Friday, May 08, 2009

My Little Pony, Britney fans, Eminem, Chris Chan, Shaq, Denise Richards and guest host @Andrearene all on TWIYT #44!

Enjoy. I'm very proud of all the TWIYT episodes, but feels like we're really hitting a stride the past few weeks. Much credit to my amazing co-hosts and editor-director double threat Kenny Chen.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin officially scared of angry dweebs

The post, reportedly written by a teenager from Chambersburg, Penn., said: "I'm killing Ovechkin and I don't care what happens to me."

The Penguins immediately informed local police, as well as the NHL and the Capitals.

"We were notified of the message and immediately turned over all information to the authorities," the Penguins said in a statement.

It is not known if criminal charges are pending, but officials don't believe Ovechkin was ever in any real danger. Ovechkin was aware of the threat, but did not comment when the incident was first reported by a local television station in Pittsburgh.

You've got to be kidding me...According to the latest research I've made up, Internet users threaten to metaphorically "kill" celebrities on the web at least 500 cajillion times per second.

I don't know, before you report this to the news media and get them on the case, maybe you ought to investigate a bit and discover whether this kid, is, like, living in his own filth and carving a pistol out of plastic...or if he's just an angry hockey fan ranting on a message board somewhere.

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine: The Abridged Script


Shh, it’s alright son.  You’re safe now, back in Canada in 1845.


Wait, what?  Canada wasn’t even a country until 1867.  Has Hollywood managed to not discover Wikipedia yet?

It's smarm-tastic!

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Barry...I Thought I Told You To Die...

I would pretty much pay to see "Slaughter Shack" if it were a real film, for the cast alone.

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Compliments of @mjgprod...The new "Between Two Ferns"...

Brilliant, as always. Galifianakis deserves to be America's most beloved talk show host...Networks, make this happen!

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Keyboard Cat is a National Treasure

Lots more here:

Probably my favorite meme of 2009 thus far.

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Bradley Cooper to star as Hal Jordan in "Green Lantern"

I've just spent the last hour or so on the phones, tracking down a rumor I heard, and HitFix can exclusively report that Bradley Cooper is now one of the guys most likely to don the suit and slip on the power ring as The Green Lantern for director Martin Campbell.

Blech...Something about this guy just bugs me. I'm not sure what it is. Just feels like he was a bit TOO well-cast in "Wedding Crashers" as the world's most oversized douche...

Interesting that adversaries in Vince Vaughn movies are always played by guys who are big douches in real life, as well as films. Jeremy Piven, Craig Kilborn and Cooper...The list goes on and on...

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Is the Kindle DX too big?

I say...maybe. I know a nice big screen probably makes for more comfortable reading...but at this point, you might as well just carry a book around with you. Isn't the whole point of a Kindle that you can take your reading material with you easily wherever you go? Lugging this thing around is like having a laptop, which you can already use to read books if you so choose.

Am I missing something?

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Wolverine Walkthrough

Mahalo's new "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" walkthrough is coming along swimmingly. Follow our progress here:

I like Hugh Jackman in these films, but the movie was not great. Felt really scattered, like an attempt to just rehash information about Wolverine's past that had already been established in "X2," and then distracting fans with lots of extraneous mutant fighting. (A scene in which Wolverine faces off against Blob for no good reason is the most obvious offender, though Gambit is also awkwardly wedged in there unnecessarily).

If these fights were really epic and brutal, I'd probably be willing to forgive the overall lack of coherency, but they're choppy and largely unexciting. Often, you feel like most of the best individual shots and moments, such as Wolverine actually taking out a helicopter, are being edited out of the scene, so all you see is build-up and no pay-off.

Anyway, the game looks more fun, but after teh disappointment of the "Iron Man" tie-in, I'm going to wait and see what the public verdict is before investing.

Mahalo's guide is going to be VERY thorough. Where to find all the hidden costumes, action figures, dog name it. Which is good, because I hate when the game is easy but it takes forever because you have to find all kinds of dumb hidden crap.

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"Star Trek" Review

JJ Abrams' new "Star Trek" film succeeds by negating all the films, TV shows, novels and other outlets for compulsive fan obsession that have come before.  That's not really a knock on old "Star Trek," necessarily, but it is something of an acknowledgment.  The way, it seems, to make a really kickass "Star Trek" film is to stop trying to make a "Star Trek" film and just make a science-fiction adventure with phasers and Vulcans.

