Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spongebob Squarepants: A Tale of Terror

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

SUPER excited about my upcoming trip to Utah. I can’t wait to hand out presents & hugs like they’re going out of style. Don’t worry, I’ll take a few pictures here & there too so that you can enjoy the cuteness of my crazy family. Until then, just been finalizing everything for year end here in San Francisco… making sure my accounts are in order… you know, just doing my thing. Hasn’t been the best week at work… but hey, that’s what the weekend’s for. The worst part is… most of the drama associated with it… isn’t my fault. I’d feel differently if it were, like that I just need to do better & be better at my job. However, it’s not just me. Anyway, it’ll get settled. It’s just ridiculousness… and I need to cover my backside as always. F**king ridiculous… but speaking of which…

The other night, I watched a much anticipated addition to Netflix, “Snow White: A Tale of Terror” starring Sigourney Weaver & Sam Neill. There are currently two big budget Snow White remakes out there being produced as I’ve told you before… but this one was from 1997 and is a much darker & truer to the original Grimm tale retelling. How dark? Well, the opening scene… before the title is even shown… there is a horrible carriage crash, the driver is ripped apart by wolves, a very pregnant passenger is impaled, forcing her husband (Neill) to literally carve the child from her womb to save it… oh by the way, this movie is rated R. Okay, it’s not quite as gruesome as it sounds (more implied brutality off screen with a river of blood going through the snow) but still… it’s no Disney flick. Anyway, you may have guessed that this baby grows up to be Snow White… and the tale kind of follows the usual path from there. The evil stepmother (Weaver) is introduced… and she’s a wicked witch… and tries to kill Snow White… and she goes into the woods, meets up with miners (who only one of them is actually a dwarf), she ends up falling for one of them (as opposed to Prince Charming though he’s in here too), but the differences are a stillborn fetus that stepmother is trying to bring to life (including a scene of stepmother ridding her bedridden father for seed), dwarves… er, her seven companions dropping like flies in magical cave collapses, wind storms, window shoves, just not what you would expect… and I really enjoyed it. It’s a creepy completely different from the original remake & I recommend it for anybody looking for a little anti-wholesomeness kick. Sigourney does a great job… and I kind of see the producers of this movie coming up with this idea in the mid 90’s like “Dude, we should totally make a rated R Snow White!” “What… like a porno?” “No… but that’s not a bad idea either. Have you read the original Grimm children’s tales? Especially those German ones? They’re f**king DARK!!! People chopping off limbs & sh*t in Cinderella.” “F’real?” “Yeah… so we need to bring that to TODAY!!! Picture it… Snow White… but with lots of blood. We could get some badass chick to be the stepmother like ugh… I don’t know… OOH!!! The chick from Aliens!!!” “NICE!!! What about her dad?” “I don’t know… but it’s gotta be somebody who does a good crazy.” “Yeah… OOOH! I was having a crazy movie marathon with my buddies the other day… how about Sam Neill?” “The guy from Jurassic Park Sam Neill?” “No, the guy from Event Horizon & In the Mouth of Madness Sam Neill.” “Heeellll yeah, boy!!! When he freaks out on the bus… we need that guy in this movie…” Sad thing is… I’m probably not too far off. Anyway, check it out.

Thursday night was basketball with the work team, our last regular season game but I think we have playoffs next week. We played a pretty good game but as usual, I was the only big & we didn’t rebound well. I was also getting hacked the entire game and they called about a quarter of them. One guy seriously came down the lane like a f**king running back, I stood there with my hands up, he plowed into me (I may have a broken rib or two by the way) and nothing was called either way. Seriously? We ended up losing by 10 because they were hitting all of their threes with me cleaning up the paint as usual, but yeah… we’re optimistic for next season. Still… what hurts most about the game last night… isn’t that we lost a close game that we should’ve had… or that we have one win this year on a last second tip in… it’s seriously my f**king ribs. He hit right in the big ribs just below the sternum so they’re kind of free floating besides a little cartilage & the organs underneath. Elbowed him pretty good later on in the game grabbing a rebound… but it definitely wasn’t enough. Oh well, I’ll just be sore for a few days hopefully. Like I said, even IF they’re broken, it’s just a little bit at the end, nothing major. It was a good shot if he were a boxer. Anyway, enough of that… to the news…

