Sunday, July 29, 2007

First was Lego Star Wars...

Then came Lego Star Wars II, and that rocked hard core.

Without more Star Wars movie, what was to become of the Lego series?

Naturally, go through the Lucas cannon!!!

Here's hoping they Lego-ize Jurassic Park next!

Box Office Report: 7-29-07

Dude here again. That was a good book. I read the entire thing in two days. I'm sick like that. Luckily, I'm done reading and can back to things that rot my brain, like movies, video games, and Mountain Dew slurpees. Man, those are tasty.

This weekend, SImpsons fans can finally rejoice, and Fox can breathe easy, as the long awaited motion picture finally came out and took the top spot. 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. The Simpsons Movie (Fox) - $71.85, 3922 screens, week 1, $71.85 total

2. I Now... Chuck and Larry (Uni) - $19.06, 3501 screens, week 2, $71.6 total

3. Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix (WB) - $17.06, 4005 screens, week 3, $241.77 total

4. Hairspray (NL) - $15.55, 3121 screens, week 2, $59.3 total

5. No Reservations (WB) - $11.75, 2425 screens, week 1, $11.75 total

6. Transformers (Par/DW) - $11.5, 3349 screens, week 4, $284.5 total

7. Ratatouille (Dis/Pix) - $7.2, 2934 screens, week 5, $179.68 total

8. Live Free or Die Hard (Fox)- $5.35, 2271 screens, week 5, $125.1 total

9. I Know Who Killed Me (Sony) - $3.4, 1320 screens, week 1, $3.4 total

10. Who's Your Caddy? (MGM/Wein) - $2.9, 1019 screens, week 1, $2.9 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, if you're the Simpsons, then you must be pleased. You got people to pay for what they get at home for free. You even make that joke in the movie. Along with tons of other jokes. The fans came out and supported the film beyond most anyone's expectations. I don't think any records were broken, but I'm sure that there will be one drudged up and dusted off, like biggest opening for a movie based on a TV show that airs on Fox. In which case, until the release of Herman's Head: The Movie, it can be proud to have that claim.

(Actually, I forgot about the X-Files movie, but in 3 days, Simpsons took in almost the entire gross of X-Files. to be fair, there are many more Simpsons fans than X-Files fans).

Other movies were released this weekend, too. No Reservations opened up in fifth to a small amount, most likely because they forgot the key ingredient to success of kitchen based movies this summer is a talking rat. There are far too many temptations to blame the failure of I Know Who Called Me on the starlet's recent brushes with chemical dependency, but I'll do everyone a favor and just blame the fact that the movie is terrible, and nobody wants to see her in movies anyway. And Who's Your Caddy, sadly, did not blow away people with it's genius blend of comedy and satire. Hopefully this movie will have long legs and prove everyone wrong. Who's Your Caddy? will be the defining golf comedy of our times.

Holdovers are slipping. A lot of folks predicted that Hairspray would have long legs and continue to do well, but it's dropping like the rest of them. Harry Potter fans, having finished the book, have been returning to the theater, but not enough to break records, people. Because if there's anything this summer has been about, it's about breaking records.

And in the "Because It's There" series: Once took in $340,000 on 131 screens, bringing it's grand total to $6,058,000 in 11 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, Bourne is back, which looks pretty damn badass, I'm not gonna lie to you. I'm sure something else is coming out, too, but it's not really gonna matter, is it? Unless it's Who's Your Caddy 2? (Too?)

Until next weekend....

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Simp-sons...

It's awfully tempting to use Jeff "Comic Book Guy" Albertson's slightly amended catch-phrase to describe The Simpsons Movie: Best. Movie. Ever. Certainly that's an apt description. (Especially if you've never seen "Krull" or "Real Men"). And it's fitting with the Simpson-verse to use it, especially if it's not true and merely hyperbole. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that. I can say with confidence, however, that it's the funniest movie I've seen all year. And in a year that's already given us Hot Fuzz and Knocked Up (not to mention Superbad around the corner), that's a bold statement indeed.

This movie broke me not once, not twice, not even thrice. Five times. Five times this movie made me laugh so damn hard I lost myself.The gags in this movie and fast and furious, and rarely do they stop. And the one time it does stop, the movie gives us a moment more genuine and heartbreaking than you'll see in most of the live action films this year. I won't lie to you, I welled up. (To be fair, I was crying from laughter a lot, too, so the tears were already primed to go).

My god is this movie funny. I still crack up just thinking about scenes in it. I wish I could describe them, but it's nearly impossible to do without ruining anything. I will say that the eleven credited writers, most culled from the "golden age" of Simpsons production, have taken the time to craft a movie they are proud of, that truly defines The Simpsons. And you can tell that they're not pandering to people, either. They genuinely want to entertain themselves first, then the audience. It shows.

The plot is typical of most Simpsons episodes, with the stream of consciousness leading from one event to the next. It's not as non sequitur like the past couple of seasons have been (or like Family Guy now has become). It's a classic story of the family in need of each other. It starts with Homer and Bart having a game of "Dare", and like any good movie, it ends with an explosion. There are far too many gags in between that keep you in stitches the entire time. The rating for "irreverent humor" is well earned. It includes nudity and Marge finally breaking down and swearing. It's not for kids, even though it's animated.

