Wednesday, May 30, 2007

If fruit flies feel pain...

...then I'm a horrible human being.

But you know what? They're annoying me and they're disgusting and they've taken over my bathroom, and that's not cool and now my bathroom has to become a Fruit Fly Auschwitz.

And I'm Ralph Fiennes...

Knocked Up- I saw it

Knocked Up is as good as everyone is saying it is. I was resistant, I didn't want to believe it. I thought it would be as good as The 40 Year Old Virgin (director Judd Apatow's previous film), and I knew it would be outright hilarious, but I didn't expect it to be as good as it is. It will definitely become the new Virgin, lending itself to countless repeat viewings to get all the jokes and quote the lines with your friends.

It's more than that, too. Similar to last year's The Break Up, Knocked Up serves a bit more of truth and honesty from it's characters. The jokes are funny, some outright hilarious, but the balancing act is quite impressive. And more than anything, it showcases the brilliant talents of Seth Rogan, a man destined to become a hero to slackers and stoners across the country.

Knocked Up is the story of Ben (Rogan) and Alison (Katherine Heigl), two people who meet up one night and... well, if you've seen the previews or a commercial (or read the title of the movie, really) you know what's going to happen. They're having a baby together, and the question now becomes will these two fall in love. (Or how long will it take these two to realize that they're supposed to be together). Obviously they're very different, Alison being of the career-minded set while Ben prefers getting high with his friends and searching for the parts in movies that have nudity. (It's to put on the website they run). Naturally, the news of a child isn't ideal to either of them, but they decide to give it a try.

There are so many good lines and characters and genuinely funny scenes throughout, and it's filled to the brim with some of the funniest actors out there that it's hard to single out anything (although, the riff on Munich made me lose it). Leslie Mann plays Alison's controlling sister, who is maddeningly married to Paul Rudd, and they are perfect together. (Rogan and Rudd have a brilliant jaunt to Vegas together and recapture their "You know how I know you're gay..." magic from Virgin). Ben's friends (Jason Segal, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruschel, and Martin Starr) live in the house together, and are so funny a movie could be made about them whenever Ben's not around, and it would be just as funny. You believe the camaraderie between them, and you want to spend more time with them. (If you can stand a bunch of pop culture nerds who enjoy smoking obscene amounts of marijuana, but luckily those are my peeps).

But this is Rogan's movie, through and through. You watch him, and you realize what an awesome guy Ben is. He is the sweetheart who never gets the girl, who's always getting his heart broken, and who's scared as hell about the prospect of losing everything in his life that he knows. He wants to do the right thing, but sometimes just doesn't know how he can best do it. Sometimes he fails miserably with his choices, but all his decisions are based on real human emotion and not plot contrivance. Ben's choices are his own (as are Alison's), and they stem from a genuine place. And Rogan NAILS it. If this movie doesn't make him a household name then there is something seriously wrong with the moviegoing public. Rogan's the real deal: genuine, talented, and funny as all hell. (And he kind of looks like me if you squint, which makes me smile, and allows me to relate to him on screen a little too well at times).

Knocked Up is genuinely fantastic, and it grows on me the more I think about it. I loved spending every moment with these characters, and I obviously want to spend more time with them all. Especially my on-screen doppelganger, Seth Rogan. Apatow and Rogan knock this movie out of the park and continue to show that they are some of the smartest and funniest people making comedy today. Here's hoping there will be more movies like Knocked Up, but in the meantime, savor this movie as much as you can. You know, until you're sick of your friends quoting it every ten minutes, but by then, there will be another Apatow/Rogan creation to quote.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Rockin it 80s style

I had no idea this existed. It's so bizarre on so many levels.

And so awesome.
And totally 80s. Like that A-Ha video 80's.

Box Office Report: Memorial Day Edition

Dude here again, recovering from a painful night of drinking that actually had me waking up this morning and declaring "Dude, where's my car?". What makes it more impressive is that I said it to no one but myself. I seem to vaguely recall singing Tom Jones last night as well. I hope it was as cool as it appears... iN MY MIND!

