Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh yeah, he doesn't play by the rules, either.

A news item on Coming Soon yesterday:
Dermot Mulroney is in talks to play iconic private eye Jim Rockford in NBC's update on the hit 1970s drama that starred James Garner. It will be his first regular TV role.

The new Rockford is described as "slightly crumpled, wry humored, cynical, world weary, compassionate when it's called for and easily irritated by morons."
Hmm... Why does that sound familiar?
"The Rockford Files" was written by "House" creator David Shore.
Never mind.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yes, believe it or not: Jewel can act.

Lovely news came my way today as I saw there were two great movies coming out in special Criterion editions. The first, Stagecoach, needs no introduction and just happens to be a title I recently added to my "to buy" list, so I best set aside money for May.

The other is, sadly, not a title a lot of people are familiar with. Ride with the Devil, though a really great movie, has a number of factors working against it. First of all, it suffered from extremely bad timing. It starred Tobey Maguire (three years before Spiderman), Jeffrey Wright (a year before Shaft), Mark Ruffalo (A year before You Can Count On Me) and was directed by Ang Lee (a year before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). This is not to say that all of these people did less than stellar work before these projects, but all of the above titles really made names for all four. One can imagine how the film would have done if it came out in 2003 instead of 1999.

Actually, we can imagine what would have happened, as there was a very similar film to Ride With The Devil that came out that year which probably would have buried it anyway: Cold Mountain. That film was based on a best selling book and had bigger stars backing it, not to mention a studio putting all its weight against it for Oscar. And for all Cold Mountain's histrionics (such as those that won Rene Zellweger her little gold man), It's inferior to Ang Lee's lower key, yet thrilling, war time drama.

So though I won't be purchasing the Criterion edition (as I have to be selective with my DVD cash), I encourage you to see it for yourself. If the Criterion price tag is also to rich for your blood, the standard edition has been hanging out in cheap bins for quite a while now. Check it out.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New stuff is overated

The Mosley household has recently come into possession of some cool stuff. First off, Mrs. Mosley's dad sent over the complete Sesame Street Library from her childhood. This includes the original twelve hardcover volumes, in very good condition, that were published as a set in 1978. We can't wait for little C.C. to start reading these.

The other acquisition came during a trip to Sugarfoot Antiques at the Beaches several weeks ago. While browsing through the store, Mrs. Mosley caught site of a modest, well-worn box on a shelf. This turned out to be a copy of a 1964 Parker Brothers card game imported from France called Mille Bornes.

When I saw that it was a card game, I figured that there must be some missing. But they were offering a dollar for it, and that was definitely cheap enough to take a chance on. When we got it home, I went through the cards and, whadaya know, they're all there!

And what cards they are, too! There's something about the design and color scheme that just screams "Mod" to me. After all, It is French and it was released in 1964. Can't you just see this being played on a white shag rug in some London flat by photographers and fashion models? I sure can.

"Do I get to blow something up?"

Via The Brothers Brick, presenting the trailer for the first LEGO movie:

Two things that drew my admiration in the trailer was that (a) there is an actual LEGO construction scene in the film and (b) there is a gag about all the minifig characters not fitting four abreast down the hallway. Given this sort of winking joke, I wonder how they'll address the fact that minifigs can't wear those helmets AND their hair at the same time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Don't bother to close your eyes and cover your ears. She'll still be there.

Ever since seeing this video linked from Metafilter several weeks ago, I can't get it out of my head. So I'm passing it on.

A pair of commenters on Metafilter put it best:
"I didn't know Ginger Rogers was a priestess of Cthulhu."

"Ginger Rogers did everything Cthulhu did, except backwards and in high heels."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Genuinely confused

One brief note on the recent Tea Party Convention and CPAC. At the time, there was controversy about the former because the guy who was organizing it was planning to make money off of it. As for the later, Sarah Palin is now complaining about it engaging in profiteering.

I really don't get this. For a group of individuals that decry Socialism every chance they get (whether it is in evidence or not) and hold high the banner of Capitalism, why on earth are they getting their panties in a twist about some of their own making a profit off of them?

That is all. Have a good weekend, folks.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Get on with it!

Here's a hell of a thing for a Librarian to say: I should stop reading so many books.

About two years ago, I read a report that the next Scorsese film would be an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel "Shutter Island". As luck would have it, I was looking for a book to read right then and had seen a copy of this book on the shelf recently. So I checked it out and read it.

Is it a good book? Yes, I would say it is. However, it has a twist ending that you'll either love or hate. Personally, I was fine with it, but knowing that ending permanently colors the way I look at all the previews, which have become more numerous and obnoxious as we all approach tomorrow's release date. Martin is going for some weird camera tricks and CGI with this one, and I'm afraid that this, combined with the ending, is going to elicit more giggles and scares.

Oh well, the sooner it comes out, the sooner the anticipation will die down... and the sooner Scorsese can get to work on the Sinatra Biopic.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Are smart-ass genes passed on from the Father?

Over the weekend, Mrs. Mosley and I were discussing our possible next child:
Mrs. Mosley: "Should we have a baby sooner?"

Myself: "I don't know. Would it mean us moving to Oklahoma?"
Truth be told, I actually mistakenly said Nebraska, but Mrs. Mosley still got the joke and it elicited the inevitable eye roll out of her.