(Although, you could have fooled me with the jerk kids in the theater I saw it in. Between them and the teens who wouldn't stop talking on their phones- DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY EVEN TELL YOU IN THE MOVIE TO TURN OFF YOUR PHONES- it almost made me enjoy the movie a little less. Almost. Stupid teens, always checking their MySpace pages on their phones. Buncha jerks.)

All the voice work is perfect, but my favorite has to go to Julie Kavner as Marge. Hands down, this is the best Marge has ever been. Everyone else is great doing their roles, as good as they've ever been. But Kavner takes the cake.

Bottom line, The Simpsons Movie delivers. It's not an epic motion picture event, unless you love The Simpsons. Truly love them, too. Obsessive nerds like me. Comic Book Guys everywhere can unite and declare it. But you can't deny the fact that this movie is downright hilarious and well worth the 18 year wait.

PS- Do yourself a favor and stay through the credits.

Watch more Videos from this Film

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Remember Pirates 3? I finally did!

Yeah, I finally saw it. Took a long time, I realize. But yeah, it was actually pretty solid. I liked it, and found to be a lot better than the last one. Sure, this one goes on a little longer than it needs to, and if they're gonna pay to have Chow Yun Fat, at least give him something to do, not just kinda stand there, and then do one of the worst choices the series has ever made. Still, it only mildly bothered me. There's a lot of good, fun stuff in this film, and everyone is back on their game. I think it's gotta be Geoffrey Rush's presence. He made me love this movie, and he was sorely absent from the last movie. (Though Bill Nighy is still the best thing in all of the movies, and this time around, you get a chance to see what he looks like without the calamari hanging from his chin.) All in all, this is a worthwhile flick, and very satisfying, given that this summer there hasn't been a whole lot that lived up to the awesomeness of it's trailer.

Fun Fact: I got free popcorn and soda, because I'm awesome like that!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Couple of nice random bits

Despite my marathon reading session this past weekend, I managed to take a break to stop and smell the roses. Well, to eat a calzone and watch Howard the Duck, which is a terrible movie, but I love it. I can't believe how much I still love it, too. And it has duck tits! How many other movies can you say that about? NONE! That's right! Duck tits, right there on screen. I seem to remember them as a child, then had the rumor confirmed.

Anyway, when I decided to hit the interweb and try to find the song (Success!) and pictures of Howard, I came across this blog that had a list of the 20 favorite/best guy in suit performances. I was pleasantly surprised.

Additionally, on this week's Flight of the Conchords, they did this hilarious song called Bowie's In Space. I peed myself.

Just now, I mean. Excuse me.

How about some Wes Anderson for your morning?

I found a trailer for Wes Anderson's new movie The Darjeeling Limited. I tthink it looks good, but I like all Wes Anderson movies.

Yes, even Life Aquatic. Not the best of his movies, but still very good in it's own right. (Plus, it steals the end credits from Buckaroo Banzai!)

This looks a little more like Royal Tennenbaum territory, the cast is good and not too sprawling, and it has the look and feel of a Wes Anderson film. I'm really looking forward to seeing this one.

Feel free to compare aforementioned end credits from Banzai...

...with Zissou.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Box Office Report: I'm readin' Harry Potter edition

Dude here again. I got the Harry Potter book on Friday. I'm reading it. It's awesome.

This weekend, some movies came out. 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. I Now... Chuck and Larry (Uni) - $34.775, 3495 screens, week 1, $34.775 total

2. Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix (WB) - $32.185, 4285 screens, week 2, $207.5 total

3. Hairspray (NL) - $27.8, 3121 screens, week 1, $27.8.4 total

4. Transformers (Par/DW) - $20.5, 3762 screens, week 3, $262.969 total

5. Ratatouille (Dis/Pix) - $11.0, 3402 screens, week 4, $165.6 total

6. Live Free or Die Hard (Fox)- $7.3, 2727 screens, week 4, $116.4 total

7. License to Wed (WB) - $3.76, 2525 screens, week 3, $38.678 total

8. 1408 (MGM/Dim) - $2.6, 1451 screens, week 5, $67.5 total

9. Evan Almighty (Uni) - $2.4, 1779 screens, week 5, $93.469 total

10. Knocked Up (Uni) - $2.3, 1288 screens, week 8, $142.7 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Who cares? I got me a lot of reading to do. From the look of the numbers, it looks like a lot of other people opted to stay in and read over going to the movies. But there were some solid hits there. The numbers might change a lot by tomorrow, but by then, I'll know the ending of the book and will care about movies again. Maybe.

Just for fun, though, here's hoping next weekend that 1408 only loses 43 screens next week, so it will only be playing on 1408 screens, and we can all go "Creeeeeeeeepppppeeeeyyyyyyy" together!

FUN FACT: I'm reading so fast, my eyes hurt!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Something about Transformers. Remember? Last week's flavor?

It made me laugh.

It's safe to say I'm a Harry Pot-head.

I just came up with that. Damn I'm clever.

Yeah, so new Harry Potter book comes out at midnight tonight. this just after the fifth film in the series was released. I am so damn excited about this. Seriously. It's the end of the series and all that, so I intend on staying indoors and shutting myself off this whole weekend so I can concentrate on reading, so as not to come across the ending of the book on the interwebs. Yeah, I'm a dork. So what?

