Friday, February 29, 2008

Will Ferrell round-up.

Here's the entire Will Ferrell interview:

Will Ferrell Interview: The Chapel Hillining

Will Ferrell Interview: The Chapel Hilling (Vol. 2)

When I interviewed Ferrell, I sat in a room with reporters from The Independent Weekly, NCSU's Technician, and The Sanford Herald. Other reporters were present, too, but strangely, none of them have written any articles yet. I hope none of those people simply rode along just because they wanted to sit in a room with an A-list celebrity.

But the one reporter who fashioned a really good story almost solely from the roundtables we got with Ferrell and Semi-Pro director Kevin Alterman was Laura Giovanelli from The Winston-Salem Journal. As you can see in the video, Ferrell was pulled in several different directions during the brief interview he got to do with us. Some people asked some rather stupid questions. Perhaps I was one of them.

So what Giovanelli did was focus on Alterman, who had given us several childhood anecdotes about growing up with the former ABA-turned-current NBA team the San Antonio Spurs:

As a kid, Kent Alterman made it his mission to get on the court of the San Antonio Spurs and attempt the team's promotional three-point shot.

Every game, he'd buy a program. Then he'd scoot down from his family's season-ticket seats at midcourt and slip the announcer a piece of paper with his program number on it. The announcer would give him a look in exchange: Come on kid, I can't do that.

Finally, toward the end of the season, the announcer caught Alterman's eye. Then the announcer read his number. Alterman made the shot.

His reward? "I won a gift certificate to a men's store in San Antonio," he laughed during a recent interview. "And found nothing of interest. I gave it to my father."

Here's a link to the rest of Giovanelli's article. A good read.

Speaking of good, the trailer for Ferrell and Adam McKay's Step Brothers hits theaters today. In the movie, Ferrell and John C. Riley play 40 something losers who live with their single parents. When their parents get married, the idiot man-children find themselves having to share a room together in the same house.

Ferrell said Step Brothers has a different tone from his and McKay's other films Anchorman and Talladega Nights. I was a little skeptical at first, but now that I've seen the trailer, I would have to agree.

Trailer for The Love Guru.

Look out East Indians, Mike Meyers is doing brown-face:

I am really not down with this whatsoever. Not because the movie co-stars the dull-eyed human Barbie Jessica Alba or even the fact that Meyers is rehashing age-old street jokes as well as punch-lines from his Austin Powers series. What gets me here is that the star of this movie is trying to resurrect his slumping career by pulling the buck-toothed Asian schtick on Hindu culture.

However, I am sure this movie will make over $100 million, and will be the reason many East Indian kids are going to have an even tougher time dealing with caucasian and African American kids in middle and high schools across the U.S. Let's just hope that instead of violence, they get their revenge by working hard and getting higher-paying jobs than the kids who were too busy picking on them to make better grades in school.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Line Cinema is dead!

The following e-mail has been sent out to all New Line employees:

February 28, 2008

To: New Line Colleagues

From: Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne

Our Company This afternoon, Time Warner is announcing that New Line will become a unit of Warner Bros. This is, of course, a very difficult and emotional time for all of us who have worked at New Line.

While there is not much we can say that can lessen the impact of this announcement, we did want you to know about the decision before you read about it in the press. New Line will maintain its own identity and will continue to produce, market, and distribute movies.

But New Line will now do so as part of Warner Bros. and will probably be a much smaller operation than in the past. Time Warner hopes that operating New Line as a unit of Warner Bros. will allow New Line to focus on the creative side of movie-making, while reducing costs and taking advantage of Warner Bros.' distribution systems.

The company will be holding group meeting with New Line employees tomorrow in Los Angeles and New York to discuss this announcement, and is committed to letting employees know as soon as possible about how this change affects them individually. For our part, we will be stepping down as Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOS of New Line. This was a painful decision, because we love New Line and the people who work here have been like our second families. But we will be leaving the company with enormous pride in what all of us at New Line have accomplished together.

From its humble beginnings 40 years ago, our studio has created some of the most popular and successful movies of all time. Those movies are a tribute to the amazing creative energy and entrepreneurial abilities of the talented people at New Line. They are a legacy that will endure forever. Although we are stepping out of New Line, we intend to remain actively involved in the industry in an entrepreneurial capacity, and will keep you advised of developments. We thank all of you who have worked so hard to make New Line such a success.

We are very proud of every one of you.

Bob & Michael


Does this mean that The Hobbit is official dead?

I knew something was up after the studio pretty much dumped Be Kind Rewind, a movie that could have made $10 million more than it did, had the studio actually decided to market the film.

Funny thing is, New Line Cinema's last film as an actual studio was Semi-Pro a comedy about the American Basketball Association just before it folded and was absorbed into the NBA. Maybe that could be the premise of the next Will Ferrell comedy.

We must save Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are

A spy named" Cinemaniac1979" sent AIC a rather passionate letter begging Knowles & co. to save Where the Wild Things Are.

Here is my favorite quote from that letter:

This movie is Fred Savage’s grandfather saying “As you wish” at the end of The Princess Bride.

This movie is the look Susan gives to 12-year-old Josh as he walks away at the end of Big.

This movie is River Phoenix fading away at the end of Stand by Me.

This movie is important and special. Spike made this movie for us.

We have to save it.

Those lines sent shivers down my spine when I first read them, and they've given me a renewed vigor and zeal to try and save this film. But what can we do? Online petitions are lame, and have been proven time and time again not to work. Film lovers of the world need to attempt something that will phisically affect the bosses at WB's lives.

