Friday, May 30, 2008

RE: That hissing sound of awesome....(Tuesday's Podcast)

That hissing sound you hear on this week’s episode of “The Movie Show” is the sound of awesome courtesy of News & Observer film critic Craig D. Lindsey. For months, Craig has been promising to return to WUAG’s studios with his awesome collection of rare movie soundtracks and film scores, and boy did the Texas native "come correct." Some of the selections Craig played on vinyl haven’t even been released on CD yet, making this podcast the only way you can hear them sans a victrola.

But if that wasn’t reason enough to check out this week’s show, Joe, Mike, and Craig talk about Indy IV, Jerry Bruckheimer’s adaptation of Prince of Persia staring Jake Gyllenhall in the title role (?), the upcoming Hugh Hefner biopic starring Robert Downey Jr., and the possibility that two of the greatest directors of our time might have just sold out for their upcoming productions.

Reviews: Son of Rambow, The Visitor, and Where in the World is Osama Bin Ladin.

Sweet Soundtrack Selections

“You’re Always There” by Merry Clayton from The Nude Bomb;
“Bits & Pieces” by Dusty Springfield from The Stunt Man;
“Brother’s Goin’ to Work it Out” by Willie Hutch from The Mack.

Stream it! or Subscribe!

You can also check out our page at the iTunes Store!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Baz Lurhman's Australia trailer.

The first thing this trailer makes me wonder is who the heck taught direct Baz Lurhman to chill out? When the dude made Moulin Rouge, it was as if he had turned the camera into the eyeballs of a crank addict. But here we are with what will be his first film in almost 10 years, and I'm pleased to see that it has all the beauty of Lurhman's work without the bluster.

Fincher's Benjamin Button trailer.

Apparently, David Fincher has been working a long time what will be his third collaboration with actor Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. But now that I've seen this trailer, I can see where all the hard work has gone. Pitt essentially plays a man who ages backwards, meaning he was born an old man and when he dies he will be a teeny, tiny baby. Maybe even a fetus.

Check it out:

I read the original F. Scott Fitzgerald short story that the movie iss based on when I was a kid. It was more of a concept than an actual story, but it looks like Fincher and Oscar-winning screenwriter Eric Roth have added a lot to the premise. After the critical drubbing that Fight Club and Panic Room took during their initial release, Fincher took a pretty long hiatus. Last year's Zodiac was really good, even though it was released way too early last year for proper Oscar contention, but if this one comes out around October or November, I can't see why Fincher can't have another shot at a golden statuette or two.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Louis Stevens is not Short Round

Found this awesome T-shirt design on Facebook:


If you're interested in cementing your disdain for LeBeouf's Mutt Williams, albeit in T-shirt form, you can purchase the shirt here.

Lucas recently stated that his kids are the biggest inspiration behind his films, which makes perfect sense as to why the prequel trilogy and this newest Indy film were so goofy. Lucas exorcised his desire to make children laugh in Indy IV with CGI prairie dogs and monkeys. The only problem is that neither of these things were funny.

One reviewer felt very confused by the prairie dogs especially, and wondered why they were in the film. She won't be alone.

If Lucas wants to make movies for his kids, then he needs to do just that. The guy's a billionare. He could totally bank-roll any number of photo-real CGI kids movies like Prairie Dog Gulch and Silly Monkey Swing-a-long. Why doesn't he make original family entertainment? Probably because he's afraid they'll flop like his last two attempts at an original film, Howard the Duck, which isn't even available on DVD, and Willow.

So in lieu of taking a chance and making original films for his kids, Lucas has chosen the easy way - or the Dark Side, if you will - by goofing his established film series up with poop jokes, fart sounds, and groin shots. The prequel trilogy had all three of these things in spades while Indiana and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had the latter. Doesn't Lucas know that when he makes these kiddy cash-grab sequels from his classic movies that he's only cheapening his cinematic legacy? The Star Wars saga is completely shot now for most people. I'm still a fan, but when someone says 'Those movies are so lame,' I can't disagree that they're at least half right.

