Thursday, December 23, 2010

Baby Girl

I'm singing off for the holidays, folks. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And here I thought another store was closing.

So one of the headlines on the First Coast News website this morning was this:
CSX Slams Movie Blockbuster as 'Complete Work of Fiction'
The article is speaking of the film Unstoppable, which I had previously mentioned my indifference to here. Apparently, most of the movie going public agrees with me.

Given that the budget was an even 100 million and it has only recouped 3/4 of that after six weeks in theaters, the word "Blockbuster" may be a tad generous.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Damned United

I know it's part of Hollywood's DNA to prettify everything, but sometimes they really miss the bloody point.

The Damned United tells the true story of Brian Clough, a notorious coach who presided over the Leeds United soccer team for a grand total of 44 days before being fired. For those looking for your typically uplifting sports film, you should look elsewhere. Far from being underdogs, Leeds United were beloved champions whose coach was leaving to take over the national team. Clough, on the other hand, was not your plucky, likable idealist, but somebody with a chip on his shoulder and willing to step on a lot of toes to get what he wants. Add to all this that the film takes place in the grungy factory towns of Great Britain during the fashion-challenged seventies, and you have a film that in most ways is the polar opposite of your average American sports film.

So, when it came to marketing the film, they took a shot of the film's star Michael Sheen (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) from a scene in the film...



...and replaced the background with some other pics from the film and the usual text, resulting in a nice poster:



Except... that wasn't the poster. The image above is from the DVD cover. The actual poster used to market the film is this:



Which leads me to two questions: Who the hell is this and what have they done with Michael Sheen?

The bags under the eyes are replaced with a wistful smile. The swept back hair (a universal movie indicator of badness) is replaced with a darling tuft of curl at the top of his forehead. The Homer-esque stubble is replaced with a baby's bottom shave. It's like they crossed Sheen with a Renaissance cherub.

The DVD cover is not only a more accurate depiction of Sheen, but it's also a more accurate depiction of the character. Clough is not the type of coach that we're used to seeing in uplifting sports films, but the poster sure makes us want to think so.

And I have to wonder if the studios second-guessed their modifications, because there was one other poster they put out:


Well, if that isn't splitting the difference, I don't know what is.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

At this rate, Davis Rules will never hit DVD.


If a man takes a stand and states that he only drinks wine to dangerous excess and doesn't even touch beer or hard liquor, then it's hardly something to commend him on. Sure he has taste, but the guy is still an alcoholic.

I find myself using that justification whenever I read yet another Randy Quaid story. I'm indulging in celebrity rubbernecking, but at least it isn't for Brittany Spears.

The difference here, in my mind, is that Quaid was turning in quality work a mere five years ago (I would give both Brokeback Mountain and The Ice Harvest enthusiastic recommendations). The guy is talented, and to think that a man who is otherwise completely healthy may be at the end of his career is a tragedy.

His case also has the benefit of being unique. No illegal drugs are to be found in this story; Just pure, unadulterated crazy. All outward appearances indicate that it's due to his wife Evi, who has played Michael Shannon to his Ashley Judd.

Their story reads like a movie script, and I have little doubt that it will one day become one (probably after both of their deaths). The sad question now is this: at the rate their going, how soon will that be?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Biblioteca Pornographia


Now this is just cruel.

While sorting through the normal junk mail that I get at the library, I came across a catalog from Barcelona, of all places. It's for a company called M. Moleiro and they produces stunning books consisting of illuminated manuscript reproductions.

The catalog itself simultaneously dazzles with it's full color reproductions of sample pages and also frustrates because they include zero information on cost (either in Dollars or Euros). Now I am fully aware that such items are a matter of "If you have to ask, you can't afford it", and I also know that this catalog is really intended for special collections with some coin to spare, but they can't even allow me to fantasize owning one of these babies by giving me a ballpark figure up front?

Hey, Moleiro? What's Spanish for "Blue Balls"?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Groan all you want. I'll make more.

Perhaps I should make it a point to post really awful made-up jokes every two years or so. So here it goes:

What did the Motivational Speaker say to his clone?








You're not a repli-cant. You're a repli-can!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ta Da!

My early Christmas finally arrived on Wednesday and I had it assembled by 11:30 that night. And here it is (cue the Monolith music from 2001):



Ain't it glorious?

This isn't an actual picture of the one I got (Mine is in Walnut instead of Dark Cherry), but you get the idea: Massive Media Storage. With all the DVD's and CD's put in, we have it at about 3/4 full, and I have been instructed by Mrs. Mosley that I'm not allowed to go beyond that (much like the LEGO Armoire agreement of 2008). This is fair, and will help to keep my spending in check.

One final word of warning to you, dear readers: No matter how cheap the deal is, don't purchase anything from DeepDiscount.com. They completely screwed the pooch in terms of customer service on my order and I eventually went with AVThingInItsPlace.com, who shipped it the day after I ordered it and arrived less than a week later. Kudos, AVTIIP. Kudos.

In. Awe.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Beaver



I could really care less about Can-Mel-Gibson's-Career-Be-Saved film The Beaver. The one interesting thing in the trailer is that the voice Gibson uses as The Beaver sounds remarkably like Ray Winstone (which makes it hilarious). So the question is this: Is that voice Mel Gibson's, is it Ray doing an uncredited role, or is it Steve Coogan?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday AV Club News

Two Onion AV Club news items that tickled me just now:
The eight-bedroom Staten Island mansion used in The Godfather is up for sale with an asking price of $2.9 million—or “an offer they can’t refuse,” according to the hilarious Associated Press, although we’re pretty sure said offer would still need to be “lots of money,” as opposed to intimidation. It’s the perfect, insanely expensive Christmas gift for the pop-culture aficionado in your life. Just think of all the fun you could have with it—recreating the lavish wedding scene in the backyard, throwing a James Caan-style hissy fit about government agents in the driveway, etc. Unfortunately, the owners long ago replaced the tomato patch where Don Corleone died with a swimming pool, but maybe you can ask them to put it back in the contingencies?

