Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hell yeah, Star Trek Reaches $200M

From airlockalpha, Pixar, as expected, dominated the box office, but "Star Trek" put in yet another solid week.

"Up" earned $68.2 million in its first week to take the top spot, but the Ben Stiller comedy "Night at the Museum 2" kept pace with a $25.5 million weekend.

"Star Trek" finished fifth with a $12.8 million weekend, which brings its total box office for the year to $209 million, the most of any film so far this year. Earlier this week, "Star Trek" surpassed the box office take of "Monsters vs. Aliens," and is now $15 million ahead of the film.

"Terminator: Salvation" suffered from its $51.9 million opening falling nearly 69 percent to $16.1 million, good for fourth place behind "Drag Me To Hell." "Angels & Demons" finally crossed the $100 million mark with an $11.2 million weekend.

"Terminator" has now earned $90.6 million after its second week, well behind both "Star Trek" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" at the same point in their run. "Wolverine" picked up another $3.9 million to bring its total to $170.8 million.

So far, genre films have picked up $470.9 million at the box office ... a pretty solid take between three movies with "Star Trek" coming close to earning half of that total.

It won't be long before "Star Trek" moves off the charts. It lost 56 percent of its box office this weekend, and is widely expected to drop below the $10 million mark next weekend. But it was still a solid run for the film, which had minimal drop off after a strong opening compared to other action genre movies, and it's expected to do very well on DVD later this year, possibly gearing for a Christmas season release.

"Star Trek" is the first film of 2009 to cross the $200 million mark.

Alien Prequel Confirmed

From cinemablend, Yesterday Bloody-Disgusting broke the news that either a remake or a prequel to Ridley Scott’s original Alien movie was in the works. Now that story’s been confirmed by the good folks over at Collider and we know for certain: It’s a prequel.

Even though the idea of creating a prequel to explain away the origins of the Aliens is a pretty horrible idea, maybe there’s a silver lining here. At least Ridley Scott is somewhat involved. It’s his production company that’s behind it and his brother Tony Scott confirmed that one of the company’s directors, a guy named Carl Rinsch will be helming the prequel.

They plan to start shooting by the end of this year and yes, like it or not, Fox is still the company funding it. With their recent track record that’s bound to make fanboys nervous, as if the idea of a prequel wasn’t bad enough, but again at least the Scott’s are behind it. That’s good… isn’t it? Now somebody give us some information on this Carl Rinsch character. His IMDB page is almost as barren as my own would be, if I had one.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Troll 2

(1990) no stars

Despite grandpa Seth's dire and inappropriately scary warning to child protagonist Joshua, a family sets off to vacation for a month on a farm in the sketchy, eerie town of Nilbog. Lucky for them there are no trolls in this movie! Too bad another evil force awaits them.

Happily for me and my "bad movie" buddies, this film deserves its rep as one of the worst horror films ever made. There is not one drop of originality, common sense, artistry, or acting talent to be seen in the entire film! Apparently the crew spoke Italian, whereas the cast spoke English, but that fact alone cannot account for the foulness of the finished product. I have never been able to get through Eegah so I can’t say Troll 2 is the worst horror movie ever, but it appears to be the worst horror movie I’ve ever watched in its entirety, so that’s worth something. I can understand Catfreeek’s reluctance to ever watch it again, but I think this would be a lovely entry if we ever arrange a horrorthon movie night. I think everyone on the blog needs to see it, frankly.

Troll 2 itself is the subject of a documentary entitled “Best Worst Movie” (2009) which is currently getting good reviews… here are two spoiler-ish clips, the first for Troll 2, the second for the documentary. Enjoy.

Drag Me To Hell


I'll spare you a 3rd review of this film and just say that I found it to be very Evil Deadish and liked it very much. Now on to an interesting fact I stumbled on that some of you may have known but it somehow slipped past me. Tony actually noticed it, the car.

From Spike's Top 7 Cars That Kill:

The director of the Evil Dead series, Sam Raimi, seems to have a soft spot for 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88s – he’s featured it in all but one of his films (and in that one, The Quick and the Dead, he just covered the car with a wagon frame).

But it wasn’t until Army of Darkness that the Delta 88 reached its pinnacle of awesomeness, when Ash and his cohorts somehow managed to rig up what appeared to be helicopter blades and a cow catcher to the front end and subsequently went on an undead blood-letting orgy. Sadly, the Delta 88 didn’t survive the assault, but it did literally go out in a “blaze of glory”.

Rest easy, Peter Parker is still married to Mary Jane

FRom splashpage, Last year, Marvel Comics shocked and angered many fans by negating Spider-Man’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson throughout the various Spider-Man titles. And while Marvel’s mainstream comic book titles are standing by the decision, the daily “Spider-Man” newspaper strip has decided to reunite the famous couple.

In the strip published this weekend, Peter Parker woke up in bed to find himself once again living with his loving wife. The past several months of stories where he was inexplicably single again? Just a long, bizarre dream.

