Sunday, September 30, 2007

Our newest enhanced podcast!

On this week’s episode of “The Movie Show,” we’ll tell you how you can find Wes Anderson’s newest short film for free online, what potential 2009 film could win Morgan Freeman another Oscar, and how a lawsuit might effect the future of the Superman movie franchise as well as the upcoming JLA film. The episode also features reviews of “In the Valley of Elah” and “Eastern Promises.”

Track list includes:
Peter Sarstedt’s “Where Did You Go to My Lovely” from ‘The Darjeeling Limited,’
Johnny Cash’s cover of “Tennessee Stud from ‘Jackie Brown,’
Eef Barzelay’s “I Love the Unknown” from ‘Rocket Science.’

BONUS FEATURE! Want to hear your own voice, opinions, or requests on future episodes? Simply call and leave us a message on The Movie Show Hotline @ (336) 510-4119. So long as your message is timely and appropriate, we promise to play it on the air.

Click here to check it out, or you can subscribe and recieve automatic updates by clicking the link on the upper-right corner of the page.

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Simply click the icon thingy below or on the right-hand side of your screen to get automatically set-up.

Stay tuned, we got one more special feature on the way!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pee Wee's Big Protest

Pee Wee's Big Adventure is my all-time favorite movie. Aside from providing the perfect 'vehicle film' for a pre-existing creative property, the introduced the world to Tim Burton, and was this hilariously absurd sister film to Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves.

It was also the inspiration for this hilarious protest banner:

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This all reminds me of a blind date I had arranged for Gu, my former co-host, as part of a contest we had arranged on the air. We picked her up and took her to this Chinese restaurant, and she asked me, "What is your favorite film of all time?"

This was, obviously, a hard question for me to answer, but I gave her my best reply, "Most likely either Rushmore or Pee Wee's Big Adventure."

"Pee Wee's Big Adventure?" she asked.


"I'm sorry," she replied.

"I'm not. It's a really good movie."

"I'm sorry," she said again, as if I did not understand her insulting demeanor the first time.

"But it's this beautiful and absurd film - sorta like an old Fellini movie in color." I was on my last leg, here.

"I'm sorry," she said for the third time in a row. That's why we don't do blind-date contests for my single co-hosts anymore. (Sorry, Mike). Fortunately, Gu decided not to go on a second date with the Pee Wee-hater. Better yet, the person he is now engaged to seems like she could at least pretend to understand why someone would like Pee Wee's Big Adventure just fine. And I'll tell you what, if my wife was as intolerant against Pee Wee's Big Adventure as Gu's blind date when I met her, there would be a different person sleeping in my bed right now as I type this post -- if anyone at all.

For some reason, many of the people who 'hate' Pee Wee's Big Adventure have not even seen it. The haters just know they are supposed to dislike Pee Wee Herman for some reason, and hate one of the greatest American films of the 80's by proxy. When I would show this film to a group of kids when I worked at a summer camp two years ago, I would say 80% of them walked away saying it was one of the greatest films they had ever seen.

Folks need to learn how to separate the art from the artist. Seriously.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Trailer Park

Funny Games

The Strangers

Southland Tales

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Download Wes Anderson's newest film for free.

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Those scanning this article for a video file containing a crudely-recorded dub of Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited should look elsewhere. Darjeeling won't even be Anderson's newest film until its release in New York this weekend. Until then, that title belongs to Hotel Chevalier, a thirteen minute short Anderson filmed with Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman in 2005. The director had hoped to include the short with the theatrical print of the film until Fox Searchlight nixed the plans. But thanks to Apple, you can download Chevalier for free via iTunes. How do you find it? All you got to do is click here

According to several reports, Anderson liked Schwartzman's character so much that he decided to write him into Darjeeling's screenplay. Anderson even went so far as to include a cameo for Portman, too. Speaking of Portman, she's great in the short film. With her hair just growing in after the V for Vendetta shoot, she's strangely reminiscent of Jean Seberg in Godard's Breathless. This is easily the best character of Portman's adult career, with the best overall being the child assassin she played in The Professional.

Schwartzman seems to be channeling Max Fischer from Rushmore. As much of a sullen and peculiar overachiever as Fischer ever was, Schwartzman's unnamed character even pre-arranges a music cue for his meeting with a spurned lover.

And if you're curious about the song, it's "Where Do You Go to (My Lovely)" by Peter Sarstedt - which you can get in the The Darjeeling Limited soundtrack on iTunes as well.

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Michel Gondry's Motorola ad.

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There will be two posts today -- both related to last Wednesday's post about Wes Anderson's cell phone commercials. This first post will focus on the cell phone aspect of the story.