And if Lucas is to be believed, he says he wants to make another sequel, this one starring LaBeouf's character, with Indy riding the side-car a la Sean Connery in The Last Crusade. What a waste. After seeing River Phoenix and Sean Patrick Flannery play a young Hank Jones, there's no reason to believe Lucas and Spielberg can't pass the whip so to speak and let someone else make an Indana Jones film with a new actor in the title role.

It certainly worked out nicely for James Bond -- sometimes.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


To enjoy Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, you pretty much have to erase your memory of the three Indy films that came out before it.

This fourth installment in the Indiana Jones series has a total sci-fi bent whereas the originals were exclusively supernatural. The world Indiana Jones lived in has always been inhabited by dangerous villains and cool supporting characters, but the ones he encounters in his newest adventure are tame and poorly defined. More importantly, the temples and tombs our iconic swashbuckler used to raid were always so elaborate and fraught with danger, but with his newest Kingdom that Indy unlocks, he pretty much just walks through the door. There are no booby traps, no intricate puzzles to solve or bad guys to pose a serious threat.

If Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ended with a sunset, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull takes place in the twilight between dusk and dawn. We are told that nearly everyone Indy knew from his previous adventures has passed away. Even those pesky Nazis who caused Indy so much trouble in the past have disbanded, only to be replaced by the seemingly less challenging Russians circa the Cold War.

Having lost the race for the atomic bomb with the United States, the Reds kidnap Indy with the intention of forcing him to find a hidden artifact with mysterious psychic power that they plan to use to convert the world into communists.

Of course, Indy escapes, after which he meets a switchblade-wielding greaser named Mutt played by Shia LaBeouf. Slicking his Hugh Jackman Wolverine-styled hairdo with a pocket comb dipped in Coca-Cola, Mutt is nowhere near as cool or brave as the young actor seems to think he is. And though it has been revealed that Mutt is in fact the son of Indy, if I were Dr. Jones, I would have demanded a paternity test.

Evading the Russkies, Indy and Mutt eventually make their way to South America, the land of Mayans and action-set pieces. Unfortunately, many of those action-set pieces are less than spectacular or flat-out goofy.

We see the Russians driving an elaborate deforestation vehicle that saws down trees and grinds them into pulp. The very sight of this machine made me look forward to the elaborate sequence wherein Indy would no doubt fight a bad guy while trying to avoid its path of destruction. Unfortunately, Indy merely blows up the mechanical tree-chomper with a bazooka before it can ever be used for any real dramatic effect.

Even worse, while dangling from a vine, Mutt begins swinging through the jungle with a bevy of computer-animated monkeys as if he were Tarzan. It was at this point that the movie stopped being an Indiana Jones film for me. Such cartoony foolishness is more in line with Brendan Fraser's The Mummy series. Sure, a lot of kids will like it, but the adults who grew up with the real deal will know the difference.

It's no wonder that star Harrison Ford seems eager to hang up the fedora by the end of the film.

Maybe it's a good thing for ford. At 65, he's older than Sean Connery was when he portrayed Indy's elderly father nearly 20 years ago. Rocky Balboa and Die Hard 4 might have proved it's not impossible to be an action hero and AARP member at the same time, but Ford doesn't seem quite as battle-ready as Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone were in their last on-screen adventures. Also, the stuntmen, who obviously replaced Ford whenever he attempted a feat more demanding than scaling a flight of stone steps, are so much more lithe and spry than the actor that it's distracting.

The fact that I've gone through this review without mentioning the contributions of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas speaks volumes about what they managed to do for this film - or didn't do for that matter.

The Spielberg and Lucas who worked on this film aren't the ones who crafted Raiders of the Lost Ark. Instead, we got the guys who made Hook and The Phantom Menace. The Indiana Jones series that Spielberg/Lucas created had a slow-cooked matinee quality to it, but Kingdom of the Crystal Skull feels comparatively rushed and poorly planned. It's as if neither of them tried. Then again, considering that computer animation has made Spielberg's and Lucas' jobs so much easier these days plus the fact that their movie will probably make wads of cash regardless of its quality, who can blame them?


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Forgiving the Franklins now on DVD!


As some of you might know, George Clooney wasn't the only filmmaker to shoot part of his film at Grimsley High School. Grimsley grad Jay Floyd shot part of his indie comedy Forgiving the Franklins at his former high school, and the scenes he filmed there were far more shocking than anything seen in Leatherheads.

