Thursday, June 7, 2007

Two new high-profile lawsuits.

Who doesn't love a Hollywood lawsuit?! Apart from the people actually in them.

Anyway, there are two new high-profile lawsuits:

First up, Judd Apatow is being sued by Canadian author Rebecca Eckler because Eckler says Knocked Up copies her novel Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-Be.

Says Eckler: "A lot of people, I’m sure, will say, 'Well, getting drunk and knocked up, it could happen to everybody.' Well, the fact is, it doesn’t happen to everybody, and no one had written about it before I did. And he didn’t sell the screenplay until after I did."

Nobody had written about it before Eckler? What? That's like saying no one had written about mental retardation before Forrest Gump.

Says Apatow: "The book is about a woman who gets pregnant by the fiance that she loves on the night of her engagement party. The film is about a one-night stand between a pot smoking slacker and an ambitious young woman that leads to a pregnancy and their attempts to get to know each other."

I definitely agree with Apatow here. Anyone who checks out the preview of the book at Amazon will be able to tell that they're two very different stories, and only the first few pages are there. Plus, it's also evident while Knocked Up the movie is brilliant, Knocked Up the book is not. If I ever hear the phrase, "Did I...did we...did me?" again, I will personally hunt down Eckler and rip her fucking head off.

The trial is scheduled to begin in March 2008.

The second lawsuit which, to me, is less interesting, but which is much larger: Fifteen actors from the Lord of the Rings movies are suing New Line Cinema for allegedly withholding an estimated $100 million profit from merchandising. None of the well-known actors either, but that doesn't make the suit any less serious.

New Line must really be a bunch of assholes, because this is the third lawsuit against them in regards to Lord of the Rings alone. Peter Jackson has sued them for withholding profits from Fellowship of the Ring (subsequently losing his chance to direct the forthcoming Hobbit adaptation), while Saul Zaentz settled out of court over the rights to the books.

Man, Hollywood lawsuits. They must suck.

Paris leaves jail.

Okay, I made an internal vow not to blog anymore about the tabloid trashiness of Paris Hilton going to jail, but this I just could not resist: After serving only five days of her 23-day jail sentence, Paris has left jail.

Apparently, it was because of some sort of "medical condition." Celebritis, maybe?

Now the rich bitch is under house arrest, and her sentence has been bumped back up to the original 45 days. But what's the point? Where's the punishment? Where's the justice when the entire time she can pal around with her famous friends, sip mojitos, shove some more dogs in her purse, and basically have all the freedoms that time in jail would've made her grateful for?

This is wrong.

Stan Lee gets his Mickey Mouse on.

One of my very most all-time favorite creative people (right up there with Joss Whedon, John Lennon, and Quentin Tarantino), Stan "The Man" Lee, has signed an exclusive multi-year first look deal with Disney.

Though I have to say, as much as I love the guy--and it appears I'm not alone, as when he came onscreen in Spider-Man 3, the entire midnight screening burst into applause--he's not been creatively up to par in decades, the exceptions being his rare parlays back to Marvel Comics to play around with the characters he's already created. I keep seeing his direct-to-DVD animated features at Blockbuster and almost keep checking them out before pulling my hand back; I know that only disappointment can be in store.

In any guess, who knows? Maybe this deal will do good for both he and Disney. And at least it can never, never ever ever ever, be as bad as Stripperella.

Silver Surfer rises to...PG?

The Silver Surfer is badass. Galactus is badass. Further proof that the film featuring them both, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, won't be? The MPAA just slapped it with a heavy, badass, totally violent...PG rating. The first film was rated PG-13, and it featured only one--incredibly lame--group fight sequence. There were assorted lame one-on-one action matches that didn't really matter.

So if you were expecting the Silver Surfer to beat the shit out of the Fantastic Four and the world in general before Galactus came down to eat everybody and fuck things up royally, well...that'll probably still happen. But it will be very tame, and most likely not violent in any meaningful way. I'm not saying I advocate violence or want it to be all I see in a movie,'s a movie based on a comic book which features regular group fights and has its fair share of PG-13-esque violence.