Perhaps wanting to get their own cell phone commercials to be directed by a visionary director, Michel Gondry of The Science of Sleep, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and a whole mess of insanely brilliant music videos. The result is a thirty-second spot that reveals the director has style to spare.

I've read that to recoup losses spurred by piracy, record companies are slashing music video budgets - as if that will help album sales. Then again, it's not like they play them on MTV - or MTV2, for that matter. Perhaps this means future directors will be discovered based on their work on commercials instead. At any rate, you can check out Gondry's advert by clicking here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Darth Vader plays the blues.

Check out this hilarious re-edit of the 'un-masking' scene from ROTJ. I always thought the metal thing near the bottom of Vader's mouth looked like a harmonica.

Check out this video: Vader Plays The Blues

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BTW, sorry about my dissapearance from the online world. I had to make a business trip to DC for a show I am writing about for the paper. On the upside, I managed to check out In the Valley of Elah, a movie I loved despite the significant Paul Haggis-ism in the very last scene. You'll know what I'm talking about if you get a chance to see the movie when it comes out in Greensboro.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Wes Anderson commercials.

Remember the amazing commercial Wes Anderson did for American Express? Well, it looks like AT&T was so impressed with the advert, they hired Anderson for a new campaign entitled "Your Seamless World."

A user on YouTube asked something like, 'Why does Wes Anderson need more money?' Good question, and while I can't comment on the director's financial situation, there are other reasons for doing these commercials besides money. For starters, I am sure they were fun to make. These aren't your standard "Hi, my name is [insert celebrity's name here] and whenever I want to be cool, I use [insert product's name here]." Looks like Anderson got to flex his creativity quite a bit, here. Another good reason for making the commercials is the practice. These spots are driven by an interesting technique, one which Anderson might use in future movies. Consider these commercials a 'paid internship' if you will.

Check them out below:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Death Proof is out on DVD - GO RENT IT ALREADY!

For whatever reason, very few people saw Grindhouse when it came out in theaters. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that they marketed the film with an emphasis on the Planet Terror side of the double feature. I could imagine a lot of potential female audience members seeing an one-sheet poster of Rose McGowan with a machinegun for a leg, and not wanting to see it. This is unfortunate as I have yet to meet a woman who saw Death Proof and didn't love it.

In terms of horror-thrillers, Death Proof is the essential female empowerment film. Gone are the topless knife-fodder girls who get killed shortly after they have sex or admit to liking it via stupid dialogue. While women do get killed in Death Proof, there are just as many who survive. And rather than paint the survivors as virginal Jamie Lee Curtises, the survivors in Death Proof enjoy sex. Not on-screen, mind you - this is not that type of grindhouse experience - but they talk about it length. Rather than being saved by their innocence, the Death Proof heroines survive the intense finale because they are smart - and one of them owns a gun.

Twenty years from now, some of our children might ask us, "Why didn't you go see Grindhouse in theaters?" I won't have to answer that question, but a lot of people will. Some might say, "Because they frequently marketed both films with an image of a woman firing bullets from her machinegun leg," and I guess that's fair enough. I enjoyed Planet Terror, but it was 'intentionally retarded,' which is no different than an 'accidentally retarded' film for most people.

So in the end, maybe it's best that the films were divided. Perhaps people will finally be able to just enjoy Death Proof without having to sit through Planet Terror and vice versa.

Here's a trailer from the UK release of Death Proof:

Wasn't that nice? It actually gives you some idea as to what the movie's about, unlike the American adverts, which sold the entire package as a concept rather than two different movies.

We also have this nifty one from Cannes:

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Fountain commentary online.

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This may be a first, but Darren Aronofsky posted his commentary track for The Fountain online. You can check it out by clicking here.

I loved The Fountain enough to declare it one of my top 10 movies of last year. Like Fincher's Zodiac, it was a step forward in terms of maturity for Darren, who could have easily fallen into the trap of self-parody after the hyper-stylistic Requiem for a Dream. Few people saw the The Fountain in theaters. I saw the movie twice, and could count the combined audience members with my fingers, but it looks like new fans are discovering the film on DVD. The addition of a downloadable commentary track should help further this.

Apparently, Darren had intended to include this track on the DVD before Warner Brothers said they were not interested. Don't know why a studio would turn down a yak-track from such a renowned director, especially regarding a film some people deemed confusing. Fortunately for us, Darren took the initiative and posted it on his personal website - for free no less. The dude could have easily made a little extra cash selling it on iTunes, so he deserves some props.

