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 They completely screwed the pooch in terms of customer service on my order and I eventually went with, 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."