Category: In the News

I Have a Random Opinion On: The News

Usually when I do an “in the news” segment, I form a more complex opinion of one story. But today I’m feeling a little attention deficit, so here’s a bunch of little opinions on some entertainment news headlines I lifted from the IMDB news page.

Conan O’Brien Adds Acting to His Sizzling Summer Sked
“Sked?” For Christ’s sake, how did you pass journalism school without learning how to spell?

Jackass Stars Pay Their Respects at Memorial Service for Ryan Dunn
Ryan Dunn, who died tragically of his own stupidity.

Elisabetta Canalis Steps Out with Her Dogs Post-Split
OMG! You mean celebrities’ dogs need to be walked, too? … or do you mean she had an affair with them?

Justin Bieber Gets Tackled at Macy’s
.Nobody’s really sure whether it was an assassination attempt or just an extremely over-the-top marriage proposal

‘Harry Potter’ Author J.K. Rowling Launches E-Book Store
Because she just doesn’t have enough money yet.

Lindsay Lohan Ordered to Stop Parties During House Arrest
To be fair, she did stay home like she was supposed to…

‘Transformers 3’ opens in Russia, with love
So either Michael Bay hit his head and accidentally made a good movie, or Russians have bad taste.

Will the Entourage Gang Get a Happy Ending? Get Final-Season Scoop from the Cast
I’m sure they’ve had plenty of “happy endings” over the years, if you catch my drift.

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The Amazing Race: Interplanetary Edition

I was just reading that CBS has ordered approved a 20th season of The Amazing Race. You knew they would. The Amazing Race is one of those Survivor type show that never end, ever. I’ve never watched The Amazing Race. It’s too stressful. And I stopped watching Survivor about twelve incarnations ago. But obviously plenty of people still like them.

You would think between the two of them they’d run out of places to go. Twenty seasons of The Amazing Race and twenty two seasons of Survivor… that’s a lot of places. They only need one remote place for each Survivor season but for The Amazing Race they need something like fifteen different destination cities filled with people to help/hinder the participants. Add in all the different regional/national variations and spinoffs and literally the entire Earth has been re-discovered by game show contestants (Magellan would be so proud…)

Eventually people are going to start complaining that they’re repeating themselves. Rather than give up on such big moneymakers (which are relatively cheap to film compared to one hour dramas) and next thing you know they’ll announcing Survivor: Marianas Trench and The Amazing Race: Interplanetary Edition. Now THERE’S something I’d watch.

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Asteroids: The Movie

original photo by Neitnagel on Flickr

When I first heard a rumor that they were making a movie out of Asteroids, I thought they were kidding. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Asteroids, it’s an extremely primitive first generation video game where you play a spaceship that has to shoot a bunch of little rocks that fall from the top of the screen. How could anyone make a movie out of something that thin? It had to be an April fool’s gag. But it wasn’t. In fact, Roland Emmerich (known as the Destroyer of Worlds and Budgets to his friends) is REALLY MAKING THIS MOVIE RIGHT NOW.

By all all accounts, the movie is about some humans and aliens living in an asteroid belt. I don’t even understand why he needed to buy the rights to this game to make a movie like that. Did they need to buy the rights to Asteroids for that bit in Empire Strikes Back when Han Solo was shooting his way out of an asteroid belt? Did they need to buy the rights to Asteroids to make Deep Impact or Armageddon? No, because you CAN’T COPYRIGHT A NATURAL OCCURANCE. Asteroids hit ships and planets and break them. It’s just something that happens. You can’t slap a trademark on it and say you invented it, thus forcing everyone who wants to use the concept to pay you money. If you could, we’d all be paying royalties every time we sneezed or stopped at a stop sign.

Roland Emmerich’s movies are usually ridiculous, plotless, distructo-fests (see 2012, 10,000 BC, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla, and Independence Day… or rather don’t, because they’re bad) but Asteroids takes the cake. There is literally nothing to it, which means there’s two whole hours free to showcase the destruction wrought by big rocks banging into things. Gee, I can’t wait.

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Safe from Scream 5… for Now

According to this interview from Entertainment Weekly, we’re safe from another failed attempt to re-create the lightning-strike success of Scream for at least three months. With horror sequels coming out approximately one every two weeks, (just look at the Saw franchise, what number are they on now, twelve?) that’s saying something.

Craven has referred to both Scream 4 and My Soul to Take as ‘difficult’ films, which I guess is some sort of code for ‘bad.’ Even Wes Craven is trading on the Wes Craven name now, trying to pass phone-in jobs in no way comparable to Scream or even Scream 2 off on audiences like they’re priceless gems of horratic cinema (yes, I just invented a new word).

Sadly, Scream 4 studio exec Harvey Weinstein seems positive that there will eventually be a Scream 5 and that it will be directed by Wes Craven, so perhaps we’re not as safe as we think. I really do like Wes Craven’s earlier movies, so I choose to believe Weinstein’s got some sort of zombie voodoo magic working on Craven, forcing him to phone in awful sequel after awful sequel. I’m pretty sure that’s what “contractually obliged” means.