You see? Forget all the yachts and the limos and the solids gold bathroom fittings. This is what rich people with style spend money on.
Assuaging fears that the just-wrapped Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides would be your final opportunity to see Johnny Depp swan about as Captain Jack Sparrow, Hitfix reports that Disney has been “quietly telling cast and crew” to set aside a future chunk of their lifetime to devote toward filming fifth and sixth installments in the franchise. The plan is to shoot them back-to-back—a strategy that left director Gore Verbinski a shattered man when he narrowly pulled it off on the second and third films, but which nevertheless earned the studio a shitload of money, so all’s well that ends profitably. Given that the Pirates films so far have already exhausted the myths of the Flying Dutchman, Davy Jones, and now The Fountain of Youth, expect the sixth film to just be two hours of Depp getting drunk on a beach.

Regrettably, I'd probably pay money to watch that. But in my defense, watching Johnny Depp get drunk on a beach is guarnteed to be more entertaining that the next Transformers sequel.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Samuel L. Jackson Quote of the Month: December 2010

The Negotiator falls into the category of a really good film that is largely forgotten. I didn't say great, mind you. Nobody is going to confuse it with The French Connection. But what it does, it does extremely well. Part of this goes to the two actors that star in the film who were both at the top of their game when it was made.

Jackson plays Danny Roman, an ex-hostage negotiator who takes some hostages of his own. Kevin Spacey plays Chris Sabian, another hostage negotiator called in for the crisis. And so you have two guys whose characters, by their very job definitions, know how to talk and how to talk well. It's the making of an entertaining night at the movies.


Lieutenant Danny Roman: "I like westerns, like Shane."

Lieutenant Chris Sabian: "It's interesting that you pick one where the hero dies."

Lieutenant Danny Roman: "What are you talking about? He doesn't die. He rides off into the sunset, and that kid says 'Come back, Shane!'"

Lieutenant Chris Sabian: "That's a common misconception, in the last frame he's slumped over on his horse."

Lieutenant Danny Roman: "So he was slumped, slumped don't mean dead."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We now rejoin this blog already in progress.

So much for NaNoWriMo.

One of these days I'll get it done, but it was not to be this year. I had even sworn off blogging for the month (and continued the hiatus even after the Novel writing had ceased). To be sure, I'll let you all know when that bestseller is written.

What happened instead in November? Well, among other things, I spent a mint on my car, saw the latest Harry Potter with the missus, bought a new laptop on Black Friday, and ended the month receiving the sad news of my one remaining uncle passing away. The month definitely had its ups and downs.

Tomorrow gives us the final Sam Jackson Quote for the year and the start of a brand new month (not to mention the holiday season). I'll be a busy little bunny, but I'll try and keep you folks updated and entertained (wherever both are possible at once).

Monday, November 01, 2010

November is NaNoWriMo





Samuel L. Jackson Quote of the Month: November 2010

The way Hollywood works is this: An actor scores a scene-stealing role in one movie, then they are given some larger supporting roles for which they are also lauded, and then finally they are given a high profile costarring role opposite a big star. Sometimes this actor is not a fresh new face but instead is an old hand that has finally broken through after decades in the business.

That was the way for Eugene Levy after he hit it big with American Pie in 1999. After five years of bigger and bigger roles (in largely forgettable films), he finally got a starring role in The Man, which has him playing the geeky Andy Findler opposite Jackson's Agent Vann. Personally, I would have hoped that one of the greats from SCTV would have gotten better than yet another mismatched buddy cop comedy, but at least it got him a paycheck (and the chance to work opposite Sam, of course):

Andy Fidler: "I haven't met anyone that I didn't become friends with... eventually."

Special Agent Derrick Vann: "Really? Because I haven't met anyone who's ass I didn't kick... eventually."

And with one month to go, I promise to showcase a Sam Jackson film in December that I actually liked.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

"I don't drink... wine."

Courtesy of the Brothers Brick, a stunning LEGO vignette for Halloween:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pounce! Repeat!

Nothing is as adorable as watching a young owlet practice the fine art of "Going in For the Kill" (Via Neatorama):

Thursday, October 28, 2010

No offence, Zach, but I'm paying attention to Fiona.

Zach Galifianakis.

Zach Galifianakis. Zach Galifianakis. Zach Galifianakis.

Not to besmirch the man's talent, but I often think that many people simply just like saying his name over and over again (that is, those people who can pronounce his name).

Anyway, though I haven't seen The Hangover or any other of his films yet, I had been exposed to him twice before he suddenly became King of the Universe. The second time was through the "Live at the Purple Onion" trailers that appeared on my MST3K DVD's from the Shout! Factory.

The first time was way back to five years ago when I discovered a video for Fiona Apple's "Not About Love". The video was made in one day by Apple and her friends, which included Zach. So you get a great big helping of Zach poorly lip syncing, Zach running down the road with his belly hanging out and Zach striking poses while standing waist deep in water.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Long Riders was a loooong time ago.

From the AV Club:

There will be three Jeff Bridges in movie theaters this Christmas—a one-eyed, grizzly Bridges in the Coen Bros.’ version of True Grit, and both a gray and distinguished Bridges and a creepy CGI bobblehead Bridges in Tron: Legacy—and now there will be one on television too, as Bridges has just been announced as the host of Saturday Night Live on Dec. 18. It’s the first time Bridges has been on the show since February of 1983, when he shared hosting duties with his brother Beau. In a related story, Beau Bridges has announced that come Dec. 18, he will finally be making some real headway on that wall-sized crossword puzzle he got from SkyMall. Nah, we kid Beau Bridges. He’s a good sport.

