Thursday, May 28, 2015

Jaws turns 40, returns to theaters for another feeding

From ew, Summer movies, as we know them, began 40 years ago. For decades, the warm-weather months had been a dumping ground for Hollywood’s genre fare and B-movies. But in 1975, a different kind of movie was unleashed in theaters. Jaws was like chum to the media and movie audiences, who couldn’t get enough of Steven Spielberg’s terrifying adaptation of Peter Benchley’s best-seller. It became an instant and defining blockbuster, with repeat customers who still jumped with fright at the scariest moments—even though John Williams’ score warned them that danger lurked beneath the waves.

On June 21, fans of Jaws will have another opportunity to see the classic on the big screen, as it was intended. Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies, and Universal Pictures will present special screenings in nearly 500 theaters around the country. TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz will provide a special introduction for an afternoon and evening showing, as well as an encore presentation on June 24. “Jaws is a classic thriller enjoyed by generations and it is ready for a comeback,” said Fathom Events vice president of programming Kymberli Frueh-Owens. “Movie buffs will love seeing their favorite killer shark larger than life on the big screen. No risk of shark bite!”

There’s the famous anecdote that Spielberg tells how he knew Jaws was going to be a huge hit only after a member of the audience rushed out of a preview screening in the middle of the movie, threw up in the lobby… and then hurried back in to watch the rest. For those types of Jaws nerds, fans who rightfully treatQuint’s Indianapolis soliloquoy with Shakespearean reverance and already know every behind-the-scenes story about the near-disastrous making of the film on and around Martha’s Vineyard, the June screenings will be a celebration of a movie that helped define their childhood. And for the younger generation, which may not have been introduced toJaws yet despite frequent Blu-ray editions and constant cable showings, it’s about time to dip their toes in the water, and finally see why Williams simple score still has the power to get swimmers out of the water.

Tickets can be purchased at, or at participating theaters.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

'Mad Max: Fury Road' B-Roll Confirms This Stuff Was Really Real and Awesome

From iwatchstuff, As everyone who has seen it won't shut up about, Mad Max: Fury Road is filled with such palpably-visceral, awe-inspiring stunts, it feels like they have to be almost entirely real. These people have been the farmers market crowd telling you how you've been consuming factory-produced bullshit as they dined on the vital and real.

But has it really been so real? Well, in this case, it turns out, yeah, it has been--as is confirmed with this B-roll footage from the film. Most of those exploding cars? They totally exploded. And you can see that happen, and it is very real, and very cool, and now you can live out that lovely day below. Enjoy!

Point Break remake trailer

Honest Trailers - Armageddon

Joe Dante's BURYING THE EX Trailer (Horror Comedy - 2015)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Holiday Box Office Lowest Since 2001

From huffingtonpost, This was a Memorial Day Hollywood would love to forget.

Typically the fourth weekend of May is one of the biggest of the year at the box office. This year, the industry’s estimated take between Friday and Monday in the U.S. and Canada was $190 million, according to Rentrak. That is the lowest since 2001—particularly bad when considering that average ticket prices have risen 44% over that time, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.

The key reason for the empty multiplexes was the weak performance of “Tomorrowland,” the weekend’s sole new big-budget movie and a rare misfire for Walt Disney Co.Borrowing its title from an area at Disneyland but featuring an original story, the science-fiction film garnered mixed reviews and opened to an estimated $41.7 million over the four-day holiday weekend.

Last year, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” grossed $110.6 million on Memorial Day weekend. The prior year, “Fast & Furious 6” opened to $97.4 million.

“Tomorrowland” featured a rare attempt by the company to spend big money—$180 million in this case—on a movie that didn’t feature characters or a fictional world already well known to audiences. Like “The Lone Ranger” and “John Carter,” more-expensive attempts by Disney to jump-start franchises, “Tomorrowland” has had difficulty drawing audiences.

The studio behind “Tomorrowland,” Walt Disney Pictures, has struggled to launch new film franchises, though it has had recent success with live-action adaptations of animated classics like “Maleficent,” based on “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Cinderella.”

Particularly disappointing to the company was that the PG-rated movie, directed by Brad Bird of “The Incredibles” and “Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol” fame and starringGeorge Clooney, wasn’t a big draw with families. Only 30% of audiences Saturday were families, according to exit polls.

“I do think an original [story] plays a part in parents waiting to hear from other parents,” said Disney’s executive vice president of distribution, Dave Hollis. “We also played on the mystery” in the marketing and “weren’t as explicit about what it is.”

Despite the disappointing holiday weekend, Hollywood has high hopes for the rest of the summer, pinned on much-anticipated “tent-pole” movies including “Jurassic World,” “Terminator: Genisys,” “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” and the “Despicable Me” spinoff “Minions”—all jumping off from existing fan favorites.

Disney’s Mr. Hollis said he hoped “Tomorrowland” would perform better with families in the coming weeks, as there isn’t a new PG-rated movie until Disney’s own “Inside Out,” from Pixar Animation Studios, on June 19.

International audiences were even less willing than Americans to take a risk on an a movie with an unfamiliar premise. “Tomorrowland” opened to a weak $26.7 million in 65 foreign markets.

Its highest grossing foreign country was Russia, with just $3.6 million. By contrast, “Mad Max: Fury Road” opened to $6 million there last weekend. In the U.K. “Tomorrowland” opened to $2.1 million, while “Mad Max” outgrossed it with $4 million on its second weekend.

“It’s less than we hoped for on the international side, but it’s a little too early to judge how we really feel,” said Mr. Hollis, pointing to the film’s high-stakes opening in China on Tuesday.

“Tomorrowland” barely beat “Pitch Perfect 2,” which grossed $37.9 million over four days. The hit a capella sequel from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures has now collected a strong $125.4 million domestically and $187.1 million world-wide.

Also new in theaters this weekend was a remake of the 1982 horror classic “Poltergeist,” which was released by 21st Century Fox’s Twentieth Century Fox and co-financed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. It opened to an estimated $26.5 million, a decent start for a film that cost $35 million to make.

Friday, May 22, 2015

'A Very Murray Christmas' trailer

The Gallows official trailer

The lesson nobody learned from Empire Strikes Back

From ew, The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie. And because it’s the only movie without a single victory—because the Rebels lose the Battle of Hoth, and Han gets his carbonite coma, and Luke can’t even fully kill one measly Wampa—its place in history has always been assured as The Dark Star Wars Movie. The movie came out 35 years ago today, and in the ensuing three-plus decades, the easiest way for a nerd-friendly director to dredge up fan excitement over a sequel was to compare it to Empire Strikes Back.

