be psyched.

Robert Rodriguez to direct Rose McGowan in 'Red Sonja'


By Susan Wloszczyna, USA TODAY

Red Sonja is back.

And Robert Rodriguez has her.

The Grindhouse co-director will produce a new big-screen adventure featuring the flame-haired comic-book vixen. While Brigitte Nielsen wielded Sonja's sword in the poorly received 1985 version, Rodriguez's Planet Terror zombie slayer and real-life leading lady, Rose McGowan, will wiggle into the metal mesh bikini in the 2010 release.

"I was surprised when Rose brought me a script of Red Sonja that she liked," Rodriguez says from his home base of Austin, where he is shooting Shorts, a family film with James Spader and Jon Cryer. "I found it very entertaining. Sonja was strong, smart, cunning — just about everything she'd have to be to survive."

McGowan's initial impulse when offered the part? To laugh.

"When they first came to me with it, I thought it was funny," says the actress, 34. "I do have a body made for sitting on a veranda with mint juleps and a parasol. I don't know why I always have to save the planet."

Rodriguez considers her a perfect fit as the mighty, and mighty voluptuous, avenger. "Rose is a pistol. She's whip-smart, has attitude to burn, is sexy, extremely strong, yet has a vulnerable side that would surprise her closest friends. That description also fits Red Sonja."

Not that his star isn't committed to the whole barbarian babe concept, including the crimson locks.

"I do have a very scrappy-do personality," says McGowan, who will undergo intense training before filming starts in October. "I lean toward physicality. The story has characters trashed by life who fight their way back. That is my theme."

Unlike her one-legged Planet Terror heroine, she assures, "I need all my limbs for this."

McGowan and Rodriguez have not seen Nielsen in the original, and they have no plans to catch up. As the actress explains, "Why put that in my head?"

Instead, the origin story, to be directed by longtime Rodriguez associate Douglas Aarniokoski, will take its cues from the comic books as well as works by pulp novelist Robert E. Howard, father of the original Sonja (then spelled Sonya) and Conan the Barbarian (also undergoing a movie revival).

"Howard's goal was always, first and foremost, to spin a good yarn and to entertain," says Rodriguez, who is hoping his Red Sonja turns into a franchise. "That's our goal."

Seven minutes of Star Trek XI glimpsed


From aicn [excerpt], That’s when JJ had his “EUREKA” moment – he didn’t actually say “EUREKA” – but he knew what he wanted to show. He went over to the big Editing computer thingamabob and was trying to get something up, he pulled up a scene that looked like it was shot in an enormous hanger – There looked to be well over a hundred Starfleet graduates standing in the center of the room – with a couple of shuttlecrafts (old school) that looked like they were ready for boarding… the voice over was basically assigning cadets to the ship they would be serving on. The shot was huge, but oddly sparse… that’s when the editor said they had a newer version of the scene and then worked with JJ to pull it up.

Oh Wow.

The newer version was much much grander. It feels as though some Intergalactic Pearl Harbor has happened and all the cadets are anxious to get underway. You’d see cadets running to meet their shuttles – and as shuttles filled up, they took off to take their crews to their respective starships. They hold on the long shot – we hear Leonard McCoy being assigned to the Enterprise – You catch Uhura being assigned to a place… not the Enterprise. You see Chris Pine as Kirk demanding to know why his name wasn’t called out – apparently Kirk is in trouble. You remember that Kobayashi Maru thing he got a commendation for creative thinking for? Well, he isn’t smiling about it here. It seems his entire future career in Starfleet is in jeopardy – and he might miss out on whatever is going on. In a way it plays like the reality of legend. The truth behind the mythology of Kirk’s youth. How is Chris Pine? He’s young. The scene I saw wasn’t a strong KIRK scene, but a proto-KIRK scene. To see a character called Kirk that isn’t comfortably calling all the shots is a bit strange, but welcomed at the same time. I can’t wait to see how JJ takes the character and thrusts him into “greatness” – which has to happen in this film.

But then there’s McCoy – when you see McCoy… you’ll realize how metaphysically perfect Karl Urban was for the casting of the character. He’s got that right cantankerous, best buddy, ethical, but anything for his friend type of doc attitude – and he has it down pat. He’s helping Jim to get onto a ship, but in a million years I wouldn’t spoil that. It’s funny, without being ridiculous. And it begins to exhibit the early kernels of a classic Bones/Kirk interaction. Best friends with a history – and perhaps this moment is a key moment of that history. The favor that launched a career? Perhaps that is what I saw.

We see Uhura confront Spock regarding her assignment to NOT the Enterprise. Zoe Saldana doesn’t look like the Uhura we knew – she looks young and hungry, confident and determined. And Spock… perfect.