I was planning on seeing one of the million different movies that came out last week so I could review it on Thursday's show, but I may in fact put this commentary on my iPod and watch The Fountain on my home theater instead. Here'shoping more directors, writers, and actors will follow suit. Especially for cult films that don't quite merrit the issuing of a 'bells and whistles' DVD. I imagine we could get a Death Wish 3 commentary from director Michael Winner (a.k.a. 'Arnold Crust'). While we are at it, why doesn't Miranda July follow suit and make one for Me You and Everyone We Know?

Last Thursday's show.

UPDATE!!! The link at the bottom of last Friday's post has been fixed. Thanks for the e-mails. As you might have noticed, there were a few bugs to work out with the new Mac. ENJOY!

On this week’s episode of “The Movie Show,” Joe reviews “Shoot ‘Em Up” and “No End in Sight,” while Mike back-tracks for “The Nanny Diaries.” They also give the latest scoop-age on “Indy IV,” the Oscars, and Toby Maguire’s potentially gigantic movie franchise.

Choice movie soundtrack selections include music from “Some Kind of Wonderful,” “Garden State,” “Bottle Rocket,” and “Fight Club” among others. Speaking of “Fight Club,” hosts Joe and Mike give what might very well be the most in-depth explication on the Brad Pitt and Edward Norton cult-classic in radio history.

Click here to check it out.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Reviews from the 'Boro (Volume 8)

Some interestng developments happened this week regarding film criticism in Greensboro. Orson Scott Card, famed author and critic for Rhino Times, wrote this week that he is considering ending his column with the weekly paper. I'm certain that his 'Uncle Orson Reviews Everything' column has always been a labor of love for the most part - an efficient way to dialogue with local readers and fans. Personally, I always enjoyed Card's column for the fact that he often lends his voice to 'the other side' of the critical world.

One can visit a movie listing on and expect to find twenty-to-thirty different variations on the same review. However, if there's one thing that ALWAYS sets Card's reviews apart, it's that he cares nothing for directors. Orson even goes so far as to bash the work of 'critical darlings' like Martin Scorsese, M. Night Shymalan, or any other director who strives to lend his or her stamp to a production in an attempt to be an 'auteur.' That's not to say Orson is a a tasteless cretin. Orson just places a higher value on actors and especially writers; and the only directors he does care for are the ones he thinks have the good sense to stay out of the way.

Fortunately, his column hasn't been nixed just yet. He plans on scaling it back, making it less sprawling. When the title says, 'Reviews Everything,' sometimes it means just that. Does this mean we will get more focused review dedicated either to just one book or movie? Who knows. I just hope card won't throw in the towel. Maybe he could just take a short break for a while?

You can get more details on the potential of Orson retiring his column by clicking here.

As for Glen Baity of Yes!Weekly, he reviewed 3:10 to Yuma. While he actually caught the same advanced screening that I did, Glen decided to post it a week late for whatever reason. Maybe it was a deadline? Anyway, he liked the film a lot, but made no mention of the exploding horse. Was I the only one taken aback by that? A lot of the amped-up action in Yuma simply did not fit the tried and true template of western violence. The horse was just the icing on this cake. Glen did like the acting, especially from Russell Crowe. He also made the following valid point about Movie Show favorite Ben Foster:

[Foster] does a fine job here, as he did playing another combustible maniac in Alpha Dog, but both those performances reek of missed opportunity, through no fault of Foster's. He cuts an imposing, scarecrow-like figure in 3:10 to Yuma, but the character, as fun as he is to watch, is basically a hardened sociopath with no past and no future. A little background could have made his a supporting role on par with Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday in Tombstone; unfortunately, we'll have to wait for another film to see what the undeniably talented Foster can do. That's a bit of a loss for 3:10 to Yuma, as I believe he's a young actor capable of a real breakout performance sooner than later.

Foster's talents were a bit wasted. In a way, his intense on-screen loyalty towards Crowe's character could be viewed as homoerotic longing since the movie provides no other context. Several folks have made this point on IMDB, and there's really nothing within the film that would allow the director to respond to the contrary. Does that make this newest version of 3:10 to Yuma the Commando of our time? Only time will tell, my friends.

Friday, September 14, 2007

First Harry Potter, now...Bond?!

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With only two films left in the Harry Potter series, star Daniel Radcliffe could be ready to exchange his wizard robes and wand for a tuxedo and Beretta 418. Apparently, the producers behind the James Bond series have been eager to sign Radcliffe to do at least one movie based on the series of Young Bond books by Charlie Higson. The books feature Bond as he goes through college, however, I am sure it will reflect the newly 'realed-up' approach taken in last year's Casino Royale.

