Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ryan's Junk Drawer

"Junk Drawer"

God himself almost prevented me from writing about my junk today. I know, it's shocking that the almighty would so directly interfere with the generally innocent practice of me showing friends, family, and strangers my junk on the internet, but it almost happened. For nearly 8 hours last night, we were without power. It started fine, the first few hours passed with a few giggles of adventure, lighting candles and whatnot. By 8:30 pm, I began to get concerned, what with the total darkness coming soon. By 9:30, I realized life would never return to normal. I set up a military perimeter using furniture and guarded it with a sharpened end of a broom stick. By 10:15, I had resorted to cannibalism and started my own religion. By Midnight, I had developed an advanced society unlike any the world had before seen. Then I went to bed. Thankfully, the power was returned during my slumber. All that's left to do is quickly sweep up the evidence, I MEAN, "mess" and show you my junk. Of course, by junk, I mean movie tidbits too small to warrant an entire blog post and nothing untoward that would actually indicate to the Heavenly Father that he should smote me.

As is our tradition, each Thursday's column begins by looking at the image from Highlights Magazine FOR CHILDREN above. It's supposed to be a junk drawer, but it terrifies me for some reason. To make myself feel better, I select an item from it, and make up a fake story about it. Today's item is the pink square in the upper left corner. When Molly created the first processing chip that would allow filmmakers and artists to cross the uncanny valley, allowing computer generated creatures to look 100% real and not scarily undead, she knew she was on the verge of fame and fortune. The images created by the technology were so perfect, so accurate, that mothers were unable to distinguish photographs of their real babies versus the computer generated ones. Molly was going to be rich! Famous! Celebrated by peers! Then she heard that the first project to use the chip would be directed by Brett Ratner. For the good of humanity, the chip was never seen again.

Alright, enough japery, it's time to do this thing. Here's the top 5 tiny news nuggets almost worth talking about!

1.) Greek tragedy - There's a clip from "Seinfeld" where Kramer breaks up with his girlfriend and Jerry and Elaine start trashing her. They both bitch about her in general before Jerry says "Honestly, I can't believe someone hasn't killed her yet." Then they get back together. I won't lie, I thought someone had finally shivved Brett Ratner. I thought maybe the CIA disappeared him for reasons of national security (or just good taste). Lo, the story I told above involving the fake computer chip was inspired by reality, as the LA Times says Brett Ratner is considering directing Hercules. This is as much a shame because I love Greek mythology as because I think Ratner is as charming as a seasick crocodile. Normally, news of a full-blown action version of a Greek hero or heroine would fill me with Olympian joy. This is how you ruin something good: Add the words Brett Ratner to it. "I'm enjoying this sandwich!" "Really? It was made by Brett Ratner." "I really love these pants." "Really? Brett Ratner tried them on in the store right before you." "I want to go out with that beautiful girl." "Really? She liked a Brett Ratner movie." It works every time.

2.) Elizabeth Banks hates pants - I like Elizabeth Banks. I always have. I find her range to be impressive (just watch W sometime), I find her tenacity to find work incredible (she's never really headlined anything and yet has been everywhere), and I find her to be well assembled (she's got good parts). We're going to see all of these assets in her next film, as Variety claims that Banks will play Tinkerbell in a live-action Tink movie.
As you can see from this shot above that just screams Disney (okay, it actually screams "this underwear is a doily), Banks looks the part and has no problems with the pantless costume. I'm not sure the plot of the upcoming Tink, but Banks isn't a preteen, so it's kind of refreshing that they'll be making the character a full-blown adult. Wouldn't it be great if the film actually detailed the anguish of a bite-sized person in love with someone 2000% of her size. I mean, come on, you can't blame Peter Pan for not finding her interesting. I don't get aroused by a housefly, even if it wears the right heels. Seriously, that would be like me falling in love with Optimus Prime. Okay, bad example, I do kind of love him.