So, once again Tim Story, fuck you.

A little public service in India.

India, home to over a billion people, is the second most populous nation in the world (China is the first), and has for many decades faced serious overpopulation problems. It is also reported to be the country with the highest number of HIV-positive cases. So, in an effort to curb such conditions, health officials in India have been handing out condoms at porno theaters.

I think this is a logical, reasonable way to handle the matter, and I hope it helps (though I won't be crossing my fingers).

Movies that rock! Literally!

This is a very fun little event: Netflix is launching Netflix LIVE! On Location, where three actors who also dabble in music will perform shows in areas where they've filmed a movie, then show said movie. For free!

Currently on tap:

Dennis Quaid and the Sharks at Spanish Plaza in New Orleans, Louisiana, with The Big Easy (6/21)
The Bacon Brothers at Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland, with Diner (7/15)
The Bruce Willis Blues Band at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, with Armageddon (8/2)

I wasn't even aware Dennis Quaid or Bruce Willis fronted bands, but I can say this: Diner is a classic, Armageddon is typical Michael Bay drivel, and I've never seen The Big Easy.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Idol spawns another movie star.

American Idol season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee will star in a dark indie romcom called The Last Caller. It's about "a self-obsessed woman who searches for love, hope and meaning during a few random events with other urban seekers."

Sounds...interesting. And it's got to be better than Idol's first contribution to the film world, the infamous Justin Guarini/Kelly Clarkson crapfest From Justin to Kelly; McPhee has the potential to rival Jennifer Hudson's Dreamgirls, because, contrary to what you've heard, the movie is a piece of shit and Hudson does a terrible job in it (despite delivering the film's only genuinely arousing, jaw-dropping moment, her performance of "And I'm Telling You I Am Not Going").

Plus, she's not singing in it. Which, for folks like me who much preferred the energy and spontanaiety of winner Taylor Hicks (the only Idol winner so far who's truly captured me, though Clarkson comes close), has got to be a good thing.

Evening openings continue...

Taking a cue from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Michael Bay's dreadful-looking live-action Transformers flick will be opening nationwide at 8:00 P.M. on July 2 while still retaining the "official" release date of July 3.

Okay, this doesn't anger me or anything. It just kind of bugs me. It's not that I don't condone early showings--I loves me some midnight screenings, after all--but what's the fucking point? Why not have the balls to just open up a day earlier if you're going to go through with it like this? This is quite possibly the most pointless trend the American movie industry has picked up on in recent years...which is saying something.

I'm not entirely sure why this annoys me as much as it does. I think it's just the fact that, much like the actual Transformers movie itself, it's wholly unnecessary and a waste of time. Please tell me there's someone out there who agrees.

A much belated news flash: Paul Newman says goodbye to the movies.

Somehow, and I don't know exactly the "how," I completely forgot to blog about the fact that, just about two weeks ago, Paul Newman announced that he was retiring from his acting career. Usually I wouldn't go ahead and write about something I completely missed the boat on, but this is an exception. Why, you ask? Simply because I love the guy.

Seriously, consider the number of masterpieces the man has been in: The Hustler, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Cool Hand Luke, Cars. He's the rare actor that can manage to bring both charisma and gravitas to the table in equal measure, without the two ever clashing; it's harder than you'd think. George Clooney is charming, but does he carry any real heft onscreen? Sly Stone can kick your (and the camera's) ass, but do you ever care (we are, of course, talking about post-'76 Stallone)? The ones that can pull of the combination are great: Humphrey Bogart, Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando. (I'd add Nathan Fillion if it didn't seem like too much of a fanwank on my behalf to list him alongside those guys.)

So goodbye, Paul Newman! We'll miss you, but we hope you enjoy the time off!

...I still won't try your salad dressing, though. Sorry.

WB to VOD DVDs. (I love acronyms.)

