Sunday, April 27, 2008

Last Five Movies

Lust, Caution (2007)
A movie from a new genre I'm liking very much: the WWII Female Spy Softcore Porno Movie. I call it a new genre, as I can only think of one other movie in the genre, that being Paul Verhoeven's Black Book. It's odd that both movies are by well-known directors (Ang Lee and Verhoeven) who returned to their native countries (Taiwan and Holland) to make these movies. Both are great...if you like WWII Female Spy Softcore Porno Movies.

Prom Night (2008)
Not really a remake of the Jamie Lee Curtis movie as much as it's a movie with the same name about a killer on prom night, much the same way Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 was a sequel of Prom Night because it had a "2" in its title. I don't know what kind of money your typical 16 year old girl makes, but apparently it's enough to take her and a half dozen of her squealing friends to see this movie. I think that also gives you an idea of how terrible this movie is. Go rent the "original" instead.

Dead Heat (1988)
Yet another of the 100,000 crappy horror movies that came out during the '80s (the only good thing about the '80s, really). This one's actually pretty special, because it features the acting talents of Joe Piscopo in one of the three movies he made after leaving SNL. He really doesn't improve the proceedings. I hadn't seen this movie in 20 years, and it hasn't improved with age (although some of the special effects are still pretty gross).

Baby Mama (2008)
One of the funniest movies I've seen in a while. Sure, it's predictable, and the characters aren't fleshed out very well (Tina Fey basically plays her character from 30 Rock), but it's still hilarious. There's a scene where Amy Poehler pretends to be Fey's sister that had me literally in tears. Funny, funny, funny.

It's a tough call, seeing as how funny Baby Mama was, but...

The Orphanage (2007)
From the funniest to the scariest. This Guillermo Del Toro-produced Spanish import is the creepiest thing I've seen in a long time. It's just more proof that no one in the U.S. has any idea to make a scary movie (refer to my comments on Prom Night), as all of the scariest movies are imports. Well worth a look...if you like scary movies.

Check it out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here Comes A Real American Hero

The other day, flipping through some stuff on Yahoo, I came across this slideshow of promo stills from G.I. Joe, the upcoming live-action adaptation of the toy line/cartoon/comic book of the same name. Honestly, before I saw these photos, I didn't even know there was an upcoming G.I. Joe movie. Really seems like a kinda stupid idea to me. But, they made a movie out of The Transformers, the other big toy line/cartoon/comic book of the '80s, and it did good business, so why not G.I. Joe?

After checking on the IMDB page for the movie, and seeing who's going to be in it, I have a few comments:

-I don't know who Channing Tatum is, nor do I care, but do we really want him playing the leader of America's Fighting Force? Was Zak Efron not available?

-I just can't envision Joseph Gordon-Hewitt as Cobra Commander. Unless he's going to talk in that queer screechy voice he had in the cartoon. Then Gordon-Hewitt might be a perfect choice.

-I've seen production stills from the movie in which Sienna Miller still has blonde hair, which is great, as Sienna looks good blonde, but her character, Baroness, had black hair. They've still got a year and a half to dye it, I guess.

-It's nice to see that Zartan made the cut. I wonder if Arnold Vosloo's skin will turn blue when exposed to light, or if he'll have that backpack with the goofy mask inside. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you were deprived as a child.)

-I see both Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow are in the movie, so get really for some Ninja Action!

-This movie might be worth sitting through if Rachel Nichols spends the whole thing squeezed into a skin-tight suit. At least her hair's the right color.

I'm sure this movie will suck, but I'll see it anyway. It is G.I. Joe, after all.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Post Office Has Run Out Of People To Commemorate

I don't usually go to the post office, but I had to stop in the other day for a stamp, a single stamp. I happened to look at the stamp that they stuck on my envelope and noticed it was a rather large commemorative stamp of physicist John Bardeen.

Usually, when the Post Office issues a commemorative stamp, it's of someone well known, like John Wayne or Dwight Eisenhower or a Looney Tunes character; stuff like that. I think they might be scraping the bottom if they're putting out stamps for significant yet pop-culturally obscure physicists.