As any comics fan will tell you, the marriage of Peter and Mary Jane was a major event when it happened in 1987. Not only did the daily “Spider-Man” newspaper strip immediately mimic the occasion, but Stan Lee presided over a live-action “official” wedding between two actors portraying Spidey and MJ that took place in the former Mets stadium. The witnesses included actors portraying the Hulk and the heroes Iceman and Firestar (who both co-starred in the cartoon “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends”).

Two full decades after Peter and MJ tied the knot, Marvel decided that Peter Parker worked better as a single guy.

In the “One More Day” story arc, the demon-lord Mephisto (an analogue for the Devil) made a deal with Peter Parker and Mary Jane that resulted in history being altered. As far as continuity in the Marvel Universe was concerned, the couple had never been married 20 years ago.

Spider-Man’s adventures in the daily comic strips followed suit with the new status quo. Unlike the main comic titles, the newspaper strips did not deliver a deus ex machina twist involving a deal with the Devil. Instead, Peter Parker simply began a new story arc in which he was portrayed as a single guy living with his aunt, and his marriage was erased without explanation.

The elimination of Spider-Man’s marriage received a lot of negative attention over the past year, not only from readers but also from writers — including J. Michael Straczynski, who was working on the “Amazing Spider-Man” series at the time and asked his name to be removed from “One More Day.”

According to this weekend’s “Spider-Man” strip, the decision to reunite Peter and Mary Jane was a response to fan letters received since the two were split. Sure, it wasn’t the best explanation for a restoration of previous continuity, but not the worst we’ve seen either.

Christian Bale Won't Lose Weight for Films Again

From worstpreviews, Christian Bale insists that he won't lose a dramatic amount of weight again. He previously set a record by losing 63 lbs to play an emaciated insomniac in "The Machinist," before bulking up to for "Batman Begins," and then shedding the pounds again for "Rescue Dawn."

"I wouldn't want to take it to that extreme again, because firstly, it was necessary to lose weight for that role - not as much as I did - but it was a challenge mentally to see if I was capable of doing such a thing," he said.

"I know that I can now, so there would need to be a certain gimmick if I was to do that all over again. But I do like, very much, the notion of seeing how far you can push yourself so I'm very happy that I did that. Everybody told me that I was risking my health the first time around, so doing it twice? I'm probably being an idiot."

For "The Machinist," Bale dropped from 180 lbs to 120 lbs by eating only one can of tuna and an apple per day. He wanted to lose another 20 lbs, but producers wouldn't allow it for health reasons.

Instead, Bale would prefer to put some weight on for a movie. "Hey, listen. It sounds like so much more fun, getting to sit down with a big bowl of pasta and beer and wine, that sounds so good," he said. "Maybe we could do that if we do another Terminator - we could have a rotund John Connor!"

See You Guys at 'Tintin' Around Christmas 2011

From iwatchstuff, Something for your kitten calendar: Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn will be released internationally in late October/early November 2011 before arriving in US theaters December 23. Try to mark it down, but in case you forget, I'll try to remind you sometime that calendar year.

On a somewhat related note, I finally started reading the Tintin comics, and they are nuts. Every page introduces a new conflict that is serendipitously resolved by the next page. For example: "Ut oh, Tintin has been tied to a massive dumbbell and thrown into Lake Michigan! Oh, phew, it turns out they accidentally tied him to a circus strongman's fake, wooden dumbbells that float. Tintin is safe!" Something like that happens every page. It's madness. Who knew the series would be so amazingly ridiculous, besides the millions worldwide who read it decades ago?

Niles is gay?

NEW YORK (AP) — After keeping his private life out of the spotlight for years, David Hyde Pierce has announced his marriage to longtime partner Brian Hargrove.
The former Frasier star spoke candidly in an appearance on ABC's The View. Wearing a wedding band, Hyde Pierce revealed they tied the knot "very quietly" in California on Oct. 24.

The actor and Hargrove, a producer, are still legally wed despite the California Supreme Court's decision Tuesday to uphold Proposition 8. The gay-marriage ban was approved by voters in November, stopping legal nuptials going forward.

Angered by the ruling, Hyde Pierce said Thursday: "It's like, 'Oh great, we made the cut.'"

He called it a "very odd thing" that strangers have a vote on his private decision to marry.

Friday, May 29, 2009

ET Previews the Toy Story 3 Teaser Trailer

Watch it here

Why our science fiction future fizzled

From cnn, At the 1964 New York World's Fair, people stood in line for hours to look at a strange sight.

If only the future looked like "Star Trek," with its nifty gadgets that seem to solve every problem.

They wanted to see the "Futurama," a miniaturized replica of a typical 21st century American city that featured moving sidewalks, computer-guided cars zipping along congestion-free highways and resort hotels beneath the sea.

Forty years later, we're still waiting for those congestion-free highways -- along with the jet pack, the paperless office and all those "Star Trek"-like gadgets that were supposed to make 21st-century life so easy.

Daniel Wilson has been waiting as well. He's looked at the future we imagined for ourselves in pulp comic books, old science magazines and cheesy sci-fi movies from the 1950s, and came up with one question.