This weekend, we finally see an end to the madness of "Who's Going To Break A Record And Make a Butt-Load Of Cash". Did Pirates beat itself or Spidey? Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Tuesday. Oh, and these are the four day totals, it being the holiday weekend and what not).

1. Pirates: At World's End (BV) - $142.055, 4362 screens, week 1, $156.055 total

2. Shrek The Third (Par/DW)- $69.085, 4172 screens, week 2, $219.4 total

3. Spider-Man 3 (Sony) - $18.0, 3723 screens, week 4, $307.6 total

4. Bug (LGF) - $4.2, 1661 screens, week 1, $4.2 total

5. Waitress (FoxSrch) - $4.0, 510 screens, week 4, $6.5 total

6. 28 Weeks Later (FoxA) - $3.3, 2013 screens, week 3, $24.4 total

7. Disturbia (Par/DW) - $2.4, 1632 screens, week 7, $74.9 total

8. Georgia Rule (Uni) - $2.38, 1904 screens, week 3, $16.8 total

9. Fracture (NL) - $1.6, 907 screens, week 6, $37.1 total

10. Wild Hogs (BV) - $1.4, 426 screens, week 13, $163.263 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, Pirates broke the record for Memorial Day Weekend take, besting last year's X-Men 3. But it didn't beat the three day record Dead Man's Chest made last year, which Spiderman 3 beat a few weeks ago. Are you as sick of this stuff as I am? Allow me an analogy to these shenanigans: It's like I cured cancer, but I didn't win the Nobel Prize because someone else fixed global warming. Only in this case, it's a lot more shallow, because all these movies have made an obscene amount of money, more money than a person would ever make in three or four days (not to mention cancer research or global warming measures), and they're kind of pouting because they wanted to take in more.

Below the top nonsense, the only other wide release of the weekend, Bug, took in $4.2 million, though it's getting great reviews and looks pretty creepy. And yet, nobody's bothering to see it. Shrek had a solid second weekend. Spidey's losing steam. Waitress, though, it seems people are seeing, as it added almost 400 screens and charmed audiences to a 5th place. That's great. Oh, and what the hell is Wild Hogs doing back in the top ten? That's just like declaring it Bacon Day.

Beneath the radar, Luc Besson's Angel-A opened up on 7 screens and took in $37,000

And in the "Because It's There" series: Aqua Teen Hunger Force took in $12,000 on 34 screens, bringing it's grand total to $5,504,000 in 7 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week a bunch of smaller movies come in to relieve us of blockbuster pressure, including Knocked Up and Day Watch. But the pirates will continue to dominate in a disappointing second weekend. My prediction anyway.

Until next weekend.... (I promise to be more sober-ish)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend...

Lots of fun times, and three day weekends. I'm proud that this is my THIRD memorial day weekend where I don't have to work at a movie theater, but I must say I do kind of miss it. The good working at the movie theater, when I was a projectionist. Not the bad days, when I worked floor staff. That SUCKED! Except the one year at the 3-plex, when we were supposed to get The Lost World, but didn't, so nobody came to our theater. It was very quiet. I also believe that weekend had one of the best days of work ever, when all the managers left, leaving me and my friends Jose and Bill in charge of the entire theater. Man, nothing got done.

Well, that's not entirely true. Jose and I got the keys to the NBA Jam video game, and gave ourselves four quarters in which to reenact the NBA finals that year, and I'm proud to say that for once, the Chicago domination was stopped dead in it's tracks by the LA Lakers. (It would have been better if I weren't Chicago, but it's the metaphor that matters more).

So, in honor of Jose, Bill, Tony, Brian, Ernesto, Lee, Liza, Serietta, Tom, Laura, Lakeya, Damon, Miguel, T-Bone and Brady and anyone else I'm probably leaving out (I bet Mike Shannon gets a kick out of this), I offer this:

Have a great weekend. I'm gonna be a UGE* dork and try to get into the Star Wars convention. Just so I can call someone a Nerd Herder.

