Hey kids. Brian Gallagher here with a look at all of the news that wasn't exactly fit for print from the past seven days. There's a lot to delve into this week so lets start with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows star Emma Watson dissing Twilight.
Two teen-centric movie franchises are coming to an end in the next few years and it seems a feud could be brewing between them. Emma Watson, who stars as Hermoine Granger in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, told OK Magazine that she thinks the Twilight is selling sex to teens.
"This kiss between Hermione and Ron is highly anticipated, it's been building up for eight films now. And Harry Potter is not Twilight, you know; we're not selling sex.
"So, whenever there is any hint of that, everybody gets terribly excited. In fact, it was horribly awkward; we couldn't stop laughing."
While I appreciate anyone taking the Twilight movies to the woodshed, this seems a tad unnecessary. Anyone who is over the age of 14 and has seen the Twilight movies knows they're about as sexy as watching paint dry. Yeah, Bella and Edward kiss a lot and there are plenty of lame scenes with them snuggling in bed (or in a bed of flowers... barf), but they aren't sexy at all for us normal adults. It will be interesting to see what Emma Watson has to say when she sees The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1's vampire baby scene...
Hilarious Comic-Con Eye-Stabbing T-Shirt - via Nerdist
OK, it's certainly not hilarious that a Comic-Con attendee got stabbed in the eye with a pen during the San Diego fest this year... but this shirt is. Nerdist has found a shirt over at Mighty Fine that pokes fun at the unfortunate incident. Take a look at this t-shirt below:
While I was in San Diego for Comic-Con this year, I wasn't in Hall H when the stabbing took place. It was a hot topic of conversation at the Saturday night parties and there were several colleagues that were surprised something like this hadn't happened sooner. Honestly, though, I was surprised it happened at all. Nerds/geeks are generally non-violent types and, despite the Con getting more mainstream and less nerdy every year, I still didn't expect to hear about a dude stabbing another dude in the eye... especially over a seat in Hall H. Hopefully it doesn't lead to a pen ban in San Diego next year... Anyway, the shirt costs $20 and you can CLICK HERE if you want to order it.
University of Baltimore Offering a Class on Zombies - via The Baltimore Sun
Dammit, why couldn't they have classes like this when I was in college? A story from The Baltimore Sun reveals that the University of Baltimore is offering a new English class that takes a look at how zombies have invaded pop culture. Despite being labeled as an English class, it really seems to be a film class, since class members will watch 16 zombie movies, read zombie comic books and their final project will be to either write a script for a zombie movie or draw storyboards.
It seems the whole thing got started when Jonathan Schorr, the chairman of the university's School of Communication Design, wanted some, "interesting, off-the-wall" classes to go into rotation this year. Professor Arnold Blumberg pitched the class to Schorr and will be teaching the class that almost makes me want to move to Baltimore. Here's what Schorr had to say about the class:
"It's a back door into a lot of subjects," Shorr says. "They think they're taking this wacko zombie course, and they are. But on the way, they learn how literature and mass media work, and how they come to reflect our times."
It seems the main focus in the class will delve into how the culture of zombies and how they come to be in films and television and also how that culture reflects our own society. The possibilities are endless. Who's down for a road trip to Baltimore?
Australian Scientists Invent Real-Life Tractor Beam - via Popular Science
Are you lazy? Would you like to have a device that you can lock on an object and bring it to you? Well the good people of Australia seem to be on the right track to making that happen. Popular Science has a story about a group of Australian scientists who have developed a real-life tractor beam. Take a look at the device below:
It seems this isn't quite the cure for laziness as of yet, though. The article indicates that they have only been able to move small objects up to five feet using only beams of light, although the scientists believe that the device has the ability to move objects up to 30 feet. Here's an excerpt of the article which describes how this device works:
"It works by shining a hollow laser beam around small glass particles, as Inside Science explains. The air around the particle heats up, but the hollow center of the beam stays cool. The heated air molecules keep the object balanced in the dark center. But a small amount of light sneaks into the hollow, warming the air on one side of the object and nudging it along the length of the laser beam. Researchers can change the speed and direction of the glass object by changing the lasers' brightness."
It wasn't clear if the objects were pushed away or pulled toward the laser, though, but it still sounds incredibly cool. The article also indicated that the device could be used to move hazardous waste and for biological research. I'm waiting for the upgraded version that will let me grab a DVD from my shelf and put it in the DVD player without me having to leave my bed...
I'm sure all of our readers are aware of the Hollywood phrase "jump the shark" and most of them also know that its roots came from an episode of Happy Days where Henry Winkler's Arthur Fonzarelli literally jumped over a shark on water skis. The term is used to define a ridiculous moment in films or TV, the moment where the viewer knows it will be all downhill from there on out. So, how does the man who wrote that infamous episode of Happy Days feel about the term? Simply put, he doesn't feel the show jumped the shark with his jump the shark episode.
Fred Fox Jr. wrote a special article for The Los Angeles Times which features a lot of "inside baseball" about television in the 70s and even how "jump the shark" entered into the social zeitgeist. It's interesting to learn that none of the show's producers had any objections to Fonzie jumping the shark, and also that the episode was watched by 30 million viewers. The show also scored a 50 share, which means that half of all televisions that were turned on were on that episode that night, which is ludicrous by today's saturated standards but, in 1977, with only 3 networks to choose from, it's not terribly unheard of. Fred Fox Jr. makes a pretty good case for Happy Days not "jumping the shark" with that episode, since the series ran for six more seasons totalling 164 episodes.
You can CLICK HERE to read Fred Fox Jr.'s article in its entirety. It's really a great read that shines some light on one of the most infamous episodes in TV history. He seems to have a great sense of humor about the whole thing, even though there is a twinge of bitterness. Besides, he shouldn't feel that bad at all since "jump the shark" has some company now with "nuke the fridge."
The Queen Writer Peter Morgan Accuses British Prime Minister Tony Blair of Plagiarism - via The Daily Telegraph
There have been plenty/too many stories about plagiarists on the Internet this year, mostly involving online movie journalists stealing reviews or other information from other sources. This new story from The Daily Telegraph takes the cake though. British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently released his memoirs entitled A Journey and now Peter Morgan seems to think that Tony Blair pilfered lines that Peter Morgan wrote in the 2006 movie The Queen for the book.
The alleged plagiarism is during one of the more controversial parts of the book, where Tony Blair recounts his first meeting with the Queen of England. Here's an excerpt from the site's article:
"In A Journey, Blair claims that the Queen said to him: "You are my 10th prime minister. The first was Winston. That was before you were born." In Peter Morgan's script to the 2006 film The Queen, Helen Mirren, in the title role, tells Michael Sheen's Blair: "You are my 10th prime minister, Mr Blair. My first was Winston Churchill." Morgan tells me: "I wish I could pretend that I had inside knowledge, but I made up those lines. No minutes are taken of meetings between prime ministers and monarchs and the convention is that no one ever speaks about them, so I didn't even attempt to find out what had been said.
"There are three possibilities. The first is I guessed absolutely perfectly, which is highly unlikely; the second is Blair decided to endorse what I imagined as the official line; and the third is that he had one gin and tonic too many and confused the scene in the film with what had actually happened, and this I find amusing because he always insisted he had never even seen it."
Hilarity! I love it when political leaders get called out. Don't mess with screenwriters, Mr. Blair... or at least hire them to ghost-write your memoirs...
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!