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Monthly Archives: April 2007

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Young Magneto Here We Come

After the mediocre X-Men Last Stand that wiped out most of the mutants for no good reason, leaving Magneto alive and recovering his powers– we’re apparently now destined or doomed to endure “Young Magneto: The Early Years”.

Hollywood executives who have all the originally or a mental defective with a three word vocabulary are apparently planning to capitalize on the utter lack of success of Young Hannibal or Hannibal Begins or whatever that abomination was called to produce Young Magneto.

[Ian] McKellen’s participation in “Magneto” will likely be limited, since the film is an origin story. In a storyline hinted at by the original “X-Men” films, Magneto comes to grips with his mutant ability to manipulate metal objects as he and his parents try to survive in Auschwitz. Magneto meets Professor Xavier (played as the wheelchair-bound mutant leader by Patrick Stewart) when Xavier is a soldier liberating the concentration camp.

Magneto hones his powers by hunting down and killing Nazi war criminals that tortured him, and his lust for vengeance turns Xavier and Magneto into enemies. Both characters will be played by actors in their 20s.

I could point out that this is the same concept as Young Hannibal but I’d be wasting precious breath. What was the definition of insanity again?

Sony Killed The Goat

Electronics giant Sony has sparked a major row over animal cruelty and the ethics of the computer industry by using a freshly slaughtered goat to promote a violent video game. The corpse of the decapitated animal was the centrepiece of a party to celebrate the launch of the God Of War II game for the company’s PlayStation 2 console.

Critics condemned the entertainment giant, which produces scores of Hollywood blockbusters each year, for its “blood lust” and said the grotesque “sacrifice” highlighted increasing concerns over the content of video games and the lengths to which the industry will go to exploit youngsters.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare said it was “outrageous” that the animal’s death had been used “to sell a few computer games”.

Now first of all I really really doubt there were youngsters at a game release party– especially one with topless models. These are primarily industry parties intended to create media buzz. The gap between actual game players and party attendees is pretty broad.

Secondly if they’d had the goat broiled and served it in pieces on a platter no one besides PETA would be complaining about it. Millions of goats are served and eaten that way a day across Africa and the Middle East. Certainly tens of millions of dead cows are eaten that way. Yet somehow seeing the actual dead animal freshly killed sets off a wave of hysteria. People have no problems seeing meat, they just don’t like having their faces rubbed in it.

Vinnie Jones vs. Steve Austin

So who’s bright idea was it anyway to put up Vinnie Jones against Steve Austin in The Condemned? Vinnie Jones as usual looks like a real tough guy who can spit nails and Steve Austin looks like a gym rat way too smooth and polished, even when he’s down in the dirt. Look at the poster above of Steve Austin vs Vinnie Jones and the whole thing becomes laughable. Vinnie Jones comes as the kind of hard guy who works for some thug and will smash you for a lark. Steve Austin comes off looking like one of the wannabes who hang out in Confederate themed bars.

Can’t Get Rid of Disturbia

Well Disturbia is still Number One at the Box Office but that’s less a tribute to the movie itself and more a tribute to a movie release schedule that can’t seem to get anything right at the end of April.

Blades of Glory, which was supposed to be a major comedy hit, collected its take early and went home. It’s taken in over a hundred million now, but only 5 million in the weekend.

Then there’s Hot Fuzz which had a much talked about opening before diving down into the tank, having collected only 12 million total and only 4 million this weekend. That’s the basically inevitable result of being a movie with rather limited appeal to a rather limited fanbase in America. Of course Simon Pegg and all the rest have managed to get nearly 20 million in free publicity from that opening alone.

Meet the Robinsons has failed to go anywhere but pulled in a decent 88 million. Fracture, Vacancy and Invisible pulled in some dough but nothing special.

Let’s Get Serious

On the heels of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Jim Crace, yet another award winning seriously literary writer coming out with The Pesthouse, a novel which like The Road is set in a post-apocalyptic future where all of civilization has come crashing down and refugees wander amidst the ruins of civilization.

These brilliantly original plots of course are Science Fiction, right? Wrong. Serious literary writers and critics don’t acknowledge they’re writing Science Fiction– even when they’re blatantly writing Science Fiction. Consider John Irving’s At The End of Time– yet another novel on a similar theme of the kind actual SF writers have been churning out non-stop for decades. Yet claim it as SF and get your nose bitten off as an uncivilized barbarian. It’s like the boy from the farming village who grows up, goes off to the city, becomes the Royal Astronomer and you had better not remind him that he’s not doing much more than what he did back home when he and the other boys were counting stars in the sky and naming the constellations after haystacks.

Because you see being taken seriously is all about reputation or all the reputation you can work on manufacturing for yourself. That in the end is what serious literature or serious film is. Pretentiousness. Of course there’s usually some talent and real work in there, but there’s talent and real work everywhere.

An Experiment in Sucking

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) – Apparently determined to exploit the full comic potential of white boys attempting hip-hop, Jamie Kennedy (“Malibu’s Most Wanted”) shows up in comedy about a 12-year-old boy who lapses into a coma in 1985, only to wake up a grown man 20 years later.

In other words Jamie Kennedy does Tom Hanks in Big meets a SNL routine from 1985.

Seriously, you have to wonder what Jamie Kennedy was thinking. Nobody wanted to see Malibu’s Most Wanted. Nobody could be paid to see Malibu’s Most Wanted. For a brief moment in the sun, Jamie Kennedy, who had basically risen to some sort of fame through a minor role in the first two Scream movies had actually managed to get a show “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment” which people actually recognized and began to show up as a catchphrase. Unfortunately Jamie Kennedy went on to beat it in the ground by doing the same routines over and over again till even WB viewers were sick of them.