Hell, I wouldn't joke too hard on Beau. He's a nice guy who works steady and has a project coming up costarring with George Clooney. Jeff should be quite proud of his older brother, Beau.

Dennis Quaid, on the other hand...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lonely Little Surfer Dude

The first time I came across the Series 2 Lego Minifigs at Walmart, I bought two of them blind at $1.99 a piece. I ended up with the "Explorer" (Yea!) and "Maraca Man" (Eh).

The second time I went to that Walmart, I was armed with a barcode decoder! Alas, the one I was looking for ("The Spartan") was nowhere to be found, so I gave them all a pass.

The third and final time I went to that Walmart, I discovered that the display was gone. They had initially put it in a back corner where the packages could be easily ripped open and stolen, so I have to wonder if this was a factor in the display going bye-bye. I looked around some more, and in a miscellaneous aisle I found exactly one minifig pack hanging from a hook. Such a sad, sad sight, so I took pity on it and laid down $1.99 plus tax on the mysterious loner. What did I get?



It's not exactly one I was dying to get, but for a buck ninety-nine I'll take the little guy home.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

When sex is cute as a button.

May I just say that more trailers should include William H. Macy and Kate Micucci playing ukuleles:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"YA THINK!?"

Metafilter publishes a one-link post on the recent debate where Christine O'Donnell questions the separation of church & state. They soon took it down due to it existing mostly as an excuse to laugh at her ignorance of the Constitution, but I still had a window of it up on my computer. Good thing, too, because the Metafilter comments are proving to be the high point of my very crappy day:


Ronald Reagan > Newt Gingrich > Sarah Palin > Christine O'Donnell > ?
posted by The Card Cheat


Ronald Reagan > Newt Gingrich > Sarah Palin > Christine O'Donnell > Potted plant
posted by Dark Messiah


Ronald Reagan > Newt Gingrich > Sarah Palin > Christine O'Donnell > Bag of Hammers
posted by zarq


When I saw the headline for this in the morning I thought it was one of those Evangelical gotcha things where the actual phrase 'separation of church and state' isn't in the Constitution but rather in a Jefferson letter, so I was like 'Oh you stupid...' and then I read the thing and it turns out no, she just has no idea.
posted by shakespeherian


"You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp," Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone said after the debate, adding that it raised questions about O'Donnell's grasp of the Constitution.
YA THINK!?
posted by zarq


You guys are being unduly hard on potted plants and bags of hammers.
posted by entropicamericana


Mabye she meant that those words aren't in the First Amendment.
Fucking brilliant way of phrasing it. Good thing she's not vying for some kind of position of authority where she'll have to speak publicly.
posted by Dark Messiah


Hey, there, watch it, Dark Mesiah.

(says the potted plant community)

As horrifying as this is:

Her comments, in a debate aired on radio station WDEL, generated a buzz in the audience.
"You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp,"

You don't think often as gasps being comforting, but for me, this one was.
posted by MCMikeNamara

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Corbin.

Clicking on to the IMDb this morning, I was greeted by the usual list of celebrity birthdays. Among them was Barry Corbin, who today reaches the age of 70. Prior to 2007, Corbin would have most likely been remembered by the general public for Northern Exposure (and by the smaller geekier class for WarGames). But with No Country For Old Men, he took a one-scene role, and the incredible dialog therein, and marked for himself a place in cinema history. Of course, that's my own humble opinion (scene starts at five minute mark):



Ellis: "In back!"

Bell: "How'd you know I was here?"

Ellis: "Who else'd be driving up in your truck?"

Bell: "You heard it?"

Ellis: "How's that?"

Bell: "You hear my - you're havin fun with me."

Ellis: "What give you that idea. I'd seen one of them cats heard it."

Bell: "Well how'd you know it was my truck? "

Ellis: "I deduced it, when you walked in."

Bell: "How many a them things you got now?"

Ellis: "Cats? Well, I don't know. Several. Well, it depends on what you mean by got. Some of 'em are half-wild, and some of 'em are just outlaws."

(Pause)

Bell: "How you been, Ellis?"

Ellis: "You're lookin at it. I got to say... you're lookin' older."

Bell: "I am older."

Ellis: "Got a letter from your wife. She writes me pretty regular, keeps me up on the family news."

Bell: "Didn't know there was any."

Ellis: "Told me you're quittin."

(Sheriff Bell heads toward the kitchen counter.)

Bell: "You want a cup?"

Ellis: "'Preciate it."

Bell: "How fresh is that coffee?"

Ellis: "I generally make a fresh pot ever week even if there's some left over."

(Pause)

Bell: "That man that shot you died in prison?"

Ellis: "In Angola. Yeah."

Bell: "What would you a done if he'd been released?"

Ellis: "Oh, I don't know. Nothin. Wouldn't be no point in it."

Bell: "I'm kindly surprised to hear you say that."

Ellis: "Well, all the time you spend tryin to get back what's been took from you there's more goin out the door. After a while you just have to try and get a tourniquet on it. Your granddad never asked me to sign on as a deputy. Loretta tells me you're quittin. How come're you doin that?"

Bell: "I don't know. I feel overmatched. I always figured when I got older God would sort of come into my life in somehow. He didn't. I don't blame him. If I was him I'd have the same opinion of me that he does."

Ellis: "You don't know what he thinks."

(Pause)

Ellis: "I sent Uncle Mac's thumbbuster and badge over to the Rangers, to put it in their museum. Your daddy ever tell you how Uncle Mac come to his reward? Gunned down on his own porch over in Hudspeth County. Seven or eight of 'em come up there. Wantin this and wantin that. Uncle Mac went back in the house to get the shotgun, but they was ahead of him. Shot him in his doorway. Aunt Ella come out and tried to stop the bleedin. Uncle Mac all the while tryin to get that shotgun. They just set there on their horses watchin him die. After awhile one of 'em says somethin in Injun and they turned and left out. Uncle Mac knew the score even if Aunt Ella didn't. Shot through the left lung and that was that. As they say."