Wait a minute, the actual term is Nerf Herder, right? Literally, that means there's not just one, but a group of shepherds who specialize solely in moving Nerf products?

Blast-a-ball kicked ass, too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

LostSpeak: 5-23-07

So... were they flashbacks? Flash forwards? Flashes to an alternate universe? And was that beard just shy of ridonkulous, or what? I'm torn, because it was a pretty badass episode, but it ended so strange, and now we have to wait until January until anything is answered again.

Oh, and the next time we see Walt, is he gonna be 30, or what?

That being said, the Charlie/Desmond stuff was really cool. And I liked Hurly bringing the van back into the fray. And Sawyer drinking the beer from said van.

But above all, I liked the girl that was working for The Others in the beginning. The one who realizes there's nobody in the tents. She wields a hypedermic syringe that looks like it's filled with Ecto-Cooler.
Her name is Roxanne Day. She's also familiar to viewers of 24 (4th Season), or for a brief moment in Art School Confidential. (Honestly, she's the best part). I know her because she worked at the courier job with me. I worked with her for maybe a few weeks, then she left. But ever since, when I go on delivery, and they find out what company I work for, they always ask about her. Most likely because I'm nowhere near as attractive as she is.

But they don't always have to rub it in, do they?

Monday, May 21, 2007

With all the Direct-To-Video sequels out there, how come...

...nobody made a second Dr. Giggles? That was a character that could have been great in the long run of things. For shame, Hollywood. For shame.

Hey, remember when I used to write reviews of movies?

I still do it occasionally. Sometimes, I get backed up and have to write a lot of them at once. And sometimes, the website that asks me for my reviews doesn't like my concept of the "tweener", making my life difficult, as I have to write an actual review. Stupid world.

Regardless, I stayed up late, and have posted reviews to four flicks out there. Well, three and one flick that will be coming to a video store near you, because it's pretty crappy, but it has an amazing performance, and it satisfies my blood lust against reality TV winners.

I'll give you brief overviews, and let you click on the links for the whole review.

Lake Dead: I've had to sit through a lot of crappy horror movies. This one is tolerable thanks to a great performance and a cute girl. (Story of my life)

28 Weeks Later: Freaked my shit out. In the metaphorical sense of the term, thank Christ.

Severance: British horror comedy that's entertaining, even if it doesn't reach Shaun levels of amazing.

(Did I mention I made Simon Pegg laugh?)

DayWatch: In a word, Bossome.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Box Office Report: 5-20-07

Dude here again, with some glorious numbers. This time, however, I'm going with a Mayan numerical system, just to make things more interesting. Unfortunately, the computer won't let me translate the text. So while I know how much money Shrek made in Mayan, you have to settle for the regular numeric system.

This weekend, an annoying/jolly green giant did what Venom, Sandman, Doc Ock, and the Green Goblin have failed to do: beat Spider-man. While not breaking records, Shrek still managed to take in a lot. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Shrek The Third (Par/DW)- $122.0, 4122 screens, week 1, $122.0 total

2. Spider-Man 3 (Sony) - $28.5, 4324 screens, week 3, $281.858 total

3. 28 Weeks Later (FoxA) - $5.15, 2305 screens, week 2, $18.6 total

4. Disturbia (Par/DW) - $3.675, 2547 screens, week 6, $71.3 total

5. Georgia Rule (Uni) - $3.49, 2531 screens, week 2, $12.6 total

6. Fracture (NL) - $2.46, 1607 screens, week 5, $34.7 total

7. Delta Farce (LGF) - $1.8, 1931 screens, week 2, $6.1 total

8. The Invisible (BV) - $1.3, 1378 screens, week 4, $17.66 total

9. Hot Fuzz (Rogue) - $1.255, 973 screens, week 5, $21.079 total

10. Waitress (FoxSrch) - $1.1, 116 screens, week 3, $2.176 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, I think it means we're going to have multiple films grossing more than $100 million in one weekend. First Spidey, now Shrek. Pirates is obviously going to, Harry Potter most likely will. And I wouldn't count out The Simpsons. Just a theory right now, though. It really says something, though, when a movie can open up with $122 million and it doesn't break any records. Sure, it joins an elite club, but it's just not good enough to be the top. (Remember kids, second place is really a nice way of saying the first loser). Making the disappointment that much harsher is that Shrek is a good hour (at the least) shorter than Spiderman, meaning they could fit more shows of Shrek in a given day, and this is the best that it can produce. For shame, Shrek.