As for the new movie? It rocks pretty hardcore. The third one is still the best as far as the movies go, but this might be runner up. I loved the look of it (Same dude who shot Black Hawk Down!) mainly because it is seriously the closest any of the movies have come to what I envision in my head while reading the book. Sure, there's a part of me that misses all the stuff they cut out of the book (especially with Neville, as the kid who plays him is turning out to be a damn fine actor), but the movie moves along at a quick pace and feels a lot more fluid than the staccato rhythm of the previous film. Scenes seem to flow together at a natural pace.

And the acting is pretty damn fine this time around. Granted with such a crowded cast, plus new characters to introduce, they're running out of English actors (I'm praying there's a part in the seventh for Simon Pegg and/or Nick Frost, being that them and Ricky Gervais are all that's left). Of the newcomers, I really liked the girl who played Luna Lovegood. She played it spacey without being too strange. In the book she came off as slightly obnoxious about her weirdness, like Brooklyn hipsters who always insist they're not hipsters or cool but secretly believe they are and write bad poetry on their MySpace blogs every day. Anyway, Luna isn't like that. She's definitely weird and she knows it, but she's fine with it. Really liked her. And Imelda Staunton as Delores Umbridge was spot on. I remember in the book, I HATED that character. Every time she was in a scene, I would yell at the book. Literally. I hated her. And she's pitch perfect in the flick. Well done. that's not to diminish the rest of the cast, they just keep getting better and better. (Especially the twins). But I liked these two a lot in this already stuffed movie.

The thing about this chapter in Harry Potter is that it's the grimmest. From page 1 on, there's just foreboding and doom lurking around every corner. every choice seems to be a bad one, and it keeps sinking and sinking and getting worse for Harry. And it's not until the very end that there's some hope. The movie captured it perfectly, I feel. Really well done. Even the fight in the ministry of magic at the end had the same blue tint I saw in my mind. Astounding.

Yeah, so this weekend, if anybody feels like checking in to see if I'm alive, I may not answer. I'll be reading.

Because I'm a dork.

A dork who loves Harry Potter and who can't wait to finish the book, even though there might not be anymore after this. Had to end sometime, I guess.

Funny, remember when people wanted to ban these books because they thought it promoted witchcraft? I think they still feel that. Go check out Jesus Camp.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's a pretty stupid title...

...But this WAR movie looks pretty badass.

My favorite part of the trailer is "Jet Li and Jason Statham Are... At... WAR!" It makes it sound like those good Seagal titles back in the day, when the preview could say that Seagal was Out For Justice, or Hard To Kill, or Marked For Death. In fact, they all made sense until Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. (But that movie just kicked ass).

The only thing about WAR that I don't like is the absence of the name Luc Besson anywhere related to this project. Statham and Li are perfect for Besson, and this is the movie that could use the daft touch that made Unleashed and the Transporter series so damn bossome. Still, it's nice to see Statham and Li fighting each other. Not since The One have we been so blessed.

Off topic: I met the director of The One (he directed Final Destination 1 and 3, and I met him at the screening of the latter), and I asked him "When are we gonna get The Two?" It took him a second, but he got a good chuckle out of it. Then he informed me that apparently, Jet Li has thought of it time and time again, and has it written entirely in his head. But it will never be made. That was all he said.

Off the off topic: Check out the ads for this and tell me it's not blatantly hoping that people mistake it for 300 which is available the same day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Russ Prince... Damn Glad To Meet You!

I mentioned it in the Kwik E Mart post, but I wasn't kidding. It really was my dad's birthday last week. It was also my mom's. Same day, same year. Ain't that sweet?

(And easy to remember, although I came dangerously close to missing out on calling them this year).

Anyway, Pop had a lovely surprise delivered to his office for his birthday: A hot chick came by and did a little dance. Hand to God. he even sent me the picture. Enjoy.

On an off topic note, every time I stop into a 7-11 I have to get a pink Simpsons' donut. I am such a sucker for marketing.

Lily Allen just got hotter

It's a slow week, what do you want?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

We're closer to the end... of DAYS!

That's right. this is just the beginning steps. Soon, they'll be EVERYWHERE!!

God Help Us All.

Box Office Report: Giant Fuckin Wizards Edition

Dude here again. You know what's fun? Watching movies I'm familiar with in Spanish. DVD has made it easier, but there's nothing like flipping through channels and finding a classic film dubbed in Spanish. Like last night. Flipping around when what should I come across? American Ninja 2! In espanol! It was amazing, and surprisingly, easier to follow.

