Hey, Paulington! Is a new Cinephile advice column that looks at life, love, and the movies. Anyone can send in a question, and Paulington will answer it. Sure, it's a really cryptic, cliched concept that has been around since the dawn of time. But we're going to spice it up a little bit. Topics can range from anything: Sex, violence, haints and taints, your favorite movie! Paulington doesn't care. He's basically doing it for a paycheck. He's not really an expert on anything. But he sure does know a lot about movies and human nature. You can send your questions to (as in, click on the giant red letters and you will automatically be sent to his email):
And he will be sure to answer all of them in a very timely manner. Here are this week's letters. Enjoy!
Father's day is coming. I need to know which movie to take dear old dad to this weekend? Give it to me, mustache man! Signed - "Daddy's Girl"
Dear D.G. Whoever was in charge of scheduling this weekend's theatrical releases needs to be shot in the face. There isn't a decent "dad-centric" film in the bunch. Sure, you, being a girl and all, might dig Anne Fletcher's Disney comedy The Proposal. But Pops is going to loathe it. He'll squirm and wriggle around in his seat, grumbling about how much he hates you and your yellow guts under his breath the entire time. Shit, it might even kill the poor coot. You certainly don't want to give him the wrong impression with Woody Allen's Whatever Works, a thinly veiled ode to incestual relationships. I bet your father would be interested in seeing Year One. He probably likes Jack Black, but I doubt he knows Michael Cera from a hole in the wall. Let him suggest it, though. Once you both see how truly awful it is, he'll only blame you if it was your idea. You might even get stuck buying him lunch or dinner to make up for the miserable experience. Up is a film you'll both enjoy, but chances are you've seen it already. Star Trek is a pretty great cinematic gift to give to your dad. He'll probably like it best, though he probably snuck off to see it when your mom wasn't looking. My dad really liked The Hangover, but it could be a little too risqué for a father-daughter outing. I think your best bet is The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. Its inoffensive, action packed, and completely dad-ified. Why it didn't open this weekend instead of last is lost on me. It seems like the perfect Father's Day movie. Heck you might even enjoy it, squirrel.
I thought Walt Disney Studios was going to finally release Song of the South on DVD in a two-disc special Diamond edition. Whatever happened to that? Signed - "Uncle Screamus"
Dear Screamus. This film has been deemed controversial, and despite attempts to release it in the United States, Song of the South has pretty much been buried by Disney. Even Roger Ebert thinks the film should be locked away in movie jail, claiming it has the potential to seep in and ruin children's minds with cruel ideas of overt racism. The problem with the film: Most people think that it shows Slavery in too good a light. Yet Disneyland's most popular attraction (i.e. Splash Mountain) is based on this rousing mix of live action and animation. It's a shame, because the film is actually pretty great. Back in 2006, Disney flirted with the idea of releasing a pretty extensive two-disc DVD set that featured prominent black historians talking about the film in both a lengthy documentary and a scene-specific audio commentary. The decision to manufacture this long awaited DVD fell apart due to inner-studio squabbling about Song of the South's rightful place in film history. It couldn't be decided if the potential damage the film might cause outweighed the experience of being able to watch it. At Walt Disney's 2006 annual shareholders meeting, which took place on March 10th, Disney CEO Robert Iger announced that the film would remain locked up like Charlie Manson with no chance of parole. One year later, in March of 2007, Iger said that there was a slim chance the film, never released for the home market on any format in the U.S., could possibly be included as an entry in Walt Disney's upcoming Diamond collection. That noise was squashed three months later when Iger said, "Just teasing, black folks!" (Full disclosure: Those weren't his actually words.) At this current moment in history, it seems unlikely that this sunken treasure will ever see a proper, digitally remastered release. That is, unless Obama demands it. Which is quite possible. The film has seen released on VHS and laser disc in other countries. If you want to see Song of the South, I suggest you invest in a dubbed copy off Ebay. I've heard rumors that a couple of actual 35mm prints are still swimming around the basements of a couple different independent film collectors. Thought, its highly unlikely you'll ever see them playing in a legitimate venue. Keep your eyes and ears open for an underground exhibition sometime soon. When attending, expect to see somewhat knowledgeable people discussing the controversial family film before and after the screening. Also of note: The film was never banned. Though this rumor is believed to be true, no one has ever kept Disney from exhibiting the film except Disney itself. Will the film change your life once you see it? Doubtful. Most kids will probably grow bored before the animated sequences even kick in. For the record, its probably my favorite Walt Disney animated film from that time period.
I saw you at the Mann's Chinese theater the other night, and you were wearing one of those novelty Ts you so deemed unnecessary in your last letter column. WTF? What gives? It had Han Solo and Chewbacca on it. I know it was you. Signed - "ConfusEd"
Dear Ed. No comment.
Dear Batfan. I think this is all hype from the studio. Sure, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is tracking great. And ticket prices are up at least a dollar from last year. So it's very possible that the film will have a record-breaking weekend. But advanced word is that it's too long. The film clocks in at nearly two and a half hours, and does not have the same excellent narrative push that made The Dark Knight so special. While opening weekend business will be buffo in terms of sheer mass, I think we'll see a higher percentage drop in ticket sales the following weekend than we saw for The Dark Knight. This just isn't the kind of movie drooling fanboys want to see three times in a row. Twice, maybe. But three is the key. It looks like Transformers may beat Batman out of the gate, but I don't think those crazy exploding robots have the stamina to keep it up. Christopher Nolan's sequel brought in $158 million over the course of its opening weekend. That's a lot of cum to chuggle. Will Optimus Prime be up to the task? Hmm? I say he nabs at least $132 million, but doesn't quite grab that brass ring. What do you guys think?
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