The movie hit video this Tuesday, and actually opened wide. Blockbuster's carrying it, and so is Netflix, which is a huge deal for a real independent film. Floyd made the movie with his own money, but despite having no budget, he did the one thing a lot of low-budgeters forget to do: Write a good screenplay.

See the trailer:

And more importantly, see the film.

PODCAST: Indy IV, Narnia 2, and My Blueberry Nights 1.

On this first-ever Tuesday edition of “The Movie Show” Joe Scott tries to crack his critical whip on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull while Mike stands up in its defense. Also, the boys talk about the Red Dawn remake, Denzel Washington vs. President Tom Cruise, and manage to review My Blueberry Nights and Narnia 2 all in one action-packed hour and twenty-minute show.

Soundtrack Selections include:
“The Greatest” by Cat Power from My Blueberry Nights
“Hound Dog” by Elvis from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
“2000 Man” by the Rolling Stones from Bottle Rocket.

Stream it! Or subscribe!

Friday, May 16, 2008

PODCAST: Donnie Darko doesn't need a sequel!

It’s goodbye Thursday nights on this week’s episode of “The Movie Show.” Mike and I hem and haw about S. Darko, the upcoming needless sequel to Donnie Darko, how the WB screwed themselves over by juking their Speed Racer stats, and an upcoming movie based on the hit Jim Henson HBO series Fraggle Rock.

Plus, I punk Ashton Kutcher’s newest film, What Happens in Vegas.

Soundtrack Selections include:

“Love Action (I Believe in Love)” by The Human League from Son of Rambow;
“Tonight I Have to Leave It” by Shout Out Louds from What Happens in Vegas;
“Magic Dance” by David Bowie from The Labyrinth.

Stream it or subscribe!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My tribute to Star Wars and Indiana Jones composer John Williams (cover story).


Name that tune

Joe Scott
Special to Go Triad

May 7, 2008

He probably never intended to do so, but John Williams composed the score of my childhood.

Growing up, whenever my kid brother did something that merited a beat-down, I would often whistle the opening march to "Superman" as I gave him what for.

Any time I swam in an above-ground pool and someone chanted the two-note motif from "Jaws," my chances of being splashed, dunked or publicly humiliated in some way increased significantly.

And when I played dodge ball while humming the adventurous theme to "Raiders of the Lost Ark," it seemed like no one on the other team could get me out.

John Williams scored all of these timeless films, as well as the music for modern classics such as "Star Wars," "E.T.," "Schindler's List" and the "Harry Potter" series.

The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra will pay tribute to Williams' memorable hits Saturday in "Movie Music of John Williams" with guest conductor Michael Krajewski. The presentation will combine live music with a video and slide presentation of classic films featuring Williams' work, as well as guest appearances by "Star Wars" characters such as Darth Vader and a small army of Imperial stormtroopers.

"John Williams, I feel, is a really good way for us in the symphonic world to connect with a wider group of people," Krajewski says. "The music that he's written for those popular movies has been symphonic scores. So, it's provided new material, very good material, for orchestras."

(Click here to read the rest of the story, which includes great interview clips from AICN's Eric "Quint" Vespe.)


While working on this story, one of the first questions I asked myself was, 'How does it feel to watch movies for the first time the way that John Williams does?'

Think about it: Williams got to see movies like Jaws, Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark long before the general public ever did. However, when he saw these films, he had to watch them sans his music which was a major reason that all of them were so good to begin with.

That's kinda sad if you ask me.

I submitted an interview request with Williams himself, but his people said he was too busy working on Indy IV to respond.

So I quickly changed my point of attack. I thought of my lead almost instantaneously, spoke with a couple of online film score geeks, and got a fairly solid piece out of it.

One person even wrote the editor to say that on a scale between 1 and 10, they gave the article a 20. Not bad, but at least sixty percent of that praise is owed to Tim Rickard, the artist who created some amazing artwork for the cover.

We were originally going to go with a photo instead. I had tried to contact a couple of local Stormtroopers from the Carolina Garrison of the 501st Legion. But if that experience has taught me nothing else, it's that Imperial soldiers don't respond to e-mail in a timely fashion.

