Thursday, February 28, 2013

News: Disney prepares 'super-finger' for 'Cars' fans


Remember the days when Dane Cook ruled the world?
                Boy did they suck.
                Every time anyone tried to tell a story, it turned into a Dane Cook routine --- nothing but a crazy amount of details, over-the-top hand gestures and spastic poses and lots of pacing back and forth.
                You’d spend half of their lengthy monologue praying for it to end and the other half trying not to get smacked in the face.
                And three or four failed attempts at movie career and poof! Suddenly we all agree Dane Cook is a douchebag and that’s that. No more painful comedy routines masquerading as conversations.
                But now this news happens.
                Dane Cook is all set to voice the lead character Dusty in the Disney animated film: “Planes.”
                Yup, that’s right Disney has a spinoff of “Cars” chambered. With no involvement from Pixar. Initially this thing was supposed to go straight-to-video, but then Disney changed its mind and decided to ship it into theaters on August 9 of this year.
                The story goes: Dusty wants to race, but he wasn’t built to race. So, he meets up with a veteran racer who shows him the ropes. There you go. That story with Dane Cook voicing the lead. And no help from Pixar. And a former straight-to-video background.
                Should be awesome.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

News: Bad Paul Anderson invades Pompeii

I don’t have any kids. I’ve got two cats that I refer to as my children, but that’s only so believable considering they’re tiny and furry and look nothing like me and are from another species. So yeah, cats no kids.
                But one day, when I do have children who are from the same species, in addition to the usual stuff like potty training and how ride a bike, there’s one life lesson I’ll probably spend a significant portion of time on:
                The epic saga of the “Good Paul Anderson” and the “Bad Paul Anderson,” or as they prefer to be called Paul Thomas Anderson, director of critical darlings like “There Will Be Blood” and “Boogie Nights” and Paul W.S. Anderson, director of mostly crap. Fun crap, but crap nonetheless.
                There’s a news story in here somewhere, trust me.
                Anyway, so a quick summary of said saga: Paul Thomas spends months slaving over his art, he has critics falling over themselves for a whiff of his socks and the basement/attic full of awards, but ol’ Paul W.S. can sleepwalk through another “Resident Evil,” get paid a giant pile of money and then go home at the end of the day to his gorgeous wife, Milla Jovovich.
                The lesson in all this is either there’s hope for all of us or life is patently unfair … depending on your perspective.
                So that was really just a long and winding way of saying: Hey there, Paul W.S. Anderson is making a new movie!
                It’s called “Pompeii,” and it’s set in the city of Pompeii right before the volcano Pomp… I mean, Vesuvius erupts.
Emily Browning of “Sucker Punch” fame has just signed on to play one half of a pair of star crossed lovers. Kit Harrington, of “Game of Thrones” (not sure who he is), is the male half.
So he ends up getting shipped out of town right before the world goes to hell, then he decides to come back and try to save his lady and best friend.
Apparently “The Three Musketeers” wasn’t enough to satisfy Paul W.S. hunger for costume-action-dramas.
Shooting is set for April everybody, so there’s still time to him to cram Milla in this thing somehow.
Info: Joblo          

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

News: 'Twilight' has a big night at the Razzies

So it’s been two full days since the Oscars, which means most of Hollywood’s citizenry should finally be hangover free and be able to see colors and taste food again.
                Welcome back. To those who aren’t quite there yet, don’t worry. Just get back in bed. You’ll be there soon.
                However, in many circles, this news is far, far more important than any statue of a golden naked guy.
                The 33rdAnnual Golden Raspberry Awards were held this weekend, celebrating the worst that Hollywood has to offer.
                A few weeks back, I predicted the winners, or more accurately, losers, as one is supposed to do in these situations.
                I put on my prognosticating cap and decided the Razzies would give the “Twilight” franchise the “Lord of the Rings” treatment and send it off into the sunset riding high on a wave of spray-painted trophies.
                And it looks like I was correct. “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II” took home a respectable seven awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Kristen Stewart), Worst Supporting Actor (Taylor Lautner), Worst Screen Couple (Lautner and 12 year-old Mackenzie Foy), Worst Screen Ensemble, Worst Remake/Rip-Off or Sequel and Worst Director (Bill Condon).
                Not too shabby.
                Now, I only predicted the top seven categories, but let’s see how I made out.
                I correctly predicted:

