Monday, August 31, 2009

What would Popeye look like if he were a real life human?

From slashfilm [excerpt], What would Popeye look like if he were a real life human? Probably nothing like Robin Williams… Six time Academy Award-winning special effects makeup artist Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London, Men in Black) apparently decided to sculpt a real-life version of the famous cartoon sailor man.

Disney to buy Marvel for $4 billion

NEW YORK ( -- The Walt Disney Co. announced Monday that it has agreed to purchase comic book and action hero company Marvel Entertainment for about $4 billion.

If Marvel shareholders approve the deal, they would receive $30 per share in cash and 0.745 shares of Disney for each share of Marvel that they hold.

"We believe that adding Marvel to Disney's unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation," said Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger, in a statement.

Marvel has launched a large number of action-hero movies over the past decade, including last summer's Iron Man blockbuster, which was fully financed by by the comic book company. Marvel also holds the rights to popular action hero characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Thor.

"Disney is the perfect home for Marvel's fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses," said Marvel Chief Executive Ike Perlmutter. "This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney's tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world."

Shares of Marvel (MVL) soared 27% in morning trading. Shares of Disney (DIS, Fortune 500) were flat.

Remastered Beatles catalog comes together, real soon

By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY
You say you want a revelation?
Listen to the intensified punch of Come Together, the majestic breadth of The Long and Winding Road, the modern sheen on Love Me Do and the renewed thrust in I Am the Walrus.

The Beatles catalog, digitally remastered for the first time, is arriving in stores Sept. 9 amid a joyful noise from fans.

Audiophiles have long lamented the thin, shrill results of the music's 1987 transfer to CD, flaws magnified by advances in digital technology that enriched the recordings of peers with repeated remastering rounds.

"Even people listening on lower-quality ear buds and MP3s will hear a drastic jump in quality," says Beatles historian Matt Hurwitz, who heard a sampling of the new tracks. "We're hearing something a lot closer to the stereo and mono mixes produced in the '60s. This is the way The Beatles heard it."

Though frustrating for fans, the wait has heightened drama and value, says Beatles scholar Martin Lewis.

"Fans chomping at the bit felt that Apple was painfully slow responding to demand," he says. "But at least The Beatles haven't been overly repackaged like Elvis and The Who."

Read the rest here

The Greatest Pinball Game No One Will Ever Play

From toplessrobot, TR reader Manny sent me this, and I'm hope it's as new to some of you guys as it was to me. Basically, there's a 2007 documentary called Tilt: The Battle to Save Pinball, about how the few remaining guys working at the Williams pinball company in 1998 or so were charged with creating a pinball game that would revolutionize the industry or they'd all be fired.

Apparently, they did create such a pinball game. And then they were all shit-canned anyways, and the game was thrown in the trash.

This trailer for the documentary has a few tantalizing glimpses of the machine -- full of holograms and animation -- and it looks maddeningly awesome; it hurts to know how close we were to getting it. Of course, it surely hurts worse for the guys who made it, who achieved the impossible, and then were denied the chance to officially succeed anyways. That's horrible for everyone.

Daily Spider-Man - Today's Edition: Yesterday's bonk on Spidey's head causes him to forget it, repeat it

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Daily Spider-Man - Sunday Edition: M.J.'s presence continues to cause problems

Box Office

From ew, For many, the creative relevance of 3-D cinema remains an open question. But this weekend reinforces the format’s commercial power at the box office. Despite a moviegoing weekend dominated by R-rated violent thriller-type films ostensibly shooting for the same audience, The Final Destination scared up $28.3 million for an easy No. 1 berth, according to early estimates from Box Office. That’s almost $10 million better than the opening frame for the last film in the creatively-dispatching-model-perfect-unknown-actors franchise (which, for those keeping track, was Final Destination 3). There’s really only one reason why: Although just over half its 3,121 theaters were screening the flick in 3-D, fully 70 percent of its box office take came from 3-D theaters. And theaters typically charge an extra few bucks per ticket for the privilege of watching the film with those comfy stereoscopic glasses. Rest assured, despite its title (and its abysmal “C” CinemaScore grade), this is by no means the final Final Destination movie.

