Cutting Room for January 12

  • What better way for Eminem to prove he should be taken seriously as an actor than to star in Random Acts of Violence, a film originally written as a take on the video game “Grand Theft Auto”? While Em wasn’t going to completely win over critics who dismiss him as verbally malevolent, I’m guessing any chance he had of separating his acting from his music is about to get shot in the face.

  • How do you replace Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro? With Johnny Knoxville, Andy Samberg and a relatively obscure Australian comedian named Shane Jacobson. Duh. The Farrelly brothers’ Three Stooges has lingered long enough to lose the very cast that made it interesting in the first place, and the current shortlist for Moe, Larry and Curly sure does scream “You weren’t our first choice,” doesn’t it?

  • In case you were wondering, NASA has officially ruled that 2012, the John Cusack movie in which the earth gets fiery diarrhea, is scientifically absurd. In a move to get some press, they released a list of most plausible and least plausible sci-fi movies. Thanks, NASA … this will really help us defend your funding.

  • Straight out of Kick-Ass, a real-life “superhero” named “Phoenix Jones” stopped a car-jacking in Seattle. The dude is part of the “Rain City Superhero Movement,” which is like the Justice League of America for people who want to die while looking ridiculous. Police say the vigilantes are lucky they haven’t been hurt yet, suggesting they should “act as good witnesses” rather than put themselves in danger. Don’t worry, Jones explains everyone on the team “either has a military background or a mixed martial arts background.” Rest easy, Seattle.

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 01/12/11 at 07:59 PM | read comments »


Tuesday’s square round-up

I need advice on what to call these daily editions. I am reserving the term "junk drawer" for my Friday column, because it's pulled from the whole week (and if there was other junk around, my junk wouldn't feel as special...and my junk is very special, right?). Thursday is now the day of Things You Should Buy Me, so what do we call the daily collection of news on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday? Does each one get their own special name? Do my titles matter at all? Do I just leave it as "Cutting Room for Tuesday" or do I go funny and call it something like "Tuesday's Square Round-Up"? I need someone, anyone, to weigh in on this incredibly important matter. It may seem trivial to you, but I assure you that the fate of a nation, NAY, the fate of humanity may well rest in what I decide to call my daily dumping. Hey, look at that, what about "Daily Dumping?" Then I get to make poo jokes Monday through Wednesday, a narcissism joke on Thursday, and a genitalia joke on Friday. It's a win, win, win, win, win. Right? Here's my today's dump:

Because when I want advice about story, I go to James Cameron

The plot of Titanic would have made for a shitty Harlequin romance novel. You know what, that's probably a disservice to novels like "Thrusting Blossoms" and "Prick of Thorns." The plot of Avatar may well have been taken directly from Disney's Pocohontas. Hell, True Lies was as tonally schizophrenic and well-conceived as a serial killer's mix tape. Even great movies like Aliens aren't great because James "I'm a Doo-Doo Head" Cameron wrote the crap out of them. He has a sense for visual exhilaration and gorgeous action. So when he begins squawking about how Peter Berg's upcoming Battleship is a sign of an ongoing "story crisis" in Hollywood, I would have to say "Right, but you started it." The two biggest grossing movies of ALL TIME could have plots that barely fill one cocktail napkin. They are riddled with recycled tropes and themes, and Berg is somehow supposed to take shit from Cameron? Whatever. Just like it sucks that Cameron is so successful, it also sucks that he's right. Yes, there is a story crisis. No, he's not above it. Also, I'm forever forward using the image above for stories about the semi-mullet, chinless wonder. Why? Because it's a reminder that Kathryn Bigelow is classy and beautiful and he's a sea-troll obsessed with turtlenecks.

Musical notes

Get it? Because musicals have...you know what, I try hard at this, okay?! Despite apparently trying to kill its cast and maim its audience with awful storytelling, the Spidey musical was the number one attraction last week on Broadway. I'm sure it had something to do both with people wanting to be there for the first fatality as much as Spidey's universal appeal. It's technically just in the preview phase, which means they still have a few weeks to completely rewrite the script and find a way not to murder the performers. Seriously, the reviews consist of "it's pretty...it's dangerous...it's stupid." If it holds up at this level of revenue, it's also a hit. Also interesting is this:

Once is coming to Broadway! The charming indie Irish music-based movie should charm the shit out of audiences in real life just like it did on the screen. I can't tell you how deeply affecting the movie and music were, so if they can bottle that and sell it in a new way, good for them!