I'm not urging people to cause bodily harm or anything, but for instance, when fans tried to save the TV series Freaks and Geeks, they mail bombed the corporate NBC offices with bags of peanuts in what they referred to as "Operation Hoverchuck," an attack named after the character Bill who was deathly allergic to peanuts in the show. The campaign didn't save Freaks and Geeks, but it did get the network to devote a three-hour Friday night time slot to airing the never-before-played final three episodes.

If it were up to me, I say we all find copies of Sendak's original children's novel, tear out all of the pages, put each page in it's own envelope with a note saying, "Do not destroy this story. Signed, The Wild Things" and mail them to the WB offices.

What do you guys think we should do?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Will Ferrell article for GoTriad.

Will Power: there's a serious side to Ferrell's films

CHAPEL HILL - It's rehearsal time for Will Ferrell.

The "Saturday Night Live" alumnus and star of blockbuster films "Anchorman" and "Talladega Nights" stands on a stage on the Tar Heels' basketball court. Donning a blue and red jump suit for the now-defunct American Basketball Association, Ferrell waits for the announcer -- who just so happens to be Adam McKay, his writing partner and frequent director -- to drop an intro laden with the duo's patented brand of bizarre hyperbole and false truths.

"And now here he is," says McKay, his amplified voice echoing across the dome. "The man who invented the Waldorf salad and took Paula Abdul's virginity in 1984.

"He's the man who turned the silver screen into pure gold. Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Will Ferrell!"

Suddenly, the techno theme for "Mortal Kombat" blasts from the speakers as Ferrell enters the stage performing half-hearted karate chops and kicks on a group of young performers who either fall to the ground or run away. A stuntman aims a bow and arrow at Ferrell, who pretends to catch an arrow in mid-air and send it flying into the stuntman's heart.

(To read the rest of the article, click here.)


So yeah, I got to meet Will Ferrell last week. The experience was intense, because from the get-go, the piece was going to be a cover story. And because every TV network, radio station, print daily, and college paper in the state wanted a piece of the A-list star, there was no way I could secure a one-on-one with Ferrell, thus leaving me without the security that my article would be any good.

So I did my homework. I started watching all of Will Ferrell's comedies, including an advanced screening of Semi-Pro, when it suddenly dawned on me, that if Will Ferrell wasn't the goofy star of his own movies, some of them would become cautionary socio-political dramas - or satires at the very least. American excess is in abundance in all of Ferrell's solo comedies, as he and co-writer Adam McKay show how it's driving our nation's culture downward. Ricky Bobby is a terrible parent and moron who truly believes Highlander is the greatest film ever made, and Anchorman's Ron Burgundy embodies everything that's wrong with journalism in America.

It was a bit of a stretch, yes, but I figured it would be my way to write an article that was about something other than 'Will Ferrell is a funny guy who came to North Carolina last weekend.' So I prepared my one question, entered the room with seven other print journalists, and waited nervously for my opportunity. The whole time, I knew there was a chance Ferrell would hear my question, say, "I don't know what the hell you're talking about," and move on.

But when I noticed a brief gap in the conversation, I took my opportunity. This is what happened:

The entire point of my article hinged on Ferrell's response to this one question, and thankfully, it paid off. Mind you, a moment beforehand, he felt he was accused of making nothing besides silly comedies about sports, so it seems like he was kinda happy someone in the room was giving him a little more credit.

(NOTE: I paid a Movie Show crew member to video tape the entire interview for me, which I will release un-cut this Friday. In the meantime, you can watch another clip from the roundtable on the News and Record's weekly entertainment series Unwind by clicking here)

Danny R. McBride on Conan!

Most people who know me probably believe I think NCSA-grad Danny R. McBride is the best thing that has happened to movies since taking the lens cap off of the camera. Okay, so it's true. The man is hilariously southern without being condescending clown. And when I see a Danny R. McBride character acting like a country boob, I laugh because I have actually met people around here like his characters - something you could never say about Larry "The Cable Guy," who's really not even a southerner.

2008 is set to be McBride's year to regulate. After being the best thing on-screen in the comedy duds, Hot Rod and The Heartbreak Kid, he's got some major movies coming opposite stars Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder), Owen Wilson (Drillbit Taylor), and even Will Ferrell (Land of the Lost). And if that wasn't crazy enough, the dude is starring in his own indie comedy, Foot Fist Way.

A hit midnight screening from Sundance in 2006, Foot Fist Way stars McBride as a hick martial arts instructor from Concord, NC. The movie was also directed by fellow NCSA grad Jody Hill. I've met a lot of southern martial arts instructors in my time with all of them being at least somewhat bizarre. Maybe it's the fact that many of them emulate what is supposed to be a peaceful western existence while getting their rocks off on violent Steven Seagal flicks and AC/DC records.

I've been dying to see Foot Fist Way for a long time, something that has been unbearable since Paramount Vantage - the company who acquired the rights to the film - has been in the practice of setting up release date after release date, only to cancel one or two months back and do the same thing again. Well, it looks like they might be playing it for real this time. McBride recently appeared on Late Night with Conan O' Brien yesterday, in the guise of Fred Simmons, the character he plays in the film.

Watch as Simmons tells Will Ferrell off while performing amazing 'demo' stunts with his team of martial artists:

And if you're still interested, you can check his movie's website out here.

