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 »


Cutting Room for December 15

  • STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING! Unless you’re reading this in the bathroom. Then, you know, finish … but hurry. Why? Because Thursday, Dec. 16, is the last day in the Kickstarter Campaign for director Dan Mirvish’s Between Us, a dark comedy based on an Off-Broadway play. The film is scheduled to be partially shot in Omaha. Mirvish directed Omaha (the movie), so it’s only right we return his continued love with some financial “Why-thank-yous." That’s right, the film needs our donations to move from “good idea” to “Hey, that movie rocked.” Head to bit.ly/bSQc9j, where you can find out a boatload of information about the flick and where you can donate money to help it happen. For even more information on the whole shootin’ match, check out filmthreat.com/features/28294 for a great interview. There’s no time to waste, so get to clickin’ and donatin’. And just think, you’ll be doing more to help movies get made in Nebraska than any legislative body in the state ever has!

  • Three cheers, or more like 25,000 cheers, for Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater (filmstreams.org)! The National Endowment of the Arts just announced the theater will receive $25,000 in grants to continue their exhibition of repertory film and special programs. Not only is the grant a proud feather in the cap of the non-profit movie house, it will help ensure that important events, such as the LGBT-themed “Out in Film” series and the exploration of Latino, Latin American and Spanish cinema “Cinemateca II” series, continue to enlighten and expand our community discussions. Way to get your grant on, guys.

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 12/15/10 at 12:01 AM | 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...

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Swimming in the Laika

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

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The Dies That Bind

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

Yes, in parts, The...

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