The folks at the The Weinstein Company, meanwhile, had mixed news for their much scrutinized bottom line: Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds landed at No. 2 with a rather spectacular $20 million, just 47 percent down from its opening weekend; the film’s cumulative total is $73.7 million. TWC’s sister company Dimension Films, however, saw its Halloween II open to a disappointing third with $17.4 million. Director Rob Zombie’s second re-imagining of the 31-year-old slasher franchise made nothing close to the $30.6 million debut of Zombie’s first night out with Michael Myers over Labor Day 2007. But given the steep competition and the film’s $15 million budget, it will most likely yield a modest profit. (TWC also announced plans for another Halloween sequel, this time without Zombie but in 3-D.)

The box office love continued through much of the weekend’s top 10: District 9 dropped just 41 percent with $10.7 million, strong enough to hold on to fourth place and, with a $90.8 mil running total, well on its way to joining the $100 million club. At No. 5, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra banged out $8 million, a 34 percent drop and $132 million total. And Julie & Julia savored a tiny 16 percent drop for sixth, with $7.4 million in its fourth weekend for $70.9 million total.

In fact, the only true disappointment for the weekend was Focus Features’ Taking Woodstock. Director Ang Lee’s trip back to the iconic three-day concert debuted at ninth with just $3.7 million, doubly disappointing since it opened wide in 1,393 theaters (after a Wednesday opening in New York and Los Angeles) and netted a feeble $2,691 per theater average. By contrast, two limited-release debuts did rather well: Vogue magazine documentary The September Issue bowed on six screens with a fashionable $40,000 per theater average; and the extreme-sports-fandom-gone-wrong dramedy Big Fan won $13,000 per theater on two screens.

Halloween 3D Slated for Summer 2010 Without Rob Zombie

From slashfilm, [excerpt] Over the weekend, the conclusion to Rob Zombie’s fresh take on the franchise, Halloween II, grossed $17 million. Budgeted at $15 million, the sequel would likely have grossed much more if not for direct competition with the weekend’s top movie and debut, The Final Destination 3D (a very healthy $28m). Today, the rebounding Weinstein Company announced a new, eleventh installment that is already in the planning stages. Entitled, not-so-curiously, Halloween 3D, it’s slated for release next summer.

According to the LA Times, Dimension’s Bob Weinstein offered that Zombie would not be back, as expected per his upcoming The Blob, and that a new director is in talks, one with experience in horror and a “different take” on Michael Myers.

Read the rest here

Friday, August 28, 2009

Daily Spider-Man - Today's Edition: Wolverine breaks free, poised for thrilling explanation of how he broke free

74% of Children Tenting Out in Yard Don't Make it Through the Night

WASHINGTON—According to a new report released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services, 74 percent of all American children camping out in their backyards never, ever make it through the night.

The study, which surveyed hundreds of innocent children between the ages of 7 and 12, found that, in almost all cases, sleeping outdoors in a tent with a flashlight and comic books and who knows what else lurking around in the dark ended in horrible tragedy.

"We now have definitive proof that most children who camp out in their yards will die a horrific death," said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services. "Whether it's a sudden wolf attack, an escaped mental patient, or just Old Man Greenly, who lost his hand in a gruesome mill accident and now seeks his bloody revenge, young boys and girls rarely live to see their parents or friends again."

Conducted over the course of two months, the study documented nearly 18,345 ways in which children, who never suspected a thing until it was far too late, met their grisly demise.

In 29 percent of all recorded cases, young campers were chopped up into tiny pieces by fugitive axe murderers. While a shocking 32 percent of kids, snacking on potato chips and candy bars, awakened the ghost of a little baby boy named Jeremy.

According to the study, 100 percent of all children tried to scream and yell for help, but nothing came out.

"Though a terrifying scenario, kids should not worry too much about the prospect of being attacked by killer ghosts," said Dr. Howard Fredericks, the study's chief researcher and a professor of forensic biology at Columbia University. "Especially since our data suggests they're three times more likely to be kidnapped by the Very Lonely Woman Who Lives in the Woods."

"She's this horrible-looking woman with scabs all over her face who had her children taken away by the state," Fredericks continued. "She now roams across the suburbs at night, crying and wailing, and mistaking young kids playing inside their tents for her own."