Granted, they're probably very busy vaporizing jawas while framing Tuscan raiders, but if the Stormtroopers had contacted us in time, our plan was to get one or two members from the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra to sit in an orchestra pit and look surprised when they found out that the rest of their orchestra had been replaced with ... STORMTROOPERS!

Unfortunately, the Stormtroopers didn't respond in time, which was more than fine because again, Rickard did such an incredible job.

But then a few days after the photo deadline, I get the following e-mail from Charlotte area "Stormtrooper" Milton Nunez:

Hey Joe, I read your e-mail regarding fun ideas to do with Star Wars characters and it sounds like fun but I want you to be aware that for some stormtroopers if not all it is extremely difficult to sit down. I personally can not do it in my costume. My point is to consider this in your plans. Any questions feel free to call me.

Milton Nunez

Stormtroopers can't sit down?!?! HA!

No wonder they got owned by Ewoks in Return of the Jedi.

(This is a great gospel video singing praises of for the Ewoks, featuring Billy D. Williams.)

Friday, May 09, 2008


On this week’s episode of “The Movie Show,” Joe and Mike drop advanced reviews on Speed Racer plus David Mamet’s Redbelt. They also dish on Iron Man, talk up the impending SAG strike, John Williams, Marvel Films, and Ellen Page as Jane Eyre.

Soundtrack selections include:
“Brand New Key” by Melanie from Boogie Nights;
“You’re the Only One I’ve Been Looking For (Angela’s Theme)” by Frank Vinci from Sleepaway Camp;
“Making Time” by The Creation from Rushmore

Stream it! Or subscribe!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Josh Brolin as George W. Bush


Nice enough, I guess. But I'm still not sure why Ollie Stone didn't just hire Timothy Bottoms.

The Dark Knight's Two-Face

Found this on the Internet:


Don't know how long we will be able to keep it up on our site, but enough movie news sites have been asked to take it down so as to lead me to declare it the real deal.

If totally ghastly was the look they were going for, Chris Nolan and company have succeeded. This guy's face could give Freddy Krueger nightmares. How much do you want to bet they'll beat back the R-rating that an image like this so easily deserves? The MPAA is a joke, people.

Another thing, how is Harvey supposed to talk if he doesn't have a mouth? We'll see.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Yo, Adrian? Not so much.


God damn it, he did it again!

The End


And with these words, my manuscript was completed. In a Starbucks no less, which is lame I know. But until I make enough money to rent a small office space, it's the only place where I can work sans the distraction of high speed internet, a home office full of books, and my dog.

After pushing myself, straining, and swilling gallons of 'Zen'-flavored green tea, how did I decide to celebrate? With a bottle of S. Pellegrino and lemon. Was perhaps the most refreshing drink I have ever tasted.

Guess that means I must begin the hard part.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to take my dog to the Bark Park.

Friday, May 02, 2008

PODCAST:Pimping Paranoid Park.

This week, Joe Scott pimps the heck out of Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park (SEE IT!). Plus he and Mike review Baby Mama and Harold and Kumar 2.

On the news front, the potential SAG strike gets discussed, plus word on Jonah Hill potentially starring with a cast of ‘robots in disguise,’ how digital pirates are dictating the way Hollywood plans to do business in the future, and both Mel Gibson and the Gremlins return to acting.

Soundtrack selections include:

Two (2) Elliot Smith songs from Paranoid Park;

“Be Gentle With Me” by The Boy Least Likely To from Baby Mama;


“Close to Me” by The Cure from Son of Rambow.

Stream it or subscribe.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Holy heck, the Gremlins are back!

While I had promised myself that I wouldn't post on this blog until I finished my screenplay (Oops! Should I have told you about that?), when I saw this video on the nets, it was too good not to share.

Man, I love the Gremlins. I seriously watched the film over 100 times when I was a kid, so it makes me happy that the Brits who made the commercial were smart enough to go with the original design as opposed to the more cartoony version that popped up in The New Batch.

And while it's heresy to say this, I wouldn't mind if they made a straight-to-DVD sequel so long as they were able to get Galligan and Cates back. None of the cast are exactly A-listers, one could probably make a decent film for about $10-15 mil.

Here's a video on the making of: