Monday, December 15, 2008

In Low SPIRITs has a special feature on Frank Miller's upcoming "The Spirit," including six clips from the film.

I've read "The Spirit" comics. They were good. There have been good Spirit comics even after the loss of Will Eisner (so brilliant that the comic book industry's annual awards are named after him).

This, ladies and gentlemen, is not The Spirit.

It hardly looks like a movie.

This will be crap. Mark my words.

If you need more proof, a trusted contributor to Ain't It Cool News calls it worse than "Battlefield Earth," thus being the WORST MOVIE EVER.

You are warned.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


To see how bad the live-action "Dragonball" movie really is.

Dragonball: Evolution Picture

Coming from Fox, how stupid this looks is really no surprise. It looks like "Dragonball" by way of the Fox "X-Men" movie franchise. And where did that stupid "Evolution" subtitle come from, anyways?

That really makes me think we're going to sit through one of the more absurd parts of Dragonball lore: Goku turning into a gigantic killer monkey.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ridley Scott Passes GO

Fan-favorite director Ridley Scott, the man responsible for such movies as "Blade Runner," "Alien," and "American Gangster," is signed on to direct a film adaptation of "Monopoly."

Yes, THIS "Monopoly":

Granted, this isn't the first time a board game would be adapted into a feature film, but at least "Clue" had a plot to begin with. I have a hard time seeing how "Monopoly" could have a coherent plot and not be exactly like "Wall Street."

Furthermore, there is an absolute necessity to include the face of Monopoly, Rich Uncle Pennybags, AKA Mr. Monopoly. My vote is for J.K. Simmons, J. Jonah Jameson from "Spider-Man":

But that's not even the weirdest part. The Hollywood Reporter's article states that this is only part of a development deal between Hasbro and Universal Pictures, that includes the in-production "G.I. Joe" movie, the television game show "Trivial Pursuit: America Plays," and feature films based on "Battleship," and "Ouija Board."


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Aw, HELL naw."

Yeah, the kid with the 'fro from "The Pursuit of Happyness."

Starring in "The Karate Kid."

There is no way this is going to end well.

I'll take bets on who will play the Mr. Miyagi role: Jackie Chan or Papa Will?

Friday, November 7, 2008

An affront to nature

There are some things that nature should keep from ever happening.

Cats and dogs mating.

Humans growing wings.

Dolphins learning to use machine guns.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Variety of News

If there is one source movie fans should keep tabs on, besides for naturally this blog, it's Variety. They get more scoops than Rosie O'Donnell at a Coldstone.

First off, Variety reports on two Greek mythology-themed action-epics ("300" ripple-effect, anyone?) which have begun casting. A remake of the '81 cult classic "Clash of the Titans" is in the works, with Sam Worthington to step into Harry Hamlin's sandals as Perseus. The remake, directed by "Incredible Hulk" and "Transporter" helmer Louis Leterrier, is mapped for a 2010 release.

In other news, "War of the Gods," which is clearly not the exact same thing, is looking at "Tudors" actor Henry Cavill to play Theseus.

Both films will be filmed "300"-style, largely in front of green screens, and are TOTALLY not the exact same thing.

In other neat casting news, Sylvester Stallone is signed to direct and star in "The Expendables," from a script he wrote. Jason Statham is signed to co-star, and Jet Li is in final talks.

The film, which has the most generic plot synopsis in the history of synopses, will follow a team of mercenaries on a mission to overthrow a South American dictator.

And apparently one of them will be old as hell.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


...I never thought there was a chance to see Beatles music in a video game.

But now it seems so far away.

At 10:00 this morning, Harmonix/MTV Networks and Apple Corps, the company started by the Beatles that handles all their business, announced that a brand new music game will be released featuring the Fab Four's music in Winter 2009.

Although news sources are already reporting it, Gamedaily has a live-updated transcript of the conference call in which the conference was made. The transcript is in reverse-chronology, though, because it was constantly updated. So, if you want the information to be coherent, start at the bottom.

The "Rock Band" developer said the game will be similar to "Rock Band," although the game will be freshly built from the ground up, and be tailored specifically to Beatles' music. Similarities between the new game and "Rock Band" are expected, however.