Although Fredericks claimed that the odds of an unsuspecting child surviving until morning were slim, he did issue a list of warning signs to watch for. The sound of a nearby twig snapping, Fredericks said, almost always indicates that a half-man, half-lizard swamp creature, who feeds on the organs of schoolchildren while they're still alive, is on the prowl. In addition, the study found that turning off one's flashlight or closing one's eyes for "even a second" is an open invitation to all disfigured hitchhikers in the area to suddenly attack.

"Children should know, however, that if they hear scratching on the side of their tent, it's probably just their older brother trying to scare them," Fredericks said. "And if the scratching suddenly stops, it's most likely because their parents have gone insane and crept up from behind with this really demonic look in their eyes and slit his throat."

As dire as these findings may appear, Fredericks claimed there was one way for children camping outdoors to escape their fate.

"If they are able to avoid being bitten by poisonous spiders crawling around inside their sleeping bag, can keep all their fingers and toes crossed long enough to ward off Sister Mary, and manage to run back home without the inbred family of cannibal people seeing them first, they may actually stand a chance," said Fredericks, an eerie smile forming on his lips. "But even if they do, there's no telling what they'll find once they get inside."

"And I should know," he added, pulling out a gleaming butcher knife from behind his back. "I'm in there now."

Classic Drivers Ed Shock and Scare Film Library DVD

From amazon, This classic late 1930s to late 1950s film library of Drivers Ed films covers all the do's and don'ts of safe driving. The films are a mix of good advice - 50's style - and dramatic shots of accidents and accident scenes designed to scare young about to be drivers into being responsible drivers. Many of you will have seen one or more of these films during your school years and many others will get a kick out of how differently driving and driving safety was viewed 50 years ago. If you drive or are thinking of driving, this collection is sure to delight and thrill. Here are all the films that make up this historical collection: Signal 30 (1959) - Sound, Color Run time: 27:06; Last Date (1949) - sound, Black & White Run time: 19:00; Road Runners - Sound, Black & White Run time: 11:46; A Cool Hot Rod (1953) - sound, Black & White Run time: 26:07; Stop Driving Us Crazy! - Sound, Color Run time: 9:51; Live and Let Live (1947) - Sound, Color Run time: 10:15; The Other Fellow starring comedian Edgar Kennedy (1937) - Sound, Black & White

Three Frames is a freaky website

From geekology, Three Frames is a website that chooses three frames out of a different movie every day and plays them, looping. It almost gave me a seizure. No, it DID give me a seizure. djla; wl;qwa a la;kaeoee wwpw ww ;llala. Get it? Because I'm shaking so bad! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go back over myself in the face.

Check out the site here

The J-27

I know there are other music geeks out there in Horrorthon-land...actually, aren't we all music geeks (in addition to everything else)? Anyway, as I continue my obsessive study of the technical structure of rock and roll, I'm compelled to share my lastest fixation.

Behold the Euler J-27 four-track mastering tape recorder (above). This Euler was one of a pair installed at EMI's Abbey Road studios in the latter half of the sixties.

Basically, you're looking at "Revolver," "Rubber Soul," "Sergeant Pepper" and "The White Album." The Beatles used 2-track recording for most of their early stuff, leading up to late 1964 when they officially stopped touring and began recording only. While experimenting with multiple mixdowns (or "bounces") between the two Eulers, engineer Geoff Emerick and John Lennon helped pioneer the "flanging" (or auto-tracking) technique that was used for years. "Sergeant Pepper" in particular pushed the Eulers to their limits, given that they're four-track machines (and several of the album cuts use reversed or cut-up individual dubbed tracks, like the scrambled track in "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite."

By 1969 the technology had improved, and "Abbey Road" is the first and only Beatles record to be recorded in eight-track rather than four. (Ringo's drums get a real stereo picture for the first time). It's also the first to be mixed on a solid-state desk (which George Harrison didn't like due to it's "harsh" sound). There's also a Moog synthesizer on "Abbey Road" ("Because") which is a first (and last) for the band. Anyway, four tracks on a Euler, and that's enough to change the history of music. Just ten years later, when The Police, Talking Heads and Elvis Costello were starting out, you'd never see less than 64 tracks in any studio worth discussing. But with the Beatles it's like Italian food or German architecture: as simple as a raindrop. close your eyes and every single element is right can nearly always hear all four tracks. It's magic.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Contraversial texting PSA

Shelley Duvall loses her mind

From worstpreviews, Friends and neighbors are coming forward about the mental state of Shelley Duvall, who co-starred opposite Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" and Robin Williams in "Popeye."