What, precisely, did that mean—to make your franchise’s Empire Strikes Back? The definitions get hazy. Most blockbuster movies don’t let their characters lose. Most blockbuster movies don’t kick off with an Act I battle sequence that ends with everyone you like running away from the bad guy. Most blockbuster movies don’t cut the hands off their handsome protagonists. But the vogue for darkness stuck with geek culture on every level. You don’t really hear directors say their sequel is going to be lighter, or looser, or less serious. Darkness just becomes another buzzword, a marketing trope. (Iron Man 3 is a wacky Shane Black romp with a couple depressive interludes; the first trailer for Iron Man 3makes it look like No Country For Old Men plus bad t-shirts.)

But that whole notion of Empire—the Dark, Mature, Serious one—was always overblown. You want dark?Jaws kills a woman, kills a kid, kills the third lead very, very slowly, chomp chomp chomp. (Empire kills Dak.) You want mature themes? Aliens is the space-Vietnam movie Lucas always wanted to make—andAliens has more than one female character. (Empire Strikes Back and women: Princess Leia, and the lady who says “Stand by Ion Control. Fire.” In the theatrical cut, the Emperor was voiced by a man but played by a woman; thinkpiece ho!) You want a serious movie about the nature of good and evil? Ingmar Bergman awaits.

Counter-argument: The Dark Star Wars Movie is Star Wars. Luke’s cute-sweet aunt and cute-tough uncle get burned to hell. The wacky little Jawas are shot up, their ship spackled with extremely accurate blast points. (Way too accurate for Sand People!) Leia gets Abu Ghraib’d by a probing torture-bot. Alec Guinness was the most famous actor in the movie—and he dies. The villains who aren’t Vader all die. Star Wars is the one Star Wars movie where a lightsaber doesn’t cauterize a wound—by which I mean, the onlyStar Wars movie that acknowledges the existence of blood.

Also, the Death Star blows up an entire populated planet.

Perhaps the real genius of Empire Strikes Back is that it doesn’t try to one-up that moment. Or rather, it doesn’t think that the way to make a better Star Wars movie is to make the threat bigger. The Empire Strikes Back cost twice as much as the first film, but the bigness of the budget doesn’t filter into the movie’s subtext, the way it does into nearly every blockbuster movie made after Don Simpson tried cocaine. The AT-ATs have maybe one-hundred-millionth the kill capacity of a Death Star—but they’re a more interesting nemesis. (The Death Star was a moon with a laser; the AT-ATs are robo-dino Dali monsters.)

And in stark contrast to the first Star Wars, the highest stakes are all frontloaded. The movie’s first act is Empire vs. Rebellion—although it’s not necessarily clear, in the movie, if the ice-planet outpost is meant to be “the Rebellion” or just a squad of the Rebellion. (The opening crawl describes the Hoth HQ as “a group of freedom fighters”—the implication maybe that the Hoth crew is a battalion, not a regiment.) And after the battle is over, the stakes of the movie simplify: Will the Empire catch the Falcon?

Back when he started working on Avengers 2, Joss Whedon expressed a vague hope to make something smaller and more personal. “Smaller” and “more personal” are words that loom large over the George Lucas legend—just behind “faster” and “more intense”—since the man who made Star Wars spent most of his life after Star Wars promising to make smaller, more personal films. (Instead, he made more Star Wars films.)

The consensus history says that Lucas had less to do with Empirethan any other Star Wars movie. It’s impossible to know how true that is—it’s a bit like saying God was less involved in Exodus than Genesis. But on the story level, Empire is smaller, more personal. It puts Han and Leia into one single moving location for half the movie—which means they’re free to banter off each other like screwball hate-lovers, their one-liners bouncing off the walls and over Threepio’s head.

And Empire is the blockbuster movie that treats a spirit journey like an actual spirit journey, with all the introspection and potentially-boring non-action the term implies. Luke has some cool moves on Hoth—and then he speeds off to Dagobah for a long time, hanging out with a puppet mystic and experiencing a profound-for-kids insight into the darkness in his own soul. The stuff on Dagobah is quiet like Star Warsis never quiet: Some of the best moments in the movie are just Yoda sitting peacefully by the bog. You would never describe Empire Strikes Back as slow—it’s a chase movie!—but the smaller stakes give the movie all the grace notes that most big movies can never find time for.

The climactic action sequence of The Empire Strikes Back looks beautiful: A lightsaber duel played out against Cloud City’s central air, imagined onscreen as a neon-smoky Fritz Langtopia. (Nobody ever gives Empire credit for inventing Blade Runner two years early.) But it’s important to remember that all the millions that probably went into that scene are there to support a lightsaber duel: A one-on-one battle between two fully developed characters.

The only other movie in the franchise that doesn’t end with a space battle is Revenge of the Sith—and Episode III gilds the lily with twofinal-act lightsaber duels. Also not helping matters: By Revenge of the Sith, every lightsaber duel looks like awkward white guys dance-fighting at a retirement-home rave.

You start to feel like filmmakers learned the wrong lessons fromEmpire. The Darth Vader twist is cool—but it also leads directly to our modern Abrams/Nolan culture, where everything that happens in a sequel gets treated like a mind-blowing table-flipping plot twist. AndEmpire is also the movie that moves the franchise into Chosen One storytelling; the Emperor declares that Luke “could destroy us”; the everykid from the Tatooine exurbs was secretly the son of the Empire’s Chief Enforcer the whole time. Any sequel that ends with a non-ending cliffhanger can point to the closing moments of Empire—something Joss Whedon himself complained about… presumably before Marvel wedged a few more Infinity Stones into Avengers 2.

Hating on Star Wars movies that came after Empire Strikes Back is, at this point, a boring pastime. But the movies that tried to be Star Warsmovies usually feel like the wrong Star Wars movies. Return of the Jedi brought back the Death Star and the idea that every individual battle was a zero-sum fight between good and evil. The prequels, bless them, are actually trying to be important—It’s about totalitarianism! It’s about the Bush Administration!—but all those big themes turn the characters into listless exposi-bots.

The Empire Strikes Back feels bigger because it’s smaller. It’s more romantic specifically because it doesn’t have time to be romantic. (“I love you.” “I know.”) It doesn’t feel the need to overexplain it’s weirdo detours. In Return of the Jedi, Threepio gives a long hype-man speech for the Pit of Sarlacc. In Empire Strikes Back, there’s a goddamn asteroid ringworm that lives in space—and the only explanation we get is, “This is no cave.”

The Empire Strikes Back is faster and more intense—but only because it’s smaller and more personal. Thirty-five years later, the blockbuster era Empire helped create is entering the late decadent phase. Bigger casts, bigger effects, bigger battles, bigger budgets. We have more Star Wars movies coming. Let’s hope they dare to be small.