Bell: "When did he die?"

Ellis: "Nineteen zero and uh, nine..."

Bell: "No, I mean was it right away or in the night or when was it?"

Ellis: "I believe it was that night. She buried him the next mornin. Diggin in that hard old caliche. What you got ain't nothin new. This country is hard on people. You can't stop what's comin. Ain't all waitin on you. That's vanity."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy thoughts for the weekend

First off, it was my birthday earlier this week and I got lots of lovely presents. Mrs. Mosley gave me a special coffee mug now that I finally bought a coffee pot and have started brewing at home to save money:



Lovely, that. Would it were a prevailing attitude in this country, but I'm afraid the Tea Party is the very antithesis of this statement (which makes you wonder how they would handled the blitz).

And for the rest of you, a nice little mashup that a Metafilter user stumbled upon. That lovely young lady is Brian Williams daughter, Allison. She's attempting to break into an acting and singing career. I don't know about her acting chops, but that girl has some pipes.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wild Target

I think my favorite part of this trailer (and there are many) is the announcer's slight inflection when he has to say two "Rupert's" in a row. I mean, how often does that happen?

Friday, October 08, 2010

It's "NSFW honest car salesman" Friday!

The first is footage of a salesman goofing off between takes while shooting a commercial, and the second is the straight out comedy clip. I am particularly fond of the stock music used in that second one as it was used for so many commercials in the 1980's:



Thursday, October 07, 2010

Your antidote to Mary Hart

The Onion's AV Club is a source of endless entertainment for me, not least of which for the jaundiced eye they cast on certain bits of entertainment news. While reading the following from their Newswire, you can practically hear the resignation of the writer as they cynically describe the inevitable:

"Vulture nabbed the exclusive report that Mike Meyers’ funny accents have been hired for a big-screen Pepé Le Pew movie, which will bring Looney Tunes’ amorous skunk into the harsh realm of the 21st century via the alchemy of live-action and CGI. Like its similar, previously announced Bugs Bunny project, it’s all part of Warner Bros.’ plan to revive its long-neglected cartoon characters for a younger audience, whose exposure to increased levels of cadmium have made it impossible for them to discern two-dimensional shapes. Pepé Le Pew, occasionally characterized by people who take these things too seriously as a racist caricature of a smelly French person, will once again work his date-rape-y wiles on Penelope Pussycat, with the two being the only computer animated members of a an otherwise live-action cast. It will be a 90-minute fart joke, and it will make lots of money."

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Dude Abides... er...Rides

Do you think the Coen brothers and Jeff Bridges are having a little fun with us?


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

"Bow down before me, Palin!"

I got a kick out of this today:


"General Zod" is currently trending higher than Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnel. Two stars of the Tea Party movement are getting their asses kicked in the current news cycle by a fictional character. I guess those gals just aren't being malevolent enough. Time for another slanderous Tweet, Sarah!

Monday, October 04, 2010

True Grit: The Full Trailer

We get a bit of a breather with this expansion. The first trailer was incredibly bleak with no room for humor (unless you count Mattie Ross trying on her hat). This one lets us know that, despite the grave mission of these folks, there will be room for levity (as was the case with Kim Darby and John Wayne).

I hate the fact that the trailer gives away a major plot twist, but I'm sure there's just as much being held under wraps. My faith in the Coens remain eternal (Intolerable Cruelty notwithstanding):


Friday, October 01, 2010

Samuel L. Jackson Quote of the Month: October 2010

Four months ago I showcased a film titled The 51st State, which was an action comedy starring Sam that seemed to have disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. This can be a common occurrence in a crowded marketplace and, truth be told, the movie wasn't meant to be a huge blockbuster anyway so I doubt there were a whole lot of people who cared.

But then there's Astro Boy, which is based on a classic and well-beloved Japanese cartoon. This was not a low profile project, but one that had been anticipated for quite awhile. People were paying attention to this sucker, and yet it came and went in the blink of an eye. It took in only 7 million dollars in it's opening weekend (the low-budget Paranormal Activity drew in the most for the fifth week in a row). In the end, Astro Boy's final tally was just less than half of it's 40 million dollar budget. And just like that... it was gone.

And Sam? He gives voice to a giant robot named Zog that has a total of three or four short lines in the entire film. The first line, which is the one quoted here, is the one that the filmmakers probably figured would get a great audience reaction when they heard Sam's voice come out of the giant robot. But, with all respect to Sam, the line is underwhelming. Sad to say, the same can be said of the film itself.
Ham Egg: "You can't kill me! The rules of robotics were created 50 years ago!"

Zog: "I'm old school."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Black Monolith made of Cheese

If one were to map my love of bad movies, I suppose you could start with Mystery Science Theater 3000, which I only started watching during it's Sci-Fi channel run in 1997. I had a lot of catching up to do, of course, which was assisted by friends of friends who had VHS tapes to lend me and that I dutifully copied. It was a grand time, and I damn near wore those tapes out.

Another phase started when I went looking online for reviews of one particular MST3K subject called Girl in Gold Boots. One of the review links on the IMDb went to a website called Jabootu's Bad Movie Dimension. Upon clicking on that link, I was treated to a thorough (and I mean thorough) eviscerating of the movie in question. It was a joy, and I quickly devoured all of the other reviews on the site, most of which were to movies I hadn't even seen (which did not diminish the enjoyment of the reviews).