Several Blanco, Texas residents have voiced their concerns for the actress because she spends night after night patrolling her backyard, convinced her home is a portal for aliens.

One local told the Globe, "Shelley is such a tragic soul. I feel terrible for her and wish someone could step in and do something. She desperately needs help."

Many have spotted the 60-year-old Duvall, who hasn't acted since 2002, flashing her car lights in a bid to communicate with extra-terrestrials and "wandering around town... looking disheveled, strange and totally crazy."

Another local said, "She mutters to herself and talks about aliens living in her body."

And a local hardware supplier added, "One time she came in and asked for dirt and boards to block up a hole in her backyard because, she said, 'That's a portal into another dimension. That's where the aliens are coming in.'"

Asteroids do not concern me, Admiral. I want that toaster, not excuses.

From Nerd Approved:

Nothing starts off your morning better than slipping a piece of bread into an evil looking, black toaster. Each piece of toast that finishes will add one more Darth Vader Helmet to the world. Stare it down and then eat it as a part of your nutritious breakfast. Defeating the Dark Lord before you even leave the house every morning makes the rest of your day seem simple by comparison.


And the winner is Handsome Stan!

Wow, great turnout and really nice work, everyone. Here's how I decided: I cut and paste every haiku that really caught my attention into a Word document, and in the end, Handsome Stan was all over that page. He had several zingers in there, starting strong with this:

I'm the real "light-weight"
I drink 12 "light" beers per night
And then I gain "weight"

Sure, it's kind of a silly joke, but dudes, he put it in haiku form. Then he went on to pretty much express my viewpoint here, and also give me a glimpse of my future dilemma--how the hell to talk to Z about D....

What to tell my kids?"
Had a GREAT time doing drugs,
AND talked to God." Nope.

Please, kids - don't do drugs
You just may laugh your ass off
Or speak with Nature

And then there's this:

Mushrooms & acid
Things that aren't good on pizza
But are good in head


And there were more! Stan rocked this topic.

Coming in for a close second was Catfreek, with her epic haiku compositions detailing the ups and downs of every drug. I won't quote them here, as they're long, but great work. I also enjoyed DCD's two question and answer haiku pairs, one of which ended with this gem:

"Sex on the Beach, please.
Tee-Hee-Hee." Just you wait, Slick.
Pink puke all over.

Pink puke is alliterative and amusing, no way around it.

And we even had a rare (maybe a singular???) appearance from Puffinslayer with this deep musing:

People who say that
Alcohol is not answer,
Ask the wrong questions

So true.

Thanks for making my first hour of work fun, everyone. And congrats, Handsome Stan!

Megan Fox As Batman 3's Catwoman?

From cinemablend, Megan Fox is being rumored to play Catwoman, joining a long line of completely incorrect Catwoman announcements foisted on the moviegoing public by the attention-whoring British tabloid media. This particular one comes from The Sun, which I refuse to link to because even if this somehow turns out to be true, they’ve generated so many of these fake Batman 3 casting rumors that they really don’t deserve it.

This time The Sun insists that she’s been signed to play the character. To substantiate their claim they present, well, nothing and then pronounce that Batman 3 will be shot next year and released in 2011. Unfortunately, out here in reality, no one’s really certain whether the movie is even happening let alone when.

So why, you ask, do blogs like this one continue reporting these bullshit British tabloid casting rumors? Two reasons really. First, because when we don’t you, our dear readers, inevitably end up asking us why we haven’t. Second, because the one time we don’t report one of their bullshit casting rumors it will, of course, turn out to be true.

Is Megan Fox as Catwoman true? Probably not. She’s been nothing but disdainful toward the notion of casting her as any superhero character in the past. When asked if she wanted to play Wonder Woman for instance, Megan said: “She's lame. She flies around in an invisible jet, but she's not invisible. I don't get it.” Catwoman perhaps fits her personality a little better but that doesn’t mean she’s doing it. We’ll let you know if there’s ever an official confirmation, until then The Sun’s track record demands that this be treated as casting vapor. Don't inhale.

5 weeks until Horrorthon '09!!!