Why isn't the future what it used to be?

"I feel entitled to have all this technology that's been promised at a certain time," says Wilson, author of "Where's My Jetpack?" "I look up and say, 'Where's all this stuff?' ''

Some of that futuristic stuff, it turns out, is already here.

Read full article here

Music Friday: Funky Man

So I was watching the pretty solid documentary on the Ramones, "End of the Century," last night, and came across this segment about when Dee Dee Ramone left the band to try and become the first white rapper. Very very Tap.

Drag Me to Hell

(2009) ****

The movie opens in Pasadena, 1969. An immigrant couple beg for help from a woman who is clearly a medium of some sort; their son had a run-in with some Gypsies, and is now hearing voices. "They're getting louder," he says, "they're coming for me." Carried into the medium's lavish house, the boy looks up at the skylight and sees clawed hands scrabbling at the glass.

A seance is held. It does not go well. The boy is thrown bodily out of the room and over a banister to the floor below. While his parents rush to save him, the medium woman is the only witness to what happens next. The floor beneath the boy cracks, revealing a fiery red glow beneath. With an animal noise and lightning speed, something shoots up a hand, and the boy is dragged screaming into the floor, which seals itself up without a mark. In huge letters, white on black, the movie's title pops onto the screen. Boom.

And when it's this screen, and you're sitting in the sixth row, and you're surrounded by people who made the movie, because it's the first time the movie has screened in a theater, it's a damn good boom. The audience went nuts.

You can't tell how big the screen is because I took this picture with my phone. But it's huge. I'd never been to Grauman's Chinese Theater before, but it is freakin' beautiful. They do not skimp on the decor. The ceiling in the main room is dominated by what I took to be a massive sculpted chrysanthemum that must've been fifty feet in diameter, ringed by a series of gorgeous concentric friezes.

I was almost hypnotized by the beauty of the theater when we were choosing seats. We got there very early, way before the famous people, and found out which seats were open to us hoi-polloi. Of the four big sections, only the outer two weren't reserved, unless you wanted to sit in the first six rows. I tried a seat on the right, and nearly went for it because it meant I could spend the long wait gawking at the impossible room we were sitting in, but it failed my test. My test is to sit in the seat and look straight in front of me, and it wasn't screen, it was wall. Pass. Besides, gawking at the ceiling from way up front was an excuse to look for famous people.

And speaking of famous people, here's 50PageMcGee's friend Dileep Rao, as he appears in the movie. (Salient details: I only know him clean-shaven and with shorter hair, and he's got a big role in James Cameron's Avatar too.) He was our in to this frabulous experience. Thanks Dileep!

Anyway, there I was, scouting faces, when I notice a woman a few rows behind me has brought a young girl with her. They're talking to the usher, who is cheerily directing them to better seats than ours, and I can't see the little girl's face behind the woman but I can see her long hair and she's clearly not tall enough to be an adult... oops, no, it's the mom from Little People, Big World. I can stow my outrage, and there was my first celebrity!

The hype for Drag Me to Hell leans heavily on "Sam Raimi's return to horror," and for once the hype is right. If nothing else, it's a wonderful day for movies when the director of Spider-Man 3 (or as I like to call it, Spehlbleh-Bleh Bleh) turns out something good again.

And it is good. Set now in the present, Alison Lohman plays a young woman who makes one uncharacteristic, completely legitimate act of self-interest and winds up on the brink of Hell. Just don't piss off Gypsies, that's the motto of this one.

Settling into this, I thought "I really like curse movies." Then I realized what I was really thinking was "I really like The Ring." I didn't see Thinner, but I didn't like the book so much. So curse movies can kind of suck, I guess, but this curse is great. Like The Ring, it's the threat of something coming, but in the meantime things just get worse and worse.

It starts out bad enough, with a knockdown physical fight with all the Sam Raimi trimmings. Later, when she's leaving the scene, Christine decides immediately to visit a storefront psychic, a plot move of admirable rapidity. As you may know, I've seen a number of horror movies, and as a result I balk at beleagured conversations about the threat really existing. DMTH keeps this to a minimum, mostly delivered by likeable "I'm a Mac" boyfriend Justin Long.

Enter Dileep, who will later inform Christine that she's been targeted by the Lamia, the Black Goat, who is the most powerful demon in a Gypsy arsenal. "For three days he torments the cursed," he says, showing a Medieval woodcut of a woman beset by a large shadow.

The image really stuck with me. The contrast between the drained emotions of the centuries-old image and Christine's actual torment are rich and horrible. Also, the curse is so unfair! I thought Hell was where you went if you were bad, and now I find out pissed off old women can send you there? Bogus!

Solid stuff. Not as all-around good as The Gift, and not the "Exorcist with ninjas" frenzy that is Evil Dead 2, but ample proof that Raimi is back on his game. I have few critiques. There is some humor, but I can only think of one gag that didn't work for me. Also, I predicted the ending from a little way's off, but it didn't dull the moment in the slightest. The ending is great.