A Third Crank? Really? – As you may know, some of my favorite guilty pleasure movies… are the two “Crank” movies starring Jason Statham. They’re just so bad that they’re good… and as long as you don’t look for a real plot or logic, they’re quite entertaining on a basic level. Well, even though the main character died at the end of the first one… to come back and wreak havoc yet again on the sequel… to (spoiler alert) literally flip off the audience as he burned alive to say “Yeah, you paid $12 a pop to see this crap in theatres” and now… there may actually be a movie to finish the trilogy. Director Mark Nevedine (who also brought you “Jonah Hex”) tells Empire that not only is a third "Crank" film being planned, they're trying to get "Luther" and "Thor" star Idris Elba in the next one. Nevedine and his cohort Brian Taylor recently shot "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" with Elba. Nevedine says "we joking-but-not-quite-jokingly joked about that with Idris while we were over in Romania and Turkey. Just trying to figure out a way of getting him into Crank 3. There are so many different ways that Crank 3 could go. We’ve been talking about the top 50 ideas we what to do for Crank 3, so we’re just trying to pair them down. By the way, Crank 3 is going to happen, the studios are really excited about it – it’s just all about timing." I don’t know what’s more unnerving honestly… that they’re going to make a third movie… or that they had a “top 50 ideas” of how they could do it. Time travel? Cyborg Chev? Is he a vampire? And yes… despite the last film's ending, Jason Statham WILL be back as Chev Chellios in this outing. How does the director / writer explain it? Simple. "With Crank, basically, you insert another quarter and you play the game again. It’s kind of like what thrills me and Brian, it’s whatever we feel like doing there in the moment, whatever we wanna do, we just do and make it happen. The important thing is what powers Chev. It was adrenaline that kept him alive in the first one, it was electricity in the second one, you know, it’s all about what will keep him alive in the third one. It’s just fun slinging those ideas around." So what powers him in the third? Is it nuclear power? Solar power? Coal? Love? Chicken grease? The Force? Ecstasy? Critical reviews? Tebowmania? Only time will tell. In the meantime, you get to see their latest film for the halls of history… the Ghost Rider sequel. I forget, does this one still have vampires in it? Oh wait, no… they switched it to the Devil instead of Dracula. And I seem to remember hearing that the Highlander is in it too… okay, so just Christopher Lambert but still. Wait, maybe that’s it!!! Chev Chelios… is the Highlander!!! It makes perfect sense now. He’s yet to be decapitated. You’re welcome, Nevedine / Taylor! No go forth & screw up my brilliant idea…

Give Into the Dark Side – Speaking of the Force, police in Portland, Ore, were alerted to a disturbance (in the Force?) Wednesday night after a man allegedly went on a rampage with a plastic light saber at a local Toys R Us store. After fielding a 9-1-1 call, police officers made their way to the scene, only to find that the attacker had left the store and was continuing his assault in the parking lot. And according to the local police report, the situation only became stranger after that: “Officers arrived and attempted to take the suspect into custody but he continued to swing the light saber and was yelling incoherent statements (“Who is Jar Jar? Mos Eisley? Is that in Iran, sir?”). One officer attempted to use a Taser but it was ineffective. A second officer used a Taser which made good contact but the suspect used the light saber to break one of the wires.” Yes, that's right: The attacker used his light saber to deflect two Taser blasts. The police officers were eventually able to subdue the 33-year-old man, who has not yet been named publicly. Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson said that none of the victims of the light saber attack needed medical attention. The light saber has carved out quite a place in American popular culture. The infamous "Star Wars kid," was one of the Internet's first memes and even President Obama flashed a toy light saber on the White House lawn… but it’s obviously rare to see a Jedi rampage like this outside of YouTube. By the way, where’s the video? You know there has to be. Everybody has a video phone nowadays. A little something to brighten up your day… the image of police officers taking down a Star Wars nerd gone berserk.

Keanu Update – A few months ago I told you about this… but now it’s official. Keanu Reeves has obtained funding for "Man Of Tai Chi", the bilingual martial arts feature which marks his directorial debut for Universal Pictures, Wanda Media, Village Roadshow and China Film Group reports Reuters. Tiger Chen plays a young martial artist whose fighting skills bring him "to a realm of vast opportunities and painful choices." Reeves will play the villain and says the aim is to do a "good, solid kung fu movie". Filmed in both Mandarin and English, the project contains EIGHTEEN fights which tally up to around forty minutes of combat. Shooting begins in Beijing with additional filming in Hong Kong and Macau. Fun fact: Apparently Keanu knows kung fu too… and I can only dream of a day where he’s matched up against the great Fu Manchu… played by Nicolas Cage. It would truly be epic. Say what you will about Keanu… but he’s a method actor… but he still doesn’t have sh*t on this guy…