Honest Trailers: Jupiter Ascending

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nightmare in Pink!

Last weekend saw the first So Cal Lego convention in over ten years, and seeing as I happened to know where I could borrow a ton of pink Lego, I made this thing.

And it won first place!

My other bit of work was this massive collaborative diorama called Space Nam.  The bulk of the work was done by friends of mine.  If you've got three minutes, check out this video tour:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

See Bill Hader and Fred Armisen channel the women of Grey Gardens in IFC's Documentary Now!

“From ew, Authentic. Loving. Celebratory. Time-specific.” That’s how Fred Armisen describes Documentary Now!, an IFC comedy (debuting Aug. 20) that spoofs and pays tribute to the genre with a six-episode showcase of mockumentaries about fictitious historical subjects (often rooted in real life), each unspooled in a different filmmaking style.

Armisen and Bill Hader star in each half-hour doc while serving as creator/executive producer/writers alongside fellow SNL vet Seth Meyers. The SNL connection extends to another executive producer (Lorne Michaels) as well as the show’s directors (Rhys Thomas and Alex Buono). And it was on that sketch show that the seeds for Documentary Now! were planted—specifically with “Ian Rubbish and the Bizzaros: History of Punk,” a faux doc about a British punk band starring Armisen and Hader.

“IFC had always liked the Ian Rubbish thing and originally approached us about doing more of his story,” says “Rubbish” writer Meyers. “But we were really happy with how that had been a piece, and we didn’t really know anything more we wanted to say about Ian, whereas exploring other things like that was more interesting to us.”

And this show shares a similar comedy aesthetic with “Ian Rubbish.” “There really is no big joke in Ian Rubbish, “ says Armisen, “and that’s where we came from—where this isn’t a total punchline to any of it.” Hader, meanwhile, enjoyed trying on a series of disparate characters with his SNL co-star outside of their usual sketch playground. “It was fun for me and Fred because we never viewed it as more of a sketch show,” he says. “They were totally separate short films, but we get to play characters that have an A, B, and C story rather than a quick sketch character. There are sketches that are pretty over the top in it, but it was nice to get to play something over a full episode.”

Newest 'Pixels" trailer looks like fun!

'The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)' review!

From toplessrobot, The ideal way to watch The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) would be in the kind of run-down theater where moths have chowed down on the curtains like so much stale popcorn, your shoes stick to the floor, you have to consciously avoid winding up in the one chair in your row that will impale your ass with exposed springs, and you don't even want to know what that guy in the back is doing under his raincoat. Take a date only if you wish to end your relationship forever and get hit with a restraining order; this is utterly unrepentant sleaze that intends to offend everyone and make South Park look kind-hearted and tame, and having jettisoned all pretense at taking itself seriously, it's also kind of a blast. But you'll feel bad for liking it, and you probably should.

I'll bet it's on Quentin Tarantino's year-end top ten list, too.

Looking like a chemotherapy Buster Keaton head jammed onto a body that's been stretched on a torture rack, and scream-acting like an unholy fusion of Nicolas Cage and Udo Kier on Quaaludes, Dieter Laser is back from the first film - this time in the role of prison warden Bill Boss, who is pretty much the worst human being in the world. He sexually harasses his secretary into rape, eats dried human clitorises from Africa to give himself super-strength, waterboards inmates with boiling water, and at one point graphically handles a human castration himself - after which he orders the remnants be cooked for his lunch. And if you haven't lost yours by this point, you might - MIGHT - survive the movie.

Laurence R. Harvey, the creepy villain/protagonist of the second film, is also back, this time as Mr. Boss' assistant Dwight, who keeps trying to suggest to him that the real way to keep unruly prisoners in order is to follow the example of the Human Centipede movies, this trilogy being the only film series I can think of in which each installment exists as a movie within the subsequent one. In the tradition of good grindhouse, the film withholds the ultimate Human Centipede as one of the climactic reveals - yes, there is another - so the rest of the movie is Boss trying literally everything else he can think of to torment his prisoners and avoid losing his job at the hands of the governor (Eric Roberts).

One of the difficulties of articulating one's affection for Human Centipede movies is that director Tom Six does his damnedest to make sure there is nothing morally defensible about them. The first two were artfully shot, to be sure - this one goes for a deliberately cheap look that's appropriate - but is there really anything the, ahem, franchise is trying to say beyond being offensive? In broad strokes, this installment feels like an attempt at satirizing an American right wing that wants to save money and punish prisoners severely (Arizona's hard-right Sheriff Joe Arpaio seems to have been a jumping-off point), but calling it satire is a bit like referring to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima as "a mild police action." It's hard to take much offense once you realize Six is basically doing the equivalent of a naughty three year-old throwing every bad word at you he has just learned, yet people certainly will. It's easier to laugh, especially when Laser scrunches his face as he yells every line at the top of his lungs to the point that one scarcely imagines he'll ever speak again, nor be able to non-painfully move the thin layer of skin stretched upon his skull that we must call his face.

Movies shouldn't all be safe, and there's a place for films that push boundaries even if that's the only thing they do (seriously, when was the last time you saw an English-language horror movie that actually went further than you expected?). Many John Waters movies arguably began as such, though it was by inserting gay and transgender themes that the director was truly subversive, even if more people remember Divine eating shit and that dude with the singing butthole. Six has no such social progress in mind; he just wants to create a genuine horror that will freak audiences out. (Playing himself, he even suggests by movie's end that things have gone beyond limits even he finds acceptable.) In the case of his Final Sequence, the real terror may be how easily the director gets you to laugh at really, really, really abhorrent behavior.

Just remember: as each successive installment in the series takes pains to emphasize: this is, after all, only a movie.

Bloodsport Mentos

I'd like to thank the internet for allowing those two words in the title to finally have been brought together. This is making my morning. Enjoy!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Check out this creepy cartoon short made by my 15-year old nephew!

Untitled Project from Harrison on Vimeo.

Twin Peaks Saved! David Lynch To Direct Even More Than Expected, Thanks Cast And Fans

From welcometo twinpeaks, After six weeks of rallying to #SaveTwinPeaks and also exactly one year after the Twin Peaks Blu-ray announcement, Twin Peaks fans can finally sleep well and have both wonderful and strange dreams again about that upcoming new season. Wow Bob wow! On a date that reads the same forward and backward, David Lynch and Mark Frost announced that the show is definitely coming to Showtime, despite the “rumors.”