This weekend, the wizard took the robots down a peg. And also made an obscene amount of money in a short amount of time. Sometimes I feel like summer's all about having one weekend and erasing it from your memory. Like TiVo. Only cheaper and with more annoying people sitting behind 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. Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix (WB) - $77.4, 4285 screens, week 1, $140.0 total (Wed. Opening)

2. Transformers (Par/DW) - $36.0, 4050 screens, week 2, $222.99 total

3. Ratatouille (Dis/Pix) - $18.0, 3625 screens, week 3, $143.0 total

4. Live Free or Die Hard (Fox)- $10.875, 3201 screens, week 3, $102.9 total

5. License to Wed (WB) - $7.4, 2715 screens, week 2, $30.5 total

6. 1408 (MGM/Dim) - $5.0, 2206 screens, week 4, $62.2 total

7. Evan Almighty (Uni) - $4.9, 2702 screens, week 4, $87.867 total

8. Knocked Up (Uni) - $3.65, 1715 screens, week 7, $138.1 total

9. Sicko (LGF) - $2.65, 756 screens, week 4, $15.876 total

10. Ocean's 13 (WB) - $1.9, 1244 screens, week 6, $112.4 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means pretty much what I said before about the smash and grab mentality of summer blockbusters. Get in, get out. Everybody does it, and films that opened huge a mere two months ago are now gone from memory. (With some movies, this is a blessing, however, when I'm trying to find a theater so I can finally see Pirates 3, but can't because of too many houses showing transformers, I can be irked). Where was I going with this? Oh right. Harry Potter made a lot of money. I'm really too burned out to care if it broke any records, but I'm pretty sure it didn't.

Although, along these lines, did you see the fantastic "record" broken by Transformers last week? It was along the lines of "Highest Grossing Fourth of July Weekend (For a non-sequel)". It was similar to that, but had an obscene amount of qualifiers, like released on a Monday with a 30% chance of rain. Hollywood is becoming a kindergarten, where everybody gets a gold star because everybody's special! (Which is just a nice way of saying that nobody's special).

The holdovers are doing fine. Transformers didn't drop as much as I thought it would, so good for it! But you know what impresses me most? Knocked Up still up there, while many have come and gone from it's side. Huzzah for Seth Rogan!

Below the top ten, Captivity, the movie known more for it's controversial billboards and wild premiere parties than for the actual movie itself (I didn't even quite realize it opened this week) took in $1.55 million on 1050 screens. Expect a lot of analysts to proclaim this the final nail in the coffin of "torture porn". That is until Saw IV comes out and makes a lot of money, confusing pundits of box office lore for another six months, until the next "torture porn" movie tanks. This business rules.

Also, a Don Cheadle movie called Talk To Me opened up on 33 screens and took in $391,000. Pretty good, and I've heard nothing but great things about Cheadle's performance, which is pretty much par for the course with that guy. After Harry Potter, Talk to Me had the next highest per screen average.

And in the "Because It's There" series: Hot Fuzz took in $42,000 on 87 screens, bringing it's grand total to $23,562,000 in 13 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, we have an Adam Sandler movie and a movie about John Travolta dressing up like a woman, which looks slightly more convincing than Eddie Murphy in Norbit, and just about as entertaining. Weird

Until next weekend....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

iPhone in a blender

At least now we all know the answers, and don't have to grab my boss's and find out for myself.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Captivity Premiere Party

There are numerous women walking past me wearing nothing but electrical tape and a smile. Some are spinning on a table. Some are dancing in cages. Some take a shower. Some are being whipped by the guy who used to be in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He's smoking, which means it's ok for me to smoke here. I figure since I'm not whipping scantily clad women, I can get away with the "Well, Navarro's doing it" excuse.

I'm at the premiere party of Captivity, which promises to be the most shocking evening of my life, but I've been to Thailand, so I kind of doubt that claim, no matter how little electrical tape you use to cover your nipples. Still, it ranks up there. I'm at a Hollywood club right on the heart of Sunset Blvd, and I'm witnessing a celebration of torture porn. And free booze. And you know me, if there's free booze and half naked ladies, I'm there. (Of course, I can usually also be counted on when there's free shrimp. So far this night's just hitting them out of the park).

The Suicide Girls are responsible for the flesh. I knew nothing of these girls and what they do until I was strapped down by two of them into a chair and forced to take a picture. Which I forgot to pick up when I left because of the free booze. Regardless, these ladies are hot and know how to put on a good time. Elsewhere in the vicinity is a man piercing people and sticking feathers into them. I suddenly think to myself "It's about time I get a fetish!"

There were stars abound, unfortunately Elisha "Caught in a cougar trap" Cuthbert was not to be found. However, imagine my surprise when I walk smack dab into Ryan Gosling. What a solid guy, man. I wish I could've remembered the name of "Stay", because I love that movie and I bet he doesn't get to talk about that flick. I also saw Borat's producer friend, but again because I spent most of my evening with Mr. John Daniels, I couldn't remember who he was. (At least it's not as awkward as when I met Borat himself, in a men's room. That was awkward). There were more celebs there, but I don't remember any. I'm not even entirely sure if I was there, but I do seem to remember someone thinking I was Seth Rogan, so maybe that should count. (And maybe I should use that to get me free drinks elsewhere).

The evening progresses into a slow fog at this point, as I have befriended the bartender, who's also from Jersey! Then a man in an eyepatch recognizes the brilliance of my shirt. (Which has a picture of Jesus hang gliding and says "What Wouldn't Jesus Do?" Suddenly I'm dancing with some lovely ladies named Lorielle, Rena, and Mary, whom I'm told is an adult film actress and ran for governor of California a few months back. It's possible the booze caused me to make this part of the story up, and yet it did happen. I have a blurry picture to prove it. Sure as there was a room with hanging pig carcasses with Suicide Girls lovingly fondling them.

