Thursday, March 18, 2010

But I live in 3D!

I don’t really understand the whole fascination with 3D. It seems like a rather ridiculous novelty, which is why I’m calling it – 3D will go the way of, well 3D.

In the 80s, 3D was just as huge as Molly Ringwald and neon green (trust me kids, it was a scary time for all of us). Then, what happened? I mean seriously, what happened - 1989 to 1995 are very vague years for me.

Now with the inexplicable success of “Avatar,” it would seem that 3D is making a Robert Downey Jr. sized comeback, culminating with Sony's announcement to market and sell 3D televisions for your home.

I think what annoys me the most about the 3D “experience” are those fucking glasses. I get that ironic accessories are all the rage these days, (fuck you very much, hipsters) but why should I have to wear those awkward, bulky hunks of plastic when I have 20/20 vision? Or if you aren't so lucky, wear them OVER your glasses?

Ranking right up there with my grievances is what they are choosing to broadcast in 3D. The Masters? Seriously? Sure! Why not couple two novelties together? 3D and a black guy who plays golf!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

“The Cove” – A Stream of Consciousness

Sunday’s Oscar ceremony saw “The Cove” deservedly winning Best Documentary Feature. If you’ve seen this movie, you know just how eye opening and emotional it is. The film examines the dolphin trade/slaughter in Japan from various angles. However, the most powerful aspect of the film is the guilt that activist Ric O’Barry feels over the current plight of these animals. O’Barry is basically the man responsible for the hit TV series Flipper, which he believes spawned the current trade in show dolphins.

Sure everyone loves to go see the whales and dolphins at the zoo and we are led to believe that these sea creatures are extremely happy living in captivity. But what you don’t see are the skids of Maalox kept in storage facilities because many of the dolphins have developed ulcers due to stress. Even more disturbing – O’Barry recites his experience of having Cathy, the lead dolphin in Flipper, commit suicide in his arms.

So when O’Barry, Fisher Stevens (yes that Fisher Stevens) and Louie Psihoyos took to the stage on Sunday to receive their Oscar, Psihoyos was cut off well before the forty-five second cap because Ric O’Barry held up a sign that said “Text dolphin to 44144.” Most believe that ABC got a little antsy and cued the orchestra in advance due to the sign. But it doesn’t really matter as Animal Planet has just green-lighted a series titled “Dolphin Warriors” which will star Ric O’Barry and document the dolphin trade in Japan.

The Oscars – Some Random Thoughts

While we’re on the subject, here are some random thoughts regarding Sunday’s Oscar ceremony

- What was with having all the best actor/actress nominees awkwardly stand on stage to open the show?

- Hey Adam Shankman, I get that you’re all about “the dance,” but was it really necessary to include, amongst others, an interpretive number set to “The Hurt Locker?”

- Yes, that was “I Am Woman (Hear Me Roar)” playing as Kathryn Bigelow exited the stage after accepting her award – What better way to show how behind the times you are than playing a song from 1972 as an anthem for a milestone achieved in 2010?

- Why did no one laugh at director Juan Jose Campanella’s joke about Na’vi not being considered a foreign language?

- Why did everyone laugh at Ben Stiller’s ridiculous “I want to plug my braid into your dragon tale” Na’vi joke?

- Why am I using the word “Na’vi” like it’s a real thing?

- I thought I was the only one who remembered Jeremy Renner in “S.W.A.T.” I bet Colin Farrell’s shout out to his “lost weekend” in Mexico with the Oscar nominee spikes DVD rentals

- Kudos to “The New Tenants” and “Logorama” for picking up the awards for Best Short

- I lost all three Oscar pools after changing my ballots after doing online research! Curse you bloggers who give their Oscar predictions…

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Going Overboard on the S.S. Minnow

So, the title of this blog is pretty obscure, unless you watched Gilligan’s Island. It has been recently reported that Warner Bros. plans to remake the kitschy 60s television series into a movie - the script has already been penned by Brad Copeland. Brad is an interesting writer; while he has written for such brilliant series as NewsRadio, Arrested Development and My Name is Earl, his latest outing brought us the atrocity known as Wild Hogs. You remember the film – the one starring Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and John Travolta as a group of middle-aged men who decide to form a biker gang. I know, I got a little sick thinking about it too.

Anyway, upon hearing this, a few red lights went off in my head. First off, big screen adaptations of TV series never work! I know some people may argue with me, but I will stop you there. Charlie’s Angels was more pre-teen masturbation fodder than actual film; the Star Trek franchise is pretty hit and miss; and the Sex and the City movie was a sham of the show.