In fact, if there were one reason I'd say to see it big screen instead of waiting for Horrorthon, it's that. So you don't have the ending blurted out to you.

So, the final roll call:

Wes Craven was seated about five rows behind me.

We saw Alison Lohman talking cheerily to some folks after the credits rolled. She is tiny.

We saw Charlize Theron right in front of us in the aisle full of exiting people. I heard her say "Oh, sorry, we can't. We're going to something something..." and I had to admire the guy who even has the opportunity to get turned down by her. She is tall.

We saw David Paymer, who plays the boss in Drag Me to Hell and has also played in a hundred things you've seen. The best I got right now is Leo in Get Shorty, who everybody thinks died in an airplane crash.

Reggie Lee, (who I had to look up just now), who plays Christine's slimy coworker and also the guy in the new Star Trek movie who first walks into the Kobayashi Maru test room saying "Hey, what's going on in here?"

Fifty spotted Bud Cort, Harold from Harold and Maude. It helps that he was also The Bond Company Stooge in Life Aquatic, because he looks a lot more like that guy than Harold. He was with Don Harvey, who Fifty also spotted and who I didn't recognize at all (one of the dudes in Casualties of War who wasn't Sean Penn or Michael J. Fox).

We saw Derek Mears, the guy who played Jason in the Friday the 13th remake, who was pointed out to us by...

Anna Mercedes Morris, the stunt double for the old Gypsie woman in Drag Me to Hell, who was sitting next to us. She and her friend asked about the two seats we'd been saving just seconds after we found out we didn't need them any more. That's right, she worked on the movie and got stuck in the cheap seats. She was totally a good sport about it, and mentioned that nobody had known who she was at the cast party because, except for one eye, she was totally covered in fake old lady. It's not a curse if there's a paycheck.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Boris Artzybasheff's WWII art

Danish political cartoonist Boris Artzybasheff was heavily influenced by the then-contemporary surrealist movement (from what I see, I'm guessing Di Chirico and Dali). In his collection As I See, while discussing modern warfare, he wrote

In their long search for better tools and weapons, men at last have found the way of locking a pinch of cosmic force in a sheath of silver-white metal... as well as the means for making it go boom. Any time they wish, or think they must, men can touch off an orgasmic flash, making the oceans boil and seethe with fire, making the soil rise up in crimson dust... Perhaps after the cloud drifts thrice around it, the earth will emerge once more free of living things... In the hush of night this comely planet will go on waltzing in its ordained orbit until God awakens from His sleep and resolves it back to the primordial elements. I try to shake this thought off; it may be that a healthy planet should have no more life upon it than a well-kept dog has fleas; but what posesses the flea to concoct its own flea powder?

Anyway check out these incredible pictures here and here! It's WWII as you've never seen it before; perfect for the fine tastes of the Horrorthon crowd. (From the always-excellent ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive.)

Awesome AVATAR concept art!

12 Bizarre True Stories Behind Famous Band Names

#10 KISS

From cracked, If you're not familiar with KISS, they are the rock band with the painted faces--sort of like a loud and unsettling circus.

Famously, rumors have circulated that KISS stands for "Knights In Satan's Service." The band has consistently denied this however, rightly pointing out that the band isn't comprised of agents of evil so much as ridiculous, ridiculous men. The true story, according to Paul Stanley, is that they chose the name KISS because it "just sounded dangerous and sexy at the same time." Kissing is generally considered one of the least dangerous activities ever invented (it's right after hand washing) so we're going to question Paul Stanley's explanation here. Kissing people ain't dangerous dude. Unless they're unwilling and either a cop or a karate instructor.

See full list here

Stark Raving MAD

Written and illustrated by The Usual Gang of Idiots

It's MAD's 500th issue! And it's jam-packed with just as much stupidity as you'd expect! For starters, we're welcoming back some legendary members of the Usual Gang of Idiots who haven't appeared in MAD for years! And to mark this landmark issue, Sergio Aragones is showing off his 500 (that's right five HUNDRED!) favorite Marginal cartoons! Plus, there's Al Jaffee's Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions and the MAD Fold-In! And, of course, you'll find our typical stupidity, mocking the new Wolverine movie, The Jonas Brothers, The Octo-Mom, Google, Man-Boobs and so more! So stop reading and start celebrating – go buy an issue NOW!

I just picked up this issue. Sergio Aragon├ęs 500 personal favorite marginals! Yeah! I haven't read it yet but that alone makes it totally worth purchasing. So what are you waiting for? Go get it!

Runpee: It Is Now Safe To Leave The Theater

From geekology, is a website database of movies currently in the theater with notations that let you know when it's a good time to run to the bathroom. As you can see, this is the runpee chart for Terminator Salvation, which features several opportunities to drain your dragon. Of course, some would argue any time is good because the movie sucked. I wouldn't know, I haven't seen it BECAUSE I HAVE ENOUGH TROUBLE SLEEPING ALREADY. Also, I don't like leaving my seat during a movie, so you know what I do? I use a catheter. Except I definitely don't because I would pass out from the thought before I even had my pants down. Which is why the last movie I saw in the theater was Cars. Not even kidding.