Warner Bros. has been debuting, in select areas, new DVD releases on Comcast's Video on Demand program both on the same day since last year when it did so with Duma and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. But lately, they've found it's been paying off. Apparently, this tactic shows significant increases in both DVD sales and VOD purchases; the only apparent downside is that it cuts into DVD rentals. One of the more notable titles it's going to continue this test with is The Astronaut Farmer, which hits disc and Comcast both on July 10.

I'm sort of on the fence about this kind of thing; while on the one hand it's just going to make Americans lazier and even more socially aloof, on the other it's pretty damned convenient.

Still, I won't be using it--for one, I don't have Comcast--and I think it'll be a long time before it's common practice for others to. And I'm not certain at all that it's going to become a definitive marketplace staple, like I anticipate Blu-Ray or HD DVD to become at some point in the future.

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

New DVD Day: 6/5/07

Two newcomers this week...

Kill me. Kill me now. Please, Eddie, just...just stop. And by saying that, no, I am not advocating another shitty Dreamgirls-style bid for maturity. Anyone wanna bet five bucks this is probably even worse than The Adventures of Pluto Nash?

Another silly Grudge-inspired PG-13 horror film. Sadly enough, I count The Grudge (the American version starring, Sarah Michelle Gellar) as a not-quite-guilty pleasure. Thankfully, that and The Skeleton Key seem to be my only clear lack of good sense when it comes to PG-13 horror.

Quentin Tarantino angers the Italian film industry; Sophia Loren has an idiotic reply.

Quentin Tarantino--who has made no secret of his love for classic Italian movies--has raised the ire of the Italian filmmaking community after saying, "New Italian cinema is just depressing. Recent films I've seen are all the same. They talk about boys growing up, or girls growing up, or couples having a crisis, or vacations of the mentally impaired." I'm in no position to judge this statement, not being up on current Italian cinema (sadly, I think the most recent I've seen is Life Is Beautiful, which came out ten years ago), but it seems a pretty tame comment. It's not like he's screaming, "ITALIAN CINEMA IS THE WORST! I HATE ITALIANS! FUCK YOU, ITALY!" He's just expressing his disappointment in the country's film industry; I certainly bitch enough about my own country's.

But Italian folks are now all up in arms over this, even going so far as to say that Tarantino himself is "mentally impaired," which just does further disservice to their stature and makes them seem like some snot-nosed brat kicking up dust on the playground.

But the worst of it? The absolute most idiotic thing said so far? That honor goes to none other but classic Italian actress Sophia Loren:

"How dare he talk about Italian cinema when he doesn't know anything about American cinema?" I would totally back her defending Italian cinema, but to say that Tarantino knows nothing of it, let alone American cinema? Apparently Ms. Loren has not seen any movies in the past 15 years. Tarantino has basically helped create the shape of modern American filmmaking; trust me, without Reservoir Dogs or especially Pulp Fiction, the face of the cinematic world and American culture in general would be extremely, if not entirely, different.

Tarantino ushered in a new wave of filmmaking, and actually made things interesting again. Yeah, Grindhouse may have flopped at the box office, but critics were in love with it. Tarantino's segment of the film, Death Proof, was regarded as the worst part, yes, but to the observant moviegoer, it was without a doubt the best. I've only read negativity about the expanded cut shown at Cannes, but then again, I've only read one article. Even if Tarantino does perhaps stumble--for the first time in his career, Four Rooms notwithstanding--it will not diminish his stature nor his importance nor his relevance.

Mr. Tarantino, bring on Death Proof and Inglorious Bastards. Ms. Loren, go watch some movies.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Judd Apatow's at it again!

The man cannot stop attracting quality comedy folk, and it's been revealed that his new project, Year One (unfortunately nothing to do with the great Frank Miller Batman comics), will be directed and co-produced by Harold Ramis (who appears in Knocked Up as Seth Rogen's father) and will star Jack Black and Michael Cera. Ramis also co-wrote the film with Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, both of whom work on The Office. Owen Wilson's exec-producing.

