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Monthly Archives: January 2008

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Be Kind Rewind Trailer – The Gondry Edition

Just how far inward can you loop a mirror within a mirror concept before it self-destructs taking the whole universe with it or forming some sort of strange and bizarre mobius loop? Michael Gondry’s movie Be Kind Rewind began with a Hollywood movie about two guys who are forced to manually remake every movie in the store when the movies get erased. So of course the kind of guy who would film himself supposedly solving a rubik’s cube with his toes, run it backward, is the kind of guy who would add another level to it, with the above trailer where Gondry himself has to remake the trailer for Be Kind Rewind all on his own. It’s kind of funny but it hits the line where you wonder if it’s genuinely funny or the kind of abstract French humor that’s all on a loop of its own by now.

Nobody Sees Oscar

A post title that might in and of itself make a good movie, though not really the point, the AP helpfully notes that nobody much sees Oscar movies anymore. Time Magazine devoted its entertainment column to making the same point, but nobody in the Academy seems to care about the public anymore.

Four of the movies nominated last week for best picture — “Juno,” “Michael Clayton,” “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” — got the so-called “Oscar bump” that comes from audiences checking them out the following weekend. (The sweeping romance “Atonement” dropped slightly.) Still, they’ve only combined to make about $246.3 million domestically.

Uh huh and in point of fact a 100 million of that comes from Juno alone and No Country for Old Men makes up some of the rest. Hardly anyone watched Michael Clayton or There Will Be Blood, despite the fact that it’s a sure winner.

The Star Trek Flashbacks Keep on Coming

Hopefully Star Trek XI under JJ Abrams won’t turn into TNG’s Rascals, but now CA is reporting that there will be 11 year old version of Kirk and apparently a younger version of Spock, according to Cinematical. I guess if the City on the Edge of Forever rumor turned out to be true, well more actually a remake of the animated series Sehlat episode, that would make sense. I guess we could be seeing a Diane Carey’s Best Destiny (novel) style scene similar to the Enterprise pilot Broken Bow of Kirk as a boy before moving on to young Kirk, but at some point the whole thing would just become ridiculous, since we’ve got a present day Spock, an early days flashback and now little kids too? What’s next.

A Cloverfield Sequel is Coming

Cloverfield film posterDid anyone really leave the theater after Cloverfield feeling that they want more of the same? Considering that Cloverfield was basically a long YouTube movie, maybe they should just do Cloverfield 2 as a Direct to YouTube release, but that is presumably not in the works, instead the limited success of Cloverfield has apparently insured that Paramount wants to be in the Cloverfield business badly enough to order a sequel, which will apparently focus on someone else’s perspective of the attack. Which is great because one movie about annoying yuppies stumbling around in the dark with a shaky camera that makes you throw up and in which you hardly ever see the monster and when you do, he’s a collossal letdown, just isn’t enough. Nope you’ve got to do two movies. Now did Cloverfield really bring home the box office bacon so impressively that it’s considered worthwhile to go ahead with a sequel? Considering the massive drop it’s experienced, it’s pretty clear that Cloverfield is no I Am Legend, but yes that’s getting a sequel too.

Steve Jobs 10 million iPhone Dream Dies

With the rise of the swiss army cellphone, it had to penetrate even Steve Jobs’ comfortably cushioned cranium that the iPod was a piece of dead end technology. After all the video player (which he resisted) and the music player and all the rest can be packaged into a cell phone and are these days. Given a few years to solve the battery problem, work out the interfaces and popularize cell phones some more, the iPod becomes yesterday’s junk. So the answer was the iPhone and the hype was there, but so was the insane cost. The iPhone is an expensive gadget and a status symbol, but not a mass market appliance really, which means Steve Jobs’ sales target of 10 million iPhones was always vastly unrealistic, yet Apple needed to quickly gain market dominance, a hopeless task in a carrier controlled market. With 4 million sold, Apple’s iPhones starts looking a lot like Sony’s PS3 a desperate gambit by a flailing company to gain quick market share to maintain its technological relevance and business model.