For those not in the know, John Bardeen was a two-time Nobel physicist: one for his work on the transistor, and the other for...something else. Quite honestly, I really don't anything about Bardeen, except for the Nobel/transistor thing, and the only reason I know that is because my high school Spanish teacher was Bardeen's nephew. As for the other people shown in the stamps above, well, that would require a trip to Wikipedia. But I'm willing to bet the rest of the population would have to make that trip for Bardeen as well.

It's nice to see "science types" getting the recognition they deserve. We might be better as a society if our knowledge of people like Bardeen was greater than our knowledge of Britney Spears, but...that's America for ya. Personally, I was hoping for a Wilhelm Röntgen stamp, but I guess John Bardeen will have to do.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Change My Loyalties Once Again

Remember a while back, when I switched my online movie renting from GreenCine to Blockbuster Online? No? Well, that's what the link's for.

Anyway...I really liked Blockbuster Online. I liked that you could return your movies-by-mail at their storefront locations for another movie. I liked that they gave you a coupon every month for a free game. I liked that, with some effort, I could watch like 48 movies, 2/3s of which I didn't pay for. It was a good deal, AND it cost about the same as what I was paying before.

Now, I would guess that Blockbuster's ideal customer is one who's on the three-out plan, who maybe will watch all three in a week and then return them in the mail when they're done. Blockbuster has about a $2-3 per unit cost on these people. These are the people they like.

The people they hate are ones like me, who are completely fucking their eyes out on this deal. People who are on the four-out, unlimited returns plan, who can turn movies around fast enough that they actually might get five to six in the mail in a week, and return everything in-store, basically doubling the number of movies they get. Per unit cost on that is, like, 60-70 cents. They hate people like me. And I'm guessing they had a lot of subscribers like me, because, about six months ago, they put an end to those fucking shenanigans.

They got rid of the four-out plan altogether. They made in-store returns a "bonus" (ie, extra cost) feature, the game coupons went bye-bye, and, just for the hell of it, raised the price on all plans across the board. Suddenly, I was actually paying more for fewer movies. In the end, the pleasure of doing my renting with Blockbuster was costing me (get this) $43 a month, with tax. That...really is a lot.

So I switched to Netflix. They have a four-out plan, as well as a five-, six-, all the way up to eight-out (which actually only costs three bucks more than what I was paying with Blockbuster). Their shipping turnaround is a day, as opposed to the 2-3 with Blockbuster. They also have an large and comprehensive collection of video-on-demand that you can watch over the internet. I watched almost all of Season Three of Miami Vice in this way. And this is all costing me $20 less than what I was paying Blockbuster.

Blockbuster was a good ride until they ruined it. I suspect others will leave much as I did.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Window XP Goes Bye-Bye

If you hadn't already heard, Microsoft has announced that they will be taking the Windows XP operating system off the market in June. They've already had Windows Vista online for some time now, and I guess they figured they didn't need two operating systems on the market.

Basically, all I have to say on the matter is this: If you're an XP user, and you really like it, and you don't want to make the switch, then call Microsoft right now and get any issues you have with the program resolved. When Microsoft gets rid of a product, they get rid of a product.

Call Microsoft and tell them you're having some trouble with Windows Me. I bet they hang up on you, or say "Who is, really." Although, I'm sure, for a couple hundred bucks, they might help you out. But then, that's what a normal tech call to Microsoft costs, so maybe that money is better spent actually buying a copy of Vista.

Oh well. I'll get over this like I got over the passing of Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and Me (an OS that couldn't be killed off fast enough).

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Wisconsin Man Murders Bucks

For no reason, I happened to catch a Bucks-Pacers game the other day. Both teams stink, so this was a real stinker. The only thing that made the game exciting, and the part I happened to catch, was the fact that Marquette alum Travis Diener came into the game and proceeded to bring the Pacers back from a 10 point deficit to an eight point win.

Diener had 15 points, all three-pointer, in the fourth quarter. The Pacers were down by 10, Diener came in, and suddenly they were winning. And this guys isn't a starter?

