Ryan’s Junk Drawer for December 9

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

Welcome weary weekly warriors. Greetings grousing and grumbling grunts! Hello humble heroines and heroes! It is finally, finally, finally time for your Ryan-fueled salvation, for that weekly dose of girthy goodness that can only be described as the most magnificent junk you have ever before laid your eyes upon! Look upon my junk and weep, for you shall find that it is good.

Obviously, by junk I mean movie nuggets that are more like nougat, in that they only work in combination with other ingredients. Seriously, who is ever "I am only eating nougat. Not a candy bar, not chocolate, but only nougat." Point is, these movie tidbits are too on the bitty and tiddy side to warrant full blog posts, so I combine them here in a cleverly titled column that makes people snicker at the dirty jokes I make. Wow, now I worked "snicker" in here, I must be angling for an endorsement from the Mars Candy Bar Corporation.

Each week I begin by looking at the creepy-ass image of a junk drawer above (from Highlights Magazine FOR CHILDREN) and making up a funny story about one of the items. Why do I do this? I have no idea. It seemed like a good idea once, which means it must be a good idea 50 times in a row, right? Today's item is the pink square in the upper left corner. Bleep Blorp did not believe in Santa Claus. I mean, come on, he was a robot...and a robot believing in Santa would be stupid, right. Bleep Blorp knew better. But the only thing he knew more than the imaginary nature of Kris Kringle was that if he didn't get the shiny-new pink memory chip he wanted, he would be laughed at by all the other robots...and those guys have built in synonym checkers...so their insults are really thorough. So Bleep Blorp sent a letter to the North Pole, figuring it was worth a shot. When Christmas came and went without the chip, he wasn't surprised. But as he was about to return to Robot School, he happened to need some oil. He checked in the junk drawer for it and...BEHOLD: The new chip he had wanted. How did it get in there? That's for cyber Santa to know, and Bleep Blorp to wonder.

Okay, enough goofing around, let's get to looking at my junk (and I mean movie tidbits).

1.) Leggo my Legolas - Don't be fooled, there are sub-nerd categories. For example, if your favorite character in the Lord of the Rings movies ISN'T the elephant murdering, orc-throttling, feathery-light Legolas, you are the low nerd on the totem pole in my opinion.

(FYI: I almost accidentally spelled that "totem poll" and it made me giggle because I thought of a questionnaire regarding Dom's spinning top from Inception...and yes, that digression puts me in the lowest sub-sub-nerd category.) Anyhoo, good news for the dorks on top of the nerd pile: Legolas is returning for The Hobbit! I don't know if that fits with the book or not (because I'm above the sub-sub-sub-nerd category that knows every nuance of the novel), but it makes me happy in my happy parts. I swear I squealed like a child opening the best present ever when Legolas slid down the trunk of that elephant tank. And if that doesn't mean anything to you but you are still reading this blog, congratulations for you are in the very top echelon of nerd-dom!

2.) James Cameron: King of the Weird - I don't know why, but James Cameron is interested in this:

That's Cirque De Soliel doing something batshit insane. Seriously, as near as I can tell, they dance to your nightmares. That's what they do. They project demonic images while contorting their bodies in front of you and you pay them lots of money to do it. And now James Cameron is producing a movie with them. Yay! Let's hope it's in 3D so I can really feel like I was sucked directly into hell. That would be so much fun! Gosh, I hope it's in IMAX too! That way it would be like space and time had severed their thread and we spilled into the depths of madness! Yay! Look, Jimmy C, I don't get why you do what you do, but using your giant fan base and immense power to coordinate a Cirque De Soliel film is officially nutso. Thanks for that.

3.) I've got...two versions of Paradise - It's fitting that this Alien news isn't digesting well.