Dear Twitter Friends, the rumors are not what they seem ….. It is !!! Happening again. #TwinPeaks returns on @SHO_Network

— David Lynch (@DAVID_LYNCH) May 16, 2015

The premium cabler followed the announcement with an official statement from their CEO, David Nevins:

This damn fine cup of coffee from Mark and David tastes more delicious than ever. Totally worth the extra brewing time and the cup is even bigger than we expected. David will direct the whole thing which will total more than the originally announced nine hours. Pre production starts now!!

Banzai! Whether this translates into just a few more episodes or even an entire extra season is unknown at this point.

In an e-mail to Sherilyn Fenn, who will return as Audrey Horne, the director thanked the cast for playing a major role in making the negotiations successful, and everyone who rallied to save Twin Peaks.

— sherilynfenn (@sherilynfenn1) May 16, 2015

First reactions from the original cast members…
Kyle MacLachlan (Dale Cooper)

Welcome back again!! #TwinPeaks Special Agent Dale Cooper! on #Showtime #damnfinecoffee

— Kyle MacLachlan (@Kyle_MacLachlan) May 16, 2015

But it wasn't a dream. It was a place. And you and you and you…and you were there… Good to be home. #TwinPeaks

— Kyle MacLachlan (@Kyle_MacLachlan) May 16, 2015

Mädchen Amick (Shelly Johnson)

We want to thank ALL of you #peaksies for helping us #SaveTwinPeaks – WE DID IT!!!!!!

— Mädchen Amick (@auntwendythecat) May 16, 2015

Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne)


— sherilynfenn (@sherilynfenn1) May 16, 2015


— sherilynfenn (@sherilynfenn1) May 16, 2015

Charlotte Stewart (Betty Briggs)

Twin Peaks is alive! ALIVE!!!!

— Charlotte Stewart (@RealCharStewart) May 16, 2015

Miguel Ferrer (Albert Rosenfield)

Looks like it's back on, rumored to have an order of more than nine as first reported. A good day for all Twin Peaks fans, myself included.

— Miguel Ferrer (@Miguel_J_Ferrer) May 16, 2015

Box Office

From ew, Debuting to an estimated $70.3 million, Pitch Perfect 2 surpassed High School Musical 3 to become the biggest movie musical opening of all time. That’s well above the first Pitch Perfect’s entire theatrical total of $65 million. This isn’t unheard of (The Spy Who Shagged Me also opened to more than the first Austin Powers made during its entire theatrical run), but it’s still pretty rare — and it’s a testament to just how popular Pitch Perfect has become since the first one left theaters.

Pitch Perfect 2 wasn’t the only big opening this weekend. Mad Max: Fury Road debuted in second place. This R-rated, post-apocalyptic tale has earned rave reviews, and while it wasn’t expected to break any box office records, it still brought in a solid $44.4 million.

Meanwhile, Avengers: Age of Ultron made $38.8 million in its third week, bringing its global total to an estimated $1.143 billion and making it the eighth highest-grossing film of all time. That means Disney has released four of the top eight highest-grossing films, three of which are from Marvel Studios.

Hot Pursuit took fourth place, making about $5.8 million in its second week, and Furious 7 earned about $3.6 million in its seventh week, putting its worldwide total at about $1.489 billion.

Here are this weekend’s top five at the box office:

1. Pitch Perfect 2 — $70.3 million
2. Mad Max: Fury Road — $44.4 million
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron — $38.8 million
4. Hot Pursuit — $5.8 million
5. Furious 7 — $3.6 million

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road



I've been thinking a lot about 1981's Road Warrior because it's one of those movies that spawned an entire subgenre.  Sure, there had been post-apocalyptic movies before, but nobody had yet bothered to make the apocalypse cool.  It's hard to remember a time without the fantasy of the mohawked motorcycling bad guy in a costume both savage and salvage, but in 1980 there was no such person leaving endless dust trails across our collective subconscious.

So what, then, to expect from a new Mad Max?  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't what we got.  It was like George Miller took the dream his movie had become after stewing for 34 years and fed it back to us in a form we didn't know we could have.   We've been to worlds built on the bones of the old worlds before, but the production design is infused with such balls-out lyricism you might as well be watching a movie called Every Heavy Metal Album Cover Ever.

Muscle cars with tank treads, porcupine cars, cars with giant buzzsaws -- this movie is like Ralph Steadman's childhood doodles come to life.  The orchestral soundtrack is operatic in scope, giving the  diesel-fueled adventure a hum of high fantasy, as if these pale, bald, cultish warriors are actually a band of orcs.

I think my cold math reckoned on a director sadly revisiting his most popular moments after he's directed movies about CG penguins, and failing.  Instead George Miller reinvents his own spectacular invention.  This is what Prometheus was supposed to feel like.  Go see it.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Unreleased, Terrible Cory Feldman-Adam West Film Turns Up Online

From iwatchstuff, Whatever expectations you may have for a fourteen-year-old, un-distributable film that stars Corey Feldman and Adam West, Seance almost certainly falls below them. Alternately titledKiller in the Dark--in case you somehow knew it by that name--the horror film only just yesterday became at all publicly known thanks to a post on reddit. There, a user writes that a friend's father, who has now wisely shifted into construction work, in 2001 spent a million dollars to produce his own script about a spirit that gets summoned in a séance. Like anyone brought back to the earthly plane, the spirit possesses Corey Feldman and makes him lick an unwilling, hospitalized woman's face. TV's Batman is also somehow involved.

Assuming that's enough to intrigue you--and how couldn't it be?--there's good news. The guy who made this was apparently convinced to release the film in full on YouTube, and if you have look below, you can see it in all its Feldmajesty. There's also a trailer, to help you decide if you actually want to commit to that.

I hate everything about the new 'Supergirl' TV show

Harry Shearer to exit The Simpsons?

From ew, This news is not excellent.

Harry Shearer, one of The Simpsons’ main voice actors, indicated on Wednesday night that he is exiting the long-running animated series. Shearer posted a tweet appearing to quote a lawyer for executive producer James L. Brooks that read “show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.”

In a second tweet, Shearer explained: “This because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best.”

While the other principal cast members—Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, and Hank Azaria—had inked deals to continue with the show for two more seasons when it was renewed last week, Shearer had not yet signed a contract. To make sure that there was no delay in the airing schedule, The Simpsons began production on season 27 without Shearer, though producers remained hopeful that he would ultimately come to terms.

The loss of Shearer—if real—is signficant, as he voices such beloved characters as Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Smithers, Seymour Skinner and Otto, among many others. The 71-year-old actor/satirist/author/comedian/Spinal Tap vet, who also hosts the syndicated radio program Le Show, has been with The Simpsonssince its launch in 1989.