(Note to Dreamworks/Paramount: Yes, it was a big weekend. But don't let that fool you into thinking that it's a quality film. In short, please stop making Shrek movies. Seriously. They're tired and annoying).

Spidey came in second, taking in almost $30 million dollars AND adding 72 more screens. Insane. The train is slowing down, but the damage is most certainly done. The other holdovers are barely taking in anything, but it's nice to see Hot Fuzz still on the top ten again. And it's nice that Disturbia stayed in fourth place, because that saved me some time writing this up. And it's really nice to see Waitress pop it's head up into the top ten. Hopefully people will be able to get out and check this little flick out, as a nice antidote to the tentpole pics.

Beneath the radar a few more indie flicks opened up. Once, an Irish musical (which I'm told is awesome and I will be finding out for myself soon) opened up on 2 screens and took in $60,500, giving it a higher per screen average than Shrek. (Another blow to the machine). The Wendall Baker Story, the directing debut of Luke Wilson and his brother Andrew, finally opened up on 17 screens and took in $53,000. And Even Money, a movie I only know about because I worked with the director Mark Rydell last summer, took in $26,000 on 6 screens.

And in the "Because It's There" series: Year Of The Dog took in $119,000 on 149 screens, bringing it's grand total to $1,360,000 in 6 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week I'll just have to replace the word Shrek with the word Pirates, thus saving me time and giving me a three day weekend!

Until next weekend.... (This is allegedly Heath Ledger's look as the Joker)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

An 80s action hero revival that gets it right

I bitch and moan incessantly about this Live Free or Die Hard being PG-13, and being directed by Len Wiseman, that I start to forget what it is about John McClane I truly love. Then I remembered, it was his wiseass comments and ability to think himself out of difficult situations, even if it meant killing a bunch of guys in an elevator. McClane wasn't naturally a killer, he just did what he had to do. He doesn't go around flipping cars into helicopters, and saving the kid from Accepted from a car that's flipping towards them, only to be saved by two other cars. Shenanigans!!!!

Luckily, there's another 80s action hero who's coming back. And this guy sticks true to his nature. No tip toeing around it. You can only catch this until Monday, but check out this link for John Rambo, a sequel nobody really asked for, but it at least stays true to it's character.

Thanks be to AICN for providing us with this. In the meantime, I'll just cling to daydreams of Nakatomi Plaza.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Conan, Magnum, and Uncle Jesse comparing belly buttons.

Start the weekend off right with this. There's something disturbingly brilliant about it, and it's nice to see Tom Selleck lose his shit.

I'll have some more fun stuff for you to read later, including lots of reviews. It's been a long week. But I'll leave you with these things to ponder, get back to me with your opinions:

Do you think I should I go on that Beauty and the Geek show? (Naturally, as a beauty)?

Or would you rather see me hosting the Price is Right?

Or should I instead drive around the country in a van solving mysteries, then write a book about it?

Think about it.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I consider myself as a man of a spiritual nature, but not by any conventional means recognized by anyone besides myself. However, I recently discovered on my desk sits my epitome of spirituality. I present to you, the fine members of...


Together, these forces combine to provide me with a path heretofor never seen by man or beast!

(Man, I will do anything to not work today)

I Wish I Knew How To Quit You

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Box Office Report: Mother's Day edition

Dude here again, finding another thing to procrastinate from the pile of work I need to get done by tomorrow, which isn't happening quite as fast as I was hoping it would. On the plus side, if I sacrifice sleeping tonight, I should be able to get it done. But then again, I love sleep a little too much to actually go through with this plan, so it's possible I might not get stuff done. So long as I don't turn on the TV, I should be alright.

