Ryan’s Junk Drawer for January 14

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

It's probably been hard for you to stay focused at work today when you've been wondering when you're going to see my junk. It sneaks up on you sometimes, my junk. You'll just be working away and then, WHAMMO right on your computer screen is all of my junk. What if your boss catches you looking at my junk? Oh, hell, it's worth it, right? To be fair, your boss would love my junk too, if your boss would just give it a try. Everyone should, and one day God willing WILL, try my junk.

Obviously, by "junk" I mean movie tidbits that I scoop up into the dustpan of my mind during the week and then empty out into one handy-dandy blog post. I call it a "junk drawer" because it is a way for me to make jokes that are childish and about genitalia without having to call something explicitly raunchy. And believe me, it was almost an X-rated column title. We start each week by looking at the creepy-ass image above taken from Highlights Magazine FOR CHILDREN. I always put the "for children" in caps. Someone asked me why the other day and I told them that it was because I always construed that part as a threat by the magazine. It wasn't like they were bragging, it seemed malicious somehow. Anyway, I pick an item from the picture and make a funny story about it for no good reason.

Today's item is the tiny braid in the corner. Ashley was a big Adam Sandler fan. Ashley also looooved licking lead-based paint and eating expired food stuffs. One day, this combination proved to be too much for her fragile, warped mind to accept. While watching the cinematic hate crime that is You Don't Mess With the Zohan, Ashley became enthralled...so enthralled that she stopped her favorite game "Hit-self-in-face" long enough to find a pair of scissors. She waited until the family was asleep and then began her masterwork. By the time she was finished, the only hair left was a tiny braid atop her head, which her parents cut off just to stick it to her. They kept the lock of hair as a souvenir, knowing that Ashley had a long future running for political office ahead of her.

Okay, enough shenanigans, let's do this thing! Here's my junk this week:

1.) Black Swan now 90% ickier - Slashfilm Gave me a good reason to find the already significantly not okay relationship between mother and daughter in Natalie Portman's latest even more NOT OKAY.

Look away or read on to the next handy-dandy numbered entry if you're a spoilerphobe here. Okay, so it's like this: The dude who wrote into Slashfilm suggests that Nina's mom is doing the bad things to her privates. Yeah, you heard that right, he thinks that she's not only an overbearing, vicious creature, but that she touches her daughter in the swimsuit areas. It makes sense in part, but I think the theory doesn't really add much to the overall film. I'm repeating here because I like thinking about things that may be suggested but not stated in movies. I mean, I don't LIKE it in this case because incest is pretty much the worst thing in the history of things, but it is interesting to consider. The gang at Slashfilm dismiss it because the rest of the film isn't too subtle in its themes. I dismiss it because I don't see how it would benefit the story or the overall thematic elements. Also, if this hasn't been stressed enough, ew.

2.) The costume REVISITED! - You didn't really think I was going to just spend a few sentences on THIS did you?


The most astonishing thing about this costume is that I like it. I was all set to hate on this movie, but wow did this first image just hit it out of the park. The subtle differences in the costume, the arm swirls, the dripping spider, the darker tones, the pock-marked netting, are all totally spot on. I love it. I love how lean he looks, which is how Spidey has always been in the comics. I do worry about the mask, which is always the trickiest part. Those eyes have to be just right or the whole thing is thrown off, but initially I'm loving this, and I'm loving how Garfield looks in the role. Now, the most exciting part, there DOES appear to be mechanical web shooters. This is a big thing for us nerds. Why? Well part of Peter Parker's allure has always been his nerdiness. He was accidentally bitten by a spider, but he INVENTED the webbing. I know it doesn't feel "realistic" that a kid could do that. But dammit, he was bit by a mutated spider that gave him powers. We'll allow him to invent webbing. The thing is, it's a character point more than anything. Peter should be a science nerd with a big brain, and the mechanical web shooters embody that. If they're back, which it appears they might be, this is a heck of a nod to fans like me. I'm not ready to smile about this project yet, but between Emma Stone and this image, I'm starting to grin a little.

3.) Kissing and banging, now with bigger eyes and spikey hair - Shane Black rules. His Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang remains one of my favorites ever. Oh yeah, and he did invent Lethal Weapon. You remember, the cop movie that was really good before Mel Gibson decided he hated anything not white and Christian? Anyway, Black is known for his cop work, so it's no surprise his next movie deals heavily with cops and bad guys.

Oh, and demons. Yeah, Black is going to direct an American version of the Japanese Manga "Death Note," which is about a kid who can have a demon kill people when he writes their name in a book...or something close to that. It's confusing, even though I read the first few volumes. Black has never trucked with special effects or supernatural crap before, but he's not writing the script. What this shows me is that the movie will be well grounded in a familiar world...and will also feature really gothic looking monsters. It's like Rush Hour meets Angel Heart. I mean, it isn't at all, but wouldn't that be rad?