Coming to RiverRun 2008!

Back when I moved to Greensboro in 2003, it didn't take me long to realize the RiverRun International Film Festival was the cultural flagship of the Triad. The festival is huge, with films from all over the world, several U.S. premiers, and a slate of wonderful documentaries - many of which we won't have a chance to see on DVD for a long time, if at all, because of all the flaming hoops even great non-fiction films have to go through for distribution.

And while RiverRun won't be announcing their entire slate until March 26th, I received this cool preview in the mail, revealing several of the films, docs, shorts, and cartoons festival organizers have already lined up.

Check 'em out:

Narrative Competition

The Baker - U.S. Premier!!!

Dir: Gareth Lewis) – When a hitman slips up, he takes refuge in a quiet Welsh village where the townspeople mistake him for their new baker. Forced into the kitchen to keep his cover, he soon realizes he likes his apron better than his holster. But as a beautiful vet catches his eye, the locals begin to discover his true identity.

Documentary Competition


(Dir: Robb Moss & Peter Galison) – Should a government keep secrets in order to protect its citizens? Or does the simple act of withholding information lead to a world of eroding civil liberties and corruption? In this well crafted documentary, we explore both sides of the argument and go behind the scenes of America’s national security policy.

Shorts Competition

Medium Rare

(Dir: Stefan Stuckert) – A man on the run ducks into a restaurant where a beautiful young woman dines alone. Cornered under her table, both know one false move could cost the man his life – which is easier said than done when desire complicates the situation.

I Am Bob

(Dir: Donald Rice) – This short follows Bob Geldof (frontman for the band The Boomtown Rats) on his way to a gig in Scotland. Accidentally stranded in Northern England by his chauffeur, Bob discovers that the town is holding a bizarre look-alike contest and is forced to blend into the crowd of celebrity impersonators.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Off Beat

(Dir: Will Becher) – From the animation company that brought us Wallace & Gromit comes an adventure tale involving biscuits, stolen TVs and absolutely no police whatsoever. When the authorities take their annual holiday the citizens of a small town decide to have a little fun.

Banking on Escape

(Dir: Molly Porter) – A lonely piggy bank has nightmares about the horrible things that might happen when his owner decides to make a withdrawal. In a desperate attempt to escape his fate the piggy bank tries to hide, but only succeeds at making a terrible mess.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Regarding the civil rights of LARP-ers. [PODCAST!]

On this week’s edition of “The Movie Show,” Joe and a seriously congested Mike take a harsh stance on the civil rights of LARP-ers. And if that wasn’t reason enough to check out the show, the boys dish on a possible movie based on the board game Monopoly, a team of Fanboy’s Death Star assult on The Weinstein Company, and the WB’s potential bombing of Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are.

Plus, Mike reviews Jumper, Joe reviews the ultra-violent kids film, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and after that, they interview 80’s schlock horror filmmaker Kevin S. Tenney.

Soundtrack Selections include:
“St. John The Gambler,” by Townes Van Zandt from In Bruges;
“I’m Sticking with You,” by The Velvet Underground from Juno;
“Love Me Sexy,” by Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell) from Semi-Pro.

To listen to the enhanced podcast, click here, or subscribe by clicking the purple icon on the top right corner of the page.

Diablo Cody: The morning after the Oscars.

From Diablo Cody's MySpace:


Congrats, D!

Oscar snubs the late Renfro during montage, says, 'Not possible to include everyone.'

From IMDB:

Tragic actor Brad Renfro was snubbed at Sunday's Academy Awards when organizers left him out of a montage of stars who died in the past year. Renfro was found dead from a drug overdose in Los Angeles in January, aged just 25. But he was overlooked on a list of 98 movie industry people, that included everyone from actors and directors to public relations people. A statement from the Motion Picture Academy of America claims, "It is simply not possible to include everyone in that segment." But a friend of the late star of "The Client," "Apt Pupil" and "Ghost World" tells, "It's unbelievable and disgusting."

I am inclined to agree with the anonymous friend quoted at the end of the article. However, even if that person was a good 'friend,' why did he or she choose to remain anonymous? Was this 'friend' afraid he or she would upset someone within the Academy and cheat themselves out of a potential nomination/award in the future? Could no one go on the record for Brad Renfro in this situation?

This article is indicative of everything that's wrong with entertainment journalism today. Few people are willing to have an opinion or speak the truth on the record, and yet the 'journalists' print most of it anyway, without attribution. If I was writing the little blurb, I would have told Renfro's 'friend,' "If you really care about your pal, you'll go on the record. Find a more tactful way to air your complaint if you must, but without a name to place with the quote, it looks like I'll have to give the Academy - who by the way screwed your friend out of a final tribute he completely deserved - the final word."

My old boss in the PR firm I worked for once told me: "Some people give you chicken shit and expect chicken salad."

In this case, I'm not sure why no one could give the writer of this piece the proper ingredients.

Poor Brad, Poor Brad, Poor Brad....

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Oscars - 2008

(7:29 p.m.) Barbara Walters is interviewing Ellen Page, and because they pre-taped it in HD, it's obvious someone has digitally blurred the wrinkles out of Walters'. Gu says at this point, they might as well add CGI dinosaurs in the background.

(7:33 p.m.) Walters just handed Page a guitar and made her sing "Anyone Else But You." Things were going well until Walters added her own 'Do-Do Da-Do-Do-Do's' at the end.