For anyone who thinks this is a good idea, I have two words for you: Hannibal Rising. On his newest comedy CD, Werewolves and Lollipops, Patton Oswalt does this really great bit about how George Lucas screwed up the prequel trilogy. He basically said something along the lines of Lucas taking all these characters we love, like Darth Vader and Boba Fett, and giving us a chance to see them as crying, snot-nosed children.

Who wants to see that with any character they find 'cool' or 'badass'? I don't want a whiny James Bond struggling to hone his rapier wit and game with the ladies. James Bond before he became 'JAMES BOND' would be a guy just like the rest of us. There's plenty of movies about regular people, so I don't really care to see a James Bond movie with normal everyday struggles. Radcliffe's Bond wouldn't even be allowed to kill anyone as an agent since Daniel Craig officially made Bond's first two kills in the prologue of Royale.

I like Daniel Radcliffe as an actor. He's going to have a hard time shaking his Harry Potter image, and I'm pretty sure he won't be making a big-screen version of Equus anytime soon, but this Young Bond thing could very well destroy his career. If I was Radcliffe, I would just work out non-stop until I was old enough to play the regular, adult Bond, and just do that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Indy logo....

Guess Shia LeBeouf wasn't lying...
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Man, what a long title. Sad thing is that unlike ROTK (Return of the King) or ROTS (Revenge of the Sith), it doesn't even work as an acronym.

I can't imagine anyone walking up to a ticket booth, and saying, 'Two adults for KOTCS, please!'

Below is a documentary on a real-life crystal skull, known as "The Skull of Doom." It was discovered by a 17-year-old girl. At least Indy is still challenging himself in his old age.

He's back!

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From Reuters:

Comedian Jon Stewart will host the Academy Awards next February, the New York Times reported on its Web site on Tuesday.

Stewart, 44, previously hosted Hollywood's top honors in 2006. This year's Oscar show was hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

The New York Times report was sourced to two unidentified insiders, who said an official announcement would be made on Wednesday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that hands out the Oscars. An academy spokeswoman was not available for comment.

The 80th annual Academy Awards will take place in Hollywood on February 24.

Stewart hosts the "The Daily Show," an influential, Emmy-winning "fake" news show that airs on the Comedy Central cable network.


This is great news! I liked DeGeneres last year, but thought Stewart did a colossal job the year before that.

There was a rumor after he had hosted, that Stewart would not be invited back. The reason being that he looked uncomfortable on-stage, and told a few jokes that ruffleed the feathers of a some Hollywood big-shots. I am glad this was not the case.

I will admit that he started out kind of awkward, but when Stewart finally warmed up to the Academy Awards crowd (and vice-versa), he really started to cook. His most memorable joke would have to be, "For those of you keeping score at home, Martin Scorsese, zero; Three 6 Mafia, one." Great stuff.

Alfonso Cuarón gives his newest film away for free.

After completing The Shock Doctrine, writer Naomi Cline asked Alfonso Cuarón if he would write a forward to her book. Instead of writing the forward, however, Alfonso Cuarón did the next best thing - he made a short film. Written by Cuarón, and directed by his son, JONÁS, The Shock Doctrine is probably one of the most unsettling films I have ever seen. It's by no means graphic, but I must warn you that it got to me. Could this be nominated for best short documentary? Probably not, since people are actually getting a chance to see it.

Anyway, enjoy:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Iron Man trailer.

Check it out in Quicktime, baby!

Visually speaking -- This. Trailer. Is. Awesome.

My only beef is with the music cues. Don't care too much for the Black Sabbath, because the song is so overplayed, and an obvious frickin' choice for a movie called Iron Man. Peter Jackson didn't use a single Led Zeppelin song during the Lord of the Rings because it's the kinda thing one should hold off for all the fan-made trailers that pop up on line. It also makes the movie look cheap.

Of all the decent-budgeted comic book films of late, I would say that the worst would be Punisher, Daredevil, and Ghost Rider. Part of the reason those movies were so weak is because they relied too much on music cues from rock bands. Ghost Rider could get a pass since it's about a flaming skull dude on a motorcycle with death metal videos in his eye holes, but hopefully director John Favreau and Paramount are aware that Iron Man is special. More so than Ghost Rider at least. Iron Man deserves a pulse-pounding original score of his own, just like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, and to a lesser extent, the X-Men. Part of the reason those Heroes' movies are worth buying on DVD rather than just renting or skipping altogether, is the music. Let's all hope the music is but a temporary fix, and that the true score will be revealed later on when the film reaches completion.

The title for the next Indiana Jones could be....


AICN broke the story about the title of the new title. Shia LaBeouf, who will supposedly play Jones' son in the film, had apparently announced the title during the VMA's. Then it was later confirmed by the official Indiana Jones website.

