Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ryan's Junk Drawer

"Junk Drawer"

Huzzah, my fellow denizens of this planet! Let us all celebrate staving off the apocalypse long enough to see another Thursday. And trust me, an apocalypse could have happened: The ocean is bleeding, a Chicago sports team won a world championship...I'm predicting a Cthulu appearance any second now. Blissfully, we haven't been sucked into the ether by tentacled demons, which means I can celebrate life and the good that's in the world for another day.

Speaking of good that's in the world, one of the former competitors on the speech team that my wife and I coach, The University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks, is looking to start a local business in a small town. Perhaps the positive mojo created by continuing to infuse youthful, new ideas into a smaller community with strong tradition was enough to prevent the global implosion I fear. The business is Cornerstone Coffee, and you should become a fan of their Facebook page by logging in to your account and then clicking on THIS link.

According to Danielle Steen, the former team member I was talking about, Corner Stone isn't just a coffee shop, "we will be home roasting coffee beans and exporting them all over the U.S. We'll be the only roaster in a 200-mile radius giving the town a nice market niche, which will hopefully help boost their economy. So, we'll be selling gourmet ground coffee to businesses and homeowners." The business is proposed as part of a competition for startup money, so your support really will help push the project over the top. It's time to show the assembled might of the Cutting Room readership, if only to prove that we are not to be trifled (or truffled) with! And do it today, because the big presentation is Friday, so it can't wait!

The second momentary pause to recognize goodness: I'm drinking out of a cup commemorating Warren Ellis (the comic book writer, not the musician) and his brilliant twitter greeting of "Good morning, Sinners." This is because my friends Andrew and Jess gave it to me for my birthday (along with some SUH-WEET graphic novels, including a bad-ass one called "Action Philosophers"). Nothing is better than drinking out of a cup that insults you from friends who love you.

Now that we've all felt the love, I can get on to the regular Thursday shenanigans involving juvenile statements about "my junk." By junk, I mean movie tidbits too small to count as full posts, but I primarily use it as a way to make dirty jokes like crazy. For example, I have the only junk you can stare at while at work without getting charged with sexual harassment. We begin each week's installment by looking at the creepy-ass image up top (from Highlights Magazine FOR CHILDREN) and choosing an item about which to compose a nonsensical story because it amuses me (and this is really all about my amusement). Today's item is the blue cylinder with a lightning bolt on it. Although Loki had tried for eons to appropriately shame Thor, the god of Thunder, through various lies and tricks, it had never previously occurred to him that the answer to Thor's defeat was staring him in the face. By simply stealing the hammer-wielder's
curling iron, Loki would ensure that Thor's hair would be flat and limp, damning him to mockery from supervillain and superhero alike. Thus, he chose a particularly humid day and stashed the Norse god's hair device in his junk drawer. Now, all he had to do was wait.

Okay, enough tomfoolery and japery, let's get to some movie nuggets shall we? Here's the top 5 non-story stories for the week!

1.) The ring runs on willpower, not hubris, right? - To assume that Green Lantern will be a slam dunk is a bit presumptuous, even though I'm pretty excited about it. The cast is solid, but not spectacular (Ryan Reynolds rules, and I like the Saarsgaard kid), and the character isn't as much of a household name as men who are Bat, Super, and Spider.
Thus, THR's news that WB has hired the writers of the film (still a YEAR away from release) to begin working on the second one, and to write The Flash, seems a wee bit like USC planning their trip to the Rose Bowl this year. Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, and Marc Guggenheim will begin working on the guy who runs fast and the return of the guy with fancy jewelry post haste. The only one whose work I'm familiar with is Guggenheim, and not just because I've heard a lot about his museum. He wrote a few issues of "Amazing Spider-man" (my least favorite of the current era) and was the show runner for "Flash Forward" briefly (one of the two shows to ever have its season recording pass on my DVR get zapped like a light-addicted fly). The GL script has been in flux (and was the source of my first and likely only breaking news), so I'm not sure why such confidence is being shown. Oh well, another day, another set of comic book movies proceeding. Like the housing market and dot com bubble, one day superhero flicks will pop. I just hope it's not soon.

2.) I don't lie to you - I don't have a great B.S. detector, as I'm still new to this game, but I promise not to deliver crap when I know it's crap just to get you all excited. I don't mind kicking around a rumor I know is bogus provided it's for funsies, but I will not tell you lies. What do I mean? Well, a day or so ago, the internet started passing a rumor around about the next Indiana Jones movie that just sounded like butt droppings. It was about how Indy's next adventure would shoot next year (yeah, right) and would feature the fedora mannequin's trip to the Bermuda Triangle with his son Dagwood (sorry, Mutt), where they would find Atlantis. It was too much crap packed into one tiny tube, and the poo balloon popped not 12 hours later when producer Frank Marshall said on his twitter that it was all crap. I figured. Still, I'm in the vocal minority who wants one more Indy movie done right (which probably means pushing Lucas down a well, but I'm fine with that). I want redemption in the public eye (even though I kind of liked Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at times), and I think there's one more great story in this series. I'm not opposed to Atlantis, but I have another way to go with it. What if they really embraced one transition element in the last film and made this movie something more sci-fi for Indy to deal with. I like the idea that he's so out of his element now that he decides on his own to hang it up. He's the adventurer intellect, not the scientist. Just a theme, not a plot...which I guarantee you is more than anyone over at Lucasfilm has right now.

3.) Yesterday's news made current - That Les Grossman movie I told you about is officially happening. Grossman is the fat-suit character that Tom Cruise crawled inside to become self-deprecating enough for us to like again.

It's going to be bad. You can't sustain the funny when the primary thing people remember about the character is him dancing like an ass to the same song over and over again. Yes, he's hairy and fat, but so is Rush Limbaugh and I don't want him to have a whole movie either. He's a bit character who is funny in spurts. I think they'll discover this at the writing phase and we'll never see the movie happen. At least, I hope so. If not, it's going to be 1.5 hours of a bad fat suit dancing. In other words, there goes the plot for Paul Blart 2.

4.) Ghost-san? - Reuters has an interesting story about how Paramount is approaching the box office lull in America by going to Japan and making a remake of Ghost. It's not for us, it's for a localized Japanese audience. Essentially, this may open the door for a new idea: Regional remaking. See, Hollywood doesn't want to come up with new ideas or creative answers, they want money. What better way to make quick cash than by making regional versions of classic films? Think about it: You make a small investment that requires no research or legwork, capitalize on a known product by making it more appealing to a different group, and count your money. It's brilliant in a terrifying way. Actually, it's no different than the Americanized retellings of foreign films, right? I find this to be a story worth watching, if only for how neglected the American box office may one day become. We may be a dry well now.

5.) Trailers, parked - Okay, I have the weirdest trailer of the year so far for you. Gore Verbinski, who did Pirates (all 3 parts) among other, better things, is making an animated film called Rango that apparently makes no damn sense. Johnny Depp stars as an “chameleon with an identity crisis" and co-stars Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, and Timothy Olyphant as The Spirit of the West. Oh, and THIS is the trailer for that:

Yep, that's real. Wowza.

The only other thing of note for the week trailer wise is a reminder that we're not done with Harry Potter yet. Almost, but not quite. The two films I'm most anticipating, if only because things will finally happen, are about to hit. Here's the trailer reminding you of that.

Folks, this has been an epic Junk Drawer this week. So enough reading! Get out there and celebrate life!

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