29 November 2006

Week of 29 November 2006

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Delight—ABBAzeum—Hooray for Stockholm planners of a new museum to honor the second biggest music act to ever come out of the Scandinavian region. I bet you forgot about A-Ha from Norway didn't you?

Dud—Hulk rebooted—Mark your calendars for June 2008. Marvel Comics® executives have announced a new film for the gamma green super hero is in the works. This will be the first time a superhero film (remember, this is not a film franchise as there was only one film) will be rebooted after a sound booting out of theatres by movie goers the first time around. Usually, one reboots a tiring franchise, not a one-hit-wonder, let alone a one-hit-failure.

I Promise This Will Be The Final Mention Of Borat Dud—Borat—A Kazakh author named Sapabek Asip-uly feels that Sacha Baron Cohen is worthy of an award for bringing international awareness of Kazakhstan. Did he see the same movie I saw?

Double Dud #1—What's in the Water Down Under?—Elton John and the Yellow Wiggle both ill in Australia at the same time?

Delight—"Must See TV"—So, NBC is bringing back a two-hour comedy block to Thursday begging the question, why did you try to fix what wasn't broken? But also, begging another question, why do the networks all think that situation comedy is dead? Is it because they went through a period of putting on too many to keep track of and wondered where the ratings all went? (see "Heroes" below)

Delight—Paula Patton—From Idlewild to Déjà Vu, Ms Patton is on the path of becoming the next Halle Berry. She's an incredibly attractive, strong, and charismatic. Bravo to the casting directors who have given her opportunities to demonstrate her full range of talent in these two very different films.
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Madonna at the Music Awards
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Dud—Madonna's Thanksgiving Special—Ratings were a complete dud. Hmm, could it be that the network promised it would be lame...er...tame? If you want Madonna fans to watch, you put on the real show; or, at least, you don't announce in advance you're cutting out the controversy.

Double Dud—Mel and Michael—I am all about forgive and forget. What Mel Gibson and Michael Richards have demonstrated in no uncertain terms is that anger brings out the worst in all people.

Delight—Spirit Awards—Little Miss Sunshine and Half Nelson were recognized with numerous nominations marking the beginning of the season for film awards to come.

Dud—Swedish Sherrybaby—How is it that the Swedish people were able to honor Maggie Gyllenhall with a Best Actress award at 17th annual Stockholm International Film Festival for her role in Sherrybaby when most people in the USA still haven't had the opportunity to see this film?

Delight—"Heroes"—I love it when a sci-fi show hits the mainstream big time. Like it or not, nerds know good tv when they see it. Hence the success of Sci-Fi channel's "Battlestar Galactica" and "Stargate" franchises. But, could I be misconstruing the evidence? Could it be rather that people, all people, like fresh ideas rather than 7 "Law & Order" series, 6 "CSI" series, 27 reality series, and 15 newsmagazines in prime time? Hmm. I wonder. There is something to be learned from this season of television--different is better.

Week of 23 November 2006

Delight—Daniel Craig "Bond, James Bond"—If you've been waiting to see Casino Royale (2006), or you are boycotting still hoping Sean Connery will return, it's time to give in and see the film. Daniel Craig really is the best James Bond ever.

Probably Still Not The Last Mention of the Ever-expanding And Growing Even More Gigantic Than It Was the Two Previous Weeks Dud so Dudly It's SickBorat—Russia has decided that it will ban the film in a show of support for Kazakhstan. Interesting, huh? My point is still the same, don't make a movie like this where you make fun of people in this way that is all contrived and fake, and you won't have these problems. I hope that Mr. Cohen realizes that what he has done has hurt a lot of people. Worse, he has given a license for an entire generation to think this kind of comedy is funny. It's not. It is only funny if you think politically incorrect, stereotypical, sexist, racist comedy is funny, and if you do, it's time to stop and ask yourself why you do, because, really, it's not good to.

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Hugh Jackman
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Delight—The Year of Hugh Jackman—Let's recap: Wolverine in X-Men 3, the dashing Lord Peter Lyman in Woody Allen's Scoop, the magician Robert Angier in The Prestige, the voice of Roddy in Flushed Away, the voice of Memphis in Happy Feet, and finally the conquistador Tomas in The Fountain. Has there been an actor that has delivered a more credible, more diverse résumé this year? Somebody please alert the Academy.

DelightPirates of the Caribbean 2—If you are among the very few who still haven't seen POC2, mark 5 December on your calendar.

DudX-Men 3 DVD Adverts—Ok, I've ranted about this before, but I'm still upset that they made such a big deal about Ben Foster's Angel and he's in the film all of 5 minutes. So, there he is with full wing span bursting out of the tv in the ad for the DVD along with James Marsden's Cyclops who may be the only X-Man in the film with less time than Angel. Arrgggghhhhh.

