As we are flooded with images of the recent Gulf oil disaster, there are some who worry about the future of our planet and its wildlife, while others are concerned with who is to blame in this epic botch job.
Before anyone arrives to these concerns, however, they are reminded of one thing and one thing only—“Pipe Dreams”, the Saved By the Bell episode where Bayside strikes oil. When witnessing the sea of nameless crude-covered ducks we are reminded of Becky, Zack’s close friend and confidant (and duck) who met her untimely demise in the wake of the gang’s capitalistic interests. The episode was generically prescient and made The Onion AV Club‘s list of “amusingly misguided eco-friendly entertainments.” Anyways, someone made this great mash up of the ironically enjoyable episode with the slightly more renowned There Will Be Blood, and it’s awesome.
Chances are, at some point in the last couple of years, you have seen animated rabbits re-enact at least one famous movie in thirty seconds. This is because of Jennifer Shiman. In 2004, the independent animator’s website, angryalien.com, already had novel, interactive Flash-animated shorts such as Pigeon Kam, which showed the world through the eyes of a pigeon, and Amy’s Diary, a re-telling of a child’s diary. It was just a tiny blip on the internet’s radar until she debuted a new feature, The Exorcist, as re-enacted by bunnies in 30 seconds. Slowly but surely, the success of this short, and its hilarious follow-ups of Jaws, The Shining, and most notably, Titanic, led to international attention. Spotlighted on CNN and the Today show, the “buns”, as Shiman lovingly refers to them, garnered praise and requests from internet visitors from all over the world.
This led to a deal with Starz, who got exclusive first access to newer send-ups of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Sixteen Candles, No Country for Old Men, March of the Penguins, and others, which they aired on their website and during airings of the original movies on their cable network. In 2005, the Titanic short was included as a bonus feature of the 1997 movie’s four-disc DVD re-release. As her website won Webby awards for Online Animation and the people’s choice, Shiman denied rumors that the buns would move on to their own TV series or movie, saying that she hardly had the time. Still, the bunnies became quite an internet presence, with annual animated holiday “cards” featured on the website and official Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Now after six years and 68 re-enactments, Shiman announced that the upcoming Evil Dead II short would be the bunnies last, but “Never say never; we may be back some day with our interpretation of more movies.” Stating that her partnership with Starz had ended, she left no reasons as to why, but revealed that she would continue work on other projects. Though this could start rumors about an upcoming TV special or series, all bunnies fans can do for now is see most of their work on the “30-Second Bunnies Theatre Collectible DVD”, available at Amazon.com.
One of the finest actors of our time, Sir Ben Kingsley, shows all the young Hollywood starlets exactly how you nail an audition…in less than 30 seconds. Heidi Montag and Chris Klein: just give up. Massive blockbusters aren’t usually synonymous with Sir Ben, but after flexing his theatrical muscles on Lopez Tonight recently, the whole world knows just who should be Megan Fox’s replacement on Transformers 3.
I always just assumed an invisibility cloak was something relegated to Marvel Comic’s The Hood, the Fantastic Four’s Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman or some Tony Stark Iron Man development. Apparently the technology of comic books is not so far from scientific developments in today’s real world.
Anil Ananthaswamy posted a piece on the New Scientist website this week about advancements in what innovators term “optical camouflage technology”. Researchers at Duke, UC Berkeley and University of St. Andrews are hard at work are using “metamaterials”, or materials with strong electromagnetic properties with a negative refraction index. From what I’ve read in the linked reports on the New Scientist piece, light does not reflect or refract but instead bends around these materials rendering them “invisible” to our visible spectrum. Wait a second, this sound like something from TV’s Lost!
However, we are still far from Reed Richards and the Fantastic Four. Today’s cloaking technology works primarily on 2D objects. As Ananthaswamy explains, “[the] first cloak could only hide two-dimensional objects viewed from specific directions – and only if they were ‘viewed using one particular microwave frequency. Producing a cloak to hide objects from visible light, which has a wavelength several orders of magnitude smaller than microwaves – let alone cloaking objects when viewed from any direction – seemed a more remote possibility”.
As New Scientist reports, 3D cloaking is currently the project that scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany are working on. If comic books are any indication of scientific advancements of the future, I expect Pym Particles that allow humans to radically alter their size to be developed by 2020.
Director Reiner certainly has nothing to prove at this point. After all, this is the man who gave us films like This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me,
, and A Few Good Men. Still, some of his recent efforts have been mediocre at best, as if Reiner’s aiming to perfect the in-flight film genre. That’s why this trailer for his newest film, Flipped, is so refreshing. Sure, it’s heavy on the nostalgia and will inevitably draw comparisons to The Wonder Years and My Girl. That aside, it’s great to see Reiner back in his game as he shares the story of Bryce (played by Callan McAuliffe) and Juli (played by Madeline Carroll). If anything, it’s just nice to see a family film that’s not a sequel from a franchise which should have died years ago (The G-Force sequel is coming, people).