We were first told that we aren't getting the prequel when we thought we were. Then we were told we don't have a good short list of who will be the female lead in the film (come on, Portman...come on). Then we were told it is going to be two movies and not one. Then Vulture said that the prequel will be called Paradise, which makes no sense...but also said that it was back on for the original date. Cross-eyed yet? Well then Chris Petrikin from 20th Century Fox briefly explained: “I don’t know where to begin to correct what is being written about a certain Ridley Scott project…” before adding “it’s not called Paradise…answers soon.” Oh, and he also said “It’s not two films…can you hear me now?” Jeez-a-loo. Okay, so it may or may not be called Paradise, but probably not, and is likely only one film, if the studio stooge is to be believed. Look, I loved Alien and Aliens, truth be told I didn't even mind the other two terrible films in the series (I ignore everything involving Predators). I love that Ridley Scott is back, I want this to work, I have a good feeling...but COULD WE FIGURE SOME STUFF OUT BEFORE WE START SPILLING IT EVERYWHERE?! Thanks, y'all.

4.) It's all good in the Hood - I don't care if Speed Racer was a misfire, it was a cool-looking misfire. I don't care if the Matrix sequels didn't live up to the unreal hype they were born into. I love the Wachowskis.

That's why if any other filmmakers had gotten pegged to do a modern version of Robin Hood set in an urban environment (and possibly starring Will Smith), I would have thrown up a little. But the Wachowskis are smart. They know they'll need a box office hit at some point to stay relevant, and chances are that their upcoming controversial gay Iraq war love story will not be the smash hit of the summer. They lined up this more commercial project, and I'm fine with it. I know Robin Hood has been done to death, but hell, if they do something cool with it, I'm there. I'm also there for the gay Iraq love story, but you probably knew that.

5.) Trailers, parked - What a bevy we have for you today! Let's get to some trailers, huh?

First up is Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I'm not going to spoil this clip for you, other than to say I believe in the first cut of it, the robot at the end drops the N-bomb. Get it? Because Michael Bay loves racist robots...and gratuitous shots of women. And being awful. Here's the clip!

I am Number 4 sounds like the worst sports chant ever, right? It's like a self-help book gone wrong. It also looks like the movie might have gone wrong. This may be sci-fi mediocrity day. Here's the trailer.

I was going to try to be clever about this...or reflective. People have opined about how similar the plot seems to be to Mel Gibson's real life, how interesting the movie looks...personally, I think it looks kind of awful and the trailer gives away the whole film. So instead of being clever, I'm going to be vulgar. I've been waiting to say this for awhile now...because she directed it and it's the name of the movie, remember that people...Ladies and Gentlemen: Click here to see Jodie Foster's Beaver.

Finally, the last weird sci-fi flick of the day, here's Hugh Jackman in a big-budget version of Rock'em Sock'em robots. Yes, Reel Steel is real.

Okay, that's all the junk I have for you today. Hope you liked it. Follow me on Twitter or you'll ruin my Christmas.


entered on 12/09/10 at 08:17 PM | read comments »


Things You Should Buy Me (Volume 58)

Over the course of the weekend, I discovered something. No, not a package that was sent to me containing free goodies. Why didn't I discover that? Because you didn't buy me anything. Just like the week before. Nothing. You and nobody you knew contacted me at film@thereader.com and got my address to send me sweet swag that I would brag about. Season of giving my ass. No, what I discovered was...this is somehow one of the more popular columns I do. I mean, I get the appeal of Thursday's column, as who doesn't look forward to seeing my junk? But the fact that others love this little segment was perplexing to me. Why? Well, that's because it means that people are reading it AND NOT SENDING ME ANYTHING! It was an admission of guilt! Obviously, they saw through my clever internet persona and realized I was mostly kidding (I said mostly). So with that in mind, here is the stuff those people have been waiting to hear about for this week:

1.) I stab my drinks colder - Of all the things that people have noted seeing in this column, the most popular item hands down were the ice cube trays designed to make thin ice slices for water bottles. Well then, have I got a new product for you:

Yeah, those are Ice swords. "How do you keep your drink cold?" "Oh, you know, I STAB IT COLDER!" How badass is that? Sure, you can use them to make Popsicles and such, but it's much more cooler to just be drinking a beverage with a giant sword in it, right? See, I came through for all of you ice fans this week, didn't I?

