Archive for February, 2008

SAG Strike Soon?

The other day I was attending a Q & A session with Jeff Kleeman, an executive with MGM/United Artists. The question came up about the WGA strike and if film and television production was now back in full swing. He said that many TV shows will start production soon for the fall season, and that movie production companies will resume work soon.

However…

He mentioned the possibility of a Screen Actors Guild strike sometime before the summer (June possibly). This was hinted at way back as early as 2005, and with the DGA and WGA stuff settled, the industry is wary of any more delays in production.

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February 29, 2008 at 12:06 pm 2 comments

The Oscars in HD

Last Sunday was the Oscars, and I was watching them on my neato LCD TV, which picks up over-the-air HD signals.  I was noticing how ‘clean’ everything looked and all the details in people’s faces.  Then I saw Amy Adams perform one of the songs from Enchanted.  And I noticed how veiny her arms looked.  So I went to my cousin’s room, who was also watching it, and saw that her arms looked fine.  The I went back to my TV, and it looked like someone drew a road map on her.  So I guess that’s why a lot of porn stars aren’t too pleased with everything switching to HD.

February 28, 2008 at 11:47 pm Leave a comment

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Just saw this movie today and I agree with everyone else that this should have been up for Best Documentary at the Oscars. The story of Steve Wiebe trying to claim the highest score in Donkey Kong is just as inspirational as any fictional underdog story. In fact, The King of Kong is like a video game version of Rocky. Wiebe is like Rocky, an everyman who has the odds stacked against him as he struggles to get to the top. Kong‘s Apollo Creed is Billy Mitchell, holder of the highest score in Donkey Kong (and also among the top scorers in Pac-man, I believe). Outside of the usual video game media circles, he was featured on MTV’s True Life show, and he also owns a restaurant chain in Florida and sells hot sauce (which I hear is pretty good). Mitchell is already known in Donkey Kong circles and is friends with Twin Galaxies, a group that has become the official record-keepers of classic gaming scores.

It was pretty inspirational to watch Steve Wiebe attempt to break the record. Having lost his job (on the same day he and his wife closed on their new house), and generally being looked over his entire life, he decides to turn his gaming hobby into a goal. His family soon becomes annoyed with his obsession, but sticks with him throughout his ordeal. Billy Mitchell is portrayed as a jack-ass who’s head is so big he can’t fit through doorways. Apparently, he’s not that bad of a guy, but even before this movie came out, I’ve been hearing that he really is an asshole.

Rounding out the rest of the ‘cast’ are people like Steve’s wife, who is supportive and feels sorry that her husband keeps getting the short end of the stick in many of his endeavors. There’s also Walter Day, the official referee for the Twin Galaxies organization, and Mitchell’s best friend Steve Sanders. Steve had met Mitchell when they were part of a Time magazine photo shoot and was soon outed when his Donkey Kong score was proclaimed to be fake. There are about a dozen others, each one about as weird as the last.

This isn’t the greatest documentary ever made, and it does portray a classic underdog story we’ve seen before, but still has you really cheering for the hero. All the characters, even the supporting ones, all seem almost like cartoon characters, and they add great color to the film. It was interesting to see that there were people out there that will watch hundreds of hours of VHS tapes of people beating (or trying to beat) world records. And it’s not just watching these tapes, they’re scrutinized and examined like it was a tape of the JFK assassination. I will say that, although many reviewers state how funny this movie is, I only laughed at a few spots, like the one involving Wiebe trying to tape his record-breaking attempt. Some of the bonus features on the DVD, however, are hilarious. Great film, and I believe it’s such a shame that it was overlooked at the Oscars.

8.5/10

There’s been some controversy over the accuracy of this film. I believe that it is practically impossible to make a 100% impartial documentary, and I honestly did not expect this film to portray either Steve Wiebe’s or Billy Mitchell’s side fairly. I judge it based on its entertainment value and any lessons it tries to teach. However, there is an interesting post on the Twin Galaxies forum regarding certain omission from this film. Check out the Twin Galaxies website to find out more (but don’t if you haven’t seen the film and don’t want anything spoiled).