Representatives for Shearer, Fox, and the producers could not be reached for comment. Last week, he tweeted a link to the official Fox press release about the show’s renewal, pointing out the fact that it did not mention the cast members: “Doesn’t this show have a cast?”

The show has weathered tense negotiations and contract disputes in the past, but always came out of it with the full cast intact. In 2011, as part of a way to reduce costs for the aging show, 20th Century Fox, the studio that produces The Simpsons, told the actors that they would have to take a 45-percent pay cut from their $400,000-plus-per episode deals to keep the show alive. (Shearer released a public statement during the stalemate, proposing a 70-percent pay cut in exchange for some profit participation.) The cast eventually agreed to a salary reduction, though not as steep as 45 percent. In 1998, the studio threatened to replace the actors before both sides came to terms.

Fox will air the season 26 finale of The Simpsons on May 17.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"O.G. Hamburglar," a Spec Campaign/Fan Film, Shows McDonald's How to Reboot Right

From toplessrobot, The new McDonald's Hamburglar is fakin' it and the #OGHamburglar isn't takin' it. It's time to grab the power and the burgers back.

This isn't an actual McDonald's ad - just a proposal by a production company called Whiskey Tongue that demonstrates what an actual modern reboot of Hamburglar ought to be, versus what actually happened. Should the big McD show interest, I suspect the idea is to have the new Hamburglar fight "O.G. Hamburglar" [as Adweek helpfully reminds us, "(OG being slang, of course, for original gangster)"]

Technically, though, that's NOT really "O.G. Hamburglar." He used to be older and more borderline anti-Semitic caricature. We understandably prefer to forget that one, but maybe the kid-version can be Li'l G Hamburglar.

'The Tribe' is getting terrific reviews

The 5 stages of watching a Marvel movie

Why Disney Didn't Want George Lucas' Star Wars 7 Ideas

From cinemablend, It was all the way back in January that we exclusively reported that George Lucas' ideas for Star Wars: Episode 7 were ignored by J.J. Abrams and company, as the production decided to go in a different direction with what would wind up being Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But why was it exactly that the Star Wars creators notes were ignored? Apparently it was because the filmmaker wanted the story to focus on younger characters, while the studio was afraid of heading back into Phantom Menace territory.

This interesting news was dug up by Vanity Fair in their big Star Wars cover story, and comes directly from director J.J. Abrams himself. The magazine wrote that George Lucas had provided his ideas for the next trilogy of Star Wars movies, with the focus being on what's described as "very young characters" (LucasFilm says they were teenagers). Unfortunately, it seems this idea gave Disney executives flashbacks to the negative response that Jake Lloyd's performance received forEpisode I, so moves were made to change things up. Asked for comment about Lucas' original Episode VII ideas, LucasFilm President and Force Awakens producer Kathleen Kennedy said,

We’ve made some departures - exactly the way you would in any development process.

Instead of focusing on young teens, Star Wars: The Force Awakens instead seems to be centered on a pair of 23-year-olds (Daisy Ridley's Rey and John Boyega's Finn) as well as a 35 year-old (Oscar Isacc's Poe Dameron). Those ages are much more in line with those of the principal cast in the first Star Wars, which included a 26 year old Mark Hamill, a 35-year-old Harrison Ford, and a 21-year-old Carrie Fisher.

While George Lucas' ideas for Star Wars: Episode VII were put aside for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a big part of me thinks that this can't be the last we've heard of those concepts. They may never actually be adapted into in-canon feature films, but perhaps they could get adapted in another way, or possibly published. The point is, there is likely a lot of money to be made from revealing Lucas' original plans for the third trilogy of Star Wars, and I don't think that Disney and LucasFilm are just going to sit on them.

Of course, once those ideas do get out, it will be even more interesting to see how they compare to the direction in which J.J. Abrams and his crew ultimately decided to go. Kathleen Kennedy's quote on the matter sounds pretty political, but maybe there actually will be certain beats from Lucas' sketches that made their way into Abrams' movie. We'll just have to wait and see how it all shakes out.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be out in theaters on December 17th.

Remarkable example of fish camouflage

Sky Sharks trailer!

The Muppets are back on TV and here's the trailer

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy (belated) Mother's Day, Horrorthonners!

I started to post this yesterday but I became distracted* and promptly forgot about it.  I happen to know that the women with children who post on this blog are all terrific moms and wonderful people!  I hope you were honored in some fashion (and by that I mean you got time to yourself away from your kids).

*drank too much fireball whiskey and fell asleep.

Box Office

From ew, Age of Ultron claimed the second biggest debut of all time when it opened with a whopping $191 million last weekend, just behind 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers. This weekend, Ultron grossed an estimated $77.2 million, surpassing Avatar to become the second-highest second weekend domestic gross of all time — exceeded only by The Avengers’ $103.1 million. Plus, Ultron is now tied with The Dark Knight as the second fastest film to reach $300 million in North America. (Ultron did it in 10 days, but The Avengers did it in nine.)

Internationally, Ultron has snagged $875.3 million — and it still hasn’t opened in China or Japan. It’ll be interesting to watch Ultron challenge the records set by Furious 7 over the next few weeks, especially because Furious 7 is still holding strong in its sixth week. It’s the fourth highest grossing film of all time, and this weekend put Furious 7’s worldwide total at $1.466 billion.

Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara’s new comedy Hot Pursuit was the only big new release this weekend, and it brought in an estimated $13.3 million. The Age of Adaline only dropped about 10 percent, putting the other “Age Of” movie in third place with $5.6 million. And Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2rounded out the top five with an estimated $5.2 million in its fourth weekend.

Age of Ultron hasn’t had too much competition so far, but it’ll face its first real test next weekend when Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2debut in North American theaters. PP2 opened in a few international territories this weekend, and it premiered as the No. 1 film in Australia and New Zealand, becoming the first film to dethrone Ultron anywhere.

Here are this weekend’s top five at the box office:

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron — $77.2 million
2. Hot Pursuit — $13.3 million
3. The Age of Adaline — $5.6 million
4. Furious 7 — $5.3 million
5. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 — $5.2 million

Friday, May 08, 2015

'Vacation' (2015) red band trailer

Joss Whedon Confirmed for Star Wars!?

From moviepilot, Joss Whedon has officially left the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has officially left Twitter. His reason? He claims he needs to work on his writing.

But what exactly could he, by far the Jossest of Whedons, be working on? Whedon is known for his strong female characters, not to mention how deeply entrenched he is in geek culture as a whole.

The Get Your Geek On podcast this past Monday revealed that Star Wars will be the next stop for Mr. Whedon. While Rian Johnson has been signed for Episode VIII, Whedon is a lock at least for installment IX.