Haiku Hump Day Guilty Pleasures: The Winner!

Well, Mr. AC and I are in haiku heaven. We got so much more than we anticipated, and learned some things we almost wish we didn’t know... almost. We each independently chose our favorites and compared lists, and after much soul searching arrived at consensus.

Our top picks of the group this week:

Octopunk said...

Take one jar cheese whiz

And just as much mayonnaise

Nuke with chopped onions

absolutely repulsive. how long does one nuke this for?

50PageMcGee said...

No Jacket Required

my very first cassette tape

played it till it snapped

JPX contributed many truly excellent haikus:

Sometimes with brownies

I only eat the batter

Once ate the whole bowl

Jon and Kate Plus 8

Watching a marriage collapse

Fun when it's not yours

Flintstones vitamins

The healthiest thing I eat

I like the orange ones

In KMART I heard

The Pointer Sisters' "Slow Hand"

Quietly dug it

HandsomeStan fessed up to some awesome musical preferences:

I'm not Out Of Touch

And I'll blast them from my car

That's right - Hall & Oates

Wham's Careless Whisper

Soundtrack to 5th grade First Kiss

Always a soft spot

80s Madonna

Don'[t care how gay it makes me

I'll Express Myself

G said...

syndicated Flo

our love is so wrong, so right

wanna kiss her grits

Alice, my chanteuse

cats screw with more harmony

over easy, please

wait for me, Vera

thought when you said "just the tip"

dinner was on you

Of Johnny Sweatpants’ contributions,

Mr. AC loved:

New Kids one the Block
Some of their stuff isn't bad
Piss off - I'M KIDDING.

Whereas AC loved:

Journey can eat fuck

And yet I dig Foreigner

Please don’t ask me why

Trevor said...

Dear Abby each morn'

Only read the sad questions

Old lady's thoughts suck

Landshark said...

Also used to get

goosebumps from Sweet Caroline

'fore Sox made it cool.

Goosebumps? Really?

a prolific and astonishing Catfreeek said...

Grease 1 and Grease 2

Can't click past them if they're on

I know all the songs

Old school musicals

I love what JPX loathes

Rainy day comfort

I own so many

Sweet Charity, Pillow Talk

and Gypsy Rose too

Can't just watch horror

Sing along with Danny Kaye

and no it's not gay

RE Catfreeek's amazing concert confessions,

Mr AC went for:

I hate to admit

I went to see John Denver

So embarrassing

Whereas AC preferred the ghastly one-two punch of:

So, even worse yet

Opening for John Denver

Starland Vocal Band

though late to the party, Dana's Brain was on fire this week!

Oh, Patrick Swayze.

You're a dancer and fighter

Sigh. Be still my heart.

Mmm. How about food?

Dunkin's vanilla creme filled.

Donut of the gods!

Covered in powder,

Stuffed full of sugary goo,

What's that Homer noise?

Babs and Neil Diamond.

You don't bring me flowers. You

don't sing me love songs...

Amidst this delightfully guilty excellence only one haiku made the top three for both Mr. AC and AC, and therefore this week’s winner is:

Dana’s Brain, with

Oh, Patrick Swayze.

You're a dancer and fighter

Sigh. Be still my heart.

Congratulations Dana’s Brain! And thanks everyone for playing.

What Are You Doing, Ray?

From iwatchstuff, Dan Aykroyd, I'm begging you now, please don't ruin Ghostbusters. I watched Ghostbusters 2 for the first time in years this weekend, and although it certainly had its share of walking-Statue-of-Liberty-controlled-by-Nintendo-controller and characters-somehow-in-the-Renaissance-painting-at-the-end moments that had me rolling my eyes, I wouldn't say it ruined Ghostbusters. It just didn't help Ghostbusters very much, and now the series is in a dangerous spot. The third film is going to be the make-or-break factor deciding if Ghostbusters will be looked back on as great-though-uneven franchise or a single great movie with some increasingly ill-conceived follow-ups.

I'd love to believe Ghostbusters 3 could still somehow be great, but then Dan Aykroyd says this to The Guardian:

There'll be a whole new generation that has to be trained and a leader that you'll all love when you meet her," says Aykroyd. "There'll be lots of cadets, boys and girls who'll be learning how to use the neuron splitter and the inter-planet interceptor - new tools to enable them to slip from dimension to dimension."
The inter-planet interceptor, a new tool that enables them to slip from dimension to dimension. Oh, brother. Obviously I have no idea how that might play out in the script or on screen, but that sounds terrible. That's sounds like one of the lesser episodes of the Ghostbusters cartoon. "Slimer runs away from home and back to Dimension Ghost, and the guys have to use Egon's inter-planet interceptor to teleport over there and save Slimer from the ghost bullies that won't accept him being a friend-of-humans." I'm pretty sure that was an episode.

Anyway, please don't ruin Ghostbusters. That's all.