2.) See, those old negatives WERE good for something! - Remember when you used to actually get physical pictures? You know, in the time before the internet made digital photos so prevalent that a guy can barely finish splitting his pants in public before detailed images of his nether regions are online. Well, back when photos came in envelopes and not email attachments, you used to get negatives with your order. It was so you could use them to make more photos later, but when I was a kid, I just assumed we had some weird slide projector I didn't know about. That or I was the secret owner of the Zapruder film. My imagination was always rather historical. Well, good news for those people who wisely hang on to those negatives:

For a mere $100, the ImageLab will turn your negatives into digital photos of good quality. Howsabout that? Those pictures of you with the 80s bangs and leg warmers? Totally going to be this week's profile picture. This is a brilliant gift idea for old people.

3.) This week I combined my obligatory Star Wars and Threadless segment - Let's face it, every week I pimp Threadless and something Star Wars. I don't mind the former, and the latter is just because that crap has more merchandising than any one thing in history. Seriously, there are more Luke Skywalker-related products than JESUS-related products, and he's the son of God (Jesus, not Luke...man this stuff is out of control). This week, I'm combining the two obligatory items with this from Threadless .

That shirt is called "Hans off my cookie."

Chewbacca is a chocolate chip cookie.

This is a real thing.

And I love it.

And so do you.

That's it for this week. Your job is to start buying me crap and sending me crap and following my crap on Twitter.


entered on 12/08/10 at 04:24 PM | read comments »


Pointy ears and a pretty face

Happy Wednesday to you. I would wish you a happy hump day, but nobody needs to be reminded about that creeper dude in your office who says that stuff in order to tight-rope walk the line of sexual harassment, as if one day, one attractive coworker is just going to declare "It's hump day?" and proceed to start disrobing. Oh what the hell, happy hump day.

Honestly, there hasn't been that much going on this week that has tripped my trigger...figuratively or literally (I haven't shot anyone ALL WEEK). Most of the news is minor-rumble only and is being reserved for a spot in my junk drawer. Even this bit isn't that exciting, other than the lady involved, who is excitement personified.

Cate Blanchett (aka, the Goddess) is going to return as Galadriel for The Hobbit. Seeing as how I never sifted through Tolkien's uber-dense prose and overly descriptive text, I figured this was kind of expected. Only, it turns out that powerful lady witch really wasn't so much in the book...and was busy doing some other stuff I don't understand. Seriously, I read that stuff without context and it's all "Galadriel was in the bing-bong with the doody-doodies, because she didn't have the sming-smang which the toot-thoots needed for their gully-gangs." As near as I can tell, what this is signaling to fans is that Peter Jackson is makin' shit up. I think he's earned the right to play a bit, given how awesome the movies have been, but this is still likely to raise the eyebrows of a few die-hard fans. And those fans have MASSIVE eyebrows, so it's actually quite an undertaking. I think Jackson appropriately found the bottom line here: If you CAN put Cate Blanchett in your movie, you DO put Cate Blanchett in your movie.

Follow me on Twitter, and bring Cate Blanchett with you.


entered on 12/08/10 at 04:08 PM | read comments »


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Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


Nightcrawler

A condemnation of crime pornography with a chilling central character.

GRADE
A


John Wick

You kill his dog, he kills a million people. You've been warned.

GRADE
B


Dear White People

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

GRADE
A


Fury

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

GRADE
C+


The Burden of Actual Christianity

Most praise for writer/director Jesse Moss’s documentary, The Overnighters, has rightly been focused on its Steinbeckian...

more »


Awful, Not Full of Awe

Preposterous, pseudointellectual, poorly constructed, clichéd, impenetrably masculine, goofy and possessed of an...

more »


News-sploitation

Yesterday, CNN showed reporters physically chasing a woman connected to the Ebola scare. Not too long ago, a Fox News...

more »


Dogged Determination

John Wick killed three guys with a pencil.

John Wick is so good at killing, he had to bury his guns beneath a cement floor...

more »


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