(7:39 p.m.) Contrary to Harrison Ford's belief, that earring makes him look older instead of the reverse. Seriously, that earring makes him look older than Fugitive co-star Tommy-Lee Jones. Age with some grace, Dr. Jones, age with some grace....

(7:57 p.m.) Beware the windswept witch in yellow.

(8:02 p.m.) George Clooney just old Regis Philbin he was better in Batman Robin than Michael Clayton. Very funny, but not as much as the extremely young girl on Clooney's arm. There wasn't even a mention of her name, she was just his hot date for the evening.

(8:06 p.m.) I really hate the red carpet part of the Oscars. Sure, most viewers just want to see the actors wear pretty tuxedos and dresses, but are the questions required to be so inane? Some 'reporter' just made herself the 1,000,000th person to call Juno the 'little indie that could.'

(8:12 p.m.) "If I ever get married, I want my wife to look as good at 60 as Helen Mirren does right now."
-My friend Pat

(8:18 p.m.) Regis just asked the Oscar ticket contest winner, "Are you guys excited about Miley Cyrus?" I mean I know she's at the Oscars, but does the excitement question imply she'll be performing? If so, why?

(8:21 p.m.) Spike Lee is there, looking fly as ever. In a couple of days, he'll be speaking in the Triad. Pretty cool.

(8:24 p.m.) The singers and dancers are here. Dammit!

(8:26 p.m.) I have to say, for Red Carpet coverage, this is turning out to be fairly unimpressive. Regis & co barely spoke to anyone. At the very beginning, Regis said he hosted the first red carpet special 30 years ago and had yet to be invited back until this year. I guess now we understand why. Never thought I would say this, but I miss Ryan Seacrest.

(8:30 p.m.) Darth Vader just took on Spartacus near the Kodak Theatre. My friends the 80th Annual Academy Awards have just begun. Guess it was a good idea to get the Terminator to deliver the awards statue since the declining value of the dollar has made each statue cost $500 to coat in gold.

(8:39 p.m.) Jon Stewart's Opening Monologue - "Welcome to the make-up sex!" - A nice WGA strike joke. "Want to know how Vanity Fair can show respect for the writers? I know, actually invite them to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party!" - An even better joke.
"All I can say is, 'Thank God for teen pregnancy!'"

BTW, Julie Christie is here and she looks as regal as ever.

Regarding Norbit: "I am glad it got nominated because too often the Academy ignores movies that aren't good."

"Withdrawing the Iraq war movies would only embolden the audience! We cannot let the audience win!"

(8:40 p.m.) Gaydolf Titler! Stewart's opening monologue is a massive improvement over his last.

(8:43 p.m.) Best costume design....SCORE ONE FOR JOE! E:2 was a lock for this category, but I'm fairly certain this is the last time the movie will ever be mentioned in public again.

(8:48 p.m.) Clooney introduces the first montage of the evening - a montage dedicated to the Oscars! And people wonder why these things last so long.

(8:52 p.m.) Best animated feature...Steve Carrell's jab at his former Daily Show co-star was sweet....Surf's Up has no chance....Ratatouille wins! I'm 2-0 at this point. This is Brad Bird's 2nd Oscar and his speech is magnificent. Winston-Salem native Dave Park helped make the CGI food in Ratatouille look as tasty as it did in the film. Guess his work paid off.

(8:56 p.m.) Best make-up....Still can't believe Norbit was nominated....La Vie en Rose wins! 3-0. So glad Norbit didn't win, otherwise, whatever channel snatched the broadcast rights can say, 'Coming up, Eddie Murphy, Eddie Murphy, and Eddie Murphy in the Oscar-Winning film Norbit.'

(8:59 p.m.) Amy Adams sings! This song is insanely creepy without the animal helpers in the movie. Couldn't they have gotten some dancers to play them? It's almost like she's portraying a schizoid instructing animals as they clean her apartment. Still, the actress has good pipes (i.e., her lungs).

"Ah, wasn't this fun?!" No, it was creepy. Speaking of creepy, Catherine Zeta-Jones just admitted she wasn't even born when her husband Michael Douglas won his Oscar.

(9:07 p.m.) Best visual effects.... Guess they don't call Dwayne Johnson ;The Rock' anymore....Could the Cola Bears beat the pirates?....And The Golden Compass won. Well so much for my winning streak. 3-1. Who knew the 'boring vote' held so much clout with the Academy?

(9:10 p.m.) Art direction....Sweeney Todd wins! I am back on track, baby.

(9:14 p.m.) Blanchett played the dog in No Country for Old Men. Wow!

(9:16 p.m.) Best supporting actor….Javier better get ready to win even though Casey Affleck was much better…. And Javier Bardem wins. A great performance, and he thanks the Coens for putting the worst haircut of all time on his head. But in an alternate universe, Casey Affleck has the gold. 5-1, but I would have been glad to lose this one.

(9:22 p.m.) Oscar's salute to binoculars and periscopes! So glad the Writers Strike ended even if we would have gotten a clip from Rushmore.

(9:24 p.m.) The song from August Rush....Mark Burger HATED August Rush, or as they call it in the streets 08-R. So they nominated this over Perl Jam's Guaranteed or any of Sondre Lerche's songs from Dan in Real Life.

(9:28 p.m.) Best foreign short film....Owen Wilson is giving the award....The Motzart of Pick Pockets. I didn't bother guessing with any of these because like everyone else who didn't live in Hollywood, I didn't have a chance to see them.

