I live in Echo Park. Which is supposed to be the trendy hipster shit-fuck part of Los Angeles. As such, there are a lot of homeless dudes that wander around in front of our house. And dunkle on the back gate. These guys are pretty annoying, cause all they do is sleep and dig through the remains of the carpet store dumpster next door. At night, it looks like a shag sample explosion has hits the sidewalk. Bums wrap themselves up in these thrown-away squares of fabric for warmth.
These carpet tents have become a fixture in the local neighborhood. We're the real Fabric District. But so what, right? Well, I go to a lot of junkets and visit various studios throughout the year. At least 92% of the time, they give us free t-shirts sporting the name of whatever crappy movie they are trying to pimp. Basically, they'd like all of us journalists to become walking billboards. Sometimes I wear these shirts, sometimes I don't (they're rarely cool). But sooner than later, they all end up in my box of "dumb movie shit" out in the garage. Well, the box was moved out of the garage without me knowing it. And left on the sidewalk.
I wake up this morning, and as I drive down the street, past all of the carpet tents, every homeless man I see is wearing a Promotional T-Shirt from some horrible film spanning the last five years. It was like Dawn of the Promotional Dead. It was hilarious. Ah, it made every single penny those studio guys ever spent on that stuff worth it. Plus, it clothed my entire neighborhood. So, I can legally be declared a Saint now. Whoop-doo! Carpet Sample City looks like a homeless Comic Con. And it's amazing like a urination rainbow on a sunny Sunday morning.
"Hey, will you get on with it!?!"
Oh, yeah. Sure. Without further ado, here is the official news of the Whoop-doo nation:
Indy Pics? Whoop-doo!
The Indiana Jones Picture Parade! Whoop-doo! Some people have screamed "spoiler!" loud and clear. They don't want to see all of these images before the film actually hits. It is taking the bite and surprise out of The Crystal Skull. Baloney. I like what I am seeing. And it allows me to visually daydream about the finished product. I get to see my own version of it in my head months before the premier. The pictures are a great imagination stimulate. Of course, in doing this I will only get my hopes up and inevitably be disappointed when it finally comes out. Cause it didn't live up to my expectations. Understandable. But with this film, I think that is a good thing. Right now, the film is still cool. Still awesome. It is exciting to think about. And the pictures make doing so an enjoyable experience. The day after the movie hits, those pictures will just be a cruel reminder of how classily iconic this thing could have been. I'm not saying the movie is going to suck. At the very least, I think it will be highly engaging and very entertaining. But as news seeps out about the film, you have to realize that it is going to be dissed by the rabid fans that are expecting something great from the franchise. It is definitely looking like another Lucas kiddy freak out. The bearded one even said so himself. "Most fans won't like it," he ominously warned. From Indy's son being named Mutt (this has been confirmed, it is sewn on his leather jacket for god's sake, just look closely at some of those pictures) to the last twenty minutes of the film taken place on a space ship (also confirmed). The thing indeed sounds a tad goofy. Shai LaBeouf stated loud and clear that the film is chalk full of "slip-on-a-banana peel" type humor. He is referring to that Lucas-type of humor that saw Jar Jar Binks getting his tongue stuck in the back of a P.O.D. racer. Add all that to the fact that Spielberg hasn't known how to end a film properly since A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. The man has created some of the greatest film endings in the history of the medium. But that all stopped with Saving Private Ryan and Tom Hanks meager whisper, "Earn this." After that cinematically great moment, something weird happened. Spielberg lost the ability to end his fucking movies on a proper note. The story itself will find a natural resolution, but the films just keep blathering on for an additional thirty minutes. It is true of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. It comes to a natural conclusion, then the reels keep chugging past infinity. Same with Minority Report, Catch Me if You Can, The Terminal, and Munich. War of the Worlds didn't have so much a prolonged ending, but it made no sense nonetheless. The kid is at his grandma's brownstone? That would have been cool if we discovered it was a Tom Cruise chaos delusion. But its not. It is simply one of the worst endings of Spielberg's career. This is fact, not opinion. Just watch the films in question. And you will see this to be true. Knowing that, how possible is it that we are going to get an ending with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that is as spectacularly awesome as the one seen in the original Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I don't want to be a down bunny, but the odds simply aren't in our favor. Especially since the climax takes place on a spaceship. So, in conclusion, I say, enjoy the pictures while you can! They may be the best thing about the movie! (PS - I'll take Jonathan Ke Quan over Shia LaBeouf any Temple Of Doom of the week.
Return of the Bluths? Whoop-doo!
