Saturday, May 31, 2008

Smart People Looking Stupid

The smartest people want to work with Joel and Ethan Coen. Joel and Ethan make them look dumb, except for when they make them look smart. Sometimes, the characters in Coen brothers' movies are smart but look dumb, sometimes they act dumb but are really very smart, sometimes they're smart but have to act dumb so that other characters that seem smart but are actually pretty dumb won't be threatened by how smart they are. Sometimes, they act dumber than they really are to fool the really dumb ones into thinking they're dumb, sometimes it's the other way around. The characters in 'Burn After Reading' seem like an examples of one or more of the above-mentioned character types.

Looks like funny shit...if you're smart enough to get it -- which I most certainly am...I think.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Summer Movie Talk

Wall-E

Better than you might think, The Bryant Park Project runs down the summer flicks with Metro film critic Daniel Holloway (14 min 36 sec).


Give It A Break

Everybody loves to trash the new Pacino/De Niro collaboration, 'Righteous Kill'. I hate the title, that's a given. And I'll admit it, after viewing the trailer the first time I thought it was pretty much 'been there done that'. I don't know why -- sarcasm I guess.

On subsequent viewings I've gotten over the novelty of Al and Bobby working together (and my knee-jerk feeling this pairing was the only thing the producers could come up with to add appeal to what I assumed was just another superficial script). ...Wait...cynicism. That's the word I was looking for. Not sarcasm, cynicism. There you go.

After seeing the (new) trailer a couple times (earlier versions just didn't click) I'm liking this picture. Al and Bobby look engaged with the material and at home in the genre. They're not trying to reinvent themselves. There's no hard sell, just a cop movie. I'm thinking the boys may have a good movie here. I still hate the title though, don't get me wrong. 'Righteous Kill' is just too 80s. You expect Steven Seagal to jump out any minute and put a wrist lock on somebody. 'Righteous' just shouldn't be in a title.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Guest DJ Project

John Cusack about the music he likes and some of the tunes he chose for 'War, Inc.'. KCRW Guest DJ Project with Jason Reitman, Conan O'Brien, and others about the bands they like.


Dog Plays Catch With Robot

This will make you happy.


Hanging Chads

Kevin Spacey and Jeffrey Toobin (analyst with CNN) and lawyer David Boies talk with Charlie Rose about the HBO movie 'Recount', re: the hanging chads of the 2000 presidential election.


Twilight Zone: Frame By Frame

Twilight Zone graphic novel

Found this at NPR's The Bryant Park Project. A set of graphic novels based on Rod Serling's classic 'The Twilight Zone' is being planned for publication. NPR also has an audio slideshow with frames from the novel and audio from the show. Here's the Publishers Weekly write up.

I didn't know CBS has full episodes you can watch online. No way. Pretty cool. One of my faves has always been 'To Serve Man'.

Now, if I could just find the complete CBS Radio Mystery Theater shows online, I'd be happy.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Mummy Movie

With Jet Li and (and) Michelle Yeoh 'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor' has a certain pedigree not usually found in such pictures. Here's hoping for the best.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Truth Behind Crystal Skulls

Crystal skull

Maybe not as cool as Indy 4, but here's the scoop on crystal skulls. (4 min 19 sec)


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Igor


I'm liking the looks of this. Subtext and social commentary pre-installed.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sex And The Somewhat Crabby Yet Observant And Funny Columnist

Sex and the City

I don't plan on seeing 'Sex and the City' but I know it'll be a hit. Women are going on about this picture. They can't wait to see it. Ned Zeman over at Vanity Fair has a few choice comments:

...every time I turn on a TV, I'm bombarded by that god-awful theme music, plus the latest snippet of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, or Charlotte trying to look as if she's not trying to look 30.

It's no revelation that women have always been as funny or funnier than men. The problem with Sex and the City is that it validates the long-held argument that they are not--and that the range of both their humor and their interests is limited to the distance between strapless shoes and strap-on vibrators.