(9:31 p.m.) Best Animated short....Jerry Seinfeld's Barry B. Benson gives the award. So glad he isn't stewing over not being nominated. Peter and the Wolf wins. The announcer mispronounces Templeton's name.

(9:35 p.m.) Best supporting Actress....This could go any way.... Cate Blanchet has my vote, but Amy Ryan could win....Tilda Swinton wins! Holy crap! Like I said, this one could go any way. Poor girl didn't even think she was going to win - that's the only she would ever be caught dead wearing that dress. Batman and Robin joke was nice. Best acceptance speech of the evening so far. Could this mean Michael Clayton will win for best actor?

(9:44 p.m.) Jessica Alba presented the technical awards.... Funny it seems most of the presenters are people who've only starred in movies that have no chance of winning Oscars. Guess people got to get invited somehow.

(9:46 p.m.) Best adapted screenplay....Josh Brolin apologized for his terrible Nicholson impersonation, and Nicholson forgave him....Joel and Ethan Coen are going to win this....I was right. No Country's 2nd win of the night.
Score: 6-2.
"We've only adapted Homer and Cormac McCarthy." Way to put Cormac on a pedestal. He deserves it, though.

(9:50 p.m.) They're explaining how the awards are selected, voted upon and selected. Toilet break time.

(9:52 p.m.) Ah, so Miley Cyrus s presenting, not singing. Thank God.

(9:54 p.m.) "Why are all the songs nominated from Enchanted?"
-Pat again.

(10:01 p.m.) Best sound editing.... Dame Judi Dench and Halle Berry are looking kinda rough tonight. Man. Rogen and Hill are hilarious....The Bourne Ultimatum! Damn, I really though No Country for Old Men deserved this.

(10:05 p.m.) Best sound mixing.... Will Kevin O' Connell win his elusive award? Nope Bourne Ultimatum wins. O'Connell loses 20 times!

(10:10 p.m.) Best lead actress....Julie Christie is a lock....I wish Ellen Page was going to win....HOLY HECK! HOLY HECK! HOLY HECK! I ate my words! Marion Cotillard won for La Vie en Rose.

Poor Julie Christie. She's been ditching awards shows all season where she actually won, but now that she showed up for the Academy Awards, she lost.

And did Cotillard just end her speech by saying, "There are ninjas in the city!"?

(10:18 p.m.) Colin Farrell introduces the song from "Once," calling it the 'Little movie that could.' Guess no one told him about Juno. Then again, Once was made for a fraction of any of the nominees this year.

Glen and Marketa drop the least annoying musical performance of the evening so far. Their song so deserves to win.

(10:27 p.m.) Best editing....I chose Into the Wild but Bourne Ultimatum wins! Looks like a clean sweep in the technical categories.

(10:31 p.m.) No baby bump on Nicole Kidman as he gives an honorary award to set designer Robert Boyle. Boyle gets a standing O.

(10:42 p.m.) What is with Jon Stewart's persistent Cher impersonation. Best foreign film....The Counterfeiters win.

(10:45 p.m.) Patrick Dempsey presents the last song from Enchanted. Y'know, with three songs from the movie being nominated, I hope to God all the chances the movie had of winning got split in three directions.

(10:49 p.m.) Best original song....The song from Once got the biggest applause. It could win. ((Fingers crossed)) Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova won! Thank God! Aw man, they cut Marketa off. I wish that instead of editing montages, they could just give each winner 10-15 more seconds to make their acceptance speeches.

(10:57 p.m.) This is amazing, Jon Steward called Marketa back on-stage to make the speech she was unable to make from before. An academy first, and really cool, too. But then why didn't they do that for the technical people?

(10:59 p.m.) Best cinematography....Robert Elswit wins!
Score: 8-6, man, I'm really sucking it up this year.

(11:08 p.m.) Best original score....I am hopeful Atonement will win, and it does. The typewriter percussion work out pretty good for old Marianelli.

(11:13 p.m.) Best short documentary....They've got U.S. soldiers presenting the award. How ironic since three of the five nominees for best feature documentary are against the war. Was this intentional?

(11:15 p.m.) Best documentary feature....Tom Hanks doesn't consider Taxi to the Darkside as an anti-war doc....Taxi to the Darkside wins! Wow, both Michael Moore and the guys who made No End in Sight lost. It looks like the director is fairly certain his movie is anti-war.

(11:23 p.m.) Best original screenplay....Do I eat an entire packet of mayonnaise? Diablo Cody wins! I am saved from mayonnaise. She's kinda nervous with her acceptance speech, but well done. And what supernatural force kept her naughty bits inside that dress.

(11:30 p.m.) I just realized the Academy Awards are whizzing by really was this year. Maybe it had something to do with the lack of interpretive dance numbers.

(11:31 p.m.) Best actor.... Helen Mirren prepares to shout Daniel Day-Lewis' name....Tommy-Lee Jones has been looking kinda weepy all night....Daniel Day-Lewis wins! Mirren even sound surprised. Day-Lewis just called his second Oscar a bludgeon. His characters are so intense, but on stage as Day-Lewis he's so gentle and frail even. It looked like he was leaning on Mirren so she could carry him offstage.

(11:42 p.m.) Best director....Go Marty!...Okay,so the Coens are going to win, and they do! Awesome acceptance speech by Ethan Coen. Joel could probably hurry the heck up.