Abrams, co-producer Damon Lindelof and screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman clearly have no interest in exploring the high-minded, contemplative, ponderous tone of classic "Trek."  Likewise, patently refuse to wade through the years and years of backstory, exposition and technical explanations that would make it difficult for new writers to invent any fresh, original narratives.  So what we have here is a painstaking, delicate bit of cinematic surgery...All of the fun, pop culture aspects of "Star Trek" with none (and I mean NONE) of the features that distinguish it from any other science fiction franchise.

Here's how they do it...Time Travel!  I know, I know, you're shocked...The creators of "Lost" are trying to escape a tricky narrative dead-end by artfully employing a gimmicky time travel device?  NO WAY!  But it's true.  The set-up...A portal through time has opened, allowing the evil Romulan captain Nero (Eric Bana) to travel into history, to the time when Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the Enterprise crew were still trainees.  Stuck in the past, and filled with rage at an encounter with the Federation he had in his own time, Nero starts creating all kinds of trouble for the Federation.  When he abducts Commander Pike (Bruce Greenwood), who was captaining the Enterprise, he puts Spock and Kirk in command for the very first time. 

Fans of "Back to the Future II," of course, will realize that, because Nero has gone back in time and is screwing with past events, he has created an alternate future.  So Abrams, Lindelof and Paramount can, from here on out, pretty do whatever they want.  All those old stories with the original cast happened in a now-forgotten second reality that was erased the moment Nero and Co. were sent back in time.  Very crafty...

Hardcore fans may be offended by this attempt at what comic book readers call "retconning," the altering of established facts in a fictional universe to allow for new and different narratives.  I don't mind it so much.  Abrams' "Star Trek" is a very well-made, exciting summer popcorn film, and that's enough for me.  I was more entertained by "Star Trek" than any film in the series since "The Wrath of Khan."  It's fun.  You get the amusing banter between likable and familiar characters, phasers, catchphrases, Romulans, cool effects and photon torpedoes.  It's like a "Star Trek" film designed exactly for people who were vaguely familiar with the shows through cultural osmosis, or because they've watched a few of the movies on TBS while playing hooky from work.

The young actors are well cast, and generally resemble their Original Series counterparts, but only Quinto as Spock and Pine as Kirk seem to have really internalized the performances of their predecessors.  Pine has Shatner's vibe down so immaculately, on the other hand, I half expected him to get me an awesome deal on a hotel in San Francisco.  It's actually kind of amazing how seamlessly he incorporates classic Shatner-isms without resorting to the hacky "pause after every five words" routine immortalized in countless bad impressions.  John Cho, on the other hand, plays Sulu solely by being Asian and occasionally by steering the ship.  Simon Pegg has a few funny scenes in the film but makes absolutely no effort to "play" a character named "Scotty."  He just does his usual routine with a Scottish accent.

Aesthetically, everything's where it should be.  The inside of the Enterprise looks brighter and crisper than it ever has before (it is, after all, a brand new ship this time around), but it's not over-designed or made to look self-consciously "futuristic."  Abrams has also improved significantly as a director since "Mission: Impossible 3."  That film's big set pieces were choppy and flat.  "Trek" has at least 3 really large-scale, epic and memorable action sequences, including a very fast-paced, compelling opening battle and a pretty incredible sky diving scene that works in everyone's favorite "Star Trek" trope - the doomed red-shirted ensign.  It's just all reinvented to be snarky instead of sincere, and visceral instead of philosophical.

I've never been a huge Trek fan precisely because I find it a bit austere and over-serious.  Take Gene Roddenberry's basic aim - of creating a science-fiction series that grappled with weighty, metaphysical and socio-political themes - combine it with with syndicated TV-level acting and low production values, and you have a recipe for camp.  But still, I don't know if that means you just throw it all away..."Wrath of Khan" managed to be both Star Trekky and fun at the same time.

I'm reminded of "Quantum of Solace," an above-average James Bond film that nevertheless dispenses with nearly everything that makes James Bond James Bond.  Yes, there are tuxedos and martinis and a few gadgets, but at what point do you stop even making a James Bond film and just start doing a Bourne adventure with a British guy?  Abrams takes this question and explodes it - what if you took "Star Trek," invalidated everything that ever happened in it's universe, made all the characters significantly younger and forgot all about the show's major themes?  Would it still be "Star Trek"?  Well, what if you had a guy say he was "givin' her all she's got!," threw in some of the spaceships and occasionally played a riff on the theme song?  And if you have to change SO MUCH just to make it watchable, maybe it's time to leave "Star Trek" to the devotees and just start fresh?

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