Lincoln Update – So apparently there was a photo released the other week of Daniel Day Lewis taking a break from playing the titular role on Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" biopic. At the time a lot of people were commenting about how well the actor was made up to look like the famed former U.S. President. It turns out… that wasn't make-up. "That's not actually his Lincoln beard, that's just what he looks like right now. He wasn't in hair, makeup, wardrobe, or anything when that picture was taken. He had just gone out that evening, he was just having dinner, and someone snapped a photo of him. But doesn't he look like Lincoln in blue jeans? I had friends who called me going, 'Oh my God, oh my God, it looks like Lincoln!' It's pretty remarkable when you look at that photo, and you say, 'Oh my God, he really embodies Lincoln,' because he does" producer Kathleen Kennedy told The Playlist during promotion for "The Adventures of Tintin" and "War Horse". Kennedy also confirmed that with the film focusing on the last few months of Lincoln's life and the pushing of the 13th Amendment through Congress, there will be "no war scenes, we're not doing the Civil War." Instead they are "primarily basing the story out of Washington" with many scenes being shot in the antechambers of the capitol building in Richmond, Virginia which will double as the White House and Congress. The point of this story… nobody can hold a candle to Daniel Day-Lewis when it comes to method acting. The man goes all in. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in preparation for “There Will Be Blood” that he bludgeoned a guy to death in a bowling alley. His agent refused to comment… but that also means that he didn’t deny the claims. Anyway, super excited about this flick… and have been for several years. I forget, is Harrison Ford still playing Andrew Johnson? I know Sally Field is still in as Mary Todd Lincoln & Tommy Lee Jones is in it somewhere. Good times!

Apocalypse Update: Ocean Farts – For years, I’ve been telling you how the end will come via snakes… but there’s a new twist. Russian scientists have discovered hundreds of plumes of methane gas, some 1,000 meters in diameter, bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean. Scientists are concerned that as the Arctic Shelf recedes, the unprecedented levels of gas released could greatly accelerate global climate change. How does this happen? Igor Semiletov of the Russian Academy of Sciences tells the UK's Independent that the plumes of methane (a gas 20 times as harmful as carbon dioxide) have shocked scientists who have been studying the region for decades. "Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of meters in diameter," he said. "This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures, more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It's amazing." Semiletov said that while his research team has discovered more than 100 plumes, they estimate there to be "thousands" over the wider area, extending from the Russian mainland to the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. "In a very small area, less than 10,000 square miles, we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed," Semiletov said. "We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale — I think on a scale not seen before. Some plumes were a kilometer or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere — the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal.” What does it mean? Well, Mother Earth has gas. Lots of it… and she’s letting it loose. Now, this may be good in a sense that she’s letting off a little steam the old fashioned way… through her anus (aka Russia). But then again, it may mean that there’s a lot of pressure within Mother Earth her… and that may mean a lot of these gaseous emissions… and possibly volcanic activity & tectonic shifts. Just a theory… but I guess just be careful out there.

On A Lighter Note – Since I can’t leave you on a downer like that, let’s talk about the recombination of two comedic legends. Jim Carrey is set to star with Steve Carell in the comedy "Burt Wonderstone" at New Line reports Deadline. Set in the world of rival Las Vegas magicians, Steve Carell plays half of a once-successful Las Vegas magic duo who reunite to square off against a rising hot-shot street magician (Carrey). Really? Jim Carrey is a younger hotshot in this movie? Interesting. Also, Olivia Wilde (“Tron: Legacy”) and Steve Buscemi (“Reservoir Dogs” & “Boardwalk Empire”) are the latest to join the rival magician comedy. Wilde will play Carell’s love interest, who at first is his assistant but later works for Carrey (the tramp!). Wilde's casting isn't yet locked with several other actresses reportedly on standby in case negotiations fall through. Buscemi will play Carell’s longtime friend and partner who quits the act. Don Scardino directs from a script by Chad Kultgen, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein and Jason Reitman. Shooting kicks off in January. Think of “The Prestige” meets “Dumb & Dumber” but… in Vegas. Sounds like a perfect storm to me.

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. Again, really excited about the Christmas vacation back home with the family… so I’d better start thinking about packing. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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