Ryan’s Junk Drawer for December 16

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

And a good day to you, sinners and miscreants, ne'erdowells and troublemakers! It's a fine Thursday, which means you awoke this morning with thoughts of my junk on your mind. It's okay, I know it's true. Why this is the season that sugarplum fairies dream of my junk. When stockings are stuffed with thoughts of my junk (as opposed to the rest of the year when stockings stuff my junk). It's the hap-happiest season of all! Extra bonus points to the first person to write and record a Christmas novelty song primarily featuring my junk.

By now you know the drill: My junk does not mean what you think it means. If it did, I would either be arrested or elected to congress (or both). Instead, it refers to tiny tidbits of movie news too small to blow up into a big post. Instead, I gather them all underneath the image of a creepy-ass junk drawer (taken from Highlights Magazine FOR CHILDREN). I start off every week with a whimsical story about one of the items above. Today's item is the braid of hair. (WARNING: The contents of this story have been stolen from a story told to me by my father-in-law, wife, and brother-in-law). Suzie wanted a pony more than anything in the whole world. Even though she was a rotten, angry child who beat other smaller children and routinely caused her parents to wonder if Rosemary's Baby was a documentary, her desire for a small horse was so big that she behaved for an entire year. She didn't light ANYTHING on fire, nor did she endanger the lives of small woodland creatures. And for Suzie, that's progress. So come Christmas time, she was SURE that she would find herself the proud owner of a pony sure to be used as a getaway vehicle. When she unwrapped her last present she was confused...and enraged. Her parents quickly pointed outside, for where else would a pony be kept? She bolted out the door and found tied around a post a small braided rope that was frayed at one end. "I guess he must have gotten away," her parents said. Then they laughed. That warm feeling of a prank well played would soon fade beneath the ill-temper of a psychotic pre-teen.

Okay, enough of that nonsense. Let's get to the movie news too small to warrant more attention this week!

1.) Miramax is getting in the business of bad decisions - I'm fine with Bad Santa 2.

The first one had Lauren Graham looking hot and allowed me to find Billy Bob Thornton as vile as I always do and still enjoy the movie. So news that Miramax and new partners (or reunited old partners, depending on how you look at it) The Weinsteins are making a sequel is fine to me. Less fine is the following list of other movies they're considering sequels to:

  • Shakespeare in Love
  • Rounders
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary
  • Copland
  • From Dusk Till Dawn
  • Swingers
  • Clerks
  • Shall We Dance
  • The Amityville Horror

That's a big-bulging Santa bag full of doody-doody pie, isn't it? A Copland sequel? Really? Like we're all still wondering what happened to that one-eared dude Stallone played? A SWINGERS sequel? How do you capture lightning in a bottle like that again? Shall We Dance 2? Allow me to answer: No. No we shall not. I'm hoping that most of these are direct-to-video so I can pretend they don't exist. Oh, and I believe the official rules state that if you make a sequel to Shakespeare in Love the Oscar officially gets revoked. Bad ideas are afoot, y'all.

2.) Because Tom Cruise doesn't understand that people are still making fun of him - If you're Tom Cruise, don't you do ANYTHING to avoid unintentional laughs in your direction? I mean, if you want to make a comedy, that's fine. Then people are supposed to laugh at you. But if you think that starring in the big screen version of Rock of Ages won't get you mocked, you're craz....oooooooh, riiiiiight. The fact that Gwyneth Paltrow (shown below in bad-idea dress version) is in makes sense.

She can sing. Tom Cruise can't. I honestly think he believes this is a career-redeeming move and not another trip to the chuckle hut. Nobody has ever, ever benefited from singing 80s butt-rock tunes. Ever.

3.) What Oz was missing was dark violence - Remember Wizard of Oz.

No really, remember it because people are GOING to start sullying the crap out of it. In addition to that weird origin story of the Wizard that's coming from Sam Raimi and Robert Downey Jr, a slew of other strange projects are coming up. Why? Well, the characters are both familiar and in the public domain. So if you don't HAVE to pay money for brand recognition, the only thing stopping you is respect for the original work. Yeah, somehow that delayed things for a few decades, but no longer. Now we're getting stuff like a stop-motion version called Oz Wars. Don't worry though, it's written by the guy who wrote Space Chimps 1 and 2. That makes me think two things. First: There was a Space Chimps 2? Second: When he promises “a contemporary, freaky action-packed PG-13 audience pleaser, with Dorothy caught up in a whirlwind of warrior witches, black magic, martial arts and monsters.” What he means is "I will make what George Lucas supposedly did to your childhood look like a friendly hug from a kind grandfather." I know they won't leave Oz alone, but come on...there has to be SOME kind of standard, right?