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Titanic 3D: A Blatant Money Grab

This just in: apparently James Cameron is the greediest person ever.

You remember James Cameron. That guy who holds the number one and number two spots for highest grossing movie of all time (and is nowhere near the top of the list of best movies of all time)? Remember how he made that movie Avatar and made more than two billion dollars off of it, then re-released it like two months later with a few extra minutes of footage just so he could rake in another nice big pile of money?

Well he’s doing it again. Only this time he’s dredging up his old movies and slapping some of that diorama-level fake 3D on them that was so unimpressive in movies like Clash of the Titans, which is even more insulting than asking audiences to pay 2011 prices for a movie from 1997. What’s next? A $90 4 disc 3D Blu-Ray set of Ghosts of the Abyss? A theme park ride of Piranha Part 2: The Spawning? Where does it end?

I’m sorry, I liked Titanic as much as the next person (the next non-psycho who only went to see it once and never bought anything with Leonardo DiCaprio’s face on it, that is), but I refuse to be a party to James Cameron’s efforts to line his swimming pool with money.

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The Dangers of Not Reading the News

“Don’t read the news.”

That’s the advice that old-hat celebrities give to the fresh-faced newcomers they’ve taken under their wings. I can see why. You read the news, you find out about that awful picture they snapped of you in your sweats after that horrible haircut, and you get upset. Then you moan to your normal friends about how much it sucks to be famous, at which point they attempt to strangle you, because even with working 14 hour days they still can’t manage to buy their whiny kids the designer shoes they want, and you just bought a Pacific island. So it’s better to just ignore the news completely, right?

Sure, if you want to have things like free time and sanity. Except sometimes it can backfire on you. If you don’t read the news, you don’t find out what people are writing about you, and if you don’t know what they’re writing about you, you can’t call them on it when it’s a lie, and the writers can easily slip untruths into the minds of the unsuspecting public, who, let’s face it, eat this s*** up.

Case in point: this situation, which actually blew up in 2000 but is back in the news because a movie is being made about it (of course). It goes like this: a Swiss journalist made up interviews with major celebrities and sold them to major magazines. AND NOBODY NOTICED. Not the editors. Not the readers. Not the celebrities. Not their publicists. This guy had been working in Hollywood since 1993, selling stories to big name European magazines, and it took them SEVEN YEARS to figure out what he was doing.

Granted, he probably got away with it because nobody in Hollywood has ever bothered to read a magazine in another language (What? Europe? Is that a planet?) But seven YEARS? In all that time nobody’s publicist’s assistant’s secretary even glanced at the COVERS of any of these magazines and thought: “Hmm. That’s funny. I don’t remember arranging that interview.”

It’s not like he was taking advantage of low level celebrities, either. Those guys would probably have let it slide because they still bought into the “any publicity is good publicity” tenet. No, he was making up interviews with rich, famous, big-name stars like Brad Pitt and Pamela Anderson.

There’s a lesson in all of this. It’s that you can make seven years’ worth of top freelance wages for lying, and then a bunch more money by writing a book about lying. I could use some more money. So here goes:

MY TOTALLY NON-MADE UP CELEBRITY INTERVIEW:

ME: Hey Brad Pitt! Got time for a few questions?
BRAD PITT: No. Get lost.
ME: Okay then.

Damn. Even in a fantasy land I suck at interviews!

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Harry Potter 7.5

If you’re like me, you’re eagerly awaiting the second film installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The last movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 came out in November and largely dealt with the part in the books where Harry, Ron, and Hermione spend about six months mucking about in the countryside. Part 2, which comes out on July 15, features a huge final battle and is widely known as “the good part” or “the part where stuff actually happens.”

Part 2 is going to be a lot more exciting, but there are some elements of Part 1 that will be carried over. The animated section during Hermione’s retelling of “The Tale of The Three Brothers” was critically lauded as the best part of the film, so animation director Ben Hibon has been asked back to do an animated final credits sequence, which I fully expect to be totally awesome, like that sequence from the end of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

And though Part 2 is going to be the darkest of all the Potter movies, director David Yates has revealed that there will be a few moments of levity included for the purposes of audience relief. There will be a brief moment during Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s search for Helga Hufflepuff’s cup in Gringott’s Bank where sharp eyed people can catch a glimpse of Monty Python character King Arthur from Monty Python and the Holy Grail trying to get into another vault containing the grail, which is guarded by two French knights. John Cleese and Michael Palin will reprise their roles as the French knights, and Arthur will be played by a computer generated recreation of Graham Chapman, who died in 1989 (similar to how “young Kevin Flynn” was created for Tron Legacy, so we’ll see how well THAT works out.)

For more sneak peeks into what you can expect from the latest Harry Potter movie, check out news section of the official website.