UP reviewed

From ew, As buoyant and richly tinted as the balloons that figure so prominently in its story, Up is also thoroughly grounded in real emotion and ideas of substance. How's that for an instant boost? The result is a lovely, thoughtful, and yes, uplifting adventure (in 3-D where available) about an old guy, a kid, and a house that sails through the air, opening up new routes in life to people who thought they were stuck in their loneliness. The movie — which opened the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, a fresh choice — is Pixar's 10th commanding feature-length demonstration that the most inventive and fully rounded stories in movies today are being told by characters who require an animator's hand to breathe. Up is a beaut. And for once, 3-D animation proves its worth. (More on that in a moment.)

Read full review here

Comic book shocker!: Archie proposes to Veronica

From ew, And we thought Brangelina vs.Jennifer was shocking. Archie Andrews, the beloved, freckled protagonist of the Archie comic books has been roiled in a romantic love triangle for the past 67 years between blonde, pretty, girl-next-door Betty Cooper, and rich, spoiled, brunette beauty, Veronica Lodge. It always seemed, to me at least, that Archie's heart and future lay with Betty, and that Veronica was just a fantasy, an infatuation. But lo and behold, in issue #600 of the Archie comic, arriving in comic book stores in July, Archie proposes to Veronica in a jewelry store, while a tearful Betty and dazed Jughead look on. Which prompts this epic question: What the hell is Archie thinking? Seriously, he can't possibly afford Veronica's lifestyle on that temp-worker income of his, and she's going to make his life miserable. He'll always be falling short of her expectations. Betty, meanwhile, loved Archie just as he is. The lad is making a foolish, foolish error, and he's clearly thinking with the wrong part of his anatomy. But what do you think, Popwatchers? Did Archie totally blow it, or is Veronica such a babe that she's worth the drama?

Halloween 2 trailer!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Haiku Hump Day: Guilty Pleasures

Thanks to Octopunk’s list-making last week, Mr. AC and I were able to review prior haiku topics with ease. Time to mix things up, we thought, and provide a universal and hopefully entertaining topic. We realize the term “guilty pleasure” is misleading, since we of the blog don’t really believe in guilt. “Guilty pleasure” in this context is shorthand for “you know it’s bad or bad for you, and you love it anyway.” If you’re on the fence about fessing up, that’s a good sign. Shame and embarrassment are the hallmarks of a true guilty pleasure. Of course, Mr. AC and I can’t expect anyone to expose their tender, guilt-ridden underbellies if we don’t, so we’ll contribute a handful of haikus in solidarity.

Needless to say, the content of the guilty pleasure itself, as well as haiku craft, will factor into our decision, so let it all hang out there- if you dare.


From slashfilm, Before Fanboys was ever announced, there was another Star Wars-themed project in the works, an indie coming of age drama titled 5-25-77 from Patrick Read Johnson (director of Angus, writer of Dragonheart). Many geeks will reccognize that date as the day that Star Wars was released in theaters. The movie went into production in 2004, and has sat in post production for nearly five years. The film premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October of last year under a new minimalistic title, ‘77.

The film tells the story of an alienated, sci-fi obsessed teen filmmaker named Pat Johnson (John Francis Daley) who must overcome his fear of leaving everything he knows and loves behind to chase his unlikely Hollywood dream. The pending release of a new movie called Star Wars on 5-27-77 is instrumental in shaping Pat’s destiny.

If Fanboys was American Pie, this movie seems much more like Almost Famous. ‘77 looks like it has a lot of potential. I’m a sci-fi geek, a recovering aspiring filmmaker and a sucker for good coming of age indie, so I’m sure I’ll have no problem connecting with this film. ‘77 doesn’t have a distributor yet, but it does have a new movie trailer.

Creepy 1975 product

Yawn, new Half Blood Prince poster looks like every Harry Potter movie poster

I still haven't seen the last film, how was it?

Supersuit from James Cameron's "Avatar"

From worstpreviews, James Cameron fans have been patiently waiting to see something from his upcoming "Avatar." And since 20th Century Fox won't release a single photo from the movie, we'll have to keep making news out of blurry/cryptic images that leak online.

Today, we have one of those images [via MarketSaw]. It's a shot of an enormous supersuit that human soldiers will wear on the alien planet Pandora, where they will destroy the Na'vi.

And regarding the trailer appearing in front of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," Fox recently revealed that that's not going to happen. "Avatar" is scheduled to hit theaters on December 18th.

Magical Wolf Shirt Receives Rave Reviews

From geekology, A shirt being sold by Amazon that features three wolf heads howling at the moon has receiving over 500 reviews and seriously increased sales. Most of the reviews mention the shirt's magical properties. Here's the one that got it all started:

This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that's when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to 'howl at the moon' from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called mehth. I told them no, because they didn't have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn't settle for the first thing that comes to him.

I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me. I turned around to see a slightly sweaty dream in sweatpants and flip-flops standing there. She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives. Thank you wolf shirt.

Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women
Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the 'guns'), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.

