Cutting Room for January 5

I was appalled (and oddly intrigued) at the instruction I received from my editor this week, until I realized she told me to grab my crystal ball for this week’s column. Let’s just say the first draft of this installment was a little saucier until I realized she wanted predictions. So here’s the best brief supposition and speculation I can suppose to speculate:

  • 3D will D-cline: Studios aren’t seeing the kind of massive returns they fantasized about in their liquid-asset dreams. Although they are adding a little to the bottom line (like Tron: Legacy getting 25 percent of its gross from IMAX/3D add-ons), there are an increasing number of duds and thuds (we’re looking at you, Yogi), continued critical backlash and a dramatically lower audience turnout. The trend ain’t dead, but I predict 2011 will see an ebb and not a flow in third dimensionality.

  • We’ll feel the Payne: Although no date has been announced, I predict 2011 will include the first finished full-length project from Omaha’s favorite directorial son since 2004. The Descendants stars George Clooney alongside some great character actors and Matthew Lillard, who will no longer have to keep proving he’s still alive on his IMDB page. Even if Payne weren’t a Nebraska fella, I’d pray that this prediction would come true.

  • Quick hits: Here are some rapid tidbits for you: I think next year’s Harry Potter finale will be the top grosser. I think our humble Cutting Room blog will change and grow by leaps and bounds (with your help). I think all of our local theaters will survive and thrive (no contractions here). I think the Omaha Film Festival will set another record for attendance. I think I’m thinking too much.

So here’s hoping that our years don’t follow the Star Trek movie curse, and an odd digit means even better things!

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 and on Twitter (

entered on 01/05/11 at 06:08 PM | read comments »

All the news I feel like printing for Tuesday

Sorry this is later in the day. It's hard to get back into the swing of things after you've been gone for so long. I feel like Michael Jordan after he retired to play baseball trying to find his jump shot again. Of course, there's one pretty obvious difference between me and MJ: I live in Omaha.

Things are starting to pick up again after the holiday lull, meaning an egg nogg-and-rum hangover officially lasts 12 days. We have a smattering of minor casting news, Pixariffic information, award nominations, a clay Machete, and the cast photo of a remake of a Charlie Sheen movie (uncross your fingers, it's not a remake of Money Talks).

First up, Monsters Inc 2 is it or not. I for one like it...but I like a lot of things that nobody else likes, such as sleeping in cold temperatures and "Saturday Night Live." The interwebs went crazy about NEW NEWS REGARDING THIS IMPENDING PIXAR SEQUEL!!!! OMG!!! Except...the news came from an interview that's reeeeeaaaaally old. So take it with a gigantic grain of salt that next year, these two lovable monsters may be starring in a PREQUEL where they are in college.

Whatever. Sounds good to me. I'd trust Pixar to babysit my child at this point. Hell, I may trust Pixar to father a child at this point. Furthermore on the Pixar front, the Toy Story characters are STILL not done being played with yet. No, they're not launching Toy Story 4 (yet), but they are returning in a short that will be in front of...sigh...Cars 2. The automobile-animated extravaganza represents the least promising Pixar work yet, screaming "SHOW ME THE MONEY" louder than Cuba Gooding Jr (and I don't mean in Jerry Maguire, I mean when he robbed someone at gunpoint for money to eat yesterday). Still, news that Buzz and Woody will be in front of that money-grubber makes me happy. Apparently, the short will follow Barbie and Ken as their honeymoon to Hawaii is canceled, forcing the gang to give them a staycation, It's A Wonderful Life style. So...yay, the toys are back...again...

Speaking of back, after showing us her Beaver with Mel Gibson (never gonna get old), Jodie Foster is going to star in a project that continues to leap up my most anticipated scale.

The film is Elysium, and I have no idea what it's about. All I know is that it's Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to District I'm good with that. Also starring Sharlto Copely and Matt Damon, all we know is that the film is "set on another world." Maybe in that world, Foster is open about her sexuality and Gibson isn't racist. What? I said maybe.

Beauty and the Beast 3D is indeed happening! It's just happening some place much closer to you than theaters. No, not in your pants. That's a good guess though.

Instead, the hairy/pretty duo will be all up in the third dimension ONLY on Blu-Ray and not in theaters. This is delightful news to suckers like me who just bought their wives the movie on regular Blu-Ray. Thanks, Disney!!