This weekend, Spidey continues its dominance over any other movie that's been released, taking an obscene amount of hard earned dollars and magically turning it into disappointment. GO ahead, try and deny it. You can't, can you? Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Spider-Man 3 (Sony) - $60.0, 4252 screens, week 2, $242.07 total

2. 28 Weeks Later (FoxA) - $10.0, 2303 screens, week 1, $10.0 total

3. Georgia Rule (Uni) - $5.879, 2523 screens, week 1, $5.879 total

4. Disturbia (Par/DW) - $4.8, 3106 screens, week 5, $66.295 total

5. Delta Farce (LGF) - $3.5, 1931 screens, week 1, $3.5 total

6. Fracture (NL) - $2.9, 2202 screens, week 4, $30.98 total

7. The Invisible (BV) - $2.2, 1943 screens, week 3, $15.5 total

8. Hot Fuzz (Rogue) - $1.655, 1236 screens, week 4, $18.9 total

9. Next (Par)- $1.6, 2017 screens, week 3, $14.6 total

10. Meet The Robinsons (BV) - $1.6, 1640 screens, week 7, $94.094 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means Spiderman is going to be the only movie this summer (for a long time, anyway) that will take the top spot for two weeks in a row. It's smart to take all the money you can in the beginning and run, without the competition of Pirates or Ogres. The Ogre, by the way, will be around next week to take even more of your money. (Not mine, though, because I don't care for those films at all)

Trying to take ANY money it could, there were four new releases this week, and only one made any sort of impact. 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to the hit zombie flick 28 Days Later, fared best, and actually almost matched the opening weekend take of the original. Not bad at all, even if it made a 6th of Spidey's take. With a lower budget and very positive reviews, 28 Weeks could wind up being a tiny sleeper if it continues to counterprogram against the really big, PG-13 boys.

Lindsay Lohan has managed to prove that she can't open a movie anymore. Actually, I believe this is two in a row for her. Audiences decided to not see Lohan's film, and for once, I'm pleased with people. Although, this is the film where Lohan was reprimanded by the producers for going out and partying all night, then showing up late for work the next morning. That memo was entertaining , and apparently it's the most entertaining bit involved with this movie.

Delta Farce, which has one of the most annoying, unfunny trailers I have bore witness to in my years, took in a surprising $3.5 million dollars. I guess that there was an audience for a remake of a Pauly Shore movie. Who would have thought it? And not even cracking the top ten is the latest from my nemesis Braff, The Ex. IT came in 12th place, taking in $1.3 million. The film had been put on and off the release schedule for a long, long time (I almost remember it playing at a theater back in December, under a different name, like they released it by accident. I take no pleasure in the failure of the film (It looked pretty good, and with Jason Bateman co-starring, it's bound to have moments of brilliance), but I did do a little happy dance.

Some day, Braff, in this life or the next, I will have my vengeance.

I'd like to point out how the holdovers for the week just seem to be mopping up, but it's nice to point out that Hot Fuzz raised a spot to 8th place. God, I love that movie.

And in the "Because It's There" series: Grindhouse took in $63,200 on 95 screens, bringing it's grand total to $24,430,000 in 6 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, we have the big green machine trying (and most likely succeeding) to take Spidey down a peg, as our summer of annoying sequels continues.

Until next weekend....

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mike Shannon

I mentioned it was his birthday the other day. I also mentioned he took some nice shots for Low Cool. I couldn't find them on the one computer the other day, so I put up a poster of the Proposition instead. Well, I scoured for them, and found one.
This is the largest size I can show it at, too. Sorry.

I know I have more, but I can't find them. This, however, is a pretty badass shot of me circa 2002, trying to be more like Kevin Smith with every waking moment. (Complete with the Mooby Hat). I believe I used this picture in my personal ad on the Onion. Because all chicks dig the smokin' fat bastard.