So here we have a mash-up of the folks from Ghostbusters, Arrested Development, The Office, Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, School of Rock, and The Royal Tenenbaums. If the film lives up to its talent, it's the next Hollywood comedy to watch.

Here's to hoping it doesn't go the way of another non-Apatow-directed Apatow project, 2005's Fun with Dick and Jane remake.

Color me cautiously optimistic!

Uwe Boll's Far Cry for help.

I have to admit, I've never seen a film with the dubious honor of having been made by shlockmeister Uwe Boll. So the "shlockmeister" thing was a bit unfair; I'm just painting the general consensus here (not saying that, from what I have seen, I disagree).

In any case, the guy is auctioning off a role in his current film Far Cry--yet another video game adaptation--on eBay.

And no one's bidding.

I almost pity the man. Almost.

Canada cracks down on pirates.

And no, not those Pirates. As At World's End goes into its second week as the #1 film in America, Canada has introduced a new law dealing with real-life movie pirates which would impose a jail sentence of two to five years on anyone caught recording a film with a camcorder in a movie theater without the manager's permission.

According to the MPAA, Canada accounts for a quarter of all pirated movies. Which is a bit ridiculous. And also, who cares? Who cares if the stars or studios who constantly churn out repetitive, inane bullshit lose money? Who cares if terrible movies sink like they should?

Does anyone other than the MPAA and the U.S. government actually consider piracy a threat? Because I don't. The real threat? DVDs (legal ones). Americans are lazy folks, and if they can just wait a couple months and get a new flick mailed to them where they can watch it on their sofa, that's what they'll do. The vast majority of world citizens do not practice film piracy, so stop blaming it for everything that's wrong with the film industry.

Start blaming yourself, Hollywood.

(That picture is fucking hilarious, by the way.)

Eli Roth wants to go Hostel on Kate Hudson.

Eli Roth makes a living out of torturing people--albeit, fictionally--and apparently would love to torture Kate Hudson in one of his flicks.

Says Roth: "I'd love to torture her. But then again, sitting through one of her romantic comedies is its own form of torture. If I had to choose between watching Raising Helen or vomiting because of something I'd seen on the screen in Hostel: Part II, I'd pick the vomit every time."

I've never seen any of Roth's movies (though his fake trailer for Grindhouse, Thanksgiving, was my least favorite), nor do I really want to. I'm sure I will one day, most likely out of boredom, but I fucking hate torture porn. It's idiotic, derivative, and completely unremarkable.

I think I might actually pick Raising Helen over one of the Hostel movies (not that I'd be expecting any good from either).

It was a funny quote, though.

(Though I won't mention the credibility-defacing fact that I liked her very PG-13 horror flick The Skeleton Key, because that would be just...damn it.)

Paris goes to jail.

You know, I do feel bad that I'm going to be just another one of those bloggers contributing to the media saturation devoted to Paris Hilton and jailtime. I mean, when I do stuff like this, I think about all the folks at Time and CNN who the same thing. But classily! They swear!

Well, since I'm already here, I may as well do this thing...and it's Paris Hilton, right? So I can't feel too badly. Right? Not like she's a real person or anything. Right?

Okay, before I get all hypocritical--I have, after all, gleefully covered this topic before--let me just say that I have not switched positions at all. I still think she's a rich bitch, and I still think she deserves the jailtime, and the media scrutiny (to some extent). But I think it's when I saw the TMZ video of her with her mother as she headed to jail--which I will not link to, out of whatever decency still resides in this ol' heart of mine--that I realized how truly demented the papparazzi is. It's millions of miles from being the worst or most intrusive thing they've done, or that I've seen, but I refuse to be one of the vultures picking at the bones of Paris' small, small, tiny, shattered dignity.

Well, at least not much. She went to jail last night. Yay! (And that wasn't sarcasm that time.) As I've said before, keeping her quarantined from the rest of civilization for as long as possible is very much a good thing. She has no talent; she's a vacuous, arrogant fool who likes to think she means something. And unfortunately, we've given her thoughts definite credence.