4.) Wright writes and rewrites! Right on! - And to think I almost gave up hope.

Although I'm not a slobbering devotee of Scott Pilgrim like many of my peers, I did like it. And I have loved Edgar Wright's other work. Thus, news that he has returned to the script for Ant-Man, Marvel's first, ahem, SMALLER superhero, is encouraging. Who knows if and when we'll actually see this thing, but I rejoice in the knowledge that it is at the very least possible if not probable. Allow me to join the chants of millions (or at the very least dozens): "GIVE US SIMON PEGG AS ANT-MAN!" At the very least, give us something new. That's my hope. My hope is that Wright pegs off his last project and makes this one something unique and awesome. I'm really hopeful about this...which means it will never, ever happen. But I'm a Bears and Cubs fan, so I will continue to hope that it will.

5.) Trailers, parked - Some goodies this week, including something slightly off-beat.

Happythankyoumoreplease is our first trailer this week, and it looks...interesting. Quirky? We're going to have to start finding a new adjective for indie movies, as it seems like this is the only one anybody uses. I'm going to go with "delicious" for the time being. Oooh, or "shaggy". Nothing these days is ever shaggy.

Battle: Los Angeles keeps looking better and better and better. Everything I see gets me more friggin' psyched for this one. It looks like the invasion movie I've wanted to see since Independence Day half-assed its way into my heart.

Priest makes no sense. It looks bizarre and kind of stupid. Also, it looks kind of awesome. Is this dumb-cool or dumb-dumb? Only time will tell.

I hope you enjoyed my junk this week! You can always leave a comment for me like a note on a nightstand, it's always a sign of respect.

Follow me on Twitter and I'll buy you a pony!!!*

*Note: Pony is invisible.

entered on 01/14/11 at 10:29 PM | read comments »

Things You Should Buy Me (Volume 61)

Well, the holidays are officially over, as I'm back to receiving ZERO of the things that I am very clearly and articulately telling people to buy me. My wife actually had to call the help desk at ThinkGeek the other day. When I heard her give our last name, I thought: "Well, now she's about to get some respect, and I'm about to discover that they're waiting to send me a giant shipment of products and various goodies any day now." Instead, I heard my wife say "No, Syrek. S-Y-R-E-K." The indignity! I thought by now all of the internets and webbings would have heard of my legend! What more must I do to convince the good people who sling nerd shit that I deserve free stuff? I am just a boy standing in front of the internet, asking it to produce freebies. Having received approximately less than 1% of the products I've promoted (for free) in the last 60 installments, the admonitions to send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)and request my email address clearly haven't worked. Now, nothing can sate my rage.

Wait? What's that? The first image of Spider-man from the new version that's being directed by the guy who made that mediocre-to-crappy indie rom-com everyone tweaked about for no good reason looks GOOD?! ARE THOSE MECHANICAL WEB SHOOTERS?! BE STILL MY BEATING HEART!!!! Okay, now I'm in a good mood and...wait, what's this?


Okay, that was some good palate cleansing. Now I feel as though I can relax and remind you that I don't actually expect you people to send me stuff but that I do this as a way to show you cool crap out there. And now, cool shit:

1.) These are good because I'm sure they're practical and feel nice....yeah...that's it... - Too often I neglect the ladies. I mean on this blog column, not in real life. In real life, I NEVER neglect the ladies. They neglect me. That is, neglect to notice me...or to reign me in. At any rate, here's a peace offering.

For a mere $35, you can go here and get underthings that reflect a passion for bounty hunting and bodacious bootywear. Seriously, it's somewhere between hot and adorable. It's ho-rable. Wait...

2.) They shall destroy you with the cute - Look me in the eye and tell me you don't want one:

What do you mean you don't want one? Don't give me that "I'm a grown-ass man" crap. So am I. What? I am! And I want like 70000 of these. I want to roll around in them like the most cuddly Tribble infestation ever. Go here. Buy them for me. They're only $13. That's a small amount for this much plush joy.

3.) None of the proceeds go to Michael Bay - If you're going to wear a Transformers shirt. Wear this one:

Threadless makes it acceptable to wear the leader of the Autobots. It's classy and clever, in that the title of the shirt is "Optimust." That's intelligent comedy. Also, Optimus Prime looks like a ghost. That's cool. Someone is now going to write some crazy bad fan fiction about ghost Transformers and it's going to be my fault. Sorry.

Okay, that's what I want this week. What do you want? Love? Me too.

