Daily Dump for Wednesday (February 23)

In a mere 4 days, I'm live-tweeting the Oscars. I like saying that because it sounds like I'm going to be there. I won't be. I'll probably be pantsless on my couch, sipping inexpensive whiskey. This also means that 2 days from now I give you all the winners, along with my rants about who should win (cough, Inception, cough) but won't. Again, to all my friends on Facebook (which has my twitter feed feeding it), be warned. Now, on to today's news!

Pretty people in pretty movie looking pretty

Between 1979 and 2005, Terrence Malick released 2 films he directed into theaters. He's about to release 3 in the next 18 months. The first, Tree of Life promises to be another intellectual, overly-drawn-out drama that supposedly "covers the entirety of human existence." It has a companion piece of some kind that is going to be shown in IMAX, but the details of that are more convoluted than the narrative of Thin Red Line. The other narrative film he's releasing is a romance that finished filming already, so we ARE in fact going to get it. Oh, and it looks like this:

Also starring Javier Bardem, this totally secret romantic endeavor looks gorgeous, right? I mean, slap the words Nicholas Sparks on there and you're in trouble, but so long as the romance is being provided by an artist and not a crapmaster who applies disease A and contrived character B to get generically titled romance C ("The Shooting Star" by Nicholas Sparks; it's about a girl who may spontaneously combust who falls for a boy in the coast guard...I made that up, but you see how easy it is). I'm excited at the thought of Malick doing something like this, and the picture only further stirs my fancy.

Nerds do nerd stuff, we reap the benefit

I was going to post the images that Slashfilm and others ran about this story, but the payoff is so damn small I'll just cut to the chase. Using incredible nerd detective skills that involve breaking down every frame of the admittedly bad-ass Super 8 teaser, the dork avengers of the Internet have determined there's a good chance we're getting a full trailer on 3/11/11. Cool. That took someone days and days to figure out. Pity them.

Banksy may just show up after all

For fans of things that are awesome, Banksy is the shit. Not only is the street artist/director of an Academy Award-nominated documentary (Exit Through the Gift Shop) totally awesome, he's totally secret about his identity. That's one of the mind-bending things about his aforementioned film, and one of the most frustrating things for the folks running the Oscars. Because NOBODY knows Banksy's real identity, how will anyone know if the person who steps up to win (presuming he does) is actually Banksy. There was talk that he wouldn't even attend due to the Academy's insistence that nobody be allowed onstage in a mask, but the president now admitted he's kinda-sorta totally cool with it if Banksy shows in a monkey mask or something.

So first, he has to win (which I doubt...because the Academy isn't that cool). Then he has to somehow get into the theater without letting anyone know who he is (you can't well sit in the audience with a mask on...can you?). Then he has to get on stage, all of which the president of the Academy says is somewhat possible. My prediction is this won't happen due to logistics and whatnot, but count me among the millions who are praying that it does. It's about the only thing that can save a night dedicated to a moderately accurate, polite-but-boring best picture winner that we'll all forget about by this time next year.

There are a few other minor notes, like someone buying the rights to "Robots vs Zombies," a comic book about...yeah, I know, you get it. But nothing feels important enough to waste our time with. So I'll leave you with a reminder to prepare yourself for Oscar madness in a few days by following me on Twitter now!

entered on 02/23/11 at 11:00 PM | read comments »

Cutting Room for February 23

  • It’s official, Baz Luhrmann’s impending favor to high school English students (aka, a new remake of The Great Gatsby) will be shot in 3D. You know, because social allegories are more wicked awesome when things fly at your head. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan are rumored to star, so at least the faces flying at your face will be pretty faces.

  • GQ has more than just delicious photos of celebrity abdomens, as proven by a particularly insightful column from former Entertainment Weekly executive editor Mark Harris. Titled “The Day the Movies Died,” it’s every bit the optimistic, happy-go-lucky romp you’d imagine. It’s the story of how Hollywood, a place once packed with artists, went wrong … something that the record-breaking 27 sequels that will arrive in 2011 seems to back up. It’s so fascinating while depressing, I’m surprised Iñárritu didn’t direct it.

  • If you haven’t seen the internet trailer for the video game Dead Island, check that business out below, yo!

    Arguably the finest zombie-related material since Shaun “got some red on him,” this Memento-meets-Romero preview is honestly breathtaking. The game may suck, but the trailer has already resulted in a mini-bidding war for the rights to make this a full flick. It may not sustain itself for a full 2 hours, but for 2 minutes, it’s perfect.

  • As if you needed another reason to lust after the impending release of The Muppets, now comes word that a new Toy Story short will appear in front of it. This means we’ll go Gonzo for Buzz before catching our Gonzo Buzz. Pure joy.