From bloodydisgusting, Sam (Donahue) is a pretty college sophomore, so desperate to earn some cash for a deposit on an apartment that she accepts a babysitting job even after she finds out there is no baby. Mr. and Mrs. Ulman (cult actors Noonan and Woronov) are the older couple who lure Sam out to their creeky Victorian mansion deep in the woods, just in time for a total lunar eclipse. Megan (Gerwig) is Sam’s best friend, who gives her a ride out to the house, and reluctantly leaves her there despite suspecting that something is amiss. Victor (Bowen) at first seems like just a creepy guy lurking around the house, but quickly makes it clear that Sam will end this night in a bloody fight for her life....

Do Want: Dinosaur Shaped Sandwich Cutter

From geekology

Decades too late, Heathers: The Television Show?!

From variety, Dear Diary: Fox is developing a contemporary take on the 1989 Christian Slater/Winona Ryder feature "Heathers."
Dark comedy will be adapted for TV by scribe Mark Rizzo, with an assist from "Sex and the City" alum Jenny Bicks. Sony Pictures TV, where Bicks is based, will produce, along with Lakeshore Entertainment, which holds the rights to "Heathers."

Rizzo is still kicking around ideas on how to update "Heathers" 20 years after the film became a favorite among the underground set. But the characters from the movie are all expected to be there -- Veronica Sawyer (played in the movie by Ryder), J.D. (Slater) and the "Heathers."

The original movie revolved around Veronica as she navigates a clique of mean girls -- all named Heather -- and rebels after meeting J.D., the new guy at school. Soon, the Heathers start "accidentally" dying at the hands of Veronica and J.D., who cover up the deaths by faking them as suicides. Ryder's character chronicles her teen angst and the rising body count with regular diary entries.

The idea for a "Heathers" revival came from inside UTA, where reps for Rizzo and Bicks decided the title was ripe for revival and contacted Lakeshore about potentially dusting off the franchise.

For Lakeshore, the project, which is in the script stage at Fox, reps its introduction to the world of TV.

"We had the title, and talked about doing a film remake at times," said Lakeshore prexy Gary Lucchesi. "But doing it for TV seemed like a fresh and original idea."

Rizzo is onboard to write and exec produce, while Bicks is a nonwriting exec producer. Lucchesi and Lakeshore's Tom Rosenberg will also exec produce.

Rizzo's credits include the pilot "Zip," which was developed twice at NBC, while Bicks is also known for "Men in Trees" and "Leap of Faith" and has also been adapting "Washingtonienne" for HBO.

The original "Heathers" pic was directed by Michael Lehmann and penned by Daniel Waters. Other stars included Shannen Doherty.

Breaking: Govenor Schwarzenegger Keeps Conan's Sword in his Office

From toplessrobot, Also breaking: That is fucking awesome. I don't care if you love Schwarzenegger the politician or hate his policies -- not living in California, I'm under the vague impression that his fuck-ups have been on par with a regular politician, and not the disasters you might expect from a man who willingly made Kindergarten Cop and Junior -- that is just totally badass. We all know he'd never use it to hack some hack lobbyist in twain during a boring meetings, but he could... and moreover, he knows he could. If he really had to. Check out some more pics of Schwarzenegger's office -- including a very bizarre video he made in office while holding a very large knife for no apparent reason.

See more pictures here

[JPX nerd confession, "I've never seen any of the Conan films."]

Daily Spider-Man - Today's edition: Spidey clarifies the nature of his super powers

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Steven Spielberg to complete Michael Crichton's mission

By Anthony Breznican, USA TODAY

The men who brought dinosaurs back to life in Jurassic Park are teaming up again, though it's a bittersweet reunion since one of them is no longer here.

Steven Spielberg is developing a film out of a posthumously published novel by the late Michael Crichton—Pirate Latitudes, an adventure story set off the coast of Jamaica in 1665.

Screenwriter David Koepp, who adapted Crichton's novels for Jurassic Park and its sequel The Lost World, also has signed on to create the script. Spielberg plans to produce and is considering directing.

Read the rest here

Haiku Hump Day Topic: Booze & Drugs

Thanks for the win last week! It was an exciting one for me.

This week, I'd like us all to contemplate the stuff that makes life good. Or at least forgettable enough that it all fades into a hazy blur and who cares if it's good.