(11:44 p.m.) Best picture....Denzel is looking sharp....Will Juno win? It got an extra pop from the audience. So did No Country for Old Men. And No Country for Old Men won. What a bummer. It was nice to see Cormac McCarthy stand up and cheer, however. I'm sure he'll probably get to do the same thing in the future when The Road comes out in 2009.

Well that's the awards, gang. I got to hit the hay. Will be taking a busload of children to a trampoline emporium in about seven hours.

(11:48 p.m.) Final score: 12-9.
Time: 3 hours and 18 minutes - shows you how fast the ceremony can be sans interpretive dancing.

My Oscar pool card.

Below you will find my entire list of votes I submitted for a genuine Oscar pool for Stephen Van Vuuren's fund-raiser. Normally, I would never recommend that anyone gamble, but this time it's for a good cause.

Also note that with some of these votes, my heart triumphed over my head. For instance, even though No Country for Old Men is a lock for Best Picture, I'm pulling for Juno, because it's my favorite of all the nominees, plus there is a chance it could win since some of the Academy voters who would have otherwise voted for No Country will be pulling for There Will Be Blood instead.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood

I know I had picked George Clooney for Michael Clayton in my Oscars package, but Day-Lewis has done a lot lately to counter all the bad will he had accumulated in the industry.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men

There are two sure things for tonight's ceremony. Bardem is the first.

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Julie Christie in Away from Her

And Christie is the second.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There

Amy Ryan seems like an obvious choice - she's won the most awards. However, Blanchet won the second most awards, plus Heath Leder co-starred in I'm Not There. Something tells me she'll get the most votes because members think Blanchett will be the nominee most likely to say a nice word or two about the fallen actor.

Best animated feature film of the year

Sorry, Persepolis - I loved you a lot, but I don't think older Academy voters will share my feelings.

Achievement in art direction
Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

Achievement in cinematography
There Will Be Blood: Robert Elswit

Achievement in costume design
Elizabeth: The Golden Age Alexandra Byrne

Probably the only really good thing about that entire movie.

Achievement in directing
No Country for Old Men, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Just as I said duing my Oscars package: Two birds with one statue. Sorry, PTA and Julien Schnabel.

Best documentary feature
No End in Sight A Representational Pictures Production: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

This was the only category that truly dissapointed me. The King of Kong should have been nominated. That said, No End in Sight is the best of the anti-war docs, and Michael Moore has no chance in hell of ever winning again.

Achievement in film editing
Into the Wild: Jay Cassidy

This is my zany wild card vote of the evening, but I got a hunch Into the Wild has a valid shot in this category.

Best foreign language film of the year
Beaufort Israel

This would have easily been The Diving Bell and the Butterfly if France wasn't so short-sided and nationalistic. I mean here was the story of one of the only French men in the history of the world who refused to surrender despite the odds and accomplished something impressive. No wonder the country can't win any wars.

Achievement in makeup
La Vie en Rose Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald

I still can't believe Norbit got a nomination in this category.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
Atonement (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli

The only score on this entire list that was half-way memorable. Shame on the Academy for omitting Into the Wild, There Will be Blood, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
"Falling Slowly" from "Once" (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova

This might cost me a mark in the W column tonight, but I'll be damned if I ever vote for another song from a Disney movie.

Best motion picture of the year
Juno (A Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production) A Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production: Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers

Like I said before, the serious movie vote is going four ways - or two, actually, since Atonement and Michael Clayton don't have a chance. That's why I am giving my vote this year to a comedy. I did the same thing last year for Little Miss Sunshine, and while it lost out to The Departed, my gut feeling tells me it was a not-too-distant second place. If a comedy ever had a chance at snagging Oscar gold from the over-awarded dramas, it would be this year.

Achievement in sound editing
No Country for Old Men: Skip Lievsay

Probably the best thing about this movie.

Achievement in sound mixing
Transformers (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

Apparently a lot of reporters have made a huge stink about Kevin O' Connell being the current 'biggest loser' in Oscar history. And even though Transformers flat-out sucks, after 19 nominations, O'Connell could scoop the pity vote in a category most people are totally clueless about anyway.

Achievement in visual effects
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier

Again, not a very good movie, but still the best of those nominated in the category.

Adapted screenplay
No Country for Old Men, Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

They don't deserve this award, but they're gonna win it. Guess I'd better get over it.

Original screenplay
Juno, Written by Diablo Cody

And if this decade's Quentin Tarantino doesn't at least take home this award tonight, I will post a YouTube video of myself eating a packet of mayonase. Mind you, I think mayo is the most disgusting ingredient on the face of this Earth.

Blogging the Oscars.

I'm warming up the old projector and HD receiver for tonight because I'll be blogging live via wi-fi during the Oscar telecast. Should be a hoot if the post-strike writers were able to whip up enough jokes during the last two weeks. Also, Jon Stewart proved fairly adept last time at making up jokes on the spot (some of his winners reactions were better than his prepared opening monologue).

Former Movie Show host Gu will be on hand in the bat-cave, too, so I am sure he'll have a lot of interesting things to say as well. Tune in tonight.

Coming up, I am going to show you my actual Oscar pool votes, plus, I am going to try and get my next podcast up very soon. Just got back from interviewing Will Ferrell, so I am a little behind.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

3 reasons to listen to tonight's show.

Besides our usual coverage of "real" movie news, patented Movie Show-style of reviews, and great soundtrack selections, there are three reasons to listen to tonight's show:

1) The end of the "Road to Oscar."