Now with the Jamie Kennedy Experiment history– you have to wonder why Jamie Kennedy thought the way to go was by reviving his lamest and weakest character yet– a character whose routine had been beaten into the ground a thousand times over by 1996.

Xander vs Harmony – Battle of Titans

Behold one of the greatest epics of martial combat in human history, the great showdown between Harmony and Xander.

Buffy Tales of the Slayers – Sonnenblume, Nikki Goes Down, Tales

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Slayers” is full of more meditative stories on humanity and the slayer, by contras “Nikki Goes Down” is a refreshing romp in a 70’s blacksploitation style movie free of any moral ambiguities or complexities. Drawn in gritty artwork by Gene Colan, his work in “Nikki Goes Down” is a dead match for his artwork in the 1937 section of “Broken Bottle of Djinn”, capturing the brutal textures of urban life surrounded by grit and looming shapes of skyscrapers.

The progress of Nikki’s days in “Nikki Goes Down” gives us a clue of why she eventually gave up for a moment and allowed Spike to kill her. In “Nikki Goes Down”. Her boyfriend, a police officer named Li, is killed during an aborted raid and Nikki’s response is to pursue the mob boss responsible, Le Banc, who specializes in transporting and smuggling demons– fighting a monstrous bat demon along the way and eventually hunting down Le Banc himself in the Bahamas. This suggests that Nikki Wood, like Faith, had few problems killing humans. Nikki leaves an isolated life and in “Nikki Goes Down” loses the one human connection she has, replacing him with a son, who may or may not have been born from her time together with Li. She is the only Slayer we meet who is a mother, but a single mother all alone in a big city, which eventually swallows her whole.”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Tales of the Slayers – Sonnenblume, Nikki Goes Down, Tales

The Baldwin Saga Goes On

The fate of “30 Rock” looks dire. Alec Baldwin said on “The View” yesterday that he wanted to quit that NBC sitcom to write a book about “parental alienation.”

Great. In yet another of the kind of brilliant parenting decisions only a celebrity can make– apparently Alec Baldwin has decided that the best way to fix being an absentee father is to write a book about being an absentee father. A book that will no doubt itself be ghost written because let’s face reality here… what are the odds of a Baldwin actually being able to write – a book, or being able to write period.

It’s certainly in the best interest of the child. As bad as all the publicity over her father’s ranting voice-mail message must be for 11-year-old Ireland, she will have to live it all over again if her father quits show business. The book reviews — let alone the stand-up comedy routines — would surely inflict even more emotional damage.

As opposed to going on The View to proclaim how screwed up your custody situation is and announcing you’re going to write a book about it– that certainly won’t generate any stand up comedy routines. No way.

Mr. Baldwin’s long-winded, self-obsessed soliloquy on his usurped rights as a father and the fiendish acts of his ex-wife, Kim Basinger, was so impassioned that Ms. Walters had to remind him that his first concern should be his relationship with Ireland. (When he mentioned his daughter, it was to make a point about her mother’s perfidy.)

This being the same daughter, whom he couldn’t remember if she was 11 or 12 and apparently couldn’t spare the cell phone minutes to call, without having to rely on a landline.

WWE Makes Crappy Ripoff of Battle Royale

As it’s turning out, McMahon and the WWE group is to filmmaking pretty much what their XFL project was to football, a miserable failure.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In Hollywood, where hype so often seems to be the norm, pro wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s frank assessment of his own performance in his debut movie is, if nothing else, refreshing.

“I didn’t stink the place up,” Austin told Reuters about his role in his new big-screen action adventure “The Condemned,” which opened on Friday. “I think I have a feel for it, and I think I have some ability.”

What’s refreshing about it exactly? Austin claiming that he has acting ability and a feel for acting? What more could he have said exactly, “I’m the greatest actor that ever lived.” Actors in any case rarely do their own hyping on their own behalf, few of them can get away with it. Instead they usually pursue the false modesty that lets them praise themselves without seeming too vulgar about it. That’s pretty much what Steve Austin did.

In “The Condemned,” Austin portrays a character who uses his fists to do his talking. “It wasn’t a stretch because it’s closer to my regular persona,”

Yes especially when it involves using his fists to talk to his wife apparently.

n Hollywood, where movie executives often hawk their ideas as a blend of previous movies or television shows, “The Condemned” could be seen as a combination of “Rambo” and reality TV’s “Survivor.”

Or it could be seen as a ripoff of Battle Royale… except with wrestlers instead of High School students.

Austin, who is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds (113 kg), played college football in Texas and afterward worked as a manual laborer. That changed when he started watching pro wrestlers and decided, “I can do that.”

Isn’t it always a great moment when an ex-football star looks at fake wrestling on television and dreams of being a fake athlete too.

So he began a roughly 15-year career that vaulted him to professional wrestling’s championship level. Now, looking for a less physically demanding way to make a living, he said becoming a movie action hero was another “natural step.”

So why exactly is fake punching people in the WWE more physically demanding than fake punching people in Condemned?

His fans want to see hard-core action, and he is going to work to please them, he said, adding that in the end the movie offers a message about the destructive nature of greed.

And who else is better qualified to lecture us about the destructive nature of greed than Hollywood? Now everyone go “aaaawwww.”

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