Now, as much as I loved the original Gilligan's Island, by today’s standards, it’s pretty terrible. Also, haven’t we seen a modernization of this show already? It’s called Lost and it is awesome.

Despite my protest (does anyone even read this?), it sounds like the film is moving forward. Brad Copeland has mentioned that he would love for Michael Cera to play Gilligan. Well, since we’re playing that game, I’ll throw out nominees for my dream cast.

The Skipper – Eddie Murphy. Think about it! It’s 2010, so we’re going to need some color up in here! Eddie Murphy as The Skipper would be hilarious and given that his last three films were Meet Dave, Norbit and another Shrek installment – he obviously doesn’t give a fuck. Plus it would be hilarious to see Michael Cera try to act with him!

The Professor – I have always had a thing for The Professor. So who better to cast than George Clooney? The man can make a woman come just by looking at her. Plus, he’s smart, just like The Professor! Let the coconut radio making begin!

Mary-Ann – Alison Brie. She’s amazing on Community and Mad Men. Plus she could reunite with her castmate…

Ginger – Christina Hendricks. Look at her – she was pretty much born to play the “movie star.”

The Howells – two rich, old, white people – Hollywood is full of them.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Like Short Shorts: Part Two

Last night I went to see the Live Action Oscar Nominated Short Films over at the Cineplex. This is the first time that I have ever done this (again, I’d like to thank my former job for opening up my eyes to the complex art of the short). I have to say, the genres are pretty all over the place. But with the Oscars only a couple of days away, here’s my breakdown.

Kavi is an absolutely heart-wrenching film set in India about a seven year old boy who is forced to work in a brick kiln with his family instead of going to school. I was loving this film right until the end when I was hit in the face with a cricket bat with the filmmaker’s message – it was literally spelled out on the screen that millions are forced into modern day slavery. Look, I think it’s great that director/writer/producer Gregg Helvey wants to shed light on this horrific and very real problem; however, I can’t stand it when films spoon-feed their themes and messages to the audience – we’re a lot smarter than you give us credit for. Most are considering this the front-runner as it’s already picked up the 2009 Student Academy Award, as well as a few others.

The mood was brightened by the darkly comedic film, The New Tenants. For me, this is the front-runner. It had everything I wanted in a film, but in a nicely packaged 20 minutes – witty dialogue, great acting, a nice pace, slick production value and VINCENT D’ONOFRIO! The film is about new tenants Frank and Peter who find themselves caught up in the messy aftermath of the life of the former tenant of their new apartment. Said mess includes a mistress, a jilted ex-husband, a heroin addict and cinnamon buns – guaranteed fun for all!

Next up was a suspenseful Australian short called Miracle Fish. The short follows young Joe on his eighth birthday. Joe is ridiculed and bullied by his peers because his single mother is on welfare; me thinks the Academy has a thing for impoverished young boys…which is as weird as it sounds. The film’s slow start is necessary in order to build suspense, and the payoff is a good one, even though you might see it coming. Miracle Fish has won a slew of awards, but has big competition from the first two.

Probably my least favorite of the bunch was an Irish film called The Door. It follows one family’s struggle in the aftermath of Chernobyl – the film is as bleak as it sounds. While I can’t say that the film struck all the right chords (it took me a while to figure out that the film was referencing the Chernobyl disaster of 1986), it was probably the best-looking film of the bunch. It featured some absolutely gorgeous shots and very beautiful imagery. Watch the whole film here.

Finally, the delightful Swedish comedy Instead of Abracadabra closed the bill. The film follows a twenty-five year old man living with his parents as he pursues a career in magic. The entire audience was howling at this hilarious film (and with good reason). As my movie-going companion noted, “it’s like Napoleon Dynamite meets Gob from Arrested Development,” which is as amazing as it sounds. Though I loved the film, I think it might be a little too silly for the Academy. But I have to say, I was impressed at how well the Swedish film translated – are all Swedes this funny? After spending the majority of last week assembling Ikea furniture, I have to say yes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

An Open Letter

I hope you choke on your "zen" bullshit.

I hope you drown in your own sweat during hot yoga.

I hope your hair catches on fire from your sandalwood incense.

I hope your “fair trade” items are infused with the sweat of small Asian children.**

I hope my “negative energy” erodes your “aura.”

I hope that you step on a tick and catch lime disease because you refuse to wear shoes.

I hope you become so malnourished from your “new age diet” that all of your hair and teeth fall out.

I hope the only “universal truth” you find is that no one gives a damn about your “beliefs” and opinions, so quit forcing them down our throats.

**I obviously don't support child labor; I threw that in there for effect.