(images from Yahoo)

February 27, 2008 at 8:43 pm 1 comment

And the Oscar goes to…

Congrats to the Coen Bros., Javier Bardem, and Diablo Cody for their Oscar wins. While, to me, it wasn’t a surprise to see Diablo Cody win (not that she didn’t deserve it, her story is very good), I was very happy to see No Country for Old Men win for Best Picture. It was a very well-deserved win.

(images from yahoo)

February 24, 2008 at 10:07 pm Leave a comment

These people make me SICK

I know violence breeds violence and maybe ignoring them would make them go away, but someone seriously needs to KICK THESE PEOPLE’S ASSES. The Westboro Baptist Church is filled with sick motherfuckers, whom I frankly would celebrate if someone just straight up beat the living hell out of these cult people. Social Services needs to go in and take the little kids away and give them to a family that will raise them right. With the exception of the punk-ass teenage son that I saw on the news a few times (he should be right along with the adults in the ass beating).I’m not saying someone should make something bad happen to them, but if something did, maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad. The poor young woman had her life TAKEN from her in a heinous way. She didn’t need all this crap at her own funeral.

And all that bullshit they say about Iraq makes me wish we could suspend the 1st Amendment for a while, if only to shut these people the hell up. I don’t believe any of them had military service, so to talk such extreme bullshit about our men and women in uniform makes me mad as all hell.

I believe one of Fred Phelps’ children left the church (or never became a part of it) some time ago. God bless the one sane person in their church.

Anyway, these people are stupid. I hope they go bankrupt soon (they owe more than $9 million in lawsuits already).

clipped from news.yahoo.com

RENO, Nev. – More than 3,000 mourners gathered Saturday night to remember a 19-year-old college student believed killed by a serial rapist as a loving, caring woman with many friends and a winning personality.
Brianna Denison’s body was found in a Reno field on Feb. 15. Police said she was abducted Jan. 20 and strangled by a man linked to two earlier attacks on the edge of the University of Nevada, Reno.
Outside the memorial service, several members of a fundamentalist Kansas church faced off against more than 150 counter-demonstrators.
Church officials said they targeted the city because local law enforcement officers failed to protect church members who picketed a Jan. 26 memorial service there for a soldier who was killed in Iraq.
On Saturday, the three protesters waved placards reading “Pray for More Dead Kids,” “Don’t Worship the Dead” and “God Sent the Killer.”
Last month, the church announced it would protest the service for Denison because it believes God hates Reno.
  blog it

February 24, 2008 at 12:18 am 4 comments

The Happening

New teaser up for M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller.  Say what you want about him, but I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a sucker for his movies.

February 22, 2008 at 1:11 am Leave a comment

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Say what you will about them ‘milking a franchise’, you’re probably just jealous you didn’t think of this first. Anyway, I’ll be there, in line, at midnight. Can’t wait for this, or the TV show.
Check out the trailer here.
clipped from www.starwars.com

“I felt there were a lot more Star Wars stories left to tell,” said George Lucas, executive producer of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. “I was eager to start telling some of them through animation and, at the same time, push the art of animation forward.”
The theatrical debut of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is only the beginning of all-new Star Wars adventures that continue in the fall when the long-awaited television series premieres on Cartoon Network, followed by airings on TNT. Details regarding international broadcasts will be announced shortly. Star Wars: The Clone Wars showcases an entirely new look and feel to the galaxy far, far away — combining the expansive scope of the Star Wars Saga with state-of-the-art computer-generated animation. Each week, viewers will see a thrilling, 30-minute “mini-movie” created by the talented artists at Lucasfilm Animation.
  blog it

February 21, 2008 at 9:17 pm 1 comment

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