4.) Wait? Scorsese's doing a movie with WHO? Oh...right... - Scorsese likes the same dudes.

His idea of change is having Leo DiCaprio wear different clothes and speak with a DIFFERENT Boston accent. So it's no surprise that The Irishman, his next flick, is going to star...Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino. This is great news for Pesci, who was last seen in the dumpster behind an apartment complex. Look, I don't mind reuniting most of the cast behind one of the greatest gangster movies of all time...and throwing Pacino in there. I think that's swell. I just want Marty to try new things. He is doing a kids movie kind of, so I can't bag on him too hard. Maybe it's that step he took outside of his box that made him freak out and run back to familiar ground. Hang in there, Marty. It'll all be okay.

5.) Trailers, Parked - Some really, really good ones this week. No joking around...okay, it's more like a good sandwich...with great bread and homoerotic lunchmeat in the middle. You'll understand in a minute.

Tree of Life is Terrence Malick's return to cinema. It looks pretty. I'm sure it will also be confusing and boring. Lots of people will like it and I will probably be on the fence. I'm just saying, it can't be worse than The New World. Yeesh that was boring. Have a look.

Fast Five is the next in the increasingly ridiculous series that sees Vin Diesel and Paul Walker trying not to kiss other dudes. Seriously, if you don't see the homoerotic tension in these movies, you are so far in denial it's ridiculous. Personally, I love it. Hell, the still that people are circulating around for the movie makes it look like Vin Diesel and The Rock are about to just have at it. So here you are: More homoeroticism that will be celebrated by homophobes. This series rules.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides may be great. Why? Well it does away with the dead weight of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, so we can finally focus on the only character we cared about anyway. I always thought there was more fun to be had with the series but those other characters sucked the life out of the movie. See what you think.

Okay, that's it folks. Hope my junk was satisfying as per usual! See you tomorrow for the weekend planning!

Follow me on Twitter...I love you.


entered on 12/16/10 at 05:36 PM | read comments »


Things You Should Buy Me (Volume 59)

This is the second to the last Things You Should Buy Me before Christmas. So it's Things You Should Buy Me before Christmas Eve. I am going to assume that most of you have made glorious purchases for me, you just haven't sent them yet because you don't want to ruin the surprise. It's either that or you don't think I've been a good boy this year, and I assure you I have been. In all seriousness, I'm trying to be responsible with this column and really show you cool stuff that you can get for nerdy friends of yours...and all of us have a little nerd in us, right? His name is Melvin and he lives in your pancreas.

Here are the things I think you should buy me (...fine...you can also buy these for other people) this week: 1.) I want to go to there - To me, there are three kinds of nerd merch: (1) - The kind that is dorky as all bejeesus but you don't care because it's so awesome; (2) The kind that you should, in fact, be ashamed of (it's why God invented walk-in closets); and (3) The kind that is so cool, it's almost not even a nerd thing anymore. Falling into that third category is the work of Justin Van Genderen. Inspired by the travel posters that everybody hangs everywhere these days, Justin made art for places I WOULD like to go:

Seriously, that's borderline classy. Sure, tiny Batman and itty-bitty Spider-man are there upon inspection, but otherwise that's just classy modern art. Justin has a few others, including Superman (if you're so inclined) and an awesome Fantastic Four one. Whichever one you choose, you will be the most upscale dork in your posse. Actually, what do we nerds travel in? Flocks? Gaggles? I'm going with gaggle. A gaggle of nerds. I like it.

2.) By the power of EBAY! - This is brought to you by Toplessrobot.com, who has a great list of nerd gifts for you who are indecisive about what to give the nerds in your life (hint - don't give a coupon book for physical touching...they will expire before use). My favorite on the list was something at one point I had:

Oh, Great Muppet Caper, how I would drink from your cups of awesome! True, you can't just order these from a retailer. You'll have to ebay that shit, but it's totally worth it. I mean, do you see the fine craftsmanship on those glasses? Why, I bet they have barely any lead-based materials in them! Wouldn't a nice glass of whiskey taste even better when supped from Miss Piggy's head? Yes. Yes it would.