Alright, so it's not Thailand, but it's still a step up from my normal Tuesday evenings. I should point out that I still have yet to see the movie. but that didn't stop me from blatantly (and with much vulgarity) declaring how awesome it is to a camera when asked my opinion of the movie. So here's hoping the movie delivers so I don't look like a drunken jackass. But then again, when the party is this crazy my ridonkulousness pales in comparison. It was a grand time, and I wish you all could have been there, if only to see that I'm not lying when I tell you about the electrical tape.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I go to the 7-11 in Burbank that's been converted into a Kwik E Mart!

So, as many of you may have heard, 7-11 partnered up with Fox to do some Simpsons movie promotions, offering Buzz Cola and Squishees and Simpsons merchandise, etc. And a few lucky 7-11s have actually been transformed into ACTUAL Kwik E Marts, which is pretty cool considering that it's as close as one will ever come to visiting a set from The Simpsons.

(Although, I heard a few years ago that somewhere in Vegas, somebody built the Simpsons' house. Hmmmm.....)

Regardless, it's still a kind of nifty idea, and since there are two in LA, and one was relatively close to where I was working, I decided to stop on in and check it out. You can see it from afar and a little closer up. (For people who care, it's on the corner of Olive and Verdugo, but it's a weird 6-way stop light.)

(Sorry the pictures might not be the greatest. I finally stepped up and joined the 21st century and now have a camera in my phone, so I'm learning how to take pictures with it. It's pretty cool, and a little unnerving. But now I'll never be kicking myself for not taking that picture of me and Judd Nelson when the opportunity arrives!)

Anyway, so as you can kind of see from the outside, there are lovely signs, and Bart and Milhouse on the roof. There are also a bunch of signs on the windows, like these. They are amusing and clever, and you can feel that the Simpsons' writers definitely had fun with this.

Also outside are ropes for the lines. I couldn't believe it, for the first time in my life, I had to wait to go into the 7-11. It was kinda ridiculous, but fans are lining up to check this out. (The one on the west side in LA (around Sepulveda and Jefferson, I want to say) has giant spotlights that caused obscene traffic on the fourth of July. All this for a convenience store. And how convenient is it to pop in and buy a pack of smokes and a vitamin water when there are kids taking their picture by the Squishee machine? (which still serves slurpee flavors, oddly enough).

Inside, they have all sorts of nifty touches, lots of stand up characters and such. You can see Apu and Wiggum here. If you look closely in the freezer you can see Jasper frozen, just like in episode number... whatever. I'm not obsessive like Comic Book Guy. Which reminds me that Comic Book guy was painted on the wall outside. His name is Jeff Appleton, if I remember correctly. But everybody calls him comic book guy.

(What I need to do is go back and look for Snake. I'm guessing he'd be around the corner, waiting to rob the place, but then again, I don't think 7-11 wants to encourage the robbery of their stores, even with a cartoon character).

So, along with the squishees, they have those lovely pink donuts that Homer consumes to an insane degree. Naturally I had to get one. They taste like donuts. They're not made out of gold or anything. They're just donuts. And they were out of Buzz Cola, but the Buzz Cola machine curiously carried both Coke and Pepsi products, but no Buzz. Not even Jolt. But there is Mountain Dew!

Not for nothing, but would it kill 7-11 to carry RC Cola and Mello Yello? Seriously! Those sodas rule.

Still, I couldn't resist the temptation of donuts, and I got swept up into the hype. So I asked a lovely young woman to take a picture of me in a not so flattering t-shirt (Although, it is a very funny shirt) alongside my hero and eventual role model should I ever become a father myself (sorry, Pop, media oversaturation being what it is, I gotta go with what works. Oh, and Happy birthday tomorrow). The similarities between us are astounding.

So there you have it. I went to a convenience store that was inspired by a cartoon, and wrote about it. Sadly, after all is said and done, it's still a 7-11. However, in both cartoon form or reality, the Kwik E Mart certainly does overprice their items. At least there's consistency.

FUN FACT: For aficionados of LA geography, the Kwik E Mart I visited was right down the street from the Safari Motel Inn, as Floyd says it. Indeed, if you're a fan of True Romance AND The Simpsons, this is one block you'll never want to leave.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Oh yeah, I forgot about this show.

Our grand Canadian friend Lana was kind enough to shoot this my way. So set your Tivos, and get ready to look for my name. ($20 says they spelled it wrong).


Terry O'Quinn, Anne Heche, James Denton, Judy Davis, Sam Waterston, Malcolm McDowell, Brian Dennehy, John Hurt And Others Star in Stories That Are Topical and Also Fantastic

Series Debuts 10 p.m. Aug. 4 With Mark Rydell's 'A Clean Escape'

Los Angeles, Calif. July 5, 2007 Just when TV viewers may have had their fill of summer escapist fare, ABC brings to the air a series of four original films as current as today's headlines, but with all the wonder and imagination of the best sci-fi literature, with the 10 p.m. Aug. 4 debut of "Masters of Science Fiction," Starz Media's John W. Hyde and Industry Entertainment's Keith Addis jointly announced today.