The Heath Ledger Soap Opera Continues

Heath Ledger was an unlikely figure for a soap opera, a fairly mediocre actor who didn’t have much in the way of gossip moving around him and whose highest profile role, until he took on the Joker, was as a gay cowboy. Aside from his marriage to ex-Dawson’s Creek star Michelle Williams, he was hardly on anyone’s radar, but that of some lovesick teenage girls. Which makes his growing canonization that much more absurd. The media which had been panting at the bit for Britney Spears to have an overdose or a death, so much so that the obituaries were already in place, had to suffice with Heath Ledger as their dry run for her death. The media vulturism on display is genuinely creepy, ET’s stunt in paying several hundred grand for a video of Heath Ledger apparently drugged was almost as pathetic as their stunt in not releasing it, which reminds you of Larry Flynt buying and not releasing the supposed photos of Jessica Lynch or Huckabee’s infamous negative campaign ad.

Domain Tasting on the Way Out

It may only be a trickle in the vast Yangtze river of spam that chokes the shores of Google’s search results but domain tasting is the source of a lot of the pervasively morphing spam results and frankly killing it is about time. The idea of a refund is valid but the kind of open ended refund combined with Google’s increasing lack of concern for actual search results vs junk has turned domain tasting into a search nightmare. So it may be bad news over in China and India, but ICANN may finally do the right thing and allow at least some kind of floodgates to be applied to spam river. Of course the problem with the morphing spam industry is that when you close one gate, the water just finds a hundred more to flow through and despite criminal prosecution and civil litigation, spam still remains more widespread and prevalent than it has ever been before, unfortunately.

Open Access Looks to be In

For all the snide threats and rumors spread by the big telcos that open access would keep the auction prices low, the minimum has been met and open access looks to be in. What politicians continually ignore is that the threats of major corporations are hollow when real money is on the line, but at the same time big business loves to play the victim and that’s what Verizon and its ilk were doing here. The bandwidth is just too valuable and the competition in the market is just too fierce for the minimum not to have been met, which is why Kevin Martin was right and his big business affiliated pundits and critics were wrong. America needs major communications reforms to stay relevant and open access as well as Google’s Android are good first steps to making that happen. The big carriers have spent too much time crippling and jailing users that we’re stuck in a backward system that is inhibiting the growth of the cell phone market. Open Access may be the first major brick taken out of the wall since number portability.

Plummer Says Gilliam Will Use a CGI Ledger

It’s not unprecedented to finish a movie with a dead actor by replacing him with some CGI, it happened with Oliver Reed in Gladiator, but it’s hard to think of a movie where the star was replaced with CGI probably because it hasn’t happened yet. Heath Ledger’s untimely death has raised some serious marketing issues for Dark Knight but it raises more practical issues for Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. On the one hand Gilliam can bring in Johnny Depp to replace Heath Ledger’s scenes, not really a tribute since it wipes the actor out of the movie entirely or try to use CGI and some combination of tricks to leave Ledger in the movie. The problem of course is at that point the focus of the movie ceases to be the movie itself and becomes a way for audiences to wonder whether we’re seeing the real man himself or digital memorex. It may offer a tribute to Ledger but only at the expense of Terry Gilliam trashing his own The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus unless he finds a way to make the loss itself a part of the movie.

Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth going into Production

Kind of odd but apparently Sam Raimi is a fan of the Sword of Truth novels, well someone out there has to be, and is teaming up with ABC for a weekly series on them. Is it just going to be Hercules with a magic sword? Well maybe, maybe not unless they bring back Kevin Sorbo and let him produce the whole thing. Basically Sword of Truth is actually more popular in some places abroad than it is in America and since syndicated series are exported abroad and Hollywood these days is pulling in the dough from shipping our crap off to foreign marks, this makes sense. Unlike Wheel of Time, I imagine the Sword of Truth rights were fairly affordable, the sales insure there’s something of an audience and some brand recognition, episodes will be cranked out on the cheap and Satan will give a great big belly laugh and somewhere Ayn Rand will be turning over, even more so than when Ron Paul ran for President.

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