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 02/22/11 at 11:40 PM | read comments »

Daily Dump for Tuesday (February 22)

Last week's unexpected absence was...unexpected... Riiiight. Look, I'm not going to pretend I'm not slightly off my game. I could go into the blah-blah-blah and rigmarole that has resulted in more disruptions in my publishing schedule in the last 3 months than in the last 3 years, but you come here to be entertained and not explained at. My question is this: Do you read this blog on the daily? Do you read it intermittently? If I went to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule would that affect your life? Does it have to be even that rigid or can it just be "whenever I feel like it but at least a few times a week?" I need feedback here, people, and if you want to do it privately because you don't want to vault whatever moderate security we have blocking the comments section, a quick email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) would be more than welcomed. Just use the subject line "Hey doucheface who doesn't blog enough" and I'll know what you're emailing about. Honestly, I want to give you what you want...but if I'm killing myself to update this 5 times a week when you only read it once a week, I'd sure like to know that. Then again, if you're reading it every day, and I'm not throwing words down a deep, dark cyber well, I'll be more inclined to keep up with it. What I'm saying is, I'm like Tinkerbell on her deathbed. So either get to clapping or prepare a shoebox in which to bury our rigidly daily blogs.

It's not just me, by the by. This year has had a lot of minor schedule tweaks and twirks that have left the world dizzied and doozied. For example...I didn't do a big-ass "OSCAR PREDICTIONS MOTHAF**KAS" column in the print version of The Reader this year. Why? Because they moved the gosh-darn Oscars up from March is why. That, combined with the fact that we're really trying to push this whole new-fangled technology called a "web site" on folks has resulted in the following breaking news (gird your loins): On Friday I will dump upon your faces the best and only predictions you will ever need for Oscar Sunday. Then, on Oscar Sunday itself, follow me on Twitter to watch as I live tweet the Oscars! Yep, it's that time of year when all of my facebook friends hate me because my twitter feed is tied into my facebook page. Meaning they get 1000 notifications every time I slam whatever hobo-gear Helena Bonham Carter is wearing or insult the potato-headed Academy for thinking The King's Speech is anything other than okay. It should be a good time. Also, feel free to predict against me in the comments section. If you win, I will give you absolutely nothing...well, nothing but respect.

So what news do I have to share with you today? Nothing special, but seeing as how we're already here, let's do this thing:

Charlie Sheen's list of desires extends one beyond "hookers and blow"

"Two and a Half Men" is at least 50 times more popular than it is funny, and that was before the whole thing started serving as a weird, bizarro meta-commentary on the life of a womanizer playing a womanizer. I have caught clips of it so many times in syndication that it has caused me to develop "Cyer-itis," where my face's pungent reaction to the barfy dialogue makes it look like I'm doing an impression of Jon Cryer. Anyway, Sheen has been talking up a desire for another Major League movie. You know, because we all want to see Wild Thing in his 50s. I understand nobody can escape the genius of this semi-classic, as evidenced below.

But, seriously, Chuck, you have bigger fish to fry than willing a resurrection of a franchise that got Scott Backula'd. Seriously. Google that shit. I'm not kidding.

And now...a "Community" rant

It's quickly becoming obvious to me that even though they are on different nights and target entirely different audiences, pop culture is once more dividing us as human beings. Either you're a "Modern Family" person or you're a "Community" person. As Quentin Tarantino wrote in the script for Pulp Fiction, this is like the Elvis vs The Beatles conversation: You can like both, but you can only love one. And if you love "Modern Family," you're wrong. Sorry. But you are. Very wrong. That show is fine, bland, Joe Average material filtered through uninspired scenarios using a mockumentary approach that doesn't even have a possible reason to exist. "Community" appropriately skewered that style in last week's episode, punching its competitor for the lazy job that it does in explaining its jokes and generally recycling material. Many good friends and family I respect love "Modern Family." Smart people. But smart people also invented the Hindenberg.

Why am I saying all this? Because last week's episode of "Community" showed once and for all that it is the definitive family sitcom, albeit one without any related characters. Without stooping into melodrama or hackneyed situations, I watched as Jeff dealt with his father issues, Brita dealt with her compulsive need to be seen as a good person, Shirley dealt with her obsession about how she is perceived, and Pierce dealt with the fact that he is incapable of making others love him, even on his deathbed. That's heavy, heady stuff here. Oh, and meanwhile the show skewered "Modern Family" and delivered some of the biggest laughs involving LeVar Burton...or at least the biggest laughs that involve him hearing what people are saying.

Bigger laugh at the end of the credits than "Modern Family" has gotten all year from people who aren't still entertained by gay dudes making jokes about being effeminate or Sofia Veraga's boobs. Why the grumpy anger? I'm terrified that "Community" won't find the audience it deserves...EVER...and instead will be doomed to cancellation by those who would rather see this world "Two and a Half Men"-ed to death. Don't let this happen. Please. Jump on board the right team and start plugging the most inspired and endearing show to come along in years. Pretty please...

In other "ugh" news

Latino Review says that Kevin Costner may play "Pa" Kent in the Superman sequel/remake thingie. Seriously, this is a video he made once.

The major story behind what he does is that he has dedicated his life to being terrible. I can only react to this possible casting by hoping that in the new version Pa Kent runs afoul of Superman and gets laser visioned in the crotch. It's that kind of day.

Follow me on Twitter NOW and beat the Oscar Sunday rush!

entered on 02/22/11 at 11:21 PM | read comments »

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.


The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.



A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.



If this was humanity's last hope, give up.


Happy, Little Clouded

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No Big Bang

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Leni Riefen-stalling

On the one hand, any film subtitled “Part 1” is a naked cash grab. On the other hand, shut up and take my money, Hunger...

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Oopsie Genius

I know two things for sure: (1) Birdman aims to relentlessly drive home one singular point, one thoroughly expressed thesis...

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