Daily Dump for Tuesday (February 8)

I have new appreciation for the depths of Han Solo's affection for Luke Skywalker today. If a dear friend of mine was laying in the middle of my driveway, I would have to seriously reconsider how much he or she meant to me given the overwhelming amount of ice out there and the sub-sub-sub-zero wind chills. My mailwoman was driving an AT-AT. I could keep going with the Hoth jokes, but can we just leave this by saying any day in which a sneeze could cost you your nose thanks to hypothermia is a shit-tacular weather day. I don't even really want to blog today, but I need to keep my fingers moving or else risk losing them.

Today's news is chock-full of marginally interesting items and potentially "huhbuhwha" moments. So let's get to it.

After Eat, Pray, Love, I could have told you Julia Roberts was evil

Tarsem Singh's visuals are juicy. He is one of the 3-4 people who could get me actively interested in any re-re-retelling of a Grimm's Fairy Tale, let alone Snow White. Apparently, I'm not the only one, as elongated hottie Julia Roberts is so willing to work with the director she's willing to go evil for him.

Seen here being chased by a stalker with an umbrella fetish, the red-headed beauty has long been a stalwart of the good. Even her hookers tended to err on the side of true love and sweetness and not heroin addiction and alleyway shanking. It may be refreshing to see her finally cutting loose, as that laugh has always suggested something sinister lives in her throat.

God is cruel

How they combined my favorite fictional character, my favorite band, and a director I greatly respect and did whatever it is they apparently did to "Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark" I'll never understand. The critics reviews are rolling in finally, as the show is officially moving from preview to full showings. This video that I found on Slashfilm is perhaps the best and least painful way to experience what they had to say.

Maybe they meant "inept" in a good way? Look, I long ago gave up hope that this would be as transcendentally awesome as the young boy in me thought (I mean that metaphorically, I did not swallow a prepubescent). I obviously still want to see this, but now it's more because I have to know if it really is as bad as they're saying. Having seen the trailer for Captain America earlier this week during some meaningless football game that the Devil's favorite team won, I realized that we are so lucky to see comics treated with such expensive respect. That movie looks so great. Then to see and hear this...it's probably just a byproduct of this comic book enthusiasm. It's a casualty I'm willing to endure if we continue to have artists attempting to find new ways to explore my favorite medium. I say that...and then I see the picture of "Swiss Miss," the villain they created for this musical...and I want to throw up.

When they said there wouldn't be any more Sex and the City SEQUELS...

File this under "shut yo mouth, fool." Apparently, they're considering a Sex and the City prequel.

Rumor has it that Blake Lively, shown here in "full doily" mode, would star as a young Carrie Bradshaw. Meaning, if we kill her, we negate the existence of the entire series. This is obviously the worst idea of the day that didn't begin with "get me the lighter and the gas." I just don't understand why anyone would consider further unraveling the fabric of our great society like this. I could expound further, but the great Lindy West used all of the funny the world ever gets to have regarding this series with her review of the second film. Sometimes when I get sad, I read that review and the world seems happy again. At any rate, this may never happen, but if it does, the only bright spot will be another West review on the matter.

The Internet is stoopid

There's supposed casting news about the new Superman today.

Shown here fully bedazzled, the Internet is trying to convince itself that Lindsay Lohan would get a part in the new Zack Snyder reboot of the man of steel. Bwahahahahaha. Lionsgate wouldn't insure Lohan to do a press junket for Shitty Horror Movie 17: The Shittiest Horror Movie Ever The way movies work, especially big ones, necessitates that no work stoppages occur...especially ones caused by, say, a starlet going "Breaking Bad" on everyone. Might she do a cameo? No. Might she have been considered by the director? No. Might one of her people have leaked her name in the hopes of getting attention? My sarcastic magic 8 ball says "Noooooooooooooo....that would nnnneeeeeeeevvvvvvveeeeerrrrr happen." This thing has been passed around Twitter and movie sites enough for all of the Internet to be dumber for having seen it. Sorry to perpetuate it.

To absolve myself, here's a cool Superman thing.

Charming, huh? I wish there was more of it!