Daisey Ridley's Rey is sure to be on her way to an exciting and empowering end to the sequel trilogy, that much is certain.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

'Captain America: Civil War' cast and synopsis

From EW, In Captain America: Civil War, there’s a government push to ID all super-powered beings on Earth, whether they like it or not.

Now that the movie has started shooting, we have a little bit of that data ourselves. Ant-Man is in, but no word on Spider-Man. The big surprise is a return appearance by a notorious Hulk-hater.

Here’s Marvel’s full cast list and a little about which character they’ll be bringing to the party.

Obviously, Chris Evans is returning to the red, white, and blue hero, and Robert Downey Jr. is joining him – or, technically, not – as Iron Man. Friction between the two heroes has long been part of Avengers lore, and this time they won’t be on the same side.
ADVERTISINGIn the 2006-07 hero-against-hero comic book series, Iron Man supported the government regulation of superbeings, while Cap felt it was a violation of the freedom and safety they fought to protect. Let’s just say this political argument wasn’t fought with fiery Facebook posts and subtweeting.

Here’s Marvel’s new, official synopsis for the film:

“Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.”

Caught in the middle is Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and introduced last Fall when Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige outlined their slate of movies through the end of the decade.

What side will the fearsome leader of Wakanda take? That’s a question every character will have to answer, including Spider-Man – whose allegiance in the Mark Millar-penned comics was a major turning point (and one of the main reasons Marvel fought so hard to reclaim usage rights from Sony Pictures.)

No webslinger (that announcement will probably come later), but we do have another creepy-crawly-related good-guy in the crew: Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, who will get his own movie this July.

Another newcomer, sort of: William Hurt as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, father of Hulk love-interest Betty Ross, who is reprising his role from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, a rare connection to the movie that has become the ill-fitting puzzle piece amid the the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, mostly due to Mark Ruffalo replacing Edward Norton in the lead role of Bruce Banner.

With the government trying to identify and control superheroes, it’s easy to see this guy leading that charge.

[SPOILER ALERT] Fans also could count on seeing Cap, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow leading the new Avengers team, revealed at the end of Age of Ultron: Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, Paul Bettany’s Vision, Don Cheadle’s War Machine, and Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch (which she already confirmed in the press tour for the current film.)

Daniel Bruhl similarly risked “Marvel prison” to inform the world he would be turning up as the villainous HYDRA scion Baron Zemo, a longtime opponent of Cap’s and founder of the Masters of Evil (sort of a bad-guy version of the Avengers.) With so many good guys on the call sheet, Bruhl won’t be the only antagonist. Frank Grillo will be reprising his role as corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. operative Brock Rumlow, a.k.a. Crossbones, badly wounded at the end of The Winter Soldier but more determined than ever to spill some of Captain America’s super-soldier blood.

The two actors have already started mixing it up in a sassy Twitter feud that involved Grillo promising an “ass whoopin” and Evans questioning his ability to read.

At this point, Civil War is already getting crowded, but like a late-night infomercial: WAIT … there’s more!

The Hobbit actor Martin Freeman is also on the roster, although his character hasn’t been specified. Also in the cast is Revenge star Emily VanCamp, reprising her brief appearance in The Winter Soldier as Agent 13, who has ties to Cap’s (long) past that have only been teased so far.

And what of The Winter Soldier himself? Apart from Hayley Atwell’s Agent Carter (who was not part of the cast list), the old friend once known as Bucky Barnes is the oldest and most important connection Steve Rogers has to his old self. Of course, Sebastian Stan is coming back.

Civil War, which will be released almost exactly one year from now, May 6, 2016, began shooting in Atlanta, Georgia and will move to locations in Germany, Puerto Rico and Iceland.

Back at the helm are filmmaking brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, who made The Winter Soldier and are best known for their innovative work on TV shows such as Community and Arrested Development. They will also oversee Marvel’s 2018 and 2019 two-part Infinity Warfilm (which is essentially Avengers 3.) Also returning to the Captain America universe, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who worked on the previous two installments.

So who else isn’t in today’s start of production announcement? Apart from Spidey and Agent Carter, we also have no word on Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury or any indication that Ruffalo will appear as Bruce Banner – although the presence of Gen. Ross suggests he’ll at least come up.

As much as Avengers: Age of Ultron was bursting at the superhero-spandex seams with characters, Civil War seems to have it beat in terms of sheer volume.

It’s a gargantuan juggling act, to say the least. Luckily the director, like the forthcoming Infinity War movie, comes in two parts.

The Human Centipede 3 - Official Trailer

New McDonald’s Hamburglar is a creepy advertising curiosity

NewsBy  May. 7, 2015 9:30 am

Rebranding happens, but rarely this sexily and creepily. That’s what makes McDonald’s new hot-dad version of the Hamburglar such an advertising curiosity. Yeah, he’s a hot dad. Not a guy with a “Dad Bod,” which I’m told is a thing now, but an actual father. Also, his wife has certain things in common with Ronald McDonald. She’s not a clown, but he’s not a meat-thieving guy in a costume, so the whole thing reads creepy.

Let’s step back a moment.

What I know from personal experience is The Hamburglar was one of several costumed characters deployed along with Ronald McDonald in the days of yore to sell fast food to children. I remember The Hamburglar trying to hoard all the hamburgers in McDonaldland, and I remember the hard plastic version of him that was in the playroom inside the restaurant. He was obviously there to sell me hamburgers, the Fry Guys were there to sell me fries, and Grimace was probably put on this planet to plaster his namesake on customers’ faces.

Good thing there are geeks of all types out there, and there’s this thing called the internet, because, of course, there is a McDonald’s Wikia.

I now know that The Hamburglar is a spin-off of an older character called “The Lone Jogger,” who was re-branded in 1985 to the round-faced, red-haired, single-toothed version that I remember. The Lone Jogger was older and would go around muttering, so during the rebranding, that muttering was transformed into something distinct and marketable for the new incarnation: “robble robble.”

The 1985 character lasted until 2002 when he was retired from television advertising and McDonald’s began to grapple with what the Wall Street Journal calls its “Millennial Challenge.” The long and the short of it is that McDonald’s profits haven’t been doing so well with sharp downward spikes in 2003 and last year. There’s a new CEO in town named Steve Easterbrook, and his mandate is to turn things around.

This is how the Hamburglar died.

New Hamburglar is a cool dad who will be appearing on TV in spots for the Sirloin Third Pound Burger, online in McDonald’s video ads, and popping up randomly on social media wherever McDonald’s food and the hashtag #RobbleRobble can be found.

Like, look at his grand introduction:

Wait, is this who we think it is??!

— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) May 6, 2015

A red-haired, red-lipped, yellow-bloused wife? Are we to believe the Hamburglar is somehow psycho-sexually attracted to Ronald McDonald?

Who’s lovin’ it? It wouldn’t be wrong, it just calls into question who this Hamburglar reboot campaign is for. In a media climate where a lot of other properties from the late 1980s and early 1990s are rebooted to appeal to Millennial nostalgia and kids simultaneously (Transformers is the most successful at this transition), such a drastic change to the round-faced Hamburglar is startling. He looks like a villain on the TV show Gotham now.

Give me your wallet, Gordon! And by wallet, I mean hamburgers.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Simpsons is renewed for 2 more seasons!

From EW, Fox has given the longest-running scripted prime time series of all time—aka The Simpsons—a two-season renewal, EW has learned. The pickup runs through the 27th and 28th season, and will bring the tally to a whopping 625 episodes for Homer and his family.

The 22-episodes-per-season deal was completed just in time to ensure that there will be no delay in the airing schedule for next season, as the show has a reserve of seven holdover episodes and each installment takes at least six months to produce. There was little doubt that the show would go on: The Simpsons continues to be a ratings draw, especially with young men. As we near the end of season 26, it ranks in the top 10 among Men 18-to-34 while averaging 6.2 million viewers per episode and a 2.9 in the adults 18-to-49 demo.

It’s hard to put the record-breaking run of the show, which has claimed 31 Emmys, in perspective, but consider this: It would take you 12 days (including commercial breaks) to watch every episode —all 574 of them—through this current season. And to compare it with two other long-running animated comedies, South Park only passed the 250-episode mark late last year, and Family Guy hit that same milestone this weekend.

Jon Stewart Plays 'Let's Get Rid Of Ted Cruz'

Arnold Acts Out His Films In 6 Minutes

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Lucasfilm Confirms ‘Indiana Jones 5′ Is Happening, But Isn’t Sure When

From slashfilm, Since acquiring Lucasfilm, Disney has wasted no time getting the Star Wars franchise back up and running. But they’ve been pretty vague about their plans for Lucasfilm’s other big signature brand, Indiana Jones. Well, fear not. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirms a new Indiana Jones movie is coming. Eventually, anyway. Read her confirmation of… something for Indiana Jones 5 after the jump.

The bit about Indiana Jones was slipped into the print edition of Vanity Fair‘s Star Wars cover story (via Coming Soon):

In buying the company, Disney also got rights, for better or worse, to less-storied Lucasfilm properties, among them Willow and Radioland Murders. A bigger prize is the Indiana Jones franchise. Kennedy confirmed rumors that another Indy movie ‘will one day be made inside this company. When it will happen, I’m not quite sure. We haven’t started working on a script yet, but we are talking about it.’

Speculation about a fifth Indiana Jones movie predates even the Lucasfilm purchase — it’s been going on since 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, really. Disney seemed to make a bit of forward movement in 2013, striking a deal with Paramountto distribute future Indy films.

But not so fast, Disney CEO Bob Iger told press in late 2014. “We’d love to make another Indiana Jones movie but we’re pacing ourselves right now,” he said. And although rumors have swirled about the possibility of Steven Spielberg directing Chris Pratt in an Indiana Jones reboot, for now they’re just that — rumors.

Kennedy’s comments don’t reveal much about Disney’s actual plans for the franchise, but they’re the closest we’ve come so far to an ironclad confirmation that fifth Indiana Jones movie is in the cards. Sadly for Indy fans, they also suggest it’s not happening for some time.

Which, once again, raises the question of whether this will be a sequel, prequel, reboot, or what. Harrison Ford seems game, but he’s 72 and not getting any younger. While it’s theoretically possible for Disney to build a series around an older, less physical Indy, it seems likelier the studio will want a younger star to revive the franchise for a new generation.

LOL "Star Wars: The Bink Awakens"

‘Star Wars’ 2nd Anthology Film Will Be Boba Fett’s Origin Story

From thewrap, Josh Trank recently exited the Disney project, which will follow the galaxy’s most notorious bounty hunter

The next “Star Wars” anthology movie due in 2018 that recently lost director Josh Trank will be a Boba Fett origin story, confirming one of many rumors that have appeared online in the last several months,TheWrap has learned.

A representative for Disney had no comment.

Boba Fett is a Mandalorian warrior who was trained by his father-figure Jango Fett and became a notorious bounty hunter throughout the galaxy. His travels led him to work for the Empire, collaborate with Darth Vader and take assignments from figures such as Jabba the Hutt, for whom he once captured Han Solo.

The beloved character was primarily played by English actor Jeremy Bulloch in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”

Also Read: Josh Trank Exiting 'Star Wars' Spinoff Film

The first standalone anthology film will be Gareth Edwards‘ “Star Wars: Rogue One,” which will star Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn and Riz Ahmed. That film follows a group of resistance fighters who unite for a daring mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.

With rebel spies the focus of “Rogue One,” the next anthology film will explore the rich world of bounty hunters in the “Star Wars” galaxy.

Writer-producer Simon Kinberg has been closely involved in the creative process for the second anthology film, which is set in a separate movie universe that is not associated with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” or upcoming Episodes VIII and IX.

Also Read: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Vanity Fair Reveals What Side of The Force Adam Driver Is On (Video)

Trank, who directed “Chronicle” and the new “Fantastic Four” movie, exited the untitled project on Friday afternoon, which he claimed was his decision. However, insiders have told TheWrap that Disney initiated the departure over concerns regarding what many have perceived as “erratic behavior” during the production of “Fantastic Four,” which was produced by Kinberg.

“After a year of having the incredible honor of developing with the wonderful and talented people at Lucasfilm, I’m making a personal decision to move forward on a different path. I’ve put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and I know deep down in my heart that I want to pursue some original creative opportunities,” said Trank, who cited a nasty flu as the reason why he missed the Star Wars celebration in April, though insiders suggest that Disney asked him not to attend.

Disney and Lucasfilm czar Kathleen Kennedy will begin searching for a new director, who could very well be hired before “Rogue One” starts production this summer in advance of its December 2016 release.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Why Are the Star Wars Prequels Hated So Much?

From slate, Because they're not as good as the first trilogy, and the expectations were high.

And also because they're just really bad movies in their own right. People talk about how the prequels dragged down the original trilogy, but what they don't talk about is how the prequels would never have been any kind of box office hit without the original trilogy to give them a readymade support base. If Phantom Menace had been the first Star Wars movie made, then it would just be a forgotten-about series of movies by now with only a limited fanbase.