Personally, I just can't wait for a guitar peripheral shaped like this:

Monday, October 20, 2008


Twelve hours until my birthday, and I'm such a benevolent guy that I'M going to give a present to YOU:

For the record, he's playing a Kazookeylele.


-Zack Snyder's "Watchmen" screened in Portland, and the hearsay is that the ending was RADICALLY changed from the book. Check out Rich Johnston's Lying in the Gutters on CBR this evening, and there will hopefully be more. UPDATE: LITG is up, and Johnston reports that the ending was completely different, but the word is that Snyder filmed multiple endings, including the bizarre extraterrestrial squid-feint that was the ending of the book.

So I wish the best of weeks to all of you on this fine Monday. Hopefully I'll post in a few days, but chances are, I'll look like this within 12 hours:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Punching superheroes

By this point, it's no secret that I'm a fan of comic books and superheroes, as well as video games.

This autumn has a couple of interesting offerings for people like me, in the form of two very interesting superhero video games.

Firstly, October 21 sees the release of "Spider-Man: Web of Shadows," a non-movie-based game which sees Venom reproducing his alien symbiote, and the resulting clones attack and take over people all over New York.

Those turned into Venom-style monsters include The Vulture, Black Cat, and Wolverine. There will be guest-stars from all corners of the Marvel Universe, including the aforementioned  characters as well as SHIELD, Luke Cage, Moon Knight, Black Widow, and others.

The game will build off of the basis of the previous Spidey video games, so expect high-flying, action-packed beat-em-up action with high-octane webslinging mechanics.

As cool as this game sounds, I don't think the trailer could be more depressing:

Looks a lot like the recent "Venom Bomb" arc in the "Mighty Avengers" comic, but hopefully with less Bendis-style "Skip the action sequences in favor of pages-long exchanges of dialogue" storytelling.

Also, one last note that I would like to convey to everybody working on Spider-Man video games, cartoons, movies and comics for the next few years:


We will now segway from talking about Venom to a couple of other culturally dated relics from the early-to-mid nineties: Alex Ross and "Mortal Kombat."

"Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe" will be released in early November, and is a fighting game where the world of Mortal Kombat collides with the world of Batman, Superman, and that whole lot of superhumans.

Ignoring the fact that I'm sure I will play it, this game has been a geek-rage sticking point for me since it was announced. Although I have no problem with seemingly random mash-ups like hyper-violent video game fighters taking on big shiny superheroes, I have problems with how it's being handled.

How can Sonya Blade have a chance of besting Superman in a hand-to-hand fight? How do you perform fatalities on god-like characters like Captain Marvel and Darkseid? Why would you do something as benign and uncharacteristic as turning The Joker into a hand-to-hand fighter?

And most importantly, how can you have a fighting game featuring Batman, when Batman never loses a fight, ever?

That said, I am PUMPED to play a Green Lantern vs. Raiden fight, from both sides of the conflict.

And now, it's been announced that the special "Kollector's Edition" of the game will feature a 16-page comic by MK ko-kreator John Tobias, and cover art by overrated painter Alex Ross.

First of all, that looks like the movie poster for some terrible 80s fantasy flick. If somebody ever made a sequel to "Labyrinth," this is what the promotional materials would look like.

Secondly, Ross' style is hyper-photorealistic, and he draws EVERYTHING from photo reference, which begs the question, why not just use pictures? Also, his incessant photo-referencing gives his male superheroes the tendency to look like his doughy, middle-aged next-door neighbors.

So, I'm closing this post with a list of artists, which I am pulling off the top of my head, whose art would make a better cover than that of Alex Ross:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"I'm just your friendly neighborhood cash cow!"

There may not be an entity on the planet capable of spending more money than U.S. Congress as of late, but goshdarnit if "Lion King" and "Across the Universe" auteur Julie Taymor from trying.

She has been working for years on a Broadway musical adaptation of "Spider-Man" (which is already failed to be less awesome than "Italian Spiderman"), scheduled to open its doors next year.

Michael Riedel's NY Post-sense is tingling with the news that the show is going to cost $35-40 million just to get it to the stage, and consecutive weekly costs of $1 million to keep the show running.

What does that mean?

"Spider-Man: The Musical" will never, ever make any money whatsoever.

Sure, it's a big-budget musical that's bound to cause waves, especially with an already lauded musical score by U2's Bono,  but put it in perspective: If somebody spent $40 million to make a movie, and then only show that movie in one location in one city, that person would be taken to the looney bin.

As I have done in innumerable situations for the past two or so months, I would suggest taking a note from Tropic Thunder, and starting work on a documentary on the failure of the production now, in hopes that it would be more successful than the actual play.

If you want real-world examples, it worked great for "Some Kind of Monster," the documentary of Metallica writing and recording their "St. Anger" album, which was infinitely better than the album itself.

But let us not forget the broad strokes of why this will fail:


Sunday, October 5, 2008

A new generation of bike stealing...


Thank you for listening to me after all these years, God.

Now if you could just get back to me about that "ROM Spaceknight" movie, we'd really be in business.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Frank Miller = "Hamlet 2"s Dana Marschz?

Frank Miller is writing a new graphic novel sequel to "300," almost solely for the purpose of adapting it into a new sequel for the smash movie.



Firstly, like they said in "Hamlet 2," how can you have a sequel if all the main characters are dead?

Secondly, have you READ the crap Miller has written lately? His "All-Star Batman and Robin" is a caricature of his older, better stuff. There is more subtlety to be found in a bucket full of hammers.

It's all, "I'm the G**D***ed Batman!" and "I'm the f***ing Batgirl!"

What would a "300" sequel sound like? "This is Sparta, mother****er!"

If that's the case (and it probably is), Sam Jackson better start getting in leather underwear-shape.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Casting (and Crewing) Couch

I've got a lot of neat developments in upcoming movies to pass along your way, so I'm going to give you the most substantial dirt first, and then kind of jump around at my fancy from there.

And what's more substantial than snapshots? INFDaily has the first-ever pictures from the set of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" movie.

-Most on them focus on fresh-faced Alice, Mia Wasikowska, who strangely looks simultaneously too young and too old for the role. Other shots feature a big, Burtonesque ship, Helena Bonham Carter (who looks to have an extra role in the film), her new baby and the baby daddy, an more-frazzled-looking-than-usual Burton.

Not pictured but recently announced was Johnny Depp, who is taking the role of The Mad Hatter. Johnny Depp? Playing a character with weird hair and a funny hat? In a Tim Burton movie!? GET OUT OF TOWN.

-In other Depp news, a bizarre recent announcement revealed that Depp is to play Tonto in an upcoming "Lone Ranger" movie. Even more recently, it was whispered about that George Clooney is hoping for the role of the Lone Ranger. I don't get this at all. Unless they get some brilliant script and ingenious director, this just sounds like really weird stunt-casting doomed to fail.

-In other bizarre casting announcements pertained to classic hero-adventure fiction, it was announced several months ago that Russell Crowe was going to be cast as the Sheriff of Nottingham in director Ridley Scott's upcoming "Nottingham," a Robin Hood retelling that would cast the Sheriff in a more sympathetic light. Since then, it was circulated around that the movie probably would not happen.

Recently, got the scoop that Scott is still trying to get this darned thing made, and should it come to fruition, Robin Hood would be played by...Russell Crowe. No, that's not a typo. In what would either be a terrible medieval reimagining of Lindsay Lohan's "The Parent Trap," or a trippy "Fight Club"-in tights psycho-actioner.

Scott's comments seem to suggest the latter: "Just a good old clever adjustment of characters. One becomes the other. It changes, changes."

crowevscrowecopy.jpg picture by bcanze

-Also from MTV, Kirsten Dunst has said "I'm in," in regards to "Spider-Man 4" and "5," which director Sam Raimi and star of the previous 3 Tobey Maguire have already signed on to. Although nowhere near an official announcement, Dunst is notorious for not knowing what she is or isn't allowed to say, and letting information slip before it should. As long as she doesn't sing in this one.

-Last but not least, classically trained Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh, best known for his adaptations of "Henry V" and "Hamlet," and the 1991 fan-favorite thriller "Dead Again," is in talks with Marvel to direct their upcoming "Thor" movie, according to Variety.

Internet reactions have been everywhere from positive to abysmal to confused. I think that  Branagh is a genius choice, what with Marvel and script writer Mark Protosevich saying they want to take "Thor" in a pretty serious direction, hammer-deep in mythology, taking place mostly in the Norse heaven Asgard, and containing little to no traditional superheroics.

If you stuck through this and read this whole entry, you probably deserve a high-five. Comment below or email me at to receive your high-five.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Guitar Heroes: Jack White & El Mariachi

First things first, the theme song for the new 007 flick, "Quantum of Solace," is now online for your consumption.

"Another Way to Die," by Jack White and Alicia Keyes, is available for download on iTunes, or streaming at

Reactions have been heavily mixed, from people being very happy with it to calling it the worst Bond song ever.

After repeated listenings, I have to say that I think it's pretty darned good. It's no "Live and Let Die" or "Goldfinger," but it's also no "Die Another Day," thank God.

It's just about what I had expected when I heard that Jack White was writing a Bond song. It is loud and sloppy, but also clever, catchy, and oddly elegant. As a fan of the White Stripes and the Raconteurs, perhaps I'm a tad biased.

As a side-note: Everybody's doing the comparison game now that this song is openly available, and there's a legion of geeks screaming that it's not as good as Chris Cornell's "You Know My Name." I just want to go on record with this:


Finally, I'm going to do another "You Gotta See This!" today.

In 1993, there was no YouTube. Nobody had heard of Neil Cicierega or the Ask a Ninja guys, and it was extremely difficult to get your cinematic vision into the public eye without A LOT OF MONEY.

Robert Rodriguez was a young aspiring filmmaker that lived on the Texas-Mexico border, who raised $9,000 to make "El Mariachi," which was shot on location in Ciudad Acuna, where it takes place. Rodriguez raised about half of his tiny budget by participating in medical experiments.

Watching this film is astounding. It looks better than a film lit entirely on natural light and two lightbulbs has any business looking.

Essentially, it's a straightforward actioner about a mariachi guitar player who is mistaken for a feared murderer who keeps a cache of weapons inside a guitar case. It is a fun, seat-of-your-pants, live-action cartoon filled with interesting characters and memorable setpieces.

Rrodriguez has made several DVD features and commentaries, as well as a book, about all the things he did to save money on this movie--of the nine grand, he ended up spending just over seven.

This entire movie was made by Rodriguez, who shot the film while being pushed around in a wheelchair to keep movement smooth, and recorded sound with a cheap little Radio Shack recorder and microphone. The film was crewed by Rodriguez, and any actors who were not currently in the shot being filmed.

And it is one of the cooler action flicks of the early nineties, and launched a career of fun movies (and "Sharkboy and Lava Girl," but nevermind that).

To put that into perspective, in 2004, aspiring filmmaker John Fiorella shot "Grayson," a fan-film about Batman's sidekick all grown up, investigating Batman's murder. The film, little more than an extended mock-trailer, was six minutes long and cost $18,000.

And while it's a fine fan-flick, Rodriguez made an hour-and-twenty-minute film for less than half that, and got it picked up by Columbia Tristar for distribution.

Take a look at "El Mariachi," if you're I was and have never seen it before. It's a good one.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A picture says over 9000 words

Everything I have to talk about today can be summed up in one picture, which I spent hours and hours of time and effort creating:

-Eric Joyce reviews "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed"

-Holly Stamps reviews "Lakeview Terrace" with Samuel "The 'L' stands for 'Loud'" Jackson

-Stephen Chow, director and star of "Kung Fu Hustle," "CJ7," and my personal favorite, "Shaolin Soccer," has been signed to Seth Rogen's "Green Hornet" movie, not only to step into Bruce Lee's shoes in the role of Kato, but also to DIRECT the thing!