Okay, that's it for me. Follow me on Twitter until I see you tomorrow!


entered on 02/08/11 at 10:24 PM | read comments »


Daily Dump for Monday (February 7)

With apologizes to Mr. Eliot, February is the cruelest month. Football is over (maybe for, like, forever), it's colder than the cockles of Rush Limbaugh's soul, the weekly movie selections read more like a set of "dares" (seriously, who would voluntarily see The Roommate if it wasn't some kind of physical challenge?). This is one of those months you just endure. And a MONDAY in FEBRUARY? Forget about it. That's like gettin' hit TWICE with the ugly stick. In other words, let's just get this over with, shall we?

Will Aronofsky remember the unicorns?

Darren Aronofsky loves him some comic books. If you count his current courtship with Wolverine, which is set to fire on all cylinders the minute the acclaimed director stops doing the awards junkets for Black Swan, dude has been all up in some comic projects. He was supposed to relaunch Batman before Chris Nolan did his thang (but my money still says Aronofsky MAY do the Bat-toosie one day, as there will be a 2-3 year cool-off after Nolan completes his trilogy but then another inevitable relaunch). He released his original version of The Fountain (the CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED WORK OF ART) as a comic when his funding fell through at first. Now comes "Noah," which was illustrated by the guy who did "Pride of Baghdad," which should be Pixar's Oscar movie one day (please, please, please).

As you can see, this is Aronofsky writing a weirdly postapocalyptic and beautiful take on Noah's ark. He keeps saying he can't see why all studios wouldn't want to make this movie, and I have to agree with him. Biblical stuff alone guarantees a built-in audience, but combine that with a special effects showcase and you'll have packed houses for months. Until such time as someone wises up, at least well have this new comic version to see how things look to good ole Darren in terms of pairing up animals for at-sea borking. Oh, and speaking of borked, when is Aronofsky going to win his directing award? After resurrecting Mickey Rourke's career and (please, please) getting Natalie Portman an Oscar, can we just accept dude is directing the crap out of actors here? Give the man a statue...and maybe do it before TOM FRIGGIN' HOOPER gets one.

But will they use "Werewolf Barmitzvah?"

Those two should be smiling, because when they work together everyone gets a bit of joy. After owning the world with Slumdog Millionaire and a good run with 127 Hours, director Danny Boyle and writer Simon Beaufoy may reteam for Sharp Teeth, a movie about werewolves in gangland LA. This will mark the first time urban gang warfare has combined with horror since Snoop Dogg did it, although I'm guessing the outcome may be slightly different this time. For me, this is absolutely great news, as I find Boyle to be at his best when working with more off-beat material. His deft use of sci-fi and horror have resulted in some of the best that both genres have seen, and I would welcome a return to that form for him. Apparently, the book upon which the movie will be based is pretty kick-ass, so this is definitely something that may happen. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a werewolf movie that didn't also involve sparkling vampires and audiences filled with people I loathe?

Box Office Results for the Weekend of February 4-6

Just like on Friday, I'm going to be combining this regularly into one post, instead of splitting it out into a separate one. It's just easier that way, so trust me. Here's how I did with my predictions this weekend, haiku style:

1.) The Roommate - $15 million (Accuracy of prediction - 80%)
Oh, Minka Kelly
what a siren's song you sing
in this crap movie.

2.) Sanctum - $9.5 million (Accuracy of prediction - 77%)
No big name actors
and no unique storylines
what did you expect?

3.) No Strings Attached - $8 million (Accuracy of prediction - 90%)
This keeps on trucking
As Natalie keeps dragging
Kutcher's ass along.

4.) The King's Speech - $8 million (Accuracy of prediction - 84%)
It's inoffensive
but as far as I'm concerned
that's not good enough.

5.) The Green Hornet - $6 million (Accuracy of prediction - 91.5%)
Are we done here yet?
The sooner we move along
the better I feel.

Overall accuracy of prediction - 84.5%
I'm good with a "B"
Although I'd prefer an "A"
...I'll "C" you later?

Follow me on Twitter! Dan Harmon retweeted me once, so I'm practically famous.


entered on 02/07/11 at 10:50 PM | read comments »


Ryan’s Junk Drawer

"With great junk, comes great responsibility" - Better Off Ted

It's been too long since you saw my junk. I'm embarrassed, but last Friday I just couldn't get it up. That sacred day that signals the beginning of the (week)end, the day reserved by a devoted legion of followers out there for rolling around in my junk, came and went with nary a peek. It wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last, but I do apologize for depriving you of my junk. How are you supposed to kick off the weekend without seeing it? It's what sets your course, gives you the direction for your free time. Why, without my junk, what would you think about all weekend? How are you supposed to get through those last few hours of your workweek without my junk?

Of course, by "junk," I mean my collection of movie tidbits and nuggets too small to warrant their own blog post. It's basically exactly what I'm doing the rest of the week, but I get to make more inappropriate references. Hey, you're lucky I didn't think of anything fart-based because, let's face it, farts are the Esperanto of comedy. We start each weekly edition of my junk by looking at the creepy-ass image above, taken from Highlights Magazine FOR CHILDREN. I choose an item and make up a story about it for no good reason. It amuses me, and until someone tells me it's (A) pointless or (B) hilarious, I'm going to just assume it's everybody's most favorite thing ever.

Today's item is the battery in the middle. Some people were outraged after Michael Bay introduced the most racist characters not currently in the Tea Party, but hey, those are the breaks when you strike a deal with Satan. The dark lord demands that you wear a mullet for eternity and introduce characters that are one "mammy" away from inciting a riot. Them's the breaks. Luckily, one intrepid fan of robots that transform into other robot-like things had enough. Infused with a passion for social justice and one of the remaining cans of 4-Loko, the erstwhile chap began stealing the batteries out of the laptops on which the CGI monstrosities were conceived. Of course, given Bay's budget of 5 billion euros, this was a mere nuisance at best, but one brave soul managed to push the release of the third installment, Transformers: We're Going After Jews and Latinos This Time back 2 days. Small victory? Certainly. But when you're fighting the right hand mullet of an unholy beast, you take what you can get.

Okay, enough with that, on to the movie news. Oh, and I'm going with something new. In the interest of only wrangling this challenging booger of a system once a day, I'm going to stick the weekly box office predictions in the fourth spot here every week right before the trailers. What? It's like how you KNOW that the duct tape and the Phillips-head screwdriver are always in the junk drawer. There's comfort in that.

1.) Set photos make Ryan sad

If you listen closely, you can hear my brief hope for the new Spider-man film slip away in the space of one W-T-F. What do I mean?


Why does my Spider-man have a black bing bong? What's he doing to that Michael Bay impersonator? Why does the spider on his back appear to have gone on a celebrity starlet diet? Why does it look like he has ice skates on? Look, I get it. They can fix a LOT in post-production. This is likely going to be tinkered with like crazy and may end up looking good. Hell, at least they're TRYING a real costume (cough, Green Lantern looks like a rejected Cartoon Network pilot). I get it, but at the same time...dude...what the hell?

2.) Affleck + Clooney = Mad man love

Ben Affleck can direct anything he wants right now.

He's that hot. If he was like "I want to finally do my live-action Gummy Bears movie," it would be in pre-production faster than you can say Battleship. So it's encouraging that a man on as much of a roll as the 'Fleck has chosen wisely. He's in negotiations to direct a project for producer George "All I do is help Darfur and bang hotties" Clooney called Argo, which sounds awesome. It's about a real-life story in which CIA operatives rescued Americans in Iran during the hostage crisis by pretending to be shooting a sci-fi movie set in Iran. Seriously. Yeah, it may sound a little like The Informant meets Wag the Dog but that's not an insult. Plus, I don't think ALL the extras in Iran can have Boston accents. Although, that would be hilarious. This is a good idea and represents both a stretch and a nice change of pace from my boy Ben. Just don't mess up. Nobody around here threw away their "Damon's Bitch" shirts with your picture on it.

3.) Dude, do you REALLY want to star with a movie that has madness in the title?

Despite opening himself for an insane number of jokes...about his insanity...Tom Cruise is reportedly doing the "maybe" dance with Guillermo del Toro for At the Mountains of Madness.

I'm not saying it's not a potentially good movie with a great director, I'm just saying when you're trying to run away from a certain image, you don't star in a movie with that in the title. I mean, that would be like Ashton Kutcher starring in Mentally Challenged or Jennifer Aniston starring in Love Me...Please. I do like that this means the project will probably actually happen, a rarity for Lovecraft adaptations that are in any way aspiring to be faithful. And you know what? Cruise is actually a great choice for the part. He's a good actor, and this is the sort of material I think he handles best. So, let's see. And by let's see, I mean let's see how many jokes late-night talk show hosts are going to lob at ole toothy mccruise over this one.

Fearless, Flawless Box Office Predictions

The same rules apply as usual, I'm just shoehorning this in here. The Super Bowl is this weekend, which means while I'm deciding whether it's worse to root for a team I despise more than anything that doesn't rhyme with Blenn Geck or a team with a rape-enthusiast on it, nobody is seeing movies. The biggest releases this week involve a Single White Female retread and a cave movie. Yeesh. Here's how I see it, haiku style.

1.) Sanctum - $12 million
James Cameron or not
this will not be a big hit
with non-spelunkers

2.) The Roommate - $12 million
Grr Minka Kelly!
And as far as the plot goes...
Grr...Minka Kelly!

3.) The King's Speech - $9 million
This non-best movie
keeps on racking up awards
and also my ire.

4.) No Strings Attached - $8 million
I love Natalie
but I have found my limit.
Kutcher negates her.

5.) The Rite - $7 million
Pardon me for this.
But if this is what is Rite
I'd rather be Rong.

Wildcard - The Green Hornet - 7 million
Better luck next time
This did not hit the jackpot.
Rogen, hit the bong!

5.) Trailers, Parked

For this week, we have sexy dancing,

First up is Freak Dance, a feature-length ACTUAL MUSICAL from The Upright Citizens Brigade. I love sketch comedy troupes, and when they go all-out in a full format, I usually enjoy myself (I'm thinking of you Derek Comedy). Here's what UCB has to offer...it involves rubbing.

Do you like your assassin films to involve young girls? Don't answer that. I really don't want to know. I do know that I like Cate Blanchett, I loved "Alias," and I adored Le Femme Nikita. Hanna pushes all those buttons.

This one makes me the happiest, as it is a run-of-the-mill, Apatow-styled, buddies-being-naughty comedy...only with a cast ENTIRELY made of ladies. Written by Kristen Wiig, this looks fantastic...and is 100% less likely to have jokes written by dudes trying to write funny stuff for chicks. Howsabout that? A lady-written comedy for ladies who love comedy? Here's Bridesmaids

That's it for my junk this week. I hope you enjoyed my junk. Tell your friends about my junk and follow me on Twitter (Dan Harmon, creator of "Community" retweeted me last night...so I'm a pretty big deal)!


entered on 02/04/11 at 10:13 PM | read comments »


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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damned apes are back and anything but dirty.

GRADE
B+


We Are the Best

Set in Stockholm in 1982, this is punk rock female adolescence at its finest.

GRADE
A


Snowpiercer

Awesome, literal class warfare on a train that holds the only humans that survived the new ice age.

GRADE
A-


Obvious Child

Billed as a comedy, this is actually a sophisticated, empathetic look at a crucial issue.

GRADE
B+


The Signal

Crazy good and just plain crazy, this is indie sci-fi at its best!

GRADE
A+


Ping Pong Summer

Drowning in 1980s nostalgia, this deserves to be a cult hit.

GRADE
A-


22 Jump Street

A sequel no one could have expected to a movie nobody wanted.

GRADE
A-


Ice, Ice Maybe

I’m not saying that the impoverished are going to grab axes and violently murder the wealthy elite. But I’m also not NOT...

more »


Not So Fast, Rick Santorum

I do not have a uterus. If I understand biology, I never will. So the issue of abortion has remained at arm’s length from...

more »


Freaky Frequency

For a movie reviewer, having a favorite genre kinda feels like a parent having a favorite child; oh, they totally do,...

more »


Bad Meaning Good

The popularity of Napoleon Dynamite never really made sense. With its “special” characters and nonsensical elements, the...

more »


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