(Sadly, they still don't. Who would have thought?)

Oooh, I found another one!

Mike Shannon didn't take this next picture, but it's also of a Mike, so it felt fitting to put it in.

(It comes from a frame in the film, and the man responsible for the picture is Pavlus, but since his name isn't Mike, it didn't feel right to include him)

Two Interesting Things I found on Ye Olde Internet

I tried to copy the posters and display them here, but it wasn't allowed. Instead, I'm gonna send you over to the site, and you can see some "grindhouse" style posters of serious movies. Some are really good. Some are weak. But it's worthwhile checking out, especially if you're, say, procrastinating from doing your actual work, and need to kill a lot of time. Quite useful. And the project still hasn't gotten anything done.

And second, Chad Vader #8 is upon us. I'll put it here for now, but if you haven't seen 1-7, check those out first over at You Tube.

Oh, and If anyone's played the Spiderman 3 game, and has anything to share about it's awesomeness (or lack thereof considering the movie), please drop me a line. And that person and I can talk about Lost as well, because I've been slacking in my LostSpeak of late. (I was also gonna do HeroesSpeak, but I'm waiting for that to be done for the season).
(Goddamn, I'm a dork)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Little things

I read this and thought it was nice.

Then I read this, and was pissed that I didn't think of it first

Although, When we were in London, Dan (he of DanSpeak) and I went to the midnight opening of Blade, right? Next morning, we were on a plane to Dublin, all jazzed up by how cool Blade was, and how it would be cool if Blade could have a badass fight with a vampire who's slowly coming up the plane from the back, killing everyone.

It made a lot more sense at the time.

Oh, and I heard it on good authority that the FX guys actually built robots that transform. Like, this thing above. The FX guy hits a button on his remote, and the thing will transform. For reals.

That's pretty fuckin sweet.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Box Office Report: Special Spidey Edition

Dude here again, once again amazed that another weekend has come and gone. I'm also amazed at my inability to play most sports, and as I get older, my ability to fake my way through said sports only seems to result in injury. And not cool injury, like bone popping out of skin. I'm talking LAME injury, like hurting your back, or twisting your ankle easily. I'm getting old, and it sucks.

This weekend, Lucky You surprises audiences and critics alike, and actually takes the number one spot, leaving Spiderman in the Drew Barrymore dust! I couldn't believe it! Who would have thought this was how the summer movie season would begin? Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Spider-Man 3 (Sony) - $148.0, 4252 screens, week 1, $148.0 total

2. Disturbia (Par/DW) - $5.7, 3132 screens, week 4, $59.88 total

3. Fracture (NL) - $3.4, 2365 screens, week 3, $26.45 total

4. The Invisible (BV) - $3.1, 2019 screens, week 2, $12.3 total

5. Next (Par)- $2.768, 2733 screens, week 2, $11.8 total

6. Lucky You (WB) - $2.5, 2525 screens, week 1, $2.5 total

7. Meet The Robinsons (BV) - $2.466, 2107 screens, week 6, $91.77 total

8. Blades of Glory (Par/DW) - $2.3, 2113 screens, week 6, $111.6 total

9. Hot Fuzz (Rogue) - $2.05, 1266 screens, week 3, $16.1 total

10. Are We Done Yet? (Sony) - $1.7, 1704 screens, week 5, $46.1 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that I thought myself funny with a misleading header about Lucky You. Had I more energy, I would have continued the gag, but since everyone and their mother (and most unborn children) will have already heard about the obscene amount of money that Spiderman 3 made. It broke records for highest day the day it opened (somewhere around $59 million), It broke the record Pirates set last year for most made in three days. (Time will tell if Pirates feels the need to reclaim that record). All sorts of things. This makes Spidey 4 inevitable, hopefully with some fresh blood. We shall see.