3.) It's a repeat, I know - This Threadless shirt is (A) the only shirt I've repeated mention of and (B) on sale. B is part of the reason for A. In addition to that, zombies are just everywhere these days. Most shirts are cute, but few are just awesome. If you were to encapsulate the coolest aspect of a zombie apocalypse on one bad-ass looking shirt, it would go like this:

Boom. Perfect zombie shirt. Don't say I never did anything for ya. Well that's it for this week. I promise to hit one out of the park next week, even though by then it will be too late to order something that will arrive for Christmas. Don't blame me, blame the calendar yo.

Follow me on Twitter or I'll feed you to the zombie horde.


entered on 12/15/10 at 05:42 PM | read comments »


Jon Favreau says no, I say yes

Movie news during the holiday season...pardon me for a second HOLY CRAP CHRISTMAS IS ONLY 10 DAYS AWAY AND I AM WOEFULLY, WOEFULLY UNPREPARED...is really slow. Everyone is winding down, studios are counting piles of money bigger than your house, and nobody really says or does crap. That means we get little notes like these two tiny things:

1.) Jon Favreau is not directing Iron Man 3. This sounds more shocking than it is and more terrifying than it should be. Iron Man 2 was good. Iron Man was great. That is the general consensus, and unlike anti-government extremists who grab their guns at the mere sound of the ending suffix "sensus," I have to agree. Part of the reason the first film worked was surprise, that's for sure. The rest of it was the chemistry between all involved. They played fast-and-loose with the script and came out winners because Robert Downey Jr was the man and Favreau was flexible enough to make it work. The second film was an exercise in overconfidence. It was TOO scriptless, TOO disjointed. It could have used a bit more actual, logistical work. It was still fun, but it proved that you can't just wing it every time and hit a home run. Cowboys and Aliens will tell us who the real Favreau is as a director. If it has the same problems as the second Iron Man, then I'm fine with him leaving that franchise. He's got another huge project lined up, called Magic Kingdom, which will involve all sorts of Disney characters. Speculation has it Marvel didn't want to pay Favreau big bucks, Favreau didn't want a fight, and the rest is history. I think it could be fine. Provided they get the right guy in place for the third film, all is well. I actually hope this means they get someone a little more hands-on and we finally see the Iron Man movie I was promised in the first film: He fights Mandarin in a real, full-blown fight while the drinking issues are addressed. Could be great. Anyhoo, best wishes Johnny F. You'll be just fine.

2.) I liked True Grit. I can't give you a full review because the movie doesn't open for like a week still, but I am permitted to dangle first impressions. I think audiences will be surprised how much fun the movie is, how much of a pure crowd-pleaser it is, and how well paced it is. I also think they're in for a surprise as to the genre. This is a Western. Not one of those new-fangled hybrids that impose modern mentality on Western framework. No, this is a WESTERN. It could have been shot 50 years ago. I know some smart-ass is saying "It was shot 50 years ago, back when they made the original." Well that's the point. The point is you can still make damn good Westerns today and they still work. One more thing about the original: John Wayne was the Denzel Washington of his era. He had talent to be sure but most of that was just charisma. He had no range, he played every part the same, and even if you like him you have to admit both of those things. Jeff Bridges is twice the actor Wayne was, and you're going to freak over how great his character is. The only reason he wasn't nominated for the Golden Globe (and the only reason the young girl wasn't nominated either) is because The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is the dumbest collection of whores and sycophants not holding elected office. Look for my full review soon, but just know that you have something awesome to look forward to.

Follow me on Twitter or I'll have Rooster shoot you in the back.


entered on 12/15/10 at 05:17 PM | read comments »


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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+


Guardians of the Galaxy

A gleeful space opera that is as visually stunning as it is hilarious.

GRADE
A


Lucy

A girl ingests a drug that makes her God. For real.

GRADE
C+


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


Take It Back

Fail gloriously, if you must fail. Go down swinging for the fences, punchdrunk and confident you’re making something truly...

more »


Cinéma Very Tame

A few quick confessions: Because we now have cameras, modern photorealistic paintings have always been, at best, modestly...

more »


Grade A-Holes

The proliferation of comic book movies has reached its cultural apex, so thoroughly dominating the box office and public...

more »


Lucy Goosey

It doesn’t work this way with people, but there’s a level of confident stupidity a movie can display that makes it...

more »


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