  •  a win for Rihanna in the Worst Supporting Actress category for her work in “Battleship”
  • Taylor Lautner and his abs would take the Worst Supporting Actor category for “Breaking Dawn Part II”
  • Lautner and 12-year-old Mackenzie Foy would take home a trophy in the Worst Onscreen Couple category again for “Breaking Dawn Part II”
  • Kristen Stewart would claim the Worst Actress crown for “Breaking Dawn Part II” and "Snow White and the Huntsman"
  • Bill Condon would be named the year’s Worst Director for “Breaking Dawn Part II”
  • and finally, “Breaking Dawn Part II” would win Worst Picture.

                Yup pretty awesome. The only blemish on my otherwise utterly spotless record? I thought Robert Pattinson would be named the Worst Actor of the year for “Breaking Dawn Part II.”
                Sadly, I underestimated the Golden Raspberry Foundation’s love affair with treating Adam Sandler like a punching bag. The formerly funny comedy bested the young heartthrob and took home the Worst Actor award for “That’s My Boy.”
                Six for seven. Now if only I could use my predictive talents for something useful and marketable, like the lottery or who’s going to win “Dancing with the Stars.” Then I’d be in business.
                Bumblebee tuna.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cheese List Preview

So this week’s Wes Craven movie is … oh wait, sorry. I guess I owe Wes a break for a little while. But somehow I get the feeling our paths shall cross again.
                This week’s Cheese List entry stars a comedy legend, one of the most recognizable young faces in comedy, and a young actress who starred in the biggest blockbuster of all time.   
                Oh yeah, and our leading lady just so happens to be one of the biggest music icons of the last 20 years and perhaps ever.
                Dan Aykroyd. Justin Long. Zoe Saldana.
                And ladies and gentlemen, The Miss Brittany Spears.
                Here is “Crossroads”

Credentials: 14%, Certified Rotten ( // 3 out of 10 ( // 27 out of 100 ( // Nominated for Eight Razzies at the 2003 Golden Raspberry Awards, won two (Worst Actress--- Brittany Spears, Worst Original Song--- “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman”)
Now it’s time to take a gander at what the critics had to say about “Crossroads.”

 “She’s not yet an actress, not quite a singer...” snarked Richard Roeper, of Ebert and Roeper.
“The kind of movie that seems like a very extensive trailer for a music video coming soon to ‘Total Request Live,’” very astutely and accurately noted Jane Dark, from Village Voice. Let this be a lesson to you, critics. If you give “TRL” a shout out, you will get your word s on The Cheese List.  
Ian Waldron-Mantgani, UK Critic, marveled “Crossroads” was “a bizarre piece of work, with premise and dialogue at the level of kids’ television and plot threads as morose as teen pregnancy, rape and suspected murder.”
On the pro side of the ball: “Spears manages to come across on film as natural, endearing, and extremely likable,” raved Jane Crowther from the BBC. So yeah, she seems like a person and we came up with two ways to say she’s not a beeyotch. Party!
“Crossroads,” kids. Someone paint Carson Daly’s nails and fire up the KoRn. All this “TRL” talk has got me fired up!

                Bumblebee tuna.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: My Soul to Take

Plot: Sixteen years ago, the town of Riverton was haunted by a sadistic killer with multiple personalities known as the “Riverton Ripper.” Eventually, the cops tracked him down and sort of killed him maybe? See, when they found him, he’d already stabbed himself a bunch of times, then they shot him a lot, then they put him in an ambulance but the ambulance crashed and then it exploded. But despite all that, the mystery remains: Is the Riverton Ripper dead?? I’d frigging hope so, otherwise the guy’s real name must be Clarke Kent. Anyway, on the night he may or may not have died, seven kids were born. Legend has it each kid got one of the Ripper’s personalities. Flash to the present day, the kids are all obnoxious and in several cases, really disgusting, borderline evil teens. Shockingly, someone starts offing the kids one by one. Is the Ripper back? Or is one of the kids doing the killing? Or is it someone … else? Spoooooky!