Follow me on Twitter, it won't cost a thing!

entered on 01/13/11 at 11:08 PM | read comments »

Wednesday’s Daily Dump

Hey blog fans, welcome back. Are you excited that I've chosen to hang on to "The Daily Dump?" No? But...but there's so many doody-related jokes that will be inspired by that decision. It's a brown treasure! It's a number one, number two decision! The jokes will just squirt out of me! See, this is a good time, isn't it? I am nothing if not classy. No, wait, it was crude. I'm nothing if not crude. My bad, C-words are a challenge.

Okay, moving right along. Today all of the news is lame sauce. I can do it all in couplet quickly:

Earlier today a web site did say
before Green Hornet a trailer would play,
it would be our first glimpse on the big screen
of the new version of the revamped X-team.
But alas it was wrong and won't come to pass
there will be no trailer for X-Men: First Class.

Russell Crowe has been getting quite fat,
not that there's anything wrong with that.
The RZA doesn't care about his large weight,
he cast him in a movie not shot in the states.
The Man With the Iron Fist is set in the East
and RZA will write and direct that beast.
If I where him, I'd make sure Crowe was well fed
or alas, poor RZA, may wind up dead.

They're making a movie about Missile Command
This news is one for which I cannot stand
I dealt with the indignity of a Ouija board movie
I coped with news that Battleship would be
But this is too much, a geometry game?
It's proof that the world has quite gone insane.
But the last laugh's on me, I know it will be
when the damn thing makes large sums of money.

That's the news today. For realz. With a z. So it's a good time for me to write a brief letter to Kevin Smith.

It's cool, we go way back. That is to say, my wife once asked him a question at a Q&A at a Comicon.

Dear Kevin,

Hey, man. You don't remember me (mostly because we've never spoke), but I was a big fan of yours growing up. Chasing Amy still ranks among my favorite films of all time, and I have probably defended your movies, persona, and general doings as many times in this past decade as anybody. So let me be the first to say that I understand your current pissing contest with critics. They were mean to you. They hurt your feelings. That is not an inconsequential thing to have happen to you. If stories are accurate, hurt feelings led to the creation of the billion-dollar enterprise of Facebook; hurt feelings have resulted in globonuclear proliferation in South Korea; hurt feelings are not something to f**k with. They tore into Cop Out like it was an international war criminal. In reality, it was just a bad movie. I know, I know, you don't believe that it was, but it was. You make bad movies sometimes. Everybody who makes movies makes bad movies some times. Except Stanley Kubrick, but he's dead, so there you go.

Your position that involves not letting critics screen your upcoming and bad-ass looking (and potentially career defining) Red State is stupid. It's stupid because people with hurt feelings don't act intelligently. They act emotionally. And you're acting emotionally. You have argued that you get nothing out of letting people critique your movies early. You may be right. But guess what, you're a part of something bigger, something you dreamed about when you were a kid. I know this because you've been on Ebert's show. I know this because you review movies sometimes yourself. Talking about movies is awesome. Critics talk about movies. Therefore, that's awesome. You know this in your heart. You know that discourse of any kind about movies is something special and cool and that shutting it down is something you only want to do because you're mad. Stop it, man. Stop it. Especially considering that you're about to have what I believe could be your finest moment as a director. Run that shit out there! Get people's eyes on it! If they hate it, who the hell cares, you love it anyway, right? I promise you, I'm going to have to see it whether 100% of critics slap it around.

Worst of all, you are so active on Twitter. Why is that worst of all? Because it means you're aware of the power of digital conversation. The guys online who review movies and such, they're good people. They're forged from the fires of Internet anonymity and the loose journalistic rules that go with that, sure. They're a teeming mass of democratized criticism, and your overactive use of Twitter shows you get why. You understand that this new technology affords us the opportunity to speak more often. Hell, I read your responses more than I read critics who tore you down! Beyond all of that, if you hadn't made it into movies, if your grand experiment had failed, you would be one of us...and you know it.

Here's my suggestion: Screen the shit out of Red State. Be the affable everyman that you are, the weirdly American blend of narcissism and humility, go out there and promote the crap out of it. Be friendly to the online guys and shrug off their criticism. Ignore the big name critics if they slap you down and embrace them if they don't. Because this angry stuff...this isn't the guy I grew up with.

Kev, buddy, I dissed on some of your movies. I did. I also loved the ever-lovin' crap out of some of your movies. I don't like everything my own friends and family do, you can't expect everyone to like everything you do. But you know there's a value in it. It's time to come back to the fold, burn the angry schtick, and make nicey nice. Because I fear if you don't, you're going to miss something amazing with Red State and as a fan of yours from way back, I don't want that to happen, okay?

In conclusion: Listen to me and everything will be cool.

Thanks, and my wife says "hi."


Follow me on Twitter. That's not just for Kev, that's for everybody.

entered on 01/12/11 at 09:48 PM | read comments »

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