What do you guys think of the title? Me, I am not so big on it. Too many syllables.

Here's the rundown:

Raiders of the Lost Ark has 6 syllables (I refuse to call it by the revisionist Indiana Jones and the... non-sense that Lucas slapped on all the DVD and VHS boxes a few years back).

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has 11 syllables.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has 10 syllables.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has 14.

AICN also reports that the title confirms Lucas & co. will be borrowing major plot points from the Frank Darabont script that Lucas rejected ever so publicly. What's funny is that Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg both enjoyed the Darabont screenplay a great deal. Maybe they managed to talk some sense into the flanneled one.

As of right now, there is nothing about this film that inspires more than ambivalence in me. Maybe that will change when I see a poster or actual footage from the film.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Reviews from the 'Boro (Volume 7)

It should come as no surprise to anyone who's followed this column that whenever there's a dearth of good movies worth watching (a fairly often occurrence during the Hollywood 'Dump Month' of August), The Rhino's Orson Scott Card applies his critical prowess elsewhere. So rather than sit through last week's Halloween remake, Balls of Fury, or Death Sentence, Orson opted to sit at home and compose what could make the beginning of an interesting book or dissertation on literature or fiction-writing entitled Realism, Peter Pan and Story Games. A good read - especially for writers and literature aficionados like myself - it may be, but a piece of film criticism it is not.

As for Glen Baity, the YesWeekly critic doesn't have the luxury of sitting a crap week at the cinema out. Unlike Card, if Baity doesn't review a movie, he doesn't get paid. I am sure Baity's editor is saying, 'Well, if he had written a whole mess of novels, too, I would have no problem with him taking a week off!' Anyway, perhaps owing to the fact that he is a fan of Reno:911 and The State Baity opted for Balls of Fury. Here's what he had to say:

Frankly, this film is awful. I didn't expect highbrow humor, but I hoped for something at least less painful. The scant jokes, nearly all of which you can see coming a country mile away, aren't funny (though I confess to laughing out loud, once, at a bit featuring parakeet who duets with David Koechner on "Two Tickets to Paradise"). More often than not, what passes for humor involves extended gags that aren't funny the first time and die slow, unfunny deaths as they're pounded into the ground. The film fancies itself a kung fu movie that substitutes paddles for nunchucks, and there's just enough actual fighting to make you wish you were watching the new Jet Li flick, or better still, at home playing "Mortal Kombat."

It appears the filmmakers overestimated the natural hilarity of ping pong. Sure, it's a quirky game that a lot of people outside the US take very seriously. But it's not that funny, and the jokes, contrary to what Garant and Lennon might have imagined, do not write themselves.

Baity's right. Balls of Fury was awful. The movie had this terrible habit of having star Dan Folger - who looks like the man-lovechild of Jack Black and Revenge of the Nerds' Curtis Armstrong - do something the filmmakers had the poor fortune of thinking was funny, and then sit there waiting for people to laugh. Seriously, there is a pause. Then on top of that, the filmmakers would have Folger repeat the joke again. And again. Just a very un-funny movie. Hotel Rawanda honestly might have had more intentionally funny moments than Balls of Fury. Too bad no one puts quotes like that on DVD boxes....

Holy God... it's the trailer for John Rambo! - Watch more free videos

First off, let me say that it looks violent. Really violent. There was a preview reel that was released early summer, and if they don't tone down any of that footage, what we could have is a film that is bloodier than any of the films in the Rambo series. Apparently the investors for the project were so in love with the gory violence that they have even funded Stallone & Co. with some additional funds to go back to Thailand and film even MORE blood and guts violence.

Typically, I have no problem with viscera in and of itself. But I do have a problem with making an addition to a series that doesn't fit either because it is less or way more violent than the previous films in the series. Die Hard 4 had the former problem, and even though I liked it well enough, hear's hoping upcoming 'Unrated Cut' will bring the film back on the level with the rest of the series.

As for Rambo 4, I can't imagine why it has to be this bloody. I guess fake blood, severed heads, and limbs are cheaper than blowing stuff up good, but then that even brings up the question as to why the movie was even made? Was anyone really asking for this movie? I know I said the same thing of Rocky 6, a film I ended up liking, but the teaser and trailers for that film had given me some assurance that the addition to the franchise had a point and would be carried out with a sense of class and style - something I didn't get from the video above.

The last thing I want to point out is the influence that movies like Saw and Hostel might have had on the action genre. Back when both of movies were in their heyday, action films were suffering. One could argue that the filmmakers are also trying to copy the Sin City formula, but everyone must know that the success of City had more to do with its visual style. Anyway, if action filmmakers think it's a great idea to go the whole torture-porn route as far as gore in concerned, they need only look at the box-office returns for last week's Death Sentence. Granted, the James Wan-directed film wasn't that bad, especially for a movie from the guy who created Saw, but it still didn't get a lot of people in theaters.