The aforementioned Lucky You sort of sets itself up for an ironic pun on it's name (Not so lucky after all, huh?, etc), but I hear the film is quite good, just being marketed poorly. Oh, and opening up against Spiderman. How's that for confidence in your product?I've heard rumors that the movie has been "sitting on the shelf" for two years, but that's not entirely true, because I saw them working on it last summer, furiously editing away. (Their office was across the way from mine. Fun Fact: On the other side of my office? Borat's. No foolin. I always saw him in the bathroom, and it's difficult to to say something when your holding your junk). Anyway, the film was met with some really good reviews, and I'm sure nobody will see it until it hits video. Way to drop the ball, Warners.

Obviously, the holdovers made nothing in comparison to the number one. In fact, it should be noted that there is a $143 million difference between the number one movie of the week, and the number 2. Kind of sad. It should be noted that most of these other movies probably had showings cancelled to make way for more interlocking of Spidey, to accommodate the large crowds. (It's called "interlocking" in the business of projection).

Under the radar, the late Adrienne Shelly's film Waitress, starring Keri Russell and Nathan "Bill Pardy" Fillion, was released on 4 screens, and took in $91,500. Sadly, it's still a lower per screen average than Spidey. But Waitress can take comfort in knowing it got far better reviews.

And in the "Because It's There" series: 300 took in $400,000 on 433 screens, bringing it's grand total to $207,852,000 in 9 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, a few movies try to continue the dance, but Spiderman is gonna take all. Let's be honest. Even if 28 Weeks Later looks pretty kick ass, it's still not going to matter. Oh, and there's also a movie from BRAFF!!!!! BRRRRRAAAAFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next weekend....

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spidey 3: The Lowdown

I love Spiderman. I'm seriously a Spidey guy all the way, since yung'n days. (Or for psych majors, Jung'n days). Seriously, I have an e,barassing "bathroom picture" when I was younger, but what makes me happy about that is knowing I'm wearing my Spiderman sweatshirt. (I seriously wish I still had that sweatshirt, but in my size. It was really cool). I digress though, I think when it comes to superheroes, Spiderman is the best. And since these movies have been coming out, I gotta say, I'm happy as hell. It's just so much fun seeing Spiderman up on a big screen, doing what he does best.

That's why it disheartens me to report that Spiderman 3 is not all it can be. Don't get me wrong, it's still more than enjoyable, it's just that... well, remember in Jurassic Park when Jeff Goldblum asks "Now, you do plan on having DINOSAURS in your dinosaur park, right?" That's kind of how this movie feels. I'd really like Spiderman in my Spiderman movie.

(Off topic, in college my friend Paolo - who directed the great stage hit "Creepy Guys Fried Chicken" (written by yours truly)- and I were in a screenwriting class together, and one of his submissions was a Batman script. This is right after Batman and Robin had been released. His take was darker and brought Batman to a strange place, but it curiously lacked Batman for the first 30 or so pages. This prompted me and my friend Nails (partner-in-crime in the fountain/bubble fiasco at our graduation) to ask if Paolo intended on having Batman show up in his Batman script).

Where was I? Oh, right. Spidey. Yeah...

I can't say too much without giving stuff away, and I don't want to do that. I'll say what's good about the movie though: Eye candy. Seriously, it's a really cool movie, and when it's working, it is ON. The action sequences in this film are quite cool, mostly involving the Sandman, but some of the Venom stuff is neat, too. At first, it looks a little Playstation-ey (especially the fight between Harry and Peter in the beginning), but it gets better as it goes, culminating in an epic battle that made me wide eyed with joy.

Oh, and there's a scene with Bruce Campbell that is probably the best thing in the movie.

Most of the new additions to the cast are good. Thomas Hayden "Lowell" Church makes a good brute as Sandman. (If they ever make a comic of The Goon, he'd be PERFECT!) He has a good backstory that adds a bit more to him, much like with Doc Ock in part 2. And Topher Grace is pretty damn terrific as Eddie Brock, and later, he seems to be having a hell of a good time chewing up scenery as Venom. They make a good bad guy team.