Writer's Guild Nominations always seem smart to me. Maybe because they're given to writers? I generally like those guys. There are so many weird rules for each award ceremony, so just know that not all the best movies were even allowed to be nominated. Here they are:


  • Black Swan, Screenplay by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin; Story by Andres Heinz
  • The Fighter, Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
  • Inception, Written by Christopher Nolan
  • The Kids Are All Right, Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
  • Please Give, Written by Nicole Holofcener


  • 127 Hours, Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy; Based on the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
  • I Love You Phillip Morris, Written by John Requa & Glenn Ficarra; Based on the book by Steven McVicker
  • The Social Network, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
  • The Town, Screenplay by Peter Craig and Ben Affleck & Aaron Stockard; Based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan
  • True Grit, Screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen; Based on the novel by Charles Portis


  • Enemies of the People, Written, Directed, Filmed and Produced by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath
  • Freedom Riders, Written, Produced and Directed by Stanley Nelson
  • Gasland, Written and Directed by Josh Fo
  • Inside Job, Produced, Written and Directed by Charles Ferguson; Co-written by Chad Beck, Adam Bolt
  • The Two Escobars, Written by Michael Zimbalist, Jeff Zimbalist
  • Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?, Written and Directed by John Scheinfeld

An interesting batch of nominees. None surprising...can't think of any big snubs. I'm okay with it. Take that Golden Globes stupidfaces with your Tourist nominations. Blech.

As if to prove the movie exists, we finally get to see what the cast of Red Dawn, the second best thing Charlie Sheen ever did next to landing a lucrative paycheck for an ongoing family comedy series while totally whacked out on blow and beating hookers, looks like in the new remake.

Wow. They look like kids with guns. However stupid this may seem, I'm going to have to resist the battle cry of WOLVERINES when they make it. I just love the original so damn much. And I don't care who knows it!!!

And now, as we always do, let's end with a claymation version of Danny Trejo as Machete trying to sell you Lipton Ice Tea.

Come back tomorrow when I think I'm going to finally write my essay that mediates between Kevin Smith and movie critics. I'm not here just for my own glorification, you know...I want to use the power of a moderately interesting Web site to leverage peace and harmony. And if that fails, I'll probably just stick with my own glorification.

Follow me on Twitter...or don't...but please do..

entered on 01/04/11 at 09:44 PM | read comments »

Once again, I’m back!

Did you miss me? I sure missed you, my devoted silent masses! I promised I would post a few times during my holiday (saying that makes me feel British..."I went on holiday" just sounds so much fancier than "I spent the majority of the last two weeks running errands and sleeping in"). Then I didn't. This isn't because I'm a lying liar. Okay, it's partially because I'm a lying liar. It's mostly because (A) I was CRAZY BUSY, busier than I was even during regular work time (weird), and because there wasn't that much going on. Movie news and info is so slow during those two weeks that it's almost all relegated to other critics' top 10 lists, weird news items (like the stunt guy who played Donatello in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies doing stand-up comedy...yes, I will post that video below), and other uninteresting blog padding. So my choices were to rest and come back stronger than ever, my eyes rejuvenated by having not stared into the electronic abyss for days and days, or to keep plugging away and find myself suckling the exhaust pipe of a Mitsubishi Galant before too long. I chose the former.

I thought about how to start this first post back, and one way seemed obvious.

But now what? Post the video everyone was passing around of the aforementioned stuntman who played Donatello doing mediocre comedy while wearing the mask? Okay.

Steven Ho: I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle from Steven Ho on Vimeo.

But NOW what? Recap the entirety of the events and rumors that took place in my absence? Okay, here you go:

That's a better view of one of the characters in Green Lantern. Thus, all we really know is that Green Lantern still looks turdier than your turdiest Christmas present. Seriously, other than ruining the cool cameo in Thor and minor casting news like, I shit you not, Samuel L Jackson casting news (I thought we collectively agreed not to encourage him to do every film ever by not covering his announcement that he'll be in every film ever), there is nothing of note to note. So, let's just kick off the new year with a deep, cleansing breath and vow to cover every bit of news, local and national, that warrants our actual attention.

Speaking of which, I am likely not going to continue a barrage of posts on the daily. Instead, I'm going to try to stick with one post (other than our cool columns like Things You Should Buy Me) every day that has the news of note that day. Why? Well, I think it's pretty unreasonable to assume that people will come back here repeatedly through out the day. Beyond that, it's pushing stuff that's cool off the page and whatnot. If someone has a giant objection (or wants to tell me that's a terrible decision for SEO purposes or whatever), I'll listen. But until then, for my sanity and your reading pleasure, I'm going to try to just hit you once a day. Sound groovy? It sure is good to be back, and I promise I won't disappear like that again for a long while. Feel free to comment with suggestions for the new year, news notes I may have missed, or whatever else your heart desires. We'll pick this up again

Follow me on Twitter and a genie will grant you (no) wishes.

entered on 01/03/11 at 04:15 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

Actual human beings made The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and you can tell. A water-colored rebuke of the robots who...

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No Big Bang

In 1965, Stephen Hawking wrote his first ground-breaking thesis and wed Jane Wilde. His paper argued that if a star can...

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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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