But there was one film on Jabootu's list that I had seen (and not with the aide of MST3K, either), and that film was Death Wish 3. Now I know I said that my affection for bad movies started with MST3K in 1997, but that's not entirely correct. Seeing the title Death Wish 3 on Jabootu's site immediately transported me to my teenage years in the 1980's when I first watched this movie on Saturday afternoon television. I remember many things about watching it, but one thing rang crystal clear: It was the first time while watching a movie that I thought to myself, "Wow. This is really bad!".

This did not compel me to turn off the TV, of course. Instead, I enjoyed the badness, and that was something I wouldn't discover again for another ten years or so. More's the pity. I recently revisited all this with the AV Club's latest article in their "The New Cult Cannon" series, which focuses on Death Wish 3. It doesn't go into as much detail as Jabootu (who could?), but it touches on the more ridiculous points of the film and was a nice reminiscence for me.

I think about Jabootu (and other members of the B-Masters) every now and then, but I don't visit the sites on a regular basis like I used to. In the case of Jabootu, the reviews started to have a political bent that completely turned me off, so I parted ways with the site that started me on the road of cheese. Others, like And You Call Yourself a Scientist, can still be depended on great analysis of films both good and bad (though I wish Liz would hurry up and fix the links to her old reviews).

These days, I take in bad movies via my steady supply of MST3K, RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic DVD's (not to mention my Mill Creek back catalog). And it's a habit that has gown into a hobby, so I can't forget my roots.

Thank you, Death Wish 3, for being so incredibly, absolutely awful.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Flicks Unseen

Flickchart has started to get annoyed with me.

Well, no, not really. What it has actually done is run out of movie titles. Ever since I found the option that presented two unranked movies each time to vote on, I've been using it like mad. Well, late last week the website started to slow when I used this function. Now, more often than not, it will freeze up completely in the middle of generating the next pair.

The reason for this is that it's running out of titles. Unfortunately, the site does not appear to be tied specifically to the IMDb, so it doesn't have that wide a breadth. The result is that there are films I have seen that are not on my Flickchart list because Flickchart doesn't recognize them (C'mon, Flickchart? No love for The Beast of War? It's an awesome flick!).

The time for finding new movies to add is grinding to a halt, so let's have a gander at the top 20 voted films (by Flickchart users) that I have not yet seen:

The Lion King - I actually watched the first half on one occasion and then never got around to finishing it. I should fix this soon. If it's any compensation, I've seen the stage show!

Rocky - Yeah, there's no excuse for this.

Superbad - No real interest, guys. Sorry.

Edward Scissorhands - Long overdue, as well. Though it still freaks me out to see Winona Ryder as a blonde.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - I suppose if there's one Will Ferrel movie I'd be interested to see, it's this one, so it's got a shot.

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Two Tim Burton films? Mere coincidence, I assure you!

Knocked Up - See Superbad entry.

Pan's Labyrinth - Not exactly a movie I can sit down with Mrs. Mosley to watch, but I'll get around to it soon.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin - Started it. Way too damn uncomfortable. Shut it off 20 minutes in.

Slumdog Millionaire - I know it's an Oscar winner and all that, but I get the feeling this movie might be a slog to get through. Maybe one day.

Dumb and Dumber - See Knocked Up entry.

Gangs of New York - Mr. Scorsese, I have tried... tried to get through this one (twice!) and no dice. No offence, please. It just ain't gonna happen.

The Graduate - The hell of it is, I've read so much about this film by now (including the ending) that I'm not quite sure how much joy I would get out of it.

The Wrestler - Kind of the same category as Slumdog.

A Beautiful Mind - Funny story: We had started this movie on a night in August 2004 when the power went out due to Hurricane Frances. The power didn't come back until one week later and we never got back to the movie. We should fix that.

Borat - See Dumb and Dumber entry.

Happy Gilmore - See Borat entry.

Top Gun - There's just so much cheese associated with this flick, but I suppose I should indulge myself one night with a big bowl of popcorn and a testament of Reagan-era manliness.

Old School - See Happy Gilmore entry.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective - See Old School entry.
So there you have it: Seven that I'd like to see, four that I'm willing to see, and nine that can go fly a kite. Thanks, Flickchart!

"Up yours, Commie!"

Not a lot of people know that, about a year ago, President Obama was feeling pretty depressed at the reactions he was getting to his health care plan and just his presidency in general. In order to cheer him up, the First Lady put together a White House dinner and invited some of the most legendary comedians in America.

At some point after the dinner, President Obama was taken aside by Gene Wilder and given some words of condolence:

"What did you expect? 'Welcome, Mr. President'? 'Make yourself at home'? 'Help me to marry my lesbian lover'? You've got to remember that these are just simple patriots. These are people of the GOP. The common Conservatives of the new America. You know... morons."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Midnight showings at the Value Voters summit...

It's been two weeks since I discovered Flickchart, and I've done a lot of clicking since then. Last night, I discovered an option on the site to only present movies that haven't yet been voted on. This way, you can quickly eliminate titles you haven't seen at the rate of about one per second. My current count is 1,700 movies seen (127 days, 16 hours and 20 minutes) and 3,151 that I haven't seen.

Clearly, I'm not the big movie stud I thought myself to be. But given that a lot of those titles is stuff I have no interest in seeing anyway, I'll try not to sweat the stats.

Being presented with titles not voted on at such a rapid clip will present options both great and obscure. The most interesting one I've encountered is a little horror film from four years ago called The Tripper. Check out this one sentence summary: "A Ronald Reagan-obsessed serial killer targets a bunch of hippies who are heading to a weekend-long concert."


Wow. Just... wow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Skippy of the Day: William Murray

I have stated before that, as popular as Mitt Romney can be, I believe his Mormonism is more of a deficit than he may think. I go back and forth on this thought, wondering if the radical right Christians can put it aside long enough to pursue the common dream. Given that Glen Beck is also a Mormon, I have to believe that was one of his goals in his recent rally in Washington D.C.

If only they targeted voters who could actually process complex and nuanced ideas (nuance is more of a Democrat thing). Alas, once you've read the signs at any Tea Party gathering, you know this isn't likely.

Yet even knowing this, I have to admit that my jaw dropped to the floor after reading this quote today from William Murray, who is leading the fight against the mosque in NYC:
"I don’t know with the case with Mitt Romney. It could be because of some similarities between Islam and Mormonism, to be very frank with you, and his fear that any criticism of Islam, that those arguments could then be construed or used against Mormonism."
With such complete and total idiocy as this, I wouldn't be surprised if in ten years the Republicans had a Protestants vs. Catholics inter-party fight on their hands.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just in time for gift-giving.

Often the question is asked, "When is the right time to buy (insert latest technology here)?"

For me, in terms of Blu-ray, the answer is: When Disney finally releases some choice titles from the vault again.


Truth be told, Mrs. Mosley and I have already decided to treat ourselves to a Blu-ray player this Christmas, but such a fortuitous pair of releases (Beauty and the Beast on 10/5 and the Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 combo on 11/30) just sweetens the pot.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

* shakes fist at Amazon *

Oh, for crying out loud...




Looks like the IMDb has decided to do another design change. They apparently thought the original design wasn't cluttered and boxy enough, so they threw up a bunch of irrelevant movie posters and such so that you have to scroll down to get to the actual movie list. Add to this the fact that they blow up the headshot to a size that the original was not meant to be blown up to and we get M. Emmet Walsh's memorable mug pixelated all to hell.

I know, I know. Website redesigns are inevitable (especially if my own blog is any evidence). And sucker that I am, there's no way I'm going to stop using IMDb (unlike Boing Boing, whose last design change was so awful I stopped going there altogether). But I'm a grumpy old man who remembers when the IMDb was simply lists of movies that actors were in and we liked it that way, by gum!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Web surfing with Rupert Murdoch

An article on NPR (via Metafilter) delves into speciality search engines that screen out material according to the users' religious preference. Here are some details (and my one word summary's):
Houdmann says a search on his site would not turn up pornography.
Practical.
If you search “gay marriage,” you would get results that argue against gay marriage.
Predictable.
And if you type in “Democratic Party,” your first search result is a site on Marxism.
Pathetic.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"You're Welcome, America."

I...... what...... huh?!?!?
A Florida pastor says his church will never burn a Quran, even if a mosque is built near ground zero.

Pastor Terry Jones had threatened to burn the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks over plans to build an Islamic center near where terrorists brought down the World Trade Center nine years ago.

He flew to New York and appeared on NBC's "Today" show. He says that his Gainesville, Fla., church's goal was "to expose that there is an element of Islam that is very dangerous and very radical."

He tells NBC that "we have definitely accomplished that mission."
That is, without a doubt, the worst save I have ever seen someone at the center of a controversy attempt. His mission was nothing of the kind. He has tried to transform this (in the wake of the controversy) as a mission against a certain segment of Islam, yet his words and actions have shown that his disdain for all of Islam and it's adherents is quite clear. Sorry, Jonesy, we're not buying it.

And this is all aside from the fact that America really didn't need to be told this about Islam. Islam has fringe elements? You don't say!

Now if you don't mind, Big Media, I'd like you to stop paying attention to this guy now that he's had his fifteen minutes. The only time I want to hear the name Terry Jones again on the national news is in reference to Monty Python.

(And as a side note, it's weird that the names of Python members have cropped up among the right wing, first with Palin and now with this guy. I half expect the next conservative superstar to be named Idle or Cleese.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Not exactly a "plummet".

"OH MY GOD HAV U HEARD OBAMA'S POPULARITY HAS DROPPED SO LOW HE......



......Oh. That's very different. Never mind."

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Godfather Part III

Flickchart came across my radar (via Metafilter) last week and has instantly become a major time suck, but in a good way. The basic concept is this: You are presented with two movies and asked which one you would rather watch (if you haven't seen one or both of them, it allows you to discard the title for a new one). And then you pick from another two films. And another. And so on. You quickly create a list of (a) which movies you have seen and (b) you're ranking of them.

As I said, a tremendous time suck. As of this posting, I personally have made 3100 of these either/or decisions and in the process listed 633 movies that I have seen. And according to their computations, that group of movies constitutes 49 days, 11 hours, 33 minutes spent watching them. Either you're someone who is impressed or depressed by such calculations. Count me in the former.

One thing you might notice from those numbers is the huge discrepancy between number of movies and number of rankings. This is because each ranking doesn't come up with new titles every time. If they did, they couldn't compare with the other decisions. A logical process, but it means that movies you have zero interest in seeing again will pop up over and over and force you to choose something over it... until you come across one that's just as bad and you have to make a decision (cough Alien Resurrection vs. X-Men Origins: Wolverine cough).

But then it also allows you to reconsider some titles that fall in the middle between brilliant and awful, and that leads me to The Godfather Part III (Spoiler Alert).

For me, Godfather III ranks currently at 238 out of 633, which isn't bad. I have only seen it the once, but I have pleasant memories of it and would definitely be up for watching it again when given the choice between it and, say, Vacancy (currently at 430 and dropping like a stone). The most indelible memory I have of Godfather III is the very last shot:




When the movie first came out, the one critic's comment I remember reading (apart from all the scorn heaped on Sofia Coppola's performance) was how Michael's death in the last scene seemed more appropriate for a Monty Python sketch than the conclusion of the greatest American Crime saga ever put to film.

Being a Python geek in addition to a film geek, I know the exact sketch that critic was referring to. But that's beside the point. The scene is as follows: The elderly Michael Corleone, perhaps permanently crippled from the stroke he suffered in front of the theatre, is seated in a chair in what appears to be a courtyard back in Italy. It is a long shot and we cannot see his face. As the final ascending notes of that familiar tune play, Michael tips over in his chair and (we presume) dies.