While discussing this subject as potential material, Octo remarked that JPX might feel left out. But just because we're discussing drugs doesn't mean we have to stick to illegal drugs. Let's not forget about these:

I'm sure JPX has mucho experience with the effects of pills of all kinds.

The rest of us might not have much experience beyond the basics:

But we do have our imaginations. And plenty of real life celebrity examples:

So let's get crackin'. Eh, so to speak. Haiku humpers, have at it.

Daily Spider-Man - Today's Edition: Adamantium adamantium adaMANtium!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Daily Spider-Man - Today's Edition: Spidey negotiates with terrorist, fails

The Making of Your Favorite '80s Movie Besides 'Ghostbusters'

From iwatchstuff, Remember that movie with the kids and pirate boat you liked to watch so much as a kid? The Goony, I believe it was called. Well, now you can see the difficulties director Richard Donner had in working with a cast of children in this 1985 making-of featurette. It looks like this film was probably Donner's most difficult shoot until Maverick, when the white hot chemistry between Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster was surely a distraction to all involved.

Slow news day

Captain Jack Sparrow Fighting Steampunk Captain Nemo In Pirates 4

From cinemablend, It was way back in 2007 that we were the first and only website to deliver details on what Disney might be planning for the inevitable fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Read our original story right here because now as the fourth movie draws closer to swinging into production our scoop is being confirmed by other sources.

That confirmation comes from Hollywood-Elsewhere where they say the plot of the film will involve a search for the Fountain of Youth. More importantly, there will be a Captain Nemo-type villain using more modern technology. They postulate that they’re going for a steampunk asthetic

All of that jives with our 2007 report in which our scooper told us, “Jerry Bruckheimer could be planning to enter the realm of Science Fiction this time around.” More specifically, “Some of the brainstorming going around involves some Jules Verne type of scenarios.” In fact our scooper even hinted at Captain Nemo as one of the villains.

It’s all still rumor until there’s some sort of official confirmation, but so far Pirates of the Caribbean 4 seems to be unfolding as expected.


Pixar's only bad film gets a sequel

JimHillMedia is reporting that the Walt Disney Company registered several domain names that give a hint to the name of the upcoming "Cars" sequel. The domain names are:,,, and So clearly, the new title is "Cars 2: World Grand Prix," or something similar to that.

The site added that "Cars" is one of Disney's fastest growing key franchises, having generated over $5 billion in licensed merchandise since its debut back in June of 2006.

The sequel is directed by Brad Lewis, who will be making his feature film debut. It scheduled to hit theaters on June 24th, 2011.

[JPX fell asleep in the middle of Cars, woke up and was still bored out of his skull]

Sweden Has All the Good Legos

From toplesstobot, You know how when you were a kid, and you were trying to build something with your Legos, you were always missing a certain piece and/or a certain color? Apparently, that's because Sweden took them all -- so that animator Tomas Redigh could make this absolutely batshit insane video commemorating 8-bit gaming. Seriously, I think this is the kind of stuff angels make in heaven with their Lego sets.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Daily Spider-Man - Today's Edition: Spider-Man is about to trade Mary Jane for some gum

James Cameron to Promote 3-D TVs

From worstpreviews, Panasonic and Sony have been working on building and promoting TVs that can properly display 3-D content. Both companies are planning to start selling these 3-D TVs next year. At this point, it is not clear how much they would cost.

To become a 3D leader, Panasonic has signed director James Cameron to give the company ideas for technological improvements and help with promoting the product.

Panasonic plans to have several vans driving around in the US and Europe next month with large-screen 3D TVs inside showing "Avatar." In Japan, footage from the movie will appear in ads for 3D TVs.

"I believe 3D is how we will experience movies, gaming and computing in the near future. 3D is not something you watch. It's a reality you feel you could step into," said Cameron.

Avatar Sets New Apple Trailer Record, Toys and Video Game Trailer Revealed

From slashfilm, The teaser trailer for James Cameron’s Avatar created a lot of debate online, and left many over-hyped film fannatics disappointed. But 20th Century Fox is left with bragging rights as the Avatar trailer has become the most-viewed trailer in history with over 4 million streams in the first day. The previous record was 1.7 million in 24 hours. You can read the full press release after the jump.