Friday, February 12, 2010

We'll miss you, Jim Varney, through tears of joy.

Tom Cruise is getting too old for this. Dan Aykroyd is getting too old for this. And don't get me started on the possibility on a Lethal Weapon 5.

But thank the heavens Woody and Buzz never age:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Obligatory Avatar post

So I finally went to see the James Cameron behemoth on Sunday night, and in 3D no less. The result was a very entertaining movie and a great showcase for 3D. I wouldn't mind seeing more in the format (They showed a preview for Piranha 3-D before the film, which was only accentuated by seeing a brief glimpse of Richard Dreyfuss. Sadly, his character's name is not Matt Hooper).

And I'm also happy to say that the CGI characters were very realistic and compelling... except for one. You see, the avatar bodies that the humans take control of are half their own DNA and half Na'vi. Of the three main characters that have avatars, our main character Jake Sully has facial characteristics that blend the best. His geekier teammate Norm Spellman also has an avatar that doesn't seem too obviously different from the Na'vi.

And then there's Grace Augustine, played by Sigourney Weaver. Perhaps it's because, of the three actors, she is the most famous and recognizable. Perhaps it's because her old pal Jimmy wanted her avatar to stand out. Whatever the case, of the three, her avatar's face is most nakedly patterned after her own.

This was the only thing that really pulled me out of the film as an immersive experience: Instead of watching a unique character, I was watching some blue mannequin of Sigourney running around the jungle in a Stanford tank top.

Which is not to slight her in any way. The woman is gorgeous, and she has a classically beautiful face. It's just not a face for a Na'vi.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

"Hello. My name is Miracle Max. Prepare to get a paper cut and have lemon juice poured on it."

While in the Dollar Store today, I picked up a copy of "The Rough Guide to Kid's Movies". The three reasons I got it was (a) I'm now in a situation to have a greater interest in the subject, (b) I had come across other volumes in this series at the library and they looked pretty cool and (c) it was a friggin dollar.

Unfortunately, that's about as much as it's worth. I have to wonder at the quality of the editing in those other volumes when I read a passage like the following out of my recent purchase (describing The Princess Bride):
"When writer William Goldman first touted the script of The Princess Bride around Hollywood, the then unknown Arnold Schwarzenegger was keen to play the giant, Fezzik. However, it took until the mid-1980's for Goldman to garner serious interest in his unusual fairytale, by which time Arnie had moved on to heavier weaponry. Which was perhaps no bad thing, for Billy Crystal stepped into the breach as the giant, Miracle Max."

"The story is about a girl called Buttercup who is kidnapped by the evil Prince Humperdinck. Her childhood love Westley sets off to rescue her and, whilst searching, meets a giant swordsman - Miracle Max."
Apparently, Billy Crystal was supposed to be a giant, as was Mandy Patinkin, and they were both named Miracle Max. Criminy, guys, it's not like you're decoding a David Lynch film or anything. Get your facts straight!

Friday, February 05, 2010

And to think it all started in Leland, Mississippi.

What's better for a Friday afternoon than an entire Metafilter post devoted to The Dark Crystal?

If nothing else, it assures me that I'm not the only one that (a) loves this movie to death and (b) desperately wants Augrha's Orrery for my very own.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Monday, February 01, 2010

Samuel L Jackson Quote of the Month: February 2010

When I first looked through Samuel L. Jackson's resume for this year, I noticed he was in an episode of Law & Order during it's very first season. I checked it out and got a kick out of his small role as a lawyer. I even got a bonus in another supporting role by a very young Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Five years after that episode, they found themselves doing supporting work again, this time in Paul Thomas Anderson's first full length feature Sydney. Hoffman, of course, would go on to be a major Anderson player in his films, but it's a pity Jackson didn't so the same. Anderson gave his character Jimmy some great dialogue, as is seen in this scene where his character confronts the Sydney of the title (played by the equally wonderful Philip Baker Hall):
Jimmy: "What I mean - what I believe... is that you killed his father... like the stories I heard go. Now, if somebody killed my father... I would feel the need to do something. The stories I heard - you know, stories get around - is that you used to be a hard-ass. You were a hard-ass and you took his dad out, Sydney. So you think - what? You can just walk through this life... without being punished for it? Shit, man. I know all those guys you know. Floyd Gondolli, Jimmy Gator, Mumbles O'Malley. They like to sit around in Clifton's and talk, talk, talk. They love to tell stories. You can sit there and look at me sideways all you want. You probably think I'm some kind of asshole or something... but I'm not a killer... like you. You walk around like you're Mr. Cool, Mr. Wisdom... but you're not. You're just some old hood. The other night in the bar, you asking me a question... like do I do parking lot security? Well, the answer is no! I'm trusted security inside the casino. I'm trusted with security, and I don't fuck it up."

Sydney: "Good that you have such a sturdy sense of responsibility."

Jimmy: "Don't! Don't! Don't fuckin' do that! You understand? I can see right through that shit! You look at me as some idiot, huh? I know you do. I know you. You old guys, you old hoods... you think you're so fuckin' above it... so high and mighty. What am I to you? Some loser? Not with a gun in my hand. Not with the facts I know. Bottom line, Sydney. No matter how hard you try... you're not his father."