I was skeptical of the movie, which would star Rogen as the Hornet, and is written by Rogen and his "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express" collaborator Evan Goldberg. But by bringing Chow on board, I am inspired to take a phrase from a friend of mine and say that "The Green Hornet" is "riding a gravy train with biscuit wheels." It will be awesome.

-Finally, with all the negative feedback that Facebook has been getting for the changes it has made, I thought I'd point out something subtle and amazing.

In celebration of "International Talk Like a Pirate Day" last Friday, Facebook added a whole pirate language to their website. If you scroll down to the bottom of any Facebook page, there will be a language toolbar, where you can choose to look at Facebook in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, et cetera. However, within the list is an option that says "English (Pirate)."

Instead of asking what you are doing right now in the status bar, it poses the question, "What arrr ye doin' right now?" Instead of writing on somebody's wall, you may find yourself scrawling on their plank. Instead of being tagged in photos, you may "be spied in a gallery o' paintins," and instead of attending events, and instead of starting or ending a relationship, you either get "captured by a pirate" or "become lonesome."

So awesome.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Weekend Lifeline

So we had a ton of stuff go down in ways of reviews and whatnot in the second half of this week, and none of it got printed in the paper or referred to online. So like a jolly Saint Nick, I'm going to stuff three movie reviews, a concert review-coverage, a new CD review, and just for S's and G's, a CD review that printed this week, down your chimney.

-Metallica's "Death Magnetic" is like a musical confession that "St. Anger" was indeed crap.
-CMU student film premieres at local cinema, impresses without taking an extra step to greatness
-"Burn After Reading" is the Coens' cynical, indulgent post-"No Country" victory lap.
-"Righteous Kill" offers moderate psychological-thriller action, old actors yelling.
-Acoustic songbird Jessica Sonner charms the Real Food on Campus restaurant.
-"Red Letter Year" made me fall in love with Ani DiFranco.

So with the magical gift of those articles, I certainly couldn't have anything else for you today, could I?

Surprise! I am going to start a new, hopefully ongoing series of pieces called "You Gotta See This!" in which I discuss movies that have been out, and friends, critics, reviewers, and forum trolls have unendingly told me they are necessary viewing, but have simply never gotten around to watching them.

This week, I rented 2002's "Equilibrium," directed and written by Kurt Wimmer, starring Christian Bale and Taye Diggs.

The film takes place in a post-World War III future, where in order to prevent another potentially humanity-erasing war, a totalitarian government takes over and sees that all human feeling is pharmaceutically repressed.

Those who refuse to give up their emotions and feelings, called "sense offenders," are considered the highest level of outlaws, and are hunted down by special police called Grammaton Clerics and killed.

Christian Bale plays John Preston, the highest-ranking and most distinguished of these clerics. After his wife was killed as a sense offender, and he is forced to gun down his own partner for having feelings, Preston himself eventually stops taking his meds, and gives in to the forbidden world of art, emotion, love, regret, anger and revenge.

Bale is fantastic in his role, as a man who, all at once, feels a rush of emotions for the first time of his life, but has no choice but to suppress these feelings at the risk of death. More than the dialogue, his performance is in his face: The muscles tightening and bulging as he feels a rush of guilt or fear, and his eyes writing novels about the character's predicament.

Taye Diggs, although acting-wise is not even in the same atmosphere as Bale, does well as Brandt, Preston's new partner who fancies himself Preston's foil.

The underground resistance of sense offenders is criminally underused, particularly their leader, played by Bill Fichtner (most recently seen as the shotgun-wielding bank manager in "The Dark Knight").

The look of the film is slick, with flat colors, blacks and greys bathing out most of the film to reflect society's unfeeling frigidity, but jarringly bathed in warm color to represent pivotal emotional scenes.

The plot is an intriguing moral play about what makes us human, and what society would be if that were taken away. The whole thing is fascinating...until the resolution.

*Yar, thar be spoilers right ahead matey!*

After the buildup of the entire movie, Preston triumphs, but not because of his newfound emotion or anything like that.

No, Preston is victorious because of his insane combat skill, which had been established at the beginning of the movie and remains stagnant throughout. Basically, he wins because he is a bigger badass than everybody else, because that's just the way it is and that aspect of his character does not need explaining. It's anticlimactic, and detracts from the dynamic development of Bale's character throughout the movie.