Now that Larry Bird is running this team, maybe he needs to make some moves. I think he should see if he can pry Steve Novak away from the Rockets. Novak and Diener played together at Marquette, so they know how the other guy plays. Both are serious long-range threats. With two other shooters in Mike Dunlevy and Danny Granger, this whole team could shoot the lights out, if they wanted. If O'Neal and Tinsley ever come back, you might have a team there.

It's just an idea, though. Probably won't happen.

Nothing But Trailers

I see a lot of movies. It just goes along with that that I end up watching a lot of movie trailers. I actually enjoy them. When I get the opportunity, I watch HDNet's show Nothing But Trailers, which is, as the name would indicate, nothing but trailers. This is how much I like trailers.

But it occurred to me that lots of people don't watch a lot of movies and, therefore, don't get to see trailers. They have no idea what's coming out. And, particularly for a lot of readers of this blog, the ones they do see are whatever's tacked on the front of Alvin and the Chipmunks or The Veggie Tales Movie (ie, shit they really don't want to see anyway).

So, this is for you, those that don't get to see what's coming out: your own personal Coming Attractions. Enjoy.

Tropic Thunder: Even though I'd seen this before, it was tacked on the front of The Ruins (which really wasn't as terrible as I had suspected it would be) and inspired me to post this. It looks like it might be hilarious. Robert Downey Jr. as a black guy is comic gold.

Street Kings: Keanu Reeves could make a ton of money in Hollywood. He's shown he can open a movie and would easily be worth a $20 million paycheck, yet he continues to star in non-blockbuster stuff.

Meet Dave: Wasn't Eddie Murphy an Oscar nominee, like, a year ago? You wouldn't know it, as his last two movies are this and Norbit. Talk about a career at an absolute nadir.

Get Smart: This one's been out for quite some time, but last week was the first time I'd seen it in a theatre. I don't know if it will be any good or not (I suspect not), but prepare to laugh your ass off around the 53 second mark of this trailer.

Amusement: I have a clue what this is about, but it's got a scary clown killer in it, which is good enough for me.

The Incredible Hulk: Apparently, Ang Lee's existential take on The Hulk wasn't shitty enough by Hollywood standards, so they found someone who would make a shittier version. Yes, that's right: This is NOT a sequel to The Hulk, but an entirely new film. And it looks completely awful.

The Midnight Meat Train: I have no idea how they managed to adapt Clive Barker's story into a movie, it is.

And, lastly, but not leastly,

Righteous Shoot: DeNiro and Pacino, together in the same movie. How are you NOT going to see this?

Check 'em out if you like what you see.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hit The Road, You Motherfucker

Just days after getting knocked out of the NCAA tournament on a lucky shot, Tom Crean gave Marquette another punch in the mouth, and told them he was going to take the vacant Indiana coaching job.

Indiana's program has recently been decimated by their head coach being fired over recruiting fraud, players leaving for the draft and others getting kicked off the team. This is what Crean left Marquette for.

He leaves a team with all but one of their starters expected to return. He leaves a school that was paying him one of the highest salaries in college basketball, and was willing to give him literally anything he wanted. Leaves all this to coach at "magical" Indiana.

Fuck Indiana. I hope their starters do go to the draft. I hope the players that got kicked off the team stay off the team. I hope Indiana goes 0-34.

Yes, and fuck you too, Tom Crean. Have fun coaching in the Big 10 with your weak-ass program. I'm sure Marquette fans will revel Wisconsin handing your ass to you twice a year for the rest of your miserable career. So, fuck him.

Now begins the rebuilding, chiefly, finding a new coach. There's a lot of talk about Tony Bennett, son of legendary Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett and current coach at Washington State. He's a hell of a coach, and has ties to the state (he's from here). If he was the coach, maybe he could teach the guys how to shoot three-pointers (because they suck at it), as he could sure shoot the shit out of the ball when he played.

But, that probably won't happen. We'll see, but I'm not holding my breath. All's I know is that as long as Tom Crean fucks himself and the horse he rode in on, I'll be happy.