Thoughts: I’ve watched a lot of movies for this blog, and I’m not lying when I say almost all of them have been pretty poorly written. I mean, for god sakes Tommy Wiseau wrote one of them and I’m almost positive he’s insane.
                And yet, I don’t think I’ve seen a movie that made less sense than “My Soul to Take.”
                The biggest problem is Wes Craven. I mean, he wrote, directed and produced it so yeah, this is clearly his fault. I feel confident saying that this is the worst piece of crap he’s ever attached his name to and this man has attached his name to lots of junk over the years. 

Everything sucks. I'm not sure about the acting, I think it mostly might be Craven's horrible writing, but it's still not a great cast.

                Craven can’t figure out what kind of movie he wants “My Soul to Take” to be. Is it a slasher? Or a psychological thriller? Supernatural something or other? It’s got elements of all three sort of jumbled together into one big nasty stew.
                In the plot summary I mentioned each of the seven kids got one of the Ripper’s many personalities. Of course, one of those personalities is a psychotic killer, so we can assume one of the kids is a killer (or is the Ripper still alive???). That’s one. The Ripper also had a personality that was very artistic, and we learn one of the kids is awesome at designing costumes. That’s two.
                Other than those two examples, Craven completely ignores this plot thread. And the artistic one I had to piece together for myself while I was brushing my teeth this morning so for all I know that wasn’t even intentional.
                There’s also a lot of spiritual hooey about condors and how they eat the dead and supposedly absorb the souls of their meals. Turns out, one of the kids must be part condor because he has this power also. I mean, he doesn’t eat people, but I guess when people die nearby, he can absorb their essence. I uh… guess. I’m flying without a net here because none of this gets explained very clearly. It’s all in the movie, but Craven doesn’t seem that interested.
                Look, let’s forget about all that and just focus on the only thing Wes cares at all about: teenagers and their stupid f’n problems and relationships. This is his wheelhouse.
                We spend ample time finding out which girls our main character Bug (Max Theriot) wants to date, and we get to see him in class and presenting a project for Biology class, and him hanging out with his best friend, dealing with bullies. All this time wasted on trivial issues may have been better served trying to make sense of the rest of the plot maybe? No of course not! Kid problems!!
                Also, “My Soul to Take” does something unforgivable in my book. In the movie, the kids are constantly shown wandering around their high school, sitting in courtyards and things but are almost never in class. This is not how any high school works. If you don’t want to show kids sitting bored in class, make it the weekend or after 3:30. No public high school on the planet in the year 2005 just lets students roam freely for hours at a time.
                Somewhere around the third act the movie decides it’s a slasher again and so Craven grabs his other security blanket: talky endings. He actually does the “Scream” ending again. You know, the one where the previously ruthlessly efficient killer can’t stop talking about his/her grand plans and suddenly forgets how to kill things? Wes you lazy basterd. You (and Kevin Williamson) used the same frigging ending in four “Scream” movies and a werewolf movie, then you used it by yourself in “Red Eye,” and now this? Are you serious?
                I can’t even. I don’t know. The story is such a disaster, the directing is a mess. The opening sequence is an absolute joke well before the ambulance randomly explodes. I’m not even sure how bad the acting is because the material the actors are given is such a cluster f, it’s not super fair to judge the kids.               
                Still, I’ll assume it wasn’t great. Either way, the characters are all horrible clich├ęs. The psycho with the abusive dad, the other psycho with the killer dad, the cute blonde, the rapey jock, the religious freak. Don’t care about any of you. 

Worst of the Worst

                At one point the killer says: “F you and f your unborn baby.” True story.
                I guess the real worst scene though is the opening. It’s full of so many quick cuts and fakeouts that it’s impossible to follow. Cops make insane decisions like embracing seemingly dead serial killers. And the frigging ambulance blows up. Perfect storm of craziness.