Plus: Proof that Sarah Silverman has the biggest balls of any comedian working today (except for perhaps Michael Richards) can be found here.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

At the Movies: It's okay to get Knocked Up.

I absolutely love The 40 Year Old Virgin, that 2005 comedic gem from writer/director Judd Apatow that pretty much caught everyone by surprise. It was the best mainstream comedy in years, and surprisingly sweet and emotional. It's a tough act to follow. Which is why I am utterly delighted to report that Apatow's latest film, Knocked Up, is actually better in almost every regard.

The basic premise is simple enough: Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) is a slack-y stoner who, with his buds, runs a website listing all the movies where hot actresses get nekkid. He makes zero dollars. Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is an up-and-coming personality at the E! Channel who has a promising future and lives with her sister Debbie (Leslie Mann), her sister's husband Pete (Paul Rudd), and their two children. One night, Alison gets smashed and hooks up with Ben. They wake up, she discovers he's absolutely horrifying and disgusting. She ditches him. Eight weeks later...she finds she's pregnant, and Ben's the father. She tracks him down and after much awkwardness the two decide to keep the baby and stick through things together, with varying degrees of success.

What's most surprising about Knocked Up is how tenderly Apatow and cast handle the situation. Apatow managed to treat the plight of a 40-year-old virgin with just the right combination of sweetness and vulgarity, and while the same remains true for Knocked Up, the emotional complexity here is far deeper and richer. There are so many wonderful dynamics: Ben and Alison are complete opposites and it's fascinating to watch their relationship grow and deepen, each proving unsuited to different facets of parenthood; Debbie and Pete are hilariously mismatched yet perfect for each other; Alison and Debbie are sisters, so of course they share similarities, but it's great to see Debbie's personality traits pop up in Alison's moments of intense emotion and vice versa; after Ben tries to become semi-responsible, watching him handle his druggie friends is both funny and compelling.

Basically, the movie is about how you change yourself for the people you love, the lifestyle negotiations that brings about, and exactly how much control you can exert over your own life (turns out, not that much). Everyone in this movie, much like in real life, is different around different people, and it's great to see this kind of depth in the movies. I'm not necessarily saying that Knocked Up is a brilliant character study, but the way in which it subtly explores all of these relationships and quirks in the guise of a mainstream sex comedy is great.

And of course, it's funny as hell. Seth Rogen proves himself deserving of top-notch funnyman status; every punchline he delivers is impeccable. For much of the movie, I couldn't catch a breath I was laughing so hard, especially when he and Paul Rudd were onscreen together (Rudd's delivery is also amazing). Add to this great cameos from Ryan Seacrest and James Franco (both as themselves), Harold Ramis, and Alan Tudyk, and you've got yourself one genius comedy. But the performances also skew emotional, and again Rogen proves himself absolutely winning; his partner, Katherine Heigl, gives perhaps the sneakiest performance here. At first, Heigl seems a bit too straight-laced and cutesy, but her range of emotion keeps evolving and growing until you absolutely do not question her place in the movie.

The 40 Year Old Virgin was broad comedy, whereas Knocked Up is a scaled-down, more intimate kind of comedy peppered with broad bits. I'm almost surprised this is in the mainstream; ten years ago, it would've been a cult sensation. I struggled a lot with whether or not to give this the top grade, and while--for now--I decided against it, Knocked Up remains a fantastically funny and sweet A

Insert witty post topic here.

AKA, Will and Why Blogger Needs to Expand the Character Limit in Their Subject Lines. I tell ya, what I had was gold, but alas...

Anyways, first off, I'm sorry I haven't been able to contribute more to the blog as of late. I've been really busy finishing up my school shit and things are hectic enough without added responsibility. However, AJ seems to be posting enough for me, him, and maybe a...Third Man.

