Hey there friends. Brian Gallagher here with a look at all the news that wasn't fit for print over the past seven days. There's a lot to get to this week, so lets kick things off with some intriguing "recruitment" posters from the Star Wars universe.
I have to wonder how many people would join the Empire in Star Wars if these posters were plastered around the galaxy far, far away. The Swedish Bed has discovered some sexy anime posters featuring women in stormtrooper costumes to recruit young men into the Empire. Artist Feng Zhu created these posters and he also did some work on Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith as a designer. Take a look at these interesting posters below:
It almost seems like Zhu has infused the humor from Starship Troopers in these posters. Regardless, it paints an interesting picture of who is really underneath those white stormtrooper outfits...
Despite Hollywood's constant insistence on making remakes and sequels, there are some movies that have to be considered hallowed grounds which won't be desecrated by further films. I'd have to imagine that the 1982 classic Gandhi would be considered as one of those films, but the fine folks at Funny or Die obviously believe that nothing is sacred. Take a look below at this hilarious video for Gandhi II with Danny DeVito starring as the title character. The video not only parodies the movie, but the Bravo TV show Inside the Actors Studio. Take a look at the hilarity below:
Is it just me, or can Danny DeVito do no wrong? Hopefully we'll see a Throw Momma From The Train parody next...
Video Rental Stores Adding Tanning Beds to Survive - via The Hollywood Reporter
It's certainly no shocker that the brick-and-mortar movie rental business is failing, due to the rise of Netflix and Redbox. What is fairly shocking is a new tactic that some independent rental stores are employing to ensure their survival. A story from The Hollywood Reporter reveals that 35% of all independent movie rental stores have added tanning beds to their business. It was said that more than 3,500 of the 10,000 indie rental stores have added tanning beds to their stores and that slow periods in the rental biz match up nicely with peak tanning times. This comes at a time when the major rental chains like Blockbuster and Movie Gallery are shutting down stores left and right. Blockbuster has already closed 600 stores this year and there are plans to close 800 more as the company is facing bankrupcy. Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video have liquidated 4,000 stores this year.
The movie rental business as a whole has been on the decline since 2001, where it peaked with $8.6 billion in revenue. Last year, the rental biz took in $6.5 billion in revenue, down 24% since 2001. The mom-and-pop rental stores are also touting the non-delay factor of Redbox, since many studios have imposed a 28-day waiting period to rent their movies on the rental kiosks. Apparently, they're also challenging the legality of Redbox kiosks, since the placement of Redbox machines may not offer enough room for wheelchair access, which would be against federal law. The Video Business Group is also claiming that kids under the age of 17 could possibly rent R-rated movies if they have a credit card. Here's an excerpt from a recent Video Business Group newsletter where they encourage rental store owners to take action against Redbox:
"Be aggressive," a recent issue of the VBG's newsletter recommends. "If these Redboxes are in violation of the law, let local officials know about it. Some retailers have already done this, and the vending machines were moved or taken out altogether."
Tanning beds and crybaby tactics aren't the only things that indie rental stores have going for them, according to Michael Pachter, analyst for Wedbush Securities:
"Mom-and-pops have two advantages: cost structure and porn."
Way to take the high road, video rental store owners...
I am incredibly psyched for the return of the hilarious NBC comedy Community this week (Thursday, September 23 at 8 PM ET) and if you're as psyched as I am, you'll surely love this video. TV.com has posted a new music video/Season 1 remix from DJ Steve Porter. It's a hilarious video that puts most of the best moments from Season 1 on display, all set to a tasty beat. Check out this video below and return to Glendale Community College in a great way:
By the way, even if you haven't caught Community's magnificent first season, you should check out the Season 2 premiere on Thursday because Betty White is guest-starring as a new professor. Community: Season 1 will also debut on DVD on Tuesday, September 21. Trust me, you'll be streets ahead by watching it...
While I'm no Trekkie, even I can see the awesomeness in this device that I'm shocked never made it into production. Engadget has discovered that Nokia made prototypes for cell phones based on the communicator used in the original Star Trek TV series. There were 14 of these phones made, which were originally going to be used as product tie-in's for J.J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek. A Star Trek fan noticed that a Nokia employee had put one of these phones up for auction on eBay and after he won the auction, he made an 8-minute video and put it up on YouTube for Trekkie's to gawk at. Take a look at the video and a few photos of this amazing phone below:
I honestly don't know why Nokia never moved forward with these phones. They're incredibly cool and, given the success of the Star Trek, I think these things would've sold like hotcakes. It doesn't seem that any other Nokia employees have put this phone up for sale on eBay either, so I guess the only way to get one of these is to track down this guy or J.J. Abrams - who apparently has one of these phones as well - and make them an offer they can't refuse...
Well, that's about all I have for this week's edition of the Sunday Funnies. If you have any suggestions of articles/crazy stuff you'd like to see made fun of on future installments of Sunday Funnies, you can post on my wall here at MovieWeb: movieweb.com/u/gallagher OR follow me on Twitter @GallagherMW to send me funny links or chat about movies or whatever strikes your fancy. Peace in. Gallagher out!