Arrested Development Flick Closer to Production? Whoop-Doo! This idea has been bandied about forever. Since at least before the show officially went off the air. There was also this notion or thought that the series could go to a pay cable channel. Either venue would see the Bluth enterprise getting to live on in all of its R rated glory. While the more illicit cable version of the franchise never came to fruition, Arrested Development devotees have held onto the fact that their might be a feature film somewhere down the road. The good news is that everyone involved is game. And ready to go. This "movie" is likely heading into production just as soon as the writers' strike is ended. Since the series was cancelled, Jason Bateman has gotten some prime roles and is once again becoming a leading man. His shinning star will surely lead newcomers to the film. As will the Juno and Superbad success of Michael Cera. Right now is the perfect time for the movie to hit. Another couple of years will be too late. Let's hope it happens. With the right director, this could be a true classic in the comedy genre. Then again, it could also sit stolid on the shelves like Strangers With Candy.
Venom: The Movie? Boo!
Venom gets his own film? Boo! Venom looked like a melted blob of tire rubber. I don't think that esthetic can sustain a two-hour film. This bad bitch is a secondary character for a reason. He's cool to look at in the comic books, but his back-story is not that appealing. Topher Grace did what he could with Eddie Brock, and it was one of the more appealing aspects of Spider-Man 3, but when you replace that kind of performance with a CGI'd ink spot, people will start to lose interest. He is a villain. Are they going to make him some sort of hero? Weak. You can have the bad guy be the centrifugal force in your plot, but you will need some sort of heroic aspect to make it work. To make it appealing to the general public. Otherwise, it will fail miserably. That's just script writing economics there. Look, they couldn't make Venom work as a secondary character. They are going to have to work overtime to make him the central character in his own film. And from what I have already seen, it is not worth the effort.
More Sly? Whoop-doo!
Sly Stallone is directing two more back-to-back action flicks? Whoop-doo! If he can bring the same kind of ferocious veracity to another franchise or original action film as we saw in both the last Rocky and the last Rambo, I say, "Let the man go to town!" His take on "Death Wish" sounds like a welcome one. I dig old grey haired Stallone running the concrete streets of Philadelphia with vengeance on his mind. It'll be like Rambo vs. the Crips and the Bloods. That shit is badder than Leprechaun In the Hood. Whatever he chooses to make, I hope he sticks to his guns and doesn't puss out. We need Stallone's analog heroes more than ever. Everyone else has wimpled out. Let's hope he doesn't do the same. More blood, more guts, more action, more Stallone! I'd drink to that. And will sometime in the near future. Just as long as he doesn't dunkle-drop another D-Tox on us. He could very well be the last savior of action cinema.
The Nottie? Boo!
The Hottie & the Nottie? Boo! Paris Hilton is not atrocious in this film. For once, she drops the baby talk and acts like a normal human being. It is an adequate performance in what could have been a cute comedy with a lot of Farrelly brothers' heart. The message is a good one, and the performances from my SOU alumni Joel Moore and Step by Step daughter Christine Lakin elevate this up and past the usual video store fodder. It would have been a charming little film had it not been for the "gross-out" humor that attacks and sabotages all of the good will that comes before it. While Lakin gives a natural and effective performance, she is done in by her appearance. This woman's make-up job is so unsightly, you can hardly look at the screen for more than three minutes at a time. Her boils, and zits, and hairlegs aren't funny. At all. They are vomitous. I have seen a lot of horror movies in my life, and I haven't ever covered my face once. I can stomach pretty much anything. Until this came along. There is one scene with a toenail that is in the trailer. When this part came on and played out in full, I had no other choice but to cover my face for a full three minutes. It left me gagging and unable to enjoy the rest of the film. Which is too bad, because underneath its unsightly veneer is a sweet, timeless story about true love.
Multiplex Dogs? Boo!
Dogs in the movie theater? Boo! Babies still remain at the top of the heap as far as annoying theater patrons go, but what is it with this current trend of bringing your little lap dog into the movie theater with you. I know, Paris Hilton started it. But those little rats get in there and cry, and whimper. Seeing them is annoying enough on its own. Why are theaters allowing this? Shouldn't there be some sort of rule? No animals should be allowed in the theater unless they are a seeing-eye dog, or some other sort of handicapable assistant. Heck, I've even seen those tiny mutts at press screenings. Are the dogs not capable of staying at home by themselves? Do they actually know what is going on up on that screen? Are they caught up in Rambo just as much as I am? Ladies and gay men, keep your stupid vanity pets at home. We, the normal folk, don't want to see them. They aren't cute. They are fucking sickening. I hate those fucking little movie watching dogs. And yes, I would step
That's it for the Whoop-Doo Nation. I'm sure we'll be seeing even less of you next week. Until then, check out this new publication: Beer Magazine. After you read it, you just may want to subscribe.