About Carrie's love interest:

The woman who marries a guy like that hates herself, secretly desires to be Page Six fodder, and pretty much counts the days before he bangs one of her best friends.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Casual Friday Video

Every Friday Rocketboom runs a video. This week it was a sort of stream-of-consciousness dreamscape scat-singing birds thing.


Mom Speed

Susan Sarandon in Speed Racer

NPR watch: Insight by Susan Sarandon re: Speed Racer and the biz in general (16 min).


Marion Ravenwood

Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood

Okay, I'm going out on a limb: there are two reasons 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' was a success. 1) The opening sequence in which Indy judges the weight of the gold trinket and replaces it with the bag of sand, but gets it wrong and ends up trying to outrun a boulder, and 2) The fact that Karen Allen played Marion Ravenwood.

Okay, so I'm biased. I had a huge crush on Marion/Karen -- who wouldn't? Okay, okay, I still have a crush on them/her.

Premiere has some very cool stills from Crystal Skull, including the one above.


More Happening

The new trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Happening' ramps up the creep factor. Problem is, the better his movies look in trailers, the more skeptical I am. I can't help it.

Show me creepy footage of a bunch of people standing still, staring forward, in the street, and I think: what's the catch.

Show me beautiful acting and cinematography and I think: well, that's what Shyamalan does -- but, how stupid will I feel for paying to see this movie.

The twist ending of 'The Village' negates the whole experience and leaves you feeling cheated, and yes, a bit gullible. This idea is something that would have made a good exercise as a short story, and might have been compelling as a stage play (for audiences that like to go to plays), but as a movie it didn't work.

The ending of 'Lady in the Water' doesn't pull the rug out from under you, but it doesn't do anything to justify such a drawn-out affair either. This one suffers from a hokiness factor that accomplishes the same effect -- you feel cheated and a bit gullible for expecting good entertainment.

The same can be said for all of Shyamalan's other movies, excepting of course 'The Sixth Sense'.

Is it too soon to call this the 'Shyamalan Effect'? Does M Night still have any credibility? Is anyone still willing to take a chance on this guy? If the creepiness in 'The Happening' doesn't lead somewhere that's cool and intelligent M Night's street cred will be shot. I love the genre -- the supernatural-psych thriller, light on gore, heavy on atmosphere and suspense -- but M Night has got to come through with some basic, solid storytelling, including an ending that isn't dumb and doesn't make you feel like a fool for having taken the time.

People complain about this -- this is what they're saying. (It's not just me). 'The Sixth Sense' was a long time ago. M Night is flirting with becoming a one-hit wonder, the punch-line of a joke. I'm hoping 'The Happening' is a hit. It could be. All this movie has to do is deliver what its trailer promises, come through with the goods. This looks like an original idea executed with panache. The problem is all of Shymalan's trailers look great -- the movies, however...


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Speed Racer...The King

Speed Racer

Did you know Speed Racer's look was based on Elvis Presley as he appeared in 'Viva Las Vegas'?

Elvis Presley

Well, it was. Here's the NPR story.


Monday, May 05, 2008

A Look At Hancock

It's not only funny as hell it's original and well done. Damn, this movie will put butts in seats.


The Spirit

Written and directed by Frank Miller

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Silverman 14th Most Beautiful Person?

Sarah Silverman

You mean there are 13 people better looking than Sarah Silverman?

People Magazine

According to People, there are. Don't feel bad Sarah. Look at it this way -- according to People there are 86 people who aren't quite as good looking as you. Then, there's the rest of the people in the country. Ouch.

Let's see. There's 300 some odd million people in the country. 14th isn't so bad...


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Stan Lee's Cameos

I found this over at Wired. Stan Lee's cameos in X-Men, Spiderman, Daredevil, Hulk, Fantastic 4, et al.

Iron Man

They're running the Stan Lee compilation along with a look at 'Iron Man' -- as in 'everything you need to know about Iron Man'. It's fun.

I'm building one of these suits. I got it to fly but can't get it to walk right -- the left arm moves forward with the left leg -- same on the right side. They should alternate. I look dumb. Got to work that one out. But, I got it to fly. That's something, right.


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