"Equilibrium" is definitely an interesting movie that took the post-"Matrix" film climate and innovated on it in groundbreaking ways. However, I think the film is ultimately unfulfilling, and although worth a watch, is not a must-see.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sequelitis: "Here we go again...Again!"

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, I hear some incredibly talented young film reviewer posted his thoughts on Nicolas Cage's latest vehicle, "Bangkok Dangerous" over at

Now that we have that crappy movie out of the way, let's talk about Hollywood's favorite pastime--doing the same thing they have been doing for years and years, over and over again.

Variety reported that Columbia Pictures has co-executive producers of "The Office" Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky writing a screenplay for a third "Ghostbusters" movie. According to Variety, the film would reunite the original cast of Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson, and there are rumors that the movie may introduce some new, younger Ghostbusters as well.  Ramis and Aykroyd wrote the previous two movies in the franchise.

Eisenberg and Stupnitsky recently scripted the Apatow-produced comedy "Year One," so I am guessing this is what "new" and "younger" will end up meaning:

Also, chances of Rick Moranis returning are slim, so that leaves room for a new lovable nerd character:

McLovin' in "Ghostbusters 3." I would put honest-to-God money down on it.

In other sequel news (which I believe to be an oxymoron; how can it be news if it's already happened before?), Deadline Hollywood is reporting that both director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire have been signed on for "Spider-Man 4."

Sony seems hopeful to milk that deal, and shoot "Spider-Man 4" and "Spider-Man 5" back-to-back, based on a 2-movie script written by "Zodiac" scribe Jamie Vanderbilt. Reports say that although the villain has yet to be announced, audiences will immediately know who is playing him when the character is revealed, suggesting that it is a character who has appeared in some capacity in previous films.

Scads of forum talkbackers have immediately taken this to mean that Dr. Curt Connors, played in all three films by Dylan Baker, will finally make the transformation into the Lizard.

Others still are betting on a dark horse: J. Jonah Jameson's son John, Mary Jane's fiance in the second film, played by Daniel Gillies. In the comics, he becomes the villainous Man-Wolf, taking on Spider-Man a few times before marrying the She-Hulk, and becoming a space god. That's comic books for ya.

One theory that I haven't seen yet, and hopefully this is because Sony recognizes this as a terrible idea, is that the villain is Ben Reilly, AKA Scarlet Spider, an honest-to-God clone of Peter Parker who was introduced in the '70s, and absolutely refused to go away throughout most of the '90s. Although, it would be pretty obvious who would play him, no?

"Spider-Man 4: Milking It For All It's Worth" is currently slated for a May 2011 release.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

End of the summer, comedies, and "comedies"

I never ended up publishing a review of "Tropic Thunder."

So, the short of it is that it was my favorite comedy of the summer, depending on what genre you put "Wall-E" in.

It wasn't perfect, but it was a hilarious attack on Hollywood and the absurdities that are accepted in that society.

It's not perfect, and stumbles over some logic and pacing, and Ben Stiller should have considered casting somebody besides himself in the Tugg Speedman role. Nonetheless, it is hilarious, and contains a pair of the best performances in a comedy in years, courtesy of Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise.

In descending order of how funny they are, with links to the movies I've reviewed, is my rankings for end-of-the-summer comedies. And take notice, that just like everybody else, I didn't bother with "College."

1. "Tropic Thunder"
2. "Pineapple Express"
3. Any given Joe Biden speech
4. "Hamlet 2"
5. Getting hit in the face by Kimbo Slice:

6. Hurricane Gustav
7. "Disaster Movie"

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Welcome to the inaugural post of CM Life's Lifeline blog!

First order of business, I would like to bring attention to something found on TechEblog: A young man built a gigantic Super Nintendo controller.  

The kicker?  It actually works.

SNES Controller
So it's cool, but I would hate to be the guy stuck playing "Mortal Kombat 2" with that thing.

Still, it's only slightly bigger than the original Microsoft Xbox controller. That was like playing a video game with a Weber grill.

Movie post coming later tonight. You know you want it.