You can't keep James Bond down...without using sex.

Despite the death-roar of MGM, Bond will rise again. Yes, that's right, there will be a 007 23. It will hit in 2012. No one is surprised by this news, but it is good news. If I were the powers that be here, I would make sure it ends the current trilogy by really breaking out the big name bad guys and digging into the great world laid out by the last two movies. I liked both of them quite a bit but am ready for Jimmy B to fight someone other than the super secret terrorist organization's accountant (yes, that's really who he fought last time). Bring out the big boys like...BLOFELD?!

Breathe easy, Middle Earth

These guys are officially back for The Hobbit. You can relax now.

That's it for today. Let's meet up tomorrow where I'll reveal if I've stuck with "Daily Dump" as a title (hint: things are looking good on that front). In the meantime, follow me on Twitter or NONE SHALL PASS.


entered on 01/11/11 at 09:59 PM | read comments »


All the news I feel like printing for Monday

Not a whole lot happened over the weekend. I mean in terms of film. Plenty of interesting things happened in the world over the weekend, just not ones I get to make pithy jokes about here. I was going to go for some metaphor about how slow the weekend news was, but I couldn't choose between "slow" meaning stupid and "slow" meaning takes a long time. There is nothing worse than metaphor indecision. Nothing in the whole world is worse than that. Except for excessive hyperbole. At any rate, here are the few things of interest that did abound.

Something "Wicked" this way comes

That's the least original title I've had in the length of this blog's existence. Seriously, I couldn't help but be lazy about news that we're going to have a miniseries based on "Wicked." And a movie based on "Wicked." Wait, what?

Turns out that Salma Hayek's production company has sold ABC an 8-hour miniseries based on the original book, which is not the musical that was based on the book, which is being turned into a movie to come out in 2014 (now that's a long, long-ass time down the road). I don't really care, never having seen the musical and never having read the book, but I know people who flip their shit for this green witchy business. So there you go: A shitpile of "Wicked" goodness is coming at your face.

Look into the eyes of terror

You will cry when you stare into this:

For more barf-inducing, why-would-you-do-that fun, go to Muppets With People Eyes. Or, you know, don't...if you like remembering a more innocent time. God those things are pure hell.

Direct this!

Yeah, I told you it wasn't an exciting news day. I have EVEN MORE nominations for more awards to share with you! Doesn't that just light a bottle rocket up your spine? No? Me either. Still, here are the DGA nominations for Best Director of the year.

  • Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
  • David Fincher, The Social Network
  • Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
  • Christopher Nolan, Inception
  • David O. Russell, The Fighter

It's another great year for misogynists. After last year's icky intrusion by a vagina-bearer, we're back to a sausage party! Good! I really felt that 2 female nominees out of the last 50 nominations was just appallingly diverse. Nice to see men finally getting the respect they deserve. I'm not sure where smart money is right now. I would have said Hooper (even though he pretty much did nothing directorially for that totally boring movie), but with Aronofsky's film heating up critically AND at the box office (the horror/ballet movie may clear $100 million? WHAT?) there's a chance he's hot at the right time. And then there's always Nolan, who I think should win but I don't think will. Interesting year. Well, interesting year for those with the right chromosomes.

That's really it for today, I'm not holding out on you, I swear. Check back tomorrow for more. And follow me on Twitter in the meantime for some in-between post love.


entered on 01/10/11 at 10:17 PM | read comments »


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Dear White People

The type of smart, ballsy satire that comes along all too rarely.

GRADE
A



War is hell, but this movie is just hella slow.

GRADE


Dracula Untold

What if Dracula was a superhero?!

GRADE
C


Gone Girl

This thriller has many twists, the biggest of which is that it's kind of a satire.

GRADE
A


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 Adventures of Super Vlad

Left out of the superhero movie party every other studio is throwing, Universal made the ballsy decision to turn Dracula...

more »


Everyone is Awful

Warning to newly engaged couples: Do not see Gone Girl, a movie that makes marriage look like The Hunger Games with slightly...

more »


Swimming in the Laika

From Ray Harryhausen’s Medusa to Henry Selick’s Jack Skellington, stop-motion animation is just frickin’ cool, yo. Maybe...

more »


The Dies That Bind

“Hilarious!” say the trailers! “Really funny!” says the poster. “You are all sick people!” says me.

Yes, in parts, The...

more »


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