Bryce Dallas howard is alright, and pulls off a really difficult scene with some style and grace, but overall, she's not given much to do. This leads me into my problems with the film. The most apt metaphor would be a cicrcus carney spinning plates, but paying attention to the most dull plate that doesn;t want to spin, but he keeps trying and trying, and he'll occasionally spin the other plates again, and they'll be neat, but then he keeps coming back to that one troublesome, dull plate.

Yeah. That's the metaphor I'm looking for. Or the much simpler (and vaguely related) version: This movie has too much on its plate. There is the love story between Peter Parker and Mary Jane, and the movie focuses for a bit on the strain that being Spiderman has on their life. Apparently, the main problem is that it makes Peter into kind of a jerk who doesn't pay attention to his woman. And the movie focuses a little too long on the ups and downs of their love story. All the while, other things sort of happen, but it takes a really long time to get there.

It's interesting that it took three years to get this one made (the reason being to take their time and get it just right) whereas Spiderman 2 had a shorter window from the first one, but told a crackerjack* story. The script definitely needed at least one more pass, to smooth over the plot holes, and streamline everything. As it stands, it feels sloppy and weak. Not to mention a little lazy. Juggling Peter and Mary Jane, and Harry's involvement with everything, and Sandman's story, and Venom's story, and Gwen Stacy, and somehow tying in Sandman to the killing of Uncle Ben in the first movie... it's all too much. It gets to the point where I just want an action scene to distract me from all that's going on. Is that so wrong?

All in all, it's not bad. But the regular actors (Maguire, Dunst, Franco, et al) seem a little tired of these characters. (All with the exception of J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. They should make an entire movie about this guy). There's a lot happening, but not a lot for everyone to do. If there is an inevitable fourth Spiderman, some new blood would definitely be appreciated. I'd suggest letting Peter Jackson give it a try. There'd be a nice symmetry involved if Raimi took over the Hobbit. Just saying.

It's not a bad movie at all. It's quite enjoyable at parts, although there is a scene where the movie kind of becomes The Mask. (It's weird.) It just tries to do too much, when it could have gotten by with half the story and been just as good. It's a fitting end to these films, as it ties a lot of threads. But it definitely continues the Marvel Films trend of decent-to-good first movie, awesome second movie, lackluster but still "alright" third movie. This however, bodes very well for the upcoming Fantastic Four flick.

Two more things: First, the presennce of Danny Elfman is sorely missed. The music is a little overbearing, and is often used too much as sonic glue). Seconnd, there's a portrait of Willem Dafoe that hangs on the wall in the Osborne apartment. It's brilliant, but it causes a lot of unintentional laughter. Much like a lot of the movie. Regardless, I want that portrait in my living room. It'll go right next to the Shaun standee. (I made him laugh, you know?)

*10 points for finally managing to work "crackerjack" into something. AND, to truly stand behind my use of it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Happy Birthday to the blog

I've officially kept up this blog for a year now. Go me and all my bosomeness. Feel free to check out the archives, and look at my pathetic previous blogs. (They're the ones that lack pictures. I can't even begin to remember those primitive times.)

I enjoy maintaining this blog. I have fun with it, and I hope all you readers enjoy it. All you readers being my friends whom I force to read my blog constantly. But you keep reading it, and for that I thank you. Thanks again for all the comments, when they work, as well. Keep leaving them, and I'll keep trying to make it work.

This is a sexy Ms. Pac Man.

I'm going to continue using my blog as my own personal MySpace... but better! I'm trying to have good news that isn't an April Fool's prank, so finger's crossed everyone. I feel an upswing coming (it's about damn time) so you'll be able to hear about all the awesome things FIRST, right here! (Although it'll be tough to top making Simon Pegg laugh, but we'll try).

Never forget: I rule!

UPDATE: Oh, and because he's such a great guy, I'm willing to share the blog's birthday with one Michael Shannon. Fan. Filmmaker. Father. Still photographer on the set of Low Cool. I tried to find a picture that he took and put it here randomly, but those pictures are on the other computer. So, I hope you don't think this is mocking you, but it is out of respect and glory. All hail the Mike Shannon's birth as well as my blog's birth.