Featuring stories from some of the most creative minds in science fiction literature, talented actors and directors and hosted by world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, "Masters of Science Fiction" is unlike any program on the air, on broadcast or cable networks. It's an entertaining, crowd-pleasing collection of movies that mix powerful ideas, cinematic production values and peak performances. With a line-up of talent in front of and behind the cameras that is laden with top awards, this is indeed a collection of "masters."

"Masters of Science Fiction" is produced by Starz Media in association with Industry Entertainment. Executive producers are John W. Hyde, Keith Addis, Andrew Deane and Brad Mendelsohn.

First up, at 10 p.m. Aug. 4, is "A Clean Escape," based on a short story by Nebula Award-winner John Kessel ("Another Orphan," "Buffalo"), written for TV by Emmy nominee Sam Egan ("The Outer Limits," "Jeremiah") and helmed by Oscar-nominated director Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond, For the Boys). A dying Dr. Deanna Evans (two-time Oscar nominee and double Emmy-winner Judy Davis; "Life With Judy: Me and My Shadows," Marie Antoinette) refuses to believe that her patient, Robert Havelmann (Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Sam Waterston; "Law & Order," The Killing Fields), cannot remember the last 25 years of his life. It remains unclear why she has been so obsessed with this particular patient until the final, shocking conclusion that may just have resonance with the current global crisis.

It's followed at 10 p.m. on Aug. 11 by "The Awakening," based on a short story by Howard Fast (Spartacus) and written and directed by Michael Petroni (The Dangerous Life of Altar Boys). It stars Emmy nominee Terry O'Quinn ('Lost', Stepfather) and Elisabeth Rohm ("Law & Order") in a story set in the middle of a ferocious firefight outside of Baghdad, where U.S. soldiers discover a mysterious body one that they can't even identify as human. Swiftly, all over the earth, more such creatures appear and begin to communicate. With this contact, the world is forced to choose between peace and destruction.

Next, at 10 p.m. on Aug. 18, is "Jerry Was a Man," from a short story by seven-time Hugo Award winner Robert A. Heinlein ("Stranger in a Strange Land," "Starship Troopers"), written and directed by Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Michael Tolkin (The Player, The Rapture). It tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Van Vogel (Golden Globe nominee Malcolm McDowell; A Clockwork Orange, "Heroes"; and Emmy nominee Anne Heche; "Men in Trees," John Q), a wealthy couple for whom pleasure is their only work; mundane or dangerous chores are done by anthropoids. Somehow, Mrs. Van Vogel's dormant compassion is awakened by an anthropoid named Jerry. What traits would prove that Jerry is, indeed, a man?

Rounding out the limited series at 10 p.m. on Aug. 25 is "The Discarded," which is based on a short story by seven-time Hugo Award winner, three-time Nebula Award winner and Science Fiction Grand Master Laureate Harlan Ellison ("A Boy and His Dog," "Star Trek"), written for the screen by Ellison and Oscar nominee Josh Olson (A History of Violence) and directed by Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: First Contact). It stars James Denton ("Desperate Housewives"), two-time Oscar nominee John Hurt (V for Vendetta) and Emmy and Tony Award-winner Brian Dennehy (Assault on Precinct 13, Cocoon) in a story of despised minorities forever adrift in the darkness of outer space. As a last resort born out of their loneliness and despair they are forced to make an ominous pact with those responsible for their plight, in the hope that they will finally be offered refuge at home on Earth.

Tying all of these individual stories together is Prof. Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge University professor best known for his work in cosmology and black holes, whose bestselling book "A Brief History of Time" entertained the general public by illuminating the complexities of astrophysics. Yet for all the hard science that has earned him acclaim as arguably the world's most renowned and respected thinkers, he also has a love of the fantastic. "I have always wanted to know what is out there, to explore the universe, and what is beyond," Hawking notes. "I read a lot of science fiction when I was younger, [and] now I write it, in a sense."

Hawking's opening and closing narration to the "Masters of Science Fiction" films brings scientific authority, along with a sense of wonder, to the programs. His remarks make you think, as befits a master of science. And the movies make you think too, even while they provide exceptional entertainment. And it's no wonder; after all, the storytellers are, quite simply, "The Masters of Science Fiction."

Funny thing is, I remember there being six episodes this time last year. Hmmmm....

Anyway, it's gonna be on ABC, which means you're only excuse for not watching is that Elvis shot out your TV.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Remember Teeter?

A few weeks back I asked you to help her out and vote for her?

Well I don't know if she won that or not, but her band got a pretty bitchin' write-up over here at MSNBC!

Go Ladybirds!

Box Office Report: Giant Fuckin Robots Edition

Dude here again. Yesterday was 7-7-07, and I didn't have any good luck at all. At least those giant concerts cured global warming, right? Isn't that what they were supposed to do? Here's hoping it worked, because it's so damn hot, I'm actually tempted to bring an egg outside and see if it will actually cook on the asphalt. Actually, I'm so damn hot, I'm almost tempted to pay money to see Live Free or Die Hard, just so I can be in air conditioning. You read that correctly.