A big part of the appeal of the original trilogy was the simple battle between good and evil. Darth Vader and Emperor were bad, and Luke and Co. weren't, and the bad guys wanted to wipe the good guys out, so war ensued, and good films were the result.

But the prequels were about trade disputes. Name a single good film ever made about a trade dispute. There was a lot of standing around talking about stuff and having votes in senates and generally not doing interesting things with lightsabers. It was dull—even worse, it was badly written dull. If I'm going to watch people talk about trade disputes, then I want to watch interesting characters delivering snappy dialogue. I don't want to spend my time listening to terrible writing while wondering, "Why the hell are these evil capitalists speaking with Asian accents? What's that all about?"

The original trilogy had one of the most iconic villains in movie history and put him against some truly charismatic heros. AFI listed the greatest heroes and villains of all time in 2003. Darth Vader comes in at No. 3 on the bad guys list, and Han Solo at No. 14 on the list of good guys supported by Obi Wan Kenobi (the Alec Guiness, original trilogy version) at No. 37. No characters from the prequels trouble the list at all, and how could they? The closest thing they have to an interesting bad guy is Darth Maul, and he's only in the trilogy for about 15 minutes. The only interesting good guy is Obi Wan, and that's mainly because McGregor is doing an Alec Guinness impression.

The original trilogy gave us a great story arc with an incredibly exciting conclusion. At the end of Return of the Jedi, we watched as the good guys fell into a trap. Han and Leia were captured on Endor, the fleet was about to be blown up by the Death Star, and Luke was considering a move to the dark side. The good guys were losing and it was hard to see any way out.

At the end of the third prequel, we watched a long and drawn out lightsaber battle between four protagonists (Yoda versus Palpatine and Obi-wan versus Anakin) who we knew were going to survive anyway. There was no tension, no excitement, just a sense of relief that it was all finally ending.

We could probably have forgiven the incredibly bad dialogue, pointless plots, and lack of character if the universe hadn't been populated with added irritation. Jar Jar was a huge mistake on every level. He wasn't funny at all, and the need to insert him into every scene made him even more annoying. He bumbled around in the background of conversations, he stepped in shit, got farted on, and generally behaved like the cheapest comic relief character there was. And he never had a moment of redemption. He never redeemed himself with any courage or moment of intuition; he just screwed up throughout the entire movie. The original trilogy didn't need a purely comic relief character—it was able to intuitively find comedic moments in the course of the movie. Jar Jar, along with the two incredibly annoying Anakins, were just irritating throughout the entire trilogy.

But that alone isn't enough to inspire hatred. The prequels are boring and annoying and soulless, but then so are lots of other movies. The reason everyone should hate them is because they take away from the original trilogy. Before they made the prequels, Anakin Skywalker was a good pilot lured to the dark side of the force. But now we know he's a whiny and annoying kid and a hopelessly acted romantic fool and inexplicably the guy who designed C3PO and R2D2's best friend. And Darth Vader wasn't the baddest of the bad who had his moment of redemption—he was a hopeless loser shouting a hilariously awful "Noooooo" to the heavens.

They're just bad movies. And they're bad movies that made great movies kind of worse. No wonder people hate them.

Yeoman Janice Rand has died

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Grace Lee Whitney, who played Captain Kirk's assistant on the original Star Trek series, has died. She was 85.

Whitney died of natural causes Friday in her home in the Central California town of Coarsegold, about 50 miles north of Fresno, her son Jonathan Dweck said on Sunday.

Whitney played Yeoman Janice Rand in the first eight episodes before being written out of the series. In her 1998 autobiography The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy, she wrote that her acting career largely came to an end and she became an alcoholic.

She wrote that she struggled with her addiction for many years before getting treatment and regaining her career with the help of Leonard Nimoy, who starred as Spock in the series.

She returned for the movie franchise, reprising her role in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Dweck said his mother would have liked to be remembered more as a successful survivor of addiction than for her Star Trek fame. She dedicated the last 35 years of her life helping people with addiction problems, some of whom she met at Star Trek conventions, he said.

"Over time, she became appreciative of her short time on Star Trek because she developed meaningful relationships with the fans, Leonard Nimoy and other cast members," Dweck said.

Besides Jonathan, she was survived by her other son, Scott Dweck.

May the 4th be with you!

If you're willing to sit through an ad (I did under protest) you can check out some cool behind-the-scenes footage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Avengers crush the Box Office

From ew, The summer blockbusters are officially here. Kicking off the season with an estimated $187.7 million debut, Avengers: Age of Ultron has secured its place as the second largest domestic opening of all time. Still, it fell short of the record set by the first film: The Avengers is still the only movie to make more than $200 million in its opening weekend.

With the release of Age of Ultron, Marvel can claim the top three spots on the list of all-time biggest domestic openings. (Iron Man 3 is in third place with $174.1 million.) According to Disney, Age of Ultron has now grossed a total of $627 million worldwide.

Age of Ultron did beat The Avengers with its opening day numbers, earning $84.5 million on Friday to the first movie’s $80.8 million. That puts it just behind the all-time best opening day: $91.1 million for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2. Ultron’s one-day gross also includes the $27.6 million it brought in from Thursday night preview screenings.

Romantic drama The Age of Adaline snagged the second place spot with $6.3 million in its second weekend, bringing its domestic total to about $23.4 million. Furious 7, which has held on to the No. 1 spot for the past four weeks, dropped about 66 percent and slipped to third place, but with a worldwide total of $1.4 billion, it’s still the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time.

Here are this weekend’s top 5 at the box office:

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron — $187.7 million
2. The Age of Adaline — $6.3 million
3. Furious 7 — $6.1 million
4. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 — $5.6 million
5. Home — $3.3 million

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Document of the Dead (1985)

Pardon the usual complete lapse in my participation here, but on an overnight shoot, with time to kill, I stumbled across this documentary about Dawn Of The Dead on the subreddit /r/ObscureMedia, and I had NEVER heard of such a film, nor do I think I've ever seen it posted here (where it truly belongs).

Cat, you'll particularly enjoy the time-lapse stuff of Tom Savini doing his makeup thing around the 27 minute mark, but the whole thing is fascinating, and I think pretty much the whole Thon community will find it awesome as shit. For me, I particularly loved all the planning stuff and the logistics of the 2 month overnight mall shoot.

BTW, that subreddit ObscureMedia is a gold mine for random nuggets. I didn't realize the opening theme to Hulk Hogan's Rock & Wrestling had a pretty fucking cool theme song.

Hope this doesn't get buried over the weekend. Love you all, miss you all!

Your pal,


ps. Stan Jr & MrsStan are doing awesome. Here's his first haircut from last week: