Things You Should Buy Me (Volume 63)

Folks, I'm not the greedy bastard this column's title would have you believe. Oh, sure, I like getting stuff...but receiving like 3-5 items of the nearly 200 items I've posted in this segment has taught me that life is about NOT getting stuff. In which case, I am really, really good at life. My point is this, I'm not going to sit here and once more beg you for material goods that you will find awesome (and probably buy for yourself) but never send my way. Not this week (I will NEXT week). No, this week...it's all about love. What with us being something like 11 days away from the pointless, money-sapping, capitalist created non-holiday "holiday" known as Valentine's Day (a day so horrifying the movie based on it stars Ashton Kutcher), why not dedicate THIS week's column to "Things You Should Buy Abbie." That's right! This week's collection of three items details the newest, nerdiest things I think my largely non-nerdy wife would still enjoy. So sit back, relax, and prepare to NOT buy something for someone other than ME for once!

1.) The ladies love their baths - I don't know what it is about the process of washing themselves that women seem to enjoy so much. Most dudes I know are content to quickly wash in a shower, sometimes lingering if extra grime needs a'scrubbin' or if it's chilly outside...OR SOMETHING MANLY HAPPENED TO OUR MUSCLES!!!! My wife has been known to take 3 baths in one day. I'm told it's relaxing, and yet it seems like a latent desire to be a merperson manifesting itself if you ask me. Arguably the only thing my wife enjoys MORE than her baths is talking like Russell Brand and Mark Wahlberg. If there is a second thing she likes more than her baths, it's coffee. So this may be ideal:

ThinkGeek has created a caffeinated bubble bath. For the longest time, the problem for bath lovers has been "Baths are relaxing, so how can I take them in the morning and still be alert?" This has led to the dangerous cycle of "showers in the morning, baths in the evening," a phenomenon that may be responsible for our impending water shortage. With this strawberry-scented bubble bath, that's no longer an issue, as you can bathe in the morning while laying down AND still be woken up. Nice.

2.) Shhhh...don't tell her she's "role playing" - Honestly, the only thing my wife enjoys more than talking about the inevitable postapocalyptic scenario we'll all find ourselves in any minute now (probably zombie related) is discussing historical settlers doing settler things. So she wants to play this, she just doesn't know it.

You can also buy this at ThinkGeek , and then have a wonderful time...buying sheep and building settlements. Yes, that's right, this German-created game is all about having enough resources to start a new settlement, which involves trading sheep, building proper facilities, and staving off death. In short, it's everything Abbie wishes she could discuss every minute of the day. The funny thing is, this is an incredibly popular nerd game...and that overlap makes me giggle.

3.) If you don't watch "Community," we need an intervention - One of the things that Abbie and I agree on entirely is this: If you don't watch "Community," you hate things that are awesome. Unless you routinely save orphans from burning buildings every Thursday at 7, I don't know why you wouldn't watch this show. And even then, hello heroic baby saver, it's called DVR. At any rate, when thinking about apparel that is nerd-based, I settled on Abbie needing one of these shirts. Some of them are more on the "obvious" side of "Community" fandom, but the last one is only for die-hard lovers of the show...so it's the coolest. All of these are available at the NBC Store...and given their ratings, they could really use the business.

So there you have it: Plenty of stuff for you to buy (or more likely NOT buy) for someone OTHER than me. For the record, I think I'm going to count "giving this column" as my Valentine's Day gift this year. I knew internet writing would be good for SOMETHING.

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entered on 02/03/11 at 05:12 PM | read comments »


Daily Dump for Wednesday (February 2)

Chances are, if you're reading this, you're only running your computer to generate heat in order to stave off Snowpocalypse Now. Seriously, did you see this?

That's NOT from a movie. That's the Windy City today. Luckily, I live in Omaha, which only has to contend with ridiculously sub-zero weather (a sneeze will freeze on your face)...but luckily, we were just selected as one of the top 10 drunkest cities, so the boozy booze will keep us warm inside. And if that doesn't do the trick, maybe these SIZZLING movie news tidbits will warm the cockles of your...cockles? I was going to look up the definition of that word, but I'm on a public computer, so that's probably not the best choice. Anyway, here's the day's big news!

WWSD?

That's right, now that we know Superman will be sniveling Brit Henry Cavill, we are left wondering Who Will Superman Do? As in, who is going to play the lovely and usually lackluster Lois Lane? The character in the comics has verve and fight, but she's usually used on screen as all women are used on screen in action movies: Bait. Superman will likely face some intergalactic villain with mind-bending powers who has traveled vast universes to find a foe worth fighting...and then decide the best course of action is to hold his girlfriend hostage. Seriously. The short list for the part reads like the short list for almost any part requiring boobies these days (provided said boobies aren't older than 30, in which case the answer is always Meryl Streep). Here they are:

Kirsten Stewart

Jessica Biel

Malin Akerman

Dianna Agron

Olivia Wilde

Rachel McAdams

Now, obviously, you know my vote. If the choice was between Rachel McAdams and anything else in the world besides "Save yourself from a horrible death, Ryan Syrek, or Rachel McAdams," I'm going to choose Rachel McAdams. Still, my rationale here extends beyond the obvious. Agron and Stewart are FAR too young (seriously, that they're on this list at all is troubling), Akerman and Wilde are capable but uninspired, and Biel is flat-out wrong for the part. If done right, Lois Lane is one of my favorite female comic book characters, and this is coming from someone who is only lukewarm on Superman in general. If done wrong, she's Kate Bosworth. I'm just saying...

The info that drove a bat-world battier

How desperate is the blogosphere for news about The Dark Knight Rises? A dude was thinking out loud on a blog about Robin Williams playing the role of Hugo Strange...a part that may not even be in the film and an actor never associated with it by anyone. The next day, there were posts and tweets and skywriters declaring ROBIN WILLIAMS IS HUGO STRANGE! Seriously, people are so jonesing for another fix of information that any real nugget may kill them. Then came a real nugget.

It sounds like the long-rumored reunion of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the only dude with three names that's famous for reasons other than assassination) and Chris Nolan is true. Now what? Well the rumors of who JGL may play have ranged from the insulting ("he kind of looks like Heath Ledger...maybe he's playing the Joker?") to the stupid (Robin?) to the sublime (a dude inspired by the joker?). Everyone seems stuck on Hugo Strange, but that's not true, I just don't feel it. And The Riddler was ruled out by Nolan himself. So who does JGL play? I don't think it's a superhero (no Nightwing) and I don't think it's a supervillain either. I think it's going to be someone prominent in Bruce Wayne's life that ISN'T those things. Maybe a politician? A new mafia member? Or maybe someone else....maybe someone like a Zzazz or something. Supposedly he's a villain and supposedly he'll "tie together" Catwoman and Bane, but that makes no damn sense. The point is, get ready for lots of idle speculation that has him playing one of a hundred roles, and we'll be wrong every time.

Gettin' back to Jack

I'm now even more excited for the franchise that refuses to die! That's right, the Jack Ryan franchise has had more fits and starts than an epileptic at a hundred yard dash, but it works every time. I've pretty much loved all of the Jack Ryan flicks from Hunt for Red October to Sum of All Fears. Now that Chris Pine is taking over, he's going to bring a boatload of charisma to the role. Seriously, I've seen Star Trek 1000 times now, and every time I watch it, I like him. The news got better today, as Steve Zallian is returning to the writing role. Dude wrote Schindler's List, which I'm guessing is not how he prepared for this gig. At any rate, I love spy movies. I love Chris Pine. I love that there's progress on this front. No Bourne movies means there's a void adult audiences are starving to fill. Fill us Chris Pine and Steve Zaillian!

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entered on 02/02/11 at 11:01 PM | read comments »


Cutting Room For February 2

  • For the longest time, if you wanted to see director Dan Mirvish’s Omaha (The Movie), you had to know Dan Mirvish. And that’s cool, but Dan’s a busy dude. So it’s my pleasure to tell you that the flick can now be streamed online through Microsoft and on X-Box Live…which would be great if my X-Box didn’t commit cyber seppuku a few days back. Still, good news for those of you with a memory for a classic local indie flick and a gaming system with a will to live.

  • Gather round, my dears, and I shall tell you the dark and twisted tale of Prometheus, the next flick from director Ridley Scott. When first we heard tell of it, this was a straight-up prequel to the Scott’s classic Alien. Legend had it Natalie Portman would star in a story about the abandoned ship discovered in the first film. Then came a cry of hogwash and malarkey! There was to be no Natalie, and it wasn’t an Alien prequel at all, so it had nothing to do with that ship. But from the beyond, a voice cried “Not so fast.” While Noomi Rapace would replace Natalie, it was an Alien prequel and would feature the ship in question! So what is truth and what is fiction? I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you.

  • Will Ferrell will appear in four episodes of “The Office,” and Judy Dench will return in the next Bond movie. Why put those things together? Um… Well, they both will play bosses and both are big names in big franchises. And then there’s the obvious sexual tension between the two, which makes it so hard to keep them apart.

    Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Check out Ryan on the radio on CD 105.9 (Fridays at around 7:30 a.m.), on his blog at thereader.com/film/C19 and on Twitter (twitter.com/thereaderfilm).


    entered on 02/01/11 at 11:33 PM | read comments »


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The Boxtrolls

A stop-motion romp with near-nekkid trolls and a cross-dressing villain.

GRADE
B-


The Skeleton Twins

A dramedy about suicide elevated by its stars.

GRADE
B


Frank

A band that has a lead singer with a fake head will win your heart.

GRADE
A-


The Trip to Italy

Another affable outing with two British comedians.

GRADE
B+


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


Get Fassbent

So the whole time, Michael Fassbender wears this giant, papier-mache-style head and mumble-sings gibberish lyrics about...

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Fall? Oh, me!

I’ve reviewed movies professionally for more than a dozen years. The few weeks immediately surrounding the end of summer has...

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Bro-man Holiday

First things first: The Trip to Italy, the sequel to 2010’s surprise hit The Trip, may be the whitest movie ever made....

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Bleak and White

Celebrated narcissist and Freddy Krueger look-a-like Frank Miller gives the women he writes a plethora of career choices....

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