It all ended with characters arriving on the bridge, under the command of Captain Pike. Sulu was at the helm – and the bridge. And the uniforms… Classic Trek. Nice. Then for the first time in the history of Star Trek, it looked amazingly functional. It echoes that classic Trek look – but imagine if you handed that design to the folks at APPLE and said… Make it really work. I instantly believed in the functionality of everything. That’s hard to quantify, but it is true. Remember when you saw the war room underground on Hoth in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK? How it just felt functional – that’s what this looked. And it looked Star Trek, without looking as cheap as Star Trek. It was a tech-fetishists wet dream.

Read more here

Big Inflatable Robot

Of course, if we make our robots inflatable then it will be a nice short fight when they go all Matrix on our asses.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Handsomestan!

Where The Hell Is Jordan? I Want To Argue Gun Control All Night!


Two things. This is the only truly conservative issue I agree with, I tend to come down with the Dems on everything else. So where the hell is my super-liberal debate opponent when I most need him? (Book Deadline...hmph)

Also, this blog is horribly addictive. Even when I first discovered free Internet porn I didn't spend this much time on the web. (Cause really you only need free porn for a couple of minutes....) I would ask for help with this addiction, but the head-docs I know seem to have similar problems.

Handsome Stan "Not QUITE Dead"

Photobucket

Greetings, 'Thonners!

It has been quite some time since I've had the time to post anything, and I just wanted to confirm for everyone (miko especially) that I am not, in fact, deceased.

I figured everyone here would be interested to know that I just currently read not only the script, but also the SCHEDULE for an upcoming superhero blockbuster that has been discussed in this very forum. It may very well turn out to be my next job. Which makes me feel like jumping up and down with geeky abandon.

Prudence demands that I not reveal the title of the movie here, but if someone wants to guess in the Comments section, I'll be more than happy to spill (some of) my guts.

Sorry to have been away so long!

New Death Race poster looks familiar...


R.I.P. Kermit Love




Read obituary here

Anyone want to play work Scrabble?


Morning Scrabble - Keep it going!!!

Change one letter of the bottom word posted and let's see who
gets stuck and can't continue!

Rules: You cannot add letters. You cannot use foreign languages.
You can only change one letter.

WORD: STOW

HOST (JPX)

George Lucas Tells House Subcommittee That Barack Obama is Obviously a Jedi


From slashfilm, George Lucas testified in front of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet to back the Universal Service Fund. Lucas called on lawmakers to create a free, “third Internet” that would be used only for educational use. Of course, Lucas’ appearance was mocked by several members of the committee.

Pennsylvania Republican Mike Doyle: “The universal service fund needs to be blown up like the Death Star.”

Rep Lee Terry: “Rick Boucher and I are the Luke Skywalkers riding in to save the universal service fund by those who want to destroy it, the Darth Vaders.”

Massachusetts Democrat and subcommittee chairman Edward Markey: “The e-rate became law when Congress enacted it as part of the Telecom Act, and we’ve defended it with political light sabers ever since.”

Lucas refused to answer a question about “Who is President Bush more like: Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader?”, but insisted that Barack Obama would be a Jedi.

“I would say that’s reasonably obvious,” he said.

Yes, so very obvious. Lucas did not however attempt to argue that a refrigerator could protect a human being from a nuclear blast, because, well, that’s just a ridiculous thought.

Bourne 4 details


From slashfilm, Producer Frank Marshall revealed to IESB plans to begin shooting a fourth Jason Bourne movie next Summer, for release in 2010. Universal announced the project back in February, with director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon set to return. Marshall also confirmed that they will probably be creating an original story for the fourth film, since author/creator Robert Ludlum wasn’t involved in the later books in the series.

“There was a fourth book written, but it was not by Mr. Ludlum. So we’re probably going to take our own direction and we’re working on what that storyline’s gonna be right now.”

And where will this new adventure bring us? Marshall is predicting that Bourne will journey to “South America.”

Superman sequel for 2009


From cinemablend, With The Dark Knight hitting theaters in a few weeks, it’s about time something happened on that sequel to Superman Returns. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything, but star Brandon Routh assures the guys at Hollywood.com that it’s moving along. Routh tells them that the script is currently being written, and that he expects to start on it early in 2009.

He also has news on the Justice League movie. Basically, Routh thinks it’s dead. He says, “I think it seems as though that’s not happening now.” Of course Routh was never going to be in it anyway, so he may not actually know what he’s talking about Still, I think we all hope he does. The world needs more Superman, it doesn’t need JLA, at least not the way Warner Brothers was going to make it. Scrap everything and turn it into a computer animated move in the vein of The Incredibles, and maybe then we’ll all get interested

Cool Terminator Salvation poster

Hellboy 2 has been seen and thoroughly enjoyed


From aicn, HELLBOY II flourishes because it feels like 100%, unadulterated Guillermo; true, he might be playing nicer than usual, but the monsters are still a thing of rare, grotesque, meticulously-designed beauty. As for the humans, they're either a bureaucratic hindrance (exemplified by Jeffrey Tambor's persistently flustered Manning) or just flat-out prejudiced against freaks. This dynamic is once again reminiscent of Bryan Singer's X-MEN movies, but Hellboy is much better company; unlike the angsty mutants (who mostly just want to be left alone), the hard-drinking, cigar-chomping, cat-loving agent of our eventual destruction eagerly craves the company of the flesh-and-bone other. That's why he uses every BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) mission as an excuse to "accidentally" get caught out in public; if Manning and the government won't let him mingle with the people he's saving on a daily basis, he'll force their hand.