3.) Pixar sells out a little more - I really like Devin from Chud. I do. He's clever and insightful, and I have never been bored while reading his work. At times, I do loathe his obsession with being the voice of negativism though. Take for example this weird crusade of his to declare Pixar, a company whose worst crime to this point has been making an OK movie in Cars, on the road to ruin. Why does he claim this? I don't know, because if he's not saying something angry or controversial he is attacked by gremlins that live in his beard? His evidence is that the company is getting sequel happy (Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc 2, Cars 2), which would be fair if the sequels they've made so far (Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3) weren't, you know, really friggin' good. His main source of ire is that Pixar is making Planes, which is a direct-to-video spinoff of Cars that will feature, um, talking planes. Yep, it's stupid. Yep, it's the sort of direct-to-video bullshit that John Lasseter jumped in to stop with Toy Story 2. No, it doesn't mean the company is on the road to ruin...or even mediocrity. Ernest Hemingway wrote a few bad short stories. Alfred Hitchcock made some terrible movies. Apple's latest iPhone may need to be recalled. Sometimes people make bad decisions, ranging from small to big. That doesn't mean they aren't geniuses. I think Devin's main problem is that people slobber effusive praise over Pixar without qualm or equivocation of any kind. You know what? I have no problem with that. If we want to over-praise, over-hype a studio that by and large is doing the best, most consistent work of any production house out there right now, I'm good with that. Yes, it's probably a bit much. Yes, we could realistically stand to level some criticisms from time to time. No, I don't care if we are overly encouraging because it just might suggest to other studios and other executives that we will go apeshit for quality. So, yes, Pixar appears to be grabbing a little more cash at the expense of originality a bit. The minute their quality significantly declines, we'll have something to talk about. For now, howsabout we just remember that they haven't made a bad movie yet. That's enough for me.

4.) I'll trade you a Ruffalo for a Norton - After reports surfaced that Joaquin Pheonix would possibly be hulking out in a way that didn't involve a hobo beard and meetings with Diddy, we are now being told that's not true. Deadline reports that it is Mark Ruffalo who is all ready for his purple pants, as he is all but signed on to play the Hulk in The Avengers. Then along comes THR, who says hold on a tick, this isn't a done deal yet.
Ruffalo, shown here presumably stealing a baby, is a perfect choice for the part. Why? He's talented, has that indie cred, can stand his ground with Robert Downey Jr, and apparently comes into your house at night and claims your children. I may be wrong on that last one. He hasn't met with Joss Whedon yet, and that dude is directing The Avengers, so nothing is for sure. We also know that Marvel's negotiating tactics go something like this: "Mark, we want you for the Hulk." "Really, okay, that sounds good." "We'd like to sign you to a 17-picture deal and we would like to pay you with this bag of chalk and a coupon to Long John Silvers." Who knows if it will come to fruition, but you aren't losing talent in my book if you go from Ed Norton to Ruffalo, which is nice.

5.) Trailers, Parked - Some good trailers this week after a stinker week last time out. First up is Due Date, which Robert Downey Jr has called the second best movie of his career. He didn't specify which was the first best movie of his career, so I'll assume it was The Shaggy Dog with Tim Allen. This features the omnipresent Zach Galifianakis, who also appears in the next preview I'll show you. This one looks a bit...broad...but if RDJ says it's good, I'll trust him. For now.

Next up is quirky indie dramedy, It's Kind of a Funny Story, which has a great title. It also has Zack-G tearing it up again. This one could be a Little Miss Sunshine-esque breakthrough...or it could be totally forgotten by the time I finished writing this...hey, look a pony!

M. Night Shyamalan is doing the opposite of what I said. I told him to STOP writing and KEEP directing. Here's a movie he wrote but didn't direct. It's called Devil, and it would be appealing to me if I didn't know who was behind it. They're still promoting that fact like it makes people want to see it. Hit me after the trailer and I'll show you why this is crazy.

This is an infographic that shows the tomatometer scores of Shyamalan's movies. It is projected at this rate that his next project will have to go into negative ground. It's perhaps the finest example of the man's career slide I have ever seen.

Okay, that's it. I'm glad that the power was restored enough for me to have this junk sharing experience with you. Enjoy your day and come back tomorrow for some Friday fun!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if you have seen this movie still yet. But I think the title sums up my feelings as well.

July 15, 2010  

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