The greatest American Crime saga's protagonist, whom we have seen grow over three incredible films, who has been studied and talked about by film scholars and movie buffs over so many years, who reached so much power and influence during his reign, just died suddenly and alone.

There is an incredible sadness there. His father could at least say that he died playing with his grandson and assured that his empire was in the capable hands of his favorite son. Michael has no such compensation.

One could argue this was the karmic debt Michael owed, and one would have a point. It doesn't make it any less tragic, though. It's a fitting end to such a wonderful tale.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

We'll be thinking of you, Alec.

You know, movie buffs gushing about "great casts" can get old after awhile, especially when we have seen time and again "great casts" wasted on utter cinematic drek.

That being said, after reading about the new version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy being filmed and the cast they lined up, I'm impressed: Gary Oldman (Harry Potter), Tom Hardy (Inception), Ciarin Hinds (There Will Be Blood), Jared Harris (Mad Men), Colin Firth (Pride & Prejudice) and Benedict Cumberbatch (lately of the Sherlock Holmes revamp on the BBC).


Folks, that is an awesome collection of Brits, right there. And the prospect of watching them all play spies in a classic Cold War story has certainly gotten my attention. Can't wait.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Doing it right.

Back in January, I announced that I was restarting work on something called "The Cattle Corner Project". As I said then, it was probably crazy to think I could find the time to do so what with caring for an infant and trying to sell a house. Turns out I was right, and last week I made the decision to put the project on permanent hiatus.

But then this morning I stumble across this, and my mind begins to wander (and wonder) once again:


If you can't tell from the photo, it's a detailed representation of the city set in Logan's Run. It's stunning work, and inspires me to go back to my project. And in case you haven't guessed from the clues, the purpose of my project was to create a replica of the set and scene from the beginning of Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West out of LEGO.

And the hell of it is, my project would not be a tenth as detailed as the Logan's Run piece. In fact, I had considered doing it at a slightly smaller scale. But now, having seen this, I wonder if such compromises are necessary. I can do the full thing. It would take time and a little bit of money to Bricklink, but it can be done. I'll be keeping you posted.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

"The Roomies"

Hilarious to people who have seen The Room. Confounding to everyone else:

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

And once again I say "Thank you, Roger".

Roger Ebert lays it all down for us:
The time is here for responsible Americans to put up or shut up. I refer specifically to those who have credibility among the guileless and credulous citizens who have been infected with notions so carefully nurtured. We cannot afford to allow the next election to proceed under a cloud of falsehood and delusion.

We know, because they've said so publicly, that George W. Bush, his father and Sen. John McCain do not believe Obama is a Muslim. This is the time -- now, not later -- for them to repeat that belief in a joint statement. Other prominent Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul also certainly do not believe it. They have a responsibility to make that clear by subscribing to the statement. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh must join, or let their silence indict them. Limbaugh in particular must cease his innuendos and say, flat out, whether he believes the President is a Muslim or not. Yes or no. Does he have evidence, or does he have none? Yes or no.
Thanks for that, Roger. As for your assertion that Beck and Palin are going to announce their intent to run together in 2012, I have my doubts. My view of the ticket is that it would either fail spectacularly or succeed spectacularly, and I don't know if the catharsis of the former is worth risking the horror of the later (no matter how minuscule the chances).

Samuel L. Jackson Quote of the Month: September 2010

Pulp Fiction, of course, was Sam's breakout role. Even though he got great notices for his dramatic portrayal of crack addict Gator Purify in Jungle Fever three years prior to Pulp, it was the humor and action of Tarantino's hit that launched him into the big leagues.

And so it's reasonable to notice that Sam sort of gravitates to the same type of roles that are equal parts humor and action. The Long Kiss Goodnight is a good example of this (without actually being, you know, good). And one can't help notice how Sam's very first scene has his character holding a guy at gunpoint in a grubby room and speechifying, very much like his immortal encounter with Brett over Big Kahuna Burgers.
Mitch: "Don't give me attitude, sir. You're assuming I won't shoot your sorry ass. When you make an assumption, you make an 'ass' out of you and 'umption'. Now I'm Sgt. Madigan, Vice, and if you do cop a 'tude, jerkoff, I will see to it you spend the next 10 years in prison getting ass-fucked. If the case is thrown out because my arrest was violent, I will personally hire men to ass-fuck you for the next ten years. So if you're an ass-fucking fan, you go ahead and mouth off."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The King's Speech



Hmmm. British period film concerned with royalty and starring the usual suspects (Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush and Michael Gambon). Yes, I think Mrs. Mosley and I now have something to look forward to in November (Well, aside from HP7, obviously).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Am I Blue?

Yes, yes. New template and new subtitle.

Maybe I'll have some actual content to go along with the new look later this week. "till then.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Goldline makes the world go 'round

A little nugget of joy from dcist (via Metafilter):
At Safeway:

A couple, both wearing "Palin for President AND Vice President 2008" shirts, are buying a 12 pack of Budweiser.

The clerk tells them it's $9.50. The couple then starts complaining that they're gouging people in town for the rallies, demands to speak to the manager, and that it's un-American.

Cashier: "No sir, that is capitalism."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Truly Trivial Trivia

From the IMDb trivia section for Inception:
The third Christopher Nolan movie in five years in which Cillian Murphy's character spends a significant portion of his on-screen time with a cloth bag over his head.
Don't worry, Cillian. I don't think Nolan is trying to drop any hints or anything.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yes, heaven forbid the show look distinctive from every other cop show on TV.

Since I last mentioned the Rockford Files revamp last February, the studio shot a pilot and decided against it. However, it would appear that they are thinking of trying it again by replacing Dermot Mulroney with Lost's Josh Holloway.