This weekend, in a move that will surprise absolutely nobody at all, including monks in seclusion in the Himalayas, the giant robots took in an obscene amount of money. 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. Transformers (Par/DW) - $67.6, 4011 screens, week 1, $152.5 total (Mon. opening)

2. Ratatouille (Dis/Pix) - $29.0, 3940 screens, week 2, $109.5 total

3. Live Free or Die Hard (Fox)- $17.4, 3411 screens, week 2, $84.16 total

4. License to Wed (WB) - $10.4, 2604 screens, week 1, $17.8 total (Tues. opening)

5. Evan Almighty (Uni) - $8.1, 3460 screens, week 3, $78.1 total

6. 1408 (MGM/Dim) - $7.1, 2631 screens, week 3, $53.789 total

7. Knocked Up (Uni) - $5.159, 2219 screens, week 6, $132.0 total

8. Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (Fox) - $4.15, 2618 screens, week 4, $123.79 total

9. Sicko (LGF) - $3.65, 702 screens, week 3, $11.5 total

10. Ocean's 13 (WB) - $3.5, 2102 screens, week 5, $109.1 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that the giant robots delivered, and in turn, a whole lot of people delivered the robots their cash. It also means that a movie can open on a Monday night, and have a 6-day weekend to make an obscene amount of money, which it did. In fact, for a little fun comparison, Transformers, in 6 days, made almost 4 times what Michael Bay's last movie, The Island, made in it's entire run. Just something to think about. Also, Transformers hit a record in there, as the biggest July 4th take in history, taking in almost $30 million alone that day. Whether or not people return for repeat business remains to be seen,

For some unknown reason, Warner Brothers felt the need to counter-program a Robin WIlliams comedy against the robots. This is wrong on many levels, primary among them Robin WIlliams is not funny anymore. Hasn't been since Death to Smoochy. Dramatic roles, bring it on, but movies like RV, and now License to Wed should make Williams look at his Academy Award and remember when he does good work. Here's hoping. Oh, and the movie did horribly against the robots. And a rat. And Bruce Willis.

Speaking of those two, the holdovers did surprisingly well over the holiday week, with Ratatouille increasing it's take, and Die Hard looking to become the most successful film in the franchise. Which is rather disheartening, but what are you gonna do? Sicko expanded its theater count and only dropped 19% from last week, which bodes well for it, but it will not make Fahrenheit numbers, nor Penguin numbers. Maybe global warming numbers. (If it hasn't been cured yet). The other holdovers dropped, including a departure from the ten of mainstay Pirates, most likely because Transformers booted them out of shows to make room for interlocks at the multiplex.

(For those who don't know what I'm talking about, interlocking is when a movie theater projectionist will run one print between two or more screens, so that they all show one movie, and theaters can seat more people for a popular movie over a movie that's not making anything. It's very common, but if it breaks down, you have not one but multiple packed houses full of anger waiting to kick your ass if you don't get the movie fixed. Trust me, I had a flashback to a Spiderman 2 opening night lynching for me because of it. And there was the 8 Mile incident.)

And in the "Because It's There" series: Low Cool took in $0 on 0 screens, bringing it's grand total to $0 in 0 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, or Wednesday I guess, we have the return of the boy wizard Mr. Potter, and we shall see how good he can hold his own against a second frame of robot carnage. Also, the latest addition to the torture porn genre finally gets released, a little too late to the game, though, as most people feel the genre is over and done with. Will this prove the exception to the rule? I asked the magic 8 ball, and all signs point to no. Of course, it says that when I ask it about the cute chick at work too, but then again, it's been right then, too.

Until next weekend.... (WIZARDS!)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Not for nothing...

...but if the MPAA wants to put an end to piracy, is it really a good idea to just announce your plan to do this?

(scroll down a little bit, it's towards the end)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Transformers. More than meets the eye. Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons.

I can't properly review Transformers. Honestly, it's something that you're either going to love or hate. You probably even know before you go into the movie, because you really get out of it what you put into it. Here's what I can tell you: I loved it. I had a great time. I had so much fun from beginning to end. I had a big stupid grin on my face and watched some robots fighting. It was glorious. It is the first time I understand the analogy of a film to a roller coaster ride. You strap yourself in, enjoy what's before, it's loud, it's noisy, it's fun and exciting, and then it's over.

Therein lies the rub. Afterwards, I started to think about the movie. Like, really think about it. And I'm kind of angry at myself for liking it. There are many things wrong about this movie. There are far too many characters that aren't robots that aren't fighting, even if they are cute with their Australian accents. There's a lot of goofy teenager stuff that you either dig or you don't. (It depends on your LeBeuf tolerance. Mine is remarkably high). It should be noted that his comedic timing is almost as perfect as his ability to dodge giant robots and debris. (He's just as lucky as Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds). John Turturro wanders in from the set of Brain Donors, and is just as hilarious. (I guess Buscemi was booked). Nobody notices giant robots outside, there's a good hour until we really see any robots... too many things.

And I'm not really a Transformers fan. I watched the cartoon when I was younger, but don't remember much about it. I played with the toys, but don't remember all their names. The only notable things I recall about the animated movie was it provided the song Mark Wahlberg sings in Boogie Nights, and it was the first time I heard a cartoon character swear. (Grandma was quite shocked at that moment). So I'm not even getting hung up on fanboy mythologies, and character arcs and stuff like that. I'm in it to see fighting robots.

See what I mean? There is a lot wrong with this movie. And I loved every minute of it. I'm seriously torn.