If you're any sort of movie fan (I mean, hey, why else would you be wasting your time reading our shit?), you're familiar with Carol Reed's classic noir The Third Man. Not only is it one of the best noirs ever made, but it's also one of the best movies in general. And just recently, Criterion decided to recognize this (for the second time, I should add) with a new two-disc DVD set. Now, admittedly, it was tough throwing down $35 for my copy, but it was well worth it. The picture on this thing is just fucking astounding for a film of this age; the wet cobblestones of Vienna have never looked better. And the extras...hell, I still haven't been through them all.

Bottom line? If you dig the flick (as well you should), run out and get it. And if you already own the earlier edition, I'd say it's worth the upgrade.

Now, I dunno how this happened, but somehow I managed to hit the movies not once, not twice, but three times this week. And to my surprise, all the flicks I saw impressed.

Oh, what? Didn't think I was gonna hit one of the biggest movies of the summer?, of course you did because chances are, you probably went to see it too.

I'd been jonesing for the next Pirates flick ever since the credits rolled on last summer's Dead Man's Chest, an action extravaganza that unquestionably (at least, in these eyes) wiped the floor, the walls, and maybe the ceiling too with the first film. So, with mad anticipation, I entered the theater...

I won't waste time giving you a run-down on the plot, as AJ already did that and then some. But in these days following my seeing At World's End, I've been having some serious deja vu. Honestly, where's Denzel when ya need him (hey, it was entertaining...)? I remember last year when all the fans of the first were expressing their disappointment with the second installment, while I was sitting there thinking, "What...the...hell is wrong with these people?" And now, with an even larger wave of displeasure upon us, I have only one thing to say.

What...the...hell is wrong with these people?

At World's End kicked ass, folks! Sure, in comparison to the almighty Dead Man's Chest it comes up relatively slight, but who cares? Captain Jack's as insanely hilarious as ever, Barbossa's back in action, and Davy Jones...damn, I like him more and more each time I see him. The flick's not without its problems (most notably, a first half that could've been cut down slightly), but getting to see these characters in action once again more than made up for it. And, jeez...the last half hour, which is basically one non-stop action sequence, is one of the most fucking mind-blowing things you're likely to see this year.

As far as the series goes, this one ranks second for me, and I'll definitely be picking it up whenever it hits the shelves. Arrgh! A-

To say the very least, I did not have high hopes for Disturbia when I went to see it. Hell, the only reason I was seeing it is because my theater, in its blatant stupidity, didn't get Knocked Up this weekend. my shocking surprise...Disturbia was not bad!

I mean, yeah, it's basically Rear Window lite, but what're ya gonna do? Honestly, I really fucking enjoyed this movie. No, it's nothing great, and I've got a few complaints to toss out, but ultimately it's a decent film, as it's far smarter and way more intense than any other suspense-thriller out right now, especially for one directed to a younger audience.

What I really dug about the movie was that it took its time getting set up, something most other modern thrillers seem to avoid. The flick's very steadily paced, with just the right mix of character development and intense moments. And speaking of intense moments, the film's final fifteen minutes are fucking brutal.

I gotta say, David Morse was fantastic as the villain here - definitely some echoes of Raymond Burr. I've never been a big Shia LaBeouf fan, but he actually did a pretty good job as the lead. Of course he's no Jimmy Stewart, but he definitely showed more acting chops than I'm used to. This is the only flick I've seen from director D.J. Caruso (a lot of them look pretty iffy), but he's definitely got a good visual sense and has a knack for building intensity.

The caveats for this one lie mainly with a very mediocre array of supporting actors, some all-too-silly moments, and an opening scene that's...that's just not right for this movie. Should you choose to see it, you'll know what I mean.

I make no guarantees as to what you'll think of this movie, but as for me, I had a good time. And that's what counts...riiiight? B

I have saved the absolute best for last. When
I first saw the trailers for William Friedkin's latest effort, Bug, I really didn't know what to think. It was one of those that looked interesting, while at the same time seeming sort of lame. But, as things turned out, I found myself near a theater that was playing it and curiosity won out. And thank God for that.

