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Thursday, Apr 29, 2010
Due to overwhelming popular demand, Paramount is getting the ball rolling on Magic 8 Ball: The Motion Picture.

If you weren’t already surprised that a major motion picture studio is optioning a toy that’s been around since 1946, perhaps you would like to know that a film treatment for the Magic 8 Ball has been in the works since 2006. New York magazine reports that Universal had interest in developing the project four years ago, with Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Evan Almight) attached to direct.


Somewhere between then and now, Universal lost interest, perhaps it felt its resources could better serve some other toy franchise that needed to be translated to screen. Polly Pocket maybe?


Now, Paramount has taken hold of the project, with a tentative 2011 release date, according to IMDb. Tim Kilpin and Barry Waldo from Mattel are backing the film as executive producers, because clearly, this film needs the kind of creative support only toy company execs can provide. Jon Gunn and John Mann (Mercy Streets) will write the script. Apparently, they’re going for a National Treasure feel.


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Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010



Iron Man 2 doesn’t come out until May 7, but Tony Stark’s alter ego is already showing up in some unexpected places. Some aspiring animator has developed a dead on 3D model of Iron Man, and he’s putting him to good use by injecting some testosterone into more femme-friendly fare. Check out Iron Man (along with his friends, AC/DC) making cameos in Bridgette Jones Diary, Dirty Dancing, and Titanic. The only thing I don’t get is why he didn’t use his missiles in the Bridgette Jones scene. I mean, Rene Zellwegger was right there.





Tagged as: iron man, iron man 2
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Friday, Apr 23, 2010

It was perhaps one of the single greatest music-related stories of the past year. In a nutshell, the story of Death includes a family punk band in ‘70s Detroit, lost master tapes, the tragic passing of one of Death"s members, and the subsequent reemergence and release of Death"s musical output after one of the children of Death’s bassist/vocalist heard and recognized his father’s voice on a Stooges-esque record at a San Francisco party.The story was captivating enough to catch the eye of the New York Times and NPR.


The three sons of Death’s Bobby Hackney, Sr. started Rough Francis, originally a tribute band to spread the music and message of Death, but now an energetic rock and roll experience in their own right. Rough Francis have recently released their own album, Introducing… Rough Francis.


As for Death, the story of music and family was enough to reunite the band.  They recently performed at SXSW and are currently the subject of a new documentary titled Where Do We G From Here??? The Story of Death.


Last month, a new trailer for the film was posted…



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Friday, Apr 23, 2010
This hero-worship is some old rehashing of Bible stories- the absent omnipotent father who will act as the ultimate punisher, executioner and maker of the law, while still allowing the privileged kid to grow up in heavenly wealth and luxury.

Twenty-ten’s Cop Out is chock full of age old western mythology told through the same bunch of modern consumerist stereotypical figures: the loud Negro side-kick, the estranged hard-working dad, the well-positioned step-father, the wife who still loves the guy…and his defeat of some random enemy that somehow proves his love for his daughter. How many times have we seen this movie? Ever notice how little agency women have in these films- just pawns. Indeed, this could describe far too many Hollywood blockbusters that I have seen over the past 30 years. So why all the rehashing?


In Cop Out, we see some of the classic stereotypes play out, and here’s why it’s important to speak about race, because it provides a frame to look at how all characters are rendered abstract for the sake of art. But is it really abstract? Not really. These are noticeably thin stereotypes around gender, class AND race, so to pick out any one characteristic would be disingenuous. For example, the caricature of ‘working class white guy’ into which Bruce Willis seems to fit neatly, is always a dumb brute of a dead-beat dad. Further, we’re asked to sympathize with the sacrifices he makes on the job, so we romanticize daddy’s absence. But the explosions and gun shots too often distract viewers from seeing how ridiculously men are portrayed on screen. For example, in this flick, why wasn’t Willis’ man enough to accept the damn money from the rich freak! Is his ego really so grand as to need to ‘give’ away his daughter with his last penny, even if it kills him? Obviously so, since that ego forms the plot of most of his flicks.


And why are we still so tied to gender-roles that few seem to question giving away a young maiden? How can she attain any independence in her conjugal relationship if she has no respect from her own folks!?! Isn’t this really why Alice chose Wonderland? Moreover, (and interestingly, both in the case of Alice as well as Willis’ daughter in this skin flick), this had nothing to do with daddy love. Neither men had the child’s welfare in mind, and the mom seemed to go where the money rules; here, just like in Taken and hoards of other movies, she is effectively Oedipus’ mother Jocasta, a wealthy queen unable to make any real decisions for herself, including the welfare of her own kids. Isn’t that a classic feminine stereotype? This had everything to do with a dick fight, and the women and children were the prizes. Seen 2012? Seen Taken? Seen so many of these flicks, it’s critical.



Tagged as: 2012, cop out, taken
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Thursday, Apr 22, 2010
The latest film from the Amélie director shows a good deal of promise with his signature visuals and a plot to destroy weapons manufacturers.

To quote the official synopsis, “our inspired and gentle-natured dreamer is quickly taken in by a motley crew of junkyard dealers”. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, just watch the trailer for Micmacs, and you’ll quickly remember why anything Jeunet makes is worth watching. Perhaps best known for the amazing visuals of Amélie, Jeunet has delivered solid films, like Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children. Micmacs follows Bazil, whose bad string of luck with weapons leaves him orphaned and with a bullet lodged in his head. Having found a hodgepodge crew of characters living in a junkyard, Bazil sets out for revenge on the mega corporations who are responsible.



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