While the opposite may be true in every other arena in life, the fact remains that in action films, guts are cheap, much cheaper than the thrill of blowing stuff up good.

New Paul Thomas Anderson poster!

AICN got the scoop on the poster for Paul Thomas Anderson's newest film, There Will Be Blood. Check it out:
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I ran the trailer on our site a couple of weeks ago, and have to say that the poster looks excellent, too. Every brand new PTA film is an event, especially this one now that Anderson hasn't made a movie since 2002's Punch Drunk Love.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Tobey Maguire to jump into a different kind of super suit.

And by suit, I mean one of these:

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The Hollywood Reporter writes that Tobey Maguire dropped a chunk of his Spider-Man and Sea-Biscuit cash for the film rights to the anime series Robotech. Not to be confused with Battletech, Exo Squad, Gundam, or Neon Genesis Evangeleon, the property depicts the future of Earth and the human race wherein mankind must enter these giant-sized, robotic body puppets to fend off a massive alien invasion. Some screenwriter I've never heard of was hired, and Maguire will produce and most likely star in this film for Warner Brothers.

HR's Boris Kit made the obvious connection between this film and last summer's rancid box-office smash, Transformers. Bay's film did gross over $300 million, but that's not the only reason I think this is a good idea. Tobey is a short, 37-year-old guy who looks like a kid; if he was smart, he would buy-up the rights to all properties featuring characters who get inside gigantic robotic suits to blind audiences to this fact. On top of that, he also kinda looks like an anime guy.

What do you guys think? I just hope they'll keep the art direction on this simple - the machines on Robotech look cool enough, so there's really no reason to overhaul their design.

Terry Malick

A crank-addled carpet cleaner recollects the time he washed Terry Malick's carpet.

On Malick's imdb profile, someone created a decent message board thread entitled "Who/where/what/when is Terrence Malick." It explores Malick's refusal to do interviews, get his picture taken, appear in behind-the-scenes featurettes for his DVD's, etc., and the dilemma it causes for his fans. I can understand it when an artist chooses not to disclose personal details about his or her life to the press. Their art is professional, their lives are personal - and they want the two to be seperate. But when an artist completely shuts himself off the way Malick has, sure there's a novelty to that, but he's also preventing any sort of dialogue between himself and those who appreciate his work. The result is that we have to get our perspectives of him from a bunch of crank-heads like the one in the video above.

The awesomeness of yesterday's show was brought to you by the letters J, R, and L.

J and R, because guest Jeri Rowe was awesome. He came to discuss this really neat article he wrote on O.G. movie geek Milo Holt, and then some. He shared some additional information on the piece he did, and then stuck around for the rest of the show, sharing insights on Kevin Bacon during my Death Sentence review, Iron Man, and Ratatouille. Occasionally, our guests behave like deer-in-the-headlights, while sitting in front of the microphone. Thankfully, that wasn't the case last night.

As for the L, that particular letter goes out to a listener named 'Liz' for calling at the tail end of our show and giving us props. Still can't get over the fact she called us 'mature.' Liz, if you're reading this, thanks for calling, and more importantly, thanks for listening.

Will have a podcast of yesterday's show as soon as my new computer arrives.

Coming Soon.

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I ordered it this morning. I never thought I would be a Mac guy (beyond the use of an iPod). But after I taught a podcasting course for sixth-tenth graders this summer, it's like they say, 'Once you go Mac, you never go back.'

The main reason for getting a Mac, aside from the ability to turn my computer on and being using it within 20 seconds, is because it's the only way you can get Garage Band. In an earlier post, I had mentioned that I was going to try and score iLife for Windows XP, but low and behold, it's simply not available. All of the other 'enhanced podcasting' programs out there are vastly inferior. Windows is apparently working on their own program that's supposed to be similar to GB, but it's too little, too late, I say.

The laptop will be here soon. Until then, all future podcasts are on hold.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Brothers no more....

America has got to start protecting their brother writer-director teams. Teams like 'The Coen Brothers,' 'The Hughes Brothers,' and, to an increasingly lesser extent, 'The Farrelly Brothers' are responsible for many of the greatest films of the last decade.

I say this because the most financially successful of writer-director brother teams, The Washowski Brothers, is no more. That's not to say that one of the brothers who are responsible for Bound and The Matrix Trilogy has died, or that the team plans to quit or break-up after production on their PG-Rated family film, Speed Racer, wraps. No, it just means that one of the brothers, Larry to be exact, decided a few years ago that he doesn't want to be a brother no more.