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Dud—Missing the Boat—I know I'm just one person, but I am fearful of the future of films when I read reports of critical raves for Borat which got an A- from Entertainment Weekly's critics who then gave the new Russell Crowe film, A Good Year, a C-. A C-, by the way, is the same grade EW gave to Garfield 2. Huh? Something smells rotten in Denmark or, rather, New Amsterdam.

Please Preview These Carefully Selected Products of Interest

James Bond 007 MonopolyThe Boy from Oz (2003 Original Broadway Cast)Game of Life - Pirates of the Caribbean 2Ty Cool Cat - Garfield with Sunglasses

28 November 2006

Week of 16 November 2006

Delight—Sex and the City—The Movie—Well, I think it will delight someone.

Ever-expanding And Growing Even More Gigantic Than It Was Last Week DudBorat—I don't get it! The film's frat boys are now suing saying the movie makes them look bad and they were supposedly gotten drunk before signing the waivers?


Dud—Justin Long—Somehow I just cannot picture the "I'm a Mac" guy becoming the next John McClane. Apparently, he'll play the sidekick in Die Hard 4 with some suspecting he'll take over the reins when Bruce Willis gets too old. Huh? Wasn't BW too old in Die Hard 1? That's the point, he's an older, out of shape cop, who still manages to knock the bad guys around and save the day. We need him to keep going strong so when he's 60, 60 will be the new 50 and so on down the line!

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Tom Cruise
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Delight—Can't Keep a Good Tom Cruise Down—If you are a studio executive trying to get rid of Tom Cruise be careful. His revenge might just be to buy your competition and put you out of business.

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Speed Racer
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Delight—Speed Racer—Fans of the ultra-cool car-toon can take a victory lap as the Wachowski bros are set to burn rubber with a live action version based on the 1960 Japanese original. No cast notes have been set yet.

Dud—Valderrama ChiPs—They cast That 70s Show, Wilmer Valderrama, as Ponch in the upcoming ChiPs movie? Who's going to play John Baker? Seann William Scott? That's just not fierce!

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Dud—The Good—How many movies will open in December that start with "The Good"? Two. Hmm. Maybe that's the new ticket...? The Good Van Wilder Deux: Rise of Taj, The Good Deck the Halls, The Good tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, The Good Turistas, The Good Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, The Good Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
Please Check Out These Carefully Selected Items of Interest
Sex and the City - The Complete Seasons 1-5 & Season 6 Part 1 (6-Pack)Die Hard - Explosion Movie T-Shirt "In-Stock" Ships Within 24 Hours!Tom Cruise Top Gun Framed Photo w/Sign L.E.Speed Racer: Complete Song CollectionLADIES - JUNIORS 80's TV Star Erik Estrada "Lookin' Good" - New Vintage Beige Tissue T-Shirt / Tee

Week of 9 November 2006

Delight—Hooray for Bollywood—Recent deals made by Bodvod and Time Warner Cable will allow for the release of many more films from India to US audiences each year. As the second largest producer nation of films in the world, it will be interesting to see what all India has to offer. Hopefully, more films like Deepa Mehta’s film, Water.

Growing Even More Gigantic DudBorat—The more I think about this film the more disastrous I find it.

Dud—Google® Buys You Tube™—I could write for half an hour on this topic, but I'll just leave at one word...control. What was a place where freedom of speech rang from sea to shining sea, is now another media outlet.

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Delight/Dud—Johnny Depp and the People's Choice Awards—Congrats to Johnny Depp for three People's Choice Award-nominations. Just wondering though, who are the people who make these choices? Have you ever met anyone who got to make their choices known?

Dud—The Real Borat—A Turkish man is claiming that Cohen's Borat character was inspired by his web site and photos of him playing ping pong and wearing a skimpy bathing suit. Um, dude, why would you want to claim you were the inspiration for one of the most horrendous characters in cinematic history? I don't get it.

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Reese Witherspoon & Ryan ...
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Dud—Reese and Ryan Split—With cruel intentions, crash into someone legally blond and you are bound to be pulled over to walk the line.


DudFlushed Away—Just wondering if other people find it a little yucky to find the logo and title of this new animated film by the makers of Shrek on such things a cereal boxes and macaroni and cheese for kids?
Please Check Out These Specially Selected Items
Johnny Depp: The Illustrated BiographyFlushed Away: The Essential GuideWalk the Line Movie Script ScreenplayWalk the Line Movie Script ScreenplayBarbie Legally Blonde 2 Elle Woods Doll Reese Witherspoon

Week of 2 November 2006

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Fraggle Rock Group II
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Delight—"Fraggle Rock"—Finally, somebody has gotten a clue and decided to make "Fraggle Rock" into a movie! Ahmet Zappa is set to direct. Can an animated CGI version of "The Electric Company" be far behind?

Gigantic DudBorat—Sure, it's funny. If you can sit through over an hour of the most politically incorrect humor ever filmed on purpose.

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Blade II
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Dud—Wesley Snipes—How come Wesley Snipes hasn't paid his taxes in years? Who's his tax advisor, Richard Hatch? Good thing that Blade III did not score that well at the box office or he might have join the Willie Nelson tour to make ends meet.

Delight—Halo Down the Draino(TM)—Apparently Peter Jackson has passed on the big screen conversion of the popular computer game, Halo. So far, video game to movie conversions haven't been a huge success. Until they make Pengo® and Dig-Dug® into movies, I'm not sure I'll care anyway.

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Old Man of the Mountains,...
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Delight—Live Free or Die Hard—Naw, it's not New Hampshire's new motto. It's Die Hard IV. Hey, if they can make a Rocky VI, why not let John McClane take on cyber-terrorists while trapped in the 32nd floor of a bad marriage?

Dud/Delight?—Front runner for Best Documentary of 2007—Eddie Murphy will play a spaceship. I'm not making this up. Eddie Murphy will play a spaceship for a species of tiny human-like aliens the leader of which looks like Eddie Murphy. Uh huh. Could be funny. It could be.

Dud—Lake Effect—So, The Lake House came out on video 1 November. I had the film in my Netflix(TM) queue for a long time. I waited and waited for it to arrive. I went to the mailbox and it wasn't there. There was, however, a note from the woman who used to live in my apartment a few years ago saying how much she enjoyed watching the movie, and could I please put Speed 2 in my queue for next time?

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David Bowie
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Delights—Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette / David Bowie as Nickola Tesla / Helen Mirren as HRM Queen Elizabeth II—Three of the very best portrayals of historical royal figures this year in nearly the same week! Two Queens and the King of Electricity! Can it get any better than this?

Dud—Religion and Sharp Implements—Who exactly was it that thought it a good idea to put out Conversations with God in the same week with Saw III and Running with Scissors? Must have been someone who saw Deliver Us From Evil.

Week of 23 October 2006

Dud—Big Biz Taking on Hollywood?—Why is diamond export giant De Beers worrying about the upcoming film, Blood Diamond, and spending a load of money on a pro diamond-buying campaign? If Russell Crowe's The Insider had no impact on the sales of cigarettes, isn't it doubtful Leonardo DiCaprio's film will have much impact on diamond sales?

Delight—"Dallas" off Route 66—Oh darn, it seems that the movie version of the 1980s drama "Dallas" has hit the skids big time with John Travolta being the only name still attached. Maybe somebody realized that, actually, "Dynasty" was a better show?
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Be Cool - John Travolta -...
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Dud—Critics of The Prestige—Come on folks, did you ruin The Sixth Sense too? The Prestige has so many great secrets and twists it seems like you'll do no harm in giving away a couple, three, or four. NO!

Delight—He's Back—Roger Ebert is recovering well and according to Entertainment Weekly p. 18, 27 October 2006, plans to cover this year's Oscars for ABC. His acerbic wit and thoughtful reviews have been sorely missed. Plus, I've had no one to with whom to disagree on nearly every film now for a couple of months.

Dud—Critics and Flags of Our Fathers—Sorry, but it is not unpatriotic to call out a mediocre movie when it is mediocre.

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Clint Eastwood
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Delight—Letters from Iwo Jima—Clint Eastwood has quickly made a follow-up film to cover the Japanese perspective of the capture of Iwo Jima in WWII. Some say that added to Flags of our Fathers, one gets a more complete picture. That might be true if it was pared with a re-edited version of the first film.

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Mark Wahlberg
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Dud or Delight—Wahlberg Bros. vs. Maggied Gyllenhall—Has anyone else noticed the Wahlbergs seem to be in just about every movie lately? They're nearly as ubiquitous as Maggie Gyllenhaal. Donnie and Mark [7 movies or TV shows in 2005-06]: The Departed, Invincible, "Runaway", "The Path to 9/11", Annapolis, Saw II, and Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School vs. Maggie [8 movies in 2005-06]: Stranger Than Fiction, World Trade Center, Monster House, Paris je t'aime, Sherrybaby, Trust the Man, The Great New Wonderful, Happy Endings.

Dud—Box Office Numbers—Can someone pelase explain how does Jackass: Number Two earn $68.4 million in four weeks vs. The Illusionist, one of the year's best films, earns half as much in twice as many weeks? Chalk it up to a lack of a marketing campaign for Edward Norton's take on a turn-of-the-century magician vs. the juvenile interest of USAers who cannot get enough of people wrestling with dangerous snakes or branding their hind ends with non-dinner-table talk icons.