Bug is, without a doubt, one of the strangest films I've ever had the pleasure of viewing. It starts out as a slow-paced drama of sorts, but slowly becomes a descent into madness and paranoia. To say any more would be to spoil all the little surprises that Bug holds for its audiences.

Based on a play of the same name, Bug takes place almost entirely in a single hotel room, which, naturally, is reminiscent of Richard Linklater's brilliant indie, Tape. For just that, I have to give the film credit. Any movie that can hold interest
and actually build intensity out of a single location deserves some recognition. But I tell ya..."intensity" is the understatement of the year for what Bug becomes.

As of now, Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon are easily my picks for best actor/actress this year. Their performances in this flick are just...amazing. Once again, I'll have to leave it at that, because going into detail would ruin the experience. I will say this, though. Remember the scene in JFK with Joe Pesci going apeshit in the hotel? Shannon's performance is very reminiscent of that...only multiplied by 1000000.

With Bug, William Friedkin proves that he hasn't lost his touch. The man behind such classics as The French Connection and The Exorcist, Friedkin's got expactations to meet and believe you me, he meets them and then proceeds to rise farther and farther above them with each frame. Bug's got some of the most interesting (and terri
fying) visuals I've seen in a long while, and I gotta give him props for the directorial choices he made.

Basically, you have to see this movie.
There's no telling whether or not you'll like it. In fact, chances are you'll dislike it (I know the other people in my showing certainly did). But you owe it to yourself to give it a shot...might come out surprised. A

And that's it for me this weekend. Hopefully in a few days I can get my ass to some showing of Knocked Up...and then proceed to laugh said ass off. As I write this, AJ's seeing it, so look forward to his thoughts on it.

That's all, folks...or something a little less clich├ęd. Your call.

Friday, June 1, 2007

New Movie Day: 6/1/07

Happy June, everybody!

This weekend's releases...

Director Judd Apatow's The 40 Year Old Virgin wasn't only the surprise hit of 2005, it was also the suprise critical darling of 2005. I'm one of the ones who loved that one, and this one looks similarly hilarious. Don't know if it can beat that closing credits sequence in Virgin, though...

This Kevin Costner thriller is either gonna be really fun or really lame; I can't tell yet. But the inclusion of Dane Cook does add points in the latter category.

I haven't even heard of this before, so that's not good. Plus, it looks like crap.

An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim helms this family sports flick (and did you hear about the Truth sequel?).

In limited release:

(Only in LA/NY)
I've been wanting to see this one.
(Only in LA)

Will would also like you to know that he's jonesing for Knocked Up and Mr. Brooks...but is stuck with fucking Disturbia. Damn. Hang in there, buddy.

All aboard Platform 9 3/4!

My inner fanboy--okay, my outer's a fanboy too--has reason to be giddy: A Harry Potter theme park will open in 2009. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is going to be one of the islands featured at Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida (there are other islands like Jurassic Park or Marvel Superhero Island, for example), and will feature rides, shops, restaurants, etc. inspired by the fanciful worlds of both the books and the movies.

So my question is: What's left for J.K. Rowling to do to become ruler of the known universe?

Seth Rogen wasn't the first to get Knocked Up.

Judd Apatow's sweet/vulgar sex comedy Knocked Up hits theaters today, and I've been looking forward to it quite muchly. I'm also a huge Arrested Development fan.

Combine the two...and you get this hilarious mockumentary-esque video that shows Arrested Development's Michael Cera in the lead role that eventually went to Seth Rogen (Cera stars in the upcoming Superbad, which was written by and features Rogen).

Here's to hoping the movie is as deliriously funny as that.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Pissed-Off Federal Government

A promotional quarter for the upcoming sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, featuring good ol' Norrin Radd on one side and George Washington on the other, has been deemed illegal by the U.S. Mint.

There's a certain amount of hypocrisy here--the Franklin Mint, which manufactured the coins, does the same thing for many other properties and never gets in trouble--but also a certain amount of karmic justice. See, Tim Story? This is what happens when you make one of the worst comic book adaptations of all time.