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Lena Washowski:

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Truth be told, while I am certain the bandanna she's wearing is meant to cover her receding hairline from when she was a man (stupid male hormones!), she's not all that bad looking.

Anyway, you might be wondering what all this has to do with The Movie Show, since we usually stay the heck away from celebrity gossip. Well, now it seems that the Washowski Brothers will no longer be credited as 'The Washowski Brothers,' and will henceforth be billed simply as 'The Washowskis.' Also, if you were paying attention to the part where I mentioned that Speed Racer will be a PG-rated family film, you might realize the tabloids could very well have a field day with this. We basically have a male-to-female post-op transgender making a tent pole (no pun intended) summer family movie. If this blows up in the press, there is a slight chance it could severely hurt the box-office for Speed Racer. I am sure Fox News is gearing to rev their engines as we speak.

Hollywood is still in the position wherein even a powerfully successful director like Bryan Singer was asked to delay his official coming out to the press until after X2 was released. Now that X2 and Superman Returns have been released, we are STILL waiting on that announcement that he is gay. My hope is that if Speed Racer is any good, that people will go and see it - the same thing I hope for all good movies, basically.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Scenes from Southland Tales surface online...finally!

The publicity machine for Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko follow-up and Cannes Film Festival Bomb, Southland Tales, has started to make its way slowly down the road. Here are two clips from the movie which were released online within the last week:

1) This scene features Dwane "No Longer 'The Rock'" Johnson as an actor with a completely ridiculous premise for a new movie.

2) Here we have Sarah Michelle Gellar hosting a View-esque TV series with porn stars.

Jeez, maybe this is just a reaction to the fact that they were presented out of context, but I can understand why the critics at Cannes might have reacted negatively. Out of context, these scenes look like pretentious crap. Kinda like the inferior 'director's cut' of Donnie Darko

Margot at the Wedding

Y'know, I completely forgot about this film. I had read over a year ago that Noah Baumbach wanted to follow his excellent 2005 release, The Squid and the Whale with another comedy about a dysfunctional family starring Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jack Black. I even remember being told a year ago that we couldn't interview Baumbach because he was busy making this film, and yet somehow, I STILL forgot.

Well I was doing a quick news sweep this morning and caught a story from the Venice Film Festival on IMDB. The story quickly prompted me to seek out this beautifully made poster:

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And this awesome trailer featuring a nice cover of the Crosby, Stills and Nash song "Our House" by Phantom Planet:

Looks like Baumback may have made yet another phenomenal movie as far as I can tell. And since The Squid and the Whale soundtrack has become one of my favorite CD's to play on the show, the album for Margot can't get here soon enough.

This is sort of a use-it-or-lose-it year career-wise for Jack Black. Actor's got two indie comedies coming out this year - the other being Michael Gondry's Be Kind Rewind. If he's terrible in both movies, he might be resigned to Straight-to-video Land, or an unneeded sequels for School of Rock. That doesn't seem to be the case, but let us hope he does well.

On a personal note, the trailer reminded me of a lot of drama that I encountered when I was started dating my wife. She had a 'Christianity Liason' (or CL), assigned to her by some campus faith organization, who really took her role seriously. Just like Nicole Kidman's character in the trailer, this CL was trying to convince my wife to break up with me because I didn't exhibit the 'fruits of the spirit.' Being the preacher's kid that I am, I explained to the CL that the fruits of the spirit were love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, kindness and temperance - traits I exhibit fairly often through my various forms of community and volunteer work. She then retorted that the 'fruits of the spirit' were basically a "catch-all" for the fact that she just didn't like me. We later found out she was on anti-depressants. Wonder what fruit of the spirit those represent? What's strange is that a lot of people also say I look like Jack Black....

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Halloween review.

Been struggling to write a review for Rob Zombie's Halloween remake for some time. The reason being that it's essentially two different films crudely stitched together - or a 'franken-film.' The first film is the 're-imagining' of the series as Dimension pictures announced when they said they were making this film. The other is soulless, almost shot-for-shot remake of the John Carpenter original.

Zombie's Halloween kicks off with an interesting expansion of the original's prologue. Instead of tempting the ire of horror geeks the world over by re-creating the infamous first-person murder spree that kicked-off the original film, Zombie opts to expand the child Meyers portrait. Unfortunately, this, too, has ticked horror geeks off, who say their beloved monster has been demystified by an explanation of his psychotic behavior. I disagree completely. Unlike Hannibal Rising this new Halloween never tries to explain what turned its protagonist into a serial murderer. No, when the movie begins, Meyers is already a murderer, honing his heartless craft on helpless animals. Could his gruesome murders have been prevented? Maybe, but Zombie makes it a point to reveal that while the bullies, crappy step-dad, and stripper mother didn't help Meyers' situation, they were also not the factors that made him into a killer.