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Hollywood Needs New Boots

I read an article online yesterday that they’re rebooting the Tomb Raider movie franchise. The last movie in that series, Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, came out in 2003. That’s less than ten years ago, and it starred people (Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Daniel Craig, etc.) who are both still alive and still famous. There was nothing wrong with the movies plot or production wise that screamed out for a do-over. Special effects haven’t advanced all that much in the intervening years, except for 3D, which doesn’t make things seem any more real, just more gimmicky. So why the hell do they need to reboot it?

It’s the same thing with Spider-Man. They’re rebooting that franchise with Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker instead of Toby Maguire. It’s only been four years since Spider-Man 3 came out. Three years since the DVD. Geez Hollywood, how short do you think our attention spans ARE? And furthermore, why do we need to keep remaking the same old things anyway? Is there really such a shortage of new material that it’s necessary to reboot or remake all the old stuff instead? (Answer: no.)

The reason they keep doing this is because we, the ticket buying public, have shown a proclivity towards buying tickets for things we’re already familiar with. We play it safe, and go to yet another Saw movie instead of a new movie about a Brazilian door-to-door salesman with a briefcase full of murderous spiders. So when the studios are given the choice between rebooting a done-to-death franchise like Spider-Man that was popular just a few years ago and adapting something different, they’ll choose ol’ faithful almost every time.

If you ever find yourself getting annoyed by the fact that there are ten movies playing in your theater that don’t have one original idea among them, remember: it’s all your fault for buying a ticket to Transformers 2 that time. I told you it would come back to bite you.

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The Academy And I Agree!

In an unprecidented turn of events, the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences and I actually agree on something. You will recall that back in January, I put The King’s Speech at the head of my Top 5 Movies List. And this Sunday, the Academy picked it as their best movie of the year too!

And moreover, I actually (mostly…. okay, at times) enjoyed watching the ceremony. They paired up a lot of the awards so they could save time by not having to switch presentors so much. There was still too much nervous sputtering and list-reading (though it was funny when Christian Bale forgot his own wife’s name… there seemed to be a lot of family-forgetting going on) and there were a couple of times where they actually had to introduce the people who were coming to introduce the people who would introduce the awards (dear Academy: too many introductions!)

But the hosts were actually young, attractive, and engaging enough to not make me want to mute them like I mute the speeches and that little video they did of James Franco and Anne Hathaway going through all the movies like in Inception was awesome!

Though the Acadmey and I didn’t agree on some things (Toy Story 3 as Best Animated Feature? Come on!) but we did agree on the most important thing: that The King’s Speech was awsome, and that though Inception looks and sounds nice, it’s not the best movie ever.

So in light of this rather unusual occurance, that I never thought would happen ever, I’d just like to say:

HAPPY HELL-FREEZING FLYING PIG DAY


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Christpher Nolan Likes Boys… In His Movies

bat club - no girls allowed

If you’ve been keeping up with the casting news surrounding Christopher Nolan’s latest Batman film, Dark Knight Rises, or even if you’ve seen more than one of his movies, you may have noticed a suspicious number of familiar faces. Cillian Murphy and Ken Wantanabe, who played Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul in Batman Begins, appeared as Robert Fischer and Saito in Inception. Christian Bale and Michael Caine made the jump from Batman Begins to The Prestige, and now certain Inception cast members, including Tom Hardy and now Joseph Gordon-Levitt, have been added to the cast list for Dark Knight Rises.

Most of the speculation on the internet centers around what role Gordon-Levitt will be playing (the Riddler?) and whether that means Nolan is going to draw Leonardo DiCaprio into the fold as well, but my biggest question is: what about the girls?

Nepotism is fairly common in Hollywood, with directors latching on to their favorite actors and dragging them like suitcases to all their new projects, but if there’s one thing I’ve noticed since I’ve started studying these nespots, it’s that they’re almost always into guys. Scorsese and DiCaprio. Burton and Depp. Nolan and every man he’s ever worked with, apparently. But none of the women Christopher Nolan has worked with, despite the fact that they’re all excellent, well known actresses, has been back for a second go round.

Carrie-Anne Moss was in Memento but nothing else.
Scarlett Johansson was in The Prestige and never showed up again.
Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard had big parts in Inception, but it was Anne Hathaway that he chose to play Catwoman in Dark Knight Rises.

I guess that while Nolan is interested in forming lifelong BFFships with all the male actors he works with, he’s a love ’em and leave ’em kind of guy when it comes to women. Even Katie Holmes, whose character of Rachael Dawes was reprised in Dark Knight, was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Supposedly this was by Holmes’ own choice, so maybe the feeling is mutual. Maybe they were all offered more roles but turned them down.

The movie Katie Holmes turned Dark Knight down for was Mad Money, which was a total flop, but it did star three women, as opposed to the parade of testosterone that usually makes up a Christopher Nolan movie cast. So maybe that’s a clue.

I guess we’ll find out for sure if Maggie Gyllenhaal is mysteriously missing from Dark Knight Rising.

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