Oct 6 2010

Critical End! (The Podcast) #68: I ate a banjo


This episode is ignoring your friend request. REVIEWED: Social Network. PLUS: Fun with zip codes!

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Sep 24 2010

Roger Rabbit CG Test from 1998


The idea of a Who Framed Roger Rabbit sequel has been around for a while.  Last time Zemeckis talked about it, he said Roger would definitely be in 2D, but just for fun, here’s some blurry video of a CG Roger test done 12 years ago.

[Via Fred Entertainment]

Sep 20 2010

Community Goes Claymationy for Christmas Episode


Man, this show just keeps catering to me more and more. It wasn’t enough to bring Chevy Chase and Joel McHale together in one half hour block of funny, now they’re upping the ante by announcing that this season will feature a stop-motion Christmas episode, presumably as an homage to the Rankin-Bass claymation specials of old.  Expect Abed to be referred to as a “misfit toy” at least once.

This news is even more exciting in that it marks one of very few times we’ve seen Chevy do an animated character.  He did the American version of Doogal a while back, and a few guest voices here and there, but it’s never been a major chunk of his career.  Which is a shame, since Fletch would have made an AWESOME animated series.  Imagine a cartoon Fletch strutting to this theme song and tell me I’m wrong…

Thanks to reader Todd for the tip!

Sep 3 2010

Everybody’s Laboring for the Weekend


With Labor Day weekend at hand, I thought I’d cram a lot of awesomness into one mega post.

First up, James Cameron thinks he owns the concept of 3D and takes it upon himself to call out Piranha 3D as “exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D.”  This prompts Piranha producer Mark Canton to point out that not everyone can “take ten years using other people’s money to make and market a film.”  All I can say is that there was ritual mating in both movies and the fish film did it right.

Shamelessly stolen from cbsnews.com

Elsewhere, I Watch Stuff reports that CBS reports that 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair report that nobody gives a crap how evil Mel Gibson is.  76% of those polled said that the scandal would have no effect on their likelihood of seeing a new Mel Gibson movie. If America can separate Gibson the man from Gibson the actor, I suppose I can start going back to my favorite Starbucks, despite that one barista’s outspoken views on abortion.

Here’s Doctor Who favorite David Tennant from the upcoming remake of Fright Night.  I’ve never seen the original, but you can pretty much take any beloved genre actor and cast them as a magician and I’ll see that movie.  Just ask The Prestige.

Speaking of awe-inspiring images, Juan Pablo Bravo made a HUGE size-comparison chart of just about any Hanna-Barbera character you can think of, 600 in all.  Click the tiny sample below for the full shebang.

Almost as cool as knowing the exact relative heights of the Hair Bear Bunch, is Conan O’Brien announcing the name of his new TBS show.  It’s a good thing he’s getting back to work.  With that beard, he looks like he’d be on the streets with a beaver puppet, leaving angry voicemails for Oksana Grigorieva if he didn’t have something to keep him busy.

And finally, let’s usher in the holiday weekend with everybody’s favorite weekend activity.  DANCE PARTY!

Happy Labor Day, folks.

Aug 30 2010

Nursery Crimes II: This Little Piggy Went to Hell


Sandler on the set of his comedic remake of "Taxi Driver". Suri Cruise is playing the Jodie Foster part.

Remember last year when we heard that Adam Sandler would play both Jack and Jill in a romantic comedy of the same name?    That’s still a thing.  I’ve learned from I Watch Stuff that Katie Holmes is being groomed for the role of Jack’s wife, which at least means we can all thank God that Sandler will not be shamelessly wooing himself on film.

But the real tragedy here is that while Jack and Jill is an actual multi-million dollar film, my pitch for the Dane Cook vehicle Old Mother Hubbard (Dane Cook must disguise himself as his own grandmother while still trying to score with the chick from Twilight) is still languishing in development hell!  By which I mean Peter Segal hasn’t called me back yet.  So I’ve decided that every time I read another stupid piece of news about Jack and Jill, I’ll churn out another “Nursery Rhyme Title as Raunchy Romantic Comedy” premise.  Eventually, Hollywood’s sure to snap one up.  Here’s my latest:

Peter Peter
Jonah Hill stars as college senior Peter Peter.  He’s about to graduate and he still hasn’t got up the nerve to ask out the hottest girl on campus (played by whoever almost wins this season of The Bachelor).  His love life isn’t helped by his terrible allergy to pumpkin, which–instead of giving him a rash or killing him–causes him to launch involuntarily into a series of hilarious, and often racist, character voices.  When the hotty dares him to eat 100 pumpkin pies before graduation, with a night of passion as the prize, Peter’s got no choice but to grab the Cool Whip and hope his uncontrollable alter egos don’t get him into too much trouble!

Done.  Money in the bank.

Aug 25 2010

Critical End! (The Podcast) #63: Down Deep

Joe Dante, James Cameron, and Roger Corman.  Guess which one doesn’t have an Oscar. Wrong! REVIEWED: Piranha, Piranha 2: The Spawning, Piranha 3D. PLUS: 3D Trailer Talk and the Ultimate Dolph Lundgren Fan.

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Aug 18 2010

Critical End! (The Podcast) #62: Screwballs


This week, Dolph Lundgren battles Randy Couture’s seven evil exes while Michael Cera invades Guatemala.  Where was Carl Weathers?  REVIEWED: The Expendables, Scott Pilgrim. PLUS: We earn our “explicit” rating.

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Aug 16 2010

Look, I’m Going to Bring Up the Theater Experience Again, Okay?


But only long enough to draw your attention to this video.  Pretty well encapsulates why I tend to prefer my couch these days.

Despite this, I’m happy to say that I had a very positive theater experience seeing Scott Pilgrim.  Remind me to tell you about it Wednesday.

Aug 9 2010

New Venture Bros? Oh yes please.


Come on, September…

Aug 4 2010

Chevy wants more funny


And I’m with him.  I’m mostly posting this because I can’t believe Chevy Chase was at Comic-Con.  It’s like all of my loves are converging.  In fact I tried to come up with a joke about how Comic-Con could cater further to my specific desires, but I kept coming up with things that already take place at Comic-Con.  Doctor Who discussions and playing a lot of video games?  Covered.

[Via MovieWeb]

Jul 23 2010

New Futurama Officially Worth Watching


Well, I really wanted to link you guys to a great interview that Can’t Get Enough Futurama did with one of the show’s writers.  It’s interesting both to fans of the show and anyone curious about TV writing in general.  Unfortunately, the site’s down or something.  It was fine this morning, but now it keeps asking for a password.  Click the link and maybe it will be working again by the time you read this.

In the meantime, I’m very happy to report that after two lackluster episodes, the new season of Futurama is finally hitting its stride.  The last three have all been worthy of the show’s original run.  If you’re not watching, you should be. Check the clip below for a taste.

Futurama Thursdays 10pm / 9c
Da Vinci’s Fabled Lost Invention
Futurama New Episodes Futurama New Episodes It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Jul 9 2010

Alec Baldwin Home School: She’s Having a Baby


"Set sail for FUNventure with this week's Home School!"

I know, I know!  I introduced a brand new feature four months ago and never mentioned it again.  Put all the blame squarely on me, and not on our noble hero, Alec Baldwin, who makes his triumphant return in this installment of Alec Baldwin Home School.

You can check the first post for a proper introduction to the concept, but in short, Mr. Baldwin has announced that he’s retiring from acting.  He’s not a fan of his work, and thinks he’s never turned in a worthwhile performance.  We, gentle reader, are going to test his theory by journeying through his entire filmography.  What wonders will we find?  What horrors will we endure?  Time will tell!  The fun began with Forever, Lulu and continues now with  She’s Having a Baby.

The Film
In the late 80’s, John Hughes was writing and directing every third movie Hollywood released, thanks partly to the terrifying voodoo spell that forced all others to do his bidding, and partly to his masterful knack for pairing interesting plots with identifiable characters.  Unfortunately, that talent doesn’t really shine through in 1988’s She’s Having a Baby.

Kevin Bacon plays Jake, a young newlywed struggling to pay the bills while working nights on his novel.  He’s got no clue what he wants out of life, leading him to question his marriage to Kristy, played by Elizabeth McGovern, who is far prettier than the hair and fashion of the era would have you believe.  Of course, things get even scarier when he finds out that she is–in fact–having a baby.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, because this titular turning point doesn’t happen until like an HOUR in.  We actually begin on the young couple’s wedding day.  Our hero has cold feet, and who’s there to act as the embodiment of his desire to remain footloose (get it?) and fancy free?  None other than his best pal Davis, brought to life by one Alec Baldwin.  Davis is essentially that no-account asshole friend that everybody has in college.  He’s a lot of fun, but eventually you grow out of him.  Then when you see him again 5 years later and he hasn’t changed a bit, it’s all sad and awkward.

Davis makes a half-joking attempt to convince Jake to call off the wedding.  Both Baldwin’s performance and Bacon’s narration hint that Davis would rather keep Jake all to himself.  On the surface, it’s a comment on the pseudo-marriage that develops between best friends.  Below the surface, Davis is totally gay for Jake, and Baldwin makes sure it comes through via lots of meaningful staring at things.  Then Davis disappears for a good chunk of the film, leaving Jake to deal with his new evil father-in-law, a job he hates, and plenty of pointless arguments with Kristy.