The oddly-named Daeg Faerch does a good job of playing the child Meyers. Blond and pudgy, there's a sense of innocence in the child actor's eyes, even as he commits the most terrible acts on-screen. I was particularly touched by a scene where, after killing his step-dad, sister and her boyfriend, the incarcerated Meyers looks at his mom and says, "When can I go home?"

If Zombie's Halloween was simply content on dwelling in prequel mode, it would have most likely been a decent film. But as the film progresses, and Faerch is replaced by the muscle-bound ex-wrestler Tyler Mane as the adult Meyers, Zombie seems to lose his heart for the material. For starters, all the characters who appeared in the original film are flat and unlikable. But rather than compensate for that weakness by taking the derranged road-less-traveled via placing the dramatic weight on the adult Meyers' shoulders, Zombie does something I never thought he could do. He chickens out. I mean, here is a man who made us feel sympathy for a roving gang of serial murderers in The Devil's Rejects, but with the final two-thirds of Halloween he relegates Meyers to where he has always been in the other films of the series -- the shadows.

In the last hour of the film, Meyers is reduced to the engine of doom in yet another dead teenager movie. And with no dead or endangered teenagers to root for either, the end result left me drowning in a grim-colored sea of apathy.

Reviews from the 'Boro (Volume 6)

Perhaps owing to the fact that he himself is a journalist, YesWeekly's Glen Baity really enjoyed Resurrecting the Champ, which earned a lukewarm-to-negative response from most critics. Starring Josh Hartnett and Samuel L. Jackson, Champ tells the true story of a sports writer who was duped into believing that a homeless man is a former boxing pro. The duping results in a fiasco in the sports journalism world, and teaches the ever-important mantra of why it is important to "CHECK YOUR FACTS."

Here's part of what he had to say:

Resurrecting the Champ is strongest when it cans the sentiment and focuses on the unfolding journalistic fiasco. After Eric's piece is published, it's like watching a hard right cross to the jaw in slow motion, and the tension is palpable as the story's knees begin to wobble. Resurrecting the Champ is destined to be shown in journalism courses across America, and it should be: The film is a veritable procedural on how not to research.

As for The Rhino's Orson Scott Card, while there didn't seem to be a new movie last week that he actually cared to see (something I can identify with), he decided to jump back and review a film that came out almost a month ago. Like most people with good sense, Card enjoyed The Bourne Supremacy. He praises Bourne 3 mainly for its screenplay by Tony Gilroy, and Matt Damon's performance, but makes no mention of the direction by Paul Greengrass. I for one thought Greengrass' direction is what distinguished the Bourne series - what made the trilogy really come alive after the competent first entry by Doug Liman.

Anyway, enough splitting hairs. Here's part of what Orson had to say:

The Bourne movies have done a good job of making the people who created this weapon – Bourne himself and the other "assets" that he is pitted against in Ultimatum – morally ambiguous. The script does not cheat and make them monsters. You can see how decent people could walk down that road.

At the same time, this movie is the quintessential American film. There are plenty of nations and cultures in this world where blind obedience is truly expected of citizens – if you've ever been addressed by a policeman or customs official in, say, Europe, you'll know exactly what I mean.

American authority figures usually know that they get their best results when they give orders with an explanation. It's what American citizens expect and are usually given: An explanation. It provides us a means of continuing to believe that we actually have a choice.

I may disagree with Orson for not giving Kudos to Greengrass, which may have even been unintentional, but we do see eye-to-eye on how the films are 'quintessentially American.' Unlike Bond, who follows orders with few questions or resistance (thus leaving the audience to trust whether all persons he killed were in fact 'bad guys'), Bourne eventually started to ask questions. He also manages to be very lethal sans a pocketful of gadgets which conveniently meet the specific needs of each particular mission. That's someone one could no longer say really say about Bond up until the last film.

After the changes intended to 'real-up' the Bond series in Casino Royale, my co-host Mike says we don't really need another Bourne film. He may have a point, but on top of that, I think the Bourne series is simply done. Stick a fork in it. They have pushed the premise and the character to their logical conclusions. We know Bourne's true identity, the government has no real reason to pursue him anymore, and he has avenged the death of the only woman he ever loved. Anymore films would do nothing but cheapen the well-made series. It would be like the Rambo sequels (especially the third one), where they dragged John Rambo into missions he is neither personally nor thematically connected to. Let well enough alone, I say.