Thankfully Fox was able to win a lot of curious film goers back with their Avatar Day promotion. Online tickets sold out despite server problems, reports of screenings being half empty, but from what I can tell, the resulting word of mouth has been overwhelmingly positive. Many of the people who were complaining about the CG of the teaser trailer were left glowing about the amazing 3D visuals and realistic facial movements of the Na’vi in the 15 minute footage preview (However, some complained about the on-the-nose dialogue and expressed worry about what appears to be a predictable story).

But is it enough? How many people attended the Avatar Day screenings? 100,000? 200,000? And it seems logical to me that anyone who would make the trip to their nearest IMAX theatre to see 15 minutes of footage, were already going to buy tickets already. Will the positive word of mouth pay off?

I have combined some of the things we missed during all the Avatar Day excitement after the jump, including photos of the ugly Avatar action figure toy line and the trailer for the video game.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

'Inglourious Basterds' rules the weekend box office

From ew,Score a personal best at the box office for Quentin Tarantino this weekend. Inglourious Basterds, his revisionist take on WWII starring Brad Pitt, grossed an estimated $37.6 million, besting the reigning box office champ District 9, and giving beleaguered studio The Weinstein Co. a little financial relief. Basterds‘ opening far surpasses Tarantino’s previous best opener, Kill Bill Vol. 2, which brought in $25 million in April 2004. The critical question now is how Basterds will hold up during the next few weeks. Since Weinstein only has domestic rights to the movie–Universal Pictures holds international–a large overall gross stateside is mandatory for the company.

Warner Bros. had a much harder time with its release Shorts from auteur Robert Rodriguez. Opening to only $6.6 million, the PG-rated kid flick landed in a weak 6th place finish for its opening frame. The only other new release to reach the top ten was Fox Searchlight’s post-college flick Post Grad starring Alexis Bledel. Despite opening in 1,959 locations, the film grossed only an estimated $2.8 million for the three days.

Among holdovers. District 9 did incredibly well considering Basterds was angling directly for its male audience. The $30 million sci-fi movie from newcomer Neil Blomkamp dropped a scant 49% to $18.9 million putting its total ten day gross at an impressive $73 million. G.I. Joe also hung in for its third week in theaters. The high-octane actioner fell only 44% to $12.5 million. It’s three-week cume now stands at $120 million. Female moviegoers helped keep The Time Traveler’s Wife and Julie & Julia in the top five. Time Traveler dropped only 46% to $10 million its second week putting its ten-day gross at $37.4 million while Julie & Julia fell only 25%, which is remarkable considering the movie is in its third week of release. Grossing $9 million for the three days, the Meryl Streep, Amy Adams two-hander has now earned $59 million total.

Thanks to the strong opening of Basterds and the solid hold of the incumbent films, the box office was up 26% compared to the same time last year. It’s the third week in a row the box office was up after four weekends of unimpressive results. Next weekend’s horror mash-up of Halloween II and The Final Destination 3-D should yield some positive results too.

Watch the trailer for Sherlock Holmes!

Yeah, watch it!

(The two trailers are nearly identical, but #1 is funnier.)

Daily Spider-Man - Sunday Edition: "There there, Aunt May, I'm going to miss Uncle Ben too -- but at least we have his giant floating head."

My first title was "Octopunk called it." Because I totally did.

The teaser trailer for Avatar has arrived

Watch it now!

[Octopunk: I'm bumping this up because the chatter is still going.]

Friday, August 21, 2009

Daily Spider-Man - Today's Edition: "So Mr. Parker, why do you want to get a divorce?"

Avatar vs. Delgo

This is great! Apparently there was this animated feature called "Delgo," which I didn't see, but which everyone's sardonically referring to in reference to the Avatar trailer. Anyway, somebody did a side-by-side comparison of the two, and they're nearly identical. Take a look!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy 40th Birthday, JPX!

That's right, your most beloved blogmaster is crossing decades this very day. Here to commemorate is a photo booth picture of him taken in the mid 80's. What a stud. Here's a picture of him today:

As you can see, age and constant internet surfing have taken their toll. He is now nearsighted, terribly wrinkled and Asian.

Oh, wait a second...

Perhaps this one is more accurate. I guess the light is hitting him in a flattering way. This is from last Friday when JPX rendezvoused with me and some of my family in Cape Cod. Left to right that's Zack (honorary horrorthonner), Julie, me, JPX, Dana's Brain and Landshark. The horrorthonnery was then quickly reduced as D-Brain got in her car like five minutes later and went home. But it was great to see JPX before his glorious thirties were over.