With Jake’s depressing suburban existence firmly established, Davis shows up once again.  He’s living in New York now, but he’s brought his slutty model girlfriend along for a visit.  This leads to a big fight with Kristy, giving Davis the perfect opportunity to slide in with some straight talk.  He misses Jake.  Kristy’s great, but she’s tying him down!  He can’t be a writer in the suburbs!  He should come to New York!  It’s a pretty transparent attempt to reconnect with Jake, and he declines the offer, but it’s obvious that he’s tempted.

Then there’s some more standard-issue married life drama.  Jake’s boss tells him he’ll never be a real writer.  Jake meets some chick at a club who he begins fantasizing about.  You get the idea.  Finally, in what I took as a desperate ploy to save the relationship, Kristy attempts to get pregnant by secretly going off her birth control.  This doesn’t work, mostly because it would have been pretty depressing if it had, so she comes clean to Jake and the two start trying in earnest to have a kid.  With sex itself now reduced to work, Jake is more downtrodden than ever.

"See! I told you it'd be neat if we all switched hair!"

Hey!  Davis is back!  This time he confronts Kristy about whether Jake is ready to be a father, then awkwardly hits on her.  It’s actually the movie’s best scene.  Davis, now resigned to the fact that Jake’s not coming back to him, reaches out for a connection by proxy.  Or maybe he’s just trying to screw up their relationship, whatever.  Kristy refuses, but she’s more bemused than angry, leaving Davis confused and alone.

At last, Kristy gets pregnant and everything is magically awesome again!  Not for Davis, who we never see again and who has presumably gone off to hang himself, but who cares!  After a short montage, Kristy goes into labor.  Things look touch and go for a second because there should probably be something resembling a climax at some point, then everything turns out great.  So great, that it’s revealed that Jake has finished his novel which is entitled, oh yes, “She’s Having a Baby.”

Sorry, John Hughes, but BOOOOOORRRRIIINNNG.  The movie’s front-loaded with a so many “Gee, we’re young and in love, but marriage sure is tough!” scenes that I mistook it for a film adaptation of For Better or For Worse.  It comes off as so cliche and easy.  Yes, starting a family is scary, and it’s clear that Hughes is writing from his own experience, but he brings nothing new to the trope.  Not to mention the fact that everything just kind of serendipitously  works out for Jake and Kristy, to the point that it feels like that’s the moral.  “I know it seems like every moment of your life since you said ‘I do’ has been a horrible mistake, but don’t worry!  At some point you’ll have a kid and everything will suddenly make perfect sense!”  Plus it’s slow and not that funny.

Luckily, for our purposes anyway, the highlight of the film is actually Alec Baldwin.  I’d have rather seen a movie about the mournful, sardonic, closeted homosexual who boxes up his longing for his best friend and drowns it in booze and blonds until he snaps and makes a laughable pass at the very woman who robbed him of his happiness.  But even as an ancillary character in a bland family comedy, Davis shines.  You can see his repressed feelings simmering under the surface in every scene, and he gets some of the best lines in the film, including the one I’ve quoted below, which you’ll want to adopt as your new Facebook status immediately.

My only knock is that Baldwin has the melodrama meter cranked up to dangerous levels.  Every impressive display of subtle emotion is immediately followed by a mood swing or bout of pensive smoking.  Still, I dug the performance, and I view it as a great second entry in our subject’s catalog.

Final Stats
Movie Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 5 out of 10
Baldwin Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 7 out of 10
Biggest Takeaway: This explains why that dude I played hacky sack with on the quad cried when I graduated.
Quote for Your Facebook Status: “It’s rude and it’s wrong, but it’s right on the money.”

Jun 23 2010

Critical End! (The Podcast) #57: We hear he’s old and gay!


Please don’t mention Emily in this one.  My fragile heart can’t take it.  REVIEWED: Toy Story 3PLUS: Trailers and contest winners and gay jokes and things.

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Jun 21 2010



Futurama’s back this week! Forget what’s happened in the past 5 seasons and 4 movies? Comedy Central’s got a full recap up on their site. Well, actually it’s kind of flippant in its level of completion, but it’s still a pretty good way to prepare for the one-hour premiere this Thursday at 10pm/9c.

You’d better watch it, because if this show gets canceled again, I’ll track you down and jam you into a suicide booth.

Jun 16 2010

Critical End! (The Podcast) #56: Come on, Funky Bunch


Look, you’re a valuable member of the team, but your childish phobia is seriously impeding our plan and its chances of coming together.  Which I would love.  REVIEWED: The A-TeamPLUS: Does Sam Jackson being mentioned in this podcast make you more or less likely to listen to it?

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