The Oscars go down this weekend, and Mike and I will both offer up our sole Oscar wishes before the gods of Cinema. Will they come true? Tune in next week. Also, we'll play the final song in our countdown of 'Oscar Nominated Music that Didn't Win Because the Academy is Stupid.' What song made our number one slot? Tune in to find out.

2) An interview with 80's horror director Kevin S. Tenney.

Anyone who's ever been to a video store during the 80's through mid-90's should be well acquainted with Tenney's work.

Tenney directed Night of the Demons:


Witchboard 2:


Pinnochio's Revenge

His newest film is Brain Dead (trailer below), which will debut at the Carolina Theatre in Durham's Nevermore Gothic and Horror Film Festival. He told me he was game to talk about some of his older films as well as his current one. Plus he might chime in with an opinion or two on the HD home video format war.

3) We're giving away a 10-ticket pass to the Nevermore Gothic and Horror Film Festival.

That's right, Jim Carl and the folks over at the Carolina Theatre in Durham were feeling generous and gave us a 10-ticket pass to the Nevermore Gothic and Horror Film Festival. You can use this pass to see any of the films you like. You can be a loner and see ten different films by yourself, or if you have nine other friends, you can squeeze them all in your car and see one movie together. The possibilities are endless! Or, no more than ten, actually.

So make sure to listen to The Movie Show from 7-9 p.m.

P.S. If you don't have a radio, or live nowhere near Greensboro, you can check our show out live by clicking here.

Brain Dead trailer.

There's going to be some confusion on this upcoming film, since the New Zealand title of the Peter Jackson walking undead flick, Dead Alive, was Brain Dead also. However, the trailer below is for the Kevin S. Tenney (Witchboard and Night of the Demons) film which will premier at the Nevermore Gothic and Horror Film Festival at the Carolina Theatre in Durham this weekend.

But before you watch, let me offer a quick warning, this trailer is extremely violent. And gory.

Mike and I will be speaking with Tenney on tonight's show, so make sure to check it out.

RE: Step Brothers poster.

Will Ferrell + John C. Riley = I can't freakin' wait to see this movie.

An embargo prevents me from talking about this film at length, but I've seen Semi Pro. It's kinda strange in the way it mixes Will Ferrell's comedic sensibilities to an actual underdog sports film. I was reminded of the Paul Newman film Slap Shot in a way, however, Semi Pro is nowhere near as brilliant as Anchorman or Talladega Nights.

Then again, what comedies are?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cloverfield monster revealed - for real this time!

You might remember about a month ago, when I ran a picture of this little guy:


Well, as anyone who eventually managed to check out Cloverfield could tell you, it was complete and total bunk. I am glad I added a 'grain of salt' disclaimer when I ran that pic, otherwise, I would have had to run a retraction. But now that Cloverfield has reached the point where everyone who was going to see film would have done so already, Hasbro was able to remove the curtain on this $100 dollar action figure:




For all you toy aficionados out there, this bad boy comes with over 60 points of articulation, however, I could have sworn he was slightly green-colored in the film.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mamet's Redbelt trailer.

When I was a kid, I used to love a good martial arts flick. Mind you, not a kung-fu flick - because there is a difference between the two and my love for kung-fu started when I was a teenager - but a straight-up, American dude kicking and fighting action movie. The stuff Cannon films used to pump out every other week back in the 80's. These films always revolved around secret tournaments ran by drug kingpins who had a squad of hot chicks standing in their office and an army of steroid mutant zombies in ninja costumes. It seems so ridiculous now, but when I was a kid, movies like The Best of the Best and American Ninja were reality to me.

That's why I am excited about this trailer for the movie Red Belt. It's set in the world of American martial arts tournament fighting, and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (American Gangster, Dirty Pretty Things) as a trainer in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) circuit. But if the chance to seewatching Ejiofor kick some butt wasn't reason enough to see this movie, it was written and directed by David Mamet, the master of tough-guy dialogue.

Redbelt drops into limited release on April 25th. Here's hoping it makes its way to Greensboro soon after that. Check out this trailer:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Watch this clip from Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are before it disappears!

This is nice, but there is no way Warner Bros. will ever let it fly. Check it out and see for yourself.

See what I mean? The clip looks great, but there are no poop jokes, groin punches, and the film plays out in this curious, kinda sad pace. While the movie is being made under the Warner Independent label, I know the studio heads in the main office are hoping to squeeze a bunch of kids into those tiny, indie movie auditoriums as well. Otherwise, why spend so much money?

Where the Wild Things Are was supposed to come out this year, but that's not the case anymore. I'm sure we'll start hearing about re-shoots, re-writes, and I wouldn't be surprised if Jonze eventually drops out of the project altogether. At any rate, we got this clip, and it looks really cool.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

AICN: 'HD-DVD is dead.'

Ain't-it-Cool-News writes HD-DVD is no more.

Of course, anyone who reads AICN knows webmaster Harry Knowles has been one of the biggest HD-DVD supporters on the net. Knowles love of the format is so strong in fact, that Toshiba recently gave all the attendees of his last Butt-Numb-a-Thon film festival their very own HD-DVD players. So when Knowles says Toshiba insiders have begun leaking the demise of HD-DVD, you can count that as reliable information.

Perhaps this is why HD-DVD players dropped to $149.00 at Circuit City.

I really don't have an opinion on this HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray debate. Both sides of the war have already cost themselves the interest of standard consumers for now because of their innability to work together. The only people who were really interested in either players were the uber wealthy (i.e., not me). Also, I have yet to see a single Blu-Ray or HD-DVD demo at a store that has been all that impressive. The color correction on every disc I've seen is awful, and another thing both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD do is make CGI special effects look too glossy, thus creating this glaring, less real look than one can find in theaters or even DVD.

Friday night, I was out buying an accessory for my projector and caught a glimpse of Night at the Museum, during one of the T-Rex skeleton chase scenes. At the theater, I remember the T-Rex had a dusty, calcified texture. But in Blu-Ray, he looked like he was made out of plastic. Another problem I have with Hi-Def DVD formats is that while they add detail and clarity to scenes where characters are standing still, whenever there's a sudden or fast movement, parts of the screen start to pixel-ate like a WMA file from the early oughts.

Plus if the story of DVD's have taught us nothing else, it's that when it comes to digital video formats, nothing lasts forever. So until they come up with a nanite gizmo they can inject into your brain stem that will allow you to watch every movie ever made in the best quality available, when it comes to upgrades, I plan on sticking to standard-def for now.

Here's the AICN article on the matter. Now that HD-DVD has gone the way of steroid-free pro athletes, do any of you plan on jumping aboard the Blu-Ray bandwagon?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bootleg of the Indiana Jones trailer. (UPDATED! w/ the real thing!)


Yahoo! Movies just posted the real thing. Now you can actually hear what some of the people were saying. Enjoy:


Apparently, Good Morning America is supposed to premiere the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at some point today. Well it looks like Spanish movie news site Ahora Hollywood got the drop with this cell phone bootleg.

Check it out:

The overuse of footage from the original trilogy doesn't sit well with me, however, the new scenes - what few there are for a May release - do look pretty good. My favorite scene being the shot of Dr. Jones' silhouette on the car as he picks up his iconic fedora. Some of the temple action scenes look like crap from The Mummy Returns, but it's not like a modern-day Lucas joint was ever going to avoid using CGI.

One more thing I want to add is that it seems like Spielberg & co. are borrowing from the rusty action hero template Sylvester Stallone established for his last Rocky and Rambo movies. Here again, we have another hero of yesteryear, in over his head because of old age, and yet he'll most likely win out in the end by virtue of accumulated experience and a drive to succeed.

So in other words, I'm now officially down with Indy IV, if for no other reason besides the scene with Indiana Jones' shadow. But if Harrison Ford tells Shia LaBeouf's character, "Die for something, or live for nothin'!" I will promptly go to the box-office and get my ticket refunded.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Oscars have been saved! Hooray!!!

The WGA passed a motion early this week to end their months long strike with a 3,492 to 283 vote. Essentially the vote saved the Academy Awards by the skin of Oscar's tiny golden teeth.

A quote from Variety:

After announcing the vote tally, Verrone said WGA members were free to go back to work "immediately," and he noted that writers for the Feb. 24 Oscar ceremony were believed to be doing just that on Tuesday night. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences prexy Sid Ganis and Oscarcast exec producer Gil Cates will hold a news conference Thursday morning to discuss their plans for the show now that the cloud of picket lines and stars staying home has lifted.

Guess that means I can ready my Oscar party.

To read the rest of the Variety article, click here.

Redband trailer for Pineapple Express.

Best trailer of the year, so far. The editing is superb on this bad boy. It looks like David Gordon Green has made a very tense film. And the use of the M.I.A. song was a nice touch as well. Oh, and the 'Thug Life' guy wearing the neck brace is Danny McBride.

But before you check out the trailer, ask yourself, "Am I ready to be blown away?" If the answer is yes, proceed:

My only problem with this clip is the fact that the movie won't be released until August. Seriously, the movie's finished, why can't they just release it next month?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lego-ized Dark Knight trailer.

Thought I would share this since it's the only news item I've seen from The Dark Knight in a while that has nothing to do with Heath Ledger's death.

Could someone please set my time machine to July 18th of this year?

The strike is over!

For real this time.

The strike lasted only three months, and while we have yet to see whether film has been affected, TV has been blown to smithereens. Most TV series that were shut down in the middle of the year because producers ran out of scripts won't be back until late this year or early 2009.

Was the strike worth it? Here's a quote from WGA-West president Patric Verrone:

“This is the best deal this guild has bargained for in 30 years,” Verrone said.

The tentative contract secures writers a share of the burgeoning digital-media market, he said, including compensation for Internet-delivered TV shows and movies.

“If they (producers) get paid, we get paid. This contract makes that a reality,” Verrone said. But, he added, “it is not all we hoped for and it is not all we deserved.”

I will try to share the details of the new contract once they are available.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Last Thursday's show!

On this week’s episode of “The Movie Show” Joe and Mike try out a new rapid-fire segment called 'The Ten.' Also, Joe reviews The Savages, while Mike drops the final word on Cassandra’s Dream from Woody Allen.

Soundtrack Selections include:
-”So Nice So Smart” by Kimya Dawson from Juno;
-”The Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog from The Muppets Movie;
-”La Mer” by Charles Trenet from The Diving Bell and the Butterfy;
-”Save Me” by Aimee Mann from Magnolia;
“Ain’t Misbehavin’” by Mos Def from Be Kind Rewind.

Click here!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Is the WGA strike over?

Could be.

Let's keep our fingers crossed here, people. If we're lucky we could have some good movies in time for 2009.