Read the full review here

The bad buzz on Handcock continues


From aicn, Let me start this review by saying that this movie was one of the biggest pieces of shit I've ever seen. This is a new low even for Will Smith. The makers of this film took a potentially cool concept and ruined this by trying to make it a comedy. I understand why Will Smith was cast ($$$), but couldn't they have cast an actor that isn't so clean cut. Will Smith's acting like a "bad ass" is laughably bad. I understand the decision to cast Smith in this role ($$$/Summer Opening) but couldn't a less "clean cut" actor have taken on this role?

The pacing of the film is poor at best, with an antagonist that has zero character development thrown in for a very cliched and boring ending. We don't even see the "villain" of this film until a little over the halfway point in the movie and then he reappears for two more scenes.

Read the rest here

The first reviews for Wall-E emerge and the word is good


By CHRISTY LEMIRE

Within the rumbling, stumbling hunk of junk that is WALL-E beats the sweetest, warmest heart - a robotic representation of humanity's highest potential.

And within the sci-fi adventure "WALL-E" lies an artistic truth: that Pixar's track record remains impeccable.

Following high-concept movies about a superhero family, talking cars and a gourmet rat, this is the Disney computer animation arm's boldest experiment yet. "WALL-E" is essentially a silent film in which the two main characters, a mismatched pair of robots, communicate through bleeps and blips and maybe three words between them.

And yet director Andrew Stanton ("Finding Nemo") is resourceful enough to find infinite ways for them to express themselves - amusingly, achingly, and with emotional precision. He's also created, with the help of a team of animators, a visual marvel. Not that this is in any way surprising from a Pixar flick, but still, it's worth noting.

The smudged, dented metal that makes up WALL-E's frame looks so realistic, you could reach out and touch it; at the same time, his big eyes often appear so vulnerable and pleading, you can't help but feel a connection with him. The characters are adorable without being too cutesy, accessible to adults and children alike.

Ben Burtt, a multiple Oscar winner who created R2-D2's signature sound effects in the "Star Wars" movies, provides the "voice" of WALL-E, or Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class. Seven hundred years after Earth was abandoned, leaving the planet looking like a post-apocalyptic Tomorrowland, WALL-E is still doing the job he was programmed to do: pick up all the trash he sees around him and compress it into tidy packages.

But he's a romantic at heart with an eye for nostalgia, sifting through garbage for items like bowling pins, a Rubik's Cube, an iPod, a spork. The script, which Stanton co-wrote with Jim Reardon from a story he co-wrote with Pete Docter, evokes iconic cultural items and imagery without going for the cheap pun or empty celebrity gag. Genuflections to "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Alien" seem fitting, as does WALL-E's physical resemblance to E.T. (It's one of the movies that earned Burtt an Academy Award for best sound effects editing.)

He's an odd, lovely combination: He carries himself like a little old man, but has the innocence and wonderment of a child. It's only upon the arrival of the sleek, shiny Eve (voiced by Elissa Knight), a robot sent back to the planet on a search mission, that he realizes how lonely he's been. That she's everything he's not - new, quick, high-tech, efficient - is only part of the allure. She's someone with whom he can finally share all the lost treasures he's amassed, and she seems open to the idea of making a friend in him, too.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the universe, the remaining humans are lolling about in a giant flying cruise ship. (Kathy Najimy and Pixar veteran John Ratzenberger provide two of the passengers' voices, with Jeff Garlin as their boisterous but clueless captain.) Thanks to the big, evil corporation that runs the place (and ruined Earth), every convenience is available at their chubby fingertips - oh yes, we as a people have gotten fatter and lazier in the future, it seems. And the possibility of useless consumption is overpowering and ever-present.

So maybe it's more than a little hypocritical for a movie that's being distributed by a worldwide entertainment conglomerate to condemn needless spending on food, toys, stuff, you name it. Fred Willard, the only live-action human, plays the film's CEO with typically humorous buffoonery - perhaps that's intended to make the message more palatable.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

TDW (approximate) setlist 6-2008




the world the people together
mission control
welcome to the third world
wasp in the lotus
you were the last high
all the money or the simple life
we used to be friends
bohemian like you
good morning
minnesoter
get off
and then i dreamt of yes
talk radio
love song
the legend of the last of the outlaw truckers
boys better
country leaver
burned

I'm drooling a little bit... the Dandy Warhols do tend to recycle setlists, so I bet we can count on a good chunk of the new album in September, plus some of these oldies but goodies.