There you have it. The review was so popular that wolf shirt sales have gone through the roof (up 2,300%), with everybody else trying to score a piece of the magic. Hell, the BBC even did a story on it. Now, if you'll excu....*ripping track jacket off* OW OW OOOOOOOOOWWW!! Come on -- who likes it hairy?

Impressive fan-made Green Lantern trailer

While we still have to wait another two years for Warner Bros to put together a "Green Lantern" movie, a fan has made a trailer for it using footage from about 28 different movies and shows, including "Planet of the Apes," "Star Trek," "Iron Man" and "Smallville."

Actor Nathan Fillion is playing Hal Jordan, using his image from "Firefly," "Serenity" and "White Noise 2." The audio clips come mostly from "Justice League" and "Lord of the Rings."

Mario's world is a lot scarier than I thought!

By Winona Nelson

Archie's an Idiot

From toplessrobot, Archie is getting married. Yes, the world's oldest and eternally least hip teenager is taking the plunge for Archie #600, and the soulless robot that churns out all those Archie comics is keeping his choice of bride under wraps. Will it be nice but stupid Betty? Or less stupid and bitchy Veronica? Also, who the fuck cares?

I mean, even if you're an Archie fan, you understand this is a disaster waiting to happen, right? About 90% of Archie's whole damn premise is the eternal struggle of Betty and Veronica for his sweet man-seed, and if he finally picks one of the girls, then it's all over. All that's left is to watch Jughead do... whatever it is he's been doing for the last 60+ years.

On the other hand, this is clearly setting up an Archie/Spider-man crossover in the near future, where Spidey explains how Archie can get his old life back with help from Satan. Now that, my friends, will be a collector's issue. (Via CBS News)

[Note to JSP, pick this up post haste]

Topless Robot stole our haiku idea!

From toplessrobot, have another special treat for you shirt-hungry TR readers today. The fine folks over at have offered their stellar weRobot shirt -- featuring 51 of nerd-dom's most popular automatons, as seen to the right -- as the prize for this week's contest. Furthermore, they're offering three, so three of you greedy little monkeys will be receiving new attire!

Your job: to write a robot haiku. Remember haikus? Three line poems, first line has five syllables, second line has seven, and the last line has five again? Here's a haiku from TR contributor Shaun Clayton, who I totally stole the idea from, about Megatron:

I am a small gun
Now I am a large robot
This makes no damn sense

Now, like the FFF Libs contest, you can enter as many times as you like. Plus, the contest will not end until May 26th, Tuesday morning, at 3am EST, so you have an extra day to enter -- I'm really trying to see how many comments I cn get on a single TR article. Two more things: You'll get a few bonus points if you write about one of the robots on the shirt, and obviously, just because someone writes about one robot doesn't mean you can't (we'd ru out of Transformers pretty quick if it was one per person. As per usual, it'll be easier to stand apart if you're writing about Tequila Gundam instead of the 100th person writing about R2-D2.

So good luck, although technically, your chances of winning have improved by 300%. I'll be taking Memorial Day off, so I'll see you guys back here on Tuesday. Don't forget to get dangerous, and try not to look any ducks in the eye this weekend.

Submit your own here. I posted a few from Horrorthon but they became lost in the numerous posts.

Box Office Report: 'Night at the Museum' opens with $70 mil

From ew, Ben Stiller had no problem handling Christian Bale and an army of robots this Memorial Day weekend. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian cruised to an easy first-place finish of $70 million over the four-day weekend, according to early estimates by Box Office. The total marks Stiller's biggest opening ever, as the PG-rated comedy clearly caught the attention of families looking for non-violent (and just a wee bit educational) entertainment. Smithsonian's tally also demolishes its predecessor, Night at the Museum, which opened its doors to a $42.2 million gross over a four-day Christmas weekend in 2006.

Settling for No. 2 was Terminator Salvation, which earned $53.8 million over the four-day weekend (plus $13.4 million from its debut on Thursday, bringing its five-day gross to $67.2 million). Warner Bros. will boast about Salvation representing the Terminator series' best opening, beating Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine's three-day tally of $44 million in July 2003. But as impressive as Salvation's earnings may be, it could have trouble in the forthcoming weeks. The film's numbers dropped from Friday to Saturday, a rarity that could signal disappointing word of mouth.

Both Star Trek (No. 3 with $29.4 million) and Angels and Demons (No. 4 with $27.7 million) registered solid results, dropping only 47 percent and 53 percent, respectively, from last weekend. Trek, in particular, is holding up extremely well -- the sci-fi reboot is closing in on $200 million and should take over Monsters vs. Aliens this week to become 2009's top moneymaker.

Dance Flick rounded out the top five with $13.1 million, which is a respectable outcome for the modestly budgeted spoof movie from the Wayans family.

On the indie scene, Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience, starring the adult-film actress Sasha Grey, scored an okay $200,000 from 30 theaters. Easy Virtue, the 1920s-era romantic comedy featuring Jessica Biel, roared to $146,000 from just 10 theaters for a healthy average of $14,600 per theater. Also, the con film The Brothers Bloom expanded to 52 theaters, stealing $528,000 and averaging just more than $10,000 per theater.