On the one hand, I like the idea, and I think that Holloway deserves another steady paycheck and a place on TV every week to charm the heck out of us. On the other, I was rather disappointed on this revelation on why the Mulroney pilot was shelved.
"[It] looked like it was shot in the '70s," one source bemoaned to NYMag.com's Joe Adalian. "You didn't even know it was the current day until Jim pulled out his cell phone. It looked like Stephen J. Cannell directed it himself."
And my question is... SO?!?!?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Send in the Clowns."

It being a slow day, I watched the Salon slide show about movie fan art. The last selection pointed to a site called Fake Movie Posters and allowed you to create your own, so I did so.

Fake Movie Posters

In regards to the website in general, I would have appreciated more generic templates. One can hardly do a convincing poster when confined to the distinctive fonts of The Terminator and The Godfather (the later coming complete with hovering marionette strings). Furthermore, the templates provided only allow you to substitute just enough letters as the placeholder title had.

Which is why my theoretical adaptation of "Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates" was shortened to simply Fierce Invalids. I think the final result looks good, though I had a bit of trouble with the casting. The supporting players (Bellucci as Sister Domino, Rowlands as Maestra and Mos Def as Bobbby Case) were easy enough to decide on, but the man who would be Switters confounded me. Ten years ago, I would have said Robert Downey Jr., but I think he's a little too old to play Switters now. Then I thought of Franco, who is known as a bit of an eccentric himself (and is a damn good actor to boot), so he got the coveted role.

This is all just for fun, of course. I hope this book never gets made into a movie. Fortunately, I've got history on my side. The last and only time a Robbins book got adapted for the screen was Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I don't think executives are going back to that well any time soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

No more Great Space Coaster.

Boy, the things you learn when you have a kid and start watching morning cartoons.

First off, they're not as obnoxious as I would have imagined. I really enjoy Bob the Builder, though part of my enjoyment is marveling at the stop animation. Sid the Science Kid is also fun, and it tickles me how they throw in some pop-culture humor in there for the adults once in a while. And then there are the old stand-bys like Sesame Street, which remains sublimely silly.


One interesting thing I picked up on yesterday morning upon watching Maya & Miguel for the first time was how one of the child characters (Andy Arlington) doesn't have a whole right arm. This was striking to me, as I had seen handicapped people in cartoons before (usually in wheelchairs), but never an amputee. I really respected the show for that sort of inclusion, and I'm glad little C.C. is being exposed to that.

Of course, Maya & Miguel also features main characters who speak Spanish, and are therefore subverting American English. Damn PBS and it's quest to teach our children about tolerance and respect for people of all walks of life!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

True Grit: First Pic

Hooray!


Looking good so far, and Hailee Steinfeld really looks like Kim Darby in the original.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The C.C. abides

I missed this photo when Mrs. Mosley first took it last month. Such a lovely baby we have.


I'd settle for getting all the phone jacks to work.

Wondermark clearly knows too much about Mrs. Mosley and I:

Friday, August 13, 2010

"You better run, mojito!"

Long story short: We moved into our new house on Wednesday, but we are a looooong way from settled in.

In the grand tradition of Acrentropy "bear with me" posts, here's a trailer for the upcoming film Rango. I came for Johnny Depp as bug-eyed lizard, I stayed for the awesome spaghetti western cinematography and use of shadows in an animated film. Have a gander:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Please, please give Spike a call.

OK, Denzel, what the hell?


You made a fifth movie with Tony Scott? What on earth for?!?

Alright, Crimson Tide was pretty good, and that was your first, so that's OK. Your second with him came nine years later, and although I can buy that you trusted the man from your previous experience together, had you not seen his work lately? And as dark and gritty as it is, Man on Fire just isn't very good, so your second collaboration should have been your last. No hard feelings.

But there you are again only two years later with Deja Vu, and three years after that with a remake of The Taking of Pelham 123. Why? Is it some kind of "I make the crappy films so I can afford to make the good ones" approach to Hollywood? If so, I don't think even The Great Debaters was worth shaming the memory of Walter Matthau.

But you have continued on and will be starring in Unstoppable later on this year. I watched the trailer, Denzel, and I could barely tell what was going on for the noise (which is par for the course in a Tony Scott film). I'm hoping that maybe this last film is truly the last film. I'd much rather see The Inside Man 2 than another one of these.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Everyone's "Sunny"

The great Bobby Hebb died yesterday at the age of 72. Here are a couple of "Sunny's" (first the original, then a couple of covers) to brighten your day:





Wednesday, August 04, 2010

"In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked 'What God do you pray to?' 'What beliefs do you hold?'"


If Palin is really looking for cojones (not to mention integrity and a true love in what this country stands for), she needs to look here:
"The government has no right whatsoever to deny that right – and if it were tried, the courts would almost certainly strike it down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question – should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here. This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another."
Go read the whole thing. Bravo, Mr. Bloomberg.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tom Clancy PREDICTS!

The Hunt for Red October is a favorite of Mrs. Mosley's, and I started thinking about one of her favorite scenes as I read the news this morning. The conversation takes place between Captain Borodin (Sam Neil) and Captain Ramius (Sean Connery) as they discuss what their lives will be like when they defect to the United States.
Borodin: "I will live in Montana. And I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck... maybe even a 'recreational vehicle.' And drive from state to state. Do they let you do that?"

Ramius: "I suppose."

Borodin: "No papers?"

Ramius: "No papers, state to state."

Borodin: "Well then, in winter I will live in... Arizona. Actually, I think I will need two wives."

Ramius: "Oh, at least."
Borodin, I've got good news and bad news for ya. The bad news is that, if you winter Arizona, you're probably gonna need papers. The good news is that, the way things are going in the courts in that neck of the woods, you still might be able to swing the two wives.