However, when the robots start fighting, it's beautiful.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Like a Pirate, my blog is Rated Arrrrrrr

I found this site that rates your blog.

I'm rated R.

Fuckin' A!!!!


(Actually, I got the R for the words "ASS", "DEAD", and "CRAPPY". That leads me to believe I am strongly lacking in sex, but prolific in vulgarity and violence.

So to correct this, I offer the following:





This message brought to you by the 13 year old boy inside of me. The one who likes boobies and swearing like a muthafuckin snake on a muthafuckin plane.

And BOBA FETT!!!!!

His backpack's... got jets!

Monday, July 02, 2007

New Favorite Show

Hands down, it's Flight of the Conchords.

I'm trying to find the robot video. It's genius.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm walkin on 'Sunshine', whoa--ooo!

Throughout my life, I've come to believe many little bon mots of wisdom I believe to be true. Things like "There's always mini-golf", or "Tom Petty has never written a bad song". (Which was recently adapted into "Aimee Mann has never written a bad song"). One more of these I truly believe is "Danny Boyle does not make a bad film". They can falter towards the end, and there can be missteps, but they aren't bad films.

At this point everyone will say "A Life Less Ordinary" is a tragically awful film, and I disagree strongly. It's a glorious motion picture, full of wit and charm and a genuine belief that love conquers all. (Plus it has a robot!). The only film I didn't quite enjoy was The Beach, but it is not a bad film at all. There are some bizarre missteps (the video game footage comes to mind, but it's still better than the use in House of the Dead), but it's not atrocious. Far from it. The very same can be said of Boyle's latest film Sunshine.

Sunshine is Boyle's first sci-fi film, and it's got a lot on it's mind. Written by Alex Garland, his writer of The Beach and 28 Days Later, Sunshine tells the tale of a dying sun. Our sun. When we first begin, the Fox Searchlight logo is played in reverse, moving away from the logo and into the setting sun in the background that's dimmer than usual. The sun, you see, is burning out, and humanity has gathered together all their resources to send a massive explosive device into the sun that will hopefully restart it.

Actually, they've done it twice. The first mission, Icarus I, left seven years before, but did not succeed and was never heard from again. Now, we are with Icarus II, featuring a multinational crew that represents the last fight of humanity.

All this is prologue, by the way. This information is told to us by Capa (Cillian Murphy) before the title is even shown. Just to give you an idea of what you're getting yourself into. Sunshine is NOT Event Horizon or Armageddon, nor is it 2001 or Solaris. It definitely stands proud among small crew in spaceship while remaining it's own thing. And it's a mighty solid flick. For a long time. Then something happens that doesn't need to happen that makes you wonder what the hell is going on, but I'll get to that later.

So, we're on Icarus II, and we have our crew full of wonderful actors like Rosy Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, and Chris Evans. We get to see exactly it is how they live, and it all seems scientifically sound. The Icarus II is an impressive ship, which hides behind a giant, solid gold shield that absorbs and deflects the heat and light of the sun. Inside the ship, The observation deck can let in only 2% of the intensity of the light coming from the sun. It can let in 3.1% for about thirty seconds before the intensity becomes too much for a human to take. (Although, it can almost become a drug for some). Even though the sun is dying out, it's still an intense celestial orb not to be messed with.

The film takes a turn when the crew hears a distress signal coming from Icarus I. The crew decides to change course, after much deliberation, and the consequences of this choice are what the movie chronicles. What I like about the movie is that it takes it's time getting to these points, very naturalistic and cause and effect. It's perfectly paced, and there's always a small sense of dread about the ultimate consequences of these characters and their actions.

All the performances are great, but the honest stand out, in my opinion is Chris Evans. His character alternates between the most rational thinker on the ship and the biggest jerk. But he's pretty badass throughout. Cillian Murphy is also good as the ship's physicist who is the only person who can activate the bomb payload. The dynamic between these two characters is the best through the flick, and both actors bring their A game. And it's nice to see Michelle Yeoh in a movie again. She's still got it, man.

The visual effects are a flawless blend of miniatures and CGI. There's one shot where two of the crew members have to venture out onto the shield and you see from above the vastness of space underneath them. It freaked me out. But there's a great sense of detail to everything. There's also an unbelievable sound design to this film that blends well with the score from John Murphy and Underworld. See this film in a theater with the best picture quality and sound system you can find. It's a visual and sonic delight.

As for the story, though, there's something that happens with about a third left to go in the movie. I won't spoil it any more than I already have, but I can say for me, personally, it didn't work. It tried to do something, and I respect what it was trying to do. I just loathed the way it was done. It's not videogame Leo annoying, but it just tries to hijack the movie and turn it into something it's not. It doesn't tear the movie apart, or stop it in it's tracks, so much as go somewhere it didn't need to.

(And while many may make comparisons to Event Horizon, it's not as apt as many will claim it to be. As I mentioned before, the science and logic to the events in the film is sound. That's all I'll say).

The ending turned me off a little bit, but it doesn't diminish the amazing two thirds of movie that comes before it. Danny Boyle made a great film with a small misstep. It's still a visually outstanding film, full of big ideas over thrills and sensationalism. And while there is some of that too, it comes from an organic and humane place. While not a masterpiece, it is still a marvel of modern sci-fi cinema.