Overall, the box office was up 2% compared to last year's Memorial Day weekend, when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, despite nuking the fridge, managed to whip up a staggering $126.9 million.

Makes You Want to Poop

Horror Story Printed on Toilet Paper

From: The Associated Press.

TOKYO (May 24) - In a country where ghosts are traditionally believed to hide in the loo, a Japanese company is advertising a new literary experience — a horror story printed on toilet paper.
Each roll carries several copies of a new nine-chapter novella written by Koji Suzuki, the Japanese author of the horror story "Ring," which has been made into movies in both Japan and Hollywood.

"Drop," set in a public restroom, takes up about three feet of a roll and can be read in just a few minutes, according to the manufacturer, Hayashi Paper.
The company promotes the toilet paper, which will sell for $2.20 a roll, as "a horror experience in the toilet."
Toilets in Japan were traditionally tucked away in a dark corner of the house due to religious beliefs. Parents would tease children that a hairy hand might pull them down into the dark pool below.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Star Wars turns 32 years old today!

May is always the month of birthdays when it comes to Star Wars movies and today marks the most significant one of all. On From examiner, May 25, 1977, 32 years ago today, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope was released into theatres and changed the way blockbuster films were made and marketed forever.

It also changed the popular culture landscape in ways that still haven't been measured completely.

In 32 years, Star Wars has become, in its own right, a multi-billion dollar Empire and has inspired millions the world over.

Whether you love Star Wars, or just happen to enjoy watching the movies, it's important to take pause on this day and think about how different a world we would live in if it weren't for Star Wars.

Look around you and you can see its influence everywhere. From words that have crept into our vernacular (like blaster, tractor beam or the Force) to the immortal (often misquoted) revelation that Vader is Luke's father, Star Wars has weaved itself into the fabric of our world and the world is a better place for it.

I would invite you, today, to take out your copy of the original Star Wars film and watch it, taking pause to honor the tremendous impact it has had both on our society and our lives.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spinal Tap: Unwigged and Unplugged

The Wilbur Theater has been good to me: last September, front row at the Dandy Warhols with a substantial Horrorthon contingent; last night, front row for the sold-out Unwigged and Unplugged Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer. The photo above is my exact view of the stage. Of course I was a little skeptical going into this show; I’ve never seen Tap in all their metal glory and was afraid this show would be in the nature of a consolation prize. Fortunately I was dead wrong.

Comedically, the trio were hilarious throughout the show. They were not in character except for brief touches during particular songs, like when Guest became Nigel for “Stonehenge”. There was a touch of multimedia to the show, with a couple of clips of them in different stages of their careers, and a couple of music videos made by fans. Here's one:
We heard stories of the band’s trials and tribulations, and there were a couple of audience stunts including a Q & A that proved some people take Tap wayyyyyyy morer seriously than do I, but in a good way. The men handled all questions with grace and humor. I laughed out loud till I was hoarse.

Musically, I’ve always said these guys are good. I would argue their heavy metal and folk songs are at least as good if not better than many examples from the genres being parodied, which is partly why they are so funny. The men are all good musicans, I would say especially Guest, their voices still sounded strong, and they harmonized beautifully for the folk numbers. The unplugged arrangements of the Tap songs were surprisingly powerful at times. Also, the arrangements meant one could really hear and focus on the lyrics which sometimes get lost in the heavier versions. Even the folk tunes were so catchy that I couldn’t help tapping my feet, though I saved the fist pumps for Tap tunes. The songs played are listed below, not in order cuz I can’t remember, but they interspersed Tap with Folksmen songs throughout the evening. They also added some clever touches and slightly changed lyrics. One notable example was as the final notes of “Bitch School” were dying down, Harry Shearer said “release the hounds” in the voice of Mr. Burns.

In short, sheer comedic and musical bliss! I’m still glowing today, and wearing my Unwigged concert T that I slept in (and I never buy concert merch). Thanks Desroc to tipping me off about the show. Wish you all had been there, and fingers crossed they play as Spinal Tap again on the east coast some day. My next door neighbor at last night’s show has been to a lot of concerts and he claims the Tap show at Great Woods in ‘92 was literally the loudest show he’s ever been to. I still want that experience before I die, but last night certainly took the edge off.

Tap Songs:

All the Way Home
Gimme Some Money
(Listen to the) Flower People
Big Bottom
Heavy Duty
Sex Farm Woman
Bitch School
The Majesty of Rock
Saucy Jack
Break like the wind
Clam caravan
Cups and cakes
Rainy Day sun

Folksmen/Mighty Wind:

Eat at Joe’s
A mighty wind
Kiss at the end of the rainbow (with Annette O’Toole)
Never Did No Wanderin'
Loco Man
The Good Book Song (with Annette O’Toole)
Blood On The Coal
Start Me Up
Corn wine
This bulging River

All backed up (a Harry Shearer Elvis tribute)