I have the honor of calling JPX my oldest friend. We've been geeking it up since 4th grade, he was my partner in guerilla artistry when we made stop-motion movies together, and there's no other person in the past three decades who has done more to keep me feeling young. I fully expect we'll be swapping tales of toy acquisitions when we have long white beards and ear trumpets.

Happy birthday, my friend. I'd tell you to go out and do something fun but you're old now, so enjoy that warm milk tonight and wear an extra shawl for me.

Haiku Hump Day Results: The Roast Was Delicious! (sorry for the late post)


Well, what a stimulating day of negativity! I would like to state, for the record, that Johnny Sweatpants is really a helluva guy, and my best friend. I cannot imagine a world in which his humor and his personality were not an integral part of how I look at life. I can only hope that the rest of you, and the world at large, view it the same way.

I look at his sense of humor VS mine the way that Jimmy Olsen looks at himself VS Superman. I’ll take the pictures and follow you around, but I can’t carry Miss Lane AND a helicopter. Could never hope to, could never aspire to. I mean that in the most sincerest way possible.

This second picture has nothing to do with anything. I just think it’s awesome. And I want to have babies with this woman.

Ditto his ability at all sorts of games. He possesses the mind of an advanced human being, and I hope to God, I hope to Hell, I hope to the Utterly Indifferent Universe that I could someday be an uncle to his offspring. Because THOSE kids would kick the shit out of other kids at Ms. Pac Man. We would see to it. And it would be a crime against Nature for his gene pool to lie stagnant. As I feel about my own. But that’s a topic for a WHOLE other blog.

Awww. Little Sweatpants! Just look at him go!

That notwithstanding, we had a lot of good Sweatpants-bashing this week. Here’s JPX, with a great assortment of brotherly rage:

Don't play games with him
Frustrating experience
You will never win


He's lost many phones
More phones than I have fingers
Who loses a phone?

(Brilliant, and not the place to get into JSP’s lack of common sense about basic items. I once had to order a pizza for him from New York, to be delivered in San Francisco, or Walnut Creek, or whatever the hell.)

AC, whose brainchild this all was, dropped some serious bombs about everyone, and recovered from her initial weekly All Copout haikus:

johnny's a bastard
got me to join facebook,
then whipped me at word twist

miko's a bastard
joined our clan, made us love him,
divorced our asses

jordan's a bastard
a writer who won't haiku;
use an alias!

Catfreeeek, never one to disappoint, had SO many gems, and for a while I thought she had the title:

Stan wrestled my kids
Taught Zeke the famous nut shot
He screwed himself there

(so true…so true…)

JSP's love life
At the Showcase Cinema
Dumb concessionists

Do I have that right?
Stan dated those dim wits too
Some easy targets

And Puffinslayer
Too busy gluing his ears
So they looked elvish

(All of which is SO true…SO true…)

Trevor, Tami’s Friend and Math Teacher, even got involved, with a couple that almost had me awarding him the title:

Johnny - Don't know him
I don't know any of you
Gonna stay that way

Johnny Sweatpants tale
Kissed me on the mouth after
my wedding! - not true.

In the end, Julie takes the title this week with two well-placed barbs that hit a double bullseye, one staying true to the “roast” spirit and effectively destroying everyone at once:

Too many haikus.
You all kind of suck, really.
I mean, get a life.

Every Wednesday, I couldn’t imagine a better haiku, no matter what the topic. And then there was this nugget, based on (in theory) the kid mashing his hands on the keyboard:

Zack can't type for shit.
Is it mean to roast babies?
'Cause you know, yummy!

The entire concept of baby roasting, especially considering that she was trashing her own (based on horrible typing skills), was the knockout blow. It went down to the basis of humor: here’s a mom, offering up her child for devouring, with Catfreeeek waiting in the wings for leftovers. The reader is JOLTED into a situation that demands their brain accept two very different concepts.

Such is the stuff of brilliant comedy. As Mel Brooks once famously said, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when YOU walk into an open sewer and die.” I think I may have quoted that one before. I suck.

Congratulations, Julie, and nicely done, everyone!